Stitch Fix #5 – January 2015

What is Stitch Fix and how does it work?  Read my prior post all about it here.

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This was the first Fix that I have spaced out for more than a month.  I’ve been keeping so many items out of the boxes, that I need to slow down.  I don’t need THAT many new clothing items and can’t be spending over a hundred dollars EVERY month on clothing for myself.  That being said, I got a Stitch Fix gift card for Christmas so I had some credit to use and was looking forward to spending it.  So, I was SUPER excited to get my email that the Fix had shipped.  Did the google search which gave me so-so results.  Two items I thought I’d keep, two I thought probably not, and one that I couldn’t find.  The Fix was delivered quickly and here is the result:

1.  41Hawthorn Filbert 3/4 Sleeve Popover Blouse (Black) – $58

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This was one of the items I thought I would keep.  A nice, basic shirt that I can dress up for work or down for the weekend.  It has a few extra details (like the roushed sleeve and buttons on the shoulders) that make it a little special.  I probably would have picked a color other than black if I was in the store but since black is what they sent, black it is.  The shirt seemed a good quality, the edging detail was actually quite nice (a little thicker than the fabric of the shirt, gives it some good weight), so I felt like it was worth the price.  It fit well and looked cute.

 Status: Kept

2.  41Hawthorn Teegan Draped Blazer (Black) – $78

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This jacket was strange.  The body fit fine but the 3/4  length sleeves were tight (and I don’t have particularly fat arms).  The way the sleeves were scrunched up didn’t help the fit, it made the sleeves fall in a weird place too.  And there isn’t anything you can do about it.  You can’t fold them up because they have a lining and you can’t leave them unsnapped because you’d then have a random snap in the middle of your tricep.  The lapels of the jacket are also very strange.  So big and don’t drape the way you’d think they would.  And again, black.  You will hear it many times in this post but…boring.  Oh, and I don’t really wear blazers so this was certainly not worth it to me.

 Status: Returned

3.  41Hawthorn McQue Solid Lace Sleeve Blouse (Navy) – $48

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First things first…it’s navy blue.  I need some color in my life, and this isn’t cutting it.  I was excited to see something with lace detail in my fix but this disappointed.  Not only was the shirt sort of cheap looking (especially the lace), it really just fit like a polyester non-fitted t-shirt.  I guess it could have been a keeper in a better color and if it was a bit better quality but, alas, it was not.  I was also not a huge fan of the crew neck.  Boring (see, told you I was going to use this word a lot).

 Status: Returned

4.  Renee C Melisa Skirt (Pink) – $48

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You aren’t going to get a picture of me wearing this skirt.  WAY. TOO. TIGHT.  No “medium” sized person could fit in this skirt.  But, I admit I do like the pattern and the cut of the skirt (a cotton/poly blend pull-on pencil skirt).   The fabric was a bit on the lightweight side which probably wouldn’t bode well for me anyway.  This was one of the items I thought I’d keep so it was disappointing.  I could have used a little color in my winter wardrobe.

 Status: Returned

5.  Karen Kane Malory Pant (Black) – $88

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Well, you aren’t going to see me modeling these pants either.  Not because they look terrible, but because the zipper was broken when I took them out of the box.  Couldn’t even unzip them to try them on if I wanted to.  Disappointment number one.  I didn’t think I’d be keeping them anyway since they are meant to be slightly cropped to be worn with flats and that is just not the look for me.  The quality didn’t seem to be worth the price either.  Even though the pants have a side (broken) zipper, they have a very prominent seam right down the front (and rear) of the pants.  Like, right down the crotch area.  Weird.  Also, I really don’t need another pair of boring black work pants.

 Status:  Returned

What was up with this Fix?  It was like the stylist was trying to make my wardrobe MORE boring.  I can handle that on my own.  The reason I subscribed to Stitch Fix was to try new and different things.  This box was not that.  All black or navy and really uninteresting styles and cuts.  I’ve been looking to try the lace trend and they even managed to make that boring.  Trying to get rid of last year’s leftovers before rolling out new trends for 2015?  Either way, this box was a dud which was even more disappointing given the pretty good Fixes I have received recently.  I left a detailed note for my stylist and a link to my blog and Pinterest pages so fingers crossed for next time.  And the good news is that I still have credit left for my next Fix which will hopefully be more exciting!  I’m not giving up yet!   Schedule your Fix here!  And follow me on Facebook and Instagram!

