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Archive for the ‘Self’ Category

I am an addict, and I am not ashamed. But it’s not what you may think…my weakness is actually magazines! O, Allure, Women’s Day, Family Circle, Family Fun, I could go on and on. I just love the information and inspiration that I get. The only trick is finding a way to manage all that random information so it becomes memorable and useful, and not letting the piles of magazines take over my living space!

The way I stay organized is by keeping a journal. Two, actually, since I keep recipes that I’ve taken from magazines in a binder. The journal I’m referring to today, though, is for all the other bits of wisdom that you don’t know quite what to do with, but want to remember.

Take a trip to the bookstore and find a journal that you love. I’m all about online shopping in most cases, but there’s something about a journal that should be a brick-and-mortar experience. You have to make sure it’s a journal that you love the feel of, the way the pages turn, the way it’s bound; don’t use just any old notebook. It makes a world of difference.

Once you find your perfect journal, arm yourself with a small bag or basket of supplies. I actually use an extra travel makeup bag. In the bag I keep small scissors, pens, tape, a glue stick, and, surprisingly enough, crayons. You just never know when the urge to color will strike.

When I’m leafing through the magazines, if there’s anything that really appeals to me, whether it’s an inspiring quote, an idea, something about my family that I relate to, a picture, or a place I want to visit, I pull the whole page or pages out. I will leave the pages sticking out of the magazine until I’m finished reading it, and then I’ll put them in a folder until I have a minute to work with them and put them in the journal.

At this point, you can go ahead and recycle the rest of the magazine. Ahhhh…doesn’t that feel good? No piles of clutter! Well, no piles of magazine clutter, anyway. One thing at a time.

Now, with a few free moments and your supplies at the ready, you can cut, tear, glue, tape, and color to your heart’s content. There are no rules. You can write notes alongside, or not. You can include an entire article, or just rip out a paragraph or a sentence that moved you. You can jot down why the words were meaningful, or you can just color a smiley face or heart next to it. You could also just copy down the passages and information yourself onto your journal pages. This may appeal to those that don’t like the random, “messyness” of the cut-and-glue method. Either way you’re keeping a log of personal, meaningful information. It’s easy, and it makes for a fun journal to keep. You’ll be surprised how revealing it can be to flip back and see your past inclusions, and what you may have otherwise forgotten about!

Have fun!

-Kerry

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Here are five items to add to your closet for the Spring season of 2010. These items will help you look good on the weekend or weeknight, but some items can be paired with dress pants for the weekday as well.

I’ve also included an item you may find in the depths of your closet that you will want to think about putting in your “donate” box as a trade-off.

1. Skinny jeans. Wait! Don’t skip over this paragraph–hear me out. Skinny jeans used to be exclusivly fit for very, very skinny people, but if you sit on a bench at the mall and people watch for a few minutes–you’ll see that this jean style is now made to fit everyone.

Let’s be clear, though. The skinny jeans I am talking about are not made of a stretchy material, and they are not tight at all. They should be loose on top and bunch up a little at the bottom. You may even consider trying a size up from what you usually wear if your size is a snug fit. They should also be worn with flats or flat sandals (see number two) and should not be worn with sneakers or high sandals. We’re talking about a thin line between stylish skinnys and tapered leg.

In fact, your trade-off for skinny jeans is tapered leg jeans. If you have any “mom jeans” in your closet (you know–high waisted, flat, straight, ankle cut), stick those in your donate box and please buy yourself a pair of well-fitting skinnys.

I found my favorite pair in Target.

2. Ballet flats. These shoes dress up any outfit, and you can find them pretty inexpensively. Get as funky as you want or go with plain black. Put with any jean and t-shirt, they turn your Saturday outfit from boring to adorable.

Throw your old, stained, plastic flip-flops in the donate box. Please.

Payless has a nice online selection of flats in a good variety of sizes, including wide.

3. Long t-shirt and tank. Your skinny jeans will look good with anything long. Think long on top, short/small on bottom. You won’t want to pair your long tops with baggy bottoms.

American Eagle has neutral colored long t-shirts and tanks. I have the Tail T in almost every color. They are 10 bucks (on sale-$15.50 regular price) and can be switched up a million different ways, think of it as an investment in a layered outfit.

Trade out any shrunken tees that don’t make it past your belt.

4. Long cardigan. Looks good over tank-tops that you can’t usually wear until summer. Pair with your skinny jeans and ballet flats. Never thought you’d look so good and feel so comfortable on the weekend, did you?

