Monday, December 29, 2014

Fix #9 from Stitch Fix - December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas, everyone! Thanks for joining me again for another review of my Stitch Fix haul. If you have never visited my blog before, I have been doing monthly Stitch Fix reviews since May of this year. Please feel free to check out my other reviews:

Fix #1 - May 2014
Fix #2 - June 2014
Fix #3 - July 2014
Fix #4 - August 2014
Fix #5 - September 2014
Fix #6 - October 1, 2014
Fix #7 - October 29, 2014
Fix #8 - November 2014

Fix #1 gives you all the information about the Stitch Fix service, so I won't reiterate here.

I had purposefully returned my November Stitch Fix box as late as possible in order to receive my December box near Christmas. I was hoping for a Stitch Fix gift card (or two) from family members, because I surely did not want to be spending a ton of dough on myself right around the holidays.

Stitch Fix delivered my box to me on December 19th (a Friday). It looked like I would have to checkout on Christmas Eve...before any gift cards could be given! However, I should've known better. Stitch Fix is smart. They knew I was not the only person in this position. I found out on Monday (December 22nd) that I would have until AFTER Christmas to decide what would be kept and what would be returned.


So, let's get to the unboxing, shall we?

The best part is the anticipation. I love opening the box and seeing the neatly wrapped bundle waiting for me inside!

I had a good mix of stuff in this box. I had asked for all sweaters and long-sleeved tops along with a purse to replace mine. It was clear to me that a purse had been included with this fix (yay!)

This is the best pic of the bunch and it's still blurry...sorry about that! The top item is the purse (burgundy).

Then I got to the fun part: trying everything on! No peeking at prices is my motto. All must be tried on and evaluated without an idea of cost. Here we go!

1) The first item I tried on was the Phylis Cut out Detail Sweater by Renee C for $68. The basic hanger photo did not give the detail that makes this sweater special, so I took a close-up of the cut-outs. So cute!

It is a gray-and-black striped sweater with oval cut outs all over the body of the sweater and in two rows on the sleeves. Cute, cute, cute!  I couldn't wait to try it on.

The cut-outs on the body show through to a second layer of black sweater underneath. The cut-outs on the sleeves do not have the extra layer of sweater, so your skin shows through. It also had an interesting neckline that is not visible in these two photos.

The only thing I was truly concerned about with this sweater was the length. It appeared a little short for 40-something me. So I threw it on with a pair of jeans.

Um, so totally adorable! I loved, loved, loved the cut-outs in the sleeves. And in the pic you can see the neckline (and a pile of Christmas presents!). There is a finished edge that is cut out in the front, so it looks a little modern and edgy. The shape of the sweater is slightly looser and boxier than I like, but the sleeves were so awesome and the style so unique, I didn't mind the looser fit. In fact, it hit just at my waistline, so it didn't expose anything I didn't want to show. With a tank top, everything stays covered up.

In fact, I was so confident in this sweater, I wore it to church with my Margaret M skirt! (flashback picture below)

This was a KEEPER!

2) The next item I tried on was the Evie Draw String Funnel Neck Sweatshirt by Loveappella for $64.00. I liked the blue-and-white fabric. It reminded me of those pullovers you get in Mexico, only softer.

The collar was attractive to me because of the cold winters. I don't like turtle-necks, but this type of collar looked cozy and comfortable. I also liked that this was a super casual top that I could use on weekends or even as a quick cover up on the boat in the summer.

The fabric was not super thick, so it had multiple-season uses, IMHO. Plus, I knew I could layer under it easily for more warmth in the colder months.

I tried this one on...

I loved it right away. It was soft and comfortable. Long and flattering. I had no idea I wanted a top like this. Never would've picked it off the rack. But I am certain this will get a lot of wear. KEEPER!

3) The next thing I tried on was the Rizzo Pull-On Skinny Ponte Pant by Liverpool for $98. I was surprised to see a pair of pants in my box. I specifically told Sari, my awesome stylist, that I didn't need anymore pants right now. But I tell ya, those Stitch Fix people know what you want better than you do!

