All posts by chasingsantee

The Ultimate Wool& Dress Guide #wooland #merinowool #100daydresschallenge

Welcome wool-enthusiasts and wool-curious friends! If you’re reading this blog post, the chances are, you’re probably looking into Wool& clothing and possibly thinking about the 100 Day Dress Challenge. Lucky you, you’ve stumbled across this blog, written by the girl recently-turned-40-year-old who is so obsessed with this company, I’ve tried most of their dresses and kept a whole lot of them. This post is to share some of my favorite styles, my honest-as-always pros and cons for each, plus some styling ideas that I think you will LOVE. So let’s start chatting about wool!

If you’d like to check these products out in detail, I appreciate you using my affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I might receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I would also like to say “Thank you” to Wool& for gifting me several items for my review, including the gorgeous Audrey maxi dress and Amalya in this post. 

Click here to check out the whole selection from Wool& (Wooland) Merino Wool dresses.  There are also pants, shirts, PJs, and cardigans! So much to love.

If you are trying to decide which dress is for you, you aren’t alone. It’s definitely a hard call since you can’t try them all on in the store. (Unless you are lucky enough to live near their HQ). And if you are planning on completing the 100 day challenge, you will want a dress that fits great, is versatile, and makes you feel like yourself, right? These are investment pieces so they aren’t cheap….. and sizing can be a bit tricky, but remember, you are building a sustainable wardrobe and finding a dress that will last you a long time. So taking a little extra time to choose it, isn’t so crazy in my book.

I will tell you that I am getting more wear out of my Wool& dresses than I have any other dresses in years, and that’s saying a lot because I have always been a fan of dresses, even as a child. I keep hearing that women who don’t typically wear dresses, are converting to them when they find Wool&, so it’s really quite the phenomena!

Now, when you see how many Wool& dresses I own, you will wonder what happened to my minimalism journey. Yes, I’ve gone a little crazy because the benefits of wool are so amazing (and because I want to be able to share the product with you). Just to name a few, wool clothing is: odor-resistant, temperature-regulating, quick-drying, and durable. It’s really amazing what an upgrade it has been for my mostly-synthetic wardrobe.

But I promise I am still totally committed to minimalism, and part of that journey is making more sustainable wardrobe choices that will serve my closet for much longer. I have also let a lot of my old wardrobe go on Poshmark. (Make money by setting up your own account using my code: MAMAMELAINE. It will give you $10 for free).

Are you ready for a super photo-heavy post? Here we go:

My Stats
Because I know people can benefit from size, measurement, weight stats, I’m sharing my details even though I don’t love my current weight. I’m currently 5’6″, and about 175 lbs. In my skinny-state, I’m a rectangle shape, but when I am over-weight, I’m more in the pear category, carrying my weight in my stomach and thighs.

The Rowena
The Rowena is the Original 100 Day dress. It’s a beautiful, classic swing dress and still one of the most popular Wool& designs. At one point I tried a Small and the arms were a bit too tight for me. I decided I wanted a loose and swingy silhouette and went with a size Large. I love the way this dress fits me even though it’s on the big side. I’m sure I would fit a medium very well. Bonus: it has pockets and is currently available in regular or long lengths, plus the choice of 18 different colors!

  • Pros: I love the clean lines and simple design of the Rowena (or Ro, as Wool& fans call it). It’s so comfortable and looks amazing with leggings and boots.  This dress is a blank slate for winter layers!
  • Cons: This isn’t really a con but I tend to avoid long sleeves because I get hot. Since wool is temperature regulating, though, it’s still great for me. In this photo, I’ve pushed up the sleeves, which is the norm for me!
  • Favorite Look: Rowena+Leggings + boots. In this photo, I’m wearing it with my Sash Bag, suede boots from forever ago (similar here), and a thrifted leaf necklace(similar here).
  • Fabric: 78% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon 160gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

The Sierra
This is another of the top sellers for Wool& for good reason. The Sierra is an A-line dress with visible patch pockets and a crew neck. This dress is SO comfortable with a French terry, plush feel, plus it just begs to be layered all year round.  Available in regular length and long in lots of color choices. The thicker fabric on this dress make it extra durable. I wear a small in Sierra. I like the look of a Sierra in small long as well.

  • Pros: Super comfy, durable fabric, sturdy usable pockets…there’s a lot to love. I feel like this is one of the best dresses for travel since many people like to layer over OR under it.
  • Cons: Takes a little longer to hang dry than some of the other dresses, doesn’t drape as beautifully as Camellia.
  • Favorite Look: Most often, you will find me wearing Sierra alone with a pair of Birkenstocks, but it’s also adorable with a jean jacket. Here, I’m wearing it with a kimono, Birkenstocks, and a necklace that belonged to my grandmother (similar here).
  • Fabric: 75% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon, 3% Spandex
    235gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

The Brooklyn
This faux wrap dress was one I originally avoided. I felt quite sure that it wouldn’t work for me with my pear-shaped body and smaller chest. I was so wrong and I actually adore my Brooklyn dress now that I’ve tried it. (I should confess, I own it in two colors). It’s an elegant, feminine look and it even has a reversible design. I wear a small in Brooklyn. I have also tried a medium and it’s a little too loose. This popular dress is now available in long as well.

  • Pros: I love the looser top. comfy elastic waist, and reversible style. The dolman-ish sleeves are so flattering and perfect for those of us who aren’t feeling fab about our upper arms.  This dress would be the perfect breastfeeding dress, also. For me, it’s a date night dress!
  • Cons: The faux wrap is a bit loose for me, and sometimes shows a little too much. Could be solved by a couple of stitches but I haven’t bothered pulling out the needle and thread. A tank top underneath also solves the problem. Some people really miss that there aren’t pockets in this dress, but I don’t mind at all.
  • Favorite Look: Black Brooklyn with a statement necklace and ballet flats. In this photo I’m wearing my Marine Blue Brooklyn with olive green Allbirds flats and an olive cardigan (similar here) from Stitch Fix. 
  • Fabric: 78% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon
    180gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

The Camellia
The Camellia is a more flowy, lighter-weight tank dress and is super soft. For my intense summers, I prefer the Camellia’s weight to Sierra but it’s just personal preference. For more details on this dress, check out my original post.  A lot of people ask the differences in Sierra and Camellia. The Sierra has patch pockets, a wider skirt, and a more substantial fabric. Although I love Camellia’s flowy style, that does make the fabric a little more delicate and therefore it’s a smidge less sturdy than Sierra. I feel I have to be a bit more careful with Camellia. Like many of the other styles, Camellia is a generous size, and I wear a small long. For the swing styles, it’s easiest to decide your size based on your shoulders and bust.

