Let me just tell it like it is. It is a tough time to work at Anthropologie. As the summer shifts to fall, fabulous new merchandise appears by the truckload! Almost daily! Each time I walk into the store, I'm overwhelmed by the 'must have' list that begins appearing in my head!
Today, I'm sharing my newest favorites. These pieces are super good, but there are so many more. It was difficult to choose just a few. I picked sweaters since there's already a chill in the air where I live. I'm ready!
Hope you like...
Fairview Pullover - by Moth. $88 This yummy cotton sweater comes in grey and pink. Both colors are great. It is soft and thick and slouchy. The perfect transition piece before it's time for wool or all winter, if wool isn't your thing.
Belgravia Colorblock Cardigan - by Lili's Closet $88
I love this sweater! It looks great buttoned all the way up or open over a tee or blouse. Super soft with an awesome swing.
Delaney Pullover - by Moon River $98
This sweater is truly dreamy! It's acrylic and nylon, so no itching! It looks amazing on! We received it in camel, but online it's also available in cream and in black! It's good enough to own in more than one color. Don't wait on this one...it will definitely sell out!
Candlefish Ceramic Candle - $9 -$28
This is a new line of wax for Anthropologie. The company is based in South Carolina. The vessels are beautiful. Their candles are also available in small $9 metal tins. My favorite is the No. 9: marine notes; stone fruit, rose and moss, but they're all wonderful!
Hoping these finds helped you get psyched for fall!
What an awesome season for clothing. The fabrics are rich and the looks are layered. Oh, I can't wait to pull out my warmer clothes...and add a few new pieces to the mix!
Does your wardrobe needs a wake-up call?
There's still time to sign up for my new online course. It's available through The Together Act Academy on Teachable.
Wake Up Your Wardrobe will help you define your style and create fabulous outfits, using only what's already hanging in your closet!
That's right...no shopping required.
For more information...click here
Hurry, enrollment closes on September 20th!
And...there's still time to use the coupon code AWAKE50 for 50% off the course price.
This offer is only available to the first 100 students! We're getting close...
I hope you'll join us!
Happy almost fall:-)
Seven months ago, my family and I moved. In many ways, when compared to our last move in July 2013, this recent move was uneventful and insignificant. I mean, we barely moved 2 miles. Nothing really changed except our four walls...same schools, same friends, same grocery store. And this time around I was wiser. After all, I’d used the Konmari Method in my entire home. I was prepared and organized like never before. Right? Well, maybe not so much:-)
If you’ve ever moved, you know that regardless of the distance...moving is an enormous endeavor!
It’s truly like a fairy-tale giant lifts up your house and dumps the entire contents out inside your new digs.
It’s not pretty. It’s not easy, but sometimes, it’s necessary.
We currently rent and our lease was up. The right house appeared at just the right time and we were excited for it to become our next home.
So, we began packing.
And packing some more.
In the end, the packing was way easier than with our move across the country. We had much less stuff this time around. The things being packed were items we truly loved and used. At least most of them:-)
Since we moved, I've received many requests to do a House Tour video. I kept putting it off for various reasons...we weren't settled, we were so busy, it wasn't properly decorated, everything wasn't super clean...the list goes on and on.
For months, I've been working on something I'm really excited about. I'll share more info next week... but in order to work on the project, I needed more space on my phone. As I deleted photos and videos, I came across the moving clips and decided it's finally time to share them and a house video, too. Thanks for your patience.
As I walked though our home with my camera, I felt relieved that I own less stuff than I have in the past. I also became inspired to make some changes based on what I've learned over the past 7 months.
Here’s where I am today...
I still keep too much.
I can now see the areas where I continue to save things “for later” or “just in case”. There is such clarity in hindsight. When I watch the moving video below, I’m reminded how far I’ve come. And I also know I’m not finished yet.
My journey towards simplification and a more minimal lifestyle has been evolving for years. It’s only in looking back that I realize I’ve actually made great strides in paring down and eliminating.
Most importantly, I realize that I am truly happier when I have less stuff.
My life feels richer and more full when I have less clutter, less mess and less stuff.
I couldn’t find peace in the midst of all the junk!
Now my mind is more relaxed and I am finally able to feel real joy.
All of this sounds trite and cliche even as I type it...but it is the absolute truth.
Note: I think these videos feel kind of long with no talking. Apologies. My top video guy wasn't available;-( and I was left to my own editing abilities...which are poor:-)
Hoping you find some inspiration from them!
The light bulb is on!
I finally understand what all of the minimalism and simplicity pioneers were so excited about! There is an indescribable delight and a true peace that comes from intentionally surrounding yourself with fewer belongings.
Keeping up with your neighbors isn't easy...
and it certainly isn't healthy or necessary!
I’m aware that it's early in my journey. I have lots to learn about living with less, but I am so ready.
I plan to explore the beauty of living with less right here. I really hope you’ll join me.
If you don’t already receive weekly updates...now’s the time!
Don’t miss what’s next… Sign up here!
The season is officially about to change. Autumn is just around the corner. Is your wardrobe ready? I have a plan….stay tuned.
I’m going to be sharing some big news in a few days.
