Friday, December 31, 2010


the past 2 years as told through pics:

12/08 Yes!

12/09 Mr. and Mrs.

12/10 Mr. Mrs. and Finley on her way!

Can't wait to see what the picture looks like next year!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


my 2 loves. b is such a good daddy-to-be reading "Dad's Pregnant Too!" ruby is going to have a hard time when our 3rd love is actually in our arms and we're not just reading about how to prepare for her...

Thursday, December 16, 2010


enough said. :)

Monday, December 13, 2010


we finally decided on a name, but we want to tell our family in a fun way. we decided to put her name on the x-mas cards too so they say love, brandon, kara and ________. they went out today and should get there on tuesday. we're staggering the cards to make sure mom and mike, dad and heidi, erin and chris, sam and gayle, and tracy and brent get them first. the others will probably go out tuesday. we thought this would be a neat way of telling everyone and we're giving everybody a warning to make sure to check the mail in a couple days. when we told some family members today i think we actually stressed them out. hopefully just for a minute. i mean erin really tried hard to get me to tell her, but i resisted. i was literally sweating when i got off the phone with her she was making me work so hard. finally she just wanted me to narrow it down to 2 names, but i wouldn't even give her that. she was the one i wanted to surprise the most with the name since i didn't really surprise her in a creative way when we found out we were pregnant. so she can hold her horses a couple days. i made her put chris on the phone so maybe he can talk some sense into her. can you talk sense into a 37 week pregnant woman?

it's a huge relief to have a name picked, and one we both love.

plus not only did we pick a name, but b got to feel her moving around too! and i finally broke down and bought maternity pants. i thought it was difficult shopping before all this, but let's just say they don't make kids' maternity. which is a great thing, but i would really benefit from it. xs petite is still too big for me, but i found one pair that'll work.

Monday, December 6, 2010


well, we're half way there!! this is both awesome and terrifying. the first half really did fly by when i think about it. which means the second half will probably do the same. i feel like there's a ton to get done before april, but we're working as fast as we can. one big thing we crossed off the list was the crib and dresser. thanks mom and dad! we don't have it in our possession yet (about 6-10 weeks to get it), but here's what it looks like:

today we had our 20 week appt and everything was "perfect." what more could we ask for? as soon as the ultrasound was on her we caught her mid yawn. it was hilarious (and quite a yawn). i never thought about her yawning in there, but the ultrasound tech woman said she'll do everything in there that she'll do out here. it was pretty darn cute. but the recording wasn't turned on yet so we didn't get that on the dvd. :( oh well, i'm sure we'll see her yawn plenty in her life time. her heart rate was 142 (that's good), weighs .8 lbs and my weight gain is pretty good. i feel like i'm eating (or want to eat) all the time. teaching, however, is not conducive to eating or going to the bathroom.

so far things have been going great. my only "problem" is i'm pretty tired, but working with 6 year olds all day doesn't really help that and i'd probably be exhausted whether i was pregnant or not. this just gives me a better excuse to call it a night at 8:30. and i'm pretty sure i feel her move now, and that's pretty weird. awesome, but weird nonetheless.

while in the waiting room today i got to thinking that this was about the time 4 years ago i decided to take a job in houston not knowing ANYBODY. then remembering that a high school friend lived somewhere in houston. then calling him up once i actually moved. erin would call him my "houston husband" even though we weren't even dating. about 3 years ago he had the guts to tell me he liked me. 2 years ago asked me to marry him. and a little over a year ago became my husband. i guess everything really does happen for a reason. she's on her way.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


no we haven't chosen a name yet. it's waaaaay harder than you think it should be. i've loved a name FOREVER and as soon as we found out we were having a girl i thought, "yes! i get to use that name now!" but now that it's actually here i'm not so sure. and of course b is a researcher so he's not down with making a decision that quickly when we obviously have time. we have several we like so we're trying them out. every few days we call her something different. this way we can see what feels right. it really is a huge decision. you have to think of initials, nick names, ways kids might make fun of the name, etc. i even think as a teacher and what i would think if i saw that name on my roster at the beginning of the year. *le sigh...

and p.s. i weigh 101 lbs!!!! i've gained about 10 lbs which is awesome for me!

