Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Not An Addict

I'm pretty sure I started "stealing" my mother's coffee around the age of 8...possibly earlier but I have vivid memories of pouring milk and sugar into her extra black coffee when she went off to work. I even figured out how to turn the burner back on to heat it up. Yep...pretty young. (By the way, that warning that coffee can stunt your growth- I'm not sure I buy it since I'm a healthy 5 foot 7 and 3/4 inches tall.)

I worked at a coffee shop in college--both on campus as a volunteer for the chapel coffee shop and for pay off campus. I won several coffee makers over the course of college and grad school (no seriously, WON coffee makers...several types including a $700 espresso maker from Starbucks). In the past few months I have been sent a free Keurig Vue plus tons of Vue-packs and an additional package of coffee pods to try and review.

So yeah- my life has been intertwined with coffee for a long, long time. And every time I try to give it up it comes after me, literally...free coffee is thrown at me!

In 2009 my friend Sheree Clark of Fork in the Road told me to get off coffee. I tried a few things like Yerba Mate and Teachino but nothing seemed as indulgent as my daily cup. In 2011 my husband and I agreed to add one healthy thing or subtract one unhealthy thing from our lives each month. In January of 2012 we started green smoothies/juices every morning (that is going strong, BTW). In February we dropped our meat consumption from 4-5 times a week to purchasing no more than 3 servings of meat per week and dividing those up to fulfill meals for 7 days (breakfast, lunch and dinner). In March we dropped our cheese consumption down by half. In April we started the long and daunting task of ridding ourselves of coffee. (About 3 weeks into it, I was sent the Keurig Vue to share with my friends...and boy did they send a LOT of coffee). Here it is the second week of July and we are just finally putting this "monthly" goal to bed.

Why give up coffee? Well, originally we just wanted to cut back to a normal sized cup per day but the more negative effects we felt of going without coffee the more we realized how bad for us it was! If *not* having something makes us feel so awful- how can it actually be good for us? It just can't. I know that coffee is said to contain more antioxidants than any other "food" but.... there are plenty of people who don't drink coffee so I don't believe it is a necessity.

My head hurts. I can't keep my eyes open. I want to stab everything that makes a loud noise (and yes, that includes my children). I am a very, very ugly monster right now. I'm looking forward to the end of this bender. No matter the minor health benefits of drinking coffee....drinking it daily is NOT healthy. I don't care what expert tries to sell you otherwise. Nothing that is that healthy or good for you makes you feel like this when you stop drinking it. NOTHING!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

StitchFix 3rd and Final Box

Well third time was not the charm... StitchFix and I are parting ways. While the third box is not as "entertaining" as my second the pieces still aren't want I am looking for and...I am much happier with the overall service, quality of pieces and the style being sent to me by Tog+Porter.

I can say that StitchFix was fun...and I know several of my friends still giggle when they see me because they can't stop picturing me in that hot pink romper.

Not pictured are the By Boe Wavy double ring earrings $50. Super cute- just too dangly for me and I have nothing to wear with them! :)

Item #1 Pink Martini Cotten Flora dress $85. I'm not going to lie, this thing is incredibly comfortable. And I'm sure that I have a few friends who would look awesome in it. Every time I put it on Ainsley hugs it. Very tempting- I'd actually buy it if it had anything other than flowers all over it- like horses, cats even. Just something about the true-to-life flowers just don't mesh with me. Or am I wrong?
Item #1 Pink Martini Cotton dress

Item #2 Everly Hi-lo tank

Item #2 Everly~Livia Sheer Tie front hi-lo tank $38 I LOVE green. I don't care if it is my color or not- I love green. I even like the little tie part of this weird shirt but I don't love the shirt enough to keep it.
Item #3 Aryn K Audra Sleeveless Silk
 Item #3 Aryn K. Audra sleeveless silk blouse $86. Eh..probably the most entertaining pick of the bunch. The underarm holes are huge so it is a nice and airy shirt. Just not a fan of the super dark and loud colors. I may have considered it if it were lighter- even bright orange with tan or something- just not the dark on dark colors.

