A BLOG ABOUT A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING

Thursday, May 28, 2015

May 2015 Stitch Fix Review

Okay, time for my 6th Stitch Fix review. I actually got my box on Friday at my mom's house, but I just now have some time to do my review.

If you decide to sign up for Stitch Fix based on my review, please use this link to do so. I would appreciate the referral credit. Stitch Fix does not compensate me in any way to write my reviews, so all opinions are totally honest. One thing I appreciate about Stitch Fix is that it does not have to be a subscription service (you aren't obligated to get a fix every month or ever again, but you can select to get a fix whenever you do want it).

The theme of this month's box was HIT and MISS!
My stylist was Angie. Here was the description for what I wanted:

"We're spending a weekend in Seattle...I'd love something to wear for out for dinner and for being tourists during the day. A dress...jeans...a cute top? I'm open to adventure, but I really want a colorful fix. NO JEWELRY...all clothes please! NO over sized cardigans. I don't like that look. Patterns are fun!"

Up first, the Victoria Distressed Jean and Simpson Halter Blouse: 


Damn, I didn't want to like these jeans: they are expensive, white, and have holes in the knees, but I LOVED them. They fit great, are just the right length, and are so comfortable. I couldn't deny myself. KEPT. 

The halter top was silky soft and way fancier than I thought a halter top could be. I love how it looks with these jeans, with shorts, or with a beige skirt. It can be dressed up or down. KEPT. 

Up next, the Maggy dress. 


How awful is this dress? Let me count the ways...I didn't think it was flattering, and I have no idea how any woman could wear a bra with this. I'm not a fan of strapless bras for a casual dress...that just isn't comfortable. 

I couldn't wait to change out of this. RETURNED. 

Up next, the Kalie distressed denim jacket and Taluca Printed pencil skirt. 

The jacket was too small...and also, it is not 1990 anymore (this is bringing back bad middle school memories for me). RETURNED.


However, the skirt is super comfortable. I love that I could wear it with a blouse for work, or wear it out and about this summer. KEPT. 

So, in conclusion, I kept 3 and returned 2...not bad. 

I love a good fix for a special occasion. Our special occasion is coming up. Brendan and I leave Saturday morning with my family for Seattle. On Sunday, we embark on an Alaskan Cruise together. This trip will be the first family vacation we have had in I don't know how long! In 2011, we took a trip to Palm Springs, California without my dad, and in 2013, my parents, Brendan and I went to a wedding in Las Vegas...but it has been so long since all of us traveled together. I'm REALLY excited to have a family trip and also to see Alaska. Brendan and I have planned some fun excursions. We have stops in Tracy Arm, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria British Columbia. Brendan and I will stay an extra couple of days in Seattle and see the sights. 

On Tuesday, I got my hair done, so it is vacation ready. 



If only I could style it as well as Peyton...it's nice to have a real haircut again, but I usually get so impatient with the blowdryer and just settle for air drying. 

Well, here's to turning in my grades for the interim class tomorrow and to vacation starting Saturday! 
<3 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Amanda's Bachelorette Weekend + Bridal Shower

What a WEEK I have had!

I drove in to Austin on Friday after my morning barre class (my 5th workout of the week, woo-hoo!) Along the way, I stopped in San Angelo to eat lunch with my Aunt Lisa. I arrived in Austin just in time for dinner and woke up the next morning to do bridal shower prep. My cousin Amanda is getting married, and my mom and I planned a Sunday shower for her to coincide with her bachelorette weekend.

Saturday afternoon, I met up with the bachelorette and her friends at the house we rented for the weekend. We hung out for a few hours before heading to an AMAZING dinner at St. Philip Pizza Parlor and Bakeshop. We did family style dining, and I was most impressed with the St. Philip Pizza (a contender for the best pizza I've had in Austin), the golden cauliflower, and the golden beets. The meal was delicious, and afterwards, we headed over to the bakeshop for coffee.


That is when things started to get very interesting. The police showed up and evacuated us all to a hallway because tornadoes had been sighted. They said we couldn't stay near the big windows. You don't have to tell me twice! Party in the hallway:



We changed our original plans of going out due to the downpour, and instead we played games and puzzled late into the night (well, you know I struggled to stay up past midnight!)

