Month: March 2015

There is nothing worse than Friday finally coming around and realizing you’re sick. Hoping it’s just a cold that I caught from on of my sweet little germ infested children, and doesn’t develop into something more serious. And it’s a double bummer considering it’s supposed to be in the seventies today (sorry everyone who’s still covered with snow).

Here are a few of my favorite things from this week:

Easter dresses

I took the girls on a quick trip to the store this week. My oldest saw the rack of frilly candy colored Easter dresses and asked if she could get one. I told her we would be getting her and her sister Easter dresses but not that day, as we were in a hurry. Apparently she saw a ‘must have’ dress because she spent the entire next day telling my mother-in-law how beautiful this dress was and how she just had to have it (Diva much???).  They went and purchased the dress, along with a matching dress for my younger daughter (who hates dresses and will most likely throw a HUGE fit when we try to put it on her). It’s official, my 4 year old is officially a fashionista.

Mom questions answered

I found a list of the most popular mom questions and had to put my answers into a post. The list was pretty extensive, so I decided to start off with just pregnancy and delivery related questions. Now don’t get all squeamish, I didn’t share any gory or awkward details, but I did share some good advice for new mamas. I’ll be answering more questions from the list about embarrassing things my kids have done in a few weeks.

Holy guacamole

I’m obsessed with guacamole. I especially love the guacamole at Chipotle (seriously I could eat it with a spoon). I’m going to a ‘taco themed’ brunch this weekend so I’ll be making this Chipotle ‘copy cat’ guacamole  over on Budget Savvy Diva (and trying not to eat it all in the car before I get there).

Frozen themed Easter baskets

I wrote last week about how I found some really cute Frozen gardening supplies at Target. Since the girls are still Frozen-obsessed and have been begging to plant some flowers at our house, I figured the Frozen themed Easter baskets were in order. I grabbed the tool set, gloves and watering can from Target (x2 of course) along with some Frozen socks, headbands and character cup from the Target dollar spot. I still need to add candy (for me) and they should be good to go.

Stitch Fix

I promised last week that I’d share my opinions on Stitch Fix on my blog. I’ve only been planning and writing this post for about 3 months now – sheesh! Finally got it published – check it out. I give my honest opinion on the whole process (what I love and what I don’t). Most importantly, I share my tips for getting stuff that you actually like in your fixes (and how to get your friends to pay for some of your stuff). Wanting to give Stitch Fix a try? Just take a few minutes to fill out your style profile and you’re good to go. Use my referral link to help me fund my Stitch Fix habit.

Since I’m feeling a bit under the weather, we’ll probably be laying low this weekend and just hanging around the house. Unless the weather is nice, in which case the girls will drag me kicking and screaming to the park.

What are your big plans for the weekend?

Odds are that unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of Stitch Fix. I first signed up for Stitch Fix last summer and recieved my first fix in August. Since then I’ve recieved 6 Fixes (my seventh should be here in the next week).

I’ve heard mixed reviews from friends and coworkers about how they feel about the selection they get and the whole process. Some people swear by it, while others don’t love the items they recieve and cancel their subscriptions.

Here is my honest review of Stitch Fix:

What is Stitch Fix?

Stitch Fix is a personal shopper service in a box, like Birchbox for clothes. You fill out a style profile (and add a link to your Pinterest style board), pay a $20 styling fee (which gets credited towards your purchase) and then they send you five items selected just for you. Items include clothing, outerwear, bags, scarves and jewelry. You keep what  you like and send the rest back in the postage paid envelope they provide. Love everything? Keep it all and you get 25% off your total.

Why I decided to try Stitch Fix

After having two babies and finally losing my baby weight (and then some), I had no idea what to wear. I was too old to shop at trendy twenty something stores but not at all ready to settle into mom jeans and cat sweatshirts. I didn’t know what to buy or where to shop.

My other dilemma was that I had no time to shop. I would rather chew off my own arm than go shopping with my children, so that meant no shopping for this mama, except for the occasional solo trip to Target during my lunch break.

I saw a post on Facebook about Stitch Fix from one of my friends and thought why not give it a shot. I mean, I was wearing clothes from 2007, what did I have to lose.

