Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Outfits and an Important Lesson

A Style Course

I purchased a style course by Bridgette Raes called 'Why Dress for Success Doesn't Work' last night, and spent the rest of the night doing the course! Without revealing the information contained in the course, I wanted to write a little about it and how it inspired me. I read Bridgette's blog very frequently, and still think I got excellent value out of her course. It didn't apply 100% to me because I don't have as many struggles dressing myself for work perhaps as the average person the course is directed to (thanks to being a avid reader of hers who follows a lot of her principals), and a lot of the information in the course is available in small doses on her blog. Overall though, it was worth the price and helped me change my perspective on the way I am dressing for work.

How it Inspired Me

One of the (many) exercises in the course is putting many different outfits together using the same base layer (a dress, or blouse and pant, or blouse and skirt for example) by changing up the accessories and layering pieces we use. This method is great for many reasons- it helps us better utilize the pieces in our wardrobe, it teaches us to use the same pieces many ways so we don't need to buy more things, it jogs our creativity which will help with our satisfaction in what we are wearing, and it can help eradicate both the 'I'm bored with my wardrobe' and 'I have nothing to wear'  that we're all so familiar with. I've been sorely lacking in changing up my outfits lately in particular- wearing the same combinations over and over, and feeling very 'blah' and bored. This inevitably leads to shopping for me! So, I decided to do this for myself and try to build outfits using items I already own. Below, I decided to style a new top I very recently purchased but have not worn yet:

The Outfits
Putting these outfits together was a lot of fun. I tried to mix it up and go a little outside my typical comfort zone. I found that I'd really love some green, cognac, and yellow accessories, which I don't currently own, but that I own plenty in blues and burgundy. I have many other items that I could style this top with, but the looks themselves wouldn't be too different in silhouette or color combinations so I only did the above 4.

The 'Aha' Moment

The saddest part of this experiment is that I'm suddenly finding duplication all over my closet- duplication I didn't know I had! For instance, the top I used above- I have a similar top that I could swap in for pretty much any of these outfits and not know much of a difference (shown below). 
It's a v-neck navy tank! I had no idea they were essentially two versions of the same thing. *doh* I could, knowing this, return my pretty navy tank pictured above. I don't think I will though, because the design is different enough that in the summer/when worn alone I think it'll be more apparent (the 1st tank has a split back that reveals a pretty pleated gauzy material). This itself wouldn't be so bad, however this top is NOT the only place/item I've done this with. My out-the-door wardrobe is only 89 items I think, and it's very unfortunate that I have the amount of duplication that I do.

This information is going to permanently alter my shopping habits here-out. While I already made TOO MANY purchases this month, including the tank (you'll hear about them soon enough, but as a teaser- I got ONE item I needed after not feeling the need to shop since October, and immediately my shopping compulsion reared its ugly head and I binged), I will evaluate those items based on my new knowledge. I furthermore will shop going forward only for true unique items for my wardrobe that will contribute to my outfit potential- NO MORE DUPLICATES. The plan is to do more outfit creations like I did above, and then identify consistent 'missing pieces' to shop for.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Good Reason to KonMari

Here's a little short story to make you laugh. I shared it to a KonMari facebook group but thought I'd also share it here.

Last night, I picked up my 3 year old daughter from daycare. The provider hands me a plastic bag and tells me that my daughter sneaked a pair of my underwear (lacy and racy at that!) to school and pulled it out of her backpack to show everyone, saying 'Look my mommy's underwear!'.

As embarrassing (and hilarious) as this may be, I'll be using this as a prime example of why we should KonMari:

  • Thanks to KonMari, I had thrown out every holey, pilly, shabby, and stained pair of underwear! The ones I have left are 'presentable' and cute, even though I never expected them to need to be so.
  • Thanks to KonMari, I have been keeping on top of the laundry and had no dirty laundry in my daughter's reach.

So, it could have been worse! As for parenting, we talked to my little one about how underwear are private and not for showing people, and reinforced previous conversations about not taking anything to daycare or from daycare. I don't know where this came from, since we have never made a big deal over underwear! She did just turn 3 so we'll see if she actually took it to heart.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

KonMari: Clothing in Storage

What is KonMari?

