The Triumphs and Trials of Dressing Deliberately, Part 1: The Purge

For the last ten years or so, I haven’t really had much success with my wardrobe. Back-to-school shopping really takes a backseat when you’re working a 9-to-5 all summer, which is exactly what I was doing every summer during college. So my wardrobe aspirations slowly trickled away, resulting in a closet full of $20 jeans and $5 t-shirts. And there I stayed, waking up each day to throw on whichever t-shirt was closest and pair it with my same-old ragged pair of Chucks.

I still have those Chucks and I still have a few $20 pairs of jeans, but I can count my t-shirts on one hand and have rules for wearing them. Take a look at how, over the course of a Saturday, I reinvented my wardrobe.

Most lifestyle blogs will tell you that overhauling your wardrobe is a complex process that involves weeks of planning and weeding out and figuring out what you like and what you look good in.

First of all, anyone can look good in anything that they like. Wear what you like with confidence and you’ll rock it.



Plus, I knew that I’d talk myself out of making any major changes if I gave myself the time. So I didn’t give myself the time.

On July 20, I got a $200 bonus for meeting some goals at work. I promptly spent about $40 on two jackets I’d been eyeing that would fit in with my new style. On July 21, I withdrew the other $160 and went to Plato’s Closet with my sister Emma.

I knew I’d never be able to pull off a complete wardrobe overhaul on such a small budget, but a secondhand store would make a big difference.

Three armfuls of clothes and several hours later, I walked out with 7 shirts, 5 things to layer with, 2 dresses, 1 pair of jeans that actually fit, and 3 necklaces.

When I got home that night, I put it all in the wash (to get rid of that that thrift-store smell) and hung it up to dry on a clothesline I rigged in the second bedroom. (Because of course the one day it rains is the day I have a bunch of stuff that can’t go in the dryer.)

Then I went into my closet and put all my plain $5 t-shirts in a bag to donate. I tossed out everything that I didn’t actually like to wear. I didn’t want any more excuses. I wanted to look like I got dressed on purpose instead of tripping into whatever articles of clothing I found first.

The next day, I dropped off all my old clothes at Savers. If I don’t have them, I can’t fall back on them, right?

Stay tuned to hear how my first couple weeks of dressing deliberately turned out!

Sexy Wordplay: Flack vs Flak

When your editor-in-chief is ripping you a new one, are you getting flack or flak? What about when your B-52 bomber is being fired upon from the ground?

I thought this would be a simple enough distinction, but as soon as I started doing the research for this post, I found that there’s more to it than just flack vs flak. So light a candle, pour yourself a glass of wine, and settle in for this month’s sexy wordplay!

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Book Review: It Falls Apart by Kate Pawson Studer

Book review rating by Amber Tapahe for It Falls Apart by Kate Pawson Studer

Rating: 4.5 / 5

(And honestly, the only reason I had to take half a star off was because it could’ve used a smidge closer Ameri-pick because Studer is Canadian and there are a couple times I noticed.)

It’s been a long time since I burned through a whole novel in one day — in fact, I don’t even remember the last book I read in such a hurry. But It Falls Apart, Kate Pawson Studer‘s debut Young Adult Romance, got its hooks right into me from the get-go. This YA romance is a great summer read with relatable characters, Big Picture issues, and fantastic pacing.

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Merriam-Webster defines inexorable as “not to be persuaded, stopped, or moved; relentless.”

(Yeah, I went there. Just go with it.)

This word has been on my mind a lot lately. I don’t know exactly why — and that’s a lie if I ever told one. I’ve got this phrase stuck in my head, “The inexorable march of time.”

I’ve spent my entire life going on drives and trips with my family, looking out the window and feeling my heart leap at the sight of abandoned homes and wondering about the people who once lived in them even though those weren’t really homes at all, usually they were just sheds. My favorite stories were always about discovering secret ruins or ancient treasure — not for fame but for the knowledge that you had seen something nobody else ever had.

And now I’m 27. I own a truck with four-wheel drive. I have a job and a smartphone with GPS. You see where this is going.

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Introducing: #ambyactive

Those of you who’ve followed my Instagram for the last few months have probably noticed that, for the first time in my life, I’m exercising regularly and making an effort to eat right.

Yes, you heard me correctly: for the first time in my life.

And for someone who enjoys snacks as much as I do, it’s hard! My favorite snack is Smartfood White Cheddar Cheese Popcorn. I can eat a whole bag of that in one sitting while reading a book (and I have).

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RIP, Frustration Friday

Frustration Friday started as a fun way to let off some steam. But the further we get into today’s political and cultural climate, the more Real my frustrations get. I don’t want to have a Frustration Friday post where I get bogged down in the existential crises facing our society right now, but those are most often the things I’m frustrated with.

So in light of the new year and the fact that I don’t want to get bogged down in an existential crisis, I think it’s time to put Frustration Friday on hiatus. (Never say never because I’m sure to be superficially frustrated one of these days.)

But I do still want to post regularly.