My Pants Crisis

In the midst of No Spend January my fur babies decided I needed a little extra drama in my life, so they pulled two of my dress pants from the hamper and ‘restyled’ them with huge holes. Yeah…. Let’s just say they’d be considered indecent exposure, especially in a corporate office!

Two may not seem like a huge deal, but because I’d been losing weight I was down to a handful of pants that still fit at the time. So my little problem became a mini-crisis. As an event planner, I am usually on the go at work and don’t often wear dresses or skirts because they just aren’t suitable for what I’m doing most days. Thus, having multiple pants options is a must and now that I no longer had enough to rotate through each week it became something I actually NEEDED, although I hadn’t planned on clothes shopping for the month.

I hit a few thrift stores and consignment shops in the hopes that I’d find the ever elusive style that fits my long legs and curves – in the right size, but that didn’t happen and I didn’t have time to keep searching.   Luckily, retailers were gearing up for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day sales so I ordered several pants in different styles and sizes from Macy’s. Although the total price tag was a bit hefty even with the sales, I figured whatever didn’t fit would be returned – keeping me on par for No Spend January. Unfortunately, NONE of them fit and I had to return the entire order!  Although that meant I still fit within No-Spend January’s rules I still needed pants.

By this point I was desperate. That’s when I decided to try The Limited. I’d never ordered from them before, but had heard about them on several fashion blogs so I figured it was worth a try. I placed an order for 11 pairs of pants in various sizes and cuts so I could see what worked for me and what didn’t. I ended up keeping two of the 11 pairs which thankfully put me back in balance for my weekly rotation.

Because I’d placed such a large order I received a sizeable amount of “virtual dollars” to use later in February. Now that I knew what style I liked and size fit me, I used those dollars along with the President’s Day sale to purchase another round of 10 pants. This time I kept all but one pair, giving me a whole new arsenal of pants for my wardrobe!

I’m still losing weight, so eventually I’ll have to get most of them taken in, but it was worth it to have the pants crisis abated. I’m still on the hunt for a few additional colors since several of the ones I kept ranged from gold to khaki, so I might pick up a few more with the coupon included in the recent shipment. And since I just purged my closet in preparation for a big consignment sale later this month, I’ll have a few dollars to reinvest!

Hopefully, I’ll find time to start sharing some of my outfits soon so you can see all these new duds in action! 🙂

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My Macy’s Personal Shopper

Did you know that Macy’s offers a free personal shopper service? I heard about the program last year and scheduled a session when I was in Portland last fall. The process was super simple, I just sent an email to the address on the website and within 48 hours I was in contact with a personal shopper associate who asked questions about my style and expectations.

When I arrived my shopper had a selection of items already pulled for me based on those conversations. I was a little worried that she might just push their new or designer products, so I was very pleased to see several clearance items among my choices.

As I tried things on she offered feedback on how each item looked and styling suggestions. She also brought alternate sizes for several items and because she knew exactly where everything a located in the store she was often back with the new size before I’d changed into the next outfit!

She was also able to look up items in the computer to find out if they came in alternate colors and if they weren’t the store if they could be ordered. Those that I chose to order were shipped directly to my home for free!

I was a little surprised when she politely declined the tip I offered saying they aren’t allowed to accept tips and confirmed they don’t work on commission. I guess Macy’s just believes in good old-fashioned customer service!

I enjoyed the experience so much that I decided to do it again this trip. This time around I worked with Lori, who started the appointment off with a home run on a pair of leopard print flats, which I had told here I had been wanting for some time. And they were on sale!

That was the only item she pulled ahead of time. Instead she chose to have me walk the floor with her and choose items together. I really liked this option because I did miss the fun of browsing the racks and grabbing things that caught my eye last time. She let me wander the different departments, but kept me on track making sure we also got items I’d told her I was in need of ahead of time.  And she rang everything up in multiple orders so I got the most savings possible with the coupons I had! That impressed me even more.

I ended up finding just about everything I was looking for, including a few last minute requests I asked for upon arriving!   Here’s a few of the items I picked this time:

So if you’re looking to update your wardrobe or just need something particular, I highly recommend the Macy’s By Appointment service.  It’s like shopping with a girlfriend, but without the drama. 🙂

The Magic of Kohls

Kohls
I hadn’t been to Kohls for some time, but swung by before our trip to pick up some new camisoles with a 20% off coupon. There was a great sale going on and in addition to the camisoles, I ended up finding several amazing bargains, including several new costume jewelry pieces and a dress that should transition right into fall with several cardigans I already have.

I also used the in-store kiosk for the first time ever to order an item they didn’t have in my size in the store. Shipping was free, I got to use my coupon and the process was fairly quick and simple. A quick scan of the item’s barcode took me right to an order screen where I selected the size and quantity I wanted, then scanned my Kohls card and coupon. My only complaint was that the screen was a bit finicky when I was entering my address and email information, but I’d use it again for sure.

When I checked out with my in-store purchases my savings were more than my total spent thanks to my coupon and clearance finds. That always confuses my hubby, who just can’t understand how it’s possible. When I mentioned that to the cashier, she said “That’s the magic of Kohls!” I have to agree.

The Cut

curlsAs I mentioned a while back I’ve been pondering chopping my hair off again.  Don’t get me wrong, I love long hair because it means I can create beautiful curls like this.  But 90% of the time I style it straight or clip it up due to my busy, busy schedule.  And here recently, it’s almost always down and straight because it’s just too long to pull up quickly.

