Happy New Year, all! January often comes with a lot of reflection on the year we are leaving, and a lot of dreaming and hope for the year we are entering. In the midst of resolving to set, change, and attain goals each month in 2022, I immediately thought of what areas I ‘pour’ my energy and life into: my marriage, my family/friends, my job, and my hobbies. Since 2020, I’ve had influences and difficulties come through my life that have caused a shift in where I spend my time. I intentionally added in a goal of some ‘me’ time at the gym 3-4xs a week so that overall, I can be better and do more mentally and physically in all of these areas.
My biggest hobby and creative outlet the past 6+ years has been sharing my teacher and summer/weekend outfits on Instagram. I have tried to balance it with blogging about things related to what I wear as well, and tend to enjoy it quite a bit when I’m feeling inspired. This hobby also provides a small income on the side, which on a teacher’s salary, is such a blessing. Over 2021, I really tried to focus on making more conscious decisions with where I was spending money. I began pinpointing what I had that was worth spending money on, what I was eyeing that would be worth investing in, or how often I could wear or use what I was purchasing.
What changes have you been making the past few years? How has it helped you grow and change?
I am always thankful for an opportunity to start fresh. Sometimes – well actually most of the time for me – it’s hard to add to or change up our routines or habits. But I do think that when it’s to better the most important areas of your life, it is worth it.
So, as I closed the chapter that is 2021, I thought it would be fun to round up my most used products or most worn clothes of 2021. And if I’m being honest, most of them are things I’ve been wearing or using for 2 years or more, and plan to continue using. At the end of this post, I’m rounding up a few things I am adding/looking for in 2022.
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My Most Worn Activewear:
Adidas Cloudfoam Pure Shoes | Old Navy Compression Leggings | Joy Lab Sports Bra
Since being in the gym 3-4 times a week, I needed to find affordable but GOOD compression leggings for extremely sweaty and high intensity workouts that will also hold up in the washer week after week. These have been my favorites for those 2 reasons. I still LOVE lululemon, but the price for me is just not where I want to spend my money. (I lay all of my activewear flat to dry and do not put any of it in the dryer.)
My Most Used Beauty:
MD Lash Serum | Este Lauder Foundation | CeraVe Lotion | Living Proof Dry Shampoo | Self Tanners – Neutrogena Spray (for feet and hands) / St. Tropez (for body)
The lash serum is my favorite! I’ve been using it pretty much nightly since summer of 2020 and it’s helped my lash growth and sustain my lashes so well. I have used the other 5 products for more than 4 years.
My Most Worn Jewelry / Accessories:
Initial/Symbol Disk Necklace | Hoop Earring Set | Gold Hoops | Mini Aviator Sunglasses | Fitbit Versa 2
I wear almost all of these daily! I especially have loved my Fitbit at work because it syncs with my phone and I can read any text messages that come in without having to run over to my phone. It comes in handy counting steps all day and timing workouts in the gym, too!
My Most Worn / Used for Work:
AE Dream Jeans – Black / Blue (Fit TTS, have stretch) | Old Navy Swing Tank – High Neck / Scoop Neck (easy to knot up or leave long with leggings – I have sizes S and M) | YETI 20 oz Tumbler
Like I mentioned, I get a ton of use out of Old Navy’s swing/lux tanks! I use them for layering in the winter because they are the perfect length for knotting or covering your bum with leggings or tighter pants. During our hot summers I can wear them as tops, too!
My Most Worn on Days Off:
Spanx Faux Leather Leggings | Luxe Long-Sleeve Tunic T-Shirt | Agolde “Parker” Shorts (I wear my A&F size in Agolde) | Aerie Ribbed Tanks (I get a size M) | Lounge Set | Soho Small Leather Disco Bag (bought used) – similar styles here and here
I have had my spanx leggings for 5 years now and still wear them a lot during our winters with my long tunic tops, duster cardigans, or sweatshirts. I also really like the tunic top (wear a sports bra or lace bralette under) and have 3 colors in this style.
