Five on Friday

  1. It’s fall my friends, although I’m thankful for the fabulous Indian summer we are having in the midwest. I cannot quite get into full fall decorating yet, but I did pull out my Nest Pumpkin Chai candle which is the best thing of all time. It smells like delicious autumn baking. I also found a cute little burlap banner for $3 in the Target Dollar Spot yesterday, but I can’t find the link on-line. They have some REALLY CUTE fall/thanksgiving stuff so I also bought a new seasonal doormat which looks sweet with my fall wreath. 
  2. I have gained approximately one million pounds this summer due to excessive overeating (really, it’s horrifying) and making up for a year plus of no alcohol. My pants are not fitting and it ain’t cute. So last night I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and went for a run (I’m being generous here, it was more of a shuffle) with the stroller and the dog. Holy geez. If I can do that, I can do anything. Now I just need to run further than one mile and I’ll be on my way to looking like Gisele.
  3. I am trying to spruce up my casual weekend wardrobe and bought a few pairs of shoes to add to my collection. I’ve been on the hunt for neutral booties and found this pair at Target. My mom doesn’t like the wedge but my style guru friend Annie said go for it, so I did. They’re similar to the JCrew Macalister Wedge Boot but $100 cheaper. Women's Terri Lace Up Wedge BootiesAlso decided to kick it old school in my Chuck Taylors. I’ve been wearing these a lot with my jeans rolled up a bit and feel pretty cool. 
  4. I canceled my Birchbox subscription (again) this month. I signed up for it after Emma was born in an attempt to make myself more presentable, but I’ve been pretty uninspired by what they’ve been sending. It’s been a lot of hair products, which really I could care less about. Send me lipstick people! Anyway, my last box had two fabulous items that I will definitely be purchasing. The first was Benefit Speedbrow Tinted Eyebrow Gel. I have wiry, curly and unruly brows. This stuff was legit and keeps them in place all day long. The second was Wilma Schumann Collagen Eye Pads. I looked like a crazy person while I was wearing them, but I was approximately five years younger when I took them off. I was kind of annoyed that I put them on before bed. I definitely should have saved them before going out/taking photos/seeing an ex-boyfriend. They are a splurge at $18 for a five pack but wowza, they are worth it.
  5. Parents of the world, no need to buy your toddlers toys! Just supply them with a giant box of tampons. I was unpacking my Target haul last evening and Emma was in need of attention. I handed her a box of tampons and girlfriend went to town. I’m serious, this kept her entertained for at least 30 minutes. She loved being able to pick up many at a time and enjoyed the crinkly plastic wrap. #momoftheyear
    Mocs: Freshly Picked// Pants: Old Navy//Top: Old from Carters
    Next week Tim and I celebrate our five year wedding anniversary! I’ve always been a little sad I started blogging after I was already married because a wedding always provides good fodder for posts. Would anyone be interested in seeing photos from our wedding and various wedding events next week? Please remember this was pre-Pinterest!

Stitch Fix Review

My wardrobe has been significantly uninspired this past year. My body is still not where I want it to be (probably because I’ve been eating nonstop and not working out) and I’m wearing clothes I’ve had for 5+ years. Yet, I have no interest in going out shopping. Enter Stitchfix, a curated shopping service where clothes are delivered to your door. I had heard about it for a while, but learned more when I visited my best friend a few weeks ago. She said she’s had a very positive experience and sent me a referral link so I poked around on the website and decided to bite the bullet.
The registration process was really fun and easy! They ask you to describe your style (I said classic and preppy, but I was hoping to get a little bit edgier), select a few wardrobe exampless that you like, share any body challenges you may be having (like maybe a giant post baby belly and weird nursing boobs?), select the price range you’re most comfortable for a variety of items, and you can even link to a Pinterest board so your stylist can get a sense of your style. See mine here. Basically my style is skinny model. Ugh. There is also a section to share any requests for your upcoming shipment. I requested denim as I needed to step up my Old Navy game (although I do love these), but if you have a special event or a trend you’d like to try, you can let your stylist know.
My Stitchfix box arrived on Saturday, perfectly packaged, which I love.  
The box told me what to do next, which was basically try everything on, log on to their site and provide feedback on each item to further direct my stylist, and then drop everything I don’t keep in the pre-paid shipping bag at any USPS mailbox. This is so needed for me. I am TERRIBLE at returning things so lose so much $$ when I shop on-line. 
The stylist also encloses a little sheet that gives a few examples of how to wear each piece, dressed up and dressed down.

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Each box comes with five pieces. Get ready for some amazing selfie photography  in a dark room with dog and baby photobombs. I’m a super professional blogger. 
  1. Mavi Frieda Skinny Jean- $98 I actually really loved these jeans. The denim was incredibly comfortable and soft, and they hit very nicely on the waist. They were a bit snug, but I imagine they would stretch out a bit after wearing for a day or two…or maybe I could just stop pounding mini almond snickers for a like a week. That said, I didn’t really love the wash. I prefer darker denim and this had an odd fade on the upper thigh and below the butt–two areas I’m not interested in highlighting.     Verdict: RETURN 
  2. Baule Beaded Fringe Necklace- $58. I’m pretty particular in my accessories and mostly go with a classic style. I appreciate that my stylist added this in as I requested something edgy, but at $58 it was too much for a piece I wouldn’t wear that often. For future boxes, I will request she not include jewelry. Verdict: RETURN.   

