Autumn Reading List and Creative Challenge.
It’s here! Autumn is my favorite time of year, when my soul awakens after being held prisoner by Summer’s scorching heat. When the world turns gold and begins to quieten, my creative muse bursts forth with a cry of glee!
I plan on reading, writing, baking, knitting, gathering wild foods, communing with nature, and more.
Here is my Autumn 2019 Reading List to inspire you to pick up a book and join me in creating a colsie home environment. I’ve also included a creative challenge to begin at mid-September. I hope you will join me.
Autumn 2019 Reading List
I hope my Autumn 2019 Reading List is a source of inspiration to you and will help you feel that perfect, colsie, bookish hygge vibe even if autumn hasn’t quite arrived in your corner of the world.
1. Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery
I just re-read this charming, third book in the Anne of Green Gables series. It’s perfect for those back-to-school vibes, and Anne and Gilbert are pretty much my favorite couple of all time, so it’s a must for me when I need to feel hopeful and comforted.
2. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. This is another comfort read for me. The narrator, Cassandra Mortmain, transports me to my favorite English countryside landscape. Every time I read this book, I feel I am returning home.
3. Rain: Four Walks in English Weather by Melissa Harrison. I’ve read bits and pieces of this book, and I’m determined to read it cover to cover this autumn. If you enjoy nature and travel writing, love the rain, and like to feel colsie, this book might be perfect for you.
4. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. This is another book I cherish, and that I’ve been wanting to re-read. I’m planning on reading it aloud to my son. Lyra is such a charming, spunky, relatable character. This book is full of magic and vivid descriptions. I can’t wait to revisit Lyra’s Oxford. **as a side note: if you’ve read this, were you obsessed with discovering your daemon too? I’m pretty sure mine is either a crow, or a ginger cat (like my familiar—Ginevra). What is yours? I want to know!
5. A mystery book! I’m currently reading Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny. It’s a book in a series about Inspector Gamache. I love small town settings with colorful, eccentric characters, so this series is perfect for me. If you can recommend another colsie (I love this word!) mystery, or a whodunnit similar to an Agatha Christie, or a gothic novel in a similar vein to Daphne du Maurier’s books, I’d love it!
I’ve learned from experience that if I add too many books to my TBR, I get overwhelmed, so I’m limiting myself to five books for now. I tend to be a mood reader, so this list will most likely change! I think these books are perfect for the comforting gloom that is autumn. Do you agree? Have you read any of these? Which books do you want to read this autumn?
Here is my Mid-September creative challenge. If you participate in this challenge, feel free to tag your Instagram posts with #enchantedsimplicity so I can see them. I might have a special surprise for those of you who do participate!
This challenge is meant for any creator—be it writer, photographer, musician, visual artist, etc. See the above image for the prompts.
It begins on September 16 and ends on September 29. Take the prompts as a starting point and use your imagination to create whatever you want. My little book “Spinning Hair Into Gold” releases on the autumn equinox (September 22). Those of you who choose to help me promote it that day, by reposting one of my poems, tagging my account with a mention of my book, or creating a post inspired by my book will automatically be entered into a surprise Giveaway. Make sure to tag all of your posts with #enchantedsimplicity and/or tag me @enchantedsimplicity in your photos. The more you participate, the higher your chances of winning the surprise/international giveaway. Have fun!
Why I Wrote “Spinning Hair into Gold.”
Spinning Hair into Gold came about almost by accident. It wasn’t a planned project.
I teach a course, Re-weaving Enchantment, which helps women to rewild and awaken their creativity. As I was teaching this course, I was also participating in the course activities. My final, creative project merged with another project I had put aside, and became this little book of poems and stories.
I’m working on a novel that features a Weaver of Fate. I named her Oriana. This character kept haunting my dreams, until I finally listened to her and began piecing together some of the poems and short stories I had written.
I wrote this book from a place of joy, a burst of creative energy. The process was different from that of my usual planned projects. I had no idea where I was going with this book, but just trusted in the process. My muse was quite solidly present as I worked on this project.
