Monday, May 26, 2014

Little Happies -- Why Did the Turtle Cross the Road?

This past week was chock full of teeny, tiny Little Happies, just chock full of 'em. I'm so happy that, while we're sitting around waiting for the next big thing to happen in our lives, I've got an eye for the little things now. Here's where I found joy this week...


We'll start with a silly one. THIS GAME. I really shouldn't admit how much time I've spent distracted by it. Have you heard of it? Played it? Been sucked into it like I have? It's called 2048 and it's all about combining like numbers. The overall goal is to get to the 2048 tile, which, if you take a look at the bottom right corner of my screen shot, I FINALLY did!! Now I can go back to being bored at stop lights, thank you very much.

How did I do it, you ask?

This will only make sense if you know how to play...

One of my youth group teens gave me a great hint: only use three of the four directions. For me, it was down, left, and right. I avoided moving the tiles up at all costs, though it did have to happen every once in a while. Also, try to keep your highest tiles in one corner. For me, it was the bottom right, as you can see. Before I knew these tricks, I hardly ever got up to the higher numbers. After, I was scoring BIG almost every game. Give it a try. You'll see. But don't blame your addiction on me!


My husband has a huge heart. We were driving out of the apartment complex yesterday and we saw a turtle crossing the road.

(Insert "Why did the turtle cross the road?" joke here.)

So, he insisted we stop so he could nudge him to safety... with his sandal. It warmed my heart and cracked me up all at the same time. 

When he got back in the car I asked him if he named his new turtle buddy. He said, "Yup. His name is Turtle Buddy." 

Kind AND creative, that one.


We don't always eat right, but when we do, it makes me feel like the champion of the grocery store. Check out our fruit and veggie-fied basket! Score for John and Steph! Sure, we added a bit more to the basket as our grocery trip went on, but it was mostly nut butters and olive oil and canned veggies (oh my!). Good stuff.

I'm reeeeally trying more than ever now to be successful on Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet. I've found that being part of a facebook anti-inflamm diet accountability group helps (email me if you'd like to join!). I'm also thinking of doing a "Day in the Life of My Anti-Inflammatory Dieting Mouth" post, where I'll post pics of everything I eat over the course of a day. That way, while forcing all of you to salivate over my diety meals (ha!), I'll be forcing myself to stay on track so that you don't judge me once I post everything. How's THAT for accountability?


Sometimes it's just nice to dress up! We went to a wedding on Saturday, so we had a good excuse, though it's a blast to dress up for no reason sometimes too. Makes you feel all confidenty and such.

I've owned that dress (and the jewelry and shoes) for a while now, so it felt even better to dress up and not spend a dime on the outfit! Turns out, you can teach an old outfit new tricks. Oh wait, is that not the saying?


Have you ever heard of Joy the Baker? How about Shutterbean? How about their super cute podcast, the Joy the Baker podcast?

When your podcast's tag line is always "...where we talk about totally important unimportant things," you know it's got to be good!

I love listening to them while doing chores around the apartment. Makes the work loads more fun. Plus, I'm way more likely to convince myself to get off my internet-surfin' butt and actually clean that crusty bathroom (gag.) if I know my two new friends are waiting to chat to me via this fab podcast while I scrub. You should try it some time.

They're silly, they're girly, they're fun, they're definitely entertaining. It's great! And both of them are fantastics cooks! So, in addition to their podcast, check out their blogs for some kitchen inspiration. Kinspiration?


Speaking of Shutterbean (and kinspiration), I found this recipe for Roasted Tomatoes with Polenta & Spinach on her blog. Doesn't it look yum? And it's actually SO easy to make, while at the same time, it makes you feel like you're a culinary genius because it's so fancy lookin' once it's all stacked together. Oh, and don't even get me started on the taste. Mmmmm. PERFECTION.

Another Happy here is that my husband insisted on eating off our wedding china. This takes our eating-off-the-china tally to a grand total of TWO times. It's just so nice, I don't want to ruin it! But I guess if it's never ruined, it means it never got used, loved on, eaten off of... and that certainly doesn't seem worth it. So we used it for our fancy dinner. Made it even fancier. I think we'll have to do that more often now.

Have a lovely Monday, my friends! Happy Memorial Day! Oh, and the turtle crossed the road to get to the shell station, duh! You're welcome. :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

REAL TALK: I'm a Toilet Paper Snob

 Welcome to my new series, REAL TALK, in which I write about my opinions and sincere thoughts on various ridiculous things. Get ready for some real feels here, folks.  

Can we have REAL TALK for just a second? 

I'm a toilet paper snob.

Blame it on NFP and the flat toilet papery wipe required for each visit to the restroom... but I cannot stand cheap, thin toilet paper. It just falls apart as I try to twist it around my hand or as I, you know, use it. Ick! Go home, bad toiled paper, you're drunk!

Being honest here, I've sorta always known that I was snobby about toilet paper. Seriously, what kind of person likes wiping their delicates with near-sandpaper? But I didn't reeeeeally know of my snobbiness until I moved away from my parents' house back in 2004 and experienced a whole new world of bottom-cleaning stuff on a roll. 

Wait, why am I randomly talking about the horror that is bad toilet paper? 

Well, my recent trip home to RI jogged my memory...

For some reason, my parents only by this cheap Scott stuff. And I didn't know anything different until I moved away. 18 years of my life wasted with less-than-desirable wiping experiences. How do they live with that?! How do they ever convince themselves to go to the bathroom if they know their wiping experience is going to be that bad??

In addition to the worst TP ever at my parents' house, the only other toilet paper we used during our trip was at the airport. And we all know airports don't want to spend extra dimes, so they buy the cheap stuff too. Rawwrrrr! My undersides are crying. 

So, upon returning home to Memphis, I (including my bum) was very happy to be back to our apartment's thick, luxurious, sturdy toilet paper once again. 

And I'm not even sad that we have to pay a little more for the good stuff. Worth every penny.

Actually, I DON'T EVEN CARE if the toilet paper is on the roll the wrong way. I know, I know... this is a hotly debated topic. But it means nothing to me compared to the quality of the paper. NOTHING, you hear me??!

(Ok... but just in case you wanted my opinion on the subject.)  source

Seriously, they need to market the bad stuff and the good stuff differently. In my mind, they're not even on the same playing field, not at all, so they definitely should not be allowed to be called the same thing. 

From now on, the toilet paper that's essentially just a smaller, perforated version of the stuff you stuff gift bags with shall be called TORTURE PAPER. 

The good stuff, aka the stuff that makes it feel like you're wiping with a heavenly cloud or the fur of a poodle, shall be called the real TOILET PAPER. We can give it a nickname too, since it deserves it. I'm thinking something like... the happiest paper on earth.

Can a sister get an AMEN?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Little Happies -- Our Rhode Island Getaway

John and I spent the past week in Rhode Island with my family and it was fantastic! So many Little Happies from our 5-day trip. Here are the best of 'em...

(Psst -- There are a fair number of baby and toddler pics and stories in this post, so if you're not in the mood to hear about little youngsters today, feel free to skip this one. And hugs to you!)


It was just so good to see family! Most of our time was spent bee-bopping around the state, hanging out with our favorite loved ones that we haven't seen it about a year. Gosh, it had been too long. Here's a cute pic my husband snapped of me and my mom. She's pretty, that one! Thanks for being a lovely host, mother dear.


Being near the ocean again was another little treat of the week. We hardly ever see it anymore, seeing as Tennessee is landlocked and at least a 5-hour drive from a nice sea breeze. So, when it was time to decide what we wanted for lunch our first full day in RI, obviously clam cakes and chowdah by the ocean was the perfect choice. Above you see a pic of my handsome enjoying the sea and then a pic of me and my sister enjoying it too. Another Little Happy here is John's nautical-ish sweater. Love that top!

(Are you ready for cute overload?)

These two noodles are the joy of my life. I love being auntie to two of the cutest, kindest kids on the planet. We stopped for a little ice cream after a not-so-competitive round of mini golf, and my mom snapped these two pics of me with my favorite little people. Lindsey was so happy to cuddle and play with me the whole week and baby David was really good at smiling, cooing, and vomiting all over the place. It's a good thing he's cute!

(Are you ready for even more cute overload??)

My brother and sister-in-law may have found the cutest kitty in the world. This little guy was discovered crying outside of SIL's dance studio (yes, my SIL is cool and owns an Irish step dance studio, no big) and she just had to take him home. They named him Felix and are super experts at feeding him from a bottle, teaching him how to use the potty (we won't get into details), cuddling him in Spiderman blankets, and raising him right. 

We spent our second full day in Rhode Island meeting up with several great folks around the state -- my brother and SIL for breakfast at Olga's Cup + Saucer, a cute bakery with a romantic outdoor patio, followed by kitty cuddle time in their downtown loft apartment; lunch at Seven Moons, a delicious Asian cuisine stop, to meet a good high school friend; back to my parents' house for a much needed nap; and finally dinner at Boneheads, recently voted best buffalo wings in RI and owned by a family friend, for dinner with parents, younger brother, and his girlfriend. Whew. It was fun eating our way around the state and spending every hour in good company, but this introverted girl needed a little extra sleep that night to recharge the batts. 


On our last full day in RI, we spent the afternoon at a neat little hands-on aquarium called Biomes. Lindsey (my niece) was in ocean heaven, running around, excited about every single sea creature she saw. Though, she was quite the scaredy cat when it came time to touch them. Ah well, twas still very fun and we learned some cool fishy facts! Plus, I got to spend 70% of the time with baby David hanging out ON me in a Moby wrap. It was my first experience with baby wearing and it was... pretty fun! Very easy on the back, and who doesn't like having a cute 3-month-old attached to them? 


After our trip to Biomes, Lindsey wanted to play a round of her new game, Disney Dazzling Princess, so of course we obliged. She was really good at showing off her bling. Even better at kicking us in the bums and beating us to victory. That little lady has luck on her side, that's for sure.

Sidenote -- We tried to buy her Pretty, Pretty Princess (remember that game, ladies?), but apparently they don't make it anymore, or don't make enough, because it's currently around $90 on amazon. Another 90s game bites the dust. Are we getting old or something?



That's really all I have to say about this Little Happy. But I suppose if you'd like to hear more...

John and I don't have cable, just an Apple TV (with Netflix and Hulu) and an antenna for basic channels. So HGTV is my JAM whenever we travel somewhere with it... AKA my parents' house. I will spend hours (usually the wee hours of the night) watching House Hunters, Love It or List It, Property Brothers, and basically any other show they're airing at any time. LOVE. This channel is God's gift to me, I'm pretty sure of it.


A sweet college friend, Sarah, is so excited that we're adopting. She sent us the most lovely getting-ready-for-baby package in the mail, complete with little descriptive post-it notes on each gift. Her thoughtfulness warmed our hearts upon returning from our trip, as this package of love was waiting for us in our mailbox upon arrival. All the items are tucked away for now, but we're looking forward to (hopefully) using them soon. Thank you, friend!


Ok, one last one, I promise. Remember how I mentioned mini golf above? Here's an adorbs video of my niece super-failing at getting the ball in the hole. Let's just say 18 holes lasted a while, but I loved every minute of it. 

PS -- Sorry for holding the camera phone the wrong way. I dislike vertical videos like that. My apologies!

PPS -- Sorry if the video doesn't work. I'm a little bit of a technology dodo sometimes. Just know that she's super cute and super bad at holding the club the right way and super even worse at being patient enough to aim the ball, all in one. 

Thanks for reading along, friends! Hope you enjoyed reading about the best littlest state there is. If you ever visit RI, please let me know. I know the state like the back of my hand... I mean, I did grow up there for my first 21 years of life, ya know. I'll create for you the best RI travel guide you'll ever encounter, and that's a fact!

Looking forward to reading all of your Happies. Hope your joy is plentiful and your sorrow non-existant this week. (And always!)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Little Happies -- The Day I Became Famous & Other Random Things

Happy Monday, everyone! I've got a handful of random Happies for ya today...


After you receive a Stitch Fix, you type lots of info on what you liked and didn't like and send it off to Stitch Fix land, to help the stylists put together an even better Fix for you next time. In my most recent Fix review, I sent along a link to my Stitch Fix blog post and apparently the folks at SF Headquarters liked it because... they posted it on their Stitch Fix Review Blog!! Ahhhh!!! I'm (not really) famous!! Here's the link, if you'd like to see it for yourself. I just can't believe they featured my post! How fun!! :)


The most thoughtful Mother's Day card I've ever read.

