Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Stitch Fix Review: The Time I Kept the Whole Dang Box

SPOILER ALERT:  This was my very best Fix ever and I kept every single thing.  As in, I sent nothing back.  As in, my personal stylist (Jennifer) hit the ball clear out of the park and I couldn't bring myself to part with any of the fabulous items she chose specifically for me.  As in, I was pretty flipping excited to write this review of my best Stitch Fix experience to date!

(P.S.  If you're reading this and wondering what the heck this whole Stitch Fix thing is that I'm talking about, I invite you to check out my previous reviews for the more detailed run-down.)

Super Quick Recap of Stitch Fix:
  • Sign up and get on the Waiting List (this usually moves pretty quickly)
  • Fill out your detailed Style Profile
  • Schedule your first "Fix" and work yourself up into a frenzy as your stylist chooses some great clothes for you to try on
  • Pay your $20 styling fee and wait for the goodies to arrive on your doorstep
  • Receive a box full of items hand-picked by a personal stylist, just for you, based on your profile
  • Try everything on, keep what you want, send back what you don't. (The $20 styling fee comes off the price of anything you choose to keep and if you buy all 5 items, you get a 25% discount!)
First Impressions:
There may have been some oooohing and ahhhing when I opened the box.  I mean, the fabrics and colors were just spot on target.  I couldn't wait to try this stuff on!!

First up was this ultra-feminine cinched waist top.  The pattern is just LOVELY and the style card had me wanting to run out to immediately find a pair of emerald green flats.

I was a little iffy about this one when I put it on, but it grew on me the more I wore it.  Plus, my hubby really liked it and that is always a nice little bonus!  It is unlike anything else I have in my closet, which is one of my favorite things about Stitch Fix.  I end up with some great pieces that I would never have chosen for myself!

Oh, this blouse.  The flowy fabric, the subtle print, the tab sleeve.  It made my heart go pitter pat.

Love at first sight.  I left for work after trying this one on for the first time and I am not even joking when I say I couldn't stop thinking about this blouse all night.  I was seriously daydreaming.  About a shirt.  I had to have it.  (You'll also notice I'm wearing Item #3 in the photo above.)

The cute pup didn't come in my Stitch Fix box, but this darling mint bracelet was a welcome surprise!  I had specifically asked for a bracelet this time since I've had a run of necklaces lately and this one did not disappoint.  I want to wear it with everything.

My stylist wanted to send me a different dress that I had been requesting for a while now, but it was still out of stock in my size.  She sent me this one instead, telling me she thought the faux wrap would create the small waist I was aiming for.

Nailed it.  I love this dress.  I need to find a pair of great nude heels to go with it and I think I have found my outfit for my cousin's wedding in October!

Last, but certainly not least, was this delightful zig zag maxi skirt that has just enough extra fabric at the bottom to make it dance a bit while you walk.

At first I thought there was no way I would want to keep a maxi skirt when I already have two, but this skirt was just too fun to send back.  The pattern, the soft and comfy fabric, the length.  I love everything about it!

When all was said and done, the only item I really was on the fence about was the cinched waist top (Item #1), but one of the perks of Stitch Fix is that when you keep all five items, you get a 25% discount across the board!  The math worked out so that it was actually cheaper for me to keep everything than to send that one item back!  In fact, it only ended up being $16 more for me to keep all five items than to keep my top THREE!  Sold, my friend.  The whole box was mine and I essentially got that first top for free.  

Create a Pinterest board with clothes you like, especially items you have seen other people get in their Fixes and refer your stylist to your board.  My stylist loves to send me stuff she finds on my Pinterest board - like the gray Daniel Rainn top from this Fix!  

Ready to give Stitch Fix a try?  I have really enjoyed using this styling service as a way to mix things up in the wardrobe department.  It's so fun to see what my stylist has chosen!  My favorite part is that it is NOT a subscription service where you are charged every month.  You can get one Fix and be done or not get another one for several months if you choose. can choose to get a box of goodies every month.  It's your call!  CLICK HERE to get started!

Disclosure:  I was not paid by Stitch Fix to write this or any of my other reviews and all opinions are my own.  I do use a referral link so I do get a credit to my Stitch Fix account when new folks get their Fix on!  Thank you for supporting this blog (and my clothing habit)! 

