itchin for a fix

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I loathe shopping for clothes. Between taking off 20 layers of winter clothes for a pair of pants that doesn’t fit (they must run small) and the hellish lighting in the dressing rooms, it’s a wonder we all don’t resign to living life naked.

For Michael, he chooses not to live naked for the sole reason that his clothes—more specifically, his boxers—serve as a gauge for the fun in his life. The other morning, I got out a pair of boxers for him to wear. It was a Tuesday, and the boxers were blue. He looked at me all serious, and says, “I can’t wear those, I need a pair of white.” I asked why. His response: “I wear white boxers on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Because when I put on fun boxers on Thursday and Friday, I know I’m getting closer to the weekend.” I shit you not. That is real life.

So a few weeks ago, when I got the itch for a new piece of clothing, but didn’t want to subject my seasonal depression to the should-be-illegal dressing room mirrors, I decided to check out Stitch Fix. It’s basically like ordering a surprise box of clothes to your doorstop. Who doesn’t love packages…and surprises? Here’s how it works: you fill out the Stitch Fix Style Profile, which includes your style, budget, sizes etc. Then a personal stylist handpicks a selection of five clothing items and accessories unique to your profile. You receive the five products in the mail, try them on, buy what you like, and return what you don’t like.

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I must admit, though, I wasn’t sure what to expect my first time. Especially because I really don’t know my sizes. I’m that girl who uses her 5-item max per dressing room with 5 different sizes of the same item. I even had to ask my friend if my legs were “short” or “average”. She said short. I put average. Lying never felt so good.

When the box came, here is what was inside:

Oh wait. I’m a technological dumbass who tried to upload the pictures of the items last night, only to have somehow reset my phone to my 2013 phone. No joke—all my pictures, gone. All my texts, gone. But don’t worry, I had 738 pictures of preschool children and tons of trivial texts to relive from 2013—and delete manually. (Side note: I am not a pedophile. I used to teach preschool.) Why is technology so backassward? Like, how are you going to save the Chipotle order I texted in March 2013 but not the picture I took two days ago? UGHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

So bear with me now. This is where your imagination comes in.

Item One: Close your eyes. Now imagine a linen button down. Great job.

Item Two: Distressed black jeans—which may or may not have become even more distressed from my heel getting stuck in the “distressed” knee

Item Three: Gold necklace—No need to imagine, you’ve seen it everywhere.

Item four: Navy and white stripped dress. Let’s just say, horizontal stripes don’t have a bad reputation on average short people for nothing…

Item five:

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Whoa, what’s that? a picture! Which I am able to share with you because I bought it. While it was the only thing that I bought, I also really liked the black jeans, the gold necklace, and the linen shirt. The only reason I didn’t buy them is because I have similar items. And the dress wasn’t ugly. It just didn’t look good on me. All in all, I thought it was a great first box and am looking forward to ordering another box down the road when another itch comes all itchin on me.

So, if you are like me, and have developed a strong aversion to clothes shopping—or you need some fun in your life, fun that wearing colored underwear can’t fix—check out Stitch Fix.

Shameless plug: if you do try to it out, please use my reference code, so I get a discount. https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/4597217

**Disclaimer: For the integrity of this blog, I emailed Stitch Fix to try to get a list of the items in my box, so I could get pictures from the individual companies. Well, wouldn’t you know, Stitch Fix doesn’t keep the records…So basically these pictures will truly be the only things ever completely erased from my digital trail. Dangit. I woulda preferred 2006-2010.

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Wheel of Baku

Since it’s opening, Baku has been this untouchable desire in my fantasy world of frequenting nice restaurants. For starters, it doesn’t put prices on the website menu. Like really? Either a) you are pretentious pricks or b) you are pretentious pricks. Between that and hearing that it had “trendy cocktails”, Michael made it clear that he didn’t want to try it. So, naturally, I name dropped it every weekend during the inevitable “where should we go to dinner?” game of hell. Just when I thought I had annoyed him enough to take me, we heard it was expensive from one person. And just like that, all my productive nagging was made useless. I had again spun the “we aren’t going, so shut the f up” tab on the Wheel of Baku.

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Alas, I had one more spin in my pocket. You see, due to Michael’s work, I saw the yard man at my house more often than I saw Michael in the month of December—which did not make the girl who wanted to watch christmas movies, wrap presents, and sing carols by the fire together all day every day very happy. But it did make for some good guilt. Add that to our two-year wedding anniversary on December 29th, and suddenly, when I spun the Wheel of Baku, I spun a “surprise anniversary/remember what your husband looks like dinner!!!”. Good thing. Because I was about to spin the Wheel of Potential New Husbands.

Now that is was actually time to try the restaurant though, i began to wonder if it could live up to my ridiculously-overhyped expectations. Spoiler: it did, overwhelmingly so. and here is why:

1) Atmosphere: the moment I walk into a restaurant, I can tell if I am going to like it. (Similarly, the second I meet someone, I can tell if I am going to like them. I am gifted in discernment, not judgment, as a 250 question multiple choice test recently told me.) Baku atmosphere=on point, especially the bar upstairs.

2) Specialty Cocktails: gotta have a unique variety. again, it passed the test.

