Freezer Meals, Running, and a Little More Stitch Fix!

Forgive me, anyone who likes posts to be about one topic.  This will not be that kind of post.  Mostly because I have been pretty busy lately, but also because a lot of the topics I have to write about seem to involve subscription boxes of some type, and I am trying to not turn this into a subscription box blog….but there will be a little Stitch Fix at the end, because my mom and sister got their boxes, and I want to share their clothes with you too!

I guess, chronologically first up would be running.  Not too much to talk about that, since unfortunately Mark and I have been sick, and it had prevented me from running for the past 3-3 1/2 weeks (we had mono 😦 Crazy, right?  What are we, teenagers?)  Anyways, I am finally feeling up to running this week, and was reviewing my training schedule to assess the damage.  Let me tell you, it’s bad…I have been following the Hal Higdon Novice Supreme 30 week marathon training schedule, and had been actually very consistent.  But now I missed weeks 19-22!  I looked at the schedule and realized I had only 7 weeks of training until the Space Coast Marathon, and 3 of those are supposed to be taper weeks (where you run less miles and let your muscles recover and prepare for the race).  So it’s going to be a stretch to get myself in marathon shape by then, but I’m going to try.  I also had the Savage Race Scheduled, which is an obstacle course mud race, but my doctor said no to that one because of the mono.  On the plus side, that freed up my schedule to register for the half marathon the rest of my family was already running on the same day – a Halloween themed race called the Frankenfooter Half marathon, and I’m pretty excited about that.  Plus, it will motivate me to get back on the wagon for marathon training.

This week represented a change in work schedule for me.  I started working an extra day, which I think will work out very well in the long run.  However, I’m the type of person that any change in my schedule represents a significant amount of stress, and I usually deal with that stress by coming up with random projects to do.  So Sunday I decided to make several different meals and then freeze some of them, so I wouldn’t have to worry about making dinner when I got off of work!  Of course I went to Pinterest to find the recipes, that site is really the best for random projects like this.  I decided to start *small* and found 2 dinner recipes and 1 breakfast recipe.  Both of the dinner recipes are from The Humbled Homemaker Blog, and I picked them because they were easy to make and easy to cook out of the freezer.  The 2 recipes I used were her Chicken Divan recipe and her Baked Ziti Recipe.  I am actually eating the Chicken Divan leftover for dinner as I type this.  For the breakfast recipe I used the recipe from GetCreativeJuice Blog with some of my own modifications.  All told it took me about 2 1/2 hours to make all of these recipes, and ended up with 2 trays of Baked Ziti, 5 freezer bags of Chicken Divan and 24 mini breakfast muffins.  We had the Baked Ziti for dinner, and I thought it was yummy, although V vetoed it and I don’t think Mark was happy I put in zucchini.

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Ok, now on to Stitch Fix.  If you dont know about stitch fix, this blog post explains it all.  Since this is my sister Kelly’s fix, I don’t have all the same details like price on them, but I can still share the cute pictures.  My mom got her fix too, but I have yet to receive permission to post her pics, maybe next post I will.  On to the fix!

1. Hanlee airy knit raglan sweater

2. Jimmy ankle length skinny jeans

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Obviously the sweater does not fit right, but she says the jeans are a maybe (I know you cant see them that well, they are ankle length skinny jeans)

3. Kassidy open lattice detail tank

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Sadly another fit problem, which is too bad because we both LOVE the idea of this shirt and think it would have been a keeper if it had fit.

4. Roma floral print short-sleeve blouse

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She loves the fit and style of this cute floral shirt!

5. Ashland chevron print dress

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I think this dress is SUPER ADORABLE, but she is not sure about it.  I think she likes it too, just isn’t sure where she would wear it too and whether it would get the wear for the price (not sure of the price, sorry).  I hope she keeps it, but I get not wanting to buy a probably fairly pricey dress if you are not sure you will wear it.  By the way, once again, all stitch fix links are referral links.

