Northwest Native: August 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

Q&A

Cassie @ The Minuteglass tagged me in a Q & A post, and we all know I'm a big fan of those! I liked these questions, and it gives me a day off from thinking of a topic. :)

What's the best thing you've purchased or been given in the past six months?
I think my favorite purchase has been my first and only Kate Spade bag! I've also purchased some great jeans that fit me so well, and I've been able to get rid of the ones I had that didn't fit very well.
At our couples shower, Michael's family gave us a stack of envelopes with months of the year written on them, starting with November. They're filled with date ideas for every month of our first year of marriage, including the money to pay for said date. The rule is that the money must be used for that date. I am so excited to be able to open the first one!

What's your favorite snack (no one gets to say fruit)?
I actually do eat an apple pretty much every day, but of course I can't say fruit. I mentioned in this post my love for Odwalla bars. I'm also a string cheese lover.

What form of exercise do you hate the most ('all' is an acceptable answer)?
I can't think of one I truly hate. I am terrible at yoga, and I bought a Groupon for hot yoga. And I mean I hated how hard it was and all the sweating, but I also loved how hard it was and all the sweating, you know? A love/hate relationship.

If you could afford/manage to live anywhere, where would it be?
Probably in a gorgeous house in this super fancy Seattle neighborhood. I perused Zillow to find a picture of one of the houses.

What's the geekiest hobby or pastime you have?
Blogging? That's what Michael would say. :) It's that or reading!

I nominate Olya @ The Siberian American, Sara @ Sara's Organized Chaos, Lauren @ Life. Love. Lauren. and Kelsey @ The Peacock Roost.

Added late because I'm a bad blogger and forgot...but just a reminder that Julie and I will be sharing our favorite fall activities tomorrow for our very first link-up! Just grab our button and join in!

Want more? Follow on Bloglovin' - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Pinterest

Friday, August 28, 2015

August Budget [2015] + an announcement!

August 2015 Budget
Scallop Embellished Cotton Poplin Dress - $96.95, on sale for $48.95 // $0 c/o eShakti
I reviewed my eShakti purchases here. You might recall that this dress was a little big (which was fine because of the drawstring), but the waist was much lower than my natural waist and the dress was way too sheer. Since I was given this piece and didn't purchase it, it didn't get returned...but it won't get worn either.

After purchasing my Wit & Wisdom jeans (in gray, black, and dark wash) I realized how amazing it is to have your jeans actually fit you (shocking, right?!). I knew my white jeans from Target didn't fit me well, but it became glaringly obvious after putting on jeans that fit me so well. I knew if I wanted new white jeans, I should start looking now because they selection will dwindle the closer we get to fall. Since the true fit tool on Nordstrom's website was spot on with the size and fit of the Wit & Wisdom jeans for me, I relied on it to pick out these Treasure & Bond white jeans. The site told me these would be an 'excellent fit' and I snatched them up the day I discovered them. (Two other pairs of white jeans were listed as an excellent fit, but my size was sold out in both. Told you they're dwindling!) I listed my white cropped jeans from Target on Poshmark.

Floral Splash Print Full Skirt - $69.96, on sale for $34.95 - $35 gift coupon for registering = $0
This was also included in my eShakti review here. It was my very first midi skirt, so ordering it online was a risk, but it paid off!

Floral Splash Print Crop Tank - $49.94, on sale for $24.95
You can see this in action in my eShakti review post as well. I haven't owned many crop tops, and I don't really like to show much of my stomach, so this one was perfect (because it shows none!).

Women's Sleeveless V-Neck Top (Kelp Forest) - $22.94, on sale for $22 - 40% off code = $13.20
This top is a flattering fit and I love the color! It works with black, white, or gray on bottom, so I can pair it with any of those colors of jeans, or just my dark wash ones. I could also pair it with dress pants or skirts in those colors. It'd probably work with tan/khaki color too.

Women's Sleeveless V-Neck Top (Olive Leaf) - $22.94, on sale for $22 - 40% off code = $13.20
I love the print on this top! Again, it's versatile--black, white, and denim work with it. My navy dress pants might even work with it too! Plus I could wear it with skirts.

