Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Stitch Fix #3 and I'm HAPPIE Again!

This is going to be the fastest post ever. I have sessions to edit and cards to design. But Stitch Fix comes first. (Plus I have to return things before I miss the cutoff.)

To start with, if you don't know what Stitch Fix is, welcome to your new obsession. Read my first Stitch Fix post here, which describes pretty thoroughly how it works. My second post is here. Be warned, the Fix did not Fit. The pictures are yucky and possibly even offensive in a "my-eyes-hurt-to-see-ill-fitting-clothes" kind of way.

Want to give Stitch Fix a shot? You can try it one time. You can subscribe. You can do it seasonally. (That's what I do.) Whatever your closet desires. Use this link so I can get credit (yay!) for referring you.... https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3664726

My Fix arrived two days early. When it came, I was (and still am) recovering from being sick. I couldn't breathe, feel my face or hear anything. I was feeling miserable. So seeing the pretty little box at my door made my day.

As I asked the Interwebs yesterday, can Stitch Fix cure a cold? I wish. 
As always, I'll start with what I was wearing when the package arrived. Lucky for you (and me), not only did I shower yesterday, but I also changed out of my pajamas. I was wearing a very typical outfit for a very average day -- jeans, long sleeved striped t-shirt, black cardigan and a really awesome new infinity scarf... my mama crocheted it for my birthday! (Thanks Mom!)

I command you to ignore any items in the background that resemble laundry,
baskets of laundry or dirty laundry waiting to be washed.

You will not see my face in any of these pictures. I'm not shy, I just really felt like garbage. Next time, I promise not to be sick.

First up, Aria striped sweater. It felt great, I liked the colors. But. Yes, there's a but... can't you tell looking at me? It's not only CROPPED but it's longer in back. I think this is just some popular style that I don't get. Whatev, my brain is too clogged to try to figure it out. If this sweater was 12" longer I'd keep it. It really was comfy, just waaaaay too short.

Bye bye. No belly shirts for this mama.
Ah. I love this one! It's a Pixley color block and striped shirt. The mustard color was a fine knit - more like a thin sweater - and the sleeves were more of a t-shirt knit. I really like this shirt!

Cute, right?

There is one problem. The neckline is VeeeeeeRY wide. As in, if I hold still you won't see my bra straps, but if I move an inch in any direction, I'll be Strappy McStrapperson. This was really disappointing to me.

Hold it right there... now don't move... ever.
So I thought, hey genius, what if I layer a t-shirt underneath? Sure, it's not bad. But I'm not spending $58 on a shirt that I HAVE to wear a $4 t-shirt under to make it work. Gah, I'm such a party pooper.

Aw, shucks.
Moving on.

Apparently, somewhere on my Style board on Pinterest, I pinned this exact shirt in green. And now it's in my hands! Trying it on was a moment of truth. You know when you see someone else - or many someone elses - wearing something that you would totally buy? And then you try it on.... to find out that it should only be worn by a size 2 stick with no boobs? I was worried about that.  And guess what? It actually worked for me! Not a size 2! Hooray!!!  This is the Calibri blouse - it has 3/4 sleeves and a loose, nicely hanging body. I really really love this shirt. As soon as I put it on it was perfect. I could literally wear this ALL YEAR LONG. Watch this....


The neckline is fantastic. It lays nicely. It's feminine but not too delicate.
 But what about winter? It's not exactly the proper thickness for cold days....

Aha! Remember the outfit I was wearing "before"? Swap out the striped t-shirt and it's a totally different look. Fan-freaking-tastic! I'm in love. Send me the green one, too!
I think this is going to be my birthday outfit this weekend. Tadah!
 Just for fun, I layered the striped t-shirt underneath the purple blouse. Also great. Wow. LOVE. IT.

Next, I got a scarf. A gorgeous, chocolate brown knit infinity scarf. I loved it. I wanted to take a nap in it. And then, when I put it on, I almost drowned. Are scarves supposed to be floatation devices? Because this isn't the only one I've had a problem with. This one just happens to be the fluffiest one. I followed the directions (yes, they sent me directions. Good thinking!) and the thing was truly trying to eat my head.

Help! The scarf is swallowing me whole!
Finally. The coat. Stitch Fix sent me a coat. It's a Coffeehouse Zahara polka dotted coat. It was absolutely glorious. You can tell it was well made. The material was soft but warm and thick. And the neck.... it's like a backwards cowl neck. I adore it. The catch, of course there has to be a catch, is that it's too small. I need one size bigger. There should really be a separate entry on your Stitch Fix Survey for coat size. The way it fits now, I'd need to not only lose weight in order for the buttons to not pop off (slight exaggeration), but also, I couldn't wear anything thicker than t-shirt material underneath the coat. 

