Wednesday, December 18, 2013

HUZZAH It's Stitch Fix #3!!!!!

Hello Readers. I am so excited to bring to you photos from my latest Stitch Fix. I didn't sign up intending to get a monthly fix, but it has kind of worked out that way and I am more than okay with that. This is the most fun ever. I throw out a bunch of ideas and my stylist picks out 5 items, wraps them in a pretty little package and they're delivered right to my doorstep! I think Sasha and I are totally vibing on each other. I was thrilled that she was my stylist again (I did ask for her) AND that she checked out my Pinterest board AND referenced my last fix in this one in an attempt to help me build an outfit. Feel free to check out my first two fixes here  and here. I explain how this whole process works there. I would have posted this earlier, but I had a final tonight and was in full on panic mode. Fortunately I finished early and you get fashiony goodness. Behold my items:

There's something to this modeling thing. I stand like this and I look super thin. SO, I need your help as I am on the fence about this one. This is the 41 Hawthorn Franklin Solid Side Gathered Knit Shirt in black. It is $48. It is really clingy. Like, woah. The fabric is not my favorite. I can tell by the feel that it's synthetic. It's a good basic piece. Goes well with another piece I got in this box. $48, though? I could get a similar top at Target for less. I don't have any plain black tops though. Weird. Anway, what say you? Should I keep? 

LOVE THIS SWEATER. This is the Fate Garvey Tribal Print Open Front Cardigan. This item is $68. I am FO SHO keeping this. It's SO SOFT and well made and freaking adorable. I'm wearing the previous top underneath. This is right up my alley, a little bit boho, comfortable and chic. No brainer. 

Close up of the pattern. I mean, REALLY LOVE.

A SCARF! I'm a scarfaholic. Seriously. I have maybe 20. I don't care. Don't judge. I love them. And I love this one even more because I also love birds. This is the Rikka Henry Birds on a Branch Infinity Scarf. This retails for $28. I am keeping it. It's soft and fluffy and there's SO MUCH OF IT. So cozy.  And my hair looks so cute in this photo. Yay hair stylist! <3

On to the one item I was not fond of. Hoo Boy. This is the Sanchez Striped Lurex Detail Jacket. In my mind it's 1993 and I am the fifty-something mother of the bride in this jacket. Fortunately it was too small in the arm and the boob. This is actually the first thing they've sent me that hasn't really fit. This was also, $88. Ha! No. To be fair, I asked for something sparkly for the holiday and this IS sparkly. I was hoping for a top with an embellished collar or tiny sparkles on a neutral color pallet. I should have been more specific. My bad. I take some of the responsibility for this. Note my wary eyebrows. Sasha did mention that she thought I could pair this with the dress I kept from my previous fix. I really appreciated that since I do feel like that dress needs a sparkly little something. This missed the mark, though. Can't win 'em all, I suppose.

Worse when it's zipped up. Are you feeling the early 90's MoB vibe? I'm telling you, I Will Always Love You is playing in the background.  Or Ace of Base. Or Color Me Badd. 

Close up of the sparkles. BAM.

And finally we have the Kut From the Kloth O'Neil Houndstooth Hi-Lo Blouse. Houndstooth. Oh how I adore thee. This top retails for $68. I found it on Amazon in the KFTK boutique on sale for $44. The exact same top. I will more than likely buy it there. It's looser than I would normally wear, but I like the red and I like the pattern, so I figure I could rock a different fit. On the whole pricing topic, this is the first item I've found out of the 15 I've been sent that I found for less somewhere else. Note my model stance. It really works!

So, when all is said and done my total would be $180 including the 25% for all 5 pieces including my $30 credit and the $20 styling fee. I'm DEFINITELY sending the jacket back. So, I'm not getting all 5. Love the sweater and the scarf. I think I'll save my money and buy my basics at Target. So, my total of $88 - the $20 styling fee, -$30 credit and I'm paying $38 for a sweater and a scarf. Can't beat that. I have to say, I really love this service. I like the element of surprise, I even don't mind getting the one dud, it makes things a little funny. And I am being stretched out of my comfort zone, which I also like. So if you're interested check them out Here! If nothing else, I have really enjoyed getting incredibly awesome mail. Mail that has clothes in it instead of bills. 

