FLOR to the Rescue

FLORsignFLOR popped upon my radar earlier this year when a friend on Facebook asked where to buy a quality rug at a good price.  Over and over the responses to her post were, “FLOR.”  When I looked into it, I discovered FLOR is a modular carpet tile system, which gives the customer the freedom to create a rug in whatever shape, size, color or style they desire.  I was intrigued, and I filed that little nugget of information away for later use.

Fast forward to summer. We are settled in a lovely craftsman-style home in West Seattle with beautiful hardwood floors throughout.  As you enter the front door of our home, you can see straight to the rear of our home to our family room which is just beyond our open kitchen.  This lengthy stretch of hardwood begged for a runner to not only add spice to our interior but also to protect the floor from foot traffic.

I went to FLOR’s website to investigate my options.  It is mind-blowing, actually.  I was stumped.  I decided to best place to start would be to order samples.  My lack of understanding must have showed having ordered a couple of squares for pet rugs.  Woops!

Thank goodness FLOR has design consultants to assist.  A consultant from the Seattle store e-mailed me shortly after the samples arrived to see if she could help me.  I immediately made an in-store appointment for a consultation.  She and I discussed the space, our aesthetic and our interior colors.  She guided me through my options, and she kept it simple.

By the end of our appointment, I had happily settled on a lovely multi-colored patchwork runner that covers the most highly trafficked stretch of our entry floor.  I love that I was able to incorporate many colors we have in our home.  The various textures and patterns I chose keep it from looking basic or boring.FLORWithPics

I installed it myself, and that part was much easier and quicker than I expected it to be.  I highly recommend FLOR.  When I walk in our home, it makes me smile.

If you live in Seattle, contact their store at 206.448.3365.  Ask for Kirsten.  Address: 2000 1st Avenue, Seattle, 98121.

Byrnie Utz Hats

NewHat (5)I cannot remember who told me about Byrnie Utz Hats, a wonderful family-owned hat shop located in the Financial District of downtown Seattle.  When I spotted it on a recent visit to downtown, I ducked in to see it for myself.  Though I do not wear hats often, I simply adore them and I fancy myself to be a regular hat wearer one day.  We’ll see!

Opened in 1934 by Byrnie Utz, this is Seattle’s oldest hat shop with an extensive inventory and a staff with unsurpassed knowledge on head gear.  I found the shop to be quaint, tidy, organized and well-stocked.  It looks much like it did when it was opened, which lends to its charm and appeal.  I believe there is something there for just about anyone looking for a hat, and the prices will not break the bank.  The many brands they stock include Borsalino, Makins and Stetson.NewHat (7)

As I browsed, I picked up a packable hat by Wallaroo made of lovely layers of navy and white polka dot fabric.  With a family trip around the corner, one that may include stops at a water park and the zoo, I simply could not resist it, especially given the added benefit of UPF 50+ and an interior adjustment for a perfect fit.  I love it.  What do you think?

If you’re looking for a hat or simply enjoy the idea of hats, pop into this wonderful store when you get a chance.  It will not disappoint, and I would be surprised if you did not walk away with a treasure for yourself.

Day Nails and Spa – West Seattle

ToesI have been desperate for a pedicure for weeks now, maybe since the start of spring.  The move from Dallas to Seattle not only took a toll on my emotions but also my feet.  They have been screaming for pampering.  Finally, I had to pull the trigger.  I needed a pedicure, and I needed it NOW.  Enter, the wonderful people of West Seattle to help me out.  I posted a question on a Facebook group called West Seattle Giving Tree, asking where to get a good pedicure.  And, boy, did the recommendations come rolling in!  So many choices, so little time.

The response gave me an idea!  I have been so busy settling my family in the northwest, that my business (Bethany Siggins Image Consulting) has taken a back seat.  I may not have many clients presently, but the least I can do is blog about my experiences in my new hometown!

That said, let’s get on with my first review.  Today I visited Day Nails and Spa (9444 35th Ave SW, just north of the intersection of 35th and Roxbury).  It is a tidy little place with four pedicure chairs and two nail stations, along with a spa room for other services like waxing and eye lash extensions.  I was the first customer of the day at 9:15 a.m. (they open at 9:00 a.m. Monday – Saturday).  Tina was the only employee there, sweeping and getting the spa ship shape for the day.

