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Fashion Black Friday 2013

Hey CT residents! Visit Cait Plus Ate on Facebook for your last chance to enter my giveaway for a pair of tickets to a weeknight showing of Hartford TheaterWorksChristmas on the Rocks“. I’ll be attending tomorrow’s matinee and can’t wait to share my review next week!

Firstly, let me just say that I have been “going out” on Black Friday for as long as I can remember, and I was not a fan of how many places opened this year on Thanksgiving night. But not because of the whole don’t-make-people-work on Thanksgiving controversy that you may have heard about. I actually used to work on Thanksgiving (at a local bagel shop) and liked it because I was paid twice my normal hourly rate and I often find myself bored on holidays – I can only sit around the house and chat for so long. So I’m not surprised if some people welcomed the chance to work on Thanksgiving Day! In fact during college breaks I was employed part-time at my local Victoria’s Secret and working on Black Friday itself was the kicker because a) it sucked and b) you were paid your normal rate since it’s not a “real” holiday.

Fabulous idea.

No, my beef with stores opening on Thanksgiving night is because it takes away the “hardcore” from Black Friday! Any chump can stay up and hit the stores at 8PM. But setting the alarm on a day off from work takes a little bit more dedication. So call me a snob, but I do not consider those who went out Thursday night to be Black Friday shoppers.

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Skirting Around Fashion Friday

Before I dive into this week’s Fashion Friday (which obviously has a skirt theme) I’ll give a quick update on the missing shoe situation mentioned in last week’s Fashion Friday. Short story short – it still has not turned up. And I totally wanted to wear it (and its twin) with today’s outfit…oh, first world problems. My shoe addiction ensured I had a backup pair that matched, of course. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted on this terribly pressing situation.

I am soooo ready for the weekend and it’s sure to be fun. Firstly, the rain is dying down and the weather tomorrow looks great, which will make the beach trip I have planned with my mom downright lovely. Secondly, I have a couple restaurant outings planned (of course) with wonderful people! Tonight my mom and I are going to Barcelona in West Hartford, and I’m SO incredibly excited to bring her there for her first time and show her a restaurant that is so special to me. Tomorrow I’m going to It’s Only Natural (YAY) for a friend’s birthday dinner – and use of my gift card. As long as the sun stays out for Father’s Day, I will make it a wonderful and relaxing Sunday, despite my lack of father in the country (he’s going to Paris for a business trip).

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Fashion Friday: Back to Basics

So I’m REALLY glad you guys enjoyed yesterday’s little random Three Things Thursday post, because I REALLY enjoyed writing it and I hope that more posts about my daily life/musings will be popping up! Sometimes I “take on” so many opportunities that have come to me because of my blog – tastings, reviews, giveaways, events, what have you. I’m so very grateful and love doing it all! But it also fills up my blogging “schedule” and leaves less time to just ramble. And believe me, it feels good to ramble. Anyone who has a blog I have commented on knows I love doing that. ūüėČ

Can I get a WHAT WHAT for FASHION FRIDAY?! Lately I’ve been going with reviews/giveaways or themes, but today I want to take us back to basics (hence the Christina Aguilera reference) and just do five outfits I haven’t shared yet. Some for work, some for play – not much difference between the two categories though, since I’m lucky enough to work in an office where engineers make the dress code. Every day is Casual Friday – I get funny looks when I “dress up”.

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Fashion Black Friday 2012

Thank you to those who entered my Sprigs giveaway for a Banjees (running wallet)! Remember that my review post contains the promo code “CaitBanjees” which can save you¬†10% off a purchase up to $29.99 or 20% off a purchase $30 and up until 12/31/12. So if you didn’t win a Banjees, you can purchase one (or more!) for yourself and/or family and friends for the holidays…at a discount!

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The winner is Laurel! I will contact you for your shipping information – congrats!

