Daily Outfits: Reds & Shades

IMG_3063dailyoutfit 11.27.13/10.11.14Tally:
Coral cropped shirt: 4
Flared jeans: 1
Striped blouse: 4
Black jeans: 4
Lavender scarf: 2
White, black, red dress: 2
Nude fishnets: 1
Black keds: 4

It’s a week of long hours at dailyoutfit 10.3.13scarf_purple floweredwork.  Sometimes that makes me want to wear comfortable jeans and loose tops.  On the other hand, it keeps my confidence and energy up to wear dresses or skirts and put more effort into my look

This time last year: October 19 and 22.

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Simple Pleasures

SecretGardenYou know how sometimes you suddenly want to read a very specific book?  I felt that way this week about The Secret Garden.  (Thankfully, my roommate has a copy.)

It’s a fast and wonderful read.  Nothing brings the same kind of joy as reading a great story.  And this one is!  About relationships with people and nature, about sharing, and more.

Reading is a simple pleasure.  It doesn’t take much and it’s endlessly entertaining.

The story of Mary Lennox and the secret garden reminds me too of the simple and powerful pleasure of being outside.  Of being with birds, of tending a garden, of planting flowers and watching them grow.  It’s amazing to care for something, to really tend it.  It’s a profound and simple thing.

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Daily Outfits: Fall Denim

IMG_3062dailyoutfit 4.29.14Tally:
Black button tank top: 2
Blue cardigan: 3
Black jeans: 3
Black keds: 2
Orange shirt: 3
Beige sweater: 1
Boot-cut jeans: 4
Lavender scarf: 1
Neutral birkenstocks: 4

dailyoutfit 12.29.13scarf_purple floweredNow that I bike or walk to work, skirts aren’t convenient or comfortable.  Though I often find them more interesting than jeans, I like ease.  Biking to work in sweatpants and changing into a skirt and tights is not easy!  So this season’s challenge is to wear more denim, keeping it varied and interesting but still minimal.

This time last year: October 16, 17, 18.  Thanks for reading!

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Daily Outfits: Some bright colors

dailyoutfit 3.20.14IMG_3061Tally:
Brown striped sweater: 1
Boot-cut jeans: 2
Black keds: 1
Navy blouse: 2
Striped blouse: 3
Pink corduroy skirt: 3
Brown flats: 3
Coral cropped shirt: 3
Purple skirt: 3
Blue patterned scarf: 1
dailyoutfit 10.9.14scarf_blue patternedBrown boots: 4

This time last year: October 12, 12 again, 14 and 15.  Thanks for reading!

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Simplicity Parenting for Yourself

simplicityparentingSimplicity Parenting is a movement that is gaining traction all over the world in places as diverse as India and Iceland, says Kim John Payne.  It’s easy to understand why: like the appeal of minimalism, simplicity in child-rearing is a pendulum swing away from the hyperactive pace of today’s world, both for children and adults.

In a talk yesterday, Payne discussed how cumulative low-level stress can lead to the same symptoms exhibited by people with PTSD.  Under-the-radar stress accumulates over time when there’s too much going on all the time.  For children, it’s too many scheduled activities, play dates, screens everywhere, toys, etc.

Most of us experience periods of stress.  Now I wonder, are there enduring levels of low stress in my life as well?  What about how much I dread checking and filtering my email?  What about all the books on my shelf that I want to read?

Payne shared four pillars of simplicity for child-rearing.  I bet they apply to adulthood as well:

  1. Simplify the Environment: this is what minimalism is about!  Fewer clothes to choose from, fewer books, fewer pots and pans, less to clean, less to demand your attention.  My room is simple now, but perhaps it could be simpler.  Or perhaps I can pare down that basement shelf full of Books I Might Read Someday.  Maybe I can pare down the cookware and dishes in our kitchen.
  2. Establish Rhythm & Predictability: are there tasks I can do at the same time every day at work, without getting derailed?  Can I set my alarm for the same time each morning?  Can I decompress immediately after work every day, instead of cooking or cleaning or checking personal emails?
  3. Cut back on Scheduling: I strive to have at least two weeknights free and one weekend day with no or few plans.  Lately I’ve felt restless to take on an “extracurricular” such as dancing or rock climbing.  But just one.  In doing so, I’ll need to cut back on random plans that crop up during the week.
  4. Filter out the Adult World: I wrote about this in Minimal-Info Diet.  My sphere of concern and sphere of influence are different.  Should I know about world tragedies when I can’t do much to change them?  Or should I focus on what I can change – making my personal life more sustainable, decreasing my carbon footprint, etc.

What do you think?  Where do you feel low levels of stress?  How have you simplified?

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Daily Outfits: Bright Combination & Gray

IMG_3054IMG_3056Tally:
Coral cropped shirt: 2
Purple skirt: 2
Neutral birkenstocks: 2
Gray t-shirt: 1
Black cardigan: 2
Boot-cut jeans: 1
Brown flats: 2
Striped blouse: 2
Black jeans: 3
Rainbow scarf: 1
dailyoutfit 11.27.13scarf_rainbowRain boots: 1

Purple + coral is a bright combination, and I liked it.  It felt cheery.  I accessorized with a gold chain and brown shoes.

I wore gray on two rainy days, comfortable and layer-able combinations, with color in accessories.

This time last year: October 9, 9 again, and 10.  Thanks for reading!

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Daily Outfits: Several Patterned Pieces

dailyoutfit 4.7.14IMG_3050Tally:
Striped blouse: 1
Pink corduroy skirt: 2
Brown boots: 3
Orange shirt: 2
Blue cardigan: 2
Navy skirt: 2
Brown flats: 1
Yellow polka dot blouse: 1
Black cardigan: 1
Black jeans: 2
IMG_3051scarf_gray t-shirtGray t-shirt scarf: 2
Brown sandals: 3

I love the liveliness of patterns. Most of my clothes are solid colors, so wearing patterns is a treat.  Contrasting colors help the patterns stand out against solid anchors.

This time last year: October 7.  Thanks for reading!

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