Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Capsule Wardrobe- Trying a New Method

We have had an active Spring and our May is going to be filled with a bunch of fun events.  This means that we spend less time at home.  I strongly identify as an introvert, so spending time away from home is stressful for me.  I begin to feel overwhelmed by many aspects of my life.  This includes simple things, like my closet.

When I have a full schedule, the last thing I want to think about is clothes.  I have found capsule wardrobes to be extremely helpful for this, but it wasn't really working out for me this time.  I chose all my items and had them in my closet.  It wasn't a large capsule wardrobe, but it felt suffocating.  I toyed with the idea of a uniform but I am not sure I could make that work.

Like many people, I know what I like to wear.  If you have been following my wardrobes for a while you know that I often repeat the same items over and over.   Certain clothes make it into every single wardrobe.  I took those items out of my closet and separated them from the rest.  I am going to call this my core capsule.

My core capsule consists of 10 items.  3 pairs of pants and 7 tops.  I wear these items constantly and that isn't going to change any time soon.

Apparently I like to wear black and grey.

I have decided that instead of designing entire capsule wardrobes, I will simply choose pieces to add to my core capsule every month.  This will help me choose items that make sense depending on the weather and what my life is demanding of me that month.  It will also keep my capsule wardrobe feeling fresh and fun.  I will simply shop my closet every month.

I have added 13 items to my core capsule this month, for a total of 23 items.  2 of those items are not pictured, as I just ordered them from an ethical clothing company.  I will share my thoughts on those items after I have had a chance to wear them.  My May capsule will encompass Mother's Day, Playschool graduation, my daughter's birthday, my Grandma's 80th birthday and my cousin's wedding.  (Plus all the regular life in between!)  


My May capsule items include my coral blazer, my black jumpsuit, striped sundress, 2 Harry Potter t-shirts, floral off-the-shoulder top, black nursing top, raspberry nursing sweater, blue tank top, cropped jeans and pink jeans.  It is a nice amount of colour to go along with my neutral core wardrobe.

Happy Wednesday, friends!



Thursday, 25 April 2019

Spring

I had picked out my Spring Capsule, but life got busy (as it does) and I never wrote the post.  In the meantime, I started to wonder how much of it I really wanted to keep and wear.  The physical stuff in my home is feeling overwhelming to me again.  This happens from time to time.  The less that was once the right amount to keep becomes too much.  In addition, my children receive gifts so the number of items in my home does increase.

I feel as though I need to declutter once again.  In regards to my clothes, I feel drawn to the idea of a uniform with the odd extra piece thrown in.  My clothes (although not significant in number) are feeling stifling and like I own too much.

I hope to keep some record of my decluttering here and the progress that I make with my wardrobe.  There will be no Spring reveal in the meantime as I sort things out.

Happy Spring!

Friday, 5 April 2019

Teaching and Modeling Contentment

I have a 4 (almost 5) year old who has begun to notice the differences between our lives and the lives of those around us.  She has started to notice when people have larger houses than us or different/better toys.  Every once in a while she will wistfully say "I wish we had a house/car/toy like that".

I have worked very hard in the last few years to learn how to practice gratitude for where we are in our life.  I have never really been into comparing the things I have with the things that others have and neither has my husband.  Keeping up with others hasn't been our priority.   Our financial and personal goals have outweighed the want to have all the fancy/expensive items.  We simply can't have both and we choose to stick to our goals.

In the past, however, I would shop when I was feeling stressed or down.  I love clothes and home decor and this is where I normally would spend my money.  I did a no-spend year and forced myself to learn better self-care techniques so that I wasn't spending money every time I felt unhappy.

One of the self-care techniques that has been powerful is gratitude.  Taking the time to think of all that I have to be thankful for can really help me to stop the urge to spend money.  I have to remind myself that the clothes I have are perfectly good and don't need to be replaced.  I am content to use what I own.

