I'm not one for New Year's resolutions. It has taken many years for me to come to respect this body and brain, to enjoy the life I have, and to feel good about who I am. Resolutions can be helpful to break bad habits or employ new good ones, but so often they are focused on what we think… or more often than not, what society may make us think is wrong with us. We're disorganized, we're fat, we have no willpower, we don't exercise enough, we don't work hard enough, we're not enough or we're too much. I think we're all pretty spectacular. Life is hard, and I think it keeps getting more complicated thanks to technology and our 24/7 existence. Getting through the day is an accomplishment, getting to 2020 is an achievement and it should be celebrated.
However, a fresh start is appealing and often what we need to get a jump start on something we've wanted to do for a while. This week I was busy with work and creating content, but I felt as though I never got out of the holiday grind. So one day I cleaned out the office closet. So many of us have a part in our homes that is like my office closet. It's where you shove things that don't have a proper place, things you need to get to but not right now, and where you hide all that shouldn't be exposed when you have guests visit. Our office closet was taken over by my father-in-law's possessions after he passed unexpectedly in 2008. Each January I take a crack at the contents with Karl. Last year, we donated all of his coats and fleeces that were hanging in there, kept “just in case.” This year we got rid of “useful” things like his gun cleaning supplies (we have no guns), his clothing iron (we have one and it's nicer than his), and some of his photography equipment that is broken, not compatible with Karl's cameras, or we have more modern equivalents. In there I also found and got rid of an old humidifier, a wall sconce from Pier 1 that holds a candle pillar a size I have never been able to find in stores, the old crappy camping mattress that always leaks, and a few of our coats that weren't worn the past two winters. Doing that opened the space to fit a suitcase that has been in the way and my sister's camping cot which has been residing under my desk since June (she loaned it when our daughter had a sleepover and I figure I'll hold onto it until she needs it again). I didn't gut the entire closet, I didn't tear my whole office apart for an entire day, but this process of clearing out and finding new homes for a few things we no longer needed was freeing, was a fresh start without a major commitment or making myself feel bad for being myself.
You don't need to lose weight or start going to the gym or quit caffeine to make a positive difference. Change doesn't have to be about altering you, but can be about altering your environment and therefore the energy around you. Sometimes a little spring cleaning in January is just what is needed for a fresh start.
In the WO2 Community, we've been discussing online returns, how some brands, especially designer ones, destroy the items they get back even if they are in like-new condition. This article delves into the other side of returns – how they are hurting retailers' bottom lines and what they are doing to try to improve the situation. (Vogue Business)
Another article related to this topic that was submitted by reader Lee – “The physical infrastructure of the country doesn’t yet match its delivery ambitions. There’s just too much stuff getting delivered.” (NBC News)
This week on Instagram Stories I shared a leather jacket that is sold either by standard clothing sizes or for no additional cost, your personal measurements. It's from the company The Jacket Maker and the price is incredible. I will have a review on the blog either this coming week or next but because so many asked about the jacket, it's this one in green.
The more TV we watch the more we prefer thinner female bodies, according to a new comprehensive study on body image. (Science Daily)
This holiday season I rarely put on makeup, and I never wore a proper pair of pants. What I did was live in these fleece-lined leggings when it was cold and these “essential” leggings when it was warmer. Both have been washed and dried a dozen times and still look and fit great. For reference, I have both in Large and they're comfy and not tight but not baggy. If you have a smaller booty and slimmer legs than I do you may want to size down.
For the local yokels, if you were wondering what would take the place of Dean & Deluca in Georgetown, now you know. (Washingtonian)
Beauty fans, the trends that will define 2020. (Business of Fashion)
Speaking of beauty, my sister is my beauty guru and this Christmas she bought me this lip balm, claiming it to be aaaahhhh-mayyyyy-zinnng. I think she wanted to help me kick my Carmex habit. Gotta say she succeeded, I love this stuff (I have the Shea Butter version)!
If you don't have a Girl Scout selling cookies near you and are interested, Emerson is selling them to fundraise for a trip to visit Savannah, the birthplace of Girl Scouts and they can be shipped anywhere in the US.
“It’s well known that a persistent wage gap exists for women workers in the United States, a gap that becomes even wider when race, industry, age, and geography are taken into account. But less frequently discussed is the often silent expectation around appearance imposed on women workers, which has its own financial costs—known as the ‘grooming gap.'” (In These Times)
Didn't get what you wanted for the holidays? Realizing you're not prepared for the late-arrival of winter? Land's End has 40% off through Monday with promo code PARTY and this includes all the good stuff that is already on sale at this link!
Cacique's Semi-Annual Sale continues with all bras $35 and under. They carry bands 30-50 and cups A-K and you all rated them your favorite plus size bra brand. I reviewed a few styles of their bras at this link. You can find the bras currently available in the sale at this link where you can narrow down by your size.
The Nordstrom sale may technically be over. It's no longer on their homepage, however many of the items in the sale are still on sale and there is still a great selection of items for now at this link. I'm partial to this leopard-print blouse that works under a cardigan for the weekend, a blazer for the workweek, with jeans or black ankle pants and flats for a night out, with white jeans or ivory trousers come spring. This is the perfect slip on and get about through wet and cold and gross weather boot while also being cute and classic. Kut from the Kloth makes some of the best-fitting jeans and pants out there and these stretchy cords in a bevy of colors are perfect for this season.
For Your Entertainment
I'm a sucker for an artsy music video. MTV is just reality TV, videos are no longer are seen as the primary way to sell a song or introduce a new artist. So I'm always impressed when an artist goes the extra mile and really delivers with a creative mini-movie that often explains the music and the musicians better than any interview in Rolling Stone. I never heard of ONUKA, a Ukrainian electro-folk band but YouTube suggested this video and I was mesmerized. About the video, the band shared, “I hope this video will help to open eyes to the beauty of the world around us. Regardless of the troubles we face, the demands made of us by modern living, or the fast paced run we are all thrown into. Sometimes you need to stop for a second to see the happiness of the moment. We see that what we want to see.”