Normal Day Treasures

6 10 2015

normal day

The sun is back. It’s been a long time since we have caught even a ray of it! Today can pretty much be chalked up to a perfect “normal” day. I thought a lot about how grateful I am to have a generally positive attitude, as I was pulled in a million different directions at work while my sons were away from me at daycare. I began to look for the treasures hidden in the day, reflecting on each one as its own silver lining. I hope to collect these thoughts later in my journal of blessings (inspired by Ann Voskamp).

The fog settling over the valley was so pretty during my drive to work this morning. Stumbling over my words as I tried to explain fog to my 3-year-old.

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My 12-month-old waving goodbye to me from the comfort of his teacher’s arms. A tear-free transition. Finally.

Arriving to work 10 minutes early and using the time to walk a prayer circle behind the school. Still in awe that I get to work in such a beautiful place.

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And feeling blessed that at my new job, I get to be a full-blown counselor. Almost 100% of my time is spent directly with students individually, in small groups, and in the classroom (I log my hours in NoteCounselor after school every day). When I’m not directly with students, I’m talking to their parents or conferencing with their teachers, also direct hours. It makes for busy days, and my principal has begun to exclaim, “You came back!” after some of the most eventful days.

Getting a handwritten card from my principal, just thanking me for being at the school and being a positive light.

Having one of the most respected teachers in the school, the one who never speaks when I teach in her classroom, seek me out in my office later just to say, “Thank you. You have such a calm and soothing voice for the kids, you talk to them in such a way that they have no choice but to want to follow your directions.”

Me: an awe-struck puddle on the floor.

Missing lunch to facilitate the toughest small group of them all, and seeing the boys’ tough exteriors begin to crack as they slowly trust each other. Finding a pocket of 10 minutes afterward to eat a bowl of hot soup and a full-size Hershey bar.

At car rider duty, a parent sincerely telling me, “It’s so nice to see a smiling face every single day. Thank you.”

Staying after school to coach a running club, running alongside a new coworker who is exactly my pace, and finding out we grew up in the same hometown.

My 3-year-old, after spotting me at daycare, running toward the gate with open arms, not yet too cool for such affection over Mommy or for falling head over heels to hug me.

Finding a free book for the boys in our mailbox: “Llama Llama and the Bully Goat.”

Wolfing down leftover Greek dinner my husband made last night before leaving the house one last time for the evening.

Driving through my favorite canopy of trees today…

…six different times.

The first and sixth trips with cups of hot coffee.

Opting to let my hairdresser straighten my hair before I left. (I ALWAYS leave the salon with wet curly hair.) Laughing with her about the 3 wiry white hairs I found on my head this week.

Teaching my 3-year-old how to play a board game before bed. How to roll a die. How to take turns and play fairly.

Watching his excitement as he taught his daddy how to play the same game while I watched, nursing the baby to sleep.

Trying on pretty Stitch Fix items, debating what to keep and what to send back.

Finding quiet time to blog and do laundry.

Grateful for my decision to cloth diaper as I hung them to dry. Looking forward to having a new friend over next week who wants to learn about cloth diapers.

Thinking about the 5 cute little cloth diaper pails, lined up all in a row at daycare.

Being able to answer my toddler when he asked, “Mommy, are you coming to the pumpkin patch with me and my class?”

“Yes, Mommy is coming.”

I’d rearrange the world for you. 





Stitch Fix | September Review

15 09 2015

I was pleasantly surprised this fall to check my Stitch Fix account and see that I had a large credit to put toward my 4th fix! I had taken a long hiatus from Stitch Fix during my last pregnancy (although now they do offer a maternity line!). Last year at this time, I was super pregnant and wearing maxi skirts to work every day, so now I’m in need of new fall clothes!

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This is literally my favorite part. Opening the box. (Try it!!)

My stylist listened to my requests in my style profile and found clothes that would be perfect for work or weekending with my family. I had specifically requested a light jacket, work pants, and long necklace similar to one by Kendra Scott. She also threw in a shirt for a date night, but let’s be real… I have 2 little guys at home that need all the time they can get with us on the weekend after a long week of preschool!

