Last fall after thinking about a capsule wardrobe for months, I decided to finally take action and just do it. I knew it wouldn’t be perfect, but I had to start somewhere…and I’m so glad I did. If you aren’t familiar with a capsule wardrobe, you can read more about it here and check out my first capsule wardrobe here.
WHAT I LEARNED FROM HAVING A CAPSULE WARDROBE
I have to say I love the concept, and I loved living it even more. This fall was my first capsule wardrobe. I went into it with the goal of stepping up my wardrobe game after falling into a strictly functional “mom wardrobe”. I was ready to put more effort into my appearance and, in turn, feel better about myself. In that area I absolutely succeeded. It’s true, when you put something on that you feel good in, you have an overall better day.
Shortly after I built my capsule wardrobe, I took Jess Lively’s “Life With Intention Online” course and we identified my values in four areas of my life. For possessions (i.e., my capsule wardrobe), I knew I wanted it to be comfortable, livable, and put-together. Just saying those words makes me feel good – wearing those clothes made me feel even better. For me in the wardrobe department, I already had the comfortable and livable down. It was the put-together I needed to work on. The days when I wore my red dress or my white top and jeans I felt better about myself.
Overall, I loved having a capsule wardrobe in the fall. It was one less thing I had to think about in the morning and I loved feeling better about my appearance. I learned what I enjoyed wearing (bright colors, comfortable dresses) and what my go-to outfit was (a nice shirt and good jeans).
And then came the winter and with it my winter capsule wardrobe. It came and went and I’m perfectly ok with that. Oh man….the winter in Brooklyn is brutal. This winter wasn’t nearly as bad as last winter but, mentally, it’s challenging. It’s hard to dress cute when you know you’ll have to layer up constantly. Combine those factors with wanting to save some money and you get my winter capsule wardrobe: a sea of black and gray ho-hum. It was so blah I never posted the photos. However, I feel that this blog has helped me grow on so many levels, that I am going to share my wardrobe with you today. (I know you’re on the edge of your seat!)
So without further ado and to put it all behind us….here’s my WINTER CAPSULE WARDROBE.
DRESSES: 5 + 1 pair of overalls
I am so happy I started a capsule wardrobe and I feel there’s many areas to improve upon - that also makes me excited. Looking at my four goals of my fall wardrobe, I am going to rate them for both my fall and winter wardrobes.
My four goals…
#1. I want to be proud of how I look. I want to put in the effort and not have to apologize for my appearance.
On my Tuesdays and Thursdays I definitely succeeded when it came to this goal. Both my kids were in school so I had more time to dress myself (and put on make-up). I’d also often have meetings on these days, so that gave me another reason to look my best. Even on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays I felt good about the outfit I had on at The Little Gym or teaching Artists & Crafts. Many times I got compliments on my outfit and that would make my day and showed me that a little effort did go a long way! The reason my grade went down for the Winter Wardrobe is because I didn’t feel excited about any of my outfits. I didn’t go shopping to amp up my wardrobe – mainly because I wanted to save some money, but also because the winter tends to bring me down a little bit. In Brooklyn – especially when you spend most of your day pushing a stroller outside – you really need to layer up!! It makes it seem a little pointless. Although – on that same note, it’s probably the exact reason I should be putting on clothes that make me feel great. To help battle that winter blah head on! I will work on this next year.
#2. I want to get out of the “mom clothes” funk!
I think the moral of the story here is that the time I took to curate my fall wardrobe and really think about the pieces that built my outfits made all the difference. It’s what made this capsule feel “put-together” for me. In the winter, I simply edited down the clothes I already had. Many of my pieces were black, gray, or loose fitting. Let this blog be my reminder to put in a little effort next December.
#3. I want to put in the prep-work to curate a collection of clothing that makes me feel great.
This explanation is pretty much the same as #2, but I will give myself credit for editing my clothes down so that I could easily open my drawers. Plus, making the time to take the photos made me feel slightly better about my outfits. I mean, they are kinda cute when you look at them cropped and edited together on the computer!!
#4. I want to make it public & hold myself accountable.
