Funny Fridays: Taking 6 Kids to an Art Museum & Other Stories

At the Smithsonian National Museum of Art

When we went to D.C. this summer, I insisted we go and visit my favorite painting in the world, which happens to be at the National Gallery of Art on the National Mall. While we were there, we perused the collections, along with our friend Amy and her children.

I thought the day was going amazingly well. We took 6 kids through a museum where you are supposed to be quiet, and I felt like we did a heroic job. The kids even sat on these nice sofas they had in many of the galleries.

After about an hour, Alan whispered emphatically, with the big eyes,  “Are you ready to go now? Please.”

“Sure…. C’mon kids, let’s go.”

Once outside, Alan looked like he’d just escaped prison.

Alan had a much different experience in the Smithsonian than I had.

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Stitch Fix: Yea or Nay?

Stitch Fix: Yea or Nay? Full review and explanation of how Stitch Fix works.

 

***Disclosure: This post does contain Stitch Fix ad links. If your purchase through these links, I do receive compensation. However, all the clothes were purchased from my own pocket, and opinions are my own.***

Stitch Fix, yea or nay?” was a question I posed to my blog’s Facebook page a month ago. Before I even tried it out, I wanted to hear some feedback to know if I should bother. Most everyone seemed to think I should go for it, but I was warned that it’s not super thrifty.

For a few years now, I’ve heard my sister-in-law as well as my friend Hillary talk about how much they like Stitch Fix. I’ve seen my favorite blogger, Crystal Paine, do unboxing videos from her Stitch Fix shipments.

So what is Stitch Fix exactly?

It’s a service that provides you 5 new clothing or accessory items in each box through the mail. Each item is hand-selected for you personally by a Stitch Fix stylist. You decide how often you get the box. You can choose just once, every few weeks, every couple of months, quarterly, etc.

Clothes are something I LOVE, but I never actually signed up because I was afraid it would be a gigantic money pit.

Also, since I do love clothes and shopping, I didn’t feel like I needed someone to do my shopping for me.

You know what I mean?

How can we know they will choose affordably cute clothes and not just tease us with beautiful clothing that we cannot even afford and have to send back anyway??

Well, wonder no longer. I’m going to give you more information here than even Stitch Fix probably wants me to give you, so you can make an informed decision.

Disclosure #2: I need to invest in better lighting for my photos, so I can wash out my wrinkles and freckles…

First, let me tell you about the Process.

When you sign up, you go to Stitchfix.com, and you answer questions about your body type, clothing needs, and your style. Truthfully, I enjoyed this part because for some reason I enjoy answering questions about myself and my clothing.

Answer as HONESTLY as you possibly can!!! Telling them you wear a 10 when you actually need a 12 will help no one. This is not a fantasy questionnaire. hehehe! I’m only saying this because these are the things I had to tell MYSELF when I was answering these questions.

There are about 25-50 questions, but they are all multiple choice, so no need to panic. Halfway through, I realized I should take screenshots for you to know what to expect:

Multiple choice preference questions

This was so fun. Rate these outfit groups! ….I strongly dislike that orange dress.

Love these!!

I started out with the “occasional update”, but I downgraded to “quarterly top-off” because I bought so much from this last one.

One time only!

You can’t see it in the above photo, but there is also an option to get a one-time box.

Tell them more about you!

They give you an option to tell your stylist more about yourself. Use this!!! I was very specific. I told her I needed more tops, that I love trouser-style pants, and I even got specific on the fact that having 4 babies left me with a pooch. Therefore, please no spandex-tops. Ha!! I even specified that I wear a smaller size shirt if it is super blousy or peasant style.

Also, include your Pinterest profile name if you have one!! You can go on Pinterest and create a board of clothes you like—any clothes at all that you like. It gives them an idea of your taste.

My stylist, Becca, not only viewed my Pinterest boards, but she actually referenced them in the note.

This was my note from my stylist:

So much attention to detail. I was blown away.

 

FEES!!!!

Okay, let’s talk about the fees. Am I saying there is a service fee? Yes, I am. It’s $20. That’s  part of what kept me from signing up for forever!!!

But if only I had known! If you keep any of the clothes Stitch Fix sends you, they deduct the $20 from that item. Ohhhh!!! See, I did not know that.

