A Day at the Races – Cottonelle Kentucky Derby

I have always wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby. While I love horses, exciting races, and even the occasional bet, let’s be honest: the biggest reason I want to go is because of the classic style that so clearly distinguishes the Derby. I never wear hats, but I would sport a big floppy one with pride, speak with a Southern drawl, and pretend I was Kate Middleton as I cheered on the horse with the coolest name.

While I won’t be attending the Derby this year, I will be participating in spirit! Cottonelle, sponsor of the Kentucky Derby, challenged me to create my Race Day Attire and I was more than willing to participate. It was a lot of fun putting together a classy Kate Middleton-inspired outfit and I think I could pass as a regular. Especially if I channeled my inner Audrey Hepburn a la Eliza from My Fair Lady. (You’d have to pardon me, but I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to shout “Move your bloomin’ arse!”)

Cottonelle-Kentucky-Derby-Outfit2

Cottonelle-Kentucky-Derby-Outfit3

Blouse: Express (Thrifted)
Skirt: J. Crew (Yardsale, brand new with tags, $5!)
Heels: Clarks
Necklace/Earrings: Macy’s or JC Penney
Hat: Borrowed from Katie

I really love this outfit because it made me feel like a lady. Without the hat, I would definitely wear this to something special where I would want to feel put-together and classy. The lace skirt and feminine blush color make this a perfect choice for my photo finish.

At this year’s Kentucky Derby, Cottonelle is upping the ante and launching “The Cottonelle Great Finish,” a giveaway that will reward Americans with a year supply of Cottonelle products should the No. 1 and No. 2 positioned racehorses place in that order during the race! Want to get in on the action? Be sure to visit

1. Visit Cottonelle’s landing page.
2. Click on the “Cottonelle Great Finish Giveaway”
3. Click on “Sign up now”
4. Register for the Cottonelle Updates website

The first 15,000 entrants to sign up will be awarded a year’s supply of Cottonelle toilet paper and flushable cleansing cloths if the outcome aligns.

Think about this. Who wants to spend money on toilet paper and cleansing cloths? Even after college, having to buy these paper products always feels like a nuisance. Remove that hassle (and that awkward moment at the store when you run into people from high school while you’re holding that 32ct pack . . .) and take a moment to enter!

If you aren’t able to attend the Derby this year, have your own party, dress up, and stay refreshed! Anyone have a great mint julep or fabulous drink recipe to share? 

Cottonelle-Kentucky-Derby-Outfit4

 Click here to enter: Cottonelle Kentucky Derby Great Finish Sweepstakes

Linking up to: What I Wore WednesdayI Feel PrettyRandom WednesdaysYour Whims WednesdayWhatcha Wearing WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdaysBeautiful YouColor Brigade

*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Cottonelle, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Modern Austen possible!

Shop Your Favorite Bloggers’ Closets

Reselling, thrifting, and consigning are big deals in my household. My family and I spend a lot of our free time scouring Goodwill for the best deals, listing our treasures on eBay to send to new homes, and frequenting consignment stores for name brands for less. There’s a certain kind of rush that one gets when she finds the perfect addition to her closet for a fraction of the cost–I even labeled it my “strange addiction” when I first talked about it almost two years ago. This phenomenon is not new; in fact, it has become so popular these days because everyone is looking for a deal! While this rise makes shopping for unique treasures a little more difficult (I can’t even begin to tell you how busy our local Goodwill is at times!), it also gives everyone the opportunity to buy and sell previously-loved items with ease.

While my parents are experts on eBay, it does take a lot of time to learn and master the art of selling on that website. Plus, sometimes it can be hard to weed through the listings and land on those quality name brand items. How can you find the styles and brands you, your friends, and your favorite bloggers wear without purchasing full-price?

Enter Bloggers Closet.

Lauren from Style Elixir worked really hard to put this amazing website together and it seriously blows me away. Bloggers can create their own online “closets” where they can showcase and sell their pre-loved items in a smart, efficient, and easy way without the stress that other online stores can bring. You won’t find crappy photos on here, either! These bloggers show their styled items so you can really get a feel for what these pieces actually look like on.

