Friday, October 4, 2019

Clothes Mentor Fall Haul & Try-On!

It's hard to believe, but until a couple weeks ago, I had never shopped at Clothes Mentor! I've been to Plato's Closet (which is their sister store) years ago, and I'm really not sure why I hadn't gone back to either shop. I get so caught up in new releases and trends that I forget that there are TONS of affordable pieces that are gently pre-loved (and so also more environmentally conscious) to be had.

The best part is the hunt! Sifting through overflowing racks of designer names with smaller than expected price tags is so. much. fun.  And maybe it was beginner's luck, but I was able to put together a whole Fall capsule on my very first visit!

Fall wardrobe update at a discount with Clothes Mentor |

I was shocked that people would give up some of these pieces! If you don't already know, Clothes Mentor and Plato's Closet are consignment shops. Everything for sale has been brought in by customers who are given cash for their gently used pieces. How some people parted with these beauties, I really don't know!!

Check out what I discovered!

Michael Kors Cardigan

This sweater is amazing!!! It's thick and heavy, long enough to wear with leggings, and sooo warm! It's in such great shape - HOW did anyone let this go?! (I swear I'll stop saying that eventually, haha) It's from Banana Republic, size small, and it was $22.

Anne Taylor Loft Sweater

This sweater is so cute! I loved it's longer tunic length and the button details - I knew it would pair perfectly with black leggings, black denim, or faux leather leggings. It felt basically new! It's from Ann Taylor Loft, size small, and it was $16.

Banana Black Down Vest

This vest!! I'm not a huge vest person, but I do like them in early fall wen you need some warmth but aren't quite ready to bundle up. I only have a brown one in this outwear style, so when I saw a whole section of them, I pulled this one out to try on (because of how soft the inner liner is) and LOVED it! It's from Banana Republic, size small, and it was $16.

MK Sweater

This is a Michael Kors sweater, and while it was super comfy and cute everywhere else, I didn't love the way the cowl neck looked on me. If it didn't have that, it would have come home with me for sure! This is a size small, and it was $20.

Michael Kors cold shoulder sweater

This caught my eye on the rack, but once I had it on I was a little confused about when I would actually wear it (probably why it got donated!). It's made of a really comfortable heavy knit and felt super cozy on, but the cold shoulder confused me! It was the kind of heavy that you'd only wear in really chilly why would you want your shoulders exposed? haha It was super cute, but didn't end up coming home with me. This is by Michael Kors, size small, and it was $16.

Grey Open Front Michael Kors Cardigan

THIS baby came home with me, though. This was actually the very first thing my eyes laid on when I stepped into the store and I grabbed it immediately. It's long, medium-weight (so not too incredibly warm) but super-super cozy. It was on clearance (I'm not sure why, it's the exact right weather for it!!) so I got it shockingly cheap!! It's by Michael Kors, size XS, and it was only $8!!!

Tommy Hilfiger plaid popover

I liked the classically fall colors and style of this shirt, but it was just too small for me. I was bummed, I loved this! It's by Tommy Hilfiger, size small, and it was $10.

Apt 9 Chambray top

I've been hunting chambray for weeks now and spotted this one. It was okay, but a little too thin, and a little tight in the arms, so I didn't get it. It's Apt 9 (Target), size small, and it was $8.

Anne Taylor Loft brown plaid top

This one looked so cute and fall-style-promising on the rack, and super frumpy on! This did me NO favors, haha...maaaybe why this one got donated. It's by Ann Taylor Loft, size medium, and it was $8.

J Jill Plaid top

I loved-loved-loved the fall coloring in this top, so I was super bummed that it didn't look all that great on me. It was just "okay"...and while I could have styled it pretty cute, I didn't think it was worth getting if I felt "just okay" about it. It's by J. Jill, size small, $12.

