It is my hope for 2018 and beyond that I am more focused on wisely using my time.
Let’s be honest. One big reason we are stressed during the holidays is we have no idea what to buy those people in our lives who seem to have everything they need. For those individuals, we must go the extra mile, do a little more research, to find just “the thing.” Who has time for that?! On the eve of Small Business Saturday, I am saving your hide with my short list of the best gifts in Seattle from some of our finest small businesses.
Buki Blanket (Travel Wrap) – I have been in love with this luxurious blanket/wrap since I laid eyes on it earlier this year, vowing to buy one for my travels. I am happy to report I finally nabbed this beauty (in red trim, naturally) just in time for cozy nights on my couch watching holiday movies (Home Alone, anyone?). In my January post about Buki, I explained about the fabric Joey Rodolfo, Buki co-founder and designer, has developed, which they call Kinoki-3.0. This fabric does not pill, does not stretch out (though it moves easily with your body), warms and cools your body depending upon the atmosphere (indoors or out), and, best of all, it is wash and wear! This blanket is a must-have for your favorite gal on the go. I just took it on a trip, and I can attest to its comfort and thermal regulation. The soft gray fabric is trimmed in your choice of cobalt, red or silver (allow the photos above to scroll to see all three). Looking chic while covering up isn’t easy. Buki has nailed it. Buki is offering 20% off site-side this weekend with the code BUKIME. Or go into the store downtown to see it for yourself (1826 6th Avenue).
Salua’s Classic Cotton Pajamas – When I travel, I love buying something for my wardrobe because it means I will have something no one else will have. We are in luck that Shadia, owner Salua Atelier Lingerie, brings us a little bit of Columbia right here to Seattle. Shadia’s mother founded the company in her home country in 1993. Her luxurious lingerie swiftly gained popularity in Columbia by women who wanted the country’s finest sleepwear. Shadia’s beautiful little boutique has been open in Madrona since 2009, and Salua’s classic pajamas in Rayita Stripes are the most recent to hit the store. Hurry in or purchase online. They will go fast. Shadia is offering 20% off store-wide today! If you need something “special” to go under your pajamas, Shadia and her staff will be happy to assist you.
flora and henri signature fragrances – The flora and henri concept lifestyle shop, which opened this summer in a gorgeously renovated Pioneer Square space on First Ave., has recently launched two signature fragrances they developed in collaboration with Chelsey Owen of Atelier Madrona. Alcazar Palace opens with orange blossoms, settling into orange flower, jasmine and violet, and finishing with vetiver, white musk and ambrette. Isle of May has a lemon top note, heart notes of violet, raspberry and marigold, and background notes of vetiver, rose, iris and ambrette. These fragrances are available in three sizes, and I love both. They are approachable, yet unique, leaving a dazzling impression. Trust me, you will want one of these as your new signature scent. Beyond fragrance, flora and henri has a tightly-curated selection of unique items for all ages, starting with babies. If you need something special for someone special, flora and henri is your shop.
Sharply’s aviator sunglasses by Randolph Engineering – There was a little film released in the summer of 1986 called Top Gun. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? The main character, Maverick, made the life of an Air Force fighter pilot look very cool. At the heart of his look were those supremely cool sunglasses made by Randolph Engineering for the U.S. Air Force. In 1986, there was no internet, so getting your hands on those coveted shades was no easy task (but I managed it). Thank goodness times have changed, and thank goodness Sharply knows what the ultimate cool man wants to wear. You will find these fantastic sunglasses on Sharply’s website under Other Stuff. Beyond having the coolest shades on the planet, Sharply offers a smart selection of menswear, luggage, bags and small accessories unmatched in Seattle. I guarantee Sharply has something your guy wants. Sharply, located in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood, is offering 25% off in the store and online this weekend with the code TURKEYCOMA25 (fitting).
The four shops mentioned here not only offer the coolest stuff in Seattle, but they are also run by the nicest people you will ever meet. Who doesn’t love doing business with awesome people? Happy Shopping! Shop local, shop small. Actual people do a happy dance when you do!
(All in-store photos by me.)
If you’re concerned about faux fur as a dying trend, don’t be. Faux fur is one of the biggest trends of Fall 2017, as I mentioned in my previous post. In fact, faux fur, with the advancements in fabrication technology, is getting better each year, almost indiscernible from the real thing.
