pastels under $50

trend under $50 pastels
Sunglasses // Pin Dot Shirt // Pink V-Neck Dress
Quilted Satchel // Floral Necklace // OPI Nail Polish

The vibrant colors of spring are one of the best parts about this season. Say good-bye to grays, blacks, and neutrals and hello to bright and cheery shades of blue, green, purple, and pink! Above are some spring pastels for you to get inspired to wear the trend for the season! I think these options would also be great for Easter weekend. Some cute heart-shaped sunglasses, a flare pastel pink dress for less than $30 and some purple nails are perfect ways to incorporate this trend into your Spring style. What pastel color do you love to wear this season? 
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let's get real

Let's get real. Here are 5 things I love and don't love about my past few months of blogging. 

I started my blog officially in July of 2014. I have always had a continuous  pattern of "ooh let me start a blog!" and then getting stuck in a rut to which I stop completely. This time I meant business. I was going to try my hardest to maintain a fashion blog. I love clothing. I love new makeup. I love accessories. And, most importantly, I love finding good deals. So naturally the name Affordable by Amanda was born! I recruited my friends and family to help me create some beautiful shots for my blog and will never be able to thank them enough for their help. I've had a few months experience in the "blogging world" and so I thought I would get personal today and share some things I love and don't love about it.

My Loves of blogging...

1. Interacting with other fashion/beauty junkies
I am a curious person. I get intrigued very easily and when I am scrolling on Instagram and find a cool new makeup tool I just have to ask about it. This blog has allowed me to follow some incredible people (shout out to a few faves Michaela, Nicole, and Catherine!) to get inspired and find more products to try.

2. Helping people find bargains
There is nothing I love more than helping people shop smart and find what they want at a lower cost. My blog has real life deals and steals that I shop myself. I like to save money any way I can and so I wish to create a place where other people can do the same!

3. Putting together outfits
Dressing up has been a fun pastime of mine since I was little. When I was younger, I even dressed my sister and had her pretend to be my model on many occasions (love you sis!). I like to create digital memories of my outfits so I can look back and see what I have worn. I love styling outfits and hope to one day incorporate that into my career.

4. Learning about cameras, HTML, social media, and business making skills
Blogging has come a long way since the days when I pondered making a blog in 2007. There are so many aspects to a blog I can't keep up with them all! Social media has grown tremendously and creating your own "brand" has slowly integrated as a significant part of the blogosphere. Learning new tricks with my camera and how to interact with people on Instagram and Twitter has put me through a learning process that a classroom could not teach me!

5. Working with my favorite companies/brands
Ok, so if you see anything I post on Instagram or Twitter or the blog you know I love Rocksbox. Blogging also has some other perks, such as partnering with companies. Working with Rocksbox has been such a blessing (use my code: affordablebyamandaxoxo to test it out, oops I had to!) and I am looking forward to working with more brands in the future!

The not-so-great things about blogging in my opinion...

1.Time management
There are times when all I want to do is blog, and therefore I delay my homework duties or wait until an obscene hour to eat dinner. Blogging can be a fabulous distraction from the rest of my responsibilities, and although I love devoting time to it, sometimes I use it as a way out of reality.

2. Acting happy when I'm not
When you've had a crappy day, smiling for the camera is the last thing anyone wants to do and posting pics wearing a huge frown is not going to make people read your blog posts. Sometimes I find the blogging world to be to unrealistic. In my mind I'm do these bloggers do it? I can not be happy 24/7! I wish there was a way to compromise reality with living an unrealistic, perfect life.

3. Waiting for gratification with a "like" or "favorite"
The world we live in can be labeled as "Generation Like" (taken from a documentary I watched in Sociology class). Basically it shows how teens get a sense of status when their photos or funny statements get up-votes and likes. People are so caught up in getting the rest of the world to approve of them. I find myself doing the same thing. Constantly obsessing over how many people like what I post. In my opinion, the only person that needs to "like" what you say is you.

4. Comparing myself to other bloggers
I usually like to stick to posting about what makes me happy but sometimes seeing how other people blog creates this envious energy that has just started to take place in my life. I think, "wow! they have such great hair" and "I would love to buy a latte and take a cute picture of it, too". The competition is fierce and I don't like feeling like I don't match up. I'm just a Florida college girl who loves wearing Old Navy t-shirts and thrifted threads.

5. Splurging on items I don't need 
I read about new products every day that are super popular and somehow I crave buying them. I find myself spending money I really shouldn't spend on makeup, clothes, and other things just to blog about them! Having the "latest and greatest" is something our society has crafted us to following even if we can't afford it. One of my favorite quotes is we buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like.

