Remix Monday: Black and White Peplum

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I have a bunch of photos sitting around in my “To Be Blogged” folder.  Shameless, I know.  Nonetheless, I’ve dusted off a couple for you today! (And if I get my act together, I will have a few more for you in the next week or so!)

Today, I’m featuring my black and white striped peplum top two ways.  (PS- not sure if peplum is considered an “old trend” now or not.  Regardless, I don’t care.  I think it looks super cute and I am still rockin’ it.  Who’s with me?!)

The first way I wore it was earlier this summer—the day my intern and I were twinsies with literally the same outfit.  There was a reception at a restaurant/bar that afternoon so I wanted something that was fun and not too business-like.

black and white peplum, black pants, pink statement necklace

  Full post/outfit details here.

Then, I wore the outfit with a pencil skirt and blazer to make it a bit more professional:

black and white peplum layered with black blazer, green pencil skirt
You can definitely layer over peplum, but then you lose the cool effect of the ruffles.  That’s why I love wearing peplum in the summer so you can take off your top layer and still look presentable at work:

black and white peplum, statement necklace, green pencil skirt
Then, I wore the top yet again featuring my white denim and added a pop of color with a blazer over it.  It was definitely a more relaxed day in the office (in fact, I recall it was one of our intern’s last days):

black and white peplum layered with teal blazer, white denim

So there you have it.  Black and white peplum remixed a few different ways…from cubicle to cocktails!

Which look is your favorite?

Remix it- black and white peplum 3 ways...from cubicle to cocktails!
Linking up with Fizz & Frosting | On the Daily Express | More Pieces of Me |Fashionably Employed | Still Being Molly

Pink and Navy

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Navy blazer, white striped blouse, pink pencil skirt
Close up: Navy blazer, white striped blouse, pink pencil skirt

OOTD: Navy blazer, white striped blouse, pink pencil skirt

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (and consequently- Bri’s Third Thursday Threads theme), I wore this pink and navy color combo to work yesterday.   The pink pencil skirt pops nicely against the navy blazer, and I added a navy/white striped blouse underneath it to lighten it up.

Looking back, I clearly love this color combo.  In fact, I blogged one outfit that I declared as one of my most favorite outfits ever…and it was navy & pink.  Oh, and I apparently did a reverse of the outfit I blogged about today in this blog post.  And I did a work/casual remix with a navy striped top here.  I think it’s safe to say I officially have an addiction…

What’s your favorite color combo?

Linking up with Vodka Infused Lemonade | Mix and Match Fashion | Work Clothes I Suppose

Mix it Monday: Leopard Top Remix

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Happy Monday!  It’s been a while since I’ve done a Mix it Monday post, so here you go!  Today I’m featuring my leopard print shell and created four distinct looks that are all office-appropriate.

First up, there’s the classic look where I tucked in the top to a cream pencil skirt.  Nice for summer…not so much now in October.

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To make it more fall-like, I added a black blazer over it.  Much better for October!

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Next I ditched the skirt for cropped ankle pants and untucked the top.  I like that the length on it is longer so it will peek out under layers.

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Last, I added a pop of color and layered a coral cardigan.  It really pops against the neutral leopard print!

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So there you have it…the evolution of a leopard print top!  Which leopard top remix look would you wear to the office?

Leopard top remix
Linking up with Fizz & Frosting | On the Daily Express | More Pieces of Me |Fashionably Employed | Still Being Molly

Dove Hair Silky Hair Dare | Review

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Dove Pure Care Dry Oil products - review

Doing my hair was never my strong suit.  Styling an outfit?  I’m down with that!  But when it comes to doing my hair…I’m not that great.  About a year ago, I got a blow dry/auto curling wand (Conair Curl Secret) to take my hair to the next level because I can’t use a regular curling iron to save my life.  Pushing the limits, I know.  Major hair novice right here.

I have been growing my hair out and whenever it gets to a certain length, I get discouraged because I don’t know what to do with it and want to chop it off.  Right now, my hair is the longest it’s ever been (and my hair grows s-l-o-w!)  I have a lot of hair, but it’s super fine and stick straight and it’s got some layering in it so I am always at a loss for what to do with it besides wear it down, half up, or in a ponytail.  (And don’t get me started on those baby hair whipsies that just won’t grow!)  I’ve been trying to wash my hair every other day to keep it from drying out, but it really becomes a grease bomb after the second day.

