Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Spring and Summer 2016 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe

Monday, April 25th, 2016

spring/summer capsule wardrobe 2016

The warmer weather is upon us and that means it is time to switch out my capsule wardrobe. Instead of trying to do a spring wardrobe and then a summer wardrobe, I am combining my capsule to save time and brain space for later.  The number of items has shifted, but only to make room for the two seasons. Long sleeve clothing and light sweaters will fall off and a summer dress or two will replace them, getting me back to my typical wardrobe of 28-33 pieces.

I decided to start a SEPARATE Instagram account for my capsule since it feels like two separate audiences. This account is only about fashion & the capsule. You can follow me here (@momadvicecapsule) or if you just want the general usual odds & ends, you can follow me here (@momadvice). I hope that makes sense! 

Let’s talk about this  2016 spring and summer capsule wardrobe.

First, What is a Fashion Capsule & Why Should You Do One?

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing which is designed using only interchangeable items, in order to maximize the number of outfits which can be created. The aim is to have an outfit suitable for any occasion without owning excessive items of clothing. This is usually achieved by buying what are considered to be “key” or “staple” items in coordinating colors.

Spring and Summer 2016 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe from MomAdvice.com

(this is my ENTIRE WARDROBE!!! Look at all that closet space in our little closet!)

The reason I think capsule wardrobes are worth exploring is that you realize when you have LESS in your closet you can do MORE with what you have. My closet used to be bursting at the seams with clothes and, what I like to call, one-trick-pony apparel. I felt put together after tearing up my room and trying to build outfits in the process, but it took me so long to get ready in the mornings and I never felt like I had a truly seamless style. Narrowing my wardrobe down to 33 items as outlined in Project 333 was just what I needed to make mornings less stressful and finding a real rhythm to getting dressed for the day. It’s been a beautiful shift in my life and I don’t think I could ever go back to the old ways of bursting closets and pointless purchases.

I tend to be a pretty colorful person so you will find color mixed in with basics in my wardrobe. Monochromatic isn’t my thing, but can be yours if you are trying to simplify your wardrobe. Many people begin their capsule experience very monochromatic and then find they are comfortable branching out into color after figuring out how to make everything work together.

Capsule Wardrobe Patterns

What Trends Did You Embrace for Spring?

This year I am mixing in floral, polka dots, colored jeans, and lace into my wardrobe. I am aiming for a few feminine touches to mix into my wardrobe basics. I stayed mostly in the pink, coral, & mint colors, but I still threw in a red skirt to switch things up with the navy and basics. I like a lot of color and textures in my wardrobe.

Again, almost everything was purchased gently used using credit from cleaning out my closets from season to season so it made this capsule affordable for a very frugal girl.

Get some inspiration for how I’m using pieces on my capsule wardrobe board.

What Makes My Capsule Wardrobe Unique?

I am committed to purchasing the majority of my wardrobe gently used. You will find that the majority of the items have been purchased this year using my thredUP credit (I get $10 and you get $10 to spend my referral) or I have owned for years. Thanks to pointing out this resource, I was able to get the majority of my gently used wardrobe for free. Be sure to visit my tips this year for purchasing your fashion capsule wardrobe second hand.

It was a prompting really through this film (watched on Netflix) that has solidified my commitment to buying used and investing wisely.

Watch it and tell me if it doesn’t make you want to do better with fashion purchases!

My biggest investment is always tailoring my items to fit me. I am a petite girl and pants need hemmed, waistlines nipped, and shoulders shifted. Although this can get a little pricey at times, it is 100% why I love the clothes I wear! I feel really confident in them because of these alterations.

Spring and Summer 2016 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe from MomAdvice.com

Why My Capsule Shouldn’t Be YOUR Capsule

I show you my capsule mainly as some sort of accountability, but not necessarily for you to copy it. My style is probably not your style and that is okay. Your capsule can look nothing like my capsule.  Your body shape could be different from mine and none of these cuts of clothing or ideas will work for you.  When creating your capsule, create it around what you feel most confident in.

I suggest peeking in your closet and selecting what makes you feel beautiful and start your planning around those pieces.

That’s been the best place to start for me.

Do Accessories Count in the Capsule?

One question I get asked is if I count accessories and shoes as my items. I do not, but feel free to do that if you like. For me a scarf, belt, or great jewelry really do add to the enjoyment and experience of my wardrobe. I am, however, more selective about the accessories I am choosing and really making sure that they are worth the space in my drawers and the money that is spent.

What Are the Rules for a Capsule Wardrobe?

Here is my modified Project 333 rules or you can go to Courtney’s website to read more about the official guidelines!

Below is my spring & summer capsule wardrobe. Any with an asterisk by their name is a new item in my closet.  

Spring and Summer 2016 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe from MomAdvice.com

* 1. basic white t-shirt (target)

* 2. black & white striped t-shirt (target)

* 3. hi-lo dolman black t-shirt (ann taylor loft)

* 4. hi-lo dolman ivory t-shirt (ann taylor loft)

5. coral t-shirt (target)

6. vintage gray t-shirt (old navy)

* 7. j. crew lace tank (j. crew from thredup)

8. black & white striped shirt (t.j. maxx)

* 9. coral & navy print shirt (gap from thredup)

* 10. floral & striped t-shirt (matilda jane)

* 11. denim shirt (madewell from thredup)

* 12. no-iron white collared shirt (brooks brothers from thredup)

13. chambray shirt (j. crew from thredup)

14. light denim shirt (gap, similar)

15. no-iron pinstripe blue & white striped shirt (white house black market from thredup)

Spring and Summer 2016 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe from MomAdvice.com

15. white blazer (nordstroms from thredup)

16. black blazer (gap)

17. jean jacket (boutique)

18. black & white polka dot silk top (j. crew from thredup)

* 19. navy & white polka dot silk top (j. crew from thredup)

20. green vest (boutique)

21. black & white maxi dress (ann taylor loft)

* 22. floral sundress (old navy from thredup)

* 23. paige mint jeans (nordstroms from thredup, same pair here)

* 24. rose jeans (nordstroms from thredup)

25. floral pants (old navy)

26. jeans (boutique)

* 27. white jeans (nordstroms from thredup)

* 28. black crops (ann taylor loft, same pair here)

Spring and Summer 2016 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe from MomAdvice.com

* 29. black lace dress with nude underlay (bcbg from thredup)

* 30. navy & white sweater (j. crew from thredup)

31. denim midi skirt (eshakti)

32. black sweater (stitch fix)

33. black midi skirt (ann taylor loft)

34. black lace shorts (the limited)

35. red skirt (anthropologie)

spring-2016-capsule-wardrobe-46

36. Floral Romper (matilda jane)

Browse My Capsules & Wardrobe Planning Advice

Fall 2014 Capsule Wardrobe

Winter 2014 Capsule Wardrobe

Fall 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Spring 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Summer 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Fall/Winter 2016 Capsule Wardrobe

Creating the Perfect Capsule Wardrobe (that really works!)

How to Shop Secondhand For Your Capsule Wardrobe

Make Money Organizing Your Closet

25 Best Wardrobe Planning Printables

Coupons That Might Help If You Are Making a Capsule Too

Get $10 for your first thredUP purchase (this is my favorite online consignment resource)

Stitch Fix can be a fun resource for shopping for smart basic wardrobe pieces if a stylist might benefit you!

closet clean out with thredup

Don’t forget to clean out your closet! Here is what I am getting rid of this time. Off to thredup it goes for credit for the next capsule- so proud!! Here is a list of resources to help you make money while organizing this corner! Happy wardrobe planning!

