Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Spree

That should say "shopping spree," but I didn't quite want to admit that's what happened yesterday, and since I also did a whirlwind closet clean-out from 8-9:30 pm last night, this could also be "spring cleaning," so I'm going with Spring Spree. It's really most accurate.

It started when I was reading my morning emails in bed yesterday (I prefer not to rise until I know what I'm facing for the day) and saw that Ann Taylor was having a "40% off the whole store" sale. I go through phases with Ann Taylor. Nearly everything I've bought from there has been very well made and has lasted a long time, but it's very expensive and I frequently go months without liking their collections. Lately though, it's just been "on" for me. I stopped in at lunch and ended up with 12 things in the dressing room, all of which I loved and which looked really great on (and I am a very tough critic). In the trying-on process I realized I was back to my smallest size and felt I should celebrate by spending money. I walked out with 5 things -- 3 work dresses, a blazer, and a woven shirt. Two items were already on sale and everything got an extra 40% off, but wow, that's still a very unusual amount of money for me to spend at one time. But I was GIDDY. I absolutely loved every single item and I felt prettier just carrying them around the mall. I was giggly all afternoon, gave JP and the kids a fashion show, and then, once the kids were in bed, embarked on a full closet clean-out, organization fest just so my new dresses would have a nice place to stay.

The end result:

I go through my closet regularly, but now that I realized I could fit in to all my old clothes, I pulled out all the in-between-sizes I had lurking around for early pregnancy/postpartum and ruthlessly removed items I used to love but haven't worn in years but keep around because I think there must have been some reason I loved that shirt and maybe I'll want it again. My goodwill pile is enormous and will make some career-oriented woman very happy. I know no one sees your closets, but it makes me happy on the inside to know everything is hanging nicely as it waits for me to visit.

Someone asked how I organize my shoes in a blog comment a few weeks ago, and this shows most of it. We had this flat wall in the closet next to the door frame that you really couldn't do anything with, so I nailed 2 big shoe organizers straight to the wall. I keep almost all my daily heels there, my flip flops/sandals are in a laundry bin on the floor, my boots are lined up along the back wall, and my fancy dress shoes are in their boxes on little shelves in JP's half of the closet (he loves that my pink satin rhinestone pumps are next to his suits, it adds some brightness to that corner).

This morning, as happens when you've realized your body is different and whole new sections of your closet are either opened up or closed off, it took me forever to get ready. I was trying on things I hadn't worn in two years. Even though I could hear the seconds ticking away in my head, I had so much fun- so many new outfit combos are available to me! Clairebear helped. I finally settled on this: jeans, crazy striped asymmetrical shirt that is really so unlike me I can't imagine what made me buy it but I love it, my new blazer, and black pumps. I've never had a blazer that wasn't part of a suit and I just love this one. It's hard for jackets to look good on me because of the broad shoulder, narrow hips, wider waist issue, but I think this one does.

I even rolled up the sleeves to reveal the black and white polka dot lining and show how much I'm pushing my fashion boundaries (I think I generally look put together, but I am very boring). I love clothes that make you feel good all day- this jacket does that and I can also wear it over two of the dresses I bought (and a million other things of course, but I'd never mastered the jacket over dress combo until these items). I really can't wait to wear my new dresses, I love them so.

As an extra part of the Spring Cleaning part of my Spring Spree, I also put photos in these frames I bought at Marshall's a few weekends ago. I felt our living room walls were still a teensy bit bare, but I didn't want any shelves or knick knacks or anything like that, so I went for pictures. Plus, we didn't have any in that room. The frames were very inexpensive and go perfectly with our light fixtures and general downstairs decor. JP had a heck of a time hanging them (there was lots of cursing and glaring- apparently cheap frames don't hang so well), but they look great now!

I read your comments on the bluebonnet post and picked the photo of the two kids just looking at the flowers because you're right, it's so sweet, and then I added the "good" picture and the fraught picture. The two larger prints are my two faves of Landon and Claire and while I initially said I'd update them in a year or so, I'm no longer sure I will.

My parents and siblings are coming over tomorrow to celebrate my dad's 55th birthday. I'm baking homemade carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a few other things. It's going to be fun and delicious, and I'm totally going to make them admire my new dresses.


  1. So just started reading your blog and a couple of observations:

    1) Love that you live in Austin! I graduated from UT, currently live in Dallas, and miss Austin like crazy. Hook 'em!

    2) So refreshing to read something from a lawyer (that works at a Biglaw firm, to boot) that doesn't a) hate their life or b) have no time to live their life. I am currently a 1L at Texas Wesleyan and that's something I think about/weigh all of the time. (Kids, family, working full time, etc.) I truly believe you can do it all with a little finagling and a good support system.

    So in general, thank you :)

  2. If you want something that will make you LOVE your closet even more, I suggest you invest in "huggable hangers" which you can get at Target, but the best deals are through They save you tons of space, all the hangers match. Even when my closet isn't the most organized, it's still makes me feel like I have a designer closet.

  3. To say that I'm lusting after your shoe collection is putting it lightly.

    I have the same pattern with Ann Taylor. Sometimes I can't get enough, and other times it is all just blah.

  4. That outfit is fantastic! Good choice :)

  5. Ooh, walk-in closet. I was so tempted by that Ann Taylor sale, but I know I shouldn't buy anything right now -- I'm still in that transitional postpartum phase, so I can't be sure anything I buy will still fit in a few months, and I won't be able to return anything in time. Sigh. I do need to go through a similar closet-cleaning exercise, though -- I have a couple of boxes of clothes in the attic, and I've worn so many different sizes in the past year that I have no idea anymore what I still have that might fit me this summer.

  6. So I'm just going to say that I can't believe you don't have matching colored hangers (or that the non-white ones are not quarantined to a specific section). I'm not nearly as organized as you, but I have to say (not that it's a competition) but I think my closet's rainbow color order with totally matching hangers, might kick your closet's butt. :)
    Looking forward to our reunion!

  7. Ooh I did the exact same thing this week! I went into White House Black Market and tried some stuff on, decided to invest in myself (I felt SO confident and beautiful in the store) and blow the money. That produced 5 of their VIP coupons which were available for use this week. I went in and found even more things. For the firm I'm working at this summer I am totally set! I also invested in nice wood hangers for all my new clothes (if I spend that kind of money on a skirt it is going to be on a hanger that doesn't leave creases!) and reorganized the closet. I have several bags of things I'm donating and my closet looks SO good.

    Also I'm taking a page from your book and training myself to wear heels. I am normally in pain immediately, but so far it's been good. One day at a time and we'll see.

  8. Wow... that's quite a closet! :-)