My Goal of a Personal Uniform

Uniforms, I had one when I was in elementary school. Then, I didn’t love it, but I respected its utility. It was nice to not have to make an additional decision when you woke up in the morning. It was simple: On Mondays and Thursdays, I wore a red polo with khakis, on Wednesdays I wore a white button down shirt with a jumper, and on Tuesdays and Fridays, I wore my gym shorts and a khaki skirt. It was simple and easy. Then middle school came and nothing was easy, especially the intricate calculus required for getting dressed for school each morning. 

By the time 8th grade rolled around, I had established a uniform for myself – jeans, boots, and a sweater (usually some type of wool). It was comfortable and put together. Then, in ninth grade one of my friends told me I dressed “like a suburban soccer mom”. OUCH 

At the time what she said hurt my feelings – a lot, but I did come away with an important takeaway – my clothes weren’t flattering my body type. I have broad shoulders, a large bust, no hips, medium sized thighs, and huge calves. I’m still learning to love my body, but I love all that my body allows me to do: hike, read, write, bake, drink coffee, and so much more. Anyways, that conversation set me down a path of discovering what worked best for my body. I realized that a v-neck sweater with skinny jeans and ankle sneakers (like these) are a great option for my body type. I also really like long sleeve v-neck t-shirts with a vest (like this fluffy Patagonia one or this quilted one) with skinny jeans and ankle sneakers are a similarly good option for me and my body. 

I don’t need to have a super fancy wardrobe with many different pieces. I just need a few basics that I can mix and match. Yes, I realize I’m just describing a capsule wardrobe, but that’s a bit more complicated than what I have in mind. Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • 4-5 nice cashmere sweaters
    • I have 2 turtle necks, 2 crew necks, and a couple v-necks. 
  • 2-3 nice crewneck sweaters 
  • 2-3 cotton cable knit sweaters
  • 4-5 nice, comfortable v-neck t-shirts
  • 5-7 pairs of skinny jeans 
  • 1-2 pairs of dress pants
  • 1-2 outerwear vests 
  • Winter boots
  • Summer sneakers
  • A good belt

This can scaled up or down depending on your laundering preferences and budget. This is the wardrobe I’m working towards. I like to do laundry every two weeks, so I tend to have more clothes so I can be extra lazy. The two main ideas behind this “systematic wardrobe” is to 1) eliminate decision fatigue because all of your outfits are more or less the same and 2) only wear pieces you feel comfortable and put-together in. I really love a good sweater, mid-rise skinny jeans and some comfy sneakers. This is what I need to feel put together and comfy. I don’t need to make a fashion statement with my everyday clothes. I don’t need to make a fashion statement at all. I just need to wear clothes that are well-made, durable, comfortable, and sustainably and humanely made and sourced. That’s all you need too. Don’t let others tell you what you should and shouldn’t wear. Wear what makes you comfortable! 

Next week, I’ll show you my favorite for each of the categories I mentioned above. Stay tuned!

Sincerely, 

Marie

Shopping Ban Update No.2

First, some updates about Marie Speaks. Posting 3 times per week isn’t super feasible for me right now, so for the time being I’m only going to post once per week on Wednesdays! Thank you so much for reading, and I appreciate your time!

I’m about a month into my “shopping ban”. Honestly, I’m really over buying stuff in general. Like I’m tired of shopping. I have bought  a couple of essentials so far. 

Bras

In my original list of approved purchases bras were one of them. Recently, I’ve worn out a couple of my bras, so it was necessary to replace them. I got two of this style

Whitelines Notebook

This is the only school supplies purchase I’m making this year. This was also an approved purchase. I’m planning to use this notebook for my calculus class this year. I’ve used graph paper notebooks since freshman year, and I really like them. However, Staples changed their graph notebooks and now the lines are too dark, and I can’t make out my writings in pencil. That’s why I’m trying Whitelines this year. 

Yarn

For my brother’s seventh birthday, he asked me to crochet him a blanket. So I bought 5 skeins of the Bernat blanket yarn in Crimson. I’m really excited to start this project. I’m planning on using this pattern from Daisy Farm Crafts, my favorite crochet website. 

