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Road Trip Warriors

Road Trip Warriors

For as long as I can remember, I have camped every summer. According to my Dad, they took us camping even when we were so little we couldn’t remember. Even to this day I go camping annually with my family. The only difference now compared to when we were kids? The fiancé comes along for the ride!

Our family is pretty big on using tents. No campers for us! Not that there’s anything wrong with them! There’s just something about the way the zippers sound early in the morning and the smell of the air when the only thing separating you from the open sky is a thin layer of canvas. So until I have the money to shell out for a vintage trailer and the SUV to pull it, tents it is.

I love pretty much everything about camping. I like the detachment from “the norm”. From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep you’re outside. Charging electronics becomes difficult, so sometimes you go without. Cell service may be patchy anyway, so might as well leave it in the car. You forget to check Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and instead focus on the silence and beauty of nature around you, and the friends and family beside you.

I also particularly enjoy the road trip. Our family always chooses a location out of state, and usually it ends up being 8 or so hours away. We shock people with the stories of our crazy road trips. One year, we drove from our home in Ohio all the way to Yosemite National Park in California in only two and a half days! On that same trip, we went to a wedding in Monterey, CA, and hightailed it back to Ohio in just two and half days yet again. People still think we’re insane for that one (and maybe we are!). We’ve also driven to Glacier National Park in Montana, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Yellowstone in Wyoming, and Bar Harbor, Maine (just to name a few).

Due to all of this “experience”, I like to consider myself a road trip warrior. I always know exactly what to bring to make the ride a little bit easier. This year we are heading to Cape Cod, MA. From home, it’s about a ten-hour drive to our campsite. Per usual, our family will do a straight shot drive stopping only for restroom breaks and food so we can arrive with plenty of daylight to set up camp and relax for the first evening.

For most people, this is crazy. For us? It’s tradition!

Here are some of my tips for preparing for a big road trip:

Always come prepared with a reading list!

If you’re a book nerd, a road trip is the perfect time to catch up on a series you’ve been dying to read or a novel you haven’t had time to finish. I read quite a bit, averaging two books a month this year so far. Mind you, some of those books are 500+ pages! So yes, I’m proud of this average thank-you-very-much. I’m changing it up a little on this trip by downloading books onto my iPad on the Kindle app to help save space in the car. I normally bring a bookbag with about 5 or so books from the local library, which takes up a lot of space when you’re putting five people in a Toyata Forerunner for 10 hours with blankets, pillows, food, drinks, shoes, etc.

For the trip this year, I chose to download the following books:

 

  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Mass (560 pages) (third in the Throne of Glass series). I picked up the Throne of Glass series after reading her Court of Thorns and Roses series late last year. I actually just finished the third book of that series last month! Even though Throne of Glass is the older series from her, I didn’t discover it until I’d finished the second Court book and gone looking for the third. I’m very excited to see when the next installment comes out! Until then, I’ll be pecking away at the ToG series. For some reason, it’s a little harder for me to get through. Maybe because all of the books are so long! But I do enjoy the story and can’t wait to pick it back up on this trip.
  • Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Mass (661 pages) (fourth book in the ToG series)
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (863 pages, first in its series). I’ve been torn for the past few years about whether or not to pick up this book. I finally decided that this would be a good trip to do it, given I can get through the others on my list. If not, it’ll be sitting in my Kindle app waiting for when I’m ready! I know nothing about this series at all (although I do notice it is also a TV series), so it’ll be exciting to dive in to something new.

Wear something comfortable!

I’m often wearing leggings and a tshirt or tank top on the road trips (if not for the entire duration of the vacation) and my go-to shoe for the car is obviously flip flops. This makes it easy to be flexible in the car and stay comfortable. It’s always a good idea to have a hoodie in case your driver likes it a little chilly (ahem, Dad). For our trips, we usually leave around three in the morning, so we will also have our pillows and blankets and whoever isn’t the copilot and staying up with the driver quickly falls asleep for the first leg of the trip.

Have a good, reliable pair of headphones!

