Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Winter 10x10 Challenge... Halfway Done!

After the first five days of my #winter10X10 challenge (read more about it here) – which, I admit starting two days late due to a terrible allergy attack – I have a few thoughts about the experience:

1) If you think about it, 10 items to wear is A LOT. If you have three tops and three pants, you theoretically already have nine outfits at your disposal!

2) While I have not done come up with an outfit that I would consider terribly creative – not yet, anyway – I at least really like the combinations I’ve built so far. All of them are worthy of repeating, even after the challenge is up. I especially like that I included white jeans in the mix, because I think they are an underrated winter clothing item that I would typically dismiss.

3) I’m slightly worried that I didn’t give myself the ability to do a ton of layering. These five days have been relatively easy to create, but I’m worried I’ve burned through the best combinations. We’ll see how next week goes.

Apologies for the poor iPhone photos. I can only blame laziness. What's really sad is that these are done WITH some enhancements to spruce things up. Yikes. Yes, I really am that pale.

Scroll down for outfit details and links to items that are still available.

Day 1
Camel Sleeveless Cardigan
J.Crew Factory (Faux) Calf-Hair Pointed-Toe Mules

Day 2
Laila Jayde Burgundy Dolman-Sleeve Top (via Stitch Fix)
Just Black White Jeans (via Stitch Fix)
J.Crew Factory (Faux) Calf-Hair Pointed-Toe Mules

Day 3
Market & Spruce Olive Button-Up Back-Split Shirt (via Stitch Fix)
Just Black White Jeans (via Stitch Fix)
J.Crew Factory (Faux) Calf-Hair Pointed-Toe Mules

Day 4
Market & Spruce Olive Button-Up Back-Split Shirt (via Stitch Fix)

Day 5
Laila Jayde Burgundy Dolman-Sleeve Top (via Stitch Fix)
Kut from the Kloth Jean Trousers (via Stitch Fix)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Trash Report: Week 2

In the adventures of decluttering, this week I focused on some low-hanging fruit in my closet. Here’s what I got threw out, sold, or donated:

1) About six pairs of disgusting old shoes. The organisms living in these shoes were probably wearing shoes themselves.
2) An old coat that I told myself I would take to the dry cleaners… five years ago.
3) A paint-stained work shirt… WHY DO I KEEP THINGS THAT ARE GROSS?!
4) An old North Face fleece jacket in a rad, 80s magenta color.
5) A neon purple dress that I should have bought to go clubbing but actually wore to a bridal shower when I was 20-something. Bless my heart. 

That's it -- a short and sweet report for this week. Are you tackling any specific cluttered areas of your house? I need ideas to stay ahead of this project!

Image result for gilmore girls AND rummage sale

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Winter 10x10 Challenge

I have been living with a capsule wardrobe for about a year and a half (pretty much ever since I went back to work after having Walter), and I can’t sing its praises enough. There are several different ways to approach capsule wardrobes, but the gist is you divide your wardrobe into capsules (I have four, for example), and when you take one capsule out and hang all the clothes from it in your closet, you put all the others away. You only dress from the current capsule, and when you are ready to replace it with the next capsule, that’s also the time you edit down your wardrobe (i.e. get rid of things you never wore) or make minor additions to it. Capsuling is great to curb mindless spending and become intentional with your wardrobe budget, get creative with the clothes you already have, and appreciate your wardrobe by loving every piece in your capsule.

Because capsuling is so focused on quality over quantity, I admit I work with fewer clothes in each of my capsules, but the ones I do have are ones that I love. They make me feel comfortable and great about this new post-baby mom bod I’m sporting.

With the start of the new year, I thought it would be fun to participate in an online challenge called #winter10x10, which essentially encourages participants to create a mini 10-piece capsule (including shoes) from which you select all your outfits for 10 consecutive days. This challenge is co-led by the blogger who firstintroduced me to capsule wardrobes, Caroline of Un-Fancy. (That last sentence makes it sound like I *know* Caroline, so to clear up any confusion, I don’t know her personally. I just stalk follow her like I would any fashion blogger, OK? I’m not a monster.)  

