Bright on a Budget | Kentucky Affordable Fashion + Beauty Blogger: September 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Wardrobe Re-Wear: Polka Dots + Pattern Mixing

I love fall weather, but it's still hard to say goodbye to my summer clothes.  So to get the most wear out of my closet, I like to pair my summer brights with fall neutrals. We've talked before about pattern mixing, bright pants, and generally transitioning summer clothes to fall, so I thought I'd bring all of those concepts together for you in 1 post. 


I picked up this floral dress from Bluetique for only $15 towards the end of the season, so the 1st time I wore it was down in Charleston.  I loved it so much that I was looking for a way to get a couple of more wears out of it this fall.
Outfit details here.
Enter this polka dot top from Old Navy.  I love ivory + black paired together, and the polka dots are so girly.  I was actually wearing this dress when I tried on the shirt, and thought "this might just work together!" Just knot the top at your waist for a chic look!  Thanks to Miss in the Midwest for the idea of wearing a button-up over a dress:) If you're not reading her blog on a daily basis, you're missing out!

Advanced pattern mixing tip- when wearing a pattern-on-pattern, polka dots work well with lots of other patterns, so long as the polka dots are of a similar or neutral color.  Here, the neutral colors of the shirt really balance the bright floral pattern of the skirt.

Shirt: Old Navy, $16 on sale.
Watch: Fossil, $105 (similar, $19).
Dot bracelet: Style This Life, $6 (no longer available).
Shoes: DSW, $15 (similar, $30)
Necklace: Versona, $12 w/ earrings (not shown).


Basketball season is upon us (UK fans everywhere rejoice), so I'm already thinking about outfits that work for both the office and gameday.  I spotted these J. Crew skinnies at Clothes Mentor and knew they'd be perfect!

Purse: Coach, old.
Earrings: Versona, $6.
Blue bangle: Starfish Bangles, around $12 on sale.
Skinnies: J. Crew by way of Clothes Mentor, $18.
Flats: Coach by way of Macy's, $50 on sale (similar, $16.99 at Target)

I feel like the possibilities for this polka dot top are endless.  If you had this top in your closet, what would you pair it with?

If you're loving these outfit ideas, be sure to follow me on Instagram (@brightonabudget).  I frequently post #ootd/#wiw, and pass along good deals as soon as I see them!  I hope these posts give you some ideas about how to shop your own closet and match-up clothes you never thought of pairing together!

Friday, September 26, 2014

High Five for Friday

TGIF--Friday, it's so nice to see you again!  Who's with me here?!  This week has been an interesting one.  My family and I had lots of fun, but I had a virus on Tuesday which has left me feeling like I'm playing catch-up. Also, I am a terrible patient, so bless my hubby for putting up with me:)  Anyway, let's recap the great parts of the week:

1.  This little face.  Every day when we get home, he asks for a pack of fruit snacks and wants to watch TV.  I love the simple moments when we can just sit together, and I especially love being his mommy.  This week, I did a guest post over at Chasin' Mason about being a #BOYMOM.  If you missed it, you can read it here.

On Saturday, Chauncey let me sleep in [insert Hallelujah chorus].  Afterwards, we took Kane out to eat and we did a little toy shopping as well.  Kane had a fun day!

This one turned out blurry but I just had to post--how alike are they?!lol

2.  I finally found the blanket scarf I wanted for $12.99 on eBay!  Yes, the same blanket scarf that you've probably seen all over Instagram.  I'll be styling it on the blog once it arrives, but if you can't wait, you can order one here.  PREVIEW: Speaking of styling, there's a new Wardrobe Re-Wear coming to the blog next week!

3. It's Fall, y'all!  Weather here in the Bluegrass hasn't received the memo yet, so I'm still in sandals when I'm dying to wear the new riding boots I picked up from Target.  Today, though, I just had to slip on this gauzy shirt + gauzy shirt combo.

Top: Maurices, $6.25.
Scarf: J. Crew Factory, less than $7.
Phone cover: tutorial here.

