27 February 2015

Trying to live in my decluttered fantasy world...

Ok, so maybe that title doesn't make sense to you...yet. But I hope it will soon. In my decluttered fantasy everything I own is beautiful, has a place in my home and everyone who uses it puts it back for the next person to use without having to be told. I know right here you are thinking, "yup, total fantasy world lady." But, it can happen! It can be done, at least the first 2 are in my control. I am struggling with owning only things that I think are beautiful and useful to me and my family (Ok, so right now that's just me and DH, but one day...)

How do I get there?? From here? The same way you eat a mammoth. One. Bite. At. A. Time. (Did you read that story in college too? I hope so, I can't remember the name of it but it's actually an elephant in the story.)
Only my problem is not a mammoth, it is however a mammoth problem!
We moved to this house officially in June 2014. I have tried to make it a beautiful and relaxing place for us to be after work or wherever. Yet, I only feel this way in a few rooms.

Our Living room is great and I try to keep things put away and picked up in there.
So, right now(without running to clean it up) this is what it looks like. And part of my dining room.

Ok. Not too bad, but it still needs some work. For example, in the foreground you will see the closet doors and the shower curtain that belong in the bathroom. But, we are doing work in there so I'm excusing that for the moment. There are dog toys on the floor, but that is a constant battle. Shoes that I am responsible for even though I'm working on making the entry way an easier place to put things when we come inside. And the pillows and covers on the couch could be nicer looking. But, I'm not ashamed of this room. It's where company can sit and chat. I have a few papers on the tables that should be moved, but meh. I'll get to it I suppose.

There it is! Those things that I should be doing, but for some reason I'm not doing them yet. Those little things start to add up around us and make our houses look tired and then make US tired. Who wants to live like that? Nobody WANTS to, but a lot of people feel like they have to, when they don't.  I'd love to be able to live in a tiny house. Maybe 600 sq. feet? But, I am not there in my own life yet so it's a life goal for me. Maybe one day I can release enough things to do it! I love this one because it has stairs and a place for guests. I would put a murphy bed in the back bedroom and have an extra space in there when nobody needed the bed. There are pictures that show you this on there website. But, I digress.

This is my decluttering/cleaning method. I grab an empty laundry basket and walk through the room looking for things that I don't like, need some repairs, or just don't go in that room. Then I put them in the basket. I go to the next room and do it again. I usually can only do 2 rooms and then I need a break. I put all the things in the basket that I don't like, need repairs or just don't go in that room.
Then I take all the things and look at them on the floor (usually it's the living room.) I decide if I should keep it and what it is doing for me or DH. If nothing, it goes in the donation box. If I think it's helping us or just needs repairs I might put it in the maybe pile or the pile to go to my sewing room for needed repair. Then I take what's left in the basket and run around the house putting those things away where they should have been previously but weren't. This gives me time to think about those maybe things. I like to come back to it again, usually I decide it can go away. But sometimes I make a nice spot for it and it stays. When I'm done with that I put the donation box in my truck so that the next time I'm in town I can drop it off at the thrift store.
In February I filled up the backseat of my Truck with stuff that I no longer wanted or needed. I sincerely hope that someone can find a place for it as most of it is still useful (except knickknacks, but they were ok I guess.)

I do have to mention that this is an ongoing process if you continue to bring stuff into your house. If anyone uses something they should be trained (especially myself) to put it back when they are done. It only takes a couple of seconds to maintain this, but if you put it somewhere else it might take hours to track it down. Do you really want to spend your time this way? I don't, so I keep at myself with this task of putting things in their 'home'.

I hope this process helps you. If not maybe you can find a better way to declutter your home. I usually can get 2 rooms done in about 15-20 minutes. Just do a counter space or a drawer at first. I wouldn't do more than 15minutes. It tires you out in a weird way to think about all your stuff.
Sometimes, I even take a nap on the couch if I feel like it. It's kind of my thank you to myself. Plus, you can choose what's important to you in life as well and what's not. I don't think that shopping is important, I'd rather thane stuff TO the thrift store. (Ok, DH says to put that I DO like to shop but only at craft stores. I have to admit that is true. I'm working on it! Nobody is perfect!)

