Work & Play in San Francisco

If you’ve been following B2B for a while, then you may remember reading some recaps (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) from the last time I went to San Francisco, which I can’t believe was 3 years ago! That said, when I had the opportunity to travel to SF this spring for work, I obviously didn’t mind 😉 What made it great was that we visited 2 companies, saving us an additional trip out there at a separate time. And! What made it even better than great was the fact that RM was able to come out and spend the weekend with me!

I hope you enjoy the recap below, and if you have any questions about anything, let me know.

Where We Stayed

Since my coworker and I were traveling for work purposes, we wanted to stay nearby the office that we would be going to. That landed us at the Harbor Court Hotel! It was reasonably priced (for SF, anyway) and in a great location for all financial district and ferry building activities. Not to mention the view! I paid up a little so that I’d have a bigger room since I was going to be there for 6 nights, and fully enjoyed waking up and going to bed with beautiful views of the Bay Bridge. The hotel rooms were definitely small, so I would suggest paying up for one that’s a little bigger and that has views – it’s worth it, trust me! Everything was recently renovated, we had access to the YMCA next door, they had a happy hour at night with free wine, a beautiful lounge area and coffee services. All in all, I was very happy with the hotel!

(Maybe some day I’ll learn to take pretty pictures without all my stuff everywhere…)

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This view did not get old. Especially at night when it was all lit up!

Where We Ate

San Francisco has so many amazing restaurants and foodie options! Here’s where I ate throughout the week:

  • Epic Steakhouse – we didn’t eat here, but did have drinks at their outdoor bar before dinner on the first night there. We were told that they have great food, though!

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  • Perry’s – We ended up eating here the first night since it was basically next door to our hotel, but the food honestly wasn’t that great. I had eaten there my list trip to SF and remembered it being better – oh well!
  • Tipsy Pig – This is another place that I went to the last time I was in SF and I loved it so much I knew I had to go back. We sat in the back patio area and sipped on a few of their delicious cocktails and some snacks before dinner. The menu looked awesome for dinner, though, so I wish I would’ve had a chance to eat more there.
  • Palmer’s Tavern – Again, another repeat from my last visit to SF. This is a landmark spot on Fillmore Street – it’s always busy! My coworker and I had dinner there that was pretty good, but I took RM back for cocktails and those were amazing! We sat outside and it was perfect.

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  • ThirstyBear Brewing Company – This is an organic brewery that came recommended by my friend Kelly, who lived in SF for a while. The beers were great, but the food was what really stole the show! In fact, it was so good that I took RM there for dinner the first night he was in town. We both couldn’t stop raving about it!
  • Town Hall – My coworker and I stumbled upon this restaurant on the walk back to our hotel after watching the Bruins game (they won!) and were so happy we did because the food was SO good. Plus, the atmosphere was great and the waitstaff were so friendly. There isn’t a lot going on around this restaurant, but it’s worth a visit.
  • Calzone’s Restaurant – we popped into here with our scooters for a little mid-day break/pick-me up. Aperol Spritzers for the win! We didn’t eat the food, but enjoyed sitting outside and people watching 🙂

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  • Magnolia Brewing Company – We popped in here after a long day of site-seeing and thoroughly enjoyed everything about it! I actually didn’t realize it was a brewery until I just googled it for the link, lol. But that explains why the beers were so good! The food was also wonderful.
  • Montesacro – The second night RM was in town, we decided we wanted something more casual for dinner and both felt in the mood for pizza. But not just any pizza, we wanted good, Neopolitan style pizza. After some googling and yelping, I stumbled upon Montesacro and we decided to give it a try. Super cool vibe, great service (everyone was from Italy and spoke Italian all night!) and incredible pinsa. No, that wasn’t a typo – it wasn’t “pizza” that we had, but rather, PINSA. From their website it is:  a blend of rice, soy and wheat flour imported directly from Rome, all GMO-free. It is low-fat, low-calorie and easy to digest. Part of the elaborated processing technique is the minimum 72-hours leavening process at controlled temperature, hydration of 80% (less calories) and the low content of olive oil (less fat), unlike traditional pizza will not complete its leavening during the digestive process. I wish there were more pinsa places because it was SO good.

