Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm obsessed! aka- Bluum vs. Citrus Lane

With subscription boxes. Y'all. It's getting bad. I'm now up to six that I've tried and some I'm still getting. I may have a problem. I really need a laughing/frowning/crying ironically emoji for that. lol

Today we got another Bluum box for Whit in. Unfortunately I had cancelled those, but I didn't do it in time. Fortunately it was a great box! I really wish Bluum and Citrus Lane could combine and be one really great kid's box. It seems when one is a bad month, the other is great and vice versa. Last month's Citrus Lane was a disaster: A place mat we already got a previous month, a book to make up for said place mat, another tube of lip balm/sunscreen/whatever I don't even remember because it's what they put in every box now, and a cell phone toy, that Whit thankfully loved... for two days.

The Bluum box this month had two books, which at first I frowned at, but turns out both are great! This one is all about counting different things, which Whit has been trying out the past couple of weeks. Usually he counts "two, three, eight, nine, ten! hooray!" Occasionally he throws in a nineteen and twenty, you know, for spice.

And then there was a getting ready for potty-training book which I was thrilled to see! We currently have a potty for downstairs and upstairs and we've been trying to plant the seed for months now. Whit was telling us when he had wet and dirty diapers, but now he just ignores it. And worse, if I ask him if he's going potty he'll tell me "no" regardless of what's going on down there. Sigh. I foresee potty training taking a long time with him!

Then we got these match game cards that I'm really excited about:

And of course, the obligatory washing items. This time a sample pack of boogie wipes that WILL definitely be used come fall. And some more shampoo. Which is great, don't get me wrong, it will get used. We just look like doomsday preppers that are VERY concerned about our son's haircare needs!


I can't remember if I mentioned it here before or not, but we tried Bluum box before and I hated it. It was difficult to sign up, difficult to cancel, tracking was atrocious and the items were mostly food products. But then two months ago I got an email inviting me back saying how they had changed. And it is definitely better, or at least trying. Now there's a place in your profile where you can mark milestones your child has already reached to help you get more appropriate items. Which is great if your kid is a little ahead of the game in some areas. Last month they missed the mark with that (especially sending my baby sunglasses... you know for an infant?), but this was much better! Better enough, that I'm eyeing my Citrus Lane box a little more carefully this month and will be reevaluating which we keep. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bye bye Stitch Fix, Hello Golden Tote

Warning: You're about to see a bunch of pictures guest starring a dirty mirror, an unmade bed, laundry everywhere and a cluttered bathroom vanity. Just sayin'.

Okay! I've been an faithful subscriber to Stitch Fix for almost a year and recently have given up on it. I wish I could share the video of my last box but my idiot self deleted it somehow instead of posting it to YouTube. Greeeeaaaaat!

Here were the highlights: I got one super cute top. I received a shirt in a different color and "different brand" but was the EXACT SAME SHIRT I bought from them 5+ months ago! I was annoyed. And I mentioned that I tried a small tote from Golden Tote and was in lurve. <3

You can read how it works on the website, so I won't relive it here for you. But I will say, look around the shop before you order! I ordered a large tote this month with an add-on and bought it in a hurry. What I *should* have done is rearrange the order and I could have saved about $10. Durrrr!

So there's my items out of the box. Ahhh, it's that Christmas feeling again! The big difference between GT and SF is with GT it's all or nothing. So you either keep everything (because you've already bought it) or you return the whole thing for a refund. At first I was worried about that, but when you think about it, it's a better deal. I'm never spending $20 on nothing like I did with SF. And there is a way to get rid of the unwanted/doesn't fit clothes, I'll tell you about in a bit.

So here's my add-on that ended up being PERFECT! Btw, that's my happy face....

I didn't say it was a pretty happy face!
 Here's one of the items I picked out myself. I don't know what I was thinking picking something orange, sheesh! It was pretty great, except a little too big in the chest, so it was a no-go. Womp, womp...