Women's Sleeveless Tunic (Raisin Stripe) - $24.94, on sale for $22 - 40% off code = $13.20
I love this. I love the colors, the slim, vertical stripes, the no-show buttons, the collar, and the slouchiness and undefined sleeves. I also love that I can wear it with leggings! And I love that I got this and the other two Old Navy tops at 40% off, plus 8% cash back via eBates (it's usually 2%), and I earned $30 Super Cash that I can spend in September! (I already have a list going of what to spend it on...)

Lush Roll Tab Sleeve Woven Shirt - $38 - $20 Nordstrom Note - $18 return = $0
So, I ended up returning the tote I bought during the Anniversary Sale. I left it sitting out in the living area where I would see it often so I could decide one way or the other. I would periodically try it on and just thought it was too big for me, plus I'm kind of addicted to the ease of a crossbody. My Nordstrom credit card had a $0 balance, so I got a credit of $35.90 on it from the return and figured I should use part of that plus my Nordstrom Note to snatch up this top! I first found it when I was writing this post and I became obsessed and knew I had to have it!

No collage of the next four items because I thought I was done shopping this month before them...and three of them are not online!

Gold Wedge Sandals (same style in black and white, super similar in gold) - $29.99, on clearance for $8.98 - 5% REDcard discount = $8.50

Black Jogger Sweatpants - $19.99 - 5% REDcard discount = $19

Open Back Hoodie (not online - posted here) - $19.99 - 5% REDcard discount = $19

Burgundy Lace Detail Dress (not online - posted here) - $24.99 - 5% REDcard discount = $23.75

Total: $193.70 - $13.15 (Poshmark) = $180.55

I'm just going to go ahead and admit right now that I already started spending toward my September budget yesterday... I know that would technically be August, but 1) I was too lazy to add my purchases last night and 2) I feel like I spent enough in August (that impulse in-store Target purchase really got me...plus I thought I'd be getting some money back from eBates this month and I actually don't until November...).

Things that I returned:

Women's Plaid Tunic Pullover - $29.94 - 40% off code = $17.96
I loved this online, but when I tried it on it was just okay. I might have been able to create some cute outfits with it, but I just knew it wasn't something I loved, so I probably wouldn't reach for it often.

As always I am linking up with Franish's Budgeting Bloggers, but I am also linking up with Katie and Stephanie for their first ever Final Friday Finance!

And speaking of brand new link-ups...Julie and I have teamed up to start a monthly link-up (we haven't thought of a name for it yet, but we have topics and dates for the rest of the year)! 
Our first link-up is this coming Tuesday, September 1st! Not to beat a dead horse, but fall is my favorite season (she said for the trillionth time) so writing a post about my favorite fall activities has me giddy!
I hope to see some of your favorite fall activities linked up on Tuesday! Even if you hate fall, maybe your favorite fall activity is being depressed that summer is over? Or biding your time until Christmas? All activities are welcome. :)

Want more? Follow on Bloglovin' - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Pinterest

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Confessions Part II

If the title of this post didn't immediately make you start singing Usher's best song of all time [Kanye emphasis: of all time!], then I have failed my mission. This is the second time I've linked up with Christina for her Owning It link-up, even though the first time was months and months ago (here).

Speaking of extremely awesome hits from back in the day, that brings me to my first confession. (Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. Oh, wait, not that kind of confession.) Hopefully you all know the song Summer Girls by LFO (if not, listen to it here and thank me later). There's a part that goes, "I like Kevin Bacon but I hate Footloose." For years I thought it said, "I like candle makin' but I hate Footloose." I am dead serious. It was probably within the past couple years that I listened to the song and a light bulb went off.

Twice in the past month I have left a tag (or the extra button) hanging on new clothes I wore to work. Both times, a different female coworker has pointed it out and then said they'd let me take it off. I swear they probably think I plan on wearing it and returning it! I think that was on a movie or something, where they buy an expensive dress to wear to a party and someone just rips off the tag for them and they're screwed. So that's probably why that idea is in my head.

