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I am Amber. I love Jesus, fashion, reading, writing, sleeping, and working out.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

March Yourself Out Of That Store Right Now!

Wow. That's the best title I could think of? ;-P

March was a rather spend-y month in our house. I don't know why but sometimes we just completely disregard our budget and spend like crazy! As you'll see from my list below, I contributed a lot to the crazy spending! Our first anniversary was in March (woo hoo!!!), and my generous husband gave me a $100 Old Navy card as an anniversary gift. I was so excited!! I shared a little of it with him, and he bought two new pairs of shorts. I'm a giver...

Outside of the gift card, I spent $148. That may not be a lot for some people's budgets, but that's way too much for me to spend on clothes in a month! To be fair, some of it was workout related and a couple of items were replacement items, but the rest were complete impulse buys. To top that off, my mom also cleaned out her closet and had eight bags of clothes for me to look through! I should be clothes rich for the next couple of months at least (ha!). 

Enough talking, let's see what that $248 brought home last month:

Nice light sweater that should work well into Spring
Men's workout shorts- love them because they're not super short!

Replacement shirt for one I decided to try to "modify"

Why don't I own more button downs?

Replacement flats- Burke's Outlet

Pink princess skirt!!
Not pictured: brown flats from Burke's Outlet, red and black hooded sweater from Burke's Outlet, black and orange workout pants from Burke's Outlet, light denim shirt from Walmart, black and white wrap dress from Walmart, purple Reeboks to replace workout shoes, and a black and pink polka dot shirt I bought at the Southern Women's Show. Phew!

The pink princess skirt was also from a booth at the Southern Women's Show. The store is called At Jollys, and the girl working in the booth (who I believe is in the picture too) was adorable! When my mom and I walked by it, the skirt caught my eye, and I just kept standing there and trying to justify paying $42 for it. I'm pretty cheap frugal, so that's a lot for one item of clothing! After talking to my mom and the employee, I realized that I usually spend that much on junk at the SWS, so I may as well spend wisely and get something I love. I also thought of at least five different combinations for it, so it wouldn't be unloved. I'm going to wear it on Easter and for a conference presentation in May too, so it's already going to have two outings. Also, I did spend way too much time thinking about a skirt! I guess that's better than just grabbing things without any thought!

I'm going to take a clothes shopping break in April and work on getting all of my other stuff organized, inventoried (idea from brynnash's blog), and cleaned out. I might even wear "the skirt" while I organize! Ha!

Linking up with Budgeting Bloggers!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Slowly Coming Back To Life

I've lost 6 pounds.

That may not seem like a lot or like a big deal, but when you're 5'3, and you've gained 30 pounds (on top of the 25-30 you were overweight anyway), then it becomes a cause for celebration.

Even better than the 6 pounds is the 12 (!) overall inches that I've lost in the five weeks that I've been concentrating on eating cleaner and regular workouts.

The physical changes are great, but the mental ones are even better! I was stuck in a getting dressed rut/funk. I felt like I constantly wore dark colors and the same couple of things all of the time, partially because they were all that fit me. Now, I'm starting to take a few more risks with my outfits again. I'll have a couple of pictures in my next post.

Also, I've bought a couple of new items. My jeans were getting way too loose, but the other ones I still have are a little too snug, so we went to Old Navy last weekend to take advantage of the jeans sale and for me to use the rest of my Christmas gift card. Here's what I got for $32 out of pocket:

(Not the exact same shirt, but it was a gray Star Wars t-shirt)
Rockstar skinny jeans with holes

Rockstar skinny jeans with ankle zippers

Linking up with Franish/Budgeting Bloggers series. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Past, Present, and Future

When I started this blog, I was inspired by other blogs that I read. I was inspired by those who were able to remix their clothes and make it seem like they had never-ending wardrobes through their creativity. I was inspired by those who didn't feel compelled to have the latest, trendiest, or higher end items. I was inspired by those who did 30 x 30 remixes and style challenges and all of that other fun stuff. I wanted to do that. I wanted to inspire myself and others by being a normal girl with normal clothes who learned how to look put together on a budget, a bad hair day, or when she woke up in a panic after hitting snooze too many times.

But, things didn't turn out that way.

My little blog, even with its blurry pictures and semi-structured posting schedule, isn't fun or inspirational. I find it awkward to take pictures of myself, even when I'm inside. Because of the 30 pounds (yep, 30, as confirmed by my doctor this morning) I've gained this year, I'm not happy with how I look in clothes, so I find myself taking fewer and fewer pictures. I'm not even wearing decent outfits these days. I was alone at work last week for the three days we were open, and I wore sweats two of those days. Sweatpants. To work. Something has got to give.

So, I'm shelving (ha) this blog. It may be temporary or it may be forever. I will continue to write on my other blog, so if any of you really just need to read something new I've written, you can find me there. I'm also going to be massively purging my Feedly account. I'm tired of tons of sponsored content and seeing things that just aren't wearable in my daily life. I want to feel inspired again. I want to see normal people, not content churners. It's time for a new year, a new me, and all of that other good stuff. I really, really hope to be back, brighter and lighter and ready to inspire.

