2014 was a pretty okay year. We got our hours pad cleared out and are getting ready to start work on the actual house next summer, we adopted a new dog named Dakota, Gunnar finished Kindergarten and Izzy started Kindergarten in the fall. It was a rough summer with the constant rain storms and the flooding and my godfather passed away this year which was a hard thing to deal with and still is. Over all though, it was mostly a positive year.
I'm trying to get a jump on it this year and do a quick recap that hopefully doesn't put people to sleep!
Favorite outfits in 2014 were mostly those in the fall/early winter, I feel like I finally figured out my style and really started to hit my stride.
My favorite outfits of 2014 and haha, I see a theme going on here. Lots and lots of black pants. I didn't love what I wore last winter but it was a little chillier and a lot of my outfits were pretty pratical. (It happens) It's been warmer this winter so it's been easier to wear dresses and we've had so little snow, ankle boots haven't been a problem.
The JBrand Maria jeans have been both one of my best and one of my worst purchuses of 2014. Best becuase I love wearinng them, they're so easy and comfy - seriously, what doesn't work with black jeans? But I also really hate them becuase as of right now, they are yet AGAIN sitting in my mend pile, waiting for me to put two new patches on. I have repaired them so many times in just the few months I've had them, the material that makes them so easy to wear also makes them very prone to tears, almost all in the rear section. It sucks but I'm going to keep repairing them becuase I love wearing them.
I also love all of Spell Designs items I bought, I found them for really cheap when they had their big sale and I love the kimonos, they're so gorgous! I'm really excited to wear them this summer when it's a little warmer.
I started thinking about what I really wanted my style to and realized rather than getting cheap ones, I needed to start saving up for dresses I loved. I found a few Free People Maxis one ebay for cheaper than retail and they are so beautiful. I know some people complain about the qualitly but with the dresses I've bought, I don't see it. The embroidery is also beautifully (and well) done and the construction is really nice and so far the dresses have been pretty versatile for me. It was also a good year for thrifting! While I've slowed down on the thrifting and don't buy very much any more I did have a good year for finding some really nice items for pennies on the dollar to what they normally cost.
Proezna Schoulder Tote
Paid $100 - Retail $1900
I love this bag, I'd been thinking about buying the Madewell Transport Tote because I liked the sleek, simple look and I wanted a bag I could toss everything in, including the laptop. I ended up finding this one at a consignment shop and actually got it 50% off! It's got some wear but I don't really mind because I like the look of worn brown leather and the inside is actually immaculate. This is usually my daily bag and it is fabulous!
Victoria Victoria Beckham Kitty Print Dress
Paid $0 (was on consigment for $80 and used up all of my credit) - Retail $1250
I'd actually looked at this dress on ebay, I love Victoria Beckham's dresses and this was on of my favorites of hers. Unfourtanly, even when it does come up for sale on ebay, it's at least $500 plus. I reconized the print while at the consigment store but thought it was on of the ripoffs and was so surpised to find it was the genuine thing, not to mention really cheap for what it normaly retails! I used up my credit and paided nothing out of pocket.
Burberry London Coat
Paid $19.99 - Retail $3200
This was the best deal of all, I was pretty shocked to have found it but the worst part was I almost put it back. It was a day of the shopping blahs and I just really didn't feel like getting anything. I started to put it back and realized I was a crazy person.
This was the year of bags! I thought I liked simple, leather bags but after drooling over Romy's collection of stunning, colorful hippy-tastic bags, I bought the Ecote fringe suede bag and I was hooked. I love the beaded Cleobella bag and I'm sure everyone is sick of it by now but that was the purpose of cleaning out my bags, I wanted really beautiful ones I'd use all the time. The Urban OutfittersXCleobella brown bag is another favorite but was a bit of an impulse buy after seeing it dropped down to really cheap in the clearance. The Spell Designs bag was one I thought about for months however! I kept looking at it on the Free People website and almost bought it a few times but the reviews kept putting me off. a lot of people had trouble with the beading falling out and I really didn't want that to happen. I found it selling for really cheap on ebay though (brand new with tags!) and went for it and wow, I'm so happy I did! I try to be really careful with it but I also think it's better quality than people said.
