My first Stitch Fix Box!

My first stitch fix box arrived Thursday – a day early! – and I couldn’t have been more excited!


The package comes with a fashion card and I decided to look at that first. I really like the outfits that were put together on the card. (+1 to Excitement level)  The card also has a note from the stylist:


After detailing the pieces that I would find in my box, Maggie wrote, “be sure to check your Pinterest link; it appears to be broken…” I wasn’t happy to read that because I spent hours pinning outfits that I liked with my own comments, as other Stitch Fix users had recommended. (-1 to Excitement, +1 to Apprehension)

I pulled out my package, and unrolled the bundle:

At first glance, the color scheme seemed perfect for me and I was happy to see a pair of jeans in the mix.

I decided to start with the jeans since they were most likely to disappoint. And they did. I couldn’t get them up past my hips. This was not a big surprise and I can’t really blame Stitch Fix or my stylist since my size was not actually listed in the choices for pants. Happily, I have learned that Stitch Fix will be offering plus size clothing next month and I’m hoping to get a pair of jeans that fit in my next box.


Even if they had fit I wouldn’t have kept these. I’m not into the “worn” look. I guess I’m showing my age here, but I can wear them out myself.
RETURNED


Next was this black top. I liked the studded design. It was simple, fun, and different from anything I already own. I also liked the sleeves which, although you can’t tell from this photo, were cut at an angle and shorter in the back than the front. Unfortunately, it was just a little bit too tight, a little bit too short for my taste, and the sleeve sat directly in my elbow which was annoying. Two inches longer or shorter would’ve solved that problem.
RETURNED

img_6895
This teal, dolman top in a jersey was super comfortable. Unfortunately, it was also very clingy and emphasized everything I normally try to hide.
RETURNED

I was happy to get a necklace in my box because I rarely shop for accessories.


This Terry Blazer was also very comfortable. Unfortunately it, too, was at least one size too small. It had a breast pocket (which I don’t care for), the sleeves were a bit long and the jacket a bit short for my taste. It also had shoulder pads – ugh. Still, it was so comfortable that I would’ve overlooked all of that if it had simply fit me.
RETURNED

For the above picture, I  wore the necklace doubled. I really wanted to like the necklace. There was so much about it I did like.  But I kept wanting it to stay symmetrical and it wouldn’t. I wore it around the house for a while and couldn’t stop fussing with it. RETURNED

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. I know that sounds weird since I didn’t keep anything but, if everything had fit me, I would’ve kept the entire box. And, if I’d found these items at a consignment shop for under $10 each, I’d have bought them – even if they didn’t fit well. That’s how I ended up with a closet full of so-so clothes. The high-end prices will keep me honest and hopefully I’ll buy good, well-fitting clothes. I scheduled another box for next month and fixed my Pinterest link. I’d like to get on an every-3-months schedule so I can add new items to my wardrobe each season without having to run around the stores, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for my next box. I’ll give an update when I get it.

*Note – my hair looks awful in all of these pictures but you have to return within 3 business days and I didn’t have time to fuss before packing everything back up.

 

 

This entry was posted on February 24, 2017. 4 Comments

The Stitch Fix Experience

The Stitch Fix Experience

Shopping.

In many ways it runs along the gender gap: Men hate it, women love it. Well, most women. I hate shopping. With a passion. (Except for small gift shops and yarn shops but that is more like visiting a friend’s house than shopping, for me.) My husband does the grocery shopping – that’s how much I hate it. And I love food! But shopping for it makes me crazy.

Did I mention I love food? Love it. And it shows. It’s a constant battle to eat what I love without ballooning into a full grown whale. Which makes clothes shopping the worst. Shopping (yuck) for things that make me confront the results of last night’s chocolate binge (double yuck). Nope. Not if I can help it. But I like to leave the house once in a while, and I have a job, so clothing – beyond sweatpants & t-shirts – is a necessity.

We’ve tried some other online subscription services with various levels of success.

Naturebox: Monthly snack box. This is currently the only active subscription we have. I like getting healthy snacks without going into a store. Simple.

BlueApron: Tried it. Loved it. Great food, easy instructions. Cancelled it because…well, I like cooking almost as much as I like shopping. Even just cooking 3 nights a week was depressing me because there was so much prep work. I know there are many people who do this on a regular basis, but… it wasn’t working for me. Give me a tuna sandwich and a bowl of soup or, better yet, a night at a restaurant. And Subway counts as a restaurant in my book.

BarkBox: Our Bugg, Boo, got a bark box from our son years ago and the blue rubber bone is still her favorite toy. She’s still chewing on it 3 years later.  But she really doesn’t need a monthly subscription. I order a box for her about once/yr.