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Stitch Fix #4 – December 2014

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There is nothing more exciting than coming home and finding your Stitch Fix package waiting for you!  I have dreaded shopping for myself over the last few years and Stitch Fix has truly made it fun again!  I am really updating my wardrobe (which NEEDED it) and I am starting to get compliments on my outfits!  The compliments are usually followed by a question from the complimentor, “Stitch Fix?”…but hey, it doesn’t matter who is putting my outfits together as long as I am the one wearing them, right?

(If you need more information about what Stitch Fix is, click here to read my prior blog post about it.)

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Please don’t mind the pink tie-dyed sweat-socks that show up in half the pictures…

1.  41 Hawthorn Lana Lace Detail  Blouse (Cobalt) – $58
 
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When I did the Google sneak-peak, I knew I would like this shirt.  It is definitely something I would pick out at the store.  I like the color, I like the fabric, and I like the lace detail.  The shirt fits well and flows well.  Seems like pretty good quality. It will be great with a suit but can also be dressed down with a pair of skinny pants or skinny jeans.
Status: Kept
2.  Market and Spruce Berneen Graphic Print Dolman (Fuchsia) – $64
 
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At first glance,  I really thought I would like this shirt. In general, I like dolman tops.  They are something a little different, an unusual shape to add the wardrobe.  I also liked the print.   Not something I would have gravitated to when shopping on my own but I love the aspect of Stitch Fix that forces you to try something new.  I almost always surprise myself with how much I like the “outside my comfort zone” items.  Unfortunately,  I did not love this shirt when I tried it on.  The fabric seemed a little cheap and the shirt fit weird.   The sleeves were an odd length and seemed unusually tight.  The sleeves also had a seam on the top and underneath the arm. Weird.   The hubby did like it (which surprised me) but since I wasn’t entralled with it, I decided to send it back.   No point in keeping something so-so when next month could be something great!
Status: Returned
3.  RD Style Maureen Twisted Seam Elbow Patch Sweater (Navy) – $64
 
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I need some casual sweaters and I LOVE elbow patches (makes me think of cool, fall college days) so I was immediately drawn to this sweater.  I like how it is a loose weave and will work through three seasons depending on what you put under it.  I also like that it is longer in back than the front, however, the front seems to be a little shorter than I would have expected.  I read some reviews of this sweater which mentioned that it stretched out weirdly with wear so I have some concerns about it.  There was also an area on the front hem that seemed to be two pieces of yarn tied together so possibly some quality issues which would be unfortunate given the mid-range price point.  But, I guess we will see because the sweater is super cute and I am willing to give it a chance.  I must find a way to make this into a work appropriate piece because I want to wear it all the time (the style cards show it with a cream pencil skirt and blazer so maybe it can happen).
Status: Kept
4.  Liverpool Mira Skinny Pull-On Jean (Black) – $78
 
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I really don’t need another pair of skinny jeans.  I really don’t.  But these were soooooooo comfortable.  Soft and stretchy and AN ELASTIC WAISTBAND.  I can’t say no to that.  I have to say, I have been pretty impressed with Stitch Fix’s ability to send me pants that actually fit.  These fit like a glove.  The wash is a very dark black and they have more of a pant fabric than a true jean fabric so I am keeping them with the intention to dress them up and wear to work or out on the town (because that happens so often these days…).  The rear pockets are true pockets but the front are just for show.  Who cares.  🙂  Sorry the picture of me wearing the jeans doesn’t really show too much, it was hard to capture the look of the jeans since the wash was so dark.
Status:  Kept
5.  41 Hawthorn Harriet Chevron Print Detail Dress (Black) – $64
 
