Budgeting Bloggers:: January 2015 Finals

I have to start putting the dates on my budgeting bloggers posts now that I’ve been doing this for an entire year now. Yep, this is my 12th budgeting bloggers post. I’m very excited about this milestone. I can vividly remember being too embarrassed to link up last January because of how much I bought. Budgeting Bloggers has truly helped me curb my spending and focus more on building a cohesive wardrobe full of things I like to wear. Now, I’m building on a solid foundation and spending less and less each month and bringing home less and less. Things will still come and go since I can’t fight my nature to be a little trendy, but I am pleased with the differences I’ve noticed in my shopping habits.

Here’s what I brought home in January::

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**this post contains affiliate links**

1.Rib Stitch Dolman Sweater:: Orig $89.50, paid $17
2.Fuzzyweave backzip tunic:: Orig $54.99, paid $22
3.Heatherstripe layering tee:: Orig $34.50, paid $12
4.Flat iron Cammy nylon crossbody bag:: Orig $98, paid $30
5.Metallic-stripe popover:: Orig $89.50, paid $12
6.Textured Tribune dress:: Orig  $148, paid $27.99
7.Knit Shirtdress:: Orig $79.50, paid $22
8.Suede desert wedges:: Orig $89, paid $45
9.Mosaic print sweater:: (can’t find a retail), paid $9
10.Boiled wool skirt:: Orig $59,50, paid $15

Not pictured:: Kushyfoot flats to go and knee highs, c/o and Chloe + Isabel color code plum collar necklace, c/o

Total spent::$211.99
Total saved off retail:: $477
Total made from posh/ebay/blog::$266
I decided to do my deal explanations down here this time. It looks much less cluttered that way. First, I just have to comment on the weird model poses that LOFT puts their girls in. I probably made them a million times awkward by cropping out all the excess, but seriously. One of them had their hand on top of their head. What is that? I know they’re trying to give the “effortless” vibe, but this is my informal plea to loft to have plain stock photos. The majority of my items this month came from LOFT. There are two reasons for that. The first is that I was looking for some additional color and LOFT is where I found a shade of teal-green-blue that I liked and thought would fit my color scheme well. Second reason was their 70% off flash sale. Not all items were final sale in that flash sale either. I was most impressed with 2 and 3 from their Lou and Grey line. Very comfortable. I’ve worn the tunic three times already and have plans for it to travel with me this week.1 and 5, I’m just not even going to try and explain myself on those. Hi, my name is Meghan and I’m in love with J.Crew. I ended up in store trying to use that $20 off $100 purchase through January 4 coupon that they were handing out during that time frame.  I went on January 2 to peruse the sale section at what typically is my gold mine of a brick and mortar J.Crew. Just no. It was desolate. Good for J.Crew but bad for me trying to use my coupon. Good for my bank account though. Even though I said I wasn’t going to buy multiples, I did get two of those dolman sleeve sweaters this year. Though true to reviews, they do fuzz up really fast, that sweater is oversized done right. I used my student discount on top of 40% off sale prices for the last time to get those deals.

Of course there’s a madewell purchase. Can’t go a month without one of those either anymore. According to my wish list, I was seeking a black structured knit dress. The one I had my eye on sold out in my size and it never popped back. This very inexpensive alternative was a steal for madewell and contrary to online reviews, I would recommend this dress! I haven’t featured it on the blog yet, but I have plans to do so soon. So I’m calling that wishlist item fulfilled.

Those Toms was spurred on by Nicole‘s adorable product shots on her instagram for her new line of tees. There were these TOMS wedges in her posts that looked perfect for a little bootie variety since I’ve been hitting the cognac leather and black suede ones hard. The color is a little more troublesome than I expected, but these are so comfortable I just don’t care!