  • Pros: Lightweight, flowy, and pockets! Easy to layer, works well for all seasons (at least in my warm climate).
  • Cons: The fabric is a little more delicate.  (The fabric breakdown shows the differences in thickness between all the dresses).
  • Favorite Look: I love my black camellia layered with a light, summer kimono and birkenstocks. In this photo I’m wearing with Birkenstocks and a salt and pepper hat from a local boutique (similar style here).
  • Fabric: 78% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon
    160gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

The Maggie
I suspected I would love the Maggie because it’s cut very much like the Stella Tee (and I was correct). This swing dress is a perfect base for accessories and just a nice all around basic to have in your wardrobe. The cut is a little slimmer than some of the other styles and it has pockets plus the scoop neck is very flattering. As I’ve gained a good bit of weight (thanks, Zoloft) I am gravitating more to sleeved styles rather than sleeveless ones. The Maggie is a generous size; I currently own a Small Long  and I love it but the medium also works for me. One thing to note about Wool& dresses is that you should check the size chart to decide on lengths. I don’t consider myself tall, but I often prefer the long lengths.

  • Pros: This dress has pockets and is a blank slate for layers and accessories. A slimmer cut than the swing dresses , so less fabric and very lightweight.
  • Cons: Some women don’t like that the pockets may add a smidge of bulk to the hipline. My dress has actually had the pockets removed!
  • Favorite Look: I just love this dress by itself. It’s like your favorite tshirt, perfect alone for any occasion. In my photo I am pairing it with a vintage leaf necklace (similar here), a thrifted cinnamon cardigan (similar here)  and a hat from a local boutique.
  • Fabric: 78% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon
    160gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

The Renata
The Renata  is my latest, favorite Wool& dress! I have always loved bell sleeves and these are the perfect length and size to stay out of the way but still add a little extra drama to the silhouette. The fit and flare cut is really flattering , rides easily over my problem areas, and the waist and sleeves add some structure. Plus, pockets! I can’t wait to wear this dress to dinner or parties coming up this fall. I think it would be the perfect holiday dress as well and I’m really excited that they just released it in Marionberry which is a gorgeous purple.

  • Pros: A dressier option, Renata gives a little more structure with a nice a-line classic design. The pockets are beautifully hidden within the seam and don’t add bulk,  but are totally handy. I love the bell sleeves. They aren’t crazy dramatic or too bulky to fit under a jacket or coat. They also aren’t long enough to get in the way.
  • Cons: I can’t really think of any with this dress! Because it’s dressier, I would love to see it in a slightly heavier fabric (more like the Kalle to give it a little structure) but I honestly have zero complaints. I love the look, feel, design and everything about Renata!
  • Favorite Look: In this photo, I’m wearing it with Vionic Sandals and a statement necklace from Baublebar (similar here). It would have looked better with heels but I’m really a flats girl!
  • Fabric: 78% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon
    160gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

The Summer Midi
At first, I wasn’t sure this was the style for me, but I wanted a slightly longer skirt so I gave it a try. It turned out I love the Summer Midi and for me it’s the perfect versatile summer dress. I love the length, love the vneck, and for the first time in my life, I love the sash. I think because I am long waisted, I don’t like the way some belts hit, but because there are no loops, I can wear this sash exactly where I want. And it stays, feels comfy, and doesn’t get loose or slide down! For me this is the perfect LBD for any occasion. This dress is also reversible, and can be worn without the belt for another look making it a really versatile piece. I wear a medium in the Summer Midi.

  • Pros: Versatility for sure! With the reversible design, the removable sash, and the midi length, this dress can work for almost any occasion. I’ve seen it layered in so many ways, also. It brings a ton of options to the table.
  • Cons: I don’t love the pockets on this dress as much as the inseam pockets from some of the others. They are designed to work both ways for the reversible function, so it makes sense that they are designed like this, but I would just as soon have no pockets.
  • Favorite Look: I’ve mostly just worn this dress alone with the sash for church. It looks very sophisticated! In this pic, I’m wearing it backwards with the higher neckline in front, black Fitflop flats, and a Kendra Scott Rayne necklace. I feel like I could do anything and go anywhere in this outfit.
  • Fabric: 78% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon
    160gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

Amalya Button-Front Dres
The Amalya is a little bit retro and perfectly office appropriate.  As you can see in the link, the dress can also be worn open like a cardigan. It’s a little longer than some of the others at knee length and I adore the dolman sleeves. Like most of the Wool& designs, the features are subtle so they enhance without being distracting or dramatic. The blousing affect from the fitted waist and looser sleeves is very flattering and gives me the illusion of an hourglass figure. (I very much do not have one). I am absolutely dying to try this dress with a belt.  For this style, I sized up to a large. The medium fit, but it was a little snug in the muffin-top area.

  • Pros: I’m loving the looser, longer sleeves, the waistline and the fun button details of this dress. The inseam pockets are pocket perfection. I feel like June Cleaver, in the best possible way.
  • Cons: Ok, I’m going to be a little nit-picky here and say that I wasn’t thrilled with the workmanship on the buttons of this dress. They just look a little messy and not as nice as I expected for the price. However, that’s not going to affect my enjoyment of this dress one bit and if they need re-stitching I’m perfectly capable. I love it so much.
  • Favorite Look: I think this dress is going to be quite a chameleon in my wardrobe. I wore it this weekend downtown with my olive geen Allbirds and a pair of sunglasses and I honestly felt very chic. We were shopping lots of homemade vendors and vintage shops and I felt like I really fit the vibe for a change!
  • Fabric: 78% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon
    160gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

Audrey Maxi Dress
Audrey is the first maxi dress from Wool& and it is perfect. I love the cut, length, and soft feel, plus I am obsessed with this color, Black Heather. It’s basically everything I love about black with a little less visible lint. My husband says this dress is his favorite.  Pockets, side slit, flattering cut. I’m wearing Audrey in a small!

  • Pros: My pros and cons are almost the same which may sound weird. I love that this dress isn’t floor length. Many maxi dresses are way too long to comfortably wear. At 5’6″ this is perfect. Petite ladies may need to have this dress altered since it is generous in sizing.
  • Cons: I know some customers want a long version of this dress. I hope they offer one soon, because tall women like maxi dreses, too.
  • Favorite Look: I enjoyed wearing this dress with a  lightweight cardigan from Lularoe but I also love it as a standalone outfit.
  • Fabric: 49% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 33% Tencel™ Lyocell, 18% Nylon 200gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

Fiona Fit & Flare
The Fiona Fit & Flare is a great basic for your wardrobe and I’m sorry that is no longer available in this slate blue, which is a beautiful blue-grey. I feel like 3/4 length sleeves are so flattering and this waistline is comfortable and cute. This dress is a great Fall option, perfect for layering.

  • Pros:  3/4 sleeves, a little extra length, and comfy waistband.
  • Cons: Because this dress is a little more conservative I think it runs the risk of being a little frumpy.
  • Favorite Look: I will be wearing this dress with scarves and leggings for a Fall look. In this photo, I’m wearing it with Fitflop flats and a Lululemon Vinyasa scarf.
  • Fabric: 78% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon
    160gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

Kalle Ponte Tank Dress
Even though I didn’t keep it, I absolutely adore the Kalle Ponte Tank Dress. It’s a structured, but still comfortable tank dress that would be perfect for a business wardrobe. If you have to travel for business, this dress could be the ideal solution. I think if I had worn some shapewear under this dress, it would have flattered me better. Between my weight gain and the fact that I don’t often go into the office, I decided I would pass along this dress. If I ever lose this extra weight, or end up back in the office, I’ll be back in line to buy Kalle.

