Monday, June 15, 2015

Stitch Fix Maternity - June 2015

As always, I was so excited to see that my Stitch Fix box was on its way once again!

Have you heard of Stitch Fix? Probably. But in case you haven't, here's how it works:

{about stitch fix}

Stitch Fix is an online styling/shopping service. For a $20 fee, they send you five clothing or accessory pieces that a personal stylist has chosen just for you, based on your style profile, special notes to your stylist, and even your Pinterest boards. When you receive your box, you can choose to buy as many of the items as you want, and then return what you don't want in your return bag (postage is prepaid!). Your $20 styling fee applies to anything you purchase, and if you love everything, you get a 25% discount on your entire box!

So basically, it's a ton of fun. You can choose to receive just one box (no subscription required!), or you can subscribe to receive boxes every 2-3 weeks, monthly, every other month, or quarterly. Basically, when you need a fix, you can get one. That sounds weird, but whatever.

Stitch Fix also offers petite and maternity options now, and if you haven't heard, I'm pregnant. So yay!

{my maternity stitch fix - june 2015}

This is my fourth maternity Stitch Fix (read about my others herehere, and here, if you want). In general, I've been keeping one or two things from my boxes, but I can't say I've had one that has really blown me away yet. Did that change this month? Well, read on, and you shall see...

Here's what my June box contained:

LA Made Maternity Brentford Maternity Knit Tank ($48)

first impressions: STITCH FIX: WHY DO YOU INSIST ON SENDING ME SLEEVELESS THINGS? I know it sounds weird, but I can ONLY wear sleeveless things when it's cooler outside because I have to layer them. And while it is only supposed to hit 109 tomorrow, I'm not sure that qualifies as cool enough for layering.

on me:

thoughts: If you couldn't tell from the photos, I'm not impressed. Not only is this preeetty much just a basic navy tank top that costs $50, but it also hangs funny below the bump. Oh and did I mention I have to layer it to wear it? RETURN. 

41Hawthorn Queensland Dolman Jersey Top ($48)

first impressions:  This is probably a result of all the gushing I did over the 41Hawthorn dolman top I got (and kept!) last month. I still love that shirt and wear it all.the.time. Two days this week, in fact. And this one -- what a pretty blue!

on me:

thoughts: I'm not gonna lie, I'm a sucker for blues and purples in clothes. I think they work well on me. And like the other top, this one will probably work well for nursing and will transition well into my post-baby wardrobe. I'm mostly sure that this is a keeper, but I'm slightly unsure because the dolman-ness of this top seems a bit extreme. Are the saggy underarms way too much? This one also lacks the exposed zipper in the back, which is my favorite feature on the other one. So, UNDECIDED.

Renee C Kira Printed Maxi Skirt ($58)

first impressions:  I have a hard time swallowing the price, since $25 printed maxis are in no short supply at Target. Also, doubleyou-tee-eff with the crazy prints? Stitch Fix loves a crazy-print maxi, that's for dang sure.

on me:

thoughts: Nothing special, and in fact oddly long. The print is just bad. This is one I just don't really like. RETURN.

Stitch Fix 3-Pack Maternity Cami ($44)

first impressions:  Dang it, I knew I'd get these eventually. It seems like every maternity subscription is bound to get them, at some point. I don't want these. 

on me:

Ummm...honestly, I didn't even try these on.

thoughts: I know not trying something on is like, breaking the cardinal rule of Stitch Fix-ing, but I really just didn't want these! I have no use for them. They feel like perfectly good camis and are actually buttery soft, but even if they were made from actual butter, I wouldn't want them. (Probably.) RETURN.

LA Made Maternity Welling V-Neck Maternity Knit Top ($48)

first impressions: Nice color, nice length. Not much else. 

on me:

thoughts: Nice color, nice length. Not much else. Ha. Apparently my first impression was right on the money with this one. There is a lot to like about it. The color really is pretty, and the fit is fine. I also like the fabric -- it's lightweight, but not see-through. It's also kind of a super light sweater material that would transition great into fall. But it's also rather plain and unexciting. I guess that leaves room to add accessories and stuff, though? I just don't know. UNDECIDED. 


I think of all the boxes I've received, this one has been the most disappointing. Mostly because it was so far off from what I put in my note to my stylist. I've heard that being frank and specific with your stylist is what really makes Stitch Fix successful, but that just didn't work here. My note mentioned a solid white tee, other tops that would transition to after baby, and maybe a sheer floral kimono. So...yeah, not quite. It honestly makes me wonder if their options for maternity clothes are still super limited, you know? I'm thinking I'll keep one of the tops I liked, since my styling fee will apply toward it. Probably not going to pay full price for the other one, though. 

And that's it for my June maternity Stitch Fix review. Any thoughts on which top I should keep?

Disclosure: Links to Stitch Fix are referral links that get me a reward if you're so inclined to sign up through them. You guys are da best! 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

31 weeks

Obviously, a post at 30 weeks would have made more sense, since 30 is like, an even number or something.

