How to shop on a budget and find a great sale

how to shop on a budget and find great sales

I always get the same comments… “I like your outfit” , “Is that new” , “where did you get that from”.  Much to everyone’s surprise, I did not pay much for any of my outfits, more than likely these clothes are not new and I got each item from a place that most people think is way too expensive to go into.  Why?  Because I am not afraid to shop sales or look on the sale rack in any store.

Why spend so much money on 1 item when you can spend that same amount on your whole outfit?  If you are tired of buying clothing full price or if you are interested in knowing how to find the best sales then you have come to the right place.  Now that you have cleaned out your closet which I explained here you can now focus on doing the following.

SIGN UP FOR PROMOTIONAL EMAILS FROM YOUR FAVORITE STORES

It’s so easy to sign up and you get notified of sales that are going on without physically going into the store.  Another good thing is that some items are exclusive to online only and are not available in the store.  You would be surprised at how many good sales are out there including an additional percentage off already reduced prices.  These are some of my favorite stores to check out for good sales:  Zara, Express,  J. Crew, Old Navy,  Gap,  Dillard’s, JC Penney.

Zara, Express, J. Crew, Gap and Dillard’s all have additional 50% off of clearance throughout the year and it is awesome.  American Eagle, Hollister and Abercrombie and Fitch are also hidden gems when it comes to finding great sales with 60% off clearance items.

SHOP AT END OF SEASON SALES OR HOLIDAYS

The best time of the year to find good sales is at the end of the summer and the end of winter.  At the end of each season,  store’s are trying to get rid of the previous seasons’ goods to make room for their next delivery.  So items go on sale to very low prices. Some of the best holiday’s are Black Friday (the weeks following it), the days following Christmas and New Year’s.  Also every other holiday throughout the year you can find many other good sales.

SHOP AT CLEARANCE STORES OR FIND SAMPLE SALES

If you look at some of my earlier posts here, here and here my entire outfit is from a J. Crew sample sale.    At sample sales, you have an opportunity get regular priced items for almost 90% off of the regular price.  Sample sales are all over.  J. Crew is just one of the many sample sales out there that happens to be closest to me.  If you google sample sales in your area you may come across a few that you could try.  There is also a Dillard’s clearance store near me that offers clearance priced items from the main store.  So every time there is an additional percentage off this is also applied to the clearance items in the store.  Sample sales and clearance stores are your friend when it comes to finding the best bang for your buck.

GO INTO A STORE (EVEN IF YOU THINK ITS OUT OF YOUR BUDGET) AND GO STRAIGHT TO THE BACK…

Because that’s where the great sales are 🙂  Don’t be afraid to go into a store that you think is so expensive and as soon as you get in there walk straight to the back of the store.  You will be amazed that this store probably has an additional 50-60% off their clearance items.  How do I know?  I’ve done it so many times before and have gone home with so many deals.  This also goes back to my first point.

A lot of people I come across are amazed at how much I paid for my outfit but it’s not that hard to do.  Don’t be afraid to try different stores that you would never go into and go straight to the sale rack.  Be smart about the prices you pay for your clothing.  If you can catch it on sale at the end of the season or if you can set an alert for the store to email you when things go on sale you can save so much money.  Why pay full price when you can get it cheaper?

How to wear a jacket 6 ways and get away with it at work

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Since winter is approaching jackets will now become my best friend.  They especially come in handy because it’s always freezing in my office.  I work in a corporate environment so it is important to maintain that professional look yet still be stylish.  In this post I will explain how to wear a jacket 6 different ways and still look professional and trendy at the same time.

If you refer to my previous post, there I spoke about must have items to create easy outfits.  You will need to refer to this post to see what essential items are needed.  It will also be helpful to refer to this post to be sure you have decluttered your closet of items that are not necessities.

Blazer

With a Dress

Black and Beige Striped Dress with Black Jacket Pink Dress with Mint Jacket Heather Grey Dress with Black Jacket Floral Dress with Blue Jacket Black Dress with White Jacket

Please do not overthink this part!  Pick out your favorite dress then find a blazer that has a color that compliments the dress.  I took a black and beige striped dress and put a black blazer with it. I did the same thing with a heather grey dress in the 3rd photo and a black dress in the 5th photo.  Also as you can see I mixed and matched 2 different colors-mint and pink and it came together well.  You can see where I got these two items from here.  The floral dress has pops of blues in it so I found a blue blazer to go back with it.  The dress also has burgundy flowers and if I had a burgundy blazer I could have put that with it too.  So I used a blazer color that complimented the dress.