Monday, November 22, 2010


let's go all the way back to week 5 (so pretty much right after we found out the exciting news):

Needless to say, my stomach does not look like THAT anymore. Move right along to 17 weeks, then 18 weeks (tonight actually). The in between pics are not terribly exciting. It seemed like around 11 weeks she started to grow quite a bit and now I feel like I'm getting bigger by the second.

i always thought erin was crazy when she said she felt HUGE when she obviously wasn't, but i get it now. and my stomach itches like whoa. TMI? i think not, i'm just being honest. apparently my skin is not used to stretching like this. awesome.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


as if you haven't heard already....we're having a GIRL!!!!!!!!!!! i know either way we'd be this excited, but i can not wait to meet this little girl. b and i were both thinking girl (although i didn't really come to my decision until we were literally walking into the doctor's). not sure why i picked girl, but maybe i did have some sort of "feeling." people kept asking me if i had a "feeling" and i just thought i was broken. i had no idea what they were talking about. there really is nothing like seeing your baby. i knew seeing her was going to be incredible, but there really is nothing like it. the first time we saw her at 7 weeks, she looked like this:

and now she looks like this!!

i mean really. it's amazing.

we're a little over 16 weeks and i think i look like i'm pregnant, but i can't count on one hand how many times i've heard "are you sure you're pregnant? haha" insert their smile here. i, however, don't find it that humorous. good friends and family can tell i have a little bump. she's in there. :)

i told my kiddos the other day after one kid straight up asked me if i was having a baby. see? even a 6 year-old can tell. i digress. they were REALLY excited and had some interesting ideas for names. such as: spirits, skittles and stellaluna (we'd just read that book). we don't have a name yet, but i'm pretty sure we wont be going with any of their suggestions.

so if you were reading this blog just to keep up with my shopping, i'm sorry to tell you that's not really high priority any more. it's all about baby girl hawkins (bgh) now. :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010


turns out friday the 13th isn't so unlucky after all. yesterday b and i found out we're going to be adding to the family in late april!!!!!! i bet many of you are thinking "congrats" first, but THEN "how can you go without buying clothes now?!" and its kinda funny because several girlfriends of mine asked me what i was gonna do if i ended up being pregnant during this and i just said "yea right!" well i guess now we've taken on a new challenge. a bigger, better, more exciting, more life changing challenge. and erin must have amazing sisterly instinct because she totally called it and was the ONLY one we told the day of. and she thinks i'm crazy because i took 4 tests (make that 5). don't judge...i wanted to make sure!

new challenge--accepted. :) (that's the biggest i could make that smiley face)

**i wrote this on Aug. 14th

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I know I've been uber-slacker with this lately so I'm going to try to catch up a bit today. Let's start with spendings in June, shall we?

The above is what I had written before I went to check my bank account. I can't go back more than a year so that means I can't look up June. Ick. That's what I get for not keeping up with this. That also means I can't look up July. Double ick. I know the anticipation was killing you, but at the end I'll either guess or average what I was spending a month and put it in for these 2 months. My not-terribly-accurate way of tracking my savings has gotten even worse. Eh, oh well.

This allows me to write about something else. WEDDINGS! I was the girl who would buy a new dress for  just about every "special" occasion. And trust me...I have a very broad meaning of "special." Going to the theater? Need a new dress for that. Going to a graduation in the middle of nowhere in NY? Need a dress for that. Going to dinner on the 3rd Tuesday of the month? Need a dress for that. (well now I feel like apple-- ya know, "there's an app for that".) Needless to say we've been to like 6 weddings so far this year. Normally I would probably buy new dresses. Maybe not 6 dresses, but definitely at least a couple. I don't want to be the girl in the same dress in pictures. I know, there are much bigger problems in the world, it's just a thing with me. I certainly did not need to worry about that. at. all. I have about 20 dresses that can be deemed wedding appropriate. Yes, 20. I just ran upstairs to count them. That's not even counting skirts and casual dresses. Of those, 10 of them are little black dresses. Is 10 LBDs too many? I honestly don't know how to answer that. They're so terribly handy. I told you I was checking my shame in at the door and being honest here. Maybe that IS normal for girls, but I do feel kinda guilty about it.  But it must be important if it's in wikipedia.


Thursday, July 15, 2010


Mom and Erin gave me birthday money so i had $250 to spend! I went into it super excited and ransacked the racks of forever 21. I forgot how miserable it is to try on clothes. I'm not going to get on my soap box about how frustrating it is to be (literally) kid-size, however, erin and mom had to keep my spirits up. I got a couple things from forever 21, marshalls, macys, target, and j crew. i officially spent my last birthday money today. i knew i couldn't spread it all out to last the rest of my challenge time so it's all gone now. it was almost stressful b/c i wanted to make sure i didn't buy things i wouldn't really wear. i had to be uber picky and buy practical things.

