Spring Break Adventures, Part One

I’m back!

Last week I took a blogging hiatus because Justin and I took off on VACATION! It was spring break for him so I took some time off work and we hit the road and headed south!

We spent the weekend visiting friends in the Carrboro/Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. Leah, one of my best friends from childhood, and her husband Kraig moved there about a year ago and it was so great to get to visit them and explore the area!

We got into town on Friday night and it just so happened that UNC was playing in the NCAA tournament so Chapel Hill was a happenin’ place! Every restaurant and bar with a TV was packed so since none of us were super invested in the game we decided to just walk up and down Franklin Street (an absolute must-see if you go to Chapel Hill; this strip had so many amazing little shops, restaurants, and bars) and soak up the atmosphere. It was so much fun! There was so much energy and excitement after they won– it made me wish that we lived in a college town again. So fun!

We spent Saturday walking around and exploring Chapel Hill. We hit up several markets and grocery stores (yes, you read that right. I love grocery stores and the fact that Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods were close by was enough to put me in a grocery shopping mood!) and also walked around UNC.

UNC Campus

Justin and I both went to smaller colleges so we were blown away by how huge the campus was! All the buildings were so beautiful and we really enjoyed checking it all out! Justin especially enjoyed getting to sample the water in the drinking fountain under the trademark gazebo. 😉

UNC Chapel Hill UNC Chapel HIll

Sorry about the light streaks; all these pictures were taken on my phone and it doesn’t take good night pictures!

After a day full of walking, we were all super hungry. We decided to eat at the famous Top of the HIll restaurant. We had a pretty long wait to get out on the patio, but it was definitely worth it! The restaurant rooftop is perfectly placed on the corner of a major section of Franklin Street so it has a great view!

Top of the Hill Top of the Hill

The food was so delicious that I scarfed up all my food before I even thought to take a picture! We all four agreed that the food was top notch and the guys loved the house beers they chose. My favorite part was just looking out over Franklin Street and people watching (yep…I’m one of those creepers who love watching other people!)

We also hit up Yogurt Pump after dinner which was the best decision! Their frozen yogurt was the perfect way to top off a great day and I only wish we lived closer so I could further fuel my fro-yo addiction.

Before we knew it, Sunday morning rolled around and we packed our bags, said goodbye to Leah and Kraig, and hit the road to head even further south to Charleston, SC! More on that adventure tomorrow!

***

A few outfit catch-ups from the last few teaching days!

pink cardigan, checked shirt, skinnies, leopard flats, chunky pearls

Cardigan: Target (similar here)~ Checked Shirt: Target (similar here) ~ Navy Ankle Pants: Target (exact here)~ Leopard Flats: Target (exact here) ~ Necklace: Maurices (similar here and here) ~ Renegade Bracelet: Stella Dot (exact here)

blue striped shirt, white jeans, nude pumps, statement necklace

Shirt: Target ~ Jeans: Target (exact here)~ Pumps: Target (exact here) ~ Necklace: Purple Peridot (exact here) ~ Link Bracelet: J. Crew Factory (exact here) ~ Bracelets: Chloe Stack (exact here)

purple cardigan, floral shirt, skinnies, black boots

Cardigan: Old Navy (similar here) ~ Flower cami: Old Navy (exact old) ~ Courduroy skinnies: Old Navy (similar here) ~ Boots: Forever 21 (exact here) ~ Necklace: Lia Sophia (exact here) ~ Earrings: Lia Sophia (exact here)

Advertisements

Small Budget, Full Closet

Hello hello!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families! My family all traveled to my house this past weekend. It was my first time ever hosting a family holiday and I must say that it went very smoothly! We had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner  (followed by naps and football) and spent the rest of the weekend relaxing, playing games, and hanging out. It was great to spend time with them and I was not quite ready to to to work this morning!

Speaking of work, I thought I’d take a minute to re-cap the work outfits I shared over the past month (and also why I share them).

A month of teaching outfits:: simplifythechaos.comAs I shared in an earlier post, I can be classified 100% as a shopaholic. I absolutely love clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. There is just something so fun about a new, spunky pair of heels or a statement piece of jewelry — I truly enjoy dressing up and creating outfits.

That being said, I’m in my third year of teaching and my husband is in medical school. My teaching salary is the only means of an income we have at this point — needless to say I have become somewhat of a budgeting queen. I decided to share my daily outfits on this blog to help give others who are on a budget (particularly teachers, although my outfits are work friendly for many professions) ideas for professional, affordable work outfits.

My core fashion beliefs are:

1- It is possible to teach and be dressed comfortably and professionally. I see so many teachers who choose not to dress up for the sake of comfort. I’ll admit there are days I’d rather be in sweats, but I still make the effort to “dress for success” in my workplace. I find that when I look nice, my attitude is better and I arrive at school ready to get to work. If I dress more sloppily, my attitude and work ethic tend to follow. I try to find outfits that look professional, but are comfortable to be in all day. I’ve taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels so these outfits have been tested in all teaching settings — from crawling around on the floor to sitting at a desk or standing in a classroom.

2- Looking put together does not mean you “try too hard.” It means you’re trying to look your best (and it doesn’t need to take tons of effort!) I’ve been at schools where some teachers dress very casually. Now there’s nothing wrong with that; however, I sometimes feel that those teachers look at me like I’m “trying too hard” when I wear heels and a skirt. Not true! I dress up to look my age (because otherwise people think I’m a student) and because this is my job and I want to look my best.

3- You can put together cute, work-appropriate outfits ON A BUDGET. On my “wear” page, I list all my outfits and links to pieces when possible. When you see a pricier item listed, you can bet your boots I didn’t pay full price. Forever 21, Target, Old Navy, TJ Maxx, etc. are my staples! I also get a lot from consignment stores like Plato’s Closet. I do have a mild-to-strong addiction to Express but when I shop there, I’m buying at their semi-annual SALES or using their coupons! Very rarely do I pay full price (this time of year is wonderful—hellooooo Cyber Monday deals!) All my pricier jewelry from Lia Sophia was bought at heavy discounts because I hosted a jewelry party.  You can look nice and professional for very little money if you’re willing to shop smart, get creative, and stick to a budget!

4- I pride myself on wearing realistic outfits, meaning they fit a realistic teacher income and can be assembled in a realistic time frame. Seriously, who really has time to spend 2 hours getting ready for work!? Not me. First of all, I push that snooze button as long as possible so my morning routine needs to be efficient.  Secondly, I’m a procrastinator so setting out outfits ahead of time is just not how I’m wired. My outfits fit a realistic morning routine time frame of a teacher who needs to leave for work by 7:15 but sleeps in until 6:30. I also don’t have an unlimited budget — but my closet is full because I’m willing to look beyond brand names. My humble teacher salary does not keep me from the clothes I love because I’ve learned to shop smart on a budget and I believe anyone can do the same!

At the end of the day, fashion brings me excitement and joy.  I like it and I hope sharing my outfits gives others some inspiration/ideas for cute outfits to wear to work too. I promise to keep it real –the premise of my blog is to SIMPLIFY and I hope that translates to my wardrobe. 🙂

***

All that being said, here’s today’s look!

20131202_070731

Sweater: Express

Cami: Maurices

Dress Pants: Express

Wedge shoes: Target

Belt: via Plato’s Closet

Necklace: Lia Sophia