Check out this post here, the 1st post in this series.

KonMari-ing Clothing in Storage

Please note: I posted the 'KonMari: Household Cloths' accidentally before this one! I did these first.

Apart from my wardrobe and my child's wardrobe is the clothing in storage- my maternity clothing and my child's clothing in future seasons/sizes. I have separate clothing in storage that I'm saving for sentimental, clothing my daughter used and I am keeping for a hopeful second daughter one day (all sizes, so far I have newborn to 2T sizes in storage). Sentimental items are to be addressed at the end of the KonMari process, and since I'm at the beginning I cannot take those on just yet.

I decided to treat the stored clothing like a separate category rather than all with the current clothing because these clothes are different from the things in current use. I typically keep too many things in this category for my daughter because I get hand-me downs from a couple sources, and sometimes buy a few new things in the next size for future use (for example, in fall buying summer clothing on sale for the next year). The purchased items are almost never the problem, but the hand-me-downs accumulate, and they are often not my taste.

The Process

I pulled out ALL of my daughter's 'future' clothing and piled it together. There's clothing for this spring/summer (3T and some 2T from last year that were over-sized) all the way to size 5T. As you can see, this was a pretty big pile!

I was also going to KonMari my maternity wear, but most of my maternity wear is actually on loan with my sister-in-law, who is expecting my little niece on April 2nd! The few items she did not take were already in a vacuum-sealed bag, so I just moved it with the rest of the baby stuff I'm saving (will KonMari when I get to sentimental).

The Results

This is the 'donate' pile- all things that I wasn't thrilled with for whatever reason and don't see myself putting on my child. It was a large bag of stuff! I forgot to count it up again, but rest assured it was probably 40-50 items. Mostly dowdy and out-of-style stuff like horribly loose, stiff, wide jeans, ugly dresses and shorts, etc.

I found that my daughter is MORE than set for spring and summer for this year. She's got too much, actually, but I'm afraid I need to save what I like because inevitably some of these items are not going to fit her correctly (the hand-me-downs from my niece, for example, who is a very very thin child vs. my daughter) or she won't like them. I really should not buy her anything at all except maybe a couple pairs of pajamas for warm weather and socks. This was a surprise- so I'm glad I found out BEFORE I went shopping or was tempted by spring sales! She also has a good amount of clothing for next year, but I will definitely need to fill the 'holes'. I should not accept hoodies/jackets or jeans in size 4T hand-me-downs, which is good info to know. I do have barely anything for the next size up (5T) so I will still be gladly accepting hand-me-downs in those sizes!

A note about hand-me-downs: I only keep and use clothing that is in very good condition. I cannot stand the idea of putting my child in rough, scratchy fabric from improper laundering (too high heat in the dryer, usually), or holey/stained/overly faded clothing. The fashionista in me also dislikes clothes that are usable but not 'nice'- you know, ugly or outdated. I went through that as a child due to monetary circumstances. I can afford to dress my child in all new (but less quantity!), but I prefer hand-me-downs because children's clothing seems so wasteful. They often are barely used before they've outgrown it!

All clothing that I don't want to keep for a future hopeful daughter (the 'donate' pile) goes back to my SIL for my future niece. I also make sure to give back things that were my niece's, because I know her mom will appreciate having them for her newest daughter. She's sentimental like myself and views hand-me-downs like myself. It's funny, really- I love the things I bought for my niece (we have always been very generous towards her wardrobe), and using them for my daughter sparks joy!

Monday, January 18, 2016

KonMari: Household Cloths

What is KonMari?

Check out this post here, the 1st post in this series.

KonMari-ing Household 'Cloths'

I wasn't sure what category this belong to, but since Marie talks about keeping like things with like in her new book 'Spark Joy', I decided to do the other cloth items in my home as the next category.

