Author Archives: mimacat14

About mimacat14

I'm Heather. English Professor & wife & momma & cat mom & church singer & beginner yogi & Game of Thrones addict. I love to read, write, sing, and hang with my family. Welcome to my world!

Now and later. Not the candy.

Well hello there. Yup. Its that time of year again. I’m forced to pay $18 to renew my domain name and I’m suddenly inspired to start writing again and get my money’s worth. I just purchased a desk for myself, so who knows. Perhaps The Lit Kitty will see a renaissance. You never know.

Its also another time of year again, for me. Its the hot ass awful long sweating mess yucko summertime. Yup, I hate it. And in the midst of this weather inferno is a special date. That date is July 4th. Do you know why its special?

Nope, its not because I have a special penchant for our founding fathers (side note – a coworker once told me that she thought Alexander Hamilton was the “hottest” of all the founding fathers based on the picture of him on our money. Not sure why I’m sharing this. It just always stayed with me)

And it sure isn’t because I love the beach and fireworks, because if you know me at all you know that I hate the sand and I find fireworks just irritating.

Its because July 4th marks the official switch from “summer fashion” to “back to school fashion.” I LOVE this change. After July 4th I can’t even begin to wrap my head around purchasing more summer clothes. Its bad enough I have to suffer through these thigh sweat months as it is. By July I’m already looking toward fall. I’m beyond ready.

I’ve mentioned before that I was always the girl fully decked out in “cold weather” clothes on the first day of school, even if the temps still topped 90 degrees. Now, while I’m a bit more reasonable these days, I like to choose my late summer purchases by thinking about how I can wear them now while its still Satan’s favorite season, but also how I’ll be able to wear them in the fall when it is gloriously cool.

GUESS WHAT GUYS!?? LULAROE IS PERFECT FOR THIS. Let me tell you all about it. I’ve made some sets below with stuff from my closet (sorry – it ain’t for sale!)

Are you sick of this pic yet? I’m not because my hair and make up are on point this day. You can see that I’m attempting to beat the heat by throwing a little blue tank top over this lovely maxi skirt. I look so damn fantastic that I may even forget about the heat. For a moment.

In the second pic I’m wearing the very same skirt, but I’ve styled it for fall with a denim jacket and booties, and I’ve stylishly situated myself in front of a random screen door with plants. Nothing says fall like a rustic porch & screen door.

Do you love Carly? I do, too. You know this. I wear her all summer long with little sandals and some big jewelry because it’s just so damn easy. In fact, I think I wore this exact outfit last week. Well, without the little purse. That’s actually a makeup case, but its adorable.

For cooler months I’ll take this exact Carly (its one of my favorites) and I’ll throw it over some leggings with boots & a denim jacket. Now I suddenly want to pick apples.

I pretty much live in tank tops all summer because my armpits need to roam free. Its for all of our benefit. Its a good bet that you’ll find me in an outfit like this on most days (in fact, I have on this very shirt at this very moment)

I wear my tank tops all year round because I just find it to be more comfortable beneath a cardigan. I’ll throw on this white tank with a denim blue Sarah, jeans and some fantastic Tieks on a cool fall day.

Green is one of my favorite colors for all of the seasons. I just grabbed this Perfect T for myself last week and I think the bright Kelly green color is so pretty for the summer with a denim pencil skirt, a chunky necklace and my tangerine Tieks for a day at the office.

And I’ll keep on wearing this top right through the fall with a pair of tweed pants, a neutral Sarah & booties. Side note  – I got these pants for $1 at a yardsale and they are one of my proudest purchases.

So, ladies… it may be unbearably hot outside, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t fondly think about the chilly days ahead and plan our purchases!

