Thursday, June 16, 2016

Frugal Fashion - Another Reason I Wear Skirts!

I recently wrote a post about "Why I Wear Skirts."  If you haven't checked it out yet, here's a quick summary: I like them. 

But, I have a quick confession to make.  The real reason I first started wearing skirts so much?  I was broke.  Yes, I was broke, but I needed to expand my wardrobe.  Skirts were the most frugal choice!  

Whether you wear skirts out of conviction, preference or any other reason, I am sure we can all relate to the budget woes.  Here are my reasons why I think skirts are such a great budget friendly wardrobe piece, and some tips for the best places to find skirts on a dime!  (Affiliate links included) 

One of the main reasons skirts are a great budget stretcher, is that they are so versatile!    Skirts can be dressed up, skirts can be dressed down.  Skirts can be layered over leggings.  Skirts can be worn to work, to church, or to the campground.   Now there are some obvious limitations to this – I don’t suggest wearing a sundress on the ski slopes, nor do I think you should wear a corduroy skirt in August.  However, a simple cotton skirt can be paired with a button down shirt and cardigan for work, then mixed with a graphic tee and flip flops for casual wear.  I've never seen jeans or dress slacks pull of that versatility very well! 

Another major reason skirts are more friendly on the wallet is that they are more friendly on the waistline.  It is much easier to hide a few pounds gained or lost in a skirt than in a tight fitting pair of pants.  While everyone looks for that "perfect fit," when jeans shopping, skirts don't require quite the same level of perfection.  Though I don't have children myself, I know many women wear their stretchy skirts, or high-waisted dresses well into pregnancy - try doing that in a pair of skinny jeans!

Second Hand 
This is a follow-up to the "forgiveness factor."  Since we (or at least I) are not you usually quite so focused on the "perfect fit" with skirts as we are with jeans, it means skirts are much easier to find second hands in thrift stores, on ThredUp or the like.  Since skirt wearing has generally declined in popularity, I find the skirt racks at  my local shops are usually a bit more full than the pants racks.  And, since skirts can be worn year round, they are always in stock!  

Frugal Skirt Tips
(1) Look beyond the size! At the thrift store, I try to look in my own size and the ones above and below, since brands run differently!
(2) Measurements - if you are visiting a thrift store without fitting rooms, know your measurements and bring a tape measure.  If you're not sure an item will fit, measure it. 

(3) ThredUp - One of my favorite places to buy second hand items!  A virtual thrift store with tons of variety, and search filters to make finding that special item easier!  If you're a first time ThredUp user, you can get a $10 shopping credit by using my link!

(4) Schoola - This is another online thrift store, with good variety, and which also donates money back to schools.  I haven't shopped here yet, but have heard good things!  If you're a newbie, use my link for a $20 shopping credit! 

(5) Instagram Boutiques - Lately I have been stalking the Instagram resale world!  Search hashtags such as #modestfashion #shopmycloset or #skirtsforsale.  Check out my IG Boutique - Second Hand Skirts Online - for lots of skirts for sale!  Comment #journeyliving on your favorite item, for a chance to win shop credit! 

This post is linked up at the following:
Tell It To Me Tuesday @ Foundational , The Modest Mom Blog,Titus 2 Tuesday @ Cornerstone ConfessionsNo Rules Weekend @ Sincerely, Paula

Monday, May 30, 2016

Why I Wear Skirts

I have recently been following along with a few modest fashion groups on Facebook.  (Modesty for the Modern Mom hosted by Caroline of the Modest Mom Blog, Modest Young Women hosted by Christina of Our Wood Home, and Modern Modesty hosted by Lauren of the blog Modern Modesty.)  I have loved seeing all of the outfits people post, and have gotten inspiration to try pattern mixing, pairing different colors, and creating outfits I might not have thought of on my own. 

Participating in these groups has also had me thinking about skirts.  I wear skirts.  I wear them a lot, enough that my grandfather once told me he "didn't recognize me," because I was wearing slacks!  Unlike many women who participate in these groups however, I do not find wearing skirts and dressing modestly mutually exclusive.   While wearing skirts is definitely a huge part of my modest wardrobe, I do not think it is necessary to wear skirts and modesty is not the primary reason I choose skirts.

So you may find yourself wondering - just why do I wear skirts so much? The short answer - I like wearing skirts.

A Few Reasons Why I Like Wearing Skirts: 

I like that wearing skirts makes me feel feminine.  When I am wearing a skirt I feel ladylike, and I find myself more aware of my attitude and behavior.  When I look like a lady I want to act like a lady!  It reminds me of asking my grandmother why she wore skirts so much when I was a child, she replied "I'll start wearing pants when men start wearing skirts."  I like that a skirt is distinctly "woman." 

