Tag Archive | lifestyle

Affordable Interview/Professional Dress/Stylish Outfit Ideas!

Aside from my job of being a full-time frugal fashionista, I have also worked for many years as a Career Counselor. In addition to helping others figure out what they want to do when they grow up, I also helped them prepare for interviews and gave guidance on how to “dress for success”. In preparation of me going back to work soon after a hiatus, I rotated my wardrobe to get my professional duds cleaned, pressed, and ready to go.

Today, I want to show you how you can put together professional looks without spending a ton of money on a new wardrobe. This should be particularly helpful for new grads and those re-entering the workforce after a hiatus like myself.

This first look includes a blazer that I purchased many years ago but was of good quality so it maintained its structure well over the years. I frequent thrift stores so I often see good quality blazers that can be purchased for around $5. It is worth it to grab as many as you can afford because they are great wardrobe staples. Dry clean them as you can (our local one price dry cleaner charges $3.50 to clean blazers). I added a simple blouse and basic black skirt which can also be found in regular retail stores for less than $10 but of course both are plentiful in thrift stores for even less than that. The shoes are from Shoedazzle from which I can often get deals for $10 or less especially during their end of season specials.

Interview Wear-Pink Blazer3

Interview Wear-Pink Blazer2

This next look features a striped cardigan that I’ve also had for years but had it cleaned and pressed at the dry cleaner. Cardigans tend to be less expensive than blazers so check out your local discount retailer (Ross, TJMaxx, Marshalls, Burlington) where you can find some for $10-$12. I purchased the pink camisole and classic black pants from the thrift store. I think I paid $1 for the top and $5 for the pants which look as if they have never been worn. Be sure to check with thrift stores in your area to find out days on which they offer additional discounts. It’s always good to save a few of your coins when you can! The shoes are from Ross where I paid $25.

Interview Wear-Black White Cardi

Interview Wear-Black White Cardi2

This look includes another blazer that I dug from the back of my closet and had dry cleaned. I found the dress on the clearance rack at Burlington for $8, the gold necklace is attached to the dress. A cute dress and accessory for one low price, you can’t beat that! The shoes again are from Shoedazzle, you really can’t beat their deals. One tip for shopping with Shoedazzle/Justfab…always skip the month so that you won’t be charged the $39.95 fee. Put a reminder in your phone/calendar so that you don’t forget. You can always get a better deal on their site by purchasing during a sale. You can use my links to receive 75% off your first order!

https://www.shoedazzle.com/invite/25440387/

https://www.justfab.com/invite/9823016

Interview Wear-Orange Dress

Interview Wear-Orange Dress3 revised

What I like about all of these pieces is that they are interchangeable to create different looks every day of the week. Mix and match tops, blazers, skirts, pants, cardigans, and shoes! Even the dress could be tucked in and worn as a blouse with the skirt and pants. You could also add a couple new (or thrifted) blouses to round out your work week (or month). The possibilities are (almost) endless!

I have many more money saving ideas that I am going to share in the upcoming weeks so stay tuned for more!!

See you soon!

 

 

Inside the Dressing Room: JC Penney Clearance!

Here we are again on another day with another dressing room try-on! Today, I am featuring items from the JC Penney clearance rack! I must admit, that I don’t typically shop at JC Penney but I heard that they had a decent plus size selection so I decided to check it out for myself. In true “me” fashion, I went straight to the clearance section because…I’m cheap and like to save a few coins when I can. Here’s what I found:

Distressed Skinny Ankle Jeans

JCP Blue Distressed Jeans

I thought that these jeans were super cute and they had a decent fit. I don’t tend to like mid-low rise jeans because they cut right across my “mommy tummy” so I usually have to size up or look for jeans with the most stretch. The clearance price is probably what I would usually pay for jeans.

JCP Blue Distressed Jeans price

Everyone knows that my favorite color is “leopard print”. Yes, I know it’s not technically a color but it is one of my favorite prints to wear. This peplum blouse was very loose fitting but was still figure flattering.

JCP Leopard Print top

The clearance price is a really fair deal which is 70% off the original price.

JCP Leopard Print top price

I’m not a bit gaucho pants/culottes wearer but these were cute on the hanger so I tried them on. I didn’t like them on me but they were super comfortable and they had pockets.

JCP Black Cropped Gaucho

The price tag was on upside down but these were only $11.09.

