New Year, New Workouts

I have been exercising more. And I have been observing myself. I always find my self oddly amusing. Before I start, let me say for the record, I have made a lifelong habit of exercise. I won’t pat myself on the back too much for this since it was sort of an accident and mostly due to vanity. So, I’m not one of those “resolution-ists” that are crowding up the gym this time of year. But there I am, having just joined a gym and recommitted myself to fitness. And it sucks. Here are some things I’m learning.

Getting back into fitness is so much harder than never stopping

Back in July, I wrote about how I stopped exercising (which meant I wasn’t forcing myself to to do regular official workouts and instead just did the everything else including renovating half our house) and I actually lost weight and really felt better all the way around. Mind you, it was summer. Well, now I’m feeling the effects of losing a lot of muscle and a lot of the ability to do any workout I try and it’s very discouraging. So, please, for your sake and those around you, don’t stop. Ever. Just do something. Easy or hard. Just do a little (or a lot) consistently and keep up muscle tone, flexibility and cardio vascular conditioning.

January is the best (and worst) time to start

So, back to the newly-committed-overly-crowded gym of January. Last year we joined the local YMCA as a family. I had been considering it for a while and they were running a promotion in December: one free month and no join fee. Here was a place, 17 minutes from our house, where I could do group fitness, hubby could work out with weights and weight machines and the kids could sign up for gymnastics, dodgeball, swim, etc. And it would be so much less expensive than the combination of all the many places we were going previously. It wasn’t easy though, actually is was a bit heartbreaking, to say goodbye to my favorite classes at Jazzercise, the Yoga Loft, and CSS group fitness. I can’t say for sure I’m gone for good. But I decided to try something new. I just have to make it through the first few weeks of it being mobbed with people.

I feel super old

For the first time in my life I’m feeling like the “old person” in class. Everyone seems to be in their 20s and 30s and I’d like to say it doesn’t bother me, I would be a liar. I think one of the biggest obstacles to working out — in public at least — is comparing yourself to others. All these complete strangers are all younger, cuter, fitter, and more stylish. And they seem to know what they’re doing. I’m that complete dork who’s watching others get set up: weights, um, mat, more weights, barbell (???!!!), step, risers, paper plates (?) and copying them. But acting super cool like I’m not. Asking questions is not an option. And then I have to pretend I can do everything, and that I’m not dying. “I’m cool. I got this. Am I the only one wanting to barf?” All the while trying to be careful to not throw out my back. Why, oh why, did I allow myself to lose all my core strength? Why Leigh? Saddest part: lots of women much older than me seem to be fine.

I haven’t died yet

So far so good, you know? I’ve been taking it slow and trying to be patient with myself. I’ve done a few different classes. So far I’ve done: Group Cycling, Pilates, “Grit” and “Body Pump”. Grit is like all the worst of 7th grade gym: high knees, burpees (what we  used to call “squat thrusts” back in the day), suicide sprints, until you, like, puke. Note to self: stand in the back next time. And Body Pump is where you burn most of your calories dragging every single piece of equipment out of a closet (in competition with 30 other people) like barbells and those circular weights that go on them and the little clippy things that hold them on and try to guess which amount of weight you’re going to need and lift all those things a whole bunch then put it all away afterwards. FYI, Grit and Body Pump are taught by a woman who literally has an Ironman tattoo on her arm.

Working out is better with a friend

One of the things that made me want to joint the Y was that a couple other mom friends are members. I will go with or meet one of them there and it is more fun. I don’t feel so insecure and I think it’s motivating. I did not come up with this idea. It’s, apparently, a thing. Try it!

January will end

I’m looking forward to the gym getting less crowded. Not that I want everyone to stop exercising! But it will be nice. I am one of the lucky ones. I created an exercise habit in my early 20s. I schedule my workouts. I try new things to keep it interesting. I do it when I don’t want to. I do it all year ’round. You might say I just care what I look like. And you’d be right. But my vanity might keep me healthy on the inside just a few extra years. And don’t forget, exercise is good for your mood. And that’s something I can’t get enough of.

