A busy mom’s attempt at capsule wardrobe

After marriage, kids, and entering my 30’s I found myself in a style rut. Torn between if what I’m wearing is too short, too young, too mom, etc.
I find myself wearing the same things but have a closet full of stuff that stays hung up. Just stuff! I never wear these things. I still have some clothes from my early 20’s.. 10 year old things, y’all!
WHY??

My kids get new things. Often, just because. My husband gets new things, sometimes for that same reason. So why am I on the back burner?
I’m over here wearing pre pregnancy (from my 1st kid) underwear, 10 year old clothes, flip flops from a year ago, and haven’t had my hair cut in over a year. I’ve been inspired. To do something for me.

First step:
Downsize my closest because I’m not wearing much of it, anyway.

I came across a couple groups for a capsule wardrobe. Honestly, I’ve seen this a few times before but never actually thought about doing it. The idea of capsule wardrobe is to have a set number of pieces equal a set number of outfits. So say you have 30 pieces, you can potentially have 100 different outfits out of those depending on what you’re working with. You won’t be wearing the same thing, your clothes will be in rotation, you have LESS LAUNDRY (for yourself, at least).

So here I go.
Due to the time of year, and my beginner status, I am starting with Fall.
Since living in Florida is basically living on the surface of the SUN, my fall style will include some summer items so I don’t die of heat exhaustion from trying to look cute.

Capsule part 1. Go through every piece of clothing {in your closet}.
Make a Love pile, a Sell/Donate pile.
Divide your loves into seasons or year round.

Here’s the fun part… Shop your own closet!
I actually had a few pieces that were in a give away pile that I took BACK for my fall capsule. I had no idea how to wear them, so they just sat. I knew I’d bought them for a reason! This also makes less for me to buy.

Now, there is a set out capsule you can buy in an Ebook. It literally gives you links to buy the EXACT things to make the EXACT outfits.
I’m not doin that. How boring would life be if we were all THE SAME?

So I’m taking IDEAS. And, like I said, things I already have.
I do love a lot of the pre made looks and I was never good at putting things together on my own.
Top and bottom is pretty much my forte…
I need to learn to accessorize, layer, add pieces together.

I look at RULES as mere GUIDELINES.
You do you. Change your colors. You know if the color mustard looks good on you or not. If it totally sucks on you, replace with another color or print.

There are also different capsule styles:
French minimalist, essentials, working, SAHM…

I’m feeling like mixing up a couple of the styles to make my own. This will also serve me to have basic things for a year-round capsule.

I’ve come across styling apps!
You take photos of the clothes you have, or look up something similar, so you can have it all at your fingertips to create your outfits.
Think Cher Horowitz from Clueless, y’all!

The apps I’ve heard good things about are:
Stylebook
Polyvore
Smart closet

I’m starting with smart closet. So far it is very user friendly. You can “shop” to find photos of the things you have, or close to it, to save you time of not having to take photos. I will still need to take a couple photos, but I am well on my way of making several “outfits” out of the small number of things I have in my wardrobe section already! This app is cool! And did I mention FREE? There is also a calendar you can make so you can choose ahead of time what you’re wearing for the week, and keep track of what you’ve already worn!

I gave a go at Polyvore. I like the look of the put together outfits better than smart closet, but I don’t think it’s as user friendly as smart closet. I’m still trying to figure this one out.

This making outfits with the apps is actually super fun. But here’s what I need to do…

Wear the outfits. Wear the outfits. Wear the outfits!

I was in a super hurry this morning. Had probably 7 minutes to get dressed/makeup/hair. I normally get to my closet and go frantic, “what am I going to wear???” and try on several things that eventually make me late. Today, I grabbed a capsule outfit that I’ve previously put together on my app, and was on my way! I knew it would work together. Didn’t even have to spend time in the mirror making sure it looked ok. I was out the door on time!!

So far, so good.

I’ve mainly been wearing these on the weekends when I actually have more than grocery shopping to do, but I definitely feel amazing and my husband has commented on how put together I’ve been looking to!

So far, what I have noticed the most is no impulse buying. I used to go to a clearance rack and buy things just because they were on sale. Doing capsule, I know what pieces I’m missing and if I can find them, awesome. If not, I walk out empty handed and not disappointed that I didn’t get anything!

That is a WIN for me!