You could argue faux fur is hotter now than the real thing. Many designers are shunning real fur from their lines completely, Gucci being the most recent design house to announce a fur ban. Gucci chief executive and president Marco Bizzarri told Business of Fashion, “Do you think using furs today is still modern? I don’t think it’s still modern and that’s the reason why we decided not to do that. It’s a little bit out-dated.” I agree. For the record, I own furs. I have always purchased vintage pieces, which is marginally better than buying from the current fur market, but I know some may find my ownership of any real furs to be offensive.
It is, perhaps, with the new direction of the industry in mind (and the ethical treatment of animals) that I have recently purchased two pieces of faux fur: a black jacket (photo above) from H&M and an off-white vest (photo below) from Top Shop, both of which have already seen airplay during this chilly fall in Seattle.
My black faux fur is sold out, but I am totally digging the dramatic flair of this oversized black and white fur, also from H&M.
And this one from Forever 21 is giving me all the feels! It’s chic, sophisticated and looks luxurious, and it comes in three color choices.
If you love my vest above, I am linking the same one here.
And I love this one in the color of the season, also from Top Shop.
I have been on the hunt for years for a leopard faux fur jacket like the one Kate Moss has been known to wear. While I cannot justify yet another purchase of outerwear with my jacket and coat closet beyond full, I have found a few to entice you. Allow the photos to scroll through to see them all.
The short hooded one is Ann Taylor, a great length for not too cold days. The longer, classic style (like Kate Moss’s) is by Vince Camuto, a line known for on-trend, good quality fashion. Lastly, the thigh-length car coat style by Forever 21 is my favorite and the best value!
I have given you much to consider. If you did not see a faux fur here that you love, let me know, and we will hunt together for one that is just right!
Enjoy your weekend, and I hope you have snuggle, faux fur weather soon wherever you are!
Some might say this blog post is late. We’ve been talking fall trends since late summer. However, the way that I like to shop, which means waiting for sales, this blog post is just in time. Make your list and, if you are a particularly patient kind, wait for the bigger mark downs in November and December, my favorite time to shop for fall fashion.
Now that you are aware of the vibe of the season from my previous blog post, let’s get down to specifics.
There are always a lot of themes floating down the fashion runways, but the one that stood out as the most ubiquitous for Fall 2017 was the 1980’s, the decade where more was more. Fall 2017 gives us metallic fabric; sharp, exaggerated shoulders; oversized, menswear-inspired blazers; slouchy boots; bomber jackets; studs on everything and colored fur. The list continues with pointy toe ankle boots, berets, stirrup pants and slash pumps.
I sometimes wonder if we have collectively stepped into a time machine back to the 80’s. However, before you go digging through your trunk of old treasures, remember when a trend returns, it is usually much different than the original. In fashion, things are rarely the same way twice.
Beyond the 1980’s theme, here are the big hits for Fall:
Dark floral – This can be anything from a pair of pants to a blouse or a dress or a pair of boots. You decide. Dark floral means the background color is dark, either black or navy, generally. I love this Joie shell, which is on sale and would be gorgeous under a blazer. My pants are Zara. They are sold out; however, I adore this Zara pair, and for a similar color scheme and look, this pair works.
Red – Again, this is one where you pick. Red is everywhere from garments to accessories. I found it difficult to decide since red is my favorite color. For now, I’ve invested in a dark red tote similar to this one, a pair of bright red rain boots similar to this style, and this pair of wine-colored suede booties. I should stop right there.
Velvet – It is the fabric that refuses to go away. It is everywhere this season, especially on bags, boots and heels. Aren’t the Prada sandals here super dreamy? I’ve linked it in case you must have them. ; ) I would love a long velvet skirt to take from day to night, or a dark blue velvet blazer would be dreamy. You could combine two trends into one by investing in a dark red velvet blazer!
Faux fur – If you happen to live in a climate that is warm, maybe you go for a faux fur vest, a denim jacket with a faux fur collar or a bootie with a peek of faux fur. But if you live in a place where winter is truly winter, go for it with a cool, faux fur jacket or coat.
For those who like a feminine style, there is so much for you to love about Fall 2017, including lace, sequins, crystals and lots of glitter, along with sheer stockings, bows and knife pleat skirts. This Ted Baker pleated skirt is especially eye-catching!
