About minify

I like to cook and bake, hike and read and make things. My household has made a commitment to living simply and eating locally, and to bringing home too many stray pets and pursuing too many graduate degrees. This blog chronicles what happens to us along the way!

Project 333 Fall/Winter 2014

It’s that time of year again! The time when I start planning out my minimalist capsule wardrobe for Project 333. A new round of the project starts November 1 (so yes,I’m planning ahead a bit….)  Are you thinking about trying it? Here’s Courtney’s invitation to start small.
I find that my wardrobes are getting simpler with each round of this project. I’m wearing fewer patterns, and more easy-to-coordinate basic pieces (compared, say, to my second round of the project last summer, or to my wardrobe from around this time last year). I don’t shop much, but when I do, I gravitate toward simpler, better constructed items. I’ve made a few changes to how I go about this project. I’ve stopped counting all of my exercise clothes toward my total. I have a drawer of sports bras and yoga pants and old t-shirts, and I wear them only to work out at the YMCA. Unlike the rest of my day, I put essentially no thought into what I wear to the Y. I realized that for me, simplicity in my exercise routine means doing laundry a bit less frequently and not overthinking my workout wardrobe, so I limit that space to one drawer, and that’s as much thought as I give it these days.
What I do think about is my work wardrobe. I want to look like a professional, but a big part of my job is playing on the floor with little kids, so wash and wear is a must for me. Project 333 has helped me learn to keep a minimalist, easy-to-coordinate set of work and casual clothes so that I can get dressed in the morning without angst, be presentable at work, shop less, reduce my impact on the planet, and be part of a community that is striving to do the same.
Sources: Most of these are items I already have, but the bag is the satchel I’ve had my eye on for quite some time, from Cambridge Satchel Co. If I make a new purchase for this round of the project, that’ll be it. Yet I doubt I’ll buy it; it’s mostly a daydream. My clothes are mostly from J. Crew and Madewell, purchased at the occasional clearance sale, or from clothing swaps with friends. A few of my more colorful items are vintage or, in the case of this dress, from Modcloth. I find it most helpful to include a variety of simple wash-and-wear tops, a few dressier ones (and a few dresses), cords and trousers, and some comfy sweaters…and to keep accessories as minimal as possible. Also, I always include a colorful coat and (at this time of year) an old-fashioned ladies’ hat, because I love them, and because it’s such a nice way to brighten up a basic wardrobe and make it my own. I always include at least one fancy dress, because in a three month span, odds are I’ll go to a wedding or some other fancy event, and a simple cardigan and flats let me dress it down enough to wear it to work in the day-to-day (on an office day. Not on a playing-on-the-floor-with-kids day. I’m not that ridiculous).
So with no further ado, here’s my wintery take on Project 333:

Project 333 Fall 2014

  • 3 t-shirts (grey. navy. black.)
  • 2 button up blouses (black. chambray.)
  • 2 dressy tops (black camisole. white peplum.)
  • 1 pencil skirt
  • 2 pairs work trousers (khaki. black.)
  • 3 pairs casual pants (dark green. denim. yoga pants.)
  • 5 sweaters (2 pullovers. 2 cardigans. 1 hoodie.)
  • 2 dresses: a formal floral number, and a more casual vintage-y grey one
  • 2 coats (black down coat. coral dress coat.)
  • 4 pairs shoes (sneakers. loafers. ballet flats. boots.)
  • 7 accessories (hat. scarf. gloves. necklace. earrings. belt. satchel.)

And that’s all, folks! It really is enough – more than enough – for three months of daily wear. Don’t take my word for it. Try it out!

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Long Island Sound: A Poem for August

Long Island Sound
Emma Lazarus, 1849 – 1887

I see it as it looked one afternoon
In August,—by a fresh soft breeze o’erblown.
The swiftness of the tide, the light thereon,
A far-off sail, white as a crescent moon.
The shining waters with pale currents strewn,
The quiet fishing-smacks, the Eastern cove,
The semi-circle of its dark, green grove.
The luminous grasses, and the merry sun
In the grave sky; the sparkle far and wide,
Laughter of unseen children, cheerful chirp
Of crickets, and low lisp of rippling tide,
Light summer clouds fantastical as sleep
Changing unnoted while I gazed thereon.
All these fair sounds and sights I made my own.

Emma Lazarus was a Jewish American poet, perhaps best known for her poem “A New Colossus,” which is engraved on a plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty. She lived a short life, in which she wrote a great, beautiful body of work, much of it about Jewish identity and history, and about New York, the city in which she was born and lived out her life.

Currently (August edition)

Currently…

Loving| These rules on writing well, from Zadie Smith

Working| On my dissertation proposal. One more week before it’s due!

Baking| This strawberry rhubarb pie, which tastes of summer and was so simple to bake!

Hoping| to make a trip here before the weather turns cold (my favorite hike is Black Balsam Knob up through Shining Rock). Bonus points if there are still wild blueberries when we make the trip!

Wearing| these favorite sandals, every single day (mine are two-tone, and no longer for sale)

Weathering| another round of job interviews. So grateful for the opportunities, but so stressful all the same! Almost done. 

De-stressing| With this new favorite (honey lavender!) tea. I got it at our local grocer, and it’s THE BEST. 

Waiting| for Josh to come home from another trip to Asheville. Wish I could have gone with him!

Listening| to the Magnetic Fields, as ever. The Book of Love in particular. One of my favorite love songs of all time. 

Reading| Adhaf Soueif’s gorgeous novel, The Map of Love. I’m sensing a theme here. Set in Egypt, a set of nested love stories, it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. I recommend, even though I haven’t finished it yet. The ending with this one feels sort of inevitable. 

Happy Friday, friends. Enjoy it!