Saturday, November 19, 2016

I cheated - sort of...

What I am wearing today: Only shirt, Gap jeans and Geox boots. 

When I planned for my fall capsule, I figured I wouldn't need heavy outerwear for the fall since here it never gets really cold. So I just chose my grey midweight jacket as the heaviest outerwear.
I was wrong. We had a cold bout of weather up to three days ago, and I had to resort to my wool coat. It's not really cheating, as I didn't buy anything new, but it's a sure sign my planning skills need improving.

And since I planned my wardrobe around the notion that it doesn't get really cold here until the end of December, I might need to switch to my winter capsule before  December 21st, as planned. Now I am aiming to Dec the 15th, but I might switch at the beginning of the month even, if it gets colder.

Oh well... I have my winter capsule pretty much in place, and I don't need to buy anything to complete it: I only used pieces I already own.
Plus, I am really looking forward to wear my winter dresses!

Friday, October 14, 2016

A capsule wardrobe update

I started this whole capsule experiment on September 21st, and I was very worried at first.
I mean, 37 pieces is really not a lot, plus I had two work trips planned for October...
Turns out, a capsule wardrobe really is life changing. All the stuff about it I had read is true: less time spent deciding what to wear, not much more laundry to do, and a definite improvement on personal style, because one has to wear the nice thing she picked even to go to the supermarket.
I actually haven't gotten around wearing all the stuff I picked, especially shoes.

Packing for work trips was easy too. I haven't taken a picture of what I packed for Barcelona, but here is the stuff I brougt with me in Manchester.

Here are 5 tops, including the one I was wearing for travelling, a cardigan, a pair of black pants and a pair of jeans.
It was a 3 days conference, so I could have done with a couple of less tops, but I am clumsy when I eat, so I wanted to be safe.
Shoes and bag...

And accessories:

I also had a pink belt to wear with the black pants.
The best part is that it all fit in a carry on bag, and the very small kind!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A 30X30 experiment of sort.

Since deciding to go for a 37 pieces capsule wardrobe starting on Sep 21st, first day of Fall -more or less- I was getting anxious I would miserably fail my experiment. What if the choices I had made weren't the best? What if I needed something I had kept out of my capsule very badly?
So, to try a "soft start" I decided to do one of these 30X30 challenge that were all the rage some years ago (remember them? Kendi invented them well before the capsule trend).
So I selected 30 pieces to wear between Aug 21st and Sep 20th. I included clothes and shoes, and excluded handbags and swimsuits.
It's actually a pretty difficult time of the year to plan for clothing, since the weather here can go from scorching hot to almost Fall. I included only one pair of closed shoes, knowing it would be a bit risky...

So, here is my list -everything was already in my closet, no new pieces here.


1.Black flat sandals
2. Brown flat sandals
3. Beige heeled sandals
4. Black heeled sandals
5. Grey ballet flats
6. Beige high heel sandals


7. Black shirt
8. Burgundy shirt
9. Turquoise shirt
10. Asymmetrical black shirt
11. Brown top
12. Pink shirt
13. White shirt
14. Graphic shirt beige
15. Green shirt
16. Grey cardigan
17. Beige cardigan

18. Multi colored skirt
19. Black linen skirt
20. Grey skirt
21. Pink skirt
22. Blue harem pants
23. Black pants
24. White pants
25. White bf jeans
26. Black harem pants

27. Long black dress
28. Black dress
29. Blue dress

30. Beige blazer

I am almost done (Tue is the last day), and here are my conclusions:

  • The clothes I picked were enough. Actually, more than enough. I had enough variety - also because I don't mind repeating outfits.
  • I wore the beige high heeled sandals only once, and it was very painful. They'll go to a better home at the end of the season. I could easily have picked another pair of closed shoes.
  • I haven't worn four things yet: the blue dress (it is too summer-y for this time of the year), white jeans (still too hot for jeans), white pants (no real reason here) and the long sleeved green tee (no need for long sleeves when I can layer with the blazer or cardigans).
  • If I had to re-do it, I'd pick another pair of pants, a pair of sneakers and live out the blue dress and green tee.
  • I used two bags throughout the month: a beige one for work and a black crossbody bag for the weekend, seen in the picture above.
It was a great experience, and the most surprising thing was that I didn't feel like I was missing something. Now onto the capsule experiment!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Travel diary - Abbruzzo

