Sunday, October 11, 2015

Yoga & Jesus

Yesterday we got my books and binder from "Blue-Eyes" as I will refer to her.

I'm starting Yoga Teacher Training.

Yoga and I have a complicated relationship. It's like me and Jesus; I love it, but I only seek it out when I'm really hurting.

I started doing yoga at home when I was in my late teens, just sporadically. I took a class in junior college and fell in love with it. I needed rest, and relaxation, and permission to forgive my imperfections, and yoga was my sweet spot. I also felt fit, and lean, and it seemed to coincide well with my vegetarian lifestyle.

Yet, the complications are many.

I'm a perfectionist. I have a personality that tends to lean towards the extreme. I get stressed easily. I have anxiety. I have a history of depression. I have a history of an eating disorder. I am competitive.

Yoga is freeing, it tells you to love yourself, to not expect perfection, because perfection is an illusion. You listen to your body, and you forgive it, and you accept it's limitations. You relax.

Competition in yoga is nonexistent. You have goals, perhaps, but those goals are only for you. They are never in comparison to another.

And here's me: comparison, judgement, must be the best and always do it right.

But that's why I always come back to yoga.

It heals me. It helps to remind me that I'm okay; I have permission to fail, to falter, to sway when I attempt to balance.

Yoga is the physical place where I find spiritual awareness. Maybe the practice originated in Eastern religion, but I follow Christ, and so always come back to God, Yaweh. He can only speak when I am still. When I stop comparing. When I forgive myself and others of imperfection. He finds me when I lay in the dark during Shavasana, and I'm open to His voice, and He reminds me to come as I am.

As I lay with my hands open to the sky, and my eyes closed, and nowhere else to be; He reminds me I am loved, with no expectation.

Perfection is an illusion, and the happiness that I seem to think I will find once I reach it, a terrible lie.

This should be an interesting journey. I'm trying to remind myself why I began loving yoga in the first place, because the path ahead feels a little daunting. And it's scary to do something new, and venture into the unknown.


October Stitch Fix: Grunge Love

You know what makes me happy? Oversized sweaters with long arms. This is not sarcasm. I have emotional warm fuzzies as I reminisce of Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping and the 90's grunge of my youth.

I got some goodies in this fix. It was like a hug in a box. It was like my stylist, Jaclyn, was saying "I get you, girl, and your need for rainy day reading clothes; I don't judge your love for "sloppy" as a fashion statement. I love the Sandra Bullock in you."

So here it is, guys. October fashion show.

I recieved 2 sweaters, a top, a pair of jeans, and earrings. Pretty packaging.

Once again, please forgive me my phone-photography and haphazard editing skills. Also, my room is a mess. And that's ok. I'm not ashamed. I'm sure your room is a mess sometimes too. The unmade bed is the great equalizer. 

So on to the clothes. First I got a top by Skies are Blue, called the Jacklin Mixed Print Knit Top, $48. I made happy sounds when I took this out of the box. I like the black and cream stripes, and it has a nice feel to it. I love the idea of throw-on tops for fall. This one was just not super flattering. If I was going to keep the whole box I would have worn it happily, but I was on a strict budget so choices had to be made.

With the top I tried on the Just Black Jimmy Skinny Jeans, $88. Of course, they fit perfectly. Perfect length, perfect fit through my hips, and flattering. Also, made in the USA. They are a really really dark denim, though. Considering I kept the black skinny jeans in my last fix, I had to think about it. 

So then, this happened. The En Crème Pippa Open Cardigan, $58 in a marled gray. It's a size small, but really big. I liked it. It was like wearing a blanket. I could see myself puttering around in this with leggings and slippers, or throwing on with yoga wear on my way to the studio. 

Look, I'm in heaven. It covers my hands!!

Then I pulled out this sweater, also oversized, and I loved the look of it. This is the Market & Spruce Bonno Mixed Material Pullover Sweater, $68.

Its roomy, great fit rough the shoulders but still sloppy-chic, just how I like my sweaters. The "mixed material" part was the attatched peek-a-boo "shirt" fabric under the hem. Normally faux layers bug me, but I liked this one. The only downside to this sweater was that it was a really scratchy wool. I knit using wool all the time, and I can attest to the fact that not all wool is scratchy. Some wool is soft and totally wearable. Cheap wool is scratchy, and this one had me so itchy I was dying to take it off. Not a winner, unfortunately. It would probably be fine layered over a long sleeve top, but I don't do that.

