Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wine Blouse, Black Skirt and Clogs

Hi guys! This outfit has three different shades of wine or burgundy. I think it works. 


Are you doing something fun for New Year's Eve? I hope you have a great time! 

Tomorrow or Friday I'll have my finalized goals for 2016.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Wine Tee, Pinstriped Pants and Fringe Boots


At the end of a year, do you think about finishing things you started? I have a stack of half-read books next to my bed, and I'd love to finish them in the next couple days! I have several sewing projects in progress, and it would be awesome to complete them. But, I have little kids who want a lot of attention, so I won't have time (or won't make time) to do all that. 

While I think it's nice to finish things, really the end of the year is just an arbitrary date and of course life just continues on. So I'll carry on with starting new books and projects whenever I feel like it, and finishing them when I want to. In some areas of life, it's great to have a schedule and a deadline, but entertainment, fun, and creativity seem to make their own timelines. 

What do you think about it? Do you schedule the fun stuff in your life?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Thinking About Goals For 2016

Hi guys! If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a nice one! We had a great day at our house. I didn't know we were expecting snow, so I had a beautiful, surprise White Christmas. The flakes were those huge, drifty ones - my favorite kind. 

We had a great day of family togetherness, playing with new toys, reading books, and watching football. It was a calm, happy day.

Here are my recent outfits: 


Splatter tunic, leggings and oxfords.


Scatter-dye dress, faux suede leggings and camel boots. 


Ivory sweater, copper skirt and camel boots.


Charcoal sweater, flared jeans and green Roos.

Are you thinking of any New Year's resolutions or goals for the year? Do you choose a motivating word for the year? I like to make goals. I typed up a big list on my phone, and I know I can't put enough focus onto all those items, so I'll have to narrow it down. Some of the things I definitely want to do are:

1. Live more healthfully. I got off track in 2015, often didn't eat as well as I usually do, didn't exercise as much as I prefer, didn't sleep as much as I used to, and hardly meditated at all. In 2016 I want to develop better eating habits, keep up my exercise streak (I've been doing great for a week now!), increase my average sleep time to 7-8 hours per night, and spend a few minutes meditating almost every day. I'm going to try to get up early and exercise before the kids get up. I totally failed to create this habit in 2015, but I'm going to try again. I really miss starting my days with peaceful time to myself, and getting up to exercise (and maybe meditate, too) would be fantastic!

2. Read more books. This year I read about 40 books, and I'd like to read more than that in 2016. I also want to read more nonfiction. My brain can handle more intellectual stimulation, now that it's not drained by worrying about little babies 24/7. My vocabulary has atrophied and I don't like that at all. If I read smarter books, I can bring that back. 

3. Write a short story and a poem. I loved writing in college, and I'm ready to do it again. If it goes well, I'll look for neighbors who want to start a writing club so we can encourage each other, have deadlines, and get feedback from each other. If it doesn't go well, the one story and one poem will be enough for now. 

4. Spend very little money. I love reading the book Not Buying It, in which a couple commit to spending a year without buying any non-essentials. I don't think I could succeed at that extreme challenge right now, so I decided to give myself an allowance of $50 a month for non-essentials. I think it's going to be really tough but really satisfying! 

5. Related to #4, but not the same, is that I want to use what I already have. Sometimes I save things for later, when really I should just enjoy them now! I have a book of short stories (The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis) that I loved so much, I never finished reading it. I put it aside so I wouldn't waste all the stories all at once. I wanted to savor them over time. Isn't that stupid? I could read them again any time I want! 

I also have fabric that I want to use for something special. It can be intimidating to cut into the special stuff, because what if I mess it up? The answer is: what good is it doing sitting on the shelf?? Wouldn't I enjoy it more if I used it and maybe made something I could wear all the time? I am such a collector, I actually do get enjoyment out of just having things and not using them. But I'm going to try to do more using and less collecting. What if I were to die without ever using that great fabric or reading those amazing stories? That would be a real waste.

