Friday, January 29, 2016

Winterizing a Dress

With the temperatures rising above freezing this week, I jumped at the opportunity to ditch the pants and wear a few skirts and dresses.

Some strategic layers made this summery dress January appropriate - I do love an item that's multi seasonal!

Jacket: Danier
Cardigan and dress: H&M
Leggings: old and unknown
Necklace: Express
Boots: Town Shoes
Hat: Gap

Three cheers for the crooked necklace!

I'm all about comfort dressing lately. I'm scared I might forget how to use zippers and buttons soon. Have a fabulous weekend! I'l be sharing my January buys next week!

Glitterary Girl

Monday, January 25, 2016

Smart Dressing

R: "You look smart."
Me: "I'm not sure how to take that? Do I usually look unintelligent?"

Sweater: H&M
Shirt: Gap
Jeans: Madewell
Scarf and Bracelet: Joe Fresh
Boots: Aldo

Can you believe I made it til mid-January without wearing my new winter boots? I was hoarding them and wearing my Hunters instead. I'm so glad I got these at the end of last season though. They are really comfy and warm, but not so clunky that I'm uncomfortable wearing them around the office for the day.

Glitterary Girl

Friday, January 15, 2016

Little Loves Lately: January 2016

Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics

Lately I've been gravitating towards matte neutrals on my eyes, which is a departure for me, as I used to be devoted to shimmer. This is the eyeshadow palette that I could use for a year and not get sick of.  Every single shade is completely wearable and you can wear just one, or mix them up. There's even a dark shade that can be used for a smokey eye or as an eyeliner with an angle brush. I like the size of the palette too. The larger Naked palettes aren't as easy to throw in a makeup bag and go. This will be the only eyeshadow I bring on the California trip.

The Zinger

I could use this thing on my head for hours! The only thing that would make it more amazing is if it were automated. I'm generally not much of a stressy person (except when it comes to winter driving), but on the odd occasion where I feel a bit tense, this WORKS to relax me.

Our New Bed

Even though we've been in our new house for over a year, we still have a long way to go in the decor department. We've ben super hesitant to put anything on the walls, and we still have to get the drywall cracks from settling repaired. We've made some progress on the main level by adding an area rug, throw, pillows, vases, and throws. The room I've really been itching to improve on is the master bedroom. I wish I had've taken a before photo to show you our old bed. We had two boxsprings on the floor with a mattress on top. This looks so much better! The next step is to get the Ikea night stands sorted out.

Bed: The Brick
Duvet Cover and pillows: Linen Chest

Enjoy your weekend!

Glitterary Girl

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Rushing Off

Grainy, hurried, indoor photos were all I had time for this weekend as we were rushing out the door to a phenomenal dinner our friends made for us. I must say, I enjoyed my cardigan's first wear, even though the wrists are too tight to check my Fitbit. 

I'm also rushing to write this post, because I'm trying to put bedding on our new bed and clean out my old nightstand. I've been doing a good job at decluttering and re-organizing so far this year, so must keep going!

Top: Forever 21
Jeans: Banana Republic
Necklace: Origami Owl
Bracelet: Michael Kors
Boots: Aldo

Glitterary Girl

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Currently 01.09.16

Reading: I've returned to an old habit- reading two books at once. When I was a kid it wasn't uncommon for me to have two or even three books on the go at any given point. The reason I've returned to doing this is that I got annoyed with bringing my book back and forth to work with me. I read on my breaks and now and then at lunch (Starbucks). So I'm reading on my Kobo at home, which is also treadmill friendly. My hard copy books are the ones I leave at work.
Since I've last posted a Currently, I've read these:
Sam's Letters to Jennifer - James Patterson
These was an easy read with a great ending. I've not read much by James Patterson, but I like his writing style.
If I Stay - Gayle Foreman
A YA book I've been meaning to read for quite a long time. I need to see the movie now.
Sharp Objects- Gillian Flynn
This was my favourite of the books I've recently read. It was definitely dark and kind of creepy, but it really held my interest.
Shopaholic to the Rescue- Sophie Kinsella
Another easy read, as are all the books in this series. They're so comforting as the characters are like family now - kind of like Harry Potter in that sense. Reading one of these is like hanging out with a friend.
The End of Your Life Book Club -Will Schwalbe
A great (true) story about a man's journey with his mom through her cancer diagnosis. They read books at the same time, and I got a lot of good ideas about books I'd like to read from the story.

Writing: Over the past few months I've been jotting down more ideas for novel two. I don't like to talk about my writing very much in the planning stages so I won't be revealing many specifics. I've got a broad plot outline and will be working on early chapter outlines in the next few weeks. I really don't have much time to work on it, so it'll be a super slow process. My blog posts have been less lately, the holidays being one reason. I might try to make my Instagram presence a bit more consistent. I received TWO selfie sticks for Christmas (one for home, one for the road) so I should try to take more outfit posts for Instagram.