Color Blocked Sperry boots

I was literally walking to the cash registers with my pile when I thought I'd glance at the shoes in my size on my way. I was looking at a pair of black quilted Vince Camuto boots when my sister pointed out these Sperry color blocked boots. (I failed to mention that she was the bad influence that had gotten me to shop this morning!) I gasped when I saw them because I'd just made note of how I needed black rain boots when I was in the changing room. I tried to get a pair of short Hunters on my birthday with my Tony Walker discount, but they were out! So this was perfect!!

They were only $35, looked brand new, and fit PERFECTLY! They are even more cozy than Hunters. Actually, quite a bit more comfortable!

My sister had a 20% off coupon on top of all of these amazing deals!! You can earn those discounts with their points program once you earn 200 points - which, let me tell you, is easy to do! The discount made those boots only $28! And I left with 3 amazing brand name sweaters, an amazing vest, and like-new Sperry boots for around $80 after tax. Officially hooked!!

Do you have a Clothes Mentor nearby? Check them out if you do - you won't be sorry!!! Just make sure you have plenty of time for a trip - there's SO much to see! Let me know if you go and find anything amazing!

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Friday, September 27, 2019

Wear It All Summer Outfit Challenge

Over the Summer, I realized that there was no way I would possibly wear every piece of my Summer wardrobe without making some sort of concerted effort. Days later, I found a challenge happening on Instagram called Wear It All July. The organizers of the challenge were attempting to create completely new outfits for every single day of July without repeating any single piece of clothing (including shoes!).

It was already the middle of July when I found the challenge, so I decided to take up the challenge for myself, but extend it until my birthday - August 31st. I changed the rules a little, though. (Who didn't see that coming? #rebel)

The Wear It All Summer Challenge challenges you to wear all the clothing in your wardrobe without repeats! | #outfitchallenge #closetchallenge #stylechallenge

My rules allowed my to repeat jeans & shoes, but I couldn't wear any single pair more than twice in a week. I just didn't have enough jeans and shoes to not repeat! (I have about 8,000 shirts and dresses, though. Roughly.)

Every day, I took a photo of my outfit and then posted collages to Instagram about once a week with the hashtag #wearitallsummer19

I'd hoped to share all of these a while ago, but life has been wildly busy! SO before I'm deep in the trenches of fall fashion, here's all of the summer outfits I put together over the weeks of my challenge.

Left: American Eagle Jeans,  Matilda Jane Top, Shoes are Native Jeffersons in White
Middle: American Eagle Jeans, Swing Peplum Top from Target, Shoes are Native Jeffersons in Rose Gold
Right: The North Face Leggings, Adidas Tee, Nike Slides

Left: American Eagle Jeans, Universal Threads Olive Tee, Sandals from Target
Middle: American Eagle Jeans, Layered Lace Tank from Target, Sandals from Target
Right: Black Tee Dress from Matilda Jane, Bow Slides from Target

Left: The North Face Leggings, Free People Tourist Tee, Nike Slides
Middle: American Eagle Jeans, Matilda Jane Navigate You Tee, Native Jeffersons in White
Right: Old Navy Fit & Flare Tiered Swing Dress, Sandals from Target

Left: Matilda Jane Carpool Finns, bralette from Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy Tank
Middle: Good American Jeans, Gingham off the shoulder top from Target, Native Jeffersons in White
Right: Matilda Jane Long Way Home Dress

Left: Shorts & Sandals from Target, Tee & Kimono are both Joanna Gaines for Matilda Jane, Kate Spade Beige Leather Crossbody
Middle: Studio Blue Jeans (Stitch Fix), Old Navy Tie Sleeve Top, Ugg Platform Sneakers
Right: Good American Jeans, Old Navy Love Tee, Ugg Platform Sneakers

Left: Studio Blue Jeans (Stitch Fix), Matilda Jane Beyond the Horizon Tank, Native Jeffersons in White
Middle: Market & Spruce Britta T-shirt Dress in Navy (Stitch Fix), Sandals from Target
Right: Old Navy Coral Striped Halter Dress, Matilda Jane tankini 2-piece Bathing Suit, Native Jeffersons in White

