Project 333 update and anniversary giveaway

November 19, 2014

The Beautiful Matters is one year old! Read on to enter my celebration giveaway.

Some of you know I've been doing Project 333, a plan to wear just 33 items of clothing for a three-month period. If you're not familiar with the concept, you can read more about it in my posts here, here, and here.

Even though my three months isn't up until the end of December, I thought I'd share with you what I've learned so far.

Within two weeks, I switched out my fancy 4-inch Coach stilettos for a more practical 3-inch sturdier heel. I'll save the stilettos for a party or dinner out, but the other shoes are much more comfortable for church wear (which is almost the only time I wear heels anymore).

I had two hanging clothes bags and two small boxes of stuff packed away (besides my summer clothes in another closet), and after about six weeks I "broke the rules" and looked at what I had packed away.

I got rid of more stuff, until there really wasn't a lot left, and hung the rest up in my closet with the 33 items.

Right away, I noticed something. I had too many clothes. I probably only added about 15 items, and it was too much. I had gotten used to getting dressed easily, and now I stood in my closet debating about what to wear.

That really was a big surprise. I realized that enough was enough. 33 is really enough.

I got rid of these three tops . . .

. . . and replaced them with this.

I loved the first top on the left. Comfy, the right color, perfect for going under cardies. But it is hopelessly pilled. Hard to see, but lots of little white pills all over it. The next one is fun, and such a pretty color, but despite adjusting the shoulders to raise the neckline, it's still too low. And those sparkly sequin-y things are really itchy.

The final top, on the right, has never been worn. It's just not me. Don't know what I was thinking. I would so feel like a disco ball in it. And it's way too low cut. It's in my daughter's closet now.

The plain charcoal shell that is the replacement has everything -- comfort (it's made of organic cotton and hemp), a higher neckline, and a color that will go with everything in my closet.

I've gotten rid of two more pair of high heels (I still have plenty!) and two pair of flats that just weren't comfortable. I bought a pair of blue suede flats from Ann Taylor Loft a couple years ago in a half size too small because they didn't have my size and I loved them. Figured they'd stretch. No. No. No. Every time I wore them they hurt.

I really hate to think of all the money I've wasted on poor clothing choices.

I'm getting super picky, and buying much less.

In the future, any clothing I purchase has to be:

* In my color palette (navy, gray, pink, lavender, and white), so everything in my closet can be worn together (warm weather color palette is slightly different)

* The right style for my shape (note to self: skinny jeans don't work on pear shapes!)

* Comfortable (no wool or acrylic for me)

* Age-appropriate (not too young, but also not matronly)

* The best I can afford (not necessarily expensive, but good quality)

*Something that I really love and feel good in

If you would love to have a small, carefully curated wardrobe that makes dressing a breeze, I really recommend Project 333. I'm definitely staying with it.

 So, on to the giveaway . . .

(The Beautiful Matters's birthday is actually November 29, but I wanted to do this before the holiday rush.)

Please just leave a comment, and be a follower for your chance to win.  Also, make sure I have some way of contacting you. I will do a random drawing, and announce the winner next Tuesday, November 25. You will receive two cute Christmas dishtowels and a tin of Republic of Tea Holiday Spiced Plum tea, a green tea with cinnamon and spice . . .

. . . and a Christmas dishcloth knitted by yours truly.

I have really loved this first year of blogging. When I started I had all kinds of plans to monetize my blog and get lots and lots of followers. I quickly realized that that didn't feel right to me. I have enjoyed, rather, getting to know a smaller community of like-minded women in a more intimate way. The friendships I have made, and the wonderful people I've met, and all the interesting things I've learned, have confirmed my choice.

I was welcomed right away by so many generous bloggers, so many who encouraged me, and I truly appreciate that. And ever since, week after week, post after post, your visits and comments have been  a blessing to me. Thank you!

xo, Deborah


  1. Wow Deborah, your Project 333 is an inspiration and I try to do the same with myself and my daughter's closet with each change of season. Congrats on your 1 year anniversary of blogging! I am so happy to have met you through blogging. You are such a wonderful blog friend and I look forward to reading all of your blog posts. Your posts are so interesting and helpful to me. Here's to many more years of blogging and success!

