Spring 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

I’m finding posting about my capsule wardrobes a good exercise. One, because I do the backwards hanger trick (putting all the hangers on the opposite way and then switching them only after they’ve been worn during that capsule) so I’m able to see what outfits I’ve been wearing, and adjust. So far, the start of each capsule has been pretty fluid, I add in some new clothes (from clothing swaps/target/ross) and subtract a few after I realize I’m not wearing certain ones I totally thought I would. After finishing this book on tidying, I definitely want to go through all my clothes again, but I think I’ll probably time that to coincide with our summer clothing swap, and then switch over to a summer capsule. Though, with Sacramento already heating up in spring and the fact that I’ve been planning what to wear in Maui next month, I imagine my summer wardrobe won’t actually look all that different compared to spring. Spring came out even – 40 total pieces, plus 5 shoes.  I’m not much of a shoe gal, so I figured I’d include shoes this time around. No workout/Pjs/undergarments however. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 5 tops
  • 6 bottoms (4 skirts, 2 pair shorts)
  • 10 layering tops/sweaters
  • 19 dresses
  • 5 pairs of shoes

So here it is, my Spring April-May-June capsule wardrobe:

Tops:

Tops

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Ross| Ross | Target | Clothing Swap | Target

Bottoms:

Bottoms

Target (last year) | TJ Maxx | H&M, a long time ago, was a dress| Ross | Target | Clothing Swap

Layering Tops/Sweaters:

Sweaters

Clothing Swap | Clothing Swap | Clothing Swap | Ross | Clothing Swap | Ross | ThredUp | Clothing Swap | Clothing Swap | Ross

Dresses: (always the largest section)

Dresses

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Clothing Swap | ThredUp | Clothing Swap | Ross | ThredUp| ThredUp

Stitch Fix | Ross | ThredUp | ThredUp |ThredUp | Target

Stitch Fix | Target | Clothing Swap | Target | Visions of Eden Old Sacramento | Ross

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Shoes:

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Clockwise from Black Sandals (that I’ve had for forever!)

Gottschalks Going Out of Business Sale! | Famous Footwear | Zappos for Karlee’s Wedding a few years ago | Amazon| Target

I’m pretty proud that nearly half of the wardrobe were either clothing swap or ThredUp meaning that I was a second, (sometimes 3rd, 4th, 5th!) owner.  Old to someone else, but new to me! The best.

Have you tried a capsule wardrobe? How did you like it?

**If you click the ThredUP links, you’ll get $10 off your first order and I’ll get a $10 credit also! Win, Win.  They are an online consignment store that carries like-new high quality clothing for budget prices! Some items are even new with tags. Highly recommend.

**If you would like to try out Stitch Fix, please use my link so I get referral credit! Stitch Fix is a personal styling company. You fill out a style profile and they send you five items. You can even share your style pinterest boards with them and they pick items they think might fit your style. You decide what to keep and send the rest back. You pay a $20 styling fee but that goes towards whatever you keep!

Favorite Baby Items: 9-12 month edition

Later than I’d planned, as usual, but here is the last edition of our favorite baby items: from 9-12 months. See 0-3, 3-6 and 6-9 if you’re curious! I’m sure there will be future toddler posts as well.

1. Trax the Train Rocker – My parents got her this for Christmas, and we love it. (Chris rolled his eyes of course when I first put in on the list because he thinks its silly that I pick up train things since he drives trains) Anyway, It plays a couple different songs and the great thing about this one compared to other rockers is the back part holds her on better.IMG_6533

(I promise that’s a smile. 😉 )

2. Pack ‘n Play – Some people really like these for younger ages, and use them as bassinets, etc. We totally didn’t. Between cosleeping and the fact that she really isn’t a fan of being contained, we didn’t need it. However, when she was too big for other chairs/jumpers/etc and not yet walking, the Pack and Play was great for showering and cooking. (and occasionally teaching piano)

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3. Tiny Diner Portable Placemat – One of my other mama friends had one of these when we went out to lunch, and it seemed really convenient, so we got one too. We really like it. It sticks to some surfaces better than others, but the little food catcher part is great for messy babies to drop food when eating out.

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4. Swinging Baby Gate – Once we childproofed our living room, this was a great gate to block her into just that room. It’s also very easily moveable. Now we have it in the kitchen doorway, since that’s where she seems to reek the most havoc.

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5. Chomp & Clack Alligator Push Toy – This is still a favorite as of 14 months when I’m writing this post. It helped her start learning to walk and now that she is walking, she loves to push it in circles and run all over the house with it. She also likes putting EVERYthing she finds around the house on top of the alligators to push them around. Socks, random baskets, rouge apple chips, remote controls, empty water bottles. I’m sure if she could lift our cat Bert, he’d be going for a spin.

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6. Blocks – She’s really starting to be able to stack blocks a bit and not just wander around with them in her mouth. And of course they also go for rides on the alligators (see #5) We have this squishy set from amazon and a similar alphabet wooden set from etsy like this one.

