Fix #10 + $1000 SF Giveaway

Fix #10 could not have happened at a more opportune time. Not only did I ask for pieces to get me through the holiday season, this fix also happens to have a $1,000 Stitch Fix Giveaway to go along with it!

For this fix I requested (and got) Raquel! Instead of asking for certain types of pieces (tops, bottoms, etc.), I asked for a color scheme; all black and white (or cream) pieces were on the agenda.  
If you're in the market for an amazing stylist I cannot sing enough praises about Raquel. Seriously. She puts so much thought into each fix, takes the time to read my blog, and pays close attention to my Pinterest board. 

My fix arrived three days early (holler!!!), and I couldn't wait to tear into it.
The holiday tissue and gold foil sticker were a fun holiday touch and made the anticipation of what was inside that much greater. 

Let's get to the goodies!

Market & Spruce || Clove Twist-Back Striped Cardigan 
Pistola || Tory Distressed Ankle Zip Skinny Jean
I paired most of this fix with my Seychelles || Laser Cut Botties, which I received in my last fix.
At first glance I really liked the look of the cardigan. In my book, black and white stripes are right up there with navy and white stripes. While I appreciated how lightweight the cardigan was, the fabric reminded me of a leotard. The twist in the back was cute enough, but I just didn't love this piece.

Let's talk about these Pistola jeans for a hot minute. I've been dying for a pair of good distressed jeans for some time. When I pulled these out of the box I was a little leery. The zip at the ankle isn't something I've ever worn, so it was slightly out of my comfort zone. BUT! The second I pulled these on I didn't want to take them off. The jeans are a bit sturdier than most of my skinny jeans, which I love. The bottom of the jeans hit above the ankle, which makes for perfectly pairing with booties. The zip at the ankle makes for the greatest bit of detail my other jeans don't have. The distressing was exactly what I've been dreaming about. These jeans have easily become my favorite pair, and have been in constant rotation since I got them. Once again, when it comes to jeans it's Stitch Fix for the win!

The verdict:
Clove Twist-Back Striped Cardigan : RETURNED
Tory Distressed Ankle Zip Skinny Jean : KEPT

Skies are Blue || Brecken Mixed Material Top
Immediately when I pulled this out of the box I knew it was going back. This shirt fit well, but the detail on the neck instantly turned me off, and the stripe across the top of the chest wasn't winning me over either. I really liked the tab sleeves, and the mixed material on the back (I totally forgot to take a picture of the back, but it was all black) was cute. The pattern of the shirt itself was nice, but all the other details missed the mark for me.

Verdict : RETURNED

Kut From The Kloth | Laurinda Lace Detail Knit Dress
I'm on the hunt for the perfect LBD, and I was hoping that this one would be it. At first glance I really, really liked it, and I think it photographed quite well. However, when I put it on the waist hit me kind of wonky. I have a really long torso, and from the side this dress made it seem like I had a pooch where I don't want or need one. I came back to this dress a few different times hoping maybe things would change, but alas, that pseudo pooch would not go away. Looking at this pic though, I'm starting to have return remorse (is that a real thing?).

Verdict : RETURNED

Daniel Rainn || Shanon Mesh Detail V-Neck Top
When I pulled this top out of the box I was totally underwhelmed. It seemed like just another black top. But then I put it on. The tab sleeves (I didn't realize I was such a sucker for those), the mesh detail, the fit, it was all just perfect. I feel I could really dress this top up, or down like I did with the distressed jeans and booties.

Verdict : KEPT!

If you're keeping track this fix was a 2/5, but had serious potential to be a 3/5. Either way, I'd consider this one a success and I can't wait to see what Raquel has in store for me for the next round.

Currently my Christmas wish list looks something like this (Scott, if you're reading, this is where you take notes):
Stitch Fix Gift Card
Stitch Fix Gift Card
Stitch Fix Gift Card
So, hopefully the next round will have a gift card, or two, to use at check out.

And while my holiday shopping list is near complete there are still a couple of hard-to-shop-for people whom I know a Stitch Fix Gift Card will be perfect.

If you haven't tried Stitch Fix, or know of someone who has yet to jump on the SF wagon, the holidays are the perfect time to gift or receive gift cards to try it out!

Now, don't forget to enter the $1,000 Stitch Fix Giveaway (use the Rafflecopter below), and drop me a line in the comments letting me know if you think I kept the right pieces!
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M & J Monday

For attractive lips, 
Speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes,
Seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure,
Share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair,
Let a child run their fingers through it.

For poise,
Walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
~Sam Levenson
Happy Monday!


