Always Aubrey

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Disclaimer:  I tried Le Tote on my own, for $59.  I thought I would get the first month free, but in the process ended up paying... read on!  All opinions are my own.

As you may know, I've been using Stitch Fix for a while, and I recently tried Gwynnie Bee.  When Gwynnie Bee didn't turn out how I had hoped due to sizing, a friend suggested I try Le Tote.

How it works...  Le Tote has been likened to the "Netflix of clothing" in that you can wear things and return.  You select items you'd like, and then it throws together three pieces of clothing and two accessories to send to you.  You have final say in what is in the tote, from a limited selection online.  Then they send it to you and you begin the exchange.  You pay a $59/mo fee, and shipping is free.

What I liked...
  • Brands.  They had brands like Eliza J that I liked.
  • Convenience.  It shows up to your door, after all!

What I didn't like...
  • Slow shipping.  I got one tote before they charged me, with a total of two totes during my trial period.  You have to ship back the entire tote, or they will assume you kept items and charge you for keeping them.  It took ages to ship back and forth!!!  (I got 7 clothing items via Gwynnie Bee, vs. 6 with this, and at a faster cadence, because you could send back partial boxes and receive new items immediately.)
  • I barely wore any of the stuff, the styles just didn't suit me.  No stylist assistance or anything like that.  (With Stitch Fix and Gwynnie Bee, I always found at least one item I loved.)
  • Cost.  $59/mo is steep given the issues above.  And my first month wasn't really free, I got charged.  I cancelled straight away.  The items were also very expensive to purchase compared to other services.
  • User interface on the website wasn't as good as Stitch Fix or Gwynnie Bee, IMO.

In the end, I just got really frustrated because the experience was not to the standard I'd expected after using other service.  If I wanted to wear and return clothing, I'd use Gwynnie Bee since I'm size 10+.  If I wanted to have clothing sent to me to try and keep,  I'd use Stitch Fix.  There just isn't space in my life for Le Tote at this point, at their price point and service levels.

I will say that Le Tote customer service was responsive and helped me cancel in good timing so I wouldn't get charged again.  No hassle, just took care of it.  This one just wasn't for me, guys, it just didn't feel personalized or convenient compared to other companies doing it just a bit better.

Have you tried Le Tote?  What did you think?

Disclaimer:  I tried Le Tote on my own, for $59.  I thought I would get the first month free, but in the process ended up paying... read on!  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday Lately: Doing, Appreciating, Designing, Humming, Expecting

I'm a little late to the Sunday Lately today, because I was up bright and early for my carry permit class at a local gun range... but I aced it and now I'm home!

BOOM.  100%!

Working, working, working!  I coordinated some meetings in town last week (venue, food, etc.) which is always fun, but always stressful.  I did, however, get to enjoy a little bowling at a team night out.  I'm also working a little side hustle helping my friend plan a couple of parties, which I think is fun.  I probably would have enjoyed being a travel planner or event planner in another life!  I'm a kickass bridesmaid, since I'm bragging.

Time with friends!!!  In the past couple of weeks, I've had a BUNCH of friends roll through town!  Three college classmates (and their spouses, kiddos, even a Mom!) and an old friend have passed through either for a day or stayed in the guest room, and I love it!  Friday, I went to The Loving Pie Company with a friend and then to the Adventure Science Center with her toddler.  I've been a little over-scheduled lately (usually happens about one week per month) so it really hit me hard this weekend.  Ugh.  But still worth it.

The Loving Pie Company is awesome.

I'm doing a lot in my planner lately, and I really enjoy it!  It's both fun and practical.  I'm also working on a  tri-fold display for DAR, which will take some creative juices. I took a photo for an Instagram tag from my friend, so here's a glimpse at my "summer crushes" including mostly planner things, moisturizer, and my obnoxious phone case.

Beyonce's "Sorry" and "Hold Up" from Lemonade, because her album is BOSS.  Also, Meghan Trainor's "Me Too" makes me dance involuntarily.

