Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Get Fit on a Small Budget: My Fitness Confession

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Get Fit on a Small Budget

I have to admit that I am doing a few things that I don’t feel entirely comfortable with today. I am sharing with you a very vulnerable place in my heart, I am exposing a time in my life that I wasn’t the most proud of, I am sharing one picture (of many) of a person that I don’t really recognize, and I am telling you that I am trying to be different…knowing that saying it out loud is the hardest part.

Get Fit on a Small Budget

In my college years, after numerous indecisions about what I wanted to do with my life, I settled on a career path in Food & Nutrition. While learning about the formula for calories, flunking my cooking class twice, and taking courses on exercise and physiology, I became a blimped out version of my former self. I ate out almost every single day, stopped exercising, partied hard, and lived a sedentary life. My hair suddenly became greasy, my face was shiny all of the time, I had chronic stomach problems, exercise-induced asthma, chronic back pain, high cholesterol, and I need to nap because I was constantly tired. Freshman 15 would have been mild compared to the Freshman 35 that I put on. It was such a gradual process that I don’t think I even realized what was happening.

So gradual, in fact, that I found it strange when I overheard a guy friend say that I had a pretty face and would be cute if I could just lose some weight.

I was that girl now.

I bring this up because I know that sometimes it can be hard to relate to someone if you don’t see the struggle, the work, and the decisions that are made daily to accomplish their current body, and the daily commitment that is made after you have reached your personal goals for fitness or weight loss.

Get Fit on a Small Budget

In my thirties, I am in better shape than I ever was in my teen or college years. My skin is great, I no longer take any medications, I have no chronic health conditions, I am at a healthy weight for my body, and I am proud to show my kids that physical fitness is an essential part of my day.  When a ten minute workout would have winded me before, I can now run on my treadmill miles at a time.

Each day that I put in my exercise time, I remind myself that I am running and exercising against a family history of diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, low bone density, stomach problems.

I am running towards quality time with the people I love.

How is fitness and frugality related? Well, frankly, it is simple… the more fit you are, the less you pay in medication and doctor visits. Fitness doesn’t require a big investment at all, but it is an investment that will pay off for years and years down the road.

Get Fit on a Small Budget

Connect your workouts with your passions

Working out used to be a real struggle for me. Each day working out was a hurdle for me. It was something that I felt compelled to fight against my weight and health problems, but it never was enjoyable or something I looked forward to. All of this changed with a Groupon that I snagged for a local dance fitness studio. Some of my best childhood memories were dancing on a stage and discovering that there were dance classes for adults has reignited my passion for working out.  My biggest struggle now isn’t if I have to go the gym, but when should I LEAVE from the gym.

Abbi said it best in her article that she shared with us this week when she said, “Remember your childhood passion and transition it into your adult life.”

This simple switch really has been the key to my own fitness success this year. Groupons can be a great way to explore a new class or workout routine without making a large investment.  I have tried so many classes and gyms through their offerings and have had great success in adding variety in my workout routines without spending a lot of money.

Get Fit on a Small Budget

Eat healthier during the day

No matter how hard I was exercising, I was still eating whatever I wanted and not seeing the results that I was looking for.  As a mom it can be difficult to not give in and just eat whatever the kids are eating. My days were filled with macaroni, chicken nuggets, crackers, chips, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Unfortunately, that was not filling me up and I would feel hungry throughout the day.

One thing I have found is that starting with a smart menu plan for the week really helps to keep me on track.  Due to some of my own health struggles,  this past year,  I switched to eating gluten-free and it has transformed my life and eating habits. It also requires a lot of thought and planning to execute a health menu plan for us all and keep our family on budget.  Each week I make a batch of slow cooked steel cut oatmeal for the morning,  I try to make a double batch of taco meat so that I can make taco bowls (brown rice, meat, tomatoes, & lettuce, with a little greek yogurt to top) for my lunches, I  keep salad and smoothie fixings in the fridge for quick meals, and always have lots of fruit on hand for snacking.

Double batching items or making a pot of something that can be enjoyed all week are the keys to my success. Where I used to deprive myself of foods to lose and maintain my weight, I now eat what I want, but in moderation.

Although I would love to do all my shopping at an inexpensive market in town, I have found that I can feed our family a lot more healthy food exploring a discount market like ALDI.  One of my favorite offerings from that store is their produce picks of the week that have been deeply discounted for the week. Now it isn’t an issue to splurge on lots of fresh fruits and veggies since the price fits right in my budget and I work to incorporate this weekly produce item in our cooking for the week to keep our grocery budget on track.

Be frugal, but make wise fitness investments

Workout gear can be pricey, but doesn’t need to be. This is the time of year when workout gear is deeply discounted and the best time to stock up thanks to those semi-annual sales. The shops know that many of us are making resolutions to get back in shape and they drop the prices on fitness equipment in anticipation of this.

I get a lot of my workout gear from the Danskin brand for Walmart because most of my key pieces are $15 or less. I also have found that if I want to get brand name workout gear I check sites like Twice or Thredup for the expensive gear I want, but at half the price. Many people I know have had great success purchasing coveted brands like Lululemon on eBay as well.  If you want quality pieces, you can find them through these secondhand retailers.

One investment that you shouldn’t skimp on though is a good pair of workout shoes.  While new tennis shoes were a big investment for me, they are an investment that has really paid off and allowed me to workout longer and not feel achy after my workouts. Different activities require different types of shoes and being properly fitted is key to preventing injuries.

Don’t be afraid to make an investment if it will improve your fitness experience and help your endurance levels with working out. My tennis shoes are just one example of something that had held me back from feeling my best, and something that has made a huge difference in my motivation to keep moving.

Switch up your routines

If you are hitting a plateau in your fitness routine, then it might be time to switch things up a bit. For many years I had been working out at home. I found a lot of variation in my routine compliments of the library and the DVD’s that they offered.  Now I have joined a gym, which I consider one of the wisest investments that I have made. Since I am frugal, I try to be there 4-5 days a week (at least) so that I can really get every dollar out of my monthly membership, bringing the class prices down to around $3 each.

Think about what you are spending your money on and see if it could be allocated to something healthier. Do you have a movie club membership or premium cable plan? What if you put that money towards a gym membership instead?  With my cable plan and my movie membership, I felt forced to sit in front of the boob tube. After canceling the movie membership, I have felt less dedicated to television time and more dedicated to the things that matter most to me.

