Fall is here! It’s my favorite time of year. It’s also a great time to cuddle up under a blanket and grab a good book and a cup of hot cocoa.
My Tiktok For You Page has been filled with Fall and Spooky season book recommendations. So I figured I’d do a roundup of all the most popular book recommendations from Booktok I’ve seen and see which ones I can conquer this season.
Witcha Gonna Belladonna by Avery Flynn A witch with no magical abilities? A spell gone awry that leads to cursing her own family. This book kicks off the Witchington series.
I just picked this book up from my library’s e-book system. I love a good rom com and who doesn’t love a story about a witch who finds magic where she least expects it.
Belladonna by Adalyn Grace A romantic fantasy about a young woman confronting death and her own powers.
This book is considered YA, and is actually in stock at my library, so I’ll probably check it out one of these weeks. It is also the first of two books in a series.
A Witch’s Guide to Fake Dating A Demon by Sarah Hawley A witch who loves baking and gardening, who also is prophesied to be the most powerful witch in her family in years, meets a demon who is looking to get back his bad reputation.
I’ve seen this book recommended so many times, that it’s hard to get in stock if you’re a library girl. I found my library system has this available as an e-book, so I’ve placed a request!
Go Hex Yourself by Jessica Clare A rom com with a witchy twist, featuring a witch who works in a bookshop in a small town. She clashes with the town’s mayor, and discovers hidden magic.
This book is the first in the Witchlore Series. It looks like there’s two books out already, with a third planned. I’ve placed an e-book request via my library system for this one too.
Go Hex Yourself by Jessica Clare An eccentric witch who posts a job opening that turns out to be for his own familiar. And who gets hired? A young human woman who thought she was applying to work for one of her favorite games.
This is the first book of two, and just by the cover itself, looks cute. Who’s heard of a familiar that isn’t an animal? My library in town doesn’t carry this, nor is it available as an e-book from them, but it is in my library system, so I’ll have to place a request.
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner An apothecary catering to women who are looking for a way to get at men who have wronged them.
I’ve seen this book around for a while, and just haven’t had the time to pick it up. It’s been on my To Read list in Goodreads for quite some time, so hopefully this Fall I’ll get to it.
Happy reading! What books are you loving this Fall Season?
After my last couple of Stitch Fixes, I wasn’t getting the same quality or experience I used to back in the day. I’ve see advertisements for Wantable for quite some time, and figured I’d give it a go for my second work trip of the year, to the hot climate of Mexico.
I placed my order on a Tuesday, and my box was there by Friday, which was super fast. I wasn’t really sure when my box would arrive, since unlike Stitch Fix, I wasn’t able to choose a date for delivery. Fingers were crossed though that the box would arrive before my work trip to Mexico. The box comes with 7 items, and they were wrapped up in tissue paper with a personalized name sticker, which I thought was a really cute touch and a good start to my package.
On Wantable, you start off with some questions and choosing items you like. These items are then accessible to your stylist who can pick from items you like, or give you a surprise. Unlike Stitch Fix, the style quiz images you say you like or dislike actually exist and can be bought. The photos aren’t just a concept or an idea, but actual clothing available from the service.
I left a note for my stylist, asking for clothing that I could bring to Mexico for work, something breathable and comfortable but not too stuffy. You can also mention some other notes specific to your account, and not just the box you’re ordering. For that, I mentioned my coloring, but that I still like to play with color and patterns. I also highlighted I work a hybrid schedule so I want clothes than can transition to work, to being at home, to weekend, and that overall I like preppy and nautical inspired fashion.
My box came quickly, had a note from my stylist who was able to pull some items I had liked on the site, and even had a picture of her, which was a nice touch.
Item 1: Marley Capri in White – Vigoss Price: $78
The capris are perfect for those in love with the nautical esthetic. They were comfortable, not too tight, and a good length for transitioning into warmer weather. They were a Keep for me.
The top has potential, and the blue colors are ones I enjoy, but the cut of the sleeve openings wasn’t my favorite. I felt the floppy fabric around the arms would want to do it’s own thing and not sit well. The fabric was also cut pretty high into the armpit, which I’m not a fan of since I tend to run hot. The blouse was a maybe for me, but I decided to Return it. I also found the price point of nearly $100 for this top to be a bit ridiculous.
Item 3: Farah Short in Warm Sands – Z Supply Price: $78
Online, these shorts looked super cute, and like something I could see myself in. A breathable linen fabric in a neutral summer color seemed like it would be right up my alley. Unfortunately, in person, these shorts are far from flattering. The cut is odd, and the waist line couldn’t decide if it wanted to be high waisted or not. Ultimately, these shorts fit the best being high waisted, but they were high up there! The length, fit, and cut just didn’t work for me. The color is perfect for what I like, but I had to Return these.
Item 4: Loretta Floral Top in Vintage – Steve Madden Price: $69
I wanted to like this top when I pulled it out of the box. It was super thin, lightweight, and the pattern and colors screamed Grandmillennial. The cut, just wasn’t cutting it. You can see my stomach is peeking out a bit, which is a look that I just can’t get behind for myself. I don’t know why this shirt is cut so short, and it’s a shame, but it is what it is. This was a Return.
Item 5: Ditsy Cluster Ruffle Dress in Green – Apricot Price: $78
This is the second item in my box using the word “Ditsy,” which I just Googled, and it means a pattern consisting of micro motifs, usually being floral in design. Now we know! I liked this dress immediately, from the color, the design, to the fabric. It’s breathable, you can tie it as tight or as loose as you’d like, and it seemed like a perfect fit for my visit to Mexico to meet some of my new team members. This checked off all the boxes of what I was looking for, so it was definitely a Keep.
Item 6: North Hampton Short in Paradise – Dear John Price: $69
I clearly remember seeing and liking these shorts on the site. In fact, I liked them in multiple pastel colors, and I hope to get the purple ones in a future box! From the name of the shorts, to the color, these are perfect for preppy or nautical fashion lovers. The cut is also not too long or too short, meaning I can get away wearing these wherever, from the office (yes I wear shorts to work) to hanging around on the weekend. These fit well, and will pack well for any vacations or work trips I might have coming up this Spring and Summer. I definitely had to Keep these.
Item 7: Eyelet Tie-Strap Dress in Lilac – Koko + Mason Price: $45 (originally $89)
Smocked dresses have been having a moment lately, this year and last. I’ve tried a couple in the past from places like JCrew or Ann Taylor, and the cut near the armpit was too tight or off. The look gave me the dreaded armpit/chest bulge, which is natural and normal, but in these dresses frustrates me when it happens on my body because I feel this type of dress can accentuate it more. When I saw this dress on the site, I gave it a like, and lo and behold it was in my box. The best part is that this dress was on sale, so the price + color made it a contender in my book. The dress is fully lined, so it has a little weight to it, but it didn’t seem overly hot. This could make for a fun Summer vacation outfit. I decided to Keep the dress.
The Verdict: Wantable had a lot of great choices, and a wider variety of styles. I felt some of the clothes were more elevated than Stitch Fix too, and the price point made that clear. My box, if I kept everything, would have cost me $516. You can get a discount if you keep 5+ items, but I didn’t keep enough for that. I kept a total of 4 items, which came in just under $300.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the site defaulting me to be in a subscription model, I just want to order a box randomly when I need/want. They also email you a lot if your box hasn’t been scanned by the Post Office yet. I had dropped my bag of returns a day before the due date, and I was barraged with emails to extend my due date because it seemed “I needed more time.” I emailed Support to let them know the situation. I definitely didn’t want a bill for over $500 just because the Post Office is slow.
My box was overall a fun experience, and I will most definitely be giving Wantable another try soon.
If you read my last post, you know I decided to request a fix, after quite some time away from the company, to get some pieces for my first business trip since Covid began. Well, my fix arrived, although it did come a couple days later than I had requested, so I was worried we were already off to a bad start.
What I asked for: – Flare jeans (no distressing – dark color) – Possibly a dress with short sleeves – Some tops for work – A resort set that I saw advertised in a Facebook ad
I also mentioned I was up for some pieces that were more fashion forward that could expand my style, continuing to reference the ads that the company is displaying on Facebook, which looked like great Fixes compared to some I’ve gotten before.
In my last post, you also know that I decided to give the “preview your fix” feature a try this go around, and picked 3 items from the stylist’s initial pull and left 2 items to be a mystery. Let’s dig into my box and start with the items I already knew were coming from the preview email I received before shipment.
Kaileigh – Jaylee Jumpsuit This jumpsuit that screams spring with its green and floral details retails for $58. It’s meant to be a cropped leg look, similar to a length you’d expect with capris.
The jumpsuit itself was fairly comfortable, but it was a bit big on me. I probably could have gone down a size since the fabric is so loose and stretchy. The chest opening was also in desperate need of a hook and eye closure. The wrap section around the chest wasn’t very form fitting or had any elastic to hold it in place, which led to it being pretty revealing at times.
Monday Fun – Kearny Henley Top This flowy top in light blue retails for $44.
This style of top is nothing new from Stitch Fix. I’ve seen this cut and style dozens of times, and have kept some of the tops over the years. What drew me to choosing this from my preview was the color. I love light blue and I thought the accents of white drops of color were pretty. I wasn’t too sure from the photos of the item what the pleating on the front would look like. When I pulled this out of the box, it was super wrinkly, so I steamed it in order to take pictures and to try to get it looking somewhat decent. This is definitely not a top to pack in a suitcase.
What bothered me about this top was that it doesn’t do anything for your body. It literally makes you look boxy and heavy. It’s not flattering and just hangs there. Now I love a loose top, especially in warmer weather or for commuting, but this top just didn’t scream “young” or “fashionable.” It didn’t give me the vibe I was looking for.
Nine Britton – Billie Tie Front Brushed Knit Top For $40, this was the cheapest item in my fix this go around.
This top stood out in my preview since it was a great neutral color, and it looks like it’d be pretty comfy. The fabric on the outside of this top, or what I’d call a lightweight sweater, is super duper soft and creamy. Probably one of the softest pieces of clothing I’ve tried on. The inside of the top isn’t as soft as the outside, but that’s probably because it’d heat you up and make you sweat based on how decadent the fabric feels. I also liked the little knot detail at the bottom, giving it a little something different from a regular long sleeve top.
Heatherly – Loretta Tiered Blouse You can make this hot pink number yours for $46. This top was also the first of two mystery pieces in my fix.
In your Stitch Fix profile, you’re able to dictate what colors you don’t like or want items to be in. I’m pretty sure hot pink is one that I’ve said is a no go for me, but alas, here we are. Immediately when I pulled this out of the box, I knew I wasn’t going to be in love. The chest area has a weird detail where it outlines each breast and it just looked horrible holding it up. When I tried it on, I wasn’t surprised how unflattering it was. I had to pull the top up a bit in the photo above, because a large amount of my bra would otherwise be exposed. You can see some of my bra is still poking out after I hiked it up a bit. I don’t know how you’re supposed to wear this, but either your bra is going to be on full display, or if you go braless, this is going to look even worse than it does. The fabric was also super cheap. I don’t know if I’ve had a worse piece in a fix before. This is certainly not worth the price, and is not something I could wear to work.
Democracy – Kathryn Ab Solution HIgh Rise Itty Bitty Bootcut Our last item was something I requested, a dark wash jean. This pair retails for $88.
When I requested a dark pair of jeans, I asked for a flare pant. I was thinking more of a traditional bell bottom type pant, so when I saw the word “bootcut” I was worried that it wasn’t going to give me the look I wanted. First off the bat, the color is great. Dark washed jeans like this can go with anything. The flare of the jean wasn’t too large, and wasn’t too small, so I felt it was pretty close to what I was hoping for. The jeans also feel an itty bitty loose around the waist line, which I don’t mind. They are comfortable, and while a smidge on the long side, I think they’ll work fine with sneakers. Also, side note, why do jeans need some a crazy long name?!
Now that I’ve tried everything on, it’s time to decide what stays and what goes. Overall, I have to say I was disappointed in this fix and the quality of the items. Some things weren’t super terrible, both nothing blew me away either.
In the end, I decided to keep the jeans and the comfy tan tie front top. I could easily pair these two items together, and wear them with other pieces. The top would look great with a white pant, and the pants will look great with everything from sweaters to t-shirts and tanks.
I was originally on the fence with the jumpsuit, since I love a romper and jumpsuit for ease of packing and comfortability, but it was too big and I didn’t feel like trying my hand at sewing in a snap or hook and eye closure to make it workable.
The other two tops were cheap in feel and design, especially the disco sleeved full expose hot pink piece.
When I saw the recent Facebook ads, I thought Stitch was looking more fun and elevated than ever before. In the second picture you can see the resort wear set I fell in love with that led me here.
I didn’t get anything as fun or fashionable in my box, and when I went to review my fix on the site, I felt kind of let down. I used to love Stitch Fix, and it made my life easy, but after this box, I’m not sure I’d rush back anytime soon. Maybe there’s something else out there worth checking out instead…
If you have any suggestions of companies worth checking out, or brands that are great for those of us in our 30s, let me know!
It has been quite a while since I ordered a fix from Stitch Fix. With my first work trip coming up since Covid began, I’ll be traveling to a new office and seeing some of my team members in person for the first time. It seemed like a great time to see what Stitch Fix has to offer nowadays.
I decided to try something new this time, and give the “Preview Your Fix” feature a go. Stitch Fix didn’t always offer this functionality, so when I first started getting fixes this wasn’t a thing, making me accustomed to a surprise every box. When I got the email this time around, I figured “what the heck,” let’s see if I can help make my fix as successful as possible since it’s been a hot minute.
If you still want to be surprised, like I usually do, just archive or delete the email, and wait for your fix day.
For those of us feeling a bit curious or impatient, when you click “select your pieces” you’re brought to what I would call a little curated shop just for you. You can see your stylist’s name, and several pieces they thought would be a good fit based on your fix note when you scheduled your box.
You don’t have to choose 5 pieces, which is super helpful because I wasn’t in love with most of the items in my fix preview. The nice thing is you can either like an item, dislike it, or just ignore it. When you like an item it’s included automatically in your fix, but what about the things I didn’t dislike or like, do they go off into oblivion?
My fix preview included 10 items for me to review and select from. A range of dresses, tops, two bottoms, one bag and a romper.
Nothing stood out as super amazing or exciting to me in the fix, but there were a few pieces that I thought could possibly be my style. I figured I’d do a mix of trying some of the items from my preview, selecting less than 5, to see what happens with the rest of my box.
I wonder what the 2 mystery items will be!? Will they be brand new items I didn’t see in my preview? Will they be the items I didn’t click “dislike it” for? Thankfully, I only have a few days to wait before I find out.
Everyone wants to visit the infamous Salem in the Fall, but if you’re looking to beat the crowds and still enjoy New England in the Fall, consider visiting “off season” in November.
It’s important to note that some businesses do take time off right after Halloween for a few days or a couple of weeks to take a breather after the rush that is Halloween season, but we found the second week of November (around the 8th) to be perfect timing!
If you’re not needing to experience all the spooky Halloween specials, decor, and events, then November is the perfect time to explore the shops, streets, and main attractions that Salem has to offer.
We never had to wait in long lines to get in or to see anything. Most of the time we were able to walk right up and in. This was especially true of the Witch House. Usually, this place has hordes of people lined up to take a picture in front of the house, but when we went, there was only one other couple taking photos. Once they were done, I was able to snap a few pictures without being rushed.
Initially, because the area by the house was so empty, I figured the house itself must be closed, but the trick is that you have to enter from the back of the house, which is a little hidden off the main street so many people probably didn’t see the door at first. We were the only ones in the entrance when we arrived, no wait, and we were able to get in right away and explore the historic home.
One of our favorite attractions we visited was The Daniels House. It was one of the oldest still standing mansions in town, and is actually still lived in today by the family who owns it. You can also stay at the house, as it functions as a bed and breakfast too. Pretty cool! We enjoyed a wonderful and insightful tour here. It was just us and one other couple and our tour guide. One of the highlights of the tour was getting to have a mug of tea as you learn about the history of the home, the family, and the town. Our tour guide was absolutely fantastic, and was the best one we encountered during our trip.
If you’re a big Hocus Pocus fan like me, you’ll definitely want to check out some of the sites and buildings from the movie. The Ropes Mansion and Garden wasn’t open during this time of year, but you could walk around the outside and the gardens for free. It didn’t seem like many people knew this house was in Hocus Pocus because I was able to walk right up the front door and pose without interruption. The gardens in November aren’t looking their best due to the weather, but it was still fun to do a quick walkaround.
After checking out Alison’s house, you might be inclined to drive by the main house from Hocus Pocus, where Max and Dani lived. It’s important to note, the house is a private residence, and the people living there rightfully don’t want you coming up to the house and disturbing them. The house is also surprisingly right on the waterfront in a quiet neighborhood, something you don’t realize from the movie. If you must see it, consider just driving by or standing by the waterfront or sidewalk for a really quick picture.
If you’re looking for another tour of a historic building, or you’re a fan of classic novels, you might want to consider seeing The House of the Seven Gables. The tour takes a while, and the buildings on the grounds are not well ventilated or air conditioned, so it can get a bit stuffy. When I went, (Nov 2022) masks were still required, which I was grateful for, but it did cause you to heat up more easily. Tours are pretty packed, and not as quiet or private as some of the others we took. Also worth noting, some of the “secret” spaces you visit are not for the claustrophobic, those with mobility issues, or people who are a bit bigger (think very tight spots). Everyone on our tour got through the “secret” spots of the house ok, but I’m not sure what would happen if you opted out. You might just need to wait outside during certain parts of the tour?
For those who are National Parks fans, which my boyfriend and I are, you might want to consider checking off Salem Maritime National Historic Site on your list of Parks, or getting your National Parks Passport stamped at the visitor center. Apparently, Salem is the first National Historic Site in the United States. As sites and parks go, I was disappointed. By the waterfront, there’s a number of old buildings from when Salem was the busiest sea port around, but you can’t actually go into any of them. Not sure if this is a yearly thing or an off-season thing, but it was disappointing.
We wanted to check out the replica of the Friendship of Salem, an old merchant boat, but they were repainting it during our visit, so we couldn’t go on it. You can walk along the pier by the boat, which was completely empty, and get up close to a small lighthouse at the water’s edge. A cute spot for a quick photo.
The main “building” for the National Historic Site is the old armory across town, the Salem Armory Visitor Center. It’s a pretty decent visitor center, but not super exciting. We looked at a few of the displays, checked out the gift shop section, used the bathroom, and stamped our passport and called it a day.
If you’re looking for a great quality gift shop, look no further than the gift shop of the Salem Witch Museum. You can enter it from the street without going through the “museum” if you’d like. The shop had a lot of great souvenirs from traditional Salem witchy stuff, to books, Hocus Pocus items, Harry Potter gifts, clothing, jewelry, and more! This is not your traditional cheap souvenir store.
A lot of people have strong opinions on the Salem Witch Museum itself, and if it’s worth it or not. We did end up going in, and bought tickets right on our phone. It’s a popular attraction, even off season, but there was a lot of availability the day of. The displays could use some updating and the audio some level tweaking, but it’s a good storytelling spot if you want to learn a bit more while sitting down for most of the time. Do not expect a traditional museum that you walk around and see displays in.
While on the topics of museums, the Peabody Essex Museum is famous and well regarded. We stopped by, even though I’m not the biggest museum fan, and spent a couple hours exploring. They have some interesting displays of nautical artifacts, Asian art, a small section about the Witch Trials, and the Yin Yu Tang house.
If you have a sweet tooth, check out the oldest candy shop in the US, Ye Olde Pepper Companie. They’ve been open since 1806! It’s a short walk from the waterfront, Daniels House, or The House of Seven Gables. It’s a tiny shop, but worth a visit. How many people can say they’ve been to the oldest candy shop?
Finally, round out your off-season visit with a night tour around town. There’s a number to choose from, depending on interests. Expect to do a couple hours of walking, regardless of rain! We did the Bewitched After Dark tour, and had fun. I don’t know if we learned a whole lot of new things, but Sarah was a great storyteller.
Overall, if you’re looking to visit Salem, consider going during the less crowded months of the year. We were able to walk to all the main attractions without issue or crowds, and do just about everything there is to see and do. November is a great time to visit with decent weather, cheaper prices, and more availability of attractions and no lines!