Monthly Archives: July 2013

Stitch Fix Review No. 2

Dave and I were relaxing with some Chinese food and old episodes of “To Catch A Predator” last night when I realized I totally forgot to take pictures of the clothes from my most recent Stitch Fix that had to be sent back this morning.

Also, yes, we relax by watching re-runs of an old Dateline series about child molestors. Sometimes we get really crazy and watch Youtube videos of cats demanding attention. Don’t you wish you were friends with us?

Anyway, I was making fun of this sex offender’s jorts when I remembered my Stitch Fix, so I convinced Dave to take some pictures of me really quick. FULL DISCLOSURE: We had both had a few beers at this point, plus we really wanted to get back to the show and see whether it was true that sexyeyes1965 showed up to a 13 year old’s house and got naked to teach her about the dangers of online chatting. HE’S A GOOD GUY, Y’ALL.

I’m no fashion expert, but I got a ton of traffic on my first post about Stitch Fix from people searching for reviews, so I figure people are probably interested to see what a typical fix looks like. This is my second fix, and I was much happier with its contents. (I suspected this would be the case, since now they have some of my feedback to work off of.) I also sent them a link to my Summer Wardrobe Pinterest board, and the stylist noted that she sent several items that were similar to looks I had pinned, which I thought was really cool.

Here’s the rundown of what I received this time around:

Stitch Fix Striped Blouse

First up was this great striped top. While I loved how it looked tucked into a pencil skirt as seen above, it was just a little tight around my hips. I debated keeping it and only wearing it tucked, but in the end I couldn’t really justify paying for it if it didn’t fit perfectly. Waah wahh. Isn’t the exposed zipper cool, too? I’m so sad this one didn’t work out.

Stitch Fix Printed Blouse and Necklace

Once again, I really liked the look of this top, but it was just a little tight around my hips. Maybe I should take this as a sign to lay off the beer. The necklace felt a little frumpy for my taste, so it will be going back as well.

I don’t know why I decided to stand right next to a telephone pole for these photos. I blame the beer for that, too.

Stitch Fix White Jeans

I have been looking for white skinny jeans FOREVER, and until now I haven’t found a pair that a) fit right and b) are not see through. These are actually straight leg jeans, but are still slim enough that they look good cuffed (despite the funkiness that is happening in the picture on the right. I don’t know what was happening in that shot). I’m keeping these, even though I will probably have to stick to a diet of all-white foods on the days I wear them.

Stitch Fix Green Blouse

Finally, there is this blouse. I wasn’t even planning to take pictures of it, but then I changed my mind and Dave was busy doing something else, so I had to take them myself. I love the color, but I’m just not a fan of how the back covers almost my entire butt. Also, please don’t judge me for the messy closet area – we’re moving soon and it just seems dumb to clean everything only to turn around and pack it all up. Actually, that’s pretty lazy and you can judge me.

All in all, I’d say this fix was a success – I got a great pair of jeans, and most of the pieces were totally styles I would wear and that would work well with my existing wardrobe.

Have you tried Stitch Fix yet? If so, were you happy with what you got?

This Post Took a Strange Turn Into Disney Territory

One of the stores across the street from my office recently installed speakers outside their building, and have decided to start blasting music from them every hour, on the hour. Right now it’s playing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” which is only mildly irritating compared to yesterday at 10, when the dulcet tones of “It’s a Small World” wafted through the open windows and into my ear during a call with a Very Important Customer. Which led to me assuring this Very Important Customer that I was not, in fact, taking his call from a boat surrounded by a culturally diverse colony (gaggle? pride?) of singing robots.

Other recent “improvements” to this store include a 7-foot tall, animatronic Mickey Mouse that sits out on the sidewalk during business hours. Which would be weird enough, only I guess the owner didn’t want to shell out the dough for a real, Disney-approved animatronic Mickey Mouse, so it’s really an animatronic Mickey-Ish Mouse-Like Creature, with creepy Mona Lisa eyes that follow you up the street as you walk by.

Mickey

Of course the ONE DAY I have time to go take a picture, it’s stuck behind glass.

I mean, Mickey did not ever look like this, right?? I did a bit of Googling and not once did I see an old-timey Mickey that remotely resembled this thing. Also, I think the owner finally realized it was freaking out the children, so he came up with a crack plan to make the thing less creepy: It now holds a sign that says, “Touch Me.”

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I almost felt bad taking a picture of a dumb animatronic mouse that some poor business owner feels is classing up the historic downtown district. And then the Star Wars theme song started to play. Game on, Mickey.

Things I Did This Weekend

Pink patterned pencil skirt

1. Scored this skirt at Macy’s for less than $20. I’ve kind of been stockpiling pencil skirts lately, but they’re just so easy to throw on in the morning, and you can get them in bright colors/crazy patterns and still look professional. And I do love me a crazy pattern.

2. Finally bought an iPhone. It only took me two calls to customer service and one live chat session with a guy named Tim who I’m pretty sure suffered a brain injury right before starting his shift. His help consisted of, “you should call the customer service line.” Like the whole point of me chatting with morons isn’t to avoid talking to morons.

