Category Archives: monthly budget

Monthly budget adventures (May 2017)

It’s time to see what my monthly clothing budget adventures were for this month! I kept it pretty low-key this past month, with only one purchase.

Wallet replacement

I have been needing to replace my cat wallet, seen here, and I couldn’t find my old Nine West wallet that I used to use. So one day, we happened to be shopping near a Ross outlet store, so we went in just to see… and I came out with this black-and-white patterned wallet.

And getting this wallet at a discount was… wait for it… easy on the wallet! 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | New wallet, May 2017

  • Wallet, Tommy Hilfiger via Ross:  paid $14.99 (originally $39)

And below are three Tommy Hilfiger wallets that are very similar in design to the one I picked up:

Librarian for Life + Style | Tommy Hilfiger wallets collage

left option  //  middle option  //  right option

Budget recap

Total spent for this month: $14.99
Total savings for this month:  $24.01

Total spent for this year:  $544.47
Total savings for this year:  $425.74

Giveaways and gifts

Sam won a gorgeous handbag (!) at the MOE Gallery fashion show that I modeled for recently. Of course then it became MY gift! 😀 This is such a well-made bag, with the thicker fabric panels, sturdy handles, interior lining, and metal studs on the bottom. Since the sides are wool, I will probably wait until fall to really use it — sweet anticipation!

Librarian for Life + Style | MOE Gallery handbag collage

My friend and fellow librarian Stephanie recently stayed over for a girls’ weekend, and gifted me a pair of handcrafted vintage earrings. They are Native American, combining turquoise, wood, and silver. Beautiful! The square button shape makes me think of mid-century design. She thought I would like them because I have other turquoise and silver jewelry, as seen here, plus she knows that I often wear my wood JORD watch, as seen here. She knows me so well! 😀

Librarain for Life + Style | Vintage button earrings

Speaking of earrings and gifts… My mother-in-law recently went on a Caribbean cruise vacation and picked up this pair of beaded earrings for me. So sweet! I love the inky, speckled midnight color of the beads.

Librarian for Life + Style | New beaded earrings, May 2017

Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers.

Monthly budget adventures (April 2017)

It’s time to see what my monthly clothing budget adventures were for this month! This month was a mix, and here’s a sneak peek at a few of my purchases:

Librarian for Life + Style | What I got (April 2017) collage

white lace dress {sold out but very similar dress here}  //  grey leopard print infinity scarf {sold out but similar scarf here}  //  exact geometric-print canvas flats  //  exact espadrille flats

Local deals

Sam and I recently enjoyed a local “Wine Walk” around the Hilltop neighborhood in Tacoma, where we sampled different wines at different local businesses. It was a great way to get to know the neighborhood!

I picked up two items from two different shops, including this pair of earrings from a local artist line, “Ajmer by Jodi.” These earrings are made from a natural shell called shiva shell, or “Pacific Cat’s Eye.”

Librarian for Life + Style | Shiva shell earrings

  • Shiva shell earrings, Ajmer by Jodi:  paid $20 (original price $28, 30% off)

I also couldn’t resist this velvet (or velveteen?) fedora at a local men’s store known as “Mr. Mac’s” (I’ve also heard it referred to as “Mac Daddy’s”), which has hats, socks, suits, and shoes in every color of the rainbow. This store is old-school and AMAZING.

Librarian for Life + Style | Hat shopping, April 2017

You’ll be seeing me wear this snazzy fedora soon!

Poshmark shopping experience

I have discovered Poshmark. Or how I stated it on my Facebook page in early April:  “OMG, I have discovered and fallen into Poshmark, and I may never come back up.”

I have been looking for ages for a white lace or eyelet dress — I’ve even created a “White Lace Dress Ideas” board on my Pinterest — but I was finding it hard to find one that was (a) long enough, (b) had sleeves, but (c) didn’t have bell sleeves. (Too trendy for me.) Then I saw this one on Poshmark. Check, check, check. 🙂 This dress — one of last year’s styles from Joe Fresh — was also featured on two of my favorite bloggers, Corilynn and Merrick’s Art, so that helped to see the dress in action.

I added the leopard print infinity scarf to save money on bundling, plus to add more animal print accessories to my wardrobe. Animal print accessories are really versatile!

I will definitely keep browsing Poshmark — particularly for brands that are sold out online — and the search filters are great, as are the professional communications from Poshmark. It did take longer than I expected for this particular seller to actually send the items, but they arrived in good condition and as advertised.

Librarian for Life + Style | New lace dress Poshmark purchase, April 2017

Librarian for Life + Style | New animal print Poshmark purchase, April 2017


  • Lace dress, Joe Fresh {sold out but very similar dress here}:  paid $34 (original price $49, on sale for $40, 15% off with seller bundle)
  • Leopard print infinity scarf, Express {sold out but exact scarf available here}:  paid $12.75 (original price $21, on sale for $15, 15% off with seller bundle)

Canvas flats at Target

I wasn’t planning on buying more canvas flats and sneakers… but dang that Target for having really cute options! This shoe style has become one of my favorites to wear throughout spring, summer, and early fall — they’re so comfortable, and a really easy and casual way to add pattern and texture to an outfit.

