High Five Friday

Five Things To Read This Week.

I’ve been writing. I swear to you I’ve been writing like I promised to last month. But I’ve been writing with a pen and paper just like Julie asked me to do. So maybe those words will end up on here. Or maybe not. Maybe they will show up somewhere else, or maybe they will stay in the notebook for my kids to find 60 years from now when they are cleaning up my cat lady house after I die.


Speaking of Julie…her novel Letters For Scarlet launches in April and I just finished my preview copy. You MUST buy and read her book. A full review is coming soon…..


My friend Christine always inspires me. Like I wake up most mornings thinking about her and seeking out her writing and photographs because she is pure joy, inspiration, talent, and beauty. She had a few articles go crazy viral over the past week, but I love her article on The Washington Post.


I adore Jennie – her faith, family and her writing. I needed to read and nodded through this post about Forgiveness. I think you will see your human self in it too.


Love, Surfing, and Marriage – yes yes and yes..all of it from my dear friend Michelle.


Five Instagram Photos This Week


I do most of my writing these days on Instagram. So if you are looking for me – find and follow me over there..


  1. New neighbors moved in over the weekend so we made and delivered cookies! Hopefully they will be some new “clients” for Eloise’s babysitting business.
  2. Fernie the Bernie…(WE GOT A DOG…more later)…with her sweet sister in the van.
  3. Yoga #poseoftheday – I’ve been doing core work and daily stretches and yoga as I continue to get stronger as I recover from my running injury.
  4. Snow Day! We had 12″ of snow this week and had a blast in the snow.
  5. Matilda Jane launch week! Our new Spring line is available so I spent the week working my tail off. I’ve been a Trunk Keeper for almost nine years and love my job still every single day.

Linking up with Angela at Happy Fit Mama!


Have a great weekend


Where I Give 15 Fs About 2016

This morning I woke up the same way that I wake up every morning. The cat is licking my face as my alarm goes off. I wonder if she really thinks I’ll forget to Feed her. Have I ever Forgotten to Feed her? I Feed her and I make sure the coffee is ready and then I work-out. After my work-out I drink copious amounts of coffee as I watch the morning news. I catch up on Facebook and Instagram and email, and then I wait for the Family to wake.

Just hours into the New Year, 2016 Feels the same. The cat, the coffee, the news, the work-out and the being First up for like always a million mornings later. I like the comfort in the routine and Familiar. I am not beyond Feeling like a toddler in my need for the predictable. Yet I don’t want to get comfortable in other ways. I want to step out of my comfort(and honestly, control) zone to be better and experience new. Just don’t mess with the First hours of my morning.


2015 brought some big changes in many areas – Friends, Family, Fitness, Finances…and honestly had me using the big F word more than usual. And if you know me and my love for the big F word – well, wow that’s kind of a big deal to use it even more.


I’m not making resolutions here, because eFF that – so instead I’m using 15 F words that will define my life living Forward in 2016.


Focus – Like how I started writing this blog post on New Year’s Day..and here it is Five days later and I’m Finally Finishing it. Yeah, I need to work on this one. This Focus of putting First things First and prioritizing and letting go of the crap that’s not important. But I won’t be able to really Focus until I Finish Breaking Bad. Check back with me in a Few days after I binge watch the Final two seasons. Just tell me that cute Jesse is okay.

Family – Numero uno. But I can’t do this until I get clear Focus, right. That’s why I have it listed as number two. Family First and always. I love my people and they need to know it more. I mean sure I clean the house and cook their meals and make sure they have Folders and clean clothes. And I give hugs and kisses and encouragement and love. But I need to be more present for them when we are together. Whether it’s the now old cliche of putting my phone down, or maybe even watching the Minions for the 153rd time.


Fun – Which brings me to Fun. I’m the heavy in our Family. The enforcer of the chores and the discipline. I run a tight ship and have high expectations of everyone. This will not change. But I do promise to have more Fun this year and always. We can all wear dirty clothing for a day if it means a few hours of sledding. More yes and less no.


Fitness – I qualified for the Boston Marathon and am running it in April. I’m currently in a boot – so no running which totally sucks, but I’m coming back even stronger than before…trust me. My Fitness goals in 2016 are to get back into running shape with overall health and Future in mind…strong core, strong body, good choices. And by the end of 2016 I want to be in even better overall health and in stronger shape than I am in now. My goal is to write more about my Fitness journey in 2016 too. Hold me to that one, okay?


F(ph)otography – My camera has taken a bit of a hiatus in recent years. I’m giving myself the time to explore and get to know my Friend Canon again in 2016. I need to stop worrying about perfect and just shoot.

Food – I have always watched what I eat, but I’m bringing my Family more into this in 2016. In 2015 I started “new recipe” Wednesday with the family – I cooked something completely new each Wednesday, and it was a huge success(maybe I should’ve blogged about it), so 2016 is continuing that as well as Focusing on cutting out more sugar and meat and processed items from everything we eat.


Future – No looking back this year. The best is yet to come. Let’s celebrate and make an impact where we can – in tomorrow…not yesterday.

Friends – This is a BIG one For me in 2016. The older I get the more I know how important true Friends are. Yet how difficult it is to Find Friends at this age. We aren’t having babies anymore, we aren’t in college anymore, and I don’t have a workplace that I go to where I’m heading out to lunches with adults. But it’s Finding those true and easy Friends – through school or activities or book clubs or Facebook…AND making the time to have coffee or wine or even a phone conversation. Let’s all make the time For Friends this year. Friends Feed our soul differently than work or Family. Let’s celebrate and make time for that.

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Finances – Our BIG commitment for 2016. We made some huge Financial decisions in 2014 and 2015 – and now it’s time to continue moving Forward to ensure our Future retirement(EEK) as well as the kids’ Future is Funded. We will hold monthly Family Finance meetings and Focus on what’s important with our Finances. Full transparency as we move Forward is key.

(non)Fiction – I WILL write in 2016. It might not be here always, but I will write. I want to write a children’s book that I’ve had in draft for almost three years, and I will pitch some articles this year. I have Found that the less I write, the more scattered and unhappy my brain gets…so I need to do this. And I will.

Facebook – And all social media. I Find it can be such a time suck because I love to see you all – your Families, your pictures, your lives..and I love to support you all…but I need more balance here. I have already stepped away quite a bit and will continue to Focus my social media time better in 2016.


