Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wardrobe Tips for Men...

Have you ever wanted to give the man in your life a fashion makeover?  Or perhaps you are one of the lucky ones whose spouse enjoys you picking out clothing for him?  Better yet...likes to go shopping with you!  I learned where my boundaries of dressing my husband were after our first Christmas that we were engaged.  I had bought my preppy, lifetime card-carrying member of the Polo Ralph Lauren fan club, husband-to-be what I thought would be a more updated modern ensemble from Kenneth Cole.  He willingly tried it on while I tried on the eight pleats per side golf shorts his mom picked out for me.  We both came out of our dressing areas at the same time and both burst out into laughter - laughing at ourselves and each other.  I got the hint his mother was sending and vowed to get more appropriate golf clothes that were conservative yet more my personal style and Matt agreed to try (and, thankfully, adopt) better fitting flat front khakis and the more modern cut golf and polo shirts from RL.  In the end, we both were able to update our looks, yet keep our personal styles in tact.

Check out the article below from the September issue of Costco Connection to help your man avoid the most common fashion faux pas:
"From dud to daper..."

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blackberry on the backburner...I'm on vacation.

I am in Minnesota this week on vacation with my family.  It's been an easy week off of work so far since, I imagine, a lot of people are also out this week.  I was going to take the easy road and re-post an article on how to prepare your office while on vacation.  But, seriously, in today's business world, completely shutting down while on vacation is near to impossible.  I firmly believe that disconnecting to focus on relaxation while on vacation is very important and necessary - our technology tools, however, make it too tempting not to take a quick peek at what is going on while we are gone.  For this vacation, I prepared by leaving a very detailed out of office message of who to call for what while I was away.  I let my backups know that I would be checking emails at the end of every day and forwarding emails and addressing urgent messages only.  I also set my cell phone to only ring when I received a call- the constant "ding" of an email, text, or facebook message arriving in my inbox would be too tempting not to check.  I've been reading a lot about "detoxing from technology"... there was even a week in April designated "Digital Detox Week"... I wonder how long we could go without looking at our smartphones, emails, or facebook...?  While I've been very good about not checking work emails on my trip, I am still checking and posting on facebook, reading my favorite blogs, writing this blog, and a "summer vacation" blog....  How long could you go?  Read Joanne Tombrakos' account of her seven-day tech detox diet, from

"The Seven-Day Tech Detox Diet" by Joanne Tombrakos

Friday, June 24, 2011

Did you take your dog(s) to work today?...

Back in March I posted about today being the day doggies get to go to work with their humans.  Did you plan for it?  Is your furry companion with you at your desk today?  If so, how's it going?  Share your stories with me! 

June 24th - Take Your Dogs To Work Day

Hamilton and Milhouse recently tagged along with Matt to his office.  They LOVED being able to look out the floor to ceiling windows in his office.  Of course, the LOVED the attention from his coworkers.  After a quick inspection of the parking lot to work out some of their nervous energy, they finally calmed down and got to work...napping. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

A huge shout out to all the dad's this weekend...Have a fabulous Father's Day!

One summer day, while I was living at home with my parents - newly graduated and not trying too hard to find a job - I woke up early enough to have breakfast with my dad.  It was the middle of the week and the day was going to be one of those perfect summer days in Minnesota - just the right temperature, no clouds, no wind, not humid - a perfect day for boating on the Mississippi River, which was an outing only reserved for the weekends.  I suggested to my dad that he should play hookie from work and we could spend the day on the river...  He glanced over his paper and proceeded to lecture about how he was the owner of a successful business with employees that worked hard for him, etc, etc, and that in the "real working world", that he wished I would join sooner rather than later, you do not play hookie from work to go boating.  I got the hint and told him I would spend the day working on my resume and start looking for jobs.  He went off to work and I probably started surfing the net.  About thirty minutes later, the phone was my dad... he said, "pack up a cooler, we're going boating, pick you up in fifteen minutes."  I was thrilled - it really was the perfect day to be on the water and I know my dad really enjoyed it too.  It's a day I will always treasure.  Thank you, Dad! 

My husband is a great father and I hope that our kids have the same treasured memories of time spent with him.  For now, they are his little helpers, but soon enough they will be suggesting he play hookie from work to meet him for a round of golf.
Happy Father's Day, Dad!  Happy Father's Day, Matt!

Experts: Dads embracing active parenting more

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer is here!



 Ready, steady, GO!  June has arrived...actually it's half over..where have I been these last two weeks?!.  I have been moving non-stop, to the best of my abilities, between work, swim lessons for the kids, the UPS shipping facility, and my sewing room.  It's not actually a sewing room as much as it is the temporary setup I have going on in our dining room. 

Since swimming lessons occur every day for two weeks straight during dinner time, we aren't really dining in that room it be put to another use, right?  "What are you sewing," you ask?  Ah... the answer will reveal itself soon - stay tuned for my guest blog appearance at

Summer hasn't officially started, but since the temperature outside has been over 100 for a few weeks now, I can't help feeling like summer is already here.  Remember having summers off?  You could go boating, sleep in, stay out late, play tennis, build a fort or tree house.  Wouldn't it be great if our work calendar matched the school calendar...?  Ah, I digress... speaking of tree houses, did I show you the end result of our Memorial Day weekend?  Check out the before and after photos...

Actually, it's the "Uff-da Palace" by Patrick Dougherty.  His work is pretty amazing!  The "Uff-da Palace" can be seen at the Minnesota Arboretum through the end of this year.  To see more of his work, click on the link below... 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy Memorial Day Weekend...

Just a quick post to show that I am determined to keep my word, and track record, for a weekly posting...I cut it a little close this week.  I'm excited about the long weekend.  Are you?  Historically this weekend is reserved for a fabulous time with my friend Amanda and the State Capitol Tour of our choosing.  No fears fans of "our journey to be the only two ladies who have visited all State Capitols by the time we are 80"...we are just postponing the trip a few months.  Instead, this weekend...well, this is what we are doing...
Bulk Trash pickup is scheduled for Tuesday, May 31...the deal is Matt cuts, I bag....say a prayer to mother nature in the hope our trees will come back (again) from the frost we had this past winter.  Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Taking A Compliment...

"Cute shoes!"
"These...?  I got them for $20 at Payless."

"You are a great rep, thank you for running these samples over so quickly."
"It's no big deal, it's my job."

"That dress looks great on you."
"Oh my gosh, I made it...I think it hangs longer on the left side...don't look too close at the seams."
This is a challenge to all of you out there who do this, including me...  STOP IT! Let's stop devaluing ourselves and demeaning those who give us compliments by learning to graciously accept them.  Whose with me?  Let's practice now...

"Cute shoes!"
"Thank you!"
"You are a great rep, thank you for running these samples over today."
"Thank you, I appreciate hearing that."
 "That dress looks great on you."
"Thank you, I recently learned to sew and made it myself."

Another good article by Karina Bland, from the Arizona Republic...

"Regardless of why I dodge compliments, I'm sending the wrong message. I'm trying to appear humble, but, instead, it probably makes me look less confident in myself and my abilities. And here's the thing: I am a persuasive person. If I keep this up, I could actually convince people that I'm not as great as they think I am, that it was some sort of fluke that I pulled off that outfit, that meal or that story, not because I have the talent or did the work."...Karina Bland

Click on the link for the entire article:  Taking A Compliment...