I'm expecting my Silhouette Cameo to arrive tomorrow!  I don't know what the hell I'm doing with it, but I want to make paper cutouts for my DAR display (and scrapbook), make stickers for my planner, and possibly will make cards and other things.  Who knows.  I don't even need the thing, I have just been talking about getting one for like a year, and I feel like it will be useful.  But then again, I also have a sewing machine collecting dust, so we'll see about that.  Woof.  Any starter tips?

What are you up to this Sunday?

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe. We e-hang out every Sunday, sharing a small glimpse into the last week of life in our own worlds. 
Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Eating DC

I separated my June trip to Washington D.C. into three parts...  DAR, White House, and now FOOD!  I will admit, during the busy week, I ate a lot of toaster pastries, deli sandwiches, street hot dogs... but when I did get out and eat, it was ALWAYS with friends.

My very first night in DC, my mentor and her family treated me to a burger and hard cider at Oh George! in Fairfax, VA.  I went for their Red Eye burger, because it came with an egg on it, of course!  And bacon.  For the fries, I splurged on the truffled parmesan fries.  Definitely worth the upgrade, and the fries were nicely crispy!  I hate soggy fries.

Oh George!

Later, once I was in DC proper, my friend M and I walked from our rental to Burger Tap & Shake.  Since I'd had a burger recently, I decided to go completely creative on this one, and I ordered their special of the moment: the Count of Monte Cristo burger.  Holy cow.  Swiss cheese, shaved ham, turkey, a BURGER, Dijon aioli and raspberry jam between slices of French toast.  It was a heart attack burger, but the combinations of flavor just made it work perfectly.  Oh, and fries.  I didn't have the heart to get a shake (or the stomach) but those looks fab too.  It was a casual, order at the counter, have them call your name for a tray of deliciousness kind of place.  Perfect for the college student crowd in the area.

Burger Tap & Shake

Confession: I have loved Milk Bar from afar, mooching cookies and cakes off people who've actually been to one.  So when I was near one during a walk around DC, I picked up a slice of crack pie and some corn cookies.  Every bit as indulgent and good as I'd imagined.

The crack pie was my favorite, but that might be because I ate multiple sweet, corn cookies.  The crack pie reminds me a little bit of a Paula Deen recipe, because it's just butter and sugar magically coming together to make something really, really, tasty.

I was blessed to see a couple of old high school friends.  Yay!  Non-food pic because people > food.

K & E... and me!

One night, my friend K and I went to Elephant & Castle, a great pub!  I had a pasta dish and we people-watched folks viewing sports on TV.  I hear it's a great pub for watching football, the one Americans call soccer.  I have no idea why American football is called football, it only gets kicked a few times!

Another night, my friend E and I went to Ambar, a Balkan restaurant where we ordered ALL THE THINGS.  So much deliciousness.

We started with the strawberry kajmak bar (with prosciutto and basil) and hummus.  They gave us two types of bread for dipping, one that was fried.  So good!  I love hummus, and the strawberry dip was so perfect with the salty meat combo.  LOVE.  Beautiful.

For our food, we ordered the Ambar fries, Balkan kebab, meat pie, and cinnamon sweet sourdough with Nutella for dessert.  They even gave us a little more dessert on the house.  YUM!  I find that when I share small plates with others for a meal like this, I don't leave the meal feeling completely overstuffed.  The pacing was great, and the plates a good size.

On my last night in DC, my friends J&N indulged with me in a little dim sum in Chinatown at Ping Pong.  We ended up at a restaurant that was a little more fusion/trendy than traditional dim sum, but we enjoyed it!  I can't recall which drink I had, but I remember it had boba and a straw for the pearls! I think it was their Ping Pong signature drink looking at the menu now, but not sure.

We went the shared route with this meal too, and it was a smart move.  I'll be honest with you, looking at their menu now, over a month later, I can't remember what we ate.  I do know we had the five spice pork belly fried rice, because I think that was the spicy bowl pictured below.  And we had mochi.  But the exhaustion of the week just kind of blurred it all together for me, and the drinks to boot.  Let's just say we had a good time, ate good fusion dim sum, and called it a night.  :)

There are definitely more places I want to hit up the next time in DC.
Where should I go next year?

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