4. Kane's daycare is having a Fall Festival today, and we had to sign up to bring something.  I signed up for Rice Krispy Treats and then stepped it up a notch by actually making Fruity Pebble Treats. YUMMY!  Hungry?  Here's the recipe.

5.  I cashed my Big Fat Check from Ebates that I recently received (I'm very forgetful, and I had left it laying in a pile of mail--fail on my part)!  It was for $30.  I love getting cashback for shopping that I'm going to be doing anyways!  Also, I can always put that money towards an item I want but wouldn't normally buy.  If you don't know what Ebates is, you can read my post about what it and how to use it here.  You can also sign up by clicking the logo below:

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Also, wish me luck!  Garth Brooks tickets go on sale at 10 am today for my birthday weekend, and I'm wanting 2 tickets:)

How's YOUR week been?  Find any good deals?  Getting the Walmart Beauty Box? Have something totally awesome happen? Let me know in the comments below! 

 photo H54Fbutton_zps973d26e1.png       The Diary of a Real Housewife      

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Drayton Hall - Charleston, SC

Today, we're taking a detour from my regular beauty and style posts--hope you enjoy!

As I mentioned in my post about Boone Hall Plantation, I'm a huge history buff.  The last time I was in Charleston, though, I missed out on seeing any plantations whatsoever.  So I did my research before heading back, and Drayton Hall really caught my eye.

Drayton Hall was built like an English manor house.  At one time, a colonnade flanked each side of the house.
Drayton Hall was built in the mid-1700s along the Ashley River.*  It survived the Revolutionary War, and was one of only 4 plantation homes along the river to survive the Civil War.  In 1974, it was purchased from the Draytons by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  After much thought, it was decided that the home would be preserved instead of restored.  This means that the various changes made by generations of Draytons have been kept the same, so the home has elements of various architectural styles spanning over two centuries.
*All factual information was related to us by our tour guide.

They're currently having structural issues with the portico, so we had to enter the house from the back.  The windows you see at the lowest level are actually the above-ground basement.

You can feel the history of this place.  It's all around you, and it feels like you could slip back through time at any moment.  I was in awe of the home.  The views all around the outside are breathtakingly gorgeous!

At the moment, there are structural issues with the portico, so we had to enter the house from the back.  I was able to snap this pic out the front door, though.


One we made it inside the house, I could not stop staring at everything, like the gorgeous ceilings downstairs!  The upstairs ceilings are more plain beaded board, replaced after the more ornate ceilings collapsed post-Civil War.

The paint on the wall is from the Victorian era (I believe).  In the early 2000s, a conservation effort was undertaken to preserve the paint on the walls and to keep it from flaking.  Due to this, we were asked to stay 3 feet from the walls at all times.

A model of what Drayton Hall would have looked like with the colonnades.

The staircase going upstairs.
It was exciting to hear all of these historical facts and imagine what it would have been like to have been a guest in Drayton Hall many years ago.

After touring the main floor and the upstairs, we went back outside the house and into the basement.  It seemed very weird to me that the basement was aboveground.  

All in all, my friends and I had a wonderful time touring Drayton Hall.  This should definitely be on your must-see list if you're planning a trip to Charleston, SC.  Tickets to tour the home are $20 for adults ($19 for AAA members, $18 for military), $10 for youth (ages 12-18), and $6 for children (ages 6-11).  There is also a family package option for 2 adults and 2 children for only $44.

To learn more about Drayton Hall, you can visit their website here, read their Drayton Hall Diaries blog here, and see some of their awesome pictures on Instagram here
Have you ever visited Charleston?  What about the plantations around it?  If so, what was your experience?

Monday, September 22, 2014


Today I'm guest blogging over at Chasin' Mason as part of Elizabeth's continuing series #BOYMOMS.  If you're visiting from Chasin' Mason, welcome!  And if you're a Bright on a Budget regular, I hope you'll hop on over to Chasin' Mason to check out my post and Elizabeth's blog.