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A week ago today, America experienced its biggest shopping day of the year – the day after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as Black Friday. Last week there was no Fashion Friday on this blog because I was too busy taking advantage of a day that not only means deals to me, but also tradition. Since I was in at least middle school if not earlier, I have been going Black Friday shopping each year with my younger sister, and sometimes also my Nana Connie (she’s the one who introduced us to the “holiday!) and/or my dad. I love fashion, I love deals, but most of all I love my family and how much fun we have together on Black Friday! Family time doesn’t stop at Thanksgiving!

Of course, I DID get some great deals…I’d say this year’s Black Friday was even more successful than last year’s, though more so because I didn’t waste the day feeling distracted by as much guilt (there was still some) over the Thanksgiving meal I’d enjoyed the night before (of course it also helps that this year I wasn’t completely and utterly hungover).

Yeah just what I need..another Fossil watch. But CHECK OUT that price difference! Thank you Nordstrom Rack in Farmington, CT!

Hallmark was having Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off on all Yankee Candles. More things I don’t need. I love how the little guys are just $1.99 each!

I’m obsessed with this Elle dress from Kohls! On sale for just $30. I can’t wait to wear it to work!

This Kohl’s sweater was on sale for about $12! The Lauren Conrad collection skirt was $17. I always seem to find great deals on her clothes on Black Friday!

Kohl's sweater.

Wore the sweater yesterday in fact!

Sweater and Fossil watch.

Went all matchy-matchy with my “birthday cake” Fossil watch.

LOFT necklace

Topped it all off with a LOFT outlet necklace. I love dainty accessories with floral prints!

I adore adding touches of velvet to an ensemble and am in the market for a pair of plain black flats (believe it or not). These were on sale at Urban Outfitters for $19.99!

Jeggings (slowly accumulating a pair in every wash…), pleated skirt (last Black Friday I was pleats-obsessed too), and the best sports bra I’ve ever seen…all from American Eagle. Everything in the store was 40% off! I plan to wear the sports bra not during workouts but with loose tops, kinda like a bandeau.

I didn’t shop for only myself! I picked up some cute holiday cards for co-workers, some presents for my parents, and FIFA ’13 for Xbox for just $35 from Best Buy for the little bro. Last year I got him FIFA ’12 and gave it to him when I got home from shopping. This year was no different.

Best Buy is right next to Trader Joe’s. The place was deserted…understandably, no one wants to be in a grocery store after having been in one so much right up until Thanksgiving. So I didn’t have to wait in line at all to purchase these babies

Come on! Black Friday has gotta be Black Foodie Friday when I’m involved! Another family Black Friday tradition is meeting my dad (or going with us if he joined us to shop) for lunch somewhere when we are done/wiped out/in need of refueling. I suggested Max Burger and my sister was all over it. The menu has something for everyone – in my family’s case, it was burgers and fries for my dad, sister, and brother, and a fan-freaking-tastic scallops salad for me!

Max Burger Blackened Scallop Salad

Blackened scallops, greens, pico de gallo, onions, asparagus, black beans, and orange vinaigrette.

I also polished off my brother’s fries and dipped them in Max sauce (WHAT’S IN IT?!). I left perfectly satisfied and my seafood/veggie craving was quenched. And by a burger place no less! Max Restaurant Group does it again (in fact, I’m dining at another location, Max Amore, tonight for dinner…and to say I’m excited is an understatement). Truly the best way for me to conclude my Black Friday.

Did you go Black Friday shopping? Any deals?

Have you ever had to work retail on a Black Friday? What was it like? *raises hand* I have!

Which of my finds is your favorite?¬†I know Meg will say the salad! ūüėõ

5K Fashion Friday!

Be sure to enter my giveaway for Mama Micki’s vegan cookies – you have until tomorrow (Saturday 9/22) at 11:59PM EST to enter!

I’m still so relieved to know that I’m not alone in feeling what I shared on Tuesday. I would never be happy that others are experiencing any negative emotions, but it is comforting to know I’m not alone, and I can see that many of you share the same sentiment. I always get paranoid when I open up here but I never end up regretting it because you’re all just so very kind and understanding!