But I like to keep you guys guessing. We have to keep this relationship exciting, you know?

And so, while you'll never know how my pregnancy was going at 30 weeks, you do get to know all about how Little Miss and I are doing at 31 weeks. Special!

Due date: August 11! I've never had a due date change with any of my babies, so I guess I shouldn't start now.

Weight gain: When I went to the doctor a week ago, I'd gained 20 pounds. So...maybe a little more than that? I could walk the 20 steps to my bathroom and weigh myself... but, you know, walking.

Baby size: My handy dandy tracker app says that baby girl is now the size of not one, not two, but FOUR navel oranges. I'm honestly slightly confused by this one. Are these navel oranges lined up end to end? Set up two by two? Morphed together into one giant super navel orange? This kinda sorta tells me nothing.

Sleep: I occasionally have a hard time falling asleep (I've been getting the restless leg thing going on recently and yikes!) and I still wake up at least once to pee...but I barely even notice it nowadays because peeing is my life.

Aches/pains: Thankfully, mercifully, my SPD-like symptoms haven't been bothering my lately (throw the salt! Knock the wood! Do all the things!). But I do groan basically every time I stand up, as gravity attacks. I'm also getting the occasional jab of round ligament pain, which usually is bad enough to leave me a bit breathless. Ooh, and the Braxton Hicks have started in earnest. That's always fun.

Cravings: Same as before. Although, it's hard to call those things "cravings" now. It's more like they've made their way into my standard food rotation. I can't really think of anything new that I've seriously craved. 

Random: As if you couldn't tell from the above picture, I'm super crazy ultra tired. I look it and I feel it and it's just rough. Everything just exhausts me. I've been waaaay worse at exercise lately, which probably has something to do with it. 

I'm also an emotional mess. About everything. I cried when I watched this video of a hypothetical race between Secretariat and American Pharoah. I mean, I've never watched a horse race in my life. Horse racing isn't even on my radar. But you guys! So many dreams coming true! (I think...)

Finally, I've been feeling so much anxiety lately. Thinking about all the ways this baby is going to change my life just overwhelms me. I've felt this way, to some extent, before each of my other kids was born, but this time is much worse. I'm still wrapping my head around what I'm truly afraid of and what I'm not ready for, but hopefully I'm able to at least start to address those issues before Baby Girl arrives in 9 (!!!) weeks or so. 

Happy Wednesday, people. Hope it's a good one!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Seeing Maddy See Me

Late last Friday night, my girls were coming home from visiting Dallin's parents in Dallas. They'd been gone for eleven days (the original plan was eight, but the weather in Dallas had other plans).

Their flight was scheduled to land at 1:29 AM, and I had to go pick them up. I decided to just stay up rather than go to bed and wake up. (I mean, really, who likes waking up?) Dallin was away on a scout campout, so I had to get Parker out of bed and loaded into the car. I thought he'd sleep the whole way, but he was actually wide awake and jabbering the whole time. I didn't mind. I was excited.

The girls had been a little disappointed when their original flight home was cancelled. They'd done pretty well on the trip, and they were definitely well cared for, but they are three and five...they were a little homesick. And while I had definitely enjoyed a bit of a mommy break (we even left Parker with my mom for a few days and got a little babymoon to San Diego out of it), I was ready to see my girls.

I pulled up to the airport around 1:30 AM. Being, you know, the middle of the night, I ignored the "No parking at any time" signs and just parked by the curb to wait. After ten or fifteen minutes of knee-bouncing anticipation, I saw my mother-in-law walk out of the airport, carrying a sleeping Charly and pushing an awake Maddy in an umbrella stroller.

I wasn't going to cry. Honest. Even when I saw them, I didn't feel like crying. I was just happy they'd made it and excited to see them.

But then, Maddy saw me.

I know she was tired, and my sweet girl gets super emotional when she's tired...but the emotions on her face when she saw me....I just don't want to forget them.

Her eyes got wide and she looked like she was trying so hard to be excited. She held her arms out towards me. She got the beginnings of a big, open-mouthed smile on her face, but I could tell a sob was right on the edge of it. And then, right before I pulled her into a long awaited hug, she mouthed the word "Mama!" and broke down.

And so, of course, I did too.

She gave me a real, honest to goodness, I-could-hold-on-to-you-forever kind of hug that I'm not sure I've ever gotten from her before. My heart was beating out of my chest, and streaming down my face, and wrapped up in my arms, all at once.

The truth is, I think a lot about how much I love my kids. I worry about them, pray for them, dress and feed them, hurt with them, and try to teach them right from wrong. I want them to be happy and successful and fulfilled and good, because of how much I love them. And as long as I remember to stop and think in the midst of the chaos that is everyday life, or if I happen to have some precious, quiet moment with one of them at some point in the day, it's easy to remember why I put myself through the struggle that is motherhood. It's because I love these little people of mine. I love them like crazy.