JCP Black Cropped Gaucho price

Now what I do love is a good cardigan. Cardigans come in handy on so many occasions. You can layer them for a streamline look or just for additional warmth in a cool office. This one was at an awkward length on me being just a tad too long.

JCP Black Cardi

The clearance price is a great deal for a cardigan that will look great….on a taller person.

JCP Black Cardi price

These black skinny ankle jeans look like any other jean from far away in this pic but up close…

JCP Black Ankle Pants

There is sequin on the bottom! How is that to add a little pizzazz to your wardrobe?

JCP Black Ankle Pants close up

With a markdown of 80% off, these pants are a great deal!

JCP Black Ankle Pants price

Because I can never pass up a good cardigan, for the above stated reasons, I had to try this one. It was chunky and warm and had this cute detail on the arm.

JCP Beige Cardi

This one had a decent price for such a thick sweater but I could wait till it’s a little lower.

JCP Beige Cardi price

I had to journey over to the dress selection and found this beauty:

JCP Floral Dress

I’m not usually into long dresses because I’m so short and they tend to look like too much material on me. But the empire waist design and sheer panels at the bottom caught my eye.

JCP Floral Dress close up

I guess the cheapskate in me is always looking for below $20 deals but this one just might be worth the clearance price.

JCP Floral Dress price

Overall, I must say that JC Penney did have a decent selection in their plus size clearance and I may journey back over there again to see if the prices drop a little it more. As you can probably tell, the fit was all over the place. I tried on items from a size 0X(14W) to 20W and they all fit. So, it’s safe to say, you really have to try on items or know how certain fabrics fit on your body to ensure a good fit.

See you next time….on another clearance rack!

Four Stylish Ways to Wear One Cardigan for: Work, Play, and Formal Affairs.

Earlier this week, I posted my first “Inside the Dressing Room” where I tried on several pieces from Lane Bryant’s clearance section. I selected two pieces from that try-on: a cardigan and a black bedazzled belt. Today, I’m going to show you how I will work these pieces into my wardrobe for a variety of occasions.

Werk” Wear:

Who said work-wear has to be boring? I love the way this purply-eggplant color cardigan looks with olive green.

LB Purple Cardi Black Skirt

Sure, you could wear it with a little longer of a skirt to make it more “professional“. I mean, if that’s the look you’re going for…

LB Purple Cardi Black Skirt2

Date Night:

If you’re anything like me, you like dressing up and dressing down at the same time. I wore this cardigan as a top using the belt as closure. I paired it with this cute distressed skirt from Rainbow that I snagged for only $3 (on clearance, of course)! Now I’m ready for a date night!

LB Purple Cardi Denim Skirt

Speaking of date night, my hubby gave me these beautiful flowers. I can’t wear my wedding rings due to an eczema breakout on my fingers and I look incomplete without them šŸ˜¦ šŸ˜¦

LB Purple Cardi Denim Skirt2

Formal Wear:

Got a special occasion banquet, formal dinner, or wedding to attend? This cardigan/belt combo pairs well with this black wide-legged jumpsuit. Cheers!

LB Purple Cardi Black Jumpsuit

I’ve had this jumpsuit for years and it has served me well. If you can find one, snatch it up, you won’t regret it.

LB Purple Cardi Black Jumpsuit2

Casual Wear:

Lastly, I had to show you that this cardigan looks great with jeans too!

LB Purple Cardi Jeans

Where am I going in this outfit? I don’t know but it’s comfortable, cute, and just a little bit sexy.

LB Purple Cardi Jeans2

So there you have it, four looks for the price of one belt and one cardigan. When shopping, I always choose pieces that I know can work easily into my existing wardrobe. It’s also great when I can find a color that plays well with others since, like most people, I tend to have a lot of black pieces in my closet.

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog and I’ll see you next time for more try-ons and styled looks!

Inside the Dressing Room: Lane Bryant Clearance!

Happy Monday Everyone!

Anyone who has ever shopped with me knows that I always start in the clearance section. Why pay full price for something when you can possibly find something just as nice for a fraction of the price? Sometimes I wonder when are the best times to hit the clearance at certain stores. Most times we expect the best time to be the end of a season but sometimes not. So, I decided to start a new adventure to help all other clearance-heads out there who may not have time to go from store-to-store. The easiest way to show off what I’m liking best: dressing room try-ons.

Up first is Lane Bryant. Not only did they have a decent selection marked down to clearance prices but they were also offering an additional 40% off those clearance prices! I guess I picked a good time to go!

