Spanx Denim Review

Since spring I’ve been intrigued by all of the pull on jeans out there! Would they be more comfortable than a traditional waistband? Suck me in a bit more?
As you can see, I got a pair of the Spanx pull on wide leg- and I love them. They have been harder to get on/off than I thought (if you’re bigger in the hips I would suggest sizing up!), but that’s becoming easier and easier! This pair is a bit big in the waist (but my natural waist is super high and that’s part of it) but I love the way they look and how high they are!

While I can’t speak to every pair of pull on jeans out there, these I can whole heartedly recommend! I’ve linked them for you below (for reference I’m in a XS/Tall). Do you have any pull on jeans that you love?


note: This post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

a woman in a green garden in wide leg pull on jeans, a black t-shirt and brown and gold sandals

Holiday Weekend Off

a woman in a straw hat, black bikini bottoms and a pink strapless top stands in a pool

This the Friday before Memorial Day and it’s the start of Summer. I’m taking off work to be with friends and family and spend time in the water. (Though you can shop along with me via the LTK or SHOPSTYLE apps!) This Weekend? I’ll be cleaning out my closet like here, wearing swim like here and being with family. Follow along on my socials and I can’t wait to see you back on Wed to share more fashion and stories!

(Also-please let me know what you’re up to this weekend! I love seeing your fashion and stories!)

Altered State

a woman in a purple dress with red flowers on it in a garden

This post could easily be about how I love the color purple (see here, here, and here for starters). Or I could tell you about how this weekend I was my mom’s date to her 50th College Reunion, where I not only had a great time but realized I’m at the age where graduations make me cry. But what this post is really about is making an outfit your own.

And when we talk about that, it usually means that the styling is very you. However, this time I made this dress my own when I altered it on the fly! Yep! I did!

a woman in a lavender dress with red flowers

You’ve seen this dress before here, it’s a sweet homemade number from the 1970s that’s always made me smile. Yet, as easy as it is to throw on and go, the top kept fitting me oddly. Not TOO big, but a little off.
a woman in a lavender dress with red flowers
It didn’t bother me at first, but over the night it began to be a little obvious (to me) that the fit of the dress would improve if the straps were a little shorter/tighter. The issue could have been solved with a safety pin, or even a paper clip, but I didn’t have one on me. As I was my mom’s date I didn’t want to make a scene, but was beginning to worry that my fit might turn into a fashion emergency. While sitting through a presentation with my uncle, I happened to ask him if he had a pocket knife (desperate times, desperate measures), but he had something even better- scissors.

a close up of scissors in a woman's hand

I discreetly slipped out to the restroom, cut the straps of the dress, and tied them in a halter around my neck. (I tied the ends in slight knots till I have a chance to hem those!) My look and my night was saved – all by a slight alteration!

a woman in a lavender dress with red flowers

While altering the state of your outfit on the fly can be risky- sometimes it’s needed. And if it makes you feel best in the look, isn’t that what counts? Have you ever altered your outfit on the fly? From cutting straps to taping hems, I want to know all about it!

This dress is vintage, but I found you some similar ones- hopefully you don’t have to alter them on the fly!

Note: This post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

Reading Reviews

the back of a woman in a tan trench coat that reads AWESOME on it

As someone who has background in theater, I have mixed feelings about reviews. I have friends and peers who avoid them like the plague, colleagues who take every word of every review to heart, and the elusive person who is somehow able to take the constructive criticism out of reviews and forget about the rest. I strive to be like the last person, but honestly? Getting reviewed is hard, especially if it’s a project that’s personal.

So, what does that have to do with fashion? Beyond the similarity that having someone criticize your outfit can be awful, reading reviews is how I’ve recently upped my online shopping game.

I have always loved online shopping-the convenience of buying at anytime from anywhere, it’s like getting a gift in the mail from yourself, and you can avoid dressing rooms (which I have a love/hate relationship with). There are so many good things from online shopping. And yet- there are some downfalls too. Even though I sometimes hate trying clothes on (I know, it’s weird- I think it’s the combo of getting undressed/dressed, body issues, and poor lighting), not being able to see (or feel) what you’re buying in real life can be annoying. And lead to even more annoying returns.

Yes, even though I can hate trying clothes on I do recognize that it is an important part of getting clothes you love and will wear! Part of what I love about online shopping is that I can do the try on in the comfort of my own home!

