What Nobody Tells You About ‘Kondo-ing’ Your Closet.

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If you aren’t familiar with the term “Kondo,” it comes from Marie Kondo, who has become the household name in tidying up and decluttering. Like Googling and Tasering, Marie has hit branding pay dirt with her name transforming into a domestically blissful buzzword.

I Kondo’d my closet last year. First, I read the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Upand it was indeed life-changing. While her methods apply best to people who don’t share space with others, you can still Kondo areas of your home (like your closet) that solely belong to you. So lets stick with the closet example. There are many details involved (like special ways to roll and fold your underwear), but the premise is that you only keep items that “spark joy.” You go through every single article of clothing, holding it between your fingers, and if it doesn’t spark joy (i.e. make you happy), you get rid of it. Forget who gave it to you, or holding onto it with the hopes that it might fit one day, or that you might have a reason to wear it if you change jobs. If it doesn’t spark joy, it’s gone.

What this book doesn’t come with is a warning not to Kondo areas of your home when you are in a depressed state when nothing brings you happiness. The day I Kondo’d my closet, I could’ve held Robert Downey, Jr. in my hands and been as joyless as the Rockbiter from The NeverEnding Story:

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I got rid of everything. And do you know what happens when you have no clothes? You might think, “Shopping!” But when you are on a budget, chemically imbalanced, and super down on your body to begin with, it’s tough to fill those voids with any urgency. So no. No shopping spree for me. Instead, I did (and still do) a lot more laundry. And a lot of wearing the same thing two days in a row when I know I won’t see the same people. I’m slowly building back up my wardrobe, but when it brings you no joy to buy things in your current size, and you’re waiting until you lose at least 10 more pounds, it’s quite the process. Plus, even though Ms. Kondo swears once you go tidy, you’ll never go back, I went back. I just cleaned it again, so you can actually walk into my walk-in closet, but it’s not the wrinkle-free beacon of minimalism it once was (for a whole month in 2017).

I’m thinking of bringing back the muumuu. Then I can finally open up my store of oversized dresses called Everywhere A Muumuu. I swear I’ll do anything for a pun. In fact I just (as in this very minute) bought this vintage maxi oversized dress from WanderWears on Etsy. Yup, I feel the spark. Will I still feel it when I’m holding this dress in my hands or more importantly when I try it on? Or is this just a momentary shopping high to be followed by buyer’s remorse? We shall see, Marie.

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On a related note, I’m looking for more Instagram influencers to follow for style inspiration. So far I’m loving @styledsnapshots, @lovelyinla, and @laurabrown99. Who are your favorites?

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Bicycles, Birds and Mustaches.

I’m not all that into cycling, have a healthy fear of anything winged and firmly believe that Tom Selleck, Burt Reynolds and Ron Swanson are the only three people who can pull off a ‘stache (and one of those is fictional). But for some reason, I’m obsessed with things (mugs, stationary, clothing) with bikes, birds and mustaches on them.

I already have a pair like these, but I want this set:

mustache mugs

 

I have a strict policy of not wearing white before or after Labor Day (I’m a grass stain waiting to happen). First fashion rule: Know thyself. But I still had to stop and admire these when I saw them the other day in one of my favorite local stores:

Paige Denim Cycle Print Pants

 

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein wrote Portlandia’s “Put a Bird on It” sketch for me. I’m sad this sweater coat from Anthropologie is no longer available, but my savings are breathing a sigh of relief.

anthro bird sweater coat

 

Do you have an ironic fashion obsession, or is it just me?

I Was Framed: My New Glasses!

I loved my modern cateye frames until a certain pint-sized someone decided to “see something.” Apparently he wanted to see how far back he could pull the ear piece before it snapped. In case you’re wondering it wasn’t far.

While at the optician’s, I learned that color is huge with eyewear right now. I love the idea of blue, purple or red frames, but I’m only budgeted for one pair and I was afraid I wouldn’t be in the mood for such a bold statement piece… especially one that’s on my face.

So I chose these frames from Legre.

legre glasses

I love the distinctive tortoiseshell striations, and the red on the backside adds a splash of color without going overboard. Like Louboutins for the face:)

I didn’t get the anti-glare coating, which made taking a pic of myself in them quite challenging, but I gave it my best shot (pun intended):

When I told a friend how Jed broke my glasses for the second time, said friend urged me to get lasik. He said it changed his life. But I honestly don’t mind wearing contact lenses and glasses. In fact I rather fancy my eyewear. If I’m ever lost on a desert island I might feel otherwise, but as long as I’m civilized, I’ll stick with specs.