YarnBox: By FAR my favorite subscription EVER but I cancelled it because I now have more yarn in the house than I can knit in the next 5 years. When I reduce my stash I may be tempted to start again.

Subscriptions are fun because just about the time you forget about them, they come in the mail! It’s like Christmas! I honestly don’t remember where I saw/heard about Stitch Fix but one night sitting at my computer I decided to look them up. It sounds like heaven. Fill out a survey, post pictures of clothing you like, get a box in the mail! This means trying on the clothing at home in the privacy of my own bedroom. And I can see how things match the clothing I already have! Send back anything you don’t like. Shipping is free both ways and the $20 “styling fee” is waived if you purchase anything. (Well, it “goes toward” your purchase price, which is the same thing.)

So I signed up for it. I’ve spent at least 2 hours updating my Pinterest page with clothing I like — adding very specific notes. I’ve read about other people’s experiences with Stitch Fix and saw that if you keep everything in the box, you get a discount, so I’m hoping to give my stylist as much info as possible to make that happen. (You also get a discount if someone refers you, so if you plan to try it out, my referral link is at the bottom of the page – thanks!) I’m only signed up for a box every 3 months, hoping that the new pieces will get me through the season changes. Fingers Crossed.

My first box is supposed to arrive next week. I will post the whole experience here: the good, the bad and the hopefully-not-too-ugly.

https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/6961888?sod=w&som=c

Memories of Munchie

Image

I love this photo of Munchie.

Munchie (officially, Munchkin – because he was as small as a doughnut hole when I got him) is the only cat I’ve ever gotten as a kitten.  The Corner Bookstore, which at one time was actually located at the corner of two streets, but by this time was in the Stop & Shop center and not exactly on a corner anymore, had a lady working there who would bring shelter cats in and keep their cages by cash register.  It was brilliant, really.  I mean, cats and books just go together. My mom  was at the bookstore and, knowing I had a “thing” for orange cats,  called to tell me there was a kitten there I should see.  I didn’t have to take him home, she said. I could just look. Right.

I don’t know exactly how old he was, but he was small enough to fit in my coat pocket and that’s how I carried him home.  He was adorable.

Munchie was very nearly the perfect cat.  He loved Lance, my dog.  He got along with the other cats.  He ate bugs.  He rarely got sick.  He was quiet and sweet, and I can’t remember him ever scratching or biting me.  Ever.

When I lived in Winsted, he was allowed to go outside.  He loved that.  I’d give a long,  high-pitched call of “Mun-cheee-eee!” and he’d come running, tail high and straight.  Most cats will rub along your leg to let you know they love you.  Munch would come alongside your leg and not actually touch until… thump! his backside would bump you.

Munchie was my bathtub cat.  He’d drink the hot water out of my tub while the water ran. (He loved to drink running water from the bathroom sink, too – a penchant he taught to his “brother,” Morgan.)  While I took my bath and read a book, Munch would walk around the edge of the tub til he found a ‘spot’ and would stretch out, so I could pet him while I read.

Munch fell in love with Wes and decided Wes had the best lap to sleep in.  As soon as Wes would sit down, Munchie came running to claim his spot.  Wes called him The Bat Faced Kitty.  The only thing Munchie didn’t like about life after Wes & I got married was that he was no longer allowed to go outside.  Cars drive too quickly past our house.  There are also lots of dangerous-to-cat animals living around here, like foxes, coyotes and bears.  Munchie was NOT happy about it, though, and ripped through a window screen more than once to get outside.   Each time he did, I’d fret all night, and then call out for him the next morning.  He’d hear “Mun-cheee-eee!” – and come running through the yard, stopping right before the door to walk in calmly, looking at me as if to say, “I told you I’d be fine.”

He came to me as a kitten and died of old age.  A pretty perfect life for a pretty perfect feline.

The “S” Word

Snow.

I have a memory of being a child, running outside ahead of my grandfather into the white wilderness in unadulterated joy.  He was grumbling.  As I threw handfuls of frozen splendor into the air, I shouted, “I love snow!”  He answered, “That’s because you don’t have to shovel it.”  I remember thinking he must be really old to hate snow.

I don’t know why I decided that age played a factor in it, but it must.  Even now my assumption is borne out in our vocabulary: pure joy is “unadulterated.”  I am now an adult.  I have become adult-erated.  I no longer find joy in snow.

Some of this is my own fault.   I don’t participate in any winter sports, like skiing.  I don’t particularly enjoy being cold.  I also drive, a lot, for work and I don’t like driving in bad weather.  Or on icy roads.   I don’t care to have my family out there driving either.

