Monday, October 29, 2012

Girls Night Out: Do’s and Don’ts for Creating a Stellar Time.

I love my husband.  I love my children.  However, sometimes, mommy needs a night away.  What does that mean?  Girls night out!  Yes, the time honored tradition where the ladies get together and do crazy, nutty things which we would frown upon in the light of day.  Last Friday night me and five of my friends had fun. Lots of fun. Girls night out fun. Yowzer! Yes, I am intentionally not sharing any details.  They are for us girls to know and you all not to find out.
 Now, I understand that sometimes, girls nights out can result in a hot  mess and ending of friendships. So how did we have so much fun last Friday night?  By following the do’s and don’t of girls night out!  Here are some time honored traditions which you should incorporate into your event to help make it a smashing success, like ours was. 
  • DO pre-plan when you can. Let’s be honest.  Sometimes girls need to plan and prep for a big night out.  I usually have to get it on the calendar, arrange it with work, figure out the husband and kids, put on self tanner, whatever!  Sure, I have jumped on the chance for a random fiesta, and yes, sometimes the unplanned events rock the most.  However, as I get older (not that I am old), my life requires more of a schedule that can be read on the whiteboard in the kitchen by the hubby. gno2
  • DO find a sober cab. Duh.  Common sense.  No one’s life is worth a couple of drinks. Don’t have one?  Take a cab.  Or better yet, volunteer!  It can be fun to be the sober cab.  You can control all the compromising photos and memories for later torture and blackmail, if needed (Hmmm…..maybe I need to read less Evil Joy……) and you are guaranteed NOT to have a hangover as the sober cab.  My girls and I often rotate whose turn it is.
  • DO discuss wardrobe.  Going out with my crew is often accompanied by a flurry of texts and Facebook messages to determine wardrobe.  We never want to be the girl who is underdressed in the group.  Plus, we occasionally will have some similar items in our closets which require determining who has “dibs” on wearing them.   
  • DON’T let your friend go out being “that girl.”  Seriously.  You know you have seen “that girl.”  She is the poor girl out who does not realize what a hot mess she is.  Maybe her clothes are ill-fitting (i.e. freakishly tight or inappropriate),  or her makeup looks like the Crayola box exploded on her face. Going out as “that girl” is my worst nightmare.  
  • DON’T be “that girl’s friend.”   I always feel bad for “that girl.”  You know why?  Because she is ALWAYS accompanied by someone hot and put together who did not tell “that girl” how she was really looking.  “That girl’s friend” seems to love all the attention on her and keeps “that girl” down so she has no competition.  Come on.  What happened to girl power?  Take care of your friends.  Help a sister out! 545481_10152231802350113_1985553576_n
  • DO take time to pamper yourself, if possible. One thing I love about GNO?  Getting ready. This is my chance to revert back to my youth, when we spent hours getting ready.  Yes, looks are not everything but I want to look cute when I go out, not like a thirty (something) married mother of two!  If I can, I always try to get my makeup done professionally.  A stop a the Nordstrom MAC counter?  Quick visit with Teneille Johnston Makeup Artistry?  False eyelashes?  Yes, please!  I also love to find time to paint my toes, even if no one sees them.  I also shave my legs, even if no one sees them.  Plus I always feel good when I get the chance to slap on some self-tanner (Xen Tan, baby!).  Pasty night out?  No thanks!  
  • DON’T just slop yourself together. You won’t feel cute.  You will spend the whole night comparing yourself to your friends or anyone else around you, wishing you had taken even 10 minutes to put on a couple coats of mascara, some lip gloss, a cute top, great fitting jeans, and a killer shoes (if you don’t have those items on hand, we need to talk).
  • DO be a wingman for your single friends. So, most of my friends are married but I have a few single girls who I love to go out with.  Yes, I live vicariously through them.  They attract mass quantities of guys to flirt with and it is fun.  Beauty of being the married wing(wo)man?  You don’t care if you are stuck talking to the friends you aren’t interested in, you have a hot guy waiting for you at home in bed!
  • DON’T make it all about you.  You are out as a group, keep it about the group.  When it becomes all about one person, the rest of your crew gets annoyed.  So leave your drama and ego at home.  Have fun with your girlfriends!    friends
  • DO watch out for each other.  In all things, dinking, random guys, whatever.  Help your friends make good choices at all times.
  • DO get approval before posting pictures or tweetingYou might look like a goddess in that photo but your friend might wish you had cropped out her muffin top.  Make sure everyone is feeling good about pictures or tweets.  Again, it is not just about you.  If you think it is, you are wrong.
  • DON’T post/tweet things that make you look good but make your friend(s) look like morons/alcohols/felons.  That is just not cool. While some people do not mind photos of them dancing on tables or looking sloppy all over the internet, others might be willing to dismember you for posting them. The battle cry of our nights out can often be heard, “DO NOT TWEET THAT.”
  • DO remember the following:  what happens on girls night out, stays on girls night out.  Really?  Do you need an explanation on this one?
 Special thank you to all my girls for going VIP last Friday night (Lynna, Bethany, Denise, Marta and Melissa).
An even greater thank you for letting me blog about it. 

