Monday, December 29, 2014

For the Locals: Brow Chic

Female facial hair - it's a thing.  I cannot continue with this subject without sharing the words of lyrical genius Larry the Cucumber in his delightful rendition of "Love My Lips":

On the day I got my tooth
I had to kiss my Great Aunt Ruth
She had a beard
And it felt weird

Bravo, Larry.  You and your adorable tooth.


Sometime around 8th grade I realized I was rockin' a girly unibrow and began experimenting with tweezers.  As enjoyable as it is to yank well-rooted hairs from the delicate skin around my eyes, my attempt at regular upkeep has been inconsistent over the years. 

I was recently invited to experience a series of services at Brow Chic where I met Tessa and Syreeta, who kindly destroyed my casual attitude toward facial grooming.  Even though I had never done anything like this before, I felt comfortable with these ladies right away.

The scene at Brow Chic in Northeast Minneapolis is immaculate and minimalistic without sacrificing coziness.  I was led over to a well-lit bed, where I was able to relax and chat with Tessa as she worked her magic on my face.  My first brow wax ever could not have gone any better.  I expected a bit of pain, but Tessa was so fast and kept me distracted with enough conversation that I hardly noticed what was happening.

I love prominent brows.  Tessa shaped mine to perfection, then applied a tint to make them even bolder.  She was extra awesome to send me home with brow powder and a brush so I can maintain this look for as long as possible before my next appointment.

With time to spare, she generously offered a lash tint as well.  I'm so glad she did, because I will most definitely be back for this before my cruise vacation next month.  My lashes are naturally very light and this makes the greatest difference when I can't be bothered with mascara.  Even Steve noticed my darker lashes!

Next, I met with Syreeta for a make-up application.  The Ellis Faas products used at Brow Chic are the niftiest looking contraptions, designed after bullet casings.  Being that I don't normally wear a lot of make up and this was a day look,  Syreeta kept it light and natural but amped it up with a bold lip.   The lipstick was my favorite thing.  It was included in my goodie bag and I've used it numerous times since then.

Nothing drastic about this little make-over, just some special treatment to make me feel fresh and new.  Brow Chic's St. Paul location is conveniently located near Teeny Bee, so I'll be heading there for my next lash tint.  No doubt my experience will be just as great as it was in Northeast.  I'm making a commitment in 2015 to hand my face over to the professionals at Brow Chic when I'm feeling a little dull.

Before or after a visit to Brow Chic NE, take a stroll through the interior of the building.  945 Broadway is loaded with charm.  Enjoy the quirky, modern art randomly featured around the facility.  Wave hello to the friendly stylists at Stellar Hair Company.  Depending on time and day, grab a beer and/or tour 612 Brew.

A stop at the beautiful Spyhouse Coffee is an absolute must.  It's the ultimate hipster gathering.  There will likely be a bearded 20-something dude at the counter decked out in red buffalo plaid and thick-rimmed glasses.  If you're lucky enough to get the cute, blonde barista behind the counter (rocking the most covetable ringlet curls), she'll suggest a tasty sandwich to go with your cup of joe.  Trust her, it's delicious.

***disclaimer:  I received free product and services from Brow Chic for this review.  This post reflects my honest opinion of what I received.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Confessions of a Shop Assistant

Where I stand.

It wasn't a single incident that inspired this post, but the common occurrences that come up as an employee of two local boutiques.  I'm a consumer like everyone else, so I understand that point of view entirely.  But I think there may be misconceptions while shopping small business retail.  It is not (and shouldn't be) like going into a chain or department store.  Here are just a few truths from where I stand:

1.  I'm not being friendly just so you'll buy something.  I'm just friendly - period.   It can be awkward to shop in a small space without at least a little conversation, so humor me for a second.  I don't make commission, so there's no alternate agenda here.  Relax knowing that I simply want you to have a good experience.  Even if you don't buy anything, I hope you'll tell your friends or write a nice review.  At the very least, I hope you come back (unless you're a meanie).

