Hi everyone! Are you settled in to 2012 yet? I think I am except for this last part below.

I haven’t made resolutions in a long time. I usually break them within the first week or two so I stopped doing it. But this year is different. This year, in 6 months/179 days, I will have a birthday ending in a “0”…”Lordy, Lordy”. It feels like I have been in my 30s forever, especially these last few years. As fast as the days and months have gone by, the actual years up to 40 have been going by slow, if that makes any sense.

So, this year, I’m going to set some goals for myself. The Boy will be getting his license soon and be out and about enjoying his new freedom. So, I need something to keep myself busy.

-Lose 25 pounds – In 2011, I reached my heaviest weight ever. It isn’t pretty and I don’t feel good about it at all. Gaining twenty pounds in two years isn’t pretty and I’m going to do something about it. Besides, I want to fit into this damn, expensive corset again! It cost too much to have worn only once.

Anthropologie Leifsdottir Eyelash Corset

I hope to have lost half of this weight by my birthday. To do this I’ll be eating better, doing The Shred and drinking a lot more water. Husband will be on a trip for work overseas in a few weeks so that will help with the eating better part. He usually wants to eat all protein, a la Atkins and I prefer a less red meat…a lighter breakfast (yogurt w/granola and a piece of fruit), salad for lunch and a light dinner (fish, chicken, small steak).

-Eat out less. Cook dinner in more.
We, as a family, are very bad about picking something up to eat instead of taking the time to make dinner. I have some great cookware and I plan on taking some cooking classes and trying some new recipes this year.

-One in, Two out
Honestly, since I work from home I really do not need all that I have in my closet. Like pencil skirts…when will I wear these? Silk blouses…Like I would check the mail in one. I started purging in 2011 but will be more aggressive about it in 2012. I want well made, classic pieces with a little “fun” thrown in. I won’t say I will stop shopping altogether or have a splurge every once in a while but for the most part I will consume less. Look for frequent updates on my Closet Blog.

-Spend that “saved” clothing money on me, in a different way.
In 2011, I have noticed my complexion has been awful. I have always had very good complexion but this year I have had continuous breakouts on my cheeks. I know this is from stress, the foods I eat and the make-up I’m using. I can’t figure out which one it is but I’ve tossed them all and am starting fresh. I will also get a facial more frequently. And drink more water.

-Go on a family vacation. This one is already in the planning stages. Husband has been researching, since before Christmas, a trip to Europe. He was originally thinking March, during Spring Break, but he has a conference he forgot about that he needs to attend. So, it will be in June or July. Right now, the itinerary is either Paris and Italy or Italy and Spain. Most of our time will be spent in Italy. I’ve already been planning my outfits and will be asking for advice and suggestions once I know when and where we will be going.

-Brush up/Learn Spanish – I know a little to get by in Mexico when I’m on a beach vacation but Spain/Italy will be a lot different. Since I know a little Spanish I’ll stick with that as opposed to trying to learn Italian. If I have time I will work on a few conversational basics in Italian.

So that about wraps up my goals for the year, prepping for the big Four-Oh!. Do you have any goals for 2012? Any milestones you’d like to accomplish?

I guess I should add brushing up on my technology and blogger skills too. This should have posted today and not Dec. 27.

I am proud to know two military veterans. Both my father and grand-father served their country. My dad was in for 20 years while my grand-father served in World War II. Amazing!

If you see a Veteran today, say thank you. They may even appreciate a good hand-shake or even a hug.

I have been intrigued by Jewish Girl’s “Use it or Lose It” challenges recently. The gist of it is you wear items in your closet you haven’t worn in a while or never within 30 days. If forces you to figure out how to wear that pencil skirt or embroidered blouse and let’s you ultimately decide whether or not it’s a keeper.

