Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What's wrong with who?

One of the classes I am taking this semester is a digital production class. Our final project is a short film which we have titled "What's Wrong With Mama?" The final video will be done in a couple of weeks and we will be launching a full website with the full movie plus lots of fun extras! Until it is finished I am running a production blog where I have been posting some of the stuff we have been doing: What's Wrong With Mama?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Channeling Kate

So I haven't done an outfit of the day in a while and I figured today would be a good day. DH and I went to Lafayette to Purdue's Elliott Hall of Music to see Monty Python's Spamalot. I took it as an opportunity to get dressed up and put together this ensemble.

I was inspired by Kate Middleton's dress that she wore when she and Prince William announced their engagement.

Blue is a favorite color and it tends to be the one I gravitate toward most often although I am trying to branch out. With spring/summer coming I'm looking forward to using more color.

Dress: Forever 21 
Shoes: Carlos Santana
Jewelry: Necklace (Forever 21)  Bracelets (Claires)  Ring (Forever 21)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

$ Saving money $

I admit it, I have expensive taste. I would love to have a closet full of Chanel, Michael Kohrs, Prada and Jimmy Choo and go on 3 week Mediterranean cruises, but as a working student that isn't the case. However I do have a wardrobe of what I consider stylish clothing and the hubby and I eat well so we must be doing something right. So how do we do it? Well here are some of my favorite places to shop and/or eat for cheap:

 I learned about ELF via a gal who does fashion and makeup videos on Youtube. If you love makeup but can't justify spending a ton on MAC and other expensive brands, ELF has cheap, quality makeup that can be great additions to your collection. Many of their makeup products are $1! And what's even better is even though they are cheap, the product itself is really good quality. If you sign up for their emails, you can get notification of sales and promotions (which is great if you don't make it a habit of checking their website on a regular basis). In the past I've managed to snag 10 of their mineral eye shadows for FREE, a 20+ piece kit (with brushes, rolled brush holder and makeup remover) for under $20 plus other great deals. Shipping can take quite a while so be prepared to wait at least a week before receiving your product, but once you do you'll realize it was worth the wait.

Forever 21 is one of my favorite places to buy clothing when I'm looking to be up on the latest trends. They're constantly adding stock, almost weekly, with cute and cheap clothes. If you are one who wants to stay on trend but not break the bank this is a great place to start. Be advised, sale/clearance items plus all accessories are NOT returnable and all other items can only be returned for store credit so if you are someone who gets buyer's remorse this might not be the place for you. Also be advised that not everything that is on their website is always available in their physical stores (I learned that the hard way when hunting down a dress). However their physical stores can be difficult to navigate with racks sometimes stuffed with clothes to the point items are falling off the rack. Their sizing in clothing most of the time seems to be true to size however I have found some items run small (including some of their shoes) so it might be beneficial to you to go to an actual store and try items on to get an idea of how their stuff fits you.

Old Navy used to conjure up images of polos and khakis. However I have found that they can have extremely stylish and affordable clothing that doesn't make you look like you belong in the Hamptons during spring break. If you like their facebook page and/or sign up for emails, you can get notifications of sales and promotions and receive coupons for even greater savings. Also keep an eye out for the annual Gap Give and Get program, this year if you signed up (for free) and picked a charity off a list, you received a coupon/code for 30% off your purchases at Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic (online and in stores, some exclusions applied) and those same stores donated 5% of your purchase to your chosen charity. Shopping with a cause, how much better can it get?

Groupon is a money savers dream! Sign up (for free) and every day you'll be offered the opportunity to purchase a certificate at a discounted price for a product and/or service in your local area (and sometimes online companies so your location doesn't always matter). I've managed to snag certificates for miniature golf, many restaurants around our area, car washes, games of paintball, even the auto show.

Living Social works just like Groupon, so using the two makes for some wonderful saving power. Between the two sites I'm sure that I have saved hundreds of dollars in the last 3-4 months and will continue to save. Just a word of warning, you may become addicted to saving money so make sure your printer is full of ink and start saving!

Restaurant.com is similar to Groupon and Living Social, but it's just for restaurants. You can buy gift certificates for under face value and use them at hundreds of restaurants around the country. If you like their facebook page you can be notified of codes to purchase certificates at even greater savings. I just recently purchased three different certificates with a combined face value of $60 for $9! Just be aware of the fine print, many certificates can have stipulations of what time of day they can be used and for what kind of food (some don't allow alcoholic beverages to be part of your minimum total) and they all have a minimum purchase required (usually $5-$10 above the face value of the certificate) and a built in gratuity. Even then, the savings are well worth it and we have found some great new restaurants that we might not even have heard of if they hadn't been on the list.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Mythical Meetup

Monday the 7th was epic! Hubby, our friend Collin and I traveled to southern Indiana (Corydon to be exact, the original state capitol of Indiana) for what was termed a "Mythical Meetup". Youtube "Intertainers" (their word, not mine) Rhett and Link are currently on a road trip from North Carolina to California and along the way have scheduled meets with their fans and yesterday was our turn. The location, the oh-so-famous Butt Drugs Pharmacy and Soda Fountain!

