Saturday, 6 December 2014

Living with a Capsule Wardrobe - the details!

I'm finally getting round to a post about my Project 333/Capsule wardrobe and 33 outfits in 33 days challenge.  I was surprised by how many of you asked about it and were interested in doing something similar :)  So, I thought it might be helpful to blog about a few more specifics and also photos of most of the different outfits I got out of the 33in33 challenge which you can look back on by following me on Instagram.

I actually really enjoy having a capsule wardrobe. I originally got the idea from reading the becoming minimalist blog ( and first did it last summer when I was living in Canada. When I was pregnant I still kept a pretty minimal wardrobe and have done ever since really. I just switch a few things in and out for winter/summer. So it's not strictly project 333 as that's 33 items changing every 3 months.

I chose pretty carefully as I like to be able to mix and match a lot so it feels not too restricted. So colours that can mostly all go together, and I like to do cardigans more than jumpers as I feel it gives me more flexibility for layering with different things so that I can create different outfits with less items. I find I spill food and get puked on more on my tops so I have more tops than pants!! (Just keepin it real!)

So here's the run down which may be helpful if you're thinking of doing something similar:

1 vest/bodywarmer
1 Long Winter coat
1 rain jacket
1 thick knit cardigan that I can also wear as a light jacket
1 fleece
3 scarves (the more practical accessory for with a baby who likes to grab jewellery!! Which is why only...
1 pair earrings (plus 3 rings I never take off so I don't count those - wedding rings and one other)
1 pair boots
1 pair flats
1 handbag (plus a nappy bag which I don't count!)
3 pairs jeans
1 skirt
1 dress
1 pair heels
2 jumpers
6 cardigans
4 short sleeve tops
3 long sleeve tops

That's 33!

The things I don't count, which is by the rules of project 333 are:

- Underwear (including vest tops that I wear as undershirts/nursing vest tops)
- Pjs
- Hiking/exercise clothes (I have 2 pants and 3 tops)
- Scruffy work/lounging around the house clothes and a pair of shoes, none of which I would go out in. (I have 1 pair yoga pants, 1 hoody and about 4 t-shirts)

So here's some photos of what that looks like for my 33in33 Challenge (not quite all of them photographed here)...

I choose to create my wardrobe like this because clothing and accumulating clothing used to be a bit of an unhealthy habit and I wanted it to be more under control. I got sick of having so much stuff especially in the wardrobe area. I want to live with closer to just what I need and less excess so that I can have more time, space, money, energy for the important things and break some of the habit to accumulate stuff that creeps in so easily. 

I'd love to know/see your capsule wardrobes or project333s if you do it! 


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Life to the Full

Yes, I'm still here! There's been a serious lack of blogging recently (or really anything beyond activities for basic survival) due to one teething baby that has lead to a major lack of sleep. It's been challenging to say the least, but I think we are getting a little reprieve at the moment, so I'm enjoying a return to sanity - and I think Ken is too - having a sane wife I mean!  All that to say, my baby is back to his happy self and I was able to enjoy listening to a sermon online today and wanted to share a few snippets. 

Ken and I have been thinking and talking a lot recently about what it looks like for us to walk in our faith. It's an ongoing conversation. What does it look like for us to live out the Truth that Jesus talks about. The things that we read in the Bible or hear on a Sunday in church. Because In James its says that faith without works is dead. We want to have a faith that is living, not just so that we get to enjoy true life day to day, but so that we can share with others, by hopefully showing a bit of what it might look like to actually live what we believe. Not that we always get it right, but that our heart and our desire are to put these things into practice. That's really what the purpose of this blog is. I know and have experienced in my own life, that there can be a big gap between church on a Sunday morning and the way I choose to actually live "my" life. I hope and pray that I'll always be growing in that area so that the things I believe wouldn't be just good things to talk about, but that they would be seen by the way I live my life day to day. How I love my husband, how I raise my kids, what kind of friend I am, how I work and do business, run my home, handle my possessions and finances.... All of it.

