One is Silver and the Other’s Gold

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Look everyone! FLATS! It’s a HEAT WAVE! That’s right, it got all the way to 30 degrees yesterday, and no snow. Stop. The. Presses. So I put on my new silver shoes, along with my new rose gold watch (that fits my tiny wrist)! You guys know it’s OK to mix metals, right? I hope I’m not the first person to tell you that. The only people who will give you funny looks are some members of the over 60 crowd, but you probably give them funny looks for their capri pants and visors, so I say we call it even.

Watch* // Shoes “Kali” // similar Scarf (on sale) // similar Sweater (on sale) // similar Jeans (under $15) // other similar Jeans (in more sizes) // Sunglasses // Lips “Orange de Chine”

*Watch provided courtesy of Dainty Wrist Jewelry.

Warm Feet

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I don’t even remember the last time I wore anything besides boots. Somebody scroll back through the archives until you find it and then let me know. And then I’ll make fun of you for wasting so much of your time.

I’m willing to make a few sacrifices to my comfort for the sake of fashion, but a blister is one thing. Amputating a frostbitten foot is quite another. So boots it is.

Naturally, the best way to keep from being totally bored with wearing boots is to buy more boots. If you read my post yesterday, you know I’m trying to be better about my spending habits. But I’ll have you know I snagged these babies for just $40! So hold your judgment. Or don’t. It doesn’t matter…they were final sale and I already wore them.

similar Boots (on sale) // similar Jacket // Watch* // similar Shirt // Lips “Punch Drunk”

*Watch provided courtesy of Timex.

Budgeting Bloggers: January

January Budget Breakdown (Bloggers Who Budget)

Exciting news! This year I decided to join Fran’s “Budgeting Bloggers” group and share how I budget my shopping each month. To be clear, this is not a new year’s resolution. I don’t believe in them, mostly because I’m so close to perfect I rarely need to change or improve myself. I actually started keeping track of my shopping budget in April 2013. It has definitely been good for me to log what I spend, but I found I was regularly going over my budget and then trying to catch up the next month…and then doing that over and over again. So the next step to get better at this budgeting thing is to make myself accountable to someone besides myself.

That’s where Budgeting Bloggers comes in. Now I have to fess up to every dollar I spend, and the whole internet can see it! And even worse, my mom and my wife can see it. Yikes.

So before I tell you what I spent my money on in January ’14, I guess I should explain how I came up with my budget. Even before I started blogging (or making money from blogging), I estimate I spent $200-300/month on clothes, shoes, and accessories. Then I got figuratively punched in the face by a massive bill from my dentist. (“Dear Sarah, Remember when you got your wisdom teeth out last summer? Turns out we were wrong about your insurance…You owe us $2000. That’s not a problem, right?”) So with the extra $150 I now I had to pay toward my debt each month, I decided to cut down my “fun” spending to $150/month.

So. I start out each month with $150. But if I went over budget the month before, I subtract that from the $150. Before you get too sad, I also have the potential to add to my starting budget. I’ve been taking old clothes to a consignment shop, so when I get a check from them, I add that to my budget. Out with the old, in with the new! I also add any income I make from this blog, which includes commission from affiliate links and payment for sponsored posts. My goal by the end of this year is to make enough from my blog that it covers all my shopping!

Phew, that was a lot of numbers. Let’s look at some more numbers to find out how my budget worked this month!

January Budget

  • +$40 ($150 starting amount minus the $110 I overspent in December…I blame it on Christmas sales)
  • +$68 (sold clothes at local consignment shop)
  • +$211 (blog income)

          = $319

What I Spent

          =$340

Only $21 over budget…not too shabby! I’ll subtract that overage from my starting budget for February. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll also be including in my monthly budget posts any gifted items I receive. While these items don’t take away from my budget, they’re not exactly “free.” Like they say, there’s no such thing as a free lunch (or a free necklace)! I wouldn’t get complimentary items if it weren’t for all the work I put into this blog. Here are the perks I got this month.

What I Received

A Confession

I also bought one and a half suits at Ann Taylor this month. Since I’m working for a judge this semester, and hopefully I’ll have job interviews before too long, it was about time to grow my professional wardrobe a little. I decided not to apply these to my budget. They would have blown most of the month, and I see these pieces as investments in my future career so I don’t want to skimp on them. Don’t worry, I don’t plan on “cheating” like this again for a LONG time, if ever!

Here’s to a successful February! Be sure to check out Fran’s blog “Franish.” She’ll probably have her budget post up soon!

Winterize

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Winterize: you can do it to your car, and you can do it to your clothes. The former is a practical, grown-up thing to do, but like most practical, grown-up things, it’s totally lame and boring. So we’ll skip it. The latter is the fun one because it involves wearing clothes. I’m super good at wearing clothes. I practice almost every day.

