Simply Liv



Hi friends!

I have exciting news- I'll no longer be blogging at this url. I've moved Simply Liv over to where I think I will be better equipped to continue to grow as a blogger and take Simply Liv in the direction I feel it is moving.

I hope you will join me!




How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe - on a budget and with little to no fashion sense (part 1)

I am not a fashionista in any sense of the word and blogging about clothes is completely outside my comfort zone. I've never been one to spend excessive amounts on clothes- in fact I'll usually wear the pieces I have into the ground before I go out and buy new things. I love thrifting and garage sale-ing. Ask my husband- he usually has to tell me to go buy new clothes. Stitch Fix has been my "guilty pleasure" as far as clothes go, but other than that, I don't really shop.

Don't get me wrong, I love dressing up and looking like I put effort in to myself. I love clothes and the way they individuate people and are a little bit like an art canvas that you wear around on your body. BUT clothes are not my "thing" and try as I may I'll never be the girl who has a closet full of brand name pieces that she can effortlessly pull off- to the envy of every one else in the room. Shopping- and all the options and styles out there, kind of stresses me out, honestly.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

When I first heard about the growing trend of creating a capsule wardrobe, I was skeptical. I mean, purposely choosing to wear the same set number of pieces for a whole season seemed a little bit ridiculous and kind of "strict".

But then I read more. As you all know, simplicity and minimalism are both very important to me, as is anything that helps to put the focus onto the immediate moment and away from unimportant things.

That is kind of what capsule wardrobes aim to do.

I read Unfancy, a blog by Caroline Rector who has largely spurred the movement on. She defines a capsule wardrobe as "a mini wardrobe made up of versatile pieces that you totally LOVE to wear". From there, I was hooked. I had never really thought about intentionality and clothes being compatible and the notion of capsule wardrobe completely opened my eyes to something that I think can be very healthy and beneficial.

Rector's capsules are usually around 37 pieces (EVERYTHING. Clothes, pants, dresses, shoes... except workout clothes, accessories, underwear, undershirts and special occasion clothes) that she can easily mix and match to create outfits for an entire season. Some people have even gone as extreme as creating an all seasons capsule, or limiting the number of pieces even more.

The beauty of capsule wardrobes is that they are totally customizable. If you don't like the basic, neutral look that Rector's capsules feature, include clothes that are more your style. It's the premise that stays the same: living with less in every area of life is usually a good thing. Including our clothes. It allows us to be intentional with our purchases, buying things that are not only good quality but pieces we LOVE and feel awesome in.

One day, after looking looking through my closet (which is in two separate rooms in our house for two reasons: I have WAY too many clothes, and we haven't gotten our house organized enough) and feeling like I had nothing to wear, I knew something had to change.
How does it work? 


This is definitely a no brainer. The first things to go were the clothes that I haven't worn in over a year (we all know we have them...). I whittled down my closet to pieces that I couldn't part with that I would wear NOW, not in a few months or next year. I ended up getting rid of probably 75% of my clothes.


This is where the budget piece comes in. I had a garage sale with my mom where I sold not just clothes but other random clutter (which feels SO amazing to get rid of, trust me) and made enough to supplement my new clothes for my capsule. We donated what we didn't sell, so that it wouldn't just be sitting around in boxes creating more clutter.

I also had an Instagram "shop my closet" sale for the items that weren't garage sale material, but that I still wanted to get rid of, which helped downsize even further.

3 // PLAN. 

This was the really fun part for me. It is all about intentionality and buying exactly what you need. I did all my shopping online, since our options are rather limited here.

I used Un-Fancy's free wardrobe planner, which was super helpful. I definitely recommend it if you're considering starting a capsule! I planned out exactly what I wanted my wardrobe to look like, what colors I wanted, what styles, what pieces I've always dreamed of having but never wanted to spend the money on.....

4 // SHOP

I created a secret Pinterest board for all the items I was considering, to keep them all organized. Then, when I'd found everything I needed, I bought them!

That was definitely the most money I'd spent on clothes in one sitting since high school- and it felt great because it wasn't a spur of the moment purchase. I knew that I would actually wear what I was buying and it wouldn't just sit in my closet two months later collecting dust. I bought things that were high quality and a little bit more expensive, because I knew that I couldn't just make impulse purchases whenever I felt like it.

