Stitch Fix vol. 5

What is Stitch Fix? Read this!

I’ve proclaimed my love for Stitch Fix for several months now, so in December I decided to take the leap and sign up for the automatic monthly fixes! I made a few requests this time around: No more cardigans, a pair of skinny jeans, and with our upcoming trip to Florida, some suitable pieces for a warmer locale -even though it will be a few months before I can wear any warm-weather clothing around North Dakota. BRRRR! This winter has been one of the coldest!

Pomelo Lydia Faceted Stones Long Necklace ($36)  – This was a pretty necklace, but I couldn’t see paying $36 for it. SEND BACK.

41 Hawthorn Freddy Sleeveless Chiffon Dress ($58)  – I love, loved this dress. It wasn’t a color I would normally choose for myself, but it was fantastic! I packed this dress for our trip to Sanibel Island, FL and wore it twice with a wide brown belt purchased at Brea and these sandals. KEEP.

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I'm wearing the dress on the Florida beach! Well, under the baby, that is.

I’m wearing the dress on the Florida beach! Well, under the baby, that is.

19 Cooper Clemency Diamond Print Tab-Sleeve Tunic ($68)  – This was cute and I was hoping it would work out. The loud pattern, fit and colors just didn’t look right on me, though. SEND BACK.

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Caramela Winslow Geo Print Sleeveless Blouse ($28)  – This tank was a cute, flowy top and for the great price, it was definitely a keeper! KEEP.

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Kut from the Kloth Denna Skinny Jean ($78)  – I wanted these jeans to work so badly! Now that I’ve lost a bunch of weight, I was hoping to find a pair of skinny jeans to wear with my boots. Unfortunately, these were just too big and not that flattering. SEND BACK.

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Fill out your Style Profile here! 

Full disclosure: I receive a referral credit for everyone that signs up through my link! Once you sign up and invite your friends, you will, too! All opinions stated are my own!

Yearly Recap {2013}

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It’s been awhile since I’ve done an end-of-the-year recap post; in fact, it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged about ANYTHING at all. I saw this yearly recap on Rage Against the Minivan and decided to participate, too.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?  2013 was a pretty tame year for me. We took in our second little foster daughter, loved on her for eight months, and then she reunified with her birth mother. That was hard.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?  I honestly don’t even remember what my resolutions were from last year. I’m sure one of them was to lose weight, which has happened! I will make new resolutions for 2014… I want to get back into exercising regularly, I want to take more time to enjoy the little things, and I want to simplify life in general.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? I had a few cousins give birth to beautiful babies!

4. Did anyone close to you die?  Thankfully, no!

5. What countries did you visit?  I had a brief trip across the border into Mexico, but other than that, all of our vacations were in the US. We visited Montana, Colorado, and South Dakota.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?  Patience, time, and living more in the present.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? April 2013 because we were placed with our second foster daughter and also because rights were terminated on our first foster daughter’s biological parents that month. December 20th she officially became an “adoptive placement” –looking forward to finalizing in the next month or so! On November 25th, our little girl was having a routine surgery and we had a baseline MRI done for her neurofibromatosis and discovered some things we weren’t expecting and that will require more in-depth medical consultations in 2014. November 27th, the little girl we had been fostering returned home to her mother.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?  Successfully parenting two little girls aged two months apart and mostly keeping my sanity, not to mention being a mother the other four kiddos.

9. What was your biggest failure?  I didn’t put as much time into my business as I had hoped to. Seems like time got away from me in many areas of my life.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?  No, not really.

11. What was the best thing you bought?  A huge, comfy couch big enough for all of our massive family to sit on. Also, my NutriBullet -I use it every single day.

12. Where did most of your money go?  Taxes and kids.

13. What did you get really excited about?  We have two open spots for foster children and I get extremely excited when our home phone rings, hoping for a little baby. There are only two types of people that call our home phone – social workers and doctors.

14. What song will always remind you of 2013?  Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show. We play that a lot to calm Jaz down.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? I think I am happier.
– thinner or fatter? Definitely thinner, which makes me happy!
– richer or poorer? About the same, but I think we have more of our debts paid off!

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?  Traveling and seeing the world, taking photos, and talking to friends.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?  I would like to spend less time online and on my phone, which is hard, because it’s how I make a living and stay in touch with most people!

18. How did you spend Christmas?  We spent Christmas at home for the second year in a row. This never happens.  Usually, Justin ends up having to work over Christmas and we head to the rig. On Christmas day, we drove to Dickinson and hung out with family for a few hours.

