Tag Archives: guilty pleasure

Five Reasons to Fall In Love With #StitchFix

I’m in love with Stich Fix. The delightful in home personal stylist company that sends five items picked just for you each month.

I blogged about them before when I first signed up.

Since then, I’ve received a dozen fixes and have so much fun seeing what’s inside each box.

15536165707_21e4b6d04e_z (1)For Newbies: 

Stitch Fix is a personal styling business that sends a box of handpicked items just for you each month (or less if you prefer) for the cost of $20/month.

Using a style profile you fill out, their expert team of stylists hand select items for you based on your preferences and notes to your stylist.

You don’t pay any shipping to or from. And your $20 styling fee goes toward any items you wish to purchase. If you keep them all, you get 25% off the box!

Pretty sweet, right?

You can sign up here using my referral link. 

Love it? Refer your friends and get a $20 credit for each person that signs up!

Not convinced? 

Here are five reasons I think you should try out Stitch Fix.

(And no, they’re not paying me to do so. I just really like this company.) 

1. Your stylist WANTS you to love your fix.

My first 6 fixes or so had a different stylist each time. But after I got a fix from Alix, I was hooked. She has been styling for me ever since. She pays great attention to my notes – which I make specific to help guide her. And she checks out my pinterest board for more inspiration on what looks I like. I have kept more items because she pulls colors and details I like. By pinning things of Stitch Fix’s profile, I’ve also received some of the items in my shipments.

Like this pom pom scarf.

Like this pom pom scarf.

And this tank top.

And this tank top.

2. Avoid malls, fitting rooms, and try things on with what you already own!

If malls and fitting rooms overwhelm you, or you often suffer from buyer’s remorse. Stitch Fix could be a great solution for you. When your shipment arrives, you get 3 days to try stuff on – AND DO TRY IT ALL ON! And since you’re at home, you can mix and match the items they send you with what you already own to see various looks and feel good about your purchases.

And bonus, you’re stylist also sends you style cards with two looks for each item she sends you. This will give you tips for how to wear the looks and what colors are great to coordinate with it.

I nabbed this lace kimono top and dressed up a basic tee and print scarf.

I nabbed this lace kimono top and dressed up a basic tee and print scarf.

3. Feel pampered.

Everyone deserves to feel good about their wardrobe and that it expresses their unique style. I love that Stitch Fix feels like a treat. The items are packaged neatly and their customer service is exceptional. I had one bad fix that was not my style at all. I left detailed notes about why the items weren’t right me and I immediately got an email apologizing and thanking me for my feedback. I was not turned off and found my next fix much improved.

Plus on the style cards you receive, your stylist also writes you a personal note. I love that Alix always refers to the events I have coming up and how she picked out pieces to wear for them. Makes me feel like I am shopping with a good friend.

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Here’s how beautiful the fixes come wrapped and one of my style cards.

4. Find unique pieces for your wardrobe.

I grew up in a small town, and even now, there is one mall where everyone shops. It’s nice to have some unique pieces in your closet that you won’t have to worry about someone else showing up in the same thing. I tend to ask for workwear in my fixes and I love the bright colors and unique prints my stylist sends me.

This bright magenta top has lace sleeves making it fun and romantic with jeans but easily dressed up with black pants or a skirt for work.

This bright magenta top has lace sleeves making it fun and romantic with jeans but easily dressed up with black pants or a skirt for work.

Pardon my headless horseman shot. LOL - But this tank and skirt came from Stitch Fix. The tank has lace detail on the back and shoulders and the skirt is a navy and cream comfy knit but very dressy for work.

Pardon my headless horseman shot. LOL – But this tank and skirt came from Stitch Fix. The tank has lace detail on the back and shoulders and the skirt is a navy and cream comfy knit but very dressy for work.

5. They are great social media friends.

I follow Stitch Fix on multiple platforms. Their blog has great style tips for every season and occasion. They share what’s new on Pinterest and Instagram. They tweet back to clients when you write about your fix. And they have a photo contest every friday where you can enter to win a Stitch Fix credit. Just tag your photo with #StitchFixFriday!

