winter capsule wardrobe

 
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Here it is.  My winter capsule wardrobe.  The clothing I will be living in from January-March!  Thirty-three articles of clothing, minus a couple coats, workout clothes, jewelry/accessories, swimsuits, pajamas/loungewear, and undergarments.  I had well over this amount before I began my first capsule last fall.  In fact, I'm guessing I had between 300-500 items.

 

Are you familiar with the term Capsule Wardrobe?  If not, read the what and why.  Being half way through my second capsule, I realize this is the way to go.  We even started Rheya Lee on a capsule wardrobe!  I have no intentions of going back to having a closet stuffed full of excessive amounts of clothing, buying something just because it's cute, and stressing about what I'm going to wear.  In fact, I feel pretty sure that as time goes on, the amount of my capsule will end up being less and less. 

Here is what's in my closet: 1) Abound from Nordstrom Rack, 2) Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply Boyfriend Shirt, 3) Free People Ski Lodge Cuff ($68.00 regularly but I scored mine at Nordstrom Rack for $17.00!), 4) C&C California (old from Marshall's), 5) Cotton Flannel Shirt from H+M, 6) Long Cardigan from H+M, 7) V-Neck Jumpsuit from H+M, 8) Jessica Simpson Relaxed Utility Jacket (old from Macys), 9) poncho (old from Francesca's), 10) Patagonia Reversible Vest (old from REI), 11) aztec ruana (old from Francesca's), 12) sweater (old from Charlotte Russe), 13) striped shirt (I can't remember where I ordered it online at but only $13.00), 14) textured open back tunic (old from H&H), 15) I stole this from my niece!, 16) black sweater (old from H&M), 17) Free People Scoop-Neck High-Low Tunic, 18) Premise Black Blazer (I can't remember), 19) American Rag Faux-Sherpa Vest, 20) Old Navy Curvy Skinny Jean, 21) Blue & white stripe jean (old from Plato's Closet San Diego), 22) Distressed pant (Old from Free People), 23) REWASH Vintage Reunion Destroyed Jeans, 24) Iris Bad Reputation Jean, 25) Rock & Republic leggings (old from Kohl's), 26) Silver Jeans (old from Express), 27) Free People Sweats (old from Nordstrom Rack), 28) Lucky Brand Breah Bootie, 29) Sorel Winter Fancy Lace II Boots, 30) Black Booties (old from The Buckle), 31) Mossimo Layla Sneakers, 32) Enzo Angiolini Capital Metallic Leather Pump (old from Haute Look), 33) Sorel Slimpack Riding Boot

**Keep in mind, I've posted links of where you can get these items, if I found they are still available.  BUT, shop it out!  Look on different sites and different stores to find a good fit for you.  I always keep in mind: price, shipping, return policy, and customer service.

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a family who eats together, stays together

 
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Something I will always remember about my childhood is gathering around the dining room table every night at 6pm with the family for dinner.  While this doesn't happen every night at our house, we are constantly striving to aim for that good habit and here's why:

According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, kids and teens who share family dinners three or more times per week:

  • Are less likely to be overweight
  • Are more likely to eat healthy food
  • Perform better academically
  • Are less likely to engage in risky behaviors (drugs, alcohol, sexual activity)
  • Have better relationships with their parents

Besides appreciation for the value of food and the work that goes into preparing it, there are also many social elements that come into play when families share meals, says Miriam Weinstein, author of "The Surprising Power of Family Meals". The dinner table can be the perfect environment where kids learn how to conduct conversations, observe good manners, serve others, listen, solve conflicts and compromise.

Life can get busy between hectic work schedules, kids activities, and running errands.  However, In 2008, researchers at Brigham Young University conducted a study of IBM workers and found that sitting down to a family meal helped working moms reduce the tension and strain from long hours at the office.  Maybe it's not dinner for you, perhaps it can be breakfast or lunch.  For us, it is "Linner".  So let us take the time and effort to eat, drink, and be merry.... together.

Resources: Family Dinner ChallengeCNNHuffington Post.  Photography: Harper Point Photography

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office renovation

 

As you can see, our office was in DIRE need of updating and remodeling.  Not only that but we needed to purge and utilize our space better for what we needed to keep, as well as get organized!  When we started the slow process of home renovations about two years ago, the office wasn't on the priority list.  With that being said, the office just kept getting worse and worse being bombarded with "stuff", thanks to me, Janie.  Marcus is incredibly organized and thank goodness, incredibly patient.  It was WAY past time to get this under control and create a spot of happiness, especially since this office is used full time.

