Friday, May 31, 2013

Fiscal Friday: May clothes budget

I dunno about you guys, but I'm sure as sh*t glad that May is over. It's been an unreasonably and confusingly challenging two weeks. Plus, June is my birthday month (that's a thing, right?) so that's always exciting...

Anyway, I was a little bad this month (on all my budgets, not just my clothes one), but I got a big ol' freelance check and some extra cash from selling some old electronics, so overall the damage is minimal. As you may remember, my clothes budget usually is $100 per month. This month, I clocked in at a modest $131.31, but I got some really awesome pieces to show for it!

5-31 may budget

Note: The first nine items are all from Forever 21. I knew I needed to stock up on my workout gear, and the selection was surprisingly better—and way cheaper—than Target or Walmart. Weird, right?

1. Wrap around top (mine is black). $12 |exact|
2. Short sleeve cutout back tee (mine is gray). Guaranteed to expose your sweaty back for faster cool-downs. (Right?) $14.80
3. Mesh back top. This actually doubles as a super-cute "going out" top, too...I wore it to the Fall Out Boy concert the other weekend! $10.80
4. Contrast foldover capris (mine have a purple top). $7.80 |exact|
5. Dual striped running capris. $17.80 |exact|
6. Foldover shorts. AKA the comfiest things to ever touch my butt. $5.80 |similar|
7. Foldover waist shorts. $7.80 |exact|
8. Medium impact moisture management sports bra. Plain front, nifty back. $9.80 |exact|
9. High impact mesh back sports bra. Seriously, the whole back is mesh. Bliss. $12.80 |exact|
10. eShakti floral sheath dress. I used a few refunds/coupon codes, so I didn't pay the full $70 on this. $23.85 |same cut, different pattern| |different cut, similar pattern|

So yeah, pretty good haul for only about $130, if you ask me. June will be all about restocking my shorts/capris, as I've (aka, my waistline has) outgrown almost everything from last year. Womp womp.

Also, I'm linking up to Franziska's Budgeting Bloggers, too, so pop on over and check out the other links!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Anatomy of a blog lapse



shirt, skirt, belt (came with skirt): JCPenney
heels, necklace: Target

So I had these photos all edited and ready to post last week. And then stuff happened. And kept happening. And, just as the weekend hit and I thought I'd finally have time to get my life back in order, MORE STUFF HAPPENED. Sorry to be vague, but some things just aren't blog-appropriate (or blog-worthy), I guess. Suffice to say: I'm still feeling a bit frazzled. But I'm cautiously optimistic about this week, and especially about this weekend, so I'm just going to shake off the dust of last week and try to start fresh.

Easier said than done, perhaps, but I know I can do it. Confidence! Empowerment! Blah blah blah etc!

In other news, this skirt is one of my favorite items in my closet, but it's also one of the least-worn items in my closet? Any ideas why? If you guessed, "Because it's white and Emma is a huge klutz and always spills things," DINGDINGDING you're a winner. Thankfully, I made it through yet another day without any stains. It's like a miracle, you guys.

Also, I totes didn't mean to create what is essentially an all-JCP outfit, but I wanted to pair this skirt with a lot of bold color and grabbed this shirt without really thinking about brand. In fact, it didn't even occur to me until I sat down to write this post. Anyone else ever accidentally become a real-life model for a certain brand or store?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Life. It's kind of ridiculous.

So I'm not disappearing forever, I promise. But things this week have been crazy with a capital Bat-Shit-C. A lot of stuff happened, and kept happening, and I probably won't blog it because (despite my inclination to share everything with everyone all the time) some thing probably don't belong on the internet where everyone can read them. Cryptic enough for you? Good.

Long story short, I'll be back soon. Sometime after I figure out which way is up again.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Food Fridays: Spaghetti with spinach, snap peas and prosciutto

Alrighty then, like I said yesterday, this is among my favorite meals. I freaking love prosciutto. And snap peas/spinach are both on the very, very short list of veggies that I willingly eat. Plus, it's a pretty easy, one-pan (plus the spaghetti pot, obvs) meal. I will say this, however: you really have to do all the prep work before you start cooking. I usually don't, and not pre-prepping makes this recipe super stressful to make. So prep it up! Also, this makes enough for four, and it's kind of hard to cut in half because of the measurements. So...yeah. Okay, enough chatting, here's the recipe. I slightly adapted it from Food Network magazine.


