Five on Friday

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Friday has arrived once more – hallelujah! I don’t know about your week but mine has been…weird…for lack of a better word. My boss was out of town Monday and Tuesday, so then Wednesday actually felt like Monday and Thursday felt like Tuesday and then I realized Friday was only a day away and it was wonderful! And confusing! Is your head spinning yet?

If not (or even if so, ha-ha) then join me for this week’s edition of Five on Friday!

One. National League East Division Champs – Yes indeed, my Washington Nationals clinched the National League East Division last weekend and much celebrating was done. This is the Nationals third division title in the last five years; they also won the division in 2014 and 2012. The post season (for the Nationals at least) starts on Friday, October 7th – here’s hoping we’ll make it deep into October!

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Two. Nationals Baseball – Indeed; my beloved baseball team gets two of the five spots this week, I think they earned it. The baseball games this week were…well…rough would be an apt description. The Nationals won their final game against the Pirates on Sunday afternoon, but not before 1)Bryce Harper injured his thumb on a dirty play/fake tag courtesy of the Pirate’s third baseman, 2) A.J. Cole got ejected for throwing a pitch “close-ish” to that aforementioned third basemen, and 3) the benches cleared and there was almost a brawl on the field. *sigh*

The return home was also a little less than victorious; the Diamondbacks pulverized the Nationals on Monday night, 14-4… And worse than that, our amazing catcher Wilson Ramos landed awkwardly after jumping to catch an equally awkwardly thrown ball and tore his ACL and is done for the season. *sigh* Between Wilson’s knee, Bryce’s thumb, Daniel Murphy’s butt (seriously…his butt..) and Strasburg’s arm…I hope the other guys can rest up, dig deep and get ready for this postseason run!

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Three. Rain – As in, rain…rain…go away! This week has been gloomy for sure! The rain started intermittently on Tuesday and just piled it on all week. While rain can be nice from time to time, several days straight; well, I don’t think that’s anyone’s favorite thing. One of my friend’s has some flooding in her basement and my dog just gives me a look when I try to take him outside…  I’m looking forward to seeing the sun by at least Sunday…

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Four. Almost 32 – September is almost gone and October is just around the corner; as in, tomorrow! Which means that my birthday is right around the corner and I’ll be thirty-two! Yikes! I’ve got big plans to celebrate with a Washington Nationals game this Sunday and then I’ll be spending next weekend in Las Vegas with my little sister to celebrate! Not a bad way to welcome a new year, right? Thirty-One hasn’t always unfolded the way I thought it would but all in all; it’s been a good year. I can’t wait to see what Thirty-Two has in store!

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Five. Jose Fernandez – I don’t know of a story that has been more gut-wrenching than Jose Fernandez; a pitcher for the Miami Marlins who was tragically killed in a boating accident at the start of the week. I watched clips from the Marlins’ first game without Fernandez on Monday night and was absolutely reduced to tears. I know Fernandez was an amazing pitcher; I watched him shut down the Nationals on more than one occasion. However, he seemed to be a genuinely wonderful person as well and not only will major league baseball miss him, the world at large will be a bit “less” because of his loss.

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So – there are my five for this Friday; the last Friday of September. If you’d like to join up, simply create a post sharing five things that are on your mind this Friday; if it’s on your mind, it will work for a post! Just link up with April or Christina like I did and join the fun!

I hope everyone has a wonderful (and hopefully not too rainy) weekend!

Stitch Fix: The First

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So – have you heard of Stitch Fix? I had heard of Stitch Fix so many times and I’ve always been interested in giving it a try. If you haven’t heard of it, here’s the rundown!

The Stitch Fix (find it here: a https://www.stitchfix.com) experience begins when you fill out your Style Profile; where you will need to divulge everything from height and weight (eek!), the sizes you typically wear, an estimate of your proportions and so on… You will also elaborate on how you like your clothes to fit, what parts of your body you prefer to highlight and hide.

You’re also asked to rate several style boards and describe the events you dress for most often in your day to day life. You can tell your stylist if there are things you’d prefer to skip in your fixes and you can leave a note telling your stylist if there are any upcoming events you’d like something special for. The more information you provide, the better your stylist can get a feel for you and put together the perfect fix for you!

