My First Stitch Fix: A Review

I first heard about Stitch Fix about a year ago when my friend Courtney, who is also the La Leche League leader in New Orleans, posted a review of her experience with Stitch Fix on her own blog, here.  You can also read more about the whole concept at their website, using my referral link: Stitch Fix

Basically, the way it works is like this:

First, you fill out a survey about your personal style and body type: what size you wear, are your arms short, average or long?  Do you like preppy clothes, the Bohemian style, or edgy? And you fill out information about how much money you are generally willing to spend on various items of clothing: do you want “the cheaper the better” or are you willing to spend between $100 and $150 on a jacket?  You can also include links to your Pinterest boards so that they can get a sense of your style outside of just their little survey, and you tell them what you’re looking for: mostly casual?  Mostly work clothes?  Date night items or fancy formal affairs?

Then, you schedule your “fix.”  You pay $20 and a stylist will pick out 5 items to send you.  You can choose to have just clothing or you can get 4 items of clothing and one piece of jewelry.  If you decide to keep anything, the $20 goes toward the cost of that item.  Anything you don’t choose to keep, you can send back with free shipping.  You have 3 days to try everything on.  If you happen to love everything in the box, you get a 25% discount for keeping the whole box.    When you schedule your fix, there is also a place to add comments, so for example if you really want a dress you can ask for a dress, or if you really don’t like horizontal stripes, you can include that in the comments.  Additionally, if there’s an event you have coming up like a wedding or a job interview, you can mention that and they can try to pick out items that might work well for that event.

So I mentioned in my comments that I am a mother to a 1-year old, which means I need clothing that is baby-friendly in terms of being easy to wash (I didn’t really want a bunch of items I would have to dryclean) and I also mentioned that since I’m still breastfeeding, I needed breastfeeding-friendly clothing.

My Stitch Fix box arrived yesterday!StitchFixI knew it was scheduled to arrive yesterday and I had already mentioned to some friends that I was irrationally excited about it getting here.  Upon opening the box, I was pleased to see how nicely packaged the clothes were.  There was a little envelope on top with some important information:StitchFix2They include a list of all the items they’ve chosen for you, and they also include styling cards that provide suggestions about how to wear each item they’ve sent: StitchFix7They recommend that you try everything on with other items in your closet that you already own.  On their website they do stress that they’re not trying to send you complete outfits but rather, individual items that you can mix in with your already-existing wardrobe to spice things up a little bit.

So that’s what I did… I wanted to see how each item would work with things I already own.  Luckily, everything fit, which tells me that I correctly filled out their style/size profile.  And here’s what I got (I apologize that the colors/lighting in the photos is not great… Ken took these photos on my phone at night in our bedroom (with a green wall behind me).  Next time I’ll try to get some better photos:

Tua Rowson Shoulder Button Striped Shirt, $38StitchFix5

I liked the colors and the overall style of this shirt, and I liked the button detail on the shoulder.  I liked that the shirt was a little longer than some others I own.  I did not like the horizontal stripes (across my post-baby belly, they do not flatter me at all) and I also did not like that the material was rather thin and clingy.  I ended up sending this shirt back.

Black Swan Olive Fit & Flare Ponte Dress, $78StitchFix4I loved the color of this dress (kind of a burgundy/maroon color) and I really liked the material.  It was a thicker heavier fabric and it had nice detailing and stitching to keep the shape very flattering.  When I twirled around in circles, the skirt twirled beautifully so it would have been great for dancing!  I did not like that the waist came up so high on my body and I also did not like that the dress was a little shorter than would be appropriate to wear to work.  I generally try to get items of clothing that I can wear both to work and for every day wear (with a few exceptions of course), and this dress did not fit that criteria.  I ended up sending this back.

Next was a cardigan: Mak Jaclynn 3/4 Sleeve Button-Up Cardigan, $38

StitchFix6This is not the greatest photo… I liked this cardigan just fine.  The color was kind of a mustard color.  The cardigan fit just fine, though the buttons did pull a little bit when it was buttoned shut.  The material was nice and soft and it seemed to be well made.  The problem with this item was 2-fold: first, cardigans have always been my “security blanket” item of clothing.  I have way too many of them already and I really don’t need any more.  Second, I already have a cardigan that is very similar in color, shape and material.  There was nothing really special about this cardigan and I felt that I could easily have gotten one very similar from a store like Old Navy for half the price.  If there had been something special (beading, stitching, lace or some other detail) I would have considered it but it was really just a plain cardigan.  I sent this one back.

