Tag Archives: challenge

maternity capsule wardrobe

This weekend I reduced my closet to include only the clothes that fits me now. All my non-maternity, non-stretchy clothes are now boxed up in the garage, to be opened sometime in 2015. I thought it might be depressing, but it’s actually really nice to know that everything in my closet fits.

The hardest part, which I hadn’t even thought about prior to cleaning out the closet, was packing up all my business casual clothes. I’m keeping a very open mind about what life after the martian will be look like and I don’t know whether or not these clothes will be worn again. Some of my BR pants I’ve had for years. They’ve gone to big meetings, frustrating meetings, happy hours, and everything in between. This is a story for another day though.

I have built what I’m considering my maternity capsule wardrobe, thanks for the help of Alison’s Fall Style Me challenge. I didn’t follow the list exactly this season as I needed to swap out a few pieces that won’t work for me given this cute little bump I’m toting around. I focused mostly on layering to make it through the mild fall and chilly (but not cold) winter in Seattle. I’d love to avoid purchasing a maternity winter coat. In addition to being warm enough, I also want to look somewhat stylish and pregnant. I selected items that won’t hide the bump. I’ve found, at least on my shape, flowy clothes just make me look big. Enhancing the bump is a much more flattering look for me.

My goal was simple: create a neutral wardrobe for under $300 in new purchases and have enough variety to survive through spring. I definitely succeeded on the neutral part, maybe too well. I want to be able to pull everything out down the road for a hopeful baby #2 and not find pieces that look dated. On the budget, I went just over by spending just under $350. However, I think I have enough variety to actually last through February + the postpartum days before my clothes fit again. IMG_8253_edited-1

Bottoms

New purchases: Three pairs of maternity jeans from Old Navy – dark skinny jeans, slightly looser jeans that can be rolled, and a pair of gray jeans.

From the closet: Black leggings. With a belly band or long tank, I think I can get away without buying maternity specific leggings. A black and white striped dress that I picked up when I first found out I was pregnant over the summerIMG_8256_edited-1

Tops

New purchases: Three long maternity tanks in gray, black, and white. A maternity v-neck sweater in gray. A maternity black and gray striped long sleeve shirt. A non-maternity red buffalo plaid shirt.

From the closet: The ever popular “blardigan” in gray. A blue and gray flannel button down (Nordstrom last year).

On load from a friend: Seven short-sleeve maternity tops. She had her baby in summer but these should be great layering pieces.

Not yet arrived: Three layering long sleeve maternity tees (white, navy, and orange) and two open front maternity cardigans (blue and tan).

IMG_8266_edited-1Accessories and Shoes

New purchases: Replacement nude flats for mine that were falling apart (SO sad I couldn’t find the exact shoes, I’d have bought thee pairs). Colorful plaid scarf. Nude skinny belt (I wanted gold but Target didn’t have my size in the store).

From my closet: Leopard flats. Brown ankle boots. Cognac knee boots. Black scarf with gold stars. Orange striped infinity scarf (gift). Turquoise infinity scarf. Leopard scarf. Gray infinity scarf. Cobalt skinny belt. Leopard skinny belt. Black hand bag. Gold ladder necklace. Gold pendant necklace. Olive military jacket (Old Navy; been in my closet for years because it’s too big, but fits now). Gold watch (forgot to add to picture).

Not yet arrived: A black and white buffalo plaid infinity scarf. Black maternity tights. White maternity puffer vest (hopefully will suffice as a coat for winter when layered well).

Thoughts on the Capsule

It’s very neutral. I think I will miss all the color I learned to bring in during spring and summer. Hopefully scarves will help brighten up the neutral. And the few pieces I’m still waiting on are colorful as well.

I’m even more glad now that I participated in Alison’s spring challenge. Understanding what looks good on me, how I like to dress, and how to maximize my purchases made pulling this together much easier. I went back to my own post on putting together my new wardrobe a few times while gathering my new goods.

I really wanted to buy a layered gold necklace but figured it was not a necessity and not worth going over budget. Stella and Dot has so many fun engravables I’ve had my eye on and then I saw this pinned on Pinterest. Maybe I’ll be big as a house for the Winter Style Me challenge and use my budget for jewelry instead of clothes.

I’m glad I set a budget, even if I went a little over. For spring I just sort of bought stuff and probably spent more than I conveniently think I did. Setting a budget before the shopping list was released made me prioritize and really think before buying.

The two most expensive items I purchased (aside from the nude flats) were my two scarves. That seemed silly at first, but those are the pieces that will be able to move on to next winter so I guess it makes sense given my current ‘condition’.

