Sauerkraut and Stretchy Pants

SauerkrautStretchyPants

New Year’s day in Pennsylvania means pork and sauerkraut. As my grandmother insists “You have to eat the sauerkraut for good luck in the new year.” I don’t know if it really brings you any good luck but I know it brings me some serious bloating — just how I want to start out the new year. When your gut starts ballooning, the last thing you want is tight pants digging in and preventing the full expansion of that sauerkraut food baby from happening. I’ve learned the painful way, in the past, to dress anything but comfortable on this day. Appropriately, I opted for super soft fleeced lined leggings that I was able to score at Boscov’s for $7.99. The boots are made by Boemos from TJ Maxx (more on this deal can be found on my Sheepish Sunday post). I purchased the yellow button down shirt last year from the Salvation Army for my Halloween costume as Dwight Shrute from The Office. I love being able to reuse pieces from Halloween costumes. My swan print cardigan came from Target. I patiently waited for that cardigan to hit the clearance rack at 50% off before I bought it. It’s always a risk waiting for an article of clothing you love to go on clearance because they might not have your size but it’s so worth the money you save. I look at it this way, if it’s not there after it goes on sale, then it wasn’t meant to be. Something more fabulous and a better deal will always come along.

So here’s to ringing in the new year with good luck, bloating, and stretchy pants.

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New Year’s Eve: Sparkle, Comfort, and Netflix Bingeing

New Year's EveNew Year's Eve

This is the first time in many many years that I’m staying home for New Year’s Eve but when you have a 7 month old your options are a bit limited. Even though, I’m staying home tonight, I still thought it would be fun to dress the part as if we were going out. I have two looks for today, since Cora (my 7 month old) and I decided to do some shopping (all those gift cards I received for Christmas have been burning a hole in my pocketbook). The day look is composed of a periwinkle sequined sweater that came from the clearance rack of JCPenney a few years ago. I’m forced to layer a tank under the sweater because the back of it is mesh. The tank came from Hollister during their amazing summer clearance deal when you can get an additional 70% off the lowest ticketed price. The navy blue jeggings came from Boscov’s — another clearance find. The nude flats, are the newest addition to my wardrobe. I just bought these versatile babies this past Sunday at Target (after all, they were on clearance). I’ve been wanting a pair of nude flats for such a long time and finally the stars aligned and I scored this pair for only $8.48! My necklace is Origami Owl and, of course, my faithful Trollbeads bangle which I also paired with my night look. Speaking of my night look, that consists of a sequined glitter dress that I purchased from Gabriel Brothers, my black cardigan was a birthday gift from my mom and the black leggings came from TJ Maxx.

Now I must get back to eating ice cream, cuddling my husband, and rotting my brain with Netflix. Happy New Year, everyone!

Transformers Tuesday

Transformers Tuesday

I must start off by saying that this Transformers shirt is completely out of character for me. I would normally never wear or buy a shirt like this — in fact I don’t even like Transformers. However, I love my husband who happens to be a total Transformers nerd. When I found this $5 shirt on Target’s clearance rack, the great price and nagging from my husband to buy it because “it’s so cool AND Transformers”, I couldn’t pass it up. Sigh, the things you do as a wife. Anyway, with today being the eve of Christmas Eve (aka the day to get all your last minute Christmas stuff done) and cleaning up copious amounts of snot from my sick daughter I decided to go super causal and comfy. I paired this shirt with old jeans (which is why they’re not shown) and my favorite sneakers. I bought these leopard print sneakers from a Coach outlet store for only $24! Not only is $24 an amazing deal for a pair of sneakers but Coach sneakers?! Unheard of and completely unable leave without them. Since there was so much visually going on with the shirt and sneakers I decided against accessories except my ol’ faithful Trollbeads. In my bias eyes, Trollbeads can do no wrong to any outfit.

Sometimes it’s the little things in life (like wearing a Transformers shirt for your husband) that can bring the biggest smiles.

Sheepish Sunday

Sheepish Sunday

Every Sunday my grandfather preaches at a nursing home. My husband and I go not only to hear my grandfather’s wonderful service but to also help in bringing the residents from their rooms to where the church service is held. I always try to wear a fun shirt to help in brightening the resident’s day. So today, I chose this sheep sweater with skinny jeans and knee high boots. The sweater and jeans were bargains off the clearance rack at Target. I layered the sweater with a clearance tank from The Gap. To add a bit of sparkle, I wore my Origami Owl rose gold living locket. This locket with charms and chain was completely free for me because I hosted an Origami Owl party. How cool is that?? The handmade Italian leather boots are by Boemos. I was able to get these originally priced $240 boots for $99 on clearance at TJ Maxx! It only took me about two months of searching for quality classic boots before I found those. There are so many boots out there made of cheap manmade materials that it’s hard to find all leather boots, especially ones at a great price too! I must admit, those Boemos boots were the most money I’ve ever spent on a pair of shoes. However, I’m beyond satisfied with them because, essentially, they’re an investment piece. I know the quality and timeless style of these boots will serve me well for many years.