Left: Studio Blue Jeans (Stitch Fix), Lace Sleeve Top from Mindy Mae's Market, Rose Gold Nike Sandals
Middle: Matilda Jane Summer Sunset Dress, Sandals from Target
Right: Studio Blue Jeans (Stitch Fix), Universal Threads Black V-Neck Pocket Tee, Ugg Platform Sneakers

Left: Good American Jeans, Matilda Jane Everyday Fav Tank, Sandals from Target
Middle: Studio Blue Jeans (Stitch Fix), White Tank from Target, Matilda Jane Rural Route Top, Native Jeffersons in White
Right: Studio Blue Jeans (Stitch Fix), Olive Tee from BP. (Nordstrom), Target sandals

Left: Matilda Jane Navy Finn Pants, boat beck flowy top from Old Navy, Nike Rose gold sandals
Middle: Studio Blue Jeans (Stitch Fix), super flowy grey tee from Kohl’s, Native Jefferson’s in rose gold
Right: American Eagle Jeans, layering cami from Forever 21, Free People green v-neck, Target sandals

Left: American Eagle Jeans, Old Navy Yellow Striped Top, Sandals from Target
Middle: American Eagle Jeans, both tanks from Target, Ugg platform sneakers
Right: Old Navy Blue Floral Dress, Wedge Espadrilles from Target

Left: Grey Leggings & Blue Top are both Matilda Jane
Middle: Studio Blue Jeans (Stitch Fix), Floral Cold Shoulder Top from Target, Sandals from Target
Right: American Eagle flared jeans, top from NY&Co (painted from projects, haha)

Studio Blue Jeans (Stitch Fix), Gibson Black Wrap Tie Top, Ugg Platform Sneakers

While it was hard to be limited, I really enjoyed this challenge! I probably would have ended up wearing the same things over and over again and ignoring a lot of other pieces. I learned a few things about myself though!

+ Jeans and a black tee is my essential uniform.
+ My closet almost exclusively consists of: black, grey, blue, green, and brown with a hint of yellow.
+ I've always been a sucker for a floral, but I didn't realize how much I like a stripe, or how I'm almost always likely to pick a solid.

Fall fashion is my fav (and I have a whole bunch of post ideas to work on!), so I thought about taking on this challenge again in October. BUT, I just don't think I can limit myself! So we'll see what happens...maybe I'll just take a daily OOTD photo for all of October?

Have you done any clothing or wardrobe challenges? If you have, point me in their direction, please!!
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Friday, September 6, 2019

Back to School 2019

It's a big year for the Rych Fam - all 3 of our guys are off to full-time school! And while not all of us are admitting it or saying it in so many words, I think it broke all of our hearts a little bit. None of us really love being apart...though the quiet in my house during the day is something I'm not completely mad about. ;)

back to school decorations 2019

It's all just a little extra-emotional with Luke headed to middle school, Jake off to Kindergarten, Henry wrapping up his second-last year of elementary school. It feels like we went from having littles to having pre-teens in a heartbeat. How does this all just keep going faster?! (Also, no fair.)

In addition to this being the first year with everyone in school full-time, it's also the first year that everyone started on the same day. Which made it feel pretty jarring (for me, anyway). Especially considering I had to send my baby off into the world like some sort of micro adult (something I've never fully wrapped my head around about Kindergarten). Sigh. He was SO ready, though.

If you didn't know - we held him back from starting by a year. Not because of any delays or anything like that - just because his birthday is late in the year. There's so much research nowadays about little kids in general (but especially boys) adjusting to the institutionalized nature of school (what with all the common core garbage and stacks of worksheets and the loss of play) and we wanted to give him a little extra time to adjust. I was on the fence about it, but after seeing how incredibly READY he was on the first day of school, I knew we made the right choice.

How cute is their red carpet entrance?! Of course the sun was blinding everyone so us photographers struggled to get good shots.

See? All smiles and confidence...ready to get to work. Not a worry to be seen on his sweet little face. The whole family was there, settling him into his seat, patting him on the back, giving him last minute hugs and he looked at us like - what is wrong with you guys?? I've got coloring to do, see ya later!

