Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Stretching in the 5 weeks of December

I am going to make the challenge for this month be to stretch my mind, body and money! I know that there are only 30 days in December but I'm challenging myself from November 30th through January 3rd to get in those 5 weeks and hopefully set some new habits.

- Read one non-fiction book a week so I can learn something. I'm in the middle of a history of the British Women's Institute right now and it is interesting. I also have a travel book we bought duirng a museum visit last week and need to get going on it.
- Go to a free Christmas chamber music concert.
- Cook something new to take to my book club Christmas party. I'm thinking a great hor dourves dish or perhaps cranberry almond biscotti to use up ingredients in my pantry. Or even both?

- Use my stretching DVD at least 4 times a week and do not pay for stretch classes. I started November 30th!
- Walk the dog every day. (0.75 miles)
- Take one urban hike each week. I have mapped two routes. One is 2.5 miles. The other is 4.25 miles.
- Pilates session each week. If my trainer is off for vacation be sure to schedule with someone else.

- See how long we can go without eating out! We had a great time including eating out a fair bit during our Thanksgiving week staycation and family visit. I am usually the one who suggests we go out so I am the one who needs to do better at planning to eat at home.
- Do not buy any books. I have started a list of ones to request inter-library loan.
- Order Christmas gifts from kids lists and have shipped directly to them or send checks.
- Stick to no clothes shopping. My one exception is a pair of sweatpants if I find ones I really like.
- Order debit cards for each of us.
- Check husband's SS statement.
- Get free credit reports and read carefully.

What are your goals for the month?

Monday, November 30, 2015

No Repeat November - Week 4 + 2 days of Shopping my Closet

The weather cooled down for a while just in time to enable me to finish this challenge. There was only one day when I wore house/yard work clothing all day but I changed for an evening out so that equals 30 different outfits. That evening out convinced me that the top didn't fit right and it is in the donate pile along with a blouse that has the same problem. Life is too short to wear clothing that is bothersome to wear.

I didn't take any photos during week 4 as we were busy enjoying a visit from a son and DIL. By the last 2 days of the month I was making combinations I hadn't worn before and I enjoyed them both. What I have realized this past month is that I stick with the same clothing combinations and need to mix it up more to fully utilize my existing wardrobe and not get bored.

During the month I wore 50 clothing items: 18 tops, 9 pairs of pants, 10 toppers, 4 scarves, 4 belts, & 5 pairs of shoes. I used the same purse each day. In addition I wore 17 pieces of jewelry, 5 different coats, 2 pairs of gloves and one hat. Our high temps fluctuated wildly from in the mid 70s to the high 30s making a month of layering and really two different seasonal wardrobes. That helped with making 30 outfits though.

Here are the outfits from the last 2 days to finish out November. The photo quality has the colors a bit off but I like both outfits.

I am going to keep working on new combinations from my existing wardrobe but not document them anymore. Shopping for clothing is a low priority for December as the only thing on my list is a pair of sweatpants LOL.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Thanksgiving week staycation

Do you ever vacation in  your home town? We did this Thanksgiving week as we had one son and DIL visiting and decided to make it a vacation for all of us.

We lucked out on the weather as there was no rain and it was warmer each day as the week went on so we were able to be outside a lot. I am so happy to have had my husband home all week too which bodes well for retirement LOL.

I did not take these photos but this is what it was like for us.

Monday - Piedmont Park walk, lunch at the revolving Sundial restaurant, and a visit to the Carter Presidential Museum

Tuesday - Walk to nearby restaurant for lunch and then to the Carlos Museum on the Emory University campus to see the Indigenous People artifacts on display. Truly awesome artistry in functional clothing as well as useful and ceremonial objects. Walk home again.

Wednesday - An urban hike on the eastside Atlanta Beltline with stops at Ponce City Market to see the transformation of the old Sears distribution center into a retail and living space. On to Krog Street Market for lunch and then a hike back. The Ponce City Market is a converted Sears distribution center building that is now a high end food court and shopping with apartments on the other floors. Krog Street Market is a converted 1920's warehouse with food stalls and other businesses. Jigsaw puzzle started.

Thursday - Cooking for Thanksgiving with breaks to call family, take a walk with even the dog participating and a short driving tour of some interesting neighborhoods. Delicious feast. More jigsaw puzzle.

Friday - Made a visit to the Centers for Disease Control museum and it was so nice to see how enthusiastic my husband is about sharing the history and work of his employer. Then to dinner theatre at The Shakespeare Tavern to see The Tempest. Wow that is one busy, energetic, many character play! There was much dialogue, singing, dancing, and a sprite doing gymnastics hanging in the air like Cirque de Solei performers. More jigsaw puzzle.

Saturday - Brunch out followed by a drive through downtown Atlanta and then the drop off at the airport. Our house is much too quiet now!

Hope you all had a wonderful week too.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

No Repeat November - Week 3 of Shopping my Closet

It's getting harder to create new outfits! I won't be taking photos next week as we have our older son and DIL visiting all week and my focus is going to totally be on enjoying having such concentrated time with them. I'll track what I wear though and if I can keep this up I'll photo the clothes combinations all at once after Thanksgiving.

I've linked up again to Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style

This week I had one day of wearing yard work/housework clothing only so I am sharing 6 outfits. My personal favorite is outfit 1 and second is outfit 6 because of the color combo in the top. I'd love your feedback!

Outfit 1
I tied a long scarf to make a cowl. I may turn it into one as that would be easy.

Outfit 2
The belt was handmade for me by a cousin to use the silver belt buckle my Mom was given in the 1930's by her brother. I've lost weight since he made it so I am trying different ways of using it. Those are dark wash jeans not black BTW!
Outfit 3
Groceries, hair cut appointment - how exciting is that for a rainy day?

Outfit 4
Not happy with this but went out the door anyway. I could have added a short necklace or used a cardigan instead of the shell. Day spent sorting donated books at the library, bathing dog, etc.

Outfit 5
Still preparing for Thanksgiving and a week of company. Big grocery shop, car wash, etc. Really need to shorten this top. Added to list.

Outfit 6
Casual birthday lunch out with my husband.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

November goals progress!

I'm slowly chipping away at my November goals and reshaping some habits.

* I've managed to exercise 4 days out of 7 for 3 weeks in a row! No weight loss though.

* The kitchen cabinets and drawers have all been cleaned inside and out. Found a total of 14 items to declutter and donate.

* I have been keeping up with yard work now that it has stopped raining all the time. Hubby pruned the ivy and finished the inside repair of our sun porch greenhouse window. The outside is still a work in progress. However, we have now had a small roof leak during a deluge of a downpour on Thursday evening. A roofer has been booked to investigate the source and we do have extra shingles in the shed.

* We are on schedule in preparing for our family to visit for Thanksgiving week. With the focus on that though I completely forgot that my husband's birthday is tomorrow! He was quite relaxed about it and said all he wanted was to go out for lunch at our favorite gourmet taco place. That I can do.

* So far I have managed to create outfits to wear this month without repeating. I think I will give myself a break from this the rest of the month though.

* I'm totally prepared for the Friends of the Library annual meeting on December 2nd. A new record of advanced preparation!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Good reads in the blogosphere

Retirement: Navigating a few shoals at Passage des pearls

Dress up every day at une femme d'un certain age

And since a random conversation at my Pilates studio with a 6th grade teacher who had been primitive camping with some of her students on a naturalist led adventure on Cumberland Island led to a discussion about what culture invented the first water system here is the answer. I thought perhaps the Romans; she mentioned India and Sri Lanka and the correct answer is ... oh right, you need to read the article - History of water supply and sanitation

Tuesday, November 17, 2015