Usually, my online shopping is on point, but lately I’ve had a few orders that were just off. The size was completely wrong, the material felt so much cheaper that I was expecting, the tailoring was undone. Returns are often annoying and time consuming, and to save myself the pain of that, I have made it my mission to become a better online shopper. How I’m doing that? By reading reviews.

It’s not that I never read reviews before, but I often let my desire for the item be the driver of my purchase. But now? I’m paying attention to the reviews, I’m loving seeing how others react to pieces, and I’m grateful for the input of amazing strangers! While I don’t always go solely by the reviews, I’m finding that there are a few things in reviews that really help me shop better!

Reviewers who post pictures are saints among us. It’s so helpful to seee pieces on real bodies, as sometimes the models have been pinned into the clothes! When I’m looking at pictures, I look to see fit, how the garments drape, if there are any obvious issues. It’s so helpful to see the item being worn!

We’re all different, with different body types, preferences, etc. Naturally, that can lead to varying reviews. However, if I find that a bunch of reviews have the same comment or concern, I take it seriously. Recently, there was a skirt I loved-yet every single review said that the waist seemed to run small in comparison to the rest of the skirt, leading to bunching. It wasn’t just one or two reviewers, but a consistent review. I didn’t buy the skirt, as I trusted all the reviewers!

Often reviews can be incredibly general. Simply “fits great!”. I know it’s so easy to be that general, and I find myself sometimes doing the same thing. So, anytime a reviewer adds details, ie the waist is high, the darts aren’t even, etc I take it into account! Details are incredibly important (And I’ll try my best to add them in here!), and can make or break a garment- or shopping decision!

Obviously, when I’m online shopping I still think about how much I love the item, how I can style it, price, etc- but reading reviews has really helped me in my shopping. Do you read reviews? What do you look for in reviews?

xo RA

An Ad made me Buy it: Versed

I’m not immune to any of ads that we all get on social media. I’ll admit that I kinda want to try everything that comes across my timeline- from health pills to face masks to bodysuits. Even the stool that helps you do a head stand? I kinda want that- and to be able to do all the workouts and the head stands! I see all the ads, and I have to say- there are some that have been so persuasive that I can’t resist. One such ad? The one for the Versed Resurfacing Mask!

While, I’m a fan of most face masks (and attempt to do them regularly), this Versed mask is a bit magical. It’s simple to use (truly, just put it on and let the mask work, then wipe it off!) and leaves my skin glowing, hydrated- and after regular use, I’m noticing a difference in my dark spots. I typically use it while I brush my teeth, etc, or while in a bath- at least 1-2 times a week.

Weirdly, that’s almost exactly what the ad promised me. And yet, I have been so happily surprised that this mask worked. Is it because we’re (I mean I’m) wary of ads? Even when the product advertised is one we (again, me!) really thinks we may want? Then how do we decide which ads to take a chance on- aka let the ad make us buy- and which ads to ignore?

This Versed mask was a low stake investment -under $20- so while an ad made me buy it, I felt as if it was something that I might also be tempted by at the store (Versed is carried online and at Target and Ulta- and yes, I’ve linked this exact mask and other Versed products I’m loving below!). So, what swayed me was the ad, and the brand recognition (I had seen Versed at Target and tried one of their serums before), and the fact that I wasn’t going to sink too much money into it. After using the Versed Resurfacing mask- I have to say, I don’t regret letting the ad make me buy it at all.

So, the next time an ad makes me want to buy something? I don’t know. Of course, it could depend on a lot- price, brand, need, etc. But I have to say, having a not bad experience with a product that I saw a social media ad for has me feeling a bit optimistic. Have you ever bought anything from a social media ad? What was your experience?

Also- the opinions here are completely my own, the Versed mask was not gifted, and I really did buy the mask from an ad! I’ve listed it here for you and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it!


note: This post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

Valentine Gift Guide

a woman in a sheer silver dress with fur sleeves in front of a stature that says love

I’ve always have had an interesting relationship with Valentine’s Day. Not that I don’t love love- and want it celebrated- but, as much as my life is public, and I’m a trained performer, I’ve not always liked how performative Valentine’s can feel. As in, yes buy me flowers but buy me flowers because you want to, not so I’ll post them.

