Curating Closets: Slip-Ons

I love me a good jandal, as the Kiwis call them. Slip-ons are my practical, everyday go-to. And when it comes to the category, Birkenstocks are the ones that stand-out for me. Some would say they aren’t pretty, but they look good to me. Something about their Nordic simplicity really resonates. Honestly, the design of their shoes equally match Tokyo-style as much as Parisian fashion. More importantly, Birks are ergonomic, sustainable, versatile and surprisingly form-fitting. These babies are worth the price-point and so much more.

My first experience with Birkenstocks

I remember when I bought my first pair. I was in dental school with nary a penny to my name, and millions of pennies to the government’s name. My now-husband and then two-roommates were at the beach in South Bay. We just finished a morning of fantasy football viewing at our favorite pub, and the boys were heading to the sand to throw a frisbee around and fall asleep. I remember two of them getting sun-burnt after taking an hour nap.

I went to visit the Birkenstock carrier at the boardwalk. My now-husband who was already working at the time bought me my first pair. I felt like it was a splurge. It was a Nubuck leather Arizona sandal, in a taupe color with silver buckles. I remember picking one out from the kids section, simply because it was cheaper. A size too small, but fits none-the-less. I wore those Birks every chance I got, until it eventually fell apart.

My Birkenstock Sandal Journey

Since then I’ve also owned the Madrid sandal in their water-proof, synthetic EVA material. I love those for beach and pool days, washing the car, or simply for stepping outside at anytime there was a chance of wet feet. Those sandals lasted at least five years. At less than $40 a pair, I would say it was a great investment.

But it was the baker days that turned me onto the Boston Birkenstock slip-ons. My forever favorite. Of all the Birks I’ve loved before, these have been the most sturdy, functional, and useful. I remember early morning shifts laden in flour, my black Birkenstocks contrasting white powder while I stood for hours manning ovens, mixing dough, and topping off pastries. I originally got them because they covered my toes and were slip-resistant, which were essential for my work. They eventually became my every-day shoe.

After I moved on from the bakery and opened my dog-sitting business RMV Tail & Paws, they became my dog-walking shoe. Whether it was 6am in the morning or 9pm at night, there was no sneaker that could compete with the ease of these slip-ons. Likewise, I would wear them with my fancy Eileen Fisher Wool Coat, or a denim summer dress. As long as I wasn’t planning to run or do any physical activity, I would opt for the Boston clogs. After marrying my husband, I had outgrown my insecurities about being tall and decluttered all my heels and wedges. Now I go for comfort over style.

So let’s talk price.

You may be thinking, Birkenstocks are not frugal purchases at all. But I reframe cost into value. When I buy a pair of shoes, I consider how often I wear those shoes in my calculations. Essentially, a shoe I wear every day gets more value per dollar than a shoe that is fancily tucked away in a box for special occasions. It isn’t the dollar amount itself that matters, but rather, the worth of those dollars.

As a caveat, there is what I would call a ‘learning curve’ with Birkenstocks. It takes a while for your feet to get accustomed to the fit. The cork sole does mold to them, but your feet may find the ridges and dips a bit discomforting at first. To be fair, they’ve been used to flat, unsupported shoes for so long. But these, my friend, are game-changers. Like all good things, it takes time.

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Curated Wardrobes: Maternity Clothes

Moons have passed since I’ve spoken about curating wardrobes, but I figure maternity clothes deserved a spotlight. The thing I miss most during this entire pregnancy isn’t the weekly tuna sandwiches or the cups of foregone coffee, but the ability to wear jeans on any given day. When it comes to getting dressed, I have (pre-pregnancy) mastered a formula that has simplified my routine, limited my wardrobe, and made me feel good. In general, it followed the guidelines of black tee, comfy jeans, one of two jackets, and a pair of Birkenstocks. Since getting pregnant, I’ve broken my reliable Birks, outgrew tiny black tees, and no longer fit in my jeans. Thank the heavens for maternity clothes.

Futile Resistance

When I first began my pregnancy journey, I was dubious as to whether I would actually need maternity clothes (HAH!). I didn’t announce my pregnancy until my fifth month. Even then, people were shocked to learn the news. At least, they acted like it (Thank you). Perhaps the yoga teacher training that I was taking during months 2 to 5 kept me in shape. Or the Turkey Trot I ran in month 4 shed some pounds. It was eventually replaced by a whole lotta turkey that very same evening. Eventually, my disillusion wore away, as my belly expanded over the holiday season where baby ran amok with his own holiday feast.

I didn’t upgrade my clothes until month five. I am fortunate to have a tiny frame, which also means that regular clothes have a boxy, loose fit on me. The years have taught me how to rock-it with my shapeless, petite figure. In the end, loose-fitting clothes served me well, as they transitioned into ever-tighter fitting maternity clothes. But for the majority of them, the fit was comically wrong in certain places. My clothes rode up, sagged down, or somehow achieved both in the same day.