*this post contains affiliate links. I only recommend what I love!

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How To Start A Successful & Fun Book Club

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

I couldn’t be more exited about this fun and inspiring guest post from my fellow book-lover and friend, Nicole Bennet! I LOVE book clubs, Nicole’s tips are great, and her club? Adorable!

How to start a successful and fun book club with Nicole Bennet for MomAdvice

For someone who had been devouring books since learning to read, and had enjoyed talking about books almost as much as reading them, last year was the first time I had the realization that I’d never been a part of a real, in-person book club.

I decided it was time to change that. I’d recently seen some inspiration both in real life and online, and had some ideas about what would constitute a fun, engaging group, so I made a simple plan and jumped in.

The result? It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable experience for all of us. And the takeaway? I wish I’d done this sooner!

In case some of you bookworms might be feeling the pull to gather some people who you can discuss books with, I thought I’d share the details of how I got mine started– it can be as simple or elaborate of a venture as you want it to be, and bonus: you don’t have to do all the leg work if that intimidates you.

lake house book club

How to Start a Book Club

The Members

The first step: choosing whom to join up with. I chose two friends at church who I often found myself discussing books with, Sarah and Susan. We happen to have pretty similar tastes in books so we had been frequently reading the same books already.

I approached both of them, and when they expressed interest, I asked them each to invite a friend if they wanted. Susan invited Hannah, and then I invited another reader friend, too, Rena. We decided to keep it fairly small, and got started.

After a couple of months, I ran into Amie, a friend I hadn’t seen in ages. She commented that she’d seen me briefly mention my new book club on my blog. Did we have room for one more? I ran it by the group, and we decided we’d love her to join us. Amie jumped in for the next book, making us six, and our group has felt like a great size.

There’s no perfect number for a book club, but we’ve found that keeping our group pretty small makes gatherings simpler and discussions have plenty of space for everyone to share their opinions.

Choosing Books

At the end of each meeting, we draw a name of someone who hasn’t yet chosen a book. That member then gets to pick the book and host the next meeting if she wants. Easy Peasy! Sometimes we pick a book we’ve all had on our to-read list, and other times some of us end up reading something we wouldn’t have otherwise picked.

So far we’ve read Where’d Ya Go Bernadette? (my choice), In the Unlikely Event (Rena’s choice), The Lake House (Sarah’s choice), and next up is The Nightingale (Hannah’s choice).

Frequency

For now, we’ve decided to meet seasonally, as I originally wanted to make our club fairly laid back. We all have other commitments in the evenings and weekends (like Bible study or church small group, or kids’ sports games) so I didn’t want it to add stress to our lives. It’s worked out to meet about every three months, which gives us plenty of time to acquire (often via library holds waiting lists) and read the book, and also have time to keep reading plenty of other books.

Maybe you’ll choose monthly or bi-monthly, or keep meetings spread farther out like us– do what works for your group.

After a couple of months have passed from our last meeting, the next host will send out a Doodle (a brilliant little free tool), which lists a handful of possible dates/times to meet. We all fill it out to see which time slot works for everyone and get the next date on the calendar.

Discussion

Whoever chooses the book runs our discussion. Sometimes we find questions online (often the publisher or author has questions on their website), other times we just let the discussion flow. Either way, we all usually end up leaving book club liking the book even more after having talked about it together.

unlikely event book club

Theme

My favorite aspect of our club has been designing our gatherings– we follow the theme, setting, and time period of our book to spark inspiration– it’s so fun!

Sarah is our most careful reader (and also happens to be a total foodie), so she has volunteered to keep a running list of food mentioned in each of our books as she reads. She then emails it out and we use that to draw ideas from and decide what we’ll each bring. It’s fun seeing how food plays a part in the plot of our books, and when we eat together while we chat about the book, it makes us feel somehow more connected to the story (and each other).

bernadette book club

Sometimes we dress up a little, too, or have fun setting the table or coffee table to jive with the feel of the book. For Bernadette, we all donned big sunglasses and and scarves (and Rena even wore a sweet cargo vest!), and for The Lake House we enjoyed Sarah’s beautiful tea set as we snacked (see first photo). This is the area where you can really get carried away and have fun with it if you want.

Our book club has been such a fun way to enjoy each other’s company and feel like we are getting a little extra something out of the books we read together. If you love to read, I highly recommend gathering a few friends to read with.

It doesn’t have to add any stress to your life– life which I’m sure is already full, and possibly busy. On the contrary, it will be sure to add an extra dose of joy and fun.

Nicole takes a book everywhere she goes. She loves encouraging others to read and talking about books, both in real life and on her blog. Sign up for her newsletter and you’ll receive a free ebook titled Read More: Why & How to Make Time for Reading Amidst the Busyness of Life.

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Winter 2016 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Winter 2016 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

I am so very ready for a little capsule switch after being in this capsule since October. I held off until after the holidays to get this one off the ground, waiting to see if any of my holiday gifts might make the cut! I think my family is scared to buy me anything though now, other than accessories, since I have become so choosy about my clothes! There are only a handful of switches though from my fall capsule because I did such a great job planning that one that there is very little that needs to be added or taken away other than my really heavy sweaters!

What is a Fashion Capsule & Why Should You Do One?

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing which is designed using only interchangeable items, in order to maximize the number of outfits which can be created. The aim is to have an outfit suitable for any occasion without owning excessive items of clothing. This is usually achieved by buying what are considered to be “key” or “staple” items in coordinating colors.

The reason I think capsule wardrobes are worth exploring is that you realize when you have LESS in your closet you can do MORE with what you have. My closet used to be bursting at the seams with clothes and, what I like to call, one-trick-pony apparel. I felt put together after tearing up my room and trying to build outfits in the process, but it took me so long to get ready in the mornings and I never felt like I had a truly seamless style. Narrowing my wardrobe down to 33 items as outlined in Project 333 was just what I needed to make mornings less stressful and finding a real rhythm to getting dressed for the day. It’s been a beautiful shift in my life and I don’t think I could ever go back to the old ways of bursting closets and pointless purchases.

I tend to be a pretty colorful person so you will find color mixed in with basics in my wardrobe. Monochromatic isn’t my thing, but can be yours if you are trying to simplify your wardrobe. Many people begin their capsule experience very monochromatic and then find they are comfortable branching out into color after figuring out how to make everything work together.

What Makes My Capsule Wardrobe Unique?

I am committed to purchasing the majority of my wardrobe gently used. You will find that the majority of the items have been purchased this year using my thredUP credit (I get $10 and you get $10 to spend my referral) or I have owned for years. Thanks to pointing out this resource, I was able to get the majority of my gently used wardrobe for free. Be sure to visit my tips this year for purchasing your fashion capsule wardrobe second hand.  It was a prompting really through this film (watched on Netflix) that has solidified my commitment to buying used and investing wisely. Watch it and tell me if it doesn’t make you want to do better with fashion purchases!

My biggest investment is always tailoring my items to fit me. I am a petite girl and pants need hemmed, waistlines nipped, and shoulders shifted. Although this can get a little pricey at times, it is 100% why I love the clothes I wear! I feel really confident in them because of these alterations.