Finally, my two favorite items, both of which I ended up keeping:

Mystree Beatty Striped Ruffle Detail Blazer, $48StitchFix3and the Bay To Baubles Faceted Bubble Necklace, $32StitchFix8

I had apparently pinned this necklace to one of my boards three different times so the stylist made sure I got it! 🙂

The way the math worked out is like this: I had already paid the $20 styling fee.  The two items came out to $80 but if you subtract the $20 I already paid, they ended up costing $60.  If you ask me, $60 is not a bad price to pay for a jacket and a necklace.  I feel that I will get a lot of use out of both items.  And think of it this way: if I had gone shopping to try on five items, I probably would have spent $20 on gas, mileage, lunch or a snack at the mall, etc. and going to the mall with a baby in tow is a close-to-impossible challenge.  She does not like to sit still while I try on clothing, find the right size, decide what to get and pay.

Overall I was very satisfied with my experience even though I only ended up keeping 2 of the 5 items in my box.  I did like the other items just fine, they just weren’t quite what I was looking for.  They recommend on their website that you give very detailed feedback on each item so that they can do an even better job picking out the items for your next fix.  I’m very happy to have found this service and will definitely be using it again in the future!  Especially for mothers, it’s a very convenient way to shop!

Short & Sweet

Last night we got back from a short but very sweet trip up to Connecticut (sadly I didn’t take a lot of photos myself so most of the pictures in this post come from other people)!  After work on Friday, we finished our packing and we drove to the airport for our 8:45 PM flight to Providence, RI.  Julia fell asleep about 2 minutes after take-off and slept until about 2 minutes before landing.

Here she was sleeping in my arms on the plane: 11.18.2013(14)

She then fell asleep in the car on our way back to Ken’s parents’ house from the airport and when we got home I was able to put her directly into the crib, where she slept until 6 AM the following morning!  We stayed up chatting and catching up with Ken’s parents until almost midnight!

Saturday morning we were up bright and early.  After having bagels with lox and cream cheese for breakfast, we drove an hour to Ken’s (and Adam’s) old high school, where we met up with Adam & his girlfriend, Jen.  Ken talks very fondly about his days at Boarding School, and there were so many teachers who were very influential for him, so it was exciting for me to meet some of them and see the place that had so much to do with his deciding how to spend the rest of his life.  We spent a good deal of time talking to the Nurse in the Health Center who quietly told me that Ken has always been one of her favorite students.  She told us that we have a beautiful family and that she’s so proud to see how successful and happy Ken has become.  It was very special to hear that!

Here are a few photos from our morning at Loomis:11.18.2013

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I had to leave Loomis around 12 so that I could drive down to Yale to give a presentation at their chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma.  I had a wonderful time meeting the lovely women of Kappa at Yale and talking to them about Chapter Image & Membership Growth.  While I did that, Ken and Julia had lunch at Loomis with Adam and Jen and then they went their separate ways.  Adam & Jen were planning on attending a jazz concert in New York City that evening and Ken drove back to his parents’ house with Julia.

I got back to Waterford just in time for dinner (and for Julia to ride around on her Zaydie’s shoulders)!  11.18.2013(13)

Ken’s mom made a delicious dinner of Stuffed Shells, Broccoli & Garlic Bread.  After dinner, some family friends came over for dessert and to meet Julia.  One of the friends who came over is a friend of my mother-in-law’s (who just so happens to read my blog!) and she came over with her daughter, Charlotte, who is 8 and-a-half months old.  She was so adorable!  Julia was kind of being a bully to her while she was playing with blocks, but it was still very cute to see the way that the two little girls interacted.  Charlotte would cry and Julia got a concerned look on her face, and would get down right into Charlotte’s face to see what was wrong.  This, in turn, made Charlotte more upset.  It was interesting to watch, at the very least!  Unfortunately, I had to put Julia to sleep part of the way through dessert, but she ended up sleeping until 6:45 AM the following morning!

