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This week I gave my closet a serious clean out and took a big box of things to Goodwill and sent a huge bag to ThredUp (more on this soon). I really wanted to go through my things and only hold on to items that I really liked and wore often. Sometimes I feel like I just have so much stuff  and have really been wanting to simplify. Maybe all of the talk about capsule wardrobes has me wanting to downsize, I don’t know. Plus, it never hurts to make a few extra dollars from consignment! That said, the great closet clean out pointed me to a few staple items that I’d like to add to my closet this season:

1. Nude flats. Last year I got a pair of nude Steven Madden flats from TJ Maxx and they were terrible! The inner lining started flaking off and was constantly getting stuck between my toes. I guess you get what you pay for! I love this pair from Jack Rodgers.

2. Black flats. I was tempted to have a memorial service when I put my trusty black flats in the Goodwill box this week. I bought a pair of black Jack Rogers flats in college and wore them until they literally had holes in them. The soles were so worn down that my feet got wet every time it rained. I’ve liked the classic Revas from Tory Burch for a long time but find the big gold T to be a little bit gaudy. Also, I cannot fathom why they are so expensive. Do you have a pair of black flats that you love? I want to invest in a pair that will last me for at least a couple of years, not a Target special.

3. Neutral casual shoes. Let’s be honest, my job is super informal. I wear jeans most days and need shoes that are comfortable to wear when chasing two little kids around. I have a teal pair of Vans but really like this grey pair to match more outfits. Thoughts?

4. Black full-length Wunder Unders. Go on and judge how much these pants cost. I think they are worth every single penny. I have the Wunder Under crops and wear them multiple times a week. I’d like the full-length WU’s so I can wear them with real clothes, not just to work out.

5. Neutral infinity scarf. I can rock an infinity scarf like it’s my job. I’d love something neutral and casual that I can wear all fall and winter long. This striped chambray scarf from Forage is sold out, but they still have it on Amazon, so I might scoop it up!

6. Oversized bag. Let it be known that I have never purchased a “real” handbag. I always spring for whatever is $29.99 at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s. I’ve been carrying a small cross-body bag but I’d like a bigger bag for fall. I carry a lot of junk around and would like room for my Kindle and my Simplified Planner.

7. Everyday jacket. I really don’t have a casual, every day jacket. I looked last year but couldn’t find anything I liked. Depending on the weather, I may not need one this year. I’ll probably hold out for a couple more months before making this purchase.

8. Riding boots. A few years ago I bought the Steve Madden knock-offs from Rack Room that everyone has. I scuffed a big chunk of fake leather out of them at a football game right after I got them, but still wore them for two years. I have been lusting over the Michelle Button boots from Frye but just thinking about spending that much money on a pair of shoes gives me heart palpitations. Last year Sole Society had a good selection, so maybe I will have luck there this year!

Do you have advice or recommendations for any of these items?

What are you hoping to add to your wardrobe this season?

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Note: None of this is sponsored and there are no affiliate links hiding in here. Just stuff I like and wish I had the dollars for.

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Before I share more about my trip to Africa, I suppose I should tell you how my time there went from being a dream to a reality.

I spent a number of years praying for the opportunity to spend time in a continent that I’d never been to, yet was undeniably a part of my heart. It was hard to explain, but I was dead-set on going. I wasn’t sure how long I would be there, but I knew I would go eventually. I was even open to spending the rest of my life in Africa if that was that God asked of me. I was so serious about it that I tried to break up with my college boyfriend because I thought I should be with someone who wanted to move across the world and love orphans too.

I Googled countless African orphanages. I bought bracelets from Invisible Children. I wore TOMs shoes. I was a carefree, reckless college student, and I figured that there’d never be a better time to go. Yet, every door I tried to sneak through closed due to finances, fear, or poor timing. I cried frustrated tears every time a trip became impossible, but tried my best to be patient as God asked me to “wait.” As the years passed, my dream seemed less and less attainable and settled into the closet of my mind, collecting cobwebs.