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  • 54 Mint – We loved our waiter, also a Roberto!, and when we got to chatting with him, realized they have a sister restaurant called 54 Mint. Since we enjoyed our meal at Montesacro so much, we made reservations for dinner at 54 Mint on Saturday night. Beforehand we stopped at Delarosa for a pre-dinner drink and then continued on to 54 Mint. Again, greeted with Italian waitstaff and a great vibe, we knew we were in for a treat. We shared salad, octopus and a pasta dish and everything was absolutely delicious. At both places, we really felt like we were back in Italy, which is never a bad feeling!

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  • Frog Hollow Farm – Saturday morning we felt like a lighter/non-sit down breakfast so we googled “best avocado toast near us” and Frog Hollow Farm came up, which was convenient since the Ferry Building was basically across the street! It was SUCH good avocado toast and we enjoyed eating it outside in the sun.

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  • Copita Tequileria– this restaurant was recommended to us when we were doing our wine tasting (I forget the name of that place, but it was just down the road from this restaurant)and it did not disappoint. We enjoyed margarita’s, ahi tuna and fish tacos!

What To Do

There’s SO much to do in San Francisco, so I feel like I only touched the surface of all that the city has to offer! Here’s a glimpse at what we did. We didn’t make it to Alcatraz, but I had been before so I didn’t mind. It’s so hard to get tickets, so if you want to go, book wayyyy in advance!

  • Walk around – we covered so many miles! Also, the hills are no joke 😉

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  • Ferry Building(s) – I think of this as a classier Quincy Market. It’s filled with awesome shops, mostly local ones, too. They also had a great farmer’s market on Saturday morning that was fun checking out. As you walk along the street, you’ll stumble upon lots of “piers” that are filled with different things, too – restaurants, shops, etc. Then you can walk all the way down and see the seals, which was my favorite thing. I was obsessed with watching them – such interesting creatures!

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  • Fisherman’s Wharf & Ghiradelli Square – pretty touristy, but still worth checking out. Plus, you get great views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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  • Walk through China Town, which is HUGE
  • Rent scooters (Lime and Bird are two brands that I can remember) – these were SO FUN! I was super nervous, but ended up totally enjoying them. One day we rode them for about 10 miles all over the city and to/around the Golden Gate Park. Such a fun an efficient way to get around the city.
  • Giants Game – my coworker and i were able to get to a game while we were there and while I am not a big sports person, I enjoyed the experience a lot. We could walk to the stadium from our hotel so we got a chance to see all the boats. The stadium itself was beautiful and had the most gorgeous views of the water. Oh yeah, and the tickets were super cheap. Definitely worth checking out if baseball is your thing!

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  • Day trips! We were torn between Napa and Sausalito, but ultimately decided to go to Sausalito since it was much closer and easier to get to. What a cute little town right on the water with beautiful views of SF. We did a little wine tasting, shopping, walking around and had a delicious lunch.

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  • Lombard Street – This is the famous, super steep, super windy road that people love to drive down or walk down. It’s beautiful!

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  • There’s so much more to do, but there’s only so much you can fit into one trip, sometimes!

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There ya go! I felt so fortunate to be able to mix a work and play trip – hoping for many more of these in the future!

Questions for you: Have you been to SF? Do you travel for work? What’s your favorite thing to do when exploring a new city?

5 Ways to spruce up your spring

(this email was sent to my private newsletter subscribers earlier this week. Interested in joining that group? Click here to subscribe!)

Believe it or not, it’s already April. How, exactly, this happened, I’m still not sure! If feels like we were just changing our clocks back in October and a few weekends ago we moved the clocks forward. Time really does fly!

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However, whether we are ready or not, and even though the weather isn’t showing any signs of it, spring is here.