Friday, June 18, 2010


The other day I was terribly bored (I know, I know. No one wants to hear about the teacher being bored in the summer), so I thought to myself "this is normally when I would go shopping." But I couldn't. So then I thought maybe I'll go to the mall and get some stuff for Brandon! Then it would be like shopping for me, but not really. But, I talked myself out of it mainly b/c I didn't want to be in the Garden of Eden, if you will. When Brandon got home that evening I explained this internal conversation with him and he realized that he too hadn't been shopping in the past 6-ish months. We realized he would usually just be dragged to the mall with me and we'd stop in places and grab stuff for him too. So this really is having a domino effect. And a positive one at that.

We did go to the mall tonight and while we were there we stopped in Fossil to get B some new shirts and we were actually feeling cheaper than normal and almost didn't get him anything. We ended up with 2 awesome sale shirts.

It wasn't bad to be in the mall tonight since I get to have my birthday present tomorrow (a little late, but still JUST as awesome if not more so). Mom and Erin got me money to get some clothes so we'll do that tomorrow. I'm. Stoked. I do have to make very smart choices with what I get since this has to last me about 6 more months.

About half way through!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I feel like this is where a lot of the shopping comes in. It was getting close to the wedding and summer was starting. Here goes:

zappos-- $30
marshalls-- $100
nordstrom-- $23
target-- $46

Oh wait, I just realized I was adding up June instead of May. I'm gonna stop here, but let's just say that's a preview of what's to come in June. There was a bit more though. So, let's try again, this time May:

target-- $78
etsy-- $108 (this was my reception dress. does this count?)
target-- $69
saks-- $55

grand total of $310. Can't wait for my birthday presents! Sangeeta already sent me a couple dresses that are adorable. Thank goodness.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Ugh. Today I ran into Target after work to grab some cards and other school stuff (that dollar area is AWESOME for treasure chest crap stuff). Anyways, of course right next to is was all the clothes. Alllllllll the clothes I've been avoiding for so long. Man. They have some super cute stuff. My mind was capturing it all in the 30 seconds I saw it. Cute bathing suits, adorable tank dress with frillies on the bottom, floral dress with a bow thing in the front. Man, oh man.

Is it June 9th yet?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I am getting so incredibly bored with my clothes. Apparently I must be wearing the same stuff over and over b/c I wore one of Erin's dresses this week to work (and actually a diff. one last week) and several people asked "Kara, did you go shopping?!" Everyone knows my wardrobe by heart now. So. lame. Brandon must be tired of seeing the same outfits, but he's probably NOT tired of seeing a little more money in the bank. He can deal. I pulling things out of my closet that I would normally never wear. I suppose that's what all this about. Thank goodness my birthday is coming up in about a month. I'm already planning what I'm going to buy. Nothing terribly specific (mainly b/c I have no idea what's out there), but general ideas. I almost checked out a couple websites to pick some for my birthday, but I'm afraid if I start looking I wont be able to stop. And speaking of what I want, I love bathing suits. Like I get at least one new one every year. However, I think I'm going to forgo this year since I really don't get much use out of them. That and I may or may not have bought 3 last summer, but that's beside the point. I was going to Costa Rica for my honeymoon. I needed bathing suits to choose from. I'm getting a little bit of a shopping bug, but I can definitely make it another month.

Monday, May 3, 2010


This has sort of turned into just documenting how little much I'm saving as opposed to my experiences as a non-shopoholic. I suppose I've just been too busy at the moment to update, but also I haven't really had many experiences. I avoid all malls and targets as if I'll catch the swine flu if I even think about going near one. That strategy seems to be working for me b/c I really feel no pain at all not going shopping. In fact, not only has it been a money saver (at least I think it will be), but also a time saver. I was one of those girls that would go to the mall when there was nothing better to do, wasting my money on things I didn't really need but felt I couldn't pass up or even better things I would someday need. You know, like in case I had some black tie affair to go to, or a random ski trip I needed to be prepared for. You know I don't like to be unprepared. So it's that time again where I hold my breath, pray for outrageous spending in '09 and confess my previous spending sins:

