Fabulous Fit Gear Swap AKA the #Fabulousfitswap

Fabulous Fit Gear Swap {Domesticated Academic}

 

Renee over at Bendiful organized a fabulous fit gear swap and I was “in” as soon as I saw it. I get in rut’s with my workout gear and knew I couldn’t go wrong by swapping out some workout goods with someone else in the world. I was thankful to get Aimee, who runs fortybyforty fitness and she sent me two amazing products.

Fabulous Fit Gear Swap {Domesticated Academic}

 

I love this water bottle from Orla Kiely! It’s so punchy and fun! Mine are all currently stainless steel and rather boring, not mention banged up, kicked around, and showing their age. I love the pattern on it and will enjoy using it.

Fabulous Fit Gear Swap {Domesticated Academic}

 

She also sent these socks that I’m super stoked to try out when it gets warmer. SwiftWick socks are thin and breathable. I’m a big fan of smartwool so maybe this will convince me to switch things up.

I cannot say “THANK YOU” enough to Aimee for being my match this month and Renee for organizing this great event. If you’d like to participate, there’s some details you’ll need below.

Each month you can sign up for the gear swap. You will be matched with another swapper. You will purchase $20 worth of gear that you think your swapper would like. (if they are into YOGA DO NOT buy them Crossfit gear, please)  It’s a great way to share your favorite items with people who are also interested in great gear.

  • You MUST sign up through the form by the 5th of the month, and agree to ship your gear out by the 15th of the month.
  • You will email your match and get an idea of their workout gear likes and dislikes, ask for sizing if you plan to look for apparel, no one wants gear that doesn’t fit.
  • The Best part YOU will also receive a package each month from your match!
  • Get great gear and meet some new friends throughout the month.
  • CURRENTLY ONLY open to people in the United States.
  • On the last day of the month, you can share (Blog, tweet, facebook, instagram) your new fit gear with the hashtag #fabulousfitgear
  • I will host a blog link up here at Bendifulblog.com for all the blog posts!

Stitch Fix #8-Consistency is Key

Stitch Fix #8 {Domesticated Academic}

Box #8 was consistent as always. I’ve never had a box where I love everything. I think it has a lot do with the fact that I’m right on the size cusp, but also I’m very picky. I was pleased with this box overall and returned things due to sizing or just because they weren’t my taste and it was a stretch for me.

Stitch Fix has been a great service for me. I can honestly admit that I’ve cut down on purchasing clothes in general and when I am at Target, I’ll think, “no, a box is coming soon” before I spend money on stuff I won’t wear or just wear a few times. I can honestly say I wear the crap out of my stitch fix pieces. I get compliments on them frequently and the clothes are always interesting and not things I would normally purchase. If you’d like to give it a try, you can use my link https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3924112

No pressure either way. Stitch Fix doesn’t compensate me. I pay the $20 styling fee each month and appreciate what they send me.

Stitch Fix #8 {Domesticated Academic}

I had one necklace and four pieces in this months box. It was a dark palette this month. I had requested print tops and my stylist obliged with two tops.

Stitch Fix #8 {Domesticated Academic}

I really fell in love with this necklace at first sight. That’s how I knew I’d keep it. The Zad Connie Abstract Circle Bib Necklace was pretty, simple, and something I would have picked out for myself in a store. I usually don’t buy jewelry in general and could not recall the last time I purchased a new piece so this was a keeper. This is what I love about Stitch Fix. You never know what you’ll like.

Stitch Fix #8 {Domesticated Academic}

The top is a Skies are Blue Larkin Embroidered Knit Top. I really like the detail in the neckline and the navy is very trendy. The shirt is well made. At $54, the jury is still out on this one.

Stitch Fix #8 {Domesticated Academic}

LIverpool Raina Dark Denim Jacket. Liked but I already own one. Need to remove any pins off pinterest board.

Stitch Fix #8 {Domesticated Academic}

Loved this shirt but couldn’t get it over my head (Renee C Santorini Crew Neck Blouse). The way it was cut or something wasn’t going to work. At all. I did like the shirt though.

