Random Stuff: Wantable Style Edit vs Stitch Fix

After my third Stitch Fix, I got to thinking – do I just like to shop too much?  Is this whole stranger-selecting-my-clothing thing just not doing it for me?  Is it Stitch Fix?  Is it ME?  Why am I not having more success with this than one or two items per box?  This is way too much drama for something that’s supposed to be convenient and fun!

Did I decide to quit?  No, I did not.  I decided to add another clothing subscription box to the mix and see what happened.  Crazy, right?  I thought I might get a better feel for the whole concept, if it could possibly work for me, and if I should keep going or throw in the towel.  Enter Wantable Style Edit.  Wantable has been around for a while in the subscription box business with a fitness wear box, an accessory box, and an intimates box – the Style Edit is new to their lineup.  Same deal as Stitch Fix – it’s a $20 gamble.  Keep something and the $20 goes toward the purchase price.  Return it all and lose the $20.  Five clothing items, selected just for me, delivered right to my door with that same very tempting 25% discount for keeping everything in the box.  There’s a different style survey to complete online and I added a note that my daughter was getting married soon and I was looking for some dresses to wear to showers, rehearsal dinner, and the like.  I also mentioned that my favorite store is Anthropologie.Wantable-Cover

There’s no denying that Christmas-morning feeling that accompanies the box’s arrival.  It’s SO exciting!  When I opened the box – WOW!  Three dresses and two shirts in a variety of colors and all suitable for, in my final assessment (except for one shirt), a much younger woman who’s WAY more comfortable (and secure) wearing super-short, spaghetti-strapped clothing.  Yikes.  I DID say my daughter was getting married, which should indicate that I’ve reached a certain age – without coming right out and saying, HEY! I’m FIFTY years old!  Even if I were statuesque, thin, and gravity had left me alone through the years, I would still not want to dress like my daughter.  The one who’s getting married.  Call me crazy, but I think she’d be embarrassed if I showed up for a bridal shower with most of me showing.  I know I’d be mortified.

Even though one of the dresses was only $24 and I could have kept it for an additional $4 above my already-paid styling fee, I returned every item in the box.  NOTE:  I was very careful taking pictures to NOT show my thigh dimples to you as they were peeking out from beneath the bottoms of those very short dresses.  Here are the details:

Twill Tape Belted Sleeveless Dress by Mystree ($65.00) – Had this dress been two inches longer, it was the item I liked the most.  It felt like something I’d find at Anthropologie, which was what the stylist, Madeline, said she was going for in her note.  The colors and pattern were beautiful.Wantable-print-dress

Amelia Dress by BB Dakota ($75) – The horizontal stripes and white/orange combination threw me off at first, but I ended up really liking this dress.  It was just, again, way too short and I’m anti-spaghetti strap (I hate strapless bras!).Wantable-Style-Edit-Striped-Dress

2-Tone Dress by Freeway ($24) – This dress had components I like – bra-friendly top, flattering shape, handkerchief hemline, well-lined in colors that look terrible on me.  The front middle was also super short.Wantable-Style-Edit-cream-and-purple-dress

Side Ruffle Tank by BCBGeneration (bonus priced at $34, regularly $68).  Again, I loved a few things about this item – the navy color, the dressy fabric, and the price.  The sides with the ruffles were split and the straps were too thin – I ended up feeling like this top would not be age appropriate for me.Wantable-navy-top-with-ruffles

BB Dakota Dasia Top ($68) – Described this way, “Beautiful Fall floral print and easy fit make this lightweight top the perfect choice for your transitional wardrobe!” For me, the print was too loud, the colors unflattering, and the shape, yes, I’m saying this after all of the above – too matronly.Wantable-gray-and-purple-blouse

(My Wantable Style Edit unboxing video can be seen here.)