For longer trips, I don’t recommend wireless headphones. Having a pair die halfway through a road trip and needing to re-charge can be painful, especially if the driver has a taste in music you don’t necessarily love (ahem, Dad with the jazz). This year I’m excited to have my Steelseries Arctis 5 headset. I bought them at PAX East earlier this year, and I love that they can be used for pretty much any device. I primarily use them for gaming on my desktop! Luckily, they came with two adapters: one USB and one AUX. I simply swap out the adapters based on my needs. The sound is really good and they are the only over-ear headphones I’ve ever owned that don’t give me headaches because of my glasses. Also, the cloth strap is interchangeable and comes in a bunch of different designs! I have the black and white geometric standard strap and a hot pink one that I purchased at the trade show.. I can’t wait to have them on this road trip!

Stay hydrated!

Although the potential extra restroom breaks may seem annoying, it’s so important to remember to stay hydrated on long trips. I’m guilty of not drinking water because I don’t want to be “that person” asking to pull over to the next rest stop. Unfortunately being dehydrated is very uncomfortable, and really really not good for you. This year I’m definitely going to try to do better. I’m bringing my 25 oz S’well bottle with me to refill at each stop. I never expected these bottles to actually work as good as they say they do (I’m a skeptic, what can I say). Well trust me, they work. And they’re awesome. I had ice water in my bottle one day and left it in my car on a 90 degree sunny day for four hours, and the ice was still solid when I came back! I was floored. I love this bottle! I have the limited edition S’well bottle that came with my Winc / Societe Summer Water summer club subscription, but I’ve been eyeing this Milky Way design for a few weeks now.

Have healthy snacks!

It’s so tempting to stock up on chips and candy and junk food when traveling. Those foods always come in convenient packaging and taste really good, and hey it’s vacation so why not right? If you’re trying to be a bit more conscious about your health, consider bringing a variety of more nutritious options:

  • Beef jerky (or any jerky). I know it’s not always necessarily “healthy”, but as far as quick snacks go it’s good in protein and generally more satisfying. I always feel fuller after a few pieces of jerky than half a can of potato chips!
  • These are convenient because they can travel at room temperature and still taste just fine. Honeycrisp are my personal favorite.
  • Trail mix. And I’m not talking about the ones loaded with candy. Try finding a mix that has unsalted nuts and dried fruits in it!
  • PB&J. If you don’t mind having a little cooler near your feet, having a PB&J sandwich on hand could really hit the spot. Again, not the healthiest thing in the world. But it sure beats a burger from the drive-thru!

Study!

If you have anything you need to study for, take advantage of this time! I know it’s vacation, but you will feel so much better when you reach your destination knowing you took care of a less-than-desirable task. I’ll be studying for the FAR section of the CPA exam during this trip. I’m sitting on October 16th, so I have a lot of review to do before then!

Play some games!

If you aren’t big on reading, you could always bring a portable gaming device with you. My sister, her fiancé, and my fiancé are all bringing their Nintendo DS and games with them. That’s definitely a fun way to spend some of the trip! And if you’re not into that either, well. I’m not sure what to tell you. Maybe keep sleeping until you arrive at your destination? Play travel games with other people in the car? My family is pretty quiet, so reading, sleeping, and gaming is pretty much the extent of our trip. Obviously, there will be conversation sprinkled in of course to keep the driver occupied as well!

This year will be our second time visiting the Cape, and I couldn’t be more excited! It has been a handful of years since, and my memories of it are waning. I can’t want to re-live some of the experiences we had before, as well as create new memories!

If you want to follow along with the trip, make sure to follow me on Instagram (@stylegeeknaturefreak)!

 

Xo, Karli

 

 

My August Bullet Journal Setup

My August Bullet Journal Setup

 

All my young life I struggled with pre-made planners. The lines were wide ruled, or the boxes weren’t big enough, or the design was just plain boring. Most people don’t give much thought into their planners. Unfortunately for my wallet, I am not one of those people. During college it was common for me to get a new planner for each semester because I’d grown bored of the old one or couldn’t resist the allure of a new one. I always wanted change, be it a new layout, new color scheme, different binding or size, etc. I couldn’t get enough of planners. Then, in 2015, well after college had ended and I had begun my career (but still insisted on buying myself analog planners), I discovered Boho Berry and the allure of Bullet Journeling.