 As always, Stitch Fix in no way compensates me or asks for my opinion. I spend my own dollars and spew my own thoughts. Anyone else get a fix? Thoughts? What did you get? I loooove to see what other people get! Until next time!

Stitch Fix #3 on it's way!!!

Stitch Fix #3 is on the truck for Delivery AS WE SPEAK. So, there'll be another post today. Yahoo. I already have a feeling that I know what I'll be keeping due to my investigative efforts. CAN'T WAIT.

Monday, December 16, 2013

AMAZING Nail Polish Recommendation

I'm not sure if you're aware, but there is a website called My Subscription Addiction. This woman reviews EVERY SINGLE KIND OF SUBSCRIPTION BOX THERE IS. And there are a ton of them. I'm addicted to her website. It's pretty great. Anyhoo, I'm telling you about her because I found the best nail polish EVER through her site. I might be the last woman in the world to discover Julep, but I am telling you nothing has ever lasted on my nails this long without chipping. I work in a hospital and wash my hands eight bazillion times a day and nail polish usually chips in less than a day. This stuff took three days to chip and even then it was only two nails. It's a bit on the expensive side, but there are numerous discounts on their site. They also have a monthly subscription box that send polish as well as make-up and other beauty products. They also sent me a sweet small reusable grocery bag that I'm using for lunches in my introductory box. P.S. I got the intro box free. You can too. Check it out here. I wouldn't recommend it if I hadn't experienced the awesomeness for myself. They have no idea that I like their polish and I'm getting no compensation for this at all. I just want to share my awesome find with anyone that might be checking this humble little blog out.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Butternut Squash Soup

Hello. Two posts in two days. You lucky people.
SO! Today I am under the weather, so I'll be making my favorite soup to warm me up. I forget where I got this recipe. I think it might have been Epicurious. Either way, this is a great soup, free of cream and still incredibly rich and filling. I bought these frozen garlic and ginger pods from Whole Foods and that cuts down on prep time without having to use dried ingredients. I HIGHLY recommend picking them up.

Butternut Squash Soup
2 medium large butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
2-4 cloves garlic depending on your preference
2 tbs fresh grated ginger
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs olive oil
1 cinnamon stick
5-6 cups broth. I use low sodium chicken stock, but veggie works just as well
salt and pepper to taste

line a baking sheet with foil and place the squash face down on the sheet. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and cook squash for 50-55 minutes until soft. They will be hot squashy napalm. Take them out and let them cool. While they're cooling add the onion and olive oil to a heavy stock pot and cook the onion over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and cook another 5 minutes or so until the garlic becomes fragrant. Using a metal spoon, scoop out the insides of the squash and add them to the pot. Add broth until everything is submerged. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. The next part is easier if you have an immersion blender. If you only have a regular blender or a food processor, you'll have to work in batches to puree the soup. Remember to REMOVE YOUR CINNAMON STICK. I forgot once. Cinnamon bark EVERYWHERE. Puree soup and return to stove top. Add salt and pepper to your liking. Add more broth until you reach your desired consistency. I prefer a thicker soup. Cook on medium for another 10-15 minutes, Serve hot.

This is so yummy. AND as a bonus, incredibly healthy. I also like to cook up some chicken sausage and serve that on the side. NOM. Enjoy.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thoughts on Lady Choices

Hey there. Been awhile, I know. I read something today that inspired me and I wanted to get on my soapbox about it for a tic. 

So I read this letter:
To The Women Who Don't Want to Have Kids.