I like that skirts make me feel connected to my faith.  In my area the majority of women who wear skirts, at least those who wear them regularly or exclusively and are seen wearing them for "normal" every day activities, are Christian.Though I do not wear skirts out of spiritual conviction, I know that wearing skirts frequently may be perceived as a statement of faith.   I know that in wearing skirts, many people will automatically view me as Christian, and I want to act accordingly!  I want to be sure I am giving Christians a good name, and to make my demeanor and attitude reflect the joy of my faith. 

I like that wearing skirts make me feel strong.  When I am wearing a skirt, I feel connected to the women of yesteryear.  The women for whom wearing skirts was an everyday norm.  I think of the strong women who helped build this country in skirts.  The women who walked the Oregon Trail to new lives.  The women who toiled alongside their husbands on the frontier.  The women who marched for Civil Rights.   When I wear a skirt, I feel like I can do anything!

This blog is linked up at some fun places around the web, including:
Modest Monday @ The Modest Mom BlogTell It To Me Tuesdays @ Foundational, Titus 2 Tuesday @ Cornerstone ConfessionsNo Rules Weekend @ Sincerely, Paula

Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 - Year of Transformation & Mercy

While I was reflecting on 2015, my #yearofgratefulness, I was also thinking and praying about an appropriate theme for 2016.  I had an idea of what I wanted to accomplish in 2016.  I knew that I wanted this to be a year of true, genuine, living.  A year where I stopped hesitating, and starting going full force toward my goals, hopes and dreams.  A year where I stopped thinking of the things I wanted "someday" and started enjoying and taking advantage of all the things that are here for me RIGHT NOW!

I had lots of ideas but no idea as to how to put them in to words, or a theme.

On Sunday morning, sitting in Mass, it somehow came to me.  Transformation.  2016 is meant to be a year of transformation.  It is the year when I will say YES to the things put before me.  When I will say NO to fear, and YES to success.   It is the year when I will say NO to the things and people that hold me back, and say YES to the hard work necessary to achieve my goals.  When I will say NO to doubt, and say YES to faith.

2016 is also the year I will say YES to Mercy.  Being a Catholic it is hard to come up with my own theme for 2016, when Pope Francis has already declared this a Jubilee Year of Mercy for the whole world.   Can anything really beat mercy?  Probably not.

And so - in 2016, I look forward to being absolutely TRANSFORMED by mercy. 

Will you join me on a #mercychallenge 

Will you accept Christ's mercy in your life? Will you extend mercy to others?Will you perform corporal and spiritual works of mercy? Will you allow your life to be transformed by mercy? 

Was 2015 a #yearofgratefulness

I started off 2015 with a New Year's Theme instead of a resolution.  For those who weren't following along back in January, my theme was gratefulness.   I decided to "invent" the hashtag #yearofgratefulness... I don't think it worked.  I suppose you have to be a major figure like Pope Francis before you can declare the year of anything and have other people listen.

I guess the real question, is did I listen?  Did I live a year of gratefulnes?

Well I think I did.


Yes.  I tried to be thankful for the small things.  For the moments with friends and families.  The leftovers they sent me home with.  Having a job, health insurance. and a roof over my head.   Being able to pay my bills.  A car, and only a small number of car problems.  A promotion at work.  Coworkers who I enjoy working with.  Chocolate.

Yes, this has been a year filled with a lot of gratitude.  It has also been a year filled with a lot of angst.  A lot of anxiety.  A lot of moments when I wished for more responsibility and opportunity, instead of being grateful for what was in front of me.  A lot of moments of insecurity and jealousy as I watched people around me celebrate engagements, births, marriages and other milestones, while I just plodded along.

There were moments when gratefulness was a lot harder than I expected.  My #yearofgratefulness reminded me to be grateful anyway.  To be grateful when its hard.  Sounds like success to me. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

7 Money Makeover Commitments

I've decided it is time to make my Total Money Makeover a total commitment!  If I want to move myself toward debt-free living I need to make some changes and some new commitments!

Recently I was catching up on
The BudgetingDiaries series over at Our Life On A Budget (one of my favorite blogs)… I am enjoying these series because it not only shows the deals, or the frugal life-hacks, it also allows me to meet people and learn their stories and their lifestyles.   Learning about the "who" behind the "what" and "why" has been a great help in the motivation department! 

7 Ways I Am Committing To My Total Money Makeover!

(1)    Not Sacrificing My Mental Health for My Financial Health
This one has been (and likely will continue to be) a struggle for me.  As I mentioned in my last post, I have been struggling with some issues relating to depression and anxiety.  I have determined that my second job is no longer a good fit for me, and I have taken an indefinite leave of absence.  In the short term this means some back-stepping financially, but I am committed to looking at the big picture, and not allowing myself to feel guilty about what I know was a necessary decision.  I am also committed to not allowing myself to allow the price-tag to keep me away from proper mental health treatment.  