Workout buddies can be a wonderful way to keep on track with your fitness too. Having a commitment to others or making social engagements with them after your workouts can be a great way to stay on track with your goals while building lasting friendships.

Turn off distractors

The hardest part of working out for me are all of the distractors that can pull me away from my goals. I make deals with myself where I am not allowed to login to Twitter, Facebook, or my email until my workout is complete. What distracts you from reaching your goals? Some distractors (our children, for example) are more difficult to reduce, but many are silly things that could be pushed aside until your workout is done. I decided to take this all a step further this year and stopped updating my personal Facebook page after discovering just how draining these distractions were to my energy levels and time.

Get Fit on a Small Budget

(my beautiful inspiration)

Get inspired

What inspires you? Is it a picture of your former self on your fridge, is it having an awesome workout buddy that you can check-in with, is it reading the victory stories of weight-loss from other bloggers? Is it your beautiful children?

Whatever it is, get inspired and try starting a new workout routine today.

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The Secret Formula to Get and Stay Fit

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

The Secret Formula to Get and Stay Fit

This is a guest post by Abbi Pollyea for the m challenge series.

It is a new year, and with it comes an opportunity to start fresh and perhaps create some positive change in our lives. One of the most popular New Yearʼs Resolutions is the one that goes like this, “Iʼm going to get in the best shape of my life this year!”

The fitness industry as a whole blows up in January. Gym memberships are up, fitness dvd sales are high, and fitness classes everywhere are full. As a fitness instructor, I love this special time of year as I get to meet many new potential clients and share in their enthusiastic energy. I attempt to encourage all new students with words of empowerment in the hopes that they will find passion in movement and fully commit to an exercise program. Unfortunately, however, January comes to an end and numbers in classes start to go down. By the end of February, many of the new people that I hoped I would get to know as regulars, have stop attending classes altogether.

New healthy habits are simply hard to permanently implement into our lives and it can be easy to fall back into old routines that are comfortable and not challenging. There needs to be a driving source of motivation that exists from within in order to fully commit to a fitness program. It is my intent to help you find this motivation and use it on a regular basis to help keep you moving!

I have created a simple formula that will help make your fitness resolutions attainable. The formula is as follows:

The Secret Formula to Get and Stay Fit

(A source of INSPIRATION) + (A type of MOVEMENT that you LOVE) + (A COMMITMENT to yourself) = A new found PASSION and COMMITMENT for fitness and health

For the initial part of this formula, (INSPIRATION), I am going to share a brief version of my journey into fitness. I am hoping that some of these words and themes will be relatable to those who have struggled with similar situations.

The Secret Formula to Get and Stay Fit

As a child, I was drawn to gymnastics and dance. I loved each sport with such passion and was a natural at both. Adolescence proved hard for me however, and my late teen years were extremely rocky. I gave up both beloved sports and without a passion to direct my energy, I floundered my way through high school, putting on weight and taking poor care of myself. Luckily, I made it through somewhat in tact, fell in love with a great,great man, had a baby, got married, and had another baby. This would bring us to 2004. So, from 1994-2004, I did not dance or do anything that I would have considered athletic.

I was now a mom of two beautiful boys, and felt happy at being a mom, but unfulfilled with my individual accomplishments. I felt sad that I would never be the dancer or gymnast that I aspired to be as a girl. I was twenty-six and pretty much felt that my dreams were over, which is a confining way to feel. One afternoon, I watched a movie called “Center Stage.” In this movie, there was a scene in which an adult jazz class took place. Something about it made me want to dance again so badly, that it made me cry. Later that day, I dried my tears, opened up the phone book, (it was 2004!) and looked up every single dance studio in South Bend, Indiana. I called them all until I found one that offered an adult Jazz class. I signed up, bought myself some jazz shoes and was more excited than I had been in a really long time.

The class was on a Monday night at 6pm, I showed up at 5:30 and waited while about fifteen other women came in. It was then that I got nervous and started to feel like I had no business being there. I actually went out to my car and almost went home, truly. But…..I didnʼt. I stayed, and danced, and after taking the six week class two times in a row, I was asked to be an instructor. This began a teaching career that expanded into Pilates, Yoga, and Barre. My job has helped keep me in shape, stay home with my kids, (two more came along in 2010 and 2012) as they grow, introduced me to the BEST people, and has never, ever, stopped inspiring me. Most importantly, however, the experience of attending that one dance class brought passion back into my life that had been lost in the years between childhood and adulthood.

The Secret Formula to Get and Stay Fit

I hope that story helped inspire you to look back at your own childhood, and think about the sport that brought out your greatest joy. Whatever activity that comes to your mind is going to help you with the second part of the formula, (MOVEMENT that you LOVE). This part of the formula is essential. Exercise shouldnʼt feel like a “have to”, it should feel like a “want to”. So… if you were a soccer player, find a local adult soccer league, if you loved gymnastics, try Pilates, if you loved riding bikes, try a Spin class. There are adult programs everywhere! Whatever movement or game that brought you joy and passion as a child, will still bring you the same feelings as an adult. There is something so magical about revisiting our childhood dreams in an adult setting, it is an opportunity to reconnect to our younger selves and say to our present self, “It is never too late to pursue your dreams!”

The final part of the formula is the hardest, (COMMITMENT to YOU). It is so hard to take care of ourselves and try to pursue our dreams when we are doing this around the clock for our families. In order to inspire and take care of others, however, we MUST commit to ourselves. I know I am a more patient and kind person after I have danced for an hour. We all need an outlet that is healthful and keeps us inspired. Know fully that you are worth the commitment.

Below are two pictures, the first is of me at age ten, happy as I could be on my balance beam. The second is of me last year at age 36, happy as I always am on my Pilates Reformer working on a dance move:

The Secret Formula to Get and Stay Fit

Remember your childhood passion and transition it into your adult life. I wish you a happy, healthy, and magical 2015.

 

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m challenge: Focus on Health

Monday, January 5th, 2015

the m challenge

Welcome to our first month of exploration in the m challenge series! I have so many wonderful posts for you this month as we explore our health and fitness goals for the new year. You can ask anyone in my family and they will tell you that my fitness routines and caring for my own health has been a big priority for me over the last few years. Part of it comes with the aging process and wanting to remain youthful as long as possible. The other reason is simply wanting to live a long and healthy life with my two children, hopefully bypassing some of the things my body might face if I didn’t take my health so seriously.

the m challenge: minimize

This month we will be getting some advice from a fitness instructor on her winning formula for getting and staying fit, I will be sharing a little bit about my own journey towards a healthier life, I will be asking a fitness instructor what items she recommends you keep in your gym bag, we will be getting expert advice from an ER doctor on the must-have items we should keep stocked in our First Aid kits, and I will be sharing an amazing reader testimonial from a woman who continually inspires me with her weight loss journey.

Each month I will be sharing a book selection that you can read that goes along with our theme for the month. This month’s selection is WHEAT BELLY by William Davis (affiliate link). It is a book that I have been wanting to read and keep hearing about and I thought we could read it together.  I am not big on fad diet books and this might be a risky first choice, but I would love to chat with you about it!  I hope you can snag it from your local libraries and we can have a discussion on this at the end of the month!

 

Wheat Belly by William Davis

I really hope you are as excited as I am for this new series on the site. I can’t think of a better goal than a renewed commitment to your own personal health and fitness. See you tomorrow with our first post on getting and staying fit in this new year!

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How to Make a Blanket Scarf

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

I am madly in love with blanket scarves. My obsession started as all good obsessions do. It began on Pinterest. All of these fabulously fashionable women were rocking these gorgeous scarves, but they were out of my price range or lacked the fullness & beauty that was captured online. I decided I wanted to make some for my minimalist wardrobe because it would add so much. Did you know you can make a blanket scarf with no sewing skills required?

Let’s begin by taking a peek at the coveted $44 Zara scarf (that sells out in minutes, not kidding).  I want to zoom on in it so we can take a closer look.

Zara Blanket Scarf

Source: Style for the Seasons

The thing I want you to see is that the edges are frayed on their version too. Guess what? You can achieve that with a little flannel and pulling. The best part is that this version will cost you quite a bit less than $44. I am going to make a big stack of them to show you and then I am going to show you some fun ways to tie them.

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

The first thing you will need to do is shop for your fabric which is so much fun. I went to a few shops to check out fabric and ended up finding it at Jo-Ann Fabrics.  Head over here (a great coupon affiliate of mine!) and check to see if flannel fabrics are on sale. If not, that same link will provide you a 40% off coupon. You will DEFINITELY want to use this because it makes these scarves budget-friendly. Don’t forget your coupons.

Head over the Fashion Flannel…at least that’s what they call it in Mishawaka (oh-la-la!). Select your favorite patterns,tell them the amount you need, have them tell you they don’t have that much on a bolt, go grab another one, try again… Be annoyed. Decide to do two sizes because you want you what you want, that’s why you brought it up there. Got it?

I am going to show you what a 2 yard scarf looks like and then I am going to show you what a 2.5 yard scarf looks like below. I love them both for different reasons and what you can do with them. The price (with no sales or coupons) is $8.99 per yard. That’s why it is great to see the two version (for cost-savings) and also really great to bring a coupon to save a bit on the fabric.

I wouldn’t recommend anything more than that or your scarf will choke you and you will die from scarf blanket suffocation. It will be all over the headlines. They will be laughing at you in those ridiculous segments on the radio where they try to shock you at the stupidity of Americans.  Your family will miss you. It would all be very tragic.

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

How to Make a Blanket Scarf

1. Purchase 2-2.5 yards of flannel fabric (the flannel printing is on both sides).

2. Using the patterned flannel edge as a guide, trim the edges of each side of your scarf.

3. Grab the loose threads on the side and pull them down gently, fraying the edges of the scarf. Keep doing this until there are no loose threads and you have a beautifully frayed edge. Repeat on each side of the scarf. DONE!

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

This is what TWO YARDS of fabric looks like. You can see that it has a lot of fullness, but is not as long or as much to tie or knot around. Do you want to see how to tie it to look like this? Okay then.

How to Tie a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

How to Tie Your Two Yard Blanket Scarf

1. Fold the scarf in half, lining the edges up evenly.

2. Make sure one end is shorter than the other and tuck it up over your shoulder.

3. Loop around once with the long end (or possibly twice depending on your neck size!).

4. Fluff and puff. Fluff and puff.

how-to-make-a-blanket-scarf-9

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

Here is the same size, just not puffed up so much. Seriously, cute stuff!

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

How to Tie Your 2.5 Yard Blanket Scarf

No need to reinvent the wheel…I just headed online to figure out a couple of fun ways to tie these longer blanket scarves. I tried this braided technique on Classy Sassy and really loved it. It is a little more complex than the one above, but it adds a beautiful detail to the styling.

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

This half-tied technique couldn’t be easier and was a cinch to pull together and added just the right amount of fullness to the neckline.

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

Here are a few other blanket scarf techniques I am looking forward to trying!

This one is similar to the half-tied technique, but no tying, just tucking. I can do that!

This chunky scarf technique would work really well with a 2-yard scarf so you could let the ends hang.

The 2.5-yard one would look great as a poncho or even pulled together with a belt.

This poncho style leaves the scarf folded making a smaller poncho version.

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

I’m Petite & Want to Make a Smaller Version- What Can I Do?

I’m pretty petite, but I know big scarves aren’t for everyone!  Shave 6-7 inches off the width on a 2 yard version to make a more petite version of this scarf with a little less bulk or experiment with your own sizing by creating your own custom version. Just cut, try on, adjust. There are no wrong or right lengths- it is what fits YOU or your recipient best!

I hope you have a blast making these quick scarves for yourself or for holiday gift-giving. Check out this list of 54 handmade gifts you can make for the holiday season to inspire you even more! Happy crafting!

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Fun New Ways to Dress Up Boots For Fall

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Fun New Ways to Dress Up Boots For Fall

As soon as the temperatures start dipping, I know it is almost my favorite footwear season… boot season, friends!  There is nothing cozier than a warm pair of boots and this season, embellished boots and boot toppers are all the rage for making your boots feel fresh again. Whether you score your boots at Goodwill or if you find the perfect pair elsewhere, I have some fun and creative ideas for making a tired pair of boots feel like new again with these 7 tutorials for fun ways to dress up your boots.

Head on over to the Goodwill Tips blog to gather some fun new ways to dress up your boots!

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Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Winter-2014-Fashion-Capsule-Wardrobe

Thank you guys for indulging me so much in my fashion capsule project this year. Today I wanted to reveal my Winter fashion capsule wardrobe that I will be wearing the next three months and hopefully inspire you to create a capsule wardrobe of your own. This capsule launches on November 22nd for me, but I wanted to share it with you early in hopes that some of these items might inspire you. As always, follow me on Instagram and check our It’s the 3 Little Things to see the outfits I create with these items.