The usual suspects: Whowhatwear, Facebook, on-line shopping, Bieber News.
I did some on-line shopping after Christmas. Some keepers, some being returned... I'll sum it all up at the end of the month as usual. Did you see what I bought in December and my yearly total?
I've become obsessed with my Fitbit app - in SUCH a good way.

I feel like I'm always "seeing" the same thing in these posts as I almost always write them at the kitchen table, looking out the window. I'm seeing the golf course covered in snow, three dying poinsettia plants, and $7 in winning lottery scratch tickets.

Mom's Apple Pie tea from Davids. My breakfast this morning was so yummy! One slice of toast with the thinnest layer of Cheez Whiz and Piller's Simply Free Smoked Breakfast Ham which logs in at 187 calories (I told you I'm addicted to my Fitbit app).

Motivated. The scale is finally moving. Three pounds down since Dec 30. My problem before was that I was exercising, but not really accounting for calories going in. "Oh I'm exercising, so I can eat whatever... " So. Not. True. Lately I've actually been stepping back a bit from the exercising to get an idea of what my usual day to day calorie burn is. I've been keeping exact record of calories in via my Fitbit app and in order to get back down to my usual weight, I'm operating on a -500 cal/day deficit. Once I get a better idea of my calories in and out when I'm not exercising hard-core, I'll get back to exercising, knowing that I'll have to up my calories at that point to stay on track.

Here's an easy to read article talking about exercise vs food intake.

We've been catching up on Grey's Anatomy. I'm almost finished Season 3 of Orange is the New Black. I watched Wild and Still Alice over Christmas holidays - in both cases I read the book first.  The Bachelor has returned! My early favourites are Olivia and Jojo. I also burned through so many DVRed eps of The Social while I was baking/cooking/cleaning over the holidays.

Lulu pants, sweatshirt, slippers.

Football highlights on the TV. Fascinating.

Vacation! We booked a VRBO for the first time. Flights to LA were actually reasonable. Although we always travel on points, we still have to pay the balance of a flight greater than $750 and the taxes. Our flights were base fare under $750, which was nice!
We're also putting together our new bed today! I can't wait to see what it looks like. Our bedroom was defiantly the room that needed the most work in our house. We had a mattress sitting on two boxsprings for the past 15 months. I got new bedding for a steal at Linen Chest last week - half price! We ordered new nightstand tables from Ikea and we got two sheepskins for Christmas.

Follow me on Instagram! @jennifermerlin14

Glitterary Girl

Monday, January 04, 2016

My Monthly Purchases: December 2015

Every month, I break down my clothing expenses and share them. I used to have a monthly budget, but partway through 2014, I switched to a quarterly budget of $500. This can be rolled into the next quarter if it's not all spent. My goal is to keep my out of pocket expenses within $2000 a year. Gifts and gift cards don't count towards my budget.

This month, I saved all of my shopping for after Christmas. Everything below was bought in the span of two hours. A bad cold has seriously affected my activities. Normally I'd have been all over the place catching deals by the time Jan. 4 has rolled around. I just haven't felt up to it. I did buy some things online which haven't arrived yet. They will go into my January budget if I keep them. 

Sweater: Club Monaco
Reg $130, on sale for $25
This sweater is blindingly white and really soft. I think I'll be able to dress it up or down.

Hat: Club Monaco
Reg $80, on sale for $13
This was too cozy and warm to leave on the shelf.

Sweater: Wilfred Free by Aritzia
Reg $95, on sale for $90 (used $50 gift card won from HSC= $40)
I've been eyeing this sweater for months. I struggled with what color to get, but black won in the end. I like how long it is in the back, and you can actually wear it upside down for a different look.

Sweater: TNA by Aritzia
Reg $35, on sale for $32
The closest thing to a hug is this sweater. It is soooooo soft. My basic grey sweatshirt has passed its prime, so this is a replacement item.

Shirt: Banana Republic
Reg $124, on sale for $26
Fringe is my favourite! The bottom edge on this blouse is so fun. What a steal at $100 off!

Shirt: Banana Republic
Reg $50, on sale for $13
One can never have too many long sleeved grey tees.

Original value of items: $514
Price I paid: $149
I saved 71%

I stayed within my $2000 budget for the year, and I'm rolling ahead $63 to next year. I'm still on the hunt for a gold watch, and once I get back down to my usual weight, I want a new pair of jeans. My next quarter ends in March, and we'll be going to LA, so I hope I can hold off on a lot of my spending until then!

I did get a few fashion things for Christmas, but I'll save those for style posts. I hope you found some great post-holiday sales too!

I've never done this before, but I decided to tally up what I would have spent this year on clothing if everything I bought was full-price. This year's total is... $5835. I'm really glad I have an eye for sales...

Glitterary Girl