Please excuse the yellow haze created by the lighting in their dressing rooms.Ā 

Livi Active Wear- I tried their active wear for the first time. I like the fit of the pants and the cute lace detail on the side. I’m not too big on long sleeved workout wear though. How about that weird placement of their security tags??lol

LB Dressing Room Active WearLB Dressing Room Active Wear2

I’m a firm believer that a well fitted blazer/jacket completes a look. Lane Bryant had a nice selection of well-cut blazers on clearance. This light pink number was still a bit pricey even with the discounts but I can see why. The cut and the amount of stretch makes this jacket fit like it was tailor made for your body!

LB Dressing Room Light Pink Blazer

These tapered ankle jeans had a decent fit and can be worn dressed up or down.

LB Dressing Room Light Pink Blazer2

Another jacket was this beautiful eggplant ruffle hem bomber-like jacket. This jacket would be great for work or casual looks.

LB Dressing Room Eggplant Jacket3

 

Close-up to see the silky-shiny texture of the jacket.

LB Dressing Room Eggplant Jacket2

This cute military-style jacket that has just enough stretch for a figure-flattering look.

LB Dressing Room Pink Blazer

These pants didn’t have as great of a fit as the jeans. They seem to be either too loose or not loose enough in certain areas, I can’t decide.

LB Dressing Room Pink Blazer2

This short kimono/poncho style cardigan has a rich purple color and luxe ribbed texture that made this simple piece look oh-so-fancy.

LB Dressing Room Purple Poncho2

I paired it with this belt that was also on clearance which had this beautiful jeweled detail that was covered with a plastic film for protection.

LB Dressing Room Purple Poncho

They had a few dresses but this was the only one in my size. I love the ruffle detail on the sleeves and the pockets. I just didn’t think this dress was too flattering on me.

LB Dressing Room Gray White Striped Dress

Every wardrobe needs a cute denim jacket and Lane Bryant again has gotten it right with the cut of their jackets. The amount of structure and stretch makes this an easy piece to wear.

LB Dressing Room Denim Jacket

The frayed details on the cuffs and hem adds an extra interesting touch.

LB Dressing Room Denim Jacket2

All in all, I was pleased with the selection of clearance items available at Lane Bryant. I must also mention that the section was clean and very well organized making it easy to see all that was available. I did purchase two pieces that I will do another post on how I styled them. Can you guess what they were?? Stay tuned for the answer, how I styled them, andĀ more clearance rack goodies!

 

Last Minute Christmas Gifts- DIY Hair & Body Oil!

I hope you are enjoying this series and ready to complete your gift sets today! If you’re just joining me, be sure to check out my previous two blog posts to catch up on the great d.i.y. gifts perfect for any occasion. Today, we are creating this oh-so-fancy (but affordable) hair & body oil.

This oil combines vitamin-rich, antioxidant, moisturizing properties to make a perfect treatment for dry, sensitive skin and for the treatment of hair damage and loss. It can be gently heated in water to use as hot oil treatment. Leaving you with rich moisturized and luxurious locks of hair.

The 3 oils that we will be using are: Olive oil, Vitamin E oil, and Sunflower Oil. Best of all the olive and vitamin e oil can be found at Dollar Tree! The large bottle of sunflower oil was purchased at Walmart for around $4.

Hair & Body Oils

I’m going to be adding in some scented oils which I purchasedĀ here . But you can also find some in store at Hobby Lobby (don’t forget your coupon on their website). I also picked up a few packs of these travel sized bottles at…you guessed it, Dollar Tree.

Hair & Body Oils bottles

I simply blended all the oils together and separated them in different bottles to make different scents and added fragrance oil to each. Lastly, I funneled the oil into each bottle. It is as simple as that!

While at Dollar Tree, I stopped by the craft aisle and picked up some bling wrap and glued it to the tops of the bottles to make them look a little fancier and giftier…is that a word?

Hair & Body Oils completed

I printed out the labels myself to identify the scents. I like that one is in a spray bottle which makes it perfect to use on the skin right out the shower. The other bottles can be carried in a purse for on-the-go moisture while another can be used for a hot oil hair treatment.

Hair & Body Oils gift set

So this series included:Ā bath bomb truffles, shower jelly, and hair/body oil. These luscious gift sets would be great for any occasion. For a few dollars, you can create multiple gift sets for multiple people for the same price as one set purchased in the store!

I hope this helps you save a few coins and enjoy this holiday season.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you soon….

Last Minute Christmas Gifts- DIY Scented Shower Jelly!