That's all for this edition of my loves and not so loved parts about bloggin'. I am so happy to share them with you today. Please share some of yours in the comments, I would seriously love to hear if anyone else feels the same way.

a t-shirt & jeans

Hat: Old, J.Crew // Jeans: Levi's Boyfriend Jeans ($20 option)
Shoes: Jack Rogers // T-shirt: Aeropostale ($10 option)

Nothing beats an old pair of jeans and a t-shirt on days when you just don't feel like dressing up! My worn Levi's that I found at a thrift shop are what I like to wear on those days. This gray Aeropostale t-shirt is also something I wear every spring. It has lasted me quite a few years! I bought it for less than $5 at a super sale. Don't underestimate this store and be afraid to check it out because you haven't looked since middle school...I find some crazy deals on items that look like they are from a boutique! My white hat is from J.Crew and was on super sale in the factory from the summer. Unfortunately, it has sold out but here are some other options like this Ralph Lauren! What is your go-to t-shirt and jeans outfit?

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friday favorites march 27th

In today's edition of Friday Favorites, I am featuring one of my favorite brands, Joe Fresh. This line is carried at my local JCPenny's. I can describe the brand as a combination of J.Crew preppy with the affordability of Old Navy. The prices are super great. Click any of the items in the above set to see more. I recently went shopping and found some fantastic basic long-sleeves for next winter at an astounding $3.99 (here is a similar one)! Here is a tip of mine: shop for next season right after the season ends! All of the stores are marking down their inventory to make way for the next season's clothes. Even though it looks strange to be buying a long-sleeve top in March, I am thinking ahead and will own a great layering top for winter! Tank tops are also on sale right now. $4.99? Yes, please! Even some cute spring items are marked down. The bright, bold yellow and floral print in these shorts are a fantastic addition to your spring wardrobe! This white top looks like something straight out of J.Crew and its only $14. Have a great weekend! I am heading to a local festival on Saturday and planning a brunch with my roommates on Sunday. I also want to make sure I follow my readers on Instagram, so leave your handle in the comments and I will check out your feed :)

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tribal & white look

Top: J.Crew Factory // Cardigan: H&M (similar)
Pants: Sears (similar) // Shoes: Jack Rogers
The comfiest tank tops I own are from J.Crew factory, hands down. My mom always buys me one of these when she goes to the outlet mall. They are usually on sale for super cheap (right now you can shop online and they are $12.50!) I have a rainbow of these tank tops, from navy to teal to purple to pink! The sizing of these tank tops is strange, I want to warn you. I wear a XXS or XS because the straps tend to be big and hang on the back. I recommend trying it on in store to find your perfect size! The rest of this look is pretty casual-white cardigan from H&M for $5 (similar), some tribal printed pants from Sears (these are only $14 at Forever 21!), a long necklace from LOFT (love this one), and some white Jacks.
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3 ingredient smoothies

3 ingredient smoothies
Smoothie One: 1 cup orange juice, 1 cup mango chunks, 1 whole banana 

Smoothie Two: 1 container vanilla Greek yogurt, 1 cup of strawberries, 1 cup of blueberries

Smoothie Three: 1 cup vanilla almond milk, 1 tbsp cacao powder, 2 tbsp peanut butter

My post the other day talked about living healthier and one way I love to do this is by crafting my own smoothie creations. For all my smoothies, I use my Nutribullet. It is on sale for $89 from $150. It is seriously a great investment if you see yourself wanting to make homemade smoothies, process food, grind mixed nuts, or combine ingredients. These smoothies are tested by me and are some I drink on the regular. Strawberries and blueberries are in season right now and my local grocery store has them at 3 for $10 and 2 for $5! Smoothie stores can cost up to $6 per smoothie, so why try to make your own versions of your favorites?!