Ultimately, this capsule thing is still a work in progress. I imagine if my kids were older, I may have more time to work on this and be finished. However, the little bit I’ve gotten done totally works. I feel put together. I’m saving money and time. I have more room in my closet. I can’t wait to finish and become fully functional.

 

…Now if I could just get my hair cut….

 

 

Becky Phillips
Stay at home mom of 2

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You can find more of my posts on Workingwifemommalife.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Simplistic little “me”

Hello? Is it me you’re looking for….

Let’s talk about that word. ME.
Such a short, simple word. But is it simple?
For moms, at least this mom, thats a hard NO.

It’s so easy to lose yourself in this parenting job. Everyone else comes first. Always.
I’ve found myself going without even when we have the means, and the time (rarely). We go without sleep, showers (shaving), hot food, clean clothes…. all while functioning solely because of the coffee we reheated 3 times and then drank cold because we finally gave in to reality.

We are the center of the whole family! Why should we go without?

I’ve been on a ME kick lately. On a normal basis, I would feel guilty about this but guess what?? I DON’T!! I deserve it. I’m worth it.

I have been neglecting myself for far too long. I’m a mommy of 2. I’m done having kids (hubs got snipped). I’m done with the Mom rut. So, so done.

My daughter recently wanted to look through my Instagram photos, so we did. We looked back to before my second kid when I had gotten my groove back, we looked alllllll the way back to before ANY kids. I was cute! I dressed nice, I wore makeup and did my hair and felt good about myself. I took selfies. A Lot of selfies. But they were cute!
I went back to that current day, month, few months, year….. no selfies. No photos of me AT ALL except for when my mom visited last April.
What the heck??? Where AM I?
Seriously, where am I? I’ve lost myself for a second time.

I’d been putting off buying new glasses because someone else always needed something. Still wearing undies from before kid #1, haven’t had my hair done since I was pregnant with my second who is about to be a year old….

Here’s what I did.

 

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“For the first time in forever….”

I got new glasses.
I bought new mf panties.
I did my hair!!!!
I got some new clothes and revamped my closet (see previous blog post).
I made plans for myself with no kids (this is almost as big as the panties, y’all).

ME, ME, ME!!!!

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There is nothing wrong with doing me.
I’m going to KEEP doing me.

No more losing myself. I may not be the same exact person I was before kids (I certainly do not strive to be that version of myself), but it’s high time I figured out who I am NOW. Today.

I’m not JUST a mom. (Even though I love being a mom). It does not fully define me, AND THAT IS OKAY.

 

 

Becky Phillips
Stay at home mom of 2

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You can find more of my posts on Workingwifemommalife.wordpress.com

 

 

Play-Dates Indoor Playground

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What do you do with two rambunctious toddlers, during the day, in the Florida heat (helloooooo Florida, it’s officially fall, I’m going to need you to get the memo!) to keep yourself from going stir-crazy in the house?  Take them out to play, of course!  But outside play is still face-meltingly painful, amiright??  That’s where Play-Dates steps up to the plate.  This new indoor playground in Valrico brings it all.  It boasts an expansive play room with everything from a decked out train table, to dress up, to a play house-complete with grill set up, and a full kitchen and laundry station.

My first impression, upon visiting Play-Dates, was that it is open, airy, bright and clean.  There are no smelly feet or stale diaper pale smells here.  The owner, Laura, greeted me with a smile and welcome, went over the easy paperwork ,and admitted my chomping-at-the-bit boys right in to play.  She then gave me a quick run-down of the space.  I promptly took advantage of the free coffee and wifi (that’s right, moms, FREE COFFEE. Take that, Starbucks!) and plopped myself into one of the several comfy lounge chairs.  The room is big enough to allow lots of kiddos to explore and play together with ease, but not so big that you feel like you’re constantly losing sight of your littles.  The sight lines are clear and easy, with one smaller area designated for really little ones that keeps them out of the direct path of any toddler-hulks who might be visiting for the day.  Laura also mindfully included a small snack area complete with toddler sized picnic tables, so that your always hungry munchkin (please tell me my kids aren’t the only ones who need to eat every 5 minutes??) can sit and enjoy a snack or drink that you bring with you, without worrying about them spreading cracker crumbs all around the play area.

Recently, Play-Dates was kind enough to host a private playdate for Everyday Moms that was loaded with fun and goodies, complete with a visit from Eddie Bull the mascot of Eddie Bull’s Cookie Dough, treats from The Sweet Tooth CakerySugar Sun Sweets, and a goodie bag filled with treats and discounts from other local businesses.  We had a great time getting together with friends old and new from this amazing group of moms.

