Monday, January 22, 2018

Winter 10 x 10 Challenge

It's time for another 10x10 Challenge! The first one I joined in on last fall was super successful, and I was excited to see the chatter and build up online this past week. The #10x10friends community is very inspiring. The winter challenge technically started on Friday, but I was still on the fence about my 10th piece, so I didn't have this post ready to go. Until now!

What is a 10x10 Challenge?
The gal behind Style Bee created the 10x10 Challenge in 2015 while she was doing a "shopping fast". No shopping means you have to get creative with what you already have, and this challenge is just the tool to help you do that. I myself have made a goal to buy no new clothes this year, so I have a feeling that I will be jumping in feet first with whatever minimalist fashion challenge I can find!

The basic guidelines are as follows:
1. Choose 10 items from your current closet
2. Wear only these items for 10 days
3. Create 10 unique outfits from these 10 pieces!

My Challenge
I thrifted two sweaters after Christmas, and while one of them is becoming a fast favourite, the other one feels like an impulse purchase. By including both of them in the challenge this time around, I hope to really get comfortable with how they fit into my closet.

I am not including my exercise gear, outer wear, pajamas, jewelry, shoes, or other accessories in my 10 items.

The Pieces
Here are the items from my closet I have selected for this 10x10 challenge!

Top Left: Reversible Shawl/Vest - Value Village
Top Right: Black blazer - Value Village
Bottom Left: Grey cardigan - Joe Fresh via Value Village
Bottom Right: Army green tee - via Splurge

Top Left: Plaid tunic - Joe Fresh
Top Right: Off-white sweater - Value Village
Bottom Left: Pleather leggings - Joe Fresh
Bottom Right: Reversible Black/Print skirt - Joe Fresh

Top Right: Black denim - Jessica Simpson via Value Village with Unbelts belt in Cappuccino
Right: Midi length, navy blue sleeveless dress Value Village (vintage)

I will be posting my full outfits daily on my Instagram, and every few days on the blog. I am curious to see what I will learn this time, and which piece(s) & outfits will end up being my favourites. Or which ones end up being your favourites!

Not Ladylike - Fall 10x10 Challenge Second Half
Style Bee - 10x10 Challenge

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Blog Housekeeping

There are big things happening over here at Not Ladylike. This renewed focus on my blog is due in part to my One Little Word for the year, but it also directly relates to some baby steps I need to take now to make some of my 5 Year Plans a reality!

First things first, let's chat newsletter. Perhaps if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you saw my posts recently, advertising this new skill I want to learn. I have nothing to sell, and most of the newsletters I am familiar with (including one I have contributed to) are designed with "Call To Action" buttons, and the selling of products. So this might be a steep learning curve for me, figuring out what I have to offer in a newsletter.

So of course the first one had a recipe. Is that too cliche for words? I dunno. It seemed to work at the time!

First newsletter just went out yesterday and I am a little nervous, but mostly just excited. I personally know all of my subscribers, but that's so great! It almost takes some of the pressure off, because I know these people support me no matter what I do. That doesn't mean I don't want to impress them though, and offer something beneficial and interesting to their (probably) stuffed Inboxes.

Two whole people responded to it, which is two more than I anticipated.

You can sign up by clicking the link at the top of my blog header...or this link right here!


Thursday, January 18, 2018

One Little Word 2018 - Connect with Myself

"It's about pace and intention, the senses and the symbols. It's about the meaning we imbue into an object or an act rather than a script we inherit." - Courtney E. Martin

I became very interested in what I called "Daily Practices" last year, for my One Little Word (Action). I noticed early on in the year that when I pursued some habits, or daily activities, my mind was not only more focused on the task at hand, but I had more mental bandwidth for other things.

This year I wanted to be more purposeful with these "Daily Practices" and how I could turn them into rituals that would in turn allow me to connect more deeply with myself - my passions, hopes, fears, desires, feelings, and goals.

Some of the rituals I am exploring look more like how most people imagine a ritual to look. Burning sage, tarot cards, crystals, and a repeated mantra. I don't necessarily follow along with the mystical side of crystals and tarot, but I find that focusing on an item, repeating a simple phrase (example: "Today is going to be an awesome Thursday"), and practicing meditative breathing has huge benefits for my mental well being, and how I mentally prepare for a day or an event.

