Thursday, May 15, 2014

Stitch Fix

I recently received an order from Stitch Fix.  It was my first one, and I thought I would share my thoughts on it.

I debated repeatedly on whether to even order a Stitch Fix.  I'd heard they could be pricey, and I am a "shop the sales at Target" kinda girl.  But, I had some money from my birthday that I had been given, so I thought I'd try it out.  The most I could lose was the $20 styling fee, so it wouldn't hurt too much. 

Sweet Rain Colleen Geo Print Tie-Neck Blouse
Some of you may be wondering what in the world I am talking about!  Let's back up  a bit.

Stitch Fix is a styling and tech service.  They use the information they gather from you to create a personalized shopping experience.

You go to their website and create a profile that covers what styles of clothing you like, what sizes you wear (they currently style Ladies sizes 0-14), your shape, your budget, and lifestyle .  There is also space to indicate how often you want certain pieces, like if you only want casual clothing, or business clothing, or a mixture, and if you would prefer statement jewelry, accessories, and such.  Then you schedule your Fix!   Scheduling a Fix costs $20, and you are charged at the time your box ships.  Should you keep any items from your box, this $20 is credited towards the cost of them. 

After your profile is completed and you schedule your Fix, you wait very impatiently.  You check your email to see if there is any communication from Stitch Fix, as though they are working on your specific Fix all month long!  You check your profile, and be sure that everything is just perfect.  And then, when you FINALLY get your shipping notice, you track your shipment every other hour. 

No?  Just me?  Hmmm.  I was rather excited about this!

Well anyhow, The day finally came when my package was delivered.  We were assembling a trampoline (I know, very glamorous!), and I stopped everything to take pictures of my box for all of you before I ripped it open, I mean, before I opened it. 

First of all, the box was adorable.  On the outside, it looks like any other old shipping box, but open it up, and it was so cute!  A cute design printed on the inside.  All items were neatly folded and wrapped up together in tissue paper sealed with a sticker.  Also inside are "styling cards," showing you two ways to style each piece you recieved.

Style Card in Stitch Fix box
At first look, I wasn't sure what I thought.  Everything was cute, but nothing was something I would pull off of the rack for myself.  When I shop, I think "practical."  I take care of children ALL of the time.  So I held off judgement until I tried everything on.

In each Fix, you receive five pieces.  You can determine if you receive accessories every time or not.  I chose not, as I am pretty picky about my accessories.  So, I received a dress, skinny jeans, and three tops.  I loved all of them!  If you keep every piece in your Fix, you receive a 25% discount on the total cost. 

41Hawthorn Harriet Azrec Print Fit and Flare Dress
To the joy of my husband (ha!), we did a little photo shoot.  Here goes!

1.  41Hawthorn Harriet Aztec Print Fit and Flare Dress $64.00
I was surprised that this dress fit PERFECTLY!  It a tank dress, and I paired it with a jean jacket, as the style guide suggested, or it can be worn with out the jacket.  It is so comfortable!  This dress can be paired with flats, sandals, or heels.  Throw on a necklace and it looks great!

2.  Sweet Rain Colleen Geo Print Tie-Neck Blouse $48.00
 This blouse is not something I would pick out.  I would say that it is even out of my comfort zone.  However, when I put it on, I loved it!  It has a triangle print on it, with a tie at the neck.  It is very lightweight.  As shown above, it goes perfectly with a little cardigan.  My styling cards suggested a mint cardigan, but I only have coral, and it goes perfectly!  This one can be paired with jeans, or a cute skirt.  The only complaint I could find about it is that it is hand wash, but my washer has that setting, I tried it, and it worked!
Sweet Rain Colleen Geo Print Tie-Neck Blouse

Pomelo Corinna Striped Heathered Dolman Top
3.  Just Black Adora Ankle Length Colored Skinny Jean in Soft Orange $78.00
I would call these pants more of a coral color.  They almost match the sweater I'm wearing in the top photo.  I do not have a photo of these because they were too small for me.  I loved them, though!  And while they do have an exchange policy for sizes, it is not guaranteed that they can exchange sizing due to availability, so my sister, who also loved the pants, kept them.

4.  Pomelo Corinna Striped Heathered Dolman Top $48.00
This was, by far, my favorite!  Sooooo comfortable and versatile.  It feels like a lightweight sweatshirt, and wears like a nice top.  I even dressed it up and wore it out one Friday night for date night!  And then I wore it again the next Friday as we were all home for the day.  I could live in this top! 

5.  Le Sample Kahlo Embroidered Racerback Tank $48
Le Sample Kahlo Embroidered Racerback Tank
This is one I have not worn yet.  The weather and my activities have not yet aligned.  It would be cute with white pants or shorts paired with it.  I think this one is the most challenging for me, as it is different than anything I own, but I like that about it.

