Rent the Runway: A Review!!

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L to R: First Gentleman Kevin Reynolds, myself, Governor Kim Reynolds, Melissa

I had the great honor of being the ‘plus one’ guest of my sister to the Inauguration of Kim Reynolds this past week. That involved the inauguration ceremony itself, tours of Terrace Hill (the governor’s mansion) as well as the Iowa Capitol, and we capped the night off with the Inaugural Gold Ball. What an experience! I am so glad my sister let ME be her guest!!

We both used Rent the Runway for our dresses, and I thought it would be fun to review how the process works for anyone else who’s interested. I am not getting compensated for my review, just my opinions. ๐Ÿ™‚

I had heard of Rent the Runway before, but had never really looked into it. After perusing the site, I found that you can rent entire wardrobes for a monthly fee, or one time rentals of gowns, dresses, etc. They have sections for the type of dress you are looking for, as well as various price points. You can even rentย  prom dresses, wedding dresses, or wedding party (ie bridesmaids) dresses! How cool! I narrowed my search to look directly under ‘black tie’ and ‘under $50’ because I’m cheap. There are many many higher priced dresses that were absolutely gorgeous as well. For example, I saw several that were $250 to rent, but list price would have cost you over $1,000. Big savings! All of the dresses are designer labels and very fashionable. You get the dress(es) for 4 days.

I decided on my dresses on a Friday. The dresses delivered right to my doorstep on Wednesday afternoon. I would mail it back via UPS by Saturday at noon.

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I was a little skeptical about the packaging as mine had apparently gotten dirty at some point, but the dresses were securely protected inside, each in a sealed plastic sack and on a hanger. They were all perfectly clean. Amelia originally wanted to know why we had a pillow shipped to us ๐Ÿ˜‰

So after I narrowed my search, I decided to go with this black dress as my first choice:

Elegant, formal and classic, I thought it was a solid choice. My original size choice fit!

BUT WAIT, there’s more! Not only do they rent you a dress in the size of your choosing, but they give you a 2nd size FOR FREE. So cool! They also have a feature where you can get an entire 2nd dress for an additional $30 as a backup. I loved this dress as well. The fabric and fit would be flattering on many body types. I wanted to find another event to go to so I could wear this one as well! That dress is here:

But I am a thrifty gal, so I used the promo code running across the top of the site and got something like 40% off my order. All THREE dresses, tax and shipping to and from, cost me a total of $53. CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?! Dress shopping does not get any better.

Now on to Mel’s choices.

She also chose her dresses and got the free 2nd size. Hers was a bit more expensive, but utterly beautiful! That dress is here:

She rocked it! Her original size fit as well so I’d say they run pretty true to size.

She also got the second choice dress as a backup. That dress is here:

We were both very pleased with our choices!

The next morning we re-packaged our dresses (3 each) into the provided garment bags that they shipped in. They had included a return shipping label. I zipped up the bags, swapped out the labels and dropped them off and UPS. I seriously does not get any more simple than this!

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If I ever get the chance again to attend a black tie event, I will use Rent the Runway in a heartbeat. So easy, so fast and the quality was incredible. I saved loads of money, time and sanity not having to run to various stores and try on dresses. When my girls are old enough for prom, we may even try out renting a prom dress. I would highly recommend Rent the Runway! So fun!

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The 44 books of ’18

One True LovesThe Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity: How the Modern Culture Is Robbing Billions of People of HappinessThe Woman in Cabin 10Ghost (Track, #1)Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious LifeWhy I Hate Green Beans: And Other Confessions about Relationships, Reality TV, and How We See OurselvesGrowing Up AmishBeautiful ChildChoosing Gratitude: Learning to Love the Life You HaveLove Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely FineGrinding It Out: The Making of McDonald'sA Catholic Mother's Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to BaptismLeaving TimeEverything I Never Told YouThe Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing GeniusEverybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult PeoplePostville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland AmericaDad Is FatOne Beautiful Dream: The Rollicking Tale of Family Chaos, Personal Passions, and Saying Yes to Them Both

Lots of Candles, Plenty of CakeSay Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for LifeResisting HappinessSoul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the BoardLittle Fires EverywhereKisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and RedemptionGirl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to BeNo Summit out of Sight: The True Story of the Youngest Person to Climb the Seven SummitsJust Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working MomA Love That Multiplies: An Up-Close View of How They Make it Work

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of LivingLittle BeeThe Pregnancy ProjectMama Bear's ManifestoDaring to Hope: Finding God's Goodness in the Broken and the BeautifulEducatedPlain and Simple: A Journey to the AmishCapital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid StuffInstant MomNatural Disaster: I Cover Them. I am One.

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians, #1)Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan HolocaustAlways Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable OptimistSisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life

These are all the books I read in 2018!

I’m very excited by this because my goal was 30 books and I ended up reading 44 books!

Here’s my top 3, for fellow book-worm-types (not in specific order):

1)Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of LivingPresent Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. A good read to put things into perspective and realize that it’s not always about how much you do but how little you do. I need to re-read this every 6 months, really. Good for everyone, especially moms.

2)One Beautiful Dream: The Rollicking Tale of Family Chaos, Personal Passions, and Saying Yes to Them BothOne Beautiful Dream by Jennifer Fulwiler. This book really spoke to me. The author struggles with and ultimately attains a work/life balance that is beautiful, unique and hilarious. She is a Catholic mom of 6, Sirius XM host and author. I found this book funny and exactly what I needed at the time. I recommend this to any mom, especially a Catholic mom.

3)Dad Is FatDad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan. This book is authored by the one and only Jim Gaffigan. Need I say more? I laughed SO MUCH during this book that it captured J’s attention and he read it too. Another Catholic author and comedian, Gaffigan talks about life with his kids in NYC, being a Catholic, his wife and marriage, his traveling and stand-up routines and everything funny in between. I read this when I was about 6 months pregnant and it was a breath of fresh air and, surprisingly, very inspirational.

Ok, making this into a top 5 because I can’t choose….

4)Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan HolocaustLeft to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza. THIS BOOK. This book may have been the most impactful book I have ever read. Immaculee survived the Rwandan Holocaust and is now telling her story. She spent MONTHS hiding out in a bathroom and praying the Rosary to survive. I cannot tell more because I don’t want to spoil it because you all need to read this book. I cannot recommend this book enough.

5)No Summit out of Sight: The True Story of the Youngest Person to Climb the Seven SummitsNo Summit out of Sight by Jordan Romero. This is actually a young adult nonfiction read that tells the story of the youngest person to climb the tallest peak on every continent. He started at age 9! This was a very inspirational and good read where I learned a lot along with enjoying his journey.

There you have it! My 2018 reading list. My goal for 2019 is 52 books. Part of me feels crazy for that, part of me is really excited for all that I’ll get to learn and places I’ll get to venture to! Give me your recommendations!!!!

Happy New Year!