But seeing Maddy see me at the airport reminded me of something: they love me like crazy, too. They love me and want me and need me. I'm their mama, and I'm special to them in a way that no one else is.

To be loved in this way is empowering. It really is. It makes me care a little less about what other people think of me. It makes me not only want to be a great mom, it makes me feel like I could really do it. I could be that. In my kids' eyes, I am that.

They don't see my failures and shortcomings  -- the stupid things I say, the talents I don't have, the patience I lose way too often. They see the tickle fights and the songs before bed and the times we play restaurant at lunch. They ask me questions because they think I'm smart. They play with my makeup and clothes because they think I'm pretty. They cry for me when they're hurt because I make them feel better. Me. Can you believe it? Can you believe how lucky I am?

 At some point during my hug with Maddy at the airport, I opened my eyes and actually made eye contact with a stranger walking by. He smiled a bit as he observed our special moment, and I tried as hard as I could to give him a look back that said, "I don't know you, but I hope you have this."

And to you, reading this. I hope you have it, too. Maybe not from a child, maybe not yet. But from somewhere, I hope you feel loved like this. And I hope you cherish it.

And I hope that, from now on, I'll remember to cherish it a little more.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Trying New Things: May 2015

June, already? Dang, 2015, you're just flying by, aren't you?

I've been enjoying doing monthly reviews of new products I try each month (here's March's post and here's April's). Mostly I just love trying new things and sharing them with you guys!

(No affiliate links, provided products, or sponsored reviews in this post, because c'mon, I'm not that big of a deal. Just stuff that I wanted to try out and talk about with my friends!)

First up, let's talk dry shampoo. This month I tried out a new one: Batiste.

You use dry shampoo, right? Good, because it's a lifesaver. I have thick hair that tends to be on the frizzy side, but my roots get oily fairly quickly so the top of my hair can look greasy and weighed down, which is no bueno.

Dry shampoo is the solution. It absorbs oil and adds lift and texture to your hair so that you can go longer between washings -- because really, I'm pretty sure part of the American dream involves only washing your hair once a week.

But anyway, if you've ever Googled "best dry shampoo," it's likely you've come across Batiste. This brand has quite the reputation, and I'm happy to report that after trying it out, I can see why!

I liked my last dry shampoo (it's this Not Your Mother's one and it's great if you want an even cheaper option), but the Batiste outperformed it. Noticeably. It packs a punch when you first put it on, meaning you don't have to use much to get good results. But the real wow factor is how long it lasts in my hair. I can feel the texture it gives even at the end of the day.

Batiste's website (which is worth a visit if only to laugh at the cheesy model shot with the unmoving face and the flowy hair) says it's available at Target and Walmart, but I couldn't find it at either of those places. I got mine at CVS for about $9. Try it out!

Next, NYX Cosmetics Eyebrow Shaper.

Everyone knows how important it is for your eyebrows to be on fleek nowadays. Everyone also knows that "on fleek" is a made up phrase that means absolutely nothing and makes you sound silly. 

My biggest problem with my brows is that they grow long. And they start to curl. Which is weird. Trimming with scissors is obviously an option... but a much less desirable one now that I've accidentally trimmed my LASHES at the same time. (That is a true story and it's still too soon to talk about it. Shudder.)

So after some quick research, I decided to give this little $8 wax pencil a shot. Where have you been all my life, little $8 wax pencil?!

I tried to get you a before and after shot of my brows, but wow, that's difficult. So you'll just have to trust me when I say that this tames my long, curly eyebrows. They stay put all day. And I love the pencil format: it's easy to control and I don't get wax on my fingers. Plus it helps my brow powder stay on as well, so I can get the more natural look of powder, but with added staying power. 

Two thumbs up for this one!

And finally, because you should have known that you weren't getting through this post without it, S'mores Oreos. Or S'moreos, depending on how creative/awesome you're feeling. 

I bought these because S'MORES. OREOS.

Now, Dallin thinks these are close-your-eyes-and-savor-it level of good. I'm slightly less enthusiastic. I mean, don't get me wrong -- they're fantastic. The cookie has a good graham cracker flavor to it, and the cream is as delicious as the classic cream, with a slightly different flavor. 

But if I'm being picky, the cream's flavor isn't really distinct enough to make it hugely different from a classic Oreo. I only get a hint of chocolate and not really any marshmallow, so that's kind of disappointing. Plus they have kind of a weird aftertaste...but that can always be avoided by just eating another one, right? Either way, it didn't stop me from buying a second package after the first was gone.

I'd say, if you're an Oreo fan, you'll like these, and they're definitely worth trying. If you're all about the s'more and not the Oreo as much, you'll probably be let down. 

Now I need to try the cotton candy ones...

And that'll do it for May! Anyone else tried anything new and share-worthy lately?