The winter came and went and I never even blogged about my wardrobe. I did take photos so that is at least a step in the right direction. And I did eventually share them, so that next winter I can really make some progress. My goal of this summer wardrobe it to take a selfie every day so that it’s documented what I wore every day. Don’t worry I won’t be posting it every day, but I will share it on the blog to hold myself accountable. I recently read Getchen Rubin’s book, Better Than Before, and identifying myself as an obligor has given myself permission to use what I need to in order to follow through.
Fall Wardrobe Retrospective:
My favorite outfit was definitely the red dress, especially when I paired it with my jean jacket. The bright color instantly cheered me up and it was comfortable.
Of the shirts, I could have easily edited it down a little more. I think there were four shirts I never even wore once. The same goes for the dresses. There were about three I never wore, or I’d put them on, not feel good about how I looked, and then change.
I’m not sure what’s with me and jeans this year! By the time the fall was over only one of those pairs of jeans were still wearable.
My overalls were and continue to be well worn! However, I think I only wore the black and white pantsuit once.
My shoes worked out pretty good, but it quickly became too cold for open toed sandals, so I just brought my boots out of the closet.
The biggest challenge of my fall wardrobe was the quick temperature change. I had many short dresses that I soon couldn’t wear because the temperatures got cold quickly.
Winter Wardrobe Retrospective:
My biggest takeaway is that I need to add color to next winter’s wardrobe. The rest is all a blur!
I hope this look into my closet has helped you decide if you also want to create a capsule wardrobe of your own. I highly recommend it. I never once missed the clothes that I donated and I really enjoyed the ease of picking out something to wear every morning!! I’d love to hear about your capsule wardrobe and any tips you have for me, so feel free to leave a comment below.
Artists & Crafts (ages 5+) was a success!! We want to thank everyone who came out to our first installment of this class for kids ages 5 & up. It was wonderful to see familiar, now slightly more mature, faces from past classes.
Randi, the owner of DSK, originally approached us about teaching this class after we made art with her daughter at Habana Outpost’s Earth Day!! We loved the idea, but weren’t exactly sure how to fit it into our schedule. After a little thought and maneuvering, we decided to squeeze in four classes this spring as a limited run to see how it would work for everyone. We are happy to report that it was an ideal Monday afternoon!! From the creativity, to the company, to the food, to the quality time with Georgia…it was perfect!
Tucked to the side of the restaurant we set up our work area in the window seat, which provided the perfect natural light. At one long table we were able to have a great conversation, as well as assist all of the artists. We started class with a brief info sheet that featured a coloring maze of Starry Night!
Next, we played Van Gogh Bingo – which was honestly one of my favorite parts. Everyone learned a little bit about many of Van Gogh’s famous paintings, while having fun finding that image on their bingo board!! It was fun to hear what the students saw out their own window or what it would look like if they drew their bedroom!!
Our first art project was The Starry Night post card. If you are a long time reader of our blog, you might remember this tutorial. If not, we hope you can find the time to do this project with your little one soon!! It’s honestly one of my favorites. Watching these “older” children make their version of Van Gogh’s famous painting was very inspiring. No matter the age, watching an artist’s mind work and seeing them experience the creative process always fills my heart with happiness!
While their little canvases dried, we began creating our take on Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. This was a multi-textured project and we did it in steps, presenting the techniques and then allowing each student the freedom to use the supplies however they wanted. It was so fun to see their creations…painted flowers, cupcake liner flowers – white side out, yellow side out, smooshed down flat, toilet paper roll flowers, and coffee beans & sunflower seed as the final touch!!
While we got creative the parents enjoyed some refreshments and chatted at a table close by. The younger siblings hung out, made a little art as well, and enjoyed the food. Going forward I will be providing a special sheet just for them!!
After the art was complete, everyone celebrated with a free Bretzel (and Nutella!!!) thanks to DSK.
There are still three sessions this spring if you’d like to come make art with us. You can sign up for each week here: Monday May 23 – Henri Matisse, Monday June 13 – Romare Bearden, and Monday June 20 – Georgia O’Keeffe. If you’d like to add multiple weeks, just add the first one to your cart, then click continue shopping and choose the next week you’d like.
