Got My Fix

I don’t love shopping. It takes a lot of time and I’m definitely not going to try things on. As a busy mom trying to balance the world on my shoulders, I love Target because I can buy everything I need in one place. I mean who doesn’t love grabbing milk, diapers and a new dress all within 30 minutes?! While I love me some $6.48 shirts, I’d also like to broaden my wardrobe and not only wear low-quality digs every day.

I know there are stores like Nordstrom Rack or even TJ Maxx, that offer high-end clothing for less, but I really didn’t want to commit the time and I hate digging through racks. So – I turned to online shopping. There are a lot of sites that it can be overwhelming trying to decide which one might be worth the money. After doing some research I felt like Stitch Fix would be a good option for me. Besides if it didn’t work out I was only out the $20 for the styling fee.

How it Works
Sign up for an account online. If you want to use my referral link you can do so by clicking here. Complete a style profile by providing details on measurements, sizing and body shape as well as answering some questions on your style and lifestyle.

After you’ve made your selections you schedule your first shipment of 5 items to arrive. Then you wait impatiently for that tiny box to show up on your doorstep. Since you don’t know what you’re getting it’s like Christmas and the surprise and anticipation is almost unbearable! My first shipment finally showed up last week (it was on-time, I just have zero patience).

In my first package I received a pair of jeans, 3 blouses and a necklace. You also receive a note from your stylist on why they chose the items and a style card that shows you how to wear the item casually or in a more formal setting. When researching I read a lot of women who said that it took a while for their stylist to get the right look which made me think it would be very unlikely that I would like all 5 items.

Contrary to my belief, I did like all 5 items. The jeans are Level 99, Glenda Straight Leg. They are the MOST comfortable jeans I have ever put on my body and like the note from my stylist says, they fit perfectly and the length is spot on. The coral sleeveless blouse is Collective Concepts and similar to a few things in my closet, but I can tell it’s much better quality just by putting it on. The pleating and fit are also perfect. The aqua top is Papermoon and also similar to items currently hanging in my closet. The black top is 41 Hawthorn and while I probably wouldn’t purchase it while shopping for myself, I do love the fit and think the gold studs add a nice touch. Finally, I received a gold Bancroft bauble necklace to add a little sparkle to any of the outfits.

For the first time, I’m really happy with the items however the prices per item are higher than I would normally pay. That being said, if you choose to keep all 5 pieces, you receive a 25% discount. I opted for that route, making each item $34 a piece, which is a steal considering the jeans alone were $98.

I’ve already scheduled my  next fix and I’m excited to see what my stylist has in store for me. This time I specifically asked for a grey blazer and requested to not receive jeans again since I don’t need another pair. We’ll see if that works in my favor come September 10th!




JUP-SpaWomanAAs my last post vaguely mentioned, I decided that there was no better time to quit my job. I wasn’t in love with the role and life is too short to spend every day doing something you’re not happy with. That means I have been enjoying some funemployment for the last two weeks. Going in I envisioned my time off looking something like this ——->

I have a hard time doing nothing, so of course I have been keeping a journal of the things I’m accomplishing each day. On Day #1, I allowed myself to just sit on the couch, to drink my coffee and fill my brain with a ton of things I wanted to do with my time.  I made a list (duh) and felt energized to get things done!

Day #2 Will was running a fever so we stayed home together. While we were playing in the office (read, Toy Room) I decided I could no longer take the chaos and decided to purge and reorganize. Man did that feel good after it was done. Day #3 I was lucky enough to grab lunch with a dear friend at my favorite pizza joint, Porta Alba. This is no joke – if you live in, around or near Madison, you MUST go there. (Side note: I always order the Vegitariana pizza and it’s to die for!) This sounds so cheesy, but it was nice to spend time as just the two of us. Normally we have our kiddo’s & husbands in tow, making conversation more challenging.