I'm a huge fan of artificial cherry flavoring. (I also love cherries, and yes, I realize fake cherry and real cherry taste absolutely nothing like each other.) My favorite kind of most non-chocolate candies is pretty much always the red one. This includes Starburst, Jolly Ranchers, Airheads, gummy bears, Skittles (although, those red ones are strawberry). There's always been talk about red dye 40 and how it may be poison or whatever...I totally regret Googling it. But until the FDA decides it's illegal to add to food, I'll be over here with my artificially colored and flavored candy.

Speaking of candy, I so wish I was one of those people who couldn't finish something because it's too sweet. When people say they couldn't finish something because it was too sweet, it's like an alien language to me. I think that's happened to me maybe three times in my life. Not finishing something because it's too salty happens to me far more often. I also crave sweet over salty ninety percent of the time.

I can't stand getting my blood pressure taken. This has nothing to do with the fact that I hate blood, either. I just hate that squeezing feeling. It's awful and it takes way too long. And they tell you not to hold your breath but I pretty much always catch myself doing that because I'm just counting the seconds until it's over!

Another thing I can't handle is anyone touching the inside of my wrists or my Achilles tendons. Nope nope nope! I'm fine wearing bracelets or shoes that hit the tendon, but pressing either of them makes me cringe. I'm shuddering just typing this.

I do all the laundry in our household (not for lack of complaining). I wash 99% of my clothes in cold water and then air dry them. Michael's clothes, not so much. (I would never let Michael wash my clothes, my complaint is that I always have to do his too.) I'm terrified of ruining my clothes...so I just play it safe.

Want more? Follow on Bloglovin' - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Pinterest

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Premio Dardos

Sara nominated me for the Premio Dardos award and I was so excited! Thank you, Sara!
[By the way, Premio Dardos means "prize darts" in Spanish. I thought it was Latin...and I minored in Spanish. Oops!] The rules are to nominate other blogs, thank and link the blogger who nominated you, and then list three facts about yourself.

I nominate Emily @ Yippee! It's MLE, Cassie @ The Minuteglass, and Lauren @ Exploring My Style!

One.
I love cinnamon. Cinnamon rolls, toast with cinnamon sugar, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cinnamon Roll Ben & Jerry's, snickerdoodles... I also love mints. Just those classic, standard red and white ones. But I HATE cinnamon mints. I feel cheated when I go to a restaurant with mints and they only have the cinnamon ones. (We went to happy hour recently and they only had the cinnamon mints. I don't spend all my time thinking about this, it was just fresh in my mind!)

Two.
My two dream jobs are to work for either Nordstrom or Starbucks corporate. In case you didn't know, the corporate headquarters of both of these companies happen to be in Seattle. (And you can see in my sidebar just how obsessed with them I am.) So I guess it could happen, but I haven't ever actually applied for anything there. I can only imagine the awesome perks that each company has...I'm sure there are discounts, but there are also probably cool events to go to, a fantastic company culture, and great benefits!

Three.
I absolutely hate blood. Just typing this is making me antsy. Once, I had to get seven vials of blood drawn for testing, and I was so freaked that the nurse wouldn't even do it. She made the doctor come do it instead. [Side note: After that blood drawing experience, my mom said we already knew the results of those tests from the time I was born. So it was completely unnecessary.] My brother has passed out multiple times getting shots. My other brother and my mom donate blood like champs. I don't understand the familial divide there. I somehow was able to watch Dexter anyway and it was one of my favorite shows of all time. And I am in the 1% of people who liked the ending (maybe just because it was filmed an hour away from my hometown in Oregon, and it's also supposed to be that he ended up in some small town in the PNW). I'm also really squeamish in general. Michael and I were talking about broken bones last week and I was shuddering. I also get sympathy pains. For basically everyone and everything. If I watch a nasty sports injury on TV or someone gets hurt in a movie...I'll be clutching and rubbing that body part. And I don't even have to see it. If someone is describing it, I'll still get the sympathy pain. It is a curse. [So this fact ended up being like five facts in one, but they were all related!]