For those with an edgier, modern style, you’ll find white boots, leather everything, high-waist denim and lots of words and messages to communicate your causes. Prabal Gurung put out quite a few graphic t-shirts if you like that sort of thing. As far as white boots go, a friend of mine said they look like what the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders wear. Well, she has a point. But how about this gorgeous pair of off white booties?
Every season, there is something for everyone. If you need help navigating the sea of trends, I would be happy to sit down with you to pinpoint your best ones. Send me a message! Happy shopping!
On Friday, November 10 at The Fairmont Olympic hotel in downtown Seattle, local fashionistas and supporters of Olive Crest will gather to sip, nibble and bid their way through the night for a wonderful cause. Olive Crest Foundation works to prevent child abuse, treats and educates at-risk youth, and assists in finding foster and adoptive homes for area children.
The cause is reason enough to attend; however, the pot is sweetened with wine and culinary tastings, a fashion show produced by Styled Seattle, featuring notable area women as models, marketplace shopping of local boutiques, a live and a silent auction, and an opportunity to win the night’s coveted prize, a “Key to the Closet,” which unlocks a prize package valued at over $10,000.
And did I mention “Shoe Guys?” Several local menswear style bloggers are raising funds and lending their hands at the festivities by passing champagne to guests, showcasing merchandise on silver platters and serving as table hosts. The Shoe Guy who raises the most money for Olive Crest will be crowned the “King of Sole” at the event.
Last, but certainly not least, Blue Nile is partnering with Wine, Women & Shoes to add a Luxe Ticket option which includes a table for 10 guests, prime seating for the runway show, hair and make-up, a champagne reception, a guest suite, valet parking, deluxe swag bags and an opportunity to wear Blue Nile jewelry for the evening.
For more information about the event, its partners and sponsors, go to the Wine, Women & Shoes website. Tickets may be purchased here. I look forward to seeing you there! Not sure what to wear? I can help. “Nothing to wear” is never a reason to miss a fabulous evening!
Please welcome my brother, Marsh Buice, to the blog today. Marsh has spent most of his career in car sales in Lake Charles, Louisiana; however, in recent years, he has launched a personal blog, written numerous articles for Auto Success Magazine and spoken on both his Instagram and on various podcasts. As his LinkedIn profile states: “Sales is my platform, but helping people find a better “you” is my purpose.” To that end, please enjoy his piece, and leave comments below.
We don’t have experiences in life. We metabolize them.”—Depak Choprah
Many times when we are unhealthy, we cite the reason we cannot lose weight is because our metabolism has changed. We recount how we could once eat anything we wanted, no matter how much or how unhealthy, and we still looked good. When our metabolism changes, we do not process what we consume the same way. As a consequence, we become overweight, not just physically but emotionally, as well.
We are mentally overweight and overburdened because we don’t metabolize life experiences the way we once did.
There was a time we could burn off all of the minor offenses in life, but along the way our experiences became darker, deeper, webbed and more entrenched. Experiences that once passed through us now cyclically run within us. We become blocked and enraged. Bitterness and perceived injustice become our warm beds of hopelessness that we lie in day in and day out. As a consequence, the good energies of life have ceased to flow through us.
To metabolize our lives differently, we must transform from a life of emotional resistance to a life of emotional resilience. When you resist what is happening in your life, you dig in emotionally and push against uncertainty, fears and uncomfortableness. Often, life will blind-side you because many events are beyond your control. But many things are beyond your immediate comprehension, as well. Your response to an experience is what gives it the label “good” or “bad.” Some experiences, although at the time are very distasteful, hurtful or embarrassing, later become helpful, relatable and applicable when you are resilient rather than resistant to what is occurring.
Those who live “resilient” know there is meaning and purpose in the difficulties of life, while those who live “resistant” never find their way out of their pain.
People living happier, longer lives have developed emotional resilience. They, like all of us, have encountered hardships in life. Those dismal, bleak experiences may have stretched, bent and compressed them, but they never let those moments break them because they metabolized their weakest moments into newfound strengths.
Life, by and large, is unpredictable, but we don’t have to be consumed by the unexpected experiences thrown into our paths. We only have to metabolize them differently, resiliently.