I didn't even try the earrings, even though I liked them. They are the Bancroft Jayda Twisted Loop Earrings, $28. You can sort of see them below. They are my style, but not unique enough to pay almost $30 for, and after this box I decided to take jewelry off of my style profile for a while.

The total for this box was $290; but with my $20 styling credit, extra credit from a referral (thanks, Aunt Jeanine!!), and 25% off keeping the whole box, the total would have come to $192.50. When I'm being good and saving my "free money," I usually have around $200 to spend, but, 1. I have not been good, and 2. I wouldn't have wanted this whole box, mostly because of the scratchy sweater. 

So I kept the jeans. It was kind of an easy decision (although it was hard to send that oversized cardigan back), because I literally don't have any regular blue denim jeans in my closet. I was gong out the night I got this box, and needed jeans to wear, so I pulled the tags off and kept those beauties. With my credit they were $63 plus tax. Really, not too bad for a high quality pair of jeans that happen to fit like they were made for you. I've been trying to find nice jeans off and on when I go to the mall or TJMaxx with my 19-month-old, and it's been a nightmare. I don't usually have a lot of time to try on, and my kid HATES shopping, so I end up leaving frustrated and empty-handed.

Worth. Every. Penny.

If you want to try out Stitch Fix, feel free to use my referral link and I will get a little credit when your first box ships!  The style profile will ask a few questions about your style preferences and sizes, and I would also suggest linking them to a style Pinterest board that shows who you are and what you like. You can also pin anything you see on this or any other blog, and they will do their best to send you what you request!

Thanks for reading, and happy October!
~ Char

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fall Stitch Fix: The One Where I Loved Too Much

So I got my 13th Stitch Fix box in the mail right before the holiday weekend! And, because the 3-day check out window doesn't include weekends and holidays....

I have until Friday to decide what I want to keep. This ended up working out because this box was fantastic, and I'm having a terrible time making wise choices. Wise choices are hard in general. When it comes to cute clothes, it's nearly impossible.

Ok, let's start. Stitch Fix always sends 5 items; in this box I received 2 pairs of jeans (per my request), a pair of earrings, a top, and a cardigan (also something I requested).

1. Henry & Belle Abana Ankle Length Skinny Jeans $148

These jeans so, so nice. They fit like a glove. Great quality staple piece. I really want to welcome them into the fold of my closet. But, is it weird that I would rather spend $100 on new Lululemon leggings? That may speak more to my lifestyle right now: lazy-chic.

Obviously I don't object to the price alone. Maybe it's that I didn't go to a store and pick out an amazing pair of jeans that I'm in love with, and decide they were totally worth $150. 

Here's the thing. If I buy these, that's more half of the total price of the whole lot. So it's a slippery slope after that, people. 

You'll see. On to the next item.

2. Kut from the Kloth Kate Distressed Boyfriend Jeans $78

I have a buddy today. His sisters are at school and he's always my shadow when they're not around. It's cute... Sometimes.

These jeans though. Comfy. Stretchy. Casual. I love them. 

Also, I'm impressed that they gave them to me in the right size! I take this brand one size smaller than is typical for me, and they read my note and remembered, which really makes me happy. 

Declan likes them too. 

In the above pics I'm also wearing...

3. Loveappella Lolla Woven Back Mixed Media Knit Top $58

This is a super soft stretchy knit, with a really nice weight to it. It's plain gray except for the peek of floral in the back. I actually love this. I'm a fan of floral AND gray, and I'm thinking I could even "dress" up my yoga tights with it. This will be great for fall. 

It's so hard to even think about wearing long sleeves right now, as today is supposed to be 105... pretty much all week has been burn-your-face-off-hot. It makes me down right mean. I want fall!!!! 

End rant. Next item!

4. Pixley Martina Slub Knit Open Cardigan $48

Now, I have to admit, when I requested an "open knit cardigan," I actually meant an open weave knit fabric, like the kind you knit on needles. Something airy, light, good transition for fall.

But, when I tried this on, I was actually really happy with it. Again, I can wear it with my yoga clothes (are you seeing a trend here?), it's super soft, it has pockets, and yeah. It has pockets.

