Wednesday, December 31, 2014

31/62: Black Tiered Top, Cardigan, Paris Skirt, Ankle Boots

Happy New Year's Eve! Are you ready for 2015? I think it's going to be a great year.

I decided on my 33 foods for the Capsule Kitchen challenge. Read all about it here. The gist of it is: 

Choose 33 food items to eat for the next 3 months. 
Add water and any flavor boosters that you like (oils, spices, condiments, etc...).
Use those ingredients to make most of your meals. 
Allow exceptions as needed. 

Here are my chosen flavor boosters:
Olive oil
Coconut oil
Lime juice
Lemon juice

Here are my 33 ingredients:
1. Coffee
2. Milk
3. Almond milk
4. Hemp hearts
5. Coconut
6. Almond flour
7. Chickpea flour
8. Broth
9. Cheese
10. Beef
11. Chicken
12. Tortillas
13. Apples
14. Lettuce
15. Avocado
16. Carrots
17. Cucumber
18. Spinach
19. Broccoli
20. Banana
21. Celery
22. Berries
23. Lentils
24. Chickpeas
25. Black beans
26. Almonds
27. Pecans
28. Almond butter
29. Eggs
30. Salsa
31. Oats
32. Cacao
33. Yogurt

I'm starting tomorrow, and I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

30/62: Red Ruffle Top, Black and White Cardigan, Skinny Jeans, Zipper Boots

This shirt is pretty fancy for me, but I'm combining it with my usual jeans, cardigan, and boots to make it suit me. I bought it to wear to holiday parties, but it's a fun challenge to try to get more use out of it. 

Can you believe it's almost the end of the year? Are you planning anything related to decluttering or dressing with a smaller wardrobe? My current wardrobe will be in rotation through January, but I'm thinking about how it will change after that. A lot of pieces will stay the same for my second winter capsule. I think I can reduce the number from 50 to 40, since I won't be going to fancy parties. And I'm thinking about more or different long-sleeved shirts. This is such a cold, cold winter (it's currently -6), I need warm layering pieces. 

Tomorrow I will tell you about my capsule diet plan. I'm going to jump on Courtney Carver's Capsule Kitchen Challenge and I'll share my own ingredient choices here. The challenge is to use just 33 ingredients (plus spices, condiments, oil, etc...) for 3 months. You might have an easier time of menu planning. You might lose weight because you didn't include junk food in your 33 items. You might think differently about food if you simplify the options. I may put my own twist on the challenge - I'll have to decide tomorrow. See you then.

Outfits 27, 28, 29/62

27/62: White Button-Down Shirt, Zip Cardigan, Jeans, Chevron Vans

28/62: Green Beaded Top, Cocoon Sweater, Skinny Jeans, Ankle Boots

29/62: Cream Sweater, Red Skirt, Riding Boots, Plaid Scarf

These burgundy tights work so much better than the black ones I tried last week. I already had these in my drawer, so I didn't have to buy anything new. I love it when I can use something I already have. 

I made this scarf and I love it with the colors of this outfit. 

This outfit's definitely a winner for me. I might wear it a bunch more this winter.

Friday, December 26, 2014

26/62: Black T-Shirt, Cocoon Sweater, Paris Skirt, Ankle Boots + 2015 Changes

Do you make New Years Resolutions? Are you thinking about any changes for 2015?

I'm thinking about concentrating on the word "Focus" in the coming year. I feel sort of scattered and chaotic and I'd like to feel less so. I used to be really good at multi-tasking, but now I can only really do two or three things at once. I'm tired and a lot of my brain is used up by my little kids. I still really want to accomplish as much as I used to, before I had kids. I know I can't, so I need to adjust my expectations even more than I already have. But also, if I focus in on just one or two things, I could finish those tasks or projects instead of putting in a few minutes each on a bunch of different things, leaving them all undone.

I want to start meditating regularly again. It's something that has been proven to improve focus, quiet down all that noise in the mind, and train your brain to focus better any time you need to. I have found it to be really useful for me in the past. 

I want to keep writing down my ideas in a notebook, but try to concentrate on finishing up things I've already started, or that I've already planned and bought supplies for. I want to set aside most of my new ideas - just for now - and finish what I've already begun. 

I think Focus will help me declutter my mind and my house. I'd love to sort through my whole house this year, making a decision about almost everything in it, and get rid of tons of things that we don't need. Then I want to keep it that way. I want to get control over that urge to shop and quit bringing in too much stuff.