However, while there were years that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Valentine’s, that’s slowly changing. Maybe it’s Galentine’s and celebrating with friends, maybe it’s because after being at home, any and every excuse to celebrate love, or maybe it’s because I also get into self love (aka buy myself flowers and usually new shoes). Whatever it is, Valentine’s is a fun holiday, and I’m all for us having fun. And getting presents.

It may seem weird that I’m doing a gift guide, as I also usually find gift guides lacking, as in my opinion, the best gifts are the most personal. However, taking the viewpoint that this is a fun holiday to be celebrated, I’ve gone on and rounded up some of my favorites of the “usual” gifts- jewelry, bags, heart themed things, etc -though note, these are mainly for you or the women in your life. The men in your life? Ask them what they want (though some men in my life really love flowers!)

Beyond these options, I think it’s a great time to buy yourself a little something -from flowers to that thing on your wishlist- but I also love these bags, shoes, lingerie and necklaces! I hope that you find something you love or something someone you love would love! Without further ado, these are my gifts I’m loving for Valentine’s Day!

Note: This post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

Gift of Scent
various perfume bottles
While I’ve a go-to scent for years (Allure by Chanel), lately I’ve been loving experimenting with other scents. There are so many great deals on mini perfumes (so you can give a lot) or gift sets that are incredibly special. Either would make great Valentine’s gifts!
shop my scent picks here

Heart Print
a round up of bags, shoes, and clothes with hearts on them
a round up of heart sweaters, shoes, socks, cups and More

I think that you have to be picky about your heart items. Some of them are a little too saccharine for me, while others are so chic. Yet, I also love dressing to a theme. These are some of my favorite heart socks, sweaters, bags, and shoes! From simple red to patterns, I love them all.
Shop these here and here

Gift of Bling
You can never, ever go wrong with diamonds. And from necklaces to earrings, these are some of my favorites that I know you and yours will love.

For You
a round up of black and red lace lingerie and sleep sets
From sleep sets to pretty underthings, you’ll love these laces and satins. And if you choose to share these gifts, I’m sure they’ll love them too!
Shop these gifts for you here

What are you doing for Valentine’s? And are you gifting anything special to anyone -including you?
I can’t wait to hear about it all!

How to Revamp your Wardrobe without Buying Anything New

a woman in a black slip dress

Maybe it’s the time of year, but I’m feeling a bit uninspired and my go-to solution is to buy new things. From shoes to bags to dresses, pants, and more. My going theory is that new will inspire me, make getting dressed more fun, and get me out of the winter blahs. Yet. I know that new isn’t always the answer- and that really, my closet(s) full of clothes have so much potential in them. The trick is getting me to use what I have, instead of reaching for the new. Looking for help and inspiration in making new with clothes I already have, I loved this Harper’s Bazaar article by Megan Doyle, about getting the revamp feeling without buying anything! While some of these practices aren’t for me, I love that the heart of the piece focuses on what stories we want to tell with our fashion, and finding those in our closet.

While I’ve reprinted the article below, you can read it here as well.

I would love to know- how do you deal with the urge to buy a ton new at this time of year?

How to revamp your wardrobe without buying anything new
Stuck in a rut? A sustainable fashion stylist could help you rediscover your personal style
7 OCT 2022

If you ever stare into a packed wardrobe and think “I’ve got nothing to wear!” you’re not alone. According to research on hundreds of wardrobes by sustainable fashion brand Pareto, we only wear 20 per cent of our wardrobes 80 per cent of the time. If you’re in a style rut, the answer doesn’t have to be a shopping spree. Instead, many women are turning to sustainable stylists to help them rediscover their personal style using what they already have in their wardrobes.

There are plenty of reasons that we end up with a wardrobe full of the “wrong” clothes, from relentless advertising on social media to rapid trend cycles that keep us constantly buying new clothes, regardless of whether they fit our style.

“In this age of information, it’s very hard to decipher what thoughts are truly our own, never mind our style, so it’s more important than ever that women go on a journey to discover what optimises their body, creativity and soul,” says Kerry Wilde, a UK-based sustainable fashion stylist and creator of the Embodied Soul Style Method.

a woman in a black tweed dress and flat black boots

Sustainable stylists offer a range of services to help their clients to discover the hidden potential of their wardrobes, like one-on-one sessions, group workshops, online courses, Youtube tutorials, questionnaires and more.