This seems like a fitting time to announce that I recently signed up for the Love Your Body 5K on Saturday, October 20th! The run is being put on by the CT Chapter of the National Organization for Women and will take place at the beautiful West Hartford Reservoir. I highly encourage anyone in the area to sign up and join fellow blogger Maria and I on Team #AmazingMe!¬†There’s no “official” sign-up process to start a team, but if you sign up and want to join us then simply shoot me an email¬†and let me know so that I can keep you in the loop on where we’ll meet up before the race and costumes(YES we are ABSOLUTELY dressing up and suggestions are welcome!)

My dear friend Jenny and I on a hike in the Reservoir!

Registration is just $25 before the race and $30 on race day, so if you’re on the fence you won’t be losing out on too much money by deciding to show up last minute. But you MAY lose out on the advance notice needed to put a costume together ūüėõ fair warning! Proceeds benefit the CT NOW Foundation and they are still looking for sponsors, so if you are a local business interested in showing support for an empowering movement then you can email them here!

Now let’s get down to it. I know you guys enjoy Fashion Friday and I do too, even if it means I’m slowly revealing the ¬†size of my closet to the public – it’s actually a small closet, but way more full than it should be. Oops. But fashion makes me happy (and so does donating clothes I don’t wear anymore!) so I will keep filling (and periodically emptying) that closet of mine with more material for more Fashion Fridays.¬†After all, there are 52 Fridays in a year!

Disclaimer:I am completely kidding and am in no form promising you all 52 (multiplied by 4-5 outfits per post) unique outfits per year. Now that would be obscene.

Like my work badge?

Top: Urban Outfitters

Necklace: mystery to me

Watch: Fossil

Jeans: American Eagle

Shoes: Toms

Top: H&M

Watch: gift from grandpa

Rings: Forever 21

Pants, Shoes: Urban Outfitters

Bow: Samantha American Girl doll (not a joke)

Earrings: Forever 21

Cardigan: J. Crew

Cami: Hollister

Watch: Michael Kors

Ring: Forever 21

Jeggings: American Eagle

Wedges:¬†Francesca’s

Headband, Earrings, Ring: Forever 21

Top: Urban Outfitters

Watch: NYC flea market

Belt, Jeggings: American Eagle

Shoes: Urban Outfitters

I also just found one of the tops from last week’s Fashion Friday on Urban Outfitters online SALE section!

Which outfit is your favorite?

Got any ideas for costumes for Team #AmazingMe? Remember the Love Your Body 5K takes place just 11 days before Halloween, so the possibilities are truly endless!

Have you ever attended a Love Your Body – themed event?

Fashion Friday Gets Fab!

Awhile back, I was featured by fellow Fitfluential Ambassador Rachel of Running Rachel on her blog’s Fitspiration Friday feature! Thank you for selecting me, Rachel!

Okay, so regarding the title…Fashion Friday is ALWAYS fab.¬†I know. But a) it’s been awhile since I’ve done a Fashion Friday, and b) last night I felt so very fabulous and have extra fabulous professionally taken photos to include in today’s post! Let me explain.

Photo credit to Sean Fowler of CT.com!

My Dress, Ring: Forever 21

My Watch: Michael Kors

Kelly’s Dress:¬†Marshall’s!

Last night was the¬†3rd Anniversary Party¬†for one of my¬†favorite places in CT to get a unique cocktail –¬†Cuvee,¬†located in West Hartford’s¬†Blueback Square. I¬†mentioned the party¬†and their contest to win access to its VIP portion in previous posts. And my friend Kat was able to¬†score me a guest pass¬†for my friend Kelly and I to attend that VIP portion –¬†papa-razziiii!

See all that? FREE.

We sipped complimentary chutes of both Chardonnay and Rose champagnes, and munched on delicious passed apps like Pulled Pork Crostini, Thai Shrimp Skewers, Veggies & Homemade Hummus, CHEESE A-PLENTY, and Mozz-Stuffed Meatballs! The latter were, to put it simply, mind-boggling good.

My drink at left (Sailor Over a Barrel – Max’s Own Cask Aged with Sailor Jerry’s Rum, Domaine de Canton, Sweet Vermouth) and Kelly’s Peach Kicker (Ciroc Peach, Jeramiah Weed Sweet Tea Vodka, Jalapeno, Lime, Agave, Lemonade) in the mason jar!