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Heather Loves Carly

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Hi friends! I just renewed my URL so its about time for my once-every-three-decades blog post! I always aspire to write more often but… you know.  But today I’m going to talk to you about why I became a Lularoe A+ Super shopper cult member… and not just b/c I sell it. In fact, I wont even mention that (until the end… b/c, like, I sell it guys. Of course if you’re going to buy it I want it to be from me)…

But let me talk to you about why I started buying Lularoe because I come into this blog post knowing full well that 1) many of you do NOT do the leggings thang 2) many of you, for reasons unknown, have some weird hatred for the company. To each, her own, of course… but I’ll try to share with you why *I* grew to love Lularoe. Maybe you’ll still hate it. Whatever, yo.

So, I’ll put this out there… I don’t really like leggings either. Guys, I’m pear. I’m SUPER pear.  Jeez, I wrote a whole post on my obsession with how my lower half looked in JEANS… (see here!) and you think that I’m confident enough to parade around with kittens splayed across my hine? I get that many of you love the leggings and you collect them in the way that 8 year old me hoarded My Little Ponies. Because they were cute and pretty and I just had to have them ALL. I am more than happy to sell you ALL of the leggings (Yassss!) but my LLR obsession goes by another name.

And that name is… (whisper, whisper)

Carly.

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She’s my girl. But let me tell you why. I’m not a dress girl and I never have been. Pants, Jeans… those were my thing. Until… DUN DUN DUN… I gained 64 pounds during my pregnancy with the peanut man.  Sidenote: DON’T GAIN 64 POUNDS WHILE YOU’RE PREGNANT. It will cling to your abdomen, thighs, and, weirdly enough, upper arms like a slug to the sidewalk. Ew, what a gross reference. But you get it. I enjoyed all of those bagels and fettuccini alfredo dinners, but, hot damn, its a year later and I’m still 23 pounds over my pre-banana man weight. And I did/do NOT feel good about it.

As a working mom, I HAVE to look somewhat presentable when I leave the house. My post-partum body was a real challenge – I’d lost about 40 of the pregnancy pounds, so I couldn’t (nor did I WANT to) continue wearing my maternity clothes. As I was still SO far away from my “goal weight” I didn’t really want to invest in clothing that I’d only be able wear (hopefully) for a short period of time.

Enter: Carly.

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I’ve never been one for a t-shirt dress. In my experience I always like them the first time I wear one, but then after 1 washing its stupid-short and clingly around the c-section pooch. Not good. But I took the Carly leap because I kept dreaming about all of the pretty Carly photos that I’d pinned. It did not disappoint.

Let me tell you how Carly is not only getting me through this transitional body phase, but how she also helped my mental state during this period of fragility. I’m a little dramatic. Carly isn’t just a tshirt dress – its just better. The way it drapes, the high-low hem, the A-line shape… its just GOOD. I feel like the Carly does, of course, cover up that doughy belly pooch and my ham thighs, but not in a “this is a dress that is two sizes too big” sort of way. It just sort of transforms your body. I honestly feel like I look 10 pounds thinner in a Carly. Perhaps you disagree, but I’d ask you not to burst my bubble. I throw it on and I feel, I guess the best way to describe it is, put together. I’ve worn it in the winter with leggings (I use them like tights) and a cardigan… and I throw them on now with flip flops and a chunky necklace. And I feel pretty damn good when I’m wearing one. Oh, and mentally… you have to size down so being able to fit into a size XS right now is really just… lovely.

Give it a go, ladies. Don’t like leggings? Don’t like crazy patterns? How about a solid grey Carly dress? Yeah, I thought so. I’m pretty sure that if you say no to something like a solid black or blue t-shirt dress you’re some sort of a weirdo communist. Just saying.

So, if you want some, join our group! Or don’t. You know. Either way.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/lularoekarenheather

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Stitch Fix… Post partum edition

Shopping for (flattering, stylish) clothes post-partum is a trying event. And I mean it’s an all out tears-angry-rant-I-hate-dressing-room-mirrors-insert-curse-words here type of outing.