I tried it on with both pairs of jeans, and my random shirt from Target that spoke to my soul so I bought it: "But First, Coffee." It's like the corporate Target billionares spoke to the clothing mill people in China about me, and they made this. I love happy endings.

Anyway......another view. My posture, gross. Cardigan, cute.

And the last item.

5. Bancroft Jayde Cut Out Spade Drop Earrings $32

Maybe these aren't the prettiest earrings in the world, but I would absolutely wear them. They are the easy hook-through style, gold-toned, and look almost identical to a pair I already own and wear almost every day. I do like mine better. 

However, these wouldn't be a terrible addition to my life. I'd wear them for sure. The thing is, $32 for obvious costume jewelry. BUT, with the $20 styling fee credit, they're really only $12.

So my conundrum is that if I keep the black jeans and the distressed jeans (I do need jeans and they both fit me amazingly) that's $150 + $78, minus the $20 styling fee... so I'd pay $203 plus tax. If I keep the WHOLE BOX and get the 25% off everything, the entire box ends up being $250. 

This is why I did that whole Facebook shenanigan. I really did need input and I needed it before Friday. I'm actually leaning toward just keeping the black jeans. I know they'd get worn and they are great quality. I did actually message Stitch Fix about price matching them to some I found on Amazon, but it turned out they weren't the "exact pair" from my box. So they said no. *sad face* That's not necessarily a deal breaker for me, but it's still something I'm contemplating.

If you want to join me on this crazy Stitch Fix adventure, you can sign up using my referral link and I will get a little credit when your first box ships! Click on the logo below to fill out your own style profile!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July Stitch Fix: Nobody's Perfect

I'm keeping it real this month, people. This was not my favorite Stitch Fix box. It wasn't even that anything was particularly awful about it, it just wasn'

Well, one dress was an "almost, but not quite." You'll see.

It's unfortunate, because we are heading out of state for a family wedding, and I was hoping for a new dress. I was also hoping for cute traveling clothes; you know, for the long, long drive with four children. Sometimes you need to feel like you look good, to feel good. And if you feel good, you behave nicely, and treat your kids and husband with kindness. 

And because of this Stitch Fix failure, I will probably be mean-mommy-of-rage. It's all their fault. I am no longer responsible for my bad attitude.

Just kidding. I wish I could blame a clothing subscription service for my bad behavior. That would be so convenient. 

Anyway, in spite of not keeping anything in this one, I still took lovely pictures for you, and I will give you the names and prices, in case you see something you have to have in your own box! 

First up, and actually my favorite of everything, the Le Lis Zealand Crochet Detail Knit Top $44

My 8 year old was my fashion critic this morning. She said "that's nice." But her heart wasn't in it. 

I liked this, and tried it on with my high waisted Paige cut offs. I just have a lot of gray tops. It's my go-to neutral these days. And the crochet shoulder detail was pretty, but I just don't need this. Especially for $44. Here's he back view. 

Cute, right? This is my style. But I could grab something similar at TJMaxx, and I don't need another gray top (trying to convince myself it's ok to let this one go).

Next, I tried on the Pixley Tracy Dot Print Cross Back Knit Top $58

My daughter loved this one. Can you tell? It's not my jam. I feel like a cartoon, with the colors, and the polka dots, and the really blousey sleeves. The positives were that the material was nice and subtantial, stretchy, and very very soft. Seemed like it would hold up well and the drape was nice. If you love polka dots, this is a nice top. 

Here's a back view. It has a cute cross-back detail.

If you are tall, this would work well for you as well. I thought his was quite long on my 5'4" self.

The last top I got in my box was the Pixley Edmond Chevron Print Henley Shirt $54

Psychedelic, man.

Again, the fabric is soft, the drape is nice, it's stretchy and comfortable. 

But, yucky. I really dislike the print and colors. My husband said it hurt his eyes. This was easy to pass on. 

I also got 2 dresses in this fix, which I requested. I needed something to wear for a backyard wedding next week, and it's always nice to have options.

