September 2014 Citrus Lane Review x2

I told you guys I signed up for a couple of subscription boxes, right?  Well, Citrus Lane is another subscription box I decided to try out.  This is a box for kids 0-5 years old.  You enter your child’s age and gender, and every month they send you age appropriate toys, clothing, etc for your child.  They also usually include something for mom in there too (so I’ve seen in other reviews).  I love the idea of a box for kids, especially if it’s not too expensive.  V quickly loses interest in a lot her toys, and I never really know which toys are best for her stage of development, so the idea is perfect.  I have heard some kid boxes also have an area to tell which milestones your child has mastered to further identify the best toys/activities for them, but this one does not.  Citrus Lane usually costs $29.00/month, with lower prices (as low as $19.00/month with longer subscription plans).  I have found, however, that if I am willing to wait, I can find much better deals on them with coupon codes. For instance, I paid $14.50 for my first box with a coupon code, and then Living Social was having a deal for a 3 month subscription for $45.00, so I did that as well.  Unfortunately (for me), shortly after that order, they were also offering a box for $5.00!  I think it’s a fun idea, I’ll leave my conclusions for the end.  Since I did the coupon code and I did the Living Social deal, I inadvertently received 2 September boxes (I thought I did the Living Social deal late enough that it would start in October…I was wrong).  Here’s the review!  I lost the cards that come with them, so some of the prices are from searching online.  Again all of the citrus lane links are referral links…but why not?

Box #1

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Initial look, with V’s hand in it, she was very excited to see what was in the box…I liked that it was packaged nicely.  The outer box was also a little bit pretty.  I like when boxes wrap things nicely (as you heard in my Fabletics blog), so they passed this test.

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First look after unwrapping, still pretty and something colorful!  Lots of coupons on top.

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They included a list of everything included in the box and some additional details (this is the paperwork I can’t find, so I don’t remember if it included price.  I think it did…I’ll let you know when my October box gets here).  Ok, enough packaging, onto the goods!

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Tea Collection Body Suit, size 18mo – $26.50 on their site

 I like the pattern on this body suit, it’s very pretty.  Without trying to sound dramatic, that’s about all I really liked about this piece.  I feel like V is pretty old for onesies…aka “body suits” and she is very tall for her age, so she is in almost entirely 2T clothes at this time.  I did find out after the fact that you can customize your clothing size – I guess at the beginning of the month they send you an e-mail with a sizing chart and ask which size to include if their box is going to include clothes.  I signed up part-way through the month so I guess I missed the e-mail stage.  I feel like, as a new customer, it should have been important to make sure they sent me the right size in my first box to make a good impression.  However, there is more to this story in my next box, so I will not complain too much.

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Happy Tot Organic Baby Food Stage 4 – Green Bean, Pear and Pea flavor – approx $1.39 (could only find in a 16 count multi-pack, so probably more costly individually)

V loves these things.  In fact, she grabbed this one out of the box and asked (demanded) it eat it immediately, which I allowed.  I don’t mind them either, although sometimes I think she should eat only solid food…but then I think I’m crazy because look at all the good stuff in these pouches!  These particular ones even include Chia, which is supposed to be the “new” old superfood, but even the regular ones have veggies in them, and I’m all about getting veggies into that girl…I thought this was a nice bonus for the box, but I didn’t exactly think it should count as one of the guaranteed 4 items…

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Boon Links Bath Appliques – $9.99

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Dish Soap Radish Scent – $1.00

 The “bath appliques” are sea creature shapes (vaguely) made from a foam type of material for play in the bath.  I feel like $10.00 is pretty pricey for these “toys”.  They feel pretty flimsy and the shapes (as mentioned before), are only vaguely sea-creature-y.  V has pretty much ignored them in her bath.  The one positive on them is that (so far), they have shown no tendency to grow mold after getting wet and drying out.  I think they are supposed so encourage your toddler to assemble the creatures themselves, but V is either not at that level or just not interested.  I think it’s also hard to be interested in assembling things when you cant tell what they are when you’re done…but maybe I’m being too harsh.  The dish soap was fine, again I felt like it was just a filler item, which was a little disappointing considering the site “guarantees” 4 items in the box, and this seemed like a sample sized item with a very low value (the label on the bottle said it was $1.00).

Overall impression: the issue I have with this box is the same thing that keeps me from trying a lot of these boxes.  Although the value is somewhat there ($38.88 worth of items for usually $29.00), if I were to see these items in the store (namely the “body suit” and the bath toys), there is no way I would pay that much for them.  Plus the inclusion of 2 “filler” items left me a little dissatisfied.  I was happy I only paid $14.95 for this one, although I actually cancelled my 1 time subscription after receiving this box.