I’d love to hear how you create a simple life. I believe we can all learn from each other. Please share below…
It's a bittersweet time. Today marks the end of summer vacation in the United States. With the holiday weekend upon us (already), I'm feeling the urge to revisit how my summer began. In May, I learned (for the millionth time), how easy it is for me to become stuck in wanting things to go my way...and how much better my life is when I ease up and simply go with the flow.
In addition to looking back, I'm going to spend the next few days gearing up for a brand new season. There are some big things on the horizon for me professionally and personally. It's been a wonderful summer, but honestly, I'm eager for some change. I'm super excited for what's ahead...
Wishing you an awesome weekend!
Just for fun here's a glimpse of where my summer started and what I learned...
I love to travel! I sometimes become myopic with regards to how I see a vacation playing out. I conjure a certain (usually very detailed) vision of the entire trip from start to finish. Over the years, I've obviously learned that often trips (and other things) don't flow exactly as planned:-) but I still get stuck, wanting my own version to play out.
My husband and I went to Mexico in May to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. It was an incredible trip. Relaxing, delicious and beautiful.
We didn't take the trip we'd originally envisioned, but the results were even better than we'd imagined.
We originally thought we’d opt for an adult, all-inclusive (airfare, too) resort in the Riviera Maya. We spent lots of time on TripAdvisor and other sites, researching and reading reviews.
We wanted/needed this trip to be affordable and romantic.
We wanted sunshine, good food and a whole lot of alone time.
I figured that an all-inclusive (which we have never done as a couple) would be the way to go...great deals, no grocery shopping, cooking or clean up...easy living.
We began our search for the perfect accommodations.
After much discussion and deliberation...Matthew and I agreed that we weren’t finding anything in our budget that really matched our style. We read tons of less than glowing reviews of all-inclusive resorts..."crazy loud music at the pool, tons of construction noise, mid-May is rainy season, too loud to nap, terrible food, super crowded, lots of hidden charges".
I was becoming a bit discouraged.
And, we kept seeing comments about the dreaded rainy season! We really wanted sunshine!
Matthew decided to check the weather in other parts of Mexico. The weather on the west coast seemed to be more stable in May. We moved our search to Los Cabos and beach towns on the west coast of Mexico.
Again, mixed reviews on the more affordable all-inclusives.
I was slipping into a pre-vacation funk, feeling like we might not be able to make it happen.
Then Matthew looked at airfare options from Denver to Mexico. Living in Colorado makes traveling to Mexico fairly easy. Lots of affordable, direct flights.
It was time to shift my thinking and consider some other options for accommodations. Not easy for me...
Enter the amazing world of renting a home away from home. We have done this many times, in many cities, but it took me a while to come around to this idea for our anniversary getaway.
A little time online and it was clear that we could find an awesome rental in Mexico for a great price.
In the end, we chose a small casita in Sayulita, Mexico. We found it on VRBO. It was perfect for our anniversary getaway!
We rented Casa Escondida for five nights. Check it out!
In case you'd like to stay there, here are some details of our experience...
The owner was a true delight to work with remotely. Every single detail was handled. There is a property manager available on-site when needed.
The owner offered the option of arranging transportation to and from the airport in Puerto Vallarta. This round-trip service included a stop at the Mega Supermarket outside of Puerto Vallarta where we could stock up on groceries and wine for our visit. Our driver, Javier met us at the airport. He drove us to the Mega and parked. Then kindly told us to take all the time we needed, he’d be waiting:-) There are small food markets in Sayulita, but not a real grocery store. This added service was very affordable and enhanced our stay.
Sayulita was wonderful!
What rainy season? Sunny and 85 degrees every day. Absolutely breathtaking!
That time of year, the town was lively, but not packed. The people were incredibly friendly. We always felt safe...even on the mile-long walk from town back to our house on pitch dark streets. This walk was delightful as it allowed us to walk off our dinner and then enjoy a swim and a nightcap at home:-)
Planning a trip? If you haven’t ever tried a rental, I urge you to go for it! Renting a home away from home can be incredible!
Here’s why I love renting homes on vacation:
Want to start looking for a great rental?
Check out these sites…
It's funny how I need to be presented with some lessons repeatedly before I finally 'GET IT'. I've lived long enough to know that things usually work out in the end. Yet, I still become strongly attached to 'my way'. Seems I could make it my life's work to master the art of letting go. Gracefully.
The struggle is real. I want situations to go the way I picture them. I'm often not good at letting things unfold at their own pace and in their own direction.
The thing is, when I finally, actually do let go...most times (if not, every single time) the result is far better than I could have imagined.
My mind wants to limit the outcome to only what I can see.
Silly mind...there is something far greater beyond the horizon.
My goal in the coming months is to let go more often.
To really loosen my grip on 'my way' and allow the Universe to show me the way.
I'd love to know how you manage the art of letting go.
Please share your tips for letting things happen without holding on too tightly. Just add your thoughts in the comments below:-)
I'm working on new projects for fall!
I'll be sharing some exciting news very soon!
Weekly updates will keep you in the loop.
Sign up here!
Thank you so much for reading.
Questions? Email me at email@example.com
Have a super weekend! Don't forget to just let it unfold...
Having an amazing collection of clothes requires some work. There are several steps to creating a wardrobe that functions effortlessly, helping you look fabulous every time you get dressed.