Last July, when we came back from our beach vacation, we decided to spend some days in August in the cool Abruzzo.
We found a good deal on an apartment in Santo Stefano di Sessanio, 1200 m altitude, and booked it.
It was really a magical place. The apartment was lovely - here is a picture of the place:

And the towns around were as beautiful. We went to Santo Stefano, Calascio, Castel del Monte and Castelvecchio.

We also drive to Campo Imperatore, at 2100m altitude:

We visited l'Aquila too, but didn't take pictures there. 
L'Aquila, but also these smaller town, still show the wounds of the 2009 eartquake. I didn't feel like taking pictures of these.

It was a very relaxing and enjoyable trip. I would love to go back during the Winter, when there is snow.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Closet editing - summer edition.

So, I set my mind on trying a capsule approach to my Fall wardrobe. I made a list of all the stuff I'll have as part of it, figured all I really need is one pair of shoes - maybe - and set a date : September 21, which more or less coincides with the start of Fall.

So I was all happy and satisfied that in the Fall I'll have a nice, small, organized wardrobe, until I opened my closet and realized I'll have to live with a messy summer wardrobe until then.

I wasn't all happy and satisfied about this, actually.

So I decided to take some time while husband is at work and little girl sleeps to do some editing/tidying.

I decided to leave the stuff that I'll use for my Fall capsule - only, I put it in the higher bar. Here it is. And the clothes on the left are my daughter's - yes, I divide my closet with her.

This is not the complete Fall capsule: I am carrying over some pieces from my summer wardrobe.

I went through the rest of the clothes, pulled out whatever I don't want to be in my closet right now, and divided them is three piles: Winter clothes (yes, still had them in there!), Summer clothes I am not going to wear anymore for this summer, but still want to keep, and clothes to donate. A Winter cardigan is going straight to the dry-cleaner.

I put the clothes to donate in a bag. This is going to the church.
The Winter and Summer stuff I want to keep has been stored in two separate bags under our bed.

I had space left to nicely put my handbags, not to mention all the hangers I had left empty!

The result is quite ok - still a lot of stuff, but looks much better and the chance to get wrinkled is lower. Here is a picture of my "main" closet, lower bar:

And this is my dress closet, it's about half mine and half husband's:

Look at all these pretty colors! The two dresses on the right will be part of my Fall capsule, since they have long sleeves, the others are all for summer.

Next projects will be:

  • Edit my shoes collection
  • Make some sense out of my underwear drawer.
But for today, I am done.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Some more thoughts on capsule wardrobes.

This is it - "the" suitcase!

I am spending three days at my parents' place with the little one, while husband works night shifts. It's much cooler here, and the girl is havig a blast with dogs and birds and being outside.

Last night my mom was looking for something in a suitcase. It was the suitcase, the one I took with me when I left to go to the US for my Ph.D.
I took this suitcase with me, a big backpack and my guitar. And that fly was the first of my life!
It sounds really romantic, thinking about it. It was very exciting then.

Since I didn't have much space, and since I brought some music books with me too, I didn't bring much clothes. I remember shopping with my mom for my move, and I remember pretty well what I brought with me.
I had:
  • Two pencil skirts, one beige linen one black cotton.
  • Two pair of pants, one olive green linen and one black cotton.
  • A pair of jeans - my first Diesels, which I wore for years before they fell to pieces.
  • Two shirts: a black button up and a ivory silk one.
  • One tee, lilac.
  • Teo pajamas, white: one short, one long.
I guess I had a piece of outerwear, some underwear, socks and shoes. I can't remember my shoes! No, I can't believe it either.
I also had linens and towels. All in the suitcase.
I had in handbag, light grey, which I liked a lot. 