So, I'll keep refining my list over the next few days and let you know what I settle on. I'd love to read yours, so feel free to leave me a link or a comment!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Week Outfits

Hi guys! Are you dressing up all week, going to parties? Or are you lounging in your sweatpants, on vacation? I'm doing a fair bit of lounging, and it's fantastic. I also restarted my exercise regimen, which feels great! I get so creaky when I sit around too much, or am in the car too long. 

I'm thinking about goals, resolutions, and plans for next year. Are you planning any changes?

Here are some recent outfits:


Sweater dress, grey cardigan, leggings and fringe boots. I thought this might be the first time I've layered a sweater over a sweater - but no, I've had twinsets before with a fine knit sweater tank top and then a matching cardigan on top. This might be the first time I layered up two long-sleeved sweaters. I liked it. I wasn't too hot that day (maybe the bare ankles and wrists helped keep me cooler). If it's cold where you are, try it out! If the bottom layer is thin or smooth, and the sweater is loose enough, it might work well. It's another way to use a sweater dress, and options are great when you're dressing with a capsule wardrobe.



Flannel dress, leggings and fringe boots. This is a dress I sewed this year, and I'm loving it. It's warm but not hot, super comfortable, and cute. 



Charcoal sweater, black jeans and zipper boots. This one's super boring! I tried adding a blue scarf but it didn't look right. I'm actually fine with being boring, but next time I might try to add a colorful accessory. 

I hope you have a great Christmas, if you celebrate it! 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Scatter-Dyed Dress, Leggings and Fringe Boots


Hi guys, I'm wearing my homemade scatter-dyed sweatshirt dress, leggings and fringe ankle boots. Maybe you remember earlier in the year when I said that I wanted to have some good-looking sweatshirts to wear this year? I'm so glad I decided to make that happen! I'm very comfortable but don't feel like a slob. That's a dream come true. 

It's also really satisfying to wear something that I love that I made myself. This is super homemade, since I dyed the fabric and then sewed it, using a pattern that I altered from a sweatshirt design into a dress. DIY for the win.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Weekend Before Christmas

Hi guys! How is your end-of-year to-do list looking? I've made sugar cookies (they taste good but did not hold their shapes -what did I do differently from last year?). The kids and I made ice lanterns (fill balloons with water and freeze. Then just sit them on top of battery-powered tea lights in the snow). I've finished making and wrapping all my presents (there will be a couple toys to assemble on Thursday night, and stockings to fill). We've watched Christmas movies and cartoons (I always suggest Elf and sometimes they humor me). We've listened to Christmas music and read Christmas books. Our Elves on the Shelf have played some tricks, brought some treats, and dressed up as super heroes. We went sledding. So I think we've covered a lot of bases. 

Still remaining to do: 
  • Send a few more cards. 
  • Ice those cookies and deliver some to friends. I think we will also make this dark chocolate and sea salt popcorn to share with friends. 
  • Look at more holiday decorations and lights.
  • Have the kids choose more toys to donate to other kids.
  • Make the Every Day in December scrapbook/photo album for which I've been taking photos.

And now how about some recent outfits?


Blue sweatshirt (homemade), jeans and Roos sneakers. I'm already looking back on this outfit and thinking that the skinny ankles look a little too skinny. Maybe it just feels proportionally off with sneakers? 


White t-shirt, brown cardigan, black jeans and camel boots. So this sweater turned out to be frumpier than I thought. I didn't feel frumpy wearing it, but looking at the photos, it's getting a fairly high reading on the frumpometer. I'm not going to stop wearing it, but I'll be keeping that in mind as I choose what to wear. Some days I like to be frumpy and look like a grandpa at the library (picture this outfit with oxfords instead of boots!). But it's good to know that I look like that rather than dressing that way unintentionally.



Red ruffle shirt, grey cardigan, skinny jeans and grey boots. Here's a pretty casual holiday outfit. The top is easy to wear but adds a dressy, festive element to the outfit. I love balancing that with jeans.



