Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bring It to Me.

I love to be lazy.  But who doesn’t?  I also love to shop.  But sometimes, if it requires me to shop at a store other than Hot Mama, it can feel like work.  Truthfully, it is super easy to shop at work and I love the clothes.  It is a win-win for me.  HOWEVER, if someone wants to bring the clothes right to me….and provide wine….and snacks….well, that is shopping I can get on board with!  CABI2

So last Monday night, my fashionista sis had a CAbi party.  According to the CAbi website, “CAbi brings high-quality clothing and the ultimate personal shopping experience directly to you!”  A CAbi consultant brings in the entire collection (fall/winter or spring/summer) to your house and shows it to you and your guests, one piece at a time.  The event makes you feel like a clothing buyer at market.  After the pieces are shown, you are given the opportunity to try them on in the privacy of the home of the party hostess.    And there is wine.  Did I mention that? 

So you may be asking yourself, what the heck is CAbi?  CAbi stands for Carol Anderson by Invitation.  Carol used to design for Nordstrom's (love) and after being inspired by her friend’s business selling items out of her home, she partnered with a friend to start selling her designs directly to the consumer.  So, in 2001, CAbi was born!  CABI3

Here are some things I like about CAbi.  First, shopping comes to you.  What is better than having all your girlfriends shopping together at someone’s house?  No bad fluorescent lighting.  No pushy sales person.  No digging through the racks for the diamond in the rough.  Just clothes brought to you with a personal stylist who can make recommendations and understands how each piece fits. 

Second, all body types can wear CAbi clothing; they even give you examples in their look book!   I know three different CAbi reps (shout out to Crissy, Sonja, and Amy) who are all different shapes and sizes but all still rock the clothing.  Since CAbi consultants will have a variety of sizes, you can get an idea of how things will fit.  Plus, a good CAbi rep can and will help you understand fit and find the right pieces for you.

Third, Returns and exchanges are easy.  I bought a pair of jeans from CAbi last spring.  They were not the right size for me (I got to size down, can I get a hallelujah?!).  So I contacted my CAbi rep, Crissy, and she gave me some options for fixing it.  Shortly after, I had the right size in my hot, little hand.  Easy peasy, just the way I like!CABI1

Fourth, CAbi clothing uses the the same or coordinating colors season after season.  So items bought in seasons past, will still match this season’s items.  Cool, huh?  I actually have some CAbi items that I have worn for a few years and still love.  Guess what?  You guessed it, they still coordinate with my new(er) items.  YAY for me.

Lastly, there is wine.  I mentioned that, right?

If you are given the opportunity to attend a CAbi party, go for it!  They bring the style to you. PLUS,usually wine and other munchies. And your besties!  What could be better than that?

Friday, September 21, 2012

POP (up)!

Today was a very exciting day for Skinny Jeans.  First, it was the one year anniversary of my store location opening!  I am so proud to be a part of such an amazing team and cannot believe how far we have come.  I can’t wait to see what happens in the future.  Love you girls!!!!

sundar5 SECOND!  Today was the first day of the Sundar Imports Pop Up Shop.  I have been waiting for this day for three months.  I am sure you are thinking….what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is she talking about?  Well, let me fill you in!  Sundar Imports is a cool little shop started by some moms in Hudson, Wisconsin who (in their own words) :  “shared a love for fair trade fashion with frill and a personal vision to make the world a little brighter!”  The shop currently appears every few months for 3 days and is filled with fair trade goodies from around the world.  The ladies at Sundar spend oodles of time looking for clothing, jewelry, bags, headbands, etc. which are inspired by artisans around the world.  They have featured items made from recycled saris, old cassette tapes, and even acai berries.  So for the next two days (sorry, they are closed for today), they will be sharing their wares with the local area.sundar6

Of course, being the lover of all things fashion, I arranged to meet my friend, Leah, at Sundar after work.  I said if she was interested in a particular clutch shown as a teaser on their Facebook page (make sure you “like” it!).  Leah is nothing if not determined.  She showed up an hour early and waited on a bench for the opening.  Twenty minutes prior I pulled up, just as a few other ladies showed up and the line began.  I would have a picture of the line, but I did not want to lose my place as #2 in line!  One of my favorite parts of line, was making “line friends”.  Naturally, I love to chat and we had a blast talking to those around us.  