So, I was excited to qualify for an opportunity to try the Dove Pure Care Dry Oil hair line.  I’ve used Dove products in the past (and LOVE their marketing campaigns), so I gave it a try.

The shampoo and conditioner are self-explanatory.  But when it comes time to dry your hair, you put in the oil.  The first time, I tried to squirt in in my hair and was expecting a spray of oil, but it doesn’t work that way; rather, it just dripped out.  (I told you I was a hair novice.)  So, I got smart and pumped out a dime size amount in my palm and spread it in my wet hair from the middle to base.   The oil features a blend of African Macadamia oil and Coconut oil and was super rich.

Then, I blow dried it as I normally do and finished with my beloved Infinity Pro Conair Curl Secret.  And my hair was SO silky smooth!  Typically, if I use a little bit of product in my hair before I blow dry, I do get very smooth, silky hair after I style it.  But the real test for the Dove Pure Care Dry Oil line was on day two.  By the second day, when I would expect my hair to start getting stringy and greasy, it still looked smooth and fresh.  Woo hoo!

Dove Pure Care Dry Oil Hair Products- review
Please ignore those baby hairs.  I didn’t spray them down so they got all outta hand…

Evie Draw String Funnel Neck Sweatshirt

Loveappella Evie Draw String Funnel Neck Sweatshirt: Stitch Fix

I enjoyed using the products so far.  I wouldn’t say it’s a “game changer” quite yet…but we will see!  After I use a product for a few weeks, sometimes my hair gets weighed down so I have to switch it up.  We will see if that is the case with the Dove Pure Care Dry Oil line.  Right now, I’m digging that long lasting silky smooth hair!

Have you tried Dove products before?  How about the Dove Pure Care Dry Oil line?

Dove Hair is daring women everywhere to try Dove Pure Care Dry Oil, risk-free now through December 31, 2014. *
If you are not completely satisfied with the Dove Advanced Hair Series Pure Care Dry Oil system, Dove will refund your purchase (from 9/21 – 12/31). Visit hairmoneyback.com for details.

We dare you to try Dove Pure Care Dry Oil and fall in love with the touch and feel of your hair or your money back*

  • Share your silky results at #silkyhairdare
  • Share your silky results at #silkyhairdaresweeps for a chance to win** $20,000 in prizes up for grabs
  • Visit Dove.com for more information
  • Purchase in Mass, Food and Drug retailers nationwide

**No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. The Dove Silky Hair Dare Sweepstakes is sponsored by Conopco, Inc., d/b/a Unilever. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 & older. Begins 12:00 p.m. ET on 9/25/14 and ends 12:00 p.m. ET on 11/20/14. For Official Rules, visit http://www.dove.us/Products/Hair/Advanced-Hair-Series/rules.aspx

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Fun Finds

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Fun FindsHappy Saturday!  Here’s some light reading for the weekend, including some recent fun finds:

1.  PopSugar Must Have Box
I recently treated myself to the September Popsugar Must Have Box after finding a sweet coupon code, making my box $25 (usually $40 unless you buy a longer term subscription.)  I love that I was able to see everything I would be getting ahead of time!  My favorites are the scarf (so soft, great colors!), which alone retails for $125, the Ghirardelli chocolates and the pencils (I am old school and love a good pencil!)  The $20 Nike gift card was a nice surprise too…I ended up finding a nice shirt for the husband as a surprise (sssh!)  Want to sign up for a box of your own?  Click here.  <—my referral link

The October boxes should be coming out soon..and they have cute bridesmaid and baby themed boxes too!

Sept Popsugar Must Have Box
2.  Red Dress Boutique on Shark Tank
So I recently did a review of some fun pieces from the Red Dress Boutique.  Much to my surprise, I just discovered that they will be featured on ABC’s The Shark Tank on Friday, October 17th at 9pm EST.  How cool is that?!  I hope the sharks want to strike a deal with them!

Red Dress Boutique- Shark Tank
3.  Snap by Groupon
Groupon recently came out new a free app that gives you cash back on groceries no matter where you shop!  I’ve tried other grocery savings apps, but this one is super easy to use and features savings on products I actually buy (i.e.- milk, eggs, lettuce, bread, etc.)  You take a photo of your receipt and check off the deals that apply, then the money is deposited into your account.  Once you hit $20, they’ll send you a check.  Love it!  Check it out here.

