Twisted Sisters

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similar Shirt (on sale) // Pants (under $30) // similar Bag* // Shoes* (on sale) // similar Cutout Bracelet // similar Pearl Bracelets (on sale) // Lips

I wore this on a Thursday night a couple weeks ago to go out for drinks (Thirsty Thursday! Half-price cocktails – woot!) and then went to a little blogger party at a local gift shop. The shop, Twisted Sisters, is actually pretty close to my apartment, and I had driven by it countless times on my way to class or work downtown. But you know how it is – sometimes there are places you know exist but you never visit because you don’t have the time or the reason. But free snacks and booze? Yep, that’s reason enough for me!

Like most gift shops, the theme of Twisted Sisters seems to be “random stuff.” Luckily, it’s a very well curated assortment of random stuff. Meaning that if you need a gift for someone (including yourself)…you might actually find it there. And that’s something that can’t be said for a lot of those obnoxiously kitschy gift shops. Here are a few of my favorite things I spotted while sipping my cab sauv at Twisted Sisters:

embellished collar shirt, black ponte pants, gray steven mules, snakeskin clutch, indianapolis blogger

Bags and accessories? You know I had to put these first.

embellished collar shirt, black ponte pants, gray steven mules, snakeskin clutch, indianapolis blogger

They also had a great assortment of local goodies. Indy pride!

embellished collar shirt, black ponte pants, gray steven mules, snakeskin clutch, indianapolis blogger

And what gift shop would be complete without some initialed home decor and non-traditional greeting cards?!

If you live in the Indianapolis area and find yourself on Binford’s North End, I can definitely recommend stopping by Twisted Sisters. (There’s a Starbucks just across the parking lot, if that helps.) And if you don’t live around these parts, why not stop by a new small business in your own neck of the woods this week?

Thanks to Twisted Sisters for sponsoring this post! Find out more about them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

*Bag purchased with gift card provided courtesy of H&M; shoes purchased with gift card provided courtesy of Shopbop.

Budgeting Bloggers: September

September Budget Breakdown


Ah, September. The month where magazines gets thicker, and it’s time to buy all of the fashion. And this year, it was also the month where I found myself still unemployed and with a dwindling savings account. Great timing, huh? It was the perfect time to start a Le Tote subscription (you can read more about that here): I wore fun new stuff practically every day I left the house, and I barely paid anything for it! And, of course, I did take advantage of a couple sales and added some more permanent pieces to my closet. With all that, plus a few gifted items, it really wasn’t so painful being on an extra budgety budget this month. Here’s how it all worked out…

My Budget:

  • +$150 (normal starting amount)
  • +$20 (returned a bracelet I bought last month and never wore)
  • +$33 (sold old clothes)
  • [note: I did have blog income this month, but I didn’t add it to my budget like I usually do – willpower!]

            = $203

What I Spent:

            = $206 (total retail value: $302)

What I Received:

See the other Budgeting Bloggers over at Franish!

Budgeting Bloggers: August

August Budget Breakdown

It’s the end of another month (can you believe it?!) so it’s time for another budget report. I’m proud to say I came in under budget again this month. But…I did get a couple things for my beach trip (a bathing suit, shorts, and coverup) that I didn’t include. Because I forgot. But let’s just call those one-offs. I’m not going to beat myself up about it because I got a little birthday money that I didn’t spend. Moral of the story is: let’s call it even. On to the deets:

My budget:

  • +$157 ($150 starting budget plus $7 not spent in July)
  • +$122 (blog income)
  • +$46 (sold old clothes)


What I spent:

           =$318 (total retail value: $638)

What I received:

As always, I’m linking up with the other Budgeting Bloggers over at Franish!

My Kind of Outdoorsy

Guess what? I’m on my way to the beach today! No, I’m not trying to rub it in your face. At least not in this post. Later in the week and on Instagram I totally will rub it in your face, though. Today I’m actually looking ahead to the one thing that will make me happy to come home from the beach: WARMfest! Indiana is very into festivals. Popcorn festivals. Covered bridge festivals. We’ll festivate anything. I’m usually more of an art and wine festival kind of girl, but last year WARMfest opened my eyes to the world of outdoor music festivals. It was so much fun, and I can’t wait to go again. Naturally, I’m already thinking about what to wear. When you’re going to be outside in the summer for an extended period of time you have to be strategic, and I think I’ve figured out the recipe for the ultimate festival outfit…

Summer Festival Style

1. Maxi dress. It’s less binding than jean shorts. Breezy, breathable, comfortable. And maxi is better than mini, because if you’re going to spend any time sitting on a blanket, you don’t want to worry about who’s seeing your business. A tank top and maxi skirt works too.

Dresses: Soft JoieSplendidBB Dakota

2. Straw hat. Style and function! Don’t be the girl with the sunburn along her hairline (not that I would know anything about that). Straw is a good option (as opposed to a baseball cap, for example) because it still lets in a little airflow.

