Monday, May 11, 2015

Stitch Fix #1

This is not an affiliate post, just simply something I tried and wanted to share with yall! 

The other day we pulled into the mall parking lot and my 4 year old looked at me and said, "Mommy, where are we?" I answered, "We are at the mall!" He replied, "Mommy, what's a MALL?!"

It's true. I barely make it there and the last year of pregnancy, fostering, and having a baby, 3 kids under 4. It just didn't happen. If I shopped for myself it was usually because my mom sent me something or here and there I'd grab something at Target or Old Navy or online. So, I decided to try Stitch Fix after seeing another busy mama friend try it!

It was a neat experience overall! You go online, fill out their style questions, rate styles you like, and then they take into account your sizes and send you 5 items they think you will like! It costs $20 for a styling fee, and then if you buy something you apply that towards your purchase. You also can get credit towards your fixes if you refer someone to them and they try it!

Inside your beautiful box of happy mail, they send you a style card that shows outfits put together as inspiration! It's a neat concept! It's like your own little pinterest diagram in real life!

I thought it would be fun to show you what came in my box this time!

First up, was this AMAZING embroidered tank top by Skies are Blue ($48). I loved the detailing on this tank and it truly fit perfectly! I loved the looseness of the front, the fact that it wasn't something I could easily make myself (you know how I am), and that it was the perfect breezy top for south carolina summers!
This was a keeper! It was my Mother's Day splurge gift item. Would I normally pay $48 for a tank top, even a cute blouse... no, I wouldn't. We live on a really tight budget as a 1 income family, but I loved it and it was part of my Mother's day from the boys! It was actually the only thing in the box I kept. Read on to see why...

They had me pair it with some pretty awesome Kut from the Kloth Catherine Boyfriend jeans ($78).

I will admit that I was almost about to get on my knees and beg the husband to let me buy these as I cannot even remember when the last time I bought myself some jeans, but a)they were just too much for our budget and b)they were just a size too big, which sealed the deal to send them back as hard as it was. I wore them some and I could tell by the stretch that they would have been SO baggy on me with continued wear. I've learned I am a bit of an inverted triangle body shape wise, and because of the stretch these were just too big. I have really skinny legs. Were they comfortable? Yes! Had they been a 6... well, let's not go there!

These jeans also went well with the other tank top in my box, a yellow/beige striped embroidered tank by Pixley ($38).
This was actually an easy item to let go. While I appreciated the embroidery on the tank and the soft knit, I really disliked the colors together. And seriously, there is NO way I would pay almost $40 for a racerback knit tank top that was made in china.

The tank fit great! It really would have been a great running around tank and had it been more summery colors like mint and white or something fun and a reasonable price, I would have liked it! It went back!

Next, was a really cute dress by Pixley, the Florence Colorblocked Dress ($68).
This was pretty cute! My main problems were just how thin the material was. It just was not a $68 dress, so I sent it back! I do love me some color blocking and my stylist definitely picked up on that from my Pinterest board, but the way the waist was accented just wasn't that flattering (think long boobs) and I think I would have liked the colorblocking to go straight across versus the curve. I love navy and the colors were great! This might be an inspiration for something I would make myself though. It just was too simple and thin to be a keeper.   

Lastly, were some Bay to the Baubles earrings ($28).
I liked the feathers, but didn't love them. Not enough to keep them. They were cute though!

Overall, I enjoyed it, was sticker shocked... can I have the clearance, on sale version, please!!! My style wasn't nailed either, but I am enjoying the cute top I kept. I REALLY wanted this service to work for me, because I am a busy mom and the idea of happy mail showing up on my doorstep every so often is really exciting! I love that you can send back what you don't like free shipping! You do have to decide within 3 business days, fyi! 

 I would do this again and I will give it another chance to see if they can match my budget a little better. Even if you only found 1 fun thing and sent everything else back, that's 1 fun thing that was worth it! And every time you do it, your stylist learns more about you and what you do like! I think it will be a great way for me to add some interesting pieces to my wardrobe every so often!

If you want to try Stitch Fix, you can sign up here!  Another fun fact, is that you get a $25 credit if someone signs up and tries it! Oh, and you do get a 25% off discount if you love everything in your box and keep it all! 