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New Year’s Resolution: Wear More Scarves

I cannot figure out scarves. Which to choose. How to tie them. I really only wear them when I have to. I also get hung up on whether or not they go with my coat, and if they should coordinate with my hat and gloves. I feel like I’m failing here.

That being said, I have added two new scarves to my collection. (Which brings it to a grand total of eight.)


NEW: J. Jill Tasseled Scarf

This is the kind of scarf I always covet on other people. It seemed like a good pattern choice to offset solid colors and go with all my navy-black-white-gray clothes. It’s not what I would call a cold-weather scarf so I don’t know why I bought it now.


NEW: J. Jill Plaid Scarf

This scarf is big and soft and PLAID, which I love.


OLD: Red Cashmere Scarf

A gift from my mom. I would never pick red but starting to see how great it is because it stands out!


OLD: Gray Waffle-Knit Infinity Scarf

I’ll always be a little befuddled by the infinity scarf but I’m trying. This is a pretty all-purpose scarf, so I don’t know why I never wear it.


OLD: Gray Adidas Scarf

I bought this on a trip to Paris 12 years ago. Never wear.


OLD: J. Crew Multi Stripe Scarf

I love this scarf. It has navy, hot pink, chartreuse, white and gray stripes which are all the best (preppy) colors. Sadly, I damaged it when I removed the tag years ago. It’s my daughter’s favorite scarf to steal.


OLD: Polka Dot Cotton Jersey Scarf

I got this at my sister’s clothing store. It’s my go-to for taking on a plane — it feels like a security blanket.


OLD: Old Navy Sarong/Scarf

This is another summer scarf that I love but never seem to wear.


There they are: the complete collection of neglected scarves. Keep? Toss? Add to?? If you have any scarf-related advice for me, please comment below.

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New Sweaters

After my thorough clothing inventory of 2018, I have been very cautious of adding anything new. I was also very good this year and did not shop for clothes for myself before Christmas. Here are a few things I got as gifts that I made room for in my closet:

Gap Sweater in Navy

I already had a navy v-neck sweater but this one is different. It’s nubby and soft and stretchy and I knew it was a keeper when it was the first thing I pulled out of the pile to wear on Christmas day.

Gap Waffle Knit Sweater in Light Blue

I think this shrunk a little in the wash. It’s okay. It’s a good color and it’s comfy.

Gap Fair Isle Sweater

I am loving this more and more. I had zero fair isle sweaters, until now, which is criminal considering I’m Scottish.

Gap Factory Cardigan in Red

I wasn’t sure about this. I don’t usually wear red and it’s a bit cropped. But it’s pretty classic so I’m going to try to make it work.

J. Jill Sweater Dress in Black

This was on my wish list so I wasn’t surprised that I liked it. But… I have never owned anything from J. Jill and wouldn’t call myself a J. Jill person. I think it was recommended by another blogger but I can’t remember who! It’s lovely. With tights and clogs I am fully embracing my inner “Norwegian art teacher.” They run big. I’m wearing an XS where I usually wear a M.

That’s it! I was so happy to get some nice gifts this Christmas and sometimes it’s hard to keep a minimal closet when you have a generous family! I got a bunch of PJs and socks as well—not so fashionable but warm and cosy.

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The shoes of my dreams arrived on October 18, 2018. They traveled all the way from Skövde, Sweden to Eastern Pennsylvania in the USofA. Sweden. Clogs from actual Sweden. I feel like my whole life has led up to this moment. Like when you meet your true love, you don’t mind that it took so long and they play “At Last” at your wedding and you’re like, you’re not kidding, at last. That’s how I feel about these shoes.

You may think clogs are not feminine or sexy or cool or whatever and you’re probably right but that’s actually part of the attraction.

Now, I’ve owned clogs before. A funky patchwork pair that was Mia or Steve Madden or something, a pair of black Dansko that had a back. Another pair of Dansko mules in oxblood. And, I wore them a lot, but really just for comfort. I didn’t feel stylish in them and as I became more fashion-y, I would only wear them at home and eventually got rid of them. Over the last few years I dreamed of finding a pair that were comfy/convenient — I love a shoe that’s a little bit of a platform that I can slip on and off — as well as good-looking. Of course my opinion about what looked “good” changed.