This picture is really pretty blah. The pants are so much better looking than this implies. They are made of a super thick stretch fabric with a thick waist band and no zipper or snap. Sort of like a jegging. The pants have back pockets like a pair of jeans, but the front pockets are 'fake' and just a design details as shown in the close-up picture on the right.

I knew I was in trouble when I pulled these out of the box because I loved them. I knew they would fit well just by looking at them. I couldn't wait to get them on!

Okay, even more terrible photos that don't show how great these fit or how cute they are. They are AWESOME. Very flattering. Extremely comfortable. I could sit in any position on my couch, and it was as if I was wearing a pair of sweatpants. But yet I looked well dressed and put-together. Even though I have a pair of dark grey jeans, a pair of black jeans, a nice pair of black slacks for work...I knew I needed these pants! Thinking I may need to retire something from my wardrobe to make room for these. KEEPER!

4) The next item was the Henry Birds on Branch Infinity Scarf by Octavia for $28.00. I think I have already spoken of my love for infinity scarves. I cannot get enough of them. In fact, I got so many at Christmas (thank you, husband!), I need to figure out a better way to store them all.

I loved the colors and the design on this scarf. It was a lighter material than the last scarf I got from Stitch Fix, which I appreciated. That means I will be able to use this scarf in different seasons.

I threw it on with a sweater I happened to be wearing (no, I was not intending to wear these two items together). I loved it. In fact, I knew I would keep it when I pulled it out of the box...the 'trying on' really was not necessary. KEEPER!

At this stage in the game, I was so excited to see that this was becoming another potential 5 out of 5 box!  Already I wanted 4 items from this box. Could I also love the 5th item??? Let's find out.

5) The last item in the box was the Juno Small Folded Clutch by Street Level for $38.00. Let me first tell you that I am not a purse/bag person. I buy ONE small black purse every few years from Wal-Mart or Target for about $15 and then use it until it dies. My current purse was on its last legs, so I knew I'd need to find a new one. Why not let Stitch Fix find one for me?

I didn't get one in my last fix, even though I'd requested it, so I added it to my request for my December box, hoping my stylist would come through for me. I asked for something small and in a neutral color. I'm not one for crazy purses. I just need something that can pretty much go with any outfit.

I have to say, I was not 100% thrilled with what I received. Although I loved the interior of the clutch with its multiple pockets, I did not love the clutch style nor the bold gold chain strap that could be removed. A little flashy for an everyday purse. It also was too small for my needs. I did like the maroon leather, however. The color was not what I would've chosen, but it was definitely neutral enough that I could've used it as an everyday purse.

I knew that if this were not a 4 out of 5 box there was no way I would keep this item. I was not in love with it, it would not be able to replace my current purse, and the gold chain didn't say 'casual.' I was bummed. I did 'try it on' to see if I'd like it better or see a use for it with an outfit.

 It had some cuteness to it. But just not for me. If this had been a less awesome box, it would've been a RETURN for sure.

But here is where things went in a different direction. Before I even opened the receipt, I thought, "Do you really love the infinity scarf? You asked for some for Christmas, would another scarf be overkill? Maybe this is really only a 3 out of 5 box."

I decided that I would keep the two tops and the pants, which were total loves, and return the scarf and the purse.
Then, I opened the receipt.

Oh, clever Stitch Fix. The Merchandise Total for all items was $296.00. But if I kept all 5 items and subtracted my $20 styling fee, the total would be $207. In other words, I would save $69 for keeping all 5 items...this meant that if I ONLY kept the two tops and the pants, I would pay $230. But if I kept all 5 items, I would pay $23 LESS (in essence the scarf and the purse would be FREE). Guess what I decided to do?

I kept all 5 items! 

The purse was truly the only item I didn't love. But oddly enough, I ended up using it on Christmas Eve. I got dressed up for church and realized that my new maroon clutch definitely went better with my fancy dress than my $15 Wal-mart purse. So it looks like I now have a bag for those times I need to get more dressed up. Not bad.

The best part of this story is that on Christmas my husband gave me a $100 Stitch Fix gift card! (Thanks, baby) Which means I only had to cough up half the tab on my own.

I am looking forward to continuing on with Stitch Fix into 2015. This service has really been everything I was hoping for and more.

