Monday, October 1, 2012

Building a Wardrobe- Day #1- Cleaning Out Your Closet

I am so excited to start the 31 days of building a wardrobe on a budget series.  I am linking up with the Nesting Place.  Many bloggers are taking the challenge also! Visit the Nesting Place and check out the many topics.  There are seriously 100s!


Building a functional wardrobe is not easy.  We wear many hats in our day to day life and your clothes should reflect that.  For example I have a 8 to 4 office job, I go shooting and 4x4ing on the weekend, I work at many of the dog adoption events around Albuquerque and I LOVE LOVE LOVE fashion.  Talk about a eclectic wardrobe!

Before you grab your essentials list you need to see what you already have.  The easiest way to do this is to empty out your closet.

Empty out ONLY your clothing first
#1-Grab 3 decent size boxes, bins or even bags.  Label this FIX, DONATE/SELL, and CLEAN.
#2- As you are pulling pieces from your closet try EVERYTHING on.  If it needs a repair toss it into the FIX bin, Doesn't fit... toss into the DONATE bin, Stain... toss into the CLEAN bin.
#3- As you are trying things on take a picture before returning it to your hanger.  I downloaded the "StylishGirl" App for my Iphone and LOVE IT!!  I catalog all of my clothing, accessories, etc to help me make outfits.  Not required but VERY VERY helpful.  If you do not want to catalog your clothing at least write yourself a list to keep with you.  This can be helpful when shopping. :)
#4- Once your clothing is catalog or your list is made being your repairs and cleaning.  Remember first impressions are very important!
#5- Return clothing to closet and organize by garment type, or color.  Whatever is easiest for you.

Do your clothing always slide off your plastic hangers?  Check out this clever idea from one of my favorite blogs.  Do you have a great tip?  Leave a comment below and I would LOVE to check it out!

Closet Organizing ideas
GENIUS!!!! from In My Own Style 

For more closet organizing ideas and tips follow me on PINTEREST.  :)

You can also find me on Instagram and Twitter @mandyjeanchic
Instagram and Twitter are definitely more interactive for me.  I think I maybe obsessed.

Tomorrow I will share my tips on cleaning and repairing your shoes, and organizing your accessories!





Wednesday, September 26, 2012

30 before 30- Watch All Episodes of FRIENDS

Some girls grow up idolizing Madonna, Britney Spears, or other celebrities.  I grew up wanting to be Rachel Green.  I watched FRIENDS from the "Pilot" and cried at "The Last One".

I LOVE this show!  10 years after the last episode aired I still set my DVR to record the re-runs.  My favorite character was Rachel.  I always loved how she truly worked her way into fashion, her attitude on life, her bad decision making and the love she had for Ross.  Aaahhh... that is my love story :)

One of my 30 before 30 goals was to re-watch ALL the FRIENDS episodes.  I can finally cross a to do off my list :)

For my own personal enjoyment I decided to make a list of my 10 favorite episodes.  Enjoy! :)

10. The One with Phoebe's Wedding:  I love the story behind her wedding, the drama with her "planner" Monica, how beautiful her wedding was and Chandler and Ross arguing over who was a groomsman.

9. The One Where Paul's The Man: Bruce Willis. That.Is.All :)

8.The One with The Chick and The Duck- The Chick and the Duck are introduced. SO FUNNY!
7. The One Where Rachel Tells....: This Episode Rachel tells Ross she is pregnant.  His reaction is PRICELESS!!

6. The One with Unagi- Rachel and Phoebe attend a self defense class.  Ross teaches them about the art of "Unagi"

5. The One with The Cop- Ross buys a new sofa and tries to enlist Chandler and Rachel to help him move it. "PIVOT!!!"

4.The One Where Ross is Fine: Ross walks in on Rachel and Joey kissing.  He invites them over for dinner. During the whole evening Ross drinks and keeps saying "I am fffiiinnneeeeeee..... Everything is just working out!"  Best quote of this episode "MY FAJITAS!!!"

3.The One Where They All Turn 30: Rachels 30th birthday party. Sssooo funny!!

