The Chase Is Over

On Saturday, I popped into Neiman Marcus to just look at the Louboutins. Turns out, Neiman was having a Last Call sale. The first thing I always do when I see those Last Call shoe racks is peer at the bottom of the racks to see if there are any red soles.

A camel-colored Louboutin sandal caught my eye, and it was in my size. I carried it over to the couch and sat down to try it on. As I was admiring the shoe in the mirror, my favorite salesman came over (he is always there when I find a great deal – he’s my good luck charm).

“Shall I get you the left foot?”

I told him yes, and he disappeared in the back, returning a few moments later with the shoebox and the other matching shoe.

As soon as I put both of them on, I knew that this was it. I had to get them. They felt as if they were made for my feet! The leather was so soft and supple, the heel just the right height, and they were on sale! Originally priced at $795, they were marked down to $357, with an additional 25% off the sale price. So my total came to $283.82!

I took them off and put them in the shoebox, trying to sort this out in my head. They weren’t the simple black Louboutins I had always planned on buying. But these camel ones were comfortable, classic, and I would have more opportunities to wear them. And I was in love with them. As I stood there with the box in my hand, my man came back over and said, “Will this be on your Neiman’s charge or your American Express?”

“My…my…Neiman’s,” I managed to say. And that was it!

I’m so happy with my purchase. I still can’t believe I have them! I’ve already broken them in and wore them out to dinner, and all those things you hear about wearing Louboutins are true. They do make you feel like a new woman.

So, with this news comes another announcement. This is my last blog post. I’ve had this on my mind for quite some time. Mainly, I am ready to move on to other things. I want to get my master’s degree, and there won’t be any time for blogging if I throw that into the mix. I want to travel and read more books. I want to dust off that book I started writing a few years ago and maybe get it published. But mostly, I want to be fully focused on the things that I am doing, and I feel like my priorities and desires are starting to change. Some of my other favorite bloggers have also recently stopped blogging to focus on other things. It just seems to be the right time for me too.

Thank you so much to everyone who has been reading my blog for the past two years. My purpose was to show how to find designer items for less. I have talked about sample sale sites, designer rental sites, technology to help you save money, designer collaborations, travel deals, trends, and more. I hope that reading my blog has helped you build a quality closet without spending a ton of money. Thanks again, and who knows what will be next, but I’m sure this won’t be the last you hear from me.

Jenn

A look back at some of my favorite blogging moments:

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Cupcakes & Conversation

Cupcakes and Conversation Boca Raton Miele Gallery

I (somewhat) recently attended Cupcakes & Conversation, a blogger+foodie event hosted by Foodies on the Fly at the Miele Gallery in Boca Raton. “Meet up, eat up, tweet up” was the motto for this event, and it fit perfectly. Food lovers, writers, and bloggers all gathered together at the Miele Gallery to enjoy delish treats by Chef Ursula Rafer, the Cupcake Chef. Every little detail was perfectly executed–from the original mini-canvas cupcake paintings, to the cupcake facts posted around the showroom, and to the already-measured-out cupcake ingredients and toppings for the baking session.

The baking session was a Cupcake Wars spinoff. We split up into teams of three and baked cupcakes in the state-of-the-art showroom. If only I could afford to redo my kitchen with Miele appliances. The steam oven was just one of the innovative appliances we got to see in action.

I was on a fun baking team with two other ladies, and our cupcake recipe was Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes. I love chocolate, and I love avocado, so I thought the end product would at least be interesting. When I saw one of the main icing ingredients was a block of “soft silken tofu,” I definitely became worried, but they turned out ah-mazing, and the icing was yum! We might have gone a bit overboard with the decorating, but what do you expect when you have a team of three girls who like food, beauty, and fashion? This is the result:

I’ll definitely be making these chocolate avocado cupcakes again. Here’s the recipe if you want to give them a try!

Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes

Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 avocado, pitted and peeled
1 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 cup plain soymilk
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Glaze
1/4 block soft silken tofu (from 14-oz. container),
drained and patted dry
3 Tbs. pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
4 oz. semisweet vegan chocolate, melted

  1. To make Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Purée avocado in food processor until smooth. Add maple syrup, soymilk, oil, and vanilla, and blend until creamy. Whisk avocado mixture into flour mixture.
  2. Spoon batter into prepared cupcake cups. Bake 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out with some crumbs attached. Cool.
  3. To make Glaze: Blend tofu, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt in food processor until smooth. Add chocolate to tofu mixture and blend until smooth. Transfer to bowl. Dip tops of Cupcakes into Glaze, pulling straight up from Glaze to form peaks.

Recipe by Vegetarian Times

Thank you to Foodies on the Fly, Chef Urusla, Miele, and Florida Builder Appliances for a really fun event!

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For Fall: Leather

Cowboys sported leather chaps to protect themselves from the rugged elements of the West. Sandy electrified us in a pair of skin-tight leather pants as she whipped Danny in line. The iconic pants appeared throughout the eighties and became a symbol of rock ‘n’ roll culture. As you can see, leather legwear is nothing new.