It was a beautiful experience—writing a book spontaneously and with no clear direction. As I wrote, the puzzle pieces began to fit together. I now know that this book is about Oriana, but also contains stories of the people whose story-tapestries she weaves into being. It’s about fate versus free will, and about learning to collaborate with the Fates to create our own stories according to our visions.
This book is for those who appreciate fairy tales, mythology, magic, and nature.
Spinning Hair Into Gold is available for pre-order here and the paperback version will be available to purchase on Mabon (September 22).
Review of the DARE app: a tool for being present.
Recently, I accepted a collaboration involving reviewing the DARE app. Although I only needed to share my thoughts in an Instagram story, I was so impressed with this app that I had to share it on my blog too.
The DARE app is based on the book “DARE” by Bary McDonagh. The full name of the app is DARE: Break Free From Anxiety and Panic Attacks. As I do not have severe anxiety and have never had a major panic attack, I can’t vouch for the efficacy of the app in helping with this. I do have mild anxiety, am prone to worry, and sometimes deal with insomnia. After using this app for just a few short weeks, I can already notice a marked improvement in my mental state and sleep patterns.
Some features on this app can be downloaded for free, and there is also a paid option. The paid option just contains way more tools, such as nature sounds to help with insomnia, and audio files. As my main issue is worry, I mostly utilized the resources under the Overcome Worry section. There was a fantastic audio file about learning to engage your senses to remain present. This, more than anything else, has helped me immensely.
Here’s what the app looks like when you first log in.
As you can see, it’s really easy to navigate. There’s even some tools to help if you find yourself in the midst of a panic attack. Again, I cannot express my opinion as to how helpful those features are, as I haven’t needed to use them, but based on the rest of the app I assume it would be an excellent tool.
I highly recommend this app for helping one to remain present and find peace of mind.
*although my Instagram video review was a paid collaboration, all opinions expressed are my own.
Here is a link to to download the app.
30 Ways to Make August an Enchanting Month.
"When summer gathers up her robes of glory, and like a dream of beauty glides away."
- Sarah Helen Power Whitman
(This post may contain affiliate links, which means I might receive a tiny bit of money if you decide to click through and make a purchase.)
August marks the end of summer. This last golden month of summer is often bittersweet. It’s typically a beautiful month for me, as 1st of August is one of my favorite holidays and my birthday falls in the middle of the month. It can also be a wonderfully autumnal month at times. It is also the last month of summer holiday before the school year begins in September.
I see August as an in-between time. The height of summer has passed, yet my favorite season (autumn) hasn’t quite arrived. It’s a time to plant seeds and make plans. It can also be a less magical time of year for me, but this year I’m determined to make August an enchanting month. Here are my 30 ways to make August an Enchanting Month.
1. Celebrate the ancient first harvest festival, Lughnasadh. I have some suggestions for making this celebration special in my blog post here.
2. Make it a priority to slow down and appreciate these last dog days of summer. Try to be present and enjoy all the things you personally love about summer. If you aren’t a big summer person, try to find things you do like about this season.
3. Watch as many sunsets as possible. See how many you can watch. Keep a visual or written diary of all of these sunsets, perhaps one entry for every day this month. It could be a series of photographs, a written description, a colored pencil sketch.
4. Get outside somewhere in nature at night to catch fireflies. Then let them go. Say farewell until next year.
5. Make an August playlist. Choose songs that seem to express the mood of August. Listen to it every day.
6. Go to a U-pick farm to harvest seasonal fruits and veggies.
7. Dress up in your fanciest summer outfit and add a big sunhat. Enjoy the feel of the sun against your (sunscreen protected) skin.
8. Make some special ice lollies (popsicles) using fancy ingredients, such as adding fresh herbs and edible flowers.
9. August is Leo season, so follow in the big hearted lion’s footsteps and do something from a place of love. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, knit scarves and hats to be donated for those in need over the winter, surprise a friend by treating them to a special lunch, or anything else that comes to mind.
10. Don’t forget to treat yourself. Dye your hair that outrageous color, go on that holiday you’ve been saving for, have that solitary time you desperately need.
