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September 2019 Budget


Hey, it’s only October, so let’s get the September budget post up, shall we?!


(Some of the following are affiliate links)

  1. I Dew Care Cat Headband (Ulta): $6 - sale and gift card = $0

  2. Colourpop Ultra Blotted Lip in Zuma (Ulta): $7 - coupon and gift card = $0

  3. Anrabess Summer Tank Jumpsuit (Amazon): $24 - gift card = $13

  4. Zoya Nail Polish in Tawny (Ulta): $10 - gift card = $0

  5. C9 Active Tank Top (Target): $15 - gift card = $0

Not pictured:

  1. C9 Twist Back Tank Top Tank (Target): $13

  2. Zoya Nail Polish in Hera (Ulta): $10 - gift card = $0

  3. Clinique Pep Start Eye Cream (Ulta): $28 - coupon and gift card = $0

  4. Colourpop Ultra Glossy Lip in Pretty In (Ulta): $7 - coupon and gift card = $0

  5. Essence Volume Booster Lash Primer (Ulta) : $5 - gift card = $0

  6. Nike Training Shorts (Amazon): $20

  7. Under Armour Play Up Shorts (Amazon): $17

  8. Heathyoga Leggings (Amazon): $17

  9. Treat Lip Balm in Confetti Cake (Amazon): $13 - gift card = $0

TOTAL: + $34 (assorted scrunchies and headbands from Forever 21) = $114

WHEW. Thanks to a slew of birthday gift cards, my spending was almost back to normal. Or at least closer to where I would want it to be.

You know what my two favorite purchases of September are? (Besides the cat ears headband, obviously!) The jumpsuit and the Heathyoga leggings. Finally, I’ve found pieces I’d like to be buried in! 😂😂 The jumpsuit is a jersey-type material and basically like a more fashionable onesie, while the leggings are soft and thick and have cell phone pockets (!!). I’m seriously considering getting another pair because I want to live in the one pair I have now!

The Treat Lip Balm is pretty great too. Besides smelling amazing, it’s super hydrating—I actually took it to Arizona with me as my overnight lip balm, and it worked really well.

Did you buy anything fun in September?

August 2019 Budget


I was still on a shopping kick this month, but I did a bit better than July at least! (Thank you, birthday gift cards!) I’ve also been working on my mindset some more. This month, I tried to embrace the idea that I’m good with money. Yes, my bank account doesn’t bear that out at the moment, but telling myself that I’m good with money helped me to not spend at times because overspending is just not something that I would do if I were actually good with money, you know? On the other hand, telling myself that I’m bad with money just makes me more apt to throw up my hands and spend—like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I’d heard of mindset shifts like this before, but I always rolled my eyes at them because, well, I’d be telling myself something that’s not actually true—at least not currently. But since thinking this way does seem to be helping, I’m going to stick with it for now!

With no further adieu, let’s see what I got in August:

  1. Fydelity Ultra-Slim Fanny Pack in Metallic Rose Gold (Ocean City Surf Mall): $18 (talked about here)

  2. Ultrabland Facial Cleanser (Lush): $30

  3. So Yoga Leggings (Kohl’s): $30 on sale for $11

  4. Pink Mini Backpack (Amazon): $28

  5. Half Moon Ring (Etsy): $39 on sale for $33

Not pictured:

  1. Bowie Foil Rainbow Foil Crop Sweatshirt (Hot Topic, sold out): $39 on sale for $18

  2. Cruz Accessories Howlite Necklace (Ocean City Surf Mall): $9

  3. So Lounge Life Hoodie (Kohl’s): $40 on sale for $30 - coupon = $22

  4. Let the Good Times Roll Face and Body Cleanser (Lush): $13

  5. Dream Cream Hand and Body Lotion (Lush): $8

  6. Rose Lollipop Lip Balm (Lush): $11

  7. Ombre Ribbed Leggings (Primark): $14

  8. Gradient Leggings (Primark): $13 on sale for $5 (talked about here)

  9. Two bracelets: $11

  10. Yuni Beauty Carry Om rollerball (Ulta): $14

  11. Cat & Jack yoga tee (Target): on sale for $5 - gift card = $0

  12. Art Class High Neck Tank (Target): $10 on sale for $7

  13. Positivity Page “You deserve the whole universe” wristband (Etsy): $5 - gift card = $0

  14. Positivity Page “Anxiety passes” wristband (Etsy): $5 - gift card = $0

  15. Collsants Small Nylon Backpack (Amazon): $22 - gift card and points = $0

  16. Wild Fable Short-Sleeve V-Neck Button-Front Romper (Target): $25 on sale for $17 - gift card = $0

  17. Travel Scarf by Waypoint Goods (Amazon): $40 - gift card and points = $0

  18. Cynthia Rybakoff Skinny Square Band in rose gold (Artist & Fleas Chelsea): $18

TOTAL: $270

While I’m not thrilled with that total, I’m relieved to see that I spent less than last month, WHEW! And actually, I bought the Bowie Hoodie and So items in July but wanted to make sure I wasn’t returning them (or using them for #SparklePunchMusicMonth) before including them in my budget post.

When I got the So hoodie, I loved the color and envisioned it for one of my Stay Home Club patches, but I wasn’t thrilled with the tunic length. Luckily, Timmi is a sewing wizard and altered it to my liking! (She only had to rip out the pocket and then crop it nbd.)



It’s slouchy and soft and cozy and PURPLE, so naturally it got my favorite of the patches: Indoor Cat!

The So leggings are sooo thick and comfy AND they have pockets!! LOVE THEM and want like five more pairs!

I got on a bit of a backpack kick this month! The nylon one is more athleisurey, but they both look way more expensive than they were! Also, despite being “mini,” both backpacks have a million sections/pockets, including secret pockets in the back!