Linking up once again over at The Pleated Poppy for some amazing fashion inspiration!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Project Life Tuesday - Week 22

The Mom Creative

 Welcome to Project Life Tuesday!  Every week I share photos of a layout I've been working on, either in my family's weekly book or my son's baby book.  I started using the Project Life system in 2010, so this will be my fourth full year!  I used to be a very traditional scrapbooker who would spend hours on a single layout to document one or two photos.  Thanks to Project Life, I have become much more practical and I'm able to record a multitude more memories.

I don't use a lot of fancy tricks or complicated techniques.  I would define my style as "hybrid scrapbooking" - a combination of simple digital and a few old school techniques that creates a unique product that reflects our eclectic life. To me, it's more important to keep the memories than it is to make them look like they came out of a magazine.  I'm totally fine with it if my layouts feature more iPhone photos than DSLR shots and Instagram is my friend.

And it's a whole lot of fun.

If you're looking for inspiration on what others are doing with their Project Life, you can check out my board on Pinterest and be sure to link up on The Mom Creative!

I am very, very happy with how Week 22 turned out.  I used the Jade kit almost exclusively, but I threw in a few digital elements along with my physical kit, which has kind of become my signature style.  Sorry, that sounded somewhat pretentious and I really didn't mean it to be.  Someone whose bathroom constantly smells slightly of pee doesn't really get to be pretentious about anything.

Moving on.

The card above was one of the totally digital elements from this week.  I used one of the cards from the digital Jade kit and I changed the color a little bit on the border with the polkadots.  I used a screen shot for the movie poster and then an Instagram for my photos and then just journaled a bit about our date night.

Isaiah has been going through a phase lately where every single little owie is life-threatening.  I figured I would hop on the whole #whymysoniscrying meme and throw my oldest and my youngest right under the bus in the name of getting a good laugh from my scrapbook.

This piece of artwork was hanging in the hallway at Isaiah's school and I just about died laughing when I saw it.  I took a photo of it, added a couple snarky comments, and printed it as a 3x4 photo.

The right side ended up with a balance of photos and journaling that really makes me happy. 

For the first 3x4 photo spot, I scanned a page of word puzzles that Isaiah worked on.  I got a new Curious George book about dinosaurs that had this word scramble in the back, so I copied it over onto a notepad for him to work on.  He was so proud of his success, I just had to include it in my Project Life album.

For the photo of Thomas, I just used a digital Jade card and changed the word "Noted" to "Tweeted."  Once again, I had another gem of a #whymysoniscrying photo that I couldn't resist.

This is another digital card where I changed the color of every other stripe on the far right side.  It was originally all orange stripes, but I wanted to pick up the color from Thomas' shirt a bit. 

One of my favorite weeks recently, I think.

I've been working hard the past week or so on planning about 4 weeks worth of layouts, so I'm hoping to make a big push toward getting caught up very soon!

Thanks for stopping by to check out my work!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Quick Key Frame Project

I attended a baby shower a couple weekends back and my super-competitive nature paid off, winning me the "clothespin" game.  The spoils?  A hot pink frame with a crack in it.

Add a little superglue, spray paint, a piece of Project Life cardstock, and a key from our first house and I had transformed that free prize into a sentimental but still classy element I can't wait to find the perfect place for in my new bedroom gallery wall!

The first challenge was choosing the right color for the frame itself and the key.

Would I have liked to keep the frame hot pink?  Kind of, yeah! husband gave that one the big old VETO and it would have stuck out like a sore thumb in my new gray/yellow/blue bedroom.  The yellow was the same color I had just spray painted a mirror for above our bed (yes, photos to come) and so I thought it might be nice to grab that color for the key.  I went back and forth on the blues for the frame for a while though until I finally settled on the deep blue on the right.

After the superglue had healed the crack, I took the frame outside for three coats of spray paint and the key got the same treatment.  When everything had dried, I trimmed a scrap piece of striped cardstock down to size and used glue to adhere it to the back of the frame.  Then I just centered the key and glued it right onto the cardstock.

