Tuesday, November 11, 2014

No Spend November: How's it going?

We're almost halfway through November, and all I have to say is...yikes!

I thought this would be a fairly easy experiment.  It would give me time to plan for Christmas buying,  and it wouldn't be too hard otherwise because I didn't "need" anything.

And them my mom came to visit and we went to Kohl's.  MAN OH MAN.  Talk about trial by fire! I can quite easily blow a ton of money in Kohl's (especially when they give you those great 30% off coupons) but I managed to behave myself.  I -almost- cracked and bought a purse (I'd really like a cross-body one) but I decided it wasn't big enough to fit my necessities and I put it back. Phew!

There have been some other challenges. A friend of mine released her debut novel this month, and even though I'm dying to read it, I'm going to wait until December.  I need to get a new pair of Spanx since my old ones tore.  I saw a really cute coat in an Old Navy commercial. I found a bunch of writing contests that I want to submit to, but they ALL charge submission fees.  It's been a little tough.

I did buy two items from my Stitch Fix, but that was allowed in my original rules.  Other than that, I bought a $1 sheet of to/from labels from Target as a Christmas-prep kinda thing.  So, so far, No Spend November hasn't broken me.  It's been trying, though! I hope I don't go spend crazy in December as a result. :-/

Stitch Fix #5: Pictures taken by Mom :)

Stitch Fix #5 is here!
I was super excited about this Fix, since it happened to get delivered on the same day my mother was visiting.  I was able to rope her in to help take my photos and also get her feedback on some of the pieces, which is great since I'm usually deciding on my own.  Here we go!

 Renee C Huebert Space Dye Open Cardigan: $58
This looks pretty good in the photo, but honestly, I think at last count I had something insane like TWENTY-SIX cardigans. I certainly do not need another one, especially not one as unremarkable as this. The only thing that might have swayed me was if it had been nice deep jewel tone.  As it was, it was gray and blah and...nope.  Verdict? Sent back!
Gilli Kamile Jersey Ruched Detail Dress, $64 
I have a confession to make.  I was a "goth girl" for many years, and I'm still struggling a bit to add color into my wardrobe...so at first, I was a little disappointed that Stitch Fix sent a black dress.  But, once I thought about it, I realized that my wardrobe was actually missing a classic little black dress that would work for both casual and dressier occasions.

You can't quite see it clearly here, but this has some pretty ruching around the waist.  Every girl needs a good little black dress, and this one is pretty versatile, really defines my waist, and doesn't show too much cleavage.  Win! Actually, Gilli is the same brand who made the dress I kept last month...I think I like this brand!  Verdict? Kept!

HAHAHAHA. Nice try, Stitch Fix.
41Hawthorne Moni Horseshoe Print Stud Detail Top - $58
Whoever labeled this shirt a size large has certainly not taken boobs into account.  I couldn't pull the shirt down any further than this, and it forced my shoulders into that permanent shrug you see.  Not to mention...I'm not into the busy, patterned fabric at all. You can't really see it, but it's tiny horseshoes. Not at all my style! My stylist wrote a note saying "...here's that shirt you liked!" but this is not even close to what I requested...it's by the same brand, but...yeah, no.  That's where similarities end. Verdict? Sent back!

Market and Spruce Corinna Striped Dolman Top: $48
 YAYYYY.  I had been bugging my stylists for this top for a while, but it was always sold out.  I read in some other Fixes that it was really comfy and oversized, great for just throwing on for a lazy weekend.  Well, I wore it today, and I have to agree! I can see this getting a lot of mileage on those days when I just need to throw something on and go, or just hang around the house doing some writing.  Verdict? Kept!
Kut From The Kloth Jonathan Corduroy Skinny Pant - $68
These red pants were way too similar to the maroon pants they sent me a few Fixes ago.  I think my mom wanted me to keep them, but I knew I wouldn't wear them. The tag said corduroy, but they were really more like velour, and for some reason, touching velour fabric makes me nauseated.  (Weird, right? I know!) Verdict? Sent back!