Fly – We WILL take a Family vacation in 2016. We WILL continue to show our kids the world in 2016. We WILL Focus on our Finances better so this is our yearly goal as a Family – to invest in our Fun, our Future, and our global views moving Forward.

(give)Forward – I have applied for a local volunteer position and intend to dedicate more of my time in 2016 to giving Forward to others(more locally) in 2016. “No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank.


(my aging)Face – Hey, guess what? I’m 47..and will be 48 in 2016. This happens. Yet, I like my Face in the here and now. I do. I like the lines that have come with time and experience. Even the lines on my arms and tummy – YES that happens too dear young people. But I love it. My Face scared me when I was 41-43 because I saw the changes from 37-39..but now, I think it’s kind of awesome. I don’t need to get carded. I can be somebody’s mom, and I can be old enough to be somebody’s mom in college, and I can be old enough to be your mom, or your grandma…and I’m totally zen with all of that. I take care of my body – good Food and Fitness..and well For my Face…not all the thousand dollar lotions in the world can stop time nor do I want to pay for treatments or surgeries or any of that Fake stuff. I own this Face and I love it – wrinkles, age spots, and randoms hairs and all. Also, wearing reading glasses on a date is incredibly sexy.


F*ucks – And as with my Face..I just can’t give any F*ucks anymore with any bullshit. “I want real. I want true. If you don’t like me that’s on you.” – Tracy Morrison, 2016.


Happy 2016, my Friends. The best is yet to come.

“There is no passion to be Found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living” – Nelson Mandela



There’s Plenty Of Time To Grow-Up – American Girl Doll Giveaway

When my then 10 year old asked for another American Girl doll for Christmas – I admit I almost didn’t get it for her. I wondered if she wanted an ‘i’ device, some new clothes, a trip to the mall, or maybe an email account. She’d been playing with dolls since she was a ‘baby’ – but at 10, would this doll collect dust? Was it a waste of money?


But then I decided that if my 10 year old was asking for a doll still, well the last thing I should be doing is questioning her desires. Instead, I wondered how could I bottle up this simple childhood request and make it last for as long as humanly possible.


Wouldn’t it be wonderful is everyone played with dolls just a little bit longer? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone had a way to use their imagination just a little bit longer? Wouldn’t it be nice to just be a kid for a little bit longer?


Fast forward two years. My now 12 year old asked for an American Girl sleepover for her birthday. Just a few friends who bring their dolls and hang-out. What I love about this age is that in one moment she will be begging me for an instagram or YouTube account and the next I find her in her room setting up a whole camping outing for her American Girl Dolls.


Tweens are magical in every way.


But where my five year old daughter still plays “baby” with dolls and spends more time feeding her and putting her to bed, my older girls now make movies with their dolls – complete with stop action antics of camping, hiking, sports, and shopping for new handbags. They are still playing with dolls – but playing with them in incredible and more technical and imaginative ways.


And I can only hope that these amazing girls will play for dolls for years to come.


I headed down to the family room to see if Eloise and her guests needed anything more for the movie. And I found them all there – on the floor in matching pajamas, with their American Girl Dolls behind them – also in pajamas with their own popcorn and drinks. And the next morning I heard them in Eloise’s room making movies and watching videos about cool things to make for their dolls.


And I know that the first American Girl Doll I bought for my girls seven years ago was in investment in her childhood. And it won’t be my last.


Let them play with dolls forever if they so desire.


This year American Girl launched their BeForever collection. BeForever, American Girl’s line of historical dolls, books, and related accessories that connects girls ages 8 and up with inspiring characters and timeless stories from America’s past. First introduced in 1986 but now with a fresh new look, BeForever gives girls today the opportunity to explore the past, find their place in the present, and think about the possibilities the future can bring.


To celebrate the launch of BeForever, American Girl is welcoming back popular favorite Samantha Parkington to its lineup of historical characters. Samantha was one of the company’s original characters introduced in 1986, and her compelling story of compassion and friendship has inspired millions of girls. Archived in 2008, Samantha has been reintroduced with new products, including an ice cream parlor, a bike, a bedroom set, and several new outfits and accessories.


And now I have a HUGE American Girl Doll Giveaway for YOU!


I’m giving away ONE Samantha Doll – direct from American Girl!


Just use the easy Rafflecopter form to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I want to make sure she ships this week – so the giveaway will end on Thursday(December 18th) USA only. Must provide address upon winning email receipt.


Good luck!


On Being A Mompreneur

This is part of a sponsored campaign with Touchstone Crystal. However, all opinions expressed are my own.


“I never thought I’d stay home with my kids.”


I still say this even now, nine years after walking away from my corporate job.  But I say it without any regret.


At the time I quit though, I am not sure what my intentions were – to really never work again, to not work at a 9-5 job again, or to really stay home full-time.


After about a year at home though, I knew that I personally wanted to work again. I wanted to work again for a few reasons – I wanted projects that were challenging outside of motherhood, I wanted a reason to leave the house once in awhile, and I wanted to earn my own money again. After having my own financial independence for so many years – not having it was a very big deal.


But, I also wanted complete flexibility – because I quit my job do be home with my kids – and I still wanted that.


As parents – there are so many debates about SAHM, WAHM, WOHM, etc – and we all make different choices for different reasons – and I love that. But when I graduated from college, and the internet was not so prevelant(YES, it was THAT long ago) – having the flexibility to work from home didn’t exist. Parents were left were very few options – either work or don’t work. And I felt this pressure to choose one or the other when I chose to quit nine years ago. I tried to sell my bosses on how I could job share, or work part-time, or telecommute – but they wanted none of it.


So eight years ago – I wanted to find a flexible way to be a MOMprenuer – work AND be with my kids(have your cake and eat it too baby!) – and you know what, I did just that!


There are two things that I’ve done that have allowed me to earn a living while staying home –

1. The first is blogging. I’ve been blogging for nearly seven years. And while for me this for sure isn’t a full-time income, it’s an amazing extra income for our family for some fun extras. I’ve also been paid for freelance writing on other sites, and have met an amazing community of people in the blogging space. My goals for 2015 are to continue to evolve my blog more into travel, social good, fitness and home decor(as we’ve just purchased a new home) – and not as much parenting focused as my kids are getting older.