I took the top off of Marcus' desk, refinished the base, and added a new top the length of the wall with different widths of stained pine.  Three stained 2x8 pine boards added as shelving above the desk and one 2x12 pine board added as extra storage on the wall above the door.  Wood and galvanized pipe supports to hold it all up.  All from Home Depot. 

I took the top off of Marcus' desk, refinished the base, and added a new top the length of the wall with different widths of stained pine.  Three stained 2x8 pine boards added as shelving above the desk and one 2x12 pine board added as extra storage on the wall above the door.  Wood and galvanized pipe supports to hold it all up.  All from Home Depot. 

One of my genius ideas to stay organized and on top of things.  I always have "genius" ideas.... I hope this one is the answer!  A painted piece of birch plywood.  Clips from Target with gold washers and screws from Home Depot.  Hand-lettered days above each clip.  Raised letters from Hobby Lobby, sprayed with gold spray paint. 

One of my genius ideas to stay organized and on top of things.  I always have "genius" ideas.... I hope this one is the answer!  A painted piece of birch plywood.  Clips from Target with gold washers and screws from Home Depot.  Hand-lettered days above each clip.  Raised letters from Hobby Lobby, sprayed with gold spray paint. 

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I live by calendars.  Everything is done in Google calendar but I have to have a paper calendar on my wall to see my year as a whole so I don't over schedule myself like I have in the past.  I finally found a way to make my paper calendar look aesthetically pleasing to my eye.  Stained pine wood from Home Depot, papers attached with gold washi tape, raised letters from Hobby Lobby, sprayed with gold spray paint.

I live by calendars.  Everything is done in Google calendar but I have to have a paper calendar on my wall to see my year as a whole so I don't over schedule myself like I have in the past.  I finally found a way to make my paper calendar look aesthetically pleasing to my eye.  Stained pine wood from Home Depot, papers attached with gold washi tape, raised letters from Hobby Lobby, sprayed with gold spray paint.

Our splurge.  Cool storage from World Market.  That store gets a good chunk of my money!  I believe the outlet covers are from Uncle Benny's.  I always pick up unique outlet covers when I can... thrift stores, garage sales, wherever!  I just realized the missing piece of trim from where the closet doors were... always something!

Our splurge.  Cool storage from World Market.  That store gets a good chunk of my money!  I believe the outlet covers are from Uncle Benny's.  I always pick up unique outlet covers when I can... thrift stores, garage sales, wherever!  I just realized the missing piece of trim from where the closet doors were... always something!

Closet cut out, thank you to my dad.  Now we have storage for our "on-the-go" equipment AND a workspace for me.  No more destroying the kitchen and dining room to do my projects!  Storage shelving is reclaimed redwood boards I picked up from Uncle Benny's in Loveland.  The counter top is our old desk top, cut to fit the space.  Thanks to my husband's genius thinking to utilize it!  Stool and storage from World Market.  Cup storage, under shelf lighting, and plants from Ikea.  Magazine storage from Target.

Closet cut out, thank you to my dad.  Now we have storage for our "on-the-go" equipment AND a workspace for me.  No more destroying the kitchen and dining room to do my projects!  Storage shelving is reclaimed redwood boards I picked up from Uncle Benny's in Loveland.  The counter top is our old desk top, cut to fit the space.  Thanks to my husband's genius thinking to utilize it!  Stool and storage from World Market.  Cup storage, under shelf lighting, and plants from Ikea.  Magazine storage from Target.

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New can lighting and track lighting, thank you to Evan Worsley.  **Note the bad ceiling: this is where we cut the closet out of.  I thought I did a good job sanding and refinishing... obviously not.  This will get addressed at some point in the future when I'm feeling ambitious.

New can lighting and track lighting, thank you to Evan Worsley.  **Note the bad ceiling: this is where we cut the closet out of.  I thought I did a good job sanding and refinishing... obviously not.  This will get addressed at some point in the future when I'm feeling ambitious.

A 8" galvanized pipe hung below the workspace to store my client bags.

A 8" galvanized pipe hung below the workspace to store my client bags.

