Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Soul Carrier Kickstarter

Illumination Clutch
I've become a bit obsessed with crowd funding in the last year or so.  

Last spring, Teeny Bee Boutique raised funds to build a community play room.  Now every Tuesday morning, I get to enjoy the company of parents and babies who come for free music class in the renovated space.

In October, I helped Catch the Wind Ministries run a campaign to fund the completion of their first worship album, Praise Nation.  The music was released last month and has been on constant play in my car since then.  I have spent many obsessive hours on Kickstarter and continue to reap the benefits of crowd funding success.

I don't usually take the time read through all the product pitches that are sent to me as a blogger, but this one caught my attention right away.  I'm positively dying over the gorgeous Illumination Clutch.  Part of the proceeds from this handbag collection will benefit The Crisis Nursery, a children’s shelter in Phoenix, AZ that provides children with a warm place to sleep at night, foster care, education, and more. 

I'm so impressed with Soul Carrier's campaign.  Please watch the video and consider joining me as a backer.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Clean Closet Timelapse

Since this video, I have managed to keep my closet clean for over 3 weeks and still going strong.  In the 3 years since moving my wardrobe into this room, it has NEVER been clean for more than a couple days at a time.

Closet Timelapse 5/5/15 from Hungry Pug Studios on Vimeo.

I've tried a few different methods of organization.  Categorizing by garment type (tanks, dresses, t-shirts, sweaters, etc.) instead of color has been the most effective for me.  One of the things I implemented this time was Clinton Kelly's advice on hanging sweaters.  I've always opted to hang thin sweaters because I don't want to take the time to wrinkle release or iron them after they've been folded.  But hanging just creates annoying shoulder nipples (yep, nipples).  At first, I had my doubts.  Shame on me for ever questioning Clinton.  Folding the sweaters over the hanger works great.

The other thing that made a difference was tying the scarf curtains off to the side (like real curtains).  Just as functional as letting them hang loose, but looks a little more intentional and doesn't interfere with the natural light that this room desperately needs.

You can't really see my jewelry counter on the video, but it was a huge mess.  This area was a catch-all for junk.  I could never find anything.  It needed a complete do-over.  I went through everything, piece by piece, allowing only accessories back into the pile.  I found a lot of little lost treasures.

This video was a fun little project that forced me to get the job done!  Thanks to my brilliant husband for his GoPro expertise.  :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

White & Gold

Remember the dress that blew up the internet?  It created quite a stir at my house, too.  Steve called me into his office, showed me a picture of the dress, and asked what colors it was.  I was confused and thought he was playing a joke on me.  Clearly, the dress was blue and black.

He was shocked.  "Seriously!?  This dress?  This dress right here is blue and black?"

"Yes.  Seriously.  Why?"

"It's white and gold."


Steve is a film maker.  He does a whole lot of color correction for his job.  He is not color blind.  He may even have a better eye for color than I do (don't tell him I said that).  So I racked my brain for some logical explanation.  It bugged me for a good, long while.  But as most viral phenomenons go, a couple days went by and I got over it.  Dress forgotten.

Dress: Gap,  Jewelry: Sisu,  Shoes: Nine West, thrifted

The dress I'm wearing here has the same colors and a similar pattern.  That's where the likeness ends.  But when I put it on that morning, I was instantly reminded of the dress that blew up the internet.  At church, I was asked if it was "the dress".  And I received a text complimenting me on my "white and gold" dress.

My conclusion is that "the dress" has destroyed our ability to see a blue and black, striped dress as itself.  At least for a while, it will also be white and gold.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Twin Cities Events

The weather is getting good.  Days are getting longer.  This is when Minnesotans come out of hibernation and start getting happy.  We emerge from our dark homes with a renewed sense of hopefulness and purpose.  Our lives really can consist of more than hours upon hours of Netflicks.

Yay for us!  Here's the short list of events on my calendar.

St. Paul Art Crawl
This weekend!
Explore art in St. Paul.  And something about butterflies.

Sisu Re-Grand Opening
May 1-3
Doors re-open at our new location!  Come check us out at 755 Bielenberg Drive in Tamarak Hills and enjoy 15% off your purchase (and likely a few other treats too).  Hey, did you hear that we are officially the Best Boutique in Woodbury?  Yep, we sure are.

Walk for Animals
Saturday, May 2
For the furbabies!