If you have any questions feel free to email me.
We wanted to thank everyone who came out to this past Saturday to the Brooklyn Public Library Skill Share! We taught a class on letter writing and decorating your envelopes.
The room sat eight, but we squeezed in nine, and the conversation about connecting through snail mail began. We loved hearing what people saved and how often they wrote letters…a beautiful box that held all Rae’s paper treasures to the countless postcards Susan sent that filled her with joy. There was Alex and Lori who told us about the love letters* they wrote each other before they were married. (*note: “love letters” were my words, but judging by the smile on both of their faces, I’d say I guessed accurately.)
Rita was there because she loved expressing her creativity and her envelopes were some of our favorites. I had previously met Tazhiana at the Planner’s Night Out hosted by Michaels and she shared some of her beautiful “flip books” with us!! The general excitement everyone had about this topic was contagious!
Kasimira was our youngest letter lover and it was so refreshing to see her take on it. Influenced by her mom Rae, but completely fueled by her own passion to write, she sent letters to her friends in Texas.
Ella popped in after teaching her Skill Share on weaving and was equally as talented at creating paper art. Rosalyn was our ninth friend and I’m so glad she stayed despite using a stool as her work station.
Everyone added something to the class and while I did provide the structure plus several tips and techniques, the real wealth was being in the room with other creatives making art.
We plan to teach more classes like this in the future. We loved setting up the table and providing everyone with a gift bag – including one of our greeting cards! Plus, who doesn’t love free washi tape? If you’re interested in a class like this, please sign up for our mailing list to be the first to know the next time we host a class.
A final BIG thank you to the Brooklyn Public Library for all their support in our business!!!
It was truly a pleasure to meet all the lovely creatives who came out on Saturday!! We know that your friends will be filled with happiness when they receive your beautiful envelopes!! We look forward to seeing your again soon!
We are excited to be back at the Brooklyn Public Library!! This coming Saturday, May 14th, we will be participating in their annual Skill Share. We will be teaching you how to decorate your envelopes beyond calligraphy.
At Love Jac, we believe in making envelopes fun so that your friend is immediately excited to open their mail. Come learn new techniques for turning an ordinary envelope into a work of art. We use stamps, washi tape, stickers, and watercolors to make our stationery interesting. You can see some of our examples in our YouTube series: Love Jac Mail and our Write_On Campaign Videos. We believe everyone is an artist and you don't have to have perfect handwriting to make your envelopes interesting!!
The event is free. Each attendee will receive a special gift. There are only 8 spots available and it's first come, first serve!!
Hope to see you there!!
Saturday, May 14th
Brooklyn Public Library - Central Branch
10 Grand Army Plaza
11:15am - 12:15pm
April just ended and with it the Write_On Campaign, the daily challenge of writing one letter per day for the entire month. I couldn’t be happier that I participated in this campaign. The act and practice of writing a note per day motivated me to continue the momentum as the month went on. It was fulfilling on every level - from figuring out my address organization, to getting creative with decorating the envelopes, to feeling the mutual love as I sent my messages out into the world. It was all positive and made my life a little bit sweeter!!
We have loved sharing our process with you on our YouTube channel and are excited to continue. You can watch the first 10 days of cards right now and we will be adding one video per day until we have shared the entire month.
We’d love for you to subscribe to our channel and comment on the videos. Let us know what you like and what you can relate to. We have enjoyed this entire process – including the video production – and plan to continue this as a large part of Love Jac. So, we want to know what you like and what you want to see more.
Even though April is over, we are continuing to send more cards – including birthday cards. We would love to hear your tips on how you get your letters in the mail. We love this community of letter writers and look forward to connecting with you even more.
You can subscribe to our YouTube Channel here. Feel free to comment there and definitely let us know if you also have a YouTube Channel so we can check it out.
We hope you enjoy the videos and are inspired to send a friend a card today!!
We wanted to thank everyone who came out to Saturday’s card making event for Mother’s Day at Der Schwarze Kolner. In total, the children created almost 100 cards to give to their moms. Some even made cards for their grandmothers that will be mailed around the world. Nothing fills my heart more than knowing that on this Sunday moms will open their card and know the love their children have for them.