It was a very small capsule but extremely functional. All the pieces were high quality and went together. If laundry wasn't an issue, I could have survived for the whole summer with it. 
But I had a commonal laundry facility, was 25 and in NYC, so after a while I got bored and started shopping! By the time I needed to move to a new place, I had accumulated so much stuff!

A couple of days ago I made a list of the stuff I want to be part of my Fall capsule. I only need to buy two pairs of shoes, I have all the rest. Still, I was a bit antsy and perplexed: can I do it with this much only, for three months?

Well, thinking about my US capsule helped me realize I don't really need that much - plus, I have a laundry macchine at home now!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Odds and ends.

S. Felice Circeo and the temple of Jupiter Anxur in Terracina.

A lot has been going on around here, both on the home front and the work front.
First, I am officially on vacation, starting yesterday. We went to a beach town for a week in July, but the vacation shine quickly wore off upon returning at work. Now I'llb e home for two weeks and three more days later, and I hope I'll be able to rest.
Little girl and I will go a couple of days at my parent's, where it's cooler, then all three of us will go to Abruzzo, in the National Park, for some days. I hope the little one will appreciate the nature!

We have closed on a house, so shortly we'llhave to get all the renovation work started. Everything has to be re-done. So we are shopping around for tiles, floors, windows, and everything else.

At work, since my boss left in early June, it has been a whirlwind. More and more responsibilities have piled up, which could be a good or a bad thing. I am living for two work trips in October, first in Barcelona, then in Manchester, and I have no idea what I'll wear in Barcelona (it will be hot and I still need to look professional).

On the wardrobe note, I realized I still have too much stuff, especially considering our moove sometimes soon. And in spite of too much stuff, during Spring and Fall, I wear always the same things. I am very satisfied with my summer and Winter wardrobe, but Spring and Fall are a disaster.
I was toying with the idea of applying Carolyne's first approach to capsuling (the 37 pieces one) to my Fall wardrobe, and see how it goes. I'll try to use stuff I already have as much as possibile, even thought some shoes shopping is in order (need black pumps, can you believe it?).

Now, off to wake the family up, time to go to the beach!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday cooking at 8 a.m.

Today I feel a lot like my granma. It's 8:15 and I have already started today's lunch.
Well, it wasn't such a big ordeal, since our lunch will be broth. I washed some veggies, put it in the pressure cooker with the meat and water, and now I am sitting and waiting for it to come to a boil. It will be eaten with tortellini.

By the way, there is this nice "tradition" here at the farmer's market: after all has been paid, you can ask for "broth flavors": carrots, celery and parsley (and basil if it's on season) are given the customer for free! So, basically, in the pot above, I paid for the meat and onion.
Now, coming back to granma. Her Sunday lunches were much more elaborate for sure. She'd make rag├╣, handmade pasta or gnocchi, or polenta if it was winter, and have us all for lunch. I loved when I could see the whole process.
I have a bit lost this tradition, but try to make something pleasant anyway...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Taking stock.

Making: vegetables soups. Baby girl loves them, and I do too (husband tolerates them). You can put just anything in them, and they are delicious with just some olive oil and parmigiano.
Drinking: white wine, never enough. We have somehow lost the habit of drinking a glass of wine at dinner during the week. I miss it!
Watching: Masha and the Bear. I am too tired to watch TV after baby is gone to sleep...
Reading: I have to select my next book. For now, I'll try with this month's Marie Claire.
Enjoying: my cup of coffee, to drink alone, in the early mornings.
Listening: I think I am going to play my Eric Clapton CDs...
Bookmarking: Sustainability in style. I love her approach, and her posts are always so interesting!
Wanting: some more "me time". Sometimes life with a toddler is really, well, intense.
Wearing: my new dresses. They were really smart buys.
Feeling: a bit overwhelmed for all that next months will bring. It will be a lot of work. In the end, it will be well worth it.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thoughts on motherhood - the probabilistic approach.

