Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Oven Parsnip Fries from Juli Bauer's Paleo Cookbook

When we first did the Whole 30 diet and then Paleo, I remember trying to make myself love cauliflower.  It was the Paleo answer to everything: mashed potatoes, rice, pizza crust. If it was something made with gluten, I guarantee you someone found a way to do it with cauliflower. But I hated, loathed even, cauliflower. Now, I've found a few ways I enjoy it, but parsnips have become my version of the cauliflower. And it all started with this recipe.

What is a parsnip. That's what you're thinking, right? It's what I thought when I first read this recipe.

A parsnip is like a white carrot. It's a root vegetable and almost has a bit of a peppery flavor to me. I really like them for oven fries because I think they hold up a little better than potatoes when baking.

Making oven parsnip fries is really simple.  I'm using the recipe from Juli Bauer's Paleo Cookbook. It's still one of my favorite cookbooks to use for Paleo recipes. You'll need:
  • 3 large parsnips ends removed and peeled
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4  tsp garlic powder
I'm lazy and don't peel the parsnips. I cut them into matchsticks and then chop off the sides. To match stick:

Cut the parsnips either in half or in thirds, making equal lengths (or close to it). Then slicing in half again for the fat part. 

Slice into strips. You don't want them super thin, otherwise they'll burn (you'll see evidence of this at the bottom!). See those brown edges? I chop those off.

You want to end up with matchsticks about this size. 

This is what your pile should look like at the end. If I make this as a side for a meal after the gym, I like to do the chopping before the gym.  That way I just dump them into a bowl, season and then put in the oven when I get home.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Dump the parsnips into a large mixing bowl.  Pour in the melted coconut oil, the sea salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Then spread out onto a cookie sheet. 

Try to keep them from overlapping as much as possible. I was being lazy and didn't want to have to use two pans, so mine are overlapping. Also, don't take too much time between mixing up the oil and spices and putting them on the sheet.  Coconut oil solidifies quickly!

Pop in the oven for 25 minutes. 

Pull them out an d flip them over. They will be slightly golden on top when you pull them out, but the real color is on the bottom. Heat the oven up to 500 degrees. Pop back in the oven for about six minutes. The original recipe says 8-10, but mine start burning at about six minutes. 

Plate them and enjoy! We like to eat these with steaks.  Aaron's gotten really good at grilling steaks! My entire goal now is to see how many things I can make with parsnips - maybe mashed potatoes next?! What is your favorite way to make baked fries?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Favorite Spring Finds

I am loving this beautiful weather this week! Spring is one of my favorite seasons, especially for fashion. The colors, the styles, the lighter fabrics. Everything is just a nice refreshing change from the heavy neutrals of fall and winter. And lately, I've made some awesome spring finds, so I thought I would share!

Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator - Ballerina
I received a sample of this at our blogger meet-up at The Southern Women's Show that took place in April and it has been in heavy rotation ever since! For years, I didn't wear anything on my cheeks. Powder blush and I aren't friends - it tends to look really heavy on me. It wasn't until I found Smashbox LA Lights Lip and Cheek Color Crayons that I really started wearing blush again. I've been layering this illuminator over my favorite cheek color for a really pretty glow. I'm going to carry this right into summer!

Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator

Loft Vine Riviera Pants

Vine Riviera Pants, photo by loft.com
The Loft has been my go-to store for pants for years. I love them. They fit perfectly, the fabrics are a nice weight and I can usually catch them on sale. The Riviera pants, though, are my ultimate favorite. Fun fact - when you have short legs, you can wear capris like regular pants. And I do. I really do. My mom found these pants on a clearance rack at Loft a few weeks ago and I bought them thinking they would be fun. And they are, but they also go with a ton of stuff in my closet! 

DV Raven Sandals

DV Raven Sandals, photo by Target.com
Sometimes on my lunch hour, I take a therapeutic trip to Target. It's not always convenient (it's about a 20 minute drive from my office), but it's always worth this. This past week, I found these babies! I've been on the hunt for some brown flats. I have so many other colors, but not brown. And sometimes, you need brown. I had to size up a whole extra size to a 9.5 in these (I'm usually a 8.5). What made it even sweeter is that I had a Target Cartwheel reward that I turned in for $10 off apparel or shoes, so I got these guys for $15 when they are regularly $24.99!