The flower handprint card design we made was inspired by the love of our little ones. Their handprint will never get smaller than it is right now. We feel it’s important to relish in the joy of your baby (no matter their age), but especially when they are little and things seem so difficult. The days are long, but the years are short!! Our card design captures that and I could feel it as soon as I pressed each child’s hand on each card.
Once we had the “stems” of the flower in place, the children then used their creativity and tissue paper to turn their handprint into a beautiful flower that their mom can keep forever. We loved seeing the joy on their face while they put all their feelings for their moms onto the paper through their art.
We are so passionate about the job of mothering. There’s no job I’ve ever had that was more physically and emotionally difficult, but I’ve also never been paid with a more rewarding and fulfilling currency than the love of my children and the time I get to spend with them. We love celebrating all the moms out there and want to make sure that feeling doesn’t get overlooked or missed because of the demands of the job.
If you are reading this and haven’t made a mother’s day card for the mom in your life (or if you have a child and are in charge of helping them make the card) – there’s still time. We’d love you to recreate our design from last Saturday with your little one or even try out this design from our YouTube video!!
Our sample // Max's card - our youngest of the day. How cute is that little hand print?Georgia's Butterfly card - As seen in our YouTube Video.
The important part to remember is, as a mom, we just want to feel appreciated. - husbands and dads I’m talking to you! - Take the moment, write a note, have the conversation with your kids about why they love mom, make some art, cook breakfast, or buy a flower. On Sunday let your mom know how you feel. I promise, it will mean the world to her and you will also enjoy the moment of gratitude.
I personally look forward to Sunday, not only to open the cards my kids made for me Saturday, but also to feel the love from the mothers across Brooklyn that will be opening the cards the children made at DSK. I’m looking forward to spending time with my mom as well….cause no matter how old you get, your mom will always be your mom!
We’d like to wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day, thank the fabulous women at Sawyer for Co-hosting this event with us, and thank Randi from DSK for hosting us – we know you will love the card Sophie made for you!!!
Happy Mother’s Day to all!!
For the past several years on Mother’s Day I’ve woken up not to breakfast in bed, but to my husband scrambling to make a card with my children to give to me. I’m not sharing this to speak negatively of my husband; in fact, I think he’s the most incredible dad out there. He’s so busy helping with everything else, buying a card isn’t on his radar. That being said, as a mom I treasure that card. As a card designer I want to help him and the rest of the husbands out there who might be too busy to remember (or even know) how much we love that card.
I am thrilled to announce that we have teamed up with Sawyer to host an event just in time for Mother’s Day. On Saturday April 30th, the weekend before Mother’s Day, we will be at Der Schwarze Kolner (aka DSK) in Fort Greene to help your little one create a handmade Mother’s Day Card. Send your husband, babysitter, or friend with your child. You get some time to yourself, your partner gets to have beer, your child makes a fabulous card, and then a week later you get to spend Mother’s Day together as a family with one memorable card to document the year.
Hope to see you there!! You can RSVP at RSVP@hisawyer.com. If you have any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
April is National Letter Writing Month and we are so excited to be participating in The Write_On Campaign. It’s been about a month since we started our Love Jac Mail YouTube Video Series and it has been incredibly inspiring and motivating.
We’d love to see the cards your sending and hear any tips you have to get those letters in the mail! Leave a message here, tag us on Instagram, or leave a comment on YouTube!!
Happy National Letter Writing Month Everyone!!!
We are so excited to announce that we have officially launched a new YouTube series called “Love Jac Mail”!! This series documents my letter writing process and the goal of it is to keep me accountable, inspire you, and connect with you to share tips and ideas to make us all better mail senders!!
This has been an idea of mine for over a year now. I have notebooks filled with lists of topic ideas and I am proud to say the first three of the video are up now!
We truly want this to be a place of encouragement. Yes, I own this greeting card company, but no, I’m not the best card mailer. I’m really good at thinking about writing the note, I’m not half bad at actually writing the note, but I’m the worst at getting it in the mail. You know how they say, “The cobbler’s children have no shoes.” Well that’s sometimes the case for me. A couple years ago I forgot to send my own Grandmother a birthday card! Thanks to this new series, I was determined and I mailed her a card this year!! You can watch the video here.