Three of my favorite in this picture! The BCBG coat was one I watched for a while at the consignment store and then ended up buying it and now I never want to take it off. The Free People dress is the same way, thought about it for a while, bought it and loved it but then...I was sorta stumped on how to wear it. the back is really low so I didn't wear it a ton this summer but after seeing how cute it was layered, I've been wearing it quite a bit this winter. And these boots! I'd been looking for a really simple black ankle boot and I thought these would maybe work and they are AMAZING. (And cheaper, they were $69 but I got them for 25% off and they were worth it, real suede and pretty decent construction.)
I feel good going into 2015, I have all of the individual items I needed to complete my wardrobe and I think I have my style figured out. Best of all, I have my family close and it's been amazing to watch how much the kids have grown up this year. Gunnar was so shy at the start of 2014 and now he's such a brave little guy - really sweet and outgoing with his group of friends. Izzy's grown up a lot as well, she loves school so much and was so excited when it started back up in the fall and she was able to go this year. Last year everyone got to know her pretty well from going to get and drop off Gunnar so it was a really easy transition for her. They have a wonderful small school they attend and it's been such a positive experience so far. I'm looking forward to 2015and getting a lot accomplished but hey, it's been nice to get a little sunshine this year! Usually Fairbanks has amazing summers with 80-90 degree days and sunshine that lasts all night. We weren't able to get any camping trips in last summer but we've got a few really fun ones plans for this year and everyone's really excited about them.
2014 feels like it was also a big change in the blogging world with more and more of it becoming "commercialized" with many people going pro or having the intentions of blogging to become a professional blogger. I don't see anything wrong with people making money but at the same time, it's not the same. With photoshopping scandals right and left, bloggers flouting the laws regarding compensation/affiliate links/sponsorships and with the rise of "capsule" bloggers who seemed to promote "less" while saying "throw away your closet and click my links to buy more!" it's sort of depressing to see. I try not to be a smart ass or "oh look at me, I'm so above all of this" but I feel bothered by the direction blogging has taking. Mommy blogging even more so, I feel like many children on these blogs are being exploited and used as a source of money from their parents and it makes me furious. There are a few fashion bloggers I follow who do feature their children on their blogs every now and then and I think they do an amazing job of saying "these are my kids, I love and adore then, parenthood can be hard but I'll never exploit my kids for a buck" and I really admire that. Did you realize the Instagram had a huge scandal where mommy bloggers lost their minds because they could no long post naked pictures of their children? I'm very happy Instagram stuck to their guns and didn't give in. My point is, it seems like blogging has turned into something that's not although nice - did we start blogging because we were sick of seeing stick figures modeling clothes in magazine and because we wanted to share our tips for parenting? I realize this isn't a problem everywhere and I don't want any of my friends to think I'm pointing figures at them because I love you guys and I read your blogs because you're genuine, sweet, funny people who really stand out in the blogging world. I wish you guys were the norm rather than the exceptions because you make this fun and you're the reason people still enjoy reading blogs. I don't know if 2015 will be the year of the backlash against blogs but it seems like the blogging world isn't going to be able to sustain itself anymore - it's pretty saturate and it's gotten pretty fake. (Both Fran and Adina did posts about photoshop that are worth reading - both blogs are also worth reading because of their honesty. Fran talked earlier about affiliate links and Photoshop and how enticing they can be while Adina is always a delightful, fun read and is one of the bloggers I talked about who I think has done an amazing job talking about her children on the blog, she obviously loves them a lot.)
So with that happy note (and I do hope you don't think I'm saying I'm wonderful and above it all, I'm a terrible, lazy writer, not a very fabulous example of a blogger and it's something I need to work on this year) I do hope that this ends up being a good year for everyone. Good luck everyone!