As a mom of three, I love that I can "shop" at home!  Trying to find time to go shopping and try items on with three children in tow can be frustrating and emotional.  I loved being able to try the items on in my own home, and to look at the rest of my wardrobe to style each thing, unlike being in a store, hoping that shirt matches those pants or that skirt that you have at home, being able to try on shoes with each outfit. 

Stitch Fix is also helping me expand my style, and figure out exactly what I like.  While I do not normally spend this amount on clothing, it was all included in my birthday gift, and I feel that the pieces are of a higher quality than I would find at my typical stores.  I tried to give honest feedback to my stylist, and requested the same stylist for another round.  I have read that the more honest you are about what you like and dislike, the better the Fixes get.  I am hoping for a couple less expensive items this time around, but I also do not plan to keep more than one or two items.  The budget cannot handle more than that!

If you are interested in getting a Stitch Fix yourself, please use this referral link!  For every first Fix that ships from accounts using this link, I receive $25 credit to my account. 

*I did not receive payment of any sort from Stitch Fix to write this post.

*Affiliate links are included in this post.

Monday, May 5, 2014

It's 5 o'clock! What's for dinner?

It's 5 o'clock.

You are exhausted.

All you want to do is put your feet up and enjoy the evening.

But your kids want to know what is for supper.

And you realize that You. Have. No. Idea. 

I know!  I've been there!  So many nights, we would end up with breakfast, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or whatever could be scrambled up from the cabinets for supper.  It stressed me out.  Every. Single. Day. to not know what we were going to eat, to have to get up every morning and think all day long about what would require only what we already had on hand, that would not require me asking my husband to run to the overpriced local grocery store to get something.  I would get very little completed during the day because I was so concerned about what I was going to make.  Stress was the game of the day, and the kids and I were grumpy and hungry come dinner time.

That is why I am here with a solution!  You do not have to experience this.  It's an easy fix that does not cost a dime, and it will probably SAVE you money.

 Its a pretty big secret.

Are you ready?

Are you sure?!

It's called Menu Planning.


I told you it's simple!

Every month, I gather all of my supplies, I sit down, and write out a menu. For the whole month.  I try not to repeat any recipes, or only once, at the beginning and the end of the month.  I space out what kind of food we are having, and I plan for leftovers.

Here's how:

1.  Decide what format you want to use. 

You can use a calendar, a notepad, or your iphone.  Whatever works!

I'm a pen and paper kind of gal, so I use a notepad.  I write the dates/day of the week down the margin of the paper.

2.  Gather your recipes.

I use mainly my recipe box and pinterest.

3.  Check your calendar for any plans that may affect your dinner.  

Will you need to leave shortly after dinner time?  Will you arrive home just in time for dinner?  Will you need to eat away from home any nights?  Mark them down on your meal plan.

4.  If you are a family who usually has leftovers, pick what night is best for that, and mark it every week.  

Ours is usually Wednesday.  Scott has to be out the door before 6 pm, and currently, we have ball practice at 6:30.  That makes dinner a little earlier, so it's just easier to have leftovers. 

5.  Start filling in your menu with meals that your family enjoys.  

I start with one type of meal (beef, chicken, pork, pasta, vegetarian), and fill them in.  This way, I am aware of how ofter we are eating that type of meal in a month.

6.  After the main dish is filled out for the month, I go back and write in the side dishes as well.  

Generally, this means salad and a veggie dish. 

7.  Decide how often you will grocery shop and make your shopping list.  

My grocery shopping time is limited, as I have extra children all day in my home, and my children have practice nearly every night of the week.  This has "helped" me to decide to do shopping approximately every two weeks, with quick trips once or twice between to pick up a few things, like milk, bread, and fresh produce.

I do not shop for 14 meals when I grocery shop.  I buy for about ten meals.  I know that we do not eat dinner at home on Sundays (We are usually at my mom's, or on the rare occasion, we eat out.).  I also know that sometimes we have more leftovers than I planned, so there are extra meals in there.  Sometimes, we just have sandwiches for dinner because it works.  (Or because I forgot to check the menu that morning!)

8.  Check your menu every morning, and check your recipe so that you know how much time to plan for dinner preparations.  

So often, this is where I will fall off of the boat.  I forget to check the menu, to get the ingredients out of the freezer, or to be sure that we have everything needed.  

This is not a magic potion.  You have to do the leg work and keep it in front of you every. single. day.  But when you follow these steps, you will find that dinner is much less stressful, and you do no
t have to think about it all day long!

So tell me, 

How do you avoid the "what's for dinner stress?"

What strategies are working for you?