Stitch Fix review #8

These fixes are getting better and better. I loved this box, not only because I thought most of it was my style, but I had also added on a bunch of extras to try. These are items you can add on to come with your next fix and they include things like bras and pajamas. They work the same as the box items, where you try them on and only keep what you want. Unfortunately for me, they don’t count as a “buy all” discount where I’d get another 25% off. That discount only applies to the clothing actually styled for you.

The other cool thing is I was selected for their Style Pass membership, something I’ve been waiting for since a friend first told me about it. It looks like you have to wait to be picked, and no idea on how you’re chosen. I’d like to think it’s because I’ve been writing such fabulous reviews or my shining personality, but I think it’s because I’ve gotten seven boxes already.

The membership is $49 and you get a year of endless fixes. 12 months with no styling fee (it’s usually $20 per box) and unlimited boxes. Not only that, but that $49 is credit to use on anything I keep!

This was my first box since I was selected, so I got some credit stacked on to my order. Good thing I did, because I ended up keeping one thing from my fix, but two extra items (a bralette and the World’s Softest Pajamas).

Splendid Staci Racerback Knit Tank ($48)

So first of all, this was cute, maybe a little young-ish for me, but cute. The price was steep for a tank, and I thought it was a touch small on me, so it was pretty easy to say no to this one.

Verdict: Returned

Daniel Rainn Saharey Tassel Knit Top ($58)

When I peeked early at this fix, this was the one I thought for sure I wasn’t going to like. I thought it was a style that wasn’t me, but then I put it on and absolutely loved it. I loved the length, I loved the black with the pop of colors, I loved how the sleeves looked and loved the little tie in front. I honestly loved everything about this top. I WANTED this top. I had it in the pile of items to think about, but in the end, I just didn’t want to pay almost $60 for a top…even if it was an amazing top.

Stitch Fix review #8

Verdict: Returned (and still grieving the loss)

French Grey Troian Brushed Knit Dress ($48)

I liked how this looked when I first pulled it out and the price wasn’t so bad. But then I tried it on and it was just OK. I just can’t get the hang of these waistlines. I don’t know how to let them lay and it always ends up looking weird. So…eh.

Stitch Fix review #8

Verdict: Returned

London Times Morell Knit Midi Dress ($78)

Oh, this one was cute. I also looked a little…churchish? Maybe it was the neckline? Also, it had a zip-up back and Chris was downstairs working and I thought, OK I can’t even zip this up myself. While I liked the color and the pattern, I didn’t need another $80 dress, especially one that I needed help getting into.

Stitch Fix review #8

Verdict: Returned

Market and Spruce Chandelle Scallop Detail Jumpsuit ($74)

I loved this outfit! I had on a bralette with pretty thick straps, so you can see if you look closely, the thinner straps of the jumpsuit. The legs were a little longer than I’d like, but I loved how the neckline looked, and it was just a bit snug, so it’ll be something that I can still wear when I’ve lost more weight. It was more expensive than I wanted it to be, but overall, I loved this one.

Stitch Fix review #8

Verdict: Kept

I also had ordered a bunch of extras to be sent with this fix, including a few pairs of pajamas, and I ended up keeping one that was all black with a little bit of blue trim on the top. It was a tank top and pants set and it was really soft. I also kept the blue lacy stringy bralette that is perfect for this jumpsuit I got and any top that would normally show a lot of my bra straps.

Overall, this was a pretty good one, even if some of the clothes just fit weird. Now that I don’t have a styling fee, I don’t even have to feel pressured to buy anything just to not lose my $20. And those pajamas I bought… I may be wearing them right now. I might actually be living in them.

The post Stitch Fix review #8 appeared first on Risa Kerslake Writes.

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Sep 13, Grand Remembrances

Today is Grandparents Day in the United States. Being a Grand is a special honor. I feel very blessed that my wife and I have two grandchildren. We were able to visit them today. Yes, we are still being cautious with the coronavirus, but we also find it very difficult to not see them when they live so close. So today we did drop by to visit Jacob (age 10) and Sophia (age 7) along with their parents. We brought donuts and caught up with them. Our grandchildren are still pretty young and this is a precious time in their lives – and ours!

I wish I had known my grandparents better. We never lived in the same place. Dad was a career Air Force pilot, so we moved around a lot. But we did get to see them once in a while when they would visit us, or we them.