At five o’clock on the nose, the doors opened (thank goodness, since it had started to rain).  I felt like it was Black Friday at Wal-Mart, except we were all sociable and fun!  The girls lined up were all so determined and eager, but who could blame them.  The items Sundar  Imports has are so cute!  Girls were grabbing pants, dresses and accessories up as quick as they could.  Changing rooms were filled with as many girls as possible at a time and there was a overall feeling of camaraderie at the shop.  Some of the hot items (from my observations) were the navy lace Astoria dress, which our line friend Michelle managed to snag as you can (see her extreme joy in the picture above? YAY!), a cute rouched hoodie, a great scrunched scarf  and the adorable Sundar Frill Pant.

Downside?  These poor girls are so popular, the line to check out can get a little long.  But they seem to always be streamlining to make things faster and easier.  When something is this cute and fun, isn’t it worth the wait??  Besides, it is always a great excuse to make MORE line friends.  Do you see my friend, Shannon, waving from the front of the cash/check line while my other friend ,Tracy, laughs?  If you think that line is long, you aren’t even really seeing the credit card line.  Wow.  But can the girls at Sundar help it if they are popular?  Nope!
While at Sundar Imports, I noticed a lot of familiar faces.  Half of the shoppers are our shoppers at Hot Mama!  It was so much fun to see these ladies out and about, supporting another amazing company.  Did I mention Hot Mama and Sundar have some of the best customers ever?  Not that I am biased or anything…sundar1

Of course, I would not be a good blogger if I did not purchase some wares to sample myself.  I DID try on the navy lace dress, which I was amazed to see fit (and was cute) but I passed due to the disagreement between the neckline and my boob size.  However, I left with an adorable headband (for me…not my kids…just sayin’), the recycled clutch in navy from New Delhi, and the Mirasol Farm salt scrub. 

I would be an even worse blogger if I did not mention on of the cool changes I have seen since the last Pop Up shop.  This time around, Sundar Imports is donating 5% of their sales to The SOURCE.  The SOURCE is a newly formed resource organization serving the needs of the Hudson community. Its purpose is to provide a place where Hudson area residents can interact with volunteers to identify the best available social services to meet their needs.  I love that Sundar Imports not only has a global focus, but a local focus as well.  Can these ladies get any more fabulous?

So if you are in the Hudson area this weekend, please be sure to visit Sundar Imports!  They are located  in Hudson, Wisconsin at 220 Locust Street (right below Knoke’s Chocolates, so stop in for a sweet, chocolaty treat as long as you are in the neighborhood).  This time around, they are open September 21 (5:00 pm to 9:00 pm), September 22 (9:00 am to 6:00 pm), and September 23 (11:00 am to 4:00 pm). 

If you can’t make it this weekend, hopefully I will run in to you in a few months at Sundar Imports for holiday shopping.  Don’t worry, I will bring my wish list to make it easy for you.


Fancy Friday with Ashley Coconut!

Happy Friday!  Here is today's guest blog post with Ashley Coconut.  Note to self:  never steal her outfit.....

B!&%$ Stole My Look!
Last Saturday, the Vice President of Hot Mama wore this dress to our store and looked Amaze Balls! Yes, I am obsessed with Fashion Police and every other reality show on E! and Bravo. But she wore this dress, short brown booties, a chunky pearl necklace, threw her hair in a top knot and looked HOT! My mission this week was to somehow replicate, so today is Fancy Fur Friday! 

Dress:  James Perse- Hot Mama
Vest: BB Dakota- Hot Mama
Boots: Born- Herbergers
Necklace: a vintage peice from my Grandma
Headband: Anthropologie (not a great hair or make-up day, so Hello Headband!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I Don’t Have Time.

