a spring time balance

here is a little something i am loving now: 
milky neutral vases with a vibrant neon flower.

it pushes toward a summer time color kaleidoscope but tempers the blast of color with a muted vase to slowly wake you up from winter. i love the idea in big bunches too but with the price of flowers in new york i personally have been loving the idea on a smaller scale with a bud vase and one to three blooms. i keep mine next to my computer so i have a little bit of natural beauty to keep my days on the computer in perspective. enjoy!

Orange and Coral Juliet Rose, Whole Blossoms

Bud vases, West Elm, $6

Flower and Vase Color Combo Ideas left to right: Red and Celadon, Purple and Aqua, Pink and Mint, Magenta and Tan, Yellow and Olive, Orange and Grey (currently on my table!)


Spring Work Wardrobe

Spring Work Wardrobe:

A Chambray Shirt

A tweed foil print skirt

A floral silk shell

An army green sequin pencil skirt
A mulberry colored mid-length circle skirt
A nude lace top
Cropped Navy Trousers

Coral Silk TShirt
And, piece de la resistance: a ruffled silk trench

I'm working on possible combos with accessories so here are a few of my ideas and please send me yours too! I am working on learning how to make several key pieces work for me forever so if you have another outfit idea style away!

1. Chambray Shirt tucked into Foil Print Tweed Skirt
      Accessory: Big Gold Man Watch
2. Silk Shell with Cropped Navy Trousers and Trench
     Accessory: Fuchsia Lipstick
3. Coral T with Tweed Skirt
     Accessory: Ladylike Chain Purse in Emerald or Camel Color
4. Silk Shell tucked into Mulberry Circle Skirt
    Accessory: Red Suede Heels
5. Coral T with Sequin Skirt
    Accessory: Wedge Sandals
6. Silk Shell with Sequin Skirt
   Accessory Mustard yellow clutch and strappy gold heels
7. Chambray Shirt with Cropped Navy Trousers
   Accessory: Silver Braided Belt over the shirt at the waist
8. Lace Top with Boyfriend Jeans and Trench
   Accessory: My grandmother's antique locket


a beautiful mind

"Beauty is an experience, nothing else."

~D.H. Lawrence~


The best souvenirs.

Shopping on a visit to Emily this weekend, I went a little nuts. I bought a pair of sandals, a vintage navy polka dot dress, a creamy sweater with mustard flower appliques (you know me and mustard florals...), and a horse-print sundress that, regarded by non-daiquiri-clouded eyes, might actually qualify more as a shirt and I'll be doing squats from now until May if I ever hope to wear it. Also found in the sale rack at Anthropologie a dress I had stalking on eBay since last summer, where it is currently selling for $119. It was the only one left, in my size, and marked down to much less than $119, plus I had a gift card. Score!

My favorite clothing souvenir, though, was the Peaches record store t-shirt Chris got for me. If there's one thing I like more than mustard florals, it's vintage fruit!


pretty birds at the oscars

some of my favorites:

above photos via Lucky.

above photo via Huffington Post

aove photo via Just Jared

smart birds and the money train

so, if i made new year's resolutions one of them this year was to reassess my budget, buy everything with cash and pay off those student loans. so, how did i start? by reading two books that helped me look at my finances as a long arc and create an action plan: The Total Money Makeover and Get a Financial Life. I furthered those savings by getting one book at the library for free and getting the other on Amazon for a penny! Yup, a penny.

Then I signed-up for Mint. This is a total money management website that puts all my money, investments, debt, credit cards, loans into one interface for me to see simultaneously. So I could actually see where that penny went and categorize it according to purpose and then see breakdowns and pie charts of how much money I am spending on say my clothes, my cell, or my financial education.

Next I subscribed to LearnVest. This is a money managing site for women that covers everything from which beauty products to splurge vs. save on to the best apps to invest in to how to invest in the stock market. An even cooler feature is that they have several free bootcamps that you can subscribe to. They send you daily (or weekly if you prefer) emails that give you 1-3 steps to take this week to achieve your goals. I am currently subscribed for the get out of debt bootcamp and the cut your costs bootcamp. Awesome.

Anyway, all of this is a preamble to two money saving tricks that I tried yesterday that totally worked. One of my emails mentioned an app that monitors items that you are watching online and considering buying and tells you who has the cheapest rates and when they go on sale. Cool right? But even cooler, they mention that you should also check back, up to a week after you bought an item, and if it goes on sale even after you have purchased it, call and ask for a refund of the difference. Really, I thought this would never work and what I would have to do is re-buy the item on sale and return the pricier one but then I pay the shipping twice, which does not make me save money and then I just give up and pay the higher price.

Regardless, I tried it and it worked! I bought the shirt below at Macy's on Sunday night for $45.99 and Tuesday afternoon it went on sale for $26.99, so I called and asked for the refund and they gave it to me! That is $19 back in my pocket.

Then I was so excited that I figured I would try to get back a processing fee that Overstock charged me in November (for those of you unaware about processing fees this was an item that I ordered online for $89 and then returned which Overstock only refunded HALF OF THE PRICE for because there was a hair on it. Hence the processing fee was that someone had to run a lint roller over an item, hence I was paying $45 dollars for someone to do 6 seconds of work and I am pretty sure Overstock is not paying their warehouse employees $40 per every 6 seconds so I was not having it.) Anyway, the order specialist put me on hold for less than a minute while he checked with his manager and then returned the $45 dollars back to my card and apologized. So kudos to them for great customer service and kudos to me for "making" a grand total of $64 yesterday. Try it. I'm obsessed.