How gorge is the Half Moon Ring? I love the geometric shape and how it’s a subtle nod to the moon. I actually got it as my birthday gift to myself and set it aside (miraculously!) till the big day! Now I just have to figure out which finger to wear it on… #RingLoverProbs The rose gold square ring from Cynthia Rybakoff compliments it so well and was a lovely find in NYC on my actual b-day. Cannot resist a geometric rose gold ring apparently!

Sooo a few weekends ago, I stumbled onto the fact that I fit into XL clothes in the little girls’ section of Target. Is this a dream or a nightmare, I’m not sure! (Especially since people regularly think I’m still in high school!) The Art Class tank is super soft and I love the blush color! And how cute is this yoga tee?!


If you have questions about anything I didn’t specifically talk about, lemme know! I was just trying to keep this post from becoming a full-on triple-decker novel! 😂

What did you buy this month?

July 2019 Budget


Oh, guys. I spent A LOT in July. Like, a lot a lot. As a result, I really struggled with writing this budget post. How can I explain spending so much money, money I don’t really have, on unnecessary material items? Especially when I’m not even okay with how much I spent myself! How can I justify it?

Initially, I went through the usual critical reactions: I need to be more disciplined, I’m bad with money, I’m irresponsible, I just won’t buy a thing next month, etc. etc. The things that I thought I should be saying.

Enter The Papaya Podcast. I recently discovered it, and its host, Sarah Nicole, when she guested on Approachable. Sarah Nicole is just the bubbliest, brightest, realest light I needed in my life right at this moment. I listed to her first episode this week, and she said something about her experience with weight loss that really struck me: “I targeted my body as something to hate. […] I looked at my body and said, ‘You’re fat, you’re ugly, and you’re going to make a change.’ And, I mean, you can’t hate yourself happy.”

WOW. Negative self-talk has totally been my approach since high school at least. Push through, work harder, you suck, shove down your feelings, keep moving... But, as Sarah Nicole pointed out, that approach is harmful and counterintuitive.

What if I could look at budgeting as a way to show myself love, rather than as something restrictive to scoff at or as something to beat myself up about? What if I didn’t treat shopping as a coping skill? What if I was able to reframe things like, “Sticking to my budget helps me to feel less stress and anxiety. Present Jess is helping Future Jess do things she loves.” Or something like that. Those words certainly hurt less than the litany of criticisms I listed earlier.

With all that said, here are the many things I bought in July:

  1. Panama Backpack (Ron Pon Pon): $100 on sale for $60

  2. Clinique Even Better Glow Foundation (Ulta): $29 - 20% off coupon = $23

  3. Shade & Shore Tashi Yoga Sling Thong Sandals (Target): $18 - coupon = $14

  4. Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream (Ulta): $50 - 20% off coupon = $40

  5. Adidas Cloudfoam QT Racer Sneaker (Nordstrom Rack): $50

  6. Kylie Cosmetics High Gloss in Snatched (Ulta): $16 - 20% off coupon = $13

Not pictured:

  1. Wild Fable Hooded Cropped Sweatshirt (Target): $18

  2. Twisted Chevron Ring (Etsy): $12 + shipping = $15

  3. BOBS Plush Twiggy (Nordstrom Rack but I can’t find them there online, so the link is to Amazon): $40

  4. Active Hooded Slub Knit Top (Forever 21): $15

  5. Tie-Dye Waffle-Knit Tee: (Forever 21): $13

  6. Comfort Colors Men’s Pocket Tees (Amazon) : $8

  7. Pink Republic Velour Sweatshirt (Kohl’s): $36 on sale for $4 - coupon = $3

TOTAL: $312

(This total should actually be even higher, but I’m gong to count a few items in August’s Budget post because I’m not sure if I’m keeping them etc.)

And now, some quick reviews! (Sorry this post is basically War and Peace length!)


Clinique Redness Solutions Moisturizer: This is the first green-tinted product that I feel like both tones down my redness (to an extent—I mean, it’s not a miracle worker) AND doesn’t require use of a foundation or concealer to bring my skintone back to normal. 😮👏🏻

Clinique Foundation: This is pretty great. Super lightweight but also has a good bit of coverage, particularly for my redness. (Can you tell it’s my biggest skin concern?)

Braided Chevron Ring: Just a perfect dainty ring!

Forever 21 shirts: They’re both lavender and atheisure-y, and that’s all I ever want in life.

BOBS + Adidas sneaks: It’s like feast or famine with me and shoes. Naturally, I had been to the Rack like two weeks before this shopping trip and found absolutely nothing. But these two pairs of shoes are both cute and comfy, and now, I can toss my old pair of Toms that were literally falling apart!

Pink Republic Velour Sweatshirt: I had actually seen this in the wintertime but stopped myself because… it’s a mauve velour sweatshirt? But for less than $3, sign me up!


Shore and Sand Sandals: I do really like these. They are squishy and supportive for a sandal that costs less than $20. The only hiccup is that the strap is kind of tight. When I manage to get the knot part closer to my ankle (as opposed to having it press on the middle of my foot), that helps a ton.

Target Cropped Sweatshirt: I do really like this (have I met a cropped sweatshirt I don’t like??), but it’s kind of tight in the head/neck area and hard to get on and off without taking off my glasses. (It’s the little things, guys.) But it’s very cozy and cute—and super-soft on the inside!

Ron Pon Pon Backpack: UGH I TOTALLY SUCCUMBED TO INSTAGRAM ADS AGAIN. 😭 I wanted a cute, dressier backpack for traveling, and this one checks a lot of boxes… but even on sale, $60 still seems too high. Plus, it had a really weird smell and needed a lot of time to air out.

Kylie High Gloss: Snatched is an AWESOME shade, just a nice wash of MLBB color. Unfortunately, it’s also quite sticky (like the regular Kylie gloss I got last month). At least the the applicator is 1000x better and the color is prettier!