Hats: Eugenia KimBop Basics (#2 & #3)

3. Delicate jewelry. I don’t know about you, but I feel naked without accessories. And public nudity is generally frowned upon. So being out in the heat is no excuse not to add some jewelry – it’s just not the best environment for heavy, chunky stuff.

Necklaces: House of Harlow 1960Jules Smith (#2 & #3)

4. Flat sandals. If you do a Google image search for “Coachella fashion,” you’ll see a lot of girls in chunky boots. I don’t know if that’s badass, or just idiotic. Don’t be a hero. Wear comfortable, non-sweat-inducing shoes at an outdoor festival.

Sandals: Laidback LondonSoludosIpanema

Other necessities include sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hands-free bag.

WARMfest details for my fellow Hoosiers: In case I didn’t make it clear, WARMfest is awesome. This year it runs from Friday, Aug. 29 through Monday, Sept. 1, in Broad Ripple Park. A basic weekend pass is $75, or you can get individual day tickets for $10-35 depending on the day (buy tickets here). You can find the whole band lineup here, but it doesn’t even matter if you’ve never heard of any of the bands. Last year there was only 1 that I knew, and it was still fun. Plus, the food truck situation is on point. Come hungry!

Disclosure: All of the products included above are from Shopbop. Shopbop did not specifically sponsor or pay me for this post, but I do have a partnership with Shopbop. In addition, WARMfest is providing me with media passes in exchange for coverage of the event (but I would have been going anyway!)

Shopping Day

madewell parkline dress cobalt, mint belt, target d'orsay flats, fit and flare dress madewell parkline dress cobalt, mint belt, target d'orsay flats, fit and flare dress madewell parkline dress cobalt, mint belt, target d'orsay flats, fit and flare dress madewell parkline dress cobalt, mint belt, target d'orsay flats, fit and flare dress

I’ll wait until the end of the month to do my big shopping roundup as usual, but I actually spent almost my entire budget on August 1. What can I say? I had just finished the Bar and I was ready to treat myself. I do a lot of online shopping, so it’s been awhile since I actually spent a day at the mall going from store to store trying things on. (It’s actually pretty fun. You should try it sometime. Sorry, Internet.)

But when I DO go on a big shopping excursion, I dress accordingly. Shoes that slip on and off easily; no jewelry that’s going to get caught in things; and preferably a dress like this one that zips so I don’t have to pull anything over my head and mess up my hair. OK, so the belt’s not that practical, but a girl has to accessorize, right? Right.

similar Dress // similar Shoes // similar Belt (on sale) // similar Sunglasses // similar Bracelet // Lips “Unapologetic” (on sale)

Shopbop for Broke People

Shopbop under $100

Well, I’ve been doing this whole blogging thing for a couple years now, so from time to time I get offers to partner with retailers with varying levels of repute. Recently I hit the jackpot when Shopbop asked to partner with little ol’ me! That means I’ll get to grab a few new things each month courtesy of Shopbop, I’ll wear them, and I’ll share them with you via outfit posts as usual. Of course Shopbop is hoping you’ll click on the links to shop, but you can do whatever you want! No pressure.

If you’re like most people, you probably either (a) have never heard of Shopbop, or (b) think it’s all million-dolla (yeah, I said “dolla”) designer stuff. True, there’s a lot of fancy crap on that site. But they actually have plenty of reasonably priced goodies that you might not find elsewhere. I figure most of my lovely followers (that’s you guys) are in the same boat as I am. And that boat is a raft, not a yacht. So you better believe I’ll be picking some of the things above when I put in my order!

If you do want to see what Shopbop has to offer (again, no pressure), I recommend checking out:

  • The reasonably priced line JOA (the black dress and embellished skirt above, both $78, are from this line).
  • The blue striped dress above, which is on sale for $50!
  • Madewell! Yes, select items (like the Paris tee above) from one of my favorite stores can be found on Shopbop. This is great news when Madewell’s website is sold out of something you want. 🙂
  • Some shoes like Splendid sandals, Kate Spade sneakers, and Jeffrey Campbell flats (my favorites are pictured above) are mostly under $100.
  •  Baggu leather clutches. That adorable yellow one is only $54!
  • Jewelry by Adia Kibur (like the reversible earrings above), Shashi (rose gold ring), and Kate Spade (love bracelet). All my selections are under $50.

Enjoy your weekend, folks. I’ll be sure to let you know what I end up selecting for my first Shopbop order! Thanks as always for your support.

Budgeting Bloggers: July

July Budget Breakdown

Well, if there’s one bright side to spending all of July studying, it’s that it kept me from blowing my budget! I mean there was no point in buying a ton of new clothes when I was spending most of my time at home in sweats. But let’s not talk about the Bar anymore – IT’S OVER! Instead, let’s take a look back at the good part of July: the shopping.