Right now I *literally* have one pair of pants that fits… and, yet, I’ve been back to work since peanut man was only 5 weeks old, so I NEED some presentable clothing. The 6 stretchy maxi-skirts that I’ve been rotating since month 5 of my pregnancy are getting pilled and boring… and my OTHER pair of pants, well, lets just say I wore them out (i.e. they were so threadbare from constant use that I split an eight inch hole right up the arse… and I didn’t even notice I’d done it until I sat down on a toilet in public and saw the floor through the back of my pants. God only knows how long I’d really been walking around with my bloomers on display. But I digress.)

In addition to my need for work clothes, next month is my son’s Christening… and I need a dress or some sort of outfit for that.

I’d normally HATE to spend any money on clothing when I’m so far away from my happy weight (32 pounds down, 28 to go! Ugh. Do NOT gain 60 pounds during your pregnancy. That is my advice to you.) But as it turns out, I had $50 of referral credit hanging around in my Stitch Fix account, so I decided to give it a go even though I am still much larger than ideal.

I asked for 1) stretchy maxi dresses or skirts 2) a dress for the Christening, which could be maxi or knee-length 3) LOOSE fitting sleeveless tops for work. I also noted that I did NOT want to receive any pants in this fix…And here is how the fix went down:

Here are a picture of my styling cards and the note from my stylist. I felt as if she (Tracy) really took time to read my requests and browse my Pinterest this time around. On the surface I liked all 5 items, but here is my commentary on how I felt about them after I’d tried them on:

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I’ve blogged about Stitch Fix in the past, but if you’re new to SF, let me summarize what it is for you. Here is a snippet from an older post:

Here is what you do. First you follow my referral link, because you love me and I’ll get $25 credit for every person who signs up via my link, here: Follow me to Stitch Fix

You pay $20. You fill out a massive style profile. Your likes. Your dislikes. Your measurements. How you like your clothing to fit. You look at pictures. You do an ink blot test. You include all kinds of links, like to your Pinterest page (this is imperative!!!), or your blog (like me!) choose to have a single fix or auto delivery (you can do monthly, bi-monthly, etc) And then you get assigned a personal stylist. This person picks out 5 items that they think you’ll like based on what you’ve written. Free shipping/Free returns. You try the items on, if you like, you buy. If not, you send them all back without penalty. If you do buy an item, the $20 that you spent for the service is deducted from the cost.

First up was this maxi dress from Market & Spruce. If you know me, then you know I’m a sucker for nautical and/or stripes. I wanted to love this dress. I threw it on with my little yellow cardigan, and a necklace that I received in a previous fix, but, alas, as you can see in photo #2 it really clung to my C-section pooch. So, back it went.

Tracy also sent me a second maxi dress by Mystree. I had hoped to like this dress, but in a weird twist it was way too big. I had to put on giant platform sandals and I would probably still trip over the hem and break my leg if I wore this. A shame, because I really liked the back of the dress. I figured that if it was too big on me now, it would really be swimming 28 pounds from now. So, back it went. Damn.

I always request tops in yellow. I guess I just like it. Anyhow, Tracy sent me this top from Daniel Rainn. It seemed a little Amish on its own, so I styled it with my denim pencil from Loft (which is still absurdly tight) and a cream sweater. It was just ok. I have mental issues w/purchasing this particular brand from Stitch Fix at retail prices because I often see tops from the same brand in Marshalls for $14.99. In any event, as you can see, it’s just sorta blah on me. Back it went.

Next up is this teal sleeveless top from Papermoon. I took the photos of this blouse like a jerk, but I had already shipped it back when I noticed how blurry it was. Anyhow, the top is lace and the bottom is a gauze type material. This is one of my favorite colors, but the top seemed so 2000’s to me. Very dated. Like, I would have worn this to the Nutty Irishman in my bar fly days and thought I was hot to trot. So, it went back.