As the seasons change, I find myself looking for ways to spruce things up a bit. Whether it’s my workouts, my wardrobe, my hobbies, our house decor, etc. I feel like season changes are the perfect time to do this, don’t you agree?

If you’re feeling a little “blah” as the winter weather lags a bit more than we may like, check out 5 ways that may help you perk up and get excited for spring.

1. Closet swap out – If you’re like me and are not lucky enough to have a closet that fits your whole wardrobe in it, now is the perfect time to start swapping out your winter clothes for spring/summer clothes. While we still aren’t *quite* there with full-time warm temps, they will be here before you know it! Added bonus: shop for a few new spring/summer items. I recently went shopping and noticed that stores all had such great deals, so it’s worth checking out if you feel like you need something new!

2. Take your workout outside – As soon as the weather starts to hint at being warm, I find myself craving the outdoors. Whether it’s running, a park bootcamp or even just going for long walks, the spring months are a great time to get outside. To piggy back off of this, buy yourself a new workout top, headband or cute leggings! You can usually find great deals on these things at Old Navy and Marshalls/TJ Maxx. I promise it’ll be motivation to move!

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3. Fire up your grill – I don’t know about you, but I miss grilling season! We fully utilized our grill last summer, whether it be chicken, steak, fish, veggies, pizza – we loved grabbing a drink, firing it up and hanging out outside. It’s also a great time to find new recipes to test out!

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4. Plan a summer weekend getaway – Even if I just book tickets to a show or a weekend at our Cape house, I love having weekend plans to look forward to! Last summer we spent a lot of time in Boston which was a fun change, but this summer I would like to spend more time on the Cape and in Maine.

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5. Clean up your Social Medial accounts – I think if we all took a look at the list of people we follow, emails we subscribe to posts we “like”, we could EASILY remove at least 10 people/emails from those lists, right? I know I definitely need to do this because there are some people who I follow that don’t add anything to my day to day or life. In fact, I find myself falling into the comparison trap when I read their posts. Or, I get annoyed because of where they are in their careers and why they got there. No one needs something that makes them feel like that, #amitright? So, I challenge you to “unfollow” anyone who isn’t ADDING something to your social media scrolling and day to day.

Do me a favor and leave a comment to let me know how you’re sprucing things up this spring season. Are you planning any trips? Doing anything new? Signed up for any races?

Hope you have a wonderful rest of your week!

 

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Telluride Ski/Ride/Vacation Recap

Hey there! While I’m loving my {slightly sporadic} newsletter adventure, I thought B2B would be a better place to share our Telluride recap. If you remember, last year we went to Jackson Hole and were blessed with pretty much non-stop snow the entire time we were there. It made every run feel like a powder/first track run, which was awesome! While we were not lucky enough to have any snow during our time in Telluride {read: lightest snow fall in YEARS – bare ground everywhere!}, we still had a wonderful trip. The little town, the hotel, the views and the mountains were everything I’d seen in pictures that initially made me want to visit.

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Here are details on our stay – I would fully recommend ALL of these to anyone planning to visit Telluride. There wasn’t one thing that we would’ve changed during our time there. Well, except to have the snow Gods on our side to bless us with more snow 🙂  That said, since our initial flight out was cancelled and our flight home was cancelled, I’m also going to share some details about our unplanned 2 night stay in Dallas. We were both more than ready to be home, but made the best of our stay in Dallas and had some great meals and drinks worthwhile of sharing.

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Flights

When flying to Telluride, you either fly to Montrose or Telluride. I couldn’t find any flights into Telluride, so I am guessing it must be for private plans/very wealthy people or locals. We flew into Montrose (with a layover in Dallas) and then used a shuttle service to get from Montrose to downtown Telluride, which was a 90 minute ride. We used Telluride Express which ended up being a little over $100/pp round trip.