Somewhere along the way, I got off track with social media. On the one hand, social media has great benefits including staying in touch across the miles, promoting your business and finding a new job. But there is a balance one should maintain, and I, during the last two years especially, was doing a terrible job of pulling back when I should.
My first social media account was on MySpace. I know I am dating myself! As everyone knows, MySpace was eclipsed by Facebook, which I joined in mid-2008, four years after it launched, hesitant to go where I thought only college students tread. Other social media formats followed, and it was not long before we were Tweeting, Pinning, Snap Chatting and Instagramming with people far and near.
I created a business page on Facebook, and I joined Twitter as a means of raising my business profile for my new career in image consulting. It worked. By late 2010, I was receiving business from Google searches. Pinterest swept me into its arms in 2011, and I built boards geared at educating clients and keeping myself on top of trends. I joined Instagram in 2013, mostly to maintain a presence to avoid looking like a dinosaur. One must keep up!
I spent a good amount of time building a following across these four platforms, in addition to my personal business website and my blog. The time I spent on social media was mostly reasonable, and it rarely eclipsed the day-to-day work required of a small business. By 2014, my business was on a roll. I was speaking at least once per quarter and working with a steady stream of personal clients. I give a lot of props to social media for this momentum.
Yet, after our move to Seattle in January 2015, I became depressed and I collapsed into social media as an escape. The mere idea of starting over in a new city drained me of all energy, and I spent more and more time immersed in a world of highlight reels.
My husband tried to talk to me about my social media use on a few occasions, and each time I became defensive. I was homesick, and I missed my friends. Seeing them on social media was my way of being with them. On a deeper level, I was angry at my husband for this big change, and retreating into social media was one way I could punish him. What I realize now is I was punishing myself by missing out on life with my family. I was often choosing social media over them. The happy moments occurring right under my nose were going unnoticed and unappreciated.
Social media, at first an innocent escape, became a robber in my life. It robbed me of time, motivation, confidence and joy. When I finally decided to pull my head out of my rear and examine my social media use, I realized my husband was right and I was wrong. He was not asking me to give up social media. He understands the benefit of it for my business. He was simply asking for more of me at the appropriate times.
The solution that worked for my husband and me is we drew up a schedule of when neither of us would be on social media at all. With a few slips here and there, we have stuck to it. The things I need to do for my brand marketing are easily condensed, and I am feeling much more engaged with my husband and my kids. Further, I am reading more, working out again, and doing other things that bring me happiness and fulfillment, like writing.
If you are struggling to pull back from your phone, here are a few tips:
- Set a time schedule of when you will or won’t be on social media.
- Keep a log of when you are on social media, and write down the reasons you are using it. Escaping occasionally into social media is fine. Escaping for several hours per day when there is important work to do is not okay.
- Ask your partner how he/she feels about your social media use, and adjust where needed. It might enhance (or save) your relationship.
- Remember your social media feed is not real life. If you feel you are missing out, you are. Look up from your phone and observe the world around you. Don’t miss it!
Honestly, I have struggled with low self-worth and marginal self-confidence since moving to Seattle two and a half years ago. I have worked my entire adult life, pulling in a decent paycheck to cover my expenses plus a few extras. Now that I am the new girl in a city where I have few friends with a business that is relatively unknown, I am making about zero. Although I am taking excellent care of my family, I am equating my business net worth with my personal self-worth. I know this is the wrong way of viewing it, but it is a difficult mindset to alter.
I was recently asked to attend a $150 per plate (suggested donation) luncheon for the second year. I am new to Seattle, and although this is a hefty sum for my business, I accepted because, me forever being the optimist, you never know who you will meet and the connections you might make.
My table captain texted me the day of the event telling me she had oversold the table by one and that I would be sitting nearby. I was not bothered because I knew I could make good connections regardless of where I sat. I arrived uncharacteristically early to see I was not only one of the first to my table, but I was also sitting at the table of my original table captain. Great!
I settled in and I began chatting with each person as they arrived. I was delighted to see one lady I recognized from last year, and I waved and smiled as I drawled, “Heeeey!!!” across the table. I was having a nice time!
About five minutes before the program was to begin, I noticed a small hubbub off to the side. My table captain and another lady were speaking to each other. Suddenly, my table captain asked me from across the table if I would move so this other lady could sit down. I was stunned and embarrassed. I quietly told the gentleman seated to my left I was being asked to move, and I quickly gathered my belongings and vacated the seat.
