Challenge Update: Week 23

Challenge Rule 1: Buy No Clothes/Don’t Covet

Had I not stepped out to the store yesterday afternoon, I could have said that I skated right through this week.

But lo and behold, I needed thumbtacks. Yes, yes, I know, in theory thumbtacks have zero relationship to a vow to buy no clothes in 2021. And yet…my quest for thumbtacks took me to this cute little store where I like to get my office supplies, a little place that feels like a tiny little European-sized Target called Hema. They have a little bit of everything and everything is too cute for words.

I said it is like Target, and it is, but it has two floors because, you know. Europe. Upstairs is where the housewares and toys and craft supplies and clothes are. I wanted to get some color paper for the little scalawags, who have been crafting like maniacs lately. So I ventured upstairs.

Obviously, it had been months since I went into Hema, so I found myself ambling through the upstairs, ogling everything in the store. And I ended up in front of the undergarments section. I stood there for a loooooong time. I even pawed through a few things, since this is where my very favorites come from (I had to ditch two pairs in the last week because some things are not meant to be repaired six times.)

But no. No. No. I resisted, even to the point of having the items in my hand.

And honestly, there is nothing that feels more powerful than walking away from an impulse purchase I very nearly made.

Challenge Rule 2: The Inventory

This week I started thinking about how I would engineer my summer (as you may know!) and I got to thinking about my CPW (cost per wear), thanks to Alla, one of the fantastic people I follow on Insta. We were chatting about the geeky nerdy ways we track these things, and I of course got the nerdy geeky idea that we needed an app for this.

Of course it is a fabulous idea, but I know that it took me a year to do my inventory from start to finish. The hardest part of the inventory is not the tracking the CPW on new things, it is the entering the old items. It just takes time and is definitely less satisfying than seeing bags of items ready to be discarded: there is no immediate reward for doing it. Unless someone is hellbent on change with an extra dose of sticktoitiveness, then the app wouldn’t serve any purpose.

At any rate, one of my ideas for engineering my summer is to get all my summer dresses down below 1€ per wear (yes, even that green one that falls apart every time I touch it.) This would mean putting aside all my amazing refashions until my fabulous rainbow dress, yellow lace dress and two green wrap dresses are down to less than 1€ per wear. It’s an idea I need to think through: are there enough days in the summer to get me there?

When you think about it, that is four dresses. Would anyone notice if I cycled through the same four dresses all summer? Probably not. Add in my absolutely amazing black dress from Popeye and Poppy Fields, I might just have my summer cut out for me!

Challenge Rule 3: Go-To Catalogue:

If I make this thing happen with my dresses, then I will definitely have some summer go-to ideas!

Challenge Rule 4: Mise en Place/Plan Ahead:

How fun is it to see things I love waiting for me in the morning? It is beyond motivating.

Challenge Rule 5: Repair and Mend, Alter when Necessary:

I mended socks and underwear this week. Honestly, I am going to be so happy to have new socks and underwear when this is over.


With summer on the horizon, I have a real opportunity to be intentional about getting my CPW down. As geeky as it sounds, this is really motivating for me. As I consider how I am going to engineer my summer, finding these little goals to help me move forward, which will require nothing more from me than to get dressed feels like a win.

In Other News:

I got my first dose of the vaccine on Thursday! Yay me!! It’s so exciting to think that we might be on the other side of this thing…that my scalawags might get to see their Aunt Poppy this year!!!

Dates have been set for the boys to hit the road with their indulgent father so that I can stay home and record my podcast. Little by little I am starting to play more seriously with ideas and themes for the five episodes I want to record and release in September.

Speaking of which: if there are any specific topics we’ve hit on here in the blog that you think would make for an interesting podcast episode, I am all ears!

My podcast was feeling a little less top-of-mind in the last few months, but the fact that I finished reading the McElroy’s book last week and this week we set our dates for my recording sessions brought it back to the forefront. Needless to say, the podcasting royalty crown that I seek is back in my sites!

Thank you to everyone who reached out this week! I am so honored to be a tiny part of your journey towards contentment.

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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