Well, hope you enjoyed that! Haha! Check it out sometime! It really was fun! 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Updated Master Bath Sinks

I recently posted how I updated our master bath, but we had to wait to update the sink faucets! Exciting news! We figured out how to install our master bathroom faucets. Well, almost. We did have our handy man follow up after us, just to make sure our amauter job was truly free of all leaks and to confirm that we did install them correctly! Phew! or Pee-ew! One of those. Actually we did pretty well and learned that old supply lines will leak and you just have to replace them after that initial seal is broken. Good to know! Even though it took us most of a Saturday and some, or maybe a lot of marital frustration when it wasn't as easy as the you tube suggested! ! And believe me when I tell you, I now know you do NOT want to take on plumbing jobs if you can help it. It truly is a stinky job... even master bath sinks!
We used these K&B Distributers, Inc 4'' center set faucets. For $48 each they are so nice and pretty and perfect to give that cottage, vintage, yet eclectic vibe I wanted in there. They fit our budget and included the pop up drain assembly! Yes!
 Funny how just changing out from silver plastic knob fixtures makes it immediately more classy! Here's before!
And after:
 And the total look from my bed... I just love it! Amazing how these little changes can make you delight in your home so much! Those curtains right there... sewn up from a full bed sheet. Love it!
And because I apparently cannot just take bathroom photos without being a complete goofball!

You're welcome for that! Hahaha! Hope yall are all having an awesome day!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Top 10 Things I learned from a Blog Break!

I took a long break from writing for about a year. In a sense I had lost my "blog voice" and just didn't feel like I had a passion for it anymore. In many ways, I had let the blog run me and it turned into something that was a source of stress (imagine sewing and contributing to every sewing idea any other blogger has... or something like that) vs. a source of delight and that creative outlet fizzled out. Prior to this, it took me about a year to get out of the blog commitments I had roped myself into and that amount of time to really let it go. And by let go, I mean that weird dream that every blogger has of being HUGE, but never really knowing what that actually means. (insert maniacal laugh while crawling up some ladder with no end in sight). I was also a contributing author for another popular sewing blog and while each thing was a good thing on it's own, it was the string of things that ran me into the ground. So many bloggers tie their identity to their blogs and I was one of them, but not in a good way. If I care more about what my blog readers care about than my own family's needs, or what I knew was true about myself, then something had to give. It's embarrassing to even admit, but it was true back then, and true for many many women and their blogs whether they want to actually admit it.

I slowed down. I quit blogging and with that I quit writing.

I missed that part last part though. And as I have been thinking about how to take care of myself better, I realized something. I love the creative outlet writing gives me and I want that back in my life.

I've always loved writing and sharing with others and what better way than a blog. The great thing now, is that I know exactly what I want from my blog and exactly what I do NOT.