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None of the clothing links included in this post are affiliate links (I’m way not stylish enough for the powers to be to let me in on that!). I had no idea where to start with maternity clothes shopping and ended up being pretty happy with where I ended up. Finding all these links was a good study break and maybe they’ll help someone else get started. 🙂 

Late registration is still open for the Fall Style Me Challenge if you are looking for a fun way to update your wardrobe. You can easily get away with shopping your own closet only. What I love about the way Alison has done this is you can spend as little (or as much) as you’d like and still play along.  

pumpkin spice lattes

Early every Fall, I decide to jump on the bandwagon and try a Starbuck’s pumpkin spice latte. Every year I realize it’s gross, has a weird fake taste, and is so sweet it makes my teeth hurt. Thanks to the Food Babe article that came out a few weeks ago detailing just what exactly is in a PSL, I’m officially done with the official PSL.

After the Food Babe post went viral I saw a lot of talk about the Whole Foods PSL made with almond milk as a healthier alternative. Please don’t confuse healthier with healthy. This is a treat, not a daily beverage to start your morning. Verdict: No thanks. The first sip was okay, but still too sweet for my tastes. And the aftertaste, while better than chemical, was almost medicinal.

I still wanted a little taste of Fall and decided to try making my own, which lead me to finding four recipes and my favorite word ever: challenge! I had grand plans to conduct my own PSL taste test challenge with all four recipes. Unfortunately I ran out of weekend mornings to get through all four with our crazy travel this month. And since I decided to jump on a Whole30, I won’t be able to try anymore until November. Here’s my opinion on the two I did try, as well as links to the others I had planned on trying.

IMG_8213_edited-1Stupid Easy Paleo’s Pumpkin Spice Latte: Yes! It tasted like fall in my cup without the sweet taste. My customizations included brewed, extra strong decaf coffee instead of espresso and a drop of maple syrup per serving (might try without next time). My only issue with the recipe was that it made a tiny serving. I ended up making a second serving to get a mug full for my picture. I would make it again but double the amount from the start.

IMG_8218_edited-1Civilized Caveman’s Pumpkin Spice Latte: Too sweet for my taste, even though I only used 1 tbls raw honey versus the 2-3 in the recipe. But it’s a very different sweet from the fake sugary taste of a commercial drink. If you have a sweet tooth (which I don’t), I would suggest trying this one. Once I added more brewed coffee to my cup it was pretty tasty. I skipped the cocoa but I think a little touch of it would add a little something.

100 Days of Real Food
Nourishing Gourmet 

If you’re looking for a delicious fall drink that’s not full of junk I definitely recommend trying one of these (or all of them!). Let me know if you try the other two so I can live vicariously through you while on my Whole30. Happy Fall!

early thanksgiving

We won’t be cooking our own Thanksgiving meal this year, but I wanted to tinker in the kitchen with holiday food. Last week, Melissa (I’m just going to pretend we’re friends as I work through her cookbook) posted a handful of Well Fed 2 holiday recipes on her website. IMG_7219_edited-1

First up is Turkey & Cranberry Meatballs. Well Fed 2 has a whole section on meatballs, burgers, and bangers – definitely looking forward to making my way through all the variations. These were pretty good. It’s not my typical go-to flavor combination but Greg loved them. I liked them well enough to eat them for dinner and lunch the next day, so I’d say success. IMG_7220_edited-2Next time I make a meatball recipe from the book I think I’ll make 12 or so larger meatballs, unlike the 20 – 30 the recipe calls for. The smaller balls would be perfect for a party with toothpicks. Superbowl party with a meatball bar?
IMG_7227_edited-1With the meatballs we ate Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon. I’m having leftovers right now as I type this. I also happen to be home alone. Not gonna lie, I just licked the bowl. This soup was awesome.  I’ve been eating it for breakfast every day with two hard boiled eggs. Sometimes it’s nice to switch things up – I finally ate my breakfast casserole one too many weeks in a row. And an added bonus – this was soup three of five from my Fall bucket list.

On Resolutions…

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I opened up my 2013 life planner for the first time the other day and this was waiting for me on the first page. I had a million potential resolutions for the new year that all involved lots of documenting and measuring. But I think instead I’m going to try something new: less documenting, more living. I love goals and intentions, probably more so than the average person, but a set of random resolutions I put down on paper at the end of December isn’t really resonating with me this year. Especially when I look back at my 2012 goals and see how irrelevant they feel to my life right now. So no book quotas, set number of times I must go to the gym, or races planned months in advance. I think I’ll make some goals for each month and I plan to do a digital project life for the year to replace the Project 365, but that’s it. I feel like I’m getting soft in my old age, but maybe I’m just moving more towards normal?

A January Update

Attend CrossFit three times per week – I rocked this goal, actually came in slightly ahead at 14 visits to my box in January. I went three days each week and got up to four one week.

Run a half marathon – I’m thinking about running the Seattle Rock n Roll Half with the Slalom running team or my friend Talia in June.