Anyways, so with all these things at the forefront of my thoughts, here's some of what I "just happened" to listen to today: 
(Might not be exact quotes or in the right order they were said - I was writing like a crazy person, pausing and rewinding to get it down, but you get the idea hopefully)

"The faith that is going to become the centre of my life is only going to become the centre of my life to the extent that I'm willing to evict other loves: love of sleep, love of other people's approval, love of comfort, love of financial security...

...there's always something in me calling me down and something in me calling me up...

...but the result of His priorities becoming my priorities? John 10:10 "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly". It's life that's abundant, not just a ticket to heaven. Really live. Be saturated with love, peace, joy, generosity, wisdom to know which way to turn every day...

It requires discipline.  There will always be something pulling us down."

You can listen to the whole thing by clicking here and listening to "Called to Participate" part of the Cascading series. 

That verse from John 10:10 used to always have me puzzled - frustrated and yet wanting more all at the same time, because I couldn't see how my going-to-church and reading-my-bible "good-girl" faith, could ever be called "abundant life" or "life to the full"... But now I'm beginning to see.  As I let go of the things that I think are valuable, the things I think I need, and choose to get involved in God's story and what He's doing... That's Life.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Project 333 and an extra challenge!

Just a quick post today for those of you who are interested in the whole capsule wardrobe thing! I have just switched a few things in and out of my wardrobe for the autumn/winter and have my capsule wardrobe of 33 items ready for the months ahead. To show how doable this whole thing is, I'm even accepting the 33in33 challenge - 33 outfits in 33 days - in the hopes that you might be encouraged and inspired to pursue some simplicity in you own life in this area or another too! 

For me, accumulating clothing had become a bit of a habit, and I was done with having too much stuff, particularly in the wardrobe department. It's my aim to keep life simple as much as possible so that I'm free to focus on what's really important in life. It means I can put more time, energy, money,and care into the areas of true worth and value.

If you're interested to follow along with my challenge or even join me, you can see more by following me on Instagram @vickikarg or follow the hashtags #project333 or #33in33


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Working on life

A few times a year, Ken and I try to take a day or two to "work on life". It's our chance to take a step back from the day to day and reevaluate things. We want to live our lives on purpose, and we each have a few things written down of how we envision that to look. Our times to review these things together are intentional moments of making sure we're not drifting from who we want to be - in relationship to God, to each other and to others. This affects our family, our business and our daily lives.  They're decisions we make on a daily basis to focus on what really matters in life and to put priority on those things as life gets full and busy... We all know what that's like! 

Sometimes, the drift can be subtle. It comes with stress, pressure, comparing ourselves with others, influence from advertising or social media or TV, a harsh word, a "bad day"... One thing leads to another and its scarily easy to find ourselves on a track we don't want to be on. This makes it even more important, we believe, to stop, take a step back, and give ourselves the opportunity to recalculate the route if we need to. Sometimes the adjustment is a major one, sometimes it's just a little nudge, sometimes it's just a glance at the map and some encouraging glances back at the progress we've made and the road we've already travelled.

This past week we've been able to take a couple of days once again to do this and it's been so refreshing and inspiring. I'd encourage you to consider doing it too. Dream some dreams, write some things down, seek God for what true abundant life in Him might look like. Set some goals, order some priorities and set about taking the next step.

I recently read a book that talks a little about this by Michael Gerber. It's on business and so relates more specifically to taking time to work ON the business not just IN the business, but the principals are the same. He says:

"You might say that, while going to work on the business, people begin to realise that it is a powerful metaphor for going to work on their lives. And that, I believe, is the heart of the process: not efficiency, not effectiveness, not more money, not to 'downsize' or 'get lean', but to simply and finally create more life for everyone who comes into contact with the business, but most of all for you, the person who owns it." ...

"I believe it's true that the difference between great people and everyone else is that the great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next." 

To me it's the living fully verses just existing, living on purpose verses living by accident. It's so easy to drift in our faith, our relationships, our health etc, and yet with regularly taking time for a little thought, prayer and seeking out what it means to live into our purpose, life can be full, content, influential and abundant.


Thursday, 4 September 2014

Why doing less is the best way to do more

Just wanted to share this video/podcast by Michael Hyatt talking about a book called "Essentialism" by Greg McKeown.  It's on my reading list and I'm excited for it because it's about a topic that seems to have been coming up in my life a lot recently...

