Tag Archives: shopping

Purchased: 3/3-4/9

honeybee gardens powdercolors stackable mineral colors eyeshadow in gypsy

target kimono cardigan; old navy fitted scoop-neck tees in citron and white; target wooden link necklace; old navy chevron crossover dolman sleeve dress

pink (!) simply vera skinny ankle jeans via kohl’s; target bikini bottoms; old navy one-shoulder swimsuit

{unpictured bamboo tank and tee, plus a pair of black exercise capris, all from t.j. maxx}

lc by lauren conrad boyfriend blazer via kohl’s {a truly awesome blazer}

old navy jersey maxi tank dress {also worn in the above photos, belted into a midi dress}

old navy perfect cardigan

old navy lounge cami {in white and black}

essie nailpolish in fiji via ulta

old navy chambray button-down {I snagged it from the clearance rack; sadly it’s no longer on the website}

old navy pocket tea-length swing skirt {I’m obsessed with this and wish they had them in more basic colors; I’d easily buy several more!}

Clearly March was a month of excess in more ways than one. I’m trying to get back on track this month by using only gift cards and a bit of money I’ve already set aside for some badly-needed new bras (TMI?). Hopefully my next ‘purchased’ post will be much more brief than this! Even though I’ll probably regret writing this later, I feel like there are only so many more things I can justify purchasing for my spring/summer wardrobe. At least that’s what I need to keep telling myself!

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Purchased 2/6-3/2

honeybee gardens powdercolors stackable mineral color eyeshadow in satin sheets (via weaver street market)

six zinc placecards (via modern fossil, one of my very favorite shops)

You can write on them with chalk!

origins ginzing eye cream

I have seriously dark circles under my eyes, even when I get plenty of sleep. Folks have actually asked me if I’ve had a black eye when I wasn’t wearing concealer (thanks y’all!). We’ll see whether this will make a good addition to my skincare routine. Fingers crossed!

kiss my face hold up styling mousse / crystal body deodorant / tom’s of maine lavender bar soap (x2) / badger anti-bug shake & spray / avalon organics olive/grape seed hand & body lotion (x2) / yes to blueberries daily facial moisturizer spf 30 / organic wear jumbo lash mascara / desert essence tea tree dental floss / burt’s bees radiance multi-vitamin serum / badger spf 30 sunscreen (x2)

I made a mega order from drugstore.com to stock up on some of my favorite natural and organic toiletries. Clearly i’m thinking of summer with sunscreen and bug spray!

two dresses from lands’ end on clearance (here’s a link to the first one; the second is no longer online)

I went by my local Sear’s for pretty much the only reason I ever visit: to try on something from Lands’ End. While the recently-released, $90 dress I’d been coveting online sadly didn’t work in person, these two beauties from the clearance rack did! The top one is for a work event later this spring, and the bottom one is a shirtdress whose pattern makes me smile so. big. every time I see it! And getting both of them for 2/3 the price of the one I’d gone there to buy? Even better!

five wonderfully colorful pentel pens (via office supplies and more)

almay liquid eyeliner pen in black (via target)

I know, I know, not organic or sustainable, but I just reallllllly wanted to get some liquid eyeliner. The cat eye look is all the rage and stuff. This stuff has some ingredients that make me a bit queasy, but the overall score on the Skin Deep website is a 4, which is my personal threshold for personal care products I’ll use. Plus, it’s been really fun to play with!

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Shopping While Losing

Over the past year and a half, I’ve lost about 45 pounds. Hooray! While this is great in a lot of ways (healthier! more confident!), it has made figuring out what to wear a bit tricky for someone as enamored with fashion as myself. And since I’m still working to get more fit (and ideally lose some more lbs.), this has been something that I continue to debate, especially since I am striving to buy more natural, eco-friendly products.

In an ideal world, most everything in my wardrobe would be made in an ethical and sustainable manner by people being paid a living wage and working in humane conditions. All of the fibers and materials that went into my clothing would be organic, recycled, and/or sustainable and high quality, lasting many years before needing replacement. It might also contain a few conventionally-made items that are extremely well-made and didn’t have a more earth-friendly substitute.


The criteria I outlined above, unfortunately, tends to equal a much higher price tag.

And, when you’re losing weight, paying a premium for items that you’ll only have around for a few weeks or months isn’t realistic. At least when you’re living on a tight budget.

