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Dapper Day Spring 2019 Recap

Looking through my recent posts, it kind of feels like I only blog about Dapper Day now. Well, Dapper Day and weddings. I'm still only blogging when inspiration hits, which isn't too often these days. So when a big event happens that makes me want to share, it's one of the few times I actually decide to dust off the old blog.

I also don't think I'll ever be tired of talking about Dapper Day. It's such a special event, and I always feel a natural high coming out of it. It's amazing to be surrounded by so many old friends I don't get to see often, Internet friends I've never gotten to meet in person, brands I love all in one place, and overall just a ton of like-minded people with similar interests all dressed to the nines.

Etsy Favorites #65: Spring Dapper Day Edition (Again)

Has it really been so long since I last posted? And is it really time for another Dapper Day? Yes, friends, both are true. I have my outfits planned and I'm very excited about it, but I still wanted to share some of the items I found on Etsy that I wish I had gotten. Of course, every day can be Dapper Day if you want it to be, so nothing's stopping me from just getting these items anyway.

This gorgeous blue dress from Galia Couture is just begging to be worn to Dapper Day

Wedding Diary Month 1: The Overwhelming Start

(Outfit photo taken while looking at a venue) Dress: Apricity (exact) / Cardigan: Thrifted / Belt: Modcloth  (exact) / Shoes: Amazon

Because I've had a surprising amount of people message me and say that they want to know every detail about my wedding planning, I've decided to start a little online diary here where I can check in with where I am in the planning.

As I've mentioned, I think weddings are fascinating, and I really want to be transparent about the process. I suddenly feel like I've finally been asked to join this club and now I get to look at every wedding website and detail without shame. In other words, I finally feel like I don't have to hide my Pinterest board. Well, it's still hidden to everyone but my bridesmaids. I don't want to give too much away.

As I'm writing this, it's been one month since we've been engaged, and I feel a little overwhelmed - in a good way! There's just SO much to look at. Because I'm such a planner, I started planning basically the day we got engaged. And by the day we got engaged, I mean that I started researching the week before because I knew it was coming. Jon knew what he was getting himself into. It's only a month in, and I've already done a lot. We're not in any rush, but I'd rather book things in advance and get the dates/vendors that we want rather than wait until the last minute. Plus, this is fun for me!

So here's what we've done so far:

The Proposal

I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! ...Just kidding. Jon and I are in an adult relationship and have understood that this is a big decision that we need to make together so we've been talking about this for a long time. Plus, he's a terrible liar, and I completely guessed when he was going to pop the question. But even if I knew it was coming, I still could not be more excited about marrying the best person I know.

We're so lucky to have a lot of family and friends asking us for details, so I thought it would make thing easier if I just wrote a post about it that I could share. Well, also I want to talk about this all the time to anyone who will listen. Anyone who knows me knows that brevity is not something I know well, so prepare for more than anyone would ever care about reading.

Current Shopping List - Early 2019

If you read my Realistic New Year's Resolutions post, you'll know that one of my biggest things is budgeting my money. You'll also know that I understand that I'm still going to buy things because I'm not perfect. I thought what might help is creating a list of priorities of things to buy in hopes that I'll stick to this list and not buy much more.

I don't expect to buy all of these items right away, and a lot of it will depend on how many things I sell on Poshmark. I'd love to get all of these soon, but I also want to focus on saving money so we'll see. Instead of just buying whatever I want though, these are my priorities for when I feel like I can spare the money.

Vintage Glasses 
I'm sure I've talked about this before, but I have the hardest time finding glasses that fit my weirdly small face. Alas, there is one instance where vintage items being smaller than seems possible actually works in my favor. I genuinely like my current glasses, but I've been on the hunt for more cat eye shapes and have had zero luck finding any pairs that would fit. You know those adorable Bonlook Keiko frames that a ton of girls rock? They would take up my entire face.

Because of that, I've decided that I'm going to go for a vintage pair and get lenses put in. It's a little daunting considering most Etsy shops don't have proper glasses measurements and don't take returns, so even though I've been looking for a while, I'm waiting until I find a pair that I feel comfortable buying.