The Amazon men’s tee is for a little textile project that Timmi and I are cooking up for when she comes back in August!

What did you guys buy this month? How do you stick to your budget?

June 2019 Budget


How is 2019 HALF OVER already?! My goodness.

Well, let’s see what I picked up in June!

  1. Earth Tones Clay Mask (Asarai): $37 (includes discount and shipping)

  2. Nike H86 Futura Classic Baseball Hat (Urban Outfitters): $18

  3. Gourmand Le Gloss Superfruit Lip Gloss (Urban Outfitters): $8

  4. Virgo Zodiac Sign Constellation Pendant Necklace (Lucky Feather): $20

Not pictured:

  1. Amelie Enamel Clip Set (Urban Outfitters): $10

  2. Ohii Lip Jelly (Urban Outfitters): $8

  3. Ultrabland Cleansing Cream (Lush): $20

TOTAL: $121

The Asarai mask marks the first time I succumbed to the targeted ads on Instagram. *sad trombone for me* I mean, it’s a mask that’s supposed to magically cure my redness, HOW COULD I RESIST?!?! Buuut naturally, that hasn’t happened, and this mask is sooo annoying to take off because it basically stains your face orangey-red? (Maybe it heals your redness by turning you a different shade of red?) On the plus side, it has effectively zapped a few zits-in-progress that I had!

I couldn’t even tell you the last time I was at Urban Outfitters, but I went HAM there this month! (I also picked up a few things that I don’t typically count in my clothes/beauty budget posts, like this purple tie-dyed bra and my accidental ashtray!) Although I liked the Ohii gloss originally, I’m pretty meh on both lip glosses now. They feel a bit filmy and as such have not unseated my beloved Frank Body Lip Tint. And a baseball hat is def off-brand for me, but hear me out: I always seem to be looking for a cute baseball hat when I’m already away on vacation, and then I can’t find anything I like. So I POUNCED when I spotted a relatively plain hat in a gorgeous mauvey-lavender!

Lastly, I’m liking both Ultrabland and Let the Good Times Roll (which, you may recall, I got a sample of). I think they work nicely in tandem because using more than the tiniest dab of Ultrabland can be a bit greasy for summertime, while Let the Good Times Roll is exfoliating and makes your face smell like cornbread (which I am apparently into nbd).

Oh, I might have ended the month with an accidental Ulta haul (🤦🏼‍♀️), which will be counted in July in case I return anything!

What did you buy this month?

May 2019 Budget


Buckle up for some Ulta buys! I ended up going to Ulta three times this month and, as you can see, I never left empty-handed! (First, I went to get my brows done, then I went for the emergency lip balm, and then I went armed with a gift card that was my “payment” for being locked out upon delivering said emergency lip balm, haha!).

  1. Kylie Cosmetics Mini Liquid Lipstick Set (Ulta): $12

  2. Benefit Gimme Brow Mini (Ulta): $12 - coupon = $11

  3. Zoya Remove+ Nail Polish Remover (Ulta): $10 - coupon = $9

  4. Amazonite Om Bracelet: $28

Not pictured:

  1. Kylie Cosmetics Lip Gloss in Koko K (Ulta): $15 - gift card = $0

  2. Frank Body Lip Balm (Ulta): $10 - gift card = $0 This was the emergency lip balm I got for Kristin, so now we’re twins 👯‍♀️😂

  3. Tie dye tank top (Plato’s Closet): $8 - clothes I traded in = $0

  4. Real Techniques Travel Sponge Case (Ulta): $4

TOTAL: $64

I am seriously SO impressed with the matte Kylie lipsticks. I’m not a big matte lippie girl because they can feel so drying, but the Kylie ones are ridiculously comfortable! Honestly, I forget I have them on, which is a big big compliment for a matte! Plus, they smell like cupcakes (!!), and the two colors in the set are great nudes.

Glosses are really more my thang, hence picking up Koko K, which is a really pretty, surprisingly subtle nude (considering how pigmented it seems in the bottle). The downside is that it’s a bit too sticky, and the applicator is a total fail. (It’s like a brush that’s somehow only one bristle?? The matte minis don’t have this problem!) I actually like Kylie’s matte lipsticks more than her gloss, which I never expected!

I’ve had the Benefit Gimme Brow in the past (like way back when the packaging was different!), and I’m kind of meh about it this time around. I think I had it in a different shade before? I also have the Glossier Boy Brow, and I think I need to use that for a few days and see if I like it more than the Gimme Brow. (I don’t usually do my eyebrows every day, but I have been with the Gimme Brow, so yolo.)

GUYS. If you want a dream nail polish remover, get the Zoya Remove+. I tried to save some $$$ by just getting some cheapo nail polish remover from Target, and it took forever to get the polish off. So annoying. The Zoya Remove+ seriously takes polish off in two seconds, which is about how long my patience lasts!

Lastly, the om bracelet! Isn’t it so cute?! Even though purple is my ride or die color, I loved the mix of light blues, and I def need some more calming om-ness in my life. 😂 It’s from the yoga studio I go to on Sundays, and I actually attempted to buy it when I got my Lemongrass candle, but the bracelets are cash only (and I never have much cash on me), so I had to wait until this week to pick it up. (Luckily, the girl at the desk was kind enough to put it aside for me!)

What did you guys buy this month?


April 2019 Budget


I didn’t buy too much in April, because all of my money went to either annoying adulty things (like my car ugh), or therapy, or fun in Chicago! (And I don’t count things I buy on vacation against my shopping budget since I don’t travel all that much.) So here’s what I did pick up:

  1. Zoe + Liv Moon Phases t-shirt (Target): $15

  2. La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense serum (Target): $40

Not pictured:

  1. Zip-Up Sweatshirt (Primark): $9

- $14 because I did end up returning the NARS concealer I bought last month

TOTAL: $50

I already mentioned the moon tee here, but again, isn’t it so cute?! I love the vintage tarot card vibes.