If you haven't yet signed up for Stitch Fix, would you consider using my code below? I will receive a $25 credit after you make your first order. I would be really grateful. If not, please continue to visit my blog every month for my latest Stitch Fix review!

Click here to try out Stitch Fix!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. See you in 2015!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Wattpad Updated - December 11, 2014

I haven't posted an update about my writing on Wattpad recently, so I thought I'd give you a December progress report. Currently, I have 5 things available to read on Wattpad:

1) Acapulco Nights. This is a romance/chicklit type of book about a woman seeking a divorce from a long-lost Mexican husband. I have posted 14 chapters of this one. So you have plenty to sink your teeth into. This book is completely finished, and I am posting 1 chapter a week until the end. I've got about 10 more chapters to post.

2) First Cut is the Deepest. This is a science fiction book that I've been wanting to write for years. It was the reason I decided to try out Wattpad, so that I would have motivation to finish writing it. I just posted Chapter Six. This is a book about Charlie Cutter who is a Navy linguist assigned to the NCIS-A - a division that investigates aliens.

3) Blood Moon. This is my paranormal YA book about werewolves invading a high school and the teenage girl who takes them down. It has 1000 SAT words and their definitions as a vocabulary-builder for your college-bound high schooler. But it also is just a fun read! I posted the first 3 chapters...and that's all I will be posting. The book is available to purchase at the Amazon Kindle store.

4) Interruption. This is a very short story I wrote in response to a Sci-Fi Friday challenge on Wattpad. We had to take an intro sentence and then write the rest of the story, using exactly 100 words. If you are looking for something quick, check it out!

5) Torch. This is another short story I wrote in response to a Sci-Fi Friday challenge. This one asked that you write a short story (of no more than 800 words, I believe) with the theme of "Escape." Also a quick read.

I've really been enjoying the Wattpad experience. I do feel like this is the future for writing, in some way. Prove your concept has an audience. Perfect your writing. Publish.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fix #8 from Stitch Fix - November 21, 2014

Hey, everyone! Another month has gone by; time for a new Stitch Fix Unboxing!

Last month, I got very very close to a 5 out of 5 box. I ended up keeping everything and selling the one cardigan sweater I didn't like for a discounted price to a family member in order to get the 25% whole box discount. Hoping for another awesome box, I requested the same stylist - Sari - who sent me some fabulous pieces. (See my October 28, 2014 Stitch Fix post for the details)

And to read all of my other Stitch Fix reviews, click on the links below:

Fix #1 - May 2014
Fix #2 - June 2014
Fix #3 - July 2014
Fix #4 - August 2014
Fix #5 - September 2014
Fix #6 - October 1, 2014

Fix #1 gives you all the information about the Stitch Fix service, so I won't reiterate here.

This month I had requested more long-sleeved items, an additional infinity scarf (since I love them), and a new purse (neutral color, not too large).  I am cheap. I usually buy a $10 purse from, not too big. I only have one purse (bags are not my 'thing'), and I use it until it falls apart. This time, I thought I'd let Stitch Fix find a new bag for me...something more expensive that would last. I also tentatively added a request for 'boyfriend' jeans, since I thought maybe that style would work better for me and my body type. I have never tried on a pair before and thought, why not?

Then the most exciting thing happened: My Stitch Fix box arrived 4 days early! My original delivery date was November 25th, but I received it today!!!!  My assumption is that they wanted to fit in one more delivery before Christmas.

Here's to hoping the kids get the hint and give me Stitch Fix gift cards!

Needless to say, I was very excited to get my box today. Here it is when I opened it:

This was a little bit larger box than I usually get. I assumed that was to fit whatever bag or sweater my stylist decided to send. Then, I unwrapped the paper:

 Hm, top item looked rather blousy...

Then I stacked them on my bed to get a picture of all the layers. Looks like my stylist went for a certain color 'theme,' which I thought was cool:

 However, I immediately noticed no bag of any kind. I was a bit disappointed, since I'd specifically asked for that. But that's the way it goes sometimes with Stitch Fix! Instead, I tried to get over my sad face and get excited about the contents of my box. To the Trying On phase of the event!