This means that I had to do: Sheets, blankets, pillows including couch pillows, towels, oven mitts, table cloths, curtains, rugs, etc. The difficult part of this process is that I do not like most of what I have, but need them. I decided that anything I needed could stay until I replace it, but that I'll try to buy TRUE joy-sparkers when I do replace them.

The Process

Just like before: Pile everything up in one pile. This pile is missing our bath towels (only own 4, so need to keep), my daughter's bedding (only own 1 set), blankets and pillows in the wash (all keepers, I made sure of that prior to putting in the wash), and curtains that are currently in use (which I want to replace one day).  That is my 3 year old sitting in the pile. It's huge, but we own very little in the way of these things so it's really smaller than you'd expect for a family of 3.

The Results

I tossed (donation): 1 rug, 1 curtain, 2 pillows, 6 pillowcases, 2 blankets, 2 baby blankets, 1 sheet and 1 fitted sheet, 4 dish towels, 1 handmade throw, and who knows what else. I forgot to count these up. It's so odd, finding all this excess JUNK that hides in every corner of the home. Why did I bother keeping, folding, and storing all this stuff? Many of these are items I upgraded, but for some reason never let go of the original crap. I also put four baby blankets away in storage for the hopeful next baby.

I also had the husband help me sort a box of random wires, batteries, parts, tools, and cables, his toys, and some of his clothes (stuff that was in the closet). We let go of a trash bin of STUFF, 4 hoodies, 1 coat, 2 dress shirts, and 8 belts.  I made the mistake of not counting or taking pics so this is what I remember!

I wanted to note about the husband's toys and the sorting through electric cables- he kept every last toy and most of the cables. I was at first disappointed, expecting him to really let go of at least SOME of his toys (RC cars!). But then, I realized that I was being unfair. If he really loved those things, he had every right to keep them. And not just keep them in the deep dark corners of the closet- we agreed that we would find a place in our new 'office' to display them so he could see them. I believe Marie Kondo's advice in her new book is right- if you hate something a family member loves, take some time to look at it and touch it. I discovered I could tolerate them and that they deserved to be loved just like any of the items I enjoy that my husband may not. I never knew how unfair I had been! The electric cables and other stuff on the other hand- it reinforced how much of a 'saver' he is. In his perspective, any of those things we could need or want later, so we should save them! Even an old (8 years!) phone with some stupidly old contacts on it he may want one day. At the end of the day, it was a much smaller box of stuff than we started out with, so on the whole I'm satisfied. Maybe we can go through it again in 6 months and reduce it further.

I also did a quick run through (not true KonMari) of bathroom items (makeup, lotions, etc) and art/crafty stuff because the visual clutter was driving me mad- I let go of another two small trash bins of stuff. I moved all the clothing I was storing for another future baby girl (if/when!), and my closet is finally looking good:

Left is mine (including 3 drawers), right is Hubby's. His space on top of the drawers now has his 2 pairs of soccer shoes and gym bag, not pictured. Please note- we have two 4-drawer dressers in addition to this. Husband owns 7 of the 8 drawers- the other drawer houses my lingerie. He also has an additional drawer in the bed (storage bed) for his martial arts clothes!

Saturday, January 16, 2016


Here is a roundup of things I've been really loving lately! I'm carefully planning purchases and won't be buying anything right away. No more binge purchasing all the things at once! I KonMaried this list, believe it or not.

Items I'm loving:

Blue Dress- This dress is lovely. I had a dress like this that was sadly ruined in the wash. I'm wary of the cap sleeves but love the v-neck.
Blue Pendant- My blue pendant is wearing out and this might be the perfect replacement
Gold Tassel Necklace- My gold tassel necklace broke, again might be it's replacement
White Top- I had a soft flowy white tank that got wore to death, this again could be a great replacement.
Blue Cardigan- I love the print of this, and it's a zip-up rather than button up!
Yellow Pants- I'd like to try these, they could be really fun! 
Black and White print top- I love the 'modern' vibe of this top and the neckline. I'd likely replace my tie-neck blouse that I kept for this.

What I Decided I don't need:

All lovely items that are not perfect.

