I am engaged!

white jeans, sweater, converse

Holy hell, I am engaged!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I admit to being somewhat MIA lately as life has been quite the rollercoaster. On March 10th Mike proposed and I said YES.  Contrary to my oversharing on this blog, I like to keep my relationship very private. Our engagement followed suit with Mike proposing in our apartment, just the two of us. Afterwards we met our families at a nearby bar, and then headed to a party to celebrate with our closest friends. It surpassed all my expectations and I wish I could go back and relive that Friday over again.

Growing up I always told myself I would not get married before 30 (cue the “God laughs at plans” quote). Instead, now I am 26 and engaged to my bestest pal who I can’t wait to annoy forever. I was very vocal with Mike about the fact that I wanted to be engaged and the type of ring I wanted. In my opinion, long gone are the days where women are to stay silent in one of the biggest decisions of their lives.  Some people may feel it’s unromantic to have these realistic discussions with your partner before you have taken that final official commitment. However, marriage is a BIG FREAKING DEAL and romance is only one part of that relationship. Yes, love is awesome but I also want to be logical when deciding if I want to spend THE REST OF MY LIFE with someone. I encourage everyone to break out of traditional gender roles surrounding engagements and marriage and just be honest with your feelings.

My dad, yes, my dad, once gave me a great piece of advice about relationships. He told me, “you could go to bed with the most attractive person in the world, but you’re still going to have to roll over in the morning and talk to them—better make sure it’s a good one.”

white jeans, sweater, converse

 

white jeans, sweater, converse

In other news, I’m obsessed with wearing white on white (these pictures were taken before our engagement, I promise!!!). I paired the Gap jeans with Converse because I am a creature of comfort. Throw in a scarf, or colorful purse with your white and cream outfit and you will be looking like a bride in no time.

Xoxo

MM

Mom jeans on a kid’s budget

mom jeans, jeans, blue jeans, high waisted jeans

Happy almost weekend! Amidst all the craziness taking place right now in our country, sometimes we need a mental vacation. I hopped on an invisible plane recently and took a trip to my local mall, where I was greeted by Mom jeans on Mom jeans.

I may not be using the technical fashion term to describe these precious pants, but I feel like you know a Mom jean when you see one.  The Mom jean, lighter in wash, high-waisted, roomy through the legs and fitted ankles, have made a comeback. However, unlike the ghost of their mother’s past, we are styling them with over-sized coats, booties, delicate jewelry and tight knit tops.

Wearing a pair of Mom jeans can make your outfit feel unique, yet comfortable, which is a sentiment quiet similar to the feeling we get from the “Mom’s” they once covered.

As we enter the “in between” fashion weather season,  we discover perhaps the best part about Mom jeans: their year-long versatility. Purchase a pair of Mom jeans now, and come summer you can continue to confidently don them.

For my fellow friends with champagne taste on an invisible budget, Mom jeans don’t have to break the bank. I recently purchased these frayed-ankle Mom jeans at H&M for under $40 dollars!  Primark also has affordable styles, available here.

So please be sure to take yourself on that mental vacation, and perhaps pick-up some Mom jeans along the way. Then return to us all, protest sign in hand.

Happy shopping xx

mom jeans, jeans, blue jeans, high waisted jeans

mom jeans, jeans, blue jeans, high waisted jeans

Hot Take of the Week: Winter White

winter white, white jeans, the gap

winter white, white jeans, the gap

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it once enough: “you can’t wear white after Labor Day.”

But come on, rules are meant to be broken!!

For example, those white jeans you were going to pack away until Memorial Day, keep them out! Sporting a pair of white jeans during the winter months adds a new dimension to your otherwise plain-Jane jean ensemble.

I recently purchased these frayed white jeans from The Gap, which are currently on sale for under $20 dollars! Pair your winter white with a chunky scarf or over-sized sweater, and suddenly you’ve traveled from the Hampton’s all the way to Aspen. AND if you’re really trying to break some rules pair your (now winter) white jeans with a cream sweater, like one of my favorites from H&M, found here. You can also purchase my H&M knit turtleneck sweater here for under $40 dollars.

booties, white jeans

When I’m not too busy breaking fashion rules, I find myself craving MORE booties. My new favorite Marc Fisher beige booties, pictured above, are a must have item. I love the way the beige color looks with white jeans, as well as with black tights and denim. You can purchase these for under $100 dollars at Macy’s, available here.