Winter 2016 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

Why My Capsule Shouldn’t Be YOUR Capsule

I show you my capsule mainly as some sort of accountability, but not necessarily for you to copy it. My style is probably not your style and that is okay. Your capsule can look nothing like my capsule.  Your body shape could be different from mine and none of these cuts of clothing or ideas will work for you.  When creating your capsule, create it around what you feel most confident in. I suggest peeking in your closet and selecting what makes you feel beautiful and start your planning around those pieces. That’s been the best place to start for me.

Winter 2016 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

What Trends Did You Embrace for Your Winter 2016 Wardrobe?

I can’t omit trends altogether so once I have my timeless pieces in place, I try to add a few trends that I love this year.

I am sticking with the plaid trend and added in a little faux leather with a faux leather skirt I had been eyeing. As time goes by, I realize how smart it is just to just stick to the classics for ease and for longevity from capsule to capsule.

I’m adding in just a couple of spring colored clothing items since I will be wearing this until April. I only have 29 items this time so I can switch 3 (as outlined in the rules) and possibly add a couple later, if needed as the weather warms up! Be flexible with yourself- there is no need for it to be miserable! 

I add daily trends to my Fashion Capsule Pinterest Board to help keep me inspired with styling and ways to use the key pieces in my wardrobe.

Do You Count Accessories As Your 33 Items?

One question I get asked is if I count accessories and shoes as my items. I do not, but feel free to do that if you like. For me a scarf, belt, or great jewelry really do add to the enjoyment and experience of my wardrobe. I am, however, more selective about the accessories I am choosing and really making sure that they are worth the space in my drawers and the money that is spent.

A Modified Project 333

This project was inspired by Project 333, but I am making a few of my own rules for my own personal challenge.

33 Piece Wardrobe- The wardrobe can have 33 pieces  in it. This wardrobe does not include pajamas, workout gear, undergarments, or camisoles (something that is a necessity for me).  The capsule is made from items I already own, some purchased to be workhorses in my wardrobe  All of the items I am not wearing and still love are being tucked in storage for the next fashion capsule.  I have created a Fashion Capsule Pinterest Board to help inspire me with the pieces I am using.

Choose 3 More for Rotating- You may choose three additional items and put them aside in your closet. You may rotate these items in during the next three months, but three other items have to be rotated out. Consider donating those items.

No Shoe Shopping- I am not including my shoes for this challenge, but I am challenging myself to not buy any more shoes and use what I already have.

One Steal Per Month- Things and events come up and I am allowing myself one steal per month from items that I already own. I may find I don’t need this, but I think it might help with the shopping bug.

No Shopping For Clothing- I will wear the clothes I have selected and not shop for three months and only shop two weeks prior to the next capsule for items for the next season if needed. This is going to require a lot of discipline for me and I am planning to unsubscribe to shopping newsletters and avoid the shops as much as possible.

This month’s Project 333 Wardrobe is listed below. Feel free to join our MomAdvice Hangout for weekly wardrobe inspiration or give me a follow on Instagram! I piece outfits together on my floor and try not to subject you to too many of my awful selfies unless I can’t figure out how to make it work without me in it!

Winter 2016 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

* 1. J. Crew Tan Cardigan (gently used, thredUP)

2. Anthropologie Angels of the North Mustard Yellow Knitted Cardigan Sweater (gently used, thredUP)

3. J. Crew Chambray Shirt (gently used, thredUP)

4. White House Black Market Pinstriped Shirt (gently used, thredUP)

5. Cynthia Rowley Black & White Striped T-Shirt (TJ Maxx)

* 6. J. Crew Factory Flannel Shirt (J. Crew Factory)

7. White House Black Market Polka Dotted Silk Shirt (gently used,thredUP)

8. White House Black Market Black Shirt (gently used,thredUP)

* 9. Anthropologie Black & White Striped Tank (gently used, thredUP)

10. Don’t Pull Me Down Mustard Sweater (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

11. Ivory Cowl Neck Sweatshirt (TJ Maxx)

12. J. Crew Red & Black Buffalo Checked Tunic (gently used thredUP)

13. Anthropologie Peacock Design Knitted Top (gently used, thredUP)

14. J. Crew Gray Wool Sweater (gently used, thredUP)

15. J. Crew Coral Tee (gently used, thredUP)

16. Mystree Peplum Jacket (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

Winter 2016 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

* 17. Faux Leather Midi Skirt (purchased Forever 21)

18. Willi Smith Black Tunic (TJ Maxx)

19. fei Chambray Shirt Dress (gently used, thredUP)

20. Anthropologie Daughters of Liberation Utility Jacket (gently used,thredUP)

21. Madewell Gray Jumper (gently used, thredUP)

22. Anthropologie Maeve Red A-Line Skirt (Anthropologie)

23. Matilda Jane Willow Tree Rider Pants (purchase from Amanda Petit, Matilda Jane Independent Trunk Keeper)

24.  Old Navy Vintage T-Shirt (Old Navy)

25. Anthropologie Sweater Dress Jumper (gently used, thredUP)

26. Black Pants With Faux Leather Track Stripe (Loft)

27. Dark Wash Skinny 7 Jeans (Flourish Boutique)

28. Anthropologie Navy & Red Striped Shirt (gently used, thredUP)

29. Cynthia Rowley White T-Shirt (TJ Maxx)

(items with an asterisk are new to the capsule)

Winter 2016 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

Browse My Capsules & Wardrobe Planning Advice

Fall 2014 Capsule Wardrobe

Winter 2014 Capsule Wardrobe

Fall 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Spring 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Summer 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Creating the Perfect Capsule Wardrobe (that really works!)

How to Shop Secondhand For Your Capsule Wardrobe

Make Money Organizing Your Closet

25 Best Wardrobe Planning Printables

Coupons That Might Help If You Are Making a Capsule Too

Get $10 for your first thredUP purchase (this is my favorite online consignment resource)

Stitch Fix can be a fun resource for shopping for smart basic wardrobe pieces if a stylist might benefit you!

eShakti $40 off your first order!- Perfect for petite or tall girls because you can customize all their clothing to your own measurements!

Don’t forget to clean out your closet! Here is a list of resources to help you make money while organizing this corner! Happy wardrobe planning!

*This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend what I love- promise! xo

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3 Ways to Find More Joy This Year

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

3 Steps to Finding More Joy (4)

No matter how many posts and articles I read (or write) about not making New Year’s resolutions and setting realistic goals and starting a new diet (or organizational system or meal plan or reading challenge) on any day other than Monday, I can’t help but start the first day of the first week of the first month of the new year with some degree of expectation.

When I woke up yesterday, I literally began the day with a smile on my face. And, as anyone who’s ever witnessed my reluctant rising can tell you, this night owl does NOT usually wake up happy! But it was a big day, the first “real” day in the new year! A day full of so much opportunity, a day destined for fresh starts and productivity and greatness.

Except, as it turned out, it was just another day.

Another MONDAY at that.

I had to remind my older daughter 17 times to brush her hair and her teeth – and to put her empty banana peel in the trash can, please and thank you. I had to change my toddler’s diaper and convince her that wearing her coat was a good idea, given the 20-degree air blowing around outside. I put on my sunglasses as we walked out the door, only to take them off again when I realized it was actually quite cloudy. And as I backed out of the driveway, I noticed that the recycling truck had knocked over our trash can, spilling bags of garbage all over the street and yard.

It was just another day. Another day we have chores and arguments and projects and appointments, another day with clouds and trash and cat hair and dirty dishes.

