Searching for KonMari Joy

There’s a sweater in my closet that I LOVE. It has seen better days, is pilling and has a couple tiny holes in the front from my belt, I think. Due to the wool/cashmere blend, I am actually allergic to it and have to take a Claritin before I put it on but when I do…ahhh…happiness, maybe even joy.

I must be a really poor shopper because I have very few items in my closet that really bring me joy and if I followed that tidying up policy to heart I’d have very few things to wear at all.

Poor shopper or not, I am an equal opportunity purger. Yesterday no t-shirt, tank or sweater was spared if it didn’t bring me joy. Well, that’s not entirely true. Sometimes a girl just needs a couple things that are just that…a couple things.

That being said, I held each piece in my hands, tried on most of them and sorted into piles of Keep, Don’t Keep and Doesn’t Belong In This Drawer.

The Equal Opportunity Purger in me easily tossed items with a pop of color into the Don’t Keep pile. I seem to think I like orange and pink but those were the easiest pieces to cast aside. Also pitched were white t-shirts that were no longer white, a few Nordstrom Rack finds that I don’t think I’d even tried on and a sweatshirt-type thing from the Lululemon sale section that I probably bought because it was on sale.

It really does feel good to weed out and be left with things I actually wear. I enjoy feeling “lighter” if only in my closet and not on the scale. It does feel good to donate the items I don’t keep to our local food and clothing bank. And maybe that is where the KonMari joy is, not just in a t-shirt.

linking up with: Curly Crafty MomSincerely, PaulaElegance and MommyhoodJaymie AshcraftA Labour of LifeMomfessionalsJo-Lynne ShaneFashion Should Be FunAdri LatelyNancy’s Fashion StylePosh Classy MomBy BMGStyle NudgeBeauty by Miss LElegantly Dressed & StylishThe Fashion Canvas

 

Fun Finds

It feels like forever since I did a little shopping.  Thankfully, I had a few hours with nothing planned so I went to Winners.   If you haven’t heard of Winners, it’s the Canadian version of TJ Maxx – in fact that’s who owns them!

First stop…the shoe department!

These big yellow taxi flip flops by Kate Spade were so cute and only $30!  I’m thinking they would be cute for a birthday gift for a friend or sister.

Then I saw these Vince slip ons. Can you say excited?  Well, I was until I tried them on. They were my size but each shoe fit differently – boo!

These floral slip ons looked fun and would have been great for Spring . They were too narrow for me, but maybe they would fit you?

Around the corner front the shoes sat this suede baseball cap.  So simple and classic in grey and black!  Only $19.99!  #steal

I slowly wandered to the home decor aisles and saw this picture.  I thought it would be a great way to add a little colour to a room.

And this two pack of pillows was in just my shade of blue for $29.99!

Then I ventured into the health and beauty section.  Retinol  (vitamin A) is always being mentioned as a must have for your skin as you age.  I am not familiar with this brand and thought I would need to investigate a little more before I bought it.

Vitamin C serums also seem to be the one thing you should put on your skin, too.  Again, I hadn’t heard of this brand, but with a little research it might be on my buy list next time.

I have heard of Kiss My Face and I wrote about them recently in a post about body care products.  I like to wear sunscreen every day, so I picked up the sunscreen cream for everyday use.  I have used it for the past couple days and it goes on easily and was only $10! #goodbuy

Well, that wraps up this little trip to Winners.  As you can see I only bought one thing, but I might go back and see if that picture is still there.  And maybe those pillows…

linking up with: A Little Bit of EverythingSincerely, PaulaGood Random FunShelbee on the EdgeBy BMG

 

 

 

My Fixes Need Fixing!

‘Tis the season for a holiday StitchFix delivery. After wearing the same uninspired outfit to two holiday parties, I scheduled a fix to arrive before Christmas in hopes of having something festive to wear while entertaining and being entertained.

I was pretty specific in the notes to my stylist. A mid-length skirt was on my list as was “festive” tops for evening and a pant that wasn’t jeans or leggings. Good, right?

Well, I also should have said a full skirt. This pencil skirt, while soft and curve-hugging, felt too formal for what I’d had in mind. Must. Be. Specific. The black top had an interesting back but I’m not a fan of 3/4 length sleeves or that slightly above the wrist spot.

I don’t even know what to say about this poncho/cape. 

These pants are keepers. My daughter said they looked good on me…for “teacher pants”. Hmm. I think I can fix that with some hemming and edgier shoes or a bootie. 

Green. Like my last fix, I really wanted to like this top. Maybe in a different colorbut definitely not this green. I went into my profile and unchecked the box next to green in the color preferences section.