Abbi Elegantees Top from the Let It Shine Collection
My blogger friend, Molly from Still Being Molly did a collaboration with another blogger and Elegantees called the Let It Shine Collection. Elegantees is an ethical fashion company where all of the clothes are made by woman rescued out of sex trafficking in Nepal. They are paid a fair wage with fair working hours. Buying clothing from this company is helping change people's lives, not just your wardrobe. Cool, huh? I purchased the Abbi top and immediately fell in love as soon as it arrived last week. I knew I would be styling and wearing it this week!

Here's how I put it all together!
Top: Abbi Top Elegantees Collection/ Capris: Loft Vine Riviera Pants/ Earrings: Premier Designs Full Bloom

Capris: Loft Vine Riviera Pants/ Shoes: Target DV Raven
I even enlisted the husband to help take some photos of my outfit. He's not a photographer and I am not always the most photogenic, but here's everything put together!

Happy Tuesday friends! What are some of your favorite finds this spring?!

*None of the links provided are affiliate links and I am not being compensated by any of the brands in this post. I just love them and thought I would share!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Lessons From My Mom

Sunday is Mother's Day and every blogger I know will have some post about their mom and/or Mother's Day. And why not? We love our mothers and it's only natural that we take time to honor them in the best way we know how - blogging about them! Some will post gift guides, some will post a letter to other mothers. Others, like me, will post what we have learned from our moms. And it's all good. All those posts are needed and read by many around the world. If I know my mom, the best gift I could give her is nothing tangible, nothing I can buy. It's to let her know that everything she's done was for a reason. That it worked. And that I get it.

Here's what I learned from Robin.

You can be whatever you want, but you have to work for it.
In my life, I have wanted to be many things: an author, a geneticist (weird, I know), a journalist, a publisher, a project manager. Who knows what it will be next. And whatever I have I wanted to do, sh's gone with it. She did what she could to give me every opportunity to make that dream happen. When I wanted to be a geneticist, she moved me from private school to public school where there was more funding in science. She gave me whatever I needed to accomplish what I wanted, but it was always up to me to get there. She's listened to many a meltdown and cheered at many softball games and graduations. I always knew I had her support, but it was also never a secret that she expected me to do the work.

Believe in yourself.
My mom has always believed in me enough for me and her, but always made sure that I believed in myself, too. She did this in the best way - she believed in herself. She went back to grad school in her fifties because that was the next step in her goals.

Math is important.
This one is particularly entertaining to me. As a writer and former English major, I have loathed math most of my life. I'm good at it, I just don't like it. Mom made sure that I took all the math I could in high school. Threatened to take my car and other things away if I didn't. She didn't have any control over what I did in college and grad school. She said that one day I would appreciate it. Before my recent title change at work, I was a Fiscal Program Accountant, so I think she knew what she was talking about.

Love hard and always strive to be the better friend.
I've heard her say, "They're mine" about someone many times. It usually is the reasoning for whatever she has done for that person. She's said it about her friends, family, students that she works with. If you are hers, she looks out for you and takes care of you. She will go to the ends of the earth for you. She has been Mamma D to many of my friends and even current students now. I want, and try, to be that person for my friends and family, too. I want to be the one that you know you can call and I'll be there. Because she is.

You're beautiful as you are.
This was never a question in my life, whether or not my mom thought I was beautiful. At my largest or my skinniest, weakest or strongest, she has always told me I was beautiful and I've never had a reason not to be believe her. She never hid food from me when I was chunky kid, never tried to put me on a diet. For a brief moment when I lost my mind and wanted to be in pageant (that last about 5 minutes by the way), she was ready to go. And because of that, even when I hit my highest weight last year, I still didn't question if I was beautiful. Because she had always told me I was, so I believed it.  

God is good.
I've watched my mom go through some hard situations. Work, family, losing parents, parents-in-law. Never once did she question God, did she lose faith. She just hunkered down and prayed harder. That came from her mom.

There are many other things I've learned from her. How to run in high heels. How to make chicken casserole and macaroni cheese. How to read music and find the alto part. How to be okay driving 12 hours by yourself with a kid to visit your family. How to find the good parts in crappy situations. I am very much my own person, but about 75% of my mouth and personality come from Robin. So today, I thank her for what she's taught me and hope that one day, I'm loved half as much as she is.