Here are the Top 10 Things I learned from my blog break!
  1. Taking time away actually helps to get your creative juices flowing again. Only you know how long that time should be. For me, it was about a year, which is a long time, but you have to listen to what you need, not what you think others need from you or your blog. My husband and I just got away to the location below and it's the same thing. Taking time away for just us refocused our marriage and our hearts towards each other. Everyone needs time away to unplug and think about where they are going next.
  2. Getting my house under control and loving my family well are more important than any blog. Blogging can be a complete time suck. If your family never has clean laundry to wear or your always trying to keep your children happy while you finish just one more thing for a blog post, maybe your priorities are out of wack. When was the last time you saw the bottom of the kitchen sink and really were excited about it? Taking time away will re-focus you and give you that drive to do what you really need to do. 
  3. Your true audience won't care how long you are gone and they will be there when you get back. Most of us write and share with those around us first. Remember that what you write is making a difference and you are leaving your own unique mark on the world.  Your voice matters. Sing loud.
  4. You shouldn't always bend to every reader whim. Here's the thing. I have some tutorials that the photos are messed up on and readers go to and often email me to fix. Unfortunately, the photo storage site I used in the beginning days changed servers and screwed it up. Honestly, I just don't care. While I am sure those readers wanting that tutorial would be grateful, I just don't have time to go back in and fix it. I am okay with that and don't need to apologize for it. My family comes first and I can literally think of a million other things I need to do. When I can get to it, I will and that's that. If that's wrong, I don't want to be right!
  5. Taking time away refocuses your writing purpose.  For me, for the longest time it was sewing. Now, I'm not so sure. I have realized how much I love interior design and homemaking and honestly, just slowing down enough to sip hot coffee on my delightful porch while I enjoy my children playing around me. I've realized that sewing was just one area that I needed to master in order to get to where God wants me to go. Even though I am still working that out, if I had not stopped to take a break, I would not have discovered that which I really loved.
  6. Writing what you are most passionate about is most important. After finding that purpose, it's easier to write about what you are most passionate about. When meeting everyone else's demands regarding your time and your blog, you actually snuff out your own ability to see what you want for yourself. If you've forgotten what you are most passionate about, then you need to stop and take a break. Don't write for the masses. Write for you. What is it that is on your heart? Let that pour out!
  7. You can listen better to the One who made you. When was the last time you picked up your Bible or sought out the One that made you? I learned that I can be strong in who I am when I listen to God's voice first. 
  8. Not everything needs to be your next blog post. Okay, that might sound silly, but I would literally sit and think about what I would blog about next. Obsess much? They even make blog planners. Okay, I didn't have one of those, but seriously, not everything needs to be a blog post! Blog with intentionality and don't be afraid to blog less! Sometimes less is more! 
  9. While a blog is a reflection of your identity, your blog doesn't make you anymore awesome than you already are! Live in that freedom, friend! Be confident in who you are. If you don't know, take time to know. You will be stronger for doing so!
  10. There's a time and place for blogging and writing and it can be fun and enjoyable! Perhaps this is the most important for me. Even writing this whole post is a bit silly when I stop and think about it. Writing down the top 10 things I learned from NOT blogging! Haha! Seriously, is that a joke!? But really, being able to reflect on something as tiny as that topic made me realize that I do have a voice, that I am strong in who God wants me to be, and I can and will make an impact for His kingdom doing what He has given me to love, even if that's design, sewing, and slowing down to enjoy this all too fast paced life. That's who I am, who I want to be, and I love it! Getting my priorities in check and then having the freedom to write and blog. That's where it fits best for me. And I'm glad I got that right where it needs to be! 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Yellow Polka Dot Seafarer Tee

This past Saturday evening I sewed up some things for myself including this yellow polka dot seafarer by Sew Much Ado. I tested this pattern for the talented Abby awhile back. It's such a great little pattern with lots of variety, including adding cuff sleeves or a waist band or adding a neck band, pocket, whatever you want!
Here's the other version of this top I made with a cute monogrammed pocket!

I've had this yellow lycra polka dot fabric in my stash awhile and honestly, I should have sized up to take into account how it hugs, but I didn't, so now I will probably wear this with work out pants as a work out tee.
 Awkward back shot... bahaha!
This time I did add sleeve cuffs, extended the hem lengthwise several inches to cover the bum, curved the hem both in front and in back, and added the neck band to make it more t-shirt like. It was a quick sew and a fun sew! Thanks for letting me model it for you! I'm trying to push myself to sew a little more and make time for myself and this creative outlet! Also, great props to my 4 year old for taking the photos hahaha! Go Cai!  :)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Comfy White Linen Pants for mwa...

Okay, so I can feel my sewing "mojo" coming back everyone! I sat down yesterday at two different times and loved sewing up some items for myself and the boys. Taking a needed break from blogging and sewing and writing has been good for my soul. Turning inward to my family and home and enjoying time away was amazing and I will continue to keep things balanced now and avoid the time suck blogging can be! But I've recognized I do love the outlet of writing for my creative soul and God made me a documenter/recorder of life moments. Like, you know, plain white linen pants made from a tablecloth.
It's really hard to photograph white, but this linen tablecloth had this awesome sweet detail along the bottom edge and I knew it would make a great skirt or pants.

These could totally be maternity pants, but no I am NOT pregnant, even though some of the side angles totally show my mom pooch. I made the top fold over like a maxi skirt with a heathered knit, that looks like I am wearing a tank top... nope... just super comfy pants.
 I'm pretty excited to get to the beach this summer, so these will be perfect for our beachy days coming soon!

Thanks for letting me share! Hope you are all doing well and have a great rest of your weekend!