Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stitch Fix #2

Last month, I received my first Stitch Fix (click HERE to check out my description of the Stitch Fix process, review, and pictures). Although I only kept one item from that first box (I wear it a lot!), I was really excited about the process and eagerly awaiting my next one.

Monday, I received the email that Stitch Fix #2 was on its way and would arrive Wednesday. I must have checked the FedEx tracking number so many times, but Wednesday evening, it arrived right on schedule, as expected. I had to wait until after I took Sophie to swimming lessons and got her bathed and to bed and then I dove right in.

What I Received



This month's Fix was styled by Samantha. What I loved about the note and style card explaining each selection was that in her explanation, she referenced the feedback I gave about the pieces in my last Fix! It was great to feel like they really heard my feedback and adjusted their ideas about what to send me accordingly.

Note: Sorry for the horrible selfies...you'll note I took some in the morning and some in the evening!

First Item: Mia Melon Paloma Back Jersey Cutout Top, $54

This top was...strange. From the front, it looks normal, but the back has an odd racerback design featuring a line of brown buttons. When I put it on, the Y of the racerback would not lay flat against my back, instead jutting out from my spine like a teapot handle. Also, the jersey material unflatteringly highlighted my mommy pooch in the front and I'm not a big fan of round neck tops (I prefer V or boatneck tops). The color, a deep turquoise, was nice, but that was really the only thing I liked about it. Going back.

Um...

Wha?! Had to contort myself to take this shot.

Second Item: 41Hawthorn Natasha Front Pocket Sleeveless Blouse, $54

Stitch Fix is going to have to come to terms with the fact that I do not do sleeveless. The only time I'm sleeveless is when I'm in a swimsuit (one-piece, of course). I wear blazers over tank tops and cardis over sundresses. This shirt, a deep cobalt blue, highlighted my largish, flabby upper arms while simultaneously hanging so loosely everywhere else that I'm pretty sure people would ask me if I was expecting while wearing it. Going back.


Um...

NO. I don't need people wondering if I'm pregnant.

At this point, you're thinking...I thought you said they listened to your feedback?! And they did...

Third Item: Pomelo Arcade Dot Print Chambray Top, $68

As I pulled out the third blue top of my Fix, I realized that my feedback about being obsessed with navy and that I loved the polka dot trim on the too-small blazer I returned had been remembered. I loved this structured, navy, polka dot shirt on sight and prayed it would fit well. And it is perfect! It is rolled up to three-quarter sleeves (my favorite kind, covering all the flabby bits!) and fits nicely-not too small in the shoulders, not too large everywhere else. So preppy and adorable and perfect for summer! Love, love, love. Totally keeping it!

I got several compliments on this shirt at work today!

Fourth Item: Margaret M Emer High Waisted Cropped Trouser, $98

I had specifically requested cropped pants in my feedback last month for my summer work wardrobe, so I was excited to see these pants. Then, I started looking to put them on and realized they are just pull on-no buttons or zippers. While I thought that might be a challenge, turns out they are easy to pull on, fit fantastically, and are the perfect length! They are super comfortable as well and the high waist reins in the mommy pooch and the whole style of the pant seems flattering. Love! Keeping them.

I had to put my white throw over my dark nightstand so the silhouette of the pant would show. 

I am sucking in so hard because it's the end of the day and I've eaten pasta!

Fifth Item: Kut From the Kloth Denna Colored Skinny Jean, $78

Remember the cranberry corduroy pants that fit great in my last Fix, but were not practical for South Texas in springtime? Well, I mentioned that I loved the fit of the pant, but preferably in another material and Samantha came through-sending me a white denim version of the same pant! These look really cute with the navy polka dot top and pretty much anything else for summer. Sold! Keeping them.

Love...

My Thoughts Overall

So, first Fix-one out of five keepers, second Fix-three out of five keepers! Honestly, that was more than I expected in terms of improvement. If I had decided to keep all five items, with the $20 styling fee applied and the buy all 25 percent discount, all five would cost me $249. Since I know I would absolutely not wear the two items I'm returning, I'm comfortable with that and will only have to pay $224 for the three items I chose to keep (with the $20 styling fee applied).