And I thought. Wow. Thank you. I've never had that all encompassing urge to have a baby and be a parent. It's not something that I yearn for. I wouldn't say I'm 100% against it. More like, 85%. I'm not in a particularly great place in my life to have a child anyhow. I'm 33, single, I work full time and go to school part time. I can barely fit in sleep. I have cats and they're all the snuggles I need. Hell, I'd love to get a dog, but I don't have time for that either. I have a few girlfriends who feel the same way I do, so I KNOW that I'm not totally weird for not wanting to be a Mom. Despite what society keeps telling me. I get a lot of guff when I tell people that I'm not particularly interested in being a parent. Some people tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about. Or I'll change my mind when I meet the right man. Most people, however look at me as though I'm either making an excuse because I'm single and the age I am and it must be all a facade to make myself feel better about where I'm at in my life OR that I'm the most selfish woman ever created for not wanting to devote my life to being a Mom. No one calls a man self centered when he says he doesn't want kids. THAT REALLY ANNOYS ME. A man doesn't have a uterus, so it's okay for him not to want to be a parent, but I do, so that somehow makes me some sort of hideous, wretched excuse for a woman. I don't understand what's so damn difficult about accepting people's choices and supporting them regardless of whether or not they align with your own particular vision for a happy life. I thought people of my Mother's generation fought for choice and acceptance. Was I wrong? Or did we only fight for the choices that other people think are the ones we ought to be making?

 I don't begrudge people their choice to have children. Heck, I love being fun Aunt Jill. I get all the snuggles and good times and none of the lame responsible stuff. Just last weekend I got an entire room of adults to wear pillows as hats in order to entertain my best friends 4 year old. It was epic. I like my life as is, what can I say? I know I don't have the time or the inclination to put in the effort it would take to be a great parent. And I would want to be a great parent. This letter speaks to that. It makes me feel a little better to know that a complete stranger recognizes and validates my choice. Not that it needs validation, but you know what I'm getting at. 

Anyway. Make your life choices. Stand by them. I support your right to make them. People are going to judge no matter what you do, so who cares what they think anyway. One of the best lessons I've been able to learn is to surround myself with the people that support me and lose the ones who don't. 

Also, I got another Stitch Fix credit. *Squee* and I have another fix coming on Thursday. SO. EXCITED. Pictures to follow. Yaaaay!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Stitch Fix #2

HEY HEY HEY! It's that time again!!!! Stitch Fix arrived today! So, like the anxious little bunny I am, I cheated and checked out my receipt online prior to receiving my delivery and I became SO. FREAKING. EXCITED. You may remember from my last Stitch Fix that I was terribly disappointed by the boring, expensive and not that cute stuff they sent me. I was polite, but very honest in my feedback. I was bummed, man. No accessories, no prints, no quirky anything. And on top of it, more expensive than I could afford. So when I saw my receipt which included a herringbone-esque print dress, a sleeveless dress, a quirky print top, a quirky print cardigan and a necklace I KNEW someone had paid attention. Stitch Fix, you made me a believer. FYI: They do not compensate me. These are my own thoughts and opinions and I paid for everything with my own hard earned dollars. No one is getting a special deal here.  

Do y'all even know what Stitch Fix is? It's an online personal stylist/shopper. You fork over $20, you fill out a lengthy questionnaire, you maybe create a pinterest board for them. They send you 5 items. If you buy, the $20 you already spent gets put toward your purchase. If you buy all 5 pieces, you get 25% off. Not a bad deal. Plus, no crowds, no annoying sales people, and you're trying stuff on at home. Your box comes with styling cards to help you put your new clothes to use AND a giant envelope to send the stuff you don't want back. You pay nothing to return your items. I even schedule a package pick up online, so I just have to put the envelope on my front steps. It's literally hassle free. The clothes CAN run on the expensive side, however, they are still cheaper than some fancy retail stores I could name. You can also tell them how much you're willing to spend. 