The first dress was nice, but not me. It's the Le Lis Maude Floral Dress $78

This is a simple fit and flare style dress, with a v-back and an amazing twirl radius. Bella was trying to show me how to best try out the twirly-ness. She really loved this one. My husband really liked it too, but he also didn't know the price. Not that I wouldn't pay $78 for the "perfect dress" and the $20 styling fee applied would make it $58... But I just don't dig this style. I thought it would be perfect for my sister, though. She loves this silhouette. Here's a back view:

I could see my sis rocking this with red heals and a cute necklace. 

Now, the next dress had potential. This is something I would have picked up in a store, but the fit just wasn't quite right, and something about the color combo was a little off to me.

This is the Renee C Shiloh Maxi Dress $64

I have company. The baby found me.

The price was right, and it's a fun boho style, which I'm into right now. Also, the skirt has an attatched half-slip, so you don't have to stress (much) about your panty choices. 

One slit up the right side. I like it.

Cute back tie at the neckline. 

This was just a little weird fit-wise. The elastic waist kept moving around, and wasn't very comfortable. Also, the colors looked a little "Americana." Nothing wong with that, I just don't like to wear it.

So, yep, also going back.

I will say, I haven't had my favorite stylist, Soo, for my last couple of fixes. I miss you, Soo!!! 

My next box is scheduled in mid-August, just in time for fall-transitional styles, I hope. Not that it will be cool here AT ALL by then, but I like to plan ahead. Also, fall is my favorite. Even in California.

Apparently I'm an eternal optimist, because in mid-July I'm hopeful for fall; and in spite of not finding anything I adored this month, I still love Stitch Fix. I love surprises, and presents. So, done and done.

If you want to give this service a try, you can use my link and I will get a $25 credit when your box ships! Also, if you like anything you've seen in my boxes, you can request them by name or pin anything to your own style board on Pinterest. Link your Stitch Fix profile to your Pinterest board for better fixes. 

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Summer Stitch Fix

Just what I needed on this 104 degree day. It's hot, and I'm cranky. And it's the first day of summer vacation for my kids. So yeah, good times happening up in here. It really was the perfect day for a box of pretty clothes.

I can't believe this is my 11th Stitch Fix box! That's a lot of boxes. And clothes. This craziness all started because I had just had a baby and had nothing to wear last summer. In fact, I think it's been almost exactly a year since I ordered my first box! Happy anniversary to me!

This box was really fun, you guys. It was colorful and different, and fun and pretty! My regular stylist, Soo, wasn't able to style me this time, but Alexandra did a great job.

Here's the stack. I love all the colors!! The note from my stylist was super personal and specific and it was obvious she had read my feed back form not just my last fix, but from a ways back. She noted I liked yellow, so she included the striped yellow top that you see above. Although this yellow wasn't quite my shade (neon yellow, is it anyone's shade?), I loved the personal touch.

Let's get on with it! In this box, I got a pair of high waisted floral pants, printed shorts, and 3 tops.

I loved the variety and idea of this whole box. Everything was pretty, and feminine, and summery. But I really, really loved the teal Market and Spruce Solid Pleat Detail Top. So I tried it on first. It's a winner. It's simple, pretty, easy to wash and wear, and a great price point. I tried it on first with the cutoffs I had on:

It's very wrinkled. I shall fix that. But imagine it's practically perfect in every way. 

I just really love this color. I don't even think I own anything in this shade, so I'm keeping it.

Next, I went ahead and switched the top out for the yellow striped top with a lacey strip down the back and lace flutter-style cap sleeves, it's the Loveappella Lace Detail Knit Top.


It's not ugly or anything, but this color, neon yellow with cream stripes, it's strange. And the lace detail is cute, but not cap sleeves. And it's super duper long. And kind of sheer. I think it's just not my style, so it's going back.

Next I tried on the Margaret M. Emer Printed Straightleg Pant. These were fun, and I love a pretty floral pant, but the execution wasn't quite right. I literally just purchased a pair of floral joggers last weekend, so these were on point style-wise for me, but I was not a fan of these.

The fabric was a stretchy thick material, and I might have liked them better if they were a skinny pant or legging.... But I didn't love the sillouette. They also felt hot, because 104 today, you know? So maybe not a good summer pant. They were high waisted, here's another close up.

