Summer 2017 Stitch Fix Box Review

My teenage niece, Sydney, recently received a Stitch Fix box and so I thought I would share some of the items and her thoughts on them.  She received 5 items, white jeans, a summer dress, 2 sleeveless tops and a pair of sandals.  Despite being a size too large, her favorite item was the Articles of Society Distressed Skinny Jean. These are a size 4 – she is 5’7″ and weighs about 120-25 lb, with a waist size of 25.  They were comfortable and make a great basic for the spring/summer/fall (and even winter).  In the fall, these jeans would look great with a chunky knit turtleneck or a neutral crew neck sweater along with black or leopard flats in the fall.



StitchFix Articles of Society – Tiana Distressed Skinny Jean $68 (size 4)

The summer dress in the box is the Nisha Dress by French Grey in light purple (size 5) which runs $48 – cute dress, especially for showing off shoulders and arms.  Here it is below, paired with the Swizzle Pom Lace Up Sandal by Steve Madden ($79), that also came in the box. The sandals are fun and were comfortable, but weren’t really her style – so they are going back.  With fall just around the corner, probably not the best investment.

Stitch Fix Nisha Dress by French Grey $48 (size 5) 


Stitch Fix Swizzle Pom Lace Up Sandal by Steve Maden ($79)


Below is the Charliese Embroidery Detail Halter Top by Skies Are Blue (size S; $54).  I think it’s very pretty and love the orange color.  I think it’s nice on Sydney, but she does not feel it’s flattering on her. She is well-endowed on top with a small waist, so billowy tops are tend to make her look larger than she is.  But, for those of us without that problem (not a bad problem to have…) – I think it’s a great top.


Stitch Fix Charliese Embroidery Detail Halter Top by Skies Are Blue (size S) in coral $54


The last item is the Q&A V-Neck Top (Size S; $48) below.  I think it’s very pretty and can be dressed up or down.  But again, for Sydney, it’s a bit loose-fitting on the bottom, so not as flattering on her body type. This one will go back as well.  Although due to style/sizing issues, nothing in the box was not a keeper for Sydney, I think the 2nd box might do the trick.  I still think the Stitch Fix boxes are a great idea, especially for someone who doesn’t have time to shop and/or doesn’t mind paying for convenience. If anyone has had a particularly good or bad experience with special sizes (petite or tall, etc.) with Stitch Fix, please share! Again, thanks for reading!

Stitch Fix Q&A Massaro V-Neck Top ($48)


Uniqlo pants review for petites

Image-1 (4)Uniqlo leggings pants in dark charcoal grey. Size XS (I am 5’2″/104 lb).

If you haven’t heard of them, Uniqlo is a Japanese brand that sells basics at affordable prices.  Since they are from Japan, you can guess that their sizing runs smaller than average – which is great news for us petites.  Another bonus is that they offer free hemming.  I was happy, however, that the XS in pants worked fine for me (I’m 5′ 2″) so I didn’t need to bother with hemming.  I happened to be in Bellevue a few weeks ago when they had a grand opening for their new store, so I ducked in and grabbed a few pairs of basic pants.

They have a basic women’s pants/jegging (pictured above…and below).  These were warm, stretchy, and flattering.  And at a great price – regularly $29.90, on sale for $19.90 (and as of today looks like they are back up to regular price – but I would keep an eye out for a sale, especially after Christmas).  I think I will go back and pick up another pair or two in different colors (or better yet, online – although note that although shipping is free, returns are not).


These are a dark charcoal grey with a denim texture.  Note I am wearing the asymmetrical top from my first post…in the spring!  It hasn’t been all that cold around here lately (I am near Seattle) and still is warm enough to wear with a tank top underneath and of course, some cozy boots.  Note that there is some bunching on the leggings – I don’t mind as I am mostly wearing these with boots, but if it had bothered me, I could have had them take an inch or two off.

I also had been eyeing some warm sweats/joggers to wear around town but hadn’t been wanting to spring the $80 – $100 at Lululemon or Athleta so I was excited pick up these fleece-lined joggers for $39.90 ($34.90 for grand opening sale).  They are much better in-person than on the website so I’m glad that I happened to see them in-store.

Warm Lined Slim Fit Stretch Pants XS Waist:24-25Uniqlo warm-lined slim fit stretch pants
Side & back zippered pockets…the back pocket is a little bulky. Probably the only minus.
IMG_3328 Fleece-lined with a drawstring on the inside.

And lastly, I discovered Uniqlo selling pants advertising some type of keep-warm “Heattech” technology.

IMG_3332 Women Heattech Legging Pants

Unfortunately, these leggings/pants did not work out for me.  I’m not sure what it was about them, but they just weren’t as flattering as the other pants. They were thicker than the average legging, but they didn’t feel especially warm to me.  In fact, the grey leggings above felt just as warm or warmer.  You might feel differently though – as they have some positive reviews on the Uniqlo site, at least for style.  As for me, however, I’m taking these back.