On to the attire!
So, I'm not wearing anything because the freaking hall lightbulb went out and I have no lightbulbs to replace it with at present. So it was very dark near my full length mirror. Sorry. You'll have to take me at my word for the fit. ALSO, I had a new stylist this time. Her name was Sasha and she has done a GREAT job. I hope I get her for my next fix (hint hint) *fingers crossed*.

This is the Yumi Benedict Swan Print Peter Pan Collar Top. It was marked as $68. I did some price checking. This shirt happens to be on sale at present, but it's regular retail price is more expensive than the Stitch Fix price. The cardigan you'll see later is MUCH cheaper on Stitch Fix than on the Yumi website. Call me impressed. So, I LOVE the swans. Love love love. The button side happens to be the back. I would have kept this, but the cut and the neckline made me look like a School Marm from the 19th Century. No good. Really cute print, though. I also felt like this was maybe not the best quality of fabric and stitching. I'm sending this one back.

 This is the front

This dress is the Honey Punch Lina Mini Chevron knit dress. $64. Again, LOVE the print however, I am short in the torso and the way the waistline hit me, I looked even shorter (all boobs, no torso) and boxy. It was a beautiful heavy knit too. I was a bit sad it made me look wide. This one goes back too. 

This is the 41 Hawthorn Dita Sleeveless Ponte Dress. It says it's navy. Looked black to me. *shrug* $68. It looked boring on the hanger, but when I put it on......This dress FIT LIKE A GLOVE. IN FACT, I thought it made my figure look better than it actually is. It's snug at the smallest part of my waist without accentuating the flabby parts and flares just enough to cover any other potential lumpy parts. It's a fabulous thick fabric that hangs beautifully. 

 Maybe it is Navy. Here's the close up of the waist detailing. I need a shiny little bolero to jazz it up for the holidays. Yes. I said jazz it up. No, I was not born in 1924. I'm keeping this dress. It will work for a ton of social situations. And I can easily JAZZ IT UP. JAZZ. Moving on...o_O

So I just got back from the salon, but it's humid as all get out here, so my hair has started to misbehave. Kindly ignore the crazy flippiness. This is the 41 Hawthorn Tear Gems Fringe Bib Necklace. $28. YAY accessory. However, I didn't really like it. the gold part at the top was a little too plastic-y for me and as you can see, I could NOT get the gems to lay right. Good price, though. Back in the envelope you go.

On to the final item. Which I also kept. The Yumi Clay Owl Print Button-Up Cotton Cardigan. $48. OWLS! Owls are my favorite. I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to them. Fits perfectly. So in love with this. Here's the back. Note the AWESOME elbow patches and the adorable owl detail. Someone was DEFINITELY checking out my Pinterest board. 

And the front. The owls have adorable little beads for eyes. I also thought this fabric was good quality and the piece was well made. It came with a bunch of extra beads so I can repair it when the little eyes fall off. 

So, there you have it. SOMEONE used my referral code (Erika!) and I got a credit, so after all was said and done I spent $91 on the dress and the cardigan. Not bad. If I'd purchased all 5 items it would have cost me $187 which works out to about $36 a piece, which is a really reasonable amount of money to spend, IMHO. I posted my referral code under the first link and here it is again. I don't expect you to use it, but if you choose to I would be very thankful as I would get a $25 credit to use on my next fix and I am a poor lady with expensive taste. I have to say, if you do it and you're bummed with your first fix ABSOLUTELY give it one more shot. If #2 is crummy, then go ahead and call it quits. I could not be more pleased with the items they sent me this time around. Sasha even apologized for the bummer first fix in her note to me. I scheduled a third fix for December and asked for a shiny holiday piece and one on trend piece for 2014 that might be a little out of my comfort zone. I'm trying to broaden my fashion horizons, after all. I can't WAIT to see what I get!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

OMFG, you guys! I checked out my stitch fix reciept since it has shipped, but has not yet arrived and I am SO STOKED! A swan print shirt, an owl cardigan, 2 dresses and a necklace. And this time the prices are much better! Can. Not. Wait for it to get here. Squee!!!!!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I'm a terrible blogger. I forget. I get busy. I don't blog. Sorry.

