Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Most Improved Award Goes To…...

Stitch Fix!

I just got my sixth or seventh Stitch Fix box.  I have been pretty 'eh' about my fixes so far--save for a handful of items--that I really did like.  To note, I received a pair of black leggings a few fixes back that I love, two different dresses that are fantastic, and a pretty cool over-sized tribal print cardigan.  Everything else has been just so-so.  I did get a dress one time that I thought was amazing but it didn't fit right; kind of unusual, because I feel like the sizing has been spot on in general.

But this week? My box was kind of perfect.

First though--how does Stitch Fix work if you're new:

1.  Create an account.
2.  Answer their style profile questions (this is kind of fun) and select the range of prices you'd spend on various clothing items from outerwear, to shirts, to bottoms, to accessories.  I've played around with this a little bit to see if I got better stuff at different price points--I haven't noticed a significant difference.
3.  Let them know what kinds of items you'd like to regularly see and what kind you never want to see. I have indicated that I never want to get accessories--and they've held true to that.
4.  Sign up for your first fix!  Warning--sometimes there is a long wait (a month or two) before there is a date available for your first fix.  Don't lose heart!
5.  For each fix there is a $20 styling fee that will be automatically deducted from your bank account as it nears time for you to receive your fix.  You'll get an e-mail when your fix has shipped and once you receive it you'll have three days to try the stuff on and decide what you want to keep. If you keep nothing you'll lose your $20 styling fee.  Whatever you do keep the $20 styling fee will be deducted from your total.  Additionally, if you choose to keep everything in a fix you get an additional discount off the whole lot.  This can be pretty substantial sometimes!  You'll get a pre-paid mailing envelope to send back whatever you don't want!  It's easy peasy.
6.  If you didn't like something from your fix you can leave detailed feedback at check out. You can also leave your "stylist" a note about what you'd like to see in your fix next time. When I was participating in Dressember I asked for an entire fix of dresses and they sent me five great ones!  I kept two and one of them is one of my favorite dresses that I own.

So here we go.  I asked for very basic items this time around in very basic colors. I wanted black and gray and white.  I wanted easy to style pieces to that didn't require a lot of fuss or ironing or tank tops underneath (my pet peeve).  And since your stylist will consult your pinterest style board if you have one, (and it definitely helps) mine sent me a surprise that is my favorite based on something I pinned a while back.

This jacket.  Yes.

I've been drooling over a leather jacket that Naomi from Love Taza has been wearing lately but at $275 (on sale), it's just not in my budget, so this one kind of gives me the same feeling.  I honestly didn't want to like it when I saw that it was coming but I do, I just…  It's pretty good faux leather (and that's hard to come by) and the more I put it on, the more I like it.  Definitely a keeper.  

These sweaters.  They are basic, but different, and I can wear them with jeans or skirts and pants to work and I can wear a lot of different accessories with them. 

This first one is just gray and black but the color blocking is in an interesting pattern and I love the buttons down the back.  

And then this one is cream on top, black on bottom, and has charcoal gray sleeves.  I liked how necklaces looked on this sweater, that it wasn't V-neck, and was loose and so comfy. 

And then this open front cardigan.  Hello pockets. 

This thing is crazy soft, hangs heavy and those pockets on the side are huge--the whole fold that you see is pocket.  I could fit Crosby in one of them and Georgia in the other.  And I can wear this with almost everything in my closet.  It's basic--but such a good basic.  

So, I mean--I really loved this fix.  I know that it's not crazy exciting color wise--but that's okay with me.  I like shopping enough that I'm happy to provide my own crazy; it's hard to have someone else pick that out for you.  And that jacket--I'm just really pumped about that thing.  I only returned one thing this time around! 

Give stitch fix a try if you haven't yet!  It's kind of fun to get a box of surprises on your front porch! And if you don't love your first one--don't give up on it…..they get better and better!   

Friday, January 23, 2015

It's Friday, I'm in Love {With Etsy boy stuff}

I'd been trying to stay away from Etsy. Lie. 
And then Crosby was born and I had nothing for a boy.  That is not a lie at all.  

When I say nothing--I mean nothing.  Besides a few formula stained plain white onesies from Georgia's first days we owned no unisex baby clothing.  So………I begrudgingly have picked up a few things from Etsy in recent days for the little man and thought I'd share some favorite shops with you.  