Next up in this year’s series of affordable gifts is d.i.y. shower jelly. I’ve seen these pop up in recent years in the popular fancy bath product stores. I looked at them and said what I say when I see most things, “I can make that”. Although often times I say that and it turns out not to be true, this time….it was so easy that even I could do it. Not only was it super easy but also very affordable.

Here’s what you will need:

  • 8 oz bottle of Castile Unscented Liquid Soap
  • 1 oz unflavored Gelatin
  • 2 cups water

Shower Jelly Ingredients

To add color and scents you will need:

  • Food coloring (add a few drops to reach desired color)
  • Scented Oil (I got mineĀ here)

Shower Jelly Color & Scents

These containers are the perfect size to create individual portions of the jelly. Best of all, you get 10 containers for $1 at Dollar Tree!

Shower Jelly Containers

Directions:

  • Pour 1 oz of gelatin into 1 cup of cold water, let sit for 1-2 minutes
  • Pour 1 cup of boiling hot water over the gelatin mixture, allow to cool for 5 minutes
  • Add 1/4 cup of castile soap to gelatin
  • Divide mixture if you want to make different colors and scents
  • Add a few drops of food coloring to each mixture until you reach desired hue
  • Add 10-15 drops of scented oil

I used a small funnel to easily transfer the gelatin mixture into the individual containers.

Shower Jelly in Funnel

I created 3 scents/colors: honeysuckle (green), black raspberry vanilla (red), and mango papaya (yellow). They all smell great and are sure to create an invigorating shower experience!

Shower Jelly in Containers

The above recipe filled all ten containers. I ended up mixing one with red and yellow to create the rogue orange jelly which created an interesting combo scent.

Lastly, put the containers in the fridge to set. Within an hour or two your shower jellies are ready!

Shower Jelly Finished Product

So there you have it. A cute, fun, and beautifully scented gift that your friends and family will love!! You don’t even have to tell them how easy and cheap these were to make, lol.

Stay tuned for the completion of the d.i.y. gift trifecta…..

Last Minute Christmas Gifts-DIY Bath Bomb Truffles!

Here we are again at the Christmas Season…’tis the season to be jolly. However, some are not so jolly because they are worried about what this time of year may do to their pockets. Well, smile again because I’ve got you (and your pockets) covered! This gift is not only inexpensive but smells good and looks good enough to eat…actually most of the ingredients are edible but I doubt they would be delicious.

So let’s get started. You will need:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup epsom salt
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 6-8 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
  • food coloring
  • 12-15 drops premium fragrance oil
  • bath bomb mold

Bath Bomb Ingredients

Most of the above are sold at Dollar Tree with the exception of the citric acid. The citric acid was purchased from Walmart for less than $3 and can be found in the kitchen supply section since it’s used for canning and pickling.

Bath Bomb Ingredients2

I bought the silicone mold from Hobby Lobby. There is usually a 40% off coupon available on their website so be sure to use it! I purchased premium fragrance oil on Ebay which can be found here.

I also saw these fragrances at Hobby Lobby:

Bath Bomb Scented Oil

Mix all the dry ingredients then slowly add in the fragrance oil and melted coconut oil and stir until you reached a clumped consistency that looks like this:

Bath Bomb Consistency

It’s important that you make sure your mixture clumps and holds together otherwise, your bath bomb may crumble. You can gradually add in more melted coconut oil as needed to reach this consistency. You can also add color at this point. I divided the mixture in different bowls to create a variety of colors. Add the mixture to both sides of the bomb mold until it is slightly overflowing. Close and press the mold and leave for at least 1 minute. For extra solidity, you can place it in the freezer for a few minutes. Carefully remove the bombs from the mold.

To add a little sparkle and jazz to your bath bombs and make them look almost edible, you can use a little Writing Icing, Sprinkles, Food Coloring, and Cupcake Cups. These can all be found at your local grocery store or old faithful Dollar Tree.

Bath Bomb Ingredients3

Decorate your bath bombs to look like a dessert truffle. You can scrape it off easily before you add it to your bath or leave it as it is sugar and will dissolve in bathwater. Enjoy!

Bath Bombs

I’m not exactly an ArtisteĀ but I still think mine came out kind of cute. If you have a little more creativity, the ideas are limitless as to what you can create.

The goal is to have a little fun, save a little money, and enjoy the gift exchange.

You know I like to do gift ideas in 3’s, right??? Stay tuned for the next fabulous DIY Christmas gift!