8 Tips to Building a Capsule Wardrobe

I recently took the leap into opening my own pop-up shop and online boutique, Amanda Suzanne by Shop Stevie. So thoughts of fashion are swirling around in my head more than ever. Over the last couple of days I’ve been looking at some of the pieces I currently have in stock and thinking about how to build a capsule wardrobe. It’s time to share eight of my tips to building a capsule wardrobe, which is all about simplicity and putting together a good base of mix-and-match wardrobe staples.

1. Choose items that work for you and your lifestyle. Think about what fits your day-to-day activities.

2. Simplify. Get rid of duplicates. Own five black tees? Keep your favorite and donate the rest. Give away anything that doesn’t fit or you haven’t worn in a certain length of time (i.e. six months or a year).

3. Start by working with what you have. Don’t immediately run out to buy new items. Look at what you already own that you love, fits, and works for your lifestyle needs.

4. Mix-and-match. Worried that you’ll get tired of wearing the same clothes? Change up how you pair items together to give outfits a fresh look and style.

5. Consider the colors. A capsule wardrobe is about building a wardrobe around key pieces of clothing that work well together. Neutrals are great for these essential items, but don’t be afraid to mix in pops of color and pattern with tops, skirts, and accessories.

6. Select versatile clothing. Avoid those items that can only be worn “if and only if…”

7. Change it up depending on the season. There are lots of items I wear year-round, with more or less layering depending on whether it’s summer or winter. But there are also pieces that I only wear in certain seasons. Shorts are a staple in the summer but not necessary in our Oklahoma winter (although the weather can change in an instant!).

8. Complete your wardrobe. Pick out pieces that you love, flatter you, fit into your everyday life, and coordinate well with the rest of your wardrobe. I love to find pieces that I can dress up or down.

Shop some of my favorite wardrobe essentials at amandasuzanne.stevierep.com:

Get Off the Bus

The plane lands and it’s time to travel from Gatwick Airport to Heathrow Airport. We hop on a charter bus to transport our group the 64 kilometers it takes to drive from Gatwick to Heathrow. The whole day is before us…our next flight to Johannesburg, South Africa, doesn’t leave until the late evening. It’s a great opportunity to see a bit of London. We make several stops throughout the day to see a lot of the touristy London landmarks. There’s not enough time to go in each and every place, but at every single stop, we have the chance to walk.

Take in the fresh smoggy London air.

Interact with locals, travelers, and tourists.

Capture a few moments at each site.

Catch a glimpse of the London culture.

Breathe in the history of the city.

 

Yet, at almost every stop we make, some people in our group decide to stay on the bus and sleep. I know we all have different personalities, and when we travel, we definitely all need to take some down time…time where we can rest, recuperate, and gather our thoughts. We can’t go all of the time, but it’s hard for me to take in that in our limited time in London, many in our group choose to miss out on the sights, sounds, and smells of London. Sleeping on the bus while art, history, architecture, people, and culture await, is the choice of some even though we have another ten hour flight coming up later in the evening.

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10 Things About Me

Hey everyone! I want you to get to know me a little more, so I asked myself a few icebreaker questions. I hope you enjoy learning more about me, and I would love to hear your answers to some of these questions so we can get to know each other a bit.

Q. If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?

A. Tacos, definitely tacos. And hopefully the tacos come with a side of guacamole, queso, and chips.

Q. What’s your favorite thing about the summer?

A. sunshine and long days of sunlight

Q. If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go, and why?

A. My answer can change daily, because I pretty much want to go anywhere I’ve never been before. I like to travel and would love the opportunity to travel to far more places than I’ve been, both in the United States and around the world. The top two places currently on my wish list are Israel and Mauritius. Israel because of the history, culture, and seeing the Bible come to life even more. And I would like to do the standard “float in the Dead Sea” thing. Mauritius is on my wish list because it’s a place I’ve never been, I have friends with family roots in Mauritius, and it’s a beautiful island. I can get my beach time, sunshine, and relaxation.

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Travel Interview #1: Patty Hutton

My first travel interview is with one of my best friends, Patty Hutton. Patty and I have been friends for over 15 years, and I’m excited to share a glimpse into her travel adventures with you! Patty grew up in Oklahoma and graduated from Evangel University in Missouri with a Bachelor’s degree in Government. She then went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Policy at Pepperdine University. After graduating with her master’s, Patty became an aid worker and has had the amazing opportunity to travel for both work and pleasure. I hope Patty’s travels inspire you to get out and adventure well.

Source: https://www.facebook.com

Q. Where are some places you’ve traveled?

A. Western Europe, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana, Liberia, Morocco, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Croatia, Bosnia, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Greece, Costa Rica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Canada, Mexico

Q. How do you prepare for a trip?

A. I  think after you travel a lot, you don’t really prepare. I always say to check for your passport, wallet, phone, and charger. Those are actually the only things you truly need to get around. Everything else is really a bonus!

Q. What is your favorite place you’ve visited, and why?

A. It’s hard to say. Each place is special for different reasons. I rarely like to visit places multiple times. I’d rather go to new places, but the places I would go back to without hesitation are Cambodia, Jordan, Ireland, Bosnia, Morocco, and Iraq.