But you know what? It was also another day full of beauty and hope and joy. It was another opportunity to choose my outlook, to determine my attitude, to make a difference – even if it’s just for me, even if it’s just for a moment.

See, I believe that we can find joy – true joy! the kind that can’t be stolen by cloudy skies or spilled garbage (literal or figurative) – every single day of the year. I believe it’s possible and even necessary for our mental health and our relationships and our productivity and success. And I believe that just a few simple steps can help us find a whole lot more of this crucial, beautiful joy this year.

3 Steps to Finding More Joy (1)

3 Steps to Finding More Joy in 2016

1. SAVOR YOUR MOMENTS.

My friend Sara said once that moments are her favorite things. Not Oreos or the fifth Harry Potter book or the color purple or spicy queso, but moments. Much as I love all those other things, I’d have to agree. After all, capturing and savoring moments is why I used to scrapbook years ago – and why I love Facebook now. It’s why forgetting my camera is reason for turning the car around, no matter how far from home I’ve driven.

And it’s why I’ve been known to tear up at random times when I look around and realize this – THIS! – is beautiful. This life, this family, this conversation, this laughter. Even when it’s loud or messy or awkward or weird, a moment sometimes strikes me as so beautiful that I can’t contain my ridiculous tears.

Every day – the regular days, the cloudy days, the hardest days – has sweet moments. Even on days that come with banana peels and mountains of laundry and overdue bills, we can find something to savor.So when you’re struggling to find a silver lining or a glass half full of anything, look for those moments: your favorite song on the radio, the first sip of that cold tea or hot coffee, baby giggles or a side hug from a tween, rain showers or sunsets, an encouraging text message or inspiring quote posted on Facebook at just the right time.

Find those moments – and then savor them. Take a mental picture, close your eyes and bask in the joy for a few seconds, and save it for the next “just another day.”

3 Steps to Finding More Joy (2)

2. EXPRESS YOUR GRATITUDE.

I know, I know, this is nothing new! When she writes about how listing out the things we’re thankful for can be truly life-changing, Ann Voskamp boils it down to this: “Being joyful isn’t what makes you grateful. Being grateful is what makes you joyful.” Just like that – even when it’s hard to find something to be thankful for.

Sara, my friend I mentioned earlier (and, as it happens, my co-author in a book about joy), suffered from an extremely painful, debilitating disease. And yet, throughout her life, she learned to choose joy anyway. She wrote about that after spending another Thanksgiving holiday alone:

“I’m not in the least bit bothered to be here alone on the holiday of gratitude, because it’s the same as any other day. I am simply grateful. I appreciate my life because it’s the one God has given to me, and I don’t want to waste a moment of it wishing for anything else.”

She was simply grateful – every day, good or bad, no matter what. Wow! Personally, I’m still working on making that kind of gratitude such an ingrained habit. But I believe we can take strides toward this in 2016.

Perhaps for you it will help to keep a written journal of your thankfulness. Or maybe, like me, you need to commit to verbally thanking someone each and every day. I try to send my husband a text message every night before bed (he works nights), thanking him for something – even on days we argue, even on days we don’t see eye to eye. The habit of gratitude that leads to an attitude of joy is something I’m pursuing big time this year.

3 Steps to Finding More Joy (3)

3. MAKE YOUR CHOICE.

Sara’s and my book is called, Choose Joy: Finding Hope & Purpose When Life Hurts. It was named after Sara’s mantra and mission: choose joy. That’s what she named her blog, and it’s what she painted on a wall in her condo. When she shared a picture of that painting, she pointed out that the biggest word, the most important part wasn’t JOY; it was CHOOSE.

If we’re going to make this year different than the last one, we have to make a choice. We have to choose to pursue joy, just like we will commit to health and love and hard work and fun. We must make a choice. We must draw a line in the sand, step over it and never look back. No matter what 2016 brings us, it will bring us moments of joy and opportunities for gratitude.

Let’s choose to find them and savor them – and to enjoy the beautiful picture they create!

Choose Joy: Finding Hope & Purpose When Life Hurts by Sara Frankl and Mary Carver was released by the Hachette Book Group in 2016. It is a must-have for those searching for meaning and beauty in a world full of tragedy. Sara’s words breathe with vitality and life, and her stories will inspire smiles, tears, and the desire to choose joy. To learn more about CHOOSE JOY, visit TheChooseJoyBook.com.

 

3 Unique Ways to Package Gift Cards (GIVEAWAY With Shoe Carnival)

Friday, December 18th, 2015

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3 Unique Ways to Package Gift Cards  (GIVEAWAY With Shoe Carnival)

*This post is sponsored by Shoe Carnival.  Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!

I’ve really enjoyed sharing some new holiday gift-giving strategies and traditions that are important to our family with you. Today I wanted to talk about a gift that I really struggle with… the gift card.

While practical in so many ways, I have found it difficult to make gift cards feel personal. I want people to always know that when I give them a gift card, it isn’t because I don’t care about them to shop, but only that I want them to treat themselves to something they really love.

I can tell you that I don’t know a single girlfriend, sister, or mother that would object to a shoe gift card. I may not know their shoe sizes to always shop for them personally, but I know that if I give them a gift card for shoes that they would be more than thrilled to peruse the shoe aisles for the perfect gift. Bonus points if that gift card accompanied a gift card to their favorite coffee shop so they could sip while browsing.

Today I wanted to share with you 3 ways I have created to make a gift card to Shoe Carnival more personal and make it truly stand out!

3 Unique Ways to Package Gift Cards  (GIVEAWAY With Shoe Carnival)

3 Unique Ways to Package Gift Cards  (GIVEAWAY With Shoe Carnival)

3 Unique Ways to Package Gift Cards  (GIVEAWAY With Shoe Carnival)

(Shoes: Nicole Carleigh in Black)

Create a Snow Globe Jar

If you put anything in a jar, I think it instantly amplifies its level of awesomeness on any gift. Jars are very inexpensive gifts to give and this little snowy-filled scene only took a couple of minutes to pull together and requires zero craft skills.

Simply add a little faux snow on the bottom with whatever you might have in your craft supplies or purchase those delicious rolls of snow they have out with all of the snow villages this time of year. Place a little snow on the bottom, add an inexpensive ornament, and finish with a bottle brush tree. TADA!

With just a few moments you have created something really cute for their mantle out of items that they can use for their own holiday decorating or food storage. Best of all, tucked underneath that blanket of white is a gift card to do a little shoe shopping!

WINNING!

3 Unique Ways to Package Gift Cards  (GIVEAWAY With Shoe Carnival)

 

Knit a Gift Card-igan

As you know, I am a knitter, so I always find fun ways to use my hobby for the holidays. This year, I stumbled upon this amazing little pattern for a Gift Card-igan and knitted this out of a little scrap yarn I had left over from another project. It is a perfectly gratifying project since it is so small in size and the pattern is easy enough to execute while watching holiday movies on the couch.

Whatever your craft skill set is, consider using it to create a unique gift card holder of your own. Sewing, embroidery, decoupage, crochet… there are so many fun ways to incorporate your own crafting skills to make a gift card holder that is unique and special. It adds that personal touch to any gift you give and showcases your talents in such a fun way!

3 Unique Ways to Package Gift Cards  (GIVEAWAY With Shoe Carnival)

 

(Shoes: Crocs Cap Toe Rhinestone)

Add Our Free Holiday Sparkle

I’m all about the holiday sparkle from attire to the gifts I give. These Crocs Cap Toe Rhinestone shoes add that holiday touch I love with their shiny cap toes and rhinestone embellishment. Did I mention how comfy these are? They are the perfect shoe for any gathering because you can be on your feet for days without any discomfort! I found the same holds true for the Nicole Carleigh Boots I got, thanks to their low and wider heel.