My first fix arrived on September 22nd and I was so tickled to see it – but a little apprehensive. I mean; these were clothes that a complete stranger had picked out for me, this fix could be awesome…but it could also be a total disaster! However, I am thrilled to report that I was crazy pleased with how great my very first fix went!

I told my stylist (her name is Julie – so, that’s fun!) that I am going to Las Vegas for a birthday weekend and wanted something I could wear on my trip; it didn’t have to be clothes, but just something that would look cute for celebrating! Oh yea – did I forget to mention that Stitch Fix doesn’t just do clothes?!? They also do jewelry, shoes and handbags – so you really can’t go wrong giving it a try! Read on to see what I loved, what I kept and what I sent back!

September 2016 Fix

41Hawthorn – Queensland Dolman Jersey Top: A black, three quarter sleeve dolman style top; made from seriously soft jersey material. When I initially pulled this on, I wasn’t certain…but after adjusting the sleeves a bit; I decided I was sold. The top is well made and will go with so many things; especially with Fall temperatures finally creeping into the air. It will make a great layering piece but can also stand alone just fine and I know it will look great with my wine and camel colored jeans, regular jeans and so much more!

This one was a KEEPER.

41Hawthorn – Tameron Button Down Blouse: Oh my – I loved this the minute I pulled it out of the box; however, it did not return that same love for me. *sigh* The fabric was beautiful but also extremely unforgiving and well…this top just wouldn’t button around the girls. I mean; it would, but it wasn’t pretty. I loved the detailing on the sleeves and collar and the buttons were wonderful…but if it won’t button, there’s no need to keep it, you know?

This one was a RETURN

Romolo – Willa Bar Drop Earrings: Yet another thing I loved as soon as I pulled it from the box! I’m not sure why, but for the longest time I was really not interested in gold jewelry but that has changed recently and these earrings are lovely! They feel very solid and heavy (not too heavy…ha-ha) and I love the elongated rain drop look that they have. They will be going with me to Vegas for sure and I know they’ll look great as an accessory whether I’m dressing up or dressing down!

This one was a KEEPER.

Collective Concepts – Elystan Crochet Detail Blouse: Yet again, I loved this the minute I pulled it out of the box…but the material was super unforgiving and this top just didn’t work for me. So sad! The detailing across the top and sides of the top are so pretty and this top would be great for both business and casual – but sadly, it just wasn’t a winner for me this time.

This one was a RETURN.

RD Style – Laureen Houndstooth Cardigan: Oh! This cardigan! What can I say except that I absolutely loved it the minute I saw the houndstooth pattern peeking out of the box at me and I just prayed it would fit. And it did and it was so wonderful and the angels sang! Ha! Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite so dramatic but I loved this top the minute I pulled it out of the box and I cannot wait to wear it all fall and winter long. It’s hands down my favorite thing from this fix – I love it!

This one was a KEEPER – OF COURSE!

So – my very first fix was; in my eyes, very successful! Three out of five isn’t so bad and I actually loved everything in my box. There was nothing that I looked at and thought “I’d never wear that in a million years!” I think my stylist already has a feel for what I like – I’m very drawn to classic pieces that have a traditional look and feel and all of these items really were things I’d have picked out for myself. All in all, this fix was fantastic, even if two of the items didn’t fit. That’s the fun and challenge of Stitch Fix – you never know quite what you’ll get and so there’s always a small bit of risk there, but there’s also the potential for a lot of reward!

Now for the real breakdown of how Stitch Fix works. Each fix will cost you a $20 styling fee. Once your fix arrives, you try on the items and decide what will work for you. If you choose to keep anything from your fix, your $20 styling fee is applied to that purchase and if you love all five items and decide to keep them all, not only is your $20 styling fee applied to your purchase, you also get 25% off! If you keep all five items, you just pay your tab and set up your next fix. If you only keep a couple things, you pay your tab and return the other items in the Priority mail envelope enclosed with your box. And if you don’t like anything? You’re really only out the $20 styling fee…but you can definitely ask about a replacement fix in the event you hate everything.

The most important thing when returning items – be sure that when you log back into your account and you’re given the opportunity to review each item, do so! I mentioned above and I’ll mention it here again: the more information you provide, the better the feel your stylist will have for what you like and dislike. If you hated something, don’t be afraid to tell them…and if you absolutely loved something but it didn’t quite work out (like me) then tell them that – they may be able to find something similar that will work out for you!