My Fixes

I was a little skeptical about actually fitting in the clothes. I’m a short girl with wide hips who has a hard time finding clothes that fit right, but this really isn’t any different than shopping online at any retailer. Overall, the fit has been surprisingly good, though there have been issues with liking things that were too big or too small.

I’ve purchased around 10 items from my 7 fixes. I have yet to keep all 5 items from a fix. I have yet to have a fix where I send everything back. I have chosen to not receive jewelry, scarves or bags, becuase I feel like I prefer to choose those items on my own (though I did keep a great statement necklace from my first fix). I would rather get clothes and accessorize as I please.

I LOVE that they send me styling advice. They send personalized cards that show two options of how to style each item (usually a dressed down and a dressed up option). It’s great to see the versatility of an item and they give me a lot of ideas that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. Also, in the personal message from your stylist, they often talk about how the new items can be worn with items you’ve kept in the past, which means they take the time to see what you’ve kept and sent back.

I always make a point of getting a second (if not third, fourth and fifth) opinion on the items I select because I have a hard time getting outside of my comfort zone. I always enlist my husband to help me decide, because I care that he likes what I wear, and he has good taste (that’s why he married me duh).

Here are some of the items that I’ve kept from my fixes.

Now, there have been a couple fixes where I opened my box and thought ‘WTF was the stylist thinking?’. Like the time they sent me 2 burgundy shirts when burgundy is on the list of colors I don’t want. Or the time they sent me two nearly identical black cardigans.

Another downside is that they don’t really do exchanges. If an item is the wrong size or has a broken zipper, you can request another in your next fix, but they can’t guarantee they’ll have the item.

Their system and their stylists are not perfect. However, there are things you can do to really make this whole thing work for you, instead of just getting a random box of clothes and hoping you like something. 8 tips for making Stitch Fix work for you

  1. Set a realistic budget – When you fill out your initial style survey, be really realistic about what you’re willing to spend. I didn’t pay too much attention and ended up getting $120 pants that I LOVED (and kept) but normally never would have spent that on a pair of black pants. You’re getting good quality items (for the most part) so don’t expect to pay Target prices. Set your budget appropriately so you don’t get soemthing you love that you can’t afford.
  2. Think about what you really want – Look at your closet (or what you wear on a regular basis) and think about what items you really want. Do you need work clothes or cute tops for date nights or a nice dress for cocktail parties? Be sure to be realistic about your lifestyle and don’t request things that aren’t practical for your day-to-day needs.
  3. Give thorough feedback – This one might just be the MOST important thing to remember. When you get ready to send back your fix, you fill out a brief survey about each item, like how did it fit, was the style to your liking, etc. In the notes section, mention anything you strongly liked or didn’t like. Maybe the fabric was itchy, maybe you hated the print, or you loved the details but hated the color. The more specific you are, the better clothes you’ll get in future fixes.
  4. Set up a specific Stitch Fix Pinterest Board – If you’re anything like me, you have a Pinterest style board that you pack with cute shoes and outfits you love. However, the items on your board may not be a true reflection of what you actually wear (or want to wear). Set up a board specific for Pinterest and pin items you really want, like colored jeans or lace tops. Also, follow Stitch Fix on Pinterest and pin items they pin to your board to get really specific on the items, colors or styles you like.
  5. Send notes to your stylist – I recommend doing this a few weeks before you next fix is scheduled to ship (just login to your account and you should see the section to write a note). Be specific about items you’re looking for (like seasonal or on trend items). If you’ve seen an item on social media or from someone else’s fix, request it. Going on a trip or starting a new job? Let them know so they can pull items that are appropriate. Also, if you find a stylist that seems to really get you and sends you amazing stuff, request the same stylist everytime.
  6. Be open minded – if you’re not willing to be open minded about the items you get sent, then Stitch Fix is probably not for you. These stylists get paid to look at your past fix feedback, your Pinterest board and your style survey to determine your style and what to send. Just because you don’t like something when you open the box doesn’t mean you won’t like it once you try it on and add some of your own accessories.
  7. Don’t keep items you don’t love – You pay $20 (nonrefundable) to get your fix but don’t keep something just so you don’t lose that. You’ll end up with stuff you won’t wear. If you’re not loving the items you are getting, be more specific in your feedback, on your Pinterest board and in your Stylist note. Or schedule your next fix for 2 months out to give yourself a chance to take a little break.
  8. Tell your friends – You get $25 in credit everytime one of your friends signs up for Stitch Fix (when they’re first shipment ships) using your referral link. I’ve probably had about 10 friends sign up, which means I’ve earned over $250 in FREE stuff! Shut the front door right!?! Post your referral link on Facebook and Twitter or email it to your friends.

