Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Plan Like a Man

I don't know about you, but my girls' night out crew has the hardest time getting out anymore. With traveling husbands, endless kids' activities, and ailing parents, coming up with a date the six of us can actually make is like picking the winning lottery ticket numbers.

Last summer we decided we wanted to have a weekend getaway. It had been two years since our last one, and we were long overdue. A great deal at a beach hotel came through my email and I contacted the girls to try to nail down a date. As always, there was a lot of non-commitment and our much-needed weekend away hung in limbo.

I went to my husband to vent. Do we reschedule? Just make it a day trip? Cancel? And then he gave me some great advice. He said, "If you plan it, they will come."

He said if it were a group of guys, one guy would plan it, send the email out to the other guys, and they would show up. That's it. If one couldn't come, he might get ribbed a little, but it would not get endlessly rescheduled.

So I went ahead and booked it. And wouldn't you know, all the girls showed up. Some didn't stay overnight, but they came for the day (we were local) and even came back out the next day. We had a great time.

Sometimes us moms overplan, put others' needs in front of our own, and guilt ourselves for taking personal time. But if you plan like a man, and just do it, sometimes that's all it takes.

How do you pin down a date with busy girlfriends? Comment below because I'd sure like to hear about it!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Stitch Fix Review - June

As you may have read in my first Stitch Fix review, I was super-excited about the online personal shopping service and went ahead and scheduled another box of clothes to arrive in June.
If you're not familiar with the service, the brief summary is that you fill out an online preference form and a stylist picks out clothes for you for a $20 styling fee. You get five items to try on at home, keep and pay for what you like, and send back the rest.

So I was looking forward to my next "fix" because I really liked all the items in my first go around.
Unfortunately, the sophomore fix was rather anticlimactic. Let me show you what I got. (I had to do cheesy mirror selfies because both my kids refused to take pictures for me...I don't blame them, actually.)
41Hawthorn Harriet chevron dress $64
I asked for a casual, lightweight dress I could wear over the summer. The dress they sent was cute, but I felt like by the end of summer, the chevron craze would be over and I wasn't sure what I would wear it to because I don't have any baby showers on the calendar. Husband felt like the waist was too short so I ultimately sent this one back. Not to mention I think I've seen similar dresses on my friends' daughters at their 5th grade graduations...maybe a little too...youthful for me.

Kut From The Kloth Elliot shorts $68
The next item was a pair of olive shorts. Really? I specified in my profile that I have a bad habit of buying basics and need to add more interest to my wardrobe. And they sent me olive shorts. Yawn. They were comfy, stretchy, and fit to a tee, but at almost $70, no thanks.

Papermoon Remmie maxi skirt $58
They also sent a maxi skirt. This was fun because it took me out of my comfort zone. This is a style that I never wear, usually because they are way too long and I like to show (off) my legs. I paired it with the one shirt in my closet that would match it in the style they suggested. It was fun to try, but it wasn't for me. I felt like a bohemian chick. Not my look.

41Hawthorn Filbert blouse $58
The item I ended up keeping was the 3/4 length 41Hawthorne shirt. I feel like I could find a similar shirt in stores around town, but at least this one had nice shoulder details and split-gathered sleeves. I wished it wasn't the same color as the shirt I kept from my last fix and would have liked it if the stylist could have paid attention to that. It'll be a good shirt to have for volunteering at the school or committee meetings.  

Pixley long necklace $38
The last item looked like it was from the girls' section of the Stella and Dot catalog. OMG!! so cute!!!!! (That's sarcasm.) I 'm not a 10-year-old girl, so back it went.

I'm amazed at how they nailed my size a second time, but I didn't feel like I was getting anything I couldn't find at the local mall (which I mentioned in my feedback when I returned it). The prices are little high, but when you factor in the convenience of it coming to your house and shipping both ways is included, the higher prices are somewhat justified. Plus, you don't want to lose your $20 styling fee credit, so it is better to get something

Supposedly they are still figuring out my style and with each fix they learn more about my likes and dislikes. Reading other reviews, I'm not the only one with a mediocre second box. So yes, I would try them again, but will probably wait until the next season change when I need some new pieces in my cold weather wardrobe.

If you think you want to try Stitch Fix for yourself, I would say to give it a go...it's still fun. And if you do, please use my referral link below to sign up. I will get a credit when your first box ships, which means I can review another fix. And who doesn't like getting fun boxes in the mail?

Stitch Fix Logo

What do you think about my choices? Have you had a fix yet? What did you think? Comment below!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Oh S#@!...School’s Out

In less than 24 hours, I will have the constant companionship of my two school-aged boys for the next 2 ½ months! While on the one hand, I look forward to the lazy days of summer – sleeping in, no homework, no projects, no after-school activities - I also dread it. 

The first week or so after school ends feels like a vacation. The mornings are leisurely, we meet dad for lunch, they don’t complain about going to the gym with me (yet), we swim in the pool, have play dates, and plan fun outings.

Then, about 2-3 weeks in, things start to change. The boys get tired of being together and start to needle each other. Our friends have left for vacations and started going to camps, and we can’t find anyone to play with. They are bored with swimming and we’ve already gotten too much sun. They hate going to the gym, and momma needs her gym time to have some sanity. The house is a disorganized disaster with toys and stuff everywhere. There is way too much complaining, whining, and fighting.

It never fails, I start off with good intentions. We’re going to have Math Mondays and Reading Time for 30 minutes a day. The kids will take turns preparing dinner once a week. We’ll do an outreach project or two, go to the water park, do some projects around the house, and we'll even invent something! Seriously, these are all things on my summer bucket list. But I know, come July, things start to turn ugly. By August, I’ve quit going to the gym, drink wine every night, and walk around generally pretty grumpy, counting the days until school starts.

Maybe this year will be different, I think. Maybe the kids will get along better and the activities I plan will keep them busy. Maybe they’ll let me get things done around the house.

Ah, who am I kidding?

So today, I look forward to the start of summer, the possibilities, and the fun activities….but know full well that by the time mid-August comes, the carpooling, sports, lunch-making, homework, and projects will sound like a good trade-off.