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Reviewing Trunk Club: Theme Park Style

24 Apr

I mentioned last week that we are gearing up for a super awesome family trip to Universal Studios Orlando. Well, before I start planning out my packing list, I thought it would be fun to get a themed Trunk from my stylist, Dana. I asked her for items that would work for doing a ton of walking around the theme parks. I told her that it’s really hard for me to find shorts, so I’d love to see some athaleisure items, casual dresses, comfy but cute tops, and some flat sandals.

She immediately sent over a Trunk, and it was not a winner. I actually didn’t even photograph it because there were a bunch of fit issues and only one item was a ‘maybe’. I sent it all back and we had some great emailed conversations about why each item didn’t work and what I was looking for. She put together a whole new Trunk and sent it out within a couple days!

Want to see what she sent?

Sources: (1) Jersey Faux Wrap Dress by Felicity and Coco, (2) ‘City Mix’ Layered Look Tee by Sanctuary, (3) Skinny Cargo Pants by Wit & Wisdom, (4) Gigi Sandal by Sam Edelman, (5) Sarto by Franco Sarto Park Ankle Strap Sandal, (6) Embroidered Sleeveless Shift Dress by Caslon, (7) Drop the Armhole Tank by Zella, (8) Twisty Turn Tee by Zella, (9) Impulse High Waist Midi Leggings by Zella, (10) Twisty Turn Tee by Zella, (11) Modal Jersey V-Neck by Halogen, (12) A-Line Knit Midi Skirt by Caslon, (13) NIC+ZOE Denim Days Tie Waist Dress, (14) NIC+ZOE Sungrove Maxi Dress, (15) Balloon Bomber by Free People.

If you’re new to my Trunk Club reveals (you can find them all here), I don’t typically photograph every single one of the items. With 15 items and a couple different outfits, it would just get to be way too much if I showed them all. When the Trunk first arrives, I usually go through it and narrow down my choices to a pile of my favorites.

This month I decided to do something a little different and show you a couple different ‘outfit face-off’s’ from the Trunk:

1 + 5 vs 6 + 5

For this comparison, let’s look at the faux wrap jersey dress compared to the embroidered shift dress. For someone with a less curvy body type, the shift dress would be totally effortlessly gorgeous on them. However, with my curves the wrap dress shows off my figure in a much nicer way. The shift dress just kind of skims over everything, so all my curves kind of turn into a huge blob. I tried a belt to cinch in the waist, but it just didn’t look right. The jersey dress though, is very comfortable and I can totally see throwing it on for a random summer weekend day of running errands or going out to lunch. It does have spaghetti straps though, which makes for an annoying bra situation.

8 + 3 + 5 vs 10 + 3 + 5

I mentioned that I like my casual tops to be more flowy so that I can do a little half-tuck into my bottoms and hide any type of burrito baby I may have going on. My stylist sent me over this adorable “twisty turn tee” in two sizes and two colors for me to try. The gray version is a size Large and the black top is an Extra Large. I tried them both on with the skinny cargo pants for a casual look that I can wear to Universal Studios or on any typical weekend at home. The cool thing about these tops is that you can wear the twist in the front or the back, so they are super versatile.

After trying them both (they are sooooo soft), I prefer the smaller size for a sleeker look. Of course, I also prefer black, so I may have to send them both back and have my stylist order me a black in a Large. As for the cargo pants, I love the fit of these and that they are a lighter fabric than jeans, but still heavy enough to hide any lumps or bumps. I can see me wearing these on our trip for a cool evening walk to dinner, on a weekend at home (they are super stretchy) or even on an upcoming work trip to San Francisco for exploring after my conference.

10 + 9 vs 11 + 12 + 5

Both of these outfits are like wearing pajamas, so I decided to put them in a face-off against each other. The first outfit of a plain black tee and striped skirt is super comfortable, but looks more dressed up. I like the pattern mix on the side of the skirt and the length is great too. I would totally throw this on with a swimsuit or graphic tee shirt for our upcoming trip, or just wear it all summer long. Oh and for those of you who are thinking, ‘dude, you can totally buy a similar skirt for $20 at Old Navy,’ I hear you. I really do. However, I am so sick of buying the cheaper version of stuff only to have it look faded, pilled and worn within a couple wearings. This skirt by Caslon is made out of super soft fabric that will actually hold up, and I’m okay paying a little more for that.

For the second outfit, I paired the black twisty turn tee with the Zella high waist leggings for a comfy-casual look. I absolutely love these leggings and the cool ankle detail. The high waist also sucks everything in and makes my midsection look much flatter than real life. With that being said, I’m not really a ‘wear leggings out of the house’ person, unless I’m working out. They do make my butt look really good though, so maybe I should buy them just so I can feel like a sassy beast while lounging on the couch?

Remix from my Closet

When buying new items, I like to mix them in with stuff I already own to see if I’ll be able to get enough wear out of them to justify the purchase. I tried the cargo pants with one of my favorite graphic tee shirts. I also tried the striped skirt with a Harry Potter tee shirt that I will definitely be wearing on our trip. What do you think?

