Friday, March 27, 2015

Budgeting Bloggers: March 2015

March is my birthday month *and* prep month for Peru, so I felt like I was buying all the things because excuses.  I had a little sales money from my last thredUP consignment as well as Poshmark, which provided a bit of a buffer.  That said, I really love what I got, so no regrets!  I was really good about returning multiple things that didn't work out.

  1. ModCloth Chalk of the Town Dress in Kittens ($100):  I don't normally spend this much on a dress unless it's a special occasion.  This Bea & Dot dress with its cat print was practically irresistible, and I wanted it as my birthday party dress.  I love it so much!
  2. Old Navy Active Compression Leggings in Green Print and White/Black (retail $30/ea, paid $20/ea with promo code):  I got 35% off online during this super sale, so I got these full-length workout pants.  I needed more full-length leggings in order to round out my workout clothes.  With this purchase, I decided to skip my Fabletics this month as my workout wardrobe is almost really complete (and super kickass!)
  3. Old Navy Sweetheart Skinny Jeans in Dark Rinse (retail $30, paid $27):  Needed these to replace a pair that need to be retired.  As in, so busted I won't even donate them!
  4. Old Navy Sweetheart Boot-Cut Jeans in Crater Lake (retail $30, paid $15):  Clearance jeans are a win.  I feel so '90s buying boot-cut jeans, but I do wear them when I'm rocking sneakers or flats and don't want to wear skinnies.   This is one of two pairs I now have that aren't skinny; great weekend jeans.
  5. Everlane T-shirts in Muted Black, Slate, and Light Grey ($15 each, purchased 3):  I bought two Everlane tees in 2013, in Muted Black and White.  They're still in great condition, better than any cheaper tees I've purchased.  No pilling, still soft, not faded.  I never thought I'd love a t-shirt that costs $15, but I do.  So in preparation for Peru, I ordered three to wear because they're comfy and perfect for travel.
  6. Tiffany Double Heart Tag Pendant ($125, received as birthday gift from friend):  Beautiful gift from one of my best friends!
  7. Kavu Rope Sling Bag ($50, free with giftcard from friends for birthday):  I wanted a lightweight, crossbody backpack to take on our Peru trip, which I was able to get it with a generous giftcard from my best friends at work.
(not pictured, mostly gifts)
  • Old Navy Slim Boot-Cut Yoga Pants in Black (retail $19, paid $13): Because yoga pants, and because $13.  I mean for real.
  • Stitch Fix Dress and Necklace ($108 total):  Will review my Fix soon!
  • A hat, hiking socks, and t-shirt for Peru (super clearance, around $20)
  • Ponte Blazer in camel with black piping, gift from Mom
  • Pearl necklace and bracelet, gift from Mom
  • Vintage brown saddle bag (heritage Coach lookalike), gift from Mom
  • Gold/tan Aerosole flats, gift from Mom
  • Scarf, birthday gift from friend
  • Hiking socks, birthday gift from Sissy
  • Tennessee necklace, birthday gift from friends


$368 spent - $48 sold = $320 total
$$$BIG$$$ savings with all those gifts!

Total 2015 Net Spending: $296 + $320 = $616 total for 1st Quarter


Before this year, I would have a $400 quarterly budget or a $100-150 monthly budget.  What surprised me here is that while I spent a good deal more than that, I feel smarter and happier about what I ended up with; does that make sense to anyone else?  Like I'd rather have some higher-priced items to add to the collection vs. quantity of cheaper things.  I also got a ton of gifts.  I think as long as I am actively working to donate and eliminate things from my closet, as well as trying to get things that all work together, I'm still improving my closet and getting closer to where I want to be.

I listed some new workout clothes for sale on Poshmark among other things, so check it out if you're interested.  Help me clear out my closet!  If you're new to Poshmark, use code HROMR when you sign up and we both get a $5 perk!

Link up with the rest of Fran's Budgeting Bloggers for March here!



