Thursday, August 11, 2016

Stitch Fix #6: The One Where My Stylist Left Me

After my six month break from Stitch Fix, I returned to find that my original stylist, whom I adored, is no longer working there. I can only assume that she was heart-broken after not having styled me for so many months, that she could no longer continue working without me.  My new stylist, Christine, stepped in to fill the very large shoes that my last stylist left behind and she did a pretty great job.

This time around I didn't really have any specific requests, just the usual patterned clothes and items that could be worn in either Brazil, Ohio, or both. I didn't really have anything that I was looking for, I just really love getting fixes.

Loveappella Bradli Lace Detail Knit Top 
The Decision: Returned

When I peeked at my fix, this shirt piqued my interest because the colors around the collar looked really feminine and girly. When the shirt arrived, the colors at the top were a lot more intense than I had pictured. A lot more primary color-y and a lot less pastel floral-y than I was hoping. I also don't love the little notch at the neckline, for whatever reason. I definitely would have kept this shirt, had it been the fifth item that I needed to get the 5/5 discount, and I probably would have worn it, but I'm really trying to only keep items that I LOVE, so this shirt was sent back.

Loveappella Deanne Printed Maxi Skirt ($58)
The Decision: Returned

My stylist suggested pairing this skirt with the Loveappella shirt, but I didn't really feel like they matched. Definitely not enough for my tastes, anyways. This skirt was so soft. Like, kind of wanted to use it as a pillowcase soft. And it really was a perfect length. But I couldn't get over the print, it really made me feel like I was in an episode of That 70's Show. I just couldn't do it, so the skirt went back, too.

Pixley Jeisa Strappy Back Top ($48)
The Decision: Returned

I wanted to love this shirt, I really did. But maybe it's because my closet is FULL of tank tops and since it's chilly in Rio de Janeiro right now, I've been cold for the past few weeks, but I wasn't really feeling another tank top. I was also worried about the neckline being a little loose and my bra showing all of the time. Nobody has time for that.

Diba Jessica Snakeskin Wedges ($45)
The Decision: Returned

Little bit fancy, little bit wild. Little bit too big and right back in the bag they went.

Renee C Reyna Knit Maxi Dress ($78)
The Decision: Kept

Short of an absolutely horrid fit, I knew that this dress would be finding a home in my closet from the moment that I peaked at my upcoming fix. I don't usually love clothing that has a pre-determined waistline because those are almost never at my waistline, but this actually worked out. And guess what? It did find a new home in my closet.

So I just kept one thing. But it's okay. Because I actually have a ton of clothes in my closet that I don't wear, plus I really LOVE this dress so I'm incredibly happy to have it. As the old saying goes, quality of quantity.

I've already scheduled my next fix (#judgementfreezone), and my goal for that fix is to actually try my hand at styling my outfits. It's a bit tricky since more than half of my wardrobe and accessories are in Rio and I'm obviously here in Ohio, but I'm aiming to give it my best shot.

Stitch Fix #4: The One That Arrived Just In Time For Christmas
Stitch Fix #3: The One I Had Mailed To Ohio and Brought to Vegas
Stitch Fix #2: The One Where Details Matter
Stitch Fix #1: The One Where I Understood the Obsession

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

If You Come to Utila, You Will Never, Ever Leave [CAT2016: Honduras]

The Bay Islands and I just aren't meant to be friends. Sarah and I planned this really great trip to Roatan during my second year and, unfortunately, all of our plans were thwarted by both rain and stomach illnesses. We were ready to give the Bay Islands another try this time by heading to Utila. Snorkeling, boat rides, beachside bars-- what could possibly go wrong? More stomach illnesses. That's what could go wrong.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to "live it up" in Utila like we were supposed. But we really tried our best despite our diet of Cheerios and sips of water.

Our first day was great. We arrived on the early ferry and got settled in to our apartment before heading down to the public beach. After hanging out there for awhile, we headed over to Rehab, which is a bar overlooking the ocean. I was able to lay in my hammock, chow down on some bangin' chicken wings and sip my strawberry daiquiri. Really? Could anything be wrong with that? (The answer is no, in case you are wondering.) We enjoyed Rehab so much that we even returned there for dinner that night.

