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Minneapolis, MN

Welcome to Flock of Broads. Here you will find the musings of five smart gals affectionately called "The Flock", all currently based in Minneapolis, MN. From pie crusts to parties, beard oil to Beyoncé, fashion to fat pants, we cover life as we know it and even a few things in between. Pull up a chair and stay a while.

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Body love

Kate Sommers

I’m 35 and pregnant. According to legitimate medical sources, this means my vagina has begun to wither up and die like an old rotting flower. J/K it’s a moderately insignificant date that someone pointed to on the life of a woman’s reproductive health life line (but things actually start going down hill at 30, NEAT). Anyway, I’m not actually old AF and my baby is not going to have flippers (don’t worry, I checked the ultrasound many times to make sure). This is also my third pregnancy, and will be my second birth. And without a doubt, this is the first time in my entire life that I have loved my body.

I matured… early. I started getting nubs at 9 and my first memory of being sexualized was in 5th grade as one of the few girls who had the pleasure of pre-pubescent boys snapping my bra on a daily basis. During church summer camp the next year, those girls who didn’t have the honor of being harassed by those boys harassed ME by coming up with the secret term “flowers” for whenever my bra strap was showing (which was always. Thanks a lot for that wide-necked t-shirt fad, ESPIRIT).

8th grade, wearing an XL sweater to hide my femininity

8th grade, wearing an XL sweater to hide my femininity

Though athletic, I was also blessed with genes that make a flat stomach literally impossible, and those boobs never went away, and by the time I was old enough to appreciate them, they had already surpassed their perky greatness and needed 2-3 hooks and at least 3/4 of an inch of strap to accomplish any form of support. In high school  I uncomfortably wore bikinis that showed way too much butt skin and had to be purchased from the special swimsuit store at the mall as to ensure no nip slips.

Throughout my twenties I continued to painfully wear bikini’s that were too small for me, but pretended to be confident enough not to care. I trained for triathlons and wore sports bras as my swimming suit because nothing else could provide the support I needed, and even at my very lowest weight still felt wildly uncomfortable taking off my shirt for a sports event.

25 and fit (spoiler, still hated my body)

25 and fit (spoiler, still hated my body)

Thank god for the sanity of my late 20s and Modcloth (off topic, but RIP Modcloth), I was finally able to start wearing one pieces that gave me coverage and support without making me look like a 90s mom (I believe this is part of the Lands’ End Mission statement) and only causing me mild amounts of discomfort. Shortly after this time, I became pregnant with twins. I always imagined loving my pregnant body, as I so desperately wanted (and tried) to become pregnant, but when you’re growing two humans, no amount of bio-oil or organic hippie belly butter will keep you from getting stretch marks and skin flaps and let’s not even talk about my boobs. I was positive, by the age of 32, that loving my body was simply not in the cards. I invested in high-waisted jeans (THANK YOU GOD FOR THOSE BEING IN STYLE) blousy tops and heavy duty (read $70) bras to cart around my larger than life boobs which never shrunk after breastfeeding as promised by so many.

boobs

boobs

This past year, two things happened. First, I grew to accept the parts of my body I could not change. I ordered a bikini even though I had those stretch marks. It FIT, and was flattering and felt even better than many of those cute one pieces that I had been so in love with in my late 20s.

Second, I got spontaneously pregnant. This is not a big deal if you’re 70% of the population who gets pregnant when their partner looks at them the right way, but after you drop mad bank going through infertility, this is a big fucking deal. And guys? My body looks fucking awesome. I’m 39 weeks pregnant and yes I still have those stretch marks (the kids draw tiger stripes on their portraits of me, neat) and TRUE, without a bra on I feel like this:

But then I look at the other parts of me that have changed. My face is slim and maturing but well cared for (because #skincancer). My arms are toned because I still pick up my almost 5 year olds when they’re sad because I fucking can. And my legs are carrying around a big ole’ baby and these boobs and my tiger stripes and damn it. I’m beautiful.

ohhh, too bad the lighting doesn't let you see my stretch marks!

ohhh, too bad the lighting doesn't let you see my stretch marks!