How many times a day do you say this?  I hear this countless times every day, from friends, co-workers, and strangers.  Sure, sometimes it is true, but how often is it really true?  I won’t pretend I don’t say it myself, because I absolutely do.  Do you ever get the urge to ask people who say this to you, “What are you doing WITH your time?”  I know I want to ask.  Hell, I know I should be asking myself the very same question!  I think we all know the answer.  It is usually “something more important” or “something better/more fun/less work/etc.”  Hmmm… instead of saying “I don’t have time”, shouldn’t we be saying “I would rather do something else”?  It is simply a matter of priorities.  I could be folding laundry right now, but I would rather write this blog post.  That is my priority.   Too often, saying we don’t have time is just an easy way of saying no and having a “good” excuse to do so.  


I realized how bad this was for me when one day last week, I picked up my girls early from school.  We had arranged a play date with the neighbors across the street.  While the girls were playing with the neighbors, I had planned on getting a few things done around the house and making supper.  Littlest decided she didn’t want to go play with the neighbors.  She wanted to stay and play with her mom.  Repeatedly, Littlest asked me to color with her, play My Little Ponies, play Zhu Zhu pets, and play Chutes and Ladders.  Each time, she was met with “I don’t have time right now.”  I tried to explain to her what I was actually doing (making supper, laundry, etc) but I still felt terrible!  All this little girl wanted was to play with her mommy and I was not giving that to her.  Someday I would be kicking myself for missing those precious moments.  I vowed then and there to really review my priorities with my time and maximize it when I can.  


Fast forward to this week.  Last night, instead of making dinner, I had my hubby cook while I sat with my girls and looked through an old photo album of mine.  They loved seeing pictures of me as a little girl.  Then we did some of my old high school cheers in the living room and read a book together.  It was great focusing on the kids for a change, instead of letting my husband get all the time to do it.  We even left the dishes in the sink, opting to do our bath and bed routine as a family instead of just one parent doing all the work.  We played, laughed, made a mess (which we cleaned up after the kidlets went to bed), and enjoyed being a family.

Today I was scheduled for a later start at work.  So yesterday, I decided to keep Littlest home from daycare this morning for some Mommy/Littlest time.  Last night, I asked her what she wanted to do and she started giving me a list of activities.  I promised her we would do as many as we could before I had to go to work.  Littlest ran down the hallway shouting “Tomorrow.  Is. The. Best. Day. EVER!!!!”  Hubby and I were just giggling about how happy she was for our day.  


So this morning, I got up early, so I could be showered and ready for my day and focus on Littlest.  After we got Biggest on the school bus, we went home and had breakfast together.  Then Littlest rode her big girl bike around the block, while I walked one of our dogs alongside.  We came back and played half a game of Chutes and Ladders (the short attention span of a three year old….) and swept the floor together.  We headed upstairs and she served a pretend lunch to me and Rapunzel.  We had cupcakes and ice cream.  It was the most delicious fake lunch ever.  Then we snuggled up on my bed and watched Strawberry Shortcake together (actually, she watched and I took a twenty minute catnap).  When we were done watching her show, she decided she was ready to head to school for the day.  Littlestday

I hope Littlest enjoyed her morning as much as I did.  Did I get anything done this morning that I “should” have?  Not really.  No dusting was done.  No laundry was folded.  No dishes were put away.  But I spent put those things aside and spent time with my baby girl.  That was more important.  The past two days have had some great reminders about how I am prioritizing my time.  Next time the phrase, “I don’t have time” escapes my lips, I will really think about what I am saying and what I really mean.

Now to figure out when to get the other stuff done……



Monday, September 17, 2012

It’s here! It’s here! It’s FINALLY here!

You know what I am talking about.  We have been waiting for it since the 4th of July passed.  Signs of its approach came at us quickly:  the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, school supplies appearing at Target, rich colors began to appear in stores everywhere.  You guessed it!  Fall has finally arrived!!!

Anyone who has been near me starting around mid-August knows I have been (not) patiently waiting for cooler weather to arrive.  It is no secret.  I am a cold weather girl, absolutely hating to be hot.  Give me cold temperatures anytime.  I love layers, sweaters, jeans, boots, fires, hats….the list goes on and on. Itshere

So this morning, when the weatherman announced it would be cold for the rest of the week, I was overjoyed!  In my closet, my “back to school” wardrobe has been begging to get out.  Sure, I could mix some pieces in early but it was just not the same.  But now I am free to pull whatever delicious goodies I can find out of the closet to keep me warm and trendy.  My biggest problem is deciding what to where on what day!  There could be worse problems to face.

