Wednesday, August 3, 2016

My First Stitch Fix

Everybody in the world has jumped on this bandwagon already, I'm amazed I made it this long tbh! In case you've been living under a rock though, Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that sends you clothes in the mail. Items are hand picked by a stylist for you based on your profile and notes/requests. The styling fee is $20 per box and that cost is applied to any items you choose to purchase. They make it super easy to return any items you don't love by including a pre-paid envelope. I always thought it was a monthly subscription but it turns out you can choose to have boxes - or Fixes - sent less often depending on your needs. You can even choose just one shipment like I did if money is tight and/or inconsistent.

I went back and forth quite a bit, trying to decide whether I could really justify paying for a Fix right now. I signed up for an account but didn't schedule my shipment. A few days later I received an email promo code to waive the $20 styling fee. I decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth and used that code to get this box for free, planning to only buy an item if I really, truly loved it.

Have I mentioned before how much I love getting mail? Packages, letters, cards. So long as it's not a bill, I'm happy. When my Stitch Fix box arrived, I was beyond happy! I think you can peek ahead of time with your tracking code but I didn't do that. In fact I don't think I ever got a tracking code... Anyway, when it arrived I tore it open and saw this:


I'm a sucker for cute packaging and I have to admit, I just love that blue geometric theme they've got going on. You can see the return envelope there on top. Folded up inside it I found a note from my stylist, Harley, a price list for each of my pieces, and a little styling inspiration: 


Before we get to these photos, I need to apologize upfront - I'm in no way, shape, or form a fashion blogger. I didn't style cute outfits for you. I didn't even think far enough ahead to polish the mirror. So, sorry if you're offended by my yoga pants and Target tee, or the spots randomly floating in some of these pics... But if you are, you're on the wrong blog buster! Okay, onward.

Steve Madden Donndi Sandal - $60.00


I'm pretty meh about these. They're cute in a very basic way and if I didn't already own some basic brown sandals I might have been more enthused, but at $60 they were a no-go for me. I tried them on to be able to give feedback about the fit but didn't even bother to snap a picture.

Gilli Adalea Knit Dress - $64.00




I knew right off the bat this was not for me. I'm not a big fan of short sleeve dresses and I don't like my flowy skirts to be any shorter than maxi length. Trying it on proved me right, I hate what it does to my waist and stomach... Maybe if I were in the early stages of pregnancy this would be something I'd go for, but I don't need clothes that make me look pregnant when I'm not.


Papermoon Kalan Woven Detail Knit Top - $54.00




This top was also underwhelming on the hanger, but I liked it quite a bit when I put it on. There's a cute detail ribbon and black panel on the back - sorry for not getting a better shot of that - but the black was not jersey knit like the rest of the top. I don't know my fabrics well, but it was crepey and a little scratchy and kinda ruined the vibe for me. Had it been jersey knit, I think I would have had a harder time sending this one back, but $54 for a tee is a little beyond me these days.



41Hawthorn Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan - $48.00






















Now this is my jam! I love cardigans and this is one of those cozy, drapey styles that's also office-appropriate. This color is great, a beautiful burnt orange/red that really makes me long for fall. I agonized over this a bit... As much as I love it, I don't think I can justify spending money on it when I have no less than three nearly identical items in my closet right now. I don't think $48 is a bad price for this and with the $20 styling fee applied, it's a steal but I returned it anyway. I'm definitely keeping the info on this one though, when I do have more clothes money to spend I'm gonna find it and make it mine!

Kut From The Kloth Dayna Colored Skinny Jean - $78.00



I also really had a hard time sending these back. I sold a ton of Kut jeans when I was working at Nordstrom and I love their products. This teal color is beautiful and although they are "Toothpick Skinny" they are surprisingly comfortable. I know that photo makes my thighs look massive but trust me, it's camera angle. In person these jeans are very flattering. But with a few pair of blue denim skinnies in my closet I just couldn't see spending $78 (or even $58) on these. However, I did mention that I'd love to see them in a warmer or bolder color in the future. I'm all about colored skinnies and loose tops right now!


So there you have it. Even though I didn't purchase any items, I really liked my Fix and I cannot wait to schedule another one in the future. If you want to check it out for yourself, you can use my referral link. Let me know in the comments what you thought of this Fix, and if you subscribe to Stitch Fix already tell me some of your favorite items you've received!

Til next time, my friends...

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Craftiness

2016 has already been a year for big changes. I've moved a few hundred miles and plan to do it again in a few months, I'll be welcoming my niece to the world soon, and *hopefully* starting adventures in graduate school. So, I decided I need an epic project to help me chronicle this year. Enter the 2016 Temperature Blanket! Each day I will crochet a row reflecting the temperature of the day and at the end of the year I'll have a map of sorts of my year.