I thought I had already told you guys everything about myself, but I think these are actually three new things, so I'm pretty proud of myself!

Want more? Follow on Bloglovin' - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Pinterest

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bay Area Couples Shower Weekend

I'm back from our trip to the Bay Area for our couples shower thrown by Michael's family. It was such a fun weekend and I'm sad it had to come to a close! I'm going to try to keep the dialogue to a minimum and let the pictures speak for themselves--they are worth a thousand words, right?

Michael's family lives right outside Oakland. On Saturday Michael, my mom and I headed to the other side of the bay to explore San Francisco. Michael's sister was talking about how Pixar (which is located in the area) likes to portray a 'postcard day' in San Francisco. It can be cloudy and cold in the city (and I dressed for it) but it ended up being a sunny and warm postcard day!

Trish's mini donuts! Yum!
Alcatraz. I want to tour it some day!
Sea lions! It was soo crowded, wish we could've gotten closer.
This dog was just chillin' like that out the window. I don't know if you can tell, but he's wearing red sunglasses. I wanted to crop it and zoom in, but that made the quality too poor.
I had been craving macarons for a few months. The last time I even had one was when I was in Sydney in 2012! I didn't get a picture until my mom, Michael, Michael's sister Katie (who met us after work for a bit) and I ate ours. These are vanilla and raspberry. I had coffee praline and it was delicious!

Our wine and cheese couples shower started at five that night.
Michael's sister did the flower arrangements. She works at Farmgirl Flowers in SF. Aren't they gorgeous?!
Michael and I were chosen as the brides for toilet paper wedding dress making, along with two other good sports (Michael's old basketball coach and his cousin).
We had to go up and do a dance move and strike a pose. Here's an action shot of me mid-twirl. Michael's uncle was on my design team and he was super intense about the veil, as you can see.
Michael's cousin (closest to the camera) was the winner. His team cheered the loudest and got him the win. And yes, Michael is in mid-shimmy in this picture.
It was such a great shower! Big thanks to Michael's cousin Amanda, his sisters, his parents, and also his aunt and uncle for all the work they put into it!

I had no idea what the color scheme was, and I ended up matching perfectly! The same thing happened with my last shower. Most of the people at the shower we won't see again until the wedding, which makes it feel so soon! The shower day was actually exactly seven weeks from the wedding! Eek!

Our flight left Oakland at 5:50 on Sunday night. We got home after eight. And then this happened...
 It was an interesting end to the weekend, to say the least!

Linking up with Sweet Little Ones for Tuesday Talk

Want more? Follow on Bloglovin' - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Pinterest

Monday, August 24, 2015

Wish Listing.

We got back in the evening last night, so I didn't want to attempt a weekend/bridal shower recap. I haven't done a wish list post since my last shower weekend almost four months ago, so I figured it was a good time for another! I may have already shot my August budget, but I'm always looking forward! Here are a few things I'm hoping to get my hands on in the future. My birthday is coming up, after all...
wish list
Leopard crossbody - This bag is reeeally small...but it's so cute! I could use it any time I just need keys, some cards, and my phone.
Sweater - I tried this on in the store a couple of weekends ago. I love mixing neutrals, so a sweater with gray sleeves, black and white stripes, and a navy blue color block is right up my alley.
Stud earrings - Everyone swears by these! I first saw them on Pinterest Told Me To, and Blake has a nice colletion of them too! They're only $8 and so similar to the Kate Spade studs! I want multiple colors!
Coral maxi - I'm a coral lover. I also love the popover detail on dresses. This could be dressed up or down, which I love.
Printed dresses - I tried both of these colors in the store too. I love the fit (I'm a huge fan of shift dresses, they're the best shape for my body, I've found) and the prints too! Plus they'd both look cute with the military jacket!
Windowpane top - I've loved the windowpane trend since it came out, but I've never found anything in my price range and comfort zone. I would love to pair this with forest green or burgundy dress pants, or with jeans and the military jacket.
Sneakers - I mentioned these in Monday's post. I had seen them online before and thought they were cute, but it wasn't until I saw them in person that I fell in love. I think I'd need to try them on with an outfit I'd wear them with to make sure I really love them. (Michael just said, "Those are the ugliest sneakers I've ever seen." If only I could insert the 'see no evil' emoji here. Good thing he doesn't have to wear them!)
Bar set - I just think this is adorable. We don't even have wine in the house that often (or any alcohol really) because I'd rather spend my money on things like wine accessories apparently.
Military jacket - I have one military jacket, but it's longer and the back is knit. It doesn't work with everything. I would never pair it with dresses or a very busy print because the knit back has a design on it. I also have a military vest that I think is the vest version of this exact jacket, but I would like a versatile military jacket.
Fitbit Charge - Still haven't found my Fitbit Flex that I lost. I swear it has to be in the apartment...but maybe I won't find it until we move out. Plus I want a Fitbit that can measure stairs climbed, and my Flex couldn't.