3 Unique Ways to Package Gift Cards  (GIVEAWAY With Shoe Carnival)

Of course, sparkle can also be added to your gift and I wanted to share this fun printable that our designer, MJ from pars caeli, created just for you to add that personal touch to your gift card this year!

(scroll to the bottom for this freebie!)

3 Unique Ways to Package Gift Cards (GIVEAWAY With Shoe Carnival)

 

Shoe Carnival happens to be running a Give 1, Gift 1 Gift Card promotion this week which is perfect timing with our gathering of packaging ideas. If you purchase a $50 gift card, you can receive a $10 bonus reward card that can be redeemed from 12/26-1/16, in-store only.

Be sure to cash in on this incredible promo and I hope you can use a few of our ideas for your gift-giving needs this year!

3 Unique Ways to Package Gift Cards  (GIVEAWAY With Shoe Carnival)

FREEBIES Galore:

FREE Colorful Cute Shoes Fund Envelope

FREE B&W Cute Shoe Funds Envelope

 

Today I am giving away two $50 gift cards to two winners to add a little holiday sparkle from Shoe Carnival for those upcoming holiday festivities!  Follow the instructions below in our Rafflecopter widget to enter.  Good luck and happiest of holidays!

 

*This post is sponsored by Shoe Carnival.  Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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My Favorite Holiday Traditions (Peppermint Cocoa Recipe & GIVEAWAY)

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

Tracking PixelMy Favorite Holiday Traditions (Peppermint Cocoa Recipe & GIVEAWAY)

*This post is sponsored by Shoe Carnival.  Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!

I hope you didn’t miss my post last week about our family’s first celebration of St. Nicholas Day. We had the best time adding this new tradition to our family rituals and hope you can bookmark it for next year for your family too!

Today I wanted to share with you a few of our family’s favorite holiday traditions. We really try to focus on simple blessings in our home and moments with our kids, rather than a lot under our tree. It’s a focus that has served our family well and it frees up funds to do more giving to those in need which is a big priority for us.

I’d love to share with you a few ways we have found to do this!

The 4 Gift Rule

The 4 Gift Rule

Years ago, I ran across a gifting strategy that has worked really well for our family over the years. As you know, last year our family went the Choose Your Own Adventure route with our kids and we had an incredible vacation to Florida. Due to my husband’s new role at work, it has become difficult to get away this year and so we are defaulting to a timeless tradition of 4 gifts that keep our gifts thoughtful and keep the excess at bay. Have you heard of the 4 Gift Rule? It’s so simple and easy!

In our family we do:

WANT

NEED

WEAR

READ

My husband and I do these gifts for each other as well and the tradition has really served us well over the years. Everyone gets one thing they want, one thing they need, one thing to wear, and one book to read. It simplifies purchasing for each other and we all end up with really great gifts that actually get used every year.

Open One Gift Early

Of all the categories, the wear category is my favorite because it is the one gift that my kids get to open early before all their other gifts. In that gift is typically a pair of festive pajamas that they get to slip on to see the holiday lights through a local neighborhood known for their tradition of incredible lighting in our town (that also happens to give back to our community).

We usually head to Steak & Shake for Peppermint Shakes and take in the beauty of the holidays in our jammies and bundled up in cozy blankets. Why icy cold shakes became the tradition, who knows? It is that cold and warm contrast that the kids love though so we have been doing this for many years for them as a holiday treat.

My Favorite Holiday Traditions (Peppermint Cocoa Recipe & GIVEAWAY)

Have a Family Day in the Snow

Our family loves to play in the snow together and we make it a point to hit our favorite sledding hill at least once a year! When they put up a caution and sled at your own risk sign on our favorite hill, we felt like we were snow warriors or something!

If you haven’t checked out Shoe Carnival’s winter boot selection yet, you are in for a treat. Warm boots are a must-have item in Indiana and, thanks to my children’s enormous growth spurts each year, one of those items we purchase each year.

My Favorite Holiday Traditions (Peppermint Cocoa Recipe & GIVEAWAY)

Welcome, to the boot show!  I picked out four great shoe options for our family that I think you will love. First, for girls I have the Capelli New York Kids Storm Duck Boots as a winter must-have. As I have said before, I have discovered Duck Boots are a really practical option for Midwest weather because it can protect you from the snow and rainy season very fashionably.

For the less snowy days (or for our friends enjoying warmer climates this winter) we recommend the Mia Lauren in Cognac Smooth for a great kid’s boot option to stay fashionably warm and that should go with everything in your closet.  I only wish it came in my size!

For my son, Tommy Hilfiger Charlie Duck Boots were the best option for all of the crazy weather conditions here.  We aren’t a very brand-focused family so I really just looked at all the options at the store and felt the insides for warmth, good stitching, and a well-crafted shoe. I can truly say that these are boots that will last him forever. Should he outgrow them, he can hand them down to his Dad to wear (how crazy is that?).  For tweens and teens, this is the boot option I would recommend!

My Favorite Holiday Traditions (Peppermint Cocoa Recipe & GIVEAWAY)

My Favorite Holiday Traditions (Peppermint Cocoa Recipe & GIVEAWAY)

The third option is for me, the fashionable Northside Bishop. The lower portion is water resistant while the top is decked out in faux fur and a Nordic-inspired trim.  It also has a Nor-Foam insulation to protect my feet against the cold. Once again, these boots are fashionable AND practical.

Do you remember the boots that we had when we were kids? They often weren’t that warm and they definitely weren’t stylish. How lucky are we to have such beautiful options and at such affordable pricing.

Lucky for you it is the Perfect 10 season! You can get $10 off for every $50 spent, upward of $40 off of 200! That is one great deal to take advantage of as you stock up on your winter necessities.

My Favorite Holiday Traditions (Peppermint Cocoa Recipe & GIVEAWAY)

My Favorite Holiday Traditions (Peppermint Cocoa Recipe & GIVEAWAY)

This year I wanted to make the occasion even more magical so after our annual day of sledding we are finishing the evening with this rich Peppermint Cocoa to warm up by the fire. I created this delicious treat for my kids and would love to share it with you today to inspire you to spend a day in the snow with your kids!

Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
A delicious peppermint hot cocoa recipe perfect for sharing while viewing those holiday lights as a family.
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 quart milk
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips (3 ounces)
  • 7 peppermint sticks; 3 crushed (1/4 cup), 4 left whole
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Place cocoa in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk until cocoa has dissolved. Add chocolate chips and crushed peppermint; simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate and peppermint have melted, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Add salt. Ladle into mugs; serve each with a peppermint stick.

Today I am giving away two $50 gift cards to two lucky families to find some warm and stylish boots for the holiday season from Shoe Carnival so you can tackle those crazy sled hills too!  Follow the instructions below in our Rafflecopter widget to enter.  Good luck and happiest of holidays!

*This post is sponsored by Shoe Carnival.  Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Celebrating St. Nicholas Day (Giveaway with Shoe Carnival)

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

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How to Celebrate St. Nicholas Day with Momadvice.com

*This post is sponsored by Shoe Carnival.  Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!