When my daughter mentions something that she wishes she had, I stop and remind her of all that we do have.  We have many people in our lives who have larger or newer homes than ours.  When my daughter "wishes" for a bigger house I remind her that our house does all the things that we need it to do.  Our house keeps us safe and warm.  It protects us from the elements.  It doesn't have to be fancy or new to do those things.  Most importantly, our house contains our family and that really is the most important thing.  When reminded of all the things our house does for us, my daughter usually responds with "Yeah, I love our house".

Envy is a normal human emotion, but we can teach our children how to grateful for what they have.  I don't feel guilty for not "giving everything" to my children.  My children need their needs met and love.  My husband and I do those things for them.  Everything else is icing on the cake.  Our goal is to raise children who understand that things do not create happiness.  Contentment leads to a much more peaceful life.

Monday, 1 April 2019

Simple Spring- How to Store Your Winter Items

Spring has officially hit and it has been wonderful!  This weekend I finally got brave and swapped out our winter outerwear for our spring outerwear.  It feels so good to welcome the new season.  I have a few simple tips to help you store away your winter items so that they are ready to go for the next winter season.


  • Wash Everything  This isn't my favourite thing to do but it really makes life easier when you have to get out your winter clothes.  I throw items into the washing machine so that they are clean when I put them into storage.  I wipe down our boots, skates and helmets that can't go in the washing machine.
  • Repair items that need it.  I like to do my repairs before I put everything away.  Sew on buttons, fix zippers, or find someone who can do those things for you.  It will make life easier to have those items ready to go the next time you need them.
  • Go through items and decide what to keep.  I have kids so they outgrow their clothes rather quickly.  I set aside any items that we are saving and then create a separate give away/donation pile.  I also go through my own items and decide what to keep or give away.  
  • Store items in an organized fashion.  We are fortunate to have a closet downstairs that houses all of our off season items.  If you have to use tubs or boxes make sure you label them so that they are easy to find when you need them again.

Monday, 18 March 2019

3 Simple Homemaking Habits That Change Everything.

I really struggled keeping a routine in Miss. Em's first year of life.  She wasn't sleeping through the night routinely, her naps seemed to change every few weeks and I was just doing my best to roll with everything.  Miss. Em is now 14 months old and her schedule is much more predictable.  I knew it was time to get back into routine.  I chose 3 things that don't take much time, but make my life exponentially easier.



1. We make our beds.  This seems trivial but it improves the whole look of the bedrooms.  It instantly makes the room look neat and organized.  You accomplish your first task at the beginning of the day and it motivates you to continue on completing your work. 

2.  We do dishes after every meal.  I used to only do dishes once a day.  This meant that I stood in front of the sink for no less than 45 minutes and then had to dry all the dishes.  My kids were cranky with me for taking so much time and I felt annoyed that I had to wash dishes for so long.  I now do the dishes after every single meal.  It takes me no more than 15 minutes to clean everything up.  My kids are happy that I am not spending a large chunk of time in the kitchen and it feels quick to me.  The other upside is that our kitchen generally looks clean and organized.

3.  I do one load of laundry every day.  I throw in a load of clothes in the morning, transfer them to the dryer in the afternoon and fold them while I watch a show in the evening.  My laundry stays caught up and it feels effortless.  If we get sick or are away, we don't have a huge backlog of laundry to return to.

If you wanted to choose the item that has the biggest impact, I would say that doing dishes after every single meal is the routine that gives us the biggest payoff.  It leads to other benefits, such as ample counter space for meal prep, clean dishes available for meal prep and it contributes to the overall feeling of cleanliness in our home.

What routines make your life feel easier?  I would love to hear all about them!

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Sweatshirts- Winter Capsule Wardrobe

There are few items that I enjoy more than a sweatshirt with writing that amuses me.  They are warm and cozy and keep the chill at bay.  I know that they aren't particularly "fashionable" but they are my favourite thing to wear.  That's what capsule wardrobes are all about.  Wearing what you love! 





Happy Wednesday, friends!

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Winter Blues

I love blue.  It is my favourite colour.  I was really drawn to blue in this capsule wardrobe.  I have tried a "Canadian Tuxedo" along with a couple of my favourite blue sweaters.  




Happy Wednesday, friends!

