Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Happy Birthday, Gutsy Dad!

Stitch Fix Obsessed

I owe many, many moments of inspiration to Stephanie Howell (whom I finally had the pleasure of meeting--just before she moved, of course). Not the least of these inspirations is the aforementioned Kiwi Crate idea, which I can already tell is going to be a monthly lifesaver during this RLBT.

Right now, however, I cannot get over Stitch Fix. This is a busy mama's dream come true.

Here's how it works.  First, you go online and fill out a profile.  (There is an invitation and waiting list process to go through--well worth it.)  You describe your size, your style, and your budget.  You rate groupings of clothing as to how well they match your style.  You tell your future stylist anything else she might need to know about you to best "get" your style.  You can even submit a link to a Pinterest board so that your stylist can see exactly what you like.  You also have the option of telling your stylist whether you would like accessories included or not, or whether or not to include any particular items of clothing (e.g. no dresses).

Then, whenever you want a "fix," you go online and schedule one. There is no contractual obligation or monthly opt-in or opt-out. For every fix, there is a styling fee of $20, which you can then apply towards purchasing any item in your fix.  (Here's the link to get an invitation for your own Fix.)

On or around the day of your scheduled fix, a beautiful box will appear on your doorstep (free shipping), with five items selected just for you.  You have three days to try things on and see what works.  The best part here is that you can try things on in the comfort of your own home (when your children are asleep), and you can try pieces on with things you already own to see what will work.

You pay for anything you want to keep, applying the $20 styling fee to your total.  If you keep all five items, you take an additional 25% off.

Anything you do not wish to keep, you put in a postage-paid mailer (included) and drop in the mail.

I wish I had more pictures to share with you from my first fix, but I was too enraptured (okay, too busy and distracted) to bother with photos. But here is my favorite item, which I kept:

I love the charcoal and cream, the tiered layers, and the fact that I would NEVER have found this unique piece on my own.

One of the things they sent me in that first fix was a GORGEOUS orange dress from BCBG.  Alas, it did not fit me correctly.  (Right size, wrong cut for me.)  

There was also a blue chiffon peasant top that would have been perfect for me if it weren't for the random cut-outs that made it look cheap. 

Next, there was a necklace that was not special enough to justify the price.  I liked the style, just not the price.

Lastly, there was a nifty royal blue knitted blazer, that actually looked quite fetching on me -- but I would never, ever wear such a thing.  

After fighting against the urge to keep everything anyway, I made the wise decision to keep only the striped top. The rest went back.

I went online and explained all the reasons I sent back the four rejected items.

Well, let me tell you what.  That feedback seems to have been taken to heart.  The second fix was a TOTAL score.  My stylist was 5 for 5 on picking items I would like.

First there was this gorgeous, silk scarf dress. I wore it to church the very next day.  That's called just-in-time delivery, I do believe.

Then this top. It's a gorgeous, drapey jersey that is buttery soft.

Next, there's this dress. I love the geo pattern and the somewhat retro cut.

Next, a classic bracelet. I loved it immediately; it is like nothing else I own; instant keeper.

Finally, there was this top, which I almost didn't keep, until I realized that it went perfectly with a favorite pair of sandals (below), and that it would be cheaper to keep it and get the 25% discount than to not get it.

As it turns out, I love the button clusters, the tabs down by the hips, and the gathers around the bust.  I've worn this top twice already, and received compliments each time.  

There's cool ruching across the shoulders on the back, which you can only barely see in this photo.

Here's the link to get your own Fix.

I'm thinking two things.  First, if the kids are getting a box of fun delivered every month from Kiwi Crate while the Gutsy Dad is gone, certainly I deserve my own box of fun, right?  Second, I think it is best for everyone involved if I only do this once a month.