- 12 ounces spaghetti
- 1/3 cup cooking sherry
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3 wide strips of lemon peel (I usually use about half of the lemon's worth of peel)
- 5 tbsp butter, sliced into seven or so thin pieces
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 bunch spinach (about 6 cups), roughly torn/chopped
- 2 cups sugar snap peas (I always use fresh, frozen doesn't really work with this)
- 1/4 pound prosciutto, torn into pieces
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Parmesan-Romano cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt liberally and add the pasta. Keep an eye on it; you'll cook it to just al dente.

While that's happening, bring the wine, garlic and lemon peel to a simmer in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once it's simmering, add the butter one or two slices at a time, whisking as it melts. Keep whisking until all the butter's melted, then add the olive oil one tablespoon at a time. (While still whisking. I know, it's a lot of whisking. Bear with me.)

Add about a teaspoon of salt, and pepper to taste. Add the snap peas and cook for about three minutes, then add the spinach and cook until wilted, another couple of minutes. Discard the lemon and garlic. (I usually do this before I add the spinach, actually, because it's kind of hard to pick out once the spinach is all up in there.)

When the pasta's ready, ladle out about 1/4 cup of cooking water and drain the pasta. Throw the spaghetti into the skillet, adding a tablespoon or two of the water. Sprinkle another teaspoon of salt over everything and toss, adding more water as needed to loosen. Sprinkle with a bit of the Parmesan-Romano (which you can find at the grocery store, right next to the regular Parmesan in one of those shelf-safe plastic shakers) and toss some more.

Divide the pasta/veggie mix up among four plates, then top with the prosciutto, parsley and more cheese. And don't worry; this reheats pretty well...just refrigerate the prosciutto separately and don't microwave it. So, dinner for two after all? Sure. I also make this recipe with the same amount of sauce stuff and slightly less pasta, and it works well for Matt and I. We're both pretty voracious eaters :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Overly excited



tank, cropped pants: The Limited
chambray-style shirt thing: Banana Republic
heels: Target
necklace: gifted

You guys, can we just take a minute to appreciate how great these photos turned out? I practically didn't have to edit them at all; the lighting was pretty much PERFECT. I can't get over it. I feel like I'm more excited about this than I should be, haha. #stylebloggerproblems, maybe? Am I the only one who geeks out when photos turn out unexpectedly well?

Ok, so I have to admit...I Photoshopped the kiddie pools out of the edge of the frame. Don't judge us for having kiddie pools in the backyard, kay? The house doesn't have A/C.

Tomorrow, I'll be at the aforementioned Fall Out Boy concert (omgomgcantwaitcauseimadork), but I'm pre-scheduling a Food Fridays post because I haven't done a food post in a while. And teaser: it's one of my favorite dishes, so you'll DEF wanna come back and check it out :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Getting psyched



cardi: H&M
T-shirt: JCPenney
skirt: Old Navy
heels, necklace: Target

Feeling much better since yesterday evening; thanks to those of you who asked :) Dunno what was up with that, all I really care about is that I'm feeling good, getting psyched and ready to take on the world!

Now, you may or may not have noticed that I'm more excitable than a two-month-old puppy. Only I usually manage not to pee all over the floor. But this week, I am super super crazy pumped for something I thought I'd never do again: see Fall Out Boy in concert. Laugh all you want (believe me, a part of me is laughing right along with you), but this was my absolute favorite band in high school and through a good portion of college. They went "on hiatus" a few years ago, which usually is PR-speak for "broke up forever." BUT NOW THEY'RE BACK AND THEY'RE PLAYING RIGHT HERE IN COLUMBUS ON FRIDAY.

Again, no one my age should be this jazzed over this band. I realize this. But the 16-year-old fangirl in me is still very much alive, and she's temporarily taking over my brain. So, that's been interesting.

And, as usual, I've gone on and on about something completely unrelated to this outfit. That's okay, I guess; I was feeling kind of blah the morning I threw this outfit together and just kept it simple. The texture on the shirt keeps it from being too boring, right?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bloggy sick day

Hey folks. I'm feeling kinda crappy tonight, so here's a bunch of links to stuff that made me smile recently.

