[REVIEW] November Stitch Fix

Two months ago I was ready to quit Stitch Fix. After an array of terrible fixes, I was tired of being bummed out and disappointed. So, I emailed them, they responded, credited me my $20 fix fee, and gave me a new stylist. I figured, I’d give it ONE more shot.

novemberstitch-fix-review

This stylist…was better. Everything I’ve read is to be as specific as possible with your stylist and if you like a stylist to hang onto them for all your might. I haven’t found a stylist I love yet, BUT if I had this one again, I wouldn’t be upset.

Drew Filigree Collar Necklace, $28

At first look, this is a pretty statement piece, but when you feel it, it just felt a little cheap, and for $28 I was kind of m’eh on it. I couldn’t really get it untangled, so i knew from the start, that it wasn’t a good piece for me.

Verdict: Returned

Liverpool Anita Skinny Pant, $78

liverpool skinny pant

I got these pants in red last year and I lurrrrrrve them. So I was really excited when I asked if they had them back (they did) and they were in my box. Navy is a solid color and since these are so versatile for office or weekend, these were definitely a keeper.

Verdict: Keep

Koda Split Neck Blouse

koda split neck blouse

Super cute. But didn’t quite fit right. I don’t think the petite tops really fit me well – they tend to be too tight in the hips. I was kind of bummed the fit was a touch on the small side but while the top was cute, the polka dots were a bit big for my liking. Color me picky.

Verdict: Return 

Claussen Ruffle Hem Top

claussen ruffle hem top

Not quite seasonally appropriate – super cute and flowy, had I gotten this in like…July I probably would have kept it but alas, not so right for November.

Verdict: Return

Salma French Terry Blazer

salma french terry blazer

Man, this blazer was ALMOST a win. It was a bit out of my budget AND the sleeves were too long and when I tried to exchange the size, other sizes were sold out. Had it fit just a touch better, I would have possibly convinced myself to keep it. Maybe. Probably not. That being said, the fact that you can now exchange sizes with your fix is a totally awesome upgrade.

Verdict: Returned

Overall, this fix was definitely a step in the right direction. A bit closer AND they listened to my request for my favorite pants. I still switched it to quarterly. I needed a little bit of a break – i think my bank account needed a little bit of a break too.

Have you tried Stitch Fix? If not, it’s worth a try at least once – not that you can ever get just one. Seriously. If you do sign up, I’d love for you to use my link!

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Friday Five: Back again

I’m in a post-inbound whirl. I had a Friday Five last week…but I never added a picture, then I fell asleep on the train and never posted it so….whoops. But, here are a few sweet reads to take you into the weekend!

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  1. If you’re not in this group on Facebook, I highly recommend it. The admin, has a blog and this post is everything you need to buy on Amazon. yep. I said it. Amazon. I’ve got this top and this vest and these shoes in my cart right now just waiting for me to hit purchase (they’re also on the wishlist for the holidays..hint hint hint).
  2. The title of this post alone is everything. But seriously, why do brands think they can pay creatives next to nothing or pay us in product for our time? NOT. OKAY.
  3. I don’t run with the jogging stroller anymore, because Little Man hates it, so to all you running mamas with your strollers? You rock and inspire me everytime i see you hitting the trails.
  4. Previous offices have had no dress code, I loved this article because my general way of thinking is dress for the job you want not the job you have so even when i was at an office with no dress code, I always took my cues from my bosses when it came to wardrobe.  (h/t from Work Edit).
  5. This outfit on Jean is EVERYTHING. You can just order every piece and box it up and ship to me. Is there a JCrew Factory Santa for that?

on the blog

My #inbound packing list – a post-mortem if you will.

One year later… still missing my nana.

Next week:
November Stitch Fix review and Thanksgiving outfit inspiration

 

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In My #Inbound16 Suitcase

I tend to be an over packer. Like serious over-packer. I was gone for five days and I think I packed nine tops, four bottoms and four pairs of shoes. So, taking a lesson from some of the inspiration I used to pack  for this particular trip (this post, this one and this post mainly), I’m sharing my best packing tips and what I loved in my #inbound16 suitcase.