PolishShe directed me to the second chair after I chose my toenail color (OPI’s A Good Mandarin is Hard to Find, a fabulous orange that isn’t too bright).  After establishing the service I wanted (a deluxe pedicure, competitively priced at just $30), Tina made me an iced Vietnamese coffee.  Oh, how delicious!  I noted the 70’s music playing on the speakers (not too loud).  A little Earth Wind and Fire always makes me smile.

Tina was very courteous, asking me my name and telling me hers.  The pedicure started with a powder treatment in the water which she made sure was a temperature to my liking. The deluxe pedicure includes an exfoliating scrub of the feet and calves, along with a deep conditioning mask on the feet and calves, which she covered with warm towels for a short while.  This was followed by the standard massage of the feet and calves, which was not rushed and just the right pressure.

A little more than an hour later, I was on my way with very happy feet and a relaxed body thanks to the massage chair.  All in all, I like this little shop, and I recommend you visit it for a change of pace from the larger, louder establishments.  If possible, go in the morning when it is most quiet.  I did not make a reservation; walk ins are welcome.  On your 10th visit, you receive $10 off.  By the way, a standard mani/pedi combo is also $30, a real bargain if you ask me.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!  Thanks for reading!  And happy spaing!

Alki

Siggins in Seattle

FamilyPhotoHi, everyone.  My apologies for not keeping up with my blog, newsletters, etc.  The move from Dallas to Seattle on January 23, 2015 was harder on my body, my mind and my soul than I had anticipated.  But here I am, still standing (better than I ever did – to copy a phrase from Elton John).

As most of you have likely learned by now, John (my husband) took a job in executive recruiting for Amazon Web Services which necessitated a move to Seattle.  It was a very difficult decision for us as we weighed many pros and cons for moving to Seattle versus staying in Dallas.  Ultimately, we had to look at the much bigger picture.  This job would provide John with a great career challenge and opportunity, which benefits our family.  So, here we are!

We had not been told before the move how difficult it is to buy a home in Seattle (low supply, high demand).  Despite the odds, I trekked out almost daily to see homes all over the city and on the east side as they call it here.  Many people were praying for us, and it showed.  God was in control.  In 30 days’ time (miraculous by Seattle standards), we had a contract on a home in West Seattle.  We took the above family photo on the back deck of our home in April.  At least John and I appear happy about it!

We moved into our lovely blue craftsman home Easter weekend.  We love West Seattle, which has a gritty, urban feel mixed with a friendly, small-town vibe.  In addition, we live 1-1/2 miles from Alki Beach, which is where many Seattlites congregate in the warm sunny days of summer.  So, along with being new residents of the Pacific northwest, it looks as though we are also going to be “beach” people!  Who would have thought?

In the coming days, weeks and months, I would like to introduce you to some of the places I’m visiting in Seattle and in West Seattle, and keep you in the loop on the things I am doing here.  I hope you will enjoy the posts.  Thank you for reading!  I miss you, Dallas! xo

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Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style

I was fortunate enough to have recently viewed many works of the great fashion designer Mr. Oscar de la Renta at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.  The exhibit, Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style, was open to the public from July 19 – October 5, 2014.  Putting things off until the last moment is my modus operandi.  Thus, I waited until the last week and a half to see the exhibit, and my goodness I am glad I did.  In fact, it was so nice I saw it twice.

I was naturally fascinated by the designs Mr. de la Renta created for the first ladies Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush, and I was dazzled by the wedding gown he designed for Jenna Bush, along with the gorgeous white ensemble he designed for Laura Bush for George W.’s second swearing in ceremony.  Of course splendid creations worn on various red carpets were in abundance, and there were several gorgeous caftans from early in Mr. de la Renta’s career.  In short, to pick a favorite piece is impossible.  I’d die to have any of them.

Below is a sampling from the exhibit.  Sadly, Mr. de la Renta died last week at his home in Connecticut the age of 82 after battling cancer, which had been in remission for several years.  A private funeral is planned at a Manhattan church on November 3.  His departure leaves a gaping hole in the fashion community.  Mr. de la Renta’s talent, humility, humor and love of life and women made him inimitable.  He will have many imitators, no doubt, but there will never be another Oscar.  Thank you, Mr. de la Renta for your courage and for showing us how to truly live.

