Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

DIY Car Organizing Tips (Giveaway with Big Fat Notebooks!)

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

DIY Car Organizing Tips from MomAdvice.com

You know that mom that always has bandages, always has a snack and drink on hand, can pull a pen out at a moment’s notice, has tissues, never forgets an umbrella, utilizes time well between running kids, and keeps a tidy car?

That’s not me.

In fact, I have been pretty embarrassed about just how bad things have gotten. No one really wanted to ride in my car including myself (insert scared face emoji).

It was on my organizing bucket list to tackle this since a good portion of my day is now spent in the car running kids from activity to activity. I spent an afternoon getting us organized for this school year and I wanted to show you how I did that.

Big Fat Notebooks Big Fat Notebooks

The inspiration came from today’s partner, The Big Fat Notebook series. If your kids love Diary of a Wimpy Kid, they will LOVE this new way of learning. When my kids were younger, they were hooked on Brain Quest, but once they hit middle school age, I felt like everything just felt like…Well, work. After a long day at school, the last thing they want to do is browse another textbook. That is why these are so genius. They look fun and teach you something in the process.

There are five books in all, and each is the only book you need for each main subject taught in middle school: Math, Science, American History, English Language Arts, and World History.

They also happen to meet Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and state history standards, and are vetted by National and State Teacher of the Year Award–winning teachers. If you are a homeschooling mama, this would make an excellent addition to your curriculum.

You can find these fantastic books at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndiebound, or Workman.

Big Fat Notebooks

I am not lying when I say that my daughter has become OBSESSED with these. There has been a lot of fact reciting at the dinner table!

We REALLY want to share them with you so please scroll to the end to catch this giveaway!!

I also wanted to figure out a way that we could keep these books on hand for busy days so I used this as an excuse to get my car organized and create caddies for each kid with the things they need. With school supplies on sale right now, it also happens to be quite an affordable time to create these little kits!

DIY Car Organizing Ideas

DIY Car Organizing Tips from MomAdvice.com DIY Car Organizing Tips from MomAdvice.com

After browsing every type of organizer available, I ended up using these shower caddy organizers for each of my kids because they had great pockets and a wipeable surface in case they get dirty or muddy. I also slipped a plastic cup for each to hold pencils/pens so it would make it easier for them to grab. In each one, I have an umbrella, snacks (that can withstand the hot car),  a water, a couple of Big Fat Notebooks (strategically chosen for the subjects we need to work on!!), and packages of tissues.

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I had planned to hang them from the backs of the seats, but the width was too deep on our car. I actually think it will be easier to have them on the floor and they can also be moved to the center when they are being used.

DIY Car Organizing Tips from MomAdvice.com

Backpacks can also pile up on the floor so I got these hooks to give these guys a home. It can also be a great place to hang a jacket, hat, or purse. Our backpacks often get dirty and thrown on the floor so I am hoping it helps with that too!

Now that the kids are in better shape, I wanted to work on some problem areas for me. My biggest issue is carrying around gym equipment so I wanted to make that an organizing priority.

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DIY Car Organizing Tips from MomAdvice.com

In my gym equipment stash I have two pairs of shoes (one for dance class and one for cardio), a spare pair of socks, yoga socks, tissues, water, facial cleansing wipes, hair ties, travel brush, and a towel. These are things that I am always forgetting and that I sometimes end up having to buy at the gym.

All of these fit perfectly in this container.

Again, plastic, wipeable, AND breathable.

Not that my feet sweat AT ALL, but I wanted you to know for you. It’s okay. It happens to a lot of people.

DIY Car Organizing Tips from MomAdvice.com

DIY Car Organizing Tips from MomAdvice.com

DIY Car Organizing Tips from MomAdvice.com

My yoga mat takes up valuable space and I hate that it is always rolling around in our trunk. Again, using those utility hooks to keep it in place along with my hot yoga towel and umbrella.

DIY Car Organizing Tips from MomAdvice.com

To finish up the tour, I wanted to show you just a couple of other things that are helping.

