Day 1 in my Tieks

My husband went above and beyond with my Mother’s Day gift this year.

He asked for a list of ideas a few weeks before and I and included Tieks ballet flats on there, not really thinking that he’d actually get them.  I was quite surprised when I opened the package to find that iconic blue box.

I had heard of Tieks a few years ago and had the same thought that I think every person does when they see them – “Are they really worth it?!”  At $175 a pop (!!!!$$$$$), they better fit like a glove and not have a single flaw.

First, let me say this.  They are expensive.  Let’s just get that out there.  That is A LOT of money to spend on a pair of shoes.  And more than I would normally spend on a pair of shoes.  Or both of my children’s entire summer wardrobes. Combined.

That being said, I believe in investing in a few high-quality items that you love versus many lower-quality items that you don’t like as much.  And, if they’re as great as everyone says they are, then I’d argue that they’re worth their prime price tag.

What’s all the hullabaloo about?

Let’s start with why they were appealing to me.  As a stay-at-home mom, I spend a lot of time on my feet.  This has become increasingly apparent to me since owning a FitBit.  According to it, I average 4-5 miles a day, and when I started to think about it that way, I felt like it was time adult-up and get some real shoes that take care of my feet and my (aging) body.  Gone are the days of the $3 Old Navy flip flops.

I wanted a shoe that had good support, but I’m not quite ready to wear tennis shoes every day.  Or orthotics.  I wanted the feel of a Grandma shoe, but the look of a hip Mom shoe.  From the looks of the shoe and the sounds of the reviews I read and heard, Tieks fit the bill.  Some people describe them as “super stylish”.  Now, I’m no fashion editor, but I think that’s stretching it a bit.  They are classic and simple.  Which is exactly what was appealing to me.  I can wear them and feel put together, but they’re practical for running around my house and town all day.  No fuss.

My husband doesn’t do wrapping paper or gift bags, so he handed me the small white box in which they were mailed and said “Happy Mother’s Day”.  I opened the outer packaging to find a small blue box and a bright yellow flower on it.  The flower was a little much for me.  I’ve read that some people use them as headbands for their daughter.  I’m not going to do that.  But if that sounds appealing to you, let me know and the first person who asks can have it.

The Tieks were folded in half with one tucked into the other.  Josh was skeptical.  His exact sentiment was “how can something that can be folded like that have any support?!”  I didn’t have an answer, but I took them out and promptly put them on.

How do they fit?

Obviously, everyone’s feet are different, so how they fit is going to be dependent on each person’s foot.  I have extremely high arches, which makes any kind of flat hard for my feet.  I bought some Cole Haan flats (similar) on clearance 2 1/2 years ago, and they were better for my arches than any of the other $10 flats I had previously owned.  The Tieks put those Cole Haan flats to shame.  The best way that I can describe the comfort as far as support goes is that it feels like a tennis shoe, but doesn’t look like one.  #win

What about socks?

Josh and I sat on the couch and watched Netflix for almost half an hour and I didn’t take the shoes off.  I just didn’t think to.  As we were shutting off the TV, I realized that I still had them on, which is notable because I have never, in my life, worn a pair of shoes for more than three minutes without socks.  I can’t do it.  I have the sweatiest, clammiest feet, and no socks is just not an option for me.  I don’t know what it is about Tieks, but my feet could breathe in them.  And not just enough that I could tolerate going sock-commando, but so much so that I didn’t even realize that I was wearing shoes with no socks.

I cannot overstate what  game changer this is for me.  I wore my Tieks the entire next day (11,000 steps and 4.5 miles, according to FitBit) with no socks, and at no point were my feet clammy.  That, in and of itself, is reason enough to only wear these shoes for all of my days.

So…….are they worth it?

Day 1 in my Tieks was a typical Thursday around these parts.  At home in the morning with the kids, cleaning and playing.  I ran errands Thursday afternoon, and then the kids and I went on a short walk to my in-laws’ house for my mother-in-law’s birthday.  These flats were so comfortable that I forgot I was wearing them.  I’d catch a glance of them throughout the day and think “Oh, yeah!  I forgot I got new shoes!”.