Ok first, a semi-serious note. Skip it if you want, but this depiction of depression is just brilliant. And also, somehow, a little funny. I don't talk about it often, but it's a topic that I take very personally, as it's had a huge role in my life and that of my family. Also, here's part one, so to speak, of the story. Okay, serious time over.

Finally, someone figured out how to use Vine in a way that is hilarious, not stupid. (Hint: It involves Ryan Gosling. You're welcome.)

Craigslist troll level: Expert. Craigslist RESPONSE troll level: Double expert

Number 6. Number 6 every Monday..

Happy (belated) Mother's Day, y'all.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Movie review: The Great Gatsby

So last night, my friends Chasity, Kate and Kate's friend Jessica all went to see the premiere of The Great Gatsby. The theatre (the Drexel in Bexley, for you locals) did a little party before the 10 pm show, and encouraged everyone to dress up. We were some of the few who did, besides the swing dancers brought in as entertainment, but there were 20s-cocktails, so who cares, right?

It was a cute little party, mostly because I love any reason to play dress-up. And the movie? So. Good. So I'll do the main, spoiler-free review first, for the heathens folks who didn't read the book. Then some pictures (iPhone in low-light quality, unfortunately) and then some mild spoilers for anyone who's read the book and just wants to know how the movie compares.

So we saw the movie in 2D. Maybe it's just me, but I think watching a movie based on a literary classic (and one of my favorites, no less) in 3D is a little gimmicky. Anyway.

Overall, I thought it was extremely well-done. Hollywood adaptations tend to leave me feeling disappointed, but not this one. Baz Luhrmann reused a few storytelling techniques from Moulin Rouge (namely, the narrative framing device) to great effect, even though they weren't in the original novel.

Visually, it was pretty stunning. The use of dramatic, vibrant color worked really well with the movie's/novel's overall themes. The soundtrack, while anachronistic, wasn't entirely incongruous with the movie's feel. The rendition of "Crazy In Love" was particularly effective, I thought. If you're one of those who is going to get really annoyed with the modern-day music in this film, just try to focus on the dialogue and the visuals. The music is by no means overpowering.

The movie hit all of the novel's main plot points, and despite the 2+ hour runtime, it seemed to move at an almost breakneck speed. There were a few good laughs, mostly thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio's adorably awkward interpretation of Gatsby's infatuation with Daisy. My biggest complaint is the casting of Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway; I think he didn't really fill the character's shoes, not in the way DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan (Daisy Buchanan) did. Though disclaimer: I really, really can't stand Maguire. He drives me crazy. So I might be biased. I was a bit surprised to see Isla Fisher as Myrtle, but she did quite well. Elizabeth Debicki (Jordan Baker), Joel Edgerton (Tom Buchanan) and Jason Clarke (George Wilson) all were well-cast, too.

As a book-to-film purist, I can honestly say that I wasn't disappointed. It's a good film, it's an interesting adaptation, and I would definitely, absolutely see it again.


The Great Gatsby premiere night
I got a little distracted, so this is the best shot of the headband I made. I just hot-glued some gems and feathers from Michael's onto a thinner workout headband from Target. Took like five minutes, haha!

The Great Gatsby premiere night
They had an authentic 20s coupe parked out front!

Getting into this was not easy.

Told you. It gives you banshee-jaw. Not to mention major crotch-flash risk.


Dance club dancin'

PBR = classy ladies.

You guys. They had candy cigarettes.

Ok. Picture time over. Don't read any further than this unless you're prepared for some mild spoilers!

There were a few plot deviations, but I feel that they didn't distract too much from the work itself. They weren't changes made for the sake of change. And there weren't too many cut scenes; to be honest, I can't really remember any specific cuts, but I haven't read the book in a year or two.

The main change was that in the beginning of the movie, Nick is talking to a psychiatrist in a sanatorium. He's talking about Gatsby, and his summer in New York, but can't bring himself to discuss it. The camera pans over his medical file, and we he's been diagnosed with "morbid alcoholism," if I remember the phrase right, not to mention depression, anxiety and a slew of other ailments. So the doctor tells Nick to write his story if he can't talk about it.

