New Block: Bowtie

This block is actually just part of a larger block. When I was making the pieces for the bigger block, I realized that I had never made a bowtie block before! 

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This block was super simple and easy to get together. Also, this is a good block to make for improvers! I can't wait to show the larger block soon!

Linking up with Slow Stitching Sunday and Monday Making and more!

Bullet Journal Check In: Bullet Journal + Capsule Wardrobe

Using my Bullet Journal and creating my capsule wardrobe go hand in hand! I like to use my bullet journal to jot down notes about upcoming capsules, ideas for capsule blog posts, to list things that I want in my capsule, etc... I also make a list when doing the photos for each capsule blog post of what actually is in my capsule. 

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I have started keeping a outfit tracker. This is something I have done off and on in my journals. For this capsule, bc it's a bit larger than my last two, I wanted to track what I was wearing most, and what I was loving to wear. 

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How do you use your BuJo and your capsule wardrobe together?

Mad Cat Capsule : Winter 2018 (January to March)

This capsule marks the end of my first year having a capsule wardrobe. My Winter capsule came about pretty easily. The way I create my capsule is to take absolutely all my clothes from everywhere and put them on the couch.  This was the first capsule where I was able to fit everything in the "extra clothes" bins I keep. Before now, clothes were spilling out all over. I was also able to sort all the clothes that aren't in this capsule by item. Previously, there were just too many pieces of clothing to keep track of. Keeping a seasonal capsule wardrobe has been a great way for me to let go of things and wear what I love while paring down. I created two paper grocery bags full of clothes to giveaway or donate because of the sorting of this capsule. 

For my Winter capsule, I really wanted to change things up. I have had so many of the same pieces in my first three capsules and although I love them, I was for something a little different this time around. In my other capsules the color blue played a big role, but for Winter I took all the blue out of my wardrobe. I also swapped out some favorite tees and staples for new and different items. My color palate for the Winter months are greens, creams, grey and heavy on the black. 

I'm glad that most of my wardrobe still falls under slow fashion, with many items being 10 years old or older, bought second hand, or bought in indie shops. I'm also super excited to include my first purchases from sustainable, responsible companies. 

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6 t shirts - I kept my grey v neck (10+ years), this piece has been in all my capsules. My green v neck (10+), Happy Bday sandwiches cat shirt (thrifted), skeleton shirt (10+), cream pizza shirt from work, green xmas shirt from work.  

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6 tanks - Most of the tanks in my capsule are 10+ years old. I have a grey, black and green with owls tanks, all from old navy.  I also have a cream tank (10+) and a army green tank and a black spaghetti strap tank (both getting close to 10+). 

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5 long sleeve tees - I added a lot of layering tees in this capsule and so far, 10 days in, I'm so glad I did! I have three waffle tees, two 10+ from America Apparel (one grey and one light green) and one dark green (that one is getting up there). I also have a 3/4 sleeve black tee that must be at least 15 years old. Same with a long sleeve green tee that I've had forever. 

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6 "fancy" shirts - I'm trying to add some flair into Winter, let's see how that works. The black sheer top, green feather top, and grey lace top are fairly new (6+ years). The gold flowy top and the anchor top are newly thrifted. I also purchased a new top from Everlane that falls into the "fancy" category. 

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5 skirts - The long black skirt has been in my previous capsules and is newer (4+ years). It was bought at a local indie shop when I lived in Brooklyn. The black cord mini is 10+. The grey wool skirt is thrifted and the black leather is thrifted and probably at least 20 years old. I also have a long grey leather skirt that I got at a stoop sale (15+). 

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6 jeans - My grey jeans, black jeans, and green jeans were all thrifted last year. My levis are well past 10 years old. I plan on doing a full review of my new Everlane jeans soon!

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7 sweaters - I have two thrifted sweaters, a grey one and a mottled one with a cowl neck. I have two cardigans both 4 - 7 years old (the black one was bought in an indie shop). I have a cream wool sweater, a dark grey sweater, but my favorite sweater is a over sized teal sweater I got about 4 years ago. 

