November 3, 2014

Halloween Recap

Halloween came and went so fast this year. This was the first year the boys actually chose what they wanted to be and the for the first time had a definitive opinion on everything. They really wanted to be Octonauts, a British cartoon series that airs on Disney Jr. It's about these little animals that explore and learn about the ocean. The boys have been obsessed with it for well over a year (and have learned quite a bit about the ocean from it) so it was perfectly fitting they decided to be these guys for Halloween:

Captain Barnacles, the brave polar bear leader of the Octonauts. And Kwazii, the renegade pirate cat. 

These costumes were a bit tricky because you can't buy them and there aren't a lot of examples on Pinterest to go off of, so I really had to just wing it. I think it turned out pretty well.
Isaiah was pretty much obsessed with having a tail. Julian just liked the little compass on his shirt. I later added an eye patch for Isaiah because he was insistent on having one.

We went to a costume party over the weekend and they had a little costume parade at school on Thursday. Friday it was pretty chilly and rainy but it all cleared up by trick or treat time and we went out. 

I thought they'd be all about trick or treating since they'd talked it up so much in the days preceding but as soon as we hit the first house Isaiah got massive stage fright and wouldn't say anything. Julian managed to squeak out a, "Trick or Treat" but for the most part they were both pretty quiet. 
When we got home I let them eat 3 pieces of candy and then had them eat actual, real life food. In the past they've been known to actually throw up if they have even a bit too much sugar so they were cool with keeping it minimal. (VERY thankful for laid back kids.)

October 29, 2014

Capsule Wardrobe Week 1

Ok, so remember a couple of weeks ago when I said I was completely revamping my wardrobe in favor of having more items I love and less of what I don't wear? Well, I think I'm about done. I haven't gotten around to taking photos of all of the items, but I plan on doing that soon so you can all see literally everything I have to wear for the next 3-6 months. 

For now, I'm posting on Instagram daily of my outfit for the day. (Much to the dismay of many followers who drop off after I post a photo of my outfits. They must be pretty horrible.) Now, the goal of me posting these is to have a collective set of photos of all the different variations of outfits I put together with my limited wardrobe. I'm hoping it'll help give some of you all ideas on ways you can put items together and also show you that more in your closet isn't really more. I want to be an example of how you can wear the same staple pieces in different ways in real life. 

I'm a stay at home mom. It's hard to follow a lot of fashion bloggers, and even my favorite and capsule inspiration Un-Fancy because most days a week I'm at home, and I only leave the house for short periods of time to run errands or go to the park or drop my kids off at preschool. I don't have the need to wear heels or even boots with heels or even wedges very often. The idea of a capsule wardrobe is to style it in way that best suits your individual lifestyle, and as you'll see in the coming weeks, my lifestyle is pretty casual. 

All of that being said, here's a peek at what I wore over the past week. 

October 28, 2014

busy building a house

Life has been a tad bit crazy the past few weeks and October has completely flown by. I think the driving force behind the craziness is that I found out I was accepted to be a vendor at the Patchwork Show in Oakland on November 16. Let's be honest, I'm super freaking excited and also super freaking out. I have an 8x8 foot booth and I have no idea how much I may or may not sell. This is my first big show, yeeee!

So since I'm one for trying to be like, crazy different and I set unrealistic and super high goals for myself, my goal for the show is to have a kick-ass booth. I've been looking up some inspiration on Pinterest for some really awesome displays and decided I'm going to build a house frame made out of PVC pipe, and the frame itself is going to be the display. Last week I worked on it for a bit and this is what I came up with:
Now, I'm going to add some horizontal bars to it and MAYBE some shelves? I'm trying to make sure it's super easy to put together and take down without being confused about what piece goes where. I plan on having only one table inside and will hide my extra inventory in some black ikea file boxes that will have a decorative look and also hide the extra without having to have a table cloth on a table. 

Here is some of the display inspiration I've found on Pinterest:
I thought about doing something like this but it's a little too complicated for me to do at the moment and I really like the house idea.

I love the simplicity of this house frame and the contrasting color. My shop items are all very colorful so with a white frame it gives it kind of the opposite effect. 

I can't wait for all of this to come together and to see what the final display ends up looking like. I'm kind of making it up as I go, so the end look will be just as much a surprise for me. My goal is to be able to use this for fairs in the future and because the PVC is in many pieces I can use what I already have to build different sized displays based on whatever space I have. 

So, on to a new chapter of business for me. Seeing people face to face and watching them judge what you've made is a little unnerving, but I really think this might be where I can really let my personality show through my display and you know... in person. Sometimes it's nice to see the person who made the goods you're about to buy. It gives the items a story and a little bit more meaning, and is what I really love about the handmade world to begin with. 