The rest of the movie is Nick writing the story, first by hand and then on a typewriter. He narrates as he's writing and at times the words are superimposed over the scenes as they happen, to an interesting effect. When the movie ends, he's finished the book. The ;ast scene is him typing the cover page, "Gatsby by Nick Carraway." He then goes back with a pen and writes "The Great" before "Gatsby."

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Just dance



cropped sweater: came with a dress from Burlington Coat Factory
cami, heels: Target
cropped slacks: The Limited
necklace: H&M

So I was going to write about this outfit and its colors and how bright they are, compared to what I usually wear. But I'm tired. I'm not sure where all of Monday's energy went, but it is gone. I'm tired, and not in a way that a nap can cure. I don't know where it came from, but a little bout of general blah-ness is settling into my bones and making me want to watch bad TV and eat junk food until I hate myself a little bit. Or a lot, I'm flexible on that.

But I'm not going to do that! I recently started taking dance clases, and they're honestly one of the best things that have ever happened to me. I actually discovered the studio through a freelance story I was researching, and I instantly did the worst thing a journalist can do and got emotionally involved. I've been going to classes once a week ever since. Tonight is hip-hop :)

So, that's the sad-story-happy-story I have for you today. I'm feeling depressed as hell for no reason, but I'm going to fix it by dancing for 90 minutes. Best. Solution. Ever.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Super powers



shirt: The Limited
sleeveless collared shirt: New York & Company
slacks: secondhand
flats: Target
necklace: Express
nail polish: Old Navy's brand in Melon Glow

If I had superpowers, they would be unpredictable spurts of enormous amounts of productivity. This morning, I was exhausted from a long (and awesome) weekend of family time. I walked into work and immediately was asked if I was sick. That's how tired I was/looked. I slogged through what felt like the longest morning/early afternoon ever, then got a weird boost of energy around 2 pm. And from then on, I've been an unstoppable force of getting-shit-done-ness. And it's been awesome.

I spent the rest of the afternoon flying through projects, then threw in a load of laundry as soon as I got home and dashed off to the gym. Then it was off to the grocery store, where I set a new personal record for in-and-out. (Special shoutout to the cashier who opened a new register for me...isn't that the greatest thing ever?) And then I ran home and whipped up an awesome dinner. Now, I'm about to fold that laundry while Matt and I watch the new Game of Thrones from last night. TAKE THAT, TO-DO LIST!

I guess I'm still just in go-go-go mode from the last three weeks, during which I squeezed in dance classes and interviews for four different freelance stories (not to mention writing said stories). If I can keep this pace up, there will be no stopping me. (Cue evil laughter!)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What DOES one wear to a fashion show?

My friend Kellyn asked me this very question when I invited her to come with me to the Aveda Earth Jam fashion show/fundraiser last week. She unfortunately wasn't able to go after all (stupid work!) but it did get me thinking. Last year I just wore all black and heels—a reliable go-to for any fashionista. This year, however, I decided to get a little more trendy with it.



shirt, necklace: Old Navy
skinnies, booties, bracelets: Target
nail polish: Old Navy's brand in Melon Glow

First I asked myself, what would a style blogger wear at an event where she's representing herself and her blog? Of course, I had no real answer, because seriously, it's not like I do this professionally (or even all that well, if I'm being brutally honest). So then I thought back to the spring fashion trends article I wrote recently (cute how I snuck that link in here again, right?) and came up with a few ideas: black-and-white, cuffed skinnies and a hint of neon.

Now, I know I've expressed my extreme distaste for the neon trend before, but I'd like to amend that statement. Neon shirts/pants/skirts/dresses? Hell to the no. I stand by my original statement. But neon accents, like these nails (or some of the great picks over on Fashion for Giants recently)...well, let's just say I'm warming up to them. It helps that when I bought this nail polish, it looked like more of a sorbet shade...but once it was on and dried, it was full-out glowing. No joke. Here's a pic of the same nail polish after I dug out my garden last weekend:


Anyway. Talk about a tangent. So yeah, to conclude, this is apparently what a style blogger wears to a fashion show :) Now, I'm off to finish transcribing interviews (please, shoot me now) for yet another freelance package...this one is four stories about the arts scene in Columbus, which has been a BLAST to research! But it's due Friday, and I still have to pieces to if I'm not back until after the weekend, you'll know the reason why!