Stitch Fix Slump: Box #5

I am on to box #5…I think? That is how thrilled with Stitch Fix I am right now. It is kinda “meh” after two not-so-great fixes. I still have a small amount of credit left so I am hanging on to hopefully see at least one new thing I love, but it was not in this box.

Now, I say kinda “meh” but it is still fun. I like trying things on, the surprise of seeing what someone picked for me, and seeing things that I would not have picked up myself. Add a glass of wine and it is a pretty fun evening. I apologize for the lackluster photos. It is really cold in our house and Matt was busy drywalling (he is usually my photographer) and it was dark already so not ideal for photos. iphone images will have to do. And it was after a long day at work, sans makeup.

Bonus? I started working out again and have slimmed down a little bit! Clothes are fun to try on again!

So what was in this fix?

PIXLEY Martina Slub Knit Open Cardigan — $54.

It was good fabric…super soft and cozy, just a little too basic for the price.

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KUT FROM THE KLOTH Denna Skinny Jean — $78.00

These actually fit better than I expected, but they were slightly baggy around the knee and the whiskering went too low down on the leg. Just not quite right.

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LOVEAPPELLA Calisa Twist-Front Maxi Dress — $44.00

Slightly too big on top, but fit bottom well. The fabric was a beautiful color! However, I was not a fan of the twist front since the stitching seemed to always show. Good length though!

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41HAWTHORN Toullouse Collared Wrap Dress — $68.00

This one was so close! Great fit, great length, good fabric and color…but my husband said the stitching make me look like I had an extra set of boobs. Had to send back.image2fix

SKIES ARE BLUE Tory Textured Button Front Shirt — $48.00

I loved the fabric but the extra seam down the arms was not professional or “me” enough to earn a place in my closet.image1fix

So yea, back to the drawing board for my next fix in February. Fingers crossed I find something. Otherwise I am burning through my credit and sticking to shopping on Zappos.

Curious about my other fixes? Click here for #1, #2, #3, and #4!

Want to give Stitch Fix a try?  If you do, please use my referral link  :)

https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3354856

The Big Tree

Our back yard had a big tree. Tall and strong, protecting us from erosion and giving a beautiful frame to our view.

But our tree is broken. It’s double trunk was a tell-tale sign that the tree would not be a permanent fixture in our yard. Plus, it shaded our prime gardening area and soaked up so much water nothing would grow beneath it.

Bittersweet was the day the tree started to deteriorate. Two weeks ago we lost one of the two trunks in a spectacularly perfect fall in our yard. It landed cleanly only taking out one fence post in the garden we plan to redesign anyway.

With all branches on one side of the tree, and a huge wound in the side, we knew it was time to take our tree out for good. Armed with plans for replanting, both garden and slope stabilizing plants, we are ready to reshape the look of our property. We found a guy on the island willing to help us just for fun, so this past Sunday, the tree came down. It was a great experience. He coached Matt through the process and let him do all the sawing. After a few strategic cuts, the tree fell exactly where we wanted it to with a spectacular crash! Success!

Now we have a much wider view, more sunsets, more garden space. But we will miss that tree. Thank you for the life you provided while you were here.

Shades of Grey

With the new door drywall nearly complete we are back in painting mode. Since the living room (where the door is) already has new paint, this one is just a touchup project really. However, since part of the ceiling also needs to be touched up I am using the excuse of “the roller is already full of paint” to tackle the hallway ceiling too. And so then why not the walls? A paint color for the hallways and stairwell have always been a point of marriage contention for Matt and I. I blame Pinterest. All the walls in the immaculacy prefect looking houses? Grey. Warm grey, cool grey…but all grey and crisp and so fashionable. I think everyone and their mother has pinned something like these:

(Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams, Meditation by Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore, Sandy Hook Gray by BM, Shale by BM, Coastal Fog by BM, Anew Gray by Sherwin Williams, Mourning Dove by Martha Stewart, Wood Smoke by Glidden, Gull by Martha Stewart)

Described as the best paint color ever. Benjamin Moore revere pewter

How-to Pick the Perfect Gray Paint  I am re pinning this because every color goes with grey, you just have to find the right grey, also grey goes amazing with white trim and any other accent color you want

Thunder (AF-685) by Benjamin Moore    I chose this for a client at a recent colour consultation expecting it to be a grey beige. Once the painter was finished I realized that this is probably the perfect, elusive gray that we are all looking for. There are no obvious undertones that take over as there normally are with gray. It’s deceiving on the chip though because it looks more grey beige than gray

With tones as varied as driftwood gray and creamy latte, neutrals are anything but boring. Browse BHG.com's top neutral paint color picks to find the right hue for your rooms. Plus, learn the best tricks for decorating in neutrals.