Many women assume that the most important part of the equation is where to buy the clothes. Actually, I don’t think this is true. I believe it’s possible to cultivate an incredible wardrobe from just about anywhere...Neiman Marcus to Goodwill.
I am regularly asked, ‘Where do you shop for clothing?’
My answer often comes as a surprise. I only shop in a limited number of stores. Why?
By limiting the number of stores, shopping takes less time and is less overwhelming.
Am I missing something amazing in one of the stores I don’t frequent? Possibly, but I’m okay with that. Too many choices is paralyzing for me. In the past, I became frozen when faced with endless options!
Fewer stores = less stress + a better wardrobe
As a general rule, I only shop in about nine stores for all of my wardrobe needs, including under garments and shoes. Nine.
Below you'll find my current list. Keep in mind that my list does change sometimes. I might seek out a new spot because of a change in lifestyle, budget or size/shape of my body. But for now, the following stores are my staples.
Nordstrom and DSW - for shoes
I like good shoes. I only wear shoes that are very comfortable from the first step. I don’t want to spend a fortune on footwear. I like a flexible return policy, in case I have an issue with fit or quality after buying.
Old Navy, Target, H&M and Forever 21- for the basics
I buy the bulk of my basics in these stores. For better or worse, they work for my current lifestyle and budget. I always look for the very best quality available in these fast-fashion spots. I consistently find items that will work with my existing wardrobe. The price points in these shops allows me to stay current each season while still having money left to buy the things my kids need for their wardrobes:-)
Anthropologie- for denim, blazers and
This one may seem obvious since as an employee, I’m eligible for a discount. I am very thankful for my Anthro discount and it allows me to purchase items I honestly might not buy without it. However, I really only buy what I absolutely love. At any price. The items I choose to purchase at Anthropologie, I would purchase at full price even if I didn’t work there.
I’m often surprised by the wide range of price points available at Anthropologie. Always check out the sale section. Often you’ll find beautiful garments for $39.95 and under.
Gap and Victoria’s Secret- for undies and bras
I am a creature of habit with regards to underwear. I also don’t want to spend a fortune on undies and bras. I tend to buy the same panty in basic colors when there is a promotion. I love VS’s 7 for $25 deals!
Bras are tough for me. I’ve nursed three babies and I’ve been informed by those who fit women for bras that my ‘fullness is on the bottom’. That’s a nice way of saying I have ‘very small breasts that have sagged’.
I can usually count on finding good quality bras and panties at these two retailers.
If I find myself shopping for fun, I will occasionally check out what’s new in some other stores.
I’ve learned that the stores below don’t really work for either my body, style or budget, but I am inspired by their displays...
Small, hip boutiques
There are some women who buy almost everything for their wardrobe in one store. Those women often dislike shopping or have extreme brand loyalty. No problem. If that’s your way and it works for you, stick with it.
However, it seems that most women tend to spend exhaustive hours trolling their local malls and visiting many, many different stores. There is a definite FOMO that compels women to hit every store that could possibly carry something they might want to wear.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time or the energy for that approach.
I want to find great pieces and get on with my life!
So, I’ve edited the list of stores where I regularly shop. It’s a small, dependable handful that works for me. Only shopping in a few favorite stores, allows me to assess collections quickly and easily...purchasing only what I need and love.
Why create your own short list of favorite stores?
Saves time - This method beautifully limits the time you spend shopping because you aren’t roaming all over the mall, combing every rack in the entire place. There's simplicity in a tight selection of stores that you know carry pieces that work for you.
Saves money - You'll benefit from customer loyalty programs and discounts as well as early notification of sales. Fewer options means slighter chance of buying something you'll later regret. Stick with what you know and love.
Saves energy - It’s mentally exhausting to search through piles and rows of clothing to find a few great pieces. Having too many choices leads to decision fatigue...the very real problem of depleting your power to make a decision.
How to decide which stores to include in your list?
If you aren’t a seasoned shopper, you’ll need to be patient while you learn which stores are your best fit for lifestyle, budget and body type.
Look in your closet and evaluate your current wardrobe.
Answer the following questions...
What are your favorite pieces?
Which pieces have the best shape/fit for your body?
What items don’t really work for you?
Which pieces aren’t very good quality/aren’t lasting?
Which garments gather the most compliments?
Next, note where you purchased the pieces you listed above. Most women notice a pattern…
All my coolest t-shirts came from:
The jeans that fit me best are from:
Garments that aren’t holding up so well are from:
My most comfortable clothings/shoes are all from:
Your answers will be the beginning of your very own...
Short List of Favorite Stores!
Still building your Short List? Use what you've learned through the exercise above to streamline your next shopping trip. Start by shopping in your go-to stores first.
If you’re not finding everything you need, check out one additional store. Not every store in the mall, just one. Become familiar with what that 'extra' store offers and how their merchandise works for you. Then, decide if it makes your list.
Weekly updates are the best way to stay informed.
Don't miss out!
Have questions about specific stores or where to find something?
I’m happy to help if I can. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so much for being here.
My clients and readers often ask me to share my favorite shopping finds. As a Personal Stylist with Anthropologie, I have an up close look at our new merchandise every week. I’ve decided to start sharing my absolute favorite pieces here. Each month, I’ll highlight what I’m loving at Anthropologie.
They originated in Philadelphia and I'm from the Philadelphia suburbs...so, I’ve been a huge fan of the Anthropologie brand since their very first store opened in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Just down the street from my house! This new store was destined to change the retail environment.
I vividly remember my first glimpse of this unique retailer. The physical store, the displays, the merchandise, the staff...all very different from anything else at the time. One step inside and I was transported to an exquisite, attainable fantasy life. All the bits and bobs...so beautifully curated and arranged. I never wanted to leave!
What a place.
Fast forward a whole lotta years...I now work for Anthropologie and the shine hasn’t worn off. The brand and it’s message still does it for me. I’m so happy to be able to share my favorite Anthro things with you!
Please note: I am not paid or compensated in any way for sharing my opinion. I’ll include links to make it easier for you, but my posts contain no affiliate marketing for Anthropologie. Instead, I simply love my job and the Anthro brand...and don’t want you to miss something awesome!
I promise to only share items that I own or wish to own...or pieces that consistently look amazing on the majority of my customers.
Here’s my short list of fab stuff!
Tamarosa Tank - One September
I recently purchased this tank. It runs true to size and is very comfortable. This one was an easy choice for me...the pattern isn’t too busy, the colors will transition nicely into fall, it contains navy blue and has a great shape for under my blazers. So far, I’ve worn it with ripped boyfriend jeans and linen pants. I love this tank! Oh, and the back in micro-pleated and a different pattern:-)
Uptown Pullover- Moth
I just bought this cool sweater in the blue shade. The website images do not do this sweater justice! It’s much sexier, hipper and more fabulous in person. I can’t wait for a chill in the air to start rocking this piece. It’s lightweight, soft and just plain yummy!
Pilcro Cropped Wide-Leg Chinos
I have not purchased these pants yet...but they are on my short list. I love Pilcro Chinos...and this new, more modern shape makes the classic chino a bit more stylish. I want the khaki color because it will go with every top in my closet! I plan to wear these right into fall!
Note: I think that these pants look better on girls who aren’t too tall. I’m 5’6” and the cropped length hits me a bit above the ankle. On the model, they are much shorter. I prefer them a bit longer. If you are tall, try the full-length wide-leg chinos available online.
Pilcro Wide-Leg Mid-Rise Cropped Jeans
I just bought these jeans! They are incredible. Really flattering. Super chic for fall with flats, heels and booties. I found them to run a bit small. I sized up one size. They have good stretch and are very comfortable. Pilcro continues to update and improve their denim. These are so good!
Cowled Sweater Tank- Angel of the North
If you’re ready for the first cozy sweater of the season...here it is! I haven’t purchased this one yet, mainly because I can’t decide on a color! Pale grey, light camel and ivory...all gorgeous! It runs just a touch big... a bit deep in the armholes. Such an amazing fall staple! This one will sell out.
Burnished Candle - Capri Blue
If you love the smell of Anthropologie, then you probably already know about our most popular wax scent...Volcano by Capri Blue. It’s available year-round in loads of different looks. This new vessel is beautiful! My mercury glass mini Volcano candle was at the end of it’s wick so I’ve been meaning to grab a new one. Thrilled I waited...these just came in. I already have mine lit!
That’s all for now. I can’t wait to see what’s new at Anthropologie next month! I promise to let you know…
It's not too late to join the Simplify Your Life Summit!
Here are the details... for this awesome online event! 2 interviews each day with folks who live simply and want to help you do it too!
Weekly updates keep you informed.
Don't miss a single one!
Have a favorite Anthro find? Share it below!
A favorite from somewhere else? Share it, too!
Questions? Just ask!
Thanks for being here!
I realize it’s August, but I’d like to share my recent patio makeover. You see, every year I struggle with putting the finishing touches on our outdoor space. Honestly, sometimes I have a hard time with the ‘starting touches’. Since we moved into this house in February, this patio space is new for us.
Part of the problem is the weather. When it’s cold and rainy or snowy into mid-May, it’s tough to feel psyched about the patio. Once the weather warms up, my family heads off on vacation.
So, I rationalize that it’s foolish to plant anything until we return since no one will be home to keep new plants alive. This is how I often end up in late July with an unfinished, unwelcoming outdoor space.
When I’m finally ready to get creative with my al fresco room, all of the summer stuff is on clearance and highly picked over. Leaving me feeling like I’ve missed my chance for a dream deck once again!
Not so fast….
This year, I decided I didn’t care if it was crazy late in the season and most of the good stuff was already gone from the stores...
I wanted to put together a hip, inviting, finished outdoor space for my family to enjoy until the snow starts falling. Hopefully, we still have some time before that happens:-)
My budget for this project was extremely small.
As in, free would be best!
I managed to scrape together about 100 bucks. I decided that would be my max investment this year.
I made a Pinterest board for inspiration.
I poked around at home to see what I had on hand.
Here’s what we already owned and were had our very dull deck:
4 plastic Adirondack chairs - Lowes
2 small side tables - Goodwill and Ikea
3 pillows - Marshall’s and Ikea
2 curtains and wire - Ikea
1 woven pouf- Target
1 small cotton rug - Ikea
These things we had, but weren’t using:
1 black plastic tray - Ikea
2 plastic terra cotta colored pots
1 black coffee table - Ikea
Often, when I have a project that requires some super shopping skills and serendipity...I will feel an actually pull or urge to go out and start looking on a particular day. When I listen to that calling, I always find exactly what I’m looking for...and at terrific prices.
So, when that feeling hit recently with regards to our patio, I knew not to ignore it.
After I finished work at Anthropologie, I headed to Salvation Army, Goodwill, Home Depot, HomeGoods and Target. The entire adventure took about 3 hours.
Here’s what I bought:
2 Asian mats ($3.49 each)
4 large pillows with velvet covers - from Ikea, like new ($3.99 each)
1 framed oil painting ($4.29)
2 oil paintings on canvas ($2.99 and $4.99)
2 ceramic vases ($3.29 each)
1 shell on a stand ($3.99)
Bonus: All of the above items were an additional 50% off at Salvation Army - total spend approx $23.00!
1 pre-planted succulent drop-in ($19.99)- the most expensive thing I bought, but so worth it!
3 full-sun annuals ($9.99/3)
1 bag of potting soil ($6.00)
2 battery operated pillar candles with a timer ($6.19 each)
1 strand of globe lights ($14.99) - really bright...love these lights!
Total spent… under $100!
Next, in the span of about two hours (with the help of my awesome boys) the space came together.
Swept the patio
Hung the lights with a staple gun
Duct taped the two mats together to make a ‘rug’
Tossed the cushions on the ground
Hung the three pieces of art
Planted the plants
Small investment for a big transformation.
Now, I actually want to spend time on our patio. It’s become a sanctuary for reading, dining or just chilling. I’m so glad I didn’t wait until next spring to create a welcoming space.
Are you on the fence about finishing a space? Do you have a very limited budget for making a change?
Be flexible- I originally wanted a very neutral space, but as I shopped everything I found was colorful. I altered my vision to make it work.
Rely on resale shops and clearance sales- You'll score amazing deals and the finds can be incredible. The prices are always a pleasant surprise. You know, one man’s trash...go pop some tags:-)
Use what you own- I often have my clients shop their closets for new wardrobe ideas. The same concept applies here. What pieces do you have that you could re-purpose for you new space?
I’d love to see what you’ve done for a space on a budget. Post photos on your Instagram account and add #togetheract so that I can find them!
Or send me an email with a photo of your finished space. I'm inspired by the amazing things others create with limited resources!
As a side note:
I’m super excited to share something that’s happening next week!
It’s an online summit...on SIMPLICITY!
The event begins on Monday, August 15 and will include 20+ interviews with ‘experts’ in different fields. I’m honored to be included! I'll be sharing tips on simple style. My interview will air the very first day! That's August 15th!
You can find out more and
grab your complimentary ticket right here!
I'll be there learning how to simplify my life just in time for back-to-school! Hope you'll join us!
Thanks for being here.
It’s August. I’m realizing that my ‘month off’ is officially over! A slight panic is setting in as I look back on the past 31 days trying to recap what I’ve really accomplished. I understand that the goal of taking some time off should be actual time off, but I had high hopes of really making headway with some projects...and I’m not sure how well I did.
In case you missed my last post, I stepped away from my blog and YouTube channel in order to really explore the idea of bringing vacation home. After incredible trips in both May and June, I was feeling frustrated by how different real life feels in comparison to vacation life. I set out to better understand why...and carefully consider what I could do to capture even a touch of that vibe at home.
Let me just mention...
I was incredibly foolish for thinking that this exploration was going to be finished in one month!
(I guess I failed to think it through completely:) I now realize this work is going to require more of my time than just four weeks.
If I am truly going to create home life that incorporates all the feels of a getaway, then I’ve only just begun.
Honestly, this irritates me a bit because I prefer a one time fix for my issues:-)
Absurd, really. I know. I’m working on becoming a girl who just goes with the flow of the journey and embraces the lessons learned along the way. I’m not quite there yet.
So, over the past 31 days, I’ve started to dig deeper into the why’s and how to’s of a vacation life at home and I’ve begun to see some patterns. I’m currently creating a format to help me stay on track with easy living in my everyday life.
There are several categories that I'm exploring more fully with regards to bringing vacation home. I'll be sure to keep you posted on my findings...
But for now, my short, simple discovery is this...
I believe there are two main components of vacation days that make them feel really special. Better than most regular days...
1. Living in the now-
The beauty of being away on a vacation is that we usually exist completely in the present moment. We have left our worries at home and are basking in the joy of now. We're more mindful of the little miracles and thrills that often are lost in the bustle of everyday life. We stay more focused on what's right in front of us.
2. Being thankful-
Vacation usually comes with a sense of gratitude. We are thankful for the gift of time away. In tune with our good fortune for being able to set aside our regular tasks and enjoy a slower pace. It’s decadent and feels luxurious to relax our schedules and expectations...and spend time with people we love.
Lately, so many of the women I meet (virtually or face-to-face) share a deep desire to simplify their lives in order to live more joyfully. What’s incredible to me is that we all want this shift so badly and yet we struggle so much to obtain it.
It’s a universal yearning that continues to elude us. Ironically, the act of creating a simple life doesn’t seem so simple.
In the past, I’ve been asked to run seminars, teach courses, write articles and speak to women about how to create simple, beautiful, functional wardrobes. Instead of choosing to work with larger groups, I’ve mainly focused on helping women individually.
I’m beginning to realize that I’m a bit behind in my thinking. The modern world obtains information, solves problems and learns new skills...online.
And women want lives that are simple, beautiful and functional...beyond their closets.
So… I’ve been working on a project that will allow me to connect with more women than my one-on-one, in-person sessions. I’ve decided that I’d really like to work with women all over the world who may be struggling with the same issues I’m committed to fixing.
I'm in the process of creating The Together Act Academy- an online school- designed to help women get their act together… one manageable, realistic lesson at a time. I'm extremely excited to be taking this next step...
I will share more in the coming weeks:-)
If there are topics you'd like me to cover, please just ask. I'm happy to customize the courses to include exactly what you need.
There's lots ahead! Don't miss a single update!
Thank you so much for being here and following along. It means the world to me.
I’m about to embark on a personal experiment. I’m optimistic that by doing so, I can truly change my life (and yours) in some important and meaningful ways. I just returned from a 15 day vacation. The only other time I’ve been away that long was on my honeymoon...20 years ago! 15 days is a long time to be out of my home and away from my regular life. Spending that time away really opened my eyes to the areas of my life that need some revision!
For the last five or six years, I’ve been paying closer attention to how I feel when I travel. And how I feel when I return home. Unsurprisingly, I’ve discovered that I like the simplified life that traveling creates.
I realize now that I really struggle upon re-entry because I crave that same simplicity in my regular life.
After a getaway, I’m super eager to make changes. I want to streamline and minimize in an attempt to capture that vacation feeling at home...but I quickly slip back into the daily grind and sadly, that vacation vibe fades into the background.
With my usual routine on pause for over two weeks...
I really pondered the possibility of bringing vacation home.
I explored and considered...
What are the real differences between my home life and my vacation life?
If I’m absolutely committed, can I bring some vacation practices home and make my regular life feel more like a getaway?!
I’ve felt a hint of this desire before...but embarrassingly, haven’t managed to actually make significant changes.
Maybe it’s the milestone birthday I had six months ago, but this time feels different.
I have the anxious excitement that comes from knowing you’re on to something!
Ideally, at the end of this experiment, I’ll be ready to help you live a ‘vacation life’ at home also! I’ll be able to guide you in tweaking systems and implementing new routines that will allow you to experience that relaxed getaway vibe within your daily life.
I know some folks will say that vacations are meant to feel different...that they are special because they’re a complete shift from our normal, intense, hectic routines. I do agree...but I feel certain that a few changes could really reduce my stress level and create a more peaceful (vacation-like) life. And...I’m confident that I’ll still find traveling to be a fabulous diversion from my newly simplified, chilled-out home life:-)
My re-entry after travel used to be worse.
A little back story for anyone considering a move:
My husband and I spent years vacationing in places that fed our souls much more than our own town. We’d spend most of the year longing for a trip to a destination that provided a warmer climate and more sunshine.
When my kids were younger we traveled to California as a family several times. I love California and feel really, really good when I’m there. Back east at home, when we’d experience a day with abundant sunshine and temps in the 70s...I could feel my mood shift and my spirits lift. My kids would instantly notice the change and began calling me ‘California mom’ on those days.
Noticing our continued sense of wanderlust, my mother mentioned that we should consider finding a place to live that actually fed our souls. What a novel idea. This set in motion our family’s move across country three years ago.
I now live somewhere that I love. I’ve left behind the hazy, hot, humid summers and damp, cold, gray winters that made me so unhappy. I wake up to sunshine more than 300 days a year. I am in awe of my surroundings every time I leave my house.
So, my location feeds my soul, but I’m still yearning for that vacation feeling in my everyday life.
I find that I (and my family) like my ‘vacation self’ more than my home self. I need to find a way to let that girl shine more often!
The following ‘categories’ are part of our everyday lives. These are the areas where I notice the biggest difference between home and away…
Hair and beauty:
My normal routines for hair and makeup are fairly simple, but vacation simplifies things even further. I pack only what’s essential for the destination and daily events. Despite streamlining my products, I’ve never wished I’d packed more stuff. I return home to my bathroom drawers and often wonder why I have so many products...and I really don’t have that many products:-)
As I mentioned, my husband and kids like me better on vacation. This is probably fairly common...mom's more relaxed and therefore we all get along well! The little things aren't as bothersome. I'm a better listener. There are more hugs and kisses. I long for this same flow with the people I love once we're back home.
Travel usually means exposure to different foods. In new locations, it could be a wealth of exotic flavors and ingredients. At a family reunion, it might be familiar dishes prepared in unfamiliar ways. Regardless, vacations often make me more adventuresome with my food choices.
Yes, I should mention that I sometimes eat a bit too much on trips:-) I must admit that it’s kind of nice to ease up on the healthy stuff and have an extra helping of dessert! At home, I’m sure I’d benefit from the occasional dose of decadence.
Workouts are more fun on vacation. Maybe it’s the change of scenery or equipment...but I actually enjoy travel workouts. My home fitness routine can become tedious, making it hard to stay motivated.
I’m throwing this one in for those of you who are considering a move. My advice? If at all possible...do it! Living in a place that you truly love is an incredible feeling. I didn’t know how much difference this would make in my life until we moved 1700 miles west three years ago. Best decision ever.
If you aren’t happy where you currently live...start to research your options. Making a move is a huge endeavor...but the result can truly change your life for the better!
Less worry/ relaxing:
This is the golden ticket right here. Vacation allows us the opportunity to let go of the daily stress and recurring worries and just relax. I’m not exactly sure how this happens, but I know I want more of this feeling in my regular life.
Things move slower and the living becomes easier. I’m 'all in' for adopting this at home. I’ve known for years that slowing down would lead to a more fulfilling life...but I suck at implementing changes that would actually make it happen. It’s time. I’m done with the madness of feeling so busy all the time!
Shorter ‘to do’ list:
The freedom of vacation can be seen in my to do list. I don't even have a list when I travel...unless it's a list of fun stuff to fit into my schedule!
This is what vacation is all about! Having fun. It’s easy for me to have fun on vacation. It’s practically a requirement, right? I’m admittedly terrible at letting fun into my daily life.
There’s nothing like living out of a suitcase (even for a weekend) to remind me that creating great outfits doesn’t require lots of clothing. I don’t have a capsule wardrobe at home, but when traveling...I’m a capsule wardrobe master! I love to pack clothing for a trip...making sure that all the pieces work together makes me giddy! The ease of dressing from a capsule is liberating.
As you can see, I have a lot of work to do!
I’m going to take the next several weeks off and ‘get my act together’. I look forward to returning to this space ready to share my successes and my slip-ups. Thank you for allowing me to be flawed and human...I’m so glad you’re on this journey with me.
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I’ll be posting on Instagram and Snapchat while I’m doing the work. Having you follow along there would help to keep me accountable:-)
Find me as togetheract in both spots.
Have an amazing July!
My summer makeup routine is fairly simple. I am not a ‘product’ person. I'm not often compelled to try every new ‘it’ item that hits the shelves. I’m slow to add a product to my line-up and when I do, it’s usually already a cult favorite. I’m certainly not an early adopter when it comes to cosmetics. As a result, this post might be old news to you. If so, please feel free to comment below with your favorites. I love to learn about what I'm missing!
If you're still with me and wondering what’s in my bag...
Check out my current faves!
1. Nars -The Multiple in Portofino or Orgasm
These blush sticks are incredible! This has been a constant in my bag for years! I’ve used several different shades, all are good. These two are my favorites! Blendable, long-lasting and so natural. Great for summer heat!
2. YSL- Touche Eclat highlighter (used as undereye concealer)
This product has a cult following, for sure. And with good reason. It brightens and lightens without being heavy. No creasing or caking. Again, this is a staple in my bag. I use shade 2.5...have the sales team help you pick your perfect color.
3. Laura Mercier- Caviar Eye Shadow Pencil - in Rosegold
I just tried this eye shadow for the first time on my recent trip to Mexico. It’s shimmery and glides on with ease. This stuff stays put forever...even without any lid prep product. All of the shades contain shimmer...they look very sparkly on the hand...much less so on the eyelid. I also tried Bobbi Brown’s version- Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick - thinking I wanted something more matte. In the end, I felt the shimmer of the Laura Mercier pencil was prettier on me...better for hiding lines and sagging:-)
4. L’Oreal Voluminous Volume Building Mascara- in Black
I’ve always preferred mascaras from the drugstore. I feel there are many good quality, inexpensive brands available. Spending less on mascara allows me to spend more on my other cosmetics.
5. Stila- Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner
I’ve used this eyeliner for about a year. The color I wear is called Lionfish. It's dark brown with flecks of gold. I love it! It’s self-sharpening and stays put once it’s applied. Goes on in a clean line and can be worn as a liner or smudged for a softer look. Lots of incredible colors!
6. Laura Mercier- Tinted Moisturizer
This is another product I’ve been using for years! It’s the perfect consistency for sheer coverage. The shade I use is Blush. It contains sunscreen and doesn’t ever irritate my skin. When it’s really hot, I often I skip this product and just apply sunscreen before using the other products. Cleaner skin just seem to feel cooler.
I actually use all of these products year round, but they are especially great in the summer when warmer weather makes it more of a challenge to keep makeup on my face:-)
Don't miss a single summer update!
I know, I didn't mention a lip product. That's because I don't have one I really love right now. I'd welcome your suggestions. I like glosses and simple lipsticks...nothing that requires a mirror:-)
Please share what’s in your makeup bag!
Questions? Just ask email@example.com
I'm so glad you're following along. Huge thanks for being here!
I recently received an email from a reader. She openly and honestly shared that she feels she's being 'strangled by the clutter of the past'. At times in my life, I have felt the exact same way. I’ve been completely stuck in the clutter. Unable to move forward and utterly overwhelmed by all of my stuff! After a decade spent working in client’s homes and closets, I’ve come to realize that this is a very common issue...and an area where we could all use a bit of encouragement. I replied to the reader’s email privately, but wanted to share my thoughts here. I hope this post helps you let go of the stuff that might be holding you back.
The reader wrote about having 'strong sentimental attachments'. I understand! In the past, I struggled a lot with letting things go. I saved every ticket stub, dried any special flowers, held onto old favorite articles of clothing, clung to past issues of magazines. I kept anything that I felt sparked a memory that I feared I’d lose if I let go of the item.
Here's one of the most important things I've learned...