My sister is the sweetest. She kept texting me every day this week, "Have you checked your mail yet?" "Go check your mail!" "Why aren't you checking your mail?" Ha!! I could tell she was really anxious/excited for me to get a special something in the mail, and now I know why. She sent me the sweetest card I think I've ever received. Love, you sister!! Thanks for thinking of little ol' childless me on Mother's Day. You're the sweetest! <3


I embraced Mother's Day this year, but instead called it Stephie's Day! The day started with me sleeping in (a childless-life luxury!), then drinking a delicious avocado smoothie. My husband got off of work super early (by 12:30pm... thank you for that awesome treat, God!) and we enjoyed the afternoon together. He took me out for cheese fries and froyo (not sorry) and even bought me a precious Stephie's-Day gift. He's thoughtful, that one. Every time I asked if we could do something -- watch Doctor Who, get froyo, cuddle, etc. -- he'd say, "Of course! It's Stephie's Day!" Just made me feel awesome on a day that would otherwise be pretty crumby. I can't wait to shower him with love on Johnny's Day (aka Father's Day to the rest of the world).

I also made sure to post kind words about every possible mother there is on facebook. I hope every woman who read it felt loved and celebrated, as truly all women deserve some special recognition on Mother's Day. Perhaps we should rename it Mothering Day?

To my mom, for all the love and support she's given to me and all my sibs since day 1...
To my mom-in-law, for welcoming me lovingly into the fam...
To my grandmas, who gave life to my awesome parents and love me in the ways only grandmas know how...
To ALL moms out there, especially my close friends, who mean a lot to me and know my heart...
To expectant moms, pregnant or waiting for that call from the adoption agency...
To birthmoms, for selflessly choosing life...
To all women who wish to be moms and are waiting patiently for their turn...
To all women who share their mothering care with the ones they love...
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! We all deserve to celebrate today. Love to you all!


During that time of limbo, when I knew our profile was being shown but I didn't know whether or not we'd be picked, I needed some serious distractions. I was halfway to losing my mind. Enter: Divergent. This book was perfect for getting my mind off of my crazy life by letting me experience someone else's. While the writing style wasn't my favorite and the story was probably meant more for teenage girls, I liked it. It roped me in and kept me reading into the wee hours of the morning. And now, since both John and I have finished reading it, we're planning on going to see it on the big screen today! I hope it's good. And woohoo for a Monday afternoon date!


My sweet fam on our wedding day.

PEACE OUT, Memphis!! John and I are headed to Rhode Island on Tuesday for a 5-day getaway to my hometown. Can't wait to see my parents, siblings, niece, and new baby nephew... he's 3 months old and I haven't met him yet! Hold on, baby David! Auntie Stephie's coming!

It's going to be perfect. After we found out we didn't match with that baby, we decided it to go on a little vacation and get away from Memphis while it's still easy. Also, the baby would have been due this week, so it'll be nice to be surrounded by family and friends, to help us forget about what's not happening in our lives right now. So pumped to see everyone!

I hope today and the rest of your week is filled with many Happies! :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I Didn't Know "Open to Life" Would Be *This* Hard

Before we were married, and way before we knew infertility was going to be an issue, I had a pretty clear image of what it would mean to take our "open to life" vow seriously...


No wait, that's what the rest of the (non-Catholic) world thinks "open to life" means.

After equipping myself with the knowledge of this awesome science called the Creighton Model and getting the hang of the Church's teaching on Natural Family Planning (NFP), my image was a little more like...

Get married.
Avoid pregnancy using NFP for a year.
Avoid pregnancy using NFP for another year.
Avoid pregnancy using NFP for a year or two.
Avoid pregnancy using NFP for another few years.
Last baby.
Lots of avoiding pregnancy using NFP in my late 30s and all of my 40s until...

... all the while discerning at each step along the way if we really had grave reasons to avoid or postpone pregnancy. It definitely seemed like it would be hard at times, but I was up for the challenge.

