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3.31.2014

Closet Inventory...Part One


Back in September, Kimmie did a closet inventory post on her blog to help her see what she has in her closet already.  Six months later, she did a follow-up post, to see how her number had changed after having purged some things and purchased others.  I finally have gotten around to creating my own closet inventory post, adapted from Kimmie's.  (Note: Kimmie did not include accessories or camis in her posts.  I did, because I know that these are things that can easily get out of hand in my closet and I want to keep those numbers under control.  Also, I did not include loungewear, swimwear, or undergarments in my tally.)


Here's what I have in my closet:


Tops
Camis: 21
Sleeveless/tank tops: 13
Short-sleeve: 8
3/4 or long-sleeve: 14
Button ups/popovers: 18
Cardigans: 17
Pullover sweaters: 11
Total tops: 102

Bottoms
Denim jeans (black/blue): 9
Colored/patterned jeans: 4
Pants: 13
Leggings: 10
Shorts: 5
Skirts: 10
Total bottoms: 51

Dresses
Sleeveless dresses: 7
Short sleeved dresses: 9
3/4 or long-sleeved dresses: 11
Total dresses: 27

Jackets/Layers
Vests: 5
Blazers: 6
Light jackets: 7
Winter coats: 1
Total jackets: 19

Shoes
Flats: 13
Wedges: 4
Flat sandals: 7
Sneakers/TOMS: 7
Boots: 11
Total shoes: 42

Accessories
Scarves: 28
Necklaces: 43
Headbands: 14
Earrings: 33 (not including studs)
Bracelets: 4
Tights: 23
Belts: 14
Total accessories: 159

Total items: 400

I was seriously overwhelmed when I tallied everything up, and couldn't believe that I have 400 things in my closet.  Yikes.  I feel kind of gross about it.  That's a lot of stuff.  To be fair, I have a lot of things in my closet right now that I need to get rid of, but I thought I'd include these things in my tally since this is where my "starting point" is.

My goal is to try to get my number down right around 200, or even less...and I want everything in my closet to be something that I love, fits me well, works for my lifestyle, and is versatile.  Kevin and I are going to be moving in a few months, so I'm eager to get rid of a ton of things sooner than later so I don't have to carry them with me to our next home.

I'm hoping to keep you all updated on the progress of my closet every few months (perhaps every 3 months?  Every 6 months?  I haven't quite decided yet...).  As much as I hate getting rid of clothing because I get irrationally emotionally attached to my clothes, it feels really good to purge and get rid of the things that are merely taking up space in my closet.

While I have a lot of things that I do need to get rid of, I also konw that I will need to add some things to my closet as well.  I only have 8 short-sleeved tops, and I since I hardly ever wear sleeveless tops without a layer on top, I am going to try and find some more short-sleeved tops that I can wear as the weather warms up.  I'm hoping to check out some good deals at our local thrift stores and TJ Maxx, I think.  I also have a nice Old Navy reward sitting in my account right now, so I may find some tees at Old Navy as well.

So, this is where things are at right now.  400 pieces.  I'm ready to cut that down by 50%.  Think I can do it??  Wish me luck!

I'd be really interested to see how many pieces others have in their closets as well.  As icky as it feels to have this many things in my closet, I am actually feeling quite motivated to make a change and get rid of the excess.  Anyone care to join me??

3.28.2014

Budgeting Bloggers - March



Old Navy
Two white tanks, a black tank, and a pink tank - $20 (only the pink one is pictured)
Light blue pintucked top - $5 (not pictured)
Navy/white striped top - $5 (the one pictured is gray/white, but navy/white is not available online anymore)

Target
Beige boots - $15

DSW
Gray boots - $35

Total for March: $80

I wound up breaking my no-shopping streak in mid-March, and I'm actually really okay with it.  I feel proud to have gone a month and a half without spending any money, and I found myself being much more intentional with the purchases that I did make this month.  For instance, while I have a decent shoe collection, the winter-appropriate shoes I have are pretty much all knee-high boots.  I've been really liking the look of flat ankle/mid-calf boots, and since I'm tired of wearing my taller boots, I decided to start looking for a few other pairs of boots that I can wear more of the year.  I also wanted to make sure that I got colors that I didn't already have in my closet, which is how I wound up with beige boots and gray boots.  So far, I've worn each pair several times, and I'm absolutely smitten with them.