I had resolve to resist buying clothes that would serve me for only a few months. It seemed wasteful from a monetary and environmental standpoint. I thought about buying ‘regular’ clothes in the form of flowy dresses or loose jumpers that would be wearable even after baby entered the real world. But alas, I can’t live life in flowy dresses all the time! The first person to buy me maternity clothes was my husband for Christmas, after seeing my confidence wane. When I succumbed to the pressures of a growing belly, I compromised by committing to my usual standards: neutral colors, versatile cuts, and only a handful of them. If I had to cave, it would be on my own terms.

After wearing maternity clothes for a few months, I have to say it’s definitely worth it. I wouldn’t have guessed to grow as much as I did, but the babe will gain half a pound per week towards the last few weeks. As in, there’s still a long way to grow.

Curating Wardrobes: Maternity Clothes

A gal can go crazy with maternity clothes. I mean, I never knew I had body image issues until I became pregnant. Mostly, because I had no body to be conscious of in the first place. But once I started growing, I realized how one could fall down a rabbit-hole of buying maternity clothes that make them feel (and look) good.

Some women swear they love their figures during pregnancy. I find this bolus in the middle of my body difficult to man-handle. Read as: this is all quite frustrating for me. My bowling ball belly prevents me from bending over my patients or getting close enough to them to work. It prevents me from doing my usual exercise routines. Like trying yoga inversions without toppling over, doing a push-up without scraping the floor, sitting up with no core to speak of, or even walking up the stairs with twenty extra pounds to carry. Even picking up dog poop on my dog walks became challenging.

For me, function mattered most, but there was the issue of appearance too. There were maternity clothes that saved me, and then there were maternity clothes that were beautiful and gifted to me by those who knew I wouldn’t allow myself to buy them. Meaning, the former ones allowed me to feel like myself and live life as normally as possible while the latter made me feel comfortable and confident. I’ll separate the lists into such categories.

Maternity Clothes That Saved Me

  • FIGS Maternity Scrub Pants: These are so comfortable to wear! My co-workers have been lending me their regular scrubs as I got bigger and bigger. One lent me an XS in month 6 and now I am outgrowing another co-worker’s size S at month 8. I’ve already requested to borrow a medium for my final month of work! But I did buy ONE pair of black Maternity Yola Skinny Pant and they have grown with me from month 5 until now. I know it will last me during the entirety of my pregnancy, and unlike sizing up in regular sizes, the maternity pants fit in all the right places, all the right ways. If you are early on in your pregnancy and working in health-care more than a few days a week, I would get these pants for work. Seriously, it was the best purchase for me.
  • FIGS Rafaela Oversized Scrub Top: These tops are NOT the FIGS maternity tops. I purchased a maternity top from the company but the cut was all wrong. For starters, the maternity top was way too long! It went to my knees (quite literally), which also says something about my height. And it wasn’t exactly that flowy. I didn’t want a belly that stuck out too much while I was working. Luckily, I already owned a few Mandarin Tops from FIGS and my usual XXS size has lasted me thus far (8 months). In fact, the fit is SO GOOD that a majority of my patients have no idea I am even pregnant. Seriously. The length hits right, and the flowiness covers my bump completely. I am happy that I owned these before, and can still use them after my pregnancy. It is the most versatile scrub top for women.
  • Beyond Yoga Leggings: Towards the end of my yoga teacher training, I was still trying to squeeze into my size 0 Lululemon pants. I have since sold them on Poshmark because they’ve started to look like pants that would fit my baby better than myself, and I heard that our bone structure changes after birth anyway. But what I did do is trade them in for Beyond Yoga’s Maternity Leggings. I have owned Beyond Yoga before and would go so far as to say that they are the softest, most comfortable leggings on the planet. So I knew that their maternity line had to be the same, and comfort is key. The stretchy belly band really molds to your growing baby. I wore these to my final yoga sessions religiously.
  • Eileen Fisher dresses and rompers: I already owned a number of dresses and rompers from the brand Eileen Fisher. I can attest to the fact that these looked good on me pre-pregnancy and served me well during pregnancy too! The cuts of EF are boxy and looser-fitting than other brands, and this brand is the only one that lasted me the full eight months without an upgrade. I think it’s worth a mention, as it saved not only me, but my wallet too!
  • Oysho: I fell in love with this Spanish active brand when I went to visit my sister in Madrid. So when my parents went to Spain this year, it was all I asked for! Oysho has a minimalist MUM section, from which I got some leggings and biker shorts. My sister also gifted me a loose-fitting pajama set that I have been wearing during the day, too! They ship to the US and are worth a gander. I like all their products, so even if you weren’t searching for maternity clothes at this very moment, you’ll find great active and lounge wear on their site.
  • Old Navy Basic Tees: I got a pair of long sleeve V-neck tees that I wear all the time! They come in black and white. If I was working in an office, I would have bought five or six of these tees and one pair of maternity denim jeans. That would have been my daily attire. Old Navy is a great source for cheap maternity wear. But because they aren’t high on the sustainability charts, I only opted to nab a few.