With a Tank and Pant

Printed Jacket with Navy pant Navy Jacket with Khaki Dress Pant Black Jacket with Printed Pant Red Jacket with Printed Pant Pink Jacket with Stripe Pants Navy Jacket with Printed Leggings

Matching your blazer with a pant is the same idea as with a dress.  Match what colors compliment each other.  In the first photo the blazer has hints of navy so I put navy pants with it.  Same thing for the 6th photo, my pants had navy in the print so my jacket is navy.  Remember that black and white can basically go with any pop color.  For instance, in the 5th photo, my pants are black and white striped and my blazer is pink.  I could have easily put a red, orange or green blazer with this and they all would have gone perfectly with the pants.

*Remember that a dark solid color blazer will look best with a neutral colored pant such as in photo 2 and with some sort of printed pant as in photos 3, 4, 5 and 6.
*This can be reversed, a printed blazer goes really well with a dark solid pant as in photo 1.
*As you can see all the tanks I layered under the blazers were either white or a neutral beige color.  This post will help guide you with choosing a top to layer under jackets.

With Jeans

Pink Jacket with Blue Jeans Navy Jacket with Red Pants Black pant with Printed Jacket Black Jacket with Blue Jeans

You can put any blazer with blue jeans.  You can even mix it up with adding a button up under the blazer.  You can really have fun with this and put a colored denim with a solid blazer or a black denim with a printed blazer.

Leather Jacket

With a Dress

Black Leather Jacket with Dress Brown Leather Jacket with Floral Dress

The same idea is applied with a leather jacket as with a blazer and a dress.  As long as the colors compliment each other you should be good to go.

With a Tee and Pants

Black Leather Jacket with White Pants

A solid black leather jacket goes really well with white pants.  This is actually one of my favorite color combinations.  Check out this blog post for more details.  This black leather jacket would also go well with blue jeans and a pop color jean.

Denim Jacket

With a Dress

Denim Jacket with Floral Skirt Denim Jacket with Bright Blue Dress Denim Jacket with Polka Dot Dress

Putting a denim jacket with a skirt or dress is always a good idea. Denim jackets are considered neutral, meaning they can go with so many things.  I have 2 denim jackets and thats all I need because they go with anything and are especially cute with dresses.  They will easily go with all the dresses in this post.

Now that I’ve shown you how you can wear a jacket 6 ways I hope that you now realize how easy it is.  It’s really about having fun.  The more you try it the more it will become easy for you. Always remember… don’t be afraid to step out of the box! 🙂

Must Have Fashion Staples to Create Easy Multiple Outfits

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Sometimes it can be overwhelming to put an outfit together especially in a rush. Overtime I’ve learned that having certain fashion staples in my wardrobe allows me to put outfits together easily.

Another good thing is that collecting these items overtime gives the ability to interchange them thus creating multiple outfits.
In this post I will list out those particular items.  Not only will these help build your wardrobe but you will also keep them forever.

This first fashion staple is the outer layer of an outfit..

1. Jacket
a) Blazer– In neutral, black and a pop color or colors of your choice.  This staple item can be dressed down see an example here. It can also be dressed up see an example here and here.
b) Leather Jacket-In a neutral, black and a pop color. You can see one of my favorite leather jackets in a previous blog post here.
c) Denim Jacket-I love denim jackets because they literally go with anything! See how I wore it with this dress here.
In summary, having each item will allow you to grow your wardrobe with essential items that can go with anything.  Thus people will not notice that its an item you have had for several years.

This next wardrobe essential is layered under jackets…

2. Top
a) Cami-In white, black and a neutral color.
b) Tee– In white and black.
It is a good idea to have several different styles, lengths and types of each of these items.  No need to pay alot for these as they do not last as long.  In almost all my previous posts I have a tank or tee layered under some sort of jacket.