I would like to end with a quick shout-out to my new friend at Macy’s whose name I can’t quite remember. Anyway, my new Macy’s-Shoe-Fairy-Godmother clued me in on a little tip: in order to sustain the life of a boot, thick socks should always be worn. Personally, I never wore thick socks with my booties. However, since my Macy’s-Shoe-Fairy-Godmother gifted me this new little piece of wisdom, I wear thick socks in booties for my Cinderella self.

nails, white jeans

Finally, if you’re digging my dark green nails as much as I am, it’s “Serene Green” shellac.

Xoxo

MM

Welcome to MegTime

camel, leather skirt, sweater, HM

Welcome to the first edition of MegTime. Now that my days as a stay at home mom are over, Thursday has become my new favorite day of the week.  It’s not quiet Friday, but the week is BASICALLY over. You can push through a Friday hangover. It’s only one day.

So to celebrate this glorious day and to hold myself to providing you all with NEW CONTENT (I typed that in Caps in hopes my subconscious could see) I have established MegTime. Every Thursday I will feature something I am personally obsessed with, whether it be clothes, food, books etc. MegTime will be a sacred time for me to share a little secret I picked up the past week.

During this week’s MegTime I will discuss my love of camel and my new favorite book, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

camel, leather skirt, sweater

In terms of camel, the color not the lumpy animal, this is the perfect shade to buy now that will continue to transition into the spring season. Camel  goes with everything—from denim to black to periwinkle, you will get a variety of outfits out of this color. In this outfit above I even challenged myself to step out-of-the-box and put together an entire camel outfit. So when you head to the mall this weekend, remember, camel or die.

big magic, book, self-love

Now on a more inspirational note, if you are looking for a way to inspire your creative side, immediately put on your shoes and run to the bookstore.  I have found the magic potion, and its a novel called Big Magic. I am a forever fan of Elizabeth Gilbert. I can pick up my copy of Eat Pray Love and sift through the pages with all my notes and signs of life, and experience emotions deeper than I knew possible. So when I heard she wrote a new book about tapping in your creative energy and never giving up on it, I was immediately hooked.

Big Magic grazes on the edge of a self-help book, memoir and a nonfiction novel, and it delivers. Gilbert uses real life examples of the way creativity has impacted her life and the universe. She is honest, clear and backs her claims with examples too inspiring to argue. If you are feeling like you are in a creative rut, or desire that creative spark in your life, I highly suggest investing in a copy today. I came away from the book feeling peaceful yet excited for what my creative path my lay ahead.

I leave you with one of my favorite passages from Big Magic, titled “Nobody’s Thinking About You,” and it goes: “We all spend our twenties and thirties trying so hard to be perfect, because we’re so worried about what people will think of us. Then we get into our forties and fifties, and we finally start to be free, because we decide that we don’t give a damn what anyone thinks of us. But you won be completely free until you reach your sixties and seventies, when you finally realize this liberating truth—nobody was ever thinking about you, anyhow.”

5 affordable Valentine’s day ideas in Philadelphia.

ripped jeans, sweater, turtlenecks

If you are anything like me, you probably can’t fathom that it’s almost VALENTINE’S DAY.  I’m not totally sure where January went but can’t say I miss it.  If you are also even more like me and aren’t exactly rolling in the dough—I compiled a list of some excellent and more importantly, affordable Valentine’s Day extravaganza’s. My recommendation is to try any of these ideas with your significant other or fellow single gal pal.

Now if you’re looking for something to wear on this upcoming day of “love and chocolate” I recommend rocking my personal favorite clothing item of the moment, a sweater turtleneck.  I can’t get enough of the sweater turtleneck—it keeps you warm, allows you to don less makeup (i.e. neck area) and goes with leggings, over a tight dress, or with ripped jeans. The ripped jeans and sweater/neck blanket is from H&M and under 40 dollars, and the booties are from Target.  You also get extra bonus points if you pair your sweater turtleneck with a pair of chunky earrings or hoops.

