Stitch Fix

I recently discovered a new and VERY cool thing, called Stitch Fix.  It’s a company that essentially becomes your very own online personal styling service.  You sign up with them, fill out a questionnaire about your fashion likes and dislikes and pick how often you want your shipments to come.  You receive 5 items each shipment and then have 3 days to choose what you will keep and what you will send back.  The shipping is always free.  You pay $20 per shipment upfront, but it is credit towards any purchases.  When you return items, you fill out a return form online and explain what you did or didn’t like about each item.  This way, your consultant will learn more about you and hopefully your fixes will get better and better.  So far I have gotten 2 fixes and purchased one item from each.

Here is what my first fix looked like:

First glimpse!

First glimpse!

This is the skirt I kept

This is the skirt I kept

Shirt and necklace

Shirt and necklace

shirt

shirt

jacket

jacket

I didn’t really care for the shirts.  Too much “lace” and the jacket was too tight and the necklace just wasn’t me.  I forgot to take a picture of the tag attached to each item.  They give you ideas of what to pair it with.  I love this because I’m awful at putting an outfit together.  If you buy all 5 items in the fix, they give you 25% off the total price.  I’ve gotten many compliments on the skirt!

 

Here is my 2nd fix (I found someone to take my pics!  My first ones were horrible!):

IMG_1917

First glimpse

cute shirt but too big

cute shirt but too big

loved this shirt!

loved this shirt!

sweater and necklace

sweater and necklace

dress

dress

example of a tag

example of a tag

I only kept the dress in this fix.  I really liked the blue and white shirt, but it was very revealing in the front and didn’t know what to do about that!  Since in both of my fixes, my shirts were too big, I have since gone down a size on my questionnaire.  I love that it gives me new ideas, it’s not something you’ll find in your local Kohl’s or Target, and its so fun to get clothes in the mail as a total surprise!

 

If you want to check it out, click on this link:

https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3168173

For everyone you get to sign up after clicking on your link, you get a $25 credit!  I had a co-worker try it out last month and I got my credit, just like they said.  Her first fix wasn’t as successful, but we are hoping they will learn her style as time goes on!  She did keep a sweater, but some of the other stuff just wasn’t her style.

Check out their website and let me know what you think!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I am a Triathlete!!!!!!

IMG_1884Last weekend on September 22nd, I participated in my very first triathlon!!!  The best way to describe my feelings upon crossing that finish line were elation, happiness, pride, and accomplishment.  But just one hour and 3 minutes prior to that my feelings were very different.  They were feelings of fear, dread, uncertainty, and nausea.  So, going from those negative feelings to ones so positive in that little span of time took awhile to process.  Let me start 2 months prior.

I had every intention of following my triathlon training plan.  I printed it out many months in advance, put it all in an organized folder and marked the start date on my calendar.  As the first day approached I realized just how difficult this training would be.  I didn’t want to stop my mornings at the gym, which meant my tri training would have to take place after work.  I hate dislike working out in the latter half of the day.  My sweet sister agreed to meet me at the local swim center 2 days a week to swim laps with me. This really helped give me the nerve to at least show up at the pool.  The first day I showed up with ear plugs, goggles, a swim cap, and a nose clip.  Once entering the pool area I realized the high school swim team would be waiting until 5 pm to start their practice and therefore laughing at  watching me. I quickly removed all my hole plugging equipment and jumped in the water with nothing but my swimsuit on.  And even quicker, I realized I could not for the life of me figure out how to regulate my breathing and swim like the pros.  So, I proceeded to swim laps of doggie style, back stroke, and butterfly (without going under water).  Ha ha!!!  But hey, the rules said I could swim any style I wanted.  My only goal was to swim 10 laps without stopping.  I managed to make it to the pool maybe 5 times to practice and never once timed myself to see how slow I really went.

IMG_1880

I’m passing someone!!!

IMG_1887

I was actually smiling!

I bought my bike while visiting friends in New Jersey on a whim from someone on craigslist.  I never even got on the bike to see how it fit me.  It looked nice, so I bought it!  I thought the gears were broken so I took it to the bike shop to get fixed.  I was quickly told, very nicely, that I just didn’t know how to change them!!!!  LOL!!! I then rode it once around my neighborhood 5 times (to avoid riding in traffic), for a total of 6.5 miles.  My arms hurt so bad I couldn’t lift them the rest of the day.  While talking about my experience at work one day, a co-worker (who is an avid cyclist) offered to ride with me.  I was very intimidated but reluctantly agreed.  I’m SO GLAD I took her up on her offer.  She gave me such great advice.  I also learned my bicycle is WAY too big for me.  We rode 11 miles that day, so I knew I could survive the 9 miles in the race.  I bought a helmet the week of the race and fixed the straps the day before.