I bought the tanks at Old Navy when I realized that I was still wearing camisoles that I originally bought when I was in college...and I graduated four years ago.  Yikes!  As much as it feels anticlimactic to purchase replacements of basics, I am very happy to have some new tanks that aren't dingy white or faded black.  I also bought the pink one because I've really been enjoying this pretty shade of light pink lately and am eager to wear it with skirts this spring and summer!

The navy and white striped long-sleeved tee was purchased because I recently accepted that I am most comfortable in an outfit that is, fundamentally, jeans and a tee.  I love the way a striped long-sleeved tee looks layered under a cardigan or jacket/blazer, and I wear long-sleeved tees like this much of the year (even in the spring or summer with the sleeves pushed up!).  The price was right, and after loving the Old Navy perfect tees for a while now, I thought it was a wise purchase.

The light blue pintucked top (not pictured in the collage) was a little bit more of an impulse buy, but I still truly love it.  I haven't been looking for any more light blue shirts (I already have a few too many chambray tops...), but the style of this one was so flattering on me, and super comfortable.  I've also been told many times that blue is "my color"...so why not embrace that and stock up on blue tops?!

I'm working on a post in the next week or so to outline some of my current struggles with my closet and getting dressed...I'm feeling the need to change things up, and I'm super excited about shifting stuff.

I'm linking up with Fran and the other budgeting bloggers.

3.27.2014

300

Shirt / Jeans / Vest: Old Navy
Shoes: Payless
Headband: Target
Necklace: Forever 21
Earrings: Hand-me-down from my mom

Ah!  It's my 300th blog post!  On the one hand, I can't believe I've put together 300 posts, but on the other hand, it feels like such a part of my life these days that it kind of makes sense.  Either way, I feel pretty happy with how things have been going with my blog.

I've really been enjoying more simple outfits lately.  Since today's outfit is essentially just a long-sleeved tee, jeans, and a vest, it's not the most exciting outfit I've worn, but I still really like it.  I felt comfortable and completely myself in it, and I've been trying to do that more often recently.  So far, I feel like it's been working for me!

3.25.2014

I'm Baaaaack!

Shirt / Jeans: Old Navy
Cardigan: Kohls
Ankle boots: Payless 


Hello!  I'm back from my little blogging break, and it feels great!  I so appreciate all of your support, encouragement, and understanding while I was on my break.  I spent the week writing my thesis and submitted all 87 pages of it yesterday afternoon.  Boy, does that feel great to have completed!!  I also was able to complete some other projects, apply to several jobs, and help Kevin with some job applications of his own.  Additionally, I spent some time this weekend hanging out with my family, which was a much-needed break from all the paper-writing!

I wore this outfit during the first week in March, but it never made it to the blog.  You can tell it's an oldie because of my shaggy hair, ha!  I really like the mustard and navy together - a classic color combination, right?  I wanted to show off a few details in the second photo.  This headband was a birthday gift from my best friend Andria, and I absolutely love it.  The beading is beautiful, and I love the sparkle it gives to my outfits.  The earrings I'm wearing were made by Amber, who did the photography in our wedding.  She and her husband spent a year traveling the world a couple of years ago.  Through her travels, she collected all kinds of interesting beads and created jewelry to sell on her etsy site.  I love these earrings and how unique they are - truly one of a kind!

3.17.2014

"Busy"

You guys, it wasn't until this semester of graduate school that I truly understood what the word "busy" meant.  All those times I talked about being busy before in my life?  I was lying.  That wasn't busy.  What I'm doing now is busy.

Here's what my schedule looks like these days:
  • Mondays: I leave home at 8am, work, have class, usually have a meeting, and come home at 10pm.
  • Tuesdays: I leave for my elementary school internship at 6am, drive an hour to my school, intern for 8 hours, drive an hour back, pick up Kevin, and then we both have night class.  We usually come home around 9pm.
  • Wednesdays: I leave home around 9am, work, have class, get home around 8:30, pack up my things for the next few days, and drive an hour to my parent's house, which is in the same city as my high school internship.  I get to their house by 10pm.
  • Thursdays: I leave my parent's house at 7:15am, intern for 8 hours, teach an ACT prep class until 5:15, and engage in self-care by spending a few hours with my best friend Andria on Thursday nights.
  • Fridays: Again, I leave my parent's house at 7:15am, intern for 8 hours, pack up my things at my parent's house, drive home (usually takes a little longer due to rush hour traffic), and finally get home to breathe.
  • Saturdays and Sundays: HOMEWORK.
On top of all of this, I'm trying to take care of our house and dogs, spend time with Kevin, search for and apply for jobs, do a ton of homework (lots of papers, reading around 300 pages a week, studying for quizzes), write my thesis (which is due a week from today), plan for my groups with students for the following week, prepare for a presentation I'm giving in May at a state conference, blog, stay in touch with you all, and get ready to move.

