Budgeting Bloggers: June

It's time to link up with the budgeting bloggers again!  Here is the damage for the month:

  • Purple dress: Old Navy, $10
  • Black dress: Target, thrifted new, $5
  • Floral dress: Target, thrifted new, $5
  • Striped dress: Target, thrifted new, $5
  • Brown sweater: Old Navy, $3
  • Striped tee: Old Navy, $5
  • Striped sweater: Old Navy, $8
  • Floral blouse: Target, thrifted new, $4
  • Teal wedges: Target, thrifted new, $4
  • Green flats: Target, thrifted new, $4
  • Orange flats: Target, thrifted new, $4

  • Black sandals: Target, originally $10 but free with gift card
  • Chambray shirt: Old Navy, $12
  • Jeans: Old Navy, $19, but $9 with rewards
  • Sandals: Old Navy, originally $10 but free with Super Cash
My grand total for June is $78.  I originally had just planned to get the Goodwill items (so many awesome things, right?!).  However, I wound up having some Super Cash at Old Navy so I picked up a few things.  Many of them satisfy some holes in my closet (black/white striped tee, light chambray shirt, nude sandals), and I wound up picking up the jeans because my only other pair of skinny jeans shrunk and are now way too short for me to wear.  I also picked up a new pair of black sandals at Target since my old black sandals were several years old and getting uncomfortable, worn, and stretched out.  I have a ton of items that I am ready to take to Plato's Closet and/or Goodwill, so hopefully I'll add a little bit of money back into my pocket :)

I haven't worn many of these things yet, but many of them will be included in my 30x30 items, so you'll see them soon!

How did you do this month?

I'm linking up with Franish and the other budgeting bloggers!  Check out everyone else linking up and see how they did in June.


What I've Been Wearing Lately + My 30 Items!

Oh my goodness, you guys!  I just finished two of my summer classes, before my final summer class begins July 8.  I have been swamped this week with final exams, papers, group projects, and presentations.  I have one more big paper due this Wednesday, but other than that, I'm freeee!  I'm so happy - I don't know if I've been this busy before.  14 hours on campus between class and work leaves for very little time for the things I do to decompress, like blogging and interacting with you all!  So I apologize for my silence this week, too.  With all the work I've been doing lately (I work in college orientation), I haven't had exciting outfits either.  This is what I look like pretty much every day, with a slight variation in shoes and bottoms:

(Excuse my dirty mirror...)

Not exactly blog-worthy, right?  Oh well.  My job isn't glamorous, but it's super fun!

So Inge and myself are doing our very first 30x30 challenge together, starting on Monday!  I'm so, so excited about it, and wanted to show you all what my 30 items are before I get started with outfits on Monday.  Here they are!

Green flats: Target, thrifted new Black wedges: Payless Nude flats: Payless Black sandals: Target Nude sandals: Old Navy Pewter sandals: Target 

Gray/white striped tank: Old Navy Black/white striped tee: Old Navy Coral tee: Target Purple tee: Target White ruffle tee: Target Black 3/4 sleeve shirt: Old Navy Khaki/white striped sweater: Old Navy Floral blouse: Target, thrifted new Chambray shirt: Old Navy 

Denim jacket: Levi's Black blazer: Old Navy Coral cardigan: TJ Maxx Green vest: Old Navy 

Purple dress: Old Navy Black dress: Target, thrifted new Striped dress: Target, thrifted new Yellow lace dress: Target 

Black jeans: NY&C Skinny jeans: Old Navy Coral shorts: Tommy Hilfiger Khaki shorts: Old Navy Black shorts: Old Navy 

 Floral skirt: Target Black/white striped skirt: Old Navy

So there you have my 30 items!  I can't wait to get started!  I'm going to wear my other favorite items that didn't make the cut this weekend before the rest of my closet is off limits for a month :)


Crazy Weather + 30x30!!

Dress: Target, thrifted new Blazer: Gap Sandals: Old Navy

Happy Monday!  What a weekend!  We were hit hard with storms in Minnesota this weekend.  Up in the Twin Cities, where my family lives, there were trees down all over the place, and some people are still out of power (from Friday evening!).  A huge tree fell on my grandpa's house, but thankfully, he wasn't home when it happened and the tree didn't fall through the roof.  An hour southwest, which is where I live, we didn't have as much damage, but we did have some ginormous hail.  Seriously, there was one chunk outside our door that was bigger than a ping pong ball!

