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Don’t you love when the first Monday of the month is also the 1st?

If you’re from my home and native land, then you’re likely doing very Canadian things like drinking beer before 10AM on a patio (for the record, I don’t drink beer), or trekking to your city centre for patriotic festivities and fireworks later in the evening. Yes - it’s Canada day! I’ll be celebrating this year at my mother in law’s cottage in the Gatineau Hills. Quiet, but there will definitely be pre-10AM mimosas. I know our neighbourhs to the south celebrate Independence Day this week, and as such, July always seems to have an air of summer festivity. 

JULY 

I think this lighthearted vibe spills over into our closets, don’t you? This season, I’ve started to appreciate dresses and am trying to wear more colour. As someone who has very few of either of these things in my closet, I’ve been finding myself perusing websites to see what I can add to my closet. It’s easy to fall in love with beautifully styled marketing campaigns where nobody is sweating in the heat and the wind always blows at the perfect speed and angle to show off a lovely summer piece. 

It can be SO easy to fall in love with something, get caught up in the spirit of summer and make an unintentional purchase. Apparently, Americans are exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 ads a day - and that’s without even actively looking for a product! 

While it’s impossible to turn off all the ads in our lives, here’s something you CAN do (and it’s actually SO much fun!):

Here’s why this helps: 

One of my favourite quotes about slow fashion is: when you love what you have, you have what you need. (Still searching for the author of this!) I think we have so much abundance already hanging in our closet, and mini closet challenges are a fun and easy way to grow an appreciation for what we already have hanging in our closet.

A while ago I challenged myself to go without black (during winter, no less!) and before that to go without denim for a week. Don't want to make one up yourself? Jump on any of these:

10x10: This one is hosted by Lee Vosburgh, who came up with the concept of choosing 10 items and only wearing those 10 items for a consecutive 10 day period. This has expanded into a 30x30 challenge as well. While I’m not someone to limit the choices in my closet or partake in a full-time capsule closet, this is a fun way to prove to yourself that less really is more.

#333: This challenge goes deep and is like the 10x10 on steroids. The challenge is to use 33 items of clothing and accessories or less for three months. Again, I find it a bit counter-intuitive to not use everything in your closet, but this is a great challenge to learn to live with less and also gain confidence to be more creative with the garments in your wardrobe. 

#aweekwithnopants: I love this one, as it is very similar to my week without black or week without denim (really wish I had come up with a snappy hashtag like that) and I believe it only just started this summer. It is being hosted by a number of #minimalist and #ethical bloggers, but if you search the hashtag on Insta, you’ll be able to see who is participating and when you can jump in! 

#30wears: Started by Livia Firth, Colin Firth's wife and the powerhouse behind
https://eco-age.com/, this is more of a general rule vs. a challenge, but it encourages us to wear a garment at least 30 times before discarding it (since today, the average woman only keeps a piece in her closet for 5 weeks). Whether you challenge yourself with this question every time you purchase a new garment over the next month, or whether you challenge yourself to hang onto an item to get #30wears out of it before discarding, I still think this is a great mindset shift. Also, if you search the hashtag, you'll find a large community of people doing the same in case you need some inspiration.

#aweekof-fill in the blank: A DIY challenge, tailor-made to you! Like my previous self-challenges on Youtube, I think you could create any personal challenge you want. Trouble wearing that thrifted piece? Challenge yourself to wearing one thrifted item every day for a week! Or all thrifted items for 5-7 days! 

I think these challenges should be taken on and chosen with intention, so that you actually get something out of it in the end. Struggle with colour? Or maybe you wear too much of one? Challenging yourself to do the opposite of what you gravitate to every morning will rewire your brain to think more creatively with your clothes, which will result in more confidence to work with what you already have. In the absolute worst case scenario, you’ll come out of your style challenge with some outfit combinations that you likely never would have come up with before. 

New outfits, no shopping - sounds like fun, eh?

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 
I started a monthly vlog recap
A peek into daily life - this one includes a roadtrip to Florida, some thrifting and bulk shopping!
Now let's hope I can keep it up ... 
I styled my blazer 20+ ways:)
I think this style of video is a favourite - at least that's what the comments say! 
WHAT I'M LOVING THIS MONTH
I received a midi-length version of this gown from Canadian designer Arroh & Bow recently and I'm loving it! Super light weight silk jersey and made in Canada, I wear it both backwards and forwards!  
On our trip to Florida I realized I didn't own a bikini and rectified that after trying on this gorgeous Vitamin A bikini made out of plant based fiber and recycled nylon. I ended up purchasing a different style in the same colour that was on sale (be warned: the price point on these suits is high) but have honestly never felt so comfortable in a bikini - super soft, stretchy and eco:)
Thank you so much for reading, I am always grateful to be included in some small way in your day. Wishing you a beautiful month of July! xx
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