Wantable Style Edit vs Stitch FixStitch-Fix-July-Cover

Enter my fourth Stitch Fix.  Once more, I tweaked my style profile and this time I asked for three specific things:  A white cardigan, dark-washed jeans, and the polka-dot pants from Fix #3, but in a different pattern.  Paige was my stylist (4th different one) and delivered on all three requests.  Also included was a fit-and-flair dress and a knit, A-line skirt.  Here’s how these turned out…

The knit skirt was my style – unfortunately it was too small and too short.  It was painful to see, so I’m saving you from the horror.  If the knit skirt had fit, I would have saved it for cooler weather and paired it with tights and booties.  Sigh.  Gilli Kelsey Skirt ($54)Stitch-Fix-Skirt

The Ezra Malley Scoop Neck Pleated Fit & Flare Dress ($64) was very bright!  The material had a nice texture, but was very thin and unlined.  Once on me, there was nothing likable about this frock.  Not. One. Thing.Stitch-Fix-Dress-Fit-and-Flare

The pants I requested – Margaret M Emer Printed Straight Leg Pant ($98) were in a very cool floral print on a black background.  Unfortunately the print was unfriendly to my curves – I love these pants for comfort and style, but couldn’t keep them.Stitch-Fix-Floral-Pants

Kut From The Kloth Maribel Straight Leg Jean (a.k.a. Stevie, $88) – I asked for jeans and while I was hoping for a more solid indigo or black, I can not deny that this style fit well, was the perfect length (I almost always wear heels of some type), and felt wonderful.  I hate shopping for jeans and find it every bit as painful and traumatic as buying swimwear.  These dreamy denim britches seemed made just for me.Stitch-Fix-Kut-Marabel-Stevie-Jeans Stitch-Fix-Kut-Stevie-Jeans

Mak Jaclynn 3/4 Sleeve Button-Up Cardigan ($38) – It’s a plain white cardigan.  Like a perfect white tee, you have to treasure a good one when you find it.  It’s more substantial than those tissue-thin cardis that are all the rage at JCrew and Banana Republic, and that’s exactly what I like about it.   I can wear it to work a million times and I will certainly get my money’s worth.Stitch-Fix-Cardigan

So…100% returned from the Wantable box and another 2-out-of-5 kept from Stitch Fix.  I love the excitement of getting the box and trying on clothes in my own home with the ability to shop my own closet for mixing and matching.  I dislike losing a $20 styling fee.  I’m looking at it this way – my favorite places to shop are about 100 miles from my house.  I’d spend money on gas and lunch and take up the better part of an entire day to visit those stores and still might come home empty handed.  So, my next Wantable Style Edit will arrive in August and my next Stitch Fix is scheduled for September.  I’m optimistic that these next two boxes will help me make up my mind once and for all about my future with clothing subscriptions.  I’ll be back.

(Stitch Fix #4 unboxing video can be seen here. and blog post here.)  If YOU are interested in trying Stitch Fix and you use my referral link, I will receive a credit.  My Wantable referral link is here (I’ll receive credit there, too, if you use the link to sign up).  If you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer them.

If you’re getting a clothing subscription box and are having better luck than I am, I’d love any advice you’d care to offer, please.

Winnie the Pooh Bank – Flea Market Treasure

Happy Saturday, Everyone!  This week Nick brings us another envy-inducing piece from his amazing Disneyana collection.  I love this particular item because it reminds me of the first time I ever rode the Magic Kingdom’s Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.  I also love it because it’s perfect and super adorable.  I want one!  Enjoy….

Winnie the Pooh Bank – Flea Market Treasure

We got this great little ceramic Winnie the Pooh bank at the flea market in 2013.

We were drawn to it, like a bear to honey. (Get it? Bear to…moving on.)

Walt Disney Productions is marked on the bottom, which means it was produced before February of 1986.

The gentleman selling it was asking $5. While we really liked it, we felt $5 was high, because it’s missing its stopper and had some chips. I offered $3. As expected, he countered with $4. I was just turning Barbie to ask if she had any single dollar bills, when, to my surprise, the man said, “Okay, 3!” Maybe he assumed we were discussing the price, and were about to walk away? I don’t know, but what I do know is we got a great little bank without breaking the bank.

