Sunday, April 12, 2015

Stitch Fix #2

I received my second box from Stitch Fix last week.  If you have not heard of this service, it works like this:
  • Go online and sign up to join Stitch Fix. 
  • Complete your style profile. 
  • Order your first fix.  There is a $20 styling fee when you place your order.  However, if you decide to keep anything in your box, that $20 is credited towards your purchase.  If you keep all 5 pieces in your box you will receive 25% off your total purchase.  
  • If you do not care for an item(s) in your box, simply return them within 3 days using the postage-paid USPS envelope that is included in your box. 
  • They recently began carrying maternity clothes!  This would be an awesome treat for the mommy-to-be in your life!  Mother's Day is coming and Stitch Fix has gift cards!
Make sure you are very honest when completing your Style Profile--they will ask you very specific questions about your height, weight, measurements, favorite styles, etc.  Also, think about the kind of clothes you would normally wear, or clothes that you might want to begin including in your wardrobe.  I ask that my fixes include clothes that are both comfortable and casual--but cute enough to wear to work.  I also want clothes that can be worn together--and that will go with items I already have in my closet.  I selected the prices I was willing to pay for different items of clothing and requested that they not send me overly frilly items or fake fur, etc.  Stitch Fix also recommends that you create a board on Pinterest so that your stylist can see what types of clothing you are interested in receiving in your boxes.  

I was very excited to see that my fix was styled by the same stylist I had the first time.  She included a dress (loved the cut, loved the style--but, the material would have made me suffocate in our lovely humid summer), two blouses (kept one, hated the other--totally not my style, weird high/low cut that only accentuated my mommy tummy), a cardigan, and a pair of skinny jeans (they were ok, but not great enough to keep) in this box.  While I liked most of the items, I decided to keep only 2 of them for this particular Fix: 


Pinson Drape Cardigan from Brixon Ivy ($54)
I am very excited about this cardigan!  



The material is very soft and I love the way it drapes.  It is perfect for these spring days that start and end a little cooler.  I specifically asked to have it included in my fix--so I was happy to see my stylist, Suzanne, had read my notes and tried to accommodate.  

Meryl Tulip Print Sleeveless Blouse from Pixley ($54)


Phone-photo.  So professional! And what am I looking at??? 
This top is super cute!  It is flowy and such a fun pattern.  My only "negative" is that the arm holes are a little large--but nothing a camisole couldn't camouflage.

Because I had a referral credit ($25), my total for this fix was $83.00.  I don't feel that this is unreasonable for the quality of these items.  I'm sorry I didn't get photos of the other items--I wanted to make sure that I was able to return the items by the 3-day deadline (it was Easter weekend).  I simply placed the unwanted items right back in the postage-paid USPS bag.  I was able to schedule a pickup straight from my house.  It's sooo much easier than having to get in the car and go back to a store and make a return--especially since most of my clothes shopping does not occur in the town where I live!

I have a lot of fun with this service.  I love the surprise that comes inside each box--it's like Christmas (and we all know how I feel about The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!)  I highly suggest that if you're curious about the service then you should at least give it a try.  You really have nothing to lose except $20 in the event you dislike what comes in your box.  I know that may seem a little much, but I'd be willing to bet you could spend $20 in gas/food/coffee if you spent a day shopping locally--and even then you aren't guaranteed to like anything you see in the stores.

All I know is that I'm hooked and I can't wait for my next box to arrive!

Full Disclosure:  I am not affiliated with Stitch Fix and I am not receiving anything for this review.  All opinions are mine.  Also, if you use my referral link, I will receive $25 off my next order when you order your first box.  When you sign up you will also receive your own code and will be able to receive the same deal when your friends sign up! Yay for deals!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Roll.

This morning there is a lovely thunderstorm interrupting the quiet on the river.  It's my favorite kind--the ones that slowly grumble and meander through the air.  I don't care for the vicious storms that make you want to cling to your babies in the tub.  I don't like to see the ones that come across the river.  I hate the snap and the sizzle and the angry ones--they always make me hold my breath until the thunder comes.


But the slow storms?  
Bring 'em on.  
I could listen to them all day long.  