ANYHOO. My next Stitch Fix is due at the end of next week. This will be the make or break Fix. If they took into consideration my responses from Fix #1 and checked out my Pinterest board I will more than likely keep going. If I get a whole bunch of stuff that sucks again/It's clear to me they paid no attention to my feedback, then I will be quitting. The good news is that I got a referral (YAY!), so my next styling fee is taken care of plus an extra $5. So, I lose nothing if this next fix is crummy.

Remember I mentioned the Haute Look Fall Beauty Bag? Well, it came. Everything was as promised with the exception of the mascara. It was dried out. Which totally bummed me out, so I contacted customer service, just hoping they'd send me a new mascara. They were awesome. Not only did they refund my entire purchase, they gave me a $15 merchandise credit. The Customer service reps were also prompt and incredibly nice. I would highly recommend doing business with them. They're MUCH better than some other flash sale websites I've purchased from.

I've been up and down emotionally recently. Not sure whether it's because of fluctuating lady hormones or because of my life situation in general. I'm trying like hell to remain positive. Last night I watches Planes, Trains, and Automobiles in an attempt to improve my mood. It worked. John Candy and Steve Martin were fabulous. I need to stop listening to morose music on Spotify and instead make my way through all of John Candys' movies.

Anyway, I'm off to attempt some very gluten-y cinnamon rolls. Ta-ta!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Keaton Row Vs. Stitch Fix.

Ugh. The more I read other bloggers posts about their awesome Stitch Fix experiences the more disappointed and annoyed I become. I also become more anxious to receive Fix #2 to see if they listen to my feedback and actually LOOK at my pinterest board. Luckily for me, one of my lovely pharmacists used my referral code to order themselves a fix, so my next delivery is free and I'll have an extra $5 left over to apply to any purchase. I DID check out this other stylist service in the meantime, Keaton Row. It's a bit different. You again, fill out a questionnaire and request a lookbook. Then they pick out 3 stylists they think you'll be a good match with and you choose which one you want based on their profile. You can also request new choices if you don't like the ones they picked for you. Then the stylist contacts you, asks you a few questions and starts pulling looks for you. Nothing gets mailed to you, but they send you a link to your lookbook which has 10-12 pages of outfits and items picked out for you. They work with some pretty high end boutiques, so the prices can be INSANE, however, my stylist knew my budget and threw in some less expensive items. She also mentioned that they were working on setting up a partnership with other stores so that they could carry more pieces that are at a lower price point. I adored 95% of what she picked out for me. So much so that I already owned similar items and/or had pinned the EXACT thing she picked out to a style pinterest board. The stylist leaves little notes on some of the pieces to give you a clue as to why she chose it. She definitely paid attention to my love of old man prints and quirky prints while trying to update them to be more on trend. I really appreciated her effort. I do plan on buying at least one piece as a thank you because these stylists work on commission. You can also submit a portfolio to apply to become a stylist. Which I thought was pretty cool. If I were a more stylish individual I might just do that. I liked the promptness of Keaton Row. It took them a few days to pick a few stylists for me, but as soon as I chose one I had a lookbook by that evening. I also like that you get so many pieces to choose from. The best part? The styling is free. They only get paid if you buy something. There's no box on your doorstep full of things to try on, but because of the convenience of the internet, if you don't like something, you can tell them ASAP and get it changed just as quickly. I would encourage people to try Keaton Row. Especially as soon as they start working with those lower price point stores.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Speaking of Treats....

