Monday, June 30, 2014

Budget Friendly Finds- Week One

I did a little bit of shopping over the weekend and found so many good deals! This really is a great time to find pieces for fall because most of it marked down drastically. I am a big time bargain shopper and I thought maybe it was time to start sharing some of my finds on my blog, so this post was born! I plan on making this a recurring series so we'll see how this first post goes!

For this post I hit up TJ Maxx, my local Goody's, and Kohls. I was honestly surprised by the things I found at Kohl's and couldn't believe the prices. Here are some of my finds:

First up are these adorable Mint shorts that I found at TJ Maxx for $12.99. They are so adorable on and I can't wait to wear them in South Carolina next week. I found them in white and pink also but I love navy!

This A. Byer top is from Goody's. I know that a lot of places don't have them but Beall's and all Stage stores are the same I believe. This shirt was on sale for $9 and then as a card holder I get coupons that I can use over and over until they expire, so an extra 20% off and it was down to around $7. I'm planning on wearing this with some black dress shorts for family dinners in Pawleys Island.

This adorable ELLE sweater is from Kohls and I got if for $5.40! I got it for 90% off.

I found this Jennifer Lopez sweater for $5.40 at Kohls also. It is so soft and the back is sheer and a light pink. I think it's perfect for going out in the winter. 

Last but not least, my favorite thing I found this weekend, this gorgeous Rock and Republic shirt for $9! Not quite as discounted but definitely too good to pass up. I cannot wait to wear this in the fall. I love the color and the faux leather details. 

If you know of any good sales or have any finds of your own to share feel free to share them in the comments!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Moving Mayhem: Closet Purging

One of my favorite things to do is clean out my closet. Yes, I know that's really weird but it's almost therapeutic for me. Getting rid of the old and making room for the new! In this case I am just trying to get rid of everything I don't absolutely love since I'm moving. 

Closet purging can be difficult for some people. You develop a sentimental attachment to things, have things saved for just the right occasion, the list goes on and on! I am a closet purge veteran. Any of my close friends know that I do it almost every three months. It's something that comes easy to me and I want to share my fool proof strategies that are easy and painless! 

Before you start make sure you have lots of trash bags or containers ready so you can get the items to their final destination, and probably some good music too! 

My rules for choosing what to get rid of:

1. One of the most popular rules is to get rid of something if you've had it for a year and haven't worn it. I totally agree with this. I had things in my closet that I hadn't worn for almost two years after buying!

2. Special occasion dresses and outfits that you're never going to wear again. My junior prom dress has been hanging in my closet for about four years now and I'm finally getting rid of it. I had been hanging onto it in case someone I knew needed it but that time has come and went, time to purge! Also a super cute dress I got to wear to my student leadership academy which I couldn't attend, tags and all, it's getting ready to go to a new home.

3. My third rule is probably common sense but I was a repeat offender. Multiples. I had four white v-neck tees, about ten bathing suits, twelve pairs of jeans, and three tan sweaters. For me they're usually the first things to go. I mean, I don't need ten bathing suits moving to Montana and taking one beach vacation a year. As for jeans, I know they're a staple but I had multiples of the same pair! 

4. Impulse buys! The downfall of all uncluttered closets. I can't tell you how many times I have bought something just because it was a little cute, I might wear it sometime, and it's only six bucks! You bring them home, realize they are NOT cute, and are stuck with them. You aren't stuck, get rid of them, take them back, do something! 

5. Last but not least are things that just don't fit. I recently lost some weight and went down a couple of sizes. I had so many pieces I loved and didn't want to part with but you've just got to do it. It's the same rule for things too small. Don't keep them around to make you sad you can't fit into them!

Things to keep: 

1. Things you cannot live without. For me that would include my trifecta of riding boots, AE jeggings, and my growing collection of sheer tops. 

2. The basics! Make sure you have cardigans, tanks, plain tees, good skinny and bootcut jeans. Also a must, black flats, a good pencil skirt, tailored shorts, and a good day/night dress.

What to do when you're done:
There are so many options for what you can do with unwanted clothes these days! Taking things to Goodwill isn't the only option, you can make some serious cash on this closet purge.

1. Your local consignment shop. Surprisingly my small town has a really nice one and that's where most of my stuff goes. The only downfall is that you don't receive all of the profit. There are online consignment shops now too. My favorite is Plato's Closet is also an option if your town has one.