Day #4 started with a visit to my hair stylist, who is one of the most talented & caring people I know. I love visiting her and this time was extra special because I learned she is expecting her first baby! I was then off to another great lunch date with three very close friends. I’ve decided that I’m never finding a job and will become a lady who lunches.  I haven’t figured out how to pay for those lunches but that’s not of importance! I spent the rest of the afternoon evaluating insurance plans (yuck)! Since that was no fun (understatement of the century) I decided to pick Ella up from school early and finally make our closed terrariums. Let’s hope they are as low-maintenance as they say!

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Day #5 I decided it was time to get down to business. Yes, I still had a lunch date with an old coworker, but I also cleaned and purged more of the house. Day #6 we had no school or daycare so it was me & the kiddo’s again. Ella was invited to a friends house for a playdate and had a blast. Will and I decided we would go for donuts, visit the pet store and grab lunch with dad. Day # 7 started out with some pampering, as I decided to give myself a manicure I saw on Pinterest. I then spent the rest of the day doing some real “work” for Kella Design.

Day #8 yet again included a lunch date with a great new friend. It was so much fun to chat with her and it turns out we both have something in common, we’re raising an extremely challenging and spirited 6 year old little lady! I can’t tell you how nice it is to find someone who can totally relate to what it’s like to parent someone like Ella. The constant struggle to “get her under control” all while trying to not squash her “spirit.” Day #9 was originally jam packed with meetings, but of course my OCD-self was starting to feel stressed that I hadn’t accomplished enough of the projects from my list, so I cleared my schedule. The morning started with some baby shower planning (my brother & SIL are expecting twins!!) and then quickly moved to house projects. We have been in a process of painting ALL of the trim in our house and had yet to tackle the trim in Ella’s room. This is when I was quickly reminded why I don’t normally paint my nails. So much for the manicure! I then did laundry, cleaned and purged the kids bedrooms and made an amazing dinner (again).

That brings me to Day #10, today! Ella has early release and she’s decided that she wants to spend it with mom. Turns out that no matter how much fun she had at her playdate, she’s extremely jealous of Will’s one-on-one time with mom. So we’re repeating the same day that Will & I had.

The days haven’t gone exactly as I planned and they definitely do not look like the peaceful spa image, but I have enjoyed them nonetheless. After looking at the journal, I feel like I have done a good job at balancing my time with a little pampering, a lot of productivity, projects crossed off the list, some great homemade meals and quality time spent with family & friends. I’m not entirely sure how much funemployment time I have left, but yesterday we got a healthcare bill in the mail and as Ella opened it she said, “wow, that’s a lot – mom, you better get back to work and make some money!” So I plan to continue to fill the days with as much as I possibly can because I’ll likely not get a chance like this again.


Let It Go

No. Even though you’ll often hear this tune playing in our house, car, sleep (I swear) – I am not referring to the insanely popular song sung by Elsa from Frozen. I am however talking about the only resolution I’m making in 2015.

Let it go. Everything! My job, my house, my kids & my marriage. Don’t start to panic, I haven’t lost my mind. I don’t mean that I’m literally letting go of those things (with the exception of my job), but I am working to let go of the small things tied to those important parts of my life.

I’m focusing on being grateful for the things our home already provides instead of seeing the “flaws” I want to fix. It doesn’t always have to look immaculate and magazine-worthy. Toys can be seen laying around and there might be some dirty dishes left on the counter. It doesn’t matter, let it go!

I will try to yell less. I know this is going to be a challenge, but I really want to find a way to make this happen because it’s not healthy for any of us and frankly – our kids deserve it. There is no way they are going to stop running, fighting, yelling and I don’t expect them to miraculously listen – but that’s what we signed on for and again, as long as they are not hurt – it doesn’t matter, let it go!

keep-calm-seriously-in-this-house-17I think if I can follow through on my first two goals, my marriage will improve as well. We are always so stressed because we are doing too many things at one time. Less home improvement projects will allow for more focused time to spend with the kids. Hopefully that added attention will eliminate some of the battles we’re constantly fighting on a daily basis. Lower standards for my children will provide less stress and hopefully less yelling and you know what they say, happy wife = happy life, right?