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

30th Birthday Beer Brunch

Today is my 30th birthday, and last Saturday I celebrated with 40-50 (I lost track!) of my family and local friends here in Franklin.  My parents came down from Indiana, and Sissy and her boyfriend came in all the way from Arizona!  One of my besties even came in from New York.  It was a wonderful mix of work friends, college friends, DAR/Legion/book club friends, blogger friends (shoutout Kimmie, Brittany, Trisha, Jenna, and Sarah!), and the like...  I just keep thinking, I'm the LUCKIEST.  Period.  I also got tons of sweet well-wishes from out-of-town folks too that I can't forget!


My family really pulled out all the stops to make the party amazing.  We held the party at the Turtle Anarchy Brewing Co. taproom in Franklin.  Dan made an exclusive peach-flavored beer for the party (a peach Belgian witbier!) and tended bar to allow everyone a chance to sample the craft beers.  My sister and her boyfriend worked hard on beautiful floral arrangements, fruit skewers and veggie basket, and more.  They even got me a birthday Hatch Show Print!  Mom and Dad pitched in and made multiple trips to get everything set up and ready for party guests.

And yes, I wore a cat-print dress on for the occasion!  It's from ModCloth.

Ellie's Old Fashioned Doughnuts

I really wanted everything to be local so people could sample my favorite things.  We had a catered brunch from the wonderful Copper Kettle, featuring biscuits and gravy, hash brown casserole, bacon, and biscuit sandwiches.  I put out apple butter from Loveless Cafe for the biscuits too.  The fruit and veggies were purchased at Costco, but added some color and healthy food to the mix!

I love Ellie's Old Fashioned Doughnuts (see last year's blog post here) and decided they were the perfect "cake" for my birthday brunch.  We had three flavors, picked up from the farmer's market that morning.  Everyone raved about them, and for good reason!


We also had cornhole outside to play, because it was a beautiful spring day.  Here are pics I snuck of the family having fun.


I was overwhelmed by the turnout; it was hard to spend time with everyone individually!  I asked that people not bring gifts, but my friends are crazy generous and showed up with beautiful cards and flowers and presents that fit me to a T.  It was so nice to introduce my family to the people they hear so much about too, because I've met some amazing people over the past decade or so.

I love you all!

I couldn't have asked for a better weekend.  The night before the party, my cousin A and her boyfriend had dinner with us on their way to Spring Break, and I spent the time before and after the party during the weekend with my family.  We had dinners at Mellow Mushroom and Puckett's Boat House, lunches at Husk and Hattie B's, and drinks at Gray's.  It was a truly local weekend, I'd say!  I'm exhausted, but it was entirely worth it.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Uptown Cafe

I returned home for a quick 24-hour visit a couple weekends ago, and Uptown Cafe was on the menu.  Even though they serve other meals, the only time I've ever eaten here has been for brunch.  Because brunch is basically my favorite meal on earth.


I ordered bacon and a scrambled egg as a side to my brunch dish, because protein makes me feel fuller.  I probably didn't need it, but isn't it pretty?  The bacon was perfectly crispy, the way I like it.


For my main dish, the pièce de résistance, I ordered the beautiful Creme Brûlée French Toast.  It was as delicious as it sounds, almost like a dessert for breakfast.  It tasted more like a bread pudding than a French toast, super thick and a huge slice.  The fresh fruit and powdered sugar were perfect, no syrup or anything extra needed.  I highly recommend it if you're visiting the restaurant for brunch!  Very heavy, though, so be forewarned.  It was a true indulgence.


Service at the Uptown is consistently good, and while there is often a wait I believe it's worth it.  Call ahead for a reservation like we did with our party of eight.  It's also clean and friendly, and conveniently located just off the town square downtown.  Try it sometime!

Uptown Cafe on Urbanspoon

I also visited Oliver Winery Downtown and Korea Restaurant; click the links for my Yelp reviews!


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