I set my alarm for 8:00am the next morning and met my mom at the house for bridal shower set up. We served a full brunch. Here's what was on the menu:

Salad with heirloom tomatoes, avocado, and Parmesan cheese.
Bruschetta
Fruit Salad--strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and pineapple
Cranberry Crumble muffins (courtesy of my Aunt Elaine)
Veggie Quiche
Ham Quiche
Bacon Quiche
Croissants with strawberry butter
Italian sausages

Mimosas, Juice, and Coffee to drink

Italian Cream Cake for dessert:



Though the Saturday evening storms prevented a few guests from being able to come, the shower was still a wonderful celebration of two of my favorite people.

Amanda's mom gave her a beautiful silver cake knight, and we let the bride and groom to be (he stopped by with flowers--so sweet!) practice their cake cutting skills:



The shower was also made super special because both Mimi and Matt's grandmother were able to join us: 

Mother of the groom, groom & bride to be, grandmother and aunt of the groom. 

Top row: Bride to be, cousin, aunt, sister, and aunt of the bride
Bottom row: mother of the bride, grandmother of the bride

We played the same game at Amanda's shower that Amanda prepared for my bridal shower in 2013. You ask the bride and groom to be questions about their lives and expectations for marriage, and edit the answers so guests can guess who said what. We used lip and mustache cut outs (that Amanda made two years ago) for guests to hold up to show who they thought said what. I learned a lot from this game! Amanda and Matt are both excited to be parents and both wish for happy and healthy children in the future more than anything else. They have been in love for eight years, but their relationship has grown so much over that time as they have made sacrifices to be together and made their relationship a priority. I know that they will be a great husband and wife team, and I can't wait to see all that life has in store for them. 

After the game, we did presents! Amanda and Matt received so many lovely things. Their kitchen is getting upgraded! My mom and I gifted them luggage for the honeymoon and a travel book on Italy. 


Shower hostesses: 

The girls of the bachelorette weekend. I love Amanda's friends, and I want to hang out with them all the time now. I can't wait for October! I joked that I was bringing Yahtzee to the wedding.


The bridesmaids: Amanda's sister/my cousin Elena and Amanda's bestie Kate:


After the shower, we played more games, so we could get hungry again. Elena made us amazing Puerto Rican food back at our rental house, and she even picked up vegetarian sausage for me from Trader Joe's (Now that is cousin love!)

We then walked to Gourdough's. I never realized this...but there is a bar in Austin that specializes in DONUTS. Kate and I shared a "Nutty Valentine." I mean, this was a DONUT covered in Nutella with fresh strawberries. It was okay. Just kidding, it was delicious.

I got to play all six rounds of Yahtzee, don't worry.
There was also a movie...I slept through the first half but woke up for all the exciting parts!
Mostly, it was just fun hanging out and meeting Amanda's friends. That is my favorite part of a wedding...you get to meet all the people that are important in the lives of the bride and groom. I have more Facebook and Instagram friends now, but I would be real friends with all these girls. They know how to hang!

On Monday, Elena made us breakfast tacos, we checked out of our rental, and we went to Summermoon coffee...This place has moon milk. I don't know what that is, but I don't want my coffee any other way now. That's a problem because this place isn't in Midland, and it has a difficult parking lot. I'm still going to always remember you Summermoon!

As soon as I arrived home, the great flood of memorial day began:


The flooding was so bad that it contributed to deaths, injuries, and missing person cases in the Austin and surrounding areas. Our thoughts are with everyone affected.

We are all okay. I am staying in Austin and Brendan will fly here soon. We have a lot of exciting things coming up...but more on that soon!
<3

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

All the News That's Fit to Blog!

Happy Tuesday. I hope everyone's week is off to a good start.

We have been staying fairly busy since I last checked in. Our busy Thursday last week ended with a successful end of year bowling party for the student group we advise together. We had nine students join us and bowled until 11:30PM. I was super tired because we had been up since 7:30AM for a long day of meetings.

Friday, we saw Fixing Up at the Midland community theater. The show was incredibly long, and our plan had been to eat afterwards, so we ended up eating dinner (Mexican food) at around 10:30PM. This was not my best plan to get a good night's sleep!

Saturday, I was up early for a barre class. It was my sixth workout of the week (3 yoga classes, 3 barre classes), and I felt super good afterwards, even though the class was tough.