While that might seem high to some, the uniqueness of the items I'm receiving, coupled with the fact that I didn't have to leave the house to search for them, makes this money well spent in my eyes.

My next Fix arrives in mid-May, three days before my 41st birthday, so I really hope I get some cute stuff!

Disclaimer: The Stitch Fix links I put throughout this post are referral links. If you use my referral link to sign up for Stitch Fix, I will receive a $25 credit to my account to put toward a future Stitch Fix. However, all the opinions here are my own and I am not being reimbursed in any way to review Stitch Fix. I'm doing this for fun and paying for everything out of my own pocket!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My Baby Grownup Girl

Sophie, now five and a half, is growing up faster than I like.
 
It really struck me this week. Last week, on our way to Florida for vacation, she carried her own backpack and pulled her own suitcase. We had no stroller to deal with and no child to carry for the first time ever and we were THRILLED that she was pulling her own weight (as it were) as a traveler. So proud of our big girl. That didn't bother me at all.

Pulling her suitcase like a boss
 
Then, last night after her bath, Sophie told me her tooth hurt. I took a look and the tooth wiggled very loosely.
 
"Sophie, your baby tooth is loose," I told her.
 
"MOMMY! I HAVE A WIGGLY TOOTH! I HAVE A WIGGLY TOOTH!" she exclaimed. I called for J to come and he hugged her and was congratulating her on this milestone when I felt tears pricking my eyes.

Wiggly tooth, right there

My baby is losing her baby teeth, literally the last vestiges of her babyhood. MY BABY. I'm not ready for this, friends. It's really hitting me.
 
She's finishing Kindergarten. She'll turn six in August. She's losing her baby teeth. She's as tall as my boobs (yes, really). But she's just my little baby. How did this happen?

See? Boob high
 
Every day, she makes me laugh with her pronouncements on things, always starting with "Good news, Mommy!" or "Do you want to know something crazy?" She is reading everything in sight, whether she likes to admit it or not. She is becoming a good little swimmer and works hard at it every week. She is SO over princesses, showing no interest in them last week at all (except Elsa, because ICE POWER).
 
But in my heart, she's always going to be my baby, my little princess. So I'll just be over here drying my tears, watching her grow up.


Baby teeth firmly in place

My little princess

Update: Before I could post this, Sophie's baby tooth came out as she brushed her teeth before bed. The Tooth Fairy is glad she had time on her lunch break today to prepare for the occasion. Mommy is still in teary denial.


Gap on top and bottom


Going rate for a first tooth is $5

OK, and a little wand and some fairy dust

Friday, March 14, 2014

Glam Delivered Right to Your Door

Recently, several bloggers I follow, particularly Nilsa and Ari, started blogging about Stitch Fix. I've enjoyed reading about and seeing the pictures of the clothes they've received every month. 

Several fantastic ladies (I'm looking at you Ginger and Laura!) I know receive makeup boxes every month with samples to try, and while I've been interested in that concept, I'm not into makeup quite enough to actually sign up for any of those services. YET.

But new clothes delivered straight to my door every month? SIGN. ME. UP. I never feel like I have enough time to shop as it is and I definitely need to expand my fashion horizons a bit from my current uniforms of Summer (capri pants and a top) and Winter (jeans, boots, and a top). (Those are the only two seasons here in Texas.) I thought this might help me try.

How does it work? You simply sign up online, fill out a questionnaire about your fashion likes and wardrobe needs, and select a date for your first Fix to arrive. When your Fix ships, you are charged a $20 styling fee that will be put toward any items you decide to purchase. If you send everything back in an included envelope, the styling fee is all you are charged.

So, Stitch Fix #1!

My stylist Shuchi picked out four items of clothing and one jewelry item for my first Fix. I loved her note about the pieces she selected for me and I really loved the card that gave ideas for styling each piece.


