Stitch Fix #2

I got my second Stitch Fix about two weeks ago! I know I said I was waiting until September, but then I could some graduation money and couldn’t resist. If you’re not sure what Stitch Fix is, you can read my first post about it here. Also be sure to check out my first box here! But to summarize: You fill out an extensive style profile, you pay $20, a Stitch Fix personal stylist picks out five pieces for you, it comes in the mail, you try them on, pay for what you want to keep and mail the rest back. It’s a pretty fun service that’s helped me get some pieces that I wouldn’t normally pick out myself.

My second box was pretty different from my first one. I tweaked my style profile a little bit so that it reflected my taste more accurately (no beige or white, more fitted tops) and I specifically requested bright colors, fun prints, and lightweight tops for summer. Each time you get a fix there’s a space to make specific requests like this:

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My stylist did pretty good, but I was disappointed to not see ANY cotton. Two of my tops were 100% polyester and were long sleeve, which is not super summery. But overall I was pretty happy. Anyway, you’ll see! (PS: I am not wearing make-up in these photos please do not judge me)

1. Brooke Dot Print Tab Sleeve Blouse by Ellison – $38
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Not off to a good start here. Yes, there is pattern. But it’s black and HEAVY polyester. Not remotely summer appropriate. It’s also very shapeless and not at all fitted. Umm, ok. Not really what I asked for. However, it looks nice tucked in, will work well when it gets cooler, fits my style well, and the price was right. So I’m keeping it, but for later in the year.

2. Diane Belted Colorblock Tank Dress by Kensie – $58
dianedress58This dress looks better in person than in this photo for sure. The color is great, it’s lightweight, great for summer. Decent price, good fit, can’t complain. Except I wish it had more pattern, the color block is less than thrilling.

3. Ruthie Cross-Front Side-Ruched Top by Dylan and Rose – $48
ruthietop48I feel like you can’t tell how skinny this shirt makes me look in the picture. As soon as I put this on my mother told me I had to keep it. Normally I would not spend $48 on what is basically a glorified t-shirt but I really look that good in it. And I figure anything that flattering is worth at least $48. It also looks good with a cami under it if I wanted to wear it to work. Oh and it’s bright red! Yay! Color!

4. Ashton Pleated Chiffon Skirt by Everly – $48
ashtonskirt48This isn’t something I would have picked out for myself, but it’s fun and summery and the color is pretty. It’s a little shorter than I normally like but it’s definitely not too short. There’s not much to say about it, it’s just a great little summer skirt and I don’t have many of those!

5. Giselle Striped Tab-Sleeve Blouse by Fun2Fun – $48
giselleshirt48Little stripes are hard to photograph! I should be wearing something under this shirt, I apologize for the sheer factor. Anyway this was the other long-sleeve polyester top that apparently Stitch Fix thinks is great for summer. I like it anyway though. The stripes are hot pink and turquoise and it’s a lighter poly than the polka dot shirt. I actually wore this one already and got a few compliments, so I guess it’s a winner!

Anyway if you can’t tell, I kept the whole box. When you keep all five pieces you get a 25% discount, and with my $20 pre-paid styling fee I only had to pay $165 for all of this. Which is $33 an item, which isn’t bad.

Overall though, I feel like while I liked everything in this box, I did not LOVE any of it. I’m not sure what else to do to get items that I really really really love. Maybe I will make a Pinterest board separate from my usual fashion one that is more specific to what I really want, but I’m skeptical that they spend much time on Pinterest when styling for us. Can they really have that much time? I will probably wait until fall to get another box just because it’s expensive and I don’t have a job.

If you’re ready to try Stitch Fix I would just love it if you’d use my referral link! I get a $25 credit that I can use to buy more clothes from my next box! Thanks in advance.

Thoughts on Memory Keeping

Warning: Long post ahead!

Scrapbooking has been on my mind lately. Like a lot. Like it’s literally keeping me up at night. Have I mentioned I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder when I was 19? With obsessive-compulsive features. And a strong dose of perfectionism. That all comes into play when I think about scrapbooking.