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ToryJessica

Tory Burch “In Color”

ToryJessicaTory Burch, known as much for her love of the color orange as for her sporty flats and dreamy caftans, has released a gorgeous coffee table book today, “Tory Burch: In  Color” about her 11 favorite colors: orange, blue, green, purple, pink, red, yellow, white, black, natural and gold.  I was blessed to meet Tory last week and have her sign the book, which is being released today.  Last Friday afternoon at the Nasher Sculpture Center in downtown Dallas, Tory was joined by her friend Jessica Alba (actress and founder of The Honest Company) to discuss the book and other topics of interest including how she balances motherhood and a career, and the roundabout path she took in starting her namesake company.

Tory considers herself a late bloomer having only started her wildly successful company 10 years ago.  Tory departed a career on the rise with LVMH to stay at home with her three young boys.  Four years later, she started her company because she felt there was a need for high-quality, affordable clothing and accessories.  She certainly hit the mark!  However, she said she was not an overnight success, spending many of her first two years on the phone with her Hong Kong operations until 3:00 a.m. her time.

Tory was raised on a farm in Pennsylvania with three brothers.  Her parents Buddy and Reva (for whom Tory named her first flat) who would leave Tory and her brothers with family to take six-week worldly vacations, returning with various exotic souvenirs.  In addition, Tory’s childhood home entertained many “overnight” guests who invariably would stay long past their expected departure dates.  As as result of this unique upbringing, Tory’s aesthetic reflects an appreciation for diversity, one that is decidedly multicultural.

I greatly enjoyed the event, hosted by American Express, and I am very appreciative to my dear friend Peg Baird for allowing me to be her plus one!  Pick up a copy of the book, even if you are not familiar with Tory or her company.  I think you will find the content, including many beautiful photographs, to be highly inspiring and a lovely addition to your library.  Tory sees the world in color, and I think we all should!

How To Create a Wardrobe Shopping List

HangersSizesThere are at least two approaches to creating a smart wardrobe shopping list. One way is to assess your wardrobe for basics versus personality pieces.

Why do you need a shopping list? For starters, most purchases are impulse buys. And let’s face it, it is difficult to have a wardrobe that works for you if it is full of impulse buys. Any guilty parties out there? Tags still on oodles of items in your closet? Yep, that’s what I thought. Stop it. Make a list and stick to it.

First, assess your wardrobe for basics. These are the foundational building blocks of your wardrobe. You might also think of wardrobe basics as classic pieces, the items which are always available (in some version) year after year.

Basics/Classics include:
a white cotton shirtClassic Dresser
a blazer (or cardigans)
quality, well-fitting t-shirts
a few skirts (in lengths & shapes that flatter)
dark wash, straight leg jeans
flat-front pants
a few blouses
a day dress
a cocktail dress
a leather handbag
a leather pump
flats
quality bras (in the correct size) and
good underwear

How did you do? Write the missing classic pieces on your shopping list. Next, list them in order of priority. You cannot build a home with no foundation. The same is true for your wardrobe. These foundational pieces help to create well-balanced outfits. However, you may not need every item on this list. If you never attend cocktail events, skip the cocktail dress. If you are a skirt girl, skip the pants or vice versa. Tailor this list to your taste and your needs/lifestyle.

Of the classics/basics you own, are they in good condition, do they fit and are they representative of your taste and style? If not, toss them and purchase new ones.

Second, assess your wardrobe for personality pieces. Do you have any? What are personality pieces? Perhaps they are pieces you gravitate towards in the store that you are not sure you can pull off. Of course you can! Go for it! Often a personality piece is a twist on a basic or a classic. It has a slightly different design, color, texture or pattern to it.

Personality pieces may include drop earrings, cocktail rings, printed scarves, patterned tights, colorful handbags, over-sized sunglasses and so on. These pieces show others who you are. Personality pieces are mixed with classics to make interesting, well-balanced outfits.

WardrobeSpiceIf personality pieces are sorely lacking in your closet, write “personality pieces” at the top of your shopping list. The next time you shop, if you gravitate towards a basic/classic, but you know your highest priority is to find personality pieces, step away from the classic.

Some of us are classic girls, and some of us are personality piece girls. And some of us are both (guilty)! Too many classics makes for a lackluster wardrobe, but too many personality pieces make it difficult to create well-balanced outfits.

Happy Weekend, everyone, and thanks for reading. Make a smart wardrobe shopping list and stick to it!  Most of all, stay fabulous.