Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday or is it Black Thursday?

Well, this year, I became one of those people. Two friends and I set out to start our Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving night. We met at one house at 7:30 pm to get to Target. My one friend was looking for a good deal on a television and Target had one. It was a 50" television for a great price. We got to Target and the parking lot was already full and the line was long outside the building. We packed our coats and gloves and patience and waited in line till they opened. 

I think out of all of the stores we visited, Target was by far the best and most organized. They had employees walking the line and letting us know the 50" television was gone(they passed out tickets to the first people in line) and handed out store maps and Cliff and Luna bars. They were all polite and helpful answering questions and making us happy. Once it was 8:00, they opened the door and it was single file line into the store. There were barricades up so no one could cut in line and there was only one way into the store. Employees passed out carts to us once we entered and then it was every man for himself. Since there were three of us, we were able to grab items for each other. The DVDs and CDs were plentiful and I was even able to snag a couple of pajama sets for $5. In other years past, these items are the first to go. I found everything on my list and then headed to check out. They had us snaked around the aisles and directed us to which register. In and out in 30 minutes! Way to go, Target! 

Next stop was JC Penney right next door. I was also able to find everything on my list and the sales were awesome! I love shopping at JC Penney because they also offer rewards program while using my own cards(debit or credit). See website for details. 

JC Penney had wonderful sales on apparel and coats as well as various other items. I also love that they carry Joe Fresh and all of that was 50% off as well. The only negative was the checkout line was longer due to a slower cashier( we even helped to bag our items to speed up the process). 

Next was Kohls and I will say "hot mess" continues to describe this store. Upon entering the store, you couldn't find a cart anywhere and I was one of the lucky ones who actually got a bag. I was buying a larger item and needed a cart but instead had to shuffle itthrough the store on the ground. When I asked if there was a cart, the employee told me I was out of luck. The lines were so long and wrapped around the store. It took me about ten minutes to find what I wanted and who knows how long in line. The nice thing was the people in line shared deals with us and saved places in line with each other. Overall, the draw in this store was the Kohls cash( $15 for every $50 spent) and I will admit it was what brought me in as well. Well, that and the coupons if you are a Kohls charge customer. 

Time to head out to the mall! It was 11pm by the time we got there and my friend was smart and valet parked. Awesome idea at Twelve Oaks Mall! While some stores were closed, it was apparent that everyone had the same idea as us and were at the mall. The parking lot was crowded and there were so many people there! At some point, we looked around and realized that we felt we were some of the oldest people there! I was surprised at how many young people were there but shocked and kind of appalled to be honest that people brought their young children with them. I mean, shouldn't your toddler be in bed at midnight? Don't even get me started about the family with the kids in Old Navy at 2am...Annoying! 

Anyways, there were great sales at a lot of the stores! I found some great deals at Gymboree where everything was 50% off plus my friend gave me a 20% off coupon plus I got gymbucks! Loft and The Limited were offering 50% off everything in the store but I did not succumb and buy anything for myself! The Gap was also offering 50% off and I bought a coat that my husband will give me for Christmas. We got everything we were looking for at the mall and then headed to the next store. 

Michaels was next as it was already 1:15 am and the extra 30% off coupon ended at 2 am. We timed it perfectly and found the Rainbow Loom and refills and everything else we wanted. We went over to Best Buy for a couple of items and then headed to Old Navy. 

Old Navy was great with a greeter at the front door passing out bags and letting us know that the whole store was 50% off. We were in there for a while shopping and then the line was incredibly long and wrapped around several times. We were very surprised at the number of people there in the middle of the night! 

We made a quick trip to Toys R Us where the other girls had items on their lists and were pleasantly surprised as there was no one in the store and plenty of cashiers waiting to assist us. Everyone was in great spirits and helped the girls find what they needed. 

Okay we were wiped out at this point but it was only two hours until Home Dept opened! My friend really wanted to find a Christmas tree that was on the front page of the ad. We found a Bigby Coffee opened! Hallelujah!! We literally screamed " they're opened!" The girls in the coffee shop were great and our drinks never tasted better. On to Home Depot! 

