diy: succulent skull

DIY succulent skull Tomorrow is the first day of October, and things are already getting festive around our house. I love decorating for Halloween and the beginning of fall, and these DIY skull planters were a perfect way to get a HEAD start. They are super simple to make and can be customized with paint colors and/or different plants. Get creative!

what you need: styrofoam skull, knife/box cutter, pre-packaged plant
DIY succulent skullDIY succulent skull
I bought a styrofoam skull from Michaels, and it was very easy to work with. Trace the outline of your plant's pot and cut out along that outline. Cut deep into the styrofoam so you can leave plenty of room for the pot to set down in. 
DIY succulent skullDIY succulent skull Add your plant and make sure it has adequate room. Add fun touches like a plant coming out of the eye, teeth, etc. And voila! 
DIY succulent skull DIY succulent skullDIY succulent skull

diy guide part II: wardrobe cleanse + new items

After purging, I took time before buying anything new. I saved up, created a wishlist, and thought about the outfits I tend to wear. I considered my lifestyle and what I feel good in, and looked over the outfits I was pinning on Pinterest (fairly simple looks with fun details). My favorite outfit forumla is jeans/skirt + easy top  + long necklace + flats. In the fall/winter I'll add boots, a jacket and scarf. If I'm going out I'll add a clutch and maybe heels. It's nothing fancy but it's "me".

It's good to know what colors and styles you like on yourself and be practical about what you put in your closet. For instance, I always wear flats and subtle jewelry, so I sold all but 2 pairs of heels and all my bold/chunky jewelry - and now I know those aren't things I should buy in the future. I created a list of my favorite colors to wear and shopped with those in mind. I noticed that I gravitate towards earthy colors and tones (green/plum/cinnamon/mustard) that complement my red hair and pale skin.

Everything I shopped for was mostly geared towards fall/winter since that's what my closet was missing. I kept an eye on my wishlist and favorite dept/thrift stores and didn't buy anything until there was a sale or I found a discount code. I never buy at full price.

My bag collection was random. I had a handbag covered in bicycles, a tote covered in cats, and a handful of clutches/purses that were too colorful to match anything. I knew I wanted to trade some of those out for more 'practical' and quality options. My splurge was the Marc Jacobs Mini Natasha-Q bag in Faded Aluminum. I have worn it every day since I bought it. It's small and easy to carry, and the color goes with everything. I also bought an Old Navy black bucket bag which is great for days when I have a lot to lug around, and it looks more expensive than it was ($22 on sale!). And, finally, I found this Madewell leopard calf-hair pouch on SUPER sale ($18!) which will be great for going out. I've found that leopard pairs with most everything, and it's a fun touch to add to a basic outfit.

I got rid of most of my boots, either because they were starting to fall apart, the heel was too high for my comfort, or they just weren't getting worn. I bought a gray suede pair from Gap, the Charley boot from Madewell, and Corso Como stirrup boots from Nordstrom.

Most of my jackets were thrifted, and they were starting to look really worn. I had a J. Crew blazer in red that I bought last year and never wore, which I felt really guilty about. I realized that red just isn't a color I really like to wear. With the money from all my old coats, I bought a leather bomber jacket from Zara, schoolboy blazer in Navy from J. Crew, and downtown field jacket in moss from J. Crew (bought on ebay in perfect condition for 1/3 the price).

PicMonkey Collage When I was purging, I realized I had way too many dresses...and they were all impractical. The only LBD I had was a Little Bird Dress - and I had outgrown it in more ways than one. I had dresses covered in giraffes, horses, bees, cats, flowers, and dots. I love all those fun prints, but I'm also not attending preschool this fall. I kept my favorite funky dress (giraffes) and sold the rest. I filled my closet back up with a chambray dress from Gap, a basic black dress with nice details from Madewell, and a super soft moss green t-shirt dress from Madewell. SO much more versatile and wearable!

tops2 tops1
I got rid of my ratty tees, shrunken sweaters, silky tops that never got worn, and button-ups that were too busy and fussy. I bought a basic chambray and a few 'artist tees' from (white/black) from J. Crew, a few 'slub pocket tees' from Madewell (plum/gold/gray), a texturework sweater in gold from Madewell, a boyfriend plaid top from Madewell, and a boatneck striped tee from J. Crew. All classics that I can mix/match over and over.