Maternity Clothes That Look Great

  • Nesting Olive House Dresses: This house dress isn’t your old-school, boring duster. I was gifted a Nesting Olive House dress to try and I have to say that it is versatile, cute, comfortable, and seriously so useful! I literally can wear this for days on end, no matter what I am doing. I have worn them as pajamas, to lounge around the house, to do chores in, and even to run errands. When I have my periodic melt-down about not knowing what to wear to dinner with friends, my husband always suggests the Nesting Olive House Dress because he knows I can eat to my heart’s content without feeling constricted, and he knows I feel confident in it. That’s a game-changer for all maternity peeps! You can find my Instagram review of this dress here.
  • Vuori’s Alpine Sherpa Jacket: My parents gifted me this jacket in size XS for Christmas. I am pleasantly surprised to report that it fits really comfortable and hides my growing belly! The boxy cut is flattering, and I can wear these with my maternity yoga leggings from Beyond Yoga and Oysho. I literally have worn this jacket every day since receiving it. It is warm, comfy, and really utilitarian. Just my vibe! I own it in the Olive Green color which is sold out, but this one is a very similar jacket.
  • Isabella Oliver: My husband gifted me these 100% responsibly sourced, European made, zero-plastic packaged maternity clothes and I love it! The cuts are made for taller European figures, but I don’t even care. These were so comfortable around the waist that I have lounged in them for hours on my days off. Many a blog post was written and books read.

Now you may be wondering, where’s the rest?? But that’s all I invested in! If I had deeper pockets, or a less strict environmental conscience, or more room in my home, I might have been willing to try buy more options. For example, this Storq dress would have been lovely. And I was curious about Hatch’s maternity jeans (did I mention I REALLY miss my jeans?). I also would have loved to snag a Jenni Kayne cardigan. I probably would have felt cool in her over-sized poplin shirt as well. However, how much does cool factor really count?

Going down a rabbit-hole of buying more clothes wasn’t going to change the way my body looked, or improve my lifestyle one bit. It wasn’t going to help set us up for financial success, or allow us to spend more time with the baby once he arrives. The clothes would have been temporary fixes to a problem that is centered around vanity. For those reasons, I couldn’t get myself to buy more than the basics.

This post was written with the very best brands in mind. I hope this post helps point you in a few right directions. But I also hope it serves as a reminder that you don’t need to buy them all. Yes, some days you will wake up feeling VERY PREGNANT. For those days, pick a few good staple items to act as your best friend. But for the rest, make do, get by, and keep on keeping on. The baby will not care one iota what you look like in the photos, I promise.

Photo by Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash

My 2022 Winter Capsule Wardrobe

Today, I want to share with you my 2022 winter capsule wardrobe. I started using capsule wardrobes back in 2018 when I decluttered my closet. A capsule wardrobe is a small curated collection of clothing to support daily living. At the time, I wanted to simplify my life, completely. This included making dressing up every day an easy task. By choosing to use a capsule wardrobe, I only need to own a few, well-loved items of clothing. It makes getting ready for the day stress-free, because I look good and love everything I choose to wear. I also avoid decision fatigue by having less options. And I spend less money shopping! This saves me from having to work more, to earn more, only to spend more. Gone are those days!

I am quite lucky in that I either work from home or at the dental office. I can employ a wardrobe made up of scrubs and athleisure wear. Both are very comfortable. I like to choose clothes that are first and foremost both comfortable and functional. I also hone in on clothes that look good on me. If ever I think an article of clothing doesn’t look good, it gets decluttered right away. Lastly, I stick to neutral colors that I like. My favorite colors are black, grey, and green.

A note on sustainability. The word gets thrown around willy nilly these days which lessens its meaning. But the intent still stands. I make a strong effort to ensure that items are made using good materials by people who are paid fair wages. That is important. I like companies that uses natural materials, meaning they will biodegrade. I favor companies who treat people as people. And the most sustainable thing of all, I keep my clothes for as long as possible and purchase very few. When they end their life in my hands, I pass it on to someone in want or need. Half the time, that is how I receive them anyway. From someone else. My capsule wardrobe isn’t perfect, but I still try.

Either way, every season is different, and I change out my capsule every three months or so. I wanted to spend a few moments today jotting down my 2022 winter favorites!