$38-- Target
$36-- Sephora (not counting this since make up is not on the banned list)
$36-- Marshalls (oh Marshalls, how do I love thee)
$96-- Forever 21 (don't judge, stuff is cheap there. I probably bought the entire first floor for this)
$77- Target

That's a grand total of $247. In other bank news this is also the month last year that I bought Brandon's wedding band :) and got my tax refund. So there were 2 awesome account happenings as well.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


March. Was. Insane. and thank goodness because I did not even notice that I wasn't shopping. Yes, I remember that I did in fact do a little shopping in Singapore, but this is the time that girls like to shop the most. Stores are coming out with spring dresses, flouncy skirts, and super cute tanks. I? Cannot even bare to look at magazines for fear that there will be an amazing Target ad or something. Luckily in March I had no time to even think about flouncy skirts. I was too busy thinking about surviving the last couple months of school and packing up all our crap for the "big" move. Anyways, I've counted up March of '09 (pretty easy this time) and here it is:

$68-- Banana Republic

Huh. Seems like I actually SPENT more this March than last March, but hey, last March I didn't go anywhere cool. I'm not letting it get me down, I just keep looking at last February and it encourages me. If nothing else I'm learning self control which, come to think of it, I kind of already feel like I have. So if nothing else I'm EXCERCISING my self control. Yea, that sounds good. and maybe realizing my shopping problem wasn't as bad as I thought. Eh, it'll make a good story.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I had an internal struggle before leaving for Singapore. Everytime I mentioned going there people would say "Oh, they have GREAT shopping!" I'd just smile and think to myself "Why do they insist on teasing me so?" Several people asked if I was going to let myself shop and I'd hesitate and say probably not. I mean, I took on this challenge so I needed to stick with it. A few people (and these are my favorites) thought that was ridiculous and I definitely needed to let myself have fun. I decided to listen to them. I mean going half way around the world is kind of a once in a lifetime thing and I surely wanted to make the most of it. And let me tell you, when they say Singapore has great shopping, that is an understatement. Sure they have all the fancy pants stores, but then they have all these awesome small stores. Like tons of them. So I made a decision to let myself spend no more than $150. I think that's a fair amount. And I didn't shop at any stores we have here in the US. Although MOST of the stores in the malls over there aren't stores we have in the US so that was easy. I feel a little guilty for going shopping, but I'm trying to let that go.

Here is what I bought for a grand total of $110:

Yea, that's right-- about $18 per item. Ha.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Who knew I'd be so glad that I had a frivolous February in 09?! This is slightly more rewarding than January was. Here is why:

$61-- Target
$35-- Nine West
$80-- Target
$75-- Macy's
$96-- Nordstrom *ouch*

That makes a grand total of $347. Yowza! I feel like I should put in a disclaimer that I was indeed getting married last year so I tended to use that as an excuse for just about everything I bought. I can't say that EVERYTHING from Target was clothes/shoes, but I know myself and my Target obsession so I'd have to admit that most of it is probably clothes and shoes. I also have had a tendency to buy clothes at Target, go home, try them on and talk myself out of some of the things I bought. We knew this was going to be a very rough estimate, and I'm actually strangely happy to see that number. *Insert sigh of relief with a hint of embarassment for how much I spent last February.*

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Today Erin made me go to Forever 21 with her. If you are a girl, you are aware of what amazing deals Forever 21 has. Nobody is saying the clothes at F21 are going to last you a lifetime, but you also didn't have to save up a lifetime to afford them so I think it's fair. Anyways there and Target are the 2 stores I am most afraid to go in to due to their fabulousness and cheapness, however, Erin insisted. It. was. tough. I left with $16 worth of accessories (I hope you had faith in me and didn't think I was going to say "clothes") and my pride. I bought some headbands, clips, and a couple necklaces. These were the first accessory purchases I've made, so I think I'm doing pretty good 2 months into it. Wow. Only 2 months into it. Actually I might be being a tad dramatic, it hasn't really been that bad. Life's been pretty busy so I don't really even have anywhere fun to wear new clothes to at the moment. I'm just waiting for my kiddos to say something like "Mrs. Hawkins, why do you always wear that?" Trust me, they have no shame. I'm hoping Mother Nature gets it together here pretty soon and starts warming up so I can start busting out some springy clothes. Sweaters? I'm over them.

I also left there knowing exactly what I'm going to do for my birthday. June 9th is going to be a great day in which I go armed with birthday money, Mom, and Erin to F21 and Target. I get such a warm fuzzy feeling just thinking about it. *sigh*

I think I'll go "shopping" in Erin's closet this weekend. I'll be back in A-Town in a couple weeks so I can return them then.