2.The One Where Ross Finds Out- Ross and Rachel kiss for the first time. :) :)

1. The Last One- Part 2- Everyone ends up happy.  What more can I say. :)

What are some of your favorite FRIENDS moments?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

9/25/12 OOTD

I LOVE INSTAGRAM!!  I love it because I can follow personal style and connect with great online shops! Last week I ordered two dresses from an online boutique called Embellish Boutique.  They also have a brick and mortar in Kennesaw, GA but living in New Mexico makes it hard to visit :)

Embellish Boutique offers new and used plus size clothing!  JACKPOT!  I love buying from smaller boutiques but shopping for plus size clothing at boutiques is becoming harder and harder.  Last Thursday I was doing my normal every hour Instagram addiction and I saw a couple of dresses posted.  Both in my size!  I sent Embellish my email and they quickly billed me via paypal.

The coolest part of shopping with them was my order was placed on Thursday, paid Friday morning and shipped Friday morning!  I had my two new dresses in my hands by Monday afternoon!!  BEST SERVICE EVER!!!

I decided to wear one of my new dresses today to the office. I received sssoo many compliments today on my dress.  One gal even said to me "Mandy Jean! You have a waist!"  I'll take that as a compliment! HA!!
Dress: Torrid via Embellish Boutique
Tights and Shoes: Avenue, last season


VISIT Embellish Boutique HERE
Follow them on INSTAGRAM @EmbellishPlus
Follow on Twitter HERE
Embellish Boutique on Facebook

Follow me on INSTAGRAM @mandyjeanchic
Follow me on Twitter HERE
Mandy Jean Chic on Facebook

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The opinions in this blog post are that of my own.  I received not compensation for this post about Embellish Boutique.  I am really happy with my purchases and their customer service that I want to spread the word!




31 days of building a wardrobe with Mandy Jean Chic!

Since I am in the middle of re-building my wardrobe I thought it would be perfect timing to take advantage of the 31 days of October.

October 1st I will start..... 

LINKING UP WITH:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Money Monday- Meal Planning

Before I get started I thought I should give everyone a bit of info about my family.  My family is made up of me, Mr. Chic, our 4 dogs and 1 ferret.  Mr. Chic and I are HORRIBLE about eating out and blowing $100s of dollars on crappy food.  Why you may ask?? pure convenience! I dislike stopping to the store on my way from work and Mr. Chic feels the same.  This is why we meal plan.  Some gals go all out with planning a month in advance, shopping one day per month, saving serious $$$ using coupons and strategic shopping... that's really not me. :)  We meal plan so we eat healthier, spend less $, have more time in the evenings and we don't have to have this conversation every night:

Me "What do you want for dinner?"
Mr. Chic "I don't know. You?"
Me "Not sure... Burgers?"
Mr. Chic "No burgers do not sound appetizing. Steak?"
Me "Eh... pasta??"
Mr. Chic "No, Had pasta for lunch"
Me "Stop and grab KFC?"
Mr. Chic "Perfect!"

You see the never ending cycle of annoyance over what to have for dinner and then stopping because we are to lazy to cook.  I am not saying the way I meal plan is perfect-o but it works for us. :)  I would LOVE to hear how you meal plan!

We plan our meals like this:
Saturdays- light breakfast, snack, Date Night
Sunday- Larger breakfast, snack, Dinner
Monday- Pre-made breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, Dinner
Tuesday- Pre-made breakfast, sandwiches or leftovers for lunch, Dinner
Weds-Pre-made breakfast, sandwiches or leftovers for lunch, Dinner
Thurs- Pre-made breakfast, sandwiches or leftovers for lunch, Dinner
Fri- Pre-made breakfast, sandwiches or leftovers for lunch, Dinner

Friday Evening
1. AFTER dinner I sit down with hubby and we plan our meals. I love this worksheet from mommytracked.com  You can download it for free HERE.  There are TONS of printable online.  I suggest goggling "Meal Planning Printable" and finding the one that works best for you.  Make sure you leave the blogger a comment and say "Thanks!"