I read the note that came with the delivery. My stylist mentioned she'd looked at my Pinterest page (I thought that was nice...sadly, I suck at keeping that thing updated with stuff I like) and that she'd sent me more red jeans!

I was struck dumb at this comment. I had epic fail on red jeans and pants in general in September...and in my very first box. I had been horridly, horridly disappointed in all of them and actually asked that no more pants be sent unless they were truly trouser style or true boot cut jeans. No skinny pants ever again for me!

As is my norm, I hung up each item individually and then tried EVERYTHING on. Even something I thought I'd hate. Here's what happened:

1) Curious about the red jeans, I tried both of these on first. Pair number one was Denna Colored Skinny Jean by Kut From The Kloth for $78.00. Sari mentioned in her note that she knew I wanted a trouser-style jean, but that the Kut From The Kloth brand had a 'comfortable fit.' All right, Sari, prove it to me.

 I put on a plain white t-shirt and tried on the pants. Holy moly, they were a PERFECT, AWESOME, INCREDIBLE fit!  Sari, you blew my mind. The precious red jeans were now mine (evil laugh of triumph inserted here). Check it out:

 I know! What is going on? Skinny jeans on my backside with the extra curve? YES!  They do exist. Any woman out there who likes curvy style jeans, get yourself some of these babies. Could not believe the fit. And the length was perfect. KEEP!  A MILLION TIMES KEEP!

2) Pleased at the success of red jean number one, there was a lot less pressure on red jean number two. The next pair was the Jonathan Corduroy Skinny Pant by Kut From The Kloth for $68.00. These pants were an incredibly soft, tiny corduroy material that almost felt and looked like velvet. Check it:

 These were a slightly dark red/burgundy color. They looked to be a little bit skinnier than the first red pair, so I assumed they wouldn't fit as well. Which was all right with me, because I already had my red jeans, baby. Trying these on was merely to follow through on my dedication to trying on ALL items in my Stitch Fix box. So, I went in thinking these would be rejection material. Boy, was I wrong:

 OMG, they also fit amazingly well. I was flabbergasted. I had such epic pants fail once before that I thought the beautiful red jeans would never be mine. They were only for a certain kind of gal, and I would never be that gal.

I stand corrected!  Now I had TWO pairs of red jeans. What is a girl to do? I also put these in the KEEP decision would be made based on price, perhaps (as you recall, I don't look at the prices until the end). I kept the jeans on for the next clothing item. For now, I put these pants in the UNDECIDED column.

3) Next in the try-on phase was the Milan Lace Print Back Pleat Top by 41Hawthorn for $58.00. When I saw this in the box and hung it up, I was mystified why I was sent this item. It was not long-sleeved. I had specifically told Stitch Fix back in September that I wanted no more short-sleeved tops. But here it was, lurking in my box:

 Overall, it was cute. But the fabric was incredibly thin for Idaho in almost-December. However, it did match the awesome jeans, so for a split second I thought...maybe....? Then, I put it on (sorry for the blurry photo; it was the best of the bunch):

 Hm, a shapeless yuck. Just not for me. It needed a waist of some kind to make it work on my body type. It even seemed to downplay the bust area, which is weird. I literally had no curves at all in this top. Big time NO.

Note: It wasn't until about 10 minutes ago that I realized my stylist sent me a top that looked similar to something I'd posted on my Pinterest board from White House Black Market (see pic to left). So I had to appreciate what my stylist what trying to do for me! Even if it didn't work.

Bummer it didn't work out, but a short-sleeved top would've ended up in my spring wardrobe and not seen until April or May. I'd rather have more items I can wear right now.

4) The next item in my box was the Byers Houndstooth Open Draped Cardigan by Staccato for $64.00. I was a little disappointed to see more dull colors when it came to cardigans:

The pattern was fun, but the gray and cream wasn't calling out to me. However, I do have some bright colored tops I could wear under it, so I tried to stay positive. However, the positivity did not last:

Not terrible, but not the best either. The sleeve length was great, the shape of the cardigan was not. It just wasn't flattering. It may look okay here, but overall I thought it made me look dumpy. Plus, I was not excited about gray. I really wanted colorful cardigans for the drab winter time.