My First Shipment

If you want to see the full unboxing of my first shipment, here’s the Facebook Live video, but I’m also going to write out everything you need to know below. You won’t miss any information by skipping the video. (I know what it’s like to be reading in public without headphones!!)

 

The first thing you see in your box is this envelope with this note.

Don’t skip the note. (Like I did.) This note includes your message from your stylist and your style suggestions. The envelope also includes the prices of each item, as well as how much your total will be after your discount(s) are applied.

These were my outfit suggestions:

The item in the middle of each block is the item you receive. The items off to the sides are styling suggestions.

The teal top is what I got. Accouterments to the left and right are suggestions.

Suggestions to go with black pants…..I think I know what to do with black pants…but for the fashion challenged, this is actually super helpful.

The elephant top—love this!

casual black dress

There was also a pair of earrings, which I will show you below (keep going).

Did I like everything I got in my box?

….Well, actually I did! It was a home run, but I did not expect that. Please don’t expect that you will love everything you get in every box. There’s no way.

My box was full of beautiful clothes that I would have bought for myself if I had found them at Kohl’s. Totally.

But did they fit??

Believe it or not……

Okay, not my best dress photo, but how sweet is he? I couldn’t leave this one out.

These are the super cute earrings, which by the way, match the teal top that was also in my box.

This outfit will be cute with flats, heels, or boots! I’m wearing THREE of my Fix items here: the earrings, the shirt, and the pants.

And my FAVORITE part….

 

This elephant shirt!!!! Love!!!

Okay, yes, it all looks awesome, sure, but…

How much did all of this cost???

In MY opinion, their prices are inflated to pay the shipping and the stylists. There is no shipping charge on top of what you pay, but there is still sales tax.

Was it affordable??? It was moderately affordable to me.

I could have gotten just the elephant shirt for $48, minus the $20, so $28.

Both shirts were $48 a piece, more than I usually pay.

The dress was actually reasonably priced, in my opinion. $68 is reasonable for a dress. If you were only buying the dress from this box, it would be only $48.

The earrings were $28. $10 to $20 would have been more exciting.

Like I mentioned before, you are also paying for the service.

The only item I felt was way over-priced was the pants, at $88, I was like “Whaaa???”

Oh!!! One more thing about the prices!!

When you answer those initial sign-up questions on StitchFix.com, they ask you your price range. I marked “as cheap as possible” for everything EXCEPT for pants. That may be why my trousers cost more. It’s important to me to have high quality pants. I can’t explain it.

So how did I choose what to get?

I could have bought 3 of these Stitch Fix items for $104, but that’s not including the dress. Finding dresses that fit me well is difficult, so I wanted to get the dress. That would have put me at $172.

4 for $172 (no pants)

or all 5 for only $190 (including the pants)…...You can see why I chose to just buy it all! 

If you buy everything in your box, you get a 25% discount plus your $20 styling fee off.

I did the math, dispersing the discounts in my head where I so desired…

That made it like I was getting the tops for $38/piece, the earrings for $28, the dress for $68, and the pants for $18…..the way I did the math!! Ha!! You could distribute the dollars however you want. I did it that way because if I sent anything back, it would have been the pants.

 

…So Stitch Fix? Yea or Nay???

I’m going to have to go with “Yea!!!”, BUT since I bought all of it this time, I had to move my next Fix further out. It was super simple to switch from “every other month” to “quarterly”.

This will be a special, quarterly treat that I will be looking forward to.

What about you? Do you need help choosing new outfits? Want to give it a whirl?

Click on the photo below to give it a trial run. Let me know how it goes!! Already tried Stitch Fix? Comment below to tell us what you thought!



 

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Good-bye Summer

Only 1 more day until school starts back!!!  Yay!!!!

Y’all, I might have overdone it this summer. Hmmm, Israel, Washington, D.C., trips back and forth to my parents’ as well as Alan’s parents’ house, camps, and the beach!!???

Who does that?

It was wonderful, and yet it was also like eating way too much at an all-you-can-eat donut buffet.

I definitely over-packed this summer with fun activities.

Lesson learned. Schedule more down time. Of course, next summer is a moving summer, so all bets are off for that one.

Daniel with his Vacation Bible School goo.

Good-bye, somewhat-dear summer.