3. Speaking of iPhones, I saw the Jobs trailer this weekend. I’m not sure if it’s because I think the actual movie looks good or if it’s because I had a huge crush on Steve Jobs when I was in college, but either way: I want to see it.

4. Celebrated my mom’s and uncle’s birthdays. It involved tangerine grapefruit margaritas.

5. Blew off the “write a non-shitty blog post” item on my to-do list and drank tangerine grapefruit margaritas instead . But you probably already guessed that one.

Signing Day

Loan Docs

While I try to wrap my head around the fact that I’m about to be many thousands of dollars in debt, go ahead and read this rundown of my day so far and say a little “thank you” to the universe that you are not me.

6 AM: Consider hitting snooze on the alarm, then remember that in a few hours I’ll be signing my life away to the bank. Jolt awake and pop a beta blocker.

8 AM: OH MY GOD I LOST THE CASHIER’S CHECK FOR THE CLOSING COSTS WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE.

8:05 AM: Remember that I put the check in the zippered compartment of my purse so that I wouldn’t  freak out about losing it.

9 AM: Can’t focus, so I Google “first-time homeowner anxiety.” Read a few Yahoo! answer forums that popped up and wonder how people so stupid can operate computers.

9: 40 AM: Start sweating profusely. Stuff paper towels in the armholes of my dress to avoid unsightly sweat stains.

9:45 AM: Momentarily lose bowel control.

9:50 AM: Pack up my purse and leave for the notary office.

9:51 AM: Run back inside my office to throw away armpit towels.

10 AM-PRESENT: One big blur.

The good news is that I am getting an unbelievably good deal on this house. Like, when the notary saw the mortgage amount she told me to hold on for a second while she called the bank to double check the number. The bad news is that I am the queen of worst-case scenarios, so for the last month or so most of my dreams have involved me waking up in the new house to find a termite infestation. In one dream I lost my hands (no, the dream did not include whatever tragic accident resulted in my handlessness) and I was in hysterics because I couldn’t write my mortgage checks anymore. Honestly though, the scariest part about that dream was that Dream Me was the type of person who mailed her mortgage payment instead of setting up automatic debit. GET IT TOGETHER, SUBCONSCIOUS.

So yeah. After all that signing, we still won’t get the keys until next week. Hopefully Wednesday, since that is the closing date, but possibly Friday if we have to request an extension due to the title company being out of town. And if you think I am the type of person who listens when their realtor says “don’t worry, it’ll be fine,” you should probably head back over to the Yahoo! forums where you belong.

Interior Inspiration: Nightstands

I’m ashamed of many things from my past. Writing a letter to JTT comes to mind. Also, I went through a phase in college where I really liked Dane Cook. (In my defense, this was well before Good Luck Chuck was unleashed on the world, and was around the same time I was dating a guy who read the Drudge Report. So clearly I was not making great decisions that year.)

Anyway, Dane had this routine about dumb couples who get into “nothing fights,”, and he told this story about hearing a couple screaming at each other about jelly in the grocery store aisle. And at the time I was like THANK GOD THAT WILL NEVER BE ME. And here I am, seven years later, fighting with Dave over whether we need to have matching nightstands when we move into the new house.

Inexpensive Nightstand Roundup

Top Left // Top Center // Top Right // Bottom Left // Bottom Right

When it comes to decorating, Dave tends to value function over form. I am guessing this is why he keeps suggesting that we put chicken wire above our fence in the back yard to keep the cat from escaping. Sweet baby Jesus, CHICKEN WIRE. IN THE BACK YARD. BLOCKING OUR BEAUTIFUL VIEW OF MT. SHASTA. But that is a story I will tell on a different day. Possibly in front of a judge, if he does not stop suggesting it as a viable option.

Anyway, nightstands. I think we should invest in matching nightstands or, at the very least, paint two different nightstands the same shade so that they tie in to the overall look of the room. He thinks this is a waste of money that could be better spent on other things. (Like chicken wire, probably.) Luckily, the options above are all reasonably priced, rendering his “wasting money” argument invalid.

I think the one on the bottom left is my favorite, though I’d most likely spray paint it white to go with what I’m envisioning for the rest of the room. Or maybe cover it in chicken wire and put it in what is apparently going to be our prison-themed backyard.

The good news is that I sign off on the loan documents tomorrow, and should have keys by early next week. I plan to post a photo (and maybe video?) tour here on the blog, and am looking forward to making all of these ideas real in the very near future!

New to the series? Check out my previous Interior Inspiration posts:
Interior Inspiration: Gray Walls
Interior Inspiration: Small Bathrooms
Interior Inspiration: Galley Kitchens

Interior Inspiration: Built-In Bars

You can follow my Pinterest “Home” board here.

Birchbox Review: July 2013

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This month’s box contents, clockwise from top right: Birchbox bobby pins, Vivant Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser, Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper, Caudalie Divine Legs, and Pur Minerals CC Cream.

I’m going to pick up reviewing my monthly Birchbox once again, mostly in an effort to make sure I try everything I receive at least once before stashing it in random bathroom drawers and driving Dave crazy.