Bullet Journaling is the planning fad that is sweeping the planning community. I discovered it in 2015, and started my own bullet journal for the first time in 2016. It took some time to get used to it, but I very quickly fell in love with the self-designed planning system. There is so much you can do with the blank canvas of a notebook if you really put your mind to it. The possibilities are endless, and now I no longer struggle with being bored of my current planner. I can update it between days, if I really wanted to! But for the most part I leave it to changing up between months.

**if you would be interested in seeing some previous monthly spreads, let me know in the comments!**

I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for August . Last year I tried to organize months by a particular color, usually related to holidays or the season of the month. This year I have tried to do things differently, often choosing two complimenting colors and trying to veer away from seasonal/holiday themes. For July, for example, I did navy and hot pink this year instead of the traditional red and blue. And I LOVED it. It was beautiful and fresh, and matched the washi tape I had bought PERFECTLY. My only regret with July is that I did not reference it enough, and never got to truly take it all in.

When I started August, I sat and stared at the blank spread before me for about ten minutes. I considered the washi tape I had in my collection, checked on the colors of my brush pens, and STILL couldn’t come up with something new. I hate repeating themes if I can help it, and for a while I was stumped on what I would do. Then I dug into my adorable pineapple storage box that contains all of my bullet journaling supplies to find more inspiration. As I was riffling through the box, I stumbled across these Hiedi Swapp stickers that I bought last month at Joann Fabric & Crafts.

The whole line of stickers is to DIE for. It’s as if someone peered in my head and put my design dreams into stationary. I checked out her website and fell in love with a lot of her product line, especially the Storyline memory keeping system. I defnitely see myself digging into that in the near future, but that’s a post for a different day.

When I opened up the pack and saw the floral stickers on the second sheet, I knew exactly what I wanted to create for August. And I decided to change things up by using some colored pencils instead of my brush pens and Staedtler Fineliners. The outcome is one of my favorite spreads of all time.

Each month I start off exactly the same:

  • One to two pages for a monthly calendar or list, depending on what I go with (this month I went with a two page calendar spread)
  • One page for my habit tracker
  • One page for my expense tracker

The rest of my month I usually do a one-day-per-page format with my to-do list, a food tracker, step counter, and weather icon. If you’d be interested in seeing my dailies, let me know in the comments!

Without further ado, here is August! Let me know what you think! Enjoy <3 

 

 

xo, Karli

Calming Down Before Breaking Down

Calming Down Before Breaking Down

When life gets you down, it’s so easy to get sucked into your emotions. It’s easy to panic, to retreat from friendships and family, to lose your cool and lash out and those around you. It’s easy to get angry and blame it on your feelings later. But it also totally freaking sucks. Who wants to look back on a day or series of days and say “wow, yeah, sorry about that. I was just in a bad mood LOL”. NO. This is not okay. While it is understandable to be upset, it’s so important to learn how to handle those emotions, reign them in, and take control back over your head. (note: it is a much different situation if you suffer from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or other severe mood-altering mental diseases. please understand my post is referencing a much simpler form of emotion!)

I have a few fail-safe ways to calm my nerves and my brain after it becomes overwhelmed with stress. I mean, ideally we would be able to counter anything before a total freak out. But let’s be real: you don’t always see the breakdown coming. So, what do I do to calm down?

 

  • Take a bath! There’s nothing quite like taking a long soak after a stressful day, or to just turn around your mood. Add some fun bath fizzies, bubbles, and candles to really set the atmosphere. These Me! Bath bath bombs are my favorite bath bombs from Target! I love the “Love Me!” scent. It’s so fruity and sweet, and my skin feels amazing afterwards too! I usually use two per bath and find that more than enough. Between those and a crisp glass of wine from one of my Winc subscriptions, my mood is significantly better within the hour!

you may be interested in What I Loved In April . Check it out for a review of my new favorite wine from Winc and a link for $13 off your first order! (disclaimer, if you buy, I get $13 off my next order too! Win-win!)