I went to the wedding of a very good family friend this weekend.  It's her second marriage - her husband died back in 2005.  I used to nanny her daughters, who are now 18 and 21, and are like my little sisters, and it was so much fun to see them again.  The wedding was held at their friend's house: a 100-year-old mansion with a carriage house and gorgeous gardens.  It was so beautiful!  Unfortunately, the house was out of power due to the storms the night before, but the candlelit wedding was still so pretty.  I really love weddings :)

I'm super excited to share with you that Inge and I are going to be undertaking the 30 for 30 remix challenge that Kendi started several years ago (essentially, you pick out 30 items of clothing and wear them for 30 days)!  We've both been considering it for a while, and decided we'd just go for it :)  We'll be starting July 1, and we want to encourage you all to join us if you're interested - just be sure to tell us that you want to join along.  I'll be posting my 30 items later this week, so stay tuned!

I hope you all had a great weekend!


Liebster Award!

Ah!  I'm super excited, you guys!  I have been nominated by both Inge and Danielle for a Liebster award!

The Liebster award is passed along from blogger to blogger in a kind of pay-it-forward manner.  You have to have under 200 followers to be eligible.  The rules are as follows:
  1. If you are nominated, you must post 5 things about yourself.
  2. Answer the questions that the person who nominated you wrote for you, and create 5 of your own questions for the people you pass the award onto.
  3. Choose 5 bloggers to nominated for the Liebster award and link to them in your post.
  4. Tell the bloggers you nominated about the award!
  5. Follow and support the other bloggers that have been tagged.
It's a great way to spread the blog love :)

Here are my 5 random things:

1. I'm a really good speller.  When I was in 5th grade, I won our school district's spelling bee and went onto the regional spelling bee.  I thought I was really cool at the time (also because I was on the 5th grade math team and we won 1st place in a regional competition.  I'm a nerd, okay?).  Just this week, someone asked me how to spell "pterodactyl," and everyone was impressed/weirded out that I knew how to spell it.

2. My favorite place to sing is and always has been in the bathroom (although stairwells and parking garages are also wonderful).  When I was little (like 3 years old), I would refuse to get out of the bathroom stall until I was done singing every verse and chorus of the song.  In college, I would purposefully walk to a different floor in my residence hall to shower because there weren't many people who lived on that floor and their bathroom was always empty and had awesome acoustics.  I would sing, sing, sing in that bathroom every day.  To this day, I still start every morning by singing in the shower and then having a dance party for one while I'm getting ready.  It wakes me up and puts me in a great mood!

3. I absolutely love Harry Potter.  Yep, I said it.  I think that JK Rowling is an incredible woman and inspiration, and I feel very connected to the series.  I feel like I grew up with Harry, Hermione, and Ron, and the books were such important pieces of my childhood and adolescence.  Hermione was an excellent role model for me, as a smart, high-achieving, confident young woman, which was so crucial in a society in which these traits are not necessarily valued for women.

4. On a somewhat related note, I'm a proud feminist.  I am passionate about equal rights for women.  The tattoo on my foot is the female symbol, and six months after getting it, I'm still as in love with it as I was the day I got it.  I'm also a huge advocate for equal rights for LGBT individuals.  Some of my best friends growing up were gay males, and I have a couple of friends who are transgender.  Their experiences in life are heartbreaking, but also inspirational.  I want to get another tattoo of an equal sign to show that I am committed to equality for all. (I don't like to get political/preachy on my blog, but this is one of the things in life that I am SUPER passionate about - along with dog rescue and proper sex education - and it directs my life every day.)

5. I really love stupid and funny YouTube videos.  I'm currently obsessed with Miranda Sings (this video is one of my all-time favorites of hers), but I also love this video, this video, and this video (all are oldies but goodies).  They never fail to make me laugh and can cure any bad day.

Inge's Questions

1. What's the best thing to come out of blogging, besides meeting new people?
Oooh, that's a great question!  I think the best thing about it is that it has helped me to think about purchasing clothing with more intention.  I used to see cute things on the sale rack and buy them just because they were cute and affordable instead of thinking about how versatile it would be in my wardrobe or for my current lifestyle.  I have gotten so much more thoughtful when shopping, and it is easier for me to leave things at the store, even if they looked good on me and had an affordable price.

2. What trends have you tried that you might not have before you started blogging?
Hmm.  I'm not particularly a trendy person, so it's hard to think about.  While I have almost always really liked lace, I am not sure I would have had the courage to buy a lace dress if it wasn't for seeing how pretty and versatile they were on other bloggers.  And I'm really glad I didn't look back - I love my lace dresses!

