Apparently there’s something in the water because I’m not the only one who feels compelled to talk about clothes right now. (Don’t miss my dear friend Kayla’s newest post!)
Like Kayla, I too feel like I have too many clothes. The anxiety tends to mount at the times of year that I usually feel more compelled to purchase (looking at you, fall season), especially when I find myself shoving sweaters into tightly packed drawers or struggling to find a certain skirt in my wardrobe.
Excess stuff has always given me anxiety. Excess clothing makes me feel anxious and materialistic.
The most embarrassing part is that even when I feel like my closet is full to bursting, I can still be tempted by the latest J. Crew email in my inbox. After all, what’s one more sweater? And at 60% off? It would be a waste not to take advantage of such savings, right?
One thing I’ve tried to be more aware of in the last couple of years: If you have to spend money to save money, you’re not really saving money.
In the last few weeks, I’ve actually hit a point of shopping saturation. I have plenty of clothes, and I’m finding it easier and easier to ignore deals. (Because, let’s be honest, there is always a sale going on somewhere.)
Two other things that have helped? A more organized closet and limiting my options.
I’ve said before how much I like getting rid of things. (Part of my aversion to stuff.) I try to prune down my wardrobe at least a couple of times a year, and it gets easier and easier the closer I get to truly identifying my personal style.
Because, yeah, 26-and-a-half years later, I’m still working that out.
This past weekend, I filled two large shopping bags with items to sell or donate and put all my summer clothes to keep in a plastic bin for storage until the temperature warms up. The result? A neat, color-coded wardrobe with room to actually sort through each item. (Okay, the color-coded part doesn’t happen naturally. I’m a freak, okay?)
I even convinced the hubs to let me go through his closet…though we’ll see how long the color coding lasts.
It might sound weird, but I actually feel calmer looking at my clothes now. Okay, yeah, it definitely sound weird. BUT I AM WHO I AM, GUYS.
As for limiting my options, I’ve decided to only wear about seven colors.
Hear me out.
There are few things more irritating to me than making an impulse buy — or a “yes, this will be my style” buy — only to realize after a couple of wears that an item just isn’t me. Now I’ve wasted money and space in my closet on something I don’t even like.
So I started to think about what it is that I always like, and basically it translates into anything J. Crew/Ralph Lauren/preppy-esque. And more specifically, it almost always comes in a shade of black, white, grey, navy, green, red, or camel.
And thus, a new shopping rule was born.
And so far? It seems to be working pretty well. I definitely feel like I’ve curbed the excess spending.
What about you guys? Do you have any shopping rules? Another of my unofficial ones is that I rarely buy anything full priced. And, of course, I always use Ebates. Share yours in a comment below!
I feel like I so rarely have time to myself anymore.
It’s not that I don’t do things for myself. I still take the time to go for a run or to the gym. Last night, for example, I spent an hour at another Epic workout that may go down in history as the toughest workout I’ve ever done. (Burpee Thursday ain’t no joke, y’all.)
But usually I’m at work with coworkers all day, then I spend my evenings and weekends with Joey. During hockey season, I’ll usually have a few evenings at home alone when Joey is at games.
I kind of like having this time. Don’t get me wrong — I love spending time with Joey and my friends. But the time to myself is when I feel like I check things off my to-do list and re-center a bit.
I guess this is on my mind because Joey is doing some volunteer work Saturday and Sunday during the day, meaning I’ll have almost the whole weekend to myself. My first instinct was to text a bunch of friends to come over and hang out, but then I started thinking about the work I’d have to put into making sure the apartment was nice and generally being “on.”
Then I imagined just using the time to take care of things that I’ve been meaning to take care of. Like cleaning out my closet, dropping off my old clothes at the Buffalo Exchange, really deep-cleaning the apartment, and relaxing at home (in my newly organized apartment) with a glass of wine.
It just sounded kind of decadent, ya know?
So that’s what I decided to do. I have a few things to take care of in the mornings, but I’m dedicating the afternoons to those “one of these days, I’m going to…” tasks that have been hanging over my head. I feel like it will make me much saner in the long run.