So You're Having a Boy. . .Now What?  
I'm talking about my experience of finding out I was having a boy, including what you should know if, like me, you're totally unprepared for having a boy!

32 Weeks pregnant with my sweet Kane.  April 2013.
Shirt: Cafe Press, $23.99 using code DEAL20 (gift from my friend Crissy).
Photo Credit: Dakota Maynard Photography

Friday, September 19, 2014

High Five for Friday

Hellllloooo, Friday!  TGIF!  As I'm typing this, I'm looking back on my week wondering where it went to so quickly.  I double-checked with several people yesterday to make sure it was Thursday, because it didn't feel like it.   Anyways, we're here, we made it, and I'm not complaining.  Let's recap the week:

1.  As I mentioned last Friday, I spent a weekend at the beach with some of my best friends (2 from law school and 1 from undergrad).  You probably know by now how much I love Tides Folly Beach, and if you don't, check it out here.

Last morning on the beach.  I ALWAYS take a picture in a UK shirt on the beach before I head home!
We all had a great time, with a healthy mix of beach and historical places.  Yes, I'm a history nerd and a beach bum!  If you missed my post about Boone Hall Plantation, you can catch that here.  I'll also be posting about Drayton Hall in the next week or so.  In the meantime, check out this awesome house/bed & breakfast along the Battery in Downtown Charleston--totally swoon-worthy!

2. I was so excited to get home and see Chauncey, Kane, and my cats!  I needed the getaway, but the best part is always coming home.  

3. I left summer on Sunday morning and drove straight home to fall on Sunday night!  It's been cooler in the Bluegrass, which means I've gotten to break out some new fall clothes that I picked up in Charleston.  

Skinnies: JCP Skinny in Medium Wash ($19.80 online)--I picked up 3 pairs for $10 by combing coupons,  Details here
Necklace: Very Jane (similar for less than $3!)
Shirt: Old Navy, unavailable online (similar). 

Loafers: Coach Outlet, $41 (gift from my mom last year).

4. Since the weather is turning cool, my friend and I took advantage of the sunny day yesterday and had lunch on the patio of Old Chicago.  Great food and a nice breeze!

5. Walmart is launching a seasonly beauty box 4 times a year!  The box is free, you just pay $5 for shipping.   I know that everyone was really sad to miss out on Target's last beauty bag, so I hope you all get in on this deal! Thanks to Della Devoted for the heads-up!

Before you go, I'd like to take the time to thank you for stopping by.  Wednesday was my 6-month bloggerversary! I'm so thankful for each and every one of my readers, as well as the new friends I've made along the way!

How's YOUR week been?  Find any good deals?  Getting the Walmart Beauty Box? Have something totally awesome happen? Let me know in the comments below! 

 photo H54Fbutton_zps973d26e1.png       The Diary of a Real Housewife      

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tour Around Blogland

Blogging has been an incredible journey for me.  I started blogging in March because I needed a creative outlet and was attracted to the blogging community.  In the past 6 months (my 1/2 year bloggerversary is Thursday!), I have made so many new friends, both bloggers and readers.  I love interacting with each and everyone of you, so thanks for stopping by!

Anyways, I was nominated to do a Tour of Blogland by Becky over at BYBMG.  The tour gives you a chance to find out a little more about my blogging process, and to found out more about some other bloggers you may be interested in.

1. What am I working on?
I'm currently working on several things.  For those of you who know me, that probably comes as no surprise.  My ongoing project is some slight tweaking to the blog design, which is a continuous process.  There's a new tutorial in the works about repairing your costume/fashion jewelry, and I'm preparing a guest post for the #boymoms series over at Chasin' Mason that will post next week.  Plus I have about 10 different upcoming posts in various stages of preparation, including some new Wardrobe Re-Wear looks and details about my girls weekend getaway! 

