Bright on a Budget: January 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015

High Five for Friday 01.30.15



TGIF and welcome to High Five for Friday!  Caitlin at Coffee with Caitlin, Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, and myself want to welcome you to the link-up--thanks for stopping by!

This week's featured blogger is Becky from BYBMG.  Becky is a middle school teacher, wife, and mommy, with two boys of her own at home and one on the way!  Her blog is full of fashion and life in general. Recently, she became a Jamberry consultant, so hit her up if you need any:)  Becky and I have been going through this whole house mess/roller coaster together, and she announced on last week's H54F post that they sold their house (see, I told you we were going through it together)!  Oh, and be sure to check out the Tuesday Talk link-up that she co-hosts.



Now let's recap my favorite things about the week:

1.  My Kindle has really been put to use over the last week, especially last weekend.  I read Marie Force's Fatal Scandal, and have otherwise been reading Kathleen Brooks' Women of Power series (the 1st one is currently free).

2. We finally got a good snow!  I wish we would have gotten the snow around Christmas, but I was excited to see all 4" of snow anyways.  Kane really enjoyed playing out in the snow, and even had to eat a handful of it.  And he wouldn't keep his gloves son.



3. I've fallen asleep way early several times this week.  On Saturday night, I was asleep a little after 9 p.m.  I know, I'm clearly old now, but it was fabulous!  Sometimes you just need to catch up on your rest.

4. I'm so happy that Justified is back on TV!!!  I'm a little sad that it's in its final season, but I can't wait to see how it ends.  I'm from eastern Kentucky, so the show really hits home.

5. Target clearance for the win!  Seriously, though--if you haven't checked out Target's clearance, do yourself a favor and stop by the store.  Be sure to use the Cartwheel app coupon for an extra 20% clearance clothes and accessories.  On a quick lunch run to Target (in an attempt to de-stress from the whole house-buying situation) I was able to pick up this gingham shirt I'd had my eye on for the past couple of months for $12.86!  I snagged the shoes for less than $7 a couple of weeks ago.


Speaking of Target, we have 2 in Lexington, so of course I hit up the other Target that evening to check out their clearance too.  I had Kane with me, and the only time he wanted me to put him down was to get a big bag of chips by the register.  Most kids cry for toys, but mine wanted Lays.  He had to take them in the restaurant we went to afterwards, so there he was dragging a big bag of Wavy Lays through Roosters.


If you'd like a notification of when the link-ups post, you can follow along on GFC (click link or click button sidebar), Bloglovin' (click link or click button on sidebar), or  email by entering your email address here:

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


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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pastel Purses for Spring

To say that all of this housebuying stuff has me stressed out is an understatement.  Somehow, I forgot just how stressful the process was the 1st time around, or maybe I had just convinced myself that this time would be better.  My mistake.  Please say a little prayer for us. Anyways, I needed to de-stress, so I headed over to my happy place--Target--on my lunch break.

When I was done browsing the clearance racks (use the Cartwheel app to score an extra 20% clearance clothes and accessories right now), the purses caught my eye.  Target has some great pastel purses that are perfect for transitioning into spring and carrying on through summer!!!  As soon as I come across a coupon, either online or through the Cartwheel app, #3 will be mine.  I also like the periwinkle hobo bag (#1)--the color is absolutely gorgeous!


Pastel Purses for Spring


1 / 23 / 4 / 56 / 7 

Are you feeling the pastels for spring? Are any of these bags calling your name?

Friday, January 23, 2015

High Five for Friday 01.23.14

TGIF and welcome to H54F!!!

Each week, H54F will feature a blogger who has linked up the week before.  This week's featured blogger is Kate from Green Fashionista.  Kate blogs about a variety of things, from fashion to travel reviews and home decor.  She has an adorable doggy named Roxy, who just happens to be featured in last week's H54F post!  Oh, and she just finished out an annual pass to Disney--how fun is that?!



Now, let's recap the week:

1. Things have been quiet on the blog this week, resulting in my posting just twice instead of my usually 3 times.  There's been a lot going on, but I'm happy to share that our house is pending sale! After 6 months of being on the market FSBO, we signed a sales contract on it last weekend and the sale is set to close pretty quickly. . .

2. . . .which means we are buying another house!  We signed a contract on another home this week and are looking to close on the transaction in about 2.5 weeks.  If you pray, please say a little prayer for my family as we navigate this process.  I'll be sharing about our experiences on the blog after everything takes place.