I’ve loved my experience with Stitch Fix and highly recommend it. Just be sure to set realistic expectations and go into it with a really open mind.

Want to try Stitch Fix for yourself? I’d love it if you’d help fund my Stitch Fix habit and use my referral link.

Still not sure? Check out my April Stitch Fix Review.

I found this list of some of the most popular questions for moms and started reading the hilarious answers. I thought it would be fun to go through and answer some of the questions myself. So here are my answers, starting with the pregnancy questions.

What was your first reaction when finding out (you were pregnant)?

With my first child, I found out Christmas morning, which was exciting and made telling our family even more fun. We had been trying for about 4 months so we were hoping for it. It was a few days before my period was supposed to start but I took the test anyways because how cool to find out you’re pregnant on Christmas morning! I’m pretty sure I ran from the bathroom and jumped on the bed with excitement to wake my husband up and tell him about his ‘Christmas present’. His Christmas present for me was an espresso machine. Oops!

With my second, I cried right after I saw that the test was positive. I’d had a challenging week and though we had been trying to have a second child, we were beginning to doubt that it was the right time. Obviously, everything worked itself out, but at the time I was a mix of happiness and anxiety.

What was your most common food craving, or most unusual food craving?

Avocado. It’s kind of a weird thing to crave but I ate avocado on anything and everything during both pregnancies. During my second pregnancy, I was also obsessed with McDonald’s french fries.

What was the hardest part about being pregnant?

Having to abide by the long list of things you couldn’t do (no drinking, no deli meat, no sleeping on your back, no caffeine, no going in a hot tub, no advil, no this, no that). I don’t really like being told what not to do.

Did you find out if your baby was a boy or girl? Why or why not?

We found out at 17 weeks with both of our girls. We went to a special ultrasound clinic that would guarantee they could tell you the gender of your baby at 17 weeks (thought you usually don’t find out with your doctor until around 20 weeks). We’re impatient. We’re also planners, so we were really antsy to find out what we were having so that we could make sure we had everything ready and finalize our names.

With our first child, we had our parents come along. We were pretty much okay with either a boy or a girl at that time, though when we found out we were having a girl, I think my husband’s mind immediately went to worrying about dating and teenage girls.

With our second, we were both pretty convince we were having a boy, to the point where we started calling baby by the boy name we had chosen. When they told us it was a girl, I gave a half-hearted ‘Yay’ and then cried once we got outside. Now, I’m thrilled we have two girls, but at the time I was a little sad, especially because I knew it was the last baby for us.

Did you prepare for labor and delivery with classes, books, birth videos, etc?

I read ‘What to Expect’ right away when I found out I was pregnant with baby #1, so that gave me a rough idea of what to expect. My husband and I attended a 6 week class about labor and delivery that we both felt was pretty useless because we both knew that I was planning on getting an epidural and the class talked a lot about how to naturally handle pain.

We also took a CPR/first aid class, which was helpful, as well as a newborn care class, which did a really good job of explaining the in’s and out’s of breastfeeding.

Where were you, what were you doing when you went into labor?

With my first child, my husband and his entire family were out of town at a family reunion. I was vacuuming out his brand new car at the car wash a few hours before going to pick him up from the airport when my water broke. I ended up driving myself to the hospital. Luckily he was boarding his plane when I called to give him the news so he made it in plenty of time.

With my second child, I was induced so I was already in the hospital. Not very exciting.