My mom started scrapbooking when it was the highest art form of suburban moms. She made a really awesome baby book using photos that had been stored in boxes or plain albums for years. Eventually, scrapbooking’s popularity faded and my mom got tired of it and all the photos and supplies were put away. It’s no wonder she got tired of it and overwhelmed by it. Scrapbooking then was LEGIT. Here are some pages from my baby book:

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DO YOU SEE HOW TIME CONSUMING THAT WAS? Not only did each page have to be CUTE, it had to be different. She had to come up with the ideas for each page, cut pictures into various shapes, carefully cut paper, meticulously place stickers, etc. Do you see the second page there? She had to braid the paper basically! Insanity! So obviously, this was a tiring and overwhelming task. This book goes until I was two, so when she quit doing this, she was probably thinking “how can I do this for 16 more years of photos???”.

Well now I am 27 so it’s even worse. We have SO MANY PHOTOS to organize and get into books. Clearly, this traditional style of scrapbooking is not sustainable.

Then when I was in my last year of college I heard about digital memory books. I got a free book through a company called Inkubook, which no longer exists. I used this book to document the trip I went on with a band I was friends with. The book was fun and easy to make and I was pretty pleased with the quality. Here are some pictures:

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Not great, but not bad, either! I became pretty convinced that digital scrapbooking was the way to go and decided to make a book for every year. Unfortunately, I ran into some problems. First, even though digital scrapbooking is inexpensive compared to printing photos and buying materials for other memory keeping options, books still run about $50 at the least when you factor in shipping and stuff. Now that is a good price and I know it, but I still get nervous when it gets to check-out time. I haven’t actually purchased a single “yearbook” I’ve made.

The second problem is that I actually became a yearbook adviser when I was teaching! We went through Jostens and used their yearbook creation software. And it is awesome. You can make the photos and text boxes the exact size you want them to be. I mean down to the pixel! It is so easy to make your own layouts, or use pre-existing layouts and edit those to be exactly what you need. Digital scrapbooking sites such as Shutterfly or My Publisher are easy to use, for sure, but more often than not their layouts don’t exactly match what photos I have, and editing their layouts has just never worked out for me. They lack the precision of the Jostens software and I end up with misaligned photos or awkwardly placed text boxes. Having used such great software, it’s been frustrating to use something that’s just not as good.

My next effort was very different. I did not consider this to be a real or official scrapbook, just a place to store important and important-ish things. Like cards, photos I used to have framed and then replaced, letters of recommendation, etc. I went into this with the attitude that nothing had to be perfect or even chronological. Just add in things as I find them. I bought an album at Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off, pulled out my box of cards and photos, and got to work. I tried to group things by event or by person for the most part.

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I like how this is going for me and I will probably keep up with it randomly. Like right now I have a bunch of cards floating around so I should probably just go ahead and put them in. Because it’s okay if they are out of order. It’s okay.

So why is this on my mind so much now? Because about a week ago my mom pulled out a ton of her old supplies and some boxes of photos. Then she took me with her to what may be the last remaining scrapbooking store Katy. I showed her “pocket scrapbooking,” known to most by the brand Project Life. She loved it. I loved it. We decided once we get all the photos organized, this is how we would move forward. Just crop the photos to fit in the pockets, write on some journaling cards, call it a day. Or if we come across a group of photos that just doesn’t work in one of the pockets, they have full 12×12 page protectors too. So we could make some pages in the traditional way if we wanted to. Flexibility. Yes. Perfect for the boxes and boxes of photos we have in our spare room.

But what about the digital photos? I’m not sure if I want to put them in a Project Life style album or stick with digital. My obsessive-compulsive tendencies kick in and I want all the albums to match. So Project Life. Then I think about how much more compact the digital albums are. Digital. Then I think about how you can’t include things like ticket stubs in digital albums. Project Life. But then I get an idea to put a craft paper folder in the back of the digital album to put ticket stubs in. Digital. But then I think of how annoyed I get with the digital software. Project Life. But then I think about how with Project Life I’d have to choose photos, whereas with digital I could include more! Digital.

Regardless of all this over thinking, my choice has been made easy for me. I tried to order a digital album I’d made from My Publisher. With their “free extra pages” promotion, I was set to get two years worth of photos for only $50. BUT every time I tried to purchase, I got an error message. FOUR TIMES. So I gave up. I went and bought some Project Life page protectors and started printing photos from this year and slipping them into the pockets.

AND I LOVE IT.

I am waiting for my core kit to come in the mail so that I can use the journaling and filler cards, but I’ve already got photos in place for January through March, and it only took a couple of hours.

Seriously y’all… go get Project Life. It’s on Amazon or at Hobby Lobby or at Archivers. It’s not very expensive, it’s easy, it’s quick, and it’s fun.

