I Did a "No-Buy" Year: Here's How it Went!

Monday, January 20

Priya the Blog, Nashville lifestyle blog, Nashville lifestyle blogger, no-buy year, how to do a no-buy year, no-buy year tips, "no-buy" year, how to accomplish a no-buy challenge, how to do a low-buy challenge, low-buy challenge rules, my 2019 no-buy challenge

Ok technically it was a "low-buy" year?

If you've read literally ONE post on this blog over the past year, you're probably aware that at the start of 2019, I challenged myself to do a "no-buy" year (original post here.)

So; let's talk through how it went, along with my plans going into 2020!

First, let's review the outline I wrote last year. 

The rules for my "no-buy" were fairly simple. In 2019, I was not allowed to buy:
  • clothing, shoes, accessories
  • beauty products
  • home goods
  • craft supplies

The real key to being successful, in my mind, was to have exceptions for my rules (Cait Flanders had an "acceptable purchases list.") I allowed myself to buy:
  • one item of choice per season
  • a pair of Madewell jeans I'd had my eye on for months
  • new bedsheets (I think I was still playing around with my room)
  • re-fill beauty products, IF and only IF I was completely out of something
  • souvenirs when traveling 

Then of course, my goals. Why was I doing this anyway? The goals I listed were:
  • Using what I already had/instead of just buying something new.
  • Focusing on making mindful purchases for things I actually needed.
  • Saving money!
  • No more acquiring clutter!
  • Further honing in on my style & paring down exactly what's in my closet. 

My "Report Card."

Ok, so. Was I successful in the sense that I followed every single line item to the T, from January 1st to December 31st? Well, no. Did I shop and overall consume less than I ever have? YES! And for that, I am truly proud of myself and would call this challenge a success.

I'm not going to list out every single purchase I made (& I honestly can't remember) but I think the easiest way to "give myself a report card" would be to reiterate my rules and exceptions. This may be helpful to you if you're planning your own "no-buy" challenge in 2020!

  • clothing, shoes, accessories: I'm proud of myself for, for the most part, sticking to my one item/season. My sanctioned purchases of the year - rainbow dress, yellow one-piece, purple circle purse
  • The only time I can think of where I explicitly had a "I'M BUYING THIS ANYWAY" moment was on my birthday weekend in LA, when we stumbled upon a sample sale for my favorite designer, Mara Hoffman. I bought the dress of my dreams & a swimsuit I love. I mean, it was my birthday. I'm not mad about it. 
  • I bought the Madewell jeans on my exceptions list and tbh...I like my Old Navy ones better?
  • beauty products: I can count on one hand the *not replacement* beauty products I bought this year - two face palettes for travel via Poshmark (my white whale & something I'm still searching for); & I'm not sure where my The Ordinary purchases go, as some were a refill and some were new as I'm still getting into skincare. Let's go with "not totally sanctioned but I'm not mad." 
  • As far as refills go - two tubes of my favorite all-in-one mascara for our Japan trip (L'oreal Lash Paradise), and of course, lots of dry shampoo (this is my favorite that I buy over & over.) Does that just go to show HOW MUCH STUFF I HAVE or what?!
  • home goods: Apart from the sheets on my exceptions list, the literal only thing coming to mind is I did buy a few seasonal candles at Christmas. It feels silly to even mention this because who cares, but this is the point of the review, so, yeah.
  • craft supplies: I can in good faith say I didn't buy a single thing! 


Let's talk about travel purchases, or as I lovingly began to say, the #souvenirclause. I love that I originally, specifically said "this does not mean a Zara shopping spree" when in reality, that's exactly what happened! I stayed within bounds during my travels earlier in the year to South Africa, but by the time I was in Europe for three (!) weeks this Summer, there was much shopping to be done and boy I did it. Let me back up here - I bought probably 5 things total at Zara, two pairs of shoes in Spain, and one pair of espadrilles in France SO while it does feel silly to beat myself up about it, it also feels directly in violation of my "no-buy." Is all I'm saying. We also bought a matching suit & shoes for the trip and I was like wheeeee "free" stuff! Oh - same Uniqlo : : Japan. Same. Which explains my lack of "Fall purchase."

I think the problem here was that there were no boundaries specified that I needed to stay within. I should have just known that I would thrive in a gray area :| I have thought a lot about this and would love your ideas. I will be traveling far less in 2020, but what makes sense? One purchase per trip? Per city? It is so hard for me to put this category in black & white which is why I went "off the rails." 


So what about 2020?
I want to stick to a "no-buy", more or less, with a few different exceptions. 