I would love to have several pairs and accessorize with them like jewelry. (Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds is my eyewear icon.) If Jed can go more than a couple of years without breaking a pair then perhaps I can slowly create a collection.

What kind of glasses do you wear?

“Prepping” for Fall.

I’ve long since outgrown my Lily Pulitzers and Lacoste shirt obsession. (Literally outgrew those dresses. I will never be a size 4 again. Ever.) But fall in the South will always make me long for tailgating—I love a bow tie and bourbon in the morning. And when I saw these for only $9 at my favorite children’s consignment store, I couldn’t resist! I don’t think Jed will be sporting Nantucket red anytime soon, but what can I say? I’m a sucker for embroidered wide-wale cords:

baby Gap bear cords

Orla Kiely for Method

I’m obsessed with all things Orla Kiely. She’s the first handbag I went back to once I graduated from my diaper bag (yay!):

 

And when she made melamine plates for Target, I snapped those up as well:

Orla Kiely Target
I got all of the plates, but missed the boat on the bowls and mugs.

 

 

I made my monthly pilgrimage across town to Target over the weekend and found that Orla Kiely had made yet another match in heaven with Method. Yes, I will buy the soap that comes in the prettier bottle. It’s such an easy way to pretty up a guest bathroom! Besides, I would buy toilet paper if it came in an Orla Kiely print.

 

 

Lindsey Loving: thomaspaul

After admiring his accessories and home decor for years, I finally took the plunge and bought a thomaspaul pillow!

Thanks to an opened box, I got it at 40% off from the outlet of one of my favorite home decor sites, designpublic.com.

If you aren’t familiar with his work, Thomas Paul started his own company over 10 years ago with pillows, but has expanded his brand to a whole world of whimsical accessories including bedding, rugs and (next on my thomaspaul wishlist) scarves!

 

Throw pillows are indeed a relatively cheap way to change the look of a room. I mean, yes, it’s less than buying a new sofa or chair, but they still cost a pretty penny. It took me a long time to make this pillow purchase, but I hope it to be a first of many. I love my fish, but he’s very lonely. Perhaps he needs a friend?

Put a bird on it!

OR….

I love the reverse action on the balloon pillow!

 

Start ‘Em Young

Want to be that annoying friend who refuses to give a baby gift that’s on the registry? You should check out the thomaspaul baby line. SO stinkin’ cute with bunny pillows and blankets:

 

Modern and Nostalgic

While not technically part of the baby line, there’s a collection of thomaspaul pillows inspired by antique toys and dolls that are perfect for any child’s room. In a world with no budget, Jed would be holding court with the whole gang on our playroom sofa:

 

I could have spent a little less and bought a throw pillow that I was less than enthused about. But I’d rather take my time and invest in pieces that really make me happy. And I can’t look at a thomaspaul print and not smile.

What home decor are you saving up for?

For the Love of T-Shirts

After six years, I’ve reconnected with two long lost friends.

Before we flew out of Atlanta for our trip, we had to drop Jed off in Charlotte at his grandparents’ house. A two-hour detour, but well worth it to know he was in trusted, loving hands who may or may not buy him a pony before we returned.

Dave was upstairs rummaging through some things we’d stored there years ago and came back downstairs with these:

I thought the sock monster in the dryer had moved on to larger prey and two of my favorite tees had become its dinner. I knew I hadn’t thrown them away… who would toss an inside-out Cookie Monster t-shirt with “SJP Rules” ironed on the front? Honestly, I don’t understand the artistic statement of Cookie, but I couldn’t resist the SJP when I saw it (after all she does rule). And the McD’s tee, well, that’s a vintage original circa early 80s I found at a store in Colorado. Do you remember birthday parties at McDonald’s? With the paper hats and everything?

As a true jeans/skirt and t-shirt gal, I’m just so excited to have them back in my life (and wardrobe) that I had to share.

Do you have an absolute favorite t-shirt? What does it say? What does it look like?

Model Behavior, (Possibly) Planting Sunflowers, and Purple Peekaboo Highlights

A bad migraine cycle has kept me from my blog as of recent, so I’m using this post to catch you up to speed on what’s been going on in between burdensome headaches and, let’s face it,  a lot of self-pity.

First, the Diva Night Fashion Show. The first headache of my cycle hit me hard and fast right before I was supposed to walk the runway. The good news: my head hurt so much that the pain did not leave room for being nervous. The bad news: I had to wear this hat:

There weren’t any casualties, although there was an incident before the show when I practiced one of my “moves”, slinging a bag over my shoulder and hit another model in the face. The best news: We raised $1,300 for Girls on the Run of Western North Carolina!