I got this amazing t-shirt with rainbow carousel animals over the summer (let me say it again: RAINBOW. CAROUSEL ANIMALS. AMAZING.) and wore it quite a few times (see below). I saw no reason to put this baby into hibernation. All I had to do to winterize was add about 17 more layers. Tank underneath, sweater on top, tights, socks, jeans, boots, and (not pictured) a scarf, puffy coat, and ear muffs. Yeah, it’s pretty damn cold here. I actually took these photos the day before I wore the outfit because it was a comfortable 37 degrees, compared to the bone-chilling 5 degrees the next day.

January really puts things into perspective. Oh, and according to this article, I am allowed to complain about the cold. So I will continue to do so.

similar Shirt (horse print) // another similar Shirt (multi-color dot) // similar Sweater (on sale) // similar Necklace // similar Boots (on sale) // Bag (under $25) // Nails “Oui” // Lips (mine is a custom color from Bite Lip Lab, but try Cin Cin)

Summer, summer, summer, winter…It’s the real-life remix…

winterizeremix

Chamber of Secrets

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As I mentioned yesterday, I used both of my Black Out “passes” in the same outfit last week – and here’s that outfit. It was the first day of my new internship with a judge, so I wanted to dress more on the conservative side (or my version of it, anyway), plus it was frigid, so black tights and boots were pretty much a must. I’m so excited to have this great opportunity for my last semester of school, and I can tell already it’s going to be a fun and enlightening experience. The only problem is I can’t tell you much about it – I’m sworn to secrecy! But that’s OK…it just enhances my mystique. Because people who put pictures of themselves on the Internet everyday are SO mysterious.

Have a great week, everyone. If you’re crazy enough to challenge yourself to wear [almost] no black with me, be sure to share your photos with the hashtag #BlackOutStyle!

Jacket (on sale) // Skirt (on sale) // similar Boots // similar Shirt // Lips (mine is a custom color from Bite Lip Lab, but try Cin Cin)

Black Out Challenge Week 1: Complete!

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Coat // similar Shirt // similar Sweater // similar Jeans // similar Boots (on sale) // similar Necklace // Sunglasses // Lips

You know what I didn’t realize? That I would be struggling to complete not one, but TWO wardrobe challenges this month. Not only am I doing the Black Out challenge, I’m also doing the Don’t Freeze to Death challenge. Let me tell you, doing both of them at once is not easy. When you have to wear 2-3 layers and slush-appropriate shoes every day, it’s pretty hard to not wear any black. Granted, the Black Out co-host Nicole and I agreed there should be 2 passes per week allowed for tights, shoes, and subtle patterns. But I already took both my passes this week on Tuesday…didn’t have time to take photos of that outfit, but I’ll re-create it some other time. Like in the spring.

This outfit was the biggest struggle of all. I nearly gave up and stayed home, but I had brunch plans, and nothing stands between me and French toast. I had an internal debate with myself over whether this sweater was cheating, because up close it’s very clearly black and white yarn all mixed together. Finally I realized this was a totally insane thing to be worrying about. It’s a gray sweater. And the Black Out challenge is not about eschewing all neutrals, it’s just about not dressing like you’re going to a funeral when the weather is already depressing enough.

But enough about me and my problems. Let’s talk about all the people who tried the Black Out challenge this week! I hope the rest of you will consider joining in for the last week…Don’t forget about that adorable fox necklace you could win!

The Wind Beneath My Wings

Happy January 24th, everyone! Today is a special day. It just happens to be the birthday of the #1 most wonderful person in my life. Among her many charms is the fact that she takes a good portion of the photos you see here on Sarah’s Real Life. It’s not always how she would rather spend her time, but she does it because she’s my hero! I know how much she loves all the outtakes she captures between the “real” outfit photos, so because it’s her special day, I thought I’d share of few of them.

The theme of these bloopers is, appropriately, “the wind beneath my wings.” Enjoy.

fashion blogger bloopers

Getting in touch with my inner Marilyn.

fashion blogger bloopers

If the wind knocks me into that water, this dress functions as a sail.

fashion blogger bloopers

I could use a snack. Oh I know, how about my hair? Fabulous.

bloopers4

Oh my gosh, is that Michael Jackson?! Nope, just me.

bloopers5

And sometimes the wind blows me right out of the frame…Whoops!

bloopers6

This one’s kinda creepy…Doesn’t it look like a ghost is flipping up the end of my hair?! Maybe it’s Michael.

fashion blogger bloopers

Not even sure if this one was the wind, or just me doing something ridiculous. Either way it’s funny.

Happy Birthday, Kristin!

xoxo, Sarah