3. What popular trend is everyone wearing that you are still hesitant about?
I'm not a fan of tribal prints.  As a white woman, I feel like wearing tribal prints is disrespectful to the native populations to which those tribes belong.  I don't think that someone's native culture should be "trendy" for others.  But maybe that's just me...

4. What's the most exciting thing you have planned for the summer?
Oh, goodness, who knows?!  I've been so swamped with class and work lately that I can't even think about what's coming up this summer!  I'm not going on any vacations or anything...I think we've already had our exciting moment in adopting our puppy!! :)

5. What was the last movie you saw?
In the movie theater, I saw The Purge.  It was pretty ridiculous, to be honest.  I love movies that scare me (as long as they're not gory), and The Purge definitely messed with my head a little bit.  However, it was definitely not a "good" movie...just entertaining, I suppose.  I really want to see Monsters University!!!

Danielle's Questions

1. What is your most embarrassing childhood memory?
When I was in first grade, we had a new student join our class.  I wanted to be welcoming to her and be her friend, so during "circle time" in the afternoon on her first day of class, I decided to come sit by her.  As I sat down, I farted.  It was mortifying at the time (I used to be really uncomfortable with bodily function humor...but now I think farts are funny.  Yes, I'm like 12 years old on the inside...).  I think it's hilarious now.

2. What is the best book you've ever read and why?
I love Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, but I think my all-time favorite book (aside from anything Harry Potter) is The Giver by Lois Lowry.  Yes, it is a book for children, but I find it to be so poignant and striking.  I loved it as a child, but have a much deeper love for it now.  The plot is fascinating, and the characters are rich and powerful.

3. Which one of your family members are you the most like?
I'm not really sure.  I don't think I'm like many people in my family - not in a bad way, though.  I used to be a lot like my mom, but not as much as I've become an adult.  I think I have pieces of all my family members, as well as things that are uniquely mine.  For instance, I'm musical and smart like my dad, I'm caring and compassionate like my mom, and I'm passionate and feisty like my brother.

4. What's the best trip you've ever taken?
This is a tough one!  I think the best trip I've ever taken was this past summer, to Yellowstone.  I went with Kevin's mom, dad, and one of his three brothers.  Now, I'm a self-proclaimed "inside girl," and spending lots of time outdoors is reallllly not my thing, so when we had the opportunity to go camping in Yellowstone, I was a little hesitant.  However, I decided to go for it (plus, I love Kevin's family and have always wanted to go on a trip with them!) and be a trooper.  It wound up being the coolest trip.  We drove from Minnesota to Yellowstone in an RV all together, and then traveled around the park for a week.  It was so amazing to see all of the geological features and the wildlife.  I learned so much on the trip and we all had such an amazing time together.  Also, I developed this "persona" while we were in Yellowstone, called Junior Ranger Brynn, and I would describe in my own way what all the wildlife and geographical features were about.  It started out as a mockery of the Neature videos, and was pretty ridiculous, but Kevin recorded me while we were out touring the park and I made a Junior Ranger Brynn video when we got home.  It's become a bit of a joke in the family since then :) [I uploaded it in case you want to see me making a fool of myself and talking in my silly Junior Ranger Brynn way. It's super crappy quality, too...]

5. Worst fashion trend? Best fashion trend?
I think I've answered these before in Inge's questions.  My least favorite fashion trend right now is tribal prints (followed by super short shorts that show butt cheeks, crop tops, and high-low hems).  My favorite fashion trend currently is probably lace, but I also really like colorful blazers and popover shirts.

My questions for nominees...
1. What do you like to do in your free time?
2. If you could have a dinner party with any three famous people (dead or alive), who would they be and why?
3. What is your favorite household chore and why?
4. What's your favorite item of clothing that you currently own?
5. When you're on a road trip, what is your go-to music?

I'm nominating...
Nicole from Writes Like a Girl
Heidi from Literate & Stylish
Lynette from Lynette Marie


Comfy Dresses

Dress: Old Navy Flats: Target, thrifted new Belt: Old Navy Necklace: Gift 

Dress: Old Navy Cardigan: Eddie Bauer, thrifted Sandals (not seen): Target

Thank you all for your sweet comments on my anniversary post!  Kevin and I were able to spend some good quality time together.  We had lunch and dinner together, ran errands, and watched our wedding video (like we do every anniversary).  It was so great to reflect on our past three years of marriage, and set some goals for our fourth year!

It's been yet another busy week, y'all.  I'm pretty exhausted, but I'm still managing to plug away at school, work, and spending time with Kevin and the pups.  I only have a week left of the two summer classes I'm taking right now, and then I have a week off before my July class starts.  It's going to be wonderful when classes get done!