Saturday night, we went to my favorite place in Midland, the drive in: 


Excuse the blurry photo; my camera was being weird. We loaded up the station wagon with beer, water, popcorn, candy, pillows and blankets for Mad Max. We loved the movie. It reminded me of Clockwork Orange in a lot of ways. There honestly isn't much dialogue in the entire film, but the movie still keeps the audience's interest, and the world is so imaginative and weird. I love seeing movies under the stars. There is something about the drive in that is just so romantic and nostalgic. We agreed to make it a point to go more this summer. We didn't stay for the second feature: Hot Pursuit. It had a rating of 6% on rotten tomatoes, so I knew we weren't missing much by leaving.

Sunday was mostly a "lazy day." It was the one day I didn't work out. Brendan did some work in the yard, and I finished Season 4 of HBO's Girls (I am now totally caught up) and applied a new Jamberry manicure/pedicure: 


As you can see, my technique isn't perfect, but it is getting better! 

Sunday night, we headed over to Dagan and Stephanie's for dinner and Game of Thrones. I'm still traumatized by the episode! We had a great dinner and nice evening sitting out on the porch though. The weather has been really nice and we've been getting a surprising amount of rain (which is good for our yard). 

Yesterday, we both worked on our online classes a lot. I went to yoga and went grocery shopping afterwards with Kristen. Both of us are aiming to eat healthier. My big goal of the week is to eat all my meals at home and workout five times. I also want to do more reading and am eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new Amazon order. My other goal is to spend a lot of time with Brendan. I leave town on Friday for my cousin's bachelorette weekend and bridal shower in Austin, and I am going to miss him so! I'm also very excited for the fun weekend ahead though. 

What are your goals for this week? 
<3 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Summer Day Dates

Greetings and happy hump day!

These days, the days of the week mean less to us as we've transitioned into our summertime schedules. We try to maintain some normalcy, but it usually very quickly reverts to us staying up late and sleeping in daily. I couldn't fall asleep before 1:30am last night, though I really tried, and I slept until 10:00am. We've had rainy and cool weather lately, and I've just been loving it. Looks like it is going to start heating up though. 90 degrees here we come!

Right now, our main occupation is teaching online three week interim courses. The courses started on Monday and will actually be over on Friday, May 29th, so it is actually a little faster than three weeks, which means it is a lot of work for the students (and pretty intense for us too). This interim, I only have nine students, so it has been very manageable so far, but my students are all night owls. Only one person has completed today's assignment, and it is already 5:00pm! Guess I'm staying up until 1:30am anyway...

To stay occupied during the day, I've continued my workouts (either a yoga or barre class daily), and we've been taking day excursions. Yesterday, we went to an antique store. We didn't find what we were looking for (a table for our entryway or a corner bookcase--though there were a few we are thinking about), but we did find some records (Elton John, Talking Heads, and some blues music) and glass measuring cups (I broke our old one making breakfast one morning when we first moved in). For lunch, we ate at Graham's Pharmacy. It was my second time eating there and Brendan's first. The first time I went, I ordered the spicy pimento cheese sandwich, which was great. This time, I ordered a baked potato, which was actually a microwaved potato. Steer clear...I was dreaming of a KDs baked potato and this wasn't it! Brendan liked his grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Today, we drove out to Odessa because it was the only movie theater we could find that was playing Ex Machina. We loved the movie, so it was definitely worth the trip. We wanted to eat at Odessa Donut, which apparently is a place that also makes pho and Cambodian food. Though they were supposed to be open, it was closed when we arrived and no sign on the door or anything (this is a common and discouraging occurrence around here). Instead, I relied on Yelp and we found a sushi spot, Wokcano, where we shared a lunch special (3 rolls + a cup of soup) and an order of edamame for $19.00. It was good, and I would definitely eat there again. For those that have tried Osaka, I would say the food is a similar quality.

It has been a good start to summer and definitely an adjustment after our busy busy semester. I'm glad Brendan has been game for some fun outings. Now that I have this summer routine a little more down, I have a 9-5:30 workday tomorrow (training and a meeting), yoga 6:30-7:30, and we are hosting an end of year party for our honor society student group from 9-11:30pm. Go figure! Wish me luck. I feel tired just thinking about it.