Finally, the Level 99 Lilah Skinny Jeans were super cute but the price point was too high ($98) and the pants were too skinny on even my skinniest day.

Stitch Fix #8 {Domesticated Academic}

January in an Instagram

What? New Year is already a month in? I feel like I just whisked in the new year last week. Woof. Jokes on me!

I greeted the new year with a lot of sunrise walks/jogs. The weather has been highly unpredictable in my part of the world in terms of 40’s/50’s for a few days, then bitter cold for a few more. Weird, but hey, the sun was out a lot, so I bundled up and enjoyed it when I could.

January in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic}

January in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic}

The new year also brought in some good eats. A new taco place opened in my town and my friends and I checked it out. It didn’t disappoint and I’d go back in a minute or after the newness wears off and lines are shorter.

January in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic}

I ordered this caprese salad and it was one of the most beautifully presented plates of food I ate all month. I think it made it taste better….

2015-01-January in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic} 20.37.58

We had our first substantial “stay home” freezing rain. It was beautiful. I woke up and grabbed some sunrise shots before it melted away.

January in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic}

It can’t all be hearts and flowers up in here. Fatty snacks are back along with Scandal each week. My friends and I make the most of the evening and it was my turn to bring the snack game. A pear makes it balanced right?

January in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic}

Self-portrait anyone? I did take a few selfies mostly because this hat actually fit my gigantic noggin! I can never find hats that fit! It just so happens it was made by the mom of one of our grad students and the mom made me two hats to send in the mail to me! What a generous gift! I can’t wait to get them! The drawing was done by a 7-year old at happy hour. I’d say it’s pretty spot on.

January in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic}

January in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic}

As always, there’s always time for some fun. Nothing like a little cranberry old fashioned and some cards with friends. This game kills me every time. Just can’t get enough!

January in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic}

Brown Banana Muffins

Brown Banana Muffins {Domesticated Academic}

I was going to call this recipe “rotten banana muffins” but thought that if I wanted ANY traffic on this one, the word “brown” seemed a whole lot safer. And more appetizing. And could mean several things besides the fact that I’m asking you to use rotten banana’s for maximum BANANA flavor….No questions asked.

You will love these because they’re super moist, super banana-y (is that a word? yes, it is now), and they’re ready in a flash. You can add nuts, omit them, add chocolate chips, craisins, or nothing at all, and these are just as good “as is” as they are all dressed up. Don’t forget the cinnamon though. There’s something about that cinnamon that really brings it home for me. I cannot explain it. I’ve made these without the cinnamon and with and I prefer with cinnamon.

ROTTEN BANANA PEP TALK: Let’s talk briefly about these bananas. In order to get the most flavor out of your banana’s you’re going to need to let them rot. On the counter. Until they’re pretty dang sad. I learned this “technique” from watching a show about the Momofuku Milk Bar Banana Cream Pie. The baker featured on the show brought out these dark brown/black banana’s and went on and on about how the best flavor was in those rotten things. It makes sense. Ethylene gas makes things ripe, the more gas, the more ripe. Too much gas, too much ripe, then you’ve moved to rotten. Rotten can be good. Think: blue cheese. You can get this by leaving them on the counter until they’re putrid OR when they’re getting to the mostly brown and almost no yellow stage, throw them in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to use them. I had some (sadly, I didn’t think you’d like a photo) and pulled them out of the freezer a few hours before I wanted to use them. They defrosted on the counter with no issues and were basically banana goo-making them perfect for use. If you like texture in your muffins, then by all means, use a less ripe banana as well to get some “chunks” in those beauties. You won’t hear me complain. EVER.

Rotten banana talk: OVER. Let’s make some muffins

You’ll need:

30 min.

