Monday, June 11, 2018

Stitch Fix Review

Being pregnant was great for my wardrobe. It was the first time since I was a teen I didn't feel like I had to hide my stomach or try every fashion trick to look as slim as possible. But then this thing happens where you have the baby and you're not pregnant anymore and everything goes back to the way it was but now you have a stomach that was is definitely more stretched out than it was before. And just like that I'm back to where I was...trying to hide, trying to use all black to look as thin as I could. And shopping? Oh boy...

My typical shopping trips looked a little something like:

1. Enter mall with positive energy excited to discover the next staple pieces of my wardrobe.
2. Try on countless pieces at several stores, of which 0 things work.
3. Accept that out of 7 billion people in the world I alone have the only body that cannot be dressed.
4. Get a Starbucks Grande Latte with extra espresso.
5. Continue to hide in all black outfits.

So you can see I really needed a fashion intervention. It was time for Stitch Fix.

The style review is pretty in depth. It's not just what sizes you wear, height, weight etc....you'll look at sample outfits and rate whether you love or hate it, you can share a Pinterest board of your style inspirations, and what you love to flaunt or hide. You also get to direct them on the price points you're comfortable with. And, it's not just clothes. You can opt to have accessories like shoes, bags, and jewelry included to finish your outfits.

How does the pricing work? Well, when they start your box you'll be charged $20, that's the only upfront cost. Whatever you decided to buy from your box the $20 will be deducted from the total. And, if you keep everything in the box you get an extra 25% off! So if you get your box and hate everything, you're out $20.

Now you wait for your fix, I selected for 1 fix per month. You'll get 5 items, typically 4 clothes and an accessory although I decided to skip the accessory for 5 articles of clothing. So far I've received 3 boxes, here is what I kept from each and what I spent.

First, your clothing selections come wrapped up like a little present. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning breaking open the Stitch Fix sticker and opening the paper.



Box #1
In the first box your stylist is getting to know you. I didn't hate the other items, but they definitely missed the mark. I kept this fun shirt that is pretty versatile for either a night out or walking the park.
Spent: $24


Box #2
I liked this box. The grey and white shirt I never would have tried on. Stripes?! Those must make me look fat, and huge, and wide, and and and...and it fit and looked awesome?? Ok keep. The dress was 100% me.
Spent: $56


Box #3
I feel like I'm back to where I started. The only thing I kept was....black. When I read the overview that's included in each box I saw I have a new stylist, so I think perhaps she's getting to know my style. I saw a positive change between Box #1 and #2...and then #3 was just "eh". The fits weren't right, a crop top that definitely was not me. But, I did like this even though it's right back in my safety zone.
Spent: $24


So what do you do now that you've received your box and have items to keep and send back? Well, it's really easy.

1. Go online to your account, checkout by selecting the items you're keeping and mark the items you're sending back. And, you can leave detailed reviews of all the items as to why you loved them, why you hated them, and what you thought of the quality and price.
2. They give you a prepaid USPS bag, simply put in the items you don't want and schedule a USPS pickup. Done!

Even though I never keep all items from the boxes, I've got to say I really love Stitch Fix. It's a fun excitement when you get your box knowing there's surprise treats inside. I also love the comfort and convenience of trying everything on at home, no need to trek to the mall. Another bonus is you have your entire wardrobe handy...you can see what the top looks like with your skinny jeans, what that dress looks like with your gold sandals, or what the distressed jeans look like with your favorite tank top.

If I get a box where I truly don't want anything, I'm out $20...which is pretty close to what I spent on that Starbucks triple grande latte.

Have you tried Stitch Fix? What do you think?


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Blue Apron Review

As a food blogger I love discovering new recipes and coming up with my own twists to share with everyone. But...having an almost 8 month old baby drains me of almost every ounce of physical and mental energy. Sometimes, the thought of "What's for dinner?" makes my brain turn to mush and the only thing I'm capable of doing is pressing the "Order Now" button on Seamless. I'm pretty sure the Greek restaurant thinks I don't own a single cooking tool.

Enter Blue Apron.

For my first Mother's Day my mom gifted me a few weeks of this recipe delivery service and I was super excited to get started. I thought it might be helpful to share my experiences!

Spoiler: I love it and keeping with it!

1. If you're wanting easy peasy meals that are ready on the table in 20 minutes then you can see yourself out. This IS cooking. You will be cutting veggies. You will be dicing potatoes. You will be cooking. I think this surprises some people.

2. The weekly meal selection has great variety, you'll definitely find things you like. And, it's a great way to try new things with low risk. Something that kept me away from certain recipes in the past was having to buy so many new ingredients that I wasn't sure if I liked, or they were pricey. Then, if I don't like it I'm stuck with the ingredient. With Blue Apron I've already tried several new things! Guess what, I like miso, I like orange peppers, I like avocado salad dressing made with orange juice!

3. The recipes look daunting, but they do a great job of breaking down each step in the right order so every part of the meal is done at the same time.


4. The recipes are really good and have a lot of flavor. I was also pleased with the portions. They appeared normal to me. They are not the totally gluttonous portions a restaurant delivers but I think they are adequate and I was never feeling like I was short changed.


5. It typically only requires either a pot/pan or pan/baking pan. What I mean is, there doesn't appear to be recipes that require every pot, pan, and baking pan you own to get the meal done. It's condensed so that the cooking portion only needs 2 things. Less cleanup? Yes please!


6. They seem to get "easier". The first time I cooked a Blue Apron I felt like it took me longer than I thought, but now I breeze through them. You learn their recipe styles and you become more skilled at progressing through the steps!

So if you read my spoiler above this is a repeat, but I really do like it. Is it saving on my grocery budget? No. Is it super fast cooking? No. Is it one-pot meals? No. What it is is something that takes a little thinking off my plate. (pun intended) It solves the "What's for dinner?" dilemma. It delivers me my ingredients and I never have the moment of "I forgot the 'insert vital recipe ingredient here'!"

Do you agree with me? Have you tried a food delivery service?