May 2016 “Grab Bag” of Useful Links

It’s almost the end of May and is the start of a long weekend for those of us in the U.S., so it’s the perfect time for another installment of useful links (see previous editions here). Included below are links to articles I hope 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). 

This “grab bag” of useful links presents the perfect opportunity for you to sit back with your favorite hot beverage or glass of wine and enjoy some quiet time to read, learn, look within, and maybe even laugh a time or two.  As a reminder, I certainly do not expect you to click on all of the links in these posts.  Just explore the ones that most intrigue you.

Sunset view from PLNU

Sunset view from Point Loma Nazarene University

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Lessons From My Outfit Journal: 2016 Style Shifts and Goals

Almost two years ago, I started keeping an outfit journal as a way of better getting into touch with my personal style and helping it to evolve.   Although I had previously taken photos of my outfits for at least a few years, I believed that capturing my feelings about what I was wearing would be even more beneficial.  Well, I was right!  At this point, I can unequivocally state that my outfit journal has been the most important tool in my style evolution. And since it continues to produce benefits, I have no intention of giving it up anytime soon.

Style and outfit journal

I’ve shared a number of insights from my outfit journal since its inception and have recently created a separate category for these posts, if you’d like to check them out.  In today’s post, I’m going to highlight the shifts I feel my style has made in 2016 thus far, as well as my style goals for the rest of the year and beyond.  Most of these shifts and goals are a direct result of my outfit journal, as I capture my feelings there about what I wore and what I would change about each look.   Over time, these thoughts have led me to make changes and try new things.  Also helpful to my journey are the “outfit of the day” (OOTD) threads on Facebook.  Seeing what others are wearing and reading their and others’ comments about those outfits (and mine) has helped me to increase my style awareness and make changes to what I’m wearing.

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Going Gray & Getting Out of “Hair Prison” Follow-Up

Thank you to all those who responded to my last post, both in the comments section and via email. I was very touched by the tremendous amount of support, encouragement, and advice that I received.  I loved reading your stories and perspectives on the issues of going gray, aging, dealing with hair woes, and more.   Because I know that many subscribers don’t read the comments, I’ve decided to share some of the input I received in a follow-up post today.  This post can also serve as a resource on this issue for those who need it, as it’s a lot easier to find and navigate than perusing the comments.

Going gray advice

For those who aren’t particularly interested in this subject, don’t worry. I will return to writing about shopping, wardrobe, and style-related topics shortly (I invite you to check out my archives of over 350 articles if you’d like to read about one of those topics today).  But I know that for me and many others, there are a lot of emotions attached to hair.  I’ve known for many years that I’ve resided in a sort of “hair prison,” but it was more comfortable for me to stick with the status quo than try to change.  It’s only the rapid approach of the big 5-0 that has led me to think more deeply about what I want for the rest of my life, and I’ve decided that I want to release myself from my self-imposed bondage.

I’ll be sharing more thoughts on turning 50 as the milestone approaches, as I have been quite introspective in recent months.  But for today, I hope you enjoy these words of wisdom from readers.
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On the Precipice of 50: Gray Hair, Vanity, and Breaking Free

In less than three months, I will turn 50.  As is often the case with milestone birthdays, I am experiencing some anxiety around moving into a new decade and have been giving a lot of thought to the transition and what it means to me.   Although it could be said that it’s just a number and age doesn’t really mean anything, that’s not how I’ve been feeling.   I decided to do a few “stream of consciousness” posts leading up to the big day (August 8) to share my thoughts and insights. This first post will focus on issues related to my appearance, specifically around my hair.

50th birthday cake

But You Don’t Look 50…

I’m often told that I don’t look 50 and I take that as a compliment.  It’s nice to look younger, especially since I have not yet availed myself of Botox, fillers, or plastic surgery (save the rhinoplasty I had following a bicycle accident at age 20).   But there is one thing I do to stay looking younger, I color my hair.  I started to go gray in my mid-thirties, so I’ve been having my hair professionally colored since that time.  This really wasn’t a problem for many years, but the interval at which it was necessary kept getting shorter and shorter.

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Alteration Failures: Better Left in the Store or Returned

Late last year, I launched a series on the topic of alterations.  I began with some thoughts from my private Facebook group on the pros and cons of having our clothes tailored and some of their personal alteration experiences.  In a follow-up post, I shared a selection of my alteration success stories featuring skirts and dresses.

Now it’s time to look at the flip side of the coin, those times when tailoring goes wrong.   Sadly, I can recall many such experiences, so many that this is just my first post on this topic (there will be at least one more).  Some of what I have to say is embarrassing, but my hope is that recounting my alteration faux pas may help save you money and grief.

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KonMari in the Bathroom: Paring Down Cosmetics and Toiletries

Last year, I used Marie Kondo’s “KonMari Method” (from her best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”) to downsize my book and compact disc collections, as well as my closet.  Then last month, I applied this simple but effective process to my jewelry box.   There’s really something magical about gathering all our like items together, handling them one by one, and asking ourselves whether or not each item “sparks joy.”   The beauty of Kondo’s method is that it places the focus on what to keep rather than what to get rid of.

Clutter word cloud - KonMari

The “KonMari Method” can help you get rid of your clutter.

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How to Revive Your Wardrobe and Home for the New Season

The following is a guest post from Aimee Lyonsa twenty-something free spirit who loves crafting, painting, building, and anything else that lets her exercise her creative muscles. A born do-it-yourself kind of girl, Aimee started DIYDarlin.com to inspire others to embrace their inner creators and tackle projects with confidence. When she isn’t crafting, you might find her vintage shopping or taking her Corgi Champ out exploring in her hometown of Austin, Texas.


A few times throughout the year as the seasons shift, a big changeover occurs for our home and our wardrobe. We haul out our bins of stored seasonal clothes and home accessories, unpack them and then store away what we don’t need anymore.

Because it takes quite a bit of time (and energy), many of us complete this task in a mindless sort of way. We might also be tempted to just go out and buy new items because it can be exciting and we know our wardrobe and home could use a little “refreshing” for the season.

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