It’s the last day of December – and the last day of 2015, so it’s time for me to share my latest “grab bag” of useful links (see previous editions here). Included below are links to articles I think you’ll enjoy on the subjects of shopping and shopping psychology, wardrobe management, style, and personal development. I’m also sharing a few previous “Recovering Shopaholic” posts that you may have missed the first time around (or may choose to revisit now). Many of you have a long weekend for New Year’s Day, so it’s a perfect time to sit back with your favorite hot beverage or a glass of wine and enjoy some quiet time to learn, look within, and even laugh (I included a couple of funny articles this time around).
Sunset at Crystal Pier in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego – December 6, 2015
As in all recent useful links editions, the photo above is one of mine. I also periodically share my photos over on Instagram. If you want to see my photos there, you can follow me at debbie_roes. You can also check out my previous “photography interlude” blog posts.
The following is a guest post from Tonya, a longtime reader of this blog who has agreed to share her “story of recovery” with all of you. Tonya is an active member of my private Facebook group, where she recently shared her story about downsizing her wardrobe, shopping smarter, and honing her style. I thought what she had to say would be inspiring for all readers of “Recovering Shopaholic.” I asked if she would be willing to expand upon her story and share some before and after closet photos.
If you would like to be profiled in the “Stories of Recovery” series (you can be anonymous if desired), or if you have an idea for another type of guest post on “Recovering Shopaholic,” please connect with me to share your thoughts.
Getting My “Fix” Without Going Back into Debt
I first found Debbie’s blog in May of 2013. Up to that point, the only resources that I had found were a couple of bloggers doing shopping bans, debt blogs, and questions to ask yourself to find out if you were a shopaholic. I had gotten myself out of debt, cut my spending by about a third, had a closet stuffed with 500-600 items, and discovered eBay. You can buy an awful lot for a small amount of money there. I was able to get my “fix” without going back into debt.
Is your closet stuffed yet you keep buying more and more?
Many bloggers are taking time off this week and next to enjoy time with their families and friends for Christmas and New Year’s. Since I’m not traveling and don’t have any elaborate holiday plans, I will continue with my regular posting schedule. I was going to share a “photography interlude” (see previous versions here) today, but I decided to veer off a bit and go with a holiday theme.
A Christmas Retrospective
In today’s post, I share some of my Christmas photos from years past, from my wee years through to my 40’s. As I mentioned in my last post, I used to be a big fan of holiday theme wear, as you will see in many of the images below. These days, I no longer have any Christmas sweaters, but I used to wear holiday garb every single day from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, along with lots of Christmas jewelry, Santa hats, and the like. I was definitely what you might call very “spirited.”
Part of my style evolution has involved moving away from the cutesy and whimsical and embodying a more sophisticated, classic, and minimalist style. My idea of holiday dressing now may include wearing red or green or perhaps a bit of sparkle and shine, but overt shows of Christmas spirit no longer grace my body. But the photographic evidence remains and in the holiday spirit, I share it with you today. I include brief descriptions under each photo, but many of them are pretty self-explanatory and may make you laugh or smile.
As we close out 2015 and the third year of “Recovering Shopaholic,” I thought it would be fun to reflect on how my personal style has evolved over the past decade plus. This is a post I’ve been meaning to do for a while after I had seen another blogger do it, but now seems like a good time since I feel I’ve made a lot of positive changes to my style this past year.
This will be a very photo-heavy post with not as much writing as usual. There is an old saying, “A picture speaks a thousand words.” Well, that is definitely true when it comes to what we wear, but I will also add some commentary throughout to shed some light on what you’re seeing. Some of my older photos are a bit embarrassing for me to post, but I’m sure many of you aren’t exactly thrilled with your outfits from days gone by. It’s all part of the journey, right? It’s important to note that I liked a lot of these outfits while I was wearing them, but there were definitely times when I felt insecure and uncomfortable in my ensembles. Again, that’s probably something most of us could say.
The essay below was written in April 2013, shortly after I had made a commitment to conquer my addiction to caffeine (and just a few months after I started this blog). I decided to document how caffeine was negatively impacting my life so I would never forget why I decided to break the hold that it had over me. I decided to re-read what I had written today, as I have been backsliding into using caffeine as a prophylactic for my migraine headaches on a regular basis. I wanted to remind myself of why it’s not a good idea for me to bring caffeine back into my life.
I had no idea how much my coffee habit was impacting my life.
Now I know that most of you probably don’t have a problem with caffeine like I did. However, I think you can read what I wrote and see other addictions or compulsions you may have in my words, including shopping. I actually wrote about my compulsive shopping problem toward the end of this essay and share that conquering my caffeine addiction was giving me strength to better face my shopping demons.
Just like with last month, I’m getting this accountability update up a little late. I actually considered combining my November and December updates since I don’t have a whole lot to share this month. However, I ultimately opted to write this post now and I will do a big year-end wrap-up (like this one I did last year) in a few weeks.
For those who are new to the blog, these monthly reports are where I share what came into and left my closet and how I did with my shopping budget. Sharing what I bought, what I culled, and how much I spent helps me to stay honest and on track with my wardrobe and shopping. It also contributes toward my being more deliberate, which is my theme for 2015.
How honest are you with yourself and others about your shopping?
This is a post I’ve been hesitant to write, but I’m still going to do it. Sometimes we learn the most by doing things we don’t really want to do. As many of you know, I have a practice of selecting a theme for myself each year to help guide my focus and actions for those twelve months. This year, the theme that I selected was “deliberate” and my aim was to become a lot more intentional with my shopping, wardrobe, and life.
There’s just 3 weeks left in 2015 – how will you finish the year?
First – The Good News…
Let’s start with the good news. As I wrote about in my last update (which sadly was my only update until this one), I made significant improvements with both my shopping and wardrobe this year. Yes, I did some backsliding into overshopping during August and September, but overall I have shopped more intentionally and made better choices this year. Likewise, I also made great strides with my wardrobe over the course of 2015. I now rate the majority of my outfits as “9”s or “10”s and my LIWI Challenge helped me to pare down my wardrobe to primarily those pieces that I love and wear. My at-home wardrobe still needs some work, but I know what I need to do and will make it a priority for 2016.