SEPTEMBER 2018 Extraordinary Woman | Marta Meeker

SEPTEMBER 2018 Extraordinary Woman | Marta Meeker

This year LINEA Paolo is celebrating our customers – women just like you by recognizing an Extraordinary Woman each month through our blog and social media channels.

Our September 2018 Extraordinary Woman is Marta Meeker – a small town girl who now lives just east of Cincinnati where she makes her family, community, local sports and outfit of the day fashion her priorities.

You may know Marta by her Instagram handle @sippycupstyle when she posts #ootd inspiration filled with seasonal wardrobe must-haves for busy and stylish moms. We’ve partnered with Marta for a mom-centric back-to-school style-out session spotlighting five of her favorite looks for Fall 2018 and featuring our new leopard print hair calf FELICIA wedge sneaker booties.

Follow us this week to see Marta’s easy-to-wear ensembles that show creative and chic ways to mix prints, seasonal trends and wardrobe staples. For more back-to-school and Fall 2018 outfit inspiration, head on over to @sippycupstyle and check out Marta’s fabulous feed!

LINEA Paolo:

We are so honored to have you as our September 2018 Extraordinary Woman and to collaborate with you on this back-to-school outfit of the day feature! There’s so much focus on kids at this time of year that we’re just so excited to partner with you to bring this casual chic style guide to our customers.

Tell us a little bit about where you’re from and your current home base…

Marta Meeker:
My home town is Vandalia, OH, which is a great little suburb just north of Dayton. I had the best childhood growing up there and embracing all of the small-town fun it had to offer. It is truly a place where everyone knows everyone, and there is a lot of community pride and support. My parents, my sister and her family, and my best friend all still live there, so we visit frequently.

My current home base is Cincinnati, OH. My husband played basketball at the University of Cincinnati and graduated a few months ahead of me. He got a job in Cincinnati right out of school, so once we were married I moved down to join him. Man oh man, do we love it here! We currently reside in the Anderson Township area, which is a suburb on the east side. We have all of the small-town perks with the big city benefits! Great schools, parks and neighborhoods around us, and fantastic shopping, sports and entertainment just down the road. It’s truly the best of both worlds and a fantastic place to raise a family.

And you’re a super mom with three kids! They must keep you very busy. We’d love to hear about your 10 favorite things…

1 – Faith – we are very involved with our church and it is truly the core of our family.
2 – Family time -we spend a lot of time together, just the 5 of us! If there is one thing that I have heard over and over again from veteran mothers it’s that “It goes so fast, enjoy every second”. So we try to do that by just experiencing life and making memories as a family as often as we can.
3 – Friendship – I would be lost without my girlfriends! Whether we are grabbing a bite to eat, working out, shopping or just watching a mindless TV show, time with friends is energizing and so good for the soul.
4 – Fashion and especially great shoes – clearly, I have a love for fashion and creating “looks”. I do it with myself, my kids, the way I decorate my house etc. I’ve just always loved putting it all together!
5 – Coffee in the mornings – It’s like a warm hug! There’s just something so comforting and satisfying about a morning cup of coffee and a little time of peace and quiet to read or just relax before the kids wake up. Sets my day off on the right foot!
6 – Music – grew up in a musical family. My dad is an amazing guitarist and most days of my childhood he would come home from work and play for hours on end in our basement recording studio. I can remember doing homework upstairs and the entire house would be vibrating and shaking because his band was practicing. I loved it then and I’m such a music lover now because of it!
7 – Thai Food – I could eat it daily and I’m not joking. Sushi and fried rice just always seem to hit the spot, and lucky for me-my family loves it too!
8 – Northern Michigan – we spend a good chunk of our summers up north near Traverse City, Michigan. We are fortunate that my in-laws let us crash at their place for several weeks. It is hands down the most beautiful, peaceful and relaxing place on earth. Life is so simple up there, like a little lake town that has been frozen in time. The kids go to sailing school, play tennis and then get to spend all afternoon and evening doing water sports and swimming! We make amazing memories during our time in Michigan each year.
9 – Sports – We are major sports fanatics: basketball, tennis, college football, volleyball and baseball! We obviously love Cincinnati Bearcats basketball the most since my husband played there. It is a blast for us to take the kids to the games now and share that part of his life with them. Such tradition and pride!
10 – Running – let’s call it a love/hate relationship haha. I’ve been running for about 3 years now on a regular basis. It’s the fastest and most effective way for me to get a good sweat in for the day. I run 2 to 3 miles at least 6 days a week, no excuses! If I don’t feel like it (like most days) I remind myself of wise words that a friend told me, “Most of what our kids learn from us is CAUGHT and not TAUGHT.” That motivates me to get up and set an example that I am disciplined and value my health.

