General

HOLY 2020.

Can we talk about this year??

I mean, of course there’s so much we all can nod our heads about because we are all in this together. Apart. I said to a friend yesterday (referencing how interconnected all our choices are, especially right now in the midst of a global pandemic in which we’re all encouraged to stay home and maintain distance between households as much as possible):

No man is an island, even when every man is an island.

I have started a number of drafts since my last post on January 3, 2020. Oh, January. Oh, those New Year’s Resolutions. ::chuckles softly::

Might as well start there. It’s a long one, so buckle up. Grab your coffee. &c.

Resolution 1: Health Block
1: The 2-Day Rule (never skip more than one day working out)
Progress: ABJECT FAILURE. I haven’t worked out for beans. I don’t want to work out. I get several thousand steps every day managing my home and raising my kids with, since mid-March, almost NO break for personal time. I don’t like work out at night, I haven’t had consistent or good sleep since the pandemic started, and it’s just NOT my priority or interest right now. Fun fact: On May 30th, I got 18,859 steps. And didn’t leave my property.
2: Run/Lift/Stretch Schedule. Also: NOPE. I did make my own workout schedule that takes about 20 minutes and incorporates all but the running. I’ve done it three times now. I consider regularly quitting Beachbody, which is not a good use of my money right now, but when I do workout, I really like being told what to do, and working a program. It renews at the end of the month ($8.33/mo). This year has been such a crazy one, and better wellness is a priority. I will likely give it one more year. It helps to compare it to the year before we started trying to have kids and I spent $110 every month on a fancy-gym membership. Lesson from that: $110/month – uncomfortably expensive, even when I used it many times a week; $99/year – worth it as long as I go through a few spells of regular workouts, at less than 1/12 the cost of the fancy gym membership. I did get $20 in workout bands, $50 in weights, and a $30 1/2″ yoga mat, too, so that’s $200 in the past two years. But I used the bands a lot, I STILL use the mat extensively, and the weights are a nicer and smaller adjustable alternative to the SelectTech dumbbells my husband bought before we married. Still probably worth it. I would like to get up and work out again anyway. Maybe in October…

Resolution 2: SHOP – Less, and More Intentionally; only Even Months
Results so far: Meh? More technically, my goals were to buy less than 20 NEW/RETAIL things in 2020 (#20in2020), to increase the proportion of secondhand-to-new items purchased, and to try to space out my purchasing.

1/ I hit 20 items halfway through the year. May be close to 40? 50? at this point. See below, where I’ll tally.
2/ A lot of my items are secondhand, though – not quite half, though.
3/ A fair number, mostly secondhand, are being resold or donated because they either served their purpose or didn’t work. I don’t know whether to count these things.

  • NEW / Everlane
    I did a BIG (for me) Everlane Haul to refresh my basics in May. (Officially blowing my even-month buying. Oh well.)
    1. Twisted Merino Cardigan (stone) – LOVE THIS
    2. Super-soft summer jean (bone) – LOVE THIS
    3. Lighweight Wide Leg Crop Chino (ochre) – LOVE THIS
    4. Lightweight French Terry Crew Sweatshirt (rose) – LOVE THIS
    5. Super-soft summer jean (vintage light blue) – OK
    6. Organic Cotton Box Tee – pale pink – NOPE
    7. Organic Cotton Box Tee – grey – NOPE
    8. Organic Cotton Box Tee – black – NOPE
    The first four are perfect and have already seen a LOT of use. The tshirt situation in my wardrobe was pathetic, so I really tried to make the box tees work, but they are way too short for my long torso, even with high-rise pants, so I plan to bundle and resell on Poshmark. The blue summer jeans are supremely comfortable and soft, but what’s cute fresh from the dryer is saggy and baggy and unflattering in the worst “mom-jean” way once they stretch and bag out. The white ones are stiffer and don’t do this, so I suspect it’s the weathering to make them light and soft. Rather than resell, because they are SO comfortable, I am leaning heavily toward cutting them into shorts, where the bagging out will be a benefit, instead of a burden. I really am fond of a 5″ inseam, so I’m inclined to start with 6″ so I can roll, and shorten as needed.