The Cora
The Cora is a classic with a little bit of a retro spin. There has been a ton of excitement surrounding this dress because it comes in this awesome navy stripe and everyone loves the versatility of the included sash. This dress is also a little longer than most, which makes it perfect for taller ladies or a business casual environment. I tried the navy strip and it is incredibly cute. Ultimately, I did not hang onto this dress, but if I worked in an office, I think I would have kept it.

Tulip Tank Dress
The Tulip is a very body-con tank dress that looks so great on the right body type. If you want a comfortable dress that hugs the curves, the Tulip Tank Dress is a winner. I’m definitely not comfortable in this style but if you are looking for something very fitted and a little more vava-voom, you’ve got it here! This dress also comes in ocean teal blue which is absolutely beautiful. I’ve seen a lot of different body types pull this one off!

Ellie Midi Dress
I tried the Ellie Midi dress and think it’s amazing, especially as a nursing-friendly option. I didn’t find it as flattering as some of the other styles for my body type so I didn’t hang on to it. The tie style does give you some control over the fit, which is nice. I really love the Pine color. It would make the perfect holiday dress.

Dresses I Haven’t Tried (Yet)

Looking for more Wool love? Check out these other posts:
How to Save Money on Wool& Dresses
Woolx Joggers Mini Review & Coupon Code
Wool& Camellia and Axis Cropped Leggings Review
Wool& Mara Honest Review
Building a Sustainable Wardrobe

Ready to being your love affair with wool? Let me know what your first purchase is going to be!

 

How to save money on Wool& (Wooland) dresses!

 

When I first came across Wool&, I was kind of suffering from sticker shock. As a lifelong thrifter and general cheapskate, I had never spent more than $100 on a dress…..except perhaps my wedding dress. Many of my favorite dresses, in fact, were in the $3 to $5 range and that’s the way I liked it. So it was absolutely a mindset shift to think about spending so much more.

As have seen from the other posts, I’ve gotten over my bargain-hunting hang-ups but I still try to snag a deal whenever I can. I have definitely found that there are a few ways to save on Wool& dresses, it just takes a little extra effort! So, here are my best tips for shopping wool at a discount.

One important thing to note is that a discounted or second-hand Wool& Dress will not qualify for the 100 Day Challenge (or any of the other challenges Wool& is adding to the lineup). If you do decide to complete the challenge, you’ll need a full-price dress. But after the 100 days, remember, you’ll earn a $100 giftcard which makes this an amazing way to save a big chunk of change.

If you go with a Wool& Dress, I so appreciate you using my affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I might receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Click here to check out the whole selection from Wool& (Wooland) Merino Wool dresses.

Gosh, aren’t they just amazing? Ok, on to the savings tips!

Wool& Mystery Sale
My first suggestion if you are looking for a way to save on Wool& Dresses, is to sign up for their newsletter. Scroll to the very bottom left corner of the website and enter your email. Once you have done that, watch your inbox because Wool& hosts a few mystery sales a year and they are SO MUCH fun. For the mystery sales, you will get a seriously discounted item in your size, but you won’t know what it will be. You choose your size, and general style (pants, short sleeve dress, long sleeve dress, etc) but the actual item will be a mystery. These items could be second-quality but many of them are just returns that are in perfect shape. This sale is absolutely so much fun and the discounts are fantastic.

Preorder to Save
There’s a new way to save that’s pretty cool! Wool& now has Preorder Savings.  This is a section of new styles that can be preordered for a 10% off discount! From the site, “by purchasing items before they enter production or while they’re being produced, you’re helping fund the production process and helping us gauge demand.”  The cool thing is, these items CAN be used for challenges, which gives you the chance to save even more! Score!

Second hand shopping on Poshmark
If you haven’t shopped on Poshmark before, please use my code MAMAMELAINE when setting up your account. We will both get $10 in our accounts to spend on anything site-wide. Hooray! 
For some reason, it can be particularly difficult to search for Wool& on second hand websites. I think that the search functions struggle with the ampersand, but that’s just a theory. The best way to find Wool& items on Poshmark is to save this link and keep checking back frequently. They pop up every week or so and sell pretty quickly. Remember, on Poshmark you can make an offer, so this is a great way to save good money. I have scored Wool& dreses for less than $50 on Poshmark and they were in amazing, like new shape. You do need a little patience.

Ebay & Mercari
Like I said before, it can be quite tricky to pull up Wool& clothing at second hand websites, for whatever reasons. However, you can find items on both Ebay and Mercari, you just have to have patience and know what you are looking for. For both websites, I have had the best luck by typing in “Wool& Wooland Merino Wool Dress” and then scrolling until something looks correct. You can mess with the filters and select dresses or filter by fabric as well. If you like the thrill of the hunt, you might get lucky!

ThredUp
This is where second hand shopping really becomes a treasure hunt because ThredUp doesn’t usually list Wool& clothing under a brand name. Don’t ask me why, but multiple times I have found Wool& clothing hiding under “Assorted Brands” with absolutely no mention of brand name in the listing. So how do you find these obscure listings? Here’s how I’ve done it multiple times. First, sign up with Thredup using my affiliate links. I super appreciate it and we both get $10!
Next, type in “Merino Wool dress” in the search bar. You’ll get a zillion hits. Be sure to unselect “My Sizes” because you really want to see everything available. Now, scroll down and look at the left side for the “Brand” section. You will need to type “Assorted Brands” in that box and filter your results. Now, scroll through the items and look carefully for dresses that look like Wool& designs. This can be a little tricky but as you get used to it, they will pop right out at you. If you find an item that looks right, click on it and check under item details to see if the fabric breakdown is consistent with Wool&’s clothing. For example, if it says ” 78% merino and 22% nylon” you might have a hit! You can follow the same process to search for “Wool” and then filter by “Assorted brands” and then scroll through all the results to find different clothing items. It might take awhile but the hardcore savings are worth it. Just last week I found a Wool& cardigan and a shirt for HUGE savings.

Facebook
Once in awhile, I have found Wool& listings on Facebook Marketplace, so it’s definitely worth checking. If you try, you’ll probably get a ton of listings for wool rugs and camo gear, for some reason. The best way I know to find Wool& products, however, is to check out the Wool& Buy Sell Trade Group on Facebook. There are items going up every day and you can find a great deal. I’ve bought, sold, and traded lots of stuff and had only great experiences. Remember, when buying or selling on Facebook, the safest way is to use PayPal Goods & Services.

Explore other Wool brands
There are some other fantastic Wool brands that I’ve come to love, including Woolx and Allbirds. I have also have heard great things about Woolly brand on Amazon. You might also find great items from Icebreaker.
I think that’s about all I have in regard to saving money on Wool& dresses. If you are thinking about investing in a Wool& item, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Woolx Lola Joggers Mini-Review + Coupon Code!

So continues my obsession with Wool Clothing. The more I try, the more I LOVE! Scroll to the bottom of the post for links to more of my favorites.