DIY Car Organizing Tips from MomAdvice.com

removable hook for hanging the trash bag- we will see how long this holds!

DIY Car Organizing Tips from MomAdvice.com

DIY Car Organizing Tips from MomAdvice.com

DIY Car Organizing Tips from MomAdvice.com

tiny totes for random things- one has receipts and pens, one has snacks for me, one has a mini first aid kit (for a legit one check here!), and the last one has tissues.

DIY Car Organizing Tips from MomAdvice.com

utilizing the gaps for my phone to save space in my drink holder (similar idea here!)

It’s not perfect, but I’m pretty proud. I feel like I *might* be able to be that mom this year AND my kids will be learning between activities too. High fives all around, friends!

Giveaway Time

Big Fat Notebook

I can’t wait to give someone this whole collection. We are so excited to share this with you! The books included in this giveaway are:

Everything You Need to Ace Math . . . covers everything to get you over any math hump: fractions, decimals, and how to multiply and divide them; ratios, proportions, and percentages; geometry; statistics and probability; expressions and equations; and the coordinate plane and functions.

Everything You Need to Ace Science . . . takes readers from scientific investigation and the engineering design process to the Periodic Table; forces and motion; forms of energy; outer space and the solar system; to earth sciences, biology, body systems, ecology, and more.

Everything You Need to Ace American History . . . covers Native Americans to the war in Iraq. There are units on Colonial America; the Revolutionary War and the founding of a new nation; Jefferson and the expansion west; the Civil War and Reconstruction; and all of the notable events of the 20th century—World Wars, the Depression, the Civil Rights movement, and much more.

Everything You Need to Ace World History . . . kicks off with the Paleolithic Era and  transports the reader to ancient civilizations—in Egypt, Greece, India, China, Africa, Rome; the middle ages across the world; the Renaissance; the age of exploration and colonialization, revolution and imperialism, and the modern world and the wars and movements that shaped it.

Everything You Need to Ace English Language Arts . . . covers everything to get you your best marks: grammar, including parts of speech, active and passive verbs, Greek and Latin roots and affixes; nuances in word meanings; textual analysis, authorship, structure, and other skills for reading fiction and nonfiction; and writing arguments, informative texts, and narratives.

One (1) lucky winner will receive:

  • Copies of all 5 titles in the Big Fat Notebooks series
  • Branded school supplies including highlighter/pen combos, a notepad, and jigsaw sticky notes.

Please follow the widget below to enter to win! I hope this post inspires you to get organized. As always, feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DIY Car Organizing Tips from MomAdvice.com

This post was sponsored by Workman Publishing and Big Fat Notebooks. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

 

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Planning My 2016 Fall Wardrobe Capsule

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Fall-2016-Capsule-Wardrobe-Idea-Board

Yesterday I started the shopping process for my fall/winter capsule wardrobe. I love the creative process of putting these together and thought I would share with you how I put these together.  Although I always do the big reveal, I thought it might be fun to take you a little behind the scenes at my process.

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Before I begin, I want to say this is FUN for me and not a chore AT ALL. I love having a beautifully curated closet and I enjoy the creativity in it. If you do not enjoy stuff like this, feel free to try something like a wardrobe uniform or do what you are already doing.

Please don’t criticize me if I love it.

I love a lot of stuff that you might not love, but getting dressed actually brings me a lot of joy.

I hope even if you don’t want to do it, you can at least appreciate the creativity behind it.

 

If you are looking for inspiration, my fingers are crossed we have similar taste and you will find this glimpse helps you too!

capsule-wardrobe- colors-for-fall

My Color Palette

The past couple of years my color scheme has leaned more into the red, white, & blue that feels very nautical and timeless to me. This year I wanted to warm things up so I am selecting a few pieces in wine, rose, mustard yellow, & navy. These colors are folded into my basic neutral scheme (gray, black, cream) for the year.

I love how these colors can be mixed and matched together.

I also love the pink hues since I love a more feminine touch to my wardrobe.

