Birth of a project

I was getting dressed for a friend's birthday party and I didn't know what I was going to put on my body. I looked in my closet and it seemed empty, unpromising. I've had these moments before; everything was old, ill-fitting, or blah. I thought to myself, "Ugh! I have NOTHING to wear!" Then I began rifling through my closet and saw a forgotten shirt I loved and many more, and I realized I was crazy. I had plenty to wear, and plenty to choose from. My closet was FULL of treasures! At that moment I decided I would take a year to explore my closet and to add NOTHING new to my wardrobe.

I would create a NEW outfit for each day in order to maximize my wardrobe and shake up my style.

Basically, I would try to "snap out" of my fashion rut, and appreciate what I have.

It was my New Years' project:
One Closet, One Year.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Another busy day at Casa Espy. But are we different than any other urban family? I think not. We are living in a city of industrious and connected folk. They have plans, obligations, families, friends. They get around, and so do we.

We had two parties today. Both were lovely. We had a good time. The kids came home late, so we'll see how they fare in the morning. I skipped out on the trick-or-treating this year because I had some work to do. I went with the kids the last two years in a row without Richard, so I figured it was his turn. I missed out on HaHa's first trick-or-treating, though.

Oh well, I guess that's life in the big city!

Also, I promise to write about my writing class soon!


When I looked at my photos, I realized that I unconsciously dressed like a bumble bee, I think. I guess I was inspired by HaHa!

Shirt: Goodwill. Anne Klein II.

Sweater: Thrift store.

Pants: Big Sunday. Bu by Malibu jeans. I am going to have to get rid of these when this project is over. They really don't fit well.

Shoes: These were a hand-me -down from my friend's mom! Lucky me!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I had a busy day. I took a writing class, and then I helped my Fresh friend move. It was a good work out! We walked up and down her flight of stairs at least a dozen times!

Anyway, I wanted to write about the writing class and all of the numerous moments of the class when I was laughing so hard I had to hold back tears, but I am dozing as I write this. I have to sleep. It's 12:40 a.m. Tomorrow is another day, and another post!

Oh, someone is using my American Idol costume to wear to a party. Imitation is the best form of flattery! And, it is an easy and fun idea! Happy Halloween ladies and gents!


Tunic: Goodwill.

Green shirt: Goodwill. Kenneth Cole. I think I will have to give this shirt away because the fabric is too difficult to keep clean.

Jeans: Friend hand-me-down.

Shoes: Miz Moos. I had to wear different shoes to go moving because I stepped in dog poop on my way out of the house.

This is not one of my favorite outfits, but sometimes I just need to go with flow!

Friday, October 29, 2010


We had a lot of Halloween fun today at school. It started with an all-school parade that is one of the annual highlights. Richard brought HaHa, so she was able to experience the glory and the madness. It was a bit overwhelming for her, but she was a trooper, and she even played with some of my first graders. They were very sweet to her.

I thought of a Halloween costume the night before, and Richard was kind enough to make it for me! I never figured out what the numbers he printed on my contestant sign. If you have any ideas, please let me know!

Spending the day with children completely giddy from their costumes and the ritual of Halloween was a lot of fun. They get so excited. It's very sweet.


Floral shirt: Clothing swap.

Under shirt: Friend hand-me-down. Lux.

Jeans: Clothing swap: J. Crew.

Shoes: zoe & zac.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

In A Flash!

While I was scanning through my photos to make sure I was not in danger of repeating an outfit, I came upon a photo uploaded from Richard's i-phone. It was a photo of Hollis, minutes after she was born, lying on my mother's quilt. Our first birth was well documented. The second was filmed and made into a short film by Pollyanna, and HaHa's, little HaHa, got four photos on the i-phone! That's it.

