Monday, July 28, 2014

July 2014 Budget


 July 2014
 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

I've noticed during the summer I spend less money on clothing and shoes. This may be a good thing, but this is the time where I do majority of my traveling since I am on summer break. However, this summer I am taking two online summer classes which allows me to travel and turn things in ahead of time.

Madewell skirt (on sale)
40% off with code ENDLESS until Monday 7/28/2014
$52.50 - 40% off + tax = $34.26
I just purchased this online yesterday. I have been looking for a simple black skirt that I can dress up or down. I haven't seen it in stores but other reviewers love it. I am hoping for this to be a keeper. If not, it'll go back.

Zella Reversible Leggings via Nordstrom (on sale)
Originally $52, on sale $33.90 + tax = $36.87
I love the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale since the items are from the Fall collection. Last year was my first year shopping the sale. This year I opted for Zella leggings. They're reversible! They have over 1,300 reviews with 99% of them positive. I originally wanted the Zella Barley Flare Booty Pants, but half of the logo on the back left leg would have been chopped off to hem to the perfect length. I contemplated keeping them, but I felt like it looked as though I forgot to rip off the sticker on my new pants and the long length is sold out system wide. Therefore I opted for the black leggings. Do I need them persay, no, but my friend convinced me. So far the leggings hold all of me in. They're not see through when you bend over or bend your knees. I machine wash and hang dry to extend the life of the elastic. So far they're holding up well, but hey, it's only been two weeks!

Navy Blue Ikat Dress via Ross
$10.99 + tax = $11.95
I really like maxi dresses, but I love unique maxi dresses in addition to plain ones. Stores like Ross is a great place to find unique maxi dresses that the rest of ladies in our city do not have for a very resonable price. The photo above is not the exact dress. Mine is navy blue, with a pink and white ikat design. I just need a little hemming and slimming and it would be ready to go.

Nike Elite Socks
$5.99 + tax = $6.51
I love a good pair of socks. I can't bring myself to spend $10+ on one pair of these cozy Nike Elite socks. When you think about it, you can get a bag of socks for under $10! Thankfully my friend filled me on the secret stash that are popping up in Ross stores. I picked up a pair and love the feel of it. I like to think my shoes are getting less of my feet sweat when I work out (TMI?). The only down side is that I prefer ankle length socks.

Zella Black Socks
Originally $22, on sale $13.90 + tax = $15.12
I purchased the white set last year and loved them so I thought I'd get a black set this year. The whites are a bit less white now, but still work as though they're new! To keep the life wear of the socks, I hang all my socks to dry. I think the dryer fries the elastic of the socks.

June Total $104.71
Left for the year: $549.92 - 104.71 = $445.22

Be sure to hop over to Franish to check out other budgeting bloggers!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Picks from the Nordstrom Anniversay Sale 2014

Nordstrom 2014 Anniversary Picks
1 // 2 // 3 // 4
5 // 6 // 7 // 8

Last year I was introduced to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale that typically occurs around this time. This year I reserved my money for leggings and socks (more on this tomorrow). I am also saving up for a pair of nice fitting jeans, something I know that will gets its wear's worth. Unfortunately I didn't find anything at Nordstrom that complemented me that was within my price range.

Nordstrom lets their shopping buy online and do in-store pick up. I love this feature! This lets me get in and out without window shopping too much. The best part is that I can get my stuff instantly instead of waiting for it in the mail. Plus I still get my eBates cashback benefits! It's a win-win all around. If you haven't signed up for eBates, you can sign up here*. It's so simple to use. Just search your store you would like to shop at and then click "shop now" and you'll be on your way to receiving cashback. eBates pretty much make this cashback system effortless.

*This is a referral link and I will receive a $5 reward after you make your first purchase through eBates.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A June Babe

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/1-birthday-candles-ruth-black.html

This year I chose to celebrate my birthday a bit differently than the usual dinner with my family. One of my now very close nursing friend's birthday the day after mine. Instead of hosting two birthday celebrations, we had one big (mini) sha-bang. Birthday boy and I decided on a family style dinner + ice cream and party the rest of the night away. It was fun time celebrating and catching up six weeks into our (their) summer break.