Snap by Groupon
What are your fun finds?  Share your favorites!

September 2014 Clothing Budget

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Sept 2014 budget
September 2014 Clothing Budget:
1.  Polly Abstract Chevron Tie-Waist Tunic via StitchFix: $0 after merchandise and referral credit
2.  C9 by Chamption Advanced Rouched Side Pant via Target: $20 on clearance
3.  Salar Legging via Fabletics: $6 after return credit
4.  Vintage Print Dress via Elizabeth & West Fashion House: $24 after gift card
5.  C9 by Champion Seamless Racerback Sports Bra via Target:  $12 on clearance
6.  Vaasa Sports Bra via Fabletics: $6 after return credit

=$68 for September.  MUCH better than August so I’m pleased.  It’s also been a busy month so I haven’t had much of a chance to shop…doesn’t hurt!

So basically this month I picked up workout gear and two fall pieces.  What can I say?!  Target had some nice clearance athletic wear and I had Fabletics credit that I was looking to spend.  Then I won a gift card towards the purchase of the vintage print dress.  The fit is nice, but the sleeves are way too big and billowy, so my Mom (the sewing whiz) offered to take them in for me.  And I can’t wait to wear the tunic…so perfect for fall and the first StitchFix item I kept from my latest fix!  (I also received some cute items from Red Dress Boutique as well as super cute barre socks from Pointe Studio too.)

How did you do this month?  Pick up any fall pieces or workout gear?
To view my past clothing budgets, click here.

PS- Only a couple days left!  Enter to win one of TWO free race entries to the Hero Half Marathon/10k at the beautiful Indiana Dunes State Park!

Linking up with Franish

Hero Half Marathon and 10k Giveaway

Hero Half 2014

Last year, I ran the inaugural Hero 10k race at the beautiful Indiana Dunes State Park, along with fellow blogger Erin, and my cousin Kelly.  We had a blast…

Erin took the superhero theme to the next level.  It was epic.

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And my cousin and I used the gorgeous scenery for some jumping photos, obviously.

herohalf2013 jump
And I’m back again this year…with a giveaway for not one but TWO lucky runners!

Hero Half 2014
The details:
Hero Half Marathon and 10k
When:
Sunday, October 19 at 8 am CST
Where: Indiana Dunes State Park (40 miles east of Chicago on Lake Michigan)
Cost: $40 for 10k, $75 for half marathon
Register: Herohalf.com and use code IMANORIGINAL for $5 off (and another $5 will automatically be donated to the two charities this year!)

Check out this video to see exactly what the course is like!

As you’ll see from the video, the course is actually very flat and runs alongside some really gorgeous views of the beach, especially in Beverly Shores where you can see the Chicago skyline very clearly. It does go through the Dunes State Park along some dunes, but not up any of them!  Come race day, the leaves will be turning to the fall orange, yellow and red colors so it should be gorgeous!

skyline

trees
And now the fun part…I’m giving away TWO free entries to the race!  You get to decide the distance: half marathon or 10k.  Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.  Please enter only if you know you can attend.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free race entry and two additional entries to giveaway in exchange for promotion on my blog.  I ran the race last year and loved the course, so I wanted to share with you!

Red Dress Boutique Review

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When the folks at Red Dress Boutique contacted me to pick out a few pieces to highlight on the blog for fall, I was super excited.  I don’t know what it is about southern stores, but I LOVE their selections!  And Georgia-based Red Dress Boutique is definitely one of my favorites.  Founder Diana Harbour centers the clothes around the idea that color is a powerful way to radiate optimism and positivity.  I couldn’t agree more!

So I picked out a few Red Dress Boutique pieces and styled them here for you today.  It included this maxi skirt, this top and this scarf.

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I picked out this maxi skirt and paired it with a simple gray v-neck tee and recently wore it to a Cubs game with coworkers (and no, I didn’t own any Cubs gear.  I’m not much of a baseball fan.  But free skybox, food and drink?  Suuuure!)

