Sometimes, I forget who I am.

I get pulled into this world. Social media, work, things, stuff.

I forget to stop and breathe the cold December air. I spend time with Miles pointlessly scrolling through my phone. I make lists of things I must buy. I forget.

But then, a text from a dear friend reminds me. I return to the things that fill my soul instead of deplete it.

I start to do the things that help me remember.

I write gratitude lists and recall the worthwhile things I do in a day. I meditate and chant and sing and dance. I lean into the people living slowly and intentionally, with no care for the parts of life that do not feed their soul.

I get down on the ground with our animals, I tell them how loved and beautiful they are. I remember they are not here for long.

I pull my little one into my lap. I smell his hair and kiss his cheeks. I forget my phone even exists, and I just am.

It’s okay to forget, we all do. But please, don’t forget to come back.

More soon,

Bonnie Rae xx

For Nigel

Things that help me remember:

Fairyland Cottage

Reaching out to soul friends that understand

The Cottage Fairy

The Ikonns Podcast

How to build a capsule wardrobe 2020

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Building capsule wardrobes feels second nature to me now. I have been making them since 2015 and I have a rhythm and system that works for me.
As I share this rhythm and system with you, know that you can adjust and bend this to make it work for you.
When I started building capsules, I followed the wonderful guide that Caroline Joy lays out in her blog Unfancy.  I started with 35-37 items a capsule, and now I hover somewhere around 25 items. There is no perfect number, you need to do what makes the most sense for you, not what suits someone else.
That being said, I know it can be helpful to have a guide to follow. Here are my steps, process, and guide to building my capsule wardrobe. I hope it helps get you started, without boxing you in or limiting you.
If you try this, PLEASE tag me in your outfit posts on Instagram! Or hashtag #simpledaysbonnierae, and I’ll find them.
Step 1 – Imagine
A capsule wardrobe without a vision or a vibe is nothing. When you are working with such a small number of items in a wardrobe, you need to like the items you choose. If you choose a bunch of items that are great in theory but you actually hate wearing or don’t fit the season you are in – what’s the point!?
It’s time to hop on Pinterest or your saved image section of Instagram to find outfits you love for the season you are entering. Here was the inspiration for Fall 2020, I am still searching for the perfect clog.
As you search and grab images, be open to new styles. Try to move quickly and save the images that speak to you. Maybe one post is about the top, another one is the shoe. Start compiling without judgment and without limiting yourself. Who knows, an entirely new style might emerge!
If you get stuck at this stage, please DM me on Instagram. Or send me an email. We’ll get you unstuck.
Step 2 – Sort and declutter
If you have never made a capsule wardrobe before, it is now time to follow the KonMari method with your clothing. In short, take every single item of clothing you own and pile it on your bed or in your living room.
When I say every item, I mean it! Check your car, your closets, your attic, your garage. Every jacket and shoe and sock and glove better be on that pile! When you have it all together, it’s time to sort. According to KonMari, you must hold each and every item and ask yourself if the item sparks joy for you or not.
Does it make you smile? Does it make you light up? Do you envision taking this piece with you into the future?
If you get stuck, return to step 1. Look at your planning and your vision, does the item you are holding fit in? Is it part of the life and person you are creating? If yes, keep it. If not, thank it for its service and let it go.
If you want this step in far more detail, please read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up or look for videos from KonMari on decluttering on YouTube.
If you want someone to walk with you through this process, I am open to video consultations, contact me here. Or on Instagram.
Step 3 – Sort what remains
Your capsule will be dependent on your lifestyle and where you live.
I am able to dress casually at work, and Virginia experiences all four seasons. So when I plan for fall, I take this into account. I look at average temperatures across the season where I live. And I plan for any special events I may need to dress up for.
I have a separate capsule for conferences and special work events, and a mini capsule for loungewear. Exercise wear and lounge clothes are not part of your day to day capsule.
Tackle one thing at a time. If you are planning for Fall 2020, take the out of season clothes that remain after your declutter and store them. I place mine in two protective containers and store them in a closet.
With all that remains, you are already forming your capsule. Take a second look and make sure that your items are all joy sparkers.
Next, assess what you need. Maybe you need a great pair of vintage jeans and a scarf. Maybe you gave away some boots that you didn’t love and are in need of a new pair. Go back to your inspiration board and look at what you loved. What are you missing and what will you replace it with?
When I shop, I stick to Madewell and Poshmark. I only look for what I need. I only shop a few times a year, when forming my new capsules. I also set a budget. This will look different for everyone. Your budget and your needs should be realistic. And most of your capsule should come from what you already have.
The fashion industry is a huge polluter and contributor to human rights abuses. Do your best to use what you already have, without holding onto items that no longer suit you. A balance that will come easier each time you build a capsule.
Tips and tricks
– Use what you already have.
– Do not skip the planning stage – it will make each step after that much easier.
– Be flexible with the number of items in your capsule, try not to compare yourself to others (if you NEED a number, try to stick to 33-37 items.)
– Get inspired by other resources (Unfancy and Project 333 are two of my favorites.)
That’s it! Be sure to follow my Instagram for outfit posts and Q&A’s – and please share your capsules and outfits with me!
We’re in this together.
More soon,
Bonnie Rae xx
My gurus
Project 333
Marie Kondo

