Sunday, July 26, 2015

Stitch Fix #1 - May

There is a group of people at work who are subscribing to Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix is a company that provides clothing via mail based on a series of questions you fill out. You have three days to return any clothing you don't want. You get a styling guide (see above) which I like that gives you ideas (casual and dressy) for the pieces. 

The price for a "fix" is $20 (which is called a "styling fee"). You can deduct the "styling fee" from any item you purchase. If you purchase all the items in your box you can get a hefty discount. 

The biggest problem I had with Stitch Fix initially is that the maximum size they provide is 14 (XL). This is a problem because I am at the highest range of this scale. I am a solid 16 with the ability to fit into a 14 with the help of compression garments. I decided to give it a go anyway mainly because I hate clothes shopping. I have no sense of style and always look to the store displays for outfit ideas. I figured the worst case scenario would be I was out $20.  

I'm sure the stylist assigned to me thought I was the most boring person in the world. I very specifically said I don't want any dresses, skirts, jackets, or purses. I tend to wear pants (long or capri) to work, I move around a lot and need pockets and the ability to feel like I can stand up, sit down, or get up and down from any floor comfortably. I am not a "purse person" i.e. someone who changes out purses to match outfits or seasons. Give me one good purse and I am fine...forever. Jackets were a definite no because I live in the south and I rarely wear one because it is so hot.

I did some research before I plunged in (I read other reviews and looked up videos on YouTube). Probably the best advice was that you should try on all the clothes in a fix BEFORE looking at the prices (which was good piece of advice since some of the prices might deter you from even trying something on). This is what I got in my first fix (I got five items total - which is the norm). 

This shirt wasn't too bad but didn't WOW me. It fit so....YAY to that! It could have been a bit longer. I returned it.

This shirt was longer but too baggy, particularly in the arm holes. The way the shirt was cut also required strapless bra, which oddly enough I don't have. I am not opposed to getting one...just not for this shirt. It got returned.

The shirt was TOO TIGHT mainly around the arms and bust. It got returned

I got these distressed jean capris. I have to tell you I was THRILLED that I fit in the size 14. I wasn't thrilled with the distressed aspect (buying jeans with holes in them?!?!). I would have loved them without the distressed aspect. The price on these were $88 (ouch!). This was the only thing I liked out of the fix so I either bought these (I could deduct my $20 styling fee) or loose $20. I decided to get out of my comfort zone (as far as distressed clothing went) and purchased them. I did make a note on my account that I don't want any more distressed items. Since I have purchased them they have become my "go to" jeans of the summer. I love them! I would still like a pair without the holes (I need to research those but feel hard pressed to spend another $88 no matter how much I like them). 

The last item were these silver tear drop earrings. I noted that I prefer silver jewelry over gold so I am glad that was taken into consideration. They were too big for me and something I would never wear so they got returned. 

All in all it wasn't a bad first experience. It was fun to get the package and try on the clothes. I have decided I would try it for five months (total of $100 in styling fees) and see how I felt about it after that. 

If you would like to try it please note that they have a referral program. If you sign up I get a credit of $25 (I signed up under a friend of mine so she got the credit). Here is my REFERRAL LINK if you are interested. 

Yeti Cups - Review

I recently bought a Yeti tumbler...for $40! I was on the fence buying one but a friend had one at the beach drinking a frozen slushy vodka drink out of it (Pinterest search "frozen vodka drinks" and there are a ton out there). What impressed me was the entire time on the beach her drink stayed slushy in the cup (impressive).

I bought one at a local store and waffled between the 20 oz and the 30 oz. Another friend who has one said 20 oz but I thought "go big"....I wish I had "gone small". The 30 oz is excessive and not easy to handle but oh well...lesson learned...when I add my vodka slushy drink I never fill it up to the top...I usually stop half way (so a 20 oz would have worked).

This is a first generation product and it needs some improving. It definitely keeps ice and drinks colder then the Tervis tumblers I use. Recently I parked my car for 3 hours and left my Yeti tumbler in there (with ice and water) and everything stayed COLD (some ice had melted but I still had ice in it). I took my Tervis water bottle filled to the rim with ice and water and walked a beach for 2 hours with it in a drawstring bag and the ice was melted and the water was lukewarm. It outscored the Tervis in that regard hands down. Where it fails is its lid, ability to carry easily, and coloring.

If you look at the second picture you will see that the Yeti lid has a drink opening but no way to secure that opening. My Tervis cups all have a way to lock down the opening so if I accidentally drop it or knock it over water isn't going to come gushing out. Not so with the Yeti. I have knocked mine over, had it tip over in a beach bag, and fall forward in my moving car and had to mop up the mess afterward. They really need to design a better lid (really how hard could that be?!?!). Another problem with the lid opening is that it is small'ish. You can't put a hard straw through it. You can put a straw in it that you can bend flat to slide in but since I have a lot of hard straws that doesn't help me.

