Monday, August 31, 2015

Second Stitch Fix

This is my second Stitch Fix.  I requested blouses and/or nicer cotton shirts.  I also said I like pattern and wanted some non-jean pants. 

How It Works:

+Fill out the style profile and schedule your first fix.
+Pay $20 for the styling fee
+Receive your box with pieces hand selected by your stylist. You have 3 business days to decide what to keep and what to return. 
+The $20 styling fee is applied as a credit and will be deducted from the total of items kept. If you don't keep anything, you are out the $20. If you keep everything, you also get a 25% discount.
If you're interested, feel free to use my referral link. I'll receive a $25 discount if you schedule your first fix.
Try it here.
 

Margaret M Emer Print High Waisted Cropped Pant $98 

 

 When I first opened my box and saw these pants, I immediately thought I wouldn't like them. But they were so comfy.  The material was perfect.  They had some stretch and were slim fitting but almost had a chino feel. The pattern was very subtle. I would have seriously contemplated keeping these if they weren't a size too big.  They were literally falling down walking from the house to outside. So disappointed.
 

Collective Concepts Esten Button-up Sleeveless Blouse $54

 
Ehh...I just didn't think there was anything special about this top. My stylist said this was a top seller and I was surprised by that. I thought the quality was not worth the price.  Just about every button got caught around some thread when I was unbuttoning it.  I had specifically requested some pattern in my tops. I want expect to receive unique items and I felt like I could have got a version of this top many places.
 

19 Cooper Bertona Split Neck Top $58

Kut From the Kloth Siena Cropped Pant $58

 
I loved the patterns in this top when I initial saw it. Unfortunately, it was a tank and the pattern/stripe mix was not flattering.
Ugh, these pants!  I wish soo bad that they were in a different color! I disliked the dusty blue color so much.  It's definitely not a color I would ever pick in a pant. I loved that they were cropped.  They were comfortable and the fit was good.

Gilli Jodie Textured Skirt $58

 
 
In theory, I love this skirt.  It was the perfect length for work and it has this cute nautical vibe. The fabric was a little thick. I was on the fence with this one. I actually liked the outfit I quickly threw together and it would look good with a mustard colored top, black tights and boots.
 

Overall Thoughts:

I was soooo disappointed with this fix.  I was hoping for some great fall transition pieces and I felt like I got the leftover summer clearance.  Two tanks and some awful colored pants? I'm going to try one more time in a few weeks but that's it.  If I don't get an item I was to keep, I'm out.

In fact, I was so disappointed in this fix, I had to buy some Kendra Scott earrings from my Rocksbox. You can see them with the first two outfits.  They are the Elle Earrings in Slate Cat's Eye. The first three people to use code ROSEBFF1 will get a free month of Rocksbox. 
I've received 12 boxes so far.  I love getting different jewelry pieces several times a month.  If I get a great necklace, I try to plan my outfit around it.  I like that it makes me use my wardrobe in different ways. 
 


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Confessions



I confess // it's always been on my bucket list to own/ride in a side car. But only with a skullcap helmet, long flowy scarf, leather jacket and cat-eye sunglasses.

I confess // I've been drinking Bolthouse Farm Vanilla Chai Latte on my way to work in the morning. I don't hate it.

I confess // I went to a lawn party on Sunday with the most amazing views of mountains. An awesome band made up of all women and with mountains as a back drop? Yup!


 
I confess // I'm obsessed with this song right now.  I'm not a huge country fan but this song is so sexy and I think Eric Church has a pretty great voice.


 
I confess // As much as I'm dreading the thought of winter, I've already been thinking about fall. I'm ready for boots and soups.  I made this bread the other day for a work breakfast and it was a big hit. I'm more apt to cook in the fall/winter too.


Blueberry Peach Bread
I confess // This might be the shortest post ever.



Monday, August 24, 2015

Currently 8.24.15

Thinking:


About how our anniversary is less than a month away and I still haven't come up with the perfect gift yet. Errol is the type of person that if he wants something, he buys it.  So I try to think of things that he wouldn't treat himself to.  Last year, I got him a massage.  He enjoyed it and even said it wasn't something he would buy himself but it was nice and relaxing.

Reading:


 
I'm only about 75 pages in but liking it so far.  All I've gotten so far is that it takes place in a world where a disaster has happened and infected people.  To make sure you don't get infected, you must stay near this pipe thing that runs around the world. There's been a large fire at a section of the pipe and the lead character is sent in to deal with it. It's different and I'm interested to see where it goes.
 