monday makeup favorites

makeup monday

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These are some of my favorite makeup items right now! I just painted my nails Rimmel London Salon Pro Kate Moss 237 Soul Session last night. I love the light, pale nude color. I put off painting my nails until I found the best color for Spring in my collection, and I received this color for my birthday by two great friends of mine so I tried it out yesterday. I especially love the applicator brush. It is short and rounded to give you more precise strokes with each use. The polish did not take more than 15 minutes to dry and I only needed about 2-3 coats to achieve the color I wanted. I recently purchased the Maybelline Fit me! Matte + Poreless Foundation. The foundation has nice staying powder and great coverage. For under $8, it is a nice drugstore product. I also got the lightest shade, Porcelain, which is great for girls with super pale skin because it does not oxidize like a ton of products tend to do throughout the day. I am liking it a lot so far! Another favorite is the E.L.F Cosmetics Smudge Pot in "Ain't that Sweet?". I think this is a dupe for the Kitten Stila Smudge Pot and this product is such an affordable find. At just $3, you get a great shimmery base for adding eyeshadow. The texture has a gel-like feel and it is a eyeliner and shadow in one. Something I will continue to repurchase is the Stay Matte Rimmel Pressed Powder. This is a finishing touch I add to my face once my makeup is done. It sells for about $4-5, too! It instantly takes away shine and excess oil from your face. 

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spring stripes

Dress: Forever 21 (similar) // Bralette: Forever 21 (similar)

Happy Sunday! Here is a spring outfit featuring some of my favorite elements of the new season--stripes, dresses & sandals! I bought this dress last season but this one is around $30 and has the same classic stripe pattern that is so timeless. Lace bralettes are a big trend and I love this white one. Get it here from Aerie for only $24. Are you ready for spring? Do you like my new blog layout?! Let me know what some of your springtime favorites are!

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top 5 healthy habits every college girl should have

5 healthy habits for college girls

As a college junior, I have had some time to experience the highs and lows of college life. College facts & myths? Eating ramen happens, and most likely it is midnight and you haven't eaten all night because of studying. Meeting new friends also happens and the time spent together can turn into some hilarious memories. You will cry, laugh, get angry, smile, and even though you may want to skip right to graduation, you might as well enjoy the journey there. I've made a list of FIVE helpful habits every college girl should strive for to make the four years well spent!

1. Drink More Water, Eat Less Junk Food
Water is so fantastic for you, and it's important to stay hydrated every day. Did you know one glass of water before a meal can help with digestion? Or that a glass before bed can help prevent a stroke or heart attack? Carrying water around (say, maybe in this adorable Jade Contigo Water Bottle from Target, $10) will make it easier for you to keep drinking more water while on the go!

Don't get me wrong, I will treat myself to a very delicious chocolate chip cookie every now and again! Sometimes a craving will hit and I just need to eat a sweet, but as long as I keep it in moderation I believe treating yourself is fine. Making small changes to your diet can give you such great benefits. Cutting out the dreaded processed foods and replacing them with real food (veggies + fruits!) can help maintain your blood sugar levels and keep your daily sodium intake down (I took one Nutrition class last year and although I do not by any means consider myself an expert on food/health I learned so much information that I would love to share it on the blog when I can!). Eating healthy food with an occasional sweet is what I consider a healthy balance.

2. Exercise, and Make it Fun
I honestly don't know how some people can stay on a treadmill for so long each day. How do they keep it up!? I get so bored when I'm in the gym for longer than my usual 45 minute attempt and during that time I need to be moving around or else I'm heading out the door fast! I like to find other ways to secretly get a work out. Have you tried yoga? I'm sure your school gym offers some classes that are included in tuition! It is great for your core, balance, muscles, and flexibility. It is also nice when you go with a friend because the two of you can learn some moves to take away from the class and try at home. I own a yoga mat (like this adorable one) and use it from time to time at my local gym! I wear some cute clothes to get me pumped, too, like this bright blue pair of yoga pants from F21 for only $9.80 paired with a loose top like this one.

3. Step Away from the Internet
As a blogger, I spent copious amounts of time on my phone, laptop, and tablet, watching YouTube videos or scrolling through my Instagram feed. Sometimes I need a break! My eyes get so sore from constantly looking at the screens that I need to focus on something else. I like to go out and about with my friends-we like to try cool shops and stores in town! to get away from the world wide web for a bit. Walking around also gives you exercise and really makes you take time to learn new things about the city you live in. I love looking around markets and petting dogs around my local parks to get to know the people within the city limits. I suggest you start small. Try to limit yourself to using your devices for an hour less every day and see what happens.

4.Get Some Rest
Our bodies need some rest after a long day of classes and work, so getting plenty of sleep is a necessity when you stay up late most nights. As I am writing this it is 3 a.m. which is funny because I should be taking my own advice, but alas, it is a weekend so I am getting some extra blogging in! To help me sleep I drink this Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Wellness tea. Going out is fun! Hanging out with friends is always a good time! Just make sure to prioritize your health and well-being in-between all the excitement to prevent yourself from going into overdrive.