After doing a little research this time around and feeling like even though I had minimized my wardrobe A LOT, I still felt like I could minimize a bit more. Here are last month’s rules I created if that works better for you. In all honesty, this is about minimizing so follow rules that fit well with you and consider stages like I am doing. This time I am doing a modified Project 333 project similar to what I did last month. Here are the rules I am following this month.

A Modified Project 333

What Is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing which is designed using only interchangeable items, in order to maximise 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 colours.

This project was inspired by Project 333 & the Unfancy fashion capsule challenge, 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 (since I fail in this department greatly), and purchased second hand at Goodwill or through Twice. 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 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. The ones with TWO asterisks are carrying over from my last capsule. To me, these are the best pieces to buy since they are making a reappearance! The ones with a single asterisk are still in route to my house. I will photograph them when they arrive!

Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

1.  J. Crew Emerald Green Blouse (owned- second-hand purchase)

2.  Seamless Perfection Long Sleeve Tunic in Chocolate (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

** 3.  Seamless Perfection Long Sleeve Tunic Dress in Black (owned- Flourish Boutique)

4.  Seamless Perfection Long Sleeve Tunic in Gray (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

** 5.  H&M Black & White Striped Top (owned- Goodwill)

6. White Mossimo Thermal T-Shirt (purchased- Target)

7.  Flannel Shirt (purchased- Pitaya)

8.  Amelia Jacket (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

** 9. Chambray Shirt (owned- Flourish Boutique)

Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

10. J. Crew Red Plaid Tunic  (purchased second-hand on Twice)

11. Brooklyn T-Shirt (purchased Urban Outfitters)

12. Camel Colored Cowl Tunic Top Sweatshirt (purchased Target)

13. Hunter Green Floral & Lace Hoodie (purchased- Marshall’s)

14. Rust Colored Bird Print Shirt (owned- Flourish Boutique)

15. ya Gray Wool Sweater Vest (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

16. Anthropologie Felted Sweater Coat (owned second-hand from Clothes Mentor)

17. Gray Faux Fur Vest (purchased- Target)

Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

** 18. Old Navy Plaid Flannel Shirt (owned- Old Navy)

19. Gap Wool Blazer (owned- Gap)

20. Papillion Yellow Mustard Circle Dress (owned- Flourish Boutique)

21. Anthropologie Yellow Mustard Sweater (purchased second-hand on Twice)

22. Anthropologie Scarlet Swing Skirt (my splurge- Anthropologie)

23. Ruffles Have Ridges Top  (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

24. J. Crew Khaki A-Line Skirt (purchased second-hand on Twice)

25. White House Black Market Knit Black Dress  (purchased second-hand on Twice)

Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

** 26. The Essential Leggings in Black (owned- Flourish Boutique)

27. The Essentials Leggings in Brown  (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

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

29. Burgundy Knit Leggings (owned- Ann Taylor Loft)

** 30. Seven Skinny Jeans (owned- Flourish Boutique)

Winter 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

** 31. Old Navy Vintage V-Neck T-Shirt in Gray- (Old Navy)

herringbone-vest

*Houndstooth Puffer Vest J. Crew Knockoff (purchased- Groopdealz)

*Not pictured yet! Red Puffer Vest (purchased- Groopdealz)

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 Twice purchase (this is my favorite online consignment resource)

Use web code WEB25 for 25% off your purchase at Flourish Boutique (this is our site sponsor and where I get the majority of my clothing). You can also catch a sale daily on the Flourish Boutique Facebook Page)

Stitch Fix can be a fun resource for shopping for smart basic wardrobe pieces if a stylist might benefit you! Be sure to note in your file EXACTLY what you are looking for when scheduling your fix.

Again, I won’t be daily documenting, but you can find me on Instagram sharing ideas and I showcase three ideas every Friday for you to try. I promise though to fully commit to this and I know this will be very good for me this year.

UPDATES HERE:

Creating the Perfect Fashion Capsule Wardrobe (That Really Works)

It’s the 3 Little Things (Three Outfits Posted EVERY WEEK in each entry- happy browsing!!)

Fall Fashion Capsule 2014

Would you like to do a challenge with me? Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know if you want to join in on the fun or if you are doing a similar challenge of your own!

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though.

Creating the Perfect Fashion Capsule Wardrobe (That Will REALLY Work!)

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Creating the Perfect Fashion Capsule Wardrobe (That Will REALLY Work!)

Since I have reached the halfway point in my first fashion capsule, I thought it would be a great time to check in with you and share what I have learned so far in my journey with my capsule wardrobe. If you haven’t been following along, you can view my Fall 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe and read more about the approach I decided to use on my first capsule.  Honestly, I was so nervous even saying out loud what I had planned to do and  planning my fashion capsule wardrobe consumed my every thought for a good month before I decided to take that plunge. Add in the hurdle of three seasons in a single capsule in the Midwest, ranging in temperatures from the thirties to almost one hundred. I had no idea if I could even pull this off.

Here is what I want to tell you and I hope you will listen closely.

This project has changed my life and my habits.

The first couple of weeks I sat firmly in an identity crisis.  What was I going to do with all this free time now that I wasn’t shopping?  There were no impulse purchases to be made, no special date night outfits to purchase to surprise my husband, no picking up a few things for myself before a business trip. I went to places with glorious shops and beautiful clothes and almost wanted to wear a blindfold through stores. I probably pouted.  It seemed like I was being subjected to people just waving their pretty outfits in my face and I couldn’t buy them.

It brought a level of awareness of my need to consume for no reason other than consumption. 

Whoa.

Feel free to read that line again. From the author of THE GOOD LIFE FOR LESS

The shame.

I have a habit of spending money unnecessarily and this is helping me be aware of that. I had a closet overflowing and I will still buy. I have 37 of the most well-thought pieces and I still want to buy. This challenge has been eye-opening.

My next capsule begins on November 22nd (UPDATE: My Winter Capsule is HERE) and I would love to have you join in with me on this next one!  Since I feel like I have learned a lot in this one already, here is my advice to you if you are considering creating a fashion capsule of your own.

Creating the Perfect Fashion Capsule Wardrobe (That Will REALLY Work!)

