Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Word for 2014

Every year seems to own a word.  A theme of sorts.  One year was FOCUS.  Another was REST.  Then there was ADAPT.

2013 was LOVE.  Not sure if it began that way, but looking back over the last year, I've gained a new perspective on that word.  Love for my job, my time, my church, God, and all the people I share this precious life with.

The word that keeps coming to my mind for 2014 is ENGAGE.  It's Jean Luc Picard's favorite word (I'm more of Kirk girl, but whatevs).  Sometimes life feels like one obligation after another.  That outlook is exhausting and leads me to check out or get distracted with other things.  If I can stop constantly thinking about the next thing and fully engage in the here and now, how much better would that be?

I want to know - what's your word?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Heart-ing Tights

Why settle for plain opaque tights when they're available in so many fun prints and patterns?  I'm wearing kneepad tights today.  Fingers crossed that these Kate Spade darlings arrive before my busy weekend.

Remember, you CAN:
Wear under distressed denim for a peak of funkiness.
Wear with shorts.  Hello!  My favorite winter look.
Wear 2 pair at once.  Try a pop of color under fishnets for extra coverage.






Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Terrific Tuesday

Scarf: Hot Mama,  Jacket: JCP,  Dress: M Rena via Sisu
Tights: Target?,  Boots: DSW

Sheesh.  Drastic climate change since my last outfit post.

It's Tuesday.  My favorite weekday.  I get to take my time in the morning - which typically consists of sneaking back into bed with the furballs.  Then I go to work at the cutest baby boutique in my favorite part of town.  Sometimes, I treat myself to coffee at Cahoots.  If I'm really motivated, blogging gets done (hardy-har).  I stop for spring rolls before choir practice.  Sing until 8:30.  Home to bed.  It's just a good day, full of things I love.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Pugstagram

The kids wanted to say 'hi' and remind you (and me) that THEY are the stars of Spoils of Wear on Instagram.  In case you thought it was about outfits or something...







Monday, December 2, 2013

Mr. Panda

Scarf & Jacket: Hot Mama,  Tee: MLSP/STP Clothing Co.
Skirt: Gap via clothes-swap,  Shoes: Seychelles via Amazon

It's a Panda.  He's riding a scooter.  If this is wrong, I don't want to be right.  However, it does bother me that he's not wearing a helmet.  Rethink that choice, Mr. Panda. When Steve's scooter was in working condition, I always insisted he wear a helmet.  It was a stylish one, nothing to be embarrassed about.   I caught him riding without it a couple times and had to remind him that I not only love him and want him to live forever, but also I cannot afford this life without him.  Selfish, yet not.  And true.

Digressing...

I love me some state love.  Even when I'm not feeling a ton of love toward my state (the temp could hit negative 11 degrees on Saturday - yeah, don't love it).  Still.  It's where I am and where my most beloved are.

I discovered an awesome local t-shirt company - MPLS/STP Clothing Co.  They had a $5 t-shirt sale, so I bought a few.  They're all very nice quality and a good fit.  This company also donates to Minnesota Computers for Schools, a Minnesota-based non-profit that provides technology access to K-12 schools across the state.  I think that's really cool.

Friday, November 29, 2013

SHOP on Small Business Saturday!


Teeny Bee Boutique

If you live east of the Mississippi, there is no better place to shop small than St. Paul.  Cruise down Grand Avenue, you won't be disappointed.  But before you head there, swing by the intersection of Selby and Snelling.  Then head south on Snelling (see: Poppy, Bleach).  Back track a few blocks to Grand.  (Have you seen The Californians skit on Saturday Night Live?  I'm just mappin' it out for ya.)

Best advice right here: start your day with the proper sustenance.  Grab some coffee at Cahoots.  Try their Thai coffee (hot or iced) or one-of-a-kind Lavender Infused White Mocha.  For a light breakfast, order the quiche.  For heartier fare, hop next door to Neighborhood Cafe' - breakfast served all the livelong day.

Teeny Bee Boutique
You might just find me working.  But more likely playing.  We have the most beautiful toys for babes and tots.  Adorable Christmas outfits and PJ's galore.  Not to mention all the must-haves for the new mommies on your list.  20% off the entire store + 5% more if you present a Small Business Saturday receipt.