    Thanks for the chance to be a winner of your giveaway! I love everything especially the knitted dishcloth you made!

    Big Hugs to You,

  2. Congrats on you anniversary! What a lovely giveaway. Now off to clean out my closet! Angela

  3. Hello dearest Deborah! Congratulations on your first anniversary! Your blog is an inspiration - you fill it with beauty, kindness, and wisdom; it's always a pleasure visting with you :)

    I love hearing about your project and as you know I have been interested in trying it myself. I have taken baby steps and gone through some clothing already.

    Hugs to you, friend!

  4. Deborah, thanks for the update on the 333 - I love that you're staying honest with yourself. I have a catch phrase on one of my Pinterest boards (Vivienne Westwood): "Buy Less, Choose Well", which I love. 2014 has been a purge year for me - first the 40 bags in 40 days challenge, then my basement. I hope to get past all the holiday hoopla and teasers, and go at it again in 2015.

    I didn't realize you've only been blogging one year (it will be 2 for me in Jan) - Happy Blogiversary, and thanks for the opportunity in your giveaway. Those handmade dishcloths are the bomb. I scored several at an estate sale, they're all I use.

  5. Your blog is so beautiful, I thought you were a long-time blogger. I did not know about the Project 333. I have too much closet clutter and I shall follow the link. A personal choice is also not to monetize my blog. Congrats on a full year.

  6. The year flew by quickly, it seems like you've been blogging much longer. You always have interesting posts that encourage us to share our thoughts in comments.
    I have been looking over my clothes, many I've had for a long time and wonder if people get tired of seeing me in them - especially sweaters. I ordered a couple of new ones on-line, more casual and now have to give myself a pep talk to give up a few to the clothes collection organization I support.
    Sweet giveaway, congrats on achieving a year with your blog.

  7. Hi Deborah, Glad to see Project 333 is working for you. I haven't taken that on, however, I am getting rid of items that aren't appropriate for whatever reason, and donating them to charity. Your dishcloth is adorable as are the tea towels, and the tea sounds delish! I'd like to be entered in your giveaway. Have a good week and keep warm! :)

  8. Congratulations of your first Blogaversary, Deb! That's AWESOME!

    I love your blog and think the world of you, too!

    I love your whole 333 concept- I am considering taking some of my downsizing to my closet soon too.

    As for your generous giveaway- don't count me in, but it is sweet of you! And your crafting you did is awesome. Hugs.

  9. I intend to re-look at my wardrobe after the wedding and get rid of a lot of things I really don't wear. I love the idea . I would love to be considered for your giveaway.

  10. Congratulations on your one year anniversary! I really enjoy your blog and it is nice to read someone with so many of my same interests. Love your giveaway items.

  11. Congratulations on 1 year of blogging! I always enjoy reading your posts! Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

    Looks like you've made good progress on your wardrobe with the 333 project. I do like that first top on the left, too bad it had white pills! I went through most of my wardrobe a couple weeks ago and made good progress getting rid of a lot of the clothes I never I'm thinking to go through my closet again more thoroughly and go through my desk for paper junk. I've been working for a couple neighbor ladies helping them pack for a move and it has really gotten me into the get-rid-of-unnecessary-stuff mode!

  12. Dearest Deborah,
    Congrats on your first year, it is fun and I too don't like monetizing my blog; no advertising ads running below my posts.
    Just plain contact with nice readers that is far better.
    Someone will be very pleased with your giveaway! Good luck to your readers; I like to opt out.
    Sending you hugs and hope we will all warm up...

  13. Congrats on your first year. I am happy I found you just recently as I enjoy your posts. I have been going through my clothes, too, lately to lighten the load, so to speak. It feels so much better. Enjoy the evening and stay cozy. Deb

  14. I love everything you said about revamping your wardrobe to reflect your style and stage of life. I am trying to do the same things. Congrats on a year!