On me: 
7 For All Mankind Bootcut via Hot Mama (not shown)
G by Guess Medium Pink Heels via DSW (not shown)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dressed by a Five Year Old: Every Outfit Needs some Sparkle!

So today, I was feeling very saucy when I got dressed (yup, I said saucy).  But at the same time, it was cool outside.  What to wear, what to wear?  Decisions, decisions.  In the end, I let Biggest help me get dressed, because she is saucy too.

She never lets me down, my little five year old fashionista.  It is no secret, I love sparkle. Lots and lots of sparkle. So the fact that sparkle has made its way into the current fashion trends, I am ecstatic. Bah. Who am I kidding? I would be rocking the sparkle whether it was on trend or not.  Thankfully, Biggest understands and supports her mom’s love of sparkle.  With her help, this morning I decided to layer  for warmth AND rock some sparkle.  I threw a plaid Joe’s Jeans shirt under a sequined  RD Style sweater and added a pair of snuggly Paige boyfriend jeans. 


And then I let Biggest pick out my shoes….


And add a straw bracelet to my arm candy….


In Biggest’s eyes, every outfit needs some sparkle.  She was very adamant about matching the shoes to the sweater to the earrings, etc.  I like to think she felt it would add light to an already grey day.  Plus it looked pretty sweet.

Of course, I left the house without a coat and let my husband send the kids to school in sweatshirts.  And then it snowed.   Maybe I should pay more attention to our outerwear tomorrow…

Jeans:  Paige Jimmy Jimmy Boyfriend via Hot Mama

Shirt:  Joe’s Jeans The Shirt vintage Hot Mama (similar here by Levi’s)

Sweater:  RD Style Sequin Crew by Hot Mama

Tank:  Nikibiki via Hot Mama

Slippers:  BC Shoes via Hot Mama

Bracelets:  assorted bangles vintage Hot Mama, straw bracelet via Biggest, Mia Berkley Pearl and Sparkle Bead Leather Bracelet via Hot Mama

Necklace: ZAD Beaded Fringe Necklace via Hot Mama

Earrings:  Stella & Dot Glint Flower CZ Earrings

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fancy Friday with Ashley Coconut: Just a Little Problem!


So this outfit needs to be in my closet and on my body! I need it! Not, want it, need it!

The problem is my husband (aka my personal financial advisor and this week my "dad") took away my card and other forms of money, like I was in high school or something. Apparently, my small $4 coffees, $9 lunches and “too many" $44 dollar purchases at Hot Mama put me and my card in the dog house. Bumsy.