Invest in Foundation Garments

One thing I have  had trouble spending money on in the past is good foundation garments. What I have discovered in creating this capsule is that my most used pieces are the foundation pieces that I invested in to layer under my wardrobe pieces. I always relied upon inexpensive camisoles and cheap tank tops to set the foundation for my outfits which lead to constant tugging and pulling on straps, shifting straps to make things look nice,  bulk from added thickness from foundation pieces that didn’t fit properly under my clothing, and the pieces never covered my behind making it impossible to wear leggings confidently.  Three of my most used pieces were my Seamless Perfection Long Sleeve Tunic Dress in Black (purchased- Flourish Boutique and shown above),  a Long Sleeve Seamless Layering Piece in Gray  (owned- Flourish Boutique), and a Seamless Tank in Burgundy (owned- Flourish Boutique).  I swear this isn’t just a plug for the boutique, these were really the pieces that I relied upon the most to add warmth to summer items and to keep things modest.

It doesn’t matter where you get them, but really consider snagging seamless tanks, long sleeve tops, and even a layering piece like a seamless tunic dress to help you feel confident in your outfits and appearance. It has made me feel so much more confident to have these pieces in my capsule wardrobe.

Creating the Perfect Fashion Capsule Wardrobe (That Will REALLY Work!)

Don’t Base Your Fashion Capsule Around Someone Else’s Style

The inspiration for this challenge came from Unfancy and I give her full credit for inspiring me to take the plunge into creating a fashion capsule. I adore her style and her outfits so much. I got a lot of inspiration for smart basics to put in my capsule wardrobe from her. That said, I am not her (isn’t that sad?!?!)  I am a mom  in her thirties of two kids, living in Indiana, who has a style that leans more towards retro than modern. If I based my capsule around her style, I would have felt a little like I was playing dress-up and probably a whole lot NOT like me.  You thought I had an identity crisis before.

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 the best place to start.

Creating the Perfect Fashion Capsule Wardrobe (That Will REALLY Work!)

Creating the Perfect Fashion Capsule Wardrobe (That Will REALLY Work!)

It’s Okay to Add Color & Pattern To Your Capsule

When I told my friends & family that I was embarking on this crazy fashion capsule journey, they told me that they just couldn’t picture me in all black and without pattern. What the what? No way! I love color and I love patterns and textures. I would never shy away from the things that make me… well, ME.  There are certainly those black & white basics weaved in, but I would never be happy in only black and white.  Even when wearing these black and white items, I find ways to weave in color in scarves, necklaces, shoes, belts, and purses.  You can’t hide this loudness. It is impossible.

Again, this is all about making your capsule work best for YOU not anyone else. You don’t have to have a colorless wardrobe unless you want to.

Creating the Perfect Fashion Capsule Wardrobe (That Will REALLY Work!)

Alterations Are a Worthy Investment

I am very petite and my clothing never really fits me right. Shoulders need to be moved up, waists taken in, buttons shifted, and hemlines raised.  Alterations can be pricy, but I promise that you will enjoy your capsule wardrobe so much more if they fit you well.  If clothes right off the hanger fit you perfectly, I really envy you.  If they don’t, consider investing once a week into having one item altered and wearing your wardrobe that does fit until it can come out of alterations. Almost all of my wardrobe is carrying over to my next capsule because it fits me well and because I invested in alterations to help me look my best.  It is one investment worth making and will pay off for future capsules.

Creating the Perfect Fashion Capsule Wardrobe (That Will REALLY Work!)

Invest Wisely By Buying Consignment Clothing

I am a bit of a brand snob, but didn’t want to spend a ton of money on my fashion capsule. I admit, that first one (unless you are a wise investor in basics), can be a little draining on the budget. After buying my basics, I couldn’t necessarily run over to J. Crew to pick up a few things or grab a beautiful sweater or dress from Anthropologie. I was already over budget.  I can, however, seek those items out second hand whether it is a local thrift store or through my favorite second hand online retailer  Twice. The items I selected were practically brand new and I am still getting the longevity out of them that I had hoped for.

Creating the Perfect Fashion Capsule Wardrobe (That Will REALLY Work!)

 

Read Those Care Tags & Exercise Caution When Caring For Them

The hardest lesson I have learned is to be more aware of care labels. Since I am living in these key pieces for three months, I should have bought only things that could be washed or would require a little line drying.

The first week of beginning my capsule, I went to a bridal shower, hopped in the car with my sister-in-law, jetted to Starbucks, spilled Starbucks all over my skirt (a signature piece, I might add!), tried to spot clean it, ended up washing it on delicate, took the skirt out and it was…

thisbig

Yup, dry clean only. I spent all day fluffing and separating the fabric and shaping it back into its former glory. I wore it to church the next day and felt like a slip was dragging behind me. I looked and sure enough the whole underlayer was hanging out an inch. I called my mother-in-law and declared a fashion emergency and she GRACIOUSLY let me bring my tiny skirt over to her house and hemmed it for me.

First lesson learned: check care label information before making minimalist wardrobe purchases.

The second lesson learned is that taking time to REALLY take care of your pieces will help with the longevity of those items. I have been line-drying almost everything and it still looks like new, whether it was from Target or from Anthropologie. If you REALLY take care of your stuff, you can help keep it looking good for future capsules!!

Creating the Perfect Fashion Capsule Wardrobe (That Will REALLY Work!)

Curb the Boredom With Styling

I get bored easily and perhaps it is this boredom that creates that desire in me to buy, buy, buy. I started my Fashion Capsule Pinterest board to help me rethink the items I already have and new ways that I can wear them. If you see a big surge in posts, I am hitting a boredom phase and need to try something new. I have learned new ways to roll my sleeves, new ideas for styling some of my basic key pieces, and discovered new ways to twist scarves.

As soon as that boredom hits, chase it away with a new style.

Creating the Perfect Fashion Capsule Wardrobe (That Will REALLY Work!)

Stealing Helps

The cushion I had in my capsule is that I am allowed one steal from my existing wardrobe. Since I apparently am a shopaholic, I look forward to my steal so much each month. I have been saving it for the end of the month so that I have something to really look forward to. It’s nice to know that just when I am feeling a little tired of my pieces, I can raid my closet!

Creating the Perfect Fashion Capsule Wardrobe (That Will REALLY Work!)

Your Wardrobe Will Get Considerably Lighter

Did I mention I have rid myself of 37 items of clothing in honor of this new challenge? AND IT WAS EASY TO DO. When you buy things that make sense together, that fit well, that make you feel confident…you realize the heavy load of crap that is in your closet that just don’t do those things for you. I filled a bag this week of 37 pieces I do not need and I know there will be more. Since doing this, I feel more confident than ever. Things make sense and this wardrobe works for me. Goodbye stuff that does not make me look and feel good. I don’t need you anymore.

