Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Stitch Fix #7

I'm just going to say it, I was a little underwhelmed with this Fix. I appreciate that my stylist sent 3 items from my Style board but I was disappointed in the actual items. Read on for my full thoughts.

This time around I requested:
Please send work clothes-nice shirts, blouses, light sweaters/cardigans (longer style) and non-denim pants. Like pants in neutral hues or bright primary colors (royal blue, green). Like jewel tones and bright pops of color. Graphic type prints. Specifically would like an army fatigue style vest. Tunics and oversized tops to wear with leggings. Mixed material and mixed pattern. Like Pixley, Papermoon and Le Lis. Maxi Dresses, Kut from Kloth pants and the skirt from this post.

How It Works:

+Fill out your 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.
+Try it here with my referral link.

Pixley Martina Slub Knit Open Cardigan $48

Gentle Souls Ivory Double Strap Wedge $195



I thought long and hard about keeping this cardigan. I did ask for a longer cardigan after all but after really thinking about it, I just couldn't do it. Part of me still wishes I had but I knew a big reason I would have been keeping it was because I didn't want to lose my style fee. The cardigan fit perfectly and was a nice lighter weight knit while still feeling substantial, if that makes sense? I liked the faux pocket thing that it had going on but with that said, it's just a black cardigan. I own several black cardigans that are similar in length. I felt like the outfits I would make with those would be the same outfits I would make with this. 

I own several pairs of Gentle Souls shoes. They are some of the most comfortable shoes. They all have this soft suede memory foam-ish footbed that is just heaven to your feet. But did I pay full price for them? Nope. My previous job was at a women's clothing and home decor company and we sold Gentle Souls. I got them for next to nothing. When I saw what the brand was, I knew even before confirming with the price sheet, that I wouldn't be keeping them. I selected lowest price for shoes so I'm not quite sure what my stylist was thinking when she sent these. I will say that my total fix, had it worked, would have been $304 so that means that the rest of my fix would have cost me $100 which isn't that bad of deal. I own quite a few pairs of wedges and this style honestly wasn't my favorite. I would have much preferred a sandal or flat of some kind. I saw they are carrying Toms, like why couldn't I have gotten those?!

Market & Spruce Brian Knit Maxi Dress $78



I love the print and color combo of this maxi. But I knew right away that the style would not work for me. The blousey top combined with the elastic waist just doesn't work for my body type. I prefer a straight or a-line fit and sometimes, depending on the piece, an empire waist maxi. I was undecided on the actual feel of this dress. I thought it was kind of a heavy weight for Spring/Summer but did like that it had a knee length lining and wasn't clingy. Being taller, I appreciated the length. I like my maxis to hit the floor and often find that they tend to hit at my ankle.

Moon and Sky Granger Crew Neck Top $54



So I pinned this top and immediately out of the box, loved it. I really love the print and that it was a woven cotton. Unfortunately, the top was waaaay to small. Like made me had a uni-boob small. Even if this top fit, I most likely would not have kept it due to the high slits on the sides. I hate wearing lots of layers, it's too high maintenance and makes me feel claustrophobic. The fact that I would have to wear a tank under a tank is a no go for me. I wish I had noticed when I pinned it that it had side slits.

Market & Spruce Dido Mixed Print Knit Top $58



This is another top that I pinned and didn't realize until I received it that it had something that I disliked. For some reason, I'm not a fan of the mint and gray color combo. I actually really don't like mint and there are mint dots all over the back. I didn't love the look of this on either. The front panel hit at a weird spot. I wasn't in love with the material and thought the price was high for what it was.

Overall Thoughts

It was hard not to be disappointed with this fix. I know my motto has been not to have too high of expectations but I also kind of feel like after seven Fixes, there should be one item that I love and want to keep. I thought the color palette of this Fix was pretty drab. I would have expected a lot more color since it is Spring and I mention in both my note and my profile that I love color. Sending $200 shoes was definitely off the mark. I would have liked to seen a pair of pants. For me an ideal fix would be 2 shirts/blouses, a pair of pants, a random, frivolous piece and either shoes or a sweater or cardigan. Also, I've requested an army/utility style vest for my last three Fixes. My stylists keep telling me they don't have one but they have the exact style featured on their homepage and I've seen a few different styles in other Fixes. So for the time being Stitch Fix and I are on a break.

