Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bargainista Finds

Not only do I love to shop, but I love a good bargain! Growing up my mother taught me how to look for deals, use coupons, and always find the best bargains. While at the time I may have found it rather annoying those skills have become quite handy over recent years. Thanks, mom!

As I mentioned a while ago we're on a no spending spree as we get closer to the wedding. I did my seasonal closet clean out recently and had some items to try and get cash for. My rule is that if I can make money selling my wardrobe then I can put the funds right back into it, unless it's a hefty chunk of change.

One of my favorite places to sell clothes at in Richmond is Clothes Mentor. Unlike some consignment stores you get cash up front for your items, though sometimes not as much. They take gently used name brands that are no more than two years out.  So while I dropped off my pile of clothes to sell I decided to take a little looksy around the store and I'm so glad I did, look at these great finds!

Nine West dress $12 | Calvin Klein wedges $20 | NY&Co shorts $7  
LOFT skirt $11 | Talbots top $8

I'd have to say the best deal was by far the wedges. I usually never buy second hand shoes but these babies caught my eye because they were shiny and new, the soles didn't even have any scratches or scuffs on them. Score!

If you also like to bargain shop of encourage you to check out Sydney over at Chic Stripes, another fellow Richmond blogger. Especially for my RVA readers, she has a whole page of all the second hand and consignment shops in the area with details on what they take and how to sell.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for  the rest of my wardrobe clean out coming soon for another blog clothing sale! 

Do you like to bargain hunt? What's the best deal you've ever scored?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Motivation

One of my favorite bookmarks I keep on my web browser is this quote site. I'm not even quite sure what the name of it is, Think Quick? I also can't remember how or when I found out about it. Some days (usually in the afternoon slump) I can use a good kick of motivation to get through the rest of the work day. I'll open the site, see what I get and click through until I find something that resonates.

A few weeks ago this one came up, and while it's quite lengthy I loved everything about it. I know I've posted about this before, but it's hard to try and fight the urge to plan and prepare for every moment in life and head into an event or trip feeling unprepared. This is a lesson that needs to continually be drilled into my head and I'm thankful for Mr. Young who can be a tornado of disorganization that helps to set me straight when I get too far into the details.

If I had my life to live over, I would dare to make more mistakes next time. I would relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier than I've been this time. I would take fewer things seriously, and I would take more chances. I'd take more trips; I'd climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream, and fewer beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I am one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've had my moments, but if I had it to do over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else -just moments - one after another instead of living so many years ahead.

I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring, and I would stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.

– Nadine Stair, 85 years old

Friday, March 14, 2014

Weekly Roundup

I woke with the lyrics of Katy Perry in my head, "TGIF! TGIF! TGIF!" And thank God it's Friday y'all. As I mentioned a few days ago this week has been killer on me. Even though we've been in spring break mode at work I've had a lot to do after work and just haven't been able to catch up.

This week one of my friends shared this piece from Thought Catalog on 21 Things You Suddenly Start Wanting In Your Mid-20s. I would personally have to say that it's spot on and helped to show Mr. Young a source that proves I'm not the only person obsessed with throw pillows.

I may have read this back in the fall and it somehow came across my screen again this week, but was glad to see the Huff Post addressing the fact that's it's become "OK" to be late. For some of the examples, like meeting a friend for coffee, I think I'm fine with but definitely not when it comes to meetings at work. We've got things to do people so let's get it together and get going.

If you're like me and make tons of to-do lists and then lose them, check out this piece by Fast Company on the history of the to-do list and building one that actually works.

Weekly Highlight At a networking event on Wednesday I got to meet ultrarunner Zoe Romano. This past summer she RAN the Tour de France route and was also the first woman to run across the USA unsupported. She's an alumnus of the campus I work at so I had been following her all summer, but it was so cool to meet her as I thought about her a lot on long runs while half marathon training last fall. And she's my age! She recently did this ad for Under Amour which I'm loving:

Looking forward to... having a quiet weekend filled with DIY wedding projects and painting my kitchen while Mr. Young is out of town. Updates to follow!

Happy weekend y'all!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Registry Faves

I can't help but shout "It's HUMPPPPP dayyyy!!" today. Is anyone else seriously dragging behind after turning the clocks forward this weekend? I don't think that it usually hits me this hard but it's been a mighty struggle to roll out of bed so far this week. It probably doesn't help that I also stayed up way past my bedtime on Monday to see the disaster that was the Bachelor finale. #juanpablosucks

Let me try and focus here... Way back in August we started getting our wedding registries together. I got some really helpful advice after this post last fall and have continued to ask my newlywed friends questions about how to go about the registry process.

After weighing our options we decided to register in four different places that best suited our needs and styles. Yes, we're those people. Bed Bath & Beyond for a lot of the kitchen and household basics, Target for cuter kitchen and household basics in addition to a few fun things, Etsy for some more personalized and sentimental gifts, and Honeyfund to give people the opportunity to gift experiences rather than material items like a gondola ride when we're in Venice.

I must admit that it's pretty fun to build a registry. It's like when I add things to my shopping cart online and feel like I purchased things without spending money...except I'll actually get some of these things! Luckily I can adjust everything as much as needed and went through and did some weeding out this weekend now that my bridal shower is in the near future (yikes!).

For today's Wedding Wednesday I wanted to share some of the items I am most excited about!

At first I was registered for some boring metal cannisters at BB&B. As I've finally had some clarity on the vibe I'd like to have in my kitchen I saw this collection and was immediately hooked. I added a majority of the items to our registry. When it comes to kitchen items, if it's not an appliance there were many things I favored from Target's selection. Better color selection for servware and unique items that were no where to be found at BB&B.

