Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Stitch Fix Review-April 2016

When it arrived a couple of weeks ago, I loved what I saw in my April Stitch Fix because I still want some bright prints for my spring and summer wardrobe! 
There were many cute outfits pictured on the cards they sent with my box.
Once I unfolded everything, I was a little disappointed. I knew some of the styles and lengths wouldn't work great with my complexion and figure.

Here's what I received this month:

Pixley Edmond Henley Knit Top: sent back. This is the second shirt of this type I have received and I wanted a less busy pattern than the first time I got the shirt. This came in my favorite colors, but the print was too crazy for me again and it didn't look great on as a result. I do love that this shirt is soft and really flexible because it can be worn with shorts, pants, or a skirt.
Brixon Ivy Lex Textured Knit Dress: sent back. This was a beautiful dress in a lovely color and print. Two negatives for me stood out though--the color was not flattering on a pale blonde and the fit wasn't the best for someone like me who carries a little more weight in the upper middle section than I like to.
I think this dress would be lovely on a tan brunette!
I saw this print in the box and thought it was pretty cool looking, but the Collective Concepts Caspar Maxi Dress was another disappointment. I sent it back.
I don't think busy patterned maxi dresses look great on petite gals like me. It was not flattering at all.
The 41Hawthorn brand seems to work for me. I liked this Carla Crochet Detail Blouse enough to keep it because I thought it was a cute top for any season, but I thought it was especially bright and fun for spring/summer. 
I pinned this Octavia Brooks Crossbody Bag a while back in a more neutral color, so I was surprised to see a pink purse in my box. This design is absolutely perfect for me, so I kept it because I think I'll get enough use out of it and it's a fun pop of color to add to a black dress or more neutral palette outfit.
Overall, I think my fixes are getting better and my stylist, Sarah, is trying her best to send me things I will really love. I have yet to receive a box of five items I totally love, but I hope to someday.
If you want to support my blog and are interested in checking out stitchfix.comto try it out yourself, please use the links in this post and I will receive a credit for future purchases. Thank you!

Monday, April 25, 2016

My Everyday Life [Week 17]

Week 17 was a great one! 

I was off on Monday and Tuesday, so I was able to try meditating (twice). Once with Dan Harris's podcast's guided meditation. 

And another time with the Calm app. I liked both and I'll probably stick to using Calm moving forward.
One of my lunches at home. I don't get lunch snatchers trying to steal my food at work. Oh Pema, he's always sitting right next to me as I eat.
It was Earth week and Waukesha county offered some great (free) programs! My mom and I took advantage of a green cleaning one and made creamy soft scrub, which works great by the way! I'll do a post on green cleaning soon and share the recipe we used, as well as some other green products I have enjoyed recently.
Retzer Nature Center had an excellent program on raptors of Wisconsin. I am a total bird geek, so this program seriously made my week. The educator was from the Wildlife in Need Center and she was one of the best presenters I have seen in a while. I even reached out to compliment her directly because I was so impressed.

Anyway, Craig and I were lucky enough to see a kestrel, great horned owl, screech owl and a red tailed hawk. I was totally fascinated with them all and now I want to volunteer to feed the baby birds at the Wildlife in Need Center.
Tried to get a little fresh air and take a quick walk at work when I needed a break.
Craig ordered some lovely solar lights that shine cool designs! He was coming down the stairs after putting them all together when I took this photo. 
I received these yummy Russell Stover sugar free bites through BzzAgent and they were tasty!
We had a work retreat at the beautiful Eastside library on Friday afternoon. This was the room we retreated to.
The ceiling was so cool and the furnishings were modern and white, which made me happy.
Also, I was a bit in love with this wooden sculpture and bench in the library. 

I went to Pewaukee on Saturday morning for a haircut and color!
My hair was getting too bleached looking, so I asked for a more sandy color. I think it turned out pretty great! It looks reddish in some lights, but it's only demi-permanent, so the color will fade in about a month. I want to start growing it out and stop coloring it again so I can donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths again.
I stopped by the Pewaukee library (um, total library geek right here) to pick up a book on hold and two lovely pint glasses I won! I entered their library week giveaway by saying why I love their institution and they picked my name.
Shortly after I returned, we headed to Oconomowoc to try a new-to-us Indian restaurant, Mantra Indian Bistro. It was delicious! We asked for medium spicy and it sure was--yay! 
Shadows at Oconomowoc city beach.
Sitting at the beach, enjoying the beautiful day.
The (closed) beach bar had margaritas on their menu and we need to return when it is open in the summer!
Shiva is so cute when he sleeps on our pillows.
Sunday afternoon was spent celebrating Craig's cousin's upcoming wedding at her shower! It was a fun time and I enjoyed being photographer for her.
Phew, quite a busy week! 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Want to get in shape for summer? Try The 4 x 4 Diet by Erin Oprea