Friday, January 15, 2016

KonMari-ing my Toddler's Clothing

What is KonMari?

Check out this post here, the 1st post in this series.

KonMari-ing my Daughter's Clothing

The first principal of KonMari is to do your own belongings first, then to help family members. I finished my clothing/accessories and went straight into my daughter's current clothing, primarily because she just turned 3 and I am still responsible for her clothing. Again, I had just done laundry so this was pretty much every stitch of clothing. I followed the method, and piled everything on the bed again.

The Process

The pile

Marie believes by age 3, children can participate in KonMari and even learn to fold. While my child is very intelligent and recently turned 3, I don't think this is the right age for my daughter to teach her to fold. I'll reconsider in another 6 months or year, but she's very active and is not likely to want to sit for long periods of time to fold. She's just like her mother and is likely to get frustrated and angry if she can't do something exactly like she wants to do it (perfectionist!). She has much more fun UNFOLDING, to be honest. She has just enough dexterity I believe to accomplish the task, albeit slowly, but again I have decided to teach her to fold at a later point. I did try to involve her in the KonMari process. She would come and go as her attention wandered, and I would ask her about different items as I could. She said yes to everything, even the things she refuses to wear! I tried to talk sense into her, but she is just 3 years old. "This is too small for you, we should give it to another little girl", or "When I ask you to put this on, you don't like it." She adamantly refused to part with anything. Since mommy rules here, I knew I had to do it on my own.

My approach was to sort through the items through her 'eyes'. I knew what things she loved and fit, they were immediately kept even if they were not my favorites. Things that were getting too small were pulled out into my 'keep for another child' pile, unless they were too worn or I didn't like them. Things she didn't like to wear I put into one of the two piles, even if I liked them.

The Results
Toss Pile
I had 26 items of clothing and 4 pairs of shoes for the 'keep for another child' pile, and a large grocery bag full of items to give away (maybe another 45-50 items)! Not a single item is something she has missed.

Socks, undies, swimsuit, dress shoes. (Forgot picture of other drawer, all shoes)
Pajamas (short two sets)
Pants and Leggings
We don't use the thin leggings at the moment due to temperatures, but I didn't bother to store with the future season stuff that's a mess right now (next on the list to sort).
Dresses and Tops
Sweaters, jackets, snowsuit
Dresses (for lack of other storage, it's on the window at the moment!)

Monday, January 11, 2016

KonMari, My Clothes Edition

What is KonMari?

Check out this post here, the 1st post in this series.

KonMari-ng my Clothing

I've been dabbling in this method for about a year now, but I never really KonMari-ed my clothing. Silly mistake, right? It IS the first step after all! Well, I didn't do it because I already had my wardrobe under control, or so I thought. I purge regularly, and it's a small and manageable wardrobe. I finally did a half-hearted session a couple weeks ago and pulled out four dresses between two sessions, but otherwise felt smug that I was *done*. Never mind that I didn't give a second glance to my accessories and shoes! Recently, I threw away a too-worn pair of pumps and hemmed and hawwed over another that I LOVE but are too high for me to manage. I pulled out a jacket the next day that I bought and never wore, and realized it was too big! I then wore a pair of pants to work that I love in theory but are baggy another few days later, and finally I understood that I really needed to put my closet (and everything else) to the KonMari test. I need to pile it all in one heap, just like Marie tells us to do. I need to sit and touch each item and FEEL if it sparks joy, and if it does not, let it go. I think I was afraid to really do this because I'd lose 'options' and feel like I had nothing to wear. I needed to let go of that fear! I figure, anything I let go would be holding me back anyhow.

Starting Numbers

I felt like I wouldn't let much go because I'm pretty good at keeping my wardrobe purged, and that this is just going to be the final wax and shine. I guessed that I'd discard only a few items in total (less than 10 counting accessories, say, and another 10 from lounge and undergarments). I guessed I owned 110 items of clothing and 75 jewelry/shoes/other items. Separately, I guessed I owned 40 lounge/sleep wear items and another 30 undergarments and socks. A total of 255 items. I have not kept an inventory since spring of last year, and I did a lot of shopping in the spring and summer so I knew I needed to do an inventory before I started.

