She looks pretty comfortable!

This is my cousin Amy. She works at Horny Toad, a very cool clothing company who’s sponsoring my blog while I travel down to BlogHer this week. Amy’s gonna kill me for posting this picture, probably, but hey, if you had a cousin this cute, you’d post her on your blog for linkbait, too. Especially if she hooks you up with some #ToadLove! It takes a village, people.

Here’s the story of Amy, me and Horny Toad, part one:

A happy/sad thing happened last Thursday after I got a big box of shoes in the mail from Oh! Shoes, my other sponsor. I’m thrilled with my new purple boots, new platform strappy sandals, new pink pumps in the right size…I was in happy shoe-girl heaven when I went to my closet to start matching outfits to the shoes.

The sad thing: I realized all my “work-ish” clothes are too big now that I’ve lost weight. And all my suits from 8 years ago, which fit again, are way too dressy for this kind of conference. And my friend Marcia, who has the best closet in town for raiding during fashion emergencies, was out of town. The nerve of that woman, leaving me without a key to her house and her wardrobe!

But it wasn’t just the sizes of my old clothes that bothered me. Everything was too dressy, too structured, too confining for walking around a women’s blogging conference for 4 days. The last time I was in San Diego at a conference, I was selling IT consultants and analytics. It was all very suit-worthy. This time? I need to look nice, but be comfortable enough to walk for miles and still have fun.

So I called Amy. She’s good in emergencies, too. In fact, last time I was in Portland I organized an impromptu lunch near her office at The Lizard Lounge, and then when I got stuck in traffic, I made her greet all the strangers I had gathered (via Twitter!) on the street corner, and lead them to the restaurant. Which she did, without blinking, of course. She’s such a good manager!

After lunch I went to her office and met the cool people that are at the heart of Horny Toad. There’s a good vibe there, and I’m not just saying that because they’re sponsoring me. In fact, I didn’t ask them to sponsor me then, I just wanted to soak them in, figure out their story, that kind of thing. Also, I wanted to live at the Lizard Lounge.

This could be my living room, and I wouldn't mind chatting with all the "friends" who drop by to shop. I promise!

But Amy said no. I couldn’t live there. It was actually a store. Which I knew, on one level, but it wouldn’t be too hard to just throw in a mini-fridge and a hot plate in the back, I said, and I wouldn’t mind if shoppers roamed around during the day while I was busy blogging…if they could just install a shower, or maybe a lovely old claw foot tub, I’d be all set. But she said no again.

Amy can be a bit bossy when she needs to be, because that’s how good project managers are in emergencies. Amy always makes you feel like everything’s under control, no problem. So of course she’s the first person I called in the middle of my clothing panic. Actually, I messaged her on Facebook, but that’s the new calling, and we all know it.

“Help me, Amy!” I typed furiously. And she did. Like usual.

After a few emails and phone calls and measurements taken and links exchanged, there is now a big box of Horny Toad clothing in various styles and colors waiting for me at my hotel in San Diego. I can’t wait to open that box tomorrow! It will be like Christmas! And I’ll share it all with you, via pictures and videos and tweets and Facebooking, of course.

More Good News for all of us!

The fabulous people at Horny Toad will share their love of finding fun, doing good, and being comfortable with us, dear readers by offering us the special ToadLove 40% off discount code on all website orders, just type in ToadLove for the coupon code. Heck.of.a.deal! And we’ll be doing some giveaways too, so stay tuned.

Now back to Amy and me:

My mom and my aunts put Amy and me in charge of Thanksgiving this year, which is kind of a big deal, because we’re a crowd of 50 people, give or take a new baby here and there. The matriarchs are trying to retire, and they realize the two of us tend to get things done. We realize it’s time to put the whole thing on Facebook and organize teams of cousins to do what we say. A little bossing ensures there’s more than one pumpkin pie, because everyone thought everyone else was bringing pumpkin pie (yes, that actually happened last year!)

But I’m secretly hoping I’ll show up an hour before dinner and Amy will have it all done. Maybe it will all arrive in a perfectly packed box, ready to unwrap and serve, and I’ll just arrange the pie table, and tell everyone when it’s time eat. Either way, we’ll both look cute in our fun, comfortable Horny Toad clothes!

Thanks Amy, and  I love you!