Friday, August 31, 2012

OOTD: A little something new

Despite going three months without any clothes purchases, I caved towards the end of this month and got myself a few new goodies.  (Sigh, it may be another month before I can pay off my second loan, I suppose.  We'll see what's left in the coffers mid-month.)

I'm still waiting for some items to arrive (and I'm still not sure whether I will keep everything), but I wanted to share this Old Navy top with you because it's just so darn cute and it's now 30% off through Monday with code FALLCALLS.

In this Outfit:
Old Navy 3/4 Sleeve Button-Tab Blouse (S) (here) (also comes in black, blue, and white)
J.Crew Factory Pencil Skirt (6) (here)
J.Crew Collins Pumps (9.5)
J.Crew Monotone Beaded Necklace
J.Crew Factory Cluster Earrings
Michael Kors Watch (similar in gold, on sale)

The shirt is rayon so it's going to get a little bit wrinkly, but I steamed it in the morning and I don't think it looks much worse for the wear after a day's worth of use. It sort of reminds me of J.Crew's Talitha Blouse (here). Once it goes through a cycle in the wash I will let you know how it held up.

I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend! This Jewish Girl is going CAMPING.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hump Day Shabby Apple Giveaway!

BLAH WEDNESDAY.

Could there be a better way to spice up a Wednesday than to enter to win something for free?  What about winning something for free?  Welcome to your next two Wednesdays, my love!

Shabby Apple, purveyer of adorableness, has offered to give a $50 Shabby Apple gift card to one lucky reader.  To enter, you need to be a follower of Stuff Jewish Girls Like through some RSS-based medium (GFC, Bloglovin, etc.) and leave a comment with your favorite item at Shabby Apple!  You also must have a U.S. mailing address to redeem your prize.  [Edit:  Please make sure you enter through the Rafflecopter bot below!  If you leave a comment on this post but your entry does not appear in rafflecopter, it will not be counted. And that will cause me to make this face:  :-( ]

Here are a few of my favorites:


Co-Ed Skirt, $42 (doesn't this remind you of Anthro's Button Sampler Skirt?) (note one of the reviews indicating that the buttons fell off --- be sure to check/reinforce your buttons before wearing or washing!) (or get this skirt, which is similar in style but more expensive)

Then there were a few items that made me chuckle this morning. Of course, I can't resist sharing those, either:
Hollywood Boulevard Skirt, $66 (Oh please somebody buy this and wear it to work, just for giggles.  This may be one outfit that a black blazer CANNOT make professional-looking.  But doesn't it just make you dream of glamour?)

Summer Break Skirt, $52 (I thought for a few minutes that this was just a chartreuse pencil skirt with no adornments and that the huge white flower in the picture was one of the greenhouse props.  WRONG.  That huge white flower is sewn right onto the skirt!  Ack, thank goodness for user reviews, otherwise I would have been in for a huge surprise when what I thought was a conservative pencil skirt arrived at my doorstep.  That said, the reviews for this skirt are glowing and PEOPLE LOVE THE FLOWER.  I am very skeptical, but oh so curious!)

So, without further ado...

a Rafflecopter giveaway
As an added bonus, use code "stuffjewishgirlslike10off" for 10% off any purchase!

I will announce a winner next Wednesday. Good luck!

(Thanks to Shabby Apple for agreeing to nix their normal requirement that you "like" their Facebook page --- a requirement that drives me NUTS because it can appear in Google results for your name. Instead, you can choose to "like" their page for an optional extra entry.)

Monday, August 27, 2012

OOTD: Lady who Lunches (too much)

In this Outfit:
J.Crew Factory Tanktop
Corey Lynn Calter (for Anthro) It's in the Details Jacket (S)
Narcisso Rodriguez Skirt (gifted) (8)
Manolo Blahniks (gifted) (39.5)
Omega Watch (gifted in 2006)
ALDO Necklace (arg I hate ALDO but I have gotten a lot of use out of this necklace)
J.Crew Factory Rhinestone Snowflake Earrings
 
This outfit made me feel like a million bucks. As in, I felt like a lady who had several millions in the bank in her "rainy day" fund. Despite the fact that all of the expensive aspects of this outfit were given to me by other people in recognition of the fact that I am worth negative amounts of money and will continue to be for the next few years at least.
 
Humorously, the top I'm wearing was one I found in my closet with the tag still on it; a purchase from J.Crew Factory many months ago that I love but COMPLETELY forgot I owned. Erm. Oops.
 