My Most Worn Shoes:
Lug Sole Boots (sold out) – Almost identical linked here and here (Use code XOJULES for a discount) | Marc Fisher Pointed Toe Boots | Studded Sandals (fit TTS) – Use code XOJULES for a discount | Slides – Use code XOJULES for a discount | Platform Espadrilles | Fashion Sneakers (Check Poshmark!) – Other similar options here and here
These styles all work great for me at work and also are ones I wear a lot on weekends or casual Fridays. My favorites from this group are the lug sole boots and the studded strappy sandals for sure!
My Most Used in Home:
Breville Convection Oven (we had this version for 9 years!) | Nespresso | Pyrex 7×11 glass dish | Kitchenaid Mixer | Floating Frame | YETI 30 oz Stainless Steel Tumbler | Vacu Vin Stainless Steele Wine Saver | Faux Fur Throw Blanket
You all know I’ve loved having my Nespresso! I waited for a big sale and also joined Bed Bath & Beyond for a membership discount on top of the sale price. That’s the way to go if you’re interested in getting one, too.
I use my Pyrex baking dish and kitchenaid mixer weekly to prep lunches or make dinner. I bake chicken and pork chops at 450 for 20-22 minutes – makes for an easy healthy dinner. Also, for shredded chicken, I take them from the oven directly into my mixer (cover the top with your guard or a towel), and beat on medium until the chicken is shredded. BEST THING EVER!
Also, the throw blankets I mentioned are on our couch – we love the warmth and style. The floating frame has been a great home decor piece that I have on our shelf in the living room. Rather than constantly buying new wall art, I just get on Etsy and print out either an inspirational quote or a holiday message and switch it out to change things up for a new season or holiday!
What I’m adding in 2022:
Emuaid Therapeutic Moisture Bar and Ointment | Breville Smart Oven (Air Fryer Pro) | Lululemon belt bag | I want to try some Agolde Jeansin the fall – I’ve heard good things!
I’m adding Emuaid to my face/skincare routine after seeing my sister’s skin improve in a matter of months from July to December (she dealt with extreme dry patches of skin in areas as well as melasma). I also am excited to start air frying with our upgraded Breville smart oven! YAY!
Tips for Shopping in 2022:
Get on Poshmark! You’ll be amazed at how many new with tags or like new items are listed. You’ll find brands like Abercrombie and Fitch, Lululemon, Steve Madden, Golden Goose, and even high end brands. If you are on the hunt for something specific, just type the name of it in the search! Do your research on the seller by checking reviews and comments, but keep in mind that Poshmark has some good guidelines that help protect buyers, too.
Resell for spending money! Spend an hour or two once a month to list at least 5 things that you currently have in your closet in good condition but don’t wear anymore. Poshmark is a great spot to do this! Or, find a resale / consignment shop in your city to bring things to once a month or before every season. Use your earned “closet resell” money as spending money for more current or desirable things.
Wait. Make a list. Don’t rush into buying… wait for a sale. Making a list of things you’ve been wanting or needing will help with waiting until the right moment, too, especially before the change of seasons. I like to set goals for myself, then reward when I hit the goals with spending on something I’ve been eyeing or needing. And, let’s say I really want a new, maybe trendier pair of jeans, I’ll wait and hold off on buying during the hot summer until the cooler jeans season comes.
Was there anything that we both found useful or wore a lot in 2021? What are you adding in 2022? Thanks for stopping by to read!
This was such a fun post to start my day with! Made me think through my year past and coming up! And I always love seeing what people have used and like that are tried and true- especially when I trust their taste and methods! I actually already threw a couple things in my cart and ordered them for pick up at target today straight from your handy links! I’m so asked to pick up my groceries now cause it won’t just be boring groceries! Haha! I threw other things on my Amazon wishlist and have the fashion junkee tab open…oh my goodness, their braided shoes and lug stole Chelsea boots!! Thank you for taking the time to share your gold mines!
*excited, not asked
and lug *sole, not stole…autocorrect makes me sound crazy! Haha!