My Struggles with Minimalism Pt. 2

Lifestyle, Minimalism, simplicity, Uncategorized

As some of you know, I have struggled with minimalism in the past. For those who don’t know, long story short…I wanted to be a “good” minimalist with no mistakes. I constantly saw YouTubers and bloggers showing off their minimal lives and quickly realized that my minimalism was a bit different than theirs. Eventually, I realized that there is no one-way to be a minimalist…there is no one-way to do most things in life actually.

Minimalism became really popular and trendy in the last few years. Like most things people took this way of living and ran with it. Today, almost every minimalist video is about “Things I Don’t Buy Anymore” or “My 20 Item life.” While I think those videos are interesting and fun to watch they can be a bit extreme especially for someone who is only prospective about minimalism.

fullsizerender-1When I decided to take on the minimalist life, I got really stuck on decluttering and stayed in the mind set for a long time. I became so obsessed with purging and getting rid of everything I owned. Before I took my decluttering process too far, I stopped and really thought about everything I was throwing away before I actually threw it away.

I think we get stuck in this thought that we shouldn’t own that many things because things are making us unhappy. But what fullsizerender-2happens when you’re still focused on the things you own but in the reverse? Suppose I paired down all of my things to 100 items and still wasn’t happy? Do I keep going and pair it down to 50? 25? After awhile, purging items becomes your new lifestyle and not minimalism.

Now when I watch those videos of people who don’t buy anything or don’t wear makeup I think to myself “well that is good for them and I’m happy that that is working for them.”

I had to stop thinking that I was a “bad minimalist” because I owned more than 100 items. I had to learn that owning things isn’t bad – what’s bad is owning things we don’t even want or need. Sometimes you have to ask yourself do I need that ______ and do I even want it? If yes, then it won’t make you any less of a minimalfullsizerenderist.

Maybe minimalism isn’t actually anti-materialism but anti over consumption. Technically you’re still materialistic if you’re on a journey to getting rid of 365 items this year.

I’m sure some would say that I’m not actually a minimalist because I own over five skin care products and have a growing collection of shot glasses. That’s alright though because as far as labels go I prefer simple living anyway.

Thanks for Reading

ChelsiKay

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The Effects of Mindfulness

Lifestyle, simplicity

The other night my debit card got double charged and someone skimmed my information. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t freak out at all. Of course, I thought it was a little odd that I live all the way in the D.C. area and somebody tried to use my card all the way in Indianapolis…at a train station. I also thought that it was quite stupid for someone to do that, especially because my bank pretty much notifies me of any strange activity. In fact, I’m pretty sure most banks do this now so isn’t it kind of a waste of time? As I’m typing this, I’m glancing over at my new debit card that arrived in the mail about 20 minutes ago.

Something that I’ve learned about being more mindful is that I shouldn’t worry about the little things as much. Anything that can be replaced or only negatively affects me for a short amount of time are things I SHOULDN’T get my panties in a bunch about.

Mindfulness has really changed the way that I view the world and has also positively changed my life. I think the best effect I have experienced is that I don’t spend nearly as much money on things that I actually don’t want. How many times have you been in a store ready to pay and was instantly enticed by all of the little items they sell near the register? We have a way of convincing ourselves that we need or want something that we actually don’t.

Mindfulness also got me to really pay attention to my fashion pieces. I’ve had a capsule wardrobe for two years now and I’m even more into capsules than I was when I first began. As most of you know, I’m doing a Slow Fashion Challenge. I’m not even two months into the challenge and I’ve never felt so happy about the great quality clothing that I have purchased recently. If I were into calculating cost-per-wear then I think some of my items have already been worth the price.

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I was pretty much forced into being mindful about my food choices due to my gluten allergy. Don’t get me wrong, I still eat way too much junk food but I am definitely still working on that…potatoes are way too versatile and way too tasty for their own good. Last year, I got in the habit of preparing and cooking my own food and that has helped so so much!