  15. Congrats on your first year! I have participated in 333 several times, and looking at what has crept into my closet since a massive weight loss, need to do it again!

  16. Congrats on your first year! I have participated with Project 333 several times, and from the looks of my closet, I need to do it again in 2015!

  17. Hi Deborah, I don't recall how I came upon your blog, but Happy Blog Anniversary! Your blog is lovely and we share a similar lifestyle sentiment in loving all things beauty and order. Blessings.

  18. I'll probably never do Project 333 but I am constantly purging my closet and drawers, also buying less. Of course I am recently retired and need much less than before, however I really love clothes and shopping! It's a real tug of war for me. I enjoy your blog.

  19. Congratulations on your blogging birthday! Project 333 sounds intriguing. I'm always working towards getting everything to go together and having fewer clothes that I wear more often and feel comfortable in.

    (Don't add me to the giveaway since I won your last one - delicious chai!)

  20. So happy you joined blog-land, Deborah - I have really enjoyed your blog so much! A year goes by quickly, doesn't it? Your project 333 seems to make so much sense and I do love how you have decided on a color palette and are staying with it. I decided not to monetize my blog, too. I just do it for fun and the wonderful friendships. Hope you are keeping cozy. Hugs xo Karen

  21. Congrats on your blogaversary! I have enjoyed getting to know you through blogging. I am trying to buy clothing items more carefully these days and cut back on what's in my closet. Thank you for the chance to be entered in your giveaway. I like the cute crocheted dishcloth. Have a good day.

  22. It seems like we've been friends forever, Deborah, and not just for one year! Congratulations on your one year of blogging and what a lovely giveaway. Of course, the knitted dishcloth is a favorite!! I admire you on the 333 project and have been getting rid of many items in my closet. Thanks for the inspiration.

  23. Hi Deborah, Congrats on your one year of blogging. You have been such a special part of the community and so glad I met you this year and become friends. Your giveaway is special and I would love to enter.
    Love hearing how the 333 project has worked for you. I think it really does prove we can do well with less if we make the right choices in style,color and comfort.
    Wishing you continued fun in blogging!!
    Sending hugs your way!!

  24. Hi, Deborah! Congratulations on your Blogaversary!! Hasn't the year gone fast? I've truly enjoyed your posts and am happy when your blog name pops up in my email in the morning. Looking forward to many more entries. Take care, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving next week. Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  25. Congratulations on your Blogaversary. I too have been following Project 333, such a big help.

  26. Congratulations Deborah on your one year anniversary! The ending of your post giving thanks to your blogging friends was an encouragement to me as a fairly new blogger myself. I am thankful I came to meet you through my Stephanie.
    You have done well with your 333 project, congratulations there as well.
    After my inner ear/balance disorder over a year ago, I had to make some changes in our home. One was to make a new pantry in one of the extra rooms for all of my special dishes that were kept nicely in our shed. But while doing that make over I ended up getting rid of many clothing items and shoes. It was one of the best things I did for myself. I try to buy clothing that I can mix and match.
    You are sweet to have this give-away, thank you for the opportunity to be a part.
    Sweet blessings, Debbie

  27. You are such a generous lady pretty Deborah, hey, I know! Congrats on your anniversary.
    How interesting about your cloths and I am gonna visit your proposal. I for one am not buying a piece of ribbon for myself anymore for a great while...I have offered to God! I came to the conclusion that I have way to many cloths between bad choices and ugly stuff! Where was my head! Now I got rid of things and kept only what I really love!
    I am very fortunate to know you and have you as one of my fave bloggy friends.
    Thanks for visiting my kitchen again, you are so generous.
    Wishing you and yours a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.

