Saturday, February 21, 2015

Stitch Fix February 2015

I am so excited that today I got my first Stitch Fix box!! I had heard about it a while ago, but I didn't want to make the commitment. Then I found out that you can do it one time and schedule later shipments as your schedule and budget allow! So let's dive right in!
My box arrived this afternoon (in the middle of a ton of snow & ice, by the way) and I couldn't hardly wait to open it! When you get the box, it comes with a pre-paid return envelope for you to return the clothes you don't want. It also has a little envelope that includes cards with styling ideas as well as the list of how much your items cost. I chose to look at those cards and info after opening and trying on all my clothes so that I could get my unbiased opinion on the clothes before I looked at prices!
Liverpool Shania Stitched Detail Jeans
I had requested a new pair of jeans because I've been looking for another pair I love as much as my Express Stella Ankle Skinny jeans! They sent this pair of Liverpool Shania Stitched Detail Jeans. I have them on in every picture. I liked them a lot! They were stretchy and comfortable! My only issue was that they came up a little higher on my waist than I usually prefer to wear my jeans. I wore them around for a few minutes because I was hoping I would be okay with it, but I just wasn't once I saw the price. They were in the $50-75 range and while I'm not opposed to jeans at that price, I have to really love them and these I just didn't love enough.
Status: Returned 
Market & Spruce Yuna Chevron Pointelle Knit Sweater
Everything else in my box was from a brand called Market & Spruce and I honestly loved their products. They have great fabrics and they were really comfortable and fit really well! So I had to just decide how much I liked everything. First I tried on the Yuna Chevron Pointelle Knit Sweater. It was definitely really comfortable, but I just didn't love the fit of it. You can see in the picture that it was a little see-through at the top and I didn't like that I would have to be careful about what I wore under it. I also wished it was a little more loose and over-sized in cut. I knew I wasn't keeping it even before I checked the price.
Status: Returned

Market & Spruce Aleah Heathered V-Neck Dolman Top
This is the item that had me going back and forth. I loved the cut, style and fit. It was super comfortable and I could see myself wearing it a lot! I wanted to keep it! But at the $25-50 price range, I just didn't feel good about keeping it when I have several shirts that look very similar.
Status: Returned (Reluctantly)

Market & Spruce Corinna Striped Dolman Top
This was a perfect example of why you should try everything on when it comes in your box! I wasn't sure I would love this one, but then when I put it on, it was just so comfortable and flattering! It's a really soft material and it fits a little more loose everywhere, which is how I prefer my shirts. I can see it going well with a lot of my jewelry and shoes, so it seemed perfect! I also don't really have anything in that color! It was in the $25-50 price range, but it seemed well worth it!
Status: Kept

Market & Spruce Carly Graphic Print Cardigan
This was my absolute favorite thing in the box!! It is so warm, comfortable & soft!! I knew as soon as I pulled it out of the box that if it fit me at all I would be keeping it. You just can't go wrong with a great cardigan! I love the tribal print and seriously, Market & Spruce is a new favorite brand! I was disappointed to see that this was in the $50-100 price range, but I loved it so much and I had already ruled out enough other things that my overall purchase still fit within the budget I had set for myself.
Status: Kept!

Overall I found the whole experience with Stitch Fix to be extremely fun, convenient & rewarding! I found some brands I never would've found otherwise. Everything was in my exact size, based on the specific measurements I gave them when I signed up. I felt like the stylist had definitely taken my style into account. She even mentioned having looked at my Pinterest page to get ideas! I will definitely be scheduling another box sometime soon!

If you are at all interested in trying out Stitch Fix, I would definitely check them out!

(This post includes referral links.)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Be healthy, Stay healthy

One of my goals for 2015 (and my life) is to develop some healthy habits that I can keep throughout the rest of my life. I am so awful about working out and I would like to make it a regular part of my routine, for both fitness benefits as well as overall energy and mental health. I want my children to see these healthy habits as just a normal part of the routine.

I decided to do Couch to 5K because it's an easy way to get out of the house and just run around my neighborhood without doing anything too stressful, but I also want to add some strength training in as well.

So here's my recap from the first week...
Couch to 5K Week 1
Miles: 6.44
Routine: 90 seconds walking, 60 second jogging
Strength Training: None
Yoga: None
Number of Days I Worked Out: 3
Weight at end of week: 147.0

To the Newlyweds

A friend of mine asked me last night what marriage advice I had to offer if someone was getting married or new to marriage. It didn't take me long to come up with my answer because this is something I think about a lot and have thought about a lot over the years. I thought maybe I'd share my thoughts here.
My biggest piece of advice would be to allow love to look different at different stages. Love always starts with the romantic, giddy stage. But it grows and changes over time and I think we have to be willing to flow with that change. There will be days or even seasons where love looks more like friendship, more like partnership, even sometimes like roommates. Working to develop your relationship beyond the lovey-dovey, romanticized phase will prove beneficial over the course of your marriage. 

It's also important to allow yourself the freedom to not fear the sucky stages. And also to not deny them. As much as I didn't want them to come, the crappy stages came, just like everyone said they would. But with the commitment and relationship we had developed beyond the romantic, the crappy stages also went away. Life changes and people change and I think it is important to be prepared to allow those changes.

It's important to recognize that fighting or arguing doesn't mean a marriage is bad. And on the flip side, never fighting or arguing doesn't mean a marriage is good - in fact it could mean quite the opposite. There is no one-size-fits-all, other than the fact that the good and bad will come. Your good and bad and the way you choose to face it will just be different than others. 

I think the overall idea with marriage is that it's hard even on the best days. Because it's life. And life is hard. But I have also found that anything great in my life has always been hard and has always required work. Absolutely anything rewarding I have ever done has always come with seasons of difficulty or pain or questioning my purpose and my ability. Marriage is exactly the same.

So make the commitment to talk through the junk, to push through the difficulty, to allow each other to change. Communication is the thing that will allow changes in each other to not change the focus and commitment in your marriage. Prayer. Forgiveness. Service. I could go on and on, but it ultimately comes to this idea of allowing marriage to be imperfect and to be messy and to be wonderful and holy, but to also hurt sometimes. To know that committing to walk through life together means committing to continue even when you don't "feel" like you want to.

After 10+ years of marriage, yes it sounds like I just have the bad stuff to talk about, but that's because it's the bad times that make so many people question if they want to keep going. You'll love marriage when everything is wonderful, but you'll question it when everything hurts and everyone sucks and when you're angry and tired. I'm here to say that the bad have got nothing on the good, but you only get to the good if you continue walking through the bad.

So if you're at the beginning of your marriage and everything is romantic and full of joy, enjoy that. Love every minute of it! Know that there will be so many seasons of your life where you feel like that. And it's a wonderful, beautiful, God-ordained thing. But continue developing and communicating and building your relationship so that when life is hard and marriage feels more like work that you're prepared to keep going. Because there is beauty in that as well. 

Hard, even on the best days. And that's okay.
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