My goals for this are mostly still the same. 
  • Saving money: now that I'm in the midst of planning a wedding that will be paid for primarily by me & my fiance, I am spending money verrrry carefully. Weddings, man. No matter how you slice it, they are costly!
  • Acquiring less clutter: I'm getting ready to move in with Art, & while exciting, combining our lives & stuff has been a fun little project that I didn't realize would be so complicated. Art has a great house where two should be able to live comfortably, however, we're not quite in walk-in closet heaven yet. Having less makes this easier all together. 

I won't be doing a "seasonal purchase", I'm already viewing the wedding outfits I've been ordering as the bulk of my allotted purchases for the year! This will include shoes, accessories, maybe like a swimsuit for the honeymoon..?

I'm still struggling with a decisive plan for travel purchases. I think the best thing I can do is avoid going to any malls when I travel :) 

One thing I was randomly itching to do last year was go thrifting. Not "random" in the sense that I have never done it before, it's just been a WHILE. I think it's fair to allow myself a few thrifting trips...maybe my rule is that apart from wedding purchases, anything I buy needs to be secondhand?

I'm sure that, together, we will be buying things for the house as we make "Art's house" OUR home. It's impossible for me to make an "approved list" here, but, it won't be in excess. 

I have a list of beauty products that I carefully curated throughout last year, telling myself I could "buy it all in January!" I placed an order at Wet 'n Wild and then my friend once again gifted me a whole bunch of stuff from a purge, so, I'm laying low for now. I know I will eventually purchase a few other things off my list, as well as some nicer things for my wedding - a NICE foundation (hit me with any recs!) probably a lipstick. But otherwise, I have a LOT & will be keeping purchases to a minimum. 

I know this all sounds very vague and wishy washy, and maybe I'm setting myself up for failure by not having a strict list of rules & exceptions going into 2020. However, I can say doing this challenge last year really changed my mindset when it comes to consuming. I've seen now that I can have a happy and full life, even when I'm restricting purchases! I still had plenty to wear, even if it meant repeating something for a special event. I know I can "survive" with what I have. To be honest, my lifestyle shift (not specifically going into an office every day) means I need even less clothing than before! 

If I can be mindful of every purchase I make in 2020, and still keep my consuming on the low end, I'll consider this "low-buy" year a success as well. And I will, of course, keep you posted.


OK if you are doing any sort of no-buy or low-buy project this year - I would love to hear about it! Share your challenge with me and we can cheer each other on!! 

Priya the Blog Best of Everything 2019

Friday, January 3

HI! Happiest of New Years to you! Hope you all had a magical holiday season and are feeling inspired and refreshed in the way that only a new year can bring. 

I was reflecting toward the end of the year, as one is wont to do, and I realized that I'm fairly certain 2019 was the best year of my life. I quit my job to pursue some dreams (more on that eventually!) I got to travel an absurd amount, both to grand new cities and to spend time with family & friends, and I got engaged at Thanksgiving (!!!) 

More on that last one soon especially, but I've basically spent since Thanksgiving feeling totally overwhelmed with love and life. In the best way! I hope I can share the proposal story soon (maybe with some engagement photos) but I really doubt I will be blogging much about the wedding planning process, I just don't think that's my steez.

Anyway! In years past when I have been way more ambitious about blogging I've done several year end recap posts (or at the very least, one full post of my favorite outfits), and while I couldn't muster up multiple posts this year, I couldn't let the new year slide with out at least ONE mega best of list to rule them all :D 

Please also enjoy my "selfie scrapbook" from the year below - pretty fun to make as most of these coincide with fun memories from 2019! 
Best Book:
Stay tuned for the full list of everything I read in 2019 (2018, 2017) but I believe my favorite read of the year was Still Lives by Maria Hummel. I came across it on a book list somewhere online, and then was shocked at how niche it was for my interests. To be fair I did read this in about two days on the beach in Portugal/Spain, which was definitely a contributing factor, but I think I'd recommend it either way! 

Best Meal:
Tough but a fun category - I know recency bias has something to do about it, but I'm still dreaming of the dinner we had at Dumpling Time in San Francisco over Thanksgiving. Literally last night I said to Art "I want to go to Dumpling Time." Everything we had was delicious and then a few things were extra delicious. Runner-up: Kloof Street House in Cape Town! 
Untitled
Best Travel Destination:
And on that note...in 2019 I traveled more than I ever have! I guess quitting your job lends nicely to that. This was tough because I truly saw so many incredible places that I loved & would visit again, but I have to say: Cape Town was my favorite travel destination of the year. I know part of it was only having a dedicated few days in our 10ish day trip to South Africa & wanting so much more - scarcity bias? Is that a thing? Runner-up: Porto!

