How to:

Make Sunday Night Better

1. Buy fresh, brightly colored flowers and spread them out in different vases around the house.

2. Do laundry (it's great to know you'll have clean clothes for the week).

3. Download some new music that will make the commute less mundane (thanks to my sister, I downloaded Justin Bieber...oh the horror!)

Loft Love

One Christmas season during grad school, I worked at the Loft. At the time, I spent all of my energy thinking about how much better J.Crew was. I thought to myself "J.Crew is more classic, has better quality, etc."

Then I became a teacher, and I realized that while J.Crew may be amazing, I really can't afford most of it. And even when I can afford it, most of the stuff left over isn't terribly flattering. I also needed to have clothes that are relatively professional, so I found myself shopping at the Loft again (and being really, really thankful). I think between J.Crew, Banana Republic, and the Loft, the Loft wins for creating professional clothes that I can afford and look relatively good on my body.

I've bought two things this month (including today's purchase). Two dresses from the Loft for less than a hundred dollars. Not bad, in my opinion.

This rambling brings us to the present point. Today, I had a $25 "savings card" from Ann Taylor Loft burning a hole in my purse today, so of course I ventured over to the store to spend as much money as I could, in the name of saving money. I found this dress, which is a real winner. With the savings card, dress discount of 30 percent off, I got my dress for thirty dollars.

A nice purple (dark enough to be conservative, but more interesting than black). The detailed flowers at the top are nice, and the bow can be tucked in if it gets on your nerves. Later, I'll just cut the excess material and sew the piece in. The little sash underneath the bust defines the waist but isn't obnoxious.

I was actually proud of myself. The boy was not necessarily proud of me, but he did say it looked nice. (And he is a pretty good critic of my purchases...meaning a lot of stuff goes back because he's just not a fan)

For some reason it's just hard for me to find a dress. Case in point, my sister and I ran around this town all last week trying to help me pick out a dress that I could wear for our engagement pictures. We couldn't find anything that was classic and flattering. I mean nothing, even at FULL PRICE. Fortunately, my sister has amazing taste, and she helped me put an outfit together from my closet.

Upcoming weekend

So the weekend has already gotten off to an interesting start. Today, I had to stop a fight between two of my very large students. Thank goodness that it didn't come to actual fighting, and was only a verbal confrontation. Otherwise, it would have been a disaster. I think the rain really does just agitate my students.

In other news, my sister can't come up this Friday to go to a show with me at the boy's law school, because she's sick. I feel so sad that she's not feeling well on this rainy weekend.

And our engagement shoot has been postponed from this weekend to a later date, because of all the rain. So it looks like the weekend is rearranging itself a bit.

Anyways, I'll just be happy to relax, return some things to stores, get my oil changed, and grade some papers. I need that kind of weekend.

What works?

I love to go shopping. I love looking at pretty things, and usually buy the "shiny" clothes that get my attention. I'm a sucker for all things pink. Just as I felt last year at this time, I feel like I'm in a fashion rut. It must be something about the spring. The summer is basically polos and skirts, which I'm content with. The winter is sweaters and the season seems well suited to the dark colors that I end up purchasing (because they're more flattering). However, in the spring I still need warmth, but I don't want the drab colors. And then it seems like all my bright colors are either an aqua blue or a raspberry pink. How can I not have something fun to wear? I certainly spend enough time thinking about it! Instead of making this a post simply about me whining, I thought I'd spend a minute or two to think about what works for me and my fairly practical wardrobe.

First up: J. Crew's three-quarter sleeve stretch shirt. I own this shirt in pink stripes, aqua, navy blue, and light blue. While it may seem like overkill, this is easy, comfortable and flattering for my body. It's classic for a reason.

Second up, I feel you can really never go wrong with a polo. I just noticed that J.Crew has a polo in this color, which I really find pretty.

Without fail, I find myself drawn to cardigans. I bought a black merino one from J.Crew a year and a half ago, and it may be one of the best buys yet. I wear it all the time, since my school is always so cold. Ann Taylor Loft also makes good cardigans that mimic the Jackie for a cheaper price.

J.Crew updated with new arrivals, and I find myself pulled to this cardigan. I like the ruffles and the color. I wonder what it will look like in real life. I'm stuck at school until late tonight, so hopefully I can check it out this weekend!

Birthday Presents

Yesterday, was my birthday, and my most fabulous sister (and one of my two readers) came up to see me to celebrate. I was reading online about wedding planning and how it's extremely stressful, and I feel so blessed because my sister and awesome fiance (my other reader) make it not an exercise in stress. Of course, there are lots of things to do, but I feel we've gotten a lot of the planning done. Illusions, I know. This weekend, my sister (and I'm going to sit and watch) are going to work on the reply cards to our invitations (We already finished the invitations). Holla! I love them. They are simple, silver border, with a monogram on the top, but perfect to me. I can't wait to send everything out. Really, I'm just looking forward to being married.