Here are a few pieces that I am eyeing in this scheme (Please Note- I am for waiting delivery on these so I can try them on. I will delete anything that doesn’t make the cut on this board and tell you why! These are affiliate links because they help support my site!)

Modern Henley Blouse

Modern Henley Blouse

Pintucked Blouse in Angel Wing Pink

Pintucked Blouse in Angel Wing Pink (trying this in a basic black too!)

Pintuck Swing Dress from Old Navy

Sleeveless Pintuck Swing Dress

(This will be layered under or over with cardigans or long sleeve t-shirts in contrasting colors when it cools down!

Don’t forget fun colored tights, scarves, & belts that will add even more fun to this one!)

Relaxed Jersey T-Shirt from Old Navy

Relaxed Brushed-Jersey T-Shirt 

(Using these in the grey & oatmeal for layering under my sleeveless dresses. Also can be worn with my jeans on quiet days at home!)

wardrobe-planner-16

Mona Solid Sweater Wrap

(To wear over EVERYTHING- love the gray interior on this one. Feeling hopeful about this piece!)

Here are some pieces that I found on thredUP (continuing my commitment to buy mostly secondhand!) Here is $10 to spend if you haven’t discovered this amazing online consignment shop!

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My thredUP Haul (fingers crossed everything fits!)

I Also Pick a Statement Piece or Smart Classic

I have learned that buying one or two really beautiful statement piece really adds to my enjoyment of my capsule wardrobe. I have also learned it is a really smart investment to spend money on things like jeans, a good blazer (mine is 6 years old!), and a well-made skirt.  I bought a beautiful a-line red skirt that I wear absolutely to death and it has held up better than anything else in my wardrobe over several capsule seasons.

That investment piece really paid off and has transitioned from season to season really well while other trendier and cheaper items have not held up or kept my attention as long.

This year I wanted to add a vest for layering. Again,  this one is out of my typical budget, but hopefully a very smart investment piece.

I also happened to catch a BEAUTIFUL sweater dress on sale on thredUP that happened to be in my established color scheme. I just couldn’t resist her print and consider that a statement piece (as well as a classic print!).

wardrobe planning wardrobe-planning

Mabli Vest (SWOON!!)

wardrobe-planner

(thredup Anthro sweater dress find- YES!!)

Clean Out Your Closet

I’m Planning Another Closet Audit

Once I have everything in place, it’s time to count my pieces and whittle away anything I don’t need anymore. This process gets easier and easier each year, I promise you.  For ease, I usually just request a bag from thredUP and then send in items for store credit on my next capsule wardrobe. It’s fun to get items from them, wear them a season, sell them back, make money, repeat process, etc..

To me, it’s almost like those pricey wardrobe rental programs without the commitment or monthly fees.

Not only can you clean out your closet to make money, but you can also make money on your kid’s stuff and maternity items too! Simply order a bag with a prepaid shipping label to start your closet clean out. Their fashion resale professionals review your clothing and then pay up to 80% of the resale value. You can earn thredUP shopping credit, or simply cash out with PayPal.

Items that they don’t accept go to charitable partners or textile recycling companies. They can also be mailed back to you as part of their Return Assurance program for a $12.99 shipping fee. Be sure to check their quality standards before sending.

Get Professional Help if You Need It

I love fashion and feel like I have a strong sense of personal style, but it has taken me a few years to really feel confident in my choices. If you struggle with confidence, I recommend trying out a professional service or professional shopping service to help you.

I can’t rave enough about the Adore Your Wardrobe program (open for registration in September!!) for someone who wants to find their own sense of style. Not only do the video tutorials and printables help with your shopping, but you are connected to a FB community that can help give you feedback (and shopping discounts) as you put together your wardrobe. This program is like having a professional closet audit without judgement and that can be done in your own free time.

The other option is a shopping service like Stitch Fix. I have some referral credit sitting in an account so I am going to give that another shot, but because I have such a strong definition of what I like and don’t like in clothing, I tend to be very picky. That said, I know MANY people benefit greatly from the professional advice so this is a worthwhile experience to explore, at least once!