5.Try Something That Scares You
Now I wouldn't suggest jumping out of plane if you are super afraid of heights because that would not be fun, but doing one thing that scares you once in awhile can feel amazing once you do it! A lot of my friends know that I am afraid of well, a lot of things. I don't enjoy roller-coasters. I am a germaphobe. But every once in a while I will be open to trying new things (foods, rides, going to events). Start small! Invite a friend to a gym class if you are afraid to try it alone. Share a meal with someone if you don't think you'll like what new item you ordered. Life is too short - try new things and who knows, you might end up really loving what happens.

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friday favorites 3/20/15

friday favorites 3/20/15
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This is a new product on the market for acne prone skin. Clinique is a raved about brand for skin care. My mom and my sister both love the Clinique moisturizer and makeup remover. I had a giftacard to Macy's from Christmas and I either wanted to use it toward a handbag or face product. I chose this cleansing gel because it sounded gentle and would work well with my new Clarisonic. So far I like it and I think it is helping my skin! Updates will come later as I continue to use it more.

2. Clarisonic Mia in Pink.... $40 (originally $99, used saved gift cards)
I bought this Clarisonic Mia ($99) after looking at several reviews, talking to friends, and talking to trusted employees at Sephora. On a whim, I used two of my Sephora giftcards with $35 and $25 to purchase this item for around $40! I liked the cute pink color and immediately went home to charge it for the required 24 hrs. I used it the next night and loved just how clean my face felt after. I used the Clinique gel on the spin head (I have the sensitive one) and pressed it on for a full minute. I only use this one to two times a week so far, to gradually get my skin used to it. I definitely like it as a deep exfoliator and time will tell if my skin adjusts well enough for me to use it more often! Updates will come after a few more tries. 

Have you seen most bloggers in super cool ripped at the knee jeans? That is all my Instagram feed is showing right now and I had huge envy of the look last week! I wanted to find my own version of the Top Shop jeans that I feel everyone owns, but the $70 price tag was not in the cards for me. These AEO jeggings fit incredibly well (I usually hate shopping for denim because I never have good luck!), and were on sale! Rips at the knees and all. Comfortable, stylish, and affordable? Major score! 

Yes, I got this lip gloss for 88 cents! CVS was having NYX products on sale in addition to coupons for $3 any NYX product. If you follow my Twitter you will see that I posted about this event the other day! I will try to do that more often because I love telling people what great deals are happening and when.This gorgeous light baby pink looks so nice as an every day spring color! I've worn it twice so far and the gloss goes on super smooth and does not feel drying at all.

5. Abercrombie Fringe Cardigan (similar)...$12 (sale from $78)
Cardigans are honestly so versatile. They can be thrown on over a tank top and jeans and instantly complete an outfit. This fringe one is in an oatmeal color that reminds me of summer. This style is super bohemian and is something I would definitely wear if I went to Coachella...sigh a girl can dream!

Happy Friday! What are you loving today?

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lauren conrad kohl's spring favorites

If you want to see how to transform your reality TV persona into a widely successful career in fashion, look no further than Lauren Conrad. Did you grow up watching Laguna Beach? The Hills? Do the names Justin Bobby, Speidi, Jen Bunny, or Brody Jenner sound familiar? Lauren's infamous single mascara tear down her face as she confronted Audrina will always bring back memories of watching these shows every week. Yet the beautiful and talented Conrad has moved past all of the dramatic friend and relationship problems that stirred up her life all those years. Now happily married, she has a few business ventures that keep her constantly expanding her brand. A website filled with how-to's, outfit inspirations, and cooking ideas, several best-selling books, a romantic high fashion line Paper Crown, and a more affordable line with Kohl's. I own a few of the pieces she designed from her Kohl's line, and the new Spring 2015 collection has quite a selection of floral (like this top), lace, and leopard (only $15!) pieces. Below are some of the items I love the most!

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remix creme de la creme

Top: Kohl's ($22)//Jeans: Hollister (similar) // Necklace: Old Navy (similar) // Hat: Aeropostale (old, similar) // Shoes: Target ($10)

New changes to the blog are in the works! From now on, the site will be which is so exciting to announce. I am working on a new design, too! Spring marks new beginnings so why not try something new with blogging?! As for the old, this outfit is a remix of several adored items! When you find great pieces, you tend to wear them a lot. You may have seen these items before because when the weather changes, I gravitate toward my favorite graphic tees, comfy jeggings, and worn-in flats. This shirt I originally bought from Kohl's for $12, but this one is very similar and $22! My jeggings are a light blue wash and from Hollister from when they had their all jeans for $25 sale. Hats are one of my most loved accessories (as seen here, and also here,) Spring is the time to unpack shorts, tank tops,bathing suits, and cute floppy hats! The one I have is from Aeropostale, but this one is just as great! A shiny statement necklace (check out this one for $15 or even this one for $6!) really makes this otherwise simple t-shirt and jeans look transform into a sophisticated one!

