Holidays Cards with Shutterfly.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Shutterfly, but, as always, all opinions are 100% my own. #MyShutterfly #sponsored

By now, our holiday card should have arrived in everyone's mailbox, so I feel like I am free to share it on the blog with the rest of the world.

Every year, I look forward to this time of year because (1) I have an excuse to get us all dressed up and have a professional take our picture and (2) I get to choose our holiday cards. Pictures of the three of us are few and far between lately and I was especially excited to have Ali from Ali E Photography take our pictures this year. To see all of our family photos (mainly the ones that didn't make the holiday card), click here. I also LOVE this time of year because I get tons of HAPPY mail in the mail each day. Opening my mail box to find pictures of my friends and their families WAY trumps getting bills in the mail. (Insert all the praise hand emojis!)

This year I decided to go with Shutterfly for our holiday cards because of how excellent their customer service and their products have been in the past. While I haven't actually ordered any cards from them in the past, all of the other products (photo magnets, cell phone cases, etc) have been of excellent quality and I knew their holiday cards would be no different.

I had a hard time narrowing down which photo I wanted to use for the front of our card, but thankfully Shutterfly's "show my photo on every card" option helped me see which one looked best with each design. I also had a hard time narrowing down which card I wanted because they had so many gorgeous ones! From foil to glitter to the number of pictures on the front and/or back and so much more, they really do have it all. Going in, the one thing I did know was that I wanted my cards to be "holiday" themed and not "Christmas" themed. I send cards to friends and family who celebrate Christmas and/or Hanukkah and I wanted my cards to be versatile.

This is the card that I ended up choosing. I, personally, love for our picture to be the center of attention on the card, so I chose a slightly more subdued "happy holidays" theme and chose to only have one photo on the front of the card. A simple pop of red to balance out the blues and greens in our photo and I feel like it is a good mixture of holiday festive while still letting our picture shine. Then I chose a red and white snowflake design for the envelope inserts to really tie the whole thing together.

And because one picture on a holiday card just isn't enough and I HAD to share more of our family photos, I opted to put a few on the back as well paired with a message wishing our friends and family a happy holiday season and a happy new year.

Overall, I really love the quality that you get with these cards. The paper was thick, the photos were crisp, and I felt like I was really getting great quality for my money. While I didn't decide to take advantage of the option this year, I also love that you can create personalized stamps as well as return address labels so you cards fully coordinate. Instead I opted for the option for them to address the envelopes for me (I simply uploaded my address book in to my account) as well as include a return address. (Best. Decision. Ever.) Then I finished the envelopes off with some fun washi tape and some festive stamps that I bought at the post office.

A special thank you to Shutterfly for helping me create such beautiful holiday cards that I am proud to send to our friends and family this year. Hope our friends and family love our cards as much as we do!

Family Photos 2017.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Every year, I look forward to this time of year because I have an excuse to get us all dressed up and have a professional take our picture. Pictures of the three of us are few and far between lately and I was especially excited to have Ali from Ali E Photography take our pictures this year. She is a local photographer turned friend after we met in one of the autism Facebook groups that I'm in. We started chatting, became online friends, met up in real life, became in real life friends, and here we are. I love that she is a fellow autism mama so she totally understood when Mason NEEDED (his request) to take pictures with a certain flower (as you'll see below) and when we needed a little extra help to get him to smile for the camera (read: bribe with M&Ms). She was so patient with us, so professional, and so helpful (I am NO model!) during our session. If anyone lives by me, I highly recommend checking her out.

This year I didn't have as much planning time for our outfits as I would have liked, but that's mainly my own fault. The middle of October was crazy hectic getting ready for my work event, we had the event, and then a few days later we went to Hawaii for a week and a half. Right after we got back, it was time for pictures and I made a mad dash for our closest, pulling out anything that even sort of coordinated, texted a few people to see which outfit choices they liked best, and BAM. Outfits were chosen. Given the time constraints, I'd have to say I did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself.

Please excuse the photo dump, but I couldn't narrow it down any further than this. Yes, these are only SOME of the amazing photos that Ali took for us. I seriously can't wait to get some of these ordered and hung in our house. She captured Mason perfectly. She got such special captures of Mason & I and Seth & Mason. And she got some perfect shots of just Seth and I.

Thank you, Ali, for these pictures that I will cherish forever!

Stitch Fix #19 + Waived Styling Fee Extended!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

This post contains affiliate links but, as always, all opinions are my own. If you use my affiliate link, I may receive a small commission.

I've got some exciting news today! Not only do I have one of my very favorite fixes to share with you today, but I also have the good news that the waived styling fee promo has been extended through the month of January! If you are a new customer, sign up for Stitch Fix, and schedule your very first fix, you can get your styling fee waved. That's right. No $20 styling fee and worrying if you don't like anything then your $20 will be lost. So, if you've been wanting to try Stitch Fix (or been wanting to sign your husband up - that's right, there is Stitch Fix Men!) but you've been on the fence about it, try it, risk free! Click here to get your styling fee waved and schedule your fix!

And, while you're at it, ask Santa for a gift card to help you cover the cost of the items that you're going to want to keep (believe me, you're going to want to keep at least one!). Have a gift card mailed to your home, print it at home and include it with a greeting card, or have the gift card emailed directly to the recipient.

