What has just arrived in my mail slot? The InStyle Fall Fashion Guide. Thank goodness, now I know what to buy for fall. I love poring through this magazine, page by page-especially the style section. While most of the shopping is completely beyond my bank account, I can always take their looks and make them my own on my shoestring budget. This magazine is not for wimps, it is approximately 638 pages, taking me usually days from cover to cover. Which is what makes it so great. I save all of the pages from the Instant Style section. I have since 2003. When I can’t figure out what to wear, open up my Instant Style pages and there I’ve got it! When you need to pack for a long vacation, find your pages and you’re set. With categories like “Dinner and Dancing,” “Date Night” and “Day at the Beach,” you will always find what is appropriate for your event. Do I always plan out what to wear every morning? No. Do I have days where I’m not happy with what I have on. Absolutely. But this magazine really helps. Now, let’s see if I have the composure to resist opening until after picking up the kids from school. Nope! Bye!

This is different for me than it is for most people, but the high point of my week is church! As a stay-at-home mom there aren’t many opportunities for me to get out and about (especially in the winter) without spending a lot of money (especially on gas). So I look forward to church, seeing people who care about me and I love to pick out what I’m going to wear. I still have so many work outfits from when I was actually paid to do something for a living that it is nice to have a place to wear them.

Here it is, my biggest beef about church apparel today…no one dresses up! I understand that most people have to wear something nice five days a week to their job and many would point fingers at what I do and say, “Oh, it must be nice to live in jeans and a t-shirt.” But I don’t live in jeans and a t-shirt because what I present to the world says something about how I feel about myself. I have a serious problem with said people that wear their best clothes to church and dress like a street person to church. What does that say to the Lord? I’m not suggesting that you need to wear a ball gown for church on Sunday. And I’m also not suggesting that in order for you to attend church, you can’t be a street person. I’m just saying, out of respect, dress appropriately. For me that means dresses (yes, even in winter) and skirts on communion Sunday and pants when not. In the summer, I wear skirts and dresses almost every Sunday for the simple reason is that it is nice out.

Maybe I sound like a grandma saying this. And I don’t want ANYONE to not attend church because they can’t afford nice clothing. Half of my wardrobe comes from the Goodwill anyway, so I don’t buy that people can’t afford something nice. God doesn’t care what you look like, but YOU should care what you look like to worship God. Would you wear shorts and flip-flops to your grandpa’s funeral? No. So don’t come to church in them.



Well, it is official. My closet is so stuffed, I can barely find a thing in it. That means it is the semi-annual event in my house referred to as “donation station.” I must organize, edit and tidy my clothes so they all get a chance to be worn. Here are some helpful hints on how to accomplish this quickly.

1) I organize my closet by pants on bottom, shirts on top. Some people organize by outfits together but I find that limits your creativity. You don’t always have to wear that suit together, break up the pieces! Therefore, when you begin, do a pass through for anything you do not wear anymore, has something wrong with it (stains, holes, worn), or doesn’t fit and pull it out.

2) Second time through, I match each piece with something, starting with tops. If there are bottoms or tops that do not have something to go with them, pull them out too, but place in a different pile.

3) Step three may involve more trying on than the above steps, but start looking at the loner items carefully. Are they really loners? Or are you just not thinking the pieces through? Maybe that printed skirt can be matched with a printed top, if the prints go together.

4) With the remaining loner pieces, now write a list to keep in your purse when you are out shopping (note-not setting out to find these pieces, just having them with you when you are browsing) of the pieces that you think you might need to create an outfit with the loner piece. If you can’t even think of what should be worn with it, then perhaps it should also be in the donate pile.

5) Compile the donation station items, bag and place in the car for your next trip so they can be donated shortly.

Now enjoy your clutter free and managable closet!

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