Do you find you have to consciously schedule alone time for yourself? Or do you find it harder to get things accomplished and be social at the same time?
We never really had an official housewarming to celebrate our new apartment. (Probably has something to do with the fact that we only very recently got the apartment in company-ready order.) So a few weeks ago, Joey and I decided to throw a Mad Men-themed housewarming — because what says domesticity quite like Mad Men, right?
The party was a roaring success (if I do say so myself), so I figured I’d share. Here’s a breakdown of how to decorate, what to eat and drink, and what to wear for a Mad Men housewarming party.
How I decorated:
It will probably shock you to learn that I didn’t really start prepping anything for the party before the day-of. I know — so unlike me. But while I had been thinking about the details, I didn’t even clean the place until the morning of the party.
Fortunately, I was able to score a bunch of free party decorations from work, visible in the picture above. (Get your own MarthaCelebrations here.)
We also played Mad Men episodes on Netflix in the background and played ’50s/’60s music for a little ambience.
What we wore:
Since I have pretty stylish friends, I wasn’t too worried about decorating because I figured their ensembles will fill out the look of the room. They didn’t disappoint.
My dress is from Etsy a couple of years ago. I’d originally planned on wearing my hair half down/half teased up (a la Brigitte Bardot), but it was mildly sweltering that night, so I opted for a ballerina bun instead. (Tutorial to come.)
What we drank:
Because I prefer all my celebrations with champagne, I decided to set up a champagne cocktail bar in the kitchen. Here were the recipes:
The Sterling 75
1 splash gin
1 splash St. Germaine (or other elderflower liqueur)
Fill the rest of the glass with chilled champagne or proseco. Add ice.
The Mad Mojito
For the mojito:
Muddled mint (about 1 1/2 cups) & limes (6-7 sliced)
2 cups light rum
3/4 cup simple syrup
Combine mojito ingredients ahead of time and let sit in the fridge for an hour before serving. For the Mad Mojito, fill half the glass with mojito mixture and the fill the rest of the way with chilled champagne or prosecco. Add ice.
The Don Draper
1 splash cognac
1 splash Grand Marnier
Fill the rest of the glass with chilled champagne or prosecco.
What we ate:
In keeping with the theme, I served only 1950s-style foods. There were pigs ‘n a blanket, cheese and crackers, shrimp cocktail (provided by my lovely friend Ashli), a mocha pie (from my other lovely friend Natalie), and a deviled egg tasting (inspired by the appetizer at The House. Here’s how I made the eggs:
Bacon & (Deviled) Eggs
Combine 6 hardboiled egg yolks with 1/2 cup mayo and 1/4 cup mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Fill halved hard-boiled egg whites with yolk mixture. Top with chopped bacon bits. (I used turkey bacon. As far as I know, no one could tell the difference.)
Sriracha Deviled Eggs
Combine 6 hardboiled egg yolks with 1/4 cup mayo, 1/4 cup mustard, and 2-4 T Sriracha sauce. Add juice from one lime.
Fill halved hard-boiled egg whites with yolk mixture. Top with a sprinkle of paprika.
Fancy Deviled Eggs
Combine 6 hardboiled egg yolks with 1/2 cup mayo and 1/4 cup mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Fill halved hard-boiled egg whites with yolk mixture. Top with a dollop of low-fat sour cream and a small scoop of black caviar. Because we fancy like that.
And that’s really it! We also gave out a prize to the best costume, which went to my friend Ashli (who in all honestly is ready for a Mad Men party at any given moment).
Anyone else as obsessed with theme parties like me?
Y’all know I love a good mood board. (Even though I kind of hate the term “mood board.”)
So when a dude friend of mine reached out to be recently and asked for tips on decorating his new apartment, my response was “I HAVE SO MANY IDEAS.”
Because while I love a super feminine space, I also love decorating for dudes. Because, to me, it’s not that different from dressing dudes. And who doesn’t love that?
In fact, both of the mood boards I ended up creating for my friends (who has asked to remain nameless for now) started with a guy’s outfit I loved on Pinterest.