Tennis Skorts

This one is a bit of a sketchy purchase. Like did I really need it?!? I’ve been taking golf lessons every weekend and going to the driving range once a week, so I needed some golf club appropriate apparel. Also, this skort is $15 and adorable! Academy Sporting Goods is my favorite store of all time!! When I lived in Texas, I did a solid 75% of my shopping there. 

Co-Wash

I recently ran out of hair conditioner. I’m looking to replace my typical shampoo with a co-wash. Of course, I’ll still shampoo but less often and use this co-wash instead. Honestly, as I’m writing this, I’m realizing I still haven’t gotten any conditioner… whoops!

Belt

My grandma offered to buy me some clothes for back to school. I know I’ll likely need another pair of jeans, but I’m waiting until it gets closer to the fall to get them. But I did get this belt which is cute, and I think will go well with my sweaters. Again, this is kinda a sketchy purchase, but my grandma did buy it for me, so I guess I didn’t break my shopping ban?!?

Masks

I got these *adorable* masks from the Gap. Originally, my school was going to do hybrid, so I needed to have enough for every day of the week. Now my school has switched to remote learning which I’m actually pretty happy about. I think it’ll be nice to have the options though for when I do go out. I’m hoping that once a week or so I can go out to Starbucks or something. There’s one walking distance from my house. Also, I think this glass tumbler from Target is super cute!

Face Countured Masks

Pleated Masks

Athleta Masks

So, there you have it folks! What I’ve bought so far. I’m proud to report that I haven’t bought any stationery or unnecessary clothes thus far! I’m doing this, and I am going to be successful. Or at least I hope.

Simplicity at Its Finest

There are some things that are super simple, but when they’re made well – it makes a world of a difference. In this post, I’m rounding up totally random items that I use every day that are just super thoughtfully designed and well-made.

Pomelo Pill Dispenser

My doctor recommended keeping my meds by alarm clock so I could take them as soon as I woke up. I wanted something cute and functional – this is that. 

Kindle

I love my kindle! I’ve had mine since 6th grade – it’s the 2013 2nd Generation Kindle Paperwhite. It’s so old you can’t even buy it anymore. Kindles are amazing! If you enjoy reading, you shoud have a Kindle. They’re relatively inexpensive and last FOREVER. Reading on a phone doesn’t even compare. 

Aukey Table Lamp

I bought this lamp go on my bedside table. I needed a lamp that would cast a soft and warm light for reading at night before bed. This lamp is great for that purpose and many others. You can change the color, and when it’s set to the basic white light, you can change the brightness. Overall, this is a just a nice lamp that does it job well. Mine is in the size, large. 

Bic Cristal Pens

These pens are a classic and for good reason! They write smoothly, don’t smear or bleed. They’re great pens, and they cost like 10 cents apiece. You literally can’t go wrong.

Homtime Alarm Clock

I actually discovered this alarm clock while staying at a friend’s house. I really appreciated how easy it was to set the alarm. There was none of the constant pushing the minutes button then pushing the hour button. All you had to do is turn the dial – it’s so easy! I also like how I can change the brightness of the clock, so it doesn’t distract me when I’m trying to fall asleep. Also, it comes with 2 USB ports in the back. Bonus: you can also add batteries so if your power were to go out over night, your alarm clock would still work in the morning. 

Speck iPhone Case

Since 2016, I have used a Speck case. Sometimes, I switched to a different brand, but for the most part I’ve used Speck. They have the best slimmer cases for the price. They often have sales on their website, and often on Amazon. I drop my phone a lot, and this case has protected my phone the best and stayed intact. Honestly, if you have a phone, get a Speck case. You won’t regret it!

Leuchtturm Notebook

I started out bullet journaling using a TERRIBLE Walmart Exceed brand dotted notebook. It was a horrible, no good, very bad experience. 0/10 would recommend. My dad brought home a Leuchttrum from a conference where he received it in a swag bag. I told myself that I would wait for at least a new school year if not a calendar year to begin using the Leuchttrum. Spoiler: I didn’t wait, and I’m so glad I made that decision. Using a well-made journal made a huge difference. If you are using something every day, make sure it’s a quality item.

