How is it October?

I don’t even know how this happens. The first part of this year crawled. Then June hit and I don’t even understand how it’s October 7th.

Life @ Home – I am still home with the kids (and still have no plans to change that immediately). I have made precious little progress on any of my goals for the home while I’m home, but I’m setting up systems to make it a bit easier now that I’m getting into a groove. I think I underestimated the time that would take – once I got our home-all-the-time schedule worked out, school started after Labor Day. Also, I started meal planning and have been doing that about a month now, and I’m realizing I want more reliability on which days I cook, which may affect when I choose to do my grocery shopping (mostly Monday right now, but if I’m making a meal on Sunday, some of the ingredients need to be frozen, and if I forget to thaw them, it wonks things up pretty seriously). With tweaks, however, I really appreciate what this does to free up brain space and energy, and reduce our overall grocery budget which ballooned the first month I was home.

In the Closet + on my Body – In preparation for autumn and eventual cooler temps, I’ve shuffled a few more things from the primary to the secondary closet. I’ve been setting aside more things as I’m realizing they aren’t right for me (anymore/at all, as applicable). I also decided to participate in something called the #fauxfall10x10 (via Instagram), which is a ten-piece capsule wardrobe for ten days to highlight the ridiculousness that is highs in the mid-90s and lows in the 30s while debating the merit of pumpkin spice lattes. You all know how much I love a wardrobe challenge and I have so enjoyed this one, that I’m thinking that I’ll do a few more after this while I sort my feelings about my wardrobe (contents, size, etc, etc). Thoughts:
Everlane 10×10
Stitch Fix 10×10
Neutral 10×10
Colorful 10×10

Secondhand 10×10
I generally prefer to avoid including shoes in my 10×10 since my kids love on me with sticky hands and mouths. I need the insurance of those extra couple of pieces right now, even as I’m appreciating (on day 6 of the challenge) that it’s almost hard to incorporate ten pieces the way you imagine them at the start of the challenge. In particular, I have a blouse that I adore but haven’t needed or wanted yet (now that the weather is cooler), a denim skirt I’m pretty certain I’ll sell or donate after this is over, and I do wish I had another cardigan or pair of pants…

Click on through to my Instagram to see the rest if you so desire.

Shopping and Budget Stuff. As I mentioned in my last post, for the first time in AGES, I fully paid my credit card in August. And in September. And it’s going to take some careful budgeting, but I can do it again in October, but I need to make sure I’m being mindful about my spending. As is often the case, one of the things I never seem to adequately budget for is my hair – I don’t get it done more than a few times a year, but it’s a good $250 each time (I have a lot of hair and cut, color, overlay, and style adds up). I compromise by only going every 13 weeks, but I don’t cut corners on getting it done where/how I like, because I can’t take it off when I’m not feeling it… The other budget “oof” that happened in September was a hair styling session ($45) and a new pair of shoes ($151.67) that I needed to pair with my dress (as I discovered none of the pairs I had fit or worked with what I had any more). I am happy with the block heels I picked up from Talbot’s – they are pretty comfortable for dress shoes, and kept my feet fairly happy during a date night on 9/21 and the wedding on 9/28. I also really like the peek of brass (gold) on the inside of the heel, which, with the suede, felt a bit more dressed up. I did decide to get a size 9, but in retrospect, even though it felt a bit too big, I wish I’d gone with my normal heel sizing, and snagged the 9.5 instead… Oh well. I will learn…someday.

A final thing that caught me by surprise this month is that I switched my fitness membership from quarterly ($39/q) to annual ($99/y), which hit this month. Ouch, but I’ll save $56 per year, and now I know I use it enough to justify investing $8.25/mo.

Other purchasing: Since 9/1/2019, I have purchased the following:
Civil Alchemy bag (small tan crossbody). $108.15-$75.00 gift card ($33.15)
Stitch Fix/September 4 Fix: two items
(1) Kut from the Kloth Caillen Button Down (plaid) top
(2) Market & Spruce bright yellow rain anorak (“Nadia”)
Total ($170.42 for both)
The suede pumps for the wedding ($151.67)
Stitch Fix/September 25 Fix: two items
(1) Bernalie Surplice (floral) top by Pale Sky (see outfit photo above from 10×10)
(2) Ainslie Crew Neck Pullover (grey/white stripe)
Total ($122.34)
Campaign tee for Elizabeth Warren presidential campaign ($35.03)
and just today, after losing a couple of attempts to snag appropriately-priced used Veja sneakers (which I’ve been stalking for a couple of years), I bit the bullet and bought new, because I found one of the styles I really like best for $104(!) new through Nordstrom’s men’s shoes. From everything I’ve looked up, the Vejas are straight EU sizing and not differentiated between men/women’s except by colorways. But we’ll see. And these are at least returnable… (I got the white with green v-12s and they should be here sometime next week). Total: $111.01 with tax.

So, total wardrobe spending 9/1 through 10/4 is high at $623.62 (my goal for wardrobe is $350/mo). Since that leaves me with only $75 or so for October wardrobing, and since I snagged some Vejas that will hopefully live up to my expectations this week, I’ve pushed my next fix to early November, and I’ve reset my fix frequency to monthly, since (even though I have the style pass and that suggests more choice is more), I’ve had enough success the last three fixes to throw off my budget (yay, but also boo!), so I need to reign things in a bit — for a bit — to stay on track, and that should do the trick.

Something Sad. Finally, I will end on a sad note. Our delightful and nothing-short-of-a-miracle corgi, Llewelyn, crossed the rainbow bridge on September 24th. He had degenerative myelopathy, a debilitating and progressive condition which closely resumbles ALS (Lou Gherig’s disease) in people. He became increasingly paralyzed and while we worked with him extensively, including procuring a cart for him and adjusting our home environment and his sleeping arrangement to make it easier for him to get around, eventually the disease (which is not painful in itself) became too debilitating and threatened to cause suffering (heart or lung failure). So we gave him the best day we could, we called out a wonderful service (Lap of Love), and we let him go. He was 12. We miss him very much.

And there we have it.

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