I just wanted to come on and talk about how mindfulness has affected my life since I haven’t really talked about it in so long. Thanks for reading as usual!
ChelsiKay

Spotlight: Herbivore Botanicals Skincare

Beauty, Lifestyle, Natural, skincare

So can we talk about how obsessed I am with the Herbivore Botanicals skincare line? I have never in my life purchased a whole skincare line before. One day I was in Urban Outfitters buying their Pink Clay bar soap and the next day (more like a month) I found myself rolling the turquoise Lapis oil onto my fingers to apply to my face.

I’ve fallen into this great skincare routine where I use at least one Herbivore Botanicals product whether it is the Lapis Oil ($72) or the balancing toning elixir spray. I did a review of the Lapis Balancing Facial Oil a few weeks ago and even upgraded to the big daddy bottle. I’m hoping the oil lasts me for a few months considering how huge it is!

herbivore-2I never got around to reviewing the Balancing Toning Elixir spray ($12), but it goes on great after cleansing or doing a mask and smells divine like everything else I’ve used in the Herbivore Botanicals line. I’ve never been able to use toners without getting small little irritation bumps all over my face and for some reason, this one works fine. Also, the toning elixir spray is alcohol-free! I haven’t seen the balancing elixir on their website, but I know for sure they sell it in Urban Outfitters. The website does have other face mists that are available if you’d rather purchase directly from them.

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The Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask ($48) is one of the best masks I have ever used. I read a few blog posts and reviews that claimed the ingredients on the packaging didn’t match up with the ingredients on the website, but apparently that problem has since been fixed. Please correct me if I’m wrong. There will be a full review of the Blue Tansy Mask along with before and after pictures very soon.

I think that the Herbivore Botanicals line is great for someone with acne prone skin (both hormonal + cystic) who is looking for some relief. Remember it’s still imperative to take care of the inside of your body so that it reflects on the outside. So don’t forget to eat as healthy as possible and drink plenty of water!

Come back Thursday for another ChelsiKay blog post. 🙂

 

ChelsiKay

Winter Slow Fashion Purchases

Fashion, Slow Fashion, style

This slow fashion journey has really been going well for me. I’m not shopping mindlessly anymore. In fact, I’m about to sew up my own little black dress to wear well…all the time. I’ve been looking for a specific style and for some reason, I can’t find it. Luckily I know how to sew on a sewing machine!

Anywho, I did buy some clothing items over the last two months to pretty much get in the habit of buying slow fashion items. Of course, I didn’t buy a whole bunch of clothing because that would be pretty expensive and defeat the purpose of my curated capsule wardrobe.

So, now I’m going to show you all the items that I’ve gotten over the past two months. Some items you have seen and some you have not! Let’s get to it!

Before I start I just want to apologize for the way some of these photos are taken. I really wanted to capture the items without having to actually put them on. If you blog, then you know the struggle of taking pictures of yourself…even with a shutter release. After reviewing the photos, I thought it would be a good idea to get a mannequin so I can show my clothes in a better-looking way. Also, it fits the aesthetic in my room so that is definitely a plus. Look out for that in the next few weeks.

I’m sure most of you have heard of Everlane if you’re interested in sustainable and ethical fashion. I purchased two t-shirts – one long sleeve and one short sleeve. The long sleeve one is made out of Pima cotton and the short sleeve is made out of 100% cotton. I wore the long sleeve already and I’m pretty sure I like it so far. Of course, I tried on the short sleeve and I really like where it stops – right above my hips. I’ll be sure to showcase these two in another blog post.IMG_2869.jpg

You guys already know about my love for cashmere…just read I’m So Wild About Cashmere and you’ll know for sure. I’m wearing the sweater as I type this post and is probably my favorite piece out of all of the items I have purchased.

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I just had to get another pair of winter leggings. They’re so comfortable, thick and so on sale that I couldn’t resist. I’m pretty sure American Apparel will be going out of business soon so I will be taking advantage of that if they are.

