My first Stitch Fix

*This is not an affiliate post. But, I honestly love this service so much and believe that my readers will too. Since I look forward to using this service again, this post does contain referral links that may provide me with a credit towards another "fix" in the future. Enjoy!

What is Stitch Fix?
Stitch Fix is an online shopping experience where a personal stylist will send you 5 items of clothing/accessories {a fix} based on your personal preferences. You are able to try everything on before you buy. Returning the items that you decide not to purchase is free and easy! The service charges only a $20 styling fee, which is absorbed into the total cost of any purchase you decide to make. If you buy all five items in your fix, you receive a 25% off discount on the entire order.

Why I love Stitch Fix.
Let me start by saying that this service is amazing! If you are an introvert who avoids the mall because you can't stand the crowds, if too many style options overwhelm you, or if you think shopping has turned into an Olympic event with two screaming children attached to your body, this service will change your life. I have had only one "fix" so far and I can't stop recommending Stitch Fix to my family and friends.

The top 3 reasons why Stitch Fix rocks:
1. You are able to try on the outfits in the comfort of your own home, on your own time and in realistic lighting conditions.
2. You avoid the mall craziness. No crowds, no fighting for parking, no screaming children to force you to abandon your shopping mission.
3. You have a personal stylist - an actual human, not just a robot - who selects clothes for you based on your personal profile and helps you to define your style. C'mon now, celebrities use personal stylists and now you can too!

How it works.
The process is easy!

First, create an account on Stitch Fix.

Second, take a quiz to determine your style profile. Your personal stylist will use this information to send you items based on your measurements and preferences. They will also choose items for you based on your Pinterest style board, so pin away! Building your Pinterest style board is like online "window shopping" and adds to the fun.

Third, schedule a fix. Choose a day that you want your items to arrive. You will only have three business days to look over your items, so don't schedule a fix during a time when you will be too busy to try things on or to remember to return what you do not want. When ordering a fix, you will have an opportunity to write a personal note to the stylist. I highly recommend that you take advantage of this opportunity and be very specific about what you expect. For example, in my fix, I asked for clothes that can take me from the end of summer through fall. I specifically requested that I wanted my fix to include two tops, two bottoms and a dress. It was exactly what I received.

My experience using Stitch Fix.
Receiving a box from Stitch Fix feels like Christmas! You know it's coming but you don't know what you are going to get. On fix day, I was so excited to check the mail and could not wait to get the kids to bed so that I could try everything on.

When I opened the box, the first thing I looked for was the styling card, which included a personal note from the stylist.

The note was a nice touch, but after checking out the styling suggestions, I'll admit that I was not impressed. It was almost disappointing, like being the kid who got the socks instead of the Red Ryder BB gun that they asked for. "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!"

It felt like the stylist didn't understand the look that I was going for.  But I tried the clothes on anyway and that is when things really turned around!

Here is the rundown of what I received:

 Hillway Button Front Tank - Keep

Colibri Plaid Printed Tab-Sleeve Shirt - Keep

Level 99 Sandy Boot Cut Jean - Keep

Pixley Darcy Weave Jersey T-Shirt Dress - Return

RD Style Rory Faux Leather Front Legging- Return

After trying everything on, I knew that I wanted to keep the tank, the shirt, and the jeans, but the 25% off discount was VERY tempting.

I was tired and weak. My inner shopaholic tried to convince me that if I bought the dress and the leggings too, I would be saving money. I would get the remaining two items - a value of over $100 - for only $35!

But in the end, I wasn't in love with the dress and the leggings didn't fit quite right. I texted my cousin for a second opinion and she talked sense into me - Don't buy clothes just because of a deal since you will probably never wear them. So the next day, I returned the items in the prepaid return envelope, used the online checkout process to provide Stitch Fix with feedback and Voila! I had a couple of new outfits that I desperately needed.

Besides, the money that I didn't spend buying the whole box can now be used towards my next fix...

So, if you are like me and could use a new outfit or two without the headache and hassle of finding clothes for yourself at the mall or online, by all means please Try Stitch Fix Here and let me know what you think!

A love letter to coffee.

After I became pregnant with Sister, I decided to go on a coffee fast. Why, you ask? Oh, I don't know. Maybe because I am a masochist. I'd like to believe that it was for the health of my unborn baby. To be completely honest - prenatal caffeine studies aside - I hoped that by eliminating coffee during pregnancy, perhaps Sister would sleep through the night early. It didn't work.

