Sunday, August 25, 2013

Weekly Drool - The Great Minnesota Get Together

statefairIt is that time of year again, one of my favorite signals to the end of summer, the Minnesota State Fair. Last year, I took Biggest as part of a Mommy-Daughter day.  We had snacks, rode rides, saw the sights.  You name it we did it.  This year, I am headed to the fair with both kidlets in hopes of making some memories.  Yes, I know the next two days are going to be the hottest of the summer, with the heat index reaching over 100 (which for the Twin Cities is pretty damn hot).  They don’t call it the Great Minnesota “Sweat” Together for nothing.  We have a plan which includes going early, lots of water, and sunscreen.

Even with my dislike of heat, which inevitably creeps up to uncomfortable levels during the fair every year, I absolutely adore the Fair.  I have gone since I was young.  To me, it is the ten best days of summer for several reasons. 

  • It is a great place to people watch.  Let’ be honest.  Who doesn’t love to go out and observe people in public?  We all do, say, and wear crazy things.  Last year, we saw a little girl lose her first tooth in a line behind us.  Every year, you find stressed out parents, screaming kids, people crowding into small, hot spaces just to see the heads carved into butter!  This year, I might try filling out a State Fair bingo card.  I think I can be a winner!statefair3
  • It is a great place to eat.  Truth be told I like to eat.  It takes a lot of fuel to keep this curvy body at my current fighting weight.  (Yup, I went there).  The State Fair is the place where you can find almost anything you want (on a stick, of course) and can eat yourself silly.  My preference is to share with others, so I don’t overeat…as much as possible.  Hell.  I still overeat.  At the Fair, we all do.  statefair2
  • It is a great place to make memories.  I remember going to the Fair in high school with the marching band and trying to go through the Haunted House with the boys we were crushing on.  We used to hang out at the KDWB boom box.  When I went with my parents we would spend what felt like forever watching the Vitamix demo or the guy who makes salsa (even though my dad already had the salsa machine).  Now, I am making memories with my own kids (click here to read about last year’s trip with Biggest).  I can’t wait to see what memories they share with their own kids in the future.  biggest
  • It means summer is ending.  Yes, you can gripe at me all you want, but some of us are not summer people.  I love fall.  Besides, you know what the beginning of fall means, pumpkin spiced lattes at Starbucks.  Be honest, you know you want it. autumn

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It’s About That Time.

Facebook Sharp Studio threesixty5 Heidi Martin BA6A8649It is getting to be about that time again.  The seasons are changing.  Sure, it is over ninety degrees the past few days, but I choose to ignore that fact.  Fall is coming.  With it, change is coming.  As anyone who knows me (or who has ever looked at my personal Facebook profile pictures) can tell you, I love to change things up, especially my hair. 

For the past six months, I have had the same haircut.  That might be a record for me, with the exception of the bowl cut my mother forced upon me from birth until fifth grade (where I thought a permed mullet was a great idea.  Story for another blog post.).  Even my exceptionally talented stylist, Tracy, was getting antsy for a change.

I know changing hairstyles is scary to some, but I like to think of my hair as an accessory to my face and my outfit. As my styles change, so must my hair.  In the spring, I feel fun and light.  I like to make my hair the main statement piece of my ensemble.  In the fall, I don’t.

So tonight, I had a hair appointment with Tracy.  I have given some thought the past month to what I would like to do next.  Even while I sat in the chair, the conversation in my head was something like this:

pre pics1

pre pics2

pre pics3

Of course, I rarely listen to the voices in my head….actually, that’s not true.  I love the voices in my head.  We have great conversations.  So the next thing you know:


(SJ&YP note:  Anyone else hearing the jeopardy theme song right now?)



DRUMROLL PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!







The mohawk is gone!  The bleach blond is gone!  Enter, the fabulous strawberry blonde pixie.




And now fall can begin.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Weekly Drool: Leather!

Anyone who has seen me knows I have a love of a look with a little bit of edge to it.  That is why I am so excited about one of the biggest trends for fall, leather.  Now, I am sure some of you might be thinking this is going to be some biker chic trend which can’t be easily worn by a mom.  God forbid a mom wear leather, right?  Wrong!  This is a great trend which can be worn for a night out, for a day at the office, or even running around with your kids! 

Check out Libby, one of my fabulous co-workers.  She wore this to work last week and it was so adorbs I had to snag a pic.  I love how she pairs the fitted (vegan) leather peplum top with a comfy flowy pant.  Adding the chevron underneath gives it a little extra pop.  Adorbs for a night out with the hubs or girlfriends.  Of course, she was perfectly comfortable running around at the store all day too.


