Stitch Fix…July Review

Here is the deal ladies…I don’t have time to go shopping anymore.

Seriously.  Between work, kids activities, being a taxi driver and coaches wife, I don’t have a chunk of time free to just wander the mall.

When I do shop, I make about 90% of my purchases online.  At, like, 5:30am.

On a Saturday.

While lounging around in my sweats while drinking coffee during the only quiet time of my life!

I actually have a lot of basics in my wardrobe but to add a few new pieces each season, I tend to shop online and then get frustrated when things don’t quite fit on me like the model on my computer screen.  I needed some help!

001r

If you have read fashion (or lifestyle) blogs for fun, you may have heard of Stitch Fix before.  I have seen reviews of this “box service” but didn’t take the plunge myself until I realized what a perfect way this is to shop! I just received my 3rd box from Stitch Fix and am TOTALLY in love with this super fun way to shop…seriously, it is like getting a present in the mail each month!

I, myself, am not only having fun but my sister-in-law, my sister-in-law’s friend, and my neighbor also receive Stitch Fix boxes and we love seeing what each other receives!

Here is how Stitch Fix works:

You fill out an extensive style profile on their website (you tell them your size, likes/dislikes, styles you like, body type, career, etc).  For a $20 styling fee, you can schedule a box (with any frequency you would like…you can even just try it once without any other commitment) that has 5 items of clothing (or combination of clothing and accessories as you denote on your profile) that a personal stylist picks out just for YOU.  Trust me, your stylist really works hard to find items that you will like.  They really study your Pinterest board(s) to understand your personal style.

After you receive your box, you can use the $20 styling fee as credit towards items you keep!  If you don’t like anything at all, you pack the items  into a postage paid bag and pop it back in the mail and you are out the $20 (trust me, I can think of WAY more frivolous things I have spent $20 on and this is super fun).  If you are in love with everything in the box, you get a 25% discount on all items if you keep all 5 things…love it!

SOOO why am I blogging about Stitch Fix?  Trust me, I receive NO compensation from the company (although there is a small referral credit available to everyone).  I just truly think I have found the most fun way to shop!  I have kept at least 1-2 items from each of my boxes and when my stylist (last time) sent me a pair of jeans that fit incredibly…I was sold!

Now, I am NOT a fashion blogger but I did have Molly (who is 9) take a few pictures of me wearing the items I received in this 3rd Stitch Fix box so that I could share my fun experience with all the other fabulous and busy ladies in my life.

012r

(Inside of each box is a personalized note and ideas from the stylist on how to wear what is included in your box)

Item 1 and 2:

Brook Dot Print Tie-Waist Top from Pomelo

Caius Straight Leg Jean from Level 99

003c

Now I received a pair of AMAZING Level 99 straight leg jeans in my last fix that fit wonderfully.  My stylist read my comments that I loved those jeans so much and found another pair of the same type of jean in a different color.  Unfortunately, though, these were 1 size too small.  Yes they fit but just are too tight and too light of color to be that tight (yep, I know you know what I mean).  I loved this polka dot shirt (perfect to wear to work) but I love it so much that I actually have a shirt very similar to it already.  I did send back both of these items.

Item 3

Shiloh Tonal Dot Print Sleeveless Blouse from Skies are Blue

006

This blouse is gorgeous in person.  The color…beautiful and the scalloped bottom edge is great.  The only problem is that this style of shirt just doesn’t fit my hourglass body type very well.  I really need the shirt to come in at the waist otherwise I look much heavier than I actually am (and I can use all the visual tricks out there)!  I did send this shirt back also.  I am laughing in the picture because Molly was trying very hard to convince me to keep the shirt so she could wear it as a short dress as she loved it a lot!

Item 4

Addi Racerback Abstract Print Maxi Dress from Pixley

008c

So I loved this dress!  I did write in my request for this fix to include a maxi skirt or maxi dress.  I have been wearing a lot of maxi skirts (especially on vacation this year) as I have found maxi skirts are like wearing yoga pants but you look so much more dressy.  This dress is fabulous and Molly insisted I keep it…so I did!

Item 5

Linda Cross Front Knit Top by 41 Hawthorn

004c

Ok.  I LOVED the color and style of this shirt.  Loved it.  The only problem is that it was just a little too short and a little too tight.  I may have cried a little when I put it in the bag to send back.

So there is my super fun experience with Stitch Fix!  My next fix is scheduled for the middle of August and I have requested a few items for fall already.  I can’t wait to see what I receive.  It seriously is like Christmas or my Birthday when I receive that package in the mail!

(Again, I have no connection with Stitch Fix but I just wanted to share how much fun I am having…let me know if you have any questions!)