Our two cars under a blanket of snow.

Our two cars under a blanket of snow.

On the other hand, I love to knit and a lack of cold weather would severely limit my knitting options.  How many scarves do you need if you never see snow?   I would also hate to seemy pile of hand-knit socks go to waste.  We have a nice wood-stove for the winter and I enjoy reading by the fire, although I haven’t actually done that in years.  Again, that’s my own fault.

One thing hasn’t changed, though.  I love a good “snow day.”  When the weather reports are accurate and the blizzard is here, there isn’t much you can do but wait it out.  Schools are closed.  Events get cancelled.  Everyone slows down and waits out the weather.  You need this rest because once the storm is over, the work begins; digging out isn’t easy.  But for a moment, it is quiet and peaceful.

One storm per year is plenty, though, and I’m thankful that February is a short month.

More Past Pets

I’ve written about Leia, the most recent pet we’ve lost.  Working backward in time, the next two cats to pass weren’t really “ours” but we got to share a bit of them, and they are missed.

Rugen

First is Rugen.  He belonged to our daughter-in-law, Angie.  I’m sure there are many things about Rugen that she will remember that we never even knew, but I do remember the first time we met him.  We had a group of friends over to play a game and she came by with this little bundle of shiny black fur.  He walked around the kitchen table while everyone took turns petting him.  He had huge paws with an extra toe, hence his name – Count Rugen, after the “six fingered man” from The Princess Bride.  If you haven’t seen The Princess Bride, he’s the…. no, wait.  If you haven’t seen The Princess Bride, stop reading this blog, immediately, and go watch it.  Seriously.  Anyway, Rugen had huge feet and grew up to be an incredibly large cat.  Unfortunately, his life was too short.   Rugen joined the growing pet cemetery in our yard this past summer, just three years old.

My Mother–in-law, Joanne, had two cats when I met her: Ebony and Taffy.  Ebony died just a year or two later.  TaffyTaffy was still going strong when Joanne sold her home and moved into The Sarah Pierce (now called Brandywine), an assisted living center in Litchfield.  In 2009, Joanne and Taffy moved in with us.  Up until that time, Taffy had no use for Wes or me.  She would hide the moment we entered the room.  For some reason, we terrified her.  After moving in with us, Joanne had multiple hospital stays due to her failing health,  followed by long recovery periods in nursing homes.  We fed Taffy but pretty much left her alone.  Taffy, however, changed drastically.  She was used to round the clock company and got very lonely.  All of a sudden, we were acceptable humans; she sought us out for love and attention.

The strangest thing about Taffy was her “meow.”  She would be all alone in her room and start to cry and it sounded like “Hello?”  Well, it sounded more like “hewwo.”  Like Elmer Fudd had just come to call.  But it was really strange.  The first time we heard it, Wes & I looked at each other quizzically, then one of us answered, calling “Hello?” down the stairs.  I don’t remember how long it took us to figure out it was Taffy.  From then on, we took it in stride but other people would turn their heads when she cried with the same quizzical look we had that first day.

Taffy died July 2, 2012.  She, too, is buried in our backyard.  We didn’t know what to tell Joanne.  In the end, we decided not to tell her.  She was in a nursing home by then and we didn’t want to upset her.  My Mother-in-law passed away on September 25th.  After getting the news, we cried, and then I told Wes, “Y’know, mom’s mad at us right now.  She died, saw her cat and said, “Taffy! What are YOU doing here?”

On Past Pets Who’ve Passed

ImageThis is Leia. 

Leia is one of the three cats that lived with Wes when he and I got married.  She, Luke & UB were litter-mates.  She was a bit neurotic and wary of strangers, which was anyone she decided was “strange” at the moment.  I knew I had “made it” into the family the first time I came to visit and she sought me out.

She is the most recent of our pets to leave us.  Making the decision to put her to sleep was agonizing.  She was very old, very sick and it was the right decision.  None of that made it any easier, as anyone who has been in that position will attest.

Losing Leia made me realize that I remembered more about the passing of my pets than about the lives they spent with me, probably because that moment is so heart-wrenching that it has burned itself into my memory.  I decided that, before any more time has a chance to make my memories fade, I would jot down the wonderful things I remember about the wonderful animals who’ve shared their lives with me.

As for my Leia-lou, as we called her, she was a bit loony.  Wes called her “Loopy-Lou.”  He remembers that, as a kitten, she used to fetch bottle caps.  She and her brother and sister would sleep together in a small basket.