All in all, I'm pretty happy with this fix.  The cardigan and the shirt were no-nos (I specifically asked for NO cardigans in my second to last fix, but I'm not sure that the notes carry over!) but pants, top, and dress made it clear that they were working from my Pinterest style boards.

As always, if you want to try out Stitch Fix for yourself, please use my referral link!

Monday, November 3, 2014

FINALLY: The 30 by 30 Roundup: How did I do?

As some of you might remember, I had a list of 30 things I wanted to do before I turned 30.
Me on my birthday! With a lovely astral crown made by Sue of Giant Dwarf.

Well, I've been 30 for almost 6 months now, so it's time to see how well I did!

1. Graduate college: Done!
2. Eat in a fondue restaurant: Done!
3. Ride an elephant: Done!
4. Eat at the Cheesecake Factory: Done! (Twice!)

5. Get a pet: Done!
6. Go to a drive-in movie: Done! (Lots of times!)
7. Have tea at The Plaza Hotel: Done!
8. Buy something at Tiffany's: Done!

9. Christmas shop in NYC: Done!
10. Go to "The Real Bedford Falls": Done!
11. See Annie on Broadway: Done!
12. Get a latte with latte art: Done!

13. Publish a book (I've received two offers so far, but I turned them both down. So...almost!)
14. Get in shape (I went to the gym religiously for 6 months but nothing happened. I've been on Atkins for 3 weeks and I've lost 8 pounds...so...I'm getting there!)
15. Eat at a spinning restaurant 
16. Ice skate at Rockefeller Center (tried, but couldn't get in!)
17. Go inside the Statue of Liberty
18. Go to Harry Potter World: Done!
19: Get a tin foil swan "doggie bag" (I went to a place that usually makes them...but, sadly the didn't give me one.
20. Get a kick ass wardrobe
21. Experience "dark dining"
22. Create a minimalistic photobook
23. Purchase a designer handbag: Done! (Twice!)
24: Go fishing & boating: Done!
25. Go to the Moth: Done!
26. See Central Park
27. See Nick Cave in concert: Done! (Twice!)
28. See Leonard Cohen in concert: Done!
29. Go to Raines Law Room: Done!
30*: Swim with dolphins: I decided that I don't really want to do this, after all. Zoos and aquariums etc just make me sad for the creatures there.

So, all in all, I made pretty good work of the list, completing 19 out of 29 things, and at least trying four other things. Some of the things on the list I could still knock out easily with a day in NYC! (Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Ice skating at Rockefeller Center, Dark Dining, a spinning restaurant!) 

Out of all of everything here, I highly recommend visiting "The Real Bedford Falls" (if you're as into It's a Wonderful Life as I am!) and Harry Potter World.  Also, seeing Leonard Cohen in concert and having tea at the Plaza hotel were pretty awesome.  And The Moth was a real good time!

I definitely encourage you to make a list of your own.  In fact, I might make a smaller list each year!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

No Spend November Starts Now!

The Rules:

Duh.  Don't spend any money in November.

(This does not count necessities: groceries, cat food and litter, gas, anything medical myself (or my cat!) may need.  I have amended the rules slightly to include that I am allowed to buy things from my monthly StitchFix, if I see fit.  Also, since I'm going on a weekend trip to Florida this month, I'm not including any money I spend there.  I don't intend on really purchasing anything there, though.)

This is just a fun little exercise to see how much money I can actually save by cutting out extra purchases for a month.  I know a lot of ladies also participate in this, so give me a shout if you're doing this, too! Solidarity, am I right? ;)

I'm hoping it will be easy.  I don't think anyone I know has a birthday in November, so no worries there.  (This does, however, prevent me from doing my Christmas shopping early.)  The only thing I can see being expensive is Thanksgiving...but, that counts as groceries!

Any "extra" money I come up with by the end of the month will be put into one of three funds: the "get LASIK on my left eye as well" fund, the "Disney/Bedford Falls" fund, and the "Columbia Publishing Course" fund.

I'll check back December 1st to let you all know how I did!