Hearts and Found Dress
I've been eying Hearts and Found dresses for what feels like years (actually, I think it has been years), and I think if I stop buying a bunch of cheaper clothing items, I can justify splurging on this one. I'm not sure of the exact style yet, but I know that I want something gingham with a full skirt that's made to my measurements.

One more good bra 
For the first time in my life, I actually paid more than $10 on bras recently. I honestly loathe how expensive bras are so I've always been very adamant about only buying cheap ones...and I've suffered for it. I seriously was adjusting my bras all. damn. day. I've heard about ThirdLove a ton, so I finally decided to take a look and take their fit quiz during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Oh my goodness. It's such a difference from the cheap Target and TJ Maxx ones I had been wearing. I got two, and I really want to invest in more. I used their after pay program, so I decided that once my first ones are paid off, I'll get one more.

(Clockhouse Dress via May-68)

May 68 Dress
Another brand I've been staring at for too long. I keep telling myself I'm going to get one of their dresses, but money has held me back (or rather, the amount of money I spent during Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales did). I think their items are just so dang cute, and I'm definitely planning on adding one to my closet soon.

Cropped Denim Jacket
For the longest time I've had one denim jacket that I thrifted, but I really don't like the style of it. I finally got a new one off of Poshmark a couple of months ago, but it ended up being way too big (don't you love when that happens?). After wearing cropped cardigans so much and realizing how much more flattering they are with my short waist, I've decided that I need to find a good cropped one that will work well with my dresses and high-waisted skirts. I'm still on the hunt for one I actually like though (hence why there's no photo for this one).

Electric Toothbrush
I probably should have added this to my list of realistic resolutions, but I want to start taking better care of my teeth this year too. I suppose you can call 2019 "The Year I Finally Stopped Spending All of my Money on Clothes and Learned to Be an Adult". Or at least that's my goal.

I'm a sucker for subscription services, and I'm eyeing something like Quip, especially because it's so affordable compared to most electric toothbrushes. It looks to actually be good from what I've read so far, but I still want to do a little bit more research. If anyone has any suggestions/insights, I'd love to hear them!

New Year, (Kind of) New Me: Realistic Resolutions

I usually like to say that I'm one of those "I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions" people, but the truth is, I really do love the motivation and feeling of renewal that the new year brings. That said, I'm not naive enough to think that just because a new year starts, that means that I can suddenly kick all of my bad habits. So instead of telling you that I'm going to become a 100% healthier and better person, I'm keeping it real and starting with 8 resolutions that work toward this, but actually seem doable.

1. Meal Prep At Least 1-2 Times a Month
Last year, I finally started meal prepping...and I didn't really keep it up. I did it a lot in the beginning of the year, and then I kind of gave up and went back to heating up Lean Cuisines for lunch every day. Ugh. When it comes to eating healthier, I need a lot of work and it's something that I absolutely need to do. However, I'm realistic. I'm not going to say that I'm magically going to eat really healthy or never spend money on eating out, but I'd at least like to make more of an effort here. The biggest issue is time on Sundays so I won't say I'll keep this up every week. Instead, I think devoting at least one or two Sunday's a month to cooking lunches for the week seems reasonable.

2. Invest in My Skincare
I've actually already started this one! I have terrible skin. I've gone to countless dermatologists and have tried everything short of Accutane (which I actually was supposed to at one point, but I decided not to at the very last minute for a lot of reasons). I finally found a cleanser and toner last year that I've felt have worked well, but other than that and moisturizer in the mornings, I don't put anything else on my skin.

I'm finally starting to do some research, and as I'm sure you've guessed by now, I'm trying out some Korean skincare products after hearing so many people swear by it. I'm starting in baby steps (introducing a couple of well-researched products at a time rather than going straight into a 10-step routine). If it goes well, maybe I'll write about my experience?

3. Read At Least One Book This Year
This sounds so sad, I know. I have been a terrible reader in recent years, which I attribute to my crippling TV addiction. But I have multiple books on my nightstand that I'm seriously interested in, some of which I've started and never finished. I'd like to say that I'll get back into the habit and read multiple, but I at least want to be an actual educated adult and make it through one. Maybe I'll finally finish I'll Be Gone in the Dark (almost a year after I started it)? Maybe I'll read the Jeff Tweedy autobiography that Jon got me for Christmas? Fingers crossed!