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Next up was this mustard colored infinity scarf.  I LOVE mustard colored stuff and was drawn to the scarf online because it really popped in the photos.  But when I got it, the color was a muted mustard.  I tried to pair it with my leopard print skirt that had mustard in it to lighten it up a bit.  Still super comfy!

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Last, I selected this top from their selection. I adore the colors (I mean, hello?!  Mustard, pink, navy, all in one place?! )  It also has cuffable button tab sleeves and a super cute weaved neckline in front.

So there you have it!  Fun fall pieces from Red Dress Boutique!  They release new items daily ranging from dresses to tops, bottoms, accessories, jewelry and even shoes.  They recently unveiled a few pieces I adore, including this cardigan, this tunic and this dress.

Disclaimer: I was provided with three pieces shown here in exchange for styling and sharing with readers.  All opinions are my own.

Q&A with Leana Macrito, Pure Barre Studio Manager

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Meet Leana
I recently interviewed Leana Macrito, the new Pure Barre studio manager at Deerfield.  She has been my instructor in several classes and is super positive during class and always makes sure my form is spot on so I feel the shaking.  Classes always seem to fly by when she is teaching, and before I know it- it’s time for the cool down and I feel relaxed and happy with how I’ve spent the last 55 minutes!

Learn more about Leana below…

What was your background prior to becoming a Pure Barre Studio Manager?

I am University of Iowa graduate (GO HAWKS!) with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and minors in English and Human Relations. I was a dancer from my early years and continued dancing through college.   After college I worked in sales at a bridal salon in the northwest suburbs and then switched to sales at a print marketing company.  While I liked what I did I wasn’t super passionate about it which is something that is very important to me.  I started taking Pure Barre classes and instantly became addicted to the workout.  When a Studio Coordinator position opened up I made the decision to move from the corporate world to the fitness world.  I loved coming into the studio everyday and getting to know the clients.  I was more than ecstatic when a teaching position opened up and I was chosen to go to training.  After teaching classes for a little over a month the manager position opened up and I knew that there was no better way to spend my days.  I am lucky to call the Deerfield studio home.

What’s your must-have item(s) for Pure Barre?

My must have items for Pure Barre class include: A fresh pair of sticky socks, my Pure Barre Tervis Tumbler water bottle, a Sweaty Band, and high rise leggings.  Sticky socks really help me to stay in place so I don’t have to worry about slipping.  I choose a Tervis over any other water bottle because it holds 20 ounces of water and it stays nice and cold.  The sweaty band is my favorite headband because it never slips or pushes off my head.  Lastly, I love a good high waisted pair of leggings.  I never have to work about them slipping down while I am moving around and they keep everything in nice and tight which makes me feel good.  The better I feel about myself going into class the more I get out of it.

tervis tumbler

What is your favorite part of class?

My absolute favorite part of class is thigh work.  I love the high energy high intensity workout.  My legs always burn and shake and I cannot get enough of that feeling.  I tell myself that I cannot come out of position until my legs are shaking and I have counted to 10.  I love the feeling of leaving class knowing I have 100% of my efforts.

What would you say to those considering a class, especially those unfamiliar with Pure Barre?

I would say try it! You won’t know if its for you unless you do.  Because barre workouts are still up and coming people feel intimidated to come in and try one.  They aren’t sure what the class looks like, how they will feel, if they are good at it— but once they try a class they see how warm and welcoming everyone is towards them.  The community in Pure Barre is great.  Everyone is focused on their own workout which creates such a good energy in the room!

home is where the barre is
Thank you so much for your answers, Leana!  Love that she was able to combine her background and passion into what she does every day!

Learn more about Pure Barre Deerfield and check out the latest happenings on their Facebook page.

Check out my other Pure Barre posts:
5 Tips for Pure Barre Newbies
5 Ways Pure Barre Helps Runners
What to Wear to Pure Barre Class
Q&A with Rachel, Pure Barre Studio Manager

Disclosure: Pure Barre Deerfield provides me with classes in exchange for blog promotion.  All opinions are my own.  I write about it because I love this workout, my local studio and the staff!

