Sunday, December 11, 2011

Living News

Hat: H&M Sweden(gift from Hubby)
Turtleneck:  H&M
Cape:  Loft
Jeans:  Target
Boots:  DSW
Earrings:  Hot Mama

Shame on me.  Leaving you hanging like that for so many weeks.  I just checked my gmail and there are few hundred unopened emails.  Yeah...sooooo not going to tackle that right now.  Here's what's been going on in my life and brain lately:

1.  I live and breath Hot Mama (no complaints).
2.  Steve and I bought a house.  We close on Friday.  We're nervous/excited.  We're packing.  The amount of crap is insane.
3.  My BFF is preggo with twins (E, I miss you.  Please stop puking long enough for us to hang out soon.  Tell the babies I love them.  Thanks.)
4.  Miles still has good days and bad days.  He's on an all raw diet now.  He loves it.  We love that he loves it.
5.  I have discovered the awesomeness that is Clothes Mentor and intend on trading clothes for cash as a means of buying more clothes...mostly at Hot Mama.
6.  35 days until a 2 week Disney vacation!  Mentally and emotionally, I'm already packed and ready to go.
7.  I made my first purchase at LOFT.  Strange, I know.  The cape you see here was $13, marked down from $114.  My knack for finding a bargain has not been lost.
8.  I have decided that I cannot keep up with short hair and am contemplating other styles as I grow it out a bit.  The in-between phase is pretty gross.
9.  I have great aspirations of re-focusing/re-prioritizing the ol' blog.  I want it to become an extension of what I do at Hot Mama - highlighting the experiences and products that make my job so's just a matter of finding the time.
10.  Time for bed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Prairie - VOTE!

The Prairie - TEN!!!

Dress, Hoodie, Cami:  Hot Mama
Necklace:  Target
Boots:  DSW
Whew!  Finally!  This series could go on and on forever as I continue to find fun new ways to wear my blaze orange hoodie.  I love it SO much and it was absolutely worth the hefty price tag.

Coming soon: Vote for your favorite look!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Prairie - Nine

Hat, Hoodie, Jeans, Booties:  Hot Mama
T-Shirt: GrandWazoo
Necklace:  Funky Gladys via Girly Muse

Miles' shirt:  PattyC2008

GREAT day.  I had so much fun shopping with my friend Carrie (hi, Carrie!).  We didn't buy a thing.  Usually that would put me in foul mood, but not today.  Today, I was proud of us.  It helped that we shopped the very upscale intersection of 50th & France in Edina, MN and couldn't have afforded most of it if we wanted to.  Perhaps this is a new frugal shopping technique?  Good company and no real money to spend.  And anyway, I'm supposed to be saving for the perfect swimsuit from Nani Nalu and a piece (or two or three) from Kokoon.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Prairie - Eight

Hat, Tee & Hoodie:  Hot Mama
Jeggings:  Citizens of Humanity via Clothes Mentor
Boots:  Mighty Swell
Necklace:  Funky Gladys via Girly Muse

The Prairie series continues on.  Ten is the goal.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Product Review: Clarisse Dress

Hello.  Jill here.  A few weeks ago, I was asked to review a Clarisse prom dress.   I'm more than a decade beyond prom and not a formal-loving girl, but it sounded like a fun opportunity to gussy up and take pictures.  I chose the Black Homecoming Dress 1309.

Oh, so adorable.  But uh-oh, no room for my double D's.   So I had to enlist the help of one equally much more fabulous and smaller on top.  Everyone, say hello to Keely. (Hello, Keely).

Keely can rock-out ANYTHING, so this dress was hardly a challenge for her.  She went big and bright with accessories.  Her hot pink and black fascinator is handmade, and I would guess that her massive necklace is a thrift-store treasure.  A leather bracelet and patent booties complete the sassy ensemble.

Here is what we loved about the dress:  It's timeless and versatile.  Formal wear is usually worn once, then stuffed in the back of a closet for years until it is rediscovered and likely donated or sold for no where near the original price.  But I can see this dress coming out to play for numerous occasions.  It can be dressed up with lots bling and stilettos for the rare formal event, OR it can be dressed down with boots and a graphic tee for girls night out.

We also love the details.  The big bow is long enough that it could be tied around the front as opposed to the back.  The length is universally flattering.  The big ruffle around the top of the dress is absolutely adorable.  It came with a halter strap for those of us who stress over strapless (hand raised).  And the can't go wrong with classy, flattering black.

What we I didn't love about the dress:  Obviously, the fact that I couldn't wear it.  I could size up and and up and up, but the boob space would never be enough for moi.  But if you're a B-cup or smaller, you'd be very happy with this dress.

Now seriously, could I have found a cuter girl to model?  Answer:  Nope.