Lake Nokomis Urban Craft Show
Saturday, May 2
Come shop a variety of local crafters and artists.  Admission is FREE!  There will be crafts and activities for the kiddos too.  Speaking of kiddos - be sure to stop by my friend Katie's shop, Chintz Petit, for her darling baby dresses!

UNITE National Day of Prayer
Thursday, May 7
I'll be singing in the city-wide choir.  Sharing the stage with the likes of Kari Jobe and Francis Chan.  So that's pretty cool.

Cocktails at the Castle: Dynamite Night
Friday, May 15
I'm Swedish!  Mostly. Somewhat. I think.  Thankfully, all are welcome to attend this event at the American Swedish Institute.  Fashion show included.

Nate Sabin CD Release Party
Friday, May 22
Remember that Kickstarter I shared with you back in October?  Mission accomplished.  It's time to party.

Remedy Drive at Club Agape'
Wednesday, May 27
I'm not cool enough to know who Remedy Drive is, but it's awesome that they'll be performing in my church's youth room.  I'll probably be serving up popcorn behind the snack bar, in case you're lookin' for me.

Donut Crawl
Saturday, June 13
Coffee, donuts, for a darn good cause.

Northern Spark
June 13 & 14
An overnight festival in Minneapolis.  It's free.  And awesome.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Crop Top

Crop top: H&M,  Overalls: Express,  Plaid: JCP,  Shoes: thrifted

Here is my personal rule on crop tops:  No belly button.  

You can't really tell that I'm wearing a crop top here.  I promise, from the side or behind, there is skin.  32 year old skin that rarely sees the light of day.  Stark white with a freckle here and a stretch mark there.  But as long as my belly button isn't visible, I'm cool with it.  

This outfit was a baby step outside my style comfort zone.  It's hardly immodest, but I verge on prudish most days.  I'm much more confident pairing a crop with high waisted pants or skirt, revealing only a peek of skin around my ribcage (or less).

The next step leap, would be belly button.  But I'm not going there.  No way, not happening.  Maybe it's my age, upbringing, lack of of abdominal muscles, or simply that belly buttons aren't as on-trend as they were when I endured that girl-crush on Britney Spears.  It's all of those reasons.

I've drawn the line.  Hold me to it.

*Best part of this photo is Daisy's curl peeking out from behind me.  I love that little thing.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Trailer Park Princess

Romper: Yumi via Sisu, Boots: Coconuts via DSW

About half way through the trip, Steve labeled me as the 'Trailer Park Princess'.  Nothing could offend or thrill me more.  To further secure my place in the hierarchy of Trailer Parkdom, I am wearing a romper with roosters on it, appropriately referred to as the 'Cock Romper'.   Let us pause to appreciate how wise I am for not titling this post as such.

I'm very glad I emailed this picture to myself shortly before I accidentally nuked my iPhone, setting me back 6 months in digital life.  I don't really care to rehash all the details.  I balled my eyeballs out for 4 straight hours.  Looking back, I regret holding back the additional 2 hours.  1 hour for every month lost seems perfectly reasonable.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Work Hard, Play Harder

Steve and I returned yesterday from an RV road trip to Nashville and back with Girly Muse and her family.  My first ride on an RV and my first time in Tennessee.   RV life had it's challenges, but we got the hang of it eventually.  We met some lovely people, ate great food (on and off the RV), and even managed to squeeze in a few rounds of Disc Golf.

"We" worked a little bit too.  Music was made.  A documentary film is underway.  I'm so excited to share these projects with you in the next several months.

There are too many highlights to count, but it would be wrong not to mention spending the day in downtown Franklin, TN.  GREAT shopping, food, and overall atmosphere.  I could have done some serious damage in just about every shop, but I was a very good girl.

Scarf: TJMaxx?,  Jacket: Levi's via JCP,  Dress: Wet Seal,  Boots: Coconuts via DSW

About this outfit...
I wore this to the church we visited in Dayton, OH on Sunday.  It garnered some attention from a few little girls in the congregation who confused me for Kristen Bell (score!).  You're never too old for a tutu.  Refer to this post to see how I originally styled this dress.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

World Water Day

Hi!  I'm honored to have been asked to participate in World Water Day, March 22!  Fact is, approximately 748 people lack access to a commodity that I take for granted every day.  Every minute a child dies due to contaminated water and poor hygiene.  Real stuff.