My 2022 Winter Capsule Wardrobe

  • Eddie Bauer Puffer Jacket. California doesn’t get crazy cold, but we do live in the mountains. Therefore it still reaches snowy temperatures at night, even though it never rains. I got a black puffer jacket one year ago and I wear it almost every day. It doesn’t matter if I am going to work or to the gym. I hardly need to layer sweaters underneath it as it insulates very well! It was one of the best winter purchases I have ever made!
  • Patagonia Rain Jacket. My parents gifted me a black Torrentshell for Christmas one year ago because they knew I loved to be outdoors and would do so rain or shine. I love this jacket. It is my second worn jacket after the puffer. It keeps me dry when it rains, and is a great windbreaker and shield from the sun when hiking. I bring it every time I travel.
  • Patagonia Fleece Jacket. I bought this fleece jacket more than 5 years ago when my husband and I were planning our honeymoon in New Zealand. It looks absolutely brand new! This jacket has seen it all. I have taken it on a 3-day-hike through a storm in the mountains of New Zealand. I have taken it to Banff the day my husband fell into an ice cold lake. It has been with me to my waterfall hikes in Iceland, to Oktoberfest in Germany, and to a rainy New Year’s Eve in Sydney, Australia. This jacket has weathered the storm, so to speak, but looks as stunning as when I bought it. I love this jacket. This is a casual jacket that I throw on underneath the puffer or rain jacket.
  • Prana Sweater. I have been living in this Prana sweater since the day I got it. It’s perfect to throw on my yoga attire, before and after my workouts! It has enough appeal to wear out with boots and look completely put together, as long as I swap my leggings for a pair of jeans.
  • Beyond Yoga Attire. I wear athleisure wear every day I am not at the dental office. I am a pretty active person and do multiple things in one day and I just find that athleisure wear really supports me in all those tasks. Beyond Yoga’s Spacedye 7/8 Leggings and Spacedye Slim Racerback Crop Tank is my current favorite outfit. The fabric is so soft! And very flexible. The leggings fit like a full-length legging on petite me. And the crop top actually hugs my body without squeezing! I spend all day in these! I can do yoga at home, write a blog post while drinking coffee, go to pilates or spin class, bake up a storm in the kitchen, or read a book while cuddling with the cat. I pretty much wear it all day long and if my entire capsule wardrobe was made up of 7 of these, I wouldn’t be mad about it! (PS: Another brand I’ve had my eye on is Vuori. They have a similar legging and crop top duo that I might put on my Christmas list next winter).
  • Girlfriend Collective Leggings. Since I only own one Beyond Yoga Attire, I resort to wearing my Girlfriend collective leggings the rest of my days off.
  • Lululemon Tank Tops. I pair my Lululemon Tanks with my Girlfriend Collective leggings for a very comfortable work day from home.
  • A pair of jeans. I gravitate towards one pair every 4-6 months. Currently, it’s a pair of high-rise, wide-leg crop jeans similar to these from Etica.
  • Eileen Fisher Silk Shell Box Top. When I am stepping out anywhere nicer than the gym, I put on one of my two go-to Eileen Fisher silk tanks. I have owned these for years and they have never failed me. These tanks are such a great investment and can be dressed up or down. They are part of the company’s “System” which is it’s own curated capsule wardrobe of essentials.
  • Figs Scrubs. I wear Figs Scrubs every day I go to the dental office. Believe it or not, Figs Scrubs changed my life! They are stretchy, comfortable, AND cute! I can do yoga in them in the morning before work, or lounge and read a book during my lunch break. I can go out to happy hour with co-workers and still look decent! This innovative company really improved the medical field’s lifestyle, and for that I am thankful. I currently go into the office three days a week. Figs is my ‘uniform’, along with my Clove shoes.
  • Nisolo’s Chelsea Boot. By far the best boot I have ever worn! I just recently got Nisolo’s Carmen Chelsea Boots and they are all the hype. I am NOT taking these off this winter. Unlike a majority of leather shoes, these were comfortable right out of the box. They fit like a glove, but I did size up a half size because I wanted to wear thick woolly socks. I could have ordered my usual size and it still would have fit really nicely either way. Usually, boots make my short legs seem shorter but this was not the case. The shape of the boot is really flattering. And the bottom has nice traction (yes, I tested it on rainy pavement!). If you buy one pair of boots this winter, this is it. I got the Tobacco color, but am already looking at the black ones too for next year. PS: These would look great with short dresses in the other seasons!
  • Mizuno Wave Riders. My parents bought me these running shoes for Christmas. I first wore Mizuno wave riders back in dental school, when my runner roommate Katie took me to a running store to test out my gait. I got into running for a bit and it turned out that Mizuno wave riders best fit my running style and step. I like to be comfortable so these shoes will definitely be used for more than just running.
  • Lo and Son’s OG2 Bag. This bag is a great option for a winter capsule wardrobe. This bag is highly functional and serves many purposes. You can say that it carries me through my daily activities. I use this bag to go to work. It carries my laptop, my lunch, and my planner. I can use this as a weekender bag, and it travels well as it has the strap that attaches it on my overhead carrier handle. Additionally, this bag works as a gym bag. It has a water bottle pocket, a pocket for my spare clothes and yoga towel, and the yoga mat fits between the handles. It seriously does it all! The material travels well, and looks professional. I got it in black (of course!) and it matches every outfit. This is my number one purse choice for a capsule wardrobe.