At the beginning of 2014, I was feeling confident about my life and my dreams. I was young, single, and ready to tackle the world. When praying for my one word for the year, God gave me the word “stretch.” I wasn’t sure what it meant, but I cautiously prepared myself for for a year of possible discomfort. When something is stretched, it might hurt, but it grows as a result. I was ready.

On Tuesday, January 7th, my LifeGroup talked about goals and hopes that we had for the new year. I told them that I was praying and trusting that 2014 would be the year that I finally got to go to Africa. I even wrote it down in my planner, see? Sorry for the blur.

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Five days later, on Sunday, January 12, my friend Laney was in town, and we went to the ASPCA to look at puppies. I was in the midst of a self-declared quarter life crisis and I was determined to get a dog or a tattoo. (Spoiler alert: I got the tattoo.) That day, I fell in love with a little puppy, named him Oliver, and filled out the paperwork to take him home, planning to come pick him up the next day. When we got back in the car, I called my mom to tell her about my new fur-child, but when she answered she said, “Laura! They are having an interest meeting at church today for a trip to Uganda. It starts in 2 hours, you better get here!” I dropped Laney off and hopped on the highway, headed home to attend the meeting. I called the ASPCA back and said, “I’m sorry, I don’t think I can be the best parent to Oliver right now. I’m going to Africa!”

 

Hello from my bed, where I’m currently nursing a lovely case of mononucleosis – day 8.

I owe you all a post about the most amazing 10 days of my life in Uganda – and trust me, it will come in time – but I feel like I still have so much more processing to do before I can find adequate words to describe my time there.

For now, how about a post that doesn’t require much brain power? Stitch Fix!

June Stitch FixTo be honest, I’m pretty much just riding out the credit wave with Stitch Fix right now. I may have mentioned this a few months ago, but thanks to Stitch Fix‘s sweet referral program, I only paid for the items in my first box, over a year ago. If I was paying with my own money, I probably wouldn’t continue ordering boxes. It’s a fun mail surprise for sure, but in my opinion, many of the items are overpriced and the quality is similar to something you’d find at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s. For some perspective, I’ll include the prices for each of the items in this fix.

1. Ashby Geo Print Front-Pocket Tank by Pink Martini – $44

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I liked this tank top a lot, but it wasn’t anything super special. Like I said above, it reminds me of something I’d find at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s for $12.00. The armpit holes were also really big, so back to Stitch Fix HQ it went. 

2. Francisco Crochet Detail Tank by Renee C – $48

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Cute, but totally see through. In the picture above, I have a cami on under the tank and you can still see through it. I honestly can’t count the number of times I’ve specifically indicated that I do not want any sheer tops, yet they continue to send them in every single Fix. Sigh… Returned.

3. Corbin Tie-Waist Chevron Print Hi-Lo Top by Papermoon – $48

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I liked the silhouette, but I’m so over chevron. Returned.

4. Mauna Mixed Print Sheer Open Cardigan by Papermoon – $48

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My favorite thing about Stitch Fix is that it pushes me to try things that I would never try on my own. I’ve been seeing these little kimono things popping up on Pinterest but never thought I would be able to pull one off. When I got this one in my Fix, I was surprised to find that I really liked it!

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(@lvunderw on Instagram)

I kept it and have already worn it a number of times. Here it is in action at Food Truck Friday last weekend!

5. Connor Racerback Mixed Striped Maxi Dress by Under Skies – $58

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I requested a maxi dress in this fix, and my stylist delivered. Unfortunately, the tightness and the stripes made me feel way too curvy. I know you’re thinking, “You don’t look too curvy,” but this mirror is just extremely kind and slimming. In reality, I looked like a Kardashian, and not in a good way. Back in the bag it went!

If you”d like to give Stitch Fix a try, you can sign up HERE!

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