19. What was your favorite TV program?  Walking Dead, Girls, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and So You Think You Can Dance.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?  Oh, gosh. I’m not sure I even read a whole book last year. I probably read a few, but I can’t remember what they were. My family got me Humans of New York, a collection of photos and stories, and I’ve been loving that the last few days!

21. What was your favorite music from this year?  Unfortunately, most of my music is stuff my teenage girl listens to, because my time is spent shuffling kids from one place to another. When I do get time to myself, I’ve been digging Ryan Adams, Passenger, The Neighbourhood.

22. What was your favorite film of the year? Honestly, I don’t think I even saw a decent movie during the last year!

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?  I turned 34 and didn’t do anything memorable. I will be turning 35 in 10 days -yikes! I don’t have any big plans, although I will be meeting some of my besties for a quick trip a few days after that! I can’t wait!

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Starting to build the house we have been planning. We purchased 40+ acres in 2012 and were hoping to start building last spring, but it just didn’t happen that way, as we need to figure out how to get a road across the creek!

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013? I still live for cozy and easy, but I’m starting to branch out a little more, thanks to Stitch Fix! My “personal stylist” sends me great pieces I would never typically pick for myself.

26. What kept you sane?  My husband and my kids. They are also probably the ones that make me not-so-sane.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.  Not everyone is going to share the same parenting standards that I hold myself to. And that’s okay. I can offer advice, support, and encouragement, but in the end, I cannot change people. Sometimes, I just need to let it go.

Stitch Fix: The Hunt for an Adoption Dress

What is Stitch Fix? Read this!

When I scheduled my Fix for December, I noted that I was searching for a dress to wear for our upcoming adoption (hoping that it would be mid-December, which isn’t happening). I wanted something cute, stylish, and appropriate for our exciting family event. Nothing too short, tight or crazy. I don’t ask for much. :)

My Stitch Fix box arrived a day early, which made me extremely happy, since I not the world’s most patient person! I did manage to wait to open my package, however, until my teenage daughter got home from school. She doesn’t hesitate to tell me which pieces work or don’t work for me. I have to admit, we had quite a few giggles this time around as I was trying on the clothing!

Here are the pieces my personal stylist selected for me:

Stitch Fix: Style sent to your doorstep! A personal stylist selects 5 pieces especially for you, ships them, and you can keep any or none!  #style #fashion{as always, ignore the horrible nighttime lighting and blurry photos courtesy of the child photographer!}

Mitchel Paisley Print Belted Shift Dress by Ezra {$78} photo, middle bottom  This dress looked pretty cute right out of the box, although a bit too 70s bohemian for my taste. I got the dress on just fine, but had a momentary freak out when I couldn’t lift my arms to get the dress OFF. I almost had to call in my kids to help and that would have been a wee bit embarrassing for all of us. Upon my successful extraction, this dress went quickly to the NO pile.

Jaclynn 3/4 Sleeve Button-Up Cardigan by Mak {$38} photo, middle center  Another laughable piece.. Mustard a color I would typically pick out for myself, but I actually didn’t mind the color. The problem was that this cardigan was TINY. I put it on anyway and my belly bulged out from under the bottom. My daughter and I had  a good laugh and I *almost* took a picture so that you could, too. But no, I’m not QUITE that brave yet. Another NO.

Livingston Ribbed Sweater Dress by Katherine Barclay {$98} photo, middle top This sweater dress was cute and I really liked the darker-green color. Unfortunately, the fit did nothing for me. It emphasized EVERY curve and the horizontal seams really did not flatter. NO.

Rocco Faux Wrap Tank Dress by 41Hawthorn {$78} photo, left  I loved this navy blue wrap dress. The fit is somewhat slimming {or even if it isn’t, just play along} and I liked the flowy skirt. Not exactly suitable for a North Dakota winter event, but with a cute cardigan, it will be awesome! A definite yes! There was a slight defect with this piece -one of the belt loops was broken, so I notified Stitch Fix right away to see if they could send a replacement. It was out of stock, so they offered me a $15 credit instead. Deal.

Wakeman Crochet Open Cardigan by Honey Punch {$58} photo, right  Another yes! This cardigan is super cute and will be perfect to layer any time of the year! I wish it was a different color, but the oatmeal-ish shad will have to do!

What do you think? Have you taken the leap and tried Stitch Fix yet? How are you liking it?

Full disclosure: I receive a referral credit for everyone that signs up through my link! Once you sign up and invite your friends, you will, too! All opinions stated are my own!

