Friday, March 14, 2014

Stitch Fix #3 Review

My third Stitch Fix box came the last day we were in Ohio, so I got to open it a little differently this time. When we got home, Jordan wouldn't let me open it...I had to sit there with my eyes closed while he opened it and described the item to me in game-show-like fashion, and THEN I could look at it. Haha. It was fun. :) 



If you haven't seen my other Stitch Fix reviews, here they are:

Stitch Fix Review #1
Stitch Fix Review #2

For those of you new to this idea, here is the description from their site:

"Stitch Fix has re-invented shopping, the way women really want to shop. Keep your wardrobe up-to-date with no hassle. You give us your size and style preferences, and your stylist sends you a selection of 5 items picked just for you. Try everything on at home, and only pay for what you want to keep! Free shipping both ways and a 25% discount if you buy all 5 items."

I LOVE Stitch Fix because:
  • It's easy. I strongly dislike shopping and making decisions so the help of the stylist is great.
  • It's fun. I was so pumped to get my box, see what was inside, and pick out new clothes!
  • It's convenient. Having it sent to my house to try on in my room with no shipping charge? Awesome.
  • It's customized for me. My stylist picks out the pieces especially for me and my body type.
The styling fee is $20, and then that goes toward whatever you want to buy. Thank to you anyone who has signed up using my referral link! Whenever someone signs up with your link and gets her first box, you get $25 credit. Which is lovely.

Also, let me clarify that this is not a subscription -- you pick when and how often to get a box! So no need to worry about fees or commitments. 

Alright, let's get to the clothes! THANK YOU to my wonderful stylist, Dolene. You rock. It was another fabulous selection! Again, I kept the whole box

Firstly, I asked for an open cardigan, mainly because I gave my mom one for Christmas and it looks so amazing on her that I regretted not getting one for myself. My stylist picked out the Pomelo Carla Contrast Trim Drape-Front Cardigan.


It's perfect! The color, the detail, the fit, the extreme pajama-like comfort...I love it. I also asked my stylist for this box to be more "springy", and this is a perfect transition piece. 

Underneath it is the next item, the Daniel Rainn Minna V-Neck 3/4 Sleeve Dot-Print Blouse


When Jordan first described it to me and said "with attached tank top" I was like noooo. No. No. I loathe attached tank tops (and also built-in bras for that matter) because they never fit me. Butttt...this one did! And is a wonderfully soft, stretchy material that I appreciate. I was pleasantly surprised.

It is lower in the back, so here is a back view.


I love the navy with coral and mint dots. By the way, those wedges are my favorite shoes of all time that I got in 2008 I think. They're Nine West in a size Narrow which is SO HARD TO COME BY. I could write full posts, nay, books, on my lifelong quest for shoes that fit my feet. Maybe I will. But anyway, they are the best shoes ever and I will mourn them if they ever become unwearable. 

The jeans are high waisted skinny ones from American Eagle. They almost look black in the pics, but they're just a dark denim wash. Their "high waist" is actually pretty regular to me, haha. They don't come up to my belly button or anything. (Let's not even talk about how their "regular" rise jeans fit me. I'll just say if I wore them I'd never be able to bend over, ever.) But I LOVE AE jeans. I have a pair from 9th grade that have been patched three times and I can't wear anymore due to the fact that when you hold them up they are see through. So yeah. I digress.

The next item is probably my favorite of the bunch: the Collective Concepts Cathleen Abstract Print Tulip-Sleeve Blouse.


These colors are perfect for spring! And I love the cut of the top which hangs a little bit lower in the back. It's so different from anything that I have and was just the kinda thing I was hoping for with this box. Thumbs UP!

I also got a dress in my box for the first time. It's the Under Skies Gabrielle Ikat Print Fit & Flare Dress.


The fit and flare style works great for my body type. The waist band is stretchy, but not too stretchy to where I have to tug on it all the time. I was quite pleased with this and will probably be wearing it to a couple spring/summer weddings.