And the top is the other item I picked out. Along with a pair of denim shorts that was a surprise item in the tote.

I wasn't thrilled at first because the top was a little big and the shoulders a little pointy, but I've grown to really really like it. Plus Ben voted for it and if a guy has an opinion on clothes, then take it! The shorts I've decided to keep since apparently I cannot find any longer denim shorts that fit this year. And they make my thighs look amazing!

Another surprise top that was just kinda icky on me. Wow, I should never wear florals! And I'm so long waisted that it was nearly a crop top on me. I don't think my post-baby belly will ever be ready for crop tops again!

 Another surprise top:

Not terrible, but a little tight on the arms, and what's with the tail???

Last surprise top. Which is still hanging in my closet because I can't decide what to do with it. It's a little too tight for my taste, but Ben thought I could pull it off. I kinda like the stripes and I looooove teal, but it feels like I have to suck in all the time. Can you tell I'm unsure about it?

SO! If you get something that doesn't quite fit or, heaven forbid, you hate it you have a couple of options. GT will tell you to try the Facebook group they have for trading and selling. Which is where I did the bulk of mine. You can also try eBay (where I'm selling one top) or has a trading portion to the site. That last one is invite only and I've been waiting a couple of days for an invite, but nothing yet.

But, y'all. The Facebook group is where it's at! Even when I got my mini-tote in June and kept both items I went ahead and joined the group. It's a group of such awesome, funny, supportive and stylish women. Mostly it's for trading and selling, but often we're asking each other for styling advice, sharing how we wore the pieces, or just shooting the breeze. It's like having a TON of sisters without any sibling rivalry. Plus, you can see spoilers there for items in the upcoming totes.

So there you have it! I honestly think I'll just buy a tote a month and stop shopping in stores altogether. It will definitely save us money and tons of time, since clothes are my addiction. If you want to try it out, or maybe gift a tote to someone, you can look into it more here.

Btw, here's how I ended up wearing one of my tops for a day at the park and sandbox with Whit...

I am dying laughing at what a terrible model I am! You would think I'm terribly unhappy, but I'm so unphotogenic that I can't even attempt to smile anymore in selfies. LOL! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Birthday Weekend and Lately...

July 7 was my birthday and I was a brat about it.

I don't know why, but the older I get the more "important" I think birthdays should be. I knew Ben was having to work on it (and Whit's unfortunately) and he couldn't get out of it, so I declared the weekend before my birthday. I handed down demands and wishes and when things didn't work out I pouted like our toddler. After an argument with Ben and a little time, I'm completely disappointed with myself and how I behaved. But Ben forgave me and I have forgiven myself. My motto is to always learn from the lessons we're given, over and over and over!

Despite my attitude we had a pretty good weekend and things have been great ever since! I think Ben and I had both held back saying a lot of things over the past few months. And after the flood gates were opened we both learned a lot and have been working on ourselves for the other. I had no idea how stressed he was at work and he had no idea why I was hurt that he was cool with his dad and stepmom crashing with us unexpectedly the night before my birthday. (It really was okay, except that I was going to be the one to kick them out in the morning because I was leaving town the next day. Which I'm not comfortable doing!)

Lately I've been growing as a person and I was thinking back about the changes this weekend. I need to just write it all down because it truly is amazing what will change when you have a child. Though, not all of the changes are because of him.                     Okay! Enough words, hit me with some pictures!

Friday was July 4th so started the weekend off with some goodies at the farmer's market:

And our weekly visit to the petting zoo at said market. This guy was about to take the fence down for my popcorn!

We also went to the festival in downtown Franklin, but it was so hot and not a lot going on, so I have no pictures. Plus, Whit's not a fan of fireworks yet so we jetted out before they started. Saturday was my annual shopping trip to Anthropologie, but I hit up a few boutiques I haven't tried yet. And found this waytooshort romper... Yowza!