I received this book complimentary in exchange for this review via Blogging for Books

Erin Opera's The 4 x 4 Diet is a wonderful resource to get the fitness and nutrition novice started with an accessible and fun plan! Erin is a Personal Trainer and can boast about Carrie Underwood being one of her many celebrity clients (plus Carrie wrote the foreward for the book too). 
She breaks the book into four parts: The Clean and Lean Lifestyle, Eating Clean, Getting Lean, and The 4x4 diet.
Her four main beliefs of her clean eating philosophy include:
  • Cut out starches at night
  • Cut back on sugar
  • Cut back on sodium
  • Cut back on alcohol 
Pretty simple advice, huh? I think most people looking to lose weight can follow that plan and see results fairly quickly. 

When I was a trainer, I often educated my clients about high-intensity interval training like the tabata workouts Erin offers in her book. From everything I have researched, read and tried on myself, I know that the tabata workouts are very effective and enjoyable! I also appreciate that I can do all of the workouts from the comfort of my home with very minimal equipment. 
I tried many of her workouts from the book and enjoyed them all! They were challenging and fast paced.

I'd definitely recommend The 4 x 4 Diet! I look forward to following her plan since I want to get a little more in shape for the summer season.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

My Everyday Life [Week 16]

Finally watched a few episodes of Cooked on Netflix this week. I started with the fire episode, which involved lots of meat and I had to turn away a lot of the time.
I attended an excellent (& free) class on fueling for running at Performance Running Outfitters. This was my haul and we got to try so many products after the class was over too. I definitely had some favorites. Can't wait to try some of these on longer runs and bike rides. 
Yes please! Wait, actually I changed my mind. I'd like to retire at 36 instead (in 4 months).
Door to Door Organics order! It was our first time trying Red Hen bread. I only recently learned that Craig loves sourdough. Even though I haven't watched the episode about bread yet on Cooked, I was inspired by the tweets I keep seeing of people's sourdough loaves.
On Thursday morning, I was about 5 minutes away from work when I got a text from Craig saying he was locked out of the house. Up until this weekend, we were the only two people with keys, so I had to punch in, check with my boss, grab a few things to work on, punch out and head all the way back home to stay there and work the rest of the day. I think his mistake was a blessing in disguise because working from home > being in the office. Loved being with my kitties, sunlight streaming in through a window, working in my sweats and no distractions. I got so much done!
When I was all done and "punched out" late afternoon, I went for a nice walk around the neighborhood.
 Is it weird that I love seeing the progress of new home sites being built?
I was off of work on Friday morning because I had to work 2nd shift, so I went to Good Harvest for a great class on muscle imbalances and spring cleaning. I learned a lot! I shopped after and ended up with the following. That Seattle Cider Co. berry cider was consumed this weekend and it was delicious. Can't wait to try more from them. Oh and I've decided that Stonyfield banilla yogurt tastes like banana cream pie.
We headed to ACE hardware on Saturday morning to get some extra keys made and I saw this cute kitchen towel. I should have purchased it.
And I liked this, of course. 
I was keen on purchasing an adirondack chair this spring and we went home with one in my favorite color, teal. It's so comfy and now lives on our front porch.
After a few errands, we went to downtown Pewaukee. I grabbed a few things at a cute pet store and then we a got banana cream pie ice cream waffle cone to share at the Chocolate Factory. It was a gorgeous Saturday, so downtown and the beach were pretty busy!
We walked to a pond and spotted some cute turtles sitting on a log. Craig's a big fan of turtles and it turns out I am too. 
I made my first acai smoothie bowl at home Sunday morning! It's not overly sweet, which I kind of liked.
 Craig smiling after being silly. I love it when he smiles this way.
Silly face. 
 Tanzi looks so sweet here. He's such a nice kitty.
We worked in our yard the majority of the weekend, removing dead parts of plants and picking up sticks, etc. Love seeing the new growth already starting!
It was such an unbelievably gorgeous weekend. I felt much more energetic as a result of the sun and warmer temps. It helped that I could finally wear my beloved Birkenstock sandals and shorts again.
Berry hard cider and a new magazine. 
We tried a new Mexican restaurant near our house. I was convinced the margarita pitcher we ordered had no alcohol in it.
I got a pretty yummy taco salad filled with lots of veggies and topped it with sour cream and guacamole!
Where we spent a lot of the weekend. It's looking better and cleaned up now. I like the hay like grass plants in the foreground when they're much taller.
Have a wonderful week! I'm starting mine out with two vacation days from work!