two sisters. one year. a new year's resolution.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


so, i've already realized that i didn't include any earrings in my project 333. i'm not going to change my 33 pieces. i'm just going to exclude earrings this time around. i have about 5 pairs of earrings that i routinely wear. and, of course, i will go through and select out  earrings i rarely wear.

i did have a dinner to go to on tuesday night. i have to admit, it was easy picking out an outfit. i usually moan and whine and try on 20 things and leave a pile in the closet and run 30 minutes late because i can't decide what to wear. this week has been un-seasonably cool. so, i wore my jeans (which are "nice" trouser style jeans) with a long sleeve shirt, my only sweater and my drapey grey cardigan. i think those are all of my long sleeved items. ooohh! and my scarf. really made a great outfit. dinner appropriate. and warm. it was kinda fun to know that's what i was wearing because that's all there was. now, ask me again in 3 months and see how i feel. i suspect i am going to love this! :)

happy day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

project 333

i first read about project 333 months ago. at least 6 months. i was intrigued. the idea is to wear 33 items in your closet for 3 months. the rest gets packed away. every 3 months, you can take stock and trade a few things out as needed for seasons or color change. but, bottom line, you have 33 items to wear for 3 months at a time. check project 333 for a full set of rules........ underwear, work out wear, school or work uniforms are not included, but accessories are.

i finally decided to take the pledge. i thought i'd try it for lent, which started over a week ago...... but, i will do it for 3 months, not just through the 6 weeks of lent.

i started cleaning out my closet last night. the first round was easy. there was a nice pile of things that i pulled out of my closet for being out dated or too big or things i hadn't worn in 5 years. the project continued today........ and, it's getting harder.

i am sitting on the floor of my room as i write this, because i'm stuck. i can't seem to whittle it down to 33. shoes and jewelry and sunglasses and scarves and clothes. for 3 months. i'm trying to approach it as if i was going on a 3 month vacation...... how would i pack? so, i thought blogging about how hard this really is might clear my mind a little.......

here's where i'm at... i know i'll wear....

  1. favorite jeans
  2. jean jacket (a "coley" signature piece) :)
  3. jean mini skirt. i wear it almost every saturday.
  4. brown boots. (to go with the mini. of course).
  5. long grey cardigan.
  6. black skirt (seems practical).
  7. khaki pants.
  8. sunglasses.
  9. purse. i have a pretty little beaded "carpet" bag that i have been using daily for years. why change now?
  10. red patent flats.
  11. brown heels. 
  12. green cardigan.
  13. white blouse.
  14. black tshirt...............
but, i still have at 50 things laying on my bed. i'm going to keep working............

ok, another 2 hours....... 

i am acutely aware that i have emotions tied to certain pieces of clothes. a few obvious one's..... the outfit i wore on our anniversary date. the dress i wore to my brother's wedding. the sweater my mother-in-law knit for me........ but, there a lot of everyday pieces  that don't have any deep meaning. yet, i sense a strange attachment (this doesn't include the guilt of getting rid of a piece that i know was a gift..... even if i don't wear or like it that much...... there is guilt...... i'm working on letting go of that.........). 

the closer i got to the final 33, the harder it was to make a decision. hm. 3 months.

my final count......

  1. favorite jeans
  2. khaki pants
  3. strapless denim dress
  4. turquoise a-line dress
  5. black skirt
  6. denim mini skirt
  7. mustard mini skirt
  8. white short sleeve blouse
  9. white tshirt
  10. black tshirt
  11. grey sleeveless shirt with black bow
  12. grey/white striped short sleeve blouse
  13. navy/white polka dot blouse
  14. red/white striped long sleeve shirt
  15. dark pink ruffle cardigan
  16. green cardigan
  17. light blue cashmere sweater
  18. navy crop jacket
  19. denim jacket
  20. long grey cardigan
  21. multi colored light weight scarf
  22. dark pink cuff bracelet
  23. blue bracelet
  24. metal flower ring
  25. sunglasses
  26. light blue/silver necklace
  27. little bird gold necklace
  28. beaded "carpet bag" purse
  29. brown boots
  30. brown heels
  31. brown dansko clogs
  32. red patent flats
  33. dr.scholls flip flops (pink)
i am not going to pack up the rest of my closet. honestly, it's too much work. i did clean out a lot of things from my closet and i made a space for my 33. i promise to be honest and not stray from my designated pack. i will also post pictures in my flickr account of what i wear............but, i should note....... i do wear scrubs to work, so there won't be daily outfits.....

happy day. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011


i went shopping a little over a week ago .......... at a mall. i don't mall shop like i use to. oh man, remember being 16 & thinking the. mall. was the coolest place ever. i'd walk every single store and spend hours there.... not necessarily spending money, just being there was cool. well, times change, right? my priorities are different. i like where i'm at and i like where i'm going.

we met at the mall mostly for conveience and to kill time. a couple of free hours in an afternoon amidst an otherwise busy weekend. but, i did need a few things...... so, we started at nordstroms. i do love nordstroms. i needed spanx. God bless spanx. and, thankfully, they are not made in china. they are made right here, in the u.s. who knew!? even better.