 

inbound suitcase

Tops:
Blazer (Gap – old, similar) | sweater | tunicbutton down | ruffle hem sweatshirt (LOFT, similar) | striped tee | Striped Peplum top (similar..ish) | pintuck popover |

Pants: 
Black Ponte Pants | Jeans |

Shoes:
booties (Old Navy, similar) | Flats | leopard flats (Madewell via Poshmark – similar)

Not pictured: this fantastic sweater which I wore home on Saturday with these leggings (which are back this year and on sale for 40% off!!) and these riding boots.

Lessons for dressing for a conference – from conference room to the cocktail hour 

Plan, plan, plan. Seriously. I had an idea what I wanted to wear but really, I suppose I didn’t need to bring ALL of my favorite fall wear. I did some pinning, but if I stuck to my outfits and did a little more suitcase capsule planning, I might have been better off and been less likely to over pack.

Dress comfortably. This goes without saying, but heels are out. I didn’t end up wearing my booties so I could have left those. I did pack my riding boots – but I wore them on my way home from CT not at the conference as I suspected. We didn’t go back to our hotel rooms between conference/keynotes/dinners/going out – a luxury I had during my first Inbound experience so dressing business casual was a good thing.

Check the weather. I forgot my jacket, y’all. I lived in Boston for five years, just because it’s in the 60’s and I don’t need a jacket in Maryland, doesn’t mean I should leave my jacket behind. I totally did this as I rushed out the door on Tuesday morning. WHOOPS. You see, my suitcase didn’t have room for my blazer, so I just wore that. Except, it was like 10 – 15 degrees colder in Boston than in Maryland. Dress for the weather where you’re going homies. Don’t forget a jacket when going to New England in November. Rookie mistake.

I loved inbound – that’s a separate post for another day but between the fantastic people watching and the incredible speakers and breakout sessions, if you’re in marketing, this is one conference you don’t want to miss.

What are your favorite packing hacks?

 

 

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What I wore: A Pretty Fall Floral

For those of you who sometimes wonder if Influencer Marketing really works, I will say that yes. Yes it does. How do I know? Take a peak in my closet my friends.

I mean think about, think about what you read and the purchases you make. 90% of my clothing in my closet, I most likely saw on a blog and was like oooooh that’s cute.  Most of the times, it works. Others, it doesn’t and gets returned.

what i wore fall florals

Thus the inspiration for this beautiful top from Old Navy that’s some Fall Floral win. I saw it on a couple of blogs, and ordered it online on a whim. At first, I was kind of undecided but when I got it and put it into action, I’m so glad I kept it.

fall floral outfit

{Ponte Pants (similar) | Tank (exact) | Sweater (similar) | Shoes (similar)}

To be honest, I’ve never been one for florals – I’m much more of a stripes kind of gal, but these florals are kind of amazing and won me over. So for me, florals are one of those things that I always think I’ll like…but kind of just never really work out quite right. Thankfully this fall i feel like the floral trend is a little more on point and not too…grandmothers drapery-esque as I sometimes feel florals can trend.

Also, these ponte pants are among my favorite pants ever. They feel like leggings, and kind of look like leggings but also have back pockets, belt loops and a button and zipper like normal pants – so they pass for work pants for me in an office that frowns upon leggings. Ponte pants are the next best thing. #sorrynotsorry.

 

So huzzah for that!

Have you tried florals on this fall yet?