I'm going to go declutter my craft room now. Bye for now readers.

What are you decluttering today? Do you have a different method that you use?

13 February 2015

New additions to my wardrobe.

In conclusion of the week of Project 333 I'd like to show you what I added to my capsule wardrobe.
I did go shopping at the goodwill and I found some awesome things.
Remember that my colors are Navy, Mint and Pinks. I really like pink and I'm using pinks, multiple, because they all seem to go well together and it gives my closet some more options. I use Raspberry, blush, true pink and shade in between. On to the pictures. Some of these pictures look kind of bad, but look great in real life. Like the first one, for example, this is a linen mint skirt it does not seem to photograph well.

I bought 2 linen skirts. Different colors and styles, but I LOVE linen. I found 8 shirts that match my colors. Since most of these clothes were pretty inexpensive, in spite of goodwill changing it's pricing policy, I will give them all a try and see how they work for me. I also found a fun pink belt. I am working on my Spring capsule starting in March and some of these will be featured there. Stay tuned for that coming March 1. I'd love for you to join me on Project 333. Less stress to getting dressed!

I hope you enjoyed this week as much as I did. I can't wait to see YOUR wardrobe choices. 

12 February 2015

Purge Time.

Welcome back readers!
I hope you have been thinking about your closet a little bit this week. I know I have! A lot in fact.
I confessed on Monday that I have been going back into my storage totes. I'm proud to say that I only have 1 tote left and it is all summer things. Mostly silk boho pieces that I love that I have had in my closet for a long time. (Although I wish I had more opportunity to wear them more.)They are breezy, fun and comfortable. There are certain words that we all feel define our personal style. Everyone's is different. I try to think about these things and how it will match with what I currently have in my wardrobe when I shop. I don't really like to shop and spend money, but I like to shop intentionally. I know BEFORE I go into the store what I'm looking for and I will not walk out with something that is 'just good enough' or was 'on sale', I just won't. Remember how hard you(or your spouse) worked for that money.
Tuesday we looked at Summer. Wednesday we looked at Fall/Winter. Now going forward, we are going to keep all that in mind and try to fix the issue(s) with my closet. I hope that this look into my problems will help you with your closet as well.

Since I brought up style words I want you to think about what yours are. It might take some time. I know it did for me. But look at what you gravitate to when you get dressed. Look at what you have pinned on your style boards. Do you notice a pattern yet? I know that I do not like wearing poly or poly blend things so it was really easy to toss out all of those cheap poly blend pieces that were taking up valuable real estate in my closet. Buh-bye!

My style words are Comfy, Vintage, Fun and Sturdy.
These are important to me. Your style is probably different than mine. And that's a good thing! We don't all want to look the same, how boring would that be?  My closet lacks cohesion. It's a jumbly mess. You saw it yesterday. I've got a lot in there and still 'nothing to wear' I suppose I'm not going naked and that's good. Yet, none of it matches or speaks to me as a unit.

So, I have decided to get with the neutrals and basics a little bit more. I have had a hard time trying to match up some of my clothes. I have too many patterns and things that aren't going together.
Unfortunately that means that something has to get out of the closet so that something better can have that space. Remember, your clothes should make you feel good and this should make your life easier, not more stressful. (I'm still working on that part too.)

I decided on Navy for my neutral. (Remember how Black doesn't work for me?)
My accent colors are Mint, Pinks, and lemon yellow. And maybe a sprinkling of lilac/lavender. I'm thinking of my purse here.

I do have things that will go in these color categories right now, just not a lot that matches. They are mostly the accent colors.
I still need some navy bottoms. For shorts I really like high waisted ones like these. For the skirt I am thinking about a Dirndl style.

I'd love to pick up some Mint Jeans. But I might have to wait until spring styles come in the stores and make a special trip. But, who knows a girl could get lucky!