At this point you’re probably thinking that this fix was a total bust. Fear not! I’ve saved the best for last. I’d pinned this shirt months ago several times and had been hoping against hope to see it in a fix. And lo and behold, here it is! This orange and cream top (from Collective Concepts) is what my husband would call a “Heather shirt.” In fact, when I showed him, he said, verbatim, “that’s a you-shirt.” I styled it w/a black maxi (for today) and skinnies, boots and a sweater (for November)… I hope you appreciate the picture I took in the skinnies because they were so tight that I probably cut off circulation to the entire lower half of my body.

I’ll probably hold off on ordering another Fix until I’ve lost the rest of the baby weight, but this top was a nice little pick-me-up while I’m on my way there. And now, here’s a photo of my cute banana boy. Enjoy.

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People Say the Darndest things…

…to a pregnant woman. Its almost as if they see that burgeoning belly and they think that its open season to unleash some of the most insulting, rude, insensitive, insert-any-negative-adjective-here comments upon the mother-to-be.

Well, friends, I’m nearly seven months pregnant. I’m puffy. I’m tired. I’m winded. I have what feels like a baby dolphin swimming around violently inside me at all times. Don’t even get me started on how “well” I’ve been sleeping. Suffice to say that I’m on the precipice of UFC-punching the next person to throw a backhanded statement my way.

But I’m not a violent person. And, its Lent. I feel like violence and Lent don’t really mix.

So, reader, I’m going to share some of the real doozies that I’ve heard throughout the past half-year. It will be cathartic for me, and, I hope, amusing for you. Some of them still make me chuckle a bit when I think of how incredibly socially inept the speaker of said comment must be.

Before I begin, in case you’ve never dealt with a pregnant woman before, I’m going to share some of the acceptable phrases/comments that you may say if you encounter one. It doesn’t matter if you really feel this way about a person. Say these things anyway. None of the following should earn you a backhand to the cheek:

Wow, you’re seven months pregnant? I can’t even tell!
You’re glowing!
You’re all belly – you don’t even look like you gained weight anywhere else!
I didn’t even realize you were pregnant until you turned around!
Want this free brownie sundae?
You don’t look pregnant from the front/back!
…and you can’t go wrong with, “you look great/beautiful/lovely/stunning/model-esque.”

And now I’m going to share with you some of the 100% actual real life really really super I’m not lying to you things that people have said to me. NONE of it has been exaggerated. NONE of it has been embellished. People actually said these things to me.

Now, I’m a nice Catholic girl, so I took all of this in stride. Plus I have some coworkers to whom I often vent about this very topic, and they always reassure me with one of the comments that I’ve outlined above. And although I may have been smiling on the outside… well, you can imagine what I might have preferred to have responded with… I’ll include that as well. A little glimpse into my inner-monologue. Don’t judge me. No one has yet given me that free brownie sundae that I mentioned above and I’m irritable.

“I bet you’re going to get huge!” I was told this before I had even gained an ounce. Why would you say this to someone? Do you WANT me to get huge? Will you, if I’m huge, look smaller if you stand next to me? You know what I want? I want to throw a brick at your head.

“Was the baby planned or was he an accident?” AN ACCIDENT? Can you imagine asking someone this? A woman who I did not even KNOW came up to me at church and asked me this. Perhaps, from a friend, I could understand asking if we had planned it or if it was a “surprise”… but an accident? I hope you get in an accident with an oil tanker later today.

“So, how much weight have you gained?” How much weight have I gained? Go F#*K yourself. That’s how much weight I’ve gained.

“You’re pregnant? I thought maybe you were just getting fat.” Um, a priest said that to me, so I’m going to withhold the snide inner-commentary on that one.

“Oh, you’re X months along? I had a miscarriage when I was X months.” Shame on you for even bringing up the “M” word to an expectant mother.

“Are you upset that you’re not having a girl?” What kind of question is this to ask someone? Am I disappointed? Nope, because obviously my plan is to still pretend he’s a girl, stick him in a pink Easter dress and force him to play with my old Barbies. Idiot.

