Tuesday, March 24, 2015

StitchFix Review...

I missed a couple of months, I know. But I'm back—better late than never—with another StitchFix review for you guys.

This month contained a relatively fun haul. I probably would have kept more if I hadn't gone shopping at one of my favorite little, local shops the day before I received my fix.

Kensie Rebekah Contrast Detail Blazer ($88)

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So I've seen a look on Pinterest that I loved which featured a cream-colored blazer, skinnies, cute heels, and a fun ponytail. I wish I could pull it off, but when I put this blazer on, it just looked like I threw on a suit jacket with jeans. Not a good look for me. This is going back.

Pixley Ivy Petal Print Blouse ($58)

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I seriously considered keeping this. It's polyester, as are a lot of StitchFix tops, and I feel like it would have been fun with some white jeans for spring. But it just wasn't a $60 shirt to me.

BRIXON IVY Sharron Pleated Maxi Skirt ($78)

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(This picture is crappy because I snapped it in my closet this morning when I remembered that I had forgotten to get a picture for this post. Because I'm totally keeping it, so it was hanging in my closet and not with the rest of the stuff I'm sending back.)

I'm obsessed with this skirt. Like this other maxi skirt I bought, this one is high-waisted and pleated. But it's teal! I wore it with a short-sleeved black t-shirt and a fun (StitchFix) statement necklace to a baby shower last weekend.

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Market and Spruce Memphis Overlay Knit Shirt ($58)

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Man, y'all, I wanted to keep this. Like bad. The lace detail is just gorgeous, and the color was perfect on my super pale skin. But, like I said, I had just gone shopping, and I already own a couple of lace overlay shirts that were significantly cheaper, so I couldn't justify the splurge. 

Laila Jayde Bowie Solid Dolman Sleeve Top ($58)

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Honestly, this shirt was a complete miss for me. The shape of it was a little awkward, and it's something I feel like I'd find at Marshall's or Ross. Except that it was $60! The price point on this shirt is so completely off the mark that I got irrationally angry at StitchFix for sending it to me. Ha.

So there you have it. I was 1 for 5 this month, just like last month. Still super fun and completely worth doing, in my opinion. If you're curious, go check StitchFix out. They even offer maternity and petite sizes now! Still waiting on those plus sizes, though...

* All StitchFix links in this post are referral links.

Friday, March 20, 2015

A recipe, a new kimono, and a hallelujah.

Hi friends.

It's Friday! Hallelujah and amen. I'm in a happy place for so many reasons today.

First, I'm guest posting for Nichole over at Casa de Crews. I know I've mentioned Nichole's amazing blog here before, and I'm so excited to be sharing one of my VERY FAVORITE Paleo recipes there today. I swear, you don't want to miss it.

Also, I'm wearing a new kimono today, and I feel like such a gypsy.

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(I wore it last Sunday, too.  Don't judge.)

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I got it here. It's currently out of stock, but I think they should be getting more in soon.

Last night, we met with a guy about getting some custom built-in bookshelves installed in our home office.

This is a bad iPhone screenshot of what I'm hoping to accomplish, but it gives you an idea of the style we're going with.

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Clean lines with open shelving above, cabinets (some with built-in file drawers) below. I'm seriously SO excited. I'm also already freaking out about how I'm going to decorate them. Lots and lots of googling of "styling bookshelves" is happening around here.

That's what's going on with us. We've got a low-key weekend planned (or not planned, actually), and I'm spending tonight and late Sunday night with my two best friends, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I've been needing some good, quality girl time.

What do you guys have planned for the weekend?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Fashion Friday...

I bought a tulle skirt, you guys.

I had been seeing them all over Pinterest. I'm sure you have, too.

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I recognize that I'm not actually a ballerina, but I just could not resist. So I ordered one from here.

And then I played dress up this past weekend, fixed my hair, and did my makeup. I even sweet talked my husband into taking some pictures for me while Grace was napping. (I swear I do sometimes try and act like a real blogger.)

Wouldn't you know, just as I was slipping on my shoes to walk out the front door, it started to rain. Figures.

So my idea of pretty, artsy pictures like the one above went out the window. And you guys are stuck with mirror selfies.

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I think this skirt could be equally cute dressed down with a chambray button-down tied in front or a white tank with a fun statement necklace.

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Either way, you'll feel super girly and ultra sassy. And that's never a bad thing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Crap I bought. And loved.

I buy a lot of crap. Like, I don't even mean to do it, but stuff just finds me, you guys. And when it's meant to be, well... you shouldn't mess with fate. Ha.

If my bank account's going to suffer anyway, I thought you guys could at least gain some benefit from my consumerism. So today I'm sharing some things I've purchased and loved lately.

On your mark, get set, go! (Let me go, let me shoop, to the next man in the three-piece suit. Nineties girls, holla if you hear me.)

Jo Malone.

Am I the last person on the planet to have fallen in love with Jo Malone fragrances?