So mission this week is to find a way to rescue my card and my wardrobe, so this outfit….. and possibly a new great pair of black booties….and a pair of boyfriend jeans will enter my outfit line up.  The great thing is that I can find it right at work!

Inspiration photo: (she rocks Fancy Friday, everyday! Love all her dresses, check her out)

How I will be building this look at Hot Mama:


Fame Leopard Jacket by KUT

fame leopard


Sequin Crew by RD Style (in Midnight)


Gold and Crystal Rhinestone Cluster by Blush and Blue

gold and crystal


Single Texture Stretch Bracelet by Number 7

single texture stretch


Chic Chain Bracelet by Harriet + Isles

chic chain bracelet

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How I Spent My Hot Mama Rewards (or Move Over Yoga Pants!)

Four times a year, I get very excited.  Very, very, very excited.   Four times a year, Hot Mama sends out rewards to its shoppers who have qualified.  This means I have the chance to earn between $10 and $50 to spend at Hot Mama.  This is money my husband can’t yell at me for spending.  He has asked repeatedly how $50 turns into $350.  Somehow he doesn’t understand because of the rewards I am actually saving him money by shopping more. Last rewards period, I only earned $10.  Seriously?  That stunk.  I told Hubby that would never happen again and warned him that fall shopping would look much different than summer did.   And boy, did it ever!

So when my $50 rewards card showed up at my house, I was overjoyed.  My wish list was still a mile long, even with all the things Hubby had let me buy this fall (****Disclaimer:  My husband does not LET me buy anything, but we mutually agree on a shopping budget to which he will not roll his eyes over or complain about.****).  I have had my eye on not one, not two, but three pairs of jeans, lots of jewelry, two pairs of sequined slippers, a sequined striped sweater (yes, I clearly love sparkle), miscellaneous layering pieces and a Hanky Panky undie update.  Who would have thought I would spend my rewards on something completely off of my list, maybe even my radar?  Not me! 

The day after I got my rewards, I was working at the store.  As always, we were just having a good time, trying on clothes.  I spotted something I had yet to try on, but felt I should give it a whirl, just for fun and to better understand what was so great about the item.  It was a pair of pajamas by PJ Salvage.  Holy snapper.  I could have worn those things all day (and almost snipped the tags off to do just that).  Add a pair of the sequined slippers` from BC Footwear and I was in heaven (and I was sold).  The top is a cute gray and pink leopard print. Rawr. The pants are a soft, gray velour with a little cuff at the bottom, great for a shortie like me.   These jammies are giving my yoga pants a run for their money.  I imagine spending many, many days and nights all snuggled up wearing them, maybe with a book and a glass of wine.



Of course, the two people who were almost excited as me were Biggest and Littlest.  As I pulled each item out of the bag, they oooh’d and aaaah’d over them.  Then Biggest looked at the jammies and slippers and in her adorably hopeful five year old voice asked, “Do they make these in my size?”  Ok.  Say it with me now.  Awwwwwwwwww.  Dang, she can be cute.  I had to promise to try and find her a similar pair (which a hard sole just like mom’s, so she can wear them outside too).  Maybe the Hot Mama buyers can help a sister out.

Thankfully, my new favorite jammies have been snuggle approved by both Biggest and Littlest (see below).  Now how do I break the news to my yoga pants?


Monday, October 15, 2012

Mommy Likes to Color Too.

Bingodobberlipstick My kids love art.  They could spend hours coloring, using every color they can get their hands on.  Often, we have to have discussions about where is appropriate to color.  For example, it is appropriate to color on paper.  It is not appropriate to color on the walls…or the furniture….or the dog….or your face.  Yes, that IS a photo of Littlest wearing “bingo dobber lipstick.”  Let’s just say, this happened on a morning where Dad was in charge.

It is clear where my kids got their love of art, from their mother.  When I was younger, I loved to color, paint, and even had my own books of original fashion designs (which are STILL in my possession).  I remember crying once because I spent an hour painting a picture of a cat, only to have my sister and her friend paint a purple sun at the top.  Boy, did that really make me mad.  I am still harboring some bitterness.