Summer Vacation…Day 11

IMG_3838

(Day 11)

On Day 11, we finally made our way back to Lincoln after 8 hours of driving from our starting point for the day in Liberal, KS.  We ultimately traveled over 3500 miles and spent over 61 hours in the car (yes, Brian kept track) but we had a wonderful trip and everything went smoothly.

IMG_3839r

The majority of our trip was through the plains of Kansas for this day.  We all cheered loudly as we crossed the border into Nebraska to travel the final 1 1/2 hours home!

IMG_3836

After 11 days we had traveled to 9 different states and can truly say we explored the southwestern United States!  We will still admit that the National Parks in Utah contain some of the most beautiful landscapes we have seen and spending the week on Coronado was very relaxing.  If I never travel through northwestern Arizona to Las Vegas to western California again, that will be fine by me (way too desolate and HOT), however, there is so much wonderful diversity in America and we did get to appreciate the beauty even in pure desert land.

As always, I am beginning to plan for our next trip (for me, planning is just as fun as actually traveling) but I can assure you that we will be flying to our next destination (I can only handle a massive road trip every other year)!

Summer Vacation…Day 10

IMG_3819

(Day 10)

We left Williams, AZ around 6:30am and started our day of continuous driving.  Brian’s goal was to get up to Liberal, KS by about 8am (central time) that evening.  We currently were in Pacific time still (since Arizona does not observe daylight savings time) so we actually were going to attempt to drive 12 hours across 2 time zones (which meant the clock time of our trip would be 14 hours as we would “lose” 2 hours in our drive east).

We didn’t really let the kids know how LONG we would be driving this day and, amazingly, they didn’t complain too much.

We were lenient on technology use in the car this day.  Prior to this day of continuous driving, we really tried to limit technology use to 1 hour each day and the kids did a pretty good job sticking with that limit.  On our day of 12 hours of driving, we let them use their technology for about 1 hour and then take about 1 1/2 hours off and then have more time.  We also, as a family, enjoyed playing Rubberneckers which is a card game designed for long road trips…highly recommend this game and if anyone is interested (or crazy enough to drive 61 hours total in their car like we did during this trip), you sure can borrow it from us!

IMG_3821r

We drove completely (west to east) through the state of New Mexico.  The thing we remember most is all the abandoned trailers and cars that litter the landscape along the highway…so many ghost towns.  Being the devout “Breaking Bad” fan that Brian was, he had to snap a picture of Albuquerque as we pulled over to stop for gas and to grab something to eat around lunch time!

IMG_3826r

We drove through the panhandle of Texas on a 2 lane highway that led to the middle of nowhere (which definitely sounds like lyrics to a country song)…

IMG_3829r

Oklahoma gets the award for the smallest state welcome sign but, then again, we were on a (now) 4 lane highway going through the middle of nowhere.  We drove through the strip of land that is the panhandle of Oklahoma.  Brian was actually excited to find out we were driving through the part of Oklahoma in which the dust bowl originated (yep, that is the US history teacher in him).  We had previously viewed a fascinating documentary on PBS about the dust bowl.  The landscape is green and rich with farmland currently and it is hard to imagine the monstrous clouds of dust that swept the plains many years ago.

IMG_3834r

Kansas!  We never thought we would get so excited to drive to Kansas!  The kids were SO happy we were were nearing our final destination…you can see the tiny blue water tower of Liberal, KS on the horizon…12 hours of driving and we rolled into Liberal right around 8pm that evening…great timing Clark!

Well, we proved we can do it…we can travel 12 hours in a car, survive and not kill each other!

Summer Vacation…Day 9

IMG_3815

(Day 9)

This morning we woke up early, packed up the car and left Coronado by about 6:30am to start our 8 hour drive towards Williams, AZ.  If everything went smoothly and if we could finish the trip in 8 hours or less, the plan was to go to the Grand Canyon that evening.

IMG_3818r

We actually had an uneventful drive (though tons and tons of desert landscape again) and made it to Williams, AZ around 2pm(ish).  We checked into our hotel, took a brief break and then loaded back up in the car to drive about 1 hour north to the Grand Canyon National Park.

001r

It was suggested to us that the best time of visit the Grand Canyon was actually near sunset as the colors in the rocks become brighter as the sun drops lower in the sky toward the horizon.  There definitely was an advantage to going to the Grand Canyon in the late afternoon as we actually were able to find a parking space without much difficulty at the Visitors Center!

004r

The Visitors Center had great displays discussing how the Grand Canyon formed so many years ago and how the landscape is continually changing still today.

008r

Very similar to Zion, the Grand Canyon only allows access to certain locations via shuttle bus.  We hopped on the air conditioned bus and got off on many stops to view the wonders of nature.