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When we were strolling around Neiman Marcus a few months ago, feeling super fly and fancy, I saw the Jo Malone counter, and the concept piqued my interest. The idea is that you can either find a fragrance that you like on its own, or you can layer them. And then I started sniffing them all and died of happy. I took a few samples home and tried them for a couple of months.  My three favorites are Wild Bluebell, Peony & Blush Suede, and English Pear & Freesia, and I ended up buying the small bottles of Wild Bluebell and Peony & Blush Suede so I could layer them together. The combination is just... unbelievable. And the scent stays on my skin all day long, which is super important to me. Worth the sort of ridiculous price tag, in my opinion.


I love photo books, but I don't like what a pain in the rear they are to create. I also don't love the price tag. I randomly stumbled upon Chatbooks and downloaded the app to see what it was about. Basically, you just create a photo book directly from your Instagram account. You get 60 pages for $6 with free shipping. (Yep. For real.)

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Because you're pulling from Instagram, the quality isn't SUPER, and the books are smaller and paper-bound. BUT, my kid is obsessed with them, and given that they cost less than my weekly Starbucks fix, I feel zero guilt letting her play with them and bend the pages everywhere.

Smile Candle from Bath and Body Works.

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Technically, I didn't actually buy this candle myself. My mother-in-law got it for me for Valentine's Day. (I find it so adorable that we are almost thirty years old, and my in-laws still get both Micah and me Valentine's Day presents.) Probably not something I would have picked up to smell for myself, but seriously you guys... this candle is incredible. The scent fills up our two-story living room, and it basically smells like summer. The fruit, non-beachy version of summer, anyway.

Farmgirl Paints Cuffs.

You guys are probably going to be mad at me for this one because her etsy shop doesn't open back up until May, but it's worth the wait. Becky sells handmade leather cuffs made from belts. And then she customizes them with whatever words you want by stamping metal plates and attaching them to the cuffs.

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This one is gold glitter, and it says "lovely." I have another one (I've probably shared it here before) that is distressed brown, and it says "amazing grace." Follow Becky on Instagram to see some of her beautiful cuffs and stay updated on when her shop is reopening. Here is a "box shot" of several cuffs that were made and shipped a couple of months ago to give you an idea of the kinds of leather and words you can use.

That's probably enough for one day, don't you think? Go forth and shop, my friends.

Monday, March 9, 2015

A loose, beachy curl video tutorial

I did something for you guys yesterday. 

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I finally got in front of the camera and filmed a video tutorial for creating loose, beachy curls.

I've been meaning to do this for several years because a few of you have asked about my hair, and I've never seen anyone curl their hair the way I do. (I actually filmed a tutorial a couple of years ago and never posted it because it was so completely awkward. This one isn't much better, and it's WAY too long,  but whatever. I'm posting it in case any of you find it useful.)

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So when I had a few spare minutes yesterday, I went for it.

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A couple of things to note:
-  I talk a lot.
-  My webcam totally sucks.
-  The way I curl my hair makes for a very awkward tutorial video.
-  You won't burn yourself the way I did. Probably.

The products I mentioned in the video are listed below.

As I mentioned in the video, when I curl my hair, I wash it in the evening, let it air dry overnight, and then curl in the morning. If you can't or don't want to do that, you can totally blow dry it and curl afterward. I just like saving time where I can. :)

Alright, I'm just going to press publish now. I'm sorry in advance for the ridiculousness of this video.

Tools and Products Used:

Hot Tools 1 1/4 inch Curling Iron
Wen Sweet Almond Mint Styling Creme
Amika Un.Done Texture Spray
Rusk W8Less Hair Spray (optional)
Alligator clips
Ponytail elastic

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Influenster #XOVoxBox Review...

I know you guys have heard of Influenster. But just in case, here's a blurb from their website:

Influenster is a community of trendsetters, social media hotshots, and educated consumers who live to give opinions of products and experiences.
Influensters meet here to learn about new products from our favorite brands as well as review the products they already use in their day-to-day lives!
We invite our most active and social media savvy members to participate in exclusive rewards campaigns. . .
So basically, you sign up and occasionally complete surveys to determine whether you're eligible to receive any of their VoxBoxes, which contain free products to try and review.  I joined because (1) I like trying new products and (2) I like getting free stuff. So I was super excited when I was selected to try out the #XOVoxBox.

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Here's a rundown of what was in the box and my thoughts on all of the products.

John Frieda FrizzEase Beyond Smooth Shampoo, Conditioner, and Frizz Immunity Primer

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I'll confess that, while I really do like John Frieda products, I've been faithfully devoted to Wen for the last year or so. So I wasn't expecting much from these products.

I was honestly pretty blown away by the results. Maybe my hair just needed a little variety, or maybe this stuff really does work well to smooth out hair with a lot of texture, but it worked wonderfully. The shampoo didn't lather quite as well as I expected, but I did my usual two wash/rinse cycles, and my hair felt super clean. The conditioner was great and left my hair feeling super silky.

Now, I still use Kerastase Elixer Ultime, so my standards are really high when it comes to smoothing/glossing products. I think the primer did a great job, particularly for the price point.

After using the shampoo/conditioner, and primer, I let my hair air dry, and here's what it looked like.