Eat Sheet Menu Planner

2.  Before looking at the weekly grocery ads I take a peak at my coupon file and check out the pantry. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS shop your pantry, freezer and fridge before looking at the ads.

3. While we are planning what we want to eat we also look at the ads for our local grocery stores.  We mainly buy our groceries at Smiths and our meat at Rio Rancho Meats.  We try to support as many local farmers as possible too. 

4.  After we create our plan I double check the local Albertsons ad just to make sure they do not have anything we need to stock up on. ;) Majority of the time Smiths is cheaper and their rewards program is AH-Mazing but I always check :) Its my OCD thing :)

5.  SHOP- We like to shop on Friday evenings.  The stores are less busy and we have already ate so less "mmmm that looks good" falls into our cart. I set a budget before we go.  Always set a realistic budget.  If you need meat, milk, eggs, veggies, etc don't say "I will only spend $40". Its just sets you up to be boo boo lipped :(

6.  Up groceries away

7.  Hang out with Hubby

SATURDAY
While cooking a light breakfast I wash the veggies, separate meat, and misc prep work

SUNDAY
We normally have a large breakfast on Sunday mornings.  Normally we have the burners going, ovens on, dishwasher is filling up so we start prep cooking for the week.

An example of prep cooking is, if I am cooking bacon in the oven I can throw some baked potatoes in, bake my casserole, etc.  If the oven is already on why waste the space and energy???

On Sundays I also make all the breakfasts for the week.  Some mornings we like breakfast burritos, others its just fruit.  Mr. Chic will also make himself Oatmeal during the week.  Normally I make about a dozen burritos and freeze them. This lasts a couple of weeks for us.

I also separate snacks into easy grab bags, brown the burger I need, separate groceries that need to be frozen, etc.  Any food I can make a head I will (pasta sauces, soups, etc).  Normally after we cook I will toss in a couple of dutch ovens with some soups and let them slow cook. After the soups are done I portion them into containers and freeze.

The keys to meal planning are:

  • Shopping Smart
  • Planning
  • Prep Cooking
  • FREEZE your leftovers!  
  • Pack your lunch
  • Keep fruit handy for snack time
  • Stick to a budget
  • Stock up on great deals
If you are starting out with meal planning I suggest planning one week at a time for 2 months until you get the swing of it.  After that you will be organized and have some ideas on meals you like, what you can freeze, etc. 

Next week I will continue the smart shopping tips with how to stock your pantry and freezer on a budget.  :) 

What are some of your meal planning tips??

LINKED UP WITH:


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Erica B. DIY Style!

I have been a follower of Erica B. for a few months.  I love her blog

 Her about me section is EXACTLY why I LOVE her blog! 


My Photo

Welcome to my DIY Style blog! How many times have you seen clothes in an upscaledepartment store or a posh boutique and cringed at the sight of the price tag? I've done it many times and have said to myself, "I could make that"! While reading my fashion sewing blog, you'll share with me in my adventures in taking "boring" patterns from drab to fab by creating "inspired" looks pulled straight from those boutiques, the runway and fashion magazines. Also my adventure in learning to tailor and couture sewing techniques.

I love re-purposing clothing, sewing and I too am learning to tailor my own clothing. I was browsing around her blog last night and she posted one of the most beautiful skirts I have EVER batted my eyelashes at. 
Visit her post HERE
Isn't that skirt amazing!  Take a peak over at her blog for the full post!  Don't forget to follow along with her. This gal is so creative, hip and you will LOVE her posts!  

Erica B.'s - D.I.Y. Style!
Visit Erica B. DIY Style! HERE

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

9/19/12 Outfit of the Day


I have been finding so many great deals shopping lately.  Friday night I picked up 2 shirts and a pair of boots at Target for about $20!  LOVE!!!  

