Friday, August 31, 2012

The Look for Less: Fall Jackets

With Fall weather fast approaching (can you believe tomorrow is already the first day of September?), it's time to start looking for the appropriate jacket. My friend suggested that I do a post on affordable, cute, coats (shout out to Claire) so here you have it!
Save or Splurge

As I've told you a few times, I cannot live without my Barbour Beadnell jacket. It's literally one of my favorite pieces in my whole closet, but the price it a little steep so I found some more cost effective options! This LL.Bean Adirondack Barn Coat retails for just $79! (I'm partial to the stone color but for the Barbour look-a-like, go with the Loden color). J. Crew has a jacket that's even more similar to the Barbour, known as The Downtown Field Jacket. This is a little more expensive, for $148. But if you want to splurge and go for the original (which I highly recommend!) the price varies, but you can find one near you here.

Save or Splurge

Quilted jackets are another classic with which you can, just, never go wrong. Burberry sells the most amazing jacket but it cost $495. LL. Bean had a wonderful version for $129.

Save or Splurge

Fall weather can unpredictable, one moment it's warm and the next it's turned breezy and chilly. Anorak jackets are the perfect solution, they're light weight but still offer protection from the elements. LL. Bean's cost friendly version runs for $49 and J.Crew's jacket costs $98.

Save or Splurge

Peacoats are another classic piece, and, in my opinion, a staple in every girls wardrobe. I love how they can be dressed up or down. J.Crew's coat is fabulous but is accompanied by a heft price tag of $278. BP. has a much more cost friendly find for $68.

What's your favorite Fall jacket? 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Belated Sunday Social: Week 8

Since I was away this past weekend I didn't have a chance to answer this weeks Sunday Social questions. I contemplated forgoing it for the second week in a row but this weeks questions were about the internet and since I'm kind of a social networking whore I felt the need to answer!

1. What's the first website you log onto each day?
Out of habit, I check facebook first every morning. It's not even so much that I find anything on there that important but I'm so used to it. I don't do much facebook stalking, I mainly just read all the recent updates on my newsfeed and get off. I just like to catch up to where I left off the night before.

2. Give us some funny websites that you visit that we need to know about. 
Hmm I check Suri's Burn Book at least once a day. I also still love whatshouldwecallme tumblr account (and all the spin offs), I can actually be caught laughing out loud to them.

When someone doesn't like my attitude: 

This one's not funny but it's one of my favorites, post secret. I check it religiously every sunday for that weeks new secrets.

3. Pinterest or Facebook? Why? Pinterest hands down! I really don't think I'd care if I decided to get rid of my facebook, but Pinterest, on the other hand, would definitely be missed! It's just so much fun (but it would be tough for me to choose between that and tumblr )

4. Twitter or Instagram? Why?
Instagram! I used to be so into Twitter but now it's definitely my least used social networking site. I rarely check it. I mainly like it to keep up with celebs but there are many other outlets with which I can do that. I adore instagram and am kind of obsessed with it! (Follow me at tbanknell) 

5. Favorite Youtube video? Post it!
I'm obsessed with John Roberts and his mom videos. If you haven't seen them you are truly missing out, they're beyond hysterical. I watch them over and over! 

I also love the Shit Girls Say videos, I literally say all of these things daily. So dead on! 

6. Biggest online pet peeve?
I don't have too many but my main one is using the internet as your personal soap box. I detest when people use facebook (or other sites) to discuss their, often uninformed, political opinions. Everyone has the right to their own beliefs but I don't need theirs rammed down my throat! I don't know about you but I was always raised that religion and politics are personal and are not to be discussed in polite company, am I right?
I also hate people who are impressed with themselves and come off showy. Not a fan!

Sorry for the delay, but we'll be back on track this weekend, promise!
Check out the other responses here

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

School House Rock

I'm back! I'm sorry I've been MIA for a few days but things have been crazy with classroom set up and my last trip to the beach this past weekend. But here I am again! 