Here is one of my #StitchFixFriday photo submissions. The sweater and jeans were in my fix.

Here is one of my #StitchFixFriday photo submissions. The sweater and jeans were in my fix.

*****

What are you waiting for? The most you can lose is $20.
Give Stitch Fix a try

*****

Want to see what else came in my fix? Here are a few of my fave fix items.

photo 1 (9) photo 2 (8) photo 4 (6)

Happy fixing! Be sure to send me pics of your first fix so I can seeeeeee!

What is your most dire wardrobe need?
Mine was shorts. Why do they make them all so… so short? 😉

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The Ultimate Mix CD Revealed + Giveaway Winners

I thought it was time I revealed the master playlists from the Phenomenal Woman and Cafe Mixes. Every year I create 2 mix cds as gifts for my mom and sister – a phenomenal woman mix full of upbeat dance tunes, and a cafe mix for relaxing at home. I’ve enlisted help from the blogosphere for the past several years in finding just the right tunes to add and I hosted a giveaway for those that shared ideas.

Thank you all so much for sharing your musical suggestions with me. To see all the recommendations, check out The Ultimate Mix CD Project.

Here are the winning contenders!

Phenomenal Woman Mix:

1. Shake It Off  by Taylor Swift

2. Hideaway by Kiesza

3. Mother and Father by Broods

4. His Gorgeousness by The Shoe

5. Tough Love by Jessie Ware

6. Ghost by Ella Henderson

7. My Silver Lining by First Aid Kit

8. The Chain by Brandi Carlile

9. Knots by Lisa Hannigan

10. Gun by CHVRCHES

11. Coffee by Sylvan Esso

12. Wings by Birdy

13. Safe & Sound by Savannah Berry

14. Pompeii by Jasmine Thompson

15. Wolf by First Aid Kit

16. Last Bus Out by Jillette Johnson

17. Spectrum by Florence + the Machine

18. Beating Heart by Ellie Goulding

19. Higher by Lia Ices

20. Rockstar by Emily Kinney

21. Enough by The Mrs.

*****

Cafe Mix:

1. Paper Cup by The Shoe

2. Long Way Off by Gungor

3. Fare Thee Well by Oscar Isaac and Marcus Mumford

4. Kids by Emily Kinney

5. Stay With Me by Bernhoft

6. Michigan by The Milk Carton Kids

7. Li’l Red Riding Hood by Laura Gibson

8. Just Another Day by Stacey Earle

9. I See Fire by Ed Sheeran

10. Come Out Wherever You Are by Paul Cook & The Chronicles

11. Like a Dream by Francis and the Lights

12. Woodstock by Joni Mitchell

13. Somebody That I Used to Know by Madilyn Bailey & Jake Coco

14. Mull of Kintyre by Wings

15. Be Not So Fearful by A.C. Newman

16. Shadow on the Wall by Brandi Carlile

17. Poison & Wine by The Civil Wars

18. 18th of December by The Deep Dark Woods

19. You and Me by You + Me

20. Go To Sleep by The Avett Brothers

*****

There are the ultimate playlists! Happy listening.

And the winners of the cd giveaway are…

Lauralynn Elliott and Susan Dahlstrom

Congrats ladies!

***

What were your favorite tunes of the past year?
Find any new favorites from these playlists?

 

When Murder and Mr. Darcy Mix: Top 5 Reasons to Watch Death Comes to Pemberley

Last night, like so many Jane Austen fans across the country, I tuned in to watch Masterpiece’s mini-series version of Death Comes to Pemberley.

Ok, I did a little more than “tune in.”

Death Comes to Pemberley

 

Yes. Yes, that is me watching the show, following the live tweet stream,
and texting my sister about it all at the same time. 

I need 2 more hands and maybe a Go Pro to capture the real magic of this moment. 

