December 19, 2014

Stitchfix #13

I got another Stitchfix shipment this week and realized it has been a couple of months since I've done a post on what I've gotten. If you've been following along, a couple of months ago I talked about the concept of a capsule wardrobe, and that I'd be doing one for the fall and winter. What I didn't quite expect was that with all of the changes I've made in the gym and with my eating habits, some of the clothes, especially pants, from my capsule are already too loose. I've been having to update/replace a few things that just aren't flattering or comfortable anymore. 

People have been asking me how Stitchfix boxes will work since the idea of having a capsule wardrobe is that you don't have to keep buying anything new. For the past couple of boxes I've been extremely picky with what I've been sent and didn't keep anything. I'm making very careful choices as to what pieces will fit into my wardrobe and will transition well in between seasons. 

If you haven't heard of Stitchfix here are the deets: 
1) Go the link, sign up and fill out all the info they ask for about your personal tastes, they'll hook you up with a stylist who'll send you a box with 5 items that they think will look great on you, based on what you tell them.
2) Pay a $20 styling fee which includes the box shipped to you and goes toward your purchase should you choose to keep anything in the box. 
3) Get your box (which you can set up on auto for once a month or schedule them as you wish) and try on your items! You have 3 days to decide and there's a free shipping bag included to send back what you don't want.

Here's what I got this month:

Benzer Plaid Layer Sweater

 This sweater is soft and lightweight. I love the plaid piece underneath that gives the illusion of layering without all of the bulk. I really love this.

Paul Colorblock Mixed Material Top

Another high quality piece. It's very stretchy material and the material is very flowy. I did notice it wrinkles easily if it's not hung up constantly, though. Although I like the comfort factor of this, I wasn't a fan of the higher rise front as it wasn't super flattering. My arm is kind of covering it on the left photo but the shirt sticks out quite a bit and isn't very flattering on my body. It was also a bit snug through the shoulders, I have wide shoulders so this happens a lot haha.

Baxley Zipper Detail Skinny Jean

At first I wasn't a huge fan of these jeans. They are a super soft and stretchy material, about like leggings.They fit my waist well which is hard to find usually because my lower half is curvy. I did notice the material does hold on to lint easily; out in the light they looked really fuzzy. It's a bit hard to see from the photo (sorry iphone's lack of detail) but those are zippers on the front pockets. Jury is still out on these. They're so comfortable. 

Faya Sleeveless Keyhole Fit & Flare Dress

This coat wasn't in the box, I just got it at the end of the season last year (at Nordstrom's I think?) and I haven't gotten a chance to wear it this year and I love it so much. BUT this dress came and I love the color and keyhole detail. It's made, as many of the Stitchfix products, with super stretchy and soft material so it'll fit a variety of body sizes. The only thing I didn't like with this was the length. A little bit too short for my comfort, I'd have to always wear thick tights underneath. I'm 5'9" so this wouldn't be necessarily short on everyone, though. 

Benson 3/4 Ruched Sleeve Blazer

Woot! I've been looking for a perfect fitting blazer and have found it. This is darted in the back so it follows my waist curves just so. The sleeves are ruched, which is totally my jam because I have long arms and always end up pulling my sleeves up anyways. The lining on the inside is blue and white pinstripe which shows through when you roll the sleeves a bit. I love, love this. 


I've created this Stitchfix board on Pinterest to help give my stylist some ideas on styles I love. I've been working on keeping it updated which helps give her a better idea of what to include in my fix each month. 

December 16, 2014

Paleo noms.

So I've kind of slowly been transitioning myself to a Paleo style of eating. There's a lot of misinformation out there about it, and a lot of different takes on how people eat this way. However, I found a really awesome cookbook and started transitioning to this way of eating and saw immediate results with my body and energy levels. Taking out processed and added sugars as well as bloat inducing grains really made me feel 100% amazing. 