Let’s start with my recommendations for a TV room.
All my friend (who I’m just going to call Anthony because “my friend” gets creepy after a while) told me he wanted was “something in the brown” family that was “masculine” and had a lot of “white”.
So…basically not helpful at all. He dug the above design, though, so everyone wins.
Next, he needed a bedroom. Again, there was minimal direction beyond the fact that he liked “blue…like Yankee blue” and that he needed a place to store a sizable shoe collection.
Again, I turned to some of my favorite guy outfits with blue for a color palette.
And yes, I’m aware I accidentally put a bath mat in there. The point is = navy rug. Make it happen.
So there you have it! I’m pretty pleased with both rooms, and Anthony seems to like them as well.
Now if only I could get my own bedroom in order, we’d be in business.
Can you believe it? We’ve been in our apartment only three months and I’m basically done decorating.
It’s a miracle.
I mean, sure, there are little things here and there I want to add. And the bedroom isn’t quite done yet. But everything else is about as done as it’s going to get. (In an effort to live a simpler life, and to acknowledge that this is just an apartment we’ll be in for a while and not our dream home, I’m trying not to change our decor as often as I did in the last place. Trying.)
Anyway, here’s a quick tour of the parts that are 99.9% done.
Here’s the view facing the front door toward the kitchen. You can just see our little Craigslist-ed kitchen table and chairs. Hanging on the wall to the right is a vintage Paris map I picked up at HomeGoods ages ago but never had the right spot for.
Here’s what you see when you first walk in the door facing the bathroom.
Joey actually picked that spot for our wedding guest “tree,” and it fits perfectly.
If you go right from there, you enter the kitchen:
Here’s our table with two prints I found on Etsy. (One is a beer bottle and champagne glass with “his” and “hers” on it, the other says “The secret ingredient is always cheese.”) (Because it is.)
The one thing I still want to add to this corner is an oversized print of a Penguin book I have, but I haven’t had a chance to get to Kinkos yet to print it.
Here are the built-in cabinets. I’ve made peace with their old-timey color. We store our bigger items (crock pot, cake plates, etc.) on top and dishes and glasses inside them. My father-in-law also installed little hooks for me under the cabinets to hang teacups and mugs. The seafoam green mat I got from a tag sale at work for about $5.
Back to the living room!
Not too much has changed in here since you last saw it. (It’s cleaner, though.) We actually have no visible clutter in this room, which is pretty incredible to me. (And awesome.)(I’m a nerd.)
The one thing I still want to add to this room is a bulletin board over the computer. I have cork tiles that I want to spray paint white to make it. Stay tuned.
So that’s it! It’s so nice feeling like we can finally have guests over. We already had overnight guests, but we spent so little time in the apartment with them, it didn’t seem to matter if everything wasn’t put together. But Saturday we had our first dinner guests, and I’m hoping to host a few more events this summer. Can’t wait!
Whaaat? I real-live apartment update? On this blog?
This weekend was particularly productive for us on the apartment front. Joey and my father-in-law installed a hanging bar and shelf in our front closet and replaced our shower head with an adjustable one that actually builds up enough pressure to properly rinse shampoo from your hair. (I didn’t include photos because even though the closet and shower head are infinitely more functional, they still don’t look that fancy in a picture. You’ll just have to use your iMaGiNaTiOnS.)
You know what does look snazzy in a photo? Our new couch! It arrived on Wednesday, and we built it that night!! Look how pretty it is!!!
I, for one, will not miss sitting on the floor/sharing our one upholstered chair with Joey. Plus, the couch has a bottom drawer for storing extra blankets, pillows, and sheets, and you know what extra storage does to me.
I also finished up the other side of the room:
Cute, huh? I like how colorful everything is looking. I might switch things around on the shelves (shelf styling is one of my secret hobbies), but for now, it’s staying. Bonus points if you can identify what we were watching.
By the end of the week, I’m hoping to be able to show you the kitchen and bedroom.
What have you been up to this weekend?