Chai and Cow

A little of this and a little of that

Yay! Stitch Fix!

Fix #15 showed up today and it was early! I love when a fix gets delivered on a Saturday. This was a great one and I am keeping everything ūüôā

Here is the quick recap of StitchFix: you pay a $20 styling fee, they send you 5 pieces, keep what you want, return what you don’t in the postage paid envelope. Easy peasy! Here is a link to use and if you order something I get a credit. Win win!

StitchFix Link
I love opening the box and taking out the beautiful clothes all packaged together 

  
In this fix I asked my stylist to get me clothes to transition into fall and she delivered. I got two tops, a sweatshirt, cardigan and a pair of pants. And the pants were actually long enough! You have no idea how exciting that is for me. Here is what I got: 

  
These are the Emer pants in Navy and a really cute navy polka dot top with a red accent. 

Next was this great cardigan

  
This sweatshirt will be awesome for the fall. I can picture myself picking apples in it ūüôā 

  
And last, but certainly not least, is this great top I can wear to work

  
For those that are interested here is the name and price for all of the pieces

  
If you like any of these items just pin my pictures to your Pinterest board and let your stylist know what you like. I did this for almost all of these pieces and she definitely delivered!

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It’s been too long…

I realized I haven’t written on my blog in months and months. Here’s the thing, I love writing on my blog so I have no idea why I put it off for so long. Life just seemed to be going by too fast and so.many.plans. They were awesome plans, like weddings, dinners with friends, my *cough* 40th birthday and weekend getaways. And then there the not so awesome plans…like having to put the house back together after the ice dam damage. 

It is unreal how much those ice dams put our life into a tizzy. But after 18 days at the Hampton Inn we were able to move back in. It’s been a long road getting the house back together but I think we have done an awesome job. I need to take a series of after pictures and will be sure to share them soon. It is amazing what some paint and new flooring can do for a place. 

The next project is the kitchen. Oh, the kitchen. That was the original project we had in mind when we bought our place last year but Mother Nature had different ideas. So now that the house is (almost) back in order we are going to install a new kitchen. I can.not.wait for that to be done. My ideal is to have it done by Thanksgiving. Fingers crossed!

So, I plan to write more often and hope you enjoy reading!

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Ice, Damn

It is no secret that the New England winter of 2015 was brutal.  Day after day of snow (well, blizzards actually) and freezing temperatures.  Both of these things are recipes for disaster for roofs and gutters and our house was, unfortunately, not left unscathed.  Long story short, the ice formed and forced its way into our house, taking over walls, ceilings and almost all of the flooring in the process. Awesome.

We did what we could do stop the damage, with Mike spending many a night raking the roof (a term we were not familiar with before January) and throwing pantyhose full of calcium chloride on our roof.  Yup, that is an actual thing.  We like to think that both of these activities helped to minimize the damage but the amount of snow was just too much for the roof and gutters to handle.

So, here we are, a couple months later, and we are temporarily living in a hotel. Why a hotel you ask?  Well, if your ceiling, living room and bedroom looked like this you would want to be in a hotel as well. Oh, yeah, and there are no floors, which is also less than ideal

Our bedroom

Our bedroom

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Our living room before the floors were ripped out

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The ceiling over the stairs

The work is coming along and hopefully we will back home again soon.  We keep reminding ourselves that it is going to look great when it is all done but yikes, what a process this has been.  Between the insurance claims and finding a contractor that had availability it has been quite intense.

So, while walls are ripped to the studs and all of the flooring is pulled up we are staying in a hotel. ¬†The trick was finding a hotel that the kitties could stay at as well. ¬†Thank goodness for Hampton Inn and their pet policy. ¬†So, for the last week and up to two weeks more this is our home. ¬†It’s cozy but at least the four of us get to stay together.

A couple things I have learned while staying in the hotel.

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Chewy hanging out on their new perch in the hotel room

1.  The cats sleep, a lot.  Like all day every day.  I have been working out of the hotel for the last couple days so I can be close to the house and can run over at lunchtime to meet with our contractor.  So, the cats and I are spending lots of quality time but I am enjoying it.

2. You will find any excuse to go to Target, just to get out of the room. ¬†Like any excuse. ¬†Case in point, tonight we went to buy face wash and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. ¬†Oh, and a ginger ale from the snack bar.

