Retailer Review: DressLily

Retailer Review: DressLily

This post contains affiliate links to DressLily.com. This means if you click a link, especially if you make a purchase of some kind, I may receive a commission, product, service or bounty for your engagement. This does not add any extra cost onto your purchase but it does help to keep my blog running. Thanks for your support! 
Let me start by saying I love my job. I do. I love the work I do. I love the products I promote. I love the challenges I get to tackle. I love the people I work with, even when we don’t see eye to eye. One such area is the dress code. My employer is a little old-school and is of the belief that tattoos are unprofessional and the dress code reflects this belief.

When I first reentered the workforce, I had to figure out what my professional aesthetic was going to be. I discovered the most flattering look for my figure was consistently dresses. For over a year, I basically never wore pants. Pants are prisons! I found that mixing dresses, cardigans and leggings in whatever combination was most weather-appropriate let me have a consistent wardrobe year-round. Dresses FTW.

For the past year or so, I’ve been slowly but steadily dropping some weight. With the change to season around the corner and my wardrobe becoming increasingly difficult to make compliant with the dress code at work while still making me feel like a person. And I don’t know about you, but I like feeling like a person.

I’m a creative, funky, low-key eccentric kind of person. Aquarius problems, amirite? Facebook ads know all about these Aquarius problems. About a week ago, I was fed an ad for a dress that looked uncannily like it came straight from Ms. Frizzle’s closet  and had had just enough whiskey to know I had to have it. If you’re anything like me, you can’t just buy one thing online. You gotta go window shop. And you tell yourself, maybe just one more thing…. then you add 50 items to your cart, see it has an entire retirement fund worth of merchandise and do either one of two things:

Close the page in horror to keep yourself from temptation.

or

Delete items until you get your cart to a justifiable total.

On this night, I chose the latter. I trimmed away at items that weren’t my top picks and narrowed it down to four dresses. Each selection looked like it could have been found in a trunk in the back of the Magic School Bus. To be fair, these clothes could be described as arguably silly. But they met all of my needs.

They meet my dress code requirements and effectively cover my tattoos.
They are modest with low enough hemlines and high enough necklines to make me feel comfortable in the workplace.
They let my personality shine in a small way.

What Made The Cut

On this night, I chose the latter. I trimmed away at items that weren’t my top picks and narrowed it down to four dresses. Each selection looked like it could have been found in a trunk in the back of the Magic School Bus. To be fair, these clothes could be described as arguably silly. But they met all of my needs.

  • They meet my dress code requirements and effectively cover my tattoos.
  • They are modest with low enough hemlines and high enough necklines to make me feel comfortable in the workplace.
  • They let my personality shine in a small way.

Honest Opinions

Shipping

Shipping happened MUCH faster than I expected. Considering these were coming from China, I expected a 3 week wait. I selected (free) 3-Day shipping and to be honest, they weren’t far off by comparison. It took a few days to process my order but when they did, on August 11, it took 4 days to get to my house.

The packaging was easy to open and everything came in its own ziploc bag which seems to have kept the clothing smelling fresh on it’s journey across the globe.

Product Quality

There is no hiding the fact that allllllllllll of these items were made with synthetic fibers. However, it seems to be the type that isn’t going to wrinkle up on me, has really rich colors and feels very nice on the skin. I’m concerned about breathability and will revise this to elaborate after I’ve had a few wears with each dress.

One dress arrived that made me feel like an idiot, to be honest. When I took it from the bag, I noticed that the collar was completely detached from the dress, however, it was definitely done by design. I went back and looked at the product pictures and realized that the dress was, in fact, identical to the picture on DressLily. I had simply failed to realize the style choice as the piece connecting the collar to the dress was black against a black top of the dress, making the design far less apparent.

I’ve read so many horror stories about clothes shipped from China being poorly made, not like product pictures and often not delivered at all. I definitely had my trepidations but DressLily delivered exactly what they said they would and at a damn good price.

Returns

I really wasn’t happy with the weird collar dress, so I went to the website to see what I could do about it. Requesting a return was easy; just fill out a form explaining why you wanted to return it. I told them I didn’t realize how the dress was designed and wasn’t happy with it and within half an hour, I had a reply for my ticket. As is customary, they asked for pictures, order number, etc. I replied and again, received a prompt response. DressLily was happy to let me keep the dress as a courtesy and refunded me in store credit. Because I was so happy about the other dresses and certain I wanted to order from them again, a store credit worked perfectly. They even gave me some extra rewards points for the inconvenience.

Closing Thoughts

DressLily is awesome. Their customer service is on point. The products match what the look like online. Sizing seems to be pretty standard. I’d highly recommend giving it a try. They have an awesome selection of styles to choose from so you’re bound to find something you love. If you start your browsing using any links in this post, you’ll help keep The Drowsy Mama running by earning me a small commission.

