Introducing Shop Fashion Spirit!

I am so excited to introduce a project I have been working on—Shop Fashion Spirit. The site features my own graphic designs printed on sustainably-produced tees, tanks, tote bags, and sweatshirts, as well as art prints. It really has been a labor of love! The designs are minimal, yet vibrant making them the perfect addition to any capsule wardrobe.

I love designing products, but I wanted to keep my shop aligned with the my goal of responsible consumption. With that in mind all the apparel and accessories on the shop are sourced from companies that are working toward sustainable and ethical manufacturing. More information on the companies can be found on the About page of the shop website. All products are printed on-demand so there is no excess stock produced and printing is done in eco-friendly, water-based inks.

We will also be donating 5% of our profits to charitable organizations every month including environmental, human rights and animal welfare organizations.

You can visit the shop at http://www.shopfashionspirit.com or via the Shop link in the menu at the top of this blog. And don’t forget to follow the shop on Instagram @shopfashionspirit.

And just for you blog readers, use discount code FSBLOG for 10% off your first order.

Definitely take a look and let me know your thoughts.

Happy and responsible shopping!

xoxo Anna

 

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Graphic Paris

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Happy Thursday! I’m here to share another look from my spring/summer capsule wardrobe. When I was planning my wardrobe, I knew I wanted a versatile graphic tee that I could wear with just about anything. I was doubtful that I could find exactly what I wanted at the thrift store, but when I saw this gem I knew it was meant to be. I love the typography and the subject (Paris infinity!). It has turned out to be one of my favorite items from this season’s selection. It works equally well with a skirt or jeans, and coordinates well with the other items in my wardrobe.

For this look, I paired it with a Madewell skirt (thrifted), some nifty statement earrings (thrifted) and my beige lace-up block heels. These heels have been another surprisingly useful purchase. I feel like I am starting to be able to distinguish between something that I will wear frequently and something I should avoid purchasing, which is a good feeling.

How about you? Have you had any great thrift store finds lately?

xoxo Anna

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Shirt, thrifted, Buffalo Exchange, ethical alternative here; Skirt, Madewell, thrifted, Goodwill, ethical alternative here; Shoes, Unisa, similar here; Earrings, thrifted, Buffalo Exchange, ethical alternatives here and here.

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Pink lady

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Jacket, Zara, thrifted, similar here; Dress, Ginger G, thrifted; Necklace, thrifted, ethical alternative here; Booties, DV, thrifted; Hat, Forever 21, ethical alternative here

Happy Thursday! Today I wanted to share an outfit from my spring/summer capsule wardrobe. Since my last post, here, my capsule wardrobe has grown/changed a little. After living with it for a week, I realized I didn’t have enough work-appropriate shirt options so I dug into my donation bag and my storage bag and added a few more t-shirts. I also had to buy some new jeans as my old ones were too big. Ditto the trench coat and the black tank dress. I’ve also noticed that some items get no wear at all, so I think I could eliminate a some things and not miss them. Needless to say it’s a work in progress.

I definitely have favorites that I seem to wear over and over again. One of them is this pink motorcycle jacket I picked up at Buffalo Exchange. It’s fairly simple, but it makes a big statement. For this look, I paired it with a grey ribbed dress (another favorite), sunburst necklace and ankle boots (all from Buffalo Exchange). At the last minute, I added my favorite hat from Forever 21 (the only non-thrifted item).

What about you? Have you tried a capsule wardrobe? What is your favorite thrift shop find?

xoxo Anna

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My spring/summer capsule wardrobe

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Dress and oversized sweater

Hi everyone! Today I am sharing my spring/summer capsule wardrobe. I am very excited about my selections and already feel inspired to create looks from my capsule.

Before I get into what I selected for spring/summer, I want to talk about what didn’t work for fall/winter. I think the most important thing was that I didn’t like enough of my clothes. I ended up buying random things to make up for not feeling like my collection really spoke to who I was. I didn’t feel stylish, so my capsule wardrobe was only partially successful. I also found that I kept going back to certain pieces and ignored a large part of my wardrobe. I still felt overwhelmed with decisions and the amount of clothing I had. What I took from these experiences was that my capsule wardrobe was too big and that I needed to put more thought into each item.

