Archive | September, 2011

Off to Paris!

30 Sep

In a few short hours (ok many hours since we’re flying out of another city) I’ll be on my way to Paris! As I mentioned in my results post yesterday, thank you so much for all of your comments about whether or not I should give myself a shopping challenge while I’m there! You’re all awesome! I have decided to take your advice and just sit back and enjoy everything that Paris has to offer!

Unfortunately, I won’t be posting anything for the next week or so, but hopefully I’ll have some great pictures and stories to share when I get back. And of course I will be indulging my shopping habit to some degree so I will be sure to share what I bought with you 😮

It’s crazy but when we booked this trip we didn’t even realize that we would be in Paris for FASHION WEEK!

I am so looking forward to people watching and maybe even snapping some pictures of famous or at least beautiful people (in a subtle non-creepy, non-paparazzi way of course!).  Plus there are a few events going on that we’re going to check out like the Diane von Furstenberg flash mob that’s supposed to happen on the Champs d’Elysées on October 5th to celebrate the launch of her new fragrance at Sephora. So fun!

Alright, I’m off to finish some last-minute packing (yes, I’m still not done…). Expect a full trip report upon my return!

Au revoir et à bientôt!

Weeks 29-30 Results

29 Sep

Alright, this is going to be a short and possibly spastic post since my week was insane and I’m now in a mad dash to pack for my trip!

If you recall, this challenge was a continuation of my previous challenge to find a pair of skinny jeans. I originally set out to find a pair for $20 or under with no luck so I decided to continue my search with an increased budget of $40 (out of a possible $60 to spend).

So what did I find? Well, I finally found a pair of jeans after looking through a ton of stores and trying on what felt like millions of pairs! I found them at American Eagle for $55.94 (taxes included) so this purchase definitely leans towards the “potential $60 budget” lol. BUT I really like them and they’re actually quite comfortable!

Now unfortunately I haven’t even had a spare minute to take of picture of them, the receipt, or me wearing them but here’s a picture of them on the model so you can get an idea of what they look like:

American Eagle Skinny Jean in Indigo Wash

I promise that I’ll post a picture of me wearing them on my trip when I get back (and the dated receipt so you know it’s all legit, lol) and I’ll also post the voting poll then so stay tuned!

I’m going to try to fit in a quick post tomorrow morning before I catch my plane but in case I don’t have time I want to thank you for all of your input/advice about whether or not I should give myself a challenge in Paris 😮

Now back to my packing!

Vacation Dilemma: Challenge or Disconnect?

26 Sep
With less than a week to go I’m starting to think more and more about my trip. Have I started packing yet? Umm no. But I have started worrying/obsessing over what clothing I’m going to pack and how the heck I’m going to fit everything in my suitcase and still have room for any purchases I may be able to squeeze out of my credit card! I know, the horrible burden one must bear for a trip to France!

Louis Vuitton 2009

 On the topic of Paris purchases, I’m in a debate as to whether or not I should take next week off of the Experiment. Part of me wants to give myself a challenge while I’m there (would something like a “Parisian scarf challenge” be too cliché?), but part of me just wants to disconnect from everything so that I can sit back and just absorb the whole experience.


I’m on the fence about this one…thoughts?

Weeks 27-28 “Results”/Weeks 29-30 Challenge

19 Sep

You may have noticed that there was no results post for the Weeks 27-28 skinny jean challenge on Saturday. This is partially because I was focussing on my first half-marathon which I ran yesterday (it went well BTW, it was a great race and the weather was perfect !), but mostly because I could not for the life of me find a pair of skinny jeans for $20 or under that fit me properly and didn’t make me look awkward. Walking around with your legs straight because the jeans are so tight that you can’t bend your knees is not exactly cute! Definitely not look I was going for based on my inspiration picture…

The jeans I tried on did NOT look like these on me (Rag & Bone $185)

So based on what I found I’m going to continue my skinny jean search for the Weeks 29-30 Challenge with a $40 budget. I could technically make the budget $60 because I didn’t use the left over $20 from the last challenge but I should be able to find something for under $40 right? Right?!

Since I’m leaving for Paris (swoon!) next Friday I’ll make my deadline next Thursday night, that way I should have a bit of time to also give myself a little challenge for my trip 😮

Wish me luck!

Mid-Year Review

17 Sep

I can’t believe that this experiment is already half over! It seems like just yesterday I was coming up with this crazy idea and now I’ve surpassed the 6 month mark! Wow does time ever fly!

To celebrate this little milestone I figure that it’s about time I do a little recap of what I’ve bought so far. So here goes! Just a warning, this could be a long post…it’s taken me days to load all of these pictures!

Week 1 Challenge

Inspiration: Marc Jacobs cardigan

February 2011 Edition of Marie Claire

What I found: a cardigan from Old Navy and a skirt from Winners.

