Le Tote – October 2018

What is Le Tote?

Le Tote is a clothing rental subscription service.  Based on some input given to Le Tote when signing up, they will select items they think you will like.  If you don’t like them, you can swap them out for other items you pick yourself.  You have the option of purchasing the items in your tote at a discounted price and you can send back whatever you don’t want to keep.  Totes come once a month, and prices depend on how many items you want in each tote.  Options are:

  • 5 clothing items = $74/month
  • 8 clothing items = $94/month
  • 10 clothing items = $114/month
  • 5 clothing items & 3 accessories = $84/month
  • 7 clothing items & 3 accessories = $104/month
  • 10 clothing items & 5 accessories = $124/month

They also have maternity options which are:

  • 5 clothing items = $84/month
  • 8 clothing items = $104/month
  • 10 clothing items = $124/month
  • 5 clothing items & 3 accessories = $94/month
  • 7 clothing items & 3 accessories = $114/month
  • 10 clothing items & 5 accessories = $134/month

Follow this link to get a free tote with a 14-day trial.  You will get five clothing items and three accessories.

My First Box

Octavia Tie Neck Top

I thought the pattern of the top was nice, buy I just didn’t like the tie neck, especially since it wasn’t symmetrical.  However, it did fit well and had a nice light feel to it. This was the only item that I didn’t swap out since I figured I should try at least one thing they picked out for me.

Levi’s Mid Rise Skinny Jean

I really loved these pink jeans but unfortunately they were too small.  It seems like I should have gone one size up from what Le Tote recommended with this one.

Octavia Eyelet Tank

This was a cute bohemian style top.  I ended up wearing it twice paired with the maxi skirt below.  It did seem like the top came a little wrinkled and worn.

Kensie High Waisted Maxi Skirt

The skirt was soft and comfortable.  I think it was my second favorite item in my tote.  This is one that I may have considered purchasing, but I would have preferred to purchase one that hadn’t been worn yet.

French Connection Mixed Media Floral Blouse

This ended up being my favorite item of the lot.  It’s funny because I thought I didn’t like it at first, but I ended up wearing it with a pair of black ankle pants to work one day.  I liked it so much that I wore it again the next week!  The only problem was that it seems like other people loved the shirt too because it was a bit worn.  As you can see below, I found a hole in it.  If it weren’t for the condition of the shirt, I might have purchased it.

My Thoughts

This is the second clothing rental subscription I’ve tried so far (the other was Gwynnie Bee). I liked the selection a little better.  I felt like it was easier to find items that might fit my style.  It was also nice that they had recommended items to save a little time.  Unfortunately, I didn’t like the items they picked out for me, but it was my first tote so that’s understandable.  Plus I was able to swap out as many of the items as I wanted for ones that I picked out myself, so it still worked out.  Most of the items in the tote fit me well except for the pair of pants.  One issue I noticed is that over half of the items seemed a bit worn and I was disappointed that one of the shirts actually had a hole in it.  Given the condition of the items I received, I was not willing to purchase any of them.  One other issue I noticed was that the return bag seemed a little too small to hold all of the items.  I really felt like I had to cram them in there.

The price was better than Gwynnie Bee as you received more items in a box for a lower price.  However, you are limited to one tote per month.  Whereas with Gwynnie Bee, you can get a new box as soon as you send any items back.  Overall, I enjoyed having some new clothing items to mix into my closet for a couple weeks and I think it is worth a try.  I’m guessing that their recommendations will get better with time, and hopefully they will do a better job of checking item quality before sending out items in the future.

Follow this link to get a free tote with a 14-day trial.  You will get five clothing items and three accessories.

Plated – October 2018

What is Plated?

Plated is a meal delivery kit subscription service.  The insulated box comes with recipe cards and pre-measured ingredients for each selected recipe.  Ingredients are thoughtfully sourced with pork and poultry raised without antibiotics, beef with no added hormones, sustainably caught fish, fresh & seasonal produce, and organic ingredients when possible.

There are different weekly plans available with 20 dinner recipes to choose from each week, plus dessert options!  The option to skip weeks or change delivery days is available, if needed.  Price depends on the number of servings and recipes you order.  The plans are:

  • 2 servings = $11.95/serving
    • 2 recipes = $47.80/week
    • 3 recipes = $71.70/week
    • 4 recipes = $95.60/week
  • 3 servings = $9.95/serving
    • 2 recipes = $59.70/week
    • 3 recipes = $89.55/week
    • 4 recipes = $119.40/week
  • 4 servings = $9.95/serving
    • 2 recipes = $79.60/week
    • 3 recipes = $119.40/week
    • 4 recipes = $159.20/week

~Shipping is free for plans over $60~

Note: I have seen various promos for Plated, so definitely search around before ordering so you can get a discount!