Of course, when I’m stressed about my life, I start picking my skin apart, so this month, I’m back to obsessing about facial redness! I don’t think I’ve tried anything by La Roche-Posay before, so I’m curious to see how this works! It feels nice on the skin and doesn’t have a fragrance, so I’m happy about those things already!

And the Primark hoodie is just cute and comfy. I really wanted to find a plain gray zip-up hoodie, since I somehow don’t have one and can wear hoodies to work, but there wasn’t one in my size at Primark, so I got a pretty blue-gray color instead. Full disclosure: Primark’s sizing can be kind of weird. Like, I had to get a 2XS in this hoodie because an XS was way too baggy and long. Weeeeird.

What did you buy this month?

March 2019 Budget


Let’s see what I bought in March!

  1. Morphe Lip Gloss in Freebird (Ulta): $8 - coupon = $7

  2. Alex Steinherr x Primark Plump and Glow Facial in a Stick (Primark): $7

  3. Electra Backpack (The North Face): $55

  4. Blue Cropped T-Shirt (Primark): $6

  5. ColourPop No Filter Matte Concealer (Ulta): $6

Not pictured:

  1. PS Strobe Cream (Primark): $5 on sale for $2

  2. Lavender Cropped T-Shirt (Primark): $6

  3. Mini NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (Sephora): $14

  4. Brushed Ribbed Hat (Primark): $3 on sale for $1

  5. Marble Claw Hair Clip (Forever 21): $3

  6. Hair Clip (Forever 21, can’t find online): $3

  7. ColourPop Creme Lux Lipstick in Lay Over (Ulta): $7 - coupon = $6

TOTAL: $116

Can you tell I love Primark? I really need to stay away, although I did show remarkable restraint since they sell 8 million inexpensive things! Obviously, my lewk of the moment is a cropped tee, and I love the two I got from Primark. And apparently, I need all of my skincare to come in a stick, so I’m loving the Facial in a Stick! The first time I put it on, I felt like it noticeably toned down my redness, but now, I’m mainly obsessed with the stick component! And it does seem quite hydrating too.

Holy concealers Batman! So the NARS one is my go-to in terms of being a good match for my skin tone, but I never feel like it fully covers my dark circles… hence picking up the ColourPop one. (PS How did I not know that some Ultas carry ColourPop now?!) So I might return the NARS one if I end up loving the ColourPop one more.

The backpack was a bit of a splurge, but I was looking for a smallish, comfy, cute backpack for when I travel, and Kristin recommended this one. Its maiden voyage will be this weekend’s Chicago trip!

What did you buy this month?

February 2019 Budget


Oh boy, I kind of bought everything in sight! 😬 Nail polish, headbands, clothes, lip products… YIKES. Thank god February is the shortest month!

  1. Zip Top Crossbody Bag (Old Navy): $30 on sale for $10 + Super Cash = $7

  2. Frank Body Send Nudes Lip Tint (Ulta): $12 - gift card + $0

  3. Memebox Mini Disco Kitten Face Mask (Ulta): $4 - gift card = $0

  4. Zoya Nail Polish in Saint (Ulta): $10

  5. Rockstar 27/7 Released Hem Super Skinny Jeans (Old Navy): $45 on sale for $10

Not pictured:

  1. Super Stretch Skinny Jeans (Primark): $15

  2. Crop sweatshirt (Primark): $7 (I got it in light grey, which I couldn’t find online)

  3. Wild Fable Mock Neck Cropped Pullover (Target, sold out online): $18 on sale for $5

  4. Relaxed Vintage Crew Sweatshirt “Adventure Together” (Old Navy, sold out online): $30 on sale + Super Cash = $6

  5. Mudd Burnout Tee (Kohls): $14 on sale for $10

  6. Relaxed Classic Soft-Brushed Twill Shirt (Old Navy): $27 on sale for $7 (I got a navy and green plaid that doesn’t seem to be available online anymore)

  7. Slim-Fit Luxe Rib-Knit Top (Old Navy, sold out online in grey): $20 on sale + Super Cash = $6

  8. Queen Hot Space t-shirt (Amazon): $20

  9. Ribbed Infinity Scarf (Old Navy, can’t find online): $17 on sale + Super Cash = $3

  10. Card Case (Old Navy, can’t find online): $5 on sale + Super Cash = $.62

  11. Metallic Lurex Knot Headwrap (Claire’s): $8

  12. Space Galaxy Headband (Claire’s): $8

  13. Mauve Jersey Headwrap (Claire’s): $8

  14. Shimmer Twist Headwrap in gold (Claire’s, can’t find online): $8 on sale for $5 - Buy 3 Get 3 Free = $0

  15. Ribbed Knot Bow Headwrap (Claire’s): $8 - Buy 3 Get 3 Free = $0

  16. Velvet Knotted Headwrap (Old Navy, can’t find online): on sale for $1

  17. Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Towel (Ulta): $30 - gift card and Ulta bucks = $4

  18. Ulta Super Blender Sponge: $5 - gift card = $0

  19. Lanolips 101 Ointment in Strawberry (Ulta): $14

  20. Weleda Skin Food Lip Butter (Target): $7

TOTAL: $156.62

Considering everything I got, that’s not a bad total. It’s even less than the total I originally designated for my monthly shopping (clothes, accessories, non-drugstore beauty) budget, which is $170. But the question is, do I really need to be spending so much money on stuff? And do I need all of (any of?) these things? That’s always my dilemma these days. It’s interesting how my attitude toward shopping has shifted over the years from “BUY ALL THE THINGS!” to “Maybe try to only buy some of the things? Particularly those things that you actually need or will use.”