 

  • Read a good book! Reading is so, so important. It helps keep your mind sharp, and it provides a great getaway from reality for a while. Some of my favorite stories feed into my wanderlust, or totally transport me to a different world. I highly recommend Wild by Cheryl Strayed for those of you hiking afficionados. Looking for something more dramatic and, well, fictional? I’m really enjoying this series by Sarah J. Mass. It feels like a mix of Beauty in the Beast, Hunger Games, and a few World of Warcraft references for blood elves that I can’t help but notice! It was slow going at first but I really got into the second book. The third just came out, and I can’t wait to pick it up!
  • Journal! As some of you may know, I’m a journal addict. I’ve loved collecting journals since I was a child, and I’m always using them for some purpose or another! Not only do I use journals for jotting down thoughts throughout the day, but I also use a dotted Leuchtturm1917 A5 journal for bullet journaling! I switched back to this method after using the Filofax for a little while. Never heard of bullet journaling? It’s a great way to mix planning and recording your life into one handy little journal. And with full creative freedom, you can make it look any way you want. Let your creativity soar, or keep it simple. Whichever way keeps you journaling is the best way to go! There are tons of wonderful accounts on Instagram to spark some inspiration. If you’re interested, I highly recommend checking out breeeberry, Boho Berry (who is actually the blog that got me into bullet journaling),  and iamlisajacobs (who has wonderful handwriting and a really pretty Insta feed in general) . Bullet journaling makes me feel organized which really helps calm the buzz of overwhelmed thoughts in my head. If you don’t have to worry about your schedule, that’s a lot less to think about throughout the day.

you may be interested in My Must Haves for FiloFax and Bullet Journaling 

 

  • Hike! Perhaps my favorite recommendation of them all! I love the outdoors. I grew up with my dad taking us to parks on hikes and walks all the time. It’s been one of my favorite things to do as long as I can remember. Pair that with a photography hobby and the cutest dog on the planet (I might be biased), it truly can’t be beat as my favorite way to unwind. Always check the maps at a park to see what trails work best for you, and don’t forget to bring plenty of water! If I’m really in a bad mood, I go on a nice hard trail with a lot of ups and downs and switchbacks. It gets my blood flowing, and it’s hard to focus on negative thoughts when your legs and lungs are pleasantly sore from the exercise. I went on a wonderful hike today with Willow, and at the very beginning is a river. She loves to swim, so I let her go crazy for a while in the water. It warmed my heart and lifted my spirits. I haven’t felt this great in days!

I’ll finish this post here, but keep scrolling if you want to see some photos from the hike! As always, thanks for stopping by!

 

xo, Karli

Best Plants to Liven Up a Low-Light Office Space

Best Plants to Liven Up a Low-Light Office Space

Spring has sprung, but that’s hardly a condolence to those of us who spend most of our time indoors for the 9-5. During the early weeks of Spring, those crucial hours are the ones where the sun shines the most, the air feels warmest, and the colors are brightest. While we work away in our offices and cubicles, flowers are blooming and sharing their cheery colors with anyone who cares to see. And we miss it. Every year.

I really love flowers. I love the way the air smells in the spring when they’ve bloomed. Spring is always tough for me because my part of the office is a corner with no windows, no natural light, nothing. We have a glass block window in the room, but it’s behind me and on the other side and I get nothing from it. If I don’t turn around or leave my desk for a while I wouldn’t know if it’s sunny or cloudy out. Feeling this  closed in and cut off from the outdoors is really rough on me during the spring months. This is why I make a point to have flowers or plants on my desk as much as possible. Bonus points for real ones!

I’m very lucky with the location of where I work, as I’m able to walk less than a mile to a local grocery store. While I go mostly for my lunches (great salad bar, and who can say no to $5 sushi Wednesday!), they also always have a great selection of fresh flowers to take back to the office. I usually will buy and bring back the flowers on Mondays so I can get the most out of them when they are their freshest. Here are some of my favorite desk plants, some I’ve tried and some I haven’t come across yet!

