Hey y’all! I hope everyone is doing well. Sorry for the extra long break but I realized it was something I needed. I had been feeling really sad/frustrated/disappointed/confused, etc. in most every aspect of my life; from shopping, my marriage, food, exercise, this blog and everything else in between. I knew I needed to change something so I started with the obvious…weight.

I’ve been pretty unhappy with the way my clothes, new and old, have been fitting and it’s because of the weight I’ve gained in the last 2 years or so. My peak was 160 and that was before and after Thanksgiving. My arms aren’t fitting into shirts that fit me well everywhere else. Skirts and pants are fitting better in a size up, which I know is a combination of weight gain and vanity sizing. Even my engagement ring doesn’t fit any longer. (That one really bugs me.) The first thing I did was join a StepBet and DietBet. You pay money to walk a certain amount of steps a day for 6 weeks or to lose 4% of your weight. Those are going well. I have been walking about 4 miles every day. The weather has chilled so it’s harder to get the steps in and that’s where my next action comes in .

Right before Thanksgiving I visited a few gyms in the area and eventually found the one that I felt would be right for me, Lifetime Fitness. They had a few extra perks with membership as part of their Black Friday offer so it was hard to pass up. And to go all in, I also hired a trainer twice a week for the next two months. I wanted to get an handle on weight, exercise and food during the holiday parties and through Christmas. I didn’t want to gain another 5 lbs in December. I didn’t want to start a gym as a New Year’s Resolution in January, when everyone else would. I knew if I put this off I would never start. I knew if I didn’t pre-pay for my trainer for that time period I would never go. I knew the change had to be now because I would never start later.

And I’m so glad I did. I already feel better. I have more energy and my head is much clearer. I haven’t been tired or lethargic through the day and I’ve only just yesterday modified my eating habits. And that’s just making sure I each breakfast and lunch. I would almost always skip breakfast, just having a cup of coffee. And lunch would be a quick run to one of the 7 fast food places 5 minutes from me, or Chick-Fil-A that is 10 minutes away. YUM! Who knew eating three meals a day with sensible snacks would make you feel better? Oh yeah, my Health teacher knew. Sesame Street knew. Mr. Green Jeans knew.

Lastly, we did lose a family member last week. Dear Sweet (in his own way) Sammy, the original Grumpy Cat, passed away last week. He was diagnosed with a kidney disease in late August so it was only a matter of time before he would go. We had him for 17 years and Husband and I were pretty sad, which is a little funny because he wasn’t all that affectionate, especially with me and I have so many scars from scratches he gave me. And he HATED my mom! Not funny but really funny! We also realized he held us hostage in so many ways. We had to keep all doors closed and clothes put away, out of sight, or he would find it and bring it to us. If the closet was left open he would find something on the shelf and bring it to us. He fetched us things on his own, when the mood struck him, even if it was 3 in the morning. One day we caught him taking a small blanket up the stairs. Had the thing in his mouth and he was meowing all the way up. Crazy cat! We are happy he’s no longer suffering.

I hope you are all doing well and have all your Christmas and Holiday shopping complete! (I know. I know. You’re not even close, just like me.)

Much love to you!

Finishing up J.Crew’s new arrivals with some tops.

~ Lightweight Wool Jackie Cardigan Sweater in Bow Print, Small ~

I need a Medium but the bows are really cute. It has a matching shell. I love the gold buttons on the wool Jackie Cardigans.

jc_bowjackie

~ Asymmetrical Striped Ruffle Top, Medium ~

I’m on the fence with this top. The medium fit ok. It felt a little tight where the arms holes meet the body of the shirt. The back was fairly difficult, for me, to zip up. I still think the medium is the right size for me. The ruffles bother me too but they also seem a little flattering. It’s cotton but hand-wash only. Way too much trouble for me.

jc_asymstripedruffletop_1

jc_asymstripedruffletop_2

~ Fringy Top in Tweed and Lace, Navy, Medium ~

I unexpectedly liked this top. I didn’t care for it when I saw it online and only tried it on to review. Once I had it on I found it fit really well and had a bit of shaped to it. I like the navy color over the black and ivory but those are great dressier tops for the Holiday.

jc_tweedlacetop_1

jc_tweedlacetop_2

~ Vintage Cotton Tee with Beaded Zebras, Medium ~

Just your standard crew tee in a soft cotton. Love the little zebras with the heart between them. This fits TTS in the Medium.

jc_zebratee

jc_zebratee_detail

~ Edie Top in Stewart Plaid, size 6 ~

I don’t have a try-on image for this top. I wasn’t able to get this past my chest or my arms all the way through. The are where the ruffle is placed has no give. I don’t think a size 8 would fit me either. It just runs really small. This top is poly and would have been so much prettier in cotton, silk, something else. It feels cheap to me.

jc_edietop

jc_edietop_detail

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Let’s prep your holiday events with some dress reviews.

~ Lace Dress with Pockets, size 6 ~

The pockets are on the chest and subtle, in my opinion. I didn’t notice them until I was fairly close to the dress. I like the lace and the silhouette. I thought the neckline might be a little tight but it doesn’t come up very high at all. I would stay in the size 6 and maybe add some Spanx. The length is just above the knee on me. This is a really great LBD, and able to be worn all year.

jc_lacedress

~ Flounce Silk Dress in Wolfstooth, size 8 ~

I was excited to try this dress on. I love the little flounce at the hem and I like the pattern too. The size 8 fit TTS. A size 6 would have been a little tight across the chest. I have an event in February and would love to get this on sale with a promo, as I don’t need it right now.

jc_wolfstoothdress

~ Ruffle-Trim Shift Dress, Vintage Champagne, size 8 ~

This is the same shift silhouette as the Wolfstooth dress and also fits TTS. The material and style is very similar to last year’s Lace Cap-Sleeve dress. The neckline and hem are trimmed in crepe de chine ruffles. I prefer the Dark Forest color, trimmed in Navy, more than the Vintage Champagne.

jc_ruffletrimshiftdress

jc_ruffletrimshiftdress_detail

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

I was able to get to the store on Tuesday so I have a few newer items to reviews for you. One major thing to note if you are shopping online. Ebates is currently offering 10% back at J.Crew. If you access the coupon from the Ebates app, you will receive 11% cash back. Sign up here if you don’t use Ebates yet. Ebates also has in-store cash back at many stores you probably already shop at, like Banana Republic, Macy’s, Ann Taylor, and J.Crew Factory. J.Crew is not included yet.

~ Blackwatch Anchor Tee, Small ~
~ Pintucked Pencil Skirt in Lace, Emerald Pool, size 8 ~

I originally did not find a Medium in the tee so I tried on a Small. I definitely feel more comfortable in the Medium, which I found when I left the dressing room. I plan on being very festive this season, if you haven’t noticed by my purchases.

jc_tartantee_laceskirt

~ Pintucked Pencil Skirt in Lace, Emerald Pool, size 8 ~

The green lace is really pretty and the pintucks don’t add any bulk, keeping the the pencil silhouette. The hem is scalloped and the length is 27-inches long. The shorter length Petite sizes are almost all sold out as are the Tall sizes. I do like the color and don’t mind the length. I definitely always wear heels with this skirt, which runs TTS. Don’t forget the Factory Lace Skirt if you want a shorter length (and it’s 60% off).

jc_laceskirt

~ Festive Plaid Button-Up Shirt, size 10 ~
~ Mini Skirt in Double-Serge Wool, Dark Poppy, size 8 ~

Another Festive Plaid item, in case you’re looking for a lighter option that the Stewart Plaid. I’m sizing up to a 10 in button-down shirts right now. The fit issues for me are the upper arms. I’m hoping I can get back to a size 8 in the next year. I can see myself wearing this after the holidays. I like the Factory Perfect Fit shirt a little more.

jc_festiveshirt_miniskirt

jc_festivepopover

~ Mini Skirt in Double-Serge Wool, Dark Poppy, size 8 ~

I grabbed a size 8 despite my gut feeling telling me to get a size 10. The size 8 fits but I want to move a little more. The size 8 is sitting at my waist and I also want it to be a little lower. Don’t bend over in this skirt either. The Dark Poppy color is pretty bright but a nice red even so. I say “booooo” to the exposed zipper. That needs to go!

jc_woolminiskirt

~ Lightweight Wool Cardigan Sweater in Zebra Print, Medium ~
~ Taffeta Skirt in Stewart Plaid, size 8 ~

This is a really cute sweater and it seems December will be Zebra month. There are several zebra items to choose from including this tee, Tippi, leggings and popover. And don’t forget the mini skirt at the Factory Store. I just don’t know if I care for the zebras dancing across the girls. This runs TTS. I’ve shared a pick below of what the inside of the sweater looks like where the zebras are stitched.

jc_zebra_tartan

jc_zebracardi_detail

jc_zebracardi_detail2

~ Taffeta Skirt in Stewart Plaid, size 8 ~

I pre-ordered this skirt last week knowing it would probably sell out in my size. I ordered a size 10 due to the straight portion of the top of the skirt. I though it might be too snug in the 8. I did find this in my store and there was only a size 8 & 10 left, for the sizes I might wear. There were plenty of smaller sizes but I have a feeling this will sell out by the weekend. The size 8 fit me well and I couldn’t tell any major difference between that and the size 10. The skirt is over-whelmingly full. I think someone should be taller to wear this skirt, to balance out the fullness. I still debated on whether or not to get the size 8 but I have this old-school-Crew skirt that is just as fun with tons of colors to choose from.