Peplum top by Sanctuary

Chevron top by Tychee

Sabrina Pant by Supply and Demand

Yesterday, we were playing with a new dress we got in the store.  Leather is outside the box for Kacie, another Hot Mama stylist, we thought it would be fun to take some risks.  She was gracious enough to try on the dress and let us style her up.  Since Kacie is a future law student, we wanted to show how work friendly this piece would be.  Adding a knit cardigan and a belt really softened the look but still kept it polished.


Leather Dress by Jack

Santana Open Cardy by Wooden Ships

Around Town Adjustable Belt by Cole Graye

Antique Gold Pearl Necklace by Harriet Isles *(SJ&YP favorite)

Beige Tear Drop Statement Necklace by Mia Berkley

Now I am sure the idea of wearing leather for a night out is easy to accept.  Wearing it for a work, slightly easier to accept.  Wearing it with your kids?  How do you do that!  Simple.  It is all in the details.  Literally.  Just do this:


And add something like this:


And viola!  You have a comfy mom-friendly way to wear leather.  See?  Trendy, easy, and comfy.  What could be better? So there you have it.  A fun option for fall which can be worn almost anywhere. This is why I am drooling over leather.

Leggings by CAbi

Jeepster Pullover by Free People

Stripe Toosaloosa Hard Candy Cuff by Free People

Geometric Smoke Crystal Pendant by Harriet Isles


(SJ&YP Note: When I saw the leggings above (by CAbi), I immediately booked a CAbi party.  The fall line is adorbs!)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far.

Before Biggest and Littlest were born, I always wondered who they would take after.  Now that they are here, the answer is clear.  Those are my girls.  Sure, Biggest looks way more like Hubby than me and Littlest is my mini-me.  But when it comes to personality, attitude, and style?  Those kids are 100% their mother.

Good luck with that, Hubby.

I knew I was in trouble when Biggest was three years old.  I came downstairs to go to work and made the mistake of asking her how I looked.  She gave me the elevator eyes, cocked her little blonde head and said, “Huh uh.  Nope. Go upstairs and change.  But keep the boots, because I like those.”  I will be damned if I didn’t go back upstairs and change.  She did approve of the second outfit though.


Since then, Biggest has kept her opinions on style and asks to dress me almost every morning.  She is forever digging through my closet, picking out my jewelry and undies, making requests for me to build outfits around a particular pair of shoes or (almost always) sparkly top.  Some days, I take her suggestions, other days are a swing and a miss (at least in my opinion, never in hers).

Now Biggest has a partner in crime.  She has Littlest.  That small girl has entered the “I only wear dresses and skirts” phase of her life and refuses to leave it.  Yes, Biggest went through this (briefly), but I don’t foresee and end in sight for Littlest.  She is the ultimate girly girl, and will fight to wear style she wants.  


Honestly, I don’t argue with them anymore.  I save my fights for things like family or special events and pictures.  As long as they are dressing weather appropriate, I say go for it.  Why fight their sense of style?  Besides, they both have a healthy dose of stubbornness in them.  Hmmm….I wonder where they get that?!  Oh yeah.  From me.

Naturally, this means trouble when it comes to the most basic things like shopping or going in public.  They love tutus, lace, sparkly, makeup, whatever they can get their hands on.  Even the reading material they keep in their bathroom (something they learned from their father) reflects their tastes. 


They have especially found a sucker in Cuz.  Visiting her at Sephora is the best time ever for the kidlets.  Since Cuz doesn’t have little girls, she dotes on mine, so they are always walking out of the store with a bag full of perfume samples, sporting the sparkliest lipsticks and lip gloss they can find.

On Sunday we visited Cuz at work.  Since she hadn’t seen Biggest and Littlest for awhile, she must have been feeling especially lovey.  Next thing you know, this happened:


Yup.  That is my six year old getting all dolled up with eye shadow.  At least she picked a shimmery grey.  Littlest went for the brightest, sparkliest blue she could find.  We were able to talk them out of the mascara and eyeliner but they conned us into blush.  It was awesome walking out of the mall with them.  I felt like one of those moms on “Toddlers and Tiaras.”


I can’t wait until Hubby gets a turn to walk around with them like that.  Good thing they have already trained him to paint their nails….with special designs too.  Again, good luck to you, Hubby.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Going Glamping.

I don’t rough it.  That is not something I enjoy.  The idea of staying somewhere without flushing toilets and hot showers does not appeal to me. Neither does carrying all my possessions on my back for miles through the woods.  It is amazing to me that anyone would want to do those things.  But one thing I still like to do?  I like to camp. 