I also received some basic Kensie skinny jeans in my box that were very similar to the ones I have on in the above pictures. I didn't love how they fit in certain areas, but like last time, it wasn't beneficial to me to send them back since I got a 25% discount for keeping the whole box. :) 

So there ya have it! A successful Stitch Fix Box #3!

When it comes to pricing, the cheapest items I've gotten have been in the $35-$45 range. The highest priced items I've gotten have been the pants which were in the $80s. You can set your preferred pricing range when you fill out our profile, and I have all of mine set on "as cheap as possible", haha. What's made it worth it to me is the convenience, the discount when I keep the whole box, the credit I've received, and the fact that I haven't purchased any other clothes AT ALL since November. 

Have you tried it yet? If you've blogged about it, please link to it in the comments because I love seeing what other people get. :) 

If you want to, please do use my referral link when you sign up to try it! Thanks so much. 

Hope y'all have an amazing weekend and that some of you are getting a break from the snow! Spring is coming, y'all. I hope. 


Thursday, March 13, 2014

I Finished the Bible!

After two years of what was supposed to be a one year reading plan, I finally finished reading the Bible.

Due to me cracking down and not allowing myself to read anything else for a little while as I finished, I am sorry that I didn't do my monthly Reading Link-Up for March! It will be back for April. :) 

Y'all, I can't encourage you enough to read the whole Bible. I don't know why I waited 23 years to read it all the way through. I had read a huge percentage of it throughout my life, but never purposefully read all of it until now. (I had started a few times without finishing.)

It was eye opening. Convicting. Encouraging. Life-giving. Exhilarating. Arduous at times, I'm not gonna lie. I especially struggled with Ezekiel for some reason. But EVERY book in it is amazing, especially how it all flows together and points to Jesus. At times I would feel so humbled and grateful not only to be reading it, but to know how many copies and different versions I have of the Bible not even just in my home, but on my phone as well. I have the WORD of GOD at my fingertips constantly! It's mind boggling, really.

Here's one of my favorite spots in our house -- our reading nook in the office. 




This is a chair and ottoman that my parents got when we moved to their current house in 2002 I think. They recently updated their living room furniture and we were grateful to receive the comfy, blue chair! I've already spent so much time there, especially in the early morning light. It honestly helped with my Bible reading routine, knowing exactly when, where, and how I would be reading it. 

Another thing that helped tremendously was the app that I used: the YouVersion Bible app. There are many different plans to choose from with shorter or longer time goals, and also choices of what you actually want to read each day as you go through it. I chose to do the Old Testament and New Testament at the same time every day, so I had a few OT chapters and usually one NT chapter daily. I really liked it that way for my first time. 




I was so happy to see that completed plan! Each day it told me what percentage I had completed and how many days I had left which was quite motivating. I loved checking off each day. :) When I did get behind, I could tell it to "catch me up" and it would bring it up to date for me. (I obviously had to do that a few times!)

I think the next time I read it all the way through I will do it chronologically, but we'll see. For now I'll be focusing in on some specific books and passages, and also doing a few Bible studies that I'll fill you in on. :) 

The Lord has taught me SO much through this time of reading His Word. After I finished, I had a twinge of sadness not unlike when I finish a compelling fiction series. But I quickly realized that I have no reason to feel that way, because God's Word is living and active and will teach me even more the next time I read it! And the next. And the next. You get the idea!

How about you? Have you read through the Bible? And what way worked for you? 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What I'm Reading Link-Up: February 2014

Welcome to the What I'm Reading Link-up! Here's how it works:
  • I post my monthly reading list on the first Tuesday of the month.
  • I also let you know what books I loved from the previous month.
  • You can link a blog post of your reading list using the link-up feature, or you can just leave a comment with the books you're reading if you don't have a blog.
  • If you link-up your blog post, please acknowledge this link-up within your post. :) You can use the image included in this post.
  • I will leave the link-up/giveaway open for the rest of the month.
  • In the following month's link-up, I'll announce the WINNER of the book giveaway. The winner will get to pick a book from ANY of my reading lists - including Books I Loved in 2013.
My goal is to make this an excellent resource of book suggestions for you that will enrich your life! And, selfishly, I highly enjoy reading everyone's recommendations. :)