Watching:

 
So glad that John didn't go home this week.  At first, he was kind of annoying because it seemed like he was always yelling at the camera but he's currently my pick to win. Austin, Vanessa and the twins need to go. What are your thoughts on this season?
 

Anticipating:

Labor Day Weekend. Even though it signals the end of summer, it also means a 3 day weekend.
 

Loving:

My new job.  I'm super busy so the day flies by and it's stimulating. There's so much information to learn and I'm competitive by nature so I always want to excel at everything I do.
 
I just happened to come in at the start of a 10 week team building course that is happening twice a week.  The other week, we did these personality tests and mine were spot on. One of them told you what your dominant personality type was.  I was a lion with sub-dominance in beaver.
 
I found the test online.  The end description of each type is less than what we were given but you still get the basic idea.  What type are you?
 

Planning:

On a surprise weekend trip to Portland, ME the weekend of our anniversary. I have a friend who lives there but is up here for the summer so she offered her place up.  We'll do some sightseeing, eating and ocean gazing.
 

Lusting:

These Hue leggings. I have several pairs of leggings but I'm afraid my favorite Eileen Fisher ones are going to wear out and I've heard the Hue ones are supposed to be the best.  Plus the EF leggings are 'spensive. Since I can't wear jeans to work, I know I'll be living in leggings come winter. Tunic/sweater, leggings and my Frye boots are my go-to winter uniform.
 

Seeing:

That my second Stitch Fix has shipped!
 

 

 
 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tea for Two

 
 
If we were having coffee (or tea if that's your jam)... I would be having an iced chai latte.  There's a place in town, Maia Papaya's, that has my favorite.
 
If we were having coffee... I would tell you that I'm not ready for summer to be over. With starting a new job and just life in general, it has gone by way to fast.
 
If we were having coffee... we'd talk about my second new job in a month. I think it's going to be a good fit and is exactly the challenge and fast paced environment that I'm looking for but I'm not going to lie.  It's been a hard transition.  And it wasn't just with this one.  It was hard at the other one too. I miss the people I worked with for the last seven years.
 
If we were having coffee... I'd hope that we were laughing. 
 
If we were having coffee... you would probably hear about how in less than a month, it will be Errol and I's 9 year anniversary. 9 years!?  It feels like we've been together forever and just met at the same time.  I cannot wrap my head around the fact that we have been together for practically a decade. That's pretty much a third of my life.
 
If we were having coffee... we might talk about my Gram.  She's not doing too well and I hate even saying this but it's only a matter of time.  My automatically reaction to something like this is to ignore it.  It's hard to acknowledge and accept what is happening.
 
If we were having coffee... you'd know that my summer bucket list might just turn into a Fall bucket list. 
 
If we were having coffee... I'd tell you about this really sweet movie I watched the other night, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.
 
If we were having coffee... we'd leave with plans for our next one already made.
 


Monday, August 17, 2015

Ode to Chitty Woo's

 
This month marks the one year anniversary of Chitty joining our home. To say I'm obsessed with this cat would be an understatement.  It sounds cheesy/dorky to say this but he is exactly what I didn't know I needed.
 
I have been wanting a dog for years and was a self proclaimed cat disliker but along came that black and white kitty up there and my heart grew ten times in size.
 

The Backstory

We used to rent an old farm house with a run down barn on the property.  Sometime in July, we were leaving the house and I heard a meowing coming from the barn.  I walked over to one of the doors and out popped this black cat. From the moment I found him, he was friendly and willing to come around people. I fed him a can of tuna and that night he left me my first mouse.
This progressed for several weeks.  I would leave him cat food and he would leave me mice, sometimes more than one a day. As the days went on, he started to come and hang out on the porch with us and he would always want to go inside.  It was clear he had been a house cat previously.
Errol is allergic to cats but pretty much from the first day, I was begging to keep him. I just knew I was meant to take this cat in.  He came to our house for a reason.  Originally I had called a couple shelters just to see if they would take him but they were full. That pretty much sealed the deal.
I bathed him and brought him inside that same week as the hiking accident. And he's been keeping me company ever since.
 
The very first picture I took of Chitty
 

Names

Meow Meow
This was his very first name.  Chitty is the most talkative cat I have ever seen.  He meows when he's happy, he meows for attention, he meows to go outside/inside, he meows just to meow.
 