This next item is very important because it rounds out the total outfit…

3. Pant
a) Jeans– In colors blue, black and white.  Skinny, Bootcut or Flare
First of all, I really love the Rockstar jeggings at Old Navy because they are so comfortable and fit so well.  I’ve worn these with so many outfits here and here.  I also love J. Crew’s jeans because they last a while and they are always on sale. See how I wore them here.   I have an example of a flare leg jean in another post here.
b) Dress Pant-Navy, Black and a pop color or print.  Skinny, Bootcut or Flare.
I have an example here of a neon green pair with a blazer and a navy pair here.
c) Leggings-I cannot forget the simple black legging!  I practically live in these in the winter.

And of course this next item is a must have to anchor the outfit…

4. Shoes
a) Dressy Flats– Neutral, Metallic, Black and a fun print.
b) Heels-In Neutral and Black.  Heels and flats are interchangeable because if you want to be comfortable you can just wear a dressy flat instead.
c) Boots-Black-knee boots or Booties.  I wear alot of leggings with boots often times mixed with a jacket because it’s so easy and fashion forward.
In almost all my posts I have on a neutral or metallic silver heel and/or boots or a bootie.
You can where a shoe with a fun print to mix and match the outfit or keep it all neutral.

Once you have collected all these items you can make a fashion statement. If being a fashionista is not your goal then at least you won’t have to go shopping for a while! I’ve collected a lot of items over 5 years ago which has saved me lots of money!  Therefore you can never go wrong!

In summary, having each fashion staple will allow you to grow your wardrobe, choose outfits easily and create multiple outfits.  Thus people will not notice that you’ve worn each piece several times and have had some items for several years.

Here are some other examples below.

Fashion staple Cape with Booties Fashion Staples Jean Jacket and Dress Fashion Staples Blazer with Navy Pants Fashion Staples Pink Blazer and Stripe Pant Fashion Staples Navy Blazer with Khaki Pant Fashion Statement Navy Cardigan with Floral Legging

Now put your outfit together and let me know how it turned out 😉

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Fashion Staples Needed to Create Easy Multiple Outfits

5 Steps I took to Really Enjoy my Vacation

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My fiancé and I recently took our summer vacation.  The first trip we ever took together was at Wilmington Beach and we both enjoyed the ocean so much that we make it a point to go there as often as possible.  This time we went to Surfside Beach for the first time and it was incredible.  We will definitely be going back.

Surfside Beach

Even though the ocean is such a beautiful place… it can be hard for me to de-stress and not worry about all the ups and downs that everyday life may bring.  And there is way too much to be grateful for… so I did not want that to interfere with my chance to have fun and really relax.

I want to share with you 5 steps I took to help shut out the negativity, de-stress and really enjoy my vacation:

Fiance at Surfside Beach

Enjoyed The Current Moment

Have you ever just focused on fully enjoying the current moment and not worry about the next action you are going to take or the next thing you are going to do or say?  “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own” Matthew 6:34

What good is it to worry about the future if you can’t even enjoy the present.  Time flies… I knew that this moment would eventually be over and I needed to soak it up and take it all in.

Found What Made Me Happy

What made me the happiest was sitting in a chair and looking at the ocean with my fiancé.  It’s something about the ocean and the beach that makes all other worries go away.  We both share this same idea which makes it even better.  Because of this we can reflect on things that are important in our lives.   This also gives me hope and helps build a natural connection to what really matters and being grateful.

Surfside Beach

Meditated

I normally don’t consciously meditate but this time I actually tried it and it really helped.

Surfside Beach

My meditation was not very long but instead it was short.  I got quiet and didn’t think about anything for just 5 minutes here and there.  It’s ok to just be quiet, this is something I also did to help me disengage from the stresses of the world and just fully commit to my current situation.

Surfside Beach

Have Fun with Activities

And this wasn’t a big planned event.  Finding seashells, looking at what the ocean has washed up like jelly fish and watching tiny crabs come out of their hiding places.  Another big event is looking at the sunrise with my fiancé.  It’s truly God’s blessing to be able to see and it amazes me how spectacular it is.  We both enjoy art so we did a wine and design class which was also very fun to let go and enjoy what we love to do.

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Surfside Beach

Started Thinking Positive

I continuously made a conscious effort to only focus on the positives.