I have come to terms with the fact that the third child does not get the same things the first child gets. HaHa has spent most of her life being schlepped around in the car fetching her brothers. I went back to work  full-time when HaHa was four months old. Charlie was one when I went back full-time, and Leo was 18 months. I did not want to go back when HaHa was four months old, but I had to, and I took off last year to make up for that. I am happy I had that year with HaHa, but the reality is that we spent much of it in the car en route to the boys' schools.

Anyway, this photo, along with kids I used to babysit who are now in law school, on Broadway, and about to graduate high-school, makes me realize how quickly time passes past the age of 30. Now, I feel like I am living in warp speed. This speed is illuminated when I see that I am almost done with this project. The time has flown. 10 months to be exact. And yet, if I close my eyes, I almost feel like I started yesterday.

By the way, I'd like to give a shout out to Claire in South Africa! She is the fourth person over seas who has connected with me in the comments. It's pretty awesome, and I thank her, as well as all the lovely readers who give me the time of day! I really do appreciate your stopping by. It means a lot to me!


Floral Shirt: Goodwill. Ann Taylor Loft.

Brown Shirt: Cousin Hand-me-down. Mossimo.

Pants: Cousin hand-me-down. Gap.

 Shoes: American Eagle.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fashion Risks!

Okay. I think everybody knows by now that I have sleep issues. I cannot say that I am very different from most Americans, so I'll shut up about my sleeping (or lack thereof) from now on. For the remainder of One Closet One Year, it's style and gossip! Or something like that.

In the era of Flashdance...
Now, I'm sure you've noticed that I love to layer. In fact, my friend Pollyanna dubbed me the "longest-serving current head of the state of Layer-dome". I have been layering as long as I can remember, and I have photographic evidence. You can take a look at my outfit from the 6th grade, and see that I really thought about it. This particular outfit was the result of Pollyanna and I deciding we were going to "dress crazy" for a day. We wore these outfits to school. We were not afraid to put ourselves out there fashion-wise.

Two girls dare to make a statement!
I still love to experiment with my clothes. Skirts as dresses, clothes worn backwards, pattern-mixing, and whatever else strikes me as interesting. By the way, one of my fashionably gifted friends told me that The Huffington Post had an article about Michelle Obama wearing her sweater backwards! That's my girl! The First Lady getting her style on by rocking a look in reverse is awesome!


Print Shirt: Goodwill. Lux.

Jacket: Forever 21.

Skirt: Thrift store.

Dress (under skirt): Goodwill. Old Navy.

Shoes: American Eagle.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Early to Bed!

After my mom wrote: "You need more sleep!" with a dozen exclamation points in the comments section today, I realized that, maybe, even though I am a 37 year-old woman, I should listen to my mother...

I wonder if, when my children are adults, they will listen to me. Heck, I wonder if they will listen to me tomorrow!

It will be very interesting seeing how it all turns out.

In thinking about this, I do know, that teenagers are monsters. I don't look forward those days. The attitude, the moping, the smell...

When my kids turn into teenagers I am moving to Paris. And I know Richard won't search for me because he will only go to the city of lights if it's free! Lucky me!


Brown shirt: Clothing swap. Old Navy.

Pink tank: Old Navy.

Floral Skirt: Goodwill. To The Max!

Coral Skirt: Old Navy.

Shoes: American Eagle.

Sweater: Cousin hand-me-down. Merona.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bad Habits Win!

In the battle of good and evil, evil has a way of rearing it's ugly head and giving good a run for it's money. I'll keep it personal. I went to bed at 3:00 a.m. last night.  Evil. Evil. Evil. And,  I looked evil when I arrived at work. Tired. Bedraggled. Sloppy.

Getting dressed when I am tired and late is rarely pretty. At least, I don't feel pretty on these days. Every time I happened upon a mirror today all I could think is: "You look like a tired mess." And I was. However, I held it together for the most part.

Next time I'll wear blush.