(Sorry this photo does not capture any detail in the shirt; the top has sort of scalloped horizontal fabric stripes with doodads hanging from it. Yes, excellent description, thankyouverymuch.)
 
All the summer lunches I attended with our law firm's summer associates have definitely taken their toll on my waistline, but I am trying both to resume my normal lifestyle (especially re: eating and exercising) and to pick outfits that cut me in the right places to conceal what I need to conceal.
 
Case in point, this contrast:
 
 
Versus:
 
 
Not terrible, but a little bit oof-y. Lesson learned: flats are not my friends right now. A high waistline is not my friend right now.
 
How do you dress your body when you are at a higher weight than usual?

Friday, August 24, 2012

OOTD: More Lessons in Distraction (office edition)

I don't know why, but I woke up on Monday morning dead-set on wearing this dress.


Why? Couldn't tell ya. I saw it on Zosia Mamet's character on Girls a month or so ago and I suppose it's been in my mind ever since....probably because I bought this at the Leifsdottir sample sale way back in December 2010 (here) thinking I would wear this to all "spring and summer weddings" forever. Number of times I have worn it? Once. To a law school prom-ish thing.

Zosia Mamet is on the left. After twenty minutes of google-stalking, this was the best picture I could find. :-\

(The less I shop, incidentally, the more I notice the number of clothing items I bought thinking I would wear them OMG ALL THE TIME FOR EVERYTHING and instead have sat in my closet gathering dust.)

So, I was on a mission to wear this dress to work. The only problem? It was maybe a half inch to an inch shorter than I'd prefer for the office.


That's where this absurd pink flower comes in.


I bet you didn't even notice the length of my dress (or are thinking, "What? It's fine?"). I credit this utter distraction and disorientation to the huge pink flower adorning my lapel. Nobody is looking at my knees (and the proximity of my dress thereto) while WTF-ing an accessory like this.

In high school, we weren't allowed to wear any shorts or skirts that did not extend past our fingertips when we held our arms straight down at our sides. At least I passed that standard...

MISSION. ACCOMPLISHED.


In this Outfit:
Leifsdottir Ole Dress in Valencia Rose (8)
H&M White Blazer
Michael Kors Watch (similar -- mine is rectangular like this one too, but with a rose gold background)
Pink Flower was free; for some reason it was thrown in with a Kate Spade online order from a while back
Pink Square earrings from Payless (they came in a six-pack with a few other solid colors and a few animal prints. I've gotten a weird amount of mileage out of these!)
J.Crew Enamel Bangle
MANOLO EFFING BLAHNIKS (39.5)

Yes, meet my second pair of oh-so-generously bestowed Manolo Blahniks (read more here):


Love.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rex Broke It (a.k.a., a spur-of-the-moment-trip-to-the-Olympics Kind of Guy)

Hey, do you guys remember my friend Rex?


He wrote a guest post for me last year (you can read it here), and he's just generally an all-around interesting, fun person to count as a friend.

AnYhOo, Rex went to London on a whim a few weeks ago because he thought NBC's Olympic coverage was terrible.  (I know.  When I think TV coverage is terrible, I stay on my lazy bum and change the channel.  But this is what makes Rex so interesting and fun.)

If you're curious about a funny everyman's take on the Olympics, take a gander at his video.


There are a few LOLs in there.  Mostly it feels like having a chat with your cool buddy about a spur of the moment idea that turned into a great trip.

Did you guys follow the Olympics?  Are you going through withdrawal now that it's over?  (It's over, right?)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Financial Update

It has been EXACTLY three months since I told you all about my relatively ambitious plan to focus my financial efforts on paying off my undergrad, grad, and law school loans as quickly as possible (here). This seems like as good a time as any to update you guys on my progress.

Yesterday, almost as if in honor of my three-month anniversary on this project, I finally paid off my first loan (from way back in December 2003, i.e., second semester freshman year).

(For those reading closely and wondering about n.5, I called customer service about this as well and apparently they do NOT prorate custom payments across all loans in the group...just all the loans you see above...namely, one.  So, in other words, it's a terrible footnote.)

As you can see, I was heartbreakingly close to paying this guy off last month, as I only had $53.68 left to pay this month. I easily cleared that hurdle with my snowball payment this month. I actually initially thought I'd be able to pay off my SECOND smallest loan this month, too...