Lastly, the KS purse. I was on the hunt for a crossbody for the trip we’re taking this week since I didn’t want to take my metallic leather one and my fabric one needs a good washing and repair. It was serendipitous the way I just waltzed into Marshalls, walked straight to the bags (after a brief detour though the clearance shoes), and saw this one. There was a girl looking at the crossbody purses and I was SO afraid she was going to pick it up. It was exactly what I was hoping to find. Nylon for wipability. Brightly colored for versatility. Perfectly sized. Best of all in my budget with my rewards certificate. As soon as she moved a little bit away from the purses I snatched it up and pretty much ran to the register so I didn’t spend any more money. I can’t wait to use it.

All in all, I don’t think I did too bad, but I’m not going to discuss how much I spent on makeup this month either. I am wearing everything I’ve purchased though– clothes and makeup related. So how did you do this month? Get anything good in the end of season sales?

Cognac Leather Booties:: Remixed

I am going to dread the day when it’s too warm to wear these cognac leather booties. It feels like I wear them every day. I know I don’t, but between my suede black pair and this pair, I’m almost positive I wear these every other day. They’re so perfect. After lusting after perfect pairs that were out of my reach, finding these at Nordstrom Rack truly was the icing on the cake. This fall and winter, I’ve worn them with pants, short skirts, midi skirts, skinny jeans. Black, brown, navy, burgundy. You name it, I’ve made these cognac booties go with it. So when the prompt this week for trend spin link up was announced as suede and leather, there was no question I was featuring these booties. I’m also featuring my newest statement necklace in this post from a designer that I’ve heard of, but have only just now gotten around to owning  a piece: Chloe & Isabel. The necklace may be simple in design; it’s the details that hooked me though. Besides the perfect brass finishes, there is an adorable little bird gracing the end of the chain. How sweet is that? Even though this necklace is predominately plum in color, I thought it would compliment the burgundy jeans and the hints of pink in the mosaic pattern on my sweater. This is a piece I cannot wait to wear more though! Have you heard of Chloe and Isabel? Own any pieces? Is there one I should definitely try to get my hands on?

ps again on this post:: excuse my crazy hair. it’s been quite windy here this weekend.

Cognac Booties Remixed**This post contains affiliate links**

necklace:: c/o Chloe + Isabel sweater:: LOFT (similar) sleeveless chambray:: J.Crew Factory (similar) belt:: J.Crew jeans:: Old Navy booties:: Sam Edelman (same this year) bracelets:: spike Stella & Dot, Disney Alex and Ani

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Linking up with::


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Though I received this necklace complimentary, my opinions are 100% honest and for sure can’t be bought. Honesty is the best policy. *Disclaimer:  I was provided with a sample of this product free of charge, for review purposes.  This did not alter my opinion of the product and the opinions I have expressed in this post are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the United States Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Sunday Lately:: Wk 4

It’s time for Sunday Lately! A link up with Katy, Nicole, and me sharing what we’ve been up to. This week’s themes are:: Updating, Reminding, Needing, Amusing, Being.

Lately I’ve been::

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Updating::

My office organization. It’s been a disaster zone since we had all that company back in November and I’ve been working on the couch and trying to exercise in the living room– two things that just don’t work well in that space. I’m hoping to finish sorting out what’s in the boxes and get my Silhouette out of it’s box and play with that tonight while Corey and his brother watch wrestling. It thrills me to no end to have my space back!

Reminding::

Myself that things don’t happen overnight. As much as I want to see immediate fixes and mends to things that aren’t working well, new plans of action take months to reinstate and even longer to see differences. It’s a test of my patience, which I have to remind myself I need every day too.

Needing::

A game plan for our excursion this week. What was originally two days in Nashville has now turned into a day in Chattanooga, a day in Nashville, and a day in Asheville. While that’s all very exciting, I was mostly looking forward to Nashville. I’ve only been once and it was just for a day, so I was looking forward to seeing some things I have on my “must do” list. Now I have to cut that list in half and figure out how I’m going to get those few things done in a day’s time.

Amusing::

This which I found via her. That’s not it, but its the best one I saw all week.