2.  I rejoice over every purchase.  If a $4 hair bow goes out the door, I'm happy.  Even small purchases make me feel like I'm doing my job.  It all adds up.  At the end of the day, I report to the owner with numbers because numbers (black ones) are what pay my check and make a successful business.  THANK YOU for shopping, no matter how small.

3.  I'm aware that "it's' expensive".  If you're looking for a bargain, there's a Target right up the road.  We carry a limited quantity of specialty items.  Some things you would not be able to find anywhere else in the world.  I believe there's value in that.  You know how much I LOVE DEALS.  However, I realize that small businesses can't offer 50% off.  It's my job to support them, not rob them.  Which leads me to my next point...

4.  Nobody is getting rich here.  Just breaking even is a huge accomplishment.  That's 0% profit.  Our items may be more expensive, but they are also more costly for us at wholesale.  The markup on the knock-off you find at a chain retailer or online for 1/2 price is astronomically higher than our profit on the real, high-quality thing.  Let's say a small business gets something for $2 and sells it for $4. Target might get their version for $0.25 and sell it for $2.  They can discount it 75% and still make money.  #math

5.  Your returns suck.  Not exchanges or in-store credit, returns.  Even if I wasn't the one to help you with your initial purchase, it feels a lot like failure.  Don't get me wrong, I understand returns.  Buyers remorse is a powerful thing.  Sometimes you bring stuff home and it just doesn't look/feel/fit/perform how you anticipated.  Returns happen, but they still hurt.  And P.S.,  I can tell the difference between a defective item and something you ruined. IF I take it back, it's for the sake of superior costumer service, not because I'm fooled.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Jewelry: Sisu,  Shirt: Hot Mama,  Sweater: too old to remember
Vest: Fashionologie,  Skirt: Forever 21,  Boots: Frye via Amazon

Hey there.  I have a long list of things to accomplish today. This is where I get distracted by Facebook, 72 (and counting) unopened emails, and a few questionable blog post ideas that keep spinning around in my head.

To the focus gods, I offer this outfit.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Say "Cheese"!

What is happening here?  Has our family hijacked a school yearbook photo session?  Is Grace Place updating their church directory to include furbabies?  All very good guesses, but no.

I'm helping a friend market her children's clothing line, Audrey Grace & Co.  Naturally, I agreed to host the photo shoot at my house without a clue as to how to pull it off.  Sometimes, my make it work mentality gets me into trouble.  After much deliberation with the man of the house, it dawned on him that we had this backdrop.  Right!?  I swear the dude can just pull crap out of thin air.  It only fosters my poor planning habits - muahahahaha. 

While it's up, I'm totally going to use it for outfit photos...or maybe indefinitely.  It think it's strangely awesome.  And now Daisy thinks she's a model.  That's my girl.

Sweater: H&M (men's),  Skirt: thrifted,  Shoes: Connie via Famous Footwear
Dog: Ollie the Pug

I can't NOT mention this sweater.  Thanks to my pal, Mari, for bringing it to my attention.  It makes my Christmas season so much merrier and brighter and puglier.

Daisy the Pug

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Like a Dude

Hat: WalMart?,  Plaid: JCPenny,  Sweater:  RDStyle
Pants: Dex via Sisu,  Shoes: Kohl's

Yep.  More pre-snow outfitting.  Fun facts about this outfit:

1 - Hats at WalMart are like, $2.  They don't even have to be cute.  I'll take 8.

2 - This plaid shirt perpetually smells like cilantro, no matter how many times I wash it.  It makes me really frickin' hungry for Chipotle.

3 - Open weave sweaters are a pug owners worst nightmare.  How this one has survived is beyond my comprehension.

4 - I can't get enough leather this year.  Real or 'vegan', I'm buying it up like there's a cow (or fake cow) shortage.  It's pug proof material (anti #3), and I really appreciate that.

5 - I'm technically wearing leggings here.  I justify wearing them as pants because they are completely opaque and I wear proper underwear with them.   In spite of my full support of this Pant vs. Legging Flowchart, I harbor no guilt whatsoever.

6 - I read a trend report more than a year ago that said wedge sneakers were going O.U.T.   Then I bought a pair just to be rebellious.  Still wearing and loving them.