This particular morning, the decision was easy. I knew exactly what I wanted, the brand new Prairie Underground Mid-Victorian Hoodie sadly watching me from my closet, while Mother  Nature tormented me with her hot flashes for the past month.  Today, it was mine, all mine.  Paired with my Joe’s Jeans Jeggings (yup, another sad observer from the closet!), I was ready to conquer the world (or at least go to work feeling pretty cute).  I even got to play with one of my favorite trends this year, socks and boots.Socksnboots

Mind you, not everyone in my household is happy with the change in temperature.  Biggest complained about having to wear a jean jacket to school today, stating she was going to take it off when she got on the bus and refusing to wear it at recess.  I had a flashback to the days when I would wear my snow boots down to the bus stop and then take them off and stand in a snow bank, holding them, so I didn’t look “uncool” wearing boots to school.  Because it is sooooo much cooler to wear flimsy loafers (of course, with no socks) while standing in a snow bank and having wet shoes for most of the day.

Littlest was even more spirited than her sister.  She threw a fit about not being able to wear a skirt today, because we didn’t have any leggings or tights to put under it.  Finally, we compromised and she wore what would have been a cute red Hanna Anderson tunic and printed pants until she put a sea-foam green fluffy skirt, complete with a layer of tulle, over the top of it.  Of course, she convinced her dad to let her wear flip flops and just carried her sweatshirt.  Sometimes, you just have to pick your battles with a 3 year old.  However, I did find the time to pick up some tights and leggings this afternoon.

I don’t know where they learn this stuff……


Shown above:

Prairie Underground Mid Victorian Hoodie, Joe’s Jeans Jegging, Hue Socks, “vintage” GC Shoes (Boots) – all via Hot Mama

Friday, September 14, 2012

They’re Real!

I am a mascara junkie.  It is the one thing I feel completes any look, casual or dressy.  I have been blessed with pretty long eyelashes.  People frequently ask me if I wear falsies.  Nope.  They’re real!  Well, sometimes I do wear falsies, but that is only for special occasions.  And no, I do not use Latisse, I grew this set myself  (however, I have given Latisse some thought as I would love thicker lashes like my sister has…).

Since applying a quick coat or two of mascara only takes a few minutes, I prefer not to leave the house without putting any on.  While I have long lashes, I also have naturally blonde lashes.  If I don’t wear mascara, my eyelashes are basically invisible.  I feel like it makes me look tired.  Ugh.  Look at the following picture.  That is kind of scary….

real1 Yikes.

One of the perks of having a cousin who manages the new Sephora in town is she continuously “encourages”  me to try new products (or she just tells me what I am buying).  So a month ago, when I needed a new mascara, I was gently “encouraged” to try They’re Real! Mascara by Benefit.  I have always been a junkie for my MAC False Lashes Mascara.  However, being to lazy to drive to my favorite MAC counter at Nordstrom’s, I thought I would give the Benefit mascara the benefit of the doubt (**giggles**). 

real6 Yowzer.

HELL-O!  I love this mascara (sorry MAC, I still love you too…).  My lashes look long(er) and thicker!  It is more of a “pop” when I apply it, with or without my other eye makeup.  In the past month, I have had more compliments on my lashes from random strangers than I have had in a year!  It took some getting used to because the brush feels spikier than my old MAC mascara brushes.  Also, there is a rounded tip to get extra lift and hit little lashes more easily.  I am still learning to use this strange little tip but I am having fun so far!

Are there any downsides?  Well, once or twice a day I find that the mascara has “melted” onto my brow bone, just below the start of my eyebrow.  No clue why.  I have not heard of this happening to others, when I tried to research it.  It is also only occurring in the one place on each eye.  I just have to remember to check that area occasionally to rub it off. 

The other downside is that it can be tough to remove.  I always use Almay Eye Makeup Remover Pads to take off my eye makeup.  However, I feel like it takes more effort, even with the great Almay pads on my side.  It usually takes a couple pads, a little extra Philosophy Purity face wash plus a couple Q-Tips to get it all off.