Each weekday at Play-Dates is designated for different daily enrichment classes held at 10:30am that are free with paid admission.  Laura directs the kiddos in fun activities that are easy and geared to their ages.  There’s Movement Mondays, Story Tales Tuesdays, Arts/Crafts Wednesdays, Story Tales Thursdays and Fine Motor Skills Friday.  More info on each day’s activity here.  Our first visit was on a Friday morning and my boys – aged 3.5 years and 1.5 years both enjoyed the fun activity Laura guided them through of using their hands, or tweezers of different sizes, to sort different sized and colored pom-poms into mounted pvc pipes with corresponding colors above the pipes.  I was amazed to see my 1.5 year old take interest in the activity and spend quite a bit of time playing with it.

Laura is attentive and helpful without being overbearing.  She breezes around the playroom periodically picking up and putting away toys that the playful tots have discarded and cleaning off any that made their way into mouths.  She manages to keep the space tidy and organized with an appearance of ease that I would love to be able to adapt in my own home, as my clean up “routine” usually involves a fair amount of yelling and gnashing of teeth (mostly my own).  She also has a fun incentive for sharing photos of your little ones enjoying the space.  She draws winners for a free day of play, each Friday from anyone who has posted pictures on social media and tagged Play-Dates in them.  We actually won a free day of play after our first visit, SCORE!

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Play-Dates also has events and offers party packages.  Who doesn’t dream of a birthday party where everyone gets to play, have fun and you don’t have to clean up the mess afterward?  All the info and pricing for their parties can be found here.  Play-Dates is hosting a fun “Spooktacular Event” on October 14th from 5-7pm with food, music, games, crafts, trick-or-treating and a costume parade.  More info and ticket information here.

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Daily admission Play-Dates pricing for one-day play is as follows:
Ages 1-5 years old are $10
Ages 0-11 months are $6.25
Ages 0-5 months are FREE with a paid sibling.
First 2 adults are FREE. Additional adults are $3.25

They also offer packages including monthly and annual memberships.  I know what I’m asking grandma and grandpa to get my guys for Christmas!

So, as Laura says on her website, “be sure to stop by and play for a bit.  And don’t worry, we’ll clean up the mess.”

1040 E. Bloomingdale Avenue
​Valrico, Fl 33596
Tel: (813) 438-5248
laura@playdatesflorida.com
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Sharon Letsinger is a SAH boymom to two tow-headed cuties.  Her chosen partner in crime, Danny, co-owns The Big Red Barn in Riverview.  She enjoys sarcasm, yoga, dark chocolate, red wine and belly laughs.  She’s not a runner, no matter what Taylor says.

Community Spotlight: Waterset in Apollo Beach

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Waterset is not your parents’ cookie-cutter neighborhood.  You do not hear the song “Little Boxes” as you drive along these streets.  This exciting Newland Communities master-planned development is currently home to nearly 1,000 beautifully crafted homes, with amenities the whole family will love.

First opening in 2012, builders are currently in Phase 3 of construction in this desirable Apollo Beach community.  There is a large selection of floor plans available among seven builders selected by Newland to deliver quality new-build homes to residents.  If you prefer a move-in-ready home, there are a number of inventory homes and resale homes also available.  Continue reading to find out why once you move in to Waterset, you may never want to leave home again!

Located south of Big Bend Road between US 41 and Interstate 75, the first thing you’ll notice upon turning on Waterset Boulevard, is the scenic half-mile tree-lined drive into the community.   Pride of ownership is displayed throughout Waterset, with clean streets and common areas, well-maintained homes and yards, and outstanding amenities.

Waterset Amenities

The Landing

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The Landing Club & Café is the social hub of Waterset.  Complete with a staffed information center and meeting room, The Landing Club & Café offers residents and visitors a delectable café menu of made-to-order food, smoothies, and drinks including a selection of wine and beer.

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Designed with a modern flair, there are several tables and booths available for patrons, as well as an area with two couches.  Perhaps best of all, there is an area dedicated to children, loaded with toys, books, and games.   That’s right; parents and friends can gather and relax while the children entertain themselves indoors without making a mess in your home.  Grab a glass or mug, sit back, and relax!

Just outside, the Landing also includes a fitness center, shade pavilion, outdoor playground, community pool, and a pier overlooking a lake.

