A Small Change to my Lunchtime Routine with a Big Impact

This summer, I started monitoring my spending a lot more (big fan of the YNAB app!) and noticed one area where I could make some significant cutbacks: lunch.  I was spending somewhere between $30-60 a week on lunches, mostly because I would go to Fairway or Whole Foods and end up picking up unnecessary items in addition to my lunch.  So I made a change–I decided to start bringing my own lunch to work again.  Nothing fancy, usually pretty simple ingredients that I prep on Sundays and can toss together to create a meal daily.  Like this sweet potato, lentil, spinach combo:



desk lunch



This isn’t any crazy new advice.  I’ve been recommending to clients for years to meal prep and bring balanced lunches to work as a way to both save money and control their food choices.  Positive things, right? Sure, except after a few weeks, I started to notice a downside to following my own advice with this new lunchtime routine.  I was never leaving the office and most days, not taking a break from my work at all.  I was saving money, but losing my sanity.  Eating lunch at your desk is not the best idea for a multitude of reasons (check out a great post on this from Anne), and for me the most harmful one is that I wasn’t getting a mental break.  I was still answering the phone, responding to e-mails, etc.  I would tell myself I’d work through lunch and take an afternoon break, but that never happened.  The energy of the office and the constant feeling of being plugged in was getting to me.  I was getting cranky and frustrated and became unproductive.  It was time for a change.  


BP Trail


The solution?  Get outside!  I’m now making it a priority to leave my desk around lunchtime everyday and take a walk.  Luckily for me, we have a great walking trail near the office that I can take advantage of.  I’ve come to realize that my body and brain crave nature and fresh air and just a few minutes outside each day has worked wonders for my mental game!  


Sunshine Selfie


I’m still bringing lunch (the majority of the time) and eating it in the office, but the rejuvenation time I’m taking before or after I do so has been a life changer.  A key part of this new lunchtime habit has been filling my boss and co-workers in on it.  Everyone now knows I’m on a budget, so I don’t feel pressured into ordering food when the rest of the office does.  My boss has become used to me leaving for 30-45 minutes each day for my “me time”.  And as a bonus, since I come back from my lunchtime walks with a clearer mind and better energy, I’m more productive too!

If you find yourself stuck in a similar low-energy rut, I highly recommend taking some time in the middle of the day to rejuvenate any way you can.  It’s a small change that can make a huge difference in your health and happiness!

Do you bring lunch or buy?  Eat at your desk or get outdoors?  Tell me about it!

Fall Fashion with Stitch Fix #8

Happy Monday!  Today I’m interrupting the regularly scheduled programming of food and fitness posts with another fashion one.  AKA my latest Stitch Fix came and I wanted to share it with y’all.  


SF8



If you’re not familiar with Stitch Fix, go back and read my first post about it here.  The links in this post are affiliate links (meaning I get a referral credit if you sign up using my links) but the good news is that you can turn around and send out your own referral code to get credit toward future fixes.  

In case you missed my summer fix, it was awesome and I kept everything, so I was excited to see what my stylist would send for the fall.  This time around I asked for some longer tops that I could pair with leggings and boots and maybe a dress that transitions from summer to fall.  I’ve been trying to schedule my fixes once a season, so I can add to my wardrobe without blowing my shopping budget.  With the cool weather just starting to come around, my fall fix arrived just in time!  Fair warning that my photographer for this “fashion show” (boyfriend) was being a little fussy, but we tried as  best we could to capture the pieces.  Don’t mind the laughing and judgmental faces I’m making!  Now let’s dive right into what I received.


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Jamie Knit Top-$38 

I liked the fit and casual style of this top, but the fabric was super thin and the gold stripes made it look cheap.  I didn’t see myself actually wearing it, so although it was comfortable and cute when I put it on, this one was definitely returned.

Adorra Skinny Jean-$88

Meh.  I thought these jeans were black as I took them out of the box, which would have been great, but they are just a really dark denim.  The fit was a little snug on my waist, but otherwise they were nice and stretchy feeling on my legs.  This is not usually the case with skinny jeans and my muscular legs, plus the length was great!  I just don’t need another pair of denim skinnies right now and they price point is pretty high for me.  Sent back!




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Iglesia Pleated Blouse-$48

Out of the box, this top seemed like exactly what I was hoping for!  It’s long enough to wear with leggings and the sleeves can be worn full length or rolled up and buttoned.  I liked the pattern and the pleating at the chest was flattering, but when I put on my black leggings and boots I realized the colors in the top were actually navy, not black.  I only really wear black leggings, so this top wasn’t going to work.  Sent back!



Knit Top



Pherine Sleeve Detail Knit Top-$58

The color of this top is perfect for fall, plus it’s a color I usually look good in.  That’s where the positives end, though.  The material is awful and it was stretchy in some spots but saggy in others, plus that detail on the arms just made it look cheap.  I can’t even bring myself to post a picture of me wearing it.  SENT BACK IMMEDIATELY.


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Whitnee Knit Dress-$64

This dress is exactly what I was envisioning when I asked for a dress that could transition to fall.  It was comfortable, but again the fabric was thin (pretty much see through) and I felt like it hugged my stomach and butt a little too tight to be appropriate for work.  Not surprisingly, this one went back too.

As you can tell, this wasn’t my favorite fix.  Everything went back, which is never fun!  In fact, this was the first time I’ve ever sent all 5 pieces back.  I did make sure to leave detailed feedback about why I didn’t keep each item (this is key for future fixes) and also reached out to customer service to let them know I was pretty disappointed.  I felt like my stylist did do a great job of listening to what I was asking for and personalizing my style recommendations.  I love when they take note of what other Stitch Fix items I’ve received and provide tips for pairing old and new pieces together!  However, I wasn’t thrilled with the quality of these items, especially given the price points.  So, back it all went…but don’t fear! I’m not giving up on Stitch Fix!  I truly love the service and want some new fall pieces, so I scheduled another fix for next week. Stay tuned! 🙂

What did you think of my fix? Would you have kept anything? Have you tried Stitch Fix yet–why or why not?!