4. Pay Attention to A Budget
Okay, so we've already covered that I'm an unhealthy eater, I don't put much effort into my skincare, and I don't read much. What bad habits are left? Oh yes, money. And, of course, it's another thing I'm pretty terrible at. It's not so bad to the point where I'm in bad debt or can't pay my bills, but I tend to be pretty careless.

Like the other items, I'm not expecting this to change overnight and suddenly save everything, but I'd like to keep better track of it. I signed up for Mint again (because if it's not automated, I know I won't keep it up) and spent a few minutes in the app setting up a budget and actually looking at where my money goes.

I have a couple of big life goals coming up that will require me to be smart with my money, one of which is a nicer apartment and the other, ahem, depends on Jon asking me a very important question that he's made clear is coming soon. I managed to make it through the Collectif 50% off sale this past week without buying anything so that gives me hope. Lord beer me strength.

5. Care Less About Instagram Engagement
I've already talked about this on Instagram so chances are, you've already heard this. I spend a lot of time on the app, and I'm never going to stop enjoying taking photos/being creative. So while my quality of posts isn't suddenly going to go down as I try to care less, my attitude toward it is going to change. I can't change the algorithm or understand why my followers barely grow, but I'm going to work on being more okay with that. I don't want to stress out anymore if I don't have content or can't post at an exact designated time. Let's just hope I'm not all talk.

6. Cut Out Soda and Cut Down on Coffee Creamer
Back to my awful health. Again, I know I should make a big change, but I also know that will never keep. So like everything else, I'm starting small and easy. I always say that I don't drink a ton of soda since I never keep it at home, but when I really think about it, I drink more of it than I realize. While I really do hope to start making way healthier choices going forward, I want to start with cutting out that and cutting down on coffee creamer. I don't use a a crazy amount (and I've certainly started using way less in the past year or two), but I'd like to get better at either drinking black or moving to milk/almond milk.

7. Be Less Impulsive About Shopping
I know this feels the same as #4, but this is also for style reasons in addition to money reasons. I buy SO many clothes, and I kind of had a rude awakening when I pulled out all of the clothes under my bed that I didn't wear anymore and filled up three bags easily to donate last month. I am positive I could have filled up at least one or two more if I hadn't gotten so tired. The reason is because I get bored of my clothes FAST, and it's a problem. I'm not going to stop buying new clothes altogether (although I do want to cut down significantly for my bank account's sake), but I want to be more careful about it. I think I've started to be better than I was in the past (especially showing more restraint in thrift stores), but it's time to only buy things that are good quality and are more timeless.

I've also been thinking a lot about whether I want to buy more or less vintage because of this. Pros, of course, are that it's sustainable and the pieces do tend to be more timeless, but I also admit that I'm not great at taking care of items. I also sometimes impulsively buy things because I know it's one of a kind and I don't want to regret it. I don't have the answer yet so we'll see. It's something I'm doing some thinking on, though.

8. Try One New Hairstyle
Okay, this one seems silly, sure. But my hair and I don't work well together. It's really thin and never wants to stay in an actual hairstyle, so I tend to wear it the same way every day. Last year I finally mastered milkmaid braids, which honestly, is a huge accomplihsment for your girl. So let 2019 be the year I start doing at least one more different style. Then I'll have three different ways to do my hair, and it'll be glorious. Watch out, 2019. It's a whole new Elana!

(A Very Belated) 2018 in Review

Would it be very cliche and naive of me to say, on January 2nd, that I want to make it a goal to blog more? Probably, but here I am. I have no idea if I actually will, but I do miss the writing aspect of blogging regularly.

The past year or two, I've gotten so consumed with work that I haven't had the energy to keep this thing up. I have a blast still taking photos on the weekends for Instagram, but I have too many unfinished posts to count. For the sake of hoping I finish writing this (and to stop boring anyone who is bored of me saying this whole spiel again), I'll keep this short.

I kept thinking that this year felt uneventful - not bad by any means, but just one of those years where nothing really big happened that went by in a blur. However, after thinking about it more, I'm remembering a lot of cool stuff that happened this year. So why ruin tradition? Here's my year in review, plus some of my favorite outfits.