“I am interested in how to decouple your personal style from consumption, because we’re so hardwired for it,” says Alyssa Beltempo, a Canadian sustainable stylist. “Fashion is something that helps us both as individuals to express ourselves, but it also helps us feel like we belong. Our style evolves all the time, but I think it takes a bit of work, introspection, and knowing who you are. There are a lot of reflective pieces to it, like who do you want to be?”

People often turn to styling during a transitional phase of their life. Perhaps they’ve had a baby, are starting or changing their career, or going through a break up. “They want to feel like themselves,” explains Sam Weir, who runs her sustainable styling company called Lotte V.1 in New York. “It’s fun to be part of the process of them developing their career, their relationships, and making sure their clothing matches the image that they’re building towards.”

To uncover or rediscover your personal style, our stylists suggest coming up with a list of words to describe what you’re looking for. Don’t just think about aesthetics, but also the feeling you want to get from your clothes. “It’s really about figuring out who you are, who you want to present to the world, and then you can create a picture of your personal style,” says Beltempo. “Forget about camouflaging your mid-section — do you want to highlight your personality? Your smile? Your legs? Start from there,” she says.

On the rare occasion the stylists want their client to buy something, it’s because of that piece’s potential to unlock far more outfit options in their wardrobe.

“I’m not against shopping completely, I’m against overconsumption and a lack of thought when shopping,” says Weir. She sources the pieces for clients, always opting for secondhand clothing, and shares a care guide with clients too. “It’s not just about styling, we have to make sure all these pieces are taken care of so you can continue to wear them. These are forever pieces and I want them to take care of it.”

In some ways, a styling session can feel like therapy. “My services are about inspiring women to better understand their own unique language of style, embracing who they are now, healing body shame, shedding what no longer works, releasing old identities and returning to a style that evokes truth and authenticity,” says Wilde. “I think our relationship with clothing is deeper than we see on the surface and so grabbing a journal and beginning the process of unpacking what’s hidden beneath can be a cathartic way to tap into ‘who you think you are’ and what’s relevant for you now, here, today.”

Rarely do our sustainable stylists encourage clients to throw away clothing, adding to the mountains of textile waste already polluting the world. “The only reason I would encourage someone to get rid of something is the fit, if we can’t make sense of this for your body, that’s when it should be moved out of your wardrobe,” says Weir. She recommends gifting or selling before donating your unloved items to reduce the pressure on charities. “There are so many creative ways we can use these clothes before we donate.”

Hiring a sustainable stylist is an investment that isn’t always accessible, so if you’re not ready to take the plunge, why not download a wardrobe organising app like OpenWardrobe or Whering, which digitises your clothes and uses an algorithm to formulate outfit ideas. Whatever way you do it, taking stock of your style is an ongoing practice that will serve you in every stage of life.

“Taking time to re-wire our personal style and therefore buying decisions is well worth the investment as it reduces the consequences of an over-cluttered wardrobe bulging with unwanted clothes,” says Wilde. “If you learn how to move your wardrobe around and make it work more for you, the results can be transformational.”

a woman turns back to camera in a floral kimono and black jeans

I Can’t Seperate My Anxiety from my Obession with Fashion and Beauty

a woman in a teal and yellow silk robe applies skin cream in a bathroom mirror

Note: This is a repost from Fashoinista, you can see the original here. The author is Maura Brannigan and when I read it I fell in love. Many of us suffer with anxiety and depression. I’m not immune to that. My anxiety can make many things difficult, and there are times when planning my outfits gives me peace. There are also times when I hyper focus on how I look- from my skin to my hair to all the things from how my jeans fit, etc. Ritual and routine, aka skincare, can be so soothings- especially when we can see results! Which is why I’m thrilled to announce I’ve partnered with CosmeticRx, which offers prescriptions on RetinA and Latisse (And I’m in love with skin care that means we look amazing without makeup!). You can use code INVESTMENTPIECE for $19 RetinA (and strength) and Latisse monthly orders starting at $89! This article, and these products, really speak and help me – and I hope they do the same for you! XO RA

When I was in fourth grade, I realized I could not, for lack of a better phrase, see shit. It occurred to me abruptly, in the middle of a math lesson. My table was in the mid-back of the classroom, and as my teacher was doing whatever she was doing on the overhead projector, I began panicking when things I should have been able to read appeared blurry, like someone had sneakily slid Vaseline over my eyeballs at recess. My tiny body felt hot and immobile, suddenly much too big for its chair; if I willed myself just so, I wondered, could I drop through the linoleum and leave a searing hole in my place? At least that way, none of my classmates would have to see me in the inevitable, which I knew to be glasses.