Here are the top 5 ways to do Valentine’s Day in Philadelphia on a budget:

  1. Rent an Indego Bike. Visit the multiple locations throughout the city and for a mere four dollars (per half hour) rent a bike for a ride to Kelly Drive or the along the Schuylkill River Trail and stop for a bite in center city along the way.
  2. Take a stroll to Dilworth Park and go skating on the Rothman Ice Rink. When you’ve finished skating, and are hopefully not too sore, wander across the street for a photo-op under the iconic Love park statue.
  3. Visit a BYOB for dinner. A BYOB (bring your own bottle) is one of my favorite dinner ideas always, not just on Valentine’s Day.  Bringing your own alcohol saves you big time on the bill and allows for you and that special someone to get a little tipsy, and probably cozier too. A few of my favorites are Mr. Martino’s Trattoria, Entrée  and Mercato.
  4. Two words: Landmark Theaters. I am seriously in love with all three of the Landmark Theaters here in Philadelphia. They are super intimate and less expensive than any large theater chain and they usually show awesome independent films that aren’t available everywhere.
  5. Visit the Italian Market for delicious supplies for a night in. The iconic Italian Market is a staple of Philadelphia culture and also cuisine.  Stop by the open market to stock up for a delicious Valentine’s Day dinner, giving you and that special someone a chance to test your skills in the kitchen.

Happy affordable Valentine’s Day from me to you.  If you are without a lover on this V-Day, please remember that you are so wonderful, and if you really need a reminder, check out this post from yours truly all about loving yourself.

Chat soon.

ripped jeans, sweater, turtleneck

ripped jeans, sweater, turtleneck

Out with the new in with the old.

fur, vintage, holidayI am back, and I apologize for the small hiatus on Madly Megan. However, my little vacation was for a good reason. I officially have a new job!

For those of you following my unemployment journey since the beginning, you know I decided against taking another job in Pharmaceuticals to pursue my dreams of writing. So, five months later I am happy to announce I am officially employed with a Public Relations company here in Philadelphia.

As glamorous as not having a full-time job may seem, I found it was somewhat lonely and brought down my self-esteem.  Instead of feeling productive and accomplished, it was hard to feel like I deserved down time after a day spent in my bedroom.  While unemployed, I felt that I did not have as strong of a sense of self, as I did when I was working.  Needless to say, I don’t see “housewife” in my future any time soon.

But do not fret; I will continue my journey here on Madly Megan after my new job begins.

In other news, the holiday season is quickly approaching, which means spending on others is in your near future.  When you have to buy gifts for multiple people, it is hard to find money to spend on that perfect Christmas outfit for yours truly.

SO, here are a few out-of-the-box ways to find a perfect holiday outfit without breaking the bank.

  1. Thrift Stores

This is a great way to find affordable clothes, but also an even better way to make money.  Check out places like Buffalo Exchange, or Plato’s Closet to sell your old clothes for cash-money now.  Also, your local consignment shop probably trades clothes for cash; they just may be slightly more particular about the items.

  1. H&M 15-percent-off entire purchase

As you probably figured out, I am obsessed with H&M.  They produce affordable, fashionable clothes for every occasion.  As an H&M connoisseur, I discovered their hidden discount offered every time you shop; all you have to do is bring a small bag of old clothes.  H&M collects the clothes you are disposing, and in return gifts you a 15-percent-off coupon to use on your entire purchase.  Don’t say I never told you anything.

  1. Family is for hand-me-downs

I was rummaging through my parents’ basement the other day when I discovered my great-grandmother’s vintage mink fur coat. As my mind filled with millions of outfit combinations I could style with this bad boy, I instantly fell in love. This isn’t the first time I’ve hit the clothes jackpot in a family member’s closet; both my grandmother’s and aunt’s houses have also been successful places for unique finds. Even if your relative isn’t ready to officially gift you the new item, ask to borrow it for a special occasion or holiday dinner.  Chances are if they’ve kept that jacket, or necklace, it means it wears well and has stood the test of time, and likely will for you too.

vintage, fur coat, holiday

vintage, necklace, fur

Coats and Clutter: Maximize your winter wardrobe.

winter coat, pink coat, black heels, megan schmidt, gold

Last year I purchased this light pink faux fur coat from Urban Outfitters. It was a statement piece and also an investment; at least, that’s what I told my budget-conscious self.  Turns out I was correct.