2. The second is direct sales. I’m a team leader for an amazing company that I joined seven years ago. This is a job that I never thought I’d have either. As an introvert – I actually have found that I’ve thrived in this environment. And girlfriends, that money that you can earn in direct sales WHILE being home with your family is truly mind-boggling.


And you can say bad things about the internet and all that(yo, Kim’s butt) – but the positive that the internet has done for parents is HUGE in allowing us to be so much more flexible in all aspects of our personal and professional lives.

Love the family vacations that we can take with the money I earn!

Love the family vacations that we can take with the money I earn!

When Touchstone Crystal reached out to me to share my work from home and mompreneur story, I was excited to share it with you. I love hearing stories of what works for your family – and what gives you the financial freedom you need to stay ahead and provide.  You can become a consultant with Touchstone Crystal with very little investment – but by doing just a few shows a month you can earn thousands of dollars in income for your family. Trust me – the direct selling and personal consultant companies of today are not your mother’s ‘cosmetic company ladies’ from 1972(don’t tell her I said that).


You can find out more about the opportunities at Touchstone Crystal by clicking over to their site.  Touchstone Crystal wraps up Swarovski’s quality and style and delivers it as a flexible new way to approach your career – and life.

And now they would LOVE to offer a Giveaway to one of YOU!


WIN – A set of Touchstone Crystal Monte Carol Earrings! Easy entry using the Rafflecopter widget below! All you have to do is share what your “Dream Job” is in the comments to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway





Stitch Fix WIN!

I know that everyone on the internets now has their own opinions about Stitch Fix. The personal shopping site has made many, many fans but not without some slips along the way. As someone who likes to shop – even trying this service seemed weird to me. But I tried it so that maybe I’d step outside my comfort zone a bit and maybe get introduced to some new brands that fit well.


My first Stitch Fix was a fail. Every single piece. None of it matched my style profile.


But after I returned everything, they contacted me and offered a Free Fix to try it one more time. They made mention of the mistakes they made and said that they had a better idea of what I wanted.


So last month another Fix arrived. And I was impressed. I mentioned that I like more fitted pieces and casual – as I do not dress-up much nor do I like blouses. Period.


They sent five pieces – a pair of skinny black jeggings, a blue sweater, a black pleather jacket, a purple tee, and a necklace.


The necklace I didn’t even try on as I really don’t do any jewelry but earrings. Jewelry has never been my thing.


The purple tee was cute – but nothing that I thought I would wear. So that was going back.


But I fell in love with the black jeggings and black jacket. You could dress them both up or down. They were totally my style!


I also liked the blue sweater – but at $88 – I didn’t think I would really wear it enough to make it worth it – so while it fit my style and I liked it – I didn’t need to spend that. But the price of the jeans and jacket were so reasonable and I know I will wear them both A LOT!


So even though I kept only 2 of the 5 pieces in my Fix – I still consider it a huge win as they totally got my style right.


Right enough that I’ll be Fixing to Stitch Fix again.


Also, I like my butt in these jeans.


Linking up with What I Wore Wednesday.



Five Random Facts About Me

Vikki insisted that I go all old school blogging and share 5 random facts about myself. At my age it’s honestly getting hard to remember random and interesting things. And after 7 years of blogging you all pretty much know everything there is to know about me. Basically I like wine, coffee, cats and cute clothing. I’m an open book that way. An open book who owns more than one lint brush.


But I thought of a few more random things that maybe you don’t know – and between these random facts I could either insert cat pictures or fashion pictures. I’ve decided to use fashion pictures because Fall is finally here and it’s my favorite season(you already knew that), and Aventura Clothing sent me a few things to wear that I have to share with you because I’m in love.


So here you go – randomness and fashion. Maybe tomorrow will be cats.


1. I’ve broken six bones. I broke my collar bone when I was eight years old by falling off the top bunk while sleeping. I believe this is why bunk bed guard rails were made mandatory just a few years later. Oh the chances we took in 1976 just to get a good night sleep. The other five bones I broke were my ribs when I was tackled while playing touch football after foolishly deciding to join a work league to meet guys. It WORKS! I met doctors in the ER. It hurt to breathe for like the next four months and my football career ended that day, but the evening in the ER was fantastic.

aventura-clothing-sweater (You need the Valencia sweater and scarf from Aventura. Jeggings are American Eagle. Yes, I am still in love with my hi-rise jeggings)


2. I dog-ear my books to mark the page when I’m reading them. I always have. Some people(my oldest daughter) get super upset about dog-earers – thinking that we are damaging books. I think it just increases the character. I do admit that I feel a bit guilty when I borrow a book and dog-ear without permission. I apologize for that. But if I can’t dog-ear that dang book it just never feels like I can truly get into it. This is probably why I don’t read library books. Dog-ear guilt. It’s real.

aventura-clothing-leggings (The Aventura Lily leggings are a go-to item this Fall. Paired with a tunic from Target, sweater from Lucy, and the Chevron scarf from Aventura)

3. I hate painted fingernails and have never quite understood this look. My kids are not obsessed with polish or manicures, but I’d paint their nails every day if they wanted it…but they rarely ask thank goodness.  But don’t touch my nails. And don’t even get me started on my toenails. And let’s just say that being a runner…no one wants to paint my toenails. Or touch them. Or have me remove my shoes. Jed wishes I would always wear socks to bed.

aventura-vest(Perfect for the apple orchard – the jeggings from American Eagle, very old sweater from The Gap, my favorite Frye Veronica Shortie boots, and YOU NEED this Owen Vest from Aventura, and Alisha Infinity scarf from Aventura)

4. When I was in second grade, my best friend was run over by the Avon Lady. I still remember yelling “MOM – come quick, Linda just got run over by the Avon Lady!” You would think that Linda just earned free make-up for life. But this happened in 1974 so she just brushed herself off, headed to the ER and her parents probably didn’t even get the Avon Lady’s name to sue her for lipstick or cologne encased in a porcelain sports car.


