Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Gwynnie Bee Review



Several months back one of my favorite bloggers Britney Sherman of   Va-Voom Vintage Posted about receiving her first Gwynnie Bee box via a free trial. I mused over it for awhile, signed up for their emails, but didn't jump in.

However, in February I decided that a free trial is, well, worth a try. I am so glad I tried it. I got some cute clothes for work to mix up my wardrobe for 30 days. 

Here is a smattering of my experience followed by an overall evaluation.

First, my boxes came with my first three items: all dresses. 







The DRESSES:

   Spuce and Sage                                     
 

Cherry Velvet






 Triste                                             

I have never worn or purchased any of these brands before, so this was a pretty exciting trial.


 I immediately noticed that the size Large Cherry Velvet dress might be too big, so I put it on right away.


 And I was right. Rather than a 10 as a large, it is more like a 14. So, keep this in mind if you ever purchase this brand. I was sad, but mailed it back right away so that a new dress could ship out. It did, but I will get to that.


The first dress that I wore right away was the green and blue, mod print, TRISTE dress.

I loved this dress. Great Fit. Great colors. It is a 0X.

It was perfect for work.










 The next day I wore the Spruce and Sage dress to bible study. 
This dress is a size 10.
I paired it with a green belt that I have and a cute hair flower. 
Nice and springy, which was weather appropriate that day.




 I liked this dress, but I wasn't as excited about it as the TRISTE. The colors are super rich, but the color was not properly ironed flat, and currently I do not have an iron as I broke mine in November.

It needed pressing to keep the interfaced piece down, so my steamer did not cut it.
 Matching shoes to the belt.



I had mailed out the green Cherry Velvet dress Wednesday. By Saturday its replacement had arrived, which was awesome. We had a dance that night, and it was my back up dress in case my eShakti dress (post here) didn't arrive in time. However, my ABSOLUTELY PERFECT eShakti dress did arrive, so I wore that one. You can read about it here.

The red dress looked great!




My other items were another Triste dress.

 I almost bought it, but I decided to save my money for the new Kate Spade outlet that opened in my area. I did LOVE it! I just love Kate Spade more.

Then there was this Land's End skirt. 
Skirt: Gwynnie Bee/Lands End  Cardigan: Ann Taylor LOFT

It was actually too big, but since it was jersey, and my sweater covered it, no one was the wiser. 

My overall experience was good. Canceling was simple. However, I was disappointed to never get the Hell Bunny items I wanted to try from my closet. They were the catalyst for signing up after all. 

As far as recommendations, I would say that if you are a 2x or larger then this may be great for you. Many items did not come in my smaller end of the size range, and I have little trouble finding professional clothes for a great price at Target, on eBay, at the Goodwill, or most anywhere really. I am a woman's med/large (sometimes xl up top) and wear anything from an 8-10 (rarely a 12) depending on the cut and designer.

I hope this review is helpful. 


PS The eShakti coupon code is good until March 30. Go check out the post for the code.

Friday, March 6, 2015

eShakti LOVE and REVIEW

A few weeks ago I was contacted by eShakti to review a dress of my choice. I have heard a ton about this company, especially on wonderful blogs like Junebugs and Georgia Peaches. The dresses they share always look amazing, so I have been dying to try the company out.

So, this contact was a dream come true. I was excited that my humble little blog would be contacted.
For once the desert wind was helpful to my photo shoot. Look at that hair.

I promptly chose the perfect dress, which was actually a difficult choice. My husband helped, plus I knew that I had an event coming up with my son that was Nautical themed, so I chose a Navy and Red Fit and Flare in poplin and tulle. With pockets. Every dress should have pockets.
Dress: compliments eShakti Earrings: Match Accessories

SWOON!

The best part about eShakti is not the fact that there are far too many amazing dresses to fit inside my budget. Seriously gorgeous and reasonably priced.

The best part is that the dresses are fully customizable.



Gold glitter Pumps: Target Clearance (Several Years ago)  Similar in espadrille





I chose to customize my dress to my measurements. I received more compliments on this dress when I wore it to the Mother Son dance last Saturday than I have ever received on any dress in my extensive wardrobe.