Oral B Genius Toothbrush

Would I have spent $130 on a toothbrush? No! Would I take a $130 toothbrush as a part of my dad’s new company insurance? Heck yes! This toothbrush is the item I never knew I needed. I have struggled with maintaining good oral hygiene. Having a toothbrush that really cleans my teeth was a total game changer for me. My teeth just feel cleaner. I love it! I would recommend a sonic toothbrush to anyone and everyone. I will never go bad to manual toothbrushes. Also, according to my dentist, you should buy one that has a built in timer and pressure alert to make sure you’re not being too harsh on your gums and teeth – so no need to shell out $100+ dollars on a toothbrush. 

Alpha Gel Kurutoga Mechanical Pencil

When I started my summer tutoring in math, I rewarded myself by buying this pencil. I have a death grip when it comes to holding pens and pencils, so I try to buy ergonomic writing utensils. I loved my original Kurutoga pencil, but the hard, unforgiving grip was incompatible with long homework sessions. I bought this pencil, and now it feels like I can write indefinitely with this pencil. Seriously, though, I don’t think my hand has cramped once when I’ve used this pencil. 

Camelbak Water Bottle

I use this water bottle everyday. When I thought I had lost it, I almost had a panic attack – that’s how attached I am to this water bottle. It suits my need perfectly! 32oz is the perfect amount – it’s not too much so that the water bottle is too heavy, yet it’s just enough so you’re not constantly refilling. 10/10 would recommend!

Sometimes, it the simple, well-made things that make all the difference.

Sincerely,

Marie

Adorable Summer One Piece Swimsuits!

blog post 7-7-20 - Cute one piece swimsuits

Row 1: black and white gingham | green scalloped | black and ivory

Row 2: blue and white flutter | blue tie | red, white, and blue stripes

Summer is upon us, and it is officially swimsuit season. Here in New England, after an unusually cold Spring, it is finally warm enough to go swimming.

I like one piece swimsuits for a couple of reasons:

  1. They can be more generous in fitting different body types. As a busty person, one pieces in my experience have been far more accommodating than bikinis.
  2. They protect more of your body from the sun.
  3. They’re more comfortable.
  4. I don’t have to worry about how my stomach and back look because one pieces have got you covered!

One pieces are great, and frankly under appreciated!

Just keep swimming!

Sincerely,

Marie

 

 

In Shower Self Care

The world has been on a self-care craze lately.  Bath bombs, rose water, and masks are like the new silly bandz. Rightfully so, the world is super stressful nowadays which is only compounded by the constant connection we all have with one another through the internet. Theoretically, I was all for self-care. Online, I praised my friends for making time for the self and treating themselves. However, I didn’t do the same: I ate plenty (and still do) junk food, slacked off my skincare, and generally did not make myself a priority. I used to think girls spending time on themselves is a waste and that their time could be spent better by doing literally anything else. Now, I’m still not one for makeup, but a little material self-care is definitely something I’m trying to do more.

A couple of nights ago, my mom and I got into an argument. Instead of it dissolving into a screaming match as it so often does, I excused myself and took a shower. Standing in the shower, I realized I should use this time to pamper myself. Here’s a quick list of the products I used plus some products I wish I owned. 

self cae

rose water | face mask| body brush | shampoo & conditioner | face scrub | exfoliation set  | body wash 


Exfoliation Set (similar)

 This includes a pumice, exfoliation gloves, and facial sponges. (Mine has a pumice, a exfoliation glove, and a body brush).

Facial Scrub: St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub

This scrub just feels really nice. I’m a big fan. Also, it’s smell is clean and relaxing without being overpowering.

Rose Water: PearlEssence Rose Water (with Witch Hazel)

I love this stuff! I use it basically every day. Toner is such a great thing to hand on-hand. It’s just refreshing, and makes your face feel clean. 