PS: if you do use my referral link, I get a little credit to apply towards my April fix.  Thank you muchly!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

One Month Down

We made it a month.  One whole month down, and only eight to go.  I keep thinking it's as if we are a third of the way through a regular 12-monther.  And if this were a VERY ridiculously long RLBT (a 15-monther), we'd be almost halfway through.  Wild to think about the fact that last time around, when I had eight months to go, I had already endured seven whole months.


Here's what we've been up to.

Playing with the first Kiwi Crate from Papa.  The theme of our first kit was "playful pets."  The girls made pom pom pets and then constructed mini playgrounds that were totally awesome.  I should probably do a whole blog post on the coolness of this company, but we'll save that for another day (ha ha ha ha).

Sunday night dinners out--one of my favorite rituals of a RLBT.  This time around they began with our group's Last Dad Standing nobly corralling ten kids while the mommies talked.  (He is now on a RLBT with the other dads.)

St. Patrick's Day Weekend means the greening of the fountain in Forsythe Park. I love Savannah this time of year.

Colorful camo thanks to face painting kits from Aunt Covie and Uncle Matt.

Come to school dressed as your favorite character from a book.  Here's Mary Ingalls.

Belt promotion!  From yellow to camo and up to Jr. Black Belt Club.  

Ready for big sister's parade.

Takin' it to the streets during karate.

Ready for the "Tasting of the Green" at school.

More Kiwi Crate fun.  This time the theme was "Secret Agents."  They made disguises. They made periscopes to peer around corners.  They armed themselves with secret journals, code names, "invisible" ink (visible only under mini black lights, provided!), and went exploring.


Making treats for Papa.

Enjoying the company of good friends.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

One Week Down

Well, we made it one week.  And, aside from the first 48 hours (to be discussed in a different post), the week went pretty smoothly.  

Here are images from our last full day together.

Please note the four binkies in the photo below (two in mouth):

Pile on papa:

Sneaking love notes into the luggage:

Trying to sneak themselves into the luggage:

The note says something like "if you work and work, work work work work work work, you will be home in no time!"

A final photo before loading up the van:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

And He's Off

I'll just say this for tonight: it doesn't get any easier.  Saying goodbye is terribly hard no matter how many times you do it, and no matter that it is "only" nine months.  We had a beautiful last day together as a family, followed by a semi-crazy departure morning.  I've got these stories in pictures waiting to be told...

And my man on a plane somewhere far, far away.

But for tonight, for me, it's time for sleep. Tomorrow, the countdown begins.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

On the Brighter Side

Whenever I try to clean crumbs out from under Bronwen's chin, I get this:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

RLBT Blues

He leaves on Saturday.  It’s Tuesday now, and I am sad.  Just really, really sad.  And I’m tired.  I’m constantly second guessing whether I am using each minute of the day in the best possible way.

I worry that if I don’t make a special effort this week, I will regret it after he leaves.  I worry if I do make a special effort that it will seem artificial.

I keep saying to myself over and over and over: it is only nine months.  I can handle that.  And, honestly, I’m really pretty sure I can.  I just can’t handle this week.

I feel lonely for him at night, even though he’s right there sleeping beside me.

I am stuck in the pointless torture of pre-missing him, of choking up at every little thing.  I choke up seeing him sitting with the girls--all three--at church, seeing how deftly he manages them, sneaking waves or eyebrow raises across the altar to where I sit with the choir.

I choke up when he bends down to pat the dogs, muttering “you’re a good dog” second naturedly.

I choke up when the kids--all three--run to greet him and hug him at the door when he gets home at night, ready for baths and stories.  They pile onto his lap--all three--and wiggle and giggle and jockey around.

I sob outright when they clamber into bed with us in the wee, small hours to get extra snuggles in.

The big kids talk about him going away, casually, at breakfast, doing the mental math to figure out how old everyone will be when he gets back.  I ache inside because of what they clearly understand about it, and because of what they clearly do not.

I really love our life, you know I do.  But this is the hard part. It is the very hardest thing we do. Harder than all the moves, harder than the workplace politics, harder than the many, many late nights.

It’s just plain hard.