The gray top I'm wearing is the Pixley Back Lace Detail Knit Top, and I thought this would be a keeper. I loved the stretchy gray knit fabric, and the back detail was sexy. But something about it, it wasn't very flattering, maybe? Ignore the outline of my strapless bra, please. I did try it on with a better bra after this, and I still wasn't in love. Maybe if it was a better price, but it was over the $50 mark, so not worth it to keep.

Here's a shot of the back:

I had asked for shorts, so Alexandra sent me the Skies Are Blue Nessa Printed Shorts, and you guys, these are amazing!! I was hoping for a printed short, and these were so comfy, and I think they're pretty flattering.

I have them lower on my hips here, but they can be high waisted as well. However making them high waisted also makes them high leg-ed. And wow, booty shot. I didn't take a picture of that show. Sorry, friends, I know you're disappointed.

Here's the outfit I'm keeping! 

I like it. It's cool, and comfortable, and it makes me feel pretty. Everything a mom-of-four-during-summer-break can hope for. 

Thanks for reading yet another of my very non-professional Stitch Fix posts! If you want to give the service a try for yourself, feel free to use my link to sign up and fill out a style profile, and schedule a box whenever you'd like! You can click here, or on the logo below.

For my next box, I'm going to request some dress options for my cousin's wedding coming up in August, so that should be a fun post! Stay tuned, and stay cool, people!

~ Char

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Stitch Fix: Box of Pretties

Does this girl ever do anything else? Is she maybe a little obsessed with this silly Stitch Fix stuff?


I do other stuff, obvi. I'm a mom. If all I did was try on clothes, my kids would be dirty, malnourished and without clean attire.

But maybe I am a little bit obsessed.

Well, just very interested. 

I like it.

So I got another box yesterday! In it was a plethora of pretty. I got 3 tops, a dress, and a pair of white jeans. All hand picked for me by my stylist, Soo. 

First, white cuffed boyfriend jeans by Kut from the Kloth. I love them. I normally think this brand runs big, but these are fitting me perfectly. They are nice and stretchy and thick enough that I don't feel self conscious about my panty-choices... knowwhatimean? I tried them on initially with this gray hi-low tee I got in a prior "fix."

Next, this really pretty abstract tank by Brixon Ivy. It's so soft. It's like air. Unfortunately, it's dry clean only, and I'm not sure it can come to live with me. Maybe a little too high maintenance for a mom of four?? But it's super cute with the white jeans....

It has a gray knit back.

This is probably my (unexpected) favorite. This cobalt blue lace-detail top by Papermoon. I really would never think to wear this color, but when I put it on, I feel amazing. If you recall, there was another cobalt blue top in another box, and I didn't buy it. I regret that, but I'm so glad they sent this one. I feel fancy and casual all at once, which is very "me."

Look! The back dips into a "v." Nice. 

I really like it with the jeans too, but I don't think I'm keeping these. Only because I have some Gap cash to spend this month and I'll probably get some decent white jeans from there. The cost will be a lot less and I like their new straight leg fit. The Kut from the Kloth jeans are $78. That's not outrageous for jeans, but for these particular ones it's just not going to happen. Sad though. 

Next, I tried on this printed detail henley by Market & Spruce. I initially loved this top, but I don't love it so much on me. I tend to gravitate to this brand, and I normally like this neckline, but I just think the other tops were much more flattering.

I like the length and the hem line. Cute... but I think the blue top overshadowed it. And a girl's gotta make choices.

And then this dress!!! Bird print!!! Perfect fit!!! It's fully-lined too. And just so stinking adorable. But I'm not keeping it. Sigh. The material just seems a little scratchy or cheap or something. And then today I noticed a little run/snag thing on the skirt, and I can't pay $68 for it. **big sad face here** But even still, I'm happy with this pick. I hope I get more dresses in this sillouette. I think it suits me better than the maxi dresses I've been getting. 

Also, doesn't my feather necklace look cute with it? I got it for my birthday from my amazing mother-in-law. 

So I think I'm only keeping the blue top, you guys! I really almost kept the whole entire box, because I liked all of it and with the 25% discount for keeping all five items, it would have been a steal. Also, big thank you to all who have signed up with Stitch Fix via my link!! I have a little credit for this fix and that is amazing!!

If you want your own box of pretty clothes from Stitch Fix, you can click here or on the logo below! Also, I'd love to know what you get and how you like the service when you get your first fix in the mail. 

Happy Hump Day!

~ Char