Very quick updates, then (and leading toward) the point of the post.
1. William Morris Mondays — After 4-5 months of solid decluttering effort, I’m both pleased with progress and acutely aware of how much more there is to do, both due to stuff creep (having spring/summer birthdays in our family contributes significantly) and realizing we’re still above our “clutter threshold“. My plan is to dig back in once the kids are in school. I will have a kiddo home while I’m home for at least a few months (see #4, below), but that will still be a lot easier and will force me to break the jobs into more manageable chunks. In general, however, I feel our systems and inventory is BETTER, but still has room for MUCH improvement. Realistically, I’d like to get rid of another 30-50% of our things.
2. Tuesday Titles (the only long section) —
French Twist: An American Mom’s Experiment in Parisian Parenting by Catherine Crawford. Paperback, library. I read Pamela Druckerman’s French/American Parenting Book and wanted to compare this. So far they feel fairly interchangeable, but are quick and enjoyable reads if you’re into those topics.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. Hardcover, gift. Very early into this. I tried to start it after Educated, but needed a break from broken dads and families. I’m still struggling a bit to pick it up, but I’ve read so many glowing reviews that I want to push myself deeper.
There Are No Grown-Ups: A Midlife Coming-of-Age Story by Pamela Druckerman. Kindle. I really enjoyed I Feel Back About My Neck by Nora Ephron, so expected to relate to this much more that I do so far. I’m finding Druckerman far less relatable in this work than I have in prior ones. I’m almost halfway done, but I don’t reach for it unless my other books are downstairs after I’ve gone up to bed.
Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence Rev. 2018, Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez . Audiobook. I have read my original-edition paperback no less than three times since 2008. That said, I kept feeling a curiosity about the revisions, so I decided to get the audiobook and listen to it, mostly while walking our puppy, Gus. It is as good and more relevant than ever, but having gone through the material several times now, I take breaks and pursue other books in between sections.
Project 333: The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really is So Much More by Courtney Carver. I found Project 333 and Courtney back in 2011 or 2012 and started dressing with a capsule wardrobe, based loosely on P333 off and on from early 2013. (Search for posts.) I still basically do dress with a capsule wardrobe, though I’m currently trying to figure out whether I prefer a year-round smaller wardrobe where everything is included or still want to pack away heavy knits when it’s 100 degrees and spaghetti straps when there’s a freeze warning. TBD. I am quite familiar with Courtney’s fashion project and work, and the podcast she does with her daughter Bailey, Soul + Wit is one of my very favorites (it’s on a summer break, but just started around the time fo the pandemic, so it’s a great time to start and catch up). I usually listen to S+W when I’m changing bed linens and getting weekly household laundry going — it’s just the right level kind and length of content.
The 13th season of Midsomer Murders on Roku Channel. It was on Netflix, then was pulled, but I have found older episodes on Roku.
YouTube: The Minimal Mom, Marissa Zen, Carol Tuttle Family Minimalism and Style/Energy content.
3. Wardrobe Wednesdays: see below.
4. Thursday Thoughts: Quite briefly, I will be returning to work, likely also quite briefly. I have been home for two years, and my former employer has an employee who will be on maternity leave in September, October, and November. I will be working for a couple of hours each day while all kids are in school during that time. I had some hesitation about working the entire time my kids are all in school (I’ll be dropping all three off, working, then leaving to pick up the youngest from preschool), but the limited duration makes it feel more reasonable, and it will be nice to have a bit of adulting/career brain work again. I’m also hoping to get some insight about whether I miss praticing or prefer to find something else to do when I return to work full time.
5. Family Fridays. Not a ton to report here, as the kids are getting older and their online privacy is becoming more important to them and to me. The twins turned six and the youngest turned four. The twins will be starting Kindergarten, and the youngest returning to preschool for her final year of pre-K. They are bright, challenging, gorgeous, silly, and I adore them. Also I’m super looking forward to school for all of us. Including me.
Wardrobe/Style Inspiration. One of the things my current exercise in wardrobe curation (here for more info) is the idea of “style words” and, for some, a “style catchphrase”. My particular corner favors movement, richer shades, substantial fabrics, etc., but within the system guidelines, we are encouraged to find our niche be considering the other influences and expressions particular to us. I originally thought, well, I wear what I need to based on my circumstances, which is “practical”. I like a bit of sporty/hippy/boho energy in my outfits, so I thought “earthy”. But I also like a bit of buttoned-up timelessness, so I thought “classic”. I picked “Sundance Prep” as my aesthetic catchphrase. And I thought I’d nailed it. But here’s the thing – while I’m practical, that didn’t feel like a style inspiration. And I’m not quite as earthy/boho as I thought I was, primarily, because I like the style on others, but feel lost in it and a bit sloppy/frumpy when I try to pull it off. Classic fit pretty well. But Sundance Prep increasingly felt like it didn’t describe my look at all, or like I was bending my style to conform to it. I felt like I was trying too hard. I expressed my frustration and a friend and I hashed it out a bit and came up with new words: natural, tomboy, and classic. YES. There we go. I like a natural fiber and appearance that isn’t too adorned or fussy (Sundance can get too adorned/fussy – my style feels more like Garnet Hill, Madewell, and J Crew had a baby), but I really appreciate a Scandinavian approach to minimalism and a bit of androgyny. You know. Natural. Tomboy. Classic. But not black and white, or cold, or still. More dynamic. Scandavian Dynamic. And so Scandynamic became my new keyword. And so far, it feels perfect.
I created a Pinterest Board for inspiration. And I’m focusing on the outfits where I feel really good as an extension of the aesthetic. And I think I’m getting somewhere.