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Small Shop Feature- Lions and Lambs

My capsule wardrobe has 3 items from the Lions and Lambs shop.  I have been extremely pleased with the quality and style of items from this shop.  Charlotte creates women's clothing, children's clothing, blankets and so much more.  You can find her shop on Facebook.

Off the Shoulder Top


This top feels like butter.  It is so soft.  I love the style and fit.  I wore this to my daughter's first birthday party and my brother-in-law's 30th birthday party.  It is comfortable and beautiful, the best of both worlds!

Nursing Sweater


I seriously wear this top 2-3 times a week.  It is warm, comfortable and perfect for discreet nursing.  It is also cute to boot!  My daughter has a matching grow-with-me romper that is just too adorable.

Cardigan Sweater


This was supposed to be my Valentine's Day outfit, but it was super cold so I went for pants instead!  This cardigan is beautiful with it's feminine floral edging and is also cozy. (Are you sensing a pattern?  Ha ha!  Cozy is important in Canada!)  This cardigan is the perfect length for leggings because it covers your tush perfectly!

I love the Lions and Lambs shop and I hope you will check it out!   Happy Wednesday!

*** I was not compensated for this post.  I truly love this shop and wanted to tell you all about my friend's awesome clothes.***


Monday, 18 February 2019

My Messy Little Secret- Clutter Cleanout

This weekend, I tackled my messy little secret.  My desk.  In the busyness of every day life, I let my desk became quite the dumping ground.  I threw papers in, with the intention of dealing with them later.  If we had company, I would shove my messes out of sight in my tiny secretary desk.  Needless to say, something had to change.  In addition to the terribly messy desk, my 'command center' in the kitchen had also become out of control.

I think that we have to be honest with ourselves when something isn't working.  My command center was messy and was causing me stress, rather than relieving it.  I had a few hours to myself so I decided to make a change.


I took everything out of my desk.  I have a drawer in this desk that I use, as well.  I threw away any garbage, recycled a lot of paper and moved a few items back to their place elsewhere in our home.

I didn't take any pictures of my command center, but I removed all of the papers from my command center and went through them.  I then moved everything into my desk. My command center binder is in my drawer, along with my budgeting binder and notebook.


This project really brought me a lot of calm.  It is one of those things that I wish I would have done a long time ago.  I now have a functioning desk and command center.  I think that this project will go a long way in making my every day life better,

Friday, 15 February 2019

Frugal Friday- Planning for Your Financial Goals

Every year my husband and I sit down and make financial goals.  We make financial goals for the year that we are in, we set goals for 5 years down the road and 10 years in the future.  Our goal setting helps us to be on the page when it comes to our finances.  Communication is key when you share your finances with your partner.  Today I am going to tell you how my husband and I go about setting our goals.



1.)  Decide on your priorities.  The first step to setting goals is to determine which goals are your priorities.  Is it to get out of debt?  Increase your savings?  Start an emergency fund?  Our first priority is always to do something responsible with our money so that we can increase our net worth.  Last year we decided to increase our savings and become consumer debt free.  We paid off our vehicle early and built our savings account.  I can't tell you the difference it has made for us to not have a vehicle payment.  Our mortgage is now our only payment.  That is incredibly freeing.  This year we want to increase our emergency savings from 3 months expenses to 6 months expenses.

After we decide on our financial priority we figure out how to reach our goal.  We then incorporate our goal into our budget so that it becomes a 'must do' with every paycheck. 

2.)  Decide on secondary goals.  When I say secondary goals, I mean goals that will take a backseat to your main goal.  My husband and I would like to install central air in our home this year.    We are really hoping to be able to reach our goal this year, but it will only happen if our main goal stays on track.  Once again, we go through our finances so that we can determine what we need to do in order to reach our goal.

3.)  Plan for the future.  We have some big goals for the future.  The beauty of setting goals for the future is that you are free to dream big and can adjust accordingly.  We would like to take a family trip to Maui in 2021, remodel our kitchen in the next ten years, and take our children to Disney World in the next 10 years.  We dream big and then decide what it would take for us to reach those goals.  I got a quote from a local travel agent for the cost of a Maui trip.  We also got ballpark figures for our kitchen renovation.  Numbers make it much easier to decide what is plausible.

