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Conversation Pieces wants list

I have a problem. I’m almost a month away from the end of my shopping ban, and I can already feel myself gearing up to add items to my already huge wardrobe. (I’m working on culling it down- more on that later).

One such place that has my attention is Conversation Pieces, who, lucky for you (not me), is offering free shipping through Sunday on any order.

While you’re placing your order, may I suggest a few things that I’d love to add to my closet that you can feel free to send me?

1. Castaway Dress
2. Apple of my Eye Dress, Navy
3. Fresh Appeal Dress
4. Polka Dot Affair Blouse, Coral
5. Morning Sunrise Blouse

Tell me if you buy something so I can live vicariously through you, OK?

(No, Conversation Pieces does not sponsor my blog, I just like their selection.)

 

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9

Over halfway done

Can you believe my shopping ban is almost over? I can’t.

The beginning of February marked my halfway mark, yet here I am, in March, and finally talking about it.

When I started this challenge in November, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, or if I would be able to even last this long. Well, my friends, it’s a lot easier than I thought it would be. Sure, there are some really annoying bits (like not being able to buy something because I don’t have a gift card, and knowing I’d feel a little guilty if I did), but the majority has been pretty painless.

And, as you may have seen on twitter or heard me mention here briefly, I moved. Holy crap, you do not realize how much stuff you have until you have to pack it all into boxes and cart it to a new place.  Because of my lack of desire to pack things I no longer wear, I went through much of my clothes, and left a giant pile of donations behind, most to be donated, with a few select pieces going to some friends I know will appreciate the pieces (Jenni, Katie, Goodwill- you’re welcome).
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(Yup, that’s my pile so far. There’s also some kitchen items and a printer buried in there. It’s like pirate’s treasure, but no gold.)

When I was sitting in the middle of my room, throwing things into the donate pile, I realized that I had fallen victim to the cycle of consumerism that [mostly] everyone else falls into as well. Thankfully, my descent didn’t push me into debt, or cause me to have a secret storage locker full of clothes. Going through this stuff, I realized that most of it was left-over from my high school and college days. As I started putting more items in my “to-donate” pile, it hit me like a ton of bricks:

Why do I have stuff that I don’t absolutely love? Why do I keep it if I’m not going to wear it? Why do I allow it to take up space in my closet? And why the hell do I own seven shirts that look THE EXACT SAME?! As style bloggers, we (yes, I’m including myself in this “we”) often talk about how my we love “this” or “that” and how we can’t get enough of it. Well, there were plenty of items in that pile of donations that used to be my go-to item, but have been replaced with something new.

I’m not even done with my shopping ban and I’ve already learned a lesson; don’t keep it if you don’t love it. My closet isn’t going to get mad at me if I get rid of shirt X,Y, or Z. In fact, I think my closet would thank me (if it  could talk!) for removing some of the wasted space.

We all have certain items that we are attached to, and feel like we can’t give up or give away. I’m not talking about those items, because I have some of those too. For example, this brocade coat I wore here:
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I snagged that at Value World for less than $5. It’s a vintage Saks robe (I think it’s a bathrobe). I feel like an art teacher when I wear it, because of the cut, but I just can’t bring myself to donate it. I feel like it needs to go to someone else who would truly understand the beauty and quality of the piece. It’s crazy gorgeous.

But, at what point do you have to stop thinking like that (let’s face it, I can equate everything I own to a good deal, or being crazy gorgeous, if I wanted to), and when do you start taking a long, hard look at your stuff and actually decide it’s OK and needed to purge?

It’s items like this that makes me feel a little crazy, because I want to make sure items like this get “adopted” into a great home. (Yes, I just equated my clothing to the likes of a living, breathing pet. I’m nothing if not a little nuts). Sounds crazy, but I bet most of you know exactly how I feel. It’s something that’s a great item, but maybe it just doesn’t fit in your closet, lifestyle, personal style, or maybe it just plain doesn’t fit anymore. I know that I will have to get over my curious nature of where an item went (did it go to a good home, etc), and just drop off the box outside Goodwill and call it a day.