I’m definitely a fan of Stitch Fix and I’ve already scheduled my next fix – I can’t wait to see what I get – the holiday season is on the horizon and I told my stylist that I’m looking forward to celebrating with family. I also mentioned I’m open to expanding my “fashion horizons”. I know you’d love Stitch Fix too and if you’d like to give it a try, I’ll share my referral link below. If you sign up for Stitch Fix through my link, I’ll get a referral credit and of course, I’d love that!

Natalie’s Stitch Fix Referral Link: stitchfix.com/referral/9219429

Also – next time I’ll do my best to actually take pictures of myself IN the clothes, ha-ha! I moved just over two weeks ago and things are still somewhat out of sorts; this just seemed the best way to do things this time! So – until next time y’all!

Have you ever done Stitch Fix before? Do you love it? Has this post piqued your interest in Stitch Fix?

If We’re Going to be Best Friends…

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So, if we’re gonna be best friends, there are probably some things you should know before you commit….
  • I am a Christian, saved by grace. I am not perfect and I don’t pretend to be, but I do serve a risen and perfect Savior and I try to live my life daily so that I can reflect who He is and what He has done for me.
  • I love spending time with my family and if you’re one of my best friends then you’re basically an extension of my family!
  • I’m just a wee bit obsessed with my dog, Watson. If you decide to frequent this blog (please do!) then you’ll see his sweet face quite often.
  • I once thought I was a night owl but as I get older (yikes) I think I’m becoming a morning person…I don’t even recognize myself anymore…
  • It grosses me out when people let their food touch…and especially grosses me out when food mixes together because…just…no.
  • Though I undoubtedly will make mistakes/have made mistakes on this blog, people who constantly make grammatical errors drive me insane. It’s just a thing.
  • I have a slight addiction to watching TV. I suppose I could say I’m a recovering addict; I don’t watch as much as I used to, but then again…Netflix is an enabler. Who else feels me?
  • I am also addicted to reading. I love to read. I love the smell of books. I love opening up a book and falling into a world so different from my own.
  • I’m a little bit OCD…although more obsessive than compulsive. I can obsess over something fifteen ways to Sunday and worry myself into a fit over things other people wouldn’t think twice about. *sigh*
  • I absolutely love making lists and then crossing things off that list. Sometimes (here comes the OCD) I even make lists after the fact, just for the satisfaction of crossing the things off the list.
  • I love Sprite, a good white wine and coffee. Not together – obviously.
  • Speaking of coffee…oh how I love coffee. It makes me happy when skies are gray and generally makes me not want to kill people early in the morning. One of my favorite parts of the day might be sipping my first cup of coffee in the early morning light…
  • I don’t get the whole men wearing tank tops thing – at all. I admire men aplenty but one feature of a man I just don’t need to see so much of is hairy armpits. That’s all.
  • I am a huge worry wart. I’m trying to get better about it…but it’s a daily, sometimes hourly struggle.
  • I think the best sound(s) on the planet are laughter, music of all sorts and the sounds of baseball…especially the crack of the bat when someone smashes a home run!
  • I’m loyal…almost to a fault…and while my loyalty has been taken advantage of in the past, it hasn’t really deterred me from trusting people with that loyalty. The rewards usually outweigh the pitfalls.
  • I am also fiercely loyal to “my” sports teams: the Washington Nationals, the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the New Orleans Saints. I’m perhaps most loyal to my beloved baseball team though…
  • I love sweets. Cupcakes, macaroons, chocolate, gummy bears, chocolate covered Oreos, fudge, truffles… I’m going into a sugar coma just thinking about it.
  •  I also LOVE soup. Love it. And I’ll eat it just as happily in the middle of an August heat wave as I will in a January blizzard.
  • I love to cook…and I feel like I could really be good at cooking…if it didn’t take so much darn time!
  • I hate being late. But I also don’t want to be that person that arrives awkwardly early…
  • I think my nose is too big and I hate my stomach…however…
  • I love my eyes, my smile and my long legs.
  • I find that I can forgive very easily but the forgetting is a whole different matter.
  • I’m a people pleaser – to the point that I need to be less – I worry too much about opinions that don’t matter and pleasing people that don’t matter as well.
  • Hangry is a real thing and I suffer from it.
  • I am absolutely terrified of being alone…and while I enjoy being alone from time to time, I worry I will end up being alone.
  • Because of this, it takes a lot for me to let someone in. I had “friends” that damaged an element of trust somewhere along the way and now it’s hard for me to always trust that what people say is what they mean.
So if I call you friend, I’ve invited you to be a part of my life for the duration…
 