7 - This was the morning I asked Steve if I was dressed too much like a dude.  It didn't matter what the answer was, I was simply curious.

Friday, November 28, 2014


This is Loki.  Sisu's new junior shopdog.  I did not get to take him home.

Ever since I scored this super cool canvas tote a few years back, I've kept a close eye on Will Leather Goods.  With the season of giving (and getting) upon us, Will has a really great gift idea for the kiddos on your list.

"The Give WILL® initiative supports students in underfunded public elementary schools across America, through in-kind donations and mentorship." 

"For every Give WILL backpack purchased, Will Leather Goods will donate that same bag to a child in need, believing everyone deserves a Bag To Carry Their Dreams."

Aren't these backpacks super sweet?  I want one.  No need to wrap these beauties in paper, just tie a bow on it and put it under the tree (maybe with a surprise or two inside *wink*).  Enjoy the warm, fuzzy feeling knowing you did something awesome for a kid in need, too.

***Plus, now through November 30th, shop online to receive up to 25% your purchase.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Reuse Your Sundresses

Sweater & Socks: Target,  Dress: Forever 21
Necklace: JCPenny  Boots: Vintage, thrifted via Savers
Pug: Daisy Mae

Summer has returned!  Just kidding.  I happen to have a backlog of pre-snow outfits.  I spent September buying up clearance sundresses as if summer was never going to end.  And then it ended.  For the most part, I can keep summer items in my winter rotation due to the existence of tights and sweaters and boots.  That gem of a tip was officialized in this TLC article - 7 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe Without Spending a Penny.  #1 - Reuse Your Sundresses.   I'm all over it, yet have no pennies to speak of (liars!).

In other TLC news, Stacy London is coming back with a new makeover (make-under?) show in January.  Yes, I will watch it.  Yes, I already miss Clinton and hope he makes a guest every episode.  Yes, the name of the show does confuse me - Love, Lust, or Run sounds like a dating game.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Plaid Friday - Twin Cities

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  It's shopping time.  I'll be the first to admit that I sort of love the craziness.  Judge me as wander around JCPenny on Thanksgiving night with a goofy grin on my face and a couple items in my hand that aren't even doorbusters.   The madness must be more exhilarating than stressful or I make for the nearest exit.

I will get the shopping sillies out of my system with minor dollar damage and sleep only a proper food coma can provide.   I will then awake Friday morning, put on my favorite piece of plaid, and venture into saner retail territory known as Local Businesses.

Originally reserved for Small Business Saturday, I'm thrilled to hear that many local companies in the Twin Cities are also embracing Plaid Friday.  Since the big box stores have take over our beloved Turkey Day, why shouldn't the little guys take a piece of Black Friday?  It only seems fair.

Join me in support of local businesses on Friday, November 28th - wear plaid!

My shops are in on the fun...
Teeny Bee Boutique will offer 20% off your purchase, plus treats and giveaways.
At Sisu, receive an additional 10% off the weekend sale (TBA).

You must wear plaid to get the extra deals.  What a perfect opportunity to walk up to random strangers wearing plaid and ask if they're shopping small this weekend!  No?  Well, they should.

Check out the map below to find other small businesses participating in Plaid Friday and be in-the-know by following along on Facebook.  Use hashtag #plaidfriday as you #shopsmall.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bold + Beautiful Runway Show

Sisu – Bold & Beautiful Runway Show from ShopwithSisu on Vimeo.

We had such a fabulous time celebrating Sisu's 1st anniversary on Saturday night.  Check out this video featuring our massive party and incredible runway show (nod to Hungry Pug Studios).  

Monday, November 17, 2014

'Style Me Target'

Vest: JCPenny,  Hoodie: Jack by BB Dakota
Pants: hand-me-down from E (StyleMeTarget)
Booties: DV Dolce Vita via Sisu

These pants are reversible.  I've only ever worn them with the floral side out.   Knowing that I can turn them inside out to reveal the Aztec print on the other side feels like a magic trick waiting to happen.  I have them as a result of my BFF purging her closet.  Yay for free clothes!