One million different things

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“It is a serious thing, just to be alive on this fresh morning in this broken world.” Mary Oliver
I am sitting down to write and I feel…. one million different things.
We are capable of feeling so many things at once. I think it’s why we’re able to post one thing to Instagram and then in a flash, be on the floor weeping about someone else’s pain. About the pain in the world. But then, I am holding my baby, breathing in his scent and reveling in his warmth.
I post about capsules, and plants, and love, and hope and it’s all real. It’s all true and beautiful and part of me. But it is not all of me.
I am also going to therapy. Learning to love and accept each and every part of myself. I am moving. Cleaning and decluttering and breathing through the stress and the joy of this new adventure.
I am donating. I am being an imperfect advocate, trying to share when I feel it’s needed, but not perform or share without doing.
We are too often boiled down to one thing. How are you today? Only captures one facet of us.
How am I today? I am alive. I am grateful, and angry, and exhausted, and hopeful. I am wicked and powerful, I am gentle and kind.
You contain multitudes, dear one. You are of earth and stars and your ancestor’s stories. You carry a whole world inside of you, yet you live in a world that wants you to be uncomplicated and okay.
You don’t have to be. You don’t have to be okay, or just one thing. You are more than that.
This week, I am planning my fall capsule. I am being a mommy to my beautiful boy. I am moving and working and thinking. I will laugh, I will cry, I will get mad and I will forgive. I will get mad and be forgiven.
There is no limit to what we can do and be, anyone that tells you otherwise is lying.
“And I say to my heart, rave on.” also, Mary Oliver
More soon,
Bonnie Rae xx

A Life Less Throwaway (my journey to a 20 item capsule wardrobe)

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“I am out with lanterns, looking for myself.” Emily Dickinson
This past year I did something I am not proud to admit- I bought numerous items from fast fashion brands like Target, TJ Maxx, and Old Navy only to turn around and donate them a few weeks later.
I was feeling unsure about body changes after becoming a mama, a bold new hairstyle, unearthing child hood traumas, and leaving an unfulfilling job  for a new, more challenging one. Often when we don’t feel quite ourselves, when we’re feeling low or unsure, that’s when we’re most susceptible to marketing, trends, and consumerism. There is an entire collective of brands and companies hoping you won’t feel good enough so they can convince you that what you’re missing is the thing they are selling.
When we’re at our best, confident and fulfilled, we don’t seek external happiness- we’ve already got it.
During 2018 I took a journey of self discovery and healing- I came out stronger, wiser and happier as a result. At the tail end of this year and this journey, a good friend recommended the book A Life Less Throwaway by Tara Button. I downloaded the audio book (because I’m a working mama and this is my current preferred way to digest new information) and I devoured it.
The book explores how our culture has lost the art of buying items for life. The world is trying to convince us to spend our way to happiness- instead we’re more cluttered, unfulfilled and stressed than ever and so is our planet. Tara Button founded a company called BuyMeOnce and through her book teaches how we can champion long lasting, sustainable products while simultaneously healing our hearts and lives.
A Life Less Throwaway is the most life changing book I’ve read since The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (the book that jump started my minimalism and helped me heal after losing my dad in 2015). If you read one book this year, let it be A Life Less Throwaway.
In one portion of this book the author explores wardrobes and finding your true style. If you have a defined style, totally authentic to who you are, it will be impossible for brands to sell you something you don’t want. When you know yourself and your lifestyle well you know what belongs in your life, and what doesn’t.
I’ve had some version of a capsule wardrobe for nearly four years now but I’d never taken the time to define my authentic, timeless style. I’ll admit that I’ve spent 2018 getting to know myself so this was very much the right time to rediscover who I am at my core and how I want my clothing to reflect this. The universe sent this message of buying for life at just the right time.
I started with a Pinterest board. I deleted all of my previous “style” posts and boards and began fresh, blank, and new. I have always gravitated toward Audrey Hepburn and Parisian style. I was the first person in my high school to ever wear skinny jeans (humble brag) and I’ve wanted a short, Parisian pixie cut for as long as I can remember. As a little girl I loved Madeline, Matilda and Emily Dickinson (who was thought to only wear white)- I aspired to be classic and natural.
Throughout my youth the world told me to be different from who I truly wanted to be. It told me to have long hair and to look sexy. To wear Hollister and makeup and to be “desirable”. The world was wrong, is wrong. I know that now. It took me 27 years to come back to who I have always been. To rediscover the little girl that loved Audrey and Matilda and Emily.
Here you will see the style that I felt in my bones. An outward representation of who I am on the inside. After defining this for myself, I followed the KonMari method and took all of my clothing items out and put them in a pile. I touched each one and asked if it sparked joy, if it fit my true, authentic self I felt joy- if not I thanked it for teaching me something and let it go.
There were a few items over the next few weeks that I found didn’t quite fit so I let them go too. When all was said and done I was left with a less than twenty item winter capsule with about ten items in storage- and I’ve never felt more alive or more sure. Gone is the decision fatigue or the uncomfortable nature of wearing clothes that felt like a costume. In my current wardrobe, I have left what suits me, no one else- just me and my life.
My current winter wardrobe consists of: 4 long sleeve shirts, 2 sweaters, 1 t-shirt, 1 jean jacket, 1 winter coat, 2 pairs of blue jeans, 1 high waisted black pant, 1 cropped black jean with rips, 1 pair of “BuyMeOnce” boots, 1 pair of loafers, 1 pair of sneakers, 1 purse, 1 pair of Pixel eyewear, 1 necklace and 3 pairs of earrings.
Outside this capsule I have ten warmer weather items stored, a five item “professional” wardrobe for conferences, hiking boots, a ten item lounge capsule for relaxing and sleeping, one rain coat, and one warm coat for hiking and camping. That’s it, the only wearable items I own in this world- and I’ve never been happier.
In the future, as some of my current items wear out, I hope to replace them with similar style items that will last a lifetime- using the BuyMeOnce website as a guide.
If you’ve always wanted to start a capsule, find your style, or if you’re simply tired of consumerism and what it is doing to our world (and if you’re reading this blog I imagine you are) consider sitting down and rediscovering you.
“The world doesn’t have to like what you do. You have to like what you do.” Tara Button
More soon,
Bonnie Rae xx