 

Hooked On A Feeling

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Monday has dawned…as it always does…and all day long I’ve been stuck with that feeling that there is something I need to do…but I can’t figure out what it is! The trouble with feeling that way is that it usually means that there is something that needs to be done – and so I’m hooked on the feeling that I’m forgetting something.

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I have to say that’s the most flattering picture ever – right? Okay…it’s not. But what it was (is?) is the breaking of a four game losing streak by eating Chipotle on the day Max Scherzer was pitching. Does this mean I need to eat Chipotle every time Max pitches from now on? Maybe so – I can’t be sure. I just know the Nationals had hit the skids and on Wednesday I ate Chipotle (one of Mad Max’s favorites) and the Nationals won. I’m sure it had everything to do with my lunch choice and nothing to do with the actual baseball players. Ha!

The week itself; well the work week at least, seemed to drag. There wasn’t much going on at the office and so the minutes seemed like hours. Somehow on weeks like that, the time one actually has to their self seems like it flies by: I felt like I’d get home in the afternoon and before I knew it, it was almost 10:30 (or later) and I needed to do that whole sleep thing so I wouldn’t feel like a zombie. Whoosh!

Nothing terribly exciting happened during the week. The weekend is where it’s really at – let’s all go ahead and agree on that. I was able to leave work early on Friday, which was a God send since the office was 100% dead – I think we’d received maybe 2 phone calls the entire day – so just having some time at home to chill a bit was a nice way to spend the afternoon. After a delicious dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse, I perused the aisles of Home Goods and managed to only buy one thing – ONE! I think anyone who knows Home Goods knows that is a miracle of the Lord to be sure! That place will draw you in and you’ll never look back!

Saturday dawned bright and earlier than I’d have liked – I always have these fanciful dreams that I’m going to sleep in until something like 10 AM and just lie in the bed and it will be ah-maz-ing. And then I wake up at 7:05 to go to the bathroom and can’t get back to sleep…it’s an age thing, isn’t it? Once upon a time I could sleep till noon and care less…not so anymore. Not so at all. I couldn’t have slept that late even if I’d wanted to – I had places to go and things to do and as someone who’s been through living alone and being lonely: having places to go with people you love is much better than being able to sleep until 10 AM because you literally have nothing else to do.

My friend Rachel and her daughter Sophie and I went to a nearby pumpkin patch to do all manner of Autumnal outdoor activities: we rode on a hay ride, watched pig races, navigated a corn maze, shot pumpkins out of cannons and even watched as pumpkins large and small were dropped from a height that rendered them blown to smithereens on landing. The weather was nice for the most part – it didn’t feel terribly Fall-ish, but it also wasn’t blazing hot and really…you can’t ask for more than that on the last weekend of September…

Once the pumpkin patch activities were concluded, I made my way from the valley and into the mountains – climbing up and over the mountain and back down…only a bit though…to join my friend Katie for supper at her new house. The views from her back porch are awe inspiring; spectacular seems like too small a word for the view. I’ve always been drawn to a good mountain view and this is it! After having a delicious supper, Katie and I sat on the deck for almost an hour just watching the sun set and taking in the incredible view.

The views were so stunning that when I drove up, I immediately paused to snap a picture from inside my car – as if I wasn’t going to have a better vantage point in mere minutes! The drive to Katie’s house offered some thrills with some pretty steeply graded gravel roads; I’m an A+ level pansy, so getting back up the roads in the dark was almost more of an adventure than I was really prepared for – but alls well that ends well. All the way home I kept an inner discussion going as to whether I’d want to brave those kind of roads for a view like that – I mean, you guys – the view was AMAZING.