11. Read a magical book! My two recent favorites are The Festival of Vision and Fire by my friend Logan Miehl and The Strawberry Thief by Joanne Harris. The first book is full of faeries, magic and Celtic folklore. The second is more magical realism and is the fourth book in the Chocolat series. The main character, Vianne Rocher is one of my favorite characters ever!
12. Cook a delicious meal using in season, local foods. Set the table in a special way, light candles, and make it a magical mealtime.
13. Pick a huge bouquet of wildflowers, or treat yourself to a store bought bouquet. Breathe in the heavenly scent, feast your eyes on the gorgeous colors and shapes.
14. Seek some local activity to attend. Perhaps there’s a Shakespeare in the park performance where you live, or a local festival, outdoor music event, or a tour of the local art galleries. Choose something that delights you, and make sure you make it to the event.
15. Go swimming! If you can’t swim, try to at least get in the water, preferably out in nature somewhere. Perhaps there’s a beach nearby, or a lake, stream, pond, etc.
16. Enjoy a summer thunderstorm if you get the chance. Go play in the rain. Splash in puddles, run, laugh, be grateful for rain.
17. Get some fresh grapes and freeze some. This is a delightful, fancy summertime treat. Grapes are perfect mini popsicles.
18. Make a flower crown and wear it!
19. To get in the mood for autumn and back-to-school, throw a Harry Potter themed party! You could have a HP movie marathon too!
20. Create a nature mandala using little nature treasures you gather on a walk.
21. Keep a nature journal. Record sketches, observations, stories.
22. Write a story or poem dedicated to August. If you don’t like to write, you could create a collage about August.
23. Engage in shin rin yoku, or forest bathing. Spend time walking slowly in a woodland or somewhere else in nature.
24. Forage for wild foods. Blackberries are just starting to ripen where I live. Wild blueberries can be found too.
25. Make sun tea using fresh herbs.
26. Even if you aren’t typically an early riser, plan ahead so you can wake up to see the sunrise and hear the birds’ dawn chorus. Make a flask of tea, and sit on a hillside or on the hood of your car if you have to drive to a nature spot.
27. Journal about all the things you want to create in the autumn.
28. Meet a friend for brunch with champagne. Don’t wait for a special occasion, create one!
29. Tend to your garden, or indoor plants. Start planning for autumn.
30. Spend some time gazing at the moon and dreaming.
Celebrating Lughnasadh. Tips for making Lughnasadh an Enchanting celebration.
Many of us who live in harmony with nature and the seasons choose to celebrate festivals from the Old Ways. August 1st is the first harvest festival of the year, and is still celebrated in many places around the world. Many farmers still acknowledge this festival in some small way, even if they do not remember its roots.
In Pagan communities, this festival is generally called Lughnasadh. Some people prefer to call it by the name it was given when Christianity began to overtake Paganism, Lammas. Whatever your religious/spiritual views, it’s really lovely to acknowledge the changing of the seasons and express gratitude for Mother Earth and all the food she provides for us.
Here are some ways in which you can connect with nature and celebrate this first harvest festival of the year and begin to welcome the coming autumn season.
1. Throw a zero waste picnic. Ask each guest to bring their own plate, cup, bowl, and flatware. Share food made from seasonal, local produce. Ideas: Roasted corn on the cob, baby pumpkins, courgettes, watermelon, blackberries.
2. Light a bonfire and burn bay leaf wishes. Take a moment to express your gratitude for all this delicious food, for summer warmth, to think about all the wonderful things you did over the long summer days.
3. Create a nature table/altar with all of the food you harvested. If you don’t have access to a garden, try to get locally grown produce to put on your altar.
4. Create a nature mandala with lots of orange and yellow flowers to represent the sun.
5. Invite friends round for a midnight celebration to say farewell to summer and welcome the darker days. Place candles in jars and decorate your outdoor space for an added bit of magic. If you are lucky, you might even spot the last fireflies of the season.
6. Take a ritual bath with golden flowers and anoint yourself with essential oils of your choice.
7. Sit in a quiet place and meditate to meet the being that embodies the height of summer and warmth for you (The sun God Lugh, a solar deity, etc).
8. Plan an outing to a U-pick farm to gather any seasonal produce you desire. Then have a party and share this food with your loved ones.