Great pieces can be found anywhere, but for me, the greatest pieces can be found on the clearance rack.

Seventy and Seven

seventy and seven

Today I decided to go Christmas shopping with my seventy year old grandmother and my seven month old daughter. With it being a week until Christmas I knew the stores would be packed, checkout lines would be long, my teething daughter would be cranky, and my grandma would be walking rather slow. Knowing all these factors would be coexisting, comfort was at the absolute top of my list. So I opted for the oversize fisherman’s sweater, blue jeans, and comfy flats. The sweater is by Sonoma from Kohl’ s, which I actually purchased last year while pregnant because I knew the sweater would stretch with my growing belly. The jeans are Mossimo and came from Target’s clearance rack for $13! Anytime I can get great jeans for less than $15 makes me one happy mama. The brown suede tassel loafers are Sperry Top-Sider. I was able to get these $90 loafers for only $20 from Ross. I tend to be a sucker for patterned socks and love to show mine off with plain loafers or Toms. These socks also came from Target. Since we’re on a Target kick, I also purchased my scarf from there quite a few years ago. I remember the day after I bought the scarf, I wore it proudly and stylishly to college. That same day, my 60+ year old photography professor decided to wear the same exact scarf. . . Totally not embarrassing at all. My large leather B. Makowsky satchel (that works perfectly as a diaper bag) came from My Girlfriend’s Wardrobe consignment shop. This bag was on the 50% off rack and I quickly grabbed it up and happily paid the $25 for the bag that was originally $200+ brand new. To jazz up the boring white bag and give it a much needed pop of color I added a Coach silk scarf that I didn’t pay more than $15 for from the Coach outlet store.

There is just something so satisfying about being able to get great classic pieces for a great price.

Wrist Check Wednesday

Wrist Check Wednesday

Today, as I was scrolling down through my Instagram feed, I noticed a few photos with #wristcheckwednesday. Who comes up with these things? Anyway, here’s my wrist check Wednesday and pretty much everyday, Michael Kors watch and Trollbeads bracelets. Both brands can tend to be rather pricey unless you’re a savvy shopper or just at the right place at the right time. I was able to get this Michael Kors watch a few years ago from TJ Maxx for less than $100. This was, of course, before he became incredibly popular and in high demand like he is now. Then there are my Trollbeads bracelets. I have an acute addiction to these silly and pricey yet incredibly beautiful glass and silver beads. What I love about Trollbeads is that every bead is handmade so no two beads are exactly alike. I could talk about Trollbeads for hours so I’ll save that for another day and post and get on talking about my savings on these tiny little pieces of wearable art. On occasion, Trollbeads will run promos (especially around the holidays) like “buy a lock and get a free bracelet” or “buy three beads get one free”. When purchasing from a Trollbeads dealer that’s the time to buy OR you can just eBay. EBay is a magnificent place for savvy shoppers. The vast majority of my Trollbeads have come from eBay and has saved me a ton of money. My most recent eBay score was this Trollbeads bangle with two beads and two stoppers. This over priced bracelet retails for $241 but I was able to snag it for only $79.90 from a lady who had only worn it a few times and found it collecting dust in her jewelry box. My other incredible Trollbeads score came on this past Black Friday at my favorite consignment shop, My Girlfriend’s Wardrobe. I was able to get a J Crew sweater and the Trollbeads Valentine bead (the silver and Swarovski crystal bead by the number 40 on my watch) for $1.03 out of pocket. This phenomenon only happened because I won a $25 gift card to the store, the entire store was 30% off, and the $102 bead was marked $20 since the store owner didn’t know the retail price of the bead.

What it really all boils down to is being at the right place at the right time to get that incredible deal or religiously searching and hunting down eBay deals.

About

I am Heather Brenneman. If I had to choose three hashtags to label my life they would be: #photographer, #wife, #stayathomemom. Quick synopsis of my life: I’m a classically trained photographer, I married my best friend on St. Patrick’s day (no, we’re not Irish), I gave birth to our beautiful daughter on May Day, and now I’m a stay at home mom.

Being a stay at home mom has to be one of the most rewarding jobs, even though, it comes with many sacrifices. Like most households living off of one income, the budget can be rather tight and thus resulting in my clothing allowance getting drastically slashed. Although, this small allowance doesn’t bother me because I’m a firm believer that great fashion shouldn’t have to cost a lot and that the occasional splurge on quality and classic timeless pieces is the best way to stretch your money. I often find my favorite pieces on clearance racks, outlet stores, consignment shops, thrift stores, and even eBay.

In the great words of Karl Lagerfeld “Never use the word ‘cheap’. Today everybody can look chic in inexpensive clothes (the rich buy them too). There is good clothing design on every level today. You can be the chicest thing in the world in a T-shirt and jeans — it’s up to you.”

So this is my classy inexpensive stay at home mom fashion blog. Enjoy!