(I am in love with these Morgan corduroys from Aventura. Sweater is from Cabi)

5. I never lived in a dorm. I attended night school for my first two years of college as it was the only way I could afford to attend school – so I lived with family and then in a cheap apartment, and didn’t start regular day classes until my junior year. So this meant I never really met anyone at college either as my night school classmates were like super old(30!). I also did not attend my college graduation as I had already moved across the country for a job in LA once my last class was finished. But I guess since I did not really even know the name of one person I went to college with – my party would’ve been pretty lame if I had stayed for graduation.


So there you have it – I am deeper than just clothing and cats. Also, I really don’t like Avon products still to this day because of poor Linda. Now it’s time for you to share five facts about you on your blog and get all old school blogging with us – or leave a comment with a super random fact about yourself!! And check-out Aventura for some amazing Fall fashions!


Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for WIWW.


I Wore A Romper And Did Not Pee My Pants

I wasn’t quite sure what else to title this post because if you are A. Over 40 and B. Have considered wearing a one piece romper contraption  – well this leads to C. You ask how you’re going to make it to the bathroom. It’s like algebra for middle aged women.


And let me just also tell you that I certainly did not want to buy this romper, own this romper, or wear this romper. Because romper. I don’t have many hard and fast fashion rules – like once you turn 40 you can no longer wear certain fashions. My rules are basically…

1. Does it look nice

2. Does it feel nice

3. Can I afford it

4. Do I NOT look like my tween daughters

5. Can you NOT see my vagina when I’m wearing it

6. Can I pee easily


Pretty simple rules. But another one that I kind of follow is that if I wore it the first time it was in style than maybe I AM too old to wear it the second time around.


Like rompers.


I wore rompers – and fondly remember stars like Emma Peel and Kate Jackson rocking them too.


In fact, when I put this romper on – my husband was all like “You look like that Charlie’s Angel lady?” And I was like “You don’t mean Kate Jackson, right? Because she wasn’t the pretty one with the good hair.” And he was all like “Yep, her..but hotter.”


So my dear friend Rachel talked me in to the damn Patio Romper from CAbi(Now sold out) and it sat in my closet for a few months. Until I had a few glasses of wine and figured what the hell – let’s give her a roll.


AND I LOVED IT. And looked a lot like Kate and Emma’s love child. DOUBLE BONUS POINTS!


BUT WHAT ABOUT PEEING? Many people messaged me with the same concerns. And YES – you have to get like totally naked when you hit the ladies room – BUT YOU WILL LIVE – because you look rocking hot in your romper. And all those girls wearing all those fancy dresses will be totes jealous that they didn’t buy a romper too.


And pretty soon everyone will be wearing rompers because Kate Jackson is NOW the hot Angel dammit.


So my unpaid romper review…

1. They are comfy

2. They are practical

3. They are hot

4. You will not pee yourself

5. And you are never too old to try something new


You’re welcome. Now go buy a romper. But not the kind with snaps in the crotch.


Linking up with WIWW.


Best Shorts For Moms

So here’s a super weird thing. I’ve been a hater of shorts since…well like almost forever. Well not forever – but since I turned about 27 and no matter that I was running marathons and eating practically no fat, I still had cellulite on my thighs..because-hello-woman-here..so I found shorts to not be super flattering on me. And shorts seemed to be cut in two ways – either vagina showing short, or bemuda-where the hell is your golf club long. But this summer – I don’t know..either I’m high or menopausal, or I don’t know – just doing more playing on the ground stuff and riding bike stuff that my favorite summer sundresses that I wear daily just haven’t been practical and  I’ve been wearing SHORTS. I KNOW? Right? Who am I? I hate shorts, right? But all of a sudden I don’t – because I’ve found some of the best shorts out there for moms.


And I say moms – but I mean any lady who’s not 25 and just really doesn’t want to wear skin tight vagina showing shorts. I just don’t have time to groom that much if you know what I mean. I also don’t want to look like my mother(Love You MOM!) and wear long shorts that make me look like an American tourist in Paris. Or that my capris are too short. I also don’t want a pair of shorts with a short rise that have my hips all hanging out everywhere. My other difficultly with shorts is finding tops that I love to go with them. Maybe that’s why I prefer dresses – they are one piece and BOOM – OUTFIT! Where shorts take time to find tops. And finding tops these days that aren’t some puffy, flowy, long, peasant number that doesn’t make me look pregnant is pretty much impossible. What is up with that style?


Anyway – this MOM is digging the shorts this summer. Even my kids have been like “What’s up with the shorts, Mom?” And I’m all like “Oh these old things, I’ve had them forever.” You need to teach them this important clothing comeback when they are young.


The shorts I’m loving so far are these three..

1. My favorite favorite favorite are these poplin drawstring shorts from Lou & Grey at The Loft. They are AMAZING. Short – but not too short, super comfy waist, and very flattering. I have them in both cream and black. Also – ANYTHING from Lou & Grey at Loft is fabulous – the fit, fabrics and style are just up my alley.



2. Second favorite(a very close second) are the Rowan Shorts from Aventura Clothing. LOVE – super comfy and a great length. I wear these A LOT! And if you want them for yourself I still have a few 60% off codes for their site!


3. Gap Boyfriend Roll-up Shorts. At first I thought these would be too long for my taste..but I do like them. I am a curvier on the bottom girl – as my waist is small but I have hips and a booty – so a boyfriend style typically does nothing for me and fits tight on my hips. But these are nice. Check out a picture of my butt. Don’t tell me that I’ve never given you anything. Look, my boyfriend’s butt!




So color me sold on wearing shorts. You never know – I may branch out into jeans and khakis next. And no, I’m not high. And no way in hell am I wearing khakis.


Do you wear shorts? What are your favorites?


Linking up with WIWW at the Pleated Poppy.


Aventura – Feel Good About Looking Great #AventuraLife

I haven’t done a fashion post forever – between Listen To Your Mother, spring cleaning, and MAY – THE OMG there’s not enough time in the day because of all the end of year school things – well fashion hasn’t been front and center lately. It’s more like “Crap – we’re late again so let’s just throw something on to cover our bodies, hope it’s clean, and let’s RUN before we miss the bus!” Also, it was still winter until like a week ago so our wardrobe was still down coats, boots and mittens.


But summer finally came, and the calendar turned from May to June(thank god), and I’m ready for some fun, fabulous, easy, and comfortably wearable summer fashions. So expect not only great writing(ahem), humorous stories, and glorious summer pictures from me – expect a few fashion posts over the next few months because I’m wearing new things – and there is currently no down stuffing involved!