Flirt
No secrets here - I'm in need of a lacy, black bra.  Flirt has the prettiest lingerie in the cities and they even carry some extended sizes.  All purchases of $50 or more on Friday AND Saturday will earn you a pretty pair of black panties. Also, 10% off all gift cards.

Poppy Togs and Clogs
For the eclectic lady on your Christmas list.  Poppy is a clothing boutique full of fun.  Get a FREE pair of funky, French arm warmers if you spend $25 or more.  Also 10% off all local designer items.

Bleach
My favorite salon!  I see Megs.  She's fab - makes my hair blue n' stuff.  Open house between 11am-2pm.  20% off all products.  An additional $10 on gift certificates.  Snack on Mimosas and cookies. 

NOW.  Take Hwy 94 east to the heart of suburbia = Woodbury. Because I hang out there too.


Angelina's Kitchen
YUM.  10% off your bill with a Small Business Saturday receipt.  Heidi recommends the Chicken Florentine. Follow it up with Banana Pudding.

Sisu

Sisu 
It's right next door to Angelina's.  And I work here too.  A brand spankin' new boutique offering designer denim and trendy tops from unique brands.  My cohorts and I will ensure you are party-ready for the holiday season.  We also have some great gift ideas for trendsetters on your list.  15% off the entire store.  Also an additional 5% with a Small Business Saturday receipt.

Interior Impressions
Steve has been hard at work updating our home, so this would be a wise stop for us.  30% off 1 item of your choice and 25% off all other items!

And don't forget about the furbabies!  Pet Evolution will help you choose the best quality food for your dog or cat, and will even remain friendly and helpful when your pug pees on their floor (coughcoughDAISYcough).  Also a great place for doggy stocking stuffers (that's right, the pugs get stockings too).



Here's another tip:  American Express card holders can register on their site to be eligible for a $10 credit for shopping at a registered small biz on Small Business Saturday.

READY.  SET.  SHOP SMALL.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Winners!



Happy Thanksgiving!

Congrats to Rebecca, Ticka, Sandy, Trenda, and Angie for winning a pair of Heat Holders!  
You'll be seeing an email from me shortly.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Black and White Film

Remember when we took pictures with film?  Those little 35mm rolls.  Rationing every shot for fear of running out at an inopportune time.  Trying to waste a whole hour at Walgreens waiting for the envelope containing those tangible photographs.  Lucky if half of them were any good.  The excitement and pride over the ones that were good.  I always ordered doubles, just in case.  The anticipation was awesome.

My favorite tutu (yes, I have more than one) is the subject of a friend's college photography project.  I create five different outfits with it and she captures them on black and white film.  This shoot was my favorite so far.  I even like the extra grainy effect from transferring them to digital format (aka: taking a picture of a picture - because I'm techie like that).

Seriously though.  I love old black and whites for their eery, romantic qualities.  And the ability to take an outfit that only a blind + crazy person would wear and make it look relatively normal.  







*photos c/o Adreanna Frelix

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Blue Hair

Glasses: c/o glassesusa.com,  Scarf: H&M,  Sweater: Gap
Tee: LA Made,  Jeans: Target,  Shoes: DV Dolce Vita

When I quit my corporate job a couple years ago, I talked about putting pink in my hair.  Never did it.  Then found myself back in a conservative office setting only a year later.   Missed my chance.

Switchin' things up again.

In addition to my blissful, baby-filled Mondays and Tuesdays at Teeny Bee Boutique in St. Paul,  I'll be at a new women's clothing boutique in Woodbury called Sisu.  You'll find me there most Wednesday, Thursday, Fridays, and the occasional Saturday.

It's exciting to be a part of two local start-ups.  I believe in shopping small whenever possible.  A small business is like a gift to a neighborhood or community.  It's our job as consumers to use it.  Go, play.

So, the hair.  Had to do something a little funky, but pink didn't seem right.  Glad I went with blue for now.  Might go even bolder next time.



Monday, November 18, 2013

Pretty Skinnies

Blue and black denim has it's place.

But when days get gray, it's time to break out the color and shine.

