StitchFix August 2014 Review: my first “fix”

In another post that I’ll write when I feel like being even more depressed, my body is completely different than it was when I first started having kids. The irony is that the ONLY (and I mean, seriously, only) part on me that hasn’t changed is my vajayjay. Maybe my ear canal hasn’t changed too I guess.

I recently had to pack my biggest suitcase full of clothes that no longer fit. Not because of my weight, but because of the crazy loose skin and diastasis recti. I could just toss them, but I’m trying everything I can to repair the stomach gap in hopes of wearing those clothes. And they’re not even super fancy, some of them are just plain tshirts that I really like.

To top it off, I don’t even know current fashion anymore. 2 of the past 4 years were spent pregnant, so that negates my wardrobe, plus another year of breastfeeding where all I wore on weekends were nursing tops. That leaves my closet pretty bare.

I’m not a big fan of today’s fashion, it’s a little too late-80s/early-90s (meh, everything comes back 20 years later, I was dreading this part). Leggings? Sorry, not flattering on anyone who isn’t 90 pounds and tall. I don’t care if they’re comfy. They’re the flip flops of pants. Only acceptable if worn under a really, really long tunic. Baggy tank tops? They’re pretty much all you wear when pregnant, why would I want to wear that normally? Crop tops? Sigh, I used to wear them…the first time they were in fashion. Skinny jeans: oh hell no. Again, unless you’re 90lbs, avoid skinny jeans. I used to work in retail and after staring at various women trying on that crap, you realize that a bootcut or flare will always, always, always be more flattering.

I decided to give StitchFix a try after my friend Jen raved about it. And this is where I’m an asshole, because I could have given her store credit when I signed up but it seems that all of this lame-ass subscription sites now don’t allow you to use your friend’s email as a referral, it has to be a direct link. Since this was kind of a spontaneous thing, I signed up not realizing I couldn’t put her email in and by then it was too late to contact her and get a link.

StitchFix in a nutshell: you pay $20 to have someone shop for you, if you like the items you get $20 off and if not, send it all back (minus $20, so the gamble is that you may not want anything and you’re out $20).

I completed my “style profile” and made my intentions pretty clear: no maxi dresses (like I need to trip over myself when running after my kids), nothing dry-clean only, no jewelry (my issue is my wardrobe, accessories i can worry about later. plus I don’t “do” chunky necklaces).

My biggest worry is my size. I’m fairly petite, I weigh less than I did before both kids. However thanks to that stomach (“no, I’m not pregnant, but thanks for asking!” sigh), I run 2 sizes bigger in anything that can fit around the stomach. Basically, only maternity clothes look good on me. You can’t just tell a pregnant person to wear 2 sizes bigger, because it’s baggy in all the wrong spots.

So let’s get to the nuts and bolts of what I got in this box. I “cheated” by looking online at what they sent me. You can do this by starting the Checkout process, the list of clothes show up. There’s no pics, but Google gave me a rough idea of what some of these pieces would look like. I’m not a fan of surprises which is probably not ideal when you subscribe to surprise boxes.

I didn’t photograph myself in these outfits because I look like death by the end of the day, I hate mirror photos, and the lighting in my room is garbage anyway. I barely get dolled up to go to work every day, I’m not slapping on makeup to show you mofos how crappy an outfit looks on me. StitchFix provides little cards that show you how to wear a piece, so that’s what I’m showing you.

My goal: keep one item, since I already paid $20 towards this.

Filbert 3/4 Sleeve Popover Blouse, aka "green shirt"

Filbert 3/4 Sleeve Popover Blouse. Skipped the shirt but would have loved the striped cardigan or the pencil skirt in the pic.

41 Hawthorn Filbert 3/4 Sleeve Popover Blouse, $58

I suspect that it’s fancier to put a full name on something other than to say “green shirt”. Totally not something I would normally wear because I’m too lazy to iron but meh, that’s what Downy Wrinkle Release is for. It was really staticky. I felt like I was one step from the electric chair. I would have kept this as my “keep one” item but it was too big, so it was too long and girls like me with no chest can’t wear low-cut stuff because it ends up showing my belly button. Even with a padded bra, all it does is show the bra itself. Verdict? Pass.