These are two of the outfits I wore this week.  Both were worn on some of my long days of work and school (14 hours on campus...oof!), and were perfectly comfortable for such long days of sitting in a desk in a chilly, air-conditioned classroom.  Like I mentioned last week, I really prefer wearing classier, less casual clothing.  I'm all about the comfortable, easy dresses. When I'm as tired as I have been lately, these kinds of outfits are perfect!  What do you like to wear when you're too tired to think?


Three Years.

Three years ago today, I married my best friend.

We were 22 years old.  I had just graduated college and we had survived a year of living three hours apart from each other.  We were young and happy and very much in love.

Kevin and I are a nontraditional couple.  We wanted our wedding to be 100% "us."  Our centerpieces were vases with goldfish in them and custom-made truffles in our wedding colors (made by my mom's friend, a chocolatier).  We got married on a Friday evening and had hearty appetizers instead of a formal sit-down meal.

My mom is wonderful at sewing, so she made my wedding dress.  My aunt, who makes jewelry for a living, did some gorgeous beading on my dress.  There are a lot of hidden things within the beadwork that make it that much more meaningful.

We wore Chuck Taylor shoes in our wedding, as did our wedding party.  It's something that both Kevin and I had thought about doing years before we even knew each other.

We did not have a religious ceremony.  Instead, one of our mentors from college (who supervised us both as students) wrote and officiated our ceremony.  Kevin's mom is a pastor, so she "officially" married us, which was really special.

We got married in an indoor park.  This was a perfect option, since we both really wanted an outdoor wedding but were nervous about weather.  Instead, our venue (which had both our ceremony and reception) had beautiful trees, a waterfall, huge windows with lots of natural sunlight, and a gorgeous amphitheater in which we had our ceremony.  It was so perfect.

My dad wrote and sang a song for our wedding.  The song is all about our love story.  Dad and I recorded ourselves singing it together about two years ago, and I listen to it all the time.  It's such a special song, and it is one of my favorite parts about our whole wedding.  I'll be brave some day and share it with you all :)

Our wedding was one of the best days of my life.  It was so fun and meaningful and beautiful.  It captured our love perfectly.

Happy anniversary, Kevin - I love you all the days!

(Yep, Kevin had a ponytail the first two years we were together.  He has been shaving his head for two years now!)


Casual Friday

Top: Target Jeans: Old Navy Sandals: Target Long necklace: F21 Heart necklace: My grandma's

There is really nothing to say about this outfit - it's essentially jeans and a tee, but it's comfortable and cute and it totally works for a Friday :)

We have a fun weekend planned.  Tonight, we're going to a dinner theater in the Twin Cities to celebrate my dad's birthday.  I'm a huge musical theater lover, so I'm pretty excited to get to see a musical tonight...plus, I get some good family time!  Remember a month ago when I said we were going to foster a puppy?  Well...we absolutely fell in love with her, and have decided to adopt her.  Tomorrow, we finalize the adoption and we couldn't be more excited to have her join our family permanently!  Her name is now Rooney, so follow me on Instagram (brynn_mcconnell) if you want some Pippin + Rooney pictures!

Rooney and me this afternoon.  She was watching ants crawl around on the sidewalk...


Plain and Simple

Top: TJ Maxx Cardigan: Target Shorts: Old Navy Shoes: Target

So, I don't love this photo (ew, legs), but I'm all about being real on my blog...so this is what I wore today!  It's another pretty simple shorts + cardigan outfit, but when you wake up at 5:00 am and forgot to plan an outfit, it's tried and true, you know?

While most of my classmates are showing up to our summer classes in a t-shirt with yoga pants, athletic shorts, or jeans, I feel really weird doing that.  Maybe that worked in undergrad classes, but I feel like I need to look at least somewhat put together when I'm at class.  I concentrate better and am more productive when I look nice.  Thus, I wear outfits like this, and stand out like a sore thumb.  Oh well.  Is that just me?


I Miss You!

Tee: Target Skirt: Old Navy Scarf: Old Navy Shoes: Payless

I've been trying my best to keep up with blogging despite my crazy class and work schedule, but it's been a little tricky, so please bear with me!  I've been missing it a lot (including reading and commenting on your blogs, too!!), but I haven't had the time to really sit down and catch up yet.  I really wanted to participate in Audrey's 7x7 remix this week, but I didn't have time to prep for it :(  That kind of thing is right up my alley (showing the versatility of your wardrobe!) so I'm bummed that I missed out.  I have been really toying with the idea of doing some kind of 30x30 remix a la Kendi, and even have my 30 pieces picked out...what do you think?  Should I go for it??  I could also create some kind of linky party (even though I really, really hate that term) if any of you want to join.