Our yearly (and then monthly) chats help my husband and I decide how to use our finances and work towards common goals.

How do you set your financial goals?  What helps you to stay on track?  I would love to hear all about it!

Monday, 4 February 2019

January Clean & Purge- Week #4

For the last week of my January cleaning, I tackled our cold storage room.  It basically needed to be tidied up.  I didn't really purge anything from the cold storage, but I did remove items that didn't belong.  I keep our camping supplies, seasonal decorations and books and extra food supplies in our storage room.  I tend to stock up on pantry staples when they are on sale.  Our upstairs pantry can't fit everything, so I put items in the cold storage room.

Before:


After:


Storage Room To Do List:
  • wipe shelves
  • make sure each item belongs
  • check dates on food or drink
  • vacuum (I didn't have time to do this, but I have added it to next weekend's to do list!)
My home feels much cleaner and much more organized.  Thank you for joining me for January Clean & Purge.


Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Winter Capsule Wardrobe Reveal

This capsule wardrobe is going to be worn until April.  I went with a lot of cozy clothes and I am happy with how it turned out.  I have decided that I am not going to include outerwear in my capsules anymore, because it really doesn't vary much in the cold weather months.  I own 2 winter jackets and 2 pairs of boots.  I wear them constantly because it is winter and it is cold. 





I have 21 tops (a black and white striped top is in the wash).  I do have one more purchase planned and if I get it, I will have 22 tops.  My wardrobe has 1 dress, 1 skirt and 4 pants.  There are 27 items in total.  I am looking forward to wearing these clothes in the coming months.  Happy Wednesday, friends!

Monday, 28 January 2019

January Clean & Purge- Week 3

I am (mostly) feeling better and am back on my feet.  I tackled our bedrooms and our downstairs closet this week.  Everything looks so much more organized.  I was able to store some items for my youngest daughter to grow into, donate some things that no longer work for our family and return a few pieces of clothing to people who generously handed them down to us. 

I tackled my nightstand and half of the closet first.  I donated a few books and the odd piece of clothing.  I mostly straightened up and cleaned. 

I went through my oldest daughter's closet next.  I boxed up clothes that she has that will fit her in the coming season and boxed up shoes that she still needs to grow into.  This helped to remove the visual clutter of the clothes piled on the shelves.  I boxed up any items that were too small that we plan to keep for my youngest.  I then donated or returned anything else we didn't want to keep.  I took out her art project box and we are now slowly going through the task of gifting her art pieces to family and deciding which few are truly keepers. 

My youngest daughter shares a closet with our portable air conditioning unit (it is the easiest place to store it for the winter).  I took out any items that she has outgrown or no longer uses.  She just turned a year old so there was quite a bit of "baby" stuff that she simply doesn't need/use anymore.  I advertised 2 of my diaper bags that I don't use (I really love my backpack diaper bag with my neck and shoulder issues).  I boxed up the clothes that she will be able to use in Spring/ Summer and stored the rest the clothes that she needs to grow into in the downstairs closet.


I tackled the downstairs closet last.  I put all of my maternity and postpartum wardrobe together in a storage container in the closet.  I also stored all of the clothes that my youngest daughter has to grow into in this closet.  I use diaper boxes because they are economical and a nice size.  We keep our off-season clothes in this closet so I went through those and only kept what we truly use.

I keep the unused portion of my wardrobe in the downstairs closet.  It mostly consists of my work clothes (which I am not using while on maternity leave), tops that currently don't fit or work because I am breastfeeding, bras that don't currently fit because I am breastfeeding and my summer outfits.  I own a range of sizes in my outfits, but until I am sure we are done having children I plan to keep my clothes.  I have worn almost the whole range of my sizes this year and when I finish breastfeeding, many of my tops will fit me again.  I did donate a few articles of clothing that I never choose for my capsule wardrobes and a pair of shoes that doesn't fit me properly.