Feb. 27th challenge: passed (with a hint of slight pain)

Monday, February 1, 2010


An alternate title for this post could be january=lame.  I just checked my bank statement from January 09 and it was sorely disappointing. According to Bank of America I didn't spend a dime on clothes last January. Hmmmm..... I find that hard to believe, but I only had the one account and I NEVER use cash so it must be true. I literally said out loud, "You have GOT to be kidding me," when I realized it wasn't such a feat to go through January without shopping. Apparently I did it last year only probably didn't complain as much at the time. I did however spend a crap load on eating out. Please don't tell me I made the wrong resolution. I'm trying really hard not to be pissed off, I was just hoping for a little more gratification than "congratulations, all this pain (yes, pain) you're going through is for not." Crossing my fingers for foolishly extravagant spending in February 09.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Today I went "shopping." Don't worry, it's not what you think. Remember how I said I had some articles of clothing I got for Christmas that needed to be exchanged? Well today was the last day to do so, so I made a trip to the mall with my biggest supporter, Brandon. Right away I knew it was going to be difficult, so we parked by a neutral entrance and not one that goes directly into a store. I'm a strong girl, but I don't need unnecessary torture. As soon as we walked in there was an amazing dress in Neimans, but luckily it would have been a dress that was not possible to buy whether I was doing this crazy resolution or not. I mean a Carolina Herrera dress for $2200 is not exactly in the Hawkins's budget.

Anyways, things were going well until I saw them. The greatest pair of Toms I've ever seen (cue light shining down accompanied by a choir singing alleluia). No really, it was love at first sight. Check it:

I mean come on. They have "Kara" written all over them. Or I guess they have "Kara's birthday present" written all over them. Don't worry Prima Classics *sigh*, I won't forget about you I promise.

So...long story short, it was tough, but I made it w/o too much distress.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I know it's WAY to early to be making exceptions to the rules, but I have a legitimate reason for a new shirt. I've recently gotten involved in a business adventure (get your mona vie on) and I need a mona vie shirt. Distributors wear the shirts to the tastings and also just to spread the news of this fab juice. It's not personal, it's business. I've pretty much already decided I will be purchasing one--I mean come on, it can be a tax write off since it's part of my journey as a personal business woman. I hope nobody thinks I already lost this challenge. This is the year of not only saving money, but MAKING money and this shirt is part of the latter.

Here's my next problem, but I think I've already trouble-shooted (hmmm...shot?) this one. B and I will most likely be making a quick stop in Moscow in March on our way back from Singapore. And by quick I mean quick like a day. 24 hours. That. Is. It. The normal old Kara would definitely be buying loads of new outfits for an international trip, but the new Kara sees that it's not necessary. HOWEVER, were you aware that the temperature in Moscow today was -18? Sure, it'll warm up in March to a toasty -8 reaching maybe 0, but that's still pretty darn chilly and I don't know if I have the appropriate attire for that. My thought is to bug my cousins in NY to bring down some skiing things when they visit in March so that I wont need to buy anything really. Fashion will not be the concern in negative degree temperatures.

And there were a couple thoughts of how to track my savings. Mom and Nicole had the same idea, which I think was so stinkin smart. I'm going to take a look at my monthly bank statements from last year and get a rough estimate of what I spent on clothes. Receipts from Target are tricky b/c Target has so much more than clothes, but I would say the majority of money spent there was on clothes. I will have no shame and will publish about how much I spent last year (eek!) as long as there is no judgement from the audience. :)

Done and done.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Everyone needs a Morgan. We all know this and here is another reason why my friends are amazing. Morgan is one of the most giving people in the world and here is just one example of why. (This does tie in to my blog, I promise).

CandyShop Boutique

Basically Morgan's going to do a clothing swap at her apt. and everyone pays a little "admission fee"  and then you can get your shop on. The proceeds will then go to Morgan's choice of Royal Kids Family Camp where a few years ago she met an amazing little girl named Candy (hence the name). Anyways I'm definitely planning on attending/contributing to the first annual CandyShop, but it will only be a monetary donation. I think it's pretty obvious I am really not in a position to be giving up my clothes, but I can certainly give some moola. I also want to go and hang out and hopefully it wont be too torturous. I have a couple months to prepare and spread the word to my H-Town peeps.