Trunk Finalists
Okay, so if you’ve been playing along that leaves me with the following favorites from this Trunk:

#1. Jersey Faux Wrap Dress by Felicity and Coco, $88
#3. Skinny Cargo Pants by Wit & Wisdom, $68
#8. Twisty Turn Tee by Zella, $49
#9. Impulse High Waist Midi Leggings by Zella, $65
#12. A-Line Knit Midi Skirt by Caslon, $49

My budget doesn’t allow for me to buy everything I like and honestly my closet doesn’t really need everything either. I’m leaning towards definitely getting the cargo pants, but then it gets hard to make decisions. I really like the jersey skirt and also the twisty turn tee. The dress is also pretty and the leggings make my butt look good… however out of the choices, these would probably get the least wear. Help me decide what to buy!

If you want to have Dana style a Trunk for you — and you totally should because she’s awesome —  I have her linked to my referral code here: (Please note: if you use my referral link it will cost you nothing extra and it earns me a small amount to go towards items in my next Trunk).

I have until tomorrow to return my Trunk, so leave me a comment and let me know what you think I should buy!


{Psssst… if you like my clothing box company reviews, here is a handy-dandy list of the ones I’ve tried: Stitch Fix, Trendsend, The Ms. Collection, DailyLook Elite and Wantable’s Fitness Edit}

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Trunk Club, I pay for any clothing I purchase with my own hard-earned money. If you enjoyed my review and decide to try Trunk Club for yourself, the biggest compliment you can give me is by using my referral link. Thank you to anyone who chooses to click through and support my shopping addiction! This post contains ShopStyle affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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Another Thrift Store Haul

20 Apr

The thrifting bug has bit me again and after last month’s thrifting success (read it here) I’ve been dying to steal a few hours and have another go at it!

I ended up going on a mini version of my thrifting hunt last Friday and I certainly was NOT disappointed. After spotting another new with tags Diane von Furstenberg dress in my size, I really have to wonder WHO this person is that keeps dropping off brand new clothing?! I also saw a brand new with tags MaxMara blazer that had the original tags on it for $915, I was tempted, but after trying it on I decided to leave it in the wild for the next thrifting fan.

There were no tag sales this time, but I did end up buying 5 items. What to see what came home with me?

Talbots Linen Blazer – $16.99

I always keep my eyes out for a good blazer – especially if it has cropped sleeves – so when I saw this Talbots linen blazer on the rack I grabbed it immediately to try on. It has no size tag, but it fits me perfectly… so I’m going to call it fate. The blazer was in good condition, but had some dirt/crud/yuck on the sleeve of one arm… so I dropped it off at the dry cleaner and all the yuck came out. The lining is a little floppy, but once it is on you can’t see it. I don’t own any other off-white blazers, much less one that is a longer length… so it will be an interesting experiment to style this one.

Brooks Hoodie – $12.99

I’ve already established that I just can’t pass up a well-made hoodie, so when I saw this one I knew I had to try it on. Especially because it has THUMB HOLES! To be honest, it was a little pricey for thrift but it is in absolutely brand new condition (no tags though), so I decided to go ahead and buy it. No regrets here!

No Tag Kimono Cover-up – $3.99

This was one of those impulse buys, but it was only $4 so I’ll allow it. I tried it on over the t-shirt and jeans I was wearing and it just looked so cool that I decided that I needed it. I don’t know if I’ll end up wearing this layered over a tank top during the summer or as a swimsuit cover up.

Patterned Skirt – $4.99

Remember how I told you all in my last post to totally disregard tag sizes and try on anything you like? Well, this skirt is marked as a 3x and fits like a large. How ridiculous is that?! I sent it to the dry cleaner and it looks as good as new. In person it is reading more Fall/Winter to me, so I’m going to pack it away to wear next Fall with some tights and booties. I could probably run a sewing machine over each side of the waistband to make it a little tighter, but I’ll see how it fits 6 months from now before I make my decision.

NY Collection Skirt – $12.99

I have been looking for another knee-length black swing skirt for over a year, so I can’t believe that this one fell into my lap while thrifting. It still had the original Macy’s tags on it for $48 and fit like it came directly from my imagination. The price was high for thrifting, but much cheaper than the similar skirt I’ve been eyeing on the Nordstrom website. Even thought it had the tags on it, I still ran it through the washing machine on cold and let it hang dry. I already wore it to work earlier this week and I can tell it’s going to get a bunch of wear this summer.

For about 90 minutes at the thrift store, I had quite the score: 2 skirts, 1 blouse, 1 hoodie and 1 blazer for a total of $55! And you wonder why I can’t wait to go thrifting again…

I’d love to hear your thrifting stories! Did you find a diamond in the rough (literally or figuratively)? Have you ever gotten in a fight over an item? What do you like to look for while thrifting?

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Share your Universal Studios Orlando Tips!

18 Apr

You guys, I am totally counting down the days until our next vacation, which is coming up in May. Travis and I went to Universal Studios Orlando back in 2010, but this time will be even more awesome…

This time we are bringing our own 5 year old ‘thing 1’ with us, Jack! Also, when we last visited there was only one side to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and now there is EVEN MORE to see! So much excitement! So many exclamation points!

We’ve been preparing Jack by watching Harry Potter movies, in addition to familiarizing him with other characters that he will see at the parks. We can’t wait to see Spiderman, the Hulk, the Minions, Transformers, Curious George, Shrek and more. We already know that Jack is a rollercoaster fiend, just like his momma, so really it is up to Travis to be able to keep up with us!

We are staying right on property at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, so we will be able to walk over to the parks each day and we also got those ‘Universal Express’ unlimited ride passes so we can skip waiting in lines.

So, here’s where I’d love your help! Is there anything you think we absolutely shouldn’t miss? Do you have a restaurant or snack recommendation that we should be sure to add to our list? Anything you think we should know? Feel free to fill up my comments section with your tips!

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Comparing Meal Replacement Shakes

17 Apr

If left to my own devices for a quick breakfast on a workday, I would typically order something from Starbucks to go with my coffee, grab a donut on the road, or just go without until lunchtime. Obviously, none of these options play nice with the whole ‘let’s get healthy’ thing I’m working on right now. So, bring on the morning meal replacement protein shakes!

When I did the 21 Day Fix a couple years ago, I tried the Shakeology shakes for the first time. They are super yummy and good for you, but HOLYWOW are they expensive.  A bag of 30 servings is $130, which breaks down to $4.33 per serving.  Also, to purchase Shakeology you get it shipped to you automatically each month, so if you fall behind you end up with a big o’ bill and a lot of bags of the powder to go through. So, yeah… super delicious but quite pricy.

With that in mind, I decided to go on the hunt for another brand of meal replacement protein shake. My main goals were:

#1. A shake that I can buy easily, whether it be in a nearby store or online.
#2. Something that isn’t super expensive.
#3. It MUST taste good.
#4. There has a be a good mix of protein and nutrients, while also being relatively low in calories, sugar and sodium.

After trips to GNC, Target and the Vitamin Shoppe, I ended up trying 6 different shakes in my ‘research’ phase: Labrada Lean Body (chocolate), GNC Lean Shake 25 (french vanilla), GNC Lean Shake 25 (rich chocolate), plnt by V Meal Replacement Plant Protein (chocolate), plnt by V Meal Replacement Plant Protein (vanilla) and Vega One Protein and Greens (coconut almond).

All of the shakes I tried were in powdered form, except the Labrada Lean Body. That one was premixed in a tetra pak and I have to say that I hated it. It had a thick chocolate milk flavor with a slight bitter tinge. I had to choke it down, so that one was immediately disqualified.

For the other 5 shake options, I would make the same recipe to compare them:

1 scoop protein powder
1 ¼ cups water
Handful of ice
1 banana (super ripe and/or frozen)
1 tbsp peanut butter

Blend it in my Nutra Ninja for about 40 seconds and throw it in a cup for breakfast.

Out of the remaining 5 shakes, only one of them did not pass the taste test… the plnt by V Meal Replacement Plant Protein in vanilla. No matter how much it was blended, it still had that chalky taste. So that one was disqualified too.

Based on taste, I was left with 4 pretty great options, so I went ahead and did a comparison chart for their nutrients:

After comparing each of the protein shakes and keeping in mind the flavor, I have two favorites:

Vega One Protein & Greens in Coconut Almondyou can find it here on Amazon and here at Target (when I bought mine at Target, they had an added bonus where you receive a $5 Target gift card with purchase!) The cost is $24.99 for 16 servings, which breaks down to $1.56 per serving. The flavor is so good that it’s like a morning pina colada. Since it already has a nutty flavor, I could skip the peanut butter and it still tastes really good. It’s low in calories, has 20 grams of protein and keeps me full until lunchtime.

GNC Lean Shake 25 in Rich Chocolateyou can find it here on Amazon or at GNC stores in-person or online here. The cost is $29.99 for 16 servings, which breaks down to $1.87 per serving. This one is also super tasty and when it’s all mixed up it’s basically like a milkshake. This one is a little higher in calories, but is also higher in protein with 25 grams.

I decided to get a tub of each shake so that I don’t burn out on one of the flavors. I like that I can order them both online through Amazon, or pick them up at my local GNC and Target. Also, I feel like I’m drinking a milkshake for breakfast, but it’s a heck of a lot better for me than a piece of lemon pound cake from Starbucks!

So there you go, after lots of tasty research I have two favorite protein shakes. I typically will have a shake on my ride into work 5 days a week and then a non-shake breakfast on weekends.

I’d love to know if you have a favorite shake or if you have any questions for me on my taste testing extravaganza!


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Also, Pocketful of Joules is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.


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