The first night was when disaster struck and we spent the rest of our time in Utila functioning at about 50%.

Since walking was out of the question, we rented a golf cart and drove around the island. While driving around, we came across the private beach, which is located at the opposite end of the island as the public beach. We paid a few lempiras to have the beach (almost) entirely to ourselves and we spent the rest of the afternoon laying on the beach or in the water. Our first day in Utila was very low-key despite the party reputation that the island has.

Our first night wasn't any better as we had a wonderful Cheerio dinner. I slept on the wooden floor, sweat off at least five pounds, and honestly believed that I was going to die. By the time morning rolled around, I was covered in mosquito bites which, honestly, rarely ever happens to me. And they itched like crazy. I almost wished that God would just take me then because between the stomach issues, the heat, and the bug bites, I was miserable. Sarah wasn't any better, so  you can imagine how much of a joy we were.

While we really wanted to just lay around in close proximity to a bathroom, we also really wanted to take advantage of the beautiful island. So for the next two days we took our golf cart past the public beach and boarded a little boat to Neptune's Coral Beach Village. It had a restaurant, a bathroom, a dock, and hammocks in the shade. Basically, paradise. Even for a couple of people plagued with a stomach virus.

After three days in Utila, we were finally starting to feel better and it was time to leave the island. I'm going to give the Bay Islands one more chance, because, as they say, "third time's the charm". I've really got my fingers crossed.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Welcome Home, Gringas. [CAT2016: Honduras]

Our entire trip was planned around one event-- CEE high school graduation. Come hell or high water, or a 12 hour bus trip turned into a 15 hour bus trip, we were going to be at graduation. 

Almost two years to the day of our dramatic, tear-filled goodbyes to the town and the people that we had grown to love, we were back in Siguatepeque.

Although I have been to Sigua since leaving, I hadn't been back with someone who had lived the experience with me. I'd been back to Sigua, but I hadn't been back to my Sigua. Having Sarah there made it feel like we were reclaiming the Sigua that we once knew and loved-- even if only for a moment.

Of course, our first stop was for baleadas at Norberta's. I'm not even going to pretend it wasn't.

We weren't able to fit everything in to our short time in Sigua (lookin' at you, Foster fam), but we made sure to make a trip up to the Children's Home. After laughing with them every day for two years, it's hard to hug them only once a year. Honestly, I think my kids in Honduras taught me way more than I ever taught them. 

After hanging out with some of our little Hondurans, we spent the evening hanging out with some of our big Hondurans. And yes, we always look this glamorous, thank you for asking. Graduation was great because we were able to support the students in a very important moment of their lives, but we were also able to spend dinner catching up with some of the other teachers who made our years in Honduras bearable.

I've said it once (in this post, in fact) and I'll say it again. There's something to be said for seeing the same people every day for two years and then suddenly, not seeing them for an entire year. There's something more to be said for being able to jump right back in to those friendships-- especially when you're speaking two different languages.

There are a couple of things that I could always count on in Honduras. Getting KOBS ice cream after baleadas, an upset stomach after said baleadas, hearing the commerical for the grocery store as it was blasted from the speakers of a passing truck, getting carsick on the way home from Comayagua. Among these "certains" was the certainty that it would always be raining when I went to Lago de Yojoa.

Seriously. There could be a 0% chance of rain and not a cloud in the sky upon arriving to the lake and, never fails, it would start raining at some point while I was there. And I went to the lake fairly frequently.

This trip didn't disappoint either as it started pouring while we were there. The good news is that, since we were there during rainy season, it was generally pretty sunny during the day, but slammed by rainstorms in the late afternoon/ evening. We were able to snag a great hike at Panacam with beautiful views of the lake AND some acrobatics at Pulhapanzak before the evening rain.

There's never enough time spent in Sigua. My heart will always be longing to return the second that I leave the city limits. But for a brief moment in time, I was able to recapture some of the goodness that made up two crazy, yet wonderful years in Honduras.