Gone Beachin’

16 Jul

I would have hung a Gone Fishin’ sign, but I don’t fish. I beach. So, I went with Gone Beachin’. I’ve been keeping up a schedule of blog posting 3x a week for most of the last 7 years.

Not this week.

I’m going to the beach and I’m taking a break. If you miss me, you can find me over on my Instagram at PocketfulofJoules.

I’ll be back next Monday with your regularly scheduled programing!

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How Much My Husband Allows Me To Spend on Clothing & No Buy July

12 Jul

This was just going to be a “No Buy July” post. But then I was talking to a co-worker about it and she asked if I was doing No Buy July because my husband told me not to spend money and then my head popped off and fire came out of my body and I exploded the entire office.

If you know me in person, this is where I’d start gesturing with my arms wildly and cursing. But here on the blog I try to keep it a little less salty. So, let me explain (as nice as I can), how I feel when people imply that my husband is the boss of me and our money.

I am the boss of me. I’ve been working in marketing for 19 years and I make a very good salary. My husband also works and contributes money to our household. However, I am in charge of the money side of things for us. We pay our bills each month. We have savings. We have 401(k) accounts. And we are even paying off college for our 6 year old.

I can buy whatever the frick I want.

I work damn hard enough for it and my husband supports me 1000%. We don’t have a specific budget that we stick to each month, but it works for us because neither of us are huge spenders. The only rule is that if one of us will be spending over $150 (our magic number), we need to give the other person a heads up. For my husband, those expenses tend to be car or motorcycle related. For me, it may be shopping, thrifting, or a quarterly massage. It’s pretty rare for either of us to spend more than $150 in a sitting, unless it’s on something necessary… like car tires.

My pet peeve is when I see someone say something like, “oh my gosh, I’ll have to hide these packages from my husband or he will cut me off from my credit cards.” I’m a GROWN ASS WOMAN. I bring money into the house and I am free to spend it too.

Okay. Rant over.

Last year, I tried doing a No Buy July and did pretty great for 20 days before I fell off the wagon. This year, I’m trying No Buy July again. I feel like doing a no buy month is a nice reset in the summer. I’ve also been purging a lot (my bi-monthly purging report is coming up in a few weeks) to get stuff out of the house.

Here are the rules of my No Buy July:

  • No buying any fashion-type purchases for the month.
  • No thrifting.
  • No online shopping.
  • No Anthropologie ‘sale on sale’…

The only exception is that I can shop for Jack and/or Travis if it is something needed. However, anything that I want to buy for myself will have to wait. This way I can see if I REALLY want to buy it, or if it is a passing want. For example, I recently was thinking that I’d like a new work laptop backpack… well, it’s going to have to wait.

Once again, you all are totally free to hold me accountable. If you see me post a dressing room picture anytime this month, go ahead and comment with NO BUY JULY to help keep me honest!

Do you ever do a shopping detox? Want to do a No Buy July with me? Have any thoughts on my I’M THE BOSS OF ME rant?

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Super Cheap DIY: Bra Extender

10 Jul

I think I mentioned that I have some weddings to attend soon: my brother and his fiancée are getting married in September, and then my sister and her fiancé are getting married in December. Both of my bridesmaid dresses require a strapless bra and I basically hate strapless bras. The only one that I can deal with that actually stays up and doesn’t look weird is a backless-strapless corset-type bra (also called a ‘longline’ bra) that I wore for my wedding. But my wedding was almost exactly 10 years ago, and my corset was a *little* too tight…

I initially went on the hunt for a new longline bra and saw that most of them were around $80. Sigh. What a waste of $80! I did find one that looked like it would work on the Nordstrom Rack website for $45… but when it came to my house and I tried it on, it made my boobs look super odd. The fit was awful and there was NO WAY it would work under my pretty dresses.

If only I could just make the bra I had a little bigger…

And then BOOM. I figured it out! A BRA EXTENDER!