Wicked shelving I scored when the store Killer Rabbit in Fort Collins closed (insert sad face).  Everything to the right isn't aesthetically pleasing to me but no more papers on the desks and it's all behind the door anyway.  Shelf decor from Hobby Lobby, magazine storage from Target, file holder from Ikea.  

Wicked shelving I scored when the store Killer Rabbit in Fort Collins closed (insert sad face).  Everything to the right isn't aesthetically pleasing to me but no more papers on the desks and it's all behind the door anyway.  Shelf decor from Hobby Lobby, magazine storage from Target, file holder from Ikea.  

Thank you to my amazing husband for these flowers, created by the talented Hana Style Designs.

Thank you to my amazing husband for these flowers, created by the talented Hana Style Designs.

My husband picked up cool wooden boxes from flea markets to hide storage.  I also had some old, boring black storage.  I spray painted them with a textured gray spray to match the galvanized pipes.  Also stoked we are able to incorporate a lot family heirlooms from Marcus. 

My husband picked up cool wooden boxes from flea markets to hide storage.  I also had some old, boring black storage.  I spray painted them with a textured gray spray to match the galvanized pipes.  Also stoked we are able to incorporate a lot family heirlooms from Marcus. 

Obsessed with our floors.  These are our plywood subfloors.

Obsessed with our floors.  These are our plywood subfloors.

Goodbye popcorn ceilings, wallpaper trim, outdated brown trim, and drab wall colors!

Goodbye popcorn ceilings, wallpaper trim, outdated brown trim, and drab wall colors!

And that's a wrap!  I will do my best to post some tutorials on the details in the near future.

And that's a wrap!  I will do my best to post some tutorials on the details in the near future.

breakfast in bed

 

Another beautiful, white day here in Colorado today.  I love looking out my office window, seeing the snow falling and trees painted white.  Everything looks and feels so still.  I also love that I'm INSIDE and not outside.  I have never really been a fan of cold weather and now that we homeschool, we don't really have to worry about going out in the cold as often as we used to.  It's almost 11am and all of us are still in our pajamas yet we are still able to work and do school.  It's pretty darn awesome.  It takes me back to this day we celebrated "Children's Day" when we had a simple breakfast in bed with Rhey.

"The essence of life is not in the great victories and grand failuresbut in the simple joys." {Jonathan Lockwood Huie}

a journey to arkansas

 
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Family is awesome.  Some of my favorite movies are Home Alone, Cheaper By The Dozen, and Fools Rush In to name a few.  Why? Because of the joy, energy, strength, love, support, encouragement, and chaos big families can have.  When you start off with a clean home before everyone arrives, and it ends up in a complete mess, that brings joy to my heart!  It also makes me exhausted in some ways, but in the best way possible.  

With our little immediate family (Marcus, Rheya Lee, and I), I so appreciate the time we get to spend with our parents, siblings, cousins, and extended family.  Visiting my oldest sister Katie and her family in Arkansas this past winter was no exception.  From walking in the lush woods outside of their house to iceskating at the local outdoor rink to stopping by the old-fashion soda fountain, Spark Cafe, to grab some ice cream to being absolutely lazy and finding the kids bobbing for peppermint candies in the bathroom sink (yuck!) to being enthralled by the art adventures at Crystal Bridges Museum to all the moments in between.  I remember to take it all in. All these moments are building relationships and memories.

"This family laughs + learns, prays + protects, apologizes + appreciates, dreams + discovers, fights + forgives, teases + trusts, gives + grows, believes + belongs, and loves + lasts forever."

green is the color of barf

 

On our recent trip to Arizona, we wanted to interview our cousin/sister/friend about authentic conversations and meeting people where they are.  Rheya Lee really wanted to be apart of the process so we let her have the floor.  When you give a seven year old that opportunity, you never quite know what you're in for...

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Rheya Lee: Here we are, live, at Shannon's house.  So, Shannon.... green is the color of barf.

Shannon: It is, you're right.

Rheya Lee: Look, I saw that once, someone thought green was soothing from the heart so they painted their wall green, BAM, just like that, threw up on their desk.  Mom got mad but also sad.  Mom didn't punish her.  So, what's your react to that?  Sad, mad, what is it?

Shannon: I'm kind of feeling a mixture of emotions of all three together, sad, mad, angry, confused... so that's more than three things.

Rheya Lee: Four.

