Spring Break Wrap Up

And, just like that, it took me way longer than anticipated to post The End of the Story.

This post covers my final thoughts on Spring Break 2018 at Walt Disney World with MGM and Trixie.

Since this was already a few months ago, I’ve had quite a few new adventures, including a move, a trip to Mexico with Spouse to celebrate our 20th (!!!!) anniversary, a new pet (also !!!!) and a major remodeling project on Fancy Pants Ranch Deux: Fancy Pants Ranchier. I digress. That will come.

Back to where we left off:

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The final full Disney day of our trip was spent at EPCOT. Personally, I love EPCOT, especially wandering about the World Showcase pavilions and the food, food, food. EPCOT tends to be the more adult-oriented of all the parks, which is why I think my kids found it a teensy bit boring as their last day.

We used our premium FastPass for the new Frozen ride, which meant we were shut off from a FastPass for Soarin’ – one of my all-time favorites. That strategy meant that we needed to get to Soarin’ first thing in the morning, and I had the kids out of the hotel and hustling through the back International Gateway entrance when the park opened. We bee-lined to Soarin’ and were rewarded with a walk-on to the ride. Once it was over, we ate breakfast at Sunshine Seasons (I think this is what it’s called) and rode The Land, the other ride in the Soarin’ building.

The EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival was also occurring during our visit (see topiary above), and we opted to buy a scavenger hunt map where we could identify small bee statues throughout the park and turn our completed scorecard in for a prize (embroidered patches, if you’re wondering). I think the cost for the map was about $6, which was worth it since it gave us something else to do.

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We also sampled some of the festival’s food specialties like this cauliflower dish:

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Oh, and I had a small beer with it.

I thought the Festival merchandise was cute and bought a tank top and keychain. The rose gold ears below are Trixie’s:

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MGM also found a shirt he liked:

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He draped it over my back while I was not looking. Not my most flattering photo.

As far as rides went, EPCOT is kind of thin on the thrillers. We rode Soarin’, The Land, Frozen, the boat ride in Mexico (I loved the re-theming of the pavilion to update it after “Coco” with more Dia de los Muertos imagery), Spaceship Earth (whatever the big golf ball is called), and watched the movie in the France pavilion. BTW, the soundtrack to that is really enjoyable and I was able to download a copy of it from iTunes.

Overall, though, the EPCOT day rolled out at a much slower pace and I think the kids missed the adrenaline rush of the other parks. Next time I would put an EPCOT day in the middle versus the end of the trip.

On Friday morning, we packed up to head home. Our flight wasn’t until late afternoon so we went to a science museum-ish thing in Orlando, ate a late lunch, turned in the rental car and got on the plane.

This was one of the rare trips where I felt like I got packing right. I brought everything from my March Stitch Fix and only a few more pieces. I was able to do a quick load of laundry at my mom’s place on the front end of the trip so I also could recycle a few pieces along the way, despite the sweat-inducing heat.

Here are a few looks:

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Shirt is Old Navy and shorts are from Stitch Fix

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Same shorts and shirt is from my last Fix

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All Madewell from a last season

Dress is Lilly Pulitzer tunic with SPF 50 (I liked this so much I bought another in a different print. The style is called “Sophie.”)

 

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Basically everything minus workout clothes

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The shoes I lived in

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Plane outfit, both ways. Sweatshirt and tank are Athleta, scarf is Spring ’18 from the Gap, shoes Kenneth Cole, bracelets mostly Kinsley Armelle, bag is Chloe and sunglasses are a cheap-o pair from the flea market we visited at the start of the trip

Thanks for following along! I love travel and especially packing for travel. This was one of the rare trips where I got it right.

 

 

 

Spring Wardrobe Additions

I’ve been trying to slow my roll with wardrobe building over the past several months, for a variety of reasons.

  • My new-ish job (now nearly 1.5 years into it, but still, it was a major style shift) doesn’t require the same business attire (all suits, all the time) that my old one did
  • We moved last summer into a tiny rental house with a highly inadequate amount of closet space (Spoiler: this is a problem that will self-correct soon!)
  • Packing and moving forces you to see how much stuff you really have, and when the amount is embarrassing, it puts a pause on “Buy Now” mode
  •  I adore the idea of a capsule wardrobe, even though I am far, far from it

And finally, a really good reason:

  • I recently lost some weight and I’m waiting until the dust settles to see what fits, what doesn’t and what I need to buy all over again

As I posted earlier this week, I received a Stitch Fix with lots of casual mix and match options for summer. This is terrific. I am hoping to keep my new summer wardrobe mostly limited to that Fix, save a few new pairs of summer shoes and swim suits (I am planning to do a tremendous amount of swimming this summer).

For spring, I also kept what was new in check.