This month’s box was mostly skincare products. Normally I’m disappointed when my box doesn’t have any makeup in it, but overall I really loved this month’s box and plan to purchase a few things full-size when the samples run out.

Birchbox Bobby Pins

07.24.13 Bobby Pin

I was really excited when I first saw these in the box – they are really cute, and I thought they would be a nice way to church up my gym hair. And then I tried to pry them off the cardboard. It was probably a bad sign that I needed both hands to accomplish this task, but whatever. I figured they were just a little stiff and would loosen up with wear. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen – these guys are seriously so hard to pry apart that I could barely keep them open long enough to clasp any hair in them. They’re cute once they’re in, but they’re kind of a pain in the ass so I doubt I’ll use them very much.

Vivant Skin Care Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser

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I have sensitive skin, so any face wash that doesn’t make me wake up with angry skin the next day is a success. This left my face feeling soft (not dried out like so many face washes tend to do), and the smell is great. I wasn’t wowed enough to purchase this full-size, but I’ll likely stash the sample in my travel bag for upcoming work trips.

Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper

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My hair isn’t super curly, but it does have a natural wave that, with the help of products, can look a) beachy and cool, or b) crunchy and awful. (Think Hermione Granger and Carrot Top having a baby. Actually, don’t.)

Most curl-enhancing products I’ve tried require blow drying with a diffuser in order to avoid  stiff, crunchy waves. The problem is that I’m lazy, and the only reason I ever choose to deal with my natural texture in the first place is because I don’t feel like taking the time to blow it dry. I know, I know, FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS. My wallet is also too small for my $50s and my diamond shoes are too tight.

I got really excited when I read the directions on the packaging and they specifically said to let your hair air dry.  I did, and this may be the first product EVER that gave me air-dried beachy waves with absolutely zero crunch. I plan to purchase this full-size, and possibly give the CEO of Curly Hair Solutions my firstborn.

Caudalie Divine Legs

07.24.13 Divine Legs

This lotion is supposed to make your legs look smooth and toned. It does make my legs feel silky, but if toned legs are your goal, your money would be better spent on a gym membership.

Pur Minerals CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40
Full disclosure: I actually had to Google “CC” cream to find out what the hell it even is. Apparently, CC stands for “color control,” and this cream is supposed to “moisturize, prime, brighten, and conceal.”

07.24.13 CC Cream

As you can see, this stuff evened out my skin tone considerably, and I love that it’s super lightweight. I ALSO love that it’s SPF 40 – normally I layer sunscreen under my primer, since I refuse to go outside with anything less than SPF 30 on my face. Amazingly, I think it smoothed my skin even better than my beloved Smashbox Photo Finish primer … looks like I’ll be purchasing this full-size as well. This is one of the best products I’ve never received from Birchbox.

To learn more about Birchbox or to get a subscription, go here.

Portabella Burgers Stuffed With Garlic Butter, Cheese, and Onions

I know I tend to get a little hyperbolic when I write about food, proclaiming that pretty much whatever ingredient I’m cooking with is my FAVORITE THING EVER.

I just really like eating.

However, I am totally not exaggerating when I say garlic is one of my favorite things to cook with. And what is almost as awesome as garlic? Butter. And what do you do when you have an abundance of both in your kitchen, plus a couple of portabella mushrooms you need to use up?

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These burgers are adapted from this recipe for garlic butter mushroom sliders that I pinned a while back. Even though there’s only a few teaspoons of butter per mushroom, garlic butter literally drips down your chin when you bite into one of these.

Garlic Butter Stuffed Portabellas

I added some balsamic caramelized onions to the top of each burger when they were done cooking, which I’d highly suggest if you are an onion fan. If you are not an onion fan, I’d highly suggest you become one.

Here’s how you make ’em.

Portabella Burgers stuffed with Garlic Butter, Cheese, and Onions

Ingredients:
2 portabella mushrooms
4 tsp. salted butter or margarine
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 slices cheese (I used cheddar, but Gruyere would have been better)
Parsley
1/2 of one large sweet onion, sliced
1T olive oil
Splash of balsamic vinegar
2 buns

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a small pan over low heat and add the onions. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring. Add a splash of balsamic and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or so.

While the onions are cooking, remove the mushroom stems and use a damp paper towel to gently wipe the caps clean.

Spread about 2 tsp butter on the under-side of each mushroom (I used the back of a spoon to spread it around), and top with cheese, garlic, and parsley. They will look like this:

07.23.13 Mushrooms Pre-Cook

Place on a baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven carefully – you don’t want all that delicious garlic butter to spill out all over the pan! (If it does, mop it up with the top of your buns.)

Place the buns under the broiler for a few minutes if desired. Place the mushrooms on the buns and top with caramelized onions. I served mine with sweet potato fries.

Portabella Burger Stuffed With Garlic Butter, Cheese, and Onions

(Pro tip: Don’t walk away from the kitchen to answer your phone when there’s only a few seconds left on the timer for your sweet potato fries.)

These would actually be really good without buns if you’re into that whole low-carb thing. I happen to think bread is the BEST THING EVER, but that’s just me.