With the school year starting up again I thought it might be important to do a post on what to bring to school. Even as a teacher, I pretty much need all of the same things students do (minus those terrible, heavy text books). So here are a few of the things I'm packing in my tote to bring with me to school. School House Rock

Kate Spade tech accessory: How adorable is this iPhone cover? So appropriate for back to school! 
 Kate Spade tech accessory: A laptop sleeve is key, it protects your computer for any number of things that might be rolling around in your bag. 
kate spade signature spade earbuds: I always have earbuds in my purse but don't need them so much at school anymore. But for students these are vital for listening to music and drowning out noise in the library (or wherever you study). These are imperative to success in school.
Kate Spade tech accessory: Similar to a laptop sleeve, your iPad needs to be protected as well. Plus how cute is it you can color coordinate them?
May Books: I've been obsessed with Maybooks for awhile now. You get to completely design them yourself and since I'm a sucker for all types of notebooks and journals these are right up my alley! You can even choose the inserts to make them a planner or a plain notebook, so many different options!
JAM Paper & Envelope Le Pens at JAM Paper & Envelope: Le Pens have been my favorite for years. They come in gorgeous colors and have an extremely fine tip (but it's similar to that of a marker rather than a ball point pen). I used them all the time in my planner! Love them!
Abstract Signature Bow Anna: Finally you need a cute pencil case to house all your small necessities!

Bundle it all in a Longchamp Large Le Pliage Tote and you're good to go! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Plan It Out

As I've told you countless times, I am a huge organization freak and rely heavily on my planner. I usually keep my schedule in a few different places, I make sure to enter important dates into my phone, in the notebook I carry with my everywhere, and in my agenda. This pretty much ensures I won't forget an important event. My planner is my lifeline, I genuinely think I would have gone insane at some point without it. So after repeatedly telling you of my organizational tactics, I thought it was about time I put my money where my mouth is and show you how I organize my planner (just in time for back to school).
I have the Lilly Pulitzer soft cover agenda. I've used the Lilly planners for four years now and am addicted. I've had other agendas in the past but am so used to this one now I really don't think I could switch at this point. I'm still on the fence concerning how I feel about the soft cover. I chose this one because, embarrassingly enough, I liked the cover the most (hey, you want it to be pretty right?). I'm terrified the edges are going to get bent at some point, but right now I'm liking it enough. 

For me, the monthly calendar page is the most important. 

It's much easier to be able to see the whole month in a glance to know when I'm free and when I'm now. I color coordinate everything based on category (important work functions get one color, babysitting another, and fun events are another). 

Since I'm not longer a student, the sections that I used to dedicate to my daily homework assignments have become the space where I write my to-do lists.

 I'm a list freak, I write tons a day. My notebook has most of them, but for the most important things, I make sure to write them in my agenda. I highlight anything that is extremely important so I don't miss anything. 

So I'd love to know, how do you keep your schedule organized? 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Spectacular Sale

As most of you know, the Lilly Pulitzer Endless Summer Sale began yesterday. There were a few minor hiccups in the process (they were supposed to start the sale at 8:00am, than delayed until 4:00, and ultimately got the site up and working at 6:00pm). I have to admit I was getting a little frustrated, mainly because I couldn't sit by my computer all day and didn't want the items I was interested in to sell out.

But I got lucky, once I returned from dinner the site was pretty much functioning normally and I was able to add a few things to my "tote" and checkout.

I lust after bathing suits all the time but find myself having difficulty purchasing pricey ones since they are only practical three months out of the year. I have one Lilly bathing suit that is hands down my favorite but has stopped myself from buying another one based on the price tag (I have a lot of Target suits in my wardrobe). But once they went on sale there was no stopping me!

The suit I have is in a blue pattern from a few years ago so I really wanted a pink patterned one. I've been lusting after this one all season. It comes to approximately $70 all together (including both top and bottom) which is more than half the original price ($146). I'm thrilled!!

Confession time, I detest my feet. I dislike feet in general, but mine are seriously ugly (my friends often refer to them as alien toes). So I'm always looking for cute, close toed shoes (plus I find them more practical for chillier weather). Last spring Lilly introduced the Resort Chic Wedge Closed Toe and I immediately fell in love. Even though I was dying for them, I thought the price tag was a little steep so I held off buying them. Well imagine my surprise when I saw them available on the summer sale, for $50!! (They were originally $225, I believe).

