Sundays in San Antonio

I’ve been here in San Antonio, Texas for the last week and have enjoyed every minute. The people are wonderful and the Mexican food is on point! I absolutely love this state for so many reasons but one the most important is the culture. There’s so much going on here in terms of food, people, languages, music, and even shopping. Oh the shopping! It’s wonderful! I spent some time in the high-end shopping district of La Centara! My sweet boyfriend took these pictures of me in this lovely place. He puts up with so much!

nars red lipstick

I drug him around from store to store and he pretended to enjoy it. We went into Tory Burch and were offered mimosas, I guess they thought I looked rich enough to buy something there. Wrong! I came across a beautiful fur jacket hanging on a rack and was stupid enough to ask what animal it was. Rabbit and fox fur. I just smiled and thanked the lady but felt a little sick. I love animals! I’m not a vegetarian or anything but furs just upset me a little.

la cantara shopping mall

Before the stores opened my boyfriend took a few pretty shots of me and my shopping-approved outfit. I can’t believe how hot it gets here! I find myself wearing tanks and shorts only with nothing else in the foreseeable future. My top is a black lace baby-doll style tank from Ann Taylor (fabulous find from the Ann Taylor store in Charleston on King Street- only $4.99!) My shorts I actually rolled up for a more flattering length. I found them at Marshall’s for $15. I think the designer name is Per Se.

what to wear in texas

stereotypical fashion blogger photos

Growing up when we’d be walking long distances for awhile, my mom would always make me wear sneakers or something comfortable. Well take this, mom! I wore sandals all day and they were quite wonderful! I found them on sale a few weeks ago at Target for $9!

embellished leather sandals

To add a little more bling to my outfit, I added a few bracelets I found at Ann Taylor Loft. Unfortunately, one of them kept getting stuck on the lace in my top. First world problems!

Pearl bracelets

The final piece to my outfit was my prized Kate Spade bag! Another great find at the San Marcos outlets here in San Antonio!

kate spade bag

I’m enjoying every minute of my time here in the great state of Texas! I go home in a week and am going to miss it so much. It’s absolutely beautiful here in ways I didn’t know were possible. Who knew cactus plants could look so good? If any of you have have been to this part of Texas, let me know if there’s anything fun I should do while I’m here!

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#PSL Inspiration

Fall and PSL

Even though it’s about 90 degrees outside I’m dreaming of fall! I was looking through my Instagram feed and everyone seems to be gearing up for #PSL season. Frankly, I’ve been ready for it since last month but I think I can wait just a little longer.

Since I live in the Mid-Atlantic region I’m accustomed to wearing summery things well into the middle of October. As a kid, I would go back to school shopping and wear everything my mom got me within a week even if it was 80 degrees out and the pants were corduroy. I didn’t care, I was just so excited to wear new clothes. The same holds true now.

This season, I’m loving white jeans and chambray! The jeans are a perfect transition piece to wear because they give off that warm weather vibe while still being warmer than shorts. I found a great pair at Ann Taylor last summer for $15. Start searching the stores for their summer clearance items and see if you can score any.

I’m also loving mules and felt floppy hats for the season. I’ve seen quite a few of both at places like J Crew but you can find it cheaper at Target. One thing I’m learning very quickly is not to skimp on shoes. I bought mules at Target a few weeks ago on clearance and they hurt like crazy! No padding in the heel at all so you can really only wear them for a short amount of time. I realize we all can’t afford Jimmy Choo so my alternative is Aldo. They have well-made shoes and decent prices especially if you’re willing to wait an extra month or two for their seasonal merchandise to go down in price.

Enjoy shopping for autumn and let me know if find anything good!
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7 Things to Find Cheap at TJ Maxx

7 Things to Find Cheap at TJ Maxx

In my never ending conquest to find good deals on things I love, places like TJ Maxx have caught my attention and of course, my wallet. I’ve found a ridiculous amount of good stuff at these stores that I would have otherwise bought at Target for twice the price. While I am a Target snob, there are some things I just refuse to pay so much money for. I guess you could say I’m a Target snob on a Walmart budget. Believe me, I hate it too. So here’s 7 things that you can find at TJ Maxx for a portion of the regular price.