A Plague of Giants

There are five known magical ‘kennings’ or types: air, water, fire, earth, and plants. Each nation specializes in of these kennings, and the magic influences the society. There’s a big pitfall with this diversity of ability and locale–not everyone gets along.

Enter the Hathrim giants, or ‘lavaborn’ whose kenning is fire. Where they live the trees that fuel their fire are long gone, but the giants are definitely not welcome anywhere else. They’re big, they’re violent, and they’re ruthless. When a volcano erupts and they are forced to evacuate, they take the opportunity to relocate. They don’t care that it’s in a place where they aren’t wanted.

I first read Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books and loved them (also the quirky The Tales of Pell), so was curious about this new venture, starting with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Elemental magic, a variety of races, different lands. And it’s all thrown at you from page one.

But this story is told a little differently. It starts at the end of the war, after a difficult victory, and a bard with earth kenning uses his magic to re-tell the story of the war to a city of refugees. And it’s this movement back and forth in time and between key players in this war that we get a singularly grand view of the war as a whole. Hearne uses this method to great effect.

There are so many interesting characters in this book that I can’t cover them all here. Often in books like this such a large cast of ‘main’ character can make the storytelling suffer, especially since they don’t have a lot of interaction with each other for the first 3/4 of the book–but it doesn’t suffer, thankfully. And the characterization is good enough, despite these short bursts, that by the end we understand these people and care about what happens to them.

If there were a main character it would be Dervan, a historian who is assigned to record (also spy on?) the bard’s stories. He finds himself caught up in machinations he feels unfit to survive. Fintan is the bard from another country, who at first is rather mysterious and his true personality is hidden by the stories he tells; it takes a while to understand him. Gorin Mogen is the leader of the Hathrim giants who decide to find a new land to settle. He’s hard to like, but as far as villains go, you understand his motivations and he can be even a little convincing. There’s Abhi, the son of hunters, who decides hunting isn’t the life for him–and unexpectedly finds himself on a quest for the sixth kenning. And Gondel Vedd, a scholar of linguistics who finds himself tasked with finding a way to communicate with a race of giants never seen before (definitely not Hathrim) and stumbles onto a mystery no one could have guessed: there may be a seventh kenning.

There are other characters, but what makes them all interesting is that they’re regular people (well, maybe not Gorin Mogen or the viceroy–he’s a piece of work) who become heroes in their own little ways, whether it’s the teenage girl who isn’t afraid to share vital information, to the scholars who suddenly find how crucial their minds are to the survival of a nation, to the humble public servants who find bravery when they need it most. This is a story of loss, love, redemption, courage, unity, and overcoming despair to not give up. All very human experiences by simple people who do extraordinary things.

Hearne’s worldbuilding is engaging. He doesn’t bottle feed you, at first it feels like drinking from a hydrant, but then you settle in and pick up things along the way. Then he shows you stuff with a punch to the gut. This is no fluffy world with simple magic without price. All the magic has a price, and more often than not it leads you straight to death’s door. For most people just the seeking of the magic will kill you. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Ahbi and his discovery of the sixth kenning and everything associated with it. But giants? I mean, really? It isn’t bad enough fighting people who can control fire that you have to add that they’re twice the size of normal people? For Hearne if it’s war, the stakes are pretty high, and it gets ugly.

The benefit of the storytelling style is that the book, despite its length, moves along steadily (Hearne is no novice, here). The bits of story lead you along without annoying cliffhangers (mostly), and I never got bored with the switch between characters. It was easy to move between them, and they were recognizable enough that I got lost or confused. The end of the novel felt a little abrupt, but I guess that has more to do with I was ready for the story to continue, despite the exiting climax.

If you’re looking for epic fantasy with fun storytelling and clever worldbuilding, check out A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

The post A Plague of Giants appeared first on Elitist Book Reviews.

The Artwork Of Gary Choo

Gary Choo is a concept artist/illustrator based in Singapore. I’ve know Gary for a good many years ( 17, actually ), working together in animation studios in Singapore like Silicon Illusions and Lucasfilm. Gary currently runs an art team at Mighty Bear Games, but when time allows he also draws covers for Marvel comics, and they’re amazing –

The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo

To see more of Gary’s work or to engage him for freelance work, head down to his ArtStation.

The post The Art Of Gary Choo appeared first on Halcyon Realms – Art Book Reviews – Anime, Manga, Film, Photography.