The book calls it working in our "areas of highest contribution", some may also call it "purpose" or "calling". It's really helped me to think and pray about that a lot over the last few months and it's something Ken & I keep talking about too.  For me, I have a few things that I think God has given me as my purpose in life and they're becoming a filter to help make decisions by.  I have a hard time saying no to things, (as you may know if you've read much of my blog!), especially good things, and can easily end up overloaded and therefore doing nothing well.  Maybe that sounds familiar?!  Hope you enjoy this video and are challenged and inspired by the things in it as much as I was.

(You can find more on Michael Hyatt's blog at:


Friday, 22 August 2014

My Capsule Wardrobe -- take two!

Last Summer I did something called Project 333, where for 3 months I lived with just 33 items of clothing including shoes, jackets & accessories.  I'd been working on simplifying a few areas of life, and my wardrobe was next on the list.  I enjoyed the challenge and decided I'd like to work on living with a capsule wardrobe permanently.  Then I got pregnant! ha!  Through pregnancy I still knew that once I'd had the baby I wanted to return to a small, well thought out wardrobe and really put some thought into building a small selection of clothes that I liked and enjoyed wearing.  The principal behind it all is that I want to live a simple life, undistracted by things that don't really matter, so that I can concentrate on the things that do.  Since a lot of people enjoyed hearing about my project first time around, here's a little peak at what my wardrobe looks like now.  
I haven't really stuck to a set number this time, and I also won't just do it for 3 months.  I have a handful of things that will get swapped in and out for Summer/Winter, but our climate isn't really that varied from season to season!  So, it looks like this photo to the left. I do also have a shelf above with a few work t-shirts, a hoody for around the house and some workout and hiking clothes.  I'm also not including my small collection of PJs/underwear/vest tops since I don't     as they're the essentials.  I do try to keep those items to a minimum though too.

I find it refreshing to just have a few things that I really enjoy wearing and am learning to be content with not always wanting something new or different to wear.  I used to have a wardrobe full of clothes, probably 4 times the size that I do now and yet it really didn't add anything to my life.  Surprisingly I've found that I'm not getting bored with my clothes.  It's definitely been and continues to be a lesson in not comparing myself to others and not believing that what I wear is of any real importance.  The way we present ourselves does say a lot about who we are, and so it's worth giving it some thought.  Nothing says more though than being a person of character and integrity and ultimately I believe that's far more important than the way we look or what we wear... and that's a concept that's a bit "out there" in our world today!  I recently read a book called "Weird" by Craig Groeschel, that talks about how, if we're truly going to be a follower of Jesus, then we have to think beyond just what's normal in our culture so that we can live lives of purpose, intention and influence in a chaotic world. 

(There's a few others who've done something similar with their wardrobes, one of my recent favourites is @caroline_joy of  


Friday, 15 August 2014

Doing things by The Book

Motherhood is refining. I have no doubt about it. I thought marriage taught me lots. And it has and still does. The good, the bad and the truely ugly about who I really am. This week as I feel like every nap and every bedtime for Reuben has been a battle, God has been speaking to my heart. I am a big reader and a researcher. I like to know stuff. The facts. I just do. Partly this is thanks to Ken I think and his influence on me! I mostly think its a good thing. I'm a big fan of being a life long learner. The moment we stop learning is the moment we think we know it all, and that's not good! But in regard to raising Reuben it's driving me bonkers. I'm googling all kinds .. Right down to "how often should my 4 month old poo"! (Yes motherhood will do crazy things to a girl!) I'm reading parenting books, forums and blogs, just soaking it all in. But you know what? It's mostly more confusing than informing. Everyone has an opinion and a strategy. A formula for "the right way" to to do things. Yesterday, pretty much at breaking point, I sat down with THE manual for Life - My Bible - and took it all to Him. What freedom there is to know that the way we do things doesn't have to be in line with anything anyone says or thinks or does or advises... It's all about my heart being right before God - the one who knows what we're going to say or do before we even speak or act. All wisdom belongs to Him and so I think I'll be doing things by THE Book from now on...