The second problem is the ability to carry it easily. Part of that has to do with sloshing water out of it because there is no you have to hand carry (you can't throw it in a drawstring bag if you go walking or biking - so using it for exercise is out for me). The other part is that it is noticeably heavier than a Tervis and a bit more awkward as far as handling. It is almost impossible to hold the Yeti and any other object that might be in your hand. I like my Tervis water bottle design (see last picture) where I can loop a finger through the ring to carry (instead of using my whole hand).

My last complaint is the coloring. There is only one color...metallic silver. That makes it hard to identify when you are with other Yeti users. I went to a craft fair and had a name plate put on mine by a vendor ($5 - see last picture). If you Google "Yeti" on Etsy there are lots of places that sell monogrammed stickers and etching options for Yeti identification (some at a reasonable price). Since you have to hand wash the cup (no dishwasher like a Tervis) any vinyl stickers should stay on quite awhile. Tervis offers a ton of coloring options and I would think that Yeti could offer some generic ones as well (see my generic South Carolina Tervis above).

Bottom line - I will use my Yeti in situations where I am not moving around a lot (i.e. staying at a desk all day or trapped in a meeting). I'll fill it up at home with ice but fill it with water on site as opposed to at home to avoid spillage while moving between home and work (I teach and carry a bunch of bags and supplies between schools so it is 100% guaranteed to spill if I tuck it in any of my bags filled with water).

I'm hoping they improve upon these design flaws so I can use it more of an "every day" tumbler as opposed to an "occasional" tumbler.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dawn and Vinegar Bathroom Cleaner - Review

This week I FINALLY tried the vinegar and dawn bathroom cleaning solution. I did one cup of vinegar (heated in the spray bottle for 1:40 aid in the mixture of the two solutions...per this blog post) and one cup of the dawn. I sprayed pretty much the two cups in my nasty bathtub...don't judge..I do have before and after pictures but those ARE NOT going on this blog. The amount of wait time seems to vary among people on the internet so I opted for an hour (I told you my bathtub was nasty!). I used a green scrubbing pad and went to work (I had to apply elbow grease in some areas...remember...nasty tub!). 

I really liked the outcome much better than over the Tilex I normally (and apparently infrequently) use. Definitely two thumbs up and I will use it again (probably not anytime soon as history has judged :).

The Home T - Review

A found a friend of wearing a South Carolina T-Shirt and asked her where she got it. She said she got it from The Home T website. When I looked into it I found out that the were also featured on the show Shark Tank.

It was super cute and I decided to get one for me and for a friend who had a BIG birthday coming up. (see picture above).

I freaked out about the size. I waffle between a large and XL and wanted to make sure I had the right size. I got an XL for me and a M for her...when I got them they were too big :(. I had to return them and get a size down for both of us (which created a birthday gift delay).

My SC shirt is super comfy and soft and has quickly become a shirt I wear often. I get a lot of comments on it as well.

My thoughts on the shirt:

- It is true to size so order what you normally wear. If you are between sizes, like me, order down a size.
- They only offer unisex sizes. I would like to see them branch out to women's cut shirts.
- They only have two colors - heather grey and a heather blue. More colors would be nice.
- Each shirt costs $30 which is pricey for a shirt (although I have done Fun Run's and paid more for a race shirt). A portion of the proceeds do go to Multiple Sclerosis research so at least you can feel better about spending that much on a shirt. If you want a "v neck" shirt it is $32.
- They make a pretty original gift (my friend...from Boston...LOVED hers). I'm thinking about getting them as Christmas gifts for my sister and niece.

Monogrammed Shoes

Here in Beaufort, SC we are in the middle of our yearly Water Festival. One aspect of this 10 day festival that I love is the craft fair. 

This year monogramming tents were HUGE...I counted four! One of the tents had these adorable monogrammed sandals for $25. Unbelievably I have lived in the south for 18 years and don't own ANY wearable monogrammed items but these caught my eye. They are a new vendor to the Water Festival so it felt good to support them. 

I bought the black pair first and loved the nude/tan pair so much I bought them several days later. Sadly I waited a little too long and they didn't have my size, 7.5, so I bought them in 7 (which is fine in a sandal for me). 

They do have an Etsy store titled Booth209. The sandals are on sale there for $29. 

The first question I get is "Are they Comfortable?". For me, yes. They are pretty flat to the ground and don't have a thick sole so not a lot of support (something to consider if you have problem feet). The shoes brand is "Sunny Feet." I wear a lot of "flip flop" type sandals so they are fine for me. They are definitely not something I would wear for a lot of walking but I would wear them to work (on a day were I am not doing a lot of walking around a school) or to a nice social occasion like dinner or a wedding. I also thought they would be super cute for a bridal party (I have a niece planning a beach wedding and these made me think of her). 

I can't speak to how well they hold up...yet. Note that that they are $25 so I don't have a high level of expectations that they will last past a year of regular wear. There was a manufacturer defect on one of the side straps when I picked up my black pair (which might speak to the quality). The owners replaced those immediately for me.

Right now I am super happy with them and posted my pictures on my Facebook page and have had several friends go to buy them. If you are looking for a cute, inexpensive, pair of monogrammed sandals for the summer you might want to consider these.