Project capsule wardrobe


I have one big goal this week (outside of the usual) and that is to create a capsule wardrobe.

The idea - outlined here - is to get down to your most basic, beautiful & favorite pieces of clothing, and get rid of all of the rest. I mean, what's not to love.

Financially it means spending less on fewer things, though those things may each be pricier than what you'd normally buy.

Here's another good resource.

In other words:

Kick-ass pair of jeans + white tee + dreamy soft sweater = $200

As opposed to:

Shirt that looks cute on rack but not on + jeans that are just a little too short but you wear them because you feel guilty + itchy sweater that was on sale + muffin top jeans from college because that used to be cool & you've left yourself in your 20's + button down that you used to love and are hoping will fall in love with again someday = $200, plus you hate wearing it all.

My plan is to spread my favorite, favorite clothes onto my bed. Then I'll go through all of the rest and decide whether it needs to go into a box for giveaway, summertime, or the maybe box. The maybe box is for the stuff I'm truly not ready to get rid of but don't love. Because, on occasion I do re-fall-in -love, or lose weight, or gain weight, or change my mind.

But here's the thing about the maybe pile - aside from a few pieces which might hold true sentimental value - the feel of a swingy, simple closet greatly outweighs the rare feelings of getting-rid-of regret. Plus, let's be honest, you CAN replace most items of clothing if you feel that strongly about them.

GDI - un-fancy capsule wardrobe

Plus, like a blank slate, once you've got a small, great wardrobe, adding and subtracting becomes a lot easier. My idea is to buy fewer pieces each season.

Another great way to approach it is to ask yourself what you'd pack in a carry-on bag if you were going away somewhere hot or somewhere cold. You probably have your answer there.

If I had to begin with five pieces it would probably look something like this: gray tank top, white/gray/black long sleeve tee, soft, versatile sweater, the best fitting jeans I could find + ballet flats. (Wednesday I'll do the shopping list for this...list).

Have you ever thought about doing a capsule wardrobe? I'm so excited. After that? I'm eyeing my jewelry. Don't you wear, like, 20% of what you own?

(first image via today ,second image via un-fancy)

Friday tidbits

GDI - capsule wardrobe

Good Friday morning to you! What will you do this weekend?

Tonight I'd love to snuggle down with the kids & watch a movie - I'm hoping to make a pot of homemade chicken noodle today - and then tomorrow I have my very first ever head massage. Have you ever had one? Santa got me a gift certificate for a nearby spa, and I wanted to try something new :)

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and see you back here next week.

Links I found worth sharing.

Would you travel with a photographer

Garage apartments. Wow.

Next week I'd love to begin working on a capsule wardrobe (in my case, it'll consist mostly of getting rid of stuff, not buying new), but Taylor Stitch looks like a lovely site for curating a capsule wardrobe.

Kristen Bell & Dax Shepard do Africa. Very funny.

A look inside an artist's home, just as she left it. 

Work/life balance story. I love these.

This book looks so good. How cheerful would it be to page through with your kids on a weekend morning?

The Wild Side of Motherhood. Another addition to my Dream Jobs folder.

Another study on what meditation actually does to the brain. DUUUR.

Ok, here's my issue with the CDCs insane poster. First of all EVERYTHING. But secondly, I'm so, so sick of people telling pregnant women they can't drink. It's like this giant sign that says You're too stupid to practice moderation, so we'll just go on and dumb it down for you, don't drink AT ALL. All the while we're being poisoned by pharmaceuticals and other chemicals. (This article is funny, and good, too).

Plastics in the ocean. Man I need to find an uplifting link to end on.

Found! A giant rubber duckie.

(top image via stylizimo)

Happy fourth birthday, darling June Bancroft

GDI - June newborn

I want this baby back. But not really because she is such a cool four year old. 

GDI - June baby

June is smart, and funny, and loving, and spicy. She makes a mean fierce face but is impossibly lovely to babies. She is the most independent little soul I've ever known, walking off into her bedroom and flipping through books, or playing with dolls, endlessly.

GDI - June 8 months

She loves sweets and has changed our household for the better in every possible way. She has introduced a strong gentleness, and I learn from her everyday.

GDI - June spider

She is picky - there are so many things she won't touch because, "Ew, that's disgusting!"