Now, here is the REAL count (remember I live in a 4-season climate that gets very hot and very cold):

Out and About Wear
20 Tops, 4 Sweaters, 11 Tees/folded tops, 7 Tanks and Camisoles, 2 Skirts, 10 Jeans, 10 Pants, 17 Dresses, 13 Jackets, 10 Cardigans, 3 Coats
Total:  107- I guessed 110 so I was right on the money.

23 Necklaces, 15 Earrings, 8 Bracelets, 5 Pumps, 4 Flats, 3 Boots, 4 house shoes, 6 Scarves, 2 Hats, 3 Mittens, 2 Swimsuits, 1 umbrella, 2 purses, 1 tote, 2 belts, 2 belly rings, my wedding ring.
Total: 84.  I guessed 75, but didn't think of the little things like belts, belly rings, etc so also very close.

Lounge-wear & Undergarments
4 Pajama Tops, 9 Pajama Bottoms, 16 Lounge Tops, 4 lounge bottoms, 5 Leggings, 3 Nightgowns, 29 Underwear, 3 exercise pants,  2 Bras, 1 Slip, 1 robe, 9 Tights, 17 prs. Knee-highs,  9 prs. Socks
Total: 112. I guessed 70, so I was way off- mostly in undergarments.

Grand Total: 303. I guessed 255, so I was off by a bit.

The Process and 'Before' Pictures

I piled all my clothing on my bed. This was upsetting because everything was nicely hung or nicely folded (KonMari style!). It wasn't even as massive as a pile - I don't really own excessive amounts of clothing. I did, however, see I have more than enough clothing for just one person!

I picked up each piece in my hands. I've always had issues with the 'spark joy' feeling that I was supposed to use. I always went with my first instinct before- keep or toss, often contemplating items based on the usual questions we ask ourselves. I never REALLY approached it solely from the 'Does it spark joy?' question, so I didn't really know how to use it. I didn't really know if something sparked joy or not, with the exception of a few of my favorites that were easy yes's.

I did my clothing in groups- tops, lounge, underclothing, dresses, bottoms. I first did my easy yes's in the tops category and piled them together. I thought about why those items sparked joy for me- they fit me well, they flattered my figure, they were in styles and colors I loved. But how do I measure everything else against these 'diamonds'? Is it even possible to have a closet that features all '10's? In that case I have a few '9's' I'd keep and then would have to toss the rest! I started getting frustrated until I remembered that Marie mentioned in her new book, Spark Joy, that I could rate my items. She says once you have your top 10, 20, or whatever number you intuitively feel is enough, you'll be able to let the rest go with no problems. I was curious as to what my own number is, considering that I have a pretty small closet. I tried the method and still had some issues, but was able to let go of the 'bottom' rated items. I think if I had a bigger closet this tool would have been much more effective.

I struggled through the 'feeling joy' part and kept having to stop and refocus. I guess I don't have a very good joy-meter, and the point of this exercise is to hone it. I think I did get a little better at it, but clothing is difficult for me. I remembered how I felt buying each item or wearing it. There was something in each that attracted me- color, design, or pattern, there always was a reason I bought it in the first place. Some items I was able to admit once brought me joy but no longer do- a dress I wore but cannot find an occasion to wear now I'm a mother, a bottom that is too big in the waist, etc.

I put away each category as I finished it and then did my accessories, again putting it all on the bed.

Accessories were not nearly as hard as I thought they would be- I don't know if my joy meter improved or if the category itself was easier. I was 'over' a lot of items, and when I had separated my keep and discard piles I realized that it looked like jewelry that belonged to two different people! My discard pile was cheaper, larger, and louder/flashy. My keep pile was more elegant, had more delicate items, and was more simple in design. I forgot a small box of jewelry in my before picture, which had some sentimental and small items.

I finally did my shoes, which I really resisted mentally since I have so few. I piled everything again (on the floor this time) and touched each item.