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Friday Five: Out Goes September

Happy Friday friends!! Another Friday, another month – where is all the time going!?

friday-five

  1. I think I’ve mentioned this podcast before but seriously, they speak my truth. The Girl Next Door podcast talked this week about creating happiness and absolutely inspired a post – something they said about friendships really resonated with me. Give it a listen!
  2. I am officially obsessed with this Loft top. I wore it last weekend with sandals and leggings, Monday night date night with my Tory Burch flats, and yesterday at work with booties for a rainy Thursday. It’s so versatile, comfortable. Highly recommend.
  3. I love this post on to do list styles and how to be more productive from HubSpot.
  4. I’ve recently started doing Body Pump in lieu of running (darker earlier, and I’m not really training for anything so kind of taking a break/trying something new) i feel like I need this tank just for the name. That and I have two of the racerback tanks in this style that took me through a couple of triathlons last year.
  5. Yep, all of the pumpkin recipes. I would like to try all of them.

 

On the blog

  1. My favorite podcasts. What have you been listening to lately?
  2. Stay tuned next week for my first Kid Box review and the October Currenly Linkup.

Worthy for the weekend

Loft Sale: 40% sale and select fall favorites. $20 off sweaters. My picks: Floral Peplum blouse, Speckled Henley top, Classic boyfriend sweater.

Old Navy: 30% your order. This cut out tank top, this swing top, this striped top (because you can never have too many), this poncho sweater. (ends 10/1)

JCrew Factory: Buy one sweater, shirt or t-shirt, get one 50% off. this pretty popover,  this cardigan (because you can never have too many), this tie waist sweatshirt.

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My Favorite Summer Dress

I heard on the radio on the drive home from work the other day that we’ve had a stupid number of days where it was at least 90 degrees – 49 days to be exact. So over half of the past 60 days have been too hot to handle if you will. So I’ve been leaning on dresses a bit more – even though at least half of those 49 days, I’ve had my heater on at my desk at some point or another. Office temperature wars – it’s a real thing.

jcrew factory dress

{dress (similar)  | shoes (similar)  | belt | Necklace – similar}

Fun fact, I also bought this dress in two other colors – red and blue (sold out). To me, these dresses are perfect for a business casual environment – they can be dressed up with a cardigan or blazer, or dressed down with flats and a fun belt. The red did shrink a touch on me which I was none too pleased with so I sized up when i bought the blue and the stripe.

jcrew dresses

I’m really a go-with-what-I-know-works kind of gal – so when I see something that i like that looks good on me or that I feel confident in, I’m going to go with it.

What’s your go-to summer outfit? 

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My Favorite Home Workouts

Hubs is out of country for about a week and a half. Fitting in workouts – like running or my favorite pilates classes at the gym are difficult with near 100 degree temperatures, work, a 35-minute commute, and a 3-year-old who doesn’t enjoy the gym daycare who also has an early-ish bedtime. So time to dust off some of my favorite at home workouts.

I love to find plans, but the reality is, I have workout ADD and can’t stick to a plan so I always modify to my own likes and needs and whatever i’m feeling that day versus sticking to the same workout for 3 months.

at home workouts

Bikini Body Mommy

I have a group of mom pals who have done many of her 90 day challenges. She’s also expanded her offerings and has great prenatal videos, an abs series and nutrition guides that are optional for a nominal fee. I enjoy these videos because the workouts are generally 15 – 20 minutes long and because of the length, motivate you to kick ass and take names in that short workout span. Because I don’t typically do the whole series, I’ll double up on workouts – i.e. one strength day and one cardio day to make the most of it – even then, the workouts are still around 25 – 30 minutes at most.

Blogilates (pop pilates OR cardio beat)

I recently checked out these videos – they’re fantastic. I love her challenge format, and the calendars have great, short workouts as well as healthy living tips. Definitely worth checking out if you’re looking to learn more about pilates – plus Casey is adorable and has great energy in her videos.

21 day fix

I’m a big fan of the 21 day fix. I’ve done all of the videos, but haven’t done the 21 day fix all the way through. The workouts however, are between 20 – 30 minutes and are sure to work up a sweat. Plus Autumn Calabrese isn’t completely annoying. While I didn’t mind Shakeology, it was a bit pricey for me. But I highly recommend finding a coach (they’re a dime a dozen) if you decide to do the 21 day Fix program.

