Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Faves: Household Edition

It's Friday & Spring is in full effect!

Plants are blooming, birds are chirping,  and the weather is warming up. 
It's one of my most favorite times of the year.

Speaking of favorites, here are some of my mine. 
These are products I use in my home daily. 
The best part of all of them is that they're effective and reasonably priced. 

1. Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Dish Soap in Geranium-- We are huge Mrs. Meyer's fans in this household. Their products are made from plant-derived ingredients, biodegradable, & cruelty-free. They are also effective against grease & grime and available in a favorite of garden-inspired scents. I love the Honeysuckle, Basil, & Iowa Pine varieties, but I recently picked up a bottle of the Geranium scent, and it's my new favorite. So much floral goodness.

2. Easy Breather by Herbalogic: With all of the pollen in the air here, this product is a staple in our home. It was an absolute life-saver during cedar season & we're finding it equally effective now, too. It's made right next door in beautiful Austin, Texas. Pick some up from Herbalogic's website, Whole Foods, & other specialty co-ops & pharmacies. You won't regret it.

3. Downy Unstopables In Wash Scent Booster (Glow scent): I love for my laundry to have a strong scent that lingers well after it's been hung up in the closet. This scent is hard to describe, but think floral, with a hint of sweetness. Majorly obsessed.

4. Method Vanilla Creme Hand Soap: Part of Method's limited Summer collection and smells just like a cupcake. Smells good enough to eat, but don't. Winner for kids & adults. Love, love, love. 

Hope your weekend is full of all kinds of sunshiny fun!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Stitch Fix- What I Learned & Loved From My First Fix

Stitch Fix. Have you heard about it yet?

I have been seeing it on several of my favorite blogs and all over Instagram for some time now and while it seemed like a neat idea, I have to admit, I was very skeptical. It just seemed expensive & I assumed there was absolutely zero way my stylist would be able to choose clothing for me that would fit or that I'd actually like.

I don't have a lot of patience when it comes to shopping for clothes. There aren't many (if any) clothing stores in my small town, so having to drive 'into town' (Austin) to shop, just ups the annoyance factor for me. I also tend to frequent the same stores over & over (and over) again and I'm very budget-conscious. After going back and forth for at least a month or two, I decided to take the plunge.

So, what is Stitch Fix?

In case you're unfamiliar with this personal styling service, here goes:
You sign up for the service & fill out your Style Profile. This is your chance to tell the stylists all about YOU-- your style, your size, your body type, and most importantly (to me): your budget. After that, schedule your Fix & pay the $20 styling fee. You pay the $20 up front, but it's then applied to anything you decide to keep out of your shipment. Once your shipment arrives, you have 3 days to try everything on & decide what you'd like to keep. Didn't love something? Easy. Simply return the items you don't want in the pre-paid mailing bag. Then log in to your Stitch Fix account & pay only for the items you decide to keep. You will receive a 25% discount if you decide to keep all 5 items. Be sure to leave detailed feedback on everything!

So, without further adieu:

    Here's what I received in my first Fix!

{Under Skies Shawn Box Pleat Detail Blouse-- $48}

I absolutely love this blouse! The lightweight, sheer material is perfect for Spring/Summer and I really enjoy it's long, flowy style. I'm a flowy top & skinny jeans kinda gal, so this was a perfect match for me style-wise. Orange tones are my most favorite to wear & the deep coral color is just  gorgeous. The long pleat down the middle dressed it up a smidge, but it could also be worn super-casual with dark capris or white shorts. I really, really loved this top and had it been just a tad smaller, I would've kept it, no question. 

Status: Returned {regretfully}

{Just Black Adora Skinny Jean -- Light Green-- $88}

Holy price point! I've never spent $88 on jeans in my life. These jeans are a cute color, especially for Spring. They're also quite the departure from my dark rinse American Eagle skinnies that I wear at least 3 times/week. Kudos to my awesome stylist, Jenna, because she absolutely nailed the fit on these. They fit perfectly in the waist & bottom (which almost never happens because I have a small waist, yet ample tush) and I love the style. My main beef with these adorable jeans (aside from the price), is that they're entirely too long. I typically wear petite or short length jeans and these are more of an average or regular length. 

I even tried hiding all of that extra fabric by tucking the jeans into a pair of boots. ;)

Status: Returned 

41Hawthorn Yoshi Embroidery Detail Tank ($54)

This top is exactly what I was seeking when I asked for Spring & Summer clothes! This flowy polyester blouse is a stunning teal green with the perfect pops of coral & white embroidery.  I really loved the high-low aspect of this blouse. Definitely my style, but unfortunately this was one was also a tad too big. 

Status: Returned {unfortunately}

Tart Azaria Braid Detailed Tank ($54)

I really enjoyed the stretchy fabric of this tank & the whimsical braid detail of the neckline & straps. Perfect for Spring & Summer! Unfortunately, this was way too big on me. 

Status: Returned

Street Level Houston Small Quilted Crossbody Bag with Chain Strap ($48)

When I first opened up the box, I was slightly annoyed because I didn't want anything but clothing in my Fix. Turns out, I'm super happy they sent this because it's my favorite piece in the box! 
I just recently stopped carrying my gigantic Tory Burch Weekend Tote {gift from a friend, because I'd never, ever spend that much on a bag}, in favor of the sleeker, crossbody style, so this was perfect! I adore the vibrant teal color of this bag, the adjustable gold chain strap, the exquisite stitching, and the zippers. And the lining? Be still, my heart. 