I am CONVINCED that the fact it was customized to my measurements is the secret to its perfection. Plus, what gal doesn't want a tag that says custom? Can you see that in the photo. These are shots of how well folded and packed the dress was. After all, style icons like Jacki O and Audrey Hepburn often tailored clothes to their bodies specific shapes, and it is the secret of a great Hollywood stylist compared to one with just a good eye. A                                                             custom fit turns a good dress into the perfect dress.

I also added length to the dress. I am a mom who tries her best to be modest, especially for an event at my son's school.

The comfort of the dress was great as well. We danced the night away. Little boys love to dance.

I styled the dress simply with gold sparkle, round toed pumps to keep with the nautical theme. Also keeping with the nautical theme I changed my Jamicure to Jamberry Nautical. Look how perfect a match they are.


I will DEFINITELY be wearing this dress again and again. In fact, my little Monster has already asked if I would wear it on his Fourth of July birthday this year. How could I say no.


Just had to share how handsome my date for the dance was.

If you follow my Instagram feed, do not be surprised if you see this dress again and again.

Now, for all of you lovely readers, I have an awesome offer from eShakti (Valid until March 30). They are offering 10% off using the code:  rocknregalia

Just enter it in the promotional code box.

Here are some of the amazing dresses that I am adding to my wishlist. My birthday is coming up in May, so I know that I may get the opportunity to spoil myself a smidge.


/a/ Flying Hummingbirds Poplin Dress
/b/ Owl Embellished Two Tone Poplin Dress
/c/ The Ace of Spades Skirt

It seems I am leaning toward greens this season. Three of the other dresses I am in live with are green as well. It is my favorite color, so I am not surprised.

What dresses are your favorites? Do you already own eShakti.


Lovelies go buy a dress so that you too can have a Rockin' Day full of customized love.

 

Monday, February 9, 2015

In My Mailbox This Week

Okay, I am not going to lie, I get fun mail at least once a week. There are several reasons for this ranging from some subscription boxes I currently have (Birchbox, IPSY, Studio Calico, and Stylebox for Jamberry) to the magazines my boy's receive (this was something I requested as Christmas gifts: BEST IDEA EVER).

This week though, I was extra excited about my mail box arrivals. Two items that I ordered to arrive in December (hopefully), arrived this week. Both are printed materials who had issues or delays in printing compounded by the port strike and weather issues.

First, My Intentional Home Daily Journals arrived. 

I ordered these on Black Friday. There is one for me and one for my six year strong Bible study co-leader. She is super organized, so it is the perfect gift for her. I yearn to be organized, so I am excited to put it into practice.

Isn't it gorgeous?!?!?!!!!
(buy here)

Oh, I love the little areas and the explanation in the front of why each section is there.

 They came in cute little bags, and there was a bonus for the wait.

I cannot wait to fill this little book out for The Cuban Cowboy as his Valentine's gift tonight. I think it will be a great thing for him to keep in his travel bag as a reminder of my sincere devotion when he travels.

Then, my THRYVE magazine issue three arrived. This was BEYOND exciting. I loved the first arrival, but seriously I am all about this magazine. 

In fact, I am considering sending in a portfolio to become a featured writer (prayers for that).

Thryve is a new (Third quarterly issue kind of new) Christian publication aimed at women. I was introduced to it when Bonita of Bonitarose.com posted a photo on her IG. I recognized my friend Aurora of AuroraVilchis.com on the cover immediately, which led me to find out what this magazine was all about. I order that issue in digital copy, and I just knew that I needed a dead tree version the next time around.

Well, the magazine is phenomenal (GET YOURS HERE), and the gals in charge are absolute dolls. I mean they are sweet as pie. Though the arrival is a tad later than December, there were constant updates regarding the delay often to reassure all customers that they were not forgotten. And, for the delay they gave free access to the digital copy while printing issues were resolved. This means I have read portions of the magazine already, but I am ecstatic to dig deep with the real deal. Additionally, they sent coupon codes to some of the awesome handmade shops run by the sponsors of the magazine. 

Then, when the real deal magazine arrived, The Dwell Journal was included (swoon). 

This journal is a guided means to internalize and take notes on the articles in the magazine. Best idea EVER!!!! I am very pleased. It was ALL worth the wait.

I will order from both companies again, soon, I am sure.




Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Cost of Clutter

Items cost money. Storing them costs money. Maneuvering around them when they aren't properly stored costs time and peace. Is it worth the cost?

These are some of the issues that Kathi Lipp raises in her Clutter Free challenge. 