There you have it! My winter 2022 capsule wardrobe. I do own other clothes but they mostly just sit in the back of my closet until the season shifts or I cycle these guys out. To be honest, this is mostly what I wear. Below, I give you an idea of how I use my wardrobe.

A Week of Styling My Winter Capsule Wardrobe

Monday – Beyond Yoga Activewear, Prana Sweater, Nisolo Boot

Tuesday – Lululemon Tank, Girlfriend Collective Legging, Patagonia Fleece Jacket, Mizuni Rider

Wednesday – Figs Scrub #1, Puffer Jacket, Clove Shoes, Og2 Bag

Thursday – Figs Scrub #2, Puffer Jacket, Clove Shoes, Og2 Bag

Friday– Figs Scrub #3, Puffer Jacket, Clove Shoes, Og2 Bag

Saturday – Eileen Fisher Tank #1, Etica Jeans, Nisolo Boot

Sunday – Eileen Fisher Tank #2, Etica Jeans, Nisolo Boot

And then I repeat next week. It’s amazing because I hardly have to think what to wear. It’s pretty much a uniform that supports everything I do and gets up and doing the things I love, faster and sooner.

Anyway, I hope this has been helpful to some of you who wish to declutter, simplify, and be productive in 2022.

Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. 

J. Hannah Jewelry Is For Minimal Millennials

I’ve recently written about how much I fancy the jewelry brand, J. Hannah. Named after a twenty-something Los Angelican, J. Hannah jewelry prides itself in sustainability. They source upcycled gold and refurbished stones for their pieces. J. Hannah’s timeless designs mimic vintage styles from my grandmother’s era while winning the covetousness of Californian millennials, myself included.

The brand encapsulates my ideals of worthy jewelry, which is an outward extension of one’s personality that defines style rather than maintain fashion. Jewelry, in my humble opinion, should not be an accessory, but instead act as a complement to what already exists. I found myself drawn to the brand after recognizing the kindred spirit within its founder and maker, since then acquiring pieces from the collection that are a form of self-extension as well as self-expression. To find out if the price is worth the value that J. Hannah brings, you only need to read below.

Related Posts:

Why J. Hannah Jewelry Gets It

Adorning a modern woman today does not mean what it did during my mother’s time. My mother views jewelry as an embellishment, as well as a suggestion of one’s status and wealth. To a modern woman, the intellect is a better marker for both of those things. This is not to say that jewelry is demoted to something less-than, but it indicates why it is less necessary to be flashy or exuberant. On the contrary, outlandish accessories have negative connotations such as insecurity or a need for attention. In today’s world, boisterous external expression can be misconstrued as a lacking of internal substance. We have the changing times to thank for that.

Jewelry, like any accessory, is best when muted, so as not to detract from the real heroine, which is the wearer themself. Jewelry should not represent beauty, but accentuate it. Likewise, bits and baubles are not meant to mask imperfection and should certainly not usurp the winning qualities of a modern gal. If anything, ostentatious jewelry could compete with more valued traits such as confidence or a winning presence.

J. Hannah understands and incorporates all of these ideals in her jewelry line. If jewelry is a true extension of the self, then it should follow that it remain versatile, timeless, and expressive. A modern woman is an evolutionary being, not than a static representation. Jewelry, then too, should have the same capabilities – evolving in significance while fitting into whatever purpose the wearer chooses to pursue. J. Hannah jewelry is for living with, as well as living in – a style for the vintage inclined as well as the most contemporary of persons. Made for the truest of self-expressive intentions, it is jewelry that was never meant to be taken off.

Why I Love J. Hannah Jewelry

For every wearer, there is a style that has one’s name emblazoned on it. I, myself, gravitated towards the Form Hoop I earrings, for their strong structure and rounded softness. Miniature at best, each classic hoop barely makes their way around the lobe of my ears. They hug so snugly that they are quite literally an extension of myself, always 100% in contact with my skin, so that I forget I am donning them and occasionally fall asleep with them on. Simple, tiny, and understated, but with a solid depth to them and a characteristic certainty, these earrings are exemplary of who I wish to be as a person.

I was also gifted the Objet Pendant necklace by Mr. Debtist, which I think is an appropriate gift from the person who knows me best. The pendant is a seemingly minimalist and simple piece that holds a secret – its complex design as a disguised box. (A similar secret exists in the Niche Ring). The diversity of the necklace comes from its ability to hold both sentimental mementos as well as practical, ordinary objects. This list includes a spare hair-tie, an Advil, a resolution, a precious stone, or a tiny tooth. The flush lid with a snap closure makes the true purpose of the container unbeknownst to everyone except the wearer, its contents made even more private by its illusory, elusive appearance. It is especially representative of my lifestyle, archetypal of both the multi-functional and the abstract, a necklace made for a Gemini.

