Monday, December 29, 2014

December Budget

It's been a few months since I've done a budget post. My blogging break really helped bring my shopping habits into focus and I really haven't been buying many clothes since! I did get a couple things this month during the post-Christmas sales, so I'm linking up with Fran and the other budget bloggers to share my good finds!

Total = $37.91

I've had my eye on this JCrew-inspired vest for awhile now, and under $25 is definitely better in my eye than over $100! The sweater will get a lot of use, especially in our frigid Minnesota temperatures :) I've actually worn the sweater and vest together a couple times now! Getting my money's worth so far! 

Did you find any good post-Christmas deals?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Favorite Outfits of 2014

Can you believe 2014 is almost over? I don't know about you, but for me the year has definitely flown by! 2014 was the first full year of my blog and outfit-wise, I really did some experimenting and took some risks that I never would have done before! So I was excited to learn that Bri's Third Thursday Threads for the month is to look back on some of your favorite outfits of the year. I choose 10 of my favorites (yeah, I had a hard time choosing so I decided 10 was a nice, even number). Here they are for your viewing pleasure!

(Ha, can anyone else tell the last picture was taken with a different camera?)

So in summary, 2014 consisted of a lot of layering, putting pieces together in different ways, accessorizing, and hands on hips :) I'm excited to see what 2015 brings fashion-wise! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What I Wore

Happy Wednesday! Can you believe a week from today is Christmas Eve?? This year has gone by so fast! Since it's Wednesday, I'll give you a look at what I've been wearing this past week (and I apologize for the quality of some of the pictures- it's always hard taking pictures inside during the winter!):

Plaid: Old Navy (same)
Vest: REI (similar/similar)
Jeans: Gap (same)
Boots: Just Fab (similar

Blardigan: Nordstrom/gift (same)
Tank: Old Navy (similar/similar)
Jeans: Gap (same)
Boots: Just Fab (similar)
Scarf: Amazon (similar/similar)
Bracelet: Tiny Dazzles (similar)
Earrings: Edith Marie

Sweater: Old Navy (similar)
Vest: Old Navy (same)
Jeans: Gap (same)
Boots: Just Fab (similar)
Necklace: Instagram Shop
Earrings: World Market (similar/similar)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Hello bloggy friends! I hope you all had an awesome weekend! Ours was full of friends, family, and food :) It was a busy weekend, but those are the kinds that make the most memories! I don't know about you, but I think each weekend leading up to Christmas just gets busier and busier; we have so much going on during the day that by the time dinner rolls around, I don't even want to think about cooking something! Well, I have an easy dinner solution for you today! SUPER simple, but super yummy!

I will forewarn you, I didn't follow a specific recipe here. I just put a little of this and a little of that together. I will tell you the quantities I used when I made this recipe, but really it's just about what you think tastes good and how much you need to make!


  • Chicken breasts (fresh or frozen- I used 3 frozen)
  • Taco seasoning (I used one packet)
  • Salsa (1/2-1 cup)
  • Taco shells
  • Any other fixings you like!
This chicken couldn't be easier to make and is super delicious and full of flavors! I simply put my chicken in the crockpot with a little bit of water so they didn't burn, then put in about 1/2 cup- 1 cup salsa, and a whole packet of taco seasoning. Since mine were frozen, they took a little bit longer to cook, but if you cook them on high they should be ready in 2-3 hours, or on low from 4-6.

I have recently found a love for cilantro so I try to incorporate it into 'Mexican' dishes when I can! For this recipe, I made a cilantro-lime rice, which couldn't be easier! I made my rice as normal, but substituted a little lime juice instead of water, and tore up some cilantro leaves to cook in with the rice. Super easy and so flavorful! My favorite way to eat rice :)

So that's basically it! Take a tortilla, pile on some rice, chicken, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, salsa, cheese, sour cream, and whatever else you like and enjoy! We had enough for a few meals of leftovers and I think they were better the second time around! 

What are some quick, go-to meals you enjoy when life gets busy? 