Creating the Perfect Fashion Capsule Wardrobe (That Will REALLY Work!)

I Still Haven’t Wore Everything

I am halfway into my capsule and I still have not wore everything in it. That is the truth. You still will fall into routines and habits with the comfy pieces and the things you love the most. I still have three items I have not worn and many that have only been worn once or twice. Like I said, who needs to shop with so much already at my disposal?

Fashion Capsule Challenge

Would you like to do a Fashion Capsule challenge with me? I will be revealing the next wardrobe very soon to inspire you for the Fall months. I post outfits weekly in my It’s the 3 Little Things and on Instagram. Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know if you want to join in on the fun or if you are doing a similar challenge of your own!

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Giveaway & Review: ThisLife by Shutterfly

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

How to Be a Better Family Historian: Tips For Storing & Organizing Your Family Photos

This post is sponsored by Shutterfly, Inc. in partnership with Resourceful Mom Media.

I have been working a long time on my storytelling through photos.  It has been an evolution as I master my camera and work on capturing more authentic moments in our life.  I go through stages where I rely completely on my DSLR and then periods in our life where I want the swiftness of a quicker capture with my photos. I am a fantastic giver of moments on Facebook and Instagram. What I am terrible at though is organizing, sorting, and actually printing our precious moments.

I got the opportunity to test drive an amazing photo service called ThisLife by Shutterfly that I know you all are going to be nuts about it because it helps us be a better family historian gathering all of your life moments, organizing, and sorting them all into one spot. I want to share my experience with you and how I brought our Grand Rapids holiday to life.

How to Be a Better Family Historian: Tips For Storing & Organizing Your Family Photos

Our family took an amazing holiday trip this year to Grand Rapids to celebrate Christmas and my daughter’s 8th birthday. These are two special holidays that are a mere five days apart. We ditched the presents to each other (a bold move when you are a kid) and rented a beautiful home in Grand Rapids, Michigan and visited every attraction we could squeeze in together.

How to Be a Better Family Historian: Tips For Storing & Organizing Your Family Photos

How to Be a Better Family Historian: Tips For Storing & Organizing Your Family Photos

How to Be a Better Family Historian: Tips For Storing & Organizing Your Family Photos

How to Be a Better Family Historian: Tips For Storing & Organizing Your Family Photos

How to Be a Better Family Historian: Tips For Storing & Organizing Your Family Photos

How to Be a Better Family Historian: Tips For Storing & Organizing Your Family Photos

How to Be a Better Family Historian: Tips For Storing & Organizing Your Family Photos

How to Be a Better Family Historian: Tips For Storing & Organizing Your Family Photos

It was in the midst of an ice storm that we happened to make our trip out there.  It was an ice rink outside as we had to gingerly take a step with our arms linked tightly together, just to try to get down the steps of our lake cottage. My husband had an iron grip on the wheel, color drained from his face,  as we made it out in the treacherous conditions to give our kids the best little holiday ever.

And it was.

You can see & just feel the joy in these moments.

I set my phone aside and really dove in on this trip with my camera. I was so proud of these pictures.

I have all of these beautiful and amazing moments and guess what I did with them?

Nothing.

I am a great storyteller of moments in Facebook, I might be able to grab your eye on Instagram with pictures, but I don’t do anything with these for myself. Instead of sitting on a couch flipping through these moments with my grandkids someday, I will be pulling them over to my computer and trying to search through my folders and feeds to show them what their mom and dad used to look like. It isn’t the picturesque family moment that I want to share with them. That is where ThisLife by Shutterfly comes into play. I am going to show you how this can help you be a better historian no matter what device or sharing platform you use and how I finally took these images off my computer and brought them to life for our family.

ThisLife App Tutorial

As storytellers of our family, we now use multiple platforms to share our stories. These moments can quickly become jumbled or lost and it is difficult to remember where and how we have shared our images. ThisLife is an amazing subscription-based service that can quickly organize and sort your moments by date, making it quick and easy to share your family’s stories. Not only does it gather the images from your computer, but it gathers them from the places you are socially sharing in the same dated format. Do you share on Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Shutterfly, or SmugMug? Link your account and it will grab and sort all of your images in one location. Half the battle is in the sorting and, let’s face it, very few moms I know have time to gather and incorporate all their moments on all the places they are sharing socially. This grabs them and sorts them with ease.

ThisLife App Tutorial

Once the images are all sorted, it makes it so much easier to begin sharing your family’s story. You can actually create a Story from the images and then share it with your family and friends through email or by sharing a link to your story like this one I created of our family vacation. This is so great for grandparents or for anyone who doesn’t want to share their images publicly. You simply select the images (that have already been sorted for you) and then click Stories and add a New Story to create a format for sharing groups of moments with your family and friends.

ThisLife App Tutorial

A search under people sorts all of the people in your life alphabetically and tells you how many pictures you have of them. Want to make a photo album for a friend that’s moving away of all your years together? No problem! Want to put together an album of just one child? Easy peasy. Want to see how much better you look as you age and wow yourself? I totally did that.

ThisLife App Tutorial

Do you travel to exotic locations (more exotic than, say, Grand Rapids?)? Do you vacation every summer in Nantucket? I will be a good friend and tell you that you can sort your images by places and make albums of all of these fun things that you are doing that I am not doing.

IMG_6318.JPG

ThisLife offers several  different membership plans, with additional options for larger collections.

ThisLife App Tutorial

Of course, the beauty in this for this amazing storyteller who doesn’t share her stories, is that you can print these photos out in a book and actually have something to show your grandkids someday. Select all your images that you want (all perfectly grouped) and then click Create to transfer them over to Shutterfly to make an album. Add captions so you don’t forget the treacherous ice storm you weathered for the perfect family holiday or that root beer tasting that you did with your kids that they couldn’t stop talking about. Get it all in an album and ship it right to your door to remember those moments forever. You can check out the album I made below using their Modern template.

 

Click here to view this photo book larger

Now that I have shown you how wonderful this service is, I am excited to be giving away one (1) standard subscription to ThisLife so you can be the ultimate storyteller of moments in your family. You can enter this giveaway by following the instructions below in the Rafflecopter widget!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Check out some other fun ways you can use ThisLife for your photos from a few of my favorite blogging friends! 

This post is sponsored by Shutterfly, Inc. in partnership with Resourceful Mom Media. I have received compensation for my time and a membership to ThisLife to share my honest thoughts and opinions on their service.

