Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Capsule Wardrobe - Killer Concept or Complete Closet Crap?


    When I first sort of discovered 'fashion blogging' I was still pregnant with Baby Ninja and looking forward to re-working my personal style as a young(ish) mom and fashion forward individual. I  remember stumbling across, Kendi Everyday and her 30 x 30 Remix Challenge (take 30 items in your closet, make 30 outfits)  on a late night Pinterest binge. That's actually how I first discovered Andrea at For The Love Of. But back then, she was Four Flights Of Fancy, anyhow, I liked how Andrea took on the challenge and made it work in her everyday mom life. As a working mom with one on the way, I could totally appreciate that.  Getting dressed had begun to seem like a chore and I knew with a newborn I needed to streamline as much as possible. I  also knew I wasn't going to have much to work with being between sizes and her posts gave me great ideas for stretching my postpartum wardrobe. Although I never actually tackled my own 30 x 30 remix I enjoyed seeing how the ladies worked their wardrobe and finding out all the behind the scenes scoop.
      Living in Georgia for years and having to pack clothes away for each season thanks to small closet space got me in the right head space to not miss certain articles for awhile but I still shopped my heart out for what I thought was "lacking". The concept of capsule dressing is quite appealing in theory as I like the idea of knowing what I’m working with clothes wise for any given season.  Sometimes having so many options can be paralyzing.

      But let me back up a minute. Not sure what a capsule wardrobe is really? Whoorl, does a great job of breaking it down here. After reading an article on Caroline (aka UnFancy) I was intrigued by this latest capsule concept. Basically, you pare down your clothes to a set number of pieces (37 as per Caroline) , wear only those items for 3 months (also known as a season to those outside of So Cal) and don't shop for those 3 months until it's time to start planning for the next capsule. Keep in mind those 37 pieces don't necessarily include underwear, jewelry, workout gear, jammies and accessories. (The "rules" vary depending on where you look.) Ideally, at the end of the 3 months you're only buying items you may NEED for the next season and then creating yet another capsule using the previous seasons pieces mixed in with anything new you may have purchased for the current season. Make sense? The idea is that at the end of the year you only have a collection of things that you truly love and will wear often and less 'fluff' to distract you.  
image via Project 333
      While I'm impressed she can shoot all the outfits in one day, my only issue with UnFancy is that you don't really see how she wears her capsule throughout the season in real life situations. I mean, I want to know if by week 4 you're tired of wearing the same boots or yellow cardigan over and over. Or worse, you stain a key item? And what happens if something unexpected comes up that requires a fancier option than the 37 pieces? Am I just supposed to automatically work in an LBD for reasons such as this? I have questions.

image via Whoorl 

      I’m a busy WAHM and taking forever to get dressed isn’t really a luxury I have anymore so limiting my closet to X number of pieces per season seems like it would work wonders at saving me time and headache. But what about when I want to spice things up? And shopping for each season just ahead of the next? Is that too extreme? I’m thinking  I might attempt to tackle a 30 day Capsule challenge , sort of a remix + capsule combined and we’ll see how it goes.  I know one of my biggest issues is going to be shoes. The #westcoastwinterstruggle is real and you never really know from day to day what footwear will be the most appropriate so dressing "seasonally" is a bit trickier out here and I've been known to rock everything from Uggs to Birks on the same day.
      I do think it will be fun to see what I actually wear on a consistent basis and I'm feeling the need to pare down as it is so this will be a great reason to do a good closet purge. 

     I'm thinking I'll start my challenge in February as that will give me time to look at my calendar, plan what type of things I'll need to pick as well as clear out some of the closet clutter. 

     So I'm interested in finding out what you think! How do you feel about the concept of a capsule wardrobe? Does it make things super simple or you think you'd feel constricted by the number of items you can choose?


Friday, January 16, 2015

Weekend Links: New Year New Me

It's been awhile since we last did but there is just SO much good stuff out there on the internet it begs to be shared with everyone! And if you don't follow me on Facebook , Instagram or Twitter (and really why are you not?) then you're definitely missing out on some of these gems.

So let's recap shall we? I got back to blogging this week by jumping straight in with a wardrobe workhorse post about the shift dress. In this case it's a printed version but they are my jam. Everyone needs one.
I was on MommyNoire talking about how to keep rocking your holiday wear well into the new year. I see no reason to not wear sequins during the day. Do you?  Also note to self, I need sparkly oxfords.

-        Let’s Get Drinks-  This piece in The New Yorker nails the exchange between women who want to hang out but don't want to commit to hang out all while highlighting the crazy in the world. Brilliant. 
-        Churn downfor what - I love the internet at times like this. While it sucks to be the couple who are now a classic meme, these made me HOLLER. Twitter has no chill. Enjoy. 
-        If you're not reading Awesomely Luvvie you need to get on it. She has NO behavior and I love it. I don't know how she finds these photos but these #strugglefeets are everything that is wrong in the world. The comments when she posted it though! I almost peed my pants laughing so hard! 