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Once everything arrives I will post an IG Story for you and you can tell me yay or nay on my selections! Be sure to follow me on IG to get a sneak peek!

Want to try your own capsule wardrobe? Browse these capsules & wardrobe planning advice we have curated for you!

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

Spring & Summer 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

Fall-2016-Capsule-Wardrobe-Idea-Board

Are you doing a capsule wardrobe? Tell me what has caught your eye this season!

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Look For The Helpers (Miracles From Heaven)

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Miracles-From-Heaven-Review

This post is sponsored by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site!

Mr. Rogers said it best when he said,“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

It is a quote that has stuck with me for a very long time although I had not realized how much we would need our helpers until we had to call upon them this year. This year’s diagnosis has been tough on our family, but we have gotten through it because of the people that have been our helpers in our lives. Being one who refuses to ask for help (even when I really need it), my friends took it upon themselves to assist our family in the most generous of ways…through a random acts of kindness that would show up on our doorstep.

flowers

I was in crippling pain and extremely depressed.  I have been angry at God and frustrated by my body’s new limitations. One of my girlfriends saw what was happening and organized my friends to do a doorstep delivery each day. One day I came out to a pretty candle from a favorite shop, a gift card to Amazon to buy a book, beautiful stationery, flowers and a meal, a basket of gluten-free treats, a pail of sunshine (with items all in yellow), wine tucked in our mailbox, and fun snacks to enjoy with my wine. Each day, my spirits felt lifted. I felt really and truly loved.

sunshine

Not only did they make these gestures, but they kept me busy to help take my mind of the pain. I went for walks, I had friends to join me for yoga classes, coffee invitations, movie dates…It is amazing how much a social outing can pull one out of their slump. There was no time to fixate on my circumstances.

Luckily for me, these past two weeks have been magical thanks to a pill that we have finally found that is finally controlling my pain.

To me, that pill feels like a miracle.

My miracle pales in comparison to the incredible miracle featured in the movie, Miracles from Heaven though. The film, which was just released on DVD,  is based on the true story of the Beam family and their special little girl named Anna who is diagnosed with a very rare and incurable disease.  As if that family had not been through enough, Anna is involved in a terrible accident that should have killed her, but brought an unexpected miracle into their lives that helped to restore their faith.

My daughter & I had a movie day together to watch this one and it lead to a great discussion on our feelings about miracles and about turning away from God when you feel so angry. Although my situation has been mild in comparison, I still can acknowledge that there is anger when you don’t understand why God will let things like this happen.

What stood out to me more about this story though is that there were SO MANY helpers in that family’s life that got them through those difficult moments. Those helpers got their family through some of their most difficult moments from caring for their children to assisting with travel when they needed to be together to working Anna in with the top specialist to make sure she was cared for. Just like me, these helpers are what made many unbearable moments bearable and broke up that desperation that they were feeling.

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner delivers a truly incredible performance as Anna’s mother. The emotion she is able to deliver is powerful, as is the mother’s determination to try to get the best care for her daughter. I don’t know how anyone could watch this and not be moved.

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If you haven’t checked out the film yet, you can pick up a copy of the DVD at Walmart for a family movie night together. If it is anything like our experience watching it, I am sure your kids will have lots of questions and it will give you a chance to talk about this family’s miracle.

For more information about, Miracles from Heaven, visit the Official Website, give them a Like on Facebook, & follow them on Twitter!

This post is sponsored by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site!

Tips & Tricks for Evening Entertaining ($100 Walmart Gift Card Giveaway!!)

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Tips & Tricks for Evening Entertaining from MomAdvice.com

This post is sponsored on behalf of BHG at Walmart.

Those summer nights…tell me more, tell me more.

Is it stuck in your head now too?

I think evening gatherings are the most fun to host and our patio always gets a workout in the summer months with friends and family gathering around our picnic table for meals, wine, and board games.

Also, a big shout out to night skies for hiding our not-so-awesome lawn.

Keeping it real here, friends! We can’t be good at everything!

