Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Stitch Fix #2 (But My First Review!)

Hi everybody! I thought I'd take a break from my usual reflective posts and show you some fashion. A few months ago I signed up for a styling service called Stitch Fix. What is that? Well, I'm glad you asked.

When you sign up with Stitch Fix, you fill out an extensive online survey about your size and body shape (be honest; it's only going to help you!) and your style preferences. I especially liked rating the sample styles so they would know my preferences. (For the record, I'm mostly classic/preppy with a little romantic and boho style thrown in--or at least I wanted to try some of those items.) You also specify how often you need casual, business casual, date night, and special occasion clothes. Finally, you can exclude certain colors and items.

Once you get your items, you have three business days to try them on and decide. There is a $20 styling fee--but if you decide to keep anything, the fee goes toward that, which makes keeping at least one item totally worth it. Also great: if you keep all 5 items, you get a 25% discount. I wasn't going to keep the earrings (see below) but it was $50 cheaper to keep them, so I did!

As far as the price, I know some people won't pay this much for clothes. (You can specify a range of price or "As cheap as possible.") I am pretty cheap but these clothes are a) boutique quality so I doubt they will fall apart after a few wears like some things from Target;
b) unique yet designed to fit into my existing wardrobe--the stylists look back at other Fixes to find items that will mix and match with their selections. I almost didn't keep the blazer but once I saw how many ways I can wear it, I decided the cost-per-wear ratio would make it worth keeping.

Finally, I would highly recommend making a Pinterest board and sharing the link with your stylist. I think that is partly why my two Fixes have been so successful. I mean, I know my stylist is good, but giving her some visuals of the clothes I am drawn to really helps, I'm sure.

Kaylie French Terry Blazer, $128.

I love this blazer! I have long wanted a navy blazer and the soft, soft fabric makes this one perfect for my lifestyle--not too dressed up. My tween daughter may steal it; she tried it on and it almost fits her. Never would have thought a blazer would be her style, but that's how cool this one is.
(Note: the lighting makes it look darker than it is. It's actually a lighter navy.)

Poppa Open Cardigan, $58.00

Also a huge win! I needed a cardigan like this and this one is so lightweight, I can wear it even though it's still hot here. My stylist was right; it looks lovely with the coral top from my last Fix, but lots of others will work as well. I will have to wear a color underneath so it doesn't wash me out, but I can do that. I think it will look great with skinnies and brown boots or booties in the fall and winter.

Haven Dress, $64.00

OMG, this dress is PERFECT. Comfy, flattering, versatile, and a perfect fit. I wore it to church on Sunday and it was so comfortable. No ironing needed, ever. Next time I will wear my red heels with it. I can see layering it with a blazer or cardigan or my jean jacket for sure. I would take more of this dress in a different color/pattern!

Arturo Plaid V-Neck Top, $48.00

I like this top too! I thought maybe it would  be too loose on me but the pictures say otherwise, don't you think? Another great top in fall colors but lightweight. I wore it with white jeans here because my dark skinnies were too dark. C thinks yellow or red (both are in the plaid) would work. I can also layer it under a jacket in the winter, preferably an olive green military jacket like I keep seeing everywhere and have requested if Stitch Fix gets one. (I won't wear it with red pants if I wear a military jacket! Talk about Christmas!)

Mayla Stone Crystal Stud Earrings, $38.00

These were very pretty but more than I would normally pay for earrings. However, the discount made it possible for me to keep them. I can probably wear them with more than I think.

Overall thoughts:
Kiersten totally nailed it! She got my style and added some fun things I might not have picked but love. I'd love to have her style me again!

If you would like to try Stitch Fix, please consider signing up with this link:

For every person who signs up, I get a credit to be used towards my next Fix... a big thanks to my pastor's wife who signed up after my last Fix!

Finally, I know I didn't do a review of my first Fix, but here is a picture of my husband and me in which I am wearing a coral top and statement necklace from it. As you can see from the previous pictures, I will be able to layer this top on into the fall.

I can hardly wait until my next Fix. My budget says it will have to be in November (I am on the every two months plan) but it's so fun, I would love to do it every month...and blog about it, of course!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

She's Got This

Four weeks of school are now behind us. Since 7th grade is the first year students can participate in Athletics, it's also our first year in the wonderful world of middle school sports.