i also needed make-up. hello, sephora. i wasn't so worried that my make-up was coming from china...... although if i looked, i'd probably be surprised.......... with make-up, i do really watch ingredients. no parabens, no phthalates, no sodium lauryl sulfate, no petrolatum, etc. which eliminates most brands, even the good, high-end brands. sometimes this is really hard. i am a total sucker for packaging and pretty colors and cool slogans. i am easily distracted in sephora (actually, i am just easily distracted.). ok, ok.... focus. tarte does pretty well, but i have to tell you, it is hit or miss. i still have to read the labels. i did buy a lip stain pencil and i love it! and, it's made in america. bonus points again! bare minerals is pretty good. i use a lot of their eyeshadows. they have a prettty hip line out ..... buxom ....... i like it. i kinda keep checking to be sure that it's not too good to be true, but so far, so good. on this trip i bought buxom eyeliner and mascara. i have used their lipgloss in the past (although it didn't last long......). and just to note, eyeliner and mascara were also made in america.  another favorite company is korres. they are a greek beauty company, but clean "green" ingredients. i like their tinted moisturizer foundation.... which i bought on this trip too. i've used their face creams........mmmm..... there is a really pretty rose moisturizer. and i like their lip gloss. so, sephora was a success. i needed foundation and mascara and found a few extra treats. no parabens. no phthalates. and not made in china.

then, we browsed the gap. it wouldn't be a day at the mall without gap, right? oh, they had the cutest jacket .... kind of a trench coat with a ruffle. made in china. beautiful cashemere sweater. on sale. made in china. crazy cute jean skirt. made in china. dang it. i found a cute eggplant purple mini skirt on clearance. made in india. i'll take it........... call me trendy, but i love the mini skirts with knee high socks (with or without tights) and boots. :) so, the purple mini is a good purchase...... alas, the skirt was too big. when i went to exchange it, they didn't have the size smaller. i did find a nice white blouse instead. a good basic. made in india.

we browsed a few other stores..... talbots. ann taylor. banana republic. j.crew. lots of really pretty things. lots made in china. in fact, i kinda gave up.

so, lesson learned today.......... avoid the mall. most things are made in china. and, the mall stirs up the consumer in me. i'm just gonna stay away from now on. :)
happy thursday.

Monday, March 7, 2011

my efforts

so, here we are........... two sisters sharing our agenda for trying to lessen our impact on here's my story....................

over the past year or two, i have started paying attention to what i buy and what it means to the environment, to my carbon footprint, to global economics. i know it's just me and my spending habits are not going to have much impact on wal-mart's stock value or sweatshops in china......................... unless, we all become more aware of the impact our purchasing power can have.....then, maybe it will make a difference. right? one person can make a difference. so, this is me. well, this is us. two sister's trying to make a difference.

for lent, about 2 years ago, i gave up shopping. for 6 weeks, i only bought what was absolutely necessary. mostly food and some personal items. no clothes. no new craft supplies. no fun lip glosses. it turned out not to be much of a challenge. after that, i continued to just watch my spending. i didn't set strict ground rules for not buying new things, but i really questioned myself....... do i really need this? if it wasn't on sale, would i still buy it? do i really love it?

and, about the same time, my favorite boy and i started talking about dreams of living a sustainable lifestyle.... we have big on a farm. grow vegetables. have goats for milk. chickens for eggs. collect rain water. use solar panels and wind power. we aren't there yet. but, the dreams are and our plans are real.

i decided i would do what i could until then.
reduce. reuse. recycle.
use the library.
avoid harmful environmental ingredients/toxins.
eat seasonally / locally.
buy handmade. make handmade.
buy LESS. live with LESS.
and ...... not buying anything Made in China.

we have all heard the horror stories of the sweatshop labor and child labor that is used for all the cheap crap we sell for pennies here in the u.s. (and. sadly, i'm learning, it's not just the cheap crap....... some of it is the nicer things at my favorite "high end" stores too!!!). i am not going to be one to contribute to that. for one year, i promise to not buy anything Made in China. (well, i'll at least aim for 80% success rate)

i don't shop like i use to, but, i have already noticed applying this new rule has kept me from buying things. things i probably don't really need anyways. i have to admit, it can been disappointing............... super cute red couroroy skirt. at anthropologie! on sale. my size. made in china. blergh. there was definite temptation to buy it anyways. i didn't.

unofficially, other new year's resolutions support the same idea of living with less, having less of an impact, etc.................... specific examples?? i shop local when i can (avoiding major chain restaurants and stores). especially, try to buy food locally. grass fed beef from a local ranch. vegetables in season grown locally. buy used things when i can.......... i'll think..... could i find this at goodwill or a thrift or antique store? i also buy handmade when i can, although this usually results in internet orders (i heart etsy!!).... handmade clothes, gifts, bath & beauty products (including makeup). for bath & beauty products, this also means no harmful ingredients..... no phalates. no parabens. no sodium laurel sulfates. we make our own laundry detergent and counter cleaner. there are some name brand companies that are "eco-friendly" but, you always have to read the ingredient list. don't be falsly comforted by cute labeling and sales pitches..... lots of "green products" aren't really that better than conventional products..... blah blah blah..... be careful. know your stuff. research. and of course............. can i make it? or redseign it? can i live without it?