To raise awareness, I'm wearing this gorgeous, silk scarf from the World Vision Store.

Watch this short video for an inside look at the impact the water crisis has made in one girl's life.   Check out all the opportunities World Vision has to share, donate, and get involved.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mickey Needs a Tan

And so begins outfit-posting season...

Hat: My mom-in-law made it!,  Plaid: JCP,  Sweater: Target
Jeans: Gap,  Boots: KMart

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Macy's Flower Show 2015

Who is ready for Spring?  According to my handy weather app, temps are on their way up starting tomorrow.   Perfect timing, as my level of pastiness has reached a low even Casper would envy.  Kidding not kidding.

Every year, I want to attend Macy's Flower Show and every year something comes up to prevent me from going.  This year is no exception.  I plan to be on a road trip while stuff blooms here at home.  I do hope to be back in time to have brunch with the Easter Bunny.  Because....hello, it's a massive Bunny who delivers creme-filled chocolate eggs.

The theme for 2015 sounds especially magical - Art in Bloom.   Macy's is promising quite the gallery exhibition at their beautiful Downtown Minneapolis location.  They've supplied an extensive calendar of events.  You're sure to find something to inspire your Spring projects.

Taste of the Oak Grill
March 21st – 5:30PM
12th Floor, Oak Grill RestaurantGuests will enjoy a four-course meal of traditional and specialty menu items paired with four different wines. Those attending this event will also get a sneak peek of Macy’s Flower Show that evening. Guests will receive a coupon for 10% off at the Flower Show Marketplace & CafĂ© as well as a coupon for 10% off of a future dining experience at the Oak Grill. Tickets are $35. For more information, please visit www.macysrestaurants.com.

Chef Marie Hansen Culinary Demonstration
March 23rd – 12noon
Lower Level, Culinary Kitchen
Join Macy's Chef Marie Hanson as she whips up some delicious springtime desserts inspired by the theme 'Art in Bloom".  Be sure to stick around to enjoy her samples and learn her techniques to make these tasty treats at home.

Rinata Restaurant Culinary Demonstration
March 24 – 12noon 
Lower Level, Culinary Kitchen
Rinata is an Italian restaurant located in Uptown whose focus is on simple homemade Italian cuisine.  Everything from the pasta to the desserts is made from scratch using the best ingredients from local sources when available.  Chef Erik will be demonstrating how to make one of the pasta dishes for which Rinata is famous as well as bringing some of their delicious focaccia bread for everyone to try.

Libertine Restaurant Culinary Demonstration
March 25th – 12noon 
Lower Level, Culinary Kitchen
Libertine is an Uptown-tailored bar, restaurant, and “third space” hangout created by Tim McKee to bring new freedom and flexibility to drinking and dining in the neighborhood. Executive Chef Stephan Hesse’s eclectic menu features “old school” butcher cuts of meat, a range of shareable vegetarian dishes, and a boozy weekend brunch. Chef Stephan Hesse will be showcasing some of Libertine’s most famous shared plate recipes with tastings.

Erte Culinary Demonstration
March 26th – 12noon 
Lower Level, Culinary Kitchen
Erte and The Peacock Lounge have an old European feeling, a Parisian Steak Salon in the heart of the Northeast Minneapolis Historic Arts District. The Lounge has been awarded with the best martini around and Erte hosts some of the most talented local musicians offering a variety of jazz, pop, and blues! Get ready for Erte's Executive Chef, Jeffrey Klemetsrud who will demonstrate one of his one of a kind recipes.

Bachman’s Floral Arrangement Class
March 26th – 5:30PM 
8th Floor, Auditorium Hallway
Bachman's experts Leah Schmidt and Karen Ortiz will demonstrate how to express yourself through the art of floral arranging and teach how to make those beautiful bows which add that perfect pop of color or subtly camouflage a bare spot. Guests will receive ribbon to practice at home and create their own creations. Guests can also enter for the chance to win one of the arrangements created during the demonstration. Space is limited. To RSVP, call 1.800.329.8667.

Artist Marketplace
March 27th – 12noon 
2nd Floor, Skyway Level
Join Dana Sikila as she creates her masterpiece using printmaking, performance and a little help from the audience. Return on April 3rd to take a picture with the finished product. Stop by the poet’s corner and for a personalized haiku while enjoying the sounds of the sitar, a photo booth and more. For more information on these activities, visit www.danasikkila.com, www.pwilliamstein.com and www.evelynkleinauthor.com.