So, I may have a bit of an addiction to beauty boxes. I'm now in love with anything you can order and all sorts of fun products show up on your door step. ESPECIALLY if it means a lot of savings. I just ordered the Hautelook Beauty Bag ( I haven't received it yet, however, I did check out all the products and the fall bag is a $110 value for the low price of $20 plus tax and shipping. The grand total for me wound up being about $27. The sale ENDS Saturday @ 8am pacific time. I wanted to let you guys (if anyone IS indeed out there) about the sale before it ended. I will review the products once they arrive. I have posted the value of the items below if you decide to check out the link and are wondering.

hair spray: $2.96
nail polish mini: $3.50
face serum: $17
body cream: $2.50
kabuki brush: $14.95
dr. brandt microdermabrasion: $8 (I got this in my birchbox and LOVE it)
headband: $18
mascara: $12
full size eye shadow: $23
full size lipstick: $6
perfume: 2.50
Value: $110 not including the bag all these items come in.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happiness Tip #2 Getting in touch with your spiritual side

I feel like I should start with a disclaimer...I am not a mental health professional by any stretch of the imagination. I am just as screwed up in the head as anyone else. All I'm doing is sharing what has helped me. It may not be the answer for everyone. So, you know, don't quit any treatments or anything or get mad at me if you still feel crappy. I acknowledge that what works for me might be garbage for someone else.
When I say spirituality I don't strictly mean religion or God....or not God. I feel like I've been through the proverbial emotional wringer the last 10 years or so, so my beliefs were shaken pretty severely...sooo....I don't judge anyone about their choices in this particular arena. For me spiritual means doing something that makes you feel good about yourself. Something that gives you the warm fuzzies. This could be going for a hike in the woods, volunteering to help children/animals/the elderly/the infirm/anyone less fortunate than you, or praying or whatever. Doesn't matter what it is, but I find making the effort to acknowledge your spirit and trying to meet it's needs can be really uplifting. For me, this means celebrating holidays (even if it's just l'il ol' me) with tasty food. Today is Samhain. Or Halloween to you non-pagans. Samhain marked the first day of winter for the pagans. The fruitful season is over and now the dark part of the year is upon us. It's the celtic new year. Supposedly, the distance between the world of the dead and the world of the living grows very short and those who have passed on can intrude on our world. I don't know about that, but I DO know that I like to take this day to remember those that I've loved that are no longer with me and light a candle for them. Maybe even cook something that they loved to eat when they were alive. This can be difficult. Lots of sad emotions can surface, but I do my best to remember the good things and the things that made me laugh instead of getting mired down in missing them. SO! I'm menu planning. Definitely will be making Colcannon (it's traditional) and butternut squash soup. I'm waffling between Shepherd's Pie (because my Nanny made it all the time) and a more traditional pork roast. My grampy loved anything maple flavored and Nanny also used to make scones all the time, so I'm thinking pumpkin scones with a maple glaze and I can get both their personalities in one food item. I also need to use up the apples we got apple picking. Ugh. So many things I want to cook, so little time. I'll have to drink a lot of coffee and stay really motivated.

What are your traditions? What do you do for spiritual well being?
Have a Happy Halloween and a Swell Samhain.

Stitch Fix #1

I apologize in advance for my shoddy camera skills. I have my phone and nothing else to take photos with.

Oh, Stitch Fix. I have seen your reviews and coveted the things other people received. Like that adorable top with the tiny swans. Oh how I want that top. 4 out of 5 items in my first Fix were a big miss. Well.....2 of the items were a HUGE miss and two others were a small miss. These Pants. They are $88. Kensie floral print skinny jeans. REALLY skinny. The print didn't bug me, but I didn't love it. The waist fit perfectly. These pants were about an inch shorter than I'd wear (I have a 32" inseam) and were TIGHT. Like, couldn't bend my knee all the way tight. I'd also NEVER EVER spend $88 on jeans. I cringe forking over the $60 I fork over at The Gap. $60 is my limit, Stitch Fix. Huge miss #1.