And all that probably sounds like what you'd expect of your typical fertile Catholic wanting a larger family and excited about embracing the Church's "open to life" teaching.

I also imagined "open to life" would mean...

Lots of sleepless nights.
Wrinkes and gray hairs and a saggy stomach.
No more vacations for a while.
No more casual hang outs with friends for a while.
Spending approximately $1,000,000 on groceries per month.
A slave to my washer and dryer for the rest of my life.
Getting into serious debates about [insert commonly debated baby thing here] with other moms all the time.
Never being able to poop or shower in private.
Having my ears attacked by cheesy kids tunes and cheesy kids movies all day long.
Cheerios all over my car.
Cheerios all over my house.
Cheerios all over my life.
Multitasking like a mad woman.
Acting as a mediator between fighting children.
Contantly worring about my children for any and every reason imaginable.
Desperately pleading with God for NFP to work so we can avoid having yet another one right now.
Spending all our savings sending our kids off to Catholic school or college or getting them married.
Becoming a teacher, maid, chef, role model, parent, and saint, all in one.

Gosh, that sounds like A LOT. It would definitely not be easy to be that selfless for so many baby-growing, child-raising, teen-shaping years. What you are doing is hard, reeeeally hard. So, to those of you in the trenches -- I salute you! And look up to you! And am in awe of all you do.

But, I'm also extremely jealous.

Yes, that's right. Jealous.

You may think I'm entirely crazy, completely out-of-my-mind nuts for being jealous of what you do. But it's the honest truth. As I sit here typing this, right here and now, I'm BEGGING God to give me all those challenges of parenthood. BEGGING Him.

Because at this point in my life, "open to life" doesn't look the same way for me as it does for you. Not at all. Sure, I get to be intimate with my husband whenever I want without having to worry about conceiving "at the wrong time." Sure, I get to pick up and go on vacations or go out with friends at the drop of a hat. Sure, my car and house and life are devoid of Cheerios. But I'd trade all of that, and way more, for everything you have, easy.

When I reflect on what I used to think "open to life" looks like, at first it seems like I'm not really living that vow at all. But the reality is "open to life" just takes on a whole new meaning when you're struggling through infertility.

If you've ever....

Sought the best doctors to get answers about your infertility...
Had very invasive treatments and surgeries involving your "private parts"...
Tried several different medications (that often make you crazy) to heal your broken, infertile body...
Changed your diet to increase your odds of conception...
Timed intercourse cycle after cycle to catch that perfect moment...
Done everything in your human power to conceive a child...
Opened your heart to the roller coaster of adoption...
Let go of your dreams of having your children look like the perfect mix of you and your spouse...
Filled your home with baby items before any indication that a baby is coming your way...
Put yourself out there to be possibly "rejected" by a birthmom...
Chosen to go forward with an adoption, even when you knew it was a risky situation...
Opened your home to a child from a hard place...
Let go of all you thought parenting would be so that you could be the perfect parent for your adopted child...
Found other ways to using your mothering skills...
Ministered to the needs of the poor, hungry, dying, marginalized, hospitalized...
Become a spiritual mother to those around you...
Celebrated the pregnancy, birth, and adoption announcements of everyone around you, because you really are happy about new life! (while inside your heart is breaking and a good ugly cry is about to pour out)...
Woken up still saying YES to every day, even though you know it'll be another childless one.

... then you're absolutely, positively "open to life" too. Even without a bunch of babies to show for it. We may not look "open to life" to that random stranger, but we know in our hearts we are. None of this would hurt so much if we didn't say YES to LIFE with all that we have, every single moment of every single day. You're in the trenches too, my friend, just not the same trenches you thought you'd be in.

I used to think "open to life" meant having lots and lots of babies, whenever God wanted us to, and I knew that had the potential to be challenging. But my "openness to life" isn't like that at all. It's far different than what I imagined it would be.

Is one harder than the other? I'm obviously not sure. I don't know what it's like to be a mom yet. But if I had to guess, based on who I am and how I feel today, I'd rather be struggling to keep up with all my babies than have no babies at all. I'd also guess that most folks would feel that way too.