A few years ago Leia suffered from a condition called Mega-colon.  We tried medication to see if we could alleviate the problem (it didn’t work).  While she was on the medication we went to Cape Cod for the weekend and decided to bring her with us, since we didn’t want to make anyone else responsible for pilling her twice a day (not easy!).  She cried the entire way to the Cape and then, once she realized she had us all to herself, she was in Heaven!  After 3 days, we loaded her back into the car and she cried all the way home.  When we got back to our house, she looked at the other cats and was outraged!  Apparently, we’d betrayed her.  She thought we’d finally made her the sole heir to the feline throne.  Poor Leia!  She ended up needing surgery to correct the condition and, luckily, at the time,we were able to afford it.  She came through surgery with flying colors.

Morgan, her step-brother, loved to torment her.  She would hide in her kitty condo and he would lie down in front of the exit.  She would hiss and spit and make tons of noise – making it sound like there was a huge cat fight going on!  He would look up, with feigned innocence: “Oh, am *I* troubling you?”

Leia was afraid of feet.  Her eyes would dart around the room, watching the feet of the people approaching her.  If you said her name as you got close, she would realize you knew she was there and wouldn’t step on her, and she’d relax a bit.  When she was content, especially while being petted, she’d purr until she drooled.  (This is a lot more endearing than it may sound.)  And, although she was still wary, I got her to let me carry her around like a baby, upside down in my arms.  I will miss her terribly.

I expected to write one post and include all my pets in it.  What was I thinking?  Obviously, one post is not enough space to fit them all.  More memories to come.

Sub sub sub sub…

Groups and sub-groups fascinate me.  First of all, there is no group of people that can’t be broken up into multiple sub-groups.  Second, no one is so unique that they can’t find a group of people like them.

Let’s hit the first point: every group of people has sub-groups.

You all know this: think about where you work.  You probably all have similar training, work in a similar environment, doing similar things, but you are not “the same” as these people.  Your background, experiences, and personal interests make you different.  Someone walking in to your workplace might just see “a group of engineers,” or “a room full of teachers” but you know that isn’t true.

As an ASL Interpreter, I have Deaf people who I count among my friends.  If you’ve only “met a Deaf person once,” you will assume all deaf people are just like the person you met.  I can tell you without question, that is not so.  Deaf people are just like people who are not Deaf, that is, different from one another.  In my group of Deaf friends, one is a knitter, like me.  One speaks on his cell phone, but doesn’t text; all of my other Deaf friends text me.  One is a stay-at-home mom who is an avid reader. One loves music and dancing.  (For those people who are confused right now, being Deaf doesn’t mean you hear nothing, it means you have a hearing loss.)  The only thing these friends have in common is that they are unique.

We all want to be unique.  Unique is good.  Unique is special.  Our fingerprints are all different. Our DNA is ours and ours alone.  There is a point, however, when unique becomes, well… weird.  You wouldn’t want to be the only person in the world, for example, who liked eating chocolate covered pretzels.  First of all, they’d be very hard to find.  People would ridicule you for making them yourself to satisfy the craving.  And, if every time someone tried your delicacy they got sick, you’d start wondering just how “unique” you are.

Which brings me to my second point: no one is so unique that they can’t find a group of people like them.

For better or worse (and I’m definitely a “better” believer), the Internet has made the world smaller.  There may only be a few people who share your interest in antique cars, whale bone corsets and macrame, but rest assured someone likes these things as much as you do.

I’m a member of a website called Ravelry, which I’ve talked about before.  I describe it as Facebook for Knitters, but it’s really much more.  On Ravelry, you can join various groups of people who share your interests.  I belong to a Harry Potter Knit & Crochet House Cup group.   The House Cup group is run as a School.  We’ve broken the year into 3 terms (3 months, break, 3 months, break, 3 months, break).  Everyone is sorted into a house (just like the original books) and each term there are classes with a “homework assignment.” You craft an item for the class to win points for your House (I’m a proud Badger of Hufflepuff in my 5th term.) Each house has it’s own separate forum where we can chat online and cheer each other on. You post pictures of your project to prove you’ve finished your “homework” and … okay, some of you are reading this thinking, “Okay, THAT is weird.”  Well, the HPKCHC has over three thousand members.  I may be weird, but I’m in good company.  And they really ARE good company.  Besides chat & encouragement, I received many birthday wishes online last month and two of my Hufflepuff classmates sent me snail mail cards with gifts!

These people are great and I feel lucky to have found them.  They are my sub-group.  Maybe even my sub-sub-group. And it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

Just for fun, I recommend you check out the website 10 of the Weirdest Hobbies (http://www.oddee.com/item_97171.aspx).  Even though one of them is knitting related (no, I’ve never knit one of those), my favorite is number 8: Grooming Dogs.