The Results and Discards

I discarded a total of 84 items! I really didn't expect this and am a little bit at a loss as to what to do with what I decided to let go of. I'll have to address this very soon because my discard piles are cluttering up my bedroom! The day after finishing KonMari-ing my clothes, I tried to wear a top and decided to let it go as well, so I've included it in the numbers.

Clothing Discards

Out and About Wear
17 Tops (-3), 4 Sweaters, 5 Tees (-6), 6 Tanks and Camisoles (-1), 2 Skirts, 9 Jeans(-1), 6 Pants (-4), 14 Dresses (-3), 11 Jackets (-2), 10 Cardigans, 3 Coats
Total: Was 107, now have 87. I discarded 20 items, much more than the 10 I estimated including accessories!

Lounge-wear & Undergarments
2 Pajama Tops (-2),  10 Pajama Bottoms (-3), 12 Lounge Tops (-4), 3 lounge bottoms (-1), 5 Leggings, 2 Nightgowns (-1), 15 Underwear (-14), 2 excersize pants (-1),  2 Bras, 1 Slip, 1 robe, 7 Tights (-2), 10 prs Knee-highs (-7),  5 prs Socks (-4).
Total: 73 items. I discarded 39 items! I estimated I'd discard 10 so again, way off.

Shoe Discards

Accessory Discards

16 (-7) Necklaces, 9 Earrings(-6), 2 Bracelets (-6), 3 Pumps (-2), 4 Flats, 2 Boots (-1), 3 house shoes (-1), 6 Scarves, 2 Hat (-1), 2 Mittens (-1),  2 Swimsuits, 1 umbrella, 2 purses, 1 tote, 2 belts, 2 belly rings, my wedding ring.

Total: 59 items. I discarded 25 items! I thought I'd only let go of a couple items tops.

I also did some of my sentimental jewelry out of order and let go of 4 items leaving 3 for later, not included in totals.

Grand Total: 219 items, down from 303.

'After' Pictures

Hanging Closet- My Side (Green blouse is now gone)

Pants & Jeans Drawer

Lounge Drawer

Sweaters/Tees/Camis Drawer

Undergarment & Swimwear Drawer

Accessory Storage (Missing Purses & Scarves, in closet)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Real KonMari

What is KonMari?

KonMari is the method that Marie Kondo teaches to use to tidy your home and belongings. The method is very specific:

You cannot start until you visualize what you want and WHY until you get to the true reason
You must do this in the right order (Clothes, Books, Paper, etc)
You cannot KonMari other people's belongings without their participation- only do your own first
You must do all items by category, all at once, in a pile- any forgotten items later are to be discarded
You must TOUCH each individual item and ask yourself if it sparks joy
Discard anything that does not spark joy, unless it's something you MUST have
You cannot organize your belongings until you are done
When you are done, everything must have a home

My Tidying 'Festival'

I've done a lot of tidying, but I don't know that it's REALLY KonMari. I've used some of her principals but never truly followed the method. I'm a KonMari fraud! I never realized this until now. I never used the barometer of 'does this spark joy'- I just sorted mechanically like I always have. I never piled everything of a category into one big heap either.

I'm going to term everything I've done up until now 'pre-KonMari'. Because that's what it really was! I even posted some Before/After pictures. My living and dining room still looks almost exactly the same, and while I'm satisfied with them, I know I'm not done. I also know that the rest of the house, while it looks much better too, is very far from being done.

My Vision

The first step is to visualize what you want. If I'm going to re-do what I have done the right way, then I have to start here.

This was my first attempt, done last September: "I want to feel more connected to people and my family. I want to feel better about myself, reduce my anger/stress, stop my shopping compulsion, and improve my efficiency at work. I want to raise my daughter the way I envisioned. I want my husband and I to have more time and to enjoy our passions." While I still agree with my mission statement, I think I can do better still. 

