Top 10 Reads of 2017: Part 2

I am counting down my favorite books of 2017. Today we are going from #5 to #1. To see #10 through #6 click here. This post contains affiliate links to all of the books mentioned.

5. Abigal Adams by Woody Holton 

6558145I am a history junky. I love learning about the past but usually read books about war, or major events. Recently I have begun to enjoy biographies and hope to read more in 2018. I loved this book about Abigail Adams. It was funny, informative, and surprising.  Much of the book was made up of letters Adams exchanged with her husband (John Adams), Thomas Jefferson, and her other friends and family. Through the letters and other biographical information it became evident  that Adams was quite the woman. She started and kept a business going through the Revolutionary War and was a big contributing factor to why her husband was not in debt, as many other men of the age were, when he died. She had strong faith in God, was self-educated, and endured crippling loss with grace. I was very inspired by her story.

 

4. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

11250053If you have been reading my blog for awhile you will know I am a Little House in the Big Woods fan, and the setting of this book reminded me a bit of my Laura Ingalls Wilder fave. The Snow Child is set in Alaska in the 1920s. The main characters Mabel and Jacob have left their family and the tragic loss of their child behind them to move to the last frontier to farm. The winters are tough and the growing season is just long enough to get what you need to done with no room for error. They grow lonely and further away from each other while trying to make their farm flourish. Then one night they build a little snow girl, complete with mittens and a hat, in their yard. The next day it has been wrecked and they see something running through the trees that looks like it might be wearing their hat and mittens. This is a story of new beginnings and allowing happiness to take root in your life, even in uncertain times.

 

3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

9361589I don’t know if this classifies as magical realism (I mean magic could be real right?) or just plain fantasy, but I loved it. The backbone of the story is a competition between two young magicians that has spilled into their lives by way of an old feud. The real magic begins to happen when the circus comes to town. The circus only happens at night and it is full of wonders that would seem impossible in the light of day. As the story progresses you begin to see how the dual and the circus are connected. The odd, but wonderful, cast of characters makes this a delightful read. I listened to this book on audio because my favorite audiobook narrator, Jim Dale of Harry Potter audiobook fame, reads this one. He does not disappoint and as the suspense builds, and the fate of your favorite characters lies in the balance, you might find yourself sitting in the car listening to just one more chapter before you step back into the real world.

 

2. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner 

9820This is one of those books that is about nothing and everything at the same time. It follows the lives of two couples who become close friends when they meet during The Great Depression. This is definitely a character driven novel; the excitement is in the gorgeous writing and exquisite relationships Stegner has woven together. He is able to take you to all of the places the characters spend time together; from Wisconsin, to Vermont, and a trip to Italy, you feel like you have gone with them. Stegner deftly explores love and friendship. As the reader, I developed strong opinions on each of the main characters, almost as if I had known them for decades. If you love a good quote get your highlighter out when reading this book. There are so many gorgeous turns of phrase and poignant observations that your book will become well marked.

 

1. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

18132465Since I read 98 books this year it is probably obvious that I am a voracious reader. I would not say I am a fast reader, but I get through books quickly. This book was so good it slowed me down. In fact, I reread so much of it I would say I got close to reading it twice. The words and feeling of nostalgia were worth savoring. I cried when reading the introduction. Never have I read a book that so strongly made me remember the last days of childhood; the moments spent dreaming of being older with innocence and childlike curiosity still driving you. I cannot even describe what I mean, but I felt it when reading Bradbury’s words. This was my first book by him (weird, right?) and it will not be my last. If he can make me feel even a quarter of what this book made me feel then it will be worth it.While many of the books on my top 10 list make great winter reads Dandelion Wine is summer in a book.  Read it. Please.

 

2017 was a wonderful reading year for me and I cannot wait to see what 2018 brings. What was your favorite book of 2017? What are you looking forward to reading in 2018? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time,

I love you more than reading fast and feelings of the past,

Whitney

 

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Top 10 Reads of 2017: Part 1

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Hello my friends, it has been awhile! I took a break from blogging because my computer was not working properly and my brain was on overload. I have a new computer and my routine down, so hopefully you will be reading more from me in 2018.

