Thursday, June 7, 2018

Day in Chinatown

These photos are from May 1st when Timmy and I took a water taxi to Chinatown. A ten ticket ride from Chicago Water Taxi for use during the week is only $20.00, and can be shared by multiple people. A lot more enjoyable trip than taking the train or a bus.

We ate lunch at MCCB Chicago. If you sign into their Wi-Fi while you are there (and join the mailing list that pops up), you get a "free Italian Soda or a House Special Sweet Soup Dessert." We went for the Italian Soda (I think we ordered raspberry).

I ordered the Chef's Special Stir Fried Selection with chicken (pictured below). Timmy ordered the Hawaii Fried Rice. My dish was really hot (the menu and the waiter warned us that it would be), so, we ended up splitting our dishes to have some cool breaks in between the heat of my dish. Both dishes were amazing, and our waiter was wonderful.

After walking around for a while, we went to Ice Max for dessert. I ordered the signature crepe cone (mangoes, strawberries, custard cream, whipped yogurt, almond, chocolate syrup, Pocky sticks, chocolate pearls, and vanilla ice cream). Timmy ordered the rolled Thai ice cream in Panda Panda (Oreo, chocolate chips, M&M's, chocolate syrup).

It was pretty tricky to eat my crepe cone after I had finished the top part, so, I don't think I'd order a crepe cone again. I think I would have enjoyed it more with the crepe on the side, so, not only would it be easier to eat, but it could be used as a palate cleanser between bites of ice cream (I didn't enjoy the ice cream soaked crepe). The rolled ice cream was really good.

On the way home, we stopped at Cesar's Killer Margaritas (not in Chinatown). I didn't realize that the fruit margaritas were all lime based, so I was disappointed with the strawberry margarita I ordered; after having all the peppers in my lunch, my stomach was not ready for a glass full of citrus. As a nice surprise though, they bring you shots on tequila with your check.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Memorial Day 2018

We took these photos last Monday when Timmy and I walked the Chicago riverwalk on Memorial Day.

Our reflection in the riverwalk tiles.

I love this skirt I commissioned from Mid-Century for Modern last year to use as a Wonder Woman skirt. The fabric is stiffer than I realized when I picked it out on, but it works beautifully because it is nice and full without a petticoat. Christine made it with wonderfully big pockets, and a firm waistband that doesn't get fold over on itself whenever I sit down (plus size problems!).

These floating gardens by the riverwalk are so lovely.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Personalized Krazy Straw review

A few weeks ago I saw personalized krazy straws on Instagram and immediately wanted to buy them for everyone we know. I ended up ordering four straws (though I can definitely see myself ordering more for others in the future). There are several different websites that sell them but the cheapest I found was from 1-6 letter straws only cost $5.99 and 7-8 letter names cost $9.99 (there was no listing for longer names). My shipping cost for four straws to Chicago was $5.26 (it shipped from Eagle Pass, Texas). You can see what Krazy Straw's lettering looks like by going here.

I placed my order on February 13th. On February 15th I received a shipping tracking number, and a couple hours later an email with four individual images of what my straws looked like. Tracking information showed that the package was received by USPS on February 16th (a Friday), and the item was delivered to me on February 20th (a Tuesday). I was impressed and surprised to receive my order only a week after I ordered it (especially because there was a disclaimer when I placed my order than it can take up to 10 days to ship).

Keep in mind that they are traditional in how they write "m" and "n"; any lowercase "m" will have three humps, and any lowercase "n" will have two humps. Since it is more common nowadays for cursive to be taught with two humps for "m" and one hump for "n," I really wish they had an option for that; especially because in names with more than one "m" or n" it can get unwieldy, as you can see with Timmy's straw.

Some letters look more awkward than others when they are the first letter; I felt that "K" looked a little strange as a starting letter (as seen below with the Kelsey and Kirsten straws). Kirsten's straw was extra-ridiculously long.

My straw turned out the best, and coincidentally looks a lot like how I sign my name.