M & J Monday

If it weren't for kids have you ever thought
There wouldn't be no Santa Claus
Or look what the stork just brought
Thank God for kids.
We'd all live in a quiet house
Without a Big Bird or a Mickey Mouse
And Kool Aid on the couch
Thank God for kids.
Thank God for kids, there's magic for a while
A special kind of sunshine in a smile.
Do you ever stop to think or wonder why
The nearest thing to heaven is a child?
Daddy, how does this thing fly?
And a hundred other wheres and whys
I really don't know but I try
Thank God for kids.
When I look down in those trusting eyes
That look to me I realize
There's love that I can't buy
Thank God for kids.
When you get down on your knees tonight
And thank the Lord for His guiding light
Pray they turn out right.
Thank God for kids.
Thank God for kids.
Happy Monday!
Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Lyric excerpts, Thank God For Kids
Oak Ridge Boys


The Butterfly Edition

Roughly a month ago I took the kids to the science center and Marcus spotted a butterfly kit and desperately wanted it. As much as I wanted to make the purchase on the spot I knew I could get a better deal online (heyyyyy, Amazon Prime!) (and use my Ebates). As soon as we got home I immediately purchased a kit as well as a National Geographic Kids book. Within 48 hours our book and kit arrived at our door!

The Kit
This is the kit and book we use for our little at home science project. The kit was so easy to follow instructions and keep our caterpillars/butterflies alive and well. The book was the perfect way to educate Marcus better than I ever could on the whole transformation process.

The Metamorphosis Process
Every single morning when Marcus woke he would rush to the caterpillar cup and check to see the growth of the little bugs. He and I were both equally astonished at how much the caterpillars grew each day.
Exactly as described in The Very Hungry Caterpillar, our little caterpillars went from tiny to very fat rather quickly, and chrysalises were formed. 

The Butterflies
After about 10 days in their chrysalises our tiny caterpillars emerged as butterflies.
Sadly, we were never home when the butterflies emerged from their chrysalises. That didn't make us any less excited when we'd spot a new butterfly flitting around in the mesh habitat.

The Release
For a few days we watched in awe as the butterflies flew around and ate from fruit we had in the mesh habitat, but we knew releasing them would be the grandest experience of all.
With the first butterfly I showed Marcus how to gently encourage the butterfly to get on my finger so I could remove it from the cage. As soon as the butterfly took off Marcus wanted to try as well.
He was so gentle retrieving each butterfly, and the look of excitement and joy on his face was something I hope to never forget. 
After four butterflies Marcus noticed that the last butterfly to go was excitedly flying around the cage. He looked to me, so innocently, and said, "Mommy, that one is just so excited. We should just let him fly away on his own." Marcus was so sweet and genuine and my heart became a puddle of mush. And, that is exactly what we did. We just let the last butterfly take flight all on his own.

Butterflies hold a very special place in my heart. My grandmother was incredibly fond of them, and every time I see a butterfly I know it's her way of whispering that she is with me. So, as Marcus and I released our five beauties I knew my grandma was there enjoying the moment too.

I honestly cannot say who enjoyed the process more. It was such a magnificent experience to watch the caterpillars transform before our eyes, and the release of the butterflies left goosebumps.

After the release Marcus asked if we could do it again. Of course we can! However, I'm saving the next kit for a Christmas gift. ;)


November || Guys Behind the Blog

Another month, another round of Guys Behind the Blog!
This month's current favorite photo of Scott and the kids.
Full disclaimer: Scott's answers were very much on the dry side this month. I thought there might be a little more snark or humor, but in typical Scott fashion, these were all very straightforward and to the point.

To the Q & A!

Q1. What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? What is your least favorite?
A1. Favorite: Mushroom-free green bean casserole, the one with the corn flakes on top. Oh! And croissants!
(I'm fairly sure 98% of the green bean casserole Scott has ever eaten has contained mushrooms. And, my casserole doesn't have cornflakes... So... I have no idea what he's talking about.)
Least favorite: Anything with mushrooms.
(In related news, mushrooms are my FAVORITE.)

Q2. What is a Thanksgiving tradition you liked growing up that you want to continue with your family? Example: Do you eat early, or regular dinner time? Do you watch football? Do you all go to a particular family members house? Do you nap after the big meal?
A2. Having our family all together.

Q3. What are your thoughts on Black Friday shopping? Yay or nay?
A3. Nay! It takes away from the meaning of the holiday.
(I was fully expecting more on this one.)

Q4. If you had it your way, would you set up your holiday decorations (Christmas tree, Hanukkah menorah, etc.) before or after Thanksgiving?
A4. After.
(Again, Scott let me down with this one. I thought for sure he'd have more to say.)

Q5. What are you most thankful for this year?
A5. Healthy children.

There you have it. The most bland answers of all time.