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Any favorites toward the end of your baby’s first year? We’ll be keeping a running list for future kiddos! 🙂

5 Friday Favs and Little Things

I’m hoping this can be a new semi regular series on the blog.  And that may mean monthly.  Or whenever I remember. 🙂  A mix of 5 links and 5 little things on a Friday.

I have so many articles open on my phone that I have read over the last month or so. It keeps going on the back burner to put them into a post.  And I know I just need to do it, so I can start collecting new ones! So finally, here are just a few of the great articles I read in March and April.

5 Friday Favs:

Right around the time 50 Shades of Grey came out, Scary Mommy posted this gem about the 50 shades of breastfeeding.  Nailed it.

This is a much more elegant post than mine last week was about how we only just share a slice of our lives on social media.

Some excellent Louis CK Parenting Quotes in this post.

I Support Your Right to Share My Rights. Really great post from Momastery about LGBT rights. I rarely hear someone so strongly Christian speak on this topic with such a wonderful perspective.

This one made me tear up.  Motherhood is truly the strongest bond.  You’re a mom, you know.

5 Little Things:

Excited for: We leave for Maui in a month! So excited to get back to my home away from home after 5 years.  And to show it to Clare!  Hit me with your tips for traveling with a 15 month old.

Thinking about: How grateful I am that Chris works for Amtrak.  Even when the unpredictability drives me up the wall, I am so thankful that it supports a huge part of our lives and allows me to pursue things I am really passionate about like writing, birth work and my podcast which also can and will contribute financially to our family in small and big ways in the future. But, I wouldn’t be able to be on that path if he didn’t have the stable career that he does, and I don’t take that for granted.

Hoping for: An active summer schedule. Teaching 2-3 zumba classes, maybe getting back into softball (it’s been FOREVER.)  Exercise is a huge part of my self care and when it’s lacking, I can very quickly spiral to bad places.

Setting a Goal to: Finish up Part 4 of my childbirth work and make some headway on some other projects before we leave for Maui.

Loving: Spring weather.  I know it won’t last long before it’s 105 here, so I’m trying to enjoy the cooler mornings and evenings while they last.  Also – pretty much obsessed with the Bare brand cinnamon apple chips.

 

Happy Weekend!

Progress > Perfection

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I’m pretty sure this has been my all out mantra for everything lately.

Life with a high needs “spirited” one year old for this goal-oriented, anxious perfectionist is HARD. Any other mamas with kids as intense as Clare, I know you feel me. I just started reading this book and I find myself highlighting EVERYTHING.

As you probably saw, my 2015 goals were pretty lofty this year…but slowly and steadily I do feel that I’m making progress on them. And PROGRESS is what’s important. As we’ve just finished the first quarter of the year (what?!), I thought it good to do a check in on goals and how things are going so far.

 

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Meditation: I think I’m doing pretty good at this one! I’ve only missed a handful of days, mostly due to the rampant illnesses that seem to be plaguing our house, and I’ve consciously made an effort to never miss more than one day in a row. Sessions vary between 3 and 15 minutes depending on the day, and I do feel like I get more out of the practice if I do it for at least 10. Finding the time that works best has been tricky. When Chris is home, I try and do it first thing in the morning as a part of my morning routine. If he isn’t, I try and kind of do a ‘do over’ of my morning when Clare goes down for a nap. I find it’s a LOT harder if I save it to the evening. My brain is spent, and I am barely able to stay focused on a short one. Apps that I use are Calm, Buddify, Mindful and Headspace. Do you know of any other good meditation apps? Please share.

Five Minute Journal: I’ve also been really good about this one. I like that it includes gratitude, planning and reflecting on the day. I also try to always remember to write in my Mom’s One Line a Day Journal, but sometimes I find myself catching up on a couple days of that one.

Blogging: So far so good on the one post per week. I’ve only missed a week or two, and some weeks I included my post for Girls on the Grid in my count. Once per week is a much more doable goal than writing goals I’ve tried to make previously.

Recipes: We definitely haven’t really been trying out a new recipe per period. We have made a few things out of the baby led weaning cookbook. This green bean recipe is also awesome. And we’ve been making our own corn tortillas. Honestly between Chris’s schedule, Clare challenges and all of the sickness that has been plaguing us, food has dropped on the priority list. Cheese and crackers and hummus and bread have been regular meal staples for me. It’s bad. (Okay it could be a lot worse) But we’ve gotta get a bit better in this area.

Date Nights: This one has been a big fat fail. One of my best friends who was our neighbor and would sometimes watch Clare recently moved away. And when my parents have been up here, Chris has been gone or we’ve all been SICK. Have I mentioned we’ve all been sick?? So we just haven’t really made it happen. We did have a breakfast out at the end of March, but that’s about it. Here’s hoping in the later part of the year when my parents MOVE up here, we’ll get back on track with this one.

