Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Ordinary Details

This summer, I've gotten into a habit of stepping outside first thing each morning to let the dog out, inspect the tomatoes and the roses, and assess the humidity. Sometimes, I grab my camera on the way out, and I take a little time to look for interesting or unusual aspects of our otherwise ordinary backyard. On one of those mornings a couple of weeks ago, I spied this tiny mushroom that had sprouted up after yet another early summer rain.

My favorite lens, a 60mm macro, allows me to capture details I might have otherwise missed.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Stitch Fix July 2015 | Fix #2

I suppose I've been living under a rock for the last couple of years, because I just learned about Stitch Fix a couple of months ago! I used to love shopping when I had more time. Nowadays, though, I usually feel too rushed to browse, and the last time I went shopping with a specific event in mind, I came home exhausted, frustrated, and empty-handed. With Stitch Fix, though, I'm able to leave a note for my stylist about any upcoming events or occasions, along with information about my preferred colors, styles, and fit requirements.

My first fix was delivered in May, and it was a delight. Unfortunately, I didn't think to photograph the items from that fix. I purchased two tops from that box, and I wear them both regularly. I had mentioned needing to break out of my t-shirt and bermuda shorts rut for weekend lunches and after-work outings. My stylist, Marisa, did an outstanding job of finding some adorable items that fit the bill perfectly.

This time, Kim styled my box. I had written in my notes that we'll be headed to the beach this month, and I'd like some fun and comfy pieces for the beach and travel. In her note to me, she mentioned that she had browsed my Pinterest board, and she acknowledged my hesitance to wear hi-low hemlines. The personal notes from the stylists are a special touch that shows they're really paying attention to your needs. It's much appreciated! I also look forward to the style cards that are included with each fix. I can always use a little additional style coaching.

My first impression: Not too beachy, but the colors are great.

This fix was scheduled to arrive on July 6, and it was delivered 4 days early! I couldn't wait to dive right in.

I was very excited to see this necklace. A few nights ago, I was wishing for a necklace exactly like this to wear with one of the tops I purchased in my first Stitch Fix. I'm definitely keeping it.
Bancroft Kara Hammer Coin Long Necklace
For reference, I am 5' 1.5" (that 1/2 inch counts!) tall. I currently weigh around 128 pounds. The top and dresses here are size Medium, and the shorts are size 28. I've lost about 5 pounds since my last fix, and I think it's time to size down for tops and dresses.

The first items I tried on were the Skies are Blue Abiga Lace Detail Knit Tank and the Dear John Finnegan Roll Cuff Chino Short. At this point, my suspicions were confirmed that I should ask for some smaller sizes. Sadly, these items just didn't wow me, and some of that can be attributed to the fit. The shorts and the tank are going back.

I'm not sure what kind of bra would be best with this top.

The shorts are comfy and cute, but I just didn't fall in love them. 

Here you can see the Kara necklace along with a bit of the lace detail from the Abiga tank.

The next item I tried on was the Pixley Lilith dress.  My stylist noted that even though I'm not a fan of hi-low hemlines, I might still like this dress since the bi-level hem isn't super drastic. She was right--it wasn't terrible, but it didn't knock my sandals off. The back lace detail was pretty, and I really loved the pleats in the back. That was a surprising and subtle way to add femininity. A strapless bra, or maybe one with criss-cross straps would be a must, though--I had to tuck my bra straps in very carefully.  This dress fit perfectly through the chest and hips, but I would have preferred a straight hemline. Because of the hi-low hemline and the fact that I have little occasion to wear a dress like this, I'm sending it back.

The Loveappella Montel dress was a big miss. The fabric was deliciously soft, but the cut was awkward and too baggy. From the front, it's pretty cute. I like the dolman sleeves and the defined waist. The back, however, was another story:

 I think you can see where there is a lot of extra bagginess right above the waist. Also, the bottom piece of lace only barely covers my bra. I may have liked this dress a lot more if the back been entirely enclosed and the fit had been less baggy.

Even though I was hoping (and had asked) for a more beach-friendly fix, I'm not entirely disappointed. If there's one item in a box I love enough to keep, I consider that a success. If you're curious to try Stitch Fix for yourself, click here to learn more. 

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Time Not Wasted

I spend a lot of time tinkering, doodling, and experimenting. I'm not quite adept enough at any of my endeavors to be called an artist or craftswoman. I enjoy it, though, and like John Lennon (or was it Bertrand Russell? Kierkegaard? Marthe Troly-Curtin?) said, "Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."

I love television, and there are some series I'll never get tired of. I'm currently watching Parks and Recreation for the third time. While I catch up on Netlix and Hulu, I usually doodle or draw in my journal. I also do this during work meetings and workshops, because it helps me remember what I've heard. I can look back at a doodle and recall exactly what I was listening to at that particular moment. It's just one of the many reasons I take a journal with me everywhere I go.