While I certainly don’t have all the answers to this conundrum, here are a few strategies that have worked well for me over the course of this journey:

1) Befriend a Tailor

Since using items that already exist is more eco-friendly than investing in an entirely new piece of clothing, getting clothes taken in whenever possible is definitely a good route. I found this to be easiest with dress pants and blazers and am planning to bring in some pencil skirts and possibly a more structured dress in the near future. While this isn’t totally inexpensive, I think the strategy works well for a) items that were totally dirt cheap to begin with (hello, $6 pants from Target) so that the total price still isn’t all that high or b) are classic and timeless pieces that you totally love. I paid about $70 to get three pairs of pants and a blazer taken in and they’ve all now lasted me an additional 6+ months that they wouldn’t have otherwise. A good tailor should also be able to tell you whether it will be possible (or even worth it) to take something in, so if you’re waffling, go ahead and bring it to see whether alterations can be made.

2) Shop the Sales Racks

In case you hadn’t seen my ‘purchased’ posts (which, considering that they’re the majority of this blog so far, seems kind of impossible), you know I love me a good bargain. For pieces that aren’t going to stick around for a long time while losing weight (jeans, jersey-knit skirts or dresses, cotton t-shirts, exercise clothes), I’ve been trying to get them on the cheap. While I definitely have some ethical qualms about where they come from and how they’re made, getting things that literally cover my @$$ that fit in our budget take priority until I start building my ‘forever’ wardrobe.

3) Go the Distance

Although it’s certainly gratifying to get rid of an item as soon as it’s a bit big, this isn’t necessarily the best strategy to keep money in your wallet. I’ve been trying to buy items that still look good when they’re loose or baggy. Though I’m firmly against wearing exclusively oversized clothes (since they make me feel gross and not confident or proud of my body), if I can find a way to still feel cute in an item that’s a bit big, I’m all for it. I keep an eye out for things that can be belted (dresses, cardigans, button-downs), tucked in or layered (some t-shirts or tops) to keep me stylish without buying a new item.

4) Thrift It Up

While this is definitely a GREAT strategy for folks losing weight (and looking to buy new-to-them items in general), I have not had any luck in the thrifting department. This is due in large part to my own laziness. While I’ve browsed a few thrift stores since moving to the Triangle nearly four (!) years ago, I haven’t found any to be a gold mine of second-hand goodies. Clearly I just need to do some more research, pay more frequent visits, and spend some more time looking, but all of that hasn’t happened yet. I donate to our local thrift store like crazy, but haven’t bought a single piece of clothing from there. Crazy! If you have any tips for places to go in NC, I’m all ears!

So those are my tips on staying clothed and stylish while losing weight. Anything that I missed? What are your strategies for building a more eco-friendly wardrobe?

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Purchased 1/23-2/5

two pairs of old navy straight-leg jeans (similar) in light + dark wash

I stopped by Old Navy after a weekend chock full o’ board meetings. A bit of retail therapy was in order, plus I had a $10 off coupon to use on a purchase of over $20. These puppies were on clearance for $10.99 each, so, combined with my coupon, I ended up paying $13 for two pairs of jeans ($6.50 each!). Awesome.

new balance 10 minimus road sneaker (via fleet feet)

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of high-intensity interval training, but was wearing my same old running sneakers. They are super cushioned, which is great for running, but not so much for keeping my balance during cross-training moves. I’ve only worn these New Balances around town for errands, but they are super lightweight and comfy. I’m thinking that they’re going to be a big improvement for my workouts, plus they’ll be great for the travels we have planned for this year!

beauty without cruelty eye makeup remover (via weaver street market)

So happy to have found makeup remover that’s natural available at a local store.

craft supplies from michael’s

I realized recently I haven’t been doing nearly as much crafting as I’d like, considering that I was once the arts and crafts director at a summer camp. So, I procured wooden beads and sueded cord to make some jewelry (mostly necklaces) and then a set of paint brushes, a book of watercolor paper, and a set of watercolors. Hopefully I’ll have time sometime soon to delve into these more deeply!

anne klein fully-lined trench coat (via nordstrom rack)

This jacket was definitely a bit of a splurge item (at $90), but I’ve always loved having a timeless trench coat. They’re perfect for pretty much every occasion and are easy to throw on. I’ve been lusting after the Burberry trench coats for ages, but at their $900+ price tag, owning one will pretty much never be in the cards for me. One of my favorite things about the Burberry version is that it had a full wool lining that could be removed during warmer weather and added back in when temps dip. While shopping at Nordstrom Rack (in search of a trench coat), I came across one from Anne Klein that was basically identical. I just couldn’t pass it up!

spanx reversible tights (via nordstrom rack)

I got my last pair of these 3+ years ago and they’re still going strong. Based on the wear and tear they get (as well as numerous trips through the washing machine), I’m pretty sure they’re indestructible. Definitely worth the $20 price tag!

sally hansen double duty base + top coat (via ulta)

I needed some new base/top coat and picked this up while we were out running errands. Luckily, it doesn’t score too badly on the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, but it definitely wasn’t the most mindful purchase.