I am all about affordability and savvy shopping, but coats are one area I encourage a splurge. I styled this pink number with leggings and sneakers, or heels and a dress, more times than I can remember.  I know I wore it more than any three blouses in my closet.

My philosophy on shopping evolved within the past year.  Before, I thought I needed a $25.00 dollar chiffon blouse in every color imaginable. Now, I realize spending slightly more on pieces you can wear three or four times a week is a much more frugal way to shop. It also eliminates the new enemy in my life: clutter.

Lately, I am on a mass clutter-elimination in my house.  I went through my closet and tried to follow three simple rules when deciding what items to keep or toss:

  1. Have I worn it in the past two months?

  2. Does it fit? And is it stained or ripped?

  3. Would I buy it right now in the store?

Thus, when that bondage dress from three years ago was staring at me with the tag still on, I realized our time together was through.  It feels good to look at your closet and see fewer options.  With less clutter and old clothes, getting dressed and putting together new outfits becomes easier and more exciting.

If you are still not fully ready to commit to this cleansing process, put the clothes you are debating in a trash bag in your basement/available storage space.  If in a month you have not looked or thought of them once, time to head over to Goodwill!

I highly recommend doing a little fall-to-winter cleaning.  It will clear not only your closet, but also your mind, for the upcoming dreary winter months. 

Outfit Details: Urban Outfitters coat (sold out) similar here and here, Target heels (sold out) similar here and here, H&M blouse, Michael Kors satchel.

I fell in love with a jacket and jeans!

As we enter the in-between weather season, when it’s cool on Tuesday and freezing on Wednesday, finding the perfect jacket can be tough.  Look no further then this new olive jacket from H&M to cure your fashion blues. Wear it as is, like the outfit above, or under another heavier coat for those really cold days.

This color goes well with other neutral tones, like black, brown, and my leopard print booties. The sleeves are adjustable, and the spacious jacket allows for a chunky sweater worn underneath.

My new Gap black jeans are my other favorite part of this outfit.  The jeans are black, high waisted, with a dollop of stretch for your wearing pleasure.  I am having a difficult time taking them off because they are so comfortable and go with a plethora of outfits.  I highly recommend taking a trip down to your neighborhood Gap and explore their jeans department, you won’t be disappointed.

I hope you all are having a wonderful week. Keep an eye out for my next post filled with lots of inspiration.

Happy Shopping!

In defense of being “basic.”

Urban Dictionary defines being “basic,” as “someone who is unflinchingly upholding of the status quo and stereotypes of their gender without even realizing it.”

Well Urban Dictionary, I am afraid I beg to differ with this definition. I am completely aware of my basic-ness at times. From bingeing on Bravo, to Saturday’s spent at beer gardens, to fantasizing about my wedding dress, I know the mood I am in when basic hits.

So here is my defense of some of the top basic tendencies I share with my fellow basic sisters of Instagram.

  • Wine Nights with a Side of Crying.

We’ve all been there, your friend invites you over for Real Housewives on a Tuesday and four hours later its midnight and you are crying about your grandmothers. Dramatic? Yes of course this is, but you know what you’re signing up for on your walk over with your own personal jumbo bottle of cabernet. My defense of this “basic” practice is simple, how powerful is it that we are confident enough to reveal our secrets, hopes, and sadness in such a vulnerable way to each other. Yes we may cry about things we will laugh about in the morning, but at least we are in touch with our feelings and emotions. Everyone needs a good cry sometimes, and being able to share in that with your closest friends is a testament to a true sisterhood of no judgment.

  • Dressing “basic”.