You can find Nick discussing any and all things Disney in these places:

You can listen to Nick (and Dave and me) talking Disney on The Disney Exchange Podcast.


Why You Must See Festival of Fantasy

Dale in Festival of Fantasy ParadeIf you’ve seen plenty of parades in the past, particularly if you’ve seen the 3-O’Clock parade in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, it might be tempting to skip it on your next visit.  How many characters-on-parade must one endure in the blazing hot Florida sun?  They’re all the same, right?  Classic characters smiling and waving to the sweaty masses.  It’d be a much better use of a steamy, sweltering afternoon to relax back at your resort – preferable poolside, am I right?  I hear you!  Anddddddd…you’re 100% wrong!  If you’ve not seen the parade’s latest version (new in 2014), listen to me…please!

Why You Must See Festival of Fantasy …Festival of Fantasy Parade

1.  This ain’t your parents’ parade!  Everything from the music to the float design, character costumes, and supporting cast is fresh, exciting and amazingly cutting-edge.  IMG_4088This is no ordinary parade – from the ground to the towering tops of each float, this spectacular attraction is a feast for the eyes (and ears)!  I’ve seen Festival of Fantasy several times now and always notice something new with each viewing.Festival of Fantasy Parade Ostrich

2.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  Yes, kids love seeing the likes of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Anna and Elsa, Cinderella, Belle, Aurora, Tiana, and their princes.  They are fantastic.  But wait!  There’s more!Festival of Fantasy Parade FrozenDSCN3397Festival of Fantasy Parade Pinocchio

3.  Oh, the memories!  Characters from Fantasia, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid – my lifetime of Disney-movie-love is all wrapped up in this parade!RM-Festival-Of-Fantasy-Coral RM-FF-FantasiaThat’s what makes it such a must-do for me – the unusual, oft overlooked characters that I get to see in splendid detail.  If I’m lucky, they’ll even wave or pose for a picture!RM-FF-Hippo

4.  It’s more than the headliners that pack a punch.  Peter Pan’s Lost Boys are there!  Fantastic, magical sea creatures float along with Ariel.  Merida on giant bagpipes, RM-Festival-Of-Fantasy-Ariel2 RM-Festival-Of-Fantasy-ShellRM-Festival-Of-Fantasy-Brave-FloatRM-Festival-Of-Fantasy-Scottish-DancersAlice, the White Rabbit, Jiminy Cricket, the colors, the motion, the tiny Disney details – Best Parade EVER!  Characters from Tangled are especially entertaining – as is the Snuggly Duckling float.  See Flynn Rider smolder!RM-Festival-Of-Fantasy-Mime-From-TangledRM-Festival-Of-Fantasy-Snuggly-Duckling

5.  Okay, YES!  It’s the Steampunk Dragon!!!  Seriously – even if you loathe, detest, and despise parades, this one’s worth watching if for no other reason than there’s a giant FIRE BREATHING DRAGON!  And this mechanical wonder is beyond amazing!  RM-FF-Dragon-Knee RM-FF-Maleficent-Dragon RM-Festival-Of-Fantasy-Maleficent-DragonFrom her toes to knee caps, to her glorious tail and beautiful face – Maleficent in her magnificent dragon form is seriously breathtaking.  Even her entourage is cool.Festival of Fantasy Parade Bird

Promise me – if you haven’t see the Festival of Fantasy Parade yet, you won’t miss it!

If you’ve seen this incredible, sensational spectacle, what were your favorite parade moments?  Recommendations for first-timers?


At Disney World – Do NOT be THAT Mom!