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This definitely is not my style on first glance.  I guess it had the potential to be cute (it looked ok in photos), but the waist seemed to hit at a weird spot.  Too high for a traditional waist and too low for an empire waist dress.  And the fabric at the waistline puffed out and made me appear as if I had a pooch.  Ok, I do need to do a little toning, but it made me appear as if I had more of a pooch than I do.  And even if I didn’t have a little extra cushioning in that area, it would not have made a difference….it was the fabric or the seam or something that was falling strangely.  Speaking of fabric, I did like the quality of the fabric of this dress.  A thicker satin-like fabric than I would have expected.  A good quality for the price, except the waistline issue.  Another negative for the dress…I really don’t need a cute dress-up dress.  Not Stitch Fix’s fault.
Status: Returned
All in all, I was happy with my Fix again!  I have to say, I was a little worried that I was going to want to keep every item in every Fix and go broke!  So it’s nice to regularly have 5 options sent and to really only want to keep a few of them with the occasional “keep the whole box”.  That being said, I am going to start extending my Fix shipments out to at least 6 weeks because I don’t need to be buying even one new clothing item per month, every month.  I wish I could though!!
Sign up for your Fix here and don’t forget to follow me on Facebookand Instagram!

Stitch Fix #3 Review – End of October 2014

Glorious news…I got two fixes in the month of October!!  I am on the every-four-weeks plan and there just happened to be more than 4 weeks in October this year!  So, on Halloween, I came home to a beautiful Stitch Fix box.  Now, as usual, when I got the email that my Fix shipped earlier in the week, I went on and googled all the items on my checkout page.  I’ll admit, I was disappointed.  I really thought there would only be one item that I would like.  At least three things that were definitely going back and one “maybe”…boy was I wrong…

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If you need more information about what Stitch Fix is, click here to read my prior blog post about it.

1.  Market and Spruce Mattie S/S Cowl Neck Knit Dress – Black $78

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This is the one item I knew I would like right off the bat.  I am in need of some dresses and this one looked to be cute.  When it arrived, I was a little disappointed that it was black and not some other fun color but black is practical I suppose.  Really cute on, fits great, love the jersey material and extremely versatile.  Will work in pretty much any season and I love the pockets!  I also tried it on with my Market and Spruce Elissa French Terry Motto Jacket from Stitch Fix #1.  Love this dress.

Status:  Kept

2.  Cooper Cathleen Metallic Dot Tulip Sleeve Blouse – Black $68

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I was not sure what to expect with this one.  It was definitely not something I would pick for myself but I liked the metallic detail and the flowyness.  One weird thing was that there was a seam right down the front of the shirt and the pattern didn’t exactly line up.  BUT, the fit was cute, it was just the right length and was really different.  And I REALLY need some shirts that I can wear to work.  So I can overlook the weird seam.  I guess with the way it drapes it won’t be too noticeable.

Status: Kept

3.  TCEC Donelle V-Neck Button-Up Cardigan – Green $58

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Another item I thought was just going to be blah and ultimately returned.  I have a million sweaters and cardigans and this seemed like it was going to be weirdly long.  But when I tried it on, it was super-duper soft, fit really well, the color was great and I really liked the extra long length.  I tried it on with slim jeans (actually my Just Black Riley Distressed Boyfriend Jean from Stitch Fix #2) and it worked really well.  I think it will also work really well with a pencil skirt for work.  Must request some pencil skirts for work in my next fix.

Status:  Kept

4.  Mavi Freida Regular Length Skinny Jean – Navy $98

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When I did the sneak-peak thing, I assumed these were going to be regular denim jeans.  I just got a pair of jeans that I love in my last fix and I actually have a few pairs that I picked up over the years that I am really happy with.  I don’t need any more jeans.  BUT, when my box arrived, I found a beautifully soft, stretchy, dark navy pair of pants.  Not really jeans in the sense that I think of jeans.  And I was really happy with the way they fit (though I am hoping they don’t stretch out too much).  I think they could even be dressed up and worn to work!

Status: Kept

5.  Pixley Lydia Faceted Stones Long Necklace – Navy $36

(Pictured above with the Jeans in #4) I have a good friend who sells Stella and Dot so I am pretty certain I will never need to buy jewelry from Stitch Fix…unless I love all 4 other items and need to buy the last thing to get 25% off my whole fix…this is it, the FIRST TIME I AM KEEPING THE WHOLE FIX!!!  So exciting!!!  And I do like the necklace so I will definitely get use out of it.