What was your labor experience? Natural, epidural, meds, c-section? How long were you in labor?

I had normal births with epidurals with both of my girls. I’m a big weenie and I don’t do well with pain. My first labor was about 23 hours and the second was about 6 hours.

What were your first thoughts when you saw your baby?

I was smitten with both of my girls from the moment I saw them. With my first, I was a little scared considering I had absolutely no idea what to do with a baby. Luckily for my second, I figured it all out with the first.

Is your child/children named after anyone?

Both of my daughters share middle names with one of their grandmothers. Our first, Lucille Sue, has the same middle name as my husband’s mother and sister, while our second, Olivia Jane, shares her middle name with my mother.

What advice would you offer new moms about pregnancy, labor and delivery?

Pregnancy sucks. But some people love it. It’s nine months so either way, you’ll get through it. Rest as much as you can because you won’t get much rest once baby comes. And don’t freak out about getting all the baby crap. They need a place to sleep (most likely a pack ‘n’ play or bassinet in your room), some diapers and some pjs.

Labor and delivery can be scary, even with normal births like I had. If you’re planning on getting an epidural, get it as soon as you can. There is no sense in waiting for the pain to get worse. If you’re planning for no medication, good for you sister, but don’t be afraid to change the plan if you need to!

Want more mom questions answered? Check out my post about the good, the bad and the ugly parts of being a mom.

Oh hey Friday! I haven’t been this happy to see you since, well, last Friday. We made it through another week and it was fairly uneventful (but don’t tell my husband I said that – with the start of March Madness, this is one of his most favorite times of the year).Here are a few of my favorite things from this week:

My Veggetti Spiralizer

This week I’m all about the zoodles, about the zoodles, about the zoodles, no past. Ok sorry I couldn’t resist. I purchased my Veggetti spiralizer from Target (shocker) last week.

I decided to try out this Pesto Chicken with Zuchinni Noodles recipe I found on Pinterest. I used some of my Arugula Pesto that I already had on hand and roasted the tomatoes while the chicken and zoodles were cooking. It turned out great! Now don’t get me wrong, there was no mistaking these zoodles for real pasta, but as a clean, gluten-free option, they totally worked. To be honest, I didn’t even really taste the zuchinni. I highly recommend giving this recipe a try. Can’t wait to see what other tasty meals I come up with using my spiralizer.

Barre3 at home

I started doing Barre3 after I had my second daughter in order to help get my abs back in shape and tummy into a somewhat flatter state. Because of my schedule and where I live, I’ve never been able to make it to a class so I did a lot of their online videos. I strayed away from Barre3 (mainly because I get bored easily) but have recently been trying to reincorporate some of the workouts back into my schedule. I love this Kitchen Cardio Barre3 video on YouTube. It’s quick (just 10 minutes), requires no equipment and gets your heart rate up a bit, which is always a plus. I do it while making dinner or while the kiddos eat breakfast. It’s also a great way to try Barre3 before committing to their online workout subscription (which is super reasonably priced).

Easter Egg Basket head start

My oldest daughter, Lucy, informed me that we need to plant some flowers to make our house look pretty and start a garden. On a lunch hour trip to Target this week, I found these Frozen kids gardening supplies (sorry for the blurry pic) that I snagged for both girls to put in their garden themed Easter baskets. Getting a head start instead of waiting for the day before. High five for me!

10 thank you’s to my husband

This week I wrote one of my favorite posts about some of the most important thank you’s for my husband. With 2 kids and working full time, it’s easy for me to get wrapped up in life and not show appreciation for my man. While there are about a thousand more thank you’s I probably owe him, this is a good start.

Stitch Fix

Working on a post for next week about Stitch Fix and whether or not it’s really worth it. I’ve had 6 fixes and think I have lots of good feedback and tips based on my experience. Haven’t heard of Stitch Fix? Basically it’s like Birchbox for clothes. You pay $2o, they send you a box of 5 clothes based on styles and preferences you express in their style survey. Keep what you like, send the rest back in their postage paid envelope. Stay tuned for my full review and tips for getting your best fix. Want to get started right now? Use my referral link and I get a bit of cash to fund my habit.