IMG_1885      IMG_1888

I didn’t do anything to train for the run.  I figured I had that in the bag.  I scoffed at doing a brick.  I figured all those burpee/run rounds at the gym had my legs strong enough for that.

So off I drove to Charlotte the day before the race for packet pick up and a free transition class.  That is the part I was most terrified of.  I had my bike packed and my bag full of things I needed.  I had my swimsuit (no goggles or swim cap for me!  Who needs that if you don’t plan on going under??), towel, shorts, shirt, running shoes and socks, helmet, glasses, and bib belt.  The class was very informative and answered a lot of my questions.  Then Gordon and I drove the bike course and that really really helped put my mind at ease.  We ate dinner and were in bed my 8 pm!  I didn’t sleep well and had a dream that I chickened out and then hated myself forever after that.

The morning of I went through the motions, all the while thinking I could back out if I needed to.  I put all my things in the transition area, got sharpied up on all my arms and legs.  I wasn’t too thrilled about having my age out there for everyone to see.  Then I had to wait forever before it started.  I almost left about 500 times while watching the really good swimmers warm up.  I felt very out of my league.  We had to rate our swimming ability and start accordingly.  I rated myself as a 3, with 10 being the best.  While standing outside in the freezing morning breeze with nothing but my swimsuit and nerves, I watched as the first girl came running by on the last leg of the run.  REALLY!!???  I hadn’t even started yet!!!  I really really wanted to leave.

Then we were ushered into the building where the pool was.  I plodded along in the line, trying not to throw up.  Then I was finally at the start line.  This was it.  I jumped in the pool and tried to keep calm.  I PASSED 3 people!!!  What!??  I never saw that coming!  I was also cheered on by Gordon and a dear friend of mine from Jersey.  It was so great to have them there!

Then it was on to the bicycle portion.  At first I was all nervous about drafting and passing.  Then someone passed me.  And I thought, Oh heck no.  That was the only person that passed me.  I then proceeded to pass at least 30 people, even on hills!!!!  I just tried to remember what Tracie taught me about changing gears and keep calm.

Then I got off my bike for the run and thought, oh crap.  My legs felt SO BIG!!!  I thought the run would be the easiest part, but it was actually the hardest!

IMG_1891      IMG_1892

I learned a lot about myself that day.  I can actually do a lot more than I give myself credit for.  I’m stronger than I give myself credit.  And I can put myself in a situation where I’m WAY out of my comfort zone, and come out stronger on the other side.  Our church service today really spoke to me.  It was about doing things in the face of fear.  Not letting fear control you.  I feel I did that last weekend.  I almost let it win, but I didn’t.  Out of 147 in my age group, I finished 45th.  A number I’m very proud of 🙂

Best Ranch dressing EVER

I’m not kidding.  This is the best ranch dressing I’ve ever had. You will find yourself thinking of foods you can dip in this stuff all day long.

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced

1 Tbsp dried chives

1/2 cup Olive oil mayo (see recipe in previous post)

1 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.  If it’s too thick, add either lemon juice or water, 1/4 tsp at a time, until it’s the right consistency.

 

No fuss Salmon cakes

Remember the no-fuss salmon cakes I referred to a couple of posts ago?  How I said they were NOT fuss free.  Well, I found a way to make them fuss free!  So I wanted to share the recipe because they are so delish.  I got this recipe from It Starts With Food.

It calls for one can (14.75 oz) wild-caught pink or red salmon.  But this is what you have to pluck all those bones from.  Just buy the equivalent in the foil packs.  NO BONES!  Who knew?

1 cup canned sweet potatoes (the only place I could find sugar-free, just plain ole potatoes was at Whole Foods)

1 egg

1/2 cup almond flour

2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley (or 2 tsp dried)

2 scallions, white and green, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp minced fresh dill (or 2 tsp dried) ~ I’m not a fan of dill, so I omitted it

1 tsp hot pepper sauce (I used the cock sauce)

1/2 tsp paprika

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 Tbsp clarified butter or coconut oil, melted

Preheat oven to 425.