“You should breastfeed.” Yeah. You know what? Your life choices are your life choices, and my life choices are my life choices. Want to breastfeed? Great! Want to formula feed? Great! Want to buy your own dairy cow and let your infant suck directly from the bovine teat? Hey, its not my business… So, please mind YOUR business when it comes to MY child. Thanks.

…there have been others, but there is one final comment that I’d like to share with you that truly left me speechless. I’m rarely dumfounded and I’m pretty quick on my feet, but I could not believe that someone actually said the following to me. Someone with whom I had NEVER, to that point, even had a single conversation:

“Its selfish of you and your husband to only have one child because someday you’ll both be dead and your child will be all alone in the world.” Yup. Someone SAID that to me. Verbatim. I was four months pregnant at the time and someone informed me that, indeed, someday I would be DEAD, my husband would be DEAD and my unborn child would be a lonely depressed mess all because we only wanted one child. Wow.

And there are so many others that I’m sure you’ve all gotten. A close friend of mine took some very beautiful maternity photos and was asked “how many babies do you have in there?” Can you believe that? And 99% of these comments come from other women. I just hope that we’re all teaching our children – male or female, planned or ACCIDENTAL – the old adage, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything all” because it seems as if many of us sure as hell aren’t abiding by it.

Here I am, all huge and fat and crying about my accidental baby boy:

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Uh oh! Its Friday and I’m On My Soapbox!!

Well, this was a doozy of a week and I, for one, am glad that it is coming to a close. I fully plan on spending my Saturday laying in my pool and taking a ride to target to see if they have any good clearance maxi skirts. I suggest you do the same. FYI – Mossimo maxi skirts = the best. Buy yourself a few: Maxi Skirt

Anyhow, a few thoughts to wrap up the week and keep my writer’s mind active. I don’t usually touch on anything remotely political (I just HATE arguing with people, especially my friends) but I’m going to touch on two issues in this post a little bit! Sorry in advance. Turn away if you’re looking for a fight 🙂

Ugh, this lion poacher. Rarely do stories about ANYTHING bother me as much as this one has. Its outrageous and disgusting, and I really and truly think that this black hole of a dentist should be extradited to Africa and used a lion food. And while getting angry is a natural reaction, why not use this tragedy to do some good?

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Have you heard of the BLT – the bear, lion and tiger trio that were rescued as cubs? They were kept in a cage and mistreated by a drug dealer, until this sensational Animal Sanctuary saved them. Even though they should NOT get along, they’re inseparable. They currently live at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Georgia. This is a fantastic place where animals – often ones who are ill, disabled, mistreated, former circus animals, etc – are cared for and are able to live out the rest of their lives without fear. It is a sensational cause, and I urge you to channel your anger at this Lion poacher SOB and send a donation to this great cause (or another great animal sanctuary of your choice! This is just my favorite!)

All animals need our love! Here I am with a random cow in my backyard:

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Lets talk about the elephant in the room (I’m going to stick w/the animal imagery, as you can see) – my guess is that a great number of people who have voiced outrage at the lion killer (and rightly so!) are avid leather lovers! Don’t worry, I’m not going to get preachy on you about the value of all life (but seriously, cows and pigs are adorable! How can you wear them?! I want one as a pet) BUT I am here to tell you this:

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Yes! Ethical doesn’t have to be hippie crunchy granola AND it doesn’t have to be super obvious fake ugly leather. Don’t believe me? Then please visit Matt & Nat – they have so many beautiful bags and accessories. Vegan, cruelty free, and guess what… they still LOOK nice. Check out my new Mini tote coming with me for a ride:

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How about shoes? Need non-leather nice shoes? No problem! I happen to love the Steve Madden spinoff brand “Madden Girl” – all manmade materials and they 1) look good 2) last a long time 3) are cheap. I have a pair of knee-high boots that will see their 3rd winter this year. Check these out, from 6pm.com – they might be in my shopping cart in both brown and black. Friends – they’re like $35. Why aren’t you buying these??