Sure enough: I emerged from LensCrafters several days later, bummed about my newfound ailment but also absolutely amazed at the detail I could now see. (“Leaves!” I remember announcing to my dad as we left the store. “They look like that?!”)

I see now that this was, probably, one of my earlier panic attacks. There were other incidents, too, like my first day of kindergarten when I sat alone, my social anxiety revving up while I silently, maniacally brainstormed conversation topics I could present to my new peers. My anxiety has always been there. It sits on my shoulder, alerts me that something is off and then vacates the building. It is very flighty. But it has legs.

Like so many people with anxiety, or with depression, or with any number of mood disorders, I find my security in plans. I’ve never met a list I didn’t just devour. And as with so many others, my anxiety is often triggered when I’m thrown off schedule. When I sense my symptoms — sometimes mental, like a weird, morose dread, or sometimes physical, like shortness of breath or stomach knots — I take comfort in pattern. Much has been said in recent years about how elaborate beauty routines, sometimes Korean ones, can help fight depression. I get that wholly.

When I was younger (and there was also much less visibility surrounding mental health), I deduced on my own that if I could regulate every last element of what was happening on the outside of my body, it could have lasting effects on what was going on inside that makes me want to barrel through floors. Even today, my obsession with the fashion and beauty industries is inextricably linked to my expectation that looking nice, looking exactly what I want to look like, will leave me, finally, feeling at ease.

The degree to which I go about planning is methodical at one end of the spectrum and neurotic at the other. There was the year that “The Parent Trap” was released on VHS, and my 10-year-old brain became so embarrassingly infatuated with Hallie Parker that I took pen-to-paper notes on her wardrobe each time I watched. There was my first day of seventh grade in which, after a summer of intensive mood-boarding, I showed up to school in a truly wild, 1970s-inspired ensemble complete with bell bottoms and brown suede boots. My efforts backfired, and I was snickered at with such gusto that I felt I had no choice but to change into my gym clothes. (I wasn’t so much upset, per se, as I was frustrated that my classmates didn’t yet know how to appreciate a proper “lewk.”) There was the month-long stretch — I was, maybe, 15 — when I decided having Pantene Pro-V commercial hair would eliminate all my adolescent woes. When I realized that it did not and it would not, I felt like I had been stabbed in the back by that very shampoo bottle.

My relationship with fashion and beauty products has helped me cope. And over the years, I’ve accumulated a collection of stuff — skin-care, aromatherapy, supplements, whatever — that I’ve turned to time and again to make me feel in control.

Most of that regimen has some physiological benefit, as I’ve learned through years and years of product testing. Bedtime is my scariest time; it can take what is essentially witchcraft to get me asleep. I keep a lavender sachet on my bedside table, which I let sit on my chest for a few minutes when I first climb into bed. I love a pillow spray, as well, the most effective variety of which I’ve found to be the mega-popular Deep Sleep Pillow Spray with lavender, vetiver and camomile from This Works. The hype is not misplaced; after several months of use, the brand’s name holds up.

Mornings, though, are easy. I began taking Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb popular in Ayurvedic medicine, with my breakfast about two years ago, per the recommendation of my doctor. (Obviously, supplements aren’t for everyone, and you should always check with your own doctor before starting them.) Both Google and my doctor say that Ashwagandha helps lower cortisol, balance thyroid hormones and combat stress. I say that, yes, it does do that, but I don’t know if it’s the placebo of taking, doing, planning that helps more.

Last winter posed a new kind of challenge. None of my regular tricks seemed to do what I needed them to do. Neither did the calendar-planning, nor the additional pages of lists I scribbled in an attempt to coax myself into stillness. I felt lost, and disheartened, and guilty for feeling any of it. I felt guilty for being rattled when I knew so many others had it much worse than I did. I felt guilty for comparing my own anxiety to that of others, when my mental health was mine and mine alone. I felt guilty for saying no to my closest friends in an attempt to prioritize “self-care,” a hot new phrase I felt guilty for not knowing if I was practicing correctly. I felt guilty for being a selfish partner, and I felt guilty that my boyfriend had to see me as a person I myself didn’t recognize.