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My hair has a lot of texture, so this is really tame and smooth for me. I actually went out for lunch and errands without straightening or curling it, which I never do.

Considering the system as a whole, I would definitely recommend it, especially for the price. My one complaint is that it isn't sulfate-free, which might make it a deal breaker for me. (Or, at the very least, result in me being willing to use these products only just before I get a fresh color, when my hair is already pretty faded.)

Colgate Optic White Toothbrush and Whitening Pen + Colgate Optic White Express Toothpaste

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I've been looking for whitening products, so I was super excited to try these. The toothbrush is really great and leaves my teeth feeling really clean, but I currently use a spinbrush, so I may not end up using this forever. The whitening pen is a little strange. The idea is that you apply the whitening gel just after you brush your teeth and leave it be. No rinsing -- you just apply it and go. But it feels and looks strange on your teeth for at least fifteen minutes after application. So be warned.

The toothpaste tastes very strongly of  hydrogen peroxide, but that's fairly standard for whitening toothpaste.

In terms of effectiveness, I can tell a slight difference in the brightness of my teeth, but I've only been using these products for a couple of days. So maybe they'll look even better in a couple of weeks? I'll try to remember to report back.

Skinfix Hand Repair Cream

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I'm so conflicted on this product. On the plus side, it works fantastically. As soon as I put it on, my hands feel incredibly soft and smooth, and I love how well it works.


It smells fairly terrible. And I'm not sure I can get over that.

Tide Pods Plus Febreeze
I forgot to take a picture of these, but you've all seen Tide products, right? That orange is fairly distinctive. :) 

Tide brought their A-game and sent a full-size bag of these pods, which will likely last us several months. And I'm almost certain I'll buy more then we run out. Mostly just because the pods are super convenient, the clothes seemed sufficiently clean, and they smelled amazing. Those are my only real criteria for laundry detergent. Glad I got to try these.

– eBay Guides Campaign: $25 credit for preparing two eBay guides
– Land's End
– AdoreMe Lingerie

I probably won't use any of these because I'm not very interested in these brands.

And there you have it! Thanks, Influenster, for all the free stuff!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

So very thankful...

The love of my life turns 29 today.

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I've got an entire tab devoted to all the reasons why I adore him. So today, I'll just say this.

Micah Lee, you are the reason I'll be incandescently happy until the day I die. I am so much better for having loved you.

I am so very thankfultoday and every daythat you were born.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Do you want to build a snowman?

... because I definitely don't.


The last week has solidified my conviction that I'm not cut out for life in the north, where snow comes more frequently than once a year.

On Monday and Tuesday, Dallas got some sleet, and temperatures dropped low enough that the roads were really icy, so most schools and businesses (including my firm) were closed. We took advantage and let Gracie experience her first real snow day.

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Can you even handle this kid? I cannot.

She had so much fun playing outside for a little while. We quickly realized she needed gloves, and we didn't have any, so we put some socks on her hands for makeshift mittens. #genius

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And then we noticed that our driveway was at an incline and decided to try and give Gracie her first sledding experience

She loved it. Clearly. We did this approximately one million times before we forced her to go inside because her little face was frozen.

And then on Wednesday, I headed to North Carolina for a recruiting event for work. Unfortunately, Dallas was due to get snow all night on Tuesday and early on Wednesday, and I know driving to the airport at 4:30 a.m. for my 6:30 flight was going to be treacherous. So I stayed at the airport hotel to avoid the drive. They gave me this "queen conference suite," and I was not adequately prepared for the bizarre combination of hotel and conference rooms.

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So strange, right?

I did eventually arrive in North Carolina, and I was SO pumped to be there because I was finally able to meet sweet Joey.

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Have you ever met someone and you just knew you'd stay connected for a good, long while? That's exactly how I felt when I hugged Joey for the first time. We had the BEST lunch, complete with sushi and such great conversation. She was the exact same girl she is on her blog, and I just loved that. So glad you made time to come say hi while I was in town, Joey!

I went to the recruiting event that night, and everyone was buzzing about the weather. Apparently North Carolina was slated to get almost eight inches of snow. When I woke up in the morning, this is what I saw out my hotel room window.

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So gorgeous, right? But not very conducive for trying to travel back to Dallas. I had rented a car, and the thought of driving to the airport in this stuff was terrifying. So I pushed my direct flight out for a flight with a connection in New York to give the snow plows time to get the roads cleared and for the snow to melt a bit.

The drive to the airport was still a bit treacherous, and I nearly didn't make it out of the hotel parking lot, but I made it to the airport, and my flight took off on time. I got a teensy bit of time in New York, which was torturous. I hated being so close to the city I so adore and not having the time to explore.

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I did make time for pizza...

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... and a very touristy picture of this sign in the airport.

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Love this song. And Taylor.

I finally arrived back in Dallas around 11:00 p.m. on Thursday. Too late to see Micah or Grace, but at least I got to sleep in my own bed again.

And then on Friday, Dallas got another several inches of snow.

At this point, I'm convinced that I'm actually causing the snow. As a friend mentioned on Instagram, I'm basically Elsa. Don't tell Gracie, though. I'm not sure she could handle it.
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