July Stitch Fix & Why Stitch Fix Works For Me

Time to share what arrived in my Stitch Fix box this month!

To see my first post on Stitch Fix, with more details about this fun service, click here.

This is my eighth fix, but only the second fix I’ve blogged about. After last month’s fix (which was such a bummer I didn’t share), I logged onto the website and gave the stylist some specific notes about what I was hoping for in my next fix:

  • a dress
  • a capri or cropped pant I could wear to work
  • a cross body bag for travel/walking around the city

Here is what was delivered to me:

1. Alan Cowl Neck Asymmetrical Cardigan by Market and Spruce – $58

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^Here is what it was supposed to look like

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^Here is what it looked like on me. No matter how much I arranged and unzipped and re-zipped and pulled and prodded, I could not get the front to look droopy like it did in the example photo. Maybe it was too small? Maybe I did something wrong? Anyways, super awkward. RETURN.

2. Bessie Crochet Overlay Striped Tank by Mystree – $58

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^This tank was sort of cute, but felt a bit juvenile for me. The place where the overlay stopped was sort of weird and made me a bit self conscious of my not-perfectly-flat tummy. Also:

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^The tank arrived with a small tear in it. RETURN.

3. Patrick Cropped Chino Pant by Level 99 – $108

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^I absolutely loved these pants. I think the color is fun and summery and the material was so soft, stretchy and comfortable. These were exactly what I was looking for! Unfortunately, the $108 price tag was a bit high for me right now. RETURN (sad about it, though).

4. Cotille Vegan Leather Zip Satchel by Emperia – $68

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^I did think this bag was cute, but I had asked for a cross-body bag, which in my mind meant something a bit smaller with a long strap. The zippers were also hard to function and sharp and kept getting a stuck. RETURN.

5. Jacinta Flutter Sleeve Belted Dress by Skies are Blue – $74

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We have a winner! I absolutely love this dress. It fits me well and it perfect for work and weekend. The price point is reasonable. It is light and flowy and I love feel of the material. I’ve already worn it twice since I received it last week. KEEP.

After last month’s bummer fix, I thought about canceling my subscription all together, but this month reminded me that even if I receive one item that I fall in love with, it is worth it to me.

Speaking of worth it – did anyone see this article? To sum it up, in what seems to be plain old sloppiness on someone’s part (Stitch Fix? a vendor?), a woman discovered pants in her fix were marked up from the discounted $25 that Stitch Fix purchased them for to a retail price of $68. She then talks about how she is immediately unsubscribing because the mark up is ridiculous and she can just go to Nordstrom Rack herself.

I can see how this would bother some people, but for some reason, this oversight does not particularly bother me. Sure, we could all travel to Nordstrom Rack and push and shove other ladies while digging through the sweaty sale racks where they may or may not have your size. And if you enjoy this sport (like lots of the women in my family) – more power to you! I wish I had your patience.

For me, bargain shopping is like my own personal hell. I am 100% happy to  pay a premium to have someone else do this leg work for me and then deliver these items to my door for free. Completely worth it in my book. It’s not about laziness, it’s more about what I am interested in and how I choose to spend my time and money.

… and this is why I will continue to enjoy and support Stitch Fix :)

The links in this post are referral links, which means I will get a small credit if you sign up.  I am not affiliated with Stitch Fix, I purchased this service on my own and just love it so much that I wanted to post about it.

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A Weekend of Little Ladies + Time to Get Sweaty

This weekend I traveled up to New England to escape the city and celebrate all the little ladies in my life.

First up: lunch with the family at the Boston Legal Sea Foods for Erin’s birthday — she turns 23 on Wednesday!

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^Birthday girl on the right
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^Yummy crab meat roll with coleslaw and friesIMG_4477

^We all split some strawberry shortcake (x2) for dessertIMG_4486

^I got to spend lots of time with this little family. Reagan is getting so big! I love seeing all her new faces and expressions – she is even cute when she cries. I just love her so much.
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^I also got to meet my new cousin Scarlett, who is about a month younger than Reagan. She was so sweet and serious and slept in my arms for about an hour. There are so many babies in my life right now! You would think I would get getting some major baby fever, but I am still a bit scarred from my sister’s labor/delivery experience. No babies for me in the near future!IMG_4485^Saturday evening included big plates of pasta and catching up on life with Nana.

Somehow my parents didn’t end of up in any of these photos, but I had a lot of fun with them as well — driving around and getting coffees with my dad and catching up with my mum.