Then, I got a photo of the cardigan from the side and knew it had to go back for sure:

I mean, seriously, I look pregnant and hunchbacked at the same time. Not good. Definite NO.

5) The last item in my box was a sleeveless dress - the Edie Sleeveless Textured Fit & Flare Dress by Gilli for $64.00. I wasn't that pleased it was sleeveless. I don't need a sleeveless dress for my neck of the woods. Also, when I hung it up, it looked oddly short:

If you see where the belt is, I knew it wasn't going to be pretty. I'm in my 40s. I'm not 17. But, as is the rule, I try EVERYTHING on. So, I did:

 Oh, Lordy! This is crazy short!  Even if I WERE 17. There was no way for me to bend over in this dress even one inch. I needed about a foot longer hemline to feel comfortable. But, hey, my legs don't look half bad. LOL.

The belt was nice, the top fit well, but oh my the length. I took this dress off as quickly as I could and put it in the NO pile.

Now the dilemma began. I rejected everything but the two pairs of red pants!  LOL. Should I really buy two pairs of red pants? I tried on both of them again to see if one fit better than the other. No. They both fit great. And then I rationalized that the corduroy pair was warmer than the regular red denim. The corduroy pair was also a little classier looking, so I could dress them up for work or a date night, or even church.

I decided to check the price. If they were both expensive, I would need to choose only one pair. When I looked at the prices, however, I was pleasantly surprised. They weren't that bad!  In fact, the warmer corduroy pair was $10 cheaper than the denim!  So I went for it.

I have such a hard time finding pants that I like and these were the prayed-for red jeans of my fashion fantasies!  I decided to KEEP both pairs and am wearing the corduroy ones right now. :-)

Please let me know what you think of my items and which ones you may have kept or returned. Also, if you have yet to try Stitch Fix, can I tempt you to click on my referral link below?  FULL DISCLOSURE: I will receive a $25 credit if you sign up!

Stitch Fix Referral Link

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Fresh 20 Update!

 I just recently renewed my Fresh 20 account for another 3 months. Thought I'd give a little update on where I am with their service now that I have had more experience with it.

Here is my process for getting the most out of this service:

1) When I had a new account, I downloaded as many meal plans as I could rather than just download the most current plan (I think I had access to about 4 or 5 menu plans when I first signed up).

2) I saved all the meal plans in a folder on my desktop. If there was a menu one week that I absolutely did not like, I had a reserve set of menus to choose from. I have been making things out of weekly order since the beginning!

3) I read through the meals to ensure all family members would eat what was included in the meal plan. Too spicy? Not gonna make it or might leave out an ingredient that adds too much spice. Vegetable I know most people won't eat? Not gonna make it. Etc. I have actually rejected about 2 or 3 entire menus, when there was too much dislike going on.

4) If most of the menu looks good, I will look at questionable things and try to come up with substitutions that would be easy. For example, if someone is not into eggplant, maybe I can leave that out or add a meat instead, etc.

5) Read the instructions carefully, a lot of times they will offer substitutes for meats you don't like or can't find. For example, one week they wanted me to buy clams. I knew someone in my family had a shellfish allergy, so The Fresh 20 had suggested chicken tenders as a substitute for the clams. They do this often for seafood or don't be scared off by unknown or expensive proteins!

5) Mark up the provided shopping list - cross out the items you don't need, add substitutions to the list, increase the amount of meat for families with larger appetites, etc.

6) Read through each meal to ensure you don't need another dish to round out a meal. Some of The Fresh 20's meals only include a meat and vegetable combo, which is not enough food for my teen-heavy family.

I have found over the weeks, that I am getting better and better at anticipating where I can make improvements to the recipes to suit my family's tastes. I also very much appreciate the new flavors and food combos that I am learning about. Stuff I never would've tried or made if it weren't for this service. My week is so much less stressful now that I don't have to think too hard about dinner...all the food is waiting for me in the fridge or pantry, and I just grab the next menu item and get to it!

I also am enjoying the fall menus more than the summer menus. I love soups and stews, and they have at least one each week. Also, they make good use of my crockpot, which I appreciate.

Sometimes I wish there were a way to save my favorite recipes out of the week. I hold on to every menu, but it can be hard to remember where that tasty turkey meatball came from or that yummy sandwich.