This year I read a little over 30,000 pages and 98 books. I did not read many long books, although my longest book was 960 pages (Winter of the World by Ken Follett)! I love to look back on my year of reading and pick the books that stuck with me the most. This year that was HARD! Since I read so many books narrowing it down to my top ten favorites was painful. I managed to do it and today I will count down from 10 to 6. Check back tomorrow for the other half of my list.

10. Call the Nurse by Mary J. MacLeod 

16284892As a reader setting is very important to me. I love to feel like I understand a place and its people a little better after reading a book. I was completely transported when reading this memoir about a nurse who goes to live and work on a remote island in the Scottish Hebrides. Her stories of the people she met, cared for, and learned to love ranged from funny to heartbreaking. It was very similar to James Herriot’s work, which I love. The descriptions of her job and the traditional way of life for the people of the island were fascinating. I must admit, that after reading this I really wanted to move to Scotland and start gathering peat for my fireplace. I highly recommend the audiobook because Scottish names are hard and their accents are fun to listen to.

 

9. Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

1232This is a fun, adventurous read for book lovers. The story follows a boy in Barcelona and his quest to discover more about the mysterious author of a book he found in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books (cool right?). The search to unearth the secrets of the author become dangerous and there is suspense around every corner. My favorite part of this book was the characters. They were well written and for the most part, very likable and believable. The language is beautiful and I found myself rereading passages often, not because they were difficult, but because they were beautiful.  I listened to this book on audio and loved it because hearing the Spanish accents and names pronounced correctly really helped me stay present in the story. This book is the first in a series and I will definitely keep reading.

8. Emma by Jane Austen

157421I did not read as many classics as I wanted to in 2017, but finally got around to reading this Jane Austen book for the first time. While I found Emma, the character, to be rather frustrating at times I learned to really love her and see the growth in her character as a shining example of Austen’s talent with words. I think that watching someone grow up and mature can be frustrating when you are safely on the other side of young adulthood. Had I read this 10 years ago I have a sneaking suspicion I would have identified with Emma a lot more.  The other characters in this book were delightful. I could not get enough of Mr. Woodhouse (so funny) and Mr. Knightley is downright swoon-worthy. Reader confession: I reread Pride and Prejudice this year too, and I think I like Emma more!

 

7. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

227571Through reading this story I have learned that I am a sucker for magical realism. Anything that seems like real life, but has a bit of magic or miracle mixed in is my up of tea (The Green Mile anyone?).   This story is told from the point of view of an 11 year old boy, Reuben, whose family is searching for his brother after he becomes a 1960’s version of an old west outlaw. It is set in North Dakota during the winter and the cast of characters is fantastic. There is quite a bit of religious symbolism that adds depth to the characters and causes you to really think deeply about the story. But don’t worry, if you just want to read a good story and not be bogged down in the symbolism, this story is excellent without taking an intellectual deep dive while reading it. Plus the characters are so lovable, there is a story within the story, and the language had me highlighting for days.

6. Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

21996I love narrative nonfiction. When an author can tell a story about something that happened in real life, but make it seem like the stuff of fiction, and keep me turning pages at a rapid rate, I am in my reading happy place. Larson does just that with this book as he weaves together the story of America’s first serial killer, H.H. Holmes, and the Chicago’s World’s Fair. The bits about the serial killer are fascinating (I like serial killer books, lets not think about what that says about me) and disturbing on their own, but when juxtaposed with the hard work and magic of the World’s Fair and what that symbolizes about the American spirit of the time, it makes the charm and evil of Holmes more skin-crawling and despicable. I loved how Larson could  make me completely creeped-out in one section, and utterly nostalgic and weepy for the Gilded Age of America in the next.