Note: Forgive my terrible selfies, just wanted to give a visual to each item in the Fix.

First Item: Jonathan Corduroy Skinny Pant, $78


These pants fit me perfectly and were SO comfortable. I really liked them, but I chose not to keep them for one big reason: CORDUROY. If I had received this box in October, maybe. But it's mid-March in South Texas and there will be no corduroy wearing for me. I get hot just thinking about it! But if Shuchi could send me these exact pants in a denim or stretch cotton, I'd be sold! (Although I would like a more cranberry red than orange red too.)

Second Item: Dovette Draped Detail Dress, $58


I loved the beautiful color of this dress and the soft material and while it doesn't photograph well, I loved the draping, which camouflages the mommy pooch perfectly. I showed it to J and he really liked it too and he's a tough judge. The only problem was that while it fit my lower half well, the top half was too large and had huge armholes that showed my bra on each side. I considered tailoring, but realistically, I don't have the time or money to do so. The dress is going back.

Third Item: Toshi Contrast Detail Blazer, $88


I love a good blazer, so I was really excited to receive one in my box. Unfortunately, although I loved the cut of the blazer, it was too tight for me in the shoulders and arms, so I could barely move them. I was pretty bummed out as I really loved the polka dot contrast trim. Going back.

Fourth Item: Gwendolen V-Back Knit Shirt, $58

Business in the front
Party in the back LOL.

Finally a keeper! From the front, this navy knit shirt looks like a basic boatneck style, but from behind it has a little V that gives it a nice twist. I love the cut of the shirt and navy is kind of my fashion obsession these days, so I'm keeping the top and look forward to styling it with a few things already in my wardrobe. :)

Fifth Item: Oxford Layered Chains Necklace, $52


What Shuchi doesn't know is that I have a large neck and am not a fan of chokers. This necklace felt like it was strangling me. I like my necklaces a little longer and more sparkly, less heavy metal.


V-Back styled for dinner this evening with cropped jeans,
 heels, my favorite scarf, and sparkly jewelry

Thoughts Overall
One keeper and four returns (although two were almost keepers)...I don't consider this a failure by any means. I really love the navy V-back and I had a great time trying new things on. I went online to indicate what I was keeping and give feedback about the items I'm returning, so hopefully Shuchi will have more information to make my next Stitch Fix even better. I'm interested to see what I receive in my mid-April delivery! This is a really fun service!

Disclaimer: The Stitch Fix links I put throughout my post are referral links. If you use my referral link to sign up for Stitch Fix, I will receive a $25 credit to my account to put toward a future Stitch Fix. However, all the opinions here are my own and I am not being compensated in any way to review Stitch Fix. I paid my $20 styling fee, and with the one item I'm keeping from this box, I'm paying a total of $58 (including the original styling fee). I just thought it would be fun to share what I received and what I think of this service!






Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Reflections on 2013

I have formulated about 10 blog posts in my head this last month. None of them made it into this space. I swore I was going to blog during my 16 days away from work. Didn't happen. Life happened instead! (OK, and lots of TV watching.)
 
Laura and Blair and several of my lovely friends completed this year-in-review questionnaire and I love the format, so here goes:

1. What did you do in 2013 that you've never done before?

I sold a house. I rode a scary-ass roller coaster (the Iron Rattler at Six Flags-I've ridden others, but this is the scariest one I've ever ridden). I attended three NBA Finals games (sob). I turned 40. I became a Homeroom Mom for Sophie's Kindergarten class.


I survived the Iron Rattler!


The NBA Finals! (sob)


Homeroom Mom!

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more for next year?

I'm not big on resolutions. Every year, I try to work on losing some weight and exercising more (yeah, right). This year, I made a list of what I wanted to do to celebrate turning 40 and I accomplished the first three.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No, although I have a coworker who is about to give birth!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes. My dear friend Sue, the leader of a monthly book group I was in for 15 years passed away around New Year's last year from complications of Alzheimer's. I watched her decline over the past five years to the point where our book group meetings were just a get-together each month to see how she was doing since she no longer could read or talk about books really. She still knew me till the end though, most of the time.