Some of the things I bought this month (like most of the Ulta buys) were fun gift card purchases, and I’m okay with that. I like to spend my gift cards on treats that I would normally talk myself out of. Y’all already know that I’m obsessed with the coffee ice cream smell of the Frank Body lip balm. The Lanolips was a re-buy. (I actually ended up returning the Lano Superbalm I talked about here because I just didn’t like it as much). The jury is out on the Aquis towel. I’ve seen people rave about them, so I was psyched to find one at Ulta… that is, until I got to the cash register and found out that it was THIRTY FREAKING DOLLARS. For a towel?! Am I just cheap? (Maybe—see below.) If I’m spending $30 on a towel, I want my hair to look like I’m about to walk the red carpet… and that hasn’t happened yet, so I’m just meh at the moment. 😂

The Primark jeans are a tried and true fave. With this month’s purchase, I now have three pairs of them! (I thought I ruined one pair and panicked, hence buying this third pair!) They are pretty much my favorite jeans—although I do really love the Old Navy Rockstar jeans I bought this month too, mainly because they’re super soft and feel even more like leggings than the Primark ones. If you can find them at your local Old Navy for $9, POUNCE! ($15 is really my upper limit price for jeans apparently!)

But my favorite purchase of the month? That would be the Old Navy crossbody. I tend to use my Longchamp Le Pliage on weekends/days off, but it can be a pain at times with its penchant for slipping off my shoulder. The roomy, inexpensive ON crossbody has been a great solution! I can easily fit my wallet, a water bottle, and a notebook with room to spare! Plus, it has POCKETS GALORE! (Well, that may be a stretch but IT HAS POCKETS, which is a real design flaw of the Le Pliage.)

Well, I don’t need to go through every purchase in-depth because then we’d be here all day! 😂 So what did you get this month?

January 2019 Budget


Not too many purchases to report in January! (Not something I’ll be able to say about February... and we’re only one week in! 😬)

  1. Nobel Earrings Set in rose gold (GLDN):  $45 ($41 + shipping cost)

  2. Knox Rose Waffle Knit Open Cardigan (Target): $28 on sale for $15 - gift card = $0

TOTAL: $45

I actually bought the cardigan in December and convinced myself that I was going to return it... that is, until I tried it on again and whoops, I remembered why I bought it in the first place! I don’t have any longer sweaters like this, and it’s not so long that my petite frame is drowning in it—a RARITY! 🎉 Oh, and I got it in a pretty plum color, not the pink pictured.

I tend to get on a roll with earrings and then wear them every day for, oh, like a year or two. But I guess I caught the “new year, new you” bug re: earrings this year! 😂 I wanted something simple but a little bit different than the conventional stud. Enter these open circle earrings from GLDN! I didn’t necessarily need them in three different sizes, but the set was the only option for this style of earring, so c’est la vie. It has sort of worked out, though, because I immediately gravitated toward the middle size, but then swapped them for the smallest ones, and I like how they look a lot more!

Did you get anything exciting in January?

December 2018 Budget


Well, it seems I bought a few Christmas gifts for myself this month, whoops!

  1. High-Rise Mesh-Trim 7/8-Length Compression Leggings (Old Navy): $33 on sale for $23

  2. Kitty Cat Print Tee (Kohl’s): $20 on sale for $10 - gift card = $0

  3. Wild Fable Long-Sleeve Oversize Thermal Tie-Front Top (Target): $16 on sale for $11 - gift card = $0 (Shockingly, I got it in blue, not purple!)

  4. Queen Tour ‘75 Sweatshirt (Kohl’s): $36 on sale for $19

Not pictured:

  1. LC Lauren Conrad Heart Necklace (Kohl’s): $14 on sale for $9 (I got it in rose gold.)

  2. SO Perfect V-Neck tee (Kohl’s): $14 on sale for $9

  3. Jurassic Park Tie-Dye Logo Tee (Kohl’s): $20 on sale for $10 - gift card = $0

TOTAL: $60

As much as I love leggings, I’ve realized that I tend to gravitate toward pretty boring ones—no wild patterns or colors for me. So a subtle stripe on a black background? Sign me up! The pattern is called “Embossed” on Old Navy’s website, and that’s a good way to describe it—the stripe is sort of raised and vaguely metallic-seeming. And I think “7/8-length” translates to ankle length, which works well for me because full-length leggings are often too long on me. (HOW? I’m only 5’4”! Like, yeah, not tall, but also not exactly short either!)

I’ve never been the biggest fan of the whole tie (or knot) front shirt trend. But this Target shirt doesn’t HAVE to be tied—you can also just wear it as a long button-down. And the sleeves are long enough to cover your hands! 🎉 It’s just a cute, cozy layering piece.

When we went to the England store in Epcot, they had some Queen shirts… but none were my size! 😭 So I literally ordered this sweatshirt when we got back to our hotel room that night! And I love it! It’s super soft, and I really like the cut-off hem. And Pops actually did see Queen in 1975! ❤️

And lastly, who am I to turn down a subtle cat tee? 😂


Now since this is the last budget post of the year, that means it’s time to total up my budget post spending! DRUM ROLL PLEASE!

TOTAL FOR 2018: $623

This is an all-time low… by a lot! My budget post spending is down $741 from last year! WHOA! I’m very proud of myself! ☺️

What did you buy this month?

November 2018 Budget


I thought I bought more things this month, but these are the only receipts I could find, so YAY, I guess! Also, let it be known that I bought NOTHING on Black Friday, WOO HOO! I’m such a sucker for sales, so this was a big win! Even better: I didn’t even WANT to shop! Do you guys ever feel super grabby at times and apt to buy everything in sight, and then super meh about shopping? Because that definitely happens to me and did this month. I bought two of the things below within days of each other… along with a few decorative things and self-helpy-type books. And then nothing. OKAY. *shrug*

So what did I buy this month?