I’d seen them for normal bras here and there, so I immediately went on Amazon to see if they made them for longline bras. I figured, worst case scenario I could buy a few smaller ones and put them together.

Not necessary though, because I found this:

The corset extender was only $10 and could work for any corset that had between 10 – 13 hooks. My longline bra had 13 hooks, so I thought it might work perfectly to solve my problems. It qualified for Prime shipping, so it came to my mailbox the very next day.

Here’s what it looks like:

And here it is about 3 seconds later, hooked to my existing bra:

SO EASY. And it works perfectly! The extender gives you an extra 1 – 3 inches and you can adjust it exactly to the length that you need. It matches my white corset perfectly and now when I put it on, I can breathe! And there is no back muffin-top situation!

Did you know that there were corset extenders out there? This easy little DIY saved me over $70!

 

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My Boston Trip: Shopping Fun, Dressing Room Snaps & Thrifting Treasures

9 Jul

Before I went to Boston I received all sorts of great tips on where I should go, what I should see and what I should eat. And yeah. I didn’t really do any of that.

Instead, I sat in my hotel at my conference from 8am – 5pm and then walked back up to my room and sat in front of my laptop and worked on midterms from 6pm – midnight. Then, did it all over again. And again.

It wasn’t what I WANTED to do in Boston. But it was what I HAD to do… to get my midterms done. I just got my midterm grades back and at least the time was well spent… I got a 90% on one and a 99% on the other! Heck yeah!

I did have a little bit of time the day I flew in (Tuesday afternoon), in between midterms (Thursday night for an hour) and before I flew out (Friday afternoon). And I found some awesome deals… so let’s check them out!

I landed in Boston on Tuesday morning and wanted to enjoy the daylight before handcuffing myself to my laptop, so I decided to walk to one of the consignment shops on my list.

Boomerangs Consignment Shop (1407 Washington Street, Boston, MA). This was a small little shop with super nice people working there. There were some really high-end brands and the prices were relatively reasonable for consignment. I tried on a few items, but didn’t end up taking anything home with me.

On my walk back from the consignment shop, I saw a cute little store called Gifted (2 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA). This store had all sorts of unique and cool stuff with handmade items by over 90 US artists. I spent lots of time just wandering around the two level store touching everything. I ended up buying a super cute salt and pepper shaker (I’ve somehow accidentally started a collection…) and two engraved bracelets:

The “Mama Bear” and “Actually, I Can” bracelets were exactly what I needed to power through my midterms! I’ve been wearing both bracelets every day since I bought them… I love them so much!

On Thursday, I saw that there was a consignment store only a couple blocks away from my hotel. So, after my conference ended at 5pm, I ran out to do a quick look before they closed at 6pm.

Castanet Consignment Shop (175 Newbury Street, Boston, MA). HOLY CRACKERS, this shop was amazing! The only drawback is that the majority of the clothing was very tiny sizes. They had tons of amazing brands, cocktail dresses, shoes, scarves. You name it!

I almost slobbered on this pair of sparkly Jimmy Choo heels. And then, I turned around and ran right into a whole table of Manolo Blahnik sandals. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

The prices were also pretty darn good… so I kind of wish more stuff fit me! I did find a few items to try on though, a romper that totally fooled me into thinking it was a dress, a blazer and an amazing scarf. They had some great dressing rooms too, so I did snap a few photos.

I didn’t buy this one, but it made me laugh. I totally thought it was a dress… and then this happened. As someone pointed out on Instagram, I got “romped!”

Bird & Knoll Cinque Terre/Bella Boats Scarf, $49

When I picked this scarf up, I knew nothing about the brand. I just knew it was huge, beautiful and incredibly soft. The consignment shop had it originally marked at $78 and on sale for $49, so I did a quick google to make sure it wasn’t actually some cheapo brand and pulled the trigger to buy it.

When I got back to my room, I did a little research. Bird & Knoll is an Australian brand of cashmere and silk printed luxury scarves for women. I found this exact scarf on their blog from June 2015 and it was called the Cinque Terre/Bella Boats scarf and it has an image of the Cinque Terra (located between Florence and Geona in Italy).