Morgan makes things happen.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Apparently my friends are also being affected by this "experiment." There is an event coming up in which we kind of want to match. You know I don't love being twinkies (no really morgs, i don't), but my brf.s and I like to get t-shirts when we do something fun together--as proven below.

Now 17A is not doing disney again, but Morgan's birthday weekend is going to be just as fun. 2 of the 4 immediately thought we should get t-shirts and then remembered that I can't buy any new clothes this year. I would HATE to punish the birthday girl and they kind of already thought this through. They will happen to order an extra one that I will borrow and then give back straight away.

Problem. Solved.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Mom and Tamara brought up the fact of how rewarding it would be to keep track of how much I'm saving. I'll need some ideas of how I can do this since I'm kind of avoiding clothes all together so I don't really know what I WOULD be buying. Of course an exact number at the end isn't necessary, but I like the idea of having a rough estimate of what I saved. If anything it would probably be an underestimate. I think if I had some sort of number at the end it would be less likely for me to revert to my old habits or go on a shopping spree right after. I'm not gonna go blow everything I just spent a year least not on clothes.
Note to self: read this at the very end when I all I really want to do is go on a major shopping spree.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Today was probably the first time temptation was surrounding me. I had to go into Old Navy to exchange something for b and of course there were signs all over the place exclaiming just how cheap and fantastic everything is right now. If there is anything I love more than shopping, it's sale shopping. I get quite the high when I snag shoes that are normally $250 for $20 (true story by the way--those Cole Haan heels are to die for). I did very well though if I do say so myself. I walked straight to the boxers, grabbed what I needed and headed right to the check out line eyes forward. I'm not gonna lie, the line was long so my eyes did take a swift look around and saw a few things that I would normally purchase. AND Target is right next to ON and I drove right past it without even batting an eye.

If I can pass up an Old Navy clearance, surely I'm off to a good start. I can honestly say it wasn't even THAT difficult.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Too soon to start a countdown?
I think not.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


and the official rules are.....drumroll please.............

1. no clothes of any kind
2. no shoes of any kind
3. accessories are ok--belts, hats, necklaces, etc.
4. clothes may be received as gifts for x-mas and birthday. (guess it'll be another 6 months then! insert big fake smiley face here)
5. clothes may be GIVEN by me as gifts
6. undergarments are definitely ok
7. borrowing is allowed as long as I give back immediately
8. clothes I received as x-mas presents just a mere week ago may be exchanged by the end of the month--look, some things I got just don't fit and it seems a waste not to be able to exchange them for something that does fit. I got these items before I had this amazing idea.

I think that's it. Someone mentioned that I need to figure out my purpose for doing this and thus the rules would come. I've thought about this and my purpose is definitely money saving and also proving I can use what I already have so I think the rules fit that nicely.

These rules are pretty set in stone unless you just think something is missing. B and I did some running around today but luckily world market, best buy and the recycling center weren't too tempting clothes-wise. although a week from now those recycled paper bags may be looking good--a little project runway-esque.

Friday, January 1, 2010


There is still some debate about the rules of this year-long challenge. I am open to suggestions and opinions as to what I can and cannot buy. So far here is what we (my family and a few friends) have come up with as solid rules.

1. I can't buy any clothes whatsoever-- new, used, old, ugly, fabulous--NONE
2. I can't use gift cards to get new clothes.
3. I CAN buy accessories, and thank goodness for that. If I'm going to be wearing clothes that I've had forever I'll need to spruce them up somehow. A chunky necklace or quirky hat should do the trick.

The verdict is still out on the following, and therefore I will be taking ideas.

1. Can I buy shoes? My love of shoes goes deeper than the love I have for clothes.
2. Can I receive clothes as a gift? I think yes as long as it's a legit holiday---and not a random one like Arbor Day. If we say yes to this one we may need to make a list of appropriate clothes-giving holidays.
3. Can I borrow clothes? Erin has quite the collection of clothes as well and we happen to be the same size. I'll give them back promptly, I promise.
4. Can I buy clothes for others? As torturous as it may be to go shopping with my husband, he will most likely "want" my opinion. Or if I see an adorable outfit that screams "GRACE!" I should probably be allowed to buy it.

On day one I feel no separation anxiety from the stores. Although yesterday my stomach was killing me and Brandon said, "Do you think it's b/c you're thinking about not being able to buy clothes for a year?" I replied very seriously, "I don't think so." Then he explained he was kidding.