Monday, February 29, 2016

Back from Vacation!

Hi guys! Sorry I didn't post last week. I thought I'd write a few quick notes from vacation, but I rarely had an internet connection and when I did, it was slow, so I just took the week off. 

We spent four nights in Cancun, Mexico, and it was a great vacation. It could have been a little warmer (it was mostly in the high 70s), and it could have been less windy. We got lucky that a thunderstorm predicted to last all day only lasted for a few hours. It felt amazing to be out in the sun and fresh air for hours every day!

I tried to pack lightly, but I didn't. I'm not very good at that yet! I have some Boy Scout need to always be prepared. It's worse with kids, because they are picky eaters and their clothes can get really dirty. So I bring snacks and extra clothes. This time, we had some snacks left over, so I will bring fewer next time. We also ended up with lots of unworn kids' clothes. If we go on a swimming-centered vacation again, I won't bring many daytime clothes for the kids. They hardly wore any, since they just had their swimsuits on all day. At night, we changed into nicer clothes to eat in the restaurants. I would bring a few more of those nicer clothes next time, since we were a little short on them. I didn't realize there were dress codes for all the restaurants at night.

I wondered about bringing fewer clothes and washing them in the sink, but I'm glad I didn't try it. It was so humid there, and there weren't many places to hang things up, so our clothes wouldn't have dried over night. Our swimsuits were often still wet the next morning, after being wrung out and hung up. I can't imagine a whole dress trying to air dry!

Sometimes washing clothes on the road is a great solution! Many hotels in the U.S. (and surely many other countries) offer laundry service or have a coin-op washer and dryer available. Years ago, my mom and I went to Germany and we just brought enough clothes for half the trip. We found a laundromat, where we put the clothes in the washers and then the employees put them in the dryers and folded them for us while we ate lunch and went shopping. That worked really well! So depending on where you're going, consider that strategy for lighter packing.

On this trip, we were at a resort and we never left it, so we didn't have access to a grocery store or market. The gift shops only had candy. We did our best to get food our kids would eat from the various restaurants and snack stands, but the kids are at a picky stage now, so they didn't eat as well as we hoped. We did bring Larabars, which I feel fine about giving them, but they passed on those and ate way too many fruit snacks! But we made it through and I've been stuffing them with fresh produce since we got home. If you have access to shops maybe you can pick up some healthier stuff if needed. Hopefully next year my little ones will be more adventurous eaters and I won't feel like I need to bring much. 

I think we will be traveling more, now that my kids are a little older. Of course everyone has their own comfort level for traveling with kids, and for me it's so much easier now that they're not nursing, don't need constant diaper changes, don't need to sleep in cribs or take multiple naps each day. They did fantastic on the shuttles, airport train, planes, vans, and bus. It makes it much easier to imagine the next trip.

My travel wardrobe worked really well. I wore all the dresses from Athleta for going to dinner. During the day, I had my swim suits and then if we were walking around, I'd add shorts and either a tank top or the cover up. I loved the cover up, especially after the first day, when my shoulders were a little burned. It was so light and breezy, but kept the sun from stinging my sunburn. I wished that I had another one (or two!) to alternate, and will probably keep an eye out for a second one. We'll likely be at our neighborhood pool most days this summer, and I will get a lot of use out of them. My first one is from Target and here are some more that I found online:

So yeah, I finally understand the point of Resort Wear, now that I've actually been to a resort. It's really nice to have a loose, lightweight top to wear over a wet swimsuit instead of just a t-shirt.

As far as spring clothes go, I don't have a capsule chosen yet. I'll keep wearing my winter clothes and adding in spring items as it warms up. I'll try to figure out at least part of it this week. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Vacation Clothes

Hi guys! We're getting pretty excited around here for an upcoming beachy vacation! I bought several things with the trip and springtime in mind. Athleta had a good sale going, and you can check out the widget below if you want to get a great deal on a dress or swim suit. I got three dresses and they're all very similar cuts. I guess this is my style right now! 

I also picked up a maxi skirt, which I'll wear with my Everlane tank tops. I found a cute cover-up from Target, and I got some new sandals that can go to the pool or the beach and get wet. I like the extra straps; it makes them more interesting to me than plain flip flops.

Vacation Clothes

I like to get two-piece swimsuits, since I'm so tall. One-pieces are often too short in the torso. Plus, it's fun to mix and match different colors and patterns.

