Monday, October 27, 2014

10 Day Vacation Capsule Wardrobe - Eastern Caribbean

I packed all my stuff in a carry on. There are two types of clothing items I brought: regular clothes, and workout clothes. I brought along some turquoise earrings and necklace, as well as watch, wedding rings, aggie ring, and I got a lovely birthday present in St. Maarten while there, which I have been wearing every single day since....a titanium rose gold Caribbean hook bracelet.

"Regular Clothes" Examples:

1. St. Maarten - White waffle knit sweater with black skinny pants
2. Dinner/Brunch - Black dress - once on its own, and once with the black shirt on top
3. St. Thomas - Wore the white and black striped shirt and skinny jeans

"Workout Clothes" Examples:

1. Running a 5K race on a tiny Bahamian island on our last stop - grey tank top/black crops
2. Morning workouts (running track on deck, or in the ship gym) - any shirt/black crops
3. Anything schleppy - i.e. airport transit - workout top, jacket, scarf, and some type of pant.
4. PJs! I wore the black yoga pants and cream funnel neck sweat shirt every night as pjs. No other purpose for those.

Also, I want to add that I only brought 2 bras. Did laundry once on the ship, but just to wash the workout clothes. There wasn't a need to wash the regular clothes, since I could re-wear each outfit at least once or twice due to minimal sweating in those clothes. Regardless of if I was gone for 1 week or 4, I'd probably only bring this amount....any more than this would be unnecessary for me, especially if I have access to clothes washing!

I love my Caribbean hook bracelet from St. Maarten - early birthday present.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Want to feel zen? Take your vacation days.

I've been out of the country on an Eastern Caribbean cruise with my family for over a week - just got back yesterday.  We only purchased 100 MB of internet data while out to attend to a few urgent items via email, but aside from that, I've had zero internet or phone access.
This has been my first "real" vacation since I've started my job a year and a half ago. Just when I felt like I was going 100 mph orchestrating stuff left and right at work, I was forced to turn it all off. At my company, we can buy or sell extra vacation days. It may be tempting to sell an extra week of your vacation, but now I will suggest to my employees that they should take their vacation, and possibly buy more! I've returned feeling refreshed and clear-headed. Definitely ready to tackle some heavy lifting at work this coming week.

Aside from the above, my takeaway from my vacation was an appreciation for my daily life back at home, and my desire to become even more "minimal" with my routines, processes, and of course possessions.

For a family of four, all we took for this trip were 1 full size carry on and 3 half-size carry ons. Living extremely efficiently for over a week made me realize that I still have a lot of room for streamlining in my closet and my personal care processes.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Wardrobe Updates - Black and white amazingness, and more thoughts on Project 333.

I've been trying to stick out the full course of fall/winter without making any changes to my stuff, but honestly, I've had quite a bit of stuff wear out and I have learned more about what I really end up wearing. Therefore, I've made a few changes accordingly.

Also, after having really excellent luck with the way my kids' H&M clothes have been holding up, I decided to replace some of my clothing items over the past few weeks with some stuff from H&M. Incredibly cheap, but I am crossing my fingers that it holds up well over time. We shall see.

I try to follow the Project 333 rules as much as possible, but I've learned that having more flexibility to replace things as needed works best for me. The important thing for me is to maintain a limited number of items overall. Also, I've decided to not include my jewelry, but instead store it away and wear one set of jewelry during the week, and then change for the following week (and so on...) It gives me variety while still maintaining the simplicity of not having to try to decide what to wear each morning. Oh, and if you're wondering why I don't wear a lot of color - my jewelry can be quite colorful and bold!

Here is what my wardrobe is looking like these days....

Friday, October 10, 2014

Trying to steamline my makeup routine a bit.

bad to the bronze, y'all.
As I focus on simplifying different areas of my life and day-to-day activities, I become more cognizant of areas of improvement. Getting ready in the morning is one of those areas. On a micro level, putting on make up is definitely one of those areas. I'm starting with eye makeup to see if adopting a one-step approach with the correct product will work for me and make my mornings getting ready a bit more simple....

What was I doing before?
  • Brushes
  • Multiple colors
  • Eyeliner powder
  • More brushes
Apparently this stuff is the holy grail for low-maintenance, expensive-looking, cheap, and long-wearing eyeshadow. All the beauty vloggers I watch go batshit crazy for this stuff. I have to admit - I LOVE IT. This pic was taken at the end of the day after commuting, working, kid schlepping, playing, etc. I feel like I don't need eyeliner with this either, since it is dark enough to give some definition. I have stored away my other eyeshadow palettes and I'm going to try to stick to this one-step method for eyeshadow for awhile. I'm going to try to slowly simplify my morning getting ready routine, while hopefully not compromising the end result - LOL. My husband prefers me without makeup, but I love it too much to give it up and go ultra-minimalist.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

In crazy times...drink tea for peace.

I have a ton of stuff going on, both at work and in my personal life. I may speak about the personal life side of it in about a month or so (because my lips are always zipped from work stuff), but for now, I will plow on and attempt to utilize new destressing methods to get me through. It's positive stress, but stress nevertheless. In the midst of being in the weeds, I have taken up drinking diet cokes again. I do find this to be very unfortunate, but right now, stress levels are skyrocketing.

So, normally I'd drink a glass of wine or a blue moon in the evening while I work into the night during dynamic times, but I've opted for a healthier, and even more "peaceful" option to mitigate the other beverages throughout the day: hot tea with a bit of honey.

Somehow laying in bed working on my laptop is zen-like when I'm drinking this combination. If you need to spend some time meditating, praying, or being a workaholic zombie like me, I think hot tea with a little honey definitely helps set the mood.

I've learned my favorite tea is either green or white tea, with a bit of floral and fruit infusion.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Capsule Wardrobe Addition: Nude Heels! And my presentation outfit from today...

my Naturalizer Lennox pumps
After my pair of black pumps disintegrated this summer, I tried to go some time without replacing them to see if I really needed heels in my life. For a couple of months, I did okay, but have started to realize that I feel more professional when presenting or going to more important meetings while dressed in heels. Flats were feeling a bit too informal for me.

I ordered some Naturalizer Lennox heels (still for sale on various sites), and I LOVE THEM. I've worn them every day at work this week so far, and they are so comfortable (for being heels) and look professional yet modern. A nude pump is very versatile, so definitely can be more than just office wear should the occasion arise. I especially love that these have a tiny platform and aren't too high of a heel. 4" heels = no can do. I bought the Dr. Scholls dream heels inserts, and they really do make the shoes even more comfortable by adding some additional arch support (which heels normally don't have).

These came in the mail this weekend, so just in time to wear them to my presentation at work where I was graded on my presentation and speaking skills. These must have been good luck shoes, because the look seemed to have done the trick. Or maybe it was just my mad skillz. Either way, these shoes made me feel confident and comfortable at the same time.

Nude pumps, black ankle pants, white button up shirt, and black suit jacket = my presentation outfit from today.