Bucket List: Eat a Philly Cheesesteak in Philadelphia

Bucket List: Eat a Philly Cheesesteak in Philadelphia

Is it May already? It’s like December was just yesterday and then I looked up and whoah life is different. My daughter is wrapping up Kindergarten and my son is about to take her place in that elementary classroom. As for me? Well… I guess, never say never? It’s kind of a funny story and I’ll tell you sometime, but long story short, I’m back at work and absolutely loving it. I have projects that engage me, new skills to learn and a really excellent work life balance. One of the best parts of that work/life balance is having more time and resources to travel!

My most recent mini-adventure was to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Here’s the rundown.

Concourse

Geeno's

I have no idea why there was a banana on this taxi but it was in the lane beside us for a while and never fell.

First of all, let’s just say that Philly was a delightfully weird city. Parking is a nightmare but if you can find somewhere to safely leave your car, it’s a pretty easy city to get around. I took Lyft Line to get a few places for just $3-4 within fifteen minutes or so. That said, I arrived in Philadelphia at about midnight, a mere hour or two late for a birthday party thing we were doing with friends.

I’m not exactly the club type but somehow found myself waiting in line to enter one. We stayed for an hour or two, enjoyed a couple of drinks and the massive space in which to explore. To one side were lights, dancing and the traditional cluby stuff. It wasn’t too hard to get a drink considering the multiple bars inside. Pricing was about what you’d expect, I suppose. $15 for 2 whiskey gingers sound about right?

But guys– there’s more. And by more, I mean a ball pit! I know what you’re going to ask next and I’m sad to report I did not have the patience to wait in line to play in it. Next time… Next time…

Enough about clubs. Let’s talk about the important stuff. Bucket list stuff. Food stuff.

I got to eat a Philly Cheese Steak in Philadelphia!

I went to the most touristy place imaginable, Geeno’s. It was a perfect experience. (By the way, make sure to bring cash if you go. They don’t accept cards.) Everything my Lyft driver hyped me up for. I got to dine outside with some great people, the air smelled of steak, and I was starving so I was able to take down that massive “cheese wit” in about 2.5 minutes.

 

 

Now we have to have a serious talk about this. Philadelphia. Get your life. Cheese Wiz on a cheesesteak? I expected so much better. We’re going to do real rib eye steak but cheese from a can???? Come on…. Get. Your. Life. I like cheese. I like steak. I like cheesesteak. But I think I don’t actually care for a Philly Cheese Steak. I want some tomatoes, grilled peppers, onions and PROVOLONE cheese. But hey, I’m glad to have done it and knocked it off my bucket list.

 

Laundry Schedule Free Printable

Laundry Schedule Free Printable

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? It’s no surprise that I’ve been busy; that’s just who I am as a person. Now that I’m getting good and settled into my new job, I’m making it a priority to get my home back the way I like it. Since my babies aren’t really babies anymore, I’m trying to find more ways to enlist their help. One big way I’m doing that is asking my kids to start taking personal accountability for their own laundry.

I am pretty sure someone else can benefit from having an easy-to-edit printable laundry schedule, so if you vibe with what I put together, feel free to download a copy!

Winter Break 2017 Auto Responder

Winter Break 2017 Auto Responder

I started a tradition last summer after hearing a really interesting story on NPR. In short, I like to share a lot about my life and love for family by way of my auto responder. I don’t generally vacation in the traditional sense. Instead, I tend to do stay-cations and work-cation. This year, I’m going to get to enjoy a bit of both.

In case you haven’t had a reason to email me, I wanted to share the most recent edition of Auto Responder Chronicals.

 

Season’s Greetings,

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! These are the busiest two weeks of the year for me. My darling children, Arbor and Alistair have been looking forward to winter break since school started in September. From Monday, December 18 to Friday, December 22, we’ll be enjoying some time catching up with each other, making cookies and appreciating having another holiday season to spend together. If you’re feeling generous, my daughter is hoping to get as many of the Pigeon books as possible and my son is hoping to expand his Duplo collection. What’s your family’s wishlist look like?
From December 25-December 31, I’ll be in New Jersey and New York enjoying a work-cation. On the list of things I’m hoping to experience, an authentic New York bagel with an excessive amount of cream cheese, and working in the New York Public Library. I’m a big ol’ nerd at heart and the idea of setting up camp in the NYPL is what dreams are made of. If you have any recommendations for places in the city to grab lunch or a good cup of coffee, please let me know! I’ll be sharing my experience on my blog, DrowsyMama.com and across social media. Please be sure to like my Facebook page and follow me on Instagram.
During this time, I will not be accessible via phone. Please send all inquiries by email and they will be responded to as promptly as possible. 
 
This time of year is so beautiful and magical to so many people but for many, it’s a dark and isolating time. Please be sure to check in with your loved ones and make sure they’re doing okay. If you’re having a hard time, please reach out to someone. I’m more than happy to talk with you if you’re feeling alone. If you or a loved one is having suicidal thoughts, please call 1-800-273-8255. If you’re doing okay, please consider sharing this message with others so they know they’re not alone and that you’re happy to help them through a difficult time. We’re all in this together. 
Happy Holidays,

Carlene Delane

Digital Marketing Specialist, Carlene Can, LLC.