Monday, 7 July 2014

No one said it would be easy!

My baby boy is almost three months old and the end of the "Newborn" era is coming to an end.  Crazy how time flies.  I'm enjoying being Mum to such a sweet little boy, but there really are days when I feel like I'm just not cut out for this!  No one can prepare you for the feeling of overwhelming responsibility as you realise that this little person is reliant on you for absolutely everything.  This morning though I'm reminded as I'm reading through Oswald Chambers' "My Utmost for His Highest" that "All efforts of Worth and Excellence are Difficult."  Nothing of value happens over night.  Nothing that's good comes quick and easy.  Just like the foundation of a house: blood sweat and tears might go into the back breaking work of digging and laying a solid foundation.  A lot of time and effort may go into something which will never again be seen.  But you really only get one shot.  You could choose to go the quick and easy route, all in the name of skipping out on the hard work, but it won't last.  So I'm praying that as I press on in this labour of love to care for and nurture my son, that it will be building a firm foundation so that he'll be able to stand firm and secure in whatever storms life might bring him... Easy? No.  Worthwhile? Yes.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Life Long Learning

I listened to a great podcast yesterday while I was doing a few jobs and wanted to share it.  If you've got a spare few minutes as you drive, run, work... whatever, have a listen.

It's about life-long learning and the importance of being a reader.  I was challenged to broaden my reading horizons and to keep stretching myself.  So I've added a few new books to my reading list and am excited to dig in!  This podcast talks specifically about a book called "Entertaining ourselves to death" by Neil Postman.  I'm challenged in this area as I find it too easy to sit in front of the TV each night (especially when Britain's Got Talent is on!!) and just waste away so many hours. My books and journalling sit there unread and undone and I feel like I've achieved nothing.  So for the month of June, I'm setting myself the challenge to spend my evenings reading instead of TV watching. I'm choosing books that will help me to learn and grow in different areas - business, marriage, family, faith... I'm hoping it will be a good "reset" for me.  I think we all need that every now and again. 


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Becoming a Mum... the lessons so far!

Well, since my last post there's been big changes in my life!  I have become a Mum!! Our son is now 3 weeks old and I'm loving being his Mum!  I can't help but get a little frustrated with myself though as I realise I am having to re-learn some lessons I thought I'd got under my belt already.  I guess sometimes God has to give us a refresher course!...

1. It's all about priorities
Life with a newborn is something I don't think anyone could have prepared my for.  As someone who likes to be productive and tick things of the list, I'm having to learn this one all over again. The priority right now is to feed my baby and to rest enough to have the energy to do that.  My accomplishments for the day usually boil down to not much more than that.  And that's ok.

2. I am not what I do
At the moment it's a daily battle in my mind to choose not to sneak in an hour or two of work where I can.  Living and working all in the same place has positives and negatives, but the pressure is all just what I put on myself.  As I am trying to learn to let go, I also am having to remind myself that I'm not a failure just because I'm not trying to be wonder woman!  As I think on this whole work-life thing, I've enjoyed reading a book this week called "Fat, Forty & Fired", here's a TED Talk by the author on his journey to get his life back in balance.  It's a good one:

3. Live slow, Give thanks and Soak in the moments
I actually enjoy this one and continue to remind myself each day to live slow and enjoy these days knowing that they'll fly by and be gone before I know it.  I want to drink it in and choose gratitude ... even in amongst the sometimes poop and puke filled days and sleepless nights!!


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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Living Slow and Urgent

This week I read a blog post on a blog I follow quite regularly called, The Art of Simple.  It was a bit surreal, and even Ken thought so too, that the story of the girl was reading was so similar to my own.  You can read it here. Both she and I have journeyed through saying yes to everything, living a frantic life and making ourselves ill in the process - all while still in our twenties.  We've both come out of the other side with a vow to learn to slow down, simplify, and say no to some stuff so we can purposefully plan in space in our lives rather than planning every moment of every day of every week.  We've also both been impacted to read the book "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp during this season - and I know I mention it a lot but even now, re-reading it, there's some life lessons in there that I don't want to forget.  I blogged a while ago on a section that stuck out to me (you can find that post here), and it's mentioned in this girls blog post too and was a good reminder to me so I wanted to share it with you and hope it's a lesson for you today too...

