Travel Light / 50 Item Wardrobe

10/31/2014 — Comment

50 Item Wardrobe

Between all of my talk and reading about minimalism, and the musical rooms I am playing in my house right now, I’ve thrown together a virtual closet overhaul. I’m sharing my dream closet that consists of 50 items or less for the whole year. This doesn’t include undergarments, workout clothing, professional clothing, or uniforms. The jewelry that I do wear is usually holds some sentimental value, but if you like to wear jewelry, I wouldn’t include it in your 50 item limit. Originally I felt like 50 was a low number, but after getting all of it out there and thinking about the seasons here it didn’t seem as low. My next project will be to make my closet look similar. You can shop all of the items below via my Pinterest board.

Follow Jessica Doll / Team Wiking’s board Style / 50 Item Wardrobe on Pinterest.

On a side note, I hope that everyone has a safe and fun Halloween.

What items would you include in your 50 Item Wardrobe?

San Francisco / Hike Lands End

10/30/2014 — 24 Comments

Land's End Trail, San Francisco, California Hike Land's End San Francisco with Eddie Bauer and Travel + Leisure Hike Land's End San Francisco with Eddie Bauer and Travel + Leisure Hike Land's End San Francisco with Eddie Bauer and Travel + Leisure Hike Land's End San Francisco with Eddie Bauer and Travel + Leisure Hike Land's End San Francisco with Eddie Bauer and Travel + Leisure Hike Land's End San Francisco with Eddie Bauer and Travel + Leisure Hike Land's End San Francisco with Eddie Bauer and Travel + Leisure Hike Land's End San Francisco with Eddie Bauer and Travel + Leisure Hike Land's End San Francisco with Eddie Bauer and Travel + Leisure Hike Land's End San Francisco with Eddie Bauer and Travel + Leisure

This post was sponsored by Eddie Bauer and Travel + Leisure but all opinions, photos, and text are my own.

It’s not widely known that summer in San Francisco actually happens in October. It’s the time of year when the fog (Karl) usually subsides and blue skies are more common. We took last weekend’s shorter than predicted rainstorm as a sign that we should go for a much anticipated hike on the Land’s End Trail in San Francisco. I’ve been dying to go hike that area, especially since we got to see it from the water on our cruise.

Even though we got a little bit of a late start, the sun still created a magical glow on the trail as it filtered through the tall trees and there was a crispness in the air. Luckily Eddie Bauer was nice enough to send over some appropriate clothing and gear for the occasion. I’m wearing the Revers-Atility HoodieMicroTherm® StormDown™ VestMovement LeggingsFull Circuit Shoes, and using the Alchemist® 30 Backpack.

Hike Land's End San Francisco with Eddie Bauer and Travel + Leisure Hike Land's End San Francisco with Eddie Bauer and Travel + Leisure

52 Weeks / Week 43, Teaching Søren

10/29/2014 — 25 Comments

43/52 Weeks Photo Series 43/52 Weeks Photo Series 43/52 Weeks Photo Series 43/52 Weeks Photo Series 43/52 Weeks Photo Series 43/52 Weeks Photo Series 43/52 Weeks Photo Series 43/52 Weeks Photo Series 43/52 Weeks Photo Series 43/52 Weeks Photo Series 43/52 Weeks Photo Series 43/52 Weeks Photo Series 43/52 Weeks Photo Series 43/52 Weeks Photo Series 43/52 Weeks Photo Series

Last week I introduced my Little Explorer series to you, where I spend time exploring with my toddler, Søren, while my older son Aiden is away at school. Since he’s growing so quickly and is so interested to learn, I’ve also started doing educational activities with him. He enjoys hands on activities, reading, art, and puzzles are all favorite too. When Koala Crate contacted me to see if I’d like to try out one of their new boxes, I jumped on the opportunity. Not too long ago Aiden had his first modeling gig for one of their other companies, Tinker Crate, and hasn’t stopped talking about them since. Because he was so excited, I took this time to let Aiden teach Søren a little bit about colors. I think towards the end Aiden was having a little more fun than Søren, but he shook it off quickly.

Koala Crate sparks kids’ natural creativity and curiosity while saving time for busy parents. Every crate includes all the materials and inspiration for projects related to a theme such as colors, transportation or safari. Crates are designed to give preschoolers exposure to new materials and new concepts that encourage hands-on learning and fun. Our crates are designed for children ages 3 to 4 and tested by kids to ensure that they are developmentally appropriate, fun, and universally liked by both boys and girls. We take a lot of care to design our crates in a way that is open-ended so that although children across the age range may have different outcomes, they will all enjoy interacting with the projects and materials. Available to US customers only.

Please use the promo code TW5OFF to receive $5 off your first crate with a new subscription purchase to Kiwi, Koala, Doodle or Tinker Crate.

43/52 Weeks Photo Series

This Koala Crate was provided to me free of charge but all opinions are my own.

52 Weeks is a portrait of my child once a week, every week in 2014. To see the whole series, click here.

Do you feel like you learned a lot from your siblings? If you don’t have siblings, do you feel like you learned from other peers?