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I’ve said my piece about animals and leather, and now I’m going to talk about the F word.

That’s right. Feminism. Just for a second. Because, you know, I could go on for about an hour. But I wont. Today.

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I don’t understand why this has become such a dirty word, and I have to assume its just because society has bastardized what REAL feminism stands for. So here it is, friends:

Women and men. Equal in the eyes of the law, in every way. That’s it. Plain and simple.

No, we don’t think we’re better than men. No, we don’t think we’re smarter. No, we don’t think we’re superior. Just the same. That’s it in a nutshell. My mind is blown that anyone could possibly disagree with this.  I’ll expound a bit. Maybe some feminists disagree with me on some of these little points, but I’m going to get my thoughts out there because, well, I just want to.

I will fully admit to you that I, myself, have never felt gender bias. I grew up with parents who really instilled in me that if I wanted to do something, I could. As a result it has never occurred to me that I might not be able to do something. Paint my whole house? Sure. Assemble furniture? Get a post graduate degree? Make a cheesecake? I’m lucky to have the sense of self so that if I feel like if I wanted to do something, I could. Except ballet. God, I was so awful at that.

But you see my point. I have never been turned down for a job because I was female; my job at SCCC hires people at the same contracted rate regardless of gender, race, etc. But I’m a middle class gal from New York, and I fully recognize that not every woman out there has these advantages. And, while “equal pay for equal work” laws may seem to some New Yorkers as unnecessary, I presume that elsewhere in the country, like the deep south and mid-west, gender bias is still alive and well. So, while my hope is that in the future we won’t need laws to assure that women and men start at equal pay, we do still need them now. Hopefully these laws will be redundant in the near future. Side note – if Joe Smith and I are hired at the same job for the same pay, but I’m a slacker and he busts his ass, he 100% should get raises and promotions that I don’t get. But I digress.

Another point. I hate hate hate hate HATE that on certain physical tests women have a different set of rules. Equal I say. I do NOT for a second think that women applying for FDNY or something similar should have to perform a lesser test physically. If I’m caught in a burning building, I want a hulking 6’2″ person to show up and carry me out. I don’t care if that person is a giant man or a giant woman, but I can sure as hell tell you that I don’t want 5’4″ me showing up to drag my unconscious body out of a house. I know some feminists differ on this point, but I say, equal across the board.

It kills me when I see pictures of young women holding up little paragraphs written on oaktag telling the world why they don’t need feminism. Maybe you don’t feel you need feminism in your daily life today, but you can’t discard it like an old shoe! I think of it like this. Your parents birth you, raise you, and love you. They try their best to make you into the best person that you can be. At age 18, despite what they’ve done for you in the past, do you runaway and forget them forever? Do you say, hey I’m an adult now, so what do I need parents for? Do you erase all or your memories and turn your back on the values that they’ve instilled in you? Of course not, because you love them and they’re a part of you forever you never know when you might need their support again.

And so it is with feminism – its made the modern woman into who she is today, but we never know what tomorrow might bring.

Stitch Fix Greatest Hits!!

It seems hard to believe but I have had a hot and heavy relationship going with Stitch Fix since August 2013.  So, our two-year anniversary is coming up next month!

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT STITCH FIX IS?? OH MY GOD WHO ARE YOU?  Ok, I’ll tell you.

Here is what you do. First you follow my referral link, because you love me and I’ll get $25 credit for every person who signs up via my link, here:

GO HERE!!!! STITCH FIX SUPER AWESOME CLOTHES LINK YAY KITTENS AND UNICORNS

You pay $20. You fill out a massive style profile. Your likes. Your dislikes. Your measurements. How you like your clothing to fit. You look at pictures. You do an ink blot test. You include all kinds of links, like to your Pinterest pages, or your blog (like me!) choose once a month delivery (or more or less often, if you choose) And then you get assigned a personal stylist. This person picks out 5 items that they think you’ll like based on what you’ve written. Free shipping/Free returns. You try the items on, if you like, you buy. If not, you send them all back without penalty. If you do buy an item, the $20 that you spend for the service is deducted from the cost. Oh, and there’s only sales tax if you live in California where the business is based. Awesome!!