Overall, I will keep using this mascara (until “encouraged” to try something new…).  I think the WOW factor from it outweighs anything I find negative. Highly recommend for any moms looking for a quick and easy way to add some yowzer to their look, everyday or otherwise. 


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fancy Friday with Ashley Coconut!

OK, I am so excited about this I could piddle!  A few days ago, my friend and fellow stylist, Ashley Coconut (a nickname she earned randomly from my Littlest) agreed to do some guest blogging for me. I have known Ashley for years,  admittedly a large portion of my “vintage” Hot Mama wardrobe has been her work.   I love her style and her energy as it is completely contagious.  She has such a great, creative mind and a real knack for making moms look and feel hot, and I love turning to her for new ideas. So, without further adieu, here is the first, of hopefully many, posts from Ashley Coconut!

Happy Fancy Friday Everyone!! I'm Ashley Coconut, another Hot Mama member, and I met Heidi when she was a customer of mine in St.Paul. I loved working with Heidi, because she is a risk-taker and is open to try and experiment with any piece!  (**Heidi note:  I think she loves me because I will pretty much try on anything and parade around in it, good, bad or otherwise.)
But I am excited to share my FANCY FRIDAYS with all of you! About two years ago, I realized I was wearing leggings, ponchos, boots and a scarf everyday to work....boring and lazy. So I challenged myself and my team to figure out a way to spice up our casual look, for gods sake, we work in a retail store!! So I created FANCY FRIDAY, yes I have it typed in bold because it's a big deal in my no-kid-I-love-clothes-yes-I-have-a-lot-of-time-on-my-hands-world. If you hear me talk with Heidi or other fellow Hot Mama employees I discuss outfits like it's a major world issue or something, pretty intense.  (**Heidi note:  It is true.  She does get intense but it is freakin’ awesome.  Ashley is very inspiring).
But FANCY FRIDAY, is a day where I can get glammed up, put on a heel, rock blingy jewelry, wear a dress, or maybe wear some bold lipstick. My goal every Friday is to wear an outfit that would be acceptable on The Young and The Restless, have you ever seen any of them in sweatpants? Even at the Club?

I hope to inspire you with some ''dressier'' outfit options, and give your boots, ponchos and yoga pants a rest.


Nine West Shoe - DSW  (I will probably only be able to wear these for about 2 hours, then I will rock my sequined Toms)
Lilith Fringe Necklace – Stella & Dot
p.s. my favorite accessory: Dr.Pepper Lipsmackers!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I Don’t Diet.

I don’t diet.  It is true.  Ask my friends.  Diet implies you have to give some specific foods or meal up, eat less, count calories, generally be miserable.  I have never met anyone who was happy on a diet.  Or who lived their diet plan for the rest of their life.  At some point you fall off it.  And then you start another one.  And another one.  And another one.  It is a vicious cycle in which I do not wish to participate.notdiet

Now, I won’t say I have NEVER dieted, because that would be untrue.  I have done the Six Week Body Makeover.  I have done eDiets.  Both times I got results.  Both times results did not last.  Sounds like loads of fun, right?  Yo-yos are great toys but not a way of life for me.  

So when my friend Suzi decided to make me her project, I was intrigued.  Suzi is in great shape, especially for having had four kids.  I only have two and am no where near her level of fitness.  Yes, she is a workout buff (and I am decidedly not), but she loves doing it. It is her passion.  However, she is also passionate about healthy eating.  After a couple months of arguing back and forth, I let Suzi convince me to start eating cleaner and healthier.  

I will start off by reiterating, this is not a diet.  It is meant to be a lifestyle change for me.  Suzi has taught me to eat 5-6 meals a day, lots of protein, healthy carbs and fats, and veggies.  I get to eat a lot and some of the food is surprising.  One of my favorite snacks, High Octane Bars,  tastes like dessert.  Yes, there are foods I don’t eat now, but the reason to stop eating them makes sense due to  low nutritional content or their highly processed nature.  The foods I eat are actually doing something FOR me, versus doing something TO me.  highoctane

So what are these foods doing for me?  Well, I don’t have food cravings anymore and I don’t get hungry often because I eat so much.  I have lost weight and it has stayed off and I usually feel pretty good.  Now when presented with food options, I am more aware of my choices and their effects.   Also, I don’t worry about calories.  There is no need to when you are eating healthy, making good choices.

