January Closet Additions

Yes! One whole month of not shopping is behind me, just two more to go. Admittedly this month was not without it's challenges, and I was honestly thinking it would be the easiest coming off the holidays and my previous month of indulgences.

Not going into stores was the biggest change I made to curb my shopping, along with unsubscribing from every eBay saved search, every store email and constantly having to mentally berate myself every time I started browsing my favorite virtual shops.

Naturally you might be wondering what I have to post for closet additions... well I had a Christmas gift to exchange and I got some pretty new flats from Banana Republic - I did not spend any of my other gift cards, as I decided that still counts as shopping, but since this was an exchange I made an exception.

There were also some belated holiday celebrations, so I thought I'd include those presents, along with gifted items, as I've done in the past.



Ottoto Gasglow Sunglasses c/o GlassesUSA.com
Marc Fisher Escape Over the Knee Boots
Banana Republic Dillon-Fit Floral Classic Blouse
Banana Republic Green Suede Adana Flats

White Culottes in the Winter

Happiness does not start when ‘this, that or the other’ thing is resolved.  Happiness is what happens now, when I make the best of what I have.

I've been working so hard on developing better habits lately, and while I know it won't be an overnight change, even doing small things each day can make a difference. I can remember a time in my life when I said "Where is the joy in Sunday, when I know it will be followed by Monday?" But now I relish my Sundays. I've been enjoying finding myself back in the habit of attending church, and of course having Sean home has made a big difference. I hope these Sundays continue to stretch on. Having a reason to get up and out of bed is a great motivator to have a productive day, plus I love being able to get dressed up for church.

I'd been thinking about these white culottes lately, having only worn them once during the fall, I felt like rather than putting them on hold until the spring, I'd try and layer them up for a reasonably warm January day. I know the look was a success, because a fellow Starbucks patron complimented me, and for whatever reason, a compliment from a stranger always completely makes my day.

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The Rundown
Black Merino Wool Sweater Gap similar
White Culottes Thrifted similar
Camel Coat J.Crew thrifted similar
Leopard Pumps Sam Edelman
Tilly Scalloped Clutch Matine
Gold Bracelet The Cavernous Jewelry Box
Thin Gold Ring Etsy via Sweet Olive Jewelry
Crystal Bar Ring Upper Metal Class




and

Valentine's Gifts Under $50

Valentine's Day is nearly two weeks away, and whether you like to celebrate in a big way, or go with a more low-key approach, a little (affordable) romance is always welcome.



Lace Bra, $18 at H&M
Lace Panties, $8 at H&M
Mrs. & Mr. Guest Towels, $5 at H&M
XO Earrings, $42 a ApplePear
Happy Plugs iPhone Case, $25 at H&M
Tybee Solid Cologne, $42 at Fulton & Roark
Moleskine All You Need is Love Notebook, $20 at Amazon
Heart Shaped Ring Dish, $10 at Target
Golden Hearts Mug, $13 at Starbucks
Dual Heart iPhone Charging Cable, $15 at Kikkerland
Voluspa Candle, $20 at Anthropologie

Looked like rain

By allowing myself to be happy, I make others in my life happy too.

I thought for sure we were in for a very rainy day, but the sun actually decided to make an appearance instead. Normally I would not see this as an issue at all, but I was looking forward to taking outfit photos with my cute Kate Spade umbrella I got for Christmas!

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The Rundown
Black Dress Old Navy similar
Trench Coat London Fog thrifted similar
Boots Migliorini via TJMaxx buy on eBay similar
Tilly Tote Matine
Pearl Anchor Necklace Made by Me
Gold Bracelets The Cavernous Jewelry Box
Signature Spade Ring Kate Spade similar
Knot Ring c/o Emitations similar



and

On my own

 I promise to only acknowledge the positive this day has to offer.

Taking my own outfit photos has it's pros and cons. When I started this blog I wouldn't have dreamt of asking anyone else to take my photos. It was my blog, my craft, my style. Naturally I wanted to get out my backyard, because how long can you look at the same garage door as the backdrop for every post? So I started driving to the center of town and opting for the places with the most seclusion I could find, but still, people stared, commented, photobombed. Cameras fell, lenses broke, lessons were learned.

I'm smarter, and more cautious when it comes to my camera, I make sure the lens is always situated over a leg so the camera can never fall lens first. I'm polite to people who pass by, I laugh at those who tease and mock. Though truthfully, having a person behind the camera makes life so much easier. Photos get done faster, when I want different angles it's not an ordeal of adjusting tripod legs and half a dozen test shots, and I don't feel uncomfortable when people walk by.

But sometime it's nice to be alone with the camera, not to have to worry about someone else's agenda or worry I'm being annoying when something isn't framed just so. Generally these are the warmer days though. Below freezing, forgetaboutit.

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The Rundown
Black Merino Wool Sweater Gap similar
Flared Denim Gap similar
Navy Faux Fur Coat Vintage similar
Studded Booties Guess via TJMaxx similar
Bag "Lewis Drive Michela" Kate Spade similar
Leather Pom Matine
Navy Wool Fedora J.Crew similar
Bracelet The Cavernous Jewelry Box
Stacked Rings Gorjana via TJMaxx similar




and

How I have better mornings

I feel energized and motivated by the potential that this new day holds.

With Sundays being so good, Monday can feel like a dreadful alarm, waking me up before I'm ready, and well, usually includes an alarm waking me up before I'm ready. While I don't look forward to weekday mornings, I've been trying to make changes to improve them. Here is what has been working:

The first thing I do to have a better morning is to get up earlier. I know it's hard, and occasionally I fail, but giving myself the time to be able to get ready without being in a frantic rush makes my morning better. Having time to eat breakfast is important. Studies show!