Link-up with Liz from Chasin' Mason, Crystal from Hall Around Texas, Evelina from Fortunate House, Jamie from Cocktails and Carseats, and Jessica from Secrets of a Stay at Home Mom.


Big Bear + $150 Holiday Cash Giveaway

This is one of those posts that I've been wanting to get around to for a couple of weeks. In true life fashion, things kind crept up and I'm just now posting about our little weekend retreat to Big Bear.
So, let's start from the beginning...

A few weeks ago Scott mentioned that I should keep our weekend plans free, and that he had a bit of a surprise in store. I liked where this was headed.

The Thursday before that particular weekend Scott said we were leaving the city and heading to the mountains. God bless him. We'd been needing an escape for some time, and a mountain getaway sounded mighty fine.
Friday morning we were up and at 'em rather early (thanks to our resident 15-month old who "sleeps in" till 4:30). By, 10:30a.m. we were unloading everything into the cabin.

Side note. We are so fortunate to know someone who is incredibly generous and allows us to utilize his family's cabin. It's this quaint, cozy little thing that is absolutely perfect for us. There is no cable, spotty Internet, and a big yard. We unplug, unwind, and truly spend our time together. Our dog can run the yard with reckless abandon, and Marcus and Julia can play outside with nary a care. One of the weekend highlights for Marcus was collecting as many pinecones as possible from the yard and creating a massive pile out of them. It's the little things...

Back to Friday. Though the skies were gray and somewhat gloomy, with scattered sprinkles on and off, we weren't deterred. In fact, the rain was quite welcomed. It had been ages since we'd seen or felt rain. We simply added a few layers and went for a brief "hike."

This wooden footpath goes along what was once the northern most part of Big Bear Lake. The drought has impacted this lake severely, and left this portion of the lake totally dry.
While the fresh air, the short hike, and the craziness of my people was fantastic, the condition of the lake was eye-opening and devastating. I can only imagine what the views must look like when the lake is full.

Post hike we headed to our favorite little pizza joint, indulged in some deliciousness and a few refreshments. After filling our bellies to the brim naturally we stepped into the adjacent chocolate/candy/fudge shop before heading back to the cabin.
Julia has never stepped foot inside such a store, but girl friend knew what it was all about.

Friday was a wrap, and thanks to fresh mountain air, sleep was pretty sound for us.

Saturday morning, though up early, was spent lazily sipping coffee, snuggling by the wood burner, and getting ready for our day. A second, longer hike was on the agenda.
The trail was marked every half mile or so with these cute little bear footprint markers, which kept Marcus focused on the next number at hand. It was like a little scavenger hunt we didn't have to plan!
Every downed tree was an obstacle and adventure that required climbing and balancing and jumping off. This was repeated no less than a half a dozen times per each tree trunk we came across (and we encountered several).
Marcus dabbled a bit in bouldering, and thought it was the coolest to reach the top of such large rocks.
And Julia was along for the ride, and seemed to enjoy every minute of it.
Had we not run low on our water supply I believe we could have hiked much farther than we did. There's always next time!
Marcus was very interested in my camera as we hiked, and asked to take a few photos. I cautiously obliged. This is one of his shots, and I'm kind of impressed.
Immediately after our hike we headed just across the road to let Julia stretch her legs a bit by the lake.
There were ducks, Julia's current favorite thing ever. So, she wanted *in* the lake to get to the ducks. Her stint by the water was short lived.
Marcus thought tossing rocks would entice the ducks. That plan worked exactly one time, and then the ducks caught on that food wasn't really involved.
We attempted to walk a path around the lake, with Julia out of the Kelty. She wanted to be everywhere except the actual path. It was at that time we decided it was time to head to back to the cabin to snag some food and a nap. 

Saturday evening we attended an Oktoberfest for one hot second. It wasn't quite our style, and both kids were running on short-lived naps. Our last stop of the trip was to the cutest little Christmas store. As with every adventure we go on, I hunt for Christmas ornaments to remember our experiences. The Christmas store did not disappoint, and I found the perfect ornament. 

Sunday morning we were back at home before 10:30a.m. and planning our next adventure into the mountains. I have high hopes that the next mountain escape will include snow, and tubing, and snowboarding, and hot chocolate.

While we're still a bit aways a way from Christmas, our time at Big Bear got me into the Christmas spirit - I mean, the intoxicating smell of pine trees! Fresh, crisp, chilly mountain air! A Christmas store! A Christmas ornament! It was the perfect way to get us in the holiday mood. That said, I'm hoping you're getting into the holiday mood as well. I've teamed up with some pretty great ladies for a holiday cash giveaway. There is $150 PayPal cash up for grabs! All you have to do is enter the drawing via the super easy Rafflecopter below. 
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