Monday, November 18, 2013

The Closet Purge: Trying It All On

Life happens fast.  Sometimes I get so busy rushing around that I let things go.  One day recently, I finally slowed down long enough to take a look around and realized the outside of my closet looked something like this.  I didn't have time to (and let's be honest, had a complete lack of desire to) deal with my shrinking clothing storage spaces, so I just started throwing everything into a tangled pile and complained (a lot) about not having a walk-in closet.    

My drawers were literally overflowing with clothing, my closet was busting at the seams, and I had NOTHING to wear.  Hidden in that pile is a full-length mirror that is so draped with clothing that I couldn't even use it anymore.  Looking for it in this picture is a little like playing Where's Waldo.  This kind of thing happens to the best of us, and let's face it, can only be ignored for so long.

It was easy for me to complain that my closet was too small or that I didn't have enough storage space for all of my stuff.  Even if I could store it all beautifully, would I wear any of this?  One day I decided that I needed to take control of what I could fix, and do a real closet clean out.  Not just the kind where I breeze through my closet and pull a few things for donation.  The kind where I am honest about everything I own and make a genuine effort to keep only what I will use.  This is how I did it in three easy steps.

1)  I dumped out every single drawer, one at a time, onto my bed.  Underwear that had been around since high school, gone.  Tank tops that I bought on sale for a magnificent discount at Old Navy a few years ago, but had never worn once, good-bye.  The cute t-shirt with a stain on it that I might want to use next time we have to paint a room in the house, not staying.  It was time to be honest about everything.  I made three piles:  what I was keeping, what I could donate (like that tank top), and what needed to go into the trash (underwear and stained clothing).  

2)  I have had my Ikea dresser for about ten years now.  I admit that I may be guilty of overstuffing it, and all of the drawers started caving in, which made them stop opening.  I had never intended to keep the dresser this long, but in the long list I have of things to buy, bedroom furniture wasn't at the top.  So I pulled out my hot glue gun and glued the drawers back together.  I am sharing this part with you because I know that I can't be the only person out there struggling with this problem.  So far this solution seems to be working.

3)  I tried on everything I owned that hadn't been worn in the past few weeks.  Everything in my drawers.  Everything hanging in my closet.  This included things that might be too big/too small/not the right season.  I stood in front of my mirror (and sometimes asked my husband his opinion) and took a hard look at each article of clothing.  It took me a few days to do this, and when it was over, I purged things I had been holding on to for reasons that no longer made sense (like because I owned it in high school and it still fit, even though I would never ever be caught dead wearing it).  I also added clothing back into rotation that I hadn't worn in a long time that I realized was totally adorable.  Winning!  

It felt good seeing empty hangers (tip: I use huggable hangers for pretty much everything, which not only gives me more space, clothing doesn't slip off of them.  ).  I liked rearranging my drawers, and most of all, being able to open and close them easily.  I could find things again, and actually see what I had.  I didn't buy anything, and purged a lot, but somehow I seemed to have so much more to choose from than I did before.  

I can't recommend the "trying everything on that you own" method highly enough for a real closet reality check.  Do you have any tips for doing closet purges?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The PopSugar Must Have Box

I really love monthly subscription services.  I especially love reading other people's reviews of the boxes they receive.  I discovered the blog My Subscription Addiction a few months ago, and have been a loyal reader ever since.  It is a blog that reviews most of the subscription services out there.  Complete heaven (and living vicariously through the author).  Seriously, I had no idea there were so many subscription services out there.

One of my most coveted subscriptions (that I learned about on said blog) was the PopSugar Must Have Box.  I had read a years worth of reviews, and each box seemed to get a little better.  There is a coupon for $5 off your first box (REFER5), so I decided to give it a shot.  I am so happy that I did.

This is the PopSugar Must Have Box.  

It was packed full of beauty, fashion, home and food items (and sometimes contains fitness as well).  

It also came with a card explaining a little bit more about each items, as well as the website where you can shop.

The Sea Salt Caramel Apple Chips were absolutely delicious.  A bag was two servings, and I liked them so much that I lost track and ate the entire thing.  I will be looking for these the next time I hit the grocery store.  

The strawberry & black currant cream preserves by Maison de Monaco is also very good.  Was really nice on toast with a side of eggs.

