#JESSECOULTER - No.8

4.26.2015

Spring is here and the TX heat is coming, so I've been purchasing comfy dresses that are casual but can be dressed up for a night out with friends or date night.  I also think dresses are great for active moms and anyone who doesn't like picking out an outfit, because you can throw them on last minute and look put together. I've been finding some really great deals this season, which proves you really don't have to spend an arm and a leg to find fashionable clothing.

Dress: Old Navy ($24)  Shoes: Target
Dress: Gap ($30) Shoes: Target. Necklace: Nordstrom Rack
Skort: Abercrombie & Fitch ($20). Tee: A&F . Heels: Chelsea Crew via Creature's Boutique (Get them here in tan)

Austin Fashion Week: STARS Runway Show

4.23.2015

I attended my last event at Austin Fashion Week last Friday night, the STARS Runway Show featuring 8 of Project Runway's top designers. I picked up my blogger bestie, Erica, and we headed downtown. Straightening my curly hair wasn't a great idea as it began to pour the second I left my house, but I embraced my frizz. I chose to wear this comfy a-line skirt and a crop top to keep it simple.

Top: Forever 21. Skirt: Express. Shoes: Chelsea Crew via Creature's Boutique. Clutch: Thrifted.


Kaleigh, Michelle, Brittany & Celine - These ladies are wonderful. I wish we had more time to talk!

Oh my goodness, the La Miniatura by Jeffrey Sebelia show was amazing and these little boys make me want to NEVER cut Turner's hair. I also need to get him a suit asap. I used to watch Project Runway religiously, and Jeffrey was one of my favorite designers of all time.  I was excited to see him in person!

Jesse Coulter Blog
 La Miniatura by Jeffrey Sebelia
Melissa Fleis
Daniel Esquivel
Anthill by Anthony Ryan Auld
Amanda Valentine
One of my favorite parts of the night was catching up with amazing Austin bloggers and meeting new faces (well, not really because I already followed most of them on Instagram). We have a wonderful community of bloggers in our city, and it feels like a very small world!


I can't wait till next year's fashion week! I'm sure it is going to be bigger and better.

LOFT's Casual Style

4.21.2015

I'm a HUGE fan of Loft right now. Black and white stripes, comfy dresses, rompers and all 40% off. Come to mama...an active mama who wants to feel put together without too much work. Check out some of my favorites below and shop here! (This is not a sponsored post...I'm just loving Loft!)





Austin Fashion Week: Discovery Runway Show

4.20.2015



It was my first time to attend a runway show last Thursday, and Austin Fashion Week did not disappoint.  I had a front row seat with my girl Emilie, and absolutely loved seeing the work of up and coming designers.  The rain thankfully stopped right before the event, and I wore my favorite new skort....so comfy. 

Top: Vince Camuto. Skort: Abercrombie and Fitch (only $20 right now). Wedges: DV by Dolce Vita via Nordstrom.

Emilie from Fashion Conspiracy
Designer Tinsley Radix - Obsessed with the sequin dress!
Designer Caycee Black

Mysterious by NPN
My favorite designer of the night was Mysterious by NPN. Loved the gorgeous gowns and how the hats increased in size with each model.
After the show, we headed upstairs to the VIP area and scarfed our face in THE MOST amazing desserts. Macarons, cream puffs, petit fours, cake balls, chocolate covered oreos, mini eclairs and more...ahhh, sugar coma.

Jennifer from Seek Wander Share indulging
ATX Bloggers - Platinum Pair, Seek Wander Share, Little Bitty in the City and Erin from Fashion X Austin

Stay tuned for pictures from Friday night's runway shows featuring Project Runway designers!

The PERFECT Shade of Gray Paint

4.17.2015

When I set out to paint my ENTIRE house, the task of choosing paint seemed daunting. However, I found a trick, choosing one paint swatch and using it throughtout my entire home. After testing out tons of gray paints from Sherwin-Williams, I fell in LOVE with the color PASSIVE.  I decided to paint my kitchen and living room in this color, because it was light and had a cool undertone.  

Now, the dilemma...I love color, but I never wanted to paint again so I had to choose a neutral color for the rest of the house.  Once I painted my living room and kitchen Passive, I was sold on the color and decided to paint the guest bedrooms and hallway the same color.

For my guest bathroom, I stuck with the same paint swatch but went two shades darker to GRAY MATTERS. Loved it! 

When painting my master bathroom and bedroom, I wanted the color to be very light (almost white), so I went to the lightest shade on the paint swatch and used NEBULOUS WHITE. Ahhh! Obsessed. It's very light, but has a tiny hint of gray with a blueish undertone, so my white doors and trim still pop. It made my bathroom feel like a spa by giving it that light and refreshing feel, and it makes the room feel much bigger.




Now, NOT every room in my entire house is gray. My laundry room was painted using Sherwin-Williams SEA SALT.

Have you found the perfect shade of gray? I'd love to hear your tips on choosing paint colors! Find more of my DIY posts here or search the hashtag #THECOULTERS on Instagram.

How to Use a Cash Envelope System

4.15.2015

Alex and I struggled sticking to a budget during our journey of becoming debt free, and we still struggle today.

However, the key to changing our spending habits was using cash.  Using a cash envelope system ultimately led to our success of becoming debt free (read our story here).  I'd love to share with you my tips and what categories of spending we use cash for.