VERDICT:  Tieks are the quintessential Mom-shoe.  And I mean that in the best way.  They have all the practicality that a mom on-the-go needs, but they’re not frumpy.  After one day, I give them a resounding Thumbs Up!  I may review them six months down the road to see how they hold up.

What do you think?  What’s appealing about Tieks to you?  Is the price the biggest drawback?


A note about sizing: Tieks don’t come in half sizes, and they suggest that you size down.  I normally wear an 8 1/2, so Josh ordered and 8 per their suggestion.  My toes go right to the edge with little room to spare, which makes me nervous, but after wearing them all day, they didn’t feel too small.  I’m guessing that they also stretch slightly because of the leather, so that’s probably why they suggest to order a size smaller if you’re a 1/2.  And a ballet flat that’s too big wouldn’t work.


100 Posts!!! ::

This is the 100th post for Maximizing Days! #allthecelebrationemojis

In honor of that milestone, here are a list of 100 tricks, tips, things I love, and stuff I’ve learned along the way.

Think of it like the Cliff’s Notes for

  1. My all-time, #1 piece of organizing advice for anyone who asks
  2. Being over-prepared can be disadvantageous
  3. The only thing that makes laundry bearable
  4. I would wear these every day if I could.  Right now, I only wear them almost ever day.
  5. How I got my husband to do the laundry
  6. The cleaning tool that gets used everyday in our house
  7. Cleaning a toilet is nasty – make it less nasty with this trick
  8. Seemingly eons ago, I packed a hospital bag for when my son was born
  9. For years, I wished for this every time that I saw it in the Pottery Barn catalogue. Now we have it and it hasn’t disappointed.
  10. Laying in bed when you remember something important?  Don’t get up!
  11. How to make Mondays slightly more bearable
  12. Another way to make Mondays – and all the days – go more smoothly
  13. Under-sink transformer
  14. Most of what I’ve learned about organizing I read here at least ten years ago
  15. No matter how grumpy I am, this sight brings a smile to my face.  Well, this and my kids (unless they were the source of the grumpiness)
  16. We celebrated my husband’s birthday here a year ago.  I want to go back…
  17. The best product for voluminous hair
  18. The second-best product for voluminous hair
  19. So, just what is a capsule wardrobe?
  20. The key to making purging work for you
  21. This makes me long for summer…..
  22. The BEST dresser
  23. How to maintain some order in those aforementioned cavernous drawers
  24. What I learned at the organizing seminar that I taught
  25. Without this, I would get ZERO done every day
  26. These aren’t part of my winter capsule wardrobe, but they’re on my feet 70% of the time
  27. I love my children, but I did not like pregnancy
  28. Next week is my daughter’s half birthday.  Hard to believe this was 6 months ago
  29. Comparison steals joy
  30. How my husband knows exactly what to get me for any and every gift-giving occasion
  31. Target stopped carrying these.  Tears.
  32. Speaking of Target, ours closed. ALL.THE.TEARS
  33. Breakfast.  Lunch.  Supper.  What my kids eat.
  34. Trying to keep my phone as an asset, not a time suck
  35. I didn’t change my son’s diaper on the changing pad until he was at least 6 months old.  Here’s why.
  37. This is when I knew that my husband and I were meant to be
  38. Christmas gifts, card mailing list, meal prep, and Christmas card albums
  39. The best shoes
  40. The other best shoes
  41. Our kid’s birthday tradition
  42. My favorite cleaning products
  43. When to buy containment
  44. This took me far too long to figure out
  45. Can you be organized & have a junk drawer? YES
  46. Toy packaging repurposed
  47. Baby Gear!
  48. Making dishes tolerable
  49. Save money on dry cleaning
  50. No grocery money left? Start here.
  51. Only touch your mail once
  52. I thought these were a waste of space.  Now I’ve learned that they are key to utilizing space.
  53. Become a capsule wardrobe-er
  54. Feeding your infant doesn’t mean you have to buy a new deep freezer
  55. What you need when you’re sick
  56. I should get a commission for how many times I’ve referred this to other people
  57. Why a ‘Monica Closet’ might be what’s missing in your quest to get organized
  58. The trick to an organized leftover container space
  59. The absolute best leftover containers there are
  60. Grocery List Trick
  61. We have one of these in every closet in our house
  62. Be a bright spot in someone’s day
  63. I’ll admit it.  I get up at 5AM.  Here’s why
  64. Every kitchen should have at least one of these
  65. Real-person Container Store success story
  66. Linen closet #1
  67. Linen closet #2
  68. How we’re able to eat frozen pizza all too frequently without feeling bad about it.  Throw some fruits & veggies in this bad boy, and call it a well-rounded meal.
  69. My favorite reads
  70. Sleep later with the time you will save using this
  71. Christmas shop all year long
  72. Contain the kid clothes clutter – what they don’t wear
  73. Contain the kid clothes clutter – what they do wear
  74. My difference-maker cosmetic
  75. Dreaded k-cups.  Love them.  Hate them.
  76. This might actually make you start cleaning.  Might.
  77. We call them Bucket Lists.  Even though it has nothing to do with death
  78. If you have a toddler, run, don’t walk to buy this bad boy
  79. Make dinner without harming your children.  It is possible.
  80. A functional toy room without a single label.  Also possible.
  81. You’re an adult.  Your house can look like it .
  82. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!
  83. Everything except the kitchen sink
  84. I’m so happy that I live in a world where there are Octobers
  85. Is that cheap flight worth it
  86. They’re for more than just magazines
  87. Have an hour?  Then read about how I menu plan here, here AND here.  Brevity has never been my strong suit.
  88. I don’t even do this anymore
  89. Why you shouldn’t fold your laundry on the dining room table.
  90. Bring on the boots!  A Minnesota Winter Capsule Wardrobe
  91. Why every.single.minute of my day is scheduled
  92. Deep vanity drawers are not ideal.  But that’s no excuse.
  93. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said a thousand times
  94. Don’t bother keeping these unless you can access them
  95. My go-to storage container
  96. THIS is how you keep your house neat
  97. Perfection cannot be your goal
  98. You’re never done
  99. Cheapest & best organizing tool
  100. What this really is all about