The Soap & Paper Factory Roland Pine Shea Butter Soap has a nice pine scent, however, I do not like bars of soap.  I will probably use this as part of a hostess gift.

The Absolute! nail polish pads seem to work just fine so far.  I like the Spring Fresh scent.

This is a wine tote from Lands ' End.  It looks very sturdy and well-made.  I don't know if I will ever use this, but it might be an interesting way to gift a bottle of wine .

This was my second favorite item in the box.  This Illume candle in Nice smells heavenly, like Tahitian vanilla, sugar, and coconut cream.  It also has a 35 hour burning time.  

Last, but certainly not least, is this beautiful scarf/wrap by Michael Stars.  It is warm and soft, and I have already worn it a few times.  

The scarf itself retails for $42.  

Overall, I adore the items that I discovered in this box.  I love that there are things I wouldn't have necessarily picked out myself, which I ended up loving. The value was around $100 by my calculations (and the box itself was $35, going up to $39.95 this month).  I am going to give it another shot in December and see if I am equally as impressed.   If you are interested, here is my referral link.  Also use code REFER5 to receive $5 off of your first box.

*This is not a sponsored post.  The opinions here are my own.  However, if you buy a subscription through my referral link, I may receive credit towards future boxes.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sephora VIB Sale

I don't usually buy much makeup during the year, with the exception of replacing my staples.  I wait for the twice yearly VIB sale at Sephora to make most of my purchases.  Right now, everything is 20% off for people with a VIB standing.  I stopped by the store today to do a little shopping and take a peek at some of the products I have been following.  I was especially impressed with the Formula X by Sephora nail polishes (I left the store with Light My Fire).  The display in the store was overwhelming, and the set below has some great selections in it.  I am also a huge fan of anything Soap and Glory and have been really wanting to try some Alterna hair products.  Finally, the lip gloss in a disco ball is going to make a great stocking stuffer for a few of my friends this year.  

Are you shopping the sale?  What are you buying?
Sephora VIB Sale 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Off The Grid

A few years ago, if you would have told me that I would be standing in line to eat food off of a truck, I would have crinkled my nose at you.  I had a few experiences with these trucks before, and to say they were bad would be an understatement.  Enter the gourmet food truck revolution, and suddenly the days of the "roach coach" seem to be ancient history.  

San Francisco has been hosting Off The Grid for a few years now.  Groups of food trucks meet at specified locations, and hoards of people show up to eat from them.  There are food representing many countries, dessert trucks, and even a breakfast truck.  Part of the fun of going is discovering which vendors are going to be there each time.  

On Saturdays, Off The Grid hosts a meet-up in my neck of the woods.  I popped over last weekend to see which trucks were there.  As you can see, it was clearly the place to be.  

There was live entertainment, and lots of seating.  A local radio station also showed up, and many of the trucks had their own music playing.  There was a little bit of sensory overload.  The organizers should probably work on that part a bit.

In all there were 8 trucks to choose from (and this varies from week to week and location to location).  After much careful deliberation, I decided to go with the Sanguchon Food Truck, which serves Peruvian street food.  Having never sampled this type of cuisine, I was completely intrigued. 

Being a complete beef and French fry lover, I decided to give the lomo slatado a try.  It was fantastic.  

I can't wait to go again.  The most difficult decision is going to be whether to get another of these wonderful sandwiches, or give another truck a shot.  Also, I am coming for you, homemade cream puff truck!

Have you given this new generation of gourmet food trucks a try?  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Halloween Yard (the Video)

The view from my front door on Halloween night.  It takes a very brave child to come knocking.

Hi Everyone!  As promised, here is your peek at my yard this Halloween.  I took the first video during the day, so you can better see what we did this year.  Unfortunately, it was the windiest day of the year, so the audio is a little rough (and things are blowing over) during the filming.  

I took this second video Halloween night, after we had the last of our (over 200) trick-or-treaters.  This gives you a better idea of how it all comes together with the lights and the fog.  Halloween is still one of our favorite days of the year, and we really enjoy the screams and laughter that we get on the 31st.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into our Halloween set-up!

I'm Erin

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Hi, I'm Erin. I am living back on the east coast after 15 years out west. Currently readjusting to humidity and mosquitos. I love to take pictures and read fashion magazines.... and to talk about nothing in particular (ok, and my dogs).

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