Looking forward to doing some cleaning over the weekend and having friends over for dinner (and wine) on Saturday.

How was your week?

PS: This post contains affiliate and referral links. I only talk about products that I actually use and I always give my honest opinion (otherwise that would be lame). If you decide to use my links to purchase these products (or other products), I get a little cash to help support my family (and my Starbucks addiction).

I never really thought of myself as a liar. Maybe I embellish here or there or tell a little white lie to keep someone from getting their feelings hurt. Definitely never would have called myself a liar.

And then I became a mom and found myself lying to my kids all day, every day. I feel bad but sometimes it’s just easier to tell you kids a lie to get them to do something you want them to do. Why argue about whether or not they can have a cookie when you can just say you don’t have any cookies?

I know people did this to me as a kid, so I don’t feel bad doing it to my kids. I mean, I turned out relatively fine. My favorite lie was from my Grandmother. If she didn’t want me to eat something, she would tell me “That will give you worms.”

Here are just a few of the lies I’ve told as a parent:

  • Cleaning is fun.
  • If you eat candy, your teeth will fall out.
  • The pool is only open on Fridays.
  • Shots don’t hurt.
  • Your toy must be lost.
  • Mommy’s phone can’t take pictures.
  • The park is closed.
  • Babies come out of your belly button.
  • The green stuff in your food is not vegetables, it’s seasoning.
  • Your bike doesn’t work in the rain.
  • The dog is allergic to people food and he will get sick and die if you feed him.
  • Dairy Queen is out of ice cream.
  • We can’t FaceTime with Anna and Elsa because they don’t have iPhones in Airendale.
  • Santa will come take your toys away if you’re bad after Christmas.
  • This isn’t a candy bar, it’s a vegetable bar for moms.
  • We don’t have batteries for that toy.
  • Chuck E. Cheese is only open for birthday parties.

What are some of the mom lies you’ve told your kids?

This week my husband was out of town so I was a temporary single mom. Man oh man! Single moms, I don’t know how you do it but you guys rock! So glad for my man to be home (and not just for shared parenting purposes) today.

Here are a few of my favorite things from this week.

1. OK to Wake Alarm Clock – We got this alarm clock this week and I can’t wait to try it out tonight. The OK to Wake setting allows you to set an alarm (either light or noise) to let your kiddos know when it’s ok to get out of bed. We’re hoping this will keep the girls in their room past 6:30 am on the weekends. It’s so cute that they’re excited about it and think it’s a present for them when it’s really a present for mommy and daddy. Want to give it a try? I picked up this clock at Target but I’ve seen similar items on Amazon.

2. Clean Chai Tea Latte Recipe – I’m a self proclaimed Starbucks junkie but who can afford to go their everyday (if the answer is you, you should start taking me). Their drinks are also not the healthiest. I whipped up this recipe for a clean chai tea latte you can make in the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the cost and calories. I drink it everyday, in my Starbucks cup of course.

3. New Shoes – seriously how was I supposed to not buy these. I love the fun punch of color for spring to spice up my mostly black and denim wardrobe.

4. March Fitness Challenge – whoa baby! When I decided to do this full body fitness challenge for the month of March, I didn’t realize how tough it would be. I made the mistake of trying to knock out 100 push ups on Monday in one sitting. Yeah right! Talk about jello arms. I started splitting these up into 5 sets of 20 throughout my day, which is still a challenge but doable. I’ve woken up sore every day this week so it’s obviously working. No pain, no gain!

5. Netflix – We finished House of Cards Season 3 last weekend and it was amazing! Such a smart glimpse into the world of politics and the White House. Now, what should we watch next? Leave your suggestions in the comments section.

We’re excited for nice weather for the weekend. We’ll be hanging out with the girls and then heading to a concert on Sunday night (who schedules a concert on a Sunday? Clearly I’m old). Have a great weekend people!

PS: This post contains affiliate and referral links. I only talk about products that I actually use and I always give my honest opinion (otherwise that would be lame). If you decide to use my links to purchase these products (or other products), I get a little cash to help support my family (and my Starbucks addiction).

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