Challenge Update: Week 8 part one

With the scalawags on vacation from school and an unexpected internet hiatus due to a change in operator, my usual schedule was upended this week. Nonetheless, it was a big week and it may take a few days to give an update…otherwise this might become a novel and not a blog post!

Buy Nothing/Don’t Covet:

In my effort to not give myself reason to covet, I have drastically cut my window shopping visits downtown. However, as last Saturday was Carnaval. I took my eldest scalawag into town in his Superman costume so he could show it off.

Downtown was packed with people.

It is amazing how in eight short weeks of intentional rupture with my fashion trend-watching obsession that I could be so distastefully astonished by the trends which are currently popular. I felt 1.) very old 2.) like I was lost in a sea of people cosplaying Miami Vice.

I felt old because, for the first time I can remember, beauty trends have gone in a direction that I am not even willing or able to attempt. For example, apparently it is no longer fashionable to part one’s hair on the side, but only in the middle. Or eyebrows are extremely dark and heavy, a trend to which my plucked-to-oblivion-in-the-nineties brows cannot hope to aspire. The complexion du jour is a caked-on contoured thing that probably looks great in pictures but left me wondering what the inside of their facemasks must look like.

I also noticed that the color palette of the moment is shades of camel. Like, that’s it. Dark camel, light camel, brown camel, caramel camel and everything-in-between-camel. (So maybe that is how they hide the traces all that foundation makeup must leave?) As an adult female whose mantra is “color is happiness,” this left me feeling oddly childish prancing around in a rainbow striped dress and daffodil yellow cardigan hand-in-hand with Superman.

My date for the afternoon

The Miami Vice-inspired tailoring (gold buttons, boxy shoulders) on the myriad shades of camel clothes reminded me of exactly why I spent most of my life making fun of shoulder pads. These young people, who all looked so serious with their perfectly contoured complexions, looked, in my humble opinion, rather foolish in the way they all looked exactly the same.

A fabulous black wrap sweater that I had all but forgotten about

Long story longer, I bought nothing this week and have never been more grateful to not need to keep up with trends.


I added four tops, all but one was a cardigan, to the Pantheon. I have started to dig into the less-loved, less-worn items which live deeper in the closet, discovering a few gems that I hope will make it into more regular rotation.

Go-To Catalogue:

I find that the warmer weather is infinitely easier to dress for and therefore I am in less need of inspiration.

Mise en Place/Plan Ahead:

My one and only weather-related harumph is that by evening, when I am setting out my clothes for the next day, it will be warm and I will forget that it will be pretty darn cold in the morning when I go to get dressed. So I forget to put out a cardigan. And given the impressive number of spring weight cardigans I own, this is a shame.

Thinking about what shoes I’ll wear with an outfit is still a gamechanger.

Repair and Mend, Alter when Necessary:

This is where I made my best progress this week. (Vive les vacances!) I’ll go into some detail tomorrow about one little alteration which has me tickled, but here is an overview:

I worked on that yellow cardigan with the green flounce and got it to a point which makes it lovable and wearable. (I actually wore it today and got compliments. That made me blush.)

There is one of the youngest scalawag’s stuffed animals whose leg had fallen off months ago, which I had no plan at all to fix. I even went so far as to hide it in my mending stash, telling him I had taken it to the “Stuffed Animal Hospital” every time he asked about it. I finally had a flash of genius as to how to fix Foxy the Squirrel, and ended up revamping him almost entirely using an old striped singleton sock.

Foxy the squirrel is home from the stuffed animal hospital

I felt like I won the lottery when I found, hanging on the back of my bedroom door, a thrifted spring jacket that I had worn quite exactly one time two years ago. It is such a pretty color and such a pretty shape., it seemed like it had everything. When I put it on, though, I remembered exactly why I only wore it once: the sleeves were miles too long and there was a weird belt thing flopped around. So I shortened the sleeves and figured out how to fix the weird belt thing and yay, still feel like I won the lottery. The only thing that could possibly improve this jacket would be a nice slippery lining, but we all know how I feel about projects like that once I get them started.

Weird belt thing that serves no purpose

Tomorrow we’ll get into some nitty gritty crafting…see you then!

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

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