-       I wrote a little about my  Word of theYear on For Harriet and would love you to check it out. I'm still new over there so I'd love to see some familiar faces (so to speak) and I'd like to know more about how you set goals for the new year!

Our weekend was pretty fun, we had a date night with several of our friends (which never happens) and we took full advantage staying out late and enjoying each other's company in celebration of all the December/ January birthdays of our friends. Good times were had and we spent the rest of the weekend watching football, cleaning and hanging out at home.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2014 A Look Back + Some Lessons Learned

Happy New Year y'all!
Even if I am about two weeks late. I love the beginning of the year. I love change ( to an extent) and I dig a fresh start. I love all the new year new me postings. And I love reflecting on how far we’ve/I’ve come in 365 days and how excited we all are to start anew. It's been so long since I've posted over here and for that I apologize! I've had ideas and thoughts but a lack of words and the ability to coherently express them.  I spent the latter part of the year in a bit of a downward spiral internalizing negative vitriol found in the comments section while alternately laughing hysterically at random videos. Subsequently I  had a hard time getting out of the heavy fog in which I was wallowing. I took a little (unintentional but necessary) time off from writing over here and focused on my writing for MommyNoire and For Harriet (and it's sister sites) while catching up on all the DIY's I had been putting off.
It sort of felt good to check out of the 'need to post a blog' routine a bit but still be "social" via Instagram and Facebook. I was having a hard time gathering my thoughts for a cohesive posts and then when I did write for here, it was sort of all over the place. So I took a step back. Sometimes a break is the best thing for some clarity and inspiration and I got a little of that while I was "off".

Looking back on the year I saw how not having one word for the whole year kind of threw me off kilter and it took months for me to get back on track.
I've chosen my word for this year and it has me feeling positive and looking forward to whatever lies ahead.

In the year two thousand and fourteen :
  • Baby Ninja turned 2 and we celebrated the only way Wild Things know how - at My Gym with the rest of the tiny tornado crew.

  • We moved for the first time in 5 years, 5 miles down the street in the same town. It took 5 men approximately 5 hours and it happened to be the rainiest day of the year. Go figure.
  • Sweet Pea turned 12, got a cell phone and started junior high. I am currently still recovering.
  •  We took a family road trip up to San Francisco and it was beautiful and tiring and exciting and majestic and everything I hoped for. ( I have plans to finally post about that later this month)
  •  I went to New York in the summer for Blogging While Brown and got to spend some much needed time with my East Coast besties in the heart of NYC, I took the subway, saw art, had brunch, was refueled with conversation and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was epic and I'll never forget it.
  •  I also attended my 2nd LUCKY FABB conference, saw my girl crush Nicole Richie up close & personal and got to reconnect with some old favorites as well as meet some awesome new ladies. Bloggers are my jam.
Danielle of The Style & Beauty Doc
  • It was also "the year of the margarita" and I spent a great deal of time perfecting my blending technique with a variety of fruits and flavors. It got so serious I ended up with a margarita machine for Christmas. This is going to make 2015 that much more exciting.
  • D &I celebrated 4 years of marriage. We had a fancy dinner at RuthsChris (my first time) where they sat us next to another couple celebrating 44 years on the same day. I took that as a sign and we made sure to speak and wish them well. Storing up our own good marriage karma if you will.

  •  I took on more writing outside of the blog with contributing roles at MommyNoire and For Harriet and it's sister sites in the beauty and style categories and I hope to continue expand my work in the coming year.
  • There were a LOT of trips to Target and the Farmer's Market and while we weren't the most fit, we did eat cleaner. This year is all about bringing it all together, fitness, wellness and nourishment. I have a couple new cookbooks I'm looking forward to using to help us on that path.
  • I turned 35. It was.....both monumental and not. It's hard to explain but I have to say I felt good about it and really feel like myself more now than I ever have before.

I am SO excited about this year. It's not as if I have in stone HUGE opportunities planned or anything but I just feel a shift, not only in my psyche but in the energy in the air as well.  Well, that's not entirely true, I do have some things planned and I AM super excited about them all but I'm okay with being patient while it all comes together and I work on my master plan.
I've got my vision board up and left a little open space so I can add to it as the year goes and things crop up. I spent a little time this week working on my office, a task I've been putting off and am excited to get even more organized and get the gallery wall up once and for all so I can be inspired on the daily.
In regard to the blog and the posts here, in years past I've tried to stick to daily themes and post up to five times a week and I've come to realize that's just not going to happen. So plan to post as often as I can , 3 days a week. Lots of fun features on up and coming business, events and life happenings. Should be pretty fun.