(804) 299-9241 | carlene@carlenecan.com | CarleneCan.com

I hope you have a great week and enjoy some quality time with the people who make your life beautiful.
xoxo
Carlene
The Week My Daughter Was A Vegetarian

The Week My Daughter Was A Vegetarian

My sweet, strong-willed, spitfire Arbor girl. It feels like just yesterday I was arguing with her in the early hours of labor, telling her not to dare be born on April Fools Day, so she waited 38 hours to make her appearance on April 2nd. She did what I asked… but in her own way. It never surprises me when she decides to take a strong position on something. That’s her nature and I know exactly where she gets it from.

While driving home from school the other day, I was half-way engaged in her chatter, trying to respond to her while also paying attention to the congested neighborhood after-school traffic.

“Mom, lambs are baby sheep. *chatter continues* Do you like lambs?”

“Yes, they’re delicious! Especially in gyros or kababs.”

“No, not like meat lambs like animal lambs.”

Oh my damn. We’re having one of those parenting moments where I can teach my kid a bit about the facts of life or I can protect her innocence just a little longer. My daughter is a smart kid. We’ve talked about some of the big things like childbirth and the permanence of death. She can handle some abstract discussion. Okay. Let’s tell her the truth.

“Well, baby, it’s the same thing. We kill animals so we can eat their meat.”

“What?! That’s so mean! I’m never eating meat again!”

“Okay, baby, that’s fine with me. But you know there’s a lot of foods you won’t be able to eat, right? Like bacon, hamburgers, chicken nuggets, spaghetti with meat sauce…”

I continued giving her the practical disadvantages of choosing to be a vegetarian. She insisted she didn’t want to eat anything from animals. I asked her about eggs and milk, explaining that we get these products from animals but don’t have to kill them to get them. She insisted, no food from animals. Well, I guess my daughter is a vegan now.

Much to my delight, I was a vegetarian up until I became pregnant with Arbor. Severe anemia made me crave meat, then pregnancy caused me to become sensitive to nuts. Vegetarianism was out the window for me. Having the very child that caused me to change my lifestyle decide of her own accord that she wanted that lifestyle for herself was a singularly special moment for me. And to have her so committed to her values on the topic that she would go full-blown vegan? Impressive, to say the least.

Forty-six minutes later, Arbor was on the couch eating a cake pop, made with butter and eggs and who knows what else. I razzed her just a little, reminding her that it would be really hard to never eat these foods again. She softened her stance and decided animal foods are okay as long as they aren’t meat. Fair enough, kid. Fair enough.

It was at this moment I knew her vegetarianism would probably only last until dinner time. When she saw her options for meatless proteins on short notice, she was less than thrilled. Her prospects included about four varieties of canned beans, vegetarian breakfast sausage, sunflower seed butter and eggs. She settled on kidney beans and much to my surprise, cleared her plate of beans, mashed potatoes and green peas. Alright, I see you, Arbor. You can do this.

Before we headed to bed, I loaded the crock pot with celery, carrots and onion, then filled it to the brim with water. All night it cooked together to make a simple vegetable stock for me to use to cook for her. Over the course of the next week I would be all in on finding vegetarian and nutritions foods to keep her diet balanced and her taste buds happy. She tried bean and barley soup, seasoned kidney beans, mock meat spaghetti sauce and every lacto-ovo vegetarian’s go to– eggs.

The week carried on and I continued to cater to Arbor’s newfound dietary choices. She was still excited to be living her truth, even if it was mildly inconvenient. She visited her dad that weekend, and I packed leftover mockmeat pasta for her dinner and lunch. I’ve got your back if you wanna do this, baby. When I picked her up on Sunday, I felt certain she would have succumbed to the fragrance of bacon in the morning and given up. Much to my surprise, she held strong.

Then a couple days after she was home, Arbor came to me between meals and said, “It was fun trying to be a vegetarian but I’m ready to be my regular self again.”

“You did a great job, baby! The first time I tried to go vegetarian, I don’t think I even lasted a full day! I’m so proud of you for trying something new, sticking with it and having the courage to say you were done when you didn’t want to do it anymore. Good job!”

See, here’s the thing. Not everything is worth fighting with my kids about. Trying to cook for my babies when one of them was living her principles was a bit of a pain. But it was so worth it. I was able to show her that I can support the decisions she makes for herself, that we can all pull together and try new things to support one another and that just because we try something doesn’t mean we have to stick with it. Since our vegetarian week, Arbor hasn’t fought about the food on her plate as much. She’s more open-minded and feels empowered in making choices about herself. Whether she decided to be a vegetarian again or not, I know that we all left this experience admiring Arbor’s dedication and feeling good about our ability to rise to the Occassion to support her.