So let me just tell you how the unboxing went down. Now that I have a new job, its new location makes it easy to stop in at home before picking up my kids from daycare. So that’s exactly what I decided to do when my husband texted me that my Fix had arrived. We had an appointment scheduled that afternoon before we picked up the kids, so I ran home after work and in the comfort and quiet of my newly-clean room, I scoped out the box.

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First glance: love olive, love all the stripes and neutrals. I only counted 4 clothing items, so I knew there’d be a jewelry piece involved. Stitch Fix always sends 5 items, and you can make your profile very specific as to what you’re looking for, what colors you love, and what types of pieces you’d like to receive. Being open-minded will allow your stylist to push you to try things you might overlook in the store that you end up loving!

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Kut From The Kloth Siena Cropped Pant

These olive pants were an instant win. Love the fit – stretchy and flattering, while professional enough to wear to work and in a flattering olive color that goes with many pieces in my closet. I had requested an olive army jacket, so this was the next best thing. The pants did have one tiny flaw, so I was given the opportunity to get 15% off or exchange for a brand new pair… I took the discount, and a few easy stitches by hand will fix them right up.

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Thrift store shirt, $2 🙂

Target is running a sale this week on their Merona skinny fit cropped pants (BOGO 50% off), so I’ve bought a few more pairs similar to these in other colors.

Mystree Jackie Striped French Terry Asymmetrical Jacket

I also loved this jacket. I was on the fence about it for the entire 3 days that I was allowed to keep the box. I even went to Kohl’s and tried similar asymmetrical jackets, but they weren’t nearly the same quality. I also found the same jacket on the Stitch Fix BST Facebook board in my size and almost snatched that one up. In the end though, I decided to be good and only spend what I had received in referral credits. Otherwise, I’d be wearing it right now!

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I heard a lot of feedback from other girls that this jacket was too short for them, but I have a super-short torso thanks to the spine surgery I had as a teenager, so the fit was perfect on me. I was a little weary of the busyness of the stripes but loved the navy and white. And the pockets! I could live in this jacket, so soft and thick. Alas, it was dry clean or hand-wash only, so… DEALBREAKER.

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Renee C Charle Split Front Knit

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Keeping an open mind… the first dolman I’ve ever tried. I loved the stretchy fit of this, the thin stripes, the navy color, and the uber-soft fabric — oh, it was cozy!, but that’s where the love story ended. I am personally not a fan of dolman sleeves and felt like I was swimming in this shirt.

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Photobomber ❤ I took this picture later when deciding what to keep!

Skies are Blue Galla Mesh Detail Sweater

Gahh. “Mesh sweater.” Whyyy. My stylist thought this would be “fun for a night out” paired with the long necklace she also sent.

First of all, KIDS. I had a vision of kissing my kids goodbye as I rushed out the door in this for an evening out with my hubby, their tiny fingers getting hooked in the fabric and literally tearing the sweater, fresh spit up seeping through each and every hole in the mesh, impossible to clean. It featured a striped pattern where one stripe was solid, one was mesh. Because of this, I’d need a cami, but then the straps would show. It didn’t seem one bit nursing friendly, either. The cut and fit were great, and my stylist’s intentions were good… but in the end it was a no-brainer to send back.

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Nakamol Benton Beaded Pendant Necklace

This piece was interesting, but not enough for the price point. I was also afraid the chain would mess up, since it featured tiny beads that wanted to move around.

IMG_5354 IMG_5365(Also: I think I could make this?!) I did like the length and the way it hit. She gave it a good effort!

In the end, I used referral credits to purchase the pants, which ended up being free with the 15% discount added in. I even have money left over for my next Fix! She was on point with the cropped pants and striped jacket and came very, very close with the dolman and necklace. But quite a bit off the mark with the mesh sweater. Too bad, because if I had purchased all 5, I could have gotten 25% off the total.

I’ve updated my profile and my Pinterest board for my next Fix. Want to try it for yourself? Answer a series of questions about your sizes, preferences, color choices, etc., and link your own Pinterest board to see what 5 items your stylist will send! Use my link to sign up, and then use your own link to refer friends to accumulate credits in your account! Win-win. Thanks for reading!

See my past Fixes!