That's Sue at left in better days, although she was already starting to decline here. Pat is holding Sophie (7 months). My other friend Michele is not pictured.

5. What countries did you visit?

No international travel in 2013. We are supposed to go to Canada sometime this year, but that may not happen for several other reasons (a surprise Disney trip in April being one).

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

Patience with my family. The ability to forgive myself when my house isn't perfect (I will never be as good a housekeeper as my mom, nor do I have the time and energy to be-I need to stop beating myself up! I'm good at other things!).

7. What dates in 2013 will be etched on your memory and why?

My 40th birthday. Games 6 and 7 of the NBA Finals (sob). Sophie's first day of elementary school.


My big girl on her first day of school!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I think buying a house and selling another and getting all bazillion of our possessions moved and surviving J's many expensive attempts to soundproof our house (28 new windows, three new doors, more to come apparently-AAH!) should qualify as my biggest achievement this year. I am never moving again!

9. What was your biggest failure?

Hmm. This is a hard question. Probably yelling at J and Sophie a little too quickly (see "patience" above). I've got to work on that.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I've been having some back problems this last month, triggered by lifting my 65-lb baby one too many times. Sorry kiddo, you have to walk everywhere now. ;)

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Tickets to see Keane. Tickets to the Spurs playoffs (sob). My ticket to Charleston. :) My new laptop (first computer I've ever owned that wasn't a hand-me-down from J-he's kept me in computers since 2003).


My view of Tim Rice-Oxley at the Keane concert-so close!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

J, who despite his obsession with soundproofing, is really a fantastic partner and father. I know he's always on my side and we're a great team. Also, Sophie, who is growing up to be quite a kid. She's imaginative and funny and loving and smart. She took to "big-girl school" like a boss. Love her so much.


At South Padre Island on vacation

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The Texas Senate during the Wendy Davis filibuster (basically anyone in that session who was not a Texas Democrat, or named Wendy Davis, Kirk Watson, and Leticia Van De Putte).


 I met Wendy (future Governor Davis) at a rally
in San Antonio a few weeks later.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Mortgage, soundproofing/home renovations, and daycare.

15. What did you get really, really excited about?

The Spurs going to the NBA Finals (sob) and going to meet lovely Internet friends at the Blathering.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

"Blurred Lines." I know, I know. But when it was first out last summer, Sophie started singing it in the car because she thought it was about her since she's a "Good Girl!" I should've taped her singing it, because it was very cute-"You're a gooood giiiirll!"

Also, Pitbull's "Don't Stop the Party" because it was the Spurs intro every night at every game (sob).

17. Compared to this time last year are you:

Happier or Sadder - Happier
Thinner or Fatter- A little thinner, not much
Richer or Poorer - A little richer because I paid off my car early and now have a little extra money each month. Although also poorer, considering how much money we've spent on windows and such for our new house. Who knows?

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Sleeping. Reading, for sure. Reading took a HUGE hit this year between all the moving and the obsessive HGTV watching in the months before and after our move. Blogging. Ahem, obviously.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Laundry. It's the bane of my existence every weekend.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

We opened gifts with my parents at their house on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning, we opened our gifts and Santa's gift, then my parents came over for Christmas dinner, which required very little actual cooking from me. Nice and relaxing.

At Nana and Papa's

Sophie on the Kindle and Nana on her phone

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
I fell in love with my house. It was the first one we liked online and the first one we visited. Nothing else compared.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Scandal. Elementary. Castle. The Goldbergs. The Good Wife. Game of Thrones. Masterpiece Mystery (Inspector Lewis, Endeavor, I re-watched Sherlock, et al.). NCIS: LA. Bones. ALL OF HGTV.

"Hi, my name is Sonya and I'm addicted to television."

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't at this time last year?

