Capsule Wardrobe While Pregnant - Why And How




I've mentioned that I am feeling the need to organize everything right now, and a few weeks ago that manifested in the decision to create a capsule wardrobe.

I did a 30x30 challenge several years ago, but beyond that I have never tried putting together a capsule wardrobe.  I think the last straw for me was realizing that I have been wearing the same 10 pieces of clothing for the past few weeks, mainly because my dresser drawers are stuffed so full of clothes that it is too much work to pull everything out and see what's going to work while I'm pregnant.  What's the use of having all these clothes if I don't wear them?  Why do I even have all these clothes anyway?  I haven't worn some of them in years.

So I spent a couple days listening to podcasts about capsule wardrobes, which were really popular a few years ago.  I think the trend has faded some, but the underlying idea is still really useful - which is to create a mix and match wardrobe with a limited number of pieces.  To get the full experience, you are supposed to wear only those pieces for 3 months and not buy anything new.

Why?

I decided to give it a go with a couple goals in mind:

1. To clean out the old clothes that just aren't doing it for me anymore.  I tend to hold on to old clothes much longer than I should, hence why my wardrobe is outrageously large right now, even though I only wear probably half  of it.  I don't want the extra clutter around after baby comes, so this seemed like a good time to tackle it.

2. To give me some space from the things I'm holding on to "just in case".  My situation is a little unique since I'm pregnant - I don't want to get rid of everything right now, since some of it may be what I need for that postpartum transition when nothing fits.  However, once I'm over that stage after the baby comes, I'm hoping that working with a smaller wardrobe for so many months will give me a good idea of the things that are really useful in my wardrobe, and the things I can let go.

3.  To have less things.  The end goal (which will probably take me a while to achieve) is to have a MUCH smaller wardrobe with only things that I really like, and to give me more specific parameters to work within when I'm buying new things.  This will be a process because of factors like the need to have different clothes for different seasons, and not being able to afford to replace "meh" items all at once.



How I'm Doing This While Pregnant

When I first started feeling like I wanted to try a capsule wardrobe, I thought maybe I should wait until after baby before attempting this.  But the clothing excess just got to be too much and I decided to go for it.  My friend Cassidy made a good point that pregnancy is actually the ideal time to start a capsule, because you are already working with a limited wardrobe anyway!  

The capsule I ended up creating is largely made up of things that I can wear whether I'm pregnant or not, with just a few maternity items mixed in - I think this will be perfect to give me more of an idea of what items would be useful in my wardrobe after baby.  I can replace the maternity items I really liked with non-maternity alternatives - either from my closet or the store.

One thing I am NOT doing while pregnant is actually giving away my "meh" items.  I do remember what things I liked before I was pregnant and what things I never wore, but that postpartum time can really throw you for a loop.  I want to have options when I'm working through that transition phase, before my body goes back to normal.  I'm putting all my "maybes" in storage, and then after I feel relatively normal again post-baby, I'll go through them and get rid of the things that I still don't want.



My Process

Here is what I did to assemble my capsule wardrobe.

1. Pile everything on the floor and start sorting.  

For my purposes, I sorted into a "Like It" pile, a "Maybe" pile, and a "No" pile.  The "No" pile was pretty small, sine I'm not getting rid of too much until I see what fits after delivery.

2. Store the "Maybe" pile, get rid of the "No" pile, and organize the "Like It" pile.  

I sorted the "Likes" into categories, so a pile for cardigans/sweatshirts, a pile for tops, a pile for pants, etc.  Since I'm doing this for a maternity capsule, I did a separate step in here and sorted each category pile into a group of things that would work during pregnancy, and things that won't.  I put the things that don't fit back into a separate drawer until after baby.

3. Think it through.  

At this point I was left with a bunch of clothes that I could wear while pregnant, so now the goal was to narrow it down to the things that I WANT to wear while pregnant.  I sat down with Caroline's capsule planner, and thought it through a bit before I started.  Some of the pages in this planner didn't quite fit my situation since the goal was to make a maternity capsule, but it was still helpful to slow down and think it through before I started.  

4.  Start narrowing it down.  

The capsule planner suggested to pick 8 items that you like and that you find yourself wearing a lot, so you can see what it is you like about them.  I did that and ended up with a basis for my capsule!  After I had those 8 and had thought through the rest of the planner, I grabbed the list in this post to fill some things in.  I tried to think through each item I added to make sure that it would mix and match with more than one other item, and to make sure I really did actually like it.  It's crazy how confusing a large wardrobe can get when it comes to my affection for certain pieces.  I had to think about whether I really liked the piece as a whole, or whether I just liked one aspect of it (the color, or cut, or whatever).