Speaking of Elaina - my nicer, smarter, better-dressed counterpart - she has an awesome instragam feed called Style Me Target.  As a mother of twin toddlers, Target is her #1 source for just about everything, including her own wardrobe.  She finds the most incredible bargains and then styles them to perfection.

The pants - yep, from Target!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

'Flourish' Review + Personal Experience

Buy it on Amazon
I couldn't wait to read this book.  Having the privilege of getting to know Staci over the past couple of years, my expectations of her writing on this topic were quite high.

Expectations exceeded.

There wasn't a single chapter that I didn't find myself nodding or wishing I had a highlighter (which would've made this book review so much easier to write).

Flourish is not just a how-to.  It's full of inspiring, real-life examples of people living creatively, unveiling their gifts, discovering their purpose, and affecting others.  The reader reflection questions challenged the way I think about my own creativity.

I enjoyed it cover-to-cover, but the chapter that spoke most to my creative journey (past and present) is Find Your Flow (pg. 78 in paperback).

This may come as some surprise to you all, but I really love clothes (haha ha).  Personal style is one of several creative outlets that I claim for myself.  I don't paint, sew, scrapbook, play an instrument, or write poetry (though I wish I did all of those things).  My daydreams mostly consist of outfits - for myself or others.  It's my practical art form - since people have to get dressed anyway, may as well make it fun and pretty.  This blog has and continues to serve as an outlet for me to get those things out of my head and into view.

A few years ago, it seemed like a good idea to take my shopping and outfitting ability to the retail world.  With zero experience, I applied to work at a high-end boutique chain.  As a part-timer, it felt like a natural fit and I was quickly promoted to full-time Assistant Manager at a new location.

It didn't take long before I realized that the responsibilities of management, protocol requirements, and a lackluster buying season (that I had to wear and sell anyway) left me exhausted.  I missed the care-free wardrobe that I'd built from hours of enjoyable shopping for random things at random places.  All of sudden, I was subject to someone else's idea of style and budget - not that theirs was bad or wrong - it just wasn't mine.  I didn't want to blog because I didn't have time, and to be honest, I didn't like myself or what I was wearing.  A little more than a year later, I was back at an office job.  And you know what?  I felt more like myself in the polo-and-khakis uniform than I did at the clothing store.  I had the time and energy to shop and dress for ME again.

In Flourish, Staci writes, In your area of creativity, chances are if you're following your own natural flow you're going to be fulfilled, content, and even happy.  Sometimes, you find where you're most comfortable by trying to go somewhere else first.  Those tangential explorations into unfamiliar waters are necessary for showing us what we can do - grow, stretch, diversify - but also for showing us where we just plain don't belong.

In the midst of my creatively stifling experience,  I learned a ton about maintaining a store.  I also met some amazing people who remain a big part of my life today.  I ultimately went back to retail in much smaller settings where I have the freedom to be creative.  Along the way, I discovered my passion for helping start-ups.  I found a flow that energizes me with people who support and challenge my ideas in healthy ways.

Flourish is a great read for anyone, no matter what your craft or occupation may be.  It's about honing your God-given skills and desires in order to have a more fulfilling life experience.  I want that and I bet you do too.  :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Love Your Jeans

My life revolves around denim.  I wear it.  I sell it.  I love it.  There is a science to finding the right pair of jeans.  It requires a lot of patience, attention to detail, and an honest accomplice who will tell you whether or not your booty looks good (it's all about that bass, ya know).

I believe good denim can be found at every price point.  I have jeans from the junior's clearance rack at Target, moderately priced denim from the Gap, and premium denim upwards of $200.  I'm working on a list of my favorite brands.  The only way to know what looks and feels good is to try them on.  When you do finally find your denim soul mate, it's wise to know how to care for them.