GDI - June Bud

She loves, loves, loves her father.

GDI - June turns 2

My heart breaks to think of her going to school full-time next year and yet, she's such a lover of her friends and teachers. 

GDI - June 2 +

If one child has my heart, the other has my soul, and I'm never quite sure which is which. 

Her dream is to one day be a Ballerina Doctor, which is to say both a dancer, and a doctor. I totally believe she could do both.

GDI - June 1.5

She is funny, so funny. I knew she would be ever since she was tiny. Whereas Truett is our literal straight-man, June has had a twinkle in her eye from so early on. She's a burden-lightener and an amazingly responsible cat-feeder.

GDI - June & B

GDI - June & B 2015

I once described her as my lovely little sprite and she continues to be - so much like a fairy - small, magical, sweet, fierce. 

GDI - June 3.5

June Bancroft, I love you more than I ever thought possible. xoxoxoxo

GDI - June apple picking

How was your weekend?

Elsa water

(the making of Elsa Water)

Ours was busy, productive, a little stressful & fun.

Busy: we had June's birthday party Saturday late afternoon/early evening. As I pushed jagged pieces of the candied glass into the cake, I watched it slowly sag, and then collapse under the weight.This was at the exact same time Truett removed the tape from his door knob, slammed the door and got himself totally locked in his room. I put the tape there to prevent this exact problem since I broke the door latch last year. (Inspiration for the cake, though it ended up looking quite different).

Bud ended up having to get a ladder & climb through the window to get him, right as the doorbell began ringing with June's guests. It was a moment where I tried to take a few deep breaths and remind myself that overall it would all workout, and really, no one would care that much that the cake was half collapsed. See this post on entertaining because something always happens.

The cake did taste really nice though.

The rest of the party went well after that, everyone had fun & our tie-dye project went off beautifully (we did blue tie-dye tea towels as a craft and take-home gift. Blue = ALL ELSA ALL THE TIME).

We opened gifts at the party since the kids seemed so eager, and it was a total Lord of The Flies moment with all of the kids crowding around, yelling & trying to help June open her gifts. She was elated at all of the wonderful & sweet things she got, but I had to remind her that night that gifts are optional and Truett chimed in, "it's a gift when someone shows up at your party!"

GDI - rare seeds carrots

Yesterday I decided I really wanted a raised bed this year for a spring garden, & so Bud and I worked on putting one up in a sunny spot - in the front yard, ha! You're welcome neighbors ;) (I love Baker Creek for heirloom seeds, also carrot photo credit).

In the meantime, Truett went flying down the hallway and crashed his knee through a glass paned door. He got a mean looking cut, and I toyed with the idea of taking him for stitches, but I'm hoping I made the right choice just to bandage/butterfly tightly after cleaning the cut out. 

So. How was your weekend? 

Friday tidbits

GDI - Friday

What will you be up to this weekend? I'm still working on our living room redesign - and finding it more challenging than I thought! Tonight I'm hoping for low-key hygge with our closest friends, or even movie night + takeout :)

Then tomorrow is June's 4th birthday party! It will be all Elsa. We're going to have white + blue-sprinkled cake with candied glass ice for Elsa's castle. We'll also order pizza & tie dye kitchen clothes. 

Hope you have a wonderful, relaxing weekend and see you back here next week. Let's do some links.

A magical town in Holland called Giethoorn + how about this fairytale cottage in England, you can rent?! (Georgia - Europe trip 2017?)

Who wants to go swimming with whales? This girl.

Sandorkraut: A Pickle Maker. Such a wonderful short film.

Sapphire and Sunstone ring.

Taking back old-age. Love!

You have GOT to watch this video about a woman who dies of stage four cancer & then comes back.

This one too - yipes! - about NOT staying in school. Note: I'd combine classical learning with practical, but man if he doesn't make some good points.

I worried, a short poem by Mary Oliver.

The vibrator to end all vibrators?

I love Jada Pinkett Smith. She nailed it in this video.


Coyotes, possible high on mushrooms, attacking cars. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Liz and I had a good hard laugh over this one last night

(image via careergirldaily)

Winter soups

GDI - the kitchn creamy soup

On Mondays and Tuesday I teach art out of my home.