Being::

Goal oriented. I’ve always been a fairly focused individual; setting tiny goals for myself to achieve to get the big one. Some where over the past year, I’ve lost track of what I’m working towards. Somewhere around August, when I was promoted at work. Today my goal is to write my goals down. Short term. Long term. Get back to being goal oriented and getting things done.


Love, Lashes, and Lipstick by Mally Roncal :: A Book Review

Do you ever try to give yourself a pep talk, but find it hard to convince yourself of what you’re saying? That’s when you should pick up Love, Lashes, and Lipstick by Mally Roncal. My only association with Mally was a mascara that came in one of my Birchboxes over the past few years. After reading her book, I feel like I know her and that we could be friends if I ever bumped into her in real life. I know it’s weird, but we connect with people all the time over Instagram photos and don’t talk to them, so why not connect the “old fashioned” way with an author by reading their book? Here are a few reasons why I recommend picking up this book.

“LISTEN TO PEOPLE. REALLY LISTEN. CALL PEOPLE BY THEIR NAME. AND SEE BEAUTY IN EVERYONE. IT’S ALWAYS, ALWAYS THERE.” pg. 17, Mally Roncal

Love, Lashes, and Lipstick by Mally Roncal :: A Book Review

“ANY WORK IS A REAL JOB; BE HUMBLE AND NEVER SAY NO TO AN OPPORTUNITY ” pg. 70

First, I love the themes that she exhorts in her book. Gratitude is a big theme in her book. Being thankful is a big deal to me and I love how she stresses the importance of being thankful for everything she has. She also talks about hard work, paying it forward, letting things go, trusting your gut, and believing in true love. Optimism is a continous overtone in her book. You cannot help but smile when you read her adorable stories of how she grew up and found herself and overcame things that could really have made her negative about life. One point she makes that I want to take to heart (besides all the feel-good gratitude) is finding time to appreciate yourself and try new things. In chapter 15, she relates a little of Jennifer Lopez’s getting ready routine. Mally admits that not everyone has her kind of time to sit and get ready, but reminds the reader that it’s important to take time for yourself.

“OWN WHO YOU ARE. FORGET THE HATERS. DON’T LET THEM DULL YOUR SHINE.” pg. 109

Besides all the great feels I got from reading her memoir portion of the book, I benefited from all the tips and tutorials too. There’s something for everyone in the tutorials from a tween to a seasoned makeup-wearing pro. She covers skin care routines, appropriate makeup for a tween and teen, timeless techniques for applying eyeliner and blush, a great how-to for false eyelashes, and three “quick face” tutorials for 2, 5, and 10 minutes. Those are just a few of the multiple tutorials she includes in her book.

“IT’S NOT ABOUT SLAVISHLY FOLLOWING TRENDS BUT ABOUT WHAT FLATTER US AND SUITS OUR LIVES.” pg. 188

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It’s an easy read, but Mally’s writing style puts you at ease and makes you feel like she’s your best friend, coaching you on. Even though I don’t wholly agree with her philosophy of “everything happens for a reason,” I gleaned some heart-warming gems from the memoirs portion of her book. The book feels a little chaotic at times and disorganized, but after finishing the book, it suits her style. I already used two of the makeup tips, so I wish it had been a digital book so I could click back and forth between a pinterest how-to and the tips in Mally’s book. Even if you don’t need makeup tips, everyone can use a good pep talk every once in a while. This is the book to do it.

All in all, I enjoyed this book so much and would recommend it specifically for a fun read. Let me know if you end up purchasing it!

This January, I was selected to receive the Birchbloggers Birchbox Book Club title, Love, Lashes, and Lipsticks by Mally Roncal. Though I received this book complimentary, this review is 100% my honest opinion and it for sure can’t be bought. Honesty is the best policy. *Disclaimer:  I was provided with a sample of this product free of charge, for review purposes.  This did not alter my opinion of the product and the opinions I have expressed in this post are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the United States Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.