<3



Saturday, May 9, 2015

Building a Backyard from Scratch: River Rock Beds

There have been two Saturdays worth of work in between our last building a backyard post and this one.

Two Saturdays ago involved driving to a rock yard and handpicking lots of river rock to design two beds around plants we had already planted. Today involved planting more plants and filling in the beds with smaller river rock gravel.

Here are the results:




Some big picture/progress views: 








As I've mentioned before, the black weed guard is there to hold down the dirt and keep it from blowing everywhere in the wind. However, while it is still down, it is kind of hard to get a real feel for our progress. We will eventually put in some grass and then use crushed granite on top of the weed guard to cover areas that the grass doesn't cover. The next goal is one more river rock bed though. We really love the way that those turned out. I'd even say it was worth picking out rocks in the hot sun! 

You can see the other three posts in our backyard building series here. 


In other news: 

THEY ARE GRADUATED! 


This year, I got a good seat in the front, so I took looks of pictures for graduating members of the club we advise. We have an end of year party with them all on Thursday, and I am sure am going to miss the students from this year's group! 

We celebrated the end of the semester tonight with some champagne and a healthy dinner of parsnips, radishes, carrots, green beans, and potatoes with roasted garlic. De-lic-ious! 


We hope your weekend is going along nicely. I'm super proud of myself because I managed to work out 5 times this past week AND get my final grades submitted. I'm feeling really good! It's also a really nice night to just sit out on the porch and daydream about summer. 

Happy weekend everyone. 
<3 

Friday, May 8, 2015

My First Fabletics Review + Tips

My cousin, Amanda, turned me on to Kate Hudson's new line of workout clothes, Fabletics

At first, I was skeptical because this is a membership program, but I was looking for a way to improve my workout wardrobe, which consists of a lot of run down t-shirts and some shorts/pants that I wear over and over again. I am a firm believer that no one needs to spend money on fancy clothes in order to workout, but if nice workout clothes make you motivated, confident, and happy, it is not a bad way to spend money. Still, the prices at fitness stores like Athleta and Lululemon are super high, so I was looking for an alternative. 

When I joined Fabletics as a VIP member, I saved half off my first outfit, and you can do the same if you're so inclined at the end of this post. I am not being paid to promote Fabletics, but if you sign up through my personal link, I will receive a $10 credit towards my next purchase, which I would greatly appreciate. 

Okay, so here is the deal: Fabletics is a membership program. On the first of every month, the company releases a line of new outfits, priced between $49.95  and $69.95. You take a short survey and they make recommendations based on how you typically workout (yoga, running, gym, etc.), but you will be able to see all the options. If you select an outfit, you will be billed for the price of the outfit. You also have the option to skip the month, not receive an outfit, and not be billed, but you must do so by the 5th of the month. If you make no selection by the 5th of the month, they will automatically charge your credit card $49.95. I write these dates down in my planner, and I know I won't have trouble keeping up with the system, but I know some people find this annoying. Of course, you can call the company and cancel at any time. 

The outfit I picked out was Mossyrock Park, which usually sells for $59.95. Since I got half off and free shipping (You will get free shipping every month as a member), my total was only $29.97. 

The Back Track Tee II in white is super comfortable, and I'm in love with the back detail. It would be perfect for my barre classes I've been going to. 




The Sevan Bandeau in turquoise is cute, comfortable, and perfect for lounging in or wearing under a strapless dress. However, I would not wear this bandeau to work out in. I was expecting exactly this going in, so I was not disappointed. 


The Sydney Capri in Black/Pop Pink Stripe is high quality and perfect for my Barre or Yoga classes.

I followed the size chart, which advised me to order S in pants and M in bras and tops. I followed that exactly, and I was happy with the fit. The capris are tight, but I believe that is how the style should fit. The website does have looser styles if that is what you are looking for.

I am looking forward to working out in these clothes tomorrow. I think overall, the quality of these pieces is very high, in line with Athleta for sure. I will continue to use my membership, but I will definitely skip out on some months, as I know I won't need new workout clothes every single month.