No. OK, maybe Ray Allen a little for game 6 of the NBA Finals (sob).

24. What was the best book you read?

Divergent. The Cuckoo's Calling. I really didn't read very much this year. :(

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Jay-Z? I went to see him with C and was surprised how much I enjoyed his concert (despite all the language). Also, Ed Sheeran, thanks to @melissaa24. And I've really enjoyed the Capital Cities and Imagine Dragons lately.

26. What did you want and get?

A new house in a neighborhood with a good elementary school for Sophie.

27. What did you want and not get?

A FIFTH SPURS NBA CHAMPIONSHIP (SOB).


There's supposed to be one more here!

28. What was your favorite film this year?

Well, I only saw Monster's University, Catching Fire, and Frozen. Loved them all, so it's a toss up.

29. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?

I was 40. We hosted a little party with my closest friends and their kids at our house. It was relaxing and fun.

30. What one thing would have made your year more satisfying?

THE SPURS WINNING A FIFTH NBA CHAMPIONSHIP (SOB). Yeah, there's a theme here.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Capris and heels (summer). Jeans and boots (winter). Lots of sparkly jewelry.

32. What kept you sane?

My family, my BFF, and all of my lovely Twitter and Internet friends.

You've got to have best friends to keep you sane.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Lately, it's all Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Women's right to choose what happens with their bodies. The actions of the Texas Senate during the filibuster were reprehensible. I've never been stirred to personally attend a political rally before.


Don't mess with Texas women, y'all.

35. Who did you miss?

Sue and my book group friends. She was the glue that held us together. I love those ladies, but we don't get together as much now.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

The lovely @lettergirl and all my fantastic Blathering ladies. You are the best.

Just a few of my favorite Blathering friends! So many more here!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson from 2013.

If your husband tells you he's going to soundproof your new house because it's in the flight path of San Antonio International Airport, believe him.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"I feel knocked down but I won’t be broken, I won’t be broken 
My spirit’s reeling, but my arms are open, I won’t be broken 
Got a feeling someday you and I- you're gonna blow this town wide open 
Got a hunger snapping at my heels, my mind that can't be changed- the wheel 
That won’t be broken"

-Keane, "Won't Be Broken"

For the Spurs lost championship this year (sob). No worries-they'll be back in the mix in 2014! Go Spurs go! :)

Happy New Year!




Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Any Turkey Can Tango

How is it the end of November?!

I'm sorry for the long blog absences. I've written two lengthy updates but I never got around to adding pictures and actually posting them.

So for now, I'm just going to share a little video of my daughter Sophie, her partner Max, and the entire Kindergarten doing the Turkey Tango last week. I nearly died of the cuteness. Also, Max informed his parents that since he and Sophie were dancing together, that means they are getting married. Adorable!

I hope you and yours have a very Happy Thanksgiving!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Blathering in Charleston

After chickening out of Austin in 2011 and waiting too late to register for New Orleans in 2012, I finally made it to The Blathering in Charleston in 2013.
 
In some ways, the weekend was exactly what I expected. In some ways, it was even more than I expected. I came home exhausted but feeling that in the span of four days I made some deep bonds with some special people who are now "My People"-my real-life friends, not just Internet friends. And that feels pretty wonderful.
 
I don't want to recap every minute of every day of the weekend, but I do want to capture some of my favorite moments, observations, and regrets.
 
Favorite Moments:
  • Saving a seat for and gabbing the whole way from Houston to Charleston with sweet DeeAnne on the plane. Meeting the chic and adorable Arwen at baggage claim.

  • Being picked up at the airport by the fabulous and super fun Erin, who later in the weekend called me "Carrie Bradshaw" and who I lovingly dubbed "Sassypants." Adore Erin!
  • Whisking Ginger out the door upon her arrival to ride Ollie the Trolley downtown for dinner with DeeAnne and me. We ended up on the rooftop of the Charleston Crab House and walked in a big square around downtown later in the evening. It was such a nice night and great way to get to know each other as roommates.
      