I'm crazy about my Joes Jeans.  Even crazier about them at a discount.

Hello, Hautelook.  Need an invitation?  Use mine.







Thursday, November 14, 2013

It's a Miracle

Hoodie: Prairie Underground,  T-shirt: Universal Studios, Necklace: Girly Muse
Shorts: LOFT, gifted,  Tights: KMart, Bag:  Jessica Simpson via TJ Maxx
Boots: Frye, thrifted via ARC Value Village


Have you ever experienced a miracle?  By definition, an occurrence so rare and/or perfect it could only have derived from a supernatural source.  How 'bout a fashion miracle?

Let's start with the boots.  Once upon a Wednesday, I told my co-worker that I was in search of a pair of black, heeled, Frye boots.  Not something I can readily afford, but I figured with patience and persistent, I could find what I wanted at half price...or so.

Fast forward a few hours (that's right, hours).  I had arranged for my church youth group to volunteer at ARC Value Village.  Our first assignment was to open boxes labeled 'Halloween Shoes', find the matching pairs, and put them in bins to go out on the sales floor.  Mixed in with some hilarious costume shoes, there were a few that seemed pretty normal.  I pulled a pair of simple, black boots out of a box.  They were a little dusty, but beautifully worn.  I paused to admire the buttery leather.  I turned them over to examine the condition of the sole, and a little brand stamp caused my heart to flutter - FRYE!  Frantically, I dug through the interior of the boot to find the size - 7.5!  Holy buckets.  Buckets of holiness.

With quivering voice, I asked the supervisor if I could set them aside.  "Whatever you want for them, I'll pay it."  But I had to let them go out on the sales floor - rules n' stuff.  I knew they'd be waiting for me at the end of my shift.  It was destiny.  A gift from Jesus.

2 hours and $4.80 later, they were mine.  I took them to my local shoe repair guy for some TLC and they're good as new.  What would have potentially been hundreds of dollars and multiple hours of web searching just appeared in my hand.  That's a miracle.

And there's more...

My Super Pack Pug t-shirt got me and 4 friends to the front of the Men in Black ride line at Universal Studios.

The shorts were a gift from a friend (thanks, Sandy!).  She found them for $0.88 at LOFT and knew I'd a appreciate such a deal.  Oh, heck yes I do.

My necklace went missing for 2 years.  It's reappearance was nothing short of miraculous as far as I'm concerned.

I don't deserve these things.  I don't often ask for freebies.  I rarely pray for my many materialistic desires.   But miracles happen anyway.  All the time.  Lately, I've just been awake enough to notice.  And boy, am I grateful.



Psst. Here's a giveaway.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fight Frostbite with this GIVEAWAY!

Socks: c/o Heat Holders 

Brrr.  It's frickin' cold all of sudden.  Yesterday, I was not prepared.  Thought I might lose a toe or two.  Ugh...wouldn't that be unpleasant.  Poor sock choice was to blame.  It was agony.

Steve and I love socks.  Especially Steve.  Ask him what he'd like for Christmas...socks.  The man is hairless from the ankle down because he's never without socks - follicles cannot survive in those conditions.

Heat Holders sent us socks to try. It was very thoughtful of them to include a pair for my sock-obsessed husband (bonus points).  Heat Holders, indeed.  They're soooooo warm.  Soft, fluffy, and squishy too.  They'll function more as a slipper than a sock for me since I only have a couple pairs of boots roomy enough to fit all this toastiness.  It's a good thing they wash up perfectly for how much Steve and I have already worn them (it's only November).  All warmth and fluff remains intact.

I'm planning the purchase of new ice skates.  Don't care how much I have to size up to fit my Heat Holders, it's a requirement.   These socks will be the difference between frostbite misery and all-day fun on the rink/slopes/hill.   Minnesota might retain more of their residents over the winter if they supplied every household with Heat Holders.  How's that for a stimulus plan?




I want you to try them too.  They could change your life.  Heck, they could save your life.  Or at least your toes.  So Heat Holders is providing 5 pairs for a giveaway.  Men's or women's socks - winner's choice.  :)

Check 'em out on Facebook or Twitter, then leave a comment on this post with your email address.  I'll select the winners at random next week!