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It’s the 3 Little Things SUPER EDITION

Friday, August 29th, 2014

It's the 3 Little Things

Oh, I hope you did read that title! It brings me back to the Sweet Valley Twins books and getting that Super Edition book that you knew was going to be so much better and longer than the regular editions. That is exactly what starts this week on our 3 Little Things.

I am trying to figure out a way to blend my fashion capsule challenge with the rest of the blog and decided that I can’t manage a whole separate series and try to build a following to that. Since you guys already love this section so much, the three little things just got more awesome. I am going to include my usual 3 things that make me happy and am now adding 3 outfits that I wore and 3 things you loved this week on the site from our top searches.  Consider this the super editions from here on out! Life got so full with my activities and kids and running and running and running. I still want to inspire you and take you on my journey towards a more minimalistic wardrobe so this is a great way to blend my two loves together.

3 Things That Make Me Happy

aerie bralette

aerie bralette

The Yoga Pants Of The Bra World

Padded, without wires or hooks, and can comfortably be worn to bed or under clothes.  It is the yoga pants of the bra world and it is called the bralette. Behold the awesome from aerie.  It’s my new favorite thing! Be sure to sign up for their email list or check here for coupons because you rarely have to buy anything not on sale at this store. If that doesn’t make you happy, then you are crazy.

savings-catcher

Savings Catcher

I promise I am not being paid to say this,  it’s just something that is saving me some money and time this month. I am madly in love with the new Walmart Savings Catcher app. I shop there a lot for my projects for my clients because I can grab my groceries and craft supplies in one place. If you download the Walmart app, they now have a Savings Catcher tool on that app that you can use for price matching.  What I do is I scan the barcode on my receipt when I get home. They then compare the prices of all of the stores and give you back the difference on an ecard if they find someone with a lower price.  I signed up a couple of weeks ago, entered one receipt, and I already have $2.46 accumulated.  I have gotten a few friends to sign up and they have already accumulated a few bucks too. Pretty great stuff!

Free-Family-Management-Binder-Printables-3

My Home Management Binder

I am so thrilled after months of chattering with my assistant and recruiting our designer and contributor to design a home management system and coordinating the distribution of these files with my husband that these printables are finally out in the world. I am so thankful to Money Saving Mom for sharing this freebie with her readers. We were baffled when the sign-ups suddenly stopped on our brand new newsletter. It turns out that if you have more than 2,000 people sign up, you have to start a paid plan on Mail Chimp.

First world problems, I tell you.

All I can say is, “WOW!”

My hopes of getting a couple of hundred subscribers has been surpassed.  Thank you all for signing up for our newsletter and I am so happy that we got to share these home management binder printables with you after a lot of hard work behind the scenes to make these. I finally feel like I can breathe now that we have mailed them to you.

I am truly using these printables and can’t believe the paper pile-up with school just starting that has already happened. I’m proud that I am a little more organized than the years before and I am loving that I didn’t have to buy a planner this year. I have already started inputting my work trips in it and got a ton in it for my husband so he knows when/where/what to do with our children.  Each year it feels like so much more and I’m hoping this helps me stay cool and collected this year.

Fall-Fashion-Capsule-Wardrobe-4

3 Things I Wore

Did you see I started a fashion capsule wardrobe challenge? I’m so thrilled so many of you are joining in so I have some accountability partners. If you are looking for inspiration I have spent far too much time making a Pinterest Fashion Capsule Board to inspire you into embracing a simpler wardrobe. You really must take a peek.

This week started with a bang. I went to a bridal shower, hopped in the car with my sister-in-law, jetted to Starbucks, spilled Starbucks all over my skirt (a signature piece, I might add!), tried to spot clean it, ended up washing it on delicate, took the skirt out and it was…

thisbig

Yup, dry clean only. I spent all day fluffing and separating the fabric and shaping it back into its former glory. I wore it to church the next day and felt like a slip was dragging behind me. I looked and sure enough the whole underlayer was hanging out an inch. I called my mother-in-law and declared a fashion emergency and she GRACIOUSLY let me bring my tiny skirt over to her house and hemmed it for me.

First lesson learned: check care label information before making minimalist wardrobe purchases.

Here are 3 looks I am *trying* this week.

tank + pleated skirt + chevron necklace

Pleated Bird Skirt (owned- Stitch Fix)/Seamless Tank in Burgundy (owned- Flourish Boutique)/Chevron Necklace (owned- Charming Charlie)

Holy heavens! It was a heat wave and I did not put shorts in my minimalist wardrobe. I did, however, give camis a free pass so this long tank (hidden discreetly under my bird skirt) worked perfectly. I should have probably counted this one as a piece because it is long, but I’m not going back on my decision to include it now that it is ninety degrees out.

bow shirt + mint belt + lounge pants

Ann Taylor Loft Pink Print Collared Shirt (purchased second hand on Twice)/Mossimo Black Lounge Pants (purchased- Target)/ Mint Belt (owned- Target)/Bangles (purchased- Forever 21)

tank + statement necklace + leopard print belt + jeans + black heels

Seamless Tank in Burgundy (owned- Flourish Boutique)/Leopard Print Belt (owned- Target)/Black Pumps (owned- Payless Shoes)/Seven Skinny Jeans (owned- Flourish Boutique)/ Statement Necklace (owned- Groopdealz)

That last outfit isn’t my normal attire, but it turns out we got a sitter for the night so I am heading out for a sushi date with my hubby! I bet that makes my happy list for next week. We haven’t had a date night in ages and I can’t wait to steal that guy all to myself.

I struggled this week..I would say hobbled along in my fashion challenge.  Breaking the habit of changing a few times a day because I think I am hosting an award show, REALLY thinking about accessories, and taking better care of my pieces are all shedding some light on some of my behaviors and habits.

This is going to make me a better person even if I did feel a little Amish the first day because I have never had to work so hard accessorizing to make my clothes stand out.

I am a loud person.  I am a loud patterned person. I am the one with the jazz hands screaming, “LOOK AT ME!”

Just a tiny identity crisis this week. Ahem.

These were my favorite looks because I put some jazz hands on them, but I got dressed EVERY DAY and made it count. So I am really proud of that.

3 Things YOU Loved This Week (you, lover of MomAdvice things, you!)

Here are our top 3 posts this week!

Easy Lunchbox Solutions

A New Way to Teach Your Child How to Tie Their Shoes

14 Free Home Management Printables

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of  It’s the 3 Little Things

Now it’s your turn! What’s making you happy this week?