Really, a really simple and cheap project that will look fabulous on the wall.  Once I figure out where the heck to put it.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Out of Sorts

So sorry to be a bit absent the last couple days, everyone.  Mama has NOT been feeling well.  It hit me yesterday morning like a ton of bricks and while Evan had to get up while it was still dark to get on the high speed ferry to Michigan, I had a hard time dragging myself out of bed at 7:30.  When I finally managed to peel my eyelids open and stand up, I pretty much spent the rest of the day in the bathroom or trying not to pass out on the couch.


The best part was when I got Thomas down for a nap at 2:00 and Isaiah has just gone out to play with friends.  With no shame whatsoever, I plunked Micah down in front of a movie and went in my bedroom to lay down for a bit so I could try to recharge a little before I had to go in to work.  I explained to both older boys that Mommy wasn't feeling good and to leave me alone so I could sleep.

Mommy.....can I have a Popsicle?
Mommy....can I have a snack?
Mommy....can we come play video games inside?
Mommy....I need to go potty!
Mommy....can I have a drink of water?
Mommy....where's my baseball bat?
Mommy....can I get the mail?


This one is lucky to have escaped with his life:

And I am feeling just as rotten today.  It could be a long day with a LOT of caffeine. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Rules Around Here

Recently I have noticed there are some unspoken rules that have developed as we go about our normal day by day routine.  Not sure when these showed up or really how they became so prevalent in our world, but they exist nonetheless.  In no particular order....

Rule #1 - If Mom has spent more than 15 minutes preparing a meal, it is immediately deemed "icky" or inedible.  However, if a very similar meal originated in a restaurant sporting a blue roof or showed up via a drive thru window or delivery driver, it is immediately considered "delicious."

Rule #2 - Meals that are not immediately followed by ice cream (or frozen custard or cake pops or Popsicles or freeze pops or cake) are considered null and void.  Hysterical fits are required.

Rule #3 - Couches are not for sitting on.  They may be used as volcanoes, high dives, pirate ships, the Millennium Falcon, or other comparable such avenues of adventure, but the cushions are required to be thrown to the floor within five minutes of rising in the morning and there must be jumping from such an obscene height that Mom gets nervous.

Rule #4 - When it is time to leave the, five minutes ago....there will always be at least one shoe that refuses to be found.

Rule #5 - Screaming begets screaming.  Screaming usually leads to hitting which leads to whining which leads to Time Outs which means more screaming.  Rinse and repeat.

Rule #6 - The green light saber is the best light saber and presenting any other option is pointless.  This too, leads to whining and screaming.

Rule #7  - Often just trying to do life with several young children will leave you seriously contemplating selling them to the circus.  Because, let's face it, you're half way there already.

Rule #8 - Foods that are consistently deemed to be inedible will because delightful delicacies when presented through the magical suggestion of Grandma.

What rules would you add to this list?  I'm sure there are more going on around here too, but I ran out of time before I had to bring Isaiah to swimming lessons.  :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Project Life Tuesday - Title Page & Family Photo Insert

The Mom Creative

 Welcome to Project Life Tuesday!  Every week I share photos of a layout I've been working on, either in my family's weekly book or my son's baby book. 

I started using the Project Life system in 2010, so this will be my fourth full year!  I used to be a very traditional scrapbooker who would spend hours on a single layout to document one or two photos.  Thanks to Project Life, I have become much more practical and I'm able to record a multitude more memories.

I don't use a lot of fancy tricks or complicated techniques.  I would define my style as "hybrid scrapbooking" - a combination of simple digital and a few old school techniques that creates a unique product that reflects our eclectic life. To me, it's more important to keep the memories than it is to make them look like they came out of a magazine.  I'm totally fine with it if my layouts feature more iPhone photos than DSLR shots and Instagram is my friend.

And it's a whole lot of fun.

If you're looking for inspiration on what others are doing with their Project Life, you can check out my board on Pinterest and be sure to link up on The Mom Creative!

I split my 2013 album up into two volumes and the first album will cover the months from January to June.  As I work on finishing up the last couple weeks of June, I wanted to get the title page for Volume 1 up to date using the fabulous family photos taken by Jenn Van Wyk Photography.  

In addition to her wonderful shots, I also used two cards from the Seafoam kit, an orange chipboard "K," and a digital card from the Jade kit to complete the first page of 2013.