Winter Capsule Wardrobe

Winter Capsule Wardrobe for a Stay at Home Mom ::

My Winter Capsule Wardrobe has arrived.  Well, kinda.  One piece is yet to be purchased (C’mon, Nordstrom! Give me a sale!) and the other is in transit.

But the decisions have been made and a collection of 47 bottoms, shoes, tops and even a dress will make up my wardrobe for the months of January, February and December.  I did things a little differently than I did when choosing my summer or fall capsule wardrobes because I’ve learned a few things since then.  But, it turns out that there was still more to learn this time around…..

Lessons Learned in Creating my Winter Capsule Wardrobe:

1 – Take the time to decide what you will love wearing

I spent the month of December wearing my cold-weather clothes to see what I didn’t want to take off at the end of the day and what was bothering me before noon.  After Thanksgiving, I dug out my winter clothes that weren’t included in my Fall Capsule, with the goal of wearing each piece for an entire day (to find out more about this, check out my Instastories highlight on Instagram).  This is the only way to know if you want to keep wearing it.  Something might be cute and comfortable when you try it on, but after tugging on it all day, you know that you won’t choose to wear it again, no matter how many times you see it in your closet.

If you are in a time crunch, or feel like giving yourself a month to make the decision of what goes in your capsule means you won’t make the decision, then skip this step. At the very least, make sure that you try on EVERY SINGLE PIECE before making a decision.

Confession: I consciously decided not to start my winter capsule wardrobe until January so that I could include Christmas presents because I was so hopeful that I would get two new pair of leggings.  And I did.