On Wednesdays, I do a morning yoga class & June has ballet in the evening.

Thursdays and Fridays are usually my catch-up days, but sometimes Truett has soccer (during his two seasons - he loves it!).

I love to cook & have been making an effort to feed the kids snacks less often, so they eat real food when it's offered.

Which leaves me with...soup. Seriously, soup. Truett grumbled about "soup again," last night, but happily ate a chicken corn chowder I made.

GDI - thekitchn italian wedding soup

Whenever I do a shopping trip I throw two or three loaves of french bread in the cart, and freeze what I won't use immediately. On nights we have soup read: often, I put a loaf in the oven long enough to thaw & then get hot and crispy, and then serve with thick, rich, creamy Kerry Gold butter. 

June and Truett will not eat anything that has visible onions in it, so last night I cooked the chicken for the soup with garlic and onion for flavor, then spooned out as much of the two as I could. It worked!

Here are a few of my favorite recipes, if you're looking for warm, filling & simple winter dinners, like I always am. PS - I don't really follow recipes, I just get a gist & then go for it in the kitchen, with what I've got. For some people - following a recipe to a tee works best, for me, it feels overwhelming. Honestly, just go with whatever cooking-style is yours, you'll be happier and more successful that way.

Chicken corn chowder. Note, I used cream + broth, not milk.

Rosemary chicken noodle.

Classic tomato soup . With grilled cheese sandwiches? 

GDI - thekitchn kale soup

(all images from the kitchn, PS with good recipes, too)

Our living room redesign

GDI - french living room

A few weeks ago, we got rid of an old chair from our living room. I'd bought it back at Target years ago, and it was so saggy it looked sort of like a dog falling asleep with it's mouth open. Bud used to stand next to it and imitate the saggy tongue, I do miss that part of it.

GDI - living room after

(This is how our house looked shortly after we moved in, but since I've changed out the rug, gotten rid of the television (to the left of fireplace) & the couch is saggier :))

That chair was perched next to our leaning lamp (that we still have!). Imagine that with the couch we bought at Costco years ago (I love how in that post I reference learning how to parent a baby, hahahahahaha) - that I've since repaired with a messy whip stitch (once the zippers all broke) - and...I decided it was time for a living room facelift.

Mind you I still love aspects of our living room - the wallpaper, the repainted mantel, these tables from craigslist we repainted a few years ago. But I'd love this main living area to feel more put-together, and work better for our kids, our hygge nights & our dogs.

GDI - library:living room

Enter domino design services.

I used to love domino magazine back in the day, before it folded - and so was elated when they launched their website a few years ago. Since then, I've seen ads for their design services and I finally decided to give it a try.

Last week I chose a designer - after reviewing a lot of them - and then sent her pictures of our living room, descriptions of what we're looking for and, a terribly rendered little pencil sketch of our room dimensions. 

This week I should be getting back design ideas and plans for our living room. The plans include where to buy the pieces - but I'm hoping to mostly use that as inspiration (minus, say, the furniture) and DIY a lot of the little things. 

GDI - white living room

And although nearly $200 is not a drop in the bucket, I love how relatively affordable the services are, how highly personal & how simple the process is. I cannot WAIT to show you all pictures & let you know how to process goes (with before-and-after, my favorite part!!)

(top image, second image, and third image)

Friday tidbits

GDI - snowball fight

This has been a tough week. Lots of angsty hand twisting over Truett & school, lots of work to catch up on and then, this morning, I woke up with a scratchy throat. Boo. So, perfect timing for the weekend. Tonight I hope to go low-key, maybe play Monopoly with the kids, or have a movie night with popcorn and early to bed.

What are you doing this weekend? Do you live in a snow zone? It looks like we're on the very edge of rain/snow. I would love a snow day for sledding and hot chocolate.

Let's do some links for your weekend reading and see you back here next week!

I was inspired by this article on how to eat well on a food stamp budget. Here's the cookbook.

An interesting quote by Bono on Grace & Karma.

9 happy documentaries on Netflix right now. 

I related so much to this beautiful article.

8 ways to treat the common cold (looks like good weekend advice to me!)

A virtual tour of Buckingham Palace.

How to Use Craigslist - amazing tips for people who are overwhelmed (like me!) by Craigslist. 