I followed a few pro-clog fashion blogs:  |  | to name a few, as well as the Instagram account thecloglife which fueled my secret longing for the perfect go-with-everything pair of clogs.

Then one day I came across an article that affirmed that clogs were now cool. I read this article: and this article: both which referenced this article:

Apparently clogs were now being worn by celebrities and models and even a part of some high-end designer shoe collections. Now that I was convinced clogs were uber-hip, and my desire was co-signed by the fashion world, the challenge of finding the quintessential pair, that didn’t break the bank, began.

Reference my mom in clogs in Venice Beach in the ’70s:


I looked at No.6Dansko, Swedish Hasbeens, Bryr, Sandgrens, Lotta from StockholmTroentorp. Some of these popular brands are more for the sandal-type clog and that’s probably in my future but for now I wanted something more old school and pure.

After literally years of pinning, pining, and excessive deliberating, I finally decided on the Troentorps. They were $99, free shipping, and arrived from Sweden in 6 days (one day after my birthday.) I am wearing them right now and I will probably never take them off.


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Why I Stopped Exercising

I never planned to stop exercising, it just kind of happened.

First, the kids got out of school which made it hard to workout every day. Then we renovated our kitchen and seemingly did nothing else all summer. I broke a toe. And we went on vacation. Through all that I actually lost weight and I became really okay with not working out. I had been between 135 and 140 pounds. By July, I was below 134 and have stayed there ever since. That might not seem like a lot but it made me feel like a whole new person.

I have always exercised obsessively (and kept a record) as seen below. I would do something almost every day. I’d run or do some sort of video at home. I’d go to yoga, spin and Jazzercise.

I was surprised (but not surprised) when I lost weight in July. I wasn’t “working out” but I was doing demolition and a lot of heavy lifting. Ever removed a hardwood floor and sub floor? Torn out cabinets? Installed a new hardwood floor? Combine that with very little eating because you have no kitchen.

We did most of the renovation in flip flops and joked that we should have a show on HGTV called “Flip Flop Flippers”. Construction sites are not the place for flip flops but that is not how I broke my left number 2 toe. I broke it by slipping on the wet garage floor. If you’ve never broken a toe, and I have, twice, the correct way to rehab it is to ‘buddy tape’ it and not exercise for six weeks. Six weeks??!! (Apparently, I don’t consider riding a bike to be bad for a broken toe.)

When my toe seemed to be completely healed I celebrated by doing all the planks and downward dogs. But, as you can see, not much else. My first day back to Jazzercise, I thought I felt it re-break a little bit, but I think it will always be a little tender.

So, this is where I am now. I don’t need to exercise anymore.

I might do it once in a while, when I feel like it. I do feel a lot better, especially mentally, when I workout. Having broken a bone tells me that I should exercise more, particularly with weights. Feeling really fit while doing the kitchen made me realize I should be doing much more muscle strengthening. As we head into the colder months, I know it will really help to get outside and move. A little walking, a little running. I will probably still go to spin class and Jazzercise, because it’s fun. Oh, and yoga because it makes everything better.





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Book Reviews

If you’re new to, you can see all the books I’ve read in the last few years here:

I keep this list so I can remember the books I’ve read and recommend them to friends. It’s hard to find a really good book. You can take someone else’s suggestion, but how do you know if you two have the same taste?

I never thought of myself as a reader, but it’s kind of my favorite thing these days. Not only is it fun to get lost in a story but it seems to counteract whatever damage I’m doing by mindlessly scrolling through social media, i.e. makes me a little smarter.  Sometimes it feels like a chore, like if the book is poorly written or too YA or whatever. But since my kids are required to read 30 minutes everyday and log their reading, I try to discipline myself as well and set a good example. #momgoals

Here’s the latest:

Bel Canto
by Ann Patchett

I am still reading Bel Canto, and I’m loving it. Ann is one of my favorite authors. And I’m surprised how varied her books are. Different times, places, subjects that have a very different mood. So good.