Linking up with: Rachel, Let's Be Friends Blog Hop, Molly

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Holiday Style with Julep

I was contacted last week by Julep to create a holiday outfit featuring a fun nail polish design. I was very excited to participate as I really love their nail polish! If you've never heard of Julep before, check out their website! Basically they are a monthly subscription service in which you can get fully customizable boxes of nail polish and beauty products. I've been a member for I think about a year and have gotten some fun colors of nail polish from their company. And it's always fun to get a surprise in the mail :) If you are interested in signing up, you can do so here!

When coming up with a fun holiday outfit, I naturally turned to Pinterest. I recently purchased a buffalo plaid top, and was really drawn to outfits that feature the buffalo plaid dressed up. Here are a couple of my favorites:

I think the plaid top makes enough of a statement on its own, so I added a basic necklace to my outfit and kept the shoes and clutch in the neutral category.

Holiday Party

Charlotte Russe red top

Pointed toe pumps

ASOS clutch
$19 -

Evening necklace

In finding a fun nail polish design, again I turned to Pinterest! (isn't that such a wonderful site for inspiration??) Here are some of my favorites:

I definitely think sparkles are a must in any holiday manicure, and I stayed in shades of red to coordinate with the plaid top. While the shades in the pictures aren't necessarily from Julep, you can see their current shades here. Specific shades I would use for these manicures are "Andrea," "Anisa," "Bonnie," "Chatoya," and "Joyce" just to name a few (seriously, there are so many polish colors to choose from!)

How do you like to coordinate your holiday outfits and manicures?

Linking up with Amber, Laura, Rachel

Monday, December 8, 2014

My birthday/weekend happenings

Hello friends :) I hope you all had a great weekend! (only 2 left until Christmas... when did that happen?) We had fun celebrating my birthday, which is actually today but hubby works late so we don't have time to do anything. 28 years old today! I can't believe I'm almost 30, but now that I'm so close to reaching that milestone, it doesn't seem near as old as I once thought it was! I'm still young :) Or at least I like to think so when hubby and I play Lego Lord of the Rings...

Here's some of the fun we had this weekend:


After work, I did some shopping for my Instagram Secret Santa:

Then watched one of my favorite Christmas movies, Home Alone! I don't think I could ever get tired of this movie :)


I was reminiscing back to our Florida trip as I was enjoying my morning cup of coffee:

I did some shopping for a new planner. I am one that likes to write things down in an actual calendar as opposed to having it on my phone. Last year I got a calendar from the Martha Stewart collection at Staples. It was a binder with different paper inserts to go inside. I then found out the line was being discontinued, which kind of bummed me out, because I really liked how the pages were laid out. So off I went to Target, Barnes and Noble, Staples, shopping online... You guys, I seriously spend at least 20 minutes in the planner aisle at Staples looking though each one. Yep, I'm weird, but it's something I'm going to be using every day so it has to be something I like! I finally decided on one from the Sugar Paper line at Target. It's a bigger size than what I've gotten in the past, but I like it already!

We also had our traditional b-day dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings (sign up for their e-mails and you get a free snack size wings for your b-day!) and saw the movie "Fury," which we both thought was a very good movie. 


We went to church on Saturday so we could sleep in a little. As you can see, our pets didn't enjoy this at all...

I spent some time importing dates and information in my new calendar (seriously, I get so excited by this!)

We plaid some Lego video games (don't judge...)

Hubby gave me one of my gifts early so I could wear it. A blardigan! You guys, this is the softest sweater I've ever had! I predict many days and nights wearing this thing :)

A birthday dinner at my in-laws rounded out my weekend. As always, it didn't feel near as long enough, but at least there is only 2.5 more weeks until Christmas! What fun things did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Insta Outfits

Even though I was on a blogging break, I still documented some of my outfits via Instagram (you can follow me here!) Here are some of them:

                        Vest: REI (similar)                            
        Chambray: Old Navy (similar)             
     Striped Tank: Old Navy (same)           
                          Jeans: Loft (same)                            
      Boots: Just Fab (similar/similar)        
Scarf: Old Navy (similar)