9. Journal to describe what you are ready to release as you say farewell to summer and what you wish to accomplish during the autumn months.
I hope these ideas have sparked a plan for celebrating Lughnasadh! Your celebration can be simple or elaborate. Do what feels right for you. Happy harvest!
It wasn’t a typical day for Moira Grey. Indeed, it was anything but usual. A silver fog hung over the hills, shrouding them in a veil of silence. The mysterious and moody atmosphere seemed to affect even Elderberry, who was keeping a watchful eye on things from her perch on Jez’s comfortable shoulder.
Moira, grown impatient with waiting, bent down to trace spirals in the dirt. Jez gave her a “thank you for trying to be patient” kind of smile. His green eyes twinkled with good humor. He crouched down on the ground beside her, reached into his pack for a jar of raisins, and began feeding them to Elderberry.
Moira blew the dust from her fingers and reached out to grab ahold of Jez’s hand. The fog was thick now. She was afraid of disappearing. Although, she reminded herself, that was kind of what they were trying to do. Waiting for a portal to open was different than losing oneself in the dense fog though.
What I Learned From Spring Capsule Wardrobe Challenge.
I can't quite wrap my head around the fact that it is almost April. Earlier this month, I started a 14 day capsule wardrobe challenge. The purpose of this challenge was for me to figure out which pieces of clothing I might need to replace, or add to my spring capsule wardrobe, and to see how my style has evolved.
I plunged right in on March 14th, fully intent on dressing in 14 pieces of clothing for this early spring capsule wardrobe challenge. Around day 4 or 5, I could already tell I made some poor choices, and by day 6 I caught my son's cold I'd been fighting off for well over three weeks. Let's just say, this challenge was a major fail on my part!
I promised I would do a wrap-up post to share what I learned from my spring capsule wardrobe challenge, so even though I wasn't able to complete it, here are my thoughts about it anyway.
It's okay to fail!
Sometimes we aren't able to complete what we set out to do, or we end up with unexpected results. This is OKAY. Don't beat yourself up if you don't excel at something. I could have kept going with this challenge, even after I got sick, but I decided it was more important to just rest and listen to my body.
Take time to play!
I learned that too much structure stifles me. I need room for play! It was an interesting experience, limiting myself to such a small number of clothing, and while I will most definitely continue to curate my version of a capsule wardrobe, I need to have more variety. I love to dress up! Ever since I was a small child, I have enjoyed dressing up. When I limit myself to just a few pieces of clothing (and accessories) I lose that sense of childlike wonder and fun!
Don't stray from your personal style!
I kept seeing these gorgeous, cohesive capsule wardrobes on Pinterest and Instagram, and I think I let this influence how I decided to go about curating this spring capsule wardrobe for the challenge. Obviously, I didn't buy anything for the challenge. The point was to use what I already had in my wardrobe, so that I could determine what I still needed and what I might be ready to let go of. Also, I should mention that I have purchased more tailored clothing over the past few years, partly because I was in grad school at the time and wanted to look more "professional." Some of these items will remain in my capsule wardrobe, but I learned that many of them just aren't my style. I didn't include any of these items in my 14 day spring capsule wardrobe challenge, so that I could determine how I really felt about them. I did not miss them one little bit!
Embrace your femininity!
I used to love wearing skirts and dresses. I stopped wearing them when I was in grad school, and I kind of got our of the habit of wearing them. I didn't think to include any in my 14 day challenge, and I wish I had. The weather began to warm up during my spring capsule wardrobe challenge, and I found myself wishing I could twirl in a long skirt. When I curate my spring capsule wardrobe next week, I will add plenty of dresses and skirts. You may not be a skirts and dresses kind of gal, but I sincerely believe that every woman should wear feminine clothing from time to time. There's just something so magical, empowering, and freeing about skirts and dresses. I even believe boys and men need to wear skirts and dresses too, but that's a whole other story for another time.
I'm glad I participated in this challenge, even though I didn't complete it. In the end, it helped me accomplish what I was hoping. I feel confident about curating my spring capsule wardrobe, but I know I won't feel guilty about adding in more items than usual. After a long, dreary winter, I am ready to play. How do I play? By dressing up, of course!