I'm hoping to use some additional photos from our shoot with Jenn to create the last page in Volume 1.

In addition to the title page, I also used her photos to make an insert in Week 21.

Apart from the "Love From the Bottom of Your Heart" card, these are all the Project Life prints from Persnickety Prints.  Can I just say how AMAZING these turned out?  Hands down the best print quality I have ever seen.  And the rounded corners?  Swoon.

I just used a Design A page protector for this insert and tossed it right in the middle of Week 21.

If I can find enough time this week to get the photos ready, I look forward to sharing Week 22 with you next Tuesday!  Until then, be sure to check out all the incredible work on The Mom Creative from the folks that are linking up and definitely hop over to Becky's site to read all about the launch of the new Digital Project Life site!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Swimming in the Street

Sometimes you just need to let them go run in the rain.

And then splash in the water running down the street like it's a pool.

Until the other kids in the neighborhood start to take notice of how much fun they're having and an impromptu game of Thunderstorm Frisbee is born.

What was really fun was when my neighbor drove by to see my Micah laying on his belly along the curb of our street.  She slowed to a stop to ask him what on earth he thought he was doing while I chuckled to myself as I watched the scenario develop out from our living room window. 

Yup, we're the parents who let our kids swim in the street.

And then I made Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter cookies at 10:15 pm.  It was just that kind of day.

Today I am welcoming my Michigan Twin and her kiddos to my home for a playdate for the kids and some girl time for their moms.  I've taken it upon myself to introduce my pal to other Wisconsin delights such as Spotted Cow and Summer Shandy.  Oh, and they had better help me eat those cookies.

Friday, July 19, 2013

When There's Nothing You Can Say

"Yeah, so I quit Weight Watchers.  I'm just struggling to get through life right now, so I said to heck with it and I made a pie.  And I ate it."

I looked across my kitchen counter at my dear friend and wondered what the right move would be.  Do I hug her?  Make a joke?  Whip up a batch of cookies?  Our children were happily poking at the plates full of "toothpick food" on the table (see below) as she and I danced around the issue of the mega-trial in her life right now. 

I could see her pain in her face.  In her posture.  Hiding behind her smile.  She spoke about how she knows she should try to get out for a breath of fresh air, but the activities that she used to enjoy suddenly seem so....emptyA pedicure has gone from pampering to pointless.  A night with the girls seems more phony than freeing.

The offers of childcare, play dates, late night chats over a couple beers - they all seemed so minuscule.  I wanted to cook her an entire week's worth of dinners, clean her entire house, kneel down and give her a pedicure right then and there in my dining room.

But what did I really do?  Nothing.
What did I say?  Practically nothing.

Because I felt paralyzed.  I didn't want to say the wrong thing, so I erred on the side of saying nothing at all. And now I feel terrible about it.  What kind of friend does that?  How could I have just stood there and not reached out to hug her?  How did I let her walk out my door and load her kids back in the van without scheduling a time in the next week to get together alone?

And even more importantly.....why didn't I pray with her?

I sit here now and think back on the evening in my basement in December of 2011 when I poured my heart out through tears and sobs to two of my friends.  When they prayed over me that night, God moved in my heart and it was through that experience that I came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord.  It changed my life forever.  

When there's nothing you can say, just PRAY. 

I'm grateful that this experience taught me this lesson, but I feel awful that it had to come through my negligence as a friend and as a sister in Christ.  If you have someone in mind right now, someone that might need a word of encouragement that you've been struggling to find the right words, just give it up to Him.  It's surprising that something so freeing could be so difficult to do, but I know I struggle with it.  But we can do so much when we appeal to the one who can do everything. 

"Is any one of you in trouble?  He should pray.  Is anyone happy?  Let him sing songs of praise.....The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."  James 5:13, 16b

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Master Makeover

We have lived in this house for dang near a year and we have done precisely diddly squat with it.

Before we even officially moved in, I painted over the yellow walls in the laundry room with the leftover blue paint we had from the bathroom in our previous house.  It was a bit easier on the eyes and it made me feel like I was putting my little stamp on this new chapter of our life.  Unfortunately, that kind of where the stamping party ended.  (Not to be confused with a Stampin' Up party, by the way.)