I got rid of most of my skirts because they no longer fit, were too short for daily wear, or just didn't look right on me. I thrifted a black/white striped skirt and a flowy mustard skirt and bought two pairs of jeans from Gap (my favorite denim spot) - distressed black skinny jeans and sexy boyfriend jeans. There's really nothing sexy about them, but damn they are comfy. I've worn them about 3x/week on average since buying them.

As I said before, I made about $1,800 off of selling on ebay. I sold approx. 150 items about bought about 40 (not all shown here) new items. Even with replacing my closet with new items, I still had a huge chunk of money leftover to put in our bank account. Kevin was my mailman during the whole ebay fiasco; running to the post office twice a week with a huge load of packages for me (we only have one car and I walk to work, so he got those duties), so it was only fair that I share the wealth.

Seriously, none of this would have been possible without ebay. I was able to not only clean out my cluttered closet, but I was able to EARN money off of my old clothing that wasn't getting any wear. Selling on ebay isn't the easiest thing -  it takes lots of time, some frustration, and a few USPS snafus, but it was worth it in the end. If you're thinking of taking the plunge to a revamped wardrobe, DO IT!!!!!!!!!

diy guide: closet cleanout + wardrobe cleanse

closet cleanout + wardrobe cleanse Recently I tackled a big project... my closet.

For the past few months years my closet has been annoying me, and I finally reached a breaking point. I've constantly avoided the same items, reaching instead for my tried and true pieces. My wardrobe has felt cluttered and frustrating, and I've just continued to buy random items to try and fill it out. Creating outfits from a mash-up of  random colors and prints is obviously difficult, and I hate spending more time getting ready than I need to.

When I look back at all the money I've spent on clothes, accessories, and shoes, I'm pretty disgusted with myself, especially considering how much of it I actually wear. I feel embarrassed that I had collected so much stuff, wore so little of it, and yet still found myself complaining daily that I had "nothing to wear".

I knew it was time to make a drastic change, and that a huge purge was in order. I whittled my closet down to 1/4 of what it used to be and now it's only filled with what I love. Here's how I did it:

Out with the old.... in waves. 
This took me 6 weeks. I pulled things out and then put them back, and repeated that over and over. I wanted to hang onto things for the sentimental value, or for fear that I'd one day want to wear it. I also just genuinely felt bad getting rid of clothing that I'd only worn a few times, remembering what I paid for it and feeling guilty. But I had to let that go and concentrate on what items I felt good in; what things I wanted to wear again and again. Because I had so much crap in my closet, I had to get rid of things in waves.

Wave 1: Any item that I literally hated, didn't fit, I never wore, was flawed, or hadn't been taken out of my closet in over a year. Easy. (This is the wave I would normally stop at with my usual seasonal purges).

Wave 2: Any item that I generally avoided, that I could only wear ONE certain way, or that didn't make me feel great. Really anything that I couldn't see myself buying if I went shopping today.

Wave 3: Items that I liked, but that I hadn't worn in a long time or had trouble styling.

Wave 4: Items that I loved, were expensive, or had sentimental value... but just weren't getting worn for whatever reason. Either they didn't fit right or didn't fit in with my style anymore.

Wave 5: Items that I had worn recently and like, but that will always get passed up for a similar item in my closet that I love even more. No point in keeping the lesser of the two.

Donate, Trash, Sell. 
I started 3 heaps - donate, trash and sell. Pretty self-explanatory. Without any luck on independent closet-sale websites, I turned to trusty eBay and I made over $1,800.... all on clothing/accessories I wasn't even wearing! Once I started making a profit on old items, I felt even more motivated to purge more. I went back through my closet two more times until I finally had gotten rid of every last item I wasn't in love with.

In with the new. 
Now that my closet is cleaned out, I can really see what's missing (and it's not bird prints, let me tell you that). I've made a shopping list of things I want and/or need in my wardrobe, and for the first time I feel like I'm on my way to being really content with my wardrobe. I also don't have to feel guilty about buying some staples that I need, because I'll be using money I made from old items. (To see what new items I added to my closet, click here.)

Now's a great time to purge! If you're feeling blah about your wardrobe/closet, take the plunge.