The Mars Room
by Rachel Kushner

I read a review of The Mars Room somewhere…and it sounded good. I haven’t finished it because I checked it out of the library through Libby and I read slow and it was returned. I’m undecided about whether or not I want to finish it. It’s pretty heavy and maybe not for me. Has anyone else read this?

by Ann Patchett

Commonwealth is absolutely my kind of book. I love the writing: smart but not too smart, the vivid descriptions that transport you into the story with an interesting time and place and comic/tragic characters and story. Loved it.

Firefly Lane
by Kristen Hannah

I really thought I would like Firefly Lane since I loved The Nightingale, but the writing was … painful. It’s the story of two girls/women and how their lives divert but their friendship endures, which sounds like a solid winner but it was so Young Adult and ridiculous I suffered all the way through. Sorry, Kristen. 🙁

by Susan Sontag

I don’t even know why I got Debriefing as a gift. I don’t remember putting it on a wish list or ever mentioning that I like Susan Sontag. I’d never read anything by her. This collection of fictional ‘essays’ was said to be unlike her other more well-known work. At first it seemed interesting. It was challenging and odd and artsy and weird which I really appreciated, but parts of it were so out there I couldn’t even understand what I was reading or why. Since it is a collection of very different stories I could put it down for long stretches while I read other things. I finally pushed through to the end and hoped it was somehow character-building. I will say it was a good antidote to the mind-numbing boredom of suburban existence.

by R.J. Palacio

Well, actually, I read Wonder to my kids, but I’m including it because it was really good.

Codependent No More
by Melody Beattie

I read Codependent No More because someone recommended it to me recently and as I was about to say I already read it (in like 1994) I realized I might not have read more than the title page… So I decided to get it and actually find out what it says. This should probably be required reading in schools.

Manhattan Beach
by Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach had everything in it to be a good read: female protagonist, 1940s NYC, family secrets, mobsters, diving… yes, diving, but, it fell flat. I couldn’t understand why it didn’t feel like it ever ‘took off’. I had to read some reviews so I could understand why it was problematic and realize it wasn’t just me. I wanted to like it more but had to work to get through it.

Golden Son
by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Golden Son was delightful and I highly recommend it. You may think, I don’t have a great interest or love of Indian culture, but I don’t think that should stop you. It’s a story of two people from India with very different life paths and it was such a page turner. So beautiful.

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All the Stores

If you’re from Philly, you say, “KOP”


Although The Mall of America claims to be the biggest mall in America, The King of Prussia Mall states that it is “the largest shopping mall in the United States in terms of gross leasable area, with a gross leasable area of 2,900,000 square feet.” Okay. Why is it called “King of Prussia”? Because it’s in King of Prussia, PA. Why is the town called that? Because it was named after a 18th century inn of the same name, which is named after Frederick the Great.


This is THE mall. Where I live, there’s a little mall, a “big” mall and then there’s KOP which has practically every store there is. Drive time is 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 60 minutes respectively. If I want, I could drive into NYC in about an hour and 45.

So, we are in a place and time where we can buy almost anything online. And I do. But so often I think, I want to see it all, touch it, try it on. I only really like to order online if I get free shipping both ways. I know, I’m spoiled. This is what led me to drive an hour to Philly. I had ordered some things from J. Crew and didn’t want to spend money to ship them back. No, instead I’d spend money to drive really far to return them at what is now the closest J. Crew. We used to have a J. Crew up here but it closed. But, I’d also get to look at some other brands we don’t have here like Madewell. And it was an excuse to get out of the house.

To say that place is overwhelming is an understatement. I logged over 12,000 steps that day! I went into a few places I’d heard about from other bloggers and always wanted to experience in real life but in the end I really didn’t get excited by much that I saw. I was prepared to be a little bit “bad” and spend more money than I should and I actually left empty handed.