While we don't lack sleep or free time or money, we lack something much bigger, much more meaningful... We lack the ability to co-create life. We lack the love in our hearts that only a parent knows. We lack a very special kind of joy.

What I know most of all is this: when being "open to life" with all that you have doesn't actually result in a creating new life, it hurts a lot.

My prayers are with all of you who are "open to life" in this non-traditional, unexpected way. You're beautiful, you're strong, and your life is full of meaning, even without 10 kids in tow.

Father, your will be done. We are open to life, but most importantly we are open to you, the Author of Life. Take our lives and let them be whatever you desire for us, wherever that may lead. And let us feel at peace through it all. Amen. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Little Happies -- Movies and Shows That Make Me Smile

This week's Little Happies are brought to you by Stephanie's favorite movies and shows, plus movies and shows she's watched recently and really enjoyed. 'Cause sometimes, you just need a little happy distraction to get you through the infertile day-to-day. :)

The Sound of Music

Let's start with my all-time favorite movie: The Sound of Music. I've loved this one since I was little. So you can imagine how shocked I was when my husband told me he'd never seen it. GASP! We remedied that one quickly. The lead actress, Julie Andrews, just has the prettiest voice I ever did hear. And the songs always cheer me up no matter what mood I'm in. When I watch it, it's like I'm hanging out with all my best friends again. I especially love the songs My Favorite Things (duh!) and the lesser-known I Have Confidence. Check out these applicable-to-my-life-right-now lyrics from the latter: 

Oh, I must stop these doubts, all these worries
If I don't I just know I'll turn back
I must dream of the things I am seeking
I am seeking the courage I lack 

Thanks for being a classic, The Sound of Music. Thanks for making me fall in love with musicals at a young age. Thanks for a great story! Thanks for being my favorite pick-me-up ever. 


Alright, so if you've seen this movie, you know what I'm about to talk about. That opening sequence. It makes me wanna cry just thinking about it! (Skip this next part if you don't want any spoilers.) The way Carl and Ellie fall in love, the way they view their life as one big adventure. How Ellie dreams of having babies and then they sadly find out they're infertile. Yet, they still treat life as an adventure and continue to fall madly in love until the day she dies. So perfect. When I watched it a few years back, the infertility stuff didn't hit me as much, but obviously now it does. What strikes me most are two things: 1.) How beautiful their life is, even minus kids. 2.) That Pixar wrote a whole story about an infertile couple. Thanks for thinking of us, Pixar! 

I should also mention that this movie inspired John's proposal to me. He made me an adorable adventure-themed photo book that he randomly gave to me one night, which ended with a picture of my ring and the words "Will you marry me, Stephi?" Of course I said yes!! And of course I love this movie even more now. 

Our Adventures photo book 

"Will you marry me, Stephi?"

Back to the Future

Another one of my all-time favorites! I can't look at this picture without hearing Huey Lewis & the News's "The Power of Love" blasting in my head. 

Perhaps I just like movies with a good adventure. Perhaps I just like nerdy movies. This one is definitely both. The Doc and Marty McFly are awesome characters and the way the writers weave the stories of the three movies together makes me happy. My mom reeeeeally likes this movie. She even named her car after the main character, Marty. So maybe that's why I love them so much: we used to watched them quite a bit growing up. But maybe it's because they're just made of pure awesome. I guess we'll never know...

Two of my favorite quotes:
You are my density... I mean destiny.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, that means you need to stop what you're currently doing and go watch the trilogy. I bet you'll like it!

About Time

While I wouldn't classify this one as an all-time favorite, it's one John and I discovered recently and loved. At the beginning of the movie, the main character finds out that all the men in his family can time travel back in time and change any events in only their own timeline. I just love all the twists and turns this story takes. Plus, Rachel McAdams is super cute in this movie. (Warning: there's a tiny bit of un-Catholicness to this one. If you can look past it, the rest of the movie is very lovely!)

Another plus about this movie? This song: "How Long Will I Love You" performed by Jon Boden. We discovered it while watching the credits of the movie and now it's one of our favorites. A cute love song, indeed.

And a memorable quote for ya:
We're all traveling through time together, every day of our lives. All we can do is our best to relish this remarkable ride.