41Hawthorn Kristina Leopart Print Pencil Skirt, or as I like to call it, "the skirt with way too many words in it's name"

41Hawthorn Kristina Leopart Print Pencil Skirt, or as I like to call it, “the skirt with way too many words in it’s name”

41Hawthorn Kristina Leopart Print Pencil Skirt $64

I really liked this skirt. It’s WAY too pricey for an unlined skirt, but pencil skirts are the shiz. It was stretchy and dropped to the perfect spot. The problem is that it was just too big on me and pencil skirts need to fit fairly snug to look good. Totally bummed about that. Verdict? Pass.

 

Susie Solid V-Neck Tank by Fun2Fun...pretty sure they're just making up the names at this point

Susie Solid V-Neck Tank by Fun2Fun…pretty sure they’re just making up the names at this point

Fun2Fun Susie Solid V-Neck Tank $44

This shirt was bright orange. I’m pretty sure if I ate this shirt, I would glow from within. I was still willing to give this a shot despite having a similar shirt (in a more muted color) but there was a rip in the seam. Verdict: oh hell no.

 
 

I would totally have purchased the tops in the pic.

I would totally have purchased the tops in the pic.

Liverpool Odell Capri Jean $78

How is a partial pair of jeans seventy eight bucks?! This was a pass from the start, I don’t “do” capris. No one should do them. No guy has ever said “yeah, those capris were sexy as hell on her”. Why would you cut the visual line of your calves in half? So that you can look shorter and stumpier? Clothes should make you look good, capris are the next step to purposely maiming your face. Sadly there wasn’t enough room on my comment box to include all of this. Even worse, this was the only piece that actually fit. And the first time in my life that I’ve ever actually put on a pair of capris, and hopefully the last. Verdict: Just no. NO.

The winner. Just wish it had been a size smaller.

The winner. Just wish it had been a size smaller.

C.Luce Ciera Sleeveless Sheath Dress $64

In the end, I ended up keeping this. It was still too big, but at this point everything was too big and I can get away by wearing a cardigan over it to make it look a bit less baggy. Plus for a dress like this to not be dry-clean-only was pretty nice. And it did cover up my pooch, which I can imagine will come in handy if I have to go to something fancy last minute and I’m having a crisis over my body.

Will I keep StitchFix? Sure, for a few more boxes. (I went back and changed my size down for everything to see if things will fit better next month.) It’s easy to take the pieces you like and find cheaper alternatives. It’s like going shopping with a friend who will say “just f*cking humor me and try this on”.  When you’ve spent 30-something years shopping for one body shape, you sometimes need a bit of help when you find yourself overnight with a whole new body to clothe.

Citrus Lane Review: July Box

Why yes…I am posting a review in mid-August about my Citrus Lane boxes from July, thanks for asking.

So I finangled 2 more Citrus Lane boxes for the introductory price, mostly because the unique identifier to each account isn’t by email, phone, or address…it’s by credit card. Well that’s relatively easy to get around. My only problem was that I forgot which email account I had used to get these extra boxes, so I had to do a “forgot my password” and insert every email address that I have (which is quite a bit. You can never have too many email addresses. Unless you’re signing up for a subscription service it seems).

This time I got a faux subscription (around $5-7 each) for both kids.

July Citrus Lane box for preschoolers. Aren't you impressed with how pretty I made the box look?

July Citrus Lane box for preschoolers. Aren’t you impressed with how pretty I made the box look?

Here’s the box breakdown:

Match Stacks: it’s Memory but with fancy wooden tiles. This is $20 on Amazon, which is pretty mind boggling since I got a Disney Memory game on clearance after Christmas for like $3. So I guess this would justify the cost of the subscription, but kids don’t appreciate when something is pricey.

GoGo Squeeze: an applesauce packet worth like $2.

John Deere Monster Tread: $18 on Amazon. Last thing my son needs is another effing truck, but it’s actually a really sturdy toy. I would say it’s worth $10 to me, but it definitely was the best item in the box.

Pur Protect SPF 30 sample: well that was useless, it’s a tiny sample that I guess I can keep in my diaper bag if I don’t have anything handy but it’s pretty much something I could have gotten from any store for free.