Additionally, I want to do some of the normal New Years Resolutions: lose 10 pounds, gain back the muscle I had pre-pregnancies, eat a lot healthier, gain energy, look better, watch less tv, and walk every day. 

Do you have any resolutions or a focus for the new year? What are you trying to change or improve?   

Thursday, December 25, 2014

25/62: Black Tiered Top, Green Cardigan, Skinny Jeans, Moccasins

Merry Christmas! I spent the morning in pjs, but after a workout and shower, how about a simple outfit for relaxing around the house? We don't have to go out in the cold today, so I don't need warm socks and boots on. I like this with the belt, to help make it look like I have a waist. But it's a little more comfortable without it, so that's how I'm wearing it today. 

After all the shopping and wrapping and presents, it is SO appealing to clean up, purge the extra stuff that we don't need, and start the new year with a clean house and only the stuff that we really still want. I will try to get as much done as I can while Jason is off work. Maybe he can keep the kids busy while I clean and organize. 

One thing I am committing to for 2015 is reducing the amount of plastic toys coming into the house. I need to stay away from the dollar store, and probably quit looking at those Pinterest posts about activities and learning games for toddlers and preschoolers. We already have plenty of little items to sort, stack, and count and work on fine motor skills. We have tons of art supplies and play-doh. I think we could get through most of the year with plenty to do - without buying anything else.

I might have to start going shopping alone in the evenings or on the weekend, so the kids don't ask for more toys. It will be easier for me to resist if I only have to overcome my own habit of adding toys to the cart. Once it's my habit to only get what we need, the kids can go with me again. Has anyone else tried to change this habit? What worked for you?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

24/62: White T-Shirt, Cocoon Sweater, Jeans, Frye Boots

Today I accidentally decluttered about half of the kitchen. It started with a smelly refrigerator. I took everything out, including all the drawers and shelves, cleaned everything, and then didn't put everything back in. Expired condiments were the main thing that got tossed, but there were a couple small bowls of leftovers and a wrinkled up avocado that had to go. I never found the smelly culprit, but the fridge smells good now.

Then I cleaned the top of the fridge, and the cupboard next to it. And a few more cupboards, and some drawers and the counters. It was great! I got rid of a lot of stuff we don't need. I moved a lot of things out of the kitchen and into the rooms where they belong. I can't wait to finish that room and then move on to the next room. I am feeling that spring cleaning urge, and we're only a few days into winter. 

I think any time it feels like a new beginning (new year, new season, etc...), it seems right to do a big cleaning. Do you get that urge, too?

Today, jeans and a t-shirt were perfect for cleaning, and for baking Olaf cookies for Santa. I'll be wrapping some presents tonight and putting together toys, plus making a strata for tomorrow morning. 

Tomorrow night, I just might be cleaning out my kitchen drawers. Who ever knew that would make me so happy?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

23/62: Black and White Turtleneck, Skinny Jeans, Metallic Booties

This chunky sweater is nice and long. It's not quite a tunic length (but I'm getting pretty interested in tunics this winter). I love the pattern - it makes the neutrals more interesting. 

I also like the proportions here: looser on top and tighter on the bottom. If I had on loose jeans, I think I'd just look BIG. 

I think the shiny booties add a little fun to an otherwise plain outfit. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Outfits 20, 21, + 22/62

Here are a couple outfits from the weekend

Today I'm carrying the green leather clutch that I made. It was my first time working with leather like this, and I'm really happy with it. 

I think the raw edge on the flap combined with the rivets make it a little edgy. The double wrist straps on the back are something I've never seen before, so they add a brand new twist to a simple clutch. 

The leather is really soft, so the bag is a little floppy. I may end up shortening it a little bit, but I'll try it out a bit more before deciding. Rivets are very inexpensive and I think it's kind of fun to hammer them, so I might not mind re-doing it. 

Are you thinking about any New Years resolutions or goals? I am trying to pin down exactly what I want to focus on and I'll share it with you this week. Minimalism and decluttering will definitely be part of my focus. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

19/62: Black Tiered Top, Green Cardigan, Tulip-Back Skirt, Ankle Boots

I'm trying out another way to wear my green cardigan: I added a thin belt to help define my waist. 

This skirt is more interesting than just a plain black skirt - it has a tulip split in the back. 

I tried changing into my metallic ankle boots and I like how that looks, too. They coordinate with the belt, which is fun.