After a little over an hour at Cuvee we decided we needed to do what we do best – restaurant hop – since it was our last night together before Kelly moves to MA! We tried to hit up Bartaco but unfortunately it was too packed, so we opted to sit outside at a Max Restaurant Group establishment I’ve been dying to try, Max’s Oyster Bar¬†(also home of Chef Scott Miller from my recent Chef to Farm experience!). The above cocktails did not disappoint! My drink may have been small and it may have been simple (and $13), but it was also extremely delicious and smooth. I love me some high-quality liquor. When it’s the good stuff, the extra additions are not needed!

A warm, crusty wheat roll and my salad of greens, goat cheese, Brussels sprouts, apple, and pancetta!

I only wish I’d been more hungry so I could’ve ordered a fabulous dinner entree! Next time…because Max’s Oyster Bar has certainly now moved higher up on my to-do list, even after I’ve already “done” it. That says a lot right?! But the above salad was mind-blowingly wonderful and Kelly’s Blackened Tuna Tacos were so fresh I could taste it. I’m very grateful to her for letting me steal one ūüėÄ What a fun last night of activities to spend together!

Photo credit to Sean Fowler of CT.com!

Shoes: DSW

And now onto the remainder of your regular Fashion Friday programming…

Cardigan, Pants: Urban Outfitters

Top: Hollister

Shoes: PacSun Outlet

Selfies FTW.

Watch: NYC flea market

Headband: H&M

Cardigan: Forever 21

Top: Express

Watch: NYC flea market

Jeggings: American Eagle

Shoes: Steve Madden

Before dinner with my grandma at J. Gilbert’s!

Dress, Bracelet: Forever 21

Watch: gift from grandpa

Shoes: Steve Madden

Have a great long weekend, everyone!

Which outfit is your favorite?

Have you ever gotten to be “VIP” at an event?

Fashion Friday Shows Some Leg

Thank you to¬†Meg, one of the blog world’s brightest rays of sunshine (I’m a sap but it’s true), for including me in her weekly¬†High Five Friday post! It always is great to get props for something positive I’ve done, especially since I often need reminding about why I’m¬†#AmazingMe. And she’s now joined in the fashion fun (yay alliteration) with her¬†Shopping Spree Sunday!

Sorry that I’ve been a bit MIA!¬†I’ve been really busy at work and have also been trying not to put too much stress on myself and just chill. It’s been pretty amazing to be at¬†home for dinner¬†every night this week eating a home-cooked meal and drinking a glass of wine with the DVR. That being said, I’m completely 100% excited to be¬†going out to dinner tonight with my rocks,¬†Heather¬†and¬†Jenny, at one of our favorite CT restaurants,¬†It’s Only Natural. I often find vegan dishes to be the most unique, so I’m pumped to have something for dinner tonight that¬†I’ve never had before.¬†Then tomorrow morning, the three of us are attending a¬†free outdoor yoga event in West Hartford center called¬†Om Street Yoga, sponsored by¬†West Hartford Yoga. The 75 minute all-levels class in the fresh air is just the thing I need, and I plan to¬†challenge myself by making it my ONLY workout¬†tomorrow. It’ll be hard, especially since I have an amazing¬†CT Bloggers meetup¬†scheduled tomorrow evening at¬†J. Timothy’s Taverne¬†in Plainville, where food and beer will be a-plenty. But I need to¬†prove to myself¬†that not only can I¬†go to the event and stay in control, but I can also do so on a day in which I did not get an intense workout in. I got this, but would appreciate it also if you all¬†kept me in mind and sent positive thoughts my way¬†tomorrow!

But you know what day it is, right? It’s Fashion Friday!¬†Here’s what I’ve been wearing lately! You will notice more legs happening…I have been in such a mood for dresses, shorts, skirts…I just don’t want my legs covered. No, not because I’m a skank, but because when you live in CT ¬†you have to take advantage of warm weather while you can!