The interstate was much clearer now than it was when we were headed to the mall. We made it to the store and then got out and waited in line. They were nice and opened the door so we could wait inside instead of out in the cold. They opened and we bolted to find what we needed. We were out of there in about 10-15 minutes. 

Last stop was Meijer for a Kindle that was being passed out at 6 am. We dropped my friend off to wait in line for the Kindle and then we headed back over to Target for a couple of items that I missed the first time. I smiled when the cashier asked me if I was just getting started. I told her I was here last night when they opened and shopped all night. I'm pretty sure she thought I was crazy.

We headed back to Meijer to stand in line with my friend. I'm pretty sure Meijer lost a lot of business going forward as there was a mixup in how many Kindles they actually had available. There was a lot of screaming and yelling and threatening and going home without the item they stood in line for all of that time. My friend had a pretty good attitude considering she had been waiting and they had been scammed. Meijer will be hearing from all of those people I am sure! 

Now on to breakfast! I enjoyed coffee with my omelet and then we headed home. My friends dropped me off and all of my bags. This was such a great time and I am pretty sure most of our shopping is done now! Setting up the tree and putting up lights is next on our list this weekend. Overall it was a great experience and I'm pretty sure we will do it again! As long as you have Friday to recover like we did, you'll be fine! 

Here's a picture of the back of the car after we already dropped off one load earlier! 

Success! Now to enjoy the rest of the season! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are enjoying your weekend! 

Thanks for reading and following along! 

Sandae


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Thankful Thanksgiving

What are you thankful for? Every year around this time, we are encouraged to be thankful. Thanksgiving is a national holiday that is celebrated and it is supposed to be a time of reflecting on the  blessings we have received. I don't know about you, but I don't take the time to be nearly as thankful as I should be considering all of the blessings that I have in my life.

I write this as I am warm in my home snuggled up in my pretty embellished sweatshirt with olive skinnys and a flowered blouse. My feet are toasty in striped socks wearing slippers. I hear my son and his cousin downstairs playing video games and I smell cookies freshly baked. I am going over to some friends' house later tonight where we will indulge in pizza and snacks and desserts and drinks and play games. Our children will laugh together and play and make memories of their own. 

You get the point- my life sounds pretty great, right? How many times have I stopped to think about the saying that " the greatest things in life aren't things" ? I am always so convicted that I have so much and yet think so little of it- almost like I have a right. I work, don't i? I worked hard in school and at my job to get to this point in my life, but I am not entitled to any of it. 

This year, I am thinking about what I am thankful for that has happened this year. I think my biggest accomplishment was running a 5k in September. I have never been a runner nor would I consider myself to be an expert at running, but I set out to accomplish a goal and I did it. I am thankful that I have legs and feet and the stamina to keep at it even when I wanted to quit. I plan to run a 10k now in April next year. 

I'm thankful for new friends and relationships I have made this year. We changed small groups and these two ladies in the group with me have become very close friends of mine. I treasure our friendship and the relationships that our families have made as well. I also started an Instagram account and have made friendships with women in the fashion community. We look to each other for advice on how to look better as well as health and well-being. While most of these women I will never meet, I am grateful for the friendships we have made.

We were able to get out and go camping six times this summer and had a blast! We were also blessed to have strengthened relationships with friends with whom we camp and we enjoy spending time with. We were able to go to Universal in Orlando for a week and spend some time with my sister and her family. I was also able to travel for a few trips alone, one of which I got to see my friends from elementary school - and we are trying to do this on a yearly basis. 

I am thankful for my job since I have now been in this role for a little over a year. I have made new friends at work and have learned so many things! I appreciate all of their help and support as I transitioned into a different area of the bank as well as a new role. 

I am thankful for my immediate family. For a husband who loves me even when I am crazy and overreacting and a son who shows unconditional love to me. He even wrote an essay at school recently about me and I nearly lost it...how this old crazy lady could be his hero or someone that he admires baffles me but I am thankful for the love we have for each other. 