Shannon: That's four.  That's what I'm feeling.  

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authentic conversations

 

Meet Shannon.  One of the most incredible human beings we have the pleasure of knowing and calling a cousin/sister/friend.  We recently went out to Arizona and interviewed her about what we feel is such an important topic, authentic conversations and meeting people where they are.

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Janie: Shannon, tell me a little about yourself.

Shannon:  I am almost 32 years old.  I have lived in Arizona for about a year.  I live in an apartment which makes me rich and famous according my sweet, little niece Rheya.  I enjoy hiking, kayaking, adventure, travels, family, friends, and God, things like that.  I graduated in 2006 with a bachelors in psychology from the University of South Carolina Upstate.  After that I moved oversees as a missionary through an organization called Campus Crusade for Christ, worked with them for a couple years, and lived in a country called Kyrgyzstan for about a year.  I then moved back to the states and ended up in Colorado, my favorite state in the whole wide world. I got my masters in psychology with an emphasis on organizational leadership and then worked at Compassion International for about 5 years.  I then found my way to Arizona and now work in higher education at Arizona State University.

Janie: One of the many things I admire about you, is how you can look at someone and not judge them.  You can look at a person and meet them where they are.  What is your secret?

Shannon: For me, I love people.  Learning someone's story, what makes them tick, their heartbeat, where they come from, basically what makes them who they are is what I'm most interested about in life.  People are my heartbeat.  

Janie: What advise can you give to people who don't feel like they are gifted with other people, who are afraid of confrontation about touchy subjects such as religion, politics, parenting, and such?

Shannon: I think it's all in the approach.  It's really a heart matter.  Are you going into a conversation to try and change them? Or are you going into it to force them or wanting them to believe what you believe? Or are you truly wanting to know their views and their thoughts and where they come from and why they believe what they believe? I personally love these conversations because I want to be challenged personally.  We all have our innate thoughts, how we were brought up, our environment so it's kind of that nature vs. nurture thing but as you grow in character, personality, and experiences, you start to learn new things.  So when I go into a conversation, I go into it thinking, "what can I learn from this person".  In return, when you have these conversations with people, it gets them thinking, it challenges them too.  I love to be challenged myself, and I love to challenge others.

Janie:  What advise can you give to people who want to be genuine and authentic but they are afraid of offending or hurting someone, so rather than talking about it, they put a bandaid on it or try to ignore it only to see things get worse?

Shannon:  It's important to always think with statements like "I" statement where you are not attacking someone.  Human nature, it's easy to get defensive, whenever there is a "you" statement.  Another thought is put yourself in their shoes.  You have your beliefs, there is so much that makes up a person.  People can tell when you're sincere and when you're not.  So if you honestly don't care or you don't want to know, don't ask.  Don't enter into the conversation.  

Janie: Anything else about authenticity?

Shannon: In my experiences in the last five years or so, I've learned life is not as black and white as I grew up thinking it was.  Maybe for some people they grew up thinking it was gray and now they think, no it's pretty black and white... I don't know.  There is so much to learn, ways to be pushed outside of our comfort zone.  When you allow yourself to learn from others, in a sense, it allows you to dig deeper into what you believe.

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Stay tuned for Rheya Lee's interview with Shannon about anything and everything.  If you need a good laugh, that is.

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chalk it up

 

"Pinterest, Instagram, and the like can be great but I can also find it crippling to the heart, mind, and soul.  It first becomes a crutch to the artistic part of the mind, eventually stunting your growth and characteristics that make you, you.  Don't get me wrong, I love Pinterest.  So many creative and talented people to draw inspiration from.  It makes this world much smaller and allows us to connect and see things we wouldn't see/learn otherwise.  And I would be lying to myself if I said I don't care about social media... I want followers, I want people to "like", "share", and "pin" my stuff.  I hope I inspire you enough to make you want to be apart of my family's journey.  BUT relying on it so much is not healthy, speaking from my own experience.  

Art used to be so therapeutic to me.  Today I felt that again for the first time in a long time.  I looked up no inspiration.  I looked up no work to recreate.  I looked up no words to write.  I just allowed myself to find it within me, to trust my mind, to trust my eye, and to just go with it, even if it wasn't perfect.  Do I personally feel like this is my best work?  No... we human beings can be hard on ourselves BUT it is absolutely perfect because it is mine, I did it, and I'm proud of myself for stepping outside of the current box that I've created for myself the past few years.