Scarf: Forever 21,  Shirt: Gap,  Bag: Duluth Pack
Jeans: Hudson (Collin) & Shoes: DV Dolce Vita via Sisu

1.  Expect expansion.  Most modern day denim has some percentage of spandex or lycra in it.  It's meant to make the jeans fit snug without sacrificing comfort.  But first, you have to buy them tight.  Ideally, as snug as possible without tempting the muffin man.  Because here's what happens when those stretchy fibers have been exposed to your warm body for any great length of time: they loosen and your jeans begin to sag.  You'll notice it first in the knees, butt, waist, or around the crotch.  By lunchtime, you're ordering an extra burrito in hopes of keeping your pants on for the rest of the day.  No bueno.  Buy your jeans tight because they're probably going to grow.

2.  The less you wash your jeans, the better.  My pants are exposed to stinky pugs, so I do a lot more laundry than I'd like (it's worth it).  When we must, the correct formula = cold water + gentle cycle + inside out.  To preserve the color of your darker denims,  add a cup of vinegar to your rinse cycle.

3.  Skip the dryer.  For the same reasons explained in #1, it's best not to dry your jeans.  Over time, the heat will breakdown the fibers and what was once a perfect fit is now a bit warped.  Hang dry your jeans.  If you're dealing with wrinkles, a few minutes on the fluff cycle should do the trick.

Now that you know how to love your jeans, it's time to dress that bass.   Feel free to tag @spoilsofwear on Instagram to show me your favorite pair!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Like the 60s

Shirt: Polo via TJ Maxx,  Dress: Nordstrom Rack
Boots: Frye via Amazon,  Bracelet: Sisu

Pick an era, any era.  I would choose the 60's.  There are things I really like about the 50s and 70s, but the 60s are for sure my sweet spot.  It's the Mod movement of bold colors and prints, mini-skirts, stilettos, and mix-and-match separates juxtaposed with the Greaser's t-shirts, blue jeans, leather, and sneakers.

I find this sort of contrast in my 2014 closet.  Just this morning, I asked Steve if my outfit was too androgynous (leather pants + flannel + sneakers).  Then I find this girly outfit picture taken a couple weeks ago.  I like that my wardrobe has range.  Like the 60s.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sisu Style PARTY

Time flies when you're having fun!  I can't believe a whole year has gone by since Sisu opened it's doors.  Some seriously amazing people and fabulous fashions have filtered through our little east suburb boutique.  I'm proud to have been a part of it from the very beginning, and am so excited for the future of our growing business.

We're going to throw a massive party.
There will be cocktails.
There will be a fashion show.
It will be loads of fun.
I'd LOVE to see you there!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

General admission | $30.00
 VIP admission | $60.00
Additional details and purchasing information HERE.

Give with Sisu -  Proceeds from event + raffle ticket sales will benefit Tubman, a local non-profit that helps women, children and families struggling with relationship violence, substance abuse and mental health.

#celebratewithsisu #sisustyle

Friday, October 31, 2014

Minnesota Loves Mocs

It's true.  Minnesotans LOVE moccasins.

In my imagination, this is how it all went down in the year 1858:

Settler #1: "Hey, let's turn this frozen territory into a state.  We'll give it an Indian (they meant 'Native American') name to soften the blow that we're taking over their land..."

Settler #2: "How about 'Minnesota'?"

Settler #1:  "Perfect.  The Dakota-Sioux Indians are gonna love that."  (Again, they meant 'Native American'.)

Settler #3:  "Have you guys noticed their shoes?  They're fashionable AND functional.  I believe they call them 'moccasins'.  We should take those too."

All:  "Excellent."

150+ years later, we're still crazy about moccasins.  I'm grateful.  Our most popular home-grown brand is Minnetonka Moccasin.  I own their bootie style and slipper moc.   Sometime in the near future, I'd like to acquire a colorful, cota moccasin from Itasca Leathergoods.  But if this winter is anything like last year, a light layer of deerskin isn't going to cut it.  I'll have to go all out Mukluk, preferably accented with fur or Aztec fabric.

Teeny Bee Boutique carries Minnemocs.  Seriously, the cutest moccasins for babies.   What's to stop me from trying them on a Pug?  Nothin'.  'Cept I'd have to buy 2 pair per dog.