In her new book, Spark Joy, Marie teaches to picture what you'd want your house to look like- your dream home. No holding back. If that's the case, then my home would be very different. I would have everything really open and bright, light colors in light blues/grays/pure white, with deeper blues and tans/golds for accent. Beautiful decor that really sparks joy, but sparingly. Modern-ish and elegant and clean with some glamour thrown in. A beautiful mirror, framed paintings and pictures hung just perfectly. Sparing furniture, but each piece lovely and functional. I would even own a different home, because the layout and construction of my current home are not what I'd ideally have, and I want to own a farm one day. Marie teaches that you must care for and love the home you are in and your belongings like you would your dream home, and that it will come to you. So that is what I will do.

The Right Order

Now that I have my vision, I have to start in the right place- MY clothing. I'll do a follow up post on that, but I'll confess- I don't really want to do it. I keep my closet in pretty good shape, so in a way I feel like this may be a pointless exercise. Famous last words?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Update and New Year

How I'm Doing

Hello- it's been a while since I have last posted. I've done a lot of thinking over the last few months. I'm still working on my compulsions, but can report with a smile that I have not bought an item of clothing/jewelry/etc for myself since October 21st- and not white-knuckling through it either. I'm not on a 'ban'- just waiting patiently for the right things, right prices, and right times. I had to look up the date and was surprised it's been so long. That's not to say I have not shopped- I way overdid Christmas shopping for my daughter, nephew, and nieces in November, but I was able to get through all of December without buying anything that was not necessary. I didn't shop for anything for myself (or husband/daughter) until yesterday, where I bought myself a book and a little tea set for my daughter that I have had my eye on for several months. Yes, I've missed out on awesome deals for myself in the process (hello, 50% cashmere sweaters?! or my free $30 rewards for lounge-wear?)- but I'm gaining control and confidence.

I've achieved my success mostly by finding other things to do that I love. I've been spending more time with my daughter, more time KonMari-ing, playing a computer game I used to really love instead of online browsing, and concentrating on what my overall goals are. I'd like to do more scrap-booking, but I won't be able to until I get my stuff sorted and into my new scrapbook room (the husband's cousin is finally moving out in February, and I'll be able to use that room for my scrapbook stuff, the bowflex, and my husband's music stuff, freeing my daughter's room and my bedroom! I also really would like to finish writing my book but have not felt *inspired* in the last few weeks.

New Year Goals?

Usually I do a post about all my goals and how I'll accomplish them, and how I did in the year before. I'm letting it all go. I didn't even come up with a word for this year, until it just came to me today: Free. I want 2016 to be the year I free myself, and my family. I don't want over-complicated goals, I don't want to beat myself up over last year, and I don't want to constantly measure myself against whatever I said on January 1st of any given year. I want a simple vision, that I can change when life requires it, to guide me through this year to achieve the results I want.

In simplicity:

I want to pay off as much debt as possible.
I want to finish KonMari-ing the house.
I'd like to slowly upgrade things in the house (curtains, for one).
I'd like to be more frugal with my spending overall.
I need to focus more on my family and myself.

On My Wardrobe and Shopping

I want this year's shopping to have a natural flow to it. I seriously doubt I can go the whole year without shopping, but I want it to be 'natural' in that it's when I need something. Not a need I invented in order to shop, not just because I felt like I needed to shop because of frustrations or stress. But also, not so stringent that I feel trapped, or cannot get something I really love because I didn't plan it first.

I have some wardrobe needs that'll have to get replaced sometime- a pair of black pumps for one. I also have some things I'd really like to add sometime this year- another cashmere sweater (I got my first this year, and only own 3 heavy sweaters total and live in frigid winters), in another color and fit. Other items include a pretty blue top, a necklace, and a dress I saw on my favorite website that came out months ago. I'll likely need to replace my winter boots and my ankle boots. But I'm in no hurry for anything.

On this Blog

I'd like to be more active on this blog and start focusing on my wardrobe again, but in the spirit of enjoying what I have. I'll also do more KonMari posts, since I'm still working on it and plan on re-doing everything in the 'right' order, and touching everything and being really honest with myself if it sparks joy.