Here’s a list of all the stores at King of Prussia (skipping food, men’s and sportswear), divided up by where I’ve shopped, where I want to shop someday and where I’ll pass:


Aerie – used to be my fave for underthings, now it’s GAP

Ann Taylor – A little too “office” for me

Anthropologie – I’m over it

Athleta – All the time

Banana Republic – Sadly, my go-to

Clark’s – I’ve had some luck here

Coach – A couple splurges

DSW – I live here

GAP – All the basics please

H&M – Fun times!

J. Crew – So much. Closest is KOP

LOFT – Too much

Lucky – Less these days

Madewell – Pretty in love. Closest is KOP

Nordstrom – Dangerous. Closest is KOP

Old Navy – Just for the kids, and PJs

Steve Madden – Many shoes have I owned

Urban Outfitters – A bit young, but still good. Closest is KOP

Vans – Sk8rgrl

Zara – Once or twice. Closest is KOP





Carolina Herrera

COS – This was my fave part of my recent visit to KOP!

Diane Von Furstenberg



Jimmy Choo

Kate Spade


Lord & Taylor – THE department store when I was growing up in DC

Neiman Marcus

Rag & Bone – Want!

Saint Laurent

Tiffany & Co.

Tory Burch

Vince – bought a jacket from a thrift store in NYC


Abercrombie & Fitch


American Eagle


Bottega Venetta

Brooks Brothers – I bought one pair of used chinos that I love


Calvin Klein Underwear


Club Monaco

David Yurman



Eddie Bauer

Eileen Fisher

Everything But Water

Express – not since the 90s


Forever 21


Free People – kind of cool

G-Star RAW



Hanna Andersen




J. Jill

Johnny Was

Johnston & Murphy

Joie – I did take a look…

L.L Bean

Lane Bryant

Lily Pulitzer

Loro Piana

Louis Vuitton



Michael Kors

New York & Co.

Nick + Zoe – I checked it out this trip




Ralph Lauren

Salvatore Ferragamo




Ted Baker


Tommy Bahama

True Religion



Vera Bradley

Victoria Secret

Vineyard Vines

White House Black Market



Altar’d State



Ermenegildo Zegna


Henig Furs

Henri Bendal

Marc Cain



Paula Hian

Philipp Plein


Rigby & Peller

Robert Grant

South Moon Under

St John


Tadashi Shoji

Thomas Pink







That’s it. Let me know if there are any brands you know and love. Do you think I should I rethink any of these? The great thing is I realized I am not missing out. Also, I now know what they have at KOP and that it’s not that far. I might have to go again soon for the Shake Shack alone!

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A Year of Shopping Responsibly

[Updated to include the entire year and notes on whether or not I made good choices]

Last year around this time I turned over the finances to my husband. In 14 years of marriage I have aways managed the money but a new level of soul searching and letting go led me to “try” something new. We don’t have an unusual amount of conflict around spending—just the normal amount. 😉 But when we look at where we’ve been overspending it’s almost always the same: clothing, dining and recreation. We set a budget and go over that budget. And, honestly, the clothing category is all me. So, all this to say, I had to start being “good.” For the last year I was given a monthly cash allowance of roughly what I should have been spending all along. Allowance is for anything outside of the budget. Oh yeah, “Clothing” ceased to be a category. My “mad money” was to pay for clothing, make up, hair, nails, etc. But, it gets tricky when ordering things on-line. I have to use a Credit card and then pay it back with cash. It got pretty confusing and so I kind of gave up keeping track. I honestly didn’t know if I had been good. I mean, I kind of knew I wasn’t when the Nordstrom sale came around in the Spring. (Stitch Fix also contributed to my downfall.) A lot of what I bought has been underwear and workout-wear which I don’t think should count toward “additions to my closet” but whatev. I’ll also mention that I justified overspending by selling clothes on Poshmark. I made about $225 from Postmark sales.

The following is what I added to my wardrobe this year:

January $143

Gap – bras & undies $94 – Excellent additions!

J. Crew – Shirt-jacket in buffalo check $43 – I LOVE this jacket and get lots of complements!

Stitch Fix – Mavi jeans $6 (w/ giftcard) – Mistake, have since donated them.

February $174

Old Navy – gray hoodie $28 – I wear this ALL THE TIME.

