Stitch Fix – An Actual Real Life Personal Stylist for the Every Day Female

This post is a shameless plug. I’m admitting it, so don’t blame me–you might actually even thank me. You’re welcome.

So, I’ve always thought that having a personal stylist would be seriously awesome, but . . . having a personal stylist is way out of the budget for an average jill like me. It was just a dream–like becoming a princess, or an olympic gymnast, or eating all the chocolate you want without getting fat.

. . . Until now.

Enter Stitch Fix

I was indirectly introduced to Stitch Fix when a few Facebook friends of mine casually posted about some beautiful clothes their personal stylists had picked out for them. Their WHAT?

I had to look further. Lo and behold, I followed the link they posted, and voila! It was true! Too good to be true?? That thought was certainly in the back of my mind . . . but there was only one sure way to find out. I signed up.

So, to get to the point beyond all of this vague hype that I’ve just laid out, let me introduce Stitch Fix to you:

1. When you sign up you really do get personal attention. Yes. Really. They aren’t scamming you. It’s a real person picking out clothes based on the preferences you have provided them.

2. They pay attention to your preferences, sizes, lifestyle . . . and even your LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest board (they really like it if you have a Pinterest board). Basically, what they send you will make sense, because they’ve done their due-dilligence with the information you’ve provided them. You can be SUPER specific. Yes, it’s nice–and they like it when you are.

3. No, it’s not free. Of course not. You pay $20 for the styling fee . . . BUT if you like ANYTHING they send you, and want to keep it–that $20 is credit toward your purchase. And you will, more than likely, like something–they’ve done their research remember?

4. They send you 5 items each time. That’s enough. Really. Any more would be overwhelming, I think. Seriously, when was the last time you brought home 5 beautiful pieces or more from a shopping trip, and kept every single one them? . . . Yep, it’s certainly hard to remember, isn’t it?

5. The quality of clothes they send you is fantastic, and the prices are reasonable. You tell them your budget (within reason). The prices are higher than Target, of course (and I love me some “Tarjay”), but these pieces will supplement all of your trendy Target (and elsewhere) clothes . . . and you will look chic. Yes. Chic. Who DOESN’T want to be wearing their Pinterest style boards around town?  Additionally, if you purchase all 5 items, you get 25% off. Not a bad deal.

6. Returns are free and easy. They go ahead and provide the return package for you, all you have to do is drop it off in the mail wherever USPS picks up–like at your office.

7. Customer service is awesome. Apparently when people hate everything in their boxes . . . Stitch Fix has been known to redo orders. I’m not certain that’s a policy per se, but they do try to please the customer. So that $20 going to have that much more insurance. That’s a great thing.

8. It saves you time, and shopping trips. If you are looking for something specific–let your stylist know. I just told my stylist I’m on the search for a new LBD. I’m excited to see what she picks out!

9. I loved my box. I did. Did I keep everything? No. Not everything was a perfect fit, but it was all beautiful–and definitely in my style. I kept 2 items, and I am very very pleased with them.

10. You’ll love it. Really. 

So . . . are you ready to try it? It may not be entirely risk free, on paper, but neither is just about any shopping trip you’ve ever taken.

To explore, click here.

Curated–The yoga pants witch hunt: missing pieces of the modesty conversation

Here is a rather insightful and poignant post on modesty. While I cautiously won’t jump on board with everything written here, it is worth a “listen” for the purpose of the whole modesty discussion. I will say that the the third point is golden (“Modesty culture shows a routine disrespect for men”) and something I haven’t really taken into much consideration–and I agree with that point 100%

Click “view original” to see the full article.

Hannah Schaefer


It’s getting to be that time of year again. You know, the one with all the articles about women’s modesty and how we should be dressing to prevent men from sinning, and are bikinis really okay?

I have waited several years to write about modesty, because I know it’s a hot topic and people tend to feel very strongly that their way is the right way. And you know what? You’re entitled to your opinion. Whether you rock a floor-length denim skirt or short-shorts, rock on my friend.

But there’s 3 things I keep missing in our conversations, on both sides, that I’d like to talk about.

1) Modesty culture has no boundaries.

Reading and listening to conversations about how someone else’s sin is my fault gives me anxiety like you wouldn’t believe. Why? Because there is no male responsibility in modesty culture. There is very little accountability for the way a man chooses…

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There is Enough Time, Because There is Enough Grace

tEREUy1vSfuSu8LzTop3_IMG_2538It may be January 2015, but in my mind it feels as if it should be about August 2014 right now. And . . . this has led me to some pondering (a word that sounds much more intellectual than what it really means, I do think). And so as I ponder, and as I wonder, perhaps even wander, here is what comes to mind:

1. I worry too much about time. Time often seems like a dangerous threat ready to eat me and spit me out much older and full of regret. For instance, I often (over)think about how much I want to accomplish and then I discouragingly realize I’m not getting any younger . . . Then I look back, and think “No, look at what you have done . . .” and then my thinking turns into a selfish cycle. I start thinking about my accomplishments (which really aren’t all that impressive) and then I start playing the comparison game, which leads me to feeling awful again–because “I haven’t accomplished what so-and-so has accomplished.” or “why am I not married yet?” or “how long do I have to wait for _____?” And what is all of this questioning and worrying? A waste of time. It’s a battle, but a battle with a trump card, or better yet, a promise–and it’s found in 1 Peter chapter 5 and verse 7.  Whether the time in the present is too much to bear, or too little in which to get things done, too fast, or too slow–It is imperative that I must have faith in God’s personal, loving and attending care of me.