Here is the back of the top I mentioned earlier. 

My sister says I might need a new stylist for my next Fix. Is that like breaking up with someone? Will it hurt her feelings?  Equally as important, will it improve my Fix success rate?

Thoughts?

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Third Time’s the Charm?

I love everything about the Stitch Fix concept so I decided to give it another try. If nothing else, it is super fun to open the box and see what my stylist thinks might look good on me.

I have kept just one thing from my each of my previous two boxes so I was hoping to have a more successful Fix this time around.

First up was the Olaf hooded knit top. Cozy but not super flattering and not unlike a couple other things I have in my drawer.

 

I added the Wels plaid puffer vest to to see if it would change my opinion. It didn’t but it did reinforce the fact that me and the word “puffer” do not mix well.

 

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I pulled out the Minno cowl neck pullover sweater. The cowl neck was a good style for me but my 13-year-old daughter promptly said it looked like an old lady sweater. Next!

 

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This dark green Fillmore crochet detail dlouse was the last top in the collection. The color wasn’t bad but I knew it wasn’t right for me. In my sister’s words it was “yuck”.

 

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Thankfully, the leggings you see in every photo were also from Stitch Fix. This Liverpool coated skinny pant is comfortable and a step up from the usual Lululemons I wear. Though you can’t see in the pics it has that finish on them that give them a little sheen but not in a bad way.

So, it looks like I’m keeping just one thing again from my Fix. My sister recently tried her first Fix and kept two things so she’s off to a better start than I was. I give my stylist an A for effort. Though this Fix wasn’t a charm I’ll try it again simply for the fun and for adding the occasional piece to my wardrobe.

linking up with: Curly Crafty MomA Labour of LifeSincerely PaulaElegance and MommyhoodJaymie AshcroftA Pocketful of Polka DotsA Little Bit of EverythingJo-Lynne ShaneNancy’s Fashion StylePosh Classy MomRachel the HatShelbee on the EdgeHigh Latitude StyleClaire JustineFine WhateverBeauty101 by LisaNot Dead Yet StyleI Should Be Mopping the FloorMore Pieces of MeElegantly FashionableNot Dressed as LambByBMGGaray TreasuresStyle NudgeElegantly Dressed and StylishA Good HueThe Pleated PoppyThe Blended BlogGet Your Pretty OnMummy ChroniclesCrazy Together

 

 

 

Better than a Robe

If I was Oprah and people cared as much about my favorite things as they do hers, what I’m about to share here would fly off the shelves.

My good friend has designed and produced a robe/sweatshirt hybrid that is truly genius. Not only is this lounger as comfy as your favorite beat up sweats, it is also stylish enough to wear out of the house.

This cozy piece has ribbed sleeves with thumb holes, an interior cinching system so it’s super flattering and comes in a few great color combos including my favorite, obviously, gray.

Did I mention the Rhody Lane loungers are designed and manufactured locally in Seattle? I love supporting my friend who is supporting our local economy and crushing it as far as style goes.

I should mention that I purchased (was not gifted) my robe at the Rhody Lane launch party and this plug is purely because I love it so much.

You should check it out for yourself at Rhody Lane

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Joe & Tell

Most of the kids I know like show and tell.  What’s not to like about taking your favourite toy or book to school and telling everyone all about it?

So, with back to school upon us, I’m reminded of this tradition and thought I would start a show and tell of my own.

I frequently buy my groceries at Superstore and the good thing about that is….they also sell clothes, household goods and fun things. It’s not Target, but it’s the closest thing we’ve got!

Their house brand of clothing is called Joe Fresh and its carried in stores throughout Canada.  JC Penney used to carry the brand and there was a store in NYC, but it appears you can only order online in the US as of now. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Thus, after today’s shop, Joe & Tell was born!  I’ll try and make this a regular feature and show you something on trend that I think you might like.

Today’s find is this olive green utility jacket.  It’s only $49 and only available in this colour.   I usually wear a small, but this small was still a little big, so I recommend sizing down.

This jacket style is still on trend.  It is such a great piece to wear now and transition into Fall.

What do you think?  Could you see this jacket in your Fall wardrobe? Please let me know in the comments!

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* Reading for Kids *

My kids are pretty voracious readers. My son can pick up a book and be lost in it for hours.  My daughter is just finishing Grade 1 and is also reading some easy chapter books on her own.

Our kids did a lot of reading over the summer break, but that’s not the case for all children.  So, if you need a few books to ease your child back into reading before school starts, this might be the post for you.