What's on your wish list?

Want more? Follow on Bloglovin' - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Pinterest

Friday, August 21, 2015

Summer Reading Challenge Update #2

Two months down, one to go! If you want to see my introductory post to the challenge and the first update, the links are below.
Summer Reading Challenge - Reading List
Summer Reading Challenge - Update #1

LITERARY LADIES
Hosts: KariKrystalKristen

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Category: A book about summer
Pages: 227
Date Started: July 19th
Date Completed: July 25th
I definitely misjudged this book. I had assumed it was a fluffy young adult book. I didn't really expect much substance. It was actually kind of dark, and it was definitely mysterious and took a few twists and turns. I'm especially surprised about this, because I just learned on Goodreads that this is the author of The Boyfriend List, which I read in like middle school and was definitely a fluffy young adult book. I loved it at the time, but I was also a lot younger then. A blogger's review was that they were let down by this book, so I was also expecting to be let down. But again, it was a completely different book than I had thought it would be. I really enjoyed it.



The Martian by Andy Weir
Category: A book that is or will be a movie
Pages: 369
Date Started: July 26th
Date Completed: August 10th
I first saw this on one of those '20 books you have to read right now!' type of lists. The comments mostly said that The Martian had too much science/math stuff, so they didn't like it, which turned me off. But then I saw a preview for the movie and I thought it looked so good! Did anyone else think it was for a sequel to Interstellar...? Because Matt Damon AND Jessica Chastain in a movie about space? Didn't this just happen? Anyway, at the end of the trailer when the title came up, I knew I had to read the book. The movie just looked too good, and I knew the book would be even better. I purchased it on my Kindle, then kind of panicked because a bunch of blogs said audiobook was better and easier to understand all the science. But, being the cheapskate I am, I forged ahead reading it because I paid $6 for this thankyouverymuch! It was really hard for me to get into it in the beginning, because yes, it's all oxygen levels and atmospheres and nitrogen and hydrogen and how did my brain not explode? I thought I'd fail the reading challenge just trying to finish this! But then it stopped only being the martian's point of view. Adding more point of views made it much more enjoyable (even though the main character has some pretty hilarious one-liners) and less science-y and I didn't want to put it down after that. So, I highly recommend it! And reading it isn't that scary. But like I said, the audiobook is super popular, so maybe you'd prefer that route!

Flight by Sherman Alexie
Category: Book with a one word title
Pages: 208
Date Started: August 11th
Date Completed: August 16th
I happened to read Sherman Alexie's book (a collection of short stories) The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven in just a few days when Michael and I went to Mexico. Whatever I was reading on my Kindle ended on the flight there, and Michael had brought that with him, so I read it, not sure if I'd like it. After reading that I was a huge Sherman Alexie fan. He's from Washington (I believe he currently lives in Seattle) and of course he writes primarily about Native Americans. I personally am disgusted with what we did to Native Americans when we came here, and with how we still treat them, so I love that Sherman Alexie gives a voice to modern Native Americans and their struggles. This book was kind of like another book of short stories, but it was one overarching story. The main character is transported into a new body/place in time in each chapter. He sees white violence toward Native Americans, Native American violence toward whites, among other things. Oh and the main character's story is set in Seattle (and they mention a bunch of random, obscure places in Seattle, which is always fun to read) so I loved that too, of course. I will definitely be reading more of (all of!) Sherman Alexie's books.