Third Thursday Threads: Fall Favorites

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The Style Files- Fall Favorites- Slate blazer, cream lace tee, navy pants, nude heels
Slate blazer, cream lace tee, navy pants, nude heels
Close up: Slate blazer, cream lace tee, navy pants, nude heels
Shop the look:
Doubleweave Cotton Zip Jacket via Loft- 40% off!
Pants: The Limited—on sale! (maroon/olive option, classic colors)
Lace tee: Loft (option)
Earrings: Kate Spade Outlet (option)

So this month, I am co-hosting (along with Dana!) for Bri’s Third Thursday Threads link up!  (Apparently my post from last month’s link up featuring my LBD was the most clicked so I get to co-host!  Woo hoo!)

The theme this time around is fall favorites.  For me, it’s all about layers—it can get pretty chilly around this time!  I picked up this cotton zip blazer jacket on super sale at Loft last month and paired it with a crisp ivory lace tee and tank along with my favorite pants from The Limited.   (They are the best “work pants” in my opinion.  Stretchy, ankle length, flattering, etc.)

But besides this look, I love wearing anything that involves cozy cardigans, leggings, tights, scarves and of course boots!  Bri’s mustard cardigan is definitely a fall color in my book too—I definitely plan to bring mine into the outfit rotation STAT!

So link up today (via my blog or Bri’s) with your fall favorites!  What is your favorite thing to wear for fall?

In case you’re new here, here’s how this works:

1. Follow Work Clothes, I Suppose, Something Good, and The Style Files!
2. Link to a specific post, not your general blog URL, and please be wearing or talking about a Fall Favorite.
3. Visit the other bloggers who have linked up!

Can’t wait to see all of your awesome outfits! Remember, the most-clicked link will get the opportunity to co-host with Bri next month!

Follow me!
FacebookTwitter  |  Pinterest  |  Instagram  |  Bloglovin’

Linking up with Vodka Infused Lemonade | Mix and Match Fashion

Stitch Fix Review #4 [September 2014]

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And I’m back!  Sorry I’ve been MIA the past couple of weeks…I’ve had some incredibly busy weeks at work (actually, it’s going to be crazy through the first week of October…who am I kidding).  Combine that with some busy weekends trying to catch up on doing things I didn’t get to during the week, entertaining, trying to squeeze in workouts and low and behold, blogging took a back seat.  But sometimes that’s just how it goes!

Anyways, I am back today with my September Stitch Fix review!  This month, I requested items strictly from my Stitch Fix Pinterest board.  Of the five items I received, four of them were items I had pinned.  The other one was very similar to one that I had pinned so I was stoked to see it all in person!

stitch fix review september 2014 style cards
And like I said, I’ve been a little busy so I didn’t have time to take outfit photos this time around, but here is what I got:

Stitch Fix Review September 2014

1)  Pixley Polly Abstract Chevron Tie-Waist Tunic $48
I didn’t pin this item, but I had pinned a couple of tunics.  I think these are so fun to wear with leggings and a pair of boots at the office while still looking put together!  Love the tie waist so I don’t look frumpy, either.

2) 41Hawthorn Colibri Solid Tab Sleeve Blouse $48
So in the style cards, the shirt seems to have a  V cut in the front and back.  But in the photo above, it’s definitely just a V in the front.  Weird!  I pinned this in green and when I tried it on, it was quite long and pretty shapeless on me…so back it went.

3)  Mystree Jackie Striped French Terry Asymmetrical Jacket $78
I LOVE the stripes, the zipper, the cut—all of it!  Problem was the torso was too short and the zipper hit right at my chest- not too flattering. This was a size medium, so I think when I request any kind of jacket, I should size up.

4)  Collective Concepts Lydia Floral Print Key-Hole Blouse $68
I loved the colors on this tank- royal blue, mustard, fuschia, aqua and cream.  It was cute on, but when I was adding up my purchases for this fix, I didn’t think that it was worth the price tag.

5)  Papermoon Waters Diamond Print Maxi Dress $78
I thought this dress came in black, which is what I pinned, but I got the navy version.  Love the pattern and the simple neckline because I can wear a regular bra with it, but it was super short on me!  Like 5 inches too short, and I guess I would consider myself “average” height at 5’5” so I was scratching my head on that one.  Bummer!

So if you haven’t guessed already, I ended up keeping #1 (chevron tie-waist tunic).  The one item that wasn’t from my board.  Just goes to show how things look different in person!

Want to sign up for Stitch Fix?  It’s just $20 for your fix and the $20 will be applied as a credit towards anything you keep.

