Tag Archives: update

Spring Cleaning Part Two

21 Jul

Click here for Part One.

It’s taken me a while to write this post because it’s hard to photograph your closet without it looking messy. Does anyone else have this problem?

Anyways, here’s the second half of my closet. There are definitely more clothes in this half and I’m missing less than 10 items that are either at the tailor or in the laundry.

It’s grouped by sleeve length, top length, sweaters, dresses, and work pants. I don’t color coordinate because I don’t have that many colors for each of the categories.

Below the rack are storage boxes for tees, camis, tanks, leggings, hosiery, undergarments, socks, etc.

To the far right corner are my shoes. At last count, I have 25 pairs of shoes and I’m trying to shave it down to 20, but that hasn’t been going very well as I can’t bear to part with my shoes.

I have 90 hangers on the rack currently (10 empty) and I won’t buy any more hangers. What’s hanging should be half to a third of my clothes because I want to have less than 365 clothing items. My closet already seems bloated, so adding more to it would be excessive.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll notice that you’ve seen the majority of these clothes in my outfit posts. I have few if any wardrobe orphans and I do try to mix and match everything so I can really maximize my clothes.

I’m slowly learning to live with less and I’ll be limiting new additions.

The only major clothing items missing are my seven pairs of blue jeans. Since it’s summer, I challenged myself to avoid wearing blue jeans for the entire three months (June-August) and instead wear more skirts, shorts, and dresses. When it’s cooler, I have four pairs of causal pants to wear, not including leggings. It’s my second year doing this challenge and it worked out well last time. So I hope this year will be the same.

Aside from jeans, I don’t have a hidden wardrobe or anything in storage. This is what I work with everyday and this is what I see everyday, although it might not be this neat.

For now, I have a good solid base and anything new either replaces an item or contribute something different. I’m scouting for unique signature pieces like high-waisted/wide leg herringbone/tweed trousers, patterned or architectural clothing, and fun accessories.

I used to think that I wanted a walk-in closet so I can fill it with all my things, but now that I have a lot of storage space in my apartment, I use less than half of it. If you can see from the full view of my closet, there’s space behind my rack of clothes which lies another hanging rack, which technically doubles my closet space, but it’s staying empty. I’d much rather keep everything on a smaller scale so I don’t have to “discover” new clothes that I forgot about with tags still attached to them.


Foodie-Ville: Budgeting Update

17 Jun

It feels like summer…sort of. And it makes me hunger for cold dishes like somen, potato salad, and spring rolls.

Lately, I’ve been watching too many episodes of “The Naked Chef” a.k.a. Jamie Oliver. He has such simple recipes but he always tells you why certain ingredients are used to get the most out of it. It makes me want to be better at cooking and to better understand flavor combinations and profiles.

I cook quite regularly but it’s difficult to come up with creative dishes when you’re making it for yourself. And to minimize food expenses, I try to stock up on ingredients instead of products. I’d rather buy fresh tomatoes instead of purchasing tomato sauce. To me, it’s cheaper, healthier, and tastier. Plus, when I have fresh tomatoes, there’s more flexibility than a can of sauce.

Though I do have a food budget, I haven’t been keeping track regularly and it shows. I finally sat down and worked out the numbers for the past three months and they haven’t been pretty. My food budget is divided into two sections: groceries and eating out. Ideally, I would want to spend $100 on groceries and $150 on eating out.

How did I fare?

Continue reading

Spring Cleaning

3 Jun

The good thing about documenting your wardrobe in photos is that you can visually see the changes over time.

It’s been over six months since I had a wardrobe purge and it’s time for another round. It’s not that I don’t have closet space, but I choose to leave half of the available space empty and work on streamlining what I own. I don’t have a separate wardrobe for spring or winter since I have few pieces that are strictly seasonal.

When it comes to getting rid of clothes, I put aside the ones I no longer want or wear. Then, I take them to a few second-hand shops where the last drop-off left me with $115 for a couple pairs of jeans, jackets, and boots. Whatever remained, I donated to local charities.

Even with this purge, I know my closet is still bloated. It’s a continual process and perhaps in the next five years, my clothes will take up less space but I would wear them more often.

Back in October, I had a box-shelf that contained causal pants, sweaters, tees, and non-jewelry accessories. It’s about 1/4 of my closet and it looked like this:

I still have too many pairs of jeans, but since October, I have cut my casual pant collection in half! In the process, I doubled my sweater and knit tops collection. Also, I picked up a few pieces of active wear which are located in the box on the far left.

