Friday, November 21, 2014

2014 Budget - July, August, September, October Recap

While I was busy this summer, not blogging, I totally forgot to keep up with my 2014 budget! Luckily I was able to just browse through my Stylebook app and see what I recently purchased. While I neglected to put the new items into my budget, I did remember to add them to my app!  Since I was so busy this summer with traveling, buying a house and renovating said house, I didn't spend that much on clothes. Here's a month-by-month recap of my summer and early fall purchases.

July - the boyfriend and I visited Buffalo (aka - home) during July. Everyone asked if I wanted to go shopping while I was home and I declined. Sadly, Western New York has no where near the selection of stores that we have in the tri-state area. Also, New Jersey has no sales tax on clothing purchases! I did make one purchase at Century 21 in July though. Some killer sandals!

Givenchy - Sandals $299.95 (Orig - $495)

August - The boyfriend and I spent most of our time house hunting and eventually buying our new house! Money was not spent on clothes, it went toward all those home buying incidentals.

September - I went to a conference in Madrid and made a stop in the Zara store. I usually am hot a Zara shopper, but I couldn't help but check out the price and variety differences between Zara US and Zara Spain. What did I discover? Zara in Spain is much cheaper. Be sure to leave room in your suitcase for some fun pieces.

via Zara
Zara - Dress with tie waist - $36 (US Price - $49.90)

via Zara
Zara - Sweater with Jewelled Shoulders - $49 (US Price - $79.90)
I bought this sweater in black, but you can get it in red!

Zara - Printed Blouse - $37 (US price - $49.90)

Zara - Blouse with contrast top stitching - $37 (US price - $49.90)

October - The boyfriend and I just went to Cambodia and I wanted a new crossbody bag for the trip. I went with a Deluxe Everyday bag from Le Sportsac. It has a bunch of pockets, can easily go into the wash and comes in so many cute colors!  I went with this one and I picked it up at the Bloomingdale's outlet for a steal.

via LeSportsac
Le Sportsac - Deluxe Everyday Bag - $45 (Orig - $82)

With all of the travel and house stuff that has been happening in the Wilde household, it seems that I cut back on the personal shopping quite a bit! Sadly, I really haven't saved any money. All the money that I usually spend on my clothing budget has gone into our renovation budget (plus a whole lot more money!) 

With the holidays coming up I tend to take a hiatus from buying myself anything. Well, after the big Thanksgiving sales of course! I usually drop a bunch of cash on black Friday sales while visiting the "in-laws" in Florida. They have such great outlets down there! Expect a large (probably over budget) November recap, followed by a sparse December budget.

2014 Budget
January - $614.07
February - $1,693.09
March - $110.50
April - $361.00
May - $655.99
June - $666.00
July - $299.95
August - $0 !!!
September - $159.00
October - $45.00

How does your budget look at this time of the year? Do you cut your personal spending in November and December to allow yourself more money to buy presents?

Also, what are you lusting after this holiday season? Is there something special that you would like to unwrap this year?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holiday Haul - LUSH & A Holiday giveaway!

Judging by the wreaths that are hung from the lampposts and the tree in my neighbors window - it's already time to celebrate Christmas! Personally, I think that we could probably wait just a little bit longer before hanging the fairy lights and getting all mistletoed up. There is one thing that I am happy to celebrate early - the arrival of the holiday LUSH collection!

Each year at this time, LUSH comes out with some of the most glittery, festive and aromatic bath products! While I generally avoid their glitter bombs, I am certainly one to stock up on my favorite scents. They only come around once a year and they smell amazing!

So, what did I pick up this year?  Quite a lot.

I grabbed some of my old favorites and also some of their newer items. Needless to say, my bathroom smells deliciously sweet right now and I can't wait to relax this holiday season with some bubbles.

First, let's start with some of the new items for this year! In years past, so white existed only as a bath bomb and the scent of apple, rosewater and bergamot was so addicting, SO WHITE makes its debut as a shower gel this year! While the label suggests it's shimmering, there is no lingering glitter to this shower gel. No need to worry about using this during the work week!

I had to pick up Candy Mountain because it is quite simply - adorable. I know I know, I will be crumbling up in my bath, but it will look cute on my vanity until that moment occurs. And it will definitely be sitting out until it meets its end because the scent is so pretty. It is labeled as a cotton candy scent, similar to the Rock Star soap. To me, it smells like a totally non-obnoxious vanilla.

The sales associate had to talk me into picking up the Luxury LUSH Pud. I'm not a huge fan of the bath bombs. I prefer bubbles or fizz when it comes to bathtime. When she showed me the size of this bath bomb and the beautiful bath that it produces, I popped it into my basket. This bath bomb is massive and apparently a long lasting fizzer.  We'll see!

Have you ever tried one of LUSH's bath jellies? I was completely weirded out by this product, especially when it's in the tub. Once I picked up the jelly and saw that it was a little snowman, I was won over. How cute is that? I'm a complete sucker for holiday branding, I know. After trying this out in the shower, I am a total jelly convert. My skin was so soft and the scent lasted even after getting out of the shower. I can't really describe the scent as anything other than "fruity" (LUSH says it's a mixture of lemon, bergamot and buchu. Don't worry, I have no idea what buchu is either.)

Another item that I picked up because it was pretty?  The Comforter. Bright magenta swirled with bright white. Picking up this bubble bar, you can feel how moisturizing this bath is going to be. I'm quite sure it will also be hot pink. So girly. The scent - black currant. Yum.