Old Navy has a good selection. They have petite and tall sizes online so you can find the perfect fit.

Trade out any old cardigans with pulls, tears, or missing buttons. If you happen to have a poncho, that can go too.

5. Airy scarf. Not a winter scarf, but a light, airy scarf to be worn as an accessory. It does provide some warmth on a cool night. Pair with numbers 1-4 for the ultimate comfortable and stylish look.

Once again, Old Navy has the best selection.

Put away your winter scarves for next year. Donate any you didn’t wear this winter.

Honorable Mention: Denim jacket. Be sure it is a good fit, and on the shorter side. It should fit snugly over a thin top, fitting almost like a suit jacket. Be careful not to wear with jeans, it looks better with a colorful skirt or neutral colored capris.

Donate your denim button down shirts.

See H & M.

<3Alissa

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Pajamas for the Soul

Aren’t we all trying to live a happier, healthier life? Countless self-help books, magazines (and Oprah!) have been telling us to stop, breathe, and take time out of our day to make ourselves happy. What about taking time out of our nights, too?

You don’t have to admit this to anyone…but just ask yourself, “what did I wear to bed last night?” If it was a pair of shabby flannel PJs, your sweatpants, or (gasp!) your jeans from the day–I guarantee you will find an investment in a good pair of PJs brings a smile to your face.

If you can’t imagine that this movement would change your day much, think of it like this. Do you breathe a sigh of relief when you get into bed the night you’ve changed to a clean pair of sheets? Likewise, a crisp, clean pair of feel-good, fit-right pajamas can really freshen up your night and give you a good start to your day, especially if you’re one of those lucky people who gets to lounge in them for a good part of the day.

Pajamas are not typically something we want to go out and spend a lot of money on, so I would like to point you to a few places where you can find jammies that fit your personality and make you feel good for $10-$35.00.

The power of red: Target has an amazing selection of PJ sets, nightgowns, and tanks/shorts. Shop by price.

Old Navy is known for their brightly colored pajama bottoms, usually cotton. Grab a basic tee or tank on clearance to wear on top. Or, for a more classic look, try Gap. The Gap Body tees are a little more expensive than a tank you might find in the sale section, but they are usually tagless and the material is sprinkled with whatever magic they use to make it supersoft. Mix and match at both stores for one flat shipping rate, love that.

And, of course, Victoria’s Secret. Believe me, they do carry adorable, quality PJs that are appropriate to wear around the house.

If you’re feeling really crazy…throw in a pair of slippers. Try Kohls.

-Alissa

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My BFF Cole came over last week to help me organize my closet. If you are someone who needs a GPS to get through your closet, read on.

1. Hang pants. If you’re lucky, some of the wrinkles might come out on their own. Or at least, for those like me who are ironing-challenged,  you will be able to iron them without creating more wrinkles.

2. If you don’t wear it or it doesn’t fit, put it to rest…at the Salvation Army. Stop hanging onto things because they once looked good on you. It is all the more frustrating to try to find something cute to wear in a cluttered closet. You won’t waste your time trying it on only to find out, once again, that it still isn’t working for you.

If it makes you feel better, keep a tally of all the items you put in your give-to-good-will box. For every tally, buy yourself a new item. (If all else fails, call one of your honest BFFs to come over and tell you that the shrunken pink t-shirt is no longer flattering.)

3. Put your staple items in one spot. I now have a drawer for camis, leggings/stockings, and solid tees. My good button-downs are hanging neatly in a row. This makes layering a lot less of a chore when everything can be easily located.

4. Have you ever tried on your favorite boots and jeans only to find that you look like you’re preparing for a flood? Separate your jeans into two piles: Jeans to wear with heals and jeans to wear with flats/flops. This is an amazing time-saver.

5. If you have a Smart Phone, download a closet app. I have MyCloset, which is available in the Droid marketplace for free. There are several iPhone apps such as TouchCloset. Basically, you can upload cell phone pics of your outfit pieces, and create your outfit on your phone. You can even send your outfits to your friends for review. Reminds me of Cher’s futuristic closet on Clueless, which I totally wanted.

Or, of course, you could always try on outfits and find a buddy to take pics for you. Throw together a photo album and keep it in the corner of the closet for the days when you don’t feel like thinking. You’ll be able to easily recall (and locate) what looks great together.

And don’t forget to put your laundry away.

-Alissa

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Self

Make time for yourself

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