5 // WEAR IT

I'm still waiting on a few of my packages to come in, but once they all get here, I will share my full capsule with you all! It ended up being WAY smaller than Rector's which surprised me.

Stay tuned for my next post at the beginning of next month where I'll share my capsule AND tips on how to make it work for people who don't have excuses to "dress-up" a lot. You know, those of us who work from home and live in yoga pants and t-shirts. Yep. That's who I am.

Have you heard of capsule wardrobes?  What are your initial reactions to creating one?


Simply Eat // Cheesy Seven-Layer Quinoa Dip

*DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Collective Bias Inc. and its advertiser, but all opinions and words are my own. #NatuallyCheesy #CollectiveBias * 

Have you ever invited people over to your house for dinner only to realize later that you have absolutely no idea what to make? Yeah, me too. Every single time. Last week was no exception. AJ wanted to have some friends over from work- and while I love having company- when the day arrived, I was stressed trying to decide what to make. So I headed to Walmart to look for inspiration. 
I needed something fast, healthy(ish) and simple to make- enter this quinoa dip. Not only is it extremely easy, it can be made with things you most likely have sitting in your pantry right now. It was a success with our guests (though I think AJ and I ate most of it....) and is definitely going in my recipe book of things to make when I'm in a pinch. 

I thought I'd share it with you all so that if/when you're entertaining you can have a quick, go-to appetizer as well!
Here's what you'll need:

-2 cups Kraft Cheese Natural Shreds or Big Slice- I used both because, cheese. (Side note: If you're looking to try some of the cheese for your next recipe or game day snack, be sure to stop by your local Walmart for the demos they're having on the 26th!)
-2 cups cooked quinoa
-1/4 cup sour cream
-3/4 cup black beans
-1/4 cup green onions
-1/4 cup diced fresh tomatoes
-1/4 black olives
-cilantro for garnish
-tortilla chips for dipping

1 // Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine quinoa and sour cream and cheese (reserving some for the top).  

2 // Spread mixture in the bottom of a baking dish or pie plate.

3 // Next, layer the rest of the ingredients on top of the quinoa mixture. It doesn't matter what order you do this in, unless you're super OCD about your dip toppings. Here's what I did:
4 // Top with the rest of the cheese.

5 // Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
6 // Allow to cool and enjoy!

See how ridiculously simple it is? Next time you're in a hurry, try this recipe out using lots of cheesy goodness, I promise it won't disappoint.

*Tip: If you'll really be in a hurry, make the quinoa beforehand, that way you can grab it and go!

What are some of your go-to recipes? I'm all about finding ways to make dinnertime prep easier!


Simply DIY // Easy Paint Chip Calendar

Today I have another DIY that has been on the docket for a long time and I finally got around to doing it. I LOVE finding ways to create cute, practical things for my home that I'll actually use. I can't tell you how many projects I've made that have ended up in the trash a few months later because it wasn't practical or I couldn't find a space for it.

This DIY paint chip calendar is as practical as it is simple- and its pretty cute too. I'm really pleased with how mine turned out (because if you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw my embarrassing fail at version one of this project a few weeks ago....) I'm happy to say that this version actually includes every day of the week AND is much cuter.
Here's what you'll need:

Poster board
Lots and lots of paint chips in whatever colors you prefer
Washi tape
Regular Tape
A frame with glass or plastic
Step 1 // Cut the poster board to size. You could just use the back of the frame, but I chose to create a separate piece just in case it didn't turn out so that my frame wouldn't be ruined.

Step 2 // Cut the paint chips to size. This was the most meticulous part of the project, as I had to measure/eye-ball how big I wanted each day to be and try and cut them all the same size. The non-perfectionist in me was strong in this one, so forgive my crooked lines and (most likely) different sized squares. I recommend measuring and using a paper cutter if you're the "type A" type.

Step 3 // Arrange the paint chips and tape them down. Since your poster board will be held in place by the frame, I don't think it's important to use anything crazy to hold it down. I tried modpodge last time and it wasn't ideal.

Step 4 // Use washi tape (or whatever you want, really) to create your "month writing spot". That's the technical term for it, I think.

Step 5 // Frame and you're done!

I love how this turned out! And it looks pretty cute next to my little mail organizer, if I do say so myself. 
How do you keep yourself organized? Have you made anything similar to this calendar?

For more DIY's be sure to check out my "DIY" tab at the top of my blog!
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