2. eBay! I have made tons of money selling clothes on eBay and most of the time you can find a buyer. The only thing I hate is the hassle of shipping everything. 

3. Facebook groups. Almost every town has one or more resale FB group these days. You can even find them for certain brands and styles of clothing if you take the time to search. The only bad thing I find about these is that it can take longer to sell and people can back out and not be held accountable. 

4. A clothing swap! I think these are really fun and it's a cheap way to get new things for your wardrobe. It's also an excuse to get friends together and drink wine. :) 

5. Last but not least you can always donate them! Goodwill, the Salvation Army, whatever you choose. 

The castoffs from my closet!

As painful as the entire process of cleaning out closets can sound, it doesn't actually have to be. You just have to have good guidelines set up and stick with them. So get some friends together, turn on some Beyonce, grab a bottle of wine, and get to work!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Finish This! My First.

Before I unveil my new posts about Closet Purging and Organization, I decided to participate in a new link up that I found on Life the Way Amber Views it! (Which you should check out because she is awesome!)

Hosted By:

Lisa @ Coastlined
Jen @ The Arizona Russums
Becky @ The Java Mama

This weeks prompts are:

1. I have a quarter to use a payphone, I call: This would depend on what I needed. If I was in trouble definitely my Mom or Dad. If I did something stupid I would call my best friend Tiffany.

2. I found $25 in my pocket, I buy: Most likely clothes or shoes. I would probably head to a local store, Goodys, because I always have coupons for there and they have super cute stuff.

3. I have 25 minutes to watch anything on TV, I turn on: Probably House Hunters or Chopped if it's on. I like to make fun of all the petty things people find wrong with houses on House Hunters, and watch Chopped to see all the good food they make while I'm eating a turkey sandwich!

4. A meal I can prepare from start to finish in 25 minutes or less is: Spaghetti. You boil the pasta, heat the sauce..easy!

5. At the age of 25, I wish I had known: Well, I'm not quite to 25 yet but my guess knowing me would be not to worry about stupid stuff so much. 

6. If I drove 25 miles south from my house, I'd be in: I would end up in Rushville. I think I will stay away from there!

A little late but I hope y'all had fun getting to know a little more about me! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Moving Mayhem: Closet Purging and Organization

As most of you know I am getting ready to move from Indiana to Montana in about a month. It's also no secret that I have a bit of a shopping problem, i.e. I shop at least twice a week. For some people that might not seem like a lot but to me it's excessive because of this I have accumulated a lot of stuff. Clothes, shoes, purses, you name it! Normally I wouldn't even be bothered by it, my philosophy is the more the merrier when it comes to clothes. The kicker is that during my move the only things that will be coming with me is what I can pack into my Jeep Commander. I know I am at least hauling a TV and a couple of my organization pieces, along with books, decorations, etc. So now I am faced with the challenge of my closet and it's going to be a tough one!

I plan on turning this into a two part series. The first part will be about purging your closet. Do I really need four pairs of black heels? Are ten bathing suits practical when I'll be living in Eastern Montana? The answer to both of those questions is probably no.

The second part will be organization. Organizing my closet is something I've been working on for a while and it's been a long process. I've been finding cute organization labels, budget friendly containers, and trying to figure out how to maximize the use of my space.

Stay tuned!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Family reunion!

Sorry for the lack of updates this weekend everyone! We had a family reunion and then I went to start typing up a post for today and lost it. So I decided to share a photo from the reunion of my Dad's side of the family and work on my editorial calendar more this evening. I hope you all had a great weekend!

 My crazy family!

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Friday Find- Faded Glory Maxi Dress for $14.99!

Yay, it's finally Friday! I wanted to do a quick post on this cute dress I found, at Walmart of all places. I would like to turn this into a recurring series featuring something fabulous for under $25. 

 Faded Glory Dress- On Rollback for $14.99

I found this dress on a trip to Walmart to pick up some makeup and I wandered over to the women's clothing. This is such a cute dress for the price and it fits really well. I didn't get a chance to snap a picture of me wearing it yet but I will soon. The one I got is white and navy stripes. I love that you could dress it down with flip flops or dress it up with a platform sandal! Every once in a while Walmart surprises me with a nice piece like this dress.

(Photo courtesy of

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Top 5 Summer Beauty Essentials

I'll come out and say it, summer is a rough time to try and look good. If you live pretty much anywhere in the United States with the exception of a few places it's a problem you deal with. Between the humidity, rain, and extreme heat getting anything to stay on can be a nightmare! I especially have a hard time in the summer because I always get such oily skin and on top of that my legs always seem to be extremely dry. I have compiled this little list of essentials that I use to combat these two problems and threw in a little extra something!