Save 22% with my code WXJOGGERS
(Should work on anything on the site)

I went back and forth about ordering the WOMEN’S MERINO FLEX® LOLA JOGGER because I just wasn’t sure if they would be flattering or if they would work for my wardrobe. They are really expensive, to be honest, so I needed them to pair with a LOT of my wardrobe and become a real workhouse. Also, I don’t wear much in athletic wear. I was looking for some pants that were comfortable like leggings but would work in a more church/office casual type vibe since my style is pretty girly. I wanted these to be sort of a multipurpose travel pant that would go with anything, and I could wear from shopping to travel to church to a casual dinner out any time of year.

These Woolx Lola Joggers totally surpassed my hopes and are going to be awesome in my wardrobe. Just as chic as they are comfortable and flattering! I think they can totally pass for office casual. I will definitely wear them to church. I think they could work with heels but I’m not a heel girl, so I don’t have any to try. I might try some wedge booties though.

I’m getting these in grey and olive for Christmas but until then I’ll be wearing these black #woolxlolajoggers a ton! #woolx #woolxaffiliate #woollove #magicofwool #woolxlola #wooljoggers #momstyle #winterstyle #businesscasual #capsulewardrobe #christmasgiftidea #discountcode #savings #wishlist #minimalistwardrobe

Thanks for checking out all my Wool Reviews!
Wool& Camellia & Axis Legging Review
Wool& Stella Review
Wool& Mara Review
Building a Sustainable Wardrobe

Wool& Camellia & Axis Cropped Leggings Review & Photo Shoot

I waited so long for this dress by Wool&! I was looking for a classic, basic, soft, and comfortable black tank dress that would really stand up to my busy summer lifestyle and the Camellia by Wool& turned out to be the perfect solution. Besides the comfort factor, this dress relies on a blend of merino wool & nylon which means it has all the MAGIC of wool including durability, odor-resistance, temperature-regulating, and sustainable awesomeness! I truly love my Mara dress, so I couldn’t wait to try a warm-weather option.

If you’d like to check these products out in detail, I appreciate you using my affiliate links:

Click here to check out the whole selection from Wool& (Wooland). 
Want to jump right to the Camellia? Click here!
Don’t forget to grab your Wool& Axis Cropped Leggings. 

If you make a purchase, I might receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

I loved this dress from the moment I tried it on! I am 5’5.5″ and about 160 lbs. I decided to size DOWN and go with a Small Long. I wanted this dress comfortably long and it fits me just how I hoped!

Let’s get the elephant out of the room. For some one who typically shops at thrift stores, this dress is quite an investment at $128, I admit it. Here are my reasons for sharing a product that is on the high end with my followers:

  1. Durability. Did you know that hundreds of women have worn Wool& dresses for 100 days in a row? It’s such a cool challenge and really proves that these dresses are super durable. If you are going to invest in a pricier clothing item, make sure it will last!
  2. Versatility. Many of us stick to lower end purchases for every day wear, but might “splash out” on a special occasion dress or outfit for a night out. I’m starting to think the exact opposite! Let’s invest in versatile pieces that can fit into our daily lifestyle year round and find deals on the one-wear items that we won’t be re-wearing again and again.
  3. Wonderful Woolly-ness. Back to the first paragraph in this post, remember all those features that make wool magical? Sustainability, Temperature-regulating, Easy-care, Odor-resistant, breathable and soft? Yes, those features are what make wool worth the investment and will make these items last so much longer!

I love the way the Camellia fits, looks, and feels! It’s a great every day look for my closet, and I think I could safely dress it up for a night out with some heals and the right accessories! Want to see it a little better? Check out my video review here. 

The best part about this dress is that I know it can be worn all year round! I plan to layer it up with sweaters, and boots, but for now I love pairing it with my favorite jean jacket. 

Many thanks to Wool& for sending me the dress and leggings for my review. I love working with small companies and this one is truly a gem!


Have you tried Wool yet? I’d love to hear your experience!

Stella Tee Review: https://youtu.be/AeU1rzWVw88
Wool& Mara Dress Review: https://youtu.be/4Kutkja7KHw

My outfits include Birkenstock Mayari, Birkenstock Pappillio Namica, and Buffalo Jean Jacket. My blue kimono and druzy necklace were thrifted. My fedora hat is from Shoppe 3130.

Thanks for shopping with me!

Wool& Stella Tee Review: I wore the same shirt for seven days in a row!

Woohoo! I’m happy to share this honest review of the Stella Scoop Neck Tee by Wool&. First of all, I am so grateful when a brand is willing to work with me as a small influencer; it truly means a lot. As you know, I choose my affiliate partnerships very carefully, since it’s very important to me that I only represent brands I use and love myself. I want my followers to trust that I’ll always be honest and only share links for products that I’m 100% using myself in my own home. Wool& sent me this shirt as a gift for my review, so thank you so much, Wool&!

This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission on purchases with no additional cost to you. Thanks for shopping with me!

Live Simply. Consume Carefully. Do Good.

When I was two years old, I famously told my grandparents, “Fashion is everything”.  I am not sure what the context was for this preposterous statement, but for the next thirty-some-odd years I have gone back and forth on the topic. I have maintained a love/ hate relationship with fashion, and altogether spent WAY too much time on my wardrobe in general ever since.

As a teen, I vividly remember a fairly long stretch of time when I would record my outfits every day so that I would never repeat a combination! Fast forward to now, as a busy homeschooling mom, I never thought I would wear the same thing for a week in a row. And yet here we are.

After following the crowd into the “fast fashion” machine and getting burned by tshirts that pill after one wear and styles that are out of date before the receipt cools, I definitely became disillusioned by the status quo for clothing. There has to be something better, right? My wardrobe had become revolving door for items that didn’t fit well or weren’t particularly flattering or comfortable. I was shopping as unintentionally as I could without putting much thought into the situation. I realized this was very much contradictory to my commitment to a minimalist lifestyle. 

That’s when I began exploring a more sustainable model for my shopping habits which has included second hand shopping as a first option and taking a more intentional approach to new purchases.  Click here to read my blog post on Sustainable Fashion.

Even focusing on sustainable fashion, I still didn’t think that Wool fabric would find it’s place in my wardrobe! Honestly, it sounded like something that would never work for my Deep South climate and my initial thought was, “it’s scratchy, right?” At that point, I discovered the company Wool& and started to learn the truth about wool and what makes this fabric special. I realized it is NOT scratchy and in fact there is a lot more to love about it! Did you know that Wool has incredible natural properties making it:

*Antimicrobial
*Temperature Regulating
*Quick Dry
*Odor Resistant
*Ecological Sustainable
*Strong & Durable

For me the very best part of wool is that it is Antimicrobial & Odor Resistant. This translates into LESS laundry and less wear to the fabric. What if your favorite tshirt could be worn again and again before it needed washing and last for so much longer because of it? That’s what I discovered with the Wool& Stella Scoop Neck Tee. 

I did size down with this tee and am glad that I did. I’m about 5’6″ and currently 160 lbs (*COVID weight gain, hopefully temporary*). I’m normally solidly in a Medium, but I chose a Small for this shirt. The generous length and swing style made small the best size for me! I love the scoop neck and longer swing-style plus the light weight wool blend is super comfortable. I love my Stella tee and totally recommend it!