For a couple months I have been saving pictures I find on the internet to use as inspiration. One day, I sat down and looked at those pictures and identified several items that were common among them including a trench coat, graphic tees, high-waisted jeans, and oversized sweaters and blazers. I looked at what I already had and found I had most of what I wanted. I made a short list to take to the second-hand store Buffalo Exchange and (amazingly!) came out with exactly what I needed. Then I purged like nobody’s business and got rid of a major portion of my clothing. I put away things that I couldn’t donate or sell because of sentimental reasons and was left with a sweet little capsule wardrobe that I am so excited to put into use.

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This Paris t-shirt is giving me life!

Here is the breakdown of what I kept:

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I didn’t include jewelry or shoes because I’m not there yet (and may never be). My general goal is to make my day-to-day dressing more streamlined and to feel proud of the outfits I put together in terms of fit and style. I did purge my lounge wear/pajames even though that’s not pictured here.

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Jeans, jeans, jeans
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Turns out I wear skirts a lot

Since I am currently trying to lose weight, I am going to replace items in my wardrobe as things no longer fit, hopefully with second-hand items. I may add a piece or two as well, probably something floral and flowy. I will be posting looks from this capsule wardrobe soon, so stay tuned!

How about you? Have you tried a capsule wardrobe? What was your experience?

xoxo Anna

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My capsule wardrobe revolves around my jacket selection 🙂

 

5 ways to inspire healthy consumption

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Throw back Thursday to my fall/winter capsule wardrobe shirt selection

I am in the process of thinking about a spring/summer capsule wardrobe, which got me thinking about consumption in general. The more I think on this subject the more I realize that I want to own less and consume less. I think in my fondest dreams, I would live with the bare minimum of belongings, each one precious or useful in some specific way. In reality, I am surrounded by a heap of stuff that just won’t seem to budge. I think I am in a better place than I was before but still have a long way to go. I know there are certain things I will never give up like my chef’s jacket from pastry school, or all my travel souvenirs. Still, as much as I purge, I always seem to be acquiring new things to fill the space left by what I have gotten rid of. I am starting to realize that downsizing is a two-part process involving purging and then learning not to consume in the same way as before. The second part fits in nicely with another goal I have of saving as much money as possible in the coming year. And when I do buy new things, I want it to be in a responsible fashion. Here are some strategies I will be trying to get me to my goals.

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Sorting/purging my jewelry will definitely be a goal

Do a large purge

This is pretty self-explanatory. I plan to do a spring purge in all categories with the goal of eliminating redundant items (read 6000 pens) and things I never use. This will get me ready for my spring/summer capsule wardrobe and I think will make my belongings seem less heavy.

Set a small monthly budget for certain items

I order to motivate myself not to shop impulsively, I am setting very low monthly budgets for things like clothing and homegoods. So far I have budgeted $40 a month for clothing and $0 for home goods. That doesn’t include things like toilet paper, but does include things like cute knick knacks at Target and random pillows. I have been using Mint to manage my money for a while, but lately I have been leaning in to this online budget software even more with my current goal of saving money. One thing that I am notorious (mostly with myself) for doing is buying a new outfit if I don’t feel like my day outfit is good enough for my night plans. Most of the stuff I buy during these sprees ends up in the donation pile, minus a few surprise gems. I think the key to avoiding this is a) not getting lazy with my outfits in the morning and b) storing a cute outfit or at least some jewelry and heels at work.

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Knick knacks and souvenirs displayed in glass cabinets

Take care of what you already have

While I sporadically do things like get my shoes reheeled and sew buttons onto coats, I want to make it more of a habit. I also want to spend time figuring out how to wear the clothing I already have in new ways so that I value each item more. One thing that I have already done is purchase two large glass cabinets to hold some of my favorite travel souvenirs and mementos. I still have overflow but it is nice have things displayed this way and makes even the silly things (ie plastic dinosaurs) seem important.

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A hand-me-down chair which definitely counts as second-hand

Shop second-hand as much as possible

I already shop second-hand for clothing and furniture quite a bit. The challenge will be doing so consistently and including things like gifts and appliances. It can be frustrating to shop second-hand when you are looking for a very particular thing, but I’m hoping that it can be a fun challenge. There are so many options for shopping second-hand these days, from traditional thrift stores to websites like eBay and Poshmark. It just takes a little change in mindset.

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Surrounded by stuff and cats 🙂

Make a list of everything that you own

This one is a doozy! After I purge, I plan to make a comprehensive list of everything I own. It sounds daunting just thinking about it but I am curious to see what benefits an exercise like this could yield. Will I feel richer and more satisfied with what I have? Will I want to purge more? Will I discover that I have things I thought I needed to buy? Will I be inspired to make new things with my huge tubs of craft supplies? These are all possibilities and I am excited to find out what happens that I can’t predict as well. I am not putting a timeline on this as I have no idea how long something like this will take. I may combine this with the purge process. They seem to go hand in hand. I will definitely keep you updated on my progress.