Pushing out all negativity from my mind and thinking positively can be hard but once I practiced doing it over and over it finally became the norm.  It was sort of like reprogramming my brain.  If I can program it to be negative than I can certainly reprogram it to be positive.  I believe in God and through Him anything is possible.  “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11  

When I did think about the future it was only for positive goals.  Such as our wedding next year, our house being built,  how to continue to stay positive and how to continue to help others.  Nothing negative!

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These are all actions that not only allowed me to de-stress and enjoy my vacation but I’m also able to implement it after vacation.  And that is when its even more important because “wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” Matthew 6:21.   The thing that you put first in your life, will be the thing that leads you.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the everyday trials of life and it is very important to take a step back and enjoy life as it currently is.  This was a time for me to recenter and be reminded of what is important.  I hope it can also help you with your situation.

What are some actions you take to de-clutter your brain?  Leave a comment and share 🙂

Style Inspiration: Blazer + Jeans for Spring

So I found this outfit inspiration in Glamour magazine and loved the look.  Blazers are my favorite items in my wardrobe because they can be dressed up and dressed down.  They also make my overall outfits look sleek even if I have just jeans on with it.

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What I also liked most about the outfit inspiration I found in Glamour is that the blazer was a blush/peachy color and one of my favorite blazers is similar to this color.  I love that the light, girly spring color of the blazer in contrast with the denim.

My jeans are old and they are a high rise skinny from J. Crew but you can find similar here here here or here.  Blazer is old from J. Crew but you can find similar here here here.

The strappy cami is from Express here but you can also find a cute one here or here.

Any neutral color pump or sandal will do for the shoe.

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Coral Blazer

Mirina Collections Statement Necklace

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I must say… finding the perfect statement necklace is everything!  The one I have on is the Audrina statement necklace from here. I wanted a necklace that wasn’t too heavy or bulky and one that would literally flow with any outfit.  This peice is timeless and the overall design and color makes for an amazing accessory for multiple outfits. The look I chose consists of a dark grey sleeveless top with a high collar (which I did on purpose)…. this helped showcase the necklace even more and black jeans with a nude pump.  The necklace compliments the overall outfit well! 🙂

If you go over to Mirina Collections you will see that this is not the only beauty but you have many other accessories to choose from including earrings and sunglasses… just to name a few.  If you go to Mirina Collections now you will receive 20% OFF any item of your choice.  So not only will you get 20% OFF of the necklace I have on…. but any other item that you choose if you use the coupon code: “mirinagirls” at checkout.

Let me know what you end up choosing, I would love to know!

Good luck!

xoxoxo

Hair Love: No Heat Curls

I got a lot of questions and comments about my hair so I decided to blog about it.  My hair is natural but I got it blown out, straightened and flat ironed at a hair salon.  So this style was done on  straight hair you could also do it if your hair is relaxed.  I did not want to wear my hair straight this time so I decided to keep it curly.  In order to keep it curly I had two choices, either to pin curl it or put in flexi rods at night.  I’ve never done pin curls before and I didn’t trust that I would do them well since I had never done them before.  So I went with the flexi rods.  Before I went to bed I put the rods in and wore them overnight.  I wasn’t too thrilled about the idea of wearing flexi rods in my hair at night but pain is beauty.. right 🙂

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Honestly, the first night was a bit uncomfortable but the nights after were fine.  My hair is medium length and I used orange and grey flexi rods.. about 10 total.  The more rods you use the more volume your hair will have so you can play around with it.  You could also use the purple rods with this length of hair but I ended up pulling out the grey when I ran out of the orange.
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Its a little hard to get the ends of the hair neatly curled onto the roller with straight-dry hair so I wanted to use hair roller paper to wrap around the ends of the hair to keep the ends together but I ran out of them so I had to use what I could find.

I ended up using toilet paper sheets and it worked just as good!  This is definitely a trick that I will use more often.  After my entire head was rolled up I just placed a bonnet on it to hold it all together at night.

So the next morning I started pulling each flexi rod out carefully.

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Now your hair will be tightly curled and flat after you take the rods out but don’t worry.  Just comb each curl out with a wide tooth comb until you have the right amount of volume all over. Keep combing and combing until you get your desired look.  It’s really hard to mess your hair up at this point because the curls are already set.

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Style it however you like.

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And this is the end result!  Leave a comment if you have any questions.