I didn’t plan to wear this shirt for seven days in a row. But after a couple days I realized the shirt still had no odor and was totally fresh and ready to go. Plus a black tshirt can basically be paired with anything right? So what was stopping me from putting it on again and again? NOTHING WAS STOPPING ME!

After a week in the Stella Scoop neck tee, I felt like I needed to wash it. It did NOT have an odor but I’m a messy cook and had spot cleaned it a couple times so I felt like it needed it at last. I loved the fact that it could go from wear to wear without washing. I can’t wait to travel with this tshirt year round!

Thanks for checking out my review! Interested in the video version of it? Click here for my YouTube review! 

My Kitchen Makeover (New Product Share!)

 

I wanted to share a new product that I am really enjoying! Since getting into minimalism, I have tried to be very, very intentional about purchases. That often means I go for a long time waiting to find the right thing. Years ago I eliminated plastic from my kitchen and I’ve been also trying to eliminate lead and other toxins. We have a family history of some complicated health issues which make it difficult for our bodies to detox, so this is a little more on my radar. I recently found #sweese and they were kind enough to send me a beautiful set of mugs. Sweese is made from a type of premium LEAD-FREE and NON-TOXIC ceramic, chip-resistant and more sturdy than stoneware. I love the design of these, the beautiful colors and the fact that they are really sturdy which is a must for my clumsy mornings. Most important, I trust the company to be SAFE for my family, so we have ditched our random collection of mugs from here and there. Sweese also makes stackable mugs (LOVE!), beautiful butter dishes, serving platters and more. Check them out here (and thanks for shopping through my affiliate links)!

Want this beautiful Mug Set for yourself? Click here to check it out!

Best Price Ever on my Secret Weapon for Cleaning!

$38!!! This is not a drill! 50% off Force of Nature, for two days only.

use code wowsave50

This price includes the generator and 25 refills, really awesome deal. I’ve been an affiliate for several years and never seen such a low price. The bundle is only $38 and includes 25 refills….AMAZING deal. Am thinking about buying a second for backup, really!  If you have any questions, let me know!

Thanks for shopping with me!

Shhhhh! (A Skeptic Spills Stitch Fix Secrets!) How I built an almost-free customized wardrobe plus maxxed out my yearly credit in January!

I’ve been working on this post for SO long, you guys! Thank your lucky stars that you stumbled onto this blog, because I’m about to share ALL of my Stitch Fix Secrets with you, from getting the best possible boxes from your Stylist to earning the max credit (which means totally free clothes!). Grab a coffee, a cozy blanket, and a pencil because you may just want to take some notes on all these tips together in one place!

I admit it, I was a Stitch Fix Skeptic. I always enjoyed shopping and felt pretty good about making clothing choices in the store, so why would I need a shopping service? Also, I just knew the options would be pricey, and I was used to thrift store prices maxxing out at $10 for a “splurge”. I also considered myself an expert bargain shopper, so there was no way I would be interested in an online stylist at a premium price. I know going with Stitch Fix would be a paradigm shift for me and I wasn’t sure I wanted to go there.

However, a friend shared an awesome $100 code with me so I figured, “What do I have to lose?” That was in the winter of 2020 and in the last 12 months I have earned a total of $1300 in free clothing! I have spent a little “real money” here and there but I’m about to share my very best tips and strategies for getting awesome boxes that will work for you, maximizing your spending by being smart with purchases, and sharing your code with others to earn the MOST possible credit! I’ve discovered these tips through scouring tons of YouTube vidoes, online forums, facebook groups and blogs plus experimenting myself with trial and error. I honestly think you will love the results if you approach Stitch Fix with careful strategy! Let’s break it down:

Get the Most from Every Stitch Fix Box:

First and foremost, be sure to sign up with a generous coupon code, ideally $100. Here are a few places you can find those codes: Reddit, YouTube, and Facebook Groups, such as Stitch Fix Referral Codes. Like I said, I have maxxed out my referral credit, so I don’t have a code to share! The codes are generally good for 48 hours, so just keep searching until you find one that is fresh. All you’ll do is click through one of those links and create your profile. I recommend downloading the Stitch Fix app for the most convenient accessibility. You will then want to build your profile and set up your first Stitch Fix. Don’t rush through this step! Make sure you give as many details as possible on your size, shape, and style preferences. Think about what you are hoping to achieve through using the service, and be sure to specify items you DON’T want as well. For me, I knew I have very picky feet and don’t like standard shoes in general, so I specified “No shoes” in my profile. Also, I feel it’s easy to find nice costume jewelry pretty much anywhere (with no size constraints) so I also added, “No Jewelry”. I mentioned that I rarely need office ware, typically wear casual outfits, frequently need  “night out” attire, and rarely have reasons to dress up for special events (it is what it is, am I right?)

Here’s an example of some more details I added to help my stylist get to know me: “I don’t like cropped shirts, but do like ruffles, texture, & patterns. I am a winter with very dark hair, brown eyes and pale skin. My style is more casual, soft, and feminine NOT tailored or overly-structured. I do not like menswear (no button-up shirts, please, they look terrible on me). No hand wash, dry clean only or high maintenance items, no jewelry and no shoes.”

You can also leave your stylist a Note for each fix, with special requests, feedback from past fixes, or any general ideas you might have, ie “I’m going on a business trip, any smart casual pieces would be appreciated” or “I have a big anniversary, can you send me some options for date night?” or “I’m ready for SPRING, can you send some warm-weather options my way?”

If you are really thorough filling out your details, you’ll have a MUCH better chance at getting a box full of items that will really blow you away! But sometimes you will still get a “dud” box. If that happens, don’t hesitate to change stylists and be sure to add specific feedback on items that you are returning. Sometimes they just aren’t a good fit, and there’s no problem in trying someone new.  Don’t forget to play the “Style Shuffle”. It just takes maybe 2 minutes a day and involves giving items a “Thumb’s up” or Thumb’s Down” to further clarify your preferences. I play the style shuffle almost every day and it’s a fun quick way of upping your chance at great Stitch Fix boxes. Stitch Fix bases your boxes on an online algorithm, an actual stylist’s choices for you, and the stock available in your size, so the more info the stylist and computer have about you, the better.

Note: If you aren’t sure how Stitch Fix works with the styling fee and credits, here is a link for more details.

Maximize your Spending
My first tip for Stitch Fix in regard to really maximizing your dollars (whether they are virtual or actual) is to teach yourself to be a little pickier. Make sure you REALLY love items in your fix before keeping them. Don’t be tempted to say “yes” just because the item is in your home and it’s too easy to pop those tags! Try them on, mix them with other items in your wardrobe, take selfies (this REALLY helps) and ask yourself some “tough” questions. “Where will I wear this?” “When will I wear this?” “Is it filling a true wardrobe hole for me?” “Will it be a significant upgrade for my closet?” and “Am I excited to put it on RIGHT NOW?” Some of those questions have really helped me make the hard choices even when it means sending back something super gorgeous that I actually really loved (but realistically wasn’t going to wear).