Did you participate in this spring capsule wardrobe challenge too? Share what you learned in the comments, or connect with me on Instagram.
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8 Tips For Choosing The Right Clothes For Your Spring Capsule Wardrobe: What I'm Learning From My #14springcapsule Challenge.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you I will receive a small commission if you decide to click through on affiliate links and make a purchase.
I'm on day 5 of my spring capsule wardrobe challenge and I'm already questioning my choices! The 14 pieces I chose for this 14 days of dressing in a capsule wardrobe challenge are proving to be hard to mix and match when the weather keeps jumping around. I knew the weather is unpredictable this time of year, and that this capsule wardrobe challenge would be difficult because of the back and forth from warm sixty degree sunny weather to freak'n cold and snowy, but I wasn't expecting it to be THIS hard! So, I sat down and jotted down some thoughts about my process so far and what I have learned.
I came up with 8 Tips For Choosing the Right Clothes For Your Spring Capsule Wardrobe. Part of the reason why I decided to challenge myself with the 14 days of dressing in 14 items capsule wardrobe challenge is to gain some clarity as to which items I still love, what works for me, what I need to change, and which pieces I may need to acquire in order to REALLY feel good about my seasonal capsule wardrobe. I hope these tips help you choose the items for your spring capsule wardrobe. I'm planning on following them too, when I'm ready to curate my spring capsule wardrobe. Let's hope that winter will disappear soon, so that spring may return in all her glory and we can actually wear spring clothes without having to swathe ourselves in fifteen layers of winter woolens to stay warm!
8 Tips For Choosing The Right Clothes For Your Spring Capsule Wardrobe.
1. Know your STYLE IDENTITY and SEASON. Whether you are a fan of Kibbe types, David Zyla's seasonal archetypes, or the classic "Color Me Beautiful" system, it's extremely helpful to have an idea of what works for your body type. I'm talking about lines, shapes, textures, colors. Most women have an intuitive knowledge of what suits us best, so if you are just starting out on your style journey--trust your intuition, your sixth beauty sense. My style identity Pinterest board is here if you want to take a peek for inspiration, or just out of curiosity. I highly recommend either cutting styles you like out of magazines or starting a Pinterest board where you pin the styles that call to you. If you don't know your color season or image archetype(s), Pinterest is a great resource for helping you along that journey.
2. Read "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up." This book, more than any other has been such a source of inspiration to me. It's helped me to find the things that ACTUALLY spark joy for me and to know when to part with the rest. The process she has outlined in this gem of a book for sorting through clothing (and properly storing clothing) was so useful! Another book I am keen to add to my library, that I keep hearing amazing things about is "The Curated Closet." I would recommend starting with this book if you are just beginning your journey towards slow living and capsule wardrobe curation.
3. Follow Marie Kondo's advice (from The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) and get all of your clothes and put them in one pile on the floor. When I say all, I mean ALL. Anything that's in storage, bring it out. If you live in a place with four distinct seasons (like me) you may need to create a seasonal capsule wardrobe rather than have a capsule wardrobe that works all year long. Even though I curate my capsule wardrobe at the start of each season, I tend to keep articles of clothing that can be worn all year round. For example: under layers like camisoles can be worn in the summer and in the winter. If you are curating a spring season capsule wardrobe, go ahead and sort through all of your clothes using Marie Kondo's method. Pack away anything that is out of season (like heavy winter coats). Try to only keep in season items in your wardrobe. I personally use a clothing rack for hanging most of my in-season clothes. I also have baskets on a shelf for storing lingerie, socks, sweaters, and items that should be folded.