Read 25 Books – Totally on track. 6 down, 19 to go. Reviews of my first 4 here. Books and Podcasts are totally saving my sanity. (Though I am a bit ridiculous in that I am currently reading 5 books at once!)

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Learn to Sew a Quilt: Again, maybe this summer once my parents are up here, and I can plan on someone to watch Clare.

Podcast: This is going really well. Yesterday, episode 8 launched, and I’ve got some AWESOME guests lined up in the coming weeks. More at www.postpartumpodcast.com

Childbirth Educator Work: It’s SLOW going, but I’m starting to get on a better track. They re-did the program, and I like the new structure better, but it’s still very daunting the amount of work I need to get done. But, I do have a mentor, and some childbirth class observations lined up. I’ve joined a support group for other ICEA students in training on FB. Hopefully again, once my parents are here I can get into a more regular study routine, I can observe some births, and get on track to finish it all up in early 2016. I know that sounds so far away…but with the amount of work I need to get done, it sounds scary that it’s even that close.

Couch-to-5K: So I got about six weeks into the program. Now I think it’s an awesome program, and it made me not hate running, once they got to the part where you’re running straight for 20-25 minutes they lost me. But by running in intervals I ran the Girls on the Go 5k in 32 minutes at the end of March. Not too shabby for my first time running a 5K. And I’m going to chalk it up to, I can do running for cardio in a pinch, but it’s not really my ‘thing’. Zumba is. And I’m going to hopefully be teaching 3 zumba classes this summer! Hooray!

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In a perfect world, I’d dedicate several uninterrupted hours per week on my childbirth work and podcast and writing and working on a new project that I’m really excited about. But our world is far from perfect these days. So instead I’m having to make progress in the cracks and crevices of the days. On the fringe.   And that’s okay. Because Progress > Perfection. And DONE is > than perfection.

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My episode as a guest on the wonderful Sarah R. Bagley’s podcast today discusses just that! Please check it out, and the rest of her episodes. Her guests always resonate with me!

 

And remember:

progress

 

It’s Hard. Social Media and Reality.

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Sometimes Instagram can be a great source of inspiration and happiness. I love scrolling through pretty pictures, slices of people’s lives. With the adorable “Cat of Instagram” picture, smiling baby or the super inspiring messages from people like January Harshe of Birth Without Fear and my friend Sarah of Scout and Feather.

But other times all of the pretty pictures can totally make me feel worse about whatever trouble is going on at that moment. I guess that’s the catch 22 about social media in general, right? Do the potential harder moments outweigh the benefits or vice versa? I think of it more as a see-saw. Some days I’m the one crying in the bedroom after having a mommy meltdown that Clare won’t stop screaming and I don’t know what’s wrong or what to do to help her for the 5th day in a row. (Thank god for that usually happening when Chris is home to pick up the slack.) Days like that it feels like scrolling through IG is just mocking me. “You don’t have that picture perfect coffee picture next to the beautiful planner with the chipper status.” “You aren’t on that exotic vacation, or hanging out with friends.” Instead, I’m desperately trying to juggle it all, working, primary care giving a very high needs spirited toddler, (sometimes both at the same time) and working on my slow crawl to an eventual career in birth work. Not to mention trying to cultivate other relationships in my life.   It’s fucking hard. Yes, I’m cussing, even though that’s usually not my blogging MO. For that sort of blog you should check out Renegade Mothering and of course the One Bad Mother podcast. Love them.

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But seriously, though. It’s hard and I think it should be okay to say it’s hard. It should be okay to have a meltdown every once in a while. To cry. Get some hot chocolate on a rainy day. And then dust yourself off and get back on the merry-go-round.

I guess I should be setting limits on Instagram like I have been on Facebook and Email. I use the Coach.me (previously Lift) app to track habits and that includes trying to limit my checking of those two. Hard habit to break. But I probably should do the same with IG. If for no other reason than to save myself from the hard days of it making me feel worse rather than inspired.

Some days I AM the one with the delicious coffee and the beautiful planner. Next month we ARE going to Hawaii. I’ve made some new friends on IG, participated in a gift swap through @joyfullyinspired and used social media to make other’s days better and even to leverage partnerships and contacts for various endeavors over the years. MOST days, to talk in childbirth speak, the benefits do outweigh the risks…and so I tend to err on the side of soldiering on in the world of social media.

Sometimes it’s just about reminding myself that this is just a slice of life. Just a slice of my life and just a slice of others. And every once in a while it’s worth putting our more ‘real’ moments out there – not solely the highlight reels. I like to think that by doing so, we’re reaching out a small olive branch, saying “I’m not perfect. I’m not all sunshine and rainbows and beautiful coffee and workouts and happy mail and smiling babies. I’m also crying in the bedroom after a long week, binging on sweets, panic attacks, cancelled plans, screaming babies, yoga pants-all-day, chaos so deep that sometimes driving to the dentist feels like a break.” I’m both. We’re all both. And we could do with sharing that more.