Tuesday 25 November 2014

Winter Capsule Wardrobe Reveal!

My closet now consists of only the pieces in my capsule wardrobe!  It feels so empty, but in a good way!  I open my closet and I no longer have to dig through the crammed clothes to find what I want!  I feel light and free!  Isn't that what minimalism is really about?  Freedom from things?  I truly think that we underestimate how things can weigh us down.  My closet has 28 "curated" pieces that I feel I can build good, functional outfits out of!

I am going to share the clothing pieces with you, now.  I will not be showing my footwear, as I am still waiting for a pair of boots to arrive (joys of living in a rural area!).  I also will not be showing my coats in this post.  I will share those with my footwear.  I have tried to include the "brand" of the item and where I bought it.  A few of these items are "old stand-by" items so there is no guarantee that they are still available.  I don't spend a lot of money on my clothes, usually.  Most of the items are in the $30-$40 range, which I find to be affordable.

I will show you my pants and skirts first.  I have 5 pairs of pants and 2 skirts in my wardrobe, for a total of 7 "bottoms".

From left to right:
-Reitmans black legging in petite length.
-Old Navy 'Sweetheart' skinny jeans
-Old Navy Grey Ponte leggings
-Reitmans black straight leg dress pant in petite length.
-'Silver' jeans. (Bought at Ricki's a lifetime ago!)

Left: Denim skirt 
Right: Black pleated skirt
Both from Joe Fresh

I included 15 tops in my wardrobe.  This was the hardest one for me to pare down.  I tried to create a cohesive colour palette, with some variation for fun.  Here are the "tops"

From left to right:
-Oatmeal wool cape from Moose Creek Hat Co. 
-Oatmeal Denver Hayes sweater from Mark's Work Wearhouse
-White sweater from Joe Fresh

From left to right:
-Black cardigan from Joe Fresh
-Red cable knit sweater from Joe Fresh
-Plum sweater from Reitmans
-Dark green cardigan from Old Navy

From left to right:
-White sleeveless top from Old Navy
-Black and White sleeveless top from Winners (Philosophy)
-Plum breastfeeding top from Thyme Maternity
-Blue breastfeeding top from Thyme Maternity

From left to right:
-Black long sleeve breastfeeding top from Thyme Maternity
-Black and Red checked top from Joe Fresh
-Black long sleeve top, Brand: Wilfred Free from Aritzia
-Black and grey striped shirt from Reitmans

I think I have some great pieces to work with.  As you can tell, I love to shop at Joe Fresh and Reitmans.  I think that I get decent clothing and good prices.  Reitmans has some fabulous sales and I rarely pay full price for anything.  My colour palette is mostly neutral with the odd pop of colour in my tops.  I am excited to start creating outfits from my pieces and sharing them with you.

I will share my outerwear next week, along with my first wardrobe "outfit".  I hope you are all having a great week! 

Monday 24 November 2014

Minimalism Week #13- Capsule Wardrobe

I have been fascinated by the idea of a capsule wardrobe for some time now.  I never really "needed" to implement it in my own life, however.  I was a health care worker who spent the majority of my time in scrubs.  When I came home, I would either wear athletic wear or lounge wear.  I owned some clothes to wear out, but I was good at only purchasing what I needed, picking only a few items per season (2-3).  When I became pregnant, I purchased a few essential maternity clothes and pretty much wore the same 5 outfits over and over again.  I am now on maternity leave and I have the opportunity to wear "real" clothes everyday.  I found that I was purchasing a lot of items to build my new wardrobe.  At first, this wasn't so bad.  I was buying a few key items here and there.  I started to notice, however, that I was buying a lot of new clothes every time my husband and I went shopping.  I love to shop and I was using my new role as "stay at home, nursing mother" as an excuse to purchase new clothes every shopping trip.  I decided that I needed to rein myself in.  I acknowledge that the change in my lifestyle required new clothing.  I just don't want to get carried away.

I looked at a few blogs about capsule wardrobes like Un-Fancy and Into Mind.  I wanted to make sure that I built a wardrobe that would be functional and suit my personal sense of style.  I do not claim to be "fashionable".  This is a wardrobe for my every day life as a mom.

Things that I took into consideration:

I am currently at home with my (almost) 6 month old daughter.  I am still nursing.  The holidays are coming up and we will have some Christmas celebrations to attend.

I live on the prairies in Canada.  It is cold here!  I need my clothes to be cozy and warm.  I want to be comfortable, but still look "put together".

My tops have to be accessible for nursing.  Everything must be machine washable and should be able to go in the dryer.  The clothes I choose must not require a lot of extra care.

My style icons are Audrey Hepburn and Kate Middleton.  They both have a beautiful, classic style that I love!

I want to have a lot neutral colours for ease of outfit building.  I do like some colour.  I want some red (a classic Christmas colour) and some jewel tones.  I find that jewel tones complement my skin tone and look refined.  I like plum, royal blue and deep green.

I practically live in skinny jeans and sweaters.

I spent some time on Pinterest.  I pinned outfits that I wanted to have in my wardrobe.  I built the wardrobe virtually, until I had a clear vision of what I wanted.  After I knew what I wanted, I made my wardrobe list.  I was happy to see that I only had 5 items to purchase outside of what I already owned.  I found the items over the past weekend and my wardrobe is finally complete.  I have 4 pairs of shoes, 7 bottoms, 15 tops and 2 coats.  In total, my wardrobe is comprised of 28 items.  I didn't include my nursing tank tops in this count as they act as underwear, not as stand-alone tops.  I also did not include my athletic wear or lounge wear.  I didn't add accessories into my total number, but I plan to curate a small number of accessories for the season.  I will do a post about accessories next week.