jc_taffetaskirtstewartplaid_1

jc_taffetaskirtstewartplaid_2

jc_taffetaskirtstewartplaid_3

I slipped the skirt off and saw this on the floor. It reminded me of the SATC scene where Carrie is in Paris, sitting on either the floor or bed with her big tulled dress. All dressed up and no where to go. I believe J.Crew when they said this is 7 feet of material.

jc_taffetaskirtstewartplaid_4

I bought the Blackwatch Anchor Tee and think it will be fun to wear over the next few weeks. I’m a little disappointed about the Taffeta Skirt. I wish it had been in a different silhouette; something more flattering for everyone.

Don’t forget to shop with Ebates!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

J.Crew has a great promo to go with the latest new arrivals. From now through Sunday, you can take 40% off your purchase using code HOLIDAY. This promo is good on almost everything, in stores and online. I plan on going to the store today so I hope I see a few more of these arrivals there.

~ Lace Peplum Top, Faded Teak, size 8 ~
~ Silk Twill Pants in Wolfstooth, size 8 ~

The size 8 of the Lace Peplum Top fit me well, so TTS, but I did not like where the line of the peplum hit. It’s at the waist and looks really unflattering on me. It could also be the color. The black might look a lot better on me. I would also wear a cardigan over this so that might also help with the look of it.

jc_lacepeplum_wolfstooth

jc_lacepeplum_2

~ Silk Twill Pants in Wolfstooth, size 8 ~

Even though the pants are multi-colored I would still consider them a neutral. You can pretty much wear any top with these silk-twill pants. I don’t recall these being lined, which is not an issue for me in the South. I actually like the elastic waistband though you can see the pants bunch right below the waistline. The size 8 felt TTS for me, especially in this material. This material always gives me this fear of swishing when I walk a la George Costanza in his suit pants.

jc_wolfstoothpants

~ Bow-Shoulder Top in Festive Plaid, size 8 ~
~ Rayner Trouser, size 28 ~

So I didn’t really like the Gingham Bow-Shoulder Top but it must be that I’m ready for the Holidays since I really love this Festive Plaid version. This fits TTS and a pull-over style. I would certainly add a cardigan over it but I don’t know if I like it more than the other plaid tops I’ve purchased recently. I think the others I have fit better and look better on me than this bow-shoulder top. It’s a great deal with the 40% off.

jc_festivebow_1

~ Rayner Trouser, size 28 ~

This is only the second pair of the Rayner style pants and jeans that my store has received. I really wanted the wide-leg jeans that were full-length on me but I’m not sure these work. The size 29 was sold out so I grabbed the 28s. They fit well considering I am in a size down from my normal size. The length hits just below the ankle but not all the way to the floor. I think it fits ok but it’s the higher rise that seems to look odd on me. I know it would probably be covered up but there are other jeans out there that would work a lot better than these on me.

jc_raynertrouser

~ Marled Italian Wool Blend Turtleneck Sweater, Marled Cherry, Small ~
~ Party PJ Pant, size 6 ~

This is such an over-sized sweater and I love the cherry red color. The turtleneck wasn’t tight at all and this fit well in the Small. This has a dropped-shoulder seam and is a longer length, perfect for wearing with leggings. As reviewers have stated online, the seaming at the drop-shoulder bunches and seems thicker. It doesn’t want to lay flat and is going to be noticeable. Still, this cherry color is really pretty.

jc_oversizetneck_pjpants

~ Party PJ Pant, size 6 ~

I saw the elastic waist on these pants and thought I could try a size 6. I was right and though the waistband stretches a little more that it probably should, the pants fit really well on me. I love the pajama-pant look and don’t mind that they are not cropped on me. I already have a gray wool pant with a tux-stripe so I am passing on these.

jc_pjpants

I also tried the Cropped Maddie Pant in Blackwatch and found those to run really small. I tried an 8 and the pants were tight all over. I would need to size up to at least a 10 in those.

I couldn’t pass up this promo and ordered these snakeskin shoes, these Santa socks, and this festive skirt. I have the same Santa socks from last year but they are red. I paid full-price for them last year so I couldn’t pass them up this year, with the HOLIDAY promo. The shoes were low-stock and I’ve been pining after them for weeks. I do wish they had been offered in other colors or patterns other than the snakeskin and plaid. The skirt is shown with this Thomas Mason shirt. You can easily recreate it with a white shirt and velvet ribbon tied at a few of the shirt buttons.

Are you going to knock out your Christmas shopping with this HOLIDAY promo?