And by next time, I mean tomorrow. As I type this it is midnight o' eight. What am I thinking?! Why do I do this? Nature. Stupidity. Necessity. Last night I was up working. Now I am doing my post. These are things I have to do, and I have to do them now because at other times I am doing other things I have to do. I also realize that these wee hours are the only time when I am alone. No kids. No Richard. Just the hum of my broken computer, and the click-clack-click of the keys.


Print Blouse: Goodwill.

Sweater: Clothing swap. Express.

Skirt: Forever 21. One of my pregnancy purchases. Versatile, stretchy.

Shoes: American Eagle.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I had a fine day, but I really can't write about it right now because I have hundreds of math papers to correct and file. Literally. So, I will put up my pics and list my outfits, and tell you again that I have 297 days under my belt and 68 days left!!!

I can't believe it! I am almost there! So close, yet I still have 68 days to avoid repeated outfits. I gotta keep my game face on, and my eye on the prize!

It is raining! I love the sound!


Top: Old Navy. I think it's a little too maternity. I may have to ditch it in a few months!

Jeans: Big Sunday.

Shoes: Zoe & Zac.

Jacket: Goodwill. Allegory.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


The political party went on without a hitch. That is, Richard got acquainted with some alcoholic beverages, told people his ideas about the ballot measures, and proceeded to provide what I hope was insightful entertainment and discourse. I am not sure if he did because I had to drop Jordan off at a party, and I was hanging out with the kids for most of the party. I make myself scarce at these things because I tend to get prickly when Richard starts getting tipsy...

Politics aside, the highlight of the day was seeing our long lost friends! Now that we're older and busier and married-er, we don't see each other as often. A couple of our friends brought a bottle of homemade organic wine! And my brilliant cousin made these delicious lemon-coconut shortbread cookies. Yum!

There were babies and newlyweds, parents-to-be, and grandparents, new friends and old couples, and two crazy little boys! There was a mass exodus at 6 o' clock, but a few people stayed to discuss ALL of the ballot measures and candidates. The most disheartening thing is that the candidates are so disappointing. Maybe one day we'll have more options than the two-party disaster we have now.

And, Charlie successfully spelled "Antidisestablishmentarianism"! I owe him a dollar.


Tank: Clothing swap. Express.

Pants: Hand me down from cousin. Gap. Same as yesterday.

Sweater: Clothing swap. Plenty.

Shoes: zoe & zac.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Voter Information!

Okay, It is 3:00 a.m. I just took a 4 hour "nap" on the couch while Richard read over the propositions for the upcoming elections. He is the "Master of Ceremonies"for a party we are having tomorrow. It is  a "Political Party", where friends and family come to discuss the content of the voter information guide, as well as the various candidates running for office.

Diverse opinions are welcome, and it is very helpful to hear other people's opinions before going to the polls. It also is an effective way to actually get through all of the material in an amusing way. We've had confrontations, drunken displays, and insightful political discourse at these events, and, usually, a good time is had by all.

Tomorrow will certainly be interesting. The voter guide is thick this year, and the candidates are "interesting" to say the least.

Oh well, I better get to bed so I can wake up in the morning and prepare for guests. And, if I can offer one piece of voting advice, it would be: "If you don't understand something on the ballot, vote NO." Complicated language is a smoke screen for questionable proposals!  Oh. One more piece of advice: Vote!

As it is 3:19 I am not really editing this, so forgive me if there are grammatical errors!


It was raining when I left the house today. It stopped by the time I got to work, so I looked rather dubious waddling around in rubber boots all day. However, in my race to get out the door in order to drop Jordan off at school, I forgot to bring extra footwear.

Shirt: Forever 21.

Jacket: Goodwill. Allegory.

Pants: Hand me down from Cousin! Gap.

Boots: Friend hand-me-downs.

HaHa and Papa! I include these photos for Grandma!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

294 Days Down!

I have 71 days left! If I can avoid making a careless outfit repeat, then I will have achieved what I set out to accomplish! I can honestly say that whether or not I repeat, I will NOT shop before 2010 is over. I can also say that when I do shop again, it will probably be secondhand. I think I can commit to avoiding retail unless I have a very specific need, or unless I see something that I am absolutely in love with.

