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Thursday, May 26, 2011

gla.Mar.ous Approved Bloglove Feature!

Hey loves! I'm so excited to announce that gla.Mar.ous picked me for their Approved Bloglove! Mary, owner and creator of gla.Mar.ous headbands, jewelry and accessories, just released her Spring/Summer 2011 collection of patented zipper headbands and new jewelry collection called Pink Collection! Everything is uber adorable so definitely check it out! I'm over the moon to be chosen for this, so a big THANK YOU goes out to Mary!

Here's a sneak peek of my interview! To read it in full, head to the blog at  at

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Secret Garden

My return back into retail bliss really hasn't been that exciting. I ended up only spending $40 on clothes on my trip to the mall last Wednesday... but I did get an iPhone so that's really where my money went. If you want a reality check on your money, dump $250 bucks on a phone and acessories... I think I'm good for the rest of the money spending wise... Unless something else tempts me.

The weather last week in NJ was horrible - dreary and at times, cold. The only salvageable day for outdoor shots was Saturday, so I nagged my husband into helping me with some blog-related stuff in Brookdale Park's Rose Garden. Although the flowers haven't all sprung yet, I felt I blended in well with the flora in this dress I scored from Forever 21. I'm definitely a fan of floral prints... and now that I've recently gotten some feather extensions, I'm loving the whole nature vibe in fashion. I think I loved it a little too much as I pricked my finger trying to smell one of the flowers. I'm sure you can tell what photo I'm referring too by the reaction on my face.

Floral Dress - Forever 21
Turquoise Necklace - Forever 21
Leather satchel - Zara
Gladiator Sandals - Nine West
Rings - Assorted finds and gifts

I had to wear my cross for the apocalypse that didn't happen.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

THE FINALE - 30 Day Shopping Challenge is over!!!

I DID IT!!!!

Dress - Forever 21
Necklace - Mandee
Gladiator Sandals - Target

Even Harley's happy!

After 30 long days, I'm happy to say that I completed my No Shopping Challenge, and I'm now ready to burn a hole in my wallet! There were lots of trying times - times when I really just wanted to go shopping out of stress, frustration and sheer boredom, but, I hung in there and now I'm ready to jump back into my favorite sport! However, this has taught me how to save significantly, and in the future, I will be more conscious of budgeting my money and spending habits.

To some, it may be sad that I take so much joy in shopping. It's not always about buying myself something just to do it. Sometimes it's about treating yourself because your down in the dumps and need a pick me up... Or you reward yourself for working hard or for accomplishing something. Plus, I will say that as a fashion blogger, sometimes the pressure is on to look your best - and when nothing in your closet will do the trick, you turn to other blogs and see what everyone else is wearing... and it inspires you to go shopping!

But now, the serious stuff...

I've been thinking about my plan of attack for Shopapooloza 2011, and the itinerary looks a little like this:

What you see above is the actual Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, NJ's map. This operation is going into affect at exactly 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, approximately 30 mins away from my job. I've planned out the hunt to a T, including hot zones (1, 2 & 3), a break if necessary and a guestimate of how long it will take in each area.

Area 1 - The target is Forever 21 - the mother-load, if you will.
Area 2 - Multiple hits at Loft, Aldo and Gap - looking for shoes, accessories and tops.
Area 3 - Upper level focusing on H&M, Mandee, Spring Shoes & two open slots (if needed).

And this is just Day 1...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day #27 - 30 Day No Shopping Challenge - Eye On The Prize

Striped Tank - Forever 21
Cardigan - Express
Leggings - H&M
Jean Shorts (really can't see them but I am wearing em) - Forever 21
Shoes - Mandee

Only 3 more days to go! I can literally smell the burning of money... I know I shouldn't go bananas, and I more than likely won't when I go back to my happy place this week - aka The Mall. Now that I've seen my savings grow, I'd like to keep it that way. But, I will say that all the online browsing and blog reading has put many ideas in my head for my summer wardrobe... and this challenge has put me behind so I'll have lots of catching up to do.

I have nervous energy as I'm starting a new job today. Having a job I love is extremely important to me as I'm one of those people who takes a lot of pride in being able to say I work hard and like my job. I'm can't just work at any job as I'd feel I'd be giving up on writing and the goals I set out for myself years ago in college. While if I had to take a job I didn't like solely for my family's sake, I would, but I think I'd always have a feeling of unfulfillment doing a job I know my heart isn't in. However, I'm very excited to start a new chapter - one that I hope is the best yet!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday 5 - Jewelry Finds from

Well, being that Blogger was down for what seemed like an eternity, I didn't the time to prepare an outfit post. So, I figured I'd give you something else to look at besides my mug - crafty goodness in the form of jewelry!

Check out some amazing jewelry that I can't wait to purchase and flaunt from some of's shops and sellers! Visit their shops, too!

1. Byzantine Armor Ring Gothic Flourish Filigree by RavenEveJewelry

2. I heart New Jersey Necklace by Truche. Even if your not from New Jersey, you can find your state in the shop!

3. Raw Pyrite Goldrush Crystal Cluster Cocktail Ring by LarkinAndLarkin. This ring is mega!

4. Love Letters bracelet by Wear Punctuation

5. The Tiny Voyeur II by MySelvagedLife

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day #23 - 30 Day No Shopping Challenge - On the brink

I'd like to thank my favorite mall for building two more stores I can't shop in for another week. Appreciate it.

I'd also like to acknowledge all the emails chalk full of free shipping and savings that I also won't be utilizing this week. In particular,'s sunglasses email was highly inticing.