If you're reading this and saying "I'm not artistic" or "I have to look at something to create it", I dare you to stretch yourself.  Please don't put so much pressure on yourself to be "perfect".  It's much healthier to be daring, confident, and "imperfect".  I'm not just talking about art... maybe art isn't your thing.  God has given each and everyone of us gifts.  If you have the same experience as me, you will find it freeing.  Besides, God sees you as perfectly made in His eyes and that's all that really matters anyway, right?  Let us not be afraid of failing but excited to make discoveries!  

To dream, to create, to be.  Your turn."

Journal Entry, November 30, 2015

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master bedroom renovation on a small budget

 

Back in September, I put out a challenge for myself on the table to see if I could renovate our master bedroom for only $150.00 out of pocket. In the beginning, I was super motivated and thought with my handy dandy thrifting and repurposing brain, I would have no problem BUT it proved to be tough!

I got a lot done with a $150.00 budget.  Scraped the popcorn ceilings, took down all the wallpaper and wainscot, ripped up all the carpet, refinished the ceilings, refinished our subfloors to make them look like barn wood floors, painted all the walls/doors/ceiling, updated our old fan, made a headboard/wall artwork, made two side tables, refinished a jewelry armoire, refinished an old toy box and hung on wall for storage, refinished and added an old door/mirror, added a hanging plant holder (plants not included), added a small rug and chair, painted/updated outlet and vent covers.  Here's the breakdown:

$15.00 | canvas drop cloth for the headboard painting from Home Depot

$50.00 | paint (I usually get all my paint free from our local Drop'N'Swap but I became obsessed with wanting white!), Behr from Home Depot

$23.00 | chair from the ARC (come back or subscribe to see the before pic)

$13.00 | mud for texturing the ceiling, used about 3/4 of bucket

$4.00 | fabric softner for taking down wallpaper 

$10.00 | sandpaper for floors and refinishing furniture

$12.00 | stripper for jewelry armoire 

$20.00 | curtains from Marshalls 

$0.00 | jewelry armoire (family heirloom)

$0.00 | toy box/wall shelf (family heirloom)

$0.00 | door/mirror (already had in storage from one of my favs, The Shop)

$0.00 | stain, polyurethane, acrylic paint and spray paint for floors, artwork and refinishing items

$0.00 | hanging plant holder (scored this for free at Uncle Benny's because it was a light fixture with broken glass.  Still, only $5-$10 if not.)

$0.00 | rug underneath chair (picked this up at Ikea awhile back for shoots/events but has been in storage)

$0.00 | jute and hardware for tables/headboard (already had from Hobby Lobby)

$0.00 | hardware and curtain rod (already had in storage from a failed project, Martha Stewart from Home Depot)

$0.00 | comforter (already had from Target)

$147.00 TOTAL

Not bad, ehh?  I did it!  BUUUTTTTT, there were a few things I splurged on after the fact.  Additional glorious bedding, pretty plants, and THE closet.  Here's the breakdown:

$90.00 | inside/outside closet (wood, pipe, flanges, eyebolts, wheels, shelving... separate post coming soon!)

$135.00 | plants (dracaena tree, glazed pottery, hanging lipstick plant, potted foliage from Fort Collins Nursery)

$170.00 | bedding (6 pillows and throw from Marshalls)

So all in all, our total spent was $542.00.  Here is the final look of the before and after from my iPhone... yes, I am an iphoneographer.  I believe that is the technical term and profession.

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"A peaceful home is not created by from a lack of problems, but from a multitude of solutions."  {Binyamin Roscher}

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Rheya Lee's Birthday

 
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Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.

A person's a person, no matter how small.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So. . . get on your way.

Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

{Dr. Seuss}

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capsule wardrobe | basic elements

 
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I've always been a fan of layering.  However, having "basics" to layer with hasn't always been my thing.  I love the way it looks but I never have to have these essential items because when I shop, I find myself buying trendy items instead.  That has changed since starting the capsule.  I picked up a few classic, timeless items and I think layering is going to be much easier now.  Basic elements + layering = awesomeness!

Jacket: old from Charlotte Russe, try these options

Scarf: old from Forever 21 (accessory, not part of capsule)

Button down shirt: Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply Boyfriend Shirt

Sweater: old from Buffalo Exchange in San Diego (I don't know the brand, sorry)

Jeans: old from Old Navy, they still have them!