Cardigan/Dress:¬†sister’s (so likely Urban Outfitters or Nordstrom)

Headband: American Eagle

Watch: Fossil

Heels: DSW

Necklace: Forever 21

Dress: J. Crew Outlet

Watch: gift from my grandpa

Wedges: H&M (I saw them at the Newbury St. location in Boston this past Saturday, FYI!)

Dress:¬†sister’s (so Urban Outfitters or Nordstrom)

Watch: Michael Kors

Shoes: Forever 21 (Heather borrowed him during her last visit!)

Necklace:¬†Francesca’s (featured in a previous Fashion Friday)

Tank: H&M

Shorts: Nordstrom Rack

Sandals: Steve Madden

Sunglasses: Nordstrom Rack

Tank: Urban Outfitters

Watch: Fossil

Shorts: Hollister

Shoes: Birkenstock (from #fitblognyc!)

It’s safe to say I’m obsessed with the back of this shirt, and insisted that Matty take a photo for me when I wore it to Wildflour with him and Heather on Sunday after Color Me Rad!

Which outfit is your favorite?

Anyone else been tempted to wear outfits that let your legs breathe in these lovely summer months?

Any advice for me as I take on my fitness and event-related challenges tomorrow?

Fashion Friday (Not Unlucky!)

Happy Friday the 13th! Did you know it’s the third Friday the 13th we’ve had this year?! It makes sense since the world is supposedly ending (and on my mom’s birthday no less) in 2012, but here’s hoping your Friday the 13th doesn’t actually end up being unlucky! I’ll be hitting the gym after work for the StepMill and an upper body lifting session, then headed to Elton John Night at the Talcott Mountain Summer Music Festival¬†(I recently did a ticket giveaway). I’ve got red wine straight from Italy packed (literally, my friend brought it back to the US in her suitcase) and a SaveNowCT deal to Harry’s Pizza in West Hartford to use. Can’t wait to pair pizza and wine (my favorite food with my favorite alcoholic beverage happen to combine to make my favorite pairing), listen to music outdoors, and chill on a blanket. I’m hoping it’ll be an evening of zen ūüôā

It can’t possibly be Friday the 13th, because lucky enough for you, it’s Fashion Friday!¬†Here are the outfits I’m sharing (but didn’t necessarily wear recently) this week:

Top/Scarf: Forever 21

Pants: Urban Outfitters

Shoes: PacSun

Awkward Hip Jut:¬†all me ūüėČ

Accessories view.

Watch: Fossil

Wristband: Oakley

Bracelet: from Ilyse Baker of Dancinerate (and my cardio dance instructor at #RBKFITBLOG!)

Pants: Urban Outfitters

Shoes: Toms

Top: Nordstrom (sister’s)

Watch: Fossil

Cardigan/Top:¬†sister’s…don’t know their origin(s)…but if I had to guess I’d say Urban Outfitters or Nordstrom

Pants: Urban Outfitters

Shoes: Steve Madden

Blazer: Forever 21

Top/Necklace: more sister-owned mysteries

Jeggings: American Eagle

Shoes: Steve Madden

Before dinner outside at Giovanni’s in Glastonbury.

 Top: sister mystery

Pants: Urban Outfitters

Shoes: PacSun

Watch: NYC flea market

I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me so I won’t be blogging again until Monday at the earliest. I’m headed to Boston tomorrow to use a Groupon for a BYOB sailboat cruise (oh yes I did) and am meeting up with one of my best friends for dinner. On Sunday morning I’m running the Color Me Rad 5K with Team Fitfluential!

You may notice that I wore the same Urban Outfitters pants in almost every outfit this week – do you have that one item of clothing that you wear ALL the time?

What’s your favorite outfit this week?

What are you doing this weekend?

Fashion Friday (That Feels Like Tuesday)

TGIF, right? Honestly, this whole week has felt weird to me what with the 4th falling on a Wednesday and all. But it’s actually been kinda awesome. Monday/Tuesday felt like Thursday/Friday, and this Thursday/Friday has felt like a Monday/Tuesday with a surprise break at the end! Too bad I will actually have summer class tonight and all day Saturday and Sunday, but I have good workouts and yummy dinners planned for after those classes, so that’ll push me through! Also, in the spirit of Meg‘s amazing weekly High Five Friday, I want to give myself a high five for¬†getting an A-¬†in the summer class I completed a couple weekends ago. Let’s hope this one goes just as well!