Sign up for Stitch Fix here <—please note, this is my affiliate link.

Read my other reviews:
Stitch Fix #1
Stitch Fix #2
Stitch Fix #3

What did you think of this fix?  What would you have kept?

Apera Tech Pack Review + Giveaway!

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Apera Tech Pack Review

A few weeks ago, Apera was kind enough to send me their Tech Pack to review.  I had heard amazing things about this company and their bags from a variety of Chicago Running Bloggers, so I was very curious to see what it was like for myself.  I’ve been using it for a few weeks now, getting use to it and seeing if it met my needs.

I had been struggling with finding a way to carry all my stuff with me to work every day.  I had been using a duffel bag to hold my workout clothes, shoes, planner, laptop and work papers, among other things.  My bag didn’t have dividers and it was not working out well.  Not to mention the strap was killing my shoulder and the corners of my laptop would be banging into my thigh as I walked into work.  Ow!

But this bag is amazing.  After browsing their site, I knew I wanted to try this one out.  So incredibly versatile!

First off, the color is fantastic.  (It also comes in white and black.)  And although lots of people at work are walking in with either duffel bags for working out at the company gym or rollaway laptop bags, I am secretly using both…but in one bag- which I love!

apera tech pack, antimicrobial protection
There are tons of zippered pockets on this bag.  The top pocket isn’t very deep and is perfect for holding a snack or your cell phone so it doesn’t get buried.  And the entire bag is made with material that has antimicrobial protection to prevent the growth of odors.  Smart!  And if the bag gets dirty, you can just wipe it clean with soap and water.  There are also lots of vented compartments.

apera tech pack review- laptop and business needs covered
On the business side of things, it has a separate, padded section for my laptop and other papers.  I carry my planner with me every day (review here in case you are interested), and they are nice and safe!  This alone was the reason I selected this bag.  Having this compartment (and TONS of space for workout gear on top of that) is so great.  Not only do I use this bag during the typical workweek, I would definitely use it for a business trip.  (And Apera thought of that too- the back side of the bag has a flap where you can thread through your suitcase handle!)

apera tech pack review- back
There are also two side pockets, where I store an umbrella and water bottle.  (There have been lots of times I’ve been stuck walking in heels a half mile to my car in the pouring rain.  No fun.)

apera tech pack review- on person
The straps are super squishy and comfortable.  I don’t even feel the weight of all my stuff versus the duffel bag I had.  I ended up removing the clip that goes across your chest in the front (I never use it), but it’s an option if you want it!  My only criticism is that the straps need to be secured…they will loosen up to the ends from my walk to the car to the office.  The set and forget technique where you thread the strap through the buckle doesn’t work because they ends of the straps are reinforced and are too thick to fit in the buckle.  But luckily, my husband worked some magic and found an alternative to keep the straps from loosening.

apera tech pack review- shoes
And where do shoes go, you may ask?!  Well there are two separate zippered compartments for them!  They hold my gym shoes until I need to change into them, and then they hold my heels.  There is also another small zippered compartment in the middle where I store headbands and hair ties for easy access.

apera tech pack review- main compartment
And last but not least, the main compartment literally holds the mother load.  Plenty of room for shower stuff and lots of workout clothes.  I will have no problem including layers and bulkier items once it gets colder outside, too.

I can’t believe that this bag holds all this stuff and doesn’t even look bulky at all. Totally streamlined and super cute.  I’m a huge fan! :-)

What’s even more amazing is that the folks at Apera Bags are letting me giveaway one of their Sprint Packs!  Perfect for a quick trip to the gym, dog park or wherever really. (And the winner will also get a 25% off coupon in case they decide to purchase a bag of their own!)  Use the Rafflecopter widget to enter below.  US only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you want a chance to win yet another bag from Apera, they hold their our own giveaway each month on their website!  Up for grabs this month is a free Apera bag to one winner—your bag of choice, any style and color!  All anyone needs to do is sign up for their email newsletter. Then, at the conclusion of each month, they’ll randomly draw a name from those subscribers in the email newsletter database to select our winner.  So go enter now!

What do you use to carry your workout and work stuff?  Any questions on this Apera Tech Pack review that I can answer for you?

Linking up with Olives n’ Wine.