When I slip and eat something less than healthy (and believe me it DOES happen.  Indulged in some Twinkies this morning!), I can feel it.  Eating bad makes me feel like crap.  Do I beat myself up over it?  Nope.  I just go back to eating healthy and get myself feeling better again.  Maintaining the food choices long term, making the lifestyle change instead of a temporary change.worthit

Sure, eating right is more work.  It requires more planning and preparation.  You can’t swing through the local drive through and pick up something fast.  Healthy foods usually require grocery shopping and effort to cook them.  But the effort behind the food is worth it in the long run for the benefits I get from it. 

I would also be remiss if I did not tell you there are some things that no matter how hard Suzi tries, I refuse to give them up, like my daily Diet Coke.  I love it.  It will take something HUGE to get me to give it up.  However, limiting to one a day is a good compromise.  Also,  wine and beer are on my more restricted list, only 1-2 times per week.  Usually…sometimes….er…. stuff happens. 

Eating healthy myself has gotten me thinking about what I feed my kids.  I am guilty like everyone else of taking my kids to fast food restaurants for dinner (even though they are becoming more and more disgusting to me).  I give them sugary cereals, let them pick out gelatinous fruit snacks, and eat processed quick serve foods for dinner.  So if I am focusing so much on what I eat, why am I not teaching them better habits? Well,  now that I am aware, I am working on it.  Introducing new, healthy foods.  Trying “no thank you” bites of different foods.  Hiding healthy inside yummy.  Getting my kids on board with eating right, one bite at a time. 

Now if I could only impact my husband…….slowpoison

***I am not a doctor or registered dietician.  Neither is my friend Suzi.  I am just sharing my own experience with eating healthy.***

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Style Versus Comfort

Wow.  What a weekend it has been.  Typically my weekends are the equivalent to a Wednesday or Thursday for everyone else, since I live in a retail world.  However, that doesn’t mean my weekends don’t get really full of stuff to do.  This particular weekend, we (and by we I mean Biggest and Littlest), were invited to 3 birthday parties.  Wow.  We don’t usually have three in a month, let alone three in one weekend. 

Of course, with birthday parties, there is the added stress of what to wear as a parent attending.  Working in a store that many of the other moms shop at means I feel like I have to have the bar set a touch higher for my non-work wardrobe.  Luckily, the first two parties I went to straight from work, so I was feeling pretty good about the outfits du jour (an added bonus of my occupation).

Today was my day off though.  Should I dress up or down for the party today?  On the one hand, it was the party of my chill friend, Melissa’s, son Owen.  This was a crew I don’t have to put on airs for. On the other hand, with the craziness of the store this weekend, I had to be prepared to leave the party to head into work to help if needed.  BFandFlatsWhat should I choose?  Style or comfort?

So I decided to split the difference.  The beauty of short hair is it only takes a few minutes to style once you get out of the shower.  Less than the length of a commercial and my hair is dry.  Another commercial and the hair is styled.  Since it is Sunday, I skipped my usual layers of make up and opted for a simpler look.  Just a little foundation and powder, blush and some mascara.  Lip gloss gets the rest of the look done.  Less than 5 minutes.  Yay for me!

When it came time to get dressed, I stared longingly at my yoga pants, sitting so comfortably in my drawer, begging me to take them and and put them on.  I sighed and headed to my closet in search of my comfy jeans, the Paige Premium Denim Jimmy Jimmy Boyfriend jean.  

God bless Paige for making such a yummy jean.  It is comfy enough to wear to a five year old’s birthday party, yet still cute enough to wear to work and be on trend.  I love the dark wash of the jean because it shows less dirt and mess.  Since I am dirty and messy (and that is just me, not even thinking about the dirt my children spread all over me), I will take all the help I can get. Plus the denim is slouchy but not sloppy, great for mixing comfort and style, just like I wanted.

Now, since it is Sunday, I had thought to wear my Junk Food Packers T-shirt (best team EVER!).  However, the Vikings must have hid it on me, because it was no where to be found.  So in its place, I threw on the T Party Scoop Neck Garment Wash Sweatshirt.  My Stella & Dot charm necklace and a pair of silver hoops from Hot Mama and my Ballasox flats from DSW and I was set.  Cute but comfy.  What more could I ask for?