Anyway…

The PBS movie is based on the bestselling book, Death Comes to Pemberley, by P.D. James. And it’s written as a sequel to the happily ever after ending in Pride and Prejudice by my girl, Jane Austen.

Lizzie Bennett is now married and mistress of Pemberley. She and Darcy have one son. And the day before they are to throw a grand ball, Lizzie’s compulsive little sister, Lydia, shows up screaming bloody murder. A search party finds the body of one former militia man, Denny, DEAD in the woods. And the leading suspect? None other than Derbyshire’s King cad, George Wickham.

Much to their disappointment, Lizzie and Darcy now find themselves pulled back into the reckless life of Wickham.

It’s murder and mayhem with a dash of Mr. Darcy! 

Matthew Rhys as Mr. Darcy and Anna Maxwell Martin as Elizabeth Darcy 

The Twitter feed following the first episode was alive with comparisons of P.D. James’s book and Jane Austen’s. Everything from the cast to the costumes was scrutinized, and for the most part applauded. I did laugh out loud when for a brief minute, the hashtag #FreeWickham started trending.

Five Reasons to Watch Death Comes to Pemberley

1) Reunite With All Your Favorite Characters

They’re all back. Lizzie. Mr. Darcy. Lizzie’s parents. Jane.

2) Reunite With All Your LEAST Favorite Characters

Lydia is a big part of this murder mystery, as it is her husband, the sleazy George Wickham who is suspected of committing the crime. Twitter fans raved over Jenna Coleman’s portrayal of the selfish, whiney Lydia. She is still selfish beyond compare. And Wickham is still deceitful and anything but a gentleman. But, is he a murderer?

3) Return to Pemberley 

The set of Pemberley and the rooms inside were well constructed to match that of the previous books and films we’ve come to adore. An English manor set in the countryside full of the finest china and most beautiful sunrooms. The costumes are exquisite. Darcy is still strapping as ever. Lizzie is handsome in egg shell blue gowns. Even Wickham, in his redcoat regimentals, has the ladies of Twitter still swooning – it helps that he’s played by Matthew Goode.

4) Experience the Gothic Version of Pride and Prejudice

The cinematography of the show is quite stunning. From wide open green spaces to haunted woods with scraggly trees, to mist covered mansions, and ghost stories! P.D. James’s version of Pemberley seems to be taking a nod from the Bronte sisters’ love for gothic literature. Or from Ms. Austen herself, with her earlier work, Northanger Abbey.

5) Find out MORE about the Lizzie and Darcy love story!

Yes, there’s a happily ever after, but that isn’t the end of the tale. Both Lizzie and Mr. Darcy still struggle with their pride and prejudice. And there are secrets Darcy hasn’t yet told. Can Lizzie reconcile the damage her family has once again caused their social standing? So many new questions!

The second, and final, episode of Death Comes to Pemberley is set to air on November 2nd, 8pm CST. Join in to witness how Wickham’s trial for murder goes. If he’s found guilty, he will hang.

Did you tune in this week?

I Might Need An Intervention: When Brand Loyalty Becomes a Problem

Hey Friends!  I’m beyond thrilled to welcome my special guilty pleasures guest today for her debut on the Happiness Project!  Please give a warm welcome to Renee Schuls-Jacobson and her guilty obsession with HAIR! 

*****

Since the 8th grade, I have had a love-hate relationship with my hair.  I love being able to hop out of the shower and just towel off and go, but I never feel I really look polished enough when it counts.

Over the years, I have stretched and pulled, given myself deep conditioning treatments and slept in bandanas: each curl pressed flat and curing overnight in V-05 in an attempt to give myself straight, swingy hair: the kind of hair I always saw girls toss across their shoulders and catch in one hand before they laid down on their towels in their bikinis. I wanted Farah Fawcett’s hair. Or the hair from the “Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific” commercials.

Instead, I got long, curly hair that morphed into a frizzy pyramid if combed or touched. The rules were clear. Never touch my hair once it dried.