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But wait, Waterset offers even more…

The Lakeside

Centrally located within Waterset is another set of amenities, appropriately named The Lakeside.  Situated next to a 32-acre lake, this fun spot includes a children’s splash zone (two actually; one large and one smaller splash pad), a spacious playground for children of all ages, a dog park, outdoor fit stations, a picnic area with grills, plenty of lounge chairs for sunning, and benches or hammocks for relaxing in the shade.  The Lakeside is also home to the Grand Lawn, where community events are held, including concerts and parties such as the fabulous Independence Day celebration, Concerts for a Cause, Wine Down Friday, and more.

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Playground at The Lakeside in Waterset

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Splash Pad at The Lakeside in Waterset

What more could you ask for?  Well, I’m glad you asked…

Future Waterset Club

Located on the southern end of Waterset, construction has begun on another massive play area for families.  The Waterset Club is scheduled to open in 2018 and will include 2 resort-style pools (a lap pool, and a larger pool with slides), another indoor fitness center, tennis and basketball courts, pickle ball, game room, and gathering room.

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Rendering for the future Waterset Club amenities

Scattered Throughout

Waterset has plenty of scenery with many bodies of water, an abundance of trees, and large green spaces to run and play.  This pedestrian-friendly community has small parks located among the neighborhoods, and miles of trails throughout the community, perfect for walking or jogging.  The Fit Trail is a 2.5 mile trail featuring six outdoor fit stations with exercise equipment.

Area Schools

If you’re familiar with Apollo Beach, you’ve likely heard praises about SouthShore Montessori Preschool located within Waterset.  Kids-R-Kids Learning Academy has a daycare/VPK campus nestled in Waterset, plus another location just outside of the community, across Big Bend Road.  Waterset Charter School (Kindergarten – 8th grade) is nearby, as well as Doby Elementary, Eisenhower Middle School, and East Bay High School.  There is also a proposed school site within the southeastern corner of Waterset for future plans.

Apollo Beach Growth

Waterset will continue to grow, with Newland planning to build up through Phase 5 of construction with approximately 5,000 homes total, possibly up to 6,000.  Also on the drawing board for the future, are plans for a Town Center site and a proposed County Sports Complex site.  Waterset is a shining star in Apollo Beach, attracting more commerce to the area.  You will find plenty of shopping, restaurants, businesses, schools, daycares, and medical facilities nearby.  St. Joseph’s Hospital South and the YMCA South County are relatively new to Apollo Beach and are less than three miles away from Waterset.  Travel in the opposite direction, and you will find the TECO Manatee Viewing Center, also only a couple miles away.  Work in the city?  Downtown Tampa is a 20-mile drive via Interstate 75 and the Selmon Expressway.

The Homes

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(Current Watersest Builders. Information subject to change.)

Current New-Build Inventory

There are many inventory homes available now or in the very near future.  Current builder inventory homes range from 1,524 to 3,518 square feet, and are priced between the $230s and $450s.

Current MLS Resale Listings

Active resale listings are currently priced between $212,900 and $550,000, ranging in square footage from 1,747 to 4,028.  Some of these homes even include a private pool. These are not new-build homes; I call them pre-loved.

HOA & CDD

Waterset offers single family homes, townhomes, and villas.  This is a HOA and CDD community, with a fee schedule dependent upon the type of home and lot size.
– 2017 Annual HOA, $73
– 2016-2017 CDD Fiscal Year Fees, range from $965 to $3,076
– 2017 Limited Maintenance Homes, annual fees range from $1,056 to $2,149

Feature Resident

I want to send a special thank you to Everyday Moms member Julie Ann P. who so graciously showed me around her community of Waterset.  Julie Ann currently resides here with her family and is also building a beautiful new home through Homes by Westbay.  She explained that her favorite feature of Waterset is the community involvement.  There is so much to do in Waterset with all the amenities and special events, but the people are more than just residents, they are a true community.  They communicate and cooperate to make living here a wonderful experience – and it shows.

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Julie Ann and her daughter with their new-construction home

Just for Everyday Moms

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As your Everyday Moms Real Estate Contributor, I am planning an exclusive small group tour of the Waterset community in the upcoming months. Please contact me today to be included in the group. We will explore the community amenities and builder models, and discuss all that Waterset has to offer while enjoying lunch on-site at The Landing Café, provided free of charge. Limited space is available for this tour; however, I can also assist you individually. Contact me at ChristinaEdwards@kw.com for more information.  I am a licensed Florida Real Estate Agent.