009r

All throughout our trip it was always fascinating to me to hear so many different languages spoken around us as we traveled throughout the southwestern United States.  When we were on the shuttle bus at Zion, all the seats surrounding us were filled with non-English speaking travelers (I think I picked out German, Spanish and Indian spoken).  The same experience was had at the Grand Canyon on the shuttle bus.  It is awesome that so many people travel not only from within the United States to see these wonders of the world but also people travel from many different countries to see the beauty of the United States!  Really, how cool is that!

010r

I was astonished by how few fences are actually present around the Grand Canyon.  We let the kids stand close to the edge in the fenced area but there are many places where you can freely walk right up to the edge without restrictions!

011r

Ten points if you can spot the Colorado River in this picture!

012r

015r

017r

018r

019r

There was such a haze in the air as the sun came closer to setting in the sky that the colors are hard to visualize in this picture but the landscape was incredible!

020r

We were super tired by the end of our day as we ended up driving a total of around 10 hours.  The kids went swimming in the hotel pool briefly and we all slept well!

 

Summer Vacation…Day 8

IMG_3796

(Day 8)

Today we did not leave Coronado.

Multiple people had given us great suggestions about different places to visit while we were in San Diego but we all opted to just stay put for one whole day as it was our last full day in Coronado.  Maybe someday we will come back to enjoy Balboa Park, La Jolla and the San Diego Zoo but a big goal for this trip was just to sit on the beach and relax.

Each morning while we were at Coronado, I got up early and took a walk along the beach.  I guess in any time zone, I am an early riser and just can’t sleep past 5:30am!  Each morning I found the beach was always completely coated with mounds of seaweed that were left after the tide receded.

This last morning Sam actually wanted to get up with me and search out seashells.  He really enjoyed searching through the seaweed to find treasures from the ocean.  We ended up bringing home a bag of seashells that are now saved in a jar (we did have to clean them well before they were packed up for the trip home otherwise we would have brought home way more than just shells…those shells were stinky).  Most of the shells are clam shells but there is such variety in the patterns…again, nature is wonderful!  The sad thing, however, was seeing all the trash that washes up on shore each night.  Thankfully, I daily viewed a family or two wearing gloves and walking the beach, picking up trash.

IMG_3791r

(There are large tractors that “comb” the beach each morning around 8am and scoop up all the seaweed mounds to make the beaches more inhabitable for the day)

As soon as the sun warmed the air, we headed to the beach for the day…

IMG_3790r

IMG_3799r

There were multiple fighter jets flying very low seen in the sky today…the roar was awesome when they passed right over our heads on their way to the Naval base!

IMG_3800r

IMG_3802r

IMG_3807r

It was a wonderful, relaxing day in the sun.  Some competitions that were part of the California State Games were actually going on up the beach this day and we watched open water ocean swim competitions along with life guard ocean relay events (something that you just don’t see at the Cornhusker State Games)!

IMG_3808r

After we had sufficiently absorbed enough of the sun’s rays for the day (and the kids had eaten through my snack supply), we headed back to the house in which we were staying and rested for awhile.  We then took off to walk the 1.5 miles to the San Diego Bay.  We shopped, relaxed and watched another huge Naval ship return to port.

IMG_3810r

(Sam was amazed by this leaf off of a palm tree…not many deciduous trees on Coronado like in Nebraska)

IMG_3812r

IMG_3813r

We were all exhausted by the end of the day and went to bed in anticipation of having to rise early in the morning to start the next leg of our journey.

 

Summer Vacation…Day 7

IMG_3792

(Day 7)

Today was the first day we did really drive anywhere!  Yeah!

We went to the beach in the morning and then took the ferry across San Diego Bay right after lunch.  The ferry was a great way to travel and only took about 15 minutes to get from Coronado to the Seaport Village area of San Diego.

001r

While on the ferry ride, Brian spotted an active duty aircraft carrier and another Naval ship in the harbor.  Brian did some quick searching online and found out that the aircraft carrier we cruised right by was actually the ship that a recent Pius grad (whose Dad teaches at Pius) was assigned to!  We marveled at how HUGE those Naval ships are in person…amazing.

002r

Of course, my Nebraska kids had to stand at the front of the boat for the whole trip!  They were super excited to spot a sea lion sunning itself on a buoy as we cruised by.

024r

The ferry dropped us off right at the USS Midway Museum which was our main destination after we reached the mainland.  The USS Midway is a docked Naval Aircraft Carrier that is no longer in service and has been transformed into a museum.  The brochure denoted that visitors should allow 90 minutes to complete the self-guided tour of the ship but we found the museum so interesting we were there for over 4 hours!

