Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Spinning

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

Give WILL

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 appearance...in 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!