Checklist:

  • Remove all of the items from the bedroom closets and dressers.  Make sure that each item that returns to the closet/dresser truly belongs there.
  • Wipe all shelves.
  • Wipe all baseboards.
  • Wipe window sills.
  • Wipe down light switches, door knobs and furniture.
  • Move furniture to vacuum the floors.
I am excited to finish tackling the rest of my house!  Happy cleaning, friends!

Monday, 21 January 2019

Sick Day

Hello Everyone!  I should be continuing my January Clean & Purge series today, but I am under the weather.  We took a quick family getaway and when we returned I got the worst cold that I have had in years.  I don't often get sick, but this cold hit me hard.  It also hit the kids so we are just trying to get well over here.  I didn't have the time or energy to tackle everything or write a post.  I hope to be back Wednesday with my next Capsule Wardrobe reveal. 

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Winter Capsule Wardrobe 2019 Planning

I am plan to have a much calmer wardrobe palette until Spring.  I am really feeling blues, greys and the odd pop of red.  I want cozy textures, as we are now getting some colder weather.  I am looking forward to snuggly sweaters and sweatshirts.  I came up with some images that represent the colour palette that I want.  I will have my reveal next week.


Happy Wednesday, friends!



Monday, 14 January 2019

January Clean and Purge-Week 2

This week I tackled the bathroom and linen closet.  The bathroom has been driving me crazy.  We accumulate many different lotions and potions and I was itching to go through everything.

I purged any creams, makeup, medication, or toiletries that were expired.  I also got rid of anything that we don't like using.  If an item was unopened, I donated it.  If it was opened I discarded the contents and recycled the containers.

I wiped all the shelves and drawers and put items back in a way that made more sense for the needs of our family.  I wiped baseboards and walls, cleaned the light fixtures and washed the shower curtain.  I didn't take before pictures (oops!), but I have after photos.  I am pleased with how things turned out.









Bathroom/Linen Closet Checklist:
  • wipe shelves and drawers
  • wipe baseboards
  • wash walls
  • clean light fixtures
  • clean ceiling fan
  • purge expired items
  • purge items that you don't like or use
  • put like items together.
Happy Cleaning, friends!


Monday, 7 January 2019

January Clean and Purge- Week 1

I love the quiet and calm of January.  The Christmas decorations are put away, the house is quiet and there isn't nearly as many items on my calendar!  I love to do an annual clean and sort of my home.  I didn't do it last year, as I had a newborn.  I am definitely ready to dive in this year!

My goal with this is to clear clutter and wipe down the room.  I neglect my baseboards throughout the year so I am trying hard to wipe them all down.

LIVING ROOM

I started in my living room when we took our decorations down.  I removed items that didn't belong, and put away the objects that did.  I cleaned the floors, baseboards, mantle, shelves, and other furniture.  Hubby got all the dust bunnies out from under the couch. (A team effort always helps!)  I wiped down the ceiling fan.  



Checklist:
  • wash throw blankets
  • wipe baseboards
  • wipe light fixtures and lamps
  • dust all furniture
  • clean under all area rugs and furniture
  • sort through media equipment and entertainment- donate anything that no longer serves your family


KITCHEN AND DINING ROOM

The next room on my list was the kitchen and dining room.  I went through my pantry and got rid of any outdated food (there wasn't much!).  I wiped all the shelves and put things back neatly.  I washed down my coffee station, wiped baseboards and the light fixture/ceiling fans.  The kitchen cabinets and counter were all scrubbed and the inside of the cupboards were wiped/organized.  I still need to clean the oven and the fridge but I plan to complete that after my daughter's birthday party this weekend.




CHECKLIST
  • wipe down all counters and surfaces
  • dust the tops of the cupboards
  • wash baseboards
  • wash cabinet doors
  • scour sink
  • go through each cupboard- donate items that you no longer use
  • go through fridge.  Get rid of outdated food and wipe all surfaces
  • go through pantry.  Get rid of outdated food and wipe all surfaces
  • clean dishwasher
  • clean oven/stove
  • deep clean your coffee maker
  • empty your toaster's crumb tray
Are you tackling home projects this year?  Do you do a deep clean of your home regularly?