As for footwear, I will avoid crazy shoes that I buy on sale, and will be on the lookout for classic and comfy well-made shoes. I am looking forward to new shoes.

I will be getting rid of a lot of clothes when this is done. I have so many hand-me-downs, and things that don't fit right, and clothes that I've been hanging on to that I have lost the love for. Time to let go. Edit. Move on.


Print Shirt: Forever 21.

Brown Shirt: Friend hand-me-down.

Skirt: Salvation Army. I got this in high school... Maybe this should be on the out pile!

Shoes: American Eagle.

Jacket: Cousin hand-me-down. Mossimo.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bedtime in Hades!

I cannot begin to tell you how horrible bedtime is at my house. Correction, I cannot begin to tell you how horrible bed time is at my house when Richard isn't home, which is most week nights. The boys, are tired and wired, and so am I.  But, the worst is HaHa, who literally jumps all over me demanding "Bah-bah! Bah-bah!" It is very difficult to read Harry Potter to your children while a two year-old banshee writhes all over you.

Tonight, after my polite pleas for her to wait until I finished reading for Bah-bah were ignored, I told her to go get chocolate from Jordan. Really. (That is my stellar parenting tactic). She leaped off the bed so fast it appeared as if she had wings. I'm not proud of it, but it did get her out of the room for a good five minutes. Jordan gave her three chocolate chips. And two more when she went back downstairs.

Unfortunately, the peace the chips brought to our bedtime reading lasted about as long as a chocolate chip.

I pray Richard makes it home before bedtime tomorrow!


Another rainy day, and another quickly thrown together outfit with the primary inspiration being "Don't repeat!"

Gold sweater vest: Thrift store.

Dress: Gift from friends.

Jeans: Friend hand-me-down. Express.

Boots: Friend hand-me-down.

HaHa and Lee-Lo have a pre-bedtime moment.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Body!

I have to be honest. For the past few nights, when I've put HaHa to bed, I've fallen asleep. I've been putting in really long days, and my body has had enough. Tonight, after our evening routine, I read to HaHa , cuddled with her, and promptly dozed off with her. Of course, HaHa does go to bed after ten... I do have the foresight to set my alarm, so I wake up an hour or two later.  However, then I just end up staying up too long again... And I right in a cloud of fog.

If HaHa would learn to go to bed at a decent hour, my little late night escapades would be done!

Oh, another "honest" tidbit: I'm growing a dreadlock!

Unintentional, caused by lack of hair brushing.


Shirt: I pulled out one of my classic re-fashioned thrift store tees. It says "Quiet" on the front and "Antonioni" on the back. I don't know if this refers to the film maker or what, but my first graders love it when I point to the quiet and give them "the look"! Salvation Army. I got this in high school.

Jeans: Clothing Swap. J crew.

Sweater: Cousin hand-me-down. Forever 21.

Sweater coat: Goodwill. Forever 21. I got this a few weeks before I started my challenge.

Boots: Hand-me-down courtesy of my Fresh friend.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ou est Logique?!

This morning as I was driving to work, a story came on NPR about France. Apparently they are having their fourth strike since September. It seems that union workers are upset about a government plan to increase the age of retirement from 60 to 62! When I heard this, I chuckled.

First of all, as people are living longer, this increase seems completely reasonable. Second, does anybody think of 62 as "old" these days? Third, I am sure that France, just like California is going to have difficulty keeping up with the payment for all these pensions as people DO live longer, and, in the case of many California's state workers, retire earlier. The numbers just don't add up. At some point it will be fiscally impossible to pay these pensions. But hey, let's not think about fixing it. Let's protest and complain until we can't afford to pay anybody.

I am amazed, that in the face of our ever-changing world, logic rarely wins.