I have super exciting news too – I am an Aventura Blog Ambassador. What this means is that I’ll be sharing some fabulous outfits and promotions from Aventura while sporting some of their seasonal fashions. And sharing some amazing discounts with YOU!


Who is Aventura clothing?


Aventura clothing is a lifestyle apparel brand based in the beautiful Sierra Nevada’s.  They design, make and sell comfortable clothing with an active focus while being thoughtful to both people and the environment. Their mission is to help the earth one garment at a time. From fabric swatches to photo shoots their clothing is designed by women for women for a great fit.

They’re passionate about creating fashionable clothing with low environmental impact. The eco-friendly styles not only prevent synthetic fertilizers and farm chemicals from polluting the soil, they look and feel amazing!

They have produced over 100 styles of sustainable clothing. Their goal is to demonstrate that using sustainable fabrics to make clothing doesn’t mean your outfits have to look like (or feel like) they’re made from a potato sack, and they’re proud to say their eco-friendly line is cute and comfortable, not itchy and frumpy.

Using sustainable fibers decreases impact on the environment and creates a lighter eco footprint. The purpose of Aventura Clothing is to educate not only employees and customers, but our community. One step isn’t just a movement forward, but the beginning of a journey. And every step counts as a lighter mark on our planet. A planet for tomorrow is something we live for today.

And the clothing is not just eco-friendly – it’s GORGEOUS and wearable and almost every piece can be worn from the playground to an evening out – or to work. Every item is suitable for layering and the color matching is perfect for a complete mix-and-match wardrobe.


Some of my favorite pieces(that are shown in some of my pictures above) so far are the Tacey Fedora(which I wear EVERYWHERE), the Waverly Maxi-Dress(Maxis are so in this season – this is a MUST have), the Catina Hi-Low skirt(great for daily wear or adorable as a cover-up), and their scarves are fabulous! My yellow Perla Scarf is worn almost daily now, and my white Presley scarf matches everything!

I would love to give YOU the opportunity to own some Aventura Clothing too – so I have several 60% off discount cards – YES – you get 60% off your total purchase – so just leave a comment below if you want a code for 60% off OR email me at tracy@sellabitmum.com and I’ll send a code to you. This is a great way to look great and feel great about knowing your clothing is eco-friendly and low-impact. I am truly in love with this company and what they stand for and would be honored for you to try them!

*Disclosure- I am not paid as part of the Aventura Ambassador program, but I do receive free clothing to try – but all words and opinions are mine.



How To Prepare For Spring In 5 Easy Steps

Are you thinking that Spring is here finally(silly, silly you) – here is how to get ready in five easy steps!


1. Get those feet Summer ready! Take off UGG to put on sandals you dug-out from under 450 sweaters in your closet. Look down at feet.  Realize that no one should ever see your toes again. Consider cutting nails, waxing, toes, filing off dead skin, painting toe nails, wearing socks with your sandals. Decide it cannot be spring yet and put UGGs back on until June.


2. Put away coats, hats, and mittens by your entry way!  Haul down 10 giant plastic tubs from the attic and put them in the middle of your living room. Realize your need to wash or dry clean all coats. This takes approximately four days and $400. The plastic tubs still sit in your living room. In the meantime you need to match all mitten and glove pairings. Cannot find any mates. Throw the rest away. Decide what coats your kids will outgrow by next Fall. Decide all of them. Start making piles for ‘donation’ ‘consignment’ ‘hand-me-downs’ and ‘will wear again’ – and then decide this project is way too big for just one day. Let the tubs and coats sit in your living room for another week. Thank god, because it snowed again so you had to wear almost all of the items again. Too bad you threw all of the mittens away. A month later you finally get all of the coats put away. And then it snows again.

3. Find your Spring clothing! Put on a skirt because it’s much too warm for jeans or leggings. Look at hairy legs. Realize it’s too much effort to shave. Put leggings back on. Then UGGs.

4. Prepare of sunlight! What is that giant orange ball of light shining through your windows. Your windows with a film of winter crap, and full of water and snow spots, and fingerprints from the children begging to go outside and play, and cat nose prints. You did not notice any of this because you hadn’t seen the sun in so long. Decide you must wash windows to enjoy the Spring sunshine. This takes approximately four years because you only wash maybe two windows and say screw it because you too want to enjoy the sunshine.


5. Prepare the backyard to play! The snow is finally melting. The snow that has been piling up in your backyard since November. You see, in Minnesota we don’t get snow and then have a melt. We just have snow accumulation from November until April. As the snow melts your backyard becomes an archeology dig site.  You find: six balls, five hula-hoops, two pens, a sharpie, 22 ponytail holders, nine newspapers, a library book, six pieces of sidewalk chalk that are no longer completely intact, your neighbor’s dog, two towels, a cardboard box, 15 jump ropes, 73 cents, and of course four mittens that would’ve completed some of the pairs that you already threw away.


Now I’m too exhausted to even enjoy this warmer weather. Well, only five more months before we have snow again! Thank goodness I did not put my UGGs away!


What is your favorite season?


In honor of our first day hitting 60 degrees since last October – I did break-out some Spring-ish clothing! First time without a heavy sweater and UGGs. And my body did not shrivel up and die.

Whippy Top and Heather Leggings from Matilda Jane, cardigan from Target, TOM wedges, Presley Scarf from Aventura Clothing. (Linking up with What I Wore Wednesday with The Pleated Poppy) Astrid in Matilda Jane.



20 Things I’m Giving Up For Lent

1. Caring that I don’t have a set of matching dishes and why should people have this by the time they turn 45.


2. Checking to see if my ass looks good in a particular pair of pants. I’m just walking out of the house knowing that my ass looks good in all the pants.


3. Caring what you think about my ass.


4. Bitching about no one helping me around the house – but making time to make sure that everyone helps around the house.


5. Cleaning up toothpaste blobs out of the sink unless I was the maker of the toothpaste blob.


6. Wearing matching socks. I wear boots 99.9% of the time anyway – so let’s just all wear mismatched socks. I’m done matching socks at all. Even for you.


7. Spending more than I save. I will not buy things because they are on sale. I will buy things because we need things. Not just because OMG so pretty!