Such a great list – just love how you’ve found balance and have such clear priorities. This must be a true asset as you juggle the demands of having three school ages kids and try to carve out time for yourself and your interests.
We’d love to hear about the top 10 things you’ve learned from being a mom…

This question is harder – I learn something new every single day! But if I had to pinpoint 10 recurring themes they would be:
1 – Patience – I’m talking patience like I’ve never known and that I didn’t know I was capable of! The kind of patience that at times makes me want to beat my head against a wall. Waiting for a child to respond to me after saying their name 10 times, or for them to make a better choice or to just take ONE TINY bite of lunch. It’s all about keeping calm, composed and taking deep breaths. Save the panic moments for when they are truly necessary.
2 – Unconditional Love – I have so much love for my 3 kids that it hurts. I always make sure to let them know that there is absolutely nothing that could ever separate them from my love, and I will always be there for them no matter what. Good days and bad – a mom’s love never changes.
3 – Humility – nothing will humble you more than being a mom. Like working so hard on dinner and thinking to yourself how delicious it looks and that you are amazing, only to be told it’s disgusting by a 4-yr. old. Kids have a “gift” when it comes to helping their parents find humility in all areas of life. You think you’ve got it all figured out and then they knock you down a notch and put you in your place. I love the raw honesty I get from my kids though, be it positive or negative there is never any sugar coating.
4 – Flexibility – things almost never go the way you plan when kids are involved. I always give myself the “we will make lemonade out of lemons” pep talk before we head to do something fun. It’s important to be able to adapt if things don’t go as planned, and it’s also important for my kiddos to see how to problem solve and move on!
5 – Perspective – kids are adorable but can be frustrating at times. In those moments when they are really testing me, I try to pause and remember that they are just young children. They are not supposed to be 100% rational all of the time, and they aren’t equipped to consistently make the best choices yet. Reminding myself of this truth helps me in those moments of anger or frustration
6 – Consistency – oh it is SO key! You have got to be consistent with your kids. From child to child, consequence to consequence, and so on. You have to say what you mean and mean what you say. Kids need defined boundaries and to know what your clear expectations for behavior are or else they won’t ever be able to take ownership of their actions.
7 – Intentionality – This is a biggie! I’m working so hard on this one because I know I can improve. Put down the phone, the iPad and turn off the TV. Spend quality and intentional time with your kids. Just talk to them, laugh with them, chase them, play games with them, and be silly with them. They need to see that they are your priority and that you can block out the world around you and devote your entire being to be a part of their world.
8 – Embrace Craziness – it’s going to start raining when you are at the park, someone is going to knock down a display at the grocery store, you are going to have food covered handprints all over your new shirt… it’s not going to look perfect. Motherhood and parenting is chaotic! Laugh when things go wrong, so that you don’t cry! It’s all going to be over in a blink of an eye, and we need to just soak up every hilarious situation that we will be faced with, keeping in mind that it is all so temporary.
9 -Discipline – No one likes to discipline, but it’s just a part of being a mom. I teach my kids that mistakes are going to happen because no one is perfect. Mistakes also give us a chance to grow and do better the next time, and that even adults make mistakes and have to deal with consequences. We use time out, logical consequences, you break it you fix it, loss of privilege (basically whatever seems to correlate closest to the unwanted action or behavior).
10 – Forgiveness – in my opinion this is THE KEY to being a good mom, wife, friend, employee, neighbor or whatever. Relationships face challenges and being able to truly forgive someone (and mean it) is healing and necessary! I know that there are days when I need forgiveness for not being patient or for reacting out of anger in certain situations, so I’m always aware that my kids and others deserve forgiveness when they come up short as well.