Note: Stitch Fix has an invite only program called Style Pass which costs $49 per year and waives ALL styling fees for 12 months! In addition, the $49 goes RIGHT back into your account and can be spent immediately on clothes from your fix or Shop Your Looks items, so if you ask me, it’s a no-brainer. Since you aren’t paying the styling fee, you can have no qualms about sending all of your items back and trying agin. So if you get an invite, I highly recommend it. It makes it easy to be “picky” like we talked about above.

Rack up TONS of Credit

I have racked up nearly $1300 worth of credit in only about a year, and this January I maxxed out my 2021 credit limit ($599 per year). When you checkout with Stitch Fix (after you receive your box, you choose what you want to keep and “check out” via the app or website) you might receive a $100 code (or even $75 or $50). Supposedly, it’s random but people have been getting them a LOT lately. If you do get one, share it immediately on Reddit in the Stich Fix group on the Referral Megathread, on your own Facebook page, and in this facebook group (ask to join now because it takes awhile to be approved). Also feel free to share your $100 code in the comments here! Remember, your code will only be active for 48 hours so it’s helpful to have a plan in place before you even get it. For example, I create Stitch Fix unboxing videos for YouTube and even go so far as to create graphics with “Free $100 code” for the video….it’s all prepped and ready to go before I checkout with my fix. Then, if I get that golden $100 code, I have a click-baity video ready to post. After posting my $100 code a few weeks ago, I got at least 18 people joining, easily racking up the max credit within days of posting. I can’t help thinking that this influx of $100 codes won’t last for long, so definitely take advantage of it if you receive one! A few other ideas for sharing your link is creating outfit pins for pinterest with your link, sharing try-ons to Instagram, or asking for feedback on items (keep or don’t keep) on your personal Facebook feed.

That’s just about it for now! I have really enjoyed my Stitch Fix boxes and I hope you have fun with Stitch Fix also!

Wooland (Wool&) Mara Dress Review & Styling Tips

I’m really excited to bring you this honest review of the Mara Dress by Wool&. First of all, I am so grateful when a brand is willing to work with me as a small influencer; it truly means a lot. As you know, I choose my affiliate partnerships very carefully, since it’s very important to me that I only represent brands I use and love myself. I want my followers to trust that I’ll always be honest and only share links for products that I’m 100% using myself in my own home. Wool& sent me this dress as a gift for my review, so thank you so much, Wool&!

Look at this lovely minimal packaging! No plastic to be found. 

This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission on purchases with no additional cost to you. Thanks for shopping with me!

Outfit #1 (see footnotes for outfit details)

In my last post, I talked about Sustainable Fashion. It’s something I have really wanted to learn more about for awhile. Wool& works hard to make sustainability a core value of their brand. In fact the company’s motto is: live simply, consume carefully, do good. I absolutey love that!

Outfit #2 (see footnotes for outfit details)

I have never worn wool in my South Carolina climate and honestly didn’t know much about  its benefits. I’m actually blown away to learn how versatile this fabric is (yes, even for a Southern girl like me)! The Mara dress is a Merino Wool blend ( 75% merino wool / 22% nylon / 3% spandex, a midweight french terry fabric) and is super soft and comfy (not itchy in the slightest, and my skin is extremely picky about texture). It does seem to warm up to your body and become even softer after a couple wears!

Outfit #3 (see footnotes for outfit details)

Did you know that Wool is naturally antimicrobial, moisture wicking, and temperature regulating? I had a vague idea about some “magical” properties of Wool based on recommendations I had read for SmartWool socks, but the extent of the benefits really surprised and impressed me. The most appealing feature of this dress for me is that it can be washed very infrequently! As someone who is CONSTANTLY doing laundry (three kids + two adults + puppy), the idea of a garment that rarely needs to be washed is pretty much the best idea ever. In fact, I’m already wondering how we can fit more wool into the laundry rotation to keep washing to a minimum. Want to learn more about Wool& clothing? Click here!

Outfit #4 (see footnotes for outfit details)

Let’s get to the specifics of the Mara dress. It’s a soft French terry fabric with patch pockets, a funnel neck (I’d call it a mock neck) and drop shoulders. This dress retails for $158. (See the footnotes for my size info). The fabric on the neck and wrists is double-thick, giving it a chunky, comfy feel. It also adds a little visual interest to the design along with the seam across the pockets. I don’t usually prefer the tightness of turtlenecks but this style gives a similar look without the constricting neckline. The fabric is soft but not thick like a sweatshirt, more of a substantial, sturdy jersey.

Outfit #5 (see footnotes for outfit details)

I have worn it four days in a row and I am in love with how comfortable the Mara style is! So far, I’ve worn it while cleaning, cooking, shopping, walking the dog and I can’t help thinking it would be a great work-from-home uniform for anyone with Zoom meetings to participate in. At first I was nervous about wearing it to teach preschool, but I think next week I will give it a try. The benefits definitely outweigh my fear that it will get a little stray paint or playdough on it. I have read that the best way to treat stains on wool is to spot clean immediately, which shouldn’t be a problem.

Outfit #6 (see footnotes for outfit details)

A Wool& dress would be the perfect item to take traveling. In fact, I imagine my bag will be a lot lighter on my next trip since this dress can make it through days of wear without washing. Now that I have tried it, I think this dress would safely be a three season staple for me since it is temperature-regulating and I won’t get too hot in our temperature-erratic Springs and Falls.  I would love to try a few of the other Wool& styles like the Brooklyn Wrap Dress or the Sierra Tank Dress. There are also several new styles coming in the Spring! I am sure I’ll be wearing my Mara dress for years to come.

Is a wool a part of your wardrobe? Let me know in the comments!


Outfit Details
Outfit #1:
My Wool& Mara dress is size Medium (my true size). For your reference, I am a hair under 5’6” and a hair over 150 lbs. I’ve paired this with my favorite black flats by Fitflop. My scarf is from a previous season by Alison & Aubrey, but here is a similar style that is currently available on Amazon.

Outfit #2:
For this look, I’m wearing my favorite Jean Jacket that I blogged about here. I love that the trim sleeves of the dress work great for layers (so many of my cold-weather dresses are too thick for layering, which is inconvenient!). I’ve paired it with some of my Favorite boots from Target from years and years ago (Kamischel style), but I found a couple similar links to share for boots: Option 1, Option 2, or Option 3. Finally, I’m wearing a retired necklace from Bauble Bar, but here is a really pretty one that would stand out beautifully against the neckline of this dress!

Outfit #3:
I love this combo! I’m wearing the same boots from Outfit #2, but I threw on this drapey Olive vest from Time & Tru. It’s currently OOS, but here is another option from Amazon. My necklace is a gifted bird’s nest style that looks just like this.

Outfit #4:
I thrifted this Lucky Brand wool pullover poncho (such a fun find), but you might find a similar style here. My Frye Melissa Boots are an old favorite that work with so many outfits.

Outfit #5:
Checkout how comfy those big pockets are! You can easily fit keys, phone, and even a wallet in there in a pinch! This outfit is just showing the Mara on it’s own with my Frye boots. I love it! I also wore it with my Target boots and some purple knee high socks. I had never found a good use for those socks before, but I thought was a fun look to go shopping. I don’t usually go barelegged in the winter but I think it works with Mara’s silhouette.