  • Makeup remover– I don’t put a lot of soaps and cleansers on my face because it breaks me out. Instead, I use makeup remover towelettes. I used to buy them at Target for around $5 for 40 of them. I recently found that I can buy a supply of 90 for between $4 and $5.
  • Nail polish– I love nail polish a little too much. Every time my mom turns around I have a new color on and I’m trying to convince her to let me do her nails. I was waiting in the checkout line one day and noticed a bunch of Essie and OPI polishes sitting on a little rack. It just so happened that instead of paying retail prices of $8.99 these were $3.99!
  • Snack foods– Last week I found a bag of Boom Chicka Pop for $2.99. At Target they retail for around $5. You can also find things like organic potato chips, granola, dried fruit, coffee, biscotti, and even spices for low prices.
  • Coffee mugs– Anyone who knows me realizes that I have a slight obsession with cute coffee mugs. I live for them. Most of my coffee mugs have come from TJ Maxx and were under $4. I’ve also found great travel mugs and these amazing food containers called Sistema for half the retail price.
  • Kitchen gadgets– Have you ever found an avocado container? I did and it was really cool! I browse the kitchen aisle like there’s no tomorrow. I never buy anything because this girl can’t cook. However, if you’re looking to stock your new kitchen you’ll more than likely find everything you could want here.
  • Gift bags– I refuse to pay $3.99 for a stupid gift bag. That could have been a Starbucks coffee for me. TJ Maxx usually has a lot of gift bags to choose from for almost every occasion at a much lower price. There are some days that I’m tempted to buy a bag just because it’s cute to look at.
  • Notecards– Stationary has always been something I liked to stockpile. Not only does it make for adorable letters to send, it also looks great for Instagram photos. Don’t I just think ahead?

Tell me what your best TJ Maxx find was in a comment! I’m excited to hear!

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Farmers Market and Flowers

Hello lovelies! Yesterday was a busy day for me so I didn’t get time to write unfortunately. I’m making up for it today by telling you all about my weekend! I come from an area with a large military presence and frankly, not much else. I had heard a few months back about a summer farmer’s market at a local historical home. I decided Saturday morning that I would go check it out.

sotterly mansion

I had my coffee (to go) and drove down a few winding roads to the Sotterly Mansion. It’s a beautiful old plantation home on the water and supposedly it’s haunted. My younger sister worked as a junior volunteer docent when she was 10 and she would come home with stories from older docents about creepy happenings on the property. Are they true? I couldn’t tell you. My experience as a volunteer there lasted one day and I got creeped out by a few strange noises and computer malfunctions that no one could explain.

farmers market

Anyway, when I finally got to the mansion there were a few rows of cars and several vendors selling everything from fruits and veggies to homemade soaps. I love little outdoor events like these. They brings communities together and allows us to easily support local business. I ended up just buying a beautiful bouquet of flowers for my mom’s table at home. She said they reminded her of autumn. I couldn’t agree more!

autumn flowers

I wandered all over the property and found myself at the gardens beside the home. Several volunteers were weeding out the flower beds and spraying wasps with wasp spray. Two bees landed on my flowers and I about lost it. I don’t do bees or things that “buzz”. Regardless, the flowers were so beautiful and full of life! There was a breeze coming off the water that was wonderful and the sunshine was absolutely perfect.

historical maryland

beautiful gardens

single pink rose

After a few minutes of wandering the garden and thanking God for the beautiful day, I asked a woman to take a picture of my bright and cheery outfit. It turns out she is also a blogger who just moved to my town from Texas. It was nice to talk and commiserate with her about the hardships of blogging. Here’s the picture she took!

lilly pulitzer july print

My top is just a simple racerback tank from Old Navy for $3. The skirt is obviously a Lilly Pulitzer Fourth of July print (I think it went on sale for $49 during the After-Party Sale). My shoes I found for $10 at Target a few weeks ago when they were trying to get rid of summer stuff.

It was a wonderful way to spend the weekend and it lifted my spirits like you wouldn’t believe! I’m going to be visiting Texas for the next two weeks so be sure to check out my Instagram (@wittynpretty21) for my travel updates!

