Ikat + March Budget


Blouse: Gap Factory
Cardigan: H&M
Jeans: LOFT
Flats: Payless
Earrings: Borrowed from Mom
Bracelet: NY & Co.

I am proud to announce that I have successfully made it through my no-shopping ban that I set for myself at the end of last month! Woot! I actually haven’t purchased any clothing since I went shopping with Ashlie on Valentine’s Day, so technically, it’s been about a month and a half. Surprisingly, it really wasn’t hard to refrain from shopping. That’s probably largely in part to my lack of spending money, but I think it’s also because I’ve kept myself busy doing other things (like networking and LOTS of writing) and staying away from stores. If I could offer one bit of advice for those contemplating a no-shopping ban, I would suggest not even going into stores at all. There’s very little temptation when you’re not surrounded by clothes and accessories. That also includes staying off of those websites and unsubscribing from promotional emails to all of my online shoppers! In an effort to simplify, last month I unsubscribed from a lot of emails and it feels so much better to have an emptier inbox (and a fuller wallet).

I thought I would showcase one of the tops I purchased in February that I just love. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: tunic popover tops are WHERE IT’S AT. I am always so surprised to see how many ways you can wear a patterned tunic top: tucked, untucked, layered under sweaters, layered under cardigans, on its own, with shorts, with jeans, with dress pants, with skirts, dressed up, dressed down, sleeves rolled, sleeves unrolled, and in all seasons. Because they’re typically collarless, they are so easy to throw on. I wear this floral printed tunic popover biweekly it seems.

When I found this top at Gap Factory, I knew that it would quickly become a staple, especially with its bold color and fun pattern. I’ve always been a fan of ikat, but I’ve never owned anything in its print! I’m excited to wear this long into the spring and summer.

I should note that these tops might not officially fall under the “tunic” category as they aren’t exceptionally longer than most tops these days, but their length does help with layering and tucking more so than regular blouses.


Pardon my wrinkles ;)

Here’s some GREAT options at affordable prices. Let me know if you have any questions about these kind of blouses:

Linking up to: Budgeting BloggersFunday MondayMonday BloomMonday Must Haves,Mix-It MondaysManic MondayVisible Monday

The Friday 5: v.17

The Friday 5 is a weekly feature highlighting interesting, controversial, heart-wrenching, inspirational, and/or creative content worth reading and sharing. I always find the best blog posts, articles, outfits, and inspiration from other bloggers, so I hope I can do the same for you. Here’s to hoping something will make a difference in your weekend!


  1. On Young Industries (Blogging): A thoughtful reflection on the pros and cons of the evolution of blogging and where we stand today
  2. 5 Must-Read Books for Every Working Woman
  3. Choosing Your Nouns. Which nouns do YOU want to emphasize?
  4. “You don’t actually get to stand beside someone and tell them whether or not they’ve reached a level of bravery. You don’t actually get to determine what does or does not make a person brave, or lovely, or worthy, or good. That’s not your right. That’s not your calling.” – The Anatomy of Brave
  5. 5 Apps That Will Make Your Life Easier

And in my neck of the woods . . .

  1. Turn those flared jeans into colored skinny jeans! Yes, really.
  2. Blogging for Beginners: Built My Blog, Now What?
  3. Colorblocking is a thing.
  4. Classic Peplum with a Twist
  5. Dealing with a recent breakup?

Have a wonderful weekend! I’m headed back to my old apartment for the first time since I moved back home. It’ll be an interesting feeling, that’s for sure.

Navigating the Post-Grad Job Search with Sincerely, Sara

Sara from Sincerely, Sara has been a loyal sponsor for two months now and I just love her. Sara is an aspiring novelist, a fantastic blogger, and a stylish fashionista. At 24 years old, Sara is ripe from graduate school and ready to tackle on the professional world. Like most of us post-grads, she, too, has had her fair share of trials when it comes to the dreaded job search.

Recently, we “sat down” together and chatted about networking, careers, and post-grad life in general. I interviewed her about some of those frequently asked questions floating around in most 20-somethings’ minds and was really blown away by her responses. I hope you’ll find her thoughts about navigating the post-grad job search as informative and enlightening as I found them!

Navigating the Post-Grad Job Search

Q: What was the biggest surprise you encountered after graduation in terms of career/employment?

Well, the least surprising thing that I encountered was how many people kept asking what I was going to do now that I had graduated. I’ve been working part-time at an office for six years, and even my co-workers were asking what I was going to do next.