2 – Be realistic about seasonal requirements

I started my winter capsule wardrobe by taking out short-sleeve t’s, 3/4 length sleeves and lightweight cardigans.  It is just too cold in Minnesota in January through March to even consider wearing any of those items.  It’s possible that they could work with layering pieces, but the idea of a capsule wardrobe isn’t trying to make things work, but rather, finding the pieces that do what you need them to on their own.

When choosing my shoes, my requirement was that it had to cover my ankles.  There’s too much other stuff in my life to deal with that I don’t need to add ‘dry and warm my ankles’ to that list.  So, no tennis shoes, Toms, Tieks or heels in the winter capsule wardrobe.  But my toes are toasty.

3 – Be realistic about your lifestyle

The clothes required for your lifestyle should make up the preponderance of your capsule wardrobe.  I love business clothes – dress pants and blouses and heels – but I don’t wear them.  My life as a stay-at-home mom and part-time employee at a church don’t require such attire.  And, no matter how much I love them, if I’m never going to wear them (because there isn’t a day where I would look in my closet and think ‘this is appropriate for what I’m doing today’), then they shouldn’t be included in my capsule wardrobe.

I want to wear leggings  I love my jeans and I found a style last summer that fit like a glove.  But even with that awesome fit, they’re not as comfortable as leggings.  So, of my 10 pair of pants in my winter capsule wardrobe, 6 of them are leggings.  Because that’s what works well for my lifestyle and it’s what I defer to when choosing my outfits.

4 – Build your capsule choices around one another

Like I said earlier, I started my winter capsule wardrobe by choosing shoes.  After that, I moved on to choosing bottoms and started with only choosing pants that would go with the shoes I had just picked.  There’s a pair of trouser jeans that I love, but none of my winter capsule wardrobe shoes would go with the jeans, so they didn’t make the cut.

Because the majority of my bottoms were leggings, I intentionally chose numerous tops that could be worn with those leggings.  Even if 9 out of my 10 bottoms were leggings, it wouldn’t do me much good if I only had 5 shirts that could go with them.

My winter capsule wardrobe contains 10 bottoms (6 leggings, 4 jeans), 5 pair of shoes, 7 layering pieces, 1 dress and 24 tops – for a total of 47 pieces.  This does not include accessories, which, for me, is mostly scarves.  I, occasionally, throw on a necklace, but it is rare.

Use this template to get you started for basic winter capsule wardrobe pieces.

Here is my final product – what I will be wearing for the next three months.

Winter Capsule Wardrobe for a Stay at Home Mom ::

P.S. Read what a capsule wardrobe is and why it’s appealing and what I learned from my first few months of my summer capsule wardrobe.








Spring “Momiform”

It may be the first official day of summer, but here in Minnesota, it’s still quite chilly.  I caved and pulled my slippers out of hiding yesterday.  Warmer temps are promised by the end of the week, but for at least a few more days, I’m sporting my spring #momiform.  (I swore I made up the word momiform, and was really proud of my creativity.  I’m devastated to learn that this is not the case.)  As I’ve mentioned before, my stay-at-home mom wardrobe falls under these three categories 1) Practical, 2) Comfortable & 3) Simple.  I’d like to think that the fourth adjective isn’t frumpy or boring, but if I’m honest, I’m probably approaching that area.

I am seriously considering doing a capsule wardrobe.  Have you tried this?  What are your thoughts?

My spring momiform fits all three of my criteria and is my go-to outfit for my days when I’m leaving the house.  The splash of color from the scarf makes me feel like I’m not boring in a t-shirt and jeans.  I may be kidding myself.  I can go for walks with my kids, play at the park, run errands, and do kid yoga (this is a new favorite activity in our home) very comfortably in this outfit.

But there’s something about pants with a waistband, leather ballet flats and a scarf that make me feel better and more put together than if I were wearing leggings, a hoodie and tennis shoes.

Do you feel like you wear the same thing everyday?  Do you like the simplicity or do you wish you had some more variety?  I go back and forth.

one, two, three, four