Based on other similar scarves on their website, I’m going to assume that the one I purchased is also 20% cashmere, 80% model and made in Italy. The cost on their website is $335 AUD, which equals about $250 in US dollars.

Didier Parakian blazer, $35

I wasn’t familiar with this brand at all either. I liked the look of this blazer and it looked about my size, but the tag said 44… which is either French sizing for a US size 12 or Italian sizing for a US size 8. Since it fits my shoulders well, I’m guessing it is French sizing. It was difficult to find information on this brand, but I did find this website and it appears that the clothing are made in Italy, but the brand started in France and has “the exotic tastes of the Armenian culture combined with the chromatic sensitivity of Mediterranean cities and the elegance of the French style.”

Yeah, so I don’t think I’m the only one confused about the brand…

Anywho. This blazer was originally tagged at $44, but it was marked down to $35. My best guess at an original price would be $344 based on what came up on Lyst when I searched the brand.

After I left, I stopped by a nearby Anthropologie because they had a ‘sale on sale’ going on.

Anthropologie Adelina Embroidered Blouse, $52

I should be ashamed about the amount of clothing I took into the dressing room at Anthropologie. The location I visited in Boston had a HUGE sale section… and everyone on sale was an extra 25% off. I have no idea how I narrowed it down to buying only one item. I can say, that this shirt is the kind of special-fantastic-unicorn shirt that I love. It makes me feel so pretty and it looks adorable with jeans. And I love it SO MUCH. And there are pompoms on the trim. POMPOMS! Original price at Anthropologie was $118 and it was marked down to $69.95 and then down to $52 (find it here).

After my two stops I headed back to the hotel to do some more work and eat some dinner. On Friday, my conference ended at noon, so I packed everything up and decided to go… THRIFTING!

I only had time to make one thrifting stop, so I decided to go to a somewhat nearby Goodwill (1010 Harrison Ave. Boston, MA). It was a nice day, so I decided to walk the 1.5 miles there. However, by time I was done thrifting all afternoon I grabbed an Uber back!

This Goodwill was absolutely huge. Just going through the dress racks (that lined the entire back and side of the store) was exhausting. My arms were actually sore from pushing back dress after dress! I mainly concentrated my time on the dresses, tops, and skirts. Each category had their own area, but nothing was divided by size… so it was a free-for-all. There were only a couple dressing room stalls and people were hogging them, so I basically tried everything on over my clothes and hoped for the best.

After HOURS of digging through everything, I found 4 winning items:

Joie Silk Dress, $5

I found an almost identical Joie silk dress online and it retailed for $368. This one has a fun pattern, fabric covered buttons at the bust, and a drawstring waist. It was also marked as a dress ($8), but the lady decided it looked more like a tunic, so she charged me just $5 for a shirt! I’m thinking I might wear this one either over a pair of skinny work trousers, or paired with black tights and booties in the fall. I think this one might be the score of the day!

Boden Jersey Dress, $8

I actually own this dress in a purple print and love it, so when I saw this blue version for just $8 I knew I had to snap it up! This one is actually a size larger than the one I have, but the fit is fine on me. I love it so much and wore it to work already last week!

Eileen Fisher dress, $8

This one is a bit of a risk, as it has a weird floppy pocket on one side. I don’t know. I thought it looked kinda interesting. Similar Eileen Fisher dresses go for around $200, so I figured I’d give this one a try for $8. It did smell SO BAD of mothballs when I bought it… but two rounds in the washing machine and it’s smelling great now.

Talbots cardigan, $5.50

I really like the mixed stripes and ¾ sleeves on this cardigan. It’s perfect for work or weekends. I didn’t realize when I bought it that it has 10% wool though… so I’ll have to pack this one away until winter or I’ll sweat to death.

All-in-all, I spent about $27 to thrift 4 items with a total retail value around $778!!

So yeah, I had some great Boston shopping luck! Which item is your favorite?

 

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