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Saturday, January 30, 2016

SSS Photo Contest 2015 WINNERS

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Thank you to everyone who submitted entries into the Sweet Spot® Skirts 2015 Photo Contest- it was our biggest year yet! Needless to say, the judges had a tough time selecting winners. We had entries from all over the world and all types of activities. 
See the entries on Facebook and Pinterest. 

With that said, these are the entries that stood above the rest to the judges.  
Please email info@sweetspotskirts.com to claim your prize.

Grand Prize:  An entry into our skirt club.  Four Free Skirts delivered each quarter throughout 2016.
Thank you Lydia for this amazing picture.  #underwaterskirt
First Place Winner:  Custom Classic Skirt of her choice!  ** our first ever young person winner.
Thank you Michael for entering your fabulous daughter, Jamie.
Tie For Second Place:   Free skirt of your choice:)
Thank you Katy, your picture is perfect.
Tie For Second Place:   Skirt of your choice:)
Thank you Suzanne for this winter wonderland exquisite photo. 

Third Place Winner:  25$ Gift Certificate!
Thank you Kristine, what a clever snow pic. 

Honorable Mention:  Each person in the pictures will receive a $15 Gift Certificate.

Catherine, your skirt matches the water beautifully.
Rose in her Rose Pedal skirt!  That background looks painted to perfection.  
Thank you Sherri, what a beautiful lake you have to highlight your skirt:) 

Mary, Zoe, Helen & Carol, you each win a gift certificate:)  
Kelly, you have been our grand prize winner in the past.  This one is spectacular! 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Being a Sweet Spot® Skirt Seamer

The women in my family have been sewing since approximately the beginning of time! There is a good possibility that the majority of them were born with either a pair of scissors or a needle and thread in their hands. It’s in my blood and I honestly don’t think there was much chance of me avoiding the urge to cut, stitch and create wonderful things!

My great-grandma made hand sewn quilts, using old warn out clothes to complete her designs; she made my grandma’s wedding dress, and she could mend and darn clothing beautifully. My grandmother made clothes for her four kids. My mom sewed her own wedding dress and the dresses for her bridesmaids, and I grew up watching her make clothes for my brothers and me, outfits for our dolls and stuffed animals, and gifts for family and friends. I got my first (pretend) sewing machine when I was ­­­­­­­­­­­about five or six years old; a yellow plastic, battery powered My Little Pony number that I spent hours playing with. When I was twelve, I finally got to use my mom’s “real” sewing machine! I made an apron for my grandmother’s birthday; it had purple pansies on it with gold details. I was so proud of myself! But sitting there that day, working so hard to make that gift for my grandma, I never imagined that someday I would be sewing for a living!

Fast forwarding a few more years than I’d really like to admit, and I found myself the stay at home mom of a toddler and in need of a job! Not a “real” job, but something that would allow me to earn a few extra bucks to help support our family, but still let me stay home with my precious little girl. That’s when I met Stephanie Lynn and Sweet Spot® Skirt, and my whole life changed! My spare bedroom became my “workshop”, my spare time became my “work hours” and I felt good about being able to contribute to our financial situation. And it was only a matter of time before working for a company that makes and sells running skirt would ignite a fire in me that would turn me into a runner!

I love being Sweet Spot® Skirts Seamer! I take immense pride in working for a local company, knowing that all of our products are made in the USA, by women like me. It’s been awesome watching this company grow from a handful of at-home seamers like myself, sewing the classic athletic skirt, to a full-blown production company, with a whole line of woman’s athletic wear, a flagship store and our products featured in a leading outdoors retailor!  I love that I can go to work in my jammies if I want to and I can work when it’s convenient for me (9pm to midnight are very productive hours in my workshop!)  I feel fortunate that I get to earn a paycheck by doing something I actually enjoy doing, and doing it for a company I actually believe in. But most of all, I love that I haven’t had to trade in being a stay at home mom for being a working woman. I’ve never had to make the choice between going to work or staying at home with a sick child. I’ve never been late to pick her up from school because a work meeting ran long. I’ve never had to miss a dance class, girl scouts meeting or church activity because of work. And for that I am forever grateful!! My job is a blessing that I don’t take for granted. 

Thank you Stephanie Lynn for giving me a job that means so much more to me than just a paycheck (though getting paid is nice, too!) And thank you loyal customers for loving our product, for valuing what we do and what we stand for and for and keeping me employed! I’m pretty sure I work for one of the best companies in the world!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Beyond M&M's and Marshmallows

One cold, drizzly Thursday afternoon, the Girl Scouts troop I co-lead took a short walking field trip from the library where we usually meet to a park a couple of blocks away that lies on the banks of the Willamette River. As a treat for the girls, we let them make trail mix that they could munch on along the way. Each girl was asked to bring one ingredient to add to the mix. One girl brought a bag of M&M's, one brought a bag of chocolate chips, one brought a bag of peanut M&M's, one brought a bag of marshmallows and one brought a bag of mini pretzels. Yum! The girls were excited about their custom made trail mix, and it turned out to be the highlight of the field trip. It was a yummy treat for our troop, but definitely not a source of sustainable energy! 
From road trips to backpacking trips, trail mix can be a fun, convenient snack to have on the go, and it’s so easy to customize according to your own personal tastes! But to make this snack a healthy one, we need to get beyond the M&M’s and marshmallows! Here are some basic guidelines to making a healthier snack mix: 

1. Nuts Use any kind of nuts you like, but try to stay away from ones that have been coated and roasted in hydrogenated or soybean oils and salt. Raw nuts are ideal.