3. I spent the weekend in the western/flat part of the state with a great group of girls!  One of my best friends/partner-in-crime from law school is getting married this summer, so we had some bridesmaid dress shopping to do!  We had a wonderful brunch at Wild Eggs before heading out shopping, and were even able to go with Ashley to pick up her wedding dress.  She is going to be a gorgeous bride!!!

4. I went out to dinner with my boys last night.  Kane thinks he's a big boy and, as such, should sit in the booth or at the table.  Shortly after this pic was taken, however, he dropped his paci behind the booth and we had a complete meltdown on our hands:/



5. After years of failure, I have finally mastered the perfect red lip for myself! I shared the details earlier in the week, and you can find them here.



If you'd like a notification of when the link-ups post, you can follow along on GFC (click link or click button sidebar), Bloglovin' (click link or click button on sidebar), or  email by entering your email address here:

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


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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Perfect Red Lip



Red lipstick has always intimidated me.  In my opinion, red is one of the prettiest lip colors but it's also the hardest to wear.  It can make your teeth look yellow or look hideous against your skin tone (note: if your coloring is similar to mine, avoid orangey-reds).  I've been on a quest to find the perfect shade for years, and finally found it--NYX Matte Lipstick in Perfect Red.  A big shoutout to Jo (@morningcuppajo) for sending this my way!  This is a great blue-based shade, so it doesn't make your teeth look yellow.  I think that it's perfect for a wide-range of skin tones, but you can always head to a local beauty counter to get some help nailing down a shade that works best for you.  


Finding the perfect shade is just 1/2 of the perfect red lip equation, though.  The other 1/2 of the equation deals with the actual application of the red lip.  Nothing's worse than when red lip color ends up all around your mouth, making you looking like you've just eaten a red popsicle.  I use a simple 3 step process:

Step 1: Line your lip with a clear lip liner.  Optional: fill in entire lip with lip liner for maximum staying power.

Step 2: Apply clear Chapstick as a base for lip color.  This step is a must when you have a matte lip color.  It prevents your lips from feeling dry, while really smoothing out the overlying lip color.

Step 3: Slap on some red lip stick!  Okay, maybe not slap, but precisely fill in your lips with the red lip stick, and make sure to fill in the cupid's bow perfectly.

That's it!  Seriously, so easy but such a great look!  After all, what's a fashion/beauty blogger without at least one great red lipstick?!





Have you found the perfect red lip color yet?  Or has your search for the perfect red lip ended in disaster(s)?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Quick Update

Sorry for the chirping crickets to start off the week, but I've been busy handling some (sudden) big changes for my little family.  I hope to be able to update you all on everything by Friday:)  In the meantime, check back Wednesday for how I achieve the perfect red lip!


Friday, January 16, 2015

High Five for Friday 01.16.15

TGIF!  Congrats on making it to Friday[. . .seriously, insert cheers]!!!  I want to begin by thanking everyone who linked up with us for our 1st week hosting H54F!  We had so much fun reading your posts:)  If you're new to the party and want to know more about the link-up and how it works, or about us and how we became the new hostesses, you can catch up here.  Congrats to Becky over at BYBMG who won our $100 Target giftcard giveaway!

Each week, H54F will feature a blogger who has linked up the week before.  This week's featured blogger is Amanda from Kids & Cabernet.  Amanda is a SAHM who blogs about her "favorite wine, mommyhood, fashion, recipes, decorating [her family's] home and anything that comes to mind." Last week's H54F post featured a fabulous Kate Spade watch I hadn't seen yet but am now in love with.


Now that housekeeping's done, let's recap the week:

1. Target is having an awesome sale on storage totes this week!  I love storage totes, but hate the price.  They have at least 3 styles that run $9.79-11.99 each cut down to $5, plus you can save an extra 10% on any storage tote purchase over $50 if you order online and pick up in store!  I purchased 10 storage totes (4 regular size and 6 under-the-bed size) for $42.75 after my Redcard savings.  Also, while we're on the subject of Target, let's have a moment of silence for our Canadians friends---RIP Target Canada:(



2. Chauncey and I started watching True Detective on HBOGo.  The show is really interesting.  The setup of the show is similar to American Horror Story in that each season is a completely new story line; it's different in that each season has different actors/actresses.  The first season features Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, and I think they both nail their characters!  Has anyone else watched it?  No spoilers, please, because we're only 3 episodes in.