Vacations cause stress.  Seems in direct opposition to what’s actually supposed to occur when you have time off from work and school to escape for some fun and relaxation, but there you have it.  There are a lot of moving parts to a vacation – a lot can go wrong…and therein lies the problem.  In theory, we’re supposed to be happy, carefree, and fully enjoying the experience purchased by our investment of time and hard-earned money.  HA!  Right.  If you’re a mom, that’s a nice thought, but virtually impossible to pull off.  Why?  Why do we make this so hard on ourselves?  Why do we make it even worse by going on vacation and letting things get to us and make us less than our best (to put it nicely).  Not that I’d know from experience or anything.IMG_2475

If you’ve ever had an episode on vacation, ever lost your cool, ever blown up or melted down, ever wished you’d just stayed home where you could be your own worst enemy in the peace (and privacy) of your own home, this post is for you!  These tips may or may not be derived from my own experience as a mom – I can neither confirm nor deny any allegations.LADL Computer pic

You can’t do it all.  You can try, but you’ll be exhausted for vacation.  Even if doing for others brings you immense gratification, you can not do it all on your own.  Here’s one idea:  Make a packing list and distribute it to everyone in the family.  Let each person pack their own suitcase to the extent their age allows.  My kids started packing on their own as soon as they could read the list – they’d bring everything to a central location and we’d check off everything as it went in the suitcase.  As they got older, less double checking was required.  By high school, they were self-sufficient vacation preppers.  I still make the list, but I only ever have to worry about packing my own suitcase.FastPass+ Mailer Envelope

Sweat some of the small stuff.  It would be ridiculous for me to suggest you go cold turkey on sweating all the small stuff.  It’s what we moms do!  You’ll be worried about a million tiny details.  It’s important to take some time to prioritize what’s really important among those tiny details and focus on just a few bits of minutiae.  Let the rest go!  I’ve cautioned a million times the perils of over-planning.  Please, I’m begging you – don’t worry about things you cannot control, like the weather, ride breakdowns, character fears, and picky eaters.  Focus on being ready to go with the flow, having a flexible schedule, and not allowing unexpected obstacles like meltdowns, rain, or longer-than-expected lines keep you from enjoying all the wonderful, magical details that Disney vacations have to offer.Dad checks his watch at the Grand Floridian

Enlist help.  Shared responsibility means shared control.  Do your best to embrace this as much as you can.  We control freaks super organized vacation planners like to do things our own way.  We pretend we’re flexible, but secretly know that if we want something done right, we have to do it ourselves.  This is a lonely existence during vacation prep – loosen up a little!  Get input on dining, FastPass selections, character meet-and-greet choices, etc.  Best of all – let someone else take over some of the vacation planning completely.  I know, it’s scary to think about, but do your best.Disney-Travel-Suitcase

Use Pinterest sparingly.  You’ll never be able to pull off all those fantastic Disney vacation preparation ideas.  The fancy DIY countdown calendars, tie-died Mickey shirts, picture frames, character autograph ideas, photo suggestions, Disney-bounding outfits, and so much more!  Narrow down those hundreds of amazing choices to a couple of things to try that are within your abilities and budget.  Then stop looking.IMG_2157

Remember whose vacation it is.  If you want it to be all about you, go on vacation alone.  If you take your children with you, the term “family vacation” applies and that means you need to let them feel like they have choices, time to burn off steam, at least a little time to do what they want to do (not what you think they should be doing).  There’s no vacation from parenting when your children are with you.  We actually got mad at Megan when she was five for wanting to leave Magic Kingdom and go back to our resort to go swimming – not our finest moment as parents.  She was hot, rarely got to swim, and sincerely thought the pool was more fun than rides and attractions.  It was her vacation too.  We still feel bad about how we reacted.Disney Character Autographs - Mickey

I’ve seen moms at Disney World yell, scream, taunt, berate, and even cry.  Please, please, for the sake of your family’s vacation happiness (and memories) do NOT be THAT mom!

Have you had a bad mom moment on a Disney vacation?  Tell me about it…we’re all friends here.