  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c. plain greek yogurt (any fat, chobani is my personal fave)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 c. mashed VERY ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • **chocolate chips, craisins, nuts, etc… go wild kids. go wild….**
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. Line 12-15 muffin cups with liners or use non-stick spray
  3. In a large bowl, mix the wet ingredients: eggs, yogurt, oil, vanilla.
  4. Mix in sugar.
  5. Mix in baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and flour and mix until just combined. Don’t over-mix.
  6. Fold in any additions: nuts, chips, etc….
  7. Portion into cups until 2/3 full.
  8. Bake for 15-20 min. or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Remove from pan and cool on cooling rack.

Stitch Fix #7-The Magic is Fading

Stitch Fix #7-The Magic Faded a Bit

I love it when my box gets shipped. I waited on this box due to the holidays and budget issues. Two weeks after the holidays was a safer bet in general for me for monetary reasons, travel reasons, and it gave me two weeks to shed the salt and alcohol from my system that compounded during the holidays (if we’re just being honest here) so I could try something on with a more accurate eye. Over the holidays, I found a couple groups on facebook that were all about stitch fix and joined both of them. I’m sure there’s more out there, but two is plenty. I started seeing what other women were getting, learning some tricks of the trade, and about stitch fix house brands (41 hawthorn & market and spruce) and where I could find their goods with other labels on them. Good information.

So, my box shipped and I peeked at what was coming. I was very excited once again to see how things looked on me and this was a good box with ONE exception: THE PRICE POINTS THIS MONTH WERE HORRENDOUSLY HIGH!!!!

Four items and a cross body bag (that I requested) came. Everything fit this month. Everything was mostly flattering. Two items were highly overpriced. The bag was the most moderately priced item. Stitch fix says that item’s average $55 per piece but mine averaged over $70 per piece this time around. Why? Do they think I can afford to pay more? Because I can’t. My stylist cited my Pinterest board and fulfilled my bag request, thank you!

The Yumi dress caused me stress. FIRST WORLD STRESS. Read on below.

**Photos are dark this month because it gets dark early and this girl has to work.

Yumi Marina Polka Dot Belted Dress- $114-returned

Holy shit. $114 for a cotton blend dress? Is it going to make my dinner? I tried it on and was in LOVE. Flattering, generous cut, appropriate length, looked great w appropriate blazer (but not in appropriate socks). Man, I liked this dress. So, to the Internet I went. I found this same dress at 6pm for half the price. I emailed customer service with the link after one of my girlfriends told me stitch fix will price match. I carefully looked at the 6pm dress, making sure it was the same one, same details, same zipper. It was.

Stitch fix denied my request because 6 p.m. currently doesn’t have the same size available. I’m sorry stitch fix, that’s crap. The fact that you marked this dress up double to what an online retailer had it listed as is ludicrous. If an online retailer is selling it as a sale item at this point (late in the game/more than one season old), then you should consider that as well. I know you have people trolling the web each day to make sure you’re getting your fair mark up, but you’re going to have to work harder to keep up. We’re smart women, we know to search google. You need to do your homework before sending out items with that price tag on them.

I have to say, this has really soured my opinion of your service. I’m not upset that I didn’t “get my way” like a brat, I’m disappointed in the gross markup and the technicality you worked to your favor. You got your $20 fee but you lost more than money this month.

******UPDATE: stitch fix later reversed their decision and offered to send me back the dress at the discounted price. I appreciate the act of good faith and the update to their policies. Brent was very kind to drop a note to me and I, in turn, am ever so grateful for the follow up. I appreciate the note. I did not have them send it back, I’ll live without a dress and am looking forward to my next box.

Stitch Fix #7-The Magic Faded a Bit

Stitch Fix #7-The Magic Faded a Bit

Urban Expressions Sylvia Crossbody Bag-$48-kept

I asked for this and my stylist sent this. I love it and I kept it. I find it hilarious that it’s “vegan” leather AKA: pleather. Stop trying to make it sound so fancy, it’s ok to many because we don’t care if we spill on it and don’t want to spend hundreds on bags for work. Good job Stitch Fix.

