Building My Fall Capsule Wardrobe (& the Pieces I've Worn for 3 Months!)

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What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

I’ve toyed around with the idea of a capsule wardrobe for quite some time. Though I was intrigued by the streamlined approach to getting dressed and minimizing clutter, I was mostly stressed and overwhelmed at the thought of being pigeon-holed into wearing only a few pieces for months at a time. But from what I kept reading from others, it’s supposed to do quite the opposite! Capsule wardrobes are “supposed” to free you up and allow you to enjoy the versatility of mixing a range of pieces together to create easy outfits and eliminate the stress of getting dressed. It’s supposed to save you money and time. It’s supposed to help you become more disciplined with spending. So they say.

Step 1: Assess Your Closet.

I decided to give it a try and put together a capsule for this fall! I’ve actually been observing this for the past few seasons - the range of clothes I wear, how often I wear certain pieces, and what I tend to gravitate toward. Taking stock of what I tend to reach for over and over again really helped me hone in on what kind of capsule I was looking to create - something really casual and comfortable, without consisting of a ton of sweatpants. I don’t need dressy corporate clothing since I’m not working a 9-5, but I do need pieces that feet nice enough to wear to a meeting or a class to meet with people, while still being comfortable enough to hang with my kids! Also, it’s really important to think in terms of weather - my Georgia fall is much different than my friends’ in Alaska!

Step 2: Toss & Shop (sparingly).

Believe it or not, I actually purchased very little for this fall capsule. In late August I went through my closet and pulled out my gold standards - the cardigans I wear over and over again, the jeans that fit me best, the types of tops that I reach for over and over again. And then I observed the gaps in my wardrobe and filled in the blanks here and there. Very carefully.

I also took this opportunity to toss or donate clothes I hadn’t worn in a year. I’ve learned that the more I throw things away in my home (old toys, old clothes, you name it), the easier it gets to continue tossing things. We don’t need all this stuff! Items that are nice enough for a second life get donated to our local Better Way Ministry or sold on my Instagram Shop.

Step 3: Make Up Your Own Rules.

There are a lot of schools of thought when it comes to a capsule - it took me some time to grasp how this would work for me. For example, some people find 25 pieces they wear constantly, while some people work with nearly 60 pieces. Some people include workout clothes and dressy clothes in the mix - and some don’t. Some include shoes and accessories, some don’t count those items as part of the capsule. When I finally realized it was totally up to me, I started to relax a little bit. I make the rules! I will say that this blog post, Elsie’s capsule, Anna’s capsule, Savannah’s capsule helped tremendously, and I’ve also heard really amazing things about this book and the Cladwell app.

I personally decided not to include shoes, work out clothes or dressy clothes in my capsule. I wear workout clothes multiple times a week for when I exercise, but I try not to wear my gym clothes all day because I don’t feel my absolute best in them when I wear them all day every day. And my normal routine doesn’t really include dresses or skirts because, let’s keep things real, I’m a boy mama.

Step 4: Execute the Capsule!

The Georgia fall weather usually includes a lot of lingering humidity and days that are rife with heat. So this capsule could almost be labeled “pre-fall” because its truly a transition out of the southern summer and into slightly more manageable temperatures. But for now, here goes! My fall capsule wardrobe! These are the pieces I’ve worn over and over for the past several months!

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Bottoms:
1. Madewell high-waisted skinny jeans
2. Nordstrom black skinny jeans (I ended up replacing with these Madewell jeans)
3. TJ Maxx jogger pants
4. Spanx faux leather leggings


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Tops:
1. Fabr’ik v-neck tee in black
2. Fabr’ik v-neck tee in nude
3. Free People embroidered long sleeve
4. Fabr’ik v-neck tee in raspberry
5. RAW moon phases tank
6. LOFT chambray off-the-shoulder top
7. Banana Republic flannel long-sleeve (old, similar here)
8. Madewell v-neck tee in green spruce
9. Madewell ruffle shoulder tee in black/white stripe
10 Madewell flannel button-up
11. LOFT blue shell top
12. Magickal Babe Brigade t-shirt
13. LOFT casual long sleeve
14. Anthropologie buttondown


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Sweater/Cardigan/Layer:
1. ASOS maxi sweater cardigan (old, similar here)
2. Fabr’ik chambray long-sleeve
3. Pom oversized sweater
4. Leather Jacket (old, similar here)
5. Old Navy jean jacket (similar here)
6. LOFT black/white kimono
7. TJ Maxx pink velvet kimono


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Note: I didn’t include accessories in my capsule, but I have definitely gravitated towards a small collection of shoes, bralettes and neck scarves this season. I will share about these in a separate post because I think they have been the part of my fall capsule that made getting dressed fun!


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Takeaways:

  1. I loved making up the rules for this capsule! Once I finally felt free enough to make changes - even in the midst of the 3 months - I felt so much freer and more empowered. I liked being able to swap a pair of jeans for a better pair of jeans, and not feeling like I was “breaking” the rules because I make my own rules here.