2. SeedsSeeds are actually packed with protein, iron, magnesium and an array of vitamins and minerals. Like with the nuts, go for raw, unsalted seeds.

3. Dried Fruit Dried fruits have a high sugar content, which makes them a great snack for boosting low blood sugar after physical activity. Be careful when picking dried fruit! Lots of dried fruits are coated in sugar, so be on the lookout for sun dried fruits that are unsulfured. They tend to be more expensive, but are a much healthier option.

4. Fun Stuff!Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a little fun! Feel free to add in a handful of your favorite treat. Dark chocolate and popcorn are good options, but don’t limit yourself to that; try some pretzels, peanut butter chips or other sweet treat! (Don’t let your sweet treat outweigh the healthy stuff!)

Here is a list of 7 customizable trail mix recipes, provided by Super Healthy Kids. Try one out or use my guidelines to create something totally unique! Next time you hit the trails or head to the park with the kids, slip a bag of your delicious and healthy mix into the pocket of your Sweet Spot Tights, and snack happy!!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Resolving to stick with it! (Practical tips to help you stick with those New Year's Resolutions)

      2016 is finally here and the hot topic is once again New Year’s Resolutions! Have you made you made yours yet? Are you resolving to lose weight? Get more sleep? Spend less money? Drink less wine and more water? Join a gym and actually go this time? Be nice to everyone you meet? Watch less and read more?

     Every year I wake up on January 1st with a set of resolutions and the best of intention, but by February 1st I’m out of steam and totally over it! (For a look at Stephanie Lynn’s thoughts on themes vs resolutions, you can check out her blog here) This year, in preparation of the Resolution Rush, I’ve combed the internet looking for tips to help stick with those well-intended goals throughout the year. I found a list of “15 Foolproof Strategies To Stick To Your Fitness Resolutions” on greatist.com, but 15 tips seemed like a lot to me, so I picked my 5 favorites to share with you. I think these five tips will be helpful whether you’re resolution is fitness oriented, lifestyle based or some combination of both.

     1) Write and Measure: The simple act of writing out your goals gives you a sense of ownership and something tangible to reflect on throughout the year. And when your write out your goals, make sure to be specific, with measurable expectations. If your goal is to lose weight, don’t write something vague like “This year I resolve to lose weight”. How much weight do you want to lose? When do you want to lose it by? How are you going to do it? Writing something like “This year I resolve to lose 25 pound by working out four times a week and eating a healthier diet” gives you something you can measure and work with.  If you’re resolving to spend less, instead of adding “I will spend less in 2016” to your list, try something like “In 2016 I will spend less by setting a monthly budget, making a list before I go shopping and leaving my credit cards at home” 

     2) Make It Manageable: A resolution shouldn’t be a daydream, it should be something attainable, otherwise you’re setting yourself up for failure right from the get-go. Saying you’re going to lose 150 this year may be a really nice thought, but may not be manageable. Being realistic and setting attainable goals is a much healthier way to go. Maybe you do need to lose 150 pounds, but by setting small goals that are attainable (for example 10 pounds in six weeks), you’ll be more likely to reach your goals and feel like you’re making progress and less likely to get discouraged and want to quit.  
     3) Treat Yourself: When you do reach a goal, treat yourself! Giving yourself something to look forward to can help your reach your goals faster! Just make sure your “treat” doesn’t undo all your hard work! If you just hit your first 10 pound goal, don’t treat yourself to a whole chocolate cake; maybe treat yourself to a new Sweet Spot Skirtathletic skirt, or some other fitness gear instead! Or if you’re resolving to drink less wine and more water, don’t celebrate your first wine-free month with a bottle of merlot. (Remember, it’s easier to fall back into old habits then it is to create new ones!)

     4) Ask For Help:  Not knowing how to start or what your next step should be is no reason to not start or give up! If your goals are fitness or weight related, talk to the trainer at your gym, or make an appointment to talk to a dietitian. If your goals are money related, you can go to your local bank branch and talk to a banker or account manager. Another form of asking for help is being open about your goals with your friends and family. Share you resolutions with us on our Facebook page. Ask someone to be your accountability buddy. Maybe that means asking your mom to hold your list (and wallet!) while you shop together to make sure that only the items on your list end up in your cart, or maybe it means asking a friend to join a gym with you so you have a workout buddy. Asking for help and/or support can me a vital part of success! 

     5) Be Forgiving of Yourself:  Let’s face it, we’re all going to slip up at some point. We’ll have set backs and stumbles; we might even lose our steam entirely. It can happen to even the most resolved among us. Own it and forgive yourself, but don’t give up entirely. If you find yourself losing steam, reread your written list and see if you need to reevaluate your resolutions. Maybe you need to scale back a little bit, or rearrange your goals. 

     I hope these tips will help your achieve your 2016 resolutions! I’m looking forward to seeing what the New Year brings for me and my family, as well as you and yours! Use #activeresolutionSSS, #sweetspotskirts and @sweetspotskirts to share your goals, resolutions, year themes and photos with the Sweet Spot Skirt Family on Instagram and Twitter! You can read the full list of “15 Foolproof Strategies To Stick To Your Fitness Resolutions” here. Happy New Year!!!
New Year's Day, Crosswalk in Salem, OR.