I’d like to quickly announce the winner of the giveaway for two lawn seats to the Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s outdoor summer concert series in Simsbury, CT, happing Friday July 6, 13, and 20. The winner is JulieAnn! Congratulations – thanks for entering and please email me with your mailing address!

It may feel like Tuesday to me, but don’t worry, I didn’t forget about Fashion Friday!

Cardigan: Urban Outfitters

Tank: H&M

Necklace, Ring: Forever 21

Watch:¬†NYC flea market (it doesn’t even have a battery in it!)

Top: J. Crew

Bracelet, Ring: Forever 21

Watch: gift from my grandpa

Better watch closeup.

Top: Urban Outfitters

Bracelet: Forever 21

Watch: Fossil

Jeggings: American Eagle

Shoes: Toms

Top:¬†?? It’s my sister’s, haha.

Watch: NYC flea market (this one has a battery but is not set to the correct time)

Jeggings: American Eagle

Wedges: H&M

Better shot of the wedges.

Cardigan: Urban Outfitters

Tank: another sister-owned mystery

Jeggings: American Eagle

Boots: Payless

Accessories collection.

Bracelets, Necklace: Forever 21 (the left bracelet was 50 cents and the necklace was free, both on Black Friday!)

Watch: Fossil

And I’m sure you can spy my Oakley Women hair band!

There you have it – a Fashion Friday that feels like a Tuesday. Wish me luck as I fight through my summer class this weekend, and stay tuned for a product review and giveaway for something tasty and REAL on Monday! ūüėČ

Do you wear watches for fashion, function, or both? I have no idea if ANY of mine are set on the right time, if they even function!

How do you feel about jeggings?

Does the 4th of July holiday have you all confused about this week too?

Fresh Fashion Friday

Can I just say HOLY CRAP? I have never had so many huge, giant smiles put on my face by the blogging community before. After I hit “Publish” on yesterday’s post,¬†I was nervous. I’d put myself out there and shown you my more vulnerable side, the side of me that hides behind the adventurous foodie. And I was nothing but rewarded by your supportive comments, mentions in posts, and tweets. I was hesitant yesterday, but now I just feel pride to hear that my blog helped girls struggling with similar guilt. I’m also pleased to have a pocketful of new mantras to use against my troubled thoughts. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for not making me regret being open! In fact, if anything, I am all the more encouraged to share even more with you all, now that I truly know that I am not alone.

I just had to say all that, because I still can’t get the huge grin off my face ūüėÄ

I’ve got a fresh, new Fashion Friday for you all today! I’m also running out of outfit photos…so I don’t know if you should get used to seeing this topic every Friday just yet ūüėõ but I’m still getting great feedback on each of these posts. Glad to know I can inspire you all for the weekend, especially if it contains upcoming shopping trips!

Feeling in the mood to be very cozy.

Cover-Up: Forever 21

Jeans, Belt: American Eagle

Shoes: Toms

Better look at accessories.

Earrings: Forever 21

Watch: Fossil

Top: Forever 21

Watch: gift from my grandfather

Pants: Urban Outfitters

Shoes:¬†Journey’s Outlet

Weird angle – my camera looks huge and my feet look tiny!

Cardigan, Leggings: Forever 21

Boots: Steve Madden

Top, Bracelet: Forever 21

Pants, Flats: Urban Outfitters

Watch: Michael Kors

That’s it for today! Again, thank you all so much for being so supportive. I’m off…headed to a “Shake Your Soul” Dance Yoga class tonight at Granby Yoga (can’t wait to try a workout that combines two things I love) followed by a birthday dinner for a friend at my favorite restaurant!

So now I’ll ask you all the usual Fashion Friday questions…

Which outfit is your favorite?

Do any of these outfits reflect your preferred style?¬†I won’t be hurt if you say no!

Got any ensembles already planned for the weekend?