Sunday I got back to the city pretty early (I wanted to drive in the daylight) and was able to unpack and get organized for the week.

***

Time To Get Sweaty

Now that I have been moved back to NYC and working at my new job for about 7 months the time has come to focus on getting back into a good workout routine (really, this is overdue!). I am really good about healthy eating on weekdays, although clearly on weekends, I let myself enjoy. The thing that is missing for me is physical workout part of things. Lately I have been feeling sluggish and just a bit blah. The whole reason I originally started this blog was to focus on living a healthy lifestyle (these are my favorite blogs to read as well) and I would love to get back to that.

Getting back into a routine for me is all about baby steps and small goals. I’d love to kick off each week with announcing a few simple goals and following up towards the end of the week. Let’s give it a shot!

Here are my *simple* goals for this week ending August 10:

  • walk/run at least three days
  • take at least two yoga classes

That is doable, yes? We’ll see. Happy Monday!

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NYC Weekend Round Up

Where did the weekend go???

This weekend was jam-packed with “stuff,” all located right here in NYC. Lately we have been doing so much weekend traveling — what a treat to stay put for a weekend!

My parents were in town for a few days. Isn’t the view from their hotel incredible?

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The weather on Friday was gorgeous. I got out of work at 2pm (yay summer fridays!) and met them for a stroll on the High Line.
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They had never been to the High Line, so it was fun to introduce them to a new NYC activity. Typically we see Broadway shows and hang out in the theater district, which is always awesome, but it was fun to mix it up and doing something different.
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The nice weather brought out crowds — the High Line was packed! I saw someone walk by with the the most amazing looking ice cream sandwich cookie creation and I knew I needed one.

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The stand was called Melt — apparently they have a few locations around the city. I got the cinnamon ice cream sammiched between two snickerdoodle cookies. So yummy! Mum went for the chocolate crackle. Dad snuck bites of both.
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When D got out of work we met up at one of our favorite NYC pizza spots: Keste. Or as we like to call it “sexy pizza” … yep, it’s that good.

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We all started by splitting the Rustica Salad – spring mix, prosciutto di parma, artichokes, gaeta olives, lemon, extra virgin olive oil:

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and I chose a nice belgian white beer (surprisingly brewed in Italy!):

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We ordered three pizzas to share. My favorite was the Pistacchio e Salsiccia -
fresh pistachio pesto, sausage, homemade mozzarella, pecorino romano, basil, extra virgin olive oil. SO GOOD:IMG_4385

We also got the Burrata Roberto – homemade burrata, grape tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil:

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and a gluten free, dairy free for Mum, The Marinara -
tomato sauce, oregano, garlic, basil, extra virgin olive oil:

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Amazing food, wonderful company.
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Post dinner cocktails at La Lanterna di Vittorio. I got my favorite, french martini:

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Saturday D’s parents came into the city and met us at our apartment to take the train up to Yankee Stadium for a Yankee game! To clarify: I am not, and never will be a Yankee fan. I am mostly indifferent, but technically I am New England born and bred — it would be sacrilegious to root for the Yankees! That being said, it is so fun to go to Yankee Stadium and see a game. Also — the crowd goes wild anytime Derek Jeter so much as walks a few steps or touches his hair. Ridiculous!

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After the game we all grabbed dinner at Patsy’s down the street from our apartment and then D and I finished Season 2 of Homeland. I am so hooked on this show – it’s a problem! I haven’t binged watched something like this since Lost. I will be waiting eagerly for Season 3 to come out on Netflix.
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Sunday was spent celebrating our friends Jeff & Tim’s 25 year anniversary at Pier 115 Bar & Grill in Edgewater, NJ. Jeff and Tim

Jeff was my boss at my first job after college (where D & I met!) and it was so great to reconnect and reminisce with former coworkers. The couple got married last fall at City Hall and D was one of their witnesses! It was really great to finally get to celebrate with them.

Now time to tackle the week. I can’t believe it is already Tuesday and almost August. Time flies when you’re having fun.

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What I Ate Wednesday: Stone Harbor Edition

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We just returned from a few relaxing days away in Stone Harbor, NJ, thanks to this guy:

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^Our friend Nick who you may remember from the Vermont Schoolhouse trips. Here he is with his first pair of Ray Bans which we convinced him to purchase (muahaha). Doesn’t he look slick?