Butt Drugs has been an Corydon institution since the 1950's, but they became really famous when Rhett and Link created a commercial for the pharmacy last year which can be seen here

So when we heard that Rhett and Link would be setting foot on Hoosier soil at Butt Drugs, well we had to go. So we headed out early and drove two hours south where we found several people had already congregated at the shop waiting for R & L. Corydon is your typical midwestern small town, I reminded me of what would have influenced Walt Disney to create Main Street USA with rows of shops with colorful awnings, decals on the windows and displays set up to catch your eye.

Rhett and Link arrived without much fanfare, coming through the back entrance of the shop (free parking in the rear!). They quickly explained how everything would work, we'd get in line and present them with our "piece of America" we brought to contribute to their yet-to-be-named final project that they will complete when they reach California.

We hung out toward the end of the line so we could watch the people ahead of us. It moved rather quickly and before we knew it, our turn was here!

After they finished with the line we moved outside where they filmed something special that I assume will be added to their channel when they put up all the footage they shot on their trip (so I'm not going to give it away here). Overall we had a blast and we are so glad that we went.

Rhett and Link's Youtube Channel #1
Rhett and Link's Youtube Channel #2
You can see all of my pictures from the meetup here

CnR Wannabes Youtube Channel here

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Birthdays = Retail Therapy

Yes I am now (well as of several weeks ago) 28 years old. In the spirit of gift giving I received money and/or gift cards so spend at my discretion. I hadn't had the chance to spend any of it since then, so when I took my mental health break last week I decided that it was the perfect time to indulge in some retail therapy. So I high-tailed it to Forever 21 (one of my favorites!) and shopped till I dropped. Unfortunately it's not getting warm enough (in my opinion) to wear everything quite yet, but once it is I'll be sporting my new duds:
Isn't the button detail on the sleeves cute?

I also picked up this belt in yellow

I bought this dress but in blue, it reminded me of the dress Kate Middleton wore when she and Prince William announced their engagement.

I was really hesitant of tops with the dolman (aka batwing) sleeve, but I had tried on and purchased a different top and am really starting to like the style. It's comfy yet unique enough to be more than just a t-shirt, plus it makes a great canvas for funky pieces of jewelry.

Speaking of my birthday, you can see highlights in our latest vlog. Check it out!

Hitting a wall.....

So last Thursday was interesting to say the least. Now let me preface this by saying that this is not my first go 'round with working and going to school at the same time. I did the same thing off and on for almost 7 years while working on my bachelors degree. Heck at one point during my senior year I worked, went to classes full time PLUS was an intern at a major sports franchise for a semester so I have a good idea on how much work it is. That being said, my first semester as a graduate student wasn't that bad, pretty much what it felt like when I was an undergrad. However, this semester has been HELL! I have been soooooooooooooo tired and burning the candle at both ends....and this past Thursday it all came to head and I just lost it. I was at work and without going into much detail a co-worker made a comment to me (they weren't being mean or anything, they were just making a comment) and at first I was pissed. Then as I kept working that pissed off feeling turned into tears...and lots of them. I tried to suck it up but I finally had to seek refuge in the bathroom in a stall. After almost 15 minutes of sobbing I got up and tried to clean my face. I took a look at myself in the mirror and I looked terrible.

I knew I couldn't go back to my work area so I turned to our HR manager who was soooooooooo wonderful at listening to me and offering advice. At his suggestion I called it a day and went home to rest and recuperate. Luckily my wonderful husband was still home so he also lent a sympathetic ear and helped me out till I fell asleep. Then I slept the rest of the morning into the afternoon which I know both my body and mind seriously needed.

So as I said, it was an interesting day to say the least. I knew going back to school was going to be hard work but I don't think until this happened I understood just how hard I have been pushing myself. Luckily in my talk with HR they offered to work with me schedule wise so I could have some more time for me. So I'm going to look at my current schedule and see if I can find a few hours a week where I can rest and not feel so rushed. I'm kind of glad that this happened now when I still have time to change because I still have the rest of this semester to finish plus two more to go before graduation. So if you don't hear from me for a while don't worry I'm probably just taking a mental health break.