Four Tips for Motivation

There were so many races happening last weekend.

Our city held its 20th annual marathon, plus the town where Spouse and I went to college held similar events.

Since he usually heads back there to run a half-marathon with his buddies, I already knew that the kids and I would be holding down the home fort.

Double whammy: I was also on call, which precluded a solid race plan even back at home.

Sitting on the sidelines, though, gave me an opportunity to plan for what’s next.

I also had time to catch up on back issues of Women’s Running magazine, which is typically a great inspiration for me.

These four motivational tips for reinvigorating your running struck a chord:

  • Sign up for a race
  • Buy new (cute) running clothes
  • Try a new route
  • Make a new running playlist

Any one of these would do the trick for me.

Especially this GapFit neon double pink tank or this one from Athleta:


Love that hot pink!

Stitch Fix #6

Stitch Fix #6 happily showed up on my doorstep last week.

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The first thing that I saw when I opened the box was this Marc New York by Andrew Marc dress:


Here’s a better photo of the dress at Nordstrom:


My initial thought about this Fix was that if this dress fit, it would be the deciding point on whether I kept most or all of the items.

The fit was perfect. I loved the dress, and it would be a great addition to my work rotation.

Next up was this Collective Concepts blouse:


I really liked this, too. The style was totally me and the fit was good. This felt like a keeper.

The third item was a sleeveless top:


Thanks to Stitch Fix, I have several dressy sleeveless tops. I probably don’t need more, but the fit on this was good, the color is one that I don’t have much of in my wardrobe, and I could make this work. It was a possibility.

The fourth piece was also a sleeveless top:


The back has a sheer panel, which is hard to see in the photo. The primary colors were mint and orange. When I tried it on, the part where the printed fabric met the sheer back panel bunched up on the sides, and it was not flattering. While I wasn’t crazy about the blouse, I thought it could be a sacrificial item for keeping the whole box (and getting the 25% keep-it-all discount). 

The last piece was a tiered necklace:

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The problem with this is that there was a big chip out of the gold layer on the bottom oval. You can see it in the first picture. I flipped the necklace over to see if the back side could be displayed instead of the front. While I think it’d be possible, the necklace was really meant to show the textured side.

Thus, a dilemma set in.

The necklace was damaged, and I knew I had to send it back. 

Sending back even one thing automatically means losing out on the keep-it-all price break.

Plus, once I made the decision to send something back, I started getting a lot more critical about the remaining pieces.

The orange and mint blouse had to go.

And then there were three.

The green blouse suddenly didn’t seem special enough. Back it went.

Here’s the next problem: I did the math on the remaining two items that I loved, the dress and the chevron blouse.

The dress was $138 and the blouse was $68 = $206. Minus the $20 styling fee, this would be $186.

The price for the buying the whole box – with the 25% discount – was $249. So, keeping the two items I really liked would only be $63 less than buying it all.

(To be fair, I also initially forgot about the $20 styling credit, so when I did the math the first time around, I thought that the difference would only have been $43 between keeping two and five items).

Reluctantly, I sent the dress back.

And of course, as soon as I did, I regretted it. Argh.

I really liked that dress.

In the end, I only kept the chevron blouse, which was $68 – $20 styling credit = $48. I already wore it to work this week.

While this wasn’t my most successful Fix, I think the picks were solid. The primary issue was the chipped necklace. If it hadn’t been damaged, I would have kept it all.

I put a note in to my stylist that I’m going to Alaska in August, so we’ll see what the next Fix brings!

A Few More Summer Things

While I spent a chunk of yesterday dreaming about the type of fantasy summer vacation I’d have wearing a wardrobe of new Chance clothes, there were still a few summer things I would add to my packing list:

These cute sandals from Gx by Gwen Stefani:


I love the pop of pink!

Have you noticed how hot everything rope/tassel is right now? All of this is from J. Crew.

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These tortoise chandelier earrings are my favorite:


Some modern shades:


I haven’t tried these (yet), but Wolffer’s mini ciders also look like a fun addition to any summer event:


Chance Co. Summer Essentials

Chance really gets summer staples right. 

The predominantly red, white and blue hues also hit an appropriate note.

Known for their striped shirts, Chance’s triple stripe version is so, so up my alley:


Pixie tee, a patterned peasant blouse and a beach cover up would round out a vacation packing list:


If you can bear to actually use it, here’s a cute picnic or beach blanket to bring along:


So Many Irresistible Deals

There are so many great sales going on this weekend.

And of course, since I need absolutely nothing, I must resist. Must. Resist.

Trixie (6), however, could use a few things for summer. After seeing a few outfits exposing a lot of her midriff due to a winter growth spurt, I realized it’s high time to buy some new (longer) shirts.

The Gap is having a great sale this weekend, 40% off regular price styles with code SUMMER. I’m going to order her a few of these everyday dresses, which I know will get a lot of rotation this summer.