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I'm all about scoring a good deal!  I blog about beauty, style, and life, like many other bloggers, but I give tips for looking great and having fun on a budget.  Since I'm a dedicated bargain hunter, my posts always  clue you in on great deals and money-saving tips.  For example, I demonstrate how to get a salon-like manicure at home, and how to transition your summer wardrobe to fall so that you get more wear out of your closet.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I'm an attorney, so sometimes it's easy to get caught up in technicalities and details.  Bright on a Budget is the place where I can have fun and share that fun with other:)  Furthermore, I love finding bargains or learning how to do something for myself so that I don't someone else an outrageous price to do it, and I like passing along that info to others as well.  My hope is that regardless of what your budget is, small or large, you will find some inspiration for making that budget stretch further.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?
Oh Lord, I feel a confession coming on! My writing/creating process is often a hot mess.  There, I said it. I stay super busy, so sometimes blogging is a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda thing.  While I will have a general idea of some upcoming posts I want to do, things don't always work out for me to do the posts on the exact day I want to.  So sometimes there's some shuffling around of posts, and sometimes there's last minute posts.  I always try to write down ideas for posts when I come up with them.  I had a substantial list of get-started post ideas when I first began blogging, and since then, inspiration just pops up. Seriously.  Sometimes I'll look at a shirt and an idea will pop into my head, or sometimes someone will ask me how I do something and I'll blog about it.  Overall, it's a very fluid process that fits my need for flexibility.

Now I'm nominating 3 other fabulous ladies to share their blogging processes.  Be sure to surf over to their blogs to say hello and check out what they're into!  Their Tour Around Blogland posts will be up September 24, but no need to wait til then to meet these awesome bloggers!

Meet Katie from Cup of Tea

Hey, I'm Katie!  I'm a Midwest girl living in the South.  I'm also a wife and a (new!) mom.  I love tea, usually hot, black, and in a fancy tea cup.  The Cup of Tea blog is my little home where you get to know me and the things I love!  I enjoy sharing food, beauty, and treasures from life, all from the perspective of a new mom.  There are so many fun adventures to be had, and I love sharing them!

Meet Della from Della Devoted

Hi, I'm Della.  I'm a devoted Christian, devoted wife, and devoted new mom who decided to leave the working world to stay home with our son.  I love God and my family with all of my heart.  My husband and I are both cat lovers. I also love to cook, bake, and craft/DIY, all of which you'll find on my blog, Della Devoted.  I'm a big time country girl who loves to fish, race, go four-wheeling, and yes, I drive a truck.

Meet Caitlin from Coffee with Caitlin

Hey there! I'm Caitlin from Coffee with Caitlin, a place where I like to share little pieces of my life.  Baby, fashion, and a while lot of DIY happen around the blog.  Most days you'll find me with a baby in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other--and that's just the way I like it.

Thanks for stopping by!  If you're stopping by from Becky's neck of the woods, be sure to say hi in the comments below!  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Boone Hall Plantation + a Floral Dress

In case you're here from BYBMG, my Tour of Blogland Post will be up on Wednesday--hope to see you back then!

If you've been following along on Instagram or you caught Friday's #H54F post, then you know that I snuck down to Charleston/Folly Beach (love that place!) for a weekend getaway with friends.  When Chauncey and I were there earlier this summer (read about that here and here), I fell in love with the place and made plans to go back before I even left!  I'm a history buff, so it was love at first sight.  

I was disappointed thag Chauncey and I didn't get to visit any of the plantations, so my friends and I hit up 2 this time around.   Boone Hall Plantation was first on the list. Built along the Ashley River, Boone Hall has a long, beautiful drive leading up to the house known as the Avenue of Oaks.  Gone with the Wind is my all-time favorite movie, and our tour guide* said that a picture of this drive was said to be used as inspiration for the film. Absolutely stunning!!!
*All "facts" in this post regarding Boone Hall were related to us by our tour guide--I highly recommend taking the tour!

While the prior houses have been destroyed, the current house was built in the 1930s.  The steps are to the sides of the portico.  Interestingly, while it looks like steps are missing at the front of the portico, that's actually where the carriages would drop the ladies off at when they came to visit the home.