I thought I’d share some of the books my son has loved over the past years.  Harry Potter and Percy Jackson are solid favourites and already pretty well known.  Here’s a few you might not have heard of:

Zac Power

This series by H.I. Larry is about a 12 year old boy and his older brother who are secret agents for a government agency.  The chapters are fairly short and easy to read.  Best for kids 8-10.

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Captain Awesome by Stan Kirby

My son received this for a birthday gift when he was 6 and it’s a fun series of books.  The Captain is 8 year old Eugene McGillicudy and he has adventures throughout his neighbourhood with a crazy cast of characters.  Easy to read and probably best for kids in Kindergarten to Grade 3.

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National Geographic Kids

Our family loves these books and pretty much all the National Geogrpahic books.  These are the books that we take to restaurants, leave in the car and bring along to appointments.  Lots of fun facts, great pictures and easy to read.  Also look for Myth Busters, Sticker Activity Books and more from this great organization.

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Ratburger by David Walliams

About 6 months ago, my son (aged 9) received Grandpa’s Great Escape by the same author and since then, he pretty much powered through all the books by David Walliams.  The writing is funny, the characters are unique and quirky and best of all, the kids laugh out loud when reading his books.

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The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen

This one was introduced to us by friends about 3 years ago and we still love it!  The illustrations alone are worth it.  The story rhymes and teaches us about friendship in the most fun way.

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Geronimo Stilton by Geronmio Stilton

If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend it.  We started when my son was 5 or 6.  They are chapter books, but they have a lot of colourful illustrations and the type is done creatively in different colours and types.  Geronimo takes us around the world on adventures with his sister and cousin.   My son still loves these books and now my daughter (aged 7) has started reading them, too.

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House of Robots by James Patterson

You may know James Patterson from the crime novels, but he also writes books for kids.  This series is about a boy entering Grade 5 who lives with a house full of robots.  We just picked this one up and haven’t read it yet, but the reviews are great and it looks like a fun read.

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MasterMinds by Gordon Korman

Gordon Korman has written over 80 books!  This series is about a group of kids who think they live in the most boring town in the world.  Until….a friend disappears and the kids have to investigate what is really happening in their town.  Best for middle school age kids.  If they like this series, there are lots of others by Korman to choose from.

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Spy School and Spy Camp by Stuart Gibbs

These books are about Ben a middle school student who ends up in a school for spies.  Super fun series and my son can’t wait to read Evil Spy School next.

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These are just a few of the books on our shelf.   What did you kids read this summer?  Please let me know in the comments!

linking up with:  Sincerely, PaulaGood Random FunA Little Bit of EverythingMom Home GuideShelbee on the EdgeCurly Crafty MomBy BMG

Confessions of an Overpacker

Been to Hawaii or any tropical destination in your lifetime? If so, and correct me if I’m wrong, you know that casual is the most common dress code. And, from experience, I also know that, if you are there to relax, you spend a large portion of your time in swimsuits, coverups and flip flops. I wish someone would have reminded me of this a couple weeks ago.

I am an overpacker. Always have been, probably always will be. I like options. A lot of options. My packing job for my most recent trip to Lana’i and the Big Island set a new personal record for the worst packing I’ve ever done.

I could go over all the unnecessary clothing items I brought but showing you the shoe situation will give you a clear picture, I think.

I wore these Vince sneakers on the plane. I love them for running around at home but they have zero give and once my feet swelled they were close to unbearable. Noted.

 

These Vince sandals were probably the best sandal and probably the only sandal I really needed. Comfortable and practical as they went with most of what I’d packed. Check.

 

I’d been searching for a neutral wedge to wear out for dinners but couldn’t find any that didn’t have the jute footbed and I find that really uncomfortable so I brought these. I wear them all the time at home. Never made it out of the suitcase. 

 

These were a good find at Nordstrom Rack just a couple days before departure. Loved the wedge and the leather footbed (see above). I wore these a couple times, once with a  long sundress and once with a pair of black dressy shorts. 

These are really some of the most uncomfortable flip flops I’ve ever worn and I feel like I’ve given them multiple chances to redeem themselves. The straps rub on the tops of my feet and cause blisters. I’ve had them a couple years, maybe longer. They will not be making a repeat appearance. In my humble opinion, nothing beats good old Havaianas.

I bought these a little more than a year ago and have worn them a lot. They have basically no support but are surprisingly comfortable. I wore them to the pool, to the store and to dinners. Two thumbs up, Tory Burch! I would have brought the same pair in black but my puppy ate them a couple months ago.

Finally (I think), I brought these Asics for hiking and working out. I didn’t do either of those activities as often as I’d planned but I always bring a running shoe of some type on vacation.

Any shoes I’m forgetting? Let me know what you bring on a tropical vacation.