My favorite wedding shot of us. Photo by Carolina Media Star 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Shopaholic on a Budget: Surviving Taxes

I'm so excited for this post. Never did I think that I would be excited to write about budgeting, but here I am, all giddy to share this with you. We started our budget back in January. It's been rough, mostly on me, but this past month it paid off big time!

©  | Dreamstime Stock Photos
Whenever I hear those commercials about "it's refund season, what are you going to do with your refund?!" it makes me want to punch someone a little. Because we hardly ever get a refund. Ever. For the past few years, it was me that tipped us over the line of getting a refund, this year it was Aaron. He changed jobs in the middle of the year and it messed up our tax brackets. We owed, as usual, but we weren't expecting to owe $1,500 between CPA fees and taxes. It was rough, but with a little bit of planning and waiting, we have gotten back on track almost like the taxes didn't even happen.

Here's how we did it. We were very blessed and received an escrow check from our mortgage company. Normally we just put it in savings to help recover any loss from increased payments, but we used it to help pay off the taxes without having to dip into our savings. We were also blessed that taxes hit during the magical three-paycheck month. If you get paid bi-weekly, then you know and understand the magic of the three-paycheck month. It happens twice a year and, if you're like us and budget based on two paychecks a month, you essentially have a free paycheck. The downside is that you have to plan for it.

The third paycheck normally knocks our pay schedules off. Our paychecks end up hitting a few days after we need to pay bills. In the past, it's actually hurt us more than helped us because we weren't on a budget. We weren't paying attention to how we were spending the money and we ended up using it all before we even knew it! Then we were cutting it close on paying bills with the next paycheck. It just didn't work for us. But this time we planned! I mapped out our bills and spending from March to May. We stuck to our budget and didn't even touch the extra paycheck money until the first week of May, a whole month later. We let it sit in our checking account to help offset the difference in our pay and bill schedules. Then in May, the magic happened.

We just paid off our main credit card and put some extra money in savings. That's with paying for the hotel for a friend's wedding, buying both of us new clothes (yeah healthy weightloss!) and mulching the yard! At the end of this month, we'll be able to put our usual amounts towards debt payoff and savings and we'll be back on track like nothing ever happened. That's why you budget, people. Because you have the ability to react when big ticket problems happen and recover from them. Back before we started this budget, this would have crippled us for a few months. But with a little planning and sticking to a budget, we are back on track.

We did all this and still paid off a credit card and put some in savings!

Mulched our beds!

Celebrated our friend's wedding in New Bern, NC!
Thanks to our budget, we are back on track almost like $1,500 in taxes never even happened! Budgets suck. Trust me. The lack of regular material gain in my life is not fun and there are so many times I have sent pictures of items I want to a friend saying, "Tell me no!" But watching our savings grow  and debt shrink while still being able to do house projects and support our friends with their weddings and babies is pretty awesome. What have you been able to do because of your budget?!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Cauli Beef Fried Rice

Confession time - we have eaten horribly lately. Nothing healthy has happened in the past few weeks. Life has been hectic and I have been lazy as a result. This week, though, I decided to be more intentional about the meals I made and food I bought. I bought good snacks (ie - no poptarts) and made sure that every meal I planned had a good amount of veggies in it! Here's to trying to get back on track during the month of crazy travel!

This past Sunday, I did a meal experiment and it turned out really well, so I thought I'd share it. I combined my beef and broccoli recipe with a cauliflower fried rice recipe. First off - it took me a whole 20 minutes to make this meal. That's always a win in my book! And it was low carb and lots of veggies! I can't say that it was Whole 30, gluten free or Paleo, but it was pretty close. Here we go!

I've struggled to find a cauliflower rice recipe that I actually enjoy and finally realized that I was shredding the cauliflower into pieces that were too small. When I cooked them, they were mushy and gross. Then I found Green Giant Cauliflower Crumbles in the produce section at Wal-Mart and it was love at first sight. The "rice" is the right size and I don't have to do any prep work! For this recipe, I used the Green Giant Cauliflower Crumbles Fried Rice mix.