I have already worn the canvas sneakers with the geometric design, so you’ll be seeing those soon. And those DV espadrille flats? Amazingly cushy! (I’m saving those for actual summer, when it finally stops raining for a bit.)

Sizing notes:  I had to size down a half-size on the canvas sneakers, but I had to size up a half-size on the espadrille flats.

Librarian for Life + Style | New shoes from Target, April 2017


Budget recap

Total spent for this month: $128.50
Total savings for this month:  $51.49

Total spent for this year:  $529.48
Total savings for this year:  $401.73

What I didn’t buy:  Victoria Beckham collection at Target

I also tried on what few pieces of the Victoria Beckham boutique collection were left at our local Target. There wasn’t much left, and what I did try on… I can’t say I was that impressed. I think Victoria Beckham is legit talented as a designer and has earned her high fashion design cred. But her collection at Target was disappointing to me, especially with its odd sizing (the tops ran big while the bottoms ran small, and all the dresses were TOO short!). Just not for me.

Librarian for Life + Style | Trying on Victoria Beckham for Target collection

Giveaways and gifts

I was the lucky winner of a recent giveaway on the Doused in Pink blog! The prize was my choice of a pair of foldable flats by Fit in Clouds. Their flats fold up in a little bag, which you can put in a purse and take with you, switching out from heels to flats.

I chose the bronze pair, because they were so different and fun. I’m inbetween shoe sizes, and these flats only come in whole sizes. I sized up, just in case, but I could have sized down and been just fine. I think these will also be a super cute option to wear when you’re hosting a party or dinner at home with friends — something sparkly but also comfy.

Librarian for Life + Style | Fit in Clouds foldable flats

Librarian for Life + Style | Fit in Clouds foldable flats collage

My husband picked up this embroidered ribbon this past month in Portland — and I’ve already worn it as a belt, as seen in this post. I plan to use the ribbon to make a regular belt plus a headband… projects for the summer!

Librarian for Life + Style | Red floral ribbon closeup

Last but not least, my mom surprised me this past month by sending me a care package — which included a Pride & Prejudice-themed tote bag and clutch from the Out of Print Clothing site! So sweet! I have the P&P-themed tee, which is more of a true purple color. The color of the two bags is more of a midnight blue.

You can browse all of the Out of Print P&P collection here.

Librarian for Life + Style | Pride and Prejudice tote bag and pouch from Out of Print clothing

I’ve admittedly been spending more than I’m comfortable with these last few months, so I definitely need to slow it down. I don’t feel as bad about this past month because most of it went to either local businesses or toward local sellers via Poshmark.

(And I still have my eye on one particular item on Poshmark… so you’ll probably see that next month!)

Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers.

Monthly budget adventures (March 2017)

It’s time to see what my monthly clothing budget adventures were for this month! This month was mostly about replacing items, and here’s a sneak peek at what I got this month:

Librarian for Life + Style | What I got (March 2017)

Links to exact items:  striped fit-and-flare dress //  black gingham button-front shirt  //  raspberry gingham burton-front shirt  //  black tote bag  //  metallic pewter flats  //  black sneakers  //  brown sneakers  //  tan sneakers

Replacing shoes

I have been working on identifying well-worn items in my closet that need replacing. That has included almost all of my Skechers sneakers, which lasted me for over a decade. Time to stock back up! We happened to find all three colors I needed — brown, black, and tan — in stock in my size at a local Famous Footwear store.

Librarian for Life + Style | New Skechers sneakers

  • Tan sneakers, Skechers via Famous Footwear:  paid $54.99 (original price $64.99)
  • Brown sneakers, Skechers via Famous Footwear:  paid $40 (original price $64.99)
  • Black sneakers, Skechers via Famous Footwear:  paid $54.99 (original price $64.99)

I also have noted that my beloved grey metallic flats have cracked in the back and sunken down, and they’re not as comfortable to wear anymore for long stretches of time. Bummer. These beauties lasted me over six years! I happened to find these metallic pewter flats on the sale rack at the same Famous Footwear we were scouting out Skechers. Score!

Librarian for Life + Style | New metallic pewter flats

Replacing my black tote bag

My trusty black-and-grey tote bag, which I’ve used at least weekly for 5+ years now, is also starting to crack around the handles. Y’all have seen this bag many, many times (here and here, for example), so I’ve been scouting out a possible replacement for over a month. My requirements for a replacement included:

  • a tote bag shape — my preferred kind of work bag
  • handles big enough to fit over my shoulders
  • a zipper along the top so as to prevent rain from getting in — a PNW reality

Then I spied this tote bag at Target, and bingo! I love the structured shape, classic design, and what looks to be sturdy handles. 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | New Target tote bag

Librarian for Life + Style | New Target tote bag

Lands’ End gift card

I also have had a few Lands’ End gift cards, so I have been browsing the Lands’ End site for a couple of months now. When this past weekend saw a 30% off sale PLUS major savings on the gingham button-front shirts I’ve been wanting to stock up on, I finally placed an order. I paid less than $2 for the following 3 items!