Sometimes the debate between comfort and style is a close one.  They can be at odds with each other, but they don’t have to be.   You can still rock your look at a five year old’s birthday and be comfy when you get home to watch the Packers (lose, unfortunately). 


Photo courtesy of Melissa at Studio Threesixty5

Friday, September 7, 2012

Challenge Accepted.

I love a challenge.  Anyone who has ever met me knows I do not shy away from the potential to step up when the gauntlet is thrown.  God help us all if my daughters inherit this trait from me (and I am afraid they have).  So when my friend Alison sent me the following message on Facebook, I was ecstatic:

“I have a challenge for you......I do not believe that EVERYone can sport skinny jeans...but I kind of want some....”

Challenge accepted!

Today, Alison was brave enough to venture through the doors of Hot Mama, entering my world of denim goodness.  I am impressed with how open-minded Alison was.  We started in her room with 6 different pairs and brands of skinny jeans for her to try.  Alison and I talked about the importance of trying on skinny jeans with boots and after the first pair of skinnies, she understood why. alison1

Our first pair of jeans was from AG. She took one look in the mirror and was cringing, until we put on the boots.  It took the emphasis off the slim ankle silhouette and added balance to her leg.  We both agreed, even with the boot, the jean was a miss for her.  I explained to Alison the pocket placement was off and it was not the love from the back we were looking for.  So we moved on to the next.  And the next.  And the next. 

THEN we put on the Joe’s Jeans Jegging.  YOWZER!  Her tushie looked like a ripe little peach.  The denim was soft and easy for her to get on.  It was a love (although I might be a little biased, since I own the jeans myself).  Even though we had found a pair we loved, we kept trying.  We found another win with the Joe’s Jeans Skinny with some distressing.  Then we put on the 7 for All Mankind Roxanne Skinny and we had a competition!  Alison was not sure what she liked better between the Joe’s and the 7’s.  These are the problems finding jeans that I like to have.  Some women can only find one or two they like, but to have several?  YAY for us!

In the end, Alison ended up selecting the Joe’s Jeans Jegging (plus one or two other hot things….I love retail therapy).  Let’s be honest.  For Alison, they were perfect.  The fit was amazing (hello tushie!), they are super comfortable, she can bend over with out her rear showing and you can nap in them (true sign of a great jean).

Bottom line?  You all can wear skinny jeans.  You just need the patience and open mind to try them on, just like Alison.  The challenge has now been extended to you!


*Special thanks to Alison for being such a good sport and letting me blog this.”


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

One Down, Many to Go

heididay1 Almost thirty years ago, an excited five year old donned a rainbow colored dress and boarded the bus for kindergarten.  She had a great day sitting next to her friends, Justin and Reid, and was excited to share the day with her family when she got home.

Fast-forward to today.  That same little kindergartener is all grown up with a kindergartener of her own.  Yup, today was Biggest’s first day of school.  After yesterday’s post, it is common knowledge that I am slightly saddened by my oldest baby’s start of school.  I was feeling prepared, having set my alarm 20 minutes early to get not only Biggest ready but also myself (hello, we needed to take pictures together).  I knew when the bus was arriving (7:20 am) and was feeling mostly good about getting everything done.  Yeah.  We all know it is never that easy.

On schedule, I was up and ready, as was Biggest (because whether I want to admit it or not, it was her day not mine).  She was primed and ready to go by 7:00 am.  A few minutes later, we were outside taking photos with Biggest, Littlest and the neighbors.  While we were just starting down towards the bus stop, when we heard the unmistakable sounds of the bus barreling down the road.  Yikes!  Next thing you know, I am running down the road in my wedges and dress, trying to get Biggest to the bus stop on time (which was only 7:13 am, by the way).  We made it in the nick of time and Biggest happily and all too easily boarded the bus with her neighborhood friends.  The last thing I saw was her little face peeking at me from a window towards the back of the bus.  It all happened so fast I did not even have time to cry or even get a picture with her.