8. So I’m giving up all of the catalogs that come to my house. HOW to make them STOP!


9. Wearing head to toe fleece to bed. This is both because it’s cold and for husband repellent. I hope it gets warmer. For Jed’s sake.


10. Feeling not good enough or young enough or rich enough or hip enough to shop anywhere. I will feel comfortable everywhere I go. Except if I go to a strip club. I don’t know if I would feel comfortable there at this point. Unless there were free drinks. But I need to get to the point where I feel more comfortable going into H&M than into a strip club.


11. Guilt for not volunteering at school more. I don’t like to be around that many children at one time. All things in moderation.


12. Procrastinating. Okay – staying off Facebook until my work is done. Also, no more cat videos until my work is done. Or online shopping until my work is done. No more BuzzFeed quizzes until my work is done. No more finding out what my John Travolta name pronunciation is until my work is done. No more playing with the cat until my work is done.


13. Pretending that Astrid is not going to kindergarten in the Fall. Telling her she’s going to be home with me FOREVER is not healthy for either of us. But I’m totally going to college with her.


14. Obsessing over getting a nose piercing and just going to get the damn nose piercing.


15. Embarrassing my tween. I don’t think I really do this. But because I BREATHE, it turns out I do this. I promise to breathe quieter and from a distance that is approved by this tween and not talk about her ever again.  You totally should hear what she said today though.


16. Stop eating the peanut butter directly out of the jar and maybe double-dipping with the spoon.


17. Typing LOL when I text, email or message people. I feel like it makes me look less professional. LOL


18. Stop drinking coffee at 10pm. HEY THERE PEOPLE – WHATCHA DOING UP SO LATE?


19. I’m giving up negative people and those who just want to gossip. Seriously, did you hear what Susie said the other day? Right? She’s so weird and I like totally cannot believe she did that! I mean – who’s Susie?


20. Eating coconut. Okay – I hate coconut, so I’m not really giving that up. But I could only come up with 19 things.


What I wore to work today – very awesome gray woolish blend legging-ish pants from H&M, black sweater from Poppy Togs, and black booties from Seychelles.  Astrid is wearing Matilda Jane.


Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday.


What are you giving up for Lent?


How To Become A Yeti

I’m going to talk about winter again. Go ahead and click-away – but you know you really want to read more about it because it’s really all we talk about now. We talk about it with our stylists, our mail carriers, our grocery baggers, our neighbors, strangers on the street that you are pushing out of snowbanks, bank tellers, UPS drivers, the cashier at Target, every parent at preschool, the teenager down the block who never smiles anyway, and my mother – because she’s in Arizona for the winter and I kind of don’t like her anymore.


Also, I’ve worn a hat, mittens, wool socks, fleece pajama bottoms, three cardigans, a scarf, and possibly a winter coat on since November. In my house. We keep the house at about 57 degrees so it warrants inside hat wearing to keep the heating bills down.


At any rate – what happens when you are toe to top of head covered, you forget you have a body under there. Also you become a Yeti.


Because Yetis are hardy. And hairy.


Things I haven’t done since November.

First let’s reminisce about what I looked like last November. Also, let’s reminisce about the sun.


I haven’t:

-cut my hair

-colored my hair

-styled my hair

-looked at my feet – you don’t even want to know what’s going on with my feet right now

-paid attention to my hands. My nails are all broken off from the dry cold, and my skin in cracking. Enough said.

-shaved my legs or armpits

-if fact, paid attention to any hair on my body

-did you know that body hair is warm when you grow it out

-and it doesn’t bother anyone when you’re wearing at least five layers at all times

-and don’t even try to get fresh and remove my fleece pajama pants because 1. It’s effing cold and 2. You don’t even want to know what’s growing under there.

-and wow how pedicure/manicure/waxing services must have a huge boom in in business in Minnesota once the temps rise above freezing. Yeti waxing specials everywhere!


But we have a wedding to attend soon – so besides thinking about having to shave my legs and maybe actually buy a razor, I also finally got a cut and color.


But then I still had to leave the salon with a hat on. Because Minnesota. And -12. So no one saw my hair. So this is all you will see of my new cut.


I feel better. Just don’t look below the top of my head. Because the Yeti is still in there.


And I think I need to take things slow – not to overwhelm this winter body. Also shaving sounds cold.


Next week LEG SHAVING.


The week after ARMPIT SHAVING.


Maybe then some pedicure action.


Who knows how crazy I’ll go after that.


All I know is that no one wants a Yeti at their wedding. Unless you’re a Yeti. Then you want alltheyetis. YETIWEDDINGS! New Minnesota Winter Business!


When I do have to leave the house – I do get dressed sometimes….


This week I wore my Matilda Jane Ruffle Pants – YOU NEED THESE. They are the like yoga/sweatpants with style. I get stopped no less than four times at the grocery store every time I wear these. Trust me. I’ve styled them with with Nine West motorcycle boots, a Gap cami tank and a gray Dove sweater – also from Matilda Jane. Scarf old – Target maybe? (Please note this was also pre-haircut – so awful pony…sorry.)


Astrid is wearing the Ice Cream Social skirt from Matilda Jane, a souvenir tee from Albuquerque, and leggings from Target. She wore this to preschool for the morning and then hung out with Yeti-Mom for the afternoon.


How’s your Yeti-ness treating you this winter? Make me feel better and tell me you don’t shave either….Or just lie to me.



You Need Tuxedo Pants In Your Closet

It’s no secret that I live in leggings in the winter. In fact I try to pass them off as fashionable pants while I get all high and mighty and judge you wearing your yoga pants. That’s right. Bring on the “leggings are not yoga pants type pants” war ladies. I’m ready for you. And you totally didn’t see me in my yoga pants on Monday did you????


Anyway, while I try to convince myself that leggings are real pants – I mean not REAL pants – because OMG leggings are not pants. Cover your bums ladies. LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS – I also admit that leggings are the most comfortable article of clothing ever. Except maybe fleece pj bottoms. But please don’t leave the house ever in those. Unless you are trying to embarrass your tween at the bus stop.


Which is why this legging-loving-girl also loves her jeggings.  But I still don’t love putting on jeans every day.