I plan on dying a sweater that I love the feel of, just not the color(orange-hate it) to a navy blue. I hope that will turn out well. I am also looking for something with pink and mint and maybe even navy blue in it to make a bit more cohesion to my wardrobe. Maybe a shirt would do well?
I found this one, but it's $500. So, probably won't make it into my closet. (Marc Jacobs? who cares about the label when you can't even see it?)

I love blouses with bows and I have a cute pattern to make one so I will probably be on the look out for fabric that I like. Hopefully a linen blend.
I'm also looking for some comfy chucks in a color I like. Mint or Pink is available. I'm liking the low mint ones. Maybe I could put some pink laces in them for pop, or even purple to match my purse. Or should I just go with white to match everything?
Shoes are so much easier to shop for. They usually only come in a few styles and colors. I also would like to get a pair of Tom's ballet flats. But the colors choices are kind of dreary right now. I like the pink muti color that was available, but is no longer in stores. I may go to the city to see what I can find sometime next month. 

Something else I've learned about my style that bears repeating. I hate poly blend clothes. The natural fabrics work best for me. So, that is what I will stick to buying and wearing. 

I also want to tell you IPhone users (and maybe it's on android too, I just don't know.) about an app I've ben using to see how I might match up my clothes. I also think I can use it when I go shopping so I literally have my whole closet in my hand. It's called 'Stylicious' and it is free in the App Store. Once you take pictures of your closet, you can match them up with accessories and shoes to create a look for the day. You can plan out your look the day before or weeks before you wear it. I also like that it keeps track of how often you wear a piece of clothing. So, after awhile you can look at what is getting the most use in your closet and what, frankly, isn't and maybe should go somewhere else.
Give it a try, it's free (for now) and actually pretty fun.

Have you used anything like this or gone through a program like wardrobe architect (Colleterie.com)to help you figure out what you need? I would recommend it, it helped me with my decisions a lot.

 I need these things for my closet

  • Mint Chucks with Pink Laces
  • Mint and Pink Shirt(s) (bow pattern most likely)
  • Pink and Navy Shirts(s)
  • Stripe shirt in some color from wardrobe (Navy, Pink and/or Mint)
  • Navy High Waisted Shorts 
  • Navy Dirndl Skirt
  • Mint Jeans
  • Pink dress shoes
  • Navy button up shirt
  • Navy caridigan
I'm planning a trip to Goodwill, so maybe I can find some of these things there.

11 February 2015

Wardrobe updates for Autumn/Winter '14

Ok, so I know I've written about having trouble with my fall wardrobe and yes, it does seem harder to do than summer. I'm not sure if that is because I am from the south and am now living in the arctic tundra of Minnesota or if it's just harder. But, I've been noticing more what I'm wearing from my fall capsule wardrobe. (Which I didn't change for winter too much. I added some sweaters and flannel shirts to it.) 
I love color. Having all black and white or tan and brown is never going to work for me. You might remember that I used raspberry, petal pink(blush), mint green, teal, blue, purple and some other pinks a lot. I've also decided that the tan works well with this as does the cognac color of brown. I do not have a lot of either color in my closet though. I have 1 khaki pair of pants and the boots, a linen shirt and a sweater that are brown. 
*Update* I have since abandoned the idea of browns in my closet as they are too dark for my skin color and overwhelm me. They are hard to find for me as well, and I'm trying to work with a lot of what I already have in my closet. 

I found this awesome shirt after a no good awful day at the hospital. (I'm fine, just some tests were run.) It has my colors in it and I felt like it would expand my fall wardrobe a little bit more. It's fun too. Women's flannel instead of the mens ones I was wearing, so it has a little bit of shaping to it. Also, it has snaps instead of buttons-fun!
I am struggling with the thought of neutrals. Should I have more neutrals to make matching easier? I feel like I need someone to come over and help me match up all my outfits or something. I think I just need to work with it more. I have to admit that I have let more and more clothing creep back into my closet during the fall and winter months here. I've been a slacker. :(