I wear both of these pieces daily and to every occasion. Marked with the JH emblem as well as a 925 engraving that signals true silver, these pieces are durable enough to withstand boxing classes, professional enough to wear to the dental office, and delicate enough to accompany me to special occasions. Gone are the days of acquiring pieces based solely on beauty, or even value. Jewelry has now transformed into physical translations of your personal statement.

J. Hannah Jewelry On My Radar

On my radar are J. Hannah’s Pivot Ring I, a fidget spinner to calm the anxieties of everyday life, and the Demi Signet. The latter has a Japanese Akoya cultured pearl in lieu of the engravings traditionally centered on such rings. “Historically, pearls have signified the wisdom of experience; they are totems of protection and luck; they are symbols of balance, strength, and calm energy.” Pearls also happen to be my birthstone. The demi signet reminds me of something my grandmother would have worn, but with a smaller profile made for the pinkies of today. I imagine a woman well-versed in proper etiquette, but at the same time, able to voice the most difficult of positions.

If you wish to peruse the collection yourself, feel free to do so using this affiliate link. You may stumble upon a piece that calls your name.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. 

Five Favorite Fall Outfits

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. 

I like formulas. I speak of not just the math variety, but the life variety, too. My simple lifestyle depends on tried and true equations that have been proven to work well for me. These formulas apply to every aspect of my life, from morning rituals to my capsule wardrobe.

For example, my go-to morning ritual: drink two cups of water, stretch, write three things I’m grateful for, make a pour-over coffee and breakfast.

My formula for breakfast options are: Avo Toast + Everything Bagel Seasoning, Berry Scones, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Pancakes with Berries and Whipped Cream or Oatmeal and Blueberries. I hardly stray from those five choices.

My favorite dinner recipes are: Salmon + Rice, Tomato Olive Oil Pasta + Parmesan Crusted Chicken, or Coconut Crusted Chicken + Yellow Curry.

You get the drift.

By having these formulas memorized and ever-ready, I reduce the overwhelm that many millennials feel due to a plethora of choices. Decision fatigue is what they’re calling it. Reducing anxiety and time spent on life decisions makes way for life itself.

So, too, does it go with a capsule wardrobe. You don’t need much to get you through this season. Below are some formulas for Fall clothing, featuring a few of my favorite companies: Eileen Fisher, Everlane, Jenni Kayne, and Nisolo. Of course, I wouldn’t condone buying an entire wardrobe just for Fall. I find that each season, I add about one article of clothing and cycle out another. My go-to Fall outfit of choice would be the one pictured above: an Eileen Fisher wool coat, Everlane’s tank dress, with one of Nisolo’s newest releases – a heeled boot.

Below are a few other formulas to go by.


Eileen Fisher Sweater, Everlane Leggings, Jenni Kayne Slippers

Brunch Date

Jenni Kayne Linen Jumpsuit, Eileen Fisher Vest, Nisolo’s Dark Olive Mule Clogs

Weekend Errands

Everlane’s Chocolate-Colored Corduroy Pants, Jenni Kayne Wool Shirt, and Nisolo Kicks.

Evening Out

Everlane Japanese Jumpsuit, Eileen Fisher Silk Scarf, and Nisolo Slip Ons.

Clothing For Days

This post is written in partnership with For Days, the first ever closed-loop clothing line. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Clothes, they don’t last forever. As much as we fix, mend, and wear, despite torn holes and splotched stains, I can guarantee you that your clothes will not see you ’til the end of your days. Alternatively, you may choose to abandon it before it abandons you (a much more likely scenario). Whether it’s a shift in physique, personal style, or mental state, a day will come when that favorite tee or trusted jean will no longer be pulled from its hanging place. It’s a certain fact that clothes will not last forever. The only question is, will it give out on you or you on it?

Regardless of that, there is a new company in town promising to actually make clothing last forever. At least, for its full life-cycle ensuring it goes back to the Earth and biodegrade into nature from whence it came once all is said and done. Appropriately, the name of the company is For Days.

For Days considers them self the first-ever 100% closed-loop clothing company. How are they doing that? They accept used and unwanted clothing and upcycle them by integrating the fabric into new products. My shirt (which I was wearing when I was shopping at EcoNow, my favorite bulk store in Orange County, CA) is a combination of two older versions of unsold vintage V-neck tees that were combined to make a new style. For Days is constantly revamping stuff and it is awesome!

Shopping at EcoNow wearing For Days, Levis, and Nisolo Huaraches.

Additionally, 100% of their products are recyclable. Despite this fact, I would like to state that their shirt is so so soft. I usually am wary of recyclable materials because I don’t like stuff that feels cheap. However, when I received my shirt, I was surprised to find a high quality tee. The colors are so bright, and the fabric really feels good on the skin. I can’t believe it’s recyclable!