 

1. Poinsetta

During the holiday season this is a super great plant to have. It’s easy to take care of, and the smaller ones are usually pretty cheap (and plentiful!) and most stores. I really love having imperfect ones, like the one above with spotted leaves. It brought a lot of character to my little corner! And paired with the other holiday decorations in the accounting department, it really helped encourage that extra bit of Christmas cheer.

2. Spider Plant

I haven’t personally had one at the office, but these plants are great in low-light situations as well. As an added bonus, they also help to improve indoor air quality. They are even proven to help cling to dust in the air, which may help with some allergies for coworkers! Reading through the benefits of this plant are actually making me want to find one. Don’t have a lot of desk space? These plants work great in hanging baskets, so see about fastening a hook or getting a stand to hold a basket up off the floor.

3. Peace Lily

I’ve come to the conclusion that any kind of lily will always be one of my favorite plants. I once tried having tiger lilies in the office, but they didn’t last very long. In fact, they started closing up on the walk back becuase of the brisk wind! So that was unfortunate. Luckily I was able to get them for only $5! The Peace Lily, however, will handle much better in the office. Like the spider plant, it is also known to help improve indoor air quality. The flower itself is rather pretty, and adds more to a desk than the normal green shade-friendly plants.

 

 

 

4. Gerber Daisies

My personal favorite for in the office is the Gerber Daisy. These babies are super easy to take care of, and on average last me about two weeks. You can get them in more natural colors or fun artificially dyed oes. Either way, they are a cheerful and fun way to bring some life to your desk! And they are super easy to come across in stores during the spring months. I highly recommend them if you are more of a black thumb like myself. I usually only have to fill the vase once or twice!

The more I have plants in the office, the more I want to learn about them. I would love to really start getting interesting plants and learning how to take care of them and help them thrive. I do wish I had a window so I could really introduce some fun, colorful flowers. Unfortunately I don’t have such luck. Our offices will be movign in the next year or two, so maybe I’ll have better luck in the next building? Fingers crossed!

Make sure before bringing any plants into your office that your coworkers don’t have any allergies. When you work in close quarters, it’s important to make sure you aren’t infringing on the comfort (and productivity!) of others. Fake plants are always a great option to bring that color into the space, and they require no care! So that’s always a great option too if allergies are a concern.

What plants have you had luck with in your office space? What ar some of your favorites, or some that worked out better than you expected? Let me know in the comments below!

 

xo, Karli

What I Loved in April

What I Loved in April

I cannot believe it is already MAY. This is crazy. This year is flying by, each day slipping through my fingers no matter how hard I hold on. It was a wonderfully warm month, though. And I was able to accomplish so much and get so much good out of it that I can look back on the past weeks with fondness, as well as have excitement for the upcoming weeks of May! I had typed up a pretty great post earlier, but had accidentally refreshed the page without saving  a draft. That was painful. I’m going to try my best to recreate it without getting sloppy, as I can be sometimes when I rush to recreate things. Without further adeu, here are a few of my favorite books, movies, youtube channels, and photos from this past month! Read: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – This book was a lot better than I had expected. I’ve been wanting to read it for quite some time now, and finally picked it up a few weeks ago. Seeing the ad for the movie reminded me that I hadn’t even read the novel! I prefer to read before watching a movie, so I took it home and got started. Needless to say, I had it finished in 2 to 3 sessions. It was that good. I seriously could not put it down, and when I did I was so excited to pick it back up when I got home! In fact, one of my favorite days of this month was Easter morning when I woke up and drank coffee and read Everything, Everything for an hour before getting ready and meeting up with family.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – This book was a ton of fun. I really enjoy video games, so it’s always cool to have a story based on gaming (especially if the gamer group saves the world!). It’s pretty lengthy but is actually a very enjoyable read. It took me a little over a week to get through this one. Again, definitely a good recommendation for anyone looking for a game-relevant storyline!