If the house looks familiar, it's because the exterior was used as Allie's parents' summer house in The Notebook.  It also appeared in North and South and Alex Haley's Queen.

This dress was perfect for my night out in Charleston!  Since I knew I would be walking a lot, I kept the shoes simple with some sparkly gold sandals.  The pearl necklace and earrings perfectly complimented the fun dress and lent a romantic feel to the outfit.

Dress: Bluetique ($15--no longer available)
Sunglasses: Target ($16)
Necklace: Purple Peridot ($8.18, now $14.99)
Earrings: Bluetique (free with purchase/check-in online in-store)
Shoes: Payless (old)

Upon leaving the plantation, we headed to downtown Charleston for a night out.  We explored some while waiting on our table at Poogan's Porch.  Not only was Poogan's yummy, but we were able to experience sitting on the second-story porch--perfect night with great friends!

Friday, September 12, 2014

High Five for Friday

TGIF!  Friday, you've never looked so good! Anyways, let's review the week:

1. After traveling for work most of the week, I did a little personal travel last night and ended up at Folly Beach for a girls' weekend:)  If you haven't heard about Folly Beach, check out my reviews  of the area here and here.  Follow along on Instagram to see what we get into!

2. This should have been #1, but here we go: my cell phone took a ride on my mom's vehicle this week, and it flew off while my brother was driving.  If you read this post, you know I'm hard on phones (all of my friends are nodding their heads to this), and I've destroyed them before, but when I realized that was the last place I remembered seeing my phone, my heart dropped.  My whole life is on that camera--pictures, email, etc.  I got in my car and started driving, praying I'd see my phone. Right after I prayed, I pulled in a parking lot and circled around.  As I was pulling out, I saw my phone!  Well, pieces of my phone--the case, back cover, batter, and actual phone were all in pieces.  I pulled back in and collected the pieces of my phone, and was hopeful when I saw the screen wasn't cracked.  I popped it back together and it worked!!!!  The screen itself didn't even have any damage to it--the only cosmetic damage was some scraps on the silver sides!  Now, if that wasn't an answered prayer, then I don't know what is!  Thank you, Lord!

3.  Chauncey and I were able to fit in a date night this week by ourselves!  We hit up Malone's, which is an amazing steakhouse in Lex,  and everything there is mouth-watering!  It was so nice to be able to sit down and actually talk.  While it felt weird to be out by ourselves, it was also really nice.  Big thanks to our parents for keeping him that day and overnight!

Plain burger, just the meat and the bun, well done, with fries:)

Also, since I was traveling for work this week, I got to meet my friend Aimes for lunch at Miss Ida's, and we just so happened to hit it up on chicken 'n dumplin' day.  Sooooo yummy!

4. I'm absolutely loving all of the fall scents that are out right now!  Pumpkin Pecan Waffles is one of my favorite scents from B&BW, and they brought it out in a 2-in-1shower gel/bubble bath this year!  I was able to snag it at an introductory offer price of $10 (reg. $16.50).  I then used this coupon (good in-store and online) for a free body lotion in the new Comfort scent (pumpkin latte + marshmallow).  Yay!

5. Kane is so sweet.  After I fed him on Wednesday morning and we were just laying in bed, he showered me with kisses!  They're a little open mouthed and noisy, but perfect all the same. I fall more in love with him everyday, even though I never think it's possible to love him more.

How's YOUR week been?  Find any good deals?  Have something totally awesome happen? Let me know in the comments below! 

 photo H54Fbutton_zps973d26e1.png       The Diary of a Real Housewife      

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Quick Update + Winner Annoucement

If you've visited the blog mid-week and heard crickets chirping, I apologize.  Since my post at the beginning of the week, I've been traveling for work and not had time to update.   But I'll be back on track Friday with a new #H54F post, and next week's posts are already planned out:) Thanks for hanging in there!