5.  Commit to the capsule.  

After all that sorting, I ended up with 40 pieces, not including shoes or accessories.  This is pretty large for a capsule wardrobe, but I allowed myself some wiggle room because 1) this is my first attempt, 2) I am working with a growing belly and changing seasons at the same time, and 3) I fully intend to further narrow it down as I figure out which pieces are my go-to's within this capsule.

Here is the final selection (excuse the fact that these items were hastily laid out and aren't exactly wrinkle free - done is better than perfect):

Tops






Pants


Skirts


Dresses




Finishing Pieces


Hopefully you can see how these will all fit together, but if not, expect to be wowed by my outfit-making skills! I'll try to post periodic updates on Instagram and this blog over the next few months.

What Now?

My goal is to only wear these 40 pieces until after baby comes!  I will allow myself to switch out a couple items when the weather turns cooler (short for pants, tanks for long-sleeves, etc.), but for the most part, this is it.  I am actually really happy and excited about the items I ended up with, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I didn't have to purge my closet of patterns and color to make a capsule wardrobe!

(Update: It's been a few weeks since I wrote this post, and I've been sticking to my capsule.  I can already see which pieces are working for me, and which ones aren't, and I'll be allowing myself to make a few adjustments in the next few weeks as the weather gets cooler and the belly gets bigger!)

Have any of you tried a capsule wardrobe?  
(If you are a blogger, post please!  I'd like to see!)










Goodbye Summer, Hello Third Trimester! 28 Weeks (Baby #5)




We took a little family trip to the zoo last weekend - kind of a farewell to summer, and (for me) hello to the third trimester!

Baby should be around 2 lbs. now, and over a foot tall! Baby Girl should be blinking, sucking, coughing, and hiccuping (I can confirm the hiccuping - it's so cute).  There is also research to suggest babies may start to dream around this age, which is really interesting to think about!



We are officially 2/3 of the way through this pregnancy, and I have to say, I'm feeling it.  I've been much more uncomfortable this past week.  There have been a couple nights where heartburn actually woke me up - I had to prop myself up on pillows so gravity would be on my side.  



Another big reason why I have felt uncomfortable is that this little girl has decided that now is a good time to practice gymnastics.  She actually flipped around last week and was in a transverse position in my stomach!  I was impressed that I could actually tell she had changed position (she's getting bigger), but it was so uncomfortable.  Finally later in the evening I felt comfortable again, and I'm pretty sure she settled back in the correct way because her kicks were up high.  

However, she ended up turning transverse again later in the week, and now I'm a little unsure if she stayed in a head-down position.  I'm going to ask my doctor to pull out the portable ultrasound at my next visit and check.  



Moving on to fun stuff though, I have been feeling little feet and knees and arms moving around inside my belly, and I love it so much!  She is definitely growing because I feel like I can distinguish body parts better now.  I can tell the difference between limbs and her little bum (or head...hopefully bum).  She doesn't seem to like it too much when I poke at her, but sometimes she'll give me a gentle nudge and I feel like we're bonding.

This week of pregnancy has long been my favorite stage - I think because the belly is just the right size.  And since it's my favorite week of pregnancy, it seemed like a good time to compare the baby bellies.



I think I definitely carry the girls a little different than the boys, and you can tell most this week - a little higher and bigger, I think.

I started on her baby quilt, and I'm hoping to get Clarice moved up to Gwen's room in the next week so I can start organizing the nursery...wish me luck on that!

 (I don't know what I was doing here, but you all would probably laugh at me if you saw how awkward I really am while taking these photos...)

I'm also trying to take pictures with each of the kids with these pregnancy update photos, so here is the biggest brother.  I am so excited to see him with this baby!


Solar Eclipses & Personality Types




Confession: I was this close to not doing anything for the solar eclipse this week.

My thought process was that solar eclipses are cool and all, but do I really want to spend $10 a piece on glasses?  And how many stops will I have to make with my FOUR kids to find these stupid things? And will it really be worth it since it's only a partial eclipse where I am anyway?

I think I've reached that point in pregnancy where anything that requires too much effort and isn't absolutely necessary just isn't really worth it to me.  Plus, I was a little paranoid about the kids hurting their eyesight.

So I really had no plans for anything, until I was laying in bed last Saturday night with sudden anxiety when I realized that I might be depriving my children of something. What kind of homeschool mom skips a solar eclipse?  On the first day of school, no less?  What was I thinking? How could I have even considered stealing this experience from my kids?!