To make this series happen, I took my own advice and “just started.” The first video is a handful of thank you cards that I had meant to send almost a month before. We really believe it’s never too late to send a thank you! Plus, it also gave me the excuse to use our “I meant to mail this on…” inkable stamp!! You can watch that video here!!
In the second video, I was also taking the time to write two very overdue thank you notes to our cousins who visited us back in November. This gave me the perfect opportunity to use the handmade cards Conroy had made in our art class, Artists & Crafts! You can watch that video here!!
WHAT TO EXPECT:
The plan is to deliver you a video once a week. You’ll get a little backstory on the card, some tips from me, and watch me decorate the envelopes (one of my favorite parts)!!! We will also feature tips from you, so please leave a comment below the video!! So far our favorite tip is from Sharon Danks who suggested gifting a bride or mom-to-be thank you cards for her shower gift…then passing out the envelopes at the shower so everyone can write their own address to make it easier for the guest of honor to get the cards in the mail! GENIUS!!!
And for those of you who didn’t know, April is National Letter Writing Month!! (Don’t worry, we didn’t know either until a couple weeks ago!) So, we will be participating in the “write_on” challenge and writing a letter each day of the month!! Please join us in the fun and follow along on Instagram! Be sure to tag us in your photos so we do this together!! Can’t wait to see what you create!
Ahh…2015 is over and now it is time to say good-bye to my One Little Word. For me, 2015 was all about PUSHing myself! I wanted to advance my business and my life. My baby had become a toddler and I was ready to PUSH myself a little more.
For those of you who don’t know, One Little Word is an idea from Ali Edwards that she turned into a workshop. 2015 was my first year participating and I was very happy with the results. The word guided my year and helped me to get all the things that I had been dreaming about done (or at least started!) I looked to my word for inspiration and strength. PUSH is very much a part of my personality, so I think, regardless, I would have PUSHed myself this year. However, having the word to focus on and having Ali’s monthly prompts to hold me accountable truly allowed me to reflect and re-evaluate.
In January we defined the word. Right from the start I connected with the word more than I had expected. My favorite definition of PUSH is “A vigorous effort to do.” Hello…is that me or what?
In February we got creative and made vision boards. I loved prioritizing this word. I took one Sunday afternoon - my husband took the kids to playground - and I had a couple hours to myself to create. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was foreshadowing what would come in September when our son started school two days a week. I can’t tell you the joy I find in a quiet apartment and the TIME to get creative. Sometimes it’s exactly what my soul needs! From March to May I spent most of my time focusing on The National Stationery Show (NSS), so there wasn’t much time left to actually get my work for One Little Word done and in my binder. I would listen to Ali’s videos every month and mentally reflect on my word. In the summer I caught up a little more. Then in October I took two more weekend afternoons to look back at the whole year, finish the prompts I had skipped, and refocus one more time. It was very beneficial to read the worksheets and my thoughts from the early part of the year. Now, with the year over, I am excited to begin 2016.
My main goal for my business was to refocus – take all the ideas bouncing around in my head, get them on paper, and make them happen. Being a mom is a fulltime job 24/7 and it takes up most of my time. PUSHing myself to get more help and make time for the business is how we made the progress we did this year (actually, it’s the only way I have managed to maintain a successful business to date while being a stay-at-home mom). My daydream list was LONG, but I put it on paper and I prioritized things. There are three things that make me extremely proud.
#1 – Artists & Crafts. At the beginning of 2015 I was informed that the company where I had been teaching my class, “Brooklyn Arts & Crafts,” would no longer be facilitating classes. I was determined to look at this as an opportunity and not a set-back. We rebranded the class “Artists & Crafts” – since we focus on famous artists & then make crafts!! Georgia and Conroy helped me design the logo and I spent many days researching spaces to hold the class. Not gonna lie, there were many sleepless nights and lots of praying – and in the end… it happened. We found the perfect space where I was able to decorate the classroom. In the fall – that space was no longer available and the anxiety started again. However, I PUSHed through and found our current location – Brooklyn Music School. We love this location and now after all is said and done, you could say, “Everything happens for a reason.”