As a mom, my love to color has not diminished.  I like sitting down with my kids, a box of crayons (which for some reason are better than markers), and a coloring book.  It is fun to revert back to being a kid and scribble away on a piece of paper.  But it is more than that.  Mommy likes to color other things too.

Like all parents, I can be a hypocrite.  I spend a lot of time telling my kids to color on paper when I have a love of coloring on my own face.  Yes, I have a passionate love affair with my makeup drawer.  Thankfully, my husband is ok with it. 

Tonight, I counted 11 eyeliners, 40 eye shadows, 3 pigments, 4 blushes, 4 sets of false eyelashes, 29 lipsticks/glosses/liners, and 2 powders in my arsenal.  And the scary thing is, I like to use them all!   Sure, I get in ruts like everyone else, but I also love to get crazy with my colors.  Honestly, who doesn’t love to get on Pinterest and find 27 different ways to apply eyeliner?

skinnyjeans 009

Of course, my love of makeup is rivaled by my kids’ love of my makeup.  It started with them picking out my eye shadow colors in the morning.  Then, they were asking to wear lip gloss on special occasions.  It has now escalated further.   The other morning before work and school, I caught Littlest with my purple eyeliner pencil about an inch away from applying it to her eyeball or lash line (not sure which).  Of course, she started screaming when I took it away.  I can’t say I blame her.  It would probably tick me off too if someone interrupted my morning makeup routine (oh, wait…they already do…).

I have just had to get a little protective of my makeup drawer and let them live vicariously through me, while I explain they have a natural beauty which does not need covering.  So for the next few years, I think my makeup stash is safe.  Now if I can only figure out how to explain the tattooing will wait until they are eighteen.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Holy Crap. I Won Something?

Holy crap. I won an award. Well, kind of. My friend, Evil Joy, passed along an award for me to celebrate (kind of like a blogging chain letter). Let’s be honest, I am going to take it and run with it.  From now on, I will say I have an award winning blog.  YEAH, BABY!!!


Rules of the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

  • All recipients need to thank the giver
  • Post 7 things about yourself
  • Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers of their choice and let them know that they have been nominated.
  • Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog



Evil Joy, I heart your face.  I am blessed to call you my (evil) friend.  You are an inspiration to me and I would probably not be blogging if it were not for bloggers like you.  Besides, when you get past your evil side, you are one of the most caring, loving and devoted person I know.



  1. I love random reality TV.  When other people are watching The Voice, The Bachelor, or Amazing Race, I am busy watching My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Jersey Shore, and America’s Best Dance Crew.  In all honestly, I very rarely watch the “big” channels like ABC, NBC or CBS. 
  2. I hate spiders and will kill any spider I can find in the house (provided I can’t find someone else to kill it for me first).  After the spider has been killed, I then “talk” to the rest of the spiders in the house about how the dead spider broke our “don’t see, live free” agreement.  I don’t care that they are in the house.  I just don’t want to know about it.  I love to live in this oblivion.
  3. I love all kinds of music but rarely pay attention to artist or genre.  I like to get around….musically.
  4. I love to read young adult novels, specifically supernatural or dystopian themed books.  I am a member of a book club which also loves this genre!
  5. When my husband is out of town, I don’t sleep in the middle of the bed.  I still stay on my side.  Usually a dog or two snuggles into that space for me. 
  6. I love to take baths.  I am a Lush/Blissful Bath junkie, and I need bubbles in my bath.  Bath bombs are a plus!
  7. I love to get my make up professionally done, especially for a girls night out or other special occasion.  Sure, I could do it myself but I love the pampering and new ideas.



  1. Evil Joy (sorry, had to throw it back!)
  2. Fictitious Delicious
  3. Me, My Shelf, and I
  4. The Cool Girl
  5. Hot Mess Mom
  6. Two Firey Fashionistas
  7. Poor Little It Girl

Monday, October 8, 2012

He is NOT Babysitting.