Some evenings, I would come home and immediately lie down on the kitchen floor, not bothering to take off my coat or scarf or hat. If my partner was home, he and our dog would join, three warm bodies sardined between the stove and sink. That guilt, of feeling him planking next to me when I knew that he, too, didn’t know how to help me, was worst of all.

I would get up, eventually. And soon, it became days, then weeks, then months, since my last time on the kitchen floor. I just kept doing what I knew worked: letting objects, like hand lotion that smells like my mom, work their material, aspirational magic, and healing from the outside in. An advertiser’s dream.

I feel guilty for that, too. Fashion and beauty products are, of course, just “things.” But we all know “things” can also carry real, emotional weight and become so much more. Why should I judge myself for what I find and have always found to be constructive?

Even so, I’m trying to learn how to loosen the reins, as they say, so that I don’t immediately slip into “flight” mode when confronted with the unexpected. I’m trying to learn how to let anxiety simply beat through me, and how to treat it with the same compassion I might bestow on a loved one, or as I’m also learning, on myself.

Right now, I’m working on my own wellness practice, like meditation — I enjoy the “Calm” app — and 4-7-8 breathing. But I’ve found that the very best thing I can do for myself is to stare my anxiety, and the guilt that comes with it, straight in the face — not to embalm it in lavender or distract it with 18 tabs of suede mules that, in some strange way, might make each hard day feel more navigable. Absolutely everything changed when I began accepting my anxiety for what it is, not trying to fix it like something I could tend with a Band-Aid — how one might fix a fourth-grade astigmatism with a pair of glasses from LensCrafters.

PS My eyes (though I’ve always needed glasses) are also going -though I’m leaning into reading glasses being chic. And I’m using the RetinA to disguise the fact that sometimes squinting is leaving me with wrinkles I would rather not have. Reminder that code InvestmentPiece at CosmeticRX gets you a $19 order! xo RA

a close up up of a CosmeticRx box with a box of RetinA and Latisse in it

Another Year, Another Closet Clean Out

Fun fact- I wrote this last year, and while I had every intention of cleaning out my closet last year, it didn’t really happen. For a lot of the reasons I chat about here. Overwhelm. Still not sure what my life is going to look like. At the end of the year, I did begin to clean out- and it felt great. I’m still taking it slow, and while the world and I are more open than we were, I’m determined to let that uncertainty lead me to make amazing fashion choices- and not hold onto items I really don’t need anymore. Especially when there are so many great ways to recycle your clothing and get your great items to people who do need them! Below are my thoughts on cleaning out your closet even when it’s hard, my method to clean out my closet, and this year I am really going to do it! XO RA

fashion, blogger, closet clean out, clean closet, closet full of clothes, Austin, tx, Los Angeles, ca

About this time, you’ll be seeing, getting, reading all sorts of articles and tips on how to clean out your closet. It’s that time of year. And I get it- I’m a fan of cleaning out closets,I even have my own method which I’ve gone into detail about here, here, and here. Yes, when I clean out my own closet I do these EXACT things. I go through section by section and sort my yes, no, and maybe piles, trying on all my maybes and asking myself questions to see if they fit in my closet (life). Then I sort again, organize and make plans to get rid of my nos.

But. Wanna know a secret?

I haven’t cleaned out my closet in a couple of years. With the pandemic, and all the things, I just haven’t been up to it. Part of it is overwhelm- even though I have a system that works for me, I’m well versed in what I like and what I want my closet to look like, the stories I want to tell with my fashion- going through my clothes right now seems daunting. Some of that is that I know some things I know I need to sort out and replace (like a lot of my sports bras), and the idea of replacing a section seems too much right now. Part of it is that I’m at a loss for what’s happening in the world right now. Am I not wearing things because of the item or fit- or because I’ve been at home for over a year? How do you judge that and what are you doing about it?

Investment Piece: Luxury

If you’re managing to clean out in a way that’s working for you, I can’t tell you how much I admire you. A closet clean out is currently on my list of January goals, and I’m still not even sure how to start it. There are so many things in my closet that I love, some I need to part with, and many that I would love to add- and in this time that’s all a bit much.