* Cute side note regarding this bag: When my daughter laid eyes on it for the first time, she squealed with delight & promptly begged "I need this purse! I love it sooo much. We can trade or I'll pay you in money! I neeeeed this!"

Status: Kept

What I loved & learned:

I loved how convenient & fun turned out to be! With Stitch Fix delivering beautiful garments directly to my door, I no longer have to travel into and all over Austin in search of something to wear. This saves fuel & my precious time-- score! And if I decide to make a return? Easy. All I have to do is drop it in my mailbox-- for free! Can't beat that. The fact that I can try all of the items on in the comfort of my own home is a real plus in my book, too.

* I love that Stitch Fix forced me out of my comfort zone. If you were to look into my closet, you'd see a ton of black, gray, & burnt orange (Hook 'Em!). Honestly, I only own about 10 shirts total and they're all pretty much the same. Stitch Fix sent gentle pops of color that I love, just never buy. 

* Stitch Fix listened to my wishes. I asked for Spring & Summer clothes and the color palette & style of clothing they sent was spot-on. They also incorporated a few ideas with a pop of color from my Pinterest board into my shipment. I love that! 

Just take a look: 1 & 2 are examples from my Pinterest board & 3 is what they sent:

* I was initially put off by the steeper-than-MY-normal prices of these items, but what I quickly learned is that paying a higher price for a quality item is okay. It will probably actually pay off in the long run! Typically, I'm a Target, Marshall's, & Kohl's girl and while the cost of clothing at these stores is quite affordable, often the quality is lacking. I can't tell you how many times I've found an item at a great price, yet it only lasts me several washes & wears. I then end up having to spend more cash to replace the item, when perhaps if had I spent a little more on a higher-quality piece to begin with, it would last me longer.

So, that's it! My first Stitch Fix experience & review. In short, I loved it and have already scheduled my second Fix. I specifically asked for 5 Spring/Summer tops at a lower price point (<$48). I also changed the sizes on my style profile up a little bit, so hopefully I'll achieve a better fit in tops. We'll see what arrives in a few weeks. 

If you'd like to experience Stitch Fix for yourself, you can sign up here. { <-- that little link there will take you to Stitch Fix via my personal referral code where I'll receive a small credit if you choose to schedule a fix. I'd be so appreciative if you did! }

Also, if you decide to try out Stitch Fix & love it, too, make sure to share your unique referral code with all of your friends and family. Anyone who signs up with your referral code earns YOU a $25 credit to apply to future purchases!

Questions? Just ask! I'll be happy to help.

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any way by Stitch Fix. I simply loved the service and wanted to share my thoughts on it with you. I paid for the Fix & the items I decided to keep from it myself. This post does contain my unique referral link. If you decide to use it, I will receive a $25 credit and love you long time. 

Happy Friday Eve, Friends!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wanderlust Wednesday-- Desert Southwest Road Trip


Image Source-- Visit her fabulous Etsy shop!

It's no secret that I love to travel. I also every little thing leading up to a trip: the research, the planning, the decision-making, the travel books (that I end up keeping well past their due dates), the anticipation & excitement-- I love it all. Travel is essential to me & I'm always looking for our next adventure.

Aside from a quick trip to New Jersey in June, our next big adventure will be a road trip to the desert Southwest this summer & I can. not. wait. From Texas, we'll head through New Mexico into Arizona stopping at the Grand Canyon, then northeast into Utah, and then over into southern Colorado before heading back home. Here are the on my to-see/to-do list while we're gone.

1. The Grand Canyon


Image Source

Despite it's touristy (is that a word?) nature, we have decided to visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon because of it's location relative to other points of interest on our trip. Initially, we thought we'd take the time to visit the North Rim (the cooler temps sound soo appealing), but the time it would take to travel there won't quite work with our schedule.

2. Horseshoe Bend


Image Source

Is this not one of the most stunning images you've ever seen? The rich colors of the canyon set against that brilliant backdrop? I seriously cannot wait. Speaking of brilliant, did you hear about this? Too, too cool.

3. Antelope Canyon



This slot canyon is the one stop I am most excited about. Located just outside of Page, Arizona on sacred Navajo land. I'm dying to see it. Torn between the upper & lower canyons (I don't think we'll have time for both), I'm leaning more toward the lower canyon.

4. Monument Valley


Located on the Arizona/Utah border, this region of Navajo land is studded with gorgeous sandstone buttes. I'm looking forward to driving the 17-mile road through the park & taking it all in. I've heard the road is in terrible condition & extremely bumpy, but I can't wait to hear my girl giggle going over the bumps.

5. Durango Mountain Resort


With all sorts of fun activities to do during the summertime (alpine slide, horseback riding, mining, ziplining, etc),  this place looks like an absolute blast for my girl.

So there you have it, my top 5 to-do/to-see things on our 2014 Summer road trip. What have I missed? Where should we stay/eat? What else MUST we see? Tell me!