Faux-suede dress, leggings and fringe ankle boots. I sewed this dess, inspired by one from Aritzia. It's lined with the same faux-suede fabric so it's really soft and cozy. I hate to be cold, and the suede helps keep me warm even with bare arms and an open neckline. At some point I may add patch pockets, but I like the simplicity of it as-is. 

I hope your weekend has been fun! Is tomorrow the shortest day of the year? Do you do anything to mark it? I think I will teach the kids about it this year. It's nice to think that the days will soon start growing longer again! I wonder why we don't have the new year start at the solstice. It seems like a good time to have a fresh start. I'm going to renew my exercise habit, aiming to do something every day, and at least 30 minutes of dedicated exercise 3 days a week. That seems doable for me and then I can increase my time when I'm ready.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Charcoal Sweater, Copper Skirt and Fringe Boots

Hi all, how's your week going? I'm moving along on my to-do list. I got all our holiday cards into the mailbox yesterday (though the mail carrier still has not arrived through all that snow from yesterday!). I wrapped some gifts last night and had the kids put bows on them today. I still need to sew three more things, wrap several gifts, and mail one package. 

I'd like to make Christmas cookies with the kids, and cut out paper snowflakes, and hang up our wreath. I think we have time for all of those things. That's plenty to do, but it still leaves us free time to relax and be spontaneous. 

Oh! I want to drive around looking at other people's lights and decorations, or go for an after-dark walk if it's warm enough one night. And go see the lights in downtown Denver. And that's enough! My family loves having lots of free time and not being over-booked, so we don't need to add anything else to the list. 

How do you feel about being busy? It's very fun to have a lot of activities and experiences! At this point, we happen to thrive with more time in between activities, but that's not true for everyone. When the kids are older, they may be happier doing more, and I'll try to accommodate that. I'm in a major homebody phase, so I'm glad the kids are on board with that for now!


Charcoal sweater, copper corduroy skirt (homemade), leggings and fringe ankle boots. This skirt is working out great for me! The color is reminiscent of the 1970s, which is trendy right now, but I think I will still like it after the trend is over. It's not bright, but it definitely adds some fun and interest to this otherwise-neutral-to-the-point-of-boring outfit!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ivory Sweater, Black Jeans and Grey Boots

I only wore this outfit part of the day, when I was inside.


Ivory sweater, black jeans and grey Frye boots. 

For the outdoor portion of the day, I wore fleece leggings under loose jeans, waterproofed riding boots, tank top, long-sleeved shirt, long warm coat, knitted hat, scarf, and gloves. 
My face was still freezing, but the rest of me was warm. 

We got a good snowstorm last night and today! With help from the wind blowing the snow around, there's a foot of snow around our house. The whole family went out to shovel (and our great neighbor used his snowblower to clear most of the driveway!). I brought my phone out to take pictures of the kids playing in the snow and working hard with their little shovels. There are quite a few shots of them sticking out their tongues to catch snowflakes. Then I set my phone down on my husband's truck while I did some shoveling. A little while later, I was hustling the kids inside while my husband was going to drive in to work, and my dare-devil phone went for a ride with him. 

I realized it was missing after we'd been inside for a few minutes, and looked all over the house, my stomach sinking because I thought it was probably broken in the road somewhere. I grabbed my laptop to use Android Device Manager to track my phone's location and was relieved that it was still near our house instead of on a busy street! Almost no one was driving on our street, so maybe it hadn't been run over. 

The tracking program will make your phone ring at full blast for 5 minutes, so I turned that on and went out searching for it. I didn't find it the first time, and I had to go in to feed my kids. Then I didn't find it the second time, and I had to feed myself. 

For my third try, it was particularly blizzardy outside, and I almost gave up looking, but then I thought about how great it was to have a reason to be outside on such a beautiful day, sort of playing in the snow. I had an awesome warm coat that I bought last year from Land's End, and I was warm enough even though it was only about 20 degrees and windy out. If I never found my phone, I still had my old one and could easily use that one instead. 