Style Inspiration: Navy and Stripes

So I have another style inspiration 🙂 from Glamour magazine.  I love this look because its classy and great for work… if you work in a corporate environment or you can wear it to church. I also think its perfect for the weather since its warming up.  It also has a menswear feel to it which is very on trend and chic.

The best thing about this outfit is that it never goes out of style.  The navy pant is an essential item in your wardrobe and you can wear it many different ways.

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navy stripeScreen Shot 2016-03-26 at 6.48.54 PM

I got my top from a J. Crew warehouse sale but you can find some similar below:

nay stripes

Old Navy Old Navy H&M

H&M H&M Asos 

Asos J.Crew J.Crew

The Navy Chinos can be found below:

Navy Pant

J. Crew / Old Navy Gap

Macy’s / Target / Asos

Style Craving: Sexy Leggings for Spring

Work out leggings have gotten sexy and fun and I am so excited about it.  I am loving this new yoga legging trend.  Not only can you wear them to the gym but you can wear them out and still be stylish.  The top three legging/yoga pant trends that I am craving are the ones with the mesh cutouts, the lace up detail and the bold color prints.

Knockout Leggings

The sexy cutouts with mesh are bold and sleek.

You can find these leggings at:

Forever 21 HereHereHereHereHereHere or Here.

Prices range from $14.90-$24.90.  If you are looking for some that are more affordable.  This is a pretty inexpensive route.

OR

Lululemon Here for $98.00 if you want some that are high tech with specific fabric features.

Cutout Leggings

The lace-up and strappy detail is cute with a little bit of sass.

You can find the ones pictured above at:

Forever 21 here for $19.90, here for $12.90, my favorite here for $86.00, here for $22.90.

OR

Asos here for $120.00 and here for $25.00.

The pricing is a bit more expensive for this particular styling but if you need an affordable pair you can opt for the ones from Forever 21.

Printed Leggings

Bold color and prints make a huge fashion statement when you step out in these leggings.

These are couple that were my personal favorite but you can find printed legging’s anywhere.

You can find the ones that I’ve picked above at:

H&M here for $29.99 and here for $39.99, Victoria’s Secret similar here for $64.50, Nike here for $115.00 and here for $54.97.

If you choose any of these leggings to workout, run errands or whatever you decide.. you will be stepping out comfortable but in style.

SNS: Signature Nail System Nail Care Review

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I am probably the last person on earth to finally try this stuff out.  In case you are like me and have not tried it before let me explain it… SNS is a 3 step process where the nail is dipped in powder to apply a coat of color to your nails.  My normal nail routine is acrylic or gel. I tried this last weekend and loved it!  This is my first time trying this product but from now on this will be my go to.

Pros:

  1. Quick-My least favorite part about getting my nails done is the drying time.  I would say the entire process took about 20 minutes at the most and dried immediately like gel.  So with SNS you won’t have to wait for them to dry.
  2. Longevity-I wore acrylic nails for about 3 years and recently got them taken off to give my nails a break.  I loved how long my nails grew and how healthy they were but they would still break easily and frequently.  SNS will last 2-3 weeks about 1 week longer than acrylic with no chipping or breaking.
  3. Natural-Another concern for me with acrylic/gel nails was the strong chemical smell and the use of UV light.  I got my nails done about twice a month so after so many times I started to wonder what long term affects it would have on my body.  According to the SNS website, they do not use harsh chemicals so there is no odor and it does not require UV light.  Also they look like my natural nail and they feel light.
  4. Price-The price is comparable to gel and acrylic.  I normally pay $25 for acrylic with polish and $30 for acrylic with gel finish.  Gel on my natural nail is $25.  SNS was $30 so it’s not like I’m paying more than the usual and I am willing to go this route because of the other benefits it brings.

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Cons:

  1. The nail tech made mine a little too thick for my liking but that’s just me.  I don’t like it when it looks thick.  I would just let her know that for next time or maybe switch to a different tech.  However, overall they still look good.
  2. I believe the removal process would be the same as removing gel or acrylic which also scrapes off some of the nail…making them thinner and brittle.  I personally don’t like that.  So I will see when it’s time to get them redone.

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It’s been a week now since I got them done and they still look the same.  In case you didn’t notice I also got engaged within the last week too 🙂

So far I give this product a thumbs up. 🙂