Overall: worth it for the introductory rate, TOTALLY not worth it if you’re doing the subscription. Buy the truck on your own and find a cheaper version of Memory at Target.

It seems I deleted the pic of the baby one, but here’s the breakdown of the infant girl box:

Aden + Anais security blanket: $15 for a two pack, so just $7.50 value for the single one that I received. It’s a cute little mini blanket but I’m not sure what to make of it. I’m not going to let my baby sleep with a smothering hazard (even if it is muslin). Nor am I down with giving my baby something that will be something I’ll have to wean her off of. I tried giving it to her in the car and she was like “whatever” and tossed it.

Pack n go Mini Mobile: How is this thing only $13 on Amazon. GO BUY IT NOW. It’s such a good deal. It’s a small mobile that can clip to your infant car seat handle. I love Tiny Love, their regular development mobile is one of the best products I’ve ever purchased. To find a mobile that looks good from the baby’s perspective (and not just decorative for the adults) is amazing. My daughter is iffy about the mobile, but I think it’s because she can’t reach all the doodads to gnaw at them. Otherwise, it’s amazing. When I don’t use it, I just clip it behind my carseat headrest.

Truck Spoon from Oogaa: $8 for a f*cking spoon? F*ck that! While it’s cute, the handle is too long to be able to maneuver food towards an infant who wants to grab at stuff. My son got a kick out of it, because he loves trucks, so it’s now become a toy for him. I’d never use this for my kid.

Pur Protect SPF 30 sample: yay me, now I have two stupid small sunblock samples for my diaper bag.

NurturMeals: value…maybe $3? This is an interesting concept, this company makes dry versions of baby purees so you just have to add water. I can see this being pretty convenient when going out but i’m not sure if I trust that this would be more nutritious than a packaged puree. I never would have found this product before but I’m too lazy to even mix water with something (and when I’m at home I try to stick with homemade purees), but it’s an interesting concept.

Overall: pretty happy with it, only because of that mini mobile. Since it’s only $13 on Amazon, you can skip the subscription box and get it yourself.

 

Needless to say I’m done scamming more Citrus Lane boxes for a while, I wanted to test out two months’ worth but it seems the best value is to find online what other people have received in their boxes and purchase off Amazon anything that you find appealing.

Pumping: that’s it. I’m done. DONE. Do you hear me? Done!

Thank you Google for this gem

Thank you Google for this gem

It’s pretty clear that while I love nursing, I f*cking loathe pumping. It’s a ton of work to wash all the parts and get them ready, all the time it takes out of my already limited workday, and most of all: I just don’t get very much milk. I rarely have a “let down”, which makes for a very painful pumping experience.

As a result, i’ve had to pump at a super high setting, which further adds to the discomfort of it all. Recently, I pretty much ripped the skin on my nipple doing that. A fissure in a spot that is either mauled by a baby or a machine is no fun for anyone.

It usually heals enough by Monday for me to re-start the pumping process all over again but today was a no-go. So I pumped only on one side. And after 25 minutes, I got maybe a teaspoon of milk from one side at best.

I give up.

My daughter is 8.5 months old. I’m going to try to maintain a nursing relationship during non-work hours but as for pumping…eff it. EFF IT. I hate you pump!

My plan is to reduce down to just 1x pump per day and then hopefully by next week i’ll just be done at work all together. I realize this will most likely make me dry up but I think at this point, it’s getting out of control.

Aside from breastmilk being the best and magic and all that, the main reason I keep nursing is because I’m terrified of life without it. Because of Dean’s needs and Dahlia’s inability to chill the eff out about putting everything in her mouth (lack of pacifier usage), I have to focus on Dean while still keeping Dahlia pacified. That means a boob when she’s tired, cranky, ignored, whatever. For example, storytime before bed…Dahlia just wants to gum all the books I try to read. It was manageable when she was a newborn, i could keep the book at arm’s length but now she hollers and wails if she can’t chew on what I’m reading. While my back is in pain from constantly holding her in a nursing position, it’s made life manageable when I’m on my own to watch both kids.

