Here we are again! Another budget/style challenge! I was looking through old blog posts and realized last year, my goal was to not shop until I wore everything in my closet at least once. Well, I got pregnant soon after that and the challenge ended faster than you can say “baby number 3.”
So, now that the baby is here and we’ve (kind of) settled into a new house, I figure I need to keep my shopping budget on a REALLY tight leash! Enter the “20 to the Max” challenge.
It’s pretty self explanatory: a personal clothes/shoes shopping budget of $20 a month. There are no rollover dollars. If you don’t spend it, you lose it. You CAN use existing gift cards, store credits or store rewards.
In the past, I have found shopping challenges allow me to really stretch the way I style what’s already in my closet, so I’m hoping the same creative juices start flowing.
The month of April is already over, but I plan to continue for three months total! So, if you want to join along, feel free! Use the hashtag #20tothemax on social media to show how you’ve spent your money.
I actually bought the tank earlier in the month for $12 but was uncertain about keeping it. Then a couple of weeks later, the same top was discounted even more, plus I got to use Super Cash, which brought it down to the $7 price range. (I’ll be returning the one I purchased for $12)
The sunnies were on promotion for $10 and my Super Cash also brought the price down.
The only thing I regret about the 20 To The Max challenge this month: not spending my full $20!! Old Navy even had $2 tanks the day I was there and I wanted to go back and get a couple, but my kids were with me and they are the world’s best shopping prevention, lemme tell ya!
As for the month of May, who knows what I’ll get! I’m going to try to do a post featuring items I wish I could buy right now!
Until then, thanks for reading!!
Do you have a striped black and white turtleneck in your closet? If not, get one. Yesterday. During some after Thanksgiving shopping, I bought this one from Old Navy for a whopping $8. Unfortunately, it’s sold out now, but I found this one from Macy’s for $14.99.
I never realized how much I was missing! I actually have a black and white striped t-shirt, but this turtleneck has quickly become my go-to piece. It’s seriously a game-changer. I’m not even a huge fan of turtlenecks because I don’t like my neck and I think they typically emphasize my double chin! BUT…this style is a thin, lightweight version that doesn’t ride up too high or graze one of my least favorite features.
I’ve worn it by itself and as a layering piece. A lot!
If you still need convincing or if you just need some styling inspiration, here are some pics I found on Pinterest and shared on “My Pinterest Closet” board. Notice, I’ve already used some as inspiration and full intend to recreate all of these looks!
Know what I found while pinning? Some of these images are years old! That just goes to show you how classic and versatile this piece is! (Unless that just means I have outdated style! whomp whomp!) Do you already have a striped turtleneck? What’s your favorite way to style it? I’d love to see new ideas!
As always, thanks for reading!
Long time, no post, right?! As much as I hoped I’d be blogging more, it’s like I can’t seem to catch up with life! But I had to share this post with you because it’s a giveaway for all my Birmingham-area friends!
Standby for details.
First, you may or may not have known that my family and I welcomed our newborn on the same day we closed on our new house! Yes, it was an insanely crazy time to say the least. So you understand why getting settled has been a slow-going process. We aren’t anywhere near finished. Mind you, we moved from a two-bedroom townhome to a five bedroom house, so filling it up is going to take lots of time and dinero. And last I checked, money trees weren’t included with the property!
Here is a shot of the new abode!
We got new living room furniture, but still need an area rug and accessories. This is where we are so far.
We still need to do something about that obnoxious tv cable! At least it’s functional and the furniture is cozy! Also, forgive the lighting discrepancy. Life happens and I didn’t have time to take all of the pics in the daytime!
As for the kitchen, I know white is all the rage right now, but granite and dark cabinets came with the house and I still love the style. But because it is on the darker side, I’m trying to keep everything else lighter. It’s still pretty bare bones, though. We need to get appropriate-sized counter stools, which will be an ivory or oatmeal color. And wall art will be in lighter tones, too.
I’ve included some “pinspiration” of what I’d like it to become eventually! I can dream, can’t I?!
In the meantime, you can bet your next mortgage payment I’ll be pinning away for more ideas! You can follow me on Pinterest here. I’m also hoping to get some inspiration from The Birmingham Home Show!
Enter the giveaway!
I’m giving away four family passes–that’s four sets of 4 tickets!
The Birmingham Home Show lasts from February 16-19th at the BJCC. It is jam packed with seminars, outdoor and living ideas and tips, home improvement and design ideas as well as the hottest new products. You can get more details by clicking this link.
To enter for a family pass, all you have to do is comment below and tell me what room you love to decorate most! The first four comments win!!
Good luck! And as always, thanks for reading!
I was only able to attend two nights, so I went with pretty different styles..both on a budget, of course!
The first night, I opted for a boho look. I was just perusing the mall and saw the dress in Old Navy’s sale section for $18. But they didn’t have my size. Did you know many stores can check a computer database to see if they are supposed to have what you need or to see if a nearby store has it? So, I marched right to the cashier and asked for a “merchandise locator.” It showed the store I was in was actually supposed to have one! So, I poked around and found it hanging with the non-maternity version! It may not be the most fashion forward, but it’s on trend and I was on a time crunch. I added an $8 multi-strand choker from Forever 21 and a straw clutch I have had for probably ten years. My shoes were caged sandals–a $10 clearance find from Target last year. Ideally, I would’ve made more of an effort to make my hair more wavy, but I was late and I threw in a couple of small braids in my hair and called it a day!
Moral of the story: if you see something you like at a price point you like, don’t give up on it! It could actually be right around the corner!