And then I heard the quietest refrain of the annoying, weird country song that is my default ringtone (why didn't I change it yet?) My phone! I searched and searched the street, kicking up snow all around me and probably entertaining my neighbors. Finally it got a little louder and I found it under about an inch of new snow, right in front of my driveway. It has a white cover and was lying facedown, so it was well camouflaged. But we were reunited at last, and it still works!  

It's so great when something bad can turn out well. I also had a chance to think about what is saved on my phone, and what would be lost. Really, I wouldn't lose anything! All my photos, emails and contact information are saved in the cloud. So even though I'm pretty hooked on using my phone, I don't really need that particular phone. Of course I can't just buy another $500 phone, but I could get used to my old one again pretty easily. It's nice to feel less attached to my stuff, after the initial panic of losing it. It's just stuff. 

But remember to back up your photos and other important stuff! ;)



Monday, December 14, 2015

All Jeans - Winter 2015

Hi guys! I hope you had a good weekend! We continue to have minor sicknesses, which is very common in a household with little kids. Colds make kids clingy, which means I end up sitting around more than I'd like, but cuddling my kids is a great thing, too. I've also been finishing up my Christmas shopping, thinking about wrapping and mailing presents, addressing cards to mail, and planning to finish some homemade gifts. I think I still have enough time to do everything I want to do, but I'm probably going to have to get organized and determined to finish everything in time. 

But for now, we could just look at some outfits:


Red sweatshirt (homemade), black jeans, and camel boots. Super casual and one of my uniforms.


Red ruffle shirt, ivory cardigan, flared jeans, and fringe boots. Hey, this one's a little dressy! And festive. Yet it's still comfy and down-to-earth. The only drawback is that I'm supposed to hand wash the red shirt. It won't take long, but it's something I'm not in the habit of doing, so it will take a special effort. I really like it so I think it will be worth it. 


Green tunic, black jeans, and tan oxfords. Here's another version of my comfortable uniform.


Blue sweater, black jeans, and grey Frye boots. What did I used to wear before I bought these black jeans? I'm finding them to be very useful and versatile this fall and winter. I wonder if I will love them for spring and summer. 

I hope your week is off to a good start! Remember to take time for yourself and don't let the holidays cause too much stress. Take some shortcuts to save yourself a few decisions, if you can. Here are a few ideas:

1. Try a capsule wardrobe just for a couple weeks. Or even just plan out a week's outfits at one time. Hang up the components together in the front of your closet and move everything else to the side. Then you don't have to decide what to wear in the morning. 

2. Pick one breakfast and eat the same thing every morning so you don't have to think about it. Make it healthy to get your day off to a good start! You can change it up after a week or two, depending on when/if you get bored. 

3. Plan dinners for the week that will all have leftovers, so that every other night you don't have to cook anything. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Chambray Shirt, Yellow Cardigan, Boyfriend Jeans and Blue Converse



Hey there! Are you doing anything fun this weekend? At my house, it's supposed to be cold and snowy, so I'm looking forward to doing indoor stuff. I have a few gifts that I'm sewing, a sweater I'm almost finished knitting, and some cooking I'd like to do. Also, I'm hoping to fit in some good workouts and a lot of playing and reading with the kids. 

I hope you have a great weekend, whatever you're planning. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Stripes and a Print

What's up? Things are going well here. I've been keeping up with taking a photo of the kids every day this month. It has helped that we had extra reasons to take pictures: my daughter's birthday party and her actual birthday, plus capturing a cute shot for our holiday cards meant that I didn't have to try very hard to remember on those days. 

I'm still averaging 7 hours of sleep a night, and still trying to increase to 8 hours. One change I just made to improve my sleep quality only took a few minutes: I moved my electronics away from my bed. I put my alarm clock across the room, on a dresser. I can still see what time it is without my glasses on, so the only potential annoyance will be a day I want to press the snooze button without getting out of bed. It is thought that having any lights near you can make it more difficult to get the best sleep, so moving it farther away might help.