My budget:

  • +$93 ($150 starting budget minus $57 overspent in June…whoops)
  • +$103 (blog income)
  • +$32 (sold old clothes)


What I spent:

           =$221 (total retail value: $581 (I’m awesome))

What I received:

  • Rainbow pastel watercolor Moroccan tote bag courtesy of Redbubble
  • Jeff Koons for H&M balloon dog bag courtesy of H&M
  • I also won the orange suede sandals pictured above from Shoemint! Lucky me!

As usual, I’m linking up with the other Budgeting Bloggers at Franish.

Budgeting Bloggers: June

June Budget Breakdown

If you’ve ever worried about the future of the Ann Taylor/Loft company, fear not. I will single handedly keep them in business. Here’s my budget confession report for June 2014.

My Budget:

  • +$126 (starting budget $150, minus $24 overspent in May)
  • +$104 (sold old clothes – you can read more about how I do that here)
  • +$143 (blog income)

      = $373

What I Spent:

      = $430 (total retail value: $885)

As you can see, I went $57 over my budget this month. But the thing is… HEY! WHAT’S THAT OVER THERE?!?! I THINK IT’S A DISTRACTION!

Thanks as always for following along! Check out the other budgeting bloggers over at Franish.


How to Clean Out Your Closet Without Regrets

Uh oh, Sarah’s about to give advice to tens of people across the Interwebs. What’s she up to this time?

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to quit your job and go to law school (what kind of crazy person would do that?!). I’m going to stick to a slightly less life-altering subject: cleaning out your closet. Since I started doing my monthly budget posts and mentioned how I’ve been selling old clothes to fund new ones, I’ve had at least 3 people ask me for details on 2 different but sometimes related issues:

#1: How do you decide what to get rid of?

#2: How do you make money off your old clothes?

Now before I get into the nitty gritty, a disclaimer: This advice isn’t for everyone. Some people only go shopping a couple times a year and/or have a well-edited (read: small but functional) wardrobe. Those people don’t need help getting rid of stuff.

But for the shopaholics (like yours truly) and hoarders, you might want to take notes.

All of these tips are things I’ve learned myself over the past few years. I used to have a lot of trouble letting go of old things, but at the same time I couldn’t stop buying new things. This kind of behavior makes for an excellent best-selling book series and blockbuster movie, but in real life it leads to buyer’s remorse and a messy, overstuffed closet full of things you don’t wear.

I tried to get on board with the whole “build a wardrobe of basics” thing but then I remembered that I hate basics. For me, there is no goal of a “complete” closet. The way I see it, a complete closet is as ridiculous an idea as a complete music collection: You could get an album of every kind of music there is, but there will be times when none of those albums is what you want to listen to. There will always be new artists and new music to try. And sometimes an album you loved 5 years ago isn’t going to resonate with you anymore. See where I’m going with this?

It took an embarrassingly long time for me to figure it out, but the best option for me is to have a freely rotating closet: when new things come in, old things need to go out. As a bonus, when you learn to let go of things that are relatively new and still in great shape, you can sell those things to help pay off your new things! 

Let’s get down to business with Question #1: How do you decide what to get rid of? These are the 8 reasons I generally have for pulling things off their hangers:

clean out your closet, closet purge, what clothes to get rid of, what clothes to keepBackground image source (CC license)

Anything that falls into that first category (stained, damaged, etc.) can’t be sold, but you shouldn’t be wearing gross stuff like that anyway. Cut it up to use as rags or something.

Everything else could potentially find a new owner, whether you sell or donate. But first, here are the only 3 valid excuses I can think of to keep an otherwise purge-able item:

clean out your closet, closet purge, what clothes to get rid of, what clothes to keepBackground image source (CC license)

I’ll clarify that last point with an example: Maybe you bought a nice suit for an interview one time, but you haven’t worn it since. One day you might need a suit again, and a nice one is expensive. If it still fits, you might want to keep it just so you don’t have to drop a couple hundred dollars again. Or maybe you have one nice cocktail dress but you’re more of a jeans girl. Same kind of deal – you might as well keep the one you have for when you need it.

Notice that “you spent a lot of money on it” is NOT one of the excuses. A too-small pair of Louboutins that you managed to find on clearance for $200 is worth $0 sitting on the floor of your closet. There’s someone in the world with smaller feet who would be happy to pay you for those so you can buy something better.

Alright. Now a little bit about Question #2: How do you make money off your old clothes? I’ve had the most luck with consignment and resale stores.

I started off at a traditional consignment boutique: You bring in your stuff, they accept what they want, and you make a percentage if it sells within a certain amount of time. If not, you can get your stuff back. I had more luck with bags, shoes, and accessories at a traditional consignment store. I think my clothes didn’t sell that well because I’m much smaller than average size.