I don't include underwear, leggings, tights, exercise clothes, sleepware, or outerware in my capsules. But this season I am including shoes! I have 10 pairs of shoes for the Winter capsule. I plan to shoe these in another post. I hope to pare down my shoes, just like my clothes! 

This capsule is quite large, about as large as my very first capsule of clothes alone was!! I have about 51 items in this capsule (at least 23 of them slow fashion). For me, capsule wardrobes aren't about the perfect number, they are about mindful choices and wearing things I love. 

Who else is starting a new capsule in January? Is it Winter or Summer where you are? What are your go to cold weather clothes?

January 2018 OMG

I'm way behind on two quilts I was supposed to complete. Finishing one of these will be the first One Monthly Goal of 2018!!

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I still have to baste these quilts, quilt them, label and gift. These are both small and finishing one of them should be a doable goal!!

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts to start another great year of OMG!!

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December in Review

Another year, done and dusted. 2017 was pretty tough, but it had so much great moments as well, and December is a perfect example. 

We dealt with sickness, stress, anxiety, this month but also new beginnings, goals achieved, spending time with family and friends, and greeting our newest family member!

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We didn't get to the beach or to travel as much as we would have liked. But we always try to squeeze those things in where we can. We decorated, cooked, played clue, took walks, and chatted with family and friends for the holiday season. For those who are far from us, we talked on the phone, texted and sent photos. I didn't get to send a holiday card in 2017, but there's always new year cards!

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The weather turned brutally cold and the holidays are a hectic time at work, so we didn't get to walk too much, but some #watchercats were seen, and some were right under our noses at home.

December saw sickness and new beginnings. We're still fighting off illness in our clowder of cats, and I'm hoping January will see a break from sad babies and sadder cat mom (me). We are still figuring out our new addition, but check it out! He already has his own insta! 

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In Dec, we tried to eat well, stay cozy and keep the Winter blues at bay. We weren't always successful. But discovering a juicy new apple, spreading light through our house, listening to records, plant maintenance, plus more self car, helped us see some bright sides.  

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For this the last month of 2017, and for the whole year with all it's ups and downs, we are thankful. We are thankful for a new year ahead. January 2018, here we come!!

MCQBOM² / 5

This is sweet churn dash variation that I found from just searching google for simple blocks. I looked back at the link after I made it and you can find that here. I really like this small squares in this block for MCQBOM² . 

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This churn dash was sooooo easy to put together and really cute. I didn't get a chance to take a photo of all the blocks together but this one came out way smaller than the rest. I might add a boarder, but who knows!

I'm linking up around the web today. 

December Plant Update

A lot going at home on this month meant that not too many plants were mindfully observed besides our own house plants. We did get about and about to see some plants, luckily. 

Guest room house plants have the best light. 

Guest room house plants have the best light. 

Blurry new shoots on our eternity plant. 

Blurry new shoots on our eternity plant. 

Our back yard just as the now starts. 

Our back yard just as the now starts. 

And more snow in Ocean Grove. 

And more snow in Ocean Grove. 

And a little festive snow. 

And a little festive snow. 

Were you too busy to plant gaze this month? Or were your plants observations on point?

I'm looking forward to a new year of plant observations in 2018!!

Best Nine 2017

I started finding my Best Nine on Instagram last year and I love it!! Instagram is really the only social media I participate in (besides this blog, of course!). I try hard to curate my feed and this year, I ended up starting two new instas. I now have a quilting insta (link above) and one for our new kitty, Irving. I did this bc I want my personal instagram to look a certain way, and it could easily get filled with only my cats and projects. 

These are my Best Nine for 2017:

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I think the above collage is a good representation of my aesthetic style and of my lifestyle. 

Below are my Best Nine from the last two years. As you can see, my feed is still mostly cats. 