Matt hates the idea of grey. And to some extent I agree, but I am working the grey card for these small transitional spaces.

In the past I have always used Behr paint and been very happy with it. But now that Matt gets an employee discount on Benjamin Moore we are giving that a go. I stalked colors and found two greys that I liked from a classic collection. I showed them to Matt, pulled out the other room color samples and we both agreed on one: York Grey. It is a warm tone that will go well with the other more “colorful” colors we picked for the rooms.

So here is to painting…and marital color disagreement! I am so ready to have these projects done!

Weekend Getaway to Roslyn

Do you remember the 90s TV show, Northern Exposure? Well, I don’t, but now am inclined to go find some old episodes! This past weekend we spent two days exploring the mountain town of Roslyn. It is an old coal mining community, home to Washington state’s oldest saloon, AND was where Northern Exposure was filmed.

Matt had been talking about a weekend trip to Roslyn ever since he drove through en route to his bachelor party camping trip. Since there is always a weekend between our birthdays we decided to celebrate this year with a short adventure out to the town. Spattered with the remnants of fall color, a perfectly blue sky day, followed by a rainy foggy (ie: epic color for photographs!) day it was perfect. We stayed in an airbnb (our first) and had a great experience.

Day 1 was our exploration day. We first walked the town of Roslyn, scouting out places for dinner and breakfast, and taking photos of the old buildings.

From there we ventured up towards Salmon la Sac and along the shores of Lake Cle Elum. We found a great place to pull off the road and shuffle down the slope to investigate the lake bed. It was beyond stunning. Bright gold leaves dotted fall along the shores, back dropped by mountains of dark green fir trees. The sun was out and the sky perfect clear blue. We wandered the shores then sat for awhile. When we looked up, we noticed an array of clouds rolling in (fast!) from the West. The predicted Sunday weather system was coming. It made for some spectacular photos.

After a trip to Cle Elum for decongestants and a rental movie (Chef. I recommend it.) we found our way to dinner at The Brick. This cool old saloon is literally a cornerstone for Roslyn and has quite the following across the state. We snagged a table and saw the last 10 minutes of the WSU football game (Go Cougs!) and chowed down on nachos and a philly cheese steak. At 5:30 it was pitch black and I was totally wiped out with a headache and sleepiness (yay for being sick on vacation right?). We drove back to our cozy room and hunkered down for the evening. Shower, movie, chocolate peanut butter pie. Sleep.

A downpour of raindrops woke us up around 3 am, and we used it as an excuse to make it a long slow morning. We lazed in bed, watched the Disney Robin Hood on Netflix and finally made our way to breakfast around 11. The Roslyn Café did not disappoint. I had biscuits and gravy and Matt tried a house specialty: a waffle filled with bacon! We lingered over coffee and watched the rain.

We took the raniy afternoon to drive the rest of the road to Salmon la Sac. Stopping at numerous viewpoints, campgrounds and Cooper Lake to just take in the scenery. We only saw a dozen other cars. Along the shores of Lake Cle Elum were some of the most spectacular views of fall color I have witnessed in the PNW. Not golds and oranges and reds of typical fall leaves, but bands of lichen and moss and other groundcover that swirled intricate patterns of red and brown and bright green as far as we could see. Outlined with golden trees and dark green firs it was breathtaking. My camera got a workout trying to capture it without getting soaked!

What a trip. Relaxing, beautiful, and exactly what we needed.

Officially Late 20s

On Halloween I turned 28. We celebrated a low key birthday, focusing instead on soaking up the community spirit of Halloween on Vashon Island.

At 4 o’clock  the main street in town is blocked off and every stop opens it’s door for little (and big!) costumed Vashonites to trick-or-treat. I cannot tell you how cool this event is. Yea, lots of places close down for trick or treating in town, but this is truly special. First of all, almost EVERYONE – parents, dogs, kids, babies, old people, young people – everyone is dressed up. Secondly, most of these costumes are homemade. Not slutty, not store bought, but good old “we used what we could find plus some imagination” costumes. It is pure magic.