One: Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets $4.99

As I mentioned before I get really oily skin in the summer due to the heat and humidity. These little sheets are a lifesaver this time of year! They work so well and the best part is that you can use them after you put your makeup on and they won't mess it up.

Two: Neutrogena Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes $5.99

These are actually something that I use year round but continuing with the oily skin problem, these are a great buy. They really do get your skin clean and also double to remove makeup. I use them every night and when I skip a night I really notice a difference in how my skin feels the next morning. 

Three: Almay Truly Lasting Color Foundation $10.79

Foundation is the only kind of makeup that I use everyday and I have used this one for probably seven years now. I love that it has SPF and is also hypo-allergenic. It doesn't clog my pores or make me break out and it stays on even in water or extreme heat. It's very beach friendly which is great for me because I am a freak who wears makeup everywhere. I always get compliments when I wear this too, it covers up a multitude of sins! If you are looking for a lightweight foundation, this probably isn't for you though. 

Four: Victoria's Secret Body Butter $5 (On sale!)

Back to the dry legs problem, I swear by VS Body Butter. It makes your skin so soft and smooth. I have extremely dry legs and the fact that anything makes them smooth amazes me. The awesome scents they come in are an added bonus too. I found this Endless Sunset at the Semi-Annual sale for only $5!

Five: A bright, fun nail polish! $1.99 to $9.00

Pedicures are usually the very first thing on my list for summer. You don't want to be wearing cute sandals and not have cute toes too! I love any bright orangey-red nail polishes for this season. I typically get OPI Cajun Shrimp but for this post the picture is Sinful Colors Big Daddy. This shade is very similar to the one I usually use and I would say it is actually more of an orange than it appears in the picture! This Sinful Colors polish is only $1.99. 

I love these items because they work and also don't break the bank! I hope this list is helpful and maybe you've found some new products to try. What are you summer beauty problems and fixes? What would you add to the list? I would love to know!

(All pictures in the post are mine.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Blog Overhaul

After asking some of the ladies in my blog tribe to give me feedback on my blog design and layout, the main thing I heard was that it was busy. I agreed and needed to simplify. I ditched the loud background and the hard to read font, and decided to go for something very simple. I am trying to make An American Girl more reader friendly and easy to navigate. I also went through and deleted most posts that were older than 2012, considering they were almost all from 2011 or 2010 that means 99% are gone. I wasn't sure I wanted to go that far but I felt it was necessary. I really want this blog to grow up and be more professional, so that's what happened. I hope all of my readers will stick around to see what changes come in the future! 

I also hope everyone likes the new header, I actually made it myself! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Easy Chicken Fajita Nachos

I don't think I have ever posted a recipe on this blog before but since I am trying to document my journey into being a domestic lady, I thought I would give it a shot. Beware that there are no set ingredient limits to this because it's really all about your personal preference and how many you are feeding. This is pretty much a dinner portion for one or possibly a small appetizer. I was just trying to make a quick meal for myself, which was intended to be chicken fajitas in the tortillas as usual but I forgot to buy them and ended up coming up with this. I am sure there are other more sophisticated versions of this but these are 100% mine and so are the pictures!

There are just a few ingredients for this and they can be altered to your tastes. I used Tyson Grilled and Ready Fajita Chicken Breast Strips (pictured above), green pepper, and red pepper for the main part. For toppings just shredded Monterrey Jack cheese and sour cream. I also just used what tortilla chips we had on hand. 

I started out sauteing the vegetables in a skillet with a little olive oil over a medium high heat. I still like my vegetables to be a little crunchy, so I didn't wait too long until I added the chicken. 

The chicken strips that I used are already fully cooked so it's really just about heating them up. I also didn't add any spices to my vegetables or chicken besides pepper. I cooked this mixture over high heat for about eight minutes and then it was all done! After the veggies and chicken were done I chopped them up pretty finely to make it more of a nacho dish. To plate I just used a medium bowl and lined the bottom with the tortilla chips, put the mixture on top, and then added the sour cream and shredded cheese. It was quick, easy, and it tasted good! 

I know this is a rough post, but I'm new to this kind of blogging! If you do happen to try it out and it goes well or you have any suggestions, I always welcome comments. :)