I am SO excited for these to come! Unfortunately they are sold out on their website now but if you might get lucky on ebay.

I had to restrain myself after these three items but there are some fabulous deals. Tell me, how was your Lilly sale experience? Did you get anything wonderful?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Trendy Tuesday: Aztec

It's that time of the week again, Trendy Tuesday! One trend that has been everywhere for awhile now is Aztec print. The tribal look has been all over Pinterest. I wouldn't, normally, think this particular trend was necessarily my style (it's a little more hipster than I usually get) but I've actually bought two pieces pretty recently that are Aztec inspired! I gravitate toward the brighter pieces, or those with sequins. 


 Photos via Pinterest

I think these looks are just fab. Here are a few articles that are out there for you to get in on the trend! 

1. I bought that Alice & Trixie skirt about a month ago and love it, the colors are phenomenal.  
2. I bought this poncho a week ago 
3. This All Saints Dress is a little pricey but come on, how gorgeous is it? 
4. This skirt is the one featured in Photo 2, I would definitely love to add this to my closet! 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Birchbox- August

I decided to forgo Sunday Social this week and post a Birchbox review instead! This month was a little more disappointing than last but I still got some goodies. This months theme was Beauty School and they're doing something really cool, they are collaborating with Pencils of Promise and are attempting to build a school. This month, a portion of every purchase, on their website, will go toward building a school in Guatemala. So pick up some beauty supplies and help out a good cause!

1. Juicy Couture-Viva la Juicy La Fleur- "This modern scent is a feminine blend of wild berries, mandarin, and waterlily." It smells pretty good, I'm never really in the market for a new scent, I'm pretty married to my Pink Sugar but for anyone looking for a fresh new scent this one may be for you! 

2. Pixi Beauty- Lid Last Shadow Pen- "This oversized crayon does double buty as a goof-proof liner or shadow." This is the thing I'm most excited about trying, I'll let you know as soon as I give it a shot 

3. ShowStoppers- Designer Fashion Tape- "These double-sided tape stripes will ensure that your party dress stays perfectly in place." This seems to be similar to Hollywood Tape, just to keep your clothes in place 

4. theBalm cosmetics- Stainiac in Beauty Queen- "We're crazy about this two-in-one lip and cheek stain: the sheer gel formula stays put for hours." This lip and cheek stain looks amazing, definitely putting it in my clutch for this weekend! 

5. Shick Razor- This is a new razor by Shick that doesn't require shaving cream. I've used similar razors before and wasn't impressed (I ended up with crazy razor burn) but that was a few years ago so perhaps they're perfected it now. Saving it for the beach so I'll fill you in afterward. 

Do you get a Birchbox? What did you get this month? 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Greatest Shopping Experience

Well ladies and gentlemen (if there are any gentlemen who read my blog?), I finally took the plunge. No, I'm not engaged. I bought my Louis Vuitton!! 

Thanks to all of the wonderful advice I received from my dear readers and my lovely momma (not including to 20 minutes I stood in front of the mirror at the store alternating between the two bags), I ultimately came to a decision...the Nervefull MM tote!! 

And here she is! 

Ultimately, it just suits my life better. I honestly could not be more thrilled! 

I must say that I had the most wonderful sales associate assisting me. I went in with my mom about a week and a half ago, hoping to narrow it down then and had the same lady. She wasn't pushy or disappointed when I informed her that my purse fund wasn't quite large enough just yet to make the purchase that day. I was thrilled when I walked in Thursday night and saw her standing there because I really wanted her to get credit for the sale. She was so nice she even let me put my belongings in the purse to make sure everything fit haha (thank goodness it was a slow night). So after I made the big buy she asked us "Would you like to toast your recent purchase with a glass of champagne?". Well I'm never a girl to turn down champagne so you know we took her up on her offer. (Let me just tell you it was delicious!). So Momma and I wondered around the store and took in all the merchandise. She even told us the story of a new Japanese artist who is collaborating with Louis Vuitton, who has a very interesting story. It was pure perfection! (I wanted to take pictures for you guys, but of course dumb me who never goes anywhere without her phone, accidentally left it at home.) 