Stitch Fix: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

@stitchfix - what it's all about! Stylish clothing delivered straight to your doorstep! #fashion #trendy #personalstylist #shopping

I’ve had a mini-obsession with monthly subscription boxes for quite awhile now. In fact, I love any service that includes delivery to my home and and doesn’t require me dragging my kids out in public. Shopping with two almost-two-year-olds is NOT my idea of fun and typically leaves me rushing home to a bottle of wine with only half my shopping list purchased. When I heard a friend raving about Stitch Fix a few months ago, my curiosity got the better of me and signed up right away. A personal stylist sending clothes right to my doorstep? Sounded too good to be true!

I’m a mom of many. I work from home. My daily attire usually consists of jeans and an oilfield hoodie. I’ve been trying to step out of my fashion rut this year, but that’s no easy task. I want to have a more polished, girlie look, but keep my casual style that fits with my mommy life. After taking the style profile quiz on Stitch Fix, I discovered my style leans more towards casual chic/bohemian chic. When filling out your style profile, you also answer questions about your build, budget, and style preferences.

How does Stitch Fixwork?

Fill out your style profile. Right now, Stitch Fix only caters to women who are between sizes 0-14 (they really need to add a plus-size line!). I’m in the process of losing weight, and when I scheduled my first fix, I was wearing a size 16 jeans and XL shirt. (see my review below)

Once you fill out your style profile, you are ready to schedule your first Fix. When you pick your date, you also pay a $20 styling fee; however, this money will be deducted from your purchase if you keep any of the pieces sent to you in your Fix. If you do not keep anything from your box, you lose this money. Wah-wah-wah….

Wait for your Fix to arrive. This is the hard part. I’m not good with waiting.

On your selected Fix date, run to the front door to meet the Fed Ex man or woman. Grab your box and run to your bedroom to open and start trying the pieces on!

Try everything on! You never know what you like until you see it on. Pair each piece with items already in your closet to try different outfit options. Each item includes style cards with ideas and inspiration on how to wear it. Some of the pieces I have been sent, I would have NEVER picked out myself, but once I try them on, I fall in love. That’s part of the fun!

You get 3 days to decide which items you are keeping and which you are sending back. A pre-paid mailing bag is included in your box, so you simply drop the unwanted items off at the post office.

If you decide to keep all 5 items, you receive a 25% discount off your purchase, plus, don’t forget that your $20 styling fee is deducted from your total. Login to your account online and check-out. Remember to give your feedback on each piece and your Fix overall, as that will help your Stylist get to know you and your style in more detail. Stitch Fixes get better with time, yo!

My First Fix

I was so excited to get this first shipment from Stitch Fix that I forgot to take pics. For real. It contained three shirts, a dress, and a necklace. The dress was super-cute, but too tight and waaaay too short for my taste. Of the shirts, one was a sweater cardigan cut in a style/print that I didn’t care for (and was too small), one was a blouse that I would have never dreamed of wearing, but loved, only it was a bit too big, and the other was an adorable chevron-print blouse that was just a bit too small. Looking back, I wish I would have kept that one, because I have lost more weight and I bet it would fit perfect now! All in all, the fit of the clothes was off for me. I was at the way upper end of the sizes that Stitch Fix styles for, so I’m not too surprised. I ended up keeping the Basket Weave Circles Long Necklace by 41 Hawthorn. Totally cute.

My Second Fix

This Stitch Fix was right on the money. I loved all the pieces immediately upon opening. After my first fix, I went in and updated gave feedback regarding the pieces they had sent, the fit, and also linked to my “Wearing These Would Make Me Happy” Pinterest board, and it definitely helped the Stylist get a clearer overall picture of the style I want to achieve.

This box included these items:

Alan Cowl Neck Asymmetrical Jacket by Sweet Rain ($48)

Strathmore Striped Hi-Lo Knit Shirt ($38)

Bryan Short-Sleeve Open-Front Cardigan by Fiancee ($38)

Katie Twist & Crystal Drop Earrings ($28)

Eldridge Ruffle Neck Cardigan by Mystree($38)

By the way, in my style profile, I’ve selected the “cheaper is better” category.

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Now, before you judge, know that these photos were taken by my 10-year-old after a very looooong day and I didn’t take time to do my hair or makeup or put any effort into styling. M’kay?

Anyway, the lighting doesn’t do the clothing any justice. I posted on FB and had my friends vote on the keepers/not-keepers and then had a fashion show for my own kids, too. The verdict? I kept all but the ruffled, striped sweater and the earrings. I did like the earrings, I just couldn’t justify spending $28 for them. In the photos above, the pink-ish short-sleeved looks terrible, but I swear (as do my kids!), it’s super-cute in person! I didn’t think I would ever own a hi-lo top, much less a striped one, but layered with a scarf or long necklace, the Strathmore shirt works. It’s comfy, casual, and perfect for busy moms!