I have been trying to live with the same wardrobe choices that I made from the fall into the winter. I did not succeed as much as I would have liked to really. I ended up adding some sweaters to the mix. ( I do live in Minnesota after all!) and my farm clothes just jumped back in my closet. It looks like they are going to have to stay. (I love soft, flannel shirts. What can I say) I'm thinking about doing the "KonMari" Method to it soon for the closet and my whole house. 'Does it spark joy?' If yes, it stays, if not it goes.
I really love flannel shirts and I could have ones in every available color, but I don't think I would wear them all. I've been gravitating to pinks lately. Maybe that's because I didn't like pink when I was younger. I was a tomboy through and through. I followed my Dad around junkyards and shipyards. Why would I want to wear a sparkly pink dress? (Hint: I wouldn't!) I still don't do glitter.
Any hoo! I'm really looking into the Wardrobe Architect on Coletterie.com. So far I'm on week 4. Silhouettes are kinda of fun. I'm realized that I like flared and a line skirts more and cap or boatneck where the hourglass figure of the 40's and 50's really shows. I'm working on loosing a little bit of weight still, but I think I have an okay hourglass figure. All of these things combined might help me realize what I should do realistically with my closet.

I have whittled it down a little bit more here lately though. It always seems like an ongoing project to me. It's never done. I'm also looking at sewing more clothing all the time. I'm sure that doesn't help me at all. (le sigh) I love to sew, so I'm not sure how I am going to deal with this issue yet. Anyone else have this problem with their wardrobe? I know I have to be vigilant about it more this year. Pray that happens for me.   This is what my closet is looking like now. Not as bad as it used to be and I only bought the one shirt. I just keep going through my clothes that were in boxes. The good news is I only have 1 plastic tote of summer clothes left. All boxed fall/winter clothes are either gone or in my closet. I think it's time for a serious look at what I'm hanging on to in there.  
Just looking at this picture, I'm wondering where that yellow thing came from...hmm, are people adding to my closet when I'm not looking??

So far this is one of my favorite outfits for fall.
I'm loving these tights. They are a sweater type tight and they are warm. Plus, I love my cowgirl boots(even if they are pleather, one day I'll get a better leather pair, but for now I have these.) It almost looks like I'm not wearing tights and that my legs are this color. It's pretty close to my skin color. They are warm though, and on these windy Minnesota fall days I need that extra protection.
My husband tried to take this picture with my face in the sun so I had to put my sunglasses on here. That Chambray top I bought last year is getting a lot of use in my closet!

I realized that Navy blue might work better for me and my coloring without washing me out. I am going to stay with the pinks as a whole, but going with a more minty green instead of the teal. (which I didn't have much of anyways.) Or I could use mint for summer and teal for fall.

I will leave you with some beautiful pictures of Minnesota in the fall. 

10 February 2015

Wardrobe from Summer '14

Some outfits from my summer project333. I know it isn't summer now, but with the cold weather I'm wishing it were here again. I'm dreaming of all the fun I will have outside so I'm doing all my planning now while I'm indoors. I figure that's the way to do it!
I didn't think to take a lot of pictures. These are just ones I got quickly. I didn't do summer very long. It was my first go at this. I think I did a month of it. I didn't even wear everything. I did notice the things that I seem to gravitate towards. For example, I love my raspberry dress. I wore it a lot.  And that Chambray shirt, totally worth the time I spent looking for the right one and it's a workhorse in my wardrobe.

Chambray top, green lace skirt, purple belt and brown cowgirl boots. (Optional Grayson) It was dark by the time I thought to get a picture of myself so the lighting is horrible here. 

Harlequin patterned cardigan-raspberry and gray with my denim jumper and black malibrans.  I think my DH was telling a joke, by the look on my face here. Also, summer in SC and summer in MN are completely different. I need that cardigan in MN in July when it is 60 degrees, and I'm used to it being 90 at least. 

Yeah, I took a selfie one this one. Green top and my favorite pair of jeans, I had on my work shoes too. 