I am so excited to be partnering with Shoe Carnival again for the holidays. This month I will be sharing some of our family’s favorite holiday traditions with you, some gorgeous shoe options for outfitting your entire family, and some refreshing new ideas for personalizing gift cards for this holiday season. We will also be offering gift cards to share at the end of each of these posts to treat yourself or someone you love to a beautiful new pair of shoes!

To kick things off, I wanted to show you a fun idea to bookmark for next year. This year our family started a new tradition to celebrate St Nicholas Day which is observed in the states on December 6th.  Have you heard of St Nicholas Day? It is actually something I heard about recently from my friends and I thought it would be a sweet tradition this year to share with my kids.

How to Celebrate St. Nicholas Day with Momadvice.com

 

What Is St. Nicholas Day?

St. Nicholas Day is a popular holiday for children, especially children in many parts of Europe, because it is another day of sharing gifts. What kid doesn’t love that?  In fact, in some European countries, St. Nicholas is celebrated with not only gift-giving, but it is so special that it is celebrated through parades and festivals too.

This holiday celebrating him is derived from Nicholas of Myra who officiated as a bishop in 4th century Greece. During his lifetime he was known, in particular, for his gift-giving. They say that he slipped coins in other people’s shoes, which accounts for many of today’s Christmas traditions that involve leaving gifts in shoes or boots today.

How to Celebrate St. Nicholas Day with Momadvice.com

The Simplest of Treats

The presents need not be grand, but are simple gestures that build up that sweet anticipation for Christmas. Gifts like chocolates, chocolate coins, nuts, cookies, small trinket gifts, apples and oranges are just a few sweet treats that are perfect for tucking in your shoes on December 5th.

When I think of things to tuck in our shoes it reminds me of the cozy nights I spent reading with my daughter about how Christmas was celebrated in the Little House in the Big Woods. As Laura described her thrill over a peppermint stick and a small cake made with real sugar, I remember my daughter’s wide eyes that these small offerings were the only presents they received for their Christmas. Can you imagine anything that small feeling magical for our kids today? It’s that nostalgia of sweet treats that is so perfectly captured through this tradition and why I wanted to share it with my two. Less electronics and more magic, I say!

We are displaying our treats in two beautiful shoe options from Shoe Carnival. In Indiana, it is all about cozy footwear and these are two great selections that I found for the holiday season that would be great options to wrap under your Christmas tree this year.

How to Celebrate St. Nicholas Day with Momadvice.com

The first option is the Tommy Hilfiger Charlie Duck Boots that I found for my son. We have outgrown the days of little kid’s boots after an enormous growth spurt this year and now my son & husband can share shoes.  Duck Boots have become my new obsession because they can be worn in the Fall, Winter, & Spring making them a really great option for keeping your feet warm & dry for several seasons unlike boots that are just dedicated to snow. I consider them to be a wise investment!  I have a pair for myself and my daughter has a beautiful pair too. They are stylish and practical which is why I am recommending this option this Winter.

How to Celebrate St. Nicholas Day with Momadvice.com

The second pair is actually one that we featured here this summer for myself and fell in love with.  I discovered that they make Lil’ Bobs for kids with the same supportive memory foam sole that I love for my own feet. It’s like walking on a cloud and I wish everyone could feel that way! This trendy Bobs Pure Flex gives a nod to our pink obsession with the stripe detail on the sole, but reflects her big girl status in the print. If my daughter is anything like me, these will be doubling for slippers because they are so darn comfortable. You just can’t go wrong with this option and the modern prints available are beautiful and on trend.

I am so excited to share with you that this weekend is the Friends and Family Weekend which means that everything will be 30% off all weekend long so definitely take advantage of these discounts on top of their affordable pricing! Yay!

How to Celebrate St. Nicholas Day with Momadvice.com

I hope that this tradition inspires you for next Christmas season and I hope these shoe options help you when selecting shoes for your kids!

Today I am giving away two $50 gift cards to two lucky families for a holiday shopping day at Shoe CarnivalFollow the instructions below in our Rafflecopter widget to enter.  Good luck and Happy Holidays!

*This post is sponsored by Shoe Carnival.  Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Best of Fall, Halloween & Thanksgiving: 49 Ideas for Decor, Crafts, Recipes, Costumes & More!

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

The Best of Fall, Halloween & Thanksgiving-49 Ideas for Decor, Crafts, Recipes, Costumes & More

Fall is really one of my favorite seasons, from the first leaves that turn glorious colors through Halloween costumes to hanging out with family and friends for Thanksgiving, I love it all! Mom Advice has been around long enough that I’ve got a TON of great ideas, tutorials, and recipes that are perfect for this season, so I’m rounding it all up in one spot for you, since I know a lot of your are fall lovers like me.

No matter what you like, you’ll find something here for you, including lots of easy DIY decorating, some fun knitting projects, comforting food recipes (including my popular list of make-ahead Thanksgiving recipes!), costume ideas for the whole family, and more.

Miniature-Felted-Pumpkins

Fall Decor & Crafts

Mini Felted Pumpkin Tutorial

Warm Up Outdoor Spaces for Fall

Handmade Autumn Burlap Wreath Tutorial

7 Easy Upcycle Projects for Fall

Fall Decorating with Goodwill Items

DIY Decorative Thumbtack Pumpkins

Knitted Leaves Centerpiece
Knitted Leaf Centerpiece

Duct Tape Pumpkins

How to Decoupage Pumpkins

Painted Address Pumpkin Topiary

7 Scarves & Cowls to Knit for Fall

Pumpkin-Hand-Pies

Fall Recipes

Pumpkin Hand Pies

Fall DIY Drinks

Pumpkin Nut Quinoa Breakfast

11 Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin Cranberry Cornbread

21_Easy_Slow_Cooker_Meals
21 Easy Slow Cooker Meals

8 Ways to Use Canned Pumpkin

12 Great Tailgating Recipes

Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Maple Syrup Frosting

And while not a decor or recipe, let’s not forget these 5 Ways to Date Your Husband in the Fall!

DIY_Halloween_Costumes

Halloween Costumes, Decor & Recipes

7 New DIY Halloween Costumes

DIY Minecraft Costume Ideas

Easy DIY Halloween Costumes

Halloween Costume Ideas for the Whole Family

doughnut-hole-ghost-cake
Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake

Festive Halloween Decorating Ideas

How to Make Chalkboard Pumpkins

Happy, Healthy Halloween Night Feast

How to Make Glow-in-the-Dark Jell-o

Woodland-Creatures-Printables-Tablescapes

Thanksgiving Decor, Crafts & Entertaining

Woodland Thanksgiving Table + Free Printables

DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Host a Friendsgiving Feast

How to Entertain the Kids on Thanksgiving Day

How to Set the Perfect Thanksgiving Table

DIY Chalkboard Food Label Frames

Apple_Sausage_And_Sage_Sourdough_Stuffing

Thanksgiving Recipes

Make Ahead Apple, Sausage & Sage Sourdough Stuffing

Make Ahead Gravy

Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole

Make Ahead Buttery Bread Machine Rolls

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes for a Crowd

Make Ahead Brandied Orange Cranberry Sauce

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

decorate_store_bought_pie

5 Ways to Decorate Store-Bought Pies

Dress Up a Store-Bought Pie with Cranberry-Crunch Pie Topping

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

All-Butter Pie Crust Tutorial

7 Make Ahead Appetizers for Thanksgiving

Make Ahead Recipes for Thanksgiving Day

Are you a fall lover, too? What are some of your favorite recipes, crafts, or traditions?