Getting dressed this morning I decided I wanted to wear my new Minnetonka Moccasins. If you have never tried on a pair of Minnetonkas DO IT! They are the most comfortable shoes ever.  Living in New Mexico I am fortunate they are at every shop in Old Town Albuquerque.  I want to find a pair of boots.  Having calves makes this a bit harder but I am determined!  :)  

Top- Target (about) $7 BUY IT HERE
Jeans- Lane Bryant (around)$20. slim cut 
Moccasins- Minnetonka (around) $35
Necklace- Groupdealz (around) $15

Monday, September 17, 2012

Money Monday-The Dining Out Trap


Being a household of two Mr. Chic and I are TERRIBLE about dining out all of the time.  We grab breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner outside of the house.  We waste a TON of money!!  Last week we decided to do a little experiment.  We created a meal plan for the week, a budget and went shopping.

During the week of 9/8-9/14 we spent $79 on food. 2 people! $79!  AH-mazing!!! We made an effort to really plan, eat left overs, buy a bit more in bulk, eat a tad less meat, and we saved!

Friday night 9/14 we should have created our plan, budget and went shopping again.  What did we do??  NADA!!! Let me give you a glimpse at our spending from Friday-Monday at 9:29PM.

9/14/12: Wendys- Lunch for me $3.99
              Dions- Dinner for 2 $15.04
              TOTAL= $20ish

9/15/12- Rudys BBQ- $25.69

9/16/12- Wecks- Breakfast for 2- $21.25
               Pizza Hut- $34.80 (left overs for dinner on 9/17)
              TOTAL- $45 ish
Now.. add another $20 on misc crap we bought all weekend (soda, chips, water, etc for the dog event)

2 people spent about $110 dollars on food in 3 days.  We also ate like crap.

My friends.... this is a prime example of why meal planning, budgeting and shopping are sssooo important!

The lesson to be learned here is to stick to our plan because now our grocery budget is totally busted for the week and I have to go to the gym!!!

A very bummed out Mandy Jean :(


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Organizing My Pantry





Oooo... my poor pantry. For the last 5 years it has been a catch all, food storage, extra appliance storage, sometimes medicine cabinet, and the door that is ALWAYS shut in my house. Sad because it could be such a cute little area.

This week I decided to clean out my pantry. I love having a pantry in a small kitchen but the metal shelves do not help anything!


I started off by pulling EVERYTHING out of the pantry, tossing dated food, boxing up food that can be donated, pulling appliances out that we never use, washed all the shelves, door and floor.

I started putting items back in and I realized how much I dislike the wire shelving.  Seriously home builders!  Spend the extra $10 for wood please!!!!

After thinking about how I could add something stable to the shelves I had a bight idea! 

I could make temporary shelf covers with cardboard, decorative and decorative contact paper. 

1.  Using ribbon. Cut cardboard to size
2.  Cut contact paper to size.  Leave an inch on all sides to fold over
3.  Peel 1st quarter of contact paper back
4.  Lay cardboard on 1st quarter of paper and GENTLY peel the remaining 3/4. 
5.  Tuck edges under




All of the supplies that I needed to organize my pantry I had but if you were to go out and buy the supplies here is what you would need:
Dollar Tree: Cardboard Sheets (I needed 3), Contact Paper (I needed 3 rolls)
Supplies at home: Ribbon for measuring and sharp scissors. 

PARTYING WITH:






Friday, September 7, 2012

Fashion Friday- Fall Style


I am SSSOOOOO ready for fall.  This summer hasn't been terrible here in New Mexico but I am ready for some cooler weather.

When I think of fall I think of these 5 things:

  1. Roasted Green Chile
  2. Boots with socks
  3. The aspens turning gold in Santa Fe
  4. Parade of Homes
  5. Cooler weater
Fall is my favorite season to dress for.  I love the crisp air, warm sun and cozy evenings.

I created some fall outfits on polyvore.  Enjoy!!!  Don't you just wish all the outfits you created on polyvore would just fall into your closet....


Fall1

Fall2

Fall3

Fall4

What do you love about fall?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday Obsessions

A few of my current obsessions this week....