I was definitely the worst of the bunch.

With Jake settled, we set out for the third grade hallway to drop Henry off at his new classroom. The interesting thing about this first day is that the two of my kids that were starting new schools only had an edge of nervousness to their buckets of excitement. It was Henry, who was still in the same school with his same buds and a teacher his big brother already had, that was a mess. He is the Mama's boy of the bunch (and it doesn't embarrass him for me to say that, he declares it proudly!) and he hates leaving me. Leading up to school he kept saying, "the worst part is leaving you!" So as we turned down the third grade hallway, he clung to my leg and the waterworks began. My poor guy.

You can see it on his face that he was not pleased. However, this was an improvement after we spent a few minutes putting his supplies in his desk and checking the names on the wall to see which friends would be in class with him. This cheered him up a bit and he was able to regain his composure for the most part. I won't share the super-sad one at his desk (his future self might not be so happy about that one), but the poor guy just wanted to stay home and cuddle! My sweet boy.

And then there was this guy - who, honestly, shocked me with his confidence. Luke has always been my anxious little worrier, and he was more calm and stable than I have ever seen him at the start of a school year. He was more nervous at the end of last school year! Most of his worries were cleared by going to 5th grade orientation in the middle of August. He got to see how the school works and what the other kids were like (our house is zoned strangely and most of the population of his school comes from a different elementary school with only a handful of friends from his elementary school coming with him).

I honestly think it's the freedom and responsibility of having his own locker, navigating to his classes on his own, being responsible for his own Chromebook, and taking a couple classes that he got to choose that's giving him this strength and a "let's do this" attitude. Luke's always done best with structured independence and middle school suits him in that way.

I'm SO proud of him. Not only for embracing all of this newness so well, but for the way he's done his best to encourage and bolster his brothers as they grow into their own forms of newness. He's still ten, and he has his moments, but this kid is growing into the best kind of leader. My little ones are so so lucky to have him as a big brother. I always tell them that - that he's going to be the one they call when they get in trouble and need help, and he will always say yes. That's just the kind of person Luke is. He's kind of my hero. :)

Once our cuties were all situated, Matt and I went to get some coffee and chat. It was so weird not having a little buddy tagging a long for a morning coffee date. But it was nice to just be adults and sit in the sunshine for a while.

Matt had to head back to work, but I continued on distracting myself. I had some Kohl's cash to spend so I went shopping! I ended up getting all new socks for each of the boys and some clearance sportswear that I know will still get use even with fall coming. (Ignore the hot mess nail polish, I went home and fixed it right after this, haha.)

A few of my friends were in the same boat and I spent some time chatting with them. I loved this message in particular - get you a friend that will make sure you're hydrated on a sad day! lol

Back at home, I re-painted my nails, cleaned up, baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies for an afterschool snack, wrote an emo post, and counted down the minutes until I could pick up my cuties.

I was stupid-early to pickup at the elementary school and I caught sight of Jake on the playground during recess. Right after I snapped this picture he saw me and waved (and actually, once he realized he could spot me in the parking lot, he's started watching for me on the playground each day this week and he waves before I've even finished turning in! haha). The little girl in front of him is my friend's daughter, so I sent her this photo too and we talked about how creeping on them makes us feel better. ;)

Jake and Henry were dismissed a few minutes later, and they came running over with big smiles on their faces and arms ready for hugs. They both had GREAT days! We had to wait a bit before we could pick up Luke, but he had a similar review of his first day - and the whole week has just been great! Everyone seems to be happy with their teachers and their classroom buddies (although Henry and his BFF were split up and he's a little sad about that). Overall, though - with so much newness and emotion this school year, we really lucked out with good arrangements.

And now we settle into the craziness of lunch packing and homework. That part is not my favorite! ;)

If you want to read the post I wrote in the middle of my first day sob-fest, click here, or you're curious about how I'm spending my time now that I've got an empty nest during the day, check out my writing blog here!

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