Updating my Fall Work Wardrobe with Gordmans

*Disclosure: I was provided with a gift card in order to facilitate this post. I was not required to post a positive review and all opinions are 100% my own.



This is my third fall season in my not-so-new job. As I wrote about earlier this week, my work wardrobe has been a work in progress, and I finally feel like I have been hitting a mindful stride in what I wear and how I wear it.

Back in August I was approached by Gordmans, a discount department store, to do a feature on back to school shopping. I was happy to do so, but, at the time, our nearest Gordmans store was about three hours away. When I looked at the website, I noticed that a brand new Gordmans store would be opening right here in town at the end of September. So I asked if we could change the editorial focus to Fall work fashion.

Shopping at Gordmans is a new experience for me, but not a new store at all. As a matter of fact, Gordmans is celebrating 100 years this year! And because of that, Gordmans sent me a $100 gift card to spruce up my fall wardrobe and to learn more about Gordmans.

From their website, I was able to learn a little more about the Gordmans story:

Born in 1915 out of a small retail store at the corner of 16th and Chicago in Omaha, Nebraska, Gordmans is proud to celebrate more than 100 years in business. Fashion trends may come and go, but Gordmans has thrived knowing that low-cost, high-quality apparel and décor are always on-trend.

“We’ve delivered high-quality merchandise at great values for 100 years. Not many companies come close to fulfilling that promise, or lasting that long,” said Andy Hall, president and chief executive officer. “Looking toward the future, we will continue to build our national brand portfolio and further enhance the guest experience as Gordmans continues to grow by adding stores and ecommerce channels.”

First, I peeked at the website, as I’m learning to plan my clothing purchases more carefully. There was quite a variety online, but merchandise varies from store to store. Guests can now conveniently shop online at Gordmans.com, providing 24/7 savings of up to 60% off department store prices, anytime, anywhere. There is also free shipping on all orders over $75.

I arrived at the new store with a few things on my list. I was looking for burgundy jeans, a long cardigan, a burgundy top, and a camel blazer. The store was well laid out, and very large. I am a seasoned discount shopper, but often find shopping at discount stores to be overwhelming, as there can be so much sorting out to do when looking through the racks of clothes. I was happy to see that Gordmans has everything set out neatly and attractively and it was easy to sort by size.

I thought that this sign in the fitting room was cheery!


I ended up finding a long, grey cardigan that will go with much of my fall wardrobe, a cute, comfy, swingy burgundy top, and a fun pink and white chevron tunic top that gets me compliments every time I wear it. (I am generally afraid of bold prints, but I am working on getting out of my comfort zone!).

I also found some fun accessories–like this sliver toned wristwatch with just the right amount of bling, and some gold toned earrings to balance out my earring collection. I have been working on getting more accessories into my wardrobe as they really do make the outfit! Gordmans

I even was able to pick up a pair of fun umbrellas for the twins who had been begging for them–which is a guarantee for no more rain!

All of this for $101! I also joined the gRewards program and I am halfway to a $10 reward plus, I earned $10 in Gordmans dollars! Gordmans

I don’t *need* anything more for my fun fall capsule wardrobe. . .but I am sure I’ll be back!



Do the Thing That Scares You

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I’m afraid of heights. I’m not necessarily afraid of tall buildings or elevators. . . those are enclosed. But I might not go out on a small balcony up high, and I don’t like being crowded in high places. I will take the stairs over an escalator, but those stairs had better have a railing to hold on to. (and after my slip and fall this past weekend, they better not have soapy water on them!)

You see, my fear has led to a lot of “rules” that I have imposed on my life.

There are things that I “just say no” to, because I am afraid.

Now, I’m a big girl. I’m OK with not getting on diving boards and not riding the roller coasters. But I just might be missing out on a certain amount of fun or joy by skipping those things.

What if my fear was something that held me back even more? What if I was afraid of being embarrassed? What if I was afraid of making mistakes? What if I was afraid of failing? What if what I was really afraid of was succeeding? (You know, because, if I do well at something, more people will want me to keep doing it, better and better–more of us have this fear than we care to admit!)

So, what is it that you are afraid of, and what are your motivations for that fear?

Once upon a time I was terribly afraid of motherhood. I was unsure that I would be a good mother. Having come from a broken home, I was afraid that we would not provide the stability that one (ore more) kids would need. I did not have much time to ponder that fear, as God blessed us with a baby soon after our first wedding anniversary. He has turned out to be a pretty neat adult, in spite of or because of my mothering.

I learned that God often equips us with what we need, when we need it. I learned that mothering offers a lot of on-the-job training!

When it was time for me to re-enter the workforce, I had  a lot of fears. What if I was not skilled enough. What if my employer found out that I am a sham? What if I get in over my head? What if my family hates me working? What will the other moms think?

But the fact remained that I needed to work. And I had good skills to offer. I did lack confidence, but that is building, over time. I had to push past my fear.

Did you see that?

I had to push past my fear.

We tell our kids to do that all the time. “just try it, you don’t have to love it.”, “Maybe it will be easier this time.” , “I know you can do it!”, “You will be so proud of yourself when you are done!”

Why is our self-talk so different from the ways we encourage others? Why are we less deserving of optimism? Untitled design(1)

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

(2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)

It is my prayer that each of you can remember that your strength and fearlessness comes from God, the model encouraging parent!


Catching Up, October Style


The problem with working in social media is that sometimes I cannot or will not take my own advice. I teach people to create and use editorial calendars, and how to spread themselves across social media channels without spreading too thin; and then I go and forget my poor, sweet, blog for weeks on end :)

All is well here in North Dakota. I am in a busy fundraising season for work, which keeps things fun and interesting. I am branching out in my teaching/coaching/speaking, which is an exciting thing for me. Read here about how you can catch me live and in person if you are local.