Thank you, Native Minnesotans.   Your footwear is awesome.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Double Bonus

Hat: J. Crew,  Denim: Levi's,  Sweater: Hot Mama
Jacket: Chaser & Pants: Dex via Sisu,  Booties: Target

One of the many bonuses of working for a small boutique is getting to see some of the product in advance.  At Sisu, we occasionally have vendor reps stop by to show us their upcoming lines.  The Chaser rep came in July and I fell instantly in love with this suede moto jacket.  Scheduled for fall delivery, I determined to save up for what would typically be beyond my budget.

It finally arrived earlier this month and as saving intentions go, I wasn't as prepared as I'd hoped to be.  My boss, Heidi, handed me the jacket along with a receipt, telling me it was paid for.  HUH?  My darling husband had snuck in and made payment arrangements with her weeks prior.  Call it a belated birthday present, but it felt like a wonderfully random surprise.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Emotionally Upgraded

Hat: Express,  Shirt: Target,  Belt & Boots:,  Shorts: JCP
Pugs: Oliver & Daisy

Want to hear about my first-world drama that transpired on Tuesday?  I vented to my husband and later to a friend (minus the cuss words).  I'm over it now, but perhaps you can relate.

I play 2 games on my phone.  ONLY 2.
1) Scramble with Friends when I'm in the mood for a little competition.
2) Sudoku when I'm feeling less social but my brain needs exercise.

I'm to the point in Scramble where I'm not consistently embarrassed by my score.  It was time to connect to Facebook, maybe challenge a few real-life friends.  So I did.  Or, I thought I did but it seemed glitchy.  Did some internet searching on how to fix the problems but couldn't find any helpful answers - go figure.  As a last resort, I deleted the app intending to re-upload it and try again.  But when I went back to the app store, Scramble was no where to be found.

Ok.  Fine.  Whatever.  Clearly, I did something wrong, or so I thought.  I asked Siri, forgetting how good-for-nothing she is.  Again, my bad.  I said, "Siri, download Scramble with Friends."  She replied, "I would, but your phone is not upgraded."

Ah ha!  I was sure I had found my answer.  Of course, I didn't have enough space for iOS 8.1.  I didn't really WANT 8.1.  But Siri said so.  I deleted anything and everything possible to make more room.  Finally, I was cleared for upgrade take off.  How.  Effing.  Exciting.


There was no warning.  No one told me that I would be phoneless - dead to the world - for 3 whole hours of my waking life.  When 8.2 comes around, I will take my phone to the Apple store and have them babysit their ridiculous upgrade while I shop.  It will feel like revenge.

FINALLY, I was back on the grid.  Confident that I could return to my game, I called upon Siri.  "Siri, download Scramble with Friends."

"Accessing the App Store..." she replied.

It wasn't there.  I lost my cool.  Not because the game was THAT important - my trusty Sudoku remained intact, after all.  But because 3 hours and a load of inconveniences later, I still didn't have what I wanted.  When I invest, I expect a return.

Scramble on Facebook had the answer.  Due to problems with iOS, they had removed the game from the App Store until the issues could be worked out.  OH.  DEAR.  LORD.

I'm a reasonable person.  Called the husband.  Blew some steam.  Let it go.  The game came back eventually.  No big deal.  I wish I could downgrade, because 8.1 is terrible.  It takes forever to load anything and it still doesn't play nice with Scramble.

I question whether I'm cut out for this technology thing.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Catch the Wind

Well, shoot.  I've been sitting on this post for roughly 20 days.  I had a long, mushy story spanning 20+ years of love for this guy, his family, and their music.  I just couldn't get it written in a way that was acceptable to me.  Time is running out on this Kickstarter and I wanted to share it with you.

Nate Sabin has influenced a few artists you might recognize - Sara Groves, Jason Gray, Staci Frenes,  Sara Renner, Christopher Lawrence...the list goes on.  Now I feel really strongly that it's his turn.  I'm honored to be a part of Catch the Wind Ministries and am determined to see this music get out.