  • The first book club conversation I had over the weekend at Social with Ginger, Laura, Ashley, and Tara G. (aka Other Tara!). Love these girls and we had such a great conversation about books and just life in general. I was so glad to have a chance to get to know all these beautiful and amazing ladies better.

  • Having drinks with the larger group at Henry's on the rooftop. It was cool to see (almost) everyone in one place.

  • Getting to know Julie better when her GPS took us on a scenic route to Eli's Table for brunch (and the free beignets we grabbed while walking over). Thanks again for the ride, Julie!

  • Trying to get massages with Laura, Jessica, and Ginger and then heading back to the hotel to hang out poolside. The poolside chatting was so fun, especially after Laura and I decided to grab appetizers at the bar for sharing and then the fabulous Jen Bernardi, who I had the pleasure of getting to know over coffee in San Antonio the week before The Blathering, brought her famous trail mix! I feel like I got to talk to so many people by the pool and it was so awesome and relaxing to share lounge chairs and just gab.

  • Having an in-depth conversation with the beautiful Ginger about ourselves and our families on the bar patio while the sun was setting before the boat cruise. Then joining Danielle, Nora, Blair, Julie, and Jen Bernardi for more pre-boat bonding.
  • The Salami Pants Incident of 2013, which solidified my love of Laura!

  • Watching Emily do the running man on the rooftop deck of the Fish House. :) And finally getting a chance to really chat with Roomie Tara over drinks and then back in our room, when we got on the elevator and everyone else headed to the hotel bar. (We thought you were following us on the elevator, ladies!) We talked for an hour before we finally called it a night.

  • Hanging out with Danielle, Jen B., Caitlin, Tara G., Ginger, and DeeAnne at Queology after post-brunch shopping at the market. This was just relaxing and probably the first opportunity I had to get to know Caitlin, Danielle, and Tara G. even better.
  • Popsicles! I was a big fan of the chocolate sea salt and raspberry lime. I also really enjoyed chatting with Erin, Elsha, April, Laura, Jessica, Tara, and Jenna. When we caught the water taxi back to the hotel, I also got some quality time with Jennifer Lyker who is so lovely.
 
  • At the Alley, I was glad to get to talk to Blair, Maggie, Elsha, Miranda, Danielle, and Julie a little more, and my roommates Tara, Ginger, and DeeAnne. And Erin, aka Sassypants, made me laugh harder than I had all weekend!
  • Back at the hotel bar afterwards, I talked Pens hockey with Kate Welsh and we bonded a little over our mutual hatred of Marc-Andre Fleury.

  • Tara waking me up to give me a hug goodbye as she left early Sunday morning.

  • Despite the onset of a migraine, I enjoyed the last opportunity to chat with some great ladies, including Ashley and Tara G., and Jennie Canzoneri over donuts. I wish the darn migraine hadn't made me so woozy I couldn't really enjoy the cab ride to the airport I shared with Danielle and Blair. Sorry I was so out of it, ladies.
 

Observations:
  • Everyone was really nice. There were moments I felt awkward, but those passed fairly quickly usually. (Or maybe I was awkward all weekend and everyone was just really nice about it.)

  • Maggie is totally as adorable and funny in person as I expected, although I think I stressed her out asking about the bakery!
  • The Organizers put a lot of work into the weekend-thank you ladies! I really appreciate everything you did to make the weekend fun for all of us!

  • Since I'd been to Charleston several times before, I felt no need to try and see any of the sights, which freed me up to relax and hang out with people. I think I could've sat by the pool talking all weekend.
Regrets:
  • Not doing beach yoga with Jen B. on Saturday morning (even though Creepy Old Guy was totally checking the yoga ladies out).

  • There are SO many fabulous ladies that I did not get to spend time getting to know. For that, I am very sorry ladies! Guess that means I'll have to go to Seattle next year, right? I've never been to the Pacific Northwest or the West Coast at all, so I think I'm required to go.

Plus, now that I've found "My People," I can't wait to see you all again. :)