Box #2

This box subscription was under a different e-mail from the previous box, so to them it is likely I’m a different person.  This is the box enrolled in a 3-month subscription.  This time, before receiving my box, I e-mailed them asking about their sizing policies and customization abilities.  It’s a good thing I did too, since I didn’t realize I would be receiving my second September box.  Their customer service responded immediately with a sizing chart and allowed me to request 2T sizing for V.  The e-mailed me back later stating they were out of 2T, and I told them 3T would be fine.  I was very happy with the quickness of their response, and wished I had known to do it for my last box.

The packaging was exactly the same as the last box, so I wont re-post that…

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Tea Collection Top – size 2T – $24.50

 I was surprised to see a 2T size, since they had told me they were out of them.  I was way more happy with this piece than the “body suit”.  I think cute tops are more appropriate for a walking toddler than onesies, as I mentioned before.  And this pattern is really cute.  V already wore this to church and looked adorable.

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Boon Links Bath Appliques – $9.99

Ahhh, these bath toys again….boo.  This was the one item I hoped would be replaced by something, anything else…I think i will save them and give them as part of a christmas present to some nieces…maybe they will like them better.

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Bumkins Disney Baby Reusable Snack Bag, Minnie Classic, Large – $4.95

This is cute, and it’s Minnie Mouse (V’s favorite!). I think V will use it more as a toy than I will use it as a snack bag, but it was better than the soap or squeeze pouch from last box…

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Ouchies Mr. Men and Little Miss 4 girlz Band Aids – $3.25

I was actually pretty happy with this, we need fun colored band aids as we only have boring ones at home.  Also I used to read books with these guys in them when I was a little kid, so it was a fun blast from the past.

Super Surprise:  About 1 week after receiving this box, a second package (plain packing envelope) came in the mail from Citrus Lane.  Inside was a copy of the Tea Collection Top only in size 3T!  I’m guessing they had already sent my box when they thought they were out of 2Ts, so they went ahead and sent me the extra 3T.  Score!  This really went a long way towards making up for the first box, although they did it with no knowledge of my first box experience…a happy coincidence.

Overall Impression:  Even without the “bonus top”, this box was much more promising for me.  The overall value was $41.99, and I paid $15.00 for it.  I also did not feel like there were filler items in this box, although I still do not like the bath toys.  I think I personally would prefer 4 small toys versus 1 large clothing item with 3 smaller items, but I was more satisfied with this box.  Either way, they have 2 months to make it up/keep it up!

What do you think?  I like the idea, I’m just really hoping it will be as good as I’m hoping it could be!  Anyone else have kid subscription boxes they love?

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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!

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!

Toddler “Bento Boxes”

Another toddler food post today.  Honestly, I never realized how much of my time would be consumed with trying to come up with creative ways to get V to eat healthy meals.  And I’m not even talking about “organic, whole grain, GMO-free, kale chip, etc” kind of healthy (although you parents out there who can do it, I am NOT making fun, I am impressed).  I’m talking about eating chicken, vegetables, or even a sandwich rather than macaroni and cheese and goldfish crackers for every meal.  Don’t get me wrong, on the other end of the spectrum I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little mac ‘n cheese every once in awhile, but if V had a choice, it would be all day, every day.  I really just try to aim for balance.  To that end, I have been reading a lot of other blogs that talk about toddler lunch ideas, especially for the days she goes to daycare, and I see a lot about bento boxes.  I think they’re pretty neat.  I think some of them can be intense – I do not have time to make food landscape artwork – but I like that they are supposed to teach food variety and portion control.  Also, especially for a one year old, the right bento box can provide a lot of different foods to choose from.  So with that in mind, I picked out this bento box from Pottery Barn Kids.  I like it because the plastic looks (and is) very durable, its dishwasher safe (YAY!), and it doesn’t have any of the “bad stuff that kids can get from plastics” (BPA).  So I thought I would share some of my meal ideas, in the hope that they will help out someone else in need, and also because the bento box has made it through at least 6 washes so far and has held up very well, which I find impressive.

So here they are.  Since V only goes 2 days a week this represents 2 weeks worth of lunches.

photo (7)Meat and cheese tortilla roll-ups, yogurt pouch, cut up nectarines, veggie straws, shredded cheese, 2 mini blueberry muffins.  I also usually include a fruit and veggie “squeeze pouch” in her bag in case she is still hungry or particularly picky.  V will eat nearly any variety of squeeze pouch.

photo (9)Meat and cheese roll-ups (V prefers these to the tortilla roll-ups), yogurt pouch, gold fish crackers and broccoli chips, grapes (cut in half), carrot chips and ranch dressing.  I put cling wrap over the ranch dressing, and the compartment closes pretty securely.  Have not had reports of leakage yet!

photo (8)Pizza Roll-Up (recipe here), string cheese, yogurt pouch, apple and banana dipped in peanut butter and decorated (see here), veggie straws, raisins, and rolled up lunch meat.  Apparently I thought V was going to be starving on this day!  That’s a lot of food!  It was also after a particularly creative streak for cooking.

photo 4 (7)Meat and cheese roll-ups, goldfish and broccoli chips, shredded cheddar cheese, banana, yogurt pouch, in the closed container is carrot chips and ranch dressing.