But For Days doesn’t stop there. They are pushing the envelope by asking consumers, why recycle when you can upgrade? For Days is providing their customers with a forever discount for doing the sustainable thing. That is, trading in an old For Days style with a new one. This is the first time that I’ve seen a company give a decent incentive for swapping consumer goods. I have seen other companies give shop credit for a returned item, but I am talking about $5 here or there for articles of clothing that cost $100+. However, at For Days, I’ve seen as much as a 50% discount with their Best Seller items, such as this Daily Crewneck. I truly believe that in order to change a consumer culture, we need more companies pushing for change with these incentives. And as consumers, we need to be supporting these companies in return.

My mask is hand-sewn by my sister using fabric scraps.

For those de-cluttering closets this weekend, order one of their Take Back Bags to make an environmental difference. For Days will take your unwanted stuff and make sure they never end up in a landfill. The bag costs $10 and comes with a free shipping label. Additionally, anyone who purchases this bag gets a $10 discount on their next For Days purchase. The bag is HUGE! It measures 19″ x 24″, so feel free to curate your closet away.

All I need is an air-stream to live in now.

Lastly, a note on style. Most middle-aged folk (can I already call myself that??) will really appreciate For Days’ Retrograde styles. Even this color block tee of mine reminds me of the ’80’s, which I was barely born in. But there are plenty of 90’s trends like the tye-dye craze that is resurfacing the streets. Belly button shirts, baby camis, half terrys and long shorts all make the cut. It’s a new wave of slow fashion using old wave trends. I’m really digging it and can’t wait to see what else For Days has up their sleeves.

Less Waste: Period.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. 

I’ve already dedicated an entire post on less waste and periods when I first spoke of how I managed my visits from Mother Nature using a single cup. But I feel as if this requires a revisit, for the glaringly obvious reason that there are a few scenarios wherein Lunette failed to prove itself a friend. While the cup has been mostly sufficient for all my feminine care needs, I have found that when it comes to travel, a more dependable plan B needs to be in place.

Walking down the streets of Mexico City does not seem like a problem, until you realize that their bathrooms generally don’t have private loos that contain sinks in the same stall. Where to empty a cup? Even if sinks were available, could one trust the running water? The last thing I want to do is explain myself in Spanish why I have a bacterial infection while wallowing in pain from the ever-so-common downfall of all menstruating persons.

Likewise, traveling on a 15-hour flight to New Zealand and Australia isn’t much fun with Lunette. While the airplane does have a private sink, the tight quarters make the entire process tedious and, once again, I worry about running water. Always the water.

Still determined to find a way of managing my monthly miseries that’s good for the planet as well as good for me, I decided I needed a plan B.

So I thought of Thinx. It’s a purchase-with-purpose underwear that has a mission to provide reliable access to safe menstrual hygiene products for those in need. With partners like Girls Inc., Safe Horizon, and the Alliance of Border Collaboratives, Thinx plans to expand access to basic hygiene products and community services like reproductive healthcare and mentoring.

On top of that, it is a REALLY good product. I am a minimalist by nature, who does not subscribe to single use items. This means I do not buy pads or tampons, at all.  Thinx checks those boxes for me. It is a re-usable panty that is reliable in what it claims to do which allows me to continue living life scotch free of worry or discomfort.

Thinx has versatility, with multiple styles to fit your personality and preference. I own the boyshort in black which I wear under my running shorts, the sport in dusk which I wear under my leggings, and the super hiphugger for my everyday needs. Each style has a different level of protection, so that heavy flow days could be as carefree as lighter days.

And the upkeep is simple too. Hand-wash in cold running water and hang to dry. I have only three pairs but by hand-washing right after use and cycling between them, I can survive an entire cycle without missing a beat.

Lastly, it saves people money. If I assume that a box of tampons is purchased every month, with each box costing $7 (to be on the more conservative side), then there is a  savings potential of $84 a year. The Lunette cup lasts you 3 years, so that adds up to $252 in savings. I would wager Thinx can last longer than that. It may seem like chump change but let’s assume all females adopted Thinx over the course of their entire life. And for each Thinx purchased, let’s say it saves another female in financial need from buying tampons and pads. You create a whole chain of events that end up saving the world a lot of money, and the oceans a lot of waste. Not to mention saving young girls in low-income communities from missing school and other opportunities.

Just think.

What a world that would be.


Capsule Sunglasses for a Minimalist

This post is written in affiliation with Warby Parker, a revolutionary eye wear company that gives people an alternative for modern, quality specs. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and creative content are my own. 

Eye wear seems to be my thing in 2020. Perhaps it’s the new decade that’s brought a keen awareness towards the need to protect my health. Perhaps it’s the long list of current events. Either way, I’ve been terribly conscious of my waning physicality. I have never been overly zealous in protecting my youth, but suddenly, at the ripe old age of thirty-one, I have become obsessed with it.