I recently heard Leandra Medine, the Man Repeller, discuss the idea that you can be interested in clothes and fashion, without taking yourself too seriously. Personally, I could not agree with this more. As you discovered from this blog, I am obsessed with all things clothes. I look at shopping as a chance to create a new identity that is waiting safe in my closet at my disposal. The outfit I chose to post this with may seem “basic,” but wearing a hat like this in public, takes as much confidence as running around Philadelphia posing for these photos in front of curious onlookers. So although some people may think all black ensembles, sweater dresses, and fall hats are “basic,” they make me happy. And I think it’s pretty “un-basic,” to wear what makes me happy, regardless of the negative judgment of others.

  • Group Texts, your own daily “Girl Party.”

I am in a group text with 11 girls who all live within a six-block radius.   “Girl Party,” as we have so carefully labeled it, has prompted such “basic” discussions as which facemask to use, and the best dating app for finding your husband. It also prompted Kardashian debates so intense you would think we were discussing who will be the next President. However, Girl Party is much more than a platform only for “basic” conversation. It has also been the place we’ve shared breakup texts from ex-boyfriends, somber news about loved ones, and disappoint in our careers. I reiterate my point made earlier that it is actually a place of friendship and a no judgment zone. Although the idea that emulating a picture-perfect clone is the goal of being “basic,” in my “Girl Party,” your flaws and baggage are always welcome.

  • Champagne taste on a beer budget.

If there’s one major unknown fact about being basic it’s our ability to stretch a dollar. As a “basic” young women I realized that I have champagne taste but am on a very-cheap-light beer budget. We’ve all joined in on pity parties with our friends about how we “literally have no money.” Yet, come Friday, we still manage to attend that oh-so-necessary BYOB Italian feast. A “basic” girl never misses her friends birthday dinners. In fact, she has a list of her favorite BYOB restaurants, all who accept reservations for at least seven girls, and have an ambiance suitable for three hours of loud, and increasingly louder and drunker chatter. We have the ability to prioritize our spending to reach the maximum fun potential, and that demands skills that are far from “basic.”

Maybe after reading this you realized you’re not basic at all. But maybe, you realized you are, and it is completely okay and awesome to own it.

Yes I enjoy white wine, shopping, group texts and BYOBs. But I also journal, read CNN, and feed the homeless from time to time. However, I find that people who tell you all the outwardly “selfless” things they do on a daily basis slightly irritating. It takes confidence and a sense of self to let someone label you as “basic,” and not try to change their opinion.

Yes, at times I am basic. But to me, “basic” means being a loyal friend, taking care of yourself, embracing your emotions, being frugal, and not giving a f*ck about the judgment of others.

Also, if you want to recreate this “basic” look, check H&M for the dress and hat available online.

My time with Warby Parker.

A not-so-wise-man once said, “the grass is always greener on the other side,” and with this phrase came a never ending slew of negative self-comparisons. If you have curly hair, you want straight; if you’re tall, you wish you were short. The list goes on.  However, what this man didn’t tell you is that you can still have fashionable eyeglasses even if you have 20/20 vision. I give you, Warby Parker.

Warby Parker is an eyewear company based out of New York City founded on the concept of designer eyewear at an affordable price.  They revolutionized a new way to try on eyeglasses with their “Home-Try-On” program.  The Home-Try-On program allows the shopper to choose five eyeglasses to ship directly to their home for five days.  After the five days you can either choose the pair you would like to keep, or send back all five glasses, free of charge.

My curious, budget-friendly self gave the Home-Try-On program a whirl. The try-on eyeglasses are non-prescription, which I liked, since I don’t actually need glasses to see.  I received emails of when my package was to arrive in the mail and when it had to be sent back.  Warby Parker includes a shipping label for the free return. Returning went just as smooth as the delivery.

Once I had my precious new spectacles in hand, I tried on all of the pairs multiple times for myself, and my not-so-excited friends and family. After trying the five pairs I narrowed it down to two, The Chamberlain and The Welty, both with Whiskey Tortoise frames.  After much deliberation, I decided The Welty was my favorite and most flattering pair on my face.  

The Winning Pair: The Welty.

My Second Favorite: The Chamberlain.

The Welty.

The Welty.

If you are looking to purchase a new pair of eyeglasses, I highly recommend visiting Warby Parker’s site and trying the Home-Try-On program.  Remember, the real wise man said, “the grass is always greener where you water it,” so get watering and treat your eyes today.

Happy Shopping!