1.  We don't own these--but probably should. 
2.  These little block print pillows are amazing and really---you could make them look perfect in anyones room.  
3.  I just ordered this mobile for Crosby's room--we don't have it yet, but I'll post some pics of his finished room once it's dangling magically from his ceiling. 
4.  Love these bandana bibs.  Love. 
5.  These little leggings (Chris told Crosby the two of them could secretly call them pants) are so soft and cuddly and Crosby wears them at least three times a week. 
6. This little banner I actually ordered this summer when the artist was on Brickyard Buffalo and I love it.  She makes incredible banners for any occasion. 
7. These moccs!  Yes.  Of course yes. 
8.  Beanies for days for Crosby. 
9.  And since Crosby is going to be a pacifier kid (new and slightly annoying territory for us) I've had to figure out all the tricks not to lose them--so these little leather straps will do the trick for now.  

I'm having more fun getting little guy things than I thought I would.  Etsy and little independent sellers have really solved a lot of the "no one makes cute boy stuff" problems… I'm coming around and kind of love all the boy stuff now!  

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Is this horse dead yet?

I contributed to an article today on Small Fry.
About the "aren't we done with this yet" argument of breast feeding vs. bottle feeding.

The first time I ever fed Georgia a bottle.  I'd rather talk about how awesome her hair was…from day one.

In full disclosure--I have never felt guilt about bottle feeding, no one has ever made a snide comment to me about it….really (because pretty much everyone knows how we've built our family), I have never felt like I was missing out on something because we had to bottle feed, and I truly, truly, truly, could care less how moms choose to feed their children when they are infants.  I've never really waded into this argument before because I honestly don't care about it that much.  I do however, find it absurd that many of my friends have been made to feel bad in some capacity if they did in fact choose to bottle feed over breast feed.  I mean….absurd with a capital A.

I think it's a moms choice and it should be made based on what will make them a better mom; feel sane, bond with their children (spoiler--a lot of moms I've talked to say that breast feeding actually worked against bonding with their children), gel with their schedule, and help them to focus on loving their baby like crazy.  And what makes you a better mom is only something that is known by 'the mom.'

Here's the full contribution that I gave to Small Fry in answer to the question, "Why did you choose to bottle feed?"  (They were interested in my perspective as an adoptive mom specifically.)

As an adoptive mom, I realize that I do have the option to breast feed if I were to take the appropriate hormones and vitamins--however, that is a rarely chosen feeding route for most adoptive moms and given the emotions and sometimes tricky relationships that exist within adoption--especially domestic as many are now (thankfully) open, bottle feeding is definitely the typical go-to.  

One of the things that has struck me the most about the bottle feeding/breast feeding chatter in the breast feeding community is that there is very little recognition of how families are built differently.....resulting in a need to feed differently.  Commercials on TV, articles in parenting magazines, pamphlets in doctors office (some of the most guilt inducing), and conversations at the park, play groups, and lunch dates with other moms that you might not know very well all completely turn a blind eye to the fact that breast feeding really isn't that viable of an option for all moms--and not just because they have a low milk supply.  

When you see a commercial on TV there is always a clause that goes something like this, "but IF you have to bottle feed....this formula will do."  The idea of providing your child something that will just "do" doesn't feel good to any mom and it's a fairly insulting line to tout.  Articles that guide bottle-feeding moms in the different kinds of formula to try, when a switch might be necessary, which formulas work better for colic or reflux simply don't exist--because that would mean promoting bottle feeding and not breast feeding. And it goes on.........

What I think all bottle feeding moms wish is that there would be equal representation in feeding discussions for bottles and breast--and equally positive.  One wouldn't be mentioned without the other and the conversation certainly wouldn't start with, "Well....if you have to bottle feed.....".  I often hear that if you bottle feed you can eliminate allergies and other sicknesses for your child--I think it's safe to say that we all know enough kids who were bottle fed that have zero allergies and are healthy as a horse and enough kids who were breast feed that are allergic to everything and have chronic colds to know that doesn't hold the same weight that it used to.  Can we completely throw it out? Of course not.  But bottle fed moms are weary of that being thrown in their faces as well.  

There are so many other crucial conversations to have in regards to raising children--ones that really determine what kinds of adults we are raising for the world....and those are the ones I wish more moms would focus their energy on.  

There are a lot of other great stories in the post on Small Fry today--check it out if you'd like.  But really, aren't we all weary of this discussion?  Why are we still having it?  I honestly don't understand why it matters.  Why aren't we talking about ways to instill more respect in our children as a collective society, healthy ways to make friends, why we don't bully, how to share appropriately, how to set healthy boundaries in relationships, why principles matter, and what a work ethic is? 

And I know--those things happen a bit later (but not that much later) than the bottle or the breast that you offer to your infant minutes after they're born….but aren't they infinitely more important to spend hours talking about in the year 2015 than the latter?  

Please say yes.  

My sister feeding Crosby a bottle.  Thanks for the break Aunt Enna. Let's also talk about her amazing hair.  See….so many other things to talk about. 

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