Sunday morning we all got ready to go and then we drove back to Providence.  We got together with a big group of family & friends at Ken’s grandmother’s house.  Julia got to meet some cousins and an Uncle she had never met before, and she also got to meet some of Nana’s girlfriends.  Julia always has great fun playing with her Cousin Paige:11.18.2013(10)

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Around 12:30, Julia even took a nap (we had to improvise a little since we didn’t have a pack n’ play or crib in which to put her down, but I nursed her to sleep and was able to put her down in her carseat with a blanket):11.18.2013(12)

As much as we miss New Orleans, it’s so special that we are close enough to our extended families that we are able to make short weekend trips like this happen.  Here’s a 4-generation photo we took of Julia with Ken, her Zaydie and her Nana:11.18.2013(15)

From New Orleans, we would not have been able to make such a quick trip but now that we’re in Baltimore, it’s much more easy to hop on a plane Friday after work and be up in Connecticut for the weekend.  We were then back at work this morning without too much trouble.  And if it had been a holiday weekend, it would have been even better!

Part of the way through our afternoon at Nana’s, Ken & I both got a text message from Southwest Airlines telling us that our flight was going to be delayed by nearly 3 hours so we quickly called the airline and got rescheduled onto an earlier flight.  Sadly, this cut our visit a little short but we made it to the airport with time to spare and we flew back to Baltimore a little earlier than planned.  Here we were waiting for our luggage at the Baltimore airport:11.18.2013(11)

When we got home we gave Julia dinner and a bath and then put her to sleep!  After she went to sleep, I went grocery shopping All. By. Myself.  This was definitely one of those “you know you’re a mother when…” situations.  Going to the grocery store without a baby in tow feels like a vacation.  I even got a cart without a baby seat just to make my time alone feel extra special!

And now it’s back to the daily grind for a few days… I do have Thursday off this week since daycare is closed, and next week is Thanksgiving.  This Thursday, I’ll be spending the day with my dear friend Sabrina & her son, Koren!

More on that later in the week 🙂

Happy Monday to all!

Fun Fall Festivities!

I forgot to mention our trip to a Farm last weekend!  I love fall activities–hayrides, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, apple picking, etc. and really wanted to start a family tradition of going to do those activities together.  Last weekend we met up with some friends and their little boys at a farm outside of Baltimore.  We went to their petting farm, where Julia had a fantastic time seeing the goats (and grabbing at their faces!), the sheep, the cows, the bunnies, and the chickens.  We then did a hayride, and decided to skip the pumpkin patch since the pumpkins they had were not particularly impressive.  We did have a great time, though, and I definitely want to make this a yearly family tradition!

Here was Julia checking out the goats: 10.31.2013(8)

10.31.2013(9)(notice the look of pure joy on her face while she was watching the goats?!)

And here was Julia on Daddy’s shoulders in the petting farm area: 10.31.2013(6)

They had a little playground area that had a fairytale theme, so each play structure was from a different fairytale.  They had one of the little scenes of Cinderella getting the glass slipper put on her foot, so here’s Julia as Cinderella:10.31.2013(7)

And Mommy & Julia on the hayride:10.31.2013(10)

And finally, a picture of their pumpkin patch (with their not-so-impressive pumpkins): 10.31.2013(2)

 

Happy Halloween from our Little Skeleton!

Happy Halloween from our Little Skeleton!  Here she was last year and this year.  What a difference!10.31.2013

I showed this picture to Julia’s Daycare teacher and she said we should make this a yearly tradition.  I love that idea!  From now on, even if she dresses as something else for Halloween, we should at least get her a pair of skeleton pajamas that she can wear for a picture.  Such a cute idea!

BOO!

Roseola

Last night was one of the worst nights we’ve had with Julia since she was born.  She went to bed at 8 PM but proceeded to wake up at 10, 12, 3:30, 5:30 and then at 7:30 she woke up for the day.  Since she usually sleeps all night long, I was concerned this morning that something could be wrong and I called the doctor as soon as they opened at 9 AM to make a sick appointment for her.  They scheduled us for 10:30.  At 9:30 when I started to get us ready to go, I noticed a rash on Julia’s back and the back of her neck, so immediately my Mommy-Brain went off and said “Ah-ha!  I know what this is… Roseola!”