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Where to Stay

I did a lot of research before we went in terms of where to stay. There are two areas that people generally stay: downtown Telluride or Mountain Village. Downtown Telluride is just a short (15 minute gondola ride) to Mountain Village, but has a better restaurant/bar scene. Mountain Village is at the base of the mountain and has a good array of hotels and restaurants, but they tend to be a bit busier since they’re at the base of the mountain. We opted to stay in downtown Telluride because we wanted more of a restaurant/nightlife scene (even though we went to bed so early every night!) and were very happy with this decision.

Originally we planned on doing an Airbnb, but they ended up being the same price as hotels so we booked at Hotel Columbia, which I couldn’t recommend more! The location was perfect – it was within close (5 minutes) walking distance to all the good restaurants, shops, Main street and literally across the street from the gondola and 1 chair lift that took you up to the mountain if you didn’t want to go to Mountain Village. Our room (room 42)  was on the 4th floor, had a balcony overlooking the mountain, a gas fireplace, small kitchenette with a 2 burner stove, refrigerator and microwave, a large bathroom with heated floors and towel rack, the most comfortable bed and little sitting area. Included in our stay was access to their ski/board storage room downstairs and a delicious (and plentiful) breakfast which included lots of coffee, fresh juice, eggs, bacon, yogurt, homemade granola, homemade pastries and more. It was the best way to start the day! They also have a super popular happy hour at their restaurant, Cosmopolitan, with $5 Cosmo’s and snacks. We wanted to have dinner there, but they were booked the night we wanted to go 😦

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Overall, we would HIGHLY recommend staying here – the staff was so knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. I had called ahead to see if they would stock our fridge with some local beers for RM and they were so sweet in this accommodation!

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Mountain Details

Telluride is really big, with incredible altitude levels. It was crazy how high it was! We didn’t get to all of the trails since neither of us have fun on blacks or double blacks, but the blues and double blues that we went on were awesome! We loved the Polar Express lift, Prospect Express and Plunge. Getting to the top of Plunge was SO scary because it was so high, but Woozley’s Way and/or See Forever were great trails with beautiful views!

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They have a few restaurants at various peaks and we opted to get drinks at Bon Vivant mid-day one day. I’m not big on mid-day drinking, though, as it decreases my motivation to continue skiing 😉

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We Apres’d at Tomboy Tavern at the base of Mountain Village a few times and really enjoyed both their outdoor bar and indoor fireplace area.

Eats

Ah! We ate SO well during our time in Telluride. On our first day, we went to the grocery store (just like Whole Foods) and stocked up on stuff for lunches since we prefer to not eat out 3x a day.

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With the location of our hotel, we were able to pop “home” to eat lunch and then go back out, which was great. For our non-room meals, here are some places we enjoyed

  • Smuggler’s – This was our first stop after arriving into Telluride as we were looking for a drink and food STAT, and this was down the street from Hotel Columbia. We shared wings, a salad and fried calamari and enjoyed it! It’s a brewery, so they have a large beer selection.
  • New Sheridan Chop House – After all of my Telluride research, I felt like this was a must. Luckily, we were able to find seats right at the bar and enjoyed some cocktails and a delicious steak dinner, paired with a lovely glass of Barolo 😉

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  • There… – This was a recommendation that came from someone at Hotel Columbia, and we were so thankful for it! They are a small place off the beaten path, but somehow when we walked in they had 2 seats at the bar that we were able to snag. The drinks were funky and interesting, the service was great and the food was incredible. We shared a few small plates and both couldn’t get over how flavorful everything was. It was honestly one of the best meals we’ve had in a while!
  • Tomboy Tavern – We had some “nachos” after skiing one day and they were made with homemade potato chips rather than tortilla chips… a combination we both really enjoyed!
  • Brown Dog Pizza – While perusing through some of the shops along Main Street, we asked someone where we could find good pizza and this was her suggestion. A short couple of blocks later and we, again, stumbled into a busy restaurant that luckily had 2 bar spots open up just as we walked in. The bar staff were SO friendly and we took their suggestion to try their Detroit style pizza which was a combination of deep dish and Sicilian. In short, it was amazing. We were very happy with this recommendation!

