I’m pretty excited about today’s post.
The thing about Kayla and Madison is that not only do they write great blogs, not only are they both incredibly talented, not only are they the nicest gals you could ever hope to be friends with, they’re also incredibly stylish. (As I tell them every time they post anything outfit-related on Instagram.)
Which is why I was so thrilled a couple of weeks ago when we all decided to participate in a clothing swap. We each sent the other two three items from our closets that we never wore anymore, and I can’t wait to see how they styled the items I sent.
But first, we thought it would be fun to kick off our swap with an interview with our husbands on what they think of our style. Joey’s responses were predictably hilarious, but also a little enlightening. It was also like pulling teeth to get him to say anything critical about what I wear. What can I say? The guy likes me.
Here’s what he had to say:
Q: How would you describe my style?
Joey: Classy and individual. You have your own style. It’s kind of trendy but not like everybody else. None of our friends dress like you.
Q: What is your favorite thing I wear (and why)?
Joey: I think your accessories always make your outfit. Most notably your shoes and necklaces. You always look good in boots…I would say boots. I don’t want to sound pervy. [Justine note: Bahahaha]
Q:What is your least favorite thing I wear (and why)?
Joey: Flats. They’re a bit plain and boring. [Justine note: REALLY?] Yeah. Something else I hate — that fortunately you don’t do — is when girls wear platform sandals. I think that’s a thug thing. And what are those flood pants? Khaki things? [Justine note: Capris?] Yeah, maybe I don’t like those either.
Q: Do you remember what I was wearing on our first date?
Joey: I believe it was a blouse and jeans with a scarf of some sort…very casual for Chili’s. [Justine note: It was a navy dress. The strawberry margarita must have clouded his judgment ]
Q: What do you wish I would wear more often?
Joey: A smile. [Justine note: Come on.] Bikinis? I don’t know.
Q: What store best describes my style?
Joey: Banana Republic or J. Crew. [Justine note: Nailed it.]
It has been almost a year since I’ve done any kind of race.
The last one was a 5-mile turkey trot that left me limping and wondering if maybe it wasn’t time to stop ignoring that pain in my heel after all.
After a year of taking it easy and hoping my plantar fasciitis would just go away, only to be rewarded with a less severe dull aching sensation whenever I tried incorporating cardio or walking a lot or wearing certain shoes.
It was exactly as much fun as it sounds.
After about nine months of that, I decided to try new shoes. After all, it was new shoes that cured my shin splints problem, right?
Almost miraculously, the new shoes worked. After a single run, I started to notice a difference, including that I had less pain even when I wasn’t wearing the shoes. Running in these more supportive sneaks was repairing my foot better than almost a year of rest ever had.
Shout out to New Balance: Making long-distance dreams come true for flat footed gals everywhere.
It was around this time that my friend Diana asked me if I wanted to do the Philadelphia Half with her. I accepted the offer, excited to get back to it.
Of course, even with my healing heel, I had a lot to work back to as I started training for my first half marathon in over a year. It helped that my running partner, Diana, is always pushing her own limits, which inspired me to do the same.
By the time the race rolled around, I had cut my nine-minute-something mile down to a consistent eight or lower, and we were pacing to finish the race in about 1:45.
Exciting stuff, right?
Well, sorry to disappoint you, but my body had other ideas.
Not to get too TMI on ya, but I got my period the day before the race. And the. I started getting cramps around mile two.
I’m not going to lie — I wanted to quit. At one point, I actually thought to myself, “If I could cheat and just be done, I think I would do that.”
But by some strength I didn’t really know I had, I kept plodding along. My final time was two hours even — twenty minutes slower than planned, but still better than my first half time. Go figure, right?
Diana is an animal and finished just under 1:40. I know, right??
I’m just chalking it up as motivation to do another one in the spring. Gotta defend my rep, after all.
The rest of the weekend was lovely. We spent time with Diana’s family, all of whom I loved, and ate a bunch of great food. We’re currently on the train home, and I’m pretty excited to see a certain someone’s face after work.
Spoiler alert: It’s Joey’s face. I just like him, ok?
D: They gave me the wrong drink yet again. In a month, (1 month) they have never, ever gotten my drink right the first time.
I’m like THANKS! Not mad! Just not comin’ back.
D: I mean, first world problems, for sure
Me: But still.
We deal with a lot.
This is all we ask.
D: Just want a no foam soy latte. That’s all.
Me: You want too much.
D: “Vanilla latte” comes up.
Nope, that not it.
Me: In the old country, you knew your place.
D: In Mother Russia, you make mistake, you no eat whole winter.
Me: In Mother Russia, latte drink YOU.
D: You drink potato latte. Out of hollowed potato. And you like it.
Me: We make latte with potatoes and tears.
D: Potato spice latte: Two parts potato, one part despair.
Me: With a sprinkling of cinnamon.
As you might recall, I loved my first Fix. Like, I lot. I kept everything that my stylist sent. After that, though, things started to change.
I’ve had three subsequent Fixes. The second Fix was the worst — I actually wondered if it might have been sent to the wrong person the style was so off the profile I had created.