3. There's finally a new Wardrobe Re-Wear post!  In case you're not familiar, a Wardrobe Re-Wear post shows two different looks for one piece of clothing.  This one features the basic black turtleneck. These are my favorite posts to do, and they'll be making regular appearances again now that school is done.


4. Kane and I traveled "back home" last Friday to visit with family.  We had a great time, even though it was a quick trip.  Kane is learning new words so quickly now.  Some of the new words he can say include Papaw, duck, choo choo, and bath.  He can count to two (I just randomly heard him do it one day). And he likes to "sing."  Where has my baby gone?



5. New clothes delivery!!!  My Lilly order came in and I was so pleased with my purchases!  Also, how cute are these flats from the Gap Outlet?!



If you'd like a notification of when the link-ups post, you can follow along on GFC (click link or click button sidebar), Bloglovin' (click link or click button on sidebar), or  email by entering your email address here:

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


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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wardrobe Re-Wear : Black Turtleneck

It's been a while since I've done a Wardrobe Re-Wear.  These are my favorite posts, but at the end of the semester, it was just too hard to get one done.  Now it's back, but I'm switching things up a little--I'm taking a black turtleneck from a recent post and showing you another way to wear it.  A black turtleneck is a must-have basic wardrobe piece that never goes out of style!  As with any basic piece, a black turtleneck can be worn for a variety of occasions.

OUTFIT 1: Office Ready

This outfit was recently featured as part of my post about Kushyfoot.  You can see more pics and get outfit details here.  For the office, I love pairing a black turtleneck with a patterned skirt and boots.  It's a very put-together look that will keep you warm in the winter.


OUTFIT 2: Date Night Ready

You can quickly transform your outfit into a date night one by switching the skirt for some distressed jeans.  Here, I swapped the accessories and shoes as well to completely change up the look. I came so close to passing up these jeans when I spotted them on the clearance rack at J. Crew Factory, but I'm so glad I came to my senses before I left the store.  






Turtleneck: JCP, $7.99 (with code JANBUY50)
Jeans: J. Crew Factory (no longer available)
Clutch: SewSarahR Etsy shop, $35 (with added strap- $40).  I purchased this as a Black Friday special with a pair of earrings for $32.50 ($37.50 with strap)
Smoking flats: Old Navy, $6.50 (similar, $14.99; similar,  $9.88 w/ code EXTRA10)
Earrings: Selene earrings in Opal from ElisabethAshlie Etsy Shop, $17 (similar, $15)
Necklace: Forever 21, $4.80 (no longer available online)

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!

Photos are by my awesome friend, April Brooks.  She does photography on the side. If you're interested in contacting her, please let me know.
I'm linking up for Tuesday Talk (just a little bit late).  
bybmg

Don't forget to come back on Friday for the #H54F linkup!!!




Monday, January 12, 2015

Secret Santa Gift Reveal

Over the holidays, I teamed up with some wonderful fashionistas bloggers and Instragrammers for a Secret Santa gift exchange, hosted by my friend Lee over at Legalee Blonde.  The rules were you could only spend $35-40, including shipping.  I've always enjoyed Secret Santa gift exchanges, and this one was no different! The only thing I dislike is that it can be hard to shop for someone you don't personally know, but it was fun stalking her IG and blog to try to figure out what to buy.


I was a Secret Santa for Heather over at A Little Casual.  Heather has a PhD and was an exercise science teacher before she turned blogger.  She blogs about fashion, fitness, and faith.  You can also check out her Instagram here, and head on over to her blog to see her reveal the gifts I sent!


My Secret Santa was Jolene of @morningcuppajo.  She and I are both budget fashionistas, and share a love of Maurices.  My package was full of goodies!!!  To start, I've been wanting to try to try those NYX blotting papers for a while, and that Hey Girl Hey! gum cracked me up!


I love office supplies/stationary/notebooks, and this little notebook is perfect for jotting down notes! As much as I love my phone, I still to get things down on paper as well!  Jo is from Oregan, and so are these earrings!  Jo picked those up in the store where she works at a retail manager so that I'd have a little something from her state.  They're made of gorgeous gray agate!


I didn't know that Crabtree & Evelyn made fingernail polish, but this is Jo's favorite, and I can see why!  It goes on great and lasts more than one or two days.  These lip products are also favorites of hers--Ulta Lip Crayon and NYX Matte Lipstick.  She nailed all of these products on the head!