3. Since we have the cats in the room, housekeeping does not come in to do a daily clean.  I get very excited when I hear housekeeping in the hallway and I know that is my signal to run the trash out to them and get new towels.  The lead housekeeper and I have a whole routine now.

Wish us luck over the next couple weeks and I look forward to posting lots of “after” pictures.

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It’s Stitch Fix time again!!

Once again, my Stitch Fix stylist hit it out of the park with the choices that she sent me this month.  She let me know that this month she focused on getting me some items I had pinned on my Stitch Fix Pinterest board instead of sending me outfits.  That worked for me as I had been hoping to get some of these pieces for some time. The first item was the Morrie Boyfriend Denim Jacket.  I had wanted a denim jacket after seeing some really cute outfits posted on Pinterest.  This one will go great with a maxi dress that was in my last Fix.

Morrie Boyfriend Denim Jacket

Morrie Boyfriend Denim Jacket

The next item in my fix was the Gabe Maxi Skirt.  This will be perfect for the summer.

Gabe Maxi Skirt

Gabe Maxi Skirt

I LOVE the bags that Stitch Fix has in their inventory.  So many cool shapes, styles and colors.  This is the one that I got in this fix and I am really happy with it.

Herman Structured Cross Body Bag

Herman Structured Cross Body Bag

The Lyndrel knit top was another item that i had pinned on my board and my stylist came through with including it in this month’s Fix. ¬†It is really comfortable and I like how it is a bit longer in the back.

Lyndrel Knit Top

Lyndrel Knit Top

I loved this last top but it was just a little too tight at the chest.  But, instead of sending it back, I gifted it to my sister.  Stitch Fix has a great deal where if you keep all 5 items they give you a 25% discount off the whole purchase.  It was actually cheaper to keep the top and give it away than return it.  So that is just what I did!  A win/win situation.

Bixby Dot Print 3/4 Tab Sleeve Blouse

Bixby Dot Print 3/4 Tab Sleeve Blouse

I really can’t say enough good things about this service. ¬†If you haven’t tried it yet, I definitely recommend it! Til next time!

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Stitch Fix Day!

Oh, how i love the day my Stitch Fix arrives. ¬†If you aren’t familiar with Stitch Fix it is an awesome online personal stylist. I can’t recommend the service enough. The stylist I work with has really helped me to expand my wardrobe and try out things that I would never pick out for myself. I have actually got to the point that I do very little clothes shopping in an actual store. I would rather wait to see what I get in my next Fix.

I also strongly suggest creating a Pinterest board with things that you like. They really do take the time to look at it and try to find match for you.

This was a great overall fix. There was one item in the fix that I really didn’t care for at all but the rest of them were right in line with what I like to wear. I ended up returning one of the tops because it was way too boxy on me but it was a hard decision since the material was so soft. Seriously, it was like I was wearing a super soft pajama top.

Here is the first piece I decided to keep. It is the Pixley Edmond Chevron Print Henley Shirt. This is one that I had pinned and my stylist came through! It is also a super soft material and I can’t wait to wear it. In fact, I am going to wear it tomorrow!

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The next piece is this awesome capris from Kut From the Kloth. They are the Siena style and will be perfect for the summer.

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The last item I kept from this fix is the Street Level Morris Braided Handle Tote. Oh, how I love this bag. And the best part was there was a smaller bag inside. Bonus! This baby is going to get a lot of use both during the work week and on the weekends.

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So, that is what I kept from this month’s fix. I had already put the two items I am returning in the postage paid envelope to ship back to Stitch Fix. I will try to remember to take pictures of everything coming in my next Fix‚Ķalready scheduled for May 29th. Yay!

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Paper and Pens and Stickers, oh my!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I LOVE paper and pens and stickers and pretty much any office supply.  I love finding a new pen, or pretty paper, or a pattern of washi tape that I have never seen.  My desk at work is chock full of pens, markers, washi tape, post-it notes and my beloved Levenger notebook.

So, when I heard about the Erin Condren life planner I knew I had to have one (and fact I just got a Visa gift card at work definitely helped!). They are just so pretty not to mention practical.  I am a list maker and this was a place I could keep track of everything going on in our lives both at work and at home (where a HUGE remodel is about to start Рmore to come on that soon).

I did some research by reading some blogs and of course searching Pinterest to see how others used their planner. Without much hesitation I ordered one.  You have the option to order the as-is version, that does not include a personalized cover, which ships almost immediately or you can choose to have it personalized but it will take more time.  Now once I get my mind set on something I want it to arrive ASAP.  So, I chose the as-is version knowing that it came with a coupon code so I can order a personalized version at a later time.  Perfect!