Photo via Jet.com
Start by making the beef mixture and broth mixture. I like to buy stir-fry meat at the grocery store. It's basically flank steak that has already been thinly sliced for you. Again, I'm all about less work in the kitchen! Place the meat in a mixing bowl and pour 1 tbsp of sherry and 1 tbsp of soy sauce over the meat. Stir together. Then make the sauce. I like to make this sauce in my glass one-cup liquid measuring cup (less dishes!). Stir together 1 tbsp sherry, 1 tbsp soy sauce (or coconut aminos if you're gluten free), beef broth, hoisin and Sriracha. Hold off on adding the cornstarch until later. 

Then make the fried rice. Heat a large saute pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Dump in the whole bag of Fried Rice mix. 

Add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder. You can also chop two garlic cloves and add them if you don't want to do garlic powder. Saute the "fried rice" for about 7-8 minutes, or until the veggies have softened. 

Push the veggies to the side of the pan, making whole in the middle. Add in one egg, lightly whisked. Scramble the egg once it begins to cook and then mix it into the "fried rice." Add in 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil and stir the mixture around to combine. Remove the fried rice from the pan to a separate bowl and cover to keep warm (or be like me and place in the microwave).

Finished "fried rice" with toasted sesame oil and egg added
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add in the beef mixture and brown the meat. 

Add the cornstarch to the broth mixture you made earlier and mix together to break up the cornstarch. Once the beef is browned, add the mixture to the pan. Heat until the mixture forms a luxurious brown sauce. 

Remove the pan before it overheats and gets too thick. To serve, spoon one cup of the fried rice mixture into a bowl and add the beef and the sauce. And enjoy!

I can also attest that this heats up well! I had the leftovers for lunch on Monday!

Cauliflower Beef Fried Rice

1 16-oz bag Green Giant Cauliflower Crumbles Fried Rice
1 lb. Stir Fry Meat (or flank steak thinly sliced)
1 egg, lightly whisked
2 tbsp dry sherry, divided
2 tbsp lower-sodium soy sauce (or coconut aminos if gluten free), divided
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 c beef broth (Rachel Ray is my favorite)
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp Sriracha

1. Prepare the meat. In a medium bowl, pour 1 tbsp sherry and 1 tbsp soy sauce over the meat. Set aside.
2. Prepare the saue. Mix together 1 tbsp sherry, 1 tbsp soy sauce, broth, hoisin and Sriracha.
3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Dump the fried rice mix into the pan and saute for 7-8 minutes.
4. Push the fried rice to the edge of the pan, making a whole in the middle. Pour in the lightly whisked egg and scramble as it cooks.  Mix in to the fried rice.
5. Add the garlic powder and toasted sesame oil and mix.  Remove the fried rice from the pan into a separate bowl. Cover and set aside.
6. Heat the remaining tsbp olive oil. Brown the meat on all sides.
7. Mix the corn starch into the sauce and pour into the pan. Stir around until it thickens. Remove the meat and sauce from heat to prevent drying out.
8. To serve, place 1 cup of the fried rice in a bowl and top with meat and sauce. Enjoy!

*this post was not sponsored by any of the brands mentioned, they are just the ones that I use!

Friday, May 5, 2017

A Day to Myself in New Bern

This past weekend we were in New Bern, North Carolina for a friend's wedding. Aaron was a bromaid, meaning he was in the wedding on the bride's side. The groom also had two girls on his side, so it worked. While Aaron did his bromaid thing, I spent the day exploring New Bern!

New Bern reminds me of a smaller Charleston. It's a super cute town on the water, but not at the beach, with lots of history. We parked our car at the hotel and we didn't move it the rest of the weekend until we left. I literally walked everywhere on Saturday.

Saturday was a beautiful day. If there is anything that I love, it's being left alone to explore a small town by myself. Especially if there's some touristy stuff to do. Aaron doesn't always enjoy the touristy and historic things, so it's nice to not have to subject him to them.

I started by touring Tryon Palace. It's not really a palace like you would think, you know turrets and all. But it was the state's first permanent capitol. It burned down to its foundation and then was restored in the 1950's. The stable building was the only one that survived.

Did you know that your travels don't actually count if there isn't a photo with your head in it? It's true.

What I thought was super cool was that five ladies restored the house. They used original plans for the house and rebuilt it on the original foundation. They found lists of items that former Governors' had in the home and used that to furnish the house.

For example, one Governor had a list of over 450 volumes by name and edition that were in the library at one time. The ladies were able to recover almost all of the books, so most of the books that are now in the library are the same titles and editions that were once there. Cool, right? Well, at least it is to me.