Meow Meow Chitty Lou
Chitty
Kitty
Titty
Chitty Woo, Chitty Lou
Chute Chute Chitty
Chitty Chitty Woo Woo
Chitty Chat
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
 

Theme Song

Bad, bad Chitty Woo, the baddest Chitty in the whole wide world
Sung to the tune of Bad Bad Leroy Brown
 
 

Likes

Treats (as many as he can get)
Meowing
Lounging on top of the couch
Sleeping with me on the bed (only when Errol's not home)
Mousing & bird snatching
Exploring the woods
Getting on top of the neighbor's porch roof
Using his scratch pad
Plastic bags & boxes
Sleeping on luggage
Sitting in your lap while you're on the computer
Rough housing (but only when he wants to)
 
 

Dislikes

Coming inside for the night
Rain
When he can't go outside  (sometimes he gets that inch and won't shut up about it)
Being ignored
When he thinks you've gone to bed for the night without feeding him
Loud noises
Getting up in the morning
 
Forever my favorite Chitty picture

 
 


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

July Book Review

 
Rating System
5- Loved it! All the feels and flails. New favorite
4- Really liked it
3- Decent
2- Would not recommend. Ehh
1- Did not like.  Didn't finish. Gave book away.
 
 
Rating: 2.5
 
""Now we're just alike." So begins Fiona and Patricia's friendship that warm autumn morning in first grade in Lake Charles, Louisiana, their bond forged ever closer by Fiona's abusive mother and Patricia's neglectful one. Their relationship is a source of continuity and strength through their move to L.A. to become actresses; through Fiona's marriage and Patricia's sudden fame. When husband and career pressures exact a toll, the women wonder if their friendship can survive. Then a dark secret from their past emerges, threatening to destroy not only their bond, but all they've worked for as well."
I thought this was going to be a pretty decent book maybe along the lines of Barbara Delinsky or something but nope. The dark secret wasn't so much of a secret.  I kind of had it figured out since it was first mentioned. I can't really say what specifically about the book I didn't like.  The characters weren't memorable and the story kind of felt pointless.
 
Rating: 3
Literary Ladies book pick
 
"Take a wonderfully crazed excursion into the demented heart of a tropical paradise—a world of cargo cults, cannibals, mad scientists, ninjas, and talking fruit bats. Our bumbling hero is Tucker Case, a hopeless geek trapped in a cool guy's body, who makes a living as a pilot for the Mary Jean Cosmetics Corporation. But when he demolishes his boss's pink plane during a drunken airborne liaison, Tuck must run for his life from Mary Jean's goons. Now there's only one employment opportunity left for him: piloting shady secret missions for an unscrupulous medical missionary and a sexy blond high priestess on the remotest of Micronesian hells. Here is a brazen, ingenious, irreverent, and wickedly funny novel from a modern master of the outrageous."
This was my third or fourth Moore book and will probably be my last. One of my friends is a huge Moore fan and thinks he is hilarious but he just isn't for me. His stories are outrageous and the characters are just that, characters. I enjoyed Fluke though. If you are a fan of crazy stories with some satire thrown in, Moore will be right up your alley.
 
Rating: 3.5
Literary Ladies book pick
 
"With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187–424—one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system."
I should preface this and saw that I have yet to watch OITNB. I know! I've heard this book was hit or miss for some people.  I really liked this book. I could relate to Piper's situation of in the sense of being a middle class white woman sentenced to prison. Her emotions and thoughts were probably how I would have felt being in that situation. It also really makes you think about how f'ed up the system is.
After reading the book, it made me think about the series and how they either must has embellished the show since there isn't enough substance in the book to create a tv show, let alone a multi season one.  I only hope that additional content was provided by Kerman.
 
Rating: 3.5/4
Literary Ladies book pick
 
"Beginning in Paris on the eve of the Nazi occupation in 1940. Suite Française tells the remarkable story of men and women thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. As Parisians flee the city, human folly surfaces in every imaginable way: a wealthy mother searches for sweets in a town without food; a couple is terrified at the thought of losing their jobs, even as their world begins to fall apart. Moving on to a provincial village now occupied by German soldiers, the locals must learn to coexist with the enemy—in their town, their homes, even in their hearts.When Irène Némirovsky began working on Suite Française, she was already a highly successful writer living in Paris. But she was also a Jew, and in 1942 she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz, where she died. For sixty-four years, this novel remained hidden and unknown."
When this book came out several years ago, there was a lot of hub bub about it. I've had it sitting on my shelf for a while. This book is actually made up of two stories; Storm in June and Dolce. Nemirovsky had planned it as being a five story saga but unfortunately ended up in Auschwitz before she could complete it. I liked Dolce better than Storm in June. Storm in June seemed like a lot of rich people whining while in Dolce, you really got to see the humanity in people and the emotions.
I thought the writing stole the show. The storylines themselves weren't much but the way Nemirovsky wrote about the emotions and feelings of the characters, you could understand their plight. The best part was the large appendix included which were transcripts of her journals.  It contained her thoughts and outlines for each book as well as her day to day life during the German occupation. I liked being able to see her process and the thought process involved her writing. You really got to see her vision for where the stories were headed.
 