 

There you have it, the first half of my top ten reads of 2017.  Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for my top 5!

 

I love you more than miracles and maniacs,

Whitney

August Stitch Fix Review

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August means back to school is right around the corner and I always love to have a new outfit to start the new school year. Enter Stitch Fix. I love that Stitch Fix does my back to school shopping for me. I have not been in the mood to go to the store and shop, so having 5 pieces picked by my personal stylist sent right to my door was awesome.

This month I asked for a pair of booties and anything I could wear to work. Since I have requested to have the same stylist for 2 years I feel like I can leave my requests very open. I trust my stylist, Jason, to send me things I’ll love and push me out of my comfort zone. Here is what Jason sent this month:

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I immediately noticed that this box was full of pieces that could be worn together. I love styling my fixes like a capsule wardrobe so for this fix I added very few pieces from my existing wardrobe and mixed and matched what Jason sent.

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These Sole Society Azure Suede Booties were the anchor for all of my looks. The steel blue color is gorgeous and I treated it like I would denim. So basically, in my mind, they go with everything. These booties are well made and true to size. They immediately went in my closet. I am now the proud owner of blue suede shoes. Pretty awesome.

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Stitch Fix Noisy May Catriona Blouse-Back

This Noisy May Catriona Blouse is perfect fall. The mustard color is a neutral when paired with other jewel tones and would be flattering on many complexions. It is a very drastic high-low cut and seemed to run just a little small. If I had kept this I would have sized up (I am wearing a Large above). I ended up getting a different size for someone else because I just didn’t love the cut.

Stitch Fix RD Style Kalla Knit Dress, Sole Society Azure Suede Bootie

I love the color of this RD Style Kalla Knit Dress. It is a gorgeous burgundy and the fabric is so extremely soft. As you can see the dress is short and I would consider it more of a tunic. It fits true to size (I’m wearing a large) and loved that it wasn’t too tight. It looks cute over leggings and the bell sleeves are amazing!!! I was going to sell this, but the size exchange wasn’t available and so I ended up keeping it.

Stithc Fix Bishop + Young Flin Kimono

My photos do not do this Bishop + Young Flin Kimono justice. It has a wide variety of gorgeous colors and looks like a watercolor painting. Seriously, there are blues, reds, oranges, purples, pinks, and yellows, which makes it very versatile. The kimono fits a little large and I could have sized down, but I also like the the loose, breezy fit of the large I am wearing. I had just purchase another kimono so I sold this one to another fixer who had been pining after it.

Stitch Fix Kaileigh Adalia Knit Jumpsuit

Stitch Fix Kaileigh Adalia Knit Jumpsuit-back

I am sucker for a comfy jumpsuit and this Kaileigh Adalia Knit Jumpsuit did not disappoint. It was super soft and easy to get on and off. I loved that this jumpsuit had pockets. It was just long enough for me, I am close to 5’7″, and the navy color is very versatile. While I loved the fit, I knew I wouldn’t get much wear out if it because it was a little low cut for work. I sold this to another fixer so I could get the 25% discount.

So there are the pieces by themselves, let’s take a look at them styled together.

Stitch Fix Noisy May Catriona Blouse, Sole Society Azure Suede Bootie, Bishop + Young Flin Kimono

Noisy May Blouse with Bishop + Young Kimono and Sole Society Booties

Stitch Fix Noisy May Catriona Blouse, Kaileigh Adalia Knit Jumpsuit, Sole Society Azure Sude Bootie

Noisy May Blouse and Kaileigh Jumpsuit and Sole Society Booties

Stitch Fix Kaileigh Adalia Knit Jumpsuit, Bishop + Young Flin Kimono, Sole Society Azure Suede Bootie

Bishop + Young Kimono and Kaileigh Jumpsuit and Sole Society Booties

Stitch Fix RD Style Kalla Knit Dress, Bishop + Young Flin Kimono, Sole Society Azure Sude Bootie

