Plaid Mad

Plaid is definitely on my agenda for fall/winter. I’m seeing it everywhere and many times its in conjunction with ruffles (win!) or in a length that I can wear it with jeggings or leggings and my booty won’t be on display for all the world to see (win win!). Will you be wearing plaid in the near future and if so, what are you getting?

  1. Women’s Regular Long Sleeve Flannel Ruffle Popover Shirt, Landsend
  2. Lurex Plaid Ruffle Shirt, Express
  3. Plaid bayou tunic, J.Crew
  4. Longline Plaid Button Up w/Belt, Forever 21
  5. Urban Renewal Vintage Overdyed Plaid Flannel Boyfriend Shirt, Urban Outfitters
  6. Women’s Classic Flannel Shirts, Old Navy

Amazingly Chic Wedding for UNDER $10,000!

My beautiful little sister got married a couple of months ago, 9/26/09, and I wanted to share how AMAZING it turned out. Not only was it amazing, but the entire thing cost just under $10,000, which, in wedding terms, is on the cheap side…especially with a crowd of around 100 people!

sk-budget wedding

1. THE DRESS: Wedding dresses are crazy expensive, especially if they’re a recognized designer. However, Rachael was able to find a surprisingly affordable Nicole Miller dress that I swear was made especially for her. I think the tip is to not go overboard with the fabric of your dress. This particular one was made of a jacquard cotton material. Oh yeah, it took us all of one hour to pick out THE DRESS.

2. This is just a great picture of my sister and our Dad…they were both so happy! (Check out the flower/feather headpiece she wore instead of a veil…classic.)

3. Wedding Party: You’re going to hear all kinds of rules and regulations when it comes to picking a bridal party, which, even though you don’t realize it, totally adds to the wedding cost as well. I mean, you’re talking extra flowers, extra gifts, etc…So, if you want to stay on a budget, keep your wedding party small. Don’t worry, your friends won’t shouldn’t be offended. (That’s me in the picture, aka the Maid Matron of Honor, and my dress was AWESOME!)

4. The Venue: This is a tricky one because every place you fall in love with wants to charge you an arm, a leg, and all your hair just to book it! We did a lot of research on this one and wound up having the wedding and reception at the upscale Shoreline restaurant in Austin that overlooks TowneLady Bird Lake. What saved us the moola is that they don’t have a rental fee! You do have a food and beverage minimum, but you would have spent that anyway…so bam…$2,000 (average rental fee) back in our budget! (Did I mention that our menu consisted of hand-passed hors d’oeuvres, salad, grilled chicken w/ preserved lemon and sun-dried tomato sauce, and prime rib?)

5. Flowers: Keep them simple! Rachael opted for amazing bouquets for herself and I that included a lot of different flowers that had a lot of texture, but when it came to the table decorations, she kept it classic and simple with short hydrangea centerpieces and tall hydrangea and curly willow centerpieces at alternating tables. Oh yeah, and candles…you can never have too many candles…so romantic!

6. The happy couple: If you look closely you can see the lake in the background…and look at the cowboy boot-clad Groom and barefoot Bride…totally Austin…

7. Entertainment: Band vs. DJ is always tough. Rachael ended up finding a great local southern rock band that charged a minimal fee AND played at the ceremony too…double-score! (Seriously, she gave them the music she wanted them to play at the ceremony and they played it amazingly.) They were great and they kept the dance floor packed ALL night!

8. Cake: I don’t have any budget-saving tips on this one except that there wasn’t a typical “Bride” and “Groom” cake…there was only one. However, Rachael did alternating layers on the cake. Her layer was an almond-butter cake with passion fruit preserves and Sam’s (the groom) layer was red velvet. Stardust Pastry was the cake designer and it was perfect!

9. Another one of the Bride and Groom…was this not the most perfect setting?

10. The Getaway: Sparklers are cheap, but oh what an exit they make…

Congrats Rachael and Sam…we wish you a lifetime of happiness together!

Many thanks to the great photographer, Natalie Blake, for capturing these happy moments.