Thankfully, that pile you see above fit into two oversized garbage bags and was dropped off at Goodwill earlier this week. Joe’s trunk was full of our donations, and I really hope that someone else is able to find value in those items. That’s all I can really hope for.

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Superheroes!

Day six: marvel superheros! #29daysoftshirts
This shirt is easily one of my favorites. And I have to admit that I prefer Marvel comics to DC. (Marvel is Ironman, Spiderman, Xmen, Captain America. DC is Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern.)

I also have issues with some actors playing multiple superheroes (Ryan Renyolds as Green Lantern and Deadpool?! And The Human Torch is also Captain America?! Argh!), but I digress. I could talk about comics all day. Bet you didn’t know that about me!

Day six, done.

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Three, four, five

Friday’s shirt:
#29daysoftshirts day 3... Recycle!
Spent all day packing. Yay.

Saturday:
Number four. Belonged to my mom. #29daysoftshirts resting after carrying tons of boxes up stairs.
Started moving boxes… Exhausted.
Just one area of boxes. I am going to love when i'm not living in box-land
Someone please come help me moves these boxes. I'm out.

Sunday, not a Patriots or Giants tee. It’s Punchline!
Day five- @punchlion tee (and my awesome iPad #starwars decals! #29daysoftshirts

Can’t wait to be done with this move, lol.

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Day two of tshirts

Today was spent at an early morning meeting, packing, and packing. Somewhere in there we went out for lunch where I had a tiramisu that smelled so strongly of brandy (or something) that my nose burned. Is it possible to get drunk off food? Because I think I might’ve.

Anyway, here’s my fabulous shirt bought in college from eBay:
#29daysoftshirts day 2.

Loafy demanded attention while I was trying to snag a photo, so here’s her fuzzy belly:

Fuzzy little monster.

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29 days of tshirts

Welcome to February 1, the very first day of my 29 days of tshirts challenge. You keep hearing me talk about all these crazy tshirts I own, so I figured what better way than to showcase 29 of them?

Right now (as you’ll hear more about later), Joe and I are packing to move, so some of these you have seen before, I’m guessing most of them you have not.

So here’s tshirt number one:
29 days of tshirts. 1. Ghostbusters

(You can also view these on my Instagram feed. Since I take these in a mirror, I’ll flip them before posting them on my blog, but they will be mirror images on my Instagram feed).

And, simply because this amused me, I wanted to share that Cleverbot wants to marry me (I’m the black type, Cleverbot is the blue).
Cleverbot wants to marry me.

Hilarious.

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One thing I bought (with a gift card)

You remember when I started my shopping ban? I said I was OK with shopping if I was given a giftcard. So, when I happened to get one for Christmas I was a little dumbfounded with what to do with it. I haven’t been shopping for myself in so long, the possibilities were (somewhat) endless. Do I want a new skirt? Top? Shoes? DVD?

It took me about a month to decide what I would do, which ended with me spending it on a video game for Joe, shoes for me, heating pad for my cats (I swear it’s not as weird as it sounds), and a movie. Yeah, got all that for $46.

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My favorite item is the shoes. I found them on Amazon, in my size, and was geeked when I realized they were only $25! Betsey Johnson shoes for only $25? Crazy!

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They’re a cotton print, with a metallic toe. I don’t know what I was expecting when I ordered them, but I’m really excited they fit. I have quite large feet, so sometimes shoes that are my size end up being a little too snug. And having never owned anything Betsey before, I didn’t know what to expect. But have no fear! If you’re in the market for anything Betsey and unsure of shoe sizing, they run pretty true-to-size.

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The best part of the day has to be that black blur you see in the background of the above photo. Joe and I have been busy packing and sorting (it’s a long story, I’ll tell you all about it later), and some of the boxes are banana boxes. If you know anything about these boxes, it’s that they have these holes cut into them for ventilation. So, even though we can use them, I didn’t want the cats to climb in them and make a mess or anything, so I decided to toss a blanket over the hole.

Totally fixed the problem, right?

Wrong. Ruckus still climbed on the box, sank into the hole and has been sleeping there for three hours.

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That’s my girl 🙂

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One month of not shopping- done!

One month of not shopping is under my belt and I feel great. I haven’t purchased anything for myself since I began this experiment November 1, and to be honest, I don’t miss it a bit. Perhaps it’s because I’m really busy at work, am taking a night class and am focusing more on my family right now than worrying about what’s hot and what I should own. Perhaps it’s because I’ve stopped caring if I have the next big thing or if I need something new to feel like I’m keeping up with the Joneses. Whatever the reason, I feel very content with my shopping ban, and am really excited to continue.

One thing that I’ve discovered that has helped me tremendously is going shopping (at the mall or online), looking at items, trying things on, filling up a cart, but not buying a thing. Yes, this sounds very counterintuitive and like it shouldn’t work, but for me it does. I’ve been to the mall, I’ve gone to stores online and picked out items I like, pinned them, saved them as inspiration, tried them on, thought about how I’d style them. But in the end, they go back on the rack or back into the digital archives. I suppose because I know I’m not going to purchase anything I feel more free to try items on I normally wouldn’t (whether because of price or style), and I don’t feel guilty about it at all. I tried on a slim black dress with feather detailing at Ann Taylor. At $300, it’s out of my usual price range, but since it was never going to come home with me, I tried it on, stared at myself in the mirror, showed it to Katie (who was at the store with me), and put it back. No pangs of sadness or guilt when I put it back. In fact, I was almost relived in a very strange way that I was able to try something on that was so interesting and delicate, but was also able to put it back without feeling like I should be buying it, just because I liked how it looked or a salesperson talked me into it.

I also survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday, much to the surprise of other shoppers, and I suppose the chagrin of stores. I felt no need to wake up early on Friday morning (or stay out all Thursday night) to wait in line for items I don’t need. On Monday, I woke up to 20 new emails from stores celebrating their percentage off and free shipping. Although I clicked through to a few sites, I didn’t feel any urges to purchase anything. Maybe this is what growing up feels like, or maybe this is what happens when you just don’t give a damn anymore, but I feel pretty good with the items I currently own, and although I may still covet a few newer items, I don’t think I’m going to feel like I’m missing out on anything by not purchasing them. Sure, I could’ve gotten some great deals over the past few weeks, and I could be walking around right now in brand new boots, a fabulous new sweater and a great new pair of gloves, but I’m not. My Target boots are working just fine, as are my already-loved sweaters and my comfortably worn-in gloves. Nothing I currently own needs to be replaced, and I’ve yet to shed a significant amount of weight that would force me to buy new pants (I’m still waiting to see if my new gym routine forces me into a new pant size or not), but for now, not shopping is working out really well.

I’m even more excited about my ban because it’s allowing me the ability to save money, find great gifts for others for the holiday, and it’s giving me and Joe a chance to do things other than shop (like DVR 30 movies from HBO’s free preview weekend and watch them all together in the span of three days…). This ban is also allowing (and forcing me) to think about this blog, where it’s been, where I’d like to go and what I want to do with it. This time of year isn’t as great as I’d like it to be. It’s the first year without my dad. This time last year he was getting worse, and worse, before we lost him in January. Thanksgiving wasn’t the best holiday; it was painful and will never be the same because he’s not here. So my silence here is a mix of being busy at work, taking my class and taking care of myself and my family. I am hoping that these next five months will help me find a focus for this blog that may or may not be the same as it’s been for the past two years, but hopefully it will be something I am happy and comfortable with, and hopefully you will also enjoy it.