  1. DevaCurl One Condition (CVS, but found online at Ulta): $22

  2. Dr. Scholl’s Original Collection Lane Gore Leather Bootie (Marshall’s, but could only find online at Amazon): on sale for $29

  3. Kate Somerville Goat Milk De-Puffing Eye Balm (Sephora): $38

TOTAL: $89

I needed some shorter black boots after finally bidding my six-year-old pair adieu last year. These ones by Dr. Scholl’s may look dressy, but they’re pretty darn comfortable, and that’s really all I ever want in an article of clothing.

I’m especially lazy when it comes to eye creams for some reason, so when I saw one in a tube form, my internal lightbulb went on. I’ve already used it way more than a traditional eye cream because it’s so easy to just swipe on and be done with it. Is it working? Eh, who knows, but at least I’m actually using it! #knowthyself

And the DevaCurl is just a boring ol’ replacement. I swear by it for my super thick, coarse hair!

What did you buy in November?

October 2018 Budget


October was a v low-key spending month, especially compared to September! I only bought two things, both from Glossier:

  1. Milky Jelly Cleanser (Glossier): $18

  2. Lip Gloss (Glossier): $14

TOTAL: $32

I had racked up quite a bit on my credit card in September, so I definitely needed to avoid shopping (for the most part) in October! The Milky Jelly Cleanser was just a replacement (it’s been my go-to cleanser for over a year), and I threw in the Lip Gloss (which I’d had my eye on for awhile) to get free shipping. The Lip Gloss is… okay. Although it’s supposed to be clear, I feel like it somehow makes my lips look this nice shade of pink. My main issue is how sticky it is. I actually like a thick, sticky lip gloss, but this one is REALLY sticky. Like, to the point of feeling weird or unpleasant. I don’t know. I haven’t used it a ton, but that’s where I’m at right now. If you’re contemplating a Glossier lip product, I’d say go with the Balm Dot Com—I love the cherry one and use it all the time.

What are your favorite lip products that I need to try?

September 2018 Budget


Between Timmi being here and me having a bunch of birthday gift cards, I went a little nuts with the shopping in September! 😬💸

  1. Xhilaration Sleep Sweatshirt (Target): $17 on sale for $12 - gift card = $0

  2. A New Day Skinny Utility Chino Pants (Target): $20 - gift card = $0

  3. Mario Tee (Old Navy): $17 on sale for $7

  4. Space-Print Pocket Tee for Boys (Old Navy): $13  on sale for $8

  5. Amethyst bracelet: $14

  6. Chakra bracelet: $22

  7. Plant tank top: $13

Not pictured:

  1. A New Day V-Neck Cardigan (Target): $23 - gift card = $0

  2. Brash Naomi Block Heel (Payless): $30 on sale for $10

  3. Printed Tulip Short (Primark link to similar): $8 on sale for $2

  4. High-Neck Tank Top (Old Navy): $13 on sale for $3

  5. Blouse (H&M): $18 - gift card = $0

  6. Jorts (H&M): $12 on sale for $7 - gift card = $0

TOTAL: $79

WOW, that Visa gift card and four Target gift cards really paid off! I’m sorry I didn’t link to a lot of things—they were either sold out, or I just couldn’t find them online!

Let’s start our chat with the plant tank top because it makes me so happy! It was such a random find—Timmi and I spotted it in a co-op two blocks from my therapist’s office! I very much associate plants with Timmi (peep her IG to see why!), so it’s really the perfect thing to remind me of her. Actually, all of the things I bought when she was here make me smile and have been great reminders of how much fun we had. She actually bought the bracelets for me because I had to sprint off to therapy! And she likes to play with gender constructs in fashion, so she urged me to go out of my comfort zone and explore the boys’ and men’s sections at Old Navy, leading me to the satellite t-shirt! (As we saw with that lunar tank top last month, I’m really into a space vibe these days!) 🚀

As you might have seen on my Insta Stories this past weekend, I went HAM with four of my Target gift cards! I’ve been looking for olive pants foreverrr, so I was pumped to finally find a pair that were the right color and fit pretty well! (I feel like I must have weird proportions because pants are often snug in the legs and kind of loose in the waist? Is this a typical thing?) I kept on this green theme with my new cardigan too. Almost all of my cardigans are grey or black—I needed some color! And the sweatshirt is super-soft and a little bit bat-wingy (surely a technical term), which is a look that I’m into (🤷🏼‍♀️) and makes it a little different from my other sweatshirts.

Lastly, I had been on a quest to get new shorts this summer but only found one pair I liked... until those fall sales started! 💃 I found both pairs of shorts above on my shopping trip for a wedding dress and shoes that was otherwise a bust—which is why I ended up buying the Payless shoes. I think they could work with any of the dresses I currently have, and it’s seeming likely that I’m just going to wear one of those to the wedding. Plus, $10 is about all I ever want to spend on dress-up shoes, haha!

Did you find anything fun this month?

August 2018 Budget


Well, I went a little nuts in my birthday month! 😬 It was also an emotional rollercoaster of a month, and I was not as disciplined with the retail therapy as I have been in months past whoops.

  1. “Introvert” t-shirt (Target): $15

  2. “Love you to the moon and back” tank top (Target): $15

  3. Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG (The Ordinary): $7

  4. Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% (The Ordinary): $8

  5. Glycolic 7% Toning Solution (The Ordinary): $9

  6. Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA (The Ordinary): $6

  7. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (The Ordinary): $6

Not pictured:

  1. A New Day Heartly sandal (Target): $20 on sale for $14

  2. High-Waist Moto Leggings (Target, sold out): $15 on sale for $7

TOTAL: $87

In comparison to the months where I spent hundreds of dollars shopping, $87 ain’t bad. And I LOVE the Target shirts and have already worn them several times! I usually try to wait for sales there, but the “Introvert” shirt just spoke to my soul, and I’m really feeling a space/lunar vibe these days (plus purple—how could I resist?). I also really appreciate that the text “Love you to the moon and back” is really small (it’s not my favorite saying)… although that has caused several people to go “Wait, what does your shirt say?” and make more of an effort to read it! Kind of opposite of the effect I’m going for haha!