How about you? Would you try any of these strategies? Let me know in the comments.

xoxo Anna

Costa Rica travel picks

Happy Thursday 🙂 I’m getting excited for my trip to Costa Rica! I am planning to bring mostly things that I already own but I thought it would be okay to splurge on a few pieces that would make the trip feel extra special. All of the items are investments, especially the luggage, and I hope to use them beyond this trip in the coming months and years. I think they will neatly fit into my slowly developing capsule wardrobe.

  1. First, I splurged on this cute rolling suitcase in my favorite color, rose gold. The company, Calpak, has so many amazing options. I almost got this one but in the end I felt like the rose gold was more my style. Plus I didn’t care for the lining on the second one, which apparently makes a difference to me 🙂
  2. When I pack for any trip I like to be super organized, like Marie Kondo-level tidy. I am learning that giving in to my desire to have everything match and be packed precisely makes me happy, so why not just embrace it. With that in mind, I also purchased these packing cubes. I can’t tell you how my heart leaps with joy to think of how well coordinated and packed my luggage is going to be. Now I just have to plan the perfect travel outfit!
  3. In addition to the rolling suitcase and packing cubes, I purchased this backpack/laptop bag from Calpak. It fits on top of my rolling luggage which is very satisfying. I’m hoping it will make a great structured day pack for my trip, but I also plan to use it when I get home to carry my work laptop which I have been throwing in random tote bags that always slip off my shoulder 😦
  4. I immediately bookmarked this bathing suit after seeing it on the blog A Beautiful Mess. I am just in love with the retro 70s aesthetic and how softly feminine it is. I can’t wait till it comes in the mail. Unfortunately, I had it sent to my old work address! A good friend who still works there generously offered to intercept it, so fingers crossed.
  5. I will be hiking in the jungle on this trip, which requires long pants. I love being outdoors, but hate most outdoor gear/clothing. I just never feel put together. These leggings, though, are sleek and beautifully made. I am thinking of pairing them with a loosish crop top and all black sneakers for a put together look. The company, Outdoor Voices, is also sustainable and eco-conscious which makes me feel better about this purchase. I found the company via this great article on ethical workout gear.

How about you? How do you like to pack for a trip? Are you super-organized or do you throw everything in a bag and go?

xoxo Anna

 

Fitness update

Hi everyone. It’s been about a month since my first fitness post and I thought it was a good time for an update.

My fitness plan has changed in a few ways since this post in January. I noticed that I was working out and eating healthfully but I wasn’t losing weight so I switched things up a bit.

Eating

To begin with, I stopped getting Hungry Root deliveries. I enjoyed the food for a few weeks but found that it was starting to get repetitive and I didn’t feel like it was helping me lose weight, especially since I felt compelled to finish all the food before the next week. I also didn’t like the amount of waste generated by food delivery packaging especially in terms of the freezer bags, which are difficult to recycle. That is not specific to Hungry Root. I felt the same way with Blue Apron. In the end, I decided that I could do a better job selecting and preparing my own food and I have been happy with that decision. I have been loosely following the weekday/weekend plan outlined here with a few exceptions. The most notable is that I allow myself to drink alcohol during the week. Even though I haven’t been very precise about following the plan, I have noticed is that just having the guidelines in mind has had an impact. I don’t have much of a craving for sugar anymore. I also don’t consume nearly as much dairy, especially cheese, as I used to. I used to reach for cheese all the time as a snack or quick dinner. Now it is a sometimes food and I don’t even feel deprived. The same goes for white bread and rice.

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Lose It app interface

The one thing that has made the most difference is tracking everything I eat on the Lose It app. After I started to do this about two weeks ago, I noticed weight loss immediately. I’m not going to lie; I find it incredibly hard to track everything I eat. It’s not so much that I hate the tracking because the app is fun and easy to use. I just hate doing anything consistently, it makes me twitchy lol. It also requires that you be uncomfortably honest about your choices. Despite this, I am making the commitment to track for the next 3 months, starting today, no matter what I am eating or doing and see what happens. That takes me right up to my birthday, so it feels convenient. I also recently discovered the social aspect of Lose It and started posting on a group message board. I have never done this before and it felt great to get support and helpful tips from other users.