The girls.

Last week, sweet-boy and I went to a bed and breakfast in Napa. I've told him about my desires for a bed and breakfast years ago when we were friends. I'm glad he had his listening ears on (a term I use with the kiddos I watch). The experience was amazing and the breakfast was delicious. I am still craving their yummy fresh baked lemon cookies. I cannot wait to go back!

 Freshly baked croissant and cranberry scones.
 
Huevos Rancheros

We also had the opportunity to stop by Boon Fly Cafe, one of my favorite bunch places in Napa. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

NYC 2014

It's almost been six weeks since I came back from the bustling New York City. Although I love San Francisco, I would be lying if I didn't tell you I have NYC withdrawals from time to time.

I went to NYC with my very good friend who recently graduated from college (!). In the beginning I thought we were kidding about going to NYC, but my persistence lead us  to flight research and be fore we knew it, we booked our round-trip flight for $298!


General Tips:
  • Use a cashback website such as eBates to purchase your flights, hotel, etc. 
  • Flights - We booked our flights in April. Some people say flights are at its all time low 57+ days before your departure. I don't know how they came up with that statistic, but I got a really nice deal on my flight. I suggest booking either on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. From experience I noticed Wednesday morning flights were generally cheaper than Tuesdays. We originally looked at round-trip flights, but realized it was cheaper to book our flights one-way each way. However this may not always be the case. We booked our flights through Expedia and Kayak. You might also want to check the airline website as well to be sure you're getting the best deal.
  • Hotels are expensive - NYC in general is an expensive place to live. We booked our stay through airbnb.com which saved us a few hundred bucks! We had an entire apartment to ourselves for a fraction of what a hotel would have cost us. Plus free wifi. Believe it or not, when we shopped around for hotels, many of them were nicked since there were ridigious prices for wifi! Depending where you stay, wifi is not free.
  • Plan ahead! I took my online summer classes with me in NYC and my friend was preparing for finals and graduation the week before take off. I was homework bulking so I could have stress free days while in NYC. Needless to stay our stress levels were high. I highly recommend having a list of places you want to hit up. You can begin with dropping pins on a shared map on Google. From there make it your "goals" for the days you will be staying. We still had plenty of time to do other things. We left our last half day in NYC free to pick up whatever we needed to bring back home, mainly food goodies. Our breakdown went something like this:
    • Breakfast 
    • Attraction
    • Lunch
    • Attraction
    • Dinner
    • Dessert/Attraction
  • Grab a paper map from the airport if you're a wee-bit technology-challenged or as a back up if your phone dies. We forgot and I have trouble reading maps on my phone since I can never figure out which direction the yellow man is facing.
  • CityPass! It's a great steal if you are very interested in museums. We purchased this, but a lot of the museums let you in with a donation of your choice! Plus MOMA is free on Fridays! 
  • Broadway - We tried really hard to find a good deal to see Aladdin on broadway, but the ticket prices were way out of our budget since it was "last minute." We were still looking for day of or one day before while we were in NYC. We came across this huge booth in Time Square behind the red staircase that sold discounted broadway tickets anywhere from 25-75% off!
  • Subway - $31 for a 7-day unlimited subway pass that you pay for at the train station. 
  • Shopping - If you plan on shopping in NYC, leave some room in your luggage - tax free on clothing under $150! 
  • Packing for summer - bring comfortable foot wear(!!!), comfy shorts/dresses/rompers, a light jacket, umbrella (check the weather)

I am going to do a mini photo dump. Feel free to skip on by if you're not interested. My feelings won't be hurt :)

Also, feel free to shoot me an email (plus leave a comment telling me you did so I'll be sure to respond), if you're looking for some recommendations in NYC. I am not an expert, but I can lend a few tourist tips!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Make-Up Tutorial

An amazing reminder of what should be on the inside-out.