I told the doctor about the past few days–fever all day Saturday with a spike of 104, treating the fever with Tylenol and Motrin, etc. and told her my “Doctor Mommy opinion” was that it was Roseola.  She took one look at Julia’s back and said, “Yup!  It’s Roseola.”  Luckily for us, it’s one of those viruses where the rash comes after most of the other symptoms, so this is probably the tail end of the virus for her.  The rash isn’t supposed to be itchy or uncomfortable and it should go away on its own within a couple of days.  If Julia does seem uncomfortable, we can put cortisone or benadryl cream on the rash but other than that it’s just a wait it out kind of deal.

At least she was happy playing in the doctor’s office before our appointment!10.1.2013

It just feels nice to know that there’s a real reason for Julia’s fussiness over the past couple of days and that it’s not just the elusive teething.  Now hopefully she’ll be her happy self again within a day or two and she’ll be all better and healthy in time for her birthday next week and her party next weekend!

Birthday Madness!!!

So as  you all know, Julia’s birthday is coming up just a week from tomorrow, and her birthday party is going to be the following Saturday.  Being active on a few Mommy Facebook groups and on Pinterest, it’s hard not to get a little crazy with birthday party plans.  If you look up “First Birthday Party” on Pinterest, you’ll find thousands of posts and photos and ideas about first birthday parties.  Some people go all out with birthday parties: they’ll pick a theme and everything will go with that theme–the decorations, the food, the cake, the activities, the clothing, etc.  People often get a “smash cake” that they just put in front of the baby and let them play with/get all over themselves/eat if they manage to get any in their mouths.  People also often do elaborate first birthday photo shoots.  When we first started thinking about Julia’s birthday party I really wanted to do a Mardi Gras theme.  I figured we would have jambalaya and po boys for lunch, followed by a king cake or purple, green and gold cupcakes, we would have Mardi Gras masks everywhere, with beads and mask-decorating for the kids.  I wanted Julia to be in a Happy Birthday onesie with a Mardi Gras tutu.  I was planning to go all out.  

Then Ken & his mom kind of talked me down a little and made me realize that this is a 1st birthday party that Julia will not remember and really the theme would be just for my own benefit and for the sake of pictures.  So now we’re just planning a small get together for our family and a few friends at our house.  The food is going to be fairly simple: bagels with lox and cream cheese, salad, fruit, cut-up veggies, and cupcakes.  For drinks we’ll probably stick with simple things as well: sodas, iced tea and lemonade.  There are still close to 30 people coming (mostly family) but we are going to try to keep it fairly basic.  

That being said, there’s still a part of me that wants to go all out, so I may still do some decorations in line with a Mardi Gras theme… I’m thinking balloons in Mardi Gras colors, and we might do a Mardi Gras mask and some beads here and there just to add some sparkle.  Plates, napkins and plastic-wear may also be in Mardi Gras colors just to stick with a common color scheme.  And I might do a “Happy Birthday” banner if I can find one in the right colors.  We’ll see what I can find at Party City and/or Target!

Speaking of Julia’s birthday, her first birthday present came last week… it’s a new chair from her Grandma and Grandpa (aka my parents!)  Here’s the chair with her name on it:9.30.2013(2)

and Julia sitting in it for the first time!  9.30.2013(4)

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Ken’s parents also gave us Julia’s present a little early: they gave us money to buy her new carseat, which also came last week!  Here’s Julia sitting in her new car seat for the first time (Ken had to adjust the straps before installing the carseat in my car, so that’s why it’s in our living room):9.30.2013

A few days after Julia’s actual birthday, we will be having her 1-year checkup with her new pediatrician.  We finally found a doctor we like, so I’m excited to get her checked out, see how much she weighs, how tall she is, and just get a few questions answered.  Since starting at her new daycare, Julia has gotten sick quite a few times… she had a stomach bug for a few days, she’s gotten diarrhea a few times, and just this past weekend she had a fever that lasted for a little over 48 hours and finally broke last night.  Lucky for us, even when she’s sick she’s still a generally happy baby (though sometimes a bit more fussy and clingy/cuddly) so it’s hard to tell when she’s sick without checking her temperature.  We know she’s really  not feeling well if she doesn’t act like her normal self as was the case Saturday morning.  This morning she was mostly back to normal: happy, babbling away, and climbing all over everything.  It was good to see that she was feeling normal again. 