Seriously, sometimes it looks like this!

Seriously, sometimes it looks like this!

I’ve posted pictures of myself on my blog.

Usually, I am wearing a hat.

But occasionally I have shared other photos. Confession: these pix were usually taken immediately after I saw Michael, my hair guy. Because Michael knows how to make my hair behave. But I can only afford to look like a glamour-girl once every nine weeks.

The rest of the time, I’m on my own.

Many years ago I fell in love with a hair care product. You know the good ones? The ones that are on the top shelf? Or at eye-level? Yeah. Well, now drop your eyes about two shelves down.

Now go lower.

My senior year in high school, I discovered paradise in an aerosol can. In 1985, a magical white foam gave my hair manageability. After just two {maybe three} dollops, my hair was perfect. And by perfect, I mean it did not move. Sometimes my hair was crunchy. I didn’t care. It never frizzed again.

A few months back, I noticed my mousse had been out of stock for a while.

Eventually, I got jittery and decided to inquire.

“I don’t think we’re getting that brand anymore,” replied a heavy-set woman at the front desk, her hair knitted into tight braids.

Hurrying home, I parked myself in front of the computer, prepared to conduct my own Internet search.

By then, I was getting low on my stuff.

I found my junk mousse at drugstore.com marked with a red asterisk.

I scrolled down to figure out what that bit of red meant.

Ohmyholyno.

I didn’t think it could happen again. They did this to me in the 1970s with “Pink Lilac in Love” fingernail polish. It was the best color in the whole world. Don’t even try to Google it. It won’t come up. It isn’t even on Wikipedia. But I remember when my favorite color disappeared. You know what happened? I stopped wearing nail polish.

Years later, Gabriel Cosmetics discontinued their ZuZu Luxe lipstick in Uber. You guys, I bought the last 10 tubes; that’s how much I loved that stuff. I rationed carefully so as to make sure I had one tube left to use for my son’s bar mitzvah back in June of 2012. I have long since finished that tube and continue to search for the right lip color. I haven’t found it. Not yet.

But we are talking about hair now. How could they discontinue my mousse? I actually made an appeal to the makers of Condition 3-in-1 Maximum Hold Mousse. I begged them. Please, I’ve been using it for 30 years.

Please, don’t screw with my mousse.

I was instructed to purchase as many cans as I could afford.

I ordered 20 cans. And then I ordered 20 more. When my friend came up to visit from Florida, she brought me another 10 cans. Can you imagine? She checked a bag filled with mousse for me, you guys. Because she has a curly-haired daughter, and she understood my plight. She knows I have tried eleventy-three skillion other brands and that nothing else works.

So it’s official: this former clutter consultant is now a hoarder.

IMG_0860

About 47 more to go. Is that wrong?

I plan to hold onto my remaining bottles of mousse for as long as possible because I have yet to find an alternative.

And here’s the worst thing. I kill about two cans of this stuff a month. That’s 24 cans a year. I’ve got two years’ worth of product stashed here.

Unless the chemicals inside break down, which I’m told, they might.

It’s looking grim, people.

Eventually, the jig is going to be up.

And then where will I be?

Why do manufacturers do this to us? Make us fall in love with their products and then discontinue them?

What items have you loved and lost? And seriously, if any of you curly-girlies out there have suggestions about what to do about my impending frizz, please let me know.

• • •

Catch more of Renee on these Social Media Sites!  She’s one of my favorite writers to stalk follow!  I heart you, Renee!  Thanks for being a part of the Happiness Project!

@rasjacobson –  on Twitter

Blog: http://rasjacobson.com

Safety Not Guaranteed

If you saw a classified ad offering you a chance to time travel, would you check it out?

That’s the premise of the recently released film, Safety Not Guaranteed, directed by newcomer Colin Trevorrow.  Starring Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), Jake Johnson (New Girl), and additional newcomer Mark Duplass (The League, The Mindy Project), this film is definitely a new guilty pleasure favorite of mine!