  28. What a sweet giveaway! I'm going to try to have gingerbread men as my theme this year so I would love the tea towels! I thought maybe you were going to give away some of your clothes! heehee! I like those tops you got rid! I am trying my best to wear more of my clothes. If I wear something one time and don't love it....I get rid of it. That forces me to wear things that stay on the bottom of a stack. Thanks for sharing your experience. It's helping me too! Sweet hugs, Diane

  29. Your Project 333 is so well done, and your specific examples of "items out, items in" will be helpful for so many people. Congratulations on your blogging anniversary - please keep writing for YEARS to come! And thanks for sharing your experiences and helping all of us to learn.
    big hug,

  30. Dear Deborah....

    What a lovely post. I enjoyed the update of your Project 333... I think I feel your relief at the freedom to let go of even more and still know you have more than enough.

    Happy Blog Anniversary. I'm so glad for your presence online and for your beautiful and inspirational blog. It's always a treat to visit.

    Your giveaway sounds lovely...but please exclude me too as I've already received such a lovely treasure from you!


  31. I remember finding your blog when you had only been at it for about two months and I was absolutely amazed that you were a new blogger! :) Well congrats and happy blog anniversary and such pretty knitting!! :)

    Your project reminds me of a guy at work that told us that he wears the same underwear every day. LOL he meant that his wife does laundry everyday so he just keeps ending up with the same pair!! :)

  32. Congratulations on 1 year of blogging!!! You have a beautiful blog, and I'm glad to have met you through it.

    I, too, simplified my wardrobe this year, and I love it...makes getting dressed so much less stressful. Like you, I have spent more money than I care to think about on purchases which have simply hung in my closet. I've come to the place of admitting that I'm not a denim person, so except for "game day," when I wear jeans and a team t-shirt, I stick with black and gray pants and skirts. My "colors" are deep green, magenta, teal, purple, and red. Oh, and I got an awesome pair of calf-high, flat black boots. They are the best purchase I've made in years.

    Please enter me in your giveaway.

    Oh, and I'm with you, "friendship" blogging works for me in a way that "monetary" blogging doesn't. I'm a people person and would much rather actually know a handful of readers than have hundreds whom I don't know.


  33. Maybe your blog will give me the impetus to do some purging of my own. It is difficult when I bring home more when I volunteer at the thrift shop than I donate and then change sizes 2 or three times over a couple year span.

    I LOVE knitted dishcloths, I use them every day (some are crocheted), they are the best!

    I look forward to reading your blog over the next year.

    Happy Thanksgiving Deb.

  34. I am a new follower via Hostess of the Humble Bungalow. Your blog is beautiful! I look forward to reading more!

  35. Oh my... You're so poopular... as my kids would say. It all sounds lovely.

  36. Deborah, it seems like you have been blogging much longer than a year. Congrats on your blog Anniversary! The tea sounds wonderful and I love the tea towels and dish cloth! I am so happy to have 'met' you through blogging and your blog is always a joy to visit. Happy Thanksgiving my friend and thanks for a chance to win your giveaway.


  37. Hi Deborah...I am a follower and very much enjoy your blog. Things change, don't they? Congratulations on your anniversary! Lovely gift pack!

  38. I think I will try the project 333 or something close to it after the new year. Because I seldom dress up and mostly work out in my antique shop where dressing up is a waste of time I am hopeful it will be fairly easy. I will certainly let you know........... As I said in my blog today I am so thankful to all my blogging friends and you are one of them...... Congrats on your anniversary. Would love to enter you celebration.

  39. Happy First Year Blog Anniversary! I love reading your posts. You do such a great job.

    I find myself simplifying my wardrobe as I get older. (56) I go for comfort utmost now. If it ain't comfy, it goes! And I try everything on in the stores if I do need to purchase something. But I find I have all I need. It's freeing to not be so consumed by "what to wear" every day. Agree?


  40. Congrats on your one year blogging anniversary--you're an ol' pro now!
    I need to go through my closet too. Last December when I retired, I said I was going to clean out drawers and closets. But I haven't even started!
    I follow by email. Thanks for the giveaway!


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