PiYo

Another Beachbody program, but last night I did the sweat workout just for kicks. I was dripping by the time the 34 minute workout was done. A great, low-impact workout that is pilates and yoga inspired and doesn’t require any equipment. Consider it pilates/yoga combo…on steroids.

I’m also a big fan of finding HIIT workouts on pinterest – whether I’m working out at home OR hitting the treadmill at the gym – the workout resources on Pinterest are endless.

What are your favorite at home workouts when you can’t make it to the gym? 

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March Stitch Fix Review

How has it been a month since I last wrote a post?!

In that time: I started a new job (more soon?!), Ethan turned 3 (more soon!!!), I hosted the first holiday in our new home and I had to “defer” my cherry blossom 10 miler race to next year (by luck. Adam’s drill changed and I couldn’t justify doubling the cost of a race for a sitter who i may or may not be able to find for 530a on a Sunday).

So yeah. Back to Stitch Fix. Last month was very m’eh. I wasn’t in love with anything – i got one top that was really cozy but it’s not really something i would wear not on the weekends.

So what did I get?

Lavania Lace Knit Top

I loved this one It felt like it was made for me. Casual. Dressed up. It was the one piece that i loved in this box. Keep.

Esie Laser-Cut Flats

stitch fix shoes

I so wanted to love these. I really did. But they were a touch too big and when I tried to walk around in them, they rubbed a lot on my heels so I knew it would be blister city and as a runner, ain’t nobody have time for blisters. Return 

Tamarindo Blazer

I really wanted to love this. It was a pretty blazer and a fun style but it was a touch too tight in the chest and I felt it when i lifted my arms. Wamp wamp. Return.

Ronan Crochet Detail Blous

stitch fix top

Normally I LOVE peplum. But this was just…m’eh. I thought it would be really cute with a nice cardigan, but it just draped and was not flattering at all. Sad day. Return.

Chassie Textured Knit Dress

LOL. LOL. LOL. Too tight. Too short. A for effort because I do love me a navy sheath like nothing else, but not so much on this one. Also, NOPE dot COM on the flutter sleeves. AMIRITE?! also, I need some self tanning lotion because holy pasty legs! Return

I figure, I’ll keep stitch fix around if I can get one piece because i love their styling, and I get some great ideas for sure.

Do you use Stitch Fix? What has your experience been? If you’re interested in giving it a shot, please use my referral link!

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Weekly Workouts

Happy Tuesday!

I haven’t shared my weekly workouts in a while but as I ramp up training for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler – and try to get caught up on the Zooma Virtual 10k (Run Love Challenge!) training – I’m getting started again for the accountability. With all the house stuff, workouts have been the last thing on my mind but now I really need to get back to it. Normally these posts come on Mondays but yesterday was survival of the fittest with us being stuck inside for most of the day – daycare was closed and our road was an icy, slushy, unplowed mess for most of the day.

Weekly


Tuesday:
 spin/21 day fix cardio
Wednesday: 21 day fix OR a short run
Thursday: 21 day fix upper
Friday: rest
Saturday: Run 35 min
Sunday: PiYo class OR Body Pump

I’m technically signed up for the virtual training with the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler, so I’ll be mixing in elements of that – but next week really kicks off my training and I plan to use a modified version of the Hal Higdon 15k Training plan. I’ll share more about that next week, but thats why my “time” running is lower. Also, I hate running on the treadmill. And people drive crazy on my road (that doesn’t have sidewalks) so I’m going to pass on the outside running until this ish melts a bit more.

Edited: my schedule got thrown out of whack when Hubs was activated for National Guard duty yesterday. He may be home tonight but we never know so I threw in 21 day Fix workouts since I’m not comfortable taking Little Man running in this weather with these icy conditions. We’ll see when/if I make it to the gym this week 😐

How do you stay motivated when it’s cold, icy and just in general nasty outside?? Any winter workout tricks?