The second thing which made a big difference for me was Sean getting up with me. The months when I got up and got ready while he snoozed away made me (unfairly) resent him. We have opposite schedules, but when he obliged my request to get up with me it improved my mood a great deal, and not just because he's making me latt├ęs while I do my hair. We have breakfast together, get to share a few quiet moments in the morning, and then he can go back to bed as soon as I leave.

Commutes can be a pain. 22 minutes without traffic is generally 30 in the morning, but on some unfortunate days, can be stretched to an hour. Which brings me to the third way I make my mornings better; keeping myself from fixating on how slowly I'm going by having something good to listen to. I love the NPR One app. There is so much great content, including podcasts like Radiolab and a new favorite, "How I Built This". If I'd rather listen to music and I'm bored of my Spotify playlists, Radio Paradise is usually on point, and commercial free.

I'm not going to tell you that I have my outfits planned out, because I never do, even though it would probably make for a better morning. Planning out lunch is also really great, and I'd highly recommend that.

What do you do to have better mornings?

 maroon sweater dress, tan over the knee boots, springbok clutch-4.jpg maroon sweater dress, tan over the knee boots, springbok clutch-7.jpg maroon sweater dress, tan over the knee boots, springbok clutch-2.jpg maroon sweater dress, tan over the knee boots, springbok clutch-6.jpg maroon sweater dress, tan over the knee boots, springbok clutch-8.jpg maroon sweater dress, tan over the knee boots, springbok clutch-3.jpg
The Rundown
Sweater Dress Target c/o Swap similar
Brown Leather Jacket c/o Wallis similar
Over the Knee Boots Marc Fisher
Springbok Clutch Oliveve c/o Shopbop
Hammered Pendant Necklace Avon similar
Beaded Bracelet Alex & Ani
Gold Bracelets The Cavernous Jewelry Box
Cloudy Agate Bracelet J.Crew
Stacked Rings Gorjana via TJMaxx similar
Sunglasses "Meteor" Ray-Ban c/o TJMaxx






and

Onward

I accept who I am now, and look forward to becoming even better.

Every so often I have to remind myself that this blog is still very much a hobby for me, and that most days, I don't have any obligation to post, other than the obligation I put on myself. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, I like my commitment to the blog, and I appreciate everyone who comes to read it. But there will still be some nights when I don't have the drive to make sure a post is scheduled for the next morning - nights when I just want to sit on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and watch "This Is Us" and not stress over a post title - still always the hardest!

I know I want to make changes this year, and I want them to stick, I want to be able to enjoy more and dread less, because why put up with a life full of dread at all? A thought that keeps nagging at me is, 'could I blog full time?' Yet I'm at a loss at how to bridge that gap. If you've made the leap, I'd love to hear about it.

 floral blouse, black cardigan, green box bag, suede flats-7.jpg floral blouse, black cardigan, green box bag, suede flats-5.jpg floral blouse, black cardigan, green box bag, suede flats-1.jpg floral blouse, black cardigan, green box bag, suede flats-3.jpg floral blouse, black cardigan, green box bag, suede flats-6.jpg floral blouse, black cardigan, green box bag, suede flats-4.jpg floral blouse, black cardigan, green box bag, suede flats-12.jpg floral blouse, black cardigan, green box bag, suede flats-10.jpg
The Rundown
Floral Blouse Old Navy similar
Black Merino Cardigan Gap similar
Yoga Jeans Second Denim via Coco & Vera's Giveaway
Green Suede Flats "Adana" Banana Republic
Snakeskin Box Bag c/o Vintanthromodern similar 
Blue Teardrop Necklace c/o A Jewelry Crush
Beaded Bracelet Alex & Ani
Gold Bracelets The Cavernous Jewelry Box
Signature Spade Ring Kate Spade similar
Gold Wrap Ring gift from Meg similar
Sunglasses "Glasgow" Ottoto c/o GlassesUSA




Tortoise Aviators

I accept all gifts graciously and with deep gratitude.

Eyewear is one of my favorite accessories, there are so many shapes and styles to flatter and hide behind. I was delighted when GlassesUSA.com invited me to try out a pair of glasses from their house collection. Aviators feel like one of the tricker shapes when it comes to my face, and so they might not want to be a pair I'd order online, however I felt confident in doing so after using GlassesUSA.com's virtual try on feature, and they fact that they have a no hassle free return policy makes it completely worry free.

When I was in high school there was one class where I was assigned a seat in the back and had trouble reading the board. I got my eyes checked and came home with the ugliest pair of glasses, which my parents spent upwards of $300 on. I wore them for that class and that class alone, and haven't gotten my eyes checked since. I know I can't live in denial of not needing glasses forever, though it's amazing how much the internet has changed the landscape of prescription lenses. Companies like GlassesUSA.com offer frames including perscription lenses for as little as $48, which is simply remarkable, and makes the idea of addressing my myopia a little less intimidating; for my wallet anyway.

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The Rundown
 Grey Cable Knit Sweater Gap similar
White Jeans Old Navy
Over the Knee Boots "Atilla" Ivanka Trump similar
Suede Bag Shop in Italy similar
Grey Fur Pom Amazon
Grey Wool Hat Forever 21 similar 
Bling Earrings c/o JoJo Loves You
Watch "Classic Sheffield" c/o Daniel Wellington
Beaded Bracelet Alex & Ani
Gold Bracelets The Cavernous Jewelry Box
Gold Wrap Ring gift from Meg similar
Sunglasses "Glasgow" Ottoto c/o GlassesUSA





This post is sponsored by GlassesUSA.com, thanks for supporting the brands who support Chic on the Cheap!