Old Navy – gingham shirt $20 – Never wear.

LOFT – boho print dress $36 – Mistake, wore twice. Donated.

DSW – Puma sneakers $50 – Great purchase.

Poshmark – J Brand army shorts $14 – Meh.

Poshmark – Gap jeans in black $26 – Great purchase!

March $119

Gap – Sports Bras in black & gray $24 ea. – Wear all the time.

Gap – Workout tank in white $16 – It’s okay.

Asics – workout tank $13 – Have worn a few times.

Poshmark – J. Crew straw market tote $26 – Perfection.

Poshmark – NB workout tank $16 – Never wear. Donated.

April $106

DSW – nude ballet flats $40 – Not sure I needed these.

Poshmark – Madewell heels $66 – I like but rarely wear.

May $415

Banana Republic – Camisole $25 – Don’t wear much but think it was a good purchase.

Banana Republic – Striped tank $25 – Wore SO MUCH this summer.

Stitch Fix – Joie tee $148 – I don’t wear it much but don’t regret it. It’s lovely.

Nordstrom – Amour Vert long sleeve striped tee $88 – Excellent addition!!!

Nordstrom – Vince Camuto sandals in red $53 – They were my go-to all summer.

Nordstrom – Topshop cigarette pants $38 – The jury is still out…

Poshmark – Gap workout leggings $19 – Good choice.

Poshmark – Madewell tank $19 – Mistake.

June $139

J. Crew – denim shorts $56 – THE PERFECT CUT-OFF JEAN SHORTS. Why am I shouting?

Gap – long sleeve striped tees in gray/white & navy/white $11 ea. – Probably the best staples in my closet.

Gap – tank top in gray $15 – Yes!

Gap – undies $16 – Yes.

Athleta – bikini top $30 – So pretty!

July $100

Famous Footwear – Nikes $75 – Absolutely great choice/needed addition.

DSW – Roxy flip flops $25 – Essential.

August $45

Athleta – bikini bottom $21 – Love it.

Snap back hat – $24 – Needed it. Love it.

September $152

Nordstrom Rack – Steve Madden flats in black $50 – Not sure I needed these.

Banana Republic – A-line skirt in olive $39 – Nice. Can’t seem to choose skirts over jeans.

J. Crew – A-line midi sweater skirt $63 – Never worn, but not sure I regret it.

October $125

Gap – Vintage Wash Short Sleeve Tee in “Glass of Water” blue $10 – I wear this more than any other tee.

Troentorp – Da Vinci Clogs in dark blue $99 – I have to force myself to not wear these every day.

J. Crew – High-Rise Jegging in blue indigo wash $16 – Great choice!

November $129

Lucky Jeans – Hayden High Rise Skinny Jean in Farolito $129 – I bought to replace the jeggings and then kept both. Look great. Kind of tight.

December $0

So that’s the extent of it. I know that may seem like a lot to spend to some people (or very little to others) and I hesitated to include prices but for me it’s important to drag it out into the light of day. To be true to myself. Throughout the year I bought and returned quite a few items. I knew they weren’t right, that I wouldn’t wear them. Some of what I bought (and kept) turned out to be great decisions, and others were not. Live and learn, I guess. It makes me see that I can stand to be a lot more intentional in my buying process. To my credit, I tend to pin things to a wish list board and then wait a while before pulling the trigger.

My ultimate goal is to enjoy what I wear, how I look and then get on with it. You know? I hope somebody somewhere gets some inspiration from this, on how to have fun with clothes, but, like in a grown-up-y way.


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Extending My Clothing Budget with Poshmark

My new favorite thing is Poshmark. I originally heard about it through another blogger Lindsey Kubly. It’s the perfect place to sell clothes you no longer wear and find things you want to buy for really good prices. Selling is so easy. The phone App makes it really simple and quick to post items. When they sell, you get an email with a prepaid mailing label and when the buyer accepts the shipment the money goes right into your Poshmark account.

Here are some of the items I’ve gotten so far this year:


Spin twins!