The third fix was just a little…underwhelming. What I loved about my first shipment was how unique each piece was without completely disregarding my existing style. My friend Diana ended up buying a pair of pants from me that came in the third Fix, though, so at least I didn’t lose the styling fee.
After my fourth Fix, I was ready to throw in the towel. It seemed like each box contained one baggy sweater, one simple-ish dress, one piece of jewelry that wasn’t me at all, and some kind of maroon bottom. (Last time it was the pants, this time it was an ill-fitting skirt.)
I was disappointed, but mostly frustrated. I felt like my profile (which I had carefully crafted and linked to an equally carefully crafted Pinterest board) was being completely ignored. I decided to keep one of the dresses because I had some SF credit (and I didn’t want to waste the $20 fee), but I emailed Stitch Fix expressing my concerns and letting them know I was done — and how frustrated I was considering I had referred so many friends to the service.
Their customer service was extremely helpful, emailing me promptly and offering a $20 credit to give them one more try. She also reconnected my Pinterest board (which apparently wasn’t working…though I’m a little skeptical since no one mentioned it until now) and asked for a few more details to add to my profile. She also arranged for me to get the same stylist who put together my first Fix.
So I’m actually pretty excited for my next shipment (due next month). I feel like it is going to be much better tailored than my last shipments have been. Plus, the Aaliyah Velvet Zig-Zag Fit & Flare Dress I ended up with is pretty cute.
Want to try Stitch Fix for yourself? Sign up here (if you click that link, I get a referral credit for sending you over when your order your first Fix).
For those of you who have tried it, have you had a similar experience? I’m hoping that it was just a fluke because I really do like the idea behind the company.
I’ve never been a big fan of confrontation.
Honestly, my first instinct is to passive aggression. I’ll make a “joke” or simply avoid the issue. Not exactly the best way to resolve anything, ya know?
I’ve gotten a bit better as I’ve gotten older. I recently had the revelation that I would be much better at high school now. I know how to handle mean girls. I’ve learned how tenuous the line between a bully and a coward truly is, and how easy it is to send a bully running for the hills.
The main thing I’ve learned is to nip things in the bud. The moment you let tension sit, it starts to fester, and what could have been a simply cleared up misunderstanding turns into a full-on feud.
I’m pretty sure all of Romeo & Juliet could have been solved in one long chat over some wine had there been someone around to start a dialogue.
Other than that, stay calm, hear everyone out, and know when it’s time to move on. The fact is, you’re only in control of your own response — sometimes people prefer living in conflict. That doesn’t mean you have to join them.
So does my new understanding mean when something stressful or problematic arises, I dive head-first into the fray to solve the problem?
Well…not quite. But it is getting a bit easier to talk myself into taking a stand, especially when it comes to sticking up for myself or those I love. (Even if my hands are quietly shaking in my lap while I do.)
So spill: What’s your best conflict resolution tactic?
Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows that I go out to eat a fair amount.
Like, a lot.
I like nice restaurants. I like ambience. I like a glass of wine. I like appetizers and desserts. I like debating what my dining partner and I are going to get for ourselves and what we’re going to share. I like cheese plates and tapas. I like big salads filled with caramelized nuts and avocado. I like mood lighting and the clink of glasses and waiters who keep my water glass filled.
Plus, I mean, you know I like eating.
The only problem with this little hobby of mine? I live in New York City, and it’s not, you know, inexpensive to go out around these parts.
For the record, I have cut back. And it’s not like I’m spending like a millionaire even when I do go out. But it’s definitely a sizable portion of my monthly expenses.
The thing is, I accept that. I guess I figure that now is the time of my life to go out to dinners and meet up with friends. At some point, we’re going to settle in more. We’ll probably move away from New York, get a house, have a couple of kids, and suddenly a dinner on the town will become an event and not so much just our lifestyle. So even though it’s a luxury, it’s one I always appreciate.
Like when I’m walking down 9th Avenue to meet up with a friend at Chelsea Market. Or (gasp) hopping in a cab because I’m late for dinner in the East Village. Or like last night.
My friend Carly and I had dinner in one of my favorite restaurants in Chelsea Market, Friedman’s Lunch. Friedman’s occasionally has a special dessert that is a skillet cookie with ice cream (also known as my favorite thing), and I was telling Carly about it during the meal. When we asked, though, we were informed tonight was not one of the magical evenings the skillet cookie is available.
Driven by a desire beyond our control, Carly and I took to the streets trying to find somewhere we could procure a warm chocolate chip cookie with a scoop of ice cream. Finally, we happened upon a diner. Carly explained our quest, and the maitre d’ told us to take a seat because he would take care of us. Carly also managed to finagle us two healthy pours of wine because — surprise! — she also happens to speak Italian and the entire waitstaff was Sicilian. Whatta gal, right?
These kinds of things don’t happen in every city in the world.
And, not to get overly sentimental, but those are the things I want to remember when I think about my New York life. I did cool things. I had so much fun. So I keep these things in their place, but I also appreciate fully when they happen.