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Fall 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Fall 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project from MomAdvice.com

One year ago I decided that I would try putting a capsule wardrobe together. For someone who bought on impulse, focused far too much on trends, and wasted money on an outfit for just a single night out it was a real adjustment in purchasing. I have managed to whittle my wardrobe down to less than half its original size and I think so very much about what I buy and question why I need it. It’s changed my life in many, many ways, but the biggest rewards have been smoother mornings and truly feeling proud of everything I wear.  It is with that kind of pride that I show you this capsule wardrobe.

It was also a year of investments, but the biggest investment was time because I decided to go almost 100% with a gently used wardrobe. I have 7 purchases that were not used and the rest and the majority of the items have been purchased this year using my thredUP credit (I get $10 and you get $10 to spend my referral) or I have owned for years. Thanks to pointing out this resource, I was able to get the majority of my gently used wardrobe for free. Be sure to visit my tips this year for purchasing your fashion capsule wardrobe second hand.  It was a prompting really through this film (watched on Netflix) that has solidified my commitment to buying used and investing wisely. Watch it and tell me if it doesn’t make you want to do better with fashion purchases!

What is a Fashion Capsule & Why Should You Do One?

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing which is designed using only interchangeable items, in order to maximize the number of outfits which can be created. The aim is to have an outfit suitable for any occasion without owning excessive items of clothing. This is usually achieved by buying what are considered to be “key” or “staple” items in coordinating colors.

The reason I think capsule wardrobes are worth exploring is that you realize when you have LESS in your closet you can do MORE with what you have. My closet used to be bursting at the seams with clothes and, what I like to call, one-trick-pony apparel. I felt put together after tearing up my room and trying to build outfits in the process, but it took me so long to get ready in the mornings and I never felt like I had a truly seamless style. Narrowing my wardrobe down to 33 items as outlined in Project 333 was just what I needed to make mornings less stressful and finding a real rhythm to getting dressed for the day. It’s been a beautiful shift in my life and I don’t think I could ever go back to the old ways of bursting closets and pointless purchases.

I tend to be a pretty colorful person so you will find color mixed in with basics in my wardrobe. Monochromatic isn’t my thing, but can be yours if you are trying to simplify your wardrobe. Many people begin their capsule experience very monochromatic and then find they are comfortable branching out into color after figuring out how to make everything work together.

Fall 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

Why My Capsule Shouldn’t Be YOUR Capsule

I show you my capsule mainly as some sort of accountability, but not necessarily for you to copy it. My style is probably not your style and that is okay. Your capsule can look nothing like my capsule.  Your body shape could be different from mine and none of these cuts of clothing or ideas will work for you.  When creating your capsule, create it around what you feel most confident in. I suggest peeking in your closet and selecting what makes you feel beautiful and start your planning around those pieces. That’s been the best place to start for me.

Fall 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

source 1/source 2/source 3/source 4/source 5

What Trends Did You Embrace for Your Fall 2015 Wardrobe?

I can’t omit trends altogether so once I have my timeless pieces in place, I try to add a few trends that I love this year. For me, I am adding lots of plaid in, a blanket cape, midi skirts, and a classic chambray shirt dress. I feel like I am seeing most of the same trends from last year that fit my style. This girl will not embrace the high waisted jeans or large bell bottom pants due to my petite pear-shaped body. I am always comfortable bowing out on trends that don’t flatter my figure!

I add daily trends to my Fashion Capsule Pinterest Board to help keep me inspired with styling and ways to use the key pieces in my wardrobe.

Do You Count Accessories As Your 33 Items?

One question I get asked is if I count accessories and shoes as my items. I do not, but feel free to do that if you like. For me a scarf, belt, or great jewelry really do add to the enjoyment and experience of my wardrobe. I am, however, more selective about the accessories I am choosing and really making sure that they are worth the space in my drawers and the money that is spent.

Fall 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

This project was inspired by Project 333, but I am making a few of my own rules for my own personal challenge.

33 Piece Wardrobe- The wardrobe can have 33 pieces  in it. This wardrobe does not include pajamas, workout gear, undergarments, or camisoles (something that is a necessity for me).  The capsule is made from items I already own, some purchased to be workhorses in my wardrobe  All of the items I am not wearing and still love are being tucked in storage for the next fashion capsule.  I have created a Fashion Capsule Pinterest Board to help inspire me with the pieces I am using.

Choose 3 More for Rotating- You may choose three additional items and put them aside in your closet. You may rotate these items in during the next three months, but three other items have to be rotated out. Consider donating those items.

No Shoe Shopping- I am not including my shoes for this challenge, but I am challenging myself to not buy any more shoes and use what I already have.

One Steal Per Month- Things and events come up and I am allowing myself one steal per month from items that I already own. I may find I don’t need this, but I think it might help with the shopping bug.

No Shopping For Clothing- I will wear the clothes I have selected and not shop for three months and only shop two weeks prior to the next capsule for items for the next season if needed. This is going to require a lot of discipline for me and I am planning to unsubscribe to shopping newsletters and avoid the shops as much as possible.

Fall 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

This month’s Project 333 Wardrobe is listed below. Feel free to give me a follow on Instagram for weekly wardrobe inspiration! I piece outfits together on my floor and try not to subject you to too many of my awful selfies unless I can’t figure out how to make it work without me in it!

Fall 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

1. J. Crew Chambray Shirt (gently used, thredUP)

2. fei Chambray Shirt Dress (gently used, thredUP)

3. White House Black Market Pinstriped Shirt (gently used, thredUP)

4. Willi Smith Black Tunic (TJ Maxx)

5. J. Crew Gray Wool Sweater (gently used, thredUP)

6. YA Los Angeles Gray Knitted Vest (Flourish Boutique)

7. Anthropologie Moth Ivory Felt & Knitted Cardigan Sweater (gently used, thredUP)

8. Old Navy Vintage T-Shirt

9. Ivory Cowl Neck Sweatshirt (TJ Maxx)

10. Cynthia Rowley White T-Shirt (TJ Maxx)

11. Lou & Gray Ivory Flannel Shirt (Loft)

12. White House Black Market Polka Dotted Silk Shirt (gently used, thredUP)

13. Cynthia Rowley Black & White Striped T-Shirt (TJ Maxx)

14. Ella Moss Red & Navy Striped Tunic (gently used, thredUP)

15. Navy & Red Plaid Flannel Shirt (boutique in CO)

16. J. Crew Red & Black Buffalo Checked Tunic (gently used thredUP)

Fall 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

17. J. Crew Black Dress (gently used, thredUP)

18. Madewell Gray Jumper (gently used, thredUP)

19. J. Crew Watercolor Dress (gently used, thredUP)

Fall 2015 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

20. Anthropologie Angels of the North Mustard Yellow Knitted Cardigan Sweater (gently used, thredUP)

21. Anthropologie Daughters of Liberation Utility Jacket (gently used, thredUP)

22. Anthropologie Peacock Design Knitted Top (gently used, thred UP)

23. Blanket Cape (TJ Maxx)

24. Anthropologie Maeve Red A-Line Skirt (Anthropologie)

25. Black Midi Skirt (Loft)

26. J. Crew Khaki Buttoned A-Line Skirt (gently used, thredUP)

27. Brooks Brothers Kelly Green Pleated Skirt (gently used, thredUP)

28. Matilda Jane Willow Tree Rider Pants (purchase from Amanda Petit, Matilda Jane Independent Trunk Keeper)

29. Black Leggings (TJ Maxx)

30. Black Pants With Faux Leather Track Stripe (Loft)

31. Dark Wash Skinny 7 Jeans (Flourish Boutique)

32. Not pictured- eShakti Denim Midi Skirt

33. Still on the hunt for a NO-IRON basic white collared shirt (any suggestions?)

 

Coupons That Might Help If You Are Making a Capsule Too

Current Coupons for Old Navy (I am a big fan of their jeans and basic t-shirts)

Current Coupons for Target (their wardrobe is on the smart minimalist side this season- yay!)