My winter capsule wardrobe will be worn from the December 1st to February 28th.  I will not do any shopping during this time (eek!).  I will share outfits and discuss the capsule wardrobe on Wednesdays.  Once again, I am definitely NOT a fashion maven, but I hope that my style is something that the average person can relate to.   I will "reveal" all of the capsule pieces this Wednesday.

Have you ever done a capsule wardrobe?  What tips do you have to share about building a wardrobe?  I would love to hear from you!

Friday 21 November 2014

Hello Friday!!! (High Five For Friday!)

So Hubby is off work and it is Friday!  I am doing my happy dance!  My husband made breakfast (yummy!) and we are off to start our busy weekend.  I am going to grab the last few items for my capsule wardrobe, which I hope to share with you soon.  I had an awesome week!  Here is my high five for Friday:

1.)  I got to visit with two lovely friends this week and their children.  I love getting together with my girlfriends and their kids!  We can talk and the kids get to interact.  Each of my girlfriends has a daughter close to the age of my daughter.  It is fun to see them interact.  It is as if they have their own language!

2.)  I started my cleaning schedule at home.  It worked great!  We will see if it becomes habit.  I certainly hope so!

3.)  Miss. E had her first bites of food!  It was funny to watch.  The faces she made were priceless!

4.)  My pup, Penny, had a good vet appointment.  She has a sore tail and they were able to help her out with it.  She seems much happier, now!

5.)  It was beautiful outside, yesterday.  Miss. E, Penny and I enjoyed a long walk!  We all came home very happy to have spent time outside.  It has been quite cool lately, so it was nice to have a reprieve.

How was your week?  Link up at thelaurenelizabeth.com to join in!

Monday 17 November 2014

Week # 12- Tea and Coffee Cupboard

I went through my tea and coffee cupboard today.  I wanted to clear out the items that were out of date and the items that we no longer use.  We have already gone through this cupboard once.  Minimalism is a process, my friends.  I was able to part with a few things that I wasn't ready to let go of last time.  I said good bye to a few travel mugs and a tea pot (I owned three!).  I reorganized a few things.  I took tea out of boxes and put it into an open container so that it is easy to see the selection.  I tried to group "like" things on the same shelf for ease of use.

Here is the before:

And the after:

P.S.  I don't think that super sugary drinks are a good choice for your health.  Iced tea mix is one of my vices and I have it once and a while as a treat.  The other sugary syrups belong to my hubby.  Old habits die hard. 

I am working on some homemade crafts for holiday gifts for family from "Miss. E".  I hope to share some of the crafts on this blog.  I think that handmade gifts lend themselves well to the minimalist lifestyle.  They can be inexpensive, thoughtful and meaningful.  I am also eager to try the capsule wardrobe idea as done on the Un-Fancy blog.  I am finding it very difficult to maintain minimalism within my wardrobe.  I hope to share that journey with you as well.  Have a wonderful week!

Friday 14 November 2014

High Five for Friday!

Hello Everyone!

Recently I wrote that Fridays are really Fridays to me because my husband is off on the weekends.  When he is home I get to have a few "Mommy" breaks.  This is no longer true.  He has been put on a 10 and 4 shift (10 days on, 4 days off).  So... I am also on a 10 and 4 shift.  It will be business as usual this weekend.  I am looking forward to it, as last weekend was action packed and I am still getting Miss. E back to "normal".

High Five for Friday:

1.)  We spent the weekend with my hubby's Godmother and Oma.  They were wonderful hosts!  They make their home feel like our home when we are there!

2.)  We saw my husband's parents and brothers over the weekend.  They are all so wonderful with Miss E. and it was fantastic to see them!

3.)  We attended a fantastic craft show.  I bought a beautiful, hand-bound book.  I plan to read it with Miss. E when she is older.  I have always had a strong love affair with books and I hope that she has the same love for reading.  Books can transport us and reading comprehension makes life so much easier.

4.)  Caramel apples.  I had two (!) over the weekend.  They are one of my favourite treats!

5.) Miss. E is sitting unassisted for quite some time!  It is so much fun to watch her grow and develop!  She loves sitting!  It provides a better view of the world, I suppose!

How was your week?  Link up at thelaurenelizabeth.com to join in!

Monday 3 November 2014

Minimalism Week # 11- Broom Closet

My broom closet has become one of those closets that you open with one hand up to shield you from whatever may fall.  It is my minimalism project for the week.

 My husband and I radically changed our cleaning products when we were going through infertility.  We opted for basic cleaners like baking soda, vinegar and mild detergent.  I do keep a hydrogen based cleaner on hand for those moments when I don't trust "just" vinegar (pretty much anything to do with raw chicken or turkey).  I went through the broom closet and kept only the cleaning implements that we truly use.  I said goodbye to the steam mop (I like my old sponge mop better), Swiffer sweeper (I have a Swiffer Vac and a broom) and my large reusable lint roller.  I plan to part ways with the Swiffer Vac when my new Dyson stick vac arrives.  I am so excited!  I donated my cleaning caddy, as it took up a lot of space and I never used it!  I would just grab whatever I needed out of the closet and the caddy always stayed put!  I also donated my scented wax items, as we don't like to use fragrance in our home.

I went through my cookbooks.  When I was getting married, I mentioned to the odd person that I didn't have many cookbooks.  Well, ask and you shall receive! (And receive and receive...)  I kept the cookbooks that my husband and I use frequently and parted ways with the ones that we never look at or open.  I pared down the "magazine" recipes and photocopies.  One day, for minimalism's sake, I plan to write the recipes into the cookbook my Mom made for me.  Then I can get rid of the millions of papers I have folded in my recipe box.

Here is the before:

Yikes!  It looks way better (and is much more functional) now!


I hope you are all having a fantastic week!  Take care!