I’ve had a lot of fun keeping up with some of the newer trends and platforms in social media. Have you heard of Periscope yet? Periscope is a live video platform that is a Twitter spinoff. It is a lot of fun, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know some fellow bloggers better. I jumped into Periscope with both feet this past week after joining a #PeriscopeWithPurpose Challenge on Blog Clarity. Mel does a great job of introducing the platform and providing useful prompts for a month of “scoping”. Now, if only I can remember to do my Periscope broadcast when I still have my work clothes and make-up on, it would be even better. . . or maybe I’m just keeping it real. Feel free to follow me on Periscope. Feel free to follow me on Periscope, and while you are watching my scopes, be sure to tap for hearts so I know that you are there!

I’m participating in another wardrobe challenge with Get Your Pretty On. One of the trickiest parts of re-entering the workforce for me was wardrobe. When I was a stay at home mom I had church clothes and home clothes. My home clothes were either jeans or yoga pants and a collection of Target t shirts. When I started my job I bought some grey slacks and some black slacks and a few cardigans that I would wear with my collection of Target t shirts. I never felt very put together. And, as a “bigger girl” this made me just feel frumpy. These style challenges have given me a chance to try a few trends as well as learned some classic styling ideas. I’m learning to make a few basic pieces work overtime. Over time I am developing seasonal capsule wardrobes. And I no longer feel like I have the “What Not to Wear” camera crew following me to work anymore.

I slipped and fell down my basement stairs on Sunday afternoon. Through some miracle (really!) I came out of it bruised and sore, but with all of my bones intact. I have a very good relationship with my LaZboy recliner, and have spent my after work time in it with my feet up, which has helped a lot. I think having to get up and get moving and still take care of my family has probably helped as well. Move it or lose it as I like to say. I probably need to wear athletic shoes around the house though. Seriously. I’m a “faller”, I need all of the traction I can get.

So, that is what I have been up to, in a nutshell. Stop by the Facebook page today and leave your prayer requests (today and every Wednesday). We have a great community of women praying for each other!

Let me know what you have been up to in the comments!



Women’s Business Summit #WBS15


I love a lot of things.

I love Jesus.

I love my awesome family.

I love my job.

And, I love helping other women succeed. I honestly think that there is a place at the table for every woman to succeed in business.

Some will prefer to be entrepreneurial, some want to work for or run a large corporation. Some, like me, find their niche in the non-profit sector. Some excel as CEO of their household.

I’m excited to be presenting “The Power of Story” and “To Tweet or Not to Tweet” at the 2015 Women’s Business Summit!

I hope you can join me for this outstanding personal and professional development opportunity –

November 8-9, Bismarck!

The Women’s Business Summit includes the always popular Breakfast with Entrepreneurs Panel,
fabulous keynote speaker Melissa West, 18 amazing breakout sessions (including mine!), 1-on-1
business advising, and an opening night Wine, Women & Chocolate reception for great networking!

This is your chance to invest in yourself and join the movement of women across our state that are
stepping up to do MORE! More for themselves, more for their businesses, more for their families
and communities. By pulling women together from across North Dakota and the region this Summit creates a diverse network for those who want to grow both personally and professionally.

By leveraging women’s talents and resources we strengthen the individual as well as the collective
and I encourage you to join me for this unique opportunity!

Pre-registration is required. For more information visit http://ndwomensbusinesssummit.com
Hope to see you there!

Being a Mom is Not for the Weak


It has been one of those weeks.

You know the weeks. . .the Alexander kind of weeks.

I had just come off of a first half week of school, feeling victorious. I was pretty much feeling like *that* mom. You know the mom, the one who has it all together. The one who drops her kids off at school on time, with make up on and hair done  and fresh coffee in the travel mug.

By the end of this past week I have descended into the realm of *crabby mom*.

I’ve been flying solo a bit this week with the hubs out of town, which is generally not a problem–my kids are NOT babies and I still have a second driver in the house (even if he sleeps until noon). I really work hard to not complain too much when I am flying solo–for a few reasons. First, I travel for work, and I often force the hubs to fly solo on the weekends–which as a pastor are especially busy and crazy. Also, the hubs rarely wants to get away for something fun, so when he does, I send him off with my blessing. He is a super great guy, and the least I owe him is a getaway now and again. Also, I don’t complain because I know that many parents fly solo all the time.

It is just that when I am solo parenting I feel like I have to adult all day long. And, honeslty, I am a 12 year-old trapped in an adult body. Adulting is hard. ya’ll.

So, here is is glimpse of my week:

  • Slept late on a school day. I got the kids to school on time, but I forgot to feed the twins breakfast.
  • I ran out of coffee.
  • It is Saturday and I am still washing dirty clothes from over a week ago.
  • I’m pretty sure my fridge died. Right after the hubs and I had the “no large purchases for a while” discussion.
  • I had a work project that I needed to finish on Friday, but I forgot about it until I was on the way home Friday night.
  • My house looks like “there appears to have been a struggle”.
  • I’m crabby.

But, through it all, some truths remain.

  • My family still loves me–messy house, dirty laundry, forgetten breakfast and all.
  • A broken fridge is an inconvenience and an expense, but we do have the means to buy a new one–even if we would rather spend that money elsewhere.
  • I have an awesome teen who spent 3 hours at church this afternoon baking cinnamon rolls for fellowship time at church tomorrow.
  • Jesus died for my sins.
  • Tomorrow I will be fed with God’s Word and Christ’s body and blood, and I will leave refreshed and renewed.
  • I can sleep in on Monday!
  • I restocked the coffee.

So there you go. Just a little glimpse of real life.

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