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Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 20: 30-Day No Shopping Challenge: Bangles For Your Buck

I'm 20 days in to my 30-Day No Shopping Challenge and I must admit, my online browsing has gone to an all-time high. 

The amount of sites I'm hitting up daily is ridiculous. But, it does give me time to gather up some bargains for ya'll to indulge in - even if I can't just yet!

Personally, I think bangles are gunna make a big comeback. While we all enjoy a fabulous Arm Party (thank you, Man Repeller), and love mixing and matching designers and brands on our arms, sometimes, I like a little continuity. And buying bangles in bulk not only guarantees a uniform look, but it's crazy economical.

Scope out my picks for bangles that are under $40!

Bangles For Your Buck

And don't forget, my Walk In My Shoes Instagram photo challenge starts tomorrow! Use the hash tag #aprilwalkinmyshoes to participate!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

April Walk In My Shoes Photo Challenge on Instagram


You know you do it... take photos of your shoes with your iPhone. I do it for some daily fashion P.O.V. perspective, which I eventually post to on Instagram. 

Looking at photos from some people I follow, the phrase "walk a mile in someone's shoes" came to mind. The straight-forward adage really did make me wonder what else is going on outside of my world. 

And when you think about it, you really do put your shoes to work. I have shoes that have taken me to England, Cape Cod, New York... and they're memory makers to me.

So, I'd like to encourage you to join me my April Walk In My Shoes Photo Challenge on Instagram!

The Rules
Starting April 1, I'll post a photo from my perspective of my shoes standing somewhere  everyday with the hash tag #aprilwalkinmyshoes and post it to Instagram. You can follow me @houseofjeffers to see my pics - and so I can follow you, as well!

I hope you'll join me - and I can't wait to see where your shoes take you!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 16: 30-Day No Shopping Challenge - Looking Up

I started the no-shopping challenge for a bunch of reasons. To save money, to push myself a bit... but there's one underlying reason why I did it...  Plus, after reading Julie of Orchid Grey's honest and truthful post about some of the woes in her life, it inspired me to get a little more personal on my blog.

Pink Polka Dot Blouse - I heart Ronson from JCPenney
Black & Gold Sweater - The Gap
BDG Skinny Jeans - Urban Outfitters
Peep Tow Cut Out Pumps - Nine West
DIY Manicure - Julep Maven's Jodie (red) and Oscar (gold glitter)
Chunky Rhinestone Cocktail Ring - Flea market find
Necklace - Mandee

I might joke about how much fun shopping is, and how I love it and wish it could be an occupation (all of which are true, by the way), but there's one huge reason why I do it: stress.

I've been super stressed out lately, and noticed that when I fell into a funk, I'd go shopping. Something I don't want to make a habit out of. I never go overboard or drop stupid amounts of money on things, but the trips to the mall were become too frequent. I think the main reason I shop when I'm stressed is because it's something I can be in control of. Life has a way of throwing you unexpected curve balls... the things you can't control - and I guess this is my way of getting the upper hand in some aspect of my life.

But, I'm getting better on not sweating the small stuff - and finding more creative ways to unwind. I'm a person that likes to worry before a problem happens. I should just take a big ass chill pill and let life happen... and worry about it later.

So, hopefully, I didn't bum you out and or make ya'll think something catastrophic is wrong. It's just me letting stress get the best of me. "Need a vacation" is an understatement.

Then again, at the end of the challenge, I'll get to shop again. This time, though, it'll be a reward.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Watch This - Day 11: 30-Day No Shopping Challenge

Day 11
Today's urge to shop is huge. I've been doing a good job of limiting my online browsing, but with the warm temperatures brings a need for new everything. I'm totally aggravated, and the idea of just giving in to the urge to use some plastic is heavy on my mind.

One of the possessions I'm coveting the most is a watch. With all the neons and vibrants hitting everything in fashion, I'd love to incorporate a little time keeping into my wardrobe.

Happiness Investment Alert: Much like a handbag, a good timepiece will last you a lifetime. You'll be able to wear it anytime of year, it'll go with pretty much everything in your closet, and looks great piled up with bangles and bracelets surrounding it.

Father Time rules.... and so do these watches!

Spring Watch Trends 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Put Me In Coach

Day 8 - 30-Day No Shopping Challenge
Eight days have passed and I haven't shopped yet! I was afraid the spare time on the weekend would encourage  me to take a trip downtown to Westfield, NJ,  but with St. Patty's, I had a much needed distraction.

Besides, remember I mentioned buying something I'd had my eye on for some time? Well, I bought my first Coach bag!

Fuchsia Sheer Dot Bow Blouse - Forever 21
Purple BGD Skinny Jeans - Urban Outfitters
Audition Smoker's Flats - Bakers
Kristen Satchel - Coach
Rhinestone Braided Bracelet - Henri Bendel
Braided Friendship Bracelet - Madewell
Black Leather Watch - similar style here

For months now, I've been going back and forth about making an investment in a quality handbag - and Coach came to mind. I'm usually very content with buying handbags anywhere, but for me, I wanted to reward myself for all the work I've been putting in, both as far as my job and personal life is concerned. Sometimes, you just have to treat yourself... and not feel guilty about it! 

Oh, and the shoes were part of my "need for shoes" shopping fit about two weeks ago.

Although I'd been eyeing up the re-designed Willis, when I came across Kristen, I knew we'd be fast friends. It fits everything I need on a daily basis. Plus, it doesn't weigh me down when I throw in a few extras. Having the option to ditch the shoulder strap is nice, too. 

Totally have a girl crush on Kristen. Hopefully, my husband won't be too jealous.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Day 3: 30-Day No Shopping Challenge - Getting Constructive

On my third day of not shopping, I'm unaffected by it. It's probably because I have things in my closet that are still unworn and new.

I find that sheer boredom is the No. 1 reason why I shop. Going to the mall or a shopping center keeps me busy, lets me stretch my legs and gets me in trouble. I always say I'm "just looking" when a store employees asks if they can help. I guess I'm actually saying I'm "just looking" for what I'll buy next.

If you find yourself on a self-imposed shopping ban, here's some tips on how to pass the time, constructively.

1. Organize your closet.

One can dream...
Spring cleaning is approaching, so why not have an O.C.D. moment and reorganize your wardrobe? While I wish my closet looked like the one above, I do color coordinate everything. It's like you hired Roy G. Biv to organize your wardrobe. 

2. Head to a swap meet and trade, or host your own!
If you can't spend, do the next best thing: swap with someone else! Bag up your duds and exchange items with friends. Check out The Swapaholics site - these ladies have put swapping on the map, and run a highly-successful business doing such!

3. DIY the s&% out of your non-desirables.

This adorable button artwork is super simple. Check out Mod Podge Rocks Blog for this DIY project.

It sounds a bit cheap, but if something is beyond wear, and I no longer want it, I selvage what I can from it. Buttons, laces, trim... anything I think I can use for crafting purposes. Turn your buttons into art, make friendship bracelets from trim... Recycle and get crafty!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The 30-Day No Shopping Challenge Is Back!

I've been bad.

I  might have went a little nuts and accidentally bought more shoes than I really needed within the last two weeks. Three to be exact. And... I also might have treated myself to something I've had my eye on for a while...

It started when I needed a pair of transitional winter/spring shoes for when the weather is too cold for flats, but warm enough not to need boots. Eventually, I found em...

These grey booties by Mia Shoes haven't left my feet since I bought em! They're beyond comfortable, look great with everything and are just adorable!

Blush Blazer - Gap
Striped Pop Art Tunic - Forever 21
Grey Stretch Leggings - Zara
Pampa Wedge Booties - Mia Shoes
Urban Expressions Bag - c/o
Rivet Wrap Bracelet - Henri Bendel
Purple Braided Friendship Bracelet - Madewell
Sterling Heart Bracelet - ?... a craft fair

So, to counteract my spending, I'm bringing back the 30-Day No Shopping Challenge! Last year, I was successful... but barely made it. This year, I'm upping the ante!

The rules are as follows:
1. Starting March 12, I can not shop for 30 days, or until April 12.
2. At any point, if I buy anything non-essential needed (toiletries, household cleaning items, food, etc.) I must write a post on my blog displaying my shame.
3. I can't buy beauty products that are not essential to my daily grooming and upkeep - This rule is new as I am a nail polish junkie.
4. I cannot convince Mike or anyone else to buy something for me and hold on to it for the remainder of my shopping ban - I tried this on Mike last year, and it sorta worked (he bought me a shirt I was coveting after the 30 days).

And, I'm challenging YOU! Think you can last 30 days without buying anything? I'd love to hear your progress if you take the challenge!