So there you have it, the decision has been made. Thank you all for your helpful insight! I have no doubt I made the right decision! 

Stay tuned for an updated "What's in my Purse" post coming soon! 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Look for Less: Bethenny Frankel

As profiled in Trendy Tuesday, sweaters with large graphics on them are really in for the fall. Initially I was hesitant of the trend however the turning point, for me, was Bethenny Frankel's outfit the day she interviewed Justin Bieber on her talk show. I was completely obsessed. It's just so simple, yet cute, and I could actually see myself wearing this outfit. (Plus I'm a sucker for anything purple). 

Well here's how to recreate Bethenny's look: 

Bethenny Frankel Outfit

Bethenny's sweater is the J.Crew one (which of course is sold out on their website) but is available at

Her jeans are most likely J Brand but J.Crew is selling a pair in almost the identical color!

Bethenny is wearing Brian Atwood purple pumps, which are a little pricey but I found a similar style at Nordstrom for a fraction of the cost by ALDO

So, what are your thoughts on Ms. Frankel's outfit? Could you see yourself wearing this?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

More Decisions

I'm turning to you, my dear readers for some serious help! As you know, I've been stashing money away in my Louis fund and just about there, but I've reached a rather large dilemma, I don't know what bag to get! 

For as long as I can remember I've lusted after the Speedy 30. It's been my dream bag since I was a little girl. But the closer I get to actually purchasing it, I'm starting to have second thoughts. 

Here are my concerns: 
1. I carry a lot in my purse and I worry I won't be able to fit it all (I regularly have my planner and a book in there, in addition to all my normal purse necessities) 

2. Since I carry so much, my purse often gets extremely heavy and I'm worried I will get tired of toting (no pun intended) my bag around on my arm. I'm so used to putting a bag over my shoulder 

1. You can dress it up or down so I would definitely be getting tons of use out of it! 

2. It's such a classic bag! 

I also love the Neverfull MM tote. I see people with them everyday and am so envious. They seem like the perfect bag 

1. It would hold all of my stuff (especially with teaching I'm going to be carrying a lot of stuff back and forth from home to my classroom) 

2. I love shoulder bags so it would definitely be comfortable for me 

My concerns: 
1. I want to get a bag that I will use for years to come (since it's such a big investment), I don't want anything too trendy 

One day I lean one way and then the next I completely flip flop. So I'm coming to you and asking your opinion. Do any of your own either bag, if so how do you feel about it? Which do you think I should purchase? I'm dying to know!! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Call Me Maybe

One of my friends suggested doing a post on which iPhone cases I'm into at the moment (thanks Car). I get kind of ADD when it comes to my phone. Since I'm looking at it all the time, I like to alternate the case.

When I first got my phone, I really wanted a hard case. I just felt that it protected the phone more. I bought this Kate Spade cover and really liked it but felt like it made the phone kind of bulky and it is a pain to get off!
Even though I have a few covers to alternate between, I am constantly on the look out for other ones, here are a few I'm loving at the moment:

Call Me Maybe

All Lilly Pulitzer covers are available at Lifeguard Plus
The Marc Jacobs Big Hearted case is available here
The Rebecca Minkoff Cheetah case is available here
Both Kate Spade cases are available here 
The pink iPhone cases are available on They cost $1.00! I bought four in all different colors! 

For more cases that I like check out my Currently Obsessed

So tell me, what cases do you use on your phone? 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Trendy Tuesday: Graphic Designs

Lately, I've seen a great deal of sweaters that have bold, graphics on the front. At first I didn't think they were necessarily my cup of tea but they're growing on me.

J.Crew has really been on the bandwagon of this trend.

It comes in two color combinations

They also have quite a few bold, polka dot sweaters.

They also have this very bold Creatures of the Wind cardigan.

What are your thoughts on graphic sweaters?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Currently Obsessed and Tea Gee Bee

Remember back in the day when I discussed my obsession with Currently Obsessed? Well I said that perhaps, one day, this blog would have a page. Well I'm happy to announce that Tea Gee Bee is now on Currently Obsessed! 