Shoes: old Mossimo from Target, they still have them!

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gift wrapping with kraft paper + "junk in the trunk"

 

Who doesn't love kraft paper?  It can be dressed up or kept simple.  It can be drawn on, stamped on, painted, and more.  I love the look and versatility of kraft paper.  While some people dread wrapping presents, I get uberly excited.  At Christmas time, presents become part of the home decor in many homes, taking up residence under a tree.  Please tell me I'm not the only crazy one who wants the presents to match with the home decor and have a theme?!  Well, if you're not a crazy one like me, you probably won't like my post ;-)

I picked up some kraft gift wrap paper at Hobby Lobby but you can also get rolls of kraft paper at Home Depot.  As far as deciding what to use to accessorize, I wanted simple with flare.  My mission?  Use up some of my left over supplies from the year... the "junk in the trunk".  You know, the stuff you buy for a project but never use or have left over and it creates clutter in your house?  Use it up folks!  Get creative!

gluten free chocolate chip cookie experiment

 

When Rheya Lee had to do her first science fair project last year, I was stumped.  She came up with some great ideas such as "making a robot", and I was like, "Do you know who your mamma is?"  That was not going to happen!  After some research, we decided something with baking was a great idea because she likes to be in the kitchen.  She is also gluten sensitive and loves cookies.  She came up with the creative name, "Flouristic Cookies", the best recipe for a gluten free cookie.

We found some great (and pretty!) info on forkandbeans.com on understanding and baking with gluten free flours.  Check it out below:

We then picked out a simple chocolate chip cookie recipe and substituted the almond flour for a variety of gluten free flours.    

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 & 1 /4 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened (not melted)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a bowl combine the almond flour, salt and baking soda
  3. In a sperate bowl blend together the coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract
  4. Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients and blend 
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop small spoonfuls of dough onto the sheet. Space the dough out well as the cookies will spread.
  7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes

Rheya Lee came up with the flour mixes for 5 different cookies.  I wanted to be a controlling mom and tell her some of her mixes weren't probably the best idea but I "zipped it, locked it, and put it in my pocket".  Here are the mixes she came up with:

This picture was too good not to post.  "Cookie 4" batter looked gross to her.  We stepped out of the kitchen while baking and when I returned, I found this little treasure.  In case you can't make it out, it says "brown cookie I will not eat".  Hysterical.

This picture was too good not to post.  "Cookie 4" batter looked gross to her.  We stepped out of the kitchen while baking and when I returned, I found this little treasure.  In case you can't make it out, it says "brown cookie I will not eat".  Hysterical.

After everything was said and done, Cookie 2 won!  She (I!) learned so much doing this project.  I'm looking forward to making new recipes and feeling confident about using a variety of flours.  I hope you are too and create some keepers!

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capsule wardrobe | fall overview

 
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Here it is.  My fall capsule wardrobe.  The clothing I will be living in until the end of December!  Forty-two articles of clothing, minus workout clothes, jewelry, accessories, purses, swimsuits, pajamas/loungewear, and undergarments.  I had well over this amount at the end of the summer.  In fact, I'm guessing I had between 300-500 items.  I'm not going to lie... it was a little tough stripping my closet down but I am super motivated to create simplicity + freedom.  

I first purged my closet. If I hadn't worn it in the last three months, it was gone... including the stuff I absolutely loved or was going to wear again when I "lost 10 pounds".  Next, I had a sale, because after all, I loved the majority of the clothes and getting rid of them just seemed too hard. Next, anything left got donated, minus a few items I had only worn a couple times and/or I paid a lot of money for.  This is when I got introduced to the capsule wardrobe.  Next, I went through the remaining clothes to get it down to my capsule.  I still had about 150-200 items.  At this point, there were a few things I felt okay with donating (or throwing away because they were oh so comfortable but OH so trashed!).  For the remaining items I wasn't ready to get rid of, I stored.  Two under-the-bed plastic storage bins (one for winter and one for spring/summer) and two shoe storage bins in the garage (remember, I'm a stylist so these are shoes I may potentially need for different jobs).  After this first capsule, I will reevaluate to see if I should sell/donate these items. There were some things I didn't have that I knew I wanted, so I put a style board together for myself and went shopping. The style board was incredibly helpful to stay focused while shopping so I didn't just buy things because they were cute. I had a mission.  I ended up extending my budget from what I originally planned, because for the first time in my life, I was shopping quality over quantity.