Best Albums:
Ok I have a few here: Be the Cowboy - Mitski, Dedicated - Carly Rae Jepsen, On the Line - Jenny Lewis, Father of the Bride - Vampire Weekend, Jaime - Brittany Howard, Norman Fucking Rockwell - Lana Del Rey, Dirty Computer - Janelle Monáe, Ella Mai - Ella Mai, Fine Line - Harry Styles (more than a few but I would die for all of these.) More favorite music from the year on my Spotify Top playlist! 

Best of TV/Movies:
OK I'm going to be cutthroat & only share favorites: Judy, Mindhunter, Love Island UK, Fleabag, Shrill, Bohemian Rhapsody, Cold Case Files, Little, Late Night, Jailbirds, Derry Girls
Untitled Best Concert:
It's hard to top Kacey Musgraves at the Ryman, fresh on the heels of her Grammy win, BUT: as far as total concert experience goes, I have to say surprising Art with Incubus tickets in Minneapolis for his birthday. That was an amazing weekend and surprisingly, a show I enjoyed even more than I thought.

Best New App:
Lol why is this a category? I am such a boomer when it comes to my phone, honestly. Anyway, Marco Polo for keeping in touch with besties around the world and Libby for making the most of my library! 
Best Outfits 2019 Best Outfits:
This feels like a whimper considering favorite outfits of years past posts! I blogged less than ever this year & therefore, shared less outfits, but I do love all of these. Moreover, I feel like they are indicative of my ever-shifting personal style in the freeze frame of 2019. It also makes me feel good to reflect on these outfits in the midst of a no-buy year - I can confidently say that while shopping less than ever, I was still able to put together outfits that I loved! Pls indulge me in just a lil commentary (l-r):

1. The coziest Fall fashion combo I could imagine, 50% of which is stolen from Art's closet :)
2. A classic, age-appropriate, with a couple fun touches, including espadrilles I bought in South Africa!
3. This wasn't even on the blog, but - a fun, casual combo I loved for a very fun day in Minneapolis (I am going to blog about this eventually, I swear.)

Best Purchases:
Stay tuned for a no-buy year post mortem! My purchases were few and precious, but I can confidently narrow down my absolute FAVORITE thing I bought this year to: my Mara Hoffman floral sundress, purchased at a sample sale in LA for my birthday! I will wear this forever. It's still available here!

Best Beauty Find:
ONE favorite beauty product?! Without overthinking, I'm gonna say - The Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Vault eyeshadow palette in Armed & Gorgeous. Technially I found this in 2018, but it only became a real favorite this year. Lots more beauty favorites this a way. 
UntitledBest of Milo:
Yeah, my nephew gets his own category because LOOK at him! This is Milo's first birthday outfit. He wore this while he cried in the arms of a mariachi band as we celebrated his first birthday on June 5th ;)

As always always, I would love for you to share your favorites of 2019 with me in the comments! Favorite moment, favorite book, favorite meal, anything goes! If you wrote any kind of recap post, please share the link with me because I love reading them!

Thanks for reading! I hope I can cheer you on for a wonderful 2020! 