***TIP*** If you are just starting out and are feeling a bit lost, rather than attempt to curate a capsule wardrobe now, I'd recommend returning your clothes to your closet. Every time you wear an outfit, either put it at the back of your closet, or turn the hanger around the opposite way from how you usually position it. After one-two months check your closet to see which items you wore the most. Keep those and think really hard about what to do with the rest. If they are items you might need for special/every once in awhile events go ahead and keep them, otherwise GIVE THEM AWAY!****
4. Now that you have sorted through your clothes, decide on a color palette and TRY TO CREATE AS MANY OUTFITS AS POSSIBLE USING THE CLOTHES YOU WANT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR CAPSULE. This tip was mentioned by theminimalistwardrobe.com in her post. This is what I neglected to do when I choose my 14 pieces for my 14 day capsule wardrobe challenge! Major hand to forehead moment on my part!!! Hence, the reason I am writing this post. This is where knowing your color season really comes in handy. Most people recommend using mostly neutrals for your capsule wardrobe, with just two or three at most other colors to add interest. While this system works for those who need a more conventional style for work, or for those who look best in classic styles, this might not be the best option for EVERYONE. Again, know your STYLE IDENTITY. Then you can choose a color palette that fits YOU.
5. Make a list of any upcoming events, types of outfits you are required to wear (such as work uniforms or outfits that adhere to a dress code), outfits you tend to wear on days off, etc. Write down EVERYTHING. It's important to plan. This was also an oversight on my part when I was planning my 14 day capsule wardrobe. I failed to take into consideration the fact that I need old clothes when I engage in homeschool activities with my kid (like baking bread on Mondays and painting on Thursdays), that I wear yoga pants often because I actually do yoga every day, etc. Think about YOUR LIFESTYLE. A capsule wardrobe isn't just for business professionals. It can make getting dressed every day so much easier for everyone. It also helps you feel positive about yourself when you are dressing in clothes you actually love and that express your style identity. If that means wearing yoga pants almost every day, so be it, as long as that is authentic for you.
6. Choose a number. Not everyone is in agreement about how many items should be included in a capsule wardrobe. Think about what it realistic and doable for YOU. Don't try to follow anyone else's system, unless you feel like you need that added structure (if you are just starting on your capsule wardrobe journey as an example). Last season, I limited myself to 35 items (that included my mittens, scarves, coat, winter boots, and jewelry). Although I felt pretty good about what I was wearing, I also felt like some of the fun and joy of creating outfits was missing.
I LOVE clothes. Dressing up has always been one of my very favorite things in the world. I'm trying to be a conscious consumer who advocates for slow fashion, but does this mean I shouldn't do what brings me joy? Sometimes, shopping at thrift stores and vintage clothing shops and acquiring new items is something that I need to do in order to feel authentically ME.
I'm not going to limit myself to a set number of clothing this time around, but I am still going to make sure that everything I include in my capsule wardrobe goes with everything else. I'm not going to buy new (or new OLD) clothing just to be buying something, but I will give a lot of thought to what items I need to fill out my wardrobe and spark that sense of childlike joy and wonder in me. Then, I will look for those items and will choose to purchase them from sustainable/ethical/slow fashion brands, OR (more likely) purchase secondhand (which really is the most sustainable option).
I feel like my number will be around 45, but who knows? It could be more, could be less. Think about what is realistic for you, and don't feel guilty if you end up with more items than most people think appropriate to be considered a "capsule wardrobe."
7. Add fun, just in case items. Are there items you haven't worn, but keep thinking you will wear one day? Do you smile and feel happy every time you see those particular items? My tip: add them to your capsule wardrobe. Force yourself to wear them. If they don't feel right, go ahead and pass them on to someone who will appreciate them. Chances are you love those items for a reason. Maybe they remind you of your child self, or a dear friend, or bring back memories of a certain place you visited on a wonderful holiday. If you genuinely love them and feel happy wearing them (if only every once in awhile) go ahead and keep them. For years I had this kaftan type of shirt that a friend whose family was from India gave to me long ago. She was actually my older sibling's friend who gave me the shirt when I was a gawky adolescent. She had such amazing style and the shirt always made me think of her. The color wasn't my best color, but I always felt happy whenever I wore that shirt. I literally had this shirt for twenty years, until it fell apart! It wasn't exactly my style, or color, but I kept it for so long because of the amazing memories and how I felt every time I did wear it.
