So Stoked for StitchFix

I’ve been into trying new things via delivery services lately. So far this year I have tried and cancelled two of them. There was nothing really wrong with them, but upon reflection I felt like they both added clutter to my life more than anything.


Image via Quarterly

First, I signed up for curated packages from Jason Kottke at Quarterly. I think this is actually a pretty great idea. I have followed Jason online for years now, so when he wrote about his curated packages for Quarterly, I signed up right away. Quarterly finds people in different fields (beauty, food, etc) that put together, or curate, 4 packages each year and sends them directly to you. Each is themed and the first one I got was the best – food from Jason’s homeland of Wisconsin. So in the middle of a winter afternoon at work, I got Wisconsin cheddar cheese, sausage and bitters for an Old-fashioned (big in Wisconsin, who knew?). Great! But then after that, I got some things that were retro fun but I ultimately ended up passing them along to my nephews, like sea monkeys and Mexican jumping beans. I would probably keep at it if I had my own children and it would be fun to open these packages as a family, but for now I’ve cancelled. I would recommend it for others who are intrigued – it’s always fun to receive surprise packages of curiosities.

NatureBox snacks
Image via NatureBox

I also was getting shipments from NatureBox, which sends out a box of 5 healthy snacks a month, like dried fruit, nuts and edamame. I thought this would force me to snack healthily, but as it turns out I’m just not a big snacker, so it was taking me too long to eat my way through the bags. Again, probably good for a family, but I cancelled.

Now I am super stoked about a new delivery service I’ve found in the form of a personal stylist – StitchFix! Do you remember me blogging a couple of months ago about Lifehacker’s ‘How They Work’ series that I love? This is how I found out about StitchFix – one of the founders of Birchbox named it as one of her favorite time-saving tips. I signed up for an invite this past Saturday, got my login on Sunday, filled out my style profile and my first shipment went out on Thursday. Filling out the style profile was pretty fun. It covers the basics about your measurements, but goes deep on your preferences. You can specify certain patterns (animal prints!) and colors (purple) that you would prefer to avoid, you set price ranges for each items (higher for dresses than shirts, for example) and you rate photo collages of different clothing styles.

For example, this spoke to me:
clothes
Image via StitchFix

And this did not:
clothes
Image via StitchFix

I’ll get my first shipment on Monday – can’t wait! I know it contains 2 dresses, a tank top, scarf and chambray shirt. No more details til I open the package, though. The cost is $20 for their styling efforts. If I want to order any or all of the 5 items in the package, that $20 is deducted from the total. Otherwise, I just pack everything up and send it back.

I’ll post pictures and details next week after I try everything on and decide what, if anything, to keep.

Sunday Funday: Prospect Park Food Truck Rally

Today was a sunny, acceptably warm (53) day which meant New Yorkers are required to spend some time outdoors. V and I decided to pick up some coffee for fuel and walk over to the Prospect Park Food Truck Rally. It’s held on the 1st and 3rd Sundays every month and has 12 or so food trucks lined up in Grand Army Plaza, which I refer to as Paris. Although the options ranged from BBQ to Lebanese to tacos to slushies, we both opted to honor  the city of brotherly love and had Philly cheesesteaks.

Shorty's NYC
Although we were buttoned-up in jackets and I even saw a baby in a snowsuit (equally as inappropriate as the people wearing shorts and tees), spring has finally sprung in Brooklyn. This year it took its sweet time, but I couldn’t be happier – it’s my favorite season for the neighborhood.

Prospect Park West
Prospect Park West

Yellow Flowers
Yellow flowers in Prospect Park. Early bloomers, although I’m not sure what they are?

tulips
I wish daffodil-tulip season lasted longer. It’s, what, 2 weeks?

Park Slope Tulip Tree
I *think* this is a tulip tree in Park Slope.

Not a Food Blog

This is not meant to be a food blog, but interesting food news keeps coming up, like so:

Eater is celebrating burger week with a burger bracket challenge, and who can resist any bracket challenge? I’ve only had the Minetta Tavern’s Black Label Burger (way too thick), The Burger Joint (a fine burger, but not worth the trip to 57th Street considering I live in Brooklyn and work below Houston) and The Corner Bistro burger (great, but so crowded and I have no interest in fighting for a burg). And all that really matters – Shake Shack! My pea brain can’t even imagine a better burger than Shake Shack, so I’m voting for them in every round possible. And now Eater has taught me that I will exclusively be purchasing Martin’s Potato Rolls from now on with their deconstruction of the Shake Shack Burger.


Image by Shake Shack, via Eater

Porkers

Here in New York, we have calorie count laws that require chains (15+ outlets) to post calories on menu items. There went my relationship with pretzel bites at the cinema. While I do adjust some decisions based on the numbers due to fear of having to be airlifted on a tarp out of my apartment when I die, it’s hard to really put the numbers in concrete terms. What even is a calorie? I know it’s a unit of energy, which is meaningless to me. But check out this proposed idea, which includes not only calorie listings but the much more informative-to-the-layman info on how much exercise it would take to work off the food:

Exercise Chart
Image via Fast Company

And why do we need this?

