Classic Snow Storm Style

Quilted Jackets and Duck Boots

Oh goodness gracious, I hope my East Coast followers have been paying attention to the snow storm coming! This Maryland gal has been checking the forecast frequently and it appears we’re in for a modest 10-12″ of snow and ice. This storm comes at the worst timing for me because I have to fly home Saturday afternoon into Baltimore. I feel as though the snow is just waiting until I get to the airport to begin dumping on the runways so I can’t take off on time. Such is life, right?

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In preparation for the inevitable freezing temperatures, I’ve dusted off my quilted jacket and pulled out my mom’s old duck boots. The quilted jacket I actually bought a few years back at Old Navy for $20. It was on clearance and the last size they had was an XS. Determined to buy the coat, I sucked it in and made it fit (more like stretched it out). My mom’s duck boots were from the 90s but I always steal them from her. Last spring, I found some Sperry duck boots for $35! Those have become my go-to shoe for wet days.

With all the sidewalk shoveling you’re going to be doing this weekend, I suggest you invest in a good quilted jacket and duck boots. I love the quilted jackets because they’re warm but still very mobile in terms of movement range. The duck boots offer the same thing. Wearing snow boots has always been something I dreaded because they feel so clunky.

The above jackets and boots are all under $100 and most are under $60! Normally, I wouldn’t pay that much for a single article of clothing (I’m a bargain hunter, remember?) but both of these items won’t go out of style and they’ll last for years. Keep an eye out for sales coming up in the next few months on clothes like these! I’ve already seen bikinis coming onto the sales floors so it won’t be long before winter jackets are 75% off!

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Back to School Shopping for Under $300

It’s the first week of August and back to school shopping is starting. I’m not sure whether to rejoice for people who have kids and are ready for them to go back or say a silent prayer asking for summer to stay just a little longer. This past week, I made my decision and went shopping! I found out about a family in my church who needed help getting back to school clothes for their kids. My heart went out to them and I volunteered to get all 3 kids a new wardrobe- for under $300. Here’s how I did it!

Back to School for Less

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I started by buzzing my way around all the local stores that were having back to school sales- and then making my way straight to the clearance racks. That’s right, I skipped the advertised “sale” racks. Rarely, in my opinion, are sales a good deal when you are really trying to save money. For example, I went to Kohl’s to get one of the kids some jeans. Sure, they had tons of jeans on sale (2 for $40) but typically I can find a better deal on the same jeans on clearance. I browsed the rack a bit and found two styles of jeans in the size I needed for $10 each! I tried the same method at American Eagle for the older kid and found a pair for $19.99.

school_clothes_for_lessMy next stop was at TJ Maxx where I found another pair of American Eagle jeans for $14.99! For the oldest son, I spent more money in stores like Hollister to get the teenager favorites, but I still shopped the clearance rack for tees ($7.99 each). I spent a lot of time in places like Marshall’s to get t-shirts and hoodies for all of the kids though. It’s my best kept secret for finding steals!

For the youngest little girl, I went to Target and Old Navy and found jeans for $10 and tees (long and short sleeve) for under $4 each. Once again, I shopped the clearance rack. I splurged a little and got her a pink tutu dress for $8. The most expensive part of my shopping was the shoes but I still got great deals. I found Sperrys on clearance for $34 and DC high tops for $24. Kids have to go back to school looking good, right?

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When I was a kid (that was like 5 years ago), I remember how important it was to have the “right” brands and the latest trends. As much as I don’t want kids to give into peer pressure, sometimes little things like wearing a certain clothing brands isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. If you can find a good deal on it, then have at it!

To sum everything up, I bought 6 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of shorts, 2 pairs of shoes, 2 backpacks, 3 dress shirts, 1 dress, 1 pair of leggings, 15 t-shirts, and 2 hoodies all for under $300! That is why shopping the clearance rack is so smart. Happy shopping!

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Fourth of July Style

fourth_of_july_styleFourth of July is this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited! I love this holiday for many reasons and one of them is sporting red, white, and blue in style! I love the way Americans celebrate their freedom. It’s a beautiful expression of who we are and that there are some traditions that won’t change.

I still haven’t decided what I’m wearing or even what my official plans are. I have many ideas floating around in my head but they all have one thing in common: bug spray! I get eaten alive every year. I also might attempt to make strawberry shortcake with some blueberries for added color, but don’t count on it.

I’ll take a selfie to share with you on my Instagram when I figure out what my Fourth of July style will include. For now, enjoy my inspiration!