8. This last tip is for those of you who might be struggling with finding your unique style, or feeling good about your spring capsule wardrobe. It could also be just for fun for those of you who feel pretty happy with your seasonal capsule wardrobe. Look through old photographs. Think about who you were when you were a kid. That was when you were most authentically YOU! Try to reconnect with your child self. She may have a thing or two to share with you! Also make note of the outfits your past selves wore that looked AMAZING. What was it about those styles that you liked? Are there elements you can add to your current look? You probably don't want to recreate the entire look, or you could look completely dated, but try to add some elements from those FABULOUS OUTFITS to your current look to keep it fresh and keep you feeling INSPIRED.
So, those are my 8 tips for choosing the right clothes for your spring capsule wardrobe. I'd love to hear about your journey towards curating a seasonal capsule wardrobe. Which items are you most excited to add to your spring capsule wardrobe? Let me know in the comments, or shoot me a message on Instagram.
You might want to read my blog post about Creating a Spring Capsule Wardrobe so you can participate in the 14 day challenge. The 14 items I chose for the 14 day challenge are here.
I finally chose my 14 items for the 14 days of dressing in 14 item capsule wardrobe challenge. The weather is finally warming up, but I know how unpredictable it is. Since this is the weird could be spring, could be winter time of year I am not including winter necessaries—like coat, mittens, hats. My vintage Eddie Bauer hat is a year round staple. I can wear it in snowy weather and warmer weather alike. Even though it’s included in these photos, I’m not counting it as one of my 14 pieces.
My 14 piece capsule wardrobe:
1. Short sleeve, bird patterned, Peter Pan collar shirt. Thrifted.
2. Old JCrew tissue long sleeve tea in peachy pink.
3. Pink long sleeve boho shirt with woven design at neckline. Thrifted.
4. Beige short sleeved tunic t-shirt. Bought at a local shop several years ago.
5. Feminine lavender tunic top with sheer panel in back. Thrifted.
1. Grey skinny jeans from American Eagle. Clothing swap.
2. J Peterman 1930s-40s style linen overalls. Gifted long ago.
1. J Crew pink ballet wrap 3/4 sleeve cardigan. Thrifted.
2.Beige cowl neck boho sweater. Clothing swap.
3. Navy with pink and green flecks l.s. sweater. Thrifted.
4. Free People long wool beige duster. Thrifted long ago.
1. Brown with pink flowers silk scarf. Birthday gift from ten years ago.
2. Hoop earrings from Atonement Design (gifted by maker).
3. Brown ankle boots. I will swap these out with my red Hunter rain boots depending on the weather.
Are you joining me in this challenge? Remember to tag your Instagram posts with #14springcapsule
If you need tips for creating your own spring capsule wardrobe for this challenge (or in general) feel free to send me a message. I had my own system for choosing pieces. I’ll try to share that in my next post.
"There is nothing in life that can't be solved by a cup of tea with a friend."
I've been blessed with many amazing female friends throughout my life. When I think about my dearest friends, my memories often involve sharing tea and conversation with them. I grew up in a family that acknowledged the ritual of teatime every afternoon. We started our day with a cup of tea, had tea breaks at 11 o'clock, afternoon tea at 4, and an evening cuppa as my dad read aloud to us.
Tea has always brought me comfort and a sense of stability. Besides drinking regular black tea, I was drawn to herbalism and the magical properties of various herbal tea blends from around the age of twelve. When I was a tiny child, I was obsessed with making potions. I suppose as I have gotten older, tea has become my grown-up potion of choice! I brew different blends depending on the moon phase and my intent.
Sometimes I share these tea potions with women in ritual (Red Tent Ceremonies, women's circles, even at swap parties). A few years ago I was fortunate to participate in a Japanese Tea Ceremony with women I am close with. There is just something so magical, comforting, and quietly powerful about tea! In honor of International Women's Day, I am sharing some of my favorite tea blends with ideas for how you can create your very own tea rituals.