I work weekends.  Sometimes, I enjoy going out with my friends.  Or just running errands alone.  Or getting a haircut.  Or whatever!  People ask where my kids are and my reply is usually, “With their dad.”  And most of the time, the same response follows, “How nice of your husband to babysit the kids while you go out.  You are so lucky.”  Um….what? 

Let’s get something straight.  My husband does not babysit.  He is not a fifteen year old high school student who I am paying $8 an hour to watch my children.  He is a parent, same as me. Sure, he didn’t have to give up drinking, to grow a person in his belly only to have it surgically removed nine months later, but I am pretty sure he was there when the baby was created.  That is half his DNA too.  So why the assumption that my husband is babysitting?

The answer to this is simple.  Mom guilt.  Women have been suffering from this for years, the idea that we should be shackled to our kids as soon as they burst forth from our loins.  God forbid we should want to get a haircut, go shopping or even just use the bathroom by ourselves.  So we feel the need to either stay home or cart our kids around with us.  Given the choice, most ladies just want to stay home because it is easier. 

If a woman is given the chance to escape without her kids by her husband, she becomes racked with guilt because he is pushed outside his comfort zone (or at least he is in her head).  Her husband might be forced to feed the kids, entertain them, put up with some tantrums, settle fights, put the kids down for naps, whatever.  What she doesn’t realize is that this is his job too!  Sure, he might work forty hours a week at some other job, but she might too.  Or maybe she is a stay at home mom but that is a full time exhausting job (with no vacation or sick pay either).  So why feel guilty?  He is perfectly capable of taking care of the kids.  If he hasn’t done it a lot, he can learn.  Think about it.  You didn’t know how to take care of the kids, you had to learn too.  It is not like they came with a manual (but it would be awesome if they did).   timeout

Honestly, I don’t feel guilty anymore, no matter how much my mom tries to turn me into a 1950’s housewife.  My hubby actually encourages me to go have some me time, even when I am not leaving the house.  He likes his time with Biggest and Littlest.  Ok, not always.  Sometimes they make him crazy, but that is what kids do (we will pay them back in crazy tenfold during their teenage years).  Sure, he does not do everything the way I would or the way I want, but he gets the job done.  I usually come home to kids, hubby, and house all still in one piece.  In return, I give him the exact same thing he gave to me, time to use however he wants.

So stop feeling guilty.  Make some YOU time and enjoy it while you have it.  Remember the old saying, “Happy wife, happy life?”  Well, learn it, live it, love it, BABY!   Maybe for you it is going out shopping with a friend, hitting Target all by yourself, or simply showering without a small audience.  Find what makes you happy and do it, just for you.  You will find that taking care of yourself makes you happier with you and your family.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fashion Week

Some people look forward to Fashion Week in Paris or New York.  However, I think the St. Croix Valley gives both of those towns for a run for their money.  First, I got a weekend chock full of Sundar Imports in Hudson, Wisconsin.  Next, I got to attend a  CAbi party in Woodbury, Minnesota.  Then I got to attend The Fever 8 Fashion Show at Dibbo’s, back in Hudson again.  What a fun way to wrap up my St. Croix Valley Fashion Week!


Sure, I don’t think you would see the Olson Twins or Anna Wintour gracing Dibbo’s with their presence, but maybe they should for the next show!  The pieces used at Fever 8 were from so many different places, like La Rue Marche, Stella & Dot, and even some thrift store finds.  The shown outfits had a fun vintage flair.  While many might not be worn straight off the runway, many of the elements used could be.  I was loving the over the top hair and jewelry shown as well.  Plus, the music was the perfect finishing touch.