Add all ingredients except the butter to a large bowl and mix well.  Put in the fridge for 5-10 minutes.

Brush your pan with some of the melted butter.

Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop out salmon mixture and make into “cakes” and put onto pan.

Bake for 20 minutes, flip and bake for 10 more minutes.

I served mine with some homemade mayo and relish for quick and easy tartar sauce.

I finally found it

So, today I came to a realization that has been a long time coming.  As many of you know, I’ve really struggled with finding a group of like-minded people to push me physically since I moved back to SC.  I had that in New Jersey and have REALLY missed it.  I think I missed it more than I wanted to admit and packed on a few pounds with emotional eating.  Yesterday I was driving down a less than beautiful street with run down houses and yards and I looked over and saw a very ugly tree (all its branches had been cut off and it was virtually a very tall stick), but it had the most beautiful circle of huge red flowers around it.  I mean, I had to do a double take.  They were so beautiful.  And in that moment (while rushing to one of my many many meetings) I realized you can find beauty anywhere.  And usually when you least expect it.  You just have to be open to it.  So, with my new state of mind, something hit me like a ton of bricks today.  I finally found my people!!!  I found it somewhere I least expected. It’s not a running group, or a mom’s group.  It’s a gym.  It’s unconventional.  There are no treadmills, ellipticals, or machines.  What is there, is a great group of people who show up at 5 am, ready to bring it, awesome trainers ready to push you, and a whole lotta sweat slinging going on.  I’m so glad I finally found it.  It’s somewhere I least expected and it’s beautiful.

After Whole 30

Today was interesting.  It started off good.  I weighed myself.  I only lost 4 pounds 😦 But I also got my body composition back from the gym.  I lost a few inches here and there, so that was good news.

I had coffee!!!!  It was SO GOOD!!!!!!

I had whole 30 breakfast and lunch.  My sweet friend at work brought me a lemon bar that she saved for this special day.  It was yummy!  But afterwards I felt a little bloated.  I’m thinking it was the gluten.  Then, after I picked up the kids we got frozen yogurt and then chick-fil-a.  I’m so glad I did this, even though I did not do a gradual reintroduction of foods.  I FEEL SO BAD!!!!!!!!!!  AGHHHHHHHH.  Its amazing what clean eating can do for you.  Back on it tomorrow.

I’m also VERY stressed about the email I got from my trainer.  He said he wants me to do a 28 day cleanse followed by a 90 day strict diet.  There are SO many reasons why I don’t want to do this.  I’m already so stressed about it, just thinking about it.  The first 28 days of breakfasts are grapefruit.  That’s it.  I hate grapefruit.  No cheat days, no sugar, no meat, no soy, no flour.  This sounds even worse than whole 30 as far as rules.  I am just not on board with this.  Its summer, we have some mini vacations coming up.  Ugh….  What do I do?  I still have to cook meals for my family and cook something separate for me.  It’s just too much.   Yes, I would like a rock hard body, but at what expense?

Ok, I’ve ranted enough.  It put a damper on my celebration.

Last day of Whole 30!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am SO proud of myself!  Over the past 30 days I have only eaten meat, fruits, and vegetables.  Absolutely no sugar, sugar substitutes, grains, legumes, dairy, or processed foods of ANY kind.  I have faced many challenges and come out on top.  I have learned I can be full between meals without snacking and eat delicious foods that are good for me.  I’ve learned many lessons about my food triggers and how to better handle them and how to make better food choices.

I finished my last day with the usual for breakfast of tomatoes/avocado/boiled egg and banana.  Lunch was leftover grilled chicken and sautéed zucchini, squash, and onions from our garden, and a peach.  Dinner was No Fuss Salmon Cakes (from It Starts With Food.  Which btw, were definitely NOT fuss free.  Did you know canned salmon has tiny tiny bones all in it that you have to pluck out???), and butternut squash.  Even though the Salmon was a pain in the butt, it was really good.  The butternut squash??  YUM!!!!!!  I will definitely be making that again and again.  It was just diced squash with melted ghee, cinnamon, and salt drizzled over it.  Roast for 45 minutes at 400.  SO good.

Tomorrow my meals are still whole 30 compliant.  I do plan on having a couple of cheat meals, but I’m worried about how it will make me feel.  But I’m having coffee in the morning!!!!  And probably some wine tomorrow night!

Thank you to everyone who read my silly blog and who supported me during this last month.  It meant a lot to me.

Tomorrow I’ll report any weight loss.

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