Is this what they call a mid-life crisis?

I previously wrote about the need to protect our eyes from the blue light emanating from the screens attached to our hips, like oxygen tanks that we carry around in order to breathe. But let’s be real. I am not wearing my blue-light blockers all day, everyday. Yet we are still exposed to light rays twenty-four seven. Erm, at least, I hope you are still able to get some sun?

My entire life, I’ve found sunglasses to be a nuisance – something too expensive and too easily left behind (or sat on). I have owned very few, and the last pair that I purchased were discounted from when I still worked at a retail store ten years ago. Yes, you heard that right. My last pair of sunglasses was purchased ten years ago.

So I would say it was high time that I finally invested in a pair to protect my eyes. Most important to me was finding sunglasses that I would actually want to wear. Ones that were simple, light-weight, elegant, timeless, and well, minimal. Obviously.

I settled on Warby Parker when I learned of their mission to provide a pair of glasses to someone in need for each pair purchased. I was intrigued by their origin story, seeing as how the inspiration came after a founder lost his sun-specs after a backpacking trip (already relatable) and lamented on the insanely expensive prices of quality sunglasses. Reason being, of course, that the eye wear industry was dominated by a single company that keeps prices high. The rebellious Warby Parker was created as an alternative option for good eye wear at revolutionary prices. They set out to create a personal customer experience while providing exceptional prescription and non-prescription specs. They exude everything I love about a company, so how could I not love them?


I came across my first Warby Parker store in Newport Beach about a year and a half ago. Back then, I wasn’t interested in buying sunnies. It just so happened to be a storefront within a store next to the Aesop that I frequent. I walked in and was charmed by the different styles and friendly staff. I ended up walking out and forgetting about it.

Earlier this year, we were walking the streets of San Francisco when I entered my second Warby Parker store. I vaguely remembered seeing them before and even picked up a few frames to try on. I found styles that I liked, but I still wasn’t interested in buying glasses. This was in February.

Then, in June, I turned thirty one. I got my first pair of blue-light blockers. I started blinking a lot. The sun hurt my eyes. I got extremely conscious about light – too much light, lack of light, weird lighting in general. I debated whether UV curing lights at the dental office were more harmful than computer screens that I stare at as I type posts like this. I started to think about sunglasses, and why I wasn’t wearing them.

The truth? I don’t have a pair that works for me. I don’t like the one I owned, it didn’t fit my style, and it didn’t work with my lifestyle. If there’s anything I learned about myself, it’s that I use most the things I love dear. As for everything else, I just don’t.

This was around the time I seriously considered buying Warby Parker.


The thing I love about them is that they give people the option of trying on their eye wear prior to purchasing. Even during this difficult, quarantine life, they allow you to ship up to five frames to your door FOR FREE just so you can try them on. If you don’t like them, simply ship them back within ten days. I literally had five frames in my cart the weekend before we left for Colorado in July when…

We drove by a Warby Parker storefront in Boulder, Colorado. I knew right away that I wanted to walk in. The store was limiting only two parties at a time due to COVID so I waited in the car for five minutes until it was my turn. The staff was incredibly helpful in guiding me towards the right frame for my personality and lifestyle. One thing about me. I am incredibly picky. But when I know I like something, I KNOW. It took five minutes to find the pair I wanted and check out.

I have a narrow, heart-shaped face, but the frames that worked best for me were Wright, Percy, Robbie, and Fisher. The first two were too girly, posh and trendy for me. They were also a tad heavier. The choice came down to the last two. Due to my high cheekbones, the flat, squarish edge to the Robbie ended up accentuating my plump cheeks. I ended up going with Fisher, which is a mix between the Merrick and the ever-popular Raider. There were two color options – a gold frame with colored lenses, or black on black on black. Need I say more?


These are the lightest pair of glasses I own. I put them away in the case they came with as soon as I’m done wearing them. Hopefully I never sit on them, even though Warby Parker has my back. Scratched lenses and bent frames can be taken to any storefront and they will try to the best of their ability to fix the glasses for you. Luckily, the metal frames on the Fisher are easier to fix than the plastic frames. And lenses with scratches can be replaced completely within a year of purchase.

I don’t wear prescription glasses (yet!) but if you do, no worries! When I went to the store, they had optometrists working who seemed very knowledgeable about eye wear. A few storefronts also offer eye exams, which I think is awesome! It’s your one stop shop.


If you are on the fence about the price, then I would highly recommend doing a few things.

  1. Try on the glasses virtually here.
  2. Pick a few frames that look good on the app (up to five) and send them your way.
  3. Wear your five frames for ten days. Whichever ones don’t work, send back.

No harm, no foul. Personally, I fell head over heels with Warby. I don’t see any other way.