***The Black Homecoming Dress 1309 dress had been provided to us by provides prom dresseshomecoming dresses and dresses for other special occasions.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

For the Locals: Wild Ruffle Pop-Up Shop

Hey Twin Citians,  mark your calendars for this Saturday, November 5th.  You'll want to head out to Prior Lake for a Wild Ruffle Pop-Up Shop.  I'll be there with a few vintage pieces to sell.  Get to know other vendors through the fun features on Cate's blog.

Just could get all your holiday shopping done early while supporting local artists while having a ton of fun. 

See you there!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Prairie - Seven

Hoodie: Hot Mama
Tank:  Eddie Bauer
Jeans:  Target
Boots:  DSW
Jewelry:  Gifted
The blaze orange Prairie Underground hoodie was a rare piece for Hot Mama.  Only the Woodbury location received them, and not many.  Karen was a lucky customer who bought one.  She came back in the store one day to get some ideas on what to wear with it.  I offered her a few ideas (SO many  colors look great paired with blaze orange!).  The next day, a message was relayed that Karen had put an item on hold for me at Eddie Bauer (across the street)  - something she thought would go with my OUR hoodie.

I hadn't been in an Eddie Bauer in EONS and had no idea what to expect.  Holy cuteness!  Sure, it's not the trendiest place on earth, but their basics (tees, flannels, etc.) and outerwear are adorable.  And I don't know why I had never thought of shopping for Steve there - their clothes are perfect for Disc-Golf.

The very nice salesperson presented me with this green tank, on clearance.  Not only does the color look fantastic with the orange, but the ruffle detail peeking out of the zipped hoodie is too darn cute.  It had to come home with me.  Thanks, Karen, for your thoughtfulness and for re-introducing me to Eddie Bauer!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Prairie - Six

Hoodie & Vest:  Hot Mama
Earrings:  INPINK
Shorts:  thrifted
Boots:  DSW

Ignore the blur.  And that scowl on my face.  It in no way reflects my current state of being.  On the contrary, I am a very happy, busy girl.  As you might have noticed, I still haven't figured out how Ms. Blog fits into my new routine.  I go for days without checking email, so if you've sent me anything, please be patient as I filter through what requires a response.

Outfit pictures and post obligations are piling up, but now is not the time to abandon ship.  Fun things coming due time. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Prairie - Five

Hoodie, Leggings:  Hot Mama
Dress:  Kenzie via giveaway win
Boots:  DSW

Just poppin' in for a quick "hello" and to encourage you to comment on this Wild Ruffle post.  Cate is not only raising awareness for one of my favorite charitable organizations, but she is donating $1 for every comment she receives.  How great is THAT!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Pairie - Four

Hat, Hoodie & Jeans:  Hot Mama
Shirt:  Gander Mountain Outlet
Boots:  Madden Girl
Laptop bag:  FuzzyNation via Macy's
Necklace:  Gift from dad-in-law

I'm pretty crazy about hats.  The only thing I find challenging about short hair is finding hats that don't make me look like a boy.  The key is to wear lots of mascara and big earrings.  I'm not putting that into practice in this photo, but in helps.

Happy Weekending!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Michele 1 Elle

I love show-stopping accessories.  The bolder, the better.  And these gorgeous pieces by Michele 1 Elle are exactly that.  I would love to dress up a simple black tee & blazer with the Antique Copper Fringe Necklace (top left).  And I could so see myself wearing the Amethyst and Gold Fascinator (bottom right) to the MN Opera, a vintage fashion event, or PROM (10+ years too late).

THIS is how upcycled vintage should be done.  Lots of class, without lacking any sass.  MmmHmm.  You know that's right.

(Thank you Michele for donating a gorgeous headband to the clothes-swap benefiting Dress for Success - and for your attendance.  So nice to meet you!)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Prairie - Three

Earrings:  FMSC Marketplace
Hoodie & Bouse:  Hot Mama
Skirt:  American Eagle, thrifted
Boots:  DSW
This just in:  All Most animal print is neutral.

Ok, so maybe this isn't breaking news, but it's pretty important.  At least in my world.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Prairie - Two

Hoodie, Cardi, Tunic, Leggings:  Hot Mama
Boots & Socks:  Target
Jewelry:  INPINK
Nope, didn't plan this.  The hoodie was purchased with no intention of pairing it with this striped, orange tunic.  It just happened.  Orange has become my new color.  A color I always meant to have more of, just never came across it in the right fashion until recently.  Good timing, because it sure looks great against the colors of the sweetest Minnesota fall in a hundred years or least that's what the weatherman says.

FRIDAY!  Doesn't have quite the same meaning as it used to, but it's still worth celebrating.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wherefore Art Thou?

