Stich Fix!!

I am SO excited to tell you about Stich Fix! (If you don't know about them already...)

Backstory: I was browsing around Instagram and saw that a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend worked as a stylist for Stich Fix. Well, I love clothes so anyone with the title of "Stylist" automatically has my interest piqued. 

I Googled "Stich Fix" and immediately was brought to this cute website and I was hooked. 

I discovered that Stich Fix was a personal styling, personal shopping website that delivered 5 hand-picked items according to your style and preference each month (or less frequently, as you wish). They take the whole picture of *you* into consideration when shopping for you-- your Pinterest boards {yes, they ask for your links!}, your Instagram pics (if you want to share them) and even your Twitter and LinkedIn profiles so they can get a feel for who and what you're all about. I was impressed. 

Before I knew it, I was filling out an incredibly comprehensive style profile (including rating several outfit types according to preference and indicating how much of my cleavage/arms/back/legs I preferred to show). They also asked where I wore most of my clothing preference types (i.e., how often did I dress for work, how often did I dress casual, how often did I dress for cocktail hour, etc.). When I clicked "submit" and created my own profile, I felt pretty confident that the Stich Fix Stylists had a good handle on who I was. 

So here's how it works.

You schedule a date (it's about a month out) you want a shipment to arrive. You put down your credit card as a security deposit {but don't worry, it's not charged} and you wait for your clothing items. Meanwhile, your stylist is shopping for you and picking out pieces they think you would like. 

A month later, your clothes arrive! You get to try them on in the comfort of your home, pair with pieces you already have, and then send back whatever you don't want or like. The caveat is that if you don't like anything, you have to pay a $20 styling service fee for your stylists' time in picking clothes out for you. If you buy something, your styling fee is waived!

The moment I waited a month for... my Stitch Fix arrived!

Each box comes with instructions on what to do and how to participate in the Stitch Fix. 

There was a personalized note card from my stylist introducing herself and why she thought each piece would look good on me! 

Each item that was in my Fix came with a personalized styling and pairing guide on how to wear it and what to wear it with. 

What was in my Fix this month: 

I absolutely LOVED the first item I tried on!! The colors were not ones I would normally pick out for myself, but that is the great part about having a stylist and taking some risks. I was in the comfort of my own home and got the feedback of my family. I loved this dress! The first picture didn't come out great, but it is so flowy and made with stretchy, thick fabric that will keep me warm in the winter. Paired with some great boots and a jean jacket or cream sweater, this dress definitely screams fall fashion. I am definitely keeping this one. 

Item #2...

I loved the idea of this top, but I really did not care for the colors. It reminded me too much of a football goalie. If the lines were smaller or less bold, I think I would have liked it a lot more, but I wasn't a fan. Plus, the front cut hit me at my belt line which made me boxy, rather than elongating my torso. Not keeping this one. 

Item #3... 

I really liked the idea of this dress, but the cut as you could see from the first picture was not flattering at all. I felt like it was straight from the 90s... and that's not a good thing. Not keeping this one. 

Item #4... 

Well... as you can see, these pants are blah. I tried them on and to their credit, they were super soft. However, they were also extremely long (considering I told my stylist I was 5'4"...) so I am definitely not keeping these. I also updated my style preferences to not include pants anymore. Ick. 

Item #5

Ummm... No. Just... no. 

So when it was all said and done, I spent $68 on a cute, flattering fall dress and had a great shopping experience in the meantime. I am totally satisfied with my Stitch Fix shopping experience, and I highly recommend checking them out. If anything, it feels like Christmas morning when your shipment arrives!

Oh, and if you sign up using my referral link, we both get a bonus! Win-win! So check it out, and sign up for your first Stitch Fix today. When you get your shipment, let me know how it goes!

Part 3: 11 nights of bliss for less than $3000

A few weeks ago I started this blog series because I get questions all the time on how we can afford to travel so much, and what we do to save money while we're on a trip. I'm really open about how much we spend and what we get on our vacations without having to cut corners, sleep on park benches, not bathe, and eat three meals a day because I want my friends and family to know that taking glamorous, gorgeous, and relaxing vacations to tropical places can be affordable-- it just takes some planning and budgeting to make it happen. :)

I was particularly proud of the fact that for 11 nights this past March, we were able to fly to Florida from Portland, stay for four of those nights at a Hilton Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, rent a car, drive to Miami and Key West, take a cruise on Celebrity's gorgeous ship the Silhouette {staying in Aqua Class!} with a balcony room, free drinks, $150 on board credit and free gratuities, eat as much food as we wanted, and visit Grand Caymans, Cozumel, Jamaica and Haiti... all for $2700-- roughly $122 per person, per day. 

My previous post included some of the websites we used to plan and save money on the cruise-- including booking only two months in advance when many of the deals can be found. We could have saved even more money I imagine by going with a cheaper cruise company like Carnival, or even downgrading our room to an interior room. We probably could have knocked off $700 from our total price and still got to see some amazing places, but the type of room we had in our cruise made it all worth it because it was as close to the lap of luxury as I've ever had before... :)

Here is a day-by-day breakdown of what our costs were each day:

Flights: $500 ($250 per person)
Two nights of a hotel at the Hilton Hotel Fort Lauderdale via Priceline: $85 x 2= $200 (with tax)

Day 1: Pick up rental car ($11 a day through Priceline); check into hotel and grab some appetizers at Seasons 52 {an amazing Florida restaurant by the way!!}

Day 2: Explore Fort Lauderdale-- drive to the beach, share a burger for lunch, lay out, share happy hour for dinner. Total cost: $45 (food, gas)

Day 3: Turn rental car in, pay $8 for a taxi to the Fort Lauderdale cruise terminal; check into the ship and find our gorgeous room. Lay out, read, listen to music and get our vacation party started!

Day 4: At sea day. No money spent-- we had free drinks, free food and just read, relaxed and napped in the sun all day. 

Day 5: At sea day. Repeat day four all over again. :)

Day 6: Arrived in Cozumel. It was rainy this day, so we did not do anything except walk around downtown Cozumel. T bought some knock off Ray-Bans for $10 and we went back to the ship and relaxed. 

Day 7: Grand Cayman. Hired a private taxi driver to take us on a three hour tour of the island-- rum cake samples included. :) $20 per person ($60 total with tip)

Day 8: Jamaica: Went to a beach excursion which was so bad, Celebrity refunded our money. Walked around downtown Falmouth and then hung out on our ship again. Nap, eat, read, drink, repeat. $0 spent. 

Day 9: Haiti: Zero cost day again. We walked around the beach but didn't spend any money. Repeat day 8 as well. :)

Day 10: At sea day... no money spent... you get the picture. ;)

Day 11: Arrive back in Fort Lauderdale, check into Hilton hotel again for $85 a night, rent our car again for $11/day, drive to Miami and walk on the beach and grab apps again at Seasons 52 for dinner. $25 spent on dinner. 

Day 12: Drive to Key West (gas bill was around $35 because we had a Fiat), dinner at an amazing BBQ joint coupled with Key Lime Pie. Total cost for the day-- $75. 

Day 13: Turn in rental car, free shuttle to the hotel, free breakfast at hotel, fly home. 


13 days in paradise, and our total cost for the entire adventure was $2700-- food, gas, cruise, hotel, tips, sightseeing, drinks, flights, etc. We saw new countries, met a lot of new people and rested more than we knew we needed. So worth it!

You CAN make your vacation dreams happen! You just need to look for deals, set a budget and work hard to make it happen. You don't need to skimp just because your budget might be small. You also need to hit that big button that says "book" at the end of your reservation planning page... ;) 

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