The year of 2014 was good to us, but I’m confident that 2015 will be even better. I will do my best to keep calm, even while living in this house amongst the inevitable chaos.



Embarrassment is an interesting and uncomfortable thing. The bad news is that I endured enough of it as a kid, but the good news is that it was so long ago that I can only remember it from photos. It also strengthened me to a point that I rarely let those types of things bother me. While I’m grateful that it now takes a lot to turn my cheeks pink, I still don’t want my kids to have to feel embarrassed by anything – especially things that are out of their control.

I worried about Ella starting school. It’s been a month now & when I ask how things are going, she barely says a thing. One night she mentioned that some kids were mean to her & my heart sunk. After some conversation I learned that some of the older kids were picking on her after school. I try not to jump to the worst-case scenario & instead ask open-ended questions. As I prodded for more information I realized that they were just taunting her for being the “little kid.” Whew – we dodged a bullet! While I was relieved, I also knew it would only be a matter of time.

That time came last week. Just like usual at bedtime I asked if things were going okay, but instead of the normal silence she said, “mom can I tell you something?” Again my heart sunk. I think I stopped breathing. She went on, “some of the kids ask me what happened to my lip.” I replied, “well, what do you tell them?” She went on, “I told one girl that I was born with a cleft lip & palate and my lip used to be open (as she tugs her lip up) and this mark is from my surgery.”

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 9.45.36 PMMy heart swelled with pride and then it just as quickly filled with sadness. She then said, “but i just tell the other kids that I don’t want to talk about it.” I asked her why not and she said the words that crushed me. “Because it’s embarrassing!”

Embarrassed. My little spitfire child! With a larger than life personality and more spunk than I even thought humanly possible. All this time I had hoped that all those characteristics that sometime drive me mad, would also be her life vest and keep her afloat during a time that is critical in shaping who she becomes. And yet here we are, only one month into starting school and she has already withered and caved.

I tried to explain that she has nothing to be embarrassed about and that when asked, she could use the same response she shared with her friend – but she said she’d rather just ignore it. I’m okay with that approach, but only if she’s truly able to block it out with impact, which is definitely not the case. I offered to come and talk to the school but I think the thought of that embarrasses her even more.

At this point, I don’t know how to help her and that damn near kills me. I hope that if we keep instilling confidence and reassure her that she is perfect in every way (we’re not talking about behavior) that she will be able to work her way through this and come out stronger – making these moments a distant memory. If not, I’ll have to go to school and kick some ass!


Summer Wrap

We’ve had a busy summer with working on many house & outdoor projects, but still finding time to have some fun! As a family we’ve stayed active by participating in a 5K run and an 8K bike ride, both for honorable causes. We visited two county fairs and much to our surprise, they both loved riding all of the rides. We won two new fish again, but luckily they only lasted two days (ain’t nobody got time for that)! We’ve collected all the parade candy our little hands could hold at both of our hometown festivals. We made some waves at the lake, caught some rays at the pool, smelled the sunflowers at the park and watched the fireworks over the 4th. We even stood in line for over an hour to see Bucky Badger at the annual Badger Family Day event, which was worth every single second! As you could guess from our Bucky themed birthday party, Will loves Bucky however when it came time to get up close & personal, he got a bit nervous. Of course Ella plopped right in he/she’s lap and the entire time Will kept trying to high-five with him.

Last past weekend we wrapped up our summer fun by going to the Dells for our anual trip. Once again we stayed at Cedar Lodge and the kids loved playing on the beach, swimming in the river and enjoying the campfire. On Sunday we went to Chula Vista to give Ella the opportunity to ride the slides and swim in the pool. The skies were pretty grey the entire time, but at least it was still warm and all in all, it was a great weekend!

What great summer and let’s hope for an even better school year!