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Ahh, my oversized sweater-coat! I have fallen in love with this coat over and over again. Every time I put it on, I feel so fabulous and fashionable. I initially had conflicting feelings about it, but now I think it is a must have staple in everyone’s closet. Read my post about How to Rock a Sweater-Coat.img_2727

 

I’m pretty sure you all have seen this Madewell lace-up cropped sweater before. This was probably the only impulse purchase that I made since fully switching to slow fashion. I have to say that I haven’t worn it that much and I think that is because it hasn’t been that cold lately. This sweater is so thick it literally (yes literally) makes me sweat if it isn’t cold enough.img_2859

Last but not least, my South Moon Under purchase. On Christmas, I received a gift card from my parents. I saw this gorgeous bag in the store when I went in one day and had to have it! I was so excited when I got the gift card knowing that I was going to then purchase this bag when I got the chance. When I went online to purchase it, the whole store was having a 50% off sale. Oh, what luck! Now the bag is mine and I shall wear it on my nights out to make the ultimate statement!

That’s all of my slow fashion purchases you guys. I think I’m done shopping for winter since I have all of my essentials now. It may even be time to move on to some spring purchases. Thanks for reading as always!

ChelsiKay

 

Is Luxury Foundation Worth It?

Beauty, skincare

The answer? Yes and no. I can’t say that I’m a connoisseur of foundations simply because I haven’t tried them all. However, I have tried quite a lot of them. At one point in my life, I lived in Sephora – in fact, I once had about 3,000+ points on my VIB card. In my defense, I shopped there for my mom, my friends, and myself. If I got an eyeshadow palette, I got my mom something as well. This is just a habit that I picked up whenever I knew she would want something that she hadn’t gotten around to getting. Also, gifts!

Anyway, recently, I got my hands onto some Tom Ford Tracimg_2827eless Foundation. You’re probably about to Google the foundation to see how expensive it is and click off of this post in disbelief. Before you do, the Tom Ford Traceless Foundation is $82…

First of all, I got lucky enough to get this foundation for free because it was passed down to me due to it being too light for the previous person. Lucky indeed. Although, the person only paid $55 for it because they went to the outlet to purchase it.

Now to answer the question of if it’s worth it. YES! ABSOLUTELY! Words can’t describe what exactly this foundation does. It’s almost as if it’s already oxidized and goes through some other magical chemical process to match your skin tone. It stays on all day and doesn’t transfer at ALL! I almost kind of hate that I like it
so much.

img_2830Okay so you’re not near an outlet to purchase this half off and you’re definitely not paying full price anytime soon. Of course, I have another brand that’s also worth it. The Givenchy Photo’perfexion Fluid Foundation retails at about $50 and is also worth the money. I like to use this one when I am filming my videos because it registers so well on camera. I’ve also had good luck with Dior BB Cream ($45) and Diorskin Nude Skin Glowing Makeup ($50.)

However, there are plenty of foundations out there that are cheaper that work just as well as any luxury brand. In fact, I tend to reach for mid-range brands all the time because of their practicality (squeeze tubes v. pumps) and affordable price. The one thing mid-range and even drugstore brands can’t seem to get right is the sunscreen in the foundation. All of them oxidize into this strange funny color overtime. This is one of the main reasons for purchasing luxury foundation brands – that and the fact that they actually last a good three months.

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So, if you’re looking for a luxury foundation and want to see if it’s worth it then get a sample first and try them all out. As some of you know, I’m willing to pay more for what goes on my skin – even foundations. Why on Earth would I splurge on my skincare but not my foundation?

The reasoning behind my  “no” is that luxury brands have their issues too. Their range of colors lacks…well, colors a lot of the times. Some brands even make you break out which is more of an individual’s problem. Sometimes the application is just horrible. We’ve all purchased a foundation that just wouldn’t blend correctly no matter what tool you used. So no sometimes that $60+ foundation really isn’t worth it. A better answer would be that it depends on the foundation of course!

Now I’m not saying go out and splurge on a foundation but definitely look into them. They can be really awesome. Plus it’s okay to have nice things…especially things that go on your face. Hopefully, if you’re anything like me you have a more reasonably priced foundation to fall back on…or not!

As always, thanks for reading!

 

ChelsiKay

How to Rock an Oversized Sweater-Coat

Fashion, Slow Fashion, style, Uncategorized

Yesterday was super windy and it was also 60 degrees! I thought it would be a good time to wear my Madewell sweater coat to test it out. Initially, I wasn’t sure how to wear this coat. Does it look okay with a dress or jeans and long sleeve t-shirt? Every time I put it on, I feel like it looks like I’m wearing a robe so I wanted to make sure it didn’t look that way when I went out in public.