To complete the gift, Jo also got me this shirt from Maurices, which pairs perfectly with the earrings! When I opened my gift, I was careful not to look at the name on the package or the card that was with it because I wanted to try to guess who it was from.  As soon as I saw the Maurices tag, I knew Jo was my Secret Santa culprit:)  Oh, and the NYX lipstick is called Perfect Red.  I can see why!  I never thought I could wear a true red lipstick, and this changed my mind!


Thanks, Jo, for my perfect Secret Santa gifts!  I'm pretty sure we're beauty and style sisters!!!!  Be sure to check out Jo's Instagram to get some great outfit ideas!  You should also check out the rest of the ladies who participated (but aren't already mentioned in this post): Vanessa from What Would V Wear/@whatwouldvwear and Jillian from Cup of Charisma/@cupofcharisma.

Wish I would have pulled my undershirt down more--so awkward!lol
P.S. It was way too cold outside to take pictures!!!
And that bag??? Christmas gift from my mom:) Thanks, Mom!
 Did you do any Secret Santa exchanges?  If so, how'd they go???


Friday, January 9, 2015

High Five for Friday--New Home Kick-Off



Welcome to the new home of High Five for Friday - hosted by Tif, Katie, Caitlin, and Della! A HUGE thank you to Lauren at Lauren Elizabeth, who has been hosting this link up forever!  And thanks to all of you who have decided to continue to pop over to join us! You can read more about our announcement here. And if you're new to the blog altogether, you can head over here to get to know me a little better.

Fellow bloggers - ready to join in the link up AND be automatically entered to win a $!00 Target giftcard? Scroll to the end of this post to read what to do. If you're a #H54F regular, it's business as usual, and you know what to do!


Now, let's get on with the normal H54F show:
1. Obviously, #1 on this week's H54F is that we're the new home of H54F! We're so excited to be hosting. I totally did a happy dance in my office when I got the email from Lauren!!! I've found some awesome blogs (including those of my 3 co-hostesses--seriously, check them out!) and made some awesome friends. Blogging is all about community, and I love my community that's grown-up around me linking up for H54F! The 4 of us actually found each other's blogs and became friends thanks to the H54F link up, so it's very special to us. Now, Lauren has graciously passed the torch on to us, and we're hoping we do it justice.

2. Chauncey and I celebrated 12 years as a couple on Wednesday! 12 years!!! That makes me feel older than the guy who helped me out in Target yesterday (that's a story for another time.haha). We've been together since our sophomore/junior year of high school, which is almost half of our lives at this point! I will say that 12 years ago, neither of us dreamed of where we would be at now. It's amazing what you can accomplish together as a couple!


3. I FINALLY GOT TO HAVE DINNER AT THE LOCAL CHEESECAKE FACTORY! In case you've not kept up on my Cheesecake Factory saga, let me catch you up to speed. One opened in Lex in October. I tried to go for my birthday in November, but it was a 2.5 hour wait. This week, I finally got to try it out! I went out with a group of friends I hadn't seen in a while, and we had an AWESOME time! I bypassed my normal red velvet cheesecake to try out the cookie dough one, and I as not disappointed. Yum!
4. For us Lilly fans, it's been a big week. First, the After Party Sale. Then, they announce that the Target collaboration of my dreams is coming true--Lilly for Target! Now, while some fans are upset about this, I'm so happy! I love Target, and I love Lilly! They have some really cute stuff coming out, and you can get tons of sneakpeeks here! How will I wait til April?! Kate Spade--girl, I got my eyes on you now!

My sale finds!  I hope they arrive today!
5. There was quite a bit of relaxing going on this past weekend! I read several books, and had an all-around great time! Gizmo clearly did too! I wish I could get that comfortable! (And let's be honest--in keeping with tLauren Elizabeth tradition, every H54F needs a cat post sometimes!)



HOW TO LINK-UP

Fellow bloggers - ready to join in the link up? In case there's anyone new to the game, here's what you do! Just write a blog post about 5 things that made this week awesome! It could be 5 memories, 5 pairs of shoes you wore, 5 "good job" comments you got, or 5 pieces of chocolate you scarfed down when no one was looking.

Add your link to your blog post down below. Then be sure to link back to the link up by grabbing the H54F button!


Caitlin, Tif, Della and I want to put our own spin on H54F. We are planning on visiting each and every one of you and saying hello! We want to get to know you all, and find some new blogs. Each week we'll be featuring one of you as our blog pick of the week.