"She would cure people in her neighborhood by going into her garden, plucking a couple of leaves, and brewing teas." --Selenis Leyva
MOON MILK: A delicious milky tea to be drunk before bedtime, when you need a good night's sleep, or wish to engage in Dream Tending activities. You can use your favorite milk as a base (almond, hazelnut, regular cow's milk) and add different herbs. I like lavender moon milk best of all, but there are lots of different recipes available. Here is one I like:
1 cup milk of choice
1 tbsp. dried lavender flowers
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp sweetener of choice
pinch of Himalayan pink salt
**1/2- 1 tsp healthy additions (such as reishi mushroom, ashwagandha, etc.) if desired.
Add the milk to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring milk to a simmer, then shut off hear and add in lavender. Allow to steep for a few minutes and then strain out the lavender. Pour into a blender and add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until frothy. Pour into your favorite mug.
RITUAL: After you have your tea, sit in a comfortable place and sip your moon milk. You can use this time to visualize the dreams you wish to have when you go to sleep. The more you work with your dreams, the more you can begin crafting the dream you want. If you wish to engage in a sleepy time ritual instead, just drink your moon milk, savoring each sip. Engage in deep breathing exercise and allow the stress to slip away.
MUGWORT SCRYING TEA
Here's a recipe for a tea you can drink with witchy, wild women friends before meeting in circle for a ritual which helps you boost your intuition.
1 tbsp mugwort leaves
1 tsp peppermint
1 tsp Melissa (lemon balm)
Brew the tea and let it steep for a few minutes. Drink the tea with your women before gazing into crystal balls, choosing tarot cards, or other ritual activities which help you tap into your intuition.
One of my fondest memories is of drinking chai in sturdy white mugs with friends at a festival. It was after midnight and we were shrouded in darkness except for the small bonfires we walked past. The chai tent had silk cushions on the ground and was lit by many candles in glass jars. I grew up making a particular chai recipe, thanks to a family friend from India, but this one experience helped me to see how magical the ritual of making chai can be. Since then, I have refined my recipe, and I drink this tea anytime I am feeling uninspired and run down. This tea helps to spark my passion and creativity. It's wonderful when drunk with close friends, or with a lover. Try to make it and serve it at a meetup with other creatives, like a writer's or painter's group.
fresh ginger root
milk of choice
sweetener of choice
Place the tea, cardamom, chopped ginger root, 1 to 2 cinnamon sticks in a pot and cover with water. Place on stove and let it come to a boil. Turn down to a lower heat and let simmer for an hour or two, adding water as needed. Strain into cups and add milk and sweetener to taste.
My son and I have been drinking Lavender London Fogs anytime we need that extra bit of comfort. It's the perfect tea to share with a friend who is going through a rough time. Best when drunk on a rainy day.
1 tbsp Earl Grey tea (or 2-3 teabags).
1 tsp lavender flowers
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
milk to taste
sweetener to taste
Place tea leaves and lavender in a pot and cover with water. Simmer for a few minutes. Strain tea into blender. Add desired milk and sweetener and blend until frothy.
REGULAR BLACK TEA
This is my everyday tea, but that doesn't make it any less special. I start my morning by filling the kettle. I place it on the stove to boil and go about making my tea. As I make my tea, I watch the birds at the kitchen window feeder. When I've made my tea, I sit down at the table and spend half an hour writing in my journal--completing my morning pages. Sometimes I make a full afternoon tea with sandwiches and scones too. Regular black tea is the best tea for afternoon tea, or a cream tea. No matter how you choose to include black tea in a ritual, just still your mind and be present. Enjoy every sip. Count your blessings.
your favorite black tea (I use PG Tips as my everyday tea in a mug kind of tea, but if I feel like making loose leaf tea in a pot I use TeaLeaves Co tea or Ithaca Coffee Company English Breakfast).
milk to taste
sugar to taste (I never put sugar in my tea).
I hope you enjoy these tea recipes and suggestions for tea rituals. See if you can connect with your women today, preferably over a cup of tea.
I'll leave you with some quotes about women that I love. Have a blessed day friends!
"A wise woman is never far from her teapot."
"Women are like teabags. We don't know our true strength until we are in hot water." --Eleanor Roosevelt.
"Women are going to form a chain, a greater sisterhood than the world has ever known." --Nellie L. McClung
"A strong woman looks a challenge dead in the eyes and gives it a wink."
"A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture, and transform." --Diane Mariechild.
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