Linking up with Crazy Together (Kinder Craze) blog!

Stitch Fix Button Kinder Craze

www.crazytogether.com/october-stitch-fix-28-review-giveaway-linkup





Five on Friday

14 11 2014

Linking up for Five on Friday with DarciChristinaApril, and Natasha, and oh hey, Friday with Karli and Amy. Oh and with Hodges Podges and Friday Blog Hop!

one | Moccs

Having two boys was supposed to mean lots of hand-me-downs, right? At least I thought so, until I realized that July and nearly-October are completely different seasons. Now that it’s cold, Baby S has been wearing his brother’s baby pajamas all day and snoozing in very-pink-and-frilly baby girl sleepers at night. So anyway, a few new(-to-him) clothes and these grey moccs were in order, right? Because I bought them this week the moment they landed.

moccs two | $3.12 sweater/my new normal

I had a coupon for $10 off a $10 purchase at JC Penney this week, so I thought I’d just “pop in” with both boys in tow – I was babywearing S, and E was walking. This is how it went down: Couldn’t find anything I liked in the baby dept. Or toddler section. Newborn was hungry. Tracked down the little boy’s dressing room to nurse him and took a random baby jumpsuit in with us for good measure – you know, to make it look like we were trying stuff on. While nursing, E announced from his perch on the bench that he needed to go potty. Like asap. Reluctantly unlatched the baby, restrapped him into my carrier, put the jumpsuit back on rack, found restroom. Held E over the potty (still while babywearing an infant.) E didn’t go. Got him dressed again, everyone’s hands washed, picked up the jumpsuit to “try on” again and returned to the dressing room to nurse. Then decided to look in the petite section – grabbed a cute sweater. Returned to little boys’ dressing room to try it on. Got baby out of the carrier so that I could try on said-sweater. E said he needed to potty again. Strapped baby back on. Returned sweater to petite section with intent to buy. Much more luck in the bathroom this time despite very rude commentary from an elderly woman. Went back to retrieve sweater, but realized it was an exclusion listed on my coupon. Grabbed it anyway. Returned to baby section to grab the jumpsuit in case coupon didn’t work while E proceeded to have a meltdown ~ “I’M ALL DONE!”. Hurried to checkout. Cashier recommended I find another place to checkout b/c she was tied up. Stood in a long line at another register. Luckily the coupon worked on the sweater – I only had to pay $3.12! Put jumpsuit back. Took toddler to B&BW to calm him down by letting him smell candles. He tried heisting travel-sized hand sanitizer so we quickly left. I’d include a picture of my $3 sweater, but it’s currently in the washer covered in spit-up.* So here’s us BF’ing in the dressing room. Stitch Fix next time?

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convenience

three | Red Cups *Starbucks was BOGO this week. Earned it.

IMG_9686 four | Playdate

We met up with my SIL and a friend from college to take our kids to a children’s museum using a free family pass – so much fun! How cute is this miniature Panera discovery center??

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IMG_9689IMG_9690 five | Operation Christmas Child

On Tuesday, before our final LifeGroup potluck, we dropped off our Operation Christmas Child boxes at Chick-fil-a – a favorite Christmas tradition. Recap here! While there, we redeemed event tickets for free grilled chicken sandwiches to save for lunch and collected a few more free coupons for filling OCC boxes.

IMG_9621 Happy Friday!





Stitch Fix Review #3: Swing and a Miss!

21 12 2013

This morning started off with a long training run, but it was about 65 degrees out and HOT. When I got a text from my husband that my second Stitch Fix had arrived, I called it quits after 10 miles and headed home for a quick shower!

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For those new to the game – this is how Stitch Fix works:

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And then I dove in. It was love at first sight! I asked for more color, since my last fix was ALL gray, and I immediately spotted jewel tones. I also noticed that there were no accessories, and I saw at least one knit item, so I knew my stylist had honored those requests. And then… denim, which was a pleasant surprise! So excited to start trying everything on.

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Well… I thought Stitch Fix was supposed to get BETTER the more my stylist got to know me, but for someone who did such a fab job with my first box, Layla got it all wrong this time.