Final verdict: I love that the letters are not flat, so, they look extra fun from the sides. The straws are a little unwieldy, especially with longer names (Kirsten's straw was 13 inches wide). Some letters look a bit strange due to the fact that everything has to be connected. For example, the lowercase "i" looks a lot like an "e" since it cannot be dotted (see Timmy's and Kirsten's straws above). And the lowercase "t" looks like an uppercase "T" since it is crossed at the top rather than the middle (see Kirsten's straw). After looking over Krazy Straw's font sheet (linked above), I think that the lowercase "x" is also likely to look strange.

I was really happy with my name straw as all the letters were pretty basic, and I write my name with two humps for the lowercase "n" anyway. I was also happy with Timmy's and Kelsey's straws; although I had minor issues with theirs, overall, they were easy to read. Kirsten's straw, however, I was quite disappointed with; I don't feel that the first half of her name is easily readable. The "K" looks awkward, the "i" can be confused with an "e," the "r" and the "s" don't look that different, and the "t" looks odd crossed at the top. That said, I don't really think there is anything Krazy Straws could have done differently to make the straw look better. Some letters just aren't going to look as good when everything has to be connected.

I would recommend to others, and I will likely order from them again. The main thing I learned was to look very carefully at the lettering sheet to determine whether you think the name/word you have in mind will look good in krazy straw form before you order.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Visiting The Catcade

On Tuesday I surprised Timmy by taking him to The Catcade.

For $15 an hour you get to play with and lounge with a bunch of kitties. Your money goes towards feeding and caring for cats until they are adopted.

If you are looking to adopt a cat, it is a great place to go because you can see how they interact with humans and other cats. Adoption fees are currently $100 for one cat or $150 for two.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

What I Wore - Fourth of July

I had been longing for the perfect 50's style Wonder Woman inspired star print skirt for years. With the new movie coming out a couple months ago, I had hoped that I might have some more luck finding one, but the only skirts I could find were shortttt.

That is when it hit me, why not order a custom skirt from Mid-Century for Modern. About a year ago I was lucky enough to win a free custom skirt from her, and it was ah-maz-ing. Coincidentally, I had picked a Wonder Woman print fabric for that skirt (you can see photos of it here). I sent Christine a link to the fabric I had in mind, she ordered it, and made me a beautiful "Andrea" skirt out of it, complete with roomy pockets!

I wore the skirt today with a striped shirt for an over-the-top flag look for the Fourth of July. Unfortunately Timmy and I didn't feel like going anywhere today, so, it only got to see the light of day for a short time. On a some-what funny note, I had a cute bright yellow purse planned for this outfit, but I forgot it in our apartment, and I didn't want to go back up three flights of stairs in heels to get it, haha!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Plus size Lindy Bop review

You know that saying, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me"? That about covers my feelings on Lindy Bop.

Last June I ordered a couple things from Lindy Bop. The skirt fit as expected, however, the dress (the "Cordelia" in Venice print) fit straighter (less curvy) than most plus size brands I've tried, and than their size chart indicated. According to their size chart, a 3X dress is supposed to fit a 45" bust and a 38.25" waist. The dress measured 44" in the bust and 40" in the waist; so, while there was supposed to be almost a 7" difference between the bust and hips, there was only a 4" difference.

Earlier this month Lindy Bop had an amazing sale, so, I decided to place another order with them. This time, I decided to order a size up on the dresses, figuring that the bust would be sure to fit, and that the waist would just be even looser than it was on my previous order of the smaller size (fairly easy to fix/hide). Unfortunately I had issues with four of the six items I ordered.

"Casey" skirt in Vintage Circus print
Some of Lindy Bop's garments use a general size chart, and some provide "Actual Garment Measurements." Since this skirt had the actual measurements listed for it, I knew that at least I wouldn't have to worry about the chance of it not fitting. Or so I thought. I ordered this in a 3X which their "Actual Garment Measurements" chart said is 38.5" at the waist. The skirt I received only measured 37". While one expects a slight variance in garment measurements (because each item will be cut and sewn slightly different, and rounding is likely to be involved), an inch and a half is significantly too much leeway for "Actual Garment Measurements."