My hope is that switching to formula once I dry up means she’ll be fuller (since it’s pretty clear that she’s just snacking on me) and won’t be wailing as much. I have to figure out the logistics of getting bottles ready vs. managing my son and carrying her up the stairs, etc.

Needless to say, this was much easier with one kid. And heck, I lived in a one-story house.

It feels like I’m in some 80′s video game where I’m trying to get to the finish line but random sh*t is thrown my way that I need to duck or jump over. It’s significantly easier than it was when Dahlia was 3-4 months old. I truly wanted to slit my wrists back then, it was awful. All during Dean’s bathtime she would sit in a bouncy seat and wail endlessly until I finally could rush through it (despite all of his wailing) and immediately put a boob in her mouth. Sometimes, when I’m lucky, she’s play on her own without a single peep.

I’m also nervous about mornings, right now I can snooze and nurse at the same time. Having to get a bottle for her in the mornings and be awake for a feeding adds to exhaustion. And will she fall back asleep or want to stay awake after?

Unfortunately once you give up nursing, there’s not really any going back.

Hack for bed guardrails with a platform bed

New guardrail in front, old broken one in the back. Box is upside down...it's a Munchkin guardrail from Target, around $30.

New guardrail in front, old broken one in the back. Box is upside down…it’s a Munchkin guardrail from Target, around $30.

Shortly after I gave birth, we decided it was time to put the toddler rails up in Dean’s crib. And by “decided”, I mean, “we needed to or else he was going to climb over and kill himself”. I wasn’t a fan of it because it was a great method to keep him contained but he just wasn’t having it after Dahlia was born. That’s a whole other tale of how much he regressed behaviorally after she was born, but the short version is that putting him to sleep meant massive screaming on his part until I figured out that if I just stayed in his room until he passed out, it was much better for everyone.

“Everyone” = me.

After a few attempts to climb out and my fear of my c-section wound busting open, splattering my intestines on my new carpet, we put the toddler rails up. Most cribs these days come with a little mini-rail that you can swap out for one side of the crib to extend its use.

Around the same time, we temporarily put our old queen bed on the floor in his room until trash day. My son went ape sh*t for it. He LOVED it. Somehow this morphed into him sleeping on an old queen mattress with old cat pee stains despite having a perfectly good toddler bed.

To wrap up what is already an incredibly boring story, I bought him a platform bed and a full size mattress. No box spring because the bed didn’t need it and we were in “we just bought a new house, have a new baby, and on maternity-leave pay” mode. I got him the Cafekids Lucas Bed from Costco, since it was free setup and delivery. Fabulous purchase, the quality is amazing…I called them with a small issue I had and they immediately overnighted me a brand new piece. This thing is solid as a rock, no particleboard anywhere.

New problem: guardrails. I had gotten an older set from my brother but it seems that you need a large flat surface to lay them on (i.e. a boxspring). We had to position the guardrail bars under the mattress perfectly on the platform bed’s slats.

This worked for a few months until recently, one of them broke. I had slept in his bed that night because he gets night terrors and being next to him stops the hours-long meltdown that ensues (not ideal for two working parents. Or anyone with a pulse who enjoys sleep.) He was sleeping like a madman, writhing around, suddenly I heard a loud BANG from the plastic cracking. He then rolled down the broken guard rail like a grassy hill. And stayed asleep on the carpet.

I couldn’t get a replacement guardrail to match the other side, which thus meant that I  had to buy TWO new guardrails since they connect. Not too stoked about that. But then I figured out a hack to keep the guardrail posts connected to the platform bed without needing to connect to each other (and without needing a boxspring): zip ties!

I simply attached each guardrail post to a slat on the bed.

20140706_093836

I realize I need to fix the top black ziptie or else it’s going to fall off, but you get the drift.

20140706_093827

As you can see, it’s really easy to for the guardrails to slide between the slats when a mattress is placed on top.

Now I don’t need to worry about paying for two guardrails or that one’s going to slide off.

Yay for mismatched guardrails and saving some dough! Construction-themed bedsheets from Target. It's not easy to find full size sheets in kids' prints.

Yay for mismatched guardrails and saving some dough! Construction-themed bedsheets from Target. It’s not easy to find full size sheets in kids’ prints.