HOW FUN.

You pick your style. Your price range. Maybe you only want tops. Or dresses. Or earrings. They’ll accommodate.

I’ve been doing it, as I mentioned for quite a while now, so I fancy  myself an expert. About a year and a half ago they sponsored a contest on Pinterest called “My Day in Stitch Fix” and I actually won the contest – $250 credit! So, I was able to shop off of that for quite awhile. But, once that ran out and I was using my own money, I got a little more serious about my likes, dislikes, feedback, and my stylist. In the past, I felt like I was being shuffled from stylist to stylist, and I wasn’t quite sure that they were taking my likes, dislikes, and requests into consideration. So, you know what I did? I wrote them a long letter and detailed my concerns. They were great. Their customer service really listened to my needs, and for the last eight months or so I’ve had the same stylist – Julia.

This is her:

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Ok, its not. I have no idea what she looks like, but this is how I like to imagine her, and she is fantastic. She really listens to my notes and tries to fulfill my needs to the fullest capacity. She’s awesome. So, once you find a stylist with whom you click, make sure you let them know that you want to stay with this person! Its paramount. PARAMOUNT I TELL YOU.

I haven’t blogged about Stitch Fix in awhile, so I took some time this weekend to have my poor husband take photos of me in some of my most favorite SF items of all time. Some of my favorite shirts are ones that I have received from Stitch Fix; in fact, I recently had a friend tell me, while I was wearing one of said shirts, that I had “the best shirts ever.” I really enjoy that the items from SF aren’t ones that EVERYONE else has, and now that I’ve drastically cut back my shopping, I’m relying on my monthly delivery from Julia to fill any holes that I find in my current wardrobe. Last month I asked for a pair of black skinny jeans with ankle zippers and she delivered; next box I’m asking for some dresses for an upcoming wedding that I’ll be attending in October. I’m excited to see what she sends!

PS – I keep a board on Pinterest that contains some of items that I receive – both good and bad – so please follow!

I received the Lindi Crochet Panel Woven Blouse in Cobalt blue top last June and I wear it often. It came with a cami to wear beneath. My only complaint is that it pulls very easily, and that makes me sad.

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Maxi Skirt – Stitch Fix – Renee C – $58 (Top & Flip flops are from LOFT)

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I cannot recall the name of this top, that I also received in June of 2014. But it sure is pretty. Look at the detail of the top! I’m wearing this with shorts from Loft and some awesome vegan sandals from Mia that I got at Marshalls for $24.99.imageimage

I was very confused when my stylist sent me this arrow detail necklace way back when. There was nothing in my profile that indicated I’d like it. I’m not into archery. I’ve never even seen Robin Hood from start to finish. But, I kept it because I didn’t like anything else in that particular fix and I didn’t want to lose my $20. Let me tell you. I wear this necklace at LEAST 5 times a week. It is my favorite. Who knew?

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I recently have made the switch to leather-free products, so I asked Julia to please send me a neutral vegan tote. She sent me this purse, from Street Level. It is reversible brown/black. I’ve only worn it on the brown side, but its nice to have the option. It was $48.

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Oh these pants!! I just love these pants. Just Black Dean Ankle Zip Skinny jean. $78. More than I’d ever spend on jeans, but oh my goodness. They make me feel 10 pounds thinner when I put them on. For some of my super enlightening thoughts on skinny jeans, go here: (Why I Wear Skinnies…) Here they are with my super favorite Safari Photographer Vest from Max Jeans (Marshalls $34.99)

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So, there you have it. Some (but not all of!) my favorite items that I’ve received. Stay tuned to see what I get in my August 24th fix when I’ve asked for dresses and some neutral colored basics!