In my sleep-deprived haze, I settled on cereal box projectors, which I was more comfortable with anyway because of the whole eyesight thing.  We had a grand ole time decorating them and checking the eclipse on Monday.  The kids did try to glance at the sky a couple times, but I scolded them enough to put the fear of retinal scarring into their little hearts.  I'm glad I actually did something with them after all!  We had 93% totality, and it did start to feel like evening there for a bit, which was cool.  Complete totality would have been better, but in 28 years another eclipse is coming through that puts us right in the path of totality, so I'm just going to wait until then.

 (That's glitter on my nose, from our decorated boxes.)



(I didn't realize I needed to make the hole so tiny for the box to work, so that's why there are several holes.)

On Monday evening after that eventful day, I went to work out and I tried out a new podcast.  Despite it being a fun day, I was having a particularly anxious/getting-down-on-myself type of day at the same time, and I needed a distraction.  I listened to Personality Hacker, and I came home feeling like I understood myself better and determined to find out Derek's Myers-Briggs type so I could understand him better.  He took the test, and I thought I'd take it again too just to see if any of my percentages changed.  I was confident I would still be an ENFJ, and I like that type.

Imagine my surprise when the test tells me I'm now an ESFJ!  What?! No!  I knew my type!  I have a type!  You can't just change it on me!  I retook the test.  Same result.  I read the description.  It didn't sound like me. I retook the test on a different website.  Now I'm ISTJ.  Huh?  I read the description.  Nope.  

At this point it's 11:00 PM, and I'm exhausted, so I put the computer away and decided to figure it out later.  It took me at least a half hour to fall asleep, because this was all just so upsetting.

I woke up in the morning and pulled out my laptop again (I get a little obsessive about things when I'm pregnant - yes, I'm blaming pregnancy).  I retook the test again and adjusted some answers - it said ENFJ, but now I felt like I cheated.  So read an article about cognitive functions (which is what this whole crazy test is based on), and it seemed to me I'm an Introverted Intuitive, Extroverted Feeling.  Which would make me an INFP.  I read the description.  It sort of sounded like me, but not really, because I'm just not a dreamer.  I don't think of myself as a dreamer, I don't daydream about things or invent fictional characters.  I call myself an optimistic realist.  

I went back and read the ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ, ISFJ, and ESFJ descriptions, and then all the descriptions of their cognitive functions, and I finally decided that I'm...wait for it...an ENFJ.

So that was a lot of effort to tell me something I thought I already knew!  Ugh.  I'm just going to own that type now though and not retake the stupid test.  I read somewhere in the midst of all this that it can be hard to type a person if their personalities are really underdeveloped, or if their personalities are very developed.  I'm going to say I'm just a very developed person.  Because very developed people clearly spend 3+ hours scouring the internet with anxiety, trying to figure out their type.

Now I'm completely exhausted and have been dragging myself through the day.  I had things to do this week, Personality Hacker!  Sheesh.

So out of curiosity, what Myers-Briggs personality type are YOU?  
You can start with this test here.  And I'm sorry in advance if this leads you on a wild goose chase that keeps you up half the night.  


How We Saw New Orleans In Two Days (And What You Should See If You Go)





I am pretty sure we squeezed every ounce of New Orleans adventure that we possibly could out of 48 hours in the city.  I landed in New Orleans at 1:23 PM on Wednesday, and left for the airport at 12:50 PM on Friday - it felt like a strangely relaxing whirlwind!  I am so glad we took the chance to have a pre-baby getaway to a place that was brand-new to both of us.

More on where we went and what we did below, but first, pictures.

DAY ONE















I am pretty much a mountain girl, and rarely spend this much time in the city...so while I think my urban photography skills could use some help, this whole trip gave me a great chance to practice!

Here's what we did the first day:

-Arrived in the afternoon at Hotel Monteleone, which was so pretty! It also is home of the Carousel Bar, which is a rotating bar - we didn't get anything there, but it was cool to see it.

-Derek finished his conference class, and we set out to explore the city!  We walked to Jackson Square and saw the oldest operating cathedral in the US.

-We also found some pretty doors to take pictures in front of.  So many of the streets were so picturesque!  If I lived there I would be hunting for good photo spots all the time.

-Stopped at Bourbon Street - that would be the picture where I am not grinning.  It was so gross!  Nothing pretty about that street at all, unlike the rest of the French Quarter.

-Went to the Palace Cafe for dessert.  Derek got the bananas foster, which they made right in font of us!  I got the lemon pie.  Both were excellent!

-We also grabbed dinner, just at the Marriot because it was most convenient that night.  We discussed baby names!