October 13, 2014

Capsule Wardrobe Project

Have you ever opened your closet, looked inside and then instantly felt depressed over the fact that you have nothing to wear? I mean, you could wear those boyfriend jeans you just got but you don't really like how they fit (but they're like, totally in. and you wanted to still be cool) and you don't have a good shirt to go with it. Or you could wear that cute blouse you've had forever but the shoulders are a bit tight and the fabric is a little itchy. What actually ends up happening is you throw on your usual skinny jeans and plain t-shirt and call it good. And then curse yourself for not wearing your other clothes more often.

This is the story of my life. I have a closet full of things that I really love in theory but then never end up wearing because I don't have pieces that fit with them in a way I'm comfortable with. Or I buy things that I kind of like, or are ok just because they're on sale and I feel like I don't have anything in my closet already.

I'm over it. My friend Maryam brought up the idea of a capsule wardrobe to me last week and I'd never heard of it before. Basically, it's a limited number of basic essentials, usually between 25-40 pieces, (including pants, shirts, jackets, shoes) that you mix and match together and wear for an entire season. When the next season begins, you pack up your current season and get the new one out of storage, carrying some items over that can be transitioned. The goal is to have 4 solid "capsule wardrobes" that you can open up and wear each season, replacing 3-4 items each season as you need to. 

What is the appeal of this to me? I love the simplicity of it and the idea that you have a closet full of things to wear just by having less. I like the thought of having a closet full of clothes you love rather than mediocre pieces that you bought without a real purpose in mind. 

In light of this new discovery, yesterday I followed the instructions from my new favorite blog Un-Fancy and took every single item out of my closet. I then went through everything very critically and only put back the pieces I really loved. And then I went through one more time with a bit of a mental check list of basics that I wasn't crazy about but are good staple pieces. I cleaned out 2 garbage bags full of clothes to donate, 1 of winter clothes that were still in my closet, and another 2 bags of summer clothes that I'll go through with this same process next summer. How did all of that fit in my closet!?

This is what I ended up with:
Right now this is everything. 
- 1 pair of boyfriend jeans
- my favorite skinny jeans
- 1 pair of black jeans
- 1 pair of well fitting dark/neutral jeans
- 2 t-shirts 1 black, 1 grey
- 1 sweater
- 1 chambray button up
- 1 plaid button up
- 1 slouchy cover up
- 1 denim vest
- 1 military style vest
- 1 vegan leather moto jacket (I bought last year and haven't had a chance to wear yet)
- 2 light weight fall coats
- 1 denim jacket

- black booties
- brown wedge boots
- studded boots
- moccs
- leopard print flats
- wine colored lace up shoes
- 2 pairs of heels, one wine, one nude
- knee high boots
- 1 pair of chucks

I'm not counting my work out clothes or undergarments, which I also went through and all fit easily and with extra space in this small dresser. I know I have a lot of jackets but I just really love all of them. What I'm lacking are basics. I'm following this wardrobe guide, as I have a few pieces that are similar and I really like this girl's simple style. I have a few more pieces than she has but I also won't be getting a few (like the puffer jacket, leather leggings, wool joggers) because they just don't suit my lifestyle or body shape.  Here's a look at it, because it looks so good all laid out like this lol:
(here's the link to her whole post)

Now what to do? I found a couple of basic tops on her list, a replacement for my chambray shirt that I just don't really love, and a white button up. I've ordered them and we'll see how they fit when they arrive. (Online shopping is hit or miss with me.) The nice thing about living in the bay area is that fall and winter are very much alike, so I'll be getting good use out of all of this and really won't have to officially switch to a winter wardrobe at any time.

The craziest thing happened yesterday after I put all of this stuff back in my closet; I looked inside and immediately felt like I had a lot to wear. You would think with more choices in a jam-packed closet you'd feel you had more to wear and by taking everything out I'd feel the exact opposite. But I've gotten rid of all of the background noise, and see only the things I truly love. 

I'm really excited for this new journey in my own style. I'm hoping that by finding and creating a small collection of pieces I love that I'll spend less time finding what to wear, or not loving what I'm wearing. The first step of this little experience has been completely eye opening. I honestly believe EVERYONE could benefit from at least the very first step: taking every thing out of your closet and with a very critical and honest mind, only put back the things you really love. 

What do you think? Would you be willing to drastically reduce your wardrobe like this and create a small array of basics you can mix and match for an entire season? 

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