For the final night, I went a little more glam! I actually didn’t buy anything new at all for this look! I wore a non-maternity pencil skirt (see my post about its versatility!), an old Gap maternity tank I’ve had since my last pregnancy (and still wear even while not pregnant!) and some sort of ruffly shrug I got on super clearance from some fancy store in Atlanta that was going out of business. I accessorized with a red Rebecca Minkoff envelope clutch I got last year (on clearance, of course) and Schutz animal print heels I got when my beloved Piperlime was still in business!
Moral of the story: don’t discount your own closet when getting ready for a special occasion! You may actually surprise yourself!
Thanks for reading!
Birmingham, Alabama may not be the fashion capital of anywhere.
Still, as someone who can’t whisk away to New York Fashion week, Birmingham Fashion Week is something I look forward to every year. And I’m sad to say, the curtain may be closing on the entire production.
For the past six years, it’s all been thanks to the founders Heidi Elnora and Jeana Lee Thompson. They have VOLUNTEERED their time to make it happen. They have put their sweat, tears, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they bled a little, to make this fashion magic happen. But putting on multiple shows ain’t cheap. So, Heidi and Jeana are looking for someone to fully sponsor it! If no one steps up, we will have to bid it adieu. In the meantime, I can just look back on another (and hopefully, not final) fabulous year!
Heidi Elnora closed out the three-day event with her gorgeous bridal collection. The show started with a Cirque du Soleil-type performance before the models started filing down the runway. Budding super model Baskin Champion was the line leader (I’m sure there’s a runway term for that, but hey, it’s the mom in me coming out!). It ended with Prince’s Purple Rain” and on the last beat of the song, the show ended with a pyrotechnics and a shower of gold streamers. It was pretty breathtaking. Heidi knows how to put on a show!
Other designers included Abbey Glass…
The Clothes Tree was one of my fave runway retailers!
Here are some looks from fab’rik Birmingham. Always a fun place to shop!
A big part of what Birmingham Fashion Week is about, is recognizing young talent and giving aspiring designers an outlet to show off their creations. There are two competitions: one for emerging designers at the collegiate level and another for middle/high school designers who use unconventional materials to create high fashion looks. Winners are awarded scholarships/monetary prizes!
This was last year’s emerging designer winner:
These were a few of my favorite finalists from this year:
Another fun part of fashion week is choosing what to wear! I admit, being five months pregnant presented quite the challenge! But I’ll be posting how I tried to come up with fashion-forward maternity looks soon!
Hopefully, you can see why Birmingham Fashion Week is important to my community. It’s just another way to give us fashion lovers of all ages a way to celebrate creativity and style! I would hate for this to be my last BFW post, but if this does end up being the last year, I guess that will leave me with no choice than to make it to New York!! ;
As always, thanks for reading!
The thought of buying a new wardrobe that will be worn for less than 9 months is not appealing to this bargain shopper.
So, what’s a pregnant woman to do? Make the most of what you already have!
I’m pregnant with my third child (insert “Home Alone” face). And if people say you show a lot quicker with your second baby, I think it’s safe to say you show even faster after that! I thought, since it’s been six years since I was last pregnant, maybe my body forgot what it’s like to carry a child and I could go 5 months before I really start to show. Um, the body apparently doesn’t forget.
So, I broke down and bought a few sale maternity pieces pretty quickly, but I still wanted to stretch my existing wardrobe. In the next few blog posts, I’ll show you how I’ve done it so far!
Basically, these will be key pieces you need to bring to the forefront of your closet. Or pieces you may want to go ahead and invest in (and wear now!) if baby making is in your future.
To kick off this series, I’ll first focus on the ever-classic pencil skirt! But not just any pencil skirt. You can kiss those zippers good-bye! Invest in some elastic!
I used to think it was the material that old lady waistbands were made of. Well, call me an old lady, because the stretchy savior has been my maternity go-to.
These are a few that have served me well these past few months and of course, even before this baby was even a twinkle in the eye!
You can’t tell really well in this picture, but I already had a small bump here and I was only about 4 weeks pregnant. The Old Navy skirt is mid-calf length and I hiked it up over the bump, so it was still below the knee. (top is old Forever 21, shoes are old Charlotte Russe, necklace is Piperlime [rip]).
Another 4 week bump shot. Still barely noticeable to others, but I definitely needed elastic! The Vince Camuto skirt was $16 from Nordstrom Rack last year. (top is old Forever 21, blazer is old Banana Republic, necklace is Purple Peridot, shoes similar are Charlotte Russe)
Here’s another $10 goodie from Old Navy, embracing my 3-month bump. The black tank really helps camouflage the bump, but it was definitely noticeable at this point! I was able to keep the waistband below the bump. (kimono is Forever 21 Outlet, tank is old Gap Maternity, necklace is Kendra Scott, shoes are old Target)
$10 is my magic number for pencil skirts, apparently! Here’s another pencil skirt from Old Navy. This top is also non-maternity and was the first time I have worn it. I’m about 4 months along here. (tank is Banana Republic, shoes are madden girl via DSW)
More recently, I wore the same black pencil skirt to Birmingham Fashion Week. I am 5 months along. I’ll share more details for this outfit soon!
What’s great about the stretchy pencil skirt, is you can hike it up over your belly and it will usually still be long enough to be work appropriate. But you can also sling it below the bump to keep that length!
Stay tuned for the next post on a maternity friendly “non-maternity” must-have!
As always, thanks for reading!!