Thank you to those who linked up or commented on the last What I'm Reading Link-Up! The winner of the giveaway according to the random number generator is.... #1! Renee Green! YAAYYY! I will send Renee a book of her choice to add to her reading list. :)

Okay, so this month my list will be pretty short, because hey. It's February. And I'm not done with The Help yet so I still need to finish that. It's great so far! Again, I wish I had read it before the movie. But oh well. The other books from my previous list are wonderful, but I already talked about them because I had already been reading them for a while when I posted last time. 

My February 2014 Reading List:

1. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

This is a book I bought months ago but couldn't start until I finished a couple other studies. I asked my mom if she wanted to do it with me and she said yes, so we are about to start it! I'm excited! (I got the second one listed here, the member book.) Has anyone done this already? I'm kinda scared, but I know that I NEED to focus on this.

672965: 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

By Jen Hatmaker


Disturbed by her family's comfortableness with American excess, Jen Hatmaker writes in 7 about their unique social and spiritual decision to live by a rule of seven - reducing material possessions and distractions in seven areas (food, clothes, spending, media, possessions, waste, and stress) in order to connect with a greatly increased God.

874189: 7 Experiment: Staging Your Own Mutiny Against Excess, Member Book 7 Experiment: Staging Your Own Mutiny Against Excess, Member Book

By Jen Hatmaker





2. A Love That Multiplies by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar

Because their first book fascinated me, and because this one was approximately $2.97 at the time, my mom got me this book for Christmas. I enjoy reading about their habits and disciplines, even though our family has not multiplied yet. Haha. :) 

190630: A Love That Multiplies: An Up-Close View of How They Make It Work A Love That Multiplies: An Up-Close View of How They Make It Work

By Michelle & Jim Bob Duggar


America's popular "mega-household" shares the fundamentals that keep them focused on family, financial repsonsibility, fun---and faith. As you discover the parenting challenges the Duggars face and the simple life principles they teach their children, you'll realize that what works for them can work for you, too! Includes a special chapter on homeschooling.


3. A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George

This book was highly recommended by a woman at our church whom I greatly admire (and her sweet daughter Paris who's in our youth group!) so I knew I must read it. My mother-in-law gave it to me for Christmas so I'm pumped to dive in!

918833: A Woman After God"s Own Heart, Updated and Expanded Edition A Woman After God's Own Heart, Updated and Expanded Edition

By Elizabeth George


This very popular selection for personal and group study is filled with rich advice, spiritual wisdom, and practical applications. With passion and personality, Elizabeth George shares how a woman can follow God and seek His heart in every area of her life including her husband, her children, her home, her walk with the Lord, and her ministry. There is peace and purpose for the woman who prepares her heart and mind to embrace God's plan every day. This new look complements other bestselling titles by Elizabeth George.


So that's it for the month! We have a little getaway for the two of us planned so I'll be happy to have some reading time. :) (Secondary to my time with Jordan of course...)

Link up below or comment with your reading list for the month and you could win a new book! 



Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post, but all opinions (as always) are my own. 
Also, I do not support everything each author mentioned says or writes. The only book that is completely all truth is the Bible!


Ashley

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Stitch Fix #2 Review!

Firstly, thank you to those who have already linked up and shared what they're reading on my last post. I love checking out the suggestions y'all are giving me! Remember you can link up for the rest of the month or comment on the post to enter the giveaway. :)

Alright, now on to the Stitch Fix! 