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My top 5 clothes for travelling

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Last month, we returned from a three week trip to Europe, which included stops in England, France and Germany.   We knew ahead of time that the weather was going to be mixed; cooler temperatures and rain in England, but sun and heat in Germany and France. So, as you can imagine packing was complicated as I wanted to make sure I had the right clothes for the right weather and the right cities.  Oh, and I didn’t want to look like a tourist.

Throughout our trip, I realized I was wearing 5 items very regularly.  I was surprised that these items were working for all the cities, countries and weather we were experiencing.

What are they you ask?  Check out my list below – I’ve linked the exact or similar items for reference.

#1 – This denim shirt was great for layering over tanks, t-shirts and dresses.  It wasn’t cold where we were, but often there was a breeze or chill in the air and this denim shirt kept me comfortable.  A linen shirt would have also worked, but this is what I bought as I thought it would transition well into Fall.

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Denim Shirt

 

#2 – I had never taken a scarf when I had travelled in the past, but Pinterest and friends of mine assured me I needed to have one.  So, I packed one along and I am so glad I did!  It added a little interest to my basic wardrobe and was used as a pillow by one of my kids on the flight.  My scarf was in shades of grey and blue and it went with 90% of my wardrobe.  After this trip, I will always pack a scarf on my future travels.

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Plaid Scarf

 

#3 – I wanted a comfortable yet stylish running shoe (sneaker) to wear for our long days of sightseeing, but I didn’t want to wear an obvious sporty shoe.  Converse were an option, but I found the Superga shoe fit better and had slightly more support for my feet.  At the end of the day, my feet felt great in these shoes.  I bought white, but grey was my second choice (surprise, surprise).  This is an Italian brand of shoe and I saw many women wearing these all over Europe.

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Superga shoe

 

#4 – I wanted to have some pants that would be comfortable for travelling, walking and just hanging out and I knew these joggers would be perfect.  I have them in this greige colour and black.  They are 100% cotton, so they breathe and don’t feel too hot when the temperatures heat up. They were easy to style and wear with a tank or t-shirt and made me look less like an obvious tourist.

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Jogger Style Pants

 

#5 – Lastly, a white t-shirt.  I don’t go anywhere without one or even two of these.  This shirt has a more relaxed style and looked great with both my pants and skirts. This is basically my “don’t leave  home without one” shirt.

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Basic White T-shirt

 

What do you think of these choices?   Is there something from your closet that you always pack?  Let me know in the comments below and happy travels!

linking up with: Happiness at Mid-lifeCurly Crafty MomElegance and MommyhoodThe Fab JourneyHigh Latitude StyleSincerely, PaulaFashion Should Be FunJaymie AshcraftJo-Lynne ShaneFriday FavouritesNancy’s Fashion StyleShelbee on the EdgeFine WhateverBeauty101 by LisaMore Pieces of MeSincerely, Jenna Marie,Elegantly FashionableNot Dressed As LambStyle NudgeElegantly Dressed and StylishByBmgGaray TreasuresTwo Peas in a BlogA Good Hue,The Mummy ChroniclesThe Pleated PoppyShopping My ClosetThe Blended BlogJersey Girl Texan HeartSydney Fashion HunterGet Your Pretty OnPosh Classy Mom

Target $10 Finds

 

Oh, Target, how do I love thee? Let me count the $10 ways…

Unlike my sister (who I share this blog with), I have not been to Europe lately (like in 21 years) and have not laid eyes on the Parisian Target. Instead, I happily shlep to my local Target on a weekly, sometimes tri-weekly basis, to purchase both necessities and justifiable finds for $10 and under.

Who doesn’t love a good dollar section? While my youngest likes to point out that the dollar section sometimes has things for $2 or even (gasp!) $3, I LOVE how you can grab everything from flash cards to napkins, socks, toys and more. I always take a quick peruse through here.

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White towels frighten me. I fear the process of having to keep them white so maybe it’s  bleach that frightens me. However, more frightening are the medicated skin care products my daughter uses that suck the color out of anything she touches.

These stacks of washcloths are a staple in my daughter’s bathroom. Are they super soft? No, but she has yet to develop an opinion on the fluffiness of her towels and they stay relatively white.

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It’s true (I’ve heard) that retailers put items near the checkout stands for impulse purchases. Who doesn’t love a movie for under ten bucks?!

On several occasions I have grabbed an oldie but a goodie for my viewing pleasure including some “classics” I thought my daughters would enjoy. Clueless, anyone?

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IMHO, there are so many reasons to love Target, $10 or otherwise.

linking up with: The Fab JourneyA Little Bit of EverythingShelbee on the EdgebyBMG BlogSincerely, Paula