Monday, June 9, 2014

Goodbye

I've been thinking long and hard about blogging, and I've decided that it's time to say goodbye. I won't stop budgeting or wearing clothes (duh) but I've realized that I've been less and less enthusiastic about blogging in the recent months. I've enjoyed the time that I've spent blogging, and want to leave on a good note instead of dragging it on past its expiration date. Your visits and comments over the years have always made my day, and I will definitely miss my tiny piece of internet space here.

You can still find me on twitter spewing random nonsense at @blue_lanterns or follow my Instagram (which is basically just pictures of my kids) at @kimming.

It's been a fun journey, and thank you for following!

Friday, June 6, 2014

The tee that I wish I could buy more of

These pictures were from, like, early April and I had almost forgot about them because my post was ready to go but the night before the post was scheduled, I checked online and Pickwick & Weller, where the black tee is from, had closed their site and had a notice up saying "Pickwick & Weller is taking an extended staycation so we can come back with the best t-shirt. Ever."

It was really odd, and I had a feeling they went out of business, but the notice up on their site sounded so positive that I sent their customer service an email asking when they'd be back in business. They responded saying the closing was temporary and they'd notify customers when it was back open. But week after week, I tried the site and I continued to be met with the same text.

Finally a few days ago, I Googled around to see what happened to them, and found out that they indeed did go under, which just really bums me out because I had finally found my favorite t-shirt, and now I have no other way of purchasing it in more colors! :(

I really wish they were just more upfront and honest about the closure to begin with, instead of continually keeping my hopes up with the misleading text and all the waiting around I could have been spared... and I also wish they they had a liquidation sale or something because the closure was just so abrupt and there was no advance warning to let me know that I should've stocked up on the tees when I had the chance.

I know I've mentioned that I like the Everlane v-neck tees, and I do, but the V is slightly too low and sometimes exposes my bra (drawbacks of having a flat chest I guess, no cleavage or anything to hold up the shirt). Sometimes I just want a rounder neckline and not a V, so I had ordered the Everlane U-neck and it was just ridiculously low-cut and boxy that I immediately sent it back, but the Pickwick & Weller one was just perfectly cut, and I loved the length and the sleeves and everything about it. It just stinks that now I'll have to start my search all over again for a new favorite tee.

Speaking of Everlane, thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway from last week. The random winner was Sarah from The Pajama Chef. Congrats! :)

Tee: Pickwick & Weller :( :( :( / Blazer: Gap / Jeans: Joe's Jeans / Boots: Target / Necklace: eBay (exact - only $1!)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Red stripes.. again

I prefer half sleeve or 3/4 sleeve shirts, which means that I like to roll or fold up my long sleeved shirts, though when it's a striped shirt, the stripes get all weird... I guess the solution would be to cut the long sleeves into a 3/4 length, but I'm scared! What if I mess up and it looks horrible? Or if maybe all the sudden I prefer long sleeves and hate 3/4 sleeves?

I was iffy about the skirt the last time I wore it, so I decided to try to wear it again to see if I should keep it or not. My conclusion is that I had to get rid of it. It kept riding up and I had to keep pulling at it all day long, and it got really wrinkly easily which made me looks sloppy. Plus my crappy alterations made the side seams bumpy, so it was kind of a no brainer to throw it out (or rather, recycled with H&M's garment recycle program).

It does make me sad to say goodbye to something that I've held onto for so long (10+ years!) but it's also kind of refreshing. I'm not sure if I'm just in a spring cleaning phase, or just a need-to-pare-down phase, but I've been getting rid of so many things in my closet recently. I've already sent off a few giant bags of clothes to ThredUP and Twice and still have more to send, which just proves that I have WAY too much excess clothes.


Shirt: Boden (exact) / Skirt: old from Taiwan / Shoes: Vince Camuto (similar - pretty much the same except for the back) / Necklace: Ebay (exact - only $1 with free shipping!)