  • My choice: Cucumber Cooler- Junmai Sake, cucumber, lime juice, simple syrup, and club soda ($10)
  • Michael’s choice (and my second cocktail): Orange Ginger Pimm’s Cup- Pimm’s liquor,  Domaine de Canton, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, and Orange juice

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3) bold flavors. and bold they were. We had:

  • Kurobuta Pork Belly with gochujang-miso glaze and kimchi  ($14).
  • Pork dumplings with green onion, ginger, and sesame oil ($9).
  • King Crab hot pot ($17)
  • Duck breast with umeboshi honey, and five spice with sancho salt ($24)
  • Asparagus with sweet soy and sesame seeds ($8)

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while everything was to die for, i would probably only choose to die a slow death for the pork belly and the asparagus. pork belly, obvi. but the dreaded pee sticks as they are called in our house? that was a surprise. every dish was cooked perfectly and was overwhelmingly savory, and the fact that there wasn’t one bite of food left on our plates proved it.

i could stop right here. but i feel like I should admit that I was wrong about a few things. i was wrong about the pretentious pricks part. the staff couldn’t have been nicer, and based on comparable charlotte restaurants, the prices weren’t bad either. but more importantly, i was wrong about the Wheel of Potential New Husbands. These two years have been the best two years of my life, and it is without a doubt because of the man I married. i wouldn’t be half the woman (and bitching wife on her blog) that I am without his unconditional love. another date night at baku?

Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle

how perfect are these bar towels from raleigh-based Silly Grits? as my one and only black Friday purchase–all $6 (BOGO)–they have become one of my favorite decorating pieces this season.
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 Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle–** disclaimer: i wrote this whole post based on the assumption that “don’t get your tinsel in a tangle” is the festive way to say “don’t get your panties in a wad”. after a few focus groups (g-chats), i’m not sure that’s the case. but i still think i’m right. i mean, what else would it mean?
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Mishaps happen…

  • tape runs out. so does wrapping paper. both usually happen on Christmas Eve.  i can’t count the times my family has gotten gifts wrapped in the Charlotte Observer.
  • lights go out. last year, we had a strand of lights on our tree that constantly went out. when they did, our solution was to hit them in the just the right spot and they would light up for another 30 minutes. we repeated this cycle for a solid 20 days. this year, my mom geniously told me to change the broken bulb on the strand.
  • turkeys get burned. just call the neck and say grace–or the pledge of allegiance–before eating it.

often the best parts of Christmas–at least the memories we hold on to–are the things that go wrong. no one cares what their gift is wrapped in–like we have been taught since kindergarten, it’s what’s on the inside that matters. no one cares if your lights go out, so don’t take yourself so seriously. tinsel in a tangle is like having your panties in a wad- they need to be untangled and un-waded asap.

 one surefire way to do this is to raise a little cane. 
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  • spike the office eggnog: it’s like its the adult version of seeing your teacher in public when you were younger. is there anything greater–or more frightening– than coworkers being drunk together? at least one person does something fire-worthy. just don’t let it be you.
  • eat too many cookies. as far as i’m concerned, santa eats them at every house and still fits down the chimney. all you have to do is wiggle into your elastic pajamas to open presents.
  • have a lotta fun with a little small talk: is there anything worse than small talk? i’d rather try to give myself acupuncture than feel like an awkward wallflower at parties. it’s so miserable. so at least try to make it fun.  at the height of our coolness a few years ago, my friends and i would assign roles when we went out– question girl, easily-offended girl, limps-a-lot girl, stutter girl … awkward holiday parties are a great time to bring this back out.
so, please, use these amazingly chic bar towels as your holiday inspiration: don’t get your tinsel in a tangle, and raise a little cane.

#Blessed

Does anyone else feel like Thanksgiving has come and gone and all your excess energy—ok, all your web browsing at work—is focused on Christmas? I mean, even my pants are tight, as if I’ve consumed the usual one too many plates of turkey, stuffing, and pecan pie at Thanksgiving.

Maybe it’s because Thanksgiving is late this year? Or, most likely, it’s because I’m always focused on the next event or the next thing on my list. And my list of things to do just keeps getting longer while the days keep getting shorter (literally). My life consists of making lists and then making lists of lists to check. Lists on my phones. Lists on sticky notes. Lists on my desk. All I want for Christmas is to never see another f’ing list.

My life.
My life.

So this year, I’m trying to forget my lists for a few days and focus on spending Thanksgiving present with family and friends. I have so much to be thankful for this year–you know, every day things, like these. But also more important things that become even more important on days like Thanksgiving. I put them in a list for you, because, why wouldn’t I?

  1. feeling comfortable enough with my extended family to unbutton my pants halfway through the meal—and leave them that way for the rest of the day
  2. four generations sitting around one table. It makes you realize that farm-to-table has truly come full circle. But liberal viewpoints are still a country mile away.
  3.  two of the cutest nephews in the world—and my 18-year-old college freshman cousin, who make far bigger of a mess and a hell of a lot more noise I do. The baton has been passed.
  4. stories–new and old–told throughout the day. you never know what will come out a 90-year-old’s mouth, but it’s sure to be offensive to at least one group of people. on the other hand, we all know that at least one person will tell the Sonoma story. repetitiveness and offensiveness come hand in hand in this family, like turkey and gravy.
  5. and finally, these holiday napkins. With 32 family members in one house, the line between Thanksgiving and the holidays gets a whole lot thinner. After all, with clean plates and full stomachs, we all need a little exercise.

While those may not seem like your usual things to be thankful for, look closely. You will see that family, friends, food, good times, and good wine all make the list–and that, my friends, is a list that I never want to cross off.

Holiday Workout

My new favorite napkins

The transitive property of geometry: if a=b and b=c then a=c

The variables:

a = there is Christmas music playing on the radio

b = it is the holidays

c = it is now appropriate to follow the workout routine listed on the napkins

The proof: 

1) We can all agree that a=b.

2) The napkins prove that b=c.

3) Therefore, a=c. Since there is christmas music on the radio, then the holiday workout is now acceptable. You’re welcome and Happy Holidays!

Napkin Credit: Paper Skyscraper (330 East Blvd)
Napkin Credit: Paper Skyscraper (330 East Blvd)