If you want to join Fabletics, I do have one BIG tip for you. Wait until the 1st of the month to sign up at all. When I followed the link to my cousin's referral, it limited the time I could get my first outfit for 1/2 off to one hour. On the first of the month, the new outfits have just come out and you will see less things marked as "sold out." I find the fact that some colors seem to sell out fast frustrating, so I highly advise waiting until the 1st, unless you find something you like and you can tell that they have your size in all the pieces.

My other tip is to just look at all the outfits. In the future, now that I won't have 1/2 off, I'll probably limit my search to the $49.95 category. Missing out on a light support sports bra would not have a big impact on me, since I can't wear light support for workouts anyway.

If you do sign up as a member of Fabletics, please use my personal referral link. You will get 50% off, and I will get a $10 credit. Win/win!

Have you ever tried Fabletics? What outfit did you get this month?

Having recently submitted my final grades, I am off to eat dinner before enjoying the graduation ceremony.

Here's to meeting goals in and out of the gym!
<3

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Don't Skip It! (Your Workout)

I know I've written before about when and why I've skipped workouts; sometimes I am totally fine with my decision to take a rest day, but usually the best solution is to stick to my workout plan. Today, I did not feel like working out, but I knew that I should go anyway. How have I learned to tell the difference? Here are my reasons for NOT skipping it.

Don't skip it if...

You've already paid for the class...
Workout classes are a MAJOR, and I mean major, motivation for me. One primary reason for this is that I will NOT skip something I have paid for unless one of these things happens: I have an illness that includes a fever or is bad enough to require a doctor visit, I feel driving conditions are dangerous, or I have an obligation at work that I cannot get out of. I've been doing my yoga classes for 3 years now, and I can think of maybe one class I have skipped for each of these reasons in that time. Other than that, I'm there. Picture yourself flushing the cost of the class down the literal toilet. Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but when I see those dollars being flushed away in my mind, my butt is in class!

You can't make it up, REASONABLY, later in the week... 
At the beginning of the week, I like to map out my workout plans in my life planner.  If I end up wanting to skip a workout, I think about whether or not I could fit in that workout somewhere else. Obviously, the workout has to be able to fit reasonably. If your make up workout would involve doing two workouts in one day or going to an 8:30AM Saturday class when you know you aren't likely to wake up for it, then do not skip your original workout.

Your heart is at least 30% in it...
I know this is impossible to measure, but when I skip workouts, I'm about 10% into it (and 90% not). If I can be at least 30% committed to the idea of working out, it is enough to get me out the door and to the gym, and 9 times out of 10 that will turn into a great workout.

You're hungry...
I can think of times I have literally taken a "peanut butter lollipop" (Take a spoon, dip it in peanut butter, eat it) in the car on the way to the gym. Sometimes you are feeling a lack of motivation because you really need some extra calories for energy.

You're tired...
Exception: I literally got less than four hours of sleep last night. Otherwise, I would go. It usually makes me feel MORE energized to workout.

You're overwhelmed with work/what you have to do around the house...
Those things can move down on the priority list for one hour while you take care of your health. Often, working out gives me the energy I need to grade a few papers and clean the kitchen. But if those things wait until tomorrow? Not the end of the world. Whereas, if I make skipping a workout a pattern, I ultimately wouldn't be as healthy and happy, and that would be a bigger issue.

You can think of at least 3 reasons the workout would be beneficial...
That is usually enough right there to convince myself that I need to go to the gym. I think about how good I will feel after, how the workout is helping me reach X goals, and I remind myself of one area I know I'm improving in.

Something social or fun comes up...
I've gone to many a gathering in my sweaty workout clothes. Put deodorant in your car. Wipe your face with a towel. A birthday dinner or drinks with friends is NOT a good excuse for missing a workout. Meet up with your friends later.

Skip it if...(a guilt free list)
You are injured in a way that a workout could aggravate. See a doctor before doing anything.
You are sick enough to need medical attention *Allergies or common colds shouldn't stop you though.
Weather has made driving conditions in your area dangerous (This happened to me once this past semester...the school canceled all after-school activities, so I played it safe and stayed home).
Your heart is only about 10% there, and you know that you can and will be able to make up your workout.
You got less than 4 hours of sleep last night. I'm pretty sure it's dangerous to workout while sleep deprived.

I hope my personal checklist is of help to you. I know it certainly has (and still does) helped me to reach fitness goals. See below where I was all smiles after my fastest ever 5K :)

November 2014
<3


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...