Now, it hasn't been easy all the time. My husband and kids aren't in on it (although I'm working on taking out sugars and most grains from the boys' diet) and it can be challenging for me to give up some of the stuff that tastes the best but isn't nutritionally sound. However, the less sugar I eat, the less I crave it. 

I recently got this cookbook  and have practically cooking nonstop from it. Every recipe I've tried so far has been amazing and surprisingly simple. Not a ton of random and complicated ingredients or processes, which is good for me because I'm not a chef. I'm a basic cooker. 

Here's a few of the things I've been cooking up. I'm wondering if any of you would be interested in the recipes? 
Bacon wrapped dates and pineapple. 

Lemon blueberry muffins.

Pumpkin pancakes. SO GOOD. 

I'd like to hear from you. Do any of you eat Paleo and what are your favorite recipe books/websites? 

December 4, 2014

Isaiah gets a hair cut. (and got even more handsome)

Since the boys were born Chikezie and I have had this image in our head of having two little boys with big hair.  I love the idea of wild and natural hair, especially when it's so curly. We became very committed to letting it grow long despite all the questions and comments from people asking us "when are you going to cut their hair?" Surely little boys can't have long hair, right? 

We let their hair grow long for about three years before it finally became a lot of work for me. Their hair is so curly and they have a lot of it, which means even more prep time in the tub. Washing/conditioning/combing through it in the tub would take me about a half an hour and my arms would be so tired by the end. The work was even more when they started preschool and would come home with sand, sticks and leaves in their little afros. Getting sand out of that hair is nearly impossible. 

I began trimming it last year, just keeping it long-ish but cutting it to a more manageable level. Still, they'd come home from school with just a head of straight up dirty hair. It was just so much work for me that the idea of these two little boys with big hair just didn't seem so appealing anymore. When they are old enough to start taking care of their own hair they can decide what they want, but for now it's up to the person taking care of the hair. 

I'd contemplated cutting one of the boys hair and it was a pretty easy decision: Isaiah. The kid hates when I mess with his hair at bath time. Screaming, angry. It's such a battle with him and when I laid a towel out on the living room floor one afternoon and asked if I could cut his hair, he came and sat down. 

About an hour later, a ton of hair on the floor, using both scissors and the trimmer, and a couple of little mess ups, Isaiah emerged from his first big hair cut a happy boy. 
He's so proud of his hair he had to tell everyone he met that he got a new hair cut. 
Now for anyone worried about their precious hair, Julian is insistent he doesn't want a hair cut. So his will remain in its current wild and big state for the foreseeable future. (And it's much easier for me to manage just one boy's long hair than two.)

They now look a little bit more like brothers and a little bit less like identical twins. (They're not identical.) They now have some hair that reflects a little bit more of who they are, Isaiah clean and regimented, specific and outgoing. Julian, unique and independent, a bit of a wild card and goes to the beat of his own drum. 

Since the very beginning it's always been all about their hair and now the hair on top fits the the boy underneath a bit more.


December 3, 2014

Happy Birthday, Husband.


Today is your birthday. This photo was taken nine years ago today. That night we (a little bit drunkenly) shared our first "I love you" after exactly one month of dating, and only slightly longer than that of having even known each other. I fell hard and fast for you.

You're silly and your laugh is contagious. Gosh, you're just so funny, probably the funniest person I know. You know just when to use your humor to lighten the mood or to get me to just chill out, and it's not even on purpose...it's just the way you are. And it doesn't hurt that you have such a gorgeous smile. I mean? Good job, college Mandey. 

You're smart. But not only are you smart, you're creative. Sometimes people who are so smart lack creativity but your brain just works in the most interesting way that I'm still learning about you almost ten years later. You like to keep things simple on the surface but beneath the smiles and jokes you're such a complex and caring man. 

You have such a big heart, a stubborn and strong willed mind and and and...I just love your face. You're such a good daddy, you work so dang hard and even if you leave your socks in the living room all the time I couldn't imagine picking up after anyone else. 

Thank you for doing the past nine years of your life with me. Happy Birthday, husband. 

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