Thank you so much for sharing such thoughtful and insightful lessons from your parenting experience. It sounds like you’re ready to add a parenting blog to your digital resume! Speaking of insight, can you tell us what inspired you to start @sippycupstyle?

From the time I was a little girl, I’ve had a passion for putting outfits together. Piles of clothes were always on my closet floor as a child, and now there are piles of clothes on my closet floor as an adult too! I’m constantly mixing and pairing different pieces together looking for the best combos. I worked a retail job in college and one of my responsibilities was to dress the mannequins. I realized that I had gotten pretty good at making outfits, and truly LOVED doing it! After graduating college, I taught elementary school & loved every minute of it – but once we started a family, we decided to shift my focus to being a stay at home mom. While being at home, I was searching for creative outlets to tap into my hobbies & interests. It was my husband who encouraged me to take a risk & start sharing my outfits/style tips with others via Instagram. I never could have imagined how much joy this little hobby would bring to my life, along with the fun opportunities that have come from it.

So now that you’ve been exploring this creative outlet for a while, have you developed a “trademark style?”

HAHA, I feel like my trademark style is a little all over the place (which is symbolic of the stage of life I’m in). I love comfort, I love color, I love pattern mixing, I love layering, I like classic, I like edgy, and I like being unpredictable. See what I mean, ALL over the place. I like to say that I spend most days chasing after my kids and the latest trends!

A keen sense of humor is key to surviving both kids and the latest fashion trends!
So, if you had to choose 5 must haves for your everyday wardrobe, what would they be?

1 – a GREAT stylish pair of shoes (like my Felicia wedges)
2 – distressed skinny jeans – I like them distressed most days because if I rip them or a kid does something to them I feel like it just adds more character
3 – a great T shirt – one that’s a great fit and length that can be easily dressed up or down depending on what accessories I pair it with
4 – my name bar necklace – my husband got me this necklace for me after Sam (our youngest) was born. It says each of my kids’ name on it and I cherish it so much! I wear it every day, and even sleep with it on.
5 – statement earrings – I feel like my shoes and my earrings are the anchors of all my outfits because they really show my personality and can bring so much fun to an otherwise ordinary looking outfit.

Such a good list! It’s hard to cull it down to just 5 but I think you nailed it.
For Fall 2018, what are your top 5 must haves?

1 – shoes: wedge sneakers and a good pair of ankle boots
2 – ankle length skinny jeans. I like this length because they look great with all of my favorite fall shoes
3 – a long cardigan or wrap that can be layered multiple ways for versatility
4 – camo and leopard print ANYTHING – coats, shoes, scarves, pants…add one of these prints to almost any look for a guaranteed win!
5 – a stylish, throw on jacket. One that compliments my style and even enhances the look of the outfit. I like short structured jackets or even longer ones that hit at mid-thigh but still have great shape to them and a flattering fit

Hope everyone is taking notes because this is a great shopping list – filled with both trend items and wardrobe staples.

What’s your best advice for other super moms on how to build a fun, unique and functional wardrobe for themselves?

