The Emerald Girl

casual. classic. curious.

Monday, March 25, 2019

How I keep my wardrobe fresh

Spring Style
Spring Style
Spring Style
Switch over closet
Switch over closet
A few years ago, I started switching over my closet for clothes that were out of season until the next year. Living in the Pacific Northwest this is mostly not necessary since I can wear pretty much all of my clothes all year long but I would tire of looking at all of the same items every day. This is not a new concept at all

It all started with the end of winter one year. I was so sick and tired of the dark colors and festive patterns that I wanted to give everything away and start afresh. This seemed wasteful so I decided instead to pack them away and I could decide how I felt about them when the cold season returned. I wanted my closet to reflect my mood and my mood is often affected by the changing seasons. That Spring and Summer I so enjoyed the light and airy feeling in my closet! By the time Fall returned, I switched over my closet again and took out the packed away cold weather clothing and was excited to have shades of maroon, long sleeves and clothing I hadn't seen in 6 months - it all felt new again! This pattern has continued every 6 months now for a couple of years and each time I am surprised and delighted by my old favorite clothing items return to my closet. This alone has greatly reduced the amount of time and money I spend buying new clothes each season which has allowed me to purchase a few choice, quality items at higher price points since I am not needing to buy a great quantity.

Here are a few tips for how I decided which items to switch over in my wardrobe for Spring:
1) Check for color (darker colors are not as enticing to wear in the warm, brighter days)
2) Check for pattern (winter plaids don't need to see daylight savings time)
3) Check for weight (this is a no brainer, see ya next year heavy sweaters)

And there you have it! Switch over you closet to keep it feeling fresh and new all year round.

Do you have any tips for keeping your wardrobe fresh?

Shirt: J.Crew (old but I've seen this come back several years in a row so it could return) | Pants: Madewell (tall length) | Sunglasses: Anthropologie (old) | Camera: Instax Mini 9

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

How to really relax in Palm Springs

Being a snowbird in palm springs
If you're like me and you spend far too much time perusing photos on Instagram then you've no doubt seen a slew of trendy photos from Palm Springs. Bold, bright and colorful desert. From the Moorten Botanical Garden to mid-century architecture to uber trendy hotels, you've likely thought that looks like your next vacation destination. I want to tune you in to a little secret: that's just Palm Springs, the real joy of the desert is relaxing country club style under the sun in the shade of a palm tree next to a beautifully landscaped golf course.

The first time I visited Palm Desert it was 1998 and my family visited every year after that. What Florida is to New Englanders, the Southern California desert is to Pacific North Westerners. Sure it's fun to do and see some trendy things in Palm Springs but it's more fun to simply get away from it all. The desert is surrounded by mountains for hiking and exploring - just make sure to bring plenty of water. I remember being totally dehydrated hiking in direct sunlight one year and had to go back early. Of course there's cute shopping and tasty restaurants but, really, what destination doesn't boast that? Between lounging poolside, snapping photos of my favorite scenery and eating at the Tommy Bahama restaurant (#basic), I could easily spend my entire trip daydreaming about never ever leaving.

February's weather has been rather a miss the last couple of years and so it is a fickle friend. The bleak mid-winter is often the best time to leave the PNW but it can be a little disappointing to visit with only 60 degree weather. If you're not tied down to your child's school break schedule, March would be a perfect. Once you get into April, temperatures are easily in the 90-100 range. Personally, I'm good with that but it can be a little overwhelming when you're not used to it.

Below are some pics from my family vacation circa 1999 hiking in Coachella Valley and one of a view from the patio at my parents old home in Palm Desert.
palm desert sunset
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Saturday, March 9, 2019

How I use OneNote to organize my life

There are many programs out there but I've been using OneNote for the last three years. I used to have a physical notebook with dividers and would put all of the pertinent information in there. In fact, I held onto that method long after most organized people had started using digital tools for this type of stuff. Now that I am using OneNote, I realize this makes way more sense. It's environmentally friendly, available on the go and has virtually endless numbers of pages. I recommend having OneNote on any device that you use regularly.

I have a tab to organize our family. This tab houses our family mission statement, rules, monthly family meeting notes, family traditions, weekly meal plan and monthly budget amongst other things. It's a general overview. One thing I need to add to this tab is emergency information.

Next, there's a tab called "Cookbook". This is a modern day recipe box. It's organized into basic categories such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc. I only save recipes for meals that I actually make or that I believe I will actually make. This is not a Pinterest board free for all. Being able to use this list easily for weekly meal planning is essential and I don't want it to be overwhelming or burdensome. Since cooking is not my forte I have to pull out my phone when it's my turn to make a meal. Pro tip: keep auto-lock turned off so that you don't have to constantly log back in when the screen turns off. It is so handy and super easy to train yourself to physically turn the phone off when you're done using it.

Right after that is a tab called "Grocery Shopping List". This is the section that I really want to make work. The idea is that my husband and I can add items to the list together or individually and then whoever goes grocery shopping can pull out their phone to view the list and make shopping that much easier. Admittedly, we don't use this section very much at all. For one, my preferred method of grocery shopping is online and, for two, we just don't tend to be that structured about grocery shopping.

Other sections in my Notebook include: travel (each vacation can have its own tab), the kid's school, a tab for me, a tab for my husband (these are just sections for notes on whatever we want) and a tab for my blog (this is where I first write out a potential post before publishing to the blog).

While it may be tempting to just dump any and all information into your OneNote, DON’T! Too much is a bad thing. Get in the habit of deleting things. OneNote for organizing your life is not meant to literally house your entire life from now until death. Unless you plan on creating a new notebook for each year, this isn't a memory book. This is a tool to make managing your family and home easier and more streamlined. It's also helped me to declutter my inbox. For example, since the travel tab has a section for each vacation, I copy and paste flight, rental and other confirmations here and delete from my inbox. It's unnecessary to have this information in two places and it's much easier to have it all together in one location (OneNote) especially if you're married since you can both access it.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes! I'd love to hear about other home/life organization tips people are using.

Updated 09-19-19: This post was originally about OneNote 2016 which Microsoft will be discontinuing supporting for in 2020 sometime. I do not recommend Windows10 OneNote. The functionality is beyond poor, the ease of use is dismal. I am so disappointed when I absolutely loved the 2016 version of this app!