Fall Feels

Tuesday, November 26

Priya the Blog, Nashville fashion blog, Nashville fashion blogger, Nashville style blog, Nashville style blogger, fall fashion, fall outfit, fall outfit idea, corduroy overshirt, J.Crew Liberty London, suede miniskirt, brown booties, how to wear a corduroy button-up, ColourPop Frick 'n Frack
Priya the Blog, Nashville fashion blog, Nashville fashion blogger, Nashville style blog, Nashville style blogger, fall fashion, fall outfit, fall outfit idea, corduroy overshirt, J.Crew Liberty London, suede miniskirt, brown booties, how to wear a corduroy button-up, ColourPop Frick 'n FrackPriya the Blog, Nashville fashion blog, Nashville fashion blogger, Nashville style blog, Nashville style blogger, fall fashion, fall outfit, fall outfit idea, corduroy overshirt, J.Crew Liberty London, suede miniskirt, brown booties, how to wear a corduroy button-up, ColourPop Frick 'n FrackPriya the Blog, Nashville fashion blog, Nashville fashion blogger, Nashville style blog, Nashville style blogger, fall fashion, fall outfit, fall outfit idea, corduroy overshirt, J.Crew Liberty London, suede miniskirt, brown booties, how to wear a corduroy button-up, ColourPop Frick 'n FrackPriya the Blog, Nashville fashion blog, Nashville fashion blogger, Nashville style blog, Nashville style blogger, fall fashion, fall outfit, fall outfit idea, corduroy overshirt, J.Crew Liberty London, suede miniskirt, brown booties, how to wear a corduroy button-up, ColourPop Frick 'n FrackPriya the Blog, Nashville fashion blog, Nashville fashion blogger, Nashville style blog, Nashville style blogger, fall fashion, fall outfit, fall outfit idea, corduroy overshirt, J.Crew Liberty London, suede miniskirt, brown booties, how to wear a corduroy button-up, ColourPop Frick 'n FrackPriya the Blog, Nashville fashion blog, Nashville fashion blogger, Nashville style blog, Nashville style blogger, fall fashion, fall outfit, fall outfit idea, corduroy overshirt, J.Crew Liberty London, suede miniskirt, brown booties, how to wear a corduroy button-up, ColourPop Frick 'n FrackPriya the Blog, Nashville fashion blog, Nashville fashion blogger, Nashville style blog, Nashville style blogger, fall fashion, fall outfit, fall outfit idea, corduroy overshirt, J.Crew Liberty London, suede miniskirt, brown booties, how to wear a corduroy button-up, ColourPop Frick 'n FrackPriya the Blog, Nashville fashion blog, Nashville fashion blogger, Nashville style blog, Nashville style blogger, fall fashion, fall outfit, fall outfit idea, corduroy overshirt, J.Crew Liberty London, suede miniskirt, brown booties, how to wear a corduroy button-up, ColourPop Frick 'n FrackPriya the Blog, Nashville fashion blog, Nashville fashion blogger, Nashville style blog, Nashville style blogger, fall fashion, fall outfit, fall outfit idea, corduroy overshirt, J.Crew Liberty London, suede miniskirt, brown booties, how to wear a corduroy button-up, ColourPop Frick 'n FrackPriya the Blog, Nashville fashion blog, Nashville fashion blogger, Nashville style blog, Nashville style blogger, fall fashion, fall outfit, fall outfit idea, corduroy overshirt, J.Crew Liberty London, suede miniskirt, brown booties, how to wear a corduroy button-up, ColourPop Frick 'n FrackPriya the Blog, Nashville fashion blog, Nashville fashion blogger, Nashville style blog, Nashville style blogger, fall fashion, fall outfit, fall outfit idea, corduroy overshirt, J.Crew Liberty London, suede miniskirt, brown booties, how to wear a corduroy button-up, ColourPop Frick 'n Frack
 | overshirt: J.Crew | blouse: J.Crew {technically men's - but so many men's & women's options in Liberty London prints!} | skirt: Old Navy | tights: Primark | booties: Steve by Steve Madden {obsessed with this splurge option!} | lip: ColourPop Ultra Satin Lip in Frick 'n Frack {PERF Fall lip!} | hoops: Target | socks: Amazon {such a great buy - comes in a multi-color pack for $10!} | 
Fall tones baby!! I was so excited to shoot with Miles again. We took these at a favorite spot for Nashvillians, Radnor Lake, in search of some Fall vibes - and she did not disappoint! Fall in Nashville was a little weird this year - it felt like it was 90 degrees until mid-October and then we had a couple frosts, and my mums died immediately anyway. We even had snow for the first time since 1996, fact-checked. So the lovely, pumpkin spice, Emerson & Thoreau days were in short supply, but this day felt pretty close.

To be FAIR, if you're wondering why/how it looks like I have new clothes when I'm not supposed to, I really have been smuggling taking full advantage of a boyfriend who has the most magnificent collection of button-ups ever! Anytime of year is a great time to borrow from a guy's closet, but Fall is the absolute best. I saw a corduroy "work shirt" like this in a fashion vlog on YouTube (this is a thing) and immediately wanted to recreate. Is it a shirt? Is it a jacket? It's the perfect combination of both and an excellent weight/warmth for a Fall day! So, thanks Art :) both the corduroy shirt and floral button-up are his :) :) but since they look better on me, I'm keeping them! I don't make the rules!

Mini-skirt + tights is a combo I've really been loving this Fall! Something about the proportions feels so right. While it's easy and very tempting to start schlepping around in leggings + a sweater when the weather gets cooler (and believe me, I do!) a mini skirt and booties feels a bit more polished and put-together. I will definitely take this into Winter, swap button-up(s) for heavy sweater & scarf!

Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours! It's my favorite holiday! Art & I are in the Bay Area for the week, soaking up alllll the cozy family and friend time. I'll be making the pumpkin cheesecake, there'll be many games of ping-pong and Settlers of Catan, we'll do a little wine tasting on Saturday (might wear this exact outfit) with a grand finale by my brother's 80's cover band - hope yours is wonderful too! Thankful for each of you <3

photos by Miles Price