I got a few other things not pictured (a pair of like-new Gap capri leggings for $13, a pair of Madewell shoes for $60 and Lancome makeup set for $20) and I’ve been happy with everything I’ve bought. Some of my purchases were exact items I was searching for, like the above tote that I used to own and lost last year. So far to date I’ve sold a total of $275 worth of clothing. That’s money I either used to buy stuff on Poshmark or transferred into my bank account to cover things I bought that were outside of my clothing budget. Win-win! Try it out.


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What I Got at the Nordstrom Sale

I love Nordstom… “à la distance.” There’s no store near me but since they offer free shipping both ways and were having a sale, I thought, why not order a bunch of stuff online? I won’t keep any of it, I’ll just try it on, from the comfort of my bedroom.

None of these items were impulse buys. They were carefully selected over months of pinning and researching and waiting. I’ve curbed my clothing purchases this year partly due to a new family budget and because I “don’t need another thing.”

Here’s what I got:


I picked these sandals because I have been wanting a comfy slide forEVER. I love a platform and I love a shoe I can just slip on and off and honestly that’s what I’m going to pick all summer. I can only wear my two dollar Old Navy flip flops so much. I chose red (very unusual for me) because it compliments all the blue in my wardrobe, but these come in a few great colors/patterns. The straps are leather, the insole is leather (bonus) and they have espadrille-style soles. I love them! The only con is the straps have a manmade lining that smells like a pool raft. I had to get them as my best friend Joan told me to. VERDICT: KEEP


I don’t know why but I didn’t take a pic in these. These ballet flats are perfect in every way. They tick all the boxes. Classic. Black. Comfortable. Leather. Well constructed. No weird embellishments. And they were on sale! And yet, when I searched deep into my heart of hearts I knew…they just aren’t me. After years of searching for the perfect classic ballet flat I realized I don’t need a classic ballet flat. VERDICT: RETURN


One needs a gray tank top. If you haven’t gone hunting for one recently, there are so many versions. Many of them have some weird detail: twist front, twist back, tie front/back, lace, high-low hem, etc. I tried this very basic option and sized up from my usual medium to a large and you can see it’s a very unflatteringly skin-tight. Grrr. VERDICT: RETURN

BTW, I think I ought to change my name to “Heather Steel.”


I have been obsessed about finding a really good pair of jean shorts—more polished than the above pictured cut offs. It’s not easy, but nothing in life really is. Although these look pretty good to me now, I thought the size 30 I got was a little too big. I think a high rise short should be fitted not loose. I could have tried my usual 29 size but not sure I wanted a tight jean short? I really liked the stretch and the look but I couldn’t get comfortable with them being up high on the waist and on the thigh. Sad face. VERDICT: RETURN


My favorite J. Crew Martie pants were starting to show their age and were quite tight on the booty (not in a good way) so I’ve been on the hunt for a new pair of cropped, tapered trousers that are stretchy and slimming. I’ve never owed anything from Top Shop (I know, “gasp”) and the price made me skeptical. I loved them the second I tried them on. I’ve been moving away from low rise pants and really love the rise on these. The fabric isn’t too thick. They’re machine wash/line dry and look great from the back. Yay. VERDICT: KEEP


This shirt was the last to arrive and I was sure it would go right back. The day it arrived I had just gone to the Gap to look for shorts and got two long sleeve striped shirts that were beautiful and on sale. I didn’t need another striped shirt! When I took it out of the package I realized it was slinky and I read the fabric content and saw it was modal. I am not a fan of modal. I like a plain ol’ cotton. Then I tried it on and fell in love. I mean, I’ll let you know when I wash it… but, sigh, I had to keep it. It feels so good, drapes so good, looks so good. I’m in love. Green love. Amour Vert is one of those brands I keep hearing about for their sustainability. Read more at VERDICT: KEEP

So, my just trying on/not buying plan clearly didn’t work very well. Damn you Nordstrom! Why are you so awesome?!

In other news, I have been cleaning out my closet consistently. I donate to friends and the local thrift store and I have sold quite a lot on POSHMARK. You can check out my closet here.


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