I know you are asking, if you don’t like to do those things listed above, how the heck do you like to camp.  Well, I like to go glamping.  Yes, I will sleep in a (big, big) tent.  On an air mattress.  At a campground with flushing toilets.  And showers.  And electricity for my blow dryer.  I will rough it and put my mascara on using a small mirror in my tent. 

Yes, you can take the fashionista out of the city but you can’t take her styling products or she will hurt you.

Last weekend, we went camping with my sister and her family.  Since Auntie Carrie is about as outdoorsy as me (i.e. she drinks on patios and eats at the occasional pizza farm), it was a good match.  Hubby and I had never taken the kidlets camping before so we found a close campground and booked it for only one night.  So off we went!


I am sure you are all reading this, wondering what I wear when I go camping (someone at work actually asked me). No, I do not wear my Prairie Underground to the camp, mostly out of fear a spark from the fire would burn a hole in my favorite hoodies.  Yes, I do dress more casual when I camp, but still have to look presentable for photos. For those who are wondering, I was wearing jeans, sneakers, an AC/DC Junk Food shirt and an oversized Lake Okoboji sweatshirt I stole from Auntie Carrie.

I am also sure you are wondering if I will share the tips which make camping such a great success for us.  Being the thoughtful blogger that I am, here is my best advice:

  • Once you arrive, it is important to set up camp.  It is always important to make sure you teach your kids how to create atmosphere at the campground using lanterns, tablecloths, candles, and McDonald’s toys.


  • Having your kids help set up your two room tent is important as well.  Don’t forget to teach them to take your shoes off on the rug outside the door, so as not to track dirt into the tent.  Also, don’t forget to remind them NOT to jump on the cots you borrowed from the neighbors or your air mattress which now has a slow leak (I wonder why….)


  • Of course, we needed food for the trip.  Being that there were 8 of us going (4 adults and 4 kids), we would need lots, right?!  Hopefully, 5 bags of chips and 3 bags of donuts is enough for our 24 hour jaunt.


  • Once camp is set up and the adults have had a beer, find a way to occupy the kids.  We found it helpful to take them to the campground beach which only gets about 2 feet deep.


  • Make sure to keep the kids busy at the beach with adorable photo ops while the men go back to “get dinner started” (or drink beer, whatever they are really doing).





  • Make sure you take a cute selfie, just to add balance to all the pictures of the kids.  Don’t be afraid to take a couple and pick the one you like best to Instagram.  You can always delete the others.


  • Once the kids are worn down a little (or you would like to make it back to camp before all the adult beverages are gone), head back to your campsite.  Try not to lose anyone along the way.  That stinks.  Trust me.
  • When you get back, you will be hungry.  Make dinner! I personally prefer pudgy pies or hobos.
  • If you can, find someone else to cook, while you relax.  You cook enough at home!

Shoes:  Jamie by Dr. Scholl’s

Jeans:  Crop Muse by Hudson

  • Once it gets dark, make sure you give the kids glow sticks.  That way you can find them in the dark.  Plus, it entertains them for the last twenty minutes before you send them to bed so you can drink beer around the fire.  If you are really lucky, they will put themselves to bed!


  • The next morning, make sure to start off with a healthy breakfast.  I prefer to give the kids donuts and yogurt to give them strength to help us pack the car back up. 



So there you have it.  The SJ&YP tips for making your glamping trip a great success.  Now you can be outdoorsy like me.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

SJ&YP Weekly Highlights August 5-11!

What a huge week for SJ&YP!  So much went down this week, so here I am to share the good, the bad, and the stinky.  I am glad to say there was more good and less bad and stinky.

The Good!

SJ&YP turned one year old on August 6th!  Who would have thought I could keep going for so long?  Especially after the big episode of writer’s block that plagued me for awhile.  I promise that there are still many more blog posts on all the random things in my head – mom and style related.


SJ&YP hit 500 likes on Facebook!  Pretty sure most people follow me via Facebook, so this was a big deal.  I felt like crying out like Sally Field during her Oscar acceptance speech, “You like me, you really like me!”  Of course, not sure how many people on Facebook actually know I write blog posts and probably think I just post funny ecards and the occasional status update.  You know what?  I am not greedy.  I will take it either way!