Plain dress: Many years ago, my friend came over one day with a bag of clothes her boss gave her. I plucked a few items, although this is the only one I still own. Ann Taylor. First time I've worn this as I just got it out of the dry cleaner not too long ago!

Floral dress: Goodwill. Limited. When this project is over, I am giving my talented Aunt D this dress so she can turn it into something lovely.

Sweater: Cousin hand-me-down. Forever 21.

Shoes: Mossimo. Been wearing these a lot. They seem to match everything!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Last night as I did another "excuse post", I realized that I would have never been able to start this project if I had been working full time. I just wouldn't have had the time or steam. Also, it took me awhile to learn how to take, upload, and edit my photos. I wasn't so savvy with the posting either. However, I do think my early writing was much more enthusiastic. I was excited, and it was new.

Now, after I get the kids to bed I have more to do than before, and, often, the last thing I want to do is write. But I do. And, lately, it has been lacking. Sorry, lovely readers. I promise to do better as I reach the home stretch. I love the idea of going out with a bang!

That said, I'm giving myself a gold star for perseverance!

All of our plans for the day were canceled on account of the rain. It was a blessing in disguise. I think the boys would have been exhausted by the day. All we did today was drive Aunt Janine home. Aunt Janine was also kind enough to sit in the car with kids while I popped into Trader Joe's.


Keeping it simple.

Sweater: Cousin hand-me-down. Old Navy.

Shirt: This was a gift from a first grade class. The kids each made a leaf, and the amazing art teacher hand painted them along with a lovely tree! American Apparel.

Jeans: I think these were from a clothing swap. Gap.

Boots: Fresh Friend hand-me-down.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

To Trails and Back!

We left the house at 10:00 a.m., and got back at 7. What a day! Hanging out at Griffith Park. Birthday party after that. Old friends, new friends, and very delicious food. So tired am I, I will do a post in pictures.

My camera is acting wonky, so my outfit photos are not so hot. Also, my battery died while I was taking my photos. I guess I took too many shots of HaHa eating cake. Excuses. Excuses.

Guess what?!  I got 75 days left people. I've been doing this for 290 days! That's 290 different ensembles and NO shopping!


Sweater: Goodwill. Lux. I love the flower detail. HaHa wore it when she spilled water on her shirt today.

Long sleeve sweater: Cousin hand me down. Forever 21.

Body Suit: Goodwill. Star Cody. I folded the top down so that it extended the waist of the skirt!

Skirt: Walmart. George. I got this skirt when I was visiting my mom. It was 5 bucks!

Party Favors.


Shoes: Mossimo. I wore my fit flops for our Griffith Park hike.

Friday, October 15, 2010


It was a crazy day. And a long day.

The highlight was celebrating my "big sister's" upcoming birthday and seeing my Aunt Janine, and watching HaHa run happily into Wendy's house so that she could be dropped off by her at daycare, and watching Leo in a school presentation, doing reader's theater with my students, and eating really delicious food!

I guess there were a lot of highlights.

My "low-lights were the stress of getting all of the kids and myself ready this morning and dealing with the commuter traffic, sitting for 20 minutes waiting to turn onto Barrington to pick Leo up (it was the first time I ever saw Charlie get upset about traffic), and, rushing from Brentwood back to Santa Monica in order to not be late for HaHa's pick-up.

Note that all my"low-lights" have to deal with L.A. traffic...

Oh, one more interesting thing about my day: I spent time with a pretty well known adult film actress. She's been in over 1,000 film, and she is pretty great to talk to, and very smart. She had an interest in being a nurse-midwife too! That's my secret dream job also!

Happy weekend!


Sweater: Goodwill.

Skirt: Goodwill. Zara.

Shoes: Jelly Beanz. I also wore my Mossimo shoes. Couldn't decide!

Here are some vintage barrettes my friend, the master of thrift store shopping, gave to HaHa! Thank you!