Getting Graphic: Red Accessories for the Home

Red Home Accessories

Pillow | Area Rug | Print | Cloth Napkin

Cupid knows his stuff.  A few doses of red during the month of February can be a lovely pick-me-up for the winter blues.  Add a touch of red to your home decor.  It will be a splash of energy in an otherwise neutral space.  I love graphic, modern crimson prints with traditional or even French style furniture.  The style says, I’m eclectic, laid back and chic.  Aside from neutrals, red works well with purple or aqua/turquoise. If you’re looking for some inspiration to pair alongside your radiant red: Purple & Aqua (my absolute favorite).  I’m thinking about using the red and aqua combination in my home office.  Still a work in progress – 5 months later.  Let’s not talk about it!

On a different note, today would be an excellent time for me to inform you of all of my fabulous purchases from our $75 budget challenge. Except, I’m not going to do that.  I already shared my ONLY January purchase – a $59 teal, Diane Von Furstenberg dress.  My remaining $16 went untouched – so unlike me!  Hello, $91 February allowance.  I need a new: Hmmmm, I’m not too sure yet, but I’ll know it when I see it.

If you’re craving budget-friendly winter wardrobe items, you can read about what Erin purchased in January here.  She’s such a wise shopper!

Tell us how you feel about a pop of red in the home?




Erin’s $75 Budget Recap for January

Erin's $75 Budget Recap (January)

Color me a moron this month! I just realized the scarf I had been including in my $75 monthly allowance for January was technically purchased on 12/31. How did this fact go unnoticed by me for an entire month? My memory failed me! And after all that lamenting to Amanda for 31 painful days. I only have $4 left, is what I kept whining (and my calculations were wrong again, I gypped myself of a buck).

**Across America, all of Erin’s former math teachers wept in unison.**

I’m going to take this major misstep as a blessing in disguise. I’m not re-calculating and adding in an extra $40 for February. My calculating days are over. Apparently, I’ll need the assistance of a spreadsheet next time. And a math tutor.

Anyway, this new budget idea that Amanda and I have claimed for ourselves in 2014 is a lot harder than I anticipated. I think $75 can go a long way if you’re selective and not in the throws of winter weather. I want boots and coats and chunky knits! These things are pricey. So instead, I settled on a warm and classic tartan scarf from Lord & Taylor, mayjahly cute booties from Sam Edelman (been on my list for a long, long time) and a new workout hoodie from TJ Maxx.

If you missed our budget talks, here’s a recap:

  • Each month we fill our fashion banks with $75 for clothing, shoes, accessories, etc.
  • Non-essential makeup must be calculated within the $75 (i.e. nail polish, extra lip glosses, new eye shadows)
  • Any amount leftover gets rolled over to the next month

We’re really committed to strict monthly budgeting and hope you’ll cheer us on with your own personal budget woes and wonders!


The Jewelry Drawer Audit & Swoon Worthy Silver

Jewelry Under 16

Chain Necklace | Chandelier Earrings | Crystal Studs | Statement Necklace

Hooray!  You just bought a shiny new addition to your jewelry collection.
It’s so nice to skip through the parking lot with a pretty tissue filled bag.  Here’s how things might unfold after you delicately place the bag on your kitchen table: The sparkling-something sits in the human ornament queue – waiting, no, begging to be worn.  You brush past it every time you bejewel yourself.  After a while, you forget it’s there.  It never gets worn because in your mind it doesn’t exist.  You purchase something EVEN BETTER.  Skipping ensues, yet again.  We can all agree this is a vicious cycle, even if it does involve skipping.

What’s going on?
Are we’re simply wasteful, emotional shoppers?  Nah, we’re better than that.  Perhaps, we simply do not know what we own.  It would serve us well to take inventory of the merchandise in our at-home shopping center.

Yes!  Audit your jewelry drawer.
Make a list and check it…four times.  What’s missing?  What’s been neglected?  I took stock over the weekend and noticed that my costume jewelry is severely lacking in the sliver department.  Specifically, I’d like a silver statement necklace.  I’m on the hunt and still have $16 of my budget to work with.  I’ll find something sparkly and on sale – I’m sure of it!  During my audit, I was thrilled to find this great pair of blue Kate Spade earrings in the depths of a jewelry bag.  They dressed up jeans, a simple navy top and my husband’s tartan scarf.  I felt like I went shopping.  I’ve got this budget thing in the bag!

Be honest.  How many hobo or unused gems do you possess?


Setting a Wardrobe Budget & The $75 Challenge

dvf Dress

A New & Ambitious Clothing Budget
$75 monthly with the option to rollover funds if the full amount is not spent.

The Impetus
My end-of-year credit card statement showed its digital face to my inbox.  I was ecstatic – my arms flailing about like a Bieber fan.  Honest.  Even though I constantly monitor my spending, I use the final statement to reflect on the ghosts of purchases past and to set new financial goals.  As a result, I decided to challenge myself to a $75 monthly shopping allowance.  I ran out to TJ Maxx to celebrate, and rewarded myself with the dress above.

Balbity Blab About Athleticism and Shopping
Shopping is my favorite sport.  I play in the grocery store, in outdoor shopping malls and online.  I’m a team player and a chronically generous gift giver.  But truthfully, nobody is going to like me more or less (or at all, even) because I bought them fancy wine.  And just because I’ve always wanted an everlasting gobstopper a classic pair of Manolo Blahnik d’Orsay pumps, it does not mean I need to own them.  It’s fun to be generous to thyself and others, but I often think about all the cash I could save if I could be a little more stingy.

When creating a budget, attempt to learn from the past, honor the present, and mindfully consider the future.
Past. Six years ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice about purchasing the aforementioned pumps and I’d have bought a Rebecca Taylor frock to match (on sale, of course).  When my husband and I were engaged and saving for a home, I didn’t buy a single article of clothing for an entire year.  Girlfriend was desperately yearning for a new sweater.  There was a shopping explosion immediately after we closed on the house.  Embers could still be seen for roughly 3 years.

Present. Thanks, past – I have a wardrobe filled with some fabulous forever items.  I don’t think it is realistic to go a year without shopping for clothes.  Well-made garments make me happy, but I’m not opposed to purchasing less classic items from places like Forever 21.

Future. A new dwelling will trump a cute outfit.  It’s always been the plan to live in our current home for 7-10 years, so buying another house within the next several years is in the cards.  We’ve grown less interested in things and more focused on experiences (i.e. Polo Matching with our favs on the cheap) – I suspect these values will continue in the years to come.  Still, it’s nice to wear a new blouse whilst experiencing the world.

Setting a wardrobe budget requires support.  I’ll be taking up a post or two each month to keep readers informed of the $75 adventure.  It should keep me honest.  If $75 isn’t enough for a new pair of boots next fall, I’ll walk to school in the snow barefoot in the name of this challenge.  Enough of this budget talk. I’ve got $16 burning a hole in my pocket. 

Clothing budgets are personal, but I’d love to know if any of you have ever taken on a similar challenge.  How much do you think is too much to spend on clothes each month?