This is such a beautiful outfit.

Lastly, for wanderlust + style, How To Pack for Paris in the winter (using only a carryon). 

(top image via the New York Public Library)

Last post in the - don't be scared - series

GDI - wines

The last portion of my...advice (ha!) - is about food and drink.

The simplest way to throw a get together - and often the most fun - is to invite a few people over last minute, ask them to raid their fridge for half full bottles of wine, last night's leftover lasagna, a frozen baguette from the fridge - you get the idea. 

If you have a fireplace, twinkle lights, or a favorite playlist on Pandora (I'm partial to Norah Jones type music at these cold-night, cozy dinners) - crank them up.

If you've got time to run by the store either provide the main meal: chili, soups & simple casseroles are all easy, filling & suggest warmth and love.

GDI - flowers

If you'd rather not make an actual meal - set out cheeses, deli meat, salamis, olives, grapes, baguettes, crackers, broken up chocolate bars, hummus, veggies & a big pitcher of water. 

If you've got paper cups, plates & cutlery, great - it'll cut way down on the mess and not stress you out too much. However, if you throw these dinners together often there are drawbacks to throw-away supplies: it gets expensive & it's not particularly environmentally friendly. 

I think a prettier and more intimate solution is to use what you've got, or even go to a goodwill and stock up on pretty mismatched plates & cups. Vintage resale stores are great for antique spoons and forks - and you can even make your own cheese boards if you'd like.

My current favorite, favorite bottle of red wine comes from Trader Joes and costs $7.99. I found it by..asking dude who runs the wine section. He is incredibly friendly, flirtatious & knows a lot about cheap wine. I instagramed the wine label, since I was having a hard time finding it online.

If you don't have a favorite bottle, just text one of your wine loving friends, ask for an affordable label suggest and buy a few.

Also - beers. I can't really get into the beer debate because I don't drink much beer BUT for your beer snob friends, buy something local, small batch brewed - your internal hipster will recognize the label. For your non-beer snob friends, who cares? My experience is they'll drink just about anything - light, domestic and cold.

Mostly - don't worry about a thing. If something flubs, if your kids wigs out (ahem), if your dog humps someone's leg, if your mess closet is opened and an avalanche falls on someones head - well, sorry, but also you'll weed out the meh friends from the great.

GDI - table, glassware

Happy hygge. xoxo

How to entertain even if it makes you nervous - part II, rookie mistake

GDI - snuggle pit

This post is coming on the heels of a conference I just had with Truett's teacher. We came off a banner week of defiance, an email home saying he is struggling with certain things in class and then...I had like, twenty people over Friday night.

It - for him - did not go well. He lost his ever-loving mind, screamed at us & then spent half the night sneaking the computer around the house to watch shows I'd already told him to turn off.

Which leads me to my next rule, if you will.

GDI - socks fire hygge

Don't do what I did. Don't make the rookie mistake of a. inviting people over when your family clearly needs time to rest and reconnect and, perhaps even more importantly b. don't invite so many people over at a time.

It creates stress and noise and mess. 

On the flip side, when my girlfriend stopped by Sunday to sit by the fire pit (and new table I built - more on that later!) & Truett had one friend over to play, and June sat inside on the couch with her dolls, we all connected and it served to relax and refresh. The boys even created fire art by burning the ends of their sticks and then waving them into designs back-dropped by the night sky.

If your week was really stressful, maybe better to stay in and hunker down with books and popcorn and early bedtimes.

If you're up for some connection - try inviting your two closest friends/families over. My problem is I never! want! to! leave! anyone! out! 

GDI - kids nook

But it doesn't always work organically for my introverted kid & exhausted husband. I'm learning to move with the tide - stay in alone as a family until my kids ask for a friend over, use Friday nights as a time to rest and Saturdays as, perhaps, a time to get together. 

I'm alone a good deal - so connection with friends is important. Oddly though, at night, I'm ready to shut it down, while Bud prefers to interact. It's a balancing act.

Vibe out you and your family's desire for people over, how many, and when. 

(images from BBC, buzzfeed, & Vivi&Oli's)


About Me

My Photo Hi! I'm Hope. Welcome to my website all about: style, food, travel & parenting. I live in Columbia, SC with my husband and two bebes.