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He has the most awesome family ever and sometimes they let us crash their schoolhouse; other times, they let us crash their beach house. After being sick for a few weeks and finally finishing out my work festival, D & I were definitely up for some R&R.

IMG_4345IMG_4339Since it is WIAW, I thought I would share some of my eats while I was away!

As always, thank you to Jenn for hosting!

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^ACAI BOWL. I may have gotten one of these for every day we were in Stone Harbor: topped with strawberries, banana and granola. YUM. There is this adorable little coffee shop called Coffee Talk — and within the coffee shop is an oatmeal station on the left and a juice bar called Juice Girl on the right. Basically my heaven in one room! Fun fact: Taylor Swift used to play here back before she was a big deal.

IMG_4330^The most delicious hummus & veggie pita I’ve ever tasted from Green Cuisine, with fruit and chips on the side. Note to self: this is what I should be making for work lunches, if I can get my act together!

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^On our final night in Stone Harbor, we were invited to Family Crab Night. 11 dozen crabs were ordered for about 40 people, along with clams and bread — I’ve never seen anything like it! Such a fun tradition.IMG_4356

^No one told me a white shirt was a bad idea. #amateur!IMG_4353

^The aftermath

IMG_4325It was a fun weekend with great friends. We were sad to leave — but D had to get back to work on Wednesday, so we kept our trip short and sweet.

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Thank you Nicholas and family — we had an amazing time. See you next year, Stone Harbor!

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Weekend Reflections

This weekend was exactly what I needed:

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Friday evening, post-work, was spent in Central Park, reading. I found a little grassy nook with an accordion player close by and took in the gorgeous early-summer sunset. I texted D a version of the picture above and he left work and found me without any other clues! Impressive. We went and grabbed dinner at one of our favorite spots.

Saturday included some much-needed yoga, a Coffee Bean date with myself, a bit of baking (I made this gluten free, dairy free strawberry rhubarb crumble which was delicious!) and a night at work wrapping up the first show of our summer season.

This morning (Sunday) I woke up feeling really achey, with a headache and sore throat (boo!), so today I’ve laid low all day — lots of resting, reading and way too much housewives watching.

This is the first weekend we have stayed put in the city in quite a while and I have to admit, it was just what I needed. Lately, it feels like my weekends are jammed packed with activities: weddings, visiting family and friends, MOVING, chores… and it felt really good to stay in one place for a weekend.

Every week, when this time of the weekend rolls around, I routinely start thinking about the week ahead and the way too many goals I have for myself including:

  • eat healthy — stick to dairy and gluten free if possible
  • get up early before work and exercise, ideally every day
  • get to work early and have a really efficient week
  • make plans to see friends I haven’t connected with in a while
  • make meals at home, pack lunch for work, no eating out
  • organize everything
  • blog every day
  • I could go on and on… the list is endless!

I know, I know… this list of “goals” is clearly overly ambitious. I don’t know if it is the oldest-child-perfectionist in me or what, but by the time I get to the end of the week and realize I haven’t stuck with or accomplished any of the above, I start to get really frustrated and end up picking on not only myself, but on others around me as well. Not cool or cute.

This coming week is funky — it’s a short week (long 4th of July weekend here I come!) I have visitors in town for a few days (hi Mum and Erin!), a huge one-night-only concert to manage on Tuesday night, I have to get my NY license and registration figured out at some point, and on top of it all, I’m feeling achey and under the weather.

That all being said — this week I feel the need to kick things off with a new attitude. It’s time let go of the unrealistic goals I create and time to start being kinder to myself. After a day of “me time” (or G-Tox as I like to call it… get it, G, for Gillian?), I was able to take the time to reflect and create some positive intentions that will help me make the most of this week:

  • drink lots of water (I am terrible at this! Especially when sick.)
  • attempt to stay peaceful and positive with others (in work and personal relationships), take deep breathes where I need them
  • eat foods that make me feel good and not crappy (lots of greens!)

This list feels a lot more manageable — I seriously already feel lighter. We will see how it goes!

Now I am off to bed early to get some extra shut eye and see if I can kick this sore throat situation I have going on… I need to get heathy, I have a baby to visit next weekend!

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What are some ways you would like to be kinder to yourself this week?

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What I Ate Wednesday: Watermelon Gazpacho

Our summer festival kicked off with an invited dress rehearsal last night, and work leading up to the whole thing has been cah-razy! (when is it not?). Between the long work hours and a weekend out of town — food for me this week is on the go. Luckily I live in New York City, which caters to this lifestyle!