    For my birthday, I received a gift card, so I purchased two more pairs of pants:
    9. Lightweight Wide Leg Crop (black) LOVE IT
    10. Lightweight Straight Leg Crop (black) LOVE IT
    I wear the wide legs ones a LOT – they are great and breezy for summer. For the hottest days, I sweat too much in the straights, so I tucked the black away for fall/spring. I will bring them out soon! I wear a pair I snagged secondhand in a lighter color already (which work on milder days now) and love the fit. I think the black ones are perfect casual office pants.
  • NEW/ Third Love
    11. Wireless stripe bra nude – LIKE A LOT
    12. Wireless stripe bra – black – LIKE A LOT
    13. Wireless bra – pink – LIKE A LOT
    The quality of these bras are fantastic! I think I need to try to tweak fit just a tiny bit to make them even better. Not sure if I want to order more from them next round, or try a few other brands first.
  • NEW/ Amazon
    14. Bamboo underwear, 5 pack – nude
    The undies supplemented my drawer overhaul in late 2019. I find the bamboo ones really comfortable and wear them almost every day, with a couple lacy ones and period ones used as appropriate the rest of the time. I have 8 other pairs, so that is about two weeks of daily undies.
  • NEW/ Organic Basics
    This is a brand-new order – I just placed it September 16th!
    15. Because I have decided to part with the three tees from Everlane purchased in April, I ordered the black and white OB tees, and I’m trying a tencel bralette. I worry the bralette won’t offer enough support, but the wiring on the side of some wireless brands isn’t comfortable enough for sleep (and I often sleep in my bra), so I’m trying it!
  • NEW/Statement Tees
    I am a SUCKER for a well-marketed tee. Sigh.
    16. Elizabeth Warren “Small Ideas” tee, navy
    17. Elizabeth Warren for President tee, navy
    (I actually ordered the second after she withdrew. I adore her.)
    18. Joe Biden/Kamala Harris Tee (YES PLEASE ASAP), white
    19. Rise Against Injustice Tee, white
  • NEW/Banana Republic Factory
    Total impulse purchase…but I’m happy for it?
    20. Stripe heavy sweater
    21. Camel heavy sweater
    I snuck in a few wears in late spring when it was unseasonably cool, but packed away for summer. I can’t wait to get them out. I am super happy with the fit and quality, even if the purchase wasn’t planned or extensively considered. Sigh.
  • NEW/ Primary
    22. Rainbow stripe tee on deep discount ($9!)
    I love the late-70s/early-80s vibe of this tee! I have been thrilled with the quality of the kids’ clothes so far, and wanted to dip my toes in the adult offerings, which are pretty new.
  • NEW/Stitch Fix
    Everlane, Stitch Fix, and Poshmark are my heaviest hit adds. I was doing monthly fixes, then alternate months, and have pushed into 2021 and quarterly. It’s fun, but the pieces don’t wear much better than other fast fashion and so they don’t last for me very often. There are exceptions, though!
    23. Daniel Rainnn Becru Lace Top, black. I have a black sleeveless DR top from a few years ago I save for my dressy date nights, etc. (I wore it to see Hamilton for my birthday trip to Chicago in 2018). I like it, but I like this one better. I’m not sure if I’ll keep both, but leaning against it.I like the almost-cap of these lace sleeves better than the sleeveless top I already had. This has been a better brand for me in my SF experience.
    24. Papermoon Reece mixed material top, navy floral. This is another brand I’ve done fairly well with, though it’s consistently a bit cheaper in price point than Daniel Rainn. This top was the just-right floral that can be so elusive. Not too big, too small, or too precious. Not too bright. I like it with shorts, with jeans, with (someday again) work bottoms. It has the same cap-type sleeve that is more forgiving on my 40-something arms than true sleeveless.
    25. Liverpool Dave capri linen pant (eucalyptus-y green). Like all linen, these suckers SAG AND BAG like no other. But they are really soft and comfortable and a nice shorts alternative. Good to wear out the first day and at home subsequent days until laundering.
    26. Skies are Blue Padenia Tassel in navy/purple. I loved this. Peasant-style, and unexpected. Sadly, I shrunk it when I washed it. I might save it for A, because the colorway is perfect for her.
    27. Ink Love & Peace Calyn Cowl Neck in gray. I don’t usually like cowl necks. But this is like a sweatshirt that is tshirt material, and it’s a great athletic layer that also works well enough for casual/lounge looks, so I bit. I’m pretty happy with it.
    28. Market & Spruce Rosabel Skinny Cuffed Pant in Rust/Rose. I LOVE the color of these! A pretty bricky-pinky red. BUT. The mid-rise kills me. They show tush when I squat or sit on the floor (which I do often with young kids). So I am on the fence about whether to keep them. Sigh. I LOVE the color. Maybe my two used Everlane straight heavyweight chinos will be a suitable replacement.
  • USED/ THREAD-UP
    1. Laundry by Shelli Segal Tulip-sleeve dress (black). I bought this for a friend’s wedding in February (oh! remember when we could hug people outside our households?) It served me well, but I don’t LOVE IT, so I might pass it along. I’m kind of in between sizes and it didn’t make me feel special, just…appropriate.
    2. Bella Marie faux suede heels (for the wedding). Also OK, so I might pass along. They are comfortable, but for a go-to, I’d rather get something that is made better and more special.
    3. Everlane 90s jeans – comfy! But way too big. Reselling.
    4. Everlane gray pocket tee – comfy! But a bit too slouchy. Great for lounging, so I may move it to that part of my wardrobe.
    5. Gap high-rise skinny jeans – love these. They are VERY thick and a bit stretchy, so they are strictly fall/winter jeans – way too hot and the very dark wash works great with my fall and winter items.
  • USED/ eBay
    Nothing in 2020 so far!
  • USED/ Poshmark (LOL, oh Poshmark)
    6. J Crew Grandpa Cardigan (charcoal). This is a great sweater. It is definitely pre-loved, but for $10 + shipping, it has already gotten TONS of wear. It’s long-line, too (past my bum), so great with leggings.
    7. Steve Madden Fur Leopard Heels. I had a great plan to wear these with my black dress to the February wedding but these were a half size too big and WAY too high a heel (4″!). I have failed to notice just how high heels are on a few Posh shoe purchases. Oops. Just resold them.
    8. Mia Melon Yellow Raincoat. I was between the Mia Melon coat and a Pendleton Coat in black, and kept coming back to the Mia Melon because it’s not so LOUD a yellow and I love a classic yellow raincoat. I got a BRIGHT yellow raincoat from Stitch Fix (anorak style) and while I actually like the yellow (almost mustard), the hood is really small and it’s more water-resistant than waterproof. The Mia coat has long sleeves, a big hood, and a well-covered zipper. I’m currently working to resell my SF coat from 2019.
    9. Everlane Day Loafer (caramel). I like these, but in all Day options with the elasticized heel, I don’t love the elasticization, which irritates my heel by the end of the day. Also, with the pandemic, I basically only wear Birkenstocks and sneakers, so they are pretty dormant, but I like them for a future work option.
    10. Everlane straight-leg lightweight chino (khaki). LOVE.
    11. Everlane straight-leg crop chino (regular length/26.5″)(dark ochre). I like these! They are the heavier weight of the original wide-leg crops, and I’m sure they’ll be soft and warm in the cooler weather.
    12. Everlane heavyweight shirt (white and navy). I have this shirt in size small in the gray/white colorway from YEARS ago when it was first released. I like it, but since kids and a few extra pounds, I have wanted to try the size up. $12 for a medium was an easy yes. I’ve worn it several times like a sweatshirt on these late summer days, and will likely pack it away for spring, since the navy/white is classically spring, but doesn’t feel much like fall/winter to me.
    13. Easel Los Angeles Gray Gingham Tunic Top. OK. I love this fabric, but the cut is ATROCIOUS in this heavy flannel fabric. I laundered it, and it didn’t help drape at all. With hips and bust, it was a hot NO. I’ll be reselling or donating.
    14. Everlane Straight Leg Crop (short length/24.5″)(rust red). These are pretty cropped! I think they’ll be great for fall/spring, but the shorter inseam (actually cropped on me, instead of just “pre-hemmed”, ha) make them a poor choice for the COLDEST weather. The rust is a nice red – orange enough for fall colorways, but bright enough to be great with navy and white in the spring.