My First Box

Braised Chicken, Apricots, and Currants with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

This was definitely a great flavorful dish.  The already small potatoes only need to be cut in half and the dried apricots and shallot were easy to slice as well.  Although this one took a little longer to cook, the recipe was pretty easy.  Normally, my husband and I are not crazy about spinach, but the way in which it was cooked and mixed with the potatoes, made this side our favorite part of the meal!  The only thing I didn’t like as much about this dish is that it seemed like it probably had a high sugar content since it used dried fruit and we also added some brown sugar.

Shrimp Pad Thai with Bok Choy and Peanuts

I love ordering Pad Thai at restaurants, but this is the first time I’ve tried making it at home.  Thanks to the recipe and ingredients provided by Plated, it turned out great!  Usually when I try to cook shrimp, it ends up being sort of rubbery, but the recipe card gave great instructions on how to cook it perfectly.  The flavor of this dish was awesome, and besides a little bit of prep work, it was very easy to prepare.

PlatedButternutSquashGnocchi

Brown Butter Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Walnuts, and Sage

This was such a great fall dish!  I’ve never had gnocchi with these kinds of flavors before, but I loved it!  It was nice that the butternut squash came pre-chopped.  The recipe did recommend chopping it up further, but having it already cubed made this step much easier.  I also don’t usually like nuts but the walnuts added a great crunch to this pasta, and went well with the other flavors.

My Thoughts

I gave each of these dishes five out of five stars!  The recipes had a nice variety, great taste, and weren’t too difficult to make.  The potion sizes seem better than some other meal kits I’ve tried.  I never felt hungry after finishing my meal and sometimes even had enough for leftovers!  The recipes were pretty simple to follow.  I actually kind of enjoyed cooking these recipes, which isn’t usually the case.  Also, I didn’t try any, but I love that they also offer desserts.  Based on their other recipes, I’m sure those are great too!  I would definitely recommend this service if you don’t mind a little prep work and cooking, want to add some variety to your meals, and care about how your food is sourced.

Note: I have seen various promos for Plated, so definitely search around before ordering so you can get a discount!

Gwynnie Bee – October 2018

What is Gwynnie Bee?

Gwynnie Bee is essentially a monthly subscription which allows you to rent clothing.  You may keep the items sent to you as long as you like and when you’re ready to send them back, they will prepare your next box.  This allows you to receive more than one box in a month! You also have the option of purchasing items if you cannot part with them.

There is little risk in trying Gwynnie Bee, as your first month is free.  During your free month, you are able to have two items out at a time.  After the first month, the cost is based on how many items you can take out at once.  The plans are:

  • $49/month for 1 item
  • $69/month for 2 items
  • $95/month for 3 items
  • $139/month for 5 items
  • $179/month for 7 items
  • $199/month for 10 items

Follow this link to get 30 days free + $10 off your first paid month.

My First Box

In order to receive my first box, I needed to “closet” at least six items.  This meant looking at all of the available garments, selecting my size, and hitting the “Add to Closet” button.  There was an option to prioritize certain garments, but I wanted to leave it to chance!  It surprised me that my two items came in two different boxes, each with their own pre-labelled return pouch.  My first box shipped three days after I completed my closet and the second box shipped the following day.

Vince Camuto – Sleeveless Exotic Woodblock Floral Blouse

This top fit nicely and was lightweight.  I appreciated that the fabric was not see-through and did not show any lines underneath.  I wore this top to work with a white cardigan and gray slacks.  Great for the office, flattering, and comfortable – that’s a win! I wore this once and then returned it because I wanted to try out some other styles Gwynnie Bee had to offer.

NY Collection – Double Bell Sleeve Key Hole Detail Blue Top

Out of the two options, this one was my favorite.  I really thought that I wasn’t going to like the bell sleeves on this, but I thought they balanced out my figure nicely.  The color was lovely and the fabric felt nice.  I chose to wear it with a pair of black skinny jeans (casual Friday) and I even received a compliment on this one!  I did wear this top once and then return it because, again, I wanted to get some new garments to try out and mix things up!

My Thoughts

I love that this service prevents the buyers remorse that comes from purchasing a shirt, dress, pants, etc. and then never wearing it or only wearing it once.  I also love that you aren’t limited to just one box per month.  So if you don’t like what came in your box, you can ship it right back and get a new one!  It is nice that each item was shipped separately so that I didn’t have to wait for both items to be available before they shipped.  It is also nice if you wanted to keep one item longer than the other, so you could send one back but still have another return pouch for the item you’re holding on to longer.  On the other hand, it does seem a bit wasteful to me.

I was pleasantly surprised with the fit of the items I received and happy that I liked them enough to wear them to work.  I could definitely see this subscription being a great option for anyone that loves wearing different clothes every week and/or wants to experiment with new styles, but doesn’t want to fill their closet with items they might only wear once or twice.  I do think the price is a little bit steep for what you get, as I know that I could buy two new garments for the same price as the subscription.  Gwynnie Bee does make up for this a bit by offering a rewards program where you get points for adding items to your closet, returning items, etc.  After accumulating a certain number of points, you can redeem them for a $5, $10, or $15 reward which can go towards an at-home purchase or an item upgrade.

Follow this link to get 30 days free + $10 off your first paid month.