Here’s to a fabulous first month, and five more of not shopping and resisting the temptation to purchase anything for myself.

(Come back next week, I have three different giveaways and a few reviews coming up, so you may be able to win something great for yourself or as a gift for something else!).

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Fall trends I will either make or avoid

The new fall fashions that hit stores in late August are often the harbinger of the cooler weather we’ve been waiting for. So of course the very first day it’s 60 degrees I buy myself a new pair of boots (my old one were falling apart at the seams, literally). But, as mother nature would have it, it was 80 the next day.

As I struggle to decide between packing away my summer togs, and keeping them around a little longer, I wonder how many of the new trends I already own, could easily make, or wouldn’t wear. One rainy afternoon, I decided to do some investigating. (Photos via Refinery 29)

Colored pants are one of the top new trends this fall. But, oh wait, they were also a trend last year. So rather than shelling out money on new pants, why not just dig out the maroon and purple pants I wore last year? Trend 1, check.

Next up are leather skirts. I’ve been rocking one for a few years now that I picked up in a thrift store for pennies. Nice to see that investment is paying off!

Ponchos. Well, I fail this one because I own a cropped cape, but I feel more like Batman wearing it than fashionable. So we’ll just add that to my “to donate” box, and I’ll probably steer clear of this trend, or else I might fool myself into thinking I’m more of a super hero than the Green Hornet, and we all Kato was the real hero there.

High slits are desirable this fall. Well, hand me some scissors so I can hack up my maxi skirts. Or I’ll just skip this trend because it feels more runway or warmer weather appropriate. Can you imagine me walking through snow, with a slit up the front of my skirt? Yeah, me neither.

Tuxedo chic. Why don’t we call it what it really is: fancy waitress. Now I have nothing against menswear as a look for women, I think it can look quite sleek. But these looks make me feel like I should ask what you’d like to drink and tell you the specials. That being said, I did inherit a tie after my father passed away that I will probably wear. Joe and I gave it to him to wear to our wedding, so it’s special to us. Back to fall fashions…

Long duster coats. Also know as “that thing that will get dragged through the snow and trapped in the door of my car on my way to work.” I do own a trench coat that is on the longer side, but again, because of the snow we get here in metro Detroit, I’m not going to wear a floor-length coat anywhere. That’s just asking for trouble.

Rich blue. I actually really like this color. I own a tee-shirt that’s very similar to this color. I think it looks cerulean, which is the best crayon in the entire box. At least it is for me.

Graphic stripes. Didn’t we just go through this trend with all those Prada dresses? I suppose the only way I want to look like I’m wearing baseball pants with garter belts on them is if I’m told it’s fashionable. Time to dig out my old softball uniform and a paint brush. It’s going to be a long night.

Mid calf skirts (weren’t these called midi skirts last year?). Is it just me, or does it seem like skirts on the runways are anything but flattering for the average woman? Sure, these stick-thin models look great in these skirts (even that gold one), but I have a feeling if I wore a skirt to my mid calf that I’d look like I had hiked up my maxi too high.

A few other trends to take note of: pattern mixing, polka dots and dyed furs. I’ve never met a pattern I didn’t like, especially polka dots, but I think I’ll be steering clear of the furs. The last time I brought faux fur into my home Loafy thought it was a new friends and proceeded to groom it for three days.

Are there any fall trends you can’t wait for, or are waiting to disappear?

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Shop my closet



I did a massive closet overhaul a few weekends ago, and pulled out many items I don’t really wear anymore, but are still in fabulous condition, and listed them for sale here (or click the picture above).
Accessories \ Tops \ Skirts \ Dresses \ Vintage

Most items are either $10 or $15, and I have some other stuff to list later this week (more skirts and some shoes!). If you see something you want, be the first one to email me about it, and I’ll put it on hold for you. Once you’ve paid the invoice, I’ll mail it out.

Prices include US shipping- contact me for international rates.