We came, We saw, We ate bacon-wrapped chicken bits…for a good cause

Vanity Fair_LiftTOUR_Poster (1)

Yesterday evening, Lindsay and I attended our first-ever “Exclusive Blogger Event” representing Happy by Design.

What’s all the hub bub about? 

Actually, it’s all for a really good cause. Vanity Fair is a lingerie brand that is trying to help out the not-for-profit organization, Dress for Success by donating brand new bras to the local chapter. They’re doing so by driving all around the country on a tour bus and helping women get properly fitted for their bra size (and if you’re anything like me, you know this is a nightmare and you appreciate whatever help you can get). For every woman that they help fit, they’ll donate one of their brand new bras to the local Dress for Success organization.

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Who is Dress for Success?

Dress for Success is an organization that helps disadvantaged women find suitable job interview outfits so that they can have a real chance at landing that next job and putting their best foot forward. They also support these women by providing a network of support and the career development tools to help them thrive in work and life.

Like Goodwill or Salvation Army, Dress for Success accepts donations of nicer, gently used clothes for professional use, but the problem that all of these organizations share is that not many people donate undergarments because those can’t be donated as gently used, they need to be brand new or else they won’t pass inspection. Most people find it easy to donate gently-used clothes, but it’s less likely that you’ll go buy a brand new bra or pack of underwear and give it away.

As of my last count, Vanity Fair has donated 1,535 bras through the LiftTOUR alone…and they’re not done, yet!

As for Lindsay and I…

In terms of the cause, we were both on board. I mean, our tagline for Happy by Design is, “A community of mothers who follow their passions,” so supporting a campaign that does just that felt like a good thing to do.

And then you throw in the whole FREE BRA TO KEEP thing and really, you don’t need to twist my arm. Bras are expensive! My budgeting guru sided with me on this one.

A smile, a measuring tape, some encouraging words to pass on to others, and then OMG BACON-WRAPPED CHICKEN.

I’ll give you the highlights…

  • We arrived.
  • Wrote down some fun things on boards and posed in front of the step-and-repeat.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 4

Note: I give Lindsay credit for coming up with both sayings. I kind of stole “Mother Runners” from her. My only addition was, “Fellow.” But she’s just so johnny-on-the-spot! I couldn’t resist. 

  • We went inside the tour bus and talked with the ladies helping with this effort
  • We got fitted.
  • We wrote some inspirational sayings down for women who would be receiving our donated bra.
  • We took some selfies by the selfie wall which turned out like I expected they would after we both worked a full day in the office and only slightly re-applied makeup (hence, why I’m not posting them here)
  • We collected our goody bag.
  • We ate ALL OF THE BACON GOODNESS and some other delicious things.
  • We left.

Only thing we didn’t do very well was mingle. It was an event for bloggers so it would have been the perfect opportunity to talk with other Milwaukee-based bloggers who liked free bras (so obviously we have a lot in common already), but alas, our shyness got the best of us.

If you’re in the market for a new bra…also make it for a good cause! 

Overall, it was a pretty good evening. I wasn’t asked to write a post about the event, but I do appreciate the good will that Vanity Fair is putting forth into the world and I thought you might want to know about it too.

Also, if you’re in the market for a new bra anyway, check out one of the fitting locations happening in our area right now. Get fitted and Vanity Fair will donate another bra to Dress for Success.

Looking for more information on this campaign?

Where’s My Voice in All This?

Panda running outfit

Who’s going to share my affinity for furry-based fun runs?

Recently it occurred to me that I follow a variety of bloggers that satisfy certain niches of my life. But to date, I’ve yet to find one that reflects the majority of my thoughts and feelings on any given day. This, I’ll admit, is a very tall order.

Dear Internet – I know you’re busy with viral videos, Buzzfeed lists and Kickstarter campaigns but could you find me my one true blogger? I hate to go all Disney princess on you (which, let’s be honest – you love!) but this would mean a lot to me. I just need someone to show me the way forward…in all facets of my life. Thanks!

Jamie

p.s. Keep up the great work.

The Current Contenders

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with my current selection. They tell amazing stories, lead rich lives (or at least they pretend to) and make me excited to see what they’re going to write about next. Here’s a short list of the bloggers that come to mind:

  • A dark comedian who fancies weird and exotic taxidermy.
  • A mommy blogger who writes through the eyes of a toddler.
  • A young improv enthusiast who has lots of adventures.
  • A mommy blogger who details the life and times of my niece (oh shoot, that might be too easy to guess).
  • A military wife (an ex pat I think they’re called?) living abroad.
  • A cartoonist who details the humor in life, but also illustrates interesting stories from his own life.
  • Someone living out the dream as a freelance writer in Oregon, raising two young boys and taking routine trips into the wilderness.

That’s my short list. Basically, I follow people who either make me happy or are very interesting.

The Gap (No, not the store…or the reference to that British subway thing)

What I see missing is a voice that really digs into my unique perspective. What’s so unique about my perspective? Well it’s my own, for one. It’s not your perspective (turns to the right), or your perspective (stands on tippy toes) or even your perspective. It’s mine. And I have a lot of perspectives. And to that point, they’re not static, either. They’re constantly changing. So here are just a few of the gaps that I see.