That’s all for now guys, thanks for reading!  Let me know what you think!

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My Stitch Fix Review #1 – October 2014

At long last, after nearly 1 month of waiting, my Stitch Fix finally arrived!!  If you haven’t heard of Stitch Fix, here’s the deal: Stitch fix is like hiring a personal shopper to pick out clothes for you.  You go online and fill out a comprehensive style profile.  This profile includes questions like sizes, style of clothing you like to wear, and types of clothing you are in need of (dresses, work clothes, casual, etc).  You can also leave as long of a note as you would like for your stylist to make sure they know what you would like, or link a Pinterest page to your stitch fix account so you can show them your favorite clothes.  After you fill out your style profile, you schedule your fix.  You can request a one-time fix, or schedule recurring shipments.  Each time you get a shipment, you pay a $20.00 styling fee, which you can put towards any clothing you decide to keep.  By the way, once you sign up for stitch fix, you get a referral code, which you can give to anyone who decides to sign up because of your experience.  For each person that signs up, they give you a nice $25.00 in credit, which I think is very generous.  All of the stitch fix links on this page have my referral code embedded, just FYI, but might as well give someone your credit if you are going to sign up anyways, right?

Anyways, on to the clothes!

So I got the notification that my box shipped on Wednesday, and was scheduled to arrive on Saturday, so I was very surprised and pleased when it showed up Friday afternoon!  I had peeked at what they were sending me earlier, so i already had some idea what was on the way, and I was excited!  I had heard that peeking early may help temper your expectations so you are not disappointed when the box arrives.  I think this was probably true for me. So here’s the box:

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It was quite a bit smaller than expected, but that was actually a plus rather than a minus.

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All of the items were neatly packaged in a pretty box, and the box includes a personalized note from your stylist.  For me, this included the reasons she picked out the clothes that she did and what I could pair together or add from my own closet.  There is also a style card included for every piece of clothing showing two different ways to wear them including accessories and shoes.

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Here’s a first look at all of the clothes, I’m liking all the prints and colors!  I had told my stylist that I wanted mostly clothes for work, that I liked floral prints, polka dots and shirts with unexpected details, and that I really like maxi dresses.  Here are the items one by one.  Prices are shown so you can get an idea of what everything costs.  Stitch Fix says they try to keep their price point around $55.00 per item, but you can customize how much you are willing to spend on your style profile.

First Item: Market and Spruce Abi Colorblock Maxi Dress – $88.00

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Ah, this maxi dress… This was the piece of clothing I was most excited about when I sneak peeked on my shipment.  I have seen lots of blogs with people looking cute in this dress.  But alas, it was not for me.  The top was too big, which made the band in the middle hit me in a weird spot.  Because of this, and because the fabric was thin and clingy, I felt like it emphasized any extra bulge on my belly, which I consider my “problem area”.  Also, as you can see in the picture, it was several inches too long.  This might have been ok if I wore heels, but I pretty much don’t.  However, I was ok with not loving this dress because 1. I really need work clothes and this was the only piece I couldn’t wear to work, and 2. $88.00 for a maxi dress?!?!  I would have to really, really love it (and even then maybe not).

2.  41Hawthorne Coco Swiss Dot Lattice Detail Blouse – $68.00

3. Liverpool Anita Ponte Pant – $78.00

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First off, these are seriously the best pants ever.  Like, for real… I want to wear these pants every day and not take them off.  I am amazed that Stitch Fix could find me pants that fit so well on my first fix – especially because in my style profile it asked what my waist size was in inches and I didn’t know!  So no surprise I had to keep them. $78.00 is still a little pricey for me for pants, but these felt really well made, and they can be worn for work or casual so I will get a lot of use out of them.