So what is a great pair of pants that feels like a legging but has more structure and you can dress them up or down and even go out for a night on the town(even though I haven’t been out on the town since 2001)?  Who goes out anymore? I think my pants need to. The tuxedo style pant!
What I love about a tuxedo pant is that it doesn’t completely hug your butt – but still gives it a nice shape – but then goes more straight down your leg rather than hugging your legs and showing everything. SO – ladies tuxedo pants are PANTS and you don’t have to cover your butt – so they are more versatile and so dang awesome on almost every body, and they are COMFY. Which this old lady loves!


This is what I wore just on a typical day of carting my three kids all over the great Earth to dance and piano and school and stuff. I also probably went grocery shopping. Comfy and fashionable. Win/Win.


And yes I know I wear a lot of browns and blacks – but they go with everything.



What I was wearing – Sandy Pants from Matilda Jane Clothing, Gap cami tank, Black booties from Target, Long black cardigan and chevron scarf from Poppy Togs and Clogs- a local boutique.


Astrid is in head to toe Naartjie this week. She’s making sure I will never be a famous fashion blogger.

This is a super easy outfit to put together. You NEED a pair of tuxedo pants in your closet.

Casual Tuxedo pants

 What’s your go-to winter-casual-yet-fashionable-remember-not-to-wear-leggings-at pants-outfit?? Do you wear tuxedo pants?


Linking up with What I Wore Wednesday.


What I Wear When It’s Below Zero

We’ve been below zero approximately 2,345 days this winter. Give or take two days. And even as a ‘lover of winter’ I’m expressing my need for a temperature just slightly above zero. I mean, let’s not go crazy and wish for 25 or 30. No, I would be happy with a nice round 10 or 15 degrees for a few days.


Since it’s been so cold, I rarely leave my house because I don’t want to be out of my fleece pajamas. This makes doing fashion posts really difficult – because I start considering this high fashion.


Which it actually is this winter. This is my new bus stop uniform and if you think your tween doesn’t want to be seen with you, well just wear this to the bus stop and you’ll be ordered to stand around the corner and pretend like you don’t even know those kids who live with you. Trust me. Try it.


For the days that I want to be warm and only the leave the house for preschool drop-off, grocery shopping or car pool – I live in leggings, sweaters, scarves and UGG boots.


This is my typical uniform if i don’t feel like pulling on jeans.


Leggings tank and sweater are all from H&M. UGG boots from 6pm. Scarf and hat were both gifts from friends.


This way I can look fashionable and match and not wear my flannel pajama pants to the store. The rule is – flannel pjs to bus stop -YES, flannel pjs to ANYWHERE ELSE- NO.


And Astrid of course wanted ‘in’ on my fashion pictures. She’s again in head to toe Matilda Jane. And she’s much cuter to look at anyway.


What do you wear on these cold, cold days that never end?


Linked up with The Pleated Poppy for WIWW.


A Trend I Miss From The 80s

This decade is confusing to me. I see my kids wearing neon, off-the-shoulder Flashdance type shirts, converse hi-top sneakers, and feathers in their ears and hair.


They are stealing things from the 80s. From my decade. My teenage years were influenced by the end of disco, the emergence of punk, and the puke popular Top 40 that consumed my life. My teenage closet looked like Boy George, Madonna, Michael Jackson, WHAM, and Cyndi Lauper had a love child and it vomited up neon, sequined gloves, lace, oversize shirts, and scrunchies.


This is probably why my mom used to cry at the mall when I wanted JUST ONE MORE NEON GREEN TOP, and why she may have snickered when I left the house each morning.


It’s also why my brother – HELLO 80s Prep-argyle-stand-up-collar boy – used to refuse to be seen with me.


But I don’t want to talk about the musical trends or fashion trends.


This is the trend that I miss most from high school.


Linking up with MamaKat’s vlogging workshop.


You Need Hi-Rise Jeggings In Your Life

I haven’t written a fashion post in a very long time. If you’ve been reading me for more than a few months, you may remember when I gave lots of fashion advice. Because shopping. And scarves. But then The Cold settled on Minnesota and I’ve honestly been wearing fleece leggings, UGG boots, sweatshirt tunics, and hats day and night. In fact I have trouble even getting dressed in the morning because it’s so damn cold – and all that seems appropriate to but on my body is something that is fuzzy inside. So fleece leggings, shearling boots, and fleece sweatshirts and fleece lined hats have become my complete wardrobe.


My cat is lucky that I don’t put him down my pants because if I could wear him – I totally would.


And nobody really wants to read about cat fashion.


So my fashion posts have been lacking. Well, they’ve also been lacking because each time I do try to take a fashion picture – I get photo-bombed by Astrid. Four year olds are awesome. Always.


However, I left the house and headed to the mall last week and felt that I should change out of my fleece and into ‘real people’ clothing.  And the main clothing article I wanted to show-off were my new favorite jeans.


I’ve complained before how I hate jeans, cannot find jeans to fit my body, and refuse to spend a boat-load of money on them. But I mean who would like jeans if you could choose fleece leggings every day.


But I was browsing online at American Eagle for some inexpensive tops and I saw this little picture with some cute jeans that read HI-RISE JEGGINGS. Now, being a mother of three, having a bit of a muffin top from said children, and an appreciation for anything that can combine my darling leggings with jeans – I was intrigued. And they were only $25.


I bought two pairs. And I just cannot express to you all how much I love these jeans. They are flattering – and can be worn as jeans – not just as leggings – the pockets are awesome, the fabric is stretchy and soft yet holds its shape, and they are so comfortable and look like expensive jeans.


I am now living in my hi-rise jeggings – if I leave the house.


For sizing – just order your typical size. And even though they say ‘hi-rise’ – honestly I consider then medium rise or COMFY rise as in my butt-crack ain’t showing but these are NOT mom-jeans – so no worries my friend.


You will thank me when you wear these. They’ll be like your new best friend. Only better because they make you feel awesome even if they don’t call for days.


Also wearing:

Black tank top from The Gap. I no longer even wear a bra(not that I did a lot anyway – but now I just wear a tank or cami to layer under allmyfleece)

Lucy Black Stay Present Jacket that I now LIVE in – because fleece AND style! YOU NEED THIS!

Infinity scarf  and caute bowling style handbag from a local boutique – Poppy Togs and Clogs

Riding boots from Nine West from a few years ago.


