Hey! Wow, 2013 has flown by, hasn’t it? At the beginning of last year, I posted some “Appearance Goals” in an effort to encourage myself to grow in 5 specific ways. You can read that post here.

Since we are fast approaching 2014, it is time to evaluate how I did! Honestly, I totally forgot about these by about May. But, since the principles were ones I’ve been trying to apply overall to my life, I did manage to make progress. Let’s see here…

 “I would like to make the best use of fewer pieces, rather than searching through a mountain of rarely-worns trying to find that one item I adore to wear again.”

 I feel like I have grown in the area of quality, for sure. I got over my fear of the expensive, but unfortunately I did not trade that out for an “in moderation” mentality. Something got into me this year and I’ve felt like I needed to completely re-do our wardrobes. Which, since some things were still hanging on by their threads from circa 2005, was probably true. But it cost be a pretty penny.

In general, I have definitely adopted a more simplistic approach to life and as a result have been tossing things out like crazy. I actually have a goal # of trash bags to fill up each week as I try to de-clutter our lives. Also along this vain, I’ve been more strict in my closet clean-outs and hosted a “Shop My Closet” event earlier this year that was so much fun! I have another one scheduled for January once the Christmas rush at the Post Office is over. πŸ˜‰ It feels really, really good to purge and have less stuff to spend time walking or digging around to find what you’re looking for. Did I grow in this area this year? Yes!

“I’ve strayed from putting the effort into a necklace and bracelets. I would like to re-inspire that part of my attire and accessorize more!”  

I bought/acquired several necklaces this year! Sadly I learned that my neck muscles can’t handle the big chunky ones I love, but the light, sparkly ones are fab. Bracelets were trickier than I remember with my skinny wrists, but I have bought several now that I really enjoy wearing. I even bought a watch! Haven’t worn one of those in 8 years. πŸ˜› I feel a lot more put together wearing a bracelet now for some reason. Did I grow in this area this year? Yes!

“I would like to make a general move towards less chemicals on my skin. πŸ™‚ ” 

Well, this one has been a journey for sure. I posted in March about how much I loved my new homemade deodorant, which was one thing I mentioned specifically wanting to pursue. It worked awesome for me for a couple weeks, but then my skin started having a bad reaction to it and I actually got an infection and had to get a medicated cream. πŸ˜› I realized my recipe had too much baking soda, so I experimented with using different ratios but haven’t found one I’m happy with yet. I go back and forth between conventional and natural now, depending on the day’s activities, but I’m still pursuing this. (BTW, the Arm & Hammer deodorant in this picture does have aluminum in it. I didn’t realize that when I took the picture.)

Besides deodorant, I have switched to several other natural beauty products and am loving it!

  • The biggest one has been going from washing my hair every-other day with normal shampoo to washing it every 4-5 days with baking soda and vinegar! (Here’s the link) My hair has never been happier. 
  • As mentioned in the Awk+Awe post I linked to a second ago, I made my own body butter and am still using it (a little goes a long way!) in place of chemical-laden lotions. 
  • This year I also have learned a lot more about essential oils and have enjoyed quite a few Epsom-salt and oil-that-will-help-with-whatever-problem-I’m-having baths. My favorites have been a combination of clove, orange, rosemary, and clery sage. (Heads up, ladies, clery sage and/or frankincense are incredible for getting rid of cramps!)
  • Another thing I made was shower gel from shea butter and castile soap. Very nice and perfect for scrubbing after a sweaty day in the TN summer heat. 
  • Although I have yet to try to make it for myself, I have been getting organic bar soap to use in place of like, Irish Spring and I feel really good about that switch. 
  • During the summer (before I had to stay out of the sun completely thanks to that nasty antibiotic), I used coconut oil in place of sunscreen. 
  • No longer ever use conventional chap-stick: only all-natural stuff. 
  • I spend a lot of time brushing my teeth. So, after an attempt or two at making my own toothpaste (bleh), I splurged and bought Auromere Herbal Toothpaste which has lasted me a good long while since it takes less. I’ll be buying this again when I need it, fo sho. 
Did I grow in this area this year? Yes! (Although I still have so much to learn!)