I’m changing at how I’m looking at the closet clean out this year. Will I eventually go through my closet, using my processes and get rid of the things that no longer serve me? Yes. At some point will I replace all the things that I need to (for me, sports bras)? Of course. However, while all of that is still overwhelming, I’m choosing to focus on other aspects of a closet clean out- the organization. During the pandemic my closet space became more temporary than it had been in years. There was a time when you could ask about any item I own- ANY- and I would know EXACTLY where it was in my closet. Skirts, pants, tops, dresses, vintage, modern- my closet was sorted by type, color, function. It was pristine. Now? I don’t know where anything is (I do, but not in the ways I’m used to). Instead of making myself stress out about another closet clean out, I’m focusing on getting my closet back to being pristinely organized. Will that help in a clean out (as some clean will naturally happen along the way)? Yes. Or at least I’m hoping so!

But taking the pressure off myself is making this process easier on me. In my closet clean out process, I always say that you shouldn’t feel pressured to get rid of things just to get rid of things. If you love something, if it brings you joy (even if you aren’t wearing it every day), I say keep it. This relaxed attitude has always let me clean out my closet in a way that lets me keep things, while I really do get rid of the things that are no longer for me. I’m crossing my fingers that this same attitude will let me organize- and clean out- while avoiding the overwhelm.

How are you making room for new stories this year? How are you cleaning out your closet? I would love to hear any and all tips!

Holiday Sanity

 a woman in a plaid shirt and black pants sitting by a green reindeer

Halloween is barely over – I haven’t even put up the decorations- and yet, it feels as if the HOLIDAYS are already breathing down our neck (and I know that the holidays usually means American and Christian traditions and if those aren’t yours I see you!). Though, let’s be honest, if you’ve been to the shops any time lately the holidays have been coming (aka my local stores swapped out Halloween deals for Christmas deals and decorations about two weeks ago). This is where I want to give you tips on how to navigate the holidays and keep your sanity in tact.

I want to tell you that I have every post, holiday outfit, holiday gift, and holiday trip planned. This is where I could tell you that I’m so ahead on gift guides, writing, plans, and all of the holiday things that I can just sit back and relax, enjoy November and have a stress free holiday season.

Yet. I would be lying to you.

This season I have big plans for gift guides (something that I struggle with so I’m excited to share my plans with you!), my outfits are still somewhat in flux- as are my plans- and while I’m aiming high and want to take each moment as it comes- I’m not ahead. There’s a chance you could even say I’m not over prepared. (Which I long to be each year at this time) So, with all of (waves hands at all we’re supposed to be doing and all that’s going on) how do we stay sane during the holiday season? How do we enjoy it as it’s happening and not worry about what we “should” be doing?

This is where I tell you that I’m not sure. However I can share what I’m doing to keep my sanity- holiday and otherwise.

a woman in a plaid shirt sits at a table with a red bookmark and a candle surrounded by greenery

From my calendar to my to-do list, I’m writing down my wants, my shoulds, my goals, and my deadlines. Attempting to break everything down into doable steps and timelines, trying to plan ahead, but not be overwhelming to myself. Does it help? For me? Yes. And sometimes, that does mean that I make double lists and then throw lists away, but constantly seeing it all helps.

While deadlines can sometimes lead to insanity, I actually find that they help me during the holiday season. I pick and keep to the days where I can no longer take on new projects, that I need to have posts done by, that I’m giving up (in the good way!) by. Sticking to my self-imposed deadlines may be a different issue, but knowing that I have the deadlines in place help me set boundaries which lead to sanity!

Giving Up
I want everything to be perfect- especially at this time of year. And while that’s a great goal, I know that it’s impossible -especially at this time of year. So. I give up. Not on everything- and it doesn’t mean that I don’t try- from outfits to posts to presents to plans. I try so hard during the holiday season. Yet, at some point, for sanity, you give up and let things be what they are and turn things off and just enjoy things. At least, that is the goal. Always. There are days when it’s easier than others, but giving up is one of the best things that I do for my holiday sanity.

I also plan ahead (and leave room for flexibility), I’ve moved to ecards and scaled down my gift list, I’ve focused on holiday things that really matter (family, friends, etc), and I’ve tried to shop in advance (with room for impulse purchases). What do you do to keep your sanity during the holiday season? How do you enjoy November without focusing on the December holidays?
I would love to hear your tips and tricks!


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