Thursday, June 30, 2011

to splurge or not to splurge?

As you know, I love a good bargain, but with a fantastic price doesn't always come great quality. How many times have you bought something from forever 21, only to wear it twice and then have the zipper break? Don't get me wrong, I worship forever 21, but there comes a time when you're shopping for basic staples that you actually want to last, and that's when you have to ask yourself, to splurge or not to splurge?

Here are my dos and don'ts of splurging, because when you try to stretch your paychecks as far as they can, this kind of stuff really matters.

DON'T Splurge On:

1) Workout clothes - yes, I know, you want to look cute everywhere you go, but at the gym? if people are paying attention to what you look like then clearly they aren't focusing on what they went there to do. Yes I don't want to to look like a total slob when I workout, but I don't need to drop $45.00 on a cute workout top to achieve that.

Soffe shorts are like $7.99 and come in every color imaginable, pair them with a free t-shirt you got on campus, and hello, that's all you need to work out in! If you must, cut the t-shirt to be off the shoulder and match your sports bra to shorts!

But I do have an exception, you NEED a good pair of running shoes to prevent injuries, skip the ones that are mainly to look cute and make sure your arch and ankles are supported. 

2) Going out clothes - this is why stores like forever 21 and charlotte russe were invented! when you go out, you take lots of pictures and go to crowded parties where people spill things on you. Thanks to facebook, what you wear every weekend is documented and no one wants to be called an outfit repeater,  so instead of spending around $70 on a hot dress from Bebe, get three from forever! Plus if your $22.00 dress gets ruined due to sloppiness, who cares? you were really only going to wear it twice anyways :) 

3) Swim suits - see "don't underestimate wal-mart" post for a bikini that was $12.00 and is adorable. swim suits stretch out, fade in the sun, get all fuzzy from sitting on the edge of the pool, you get the picture. target and wal-mart have adorable swimsuits that are $30 and under and at that price you can get three new ones every summer for the price of one designer or victoria's secret suit. 

DO Splurge On: 

1) Good jeans - When you find that pair of jeans that makes your butt look amazing, is the perfect wash, and doesn't give you muffin top? go ahead, buy them. Good jeans are something you KNOW you'll wear and you want ones that will actually last you. I tried on a pair of J-Brand jeggings at work the other day, instantly fell in love and when I put my $17.00 forever jeggs back on, I thought I was actually wearing sandpaper. Yes, the jeggings are $118.00 (originally around $160.00 but marked down for the nordy's anniversary sale!) but I know that they'll last and that I'll wear them twice a week in the fall and winter. Look for ones in a dark wash and that are boot cut, you can wear boot cuts with heels and boots (duh) and they look great with flats and will never go out of style. 

2) Handbag - you can tell a lot about someone from their handbag, I'm not going to lie, when I see someone with LV stamped all over their purse I automatically think, oh they have a lot of money, and instantly see their outfit as expensive, when really they could be rocking a dress from american eagle. a well structured, basic handbag can really make an outfit look more expensive and when they're made out of study material, they'll last forever. I'm craving this longchamp bag, it's only $145.00 which to me is a lot to part with, but compared to other designer handbags is nothing, and I know it'd be great to tote my books to the library in.

3) Hair styling tools - Chi straighteners. once you've used one, you never want to use your con-air $24.99 flat iron again. Around $100.00, chis are expensive, but I've had mine for over 3 years and it still works just as perfectly as it did the day I got it. cheap hair tools can ruin your hair, look for ones with ceramic plates that help protect hair from heat damage, because if you're like me and have been trying to grow your hair out for the past two years, you want all the protection you can get. 

Be smart shoppers<3

Thursday, June 23, 2011

too fresh

I ran into a friend from school at a party the other weekend and he was super excited to tell me about a new project he and some of his other friends have started. It's called Too Fresh Clothing and their new products just came out on the 21st! 

My friend is a graphic designer and an amazing artist so he put his talents to good use and created fun logo t-shirts for an inexpensive cost! 