#2 - The National Stationery Show (NSS). This year we attended NSS for the second time. What a breath of fresh air! I am so happy we didn’t give up after year one. A trade show is no joke. It takes a ton of work and a lot of money. This year I joined Trade Show Boot Camp, which not only provided valuable information, but also introduced us to many wonderful stationery companies. NSS also gave me a deadline to upgrade our website. We shot and edited two videos to help explain our company.
#3 – Inkable Envelope Stamps. These had been an idea of mine for a while now and I can credit my One Little Word for making it happen. I spent weeks designing these in many different 10-minute pockets of time I would find in my busy schedule. All the hard work paid off because Inkable Envelope Stamps were selected as a Best New Product Finalist at the National Stationery Show!
My goal for 2015 in my personal life was, “to PUSH myself to figure out how to do more. I want to plan out the week’s meals ahead of time, develop a better cleaning routine, and schedule in more date nights.” In the case of my personal life, I would say PUSH was quietly in the background making things happen. I wasn’t exactly sitting down making meal plans or cleaning routines, we didn’t have a plan to go on X number of date nights throughout the year, but somehow all these things happened. Yes, there is still room to improve and ways to be more efficient, but overall – we do have more regular go-to meals (my famous chicken – which I found in a magazine while I was getting a pedicure), our place is less cluttered and cleaned more regularly (thanks KonMari & Mira!), and we went on many wonderful dates!!!
Also, over the summer I read two books, The Fringe Hours & The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up!! Both books fueled my word. I wanted to PUSH more!!! I made lists and continued to tackle the year.
Then this October I PUSHed myself personally and signed up for Jess Lively’s online workshop, Life with Intention Online – talk about life changing magic!! This workshop made me take the time to focus on myself and what truly makes me happy. PUSHing myself was the only way I got it done - hiring a babysitter so I could attend the webinars without distraction and taking time out of my schedule to reflect and complete the worksheets. It truly changed my outlook on life!!
At the beginning of 2015 I accepted the fact the double-stroller would be my life. Man, did my word play a big part in the literal version as well. In February one of the wheels broke off because we hit a huge chunk of ice. Getting around Brooklyn in the freezing cold with a single stroller and two kids almost did me in. Then – a wheel broke off the single stroller. Oh, man! It was not the best time for me. Somehow I PUSHed through. We ordered a new wheel and were even more thankful for our means of transportation!! As this year comes to an end, we are slowly transitioning into Georgia either scooting or walking. I can see our days of pushing coming to an end – literally.
WHAT PUSH MEANT TO ME
For me, PUSH meant not getting stuck. It meant figuring out the time to get stuff done. It also manifested into a motivator. The difficult times…the difficult moments. I looked to the word to help me PUSH through. On several occasions when the double-stroller was heavy and no one was helping me hold the door open – there was my word “PUSH” to motivate me. I can do this!!! Yes, I know that almost every door has the word push on one side or the other, but I felt like I only noticed it in those times I really needed to see it. It was like a high five from the universe “You go, Jac, you got this!!”
Looking back at my binder gives me such joy. It makes me proud. Writing down my thoughts in the binder was very therapeutic. Before kids…before I was married, I used to journal ALL the time. For some reason over the years I have stopped journaling – I blame the Internet. But having this workshop in my life – and this binder- I have thoroughly enjoyed just writing – pen and paper – my thoughts, no one else’s comments!
Overall, I’d say taking the time to myself was the best part of this project. I believe without the word, or possibly without the workshop, I would have still done most of the things I did – because it’s who I am. Taking an hour a month to listen to Ali, get creative with her prompts, and have some un-interrupted “me” time to refocus was the most valuable part.
For me, PUSH is going to be a “life word.” I know it will stick with me. I want it to stick with me. I want the high fives!! I want the advancement. I want to keep growing and moving forward. In 2016, my word is a little more cozy and I love how it contrasts with PUSH, but at the same time complements it. Here’s to another year of this amazing life!