Old Navy $12.42

Winners $1.05

Total spent: $13.47

Week 2 Challenge

Inspiration: Ralph Lauren and DSquared2 vests

Ralph Lauren $149

DSquared2, Spring 2011, Milan Fashion Week

What I found: a Tommy Hilfiger and a Sirens vest from Value Village

Tommy Hilfiger $11.29 from Value Village

Sirens $4.51 from Value Village

Total spent: $15.80

Week 3 Challenge

Inspiration: Little black Gucci dress

Gucci $1300

What I found: A bandeau-style dress from Suzy Shier

Suzy Shier $19.21

Total spent: $19.21

Week 4 Challenge

Inspiration: Proenza Schouler PS1 Extra Large leather travel bag

Proenza Schouler $2350

What I found: Nothing for under $20 :o( See Week 10 challenge

Total spent: Nothing, my $20 was carried over to the Week 10 Challenge

Week 5 Challenge

Inspiration: Rose quartz ring

Moonlight Mining $48

What I found: A “gold”/”rose” ring from Aldo

Aldo $9.04

Total spent: $9.04

Week 6 Challenge

Inspiration: Banana Republic fedora

Banana Republic $50

What I found: A fedora at Old Navy

Old Navy $16.39

In the end I actually ended up trading my husband the hat for this one he bought me in Mexico:

Total spent: $16.39

Week 7 Challenge

Inspiration: Floral D&G dress

What I found: An Old Navy dress

Old Navy $22.04

The SpendThrift Savings Bank also took a hit on this one because I couldn’t return a dress to Sirens >o(

Sirens $18.08

Total spent: $40.12

Week 8 Challenge

Inspiration: White dress shirt

Iro $265, NET-A-PORTER

What I found: A dress shirt from Costa Blanca

Costa Blanca $16.94

Total spent: $16.94

Week 9 Challenge

Inspiration: Tory Burch flats

Tory Burch

What I found: Flats from the Shoe Company

The Shoe Company $16.94

The unfortunate fate of these flats: chew toys…sigh

Apparently my dog was a fan...or wasn't. I'm not quite sure.

Total spent: $16.94

Week 10 Challenge

Take 2 on the PS1 bag challenge from Week 4

What I found: Actually it’s what my parents found in Florida. A much discussed knock-off bag from Target

Mossimo, Target

Total spent: Nothing! It was a gift, thanks Mom and Dad 😮

Week 11 Challenge

Inspiration: Black dress pants

Theory Denison Teach $255

What I found: Two pairs of pants at Jacob!

Jacob $10

Jacob $10

Total spent: $22.60

Week 12 Challenge

Inspiration: Gucci colour blocking


What I found: A shirt and capris from Jacob

Jacob $12.99

Jacob $10

Total spent: $18.18 after a 30% discount

Week 13 Challenge

Inspiration: Lululemon/Adidas tennis skirt

Lululemon $54

What I found: A super comfy running skirt at Old Navy

Old Navy $10.16

Total spent: $10.16

Week 14 Challenge

Inspiration: Multi strand necklace

Nina Bukvic $950, Barneys

What I found: A great leucite necklace at Jacob.

Jacob, originally $25.90

Total spent: $17.56

Week 15 Challenge

Inspiration: Roxy athletic tank top

Roxy $59.99 (this is the back of the tank)

What I found: Unfortunately nothing under $20 this week, sigh…see the Week 16 Challenge

Total spent: Nada

Week 16 Challenge

Inspiration: See the Week 15 Challenge since this is the continuation…

What I found: A tank at Foot Locker that wasn’t far off from my original budget!

Foot Locker $22.59

Total spent: $22.59

***This is the point where I switched to bi-weekly $40 challenges***

Weeks 17-18 Challenge

Inspiration: White Peter Som dress

Anne Menke, Self Magazine. Dress Peter Som $1,395, necklace Roxanne Assoulin for Lee Angel $275, belt Forever 21 $9, bag Jamin Puech $470, shoes J.Crew $148

What I found: A tunic-style white dress from Joe Fresh

Joe Fresh, $19 (it definitely has more shape when I'm wearing it!)

Total spent: $21.47

Weeks 19-20 Challenge

Inspiration: Brown belt to go with the white dress from the Weeks 17-18 Challenge (see inspiration photo from that challenge)

What I found: A funky belt from Smart Set

Smart Set $20.34

Total spent: $20.34

Weeks 21-22 Challenge

Inspiration: My need for black work-appropriate sandals

What I found: A pair of black patent sandals at the Shoe Company

Greenwich Village $44.99, The Shoe Company

Total spent: $38.13 after a discount!

Weeks 23-24 Challenge

Inspiration: Black flats to walk around Paris in. Originally I thought Pumas but then I changed my mind

Puma Espera III $70

What I found: Originally a pair of black flats from Winners:

Winners $38.40

But I wasn’t very sure about them so I went shopping again and found a pair of motorcycle boots:

Aldo $43.49

Total spent: $81.89…the Savings Bank took a big hit on this one so I’m going to try to be extra frugal with future challenges!

Weeks 25-26 Challenge

Inspiration: A black Calvin Klein trench

Calvin Klein ~$79.99

What I found: A great trench with a hood from Suzy Shier

Suzy Shier $63.27

Total spent: $63.27…again, I think that I’m going to need more $20 challenges to make up for my recent spending creep, eek!

GRAND TOTAL SPENT: $484.10 (out of a possible $520)

Phew! That’s a lot of clothing but I’m really happy that I’m still under my original budget!