Over the weekend, Jed and I planted sunflower seeds in a garden box on our back deck. We chose sunflowers because of their short germination period and apparently they are hard to mess up so kids don’t get disappointed. (Mind you, hard doesn’t mean impossible.) We got him his own gardening tools from Lowes:

Ours came with a kneel pad and did not include a bucket or rake.

I made the mistake of leaving him alone for 30 seconds while I filled the watering can. I don’t think he dug up all the seeds, but only time will tell. We might just be watering soil everyday. But he loves his gloves and shovel (kneel pad was sacrificed off the side of the deck as an offering to the poison ivy gods) and can’t wait to help us start the vegetable and herb gardens out front.

The other night, I came to the conclusion that whole wheat rotini is to pasta what sorbet is to dessert. You can wrap it up in pretty, recyclable, biodegradable packaging, put it on sale at Whole Foods, twirl it on a fork toward my mouth like an airplane. I don’t care how healthy it is, I’m not biting. Literally.

And finally, I was totally bummed that I missed Girl Scout cookie season. I only saw one card table set up with 3rd graders in green berets peddling their wares and I was out of cash. But yesterday in the frozen food section, I discovered this:

Only 3 grams of fat per serving!

I don’t know what I’m more excited about — Edy’s Girl Scouts Thin Mint Cookie ice cream, or my new purple peekaboo highlights!

The purple is way more subtle than the blue peekaboo highlights I had before, but still brings the funk. I’m lovin’ it!

Vintage Finds From ScreenDoor in Asheville

There’s a store in Asheville that’s been on my “must” list to check out for some time now called ScreenDoor. With more than 25,000 square-feet of furnishings, decor, hardware, clothing and accessories for you, your home and garden, it’s not the most kid-friendly shopping locale. So I waited until my parents were visiting and Jed was in school. That way I had someone along with me to elbow and scream, “Oh my God! Look at this!” but not someone at which to yell, “Don’t touch that!”

I’m definitely putting it on my list of places to take friends and visitors. Even if you’re not in the market to buy something, the store is full of decorating ideas for repurposing, reusing and upcycling. And you never know what you might leave with. I didn’t walk in there looking for a metal roller skate to go on a shelf in our upstairs alcove, and yet…

I also got this jacket for $18! I just LOVE the color and the stitching.

No, Dad, it’s not real leather. (He asked. Thrice.) It’s vinyl and it’s from KMart with a circa 1970s “Satisfaction Always” on the tag. Upon seeing and touching it, Dave remarked he always wanted to know what it was like to hug the seat of a Gran Torino. I say he’s lucky to have a wife who gets stoked by a new-to-her plastic coat!

I wish I’d taken a picture of my most favorite thing I saw. Right when we walked in, there was a pair of ambulance stretchers repurposed as chaise lounges with a matching stretcher repurposed as a coffee table. (For the table, they had used the base of the stretcher and topped it with glass… SO clever). They were all sold and the price tags were torn off so I have no idea what they went for, but not only were they great conversation pieces, they actually looked chic!

I also found some wooden textile spools that I’m going to go back and buy this weekend. I plan on turning them into a coat rack. If it goes well, I might start making them and selling them as a side business! I came up with the idea myself, but upon Googling, it turns out I’m not original. However, I do have the resources and know-how to do it well and for less than I’ve seen them on other websites. So when I do it and if you like what you see, let me know! I will happily take your order:)

 

 

Fashion Show Fitting

A week from today, I’ll be doin’ my little thing on the catwalk for Diamond Brand Outdoors‘ Diva Night. It’s a fun event that raises money for Girls on the Run of WNC.

I haven’t been in a fashion show since I was four, when I did one with my mom for charity. I’m pretty sure it involved an 80s pantsuit for me and a lot of blue eyeshadow and big hair for my mother. But this one promises to be a lot more up my alley. I had my fitting yesterday, and I get to sport about seven different looks including hiking, running, yoga, and a couple of very covetable day dresses.

Diva Night chick in charge, Sarah Merrell.

I’m kinda nervous as I’ve never been much for being on stage in front of others. I’m just thankful that none of my looks require heels… the beauty of a fashion show for the outdoors industry!

"Sneak" peek at my running look!

If you live in the Asheville area, you should come check it out. There’s going to be live music, local food, and 20% off your store purchase for the evening. All for just five dollars and for a great cause! Plus there’s the chance you’ll get to see me face plant on the runway. Priceless.

Get the Diva Night details on Diamond Brand’s Facebook page.