I hope that all of you reading have a wonderful New Year and that 2014 brings you even more happiness and success!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Of Santas and stomach bugs

Well that was another disappearance, wasn't it?

It's been a crazy past week-and-a-half! Last weekend, I travelled to East Tennessee with a couple of friends to participate in the Santa Hustle 5K:

A race that gives M & Ms! Score!!
We had a lot of fun! We stayed at a hotel with an indoor waterpark and a hot tub that had a door that let you go outside while still being submerged. I need one of those! The downside to the fun weekend was that we were all exhausted at work on Monday! Monday night, I had the first of many family Christmas gatherings, and unfortunately, I picked up a stomach bug that has plagued me off and on all week. The gift that keeps giving, right?

I've been taking outfit pictures inside, which gives me fabulous (note the sarcasm) results like these:

(And weird formatting also, evidently)

But that's about it for me lately. I finally feel like a normal person again, and I want to try to start sneak photographing in the backyard so I'll have better lighting and spare people from seeing my messy house!

Merry almost Christmas!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Work in Progress

As I mentioned last week, I've got an idea for my Wednesday feature in 2014. Presenting, What I Own Wednesday:

This may or may not be the final logo. I've just discovered PicMonkey, and I feel like the first time I did when I found Microsoft Paint and could make circles and color them in on my computer. My mind was blown!

Anyway, I'll get more in-depth with it next week and kick off the feature in January.

Speaking of January, don't forget to submit a look for the Outfit Inspiration Calendar. It's as easy as filling out the form below, and you're guaranteed to have upwards of ten or fifteen people visiting your blog via mine. ;-)

Have a fantastic night!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hibernation Mode: Activate

It's cold. 

I know, I'm not telling anyone anything that they don't know, but I thought I would add to the extensive Internet literature that already exists and refers to the cold December weather. I'm more insulated than I would like to be, but I'm still not built for this type of weather. All I want to do is hibernate! Unfortunately, I don't have a job that allows that, and the groceries and Christmas presents aren't going to buy themselves. So, I layer up and maybe rely on an extra warm, caffeinated drink from a certain place to help warm me from the inside. And ladies and gentlemen, I may have figured out where some of that extra insulation came from!

In other news, it's Inspiration Monday. Here's the picture:

I went for an interpretation- scarf, sweater, leggings, boots:

Hibernation: Full and hidden visitor

Ugh, grainy cell phone picture. I tried to edit it a little to make it more crisp, but that didn't really work! It's been raining for approximately 35 years now, so I've been stuck taking pictures inside. Meh. I should've at least used my camera! 

Hibernation: Close

I just liked how this one looked for some reason. This was when I was setting up my phone/self-timer. A little soft-focus action for ya today.

Also, I brought this up earlier in the fall, then my life evidently blew up with work, family, etc, but I'd like to try it again! If any of you ever read Fab Finds Under 50, then you may remember the Outfit Inspiration Calendar. She has since stopped blogging, but before she did, I asked for permission to take this over. To submit a look for the January calendar, just fill out the form below by Friday, December 27. This will be a new experience for me, so I'll try to make it as smooth as possible! =)

Linking up with:
Inspiration Monday and Thrifters Anonymous (since my sweater was thrifted! Woo hoo!)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Too many ideas, too little free time

This time of year gets a little hectic for everyone. I didn't think we were going to be too busy until I started figuring up our family commitments, friend commitments, and a few other things that I've got going on, in addition to my husband's overtime schedule (he works for Amazon Fulfillment, so this time of year is C-R-A-Z-Y for him!). It's also the time of year when you start reflecting on the past 11 months and looking ahead to the next 12. For me, this means thinking about this blog. I've made a few changes, tried to be a more consistent poster, co-hosted a linkup, and participated in a few other linkups. I've made good progress, but I'd like to do more!

I decided my "What You Wear That Wednesday" feature wasn't something I wanted to continue, but I have another Wednesday idea, and yes, it will probably have alliteration because that's how I roll and all. But, since things are a little crazy right now, I'm not going to jump into that feature until 2014. Also, my posting may be sporadic since I haven't been taking a lot of pictures lately. I've lost a little weight since I felt frazzled and fluffy earlier this fall, but I'm still not where I want to be in looks or confidence, and my wardrobe definitely reflects that! Plus, now that I've taken a few pictures outside, I'm hooked on how much better the lighting is than inside. Three cheers for natural lighting, huh? 

I guess what I'm trying to say (in more words than I need to use) is that Section 391 is under construction. I want to grow this blog, make connections with other bloggers, and work towards opening doors that will allow me to generate income through writing. I want to ramp this little hobby and my other blog up to the next level. I do have a passion for writing, and I would love to make it a full-time career (with some part-time libraryin' or instructional technology), but for now, that isn't realistic for my little family, so I need to improve my skills to make it an eventual reality. So, I'm putting on a hard hat (there's the "fashion aspect" for today...ha!), and getting to work on making this better. Thank you to those of you who have been reading here over the past few months. Your encouragement means a lot to me, and I do look at your blogs for inspiration and ideas on what I can do to improve this little corner of the Internet. If anyone has any resources or tips on how you've improved your own blogs, I would love to hear them!