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Joy of Spring!

I love Spring! There's little lambs in the fields and the first flowers of the season are in full colour.  It's always a reminder of New Life to me, seeing everything blossom again.  Pretty significant that this year there's new life on it's way in a whole other way for me too!  With baby being officially due in a week's time, and Easter being around the corner too I've been thinking about the kind of New Life we remember at Easter. The New Life of Jesus.  I know for a long time, I didn't really "get it" - the Christian life was more about a get into heaven ticket and following the rules to be a good person between now and then.  Not much more to it than that.  Over the last few years though, I'm learning more and more what it means to actually enjoy this New Life now, day in day out.  The gift of Easter is so much more than just a pass into heaven one day.  It's the joy of the here and now.  The peace of knowing the One Who's in control day in day out.  And, most recently I'm realising the hope found in living with purpose right where we are.  There's a lot of hope in that.  Food for thought...

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Asking for nothing to change

"...Life change comes when we receive life with thanks and ask for nothing to change." - Ann Voskamp

This is a tough one.  Life throws us things that we'd rather not go through, and yet, kicking and screaming we usually have no choice but to keep moving forward.  Health problems, suffering, death, struggle... how can we receive it with thanks?  

I'm coming to learn that there's more value in the process and the learning through the struggles than we could ever imagine.  Like gold refined in the fire.  It can feel though that somehow God has left the situation.  Left us to fend for ourselves.  After all, how can a good God allow bad things to happen?  But, I believe that nothing separates us from the love of God.  Even if our feelings tell us differently.  Paul said "I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation" (2 Corinthians 7:4)  That might seem strange but I think it's because he'd come to realise the value of the struggle and that it would produce growth and a closer relationship with God.

Maybe we were expecting that life would be smooth... that we have a right to a plain sailing life, the perfect family, full health and no troubles.  I believe there's a bigger picture though, and that to remember that keeps us teachable, and changeable but also living a life of joy and peace despite our physical circumstances.

"...those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." Romans 8:5&6

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

A Birthday and the Gifts

Well, tomorrow is my 26th birthday and I can't quite believe it!  I'm re-reading one of my favourite books "One Thousand Gifts" (Ann Voskamp) at the moment, and this morning's chapter was "a sanctuary of time" and starts with a quote:
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us" - J.R.R Tolkien
I've had 26 years so far and know that I've spent a lot of it learning, growing and building some amazing friendships.  I want to keep on with that.  I also know that there's been quite a bit that I've spent rushing through or wishing for the next step.  I've never been a good one at contentment, satisfaction, patience and waiting!  
"Being in a hurry.  Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me.  I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry.  But a thousand broken and missed things lie in the wake of all the rushing... Through all that haste I thought I was making up time.  It turns out I was throwing it away." - Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God
Some lessons I really don't enjoy learning, but this one of slowing down, learning to rest in the moment, making the most of this season and enjoying the here and now... I'm enjoying it.  There's joy in the little things that easily gets missed when we fly by and constantly wish for the next thing.

Right now, being pregnant is a perfect example.  I'm looking to enjoy the days... and the nights!... in this season of a special kind of waiting.  I'm not wishing the time away - these last weeks as "just the two of us", the nights of being kicked awake by my son or daughter to be, and the days of exciting preparations and dreaming up names and faces for the babe we're soon to meet.  This is a season I don't want to rush, wishing away the weeks until the big day, I want to savour the moments and make the most of the time, counting it all as gifts... like a birthday every day!

Friday, 14 February 2014

Learned in the dark, remembered in the light

Today I'm challenged that the lessons we learn in the dark are to be remembered, acted out and spoken in the light too.  Specifically I've been thinking about this in the area of giving thanks.  There's days in my life where I've come to learn that the only way I'll get through them is by looking at and giving thanks for the blessings in amongst the trials and the struggles.  It's an aim of mine to make this a habit and train my mind to always go there - to giving thanks.  But, when days are "easier" I get caught off guard more easily too.  I don't think I need that focus and that's when trouble comes!  I fall into the trap of complaining and being negative and often only recognise the ugliness later on.  We seem to have that default, but I know that there's amazing strength in retraining that default to be thankfulness instead.  What a difference it makes to the way we speak to others, how we work, spend our time, our money and how we make decisions.