I’ll share some pictures once my core kit comes in!

Stitch Fix #1

I got my very first Stitch Fix on Saturday! I was seriously so excited for this yall. If you’re not sure what Stitch Fix is, I wrote about it last week. But to summarize: You fill out an extensive style profile, you pay $20, a Stitch Fix personal stylist picks out five pieces for you, it comes in the mail, you try them on, pay for what you want to keep and mail the rest back. It’s awesome for people who are stuck in a fashion rut (me!), don’t have time to shop, or who just love fashion!

Anyway, without further ado, here is what I got in my very first Stitch Fix (please ignore my awkward smiles):

1. Corey Pleated Front Top by Tyler Kim – $48
IMG_1488 This was really confusing to put on because the undershirt is attached to the sheer top at the bottom. Once I figured it out though, I actually kind of loved it. I could see myself wearing it with skinny jeans for a night out! Unfortunately, the attached undershirt was too big and hung too low, showing my bra.

Oh, here’s an example of the styling card they send with each piece:
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2. Dharma Bird Print Sheer Blouse by Daniel Rainn – $68
IMG_1486This is the first piece I tried on, and my parents both LOVED it. I liked it a lot, and will you look at how skinny it makes my legs look? I want more printed blouses, and the unusually cool Houston weather has inspired me to buy more long-sleeved, light-weight shirts. This was definitely a contender. Oh, here is a close up of the print if you are curious:
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3. Penrose Lacy Overlay Tank by Mystree – $68
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I loved this the moment I took it out of the box. I was worried it would be too big when I put it on, but it looked like a dream. I feel like my stylist really listened to my interest in adding more bohemian elements to my wardrobe while maintaining an overall classic vibe. The only negative to this one is I already have quite a bit of coral in my wardrobe. Oh but check out the back detail:
penroseback4. Freddy Sleeveless Chiffon Dress by RD Style – $58
IMG_1490I love the color of this dress SO MUCH. It was easy to decide to send this one back though because it was too big on the top. Also I just don’t feel like I want to spend that much money on such a basic dress.

5. Michelle Striped Knit Blazer by THML – $78
IMG_1487This was love at first wear. It is perfectly preppy, it fits perfectly, it’s a great weight, it’s so beautifully constructed. A friend of mine has a striped blazer she also got from Stitch Fix that she wears all the time. As much as I love this though, I’m just not sure I would wear it as much as I would a solid bright colored blazer. Maybe if it was fall instead of spring I would have snatched this up, but for now it just didn’t feel right.

So what did I pick?
It came down to these two:
stitchfix1I passed on the black top and the dress because they didn’t fit, and on the blazer because I just don’t see myself getting a lot of wear out of it right now, despite how much I liked it. Choosing between these two was really difficult. I was immediately drawn to the tank, but my parents and several friends were big supporters of the printed blouse. I asked myself two questions: Which of these am I likely to wear right away? and Would I be sad if I had to send this back?

The answers? I am most likely to wear the tank top right away. I’d wanted to wear it to my graduation party that night but decided to wait to decide until the next day. Would I be sad to send it back? Yes. Would I be sad to send the other one back? Nope. I realized I was only really considering it because I’d gotten such positive feedback, but I didn’t really love it or how I looked in it. So this was the winner!

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So my overall thoughts? This box was ok. I think it’s a good first effort and if my stylist listens to my feedback I am confident my next box will be better. I also realized that I don’t want more off-white/beige so I went back to my profile and made that adjustment. I was also a little annoyed because I specifically requested no polyester and basically everything I got except the blazer was polyester. If I could afford it I would totally schedule another box for next month, but since I can’t, I’ll wait until September and get a jump start on my fall wardrobe!

If you are interested in trying out Stitch Fix please use my referral link! I get $25 credit if you get a Fix using my link!

Stitch Fix: So Excited!

So I know this is totally counter to my claims to be saving money, but I fell victim to an awesome recommendation and awesome marketing! Have you heard of Stitch Fix? It’s basically an online personal shopper. For $20 you get a box of 5 clothing items sent right to your door. If you want to keep something, the $20 goes towards the purchase of the items. If you keep all five items, you get 25% off. If you don’t like any of it, sadly the $20 is lost. But according to my friend who recommended this to me, as well as numerous other bloggers who love Stitch Fix, there’s always something good!