I didn’t decide to do this until March so I had quite a bit of catching up to do! I’ve chosen the Big Twist Value yarns at Joann's Fabrics because I know I’ll be needing a lot of yarn and it it the most affordable option with colors I like. I’m using wunderground.com for daily temperatures and because I’ll be spending the majority of the year in northern states, I’m using the daily high. After looking at averages, I’ve broken down the temps from 40 to 89 in increments of 5. I don’t expect to see much 90+ this summer but if I do, I may have to find some more red and pink options. I found the pattern on Ravelry.com, a Granny Ripple that I just love!! 
I'm almost at the end of March and the blanket is almost big enough to cover my queen sized bed... I'm debating whether to make a few different blankets for every three or four months or to just let it be and end up with one very loooonnggg blanket... we'll see!
Color Breakdown

January and February finished!

Friday, March 11, 2016

A Fresh-ish Start

Well, I've been away from it a while, huh? In May, I ended up having to put my precious Stella to sleep after she was diagnosed with cancer and honestly I just couldn't bear to look at this blog and see her name all over the place.

But, life goes on. I finished school, did a few awesome shows, and moved a few hundred miles. And now I find myself missing blogging. So, I've decided to get back into it. Who knows how regularly... who even knows what I'll blog about. I keep trying to pin it down, I thought maybe I'd start totally fresh with a whole new blog on a different platform. But I just feel like I want to write about anything and so Runs 'n Stuff seems appropriate for now.

So, dear reader, thank you for being here. Thank you for sticking around or for popping by, I hope you'll be back again!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Stella Update

For any of you who don't see my Facebook posts, I thought I'd update a bit about Stella. She has been in the hospital since last Thursday with some sort of infection in her liver and gallbladder as well as esophageal problems. Because I'm still edgy and stressed and don't feel like making myself cry againsomemore, I'm going to be super lazy and just cut and paste from Facebook. Please don't be offended, I'll get back to real blogs once she starts recovering and I can think about things without losing it...

April 30: Stella is back in the hospital today. Blood work indicated possible liver damage so she will have an ultrasound tomorrow morning. Since she hasn't been able to keep down much food or water the past few days, she's staying there overnight on IV fluids. Your positive thoughts are deeply appreciated and if you've got any extra cash laying around I'd be happy to take that off your hands!

May 2: Stella is being transferred to an emergency clinic today as her condition is not improving. 


May 3: Yesterday Stella was transferred to the emergency clinic. She will be seen by the internist early Monday morning and in the meantime they're keeping her comfortable and hydrated. This morning they called to update me on her overnight progress - while they were sure to let me know she isn't dramatically improved, they were very pleased with her demeanor this morning and that she had been able to keep some food down finally!


May 4: Stella met with the Internal Medicine Specialist today and had another ultrasound performed. It looks like she may have two infections - one in her gallbladder and one in her kidney - and the doctors are unsure as of now whether or not the infections are related or not. We're waiting on results from blood work and urine cultures and hopefully will know soon just what has infected this poor pup.

Meanwhile, Stella is brave and strong and everyone at the clinic assures me she is being her usual well-behaved and sweet self! 

May 6: Stella is going in for a gallbladder removal now and will have a feeding tube inserted as well. Your prayers and positivity are very much appreciated as we wait for news from the surgeon!! Update: The surgery went well and she is resting comfortably. Fingers and toes crossed she is finally on her way to recovery.


If you are able to help, any donations you can make would really mean the world - #SaveStella! So far her bill is at $9500 and that's not including the almost $8000 we already spent on her knees. And if you would help me spread the word to your friends and family it would be so deeply appreciated!! 


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Stella's TPLO Adventure Part 3

2.5 weeks post-surgery: Well, poor Stella was back in the vets office last night.

She had her staples taken out Saturday morning, it was traumatic - lots of shivering, big eyes, but she was a champ and didn't squirm or cry. We drove through McDonalds on the way home for some french fries - one of her favorite treats - and then she took a very long nap. That night I gave her some rice with her kibble. She gulped it down but then puked it back up a few minutes later, it was hardly even chewed so I didn't think much of it, just figured she had eaten too fast. I gave her some water and left her a little bit of plain rice which she never ate.

Sunday she ate and kept down some kibble mixed with canned food and seemed totally normal other than her poop being a little sickly looking - kinda green/yellow and slimy, nothing too out of the ordinary for a dog with an upset tummy the night before. Monday however, she didn't eat any of her food, just a few treats and some chunks of bread from my lunch. That night she woke me up around three gag/coughing up water and spit all over the carpet. Again, not totally out of the usual for her. She's not a big fan of dog food and often goes a day or more without eating in hopes of breaking me and scoring some people food, and if she goes too long without eating she'll spit up water and stomach juices. But Tuesday afternoon I gave her some canned food again which she loved. Then fifteen or so minutes after eating, she drank some water and puked everything onto the carpet. I cleaned her up and took her out back in case she had any more to spit up. When she peed, I noticed her urine was very dark, almost an orange/brown color and that got me a little nervous.

I called the vets office to ask their advice and they said to go ahead and bring her in, just in case. They checked her vitals, listened to her eating/puking history and the vet gave her an anti-nausea injection and sent us home with a few meds. We've got Sucralfate that dissolves in water to a chalky, cloudy mix that she takes two hours before any food. The vet says this is to coat her GI tract. Then we have an antacid, Famotadine, and a pain killer. She had been taking Metacam for the pain in her leg but it apparently commonly causes GI issues so I had stopped that one on Monday and the vet told me not to resume. Instead she gave us Tramadol in case Stella is still experiencing pain in her leg, in addition to any pain she may be feeling from her tummy.