Fall 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

 

Fall 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

I’m so excited to be putting together my first fashion capsule wardrobe this year.  Ever since I was a kid, I have been intrigued by fashion capsule projects. When I think of them I think of the popular Donna Karan line with seven easy pieces that inspired so many women to embrace a capsule wardrobe.  Who couldn’t be inspired by the simplicity of those pieces and how many outfits you could create from them?

I was not blessed with a big wardrobe budget when I was young, but I had big dreams of making the most of key pieces even then. I remember reading a piece in Glamour Magazine on the school bus that shared the essential pieces every girl should own which included a black blazer, a white shirt, a good pair of jeans, black slacks, and booties. My money for starting my fall wardrobe budget for high school was very small though so I remember investing in these pieces that I found for no more than $10-15 each at the cheapest store in town. What resulted was a really bad school picture in a poorly fitted shirt that only got washed once and became a wrinkly awful misshapen mess that I never could wear again.

The intentions were there, but the budget was not.

As I admitted, I am very passionate about fashion, but have no claims to fame in the fashion blogging world. I decided to embrace a fashion capsule challenge of my own and see if it makes an impact both on how much I am buying and how much I can create from what I already own. I am not doing a ten piece challenge because that does not fit with the area I live in (multiple seasons in the course of three months- you have to love the Midwest!) or with my personal style.  I love that with a fashion capsule you have the freedom to make it what you need in your life.

If you are already a fashion minimalist, you can be unimpressed with me.

I openly admit that I have a closet that is bulging over into other areas of our home and needs to be tailored down. I have so much- I can do better.  For me, this is a true challenge, but one that I hope will help me a lot to learn to embrace a less-is-more philosophy in one area that I need improving in.

What Is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing which is designed using only interchangeable items, in order to maximise 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 colours.

Fall 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

This project was inspired by the Unfancy fashion capsule challenge, but I am making a few of my own rules for my own personal challenge.

37 Piece Wardrobe- The wardrobe can have 37 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 (since I fail in this department greatly), and purchased second hand at Goodwill or through Twice. 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.

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.

Reassess & Evaluate The Next Capsule- Maybe I will find I don’t need 37 pieces. Maybe I will find that a steal is unnecessary. Maybe I will find that I like my capsule so much that I won’t need a new one. I promise to reevaluate this in three months.

Hopefully This Will Inspire You- Like I said, if you are rocking the minimalist life, this challenge may seem silly. If you aren’t or if you are and want to find new ways to use your pieces, I am hoping to share those ideas with you. I have no time to do a daily document, but I am happy to share once in awhile some fun ways I am wearing my 37 pieces. Please see my disclaimer above because I do not claim to be a fashion blogger. Take the ideas at your own risk!

Fall 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

Let’s take a peek at the wardrobe! Here are the items that I have for my Fall 2014 Fashion Capsule. The ones that have not been pictured are currently in alterations and have an asterisk next to them!

1.  a’reve lace shirt (owned- Flourish Boutique)

2.  Polka Dotted Peplum Top (owned- Francesca’s)

3. H&M Black & White Striped Top (owned- Goodwill)

4. Gap Black Blazer (owned- Gap)

5. Fleetwood Mac T-Shirt (owned- Luxe Wagon)

6.  Old Navy Vintage V-Neck T-Shirt in Black (Old Navy)

7. Old Navy Vintage V-Neck T-Shirt in White (Old Navy)

8. Faux Leather Jacket (purchased- Marshall’s)

9. Mossimo Short Sleeve Coral Shirt (purchased- Target)

10. Seamless Perfection Long Sleeve Tunic Dress in Black (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

11.  Ann Taylor Loft Pink Print Collared Shirt (purchased second hand on Twice)

12.  Not Afraid of the Dark Denim Jacket (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

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

14.  Free People White Cowl Neck Sweater (owned- Flourish Boutique)

15.  Forest Fairy Cardigan (owned- Flourish Boutique)

16.  Black Crochet Sweater (owned- Flourish Boutique)

Fall 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

 

17.  Long Sleeve Seamless Layering Piece in Gray  (owned- Flourish Boutique)

18.  Old Navy Vintage V-Neck T-Shirt in Gray (Old Navy)

19. Old Navy Plaid Flannel Shirt (owned- Old Navy)

20.  White House Black Market Blue Striped Collared Top (purchased second hand on Twice)

21.  J. Crew Teal Silk Blend Skirt (purchased second hand on Twice)

22. Pleated Bird Skirt (owned- Stitch Fix)

23.  Anthropologie Gray Print Dress (purchased second hand on Twice)

24.  Little Black Dress (owned- Flourish Boutique)

25. Old Navy Rock Star Skinny Jeans (owned- Old Navy)

26. Chambray Shirt (owned- Flourish Boutique)

27.  Black Pleated Maxi Skirt (owned- Flourish Boutique)

28.  Seven Skinny Jeans (owned- Flourish Boutique)

29.  Mossimo Black Track Pants (purchased- Target)

30.  Blue Colored Skinny Jeans (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

Fall 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

31.  The Essential Leggings in Black (owned- Flourish Boutique)

32. Old Navy Rock Star Skinny Jeans in Black (owned- Old Navy)

33. Converse White Collared Shirt (purchased- Target)

*34. The Must-Have Maxi in Burgundy (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

*35.  Down With Damask Tunic (similar & owned- Flourish Boutique)

*36. Gap Black Skirt (purchased second hand on Twice)

*37. Mustard Peplum Dress (purchased- Flourish Boutique)

 

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 Twice purchase (this is my favorite online consignment resource)

Use web code WEB25 for 25% off your purchase at Flourish Boutique (this is our site sponsor and where I get the majority of my clothing). You can also catch a sale daily on the Flourish Boutique Facebook Page)

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

Fall 2014 Fashion Capsule Wardrobe Project

Thank you to my hubby for photographing my entire wardrobe for this challenge. I am really excited to share this adventure with you! I won’t be daily documenting, but you can find me on Instagram sharing ideas and we will have some ideas for layering and utilizing these basic items in the upcoming months. I promise though to fully commit to this and I know this will be very good for me this year.

UPDATES HERE:

Creating the Perfect Fashion Capsule Wardrobe (That Really Works)

It’s the 3 Little Things (Three Outfits Posted EVERY WEEK in each entry- happy browsing!!)

Would you like to do a challenge with me? Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know if you want to join in on the fun or if you are doing a similar challenge of your own!

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though.

 

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