Stitch Fix Box #3

I received my box last week and wrote an almost finished blog post about it.  As I was proofreading, my computer decided to do an automatic update on me and my computer restarted.  I lost the entire post.  I was so mad that I’ve been putting the rewrite of this post off for days. I actually debated rewriting this post at all because it was, unfortunately, a less than spectacular box.  But, I already took the time to crop and upload the pictures and I didn’t want all that time to go to waste, so here is my third stitch fix box.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Stitch Fix, its a personal shopper service that mails five articles of clothing to you to try on.  Keep what you like, return anything you don’t.  You can read a more detailed description about the service on my previous two blog posts – Stich Fix Box #1 and Stitch Fix Box #2.

Now on to my box!

The first item in my box was a Uttam Jax Sleevless Lace Jaquard V-Neck Dress ($88).
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Of the five pieces in this box, this piece fit my style the best.  Unfortunately, the fit was not right at all.  The torso was too long, which made the middle of the dress bubble out.  The waist was to tight and the darts did flatter my body type.  Verdict: RETURNED.

The second item in my box was a Daniel Rainn Catalina Blouse ($68).
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I was never a fan of the peekaboo keyhole and I was not a fan of this blouse.  Also, only the front of the blouse was lined and without an inner shirt, the back was so sheer you could see right through the blouse – bra strap and all.  For $68, I feel like the both the back and the front should have have lining.  Verdict: RETURNED.

The third item in my box was these Just Black Banks Skinny Jeans in Navy ($78).
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These skinny jeans were the perfect length for me and surprisingly comfortable.  Too bad I already have a pair of skinny jeans and don’t have any need for these.  I was so disappointed to see these in my box because I specifically said that I was looking for clothes for work.  Skinny jeans are not appropriate work attire.  Verdict: RETURNED.

The fourth item in my box was a Daniel Rainn Valencia Lace Insert Blouse ($68), which is also shown in the picture above.  This blouse was ok but it just wasn’t my style.  It was also slightly too big, so I returned it.  Verdict: RETURNED.

Finally, the last item in my box was a Brixton Ivy Kinsey Seamed V-Neck Dress in Dark Pink ($88).

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I did not like this dress at all.    Although it claimed that it was “dark pink”, the dress was bright pink.  The fit was all wrong, the darts made my hips look huge, and the hem was too long.  Verdict: RETURNED

Overall, this box made me very sad.  The only article I liked in the box was something I didn’t want or need.  I couldn’t justify buying something I didn’t want or need to save $20.  So in the end, I decided to return all the items and take took the hit on paying the $20 styling fee.  Hopefully the next box will be better.

Goma Ichi

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Goma Ichi is one of our favorite ramen places.   I really only get one thing on the menu – the Tantanmen and if I’m really hungry that day, I’ll order gyoza or a charsiu rice with it.

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This is their regular TanTanMen, which comes with one piece of char siu. I find it’s just the right amount of pork for me but if you want more they have a charsiu tantanmen, which I think comes with three pieces. The charsiu tantanmen was Ev’s dish of choice until he discovered this soupless tantanmen

DSC00490[1]I’m not sure if this soup-less tantanmen is not even on the menu anymore, but that doesn’t stop Ev from asking for it. Fortunately, they can still make it for him. Because it’s soup-less, the dish has more concentrated flavor than the regular tantanmen.  Ev loves it.

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 Here’s a picture of their char siu rice. This picture makes me hungry just looking at it.

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So, I asked Ev to smile but he as being difficult. He doesn’t like when I take pictures of the food when we go out to eat so this is the face he made. Well, the joke’s on him because the picture is still getting posted.

Citrus Lane #3

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My third box from Citrus Lane arrived this week! For those of you who don’t know, Citrus Lane is a subscription box for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. They customize your box to fit your child’s age and gender. The regular price for a box is $29 a month, but they do have discounts if you buy a subscription for more than one month. If you want to try a box out for yourself, you can click here for 50% off your first box and because I referred you, I’ll get some referral credit to buy more stuff from Citrus Lane! Now let’s get to my box:

The first item in my box was this Burpy Bib from Aden + Anais ($11).

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I love Aden + Anais swaddles so I was very pleased to find this Burpy Bib in my box.  The bib is made with the same soft muslin material as their swaddles and was large enough to serve as a burp cloth or a bib (using snaps).

The second item in my box was this Chime Ball from Skip Hop ($10).

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I knew that I was getting this item in my box because Citrus Lane sent me an email that allowed me to choose between this parrot chime ball and the rhino chime ball from Citrus Lane.  I decided to pick this parrot one because I thought it was cute.

The third item in the box was these First Keys from Green Toys ($7).

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Connor is teething like mad and seems to put everything he can in his mouth.  So I’m excited to be able to give these to him.  Made out of recycled milk jugs, these keys are BPA, phthalates and PBC free.  I know Connor is going to love this!  It’s funny how some of the most simple toys are often the ones little kids love the most.

Finally, the last item in the box was a Travel Size Body Lotion form Naif (~$2).