The shirt – It looks really cute in the picture, and it was actually really cute on.  However, it came with a built-in (but detachable) undershirt in the same color.  The undershirt was way shorter than the rest of the shirt, short enough that I would want to keep adjusting it throughout the day, but if I pulled it down even slightly, my bra would stick out over the top and was visible through the cut-outs in the shirt.  I could have just worn it with a different undershirt, but I don’t think a black or white undershirt (the only colors I have) would look as good, and really, if I’m going to spend $68.00 on a shirt, it needs to be perfect.

4. Pink Martini Alexzandria Floral Print Sheer Sleeve Knit Top – $68.00

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This top was fine.  I really liked the pattern and the shirt looked like something I would pick out on my own at a store.  The fit was a little wide, but other wise it was fine.  I would probably wear it to work.  I liked that it had an exposed zipper in the back.  I didn’t end up keeping it because 1. $68.00 is a lot to spend on a shirt that is just “fine” and 2. although my stylist said I could pair it with these black pants, I felt like it made the outfit too dark, and I pretty much only have dark colored pants.

5. Sweet Rain Lucio Graphic Print Blouse – $48.00

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So I was not excited at all about this shirt when I saw it was coming.  I thought it would be too loose and drapey, and shirts like that tend to hide my figure rather than flatter it.  But when I put on this shirt, it was love at first sight.  I had to keep it!  As a bonus, stitch fix included a black undershirt to wear under it, which was not on my invoice or mentioned anywhere in the paperwork.  I thought that was extremely thoughtful.  I have worn this exact outfit twice already this weekend and feel like I look really cute and put together in it.

The rest of the clothes I put into the pre-paid usps shipping envelope provided and dropped it off at the post office – easy as that!  They give you 3 days from delivery until the package is due to be in the mail, so you have plenty of time to decide.  You also check out online and let them know which items you are sending back and why you did not want to keep them.

My overall thoughts – this was an extremely fun experience.  No, I didn’t love every piece of clothing sent to me, but I didn’t actually want to, because I was not planning on spending that much on clothes (Stitch Fix does give you a 25% discount if you decide to keep your whole box, but that would still be pretty pricey).  I am planning on getting another box, I think I will stay on every other month shipments for now and see if I still like it.  I think this service is great for branching out on your wardrobe, and for finding quality pieces in brands you haven’t tried before.  For me, I think it also lets me know what basic pieces my wardrobe is lacking (A LOT).  However, I would not use stitch fix to buy all my clothes, only because of cost.  Some of the items (like the maxi) I also feel like I could find similar items for much less.  I did leave a note for my stylist for next time (I requested the same stylist again) that I would be very unlikely to purchase shirts priced above $60.00.

Again, if my experience has made you want to try Stitch Fix for yourself, I would appreciate it if you use my referral link, the only risk is $20.00 if you don’t like anything!  And no, I did not receive any compensation (other than referral credit) to try Stitch fix, I paid for my styling fee myself.  So what do you guys think?  Have any of you tried stitch fix yet?  How were your fixes?

Stay tuned for pictures from my mom and sister’s fixes – they are due to get their first ones later this week and i will share their experiences with you guys too so long as they don’t mind!

Fabletics…A Gateway Into my New Interest?

I told you guys about Stitch Fix in my introduction blog.  If you don’t remember you can read about it here.  Anyways, I signed up for it, but it has about a month long waiting period before receiving your first box.  So I have had nothing to do but think about it since ordering it…torture!  So, in the meantime I have found it very interesting to read other people’s stitch fix blogs.  These blogs usually show exactly what came in each box, most show how much each item cost, and why they did or did not decide to keep each item.  It is very entertaining if you are into that sort of thing.  While reading some of these blogs, I came across a different kind of blogger…the subscription box blogger.  OMG these things look like so much fun.  So much so that I am sure they are potentially dangerous to my bank account, but don’t worry, I’m keeping it under control (so far).  Subscription boxes are monthly (usually) boxes that are sent to your house from various companies.  In most cases the contents are a surprise and vary by the type of box received (beauty boxes, lifestyle boxes, food boxes, etc).  There are probably several hundred if not more types of subscription boxes out there, and they all look like fun.  I have also found that many of these boxes have starting coupons for your first box at a significantly reduced price or sometimes even free, so I have arranged to try a *few* of these boxes and see if they are worth the hype.