Practically, I'm still journalling my way to "one thousand gifts" Ann Voskamp style, but it's more than just that.  It's a daily choice and an attitude I have to remember to "put on".  

Sometimes it's not just for us either.  Things we need to remember learning might just be an encouragement to someone else going through "darkness" right now too.  

Matthew 10:27"What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops."

Thursday, 9 January 2014

What's the point?

Going a little deep again here today... grab a cup of tea and hold on tight! :) 

A goal of mine for this year is to keep on reading as much as I can.  I've set the target again of 1 book per month. Once babe arrives, we'll see how that goes!  Last year I read more books than ever and enjoyed getting into some non-fiction too.  I think that's been Ken's influence!

Right now I'm reading a book by Gretchen Ruben called "Happiness at Home", so far there's been some really inspiring sections, and some others, not so much.  I like a practical book, and she's personal in telling her experiences of trying to address specific areas of her life such as parenting, marriage, possessions etc.  I'm not on the same page with her in all areas but there's some good ideas and challenges I think for making changes towards a happier more contented home and life.

That said, I know that happiness and contentment that lasts doesn't come from a well-organized home, scheduled date nights, family photos around and some well-intentioned goals & resolutions.  Even though I love ALL of those things!  Being content and happy comes from knowing our purpose in life.  Have you ever thought about purpose?  The "So what?"  Ken & I have been chatting about it a bit recently and it's got me thinking...

For me, I believe my biggest purpose in life is to love God and to love others.  I think that's the key to enjoying Life, true Life, today.  But what does that purpose look like practically in day-to-day life?  There's some obvious ones, but there's some other ideas and thoughts that take a little time to get hold of...

Mostly, this looks different for everybody and also looks different depending on the season of life, but, recently I've been thinking in the area of what I enjoy and what my hobbies & talents are, and how this could be tied in with "purpose".  Each season of life is different, but there's always some way we can use our gifts to bless others.  What would that look like for you?  For me, one thing I love is to be creative, to make things, especially making cards.  I also love to send post and packages.  This year, I'd like to take the time to do more of this, I love doing it and I'm hoping my family & friends will enjoy receiving them too!

The Bible says that we're blessed to be a blessing, and I often think of this more in the sense of money and giving financially, but I'm seeing now that it's so much more than that.  To be honest, I also think it's true to say that when we're a blessing we are blessed.  There's a lot of joy and contentment that comes from knowing and experiencing that happiness doesn't come from meeting goals, keeping resolutions, having the 'perfect' home or 'perfect' family but from knowing and living to our full purpose day-to-day.

Just my thoughts, not even finished thoughts, and definitely not answers... I'd love to hear yours too!


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Thursday, 2 January 2014

Anticipation meets the Unknown

Happy New Year!  Time has flown and another year is gone... wow! It's been fun to look back over the year as we put together our year's photo album, and re-live the good times and memories with friends and family.  The year has been full of ups and downs but I'm able to look back and be thankful for it all.  That was the theme for the year last year; giving thanks, and definitely a mind-set I'd like to keep hold of for this year too.  

Now though, there's a New Year ahead, hopes, goals, resolutions and anticipation.  Anticipation for the arrival of our baby is pretty high on the list, but what else will this year hold I wonder?

I'm not a fan of the unknown, as you might know, and really do find a lot of security in certainty and a well followed plan!  I'm learning though that pretty much nothing is certain, and that's sometimes scary to me.  I do know though that God will continue to grow and refine me through each circumstance as I let Him, and I think that has to be the ultimate goal.  We can remain mouldable and open-hearted, or we can curl up tight and refuse to accept His hand in our lives.  I've been in both 'camps' at one time or another and know where I'd rather be.  

So this year, looking ahead there's a mix of anticipation and fear of the unknown, but one thing's certain... I know Who's beside me every step of the way and am very thankful for that!


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