HairI set an appointment with my stylist for a color (which I was in desperate need of) and a trim, planning to take an inch off to make it a little lighter and clean up the ends.   But I hadn’t realized just how much it had grown out since my last trim until I started thinking about what I’d ask for at the appointment.  I don’t think it has been this long since high school!  This is it after blow-drying but before styling.

Then I saw this.  I love this gal’s hair and her blog!  I’ve always been a fan of a mid-length style and often come back to this length, so I was sold on this cut.

I pinned the post and took it to my appointment where I showed the fabulous Miss Bri what I wanted.  Here’s what she created!

Hair

I LOVE IT!  It’s so much easier to wash, blow dry and style in the mornings and I still have length to do some variations of up dos and curls.  I usually make it a bit more sleek on workdays, but a quick blowdry with a round brush works just fine for a casual family outing on a breezy day. 🙂

The hubs says he loves my look no matter what length my hair is (ahhh, love that lug), but I know he truly likes it short, so this is a good compromise of what he prefers and what I wish I had time for.  What’s your opinion?  Is longer or shorter better?

Hanging at the Scarf Bar

Although I’m still working scarves into my regular wardrobe, I’ve somehow amassed quite a collection.  I used to have a scarf organizer similar to this that hung from the closet rod, but I found that it was too full and I couldn’t easily find scarves that were buried under those on spots higher up.

My next option was draping them in a row over the closet rod itself since I had extra space to use.  This worked pretty well, but I worried that the wooden rod would snag the scarves as I pulled them off if I was in a hurry.

So when we removed the builder’s towel bar to use hooks in the Master bathroom I had a light bulb moment.  I asked the hubs to hang the bar in the closet below my crown molding shoe racks instead.  He looked at me like I was mad until I explained what I planned to use it for.

A stud finder and a couple screws later, I now have a pretty and functional scarf bar in my closet.  I love the location because it’s right next to my mirrored jewelry cabinet which I stand in front of to decide on accessories for each outfit.  And because it’s right under my shoes I can see how everything will coordinate as I pick out options.

Scarves

Scarves2

Now my scarves have a place to belong and I have back extra rod space to fill! It’s the simple things in life that make us girls happy isn’t it? 😉

Scarves3

Getting My Sale On…

Back before Christmas I swung by the Payless Shoes in Wasilla after stopping at a store nearby.  I had a gift card and figured I’d take a quick look to see if there was anything I might want.  Turns out there was something I needed – on sale.  I snagged two pretty clutches for future work events at just $6 each along with a pair of heels in nude and the same pair in black.  Work wardrobe staples.  After the sale, a coupon the cashier applied because I had to wait for them to fix the register and my gift card I spent less than $10.  Oh yeah, that’s my kind of shopping.

Shoes

I was especially happy with the clutches because I’d been on the hunt for one like this the week prior for my company Christmas party.  When I couldn’t find one I opted to have my hubby hold my basics since I was running around managing the event anyway, but it’s a good item to have at the ready should I need to attend a gala or other upscale event – either for work or fun!

BlackClutch

And the gold one is just too pretty to pass up, especially at that price!  I think it will look FAB-U-LOUS with some of my purple dresses for a fancy smanchy date night one day. wink, wink 🙂

GoldClutch

Shortly after this the hubs got my crown molding shoe rack installed in the master closet.  Another Pinterest find, this rack was meant to hold my heels since my flats are kept in the cubbies he installed in the closet shelving.

rack2

I insisted that he choose a molding that stuck out farther than he originally planned because that’s what the Pinterest image showed, which turned out just fine, but some of my smaller heels have to be delicately perched so they stay put.  Although if we had gone with a smaller molding I think some of my taller heels wouldn’t have fit, so it’s a trade off I guess.

rack3

I used the space below the rack to hang some of my larger costume jewelry that doesn’t hang well in my jewelry cabinet.  Right now they’re just hung on clear thumb tacks, but I might use something a little fancier before it’s all said and done.  Until then, thumb tacks seem to work just fine!

rack

I do plan to paint the molding, but haven’t decided what color just yet.  Options include white (to match the rest of the closet shelving & trim), gold (to coordinate with the gold accents in the master bath) or purple (just because!).  So what do you think of the rack?  Have a color preference?  I want to hear it!

Winter Style

It’s no secret that my favorite color is purple, so when I decided I needed a trench style coat for work purple was my first choice.  I knew that purple trench coats existed because I’d seen them in catalogs before, but didn’t have much luck finding one now that I was actually looking to buy.

NordstromsThen amazingly this one showed up on a local buy/sell page I follow for just $40!  The seller said it was an XL from Nordstroms, but that it fit more like a M.  I set up a time to meet and try it on with visions of me sashaying into my office the next day in my pretty purple coat.  Unfortunately, when I did try it on it was far too tight in the arms – so much that I was afraid I might rip it if I moved. So the hunt continued.

A few days later I decided to indulge in a little retail therapy at Burlington Coat Factory.  I browsed several departments before wandering over to the store’s namesake section, where I immediately spotted purple amongst the hangers.  Not only was there a purple trench in my size, there were two different styles to choose from!

I tried both on for the hubs, who was with me and we both agreed that the first option was more professional looking, and it was a few dollars cheaper.  Ding, Ding!  We have a winner!  And after a coupon it rang up around $54, which was close enough to the buy/sell option’s price to make me happy.  I decided to get a new white scarf to go with the new coat and absolutely LOVE the combo.

Coat

I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on both the coat and the scarf, even though it does show dog hair and slobber exceptionally well.  But then again, what doesn’t right?   And it’s plenty warm, especially since it covers my rear end on the way from the car to the office.  It’s the simple things in life! 🙂