Today I am partnering up with the BHG Live Better Network to show you some fun additions for your outdoor space AND I’m giving away a $100 gift card to Walmart to get you started on your shopping.

Tips & Tricks for Evening Entertaining

Tips & Tricks for Evening Entertaining from MomAdvice.com

Tips & Tricks for Evening Entertaining from MomAdvice.com

Bring on the Twinkle Lights

To me, one of the most beautiful sights in the evenings are strands of twinkle lights. They are a super affordable way to dress up your patio without spending a lot of money.  Not only are they beautiful, but they help extend those evening hours outside to play games or enjoy a meal together. You can see how we rigged our lights over our patio in this post.

Patio lights have a tendency to get shattered on our cement patio so I was REALLY excited about these vintage cage lantern lights because the cage helps protect that little bulb inside. That should really help prolong those lights!

Tips & Tricks for Evening Entertaining from MomAdvice.com

Bring Inside Elements Out to Keep Guests Comfy

I never look at things inside our house and think that they can only be used indoors. You will often find me dragging out dining chairs, piling up our throw pillows up, and heaving side tables out onto the patio.

I love  to create warmth and comfort for our guests, but I’m not a millionaire.

Smaller homes require you to really consider what can function in multiple ways for your home and it helps cut down on out of season storage. That’s why I rely on the items in my home to create a comfy space outside too.

Tips & Tricks for Evening Entertaining from MomAdvice.com

Here are three pillow options that go inside AND outside in our home (option 1, option 2, option 3- all under $12!!) when entertaining.

I don’t know about you, but there can never be too many throw pillows- am I right?

To add a touch of spring to my home, I pulled in the coral color to mix in with my blues. All of these pillows happen to transition really well with our gorgeous outdoor rug on our patio and match our stained picnic table outdoors too.

Tips & Tricks for Evening Entertaining from MomAdvice.com

Tips & Tricks for Evening Entertaining from MomAdvice.com

Tips & Tricks for Evening Entertaining from MomAdvice.com

Tips & Tricks for Evening Entertaining from MomAdvice.com

Warm Your Guests (S’mores NOT Optional)

Having a place for a fire has been lovely and may have contributed to summer weight gain (ahem!)  I can never resist the opportunity for a s’more though. Have you seen my S’More Toppings Bar I created?

Clearly, I have an addiction.

We love to get our fire pit going and nothing completes the evening like a bit of warmth and a  killer playlist on Spotify.

I’m talking about you, Adele.

I hope these ideas inspire you and I wanted to share a giveaway so you can create your own perfect evening outdoors with a few of your favorite people. Check out the widget below for directions to enter our $100 Walmart Gift Card giveaway! Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Live-Better-Network-Badge

In accordance with the FTC Guidelines, I am disclosing that I received compensation from BHG at Walmart for my time and participation in the BHG Live Better Network. Although we have material connection to BHG, any publicly stated opinions of BHG and their products remain my own.

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Best Capsule Wardrobe Basics Under $50

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

Best Capsule Wardrobe Basics Under $50 from MomAdvice.com

One question that I get A LOT is what I would recommend putting in a capsule wardrobe. Curating was tough, but now I finally have all the building blocks in place to create many outfits easily.

The thing is, that this is MY capsule so none of these ideas may work for you. I like to dress very feminine, I usually dress less casual than my friends, and I dress for a petite pear shaped body. You may be a long lean lady or a curvy petite gal or gravitate towards a style that is less feminine…that is all okay! These ideas are just simply my own building blocks that I am thankful I invested in.

I explain over and over again that I am committed to a gently used wardrobe (you can read my tips for shopping for your capsule secondhand over here!) so almost all of the things I have bought were expensive pieces bought for a fraction of the retail price. That is how I am able to keep it on budget for me. It’s a bit like treasure hunting to find these items I needed and I got a real thrill from it. If you don’t, I’m offering some budget-friendly ideas for consideration.

I am incorporating all seasons in the recommendations to simplify today!