I have no words to describe how much I effing hate this vest. It's boxy, too masculine, drab...I would never ever in a million years pick this out for myself. I just...I can't even. I'm guessing that my 
 stylist did not look at my pinterest board. I reviewed it VERY carefully and there is not one thing on there that would EVER suggest that this awful vest would be something I would like. And it's $58. I wouldn't pay $10. I wouldn't take this if it were free. It's just so ugly. Did you guess that this was the other huge miss? I Bet you did.

Hate the studs. 

Not better open.

So THIS is the Jemdy heathered dolman sleeve top. $48. The knit of the sweater is very loose. And clearly, you can see my bra through it. I don't feel like this is something that you layer underneath, so....yeah. I didn't mind the color which is a black and white heather. I was mostly disappointed that it was such a boring piece. I also didn't feel like the quality of the fabric was good. I couldn't see it holding up through repeated washings.
 The 41 Hawthorn Aleah heathered dolman sleeve top. This one is $58. So, I was disappointed that I got two of these batwing sweaters. I ADORE the color. I desperately want to add some burgundy to my wardrobe. This is not that piece. I said that I prefer clothes that are fitted to my body. This makes me look like I have a spare tire. I wear a 6/8. Also, the neck is HUGE. I don't mind a little cleavage action as long as I feel secure that the top isn't going to accidentally slip and expose one of the girls. That's a definite risk in this top.

And now we arrive at the piece I like. The 41 Hawthorne Colibri Solid color tab sleeve blouse. I'm a terrible photographer. All I have is my phone and it doesn't do the color justice. This is a GORGEOUS royal purple. It fits perfectly. I actually prefer the sleeve un-tabbed. This one is $48. I already paid a $20 styling fee, so this will only cost me another $28. I feel like it's very figure flattering and I love the color for fall. This will also work with pretty much everything in my closet.

The verdict? Everyone I've talked to that has used the service said to order at least 2 fixes to see if they improve with your feedback. I was disappointed in the lack of variety and the price of the items. Especially since I specifically said the lowest price point possible. I scoured other internet reviews and I know there are super cute Stitch Fix pieces out there that are not so expensive. I was also sad that there were no accessories. I was really hoping for one (cute scarf?). I do REALLY like this purple top, however. My next fix arrives on 11/23. I requested something to wear to holiday gatherings. I'm hoping between that and my feedback that I'll get a better box the second time around. If I see improvement, I'll keep it up. What do you think of the pieces? Disagree? Agree? Think I should keep something else?

The Stitch Fix, she is here!!! FINALLY. Of course I already plundered the box (heh heh). I'll post photos today when I'm not wearing a bathrobe with a toothbrush in my mouth.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Recipes I promised yesterday.

Ok, so I lied about posting the recipes yesterday. I hit a snafu with the soul cakes and didn't have time to fix it before the Phish concert. Which was totally amazing, btw. Friggin religious experience. And I had killer seats, so all in all it was the best night I've had in a long time. I've been dancing to Fee playing inside my head all day long. Love those guys.

SO! Gluten free pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes. I adapted the recipe from this recipe I found on Pinterest from this lovely woman, Julie:

I then subbed out regular flour with the Bob's Red Mill GF all purpose cooking flour and added semi-sweet chocolate chips. The pumpkin and the chocolate chips completely masked the beany quality of the Bob's. I also highly recommend (er...insist) on using high quality syrup. Having been born and raised in W. Mass in the middle of sugaring country has spoiled me. Unless it's direct from a sugar house, it's not real maple syrup.

Soul Cakes! They are a traditional pagan confection made and passed out on Samhain. It protected the receivers from curses and they would then pray for the person that gave it to them, thus ensuring that everyone would get into heaven. Bam. So my snafu WAS that I forgot the dang sugar. Ugh. And I used the Bob's red mill, so it was like a chalky bean flavored cookie. Terrible. I got the recipe from Here's the link:

My delightful friend Sarah suggested this GF sub: 
     Try replacing the flour in the original recipe with an equal amount of a mixture that's 5 parts rice flour, 3 parts potato starch, 2 parts sorghum OR oat flour - either will work, and 1 part tapioca starch. And add a teaspoon of xanthan gum.
She's so good.