One thing that is encouraged is taking time to log all new purchases with their purpose and place of storage. Such a smart plan. It forces you to think about what you are bringing into the home. Is it a necessity or an impulse purchase (that Target One Spot is dangerous as far as impulse buys go). 

I enjoy that this book doesn't just address getting rid of items, but discovering how to boy covet and desire more than is actually needed.  We live in a fast paced society of fast fashion, fast decor, and fast trends. This causes people to want more and accumulate useless objects. If we take time to consider purchases, then clutter can be diminished to some degree. Contentment in what we have is key. 

This is only one of several ways the book addresses the issue. 

Okay, so now to my progress. I fell behind while ill, but I made up for it by doubling up on items the next two days. The last clutter free related post left us with 143 items. 

I have since purged an additional items 457.  

This brings me to the Grand total of: 600 even (I could not have planned that number if I tried).

The break down is as follows:

Wednesday (New years Eve), I rid our house of 69 items. I did so by tackling the sock drawers in my bedroom dresser and grabbing misplaced and broken items as I saw them throughout the house. They went from this:

Sorry for dark photos, it was around 10 at night I got to this. You can see that the drawer is stuffed though.

To this as the result:

Tights drawer

Now there is space in this drawer. Pretty. Socks are bulky and take up space. Ridding myself of my least favorite socks gives me room. I moved my gloves and leg warmers to a different drawer in the closet, which also gave additional space. Fantastic!!!!

Then on Thursday I purged 45 items throughout various areas of the house and two of the cubbies from my large Ikea square shelving system in the office (my target area).


Friday was only 29 items, most of them were from Christmas items I sacked while putting away Christmas til next year. I did end up with one if my Christmas containers completely empty in the end, which is awesome.

I am a bit behind on the specific challenges as I play catch up from the sick days this week, and from just enjoying hubby's vacation time. However, now that we are into a more normal week, I have been able to go into overdrive, especially since husband headed back to work. His vacation was such a blessing though.

So Saturday was one item tossed out (thank you dogs for eating the toy) before celebrating The Cuban Cowboy's birthday at Travel Town in LA, followed by a date to Mimi's Cafe and the movies for The Hobbit (love gift cards).

Sunday was a rest day with zero items.

Monday was the best day yet!!! I got rid of a total of 102 items throughout. I caught up on the kitchen drawers that were part of the challenge. 

After photos:

I may be in need if bags. I think I have extras in the laundry room. Fingers crossed.

I also tackled another portion of my target area: the office. It is much improved.
BEFORE:



AFTER:


 I haven't really been counting trash, but in the office much of the clutter is paper work/trash.
Therefore, I did count it in here as I threw most of it I in this awesome Target paper bag. Paper bags are great for recycling. I always ask for them at the local Super Target. Most of what left that green cubby was paper items, then I placed scrapbook items that had less adequate homes into the cubby instead.


Then today, Tuesday, started out a bit slow, but ended in 187 items out the door!!!!! Top number thus far! Plus, I caught up on the purse challenge and today's challenges that I received in my email, one of which was that high traffic area catch all, which I showed a photo of the first day.
Just in case you have forgotten:
 


 Now it looks like this:



Purse: this is my purse of the week. Mine tend to stay fairly empty because I use other bags, but this time it got crazy in my purse. 

Why is there a candy bar in there? 

After:

 Then I attacked two of my bathroom drawers at separate times today. I have been saying I would do it for about a year now, so I am glad to have it done. 

The before mess. As you can see I had already begun to sort when I took the photo. 
The after result. 


Drawer two only has an after:

Why do I keep things like empty perfume bottles? Crazy woman.

My oldest little Monster also got rid of 24 items from his room to make space for his Christmas gifts. I thought it was a good job.

 Overall things are going slow and steady, which I think is best for long term improvement.
If I think about the cost of leaving the clutter, which is where I began today's post, I think about the forgotten Olive Garden gift card I found today in the catch all.

I also think about what my husband mentioned, that things look like they are supposed to. How many fights has it cost us over my own guilt for the clutter if he mentions its existence? These fights could have all been avoided if things just looked like they are supposed to. When did clutter become normal?


Are you decluttering? 
How is your progress? I would love to hear.

You can always join the challenge and grab a copy of the book.




*I did receive a copy of the book for review c/o Kathi Lipp and her publishing team.



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