(The number you see highlighted next to "calculator" represents the amount of money available to pay off loans)

But then I realized that I had TOO much money in my checking account because of a work-related reimbursement that I had not yet sent to my credit card company. But I have less than $1,000 left on this second loan and I am optimistic that I will knock this one out next month!

Here's a brief description of the way I've been organizing my payments, for those who are interested in the mechanics:

  • I get two paychecks each month. The last paycheck of the month covers rent and my credit card.

    • Note that I am barely charging anything to my credit card anymore; I use it for work-related reimburseable expenses and then periodically out of convenience, but I have almost entirely switched to a cash-budget.

    • When I do make a credit card purchase for personal reasons, ideally I set aside that amount of cash to ensure I stick to my $100/week budget.

  • After my mid-month paycheck clears, I make my loan payments.

    • I organized all of my loan providers into a spreadsheet containing the original loan amount, payoff balances, interest rates, website to make payments, user names, and passwords. I go down the list making minimum payments, saving my smallest loan for last.

    • As I go, I subtract these payments from my current bank balance (I also subtract two weeks' of allowance and my rent from this balance. You may notice that I accoun for rent twice --- just to be safe and to provide a small amount of cushion for error once a month).

    • By the time I get to my smallest loan into which I'm dumping all my leftover money, I have a figure that tells me exactly how much leftover money I have to spend this month. That's the amount I put towards my smallest loan.
So far, I've been pretty good about sticking to my budget, although admittedly this month I have not been keeping very good track of things. I haven't been shopping since May and I can't recall the last time I bought an item of clothing for myself (probably around May as well). I keep reminding myself that I truly do have more than enough clothes at my disposal and it has gotten much easier to resist that initial temptation to click "submit" when shopping online. The fact that I haven't bought anything for a while has made it easier to resist impulse buys. I did buy an iPad keyboard last week that I did not properly budget for, but this is still a huge improvement over my prior spending habits.

Finally paying off my first loan has given me a nice little boost of motivation, though; my desire to stick to my weekly budget feels renewed!

FWIW, I'm very surprised at how long it took me to finally pay off this loan (which was less than $3,000 to start). I am sure I've spent only slightly smaller sums some months between shopping and going out, so I did not think it would be essentially three months before I could knock out my first loan. This has definitely opened my eyes to how important it is to keep an eye on your money and, as Dave Ramsey says, to TELL it where to go...otherwise it has a way of just...leaving.

Next stop, loan number two! Watch your back, Firstmark, because I am COMING for you, and it will NOT take me another three months.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Working for the on the Weekend

So, this is how a 90-hour week ends (when you're not on trial):  I'm sitting in my office right now drafting something, wearing no makeup, and wondering what part of my body is emitting that faintly unsettling smell I keep smelling.

In other words, I have seen better days.

But hey, I got the brilliant idea to create a Pandora station based around "Call Me Maybe," so I've literally been bopping in my desk chair for the last few hours.  WHY didn't I do this sooner?!

 
(Do yourself a favor and type "Call Me Maybe" into that little box.  Trust me on this one.)

And aside from my sweet tunes, I had a big professional win on Friday so I'm still running on excess enthusiasm.  In other words, it could be worse!  (Except for that smell.  SERIOUSLY.  Is that my feet?)

Anyway, here's what I'm wearing:

Sunday at the Office


(No photos because of aforementioned state of hygiene.)

How was your weekend?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I would be lying if I said I didn't sort of feel like this:

My emotions, in a nutshell:


In fact, I am SUPER embarassed about how invested I feel in this RPatz/KStew trainwreck.  I realize I SHOULD care more about Mitt Romney's running mate or universal access to clean water, but really what I want to know is whether Rob really has been drunk dialing Kristen.

Please tell me I'm not the only one...

...Or just leave me to wallow in my own shame. Whatevs.

(Happy Saturday!)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

OOTD: If I Sound Like I'm Complaining...

...I don't actually mean to complain. We need a word for bitching without pessimism and with an understanding of how good one's life truly is. Is there a word for that? Is it just "venting"?

Lots of wonderful things are going on in my life lately. Work has been busy and satisfying, my personal life is fulfilling, and my boyfriend and I just booked a massive vacation to Hawaii for September/October.

I think I'm just going through---or starting to come out of---a very lazy phase.

Do you ever have those?

I can tell I'm in a lazy phase when I don't want to do anything except the most basic functions needed to take care of myself and be a productive individual. I don't want to eat healthy foods, I don't want to exercise, and I barely want to brush my teeth or wash my face or make an effort getting dressed. Those last two things sound less lazy and more depressive, I suppose, but they FEEL lazy and not depressive, for what that's worth.