Last  year was full of ups and downs. As always things did not turn out as expected. They were both infinitely better and worse. New relationships were forged, old ones flourished while others simply withered away. This is the circle of life and I'm learning to continue to  cherish those who remain, be open to what comes my way and to roll with how things play out.

Welcome 2015, I embrace you with open arms and a smile on my face. Let's do this thing!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Shifting Gears

It's no secret that I'm a little obsessed with ASOS and shopping online in general. It gives me a little thrill to hit "proceed to checkout", punch in whatever discount code I have and then get the subsequent email confirmations that my package is on it's way to me. But at the same time I'm also making a valiant effort to truly streamline my wardrobe and curb my compulsion for consumption. I've come a long way believe you me, but as I begin the fun process of my annual closet purge I can see there are a few things that I still need to really complete my wardrobe in terms of staple items.
For example: I could use a simple black dress. Don't get me wrong, I have several black dresses. But nothing that is sort of an all purpose type dress. One has lace, one is a tank (and a little on the shorter side) another is of the shirt dress variety and all are specific as to what type of event they lend themselves towards. What I really need is a simple all purpose shift dress.
I think I've found a few I like and it helps that I have a gift card so I'm pretty excited to sneak off one afternoon and try a few things on. But that's another post.

The other item I'm looking to replace is the floral printed dress. Oddly once upon a time I was strongly against floral print of any kind but clearly I have since changed my stance on that.
I purchased the Prabal Gurung for Target A-line dress and it was lovely but I knew when I bought it that it wasn't really ME but I loved the print so much! I'm not a full skirted dress type of lady really.  At least not the way that piece is cut. So it's going to have to go, however, a floral dress is always a handy piece to have in the arsenal as it can do double duty as both a casual and more elegant dress.
I've got my finger on the trigger of this one by Warehouse from ASOS and I'm sure I've said before how beneficial it is to have a printed dress hanging in the closet ready to go at all times.

It makes me feel put together even when I'm feeling like I don't really have it together and it tends to break up the abundance of solid colors in my wardrobe. One of the main draws for me, to this particular print is the bright splash of yellow and pops of green that mix seamlessly with the grey/ black/white theme and even that there are even hints of blue. The grey trim on the sleeves is a fun contrast while the overall color combination  can easily transition between seasons. I can see pairing this with sandals, heels, wedges, tights and my favorite ankle boots. I'd also like to see it with some of my favorite chapeaus and necklaces too.

As in previous years, I have no desire to purchase items on a whim and I'm for sure making a more concentrated effort  than ever to only purchase items I really and truly love and can see myself wearing for awhile. If that means spending a little more per item and buying less then so be it. This Warehouse dress is a prime example, it was originally $95 (roughly $100 + shipping + tax) and it was then marked down to $66 and getting back to about $70 with shipping so I saved about $30. I'm familiar with quality of the brand so this was a practical purchase for me. Now some of you might be saying either that's not a lot or that's too much. There's no pleasing everyone but since I don't shop all that often (although it would appear otherwise from my instagram dressing room diaries) this is

Also, let it be said, I've learned over the last year, I'm not really a form fitting dress kind of woman. I don't mind them, but for some reason I feel somewhat self conscious in them so I tend to lean toward a looser shift style and while going through my closet I've come to realize that's sort of my 'signature' look. I don't mind a plunging neckline, open back or even a shorter length but I am not about the body con. That's not to say I don't own an figure hugging dresses but that those aren't really my forte and at this stage in my personal style quest I need to focus on what works and what I feel great in. Shifts are where it's at.

Do you have a favorite style of dress? Tell me in the comments!

*this is not a sponsored post....I just love ASOS!!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Holiday Redux - Casual Glam

If you're like me, maybe you're feeling a bit of the post-holiday blues? The gloomy weather we So Cal residents are experiencing are definitely playing a role in our January moods and it's only fitting that we spend a few hours staring off into the distance reminiscing about that FABULOUS holiday soiree we attended or how much we loved our office holiday party outfit and musing about why we don't wear sequins EVERY.DAY.
The struggle is real, which is why I created a Holiday party redux - a great way to gain inspiration on how to wear some of your favorite party pieces well into the new year!

Read the full story over on MommyNoire........

Casual Glam

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mama Style: A Day at Disney

Now that it's "officially" Fall I am counting down the days permanent until cooler weather settles in thanks in great part to a ridiculous heatwave we Southern Californians had the last few months and also because that means it's almost time for the Holidays!! I am super excited about them this year as Baby Ninja is a bit older and has a better understanding of what all the fuss is about. I'm excited to show him all the beauty and wonder that the world has to offer around this time and one of my favorite things is going to Disneyland to see all the crazy fabulous decorations.
The Disneyland staff does it bigger and better every year and I'm kind of embarrassed to say we haven't been in years despite the fact that we don't live terribly far from the park. One of my favorite family memories is when D and I (along with 15+ other family members) took Sweet Pea for her 5th birthday. We had a blast and even though she was too small to experience some of my favorite rides it was pretty awesome to watch her little face light up at all the fun experiences, sights and sounds.
We also had the pleasure of taking her for the Halloween and then Christmas celebrations and she just marveled at all the twinkle lights and the parade and then, the piece de resistance.......SNOW! In So Cal!!
It's just so fabulous and I've been thinking that I want to take Baby Ninja this season so he can experience it and because I think we're long over due for a Disney day. It also helps that he's only recently discovered / developed a love for Mickey Mouse a(and subsequently Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) so I think the time is just right for our first to the house of mouse as a family of four.

Disney Day

The thing about going to Disneyland as a mom (and theme parks in general) is mastering the art of layered dressing. You know you're going to be there all day, getting on and off rides, chasing after the kids and consuming copious amounts of frozen lemonade and churros, so you want to be comfortable but you still want to look cute for all those precious family photos you'll be snapping. My go to look for any amusement park in cooler weather is always jeans, a tee and sneakers.
I get creative with my tee (always some cool graphic type) and try to keep the accessories to a minimum but obviously still be wearing something. No earrings makes me feel naked so those are a given but you never want to wear anything that may catch on a headrest or something.
A sweater is needed as the day turns into dusk and the weather grows cooler (a light jacket is also great for layering). Yet, another reason for the backpack. No one wants to lug a huge purse through the park and being mom means not only carrying my gear but that of everyone else too. And since we're out of the diaper bag stage but not yet into the no-need-for-anything-extra-except-jackets stage a decent size bag is a must. Lastly, a scarf is a practical just in case addition as you never know who might need an extra layer. Of course I'll probably top all this off with an additional layer and it varies between a leather moto jacket and a cargo jacket.

So many friends have already begun to experience the magic and post photos and I can't wait to share similar majestic moments with my crew!

Have you ever been to Disneyland / DisneyWorld during the Holidays? How was it?

Shop the Set

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mamanista Fridays: Fall Hat Edition

I love a good style link up and feel like I haven't done one in awhile since my style posts have been few and far between. I used to link up with The Pleated Poppy religiously every Wednesday as well as a few others but that kind of fell off in the last year as I've cut back a bit on the style posts as I've tried to get my head above water. Part of why I love to do them is for the inspiration and because I'm nosy and like to see what other people are wearing or how they style a trend. Rather, what their interpretation of a trend is. I love it when people can take one item and showcase it in so many ways. Gets my blood pumping.

However, I am always up for a challenge so when I see any of my favorite stylish bloggers are doing a link up, I try my best to join in. For this particular challenge I'm joining Trina and Araceily, aka The Baby Shopaholic and Mama Fashion Files  in rocking Fall hats.  I've always loved hats, thanks to spending many a Sunday in a mid-western Baptist church. I used to count hats to keep myself entertained as young girl. My grandma was a the queen of a fly church hat and had boxes of them in her closet. I'm still sad I only inherited one fabulous chapeau when she passed away.  As my hair has grown out over the last few years my hat love has grown since it no longer looks silly (in my eyes) when I wear a floppy wide brimmed hat or fancy fedora. But still I have a tiny head so it's kind of a struggle to find ones that fit and look cute.

Hat: Target (similar) // Bag: Steve Madden via Nordstrom  Rack // Jeans: Joe's  // Boots: Sole Society (similar) // Kimono: ASOS // Tee: Nordstrom Rack (similar)

However, recently I've lucked up and seen so many cute styles so when I saw what the challenge for this week was, fall hats, I was pumped. The temperature finally dropped here in So Cal so even though it's still pretty warm in the I.E. I was thrilled when the thermostat didn't get above 70 the other day. ( I know, some of y'all have snow. #sorrynotsorry) I could wear a hat AND rock my favorite kimono? Winning! Sure it might seem odd that I'm wearing what many consider a summer piece in fall but that's the whole point of transitional dressing right? Figure out a way to stretch your wardrobe? Done and done.

I've only worn this particular hat once since I bought it late last season (come to think of it, I may have even purchased it this year!ha!) as the weather just didn't call for it. I was also slightly put out that I didn't snag it in black as well but as luck would have it, the black version was in Target just yesterday! Yahhtzeee! Score one for the mom! I didn't break my no shopping for the season ban as this was already on my list of items to purchase when I found it.  So now I have two identical hats that I love that can add to my wardrobe and protect my hair from the elements.
Can't wait to see what next week's challenge is and if I can pull it off!

How do you protect your hair in the colder months?


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