So some repetition in the lunches, but still a variety every day, and only 1 compartment per day full of crackers, chips, etc so I think it’s an improvement.  It has made my lunch packing easier in the morning, I only have to come up with 5 different food groups and I know I probably have enough food for the day.

So that’s my daycare lunch packing routine!  Oh, and guess what?!?!  I got the e-mail today…my first Stitch Fix box should be coming on Saturday!  Be prepared for pictures.  I really hope it lives up to expectations!

Toddler Snack Ideas – Not For The Faint of Heart

Sorry It’s been such a long time guys, Mark and I have been under the weather, so blogging has not been at the top of my list of things to do.  I think we are getting back on the mend though, so hopefully all will be normal soon.  Anyways…this was a fun activity that my sister, Kelly and I did with the girls a few weeks back.  We were looking for a fun activity to do on a rainy day, and decided this just might be crazy enough to work!

Peanut Butter Covered “Snacks”

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The “recipe” (if you can call it that) is extremely simple.  Put a few tablespoons of peanut butter in a bowl, microwave until just warm (not hot!) and melted.  Dip various fruits, snacks, etc into the peanut butter and decorate with toppings.  For our project, we used bananas, apples and pretzel sticks to dip and topped them with coconut flakes, raisins, chocolate chips or sprinkles.  We put the “dipped” item on parchment paper and put it into the refrigerator to harden.

As far as an activity went, it got the job done.  The toddlers (8 months, 17 months, 2 years) were sufficiently entertained.  Did they help decorate any of the fruit/pretzels with toppings?  Absolutely not.  Did they dip anything other than fingers in the peanut butter?  Oh no, they did not.  In fact, once all of the yummy toppings were where they could get to them, TODDLER MADNESS ENSUED!!  Here are a few pictures, to help you imagine the chaos:

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Part way through the “smorgasbord” the girls figured out that some of the bowls had raisins, while some had chocolate chips.  A (the oldest) in particular started pointing out to V (the hungriest), where all the best snacks were.  “Here, V, here, this one”.  And, yes, A was wearing a Rapunzel dress through it all.  Good thing those things are washable!

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You know its been a good activity when everyone involved required immediate showers after the fact.  The girls, especially V, were covered head-to-toe in peanut butter.

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A good time was had by all, and we had extra snacks for the next few days (only for the toddlers, no adults were willing to sample this product).  Verdict: Success!

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!

Toddler-Friendly Crescent Pizza Roll-Ups

Hey Guys, so another recipe today, although technically I’m counting this as a toddler post because I mostly made it for V.  Ok, you got me, not gonna lie I did make this for dinner for just me and Mark too though.  But it is a toddler recipe.  The best part is that it is simple enough that the older toddlers (I’ll say 2+) may even be able to help cook it!  So here it is:  Crescent Pepperoni Roll Ups .  Looks like this is not the original recipe, but it has been re-pinned on Pinterest many times.

So, here are our ingredients.  My nieces A (2 years) and L (9 months) are helping along with V today.

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Ingredients:

Refidgerated Crescent Rolls

Pizza Sauce

Turkey pepperoni

String Cheese

So we spread the crescent rolls out in triangles on a pizza pan – I used non-stick grease when I used a cookie tray but we didn’t on this pizza pan.  Both times turned out fine.  Next, we added just a smear of pizza sauce to the top.

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Now add pepperoni – I could fit about 5-6 per “slice”

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Ok, now add 1/2 of a “stick” of string cheese at the wide end and roll them up around the string cheese, they don’t have to be pretty.  I had no problems with them coming apart in the oven and I wasn’t too meticulous about rolling them either.

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 Bake in the oven at 375 for 12 – 15 minutes, then let cool and you’re done!

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We sprinkled a little garlic salt on top (’cause we’re fancy like that), but I think it actually made it a little too salty.  Unfortunately, neither girl liked their pizza.  They aren’t usually big pizza fans to begin with, but this recipe looked too fun and easy to not give it a shot.  We were hopeful that helping with cooking would encourage them to try it, but no.  However, both moms thought the pizza roll ups were delicious.  I have also sent them cold in V’s lunch for daycare and for dinner one night and she seems to like them a little bit more when they are cold.  Plus then she dips it in ranch dressing (that girl will eat anything if ranch dressing is involved).

On a totally different note, Grandma got the girls dress-up dresses from costco and this was too cute not to share. My iPhone camera was being ridiculous THE WHOLE TIME! So I apologize for the blurriness.

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The cutest fairy ever!  On that note, good night all.  I have more adorable toddler ideas – with pics! Coming soon.  Also some notes on a fun new hobby.