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I went with jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt – very basic, but I didn’t want anything to clash.

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So, I fell in love after seeing the pictures that my mother took. If you read my Refining Your Style post, one of my tips is that you should take pictures of your outfits to make sure they flatter your body.

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Even though this sweater coat is oversized, it does in fact, flatter pretty well.

img_2744When I said it was super windy, I mean it was REALLY windy.

This was my first real fashion post and I have to say that I really enjoyed doing this. I may do this every now and again to show some of my slow fashion pieces! I hope you all enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed sharing.
ChelsiKay

Sweater Coat – Madewell

Sneakers – Zara

Jeans – Lucky Brand

Sunglasses – Nasty Gal

Underwear Should be Comfortable

Fashion, Lifestyle, simplicity, style

I absolutely hate thongs. Wow, what a way to start off a blog post right? In high school, I remember my friends convincing me that I should wear thongs because other underwear were ugly and uncomfortable. Most of the time I was a pretty independent person, but when it came to certain things I was an impressionable teenager. Of course, I started to wear thongs not to look cool, but because I really thought a thong would be more comfortable.

Now, all grown up-ish and definitely less impressionable I would rather go without underwear than wear a thong any day! Just a few years ago, at 20, I would get the softest of thongs (mainly when I went out dancing) and still would feel uncomfortable. It’s crazy to think of how much has changed in just a few short years. Now I don’t even buy lacy, sexy panties let alone low-rise hipster boy shorts that do nothing but give you a wedgie.

You guys already know that I’m all about comfort and refuse to sacrifice it for style. There are so many ways to be comfortable and stylish at the same damn time…but that’s for another post.

I needed new underwear and I’ve needed new underwear for a while now. Next to shopping for jeans, underwear might be the most difficult garment to shop for. Why is there so much decoration and lace and giant seams that cut into your skin? Yeah, I’m looking at you Victoria Secret! Don’t get me wrong, I own VS and PINK underwear that have worked fine, but it’s definitely a process to find the super comfortable ones that are at least cute and aren’t some fluorescent loud color.
I’m sure you’ve noticed I said “needed” underwear and not need, so you know that I found some finally. Guess where….or should I say guess who? Calvin Klein of course. The only reason I avoided any name brand undies before is because everything always comes sold individually and it can easily be $20 for just one pair of undies. It’s not like undies are like a pair of jeans or leggings that you can wear four days in a row withimg_2617out washing. Eww.

Of course, I could have gone to Target or Walmart and gotten some Fruit of the Loom underwear, but even those somehow fit two sizes too big and always bunch up under clothing. Anyway, back to the Calvin Klein panties. They had a three pack of bikini cut for $30 at Macy’s. Of course, Macy’s was having a sale so they ended up only costing $17. Guess who purchased that three pack and ended up getting another pack a couple of days later? ME!

img_2618The Calvin Klein panties are pretty much everything I was looking for. They are comfortable, they fit well, and the seams don’t cut into my lady skin. I don’t even care about their giant Calvin Klein logo for the waistband because even that is comfy.

It’s about time that there is some simple yet cute underwear that women can buy again without breaking the bank. I know you are probably only seeing two pairs in the picture, but of course, I’m currently wearing a pair!

This whole post sounds a whole lot like a review, but really I’m just so happy to finally find undies that are comfortable that don’t lead to wedgies. If I wouldn’t have purchased these, I was seriously about to sew up my own pair which wouldn’t have been a bad idea. Hey, I still might make my own bras and panties… who knows?

Thanks for reading as usual!

ChelsiKay

Refining Your Personal Style

Fashion, Lifestyle, simplicity

I’ll never forget the day I figured out my personal style. I found this cute floral and mesh corset that flattered my figure perfectly. I paired it with some leggings and my favorite faux leather moto jacket. I was comfortable – no tugging or adjusting. I felt like myself. It was the first time I had worn something like that and it was also the first time I was wearing my hair un-straightened. Needless to fullsizerendersay, I may have turned a few heads that night. From then on, I wouldn’t be caught dead without wearing black and leather jackets.