It’s a shame that the moto leggings from Target are sold out because they are super soft! I legit tried them on last September and had self-control for 11 months! 😂

The sandals were an unexpected purchase back when Karuna and I raided Target’s shoe section! They’re… okay. I wanted a flat black sandal, so they definitely fulfill that need, but they’re not the most comfortable, and they’re a little big—I probably should have gone a half size down. (My feet are super narrow, so I’m only a 7 in theory haha.)

Lastly, I had been wanting to try The Ordinary for awhile, and I feel like the last time I looked them up, they would have been shipped from another country. But now that they’re on Beautylish, they’re so easy to buy! The products I picked were all geared to my skin concerns: redness, enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, and dark under-eye circles. I don’t know that I’ve noticed much in the way of changes, but I have sensitive skin, and no product has irritated it or made anything worse, so that’s a win! And none of the products has an annoying smell, which I deeply appreciate!

What did you buy last month?

July 2018 Budget


You guys, I have been buying everything in sight lately! But I apparently still had (some) self-control back in July! 😂 Here’s what I bought:

1. Woman's Wallet with Removable Crossbody Strap (Target):  $17 on sale for $5

2. SP Black Label High Rise Rolled Short (Nordstrom Rack): $43 on sale for $9

3. Darlene Howlite Stone Dagger Ring (Francesca’s):  $14 on sale for $13

TOTAL:  $27

I fell in love with the Francesca’s ring while walking around the mall while particularly out of it with anxiety and depression last month. I didn’t buy it then, but as we learned with my cat scarf, my willpower only lasts about 48 hours! 😂💸 It’s so different and cool-looking, I couldn’t resist. The band turned super quickly, though, which is annoying. 

I had been looking for a slimmer wallet with a detachable crossbody strap, and sign me up for one with iridescent mermaid vibes for $5!

Lastly, these shorts. I had to retire some old jorts this summer, so I was very happy to find these super soft ones at such a big discount! Especially because I don’t usually have much luck with the Nordstrom Rack sale section. I think these exact shorts are sold out, as I couldn't find them on the Rack website, or else I would have linked to them. Womp womp. At least they give me an excuse to post this:

Is this the kind of thing that's only funny after two English degrees?

Is this the kind of thing that's only funny after two English degrees?

What did you buy in July?

May 2018 Budget


Guys, hold onto your hats--I didn't buy ANYTHING in May! The three things I'm going to mention here were actually bought in April, but after my April budget post.

It seems like when my anxiety goes berserk, I can't handle shopping anymore. I can't focus on anything, so the idea of walking around looking at things, when I might burst into tears or start panicking, just seems like way too much to deal with. I would say that this is good for my bank account, buuut all of my money in May went toward extra therapy, yoga, and meditation! At least those are positive things to be spending my money on, I guess!

ANYWAY! Here are a few tops I picked up at Plato's Closet at the end of April (when I was really feeling the color green, apparently!):


  1. Green Gap tee: $5
  2. Green tank: $7
  3. Blue Gap top: $7

TOTAL: $19

I've been really stressed about money lately, but I can live with spending only $19 on clothes/accessories/make-up/skin care in a month! I've been really into soft, slouchy shirts lately, and the Gap shirts definitely fit that criteria! And I've been looking for a dressy-ish tank or blouse to wear with skinny black pants because I literally have two tops like that, and I wear them to everything. I need to mix it up!

Did you get anything fun last month?

April 2018 Budget


Whoa nelly, this was really a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants month financially! Which meant that I couldn't spend much money shopping, so that worked out in my favor, I guess!

  1. Baebody Eye Gel (Amazon): $24
  2. Black Cat Print Blanket Scarf (Claire's): $20 on sale for $8
  3. American Eagle Soft and Sexy Tank (T.J. Maxx): $6

TOTAL: $38

Yes, I'm over 30, and yes, I bought a clothing item for myself from Claire's. Let it be known that I am fully aware of that! FULLY. AWARE. I actually walked away from the scarf initially, but my willpower apparently expires in 48 hours. I mean, it's a cat print scarf, people! I really appreciate how the pattern mostly looks geometric, if you don't know that it's cats. (I swear!) It's usually a balmy 76 degrees in our office, and I've been wearing my cat scarf with no shame.

I used up the Senegence Dark Circle Eye Treatment that Becky had sent me back in November, so I needed a replacement, ideally something that would get me free shipping on Amazon because I was also ordering something else at the time! The Baebody gel had four stars and over 12000 reviews, so I was like, worth a shot! I don't know how I feel about it so far. I like that it has a pump, and it smells nice, but it's very sticky, and I'm not sure that it's doing anything. (It has only been three weeks though.) We'll see. If anyone has any dark circle creams/treatments they swear by, let me know. I want to splurge on one someday!

Lastly, who am I to resist a soft purple tank for $5?! When I was at TJ Maxx, I had two other purple things to try on with this tank, and I realized that maybe I need to go the Mica route and rename this blog "Away from the Purple." Nah, I could never quit it! 😂💜

What did you guys buy this month?

March 2018 Budget


I actually didn't buy much in March, hooray! I didn't really feel the urge to shop to make myself feel better, which is a wonderful change. (Especially because I'm off that medication that has the convenient side effect of curbing my shopping impulse for me!) The fact that March just flew by and left no time for shopping probably helped too.