The capsule wardrobe challenge by Caroline Rector, calls for 37 items.  I made that... without outerwear.  I'm a Colorado girl and let's be honest, outerwear is a daily necessity this time of year so only having two coats didn't seem reasonable to me.  At least, not for my first stab at this.  Perhaps by the time the winter capsule comes around, I will realize I can take out some of the other clothing articles.  But for now, 42 items it is!

Follow along here and my Instagram for my #OOTDs (outfit of the day). I will post details on the clothing to include brands and where you can buy along with what I'm learning as I go.  See you soon!

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capsule wardrobe | what and why?

 

Simplicity.  Necessity.  Style.  Freedom.  Purpose.  

These are words that have been used frequently in our home for the past two years as we strive to live this lifestyle.  About a year and half ago, we started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University... life changing and I cannot recommend it enough.  About six months ago, my oldest sister Katie started sharing inspiring lessons from Joshua Becker's becoming minimalist blog and we have been renovating and recreating our home and life.  While we still have a ways to go to create the life of a minimalist, our quality of life has improved SO much.

About a month ago while chatting about a simplified life with friends over dinner, my friend Lindsay asked if I had heard of a capsule wardrobe.  As she explained it to me, I was so intrigued and thought, "Yes!  I need this in my life!"

The next day, I found myself on Caroline Rector's blog reading all about it.  She puts a call out for a challenge and I was ready to take it!  Right then and there!  BUT, I was knee deep in our master bedroom renovation so it would have to wait awhile.

Here's a little history on the Capsule Wardrobe:

The term "capsule wardrobe" was coined by Susie Faux, owner of the West End boutique "Wardrobe", in the 1970s to refer to a collection of essential items of clothing that would not go out of fashion, and therefore could be worn for multiple seasons. The aim was to update this collection with seasonal pieces to provide something to wear for any occasion without buying many new items of clothing. Typically, Faux suggests that a woman's capsule wardrobe contain at least "2 pairs of trousers, a dress or a skirt, a jacket, a coat, a knit, two pairs of shoes and two bags".

The concept of a capsule wardrobe was popularised by American designer Donna Karan in 1985, when she released her "7 Easy Pieces" collection. Her aim was to fill what she referred to as "a void in the marketplace" for a stylish and practical wardrobe designed with working women in mind. When the collection debuted, she showed eight models dressed only in bodysuits and black tights. The models then began to add items of clothing such as wrap-skirts, trousers, and dresses, to demonstrate her interchangeable style of dressing.

As a term, "capsule wardrobe" is widely used in the fashion media; for instance, the fashion sections in British newspapers The Independent and The Daily Telegraph have recently run dedicated capsule wardrobe features, as well as British Marie Claire and Elle magazines, among others. The concept has been further popularised by several television programmes, including Trinny and Susannah's 'What Not to Wear', which aired on the BBC 2001–2007, and Gok's Fashion Fix, which aired on Channel Four from 2008 onwards. Presenter and stylist Gok Wan asserts that a capsule wardrobe is an especially important tool in a recession as it allows people to look good on a small budget.  This is perhaps part of the reason that the idea has endured since its conception in the 1970s.

General Rules

  • Choose a colour scheme. This would typically involve choosing one or two base colours that go with everything, such as black, white, brown, grey, or navy. Items such as trousers, handbags or coats would be bought in shades of these colours, so that they can be put with anything else in the wardrobe. After choosing the base colours, choose one or two accent colours, which are brighter than the base colours, and co-ordinate with each other.  These would typically be used for items such as tops, dresses, or accessories; once a colour scheme is established, all the items in a wardrobe should be interchangeable, as the colour of the pieces always complement each other.
  • Consider your body shape.  Some cuts of clothing are more flattering than others; for instance, stylists often advise that women with wider hips wear cap sleeves, as they make the shoulders appear wider, and more proportionate to the hips. If the items of clothing chosen are flattering, the wearer is more likely to want to keep them in their wardrobe.
  • Consider your complexion. As with cuts of clothing, some colours are more flattering than others, to both skin tone and body shape. If the colours are well-chosen, then the items are more likely to remain in favour.
  • Choose classic shapes and patterns.  While some cuts and patterns of clothing go in and out of fashion, others are considered 'classic' because they do not date. It is wise to choose classic pieces for a capsule wardrobe, as the wearer intends to keep them for a number of years.
  • Choose high-quality fabrics.  As the idea of a capsule wardrobe is to own a few items of clothing that can be worn different ways, individual pieces get lots of wear. Therefore, it is a good idea to choose clothing that is well made and continues to look good despite wear.