Best Capsule Wardrobe Basics

Best Capsule Wardrobe Basics Outer Layers Under $50 from MomAdvice.com
(inspiration board above)

Capsule Recommendations for Layering Under $50

I do not count my winter jacket and trench into this mix, these are just the layers that I rely upon the most when it comes to dressing up my capsule.

Black Blazer

Jean Jacket

Striped Blazer

Utility Vest

Cardigan (in your favorite coordinating color)

Best Capsule Wardrobe Basics Tops Under $50 from MomAdvice.com (inspiration board above)

Capsule Recommendations for Best Tops Under $50

Chambray Shirt (can also do this in a short sleeve for summer!)

White Collared Shirt

Black & White Striped Shirt

Black T-Shirt

Gray T-Shirt

White T-Shirt

Floral Shirt (sharing this landing page to find the best style, cut, & season for you!!)

Jean Shirt (Dress)- I use it as both!!

Gray Sweater (short sleeve option)

Flannel or Gingham Shirt (depending on seasons!)

Bonus: Lace Shirt

PS- I skip the tanks thanks to these!! They are AMAZING! Please buy one and come back & tell me how much you love it too! 

Best Capsule Wardrobe Basics Bottoms Under $50 from MomAdvice.coms
(inspiration board above)

Capsule Recommendations for Bottoms Under $50

Black Pants

Black Leggings

Colored Jeans (choose your favorite coordinating color)

Dark Denim Jeans

White Jeans

Colored Skirt (pick your favorite cut & color)

Denim Skirt

Black Midi Skirt (vegan leather option for fall & winter)

Patterned Pant

Denim Shorts

Bonus: Lace Shorts

Best Capsule Wardrobe Basics Dresses Under $50 from MomAdvice.com

(inspiration board above)

 

Capsule Recommendations for Dresses Under $50

Black Dress

Striped Dress (long sleeve option)

Floral Dress

White Dress

Jean Shirt (Dress)- I use it as both!! I’m pointing here so you can pick your favorite cut!

Maxi Dress (I also love this patterned option with sleeves because I’m always freezing!)

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

Winter 2016 Wardrobe

Spring & Summer 2016 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!

Best Capsule Wardrobe Basics Under $50

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!

 Have you done a capsule wardrobe before? What makes your must-have list! I’d love to hear!

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support! xo

Adore Your Wardrobe

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Adore Your Wardrobe Membership

One of my dearest blogging friends has been working on a course series for women that I have been so excited to share about with you. The course series is called, Adore Your Wardrobe, and it is designed to help women discover their own personal sense of style and find the right clothing for them.  It’s a beautifully shot video e-course series that will walk you through everything you need to know about how to look your best always.

In February, Kelly shared with me the course series and I requested that I have full access to review it. I love her, she’s one of my dearest friends, but I also want to be sure that any program I am vouching for is one that I have done myself.  After going through the series, I can honestly say, this is the PERFECT course if you have always struggled with picking the right clothing for you, if you don’t know how to put outfits together, or if you are unsure what cuts of clothing are right for you.

spring-capsule-wardrobe

One of the biggest things that people tell me is that they LOVE my capsule wardrobes, but they don’t know how to do this for themselves. I feel like I have a strong personal sense of style and have learned how to translate that into my capsule, but I know that someone else might have that desire for a slimmed down wardrobe, yet have no clue how to do this for themselves.

rent-the-runway

I was so excited to share this with you when it originally launched and then my health decided to tank on me.  In spite of everything,  I was determined to head to a conference this week, mainly because Kelly and I were rooming together and I can’t imagine not being with her.  The truth is, not only is she an amazing business woman, but she is an incredibly loyal friend.

When I wasn’t feeling up to doing anything, she would share a pizza in our room and gab instead.

Or ditch a night of dancing and eat a burger with me instead.

Or forfeit a fancy lunch at the Ritz to grab Chinese takeout in our room instead.

Now that I think about it, I might be using food as a form of comfort.

As fashion questions would arise from her series I would ask her stuff (from my bed while shoveling food in my face).