To say that I'm feeling swamped and overwhelmed right now is an understatement.

Because my thesis is due in one week and I still have a ton of work to do on top of my regular homework load, I'm going to take another little blogging break.  Please, please know that I'm still following along with you all by reading blogs on my phone when I have a few minutes here and there.  When I am done with my thesis and have a better grasp on life, I will definitely catch up on commenting on your blogs from my computer, and return to a more regular blogging schedule.

I really hate taking breaks because blogging is fun for me, I like the creative outlet it provides, and I love talking and interacting with all of you, but I know that in order for me to get everything done in the next week or so, I need to focus on my school.  That's the priority!  I know you all will understand.

I'm trying to keep my sanity as well, so I've been trying to plan little things to do to decompress in the midst of all this stress and craziness.  Last night, for instance, I went to see Miranda Sings in concert at the Acme Comedy Club in Minneapolis with my parents, my brother, and two of my younger cousins.  I am a huge fan of Miranda and her counterpart Colleen Ballinger, so I really enjoyed the show.  I even got to meet Miranda/Colleen after the show and got my picture taken with her.  It was so much fun, and a very much needed break from my life as a student.

You also get to see my super short new haircut that I got a week and a half ago and really dislike.  Yikes.

Also, to tide you over, here is a quick outfit post from a few weeks ago that I just haven't blogged yet!

 Shirt: Kohl's
Cardigan: Target
Pants: Old Navy
Flats: Payless

It's not the most exciting outfit, but I liked the colors...and I love the studs on this blouse.

I promise that I will get back to my regular schedule before too long.  I just need to focus on my priorities - SCHOOL - for the time being!  Just a few more weeks until I'm done, really...May 10th is graduation day (not like I'm counting, or anything...ha!).  This summer, I'm planning to be a nanny for three darling girls (ages 11, 9, and 6), and I'm looking forward to a relaxing and carefree summer.  After the rigorous schedule I've had these past two years in grad school, I think I deserve it! ;)

3.13.2014

Pinned It and Did It: Sharp

Dress / Blazer: Old Navy
Tights / Boots: Target
Scarf: JCPenney

Inspiration photo comes from My New Favorite Outfit

One of my favorite ways to describe an outfit is with the word "sharp."  I use it when an outfit looks particularly polished or crisp.  Usually, an outfit that gets described as "sharp" involves a more tailored or structured piece, like a blazer or a pair of nice fitting pants.  This outfit, to me, is sharp.  It's put together and the colors complement each other quite well.  The blazer is definitely the piece that gives the outfit its "sharpness," I think!

Linking up with Heather!

3.12.2014

Scarf Swap!

Shirt / Cardigan / Jeans / Flats: Old Navy
Scarf: Borrowed from my friend, Inge!


My dear blogging friend Inge so graciously sent me this scarf to borrow for a little while after I had fangirled so hard about it forever.  I have worn it a few times, and I'm finally putting up one of the outfits on the blog!  I am utterly in love with the print on the scarf, and it was hard to decide which colors to pair with it first!  Ultimately, I decided to pick up on the greenish blue tones of the scarf and wear it with my new green oxford.  While the shades don't match up exactly, I still think they look quite nice together!  I have also worn the scarf with my brown sweater, and I'm eager to try it out once with my magenta shirt before sending it back home to Ms. Inge.  Isn't it great to have blogging friends with whom you can share clothes?!

3.11.2014

Outfit Math

Blouse: Old Navy, thrifted
Cardigan: Old Navy
Pants: New York & Company
Boots: Target, thrifted new
Necklace / Headband: Target


So, a few of the bloggers that I follow (AJ and Danielle, among others) have been talking a lot recently about the concept of "outfit formulas."  I have been trying hard to figure out what my go-to outfit formulas are.  I think I've landed on a few that seem fairly prevalent for me:

1. Button up + cardigan + skinny pants + flats or boots + necklace (1, 2, 3)
2. Dress + cardigan or blazer + boots + scarf (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
3. Top + blazer + skinny pants + flats or boots + scarf (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
4. Tucked in top + a-line skirt + scarf or necklace + flats or boots (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

I find myself gravitating toward combinations like these, especially when I'm not sure what to wear.  I guess I'm also trying to get the most out of layering for the time being, since I know that once the summer hits, I'll miss being able to throw a cardigan or blazer on over every outfit!