Stitch Fix #7-The Magic Faded a Bit

41 Hawthorn Silk Henley blouse- $88

Lovely, but not for the $88 they were asking. Sleeveless in January? Are you drunk stitch fix? Stitch Fix #7-The Magic Faded a Bit

Renee C Tucker Mixed Print 3/4 Sleeve Blouse

Super cute but it felt cheap, thin, and flimsy. Wasn’t in love. And if I’ve learned anything about myself in life, if I don’t love it, I won’t wear it. This was around $50, not bad.

Stitch Fix #7-The Magic Faded a Bit

Cecily Crew Neck Sweater in Grey- $58

No pic. No love. This had a pull in it when I opened the box so it went immediately into the return bag. I’m not messing with fixing a $58 sweater.

The fix itself wasn’t bad this month. The price point they have me at is. The dickering about the dress should have been easy. It would have guaranteed my loyalty. I’d read about the nordstrom rack dispute and have read enough blogs to know their game. I respect they need to make a profit and offer a service that I appreciate. I’m willing to pay a nominal amount for the service, but I’m not willing to pay double.

December in an Instagram

This is it! The final hours of December and 2014 are ticking down. December was certainly a good month for me, heck, most of my months are good for many reasons and the good outweigh the bad in 12/12 months this year! I have come to enjoy doing these monthly photo posts to help remind ME that I’m fortunate, grateful, and dare I say it: blessed?

December was certainly no exception.

December in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic}

I love decorating for the holidays. Even though I have a small space (thanks to large furniture), I do my best with a table top tree and put out the whole deal. I also celebrated an evening of Hanukkah with friends this year. Lighting the Menorah, eating the latke’s, and spending time with friends was a welcome evening during the last weeks of the semester.

December in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic}

I started making scarves for my girlfriends last year and they went over well. This year, I upped my “a” game and went with complimentary color combo’s, and a mix of jersey and cotton fabrics to add some textural interest. I blocked off a Saturday and went crazy! 16 scarves later, I had one for each of my girlfriends, my sister, and my mother (and a few for me). They went over quite well this year and the mixed prints were a hit! I enjoy giving a homemade gift when I have the time.

December in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic}

December in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic}

I blocked off plenty of time to meditate, practice yoga, walk, and swim. It’s become important to me to stay active and keep moving and also slow down to breathe in a quiet space. I’ve started spending about 10 min. each morning meditating and stretching out from the night before beginning the day.

December in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic}

Christmas brought a trip home to the farm. A warm Christmas brought a hike to the waterfall on the property. The calves always like to see me. They don’t care if I published, they only love me!

December in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic}

December in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic}

I’m obsessed with my dog. I’d apologize but I don’t feel bad. She’s my favorite girl. She also loves to spoon people. I find it hilarious. You might not, but I do! Love this dog!

December in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic}

December in an Instagram {Domesticated Academic}

2014 Year in Review

Another banner year on ye’olde food blog! Thank you so much for stopping by and viewing these darn MUFFINS!!! The Power Muffin reigns supreme yet again with a massive following! With 270,000 views this year, I could not be more thrilled! I take no sponsors, I do it for the fun. I cut back on recipes in the latter half of the year due to work changes and frankly: I want to put the time and effort into quality recipes for you. New responsibilities didn’t lend themselves to more time to cook but less. I’m hoping to balance it back out in 2015. I also started stitch fix this year and LOVE the service, highlighting my boxes each month.
2014 in Review {Domesticated Academic}

Want the recipe for these fabulous muffins?

Power muffins | Domesticated Academic

You’ll need:

makes 12 regular muffins (depending how full you pack your muffin tin)

  • no-stick cooking spray
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oats–quick or regular oats, plain
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces honey nonfat greek yogurt or 1 1/2 cups (Chobani)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. Coat muffin tin with cooking spray or liners.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  4. Combine yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla in a second bowl.
  5. Fold yogurt mixture into dry mixture; stir to combine completely.
  6. Gently fold in blueberries.
  7. Spoon into muffin tins.
  8. Bake until top is golden and springs back when you gently touch it, 20-25 minutes.

Pinterest, foodvee, and a host of other sites pumped out my work to the ether. Thank you for a great year! 2014 in Review {Domesticated Academic}