Status:  Kept

I can’t believe it only took 3 Fixes to get a white whale “keep the whole thing” box!!  This could start to become dangerous!  That being said, you ALL need to sign up for your first Fix here!  After 3 months, my current review is that you will not regret it!!   I think it is time to start purging my closet of the old junk.  I need to stick to the plan of buy one new thing, get rid of one old thing.  Stay tuned for next month and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram!

DIY Baby Wipes!!

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With all the news about baby wipes being recalled lately, maybe we should all think about making our own with pure essential oils!  My cousin previously shared this recipe with me but I had no real incentive to try it before this week (I really love Target brand unscented wipes).  But since the recalls have been issued, it has made me think…why AM I using chemicals on my toddler’s bottom when I care so much about every other thing that I put on and in her body??  So I made them..it was SO easy and so far I really like them!! I have a feeling I will continue to tweak them until I get my ideal formula but it makes me feel good to be reducing the chemical load in our house just a little more!

Ok, basic recipe (and I’ll share my adjustments below):

1/2 roll of cloth-like paper towels cut in half (such as Bounty or Viva), store the other half for future wipe recipes

2 cups warm water

2 tablespoons natural baby wash

2 tablespoons fractionated coconut oil

3 drops pure lavender essential oil

3 drops pure melaleuca essential oil

-Mix all the liquids in a big pot, then put the towels in
-Flip the roll after a few minutes so both sides can absorb the liquid
-Then pull the cardboard out of the center of the paper towel roll and squeeze excess water from the roll
-The wipes should unravel from the center like commercial cleaning wipe wipes
-Store in a repurposed plastic jug

My adjustments:  I used baby formula unscented castile soap in place of baby wash and reduced the soap to just one tablespoon.  I also increased the essential oils to 7 drops each.  Note, if you want to learn more about pure essential oils, feel free to email me!  mariaferris@outlook.com 

My cousin’s adjustments:  She eliminated the baby wash altogether.  It was irritating her son’s sensitive skin.

My aunt’s adjustments:  She used dish soap (one tablespoon) instead of baby wash and substituted protective blend essential oil for the Lavender and Melaleuca to make surface cleaning wipes!!!  This is my next project!!

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Adventures in Applesauce

I absolutely love fall.  I love everything about it.  Pretty much my entire life has been spent in Southeastern Pennsylvania which is a great part of the country for fall weather and fall foliage.  I love the cool temperatures, the smell of leaves, the colors, fall activities, fall fruits and vegetables, watching football…you name it.  This year, we actually went up to Vermont for a long weekend in the early fall.  It was so beautiful.  Coming from such a developed and populated area, it is amazing to me that there are still parts of this country…not so far from me…that are so pristine and unadulterated.  One of the activities we did in Vermont was go apple picking!  Now, this is something that we do around here too, but it was hard to resist the beautiful Vermont orchards!  C loves apples and being crazy outside so apple picking is always a good choice!

We picked about 10 pounds of apples (and had another 5 or so pounds waiting for us at home) and there was not too much debate about what to do with the apples!  If you know me, you know I love to make applesauce…and I love to make homemade food for my little one…so mama’s world famous cinnamon applesauce pouches it was!  And it is SO EASY!!

1.  Pick your apples.  By far the cheapest way to get them.  And it’s fun!

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2.  Wash your apples with a veggie wash to remove any dirt, wax or chemicals that might be on them (even though I always try to find organically grown, it doesn’t hurt to wash wash wash).  Yup, I use Lemon essential oil in my veggie wash… if you want to learn more about pure essential oils, feel free to email me!  mariaferris@outlook.com

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doterrra fruit and veggie wash

3.  Peel your apples.  Not the most fun part, I admit.  And I don’t have an apple peeler/corer so it’s all done by hand…  It can be therapeutic though and it’s kind of exciting when you manage to get the peel off an apple in one long piece!  I usually get one or two out of the pounds and pounds of apples I peel.  Cut out the cores and roughly chop the apples.

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4.  Fill your crockpot/slow cooker with the apples.  My slow cooker is 6 quart which holds about 7-8 pounds of apples.  As long as the apples seem juicy, I don’t add any liquid.  Sometimes early-season apples are a little dry…in that case, I will add 1/4 – 1/2 cup water to the slow cooker.

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5.  Now, this is assuming the 6 quart slow cooker filled with about 7-8 pounds of apples…I add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.