Watched:

Okay, I’ve been watching Shameless and Seven Deadly Sins (anime) nonstop on Netflix, with the occasional movie here and there. But the one movie that stuck with me all month long is the 2005 Phantom of the Opera with Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum. I LOVE this movie. I grew up listening to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack because of my mom’s love for the story, and now I can’t help but feel chills when I listen to those songs. If you love lots of opera and singing and for some reason you HAVEN’T seen this yet, do yourself a favor and check it out. Hopefully you love it as much as I do. <3

I’ve also been addicted to watching Heidi Somers (aka Buffbunny) vlogs on Youtube. She just comes across so natural and bubbly and sincere, and every video I watch motivates me to work harder on myself and to be a happier person and really enjoy the life I live. She motivates me to get to the gym and to find a healthy balance between work, life, hobbies, and health. I started watching her videos from the very beginning, and I love that she has stayed true to herself while growing and making a name for herself in the fitness industry. It’s really inspiring seeing someone work so hard and fight for their goals and actually create the life they want to live.

Ate/Drank

Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Guacamole. Intrigued? You should be. This was the BEST thing I ate this month, hands down. And it is so easy to make! Two slices of bread (I used wheat), two slices of provolone cheese, one slice of mild cheddar, half of a single-serve pack of Wholly Guacamole (because I’m too lazy to make my own!), and two strips of bacon! Mmmm-mmm good!

Wine Of course, what would a post be without either fashion or wine involved? I’ll inlude just the wine this time. I fell in LOVE with a new wine I tried as part of my Winc subscription. Haven’t heard of Winc? Well if you love wine, you should check them out! You can sign up for their service and take a wine survey, where they get an idea of your tastes and pair you up with some new wines each month based on your results. If you review 10 bottles, you get $10 toward a future purchase! I have only received one wine I didn’t particularly enjoy, but everything else has been amazing! So far I have tried at least 15 different wines I believe. My personal favorites are Summer Water, Outer Sounds, and #TGIF [red blend]. I highly recommend giving them a try. If you do decide you want to try, use this link and receive $13 off in credits towards your first order. That’s a free bottle, people! Disclaimer: I also receive $13 in Winc credits if you buy a box using this link! I was lucky enough to buy into the Summer Water Societé summer subscription, where I get three “magnum” (2x the size) bottles of their limited edition Summer Water rose in May, June, and July! The first box should be here any day now and I simply cannot wait. You HAVE to get your hands on this wine if you love rosé. I promise you won’t regret it.
Photo Dump The rest of this post is going to be some photos from throughout the month. Some made it to Instagram, some did not. These are just some of my favorite items or snapshots from April!
Favorite Shoes – Minnetonka Santorini Sandals (no longer available on most sites!)  
Fave Go-to Lunch: 4 oz Baked Chicken with green beans and one cup brown rice, lightly drizzled with barbeque sauce. 
Favorite Pastime: Reading on the balcony on the first few warm days of spring!
Pretty building we passed while walking to a local festival! In our area we have a Maple Festival, where you can enjoy all things maple! My favorite thing is to get the maple stirs, where you get a little cup of maple syrup that has been processed so that stirring causes it to harden into maple candy. I still eat mine while it’s warm and gooey! My sister always buys bags of the maple coffee they sell, and it took all of my willpower to not buy a gallon jug of local maple syrup. I really REALLY love maple. Starbucks in our area actually had a Golden Maple Latte one fall, but it was just a local “test run” drink and apparently didn’t make it very far. It was the most delicious drink they ever made and I really wish they would bring it back…  

My all-time favorite memory from this month was being able to take Willow to a park and go swimming in the river! We were surprised with an 80 degree day and took full advantage with an exhausting hike and, for her, a fun swim to cool off! It was so much fun seeing her happy and energetic. I can’t wait until we have more war weather for getting outside to play!

Anyway, those are some of my favorites of…well…everything! None of this content was sponsored or affiliate based. But I definitely recommend making that grilled cheese for yourself. Seriously, TO DIE FOR. Give it a go and let me know what you think!