Her first challenge was skirts and her current challenge is Cardigans/Jackets and Shoes. To keep herself on track with what is in the challenge she added a green mark to those hangers holding those items. It would be interesting to participate but I don’t dress for work like those who work in an actual office so I’d probably “use” 2 of 10 skirts or something like that. It seems like a good way to purge your closet one or two clothing categories at a time. To be honest, any more than that at a time can be too overwhelming and you’ll want to keep everything.

I am blessed to have a closet that allows me to have ALL my clothes out all year round. I store my cashmere and heavier sweaters in boxes during the off season that I keep on the floor or top shelves of my closet. Unlike most ladies, I do not have to switch out Summer to Fall or Winter. Unfortunately, seeing everything at once also causes me to 1) be indecisive on what to wear and 2) think I don’t have anything to wear. To help with that I re-arranged my closet again, moving around the shelves, placing the shoes up front-and-center and, my purging trick, turning all my hangers around, which I probably saw on Clean House or some HGTV show years ago.

Logically, you place all your hangers so you can retrieve them from the front. As you can see, I reversed the hanger so the curve of the top of the hanger is to the back wall. If I wear something I hang it back with the curve to the front. At a glance, this shows me exactly what I’ve worn and what I need to wear. Then, after each season, I can assess what I have not worn and decide if it really is a keeper or if it finally needs to go. The only things I don’t use this for are classic items – the white button-down shirt, LBD, black pencil skirt, wool trousers, etc.

Another idea I looked into was a “Wear-Minder Tag“. You place a tag on a hanger and each time you wear that article of clothing you remove a “petal”. You would have to give yourself a cut-off date so you don’t have clothes in your closet with three petals missing in three years. They also look like they are easy to make, with some scrap-booking paper, a design, and scissors. By making them yourself, you can also add the article of clothing to the center of the flower so you know which hanger it goes back on.

I don’t have a definitive way to purge my shoe portion of the closet yet but right now I am just doing a once-over every few months. I finally purged some shoes that were too cute to let go but that I hadn’t worn in over two years. Because of this, as you can see, I now have a front-and-center shelf for my sweaters. Maybe if I have them out Mother Nature will notice and keep it cool for a while so I can wear them.

Jeans are another issue I have. I don’t hang them so I only get rid of them when they don’t fit.

My question to you is – “How do you purge your closet?” Especially shoes. I’d love to hear your ideas and tricks on what you do to keep your closet from exploding. Do you participate in the “One in, One Out” concept? Are you participating in Jewish Girl’s “Use it or Lose It” challenge, even secretly? Do you purge at the beginning of a season or re-assess what you haven’t worn when you change seasons and purge then?

Go check out Jewish Girl’s blog, if you haven’t already, and read up on her “Use it or Lose It” challenges.

Have a great day!

Sorry folks. Super Shoes-day is being postponed. I went to Anthropologie today to kill some time while The Boy went to get a haircut. I was so excited because I found lots of pretty dresses to try on. Halfway through I found myself stuck in a dress. Super-duper stuck!

The Culprit…Cirque A-Line Dress…silly little elephants drew me in.

The Incident…Oh such a cute little dress by Porridge with cute little white elephants and a lovely yellow sash. It has a side zip that went up and down once easily. I always un-zip/zip once before trying on anything. I stepped into the dress and proceeded to zip it up just fine. I then un-zipped it and it stopped at the waist seam. Ok…no problem, I think to myself. This happens all the time. I’ll just go back up and then back down and all will be well. Nuh-uh…no way. This dress decided it liked me more than I liked it. I tried to zip up and then down again and when I did it not only got stuck a little higher but also split below the zipper pull. And that, ladies, is “Super-Duper Stuck”.

The Extraction…After the zipper split I had to call over the dressing room associate. She went to get some pliers and came back with scissors. Apparently, this dress has had issues with it’s zipper. She was then able to cut me out of the dress. Absolutely and totally embarrassing. And it is such a cute dress. I did continue trying on the other dresses, I was just a lot more careful with the zipper.

Both Husband and The Boy are still laughing.

I’ll have some Anthropologie reviews and Super Shoes-day up later this week.

Have a great day. And watch out for Elephants.