I’ve read dozens of articles and blog posts about how to find your personal style since I was in middle school. Every single one says that you should find a style icon that you like and someone who has a similar body shape to you. Of course, I agree with this and am all for it. I have to say, though, that doesn’t work out quite how you want it to sometimes. Last year, I wanted to change up my style and thought I could pull of Kendall Jenner’s casual street style. Plot twist…I actually did pull it off! However, I didn’t feel comfortable and was constantly tugging and adjusting my clothes. The whole low-rise jeans and t-shirts that hit just below my waist didn’t feel right and also seemed unfinished.

My rules for finding or refining your personal style are a little different. I do think it is important to have a person of inspiration, but trying to recreate someone else’s style is a different story. One rule and really only rule that I have always lived by and will continue to live by is to dress comfortably. Many people confuse dressing comfortably with throwing on sweats and sneakers and calling it a day. While that look can be cute, would you really want to wear that every single day? What I mean by dress comfortably is:

Wear what you like

Wear what fits

Wear what flatters

Wear what you likefringe-inspo-5-710x1024

We have all gotten caught up in trends. We see a trend on the runway or in stores and we often think we like it so much that it’ll look good on us. We also don’t really like having something that is out of season, because magazines and other medias. Have you seen those videos that say “Trends that need to die (or stay) in 2016” all over YouTube? Yeah, those come out every year like clockwork and make you feel bad for still wearing fringe or hi-low hems. Well if you followed a trend that you liked and looked good on you last year, then keep wearing it! Don’t let a magazine or Youtuber tell you that you should abandon something that you like. The cool thing about all trends is that they always end up being refined or popping up again six months later.

 

Wear what fits

Please don’t squeeze into a smaller size when you’re a bigger size. Who cares about the number, especially with sizes being all over the place at different stores? Also, avoid too big or baggy clothing. I always bought my shirts a little bit bigger because I liked to hide my hands in my sleeves. Well, that look works with sweaters and hoodies but not regular long sleeve t-shirts. Let me just say that that was not a good look at all.

 

Wear what flatters

This goes hand in hand with wearing what fits. Sometimes there’s that one thing in your closet that just flatters your body perfectly and you’ve probably worn it moNumbuh_Three.jpgre times than you can count. I really liked the way boxy t-shirt dresses felt on me, but I never realized how they did not at all flatter me until I saw a picture of myself. If you’re thin and long like me definitely don’t wear clothes that might swallow you up and make you look like you’re wearing your mom’s clothes from back in the day. Have someone take a picture in an outfit that you like to see if it flatters you or not. If so, keep it and if not, refine the outfit or toss it.

 

I know my rule conflicts a bit with my sub-rules, but ultimately, dress however you want! I just believe that all of these three sub-rules aligning with each other saves money and saves you from having a style disaster.

Maybe you follow trends and dress in the latest and greatest or maybe you’re an old soul who dresses in only vintage clothing. Whatever your style is, always make sure that it is refined, curated and comfortable. This ensures that you will always look your best without even trying.

ChelsiKay

Herbivore Botanicals Lapis Oil Review

Beauty, Natural, simplicity, skincare

I’ve been talking quite a bit about slow fashion lately, so I thought I would switch gears and go back to skincare.

During Blogmas I had a bout of blogging burnout from posting every single day and wrote about some Herbivore Botanicals products I purchased from Urban Outfitters. I said that I wanted to try the Lapis Oil that gets great reviews and has some of the best photos on Instagram. A few days after I wrote the post I bought the Lapis Oil rollerball from the Herbivore website to test it out.

You know how you just know that you’re going to love something even before you use it or try it. Well, that is exactly how this product turned out to be. I was extremely excited when it finally arrived in the mail.

I know you’re thinking…”ChelsiKay don’t you have combo/oily acne prone skin? Why would you put an oil on oily skin?” Well, it turns out that oils are actually really good for your skin as long as they are noncomedogenic aka non-pore clogging. I even oil cleanse with argan oil, hemp seed oil, and sea buckthorn oil every night to remove my makeup. Oil cleansing and moisturizing with oil has improved my combo/oily skin and combated most of my acne.