Matt pulled out his annual zombie makeup and ripped clothes while I pranced around in sparkles, a tiara and sparkly dress from Zanzibar as a princess.

We ate dinner at Zombies (appropriately named burger place), wandered town and then headed to a dance party at Snapdragon. This all ages affair was so much fun and we ran into a ton of people we know. It is pretty fun to have a reputation on the island…apparently a good handful know us (quoting here) as the “lovey couple from the water taxi” and the couple from “honeymoon corner”. I love it.

Saturday night we really celebrated my birthday with a birthday dinner. Prawns, Spaghetti aglio e olio and balsamic brussels sprouts. Finished off with carrot cake and ice cream it was a winner.

So here is to 28! It is going to be a great year.

Spaghetti aglio e olio

An Italian classic. One of our go-to meals for a busy weeknight…but fancy enough for any occasion! Serves 2 large portions. Could easily be adjusted for any group size.

  • 4-5 Tbs olive oil
  • 4-8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tin anchovies in olive oil
  • hot pepper and Romano cheese
  • pasta

In small saucepan, add olive oil and garlic and simmer 2 minutes. Add anchovies and olive oil from tin and simmer until everything is just turning golden. Anchovies will be broken up into small bits.

Spoon on to freshly cooked pasta and toss. Add hot pepper and cheese. Enjoy!

Home Project: DIY Exterior Door

When our exterior deck door started leaking we knew it was time to replace it. But with a narrow and original old just about 30” width it was going to be hard to find a replacement door to fit, and we figured it was just more practical (kids, Christmas trees etc) to put in a wider, 36” door.

After three estimates, many door options rejected, and a simple, inexpensive Home Depot door settled on we decided to tackle this project on our own. Matt watched hours of YourTube videos and got on a first name basis with Shannon; a DIY video contractor on houseimprovements.com.

I am happy to report that our new door is in place, looks great and should be leak free! Great work Matt!

BEFORE:

Phase 1: remove old trim, remove latham/old insulation etc, build new studs and header

Phase 2: install new studs and header

Phase 3: remove old door and cut siding (thank goodness for a freak week of summer weather in October…it was 70 degrees!)

Phase 4: repair old threshold, cut more siding, decide on plan of action for flashing

Phase 5: install flashing, trim top edge, install door! caulk

Phase 6 (lets be honest here…by this point we lost count of phases…): insulation, foam insulation, trim inside, install drywall + at least 6 trips to the hardware store

Now on to the finish work!

I cannot wait to have the living room back in order and am BEYOND thrilled that Matt successfully tackled this project! We honed our skills with a fleet of new tools, and learned a ton about how our house is constructed. As a 1925 house, moved to the island in 1978 there is a lot of history to uncover. We also learned that NOTHING is square, plumb or level. “well, that is as good as it’s gonna get” was a common phrase. Thank goodness the leak is gone though and we got the door sealed up just in time for a huge fall wind/rain storm.

Now on to a carport and chicken coop! (and take down our big tree, build the retaining wall, and new garden plot, and build the cat porch) Ah, homeownership.

Another Craigslist Find

I am happy to report that Craigslist has been a success once again! I troll almost daily, looking for exactly the right pieces to make out home function well. A few weeks back we acquired a beautiful antique china cabinet that fits our dining room perfectly. This weekend we picked up another great find: a cabinet for our bathroom.

The master bath has forever been cluttered thanks to a lack of storage. No cabinets, no shelves beyond the medicine cabinet. Extra supplies have lived on the counter or in our closet. It was time for another piece of furniture.

After weeks of searching “bathroom cabinet” and “white cabinet” a perfect fit popped up. Even better: it was in West Seattle and right on our way home from weekend activities. We picked it up, strapped it to the top of the mini (man that thing has hauled a lot of stuff!) and it is now sitting proudly in our CLEAN and ORGANIZED bathroom. Ok, not quite perfect but it was laundry day and the hamper was more than full. It looks great now :)

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Thank you Craigslist. Now if you can find me the perfect bench for the dining table, I would be extra grateful.