I saved $41.33 on this challenge by getting a library card! (Compared to purchasing the cheapest Prime-eligible version of each book on Amazon--the cheapest happened to be Kindle for all of them.)
  1. A YA Book - Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult library book
  2. Non US Author - Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Kindle loan from Michael
  3. A book that was recommended by a blogger - The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty purchased on Kindle
  4. A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more - The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein library Kindle book
  5. A book with a kickass female character - Wild by Cheryl Strayed purchased on Kindle
  6. A book that is or will be a movie - The Martian by Andy Weir purchased on Kindle
  7. A book written by a comedian or celebrity - Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham library Kindle book
  8. A book with a one word title - Flight by Sherman Alexie library Kindle book
  9. A suspenseful book - Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn library Kindle book
  10. A book about summer/with summer in the title/somehow related to summer -  We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
I only have one book left to read! I kind of thought I'd be done with the challenge by the time I posted this, but I haven't even started Americanah yet. I plan to read it on the flight to Oakland and the flight back, though, so I should get some major progress in this weekend!
 
Want more? Follow on Bloglovin' - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Pinterest

Thursday, August 20, 2015

eShakti Review!

*Disclosure: eShakti sent me a custom piece at no cost in exchange for a review. All opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links (if you click on a link and purchase the item, I may make a small commission).

When eShakti reached out to me about reviewing their custom clothing, I was so excited! This is the first time I've done any sort of collaboration. I can check that off my list of blogging firsts. :) Before I started this blog of mine, I remember reading another blogger's review of eShakti. It was my first time hearing about them, and I was intrigued! Here is the description according to their website:
"eShakti is the leading online retailer in the US for custom clothes, made to your size and your style. For those who want standard sizes, all of our items are also available in sizes 0-36W."
And their mission:
"At eShakti, we never want to tell a woman her size is not available. We believe that all women have the right to wear affordable fashion that is made for them and makes them look their absolute best."
That's a mission I can get behind.
Customization costs $7.50, but your first customization is free!

I ended up ordering the complimentary piece as well as two other pieces, because I was having a hard time choosing! They were running a $35 off your first purchase promo, so I basically got one of the pieces free. That made me feel better about paying for shipping (which I usually avoid at all costs). I purchased a midi skirt and crop top twin set, which was definitely a risk for me, as I've never even tried anything like that on before!
When I first put it on, I was worried I had made a mistake. I have short little legs. I'm not trying to be negative about my body, it's just true. I'm like a corgi--long torso, stubby legs. So when I put the skirt on and didn't have shoes on yet, I looked extra stubby. Like a hobbit. But throwing on my nude heels made it all better! I love the colors and the print. I also love how well it matches my bag! I can also put my arms over my head and still not show my stomach, which is great, because it meant I could wear it to work and not worry about showing anything not office appropriate.
Please ignore my ear sticking out of my hair. The material feels thick but lightweight. It's got a smooth, satiny feel. The skirt zips up the side with a hook and eye at the top, and there's elastic at the back just to make sure it fits just right! The top also zips on the side, but it's got a tiny bit of stretch and it's boxy, so I don't use the zipper. It has a button at the neck to make it easier to slip over your head.
Do you like all my typical blogger poses? Outfit photos are a bit out of my comfort zone, so I kind of felt like a fraud. Ha! The skirt also has pockets! I meant to take a picture with my hands in my pockets, but I totally forgot. They're nice and deep, which I learned when I used them to sneak my feminine products into the bathroom at work (#reallife). I gave them my measurements for this, and I felt like they were spot on! I do kind of wish the arm holes were bigger. Not because they were too tight, but because I always prefer bigger arm holes because I tend to get deodorant stains on everything I own (#glamorous).