(2)    Simple Christmas
I am committed to not spending money I can’t afford on Christmas.

(3)    Homecooking
I am committed to cooking at home.  To making packed lunches for work.  To skipping the fast-food and the coffee stops.
(4)    Charity
I am committed to supporting charities in accordance with my values and my budget.
I am committed to my Lilla Rose business.  I am committed to working this business to extent allowed by my career and to growing it into a valuable income.

(6)    Order and Organization 
I am committed to growing in order and organization. Neither of these virtues come naturally to me.  I am committed to learning to better order my time and space to best use these resources for my overall financial good. 
(7)    Purging
I am committed to sorting and purging excess goods in a way which will benefit me financially (and help with #6).   This may include bringing books to a used bookstore, donating items to charity, consigning clothing, or selling things online.

This post is linked up at some cool web-places, including:
This Ain't The Lyceum, Time Warp Wife, The Modest Mom Blog,

Saturday, September 26, 2015

7 Smiles

Pope Francis has taken over my internet! When you attended a Catholic college, have friends working at Catholic schools and universities, an follow Catholic bloggers... I guess you should just be prepared for everyone to head to Philadelphia and see the Pope.  Since I am not speaking at the World Meeting of Families, attending Mass in Madison Square Garden or anything else equally motivating - I thought that for my seven quick takes I would share some fun (mostly non-Pope related) links from throughout the interwebs to make you smile. So here you are... 7 quick smiles :)
Because, Buddy the Elf was right - "smiling is my favorite."
(1) This post I found via New Wave Feminists

How cute is that baby?!
 (2) These awesome Halloween costumes - and the Dad who created an entire company dedicated to building even more of them!

(3) Pope Francis stopping his car, to greet a child with cerebral palsy in Philadelphia (c'mon I said mostly not about the Pope).

(4) The excitement of these children who got to greet Pope Francis upon his arrival to Harlem! 
 I love their attitude and the facts they share about him - his love of soccer, stamp collecting etc.  (Having trouble posting the video, but watch it!!)

(5) The dedication of a local school in memory of a recent military hero.
So often we see schools named for heroes from generations past, this school was named for a recent hero.  A man who died less than 6 years ago after sustaining injuries in Afghanistan, and whose parents and family members were able to attend the dedication.

(7) PYO 
 Number 7 is pick your own smiles :)  This is for the little thing that made you smile throughout the week... I am probably missing some but there were many more things from the internet world that made me smile this week - the newly announced flexi styles from Lilla Rose, the viral video of a little girl demanding her newly-divorced parents stay friends, lots of great pictures from friends attending weddings, and last (but totally not least) this awesome apple butter recipe I plan to try next week!

Monday, September 21, 2015

What Is Your Rice and Beans?

If you are a fan of Dave Ramsey, and know what it means to "live like no one else so later you can live like no one else," I am certain you know the significance of rice and beans!
Dave talks about being in gazelle mode, cutting all expenses to the minimum.  Cutting your grocery budget down to rice and beans, beans and rice, rice and beans.
I am trying to get there.  I quickly realized that a $50/month grocery budget was very unrealistic.  I created a meal plan which could feed me for around that much money (I believe it consisted of pasta, canned tomatoes and eggs). But I was hungry, cranky, and craving other foods.
But it is time to cut back and so I needed to find a few "rice and beans" meals.  What are things I can eat cheap, cheap, cheap so that some of my grocery money can become debt busting money instead!  What can I eat beyond just rice and beans without breaking the bank.
Rice-And-Beans Budget Meal Ideas:
(1) Rice and beans
Can't overlook the classic!
(2) Pasta with tomatoes
I just use canned tomatoes in place of sauce.
(3) Leftover Soup
Make a soup using all the leftover veggies, scraps etc. you have from past meals.
(4) Canned Soup
Sometimes even canned soup can get pricey, watch for sales!  I was able to get 12 cans of the Campbell's Homestyle soups for $11 this week at Stop and Shop.  Perfect for work lunches.
(4) Eggs
So many quick, easy and inexpensive ways to eat eggs.  Scrambled, French toast, omelet, frittata, fried egg, egg sandwich....  Scrambled eggs with veggies is a very satisfying meal.

This Post Is Part of My Frugal Food Series, Be Sure To Check Out:
Lasagna For One  - How one simple hack makes lasagna the perfect meal for the solo kitchen
Frugal, Hungry And Single - My intro to the challenges of cooking for one on a budget
More Meals For One - Four simple and versatile ideas for single cooking

Linked Up At:
The Modest Mom Blog, Mingle Monday @ Life of Meg,  WFMW @ Giving Up On Perfect