When I placed the order (on the 29th of April) they said that they anticipated that it would ship on the 1st.  I thought that was reasonable enough and just for the heck of it I went with the 2-day shipping.  Imagine my surprise when I got an email later that day telling me that my order already shipped and it would ARRIVE on the 1st.  Oh happy day!

When I got home from work on Friday, the pretty package was waiting for me.  I love when companies go the extra mile to make the packaging pretty as well. This is how my planner was packaged.

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And here is a picture of the inside of the planner.  I already started adding information to it and decorated the pages with some washi tape.  I love it so far!

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Now, I knew that I couldn’t just use any old pen with this planner (well…I mean, technically, I could use any pen but who wants to do that?).¬† I did some more searching on Pinterest and found some pens that I just had to try.¬†Almost all of them were¬†from Japan but available in the US through certain retailers.¬† Some of them were available on Amazon (Prime eligible…sweet!) and the rest¬†I was able to find on JetPens.¬† Oh, I could spend a lot of money at JetPens.¬†¬†This is what has arrived over the last couple days. The markers on the top right and the pens on the bottom left are erasable! So cool!

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The last of my purchases will be arriving this week. Stickers created specifically for the Erin Condron planner. Thank you Etsy!

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I heart you StitchFix

One thing I have been doing a lot of these last couple months is buying clothes through StitchFix.

What is StitchFix you ask?¬† Only the best thing to happen to shopping in a long, long time.¬† The mall can be overwhelming…and don’t even get me started on trying to find things in Marshall’s or TJ Maxx.¬† With StitchFix you work with an online stylist to find clothes that are just what you are looking for.¬† You start by filling out a really thorough profile.¬† You let them know all of your sizes, proportions, what you want to flaunt and what you don’t.¬† There is a place where you leave them a note, like if you have a special event coming up or a trip so they can pick items especially for that occasion.¬† AND….if you have a Pinterest account you can link it up to your profile.¬† You can pin clothes that you like and get this…they try to find either that exact item or something similar.¬† I.LOVE.IT.¬† One of my new favorite activities is pinning clothes to a board for my stylist to look at.

It is a super easy process.  You choose the frequency, and the price points for the clothes you want them to choose for you.  They charge a $20 styling fee but if you buy something they apply it to the purchase.  You pick a date for your first shipment and wait impatiently for it to arrive.  Once the clothes arrive you have three days to decide what you want to keep and what you want to send back.  Sending something back?  No worries, they provide a postage paid envelope that you put the clothes in and bring to the post office.  Easy peasy.  And if you decide to keep all of the items, you get 25% off the total purchase.

Here is a link to my StitchFix inspiration board and here is a link to the board that shows items I have already received (and purchased).  This will give you an idea of the kind of clothes they might send.

Right now I am getting a Fix every 3 weeks or so, because I have a ton of travel coming up for both work and fun.  When I see this box on the doorstep, I get pretty excited.

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Everything is carefully packaged

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And then the fun begins, seeing what they included.  Each package comes with a note from the stylist and pictures showing two different ways to style the piece

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And here is what I kept.  I have gotten so many compliments on the bag.  It is a great size and such a great color.

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I really liked the jacket but it was just a little small so I asked them to send it one size bigger with my next fix.  I also liked the sweater but I have another similar sweater so I returned it.

If you decide to try it let me know what you think! If you click on the StitchFix link in my post, I will get a referral credit. So if you are so inclined, click away!

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How has it been 3 months since I blogged?!

Ok, so my plan to blog regularly failed…miserably.¬† In my defense, I started it right before the holidays.¬† And then the snow started…and it snowed, and snowed and snowed. You would have thought all those snow days would have made it easier to keep up with¬†blogging.¬† But not when the snow and ice is insisting on trying to get inside the house, instead of outside where it belongs!¬† Well, that is a blog for another day.¬† Let’s just say that blog entry will be followed by lots of pictures of our new walls, ceilings and floors.¬† *sigh*

On a total different note…I turn 40 this year.¬† And I am not dealing with it all that well.¬† I know, I know, 40 is the new 30 but I still am not excited about it.¬† To try and deal I decided to try and locate items I loved from when I was younger.¬† I figured it could be a fun project.¬† I love a good internet search and it is truly AH-MAZ-ING what you can find.