2016

2016

2015

2015

It's interesting to look back and see the natural color themes of each year. It seems that since moving to the beach my palate has become more neutral and washed out. I don't really try to follow a color theme, but I do use a few favorite themes/filters. I notice that I naturally have "color runs" on my feed, where, over a few days, I tend to snap pics of like colored scenes. I guess this depends on my moods's eye. Does this happen to anyone else?

Who else loves Best Nine? 

Buddhism For Beginners

One of my goals in 2017 is to read more. See other books I've read or listened to here.

Buddhism for Beginners by Thubten Chodron is not the type of book I would usually read, but it was offered as a free audio book from one of my subscriptions so I gave it a try. I loved the reader, Gabra Zackman. 

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Growing up I was taught about multiple religions by my non religious parents. I had picture books about The Buddha, Shiva, Anansi... Although I had some previous ideas about the Buddhist methods, this book was a plain language, simple explanation of the Buddhist teachings. 

I won't be converting to Buddhism, but I took a lot from this book. It's core concepts of love, compassion, mindfulness, and careful speech, thought and action really resignate with me and my beliefs and ideals. This is a nice introduction to these concepts, plus the more complicated beliefs of Buddhism. It also gives the reader a good overview of the history of the religion and it's branches and how Buddhism differs from place to place. I really liked the reader for this book. The launguage can be confusing even in its simplest forms and the concepts can be daunting so it was nice to have a really pleasant reader for this introduction to Buddhist teachings and practices. I would recommend this book to those interested in learning about Buddhism, those who like self help books, books on history and culture, or those looking to be more mindful in day to day life.  

I listened to half of this book twice, I had started it, put it down for a while, and when I went back I decided to start it again. The calm reader, and the wonderfully peaceful ideas are soothing and easy to listen to over and over so this is a book I plan to listen to again and again. 

What books do you like to read more than once?

Zero Waste Recipe: Dry Shampoo

In 2017 I started my zero waste journey. Zero Waste is the goal, mindful practice is the action. When I use the term Zero Waste, that is my ultimate goal, but Less Waste would be a more  accurate description of my evolving lifestyle. 

I don't really use beauty products. I don't put my face on, I don't wear makeup, I don't style my hair, I barely brush it. But I thought I'd talk about a few grooming staples I've come to know and love.

When I was young, I had to wash my hair every day. Had to. Or else it would become an ratty oily mess. Starting a few years ago, that changed. Now if I wash my hair everyday, it becomes brittle and dry. What the heck? 

While I still lived in Brooklyn, I found a dry shampoo in a spray can and tried it out. I had never used it before and it was great! I love dry shampoo. It allowed me to not feel totally gross between hair washes. Once I started reducing my waste and plastic consumerism, I figured dry shampoo was out. But I did a little research and not only did I discover that plastic free, zero waste dry shampoo was a thing but it's about the easiest recipe ever!

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Ingredients:
Arrowroot powder
Essential oils
Cocoa powder for dark hair

Equipment:
Container or shaker (I reuse one from Burt's Bees baby powder)

Combine ingredients and shake well.  I have blondish hair, so I omit the cocoa powder but I have head that for dark hair it works like a dream. 
To use, I either shake some on my brush or directly on my hair and comb through. Be careful not to use too much, you don't want to look like you're wearing a powdered wig. You can always add more! Make sure to comb or brush it through all your hair so it is coated and looks "clean". 

Now, this is easily a zero waste recipe. But truth be told, mine wasn't. I got the arrowroot in a plastic bag. Although I intend to recycle the bag, next time I'll get my arrowroot in bulk. Also, my brush and combs are plastic. I won't throw them away, until they are totally broken and not able to be used. But when my plastic brushes do die, I have my eye on a hand carved wooden comb from mermaidtrousers. I've seen some nice wooden brushes out there, too. 

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I also use this powder in my shoes in the summertime to keep my feet from getting sweaty. So from head to toe, I find this powder works great!

What are your simple zero waste beauty care swaps?