Our honeymoon is going to be quite the adventure! I knew that I wanted to find a way for us to compile pictures and momentos from our two weeks of European bliss. We both love the movie Up and when I stumbled upon this while on Etsy one day I knew it was perfect. You can even get something personalized written on spine which I've requested.

Hellooooo, can you say lattes galore at home? I may or may not have an addiction to the frothy foam that comes with my latte and I may or may not have the budget to buy one at the coffee shop every morning. I would have never thought of a milk frother but after following a few bloggers who always preach about theirs I decided it was a must have.

Much to the dismay of the BB&B employee who assisted us there weren't too many things I added to our registry from the fine dining/giftware section. I don't need fancy china (oodles of it are being passed down from family), I don't really do fancy picture frames (though he suckered me into a few), and nice crystal...yea just not my jam. He was a bit distressed that we weren't registering for a cake knife and server, but we're having cupcakes. When we decided to do a cake round as a topper to still have something to cut into I figured I'd search for something a bit my style. I actually saw this server featured in a bridal magazine and immediately fell in love. Now that's something special that I'd like to keep forever.

When else will I try and get away with asking for a $20 mug when my cabinet is already overflowing with them? I'd love to take this baby to work with me for my morning cup of java over emails and am certain that drinking from a Kate Spade mug will make me a happier person. And if the Eat Cake for Breakfast mug comes back from being unavailable you better believe I'm adding that too. It was nice to put something fun and girly just for me on there in addition to the rest of our items.

If you're a bride or newly (or new-ish!) bride, what were some of your favorite registry items? If you're still waiting for the big day, what are you excited to register for?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

February Reads

Milk Glass Moon--Adriana Trigiani
This was the third and final book in the Big Stone Gap series by Trigiani. After the second one I wasn't completely compelled to read this, but I can never leave a story without reading until the end. With the exception of Twilight. I enjoyed this one much better than the second book, Big Cherry Holler, as the main character Ave Maria finally seems to reach a place of comfort in her life again after many years. There were some twists and turns at the end, but overall a heartwarming story of mother daughter relationships.

The Fault in Our Stars--John Green
When I got my library alert that this book was ready for me I was jumping with joy! I've wanted to read it for the longest time and I'd have to say that it lived up to expectations. I'll give you a fair warning to keep a box of tissues nearby because I think I cried throughout the entire book. Two kids with cancer falling in love, what's not to love about this book. Please read this before the movie comes out because like most stories I'm sure this one is better in book form.

My Name Is Memory--Ann Brashares
Wow Ann Brashares! I was so amazed by this book. Megan recommended it to me and I had recalled hearing about it but never knew what the story was about. The book shares stories of a man, Daniel, who has lived many lives and also has the gift of memory to recall these lives, different from many others. It's a love story at the core and Daniel spends many live chasing down the woman he loves. This one hooks you in--I read it all in one day!

The Maze Runner--James Dashner
If you're a fan of the Hunger Games and/or Divergent series' then I've got a treat for you. The story has a similar feel to it, although I'll warn you that I felt the beginning was incredibly slow and it took me a while to get engaged, but it's necessary to build the story. The main character, Thomas, wakes up with absolutely no memory in a place called the Glade and then everything starts to change. Lots of action, suspense, and of course a little bit of love story thrown in. The ending has me itching to read the rest of the series, and this will also come out in theaters later this year.

Twisted Sisters--Jen Lancaster
OK y'all let's get real here... I love me some Jen Lancaster, that woman has a gift of hysterical humor that has almost made me pee my pants while reading her witty memoir-style books. I'm not quite sure she's fit for novels. While I've noted this as a "February read" I'll admit I'm actually still working on this one and haven't decided if I'm really going to finish it. I've gotten far enough that I'm slightly intrigued, but the writing is just a bit over the top. Don't pick this up expecting anything like her previous pieces.

What have you been reading lately? Any good recommendations to share? Have you read any of these books, what did you think?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Motivation

Sorry I've been quiet the past two weeks, life has been (please read with a Gwen Stefani voice for full effect) b-a-n-a-n-a-s. Getting the last details of rentals and food together for the wedding on top of work has been keeping me busy and I've somehow had something to do after work each night.

Excuses aside, let's get down to business. It's Monday! Yes, I used an exclamation point--get pumped. While we may have fast forwarded the clocks and lost some sleep the sun is shining until after 6:00pm and temperatures are getting warmer (knock on wood).

With everything going on lately when I saw this quote the other day I knew I had to share. As we make more deposits for the wedding and track our budget I silently die inside. So we've decided that now until the wedding we're in penny pinching mode. No unnecessary trips that waste gas, eating out only once a week if friends are involved (not that we eat out much to begin with), no frivolous purchases, and try to eat meals from our pantry which I have stocked well enough for us to survive the apocalypse. Not that I'd actually want to survive the apocalypse.

This weekend was the first test and it wasn't too shabby. Luckily we had some killer weather in Virginia which made it easy to find fun things to do outside. I went for two runs, cleaned up our yard, and had a picnic and good walk around Maymont. We've somehow racked up tons of beer so invited friends over last night to help us drink it and played games, although instead we went middle school style and the girls sat around and watched HGTV while Mr. Young & co. hung out in his man room viewing a Pawn Stars marathon.

In this world it is so easy to get caught in wanting materials things and I'll be the first to admit I'm one of them. Doesn't matter what it is. Clothes, tea towels, a cat toy. Give me any object and I'll find a way to rationalize just exactly why I need it. It's time to take my longing for material things and focus that energy towards doing something productive.

I challenge you to burn these words into your mind and make a few purchases as possible this week. I'd be interested to hear what you do instead!