As I sat one table over in my new seat, I was rattled and hurt. The little self-worth I had remaining was spent. I felt tears welling up despite telling myself not to be upset. That’s when I knew I had to leave to avoid making a scene. As discreetly as I could, I left with my $150 check still in my wallet, and I cried in my car all the way home. As I recounted the story to my husband that evening, I cried some more.
To be made to feel you are not welcome, not good enough or not important hurts beyond description. To be fair to my table captain, her actions were not a personal attack. She was simply accommodating those who had been long-time supporters at this event. However, I was taught one makes the newcomer feel the most welcomed of all.
Because I am an optimist and I look for lessons in the trials of life, here are three things I took away from this difficult day:
- Know your place at the table. You may not be good enough to be at one person’s table, but you sit at the head of your own table and you have the seat of honor at many tables of those around you. One person’s opinion of you does not define you.
- Keep saying yes. Do not allow one bad experience to send you into hiding. Keep your head up, remain true to yourself and continue to accept invitations that come your way. Keeping your heart open is a vulnerable position, but closing your heart is damaging to you and to those around you.
- Remember the lesson when it’s your turn. One day I will be the table captain so to speak. That will be my opportunity to handle the situation differently, making all in my company feel as though they are the most important person in the room.
Parting thought: If one day you are asked to move (either literally or figuratively), my advice would be to do so quietly and gracefully, holding onto the knowledge that you are valuable beyond measure.
Roughly 20 years ago, I saw photos of the San Juan Islands in a travel story. I was nothing short of mesmerized by the natural beauty of a part of our country, which, to that point, I didn’t know existed. It looked like another world, not the United States. The San Juans have been on my “must visit” list ever since. Little did I know I would one day be living less than a half day’s journey from them!
For the twins’ Spring Break this year we packed our bags for Friday Harbor on the largest island, San Juan. Their friends were bragging about travel plans to Palm Springs and other sunny destinations, which made me feel a little guilty, admittedly. We were basically taking the twins on a week-long nature hike, but we know our kids. They may have preferred to be in Disneyland, but they love the outdoors.
Here are our favorites from our trip
Roche Harbor – a short drive from Snug Harbor Resort, where we stayed, this village is quite charming, complete with a little white church and brick-paved streets. We dined at McMillin’s in Roche Harbor later in the week, where we enjoyed a beautiful sunset, not to mention tasty food.
English Camp – even a long-time (50+ years) American history professor (my dad) had never heard of this “conflict” between the British and the United States, which all began with the killing of a pig in 1859. What ensued was an argument between the two countries over who owned the San Juans. This stand-off dragged on for 12 years until in 1871 the boundary issue was placed in the hands of Emperor Wilhelm I of Germany for arbitration. Thanks, Wil! The camp sits on Garrison Bay, and the hikes around the property are easy and scenic. A visit to the cemetery where 7 British men are buried is worth the walk (across the road).
Lime Kiln Point State Park and light house – we read this spot was our best bet for seeing whales, short of a whale-watching tour, and if we had brought binoculars, we would have had a great view of a group of orca swimming far off the shore. Darn it! We will know better next time. This park includes a nice hike along the water to a beach/bay full of driftwood and rocks. Just beware of a sharp cliff near the whale-watching sign not far from the light house. After I wrote a letter of concern to the park, they have agreed to install warning signs of the cliff danger.
American Camp – situated on the south end of the island (English camp is on the north side), we were astounded by the vast open land here. The drive to American camp looks like the English countryside. We would have enjoyed more time for exploring, but the kids were wearing down by this point of the trip.
Jakle’s Lagoon – two ladies at a local winery told us to take the twins here, and we were not disappointed. The short hike to the lagoon was very pretty through dense trees, and the beach is long, rocky and full of driftwood. A driftwood fort had been built by previous visitors, and we had fun adding to it.
We look forward to returning and to visiting the other islands, as well. We promised the twins next time we will ride horses and drive scooters. They love those ideas (but they remain curious about Palm Springs).
(All photos are my own.)
I will preface this blog by saying I am not an expert in raising a child. I have 6-year old twins, but this by no means makes me an authority. I read one or two books on caring for a baby before the birth of mine, and that was it.