What did you think of my Fix? Was I being too picky?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tina Belcher is My Spirit Animal


Tina knows her worth.

She knows that a little charm will go a long way. After all one of my life motto's is "you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar".


See also ain't nobody got time for that.

She cares about her hair. If the hairs up, no touchy.


But we're not afraid to let our hair down every once in awhile.



She doesn't care what anybody else thinks. 



We aren't afraid to speak our minds.



She doesn't have a filter.



But underneath it all, we all have a little Tina in us.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

March 2016 Book Review

Rating System
5- Loved it! All the feels and flails. New favorite
4- Really liked it. Would recommend
3- Decent/solid read.
2- Would not recommend.
1- Did not like.  Didn't finish. Gave book away.

Morning Star by Pierce Brown (Red Rising Trilogy, Book 3)

Rating: 5

Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within. 

I've been looking forward to this book since I completed Golden Son last year. Morning Star did not disappoint, with a roller coaster of emotions and plot twists. Run, don't walk to your nearest book store and pick up this series! Brown's writing is phenomenal. I can't say enough about how well written this series is. The whirlwind that is Sevro in this book may just be my favorite part. I went into Morning Star loving Sevro and then hating him and then loving him again and wondering how you ever doubted his loyalty. Word is is that Red Rising is currently being made into a movie and Brown is back writing another trilogy. Also, I'm just going to leave this here.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman   

Rating: 2.5
Classic 1/5

Based on the author's own experiences, 'The Yellow Wallpaper' is the chilling tale of a woman driven to the brink of insanity by the 'rest cure' prescribed after the birth of her child. Isolated in a crumbling colonial mansion, in a room with bars on the windows, the tortuous pattern of the yellow wallpaper winds its way into the recesses of her mind.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was America's leading feminist intellectual of the early twentieth century. 

One of my goals for 2016 was to read 5 classics. This is my first one of the year. I had heard positive things about The Yellow Wallpaper going into this book but didn't have much knowledge of the author. My edition had a 20 page history of Perkins Gilman which I enjoyed. I liked learning more about her life and experiences and how they shaped her writing. I had no idea that Gilman was one of the leading feminists of her time. I thought Wallpaper's short story collection was good and I'm not much for short stories. I was disappointed that The Yellow Wallpaper story itself was not longer. I think it was like 10 pages or so. I liked The Cottagette and The Honest Woman. All of Gilman's stories had a general theme of woman breaking the societal norms to become their true selves. Am I glad I read this book? Yes but it's most likely something I wouldn't revisit.

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

Rating: 4

Welcome to Little Wing.
It's a place like hundreds of others, but for four boyhood friends―all born and raised in this small Wisconsin town―it is home. One of them never left, still working the family farm, but the others felt the need to move on. One trades commodities, another took to the rodeo circuit. One of them hit it big as a rock star. And then there's Beth, a woman who has meant something special in each of their lives.
When all of them are brought together for a wedding, Little Wing seems even smaller than before. Lifelong bonds remain strong, but there are stresses―among the friends, between husbands and wives. There will be heartbreak, but there will also be hope, healing, even heroism as these memorable people learn the true meaning of friendship and love.

Thank you to every blogger out there who recommended this book on the link up because I loved it! I have Beneath the Bonfire waiting for me in the mail tonight. I really loved Butler's style of writing and the characters in Shotgun Lovesongs. Some of descriptions and stuff just stab you right in the heart. I've found myself thinking about this book a few times after I finished it. There's a reason everyone's loved this book.

The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro (Strain Trilogy, Book 2)

Rating: 3
Audio

The Fall picks up where The Strain left off—with a vampiric infection spreading like wildfire across America as a small band of heroes struggles to save the dwindling human race from the vampire plague. Horror fiction and dark fantasy fans will be swept up in this epic story that bestselling author Nelson DeMille describes as “Bram Stoker meets Stephen King meets Michael Crichton.

I was a little thrown off when I first started this audio because of the heavily accented narrator. I loved Ron Perlman in the first book and thought he read it really well. The first two thirds of the book was more or less at the same point the tv series is at currently. The ending of The Fall left me looking forward to the last book since it will pick up after the world has fallen.