Utterly lovable characters, each with their own agendas and quirks, entwine paths by answering an unusual ad placed in a newspaper.  There’s Jeff (Johnson), the magazine writer who finds the article and uses the story idea to vacay to a town where a lost girlfriend lives.  Hitching along for the ride, are interns Darius (Plaza) and Arnau, who will get more involved then they mean to in the life of Kenneth (Duplass), the man on a mission to go back in time.

What the team isn’t banking on is their lives changing forever.  Jeff’s fantasy isn’t all he thought it would be.  Arnau may not be the rule abiding intern he thinks he is.  And Darius’ world will forever change after she takes the roll of training with Kenneth to prepare for the launch date of their time travel.  Perhaps some things aren’t as impossible as we think they may be.

Add in some secret agents, a covert operation to a laser technology facility, and some martial arts training on the beach, and we’ve got ourselves a whopper of a wonderfilm!

For many of the actors and crew involved, this film was a make it or break it story.  They wanted to make a movie, but they knew it had to be well written and it would involve a lot of growth from everyone in the process.  In my opinion, they did it exceptionally well.

If you had regret, and more specifically regret about the loss of a loved one, would you travel back?  If you thought you could save them?  In this central emotion, Darius and Kenneth connect, and though they might be crazy, they’re going to see it through.

Safety Not Guaranteed.

Have you seen this movie?  What do you think?

Would you time travel if it was possible?  Why would you go back and who would you take with you?  Better yet, what would your classified ad look like?

Countdown to the Oscars: Nana Nana Boo Boo, My Predictions Were Right…Mostly

I’d originally planned to get my year end review of 2012 books out there, but you all know it was going to go on hold with the announcement of:

The 2013 Oscar Nominees!

With nine nominations for Best Picture, y’all better tie your kicks and scurry them butts to the theater in time to catch these flicks before awards night!  On your mark, get set, say “Cinema!” 

Are you ready?  Cause I’m gonna call it like I see it!

Best Picture Nominees:

  • imdb.com

    Amour kicks off the list, from Austria, and most likely to win Best Foreign Language Film, starring oldest Oscar nominee in history, Emmanuelle Riva (age 85), and Jean-Louis Trintignant as a retired couple whose love is tested when Anne (Riva) suffers an attack which will forever change their lifestyle.

  • Argo – The surprising film that made it in, despite being released back in October of 2012, which in Oscar world may as well have been dog years earlier.  Kudos to Alan Arkin for notching a second Oscar nom for the flick in the role of Best Supporting Actor.  Arkin’s made a bit of a comeback for himself in indie comedies like Little Miss Sunshine and Sunshine Cleaning, alas as the film received no major notes for Best Actor (wasn’t shocked there, Ben Affleck, but still proud of ya!) or in Best Director, I’m afraid I’ll have to count this one out as a true contender for Best Picture.
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild – Or what I’m calling, “This year’s slightly better contender than The Tree of Life“.  Ah, remember that one?!  It was nominated last year for Best Picture and it starred Brad Pitt.  Millions of you flocked to the theaters and movie rentals and then came out going WTF???  I think Beasts of the Southern Wild is going to be this year’s art film entry, but one that is going to make a lot more sense.  It’s a magical tale of a little girl named Hushpuppy (artsy film hint #1) who comes of age one summer amidst her father’s ailing health and some melting snow-caps that are causing flooding in her bayou home.  There’s something about mythical beasts in there too… (artsy film hint #2)  The film did wonders at the Sundance Film Festival and now, Quvenzhane’ Wallis (age 9) is the youngest person to be nominated for Best Actress.  I gotta say, I think it’s sweet, but I don’t think the Academy…at least I HOPE the Academy would select another contender.  Seems a lot to assume this 9 year old (8 at the time) performed better than any other actress out there!  Especially ones who’ve trained and practiced their craft for years.  Don’t wanna be an ageist, but I can see Naomi Watts throwing knives!!

