Checking in on My Yearly Goals

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The start of summer is one of my favorite times of year. It’s lighter out longer, which makes me feel more motivated to finish projects around the house or just stay up a little later reading. Everything is blooming, so my front porch is decorated with flowers and I’ve started my vegetable herb garden. And everyone is ready to celebrate the warmer weather, so outdoor patios and open windows line every shopping and restaurant district.

It’s also about half way through the year and a good time to reflect on successes and opportunities. Here’s a little life update on some of things I’ve been working on lately.

Capsule Wardrobe

As you know, I plunged full swing into a capsule wardrobe at the beginning of the year. It’s definitely been beneficial in a number of ways. I’m more aware of all of the stuff I have, and I’m more focused than ever on buying less. In the beginning of the year though, I focused too heavily on perfecting my capsule wardrobe and spent more money on that than I intended. I think I need to come to terms with the fact that the ideal capsule wardrobe doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s something you have to build over time.

Becoming More Sustainable

One of the reasons I started my capsule wardrobe is to become more sustainable. It’s a topic that’s been weighing heavily on my mind lately. Every day brings a new report of how climate change is affecting our world, and I think some of the onus is on us to change our behaviors as consumers. I’ve been trying very hard to bring reusable shopping bags with me everywhere. Sometimes I still forget. And I’m trying to be less wasteful by using what I have or buying less to begin with (that includes clothes, but also food and consumables like toiletries). There are so many ways to be more sustainable, but this is what I’ve been trying to focus on lately.

Being Purposeful

Buying less stuff and thereby consuming less dovetails perfectly into one of my other goals, being purposeful. I think it’s easy to get caught in a cycle where you think buying more stuff will make you happy. But in reality, spending more time with the ones you love and filling your time with meaningful experiences are much better ways to seek out happiness. Instead of picking up my phone, I’ve been trying to spend more time reading books. Instead of watching TV, I’ve spent a lot more time on this blog! I’m also very interested in learning and trying new things, so whenever I can make the time for it, I try to learn a new skill. Any way I can, I’m trying to live a more purpose-driven life.

Saving Money

I feel like this goal is the undercurrent of all my other goals. If I buy less, waste less, and focus more on the experiences and people that truly make me happy, I will definitely end up spending less money. And at the very least, I’ll waste less money. I’ve been consistently saving every month. But I definitely think I can save even more. Inspired by “The Year of Less” I’ve been really trying to not buy anything new and just live with what I have. So far, it’s going well, and I can already say I’ve seen results, both in terms of my happiness and my savings account.

On top of these goals, I’m planning a wedding! It may seem like I have a lot going on, but to be honest, I feel like these goals are helping me stay on target to save for my wedding, and not burn out on wedding planning. What goals are you focusing on for the rest of the year?

 

How I Shop Sustainably

As another Earth Day passes by, I’m left feeling guilty about the plastic bag I forgot to decline at Ulta the other day. I’m also left feeling a little hopeless, to be honest. Our climate change situation feels more dire than ever, and I wonder if enough is being done to curb its effects. I have to ask myself, what can I do to make real and lasting change? As a style blogger, I feel a responsibility to admit that the fashion industry is not the most sustainable model. Fast fashion seems to be taking over our news feeds with new items and new sales pushing us to consume more every week. I feel like we all need to be a little more conscious of the effect our consumerism has on the environment. In an effort to change my own habits, here are three ways I’m shopping more sustainably. sustainable-fashion-1

1. Buy less. This one is scary, I know. But if you focus on buying quality instead of quantity, you can get there. This is part of the reason I started a capsule wardrobe. I want to own less. By focusing on only the high-quality functional items I truly love, I can achieve that goal and make less of an impact on the environment. This J.Crew camel coat is something I wear constantly. It’s functional and I love the style. It’s something I intend on keeping forever.

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2. Buy secondhand. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I love a good thrifted item. The craziest/best part is that you can find items with the tags still on or like new. And now there are so many secondhand shopping options out there: Poshmark, eBay, thredUP, and many more. In Pittsburgh and Cleveland, we have Avalon Exchange and Clothes Mentor. This brocade skirt I wore for New Year’s Eve this year is just one example of my thrifting scores.

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3. Buy from Sustainable Brands. More sustainable brands are available than ever before and I feel like more are going to keep cropping up. Reformation, Patagonia, and my personal favorite, Everlane. I feel like I never stop talking about their loafers. They are my favorite pair of shoes. I’m also obsessed with their Day Market Tote. It’s my everyday bag and it’s roomy enough for my work laptop.