I Need Cardigan Anonymous

Hi, I’m addicted to cardigans.  I have a lot of cardigans.  One of the things that has fueled my addiction to cardigans is buying solid colors to ensure that I can wear them with as many outfits as possible.  What I’m seeing is that a cardigan can in fact be an accessory now what with all the ruffles, embroidery, stripes and prints available.  I need help, this has opened a whole new world for me.


  1. Garnet Hill, Lambswool Intarsia Cardigan
  2. Fossil, Kennedy Sweater
  3. J. Crew, Jackie Cardigan*
  4. Old Navy, Women’s Ruffle Front Cardigan
  5. Boden, Rosette Cardigan
  6. Dillard’s, Peter Nygard Animal-Print Cardigan
  7. Gap, Striped Cardi
  8. Anthropologie, Anemone Bloom Cardigan
  9. Chadwick’s, Tweed Corsage Cardigan

*YES it’s a solid, I told you I have a problem.  I can’t change my ways overnight.

Fight of the Century: Round FOUR

You’ll be looking rather studly in this studded headband, especially if you got it for under $4 bucks!

JCrew, Studded Headband or Forever21, Studded Headband

Fight of the Century: Round THREE

Wrap yourself in silky loveliness, just don’t get bamboozled into paying too much….

JCrew, Silk Cami or Forever21, Silk Cami

Fight of the Century: Round TWO

When I put on a sequin… it makes me wanna get a little tipsy.  NOT tipsy enough to pay that $495.00 price tag though.

Round TWO

The Fight Part 1-B

JCrew, Sequin Cami or Forever21, Sequin Cami

The Fight of the Century

Hello again..Der here. I, like gazillions of you people out there, am a ginormous fan of anything JCrew produces. Man, they know how to make me drool over a ruffled cardigan or applique tee like no body’s business. BUT, there is a huge but here…many, many times they want to charge me something ridiculous like $500.00 for said cardigans and tees. Being the bargain hunter that I am, I find myself searching for these looks for less. And you are in luck because I plan to showcase my finds with you people over the next several days… it’s the CLASH OF THE TITANS: J.Crew vs Forever21

Round ONE

The Fight Part 1-A

J.Crew, Tiered Cami or Forever21, Tiered Cami

Stay Tuned…..

Let’s Get This Party Started!

WHAT UP Ladies and Gents of the internet world!? My name is Der, well really its Amanda, but I have been given a nickname some time ago and well.. it stuck, whether I like it or not ( I don’t, by the way. Imagine your husband slipping and introducing you to all his co-workers or new friends as Der…real elegant sounding). Here is the brief evolution if you will: Amanda…Manders…Mander…Der. Got it? Good. You can read more about me right here.
So back to biznass… I love to shop, I mean LOVE… like if you could marry shopping, I would. I also love to find a bargain, deal, knock-off… you get the idea. So, my gameplan revolves around me showing all of you these marvelous deals that I happen upon, so you don’t waste your hard earned monies on something when you can actually get an identical item for MUCH less. So… here we go…my favorite things right now, complete with much more cost effective options for you frugalistas like me.


Steve Madden, Toggle Coat ($168) or Delias, Emma Toggle Coat ($69)


James Perse, Contrast Panel Shirt ($144) or  Converse One Star, Sport Shirt ($19)


J.Crew, Dream lycée turtleneck dress ($128) or Merona Collection, Womens Turtleneck Sweater Dress ($59)


Steve Madden, “Findd” Sandal ($88) or Mossimo, Paulina Gladiator Sandal – Grey Patent ($26)

Let Me Introduce Myself and the Stuff I’m Currently Loving On

FIRST POST!! Haha! Helloooooo Internets!! I’m Amanda, you can read all about me here. I’m PUMPED about sharing all the stuff I’m loving on. You’ll soon find out that I love bright stuff, stuff for my son, stuff for parties, jewelry and shoes!

PEOPLE…this stuff…I’m hearting it:


  1. Boden, Ravishing Ruffle Jacket
  2. Boden, Biker Jacket
  3. Zappos, Puma Kids, Speeder Mesh Inf (Infant/Toddler)
  4. J.Crew, Twist Sash Dress
  5. Anthropologie, Double Twist Sweater
  6. Crow’s Nest Trading Co., Tubac Turquoise Cuff