I LOVE Stitch Fix because:
  • It's easy. I strongly dislike shopping and making decisions so the help of the stylist is great.
  • It's fun. I was so pumped to get my box, see what was inside, and pick out new clothes!
  • It's convenient. Having it sent to my house to try on in my room with no shipping charge? Awesome.
  • It's customized for me. My stylist picks out the pieces especially for me and my body type.
If you need a quick explanation of what Stitch Fix is, here's the description from their Facebook:
"Stitch Fix has re-invented shopping, the way women really want to shop. Keep your wardrobe up-to-date with no hassle. You give us your size and style preferences, and your stylist sends you a selection of 5 items picked just for you. Try everything on at home, and only pay for what you want to keep! Free shipping both ways and a 25% discount if you buy all 5 items."

And here is my first Stitch Fix post that is much more detailed about the process. I kept the polka dot sweater and have loved wearing it!

My stylist definitely knocked it outta the park with this box. You may be wondering why I'm not asking for your help deciding this time...it's because I kept it all! Haha. LOVED it. I refrained from buying clothes with my Christmas money because I knew this box was coming. I had some credit from the lovely people who signed up from my link so that helped with my decision also. :) Which means that if you've gotten a Stitch Fix already, you should absolutely share your referral link with people -- when someone gets their first fix you get $25 credit! Which is awesome!

You should have seen me when the box was delivered...I skipped all the way to the door and then opened it as fast as I could. (After I took a pic of it, obviously.) It seriously makes me giddy.




It had a nice little note from my stylist and some cards that showed me outfit suggestions for the items in the box. So helpful!


The first items are the Fronz striped button-front cardigan and Adora skinny jeans.


If there was one thing that I was hesitant about keeping, it was this cardigan. I liked it, but I didn't think I loved it enough for the price. BUT, since you get 25% off if you keep the whole box, it was actually cheaper for me to keep it since I wanted everything else. :) Haha. When I paired it with the jeans I liked it a lot more. The pop of green is a nice touch and it is super comfortable.

When I saw the jeans in the box I was like ohhh boy. I strongly dislike trying on jeans because it's difficult to find a nice fitting pair. I was pleasantly surprised with these! The color wasn't something that I would pick up in a store but I love it. It makes me think that they truly took my Pinterest board into consideration because I had a few pins with "wine" colored pants. How cool!

The jeans also went well with the next item, the Howland square print crochet detail top.


It's pretty wrinkly so it looks kinda funny in the picture, but I LOOOVE this top. It's comfy and silky, I love how it hangs low in the front and back, love the tiny square print, and the crochet detailing is beautiful. At only $34 this was a no-brainer that I will be wearing quite a bit I'm sure!

And then one of the cats started hopping into the picture so I scooped her up. This is Floyd. Her sister's name is Pink. :)





Next up is the Finley bell sleeve knit sweater.


The quality of this sweater is amazing. I could wear it every day. (I've worn it twice since I got the box if that tells you anything!) I should have done a close-up because the knit detail is gorgeous.  So, so happy with this! I couldn't believe it was also under $40. I like how my North Carolina necklace I got for Christmas looks with it too. :)

Oh, and then, hey, another animal. This is Sunny the border collie. 



Last, but definitely not least, is what I specifically asked my stylist for - a blazer. She picked out the Benson 3/4 ruched sleeved blazer.


Love it! What I really love about it is how comfortable it is. That's obviously important to me as I've mentioned it like eight times in this post. But seriously it's so soft. The color is like boom in your face but I really like it. Anddd another cool thing is the inside -- black and white stripes! 


So when you roll the sleeves up you see black and white! Brilliant! (By the way, disregard the billowing effect that is happening with my black top in that pic, I'm not hiding anything, I promise.)


So there ya have it. The whole box is now mine. And any time you see me in the next few weeks or maybe ever I'll probably be wearing one of these articles of clothing so be forewarned.

What do you think?? Are you ready to try Stitch Fix yet?!

You should. I'm obviously a fan. Let me know if you do! I'd love to see what you get!