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Twitter Giveaway! #crocstyle

Sweater: Free People via Houndstooth,  Leggings: NikiBiki
Socks: Target,  Boots: c/o Crocs

This one time, at band camp I considered purchasing a pair of Crocs for a day at Valley Fair.   No joke.  I think the ballet flat Crocs are kind of fun.  Perfect for a day at an amusement/water park.  Cuter and safer than flip-flops, for sure.

And then, this one other time, Steve went bargain shopping in West Virginia and bought me a pair of YOU by Crocs wedge sandals.  Super, stinkin' cute and really comfortable.  I kept checking the label...did that really say Crocs???  Yep.

So it wasn't a huge surprise when Crocs emailed to let me know about their new, stylish boot options.  They sent me a pair to try.  I love them.  Here's why:

1.  If a rain boot and regular boot hooked up and had a baby, this is how it would look, feel, and function.  You know I just like the idea of shoes procreating.  (#sicko)

2.  Budget-friendly.  Under $100.

3.  I've had my Crocs A-leigh's for about 2 months now.  They've taken several beatings and still look new.

4.  They make my feet look cute and small.  Not that I have Hobbit feet or something.  But some boots look big and clunky.  Not these.

TODAY.  Like, right now, you can enter to win your own pair of Crocs A-leigh boots.  All you have to do is TWEET ME (@spoilsofwear) your answer to this question:

How do you stay stylishly comfy in cold weather?  Include hashtag #crocstyle.  

Super easy, right?  3 winners will be chosen at random.

YAY!  We can be boot twinsies.  Go on now, tweet yourself silly.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hungry Game



Not that you would know from this multi-layer outfit, but I'm going through a skinny phase.  It's not intentional, it just happened.  Before you mumble obscenities in my direction, just know that if I were to try to lose weight, I would gain it.   It's a weird, mental thing with me.   I tend to ride 10-15lb waves that can last anywhere from a few months to a couple years.  Now that I've hit my 30's, I can't afford to take it for granted.  With some conscious effort, I hope to ride this skinny wave for a while.

It's the wrong season for weight management, I know.  It's time to make like a Grizzly and store up some body fat for hibernation.  Minnesota is famous for delicious casseroles and I'm craving one topped with tater tots.  The strategy is to take an extra large helping and then pat myself on the back for abstaining seconds.  See?  Mental game.  Totally winning.

Also, I need to get the clothes that don't fit out of sight.  Starting with these shorts (sigh).  It's too tempting to wear baggy stuff because it's comfortable, available, and layer-able.  Most things that get too small are swapped or donated.  It's way harder to let go of items that are too big.  Instead, I hide them away for the inevitable bloat, trips to Louisiana, or just in case I get knocked up.  Oh, and because I'm a realist, obviously.

Tips on winter pudge (rhymes with fudge) resistance is much appreciated.

Tater tot recipes also welcome.


Scarf: airport,  Jacket: KUT,  Sweatshirt: Old Navy,  Shorts: thrifted
Thigh-highs: Target,  Boots: Frye via Amazon

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rule of Seven

Dress: vintage, thrifted via My Sister's Closet,  Belt: F21
Necklace: Fashion Bug,  Boots: Frye via Amazon

Lookie what I found!  A forgotten outfit picture.  It's like Christmas.

A recent conversation resounds in my mind as I try to get dressed in the morning.  We were discussing the process of dressing a mannequin - a task I enjoy, given the right items.  I was told that somewhere in the world of retail merchandising, there is a "rule" of seven.  As in, seven pieces make a complete outfit.  

This was news to me.  As much I've grown to dislike hard rules in fashion (a blog post for another day), I admit to curiosity.  Who made this mannequin rule and does it also apply to outfitting real people?  Accessorizing isn't something I'm awesome at.  This suggestion could be helpful...maybe.

Take this outfit, for example.  
Earrings + Necklace + Dress + Belt + Socks + Boots = 6 pieces.

Is it incomplete?  Not necessarily.
Would it benefit from one more item?  Couldn't hurt.