She told me to give it a day and if Stella's not feeling better by this afternoon to come back in for some blood work and possibly an x-ray. I'm trying to stay calm, but we may be looking at ulcers or liver problems which is totally terrifying. I decided to stay home from my classes today to keep an eye on Stella, and also because this two-hour gap between meds and food is really not compatible with my classe schedule. So far today she's had a little water, a very little canned food with rice and no puking. She pooped for the first time since Sunday, it was very runny but normal colored, and her urine looked less orange, more dark yellow today so I am hopeful this is a stomach bug and she's on the mend! My fingers are permanently crossed for the day, this poor pup has been through so much already I don't want her to have to deal with any other major injuries or illness!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April 2015 Birchbox - Mad Men

Birchbox is probably my favorite subscription box of all. It's only $10 a month, less if you pay for multiple months at a time and they frequently have special offers to either reduce the cost or earn more points (points = money to spend in their shop). For that $10 you get 5 or 6 sample size products, things like makeup, hair care, cleansers, and more. I consistently get great boxes and I was so pleased with this months box that I just had to share it!

In recent months, Birchbox has started letting subscribers choose one of their samples or choose a curated box (or do neither and be surprised). I really love the sample choice, I enjoy having a little control and a little surprise mixed together. This was the first month that I actually chose one of the curated boxes. There were two to choose from, both Mad Men themed - I guess the show is ending? I've never watched it so I had no idea what to expect in the boxes and was planning on choosing an eyeshadow trio as my sample choice. Then I saw the boxes! Guys, the Mad Men New York box was made for me! Check it out:



How cute is that print? Pink and purple are two of my favorite colors and I really dig the mod floral motif.


Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream in Blueberry | Full Size $20, Sample $2.93
I love having travel sized toiletries around to grab when I'm packing for trips and this is the first small shave cream I've received. I'll be visiting my sister and her family this summer and this is definitely coming with me.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel | Full Size $22, Sample Size $6.64
I have been wanting to try this forever! I've read rave reviews and have been hoping every month for ages that it might show up in a sub box. I finally got lucky!


Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion | Full Size $25, Sample Size $8.33
I received a Liz Earle face scrub in a previous box and loved it so I'm excited for a chance to try something new from this brand. And let's be honest, who doesn't need a nice eye soother now and again?


Beauty Protector Protect & Oil | Full Size $25.95, Sample Size ???
This is hands down my favorite product in this box, maybe my favorite product I've received from Birchbox, ever! I actually chose it as my sample in my March box and was thrilled to be able to snap up another. This oil smells like heaven and tames my frizz so well. I use it 2 or 3 times a week and have only used about half of March's sample so a little goes a long way.


Cargo Swimmables Water Resistant Blush in Los Cabos | Full Size $26, Sample Size $7.54
I received this exact blush in my May 2013 box and was perfectly happy to get another. I'm not a big blush girl but I do wear it from time to time, like when I'm in a show, and this is a great corally peachy color for me. I tried to swatch it for you:


While water resistant blush might not seem like a thing I need in my life, it actually is nice. Since working at Disney, my body has learned to sweat the instant I start dancing so it's nice to have stage makeup that can hold it's own.

What an awesome box right?! I can't give a good estimate of the value of the Beauty Protector sample as the mL are not listed, but even without accounting for that I received more than $25 worth of samples for only $10. Not too shabby!

Birchbox partnered with Rifle Paper Co. this month and the box they designed was just so beautiful! (I was disappointed the Mad Men themed box was different, even though it was pretty too.) Since I wasn't going to receive that Rifle Paper Co. box, I bought the tote bag they designed which is just too darling!

 


Doesn't that just make your heart sing?! If I've piqued your interest in Birchbox now, I encourage you to try them out! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Stella's TPLO Adventure Part 2

Today we're 10 days post-surgery and I just noticed the best sign: Stella is scratching herself with her healing leg! You're like 'what?' In the past week that she's been home, she has hardly put any weight on that leg, won't let me touch it or look at it, and basically hasn't moved it more than totally necessary. So the fact that she's using it today is a great sign that she's on her way to recovery.

Another sign: she's completely fed up with her confinement, her e-collar, and her stitches. This afternoon she cried for 15 full minutes because I refused to let her pull out the stitches.

"It's a routine procedure Mom, I know what I'm doing"

We'll go back to the vet this weekend and if he says all is going well, the stitches will come out. With the last leg, this was when things got really frustrating for Stella. The fur growing back through the scar or something must have really itched because I was for ever catching her biting at her incision. So we're not going to be done with the e-collar for a bit, but once we are, we're practically home free!

Oh and yes, she did have a bladder infection. It's all cleared up now, thank goodness. I guess if she had to get an infection, I'm glad it happened when she was already on antibiotics and pain meds... less discomfort for her (and fewer expenses for me).