The Decoy Bride

John and I found this little gem recently on Netflix. Is it a really good story? Nah! Is it predictable? Absolutely! Is it cheesy? You betcha! But does it have charm? Yes, and lots of it. 

It's the love story of a man engaged to a famous woman just trying to find a secluded, un-paparazzi'd place to get married. They end up on a Scottish isle and, of course, all crazy breaks loose. The leading lady in the movie is played by Kelly MacDonald, the voice of Merida in Pixar's "Brave" and I just love her accent! And the leading man is played by David Tennent, the tenth doctor from Doctor Who. So, while the story was cheesy and predictable, the actors were fun to watch. I'd highly recommend it as a good date-night-in movie. And it's streaming on Netflix, last I checked, so it's easy to get ahold of and watch. 

Speaking of Doctor Who...

Doctor Who

I can't write a post about our favorite movies and shows and not mention the Doctor!! 

John and I got hooked on this several months ago when a teen in my youth group just couldn't stop talking about it. She warned us about the first new season, saying you sort of have to get through some of the slower first episodes to really enjoy the rest. I'm glad she said that because we probably would have given up on it way too early. The longer you go, though, the better it gets! Oh, it's just so good!! And so perfectly nerdy! We love these characters, love their stories, love love love watching!! It's our go-to when we have nothing else going on. 

If you're not a Whovian yet, please give it a watch! Let me know what you think. If you really aren't digging the first season, skip to the second and watch David Tennant in action. But just NEVER mention it to a Doctor Who fan, because they'll judge you, and harshly.

Here's one of my favorite Doctor Who quotes, also very applicable to my life right now:
The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things... The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant. 


I know I've mentioned this several times on this blog, but it's so worth mentioning again. This show is wonderful! The characters are so easy to love. The stories are so real. The music is great! Fair warning though, after the first few seasons, every episode will make you cry. Oh, man. You really fall in love with these family members and watching normal sad life stuff happen to them will make you feel like it's happening to your aunt/cousin/mom. Maybe that's not what you like in a show, but I love it!

I also love that one of the characters has a whole infertility/adoption story line. I really connected with the show after that. I won't tell you much more, I'll just encourage you to watch! All of the seasons (minus the most current one) are on Netflix instant streaming. And the current ones are on Hulu. I hope you like it! Just try not to watch whole seasons in one sitting like I did. Oops. But a good oops.

There are lots of other movies and shows that make me smile, but these are the ones I thought of for now. What do you think? Do you love any of these as much as I do? And what are the movies and shows that make YOU smile?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Stitch Fix #3!

Another day, another fashion tangent.

After my last Stitch Fix, I just couldn't resist another! I took a two month break between Fixes this time, which was a good plan, but that meant I was definitely overly-excited and READY when my magical box of hand-selected-for-me clothes arrived this morning. Unfortunately, I didn't realize it had been delivered until I was walking out the door on my way (almost late!) to work. Oops. So the box had to wait. But I knew the wait would be worth it. Check out just how lovely my spoils are this time around...

Oh, wait! Before I show you, I need to preface by saying I NEED YOUR HELP! I am reeeally not sure what to do here. I could see myself keeping all of these items, but I definitely don't love all of them, ya know? I'm leaning toward just keeping the two dresses, but am more than willing to be persuaded. And keep in mind, I get 25% off all of them if I keep all five items. Let me know what you think in the comments, PLEASE!

Also, if you've never heard of Stitch Fix before or you're a little confused at this point, check out my first Stitch Fix post for all the deets.

Ok, now here we go...

First, a little preview of all the items. I figured numbering them may help you more easily discuss them in the comments. Thank you very much. :)

Alright, now one at a time...

TCEC Denissa Tribal Detailed Key-Hole Tank - $48

Here's what I like: I don't own anything like it. I really could use some more white tops. I'm liking the tribal design down the front. It's nice and lightweight for the summer.

And what I don't like: It's super thin so I'll always have to wear something under it. Because of the cut, my bra straps show in the back. Not classy. It's flowy, which I like, but may have also crossed the line to baggy, which I don't like.

Overall, I'm confused. I can definitely see myself wearing it again, but I'm not sure it looks great on me. What do you think?