The next piece is the dress I chose as my complimentary piece. I loved everything about it--the embroidery (a trend that I love but hadn't added to my closet yet), the scalloped edges, the tassels, the buttons (which I learned from the description on the site are called 'rouleau buttons').
The lighting and backdrop of these aren't as good as the other pictures. That's because I realized this dress is extremely sheer. I put on nude underwear (sorry if that's TMI) and the line of them was still glaringly obvious, particularly from the back. I didn't want to go out in public, so I went outside our apartment, which is open air, so there's some natural light, but not enough.
When I opened up this dress, I thought it looked huge. I put it on, and I was right. The drawstring made up for it, but the waist is reeeally low. I mentioned that I have a long torso, so the fact that the waist was that low on me (well below my natural waist) was a big surprise. You can't tell too much from pictures, but I had to pull it up to my waist, cinch it and tie it tightly, and that would've been fine, except that the buttons up top are kind of stiff and bend, leaving a weird bump.
I was really hoping to wear this dress to our couples shower this weekend. (You might recall from this post that instead I am wearing a burgundy dress from Target.) It looks great in pictures actually, but I'd have to wear a nude or white slip under it, even though it's lined. And the buttons do bump out and can look really weird. It was disappointing, but I didn't pay for it, and at least I love the outfit that I did purchase!
Dress (no longer available) - Wedges (same style in black and white, super similar in gold)

I had such a hard time deciding what to order! My top contenders (besides the ones I chose) were...
eShakti Picks
Floral Print Chiffon Peasant Blouse (no longer available)

Aside from the fit and quality of the items, shipping didn't take too long either, considering that they customized the pieces based on my measurements and they were being shipped from India. I placed my orders on Friday, July 31st (very late at night) and received both on Thursday, August 13th. Before I ordered, I read various other reviews from non-bloggers suggesting that bloggers are compensated to give good reviews or that more care goes into fitting the clothing for bloggers. That was not my experience, especially since I placed the orders separately, and the one I was given in exchange for my review is the one that didn't fit as well. I found good reviews and bad reviews. Basically, I think it might be hit or miss. But I'm really happy with my hit!

Have you ever ordered from eShakti? Overall, I think I would order from them again, but I'd stick with safer pieces (although a crop top and midi skirt was not a safe choice, and ended up working so well). Shift dresses tend to work really well on me, so I wouldn't hesitate to order one from them. They also have tons of promos! You always get a certain amount of money off your first order, and in the past few weeks since I registered, I've gotten at least two $20 off codes emailed to me.

Check out eShakti on social media!
Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest

-Mattie

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What's Your Sign Link-Up!

I was pretty excited when Nadine announced this link-up! I'm not big into astrology. I don't read my horoscope every day or anything (although if I stumbled across it I probably would...but I don't take much stock in them!). BUT I do know that a lot of Scorpio traits do resonate with me. I think that's kind of the point of astrology...if you associate enough traits with a sign, people are going to look for one(s) that they associate with.
Can I just say that I've always loved that the Scorpio symbol is an 'M'? Makes it feel like I'm really meant to be a Scorpio!

These next few traits, as well as the above image, were found here. I thought I'd break it up into things I resonate with and things that are not me at all.