Fabletics was the first shipment to come in.  This is a workout clothes company co-founded by Kate Hudson that, based on your style and exercise profile that you fill out, picks out several outfits for you to choose from every month.  The cost is $49.95/outfit/month, but you can buy more than one outfit if you want, I had a coupon to get my first outfit 50% off, which they offer anyone (it pops up automatically when you visit their website).  I wear A LOT of workout clothes, and I figured I would have a hard time getting a full workout outfit for $25.00 even at Target (my usual workout clothes store), so I figured it was a safe investment.  I filled out my style profile, which asks what your primary type of exercise is, and what body parts you like to show off, then hand-selects some outfits the site thinks you will like.  I was a little disappointed with this part.  I am a runner, so obviously I selected running, and I selected running outside rather than in a gym.  I also selected that I preferred to show off my legs (it’s Florida, people, no time for long pants while running!).  3 of the 4 outfits that were “hand-selected” for me included long yoga pants or capris!  The other one had shorts but they were very tight and short, and it came with a cotton t-shirt, not great for marathon running (at least for me).  Luckily, I could browse all of their available outfits, and after some work was able to select an outfit that I would wear, even if it still wasn’t the best running gear.  I really feel like this site is more geared to people going to yoga classes who want to still look stylish, but I feel like they should branch out if they are going to have running as one of their style choices.

I ordered online on Sunday evening, and got an e-mail that it had shipped Monday afternoon, which I thought was very fast processing.  My package finally arrived on Saturday afternoon, which I thought was a long time to ship, but whatever.  It arrived in a soft envelope, pictured here:

photo 1 (15)I will admit I was a little disappointed in the packaging.  One of the fun things that I have enjoyed seeing is how pretty a lot of the packaging and presentations are for these boxes.  I know that this isn’t exactly the same as a subscription box, but I was still expecting something cute.

And here’s the outfit I got:

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I thought all of the clothes were very well made with high quality materials.  They also all fit well!  I decided the capris were even light enough that I could probably use them to run in when the weather cools off a bit, and I have already tested out the sports bra and top on a run and they did great.  The best part about the top (besides for the amazing print!) is that nearly the whole back is open, which makes it a little stylish/sexy and keeps you cool!

Here’s me wearing them (excuse the bathroom selfies)

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Cute and good fit! And check out that back!

Overall Experience:  Good.  I enjoyed the clothes, they are high quality, and at approximately $25.00 they were less expensive that pretty much any of my other workout clothes.  As far as a subscription box goes, it didn’t have that same surprise factor, since I picked out the clothes, which made it a little less exciting I think.  I also don’t think I would want to spend $50.00/month on clothes (however cute) that I may not be able to run in.

With Fabletics, you have the option to look at your offered outfits at the beginning of the month and choose not to buy anything.  If you do not “opt out” then you are automatically charged $50.00 and can pick out your outfit.  I decided to cancel my account because it just wasn’t as much fun as I had hoped, however nice the clothes were.  Cancelling was the one low point of the whole experience.  You have to actually call their customer service vs cancelling online.  Their customer service, while polite, had to put me through the whole “well, what if I gave you this, then would you stay?” or “we can send you reminder e-mails monthly so you don’t forget to skip”, which was mildly annoying because I had to just keep telling them that I just wanted to cancel.  However, the entire process really only took like 5-10 minutes.

Along with learning about Fabletics, I also learned the difference a good and bad picture can make as far as overall appearance, and to maybe not let Mark take my pictures anymore (but more on that later).  Until next time – See you all later!