Deadlift 1.5 times my body weight – I’m up to doing 105# repeatedly in a workout, so my 1 rep max is probably getting close to 150 or so, but I haven’t tested it since I made this goal. I think I’ll have no problem getting to 1.5 times my weight by years end.

Take 10 minutes off my 2011 Warrior Dash time – Going to have to wait until July to see how this goes.

Do an unassisted pull-up – I’ve moved from a green band to a blue plus purple, which is progress. BUT, I went to try an unassisted one the other morning and I literally pulled my body up maybe a centimeter. Can we say reach goal?

Read 30 books – 4 books down in January!

Fully fund the house down payment account – We’re making really good progress and are just under 40% of our goal. Plus, after a lot of cleaning out and purging in the new year, we’re content in the condo and not itching to get out. We could stay forever (or until we had a toddler) if we just had a spare room for guests/office. But we’re okay for now.

Make photo albums for Europe, wedding, and honeymoon – To be honest, I forgot this was on the list.

Blog twice a week to remember the year – So far so good.

Participate in project 365 – 31 pictures posted for January! Only one day out of the month did I forget and have to post a filler picture from the previous weekend.

Find a church – No progress.

Complete 2 bible studies – I just started week two of Beth Moore’s Breaking Free over at WomensBibleCafe.com. I love it, there is a sense of community but no pressure/requirement to show up on time, just post your comments on the blog.  Also, this study happens to be on the iPad, so I don’t have to carry around a bunch of stuff. Makes it easy to do the daily work during my lunch time.

Volunteer 12 times – No progress in January, so I guess I’ll have to double up another month.

Write to compassion kids once a month – January done! Now that they offer online letter writing, complete with uploading pictures, it is much easier to get into a monthly routine.

Random January Challenge: After the holidays, Greg and I were pretty much addicted to online shopping. We decided to take a break for the month of January. It was a great experience. We noticed the money savings, but I think more importantly I broke some of the addiction to shopping. It’s no longer a quick fix. The few things I bought I enjoyed making the trip to the store, browsing, and deciding to purchase or not. I’m going to stick with it, with the exception of a few food staples that I buy on Amazon that are much cheaper there than in the store (these are auto-purchase anyway, so I won’t be “shopping” online).

Weight Loss: This is the only place where I’m disappointed in myself. My 15 pounds is now 14, but I was hoping for a lot more in my first month. Clearly being active isn’t the issue, so I’m making some changes to my food and really going to work on my sleep in February. I’m looking for a 2 lb loss in Feb.

Recipe For a Kick Ass 2012

I love goals. Really, it’s more that I like documenting things. Greg sent me a link to this new site that allows you to set goals and update progress through the year. The jury is out on which of the 14 goals I listed I’ll actually stick with, but it was fun to think about what I want 2012 to look like and get it down on (virtual) paper. Clearly my year is about looking good in a white dress come September and documenting the hell of 2012.

Whole30 Half Way Point

Yesterday was the 15th day of my Whole30.

It’s going by really quickly and I can’t say that I’ve felt restricted by it. There have been a few times where I have not been prepared enough and have either gone hungry or had to resort to nuts. I’ve gone to a work event, a charity event, a few social events, and have had friends over. It would have been nice to have a glass of wine in a few of these situations, but I just shrugged it off and went on with my business.

The hardest things I passed up  over the last 15 days were the delicious gourmet cupcakes our friends KII and Becca brought over on Sunday night when they dropped by for a visit. I made Greg take the leftovers to work on Monday. I am hoping that is a good sign – I don’t have a problem with sweets at all, so I’m hoping by that being my biggest obstacle maybe I’ve lessened my addiction to cheesy, salty things. I have not had a strong craving for either of these since I started.

Being prepared and planning ahead have kept me on the straight and narrow. I spend A LOT of time in the kitchen right now, but I’m trying to do most of it on the weekends and in the crock pot. For example, I was able to throw my dinner together tonight in under 15 minutes. I sliced the spaghetti squash in half and put one half in the microwave for ten minutes. I dumped defrosted meat sauce that I made last week in a sauce pan on low while I stir-fried a bag of spinach in clarified butter. I added a little cranberry apple sauce (trial recipe for a Thanksgiving dinner party) that I made last night, and I had a delicious and Whole30 compliant meal ready.

I have 14 days to go, but I’m actually not even really counting. I had to check my calendar over the weekend to see what day I was on. I’m looking forward to a glass of red wine and maybe a slice of pumpkin pie or an egg nog latte sometime in the holiday season. But as of right now, I don’t plan to go out and have either of these the second the clock turns day 31. I’m hoping this 30 days will help me get from 75% healthy eating to more like 90 – 95% going forward.

Over the next two weeks we have friends coming for dinner and we’re hosting Greg’s family for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner. I’m excited to put together two Whole30 compliant meals that non-Paleo peeps find delicious too!