Monday, June 2, 2014

May spending recap

  1. Everlane heather grey tee: $18 (used credit)
  2. Old navy baseball tee: $13 - 10% coupon + tax = $12
  3. Nine West flats: $42 + tax = $46

Total: $76

Breakdown:
Everlane credits: $18
Out of pocket: $58

At the beginning of the month, my plan was to only buy two things, the flats and the baseball tee, so even though I spent more than I wanted to spend, I'm pretty happy with my purchases this month.

While the price of the flats wasn't as low as I had hoped it would go, I wanted to get them when 6pm.com dropped their price down to $42 (original price is $69 - currently they're at $51) over Memorial Day weekend, and the sizes were selling out quickly. 6pm has free shipping for all orders, but they don't offer free return shipping, and the reviews on the shoes are iffy (some say they're comfortable, yet others say they're not and I don't know who to believe), so I didn't want to have to pay the return shipping fee if they turned out to be uncomfortable. Since Nordstrom had the exact same shoes (though full price) and offers free returns, I contacted their customer service and asked them to do a price match.

For those who asked, Nordstrom allows price matches from authorized retailers (so no eBay or sketchy websites), and only for the exact color/size on the competitor's website. I originally wanted to go half a size up on the shoes to account for the pointy toe, but 6pm was out of the larger size, so even though it was available on Nordstrom's site, I had to order the size 6pm had in stock (my normal size). They haven't arrived yet, and I'm going to be so sad if they turn out to be uncomfortable.

I mentioned before about the baseball tee that I was looking for from Old Navy, and it turned out to be perfect. Some reviews say that the fit is boxy and short, but I found it to be just right. My original size fit fine, but I did size up for a looser casual fit, which did make it slightly boxy and made the scooped neckline a tad lower. Price is $20 online, but $13 in store, so check your stores if you are interested in purchasing. I couldn't decide between the navy or the grey sleeves and I ended up going with the grey, but if I ever catch the navy on sale I might be tempted to purchase it as well, even though my budget tells me not to.

2014 Annual Budget: $600

-January $142
-February $29
-March $116
-April $64
-May $76

= $173 remaining for the year


Linking up with Franish's budgeting bloggers. See how everyone else did in May!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate or referral links. Thanks for understanding and supporting my blog! :)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Cotton heather tees

My trusty grey tee from Target (the one with the annoying mini pocket) developed a few tiny holes in it last year because I wore it too much, and I had been on a replacement grey tee search since then. I guess I wasn't trying THAT hard, other than trying on every single grey tee that Target sold... but I wasn't able to find anything that I loved.

I love my Everlane white v-neck tee that Fran introduced me to (her review here), and I had ordered a grey-looking tee (in "stone" - seen here) awhile ago hoping that it could replace my grey Target tee, but it turned out to be more of a taupe color, and the other grey-looking tee on the website ("slate") looked too purple-ish (looks like they're both sold out now so I guess it's irrelevant).  I was super duper excited to see that Everlane recently released a cotton heather tee in the perfect grey shade that I was looking for, and ordered one immediately.

It fits the same as the normal v-neck tees, but instead of $15, they're $18. The fabric feels super soft and broken in- slightly different than the regular v-necks which are a little more crisp and smooth IMHO- but it's a little thin (though not see through at all) and I'm afraid that it will develop little holes eventually with repeated wear. I've already worn it four times in the past two weeks though, but I hope it holds up better than my Target tee.

And if you want to try out an Everlane tee- I hope you sign up through my referral link, even though there's really no benefit for you to use the link, but there is for me ($15 referral credit). OR... because I have a few credits saved up, leave a comment below telling me that you want to try out a tee and I'll randomly pick one of you to win a tee of your choice.

I'll do the random number thing next Wednesday 6/4 at noon PST and send an email to the winner, who will have 48 hours to claim their prize, otherwise I'll pick a new winner. U.S. and Canadian readers only, sorry international friends! I know the Disqus commenting thing is sometimes wonky so if you can't leave a comment, shoot me an email at bluepaperlanterns at gmail.com. Giveaway not sponsored by Everlane.

Update: giveaway is closed. Randomly picked winner is Sarah K. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Tee: Everlane / Blazer: J.Crew / Jeans: J Brand / Wedges: Target