You can learn all about it in this video (my genius husband at Hungry Pug Studios made it = shameless plug) and click the title link to be directed to the Kickstarter page where you can also read the story behind the project. If you feel led, make a pledge.  You will not be sorry.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Will Work for Clothes

Necklace: Hot Mama,  Shirt: Macy's,  Pants: Nordstrom (thanks, Adreanna!)
Shoes: Ross in Atlanta,  Bracelet: Sisu

A friend recruited me to help her shop for engagement picture outfits.  Um, YES!  When I realized that her budget would be more than enough (bargain shopping being my specialty), I teased about the cost of my styling services.  Of course, I would never charge a friend to shop with me.

We both found success in Nordstrom's Junior department, of all places.  As I waited my turn to pay for these plaid pants, she snagged them out of my hand and bought them for me.  Super unnecessary, but the gesture admittedly warmed my heart.

Monday, October 6, 2014


Top: H&M, Skirt: Vintage, thrifted,  Clutch & Shoes: DSW

I'm in a zone, ya'll.  A get it done sort of zone.  My pastor said over the weekend, "Some mountains are for speaking to, others are for climbing."  I'm totally going to make a meme out of that.  Since I'm not bold enough (yet) to speak to a mountain or patient enough to climb one, I'd like to add, "Others are for being dynamited."  Dynamited doesn't sound like a real word to me.  It is though, I checked.

When I feel myself slipping back into lazy mode, it's helpful to slip on a pair of stilettos and pretend I'm kicking complacency in the face.  Try it sometime, it's fun.  Also, funny and slightly dangerous.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Flourish by Staci Frenes

Staci Frenes is coming out with a book, 'Flourish'.  I've followed Staci's music over the last few years and have enjoyed her company over a several cups of coffee.  She truly lives a creative life.  How appropriate that she would write a book about cultivating the creativity that resides in each of us.  I'm ready to learn.  

Find Staci on Facebook, iTunes, and

Monday, September 29, 2014

On Again, Off Again

Jumpsuit: Bobi, Vest: Big Star, Jewelry, & Hat: Wooden Ships (borrowed) from Sisu
Hoodie: Aero outlet,  Booties: DV Dolce Vita

Remember as a kid, gearing up to play outside in the winter?

Your snow pant bibs go underneath the insulated coat that has not one, but two layered zippers.  Your is scarf tucked perfectly into the collar of your coat.  A hat is placed beneath your jacket hood that has been securely tied assuring cold air cannot reach your ears.  Gloves go on first under your jacket cuffs, leaving room for mittens that go over both glove and cuff so when snow gets stuck in the fabric crevices at your wrists skin will hopefully remain dry.

No matter how many times you go to the bathroom beforehand, as soon as you are tucked and layered to moms satisfaction, you have to go AGAIN.  And this time, it's for real.

It's like wearing this jumpsuit.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

I Blame Doctor Who

Necklace: Sisu,  Shirt: JCP, Skirt: H&M via Clothes Mentor,  Shoes: DSW

Remember when I used to dress up?  Or at least had something on besides a t-shirt and jeans?  Other than Sundays, I've become a bit of a summer schlump.  I blame Normcore - best fashion trend ever.  I blame a perpetually messy closet.  I blame the extra morning minutes better spent snuggling pugs or canoodling the husband.  I blame the easiness of summer.  I blame Doctor Who - for post title reasons only.

As legit as those excuses are, it's time to reclaim my outfitting.  It's fun and makes me feel good, so I'm simply going to have to make time for it.  Fall is here - the best season for clothes.  I've not slacked in my consumer squirreliness, storing up last year's clearance treasures for the inevitable cool-down.  There is stuff to wear.  It must be worn and documented for proof.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Elizabeth Chronicles

Check out these great graphic tees!  Know where they're from?  New Orleans.  That's still where I am.  Blogging from my cozy hotel bed.  It's 7pm.  And I've been here for hours.  Really pitiful or really great vacation?  I haven't decided yet.

I know of The Elizabeth Chronicles through Sisu.  We carry a small selection including Hustle, Seaux Chic, and I'd Rather be at Fashion Week.  Gotta be quick with these because we never order the same style twice.  

You may be able to tell that this company was started by a couple of bloggers who love fashion.  Psst...hey, Rachel and Katie.  I am ALSO a blogger who loves fashion and MY middle is ALSO Elizabeth.  Coincidence?  I think not.  

Be sure to check out the SALE where I found a couple favorites starting at $8! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cajun Style

Shirt (Minnesota Burrito): MPLS/STP Clothing Co.. via Sisu
Shorts + Belt: Gap,  BagDuluth Pack

Greetings from the Big Easy!  I'm tagging along with the hubby on a work trip.  While Minnesota is experiencing an early cold front, New Orleans is a balmy 90 degrees.  Some pool-side reading is definitely on the agenda.

Today, I shopped the Riverwalk Outlets.  I'm becoming less and less impressed by outlet "deals" and this was no exception.  Even my beloved Gap outlet was a major disappointment.  I'm convinced the best shopping at Riverwalk is at Neiman Marcus - Last Call.  Though there wasn't anything in my price range that I couldn't live without,  it was so fun browsing designer lines like Alexander McQueen and Diane Von Furstenberg.

More notes on my NOLA adventure to come.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have a whole lot of glorious nothing to do.  :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Girlfriends Photo Shoot, Part 2

Part 1, in case you missed it.

Aren't my friends so seriously pretty?  I know.

This was definitely my favorite part of the photo shoot.  There was rain, mud, and mosquitoes, but we made it work.  Keely knew of this great location, 'Hobo Village', where stunning graffiti spans the exterior walls of an abandoned warehouse.  We did not actually see any hobos.  Too bad, they would've loved this.

I have no idea how this tutu madness came together so perfectly with such little planning, but it did.  It helped that we already had the tutus, just looking for the next excuse to wear them.  Elaina made Katie's, Keely's and her own tutu.  I have worn my 'Elaina tutu' (last seen here) to death and it needs some mending.  So I squeezed into the biggest tutu I could find at Teeny Bee, removed the lining from a black tutu I had and layered it over the top.  I love how it all coordinated without being super matchy.  Katie stole the show with her massive, teal tutu - which is exactly what we wanted for her birthday/moving present.

Let me explain the connection here:  Katie and Keely are sisters.  Elaina is their cousin.  My mom and Deb (K's mom) became friends when I was 10.  Their family has been putting up with me ever since.  Not sure when the unspoken pact was made that we would be friends for life, but it's held up through a lot of changes.  I'm so grateful.

Major thanks to Mari for taking time out of her Saturday to make this happen.  And thank you, Deb, for bringing props, snacks, and artistic input.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I finished Outlander last week and had to take a break from reading for a few days.  It was quite a feat.

This crazy journey begins in 1946, post WWII.  It ends up in 1743, as tensions increase between England, France, and Scotland.

Good thing Claire knows a thing or two about this unstable time period, her husband of 1945 being a scholar of Scottish history.  Her experience as a combat nurse also assists her through more than a few barbaric practices of the 18th century.  When I'd be losing my lunch, Claire is all,"fetch me some (insert herb) with a side of whisky".  I appreciate a heroine who is both feminine and bad-ass.

Claire meets Jaime - a hot, young, Scottish warrior and the story unfolds from there.  Though the writing is fantastic, it took me several looooong chapters to really get into it.  Then the conflict and romance rises to make me embrace all 870 pages of small print.

Starz recently premiered the first episode of their Outlander series.  While I don't have much problem reading sex and gore, watching it in TV-MA form is difficult for me.  The book is pretty graphic, so I had little hope of enjoying the show.  Surprisingly, I was able to watch 'Sassenach' without much issue.  The premier followed the book very well.  Even the casting feels impressively accurate.  Jaime is hot (duh), and Claire is beautiful and spirited (though thinner than I imagined - typical).

It can only get more graphic from here, but I'll hold on as long as possible.  As for the book, it's only good if you don't give up - I have Willow Aster to thank for that tip (wink).  I really did fall in love with these characters.  That said, the thought of immediately taking on book 2 is too much.  Moving on, for now.