Today I got to spend the day with the kidlets, giving Hubby a break to enjoy some alone time.  What a massively fun day!  First, we went to the zoo and then out to lunch.  Biggest and Littlest were so fabulous at the restaurant, Mommy scored a free glass of wine from the wait staff.  Then we visited Cuz at her new Sephora location.  Of course, no trip out is complete without a stop a mom’s work.  When we got home, Hubby even surprised me with a break from the kidlets and I snuck in an hour long nap.  Husband of the year?  Possibly.  He could clinch that title if he would just LET ME SHOP MORE!!!!!   (Just sayin’ Hubs)



The Bad:

Littlest got shots.  Sure, the upside of that was we went out for ice cream and pizza afterwards, but it was louder than hell.  Not 100 percent sure, but I think we may have traumatized the nurse practitioner administering the shots.  She definitely took it harder than me or Littlest.  Thankfully, Biggest was smart and kept quiet the whole time.  She even tried to distract Littlest during the shots and again afterward.  I would like to think it was because she was being a great big sister but she might really have been motivated by pizza and ice cream…

The Stinky:

When I say stinky, I actually mean stinky-smelly.  Thursday night I noticed something hanging from Ruby’s lip.  I grabbed a rag and pulled it off.  That was when I noticed the smell (and almost gagged).  Darn dog had a hole in her lip.  Turns out she and our springer spaniel (little grumpus that he is) got into a fight two days prior.  A trip to the vet the next morning confirmed what I suspected, she had dead tissue in her lip which was causing the smell (which was also what I pulled off her lip the night before).  So.  Damn.  Gross.  So now the poor baby is on antibiotics and if the hole doesn’t heal up in the next two weeks, we will need to stitch it shut.  Super.  Thankfully, after a few days of antibiotics, the smell has gone!



So there you have it, my week in a nutshell.  Look for more posts coming soon. Seriously.  I am already working on them! 





Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Weekly Drool: The Great Outdoors


Did that title make you think I wanted to be outside?  Fooled you!  As my whiter than porcelain skin (except for the occasional Xen-Tan experience) will prove, I am not one for just hanging around outside, especially in the heat.  Now, give me 20 degree weather in January?  Sure, let’s go skiing or sledding!  But, I digress.  For the rare occasions I enjoy sitting outside, it is usually on a patio, enjoying some adult beverages.  The current mild temperature we are experiencing here makes patio enjoyment all the better.  So for this week’s Weekly Drool, we will explore my favorite outdoor hangout…..the patio.

patio3First up? My favorite patio, which is conveniently located right in my back yard.  It is pretty sweet back there, especially when there are no mosquitos and the dog poo has been all picked up.  Our house backs up to a pond and a DNR wildlife preserve (although across said preserve is a small trucking company).  For 6 months out of the year, the foliage is green and blossoming, and it makes for a fabulous setting to relax with a glass (bottle) of wine and Hubby (or my Kindle).  Top it off with a fire in our fire table, and I am ready to snuggle in and have some quiet time. 

The best part?  I don’t need a babysitter.  I can just go outside and hang out without having to worry about who is watching the kids.  I can basically hear them through their window.  Sometimes, the kids even come hang outside with us!  Then patio time equals family time.  It is a two-fer! 

patio2Next favorite patio?  One that is not at my house, the local bar patio.  There are so many which can provide an amazing atmosphere for enjoying happy hour (and beyond….or before….whenever you get there).  I especially love finding those little out of the way places which you wouldn’t expect.  Tonight, I met up with a friend on the rooftop of a local small town bar.  We drank and dined while surrounded by wrought iron patio furniture, stone fire tables and the skyline of a small Midwestern town (mmmm…..Spotted Cow…..mooooooo).  What could be better?  I am blessed to live in an slightly rural area where these quirky little hideaways are in abundance (for my local peeps, Hudson, Wisconsin is full of them!).    Sure I have to drive a few minutes to most places, but the idea of being waited on is always appealing.   At my house, I have to do it myself and clean up afterwards.  For those who live in more metro areas, finding these random gems are even more surprising at times.  When you find them, you know!

So for the few remaining days of summer (and hopefully they are FEW). Yup, go on and grumble about my lack of love for hot summer days), but go find yourself a patio to hang out on while you do it.  You will be glad you did.


On me:

Prairie Underground tunic

Stella & Dot necklace

Posh and Ginger earrings

Kate Spade sunglasses

Spotted Cow beer

Monday, August 5, 2013

Why Am I Here–One Year Later!

bloggingOne year ago today, I decided to start a blog.  An hour later, I was officially a blogger. To be honest, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing.  I still don’t.  Being a blogger is much like standing in public naked.  You don’t always know where to go or what to do with your hands.  You also don’t know what people think of what they are seeing!

My very first post, I tried to figure out what I was doing with blogging.  In honor of my one year blogger-versary, I wanted to revisit my first blog post and re-answer the questions.  I hope you enjoy!


Why Am I Here?  Was it the Wine?