So here we are only a month or so away from our one year mark and the house really looks exactly the way it did when we moved in, only way messier and the bathroom permanently smells slightly of pee.  I kind of have some commitment issues when it comes to designs, so I was even hesitant to hang things on the walls out of fear that we would screw up the nail holes and then be stuck with something hung where we didn't want it or with gaping hole where we thought we wanted something hung, but it turns out we really didn't.  Oh, and then there's the whole paint color conundrum.  I suffer from severe paralysis when it comes to choosing paint colors.  I mean, nothing sets the tone for a room more than the paint on the walls, right?  What if you choose something too dark?  Too light?  Too yellow so that it looks like pee and suddenly you are stuck with a room that both looks AND smells slightly of pee.

Clearly, I have a problem.

It was time to just bite the bullet, jump in with both feet, and just tackle a room already.  I figured the master bedroom was a good room to start in because I could always just close the door and keep people from seeing it if I really screwed it up.  Plus, it was starting to stress me out when I came in and hated everything I saw.

Here's where we started:

As you can see, there are a few things I would like to tackle in this room.  The cluttered bookcase just drives me batty every time I look at it and I can't wait to revitalize with this room with a fun dose of bright color.  The black bed, dresser, and side tables will be staying, but I'm hoping to upgrade pretty much everything else.

The plan is to paint the walls a light neutral gray and use accents of yellow (to play off the lampshades), navy, and other shades of blue and green to add a pop of color.  I want it to be fun, light, and cheery but still classy.

As for the bookcase, I'm thinking about painting it white and doing something crazy to the back, like ripping off the current flimsy backing and replacing it with painted plywood so it looks something like this.

(Side note:  I just spent about 20 minutes trying to figure out how to embed the pin from Pinterest that shows you the exact bookcase I am referring to, but apparently the new version of Pinterest makes embedding Pins about as easy as defusing a nuclear bomb.  Eventually I started being tempted to curse a lot, so I just quit on that whole endeavor.)

This weekend comes the big painting party!  Looking forward to showing you the carnage results!

Any suggestions for what to do to this space?  My acute case of Design Decision Paralysis welcomes your input.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday - It's Getting Hot in Here

It's supposed to hit 90 degrees today, so I'm thinking it's going to be a great day for hanging out in the air conditioning for as long as I can handle the kids' shenanigans.  I'll be lucky if I change out of my pajama shorts before it's time to go to work.  Anyone else struggle to come up with an outfit to look cute in when it's so hot you feel like you're going to melt into a sticky pile of goo?

Maybe it's just me then.

Anyway, I've finally managed to collect a few photos of recent outfits to share with you so here we go!

Dress - Stitch Fix, Shoes - Payless, Necklace - Lisa Leonard Designs

I wore this outfit to a bridal shower for my cousin's fiancee and I was pleasantly pleased at how comfortable it was after I had eaten way too much.  I got this dress in my fifth Stitch Fix box and I am so glad I kept it!
Polka Dot Blouse - The Limited, Hudson Skinny Jeans - Nordstrom Rack, Flats - Payless (old), Belt - The Limited

I wore this outfit to the movie theater when we took our two oldest boys to see Monsters University.  Since I usually find myself freezing inside the theater, I was glad I went for the rolled pant to keep from turning into a Popsicle.  Plus, that movie was wonderful!

Chambray shirt - Target, Shorts - Target, Leopard belt - The Limited, Flip Flops - Old Navy

For the life of me, I cannot remember where I wore this outfit, but I was so comfortable!!  Finding that chambray shirt at Target was such a happy day.  It goes with so many things and I love how it is so versatile.  Except I probably would bake to a crisp if I wore it today.  Even a good chambray shirt has its limits.

Blue tank - LOFT, Hudson Skinny Jeans - Nordstrom Rack, Flip Flops - Old Navy

Super simple outfit here, but I just love this blue tank from LOFT.  The color is one of my favorites and it makes for a great casual outfit without a lot of fuss.
Have a wonderful Wednesday (and stay cool if its as hot as it is here)!  Be sure to stop back next week when I show you my best box from Stitch Fix EVER!!!  Spoiler alert: I kept more than I ever have before!

Linking up once again over at The Pleated Poppy for some amazing fashion inspiration!

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