Also, the Jamberry Nail Wraps Giveaway concluded, and we have a winner!  Congrats, Emily! Thanks to everyone that entered, and stay tuned--there's an awesome giveaway coming up in the next few weeks!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Easy Pattern Mixing

Pattern mixing is everywhere you look right now--store ads, fashion magazines, etc.  How many of you have looked at an outfit involving pattern mixing, though, and thought it looked hideous?  I know I have!  Some patterns just aren't meant to be mixed together.

I have recently started pattern mixing more and more. I think that when you start mixing patterns, it's easiest to start simple and work up to pattern-on-pattern mixing.

Start off by easing into pattern mixing--wear 2 patterns in your outfit, but make sure they don't touch.  This should mean you're wearing 1 article of clothing with a pattern + 1 accessory with a pattern, like my skirt/scarf combo shown here.

Scarf: details below.
Tee: Maurices (similar, $9).
Skirt: Maurices
Shoes: Kohl's (similar, $5)

Here, I chose to colorblock my look, and put a neutral tee in-between the two patterned pieces so they weren't pattern-on-pattern.  The scarf pics up the pink and white from the skirt, and the white tee ties the look together.  

Scarf: Mimi's Monograms, details below.
Watch: Coach (gift from hubby)

I'm especially in love with this scarf!  I purchased it from Mimi's Monograms, and showcased it recently on a #H54F post.  Right now, the scarf + monogram is on sale for $17.99, but you can use promo code TIF15 at checkout for an extra 15% off, making the monogrammed scarf only $15.29 and it ships for free!

Have you tried pattern-mixing?  If so, how did it go???  Do you have any recommendations?

Friday, September 5, 2014

High Five for Friday

Helllllloooo sweet Friday--TGIF!  I can't believe that Friday is already here, but the 4-day work week made the days in-between fly by:)  I hope you all had a wonderful and happy Labor Day weekend! Her'e what I've been into:

1. For Labor Day weekend, we went home to eastern Kentucky.  It was a nice, relaxing weekend that involved sleeping in and lots of naps.  I saw several friends, spent time with family, wore comfy clothes, and ate tons of yummy food.

2. Even though I'm not quite ready to say goodbye to summer, I just had to pick up these shoes while Target was having a sale!  The boots are originally $39.99, and the moccasins are $24.99.  With Target's BOGO 50% off promotion, and an extra 25% off via the Cartwheel app, I was able to snag both pairs for only $39.96!  I have wanted these boots since last fall, but they sold out before I could get my hands on them.  If you're looking for some new shoes for your fall wardrobe, either of these would be great additions that you could wear on repeat.

Karri Boots
Driver Mocs (in Hazel)
3. I finally got my hair cut this week!  I haven't been able to make it home to my regular stylist and it had been 4 months since I'd had anything done.  On Tuesday, I woke up and realized my hair was out of control, so I called Ulta and got an appointment the next day!  Amisha, the girl who cut my hair, was great, and I received 20% off of my salon services since it was my 1st visit.

You can check out the latest Wardrobe Re-Wear post, featuring 2 ways to wear this neon lace tank, here.

4. Speaking of Ulta, I also picked up the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette.  I actually went to get the Basics 2 palette, but felt like the colors of the original Basics palette worked better with my coloring. I'd been wanting something from the Naked line for a while, but wasn't willing to pay full-price.  I had 250 Ulta Rewards points, so I received $8 off of my purchase:)

By the way, if you've been wanting one of these palettes, stay tuned to the blog.  Katie from Cup of Tea Blog, Della from Della Devoted, and I have a couple of giveaways planned that you will definitely want to enter!  While you wait, be sure to head on over and check out their blogs!

5. Fall candy is out.  Need I say more? Yum!  It's September, so it's acceptable to eat fall candy now, right?

Before you go, be sure to enter the Jamberry nail wraps giveaway hosted by myself and Sarah Lammy, Jamberry Nails Independent Consultant!

How's YOUR week been?  Find any good deals?  Have something totally awesome happen? Let me know in the comments below! 

 photo H54Fbutton_zps973d26e1.png       The Diary of a Real Housewife