I also moved my phone and laptop charging cords across the room so those devices are now a few feet away from me when I sleep. Electronic devices send out electromagnetic waves, which some people believe disturb our sleep. I don't know if that's true, but I know that if I have trouble falling asleep or I get woken up, I'll reach for my smartphone and read email or look around online. I'm sure I would go back to sleep more quickly if I didn't look at my phone at night!  

And now a couple of outfits:


Green tunic, black jeans and zipper ankle boots. 



Black t-shirt, Aztec print sweater, black jeans and maroon clogs. I like that the shoes add a little color to this very neutral outfit. It could probably use a necklace, too.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Wine Blouse, Black Jeans and Grey Boots

Hi all, let's start with an outfit:


Wine blouse, black jeans and grey Frye boots. 

Today was a little bit warm (50-something and windy) so the kids and I enjoyed walking to the playground and swinging, climbing and sliding for an hour or so. The sky was so blue and it was such a lovely surprise to have a playground day in December, it felt great to be outside. 

I love the idea of getting kids outside to play every day, no matter what the conditions. But for me, when it's below freezing or raining hard, I tend to keep mine inside. I think having the right gear is the most important factor, and I've tried to get great, warm, waterproof winter gear for this winter. But my two-year old won't always keep his mittens on or wear his hat. I hope it will get a little easier every year, as my kids understand that they need their warm clothes on and they can tell me when they're getting too cold. 

Anyway, I was glad it was so easy to play outside today! It's so good for us to get fresh air, exercise, sunshine and a dose of nature.

In other news, I'm still working on getting more sleep, and I'm up to an average of 7 hours per night. That's a great improvement from 6 - 6.5 hours! To continue to improve, I'm going to take part in this virtual sleep summit. It's free and it runs this Thursday through Sunday. There will be presentations from experts in several fields, giving advice on ways to get more and better sleep. They'll be talking about food, exercise, hypnosis, Ayurveda, magnesium, essential oils, and more. I think you can just listen to the presentations that interest you. Some are kind of woo-woo. :) Want to join me? I plan to listen to everything. You never know what might click.

Monday, December 7, 2015

5 Winter Outfits

Hi guys! Sorry I haven't posted for a few days. I got busy planning our party, then I got sick, and I had a sick little boy who kept saying, "hold me" and I couldn't refuse. Now my son and I are feeling better, the party was a success, and I've got five outfits to share. 

In December, I like to dress up a little more since any get-together (even a play date) feels festive. It's just fun to add a little sparkle to these short, cold days.



Denim shirtdress, leggings and zipper ankle boots. I added a sparkly belt and bracelet to make this feel a little more celebratory. 


Polka dot top, a-line skirt, leggings and zipper ankle boots. This top is as easy as a t-shirt but it looks nice and can be dressed up. It's always great to have a blouse that's secretly a t-shirt, but especially in the winter, when there are so many parties and get-togethers. It's nice to dress up just a little but still be comfortable and un-fussy.


Striped t-shirt, flared jeans and green sneakers. Here's my most common uniform: a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers. I've been wearing a version of this for my whole life and it still works. 


Metallic t-shirt, pinstriped pants and fringe ankle boots. Here's my uniform, dressed up. I think I have to hand-wash this shirt, but other than that, it's an easy way to add some sparkle.


White t-shirt, yellow cardigan, boyfriend jeans and tan oxfords. The jeans and t-shirt are made a little less casual when worn with oxfords, a colorful cardigan and a long necklace. 

How is your December going so far? I hope you're having fun! This can be a stressful time, but it can also be a time to appreciate our families and friends and spend more time with the most important people in our lives. It's a great time to enjoy being cozy and warm inside our homes. We can snuggle under the covers a little earlier and get plenty of sleep. Sleeping more helps to reduce stress and improve memory, plus it helps us to look our best during this season of many photos!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Every Day In December

Hi guys, how is your December so far? I'm trying a scrapbooking project called Every Day in December. The idea is that you take a photo every day of the month and make a scrapbook with them. My plan is to pretty much make a photo album, but with a tiny bit of journaling to remember what was going on that day - nothing too time-consuming. 

Today we made ornaments with friends and I forgot to take any pictures! Luckily my friend sent me one. I have to get the photo habit back. When each of my kids was born, I took their photo every day for a year and made albums with them. It wasn't easy, but it was such a fun idea that I was able to remember to do it (with help from my husband). So, come back to me, daily photo habit! I set a reminder on my phone to help me. 

How to develop a new habit:
- Make it mean something to you. Have a reason for why you want to spend mental energy on this habit. I think it will be so fun to look back at this fun, cheerful month and remember the fun things we are doing.
- Set up a reminder on whatever calendar you use. 
- Set yourself up for success. I can leave the camera on my kitchen counter so I see it a lot throughout the day. I also usually have my phone with me, and I can definitely use photos taken from its camera, too. So I have easy access to a camera most of the time, and I am comfortable with using snapshots from my phone, so the pressure to fetch my "good camera" is off. Just capture a moment and enjoy the day.

Also, to be perfectly honest, if I miss a day, I'm fine with fudging it. Maybe the next day I can get a cute photo while playing in the snow and then later another one of the kids in their pajamas. For me, this project is more about capturing the fun of the season (and of this phase in our lives) than about literally documenting each day. My baby photo albums were about literally documenting each day, because new babies change every day. You can see - well, the parents can see - a big difference over the course of two weeks! But now my kids are almost 5 years old and 2.75 years old. They don't change physically quite as quickly as newborns. If I miss a day, it won't ruin my album.

December is such a fun month to document! We have Violet's birthday party coming up, and then her actual birthday. There's her preschool holiday presentation, and I'm going to a wine exchange party (no kids invited!) and of course Christmas and New Year's Eve are this month. Lots of fun stuff and maybe we'll all look a little fancier than usual. It's a great time to take a lot of photographs and jot down some memories of the fun we're having.  

And now that I've told you about it, I have to follow through! Thanks for the (self-imposed) pressure. Oh, that's another tip for establishing a new habit: tell people that you're going to do it. Then it's embarrassing if you give up. And there might be people to celebrate with you when you succeed. 

Here are my first two winter outfits:


Green sweater, skinny jeans and fringe boots. If I would be outside in the cold for long, I'd definitely wear smooth, flat socks with this. Probably Smartwools in a cute pattern, or maybe plain black or grey, depending on my mood or where I was going. Any time a pants outfit looks good with bare ankles, I think thin, non-bunching socks look just as good (but warmer). 


Aztec sweater, black t-shirt, black jeans and maroon clogs. Why am I looking down in both of these pictures? I don't know; just mixing it up. I haven't tried these clogs with socks, but I definitely will! They will have to be thin to fit the shoes without stretching out the leather. It might look weird. I'll let you know what I come up with.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

New Capsule: Winter 2015 - 2016

Woo-hoo! It's new capsule time. I really liked my fall wardrobe, but I'm excited for a new one. It's always nice to have more variety and to get out my old favorites from storage. One thing I noticed in my fall wardrobe was I had too many black shoes. I wished for a lighter colored pair of sneakers or ankle boots. This time I decided to add both navy and green sneakers. I still have my maroon clogs and brown, grey and black boots. Hopefully I'll have what I need to make the outfits I want to wear! 

That's always my hope, and I always think I could have done something better with each capsule. That's okay. Life isn't about being perfect. Thinking about what I'll need, trying to plan well and doing my best is good enough. Being able to roll with imperfections and just have fun is the best I can do.

And now here are my shoes for the winter:

Shoes Winter 2015 - 2016

Shoes Winter 2015 - 2016 by tonya-kitchel featuring clarks boots

Some of these photos are my exact shoes and some are similar (if mine are no longer for sale).

Maroon clogs (similar)
Green Kangaroos (similar)
Clarks fringe ankle boots (these are cute)
Grey Frye boots (the same style in black)

I chose warm boots for cold weather, leather boots that won't be ruined by snow and slush, sneakers for when it's not too snowy, and cute clogs and oxfords for dry sidewalks or mostly indoor days. Hopefully I've covered most of what I'll want for the next few months.

Here are the pants, skirts, and dresses I chose this time:


Pants & Dresses - Winter 2015 - 2016

Pinstriped pants
Black A-Line skirt
Red skirt
Red sweater dress
Denim dress

For this winter, I want skinny jeans and leggings that will tuck into boots and be pretty smooth under tunics and long sweaters. I included the pinstripe pants so I can be a little fancy sometimes without wearing a dress. My three dresses/tunics should be versatile. The sweater dress is sleek enough to layer a cardigan on top, the denim dress can go over leggings or under sweaters, and the tunic can be loose or belted.

I'm also going to be wearing plain leggings and tights that I'm not counting as part of my 40 items. I have some fleece-lined leggings that are great to layer under dresses or skirts on cold days! 

And here are my tops and sweaters:


Shirts and Sweaters, Winter 2015-2016

Red ruffle shirt

Wine blouse
Polka dot top
Black and white tunic
White button-down shirt

Blue funnel-neck sweater
Charcoal sweater tunic
Green pocket sweater (now only in petite sizes)
Cream turtleneck sweater

Brown cardigan
Aztec cardigan
Ivory cardigan

For my shirts and sweaters, I want to have layering options. Sometimes it is warm inside the house or other places I go and I don't want to feel overheated in a wool turtleneck that I can't take off. I get cold easily, so I love to have a presentable shirt underneath a sweater - I can bundle up or remove a layer as needed. I also want some variety, so I have red, wine, blue and yellow in addition to my neutrals. I included a variety of materials and shapes so I don't feel like I'm wearing the same thing every day. 

Also, I wanted the ability to show a little clavicle sometimes, or some wrist. :) Being covered from neck to hand all winter can feel kind of unsexy, and it's nice to have options. Button-down shirts can be buttoned up higher or lower, and I included v-neck and scoopneck shirts. My undershirts have crew necks, v-necks and u-necks, too. Necklines that are a little lower can also make it easier to wear necklaces, which can brighten up an outfit (and a day!) with something shiny. 

I'll also feel free to wear plain tank tops or t-shirts under all my tops. I'm not buying more basics; I'm just using things that I already have. That feels right to me, even though it means I'm wearing more than 40 items. That number is a great guideline for me, but not a set-in-stone rule. Adding "free" basics to my capsule makes it seem more fun and easier to stick with. I did that with my fall wardrobe and I really liked how it worked for me. 

If you feel like you want or need to stick to a strict number, go ahead! Make the capsule wardrobe idea work for you. It's great to read what someone else does and use that as a starting point, but personalize it as needed. 

What do you think? Did I miss something that I should have included? Do you think I'll regret using so many spots for cardigans? (I don't :) )

Monday, November 30, 2015

The End of My Fall Wardrobe

Hi everybody, today is the last day of November and the last day of my fall wardrobe. I'm going to keep a lot of the same clothes in my winter capsule, since I was happy with most of them. I think I only bought two new shirts (I'll tell you for sure tomorrow when I have the whole thing ready to share). I'm rotating in clothes that I already owned and had in the back of my closet. My warmest sweaters and fleece leggings are being welcomed back into my capsule wardrobe , and it is so nice to see my old favorites from years past. 

Are you getting out your winter clothes? 

Here are my last few fall outfits:



Grey tank top, yellow cardigan, flared jeans and grey Frye boots. As always, I love layering! I also love the combination of grey and yellow. 