The widget below has shopping links, if you're planning for a warm vacation, or thinking about spring and summer clothes.

And here are a couple of recently worn outfits:

Splatter tunic, pinstriped pants, and fringe booties. I feel like this is an Art Teacher silhouette. I'm okay with that. I'm just missing a big, bright necklace, I think. And maybe some crazy shoes. 

Wine tee, jeans, and Roos. Here's my t-shirt and jeans uniform; no surprise. 

I hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Are You Planning for Spring Already?

Hi guys! I've seen other bloggers talking about their spring wardrobe plans, and of course some stores are already selling warm-weather clothes. I haven't really started thinking about it yet, officially. But I guess I have a head start since I bought a couple dresses for our upcoming vacation at the beach, and I plan to use those in my spring and/or summer capsule wardrobes. Other than that, I can't picture it yet. Do you have anything in mind for your next wardrobe?

Here are a couple recent outfits:

Green sweater, pinstriped pants, and zipper booties.

It's warm enough to wear short sleeves, at least during the day. What kind of February is this? Everlane t-shirt, corduroy skirt, leggings, and grey Fryes.

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Long Weekend

Hey there! How was your Valentine's Day? Did you have a long weekend thanks to Presidents Day? I hope it was a good one. We had a nice, long, mellow weekend. We don't tend to make a big deal about Valentine's Day, but we cooked a nice steak that was shaped like a heart, and later I made a skillet cookie and homemade ice cream for dessert.  

I did not thin out my book collection, but that's okay. My heart wasn't in it by the time I had the opportunity, so it probably would not have been a very successful sorting. It helps a lot to have the right mindset: being impatient with clutter, feeling unsentimental, and as my sister and I used to say, having a TCB (Taking Care of Business) attitude. I'll see if I can get to it later this week. 

And now some recent outfits:

Breton stripe tee, black jeans, and oxfords. It's been warmish here, so I can let my wrists and ankles stick out without getting too cold. 

Wine blouse (similar), pinstriped pants (similar), and zipper booties. I like how flowy this outfit is, but without being Boho style. 

Polka dot top, flared jeans, and zipper booties. I've had this top for over a year and I still love it. I always feel put together when I wear it. It's stretchy like a t-shirt, but it's a bit more structured and elevated.

White button-down (similar), flared jeans, and zipper booties. I like how this shirt looks crisp but it's actually really soft. You know I love it when I can look nice but be super comfortable. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

White Button-Down, Boyfriend Jeans and Camel Fryes

How are you doing today? I'm planning to sort through all my books this weekend and see what I can donate or pass on to someone else. Here's how I'm going to try to be ruthless and get rid of a lot: I'll pretend I'm moving. Books are terrible to move, since they're heavy. Most of them only get read once or twice and otherwise, they just sit on shelves and look pretty and inspiring and make us remember great stories and remind us of the beauty in the world ... wait. I got off track. 

Okay, I'm pretty attached to my books, but I'll see if I can let go of some that I don't think I'll ever read or re-read. I'll imagine that I'm moving and I have to carry every box myself, up several flights of stairs, to a tiny apartment. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Hi guys, today I quickly sorted through most of my stored clothes and got rid of a big box full. There were two main categories of outgoing clothes: shorts and shirts that are all too short for my current taste. 

I was also disappointed by the color selection. Apparently my tastes have changed!  Still, when I was deciding whether or not to keep them, part of me wanted to keep them in case I want them again someday. Then I thought, "Clothes will be for sale in the future. If I want more shorts and shirts later, I can get exactly the style and color I want then." It's so simple, but it worked well to convince myself to get rid of them! 

I'll confess that I still have too many jeans that don't fit. I think I should get rid of them, but I just can't do it yet. I have that common mom idea that I'm going to get my pre-baby shape back and I'll want those jeans! I don't know how many years this is going to go on; maybe I'll have to store them until they're dated and too embarrassing to wear. I promise I'll try again when I have my next urge to purge.

Anyway, we know I'm not liking short shirts right now (more power to you if you are wearing crop tops!). I'm loving longer shirts right now, including these tunics.

Black and white tunic, black jeans, and zipper booties. It's not very cold right now, so I don't mind having bare ankles. I still like to wear little socks like these

Scatter-dyed tunic, black jeans, and grey Fryes. Ah, I love wearing a sweatshirt that's a little fancy so I don't feel like a slob.