Sadly, I walked back to our house with my husband and Littlest.  Once home, I made Littlest promise me she would never get bigger and start kindergarten.  She said yes, but I don’t think she meant it.  Then, I began the rest of my day, which basically revolved around indulging mom’s whims to alleviate her sadness.
celebrate First, I stopped into the store (yes, I stop in on my days off.  It is what I do), where I found my next item of lust, a great jacket from Scrapbook (pictures will be coming in the future).  I just love retail therapy, don’t you?  After leaving the store,  I ran a couple errands to justify that my day was not totally wasted.  And THEN I found wine.  Actually, my sister and I found wine, but most of it was consumed by me.   We spent an hour or two together at a local wine bar, me drowning my sorrows and her basically humoring her sappy sister.   After a glass of bubbly and a bottle of Pinot Noir (and some lunch, we aren’t complete lushes), I got a quick buzz around the ears from my favorite stylist, Tracy, at Tangled Salon ,and headed home.  The rest of the afternoon was spent napping and generally being a slacker until Biggest and Littlest came home from school.  Did I mention they asked DAD to pick them up and not me?  Yup,  that happened.

Overall, the day was a success.  Biggest loved kindergarten.  Mom didn’t cry, found a new jacket, and had lots of wine plus a nap.  Littlest even had a great day swinging solo at her daycare.  God only knows what will happen during the rest of the school year.  Maybe I better hit Trader Joe’s and stock up on more vino……

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Day Before the Big Day.

Tomorrow is the big day.  The day we have been waiting for for the past 5 years.  Our daycare bill is dropping by $120 per week.  Biggest is starting kindergarten.

I always thought I would be perfectly fine when this day came.  Actually, I have been fine all summer.  The idea of lower daycare costs is a dream for every working parent.  I love the idea of Biggest going to school, riding the bus with all the other kids (which in my head is fun and does not teach her bad words or how to pick on other kids), bringing home homework, and us checking it over with her nightly.  Sounds dreamy, right? 

This summer, we went shopping for back to school clothes together (mostly) and everything was fine.  This morning, we lopped off over 6 inches of hair for her back to school haircut.  Admittedly, I was nervous about going from my little girl’s long flowing locks to a chic little bob. With each snip of the scissors a piece of my baby fell to the floor.  Biggest now looks more like a girl who is growing up, and less like my little baby.   I thought the haircut would be the hardest part.  Boy, was I wrong!  

So this afternoon, Biggest, Littlest and I marched into the elementary school, armed with her bags of supplies (including, but not limited to, a box of crackers, three packs of crayons and eighteen glue sticks).  Biggest seemed to know where she was going, even though mom was clueless.  We found her classroom and met Biggest’s teacher, Mrs. D.  So far so good, right?  WRONG!

As soon as Mrs. D and I started talking, the waterworks began.  Thankfully, Mrs. D. is either used to it or is an amazing person, because she was great about handling the hot mess mom in front of her (I am an ugly, face scrunching crier).  After a few minutes, I calmed down and we got everything put away in its proper place in the classroom.  Neither Biggest nor Littlest seemed to notice their mom in tears just minutes before, probably due to the bag of candy that Mrs. D had the forethought to provide (like any self respecting mom, I love bribes and distractions).  We filled out our remaining paperwork, met a few other families, and sat down to watch Mrs. D’s presentation on what would happen in kindergarten. 

Of course, it isn’t that easy.  As soon as the presentation was over, Mrs. D looked directly at me and asked if I felt better about kindergarten.  Wrong question to ask, Mrs. D!  The waterworks immediately started again, and, for the second time, Biggest and Littlest did not seem to notice, attention still focused on the bag of candy they were waiting to devour.  The other mom in the room sympathetically said she was in the same emotional state with the added bonus of baby blues.  It could be worse, I guess. 

We did manage to make it out of the classroom and have school pictures taken with no more waterworks.  But now that it has happened, it seems just the mere thought of Biggest going to kindergarten all day is enough to set me off.  I know that she is ready, but I am just not sure I am.

Good luck to all the other parents at the bus stop tomorrow.  I am afraid I may be causing a ruckus.  This mama may be stylishly attired for  first day of school photos with Biggest but the tears will probably be ruining my makeup.