Pants: Old Navy (same)
Tank: Old Navy (same as above)
Cardigan: Old Navy (similar/similar)
Scarf: Thrifted (similar)
Flats: Gap (similar)

                             Tee: Old Navy (same)                         
                   Cardigan: Target (same)                    
                    Scarf: Amazon (similar)                     
              Pants: The Limited (similar)               
          Shoes: Target (similar/similar)           

Tee: TJ Maxx (similar)
Cardigan: Target (same)
Skirt: Loft (similar/similar)
Booties: Amazon (similar)
Necklace: Purple Peridot (similar)

Vest: Old Navy (same)
Sweater: Old Navy (similar)
Jeans: Gap (similar)
Boots: Just Fab (similar)

Tank: Old Navy (same as above)
Cardigan: Target (same as above)
Pants: Old Navy (same as above)
Flats: Gap Outlet (same as above)
Scarf: Amazon (same as above)
Necklace: Purple Peridot (same as above)

Vest: Old Navy (same as above)
Shirt: The Limited (similar)
Jeans: Gap (similar)
Boots: Just Fab (same as above)
Necklace: Purple Peridot (same as above)

Tee: TJ Maxx (same as above)
Cardigan: Target (same as above)
Pants: Old Navy (same as above)
Boots: Just Fab (same as above
Scarf: Gift (similar)

Sweater: Old Navy (same as above)
Pants: The Limited (similar)
Shoes: Target (same as above)
Scarf: Target (similar)
Necklace: Groop Dealz (same)

Vest: Old Navy
Shirt: The Limited (same as above)
Jeans: Gap (same as above)
Boots: Just Fab (same as above)
Scarf: Amazon (same as above)

I didn't realize until I was listing the items I wore how much remixing I did! I guess when I find something I like/is comfortable, I wear the heck out of it :) It's also interesting in the couple months I took off of blogging, I didn't buy as many clothes as I usually do. Maybe I didn't feel like I had an "image" to live up to, because no one was really seeing what I was wearing? I definitely think that's something I need to work on more- remix what I currently own instead of going out and getting something that is the current style, or just so I have something to show off on the blog. It's definitely a process!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thoughts on blogging/I'm back!

Hello readers (those of you who've hopefully stuck around!) Well, it's definitely been more than the month I said I'd be on break for. Honestly I was kind of getting burned out from the whole blogging experience and needed to step back for awhile. I started this blog as a fun hobby, but in my mind I was turning it into way more than it was. Worrying about how many views I did/didn't get, comparing myself to other bloggers, etc. That was not my intent when I started this thing! It was supposed to be something fun to do, not something that caused me stress! Yes, the 'numbers' behind a blog are a nice perk I guess you could say, but I'm not doing this full-time. I have a full-time job, I don't need another one. So along those lines, here are some things I learned on my break/reminders for when this starts stressing me out/different directions I'd like to take this blog in the future. Actually, feel free to skip over these, they are mainly reminders for myself anyway ;)

  • I am not going to post every single day. A lot of you do, and that's awesome. I thought I could [had to] do that too, but that just caused a lot of stress. My hubby keeps telling me that some of his favorite blogs sometimes only post a couple times a month, so I shouldn't worry about more. Unless I'm doing some sort of collaboration or other link-up or theme week, I'm only going to post 2 or 3 times a week. 
  • Along those same lines, I'm not going to post if I have nothing to post about. Before, I'd post an outfit that I wasn't happy with just so I'd have a post for the day, then look back at it and wonder why I posted it in the first place. If I don't feel inspired, then I don't have to post anything.
  • I'm also not going to worry about when I publish a post or joining link-ups right when they open. Before, I always had to make sure I posted right away in the morning so everyone would see it right away [dumb.] and also make sure I joined link-ups as soon as I woke up in the morning so I'd be higher up on the list [super dumb.] If people want to read my blog, they will read my blog whether it's 6 in the morning, or 3 in the afternoon :)
  • My blog started off as a lifestyle blog, then I switched over to a fashion blog, but I miss posting about every-day things. So that's why I'm switching things up again to a life AND style blog! If I loose readers because of that, oh well! I want to be free not only to post about what I'm wearing, but what I'm eating, what I'm watching, what I'm doing, things about our home, things about my faith, [eventually] things about starting a family... I don't want to feel limited because I have a 'certain' type of blog. And I'm sure sometimes it will be more fashion-heavy or home-heavy or something, but I will write what I want when I want :)