Disclosure: I received the Apera Tech Pack in exchange for an honest blog review.  All opinions are my own…this bag is legit!

August 2014 Clothing Budget

August 2014 Clothing Budget

August 2014 Clothing Budget
August 2014 Clothing Budget:
1.  Urban Expressions Courtney Clutch/Crossbody via eBay: $23.66
2.  Mikas Pond Lacey Wallet in Pink via Kate Spade: $85 (including shipping)
3.  Carlisle Street Stacy Polka Dot Wallet via Kate Spade Outlet: $45
4.  Navy Bow Earrings via Kate Spade Outlet: $16
5.  Jacquard Dot Popover via J. Crew Factory: $25 (flash sale + free shipping)
6.  J. Crew Linen City Mini Skirt via consignment store: $15.99 [worn here]
7.  Marled Crew Neck Sweater via Old Navy: $14 [worn here]
8.  Doubleweave Cotton Zip Jacket via Loft: $47 (including shipping)
9.  Striped Crossover Cutout Back Dress via Loft:  $18 [worn here]
10.  Sabine Pleated Maxi Skirt via Piperlime: $14.97 on clearance

Not pictured: Pink Climacool Long Sleeve athletic shirt via consignment store: $9.59

=$314.21
-$125 in income earned
=$189.21 for August

So I did a bit of damage this month.  Apparently the theme was accessories and black & white.

The Kate Spade pink wallet was something I had been wanting for a while…and when I saw it on a Kate Spade Surprise sale, I knew it was a good price (see my tips for getting Kate Spade on the cheap!)  Then, I was out shopping with my sister-in-law and we happened to stumble in to the outlet…and this smaller wallet happened to be on clearance.  I wanted a smaller wallet so I could carry it in clutches and small crossbody purses, so that was my justification.  The earrings were just too cute to pass up.  We both got a pair…twinsies!

Otherwise, I tried to be very purposeful with the actual clothing purchases.  I feel like everything is very versatile and will mix and match nicely with items I already have in my closet.

I originally got the Loft blazer in a gray/blue on clearance in the store but it didn’t go with a ton.  So when I saw it in white online at the same price, I grabbed it (but had to pay $8.95 in shipping- darn you Loft and your high shipping prices!)  I included the shipping costs in my budget which brought the $36 blazer to almost $50.  Also grabbed the crossover dress on clearance from Loft and found a gorgeous pleated maxi skirt from Piperlime on clearance from $70 for $14.97 AND free shipping- love it!

Luckily, I had some income earned to help offset the spending, which still put me under my $200 limit.  If I had kept anything from my Stitch Fix this month, I would have been over! (Oh, and I also got a few fun pieces from Kika and jeans from American Eagle via some partnerships, which is always lovely.)

How did you do this month?  What did you like from my purchases?  Do you count shipping costs in your clothing budget?

To view my past clothing budgets, click here.

Linking up with Vodka Infused Lemonade | Mix and Match Fashion | Franish

American Eagle Denim Experience #AEOStyle

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american eagle denim
black and white outfit
black denim, heathered sweater, statement necklace
american eagle jeans
I love summer (not so much this crazy humidity we are experiencing right now in Chicagoland), but is it bad that I am excited for fall?!  I can’t wait for boots, chunky scarves and pumpkin flavored everything.  And part of fall is transitioning my outfits for the cooler temps…which includes busting out my denim!

I’ve mentioned before in numerous posts (including my recent 20×45 clothing challenge), I love my American Eagle jeans.  Jean shopping is never fun, and when I find a brand I like that fits well, I stick with it!

So when I was ready for another pair, I headed to the American Eagle denim website.  There, you can choose from 14 different fits of jeans, 48 different sizes and 60 washes–all from the comfort of your own home. They have everything from hi-rise jeggings, straight leg, boyfriend style, and much more.

AEO jeans
So I navigated through and found my favorite fit: skinny.  Then I checked out the seven washes that were available in that cut.  Each wash had tons of photos- front and back, side, close-up, you name it.  They include the model’s name along with her height and size.  (In this case, it was 5’8” Courtney in a Size 2.)  Oh, and did I mention that all their denim is $29.99?!  LOVE it!