I also thought it was cool to see the rooms where the first General Assembly meetings were held. I'm a geek, I know. 

The gardens were gorgeous. There weren't super flowery like the gardens at Biltmore, but much more greenery and plants native to Eastern North Carolina. 

And any trip to a historic place in NC isn't complete without one cannon photo!

As I said above, the stable building is the only original building on the site, but the workmanship on the wood inside is amazing. It still looks brand new!

I spent most of my morning at Tryon Palace and using my day pass. I was also able to tour two historic homes as part of my pass. There was also a Civil War house, but when I went, the door was locked. 

For lunch, I stopped by MJ's Raw Bar. The sweet tea was some of the best I have ever had and I consider myself a sweet tea connoisseur! You know how some sweet tea can have a bitter taste? This one didn't, just smoothly and perfectly sweet. I ordered a soft shell crab sandwich. And this is what I got.

So, if you've never had a soft shell crab sandwich (which I hadn't), you get a whole crab. Like eating Sebastian (you know, Little Mermaid). I had to google it. Apparently, you eat the whole thing. So I did. It was easier once I put the bun on top and didn't have to see Sebastian. However, a leg poked out once in a while. I tried not to think about it. 

After lunch, I headed back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding. I didn't get many photos at the wedding, because they had a sign asking people not to take photos. I requested the same at mine. So I obliged...except when they handed Aaron a bouquet. That I had to document.

He's such a handsome bromaid! We had so much fun at the wedding! I didn't know anyone at the wedding besides Aaron and Joylynn (the bride), but everyone there was so nice! Normally, I pretty much suck at making new friends. That's Aaron's job in our marriage, not mine. But I was at a table by myself and he was at the head table. I loved everyone that I got to sit with and we made friends with all the bridesmaids.  It was honestly one of my favorite weddings.

Congrats to Joylynn and Jared! Thanks for a reason to spend some time in New Bern! I'll be back down there later in the month for a conference. I've already scoped out my next places to check out while I'm there. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May 2017 Stitch Fix Review

I have been so, so excited for this box! It's been four months since my last fix! I normally get a fix every other month, but with our new budget and my LulaRoe obsession, the fix kept getting pushed back. And I waffled a lot on what I wanted.  First it was all pants/bottoms because none of mine were fitting. Then I went shopping with my mom and bought new pants. Then I changed it to dresses for our upcoming weddings, but realized I have plenty in my closet that don't get the wear they deserve. Finally, I landed on cute summer tops and maybe some bottoms. I requested some flirty, open-back tops because I've been working out and my back is looking pretty awesome. By God, I got what I asked for.

If you're familiar with Stitch Fix, scroll right on past this to the items! If you haven't ever heard of Stitch Fix, it's a personal styling service. You fill out a questionnaire that helps the stylists determine your style and how to size you.  My favorite thing about the questionnaire is that it allows you to specify not only the style of clothes you like (preppy, boho, casual, etc), but also the type of clothes you want (professional, casual, date night), how much and often you want each of those, and what you want to show off (cleavage, arms, back, legs, etc). Once you've filled that out, you determine your price points, how often you want a fix and then write your stylist a note. You can also do a Pinterest board to help your stylist get a better idea of your style. I have my fixes set for every other month and most of my price points are in the $50-$100 range.

Once you've scheduled your fix, your stylist will hand select 5 items for you.  A $20 styling fee is charged, but that is applied to any items you decide to purchase. You try the items on at home and mail back what you don't want in a pre-paid envelope.  Even better, you can now choose to exchange sizes! If you keep all five items, you get a 25% discount. If you are interested in trying Stitch Fix, you can use my referral link here.

Now that we're past all that, let's get to the fix itself.  This fix wasn't my best. I've been really spoiled by what Kelly, my stylist, has chosen for me in the past. She's styled two 5/5 fixes and others where I kept 2-3 items. This one? I wasn't even sure I was going to keep anything when I first tried things on! I always try things on twice, though, just to make sure.

Napean Sea Rd Zeni Cold Shoulder Blouse - $48

When I first peeked at my items when they shipped (shame, I know), I didn't know how I felt about this one. I figured it was either going to be really cute or really terrible. I haven't been a huge fan of the cold-shoulder style and wasn't sure how this was going to look. The first time I put it on, I hated it. It's a little shorter than I prefer on my tops and I had on the wrong bra. I'm convinced that half of the success of a top is the bra you're wearing! It can't fix everything, but it can fix a lot. Once I tried it on with a strapless bra and the jeans I would actually wear it with, I realized I actually really like the top!