Outfit #6
Mara works great for walking the dog also! For this outfit, I wore my trusty Naturalizer Carly Sneakers, favorite Columbia Women’s Mighty Lite Hooded Coat, Tortoiseshell Sunglasses, and Furtalk Beanie. For the cutest pet ever, I have to recommend a Bernedoodle!

Thank you for shopping through my affiliate links! Please subscribe for more product reviews and upcoming posts featuring Wool&!

Building a Sustainable Wardrobe

You guys know that I’m a thrifter at heart. I was raised by thrifty parents and I just love the thrill of the hunt when it comes to shopping.  I’m a pretty easy size to fit (right in the middle of the road) so I tend to build my wardrobe with new pieces almost from scratch each year (with some exceptions of course). It’s worked well for me, but I have been wanting to be more deliberate about my wardrobe and choose pieces that will stand the test of time rather than serving me for just a season. In addition, I have been learning more about sustainable brands and have really wanted to focus on a middle ground between sustainability/quality/affordability. That spot will often fall at the thrift store for me, but I’m also exploring brands that stand out with sustainability as a core value.

Before we go any further, let’s define sustainability! What is it and why should we use it as a guide when buying clothing?

In my own words, sustainable fashion focuses on measured and deliberate movement towards more eco-friendly and socially-responsible practices within the entire framework of the business, from manufacturing, to production, to distribution and sales. Want more ideas on moving towards sustainability in your closet? Click here to read up on the topic!

Fast fashion hurts the earth and hurts people. There’s really no two ways about it. Sustainable fashion, on the other hand, seeks to right those wrongs and take the process in a more positive sustainable direction. So we should all be happy to see more steps taken in that direction, right? The problem is, sometimes we aren’t quite willing (or able) to pay for it, which I 100% understand since our budget for clothing is pretty low. Which is why shopping second hand kills about three birds with one stone (without bringing animal cruelty into the mix). You are saving money, saving the earth, and preventing over-consumption by not feeding the fast fashion monster.

At the same time, second-hand shopping can be hit-or-miss, time-consuming or simply unavailable depending on location. I’m also aware that many sizes are difficult if not impossible to purchase second hand. Online options for second hand clothing are becoming more and more prevalent (thredup, poshmark, ebay), but second-hand shopping still won’t solve all of our clothing needs all the time.

Fortunately, there are more sustainable brands stepping into the clothing arena, giving us more options for high quality clothing that won’t wind up in the landfill (at least any time soon). Higher standards for materials, packaging, labor and advertising will give us better options going forward. My next post will be a review of one of those brands that I’m really excited to share about! (Click here to read it!)

 

My Favorites for February: Part 1

I don’t know about you, but I am happy to say goodbye to January and get going with the rest of 2021. This month has been a doozy for our family (Click here for our COVID experience)  and I’m pretty much ready for Spring. Heck, I’m already ready for summer for that matter (yesterday I was looking at summer pool memberships).  Anyone else?

I thought I would create this post with a bit of a life-update and also share my current favorites, becuase it’s been awhile since I’ve done a “Friday Favorites” post. These are some of my favorite posts to write (although they take forever) because, minimalist or not, I still really love sharing favorite products with my followers!

Thank you for shopping through my links! Some of them are affiliate links, so I might get a small commission at no extra cost to you!

Family Addition
My first favorite may be a surprise (it certainly surprises me) but we have had such an incredible experience with our Bernedoodle, Elphie! I didn’t know much about the breed but she has exceeded our expectations. She is really calm and mellow for a doodle and she sheds less than me….really! She is just really sweet and the perfect addition to our family. We brought her home last March and it has made our year so much more joyful. The kids adore her! I’m so glad we got to surprise them with a puppy. Here are some of my recs for puppy essentials!


Kitchen Stuff
This year we haven’t added much to our kitchen which totally makes me happy! However, we have had our Air Fryer/Toaster Oven combo for a year now and really love it. The best part about it was that it replaced our microwave and does SO much more than a microwave ever could. I honestly haven’t even scratched the surface of what it can do, but I love the convenience and speed. You also aren’t heating up the whole kitchen!

Another nice upgrade from this year, is switching to Duralex Picardie for all of our glassware. I love these glasses! None of them have chipped or cracked and we are pretty rough on them. They feel great in your hand, can handle hot beverages, are dishwasher and microwave safe and best of all are LEAD FREE! Here’s my video review for more specifics. Did I mention they are stackable?

Early this year my coffeemaker died and we replaced it with this Cuisinart 14 Cup Brew Central , I’ve been really happy with it. We got ours from Costco, but there are similar models on Amazon. One of the features I was looking for (and couldn’t seem to find) was the ability to set the coffeemaker ahead of time but TURN OFF the beep function because it kept waking up my son! This is the only coffeemaker I have found where you can turn off the sound. It also makes good coffee and has all the features I wanted (programmable, large capacity, auto shut off) and looks great on our cart.

The last kitchen item we added was this Trinity Kitchen Cart that we made into a beverage station, also from Costco (have I mentioned how much we love Costco). Our exact cart seems to be OOS, but here is a similar model from Amazon.  We have still loved our Alexapure water filter and recently replaced the filters with Berkey brand replacements. I’m happy to share that they work perfectly, so this was a more affordable way for us to get Berkey-quality water at a discounted price! (When I bought my Alexapure, it was about $100 on Amazon. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it discounted recently).


I can’t wrap up the kitchen topic without mentioning some of the things I *still* love even after owning them for years! My Instant Pots still get used nearly daily! If you haven’t quite gotten into using yours, just push through the intimidation and I really think you will love it!

I guess the next category is one that gets used in our kitchen a ton also, so it’s time to talk about…

Cleaning

It’s been awesome to have a cleaning product I can trust without worrying about toxins, respiratory risk, or low stock. I still use Force of Nature all over my home and I absolutely love it. I also use it in my preschool classroom. Right now, you can save BIG on Force of Nature’s Extra Value Bundle, just click here and use coupon code BUNDLEUP30.

Along with Force of Nature, I absolutely love ecloth for all of my cleaning ALL over my home. Here’s my video review where I talk about some of my favorite ecloth products. This is probably a whole post on its own, but some of my favorite items are the Home Cleaning Set, the Mini Mop,  the Cleaning Pad, the Kitchen Dynamo, and the Window Genie. 

Finally, I have upgraded my spray bottles to these Flairosol bottles and I LOVE them. They spray a nice even light mist and they look so much nicer than any I have owned in the past. The mist is so fine that I really don’t have to wipe up the droplets which is nice for disinfecting with Force of Nature.

 

It’s nice to NEVER have to pick up cleaning items at the store, because the above items cover all of our cleaning needs!

Closet

This year has been my first year to try Stitch Fix. I’ve really had fun with it and found some pieces I really love! I signed up for the Style Pass, so I don’t have to pay for my boxes for the rest of the year and I have racked up tons of referral credit which means FREE CLOTHES. If you are interested in trying Stitch Fix for the first time, my friend has a $75 credit that should work for another day or so. If you want to check out some of the clothes I’ve gotten from Stitch Fix, I have a playlist on my channel with some of my unboxings + try ons. Of course, thrifting is still my main jam, so if you are interested in some of my Thrifted Finds, click here!Oh yes, and if you haven’t checked out my post on the Magical Barefoot Dreams Knock-off sweaters, I wear them ALL the time. SOOO COMFY and comfy is my holy grail when it comes to clothing.