Macy’s Bunny Brunch
March 28th – 9AM – Macy’s Downtown Minneapolis, 12th Floor, Oak Grill Restaurant
March 29th – 10AM – Macy’s Ridgedale & Southdale Stores, Lakeshore Grill Restaurants
March 29th – 10:30AM – Macy’s Downtown Minneapolis, 12th Floor, Oak Grill Restaurant
April 4th – 9AM – Macy’s Downtown Minneapolis, Ridgeadale & Southdale Stores
It's an exclusive brunch with the Easter Bunny! Enjoy a buffet brunch, Easter fun and a visit from the Bunny himself. Tickets are $23.95 for adults and $13.95 for kids under 10 years. Children under 12 months of age are free. Tickets can be reserved starting March 8th at 12noon by calling 1.877.556.2297 or by visiting www.macysrestaurants.com. 

Family Fun Day
March 28th – 2PM 
4th Floor, Kids Department
Join us for a fun day of face painting, balloon twisting, games and more. Enjoy arts and crafts by The Children's Theater Company and dance the day away with the Blue Engine street team.

Solomon’s Bakery Culinary Demonstration
March 30th – 12noon 
Lower Level, Culinary Kitchen
Solomon’s is an all-natural, from-scratch bakery with a focus on organic, local, European-style breads and pastries. Don't miss this fun and exciting culinary experience by their executive chef who will demonstrate how to make perfectly baked goodies. They will also discuss the steps and provide useful tips on making delicious masterpieces at home. Visit www.solomonsbakeshop.com for more information.

Chef Susan Johnson Culinary Demonstration
March 31st – 12noon  
Lower Level, Culinary Kitchen
Macy's Chef Susan Johnson will be sharing her secrets for making delicious home-cooked meals that are healthy, but tasty.  Sample her dishes and learn tips from the best to practice at home.

Foxy Falafel Culinary Demonstration
April 1st – 12noon  
Lower Level, Culinary Kitchen
Foxy Falafel is a Middle Eastern inspired restaurant and food truck.  They source local, organic, sustainable ingredients as much as possible and cater to many different dietary needs. For their Flower Show appearance, their expert chefs will be demonstrating their most popular food items from hummus, gyro meatballs, cauliflower steaks and more. For more about Foxy Falafel, visit www.foxyfalafel.com.

moto-i Culinary Demonstration
April 2nd – 12noon 
Lower Level, Culinary Kitchen
Join Chef Omar Gillego as he demonstrates how to prepare some of the small plates from moto-i ramen and sake house, located on Lyndale and Lake Street. Grab a seat and take this exciting chance to sample Japanese pub food at its finest.

Wine & Canvas Art Class
April 2nd – 5:30PM  
8th Floor, Auditorium Hallway
Join Macy’s for an evening filled with wine and painting. Wine and Canvas brings art classes to some of the most popular businesses in the Twin Cities with a centrally located studio cafe and spaces for both public and private events. For Macy’s Flower Show, they will be hosting a spring inspired painting class. No experience is required. 21 years or older only. Space is limited. To RSVP, call 1.800.329.8667

Chef Tom Douglas Culinary Demonstration
April 3rd – 12noon 
Lower Level, Culinary Kitchen
Join Macy's Culinary Council Chef Tom Douglas as he demonstrates how to prepare some of his favorite award-winning dishes with scrumptious samples. After the demonstration, explore the latest in cookware and gadgets for the kitchen. With any purchase of $35 or more in the Home department on the day of the event, guests will receive a $10 Macy’s gift card* and a copy of Tom Douglas' book, The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook, which he will sign. Seating is limited. To RSVP, please call 1.877.556.2297. To learn more about the Macy’s Culinary Council and upcoming events, log on to www.macys.com/culinarycouncil or follow @CulinaryCouncil on Twitter. *while supplies last

Flower Show Artist Marketplace
April 3rd – 12noon  
2nd Floor, Skyway Level
From wheel to masterpiece, stop by to see Sam Norman demonstrate the art of pottery-making while visiting Macy’s Flower Show. Let Scott Pinks create a personalized cartoon strip, be entertained by a Flamenco performance, and take a picture with Dana Sikila's finished masterpiece. For more information on these activities, visit www.samnormanceramics.com, www.scottspinks.com and www.danasikkila.com.