"Courtney" dress in Perfectly Plaid print
I ordered this dress in a size 4X. According to their size chart (this item didn't have "Actual Garment Measurements"), a 4X is meant to fit a 40.75" waist. The actual dress measured slightly smaller than 37" at the waist. While size charts are meant to be general size guidelines, a dress being four inches smaller than the size it is supposed to fit is unacceptable; there is no point of providing a size chart if your dresses don't fit close to what the chart says. Lindy Bop's 3X is supposed to fit a 38.25" waist, so, the waist on the 4X dress would only fit someone who was a 2X on the size chart.

"Tallulah" dress in Woodland Folk print
This dress is listed on their website as "95% Cotton 5% Elastane," however, the dress I received is actually 95% polyester 5% elastane. Polyester tends to stick to the skin in warm weather, so, I would not have bought the dress had I known I'd have to wear a cotton dress under it.

"Anoushka" top in Puffin print
I ordered this top in a 3X/4X. The shirt I received is tagged as an XL, not just in the attached paper tags, but in the tag sew into the back of the shirt, and the bag it came in. The shirt measures as a 46" bust and a 40" waist, which are both only an inch off from the "Actual Garment Measurements" for the size 3X/4X (not a big deal); so, it appears that I wasn't sent the wrong shirt, just a shirt labeled wrong. It seems unlikely that I would receive the correct size shirt without someone having realized that the shirt was labeled wrong; so, the question is, why would I have been sent a shirt that was essentially defective without it being disclosed to me? It may not seem like a big deal, but what if my shirt had been a gift? For me the issue is that international shipping is expensive, so, if a company doesn't offer free returns, I only buy from them if I am prepared to sell anything that I decide I do not like enough (on me) to keep; an item that is tagged wrong is going to be harder to sell.

The two items I didn't have any major issues with? The first was a petticoat; sizing is pretty forgiving on petticoats. The second was the "Audrey" dress in Russian Doll print. I ordered it in a 4X. It measured for me as a 48" bust and a 40" waist; that matches pretty closely with Lindy Bop's general size chart (47.5" bust and 40.75" waist for a 4X). Despite the bust of the dress being the right width for me, and the waist being loose, the dress still gaps at the armpits. I suspect that they are making the dresses wider armpit-to-armpit in plus sizes without appropriately increasing the depth of the bust darts (to accommodate a larger cup volume).

I emailed Lindy Bop about the issues with my order on April 22, and received a reply on April 25. The reply apologized that the "item arrived not quite fitting right" and asked for photos of "the particular dress." Since I emailed them about two dresses and a skirt, I thought it was a bit strange that they only mentioned one of the three items I wrote to them about. I replied to them the same day (April 25) with the photos of all three items I wrote to them about. As of today (May 2) I have not heard back from Lindy Bop. I am hoping that I will not have to go through PayPal for a resolution.


5/4- Lindy Bop offered store credit for three of the four items above; they stated that since the Anoushka top measures correctly, they are not going to offer anything for it being tagged wrong. I replied (same day) advising that I did not want store credit because I don't plan on ordering from Lindy Bop again. I asked if I could just return the whole order with a prepaid label, explaining why I didn't even like the two items that I didn't have major issues with (petticoat and Audrey dress mentioned above). I also mentioned that I was not happy about being sold the defective Anoushka top without disclosure.

5/10- They replied offering a refund for the three out of the four items I originally wrote to them about (Casey skirt, Courtney dress, and Tallulah dress). They requested images of the "additional items" that I found faults with. I am not sure which items they were requesting photos of because the petticoat and the Audrey dress were the only items I didn't send photos of, and I never said there was anything wrong with the petticoat (simply that it was of no use to me because I bought it to wear with the Tallulah dress). I doubt they would offer anything for the Audrey dress as it is just appears poorly pattern graded in plus size like most of their plus size dresses.

Since I've been dealing with this for two and a half weeks, I'm just going to accept the refund on the three items to be done with it. Hopefully I can alter some of the non-fitting items to make them wearable, and I'll see if I can find a full length cotton slip to wear with the polyester Tallulah dress.