“Faith is the refusal to panic.” ~ Martin Lloyd Jones

2. Time is relative. I’m not going to get into the scientific weeds here because, frankly, if I try–we won’t come out alive on the other side (unlike Matthew McConaughey). But let me ask, why does a single minute in the midst of a CrossFit workout feel sooo much longer than my 10 minute snooze in the morning? Sometimes I do wonder how (or even if) such questions legitimately factor into interpretations of 2 Peter 3:8.  I will say this: God owns time, He gives grace, He’s extremely personal with us–patient too . . . and sometimes, I do believe He bends the duration of time for us a little, maybe a lot . . . He does so out of love, out of mercy, and sometimes, we might even notice. Whatever time I might have left, whatever form of duration it will undertake, it is absolutely enough for Him–and that should be satisfaction enough.

“Indeed, in your sight a thousand years are like a single day,
    like yesterday—already past—
    like an hour in the night” Psalm 90:4

3. Time is precious. Perhaps this conclusion is obvious. As I’ve already mentioned, time belongs to God. It is a gift to me–sometimes a tool to use, sometimes a trial to endure for my good, and at other times, a pleasure to be relished.  And whether time is moving fast or slow, it is moving according to His perfect will. And Time, like Grace, will never run out, for like its very Creator, it remains infinite and eternal.

“There is not a square inch [or second] in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”  ~ Abraham Kuyper

Cinderella 2015: A Positive Appeal to the Modern Woman

I am tremendously excited about this film–but more about that in a moment.

First, if you haven’t yet seen the beautiful trailer:

Growing up, I adored Cinderella–Disney, Broadway, Drew Barrymore, Gail Carson Levine’s Ella . . . it didn’t matter. Cinderella was my girl–the girl I wanted to grow up to be. Why? I think that answer is pretty obvious–and rather shallow, I’ll admit. True nonetheless.

You might be able to imagine my delight when last year I discovered that Cinderella was being remade (by Disney, no less) into a live action film (and with Downton’s Lily James!). For those who know me, you can only imagine how much more excited I was when I heard that King Henry V (a.k.a. Kenneth Branagh) was slated to be the director . . . What’s the big deal about Sir Branagh? This is where I tell you that Henry V was my other favorite movie growing up (strange–yes I know). I wasn’t allowed to watch that one when I had friends over. But I digress . . .

Yesterday, when the luscious looking movie’s brand new trailer made its first public appearance, there was (and still is) quite a buzz on social media. Rightly so–it appears that it will be a brilliant film. Excited as I was, I turned to Google to scour for all of the inside details that lay in store for the movie. Why yes, I was in full-on geek mode; it only happens on occasion. I was not disappointed. The most pleasant surprise came when I read several interviews conducted with Branagh, and I discovered the most pleasant confirmation:

Cinderella is not going to be a feminist movie.

What is true, however, is that Cinderella will be  a pro-woman movie, yet it doesn’t cater to any of that overbearing victim-mentality feminist dogma (essentially, the most loudly-voiced part of feminism). Not at all. To reiterate Branagh, the film’s director, there is no victim or martyr-complex for this Cinderella–her strength is her compassion, courage and her kindness.

“I think that [Cinderella] learns to turn the other cheek with strength. She has no sense of self-pity, no sense of being a victim. She makes her own choices, She doesn’t indulge in her own pain or hardships. She looks at the world with compassion. I find her such good company because she’s so un-showy, and yet she’s so charismatic. I think she really knows herself.” ~ Sir Kenneth Branagh to Oh My Disney

It will be refreshing to see a courageous heroine on the big screen who isn’t given to retaliation, and yet whose strength is all the more evident because she chooses not to be the hapless self-absorbed victim.

Cinderella is not going to be an anti-feminist movie.

That’s just fine.

There is something positive to be said for Disney intentionally making its classic heroine pertinent to a modern female audience; really, it’s absolutely necessary. There has been lots of cultural commentary on the detriments of the golden Disney Princesses on modern-day female society–often termed “princess culture.” It’s entirely true that many of us grew up with warped views of dreams and social responsibility because of this propagated so-called “princess culture”–most of which was well-intentioned, but still inadvertently harmful.

“From the inside, we’ve given [the film] a contemporary feel that is human and humane and strangely enough, not built around the idea that Cinderella’s life depends on finding a man or things, like clothes or a title, or just hoping this magic will come along. It’s much more about who she is, what she feels about herself, and taking that kind of sort of spiritual cue to make it refreshing in a contemporary way.” ~ Branagh to E! News

It goes without saying that this production will not become a flagship for feminism rhetoric (no matter how much Bustle may wish for it )–unless a new brand of feminism that advocates for the inner strength of kindness, patience, compassion, grace, endurance, and even the beauty of femininity (this is Cinderella after all) arrives on the scene. Here’s to hoping.