RD Style Dress with Bishop + Young Kimono and Sole Society Booties

Stitch Fix Bishop + Young Flin Kimono, Noisy May Catriona Blouse, Kaileigh Adalia Knit Jumpsuit, Sole Society Azure Suede Bootie

Noisy May Blouse, Kaileigh Jumpsuit, Bishop + Young Kimono, and Sole Society Booties

I had so much fun layering the pieces for five unique looks. I was surprised how much I liked the kimono belted over the dress. Which look is your favorite? I am already excited for my next fix. If you haven’t tried Stitch Fix what are you waiting for? Ask me any questions you may have in the comments.

Until next time,

I love you more than kimonos of many hues and blue suede shoes,

Whitney

Stitch Fix Review July 2017


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I cannot believe how fast this summer has gone by for me. I am weeks away from a new school year. Crazy. July was a fun packed month and my July Stitch Fix ended it with a bang.  I asked my stylist, Jason, to send me tops and accessories to match the kick flares I kept in my June Fix.  Here is what Jason sent:

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I was so happy to see so much color in my little Stitch Fix burrito.

1. Staccato Katara Crossfront Top-$32, Size Large, Mustard

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Well guys, this shirt might be my new favorite top from Stitch Fix. The colors are perfect to transition into fall and the print it so delicate. The cross front detail is cute and flattering. I love the high-low cut of the top. Since the front is low cut it adds balance to have a longer back. Plus, the shorter front allows me to show off the button detail on my kick flares! The straps are adjustable which was great for my small bust and short torso. This shirt seems to run a little short, so long torsos beware. I used a little fashion tape to keep the bust of the shirt from sliding down and revealing my undergarments and it worked perfectly. I love it paired with my kick flares and dressed up with my favorite Kut From the Kloth jacket and white jeans. My favorite Kendra Scott earrings will be seen throughout the post, they match a ton of the items in my closet so they higher price tag was worth it. Isn’t this top so cute? Stitch Fix has recently added a way for you to share pictures of your Fix with your friends and they can vote for what you should keep. 78% of the people who voted on this Fix said this top needed to stay in my closet. I didn’t need the votes to know this was a keeper.

2. Hummingbird Tiffany Fringe Detail Cold Shoulder Top-$44, Size Large, White img_1003.png

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Jason sent me this shirt because I love to try new things and I find pieces with unique details intriguing. This blouse it lightweight and true white, which is great for summer. It is a little sheer, but that is nothing a camisole can’t fix. I styled it with skinny pants in one of my favorite colors to balance the volume of the shirt. I also went full boho and maximized the volume with a billowy skirt. Both looks are accessorized with these earrings from Amazon. When put to a vote 57% of the people said this shirt needed to go back to Stitch Fix to find a home with someone else and I agreed. While this is a unique style, it just isn’t my style.

3. Renee C Alecto Halter Top-$44, Size Large, Blue

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The colors of this halter immediately caught my eye. If you have been reading my Stitch Fix Reviews for awhile now you know I love blue and orange together so this top was right up my alley. There is also a little bit of light moss green in the print. The fabric is so soft and the higher neckline is both conservative and flattering. I love the little button detail on the back. I styled it simply with my frayed hem shorts and white jeans and a jean jacket for a more put together look. When I consulted the survey 92% of the people said I should keep this top. Ultimately, I sent it back. While it was cute, it just wasn’t a “wow” piece and I only had the budget to keep two items this month.

4. Nine Britton Rosemarie Open Back Blouse- $42, Size Large, Red

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I love to wear the color red, but do not have much of it in my closet so I was so excited to see this top in my Fix. Add the gorgeous cutout details and the light fabric and I was a smitten kitten. I like to show a little skin every now and again, but too much skin is not my thing so I was happy to see that this shirt did not push my limits. I styled it with a pencil skirt and heels for a dressy date night look, and with my trusty kick flares for a more laid-back feel. Only 78% of people said I should keep this, but it had to go in my closet. I wore it to Anthony’s high school reunion with my white jeans and it was perfect. Also, it didn’t hurt that Stitch Fix gave me a 15% off discount on it because it has tiny black dots, almost like marks from a pen, on it near the armpit. Stitch Fix customer service it the best. Seriously, if you ever have questions or concerns just send an email to hello@stitchfix.com and they will help you out!