True
"They are stubborn and determined to succeed."
I am absolutely stubborn. And so is Michael. You can imagine how fun that can be at times... But he's a Capricorn.
"They're also complex and secretive."
I would like to think I'm complex. I mean I know I sometimes blog about clothes and shoes and I'm a huge fan of those things, but that's not all there is to me! And by secretive I don't mean I lie to people or anything. Mostly I keep my feelings inside (which is mentioned later as well). I also won't tell a secret that someone else told me.
"The element associated with Scorpio is Water."
I know there's some 'meaning' to water signs and fire signs and whatever. But I just really love the water so I like that I'm a water sign.
"The Scorpio's emotions are repressed, kept under cover."
Like I said before...yep! I try not to show when I'm upset. And sometimes even if I want to show it I just can't because that's how I am!
"They can take an insignificant matter and turn it into a huge slight. Beware the Scorpio who feels crossed! These folks can turn vindictive in no time flat. Luckily, once Scorpios catch their breath, they will return to their usual determined and loyal (albeit strong-willed) ways."
Yeah...I'm pretty ashamed of this. I can say things I don't mean in the heat of the moment and be wracked with guilt later on.
"Scorpios love competition in both work and play, which is why they'll air it out in sports and games."
Sports? No. But games? Bring it on. We do these monthly bonding activities at work. One month I brought Catch Phrase (which I love!). I was super into it, of course. And this guy (who happened to be on the other team, and also who told a coworker he was jealous of the 'eye candy' he got to sit by, referring to me...and has said similar things about other female employees so I'm not a huge fan) referred to me as 'Mandy' and I pretty much yelled, "My name is not Mandy!!!" Hahaha. Some of my coworkers like to bring that up every once in a while.
"When it comes to love, though, Scorpios soften up a bit and are caring and devoted with their lovers, even if they do hold on a bit tight."
I really hate the word 'lover.' But anyway, I'm SO sassy. Michael and I met our freshman year of college, and I was so sassy to him. I was sassy to him any time we talked throughout the years, even during our junior year when we started talking that eventually turned into us dating. I think he was shocked that when we started dating I became so loving.

Big fat NOPE!
"Extreme sports are right up Scorpio's alley."
Hahahahaha. Ha. Ha. And that's all I have to say about that.
"Scorpio's colors? Powerful red and serious black."
I hardly ever wear red. I'm usually just not drawn to it, and I don't think it looks that great on me. Black of course I wear from time to time, but as far as neutrals go I prefer gray, navy, and cognac over black.
"Scorpios don't know the word quit."
Um, hi. I did ballet from ages four to eight, then I quit. I played basketball in fifth grade, but once that was done, I quit. I played piano for a couple years (after being told my whole life I had to play one day because of my long fingers) and then I quit. Sophomore year of college I joined cheerleading, but I quit two weeks into it. I think the word 'quit' and I are pretty friendly.

I found this monthly horoscope and just had to include this statement.
"You are about to enter glorious August, the month that gets my vote for your favorite month of 2015."
I would hope that my favorite month of 2015 is October. Fall is my favorite season and October is my birth month, of course. Oh and there's also the tiny detail that I'm getting married in October! Horoscope site fail.

I found this graphic and I was going to just take some of the traits from it, but decided posting the graphic is just easier.
I already talked about water, but can we take a look at that season?! I feel like I mention every other post that my favorite season is fall.

Being the eighth sign is kind of cool because I was born on the 26th, so my favorite number is 26 and I'm a weird numbers person and 2 + 6 = 8 so yeah I'm cool with eight.

I got really excited about the stone saying opal. I was like, "My birthstone is opal!!!" No duh, idiot, this is listing your birthstone. Major airhead moment for me. But I have an opal ring and opal earrings and they're both gorgeous and I love my birthstone!

Let's talk about those colors. Purple has always been my favorite color. And I'm obsessed with gold. Our wedding colors are purple and orange with gold accents. I mean...is that perfect or what? (Except the other site said red and black...but I choose these ones instead. :))

Why oh why is there an 'anatomy' portion? And WHY am I stuck with the sex organs and the potty organs?! I mean I know they say that Scorpio is a horny goat...but come on. Let's leave organs out of my horoscope, please. Especially if you're gonna give me those to work with. You couldn't give me the heart?!

Everywhere says that Scorpio is probing. Like I'm a private investigator or a journalist. I never ask questions. Any time I go anywhere and they say, "Do you have any questions?" at the end I just sit there feeling bad that I don't have any.

I'd like to think that I'm passionate and perceptive. I can also be possessive which is not good... I have a really hard time focusing so focused...maybe not. And 'prowling'? I don't know whether to feel like a badass jungle cat or like a creepy sexual predator. Oh well.

At the risk of sounding like I'm hitting on all of you...what's your sign?


Want more? Follow on Bloglovin' - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Pinterest