So I'm in the process of testing the theory.  Yes, it is annoying that this idea is taking up any amount of space in my creative psyche.  At the same time, my analytical brain eats junk like this for breakfast.  Any conclusive results will be shared here, of course.  Don't hold your breath.  Just count your outfit.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Winner!

Sometimes, it pays to be the first!

The winner of For the Love of Shoes book giveaway is SANDY!

(Side conversation to Sandy: instead of me mailing the book to you, we should grab lunch sometime soon.  Yes?  Ok, I'll text you.)

Alrighty, peeps!  More giveaways comin' down the pipeline.  Stay tuned.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Romanticizing the Cold

Shirt & Skirt: Target,  Vest: JCP,  Hoodie: clothes-swapped
Boots: c/o Crocs

Socks and boots.  Socks and boots and tights on even chillier days.

I may not love the cold, but I sure enjoy dressing for it.  Cuddling in it.  Sleeping under the weight of multiple blankets.  Wrapping my icy fingers around a warm mug of coffee.  Adding a few extra minutes to a hot shower.  Hiding the regrowth of dishwater blonde hair under a cozy hat.  Eating hearty soups.

Socks and boots.

I've said all this before, multiple times.  Call it a survival technique or seasonal neurosis.  It's both.

Socks and boots.  Giveaways for both coming up in the next few weeks (hint in today's outfit).  Until then, enter this one.  Imagine yourself enjoying the book while snuggled under a fuzzy blanket, your favorite steamy beverage within reach, and a snoring Pug at your feet.  Complaints be silenced.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

BOOK GIVEAWAY: For the Love of Shoes

YAY!  I am so pumped (pun intended).  Today's giveaway is an AH-MAZING coffee table book.  For the Love of Shoes is 300 massive pages of designer footwear for your drooling pleasure.  Seriously, this book is $95 worth of hugeness and you don't even have to be Carrie Bradshaw to enjoy it.  Like, whoa.

© For the Love of Shoes edited by Patrice Farameh, published by teNeues, www.teneues.com
© Diego Dolcini Photo © Gianluca Pasquini and Diego Dolcini

Glimpse into the creative genius of designers like Alexander McQueen, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, and Stuart Weitzman...to name a few.  Styles range from the beautifully wearable to completely insane (aka "art").


© For the Love of Shoes edited by Patrice Farameh,
published by teNeues, www.teneues.com. © Ruthie Davis Photo © Ruthie Davis

Don't be alarmed if your reaction to one page is, "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" and the next is, "WTF?". I don't know about where YOU live, but I've never seen shoes with a ponytail and microphone walking down the streets of Minneapolis.  Probably never will.  Though that would be awesome.


© For the Love of Shoes edited by Patrice Farameh, published by teNeues, www.teneues.com.
© Kobi Levi Photo © Shay Ben-Efraim and Ilit Azoulay

Leave a comment with your email address.  

Yep, that's it.

I'll announce the winner next week.

Good luck!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Shop for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Almost half way through the month and it's finally starting to feel like fall.  I'm trying really hard to live in the moment and not prematurely freak out about the season to come.

So let's talk about October for sec.  It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  This is a good thing.

One of the many great ways to support this cause is by purchasing items from Macy's Pink Shop.  Shop brands like Ralph Lauren, The North Face, and Under Armour and know that you're contributing to breast cancer awareness, education and research.

I received a sample from Ideology Pink Power collection.  SUPER impressed with the fit and fabric (not that I claim to know anything about work-out gear).  Now I have one less excuse for not exercising.   Who knew spandex could be so empowering?  I could potentially dance and kick and stretch in this outfit.  This would take place in the comfort of my living room, during commercial breaks.

Through October, Macy's will donate 5% of the sale price from Ideology items to Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  BCRF is dedicated to preventing breast cancer and finding a cure in our lifetime.

Savin' ta-tas.  Way to go, October.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Lolly Watch Product Review (sniff)

(sniff sniff)

Check out this watch.  It's scented (ooooh ahhhh).  My white watch was in poor condition, so without much consideration to the coconut scent, that’s the color I chose when Lolly offered to send me one to try.  