Current Coupons for Gap (blazers, chambray shirts, collared shirts, jeans- oh my!)

Get $10 for your first thredUP purchase (this is my favorite online consignment resource)

Use web code WEB25 for 25% off your purchase at Flourish Boutique

Stitch Fix can be a fun resource for shopping for smart basic wardrobe pieces if a stylist might benefit you!

eShakti $40 off your first order!- Perfect for petite or tall girls because you can customize all their clothing to your own measurements!

Don’t forget to clean out your closet! Here is a list of resources to help you make money while organizing this corner! Here are some tips for creating the perfect capsule wardrobe and feel free to browse my fall & winter capsule selections while you are gathering ideas for your own capsule! Follow me on IG for fresh outfit ideas each week! xo

*This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend what I love- promise! xo

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FirstDay Kicks With Shoe Carnival (Giveaway!!)

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

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FirstDay Kicks With Shoe Carnival (Giveaway!!)

*This post is sponsored by Shoe Carnival.  Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!

I don’t know what your experience was like when you got your school shoes, but my experience wasn’t too different from my own kids! I remember the thrill and excitement of getting fitted for new shoes (and just praying my feet grew so I would HAVE to have a new pair). I then remember the joy of walking out in my brand new shoes on the way home, and those old, awful shoes thrown in a bag. Is there any better feeling than walking out with fresh, cushy shoes on your feet and all the promise they hold?  It was always one of my favorite days and a rite of passage into the next school year.

Today I’m partnering up with Shoe Carnival for the back-to-school season and to show off our FirstDay Kicks with you!  I don’t want to just tell you about it though, what fun would that be?  I’d love to share FOUR $50 gift cards so you can get your kids some stylish kicks to wear on their first day back!

FirstDay Kicks With Shoe Carnival (Giveaway!!)

FirstDay Kicks With Shoe Carnival (Giveaway!!)

FirstDay Kicks With Shoe Carnival (Giveaway!!)

My children wear uniforms to school so our shoe choices are a little more limited than when I was a kid. I do remember that my mom always pushed us towards practical (AKA BORING COLORS), but practical shoes that adhere to school guidelines are what we have to look for now.  Shoe Carnival has always been where I have taken them because of the plethora of choices we can get at one store that meet our requirements. They not only offer a handful of great options within our limited choices, they even carry brands like French Toast that are specifically for kids like mine who wear uniforms.

When you walk in, you can ask for an associate to help you with foot measuring! We did that and found out both of the kids had gone up at least one size (oh, their prayers were answered!).  Each kid picked one pair of athletic shoes and one pair of dress shoes for the school year, as is our annual tradition. Do you do that too?

FirstDay Kicks With Shoe Carnival (Giveaway!!)

For my son’s dress shoes, we found the Vans Atwood was a great shoe for a wider foot. I loved that the shoe trim was in black to prevent these shoes from looking worn out quickly (a problem all moms of boys face!). Anything I don’t have to maintain to keep bright for this kid is a win in my book.

My daughter found the French Toast Ashley was the perfect shoe to wear when she wants to doll up for school, with Velcro closures and a padded collar on the back for comfort. We love the price too (under $20) which helped keep our shopping excursion affordable.

FirstDay Kicks With Shoe Carnival (Giveaway!!)

FirstDay Kicks With Shoe Carnival (Giveaway!!)

We have always relied on Nike for our athletic shoes for comfort and durability! My son picked out a Nike Flex that he can’t wait to break in on his cross country runs. My daughter loved the Nike Revolution with the pink accents, Velcro closure, and cushy bottom for her gym class needs.

 

FirstDay Kicks With Shoe Carnival (Giveaway!!)

FirstDay Kicks With Shoe Carnival (Giveaway!!)

FirstDay Kicks With Shoe Carnival (Giveaway!!)

We are particularly thankful for our Shoe Perks Rewards that we get. Have you signed up yet?  You earn a point for every dollar you spend, receive a $10 Shoe Perks reward certificate for every 200 points earned, and get 50 points just for joining!

Those points add up fast, especially when your kids are growing in and out of shoes so quickly.  Just look at my son! Who is this man I am living with?  Shoe sizing has been changing every few months in our house!

FirstDay Kicks With Shoe Carnival (Giveaway!!)

For me, back-to-school is a lot different as an adult than it was when I was a kid.  Between dance lessons, cross country, piano lessons, guitar lessons, and volunteering in our community…it is a season that I really struggle with. Running these kids, running a household, and running a business…tough stuff!

Did my mom do this for us?

She was a saint.

Since I’m on my feet all day, I treat myself to a back-to-school reward too. For me, it’s all about maximum comfort and maximum style. I’m not 20 anymore (oh, the things I did to my poor feet!), so point me in the direction of the comfort aisle, please!

FirstDay Kicks With Shoe Carnival (Giveaway!!)

Let’s break down my three favorites for the mamas out there!

First, if there is a cuter shoe than the City Classified Taylor then I would be shocked! This has a comfort cushioning footbed, a beautiful herringbone oxford exterior, and a nice rubber tread on it.  I love a good throwback and these fit the bill perfectly.

If you want a pair of these, size up one size because they tend to run a little shorter than my other shoes.  Also note, this lady has a wide foot and these accommodate a wider foot.

FirstDay Kicks With Shoe Carnival (Giveaway!!)

FirstDay Kicks With Shoe Carnival (Giveaway!!)

Have you tried BOBS yet from Skechers? My girlfriend recommended I check these out and I am so glad I did.  It is like I am walking on a cloud, not kidding! These shoes could double for slippers! These are also filled with cushy memory foam and I love the company’s mission to donate new shoes to kids in need with every purchase. I’m all about companies that care for those in need. It makes me feel good about my purchases.

I chose a neutral tan to go with my whole wardrobe.  I recommend sizing down since these will stretch out over time. They come in a variety of colors and patterns. I had to resist the urge to get them in every color, especially since they are so comfortable!

FirstDay Kicks With Shoe Carnival (Giveaway!!)

We did a lot of walking in Italy this summer, and you may recall I purchased the Clarks Wendy Estate shoe as a treat to myself for Mother’s Day. My feet never hurt (not once), and after walking seven miles in Italy, we came back to our hotel room and I still didn’t take them off- they felt that good.

They are just the perfect shoe with supportive cushioning and Velcro adjustable straps. They come in a wide and medium width. I have worn them all summer long and love that this shoe looks great with dresses as well as shorts.

I am of the belief that if you love something that much, you should get it in all the colors.

Are you too?

So here she is in black.  It’s the perfect shoe.  I mean it.

Did you love our haul? Today I am giving away a $50 gift card to FOUR lucky mamas to treat your amazing family to some new FirstDay Kicks with Shoe Carnival.  Please follow the instructions below in our Rafflecopter widget to enter. I hope you have an incredible first day of school!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Shoe Carnival.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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