  • Eating Out 
    • Prior to budgeting we were spending $700 a month on eating out. We dropped our budget drastically to $40 - $50 a week. We definitely have to rethink those quick trips for take-out, or nice dinners that could easily cost more than our week's budget. We feel special if we get to order tea or a beer with our dinner. 
  • Groceries
    • My husband has the tendency to become a world renown chef when he enters the grocery store....let's cook Lobster, steak, cordon bleu....to which I reply "Ummm, wait a minute! We don't have the money for that!" My thoughts when I go shopping are usually, "Put down those extra bags of chips and expensive cheese...stick to the cash budget. You don't want to have to put stuff back as you're checking out."  Sticking to cash forces you to think practical when it comes to groceries. 
  • Clothing
    • This is basically my category. In the past if I wanted a pair of shoes that weren't too crazy expensive, I would buy them. Now, if I only have $30 in my envelope, and the shoes are $60...well, I have to wait till another paycheck to get them. Talk about cutting your trips to the mall in half. The best part about this category is that I never feel guilty about buying clothes. If I come home with a arm full of shopping bags, I don't worry about strutting in the house with all my goodies. I can confidently say to Alex that I budgeted for all of it.  Alex is much more pleasant about me shopping as well, because he knows I'm not going to go overboard and spend money we don't have.
  • Home 
    • Probably my favorite category. If you love home decor as much as I do, then you'll need this category (I'm talking to you Target ladies). This cash envelope keeps my random spending at Target to a minimum. I can't tell you how many times I've cringed as I walked away from some item in Target that I was obsessed with but didn't have the cash for.  If I really wanted it I would have to save up for it.  We also use this envelope for home maintenance (gardening, cleaning supplies, etc.).
  • Fun/Entertainment
    • This category would be for going to the movies, date night, having a beer with friends, etc.
  • Gas
    • This one is annoying.  I really dislike having to go in to the store to pay for my gas, but it's nice handing over the cash and being done with it.
  • Christmas
    • Christmas sneaks up on most people. This envelope allows that not to happen. Plan out at the beginning of the year how much it will cost for Christmas (your ENTIRE budget of spending...stockings, family presents, co-worker gifts, etc.), then divide that by 12. That amount is how much a month you'll need to save to afford Christmas. When Christmas comes, you will feel AMAZING knowing you paid cash for everything! Using this system allowed me to save over $500 for Alex's Christmas present, which I would have never done hadn't I saved cash.  
  • Gifts 
    • You forget last minute about your parent's birthday, or your work is having a going away party for a co-worker that you need to donate money to. This category will make giving so much easier!
  • Medical
    • Sudden trip to the doctor because your kid has the flu,  $50 flu prescription, and every type of remedy you can find to help your child feel better....thank you medical envelope.
  • Personal Care
    • This category is for hair cuts, makeup, hair products, etc. I don't get my nails/toes done ever, but if you do, this would be a great place to budget for that. Maybe you need a massage every month to relax your super tight back from working in a cubicle all day...this is a great category to budget.
  • Car Maintenance
    • Dang you oil changes. They always sneak up on me. Oh, and the dreadful statement "Ma'am you need new tires". WHAT? You don't have $800 lying around to spend on new tires? You can bet that this day will come...more times than you want, and having that cash will make your day SO much better!
  • Vacation
    • We probably would never go on any vacations without this category.  Vacations are a priority in our home, but it can be very easy to forget about saving for them.  Alex and I like to have a trip in mind, and then set a goal of when we want to go on it and how much we will need. Then we divide it up by months and begin saving. We are going to Hawaii this June, and we have been saving for months.  I love the feeling of going on vacation and not worrying about coming home to a credit card bill.
You can see the envelope system I use below...pretty simple. You can get this exact one here for $14. I usually got a lot of looks and questions when I whip this thing out in a store, but it's a great opportunity to help others and share why I think it's important to budget.


Now, we don't have every category of spending in an envelope, but these are ones that we like to be held accountable to. Every payday we head to the bank, and take out the exact amount of cash for each one of these categories. We then take that money and separate it in to individual labeled envelopes. I can say that using the cash envelope system has been life changing. It has transformed my spending habits, and ultimately how I think about money. I'm not saying that it is easy, but it is worth it.  Carrying around cash is much harder than carrying around a debit card. If you lose a card, well, you can just cancel it. I'm much more mindful of my wallet, and where I take my money.

What ways do you budget? Do you use a cash envelope system? If you liked this post, please let me know. I'd be happy to share more with you about our spending, budgeting and saving.

Austin Fashion Week Kickoff

4.13.2015

I attended Austin Fashion Week's Kickoff event last Friday at Speakeasy. What an amazing venue...3 levels, bowling, an amazing rooftop deck, and located in the heart of downtown Austin on Congress between 5th & 6th. The place was absolutely packed but had a great vibe. Models were style based off different eras and making their way through the venue showing off their looks...I was obsessed with the model from the 70's (see event photos here).

I attended the event solo, but knew I would run in to some of my favorite Austin bloggers - Jennifer & Melissa from Seek Wander Share, Dani Austin, Erica Louie, Ashley HargroveCourtney Shields, and Kaleigh.  I had a blast chatting with everyone! 

Jumpsuit: Loft. Shoes: Creatures Boutique. Clutch: Lulu's

With the lovely Jennifer & Melissa from Seek Wander Share

Right as Erica and I were about to leave, we were asked if we wanted some free champagne. Uhh...of course! So, we headed to the roof top, and ended up being a part of a promo video for the venue. Random, but fun. Erica and I got to spend some quality time chatting about our next ATX Blogger Mixer, and we are super excited!


I'm looking forward to more events this week. I'll be at the DISCOVER and STARS fashion shows...you can still grab tickets here! Follow me on Instagram for more event pics.

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