5. Bancroft Dante Cut Out Metal Oval Layered Necklace- $32, Silver

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I love a good statement necklace and this one is so pretty. I love the layered look and know I would use this a ton. When polled, 74% of people said I should keep this necklace. I decided to send it back because a. my budget was spent and b. I already have this exact necklace in gold.

I am so happy with my July Fix. Jason did a great job of sending me a variety of tops with interesting details. I am so excited for my next Fix! What should I request?

If you haven’t tried Stitch Fix use the links throughout this post to sign up and ask me any questions you have in the comments. Don’t forget, Stitch Fix offers plus sizes, men’s, and petite’s and Gift Cards!

Until next time,

I love you more than high-low and halters,

Whitney

Book Banter June 2017

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It has been a couple months since I have written a Book Banter post but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading! If you want to see what I read in April and May search #bookbanter2017 on instagram and you will find pictures of all the books I have read (or listened to) since January. Tag what you are reading with #bookbanter 2017 too!

I have been on summer break for two weeks and while my schedule has slowed down, my reading life has picked up! I managed to read 12 books in June. Here is the breakdown: 5 were hardbacks/paperbacks, 1 was on my kindle, and 6 were on audio! I have found that audiobooks really suit my summer lifestyle. I can listen while driving. I can listen while picking berries. I can listen while cooking, baking, and cleaning. I can listen while exercising. You guys, this means I can read and do so many other things at the same time! I love it. Be warned, if you are giggling while listening to Emma people might give you funny looks.

Reading (listening) to a ton of audiobooks can get expensive very quickly. That is why I am loving the free app OverDrive. You just need to download the app, add your library card and start putting holds on the audiobooks you want. They also have eBooks , so I get books on my kinlde too. It is the best.

So here is what I read in June:

KINDLE:

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The Kitchen House by Kathleen GrissomThis is a heart-wrenching story about finding  hope in family even in the darkest of times. Historical fiction lovers should totally pick this up, but be warned there is some graphic language and violence.

HARDBACKS/PAPERBACKS:

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame : This delightful tale of friendship has been on my to- read list for twenty years. I read it aloud to my class and the beautiful language had us enchanted.

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham: This is a YA book set in Tulsa, Oklahoma and has two narrators: one from the 1920’s and one in the here and now. This book deals with issues of race and describes the events of a race riot in Tulsa in the twenties. I read it for a book club and it was a quick read that tackled tough topics. Beware of graphic language and violence.

News of the World by Paulette Jiles: I had never given much thought to how people living on the frontier in America after the Civil War would get their news. The main character in this book travels around to read the news and make his living. One day he finds himself with a new mission, delivering a young girl, who had been stolen by a native tribe and then “rescued” years later, to her aunt and uncle. Their adventures and relationship are thought provoking. I wasn’t sure about this book at first, but it keeps creeping into my thoughts long after I put it down.

When Dimple met Rishi by Sandhya Menon: This is light and fluffy summer reading at its finest. Boy + girl + an app creation contest =love. The twist? These two youngsters were arranged to be married by their parents, and only one of them knows that!

Beartown by Fredrik Backman: This is more than a story about Hockey. It is the story of a small town that depends on its hockey team to keep it going. So what happens when the hockey team’s star commits a crime? Backman does a great job exploring this, and many other tough to tackle topics in this book. I grew up in a small town where sports were an important part of the culture so this book really hit home. Warning: sensitive topics are all over this book.

