My 2017 Summer Wardrobe

Tomorrow is the first day of Summer, and I’ve been preparing by sifting through my current wardrobe to just my favorite pieces, the ones I have and will wear over and over again.  Now, there are a few things you may need to know about me before I share my summer wardrobe.

  1. I pack away most of my winter wardrobe so that I can easily see what I have available currently during the summer.
  2. I am still a bit of a minimalist when it comes to clothes because I tend to get overwhelmed with too many options.  It takes me forever to add pieces to this wardrobe because I’m so picky with my style.

That being said, here is my present summer wardrobe.  I will probably add one or two more pieces over the summer.  As I share, I will let you know what other pieces I hope to add this year.

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Ok, so here’s the present look of my closet.  I organized this closet some time ago, and I thought I did a post on it, but I can’t seem to find that post, so I’ll share a little of that here as well.

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I’m going to move from right to left, so first, I have my workout/yoga/walking tops.  I have acquired these from various places, but I love the racerback tank so much that if I find one on sale, I usually buy it.  Every morning, I lay one out with my favorite sports bra and a pair of yoga or running pants or capris.  Then, if I’m staying home, I will trade out the top for a t-shirt after my workout and shower.

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All of my “going out” shirts are hung by sleeve order.  I have all of my short sleeve shirts first.  This white lace shirt is older than the other two, which I shared in my May Favorites, but I’m a sucker for lace, as you will soon see.  (P.S. I am loving the new cold shoulder trend this year.  I may be looking for a few more of those to add to my collection).

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Then, I have my sleeveless shirts and cardigan sets.  I wear cardigans in case the A/C is blasting wherever I’m going.  And it usually is here in Texas.  The gray-green cardigan looks like it would be too warm.  I thought it would be too when I ordered it last fall.  It’s thinner than it looks, which didn’t keep me warm during the winter, unfortunately, but it’s a great addition to the spring and summer!  Also, I like to pair the tan and white combo with my capris.  It feels very boho to me (which is the style I tend to lean towards, anyway).

I only have two dresses in my collection, although I’m hoping to add one more this summer.  I love the lace black dress (which I wore to Del Frisco’s last Saturday) and the orange lace dress is fun and comfortable.  I’m looking for a maxi dress to add, and I think I’ve found it, but we shall see.  I’m not big on shorter dresses because the wind here can get crazy.

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While I do have clothes in my dresser drawers as well, I like to keep my lounge and yoga pants, as well as my t-shirts and tanks within arms-reach in my closet.  I also keep hats, long-sleeved undershirts and work clothes (like gardening clothes) in the closet as well.  Everything is, of course, obsessively labeled.  (By the way, the colorful hat box?  It holds Lush products whenever I buy them)

And finally, my shoes are placed above my clothes.  I have one pair of walking shoes that I may need to replace.  I also have two pairs of sandals, several slip-on shoes, and a pair of distressed Converse shoes (my favorite).  Also, my duck boots for rainy days and some slippers and flip flops.  Notice I don’t wear heels because ain’t nobody got no time for dat.

So, with the exception of a few pieces that I hope to add to my collection, this is my wardrobe for this summer.  Even though I don’t have a closet full of clothes due to my minimalistic nature, I still enjoy fashion and look forward to wearing these pieces all season!

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Organizing My Nightstand

One of my goals this month was to organize my nightstand.  I’ve done this before in the past, but I really liked what I did with it this time and I’m excited to show you!

So, here’s a typical look at the top of my nightstand pretty much every day.  Oh, and you will have to forgive the quality of these photos.  It’s super dark in our room due to the blackout curtains.

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I usually have some amount of books, journals, notepads and/or planners piled on the top, along with lotions or a cup of tea.  And my headphones, since I usually listen to music at night before going to bed.

And when I clean off the nightstand, the first or top drawer looks like this:

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There is no rhyme or reason to the drawer until I went to Ross one day and had an epiphany.  Instead of trying to find a multitude of random, or matching, organizer sets for the drawers, why don’t I use a silverware organizer?  The one I found fit perfectly!

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So, from top to bottom, I have my lotions – one for everyday use, one for a little more pampering on the weekends.  Then my candle lighter for my candle on top of the nightstand.  Then, I have two handheld warmers, chapstick, and nail care.  And colored pencils below that.  Then there was a compartment for my fit bit and headphones.  And a final compartment for pens (I found a lot in that drawer) and highlighters.

Now, there were some things in that drawer that went other places – cards that went into the office, other small things that I threw away.  For the other two drawers, there really wasn’t that much in them in the first place.  Drawer two had a bunch of things I used when I was pregnant – carpal tunnel braces, wraps, things like that.

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Instead, I now use that drawer to hold all of my journals, planners, notepads, and books that I’m currently reading or using.  I don’t get to all of them every night, but I do like to have them on hand to use as I wind down from my day.