Start with finding a pair of shoes that you absolutely love and build from there. In my opinion, the shoes make the outfit and showcase your personality and lifestyle. From there just work your way up. Find jeans and leggings that will pair well with those shoes you love, and then pick your top layers based on your mood or activities for the day. I have my closet divided into sections (my husband will laugh at his because it mostly just looks like a mess). I have an athleisure area where I can quickly grab a coordinating pair of leggings, quarter zip and vest; I have a date night or church section where I keep dresses, skirts and fancier tops; and I have an everyday casual section where I keep jeans, sweaters, button downs, and other knit shirts. **I also try to thin out my closet as often as I can. If I haven’t worn something within the past year, I gift it, sell it online or consign it and get it out of there. It’s a good way to create space, and in turn get a little cash to put towards new purchases.

Couldn’t agree with your priorities more – and can totally see how building your look from the ground up helps you create so many fun and versatile looks!

What about for your kids – I know this is an on-going challenge.

My advice here is to find a brand or two that fits your child’s body type well and then stay loyal to it. It makes life easier when you don’t have to shop at 15 different stores for a 5-yr. old. I’m a big believer that when you find a kid a pair of pants that fit well, you get them in every color. Then find some coordinating shirts that will go with any of the pants so that you can mix & match! A quality quarter zip fleece / sweatshirt are musts as well. I also let my kids get involved with picking out their clothes because I want them to be able to express their personality (within reason of course haha) and I also WANT THEM TO WEAR THE CLOTHES I BUY. I have wasted a lot of money in the past, on cute clothes that my kids wouldn’t touch. But for some reason if they have a part in picking out the cute clothes, they’ll wear them. Like I said earlier, kids aren’t always rational so sometimes I just try to adapt to their quirks and get creative with how I approach these types of things.

This is really solid advice and it’s such a good suggestion to invite your little ones to participate in the shopping process.

This brings us around to a really important question: why do you love shoes?

I believe shoes show your personality & totally make or break an outfit! It’s like the dot at the bottom of an exclamation point. And when I find shoes that not only fit my lifestyle, but are comfortable, on trend and are eye catching, then I’m a happy, happy mama.

Agree with you here 100 %! Aside from shoes and fashion, what inspires you?

So many people inspire me. I love people who are underdogs and persevere. I love success stories of mothers and children, teachers and students, or coaches and athletes. I am inspired by seeing hard work pay off for people, whether it is in the gym, at work, or in their personal life. People who don’t settle for mediocrity and push themselves to the limits to be the best versions of themselves. I am totally inspired by watching someone thrive at what they are doing in life! People with that kind of work ethic, attitude and determination are incredible to be around, to learn from, and they inspire me to give my best at whatever I am doing as a mom, wife, friend, or even a style blogger.

And how do you hope to inspire others?

I hope to inspire Mom’s to feel good about themselves and to give them ideas of how to style their wardrobes during this crazy season of life. As a mom, it’s our nature to always put the family and their needs first. But I also believe it’s important and OK to take care of our own needs as well… our kids are always watching us and I want to set the example that you need to take care of yourself AND others. I also hope I inspire others to be confident and take risks. I still can’t believe I post outfit pics every day, because it’s totally out of my comfort zone. But I’ve learned that I can be confident, try new things (even if I fail), and push myself in ways that I used to not think possible.

We feel so fortunate to be part of all of our Extraordinary Women’s lives and stories – thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today. To end on a fun note – tell us something that most people don’t know about you…

There are several things that might shock some of my friends/followers… first of all, I love to sing and once yodeled at a county fair!
My husband and I met in a McDonald’s parking lot in high school.
I hold two fast pitch softball records at my high school.
My nickname growing up was Moose.
And last but not least I can remember (in detail) almost all of the outfits I wore for the first day of school since 1st grade (a sign that fashion blogging was in my future, LOL)!

So I have to say that this last question is really my favorite and that was an awesome answer! Marta – we are just thrilled to have you as our September 2018 Extraordinary Woman and share your “spot on” casual chic style with all the other super moms out there!

Follow Marta on Instagram @sippycupstyle

LINEA Paolo | Extraordinary Shoes for Extraordinary Women | @lineapaoloshoes

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