    2. The next time I do this, I want to add a few dresses and skirts. I didn’t feel like I was “missing” them during these past 3 months (gosh I need more reasons to get spruced up), but I would like to add them in because I like feminine pieces!

    3. I think there is only a need for 2 capsule wardrobes per year. I think there is a fall capsule and a spring capsule, and the changes for winter and summer are a bit more gradual and subtle. So as I think ahead for winter, I will probably keep the base of this capsule almost the same and just add in some more layers, sweaters and maybe a dress or two.

    4. I will continue keeping workout clothes and super dressy clothes (for a fancier occasion) separate. And I give myself permission to get something new if its for a specific reason! But for the most part, the purpose of having a capsule is to reduce unnecessary shopping and I definitely feel like that has been my experience.

I really enjoyed this experiment and I think I will get better and better at honing in on pieces that really work for my life and my style. What do you think? Could you ever do a capsule wardrobe? I would love to hear your thoughts!


The Minimalist Baby Book.

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I want to remember it all. The warm newborn scent, the suede texture of their hair, the quick way they quieted down when I picked them up. Both of my boys came into this world making a statement, and even so, parts of my memory are fading. I desperately want to hold onto these memories, to cherish them, to pull them out of the recesses of my mind and dust them off and enjoy them as they treasures they truly are. Because as much as these moments are about my baby boys and their beautiful milestones, there are traces of my own hidden in the fabric of these moments.

Becoming a mother, making all sorts of mistakes, having all sorts of victories - they are all tied to my boys. We have been moving together as one unit, needing each other and learning, living and growing together for these first years of their lives, and in so many ways these have been the first years of my life, too. The first years being their mother. Of learning how to mother. Of learning how not to mother! They are part of my evolution as a person and I am part of theirs.

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As much as I love sharing here on this blog, I sometimes wonder what this space will look like when I’m old and gray - if it will even exist! For now I don’t see it going away, but I love the idea of passing something tangible and permanent along to my children, something beautiful yet simple, that will carry the heartfelt truths of how very significant they are.

My friend Christina created something endlessly beautiful, poignant and long-lasting. The Minimalist Baby Book is a tribute to design well, well done, and houses memories made by parents and their children from birth through 5 years. The book is so simple, purposely void of loud color and flowery fonts - leaving room for the parents to record what they want to remember most about their babes. Things like, “funny quotes”, “reflections on the past year”, “how we celebrated baby’s 1st birthday” are given lots of room to breathe. And lots of paper space to reflect.

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Anyone who knows Christina knows that this book is an extension of who she is - elegant, attentive and responsible. The book itself is produced without any shortcuts. Constructed of cotton linen, filled with 100% recycled paper, and produced here in the U.S., it epitomizes care for the environment without sacrificing the quality of product. And in regard to why she wanted to create this baby book, Christina told me she, “didn’t want to add ‘noise’ into the world, but instead something that adds value.

She loves that her book allows mothers and fathers to take the time to handwrite their most precious memories. Those remembrances will be passed on to their children, who will be able to read for years to come about how loved they were from the very beginning. And in my case, how very little I knew about what I was doing in the beginning!

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As we enter the holiday season of celebrating family (and let’s be honest, lots and lots of food!), we also enter a season that celebrates mass consumption. My hope is that this book serves as a pillar to another school of thought - one that doesn’t need “bigger” and “more”, but rather, one that is satisfied with quality and minimalism.

You can shop The Minimalist Baby Book here and follow Christina’s on Instagram here.


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P.S. - Everett took this photo, and even though its blurry I wanted to include it, because I love how it represents the ethos of this post. I would much rather have the capacity to celebrate my son as learns and grows and develops his gifts rather than a crisp photo ;)

More Autumn Fun in Charlestown, MA & Portsmouth, New Hampshire!

Continuing to share a bit about our New England adventure (part 1 here). This was a long but incredibly spontaneous day. Which I’m learning I really really love and makes me feel alive, making spontaneous travel choices. Don’t get me wrong, I plan a ton for the trips when we travel. But then once we’re finally there, I like to deviate and have lottttts of flexibility within “the plan”. Which makes for a fun day! So on this particularly chilly autumn day, we started off walking around Charlestown, touring the Battle of Bunker Hill and showing Everett the U.S.S. Constitution (he was obsessed!), but things started getting seriously wet and cold… so we had to make a choice. Go back to the hotel and hunker down. Or, you know, drive to Maine and get some lobster rolls. Which one do you think we chose??


Charlestown, Massachusetts

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Outfit Details:

Anthropologie Top, Old Navy Jean Jacket (like 10 years old! Similar here), Nordstrom Jeans, Sebago Boots, Madewell Scarf, Stella & Dot Knot Bracelet


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(And this is just a side note but I found the most amazing natural nail salon in Atlanta where they do fancy polish and nail art - Lark and Sparrow!)