Item #4 Elan Ballet Cardigan
Item #4 Elan, Kara Ballet Cardigan $60. It is a good thing I'm a professional baby-wearer or else I may not have known how to tie this thing on. It is really fun- and I paired it with the black skirt/dress I purchased from Tog+Porter just to see what it looked like. I think I like it enough to buy it but I think it is not something I'd pick out to wear because after holding one of my girls- I'd probably have to untie and retie it.
Another variation. 

Almost supportive enough to wear her.
Someone likes this cardigan!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tog+Porter: Second Box!

Last month I received (and shared) my first box of clothes from Tog+Porter. I'm quite surprised that my blog post about clothes drew more interest than my many other posts about babies, breastfeeding, cloth diapers and all those other extremely exciting and addicting topics! I've even had strangers ask me when I will post the next box review as they are "on the fence" about trying Tog+Porter. Well, I can honestly say that I would encourage every woman to give it a shot! You won't be disappointed. Even if you receive a few pieces that aren't quite your style--the stylists (especially mine, Emily) listen to your likes and dislikes. I can attest to this *not* being true of other styling services. (BTW, I am in no way compensated for raving about Tog+Porter, I signed up and am an ordinary happy customer).

On to the fun stuff. This box was just as fun to try on as the previous box but the items weren't entirely right for me. I would have to say the style was almost 100% on target for me but there are some things about the pieces that may make me send them back. I am not at all discouraged because I know I'll get professional feedback before I make my keep/return decision. And...there is always the next box.

Outfit One: Dainel Rainn Cap Sleeve in Navy $69, my own Express skirt that is too big. I have almost this exact shirt from Banana Republic (from 2009) so I won't be keeping this one. I think the style is OK. Maybe a little more business-like than I need. I tried it with jeans and the shirt actually looked really big in the middle-section. We'll see what Emily says when we Skype. 

Item #1 Daniel Rainn Cap Sleeve
Item #2 Blu Pepper Button Shoulder Top

Item #3 Kersh Racerback Maxi
Item #2 Blu Pepper Button Shoulder Top in Royal $49, plus my own Gap jeans. Hmm. I kind of like this one in photos but it is see through. That equates to high-maintenance to me. I'll have to get some advice on what to wear under it. I own hardly any jewelry but what I do have is silver- so the gold buttons will throw me off. What do you think? I'm leaning towards not keeping it.

Item #3 Kersh Racerback Maxi dress in Khaki $69. This piece was sent to me because I loved this dress but not the color. I love the color of the Kersh dress but you can see every. single. mark. crease, fold. imperfection. on my body. It is pretty loose up top and a bit snug through the middle and hips. It is a no. But Kersh is a designer I have not heard of but enjoyed browsing other items that I may add to my wish list! So I still consider the dress a win even though I'm sending it back. 

Items #4 and #5 Alternative Apparel Tanks
Items #4 and #5 Alternative Apparel Gauze Basic Tank in Navy (on top) and Fog $27 each) paired with the dress/skirt I bought from my last box.. I absolutely love Alternative Apparel and I can thank Tog+Porter for introducing me to them. The maxi dress I raved about in my first box comes from this designer too. The fabric is so soft...but it is polyester blend with cotton. Even though I layered the tanks they are still really see through...and they made it glaringly obvious that my nursing bras are on their last leg. (And maybe it is time for some help through True&Co) I normally don't like anything navy but I do like this one. I'm going to need professional advice on these tanks before I decide whether or not to keep them.

Items 6, 7 and 8 Naked Zebra Open Collar Sleeveless shirt in Emerald $49, TOMS Wedge in Black $69 and Bauble Necklace in Gray (plus gold) $32, my own Gap jeans. I love the color of this shirt. It is see through and it is that "high-low" (ahem, mullet) thing. If we can figure out the see through part I may keep it but I also felt like it may not be a flattering cut?? We will have to see what the professional says. The necklace would be awesome- if it were not gold. And I'm holding the TOMS because I simply can't get my feet into them- I think they may be 1.5 sizes too small. I think they are really cute so I may be hunting them down in my size.
Items #6, #7 & #8

I have heard a few of you say you are planning on trying out Tog+Porter. Please share photos when you do! I definitely look for other photos/reviews every week to get an idea of what others are doing with their pieces.