I sat up way too late on Saturday night, stalking the Nationals Twitter feed and waiting for the tweet that would confirm that the Nationals had won the National League East Division. Of course, once that tweet came through then I needed to see all the videos, pictures and gifs of all the celebrations…so yea…I finally fell asleep well later than I’d intended.

After church on Sunday morning, I went home and took a Sunday morning nap – ha! I’m sure it had everything to do with not going to sleep at a decent time on Saturday night, but I felt tired for a huge chunk of the day on Sunday.

Following my thirty minute power nap, I joined my parents for a quick jaunt over to historic Occuquan for the Fall Arts and Crafts show. It seems like it was only a few months ago that I was at the Spring Arts and Crafts show and now it’s Fall – crazy right? There were something like 200+ vendors selling everything from food and yard décor, clothes, knick knacks and antique furniture – truly there was something for everyone! The weather was nice; not too hot with a nice breeze, and we got to stroll across the Occuquan River as well, which allowed for some really  nice pictures – including a small hidden waterfall!

As always – the weekend came to an end much too soon. Isn’t that always the case though? A good week, a lovely weekend and some really nice memories made…and now I’m left here on a Monday afternoon struggling to remember what it is I’m “supposed to be doing” at some point tonight. Ha!

Five on Friday

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Friday – one of the best days – in my humble opinion. It has arrived once more and I don’t know how your week has been, mine seems like it absolutely drug it’s feet to get here! However, it’s here and I’ve got a lovely Fall weekend ready to open up before me. Without further ado – the Friday Five!

One. Fall – My very favorite season has arrived! All things Fall are now 100% acceptable: cozy sweaters, boots, cardigans, scarves, picking out pumpkins, going on hayrides, drinking pumpkin spice lattes…oh man, I love Fall so much! Now, if the weather could catch up with this picture, that would be great. It’s hard to wear sweaters, scarves and boots when it’s 85!

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Where is This & How Can I Get There??

 

Two. Nationals Baseball – Well…it was a less than inspiring week…and honestly, I feel so disconnected from baseball right now! I’ve had no TV (or at least, no cable TV with MASN) or internet for the past almost two weeks…and therefore, I’ve watched no games. *sob*

I guess if there was a week to miss out, this past week would have been it. The Nationals only won one of the four games they played – ouch. However, thanks to some help from some other teams (hello Braves…thank you!) the magic number to clinch the NLCS is down to 2! Just 2! The Nationals start a series over the weekend in Pittsburgh and could be coming home on Monday as NLCS winners. One thing is for sure: the Nationals are going to be playing some October baseball!

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October Baseball? I’m Not Shocked…Ha-Ha!

 

Three. Las Vegas – Y’all; this time in two weeks I’ll be in Las Vegas! What even is going on?? I’ll be meeting up with my sister to celebrate my birthday (eek!) and I know we will have an absolute blast…because my sister and I always have an absolute blast. So – I ask you blog readers (if there are any of you out there…ha!) that if you know something we should definitely do while in Vegas…or a place we should not miss out on eating…let me know! The countdown is on!

However – let it be known – I will not be riding the miles tall Ferris Wheel because heights + Natalie = someone acting like they have no sense. And really, no one wants to make a fool of themselves, right?

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Four. Stitch Fix – I got my very first Fix! And let me just go ahead and confess that I’m kind of in love! There is something so fun about getting a box of clothes delivered to your door, chosen just for you and getting to try them on in the privacy of your own home! I will say I thought for this to be my very first Fix, I was impressed! I think this box was a solid three out of five…and I’ll be sharing more about that next week! Just wanted you to know that my initial thought(s) are: love it!

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Five. Moving Posts – Which apparently is a thing you can do here? I’ve been wanting to update/upgrade my blog for most of this year but I hated the thought of having all of my older posts…seven years worth….just stashed somewhere else! So, hopefully within the next couple weeks I’ll be able to get some help from the Word Press team and get things organized here! Thank you for sticking with me through the transition – hopefully I’ll get it all together soon! Or perhaps; much like life, it will always be a work in progress!

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So – that’s the Five for the Friday! I’m linking up with April over at A. Liz Adventures, just like I always do. If you have a blog, feel free to link up as well! It’s a great way to find new blogs – maybe you even found my blog that way? Until next time – have a good weekend!