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Purchased 1/18-1/22

old navy mixed-gauge cardigan in burnt umber

old navy microfleece active jacket in purple iris

old navy sweetheart bootcut jeans

This past Saturday I went to the mall with a friend to support her shopping efforts. There are seriously few things I enjoy more than helping friends buy items to build a wardrobe they love. I wasn’t planning to swing by Old Navy, but we did at the last minute and found that they were giving an additional 50% off all clearance items. With a 10% off coupon (from taking a survey after my last visit), I ended up getting everything above for $16 and some change!  ‘Twas a great trip indeed.

kingsmart usb adapter for iPod shuffle (via amazon)

Although I love having the Spotify app on my iPhone to listen to while I work out, I realized that it’s a whole lot safer (phone-damage wise) to use my iPod shuffle while exercising. The only problem is that I lost the cord that came with it, rendering it completely useless. For little more than $1, I’m hoping this will be a much cheaper solution!

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Donated 1/17

Over the long weekend I went on a bit of a cleaning frenzy that involved our guest room/office, its closet, and a random bin of stuff that had been sitting under the chair in our bedroom since I moved in. Here’s (most of) what we donated to the local thrift store (that benefits our local PTA, instead of something like Salvation Army that’s anti-gay and anti-choice). It included magazine holders that inevitably seem to harbor more junk and random papers than actual magazines, storage bins and bags, an awkwardly-sized rolling suitcase, a few tote bags, some clothing, and a random ball that had been living behind the tv console in our living room. Natch.

We also have a separate, unpictured pile of things we’re trying to sell on Amazon and eBay. Mostly books, tv seasons on DVD, and old Vera Bradley bags, we’ve already made a nice little profit from things that were otherwise going collecting dust.

Through either means, it’s felt so good to get unused things out of the house! And, as an added bonus, our guest room is looking nicer and more organized than ever. Who wants to come visit?

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Purchased 1/2-1/17

a few underthings from the victoria’s secret semi-annual sale

{image from here}

josie maran magic marker lip and cheek stain in jitterbug (via sephora)

rei balance gym bag in midnight plum

I got the older version of this bag, which was on clearance over the holidays and now isn’t listed on their website. It fits all of my stuff to exercise before or after work perfectly and keeps me much more organized than the old tote I’d been using (which is now getting donated to our local thrift store). The version I got is made out of recycled plastic bottles- an awesome bonus- and I’m not sure why the new one isn’t. Bummer!

blank cards, two ink pads, five stamps, and a silver gel pen from michael’s

On a recent shopping trip with a friend, I looked through the clearance bins and found a bunch of plain white cards, plus cute stamps that I can use to customize them for a variety of occasions. Since I’m still catching up on holiday gratitude, I made the ones above this past weekend. With a 20% off coupon, I came home with enough supplies to make about 50 cards for $14!

this chest-pocket tee from old navy (LOVE the contrasting prints)

I also got a pink buffalo plaid button-down from there that I cannot find online anywhere, but trust me, it’s really cute. Perhaps I’ll post a photo of it sometime soon? Dreaming big here, folks.

anthropologie small square farmer’s market basket in blue

We had some store credit (plus a 15% off coupon to use up), so I picked up this container, which will be perfect for rinsing and storing farmers’ market finds come spring.

two anthropologie inside out bowls

We received four of these from a friend as a wedding gift (I’d admired them at her house a few months earlier!) and although the website only shows four different styles, the store had six, so I picked up the last two to complete our little collection. Since most of our dishes are very basic white, I love injecting some color with things these and our rainbow assortment of mini latte bowls. While at Anthro I also picked up a little birthday gift for a sweet friend. It was a great visit!

I was telling Kate recently that I’m really happy with and proud of the purchases I’ve made so far this year, since they were all thoughtful and intentional in nature. Sure, my mental list of things (particularly clothing items) I’d like to buy keeps growing, but I haven’t yet bit the trigger on many of those, since I don’t really need them at the moment. I’m hopeful that this will continue through the year!

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Purchased 12/25-1/1

madewell lineleader tunic sweater in dark tobacco

madewell autumn shade henley in rum raisin

madewell staccato stud earrings

 I took full advantage of some extra holiday $ and a few different sales during a holiday visit to NYC.

james perse t-shirt (similar to the overdyed heathered tee; via Marshall’s)

hue opaque tights in cinnamon (via Marshall’s)

 Thank you, Mom, for the gift card!

i-ecko i-slide cool orange tangle-free zipper earbuds (via Amazon)

My old headphones bit the dust and these look pretty cool, plus they’re made with an eco-friendly aluminum housing and have 100% recyclable cords.

innovez biodegradable hard case for iphone 4 (via Amazon)

 My current phone case doesn’t come over the edge of the screen, which has resulted in two cracked screens (an expensive fix). Hopefully this will be a sturdier solution, and the fact that it won’t take up space in a landfill is also exciting.

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