For girls in our district, the choices are volleyball, basketball, cross-country, tennis, and track and field (I think--remember I'm getting almost all of my information second-hand). You have to do two sports; right now it's volleyball season so the concurrent activity is cross-country. 

All of this is completely foreign to me since 
     a) I attended a tiny private school with only one sport for girls--volleyball. I'm 5'2". 'Nuff said.
     b) I don't have an athletic bone in my body. Since I was a high school teacher for several years, I know a little bit about extracurricular activities--mainly, that when you are absent for a game, you should always get your makeup work ASAP. 

I still stand by that, by the way. Academics shouldn't suffer due to participation in a sport.

Anyway, we left it up to C to decide if she wanted to try out for volleyball. She hasn't played much, but I thought she had a decent chance of making one of the teams. I think she was a little nervous about trying out, though, because instead she chose cross-country, which has no tryouts. After her Athletics coach explained what was involved, she told me, "Coach K said it's great for people who like to push themselves. I can't wait!"

It's true, she does like a challenge.

And she got one. In the first week, she ran more than I probably have in all the years of my life combined. Besides the running in cross-country, which happens before school, in Athletics, they do strength and conditioning and more running. At this point I think she's doing at least 2 miles a day.


Last week she started saying that her knee hurt. After the first week of athletics, the coaches sent out an email saying that they were not accepting parent notes to excuse students from working out. (Translation: the kids were sore because even the most active ones probably hadn't ever worked out this much, but the coaches weren't having it.) If a student thought they were injured, they should go to the trainer, or go to the doctor and bring back a note. Period.

After a day or so, C went to the trainer, who told her it was tendinitis, due to repetitive stress, and that a special brace thingy that puts pressure on the spot would help, and that she should take ibuprofen and stretch. We did that.

Remember she's still running 2 miles a day and doing squats, lunges, and I don't know what all.

Web MD said when you have tendinitis you should rest it completely. Meanwhile the coaches are telling her to "take it easy" but I'm not sure that's in my daughter's vocabulary. I could feel the worry circling in my mind, not yet becoming full-fledged anxiety, but I went back and forth on whether I should email the coaches, or the trainer...or go ahead and take her to the doctor even though I knew what the doctor would say and since we don't have traditional insurance, it would be out of pocket...and then she's on the list for the meet on Friday...should she bow out and let someone else go?

Then I felt this rising up in me: Let her talk to the coaches and visit the trainer. She's got this.

Sure, I couldn't help mentioning what she needed to hear from the trainer (namely, was she or was she not fit to continue running?) Then when I found myself telling her what to say to the coach and getting an impatient response, I got the message (finally) and bit my tongue.

That day she got in the car saying, "The trainer did some kind of voodoo magic on my knee!" (It's a machine that sends an electrical pulse through electrodes to relieve pain.) She had talked to the coaches. In Athletics that talk happened after she was trying to do the whole workout and started crying. The coaches said she needed to tell them she was hurting BEFORE it got to that point. Her knee started feeling better. But by the time of the meet on Friday, it was hurting again, and she and her coach decided that she should wait until she's healthy to compete. She was disappointed at first but rallied to cheer her teammates on.

What a lot of lessons she had an opportunity to learn. If I had stepped in and taken over with my anxious-mother emails, she wouldn't have learned any of them. 

Now, I am NOT saying that we shouldn't listen to our mommy-radar when it pings, "This doesn't seem right! I should check it out!" Most of the time when we listen to our deepest intuitions, it turns out we were right. 

However, I AM saying that I actually did listen to my intuition, the one that lies beneath my knee-jerk worried-mom reaction. Admittedly, C makes it easier for me, a certified wimp who hates taking risks, to let her be independent because she tells me to. This is the child who was so excited on the first day of kindergarten that we got there before anyone else except the student teacher (her actual teacher wasn't even in the room yet.) And once C had a puzzle in front of her, she looked at me and said matter-of-factly, "You can go now."

"What? Are you...are you sure you don't want me to stay at least until someone else gets here?"

"No. You can go." And I was dismissed with a wave of her hand. 

I walked away a little stunned, but knowing instinctively that she wasn't unattached to me, and that she did still need me for some things.

Just not this time.

I was right when I decided, She's got this. I just have to let her handle it.