And yes, that’s another striped dress in my favorite fit-and-flare shape. This marks the THIRD fit-and-flare dress I’ve picked up from Lands’ End. They’re SO comfortable and flattering, and they are great to pack when traveling. See here and here for the other two Lands’ End fit-and-flare dresses I’ve bought.

Librarian for Life + Style | Lands' End purchases, March 2017

Budget recap

Total spent for this month: $206.21
Total savings for this month:  $285.74

Total spent for this year:  $400.98
Total savings for this year:  $350.24

I’ve definitely spent a chunk of change this month, with most of that spent on my sneakers! I’m okay with that, considering that my previous Skechers sneakers lasted me over a decade. I saved the most at Lands’ End, paying less than $2 for items originally priced at over $195.

Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers.

Monthly budget adventures (February 2017)

I did not shop much this month, except to purchase a few t-shirts over the Presidents’ Day weekend. It’s been a busy month at work, and we’ve had a lot to do at home during the weekends.

Librarian for Life + Style | What I got (February 2017)

Striped tees

I took advantage of the Presidents’ Day sale at J.Crew Factory, when everything on the site was 50% off. So I stocked up on two more of my favorite striped tees, as I already have a few pairs, and I get a lot of wear out of them.

Librarian for Life + Style | Striped tees from J.Crew Factory

Message tees

I also purchased two message tees this month, a navy “Nevertheless She Persisted” tee which provided proceeds to ACLU, and a dark pink “Obstinate, Headstrong Girl!” Jane Austen-themed tee. (In Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Lady Catherine de Bourgh seeks to impugn Lizzy Bennet’s character by calling her an “obstinate, headstrong girl.” The attempt, uh, doesn’t work.)

I purchased both tees through the website, totaling less than $50.

Interesting how the colors navy and berry were also a theme in what I bought this month!

Librarian for Life + Style | Message tees bought in February 2017

Budget recap

Total spent for this month: $97.50
Total savings for this month:  $49.50

Total spent for this year:  $194.77
Total savings for this year:  $64.50

Earrings, earrings

For full disclosure, below is info about two sets of earrings I recently received as gifts.

First, my husband gifted me this pair of silver hammered earrings for our 20th anniversary. He actually bought them at the same time as the silver circle earrings he gifted me for Christmas — he just saved this pair of earrings for our anniversary! I’ve already worn these earrings, although they haven’t yet made it to the blog.

Librarian for Life + Style | Silver earrings gift from my husband

I also received a pair of pearl earrings c/o Pearl & Clasp late last month, which I reviewed in this post. I also wore the earrings in this outfit post.

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Pearl & Clasp earrings

I have a few Lands’ End gift cards saved up, so we’ll see if I feel up to shopping this next month… stay tuned!

Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers.

Monthly budget adventures (January 2017)

It’s my first monthly budget adventures post of 2017! I also wrote a post earlier this month about how I view shopping and what my mom taught me about clothes-shopping.

This month was all about going back to basics!  Here’s a sneak peek at what I got this month:

Librarian for Life + Style | What I got (January 2017)

Top row (left to right):  charcoal yoga pants  //  light grey yoga pants  //  black-and-burgundy bootcut yoga pants

Bottom row (left to right):  white over-the-knee socks  //  hiking socks  //  slipper socks  //  Milani “Cabaret Blend” lipstick

Over-the-knee socks

I really focused on basics this month, including several pairs of over-the-knee boot socks. Daenael @ Living Outside the Stacks always has interesting boot socks, so I asked her advice on where to get over-the-knee boot socks, and she recommended Target. I also got a few pairs of pointelle boot socks at Payless, as they were having a BOGO 1/2 off sale.

Librarian for Life + Style | Boot socks from Target and Payless

Socks + slippers

I have worn through my first pair of slipper socks that I got a year ago at Payless, so I picked up a new pair of slipper socks during our recent Target run. I love the berry color!

  • Hiking socks, Target:  paid $7.60 (original price $8, used Target card for 5% off)
  • Cable slipper socks, Target:  paid $12.35 (original price $12.99, used Target card for 5% off)

Librarian for Life + Style | Socks and slipper socks from Target

All about comfort

I prefer to wear comfy yoga pants when I’m at home, so I picked up three more pairs during our Target shopping trip. I’m all about comfort!

Librarian for Life + Style | Yoga pants from Target

New lipstick

This was admittedly an impulse purchase during a recent grocery trip at our local Fred Meyer store. I just really liked this dark wine color, so I took a chance on it, even though I’ve never used the Milani brand of makeup before.

Librarian for Life + Style | Milani lipstick collage

Budget recap

Total spent for this month: $97.29
Total savings for this month:  $15

Total spent for this year:  $97.29
Total savings for this year:  $15

This month, I definitely focused on more casual, comfy clothing that I wear mostly around the house. I really should do a post about what I wear at home… note to self. 😉 Yoga pants and socks are the kinds of items I rarely buy purposefully, but they have to be among the most-worn items in my closet! I feel like the overall theme for this month — or perhaps even for the year? — is a “back to basics” theme.

Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers.