January 24, 2018

Le Tote | A Review

If you're a female between the ages of 18 and 45, I'm sure you've seen ads for Le Tote pop up on your Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest feeds in the past two years. I certainly did! Despite seeing all of the ads and being somewhat interested, I wasn't completely sold on renting everyday clothing. But one night while chatting with my friend Mary, I complimented a top she was wearing and she told me it was a rental from Le Tote. I immediately signed up the next day to get my first tote, and I haven't looked back since then!

Le Tote: A Review of the Subscription Clothing Rental | courtney-west.com

I describe Le Tote as a mashup between Stitch Fix and Rent the Runway (full disclosure: I have personally never used Stitch Fix). The clothing is rented (a la RtR) but more casual in nature and it's chosen based on style profiles (a la Stitch Fix). The brands are what I call "Nordstrom brands" - items that you could easily walk into Nordstrom and find.

Here are a few quick FAQs:

How does it work? First, you fill out a style profile on Le Tote's website. Next, items are picked for you and added to your tote. You have 48 hours to confirm the choices as is or swap them out if you aren't happy with what was chosen for you. Once shipped, the clothing and accessories arrive at your doorstep within 2 to 3 days. You wear the clothing and accessories, get lots of compliments, put them in the provided and pre-paid return bag, send back to Le Tote and start all over again!

What does it cost? My plan is $39/month and I receive two clothing items and an accessory. There are other plans, including a maternity Tote!

Are the clothes gross? Not at all! All of my clothing has always arrived nicely folded and wrapped in tissue paper. The jewelry and accessories arrive in a small bag, usually tucked between the clothing items. My sister once received a shirt that was so wrinkled it was beyond wearable out of the box and a quick e-mail to customer service got it straightened out right away - she received a free clothing item in her next tote.

Do I have to wash them? Nope! Le Tote provides a prepaid return shipping bag in each box and you just pop the worn clothing and accessories into the bag and send it back! Le Tote takes care of all of cleaning when the clothing arrives back at the warehouse.

How long does it take to get the clothing? When I drop my pre-paid returns at the post office, I usually have an e-mail from Le Tote within 2 hours telling me my next tote is ready and I need to check in the app/online to confirm it. If I want to swap something out, this is when I do it. If I confirm the same day, my clothing usually arrives within two days. I typically receive three or four totes each month.

Can I keep the clothes if I like them? Yep! And I have! If you purchase all of the clothing in your Tote, you receive a month free. I've had some dresses and sweaters that I liked so much I purchased them to keep forever and it's been worth it.

What are my favorite pieces? I have a cardigan by Summer & Sage that I purchased from Le Tote and wear at least once per week, as well as a maxi dress by Max Studio, a dress from Catherine Malandrino, and  two dress shirts from Vince Camuto. 

Overall, I'm so glad my friend Mary introduced me to Le Tote nearly two years ago. The subscription is well worth the $39 monthly fee, as I now have a seemingly unending closet for work and frequently receive compliments on "my" new clothes. 

PS - This post is in no way sponsored by Le Tote and I was not compensated in any way. I just wanted to share my love for my current favorite subscription box! However, if you are interested in joining, my affiliate link will give you your first tote free. You can check it out [here]. 

Le Tote: A Review of the Monthly Clothing Rental Subscription

January 22, 2018

Weekending | January 19-21

Happy Monday, everyone! I'm excited going in to this week because I have a short work week! I'm traveling to California on Thursday for a Junior League leadership conference and I can't wait. Warmer weather, meeting new friends, lots of learning and my hotel is across the street from the beach.

I wanted to use this weekend to prep for my trip and get a bunch of items crossed off of my to-do list, but that didn't happen. Friday night was spent working from home. I get overwhelmed at the thought of all of the e-mails, phone calls, and work that comes rolling in while I'm out of the office, so I wanted to start this week with a clean slate so I don't get too far behind while I'm traveling.

Saturday brought the absolute laziest day I've had in a very long time. I spent most of it on the couch with a weird sinus headache that made me feel like I had a massive hangover, despite the fact I hadn't had a drop of alcohol to drink on Friday. I had no motivation to do anything, so I scrolled Pinterest, napped, and threw a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner and called it a day.

Sunday was a busy day that involved lots of food! I met a friend for brunch to discuss some upcoming Junior League events. Our League will be celebrating its 90th Anniversary in 2019, so we are getting a head start on all of the planning. It was so lovely to chat about ideas over a savory waffle with eggs, cheese and sausage (no whole 30 here!).

Of course, no Sunday in January is complete without watching football and eating like a maniac. Jason and I spent the afternoon at my parents house, where we made macaroni and cheese, brisket, spinach and artichoke dip and washed it all down with cold beer.

But those games! They both broke my heart a little bit. Well, as much as a heart can break for two teams that I don't have much interest in at this point. I so wanted Jacksonville to win only because one of my favorite former Penn Staters Paul Posluszny plays for the Jaguars. And I despise the Eagles, mostly because so many of their fans are just nasty! 

Now it's time to get down to work, plan out my to-do list for the week, and start at least one load of laundry so I'm not rushing to pack at 11:00pm on Wednesday night. Here's to an easy Monday, right?

January 15, 2018

National Day of Service 2018

Happy Monday, friends! For those of you who are off work (or even those who are working), I certainly hope you'll be participating in today's National Day of Service in honor of MLK Day. Every day is a wonderful day to give back in your community, but hands-on volunteering on a bonus day off can be so enjoyable when done with friends, right? 

Why Should I Volunteer?

Here are some of my personal favorite volunteer opportunities that are available in most areas: 

1 // Retirement Communities
2 // Animal Shelters
3 // Food Banks
4 // Domestic Violence Shelters/Crisis Centers
5 // Libraries

There are so many great reasons to get out there and volunteer! For me, I volunteer because I want to give back to this community I call home. It's so important that I do my part to ensure the Harrisburg area is a thriving community that allows all of its citizens to feel as welcome and fortunate to live here as I do. As anyone who knows me knows, most of my volunteering is done through the Junior League of Harrisburg, which is an organization so near and dear to my heart.

In a time where everything feels like it's falling apart, being able to set aside time to volunteer each month makes me feel like the world isn't the pit of misery (dilly, dilly) that I sometimes imagine it to be. In addition to helping me put things in perspective, I can also gain valuable experiences that are not available at work, create friendships, and hone my leadership skills. Overall, volunteering - especially with friends - is something that I need for my mental health and sanity. So let's all get out there and put some good into the world today; don't you think it needs it?

November 7, 2017

Sephora VIB Sale

So how did everyone use their extra hour this weekend? Mine was spent sleeping aka recovering from a little cold and another Penn State loss. And don't even get me started on the crap that is the AP Poll! I'm interested to see what the committee brings us tonight with the updated playoff rankings.

In better news, I placed my Sephora order for the VIB Rouge sale that ended last night. I'm so excited to try some new products and replenish my stash of favorites. I kept thinks under control this year, as I'm still trying to work my way through all of the sample-size products I already own and stay on a budget. Here are my four must-haves and one wildcard purchase that should be arriving on my doorstep this week:

1 // Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Primer
A must for my disgustingly dry skin. I love the light, fresh scent and it helps my concealer stay on all day, which is also a must.

2 // Caudalie Grape Water
Again with the dry skin! I discovered this in a Sephora skincare sampler last fall, and I can't get enough. I keep it in my desk at work and spritz it all over my face and then bounce a beautyblender all over to pat it in. 

3 // Sol de Janiero Bum Bum Cream
Does this really tighten up skin? Who cares! It smells like the most incredible beach vacation and never fails to make me smile when it's cold and dark outside.

4 // Shiseido Cotton Pads
The first time I saw someone post about these I'm pretty sure I thought "Are you joking?! Ten dollars for cotton pads?" but they're so worth the money. One pad can remove my eye makeup or nail polish and they don't come apart in wispy little strips of cotton. And they're so soft!

5 // Kora Organics Daily Ritual
What is a sale for if not for trying something new? This organic brand by Miranda Kerr sparked my interest, so I put it in my cart to try. It contains a cleanser, moisturizer and spray. Here's to hoping it's a good purchase!

So that's what I picked up, plus a few holiday gifts which I can't share because I don't want to ruin any surprises ;) 

November 3, 2017

Five on Friday | tv, clothing, makeup, oh my!

Happy Friday, friends! This week has been a really rough one; work has been crazy and I'm SO GLAD we are so close to the weekend. Maybe it'll arrive faster if I hurry up and get along with my five on friday? Let's give it a try!

1 // Below Deck

So we don't have cable, but I did download the Bravo app and have been bingeing episodes of Below Deck. I was never really into this show back when we did have cable, but I'm borderline obsessed with Kate, the chief stew from the show. Her clapbacks are hilarious, and based on my creeping on her twitter, she does some amazing volunteer work. I need to be her friend!

2 // Sephora VIB Rouge Sale

It's that time of year, aka the day I spend all of my money at Sephora's VIB Rouge sale. I typically shop at Ulta because they have a much better rewards program, but there are a handful of items that are only available at Sephora so I'm filling up my cart today. I'll report back with what I got when it arrives!

3 // Le Tote

I'm still loving my rental clothing subscription with Le Tote. My clothing options have been killing it lately and I'm so tempted to keep everything they send. But where's the fun in that, right? I've got the schedule locked down so that I can maximize the number of totes I get each month. If you'd like your first tote free, please feel free to use my referral link {here}

4 // Fall Back

It's almost here! I cannot wait to go to work in the DAYLIGHT next week instead of the depressing darkness. Yes, I know it will be dark earlier, but it's so much easier to wake up and drive to work when the sun is up. And an extra hour of sleep never hurts ;) 

5 // Penn State!

The battle of the land grant universities! Tomorrow #7 Penn State takes on #24 Michigan State in East Lansing. I'll be watching the game at the Vineyard at Hershey at the Junior League's tailgate fundraiser. Penn State football, friends, and wine...if Penn State wins, it will be the perfect Saturday!

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend - I'm counting down the minutes until I'm out of the office and relaxing. Cheers!

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