On another note, I picked up a down-like (in appearance, not in warmth) jacket for my son, and found that it fits me and is actually pretty cute.  Sorry, no picture right now but I will try to add one later.  If you need something lightweight and aren’t terribly worried about warmth…it’s a decent packable jacket for a steal of a price.  It would work for fall or spring (or, if you live in warmer climes, an anytime jacket).  I can’t attest to how well it will hold up (the zipper feels a bit flimsy), but it’s a nice looking jacket & comes in some fun colors.   I also picked up some fleece-lined pants for my 11-year old boy who pretty much will only wear jeans or sweats to school.  He loves them as they are cozy and great for the chilly and wet weather we’ve been having around here lately.  This is another pair of pants that I think looks better in real-life than in the pictures they have online.

Hope this was helpful.  I am interested in knowing what other Uniqlo pants or products worked for you, especially if you are petite!







How to get your nail polish to last a week! And, the perfect color…

Last week I had a manicure and wanted a color that was modern & pretty. And hopefully, long-lasting.  I  didn’t go with shellac because even though I love how long it lasts – it pretty much destroys my nails.   So, I went with a polish in this beautiful color – Thistle Thicket by CND Vinylux.  It’s a gorgeous creme grey with a lilac hue.

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The Little Black Dress & Banana Republic’s Embark

My friend Betty is funny, smart, and creative.  Here she shares about her closet and her latest recommendations to find a deal…


I have this problem.  It’s actually become more of an illness.

My obsession with shopping has resulted in a closet full of little black dresses that have never seen the light of the day – the poor things are crying out to be taken out on the town.  Good news is that I will have the perfect LBD for just about every special occasion.  Mind you, I’m a homebody who hardly ever goes out.  But a girl can dream.

Part of the illness is that I can’t pass up a good deal.  If it’s on clearance, I have to have it.  And then, there’s the thrill of the hunt and the score.  Like getting a dress that was originally $130 for under $20.  Yes, I’m that good.

So this “illness” of mine extends beyond clothing to home goods.  I may actually love home goods more than my stock-pile of LBDs.  Lamps shades, throw pillows, blankets, frames – one for every season, holiday, and just because.  It’s out of control.

Since my closet and my home are busting at the seams, but I can’t stop shopping and can’t stand the idea of letting a good deal slip away – this blog is my retail therapy.  If I can’t buy it – at least someone else out there can benefit from my finds.  So please help me help you!


So my closet of LBDs is thanks to my favorite store – Banana Republic.  It’s my go-to place for achieving a simple, polished look.  When I was in my 20s and just starting out in my career, I would often skip lunch just to go shopping at Banana.  I still remember when I first became a “Luxe” member over a decade ago.  All those lunch-time shopping excursions quickly added up and soon I had earned enough points to become a “Luxe” member with added privileges like free basic alterations and free shipping.  And when I stopped working after my first child was born, I remember lamenting to my husband that I no longer had an excuse to go shopping now that I was going to be a stay-at-home mom.  “What if I lose my Luxe status?” I whined.  My husband just shook his head, appalled that we were starting a family and all I could think about was losing my Luxe status.  Fast forward over a decade later and I am happy to say that I never did lose my precious Luxe status.  Apparently once you earn it – it’s never taken away.  Thanks Banana!  And I’ve drifted in and out of being a stay-at-home and working mom, and Banana has remained my favorite go-to store for both casual and business attire.

For years now, I have prided myself on mastering the art of shopping for discounts at Banana – hitting their 40% percent or additional 60% off clearance sales.  But I’ve recently discovered an even better way to score additional discounts.  Not too long ago, Banana started this “Embark” program.  So essentially by becoming an Embark member, you just enter your phone number every time you make a purchase and Banana will credit money back to your account if someone else ends up buying the same item for less within 7 days.  You will be credited back the difference in savings and you can use that credit towards a future purchase during designated “Embark Days.”

But what’s even better than earning those credits back is actually when you get to choose an “Embark Pass” which are additional perks that you get to select.  You get to choose from 3 rewards – like my most recent one was 1) 30% off woman’s dresses, 2) Extra 5% off sale’s item, and 3) Free 2-day express shipping.  Naturally I selected the 30% off woman’s dresses so I can stock my closet with more LBDs.

And here’s the secret – the trick to maximizing your discounts is to make the purchase on-line because the site will allow you to combine promos.   I’ve tried using my “30% off woman’s dresses” embark pass at the store during one of Banana’s take an additional 40% off promos and the store wouldn’t allow me to combine discounts.  But I tried it on-line and it totally worked!  So I got this cute little quilted shift dress (yes, I know  – it’s another LBD.   But I don’t have a “quilted” dress in my collection so it’s totally justifiable, right?).  It was originally $130, but after all my discounts I got it for under $12!  Seriously – I kid you not.   I’ve got the invoice to prove it.