There are so many other people and things that I am grateful for but I just don't have the time to mention all of them.

So you see, while I enjoy looking nice and shopping and posting fashion pictures and all of that, I really need to focus more on what and who I have in my life. I will try to do more of that going forward. Every day is another chance to do better than the day before. I will still continue to do all of these things but I will do it with a more grateful heart. 

Happy Thanksgiving! 


Thanks for reading and following along! 

Sandae

Sunday, November 24, 2013

10 Pieces, 7 Days

I will first admit that this idea might not be originally mine. I saw an email from the Gap and they were showing off some of their pieces including outerwear and gave each day a title of something one might do on that day. They said they were using 10 pieces for 7 days. I decided to copy the idea but make it my own with clothing that is in my closet.

If I did sit down and do outfit-planning once a week, I might spend less time deciding what to wear. Would I be more productive since I only have the same pieces to work with? Would anyone notice that I wore the same pieces all week?! Does anyone really care? These were all questions that I decided to try and answer. 

First up, I had to pick out my pieces. I envision doing this when I travel and (gasp!) trying to only use a carry-on bag. I looked for pieces that could mix and match with others, look great on their own, and had personality. I decided to not count coats since I work from home and will go out a few times during the week, so sweaters are more important pieces for me. Here is a sneak peek picture that I posted on my Instagram account to show my followers what type of pieces I was using for the week:




I also sat down on Saturday night and wrote down all of my outfits. I tried to not wear pieces two days in a row and wear each piece at least twice. I think I will almost do that except for one of the pieces being worn only once. This means I could have done at least eight days but I need a little variety in my life so I'm sticking to the seven! 

On Sunday, I started with an outfit that I personally think is a little plain Jane for me, but my IG friends gave me rave reviews! I also used this in my Sunday Style post. I'm using a dress from J Crew Factory as a jumper with a Loft blouse underneath. I'm wearing it with my black booties from Kohls and carrying a black bag from Phillip Lim for Target and wearing my blush pearl necklace from Eva Mendes new holiday line at New York and Company. I also added a belt to accent my waist and add visual interest. Here's a picture below: 


On Monday, I broke out a new sweater that my husband bought for me. I had been eyeing this sweater because of the gold sequin elbow patches! Who doesn't love pink and gold? This outfit was also a little plain so I wore a statement necklace from Groopdealz to jazz it up a bit. 



On Tuesday, I wore a beautiful navy bow sweater from J Crew Factory. I had been looking for this sweater last year when Aisha Tyler wore it one day on The Talk. She paired it with a pair of plaid pants close to the holidays and it was beautiful! I was glad when they brought it to Factory this year. It is fun and affordable! I mixed it with a plaid shirt and emerald green jeans. I felt like a Christmas Card picture but it is getting close to the holidays so I guess it's all right! 



On Wednesday, I wore the pink sweater again and paired it with the dress. I used a pretty gold glitter belt from Target and some leopard pumps to make it a super fun outfit! When planning for the week, I remembered that I had an event to attend that night so I thought it would be the perfect outfit for all day. 


On Thursday, I wore the green skinnies again and the black and cream stars blouse but paired my perfect gray sweater from Loft over top. Throw a scarf on it and you're done! I think I'm starting to like my week's pieces! 


For Friday, I wore the bow sweater again but this time with a geometric print skirt from Target. Pairing it with something like this tones down the "holiday" look of the sweater. Throw some leopard pumps on for fun and call it a day!
Lastly, for Saturday, I wore the gray sweater with the plaid shirt and jeans again. I love Old Navy plaid flannels! They are so soft and warm! Especially under the sweater! 


So, what did I learn from this experiment? Well, several things! First, I am glad that I have a variety of items in my closet to choose from on a daily basis. While I love these pieces that I chose, I got kind of bored with them. However, if I did have to pack these pieces and wear them for a week or a little more, I could totally do it! 

I also learned that in most cases the first way that I wore the outfit was the most popular on Instagram. I received many likes but when it was towards the end of the week, I noticed I received fewer likes. Was this because of the outfit or because if was the weekend? We may never know. And then I still wonder if people noticed that I wore the same thing twice or if they even knew I was doing this challenge. Again, we may never know. 