What does community mean to you?

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I am highlighting some of the most sought-after communities in the Tampa Bay Area, as well as some of the smaller hidden gems around us. Do you love your neighborhood? Contact me to share your community experience for a chance to be featured in our Everyday Moms Community Spotlight blog.

Everyday Moms Contributor, Christina Edwards, Realtor®

I am a homeschooling mom of a kindergartner and have been with my husband for 17 years. As a life-long resident of Hillsborough County, it wasn’t until after I had my son that my love for this area was truly realized. Motherhood brought life experiences to a new level; with so much to do here and with community connections growing stronger than ever, this is a wonderful place to call home. I am a USF graduate with a background in business finance and new-build construction. As a local Mom and Realtor® with Keller Williams Realty, I am able to share my love and knowledge of the entire Tampa Bay Area with you!

 

Homeschool Hindsight

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After resigning from my job (two years ago) to stay home with my daughter, homeschool was never on my radar… Now, its second nature.  There are many challenges, but my family loves this life. I can now say with confidence, “I would not have it any other way.”  However, before my family began this Journey, I wish I had heard more of the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Here is a little of mine.

You spend ALL of your time with your child– Every single minute of my day is spent with my daughter. Every question and thought that runs through her brain, comes out her mouth and straight to my ears…every single one! It is mentally exhausting to take the majority of the conversations and turn them into a learning experience. At the end of the day/week I feel more exhausted than I did when I worked full-time, but my heart grows fuller and brighter EVERY single day!

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Not all Homeschool journeys are created equal– When I first started homeschooling, I was constantly comparing my journey with others. I felt a need to get ahead and spent more energy than I would like to admit worrying about why my child wasn’t as far along as others. I am a homeschooler. Where is the fire?? My daughter and I are walking our own path. We do this so that we can go at our own pace. There is no rush or need to compare yourself with others. Do what works for you and your family!

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Join Homeschool groups/Co-ops, but be prepared to leave a few too- We are lucky enough to live in an area with a large amount of Homeschool families. In the beginning of my journey, I joined Facebook groups, attended events and reached out to other Homeschoolers in Everyday Moms. Some groups weren’t a good fit for my family. It took some time to find like-minded groups, but we now have an amazing amount of support. I could not do this without knowing other homeschool mothers. I would honestly lose my mind without them! Their support has been invaluable.

You will doubt yourself constantly – I also see this as a positive. I am constantly questioning myself. Am I doing enough? Am I screwing my child up for life? Could I have approached this better? Is my child happy? Am I happy? Can I do this?. THIS is what drives me and makes us better. The very fact that I question myself means that I want to do this to the best of my ability. I know my child better than anyone else. NO one knows my child better than me!

You are the responsible party- The pressure and responsibility that comes with homeschool is taxing. You have to motivate yourself to engage with your child the majority of your day. Your Spouse, family, and most of all your child are counting on you! Their education literally rests on your shoulders. Sometimes I feel as if I am being looked at with a microscope by many.  Not always the case, but a horrible feeling. Like I said above…’This is OUR journey”. I believe that this lifestyle is best and will do anything to make it work. If for whatever reason it isn’t working, I will be big enough to admit it and fix it!

 

Family– I do not know what I would do if my Husband didn’t support homeschooling. I certainly wouldn’t be writing this if he didn’t. Homeschool is a decision that we made together (my daughter included). We are also lucky enough to have support from our immediate family.

Some days are lonely – There are days when my daughter gets sad and wants a friend to play with. It makes me sad too. There isn’t always someone available to come over and play. Those are the days that I try my best to get out of the house. We go to the park, for a walk or head to the pool for some fun. After all, we eat, sleep, and homeschool under the same roof Every. Single. Day.

We have so much fun- We have lots of time and opportunities to explore our surroundings. We go on nature hikes, field trips at least twice a month, and build long-lasting and deep seeded relationships. Not a day goes by that I’m not thankful for this opportunity! My daughter is more cultured at age 5 than I was. She gets to see and do so much. The freedom we have is priceless. This is why we do what we do.

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THIS IS “OUR” JOURNEY!

Suzette Foister

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SAHM, Wife, Homeschooler, Owner/Artist of Bring Your Own Canvas