Loveappella Karissa Chevron Print Henley Tank - $48

Oh, Stitch Fix. I told you I didn't like this type of chevron pattern last time. You sent me a dress with a similar shaggy-looking chevron pattern and it made me go ICK. So I asked you to send me another chevron-y item this time around, but with a very defined chevron pattern like this or this. Instead, this shaggy-chevron tank is what I got. Sigh. The good news is, I like it a little better than the last chevron. Also, my husband likes the fit. But I'm still not exactly sure. It seems like it'd be great for summer and since it's black and white, I could wear it with lots of stuff. But again, not thrilled with the pattern. Is it too fuddy-duddy? Is the fit really that great?

Papermoon Tina Striped Open Cardigan - $48

Another piece that I'm not crazy about, but I could see myself getting some use out of. The pink and white stripes are fun, and I love the relaxed fit of an open cardigan. But the material is very thin. It makes me worry about its longevity. How will it stand up to several washes? And is it worth $48? I keep going back and forth!

41Hawthorn Callafia Short-Sleeve Wrap Dress - $68

Yes! Stitch Fix, THANK YOU!! This dress is the bees knees. For all you youngins out there, that means it's cool. The color is gorgeous, the fit is perfect. I think it's so flattering, especially around my waist. And I love the flowiness of the skirt. Plus, ladies... IT HAS POCKETS! So many wonderful things about this dress. Plus, it's super well made out of a nice, thick material. Mmmm, Stephie likes! However, my one ish (issue) is the cleavage. I already told John this dress would not be allowed at church or church-related functions. However, it'd totally be allowed on dates and nights out on the town. Thoughts?

Lily Kristen Geo Print Maxi Dress - $118

Stitch Fix, you win again! I asked for at least two dresses in this Fix and boy did you deliver! This one fits like a glove! It's classy, makes me feel skinny, and the pattern is just too much fun! It's perfect for Spring and Summer and OH MAN I just can't wait to wear it! Sure, the price is steep, but as my stylist pointed out, it's a one-piece outfit (which I guess is a non-awkward way of saying, "No pants required!") and therefore, won't require me to purchase more items to create an outfit. $118 to feel like a million bucks? Worth it in my book!


There you have it! So, what do you think? Any advice?

Like I said above, I really could see myself keeping all five of these items. But I could also be perfectly happy with just the two dresses. That's probably reason enough to go with just the two dresses, but I'm curious to hear what you think based on the pictures. Do the tank-tops and the cardigan look cute enough on me to keep?

Let's talk numbers for a second. Keep in mind these two things: 1.) I get 25% off if I keep all five and 2.) I have $100 in credits that I got from friends/strangers using my referral link!! (Thank you, friends and strangers!!)

If I keep all five, the grand out-of-my-pocket total is $152.50.

(Oops, original math was wrong. I edited the following numbers...)

If I keep just the two dresses, the grand out-of-my-pocket total is $86.

Therefore, the two tanks and the cardigan cost $152.50 - $86 = $66.50.

Is it worth $66.50 to keep the two tanks and the cardigan (plus the pretty-much-already-decided-on dresses)? Decisions, decisions.

Obviously, keeping any combo of the five items (but not all of them) is also an option. TOO MANY DECISIONS!

To wrap up, I'll include my usual plug -- If you're interested in getting your own Stitch Fix, feel free to use this referral link! I'll get $25 toward my next Fix if you do. But please, don't feel pressured at all! I don't share my Fixes to get money. I share them because it's fun and clearly I need your help! But if you want to throw some extra clothing money my way in the process... by all means! :)

Check back here (like this exact spot, the end of this post) on Monday to see which items I pick!

Looking forward to having your help and hearing your thoughts. Thanks, friends!

I decided to keep the two dresses and return the rest and I'm very happy with that decision! I took all of your advice into consideration and the dresses won it! I also slept on it and that helped a bit. I woke up the next morning not crazy about the first 3 pieces at all, but still totally in love with the dresses. My heart knew what to do! So, thanks again for all your help!! I especially love the suggestion to wear a tank under the wrap dress. Brilliant! Makes me even happier about that purchase. I'm signed up for another one on July 1st. Looking forward to sharing that with all of you!

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