One investment that made the cut was this suit from J. Crew:

This is the Parke blazer, Cameron pants and Perfect Fit tee, all in navy. I knew that I had a few important lectures and meetings this spring, and I wanted something that felt modern. I’ve worn this exact outfit three times already and each one has felt like it perfectly hit the mark.

I also placed an order with Banana Republic during one of their 40% off sales for a metallic tweed jacket, a soft gray leather moto jacket, a v-neck tan sweater and this necklace:

Even though this was a recent order, it looks like the tweed and leather jackets are sold out. Here’s a similar version of the jacket available at Nordstrom:

I wore this earlier in the week to give a lecture, pairing it with the navy suit pants, the tan v-neck and the pearl necklace. It all came together.

I’ve also waffled a lot over whether to invest in this bag:

The gray is appealing and unlike anything else I own. I also like how this is less structured that some other designer bags. I can’t seem to pull the trigger.

This Sole Society blush suede clutch was an easier call:

At approximately 3.5% the cost of the gray bag, this pink one feels like a bargain.

 

 

 

January Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix day arrived!

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I never, ever sneak a peek at what’s arriving in my box, but I did see that the package weighed 6 pounds, so I was guessing that there was something substantial – maybe a pair of shoes? – inside.

I was wrong. 

The heavy item was this:

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Here’s a better pic from Stitch Fix:

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If this looks familiar, it’s because I received the same jacket in my last Fix, but one size bigger. It was too big; I couldn’t make it work and sent it back, then immediately had regret.

In the interim, I even joined a Stitch Fix Buy/Sell/Trade group on Facebook, hoping that I’d find this in a medium. No luck, but I did cross my fingers and put in a request to see this item again.

Score!

Second time was the charm on this one. It’s still oversized, but the medium is much, much better for me and I wasn’t going to send it back twice.

The next piece is a great match under the jacket:

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And Stitch Fix’s version:

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This has cold shoulder cut outs but they are not obnoxious. The light pink color is really pretty and right up my alley for what I’m wearing now in my downtime.

I forgot to take a picture of these (and let’s be honest, my photography is terrible), but I also received a pair of jeggings with an elastic waist.

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The only time I’ve had anything remotely similar was a 10+ year old pair of maternity jeans that I got from the Gap. Yep. 

These are surprisingly comfortable and flattering. I would not expose the waistband – ever! – but the fit is sleek and I have already worn them at least half a dozen times. This is a good example of getting something from Stitch Fix that I would never try on my own.  I originally was only going to keep them to get the 25% discount on everything, but they are quickly growing on me.

This next pick was a safe bet for my stylist. I’d Pinned it twice to my Stitch Fix ideas board.

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And a better pic:

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Isn’t the color pretty? I live in pieces like this on the weekends and for to-ing and fro-ing from the gym.

The last item was something else I’d Pinned:

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MZ Wallace is a brand I’ve known about for a long time but only recently got interested in buying. I love how lightweight these quilted bags are. The timing of this was a bit off because I ended up getting another MZ Wallace bag – a floral tote – shortly after I received this one. I justified keeping them both since this one is more of a purse and the other one is a work tote or gym bag. I’m good with mind tricks like that.

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One more thing about the MZ Wallace bags: they come with an internal nylon pouch, which is useful for organizing items like chargers, etc.

This was an expensive Fix. Even with the 25% discount, the final tab was still about $350, mostly due to the bag (about $235) and the duster ($98). Having said that, I recently signed up for a Style Pass, which is a flat $49 fee for the year where now I do not have to pay $20 styling fees per Fix. With the Style Pass, Stitch Fix gave me a $49 credit. I also had a deal with my American Express card where if I spent $50 on Stitch Fix I would get a $25 statement credit. Those two factors alone made getting it all worth it.

This was a great Fix!

 

 

 

 

 

From Me to Me, Part 2

I recently went way down a rabbit hole with the concept of accessorizing my bags. 

I blame Henri Bendel’s “Dress Up Your Bag” campaign, but of course I am very weak and susceptible to all things Shopping.

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I purchased this colorful guitar strap to add to an old Marc Jacobs tote, but the clips on the end were too small to attach to the tote’s hardware, so I had to improvise with some rings that I bought at a craft store.

I was going for a vibe like this:

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I also picked up two of the perforated luggage tags, one pink and one gold. These are planned for different bags.

As I fell deeper down the rabbit hole, I discovered a whole world of customized pieces on Etsy, including an upcycled Louis Vuitton tassel. I haven’t had good luck with Etsy in the past, but I decided to give it one more try.

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I honestly can’t tell if the Vuitton strips are real or fake, but I really don’t care. The tassel looks cool to me either way. I added this to my pink and green trimmed bag from the Spring 2017 collection. I was really pleased with this purchase, and the shipping was really fast. I think it took fewer than 4 days from order to arrival.

The tag was also personalized with my initial:

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One more shot for scale:

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This was a cool find.