What are some of the things you enjoyed most this past month? Let me know in the comments below!

xo, Karli

How to Revamp Your Closet Without Spending a Penny

How to Revamp Your Closet Without Spending a Penny

Okay. So shopping is my thing. You know it, I know it, my dad knows it, EVERYONE knows it. I love refreshing my closet or adding new accessories to my rotation, especially during season changes. Unfortunately, I also fall out of love with a lot of pieces in my closet. Faster than I’d like to admit, in fact. And we’ve all been there! That sweater is staring you down at the store that you just HAVE TO HAVE IT. But then a few months go by, and the sweater was only worn once, or maybe shrank from a medium to a small in the dryer (did it say lay flat to dry? whoops). Or hey, maybe your style changed and it simply doesn’t belong. That’s okay! I’ll be the first to admit that I have a constant pile of clothes next to my dresser that I have every intention to donate. Granted, I always wait ’till it’s a little large to take it to the local thrift store. But my intentions are good!

I had such a stack growing for some time when my friend sent me a Facebook invite to a clothing swap. Intrigued, I checked out the info. My friend is a very environmentally friendly person. She makes the constant effort to do her best to maintain a level of sustainability most of us will never achieve. She is the person who has encouraged me to never have paper plates, cups, or plastic-ware in the house. I grab a dish rag faster than a paper towel when going to clean up a mess. I recycle anything I do use (as long as it is recyclable!) and try my best to cut down on my own personal waste. But I never EVER thought to do something along the lines of a clothing swap.

The invite was super exciting, too: she would be making quiche and providing mimosas to the group as well. Her quiche is to die for and, well, who could say no to a mimosa on a sunny Sunday afternoon? I found myself driving to her place a few weeks later with a duffel bag of old clothes and accessories.

The event was a total success. A few people went home with some previously loved pieces of mine, and I raked in a handful of perfect pieces to add to my closet as well! Even better, some of them are items I’ve been trying to keep an eye out for in stores but haven’t had the courage to fork over the dough (ie. a simple white and black stripe plaid shirt, mock neck knit sweater, and a few cute dresses perfect for spring and summer). I was even lucky enough to snag a few Calvin Klein pieces! Even though we were browsing used items, the shopping experience was a ton of fun. Everyone showed up in yoga pants and white camis for easy try-ons. The compliments were flying, people were finding clothes that fit them and their style better than the old items they had brought along. The atmosphere was bubbly and light, and the energy was positive and exciting. The experience itself was worth the trip, let alone the loot!

I’ll be sharing some of my looks in the next few weeks over on my Instagram. My goal this week is to wear outfits comprising at least one new item from the swap each day. So far, so good! Here are the outfits I’ve created thus far:

This top is probably one of my favorites. As soon as I found it I knew I would wear it to work on Monday. Paired with my Limited grey cropped pants (similar here) and my favorite sparkly Aldo flats (currently a STEAL at $24.98!), this instantly became my new favorite go-to outfit.

This maxi dress won my heart. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but it’s a navy blue color and slightly cinched at the waste. I wore this to work with a simple white cardigan and my braided Minnetonka Santorini sandals (these are last season’s style, so it was hard to find you a pair but I linked one on sale at Cabela’s!). I adore the high-low cut of the dress. It’s overall very flattering on me, and probably my favorite casual dress right now. The tag says it’s a Merona dress, so definitely a Target find. Of course, who would have thought I’d like something from Target?

Apparently I didn’t take a photo of Tuesday’s outfit, but it was a cute L.L.Bean Grey Cable Knit sweater (similar here, plus some cute beading!), layered over a Gap white and black plaid button up. Follow my Instagram to see more of the looks I create with these previously-loved pieces!

If you and your friends are similar sizes and have un-worn, previously loved clothing in your closets I HIGHLY recommened setting up a group clothing and accessory swap. Throw some shoes in the mix if you can! It was so much fun revamping my closet knowing that I was spending no money, and probably bringing joy to someone who used to love the clothes I took home! Bonus points if you follow in my friend’s footsteps: she was able to donate five bags full of clothes to a local, fair trade thrift store! It feels good that on top of the shopping, mimosas, and delicious quiche, we were helping a cause near and dear to her heart.

 

xo, Karli