This feeling may be short lived (please help me in willing this baby to come out on Monday, kthanx) but I hope that just the experience of feeling this love, even for a short time will carry me into a new place I didn’t know existed. I don’t expect to ever worship myself the way my children or husband do, to see past the flaws society and I have tangled together over so many years, but approaching this temple with peace… I hope that is manageable.

Make outdoor winter fashion suck less

Kate Sommers

It's no secret that winter is not my favorite. It's so not my favorite that last year I packed up my entire family in November and left Minnesota just in time to escape winter*. I had lived in the blustery midwest for 33 years of my life and in the North, cold biting wind and the sartorial sacrifices that accompany it are just part of life. It's no wonder Lands' End is based in Dodgeville, Wisconsin; practical clothes for midwestern sanity(copyright, me. Pay up, Lands' End. This slogan is gold). But never mind that it often gets into the 60s in my new home state. Winter coats are still boring, and unless you have a small fortune and huge closets, you probably can't justify three new coats every winter. Enter our pals at Namakan; People who love winter and believe that with the right gear, there is no such thing as too cold. 

*Fine, it was for a job, but the mild average 40 degree temperature of Colorado winters certainly helped

Winter. I'm sorry to break it to you, but it's totally going to happen. 

Winter. I'm sorry to break it to you, but it's totally going to happen. 

Namakan makes ruffs. Yep, that's right. RUFFS. The fuzzy furry liners that go around maybe one of your coats that you wish you could put on all of your other coats, and maybe even your jean jackets too, because #Fashion and also winter is fricken cold and ruffs make it warmer.

Now that I've piqued your interest and you want to get in on this ruff thing, you might be wondering how to do that. And also is there more than one color? And OMG what if it doesn't fit on my hood? Well those clever kids at Namakan have this all figured out. YES, of course you can get one. You can back their kickstarter RIGHT NOW, and they're matching dollar for dollar through Friday! It's like backing NPR but you get a fashionable ruff instead of ANOTHER totebag (I love you NPR, never leave me).

Rosie Ruff and Original Ruff. WHICH TO CHOOSE?

Rosie Ruff and Original Ruff. WHICH TO CHOOSE?

They have TWO kickass colors,"Rosie Ruff" (which is my choice because my heart turns black in the winter and I need something to keep it bright and shiny) and "Original Ruff", fluffy and warm faux coyote fur which goes with everything. 

As for fit? So glad you asked. It turns out, these things fit on EVERYTHING. The collar of your jean jacket? CHECK! The hood on your not-so-cool but oh-so-warm parka from aforementioned Lands' End? Yessir. How about on a cardigan I just feel like changing up. Done.

The super rad founders of Namakan showing how versatile those ruffs are. No, that's not us. Yes, I know we haven't posted in awhile and that maybe you forgot what we looked like. 

The super rad founders of Namakan showing how versatile those ruffs are. No, that's not us. Yes, I know we haven't posted in awhile and that maybe you forgot what we looked like. 

The best part about this little treasure? It's going to go great with my maternity Capsule Wardrobe. Yep. Maternity. Best pregnancy announcement ever? 

Oh and PS? They're made in the USA because ethics are important. Almost as important as staying warm and fashionable. Okay, more important, but really, we don't often shop that way, do we? Get your butt over to their kickstarter and you'll actually have something to look forward to come January (your Ruff, silly. That's when they're expecting delivery) 

 

 

The Flock's Top 10 of 2015

Talia Wischmann

It's almost 2016! We wrote some important, fun, passionate stuff in 2015, and plan to do more of it next year. 

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Taking Risks To Follow Dreams

Talia Wischmann

Quitting jobs to travel the world, pulling kids out of school to set off on a year-long road trip, finding enough people who want you to take their picture or style their food so you can still pay your bills: these are things most people cannot do. Most people don’t have a safety net to catch them when these colossal risks turn to failure. 

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I Am a Breeder and a Friend

Carly Beetsch

Yesterday my neighbor called Corbin and me “Breeders” after seeing my big, 36-week pregnant belly. It wasn’t so much delivered as an insult but it was certainly accusatory. Why are we always so damn quick to find reasons that differentiate us from other people rather than embracing what we might have in common? Does having kids, or not, disqualify us from maintaining certain friendships. Damn, I really hope not. 

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