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The Working Parent Balancing Act

So many people ask me how I can be so busy and yet stay so active and train for races regularly – especially as a working parent. It’s a juggling act my friends. It’s not easy and you pick your battles.

smoothie

What do I mean? It’s a balancing act of compromise – knowing when to rest. Knowing when to be a little selfish and knowing when your family needs you. My workouts to me are important – they keep me sane, healthy and give me the 1/2 hour to 45 minutes of me time I know I need to be the best version of myself and thankfully, I’m blessed to have a husband who understands that.

Despite finishing Iron Girl and being relatively happy with my time, I did not train 100% according to my plan. I didn’t get nearly as many miles on the bike as I would have liked, I nursed injured calves through most of my training, and I leaned on hubs a lot in the mornings when I would get up and out to work out and he’d get little Man up and ready for school. But I did my best and really, that’s all I could have hoped for.

Check your schedule 

What do I mean by that? I mean look at your family’s schedule first. I know that little Man has speech therapy two days per week. One of those days I take him. Now, hubs is back in classes so I know two evenings a week I’m on the hook for pick up. I don’t work out every day – I try to – but I also value rest days. Weekends we go out and be active as a family whether to the park, or walking/running around the neighborhood. Weekdays are tougher but as many working parents of toddlers especially can understand, you just have to do the best you can. But I always look at my schedule and know what days are going to be ideal for morning/evening workouts

Be realistic

if you’re not a morning workout-er, don’t bank on getting in a 5 mile run or a 15 mile bike before work. Save the long workouts for the weekends when you can compromise with your spouse. As i mentioned, do the best you can. Maybe set the goal to workout 4 days per week rather than 5 or 6. Setting yourself up for success, versus failure, will make a huge difference when it comes to setting realistic goals for yourself.

Don’t underestimate strength workouts

Can’t make it out for a run or a bike? Weather crappy? Oversleep? Too many morning meetings to risk getting into work late? I’ve dealt with all of those things, and do pretty regularly. Now that hubs is back in classes, I know I can plan for an evening workout for 30 minutes or so after Little Man goes to bed with a fitness video (last night I did the 21 day fix Upper Fix – my arms are HURTING today). There is nothing wrong with getting your butt kicked for 30 minutes with an intense cardio DVD or whatever other workout you may scrounge up. It might not line up with your training plan, but it’s better than nothing.

Make it a Priority

Listen, there are certain musts in every day. If you prioritize your workout x days per week like you prioritize your cleaning routine or how many nights you’re going to cook a family meal, then you might actually get your workouts in and feel accomplished. I add my workouts to my to do list and make sure it’s either the first thing I check off in the morning or the last thing I check off before winding down at night. If it’s a priority for you, then you’ll make it happen.

Plan ahead

I plan my workouts out for the week at the same time I plan our meals and our grocery list. I take into account: Hubs’s MBA classes, Running Group nights, Work happy hours, plans with friends, and everything in between. Will I make it to my regular Thursday night yoga class? Should I work out in the morning? What’s the weather going to be like? This helps me plan out my week to set myself up for success but I also factor in my rest days because those are just as important and I can go about my day without stressing about missing a workout.

Find a buddy

Nothing says accountability like finding a friend.  Whether you join a weight loss group (think DietBet), Weight Watchers, a running club, or sign up for a training program – finding a group to hold you accountable does wonders. I joined up Fleet Feet’s No Boundaries 10k group as a mentor – now I have to run Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturday’s – I’m accountable and I know that people rely on me to be there. Additionally, some moms and I got together and have a dietbet-ish type of facebook group – we weigh in once per week, we comment regularly, and we pay $10. I haven’t hit the goal yet (5% this time around!) but it’s the accountability and knowing that i have a group of mamas who have the same struggles that I do that makes it fun for me.

It’s a balancing act though friends. My fitness and healthy living efforts are not flawless. I am not perfect. I dove right for those stupid sugar cookies at Wegman’s yesterday in the brief 20 minutes I had between meetings – but gawd was it delicious.

Working parents, what are your tips for balancing training for big races, accomplishing hefty weight loss goals while juggling a family and a full time job? 

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