AUDIOBOOKS:

Emma by Jane Austen: I had never read this Austen classic and I am so glad I finally did. You guys, I think I like Mr. Knightley more than Mr. Darcy.  Hoe can that be? This book is funny and witty. I love listening to Austen books on audio because you get all the British accents. So worth it.

What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan: I realized recently that mysteries are what made me a reader. I was hooked on Nancy Drew, Boxcar Children and the Cat Who series when I was younger and my love for mysteries/thrillers continues today. I added this book to my OverDrive list and enjoyed its quick pace. The characters are not the most likable but I think it makes the story better.

The Green Ember by S.D. Smith: You might be thinking, “Do I really need to read an adventure story where the main characters are rabbits?” The answer is yes. This is a children’s book but I love me some kid lit so it was perfect for me. The audiobook is great and I actually sat in my garage to keep listening until my husband came out and see what I was doing. So. Good. When I posted that I had read it on my Instagram (@whitksmith) the author commented on my post and I kind of geeked out. I am totally reading it to my class in the future.

At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen:  If you like Gruen’s work and you are going to read this, definitely get the audiobook, Scottish accents ya’ll!

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum: I love this book and movie, even though they are different. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Anne Hathaway and she does an excellent job. I highly recommend it.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen:  After I read Emma and kind of fell for Mr. Knightley I had to go back and make sure I hadn’t just forgotten my love for Mr. Darcy since it had been awhile since I had read P&P. Final verdict: I love them both, but Knightley is winning. Also, in between the contemporary and whimsical reads this summer it has been nice to really settle in with some classics.

I am pretty happy with the books I read in June. My to be read this never gets any shorter so I am always happy when I choose books that are worthwhile for me. I even abandoned two books that just weren’t right for me at this time. I rarely do that because quitting is hard, but I think it worked out for the better.

What have you been reading? Have you read any of the books on my June list? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

I love you more than Knightley and Darcy,

Whitney

 

Stitch Fix Review June 2017


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Hello my friends! It has been awhile since I last wrote. As the school year began to wrap up I was wiped out. I wanted to make sure I was able to focus my energy on my students and writing fell to the wayside. Teaching 3 grade levels in one room is no joke, I taught 9 lessons every day between 8:30 and 11:15 am! So now that I am officially on my summer break, I decided it was time to start writing again. I scheduled a new Stitch Fix box (I took a break from that too) and asked for shorts and a pair of medium wash jeans. Here is a sneak peek of the gorgeous stack my stylist, Jason, sent form me to try.

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Jason is awesome. He sent me pieces that coordinated well together. Since summer vacations are upon us I decided to build a capsule wardrobe with the pieces in this Fix and added 2 others from my closet. With a total of 9 pieces, including shoes and a necklace (from this box), I made 9 different looks! This would be perfect for a cruise or other vacation where space is limited. Ready to see what I came up with?

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These are the pieces I used

1. Skies are Blue Halsi Button Front Blouse-Coral, size Large, $54

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As you can see this blouse is a gorgeous color and has great details. Coral is among my favorite colors for summer so I was so excited to pull this blouse out of the box. I treat coral like a neutral and pair it with pretty much anything. It really brightens up a look, but isn’t too loud. Check out how great it looks with the three bottoms from my capsule!

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Styled with Liverpool Braiden Denim Shorts in mint ($58 from Stitch Fix) and white sandals from Target

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Styled with Just Black Robinson button Front Release Hem Kick Flare ($88 from Stitch Fix) and Coconuts by Matisse Waterfall shoes from Nordstrom

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Styled with a Lularoe Cassie Pencil Skirt and Coconuts by Matisse Waterfall shoes from Nordstrom

I told you this coral blouse was versatile! I love coral and mint together and but I usually pair it with mint that has a little more blue than green in it. These mint green shorts by Liverpool came in my Stitch Fix box and are definitely green, but still look great with the blouse. The next picture shows the blouse with kick flares, which are cropped jeans with a flare at the bottom. I really love these jeans. They are perfect for summer and look so cute with the blouse. The last picture shows how the blouse can be dressed up with a pencil skirt. I am a sucker for blue with orange, it is one of my favorite color combinations. So I knew I wanted to try this blouse with my favorite stretchy pencil skirt. I love all three looks created with this one coral blouse! They are versatile and fun.

