January Wins and February Goals

This year, along with my word of the year, I am focusing on a theme each month and creating goals around that theme. Similar to my happiness project last year, I hope to cumulatively build on the habits I create with each monthly theme. Each month I’m sharing my goals, along with a few wins and things that brought me joy from the previous month, as joy is the word I’m focusing on in 2019. In January, I focused on clearing clutter, while February is all about marriage.

Can you believe I couldn't find a more recent GOOD picture of Aaron and I?? 

Black and White Striped Sweater Dress

I mentioned at the beginning of the month that I'm doing an all-neutrals mini capsule for the month of January. I set aside the more colorful items and instead choose to wear shades of black, white, and gray (with some colorful accessories).

I already had quite a few neutrals to work with, but with some Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket I did a little shopping to fill in some gaps in my closet. One thing I wanted was a sweater dress, and when I saw this one (on sale!) at Gap my "add to cart" finger made its move like *that*.

So far this challenge has been really fun, and I haven't felt limited at all in what to wear. I think part of that is because I do own a lot of neutrals, so I haven't yet had that "I'm wearing the same thing all the time" feeling.

Do you reach for more neutrals or brighter items this time of year? 

Striped sweater dress: Gap | ankle boots: Universal Thread, Target | earrings: Nickel and Suede

January Neutrals Wardrobe: Everyday Looks

If you follow me on Instagram you know I share weekday outfits of the day for what I wear to work. I always enjoy seeing other people's everyday looks there, and it's a fun way to give and get style inspiration.

With my new job it's been more of a challenge to take photos. I no longer have a space to do it while I'm at work so I'm forced to take them in the morning. Because winter is awesome, it's dark both when I leave for work and when I get home. All that to say the lighting isn't spectacular.

Crappy lighting and all, I thought it would be fun to share a round up of my daily outfits, all from my January neutrals palette. As you can see I'm not completely without color, but for the most part my color scheme consists of black, gray, white, and tan. 

Where do you get your outfit inspiration?

{L} tan cardigan: Old Navy + white tee: BP via Nordstrom + black ponte leggings: Gap + ankle boots: ThredUp + leopard scarf: Loft via ThredUp
{R} striped tunic sweater: Old Navy + jeggings: Old Navy + snow boots: Sorel 
all earrings Nickel and Suede

Layered Stripes and Cozy Textures with Over the Knee Boots

Last week I talked about all the snow we got, and at the time they predicted another snow storm heading our way over this past weekend too. Luckily we dodged the big snow bullet and only got a couple of inches, but the cold weather didn't miss us. I went to Target on Saturday to pick up a car seat I'd ordered and my trunk was actually FROZEN SHUT. Here I am with this giant carseat box and I have to put it in the front seat because I can't open my trunk. I'm sure it was a sight--it was pressed up against the side of my face and shoulder like an overly friendly passenger. 

Anyway, enough about those good times. Because of the cold I've been all about the layers and cozy sweaters lately. Since I'm working the neutrals this month, one way I like keeping my outfits interesting is by playing with texture. I love the cable-knit texture of this sweater mixed with its black and white marled look. I added this soft striped tee underneath for warmth, and also because I like the look of the patterns together. 

I chose my over-the-knee boots for function as much as anything. I do like the way they give a little bit of polish to this look, but I was mostly interested in the extra layer of leg insulation. 

Since I can't avoid the cold weather completely unfortunately, I guess I'll make the most of it by wearing as many layers as possible. How do you dress for warmth in the winter? 

Cable-knit sweater: Gap | striped tee: American Eagle | jeans: American Eagle | earrings: Nickel and Suede | over-the-knee boots: Target (similar)

Books, Movies, and Podcasts: Spotlight on Entertainment Favorites

I love The Blended Blog’s monthly TBB Asks series, but I rarely join these days because I typically share goals and currently at the beginning of the month, and simply can’t squeeze in one more post. However, when I saw this month’s entertainment-themed questions, I made a note to myself to share a post even if I’m well past the linkup date. I talk quite a bit about books around here, but these questions go beyond that and got me thinking about entertainment as a whole.

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash 

Buffalo Plaid and Snow Boots

After quite a warm start to the month, we received a little reminder about what season it really is in the form of 11 inches of snow over the weekend. The timing was a disappointment to Aaron--a teacher. What good is snow without a snow day?

I'm not one who gets exited about snow; instead I grumble about it messing up my plans. (You know, my really exciting agenda that included taking donations to the thrift store and returning some clothes to Old Navy.) However, remembering my word of the year, joy, helped put me in a less grumbly state of mind.

I decided to enjoy the gift of a cozy Saturday morning at home, and then get nice and bundled up to play outside with the kids for a bit, and finally go watch the Chiefs game at a friend's house later that day. I'm not much of an NFL fan, but since the Chiefs are in the playoffs I'll happily attend the watch parties. Mostly for the food.

This is what I wore for a day of cozying, braving the snow, and pretending to care about football. I found this top at Target after returning a similar one I got for Christmas from American Eagle. Tops like this are everywhere right now, and I can see their appeal. It's very soft and warm, and the cute knot in front is a fun detail, and all the while it has that perfect bum-covering length in the back.

My snow boots are super old, but since we don't get a ton of snow around here, I only wear them a few times a year. They have held up superbly though the years, so if you're looking for warm snow boots I highly recommend Sorels. Watch for them on sale too!

What's your favorite thing to do on a snowy day? 

Tie-front top: Wild Fable, Target (similar) | jeans: American Eagle | buffalo plaid scarf: Aldi! (similar option) | earrings: Nickel and Suede | snow boots: Sorel (similar but tall, red version

Style Rut Project: Cool Neutrals for January

In the spirit of a new month and new year, I decided to try out a closet challenge. I always get into a bit of a style rut about this time of year, so I wanted to do something to combat the winter style blues. I'm making a "mini capsule" for myself this month, based on a color palette. If this month goes well, which it has so far, I'd like to choose a new color scheme for each month. I'll see how it goes though.

Lately I've been in the mood for neutrals, so I pulled items in shades of black, gray, and a few other neutrals or mixed colors to the front of my closet. I'm creating outfits around those items, but occasionally adding in colorful accessories.

This is a look I wore to run errands over the weekend, although the weather was so warm I ended up swapping out the turtleneck for a different top.

How do you get out of a style rut?

Gray turtleneck: Amazon (similar) | jeans: American Eagle | earrings: Nickel and Suede | sneakers: Adidas

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. 

Linking with Thursday Moda, Thursday Fashion Files

In My Library Tote: December Book Reviews and Recommendations

With my enthusiasm for all things fresh and new in January, it feels a little weird to go back and talk about something I did in December. Yet December was a great reading month for me, so there's no way I'm going to skip my reading recap for last month. I gave myself a word for the holiday season: "slow," and reading became a part of how I slowed down and enjoyed the season.

{What I read in December}

2019 Word of the Year, Currently, and Goals

Happy New Year! I always get ridiculously excited for the start of a fresh year. 2018 treated me pretty well, but nothing beats the thrill of starting a brand new calendar, and turning to the first page of my new planner. For the last few years, I've chosen a word to focus on for the year. Last year, my word was intention, and I talked a little about that in my 2018 recap post.

This year, I chose the word joy. Sometimes I get so caught up in what I feel I should be doing, that I miss the joy of the present moment. This year I'm going to make an effort to make joy just as much of a priority.