You’ve actually over stayed your welcome. It’s time for fall to arrive. You were a well-behaved summer, the most exciting summer I can remember. There was so much rain that the temps stayed out of the 100s. Thank the Lord for that. We will remember you fondly.

But I need regular life to become more…well, regular…again. So please take a coat with you as you go because last year winter never showed up for work, so it sort of felt like you never truly left us. We’re hoping that won’t happen this year. I happen to like winter.

Goodbye dear summer, thank you for reminding me how much work referee-ing 4 youngsters all day long is when it’s raining outside every blessed day. I do love reminders, but really it is time for you to go.  You really must be leaving. Australia is waiting for you.

All right, hon, you go get cooled off now. Send us some of that rain this winter in the form of snow.

Shut the door, and lock it. I over planned this summer, and I need it to end now.

School supplies are purchased, Open House was last night, and the big day is so close I can taste it.

We received an email the other day saying that the first two days of school will only be half-days, so no school lunch will be provided. I still have to feed them lunch. But I’m not going to let that kind of negativity drag me down, y’all. I bet if I leave ’em up there until 3 with granola bars in their backpack they will just think I got confused……

Kidding. I’m kidding. I will behave.

In all seriousness, we DID have an incredibly fun summer with no mishaps that I can recall. That in and of itself is enough to make anyone thankful. Plus, we went on about  3 different vacations. Amazing.

Yes, this summer actually was quite Disney like.

Here are a few photos of the highlights:

Still one of my favorite places in the world: Destin

Jesus hugging a soldier statue, at a church in Destin.

Some of you will be proud to know that Joshua always makes sure we go to church while on vacation.

 

This is the first time we let them stay up late enough to watch the movie at the pool. It’s always 8:30 before the movie starts, so that it will be dark, and in the past we always had babies.

 

Us in Jerusalem. Wait. Jerusalem? What am I whining about? Best summer ever!!!!

 

Alan’s cousin married one of the most beautiful brides I’ve ever seen, and their wedding was in this incredible building that used to be a Catholic Church.

We danced!

Nonna and DaddyO took the kids back to the hotel around 9, and Alan and I stayed out dancing until 10 or so!!! There should be more weddings. It was so fun to be dancing. More people need to get married and hire a deejay, and then invite us so we can dance.

They danced too.

Also, we taught the boys the YMCA song/dance on this trip.

my clingy sweetheart John David…This boy defines clingy.

By the way, those are the BEST high heels ever. I’ve had them since 2007. I wore them when I walked down the aisle at Amy’s wedding, 9 months pregnant. These are my official wedding shoes.

Just think, in 2001 this was a family of 4.

Washington, D.C. was a bittersweet trip because it made us miss D.C. all over again!!

Hanging with our friends at the Lincoln Memorial

Caleb has studied this giant Megalodon mouth for YEARS, and we finally got to see it in person. *Dreams coming true*

A beautiful day for touring the National Mall

The Capitol

Caleb’s birthday lunch at McDonald’s. Yeah. We’re fancy.

We gave Caleb his choice of places to go on his birthday in D.C. He chose our old neighborhood pool.

Birthday supper at Dairy Queen.

Caleb’s favorite birthday gift…..a Star Wars space ship to build. Anyone who knows Caleb knows he’s a hard core Lego fan.

Movie time with my boys that day my back didn’t work.

It looked this awesome for an hour….and then the strawberry juices ran, and strawberries started sliding off the cake. I just can’t make pretty food!!

The Ultimate Bubble Bath

Family Game Time

Nonna and Aunt Janet took the boys to see the Noah’s Ark replica.

…..and the Corvette Museum

Meanwhile, Sam’s started selling MY FAVORITE gluten-free bread. All other store-bought versions are disgusting. I love THIS stuff.

a house that Caleb built

Hard at work to earn money for a Nintendo Switch. It may take them a while, but they are off to a good start.

 

Yes, okay, this might have been the best summer ever. While I cherish the memories, I have now regressed to “Oh it’s raining, and it’s the last day of summer….Just watch t.v. all day…Yeah, sure, play 3DS too.”

So it’s definitely time to go back to school. Some of the boys were even wishing school was starting back today! Me too, y’all. Me too.

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2a time to be born and a time to die,

 

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

 

3a time to kill and a time to heal,

 

a time to tear down and a time to build,

 

4a time to weep and a time to laugh,

 

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

 

     Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

 

 

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