2. Alice Blue Malika Off the Shoulder Top-Blue, Size Large, $48

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Styled with Liverpool Braiden Denim Shorts in mint from Stitch Fix and Merona sandals from Target

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Styled with Just Black Robinson Button Front Release Hem Kick Flare and Coconuts by Matisse Waterfall show from Nordstrom

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Styled with a Cassie skirt by Lularoe and Coconuts by Matisse Waterfall shoes from Nordstrom

This shirt is so cute! The fabric has blue and white pinstripes and is made of a light fabric. The embroidery is gorgeous. It looks adorable with all three bottoms from the capsule but my personal favorite is when it is styled with the kick flares. Mixing the off the shoulder trend with release hemmed kick flares is too perfect!

3. Bay to Baubles Drew Statement Necklace-Silver, $44

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Styled with a Dolman T shirt from Target, Liverpool Braiden Denim Shorts in mint from Stitch Fix, and Merona sandals from Target

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Styled with a Dolman T Shirt from Target, Judt Black Robinson Button Front Release Hem Kick Flare, and Merona sandals from Target

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Styles with a Dolman T Shirt from target, Cassie pencil skirt by Lularoe, and Merona sandals from Target

This necklace is a fun statement piece that is not too girly. It added a little edge to my outfits and I love how it looks with all of the pieces in my capsule. I love how versatile it is and how it draws my whole look together. Wearing a statement necklace with a t-shirt is one of my favorite styles.

So there you have it, my 9 piece, 9 outfit capsule built around my June Stitch Fix box!

Below are the five pieces my stylist sent me.

So what did I decide to keep from this colorful and delightful fix? Ultimately, I decided only the Just Black Robinson Button Front Release Hem Kick Flare deserved a place in my closet. Both of the shirts did not fit me well (the blue shirt runs small at the hem and the coral shirt was too blousey) and the shorts were just too green for me. The necklace would have stayed if I was going to receive the 25% discount for keeping all five pieces in the box, but it was too expensive to keep without it.

Despite the fit issues I was very happy wit this fix and had so much fun styling it. If you would like to order your first box from Stitch Fix click any of the links in this post and begin filling out your style profile. Stitch Fix styles, men and women-including petites and plus sizes!

Do you think I kept the right piece? How did you like the capsule outfits? Which was your favorite? What is your general opinion on capsules? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

I love you more than coral and mint,

Whitney

For more Stitch Fix Reviews click the links below:

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

Stitch Fix Year in Review

November 2016

 

April 2017 Stitch Fix Review

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Hello everyone! My thirtieth Stitch Fix box arrived right before Easter and the colors are so spring! It has been pretty grey and miserable here in the Willamette Valley, so bright cheery colors were very welcome. As soon as I opened my box the sun came out and we had to wait until 6:00 pm take the photos and it was still SUPER bright (hence the squinting in most of my photos).

If you do not know what Stitch Fix is, here is a quick rundown of the Stitch Fix basics straight from stitchfix.com  “Stitch Fix is an online styling service that delivers a truly personalized shopping experience, just for you. Fill out your Style Profile and a personal stylist will hand pick pieces to fit your tastes, needs and budget—and mail them directly to your door. Each box contains five items of clothing, shoes and accessories for you to try on at home. Keep what you love, send the rest back in a prepaid USPS envelope. Shipping and returns are free—even for exchanges!” If you have other questions let me know in the comments!