So the first thing you do with Stitch Fix is fill out a fairly extensive style profile. It asks you about your height, weight, sizes, how you like your clothes to fit, and how you describe your proportions. It asks what body parts you like to show off and which you prefer to keep under wraps, if you want them to send you accessories or not, what patterns and prints you like and don’t like, and if you wear more jeans or dresses. It also shows several pictures of different styles and you say if you like that collection, some of it, or none of it. You also get to name your price point, sort of. I put “the cheaper, the better” for all of mine because I know I won’t pay more at this point. Finally, you can actually link to your Pinterest board! Whaaaat? If they are really that thorough, that is awesome.

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I filled out the style profile for fun because I thought it would help me pin down my style. Honestly it didn’t do too much for me, but then something happened. I got put on a wait list. And suddenly I wanted a Stitch Fix box RIGHT NOW. Four weeks later, I am finally off the wait list! I scheduled my first box for May 3, the day after my last final of graduate school! When I scheduled the box it asked me if I was looking for anything in particular. I was caught off guard so I just said I was looking for tops I can wear both for work and for fun. Next time though I will think of more specific pieces I’m looking for, like a white/off-white silk-ish blouse.

I am so excited to see what I get! I can’t justify spending $20 a month at ALL, but a cool thing about Stitch Fix is that you don’t have to opt into a monthly box, you can schedule them as frequently or infrequently as you want! I think I might do this quarterly to help me get a couple of new pieces for each season. Expect a post of Fix #1 as soon as I get it!

Ready to try it out? Use my referral code!

UPDATE: Wanna see what I got? Click here!

Life List: Eat a Nutella Cupcake

I am so excited to finally cross something off my Life List! I love Nutella and have always wanted to eat a Nutella cupcake. But it seems like every time I go to get cupcakes, they’re sold out of that flavor! I was finally able to try one at a bakery called Sweet while I was out with my mom. I’d never had a cupcake from this bakery, but their macarons are delightful!
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Unfortunately, the Nutella cupcake was sort of a bust. The cupcake itself was a little dry, and it didn’t have much Nutella flavor. It did have a small amount of Nutella as a filling which was nice, but overall it was not very flavorful. But I’m not giving up! My mom didn’t really love her smores cupcake, so I’m wondering if maybe this place just doesn’t have awesome cupcakes. I’ll try again at another bakery and hopefully I’ll have better luck!
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Life List

I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions, but I love the “life lists” I’ve seen around the Internet. So I decided that on this day when bloggers post their resolutions for 2013, I will post my goals, hopes and dreams for my life. Some of these are easily accessible, some require planning and some require a bit of luck! This list will probably be constantly growing, so keep checking back!

  1. Ride a bike
  2. Witness a flash mob
  3. Go to Australia
  4. Go to the top of the Williams Tower
  5. Be 100% debt free, including mortgage
  6. Eat a Nutella cupcake
  7. Meet the president
  8. Speak conversational Spanish or French
  9. Visit every state in the U.S.
  10. Have my own dog
  11. Determine wardrobe staples and buy the best quality I can
  12. Sew something entirely by myself
  13. Find my signature scent
  14. Decide how I want to scrapbook my photos (simple album? creative scrapbook? digital?)
  15. Make scrapbooks for all the printed and digital photos I have
  16. Develop a system to keep up with scrapbooking the photos I take
  17. Start a tradition
  18. Eat only homemade meals for a month
  19. Attend an A&M football game
  20. Spend time with a celebrity – more than just getting a signature or shaking hands
  21. Get my teeth professionally whitened
  22. Go to a Rockapella concert
  23. Get married
  24. Have a kid
  25. Complete the Couch to 5K program
  26. Swim with dolphins
  27. Hold a baby wild animal, like a tiger or a bear
  28. Pet a giraffe
  29. Get laser hair removal
  30. Be an early adopter of a trend
  31. See the Northern Lights
  32. Go sledding
  33. See an eagle in nature (zoos don’t count)
  34. Get or give a puppy as a gift
  35. Eat no sugar or white flour for a month
  36. See a shooting star
  37. Own a horse
  38. Use my hiking boots again
  39. Ride in a helicopter
  40. Drive down the street my uncle named after me and take a picture with the street sign
  41. Visit the UT McDonald Observatory in west Texas
  42. See the Chincoteague ponies
  43. Go to a music festival (Coachella or New Orleans Jazz Festival, in particular)