And Astrid is wearing head to toe Matilda Jane with adorable UGG Jorie boots from Nordstrom.

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday.


A Survival Guide For Cold Weather Running

The temperatures for much of the country are plummeting to well below zero over the next few days – even in places in the South that never see such extremely cold temps. And wind chills are expected to be in the -50 to -60 range for us here in Minnesota by Sunday and Monday. The Governor has officially called off school for Monday and even the zoo has now announced it will be closed.


Many of my friends have contacted me over the past week asking how to brave the cold when running when running outside in this cold, cold weather. Many more will probably opt for the treadmill and stay inside where it’s warm. They are probably the smart ones, but for some reason I just cannot run on a treadmill. It makes me feel like a hamster on a wheel and drives me completely crazy. The only way I can feel good is still to battle the cold and just get outside and run.


The coldest temperatures I’ve run in are about -35 actual temps with wind chills in the -60 range. And it was actually fun. Believe me – I would rather run in -40 than +80 any day! I just cannot get naked enough to stay cool running in those hot temperatures. And nobody needs to see me run in the nude.


I mean sure people driving by think you’ve lost your mind and if you step into a gas station the attendant might drop to the ground because you look like a robber in all of your scary gear – but it’s worth the risk.


But running in very sub-zero temperatures is very possible, easy, warm and downright fun if you do it correctly and safely! I’ve been doing it now for over 20 years, so either I like it or my brain is permanently frozen.


The most important thing you can do is have the right gear for the cold. I am NOT a gear-junkie – in fact much of my cold weather running clothing is pushing 20 years old. See that’s the thing – there is an investment for good, warm, quality gear – but it’s not like you are going to replace it every year – unless you have an obsessive personality and need to look good and have the latest and greatest gear. I run at 5am – so I don’t care what I look like. And during the coldest days I’d rather not wear my light performance running gloves – instead I’d rather trade them in for my husband’s beat-up choppers and trade fashion for warmth!


When gearing up before your run – and remember it might take you awhile to get geared up – because LAYERS – it’s best to remember the importance of ‘W’s’ when layering….



-Wind and/or wet


Wicking – You need to keep your body dry and core warm and make sure all moisture is wicked away from your skin. So a thin long-underwear type layer is essential. And it cannot be the old cotton long-undies of your grandpa’s. No red union suits here people. Get some good performance wicking stuff.  I like a light under-layer – so I LOVE the Capilene series from Patagonia and prefer the silkweight. However – they also have midweight and expedition weight base layers for you to choose from. I cannot brag about Patagonia’s base layers enough. (And yes ladies of course you still have your jog bra under your wicking layer. I love mine from Brooks.)


Warmth –  Over your wicking layer you need something warm – so get a good fleece. I have 3 different fleeces based upon the temperature outside. I admit that my fleece tops and bottoms are also pretty old. You can find amazing fleece leggings that I wear for fashion also when the temps dip low.  Again – I love the fleece selection from Patagonia as they make a fleece for all weather and temps. (If the temps fall below -20 I also add another layer between my wicking and fleece).


Wind – You need an outer layer to stop the wind and keep you dry in case of snow. This layer is critical but I typically don’t find I need this layer until the temps have reached down to 10 above or if the snow or rain is heavy. I have this one from Brooks and love it. It’s breathable, wind and water resistant and has reflective attributes also. I also have wind-proof pants and I LOVE my Swix pants that I bought in 1998(gulp) as I can use them for both running and cross-country skiing. In fact I use a lot of my skiing and/or running gear interchangeably which makes any investment in winter running gear totally worth it! OR just grab and wear a large heavy-duty garbage bag if you don’t plan on investing in a jacket. It works! (Cut a head-hole though….).


Now that your core is warm(so so so key) – let’s talk about the other important parts of your body that risk exposure.


Head – You need a hat. I am cheap and easy(ha) and actually just run in my ski hat – but there are tons of great fleece hats out there. Just keep your ears covered and wear something comfortable.


Face – I wear a mask (awesome one from REI) when the windchill falls below about -15. Some people like to use them at higher temperatures but I feel like I get too warm. It’s good to have though as it filters the cold that you breath also and reduces the amount of skin that is exposed to possible frostbite. Still expect some awesome icicles to form on your eyelashes and frost on your hair!


Trust me – THIS…


..is sexier than frostbite. I’ve had this mask since 1993 and LOVE it as it’s neoprene with a soft fleece wrap. In a pinch I’ve also used my kids’ balaclavas. (Not to be confused with baklava, the Greek pastry).


Hands – I wear gloves when it falls below about 35 and then switch to mittens at about 10 above. Mittens will allow more warmth sharing and you can invest in technical gloves or just wear something warm and insulated that you would play in the snow wearing.


Feet – Typically I just wear normal running socks and my regular shoes. But when temps dip below about -25 I put neoprene socks on with a wicking inner layer for warmth. You don’t want frozen toes. Typically your feet won’t get too cold as they are moving – but they could get wet because of the snow and if you are going any longer than six miles I would suggest a cold blocker like neoprene if you can wear them comfortably. Don’t want to invest in neoprene – wear a plastic bread bag on your feet over your socks. Totally not kidding.


A few more things regarding safety to think about if you are cool enough and brave enough to run in the cold:


1. Make sure you wear reflective clothing and/or vests so you can easily be seen. If the roads are bad with snow and ice – typically drivers are focused on the road and not on you – SO BE SEEN!


2. It WILL most likely be icy. I do not run with spikes or cleats in the winter – but I find I do have to change my stride on icy days and run with more care. I have fallen a few times in my 20 years of winter running – so it can happen. Just run with a little more care and maybe on the extra icy days – jump on that treadmill.


3. Getting cold. I typically dress for about 20 degrees warmer than it is so I do feel cold when I step outside – and know I will warm up quickly once I start moving.  I also limit my time outside when the weather is well below zero. Instead of a 10 miler I will just do 3-5 and make up my miles if I need to when the weather warms up a bit. I’d rather stay safe and have fun then risk being out in the elements too long.


Do you like running in the cold? Hopefully these tips will keep you motivated and running outside well through this cold weekend!! Have fun and enjoy the sweet reward of a little hot cocoa by a fire when you get back from you run.