In terms of the biggest surprise: how many people were willing to help out. I always assumed looking for a job was a very solitary thing, as in lots of looking online for job openings, lots of emailing, and lots of waiting. There’s lots of that of course, but it’s great how people want to help you.

Q: What resources do you utilize most during your job search and why? What has been the most helpful?
I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t really done the whole job search in-depth since I’m trying to turn my part-time job into a full-time job, but my main resources have been the people I know, LinkedIn, and my alma maters.

Family, friends, and even co-workers have kept an eye out for job openings in case turning my part-time job into a full-time one doesn’t work out. They send me newspaper clippings, emails, and tell me about people they know who know about job openings. LinkedIn sends me emails about job openings that I might be interested in, which I find very helpful and easy since it does part of the work for me. Also, going to job fairs and using the resources from both where I got my bachelor’s and master’s has been helpful. You paid lots of money to go there, so you might as well use their resources as much as possible.

Q: Is networking really as critical as they say it is? How has networking played a role in your career path?

Networking is really critical! You never know who someone might know or what job they might know about. Meeting and interacting with people has always been difficult for me (shy person here!), but it’s easier when you think of it as finding potential friends instead of using people to find a job. When you really get along with someone, they’re more willing to help you out, so remember names, things they said, things they like or dislike, and interact with them before you need something.

At the place I work, they hired a company to do their social media. I heard that it was a cool new company from the people I currently work for, so I did an event for the social media company. It didn’t work out in the long run, but you never know where you might find your next job. I still see the woman I did the event with at my current job now and then. Maybe she’ll hear about something in the future. You never know. Look at all resources.

Q: How do you stay positive during job searching?

It can be hard to stay positive, especially since the clock is ticking on when I’ll have to start repaying my loans, but being negative about the whole scenario will only make things worse. It’s easy to get down and worried, but I stay positive because I know that something will come along eventually. It might not be my dream job, but it will be a stepping stone.

Q: What advice would you give to post-graduates looking for jobs?
Don’t stop! Don’t stop talking to people about the fact that you’re looking for a job. You never know who might know about something. Don’t stop trying. The first several places might not have gotten back to you, but keep going; keep looking. Don’t stop bettering yourself. Just because you’re between jobs doesn’t mean you can’t better yourself (and make that resume look good) by taking a class on something you love. You could also join a club or group, do volunteer work, get articles or stories published, and so much more. Don’t give up!

Thanks so much for your words of wisdom and positive energy, Sara! Best of luck to all who are job searching. It’s a brutal world out there . . . we’ll get through it together. Be sure to stop by her blog and say hello :)

Want to join Sara and become an amazing sponsor? The code THEMODERNAUSTEN can be used only THREE more times to receive 50% your ad purchase, so act fast! I’d love to have you. 

Out Like a Lion


Tee: Gap Factory (similar)
Scarf: Kiosk
Jeans: LOFT
Boots: Macy’s

As per usual, March has no clue what is going on and “just can’t right now.” So, as a result, we’re all subjected to ridiculous mood swings. Gee, thanks. One such crazed moment occurred last week when it randomly began snowing monster snowflakes (seriously, they were huge) and covered everything in a blanket of soft white snow in a matter of minutes. I was glad I snapped these photos quickly because within two hours, everything was completely erased as if nothing happened at all. Just like that . . .

I kept it comfortable and simple with this outfit. Is it embarrassing to admit that this outfit came together solely for the purpose of knowing the yellow would be a fabulous contrast to the white snow? Because that totally didn’t happen . . . Anyway, there’s something to be said about not overanalyzing your closet and just wearing what works. A long-sleeved tee, a scarf, and jeans WORKS. I didn’t feel the need to layer or pattern mix or anything. It was just what I needed for a casual day. Sometimes I feel like being a blogger increases dissatisfaction in the “every day unoriginal” type things because there’s always a need to do more, to look better, to be unique, to share something original. Of course there is so much value in that, but there’s also value in listening to what you already know to be true. Just some musings for the day! What do you think?

Snow in March 1
Snow in March 2.png

P.S. I know you haven’t entered to win that $100 Anthropologie gift card yet! Stop putting it off and get those entries in ;)

Linking up to: What I Wore WednesdayI Feel PrettyRandom WednesdaysYour Whims WednesdayWhatcha Wearing WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdaysBeautiful YouWednesday Style ConnectionAdorned from AboveWish Upon a Wednesday