My collection started with this gem that one of my best friends sent to me.

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Yup!  That is a bottle of Electric Youth by one Ms. Deborah Gibson.  Just looking at the bottle sent me back to age 13, and it still smells the same!  Now I just need to find a Caboodle to store it in!

One of my great loves in my pre-teen and early teen years was my sticker collection.¬†¬†Swoon.¬† We had a store at our local mall called Windsor Button.¬†They had row after row after row of stickers.¬† And, there was a special sticker club where you could get a “limited edition” sticker each month.¬† How I loved those stickers.¬† Now, there is a bit of a disagreement about what happened to my sticker books, and to say it still comes up often when I am with my parents is an understatement.¬† I am still convinced they will magically appear one day.¬† As soon as it gets a little warmer you can bet that I am heading up to the attic to search…and yes mom, I will not make a mess!

I decided to try and rebuild as much of my collection as I could find.¬† Oh, how I love you Etsy.¬† I found a woman who sells vintage stickers (not sure how crazy I am that something from my childhood is “vintage”)!¬† And look at what I was able to get!¬† Oh happy, happy day.¬† There are smelly stickers (that still smell!) and Oily stickers and fuzzy stickers and Smurfs!¬† I am in heaven.

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I may or may not have also bought a sticker book to go with it. However, I am still searching for one of my original sticker books, like this one.  I missed out on an eBay sale by a month.  So, so sad.

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I’ll keep ya posted on what else I am able to find.¬† Let the hunt begin!

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Curling the bird

Today was an interesting day. ¬†It started with a call from the gas company (after 4 calls made to them) to tell us that they can’t fix the heat until Thursday‚Ķthree days from now. ¬†Definitely a less than ideal situation. ¬†The temperature has been in the 50s for the last two days so it has been manageable but tomorrow it will be in the 30s. ¬†Yikes. ¬†Looks like I will need to pull more blankets out of the closet.

When I got home from work, I opened the garage door like I do every night.  But tonight was different.  There was a bird flying around.  He (I am just assuming it is a boy bird…I named him Joe) scared the crap out of me.  Mike opened the door into the house and I screamed to close it as fast as he could.  All we needed was a bird flying around the house.  The bird then decided to perch on the top of the new fridge in the garage and refused to move.  Awesome.  At this point we were at a complete and total loss for what to do…so I called my dad.  He offered some good advice, and used it as another opportunity to remind me about the time I was less than zero help when a chipmunk was loose in their house. That is a classic Holt family story that we still talk about regularly.

We tried a couple different approaches but finally decided to help guide him out of the garage was the best bet.  This is when a broom with a very long handle came into play.  Mike gently touched the bird and he decided to fly to the ground and start walking, not flying, towards the outside.  I almost peed my pants watching Mike gently push the bird with a broom towards the outside.  It was like he was curling (the ridiculous Olympic sport I can never get enough of) the bird out the garage.  He was finally successful and I shut the door before he could come back in.

With that nonsense over with, I finally made it into the house and went through the mail. ¬†That’s when I opened the package that had arrived from Amazon. ¬†I was expecting a couple gifts that we ordered for my nephew and instead found an ankle support with a cobra-snake on it. ¬†I kid you not. ¬†To say that is not even close to a Knock Knock joke book is an understatement. ¬†Fortunately, Amazon has great Customer Service and a quick chat with Vicky solved the issue and our correct package is on the way.

What a Monday.

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Well‚Ķat least it didn’t happen on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving dinner was a success!  Sure, I forgot to cook the turnip and put out the olives but other than that dinner went off without a hitch.  Everyone had a great time and the new appliances served me well.

We spent Black Friday with my mom and dad at a few of my favorite places: Target and Bed Bath and Beyond. ¬†I was very proud of myself and only bought one thing at BBB, despite the offer of 20% off my entire purchase. ¬†It really took all my willpower‚Ķand a husband convincing me that I really did not need more plates ūüôā

On Thanksgiving morning I posted on Facebook about how thankful I was for a warm home. ¬†Unfortunately, we woke up today to a very chilly 59 degree house today. ¬†The thermostat does not want to go above 60 degrees so that has made for an interesting day. Thank goodness for some very warm blankets and the service guy that was finally able to get to us at 5:30 pm. ¬†Looks like the part we need won’t be available until Monday‚Ķawesome. ¬†And like the post title says‚Ķat least we didn’t lose the heat on Thanksgiving!

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