ANYWAY, here's what I got:

  1. Aurora Bar Ring (GLDN): $46
  2. Beaded Amethyst Choker (Francesca's): $18
  3. Deva Curl Light Defining Gel (Sephora): $23

TOTAL: $87

The Aurora Bar ring is my Rebirthday ring! I totally fell in love with the style a few months ago after seeing it in an Instagram ad. It's just so dainty and perfect! 

Fun fact: I have this awesome amethyst heart necklace that I love, but I can't wear it all the time, like, say, during yoga because it smacks me in the face. Good times! So I immediately loved the dainty, choker-like nature of this amethyst necklace. Plus purple. 🙌🏻💜

And the Deva Curl gel was just a boring repurchase. Yawn. 😴


Did you buy anything fun this month?

January-February 2018 Budget


Well, I couldn't sit still long enough to write a budget post in January, so here we are with January and February together! 

Interestingly, when I was feeling like an emotional wreck, I had zero interest in shopping. That was an unexpected bank error in my favor! Only my regular anxiety can get channeled into finding the ripped jeans of my dreams and something to fix my dark circles, it seems. (Who knew that obsessing over my skin was a sign of mental health?!)

ANYWAY, here’s what I bought over the past two months:

  1. Relaxed Textured V-Neck Sweater (Old Navy): on sale for $12
  2. Xhilaration Sleep Sweatshirt (Target): $17 - gift card = $0
  3. Zoe + Liv Galaxy Unicorn Tee (Target): $13
  4. Distressed Rockstar Jeans (Old Navy): $40 - gift card = $15
  5. Any Day Now Scoop T-Shirt (Target): $8

Not pictured:

  1. LC Lauren Conrad Filigree Midi Ring (Kohl's): $10 on sale for $4 - gift card = $0
  2. LC Lauren Conrad Birth Month Tasseled Slipknot Bracelet (Kohls): $18 on sale for $15 - gift card = $0
  3. Lavender Tee (Marshalls): $6
  4. Shine High Neck Tank Top (Old Navy): on sale for $4
  5. Moto Compression Leggings (Old Navy): $35 on sale for $17
  6. Mossimo V-Neck Long Sleeve Tee: $10 - gift card = $0
  7. Milky Jelly Cleanser and Boy Brow Duo (Glossier): $30

TOTAL: $105


Since I bought a million things, I'm not going to talk about all of them individually. But if I were to single out the one item that I think you need to run out and get immediately, it's the Xhilaration sleep hoodie. It’s ridiculously soft and cozy AND has sleeves long enough to cover your hands—a real perk when you have a constant case of ice hands! I basically just want all of my clothes to be as soft as humanly possible, so I've starting raiding the sleep sections of stores (especially Target) and asking myself things like, "Does this look too much like a robe to wear to work?" But with a sleep hoodie, that is not an issue! 🎉

I also love this tank top that I found on the sale rack at Old Navy. (Tragically, it appears to be out of stock now!) I'm always looking for things that talk about "sparkle" in this sense (not because of To Sparkle Punch or anything 😉), and "shine" was close enough for $4.

“Shine wherever you go” ✨ 

“Shine wherever you go” ✨ 

After seeing the lovely Lisa rave about Old Navy's Rockstar jeans, I had to give them a whirl, and she is so right—they're awesome! Super stretchy and soft! I kind of hate myself for spending $40 on ripped jeans, but they were just the perfect pair for me, and I'd been searching for awhile. Not to mention that any time I wait for something to go on sale, I wind up spending the original price, if not more, to meet shipping minimums or on new, cute things in the store. #knowthyself 

The Any Day Now scoop tee might seem boring in the picture, but it has pink and purple streaks in it! I'm not a huge fan of navy, but pink and purple make everything better!


Did you get anything fun so far in 2018?!

December 2017 Budget


HOLY MOLY, this month (and YEAR) just flew by. I know everyone says that, but I really can't believe it's the end of the year. I also can't believe that I only bought two things this month! Being sick and then having to catch up on Christmas shopping helped in that regard. (I'm also back on my old medication, which might have helped too. As much as it annoys me to say that, the budget post data doesn't lie.)

  1. Apt. 9 Lace Panel Jumpsuit (Kohls): $60 on sale for $30
  2. Franco Sarto Dandy heels (DSW): $60 - $10 coupon = $50

TOTAL: $80

Yes, I ended up keeping the jumpsuit that I talked about here because once I belted it, I LOVED IT. I felt so fancy! And it's very comfy, which is really the bottom line for most clothes I buy, haha.

I'm not thrilled to have spent $50 on the heels, since they're not something I'll wear regularly. But I didn't have a pair of plain black heels, so at least if I spent a little more, it was on a closet staple (and one that I probably would have already had if my job had a dress code 😂). They're also fairly comfortable (as far as heels go) and are low enough that I can walk in them without flailing about. And the ankle strap is clutch. (I have narrow feet and need to be strapped into anything with a heel!)

I wore both to Christmas Eve Mass (along with a $3 belt I'd found at Plato's over the summer), and I love how my outfit turned out!

I also now have the Senegence concealer. Becky and I had been going back and forth trying to find a good match for my skin tone, and Sandstone Pearl (purchased in September) and then Candlelight (which I later exchanged Sandstone Pearl for) just didn't work for me. But I think the Corrective Color Concealer in Light is finally a winner for this pale Irish lass!

Now, since it's the end of the year, let's total up my budget posts from 2017 and see how much I spent... 


That's $222 more than I spent in 2016, which is a little disappointing, but not crazy. I mean, this year's total is still way better than 2015's ($2,768 YIKES)! Looking back at my budget posts for the past year is also a good reminder that, no matter how excited I am to buy something, that initial excitement does fade, and I don't end up loving/using everything I buy as much as I thought I would. I'm still working to separate shopping from emotion, but I think I'm slowly getting better at it.