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  • Cosmopolitan – Again, we didn’t end up getting a chance to eat here (we fell asleep at 8pm our first night and opted for pizza on our last night), but everywhere I read recommended it. Plus, by the looks of the crowds we saw in there every night it must be good!

Overall, even without snow, we loved our time in Telluride! It was the cutest little town that felt like it was right out of a movie!

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And now onto Dallas. I’ve been to Dallas probably 10 times, so I wasn’t super excited about being stuck there for 2 days, but we did a great job making the best of it. We stayed at the Sheraton in downtown Dallas, which I realized I had stayed at before. They had a HUGE gym and nice pool, although jeans and a longsleeve were the best I could do for sun bathing clothing 😉

We walked to Deep Ellum and had incredible beers at Braindead Brewing. Nothing like sitting outside in 65* weather in March! We had tacos and margarita’s at Maraca’s and hit the hay early.

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On our final day there, we walked to The Woolworth for lunch, another place I had been to, but didn’t realize it until we got there. We sat outside and soaked up the sun – it was lovely. For dinner, we wanted another steak dinner (when in Dallas) and after some research we decided on Nick & Sam’s, which was great! The bar was a little dark/loud, but the drinks and food were awesome!

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All and all, although we had an unexpected 6 night vacation (as opposed to 4), it was awesome. RM is my favorite person to travel with – it’s great how well we travel together! We are always on the same page about where to go, what to do, what to eat, etc. so it makes it so fun! We are already planning our next adventure – thinking of Europe in the fall!

If you have any questions or want more info on any of our travel details, let me know! And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter – I share all sorts of things!

Print your pictures! {& a service to help you do this}

Happy Friday!! Today I wanted to pop in to talk about pictures. Taking them, saving them, printing them, sharing them. I also shared this in my newsletter, but in case you aren’t subscribed (what are you waiting for?!), I wanted to share it here, too!

Before everything seemed to go digital, I remember always printing my pictures. In college, the wall along my bed was filled with them – anyone else? And I remember how much fun it was to not know how a picture came out until you got them developed. How times have changed, right?

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These days, now that everything is digital and shared electronically, printing photos seems to be a thing of the past. Which is a shame because we often forget about what we have for pictures that are stored on our phones or on our computers.

Over the past few years (ok, well really since we got engagement photos done), I’ve tried to be better about printing the photos. I have albums from our engagement shoot, our wedding, our honeymoon, etc. and it’s fun to pull them out and look at them every once in a while. I’ve even been better about putting them in frames, too, and this area in our living room is one of my favorites.

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What I love about printing photos is that you have the ability to look back on and remember a specific event/time in your life. I even find myself scrolling back through my camera roll, Facebook and Instagram sometimes to look back at all the photos I’ve taken over the years that didn’t make the cut to print and/or frame.

That said, when TurnGram reached out to me to see if I wanted to test out their services, I was all on board. If you’re not familiar with TurnGram, they are a photo concierge service that links up with Instagram to help you collect more printed photos. It’s a monthly service and the way it works is you go to their site, provide your Instagram handle details and then specify what types of pictures you want them to edit, print and send – to you OR to someone else. You can do 1 photo a month for $3.99 or 5 photos a month for $4.99 (a no brainer if you ask me).

For instance….

  • Let’s say your parents are not on Instagram and you just had a baby. You would go to their site, explain this, put your parents as the “to” recipient and then TurnGram would go through and pic the photo(s) to send, based on your monthly subscription selection and then send them to your parents so they can be kept up to date with the photos you’re sharing (and have them in printed copy, which is always my mother’s request!)
  • Or, you are in college and studying abroad and want photos to be sent home to your parents to show them your travel adventures. Or, you send them to yourself so that you can have printed copies of them when you get home.
  • Or, you’re tracking progress with regards to house improvements, physical challenges, etc. and want to have those photos printed.

Personally, since I don’t need printed photos of my #sweatyselfies, lol, I told them to focus on pictures of me teaching, of RM and me, trips, family, etc. I’ve received 2 deliveries so far and it’s been so much fun to open them to see what they decided to send me.