As for today's outfit, I love it!  I tried on about 4 or 5 different things today until I landed on this.  I really love this skirt, but sometimes I struggle with styling it.  I'm slowly warming up to pattern mixing (but it has to be a little more subtle...I wouldn't wear a polka dot blouse with this skirt!) and I like how the stripes and leopard print look together.  And, you guys, I'm wearing wedges again!  They're pretty comfortable, and totally do-able for a full day of classes.

Thanks again for bearing with me and my sporadic posting/commenting.  I miss you all and hope to get into my summer routine soon!!!



Tee: Target Shorts: Old Navy Cardigan: Target, thrifted new Scarf: Gift Flats: Payless

Last week, we finally started to welcome new students to campus for my job in orientation.  I was decked out in our school colors all day from Wednesday-Friday, and it feels good to be in "real people clothes."  While I still will be sporting my school polos on and off all summer, I get to wear my regular clothes, too!

I start two of my summer classes today, too.  It's going to be a warm day today, but I'm sure my classroom will be cold...hence the cardigan and scarf.  I'm okay with that, since we've had really abnormally chilly days for most of the summer so far.  As much as I hate shorts, I'm happy to be wearing them out of necessity :)

I was running out of time to take pictures before needing to leave for work, so I had Kevin come outside and snap a few shots.  He said, "Now you need to do a silly shot!  When I see you taking pictures, you always need to do a silly one!" and I came up with this pose.  He also told me that I had to post it, because he would check :)  Gotta love him.

I hope you all had a great weekend!


Crazy Hair

Top: Thrifted Jeans: Old Navy Flats: Thrifted Necklace: Target

I really wanted to take my pictures outside this morning because the amount of sunshine was perfect, the temperature was perfect, and all the students on the campus we live on are gone, so I knew I wouldn't get caught.  However, it was SUPER windy outside, so most of my pictures turned out like this: 

Why does Beyonce always look good with wind blown hair, and I look like I'm trying to resurrect the flock of seagulls hair do??  Oh well.


Coral Blazer!!!

Tee: Old Navy Blazer: Gap Pants: NY&C Flats: Payless Necklace: From Mom

I'm so excited to finally be wearing my coral blazer!  It's comfortable, bright, and fits me perfectly.  I usually don't shop at Gap (even though I love their stuff) because it's a little on the pricey end for me (yes, I'm super cheap and have a tight budget), but I got this one for a steal.  I hope you all like it, because you'll be seeing it frequently!!

I was thinking over the weekend about how my style has changed since I started reading blogs.  I've been reading blogs for three years or so, and I have grown so much in my personal style.  I'm starting to define who I am more, and figure out what I like, what works for me, and what doesn't work for me.  Three years ago, I never would have worn a blazer...and a colorful blazer would have been out of the question.  This is my fourth blazer, and my second colored one!  Even in the nearly six months I've been blogging, I'm not sure I would have been daring enough to wear this blazer.

However, the encouragement, feedback, support, and inspiration I've gotten from all of you have all helped me to try new things.  Thank you for helping me expand my boundaries...while narrowing my style focus at the same time.  Rather than trying out all the things, I'm trying different iterations of those things that are most "me."  You still won't catch me dead in a high-low skirt or dress (despite my love affair with dresses and skirts), in peplum (looks terrible on me), or high heels (OUCH), but I've been branching out with different colors, patterns, and silhouettes and feeling more comfortable with my personal style.

THANK YOU for helping me grow!!


Budgeting Bloggers: May

So after a rough April, I made a vow that I wouldn't shop during May...well, I failed at that, but I did a much better job at sticking to my little budget, despite having gone over a little bit again.  Here's what I bought this month:
Grand total: $82.

I absolutely love everything that I bought this month.  I originally was not going to purchase the coral blazer, although I had had it in my cart for about two months.  I decided to go for it when the blazer was already on clearance, was 40% off that prices, and I had a $5 rewards for Gap.  The blazer was delivered this week and it fits me perfectly.  I cannot wait to wear it!!!

My June and July will be very busy with my job plus taking nine credits, so I'm hoping that means I won't have time to shop.  I have noticed, however, that I still don't have many short sleeved tops (I have a few solid colored tees, but other than that, not much), so I'm going to be on the lookout for tops to wear this summer.  I'll plan to only purchase tops on mega clearance or go to Goodwill to save money.

I'm linking up with Fran and the other budgeting bloggers.