For the final drawer, I did very little because there was very little in it, to begin with.  20170527_135928.jpg

The frames are for a continual wall art project that I add to each year, and the snuggle hottie is used during that time of the month.  It’s fragranced with Lavender and Chamomile which help me sleep as well.

So, that is the entire project completed!  It’s so nice to have everything accessible again.  And it helps my bedtime routine to go a lot smoother as well!

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My Weekly Cleaning Schedule

Ah, the weekly cleaning schedule, that perfect balance between the life you want to live and the environment you want to have.  Its standard is different with everyone.  But I made this one of my March goals, so I thought I would share with you what I have learned so far.

When I stopped working, I had this overwhelming sense of responsibility to keep the house in perfect working order.  It was something I put on myself, and when I fell behind for whatever reason, I would crash, feeling absolutely horrible.  But the reality is that I am more than just a housekeeper.  I have a life and friends and responsibilities outside of my house, and I can’t keep stressing out.  In fact, the whole reason we decided that I would stay at home was to learn how to deal with stress, not transfer it onto a whole new set of rules!

But truthfully, I absolutely hate to clean.  I don’t like to do dishes, laundry (except towels fresh out of the dryer, of course), bathrooms (ugh to the nth degree), vacuuming or sweeping, really anything.

My organizational style is mostly made up of baskets/drawers (with labels of course) that I throw similar things in so I can find them later.  I want to be able to find the things I need and realize when to get rid of the things I don’t need.  I do get overwhelmed if there is a lot of stuff on the counters or tables, but I’m better when those things have been placed in a bin or drawer out of sight (but still retrievable, not a big fan of the random junk drawer though I understand its inevitable necessity.  We do have one, and it’s the bane of my existence most days).

But, in making my weekly cleaning schedule, the first thing I did was embrace the chaos.  I had to be okay if I left dirty dishes in the sink at night, if making my bed wasn’t the first thing I did when I woke up, or if the laundry was left in the dryer all day (I try to avoid doing that with the washer cause, you know, mold).  When we adopted our new puppy over a month ago, this really helped to embrace the chaos, because he is, right now, quite a chaotic entity in our home.  He doesn’t know all the rules (like don’t take the remotes out to the backyard).  And I spend the majority of my day working with him.

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One day this week, in fact, I lamented to Michael that it took me literally 3 hours to do about 20 minutes of kitchen/dishes cleaning because some dog somewhere needed my attention (usually our young pup).  And one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to be okay with it.  Sometimes dinner won’t be ready until the cavalry (aka Michael) comes home.  And that’s okay.

The second thing I did was pick my dailies.  These are things that I can actually do every day very easily.  And if I miss a day, it’s not the end of the world, but life does move more smoothly if these things are done.

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For example, I make my bed every morning.  And I don’t make it with hospital corners.  In fact, I read an article that said the undone bed is on the rise, so I don’t put forth too much effort every morning.  I pull the sheets and comforter up and smooth it out, tucking in anything hanging beneath the comforter.  I make sure the fitted sheet is pulled down around the mattress.  And then I put all of the pillows at the top.  I have literally made my bed with my dog still on it (of course, she’s moved around as I made it, but she was just not ready for the day yet).

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I picked these things because they are easy to do in 5 to 10 minutes every day.  Also, the biggest helper to me with the shower and the counters are these wipes.*  I keep them in the shower and wipe down the shower after use.  And I keep one on the kitchen and bathroom counters to use as well.  I know that this is not the best environmental choice, but if I have one vice environmentally, let it be this one.

And finally, I created the rest of my schedule around not making it the majority of my day.  I divided up the bathroom duties because I absolutely hate doing the bathroom, so if I can do one thing at a time, it’s easier to handle.  Here’s that schedule.

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I don’t have cleaning during the weekends if I can help it.  Some things I do as needed, like cleaning out the car or tidying up a room that we don’t usually use on a regular basis.  But if I get the above things done, then I’m doing okay.  And I can spend the rest of my day doing other things.

Now I fully realize that this will change when kids come into the picture, which is why embracing the chaos was number one.  Right now I only have dogs and a husband to clean up after, and my husband is pretty neat and clean.  So I know that tidying a living room might not be possible if a baby is going to go behind me undoing everything I am doing.  But for this stage of my life, this is what works for me, and I don’t believe the overall sentiment will change.  As long as I can find a system that helps me to find things and move about my house safely and (mostly) sanitarily, then it’s all good with me.

*I am not sponsored by any products listed, however, I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Cleaning out the closet

For the month of January, my home goal was to clean out and organize the coat closet downstairs.  This closet has been an electronic catch-all, plus any boxes the electronics come in, plus a lot of paint cans (which you soon shall see).  So, let’s begin with the before picture, shall we?

I wasn’t kidding about it being a catch-all.  This is also a safety issue, as this closet is where we usually go when there are tornado warnings.  With all of the junk left in there, we would hardly fit!