My Stitch Fix is due to arrive tomorrow, btw. Pictures soon!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happiness Rule #1: You work hard. Treat yourself.

One of the things I've been doing to keep up my happiness quotient is giving myself little treats here and there. I work full time and I'm a part time student, so I frequently feel like I don't get to have any fun and that I'm missing out because I'm always freaking working or studying. I get a birchbox every month and I recently subscribed to Stitch Fix. If you're unfamiliar with either of these things, Birchbox, for $10 a month sends deluxe high end beauty samples that you can tailor to your preferences. They also give you the opportunity to earn money off of items you buy from their site. For instance, I fell in love with an eye cream they sent in one of my boxes. It was $65. Yikes. However I got a 30% off code and then collected enough points to get another $10 off. It cost me $29. SO HAPPY. I FREAKING LOVE BIRCHBOX. Seriously. I highly recommend to anyone who is feeling in a beauty rut or just wants to give themselves a little monthly gift to check it out. Stitch Fix is an online personal stylist/shopper. For $20 a stylist picks out clothing that he/she thinks will suit you based on a seriously thorough questionnaire you fill out on their site. You can specify items you want, colors, patterns, amount of money you want to spend, etc. I'm getting my first box in the mail this week. They include a prepaid envelope so you can return anything you don't buy and you have three days to decide whether or not you're keeping the items. I will post photos as soon as it gets here, so if you're interested you can check it out. I'm a little concerned because since it shipped, I can now see the prices of each of the pieces they selected although I can't see the actual pieces. I had specified the cheaper the better. Yeah. There's some $88 jeans in there. I would NEVER spend that much on jeans. I usually get them @ The Gap and those are around $50. That's about my max price. The $20 styling fee does get applied as a credit to this fix and they DO offer 25% the whole shebang if you buy all the pieces, but still. Zowie. If I bought the whole box I'd be paying another $205 on top of the $20 I already spent. I will be expressing my disappointment over the price in my comments about the fix and giving them another shot. I did some research through other customer reviews, so I KNOW they have pieces that don't cost as much that are still cute. I plan to buy at least one of the pieces because I don't want to lose that $20, but I would have been happier if I could have afforded to keep more of them. Harumph. We'll see. I'm also guessing that I will love the $88 and be super sad about having to return them. Most of the reviewers kept at least one piece. I have yet to see anyone that sent them all back. So they must be doing something right. 

Tonight I'm seeing Phish (SQUEE!!!!) and before then I'm doing some Halloween/Samhain baking. In fact, all I have is GF flour in the house and it's too beany for the cakes I'm making, so I have to pop out and grab some gluten-y flour. I'll post the Soul Cake recipe (and an explanation as to what they are) and the GF pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes recipe I made for breakfast this morning later on today.

Here's My Birchbox referral link if you're interested:

I'll post the Stitch Fix link when I post the photos. :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fractured Fairytales, well I guess I should explain what I mean by that. I'm a single woman in my early thirties who was raised on the very "Disney" belief that one day, when I grew up I would find my prince charming and live happily ever after. Yeah....not so much. That's okay, though! For awhile I was pretty bothered by the fact that my life doesn't look like I expected it would when I was a little girl. You can get really mired down in that. Thus, my fairytale has fractured. So once you realize that that vision is over and done with, where do you go? That's what I intend this blog to be about. Being in my 30s, being happy, trying to find ways to fulfill myself that don't necessarily rely on the traditional (boring?) things that are "supposed" to make a lady happy. For the record, I don't begrudge anyone their life choices, that's not what this is about. This is about self discovery and maybe helping/inspiring others along the way. Maybe someone else out there is in the same boat as I am. Maybe reading about my experiences makes them feel less alone, helps them somehow, I dunno. What I DO know is that I need an outlet for my self discovery. So here I am. I'm Jillian, by the way. Nice to meet you.