Modern fashion has taken the hardness out of the leather look and given it a feminine, even chic, appeal. Earlier this year, I eased into the leather trend with a faux leather mini skirt. This fall, I’m ready to go all in. Skinny jeans will always be a fall staple for me, but I plan to invest in a pair of second-skin leather pants. Paired with a ladylike top, an oversized sweater or poncho, a vintage tee, a fur vest, or even a minidress, leather pants can add edginess and chicness to an ensemble. Some modern-day leather inspiration:

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Rent the Runway Clearance Sale

By now I am sure you have heard of Rent the Runway. If not, you might want to check out some of my previous posts about this awesome designer dress and accessories rental site.

If you have rented from Rent the Runway before and were happy with your rental, the thought of actually purchasing the dress might have crossed your mind. Or maybe you like the concept of the site but would rather put your money toward actually owning the dress. If so, then you are in luck. Rent the Runway is currently hosting their designer clearance sale featuring over 275 designer dresses up to 75% off. The sale is also featuring tons of jewelry and accessories.

Why would Rent the Runway sell dresses if their main purpose is to rent them? There is the obvious reason that they need to make room for new items, but they also need to get rid of the ones that are starting to show some wear and tear. So here are some tips for shopping the sale.

Be sure to read the entire item description. Rent the Runway has noted what kind of condition the item is in–whether it’s like new, missing sequins, starting to fade, etc. You must be a member to shop (sign up here), and all sales are final.

Happy shopping!

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Classic Piece

We went to Orlando this past weekend for my little brother’s college graduation (way to go, Jeff!). It felt both weird and good to be back in my old college town. It is funny what you forget and what you miss about a place after you are gone for awhile. Many of the roads–roads that I had driven on almost every day for four years–sounded familiar, but which ones to take and where they led to had slipped from my mind. I had no problem, however, remembering all of my favorite restaurants, and we made sure to stop at a few of them while in town.

Anthropologie dress gucci heels louis vuitton Dress: Anthropologie; Purse: Louis Vuitton Popincourt Haut; Heels: Gucci; Sunglasses: Tom Ford

I bought this Anthropologie dress when Todd and I were in San Francisco on vacation. The dress was on sale (for about $60), and I remember debating purchasing it because I had no upcoming events to wear it to. But I loved the soft, flowing fabric, and the fit was perfect. That “we’re on vacation, just do it” mentality kicked it, and I bought it. Since then, I have worn it to my bridal shower, a friend’s summer wedding, and now my brother’s graduation. Each time I break it out of my closet, I am so excited to wear it. So don’t always pass up that great piece just because you don’t have anything coming up to wear it to. When you buy something practical and classic, an occasion will eventually arise for it, and you will be glad to have purchased it.

Congrats, Jeff! We are so proud of you.
(Isn’t he looking super stylish, too?)

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Do or Don't: Leopard + Stripes

It’s a slow time in the fashion world right now. Fashion magazines must be saving the best for their September issues, because the August issues I received in the mail were very dull and uninspiring. I also haven’t had much desire to shop, but this could be because I managed to acquire almost everything on my spring/summer wishlist:

I’m holding off on compiling my fall wishlist until my September issues arrive. But something in a J Crew window display caught my eye: a leopard-print pencil skirt paired with a gray and white striped shirt. I have been itching to incorporate some form of leopard print into my wardrobe since last fall, but I’ve been afraid of looking like a Jersey Shore cast member. Pairing leopard print with stripes is something I never would have thought of, but I might give it a try. What do you think?

Leopard print pencil skirt and striped shirt J Crew

Note: It was styled a lot better on the mannequin, and it was paired with this shirt instead.

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The Maxi Dress

maxi dress, bloggers do it better, summer fashionI am a recent fan of the maxi skirt, but I’ll always be more partial to maxi dresses. They are great for casual outings, running errands, and even dressy occasions–depending on the fabric and print. Despite how established the maxi dress trend has become, there are still plenty of women who avoid the maxi look, for example, petite women afraid of disappearing in billowy fabric, and larger women afraid of appearing, well, larger. The truth is, maxi dresses can work on all shapes and sizes. Here are some tips for finding the right maxi dress.

maxi dress, bloggers do it better, summer fashion

Maxi Dress-Wearing Tips

For petite women. To avoid disappearing in a sea of fabric, avoid super flowy dresses; rather, look for a slim-fitting maxi dress with a cinched waist. Avoid horizontal stripes and large prints. Solid colors can make just as much of a statement as prints. Paired with sandals, wedges, or heels, maxis can actually make you appear taller.

For fuller women. If you want a printed maxi, go for a large print. Loose-fitting maxis will make you appear larger; go for something more close-fitting but not too tight. Avoid spaghetti straps; rather, look for larger straps or a halter top. Avoid empire-waist maxis; instead, opt for one that cinches at the waist. If you can’t find a cinched maxi that you like, use a belt or tie a scarf around the smallest part of your waist.

maxi dress, gucci heels, bloggers do it betterMaxi Dress: Forever 21; Heels: Gucci

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