I feel like homegirl above.7 more days? This week is the hardest being that my goal  is near and I'm starting to feel as though shopping is so close to being an option...

Even Harley wants this to end as I've dragged him into this mess. The shopping ban meant I couldn't buy toys for him. All he wants to do is stare out the window and wonder, "How'd I get involved?"

The list of things I'm itching to get my hands on is getting longer.... I think this whole experiment may have backfired as I'm a bit concerned I'm going to go a little overboard once I hit the mall next Wednesday. I'm gunna need to use "the force" to control my compulsion... Alas, I have to say I'm proud of myself for getting this far. I definitely didn't think I'd last this long, but I will say having the support of other bloggers, and all the comments, definitely kept me in check. So thanks!

I have some ideas on what I'll be buying, but how about you? What would you spurge on after a whole month in shopping purgatory?

If you went on a shopping ban for 30 days, what would you buy first?
Summer Sandals
Maxi Dresses
Accessories - handbags and jewelry
Um... it's more like what wouldn't I buy! free polls

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day #21 - 30 Day No Shopping Challenge - Give a little bit...

Striped Shirt - Gap
Jeans - Forever21
Shoes - Bongo
Bag - New Look (UK)

All my efforts during the last 20 days have not been in vain.

Although the point of the challenge is to see if I can really make it, the big picture has to do with money. Since I stopped spending, my bank account has grown significantly. And, it allowed me to buy my mother a couple of gifts for Mother's Day. The act of giving definitely is better than receiving.

Speaking of which, the above is what I wore to Mother's Day dinner with my parents, husband and aunt. And, due to the money I've stashed away, it was nice to pay for dinner for everyone, especially for two of the women in my life who mean so much to me.

I'm normally not this candid with the type of money I spend, and while I work and have bills to pay, I am in no way "well-off". I make a normal salary that allows me to pay my bills and have some spending money. It's nice if you can splurge $350 on shoes and whatnot, but for me, that's not an option.

To break it down, my shopping activity looks a little like this (on a weekly basis):
  • Mall Trips - Average of at least $50
  • Online shopping - Average order of $40 (shipping kills me)
  • Misc: Average $30 spent on accessories
  • Makeup and toiletries - Average $30 - A trip to CVS for hand soap ends with me buying mascara, nail polish and other stuff that definitely wasn't on the list.

So that's $150 a week x 4 = $600 per month! Um... That's way too much money to be spending on clothes and misc. stuff.

The novelty of not shopping has had some great benefits:
  • Physically seeing the savings in my piggy bank
  • Being able to buy better gifts for others
  • Developing a better thought process for making decisions when spending money "Do I really need this?"

But I only have 9 more days to go... anything could happen.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day #16 - 30 Day No Shopping Challenge - Half-Way There!

Cardigan - Forever21
Dress - Forever 21
Tights - H&M
Mary Jane Wedges - Office UK
Hello Kitty Necklace - gift from a friend

Just when I was starting to regret my No Shopping Challenge, something happened.

I dropped a stupid amount of money on my car and tickets to see Maroon 5 in August. The car troubles I couldn't avoid, but to sit four rows from Adam Levine - it's worth every penny. Good thing I'm holding out on this challenge as I'm gunna need the money to pay out these two debts. Ah, an upside to not shopping... This thing called saving money!?

Evidentally, I like torturing myself. This means going into stores and trying stuff on only to put everything back as the idea of having to tell my readers that I gave in washes over me. Case in point - I was out getting dinner with Mike when I came across DSW.

"Just want to look," I tell him.
"No," he says firmly. "You're not buying anything."
"I KNOW!" I snapped back.

What transpired was me trying on 4 pairs of shoes in 10 minutess - only to pout my way out of the store in frustration. Is that a record of some sort?

This obviously wasn't enough for me as I had to take a trip to Loehmann's, which I've never been to, and do the same exact thing. Let's just say the remainder of my work day was long...

I guess I'm my own worst enemy. Only 14 more days to go!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day #14 - 30 Day No Shopping Challenge - Eye Of The Tiger

Just about half way through the No Shopping Challenge - and I'm sad to say I failed...

... to update the blog last Friday, that is. 

I guess in between watching the Royal Wedding and work, I forgot. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention something about William and Kate (as my husband is from England) - loved her dress. But I think Pippa stole the show.

Welcome to my little slice of Great Britain - the door mat in front of my apartment.

Nope, I still haven't shopped! That's not to say the urge has not been strong. No trips to the mall either. My friends have been really shocked to hear this as they know how much of a shopping junkie I am.

On Friday, my job was getting rid of some samples during spring cleaning. So, a bunch of stuff was up for grabs - for free. I ended up snatching up a brown bag and three scarves. 

However, the weather is working against me. With warmer temps brings a need for replenishing my wardrobe. Sick of wearing the same duds for the past 4 months, I want shoes, dresses and skirts - shed some skin if you will. So the fact that everyone around me is wearing their new finds to work and for a night out - is making me very jealous. 

I did end up making a trip to the park (affectionately known as The Mud Hole in Nutley, NJ) for a little quality time with Harley and my favorite Brit. Another perk of this conquest is finding hidden treasures, like the shoes I'm wearing below, in my closet. They hurt like hell, but I'll sacrifice my feet for fashion.

Cardigan - Express
Striped Tee - Mandee
Belt - H&M
Jeans - Forever 21
Peep Toe Butterfly Shoes - BCBG
Murano Glass ring - gift from my bestie
Necklace - Harajuku Lovers