Try your first fix risk free!If you don't know what Stitch Fix is, let me tell you a little about it. Stitch Fix is basically a personal shopping service. First you fill out your online profile by answering some questions about likes/dislikes, style, sizing, price range, etc. Then you can write a note about what you're interested in as well as link a Pinterest style board to help your stylist know what you're looking for and what your style is. Your personal stylist will then gather some items that she thinks you'd like and sends them to you. You try them on in the comfort of your own home and decide what you do and don't want to keep and then you have three days to send back whatever you don't want. Easy peasy! The styling fee is normally $20 per fix, but is being waved for November if you are a new client. Normally if you send back all the items, you lose the $20. If you keep one (or more) items, they deduct the $20 styling fee from your total and you pay the difference. If you keep all five items, they deduct the $20 from the total and you get a 25% discount on all the items. Pretty great! If you're a new customer and you're interested in signing up, if you want to use my referral code then I'll get small credit to my account and will be forever grateful. As for future fixes, you can schedule them for as often or not as you want. You can auto schedule one to come once a month or you can do like I do and just schedule one when you want one. I usually get between 8-10 per year.

On to my fix!

41 Hawthorn | Jaycee Ribbed Hem Knit Top

THIS SHIRT!!! When I saw Desiree get this shirt in her fix a couple months ago, I wanted it. Everything about it is perfection. First of all, LOVE the color. It is like the perfect mix of pinkish cranberry and perfect for winter. It's light weight yet long sleeves which is perfect for Southern California winters where the weather can't decide if it's actually going to be cold or hot. And it is one of the most flattering shirts I've ever owned. I couldn't keep this piece fast enough.

Verdict: KEPT!

RD Style | Mckinley Ribbed Detail Pullover

This was another clear keeper right out of the box. First of all, I LOVE this deep green. It's gorgeous in person and perfect for fall and winter. And then when I tried it on, I loved how flattering it was. I don't know how they did it, but the way the sweater fell when it was on was perfect. I love the detailing on the hem as well as along the shoulder and under arm area. It is also light enough for California winters and thin enough to layer under jackets when it actually does get cold at night.

Verdict : KEPT!

41 Hawthorn | Kenton Ribbed Boatneck Pullover

This is one that I was on the fence about. I love the color gray and I love stripes and I thought the sweater was flattering, but it didn't scream "love" to me like the other two sweaters did. I thought, if I loved the other four items in my box, I'd keep it for the discount, but if not, then I'd send it back. It was cute, but something about the boatneck was throwing me off. Looking back, I do kind of regret sending it back.

Verdict : Kept for the discount and then sold (see below).

Urban Expressions | Valerie Convertible Satchel

Raquel gave me exactly what I asked for with this one and I wanted to love it because I love this style of purse, but there was something about it that I couldn't love. The color was gorgeous. That wasn't the problem. The main problem was that it didn't seem quite big enough inside for me and when I was using the long strap and not the handles, I didn't like how the handles fell, especially on the side that hit my body. Small annoyance, sure, but for the price, I wanted to love it. And I didn't.

Verdict : Kept for the discount and then sold.

Kut from the Kloth | Miles Skinny Jean

If you've been reading my Stitch Fix posts for any amount of time, you know that I'm obsessed with this brand. I seriously ask for KFTK jeans in EVERY fix and Raquel nailed it this time. THESE JEANS. They aren't quite my beloved Kut from the Kloth skinny jeans, but they are pretty amazing! These are actually unlike any other KFTK jeans that I've had because these are high rise. Ordinarily I didn't think I'd like that type of pant, but man is it flattering. They are a dark wash so they are already flattering and slimming, but the high rise pushes it over the top. Yes, $88 is a lot for jeans, but I've already worn these like 7 times since I got them a week and a half ago. #worthit


So, to sum it up, another AMAZING fix from Raquel! Seriously, she is amazing. I love that she reads my blog, sees the pieces on me, and also checks my Pinterest board to see what kind of things I'm liking. While this fix could have easily been a 5/5, I was trying to stay on sooooooomewhat of a budget and not buy the whole thing, so instead I kept my 3 most favorite items and took to the Stitch Fix Buy, Sell, Trade board on Facebook to see if anyone was interested in the 2 items I didn't want to keep so I could "keep" all 5 and get the discount. It worked and the 2 items I didn't want, I was able to sell. I passed on the discount to the buyers, got to keep my favorite items, and everyone was a winner! I should note though... I never do this. This is the first time ever that I've ever kept something just for the discount and sold it. Normally I just keep the items I love and send back the rest. Problem this time was that I REALLY wanted the 3 items I kept and I didn't want to pay $200 for them, so... problem solved :) I don't know how often I'll do that, if it all, but for me, it worked this time.

Interested in getting a fix for yourself? Schedule your first fix for FREE. Your styling fee of $20 will be waved if you sign up for your first fix by January 31, 2018 (new customers only). Click here to schedule your first fix with no styling fee!

Already a Stitch Fix customer? Order a gift card (or better yet, tell Santa to get you one!) to help pay for all the goodies you want to keep from your fixes! Have a gift card mailed to your homeprint it at home and include it with a greeting card, or have the gift card emailed directly to the recipient.

To see all of the items that I've gotten in my fixes, click here.