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6.  That’s it…just set the slow cooker for 7 hours on low.

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7.  Every 2-3 hours, remove the lid and give the apple mixture a stir.  At the end of the 7 hours, the applesauce will have broken itself down (no need to mash, just give it a strong stir) and be a beautiful caramel color.  I really do get lots of compliments on this recipe….no added sugar, yet it is amazingly sweet with warm vanilla spice flavor.  It actually TASTES like fall.

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8.  Now, if you are going to package it up for little ones (or really anyone…even adults slurp applesauce out of packets these days), break out your Infantino Fresh Squeezed Squeeze Station and your Infantino Pouches.  Set up a nice assembly line…

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9.  Since the applesauce is so yummy, I fill the pouches to their maximum (4 ounces).  Fill the cups…press…viola!!  Applesauce pouches!!  I leave a few in the fridge but freeze most of the pouches and take them out the night before I plan to pack them for lunch, take to the park, etc.

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So easy and such a fun fall activity, especially if you have children who are a little bit older and can help you out.  Don’t forget to serve some of that applesauce warm, right out of the slow cooker…yum…and use some in your baking!!  Apple spice muffins…need I say more??

Stitch Fix #2 Review – October 2014

My second Fix arrived on a Friday which was super exciting to me because I had the whole weekend to try everything on and show a few friends in person before I had to make my decisions.

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Let me just say, I am totally loving Stitch Fix.  In the days leading up to the arrival of my Fix, I check the mail anxiously every day hoping it will arrive early (which it did this month, it was scheduled for Saturday, October 4th).  Even though I pretty much know I am only going to buy one or two things, it is so exciting to see what’s in the box!  If you want more information about what Stitch Fix is, click here to read my prior blog post about it.  Ok, here is what I got this month:

1.  Tart Colbie Striped French Terry 3/4 Sleeve Blazer (blue) – $128

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Fit really well.  I thought it was a little weird that there were slight shoulder pads but they gave the blazer a nice shape which I assume is important since it is such a soft fabric.  It was incredible comfortable and would be really cute with both work pants and casual jeans.  My issues with the jacket were the price ($128) and the fact that I probably don’t have too much right now that would go with it.  Maybe if it were a different color or pattern, I would have sprung for it.

Status: Sent Back

2.  Mak Jaclynn 3/4 Sleeve Button-Up Cardigan (burgundy) – $38

3.  Papermoon Cecil 3/4 Sleeve Aline Dress (grey) – $68

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Cardigan:  Fit fine, good price.  Nothing special at all.  I already have a million cardigans.

Dress:  There was something just not right about the way this dress fit.  The waist is elasticized and seemed too tight and too high.  When I tied the sash, even when I tied it tight, it hung down below the waist line and looked a little strange.  Overall, not particularly flattering.  Maybe it would have been better in the next size up, though I feel like it might have been too BIG at that point.  Also, I already have a few grey dresses so this one wasn’t a stand-out to me.

 Status:  Sent Both Back

4.  Just Black Riley Distressed Boyfriend Jean – $68

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These jeans are also pictured above where I am modeling the Blazer.  I knew from doing the sneak peek preview (googling the items on my checkout screen as soon as they ship) that I was going to love these jeans and keep them.  They did not disappoint.  Although they were pretty tight (jegging tight) when I first put them on, they fit perfectly, were so soft, and stretched out to the perfect relaxed fit.  I’m not sure exactly what boyfriend jeans are supposed to be, but these are fabulous.  And how can you beat $68 for jeans?

Status:  Kept

5.  Margaret M Duboce Straight Leg Jean (white) – $58

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Let me say, from the start, I knew these were going back.  There are people who can probably pull off tight white pants…but I am not one of them.  You may be wondering what the top of the pants looked like on me, but I am doing you a favor by not showing you.  That being said, the size was right, they were really comfortable and I liked the cut.  If they were a color other than white, I probably would have kept them.

Status:  Sent Back

Even though I only kept one item out of this box, I was not disappointed.  There were a few close calls and I feel like my stylist is on the right track.  I have heard that every month your Fix will improve as long as you leave honest feedback on why you kept or sent back items (which I am trying to do).  Looking forward to my next Fix!  Schedule your Fix here!  And follow me on Facebook and Instagram!