Athleta is also running a spend more/save more deal: $25 off $150, $50 off $250 and $150 off $500 with code HEATINGUP.

This one has my name all over it: Splendid has 25% off everything with code PACKSPEND25.

Why not consider this Splendid tote bag?


And you have to act on it today, but Henri Bendel is offering 25% off all jewelry and hair accessories.

Happy Holiday shopping! Bring on summer!

J. Crew Shimmer Sweater

This J. Crew iridescent shimmer sweater is something I’m excited to wear for dinners or other night-time events this summer:


The weave is loose and the cut is flattering. It’s hard to see just how sparkly it is, but it really shimmers.

Here’s a close up:


This also comes in a champagne color, but I liked the steel gray. The only caution I have is that the open weave could easily snag on jewelry, so I’ll have to be on high alert when I wear it.

A more professional photo from the J. Crew site:


Heath Ceramics, Part Deux

Yesterday I posted about visiting the Heath Ceramics outpost in the Ferry Building during a recent trip to San Francisco.

Even though the storefront is small, I spent a looooong the browsing.

The looking continued when I got home.

I love that everything Heath sells manages to be both rustic in materials and modern in design.

This picnic set would be such a wonderful wedding gift. I love that it comes with a Faribault recycled wool blanket!


On a smaller scale, this mini serving set would also suffice:


This tray is spectacular! It’s currently out of stock, though, which is probably a good thing.


This unique tea candle set would make a perfect hostess gift:


One more tray:


And I am so, so susceptible to things like this and this:


San Francisco, After the Fact

I forgot to include a few details about my trip to San Francisco two weeks ago.


View from my 33rd floor hotel room.








Since this was a work trip, I had to work. A lot. But much of the downtime was spent with my friend K, who happens to be a BFF from high school who’s in the same profession, so when we can, we both attend this conference and share a hotel room. We stay up waaaay too late, catching up.

One more view from our room:


I already posted about eating three meals at The Grove, a local mini-chain with food I love:


Since I’ve been on a healthy eating kick for the past two months, I didn’t eat my way through San Francisco like I usually would. I did have a some excellent bread twice and this was worth the splurge, but I decided to still forego cocktails and all sweets. I only missed them a tiny bit and felt a lot better in the end for skipping the gluttony.

One day I had a short amount of free time and walked to the Ferry Building, where I finally got to try Pressed Juicery (long-time admirer, first time drinker):


After the fact. This was delicious.

Since one of my many nicknames for Trixie is Bumblebee, I love all things apian, like this tea towel I found at a garden outpost in the Ferry Building:


BTW, I also scored this charity shirt (the last one in store!) at a SF J. Crew on a separate occasion:


Back to the Ferry Building: there were at least two more stores worth mentioning. One was Benedetta, a farm-sourced organic skin care line. I really liked their Rose Hydrosol, which is a facial mist (photo from Benedetta).


I’m also a sucker for sampler sets, so this travel-sized Ylang Ylang regimen appealed to me. This isn’t exactly meant for my skin type, but the scent won me over:


The last thing that I bought was a body wash with a scent that’s hard to describe. After I got it home, I thought it smelled like stout. And I mean that in a good way.



The second place that I had to visit was Heath Ceramics. I’d heard high praise for this line for a long time in various design magazines and sites.

The Ferry Building stall isn’t large, but I still spent a long time looking at everything they had on display, finally deciding on a pair of candles:


Walking back to my hotel from the Ferry Building, I spotted a farmer’s market with a gluten-free stand. I brought back two brownies, one for my friend K. and one for Trixie. They both have severe celiac disease, so this was a treat.


Randomly, K. and I were out walking and shopping one night (she needed a dress for her nephew’s wedding this summer and found a great one), and we got a sample of free chips:


Sadly, I didn’t get to try these. K. told me they were good but poison for the breath.

And then the samples kept coming. Score, score, score.

I hit the Neiman Marcus near Union Square because I know they carry Aerin cosmetics in-store. Aerin is seriously hard to find.

I previously purchased some Aerin there in 2012, shortly after the line’s launch, and I really liked the lip gloss.

The Aerin line is very edited, and there are only two glosses available now. They’re called Weekday and Weekend, and I got them both.


Weekend (left) and Weekday (right).

The texture is smooth and they’re slightly rose-scented. The colors are subtle and pretty. Total wins.

Since it was close to Mother’s Day, there was also a lip balm and hand cream set in a pretty case. I don’t have a photo of this, but at $60, it was a good deal since these normally retail for $48 (bag) + $28 (lip balm) + $40 (hand cream) = $116.

But … wait for it! The salesperson at the Aerin counter – and no joke, I still remember her from 2012; she is so sweet and helpful – absolutely showered us with free samples:


I felt like I’d won the freebie lottery. 

A parting shot:



See you next time, San Francisco!