I've put a request in to Stitch Fix to exchange for a bigger size. I don't know if they can do it. But if the Stitchers need any more convincing...

.... THIS is where I'll be hiding all winter. Please send me this coat! xoxo

UPDATE: It's a no-go on the coat. Boo hoo. Well, at least they were quick with a response.

So.... what do you think? Did I make the right choices? Comment below and tell me what you think.

Friday, October 24, 2014

POTD 2014 | september 1-10

244.365 | she's back!

she's back!

After spending Labor Day weekend out of town and Shadow at the dog watcher's house, we were reunited in a flurry of hugs and kisses and tail wags. She rode in the backseat, so clearly happy to be going back home to see her family. And we were so happy to see her.

245.365 | back to school. YES!
back to school. YES!

I love my kids. But it was absolutely time for them to go be entertained and educated by someone else besides Mom-Mom-Mom. It's a funny thing. In June, I am excited and energized to have my babies all to myself for the summer. But come August, I am counting the minutes to Labor Day weekend, knowing that the next day they will be off with their friends and teachers and textbooks.


Time for my mani-pedi.

And then back to work.

246.365 | in the window.
in the window.

All summer long we waited for a single butterfly to take a rest on the flowers in front of our house. Supposedly these flowers "attract butterflies". Well, make that "attract butterfly" because this was the only one we saw since we planted the flowers back in May. So much for ecology.

247.365 | where is my friend?
where is my friend?

Shadow looks out this window and can see almost exactly into the neighbor's door. If it's open, she will likely be looking right at her BFF Fiona the Dog. Then they will bark at each other until no human can tolerate the noise anymore and finally lets them out to play.

Dogs 1, People 0.

248.365 | shawshank shadow.

shawshank shadow.

Shadow went all Shawshank Redemption on us. She chewed her way through the long leash in the backyard and made a run for it. I think she may have been gone for a total of 94 seconds, but still. As the Puppy Mommy, she completely freaked me out.

249.365 | date night.
date night.

Datenight. Grey Goose martini. No kids menus. A welcome break from the daily grind.

250.365 | unfinished business.

unfinished business.

Our street has been under construction for a good year now. It was finally the day they put down the sod to cover the giant patch of dirt in our lawn. Except that.... apparently the dinner bell rang. The workers left for the day with this tiny patch remaining. It made me think - in what other job can an employee get away with leaving before they are done? So blatantly un-done.

251.365 | who am i?

who am i?

Today, I will be called Debbie.

253.365 | moon over my homie.
moon over my homie.

During a nighttime walk in the backyard with my pup, I noticed the full moon glowing over my house. It was so bright I could see the outline of our house, the trees and even the electrical wires. For what it's worth, thanks to the light of the moon, I could even see our black dog in the backyard.

254.365 | what a pita-ful lunch.
what a pita-ful lunch.

This was my lunch today. Hummus, sliced tomatoes, Kalamatas and Feta all on a pita.

OK, and yes, I am aware that need to stop with these terribly corny photo titles.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

POTD 2014 | august 21-30

233.365 | ready for school.

ready for school.

We re all registered for third grade, supplies are handed in, fees are paid. David is ready. And as a side note, he is convinced the school painted the hallway stripes in Bears colors. Sweet kid. Go on.

234.365 | sparring competition.
sparring competition.

David  participated in a sparring competition at the dojo today. He fought hard, beat his opponents and ended up winning third place in the ENTIRE tournament! I loved seeing the look of joy and pride on his face as he showed me his medal. Good job, David! Way to fight!

235.365 | tomato, tomato.
tomato, tomato.

It's that time of year again. Tomato lineup time.

236.365 | tomato lunch.
tomato lunch.

For two weeks solid, this was my lunch of choice. Garden fresh tomato and basil, delicious, healthy and easy. You can say I'm addicted to Caprese. Next thing you know, I'll be raising an Italian cow so she can make me fresh mozzarella...

237.365 | not it.
not it.

Here is a sad tomato from our garden... and the bite mark was not mine. Raaaaabbits......

238.365 | nice glasses.

nice glasses.

Sam had her eye doctor appointment today. While we were waiting, the kids tried on some crazy glasses. Looking at them, I wonder exactly what year it is.... 2014 or 1984?

238.365 | write on!
write on!