So You Want to Be a Yogi?

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I’m kinda sorta obsessed with yoga. Its true. As a person who lacks any and all athletic ability and one who absolutely HATES exercise of any kind, it seemed as if I’d never find a workout that I could stick to and – gasp – look forward to doing. But, yoga. It’s the bees knees, my friends. And my mission in life is to convert you. Journey with me, young yogi.

Let me start by telling you that I am terrible at yoga. Horrible, fall down, fall on my face, terrible. But I love it. Don’t be discouraged by the photos you see on Pinterest of tiny ladies balanced upside down with only one pinky holding them up. You don’t have to be this person; I know for damn sure I’ll never be. I almost can’t stand straight up when I’m doing Tree pose.

About a year ago I bought a groupon for yoga classes at a local place. My friend Katie and I went to two or three classes, and then it sort of petered out for us. I just could NOT get into it at the studio. The studio was packed with people who knew what they were doing while I, clearly, did not. It was hot in the room. I felt like we were on top of each other. I felt stupid and silly and self-conscious at the same time. The guy next to me repeatedly tried to get himself into a handstand and every time he was unsuccessful (about 998 times) his feet would thud to the ground, thereby scaring the crap out of me. It was NOT zen. It was NOT how I wanted yoga to be. The only good part was the Savasana and I’m not sure if it was because it was relaxing or because I knew the class was almost over. Yoga isn’t supposed to be this way! You should always be focused inwardly, but I just couldn’t detach myself from the chaos of my surroundings.

Sidenote: this is one of my new favorite yoga tops… $12 on Etsy.

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And I gave up on yoga. For 3 months.

But I really WANTED to love yoga. I wanted to be that long, lean, mentally well-adjusted, calm, super zen contemplative hippie person. I wanted my workout to simultaneously make me healthy AND less likely to assault other drivers on the road when they changed lanes without using a signal.

So, I gave it another go. AT HOME. Alone. In my house. Just me and my cats and Denise Austin.

Yup, some of you probably hate her. She is a little perky, but something about her just seems so down to earth to me. She makes mistakes, she flubs her words. She just seems NICE. I took a $5.92 chance on eBay and ordered a DVD.

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Yoga Body Burn. I wanted a yoga body. I wanted to burn something or another. Perfect. And if it wasn’t, well, it was a less-than-six-dollar mistake. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I’m sure if you’re a hardcore yogi you think that this video is sub-par or “not real yoga” in some way, but I think its sensational. Its broken up into 4 segments – you can do them all together, or mix and match. I usually do the yoga body burn (20 min) plus the relaxation (10 min.)

Many people don’t think of yoga as a real “workout” – but I can tell you that if you’re doing some quickly paced vinyasa, you’ll sweat and you’ll burn. You’ll burn calories AND you’ll tone up your muscles. The best part is, you won’t even really realize you’re doing it. You’ll sort of just feel renewed. I lost 4 pounds the first week I started this video. I gained it back the next day after a large meal, but still.

While on vacation a few weeks ago I ventured back into the studio for an advanced 90 minute vinyasa class. I was pretty nervous – after all, I hadn’t yet mastered the basics without holding onto my countertop for support – how would I complete this class? But, I busted my ass and I did it. The teacher made me fold my body into positions that a Romanian gymnast would have been proud of. She even spotted me for an against-the-wall handstand. I was hurting, but I felt better after this yoga class than any 30 min jaunt on the elliptical machine. I was tired, but also energized. The weird yoga paradox.

You should give it a go, friends. Try out the video I mentioned – or scour Youtube or netflix for some free videos. There are tons of them out there. I think you’ll be impressed with what your body can handle, and you’ll just feel more balanced in the process.

Also you’ll get to buy some cool yoga stuff, like the cat yoga pants you see above and my most favorite yoga tank, below, and my awesome panther mat:

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Namaste, friends!