Is there a category of clothes or other stuff that you just can't get rid of? Have you overcome an unreasonable attachment to jeans? What was your secret?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Use Accessories to Beat Capsule Wardrobe Boredom

Hi guys, I hope you had a nice weekend! My daughter's first basketball game was super cute. Then our home team won the Super Bowl, so that was pretty cool. I had hoped to get a lot done this weekend, but I didn't. It feels kind of frustrating, but it's also good to just relax sometimes. I sat around and crocheted little Star Wars characters for the kids, and there's satisfaction to be had in making things and in making kids happy and amazed. "How did you do that?" my two-year old kept asking. He saw me do it, but it was still mind-blowing for him. 

Now I want to mention a couple ways to make an outfit more fun, in case you're feeling a little bored with your capsule.

#1 Add crazy tights. They could be patterned or brightly colored. They'll make a neutral outfit fun and quirky. I got my blue and burgundy tights and a few other colors from this store: We Love Colors. I'm very happy with the quality, thickness, and color-fastness of them.

Splatter Tunic (I made it), Black A-Line Skirt (similar), Blue Tights and Grey Fryes.

Blue funnel neck sweater (here's a different one that's very cute), black A-Line skirt, burgundy tights, and camel Fryes.

#2 Put a belt on it. Any long shirt, tunic, or dress might be transformed into a new silhouette by adding a belt. It doesn't take long to try one, so just get out all your belts and try each one with your outfit. Do you have any belted dresses? Take those belts off and put them on with other outfits. You could also try any scarves you have (well, probably not an infinity scarf). When you're just tying something around your middle without any belt loops, you can place it as high or low as you like. Play around with the placement to get a look you like.

Green striped tunic, faux suede leggings, blue belt, and zipper booties (similar). 

Do you have any tips for changing an outfit with accessories?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Red Sweatshirt, Black Jeans and Grey Fryes

Happy Friday! Do you have fun plans for the weekend? Violet has her first-ever basketball game, which should be extremely cute. None of the 5-year olds on the team seem to have a clue about the game yet, but by the end of the season I bet they'll be playing for real. Practice works, for kids and adults! Let's keep it up with working toward learning new habits and reaching our goals. 

Red sweatshirt (I made it), black jeans, and grey Frye Carsons.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Back to Normal

Hi guys! How are you doing? We are still battling a cold at my house, and we're thrilled that Jason has returned from this week's trip. This was a short one compared to when he went to India, but it still takes a lot out of me to be the only parent for a few days! Now life should seem easy for at least a few days, so I'll try to get a ton done while my motivation is so strong. 

If you don't have babies or small kids, try to imagine that it takes 3 or 4 times as long to accomplish anything, and it's sometimes super frustrating to spend hours on a short, simple task (and meanwhile the kids got out 175 toys that you get to put away). It's easy to go into survival mode and just do the bare minimum to keep us alive, fed, and clean enough. I did my best to avoid that and to keep up with exercise, eating well, playing, cleaning house, and also a little time for creativity. Having Jason home to spend some time with the kids while I sew and write sounds almost magical. I'm really excited for the next few days. 

Chambray shirt, copper corduroy skirt (I made it), fleece leggings, and camel Fryes.  

Blue sweatshirt tee, jeans, and green sneakers.

Here's to getting back to normal and appreciating how great it is!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Denim Shirtdress, Leggings, and Grey Fryes

Hi everybody, so far our huge snowstorm hasn't been that huge. It looks like my neighborhood will only be getting 6 -10 inches, which is much more manageable than the 18 inches that seemed possible as of yesterday. We had a nice snow day anyway, watching movies, playing lots of card games (Go Fish, Spot It!, and Set Jr.), and hanging out by the fireplace. The kids even entertained themselves really well so I could do a long workout - thanks, kids! Tomorrow I hope to do some cooking, cleaning, and seed-starting (yep, even when there's a small blizzard whirling outside, I'm thinking about my garden). 

Denim shirtdress, birdie belt, leggings, and grey Fryes. Bodhi is wearing his bat pajamas (but not Batman pajamas! Don't call him Batman when he's wearing these pjs! Unless he adds his Batman cape on top, duh.)

If it's cold where you are, I hope you have a cozy place to cuddle up or a nice, warm drink, or a cat to sit on your lap. I'll be back tomorrow with more Tales from the Snowstorm.