And this awesome dress! This was the winner of the day, just don't judge my face :-/

I love the signs shops put out in downtown!
That night Ben, me, our friend Anthony, and my friends Summer and Eric came up for dinner, drinks and a "friendly" game of CAH. I am way too good at this game. Which means I'm a terrible

I can't believe I didn't take a single picture of them while they were here! DUMMY!

Before I woke up on my birthday, the inlaws had left and the donut and orchid fairy had visited... Ooh!

Whit and I hung out with our friends Amanda, Jared and Pierce. Had lunch, saw their new house and visited the splash pad nearby. I am so jealous because the closest splash pad here is about an hour away! 

The boys thoroughly enjoyed themselves...

 Especially when a big pile of dirt/mulch/whatever is involved...

My little love-bug sharing the wealth
Then when we got home, Ben gave me this in the second sappiest card he could find. AHHHHHHH! I cannot WAIT!

We closed the evening with dinner and drinks on the patio of a local favorite spot. Turns out this drink was the girliest, most delicious I've had in Franklin so far. And we will definitely be getting a fishbowl of it next time!

It really was a great weekend and life is good and I need to remember that and shut the hell up sometimes! 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Powder Room: Done!

Can I tell you how hard it is to take pictures of a powder room? Holy frijoles! Anyway, here's our new room! Ahhhh, so much better than the before. Shall we?
Oh dear no!

Okay now... oh dear no!
Unfortunately I didn't take more pictures of the tiny red room, but that's probably because I couldn't stand to be in it any longer. It felt so claustrophobic and so '90s being in there. And the house was built in 2004.

::face palm::

But enough of that, let's look at more of the new...

I also drew on the wall with a Sharpie. It's been floating around Pinterest for a while now, thanks to this post on Vintage Revivals. I loved the idea, but wasn't a huge fan of her pattern. So I spent an afternoon sketching patterns and emailing/texting friends for opinions and moral support. And above was the winner. And I am in looooooove. So far everyone who's seen it loves it too. Including all the mothers in my life, which is wild because it's none of their styles!

Here's the shelves I built thanks to this tutorial. Unfortunately I didn't have any wood around to be reclaimed, so I had to buy a piece and stain it. PS- Did you know that stain + polyurethane exists now?! I was shocked and so happy to be hanging these shelves even faster. Throw up some essentials and bric-a-brac and boom: done!

Also, I'm dying over this owl. We've spent the past month clearing out my mother-in-law's house in preparation of a yard sale we had last weekend. And boy did we find some treasures. And some trash. And some things none of us knew why she had. But this guy, I just love. I don't think I'll even get him fixed!

And here's my mediocre photography skills + tiny bathroom =

The worst view of the whole shebang. I started to not add this, but I am also in love with the light fixture. I got it on sale at Lowe's... I think $42? I can't remember now it's been so long. And boy was it a pain to install (thanks builders!). Also, I wish I could have found a bigger mirror, but it was not meant to be. And it needs to be re-hung. Ben put it up and we miscommunicated about where it should go, so it's an inch too far to the left and it drives me crazy. Every time I mentioned it, he would say it doesn't bother him. Um, yes, that's because you don't sit down in there every day. I do, that's why I notice it. I admit, I giggled when the light bulb came on for him about that. 

So there's the latest done room in our house! <3

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hallway-photo-wall-collage-thingy: Done!

One of the things Ben and I both loved about our old house was our photo/art wall in the dining area. Our one and only issue was that it was so time consuming putting up everything. And we knew when we moved the wall was annihilated behind everything. And then a friend's wife introduced me to Command Strips. Uh, hello?! Why have I never heard of this before! Our new photo wall took about an hour to put up. (Wellll, a little longer, because I couldn't decide what went where and didn't have everything I wanted to hang.) A few strips, a level and Bob's your uncle!



And since stairwells are hard to photograph, here's another:

Here is mom's little helper:

Got to be honest, I LOVE this display a lot more than the old one and can't wait to add more things to it. We don't have a ton of room to expand, so it'll have to be a bit more curated than last time.