I'm going to apologize now for my mirror selfie photos. I tried taking non-mirror selfies, but I looked like a fat cow in them. So mirror selfies it is! I ended up really liking this top! Unlike some of the other cold-shoulder tops I've tried, I like the shoulder hole on this one. It's at the top of my shoulder, which is defined, not resting on the fat, meaty part of my arm. I also love the skinny straps at the top. Super flattering.  Even more important, I don't have anything like this in my closet! I normally require my tops to do double duty (work and play), but this one is a total date night top and I love it. It's a keeper!

Crescent Tamber Piping Trim Top - $48

I wanted to love this top. I did! Orange is a great color on me and the piping was adorable. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be.

This top is super boxy on me. It hits my boobs and keeps on going. I look like a big ol' square. Don't get me wrong, I love flowy just like the next person, but I've worked hard for my shape. I like to show that I have one. I think a medium might have fit better, but I wasn't completely sure and didn't want to be stuck with the top if it didn't work. The other negative of this top is the neckline. This became a theme for me with this fix. The thick should straps look matronly on me and make me look broader than I am. Sadly, I sent this one back.

Temple Flower Twaluh Criss-Cross Cutout Knit Top - $48

Remember when I said I asked for open-back and I got it? This is it! The front is cute, looks like a normal navy tee. But the back is all open and twisty!

Yes, that's my bra. It is what it is. My initial thought on this top was that it's cute. I like the front, I could easily wear it under a cardigan or a jacket for work. I have a couple of made-to-be-seen racerback bras that would be cute under it, but it still felt a little naked for me. I think if it had just been the top cut out, I would have been fine and it would have been a definite keeper. Those two lower cutouts though? Put it over my comfort level. I found myself coming up with ways to cover my lower back and realized this shirt probably wasn't for me. But Kelly definitely gave me what I asked for! I sent this one back.

Skies are Blue Loni Open Back Detail Knit Top - $48

When I saw this during my peek, I figured that this would be my favorite of the tops. I liked the blue and white colors and who doesn't love a comfy tank top?

I do like this top. It is very comfy and the back detail is just the right amount. I don't feel naked, but I like knowing that I have the fun detail. The fabric is super soft and I could pair it with all my shorts and capris. But I don't love it. The straps are too thick, making my shoulders and arms appear bigger than they are. The stripes hit weird, half on my boobs and half off, so from the front it has more of a boxy look. When I was modeling all my tops for Aaron, he asked me why I didn't love this one. It's my usual kind of top. I asked him if he would be willing to pay $48 for it and he said no. Stitch Fix is a little expensive sometimes. I don't mind paying $48 for a top. Even for a good basic staple if it's made well. But this is just a fun tank top. I think if it had been $30, I would have kept it. But not at $48. 

DV8 Karene Perforated Bootie - $95

I mentioned in my note that I have been on the hunt for some good perforated booties. There are a couple of pairs that I'm stalking at various stores. Kelly found some for me and included them in my box.

I tried these booties on with the green NSR top. You can see them in the left photo. They are cute on and they are oh so very comfortable. I had two issues with them, though. The first was that I don't really wear black booties in the spring and summer. It just seems a little too harsh for me. However, I also recognize they would be great during the fall and winter. My biggest issue was the price tag. I've been stalking a few pairs at DSW that are around $75-80. I can't bring myself to pay that much for booties, so I know I can't bring myself to pay $95. Maybe if I loved all the other items and was getting the 25% discount. But I don't and I'm not. So, these babies are going back.

I still love Stitch Fix! Not going to lie, I was super bummed when I thought that I had received a 0/5 box, but even then I was still in love with this service. Even Aaron said, "Isn't that the risk you take?" when I told him that I would be out $20. And it is. But when I think about it, the tops are in colors and prints that I love. Kelly gave me what I asked for - tops with some back detail and perforated booties. And if nothing else, I learned from this fix that thick straps on tanks are not my friend! I'm keeping one item, the NSR cold-shoulder top, and I'm really excited for it! Now to think of places to make Aaron take me! What do you think? What were your favorite items?