On to my Fix! This month I asked for a “budge fix” because I am having a Lularoe pop-up birthday party next weekend and did not want to spend waaaaay too much on clothes this month. In my note to my stylist I mentioned I wanted solid colors or geometric patterns, bright shoes and anything new for spring. Here is what my longtime stylist, Jason, sent:

1. Kaileigh Lou Knit Maxi Dress-Size Large, $58

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The color of this dress could not be more perfect. This is probably my favorite color right now. I may have squealed when I pulled this out of the box. The fabric is super soft, and not too clingy. This a pretty simple silhouette but the slight gathering at the waist is very flattering. Tall girls rejoice and petites beware, this dress is long. I am 5’7″ and put on 3 inch wedges and this puppy still touched the ground. I wanted to try to make this petite friendly so I styled it with a cargo vest and knotted it up. This ended up being my favorite look. For a long purple dress it is pretty versatile. The top is a little roomy but I don’t think it is too roomy to be unflattering. I also think it would be an easy fix for a tailor. Since it is a solid color it could also be hemmed very easily if you are shorter and NEED this dress. This is a definite keeper. Anthony’s take: This makes you look really tall.

2. Bay to Baubles Vale Filigree Leaf Pendant-Silver, $28

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I love a pendant necklace and I had this one pinned on my Pinterest  so I was excited to get it in my Fix.  I knew I would be keeping this pretty piece as soon as I pulled it out. It is gorgeous and will be easy to wear. Jason was right, it looks great with the purple maxi he sent. Anthony’s take: Yeah, that is a Whitney necklace.

3. Skies are Blue Kyler Lace Detail Blouse-Large, $54

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I immediately loved the color of this blouse but I was worried it would be too billowy. I was drawn to the gorgeous details. Did you see the back?!?! Lace an cutouts? Sign me up! I was impressed with how easy it was for me to style this blouse. I loved pairing it with my bright fuchsia flats and Liverpool Frankie skinnies from my April fix last year! Of course Jason was correct that it pairs perfectly with my white skinny jeans (which I have managed to keep stain free!). I love this blouse and it will definitely be finding a home in my closet. Anthony’s take: That is very flattering, it is smooth.

4. MIA Esie Laser Cut Flats-Size 8, $49

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These shoes are so cute! I loved the color, it matches the blouse above perfectly (scroll back up and check them out in the white pants outfit pic). I liked that they were a little more preppy than the other flats in my closet. I wanted to love and keep these beauties, but they just did not fit my feet. I have a high arch on one foot so I usually do best with flats that have a strap so they stay on. These shoes were also a little wide and ran a little big. I sold them to someone in a Stitch Fix Buy, Sell, Trade group so do not worry, they found a happy home. Now if I could just get my hands on a different pair of shoes in this color…

5. Finn & Grace Denise Knit Top-Large, $28

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You read that price correctly, this shirt is only $28! That is very low for the Stitch Fix world. It is super exciting to see them bringing in some lower price point items that are still good quality. I loved the feel of this shirt. It was fitted, but not too tight and it had a good stretch to it.  I had a ton of fun styling this shirt in different ways. My favorite look is the coral pants wit the chambray knotted over the shirt. Anthony liked that one best too. It was the first look we took pictures of and when I told him I had at least 4 looks for each clothing item his response was, “well I guess that means we need to open a bottle of wine for this.” Haha. What a trooper. I am a sucker for stripes. You guys, I love stripes so much I already have a shirt that is almost identical to this one.Since I already have a shirt like this I am trying to sell it, but if I can’t it will be cheaper to keep it to get the 25% discount than it would be to send it back. It is always good to have a back-up striped shirt right?

So there you have it, Fix #30. Jason did an excellent job and has got me wanting another Fix already. What outfits are your favorites? Do you have any styling suggestions for the pieces I kept? Let me know in the comments. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter @whitksmith and join my Facebook group  to get book and clothing deals I stumble across. If you are on a mobile device, just search “Golden Retrievers and Stars” in the Facebook app to find the group. When I get 100 members I will give away a Stitch Fix gift card!

Until next time,

I love you more than solids and stripes,

Whitney

More Stitch Fix Reviews:

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

Stitch Fix Year in Review

November 2016