Now, it looks like this:

Though some of the items are different now, the amount I own hasn’t changed much. I’ve been taking inventory of my clothes but it’s not complete. It’s easier to keep track of jackets, skirts, and pants than tops. I guess I change tops pretty often and I’m not quite sure how to categorize them.

Above the box-shelf hangs all my jackets and skirts. This part of my collection is pretty stable but I want more pattern and color in this section. Being in LA, my jackets don’t get much usage, but my skirts see the sun quite often.

So far, this is half my wardrobe. The other half contains dresses, tops, and dress pants. I haven’t taken photos of the other half because it’s still unruly and I’m working on making it look neat and tidy.

What are your tips to keeping a closet organized?

New Year’s Resolution Part II

21 Feb

So, continuing on from the previous post, here’s the rest of the update on my New Year’s Resolution. (NYR)

My food budget is reining in my eating out expenses and helping me stay healthy. My stomach is weak in the morning, so multi-grain oatmeal is the only thing I can have for breakfast. I’ve been baking a lot more and making things like bread, pound cake, cupcakes, etc. I can’t eat them all at once, so I send them off to my friends.

Instead of eating at chain restaurants, I want to support the local neighborhood and find awesome neighborhood gems…so I’ll keep fast food to a minimum. So far, I’ve found some great places: Le Saint Amour, Ford’s Filling Station, and Cafe Brasil. When I eat at an independent restaurant, it feels special, especially if the chef physically works there!

Overall, I’m doing well on all fronts except shopping. It feels like I’m cutting expenses in all areas of my life in order TO clothes shop, which is not what I had in mind. So, I’ve re-vamped my goal to make it more realistic in the next couple of months. For my closet, I am limited to 30 pairs of shoes with a max budget of $100 per pair. Also, I can purchase clothing that fills the “holes” in my wardrobe such as slim-fitting trousers. As for accessories, I need a more substantial collection that does not consist mostly of Forever 21 wares. The rest of my clothing will adhere to the “one in, one out” rule.

Here’s a quick look at some recent nautical purchases:

Details: Madewell Navy Breton Tee XS, Martin + Osa adjustable belt S/M, Forever 21 fish necklace

All this budgeting, waste-reducing, healthy-lifestyle maintaining effort is not for nothing. I want to be more conscious of my purchases, where it is clothing or whether is it food. We’re so accustomed to fast-food and fast-fashion that I think we all need to take a step back. Sometimes, we’re so wrapped up in ourselves that we seldom take notice of how quickly the world is changing.

At the airport, I noticed that out of 50 passengers, half were hooked up – on the computer, listening to their ipod, or fiddling with their smartphones. Only two groups, less than 10 people in total, were having a physical conversation/social interaction.

Has technology made us socially isolated and awkward?

Remember Your New Year’s Resolution?

20 Feb

The 1.5 month New Year’s Resolution (NYR) update, part 1 of 2:

Like many, exercising is a top goal, but few continue on past the first month. I haven’t been exercising as regularly as I hoped, but maintaining muscle tone and increasing endurance are my main focal points. Last year, my sole accomplishment was getting ab definition and now I must balance it out with a stronger back. Back dimples anyone?

This year, I’m taking yoga lessons and it’s great for your core, especially if you’re behind a desk for hours on end. All those bends and twists get out those pesky kinks to improve your overall health. Hopefully I can keep better track of my exercise habits so I can stay fit and healthy.

Another section of my NYR includes the 3R’s project (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). I cut my electricity bill in half, which is amazing! By the end of the month, I’ll be plastic bag free (large trash bags aside) since I bring my own grocery bags to the store. As for clothes shopping, I have yet to find a stylish yet durable bag to take with me to the mall…so I still get paper bags when I purchase something. Boo!

Somehow, I got suckered into a LA Times subscription and with the leftover papers I created a side table and recycling the rest. This photo gave me the inspiration:

When it comes to money, I can’t say I’ve always been the best with it. However, I don’t have any outstanding debt and I pay off my credit cards on time. I’m increasing the amount I’m setting aside to savings and I’m keeping better track of my budget.

Besides, I think I keep most of my expenses to a minimum anyways…like the fact I don’t have a TV and therefore, no cable bill. But that doesn’t mean I don’t watch TV shows, I either catch it online or I head over to my friend’s place. I can see my favorite shows and keep in touch with my friends at the same time.

For the most part, I’ve been doing fairly well and with Lent on its way, it’s another motivator to create smaller short-term goals so I can better accomplish my year-end goals. This is the first year that I’ve set up a multi-part NYR and I really want to stick to it.

On a different note, I’ve been watching the Winter Olympics with an itch for snow. Luckily, this weekend I’ll be off to Big Bear to hit the slopes! YAY!