She's there, 100% sure!

I didn' really start understanding thermodynamic and quantum chemistry until we got to the statistical thermodynamic, or statistical mechanic. Two of my not-so-favourite subjects, suddenly combined to bring clarity!
The keyword here being "statistical". All is based on probability.
And recalling this has helped me cope with one of the main frustrations I am experiencing in my motherhood journey.
For example. Does she sleep through the night? Yes, 90% of the time. Does she eat all her dinner? Yes, 95% of the time. Does she throw tantrums in public? No, 90% of the time.
So, when I am awake at 3a.m. because she decided this is a good time to play with her piano, I remind myself that this happen only 10% of the nights. I am still awake, but at least I keep my hopes up for next night.
And when she starts screaming at the mall, I remind myself that she is not even 2 years old, and she is allowed her 10% of tantrums. I am not happy, but I get some perspective!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Some thoughts on minimalism.

While I was on maternity leave (we are talking one and a half year ago), I started noticing that minimalism, although not a new concept, was gaining heat. Lead by a couple, or maybe only one, suddenly popular blogs, everybody was doing their attempt at minimalism. Suddenly, it was all about having x pieces in the closet. Why not x+1 or x-1 was the first question that came to my nerdy mind. Then, it was a sea of black white  and grey. I don't know if it was the peculiar set of blogs I was reading, or if the internet was really having a minimalist moment, but that was what appeared from my feed. My feed is now quite different, by the way.
Don't get me wrong. I think consuming less should be a general goal of the western world. Less food, less water, less resources, and less clothes, which are ending up in the landfill often because we are tired of them, not because they are useless.
But at least, this whole trend sparkled some reflections, and I decided to buy only items that I thought have a decent staying power, well made and if possible made from natural fibers. And this opens a whole other discussion, since often methods for bleaching cotton or exctracting rayon are not really nature-friendly, but I had to start somewhere.
I started to try wearing all I have in my closet.

One of my main problems with this whole shift of behavior is that a lot of the clothes I can buy have a very short lasting time. Often they last one season only. But often I just can't afford better made ones right when I need them: I need to plan and save for my most expensive purchases. I wear my clothes heavily, I have a small child who often likes to clean her mouth on my shoulder, so my clothes need to be washed more often than they did before baby.
I know this is a very "first world problem". I have clothes, I have the means to buy new ones (even if I don't always want to), there is nothing really to complain. Maybe I am just longing for the " old days" when things were expected to last a few years. 
No conclusions here, just some ramblings.

Above is an old picture(2011) of my coat. I hope it will last me some more years. I still have the bag and the boots, too!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Stuff. And some 70s love.

Hi. Is anybody out there?
I haven't updated for a while, mainly for lack of time. But then, while looking at old blog posts in search of a couple of images, I missed documenting my life (and my outfits).
So, maybe I'll give it a try again...

What to say? Well, let's talk about fashion first!
My passion for 70s era has not faded at all - actually, it's stronger than ever.
I had a huge, 2-days closet purge at the beginning of the year, and kept only the things I really love. While purging, I found a couple of bags I haven't used for a while. Here they are:

This is a bag my sister bought during a trip in northern Africa, I think it was Tunisia but it could be Morocco too. I love the small decoration all around and the black detail. It's a bit small for day-to-day wear, but I'll start using it in the weekend.

This is a hand-me-down from my mom. She bought it in 197something. I had it taken care of by a cobbler, mainly to soften the old leather a bit. BTW, my MIL swears by cleaning leather with face cleansing milk from time to time to keep it soft. She does it on her couches. I'll try with my bags. Now let's talk about that fantastic red dress I gave away... Let's have a moment to regret.

This is a cross body bag I bought in Buffalo during some black Friday sale. I should try the cleansing milk trick on her, and start using it more often.
Now, let's talk about new entries:

Images source

Both dresses are from Oltre. The first one was chosen by the little girl (I guess she liked the color). The second by me. Both are very 70s, and I can't wait to wear them!


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