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I couldn’t find a price for this .5oz travel size bottle so I don’t really know the value of this item. I’ve never heard of this brand before but it’s supposed to be made of natural ingredients such as cottonseed, almond, avocado, and macadamia oils.

I estimate the value of this box to be about $30, which was about the original price of the box.  Overall, I am really happy with Citrus Lane and am looking forward to my next box.

Stitch Fix #2 – December 2014

My second Stitch Fix box arrived and it was even better than my first box! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Stitch Fix, it’s a personal shopper service that delivers 5 items to you to try on in the comfort of your own home with items of clothing you already have. You keep what you like and return anything you don’t. The cost of the service is $20, but if you purchase any of the clothing, you can use the $20 as credit towards your purchase. In other words, you only have to pay the styling fee if you return all of your items.  Also, if you keep all 5 pieces, you get a 25% discount off the entire box.

Now on to the box! Let’s take a look at what I got:Read More »

2015 New Year’s Festivities

Prior to meeting Ev, the New Year’s holiday was not that important.  Me and my family typically spent our New Year’s eve going to a movie and would have a small modest family lunch on New Year’s day.

New Year’s with the Ohtas is much different and has been a learning experience.  For Ev and his family, New Year’s is filled with countless traditions and is arguably more important than Christmas.  The New Year’s festivities actually begin the weekend after Christmas, when the family prepare for the new year by pounding mochi and making kadomatsu.  A few days prior to New Year’s, Ev’s dad gathers his ingredients for his ozoni (traditional Japanese mochi soup).

On New Year’s eve, we began with dinner at Ev’s uncle’s house with Ev’s extended family.  At around 10pm, the party finishes and Ev’s immediate family moves the party to Ev’s parent’s house, where we wait to celebrate the New Year.  At midnight, we eat soba and cheer with a round of sake.  Then, the Ohta’s get into the car and visit the Izumo Taisha Shrine.

The visit to the Shrine on New Year’s is called hatsumoude, which starts by passing under the Shrine’s gate and washing one’s hands at a wash basin. The act of washing hands signifies the beginning of spiritual cleansing of oneself.  After the washing, everyone waits in line to take turns offering money, and shaking a sacred, straw rope, the shimenawa, that rings a bell suspended from a beam of the shrine.  The ringing noise is to banish the evils and purify oneself.  Then, the priest or his assistants, wave a sacred wand over our heads, which represents purification and blessing.

After visiting the shrine and getting blessed, we purchase charms for the home (ofuda) or for the individual (omamori).  This year we purchased one ofuda for our home, and three types of omamori  – one for our car, one for our relationship/family, and one for Connor.  Our old ofuda and omamori from 2013 were also brought to the Shrine to be burned.

Our New Year’s festivities continued later that morning with lunch at Ev’s parent’s house where we got to eat Ev’s father’s ozoni.  Then, it was off to New Year’s lunch with my family!  Overall, New Year’s was exhausting but it was also very nice to spend time with both sides of the family.  Here are a few pictures to remember Connor’s first Hatsumoude:

DSC01685 Everett approaching the Izuma Taisha Shrine

DSC01678 Washing our hands

DSC01683Waiting our turn in line.  It was way past Connor’s bedtime and he slept through the whole thing!

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s with friends and friends.  What are your New Year’s Day traditions?  I’d love to hear them!

Ringing in the New Year

A moment to reflect on 2014.

2014 was an amazing year.  Having Connor was the highlight of my year and everything else that happened this year pales in comparison.  While I haven’t had a full night’s sleep since June, I wouldn’t trade being a mommy for all the money in the world.  I look forward to many more sleepless nights in my future.

Goals for 2015

I have great hopes for 2015. They say that you should avoid vague goals, and instead have smart goals that are measurable, specific, quantifiable and realistic.  Keeping, those objectives in mind, here are my personal and professional goals for 2015.

– Get Into Shape.   Anyone who knows me will tell you, I don’t work out.  In fact, I used to tell Ev that I was allergic to exercise.  But, as the years go by, I realize that I can’t rely on “good genes” forever, and really need to start practicing healthy habits. Therefore, my goal in 2015 is to find one activity/sport/class that I can do on a weekly basis to reach my goal of losing 15 pounds by the end of 2015.

– Find Work-Life Balance. The work goal is easy – make 1800 billable hours by the end of 2015. The life balance is the more difficult part. My goal is not to stay late at work (later than 6pm) more than twice a week. I can do this.

– Enjoy Family Time. I hope this goal will be easy. I want to do one family activity every week with Connor – whether it be a craft or going somewhere as a family.

– Join a Board. By the end of 2015, my goal is to identify and join a non-profit board and dedicate on average one day every month to volunteering or helping my community.

– Limit The Tube. My goal is to cancel my TiVo subscription and limit my television watching to 3 hours a week.

– Blog. My goal is to blog on average 3 times a week for a total of 156 entries in 2015.

– Streamline My Social Media. I spend too much time on Facebook and Instagram. In order to accomplish some of the above, I need to give up posting/reading these sites. My goal is to limit my social media time to an average of 3 hours a week.

– Save Some Money. My goal is to put aside 10% of my disposable income away for a rainy day.

My first official blog post of 2015 – Complete!  Only 155 more to go!