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Inexpensive Ways to Enjoy the Weekend

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Saturdays are the best for grabbing brunch, doing a little shopping, and hitting up local outdoor events! The temperatures are cooling down slightly so I’m embracing the boyfriend jean and gladiator sandals for the time being. I’m also loving this coral top! Isn’t it cute?

I absolutely love summer days spent outside enjoying the sunshine with my family. Sometimes we’ll be doing yard work and our cats will come outside and run up and down trees “showing off” their mighty strength to us. We pretend to be impressed.

Today, I’m going to enjoy the farmer’s market in my town that’s held during the summer at an old plantation home. It’s a quaint little event that brings the community together to appreciate a beautiful property and locally grown fruits and veggies.

I was thinking about fun things you can do this time of year that are low cost but still provide some source of entertainment. Contrary to what you see on Instagram, most fashion/lifestyle bloggers aren’t jet setting to a new destination every weekend because we’re normal people and can’t afford that lavish lifestyle. I’ve rounded up 5 things to do during the summer that are inexpensive.

  1. Go to yard sales– Yard sales can be so much fun if you hit the good ones! My mom and I went thrift store hunting and then to a yard sale looking for little goodies. We found some really neat stuff and even found out that there was an estate sale going on down the road. The estate ended up being huge and well worth our time just to look at the beautiful furniture and antiques being sold.
  2. Have a potluck– I hate using the word “potluck” because sometimes whatever is in the pot isn’t going to make me feel so lucky. I’ve been to enough church luncheons to know this is the truth. Nonetheless, invite friends over for an afternoon of eating and socializing.
  3. Enjoy the farmer’s market– Similar to what I’m doing today, find out where your local market is and spend a Saturday morning browsing. Hint to my other bloggers: these events make great backdrops for taking pictures of your outfit!
  4. Local concerts– Some towns have invested in the arts more than others, but in my town they have an annual concert series throughout the summer that’s free to attend. Find out if your town does something like this!
  5. Tour the historical sites– Believe it or not you can actually learn a thing or two about the place you call home if you’re willing to. Living on the east coast, we have many places locally to discover. Depending on the location you choose and season you do it in, it can be free or very inexpensive.

What do you do for entertainment during the warm summer months? Leave me a comment!

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Summer’s Over Celebration

Easy entertaining

Happy Friday loves! It’s been such a long week for me full of ups and downs but I wanted to share with you something pretty and creative to make you smile. Since summer is coming to a close, now is the perfect time to throw a little backyard party celebrating the end of the season. The best part is, all the summer stuff is on clearance!

For a summer gathering, you need splashes of color and little vintage touches. I love hydrangeas during this season. Especially white ones because they go with everything. I go to my local grocery store and can find a fairly large bouquet for about $15. They make the best centerpieces for a table! To add a vintage touch, use a wire basket to put them in during the party. Obviously, they can’t live without water for very long so keep them in a vase before guests arrive.

A really nice vintage touch to your tableware is drinks served in mason jars. I know, how Pinterest of me, right? Normally, I hate mason jars for events (especially weddings) but for little BBQs or outdoor things, I think it works. Serve up a fruity drink in these classic containers!

I also love vibrant colors during the summer and I think that they should be a part of our table settings! At Kohl’s, all of their summer table linens are starting to hit the clearance racks. Now is the time to stock up for next year and get at least one use out of them sometime soon.

One of the things that I keep going back to in all of my posts is the great stuff I can find at TJ Maxx. It’s a place I will shop at no matter how wealthy I am. I find so many neat things at great prices there. Just like many other stores, a lot of their summer stuff is on clearance now too so go take advantage of it! Host a little party this weekend and create a beautiful table setting from the fun, quirky things you can find on clearance.

Tell me what your end-of-the-season traditions are!

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10 Things that Suck About the Job Hunt

things_that_suck_about_job_huntingIt’s finally Wednesday! This week is just dragging for whatever reason. I’ve been applying to jobs like crazy so that’s more than likely why. Several months ago, I was hired for a temporary position in Washington, DC. That position’s contract is going to expire in a few months and I need to find a new, permanent job (preferably near a Starbucks). I’ve been thinking to myself how ridiculous the application process is nowadays. My parents were telling me how differently things were done “way back when”. Frankly, it sounded a lot less complicated. Since we’re on the subject, I’m going to share with you the most annoying things about job hunting. I guarantee you’ll at least laugh or be able to sympathize with me.