Let the madness begin!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mod Squad

Mod isn't a style I'm normally drawn to. While I love it on everyone else, and totally love what Twiggy did for the movement, I always felt like I couldn't pull it off. Until I found this dress.

Twiggy Shoulder Peep Dress - c/o Urban
Black Tights - Target
Buckle Up Wedges - Mandee
Belt - Forever 21
Military Jacket (seen below) - Guess
Black Onxy Ring and Chain Link Bangles - Forever 21

And being that I'm on this whole try new things kick, I think it's time I get out of my comfort zone and start taking advantage of what else life has to offer. I've just been motivated to do things a little diferently... which includes improving my diet, my job... even moving played a big role in this epiphany.

And of course, branching out in my clothing choices. Why not try a little mod on for size? I'm lovin' the print to the umpteenth degree. Neons meets florals. I'll take it! I'm saying it right now - I think green is gunna be huge this spring. Can't say I own a lot of green... but sticking with my "try new things" theme... I'm liking where this is going.

What trends are you looking forward to this spring?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fear and Loathing in Dress Pants

Dress pants. UGH.

My hatred for em runs deep. The pleats. The bagginess. The way they make your legs look like toilet paper rolls from the waist down.

I'm not having it.

Even though I'm required to wear dress attire for my job, you won't catch me in anything other than skinny pants (in black),  knit pants like riding pants from Zara (I happen to own 5 pairs) or thick tights.

Like these... this is more my speed.

This...  just ain't right.

Where's the flood?

Shamefully, this happened back when I was 19... before I knew better. I needed pants for my new job.  Keep in mind this was 1997, before skinny jeans were invented. The results? Swishy, bagging trousers that eventually lead to another bad offense - tucking in your shirt.

But, dress pants have come a long way. Erin Fetherson does a skinny pant amazingly.

A look from Erin Fetherson's Fall 2012 collection. Photo via

And lookie here.. a pant with a bit of pizazz. Thank you, Tory Burch!

Photo via
But this still happen:

Plus, there's always one thing that can ALWAYS jack up a good pair of dress pants: Bad shoes.

Flats - way to let your pants drag on the floor. Pointy heels - the Keebler elf called... his mother wants his shoes back.

I cringe at the idea that when I'm in my 60s, I'll someday be faced with this conundrum of needing work wear...

And I get that not everyone likes wearing skinny jeans or slim fit pants. I dig... But whatever you do, don't let bad dress pants happen to you.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hot, Cool and Vicious

There's 3 things in fashion I'll always love.

Snakeskin Print Dress - H&M
Black Studded Tights  - Tarte
Platform Wedge Shoes -

1. A good pair of wedges. The higher and more Frankenstein-ish, the better.
2. Animal prints - always an option.
3. Black tights. Tights are a wardrobe staple, but the one cardinal rule I like to follow, which was reiterated by Clinton Kelly during his Macy's presentation back in October is: 
If you're gunna wear em, cover your arse.
I follow this rule strictly as I'm not a fan of wearing anything that blatantly attracts attention to my ass. You can't help it in jeans, but when you're wearing buck-ass tights, it's literally an invitation for others to look at your toosh.

But I digress...

This outfit fits all three of my fashion criteria... and it's actually what I wore on Valentine's Day. I was a little worried the shoes looked a tad glam rock, but once I threw on my studded tights, I loved how it looked. A little rock n'roll meets dolled up for dinner. And yes, I was wearing something red for some V-Day obligatory-ness. Not sure if that's actually a word... but you get the idea.

Floral Cluster Statement Necklace - Forever 21
Black Leather Bow Bracelet - Henri Bendel
Red Brass Bangle - J. Crew
Vintage 1950 Red Rhinestone Cocktail Ring - my grandmother's

Friday, March 2, 2012

DIY Nail Art: Animal Instincts

Who doesn't love getting packages in the mail?! When I received a box of goodies from one of my favorite bloggers and nail art enthusiast, Adiel of It's Because I Think Too Much, to say I was giddy is an understatement!

Among the reds and pinks she sent me were two colors that I immediately knew I was going to use to create something bright with: a creamy sea foam green from Forever 21's love & beauty line and a mauve pink from Opi.

I loved the colors so much, I whipped up some DIY animal print just so I can have a little bit of each in my nail designs.
The initial coats of my DIY nail art in progress.

The finished product! Black was used to outline the animal spots.