On their website the boys state  "Too Fresh Clothing is more than just a clothing brand, it's a life style. Inspired by New York City and the urban environment we strive to provide our customers with the latest fashion and trends. What started off as a basement operation grew to a successful brand. With plans to expand to hoodies, hats and many other products in the near future be sure to check back for updates."

I especially like the clever NY skyline/bar code t-shirt $14.99, 

Imagine it paired with black leggings and chucks, hello cute comfy outfit to hit the stacks in! 

Ever heard of the naked undie run? Where people run a mile in their underwear? Well the boys are going to create t-shirts for the event and I think I might have talked my friend into making boyshorts for the girls. Undies that say Too Fresh on your cheeks? I'm sold. 

Check out the ambitious and talented boys' work at

I think they're worth a look and keep an eye out, I think they're on to something! 

mint chocolate chip cupcakes

This mint chocolate chip cupcake turned out to be the best cupcake I've ever made. The cake was super moist, the frosting fluffy, and the chocolate and mint balanced each other out perfectly.

If you like mint chocolate chip ice cream, this is going to be your new favorite cupcake.

I learned today that you CANNOT use the same baking powder your mom keeps in the fridge to keep it smelling clean to bake with, thanks to my little brother who was intelligent enough to read the label on the box before I added the teaspoon and 1/2 into my cake batter. Thanks Al<3 

I added 5 drops of green food coloring and 2 drops of yellow into the frosting mix to make the buttercream frosting the mint green color, these pictures don't do the color justice. I also added a little bit of extra mint extract than the recipe called for to add more kick into the frosting. 

Finally I topped it off with chocolate chips and an Andes chocolate mint candy for garnish. 

Although they're chocolate cake based, the mint frosting makes these a perfect summer cupcake because the flavor is so light! 

I adopted the recipe from

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

one for one

TOMS has done it again! Given us an excuse to shop for cute stuff that supports a worthy cause!

TOMS unveiled its new one for one product last week and surprise! It's sunglasses! (If you aren't familiar with their shoe line, check out my post a few days down and learn about their adorable footwear.) While the company donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair you buy, their sunglasses have a totally new program.

For every pair of sunglasses you buy, TOMS will help someone in need who has poor eyesight by either

1) giving them medical treatment 

2) providing eyeglasses

3) paying for sight saving surgery

The generosity of the company seriously amazes me. As someone with terrible eyesight, I'm a -7.5 in one eye and a -6.75 in the other, I know how terrible it is to not be able to see with corrective vision. Eye surgery, medical treatment, even just glasses can truly change someone's life. Imagine if you weren't able to see when you woke up, we take so much for granted everyday and just one pair of sunglasses can change someone's life.

The sunglasses are a little more than I would usually spend on a pair, ranging from $135.00 to $145.00 but I honestly think it's worth it just because of the cause. I haven't tried a pair on yet, but I'm planning on getting the aviators with my next paycheck.

They come in three classic styles but in a variety of tints and frame colors.




I hope that TOMS charity inspires you to either support their cause or even just think about supporting another worthy cause <3 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

don't underestimate wal-mart

I am a student at JMU and we have a Wal-Mart Superstore right next to campus, I know what you're thinking, Wal-Mart is just a cheap place to buy shampoo and they have gross clothes. WRONG. Freshman year my friends and I became obsessed with wally world because none of us had cars and we could walk to it from the dorm.

It has great solid swimsuits, scarves, stretchy headbands, and yes, even going out clothes.

Check out some of my best wally finds and be amazed.

OP bikini, $6.00 top, $6.00 bottom

my dress - Miley Cyrus, $12.00, my friend's top - Miley Cyrus, around $8.00

Scarf - $5.00 

Pirate costume t-shirt - Little boy's department, $10.00

No one would ever guess that any of those clothes are from Wal-Mart because they're so cute! I don't care where I get my clothes from so I'll admit that they came from a discount superstore, but if you don't want to spill your secret you can always pass it off as being from Forever 21. 