  1. Lack of salary information– It’s like “here’s a job that sounds pretty decent but we aren’t going to tell you how much it pays.” I get it, employers don’t want to advertise a specific number when the best applicant they find isn’t worth that much, but at least give me an idea of what the minimum salary is so I can decide whether I should waste my time with the lengthy application process you inevitably have. This brings me to the next annoying thing.
  2. The lengthy application process– There are only a few applications I’ve filled out that I thought were efficient and made sense. Most of the other processes are long, ask repetitive questions, and are clearly designed for a computer to pick through looking for keywords. If your resume (which you inevitably have to reenter into their “employment history” section) doesn’t include these keywords, then it will be tossed into cyber space’s garbage can.
  3. Filling out a profile– For many of the bigger companies, before you can even apply for a position you have to create a profile. This means you come up with a username, password, and give a few other details about yourself. That’s all fine and dandy until you have to do it a million times.
  4. Empty promises– “If you’re qualifications meet what we’re looking for, we will be in touch. If not, we’ll keep your resume on file for 6 months in case another job opens up that better fits with your skill set.” Yeah, I’ve heard that before.
  5. The let down– You’ve applied, waited for someone to get back to you, gotten excited, and then you get this email: “Thank you for your interest in ___ position. The initial screening of applications has been completed. At this time we have decided to move forward with other candidates whose experience and background better match the requirements for the position.” Thanks for the computer generated response. I do appreciate it. Sarcasm intended.
  6. Cover letters– Who honestly reads these? You spend at least 30 minutes tailoring the cover letter to the company’s needs and then nothing comes of it. The end.
  7. Strength and weakness questions– Do you really think I’m going to tell you what my biggest weakness is? Since a computer is probably sifting through those answers too, I think it would be real funny to say that my biggest weakness is being on time for work. At least it would make me laugh.
  8. “Entry level” positions– Years ago when the economy was on the up and up, an entry level position was tailored to the recent college graduate who had maybe an internship or two on their resume. Now, underneath all of the other qualifications for an entry level position, you need, drum roll please, one to two years of experience! Because that makes perfect sense.
  9. Advertised entry level positions– Yes, I know this contradicts my complaints from my last point but in my application experience, anytime a position is advertised as being entry level it usually ends up being a scam. For example, I applied for a job being advertised as “entry level communications assistant”. I thought I had struck gold when I found this! Better yet, I even got an interview for it. A day later, I got on the phone with my interviewer and she told me more about the job. Apparently my job as a “communications assistant” would include going door-to-door “communicating” to people about the amazing coupons they can buy from me. No thanks, I think I’m good.
  10. The people that say they’ll “keep their eyes open– People are busy and have busy lives, I understand that. It just puts a damper on my mood when I ask someone who I think will actually know something about finding a job in a certain locale and they don’t and then follow it up with “I’ll keep my eyes open.” You’re a human, an hour from now you’ll forget we had this conversation, but I know you mean well.

I know, I’m a negative Nancy and I’ve already been told by my mom that I’ll never get a job with that attitude. Frankly, this whole blog post was just comedic relief. Sometimes you just have to let the sarcasm flow and have yourself a good laugh about it. One day, hopefully in the near future, I’ll find a job I love to do and a company I want to work for. Right now, I’m just going to laugh about life and keep submitting applications.

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Trending: Marble Accessories

Happy Tuesday loves. Yesterday was hectic, which is why you didn’t hear much from me. I’m going away for a few weeks so I’m trying to get everything done and be on top of my game for when I’m out of town. Who knew it would be so difficult? You don’t realize how complicated your life is until you try to take some time away from it. Come to think of it, can you really ever take time away from life? I’m busy holding down a full time job while I search for another one because my contract ends in November. Job hunting is a full time job in and of itself! Enough about my little life, let’s talk about my latest love: marble.Marble Mayhem

 Not only are our homes being decked out in marble accents, so is the jewelry we wear. I’m seeing it more and more than I expected. I knew marble counter tops were trending, but I never guessed jewelry would try to get in on the trend. Not sure if I’ll be getting in on this trend or not. I’m certainly on board when it comes to counter tops though. Call me crazy, but there’s nothing I dislike more than the granite counter top trend that’s been going on for the last 8 years or so. What started out as a luxury has become generic. Marble is timeless and something we should embrace more of in the design of our homes.