Body Wash: Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash

This is a great body wash. I also really like the bar soap version (what I currently use). Bar soap is also far better for the environment than the plastic bottles that traditional body wash comes in. 

Shampoo & Conditioner: Pantene Pro-V

I don’t really think this shampoo and conditioner is really anything special. However, it gets the job done and well. It’s not too harsh and smells good. I wouldn’t call it super moisturizing, but it definitely doesn’t feel like it’s stripping my hair of its oils. 


I took out a small set of bathing supplies I had bought at TJ Maxx for $3. I exfoliated my skin, did a face scrub, and washed my hair – all in the shower! After my self-care shower, I felt so much better and was able to resolve the conflict with my mom right after. Now, I barely remember what we were arguing about in the first place!

Seriously, self-care is so important. Caring for yourself is the first step to caring for other people. I encourage you, to take an extra ten minutes to do a face scrub or exfoliate in the shower. It’s so nice to feel fresh and new after a long day.

Take a shower! You’ll feel better afterwards!

Sincerely,

Marie

Preparing for Summer: What I’m Buying

Summer is upon us! Can I get an amen?!? After surviving this brutally cold New England winter with a saddening lack of snow, we are finally on the other side!

As with any cause for celebration, I decided to celebrate via a little online shopping. Not really, I just had worn out or lost my usual summer essentials. Nonetheless, I went shopping! Kind of.

Untitled design

shorts | curl cream | dress | sandals | pearlsfoot mask | shirt | sneakers | socks

Demin shorts

A couple of week ago, I was OBSESSED with the Agolde Parker Vintage Cutoff Shorts. Amanda John from Strawberry Chic and so many other bloggers were RAVING about these shorts! The only catch is that they $132! I was so torn, but ultimately I couldn’t justify spending that much on shorts when I don’t even spend that much on a full pair of jeans! But I love these target shorts that I got, and they’re only $18. (So of course, I bought 2!) They’re comfortable, feel like real denim, and have the slightest bit of give. They are totally comparable to my Levi’s 501 jean shorts that I also love.

Curl Cream

This is my holy grail hair product. I use this straight out of the shower as a defining curl cream. I love this cream so much! I cannot say enough good things about it! I wouldn’t, however, use this cream as your primary moisturizer, but it’s great as a curl definer/styler.

Dress

I asked for this dress from Christmas and got it! Thanks Nana if you’re reading this! This dress is so cute, light, and airy. I think this dress is just adorable. It isn’t lined, so make sure you wear neutral colored underwear underneath!

Sandals

My Birkenstocks!!! I actually bought these at the end of last summer, but these shoes are the backbone of my summer wardrobe. I LIVE in these shoes. In fact, as I’m writing this blog post, I’m wearing my Birkenstocks. I’ve also had the Arizona (the classic two strap, Jesus sandal) birks before, and I loved those too. I feel like this style is more flattering, but I love and highly recommend both!

Pearls

I wear these every day. All the seasons. If fact, I’m known on my local speech and debate circuit for my pearls.

Foot mask

I haven’t actually tried these yet, but I’m excited! I’ve been wearing my birks so much that my feet are drying out. (Gross. I know!) I’m hoping these masks will help remedy the problem.

Sneakers

Again, this was a gift I received for Christmas, but I LOVE these shoes. They’re the perfect outing shoe. When I was still in school, I wore these nearly every day! They’re comfortable, well-made, and stylish! And they’re $35! You really can’t get a better shoe for even double the price.

Socks

I bought these socks to go with the sneakers mentioned above. Nothing ruins an outfit like wearing ugly socks with cute sneakers. I prefer to keep my socks out of sight. These are perfectly satisfactory socks. The best part about them is their price. At Old Navy, for example, they’ll charge you $8 for 3 pairs of socks. These socks cost $16 for 12 pairs of socks! I have found that these socks are just as good quality as the ones from Old Navy. Definitely check these out!

Wishing you a summer filled with sunshine and smiles!

Sincerely,

Marie