I just noticed that I'm wearing denim in every single picture I took of myself. Huh. Well, with my active lifestyle and the gardening in the summer I need something that will hold up for me. I'm dreaming of more wool things in my winter wardrobe for next year. So cold, so necessary. Still looking for pink wool. LOL.

In looking at my wardrobe from summer I realized I don't have a place to wear my breezy silk outfits as much as I would have liked to and they took up space in my wardrobe that I would have loved to use for more shorts. I really need to be realistic about my activity level matching my clothing. I need more rugged clothing-especially in the summer. Although I'm thinking about keeping my 'gardening clothing' separate. 

Fall doesn't last too long in Central Minnesota. (But, it is beautiful!) I didn't get to take many pictures. But, I will post some of those tomorrow. As of the middle of November, winter has begun. It was snowing and pretty cold outside. I used my fall wardrobe with added sweaters and my winter coat and boots. So fall and winter go mashed together as I tried to figure out how to do it properly. We thank God for a mild winter this year!

Do you ever feel like you don't photograph well? I only like one of these pictures so far of myself. *sigh* 

Figured that I would post a picture of me with my new glasses and new haircut since the summer. And bonus, I actually like this picture of me. I think it helps that I've lost a lot of weight since then too. Hence the need for new clothes. (i.e. if I jump too much my pants fall down!)

What's in your closet?

09 February 2015

A whole week of project 333!

Ok, so I've got a confession to make. *big inhale* I am not doing as well as I should be with project 333. I'm a cheater...I keep looking in my boxes and totes to see what I can get rid of and I end up bringing a few things back into the closet. I'm not trying to do it, but I wanted to see what I had left. Some of it is great and it filled a hole there I didn't realize I had, but some I don't know. I brought in a few black tops. I really don't feel my best when I'm wearing black. The whole idea of every woman needs a LBD? Why does it have to be black? It's just not for me. So, I have a LPD instead. Yet, I do still have 4 or 5 LBD's in a storage closet to go through. That's Little Pink Dress. I know you've seen it if you have been reading my blog. It's a staple for me and I have a lot of pictures of me in it. Haven't seen it? We'll come back tomorrow and you will.

That brings me to my next point. I have slacked on my closet and I want to do a week of project 333. Here is the idea. I'm confessing to you what I've been doing wrong. Now, we will look over what I have worn and toss around some new ideas about what will work better for me. And since it's Frugal February here at home, I won't be buying anything just yet. But, planning to buy for March or April. Since the new rotation will start for Spring project 333, this is my planning stage of that rotation.

That first step for project 333 is PURGE! I have trouble with that one, as I'm sure that a lot of people do. I want to keep the things I like because I'm afraid that I will not find anything that I like better or love even. But, I have to keep up my progress toward a less stressful life.

I hope to see you here tomorrow (Tuesday) when we go over some of my summer looks and Wednesday when we go over some issues and looks from Fall/Winter. Thursday I will talk about the new direction of my color palette. And finally on Friday we will try to find some things to fill the gaps and make a list of what is needed in my closet.

02 February 2015

Downton abbey quilt retreat Part 1

I went to my first quilt retreat a few weekends ago. Here are some pictures of us working. 
Here's some pictures of what i worked on there. 
We had a 7 course dinner on might where we all dressed up and here is a picture of the whole gang plus some smaller groups. 
Me being silly!

They had a retreat the year brfore and showed their fan fare quilt that they worked on. These ladies have skills! Look how much color can change a pattern!
There we some beautiful quilts shown and i didnt get pictures of all of them. 
Stack and wack. I really want to try to make one of these at a later date. 

Below this is a room off the kitchen. I would have loved to stay in there. I thought about going down there to sleep in that bed because my roommate snored really loudly. I've been told that I snore, but jeez. This room was so cute. 
Me being fancy at the dressing table. It was obviously made for short people because I hit my knees on it getting up and sitting down. All the ladies loved my costume. I didn't have time to plan out much in my opinion, but it was era appropriate. 
I hope to go to another one of these next year. We will see.