Dress: vintage via Mighty Swell
Boots:  DSW

You didn't think I'd given up on my love of vintage, did you?  Oh, contrar.  I call this my Juliet dress.  Though I'm sure it's not from Shakespeare's era.  More like the Sonny and Cher era.  But whatevs.  It's about as polyester as polyester can be, so it had to wait for cooler weather.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I've been to purse parties and jewelry parties.  MaryKay, Arbonne, and Melaleuca parties.  Fun and informative, yes.  But none of these have truly spoken to my lust for spending because my #1 shopping priority has always been CLOTHING.

Enter KOKOON.  A boutique without borders is exactly what it is.  A private pop-up shop that will set up a trunk show in your very own living room, with only your specially chosen guests in attendance.  I'm excited to go to my first Kokoon boutique next month!

Designs are crafted with a busy, modern woman in mind (that's all of us, right?).  I particularly love the use of basics - with the chicness factor taken up several notches.  It was no problem selecting my favorite items from their website.  Prices are reasonable, but I better start saving if I'm going for a whole outfit (*wink).

(Thank you to Amber at Kokoon for donating 2 $50 gift cards to the clothes-swap benefiting for Dress for Success!)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Congratulations, Nicole!  You won the gorgeous yellow dress from eShakti!  Check your email for a note from me!

The Prairie - One

Tee:  H&M
Hoodie:  Prairie Underground via Hot Mama
Jeans:  Lux, thrifted
Shoes:  Target

I nearly died when this bright Prairie Underground hoodie came in at Hot Mama.  Colors I had seen in this style were typically muted.  I momentarily resisted trying it on for fear of what I knew would be too tempting of a purchase.  The price tag read just over $200!  Granted, I get an employee discount, but still.

Somewhat hesitantly, I tried it on.  Pure LOVE.  I'm a girl who knows and loves her casual-wear, so hoodies and sweatshirts abound in my closet.  But this one...this one was soooooo different.  It made me feel special.  The color made me glow.  The fit made me feel light and slim.  And that ruffled collar made me feel like a queen.  I calculated the value of the hoodie by how much I would wear it, how much I love it, and how I feel IN it.  I determined that sacrificing a few smaller purchases in order to afford this one was worth it. 

And now I will spend the month of October proving to myself that cost-per-wear matters MORE than the cost of the item itself.  Oh boy, here I go.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sighs of Relief

Scarf & Blazer:  Hot Mama
Tee, Jeans & Boots:  Target

Can I just take moment to breath a sigh of relief...(ahhhhh).  This concludes the first week of my new dream job at Hot Mama.   How awesome is it to look forward to work every day?  Pretty darn awesome.  One of the reasons I never ventured into retail before was because I couldn't imagine having to work evenings and weekends.  Turns out, when it's something I love and enjoy doing, it really doesn't matter when I do it...because I want to be there all. the. time.

Also...the clothes-swap is over.  Thank God.  Not that I don't love the event, but the timing wasn't good for me this year.  It went really well with the help of some wonderful friends (you know who you are), and for that I am incredibly grateful.  

Now that my schedule has lightened significantly, I plan to make time for blogging again.  I have some big plans for October.  Like, sharing a few local businesses with you that contributed raffle prizes to the clothes-swap.  They're all so great, you deserve to know them.  

AND,  I've challenged myself with styling my new Prairie Underground hoodie as many ways as possible.  There might even be a vote for your favorite look at the end of the month.  Fun stuff like that.

See you sooner than later.  

Thursday, September 29, 2011

eShakti Review and GIVEAWAY!

Isn't she a beauty?  She was carefully chosen when eSkakti asked me to review an item from their website.

There were so many great styles to choose from, but the moment I laid eyes on this dress in that glorious sunshiney color, I knew she was the one.

I opted for a custom fit, providing eShakti with measurements for my bust and waist.  I also specified my height and chose an above the knee length.

eShakti is all about options.  Their customer can ask for the fabric, color, body, styling and sizing that she likes

As promised, she arrived at my doorstep less than a week later.

The color = perfection.  Even more beautiful in person than in the picture.

The fabric = quality.  This is not cheap, dainty material.  It's surprisingly weighty, crisp, and well-constructed.

The fit = bummer.  Here's where it all goes wrong for me (thus, right for you).  For having provided my custom measurements, the fit was so. way. off.  I knew the moment I held it up from the package.  What should have been something around a size 4, is probably closer to a 10.  The arm holes = too big.  The bust = close, but not quite.  The waist = much too large.  The length = not above the knee.  What happened!?  We may never know the real answer.

Though I was not able to return or exchange the dress, eShakti did provide me with $25 toward another item.  I have my eye on several great blouses, but haven't settled on what to try next.  Regardless, I will probably opt out of their custom fitting and see if I have better luck with standard sizing.