A few months ago, I switched to a resale boutique that pays cash on the spot. Most people have heard of Plato’s Closet, but they only buy “teen” clothing so they’re not interested in your fabulous Ann Taylor dress. But with a little internet research, I found several resale options for actual adults near me. (To find these places in your area, Google something like “women’s resale fashion [your city].”) I’ve had better luck with these places because I can actually make money off my clothes, not just accessories.

A lot of consignment and resale shops will say they only sell “designer” goods, but don’t let that discourage you. I’ve taken A LOT of clothes to these places – sometimes I’m surprised at what they want, and sometimes I’m surprised at what they don’t want. If one place turns you down, try another one (or even try the same one a month later…seriously). It might just be a matter of what they already have too much of in stock.

The latest trend in resale is the Poshmark app. I won’t try to give a ton of advice about this one because I’ve only used it once, but I was successful! I think Poshmark is a good way to go if you have a designer item that people would actually seek out and pay big bucks for. I sold a used marc by Marc Jacobs bag on Poshmark for $120. Poshmark takes a 20% commission, but $96 is a lot more than I could have gotten if I had sold it to my usual resale place. My advice is to start your price pretty high, then gradually lower it until someone bites – it worked for me! Just Google “Poshmark” if you want more info about it; there are tons of reviews out there.

OK, guys. That’s it. I hope those 3 people who asked me these questions feel fully informed now. More questions? Your own advice? Leave them in the comments! Maybe you’ll inspire a future post. And pretty please: If there are any shopaholics and hoarders in your life, share this with them on Facebook. Or if you want to be passive aggressive about it, just pin it on Pinterest and hope they see it.

Beach, Please

Beach, Please

I stayed in bed until noon today. NOON. It was amazing. With no school stuff on my to-do list, my #1 priority was snuggling with my cat. I have a few more carefree days before I start my prep classes for the Bar Exam. The light at the end of that tunnel of stress is Kristin’s promise that we’ll take a beach vacation this August.

Growing up in North Carolina, I used to go to the beach every summer, but it’s a little harder in Indiana. I haven’t been in a few years and I CANNOT WAIT. So naturally I’m already preparing for our trip. I’m usually a high-maintenance traveler, but this is pretty much everything I’ll need for fun in the sun:

  • A new bikini.* I just picked up this top & bottom set from H&M. I love the mesh overlay and silver accents. I don’t like to spend a lot of money on bathing suits when they’re just going to get covered in sand and salt (or chlorine if you’re at the pool). Every year or 2 I pick up a new one just to switch it up. H&M had a TON of options in all different colors. They would be fun to mix and match too.
  • A bright beach bagYou need something to hold all this other crap, right? And I’m not about to take any of my nice leather totes out into the elements. I saw a lot of cute summery bags at Target recently, and I think this bright green straw one is my favorite.
  • Big, cheap sunglasses. I realized recently that super oversized sunglasses don’t look that great on me. But at the beach, who cares? I just want to enjoy some sunshine without getting more wrinkles around my eyes. And if I end up dropping them in the ocean, I won’t be heartbroken. (Not that I would litter, but you know what I mean.)
  • Reading materialI’m pretty excited about reading something not law-related. I know they say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but that’s exactly what attracted me to the book “Flappers.” It’s a biography of six different women in the 1920s. And the art deco style cover tells me it’s going to be awesome.
  • A big, floppy hat.* Just because it looks fabulous.
  • Spray-on sunscreen. I always manage to miss a spot, but I do best with spray-on sunscreen rather than lotion. I put it on before I even put on my suit and just spray back and forth across my whole body.  The stronger the SPF, the better. The lobster look is not sexy, nor is skin cancer.
  • Cool beach towel. How cool is this Nate Berkus towel from Target?! And it even matches my new bikini. I’ll be coming for you, towel. Watch out. (And it’s on sale now!)
  • Drinks. I don’t know why, but Corona tastes better at the beach than anywhere else. With a slice of fresh lime? Oh yeah. Other beach beverage favorites include: margaritas, pinot grigio, vodka gimlets. I suppose water is also a good choice. Whatever.
  • Flip flopsI’m of the opinion that flip flops are not real shoes. They’re almost exclusively for the pool, the beach, and taking out the trash. If they have some cute embellishment or something, they can be worn for other occasions in moderation. But none of this matters right now, because we’re talking about the beach. Flop away!!!

So…Did I forget anything? You have a couple months to give me suggestions on what to pack and where to go! Let’s limit suggestions to the east coast, because plane tickets to California are way expensive. We’ll also need to find a place to stay that’s right on the beach but doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. OK, people: Plan the rest of my vacation!

*I picked up this exact bikini and hat courtesy of H&M in connection with this post. The rest of the products are ones I plan on purchasing later (especially the Corona). All opinions are my own, as usual!