“Since I have to be smart about how much I spend on clothing, I would like to support thrift stores and second-hand shops instead of Walmart.”

I just looked over my spending spreadsheet from the year and I don’t think I bought any clothes at Walmart this year! I did buy socks and gloves when I was out at the Farmer’s Market and freezing, but other than that, beauty products were the extent of my Walmart shopping. I shopped about 50% at thrift stores this year, 25% online, and 25% retail. This is a huge deal for me, because in years past a lot of my wardrobe has come from Walmart. Did I grow in this area this year? Yes!! 

 “I hope 2013 is the year I make use of the things already in my possession and create one-of-a-kind pieces.”

Hmmm… ‘fraid I didn’t re-purpose quite as much as I had hoped I would, but I did do more than I did in 2012, which means progress, right? I have hardly sewn at all this year, sadly, but I didn’t let any more alteration projects pile up– I took care of the easy ones right away. Did I grow in this area this year? A little! 
4.5/5 isn’t bad, right? When I began this post, I really thought I had failed many of these, but in writing I’ve realized a lot of this came organically as I purposed to make my whole life more simple, natural, and higher quality. Haha, yay! Did you have any appearance goals for 2013? How did you do on them? What kinds of goals are you making for 2014? I’m crafting my new hopes for the year and could use suggestions, so do share! Blessings! 

27 thoughts on “2013 Appearance Goals | How I Did”

  1. You did great at keeping your goals! I can't even remember mine:( I tend to be unrealistic but this time I want to stick with fewer and more doable goals. I've been trying to find a good Chapstick as of now I'm using eos, but heard it has mineral oils which are supposed to be bad for your skin. Which do you use?

    1. Just a recommendation, if I may: I make my own from
      1 Tbls beeswax
      1 tsp castor oil
      1 drop of honey
      30 drops of therapeutic peppermint essential oil (I like it very pepperminty like Burt's Bees, but any amount and any other therapeutic oil works)
      melt slowly and pour in chapstick tubes…

  2. Hmm, I'll have to think on appearance goals for 2014 . . . I didn't really have any "official" ones for 2013 but I did want to learn to accessorize better — and I have πŸ™‚ Yay for finishing 4 1/2 out of 5!

  3. I think you accomplished a great deal! If you had been perfect in this I would not be encouraged in my own goals fora simpler life. Thx for sharing your life with all of us. Love following you on FB

  4. I think you accomplished a great deal! If you had been perfect in this I would not be encouraged in my own goals fora simpler life. Thx for sharing your life with all of us. Love following you on FB

  5. Hey, great job!!! We make our own toothpaste. The recipe is:

    3TBSP Coconut oil
    3TBSP Baking Powder
    Some sort of natural sweetener (if its packets then about 3-4, if its not packets then about 1-1/2TBSP)
    Any essential oil to taste.


  6. Olivia I just read your 2013 appearance goals yesterday or the day before and thought of asking you to do a post on them. πŸ™‚ Thanks for doing that! I think for myself in the last year to 18 months I've definitely grown a lot in the area of appearance – I accessorize more, do more with make-up, and in general have just learned a lot about what makes a good outfit. Your blog is one of, if not my favorite, blog out there!! The Lord bless you this coming year!

  7. Congratulations! I think I might set some appearance goals…hmm… Could you post some more about your all natural beauty products? I've been really getting into that type of thing lately. I have been doing the baking soda and vinegar hair care for a while now. I'm really loving it! I've also been getting into essential oils. I've been using a diffuser but the bath idea sounds cool. Going to do some research on that. Thanks so much for the tip on cramps! I could really use that and I have clarysage and frankincense.

  8. I think 4.5/5 is ah-mazing, girl! Way to go. =) I enjoyed seeing this recap – thank you for sharing. I would really like to simplify my clothing in the weeks to come. Having a modest clothing exchange coming up definitely helps with clearing out items. πŸ™‚ I'd also like to finish up my current stack of clothing items to alter. They are pretty simple adjustments, but I just need to sit down and finish sewing them. πŸ™‚ Blessings, Olivia, and hope you had a blessed Christmas!