{ONE} La Made Weaver Mixed Knit Cowl Neck Top

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The cobalt color is very striking, and I had told my stylist that I love cowl neck pieces. So she got that right. But the armholes are super long, going halfway down my side, and there’s just a ton of thin material. I had asked for a tunic, so maybe that’s what she was going for? I decided to belt it and add a cardigan like the first picture suggests, and that helped a lot:

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Status: Sent back. 

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{TWO} 41 Hawthorn Ivy Solid Tab Sleeve V-Neck Blouse

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(There was a lot of ink damage on my card. Not impressed. Also a spelling error in her personal letter that drove me crazy!)

Wrong. After my first fix, I had specifically asked for NO BLOUSES and NO hi-lo pieces, and this was both. I love tab sleeves, but the material is so heavy and loose that it doesn’t stay nicely rolled up for the tab to work, so they still drape awkwardly. The V-neck is very low-cut, and this piece was just… too big and frumpy for my taste. I had asked for form-fitting pieces.

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Once I put it on, it seemed vaguely familiar… like my homemade Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ballet recital costume, circa 1999?? Dancing and lip syncing to N*Sync? Yes, that’s it!!!!

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Status: Sent back. Sent back FAST. As much as I loved that song.

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{THREE} Ezra Camfield Ruffle Trim Striped Shirt

This piece had promise, since it looked like a stretchy knit. I love navy stripes. And then I saw the ruffles and I didn’t know what to think, but I kept an open mind until I put it on. It suggested pairing it with a cute skirt, which reminded me that I asked them to send me a cute skirt and they didn’t! (I actually thought this WAS a skirt, when I first saw the ruffles!)

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Status: Sent back. I’m not a fan of the way it flares out like a lampshade into ruffles 360 degrees around. Unnecessary. Loved the sleeves.

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{FOUR} 41 Hawthorn Ernesto Wavy Striped Dress

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Cute print, classic colors, and my stylist was SURE this would be my favorite piece – she called it “romantic.” I had asked for a dress (or cute skirt, remember?). It was form-fitting and flattering. But it didn’t actually fit me. And if it doesn’t fit me now, 21 days before my marathon and about an hour after running 10 miles, it honestly never will. Boo!

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Status: Sent back.

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{FIVE} Kensie Jeans – Jeffrey Distressed Skinny Jean

After falling out of love with the first 4 items, I had high expectations for the last item so that I wouldn’t be out the $20 credit I used to order this fix. And it was a denim piece… maybe skinny jeans or a skirt? Love! So I just hoped that it would fit.

First glance: Hole in the pocket. Definitely okay, but already I couldn’t wear these to work on Fridays… but for a nice pair of jeans, I could deal.

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And then I held them up. And almost cried. Distress everywhere. They looked straight out of the Juniors section. Ugh!

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I absolutely love the wash. And the fit is PERFECT. At 5’1″, pants are usually too long for me, and these are just amazing! And soo comfortable. They don’t even hug my runner’s calves too tightly, like Old Navy skinny jeans. And they would pretty much be free with the referral credits I had accumulated from friends signing up through my link. I did a bit of research online, and the price is consistent with department stores. In this exact style, “Ankle Biter,” there is another color option, “True Blue,” a beautiful dark wash, that I would take in a heartbeat over this “Like a Rolling Stone” distressed jean they sent me. I really wish there was a way to undo that! Sooo frustrating!

This is my “are you serious, Stitch Fix??” face. People already think I look like a student – I don’t need to dress like one!

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Status: Reluctantly sent back. 

[Update: After receiving my disappointed feedback on my second fix, Stitch Fix contacted me to offer a new $20 credit toward a replacement box, which I’ll accept. The lady who contacted me also offered to personally style my next box. It never hurts to be honest!]

Wanna try Stitch Fix for yourself? Check out my previous reviews!

Stitch Fix Review #1 (October 2013)

Stitch Fix Review #2 (November 2013)

…So this is how referral works: Stitch Fix does NOT compensate me for writing this. (Obviously.) But if you’d like to try it for yourself, just go through my link and set up your style profile – so fun!! 🙂 I am going to schedule another fix, after I update my profile and Pinterest board with more-specific information!