-Went back to the hotel and crashed at like 8 PM, home time.  I was so tired from traveling.

DAY TWO
















What we did on the second day (our only full day):

-Got some coffee at French Truck Coffee.  I loved that place!  It was clean and pretty, and they played oldies.  I already waxed poetic about it on Instagram, see more there.

-Walked back to the hotel and waited for my tour bus to arrive while Derek went to the conference.  I booked a city tour with Cajun Encounters, and it was definitely worth the money.  The tour guide (forget his name, looked like Ashton Kutcher) was one of the better tour guides I've ever had.  I wouldn't have seen nearly as much of the city without it, and I learned so much!

-The tour stopped by one of New Orleans above-ground cemeteries.  It was creepy and interesting, because the reason they bury that way is not what I expected.  Much too gruesome to describe here for all my posterity to read, but comment if you want to know and I'll explain.

-Other things I saw on the tour: Creole millionaire's row, Creole neighborhoods, Jackson Square again, the Tomb Of The Unknown Slave (which was interesting but so sad), the Garden District, and of course the cemetery.

-The tour also took us to a cafe called Morning Call, and we got free beignets and coffee as part of the tour!  Score!  These were actually my favorite beignets from when we were there.

-After the tour I went to a buffet for lunch (a little intimidating walking through the city by myself, it is so busy there).  The food was okay, but the desserts were amazing!  Every dessert I got in New Orleans was fantastic.

-Went back to the hotel and waited for Derek to get off from the conference. This was when I washed my hair - a turning point in the trip, because I washed out all my good products from home, and my hair responded way differently to the humidity without my products!

-I had intentions of sitting by the pool, but it was actually raining that afternoon, so I sat at one of the covered tables on the pool deck and started narrowing down our list of baby names and looking up meanings.  Derek and I really wanted to use our time alone on this trip to get a short list of names for our girl!

-We decided to go ahead and book a riverboat cruise!  When Derek got out of his class, we got dressed and walked over to the river (we might have stopped and bought some maple fudge on the way).  It was a jazz dinner cruise on a steamboat called the Natchez, and it was an excellent decision to go.  The music was amazing, the views were so pretty, and the the steamboat horn was so deep and cool-sounding.  We got back when it was dark, and the city lights were so pretty!

-We took a pedi-cab back to the hotel - good because our feet were hurting, scary because our driver was nuts!  I thought we were going to tip over!  But hey, a 15 minute walk only took her about 3 minutes, so she was efficient!

DAY THREE






















What we did on day three:

-Got more coffee at French Truck Coffee.  I miss that place!

-Walked over to Cafe Du Monde for beignets and orange juice.  

-The humidity was out of control that morning!  My hair was wet by the time we got back to the hotel, but we stopped at several gift shops and a gallery on the way back (partially to escape the heat!).  I practiced more photography in the city.  We bought pralines for the kids, and a Christmas ornament with Santa riding an alligator.

-The gallery we stopped at had these unique paintings - the artist layered the pain on really thickly, so it had a 3D effect,  I wish you could see it better in the picture, it was pretty cool!

-At this point Derek had to leave me again, and I took another shower before packing up my things.  Derek had already packed and gone, because his flight left several hours later than mine, and he and some of his co-workers were going to do a swamp tour that afternoon!  I have to admit, I was a little jealous of the swamp tour.  He got to feed alligators!  And hold a baby alligator!

-After washing my hair, I went to lunch at Mr. B's Bistro, right across from our hotel.  I had the gumbo and the molten chocolate cup cake.  Oh my goodness.  It was so good!  I gushed to Derek in a text about it, so he and his coworkers ended up stopping there too before they flew home.  It was just really good.  In my book, you pretty much HAVE to go there if you visit New Orleans.

-The airport shuttle picked me up, and home I went!  I was sad to leave, but my hair was not sad.  I worked on middle name pairings for baby while I waited for me plane.

I am so glad Derek and I got to explore New Orleans as much as we did, and it was a great time to reconnect (and think of some names!) before our little girl arrives in less than three months!  

So if I was to make recommendations for a quick trip to New Orleans:

-Take a tour.  They are definitely worth the money, and you see so much more that way!
-Jackson Square was really pretty, definitely walk over there.
-Eat at Mr. B's Bistro.  It's a must.
-Try to find somewhere to listen to some jazz music!  We did the riverboat, but I'm told Frenchman Street is a good place to go too.
-Bring your good hair products if you have even a slight hint of curl/wave!  Your hair will thank me for this one, trust me.
-And get some beignets somewhere!  It's kind of a New Orleans requirement, I think.



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