I don't know if I'm quite ready to jump back in the blogging thing with both feet, but hopefully I can start off slow and ease my way back into it :) (Actually, I wrote this post 2 weeks ago and it has been sitting as a draft since then!)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Blogging Break

I wanted to let you readers know that I will be taking a break from blogging for the rest of October. Between having a ton going on (travel, garage sale, helping parents' with home projects...) to kind of loosing steam on the whole blogging thing, I just need to step back for awhile and regather myself and my ideas and take time to focus on other things. Hopefully I will be back later in October or early November.

I will still be posting outfits on Instagram if you want to follow along: @maria_notfancyjustlife

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Teal Ankles

After seeing so many of you rock ankle pants, I decided to get a pair of my own. They've been on my wish list for a long time, but Old Navy recently had their Pixie pants on sale for $25, so I decided to order a pair. Usually ON pants don't fit me very well, but I really like the Pixie pants! I think they are comfortable with a good amount of stretch, but the one thing I dislike about them is that they attract every hair and fuzz in our house! I always have to keep a lint roller handy when wearing these, especially with 2 pets in our house. But I definitely think they're worth the money and I'm considering getting them in another color or pattern :) Also, notice my fabulous tan lines on my feet? haha

 Pants: Old Navy (same)
Top: Thrifted (similar/similar)
Cardigan: Target (same)
Shoes: Old Navy (similar)
Necklace: Purple Peridot (similar)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Currently: Cobalt and Stripes

Happy Wednesday! Last month, so many of my favorite bloggers were doing 'Currently' posts, which were a lot of fun to read, so I decided to join in on the fun this time! (plus it's something else to read besides the regular 'this is what I'm wearing, blah blah blah')


Smelling: Paint drying. Hubby's out of town, so while he's away I'm painting the entry way from the garage/stairs down into the basement. I've never painted a room by myself before, so hopefully it turns out okay!

Loving: The beautiful weather we've been having in MN! It was in the 80's this past weekend, so I was able to pull out my shorts and tanks again. It is kind of strange to be wearing shorts when the leaves are changing, but I'll take all the warm weather I can get before the snow starts flying!

Planning: Our trip to Disney World and Universal Studios coming up soon! I'm so excited! I'm such a kid at heart :)

Baking: What's baking? :-P Haha I'm just kidding, but in all honestly I don't do a whole lot of baking. I love cooking, but I guess I just don't like having all the treats and goodies around for me to eat. The last thing I baked were soft pretzels a few weeks ago and probably the next time I'll bake will be some kind of dessert when my family comes over for dinner this weekend (probably something pumpkin related?).

Celebrating: My little blog turns 1 year old on Saturday! It's crazy it's been that long already! It's still a work in progress, and I'm still figuring out what I want it to be, but it's been a fun year getting to know other bloggers and actually sticking with it for a whole year :)

Maxi: Target (similar/similar)
Cardigan: Old Navy (similar)
Scarf: Old Navy (similar)
Earrings: Edith Marie (similar inspired/'real' Kendra Scott)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


If you look anywhere on Pinterest, you'll see a printed skirt worn with a denim jacket. Kind of an easy recreation, maybe too easy to recreate :) (or maybe something I found after I wore the outfit...) Adding a jean jacket is also an easy way to bring maxi skirts and dresses into Fall.

Skirt: Target (similar/similar)
Jacket: Old Navy (similar)
Top: Target (similar/similar)
Necklace: Target (similar)
Flats: Gap Outlet (similar)

Here is another Pinterest recreation outfit I wore to work last week based on this pin: