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This space is all about seeking
EXCITED CHILLS and creating a
simple, authentic, beautiful life.
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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 email@example.com
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.