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.