Outfit Total:$59
Top: $12
Jeans: $25
Hat: $5
Shoes: $10
Necklace: $7
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st. patrick's day picks

st. patrick's day picks

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Happy St. Patrick's Day! Not only is today a holiday that celebrates my heritage as an Irish girl, but it is also my little sister's birthday! Today she is 20 years old and I can not believe it. I am wishing her all the best because she is so wonderful and has the biggest heart. These are some picks she would love! Here are some fun cute green items I thought would be perfect for today. Painting your nails green? Try one of Essie's green colors I love this one a lot! Some great classic pieces would be nice for the evening like these forest green drop earrings or bangle from American Apparel (only $20!). I also still love these cute envelope skirts. When they first hit stores I searched everywhere for one and employees would just look at me and be so confused by the "envelope" skirt! Now they can be found in a ton of places and I love this dark green one. One final pick is super casual for the day time. Sneakers are not only functional but very fashionable right now! These Keds are bright green and would go great with some white jeans. How are you celebrating today? Don't forget to wear some green!

loft sweater {on sale}

 Sweater: LOFT (on sale! $34) // Jeans: LOFT // 
Bag: Michael Kors (similar)

I am loving this black sweater from LOFT. Right now it is on sale for $34, down from $74! It is a great comparison to a J.Crew version that is very similar. The small silver embellishments are so dainty and adorable! My jeans are also from LOFT and are one of the most comfortable pairs of dark wash denim that I own. A lot of my clothes come from LOFT because of the quality of their items. The 40% off racks are places that I always seem to gravitate to to find trendy pieces. I wore this outfit for brunch and it was great for the slightly cooler weather. Have a great weekend! 

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affordble natural beauty ideas

natural beauty

Republic of Tea Get Gorgeous //
Aztec Indian Clay // Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar

This Get Gorgeous tea not only tastes great but has some awesome added benefits for your skin! I purchased it last week and have been loving it. I steep 2 bags in my hot water for 5-7 minutes before drinking it. I've been drinking it twice a day for the past week and my skin has seen positive results so far. 
Benefits of this Tea: 
-roobos-based caffeine-free
-soothing and calming ingredients
-chaste berry-good for acne
-burdock-good for eczema
-orange peel-source of vitamin c

My roommate discovered this next product and I have quickly added it to my list of favorite masks. The Aztec Secret Indian Clay is advertised as the "world's most powerful facial". At $9, it is very inexpensive and is compared to giving the same results as many facials in spas! In fact, some spas even use this product. The mask mixed with water (or apple cider vinegar!) works to unclog your pores and tighten them. The mask gets firm on your skin and is a great way to detox. 

Benefits of this Mask: 
-deep pore cleaning
-100% natural calcium bentonite clay 
-makes skin softer
-helps with large pore, acne

I have been using my own concoction of apple cider vinegar and water as a facial toner for a week now. This natural product does so much its kind of unbelievable until you try it out. I highly suggest this product because I have personally seen great results from it in many different ways!
Benefits of this Apple Cider Vinegar: 
-organic and natural
-balances pH in hair/skin
-great in a foot soak for antifungal
-antiseptic as a facial toner for acne
-fades age spots
-detoxifys liver
-cuts down cold symptoms
-helps with sore throats
-aids in digestion

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some favorite casual pieces

Top: Forever 21 (similar $11) // Jeans: Hollister (love these) // Shoes: Target (on sale!)

This look is something I will be wearing for the spring- a mix of trendy and casual pieces. These halter styles are super popular right now and I scored mine a while back for around $8 (similar). I am still loving these Hollister jeans I purchased for $25. They are versatile and stretch very nicely. Sometimes it's difficult to know how to wear the plaid shirt around your waist trend, but I think balancing it out with other casual pieces helps make the look complete. I hope you like this look! Let me know what you think in the comments below. If you haven't already, make sure to check Target out for these Merona slip-ons I keep wearing so much! They are on sale & honestly a well spent $10!

Outfit Total-$58
Shirt: $15

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