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Cod and Mediterranean salad with a Turkish spice blend

In general, my eating has been pretty simple lately. A lot of fresh and cooked veggies, some sort of egg dish for breakfast (either hardboiled or a vegetable omelette), and lean protein like chicken, fish or occasionally steak. I make it interesting by adding fun spices and sauces. It sounds boring, but I really enjoy it. My only complaint is that I sometimes get very hungry after dinner. I am going to try drinking more water and tea and having an afternoon snack with protein. I relax a little on the weekends. My favorite splurges are take out Chinese food and egg sandwiches. I plan on doing a post soon to share everything I eat in a week, so stay tuned.

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A galaxy of possibilities

Exercise

I have been running consistently 3 to 4 times a week for a few weeks now for about 30-40 minutes a workout. On weekdays, I go to the gym and on weekends, I run in my neighborhood. I would like to increase it to 5 times but I have been feeling fatigued so I am going to keep it to 4 for now and see if I can maintain that. I would also like to start doing yoga in the mornings using the Gaia app. I am obsessed with the idea of working out in the morning… that is until the alarm rings. I have a terrible time getting up even 30 minutes early to make it happen. So that is a work in progress 🙂

How about you? How are you doing with your 2018 fitness goals?

xoxo Anna

Thursday’s ethical style

Happy Thursday after Valentine’s Day! How did you celebrate (if at all)? I had drinks with a good friend, which was fun.

I know I said I would have an outfit post today, but the weather did not cooperate this weekend (read torrential rain) so I have the next best thing, a new ethical style post.

The star of this outfit is definitely the red coat. I am always drawn to statement coats but I think I am scared of them as well. They seem to make such a loud, well, statement 🙂 I’m sure one day, I will just go for it. I think that’s the attitude you have to take when rocking a statement anything 🙂 I like the way the cobalt blue bag and the bone colored jeans and top keep this outfit graphic and clean, and you can almost never go wrong with gold hoops and kitten heels.

  1. Coat, ASOS Eco-edit, here
  2. Gold hoops, Merewif Jewelry, here
  3. Navy pumps, Everlane, here
  4. Jeans, Everlane, here
  5. Bag, Everlane, here
  6. Top, Reformation, here

I recently read something about ethical fashion recently that got me thinking. It stated that it’s not enough to just switch to consuming ethically produced goods at the rate that we consume fast fashion. Instead we should also try to consume less in general and purchase second-hand whenever possible. I am in the process of thinking about a spring/summer capsule wardrobe and I have been inspired by this idea to try to source at least half (hopefully more) of my new items from thrift and consignment stores. It will definitely be an interesting challenge. This makes sense as well as I am in the process of losing weight and don’t want to make serious clothing investments right now or cycle through a lot of cheap items.

How about you? What is are your spring/summer fashion goals?

xoxo Anna

 

Hello again! and 2018 fitness routine

Hi everyone! After a couple months, I will be blogging regularly again. I think I was getting away from the things that I enjoyed about blogging (connecting with others, creating unique content) and focusing on things like metrics, likes and traffic. It began to feel like a chore. Moving forward, I will be taking a more relaxed approach. I will be posting once a week, on Thursdays. You can expect the same type of content including ethical fashion, travel, food, fitness and more, just slightly less frequently. I hope I will be able to spend more time on each post and boost the enjoyment factor for everyone.

To kick off this new blogging plan, I decided to share my current fitness plan, which is something I am currently focusing on.

As I suspect is the case with many of you, my relationship with fitness is complicated and spotty at best. When I was a child my parents made a point to encourage exercise in the form of hiking, biking and swimming. Every week my mother would take us to a local pool and we would swim laps. We earned stars for every week that we went and when we had enough stars we bought a VCR 🙂 I spent hours riding my bike and walking around with friends. I went to nature camp and we hiked almost every day. In high school, I played tennis and joined the winter track team. In college, I continued working out with my roommates, which helped me to maintain my weight. It seemed so much easier then to find the time and energy to exercise. Somehow it was a natural part of my everyday life. Unfortunately, during my senior year of college, I experienced pretty severe depression and anxiety. I stopped working out and began to eat things like pizza with blue cheese dressing on the regular. This, combined with the fact that I was now taking anti-depressants, many of which are known to promote weight gain, resulted in a significant increase in weight beginning in college and continuing after graduation. I have battled my weight ever since, losing and gaining significant amounts over the past 20 years. It all seemed to go in cycles. I would exercise and diet for a period of time and often have success, only to lose confidence because of a difficult life event and turn back to eating for comfort. I have to say, just writing this makes me feel tired thinking about the emotional and physical ups and downs.