My Next Fix

For my next Fix, I requested a dress to wear for our upcoming adoption (hopefully in December!). Stay tuned…

Are you ready to have style delivered to your doorstep? Sign up here!

Full disclosure: I receive a referral credit for everyone that signs up through my link! Once you sign up and invite your friends, you will, too! All opinions stated are my own! Originally posted on realoilfieldwives.com.

Bridger’s charity: water video debut!

Encourage your children to think beyond presents this holiday season. Give a child water. Water changes everything.

Clean Water for Christmas

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Hello, Friday!

Let’s take a look at our week via instagram, shall we?

The boys made us their “special” lemonade…

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We worked on our projects… okay, well mainly my husband worked on the chicken living situation.

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BUT, I was busy turning this old family writing desk into a beautiful dresser in our foster care room! It’s perfectly imperfect and I love it!

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Speaking of foster care, our life has been busy with our little foster baby. It’s so much fun to watch her learn and grow. It’s amazing all that she has picked up in the last few weeks.

She stands next to furniture!

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The twins read her books…

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And Averie and I have soooooo much fun clothes-shopping for her!

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Christy and I found these “vintage” desks for giveaway while we were visiting my Dad. I grabbed two for the twins and she grabbed two to haul down to Texas. The boys are loving them!

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Linking up with Life Rearranged.

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it worked for me! {what to do with those yucky, almost-gone candles}

I love candles! I enjoy having the fragrant smells permeate my home and make it feel oh-so-cozy. What I don’t love, though, is the nasty leftovers left in the jar when the candle is burnt down to the end. I have jars and jars of candles like this. Instead of throwing yet another jar away, I decided to take action and make those babies sparkle again!

candles-1What to do:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Peel off stickers and labels. {yeah, I obviously got a C- on this part}

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Line baking tray with foil or wax paper.

Place candles upside down on tray.

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Bake until all the wax drips out… warning: your house will smell FANTASTIC!

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Let the jars cool, then handwash or run for a cycle in the dishwasher.

Use your new spotless jars to hold all your household treasures, craft supplies, beauty products, etc!

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Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

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it worked for me! {stinky towels, no more}

Stinky, smelly not-so-fresh towels. You all know what I mean. Those towels that no matter how many times you wash them, or how many fabric sheets you stick in the dryer, they just stink. Or, maybe they smell almost-fresh coming out of the dryer, but the second they get wet, that mildew, musty smell is back.

Maybe you left a load overnight in your washer and they haven’t been the same since?

Maybe your front-loading washer doesn’t live up to all the hype?

I’ve tried washing machine cleaner.

I’ve tried adding plain white vinegar to my machine.

Nope. Still funky.

I saw this on Pinterest the other day and decided it was worth a shot.

What to do:

Wash a load of towels in hot water and 1 cup of vinegar. Don’t add detergent. When that load is finished, run the towels through another cycle on hot, this time adding 1/2 cup of baking soda.

Guess what?!

It’s a miracle. My husband will not be bitching about stinky towels any time soon. They smell FRESH and LOVELY! Amen!

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grabbing life by the horn{worm}s

Does it seem to you that time is flying by at epic speeds? Or is it just me?

I’ve been meaning to write about our trip to Florida. How the massive crowds at the theme parks made me want to stab people, but then the last few days at our favorite beach town soothed my soul {and feet}.

I was planning on writing about how awesome the kids did in school this year. They are some smart little cookies, you know.

I had intentions of writing about foster care. We are officially a licensed foster family now, since April. We waited and waited for our phone to ring, and wouldn’t you know it, as we were in Florida going through the security line for Disney World, we got a call for two little girls. It didn’t work out and they weren’t placed with us, but a few weeks ago, we finally had our first placement. She is the most adorable baby and we are enjoying loving on her!

Did I mention that I survived another year of the three-kids’-birthdays-in-five-days week? Just barely. We pulled it off, though, and I now have TWO teenagers. Lord, help me.

Our oldest is taking his driver’s road test next week. Lord, help me.

Oh, and today I discovered these beasts {tomato hornworms} mooching off my tomato plants. Okay, more like devouring them. What the hell. Don’t mess with my tomaters.

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So, like I said. I’ve been meaning to share all these things with you; but, I’m kind of tired. This having five kids thing is kind of exhausting. And awesome.

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We have had some big, exciting weeks around here lately. I love summertime!

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We have been playing with my chickens {I love them!}. They are amazing to watch. Really.

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We bought 47 acres.

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Oh, and we went to Florida. Rollercoasters and theme parks, followed by many days relaxing in the sand and chasing lizards.

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Linking up to You Capture!

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