There will always be injustice and oppression within the world and within our lives, but our strength isn’t necessarily defined by our ability to fight or even conquer (because sometimes, like Cinderella, we don’t always have that ability)–but rather, our strength may be found in refusing to play the victim, and instead exercising grace, hope, and even peace-filled endurance.

“[Cinderella’s] life is challenging, no question – but she doesn’t regard [her hardships] as any worse or any more important than anyone else’s. She looks outward with compassion. She feels sadness when life comes around but she is not disposed to be melancholy or tragic. She wants to enjoy the time she has.” ~ Branagh to The Globe and Mail

With hope, I’m looking forward to a beautiful and balanced film that will depict exactly what its director has described.

Image: Disney

Image: Disney

There is so much more that could be said–biblically, spiritually, culturally . . . So, what are your thoughts about the upcoming film? Please, leave a comment.

At Home in Columbus–The Fun of Decorating

Decorating is one ridiculoulsy fun part of growing up and becoming independent. I still have a good bit more to do (yay!)–but here’s the bedroom at present. Doing it on a budget makes it even more fun–no really! I went with elegant neutrals (white, cream and gray) to allow for color pops. Currently I’m on a mint/turquoise kick.


The bedroom furniture is a refurbished Chris Madden set–redone and artistically painted by a local artist in Columbus. I got it for a STEAL. I was thinking of going modern with my furniture (deep down I didn’t really want to–so when I landed this gorgeous set, I sprung for it.)

The comforter and pillows are a Cynthia Rowley set from T.J. Maxx (Maxxinista all the way). I wanted white (scary I know)-but it allows for so much room to decorate/change decor with color . . . etc.

The lamps on the night stand and the sweater chest on either side of the bed are from Hobby Lobby. I’m a firm believer in that place–and I always like to support them–especially with all the antagonism they put up with for standing on principle.

think the curtain is from Bed Bath and Beyond. But you could find an identical one just about anywhere . . .


The print above the bed was inspired by Pinterest–found the quote there–and replicated it with my own spin and design. Ordered the canvas print online–but I couldn’t tell you where. I was nervous about how it might come out–but when it came in, it was beautiful.

The little corn husk doll is from a dear friend living in Slovakia. And yes, the entire thing is made out of corn husk. And the candles were all gifts.

The lamp on the dresser is from Family Dollar. Yep, you read that right. I’m not a name brand snob–not one bit.

The mannequin necklace stand was also from T.J. Maxx and was given to me by my sister.

BOOK REVIEW: Picture Perfect Practice

taken from peachpit.comHaha! It has been a long while since I have written a book review. However, I can promise you that I have  been reading–and reading lots. However, I wanted to review this particular book because of it’s pertinence to something I have made to be a hobby of mine–and because it has only enhanced my understanding of the art and practice of photography.


I will say it right out–Picture Perfect Practice is a fantastic book. Every photographer–aspiring, hobbyist, professional, world renowned (I mean that)–ought to find a place for it on his/her shelf. Roberto Valenzuela posesses the abilities to demonstrate and communicate, through writing and picture examples, what makes his own work so dynamic and powerful, as well as helpfully break down the artistic techniques he faithfully practices into applicable and very doable exercises. But let me get into the specifics on what makes this book so wonderful.

1. Readability. It’s not heavy textually. You won’t feel as if you are reading a textbook. The book shows rather than tells. Every technique is fully explained and subsequently demonstrated with Valenzuela’s own work. Further, and a  huge positive in my opinion, Valenzuela’s tone is down to earth, simplistic, educational–and far from condescending. I feel that he has full faith in the ability and potential of the reader without being assuming.

2. Excellent Examples. Everything in the books demonstrated–and beautifully so. Valenzuela doesn’t give a rule or a suggestion without demonstration from his own work. He’s carefully thought through each practice–and he knows exactly what exercise will hone a specific aesthetic skill.

3. Explains the “Why.”  Let me explain that (yes, yes I know). Many hobbyists (myself included) can take a good picture filled with decent composition, because over time we’ve developed an eye for what
“appears nice” –but we can’t explain why; nor can we explain the technique, nor can we quickly replicate a process or a method of taking a good picture somewhere else in the same way. All we have to go on is “okay, yeah, that looks good right there . . .” But then, stuck in a different situation and we are pressed to compose a good photo (of people or things or places) we can’t find the sweet spot, or it’s laborious, and we don’t know what to do first except trust underlying instincts that aren’t always terribly quick–but yet we know what we’re seeing is going to take a bad picture . . . Okay, now let me explain how Valenzuela expedites the whole trial and error aspect of the “person who only has a good aesthetic eye”. Valenzuela explains and enables the reader, through various exercises, to not just notice aesthetic–but to understand it. And boy, he makes it fascinating.

4. Valenzuela’s photography is gorgeous. If you never fully read the book–but just glance through his photos throughout the book–there is still a lot to be learned. A picture is worth a thousand words–and Valenzuelo’s photos are worth much more than that.

Go, go read it. It’s beautiful.