It's the first real round of purging that's the hardest.
I can honestly say that once I started parting with things, letting go became much easier.
Every single client I’ve worked with has felt same way. I regularly receive emails after helping a client with a closet cleanse. Each and every email contains thoughts like this...
”Now I’m motivated to attack my entire house!”
“I find myself decluttering a little each day, all over my house”
“I feel like I can breath again...I’m on a roll to get rid of the stuff”.
Note: If you feel you have a serious problem with hoarding, I strongly suggest you seek professional help. There are people trained to help hoarders learn to let go safely and begin to heal.
Moving has usually been my best catalyst for getting rid of stuff. In the packing process I’d realize that some items had been in boxes in our basement for years...never used or even opened. I knew letting some of those things go would make the move easier. When we moved across the country, I was fairly ruthless. I knew I'd be paying to move things I really didn't need and wasn't using. I carefully sorted and discarded and saved.
I honestly have never missed any of the things I let go.
Are you at the breaking point?
If you’ve had it with the clutter and you’re ready to begin a serious purge, I suggest purging like you're moving.
Donate or sell anything that still has use. Making a bit of cash from unused pieces is a nice trade-off for letting them go. I always use Craigslist for selling things. I've had only really great experiences.
Recycle or trash the rest.
Try to remember...
The memory is in your mind, not in your stuff.
I know a couple whose home was damaged in the terrible flooding in Boulder, Colorado in September of 2013. They were in the process of renovating their home. During the reno they were staying in a small apartment nearby and most of their belongings were being stored in the basement of their house. The flood filled the basement with muddy water.
Literally, it filled the basement. The contents of that space was completely ruined. Everything they considered sentimental, important, or valuable was gone.
This truly opened my eyes to the fact that our stuff really doesn't define us. These friends have since finished their home and are slowly collecting new treasures that spark joy for them.
Imagine losing everything and still being okay...still holding your special memories inside.
Realize that it’s really just ‘stuff’.
In my own experience, the process and aftermath of letting go of things I don't use or love...is so freeing that it's worth the risk of not having those items in my possession any longer.
I have never regretted letting something go. Anything I've needed again in the future has been easy (and inexpensive) to replace. I no longer save things 'just in case'. That's big for me.
I've discovered that 'just in case' rarely ever happens...and holding on to all the stuff simply clutters our minds and our homes while we are waiting for 'that day' to arrive.
If a big purge is just too scary, then I suggest that you start small.
Tackle one area of your home first...an area that's not sentimental. The rush from purging is awesome!
The space you create in your home from letting things go will open up incredible space in your mind and in your life.
And it feels amazing!
Here are my tips for letting go of specific types of clutter and stuff….
If you have several items that represent the same memory, save only one. Let the rest go.
I knew I was finished having babies, but the tiny clothing still made me happy and sentimental. I selected one favorite baby outfit for each of my three kids. The three outfits are hanging on small hangers in my laundry room. I smile every time I see them:-)
Take photos of items that you love. I had very fond memories of a few pieces of maternity clothing and some kid toys. I took photos of the items and then donated them...figuring someone else would love having them as much as I did.
Would you want someone to keep a gift they received from you if it didn’t bring them joy? Forget the guilt. Let it go. Give those gifts away...regift them or donate them. Someone else will enjoy having them...it doesn’t have to be you!
One episode of Antique Roadshow will have you saving every old thing under your roof. Unless you buy and sell antiques, plan to attend the Roadshow in the next six months or are moving to a new house where you’ll actually use all of those ‘saved’ pieces…get rid of the old stuff.
Like many young couples, early in our marriage, my husband and I couldn’t really afford to buy all new furniture. During this time we gladly and gratefully accepted any and all donations that came our way. We made the most of the gently used pieces and remained thankful for each item.
Years later, we took a look around our home and realized that our style wasn’t being reflected authentically. We didn’t feel joy from the pieces that surrounded us. We decided to let some things go. I put my first post on Craigslist...a hutch and sideboard that had belonged to my parents. I had a very strong sentimental attachment to the pieces, but the style wasn’t really ‘me’. The couple who purchased the pieces was thrilled with their find! I was happy the furniture had found a new home.
We began to list and sell everything that didn’t feel like us. Slowly we started to purchase furniture that fit our lifestyle, our taste and our budget.
What a difference it makes to dwell with items we truly love!
If one is good, more must be better! Not so. Decide how many of something you actually need. Build in a tiny cushion of ‘what if’ and let the rest go. For a while I had a very large collection of Ball mason jars that we used for drinking glasses. I envisioned hosting a huge party and all of the guests drinking out of these jars. Reality is...I’m not currently hosting big events and storing the jars was stressing me out. I saved enough for my family plus a few extras for company. Plenty.
Being 'strangled by the clutter of the past' is such a true (and sad) statement. It's probably time for you to let the excess go!
I really believe that you will feel much lighter and happier without all of the extra stuff! Clutter creates stress every single day!
Best of luck with the process. Be gentle with yourself.
It took years to accumulate all of the stuff.
Change takes time...
Please feel free to reach out with comments, questions or suggestions. Let's be sure to recognize that we all have our own issues, each journey is unique and being supportive of one another can really go a long way.
Thanks for being here.
Hello, I'm Kristen.
As a personal stylist,