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But, I realized that I ended up just leaving them in a pile, so I decided to figure out a way to display them in our apartment. I had bare space on a wall in my office that would be a perfect picture wall. Rather than having to buy a bunch of frames, I decided to get some gold twine, little gold clothespins and use those to create it. I’m super happy with how it came out, and can’t wait to add to it!

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Another cool idea would be to use this gold grid from Target – I think it would be a great way to display your TurnGram photo deliveries!

If you’re interested in learning more or to subscribe to this cool service, check out their site for more details. Your first month is free, so I think it’s a no brainer 😉

Happy photo printing!

Stitch Fix #8 Review

Good morning! I have to laugh because I feel like I just said how I wasn’t going to be blogging as much and here I am with another blog post! Timing is a funny thing, right?

Today I’m sharing my 8th Stitch Fix review with you. If you’re not familiar with Stitch Fix, in short it’s an online personal stylist/shopping service. You fill out your profile (size, body type, likes, dislikes, price range, etc.) and then when you schedule a “fix” your stylist uses that information to pull together a box for you. The box includes 5 items and can include shoes, bags and jewelry, in addition to the clothes. Again, this is all based on your preferences so if you don’t want to receive shoes, bags or jewelry, you can specify that and receive all clothes instead.

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I hadn’t done a fix for a LONG time, and when I saw that they were waiving the styling fee ($20, but if you buy something, the $20 goes towards your purchase) and that I had a credit, I had to go for it. When you sign up for Stitch Fix, you get your own referral code (linked throughout this post) that you can share with friends/family/coworkers/etc. and if someone uses your code to sign up and they schedule a fix, you get a $25 credit!

Overall, I was happy with my fix. Personally, if there are even a few things that I like in a fix I consider it successful. When I like everything it can be hard since it makes me want to keep the whole fix, although if you do that you get 25% off which is a great deal. I would’ve kept more had the jacket fit and had I not already had a black clutch. Check out my fix details below!

Urban Expressions – Arabella Clutch $34

This clutch is cute, especially with the pattern, but since I already have a black clutch that I love I sent it back. I also received a yellow clutch from an earlier Fix that was the same clutch as this one, just yellow instead of black.

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Collective Concepts – Giada Cold Shoulder Poplin Top $58

This shirt is amazing. I LOVE the style, the material, the fit and the pattern. I was so happy when it fit me because I really wanted to keep it. I can’t wait to wear it with white jeans and cute wedges in the summer!

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RD Style – Emmett Sweater Dress $84

I liked this dress a lot – I’ve been a big fan of sweater dresses this year so I almost kept it, but ultimately I ended up sending it back because it felt overpriced for the quality of the dress. I do love the burgundy color this year, though!

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Market & Spruce – Elissa French Terry Moto Jacket $78

This jacket was awesome, but just too small. I laughed that it must be because of all the weights I lift, but I actually think it was just a tiny jacket. I was bummed because I wanted to keep it!

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Vigoss – Ingrid Distressed Skinny Jean $68

I’ve got to say, pretty much every pair of jeans I’ve received from Stitch Fix have fit like a glove, and these were no exception. They’re stretchy so they keep their shape, and I love that they are a little distressed. That said, these jeans were too amazing to send back! I also thought they were reasonably priced which was a plus.

There you have it! I’ve already worn the jeans at least twice, so I’m happy I kept them! If you’re interested to see my other “fixes”, here you go:

Stitch Fix #1
Stitch Fix #2
Stitch Fix #3
Stitch Fix #4
Stitch Fix #5
Stitch Fix #6
Stitch Fix #7

If you’ve never tried Stitch Fix before, click on this link, create your style profile and schedule your first fix – you won’t regret it!

Happy Shopping! And don’t forget, if you haven’t signed up for my newsletter but want to be kept up to date with the latest and greatest, click here. I only plan on sending 1-2 emails a week so it won’t flood your inbox 😉