Outside the amazing style on the runway, I was loving the style off of it as well.  The ladies attending the show really stepped up their game.  I am glad I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I was going to wear, finding something a little more on trend and edgy.  I saw amazing dresses, killer jewelry, colored denim, and rustic glam all represented in the attendees.  How fun to have an event like this giving us local gals the opportunity to kick it up a notch?  Even better, how fun to be around a group of women who seized the opportunity?

Of course, the night was not just about fashion.  The show was supporting an organization called Peace Begins with Me.  The organization describes themselves like this:  “Peace begins with me (a small BIG peace project) is a non-profit, humanitarian organization dedicated to inner peace – actually, education, inspiration, and collaboration in the area of inner peace – knowing that because we are all connected, inner peace is what can lead to global peace.”  The organization makes me think of the quote “One whisper added to a thousand others becomes into a roar of discontent.”  The idea that you can make an impact, even if it seems small on its own, but becomes great when added to others, is pretty cool.

I am definitely looking forward to the next event this crew puts on. Hopefully, it will be part of another St. Croix Valley Fashion Week for us all!

***Special thanks to fashion show models Julianne Druzbacky and Amber Johnson for providing some photos!***

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fancy Friday with Ashley Coconut: Finishing Touch!

As you know, last week, we lost a family member and so I took a week off from blogging.  Well, turns out that Ashley Coconut had a dental emergency and had to take the week off too!  But this week we are both back and ready for action.  So here is this week’s Fancy Friday with Ashley Coconut!!!

(Or Sassy Saturday, if you are not home reading the blog at 10:00 pm on a Friday night.)

Finishing Touch!

This week I had happy hour with this little lady pictured, Hot Mama full-time stylist Ashley Helm (SJYP note:  LOVE Ashley Helm.  She has amazing style and is a total sweetheart).  We discussed how accessories and shoes can make or break an outfit. Well, I am absolutely sure she got it right this time. I love the feminine accessories against the "edgy'' outfit!

Well done, Lady!


Hat: Wooden Ships (Hot Mama)

Necklaces: Harriet+Isles (Hot Mama)

Dress: James Perse (Hot Mama)

Cardigan: Ellison (Hot Mama)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Family Matters.

One week ago today, my husband called me at work with devastating news.  His cousin, Jacob, was killed in a car crash.  I was shocked when I received the news.  It did not seem real to me.  My first thoughts were not just of how my husband would handle this news, but how would his family handle it? 

Hubby comes from a large, close knit family who are together constantly.  We live approximately sixty miles away from the rest of the family, which makes us the “odd” family out.  Sometimes you would think we live six hundred miles away, the way my in-laws seem to miss us and the kids. But it could be worse. They could have been a family that is detached and does not miss us at all.   It is actually a little like living the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”  (love that movie) except it would be titled “My Big Fat Wisconsin Family.”  Nia Vardalos says at the end of the movie, “My family is big and loud but they're my family. We fight and we laugh and yes, we roast lamb on a spit in the front yard. And where ever I go, what ever I do they will always be there”, and she is absolutely correct.  Well, I have yet to see them roasting lamb in the front yard, but the rest is true. 


This has never been more evident than in the light of the recent tragedy.  I first really saw it at the wake, when I watched family members seamlessly rotate through the receiving line to support Jacob’s mom, sister, and grandma.  I never saw anyone engage in a deep discussion about what to do, but simply stepped in and out, as if it was a understanding between them all and words were not needed.  It was a beautiful dance that I was watching.  The next day I witnessed it again and again, as the entire family helped guide, uplift, and support each other through the funeral and the hours beyond.  There were no feelings of distraction from anyone, everyone was so completely present in their moment. 

How blessed am I to have married into such an amazing family?   This is something I hope to impress on my own children.  They are part of a family who will always be there for them, through the good, the bad, and everything else in between.  They are there for the celebrations and the devastations. Always giving but never asking for repayment.  This is something which cannot be easily found; I almost missed it myself.  So I plan to hold on to it from now on, and try to share it with others.