Since it was of no cost to me, I offered to proceed with the review. But instead of pictures of me wearing it, loving it, keeping it...I'm offering it to one lovely reader to wear, love and keep.  Maybe this is your size, or maybe you're willing to have it altered.  You won't be sorry for adding this adorable dress to your wardrobe.  I envision it worn so many different ways, even in fall/winter
  • layered under a blazer or cardigan
  • layered over a fitted turtleneck or oxford
  • accessorized with a belt, scarf, tights and boots
So many options!

How to win this dress:
Leave a comment with your email address!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Necklace:  Francesca's
Tunic:  Target
Cape:  Paul & Joe for Target
Leggings: Nikibiki via Hot Mama
Booties:  Minnetonka Moccasin via Hot Mama
Bag:  Thrifted via Arc's Value Village

Yep, I went all MIA on ya.  Didn't intent to, it just happened.

Hot Mama-Woodbury had a spectacular grand opening.  Steve and I are making great strides on the housing front.  The clothes-swap planning is really coming together.  Miles is doing ok - not great, but ok.

Not blogging feels weird.  I'll get back in a regular groove ASAP.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Barely Operating

Shirt:  Hot Mama
Pants:  H&M
Boots:  Target

In the days since my iPhone was stolen, I have really come to resent my reliance on technology.  It's that whole 'you don't know what you got till it's gone' thing.  I used to make lists, take notes, keep a calendar, check email, respond to texts, and self-entertain with ease.  My life operated well that way.  Without it....not so well.  Can I really wait until October 21 for the iPhone5? 

I think I can.  I think I can.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Here Comes the Guest Post

A day late and (always) a dollar short, but I didn't want to forget to tell you about my guest post at Oranges and Apples

Weddings - gah!  Love 'em or hate 'em, here are a few tips I picked up over the course of my short engagement.

Be chill.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Phase 1

Shirt:  Gap (outlet?)
Necklace:  Target
Jacket:  Gap, thrifted
Skirt:  Hand-me-down from Sis-in-law
Shoes:  Target

Hello, Friday.  You sweet, sweet day, you. (MUAH!)

Let's see here.  If all goes according to plan, my weekend will consist of:
  • my last 2 days with the Hot Mama, St. Paul family (sniffles)
  • Target shopping
  • haircut/color
  • fast-food eating
  • open house(s)
  • church
  • garage clean-out, phase 1
  • training for Hot Mama, Woodbury and meeting the new team (yeh!)
  • catching up on blog writing/reading (highly unlikely)
  • family snuggling  

See you next week.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Big News

Blouse:  Vintage, thrifted
Cardi:  Target
Skirt:  Vintage, thrifted
Shoes:  Vintage, thrifted

About the big news that I mentioned the other day...
Not this one, the other one.
Hot Mama is opening in Woodbury (MN) next week and I am the new Assistant Manager!  I am beyond ecstatic.  Like, all I want to do is dance around and eat cake and celebrate until I pass out.

But there's no time for that.  Between fulfilling my 2 weeks at soon-to-be old job, starting a new job (new store!), planning the clothes-swap, finding a house, renting our condo, looking for a car, keeping the dog alive, lovin' on my Stevie, and blogging...I'm busier than EVER (maybe?), and loving every minute of it!

The clothes-swap just keeps getting better and better.  I already have a garbage bag FULL of donations, and plan on getting rid of a TON more.  I'm ready to trade in my corporate casual for Hot Mama chic!  And what better cause to do it for!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Outfit Pic: Doggy Style

You don't want to see this pug naked.  It ain't pretty.  But it's getting better.

Miles got a new shirt.  I've spent way too much time and money trying to find a good pug-fit at the local pet stores.  It seems nothing is made for neck rolls of this magnitude.

I found Patty on Etsy who outfits her Boston Terrier (Molly) in custom t-shirts to help with her grass allergy.  Realizing that Bostons and Pugs have similar body types, I thought I'd give it shot.

This is by far the best fitting tee I've tried on Miles.  It covers all of his owies, but is loose enough for his skin to breath and heal.  The turtle neck can be flipped up or down and sits high and tight so the sores on his neck are not exposed. 

Love the baseball style and color combination.  Love that it doesn't get in the way when he goes potty.   And love that he looks like a little man-pug.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stars Aligned

Remember Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants?  I have to wonder if those jeans were a Michael Stars  one-size creation (j/k. jeans don't come one-size IRL - that'd be terrible).  But it sure seems to work for Michael Stars tees.  I was introduced to the brand at Hot Mama (where else?), and am continually amazed at the range of sizes and body types that they fit.  It has to do with the dolman sleeves and intentional slouchiness, I'm sure.

And the fall/winter lookbook?  To die for. 
How much do I appreciate the fabulous use of head-wear?  Way much.  

Some big news and a giveaway comin' up this week if I can manage it.  Stay tuned.