So now for the review:

I ordered the travel sized roller ball to test out how well this oil actually worked. The rollerball retails at $26 and the 1.7-ounce container retails at $72. I know…who in their right mind would spend $80 (after tax) on an oil? Well when you have less than decent skin, you’d do a lot to get a clear complexion. In fact, I just purchased the full sized container right before I started writing this post. Yea, I live on the wild side.

My rollerball came packaged nicely with paper worms in a cardboard box labeled Herbivore Botanicals. I opened up the box and there it was – the blue elixir that would change the way my skin looked forever. Okay, that’s a little dramatic but I know you all like it! IMG_2483.jpg

After I washed my face that night, I rolled the oil onto my fingertips and applied it all over my face and neck. Initially, the oil is kind of greasy, but not even 30 seconds later my skin absorbed it all in. The scent of the Lapis Oil smells exactly like Jasmine which I believe is one of the ingredients that are included.

After about three weeks of use, my skin texture has improved. I always get a nice glow right after I apply it and when a breakout is present I can count on the Lapis Oil to soothe any redness and inflammation.

There isn’t much negative that I can say about this oil. The price is a little steep, but when it comes to the skin on my face I am more than willing to pay extra.

This is oil is pretty much a staple in my skincare routine and will continue to be. I use it mainly at night so my skin doesn’t dry out, but it does work fairly well under makeup. Also, Herbivore Botanicals is a natural skincare brand and that is always a plus to me.

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Overall, this is a must in my skincare regime and most definitely worth the price. If you’ve been looking at the Lapis Oil for awhile, I insist that you purchase even if it is just the rollerball. I could go on and on about it but I’ll be here forever.

Thanks for reading

ChelsiKay

I’m So Wild about Cashmere

Fashion, Lifestyle, Slow Fashion, style

Happy New Year everybody! I hope everyone had a blast bringing the in the new year with their loved ones.

Remember when I shared the gifts I got for Christmas in Blogmas Day 25: What I Got For Christmas? Well, I’ve had my nose in the book Parisian Street Style: A Guide to Effortless Chic. The book did happen to get pretty snobby the more I got into it, but it was still a pretty great read.

One thing that caught my attention in the book was owning a cashmere pullover or sweater. Now I love a nice soft cashmere scarf and never really thought about having a sweater made of cashmere.

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I began looking for places to buy one and oh my those prices can be steep. One of the things I told myself was to not get so shocked by the price of something. I can always save my money or sell something of mine. There’s always a reason for the high prices whether it’s because of the name or the textile. In the case of cashmere, the price is higher because of the textile. Cashmere comes from the underbelly (or neck) of a Cashmere Goat. So, automatically cashmere anything will be more expensive.

Luckily, when I was searching for a sweater, pretty much every store was having a 50% off after Christmas sale. How convenient! What would normally be a $150 purchase was only $84 after sales tax. That’s still up there, but I’ll take the reduced price over full price any day.

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Instead of purchasing online, I decided to go to the store since the item is so specific. I could get a feel for it and see if it’s actually 100% cashmere and not rough or itchy. I initially wanted a dark blue one, but they sold out of that color so I settled for the gray. I have an abundance of gray sweaters at this point but at least I’m consistent.

Tips & Tricks for Cashmere

  1. Spot clean if stains are present
  2. For deep cleaning – dry clean or soak in tepid water with lanolin soap or baby shampoo for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with cool water and gently squeeze (do not wring) out water. Fold into a towel and press out excess water and lay flat on a dry towel to air dry. Reshape if necessary
  3. Avoid wearing in rainy weather, but lay flat or hang to dry if it becomes exposed to water. Reshape if necessary
  4. Air out if garment starts to smell
  5. Purchase cashmere (or any wool) after Christmas or off-season for a decent price

Needless to say, I’m yet again very happy with my purchase. I just bought it on New Year’s Eve and I can’t seem to stay away from it. The sweater is soft, warm and cozy. If taken care of correctly, this sweater should last me a few if not several falls and winters. I’ve given my cashmere scarves the love they deserve over the last three years and they’re still holding on.

I purchased my cashmere sweater from Bloomingdales and will most likely purchase another one in the summer months. I hope this was a good post to start off 2017 because I had no clue what to write about today. I decided on this topic because it was something that made me happy these last few days. Thanks for reading!

ChelsiKay