Half Moon Bay / Arata Pumpkin Farm

10/28/2014 — 31 Comments

Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California

I took the boys for our yearly trip to Arata Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay, California last Friday. The hay maze was back so I let the boys explore to their hearts content. Søren did not like the minotaur at the start of the maze but quickly forgot about it once we were inside. Afterwards we picked out our pumpkins and headed home. My favorite part about going to Arata’s (or anywhere on the coast) is always the scenic drive home.

The skeleton and goblin sweaters that the boys are wearing were gifted to them by Toto Knits, a wonderful company that empower’s single mothers in Kenya to provide for their family by producing these beautiful organic sweaters. Each piece is hand signed by the knitter and shipped to you (worldwide). To learn more please visit www.totoknitsshop.com.

Do you have any special fall traditions that you practice?

Life, Minimalism / 5 Steps To Minimalism

10/27/2014 — 30 Comments

5 Steps to Minimalism

Have you ever been interested in minimalism but don’t know where to start? There was a point where I was very interested in it, but had a hard time nailing down any ideas or was too overwhelmed to even begin.

1. Visualize
Get a pen and paper, or a word file, or any other way you feel like documenting your thoughts. Document your goals. What do you hope to accomplish by being minimal? What are your major life stressors?  What do you think minimalism will look like for you? What is your end result? Will it be an easier to clean house? A less stressful environment? More time with family? I like to keep inspiration on my Pinterest account as well, but it’s not as easy to track.

2A. Assess Your Space
My go-to when I first started was “space”, or “stuff”. I felt like this was the easiest place for me to start because it’s something you can see. It’s tangible and was easier for me to manage because I could see visible progress. I made note of where I felt overwhelmed with it and why. Outgrown toys, clothes that aren’t worn, kitchen gadgets that haven’t been touched in years, all on my list. How should each space in your home function? What do you actually use each room for?

In the beginning it was toys and clothes for us, then with the addition of Søren everything has been chaotic and finding a good way for this space to function for our family has become more of a priority. I regularly clean out the boys rooms, but still fall behind in plenty of areas in the house (especially the garage). I’d really like to have everything more streamlined and functional.

2B. Assess Your Time
Do you always seem to be “busy” but never feel accomplished? Do you spend more time doing something you love less than something else? Are you dying to spend more time with your family? Write out a list of things you have to do, and a list of fillers. Make a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule about what your time should look like. Do you see any gaps? Are there things you can do differently? Does this mean less overtime at work? Less group activities for the kids but you’ll get to spend more time with them?

I think it goes without saying that I work a lot. I try to only work at night while the kids are asleep, but in the busy season often my work spills over into daytime. I’ve taken steps to limit the amount of work I do in certain areas so I can focus more on what the more fulfilling parts of work are for me, and ultimately so I can spend more time with my family. If you’ve noticed more sponsored posts on the blog, this is why. Often I can work on these without sacrificing time with my family, so I want to say a big thank you to you for helping to support these sponsors, and ultimately helping me to spend more time with those I love.

3. Make a Plan
Please keep in mind that minimalism is different for everyone. Just because one person might have less stuff or needs than another doesn’t mean that they are better at it. What does your minimalism look like? Is it to manage your house? Your schedule? Both? You will want to make a plan, for space I recommend a room-by-room plan, and for time I recommend a schedule. List out attainable goals, or goals that can be broken down and celebrated when you meet them. This not only makes it more simple, but also encouraging when you feel as though you’ve made progress.

Our current space plan right now is still playing musical rooms. I reassessed our needs as Søren grew into toddlerhood and the age gap between the boys became more of an issue. We’re still in progress, I’ll have a big update for you when it’s done, or you can follow along on my instagram. My time plan is really to just get work under control and back to reasonable hours, I think after the holidays pass it will be a more attainable goal.

4. Implement
Follow through. This is always the hardest part for me. Personally, it’s easier if I make small task lists with tasks I know I can finish within a couple of hours. I use my Gmail tasks for this and it works out well. I like to break it out by room or item too, for example “Office / File paperwork” or “Closet / Remove unworn shoes”. It helps me to visualize my progress, which is key for me to stay motivated. You can always re-visit your plan and edit as needed.

5. Maintain
This is another area that I admit I have a lot of trouble in. It can sometimes be harder than simply getting started but will make life easier if you do pay attention. It helps to set a standard for items you bring in or activities you spend time on. As an example, I don’t buy toys for the boys that I know they will lose interest quickly, or that might break or get lost easily. I’ve curbed a lot of my shopping habits by simply asking myself if it’s something I need (functionally). Do I really need that chopper or will a knife do the same job? Be intentional about what you bring into your home, and what you devote your time to.

I hope that these tips will help you get started and on your way to a more simple life. This is the fourth and final part in my minimalism series. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments, or you can always contact me.

Some resources:
Closet Detox Sheet by Into Mind
5 Simple Steps to De-Clutter Your Closet by Mnmlist
How to Build A Capsule Wardrobe by Un-Fancy
Life / Inspired Pinterest Board by Jessica Doll
21 Benefits of Owning Less by becoming minimalist
TEDx Talk by the minimalists

Do you have any favorite reads or articles? Feel free to share them below!

“For what it’s worth … it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”

Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay