(Beach wear: T-shirt was thrifted for a dollar, Skirt is from last year at TJ Maxx, hat is from a year or two ago at Old Navy)

I haven’t been here for a while, and I am sorry. The truth is, I was not being lazy…I was actually being contemplative. I have made some personal resolutions lately with regards to shopping and style, and I was not sure at first how this blog could continue to fit in with that. I almost deleted this project altogether.

You see, Jeramy and I have been doing a lot of soul-searching and discussion about the goals we have for this family. Things that we have always talked and dreamed about, but never knew quite where to begin. Sustainability and Simplifying are two of the main goals we have, and shopping is often a very unsustainable and cluttering act.

We want to live with less, and be happy with less. We want to really ask ourselves if something is a need or a want before using our dollars. We want to avoid spending at big-box stores, and buying unethically created and sourced goods (such as clothing made in a sweat shop).

I also want to let go of the hangups of life that just do not matter. Admittedly, clothing, makeup and hairstyles fit into that category of being silly to focus on. If you are happy and healthy, it doesn’t make sense to worry about having the right shoes to match a certain outfit, or a celebrity-worthy haircut. There is a certain amount of guilt for me associated with wasting my energies putting on eyeliner and owning 10 different scarves.

So, I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about this, and ways to allow my desire for self-expression and love of style to still fit into my newly refocused life. Here are the conclusions I have come to:

~I can think about how to mix and match pieces already owned in new ways, rather than buying new clothes.

~When shopping is necessary, I can make thrift shopping my first option. This way I am buying recycled goods, and keeping my dollars local, as well as being more friendly to our budget.

~If purchasing a brand new item is necessary, I will first ask myself if it is truly a need. If it is, then I will opt to shop at smaller businesses and for handmade whenever possible. I will also keep quality in mind, since better made items will last longer.

~Over time, I will simplify my “beauty” routine. (I hate calling it that…) I will swap products out for more natural ones, even making my own homemade concoctions when possible. I can share the results with you here.

~I will opt for haircuts that require less continual maintenance, since they are expensive. I will continue to dye my own hair instead of paying for it, and will perhaps switch to henna.

Some of the above I have already been working toward for a while now, such as switching to natural shampoo and shopping at thrift stores.

I think it will be possible for me to continue to discuss body image, style, and clothes here without feeling or being fake, and that is what I aim to do.