It took me about three weeks to read Suite Francaise.  Even though it was my favorite book of the month, I didn't devour it by any means.  It was the kind of book where you read a chapter or two and then put it down. I did fairly good on my Literary Ladies challenge and I only have three books left to read in August as I'm currently reading my seventh pick now, Fear of Flying.
 
One to Read: Suite Francaise
One to Skip: The Safety of Secrets


Life According to Steph
Linking up with Steph
 

Monday, August 10, 2015

My First Stitch Fix

I received my first Stitch Fix on Friday. I specifically requested items to be worn at work in a business casual environment. And while I didn't keep anything, the items I did get were pretty much my style work-wise and in the direction of what I was looking for.

How It Works:

+Fill out the style profile and schedule your first fix.
+Pay $20 for the styling fee
+Receive your box with pieces hand selected by your stylist. You have 3 business days to decide what to keep and what to return. 
+The $20 styling fee is applied as a credit and will be deducted from the total of items kept. If you don't keep anything, you are out the $20. If you keep everything, you also get a 25% discount.
If you're interested, please use my referral link. I'll receive a $25 discount if you schedule your first fix.
Try it here.

My Fix:

First off, I want to say I was super impressed with the packaging, branding and overall presentation.  Everything was wrapped nicely and color coordinated.  I appreciate when a company thinks of those little things.  Since the items you receive are supposed to be a surprise, it's nice to unwrap everything.
Sweet Rain Gilden Crew Neck Blouse $44
This top was not flattering on me.  Stripes can be hit or miss for me.  It all depends on the way the stripes are. I did like the back detail.  I thought it was a complete button back but there is only one button at the top.  If I saw this shirt in a store, I would have probably tried it on.
Donna Morgan Kellen Dress $64
This dress was definitely not my style. I was not a fan of the material (rayon) or the pattern.  It kind of seemed like a dress for someone older.  As you can see, it was not flattering at all and much too short to be work appropriate. I do not like dresses where I feel like I have to wear Spanx just to feel "comfortable" and I say that lightly because we all know Spanx is not comfortable.  It's up there with tights/pantyhose.
41Hawthorn Filbert 3/4 Sleeve Popover Blouse $58
Just Black Adorra Skinny Jeans $88
Island Designs Levant Wavy Laser Cut Earrings $28
I came really close to keeping the blouse.  I absolutely loved the color and the sleeve detail but I had also went shopping this weekend and bought 5 blouses so decided to hold off.  The shirt was a couple centimeters too small in the chest and I hate button gaps.
These jeans fit like a glove. I loved the wash and the stretch was perfect.  Just enough that they weren't going to stretch and get baggy the longer you wear them. I'm not in the market for jeans right now since I can't wear them to work and they were slightly too long.  You can't see it in the photo because I bunched them up but they didn't look right with any shoes because of the length.  I needed to loose a good inch off the inseam for them to be right.
The laser cut earrings were perfect.  They were lightweight and would go with a lot of things. But I definitely don't need earrings.

Overall Thoughts:

I have my next box coming the end of the month.  I requested more blouses for work both cotton and otherwise and some non-jean pants. I also went and added some work type outfits to my Pinterest style board so they can see what I'd like. So even though I returned everything, I don't count it a loss.  The items that my stylist picked weren't completely off my style so I consider that a win for my first fix.
Have you tried Stitch Fix?  What did you think?


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Stranded at the Top of a Mountain

 
 
On this day last year, I was at the top of Mount Jefferson when one of the girls in our group of four, broke her leg. 
 
Jefferson is the third highest mountain in New Hampshire at 5712 feet. All four of us were working on our 4000 footer list. One of the girls in the group had hiked it before and recommended it.  We knew it was going to have amazing views and most of the hike is above the tree line.
 