( originally posted~August 6, 2012)

It has been a long day at work.  And I find my self asking the following questions:  Why am I here?  What was I thinking?  How much wine have I had?  Will people want to read this?  What do I have to offer to people who actually DO read this?  In order to get my head around my sudden whim to start this blog, I have decided to tackle each question head on!

sparkle4Question 1:  Why am I here? 
2012 Answer:  Why not?!  I spend all day long with women (mostly moms, specifically) helping them find clothes to fit their body type and lifestyle.  I am also a mom who loves fashion and trends but still LOVES her yoga pants.   It ain't easy to balance being ME and being MOM simultaneously. 

2013 Answer:  I still agree with the above.  But I would also add, being a blogger is fun!   Sure, when I started I thought I wouldn’t care about people following, but every like, follow, comment, or recognition is like a warm fuzzy. Plus, this is a great outlet for getting all the random chaos in my head.

Question 2:  What was I thinking? 
2012 Answer:  I am constantly amazed how women rip their own forms apart and envy those of others.  I am also amazed by how women talk themselves out of so many things which make them happy or don't fit the idea they have created in their own heads about how a mom should look.  I don't understand this!  Why in the world do we do this to ourselves?  Women are gorgeous and need to learn to accept it, no matter your perceived imperfections.  Hopefully, I can help women love themselves for real.  If not, we can at least have a little fun.  I can be kind of wacky, just ask the people I work with.

2013 Answer:  Hell, I have been writing this blog for a year now and the answer to this question still eludes me.  I love my 2012 answer though.  Love yourselves, peeps!

Question 3:  How much wine have I had?
2012 Answer:  2 glasses.  I swear.  But they were absolutely delicious and well deserved.  God bless you, Trader Joe's!

2013 Answer:  In the past year?  Too much to count.  Tonight?  Sadly…..none.  In my defense, I worked late tonight.

weirdnessQuestion 4:  Will people want to read this?
2012 Answer:  Maybe.  I hope so.

2013 Answer:  Still trying to figure this one out.  Based on the number of Facebook followers, I think people just might be bored enough to keep following me!  For this I am extremely grateful.

Question 5:   What do I have to offer people who actually DO read this?
2012 Answer:  Hmmm.....good question.   Maybe readers will learn to love and accept themselves more, but that might be aiming high.   If nothing else, we will have a few giggles together talking mom and style.

2013 Answer:  I hope you are all having a good time.  Maybe learning something about me or about yourself.  Maybe laughing a little.  But overall, I just hope you are all enjoying what you read on the blog page or see posted on the Facebook page. 




A huge thank you and much love to all the followers of this blog. 



Sunday, August 4, 2013

Weekly Highlights!

(SJ&YP Note:  Welcome to the very first “Weekly Highlights” post!  I have no idea how this is going to look in the long run but for now, let’s just see what happens.)

So this week was long.  Very, very long.  I was crazy busy at work (which I love) and gearing up for a fun weekend.  Here are my highlights from the week:

Style Excitement:

In addition to the ah-mazing shipments of Free People we got in the store last week, we are becoming loaded down with new fall stuff and I am absolutely drooling.  I may have a serious problem in the near future, especially if Mother Nature plays her bitch card and drags out the hot weather forever.  I am done with summer.  Seriously over it.We can start wearing sweaters, long sleeves, Prairie Underground, boots, etc. any day now.  Yes, I know you all think I am nuts.  What can I say, I love to layer.I feel some blog posts coming on, I just have to figure out what I want to focus on.
Also, I picked up the latest copy of In Style magazine.  Love, love, love almost everything in it.  It started me thinking about how long I have had my current haircut.  A change may be in my future.  I don’t know what it looks like yet, so stay tuned!  (I am getting distracted by searching Pinterest for ideas when I am supposed to be typing this blog post…)  In addition, I really want to reorganize and purge my closet now.  I think Hubby will get on board with that one, as long as I do not refill it again too quickly.


Mom Life:

This week found us having not one but two fun family experiences.  First, we went on a camping trip with my sis and her family.  Just one night, because we are not completely crazy.  All four adults and four kids managed to survive a night in the woods.  The first time ever for our family.  Biggest and Littlest had a blast, running in the woods, making hobos and smores, getting to stay up late!
Second, we went back to school shopping.  This is my third year doing this, having started when Biggest was in 4K, but it was a first for Hubby and Littlest participating. We even managed to make it out of Target alive with no one getting yelled at.  It was a back-to-school miracle.  Hubby even treated the kidlets to an Icee (and me to my copy of In Style).


Overall, a very successful, happy week!