I think that’s everything. So… 42 items, minus the ones that are gone, sold, being sold/donated, or were destroyed (9-sigh): 33 items in 2020 so far (25 new and 11 secondhand). I’d love to say I’m done for the year, but I’m open to buying more special things secondhand or new if they are just right (for example, I’ve been holding on to 2008 Dansko professional clogs, 2013 Dankso Mary Janes, and 2015 Dansko Thea clogs and both ceased to fit at all once I had the twins, so I’m inclined to sell both and replace them with a pair I’ll probably purchase new since I am not 100% sure of sizing but I am 100% sure about colorway: I’ll wear the hell out of those over the fall winter).

As a final clothing note, I have re-catalogued EVERY item I own in my closet and plan a RUTHLESS purge starting…tonight in anticipation of general streamlining, body acceptance, style honing (post-baby-body love), and setting up my Fall Capsule Wardrobe for 9/22-12/20/2020. And b everything, I mean EVERYTHING – from underpinnings (categorically, since I buy multiples of the same style) to mittens.

Resolution 3: Writing Block
Well, I’m posting again. Not as often as I wanted to, but better late than never. What’s a 9-month hiatus amid a global pandemic? I have been journaling, if sporadically, and I’ve been creating more (visual art and in my daily planner). I’m happy with that. I have also (not spelled out but always part of my resolutions) actually rediscovered READING thanks to the pandemic, and am on my 14th book of the year. It’s AWESOME. I’m kicking around trying a NaNoWriMo again, but not sure. Maybe it’d be better just to blog. I think the kickstart for that last goal and getting back to blogging might be deactivating FB. Strongly tempted to do the same with IG. Toxic. And they’re spying on us, so. Excuse me while I barf and chuck my phone into a body of water. Except my phone is my main camera these days. Frack. Anyway. We’ll call this one a wash.

Final Resolution – Block 4: Rest
Return, O my soul, to your rest,
for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.

Psalm 116:7 NRSV

I mean, the pandemic sort of made this one into reality in so man ways. For ALL of 2020’s challenges (never-ceasing challenges), life is slower. Life is simpler. And I am thankful and grateful. But I want to hug my mom and my brother, please.

This was a long one. SUCH a long one. But needed and good to write out. It feels so good to blog again! I am going to dig into wardrobe culling and may even try to make a video. I’ve been really enjoying YouTube vlogs and might dabble in that – why not?

I’m also thinking about trying to aim for a semi-regular posting schedule that I can build upon. My M-F/MWF/once a week option isn’t going well, but maybe I can aim for every five days? Maybe. Let’s just aim for a fall wardrobe post, mmmmkay?

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