I’ll divide my 10 outfits into two separate blog posts to come within the next week or so, but for now, here’s a photo of all 10 pieces side by side, so you can see the types of clothing I chose for this challenge. Unintentionally, there is quite a bit of color going on here. That may end up being a great idea or a terrible one! You’ll just have to wait and see! I'm drunk with power (...and pinot noir, if I'm being honest).

From left to right: Three tops, two pairs of shoes, three pants, a knit dress and a heavy sleeveless long cardigan.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Trash Report: Week 1

One of the new year’s resolutions I committed to earlier last week was to de-clutter by removing at least one un-needed item from the house each day. I don’t have a lot of “rules” around this resolution, except that I literally force myself to take the item(s) out of the house. I can’t put it in a pile with the intent to donate it all later. (I already have those piles in different closets all over the house. Feel free to come over and peruse them. Looking for the September 2009 issue of Vogue? Got it.) In an effort to share what I’ve thrown out (or sold through our neighborhood “Buy & Sell” Facebook group) – whether to inspire you or just give you a laugh – here’s this past week’s list of trash:

1) About 20 cinnamon-scented pine cones that I bought for $5 at Michael’s three years ago for a Christmas mantle decoration. When I opened them up in late November to place on the mantle, I couldn’t help but notice they did not, in fact, smell like cinnamon. More like dead bugs.

2) Twenty pounds (a conservative guess, in my estimation) of junk and expired food from our laundry room pantry where we keep kitchen appliances, bulk food, and some cleaning supplies. This garbage came from a major reorganization of the entire closet. The funniest thing to go was half of a 48-pack of low-sodium canned V8 juice that Andy bought me during a pregnancy-induced tomato juice kick in 2015. RIP, V8.

I didn’t take a photo of the “before” state of this closet, but to give you an idea, it closely resembled this:

Image result for landfill

3) A bunch of crummy wire hangers from past dry cleaning trips. We are moving on to the greener pastures of clothes hanging, which means it’s all plastic for us, baby! Living. Large.

4) Last year’s day planner. (This may seem like a gimme, but I strangely hang on to stuff like this for years after I need it.)

5) A book I read a couple years ago and hated (and therefore would never pick up and read again), and a cookbook that I never, ever use, mainly because it’s not titled, “How to Lose 15 Pounds by Only Eating Cheese”.  

Have you thrown out anything interesting in the spirit of the new year?     

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Welcome, 2017

Well, sugarplums, 2016 has come to an end, and I’m not terribly sad to see it gone. It feels like every celebrity has passed away, and the only one still standing is now our President-Elect.

I do need to acknowledge that on a personal level, the year was good to us. Walter celebrated his first birthday in the Spring, and I think I am finally at a point where I’m *sort of* convinced I can *maybe* be a decent parent and raise him right. (Honestly, though, who knows?) I was fortunate enough to take the first steps into a new (teaching) career, and Andy continues to kill it in his role at work and with his marathon running. Plus, my brother moved to Austin in early Fall, and it’s been lovely to see him more often.

And now it’s the beginning of a new year, so this is the requisite blog post where I tell the four of you reading this what my goals and resolutions are; then, I make a really bold statement about blogging much more this year than I ever have. (Soon it will be June and time for my subsequent blog post. It’s nice to have traditions, isn’t it?)

On Monday, I opened up an extra notebook I had laying around and jotted down a few goals for myself in 2017. Nothing crazy, and all fell in the realm of taking better care of myself, my family, and my home – and doing so moderately, over time, with small steps focused on a bigger outcome. But then something funny happened. Without much thought, I began writing this Bridget-Jones's-Diary-type log of what I had done that day to address each of my goals. Instead of writing what I weighed in the morning and what I ate that day and how many “units” of alcohol I drank (Oh Bridget, you silly so-‘n-so!), my diary listed what type of exercise I completed, or what clutter I had removed from my house. I did the same thing the next day. And the next. And today, as well. We’ll see how long I can keep this up, but I admit there is something so gratifying about seeing these bits of progress in print, and I feel oddly accountable to myself to have something to record at the end of the day.

Until next time!

xoxo, Jenn