She developed colic at two weeks old, at approximately the same time that Brother had a sleep regression. To get through the day, I added caffeine back into my life. It started innocently enough with just a cup of black tea in the morning. Pretty soon a single cup turned into two. Before I knew it, I was having the second press of my husband's coffee. After all, the second press has less caffeine and is healthier than a decaf, right?

It wasn't until my daily third press of coffee that I realized I should just get the real thing. And so I did. The first sip was an ecstasy better than I could have ever imagined. All I could think about was how in love I felt with coffee. Not just any ordinary love, a full blown obsessive love. I was so overwhelmed with feelings that I literally wrote a love letter to coffee. Yes, you read that right. In a moment of caffeine-infused passion, I actually wrote a love letter to coffee. But if loving coffee is wrong, I don't want to be right. So for your entertainment, here it is:
Oh coffee, how I have missed you! When your silky smooth flavor hits my lips, you slowly release caffeine into my system and my day is instantly better. You are the first thing that I crave in the morning. At night, I can't wait until the next time that I taste your sweetness. You make me a better person! Without you, my days are spent in a total funk, sleep-walking through life with eyes half closed. With you, I am happily able to take on any challenge. Together, we power through any obstacle. As I drink you in from my cup, there is a smile on my face and caffeine coursing through my veins. Oh how I love you! Thank you for always being there. 

With my eternal love, an exhausted mother of two.
My husband is ready to check me into a coffee rehab any day now....

My glowing review of the "Glowing Skin Smoothie"

Chronic sleep deprivation = aging skin 
Since becoming a new mom, I have been operating on a major sleep deficit. Between juggling a toddler with a sleep disorder, a second pregnancy and a demanding job, I was lucky to get in 4 hours of consecutive sleep a night over the last two years. Since sleep is critical to rebuild and renew your skin, my lack of a good night's rest caused my skin to age a lot quicker than I expected.

Now that Sister has arrived, I am determined to get my sexy back! While I may dream about long lazy days of sleeping in, I know that is simply not possible right now. I decided to research alternative methods to keep my skin nice and healthy without breaking the budget on fancy creams.

Thankfully, there are a ton of recipes online for healthy smoothies that claim to moisturize your skin and bring back your youthful glow.

Enter the "Glowing Skin Smoothie"! 
I found this aptly titled little gem, the Glowing Skin Smoothie (via Sally's Baking Addiction), through good ole' Pinterest. It promises that the smoothie is "delicious," "energy boosting," and that it can "dramatically improve my skin tone"! Seriously? SOLD!

Since the ingredients sounded like something that I could stomach, I ran to my local market, set up my fancy new NutriBullet and was good to go. The basic ingredients were surprisingly simple:

1/2 cup coconut water 
2 frozen ripe bananas 
1 cup chopped pineapple 
1 cup chopped mango 
2 cups of spinach or kale 
1/2 medium avocado 

It took less than 5 minutes to put together and blend away! For extra skin boosting benefits, I added a tablespoon of Healthy Chia Seeds and a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil to the mix. I have to say that this smoothie was quite tasty!

I also tried to add a pinch of milled flax seed, but didn't really care for the texture. It turned a really great tasting smoothie into just *meh. It is amazing how much texture affects taste!

My Review
So far, I really like this smoothie. It is quick and easy to make and it tastes about as close to a tropical frozen cocktail as a green smoothie could. *Note - this recipe results in two servings, so it is quite a large portion in one sitting.

My skin looks firmer and better moisturized. As an unexpected benefit, my typically dry eyes were noticeably well-hydrated! There was an increase in my natural tear production, which made wearing contacts much more comfortable.
Based on my experience so far, I am totally down with the whole food smoothie movement. Since I don't expect to have a good night's rest in the near future, I am praying that this smoothie will continue to provide me with a buffer in the meantime. Anything to slow down the aging process is a win in my book!

Tips and Tricks
  1. Go organic - using organic sources will boost the nutritional value of the fruits and vegetables giving you the best benefit per smoothie.
  2. When freezing ripe bananas, peel and cut them first! A novice mistake that I learned the hard way. It is a pain to try to peel a frozen banana.
  3. Save time by washing and cutting your kale or spinach ahead of time. You can store your pre-cut greens in a ziplock bag for an easy way to put your smoothie together quickly. To make them last longer: make sure the greens are dry and toss in a couple of paper towels into the ziplock bag to soak up any extra moisture while the greens are stored in the fridge.
  4. Frozen pre-cut pineapples and mangoes are the way to go for an icy cold smoothie.


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”