White button-down shirt, black A-line skirt and grey Frye boots. I think I've said it before, but it bears repeating: this style of skirt is so forgiving if you eat a lot or are bloated. You can just wear it higher up on your waist to have more room, or lower on your hips if that's how it fits that day. It always accentuates the waist while allowing you to be comfortable. 


Green sweater, navy cords and grey Frye boots. I love longer shirts and sweaters right now! If I bend over to pick up a kid or a million toys, I never have to worry about my shirt riding up in back and showing off my underwear. 

I'm wearing boots a lot right now since it's cold and snowy here. I put some terry cloth insoles into these and they are now super comfortable. 

I'll see you tomorrow with my winter capsule!




Friday, November 27, 2015

Resisting Black Friday Impulse Shopping

Hi all, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, or just a nice Thursday, depending on where you live. I had a great day with my little family. It was cold and snowy all day, and we loved being warm and happy inside, cooking and eating together, and putting up our Christmas tree. 

Did you do any Black Friday shopping? Isn't it crazy how much the promise of a discount can make you want to buy more? I hate shopping in crowds, thanks to my 4-year stint working at a busy Walmart during college. I have no interest at all in getting up before dawn to fight for deals! But the online sales really test my resolve to buy less, and to shop thoughtfully. 

Audible had a bunch of books for less than $5 each, and I scrolled through the list. I definitely saw books I was interested in, but I remembered that I have several books in my Audible library, waiting for me to listen to them. Phew! I resisted that sale. I spent time scrolling through the Vans site, and saw some cute little shoes for my kids... but they outgrow their shoes so quickly right now, they don't need more than one pair of sneakers at a time. I didn't buy anything.

I looked at sale sewing patterns and fabric, but I know I have a large queue of projects and materials already in my house. I don't want to buy anything else until I've used up some of the things I already have.

So I resisted buying things that I don't need, but I wasted time on window shopping when I could have been hanging out with my family. I can do better.

One thing I've done is unsubscribe from most stores' emails. If I don't get the sale emails, I don't get the adrenaline rush that comes from feeling like it's now or never! I can calmly stick to my holiday shopping plans without wasting time looking through the sale pages. 

Next year, I think I will skip reading any blogs that tend to post sale information and links, unless I plan to buy new clothes at that time of year. It's so easy to get distracted and go off-plan when you are faced with temptation. So whenever we can, let's remove the temptation!

And now, a couple of outfits:


Red sweatshirt (I sewed it), corduroy skirt (I sewed it) and camel Frye boots. I love wearing stuff that I made myself, and I'm trying to improve my sewing skills, so hopefully you'll keep seeing better and better self-made clothes in my wardrobe.


Green tank, grey cardigan, denim skirt, and camel Frye boots. I love these boots! If you're on the fence about Fryes, try ordering a pair from Zappos. They have an awesome return policy so you can wear them inside for a year(!!) and as long as they still look new, you can return them for a full refund. So you'll have plenty of time to try them on, walk around your house, try them with different outfits, and make sure they're worth the money for you. 
My skirt is from Boden and if I could do it again, I think I'd buy one size smaller. I would love it more if it didn't flare out quite so far. But I still like it a lot. 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wine Blouse, Black Jeans and Moccasins

It's the night before Thanksgiving. Are you ready? We have such a low-key day planned, I'm not stressing at all. Today I baked our pumpkin and apple pies. I dug up potatoes from the yard and washed them. Tomorrow we'll cook potatoes, stuffing, and vegetables. Jason will grill the steaks (or I'll broil them if the weather is bad, which is predicted to be the case). 

I'm thankful for our laid-back version of Thanksgiving! It suits us very well to be cozy inside with our little family, while the weather outside might be frightful. I hope everyone who isn't staying home has safe travels! 


Wine blouse, black jeans and moccasins - perfect for staying inside. If I were going out in the cold, I'd wear boots instead! I always have cold feet and it makes my whole self shivery cold. That's why it's worth it for me to buy cute boots and warm socks (Smartwools are great). What about you?  Do you mind having cold feet or ankles? Are cute flats or heels worth being cold?