School is nearing and the kids aren't the only ones needing to refocus their energies. Mom needs to get all her Box Tops plans in gear! First contest of the school year: Box Tops are Write On! Every student in the school will get a brand new pencil... because they, too, are Write On! Corny, perhaps. But the kids love it so that overrules corny by a mile.

239.365 | time to make the donuts.
time to make the donuts.

David had been BEGGING to make some donuts in his donut making machine. I looked at him, puppy dog eyes, pouty bottom lip, over-defined dimples... and of course told him yes! Forty-five minutes of cooking for a gleefully content little boy? I'd say that's priceless.... or at least worth a dozen homemade donuts. With sprinkles.

240.365 | pizza at nana's house.
pizza at nana's house.

There is something special about having pizza night at Nana's house. First, unlike when mom and dad order pizza, you can ask for whatever you want on the pizza and Nana will order it. Second, the pizza is good. Really good. Third, Nana orders a lot of pizza. The term "Pizza Buffet" was coined right here in Nana's kitchen. Other phrases often used: "Enough food for an army," and "We pay the pizza place's rent."

241.365 | oops, I smashed the cake.
oops, i smashed the cake.

Due to extremely busy schedules, travel plans and fall sports, we celebrated Pat's and Sam's birthdays a little early. They took turns making their wishes and blowing out the candles. Papa picked up the cake to bring it to the counter to slice and -- WHOOPSIE! Everyone was in stitches, laughing till our sides hurt. Except Sam. Sam didn't quite see the humor of her cake smashed all over Papa's shirt.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Stitch Fix Delivery Falls Short

Well, here it is. I ordered my second delivery from Stitch Fix.

[Giant Parenthesis]
If you don't know what Stitch Fix is, read my first post about it. Then click my referral link to order your delivery so I can get credit. You doubt me now, but you WILL want to sign up. I think it may be a cult. A very pretty, well dressed cult.
[End Parenthesis.]

With all that hype, I hate to say it but I'm really disappointed this time. I have heard about people not liking their Fix, telling their stylist why, and then the next month they want to purchase all five pieces. So maybe I'll try it again sooner rather than later.... After all, I'm doing this all in the name of blogging and informing the public. Really.

So here goes....

Oh wait. First, a disclaimer: these might just be the worst selfies EVER. Ok, moving on.

So yesterday was another day "in the office" (glued to my laptop). I had no grand plans for meetings, shopping, lunch or any human contact. Just me and my butt in a chair and the dog wanting to play.

This is my BEFORE: Old Navy men's sweater. It was my husband's, headed for Goodwill until I went in for the interception. Capri leggings (stretchy, easy and comfortable) and Chucks.

So here are the first two items. On top is the grey Ezra crochet detailed knit short sleeved sweater. I like this one. I may keep it. I could wear it all year, layered or not. (Maybe?) The only catch is that it's rather sheer so I have to layer at least with a tank. No biggie.

Then there's these dark blue Mavi skinny jeans. I can't even begin to tell you how fast I said no, even before I tried them on. And then I put them on and, while my face looks confused in the picture, I was laughing my backside right off. Because..... I had put them on backwards. I pulled them on and thought, "Gee, these are the absolute worst fitting pants in history." As I took them off 2.5 seconds later, I realized... no, it can't be. Yes. It was. They were backwards. They zip and button in the back. Who on earth designed these freaking pants? I would need an assistant not only to get dressed and undressed but also - god forbid I had to go to the bathroom at any point during the day - I would need a helper to go potty with me!

I am going out on a limb and declaring these the stupidest pants ever made. 

So I thought I'd throw on a pair of my own jeans with the sweater. Except. Um. My jeans drawer was empty. So I ran downstairs to the dryer. Nothing. I darted back upstairs to search through the three baskets of dirty clothes (who's in charge of laundry around here, anyway? Jeesh!). This blog is anti-smell-o-vision so I knew it would be safe for you. :)

Much better don't you think?

Next up... this burgundy RD Style chunky-ish, short in front/long in back knit sweater. Nope. This style didn't suddenly become more flattering on me since last time. Get. It. Off.

I got a dress! I wanted to try one with my cool, new-ish boots. I love stripes. But, as I learned, these particular stripes do not like me. This black and white striped, flared dress by Pixley was horrible on me. I couldn't find a single flattering angle to even shoot this garbage iPhone picture. Straight on was, amazingly, the best angle. Yuck.

Can you see the growing look of disappointment on my face?