Overall, I am pleased with the menus still. I love looking through the week's worth of ideas and getting excited about making something new to me and my family. And I'm still learning about new foods and cooking methods, so it's a bit of a cooking class as well!

UPDATE: July 27, 2015 - I have now been using the Fresh 20 meal plans for about 1 year. In the last couple of months I have found myself using only 2 or 3 recipes from the weeks' menus and then supplementing those with another free meal planning blog I get weekly menus from. It's turned into a good combo. I can scan the Fresh 20 plan for the stuff I know my family will like. I have learned to dump some of the weirder side dishes and add ones that I know my family will eat. This seems to be turning into a good compromise.

My kids missed my more popular 'comfort food' items when I went 100% Fresh 20. So now I have a decent mix of foods that means only a few nights a week will be on the lighter/healthier side.

The good news about the Fresh 20 experiment is that I have expanded my food knowledge quite a bit. I now consistently use grapeseed oil for cooking at high temps, use more olive oil, buy more fruit, use more fresh veggies, etc. I've also learned some new preparation and cooking techniques and have found quite a few recipes that I would make again. Plus, I have found an appreciation for the versatility and tastiness of ground turkey when you use the right additions to add flavor and moisture.

UPDATE: January 6, 2016: I still receive my weekly Fresh 20 menus, but in the last couple of months, I have reduced the number of menus I use in the week. I now use a free menu service through a blog I like and then mix in the best recipes (to my now well-trained eye) from the Fresh 20 weekly list. This has worked well for me. I like the lighter and healthier items on Fresh 20, but I also like to make hearty, family-friendly favorites. So, this is how I am going to go forward in 2016. Also, BIG CHANGE!!!  I noticed in December that my Fresh 20 meal plan no longer has ONLY vegetarian on Fridays. They now give you a 5th meat/egg menu on Fridays. This is a HUGE improvement for me and my family. Thanks, Fresh 20 for listening to your customers. :-D

Monday, November 17, 2014

Wattpad Update Number 3

I forgot to post on Friday that I uploaded new chapters of Acapulco Nights and First Cut is the Deepest on my Wattpad account.

I am finding this whole experience very good for me as a writer. I am inspired to write when I think there may be people reading my books. Also, there are opportunities to write shorter things, which will get an audience of some kind. There's not a roaring print market for short stories, so some fun ideas and unique stories get written that may have never seen the light of day.

I participated in another Science Fiction writing challenge. This one entailed using the first 25 words provided by the contest runner and writing a 100 word story (including the 25-word prompt). Tons of fun. Posted mine this morning.

Links below to all:

Chapter 11 of Acapulco Nights

Chapter 4 of First Cut is the Deepest

Interruption - New Writing Challenge

Have fun reading!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Wattpad Updates!

Hello, there. Here to report again on some story updates to my Wattpad account. I am very much enjoying this new way to interact with readers (and writers).

I posted some new chapters to two stories today, if you are interested:

First Cut is the Deepest - Chapter 3

Acapulco Nights - Chapter 10

The first is a science fiction/romance/thriller and the second is chicklit/romance.

Although I'm still figuring things out, I've found a group on there that posts Science Fiction writing challenges. I participated in one of the challenges last week that asked you to write a short (between 600 and 800 words) story based around the theme 'Escape.'

I really love writing prompts and short stories are so incredibly easy to write because there is no pressure to prop up a huge plot. My entry was entitled "Torch" and is available through the link below:

Check out my short story "Torch."

It's short & sweet.

Friday, October 31, 2014

New updates on Wattpad

I uploaded new chapters for both my chick lit/romance, ACAPULCO NIGHTS, as well as my science fiction/thriller, FIRST CUT IS THE DEEPEST, on my Wattpad account. Feel free to check them out:

Acapulco Nights

First Cut is the Deepest

Currently, I have 9 chapters uploaded for ACAPULCO NIGHTS and Prologue and 2 chapters uploaded for FIRST CUT. My plan is to upload a chapter each week (most likely on Fridays) for both books. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fix #7 From Stitch Fix - October 29, 2014

I am a Stitch Fix Junkie. It is true. Despite a few box fails and some disappointments. I always happily anticipate the delivery of my next box. Today I received box number seven, and it was absolutely my BEST BOX EVER!!!!!!!!!! W00t!