003r

We wore headsets and listened to the guided tour as we followed signs indicating our path through the museum.  There was an adult and a kid option for narration and I alternatively listened to both of the options. I found that the kid version was very well done…both Sam and Molly were very interested in what the narrator said about each of the over 60 stations that we stopped at along our visit to the museum.

007r

(Molly’s face describes her response to learning about the VERY small bunks in which the troops slept on the aircraft carrier)

008r

012r

014r

015r

017r

020r

All throughout the museum there were Veterans present who, at some time in their life, worked on an aircraft carrier…such a wealth of knowledge was shared with the general public.  We all found it very interesting to hear, in person, exactly how they launched and landed planes on the deck of the aircraft carrier.

021r

022r

After we finished our museum tour, we walked through Seaport Village.  Patty, my office manager at work, has a brother who lives in San Diego with his significant other.  Patty’s brother had just recently purchased a boat and he invited us to come aboard for a visit since we were definitely within walking distance.

IMG_3793r

We enjoyed visiting, having snacks and just relaxing…the kids loved to feed the ducks who obviously are very experienced in seeking out potential food sources!

IMG_3794r

IMG_3795r

After a great visit, we caught the ferry back to Coronado and ended our day with some more wonderful Mexican food from our favorite take out place 2 blocks from the house in which we were staying.

 

Summer Vacation…Day 6

IMG_3782

(Day 6)

Today we only drove about 30 minutes to get to SeaWorld in San Diego!

SeaWorld is currently celebrating their 50th Anniversary and you can purchase discounted tickets if you attend the park during the week (as opposed to going on the weekends) this year as a special promotion.  It was even cheaper if I purchased tickets online beforehand!  I knew that the kids wouldn’t want to wait all week to go to SeaWorld so on our first full day in San Diego we ventured through downtown San Diego traffic to arrive at SeaWorld right when the park opened.

IMG_3778r

The only unfortunate thing about going to the park during the week was that 2 of the main rides were closed for maintenance.  It really didn’t matter too much to the kids that they missed two rides because we spent the majority of our time going to the many shows scheduled throughout the day!

IMG_3779r

After one show ended, I usually went ahead and reserved seats at the next show while the kids visited some of the other animal exhibits with Brian.  The kids always wanted to sit in the “soak zone” at the animal shows and, since those seats fill up really fast, I had to get there about 20 minutes before the next show to save 3 other seats.

IMG_3781r

The kids thought that sitting in the front row at this show would get them wet but I knew they were safe sitting in front of the wheelchair seating area…it was amazing (and obviously planned) that the animals in the show were trained to only get the non-wheelchair seating area wet!

IMG_3784r

So the kids stayed dry until they met Shamu!

Sam started in the 2nd row with Molly (while Brian and myself sat up higher directly behind them…I wouldn’t have minded getting a little wet but getting soaking wet was not my preference).  Sam got a little splashed by that killer whale once at the beginning of the show and he was quickly running up the stairs to sit with us!  Molly, on the other hand, stayed down in the 2nd row by herself and took a shower in saltwater (multiple times during the show) from Shamu and the other killer whales…it was the highlight of her day!

IMG_3785r

IMG_3788r

Of course, no visit to SeaWorld could possibly be complete without leaving with a stuffed Shamu!

After spending the majority of the day at SeaWorld, we headed back to Coronado and the beach…

002r

Thanks SO much to the Brass family for loaning us their body boards…they kids had a blast riding the waves!

010r

012r

017r

030r

042r

032r

055r

You can really appreciate how much seaweed in is the water in some of these pictures.  In the evening, the tide rises and seems to bring with it a blanket of seaweed.

058r

The kids would come out of the water with seaweed hanging off their limbs!

066r

080r

086r

We did have the special occasion to view wild dolphins on multiple occasions while at the beach.  Those dolphins, at first, really do look like they have a shark’s fin, well, at least to these Nebraskans who are not very savy with marine wildlife.  I really was able to watch a lot of the dolphins when I took a long walk along the beach each morning and no one was in the ocean swimming and disturbing the dolphin’s path.  The kids were amazed that the dolphins were “right there” with them in the water…literally, at times, they were only about 50-100 feet away!

106r

Sunset on the beach with piles of seaweed and tons of seagulls and an occasional fighter jet flying overhead, returning to base.

110r

After a couple of hours, Sam was too cold to take one more step into the ocean and we all headed back to dry off and warm up.  Once the sun starts setting, the temperature is in the low 70s on Coronado which can seem quite chilly when you are wet.  Low humidity and mid-70s most all of the time combines to be, quite possibly, the best location for weather in the United States!

131r