  9. This is great Olivia!

    Oh, there is so much to learn about natural products! Lately I have been enjoying bentonite clay bathes! They really are as amazing as people say! Thanks for the info about clery sage and frankincense. Those are some that I have been eying. Oh, how I love oils!
    That is one thing that I would like to advance my knowledge of this next year.

    love and smiles,

  10. Hey Olivia! I was wondering if you could take an outfit and show us different ways of wearing it (adding a scarf, belt, layers, etc.). Maybe even doing it a couple times. It would be a blessing if you had the time to do that! I have enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to your 2014 appearance goals!

  11. Good job Olivia! I pretty much just go with what I want for the day and what my hair looks best in. I usually wear a little bit of mascara and sometimes eye liner, but other than that I have nothing.
    I have my own money so this year I might buy myself a cool pair of G27 shoes. And I might buy some makeup from a natural cosmetic company called Cowgirl Dirt. Their stuff really works!
    Other than that, nothing in mind. Hard to believe it's almost 2014!

  12. Hi Olivia! if you find you have a hard time keeping bangles and the like on your wrists, some companies make smaller sized bangles. lia sophia makes both small and medium bangle sizes.:-)

  13. I started using the Thai deodorant stick this year and am really happy with it. Depending on were you buy it, it's probably $5-7 and lasts forever. I've barely made a dent in mine and I've been using it for at least 6 months now.

  14. Hi Olivia! I've been reading your blog for a year? I think the end of 2012… and I've really appreciated it!
    I feel like I've been on a very evolving journey in how I dress. Going from mostly pants, dresses on Sunday; to dresses/skirts all the time. definitely a challenge sometimes. πŸ˜‰ But I've really enjoyed what you post. I'm looking forward to all you post this coming year! πŸ™‚
    Hoping myself, to learn more on accessorizing, and just… makeup I guess. I tried it like 6 years ago and didn't like the heavy feel of make up, but maybe I can find a way around that now with more natural products:)

  15. Hey! I've been buying my toothpaste through my Aunt who orders through Melaleuca.com. It's less than $5.00 a tube.
    I really like it, and it sure beats homemade!!! You have to be a member to order, so it would be ideal if you had a community that wanted to jump on-board with it. Thanks for everything! Your posts help me think more femininely when picking out outfits. ~Elizabeth

    1. Deodorant doesn't work for me, so I just rub hand sanitizer on my armpits every morning. I do have a stick of natural deodorant that I use when I'm in a hurry though.

  16. Olivia,
    Would you be interested in doing a future post on Essential oils and what you have learned? Learning about essential oils is actually on my goal list for next year. Having a post to start with ideas of where to glean info from would be awesome! I know the basics of Lavender and Eucalyptus, but not all the other wonderful ones!

  17. Hey, Olivia!
    I thought you might be interested to know that TOM'S of Maine makes three different all-natural deodorants with no aluminum; they make lavender, citrus, or unscented types. They run about $5 a piece at Walmart. I've been using mine for a while now and have experienced no allergic reactions. Just thought you might like to know in case you can't tweak your deodorant recipe just right.
    Thanks for the great post!

  18. Hi Oliva! I absolutely love your blog! On the deodorant thing. My entire family has ordered a natural deodorant for a long time, and i thought you might be interested. It's a liquid deodorant, which i suppose takes a little getting used to, but i absolutey love it! The brand is Herbal Magic. Here are the ingrediants:
    Algea Extract, Aloe Vera Gel, Deionized Water, Witch Hazel, Sodium Becarbonate (baking soda), Herbal Extracts (of Fennel, Hops, Chamomile, Balm Mint, Mistletoe, and Yarrow), Grapefruit Seed Extract, Jasmine Fragrance.
    It has NO ALUMINUM! Also, just so you know it doesn't irritate sensative skin. For a while i switch to useing store bought deodorant (i'm not exactly sure why, but anyway.) i developed a rash. So, i started using this agian and it went away. Anywho, i just thought i'd say something. Again, I absolutely LOVE you blog!!!
    By the way, i'm homeschooled! (also, we order the deodorant from a co-op called Azure Standard, but i know you can get it on Amazon too. (I think it's a little more though)

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