Ashley

In case you missed it, here's the link to get your first Stitch Fix box delivered to you so you can get awesome clothes. :) All of my opinions are completely honest and my own. I do receive credit if you use my referral link so have at it, y'all! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What I'm Reading Link-Up: January 2014

Welcome to my first What I'm Reading Link-up! Here's how it will work:
  • I"ll post my monthly reading list on the first Tuesday of the month. (With the exception of this one!)
  • I'll also let you know what books I loved from the previous month.
  • You can link a blog post of your reading list using the link-up feature, or you can just leave a comment with the books you're reading if you don't have a blog.
  • If you link-up your blog post, please acknowledge this link-up within your post. :) You can use the image included in this post.
  • I will leave the link-up/giveaway open for the rest of the month.
  • In the following month's link-up, I'll announce the WINNER of the book giveaway. The winner will get to pick a book from ANY of my reading lists - including Books I Loved in 2013.
My goal is to make this an excellent resource of book suggestions for you that will enrich your life! And, selfishly, I highly enjoy reading everyone's recommendations. :)



My January 2014 Reading List:

1. One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer

This is actually one that I accidentally left off my 2013 list and I don't know HOW I did that. It is so, so good. This is about the Israelites' journey to the Promised Land and how only one in a million of them actually made it there. (Joshua and Caleb were two of two million.) She challenged me to move beyond what a standard "Christian" does and into life abundant like Joshua had. I love Priscilla Shirer and highly recommend this! 

464764: One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land

By Priscilla Shirer





2. Platform by Michael Hyatt

If you are a blogger, sales person, have an online shop, or want your business to have a presence online then you MUST read this. I haven't read anything more helpful and practical about building a platform online. The author knows his stuff because he's been so successful building his own platform, and he also used to be the CEO of Thomas Nelson publishing. The book is broken up into short chapters with almost all of them having a list of ways you can build your platform in a specific area. LOVED it and will be referring back to it often. You can go to Michael Hyatt's blog to get a glimpse of how helpful he is!


555038: Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World

By Michael Hyatt





3. Love Does by Bob Goff

I got this for Christmas from my bro-in-law (thanks, Joseph!) and have been reading it ever since. So far, so good! This book has generated a lot of buzz, and I knew I had to read it due to the stories about Bob Goff in Donald Miller's book that I referred to in my 2013 list. This guy is downright inspiring. It's basically a collection of stories from his life telling about the crazy awesome things he has done. Some of the stories I'm like how in the world?? but they're so unique and detailed that I know he can't be making this stuff up, haha. I love how he relates each story to Jesus and His crazy love for us. It's a fun and inspiring read for sure.

203751: Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World

By Bob Goff





4. The Jesus-Hearted Woman: 10 Leadership Qualities for Enduring and Endearing Influence by Jodi Detrick

This is a book I got at the Influence Conference that I've been enjoying recently. I'm not going through it quickly as I'm taking the time to answer her questions after each chapter. So far I've loved how she talks about having "graceful confidence" -- meaning being bold in leadership for the Lord through His power, but in a humble way that gives glory to Him. I like how she has pointed how some ideas that are new to me since I've read quite a bit on this topic.

830557: The Jesus-Hearted Woman: 10 Leadership Qualities for Enduring and Endearing Influence The Jesus-Hearted Woman: 10 Leadership Qualities for Enduring and Endearing Influence

By Jodi Detrick





5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett












A fiction book! Can it be?! Haha. I've had this on my nightstand for months now and just started reading it. I actually have the edited version that is borrowed from my sister-in-law (sorry I've had it so long, Anna!). By edited I mean most of the foul language is marked out with a pen by my mother-in-law. :) Haha! I loved the movie and knew I had to read the book. So far I keep wishing that I had read it before seeing the movie (which is what I ALWAYS try to do) because I keep picturing the characters in the movie and remembering what happens. But I'm still really liking it. I'm only a few chapters in and tears have welled up in my eyes approximately five times. 



I'm going to try to finish those before I add any more onto the list. And I need to read the books I already have in my possession, so that's what I'm doing. :) Go ahead and link-up if you want to or leave your reading list for the month in the comments!

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post, but all opinions (as always) are my own. 
Also, I do not support everything each author mentioned says or writes. The only book that is completely all truth is the Bible!


Ashley

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