Apologies in advance for the bad office/restaurant lighting and the limitations of my iphone camera. As always, thank you to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting. Here are my eats from yesterday (Tuesday):

  • Pre-Coffee Coffee

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^A watery keurig iced coffee made at home… or what I have started calling my “pre-coffee coffee”

  • Breakfast
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^Breakfast on the go. My “real” iced coffee with a splash of half and half and an overpriced cup of steel cut oats with blueberries and walnuts.

  • Snack

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^During my lunch break I had some errands to run and ran into a promotional team giving out free Vita Coco Cafe on the street — SCORE! I am a huge coconut water fan — combine that with my love of cold coffee and I am in heaven. This drink tasted like a milkshake and was delicious. At 140 calories and 3 grams of fat it was nice as a treat (probably not something I should be drinking every day).

  • Lunch

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^Lunch was the Melrose Salad from Chop’t — featured in my last Things I’m Loving Fridays post. Includes: quinoa, peas, broccoli, avocado, cucumber, feta — and I substitute the romaine for spinach and kale for some extra flavor. Topped with (the best part): basil mint pesto dressing. I have been splitting this with a co-worker as the Chop’t salads are HUGE and sort of expensive. It’s a win-win.

  • Afternoon Snack

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^Afternoon snack. Lately I’ve been doing the Starbucks Passion Iced Tea, unsweetened, but yesterday in my wanderings I saw a sign that Starbucks was now offering Teavana Blackberry Mojito Lemonade. Intriguing! I went in and asked for the tea just is (without lemonade) and… it was okay. I was disappointed that the blackberry flavor was syrup (adding 140 calories) and not brewed tea. Back to passion tomorrow!

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^I had one half of this gluten free chocolate cookie leftover from the day before that I nibbled on.

  • Pre-Show Snack

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^Bali smoothie from Blue Dog to tide me over until after the invited dress rehearsal. Includes: banana, coconut milk, cinnamon, vanilla and shredded coconut.

  • Late Night Dinner

Post-show I met up with D and Kerry at The Smith to grab a late night dinner and decompress from the day.

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^We spent last weekend in Tallahassee for a wedding and I was still in the southern mindset, craving a good old fashioned bourbon drink. This was a special and I’m totally blanking on the name, but it included boubon, citrus juice and mint.

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^D & I shared some deviled eggs

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^Another special: Watermelon Gazpacho, including: watermelon, feta, toasted almonds, balsamic vinegar and cilantro (?). I also snacked on bread and some of D’s fries.

  • Dessert

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^At home I snacked on some M&M’s that a co-worker brought back from a recent trip to Mexico. She also brought back tiny bottles of tequila, but we’ll save that for another night ;)

There you have it! A pretty loose day of eating for me — but I tried to keep it mostly to whole foods where I could.

Off to get ready for opening night tonight — happy Wednesday, friends!

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A Little “Ray” of Sunshine

The baby countdown is officially over!

Okay — it was over more than a week ago but I have been too busy swooning over baby photos 24/7 to do anything else. My sister Meg gave birth to sweet little Reagan on the morning of Sunday, June 15, Father’s Day. My mom called to tell me she had arrived and exclaimed “and there’s a surprise!” This was quite disturbing to me for a few moments as my mind scrambled… she’s actually a he? …twins? …other more extreme things?

“… she’s got red hair!” :)

I was only able to stay for a day before heading back to NYC for work — but I have been getting my fair share of daily photo updates to tide me over until I can get back for another visit.

Here is a week — the first week — in the life our cute little Ray of sunshine:

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^Day one, two hours old. Auntie meets niece. I loved watching her little nostrils flare as she got used to breathing. There was even a tiny snore or two mixed in there — absolutely adorable.

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^Day two. Stolen from my cousin Zoe’s instagram. Look at those gorgeous eyes!

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^Day three. First family photo shoot with Auntie Erin. What a cute lil family! Hat by mum mum over at Knitting the Blues.

Day 4

^Day four. Snuggly morning with mumma. The tiny hospital bracelet and the sweet dreaming smile kill me.

Day 5

^Day five. Time to go home! A tiny car seat for an even tinier baby.

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^Day six. I think I’m gonna like it here!

Reagan June 21^Day seven. A visit from Auntie Erin. Reagan perfecting her cute baby animal pose.

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^Day eight. Happy one week birthday Reagan! We all love you very much.

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