Also, the sale wedding china that I ordered came yesterday. I LOVE it. I'm actually surprised at how much I'm in love with it. Yesterday, when I took it out of the box, I just wanted to have a dessert party. The platinum stripes seem perfect against the white. Elegant, simple, fun and relaxed. I can't wait to actually use it! So in short, I'm feeling incredibly blessed this Friday. :)

Easy Appetizers

I don't really care for cooking. I know some people love it; I realize it's necessary, but I just don't see the point. I'm all for wanting to create food that people love; however, whenever I look for recipes I can't really find anything that seems that great. At this point, cooking just seems overrated.

So, a few teachers decided that we all need to bring appetizers to the faculty meeting, with an attached recipe and history of aforementioned appetizer. I find this activity difficult. I don't really eat appetizers, unless they come frozen from the store. The one appetizer that I do know, has meat in it, and my vegetarian self isn't going to be bringing that. The boy joked that I should do chips and dip. I wanted to do this myself.

A part of me just wanted to do a veggie tray and call it a day. But today, while browsing on Martha's website, I had a flash of inspiration: pita chips and humus. I can pretend to make the humus, and then I can just call the whole thing a day. A type of chips and dip.

Springing forward with Liberty of London

So a week ago, I saw an advertisement for Liberty of London for Target. And I got very excited, ready to go to the store (any excuse to go to Target!), but then I found out the launch wasn't until today. Fortunately, this was last week, so I didn't have very long to wait! Anyways, today I checked it out. I bought this dress, which amazingly I have the perfect pair of pink polka dot flip flops that match perfectly. I'm guessing this is when my obsession to own pink flip flops comes in handy; an easy guarantee that I will always have the correct footwear. So I bought the dress, but am still undecided. It's very bright, but the shape and fit are nice and comfy. I just don't know if I'll be able to walk around in so many flowers! While I love the thought of so many flowers, it might not be very classic. With a cardigan, and such matching cute flip flops, I think we may have a winner.

I bought this dress for my sister, because she loves yellow. I figured if she didn't like it, I could return it.

I'm really surprised how excited people seemed to be about the stuff. Lots of people were checking out the clothing, and this was in the afternoon. I am also shocked that they sold out of so many cute things online.

Wedding Things

So today I went and got fitted for my dress. I'm pretty sure that I will have to get it altered when it comes in, but at least I tried my best. It was pretty fun to get to wear the dress again. I definitely made a good choice with the dress. It's gorgeous.

I arrived downtown a bit early for my fitting, so I went to Caspari. I found a tray to hold napkins in the bathroom, which is somehow pretty close to our wedding colors (the picture is duller than the actual tray). While I'm not ecstatic about the gold, it will probably go well with the reception bathroom (which is tackiness personified).

In other news, I went to the Loft today, and got a raspberry colored dress that I may wear when the boy and I take pictures. I'm still undecided. The store was packed; I was amazed how excited people were over the deal (which I didn't think was that amazing)!

Spring Cleaning!

This past weekend, I visited my sister and we spent most of the weekend cleaning her apartment. She has a pretty small space, so it was exciting to help her make her apartment a bit better. Most of all, I just enjoyed spending time with her!

When I got back home on Sunday night, the boy came over and started pulling stuff out of my linen/junk closet. And thus began his spring break and apparently his spring cleaning! When I arrived home yesterday, I found that he had vaccumed my apartment, organized the laundry room, ran laundry and the dishwasher and even organized junk drawers! It was amazing. I feel I can really get behind his spring break! After seeing all of my junk first hand, I hope he's not too apprehensive about moving in with me.

In other news, I go for my wedding dress fitting for a diet that hasn't really kicked in...I have no clue if I'll actually be successful in losing weight. I'd like to think that I can be, but I'm scared to end up with a dress that is too small. That sounds like a meltdown if I ever heard of one. I've been dieting for a whopping 9 days, and I have to say it's still going, but that's about it. My amazing sister bought me new exercise clothes and pink weights so I should be all motivated, but reality is sometimes a different thing entirely!

So I got china on sale after all (thanks to Rue La La)

Yesterday, I noticed Rue La La was having a Kate Spade home sale, so of course I hurried over to check it out.

After consulting with my sister I ended up buying the Library Lane 20 piece set, for about 50 percent off! My family will give them to me as a wedding present. I'm so excited, because I hated the idea of paying 33 dollars for a plate. Somehow 15 dollars seems slightly better. I also like the Library Lane pattern, since the boy wasn't budging on the flowered one.

And on an impulse buy, I went ahead and got these toasting glasses. I think they're adorable, and hope that they will look as cute in real life. I'm not sure if I'll give them to a friend who is also getting married or keep them for myself. Decisions, decisions!