Receipt petite finds style double

So become an Embark member, combine those discounts, and happy shopping!

StitchFix for petites review

This is a review of my most recent StitchFix box.  For those of you unfamiliar with StitchFix, it’s an online service that, for a $20 styling fee, will send you a “fix” – 5 items of clothing and/or accessories based on an online profile that you fill out.  You have a few days to decide what to keep or return.   Just drop the items you don’t want back into the mail.  The $20 styling fee will be credited against any items that you keep.  This is my fourth box….my first three boxes weren’t much of a success because most of the items did not fit because they were not in petite sizing, which is what I normally wear (note -I did keep some nice scarves and accessories, which I don’t think I would have picked out myself).  So, I was excited to learn before this box arrived that StitchFix now carries petites!   Here are the items from my box…

1) XSP (Petite!) – Collective Concepts Rilo Button-Up Blouse  $68.00

I love the color – coral with the flecks of blue.  This is my first item I have received that is actually in petite (and only one in this box, actually).  It’s flattering and it fits.  Great for the office or just with jeans.

stitchfix Rilo Petite blouse

and a bit brighter with white denim…



Rilo XS Petite Button-Up Blouse White Jeans Petite

2) XS – Gilli Lauree V-Neck Drape Dress Navy  $68.00

This dress is comfortable – the fabric is soft and the cut is flattering.  It’s a great anytime dress.   Unfortunately, it went back because I felt the price was a bit high for the fabric and quality.  But…again StitchFix is about saving time – so if I were not a big shopper – this would be a keeper.  It is not petite, but still fit me – so those of you that only wear petites might want to keep Gilli in mind as an option.

Gilli XS Lauree V-Neck Drape Dress Non Petite

Items 3) and 4) were too big, but here they are (btw, I am 5’2″ and 104 pounds).

3) XS Market & Spruce Chaimbers Cowl Neck Knit Top $68.00

If this had fit, it would have definitely been a keeper.  Super soft and would have been so cute with a pair of skinnies or a pencil skirt.


4)  XS Market & Spruce Hoover Asymmetric Knit Top $48.00

I also liked this top, but just too big..

XS Non Petite Hoover Asymmetric

5) Finally, XS Kiley Ankle Zip Legging $58.

petite leggings stitchfix

I liked the fabric of these – better quality than your average legging and although hard to tell from the picture, a bit of a satin sheen (but not too much).   I didn’t include a picture of myself wearing them but I am keeping them because I can always use a nice pair of black leggings.  Only time will tell as to the quality and if they are worth the price.

After 4 boxes, my verdict on StitchFix is that generally it’s convenient, fun, (in fact, I think these are their survey questions they ask at the end of each fix 🙂 ) and an easy way to breathe life into your wardrobe. For some of the items, however, you will be definitely be paying 25-30% more than if you found them yourself (although, if you keep all 5 items, you get 25% off). Even though I’ve only kept 1-2 items out of each box, I still think it’s a worthwhile service.  You can’t beat having a personal stylist send items right to your own home.  Many Stitchfix customers also swear by providing your stylist with detailed comments and putting up a Stitchfix Pinterest board so your stylist can become familiar with your style.  So, if you want new ideas for your closet (who doesn’t?), are especially short on time (hmmm, same?), and don’t mind paying a bit more for convenience  (this may be the deciding factor) – you should definitely try it (if you do try it for the first time, please use my referral link. :))

What is your experience with StitchFix and special sizes, petite or plus?  I would love to hear!

Easy GF Chocolate Flourless Cake

Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Cake – this cake is amazing

Chocolate gluten free cake

This is my go-to recipe for chocolate cake which I found on AllRecipes.  This recipe is amazing – it melts in your mouth. My two younger boys who aren’t gluten free love it as well.  And did I mention – it’s EASY!


1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can garbanzo beans (19 oz), rinsed & drained
4 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 T powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.

Place the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl.  Melt chocolate chips over low heat in small saucepan, stirring constantly and adjusting heat as necessary (don’t burn it!) OR cook in the microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds after the first minute, until chocolate is melted and smooth.  If you have a powerful microwave, reduce the power to 50 percent.

Combine the beans and eggs in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until smooth.  Add the sugar and the baking powder, and pulse to blend.  Pour in the melted chocolate and blend until smooth, scraping down the corners to make sure chocolate is completely mixed.  Pour into cake pan.

Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.  Cool in the pan or a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.  Dust with confectioners sugar just before serving.


(4.5/5 stars out of 642 reviews – see

*If your cake doesn’t invert perfectly don’t worry – sprinkle strategically with the powdered sugar and cover with fruit :).