How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer

Rating: 4


Like a jewel shimmering in a Midwest skyline, the Toledo Institute of Astronomy is the nation's premier center of astronomical discovery and a beacon of scientific learning for astronomers far and wide. Here, dreamy cosmologist George Dermont mines the stars to prove the existence of God. Here, Irene Sparks, an unsentimental scientist, creates black holes in captivity. George and Irene are on a collision course with love, destiny and fate. They have everything in common: both are ambitious, both passionate about science, both lonely and yearning for connection. The air seems to hum when they're together. But George and Irene's attraction was not written in the stars. In fact their mothers, friends since childhood, raised them separately to become each other's soulmates. 

I read Netzer's Shine, Shine, Shine last year and thought it was pretty decent but Toledo definitely was in a different class. I really loved the theme of destiny, fate and kismet that was interwoven through out this book. I loved the astral projection and lucid dreaming theory. It made me really curious about how much is made up and how much could happen in real life. Could you really meet someone in your dreams? This was a cute love story with not your typical characters.
 
Love It: Morning Star & Shotgun Lovesongs
Leave It: None. I think they all could be recommended to the right person.


Life According to Steph

Thursday, April 7, 2016

If I Was a Real Blogger

First off, I just want to say that this post is total tongue-in-cheek. Please take it with a grain of salt. The bf actually inspired the post. We were talking about something like my posting schedule and he said, "well, if you want to be a real blogger..." and it got me thinking of things a "real" blogger would do.

+ I would have flatlays, or stills as we called them at my old job, all over Instagram and my blog. 

+ Speaking of Instagram, my account would be perfectly curated with bright photos from the waist down.

+ I would feature tutorials on hair and makeup and how to gain followers.

+ I would have Twitter and Facebook. I don't have them personally so I'm definitely not having them for my blog.

+ I would drink wine exclusively. 

+ While watching The Bachelor.

+ I would host some form of link up.

+ My cat would be famous.

+ I'd post vacation and weekend recaps.

+ There would be some side hussle going on.

+ I'd be a full time blogger.

+ Peonies would be my favorite.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have to toot my own horn for a second here because I had a pretty cool moment the other day. Earlier this week I noticed that I had a huge jump in page views and after looking into the source, I realized that Stitch Fix had featured one of my pictures from my last Fix on their Pinterest. It totally made my day!
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/208432288982906770/

Monday, April 4, 2016

Currently 4.4.16


Thinking:

About Spring. While it is technically Spring, it sure doesn't feel like it here in Northern New Hampshire. It was miserably cold yesterday because of the wind. It's only supposed to reach a high of 50 this week. I think this time of year is the most depressing because everything is so gray and drab. We've come out of Winter so the snow is gone but everything is brown and dead. I can't wait for green grass and baby buds on trees.
Via

 Loving:

This casual outfit for Spring. I love the cognac color of the bag and sandals and I'm really loving the raw edge denim trend right now.
Via

Reading: 

I just finished this last night and it was pretty good! It was a cute love story and I loved some of the themes of lucid dreaming, destiny and religion and astronomy as a co-existing relationship.  Check back next week for a recap!

Watching:

Is anyone else on the Bates Motel train? Season three started the beginning of March and we just caught up on the last four epidoes and holy hell, Norman has finally lost it.  His sanity was hanging by a thread last season but that thread is gone now. Equal parts fucked up and slightly uncomfortable, what with Norman and his mother's Oedipal relationship.

Cooking:



Trying these Spicy Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs for the first time this week. I love anything that requires little prep and is ready in under 30 minutes. 

Wanting:

To switch over my winter clothes for warmer weather clothing. I'm done with sweaters and boots until September. I can't wait to give up my jacket either. I'm looking forward to going through my Spring/Summer clothes and purging so that I can get some updates. I want some new cute dresses/skirts and tank blouses to pair with lightweight cardigans. I'm also on the hunt for some black slip on type sandals. We can't wear thong style sandals and I never realized how pretty much every sandal out there is a thong style of some sort, even if they have a strap on the back. Any recommendations? I'm trying to decide if a pair of black Birks would be too casual if they were in a gold or shiny black color.

What are you loving lately?!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Stitch Fix #6

The color palette was the first thing I noticed of my sixth Fix. All the colors compliment each other and there were some strong likes right off the bat. I love, love kelly green so those Kut from the Kloth pants were an immediate like, along with the orange mixed media top. I've consistently been requesting the same type of items with some variations here and there. 