I was asked by a soon-to-be mom for my motherhood advice. I proffered what was on my mind. She loved it. So, I thought I’d share it on my blog for others who may appreciate it, as well.
- Don’t go it alone. We’ve all heard “it takes a village” to raise a child. Truer words were never spoken. Don’t try to do everything yourself. If others offer to help you, let them. You will need breaks, and you will need extra hands. Find a mom group in your community for advice and support, for play dates, and, most importantly, for Mom’s Night Out!
- Trust your instincts. You will be amazed at things you will “just know” because you are their mom even when they cannot tell you what is bothering them. You will learn to read their cries and their moods. However, call the pediatrician and nurses as much as you need to. You will need their guidance.
- The baby phase goes fast. Try to enjoy it, but it is okay if you sort of hate it sometimes, too. There will be days when you are over all of it. That is fine, and that is normal. (See point #1 about Mom’s Night Out.)
- Feed your baby however you need to. Advice on breast feeding changes constantly. Do what you can and do what feels right to you and your baby. Each situation and baby is unique. If breast feeding doesn’t work out for you, your baby will be fine! I pumped milk for seven months for my twins and guess what? Once they started crawling, they were sick all the time, and they pretty much stayed sick until two months ago. I am sure I gave them good nutrients, but do not put a lot of pressure on yourself to make it work.
- Your life will be messy and disorganized. This includes your schedule, your house and don’t get me started on Mommy Brain. It’s real. Just know that one day you won’t have bottles spread all over your kitchen counter, or diapers filling up your trash. You will get back to a new normal, which will still be a bit chaotic and messy, but not as much as the baby phase.
- You will be a GREAT mom. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “I am a horrible mother,” either from other women or inside my own head. No, we are not horrible. In fact, we are fantastic. Do not feed yourself negative talk ever. You will have your own strengths as a mother. They may not be the same as your mom’s nor will they be exactly like those of other moms around you. But your child will think you are THE best mom ever. And at the end of the day, that is all that matters.
Have fun, be yourself, don’t compare, and by all means, sleep as much as possible!
(Photos of Nathan & Vivien as infants by Dahlia & Daisies Designs.)
About two months ago, my six-year old daughter asked to have her shoulder-length hair cut like her brother’s hair (quite short). I waited a few weeks before making the appointment for her, periodically checking to see if she still wanted to do. Yes, she was firm. I talked her away from Nathan’s super short cut, however. My advice was to do a more feminine style: a pixie like Michelle Williams. I showed her a few photos on Pinterest. She liked them and agreed.
I am in the business of helping people refine their personal image. It is my job to make sure my clients look like who they are and what they do. My daughter is a tomboy and she hates me to do anything with her hair (no pony tails, no braids, no barrettes, etc.). While a pixie is amazingly well-suited to her face shape and bone structure, it is also the perfect cut for a sensible, slightly boy-ish young lady!
I asked my personal hair stylist, Julianna of Bocz Salon (photographed below with Vivien), to do the cut. I didn’t trust anyone else to do it. Great success! The cut is so easy to wash and style. And best of all, no tangles for me to comb (my daughter is quite tender-headed). Vivien has been skipping around, super happy with her new haircut. She has loved it from the start.
Here is what I hope Vivien takes away from this experience.
Do what you love. This applies to the career she will one day pursue, the clothing she will buy and the updates and changes she will make over the years to her image. Do not worry what others think. Make up your own mind and go for it.
She is in charge of her image. Vivien is free to express herself through her personal image. While I still play the role of her mother, protecting, guiding and teaching her, she can make image choices for herself. I may not agree with all her choices, but she has the power to make them!
Change is good. Vivien has always resisted most new challenges. This is not something she was taught. It is simply in her DNA. However, now that she has experienced a dramatic image change that made her very happy, I hope she will understand that change is a part of life, and many changes are good ones.
Here is what I took away from this experience: I am very proud of my daughter. She is smart, strong and very capable. While she has received a little bit of negative feedback on her new look from a couple of peers, she stands firm in her choice to cut her hair. She loves it, and I love her.
Brother Nathan was less than interested in what was happening.
Vivien made a sweet new friend before she left the salon.
What image change would you like to make? Let me know in your comments!
All photos are my own.