I have this little "altar" set up in my bedroom. Crystals purchased from a little gem store in Jasper, rocks and shells collected on a trip to the sea, glitter, baby teeth, and a little wood elephant that Lucas coloured as part of a school project when he was younger. And taped to my mirror are phrases that inspire, motivate, and empower me. My altar reflects things that are significant to me, and while there is always room for more items, I also don't want it to feel cluttered or full.

When I wake up early enough, I take a moment before I leave for work to meditate, speak an empowering phrase about what I want my day to look like, and read a Mary Oliver poem. It takes me about 5 minutes in total, and it is amazing how such a short period of focused time can be such a game changer.

Right now my only obstacle is my own ability to make time for these rituals, which is something I really struggled with last year as well. I don't believe in "work-life balance" or "how to have it all" when it comes to being a mom who works outside the home, but I do believe in being more intentional about how I spend my time and energy with my son and with the things that fuel me.

I would love to hear about your Daily Practices and Rituals!

The Moon Deck
20 Positive Affirmations
Jasper Rock & Jade
A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver

Monday, January 15, 2018

One Little Word 2017 - Action

"How we spend our days is how we spend our lives." - Annie Dillard

I am still finding and remembering moments from last year that really brought home my word to me. Moments that are filled with the lessons and victories that I found thanks to my word.

At the beginning of 2017 I started saving my wristbands whenever I went to a rec centre. I thought "wouldn't it be cool to use these as documentation of my year of Action?" There was no structure, process, or plan to go along with this. I simply found a little shoe box and a Sharpie, and started saving my wristbands instead of throwing them out.

I was going to count the amount of wristbands I saved, but then I realized that the actual amount isn't the important thing. This colourful box made me so happy to look back through. Even if I don't remember each run, swim, or workout, the dates and moments add up and show me how committed I was to my goals last year...and how I continue to re-commit everyday to showing up and slowly adding to my health story.

I stopped going to the public gym regularly once the gym at my office opened in the summer. And we don't get wristbands there ;-)

This was an incredibly positive exercise, a simple activity with a big impact at the end of the year. I am going to start look for other easy opportunities to celebrate my victories as I pursue my word for 2018.


Saturday, January 13, 2018

One Little Word 2018 - Connect

Image shows a road running through a quiet neighbourhood. There is snow on the ground, and the golden winter sun is shining on a yellow house and a green house in the background and large trees lining the street with the shadows of two people walking.

My One Little Word for 2018 is Connect.

This word came to me on a wintery run last month. And even when I started second-guessing myself, I also knew that it was the right word for me at this time of my life. This is the one time of year that I really use Pinterest, and I have started a Connect 2018 board there. It's mostly quotes at this point, as that is an early exercise I like to get under my belt when preparing for the year, and getting some inspiration for a word. And then fleshing out, or figuring out, how my word is going to help me explore and guide me over this next year.

  1. Instagram using the hashtag #olwconnect2018
  2. Handmade 4x18 Art Journal
  3. My blog
I have decided not to participate in Ali Edwards' OLW Workshop. I completed it last year, and I definitely recommend it if you are picking a word for the first time and need a little extra push to make your word visible in your life. Or if you are a seasoned veteran with choosing a word, but want a little more accountability.  #notanad

I will go into this more when I post the start of my OLW 2018 Album, but I wanted to share a bit about how I hope my word will shape my year, and what I want to invite as I explore CONNECT.

Connect with my Heart // This looks like Rituals, Meditation, Yoga, Stillness, Vulnerability, Art, Big Beautiful Self Talk

Connect with Nature // This looks like Camping, Bird Watching, Ravine Exploring, Bike Riding, Laying in the Grass

Connect with my Community // This looks like Blogging, Meeting my Neighbours, Volunteering, Teaching Art

Connect with my People // This looks like All Manner of Dates, Hosting Games Night, Writing Letters & Emails, Getting OFF Facebook and ON to more couches

And as always, I want to invite MORE into my life.

More rituals. More candles. More beach. More mountains. More hugs. More laughter. More of less.

Yes, we are only a few weeks into the new year, and I have already learned something about my word/thanks to my word. Honestly, that's how I know it's a good word.

I have learned that connection is sometimes hard and messy, and it may not go the way you planned. But like any goal, all the baby steps count, even if you feel they are taking you backwards.

Honesty 2014 // Simplify 2015 // Time 2016 // Action 2017