Am I the only one?

Anyway, I think I'm slowly coming out of a three-week lazy phase and I gotta say, it feels nice to be back. I forgot to set my alarm this morning but I still woke up in time to get to work without rushing. I decided to ride my bike into the office for the first time in weeks and was reminded of why I like doing that.

Here's what I'm wearing today:


I feel mostly great in this outfit, although this skirt has gotten pretty tight around my hips in light of my summer weight gain. Ah well, I'm working on it.

Also, these shoes? Can I just show you a gross close-up of my unpedicured feet for a second?


These are Manolos.

Yes, as in MANOLO EFFING BLAHNIKS.

As in, the amazing, wonderful, no-way-I-can-ever-repay-her-except-through-donation-of-my-first-born, power partner who gave me the infamous Jimmy Choos gave me THREE PAIRS OF BRAND NEW MANOLOS she no longer fits into awleknfliandlfnlasdnflakneal. That was me having a small seizure on the face of my iPad.

I mean, seriously. This makes me want to go out and find a billion-dollar client for the firm to somehow adequately thank her for being so generous with shoes she could easily sell on eBay for hundreds and hundreds of dollars. (Are any of you readers out there billion-dollar clients? Any cases we can handle for you?)

Any ideas on how to express gratitude in a situation like this? I sent flowers after the Jimmy Choos but based on her reaction I think she would have preferred I not do anything. But I can't not do ANYTHING, amirite? I was thinking of making something creative, like baked goods or a comic book telling the tale of the Manolos in some humorous scenario. What do you think?

(Also, can I just say that I'm utterly petrified of destroying these? I have Jimmy-Choos-breaking-on-the-street PTSD here. I adore these shoes (and the TWO OTHER PAIRS!!11!!) but know that even if I make it to the point in my life, G-d willing, where I can afford several pairs of Manolo Blahniks, I will not be able to bring myself to buy them because I am so hard on shoes and I know that eventually they will be destroyed. Those of you with nice shoes, how do you take care of them?)

So yeah, in summary, things are good even if my clothes are fitting a little tightly lately.


In this outfit:
Anthropologie Wrap Around Blouse by Portrait of a Girl (6)
(I don't know where this skirt came from and I'm wearing it so I'm not going to look at the tab, but it's several years old anyway and probably came from Filenes)
Earrings from Etsy (defunct seller)
Michael Kors watch (similar by Michael Kors)
MANOLO EFFING BLAHNIKS (39.5)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Two Ways OOTD: Skipping Monday

I had a very weird day last Monday. Remember when I told you I was working late on Sunday? Well, "late" slowly became "all night" and eventually I found myself leaving the office at 7:30 am to go home, change, and come back. I spent most of Monday in a confused stupor, feeling like it was not quite the workweek but also clearly not the weekend.

In a way, it's almost as though I didn't have a Monday at all! So I'll call that a win and I will hear no dissension.

On those days when I know it's going to be a long one (or when I know I will be continuing a long one), I do my best to dress as comfortably as I can justify. After being awake for 30 hours straight, the last thing I want is to be wrangling an uncomfortable waistband.

Which brings me to this skirt, which Anthropologie called the Million Pleats Midi:


Although I curse fate sometimes for my failure to buy the lovely pale pink color (here), I'm still quite happy with this skirt overall. It has a stretchy waistband (hello law firm summer program extra five pounds, please do not make yourself at home) and it is long enough that I can safely sit cross-legged in my office chair without the risk of overexposure to random pop-ins.

Here's how I've worn it recently:

(After my all-nighter:  Anthro Take Two Shirt, Anthro Million Pleats Midi, Payless Chelsea Flats (here), Coach hobo bag, J.Crew Factory Cluster Earrings, Michael Kors Watch, DIY Hedgehog Neckalce (inspired by) (check out Another Anthro Blog's awesome and improved adaptation of that DIY!))

(A few months ago on a trip to our firm's New York office:  Anthro Cricket Top, Anthro Million Pleats Midi, Payless Chelsea Flats (here), J.Crew Factory Resin Droplet Necklace (here), Omega Watch)

As comfortable as I felt in these outfits, I think I will try going with a more structured shirt next time I wear this skirt. I didn't feel sloppy when I wore these, but these outfits don't look as put-together in these photos!

Do you have any work-appropriate pieces that you whip out on days you know you want to be very comfortable? What are your go-tos?
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