If you are unfamiliar with Stitch Fix, please read my first fix post for the details:

Fix #1 - May 2014

If you want to read up on my other fixes, here are some easy links:

Fix #2 - June 2014
Fix #3 - July 2014
Fix #4 - August 2014
Fix #5 - September 2014
Fix #6 - October 1, 2014

Why was this Fix so incredibly awesome, you wonder? Why, let me take you through a journey of my seventh box...

I love opening the box. This time, they included two wrapped bundles, instead of just one!

Hmm, what could be inside???

Look at all the beautiful colors, patterns and fabrics!

As is my usual habit when unboxing, I do not look at prices. I don't want to freak out over prices before I try anything on. I want to give each and every piece a chance to win me over before I reject it. I returned an item over the price once, and I still regret it (Stitch Fix #1 - May 2014 will live in infamy).

Let's get to the individual items, shall we?

1) The first item I decided to try on was a wrap dress: Pascha 3/4 Sleeve Printed Wrap Dress by Uttam for $88.00. I loved this the minute I hung it up. Wrap dresses are incredibly flattering for most women, and this one had some unique features...little ties on the 3/4 sleeves and this interesting tab that held the front part of the dress to one side. The fabric was a heavier weight, cottony feeling polyester blend that I knew would keep me warm in an Idaho winter. The construction was very good, so I knew there would be no gaps when I sat down. The inside part of the wrap was sewn completely down one seam.

I had asked for more long-sleeved dresses, just with a slightly longer hemline than the dress I kept from my last fix. I'm no spring chicken, so a shorter hemline can look a little too youthful for my taste. Gotta age gracefully, folks!

Then, for the moment of truth. I tried it on. Fabulous! I loved the fit and the interesting fabric. I knew it could wear this over and over to church (with a tank top underneath) or out on a date. With a tank it would also be great business wear (once again, the longer hemline makes that doable in an office setting). I could dress it up or dress it down. Love, love, love. Definite KEEPER!!!!!

I am looking forward to wearing this on Sunday. 

2) The next item I tried on was the Lida Faux Leather Detail Pencil Skirt by Margaret M for $88.00. I had looked at the style cards (which I forgot to photograph this time around) while trying things on to get an idea of how to wear each item. I recognized the Margaret M brand name from my July fix when I received a pair of 'clown' patterned pants (IMHO - I am sure a different person with different taste could've loved the print).

'Clown' Pants from July 2014 fix
The best thing about those pants had been the tummy control waist area. I was hoping the pencil skirt had the same feature!

It's hard to see in the picture how interesting this skirt actually is. You can barely see on the left hand side a little faux leather stripe detail. This is on both sides of the skirt. The rest of the skirt is made out of a very hearty, thick stretch material. I'm guessing that Margaret M is known for its awesome stretch fabrics!

I tried on the skirt with one of my favorite cowl neck tops. I should've tried on something with a little more contrast...this picture makes it look like a dress! However, as you can see, the length is just above the knee (plus) and the skirt is not too tight (plus) and the waistband had magical properties that held in certain spots that most women would like to hide (plus). All in all, a KEEPER!!!!!

Not only was it flattering from the front, the side view was amazing. The skirt clung just enough, but not too much, to ye olde derriere. Bonus!

I had a black skirt in my closet for years that was comfortable and easy to wear, but one of those bizarre lengths that makes you feel a little bit dowdy. Since I had not found a good replacement skirt, I held onto that baby for way too long (more than 10 years!?!). So glad Stitch Fix somehow knew what I needed.

3) The next item I tried on was the Burke Ombre Knit Sweater by Creative Commune for $74.00. Absolutely gorgeous sweater. Just hanging this up, I knew I would love it.

I mean, my goodness, isn't it pretty?????? It had a dropped shoulder type of sleeve, and since I have mega shoulders, I always appreciate a dropped shoulder. It also was shorter in front and longer in back. The colors were to die for...a purplish blue fading to a muddier blue in the middle. I couldn't wait to try it on!