Wally also has great solid white v-neck shirts, I buy men's size small and wear them around the dorm or with leggings and a cute scarf. 

Need a t-shirt for a theme party? Check out the little kid's section, they have band t-shirts perfect if you're going to a stereotypes party and want to be a punk rocker, or need a cute tee to wear for St. Patricks' Day.

The men's section also has great sweatpants, (complete with pockets!) for only $5.00 and my girls and I from freshman year stocked up on men's button down henelys, so cute with leggings and boots for winter. 

So don't underestimate the things you can find at Wal-Mart! Who doesn't love a good bargin? 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

do the pretty girl rock

It's Thursday, so you're probably starting to think about your weekend plans!

I love music, I always have it playing because I hate not having background noise. When I'm getting ready to go out is my favorite time to listen it because it just gets me pumped for the night ahead! I have certain playlists that just generate a feel-good mood and make me want to dance, perfect prelude to a fun night.

Don't have a playlist of your own to get ready to? Here's my top ten songs that will have you dancing as you put on your mascara and strap on your heels. Yes, some of them are older, but they still have the same effect!

1) Good Girls Go Bad - Cobra Starship ft. Leighton Meester

2) I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas

3) 143 - Bobby Brackins

4) Like a G6 - Far East Movement

5) Super Bass - Nicki Minaj

6) Tik Tok - Ke$ha

7) Cheers - Rhianna

8) If I Had You - Adam Lambert

9) Till The World Ends - Britney Spears

10) Pretty Girl Rock - Keri Hilson

Add these to your i-tunes ASAP!

Monday, June 6, 2011

lemon blueberry cupcakes

I'm a chocolate lover but today I decided that I should do a summery cupcake, so I went to my favorite recipe blog, annie's eats, and saw this recipe for lemon blueberry cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting.

I was a little disappointed with the way the frosting turned out, it was a little runny and the cream cheese taste was a little overpowering, but my mom says it tastes good! The cake is delicious, if a blueberry muffin and a lemon cupcake had a baby, this would be it.

Don't worry if you don't see any blueberries on top! They'll show up on the sides :)

Garnish with blueberries! I love the blueberry stains on the side :) 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

shoes for a cause!

Toms are sweeping department stores and college campuses everywhere this year. I saw tons of them on campus last semester but wasn't convinced that I needed a pair until I started working at Nordstrom and every single one of my coworkers had a pair!

If you've seen my previous posts, I'm a Chuck Taylors girl all the way so I figured I wouldn't wear another pair of sneakers until the new summer line of Toms came out the last week of May, it's adorable! I ended up getting an off-white crocheted pair, perfect for summer!


Not only are these shoes super comfortable, but for every pair that you buy, a pair is donated to a child in need, how amazing is that!? 



What better way to justify shopping than the fact that it helps a good cause!? There are tons of other patterns on the Toms website, check it out!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

fedora frenzy

Sooo, I've been MIA for awhile, but I do have a good reason! I got a job at Nordstrom working in the BP department but I work basically every day so I've been slacking on the blogging!

One of the best parts about working at Nordstrom is not the discount (we only get 20% off), but the people watching. I love looking at the outfits that my coworkers and shoppers put together, and while some of them are decked out in designer (I play spot the LV bag on my lunch break) their outfits inspire me to create the same look for less! 

Aside from designer handbags, one trend I keep seeing is fedoras.

I've never been a hat girl, but after seeing so many I figured I might be able to pull it off. I bought one from the BP section at Nordstrom and I wore it to work yesterday with a black and tan patterned dress belted at the waist with a tan and brown belt, army green jacket, and those black sandals that look like slouchy boots and got tons of compliments! 

This is the one I got from Nordstrom for $18, except mine is black straw with a tan bow! 

Forever 21, $6.00

Forever 21, $10.60

Super cute and cheap, I don't know why I've never bought one before! Just toss them on with a cute dress and sandals, or skinny jeans and a t-shirt and you have the perfect "oh I just threw this together but I still look amazing" thing going on!