This time around I requested:
Please send work clothes-nice shirts, blouses, light sweaters/cardigans (longer style) and non-denim pants. Like pants in neutral hues or bright primary colors (royal blue, green). Like jewel tones and bright pops of color. Graphic type prints. Specifically would like an army fatigue style vest. Tunics and oversized tops to wear with leggings. Mixed material and mixed pattern. Like Pixley, Papermoon and Le Lis. Would like to try knee length skirt in a fun pattern. Kut from Kloth pants

I think my stylist did a good job of hitting the points. She said she was still looking for a army green vest but she sent the Kut from the Kloth pants I received from a previous Fix, but in a much better color, a Le Lis skirt, a tunic and a long cardigan. 

Also, I think I need to visit some fashion blogs and look at some poses. What do you do with your hands?! How do you seriously go out there and pose? I need to move away from the arm wing. And I probably should have edited these photos since they look pretty drab. It was 65 out yesterday but cloudy and overcast.

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.
Try it here.

 THML Alasia Embroidery Detail Tunic $68



I instantly loved this shirt out of the box. I loved everything about it, from the color and material to the graphic neckline. It's a little too tight for my liking but not so much that I couldn't have gotten over it. I'm also not in love with the above outfit either. My main dislike with the shirt was the neckline. If you look closely, you can see that it's high. I don't know if I have a short neck or what but it wouldn't lay right and went too high up for my liking. So for that reason and the price, I returned it. 

Alice Blue Lucio Henley Blouse $48

Kut from the Kloth Siena Cropped Pant $58




I'm not sure what I'm doing in the above photo but I love it. Probably laughing at Errol making fun of me posing, haha! The Kut from the Kloth pants are amazing. They are soft and have the right amount of stretch. They're comfortable and go with a lot of shirts already in my wardrobe. Kelly green is a pretty versatile color I realized after looking through my clothes to gauge how many outfits I could make. My only issue with these is that they look weird in the butt area. I think I don't have a large enough but to fill them out or something. Since it was a minor thing and probably something no one else would notice but me, I decided to keep them.
I'm not sure if you can notice it but I felt like one wrong move and I was going to Hulk the Alice Blue blouse. It fit everywhere except the arms. It was so tight on my upper arms and shoulders. It was too bad because I pinned this shirt and really liked the bright colors. This outfit is 100% something I would wear to work. Obviously the blouse went back due to fit.

Le Lis Jensen Belted Flare Skirt $64


I hate everything about this outfit and the skirt. I had a really hard time finding a top to go with this skirt because I was just not feeling it. Nothing was working with it and you really needed to have a tucked in shirt. When I first opened the card with the outfit suggestions, I was like ehh, the patterns ok but I thought it might be decent based on the outfits styled and that it was black and white. Well, it's not black and white, it's navy and white and the pattern is brushstoke-like. The material feels like cheap polyester and I would never in a million years wear something with that faux belt wrap thing. I think embellishments on clothes like that look cheap and tacky. And also something that someone 10 years older than me would wear. (I just realized that you can't actually see the stupid belt in the pictures.) The skirt also clung weirdly. It was just all wrong.

41Hawthorn Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan $48




Another outtake because I love this photo. It's pure and in the moment. Errol calls that my "cherry cheeked Rosey" face. This outfit is probably the closest representation of my "everyday" style. I have several cardigans that drape like this and it was my top contender to keep, next to the green pants. The material was really soft. It was a good weight for Spring/Summer. The main reason I returned this cardigan is because I felt like I would wear the pants more and could easily find more outfit options with them than with the cardigan. I briefly thought about keeping both the cardigan and pants but that would be $100 and at that point, you might as well keep the whole Fix.

Overall Thoughts

When I originally opened the box, I thought I would be keeping everything. I knew the skirt was not for me but I liked everything else based on the first look. Unfortunately, what I've come to understand and anticipate from Stitch Fix, is that they really cater to smaller sizes. Since I'm at the higher end of their size spectrum, every Fix I receive something I would love and keep but it doesn't fit. It seems like a lot of the tops run on the smaller size and sometimes I wonder if they really look at my sizing info and feedback. Because of sizing, I kept one item instead of the whole box. With that being said, I do still have another box coming. I've said it before but I love getting surprises in the mail. I just don't have high expectations because of fit issues.
 
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