The Details

Elevation: 5,712 feet (1,741 meters)
Prominence: What is Prominence? 742 feet (226.2 meters)
Location: Thompson and Meserves Purchase, NH (Coös County, New Hampshire, USA)
Range: Presidential Range
Coordinates: 44°18'15" North     71°19'01" West
Rating: How do the ratings work? Difficult
Features: Cascades, Rock Scrambles What are Rock Scrambles?, Alpine Zone What is an Alpine Zone?, 360 Degree Views, Peak Bagging What is Peak Bagging?
Distance of highlighted hike below: 5 miles
 
We were all excited for the hike even though we realized once we reached the trailhead that the chance of views at the top was going to be minimal.  The whole mountain was socked in but we weren't going to let that deter us.  We met quite a few people on the way up.  Most of them passed us but then we ended up seeing them again.  Almost all of them had turned around once they reached tree line and decided not to go on. They thought the weather was too bad to continue.  If only we had thought that too.  We decided to trudge on because in all honesty, the weather wasn't that terrible.  It was foggy and misting slightly but it wasn't slippery or anything.
 
Every time we met a group who turned around, we reevaluated the situation and each time, decided to continue.
 
The trail we took had lots of rock scrambles and some rock climbing which is what I love in a hike.  In all honesty, if you take away all the bad stuff that happened, this was one of my favorite hikes I've done.  It's relatively short but strenuous and full of obstacles.
 
Below are photos from the hike up.
This was pretty much the view the whole way to the top.
 





 
 





 

The summit was full of those huge rocks you see in the above photo.  That photo was taken at the top.  Since it was windy and crappy at the top, we ate lunch and decided to head out because it had started to rain. We started our way down slowly because we knew the rocks might be slippery because of the rain. Then it happened. 
 
We had left the summit about 10 minutes before that.  I was in the lead and my friend was behind me when she slipped on a rock.  I turned around to ask if she was ok because I literally just thought she slipped and that's when she told me that she broke her ankle. We later found out it was her leg but at this time, we thought it was her ankle. It took me a second to understand and believe what she said. During that time, she had quickly twisted her leg back into place and the other two girls caught up to us. After I realized what happened, my mind started racing about how we were going to get down the mountain. We didn't have any cell service at this point and another girl and I took charge.  Luckily, we had hiking poles and some bungee cords that we were able to secure around her leg as a splint.
 
Obviously my friend didn't want to move but we could see that she was going into shock.  Her lips were blue and she kept wanting to be sick. I'm the closest to her so I had to tell her the truth.  No one was coming for her because we couldn't contact anyone and we needed to get below tree line. That was our goal when we started moving, get below tree line. I was pretty much the only one she trusted to help her slowly move down the trail.  Keep in mind that this is not an easy dirt trail.  The majority of the hike is all rocks. It took us literally 2 hours to go 0.4 miles.  It was excruciatingly slow going.
 
If there is one thing that I am not, it is patient. Never have been and never will be. I'm also not much of a care taker.  It was hard for me to be the only one she wanted to depend on. I knew we weren't going to make it to the treeline by dark all by ourselves.  We were finally able to get some cell service.  We called the number for forest rescue but there had been another accident that day as well and all their resources were there. Unfortunately, the person on that hike didn't make it out alive. We were pretty much told that if she was walking, to keep going.  We called the injured girl's parents but they really couldn't do anything.  Finally, I called Errol.  I needed him for moral support and I knew that he would come. 
 
He did, after working a 10 hour day, he climbed up that mountain in about an hour. I have never been more happy to see him and more proud that he was mine than at that moment. Along the way, we saw only a couple people.  One person pretended like they didn't know what was going on and passed us and then the other hero of the day came along. A guy and his young son were on the way up when they passed us.  They stopped and we heard the dad discussing with his son that they needed to turn back and help us. I still remember him saying to his son that they had been on this hike before and knew what was at the top and they really needed to do this. He was a life saver. At one point, his son got pretty emotional over what was happening so he actually took his son back down the mountain and came back up to help us. Errol was literally picking her up and setting her down on the parts where there were step downs.
 
The one reward we had is that the clouds parted and we had the most amazing views on the way down. At one point, we had the moon on one side of us and the setting sun on the other.
 



 







One of my favorite pictures I've taken.
After all was said and done, we ended up getting to our cars alittle after midnight.  We were on that mountain for 14 hours. Errol ended up getting like 2 hours sleep and going to work the next day.  My friend had to have surgery on her leg and had a plate and some screws put in.  She still isn't 100% but she probably never will be.  The hike down really messed up her leg.
 
So that's my story of how one of my worst fears while hiking came true. I never want to be in a situation like that again.  I am way more cautious now about my footing when I hike because I know what happened to her could have easily happened to any one of us that day. 
 
If you made it to the end of this post, you deserve a medal or a drink, or both. 
 

 
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