Also, bloggers, you have a chance to enter to win $100 Target gift card! (open to US residents only - sorry!!) Simply link up to this week's H54F, and then we will randomly select one winner using a random number generator. Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, January 9, 2015. By linking up, bloggers agree to the full terms and conditions, which can be found here.


Thanks for stopping by! If you're a veteran H54F-er, we hope you'll continue to link-up. If you're new to the H54F game, we hope you'll join in every week! Happy reading!


If you'd like a notification of when the link-ups post, you can follow along on GFC (click link or click button sidebar), Bloglovin' (click link or click button on sidebar), or  email by entering your email address here:

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


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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT-- H54F Link-up's New Home



Before I started blogging--heck, before I even really followed blogs in general--I started Pinteresting. Of course, I ran across The Small Things Blog, which I started reading daily.  This led to me also reading Kate's sister Lauren's blog, The Lauren Elizabeth (formerly From My Grey Desk Blog--does anyone else remember those days?).  Lauren's blog was truly an inspiration for me (she had a great series on blogging and how to start), and was what motivated me to finally start blogging.

Since I started blogging, I've joined her High Five for Friday link-up almost every single week. I have ran across many fun and interesting blogs to follow, and made friends with some AWESOME fellow bloggers. Late last year, 3 of those friends--Caitlin, Della, and Katie--and I started kicking around the idea of doing a link-up.  We had a name and a concept, but were waiting until after the 1st of the year to begin it.  And just before we sent out the email to invite people to link-up, Lauren posted that she was handing over the reins to the H54F link-up.  Without really consulting with the girls first (sorry, not sorry--the girls were just fine with it), I shot an email to Lauren requesting to pick-up the link-up. And here we are!

So, we would like to announce our 4 blogs as the NEW home for High Five for Friday: Bright on a Budget, Coffee with Caitlin, Cup of Tea, and Della Devoted!!!  We are SO excited for this opportunity to connect with you all om a whole new level!  For our fellow bloggers, we hope that you will join us for our first High Five for Friday link-up this Friday, January 9.  The link-up will go live at the normal time of 7 a.m. EST.  You can grab the button below to use for your post if you do. For our followers who don't blog, we hope that you'll stop by to check out our regular H54F posts and check out some of those in the link-up as well.  Who knows--you might find your new favorite blog(s)!!!

Oh, and we are giving away a $100 giftcard to one lucky blogger who links-up with us this Friday (open to U.S. residents only)!  Details will be on Friday's post!

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Houndstooth, Plaid, & Kushyfoot

I am blessed to live in a place where we experience all four seasons, and I really enjoy all of them. That said, in the winter, it can get really cold.  I don't enjoy the cold unless it's snowing.  Then I'm okay with it.

I always try to bundle up as warmly as possibly during the winter, so I'm glad to have found Kushyfoot.  Kushyfoot has a variety of products that you can wear year-round, but I tried their Opaque Tights (that I'm wearing in this post) and their

The Opaque Tights are awesome!!!  I hate flimsy tights that rip after 1 wear (I'm hard on them), and these withstood the test.  They felt soft against my skin, and they have these little things on the sole that"massage" your feet, making them very comfortable to wear.  I also didn't get that terrible cut-in line from the waistband, which is always a plus!

I also got to try their fleece trouser socks and their Alligator Print Flats to Go.  I am in love with the socks as well!  They are perfect to slip on with flats on a cold day.  They're not only warm, but so soft and luxurious-feeling!  The flats are also must-haves if you don't already have a similar pair of flats.  If I'm wearing heels, then these are going in my bag to take with me.

I think Kushyfoot has some excellent, good quality products.  They are perfect accessories for dressing up when the weather's cold.  Kushyfoot currently has 20% off of your order of $40 or more (offer automatically applies at checkout).






Coat: Old (similar)
Turtleneck: JCP, $9.99.
Necklace: Versona, $11.99 (in store only)
Clutch: Vera Bradley Straw Clutch in Fanfare, approx. $13 (outlet)
Skirt: Target, $10.33 with code EXTRA10.
Tights: Kushyfoot, c/o.
Knee Boots: Unisa Gillian from DSW in navy, $49.95 

Photos are by my awesome friend, April Brooks.  April does photography on the side--if you would be interested in obtaining her contact info, please contact me and I'll put you in touch.

These products were provided to me by Kushyfoot to review, but all opinions are my own.