I put on some jeans and got to trying this baby on. The drape of this sweater was lovely. It is a really fine fabric, so it definitely needs a tank top underneath. But I am always layering in the fall/winter around here, so that wasn't a problem. The sleeves were nice and long. And, interestingly enough, the shorter front was quite flattering as it emphasized my waist. I would not have guessed that.
100% KEEPER!

At this stage in the unboxing, I was so excited to see that I was keeping the first 3 items I'd tried on. Was this going to be the moment that I went five for five? Would this be the moment when I checked out on the Stitch Fix site by saying YES to everything and achieving the 25% discount of legend? I was very hopeful.

4) The next item I tried on was the Dorrian Graphic Knit Draped Cardigan by Moon Collection for $68.00. When I hung up the cardigan, I liked the weight and thickness of the material. I knew that this type of cardigan would get worn a lot in the middle of winter. The colors were not that me (I'm a winter, which means jewel tones look best on me or other cool turquoise and coral, plus off white are not my friends), but I wanted to give it a chance.

Overall, it looked very pretty hanging there on the back of my bedroom door. With all of the bright colors, I thought I could overlook the off white and perhaps find a way to fit this into my wardrobe. Then, I tried it on...

Hmmm. The picture actually doesn't look so bad. But to my eyes, I felt like I was wearing a horse blanket. The extra blankety fabric around the collar and down the sides was copious and did not fall/sit easily on my body. I kept having to figure out how to readjust the lapels to hide the seams that were on the inside. I had a very hard time getting this to work.  Then, I checked it from the side:

I could not even tell my body was under there. No, I did not think this would work at all. This made me very sad. My attempt at a five out of five box had failed. NO.

5) The last item in my box was the Sandra Abstract Print Infinity Scarf by Octavia for $34.00. I will confess, I love love love infinity scarves. I have never in my life been a scarf person, until my teenage daughter pointed out these scarves at a JC Penney. I threw one on, and a week later, I'd accumulated two more. For an Idaho gal, I had no idea how much warmth an infinity scarf can add to your outfit. Wow! I knew that this year, I would want to buy some more, and enlisted the aid of Stitch Fix to find me some.

The scarf my stylist, Sari, sent me was thick and soft and lovely. The colors were perfect for me. Red and black and gray...I have plenty of possibilities for this scarf. Now, it was a thicker scarf than I was used to, so I did have a little spark of fear deep down inside that it would be too much fabric bunched around my neck. So I tossed it on...

Heavens, this was pretty, pretty, pretty! I wish I'd paired it for the photo with a more complimentary top, but, as you can see, I'd selected the ombre sweater for a full day's wear. The infinity scarf was a KEEPER!!!!

Now, I am sure you would think, "Wow, she loved 4 out of 5 items. That rocks."  And, yes, I was ecstatic over achieving a 4/5 box. My very first. It was thrilling to know I'd get to keep so many lovely things from this box. However, a wrench was thrown in the works.

I looked at the prices and the receipt. If I'd kept just the 4 items in my box that I liked (minus the $20 styling fee), the total would be $264. BUT, if I kept all 5 things in the box, my total would be $249. Argh!  Dilemma of the highest order. I'd never been in this position before. I really really wished that the cardigan was something that was 'ok' that I could see myself wearing from time to time...but I really did not like the cardigan and could not imagine wearing it out in public.

However, after some thought, I decided to save the $15 and keep everything in the box. Either I will sell the sweater to someone, give it away, or keep it in my closet to wear around the house. The unfortunate thing for me is that I am tall and most of my friends/acquaintances are NOT. Harder to find someone who can buy the sweater from me.

I have decided I will try to sell it for half-price ($34) and see what happens. Can't hurt to try.

UPDATE (10/31/14): Found a buyer for my cardigan. A family member. Hooray! So glad this will get used by someone who likes it. :-D

Meanwhile, for any of you out there who may be reading my reviews, but still haven't pulled the trigger on a Stitch Fix box, I would very much appreciate if it you'd use my link to sign up:

Sign up for Stitch Fix!

Honesty Moment: I will get a $25 credit for your first order.

Thanks for considering the idea!