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Texas Bound

How the West was Fun

Despite recent flooding and otherwise dreary weather, this week I’m making my way down to the great state of Texas! I’ve got boots, Cowboys, and Tex-Mex on my mind and I can’t wait for my first visit to this desert oasis. Actually, from what I’ve been told, it’s not all a desert and not everyone wears boots or knows how to saddle a horse. I’m just fulfilling my childhood fantasies of a remote outpost with dangerous outlaws and heroic sheriffs. Can you blame me?

My plans are to fly into Austin and then make my way to San Antonio where I’ll spend the majority of my time. I’ll be doing some sight seeing, shopping, and trying some of the local cuisine. I was hoping there would be a dude ranch near by the city so I could ride horses and pretend I’m a cowgirl. Apparently, ranches aren’t just everywhere in this part of Texas. Instead of chaps and spurs, I’ll be wearing sundresses and sandals. I ripped through my closet trying to find tribal and Aztec prints to wear and no such luck. I think I’ll have to stick to the east coast prep style. Hopefully Texans like Lilly Pulitzer and Sperrys as much as we do East of the Mississippi.

I’ll update you on my trip via Instagram! Be sure to follow me (@wittynpretty21)

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Travel Edition: Going Camping

What to Pack for a Camping Trip

Camping
Beach        A favorite past time of mine and my family’s is camping. Growing up we didn’t have money to spend staying at a resort or hotel. So with a little saving and planning ahead, my parents bought a Coleman pop-up camper. After that, we took many vacations every year in our pull-behind camper. We camped all over- the mountains of Virginia, Myrtle Beach, Civil War battlefields, Colonial Williamsburg, a theme park or two, and many other places. One of our most cherished vacation spots however, is Ocean City, MD. While not necessarily known for the ‘classy’ atmosphere, it has been a beloved place for families in the MD/DE/PA area to go during the summer for many generations. My family is no exception to this. 
       This weekend we’re planning a Mother’s Day camping trip to ‘OC’ as the locals call it,  for my mom and my ‘Aunt’ Terri (no biological relation but she and her husband are just like family).
         For any newbie campers out there you may be wondering where to start, what to pack, and what to expect. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone! I’ve been camping since I was 5 and still don’t know it all.  But I’m here to share with you what I do know!

1. Where do I start?

        Well, you start by planning the kind of trip you want and location. For first timers, I do not recommend traipsing out into the wilderness with no experience. Its not smart. My family has always enjoyed staying at state parks (usually very inexpensive!) or at a privately owned campground. Now some of you may be saying “that isn’t camping” and I suppose compared to the rough and rugged campers you would be right. But this is a perfect mix of nature and convenience. 
       The second thing you need to think about is what you will be staying in- tent, pop-up camper, or an RV. Tent camping is the closest thing to the real deal but from experience it is so uncomfortable. If you aren’t committed to buying anything bigger than a tent, then there are many places around the country that will let you rent to test it out. Go with what makes you comfortable. 

2. What do I pack?

       That is a loaded question because there is so much that I could tell you to bring! It really depends on where you Weekend_Getawayare going, how long, and what your activities will be. Going to the beach and mountains are completely different settings that require totally different gear. Not only that, but each season at both places requires different things as well. 
       For my trip to the beach this weekend, I know it will still be a bit brisk down at the shore line so I will be packing light weight clothes with jackets to go over top. A look I love on the beach is bikini bottoms with a cute hoodie on top. I’ll still get my legs nice and tan without being too chilled. I’ll also be bring my Sperrys, sun screen, big hat, neutral color shorts, jeans, a few neutral color tops, bright accessories, and my Vera Bradley beach towel. 
       Regardless of where you go there are a few things you simply must bring: bug spray, small toiletries bag, first aid kit, bath towels, and depending on if you’ll be dining in or not, cookware, lighter, and charcoal. 

3. What should I expect? 

       You should expect a lot of memories to be made and a few mistakes that will make you laugh eventually. My family and I still make some whopper mistakes when we go camping but they make for a great memory later.
       Also, expect to see wildlife. When we camp at OC, we go to Assateague State Park at least once for a day. This beachy Wild_Poniesarea is home to dozens of wild horses and an even bigger population of heron and deer. After being with these creatures that roam freely around the park you learn respect for nature and to leave it alone. Take your pictures but don’t get in their way, you’ll regret it. 
       Finally, expect for plans to be shifted around. You can never stick to an agenda when camping. And maybe that’s a good thing. Be flexible and don’t let your trip be ruined. 
Do you have any tips for camping? Comment below! 
-Liz