I'm the only one stirring in the house right now.  Buster was kind enough to get up long enough to greet me and to be let out, but even he went back to bed this morning.  The house is nice and quiet and I'm enjoying my coffee and thoughts in the dark.  There are funny texts from friends and blog posts that make me teary.  There are ideas and things that I ponder.  There are stories and memories that make me smile.  There are honest words written in my journal, and these Words always manage to bring me comfort: 

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
Romans 8:38-39

The rain starts to fall a little quicker.  It beats on the tin roof of our back porch and the thunder becomes slightly louder.  The river and the sky are almost the same color and it's hard to tell where the sky ends and the water begins in some places.  The lightning streaks across the sky and the crackle of thunder takes its sweet time.  

My heart fills with a quiet hope--the kind of hope that comes from some place deep, deep down.  The kind of hope that believes that one day all will be set right again.  I'm content with the state of affairs this morning, willing my heart to believe the words of 1 Cor. 16:13.  There are signs of life, and evidence that He is moving in the hearts of this community and in His people.  

And His presence is like this thunderstorm--calming and gentle as He stirs the waters of my heart.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

But do You see me?

My girls twirl and cartwheel in the yard.  They ride their bikes up and down the driveway and they color elaborate pictures on the walkway.  They laugh and spin and do all the things that little girls do when given an expanse of space.  But the words I hear the most are,

"Mama, watch this!" 

Because even though they are small big girls, they still need my eyes and applause.  They still need to know that I'm watching them and that I'm proud of them.


Now let's be clear: I am not raising my girls to be Participation Ribbon junkies, but they still like a pat on the back.  And don't we all? They want to know that they have pleased their parents.  They want to know that we are proud of them for their hard work and a job well done.

Yesterday I wrote about the big questions we have, and how many times it seems like we don't get the answers we want.  I wrote about contentment and how we often aren't satisfied with trusting that He's got the whole world, and us, in His hands.  Sometimes we want to know what our specific plans actually are going to be.

I know I do.    

This video has been circulating the Internets the past few days:  


It features one of my favorite designers on HGTV, Joanna Gaines.  Chris and I are both fans of the show "Fixer Upper" for several reasons--we love watching them turn an ugly home into something beautiful.  I personally love Joanna's style and I usually find myself mentally screaming "Mama A, it's time to get out the white paint and go to town in that kitchen!" after each episode.  But we especially love the candid moments between Joanna and Chip--they are too cute for words and a husband and wife dedicated to each other, their family, their business, and to the Lord.  

I watched this video initially because I think Joanna's great--but as she was speaking, her words sank into my soul a little.  I marveled at the way she speaks of knowing she was going to be given a platform--and giggling that if her television show is her platform, then my little blog here is more like a soapbox cigar box to stand on.  

Mama A: Fixing the world's problems and standing on couches for 30+ years.
I think her words resonate with all of us--we've all caught ourselves listening to the lies that we weren't good enough, and that we didn't matter.  Sometimes we don't even realize they're lies until they have become deeply seeded in our hearts.  I wrote yesterday how a lot of us sing each week about our Savior has saved the world, but our little human hearts and heads still want to know that He intended to include us as well--that we weren't an oversight, that He does know our names, and that He loves us as much as He loves the big important people.  

Some of my deepest prayers have been searching for God's plan for my life.  I want to know that what I'm doing is right--and more than a "Hey, God!  Watch this!"--but "Can You still make this simple life of mine into something beautiful?  Can You use this place I'm at, and all the steps I took to get here (because I know that sometimes I've made a mess of things)--but, can You really take what I've done and can You still use it for good?" 

These are some of the hardest prayers for me.  I don't like a loss of control--because asking God to open up the doors means that I've got to actually step up and out and do what it is that's being asked of me.  And the scariest part of the unknown--is the unknown.  What if it's something that's incredibly hard?  What if it's something that requires me to lose everything that I know and love?  What if it's a huge responsibility?  What if it's something that takes me out of my comfort zone?  What if it's something incredible?  What if I let You down? 

Because when I pray these prayers, I'm not asking for a big stage nor platform, and I'm not asking for my name to be well-known.  

I'm just asking that whatever it is, that I am doing what He's got planned for me.  
And I want to know that when we meet face-to-face, that He will say that my life was a job well done.  

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