“Hey, Kelly, that whole should I wear white or ivory thing…I’m not sure. Look at me, what do you think is the best white for me?” Or “Kelly, I forgot jewelry for my Rent the Runway dress for tonight, should I have bangs or no bangs? How can I distract people from my lack of styling?” Or “Kelly, I’m a pear, right? Let’s be honest, I am a pear.” She would answer all my questions and give me incredible tips.

Now I know she can’t be everyone’s roommate, but she has a Facebook group that you get to join after you take her course and you can ask those kinds of questions and ask other members anything you need help with. That means you can basically be Kelly’s roommate and ask her all the things that you need to know in a private setting with people who are figuring out all this fashion stuff too. You can post something you want to buy or try on something in a dressing room and get feedback on if it is the right wardrobe piece for you. How awesome is that?

Some of the information that I found most invaluable was how to pick the perfect pair of jeans, what neckline looks best for your body type, discovering which colors work best for you, and recommendations on wardrobe splurges and what to save on. This is about finding the right fit, not promoting a brand or even her own personal style. These are tips you can take with you no matter where you shop! Did I mention she partnered with Nordstrom so you can have someone help you locally right at your very own store? Ah-mazing!

Here’s What’s Included In Adore Your Wardrobe

Adore Your Wardrobe is a “video course” designed to transform the way you think about clothes and put outfits together.

In this 30-day course, you’ll get the following:

  • Dedicated Fashion Strategy For You. Adore Your Wardrobe is not a one-size-fits-all class. We know every person is different. You will use key formulas to create a fashion strategy that works for YOU.
  • 9 Instructional and Informative Videos and Written Lessons. These lessons will reframe the way you think about fashion and how it relates to your own body.
    • Lesson #1: Getting Personal With Measurements
    • Lesson #2: Determining Your Unique Body Type & How To Create Balance and Proportion
    • Lesson #3: Laying The Right Foundation
    • Lesson #4: Jeans – How To Find a Pair You Love
    • Lesson #5: Anatomy of a Shirt – Necklines & Length Matter
    • Lesson #6: 11 Items to Splurge On (And Four To Save On)
    • Lesson #7: Create A Closet You Adore
    • Lesson #8: Rule of Four
    • Lesson #9: Putting It All Together
  • Worksheets and Printable Resources. These worksheets are where the real work happens. The lessons teach you the fashion formulas, the worksheets are where you put them into practice.
  • Access to the PRIVATE Facebook Group. If the videos and worksheets are the course, then the Facebook Group is the lab. Connect with other Adore Your Wardrobe Makeover-ees and share resources, encourage one another, and make new friendships. Plus, have access to fashion coaches to answer your questions.
  • Special Bonus #1: One-Of-A-Kind Wardrobe Planner. Fashion isn’t spontaneous, it’s planned. With the course, you will be given a printable wardrobe planner, so that you can plan your outfits in advance, saving precious time getting ready.
  • Special Bonus #2: Shopping Dos and Don’ts. You’ll receive a cheat sheet full of items that you should buy and others you should stay away from, making sure you never make a “bad purchase” ever again.
  • Special Bonus #3: A Masterclass on Discovering The Right Colors To Wear.Wearing the right color is so important and yet, very few articles have been written about it. You’ll discover the right colors for you, so you always look healthy and vibrant.
  • Special Bonus #4: Facebook LIVE Chats. Got a question? Kelly will have an answer. And she will give it to you in LIVE time.
  • Special Bonus #5: Nordstrom VIP Experience. Nordstrom and Adore Your Wardrobe have an exclusive collaboration that allows students a VIP experience at their local Nordstrom store.

The cost is $69 and that’s it- no additional membership fees. Once you pay, you are a member for life! 

I am happy to answer any questions that you might have about my experience with the program. I, TRULY, only promote things that I really love. If you are wanting to take a capsule wardrobe adventure with me, but need help picking your wardrobe items, this series is for you!

Sign Up HERE!!!

*I am an affiliate of this program, but only promote things I truly love- promise!

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.