Are you doing anything fun this weekend? We've got a cookie exchange + cocktails party Saturday night. Sunday, we have a free day to do whatever we want. That's the perfect balance for us. Yay! See you on Monday.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

18/62: Red Ruffle Top, Green Cardigan, Grey Cords, Ankle Boots

Tucked in or untucked? I think I like it better untucked. Tonight is Violet's preschool holiday performance and party. I think this outfit is cheery, but still lets my toddler son climb all over me without ruining my pants (or a pair of tights or leggings).

Are you attending many parties this week? Do you have one party outfit in your capsule, or several? I'm liking that I have separates to mix together and make different outfits. 

Since we take a lot of photos this time of year, I like that I don't look the same at every event. I like that I can adjust for more formal or casual gatherings. And it's great to choose sturdier, easily washable pieces when the kids will be with me. Bodhi always wants me to hold him if there are strangers around, which means he'll probably be jumping on my lap, wiping food on me, and pulling on my hair and jewelry. I hope this top can withstand his attention!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

17/62: Flannel Shirt, Skinny Jeans, Grey Frye Boots

Jeans and a flannel shirt - is this 1993? I think it's fun to dress pretty much how I did in high school. Though old photos show that the fit of my jeans was much different! They were higher waisted and shorter-hemmed. Not Michael-Jackson-floods-short, but do you remember when it used to be okay to see a bit of your socks between your jeans and shoes? 

In other news, I had been thinking about developing a capsule diet. I imagined choosing just a few different options for each meal, snacks, and desserts. Then I'd only eat those foods for a month.
*They'd be mostly healthy foods, so maybe I'd lose weight and feel more energetic. 
*I wouldn't have to think about what to cook, so I might save time and annoyance. 
*I'd plan it so that I'd use up extra ingredients and avoid wasting food, saving money.
*I don't mind eating the same things a lot, so I don't think I'd get too bored. 
*But, it's okay for food to be boring sometimes. It can remind us that eating is for nutrition, not just enjoyment, and sometimes I need that kind of reminder.
Well, I never got any farther with this idea, but today I saw that Courtney Carver is hosting a capsule kitchen challenge over on She's starting on January 2nd, and I think I will join. I may tweak her rules, or I may follow them exactly - I'll have to think about it a bit more. She's going to use 33 ingredients for 3 months. A list of ingredients gives more options than pre-chosen meals/recipes, so maybe I should follow her lead. 

Now, what else could we simplify with a capsule version?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

16/62: Black and White Sweater Dress, Riding Boots

Here's another attempt at mixing black with dark brown boots. This mix doesn't bug me like yesterday's outfit (red skirt, black tights, and brown boots). I'd still prefer it with black or grey boots, though. 

Bodhi's wearing a crazy mix and match pjs + clothes combo. That's what they learn from a mom who wears black with brown! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

15/62: White Button-Down Shirt, Red Skirt, Riding Boots

Well, I love this silhouette, but I don't like the black tights with brown boots. I like the red skirt and brown boots, but what color tights goes with them? Red? Dark brown? I don't have any tights in those colors, but I might keep my eye out for some if I can make this outfit work better. Of course I could wear my grey boots instead, with grey or charcoal tights - but I like the red and brown together. 

You know what? I have some burgundy tights that I'll try before I buy something else. And I'll try on the grey boots, too. Maybe I already have everything I need, if I can adjust my mindset or try on a few things.  

The kids and I had a lot of fun taking photos, so here are a few more:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Winter Outfits 13 & 14: More Holiday Party Looks

Saturday, I stayed in lounge clothes for most of the day, and today I had on my workout clothes for quite a while before I made it to the basement. That's kind of boring, so let's look at more holiday party outfits that I can make with my winter capsule. First is a tiered chiffon tank top with a faux leather skirt. The long sweater keeps the skirt from being too hoochie for me - it's a very form-fitting skirt. A longer or looser top can help balance it out.  

I think the pattern in the tights is fun, and it adds more texture to this outfit. There are several different textures going on, but since there are only three colors and two are neutrals, it doesn't seem too busy for me. 

This second outfit includes a red ruffled top, black cardigan, and pleated midi skirt. With the cardigan on, I might fit in at a librarian party! I'm still deciding if I like this length of skirt on me. There's no doubt that I love the bright red shirt. It's Christmas-y and cheery. 

I'm having fun putting together these fancier looks, so I will probably do a few more this month. I usually dress very casually, so it's a treat to dress up once in a while.