Well that’s all for now… I’m hoping this will be a fairly low key week for us and I’m hoping we can avoid anyone getting sick for the next 2 weeks since we’ve got family coming into town and Julia’s birthday party coming up soon 🙂 

Happy Monday to all!  

The problem with “Milestones”

On any website or blog about parenting you can find charts or lists of “milestones.”  These “milestones” are things that your baby “should” be able to do by a certain age.  The problem is that these charts generally stick to the average age at which babies are able to do certain things and they don’t reflect the huge range in which these milestones normally occur.  Take teeth as an example: some babies get their first tooth as early as 2 or 3 months (I’ve even heard of a baby who was born with teeth!) and some babies don’t get their first tooth (like our niece) until they are 15 or 16 months.  Getting teeth early or late is neither good nor bad, it just is.  It has to do with genetics.

It’s the physical/mental/emotional/language-development milestones that cause unnecessary worry though: your baby “should” be saying words by a certain age, “should” be rolling over by a certain age, “should” be doing x, y and z by their first birthday and a, b and c by the time they’re 18 months old.  If they can’t do certain things it “could” be a sign that they have this or that developmental disorder, and these days everybody is on the lookout for signs of Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder and other hot-button issues.  Again, the problem is that different babies develop different skills at different times and there is a huge range of what’s normal.  I’ve heard about some babies who crawl at 7 months and walk at 10 months but don’t talk until they’re 2 and I’ve heard of babies who are saying 10 words by their first birthday but don’t start walking until they’re 18 months old.  You never hear about the kids who do things within the “average” timeframe becuase they’re not news-worthy.  You only hear about the ones who are on the extreme ends of the spectrum.  When I really think about Julia’s development, I’m not worried.  My mama-instincts tell me that she’s fine and she’ll eventually learn to do all the things she’s supposed to do, but the doctor’s wife in me gets worried sometimes.

So anyways… there’s this list from the AAP of Developmental Milestones, that Ken pulled up this morning and started getting us a little worried.  Here’s a link to the list: LINK

At first I started to worry… but then I realized that a lot of these things are things Julia shouldn’t be expected to do or know because we don’t really do them with her.  We don’t shake our head “no” or nod “yes” when we say those words so how would she know how to do that?  We don’t frequently play a game of “let’s hide the keys and see if you can find them.”  And though she isn’t saying “Mama” and “Dada” with any meaning yet, she does babble a lot and say “Mamamama” and “Dadadada.”  Reading these lists does make me feel a little nervous but then I talk to other parents of babies her age and they reassure me that everything’s fine.  I also spoke this morning with Julia’s teacher at daycare and she said she’s not worried and that she would let us know if she was concerned.  I trust her because she spends her entire day with kids Julia’s age so she’s able to see how Julia is in comparison to other kids her age.  She may  not search for objects we’ve hidden but she does play “peekaboo” which is testing the same skill that hiding objects tests.  The only thing she mentioned is a little weird (not concerning, just weird) is that Julia won’t roll over from her back when she’s on the floor.  We know that she knows how to because most nights she rolls from her back to her side and eventually to her belly and we usually find her sitting up in the morning but she just doesn’t roll when she’s awake.  She’s lazy, or stubborn or something.  I’m not worried about that since I know she knows how to, she just doesn’t do it.  (And I certainly know who she gets her stubbornness from!)

So the moral of the story is… don’t use the internet as a doctor.  If Julia’s pediatrician is concerned at her 12-month checkup in a few weeks then I will be concerned but until then, I will continue to feel satisfied that Julia is doing just fine and meeting all her milestones.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, some pictures from yesterday in the grocery store.  It started with Julia not paying any attention to me or the camera:

9.16.2013(6)But then when she saw the camera, she put on a big smile:

9.16.2013(5)and then she decided it was really funny that I was taking her photo, so she started laughing hysterically and putting on a show for those around us.  She was just having a ball laughing in the shopping cart! 9.16.2013(8)

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She’s just too funny sometimes!  I love that girl so much!