When I saw this quote (and her awesome branding) on un-fancy.com, it was love at first sight.  As I read on, I loved her modern take on the capsule wardrobe.  She's also as cute as a button and I kind of feel she could just have one item in her closet, a paper bag, and be adorable every day:

Here is her challenge:

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Rule #1: Pare down your current clothes situation into a happy little 37 piece capsule wardrobe. Your 37 pieces should include: tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and shoes. Your 37 pieces should not include: workout clothes, jewelry, accessories, purses, swimsuits, pajamas/loungewear, underwear, and the jeans you wear when you paint your living room.

Why 37? After trying out different numbers, I settled on 37 because of how it broke down in each category. For example, I knew I wanted 9 pairs of shoes, 9 bottoms, and 15 tops. Then the remaining 4 were just enough for 2 dresses and 2 jackets/coats. To me it feels generous yet minimal.

And honestly? The point of this is just to try something new if we don’t like our current closet situation — it’s not about getting obsessed with a number. If 37 isn’t your thing, find a number that’s right for you.

Rule #2: Wear only these 37 pieces for 3 months–what I refer to as a season. I split up my seasons like this: Winter (Jan-March), Spring (April-June), Summer (July-September), Fall (October-December). And remember, since accessories aren’t included in your capsule wardrobe, you can mix them in to your heart’s content. Yay.

Rule #3: Enjoy your capsule wardrobe, and don’t go shopping during the 3 month season. Like, at all. That is, until you get to Rule #4…

Rule #4: During the last week or two of the season, plan + shop for next season’s capsule wardrobe.

Rule #5: Okay, not really a rule, but still really important! The amount that you buy for each new season is up to you, but remember, this is a minimalist challenge. So, less is more, you know? That being said, style should be fun and picking out a few new pieces for my next season is my favorite part. I typically end up getting between 4-8 new pieces for each new season.

See more details and get more helpful info here.


I will be sharing my fall capsule wardrobe with you tomorrow and be posting the adventures with you under the category capsule wardrobe.  I am pretty excited about taking on this challenge and hope some of you will join me in the journey of "less is more"!


i woke up like this (almost)

 

Want this half up hair with braids + loose curls by spending 15-20 minutes total on your hair?  Ten minutes rolling curlers, 5-10 minutes braiding.  Check it out:

Sleep with soft rollers in hair.  I find it works best with day old hair that has some kind of holding product in it such as Uplifting Foam and/or Working Spray.

Sleep with soft rollers in hair.  I find it works best with day old hair that has some kind of holding product in it such as Uplifting Foam and/or Working Spray.

Brush hair.  Part your hair at the crown from ear to ear.  Divide in half, clip one side out of the way.

Brush hair.  Part your hair at the crown from ear to ear.  Divide in half, clip one side out of the way.

Braid one side from top to bottom, making sure to divide your three sections for the braid about 2-3 inches away from the front to avoid part lines.

Braid one side from top to bottom, making sure to divide your three sections for the braid about 2-3 inches away from the front to avoid part lines.

Lightly pull on each braided strand to loosen/deconstruct braid.

Lightly pull on each braided strand to loosen/deconstruct braid.

Secure section with two bobby crossing bobby pins a few inches below the crown in center of head.

Secure section with two bobby crossing bobby pins a few inches below the crown in center of head.

Repeat on other side.

Repeat on other side.

And done!

And done!

give thanks

 
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I've been going through old journals lately.  I used to be so good at writing down prayers, dreams, inspiration.  As I read through them, I am reminded to take time to go back and reflect.  Although so much changes throughout the years, God's love for me remains the same, He remains faithful.  



Today, I encourage you to grab a journal and start writing.  Start writing down what you're thankful for.  Write down you dreams, your goals, your prayers.  Let us not forget what we've been through and where we are now so we can count our blessings one by one.  Let's get back to the basics.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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