After looking over all the options, I decided to go with a pair of super stretch black skinny jeans.  The regular length fits me well and even if I find that the sizing may be a little off when I get it in the mail, American Eagle has free shipping AND free return shipping on all purchases.  (Sidenote:  I did order a second pair of skinny jeans but didn’t care for the wash when I saw it in person.  I filled out the exchange form and paid to ship them back, because exchanges aren’t free.  Then come to find out, I get an email saying that the item I wanted to exchange was no longer available and was being sent a refund in the form of a gift card.  So now I’m waiting for the gift card so I can place another order, wait some more, and get my second pair. Grumble grumble.  Too bad they couldn’t contact me when it was out of stock…and could have treated it as a return so I wouldn’t be out the shipping cost.  Whatevs!)

So anyways, I did receive the black skinny jeans in the mail and they were great. Since I already wear this cut, I knew they would fit well and the rise is just right for me.  Seriously, these jeans are so, so comfortable (love that super stretch!) Now if the humidity would subside, I could wear these more often!

Visit American Eagle today and see how quick and easy it is to find your new favorite pair of denim!  And…if you post a photo of yourself in an AE product or any Aerie product with the hashtag #AEOStyle on Instagram or Twitter, your picture will appear on the AE website!

Have you tried AE jeans?  What do you think?  What’s your go-to denim brand?

Disclosure: I received an American Eagle gift card as part of my relationship with the Quality Blue Community.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Sheinside Blazer Review

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As part of my clothing budget last month, I ordered a White Boyfriend Ponte Rolled Sleeves Blazer from Sheinside, a China-based company that makes super cute and affordable clothes & accessories.  I was missing a lighter colored blazer in my wardrobe and felt that it would be a nice completer pieces to tons of outfits.  Plus, their blazers were only $29.50 so I had to try it…and they have free shipping on $30+ (I threw in these earrings to get the free shipping.)

I had seen the blazer on Audrey of Putting Me Together (she also has it in pink/coral) and on Lauren from Fizz and Frosting, plus a handful of other bloggers, so I gave it a try, and I promised I would do a Sheinside blazer review since some of you were asking for it.  So here goes…

I will say, since it is coming from China, it took a loooong time to get here.  Maybe 3-4 weeks?  So be prepared.  I ordered a medium since their size chart corresponded to my measurements.  It’s made of polyester and has a nice lining on the inside:

Sheinside Blazer- detail photos
Nice thing is- I can throw it in the washer and not have it dry cleaned (but make sure you keep it out of the dryer!)  However, I definitely have to iron it…the lapels need to be creased down with an iron every time, otherwise, it doesn’t lay flat.

Here is the blazer on me with some different views.  For under $30, it is a nice blazer that is professional enough for the office and casual enough for errands or drinks.

Sheinside blazer front back and side photos
In terms of sizing, I feel that it fits great everywhere except the shoulders.  I have broader shoulders and it is quite tight.  In fact, I’m not sure I could wear sleeves under the blazer.  For that reason, I would say that you should order a size up.

The faux pockets are a nice touch, and the rolled sleeves have a stitch in them to keep them rolled up, along with some nice piping detail at the edge.  The blazer does lay nicely even though it doesn’t have a button or closure but again, you’ll have to iron the lapel to make sure it creases and lays nicely.  Mine doesn’t close over my chest (but I don’t think it’s supposed to.  If it were bigger, it wouldn’t look as fitted but then again I’d get more room in the shoulder area.

Here is a more casual look with the blazer:

sheinside blazer- casual look
sheinside blazer- casual look
And another outfit that’s more “office appropriate”:

sheinside blazer- boyfriend ponte
sheinside blazer- boyfriend ponte 2
sheinside blazer- boyfriend ponte 3
sheinside blazer- boyfriend ponte 4 Shop the look:
Blazer- Sheinside (also comes in coral, light blue and black)
Earrings: Sheinside
Dress: Old Navy (2-3+ years ago?)
Heels: Target

Interested in giving the blazer (or anything else from Sheinside a try?)  Create an account using this link and get 20% off your order…and if five of you sign up, I will get 50% off a future order.  Win win!

Do you have this blazer from Sheinside?  Thoughts?  Where do you shop for blazers?

Linking up with:
Fizz & Frosting | On the Daily Express | More Pieces of Me | Fashionably Employed | Greater than Rubies | rhea, et cetera | Still Being Molly