  3. Ackley Houndstooth Print Blouse- $68. I shared with my stylist that I’m still trying to deal with some post baby weight (yes, my kid is now one year old but whatever) so I loved the fact that she included a looser blouse. Houndstooth is perfect for fall, and this is definitely something I can wear either on a date or to work. I styled it both ways below. First photo I’m rocking the Mavi jeans from Stitchfix and booties for dinner with girlfriends or a night out with Tim. In the second, I paired the blouse with a black pencil skirt and work appropriate heels for the office. Verdict: KEEP! 
  4. Queensland Dolman Jersey Top- $48. This was maybe one of the comfiest shirts I’ve ever put on. It’s like yoga pants for your upper half. I liked the concept, but the style was not very flattering on me. It had an 80’s style and I didn’t much like the bat wings. If it was $20, I would have kept it. But it wasn’t. Honestly it is photographing better than it actually looked. Also, sorry for my skeletor hands. Verdict: RETURN.


  5. Lori Pencil Skirt- $68. This was my favorite item that I pulled out of the box…until I put it on. It did NOT look good on my hips and the material felt cheap for a $70 skirt. Great in theory, but not in practice. Also, my dog is totally over me.                     Verdict: RETURN. 

Overall: I think one out of five isn’t bad, especially for my first box. I gave a fair amount of feedback to my stylist and I think (hope?) that should help her moving forward.  Do you think I made the right decisions? Anything else I should have kept? Suggestions for my next box? I’m not sure what the new fall trends are so please share what you’ll be trying!
I forgot to mention that you do pay a $20 stylist fee for each box, so if you return everything, you lose that $20. If you buy one or more items, your stylist fee is applied your total and if you buy everything in the box, you receive 25% off. Overall, this was MUCH easier than getting my butt out to the mall. Plus, who doesn’t love receiving packages? I’m planning on giving this a few months until I get the confidence to stare at my semi-naked body under fluorescent lights in a dressing too. If you’re interested, you can sign up using my referral link  here.

Five on Friday: My Excuses

Remember how one of my New Year’s resolutions was to blog once a week? Sorry I took approximately one month off. Was I missed? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? It has been a crazy busy few weeks and these are my excuses.
1. We took a vacation! Actually, I’m not sure any trip with a baby can be considered a vacation as I was definitely up numerous times a night and our day started at 6am. We rented a beach house on Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. This is the third time we’ve been to the Sheboygan area and we will definitely be back. Our home was directly on the beach with an amazing view of the lake. We had a fabulous deck, a firepit, and a cute little kitchen. Unfortunately, it was like 60* the entire time we were there so rather than getting a sweet sweet tan, we wore our fleeces. It did give my husband a good excuse to start our bonfire at 4pm so we could keep warm. We spent our days taking long walks on the beach, throwing the ball 8 million times for the dog, BBQing, drinking Spotted Cow and playing one-on-one Trivial Pursuit. We can’t wait to go back next summer!             2. Em and I hit the friendly skies! (Post to come on traveling with an 11 month old.) My best friend just had her second baby girl, and her mother-in-law and sister-in-law hosted a Sip & See party for everyone to meet sweet sweet Emmylou! A Sip & See is a great way to celebrate the arrival of a second babe. Mama can indulge in a few glasses of bubbly and everyone gets to snuggle in that baby scent. I’m not going to lie…it made me want another baby girl ASAP. But then I remembered I haven’t really slept through the night in a year and I cooled my ovaries down. Our girlfriend Annie (who is expecting her second) came down from Boston with her two year old David Bowie lover and I cannot describe how wonderful it was to be in the company of two of my nearest and dearest again. Our lives sure have changed in the past 15 years, and we don’t see one another as often as we’d like, but I am so thankful to have these women in my life. 
3. Work has been crazy! I’m proud to share that one of the hospitals in the healthcare system I work for is opening a state of the art outpatient care facility in Lakeview. Our team has been fundraising for this initiative for the past few years and it is fabulous to see all the work come to fruition. For those of you in the Chicago area, I’d be happy to give you a tour of the Presence Center for Advanced Care, which opens for business on Monday!

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4. Family was in town. My parents (and in-laws) were here, which meant lots of cleaning and socializing, and not a lot of time in front of my computer. Needless to say, all four of the grandparents are obsessed with Emma and Tim & I enjoyed a little date night out thanks to my mom and dad. Chicago peeps, you must try Kai Zan, an amazing Japanese restaurant in Humboldt Park. It was a delicious birthday celebration…complete with two glasses of sparkling rose. 
5. My little girl turned one! I promise to post a full recap of her pink and gold party next week. She was, per usual, a total doll and enjoyed her first taste of sugar!