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Gardening Tips & Inspiration

It’s springtime, and if you can’t tell, I’m in the mood for sunshine and gardening. I’ve rounded up some gardening tips to inspire us all to get outside, get dirt under our fingernails, and sow some seeds.

1. Grab a permanent market and write the names of plants on the flat faces of stones. Use various sizes of stones and place at the base of plants for a natural look. [hgtv.com]

2. Plant vegetables successively. Stagger the planting time of seeds to have a continual supply during harvesting instead of an over abundance of a vegetable at any one time. [countryfarm-lifestyles.com]

3. Ready to grow your own fresh food? Consider using a garden planner, such as this one from The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

4. Add some pretty pots and a variety of herbs and plants to brighten up your garden. Shop a few of my favorite garden-inspired products here.

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Things to Do in Portland, Oregon

Portland Saturday Market

The Portland Saturday Market is open every Saturday and Sunday from March through December and features artisans and food vendors from the Pacific Northwest. It’s located off of Naito Parkway along the Willamette River. Meander through the booths, buy a gift or two, sample some kombucha, listen to the live band, and gobble down an elephant ear. [For those of you unfamiliar with the edible type of elephant ear, it is a pastry about the size of a real elephant’s ear covered in cinnamon and sugar goodness.]

Old Town Chinatown

Some of Portland’s must-dos are located within the boundaries of Old Town Chinatown. But whether or not you decide to hit all the must-dos or not, take some time to wander the streets of Old Town Chinatown. Take in all the sights, and see what you discover. Some of the places you may want to stop and experience are Lan Su Chinese Garden, Voodoo Doughnuts [be prepared to wait in line], and the historic Union Station.

Powell’s

An entire city block of books. What’s not to love? If you’re a reader, you better sketch out some good quality time to peruse Powell’s bookstore. It’s hard for me to resist books, and one of my dreams has been to have a library requiring a sliding ladder in my house, so this was a must stop (twice!) for me.

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Decisions, Decisions

“My basic principle is that you don’t make decisions because they are easy; you don’t make them because they are cheap; you don’t make them because they’re popular; you make them because they’re right.”

~ Theodore Hesburgh

 

We’ve all been there. Door after door. Choice after choice. Decisions, decisions. We have multiple opportunities before us. We have a decision to make. And this is no small decision; it’s a big decision, at least in the moment. What job to take. Where to live. Who to hire. Where to go to college. On and on it goes. We are constantly faced with decisions, many of which can affect the trajectory of our lives. It can be overwhelming at times, wondering if we are making the right choice. Decision-making doesn’t have to be stressful; it can be a peaceful process. So how do we have peace instead of stress? Continue reading “Decisions, Decisions”

The Thief

It can rob us of our joy.

It leads us to discontentment.

It distracts us to the point where we lose our focus.

It destroys our passion.

It steals encouragement and breeds criticism.

Who is this thief that steals and destroys if we give it the opportunity?

It’s the thief of comparison.

Sometimes the thief of comparison catches us off guard. It can be kind of sneaky after all. Sometimes this thief is blatantly obvious, staring us down. If we’re not careful, comparison will steal and destroy our joy, contentment, focus, passion, and encouragement of others.

How does it happen?

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My Reading List

I love to read. It’s a way I rest, relax, and recharge [read more about 3 Ways to Recharge]. I mostly read fiction books, and I’ll share more of my favorite fiction books in a future reading list, but today is a mix of books that are on my reading list. I’ve recently read some of them, one I’m currently reading, and the others are on my “to-read” list.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith – This is a fiction book and is the first book in the series of the same name. The stories are set in Botswana with Mma Ramotswe as the main character. Mma Ramotswe sets up a detective agency and sets out on an adventure of investigation. There’s humor and life written all through the series. I haven’t read all the books in the series (there are currently 17 books…eek!), but they’re all on my list to read.

And Still She Laughs by Kate Merrick – I stumbled across this book through one of the podcasts [episode #133] on The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. I so enjoyed listening to Jamie’s interview of the author, Kate Merrick, and am inspired by her joy in Christ despite the deep suffering she has experienced. I just started the book, and it’s already encouraging me to live boldly, faithfully, and joyfully…even in the face of suffering and overwhelming pain.

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Portland, Oregon

 

Population: 619,360 [Source: United States Census Bureau]

Location: Multnomah County, Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S.A.

People: Portlanders

Name: Portland was named for Francis W. Pettygrove’s hometown of Portland, Maine, in 1845.

Population in 1850 [the time of the first U.S. Census]: 821

Enjoy a little history about Portland, Oregon:

Before the Oregon Territory was established as such, two bands of Upper Chinook Indians lived in the area now known as Portland. In the 1830s and 1840s, American, Canadian, and British traders, trappers, and settlers began to settle in this spot. It was a common stopping place along the Willamette River as people traveled between Oregon City and Fort Vancouver.

The breathtaking views, access to water, and much more aided in the settlement of the Portland area. Portland became a more attractive settlement than Oregon City, the then territorial capital, due to its prime location at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers.

Fun Facts:

• Host of the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, a world’s fair
33rd state to join the Union, in 1859
• Portland’s first amusement park, Oaks Park, which opened in 1905, is still open.
Clark Gable sold neckties at the Meier & Frank department store in Portland before becoming famous in Hollywood.

[Source: www.pdxhistory.com]