It came in an adorable, watch-sized crate.  I had my handy dad-in-law take a few links out of it for the perfect fit.  It’s light weight, but doesn’t feel cheap.  The design is simple and ageless.  Unlike my previous white watch, it doesn’t make sweaty indentations on my wrist.  Nice.

Lolly watches are eco-friendly.  Super scientific n' stuff.   That whole subject is way over my head.  But I do understand the material being BPA free and hypoallergenic. Perhaps why I find it so comfortable and non-irritating to my sensitive skin?  Sure, that sounds right.

On a 5-star rating scale:
Appearance: 5 stars
Comfort: 5 stars

Maybe I should've chosen for scent first instead of color?  READ ON.



I put it on and instantly noticed the coconut fragrance.  Uh oh.  Not that it was bad.   Heck, I love a Pina Colada.  I’m just not sure if I want to wear one (getinmybelly).  I’m not a smelly person (most days I smell like Pug, but that’s just my life).  I try to avoid scented body products and rarely wear perfume.  I was worried that it would be too over-powering - resulting in headaches and strange looks from anyone who might share a small space with me.  Thankfully, I don’t ride a lot of buses or elevators anymore.

I wore it.  And sure enough, it bugged me.  So disappointed, because I liked everything else about my new timepiece.  But the smell.  It consumed me, goshdarnit.  It wasn’t long before I was tasting coconut. This product review was in big trouble.

Since no one else seemed bothered by it, I asked around:

“Do you smell that?” 
“You don’t SMELL that?” 
“How ‘bout NOW?”  As I inconspicuously moved my arm closer to their face.
 Awkward, but necessary for a fair review. 

A few people noticed it just before I practically shoved my wrist up their nose. Most of my victims eventually acknowledged that it smelled sweet before they could identify the coconut.  Everyone was impressed when I told them it was my WATCH and not a new spray from Bath and Body Works.   A scented watch is so fun and original, RIGHT?  Everyone agreed.  Not one single bad reaction from an outsider.  So I began doubting my sensitivity to the smell.

Thoughts, in order:
It’s probably because it’s ON me.  
Shoot, I really want to like this thing.  
I need to give it a few more days. 
What I wouldn’t give for a mint right now.

It took 3 days for the constant smell and funky taste to go away.  (Maybe because I stopped licking it.  J/K, I don’t put things like that in my mouth.  Oh wait, yes I do – Chewbeads are delicious.  Shameless Teeny Bee plug, right there.)

Now, I have to hold the watch up to my nose to get a whiff of coconut.  And that’s exactly how I like it.  I'm not sure if the emission of scent decreased or if my snout adjusted...probably the latter.

Wishing this was me.  Wondering if all those watches smell like a fruit salad?


Scent:  Day 1 – 0 stars, Day 5 – 4 stars.  Significant improvement.  Whew.  

Conclusion: I think this would make a great gift for a teenage girl.  They tend to like bright, sweet-smelling accessories, right?  Correct me if I'm wrong.  Great stocking stuffer idea.  That suggestion is totally free.  You can wait until December to thank me.

Seriously though.  I like my Lolly watch and I will get a lot of use out of it.  But I might not have stuck it out if not for wanting to give a complete and honest review.  I’m really glad I forged through the first couple of days.  I wish I could try every scent/color to smell/see the difference.  Steve wished I would've chosen Strawberry.  I think I would've like Apple the best.

Other things to note about Lolly
  • Free shipping (as it should be)
  • Free returns (no risk!)
  • 1 year warranty (no risk, part 2)
  • Buy a watch, plant a tree (dogoodery is fun)
  • Receive 20% off with code spoilsofwear20  (discount!)

Check 'em out on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and Instagram.

*disclosure: I received my Lolly watch FREE, in exchange for a product review on Spoils of Wear.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

LBD Remix: Vote Your Favorite

Just because it's fun, let's have a vote.  In all honesty, I'm usually a little surprised by remix results. Remember when you voted on the Prairie hoodie and Fashionologie dress?  Outfits don't always translate in pictures, so it's fun for me to know what you think.  What's your favorite?  

How would YOU jazz up a little black dress?



Day 1....................................................Day 2


Day 3....................................................Day 4


Day 5..................................................Day 6