Shoes
Not much to share here, but I still wear Fitflops 90% of the time, unless I am home when I wear Oofos clogs (too ugly for the real world). This combo seems to be the best for my picky feet. When I am cold or going out in the cold, I still wear my Uggs. No one can stop me. I don’t care.

Purse
I never thought I would stick with one brand and style of Purse, but here I am years later, still wearing my Sash bags every day, every where. I haven’t looked at any other purse since I first tried them, I could not possibly love them more. This is one of my favorite products of all time, so if you haven’t checked out the Sash Bag, you are missing out, for real. Want more details? Check out this video review or this one!

Makeup & Hair

When I started watching my own YouTube channel, I realized it was time to get some new Makeup. I’ve kept my collection pretty minimal, but I have found a few new products that I have LOVED.

I found a whole line of minimal makeup called Subtl Beauty. It’s really amazing and I absolutely love the design of it, so easy to travel or grab and go. The quality is excellent and it blends beautifully!

The rest of the time, I still wear Bare Minerals because it’s just so dang easy for someone who isn’t necessarily gifted at applying makeup (I’m just not interested in spending more than a couple minutes on my face).

This year’s favorite lip gloss is this natural shade by Pacifica.

I‘m really excited to have found a mascara that doesn’t irritate my EXTREMELY sensitive eyes, and that is Physicians Formula Organic Wear Natural Origin Mascara. The coverage is just ok, but my eyes can tolerate it, so that’s a win!

For hair, I’ve become completely obsessed with the Revlon One Step Dryer & Volumizer. I only wash my hair about once a week, then let it mostly air dry, then dry it with the Revlon Dryer. I love it so much I got rid of my regular hair dryer! The rest of the week, I just style it with a little bit of Batiste Dry Shampoo (this is basically my only toxic indulgence at this point…if you have a natural alternative please let me know. Not cocoa powder with cornstarch. Nuh uh.). Also, my friend introduced me to Large Hairpins (weird that these make me happy but they are SO much easier and more comfortable), so that’s what I use for styling my hair up.

Looks like this is going to be followed up with Part 2, because I’m not done sharing my favorites!

 

Cook Once Eat All Week Cookbook Review: Week One!

 

This post was created using Amazon Affiliate links. I appreciate every click as it helps to make my work-from-home dream a reality (at no extra cost to you). So, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

A week ago, I could’ve sworn I would never buy another cookbook again. After 17 years of cooking, I’ve streamlined my recipe collection, simplified my routine, and gotten into a reasonable grove. My problem is, I am super disorganized and still haven’t figured out a great meal-planning method! And, even more frustrating, it’s so hard to manage the perishables and I absolutely hate when food is wasted due to my disorganized cooking style. So I enjoy cooking, but I find kitchen-management rather stressful and exhausting.

So when I heard about this cookbook, Cook Once Eat All Week, I thought it was too good to be true. It contains 26 weeks of recipes including organized grocery lists and utilizes the same major ingredients for each week, plus it is Instant Pot-friendly, Gluten Free, and adaptable for paleo, dairy-free, and low-carb…..doesn’t that sound unbelievable???

Although I could have sworn I would never purchase another cookbook, I ordered this one from Amazon the first day I heard about it (shout out to the Minimal Mom, whose vidoes are absolutely always helpful).

This was my first week using the cookbook, so I don’t have a ton of feedback yet, but I wanted to go ahead and create this review so that I could share photos and feedback on the meals as we eat them. First of all, here’s a peek at a couple pages to show you how it is laid out.
I realy love the minimalist illustrations. It’s extremely straight forward and contains detailed step-by-step instructions for each part of cooking. I actually think the layout will be great for my teens who have a lot of basic cooking skills and are great at following recipes. This book is really not about batch cooking and reheating, but about shopping and prepping ahead for several meals at a time. Which is totally what I was hoping it would be!



Week One Prep

Week one prep involved cooking and shredding chicken, cooking bacon, chopping various veggies and ricing broccoli. A few notes from our experience. I would have gotten very tired of this process without my instant pot. Cooking the chicken and rice was a breeze and if you do not have an Instant Pot, I cannot rave enough. You won’t regret it!

In addition, I do not have a food processor, so I was ricing my broccoli in tiny batches in my teeny-tiny food chopper, which was not ideal. I’ll check the necessary tools in the future before I jump into prepping! This doesn’t seem to be a batch cooking and reheating book at all, so I’m very happy about that. Instead you are planning and prepping for three unique recipes per week, and then doing the last few (quick) steps when it’s time to cook and serve.

Meal One: BBQ Broccoli & Rice
Last night’s meal was a success. My husband didn’t love it but he ate it. The rest of the family really liked it. I think he was less of a fan because the BBQ sauce I chose was a little on the sweeter side than he prefers. Next time, I’ll go with a milder sauce and maybe he can spice his up on his plate to taste. It was amazing to me how much broccoli was packed into this dish, so I was really happy with the health quotient of this meal.

I am (like I have said) kind of a messy cook and tend to measure less often than advised. So I’m not sure what happened here, probably from years of doubling subconsciously, I ended up with a massive amount of this dish. I may or may not run out of chicken and rice for the next two meals! I’m not too worried about the other two dishes, because I’m sure they can be adapted. I just find it tiresome to measure, but apparently I’m terrible at guessing.

I really wanted to learn some new healthy cooking techniques so I am excited that I now know how to rice broccoli (and am seriously considering investing in a food processor). Also, I am thrilled to have learned to shred my chicken with a hand mixer. I know lots of people like to use their stand mixer for shredding chicken, but I didn’t realize the hand mixer would work. It turns out, it was incredibly easy and quick. I will absolutely utilize this method in the future!

Meal 2: White Chicken Chili

This was easy to throw together with all of the prep done ahead of time. I’ve never made White Chili but I will absolutely make this recipe again. I loved the savory bacon, beans, and chicken but it was the fresh cilantro, lime, avocado, and green onions on top that really made this recipe cravable. It wasn’t as spicy as expected but we added some lime cilantro hot sauce for those who wanted a little extra kick. My husband loved this soup, in contrast to recipe 1 which wasn’t his favorite. Everyone enjoyed it! Recipe 1 and Recipe 2 felt totally different and really didn’t feel like a repeat at all; so far, so good!

Meal 3: Chicken & Broccoli Fried Rice

This meal was also quite easy to put together which was great because I walked into the house about 5:15. Everyone ate it but it was not the hit that the soup was and was probably my least favorite of the three meals this week. However, it could certainly be easily tweaked to taste and throwing leftovers into a stir fry is definitely right up my alley, cooking style-wise. So I think this week is certainly repeatedable because it’s got a lot of flexibility.

I’ll continue to update this post as I work my way through the Cook Once Eat All Week Cookbook. Let me know if you have tried it!

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