  • Who’s going to share the perspective of the girl trying to focus on a career while also growing her family?
  • Who’s going to detail how much they think about Beyonce’s work ethic while running on a treadmill at 5 in the morning? Or constantly asks herself, “What Would Beyonce Do?” (more to come on that in a future post)
  • Who’s going to tell me what it means when my boss says, “You’re your own biggest safety net” when I make a joke about going rogue? Is that a good thing? Is that a bad thing? So much to debate!
  • Who’s going to help me decipher whether or not my husband really likes the food I make, or if he’s just being nice so as not to hurt my feelings? To that point, who’s going to let me know it’s okay if I don’t always care what my husband thinks of my cooking?
  • Who’s going to push me out of my comfort zone whenever I become too stagnant in one area or another?
  • Who’s going to be the one that actually pushes me to be a better mother instead of making excuses for my actions because I’m tired?
  • Who’s going to relate really mundane, but necessary, life lessons to frequent pop culture references to make it easier to digest?

To be perfectly honest, some of those gaps were even scary to write down. So it makes no sense for me to put all that pressure on someone else. Those are questions that I should probably figure out the answers to…by sharing my own perspectives…in my own voice.

Cue Curtains Being Raised, Light Bulb Going Off and Chorus of Angels Singing

The moment you’re picturing probably looks like this:

That’s it! I’ll start a blog! I’ll share my own unique perspectives with the world because I am a valuable individual and I have interesting things to say!

Well, it wasn’t that epic of an “Aha!” moment. But it was a couple of ideas that started to snowball. And then a series of events occurred that started to shape the snowball. And soon that snowball was our very own walking, talking Olaf the Snowman.* And now I’m at a point where I finally have a platform to dive into the topics I love — motherhood, career and health.

Needless, to say, I’m excited for these future endeavors. And I hope that maybe I can fill some of those niche perspectives that you and maybe others have been looking to fill.

*You didn’t think you’d get out of here without a “Frozen” reference did you? 

Welcome!

Jamie and Lindsay

Jamie and Lindsay (from left to right)

First and foremost, thank you for stopping by our new venture. This is the first time either of us has done something like this, and to be quite honest, it’s a little scary.

The three pillars – motherhood, career and health

There are so many talented people who inspire us every day, and we love to read their stories and celebrate their successes. However, the stories that we felt were missing, are our very own.

Sure, there are mommy bloggers that blog about motherhood, and fitness fanatics that blog about fitness, and career mavens that fill up our LinkedIn feeds with practical advice. But we’ve yet to find a voice and a perspective that tackles all three.

Since we’re both passionate about motherhood, career and health, this is where we want to start. Sure we have lots of other passions and hobbies and Netflix obsessions, but these are really at the core of our happiness.

Happy by Design

And so, we came up with Happy by Design – a community for mothers who follow their passions. We believe that the lives we live are truly happy by design…not by accident. In an age where everything is go, go, go, it can become common place to tune out the things that you really love. We want to provide a space for mothers (and parents of all kinds) to really think about the things that bring them happiness.

Meet Jamie

I’ll keep this short and sweet. I’m a thirty-something living in Milwaukee with my husband and son. I think the half marathon is the perfect length for a race. I get really nerdy when it comes to content strategy. I love dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels (and even more-so the word, “post apocalyptic”). I think Beyonce can do no wrong. I’m afraid that tigers might be extinct soon.

Meet Lindsay

I never like to keep things short and sweet. I’m a thirty-something living in Milwaukee with my husband, daughter and dog. I get jazzed about B-2-B marketing communications – educating the channel and the end-user is a great thing! I think a 10K is the perfect length for a race. I find happiness on my yoga mat and in the kitchen. I love exploring our great city to find the best brunch spot or iced coffee. I believe in to-do lists, and that camping isn’t complete without an air mattress. Like Jamie, I’m a fan of Beyonce but I love this mug even more because it’s true, “You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce.” 

 

Feel free to learn more about us, dive right into our current posts or find out the REAL reason we’re here. Thanks again for stopping by. Your support means a lot to us!

Happy Reading!

Jamie and Lindsay

Why are we here?

Lindsay (left) and Jamie (right) after their first half-marathon

Lindsay (left) and Jamie (right) after our first half-marathon

 

Jamie and I have been friends for over a decade. It’s hard to believe because we look like we’re in our early twenties. Seriously though, we’ve grown up since our college party days and now have kids, marriages, careers and mortgage payments.

Before my daughter was born, I started a personal blog. Blogging was liberating and helped me through those first years of parenting. I wrote about our first house, Ingrid’s first steps and about that time our dog was sprayed in the face by a skunk. I was happy with my small readership and didn’t feel the need to promote this personal journal. In 2013, I was invited to audition for the Milwaukee Listen to Your Mother show. During the writing, audition and practice process, I found that telling my story was energizing. I felt like I had scratched my writing itch once and for all. I didn’t feel the desire to blog about motherhood, my dog or my family. I felt like a failure for giving up on my blog but as Ingrid grew up – the writing was less about me and more about her and it didn’t seem fair.

On Jamie’s birthday, we met up to run and later grabbed coffee. The conversation turned to writing. We both missed it and wanted an outlet to express our views as working mothers who had other interests. A few more coffee meet-ups later and this little space was born.

Why are we here: because we follow our passions and our passions include motherhood, careers and being good to ourselves. We don’t wake up and stumble upon happiness. We set our alarms a few minutes earlier so we can enjoy coffee before the rest of our household wakes up. We run during naptime. We want to be rockstars in the office. We work hard in order to enjoy a glass of wine (or three) at the end of the day. Like you, we strive to be happy and we design our lives to make it happen. Thanks for reading!

Instagram

So tired. Weekend number seven, done! Santosha (sp?), meditation, shoulder anatomy, arm balances and so. Much. Yoga. I love this practice. And, I need a beer. #balance

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