imdb.com

  • Django Unchained – Well, bite my tongue!  They decided to let Quentin Tarantino in again!  I’m ecstatic!  But I’m afraid this nomination is all the glory Tarantino is going to see.  Without other nominations in the key categories, I think we can safely eliminate this film from winning Best Picture.  Too many rumors fled the entertainment news for me to be surprised that neither Kerry Washington nor Jamie Foxx were nominated.  It’s a bit of a snub, if you ask me, that Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t receive one, but wild card winner could award a Best Supporting Actor to Christoph Waltz, now a Hollywood favorite since Inglorious Bastards.  With a new spin on the story of slavery, I’ll be eager to see how the action drama does!
  • Les Miserables – For the last several years, any musical that gets nominated typically wins Best Picture.  Remember all the hype Chicago got in 2002?  Probably couldn’t pay most of you to watch the film now!  But Les Miserables has all the facets:  an all-star popular cast full of eye candy and talent plus a slew of pop culture trends and rising!  Yes, yes, even Miss Susan Boyle, our very own Britain’s Got Talent queen has made the music from this movie popular!  And well done Anne Hathaway, scoring a Best Supporting Actress role along with co-star Hugh Jackman, up for Best Actor!  *wipes drool*
  • imdb.com

    Life of Pi – Nominated for Best Director, Ang Lee, the awesome one who gave us Sense and Sensibility, is back with another Best Picture Nominee.  Life of Pi, masterfully illustrates the story of Pi, a shipwrecked and castaway boy who faces the perils of the sea with the odd, but only other survivor, a Bengal tiger.  I don’t know about this one yet as I haven’t seen it.  I think Ang Lee stands a chance, but without any acting nominations, could it take home Best Picture?  We shall see.

  • Lincoln – Of course!  Of course Daniel Day-Lewis comes out of actor hiding to score another Oscar nomination for Best Actor!  Rewind to There Will Be Blood, Gangs of New York, and My Left Foot!  The man is unstoppable!  And with Steven Spielberg in the running for Best Director, this could be a triple threat!  Except…it doesn’t end there!  Sally Field is up for Best Supporting Actress and Tommy Lee Jones for Best Supporting Actor (Those of you who read my review of Hope Springs may be shocked to know I’m actually rooting for him this time!) 

imdb.com

  • Silver Linings Playbook – Fantastic news for fans of The Hunger Games Winter’s Bone, Jennifer Lawrence scores another Best Actress nomination opposite her co-star, Bradley Cooper, who has his own Best Actor nom.  Kudos to Cooper for breaking away from such comic roles as The Hangover and The A-Team to take on more in depth characters with Limitless, The Words, and of course, this nomination for Best Picture.  David O. Russell, up for Best Director, Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver both up for Best Supporting Actor/Actress leads me to believe that Silver Linings is going to be the strong contender against Lincoln and Les Mis.
  • Zero Dark Thirty – The cinematic retelling of the Navy S.E.A.L. team that took out Osama bin Laden.  From The Hurt Locker director, Kathryn Bigelow, first female to win the Best Director Award, Zero Dark Thirty has been highly anticipated.  However, will this film hold the same weight for the Academy as The Hurt Locker?  Bigelow was not nominated for director this year, but Jessica Chastain is up for Best Actress!  Careful, Quvenzhane’, Jessica’s got guns!  You guuuuys, I’m talking about her acting chops!  Didn’t you see her in that artsy film The Tree of Life?!

There you have it!  The 2013 Academy Awards nominees for Best Picture.  For a full list of nominees, check out ABC’s ballot of all categories! 

Your reactions?!  What flick is your pick for the winner?  Any titles you think were robbed of a nomination?  Inquiring minds HAVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING!!!

Oh, and want to know what I was slightly right about, but mostly wrong?  The Hobbit!  No nominations for Directing, Cinematography, Costume, or Original Song!  It did however get noms in Visual Effects and Make-up, leaving me to fess up, I was “mostly” wrong, but slightly right.

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