Beauty (Pictures are from Birch box)

I LOVE THIS!!  Every night I put a tad on a cotton ball and smooth over my eyes.  It removed mascara, liner, makeup and dirt without being greasy or drying out my skin. LOVE IT!!!!  

Best mascara I have tried in a while!  My lashes can be pretty lazy but this mascara gives them some oomph and curl.  Also you can't go wrong with anything Stila! 

900x900
Living in New Mexico my skin and lips are always dry.  I always feel a little self conscious because my lips can get so dry.  I started using Jouer Lip Enhancer after I received it in my July Birch Box. LOVE IT!!!  My lips look smooth and fuller!  I love the combo of Vitamin E, Shea Butter and Jojoba Oil. I have even used it before putting lipstick on and it made such a difference! LOVE IT!! 


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Home Decor (Pictures from Pinterest)
Kitchens
We are getting ready to start updating our kitchen this fall.  I have been doing some "research: on pinterest.  I am OBSESSED with kitchens right now.  






Source: houzz.com via Amanda on Pinterest





Source: houzz.com via Amanda on Pinterest

As you can see I am totally crushing over white industrial farmhouse kitchens. 
Follow my Kitchen Board on Pinterest HERE
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Fashion (All pics from Pinterest)
I am so ready for fall!!!  I love autumn colors, leaves changing, tailgates down, balloon-fiesta, and prepping for the holidays.  I am also getting ready to prep my fall wardrobe.  Here are a few of my favs...




Source: polyvore.com via Amanda on Pinterest
Source: etsy.com via Amanda on Pinterest

Follow my fall fashion board on Pinterest HERE

What are some of your current obsessions??? 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week #1- Organize my Kitchen

I decided to do the 14 week challenge at A Bowl Full of Lemons to help me get organized.  My house is a wreck right now.  Busy summer and trips have left it cluttered.  Not to mention 4 dogs, 1 ferret and a husband do not help!

Take a peak over at A Bowl Full of Lemons.  If you are taking the challenge leave me a comment and I will follow along.  You can follow me via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google.  Links are on the right.


WEEK #1- Kitchen (text directly from A Bowl Full of Lemons)

WEEK #1 CHECKLIST:
1. Clean out and organize all cabinets.
2. Clean out and organize all drawers.
3. Purge everything that is not used, expired, doesnt belong, collecting dust.
4. Clean out & organize fridge & freezer.
5.  Mop, wipe down cabinet doors, clean counter tops & tables.
6.  Take everything off the refrigerator door.  It makes the kitchen look messy.
7. Clean all appliances.

THE PROCESS:
1. Clear off the kitchen table. This is your dumping grounds.
2.  Empty out all cabinets, drawers, and clutter!  Place ALL items into "categories" on the table.
3.  Wipe down the cabinet doors, shelves and drawers. Add new liners if necessary.
4.  Discard (trash) old, expired, and no longer used items & food. Check the dates.
5.  Place all items that are able to fit, into baskets.
6.  Place everything back into the cabinets & drawers (in categories).
7. Take everything off the kitchen counters and place onto the table. 
8. Wipe down the counters & backsplash with a good natural cleaner. 
9. Wipe down ALL small appliances & large ones too!
10. Put back items you use on a daily basis, onto the counter top.
11. Mop the floors and wipe down the table & chairs.  
12.  Empty fridge/freezer. Wipe out. Put back in an organized manner.
13.  You may clean and organize under the kitchen sink. I will share under my sink at a later date.

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This is my normal kitchen.  We are fairly good about keeping the clutter out of sight.  Just don't open any cabinets ;) Bottles on top of cabinets. Mr. Chic's idea of decorating. Not mine.  

I have a small galley kitchen.  

After tidying up a bit I took the task of cleaning under my sink.  I will be brutally honest.  I have never cleaned under the sink and we bought our house in September of 2008.  Gross... I know... 

Before... 

Not to bad. Just cluttered. 

After.  The red bin on the left holds my traveling cleaning kit.  The blue bin holds all dish washing products.  Green bin in the middle is for scrubbers, dusters, etc. 
Yeah for a clean sink :) 

Are you accepting the challenge??