First, we removed everything from the closet, vacuumed and dusted all of the walls.

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The word for this particular project was “purge”.  There were just a lot of things we didn’t need and probably just needed to be recycled. Here were a few of the collections.

All of the cables, cords, and even cell phones since we have been together.  Check out the blackberry!  In addition to the cables and cords, you will see several routers that we have inherited over the years.  Those are also going to be recycled.  We kept the extension cords, outlet extenders, and a few of the cables, but the rest he is going to take with him to work, where there is a computer recycling place.

Also, all of those paint cans include pretty much every color we have used on our walls and every paint color the previous owners used as well!  I ended up taking a picture of each sticker on the top of the paint cans so that we could have that information instead of housing all of these huge cans in our home.  Some of the paint cans have dried out by now, and some of the paint cans were pretty much empty.  It was time for them to go.

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As I was going through everything, Michael built these basic shelves in the back of the closet.  I wanted something vertical so everything doesn’t end up on the floor.  Once I had gone through everything, it was time to put everything back.

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I got rid of all the wire and random hangers, keeping a few of the same kind (and one that is a little more sturdy for my winter coat).  I put all the cables in the small box on the top shelf, along with a backup fire alarm and some carpet cleaner (since we house the vacuum in here too.  On the second self, I put another bin of extension cords and my husband’s toolbox.  And then, on the third shelf, there is a bin that holds all of the things on my mantle when I decorate for holidays (and I need somewhere to put the things that I take down) as well as some computer bags for travel.  We also house the air filters in here.

Now we have plenty of room, and we can access everything in the closet.  It was a lot easier than I thought it would be since most of the things were purged.  Sometimes projects turn out that way.  I’m glad I can check this one off my list!

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Penguin Planner

Today is National Penguin Awareness Day.  I so happened to buy a weekly kit from Etsy that had a penguin theme for the month of January.  So, of course, I had to use it this week to celebrate Penguin Awareness Day!

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This kit is from Creating and Co, one of my new favorite planner sticker shops on Etsy.  Especially for the weekly kits.  They are pretty affordable for what you get, and she is always having some discount or sale.  And I love the quality of the stickers as well.

Now, this isn’t really a typical week for me.  I don’t usually have as many meetings, and I felt like I was always out of the house this week, either in those meetings or running errands.  I like being busy some weeks, but I look forward to a slower week next week.  I have some books that I want to start/finish and I’m hoping next week will give me the time to do that.  Of course, I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot lately, so it looks like I’m going to have to start scheduling in some reading time in my week.

Also, you might see that I have the same meal for both Saturday and Sunday.  What I like to do is make one main meal that we eat at home – sandwiches, chili, soup.  We are in and out of the house all weekend most of the time, so I don’t want to worry about getting home to cook something.  So we have a couple of go-to recipes that we use on the weekend, for the entire weekend.

Do you have a planner?  And if you buy stickers, what are some of your favorite shops?  

A Simple Way to Organize Paper

I know that some day I will probably be 100% digital when it comes to organizing, but I still tend to rely on papers somewhat when I do my planning.  Whether it’s confirmation emails or recipes that I have found, I like to have a paper back-up available just in case digital can’t come through.

So, I recycled an accordion file folder that I used to use to organize my planner stickers (I had to upgrade to make room) to make a system that could maintain all of the papers I use through the week.  Here’s a video about this system.

I really enjoy being able to keep all of my papers together.  I’ve even begun using post-it reminders that I attach to the papers for small tasks that I think of in the moment.  True story, I left my phone in my bedroom and I was planning the week.  I needed to make an appointment for one of my dogs the next day, so I put it on a post-it, attached it to the recipe for that day, and the next morning, there was my reminder!  Until digital can account for my forgetfulness and scatterbrained limitations, paper is going to be a part of my planning process!

Do you still use paper for certain parts of your planning?  Do you have any tips or tricks to share?  Or do you have an app that helps with scatterbrained planners?

Bathroom Organization

One of my new year goals is to work on my daily rhythms, starting with my night time routine (and essentially affecting my other daily routines as well).  One of the ways I am working towards this goal is organizing the spaces that I use during these routines.  So, the first space I organized was my bathroom sink area.

This week has been crazy with a lot of pet sitting (more on that next week), so I didn’t use my normal camera set up.  Instead, I used my phone which surprisingly does a pretty good job.  So, here’s a video tour of my new organization.

I am really excited about the Routine Trays in my master closet.  I’ve been using them for about a week now, and I love them.  It’s less time trying to gather things in the morning when I’m in a rush or at night when I want to go to bed.

I’m also a big fan of the shelves.  I like how clear and simple everything is.  I tend to get overwhelmed when there is a lot of clutter, so this kind of decor/organization is really helpful.

How do you organize your space around your daily rhythms?

Are you a morning or a night person?