Because this is how fast we are becoming total porkers. This graphic shows the % of each state’s population defined as obese:

The Atlantic
Image via The Atlantic

Mad Men

Mad-Men-S6-E1-16

So excited Mad Men is back, and, with it, the ensuing Internet chatter. Some favorites:

For discussion – Slate has had a Mad Men discussion group for a few years. It’s sort of like peeking into the email correspondence of your Mad Men-obsessed coworkers. I particularly like the signoffs, inlcuding “This is MY funeral”.

For background – Mad Men Unbuttoned (formerly The Footnotes of Mad Men) finds advertising, articles, photos and more of materials referenced in the show.

For a show review – I enjoy all of Duana Tata’s reviews, even if I don’t always agree with her (she gave up on Nashville too soon).

And my favorite..

For a fashion review – Tom and Lorenzo’s Mad Style, who pick up on color meanings, like Peggy’s mustard yellow and Joanie’s purple.

Star Wars: Episode I

I saw Star Wars: Episode I at a midnight showing in 1999. How exciting was THAT? We had no idea what a crapbucket the movie would be. At least it was only $7.00.

Image

I haven’t seen it since then and have no desire to. I actually block out of my mind that Liam Neeson who will find you and will kill you, Ewan MacGregor and Natalie Portman were even in it. But I came across this picture of Natalie as Padme Amidala recently:

Image

And THAT worked for me. Stunning. The kabuki makeup, the epic shoulders on that cape, the hair horns. I actually had this picture up in my dorm room. I thought maybe the costume or makeup here would have won the movie some respect, but no. It was mostly Golden Razzies for them. Worst of the worst.

I’ll be happy to be proven wrong (really, that would be awesome) but I have no hope for Episode VII, even if George Lucas is uninvolved. Let’s check back in two years.

Bummer Read of the Day

I flew from JFK to IND this week and, even with a delay, only managed to make it through last week’s New Yorker and half of the current Allure Magazine. There was just too much to read, from a David Sedaris piece on a stolen passport in Hawaii to a profile on a yappy CIA officer who told the world about the CIA’s use of torture in the last decade. Both of those articles are behind the paywall (ahem, I think they want us to just call it a less threatening “subscription” now) but the best of the bunch was a long read on abuse at the Horace Mann school in NYC. The hook, for me, is knowing how prevalent it was and that it went on unpunished to this day. They were crazily unbalanced and inappropriate relationships between teachers and students, although we are viewing it through the more prudish eyes of 2013 vs 1969. It’s a long read, yes, but if you’re at all interested it is well-researched and written from a former Horace Mann student. It’s free to read online.

Dream Minivan, 1990

With the exception of these specific Reebok Pumps, there was nothing cooler to me than the Chevrolet Lumina Van/Oldsmobile Silhouette Van or Pontiac Trans Sport Van – all essentially the same van. I thought it was my ticket to the moon with the front-end design reminding me of the now vintage-looking rides of Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom. While some people thought of them as automotive dustbusters, they were my dream minivans. I see one that’s in pretty good shape whenever I return home, so it got me to wondering about the current state of these minivans. Answer – all long retired, factory since demolished.

Transvertible!

Transvertible! Why not turn the back into a hot tub?

 

Stretch Lumina for Fanciness

Stretch Lumina for Fanciness

 

Would you even bother pulling over for these police?

Would you even bother pulling over for these police?

 

 

Just at the drive-in, getting a cherry limeade, no big deal.

Just at the drive-in, getting a cherry limeade, no big deal.

 

Best one out there?

Best one out there?

In Today’s Food News..

Three Things:

1. This:

Image

Photo by Dunkin Donuts

Can you tell what that is? It’s not a particularly shiny bagel. It’s a bacon and egg  sandwich on a glazed yeast donut. Do you want this? Does anyone want this? Just looking at this photo makes my stomach churn. An egg sandwich is a killer (maybe literally) treat in the morning, but I want to taste the egg and sausage and not have it muddled by a sweet, sweet donut. But now you know it’s an option.. assuming you live in Eastern Massachusetts, aka Dunkin Central. 

2. Image

Photo: Bradrussell/Imgur

I found this on GrubStreet, which starts out by saying “latte art’s annoying”. I guess I’m still a sucker for latte art, because I’m pleased as punch with a heart or that fern-type thing they normally do. But how great would it be to start your day with Ghostbusters latte art? So great. SO great. Also check out the Michael Jackson latte art they linked to.

 

3. Image

Detective Munch kept a food diary! Spoilers: He’s codependent on his dog, Bebe, a boy. And lives part-time in France. Of course.