Finally, the last piece. I was kind of excited about this - they sent me a jacket! Grey wool peacoat by Tulle. I knew there could be a problem just looking at it. It's double-breasted. Nothing double-breasted has ever looked good on me. But I know better with Stitch Fix. Just try it, right? I put my dirty jeans back on and picked a simple green t-shirt so you would be able to see the jacket. And also I like green. First, I almost broke something getting the jacket on. It was really snug. I couldn't button it without using force or duct tape or both. Although it looks cute unbuttoned, it's pretty impractical to buy a jacket that not only can you not button, but you can't move in in it either. Bleh.

Better luck next time, Stitch Fix Stylist Lady. You can do it! I know it!

So what do you think, friends? Should I keep the grey sweater? Or should I keep the pants and frame them with a plaque that says, "don't be this dumb."?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

POTD 2014 | august 15-20

227.365 | gifts for teachers.
gifts for teachers.

What a great pile of back-to-school presents for the teachers, thanks to Labels for Education! They got everything from boxes of crayons to electric pencil sharpeners to a chart stand. Have a good year, teachers.

228.365 | cukes.

This summer we gave cucumbers a try in our garden. After a while, I thought nothing was going to grow. And then they did. All at once.

229.365 | backyard friend.
backyard friend.

Tyler and David became friends through our backyard. Today Tyler moved away to a different state. David was absolutely devastated. He really liked having one neighbor friend. Now there is nobody.

It makes me sad, too, because my kids are growing up in an older, completely kid-less neighborhood. They will never know the joy of merely "going outside to play" and instantly meeting up with the other kids on the block to play tag, catch, roller skate on a driveway or just roll in the grass and stare at the clouds.  My neighbors left a lasting impression on me and I only wish my kids could have that experience.

230.365 | summer-fresh lunch.
summer-fresh lunch.

This is my favorite time of the year for food. Everything is so fresh... farmers market lettuce and tomatoes, home-grown cucumbers and basil. Topped with my usual Feta and olives and homemade dressing. This is lunch.

231.365 | cuddles and his dog.
cuddles and his dog.

Seriously. This is too much.

David loves to get down on the floor or couch or wherever Shadow is laying and cuddle her. He just gently lays down by her and wraps his arms around her (well, as far as they'll go... she's giant-sized).

Today I caught it. Just look at them. This is love and happiness all rolled into one giant hug.

232.365 | locker combination.

locker combination.

Today I registered my baby girl for middle school. MIDDLE SCHOOL. JUNIOR HIGH. Sigh.

Part of being in middle school is remembering (trying!) the combination for your locker, dialing it perfectly right and pulling the lock open with the perfect balance of control and brute force. And then once the locker is open, remembering what it was you needed.

This is it, Sam. Welcome to middle school. You've got this.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

POTD 2014 | august 9-14

So remember when it was summer? A lot of families take a vacations in the summer.... and so did we. I realize that it's Sort-of-Officially Fall and we are all getting our sweaters out of storage. However, I'm just now playing catch up and sharing some pictures of summer, vacation and people wearing shorts. Enjoy...

221.365 | flying at the fair.
flying at the fair.

vacation day 1.

Today we spent the day at the Wisconsin State Fair. And since we were considering it part of our vacation, we did our best not to rush past all the rides, snacks and games and leave within 90 minutes. No, we DID the State Fair. The kids rode rides. And rode them some more. We ate. And then ate some more. Then the kids squealed down the Giant Slide (you know the one) and bounced on the bungee-corded trampolines.

Consider the State Fair mission accomplished. Check.

222.365 | red hot chili peppers.
red hot chili peppers.

vacation-ish day #2

We grew some red hot chili peppers this summer. Seriously. And we did it so that I could eventually use that photo caption. No, just kidding. Pat wanted to make his own red pepper flakes. Which he did.

223.365 | toothless in minnesota.
toothless in minnesota.

vacation day #3

That tooth! That tooth had been hanging by a literal thread for what seemed like eternity. It finally came out. Right in the middle of the Mall of America.

224.365 | bugs in the microscope.
bugs in the microscope.

vacation day #4

Today we spent the day at the Minnesota Science Museum. Of all the various exhibits and experiments, the one that captured their attention the most was looking at tiny insects through microscopes. Yay bugs?

225.365 | oh, those faces!
oh, those faces!

vacation day #5

So there's this giant roller coaster inside the Mall of America. Several of them, in fact. The kids - all three of them, haha - loved  the rides. Personally, I found the view.... entertaining. Just look at those faces!

226.365 | iowa city.
iowa city.

vacation day #6

I've been wanting to go back to Iowa City for years and today we finally did. After lunch at the Airliner (that sounds funny to me!) I gave a very miniature tour of the campus. And the university bookstore. Where we just might have gotten applause from the cashiers on our way out.


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