All in all, I realized that I could survive with less. I did end up wearing four pairs of shoes total, two necklaces, one bracelet, one pair of earrings, one scarf, and one purse. I used these to coordinate the ten pieces. 

I challenge all of you to see if you can do this as well. It was a really fun challenge and I fund myself looking for ways to stretch my wardrobe. 

Thanks for reading and following along! Have a great Sunday! 

Sandae

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Style: Black and Cream

First, I should tell you all that this week I am doing a challenge where I will be wearing ten pieces in seven days. I will be mixing and matching these items to challenge myself to use what I already have. I will be posting about it next week after the challenge is complete.

For my Sunday outfit as well as the first outfit in my challenge, I am wearing a dress from J Crew Factory and I put a blouse under it from Loft that I purchased last year. This is actually a favorite blouse of mine with the stars on it making it unique. I also like the herringbone print of this knit dress that has pockets. It's super comfortable and I belted it with a belt from Loft to make it more interesting. I wore black tights and my boots from Kohls. I am also wearing my new blush pearl necklace from Eva Mendes new collection at New York and Company. I am also carrying my black Phillip Lim for Target bag. 

I like this outfit but it is a bit boring for me seeing that I enjoy bright colors. I felt a little like House on the Prairie when I first tried the dress on because it is very conservative and more like a jumper. I mixed prints to make it more modern and it's shorter so that's a plus! The next time I wear this dress, it will be with colors! 

Here's some pictures of me wearing the outfit:







Hope you all had a lovely Sunday! 

Sandae

Friday, November 15, 2013

Eva Does It Again!

Remember those two dresses that I posted about last month that I wore to weddings? I loved the cut and color of both of those dresses so much! I have to tell you that when it comes to designing a line, Eva Mendes really has it down!

Last night I went to New York and Company to preview her new Holiday Collection line that just came out. I loved all of the lace and lady-like details in each piece. There was a lot of blush, brown, black, and cream. I fell in love with her gorgeous jewelry pieces. I wish I had bought more! 

I took some pictures of pieces that were my favorites. I ended up purchasing a sweater, a dress, and two necklaces. I'll probably be back for more though online! There were a couple of items in the lookbook that the store did not carry that I think I will love. 

Love this tassel necklace! 

This is a beautiful black and gold statement necklace. 

This is a brown tweed dress with comes with a chocolate brown belt. They've added a brooch for an even more ladylike look. 

Beautiful brown tweed coat over this brown and peach floral dress. 


Here's the dress by itself without the coat. Beautiful and silky with pleats and a fabric belt. 
Beautiful cream long sleeved blouse with front ruffle and multi- strand necklace. The necklace is gold and blush and all kinds of beautiful! 

Here's the lace dress I think I need that they didn't sell in the store. I love the black and white! 

Another beautiful top with a bow in the lookbook! 

The collection is beautiful and over all very nicely priced. I love that it's part of New York and Company so you can use coupons, discounts, rewards and earn more rewards. You even earn points on purchases if you are a card holder. 

So, Eva did it again! Beautiful collection at beautiful prices. Check it out in stores or online starting today! www.newyorkandcompany.com

Sandae

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Transition, Transition, Transition!

I feel like there is always transition happening in my life.  At work, I have been involved in company transitions, change, consulting, etc. for the last few years. At home, we deal with moving parts all of time. In life in general, we deal with changing of holidays and changing of seasons and even the most recent dreaded time change. One thing is constant, and that thing is change. 

Well, for me, I have had a lot of questions about why now to start blogging? This was a big transition for a private person like me. I wanted a creative outlet and I wanted a way to help people realize transition and change- not only in their lives but in their wardrobes. I love doing pieces about wearing one thing multiple ways! I love showing people how to transition items from season to season. As a budget conscious individual who loves to shop way too much, I love to be able to teach people some of my tricks and secrets to make your money and your wardrobe go farther. 