I also had to pick up some overtly holiday LUSH items. The last thing I picked up with the Dashing Santa. It was another item that I had to be sold on, because it is a bath bomb. The citrus-y scent will be perfect for a weekend morning. It smells so refreshing!

No holiday is complete without the classic Christmas Penguin. I'm a little disappointed that my penguin is missing his nose. Nose or no nose, this little penguin is one of my favorites that I'm so glad they brought back for another year. Apparently inspired by the littlest penguin, the Philip island Fairy penguin (go look at them!), these thankfully smell nothing like penguins. Orange flower and bergamot is what my penguin bath will smell like. (I must have been in a bergamot mood this weekend?)

Lastly, an old favorite - Snow Fairy shower gel. Bubblegum and vanilla makes for a very sweet smelling shower gel, certainly not one that you would want to use everyday. I like to use it on Monday mornings. Because, you know, Mondays need a little something. I also like that LUSH is using a biodegradable glitter in this gel (and all of their other products!) because so many companies are polluting our waters with their glittery gels and gritty scrubs.

I'm so glad that you stayed through the entirety of this post, because it was definitely worth it! I'm not just showing off my LUSH purchases today, I'm giving away a LUSH Festive Friends gift box for one lucky reader! Included are two of the items I showed off today (The Christmas penguin & Dashing Santa) and two that I wish I bought (Butter bear & The Christmas Hedgehog).

UPDATE: I'll also be including in the giveaway whatever you list as your favorite LUSH item! Think long and hard before you comment, because that fave could be arriving at your door!

Just leave me a message in the comment section and tell me what is your favorite LUSH product. It could be from holiday or regular collections, or even a retired product that you wish they would bring back! (Personally, I am really missing Coco lotion!)

There are a bunch of extra ways to win and you can earn up to five entries to win.  The giveaway will run through Wednesday, November 26 and I'll be picking the winner on Black Friday! It's just what you need to get the holiday season underway - a nice relaxing bath!

Good Luck!!!

Sorry to my international friends, this giveaway is open to US residents only. The LUSH website will only allow me to ship to customers in the US, even though I know they are an international company. If I resolve this issue, I'll update this post!

Disclaimer - This post is not sponsored by LUSH Cosmetics. I purchased all of this items listed above and the opinions are my own. That being said, LUSH is an awesome company and I love visiting the stores. The salespeople are the nicest ever!

Linking up with...

Style Elixir
Life's a Party, Dress Like it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wilde in the World - Lima, Peru

In late August, I had the chance to travel to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time! I've gotten close to the equator before (Singapore is right on the northern side), but never have I crossed the line. I ventured to Lima, Peru for a conference and spent four days in the hotel. This was the view from my hotel room...

Since it was August, Lima was just coming out of winter and transitioning into spring. Apparently the sun doesn't shine during the spring in Lima and my view looked like this all five days that I was at the conference. Luckily my hotel room was amazing (definitely stay at the Lima Westin if you want a gorgeous bathroom!) and the conference was interesting.

Even the food at the hotel was tasty. Their chef is Malaysian, so the menu was a fusion of flavors from Malalysia and Peru. Sounds strange, but it was totally delicious.

I spent three straight days in the conference and didn't leave my hotel. I was due to fly back the day after the conference, but not until 10pm. I actually got to spend the day in Lima, taking a tour of the city. While I didn't see that much, it was a nice introduction to Peru.

Next time I visit Peru, I'll be sure to stop by Machu Picchu!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wilde in the World - Maui

Here we are with my summer update number one! All the way back in late May, the boyfriend and I took some time off and headed to Maui. I've always wanted to visit Hawaii. Every time I suggested it as a destination, we always wound up choosing a more unusual vacation (Thailand, Morocco, etc.). Why did I finally get my wish of a trip to Hawaii? We had the time off and only five days to plan the vacation (we were supposed to be going to Australia, but that fell through in the last minute).

I can't say it was a restful vacation. We were constantly hiking, swimming, touring and so on, but it was an amazing trip!  Here are some highlights from our ten days in paradise.

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Kaanapali and were greeted with leis upon our arrival. I swiftly annexed the boyfriends shell necklace because it went so well with my floral lei. The hotel was quiet, had a great pool and...

Penguins! The hotel could have been a dump and these adorable penguins could have totally made up for it. Luckily, the hotel was lovely and had penguins.

I tried very very hard to avoid getting a sunburn. Hats are the secret to keeping your skin looking young! That, and lots of SPF. Reapply, reapply!

You can't go to Hawaii and not get some Shave Ice. This was just one of several tubs of ice we got while on Maui. That one there? I think it's pineapple, guava and banana. A chilly, tropical treat.

Most evenings we were too tired to bother with a fancy dinner. We ate at a lot of local greasy spoons and had Korean BBQ. One night though, we decided to put on nice(ish) clothes and go to dinner. Let me tell you this, the noodles at Star Noodle in Lahaina are totally worth the wait.
Nothing says vacation like waking up at 2:00am to drive up a volcano to watch the sunrise....

...then hiking 6 miles into said volcano. We really know how to relax.

We did a lot of hiking. The lure of the secret waterfalls kept us trekking.

I ate some pancakes to make up for all the hiking.

I really wish I was back in this moment...

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