Can’t wait to see what I find over the next 6 months!

Triumph or Tacky? Part 2

10 Sep

Alright, time to finally let you know what I decided to do for the Weeks 23-24 Challenge! If you recall I was looking for black shoes to wear around Paris and I ended up finding these at Winners:

Winners $29.99

Now although these flats are cute, I wasn’t complete sold on them so I went out shoe shopping again after the conclusion of the challenge. That’s when I came across (and bought!) these awesome motorcycle boots:

Aldo Halat $43.49

At this point I had a dilemma on my hands, should I return the black flats or should I keep both pairs of shoes? According to your opinions, most of you thought that I should keep the motorcycle boots. Keeping both pairs of shoes came a close second.

So what did I decide? Well, in the end I kept both pairs of shoes (and have adjusted the SpendThrift Savings Bank accordingly). This decision was actually made in the heat of the moment rather than after a lot of thought, lol. I was running late for work one morning, couldn’t find my old pair of black flats and the new pair was just sitting there so they kind of got chosen by default!

The flats are actually really comfortable, my only complaint is that they’re a little loose (which is more my fault than that of the shoes) so I may need to find a pair of those little socks that fit into flats invisibly. We’ll see. I think that I will find a way to make them work somehow.

I haven’t had a chance to wear the motorcycle boots yet since I haven’t gotten around to putting leather protector on them but that’s on the agenda for this weekend so hopefully I’ll wear them this week. I’ll post a picture when I do wear them, they do look pretty cute with a skirt 😮

That’s it for me for now, tomorrow I’m off to shop for my current challenge!

Weeks 27-28 Challenge

4 Sep

Wow, I can’t believe it, this challenge actually marks the half-way point of the SpendThrift Experiment! It’s crazy to think that I’ve been at this for 6 months now! I think that sometime in the next week I’m going to have to do a little recap of everything that I have bought for the Experiment so that this half-anniversary sinks in, I still can’t believe how quickly time has flown by!

Although some parts of the experiment have changed a little (like rule tweaks here and there) and other parts have changed a lot (like switching from one week to two week challenges, oh and that whole getting a real job thing…) I think that I’ve managed to keep the essence of what I originally set out to do. Hopefully the next 6 months are as great as the first and I continue to get some great deals and fashion finds 😮

Ok so now onto the challenge! Continuing with my “I need a new wardrobe for Paris!” theme, I have decided that I need a pair of skinny jeans to pair with my brown riding boots (I’ve had these for a few years and am wearing them in a few pictures from earlier challenges) and the black motorcycle boots that I added to the Weeks 23-24 Challenge (I promise that I’ll write Part 2 of the Triumph or Tacky? for this sometime this week!).

Rag & Bone $185


Now I have to admit that I am approaching this challenge with some trepidation. As I’ve mentioned before I am not a tall woman, nor do I have long thin legs (my legs are definitely on the more muscular side) so finding a pair of skinny jeans that are actually flattering could be difficult. However, I think that I’m up for the challenge and hopefully I can find something that works with my body type. For the time being I’m going to use the jeans above from Rag & Bone as inspiration.

Wish me luck!

Weeks 25-26 Results

3 Sep

It’s results post time again! For this challenge I was looking for a black trench coat to wear in Paris and I was inspired by a coat that I had seen in Winners:

Calvin Klein


So what did I end up finding? Well this one was difficult! First of all it’s still technically summer (it’s quite strange shopping for a coat when it’s 32 degrees celsius out and as humid as a sauna!) and fall clothing is only starting to appear in stores. The fall clothing that is in stores is also not on sale which also complicates things!

After an unsuccessful two weeks of shopping attempts I figured that I would take a chance and check out the new Forever 21 that was opening downtown (which makes it the first and only Forever 21 in town…sigh, Ottawa takes forever to get stores that other cities have had for an eternity). I obviously didn’t plan things out very well though since today was the grand opening and a lineup of tween and teen girls stretched all the way around the block (I really should have gotten a picture of the line with my phone, it was a little crazy). After contemplating the possibility of standing in line for two hours with giggling high school kids, getting into the store and not finding anything (or finding a giant display of WTForever 21 worthy wares), or finding something and then waiting in line for the cash for another hour, I decided that it just wasn’t worth it. Honestly, no one needs cheap clothing that badly!

So I hit up some other stores in the mall and I actually found a really great trench at Suzy Shier of all places:

Suzy Shier


I really do like this coat a lot! It’s waterproof, is lightly lined with fleece, has a good weight and actually fits much better than some higher end trench coats that I’ve tried on. It also has a removable hood so I can choose to wear it with or without:

Now I love this coat but there is one small problem, it’s just a smidgen over budget…ok, ok, more than a smidgen. It was originally $69.99 and even with a 20% discount it still came to $63.27. I feel bad for going over budget but I think that investing in a good coat is important so I’m going to let the SpendThrift Savings Bank take the hit. I’m also going to try to keep my next challenge at $20 or under to make up for it so that should help a bit with the guilt, lol.

Here it is on me:

What do you think? Was blowing my budget worth it?