Portsmouth, New Hampshire

We drove up to Kittery, Maine (such a great lighthouse!), and then turned around and found our way into Portsmouth, NH. These towns are right next to each other on the water, and we decided to walk around quaint little Portsmouth and find some dinner. Not too many pictures from this spot because it was drizzly, but we all cozied up in a little cafe and the boys had quesadillas and we had lobster rolls. I know, we are all sorts of culinary excellence ;)

Truth be told, we had to pull out the kindles for this meal, and Stevie didn’t love it. We don’t like to be those parents who shove technology in their kid’s faces all the time, but sometimes if you want to have a nice meal, and you’re all traveling together, and things are getting fussy… yep. Kindles to the rescue!

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And that was our drizzly cold, 40-degree day in Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire. Okay, the Maine part barely counts, but it’s still KIND of fun to count it because it makes us sound like road warriors. Which, in a van with two toddlers demanding “Frozen” songs over and over for hours, we kind of became.

What are your travel go-tos when your children are sort of melting down? I would love to hear!


Visiting New England in October!

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I guess I’ll just start off with the truth.

We almost moved to Boston this summer. Or I should say, we almost moved back to Boston this summer. There was a job opportunity that we were seriously considering, and during that time, I was chatting with Everett & Daxton all about New England. Well, we ended up staying put because another (better) job kept Stevie working right here in Georgia, which was a relief because we have so much family here, but after sharing with my boys so much about Boston, I thought we ought to take a trip. And what better time to visit than autumn in New England??

I’m going to break this post up into a few so that I can share about where we ate, what we did, and most importantly (to the boys!) - where we played. Because we played a LOT. I will do a separate follow-up post about traveling with our two boys this time around - please let me know in the comments section if you have specific questions!


Downtown Boston

 This shot cracked me up because it was COMPLETELY candid and they all looked so pensive.

This shot cracked me up because it was COMPLETELY candid and they all looked so pensive.

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 Color like POW.

Color like POW.

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I love this statue. She’s representing the angels who worship at God’s throne.


Beacon Hill, Massachusetts

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Are you seeing the streets lined with gold? Goshhhh.

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Just casually posing on the quaint cobblestoned alley. LIKE ALL BLOGGERS DO. Sometimes we’re a little bit ridiculous.

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Outfit Details


Loft Top (half off right now!), Madewell Jeans, Banana Republic Scarf (similar), Franco Sarto Flats, RAW Bronzing Studio Tan, (my leather jacket was purchased overseas, similar styles here and here)

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My little sweetheart.

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I never want to forget them like this. Everett is wearing this top and these pants, Dax is wearing this top and these pants.

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Leaf confetti.

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Not the tour we were on but I wanted to get a shot of how the truck goes into the water! So cool!

 I think this is our only family photo of the trip but gosh, isn’t Daxton just the sweetest? That child is growing up.

I think this is our only family photo of the trip but gosh, isn’t Daxton just the sweetest? That child is growing up.

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What We Did.
We walked the historical Freedom Trail (if you go without kids, I HIGHLY encourage doing The Freedom Trail Run - it’s a 5k tour of the Freedom Trail and ends with a ferry ride back to where you started! SO efficient and helps you squeeze in a workout while you’re traveling!) We wandered the Boston Public Garden and the Boston Common, which are two of the most amazing public spaces you will find in Boston (I’ve previously overshared the Public Garden here and here).

We also found several amazing playgrounds, one in Beacon Hill called the Myrtle Street Playground, where we played with the kids for a few hours one perfect morning. The golden leaves kept falling around us like confetti and the air was cool and I just thought, “This is it. A perfect moment that I don’t want to forget.” Whatever those golden trees are, I need to plant one here in Georgia. We also played at the Esplanade, on the Charles Bank Playground along the river, and this was the perfect way for the boys to get out wiggles when they were sitting in the stroller for too long.

We also took a Duck Tour in the afternoon, which Everett was really excited about, because (all you boy mamas, listen in!), the tour truck transforms into a boat and goes into the Charles River. Yes. My boys were losing their minds a little, because at any mention of “transformer”, they are shook.

We took the boys to the Curious George toy store in Harvard Square and let them each pick out a toy. It’s kind of a fun thing we’ve started to do - minimizing the toys we buy at home but letting them choose something to play with when we travel. I think it helps them create a special memory reminder of our trip AND gives them a little something to play with on those long travel days where extra patience (and distraction!) is sometimes needed. Our one rule is that the toy must be small enough to be packable! And by the way, they picked out some of these Green Toys and we are loving them!

Where We Ate.
Call me boring, but we did a lot of Starbucks on this trip. My boys are carb monsters and tear through the muffins and bagels like its their job. I like having a few things I can count on them actually eating, so we did a lot of Starbucks in the AM. My order is a grande Americano and the Bacon, Egg & Gouda breakfast sandwich - it’s so good! We also packed the boys apple sauce pouches, snacks and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day, which really helped them feel comfortable (because they eat a lot of this at home!) However, Stevie and I didn’t hold back! We loved our juices and smoothies at The Juicery, dinner at our favorite restaurant in Harvard Square called Grafton Street, and a must-have yogurt at Berryline. Yum.

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This trip was such a blast and we did so much on each day! I’ll share in a separate post about hanging out in Charlestown, where we ate the BEST brunch and cannolis, and why we took an impromptu trip to Maine for the day ;)