Today's outfit is a color scheme that I don't usually feel drawn to (despite my life for coral, I'm much more drawn to cool and darker colors).  I wish I had worn different boots, though - the black boots look way too heavy for this outfit.  My favorite part is probably my yellow pearl necklace.  I don't reach for it often, but when I do, it makes the outfit!

3.10.2014

Plain to Polished: White Tee & Jeans

Tee: Kohls
Jeans: Old Navy
Flats: Payless

Cardigan: Gap
Scarf: From my mom
Shoes: Converse 


It's been such a long time since I've done a Plain to Polished post!  The combination of a white tee and jeans is so ubiquitous, and while I love how crisp and clean it can be, I also think it can be really bland. In my plain outfit, I am just wearing a white tee, jeans, and nude flats.  No accessories, no layers, no color.  With just a few adjustments, you can see how a plain white tee and jeans can actually look cute and interesting!  I added a cardigan, not only for a little warmth, but also to tie in the navy blue from the scarf.  Instead of wearing a pair of boring flats, I thought my sparkly Converse would be a fun touch!  I also am wearing a pair of navy pearl earrings as well as my navy flower headband.  I love the final result!  It's a cute, casual outfit that made me feel like a million bucks for a day of class.

What do you think of the "polished" outfit?  Is this a feature you'd like to see more often on the blog?

3.07.2014

Style Swap: Blue Lace Dress

Dress / Boots / Tights / Belt: Target
Scarf / Cardigan: Old Navy 


I'm participating in my first Style Swap with Ginny!  Of course, I had to use my girl Danielle as inspiration for my first one.  I love Danielle's style, and I think she does a great job of getting the most out of all the pieces in her closet.  This outfit immediately stood out to me when I saw it on her blog a couple weeks ago.  I loved the blue and brown together, and it reminded me that I haven't worn my lace dresses in a long time.  Since I have the exact same cardigan and a similar blue lace dress, I decided this would be a fantastic outfit to recreate!  I really, really like how it turned out...but, I had never realized just how SHORT this dress is!  Luckily, I love my long legs, so I wasn't too bothered wearing it so short.  I think wearing tights with it is helpful - I feel like I have better coverage, haha.

Linking up with Ginny and Heather today!

3.06.2014

No Longer Neglected: Coral Tee + Polka Dot Jeans

Shirt: LOFT, thrifted
Cardigan / Headband: Old Navy
Jeans: Gap
Boots: Bare Traps
Necklace: Forever 21


Really, all I have to say about today's outfit is that I'm utterly in love with it.  The whole thing, from the colors, to the gold accessories, to the polka dot pants, just feel so fresh and "me!"  I've had this coral tee for months now, but haven't worn it until today...and because these pants are ankle pants, I haven't given them proper love this winter.  I was nervous that they would look dumb with boots, but I decided to give it a try, and BOY am I glad I did!  This tee is going to be worn so much this summer, I can just tell already.

3.05.2014

The Best Dress?

Dress / Leggings : Old Navy
Boots / Belt: Target
Scarf: JCPenney

I mentioned a while back that I had been sorely neglecting my dresses this winter.  I've worn this dress a few ways on the blog so far.  I can't say this outfit is super different from the other ways (still wearing the black leggings, black boots, and black belt), but I did add another color - mint! - in the mix for something different!  I do really like how this turned out, and it reminded me again of just how much I love the way a fit and flare dress looks on me.  I'm hoping that this style will be popular again this spring/summer so that I can pick up a few more dresses like this.  I just feel comfortable, confident, and cute in this style, and shouldn't I want to feel like this every day?  I think so :)

3.03.2014

Turtle, Turtle

Shirt / Tights: Target
Skirt / Boots: Target, thrifted new
Necklace: Forever 21



As I was putting laundry away this past week, I saw my black turtleneck hanging out in between all my buttons ups and cardigans.  I've been so into wearing button ups all winter that I kind of forgot about my turtleneck!  I decided I was going to make a point of styling it this week.  This skirt seemed to be a good fit for it - while there isn't any black in the skirt, it still looks great with a black shirt.  I think it allows the print of the skirt to really pop.  As much as I like to winterize this skirt, I am actually really excited to wear it sans tights this spring and summer.  If only it would start to warm up...

[Also, I have to acknowledge the massive shoulder nipple on my turtleneck...awkward.]