Since we all don’t have the money to go out and replace our counters on a whim, there are a few things that we can add to our kitchens that are much cheaper and still achieve the marble look. The first thing on my shopping list is a marble cutting board. I’ve seen these at TJ Maxx many times for about $30 and they look really nice! Cake stands are another pretty thing to have sitting in your kitchen. I’m dying to get my hands on a marble vase to put peonies in too!

Another really beautiful thing that goes well with marble is accents of gold! Even if it’s just a faux gold finish, the look of it is so elegant. There’s honestly nothing I love more when it comes to kitchen design. It’s also a classic and can’t be dated to one specific time period. Anyone who’s ever walked into a kitchen that hasn’t been redesigned since the 1970s knows how tacky it looks now. Classics are classics for a reason. Embrace marble and gold!

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Personalized DIY

Happy Friday loves! I honestly didn’t think this week would come to a close but I’m so glad it finally is. My job has me busy (no I’m not a full-time, paid blogger) and I’ve been putting a ton of effort into it. I hit the gym a few times this week and find it really difficult to walk up and down stairs at the moment. First world problems, right?

Besides my typical activities, I took on a little DIY project earlier in the week and wanted to share it with you! I went to Michael’s Craft Store for some inspiration and found that individual wooden alphabet letters were on sale for $3. I bought an ‘E’ for ‘Elizabeth’ (I haven’t always gone by ‘Liz’), a hot glue gun, white paint, and loose pearls and clear gemstones.

diy_personalization

I got home and painted the letter with the help of my little kitty cat, Muffin. Actually, she just sat there and watched me. I had to put on a few coats of paint because the wood was rather porous.

After the paint dried, I plugged in the hot glue gun and started glueing on pearls and gems. If I ever did this again, I would nix the gems and stick with pearls. Because the gems are clear, from a distance it looks like they’re just gaps where pearls should be.

pearl_decorations

 

Voila! It’s done and is a really pretty little desk accessory! There’s so much on my desk right now that it should come as no surprise to anyone that I rarely use the actual desk. I’d hang the letter somewhere in my room but I’m so tired of putting holes in my walls.

desk_inspiration

My little sister inspired this DIY when she and my mom were renovating the back porch. She used an ‘M’ for our last name and glued little shells on it. The project turned out so pretty and is a great accessory to have on the porch. Let me know what DIY projects you’ve taken on lately! I just might try one of them!

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6 College Necessities for the New Freshman

College Necessities

In the next few weeks, some of you will be headed to college for the first time! I remember my first few days at school, it was so exciting! My parents dropped me off the morning of move-in day. My dad hauled all of my stuff into my room and my mom helped me make my bed. I met my roommates for the first time and our parents exchanged numbers in case of emergencies.

Before I got to college though, I enjoyed stocking up on stuff I’d need there. I wish I could go back and give myself a few hints as to what I needed and what I didn’t. Believe me, I spent a lot of money on things I never even ended up using (besides textbooks). Here’s six things that I wish I had known to buy my freshman year.

  1. Room diffuser- You can’t burn candles in your dorm usually but you’ll still need something that smells nice
  2. Watch- So old school, right? Wrong. Wear a watch during the day to be on time for classes and other activities. Plus, if you have strict professors, cell phones will be a no-go in class. You’ll need something to make sure the time is actually passing and the clock isn’t at a stand still.
  3. Coffee tumbler- Do I really need to explain this one?
  4. Agenda- Whatever you do, don’t rely on your phone to keep things straight. Writing things down helps you remember them.
  5. Dorm shoes- The floors in your dorm will probably be hard and cold. Keep your feet warm and cozy with some slippers that have fur on the inside and tread on the bottom so you don’t slip (I’ve done that).
  6. Pencil case- My boyfriend laughed when I told him about this one. I didn’t use it just for pens and pencils, I put everything in there- loose coins, lip gloss, mascara, basically anything I didn’t want rolling around in my backpack that I’d have to dig for.

For my post-college readers, leave a comment about your college must-haves!

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