This outfit I am wearing today is no different. I transitioned this tee shirt that I wanted for a while (waited for a sale and then additional 40% off of that) into a piece that I can wear now. I used it as another layering piece on top of a chambray shirt under a jacket. 

The tee is from J Crew, the jacket is from LOFT and the shirt is from Old Navy. I am also wearing my favorite statement necklace from Sassy Steals, a ring from Lia Sophia and my favorite boots from DSW. Today, I am using a great bag from Target. 




What other items do you all have that you love to transition from season to season? What items would you like to see me transition? 

Thanks for reading and following along with me! 

Sandae

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Operation Christmas Child

On Sunday we had the opportunity to pack boxes for Operation Christmas Child. I will start by saying that if you're not familiar with this, go to www.samaritanspurse.org for more information. Samaritan's Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization that provides spirtitual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.

Operation Christmas Child is just one of the ways that this organization is helping around the world. People like us donate items and then wrap shoe boxes so that little kids can have Christmas all around the world. Since 1993, more than 100 million shoe box gifts have been collected for needy children around the world. This means if you stacked all 100 million show box gifts on top of each other, they would be 26 times higher than the Empire State Building! 

My friend Abby is a children's pastor at her church and she invited a few of us families to participate. We purchased small items like toothbrushes, soap, school supplies and small toys. Then we brought our donations to her church along with everyone else's and had a packing party. 

This was a lot of fun and we got our whole families involved in it too! We wrapped our boxes and then walked to the tables and picked out presents to put in our boxes. The kids were able to write letters too to put in their boxes. 

I hope you enjoy the pictures here and take some time this holiday season to help someone in need. 

Here's my friends Karen and Abby and myself getting ready to pack our boxes. 

I love that Karen's son was helping! 

Here's my son showing his letter to the child who gets his box. 

Here's Karen and her son with their completed box. 

My son and I show off our filled boxes. 

One of Abby's daughters shows her filled box. 

Here's Abby's son with his box. 

Here's Abby and her husband and their youngest daughter. 

My husband is showing his filled box. He also did a great job wrapping! 

Karen's son places the box in the stack. 

When it was all said and done, there were over 70 boxes packed that night! 

What a great cause! This was such a great experience to help with and was a fun time spent with friends. 

Thanks for reading and following along with me! 

Sandae

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Style: Feeling Foxy

Before the fox started talking (you will get this if you know pop culture), it was just an adorable animal. I saw this Old Navy sweater that I'm wearing and knew I had to have it. I love the personality that this fox has! Wearing glasses even! If you aren't into the whole wearing adorable creatures on your sweaters though, I've picked some other items that are just as foxy! 

Here's a super cute sleeper for the little girls in your life. Look at Toys R Us for this Carter's brand pink and white striped sleeper for $10. 

Or drink your wintry drinks out of this adorable fox mug from Pier 1 Imports for $8.00. 

Carry your fox with you in your purse with this cell phone case from Forever 21 for $7.80. 

Want your fox to be outside on your purse instead of hidden inside? Then this bag is for you. It's from aliexpress.com and retails for $7.00.

If wearing foxes isn't your thing at all, then enjoy the classic movie, The Fox and the Hound, from Walmart for $19.85. 

Here's some pictures of me feeling foxy on this Sunday. I'm wearing this sweater two different ways to give you an idea of how you can enjoy these delightful critters. 

My first look was for church on Sunday morning. I'm wearing my sweater from Old Navy with a pink gingham shirt from Joe Fresh at JC Penney. I'm also wearing my favorite black lace skirt from Macy's (mixing textures today) and gold glitter bow belt and leopard heels from Target. For accessories, I'm pairing my favorite pearls from JCrew Factory with my pave link bracelet from Target and my Phillip Lim for Target bag. This look is so fun and really dresses up the sweater. 




For afternoon and evening, I'm more casual so I threw on a favorite pair of jeans, boots from DSW and my herringbone vest from J Crew Factory. 




I hope you all had a wonderful Sunday! 

Thanks for reading and following along with me! 

Sandae