But looking back is also helping me to move forward. I have learned a great deal about what works for me in the long-term and what doesn’t. For example, I have learned that setting oversized goals at the outset of a fitness program leads to burn out or disappointment, which, not surprisingly, leads to quitting entirely. For example, I have run two half-marathons but immediately after 3 months of tough training I would give up running entirely for months. I have learned that exercising consistently is very hard for me, but that it is important for my emotional and physical well-being. I have learned that eating to manage my emotions benefits no one, least of all me. Much better to be honest about my feelings and eat to sustain my energy.

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So this is my plan moving forward:

Set realistic weekly fitness goals and slowly build up intensity and frequency of workouts

I have found I prefer a simple workout routine. It cannot include a lot of equipment or complicated moves or be annoying in any way. I recently found this great mini workout on one of my favorite blogs, Cupcakes & Cashmere. It is simple to follow and all you need is one dumbbell. I can do it at home or at the gym without too much thought. I still like running, so I am using a mix of running and walking as my cardio. As I gain confidence, I may try some fitness classes (thinking kickboxing or trampoline!), but for now I am keeping it super simple and focusing on just making it to each workout.

I think, for me, the hardest thing about exercising consistently is the negative self-talk I engage in surrounding working out. It ranges from “What you think you’re so great now because you work out!? Who do you think you are!?” (super nice and productive, I know) to “You are never going to keep doing this!” (also very reassuring). It helps just to share these thoughts because they seem so mean and counterproductive when you say them out loud. I think there is power in voicing these things and then letting them go. Also, I feel like some of you might relate.

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Follow a modified interpretation of the Weekday/Weekend plan created by Emma and Elsie at A Beautiful Mess

The basic idea behind this program is that you don’t consume dairy, white rice or flour, alcohol or added sugar during the week, but you’re free to indulge on weekends. You also must eat a variety of wholesome foods. I have done it for a little over a week now and I like the way I feel. I bought the cookbook and am looking forward trying some of the recipes. This eating plan is primarily plant-based, but I enjoy meat, so I am including some lean protein, like chicken, as well. Still, I am excited to try a lot of new plant-based dishes as well. I’m not militant about the weekday guidelines in that I will occasionally have a drink with a friend after work or eat something with a small amount of sugar in it, which I think is reasonable if I am eating on plan 90% of the time.

To jump start the healthy eating portion of my fitness plan, I signed up for Hungry Root food deliveries once a week. They deliver vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free ingredients and side dishes which can be combined into healthy dishes. My first week was last week and I enjoyed the food. There is minimal prep time and everything was tasty and satisfying. I ordered the 3-meal plan and I found I was able to make and finish everything within a week.

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So that’s my plan. As you can see, I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from the blogosphere! I think that’s one way to add a social element to working out and eating well that feels positive. I will be keeping myself honest by posting updates here regularly.

In general, I am also thinking about ways to deal with stress and emotions differently. I’m already taking a ceramics class at this studio in Williamsburg and I am enjoying it a lot. I didn’t know I would like wheel throwing so much! I’m thinking some form of journaling might be nice, as well as working on being present and focused for all of my daily activities.

How about you? How are you approaching fitness/health in 2018? If you have any tips for maintaining a consistent exercise/eating routine I would love to hear them.

xoxo Anna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday’s Ethical Style

This week’s ethical style has an athleisure feel to it. I started with a cute sweatshirt with sequin detailing and added gold-striped leggings and shiny sneakers. Simple crystal studs and a gold ponytail holder complete the look.

I think the athleisure trend has a lot of cool elements, but I have yet to embrace it in my own wardrobe. I think I don’t feel athletic enough to wear it 🙂 But since I’m considering training for the Brooklyn Half Marathon I might be able to convince myself to embrace my inner sneaker queen. I have done this race twice and really enjoyed the training process even though it was brutal most of the time. And the self satisfaction I felt crossing the finish line was worth all the pain. I definitely feel like I need some sort of event to train for in order to reignite my exercise program which has been really lame for the past few months. Wish me luck!

How about you? How do you feel about the athleisure trend? How do you motivate yourself to stay active?

  1. Sweatshirt, Sundry, here
  2. Beanie, ASOS Eco Edit, here
  3. Leggings, Sundry, here
  4. Studs, Favor Jewelry, here
  5. Ponytail holder, Favor Jewelry, here
  6. Sneakers, Toms, here

xoxo Anna