New year, new gear

With every new year comes new hope, goals, challenges, and achievements.  With 2014 ending in a roller coaster, I will be happy to coast for awhile.  I miss this blog and my time to focus on what I love – ingenuity.  While I will continue to work on repurposing unwanted wardrobe pieces, Sew Purposeful is meant for discovering, exploring, reflecting, and learning about my own purpose as well.

These Christmas gifts from my husband are very appropriate for this…

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I have been wanting a solid, textbook-style overview of the fashion business industry.  I am hopeful that after my husband’s research, this will give me a great introduction.

The music box was instant tears.  I have been wanting one for years and loved that he selected one that was not only beautifully crafted, but decorated by one of my favorite artists, Edgar Degas.  Dance is something that will always be near and dear to my heart.  No matter where I am or what I do in my life, if I put on a pair of ballet slippers I go into a zone that I wish to stay in as long as possible.

One-of-a-kind knitting needles hand-carved from a single piece of wood are the most fitting gift I could ever imagine.  They are not only practical in the sense that I am incredibly anxious to, literally, try my hand at knitting with needles instead of my arms, but they also represent a new opportunity.  Beginning this month, I will be interning with DeNada Design, an accessory line of handmade Peruvian-inspired knits by the incredibly talented Virginia Arrisueno!

I feel very humbled that I was selected to be a part of something so special and look forward to growing personally and professionally from this experience.

Here’s to 2015…may it be the best year yet for finding purpose, beauty, and inspiration in all that surrounds me.  Happy New Year!

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Eat like a minimalist

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I remember the days when 90 calorie packs, Light & Fit yogurt, and Special K cereal were considered my “healthy” eating.  Why have 2000+ calories when you can have 1200 or less without sacrificing taste??

NOT. Even. Close.

Ugh.  Few things frustrate me more than the hypocrisy of healthy (sh*t) eating in America.  I bought into the craze for years thinking I was the boss-hoss at picking lighter foods and preparing easy, “diet” meals.  The ironic thing is I was 3 sizes bigger (pre-baby) than I am today and full of “food-like” chemicals.

Last year, my husband and I joined a very INTENSE nutrition challenge through our gym that required us to eat clean, 100% Paleo (minus natural sugars).  Holy f-ing cow.  I didn’t think I was going to make it a whole hour, but I ended up making it for 21 days straight without one slip-up.  I was incredibly proud.

While I couldn’t sustain that level of commitment to Paleo (we still consume dairy and are gluten-reduced), I did decide that my family and I needed to eat clean.  It became a non-negotiable in our budget and in our general life priorities.  The key is quite minimalist in nature.  I look for products with fewer ingredients that I recognize/can pronounce, free of processed sugars, and are the highest quality I can afford.  Since clean eating often requires more prep, I try to select recipes that have fewer ingredients to balance the time.  I like recipes that focus on the natural flavors of the food as much as possible any way.  (I made a roast last night that only required onion, garlic, a bay leaf, salt & pepper.  It was SO damn good.)

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I’m not perfect (80% of the time I do it, every time), but who wants to be perfect when there’s a Dairy Queen across the street?  (I’ll get my soft serve with crunch-coat and eat it with a smile.)  I used to scoff at bacon and eggs while I mowed through my boxed cereal.  Now bacon and eggs are a staple in our house in addition to full-fat dairy products.  I don’t portion my food and for the most part, eat guilt (and chemical) free.  Boom.

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Happy (Belated) Halloween

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays growing up.  Part of this was due to my birthday falling 4 days before, but the other is the opportunity for imagination and creativity to manifest itself in the form of a costume.  This year I was proud to go as the mom of the world’s most adorable chick!

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This sweet face stole a lot of hearts and, by default, a lot of candy.  Hope your Halloween was magical!

Our story

Before starting any new venture it is crucial to reflect on where you have been that got you to the place where you are now. I don’t know if I ever really had a defined style for the majority of my life. I took a Fashion & Clothing class in high school, loved it, and went on to an independent study.  As college approached, I considered Fashion Merchandising as a major, but opted for Elementary Education instead. Fashion wasn’t really in the forefront of my mind as I meandered my way through college in tshirts, jeans, and partying essentials from Deb Shop.

Adulthood soon enveloped me and I traded in my pleather pants for kahkis and my puffy coats for cardigans as I began my first few years of teaching. A major life change occurred for me at 25 and, along with it, a newly budding relationship with my inner and outer definition. I ditched my teacher-y duds for heels and trendier career pants. I flirted a bit with accessories, color blocking, and unique pairings. One day at work I happened to have on a particularly against-the-teacher-grain outfit and a parent called me the “Sarah Jessica Parker” of the school. While I wouldn’t attempt most of SJP’s fashion choices, I have to admit…I kind of liked it.

Marriage and a baby later, my style interest began to shift into minimalism and functionality. I wanted higher fashion without clutter and looking like I was trying too hard. I absolutely loved Lauren Conrad and used her Style book as a guide. Shortly thereafter, the “Great Purge” began and I said good-bye to 90% of my wardrobe.

I decided to leave teaching this past June after nearly 10 good years to be a stay-at-home-mama to my two-year-old daughter and focus on entrepreneurial endeavors. I started a tutoring business to help supplement our family income which has been a beautiful thing, but I realized something was missing in my life (along with my closet). Enthusiasm. There was a brief period years ago where I kept a personal blog.  I remember losing myself in writing and thinking about it all day and racing home to work on a new post.  That feeling did wonders for my soul.  I almost forgot that feeling between my career, family, and mommyhood.  I have been telling my sister for years that she should go into fashion.  I talked up how much fun it sounded and how I had thought about it at one point.  And then I thought, why not me?  Why not now?  I may not be 22, but 32 isn’t exactly ancient (unless you are asking a 5 year old…even though most often they thought I was 17…which was a major bonus to my profession).

My wardrobe reflects how I have been feeling about myself – just okay and slightly boring at times. I’m a true advocate for finding happiness and beauty in who you are and what you have, so that’s what I’m doing for my wardrobe and for me. It is the perfect platform to help me resurface an old passion while exploring new interests.  I’m ready.