Check it out, and stalk me, here

For any else who has a page, how do you add a button to it on your blog? I can't seem to find out how anywhere! Thanks!  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Social Week 7

Sunday Social time again, these weeks questions revolve around food.

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Probably chicken tenders and french fries or pizza (assuming I wouldn't become as big as a house).

What's your guilty pleasure/ comfort food? I love Chinese food and Mexican. I also crave sushi all the time!

What's the weirdest/ craziest thing you've ever eaten? I'm far from an adventurous eater, I often tell my friends that when I prepare a meal for my children I'll most likely be eating it with them. But when I was younger I used to love to have American cheese and mayo on cinnamon bread. Strange I know but I loved it

What foods do you avoid at all costs? I hate onions and peppers. But I avoid celery at all costs! I won't eat anything with it in it. I have to have special tuna prepared without it!

What meal reminds you of your childhood? My amazing grandmother used to make this vegetable soup for me from scratch. It was the most amazing thing I've ever had. It used to take her four hours to prepare, it was a true labor of love. She was an amazing cook, anything she used to make reminds me of my childhood.

Share one of your favorite recipes and the story behind it. Unfortunately, I am not much of a cook. My mom and I have discussed signing up for cooking classes so as soon as I figure out how to make something really yummy I'll be sure to share.

See what others had to say here!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Currently Coveting: Lilly Fall

While I adore everything Lilly Pulitzer, I've never been too crazy about their fall collections. I think the patterns are just a little dark for me. Well last week the new Lilly store opened here in Towson and of course I had to go on the first day. My intention was only to go and purchase a planner (more on that later) but of course found myself wanting (and buying) a few pieces.

I purchased this little number 

I figured I could wear this Treena Dress now and with a sweater into the fall. (I have the navy with green- not wild about the black with pink...a little Avril Levine for my taste) 

I tried this darling Caila Dress on, I didn't love what it did for me but think it is so cute 

I'm dying for this simple green Somerset Dress, they had it styled with a belt in the store and I really liked it. May need to return...

Finally their Elsa tops are stunning. They are just classic and comfortable. 

The colors they have for this fall are flawless, a gorgeous hot pink and, my personal fav, a coral. The gold buttons are darling and they are the perfect top for fall, and even winter, evenings out!

This is another version of the Elsa top, I don't think I saw this in the store but I love the color blocking! 

I'll definitely need to stop by the store when it isn't mobbed to really check everything out. Have you gotten any Lilly for Fall? 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Goodnight Moon

In college, my roommate would always make fun of me before we went to bed because I would have to make sure my pajamas matched (just one example of many of how I'm a control freak). I would always tell her "You never know who you're going to meet in your dreams. So I want to look my best, just in case!". But in all seriousness, sleepwear is important!

First and foremost, it must be comfortable. I've actually had to get up and change if my clothes aren't right. I've gone through a few different fazes about what is the most comfortable to me. In high school I had to sleep in pajama pants, even in the middle of the summer. Now, I must sleep in shorts, even in the winter (I get too hot when I sleep in anything else). I also can't sleep in long sleeves unless I'm sleeping in the actual arctic (or really chilly air conditioning).

So as you can see, I have a lot of stipulations when it comes to sleepwear. So I'm constantly scouting good p.j's here are a few I've found:

I'm completely in love with this Lorient Short Pajama Set by Marigot. I think these would work with all of my crazy demands plus the patterns are beyond adorable.

They also have gorgeous nightshirts 

J.Crew has great pajama sets and nightshirts (and you can have them monogrammed!)

This short sleeve top looks so nice and fresh for an Indian Summer

I've also coveted their nightshirts for awhile, they look so comfortable.

It should come as no surprise that I love stripes, practically half of my closet has some sort of stripes on it.

This pajama set looks so cozy. It would be perfect for the winter months

This Betsy Johnson nightgown is super precious and it's on sale!

How cute is the back?

And when all else fails a good pair of boxers are perfect and these by PJ Salvage are really cute!

Sweet Dreams! 
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