Bloggers Closet Homepage

Of course, you don’t have to be a blogger to purchase items–which makes it really fun for everyone to participate. You can search by blog, style, color, size, and more.

In an effort to simplify, clear out my wardrobe, and hopefully make a few extra dollars, I’ve created my own closet and filled it with some pre-loved goodness. You’ll find a lot of Banana Republic, LOFT, New York & Co. and more with a wide range of items from which to choose.

Bloggers Closet Items

Check out this LOFT blazer I’m selling–BRAND NEW with tags!

LOFT Blazer New With Tags

I hope you’ll stop by and visit my closet and the other bloggers’ closets. It’s a great way to shop good quality items easily and it’s even fun just to browse for inspiration. I just sold my first two items this morning, so act fast if you’re interested :)  I’m looking forward to browsing myself!

What’s your favorite way to shop for less?

Adding the Perfect Touch with MDC Artistic Designs

A few months ago, I introduced you to Marlene from MDC Artistic Designs. She took a chance as a brand new sponsor of my blog, but we have since grown to be friends and true fans of our individual crafts. Marlene is one-of-a-kind. She is smart, caring, and extremely thoughtful and I admire her organization and eye for design. If you haven’t taken a look at her unique and stunning jewelry shop, you need to.

In February, I gave one lucky reader the opportunity to purchase an item from her shop. Little did I know that Marlene paid close attention to my oohs and ahhs over her shop and sent me the earrings I loved the most of all. I was so blown away by her gesture and even more impressed with her business when I saw the earrings in person for the first time.

These Charcoal and Rose Quartz earrings are perfect. They’re feminine, unique, and sophisticated. When I wear them, I feel so pretty and put-together.

MDC-Artistic-Designs-Earrings-1.png

MDC-Artistic-Designs-Earrings-2

I decided to pair these beautiful earrings with a pretty dress and my favorite lavender cardigan. I wore this outfit to church on Easter and felt perfectly springy.

MDC-Artistic-Designs-Earrings-3

Earrings: MDC Artistic Designs (similar pair!)
Dress: LOFT
Cardigan: Consigned (Banana Republic)
Heels: Clarks

Another thing I truly admire about Marlene and her business is that every piece she makes is one-of-a-kind. That means that no one else has the same piece as you! There are few businesses who believe in this kind of respect and care for their customers. If you’re lusting over the pair I’m wearing, you might love the Hint of Sophistication Earrings, too.

Hop on over to her site and be sure to check out her shop! I’m really loving the Aquamarine Gourd Earrings and the Ocean Star Necklace right now!

*I received these earrings in exchange for a product review, but all opinions are my own. I love to share brands and products that I support fully.

The Friday 5: v. 20

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!

The-Friday-5-v-20

  1. What speed do you read? (My score was 595–138% faster than the national average!)
  2. Whether you’re new to blogging, want to rebrand yourself, or just need some new inspiration and direction for your blog, download Jess’ e-book, Your Little Blog Book, for helpful planning worksheets.
  3. With the recent #Ask4More campaign, I have often wondered how to Ask for More When You’re Not Established (Yet).
  4. I don’t think there’s anything I don’t adore about Steph’s weekly wardrobe last week!
  5. I Blog for Money (And Why You Should Too)

On my corner of the blogosphere:

  1. Here’s your chance to spill the beans. (And you might get free Starbucks out of it!)
  2. 10 Networking Tips for Recently Established Professionals
  3. Somehow I managed to wear a red polka dotted blouse without coming off as Minnie Mouse. #winning
  4. Two weeks ago at Westminster, our little superhero Claire paid tribute to you in the most beautiful way. Love and miss you, Emily.
  5. As you head off to the gym or on vacation, be sure to pick up and pack this helpful little tool!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I want to wish my big brother Justin a happy birthday! He’s my role model, friend, tech guru, and the sole reason I know so much about ’90s video games (which essentially wins me cool points with boys–hey thanks!). Love you!