The Vibe of Fall 2017

Before I run down the list of the Fall 2017 trends (in a follow-up blog), let’s talk about the mood of the season. It is helpful to lasso the season’s energy, its vibe, because each fall you will find your favorite trends in someone’s collection whether it’s fur, leopard, tweed, trench coats, etc. The trend list may look the same year to year, but the mood of the season is what truly defines it.

Here are the biggest feels from Fall 2017:

  • Dare to be noticed.IMG_0723 Red is once again the color of the season. Red never takes a fall season off. However, it is a bolder, brighter shade of red this year, and it is ubiquitous. It is on bags, boots, tops, and head-to-toe outfits. On top of red’s popularity, yellow is fast on its heels, and if there are two “hello, I’m here” colors in this world, it would be red and yellow. Pick one and rock it. There are many ways to stand out this season beyond color. Designers outdid themselves with carefully and intricately designed boots, bags and clothing, mixing textures and colors in new ways. If standing out to you is more about the design than a color, you will find many choices this season.

  • Dare to be different. IMG_8832This season has thrown fashion rules a giant curve ball. We are wearing sequins to the office, leather to the grocery store and velvet from sun up to sun down. Rules?! Please, those days are over. We make our own rules now, and we wear what pleases us. What have you always wanted to try but have dared not? Well, this is your season to step up and give it a go! Fall 2017 is playful and happy. There is no room for rules when you’re having this much fun.

  • Dare to be kooky. IMG_0806This vibe builds upon the two above. Designers are asking us to get a little bit crazy. There are countless wacky combinations this season: tweed and feather skirts, head-to-toe denim (in the same shade of denim) and all-white outfits (including white boots) to name a few. I love what Simon Doonan wrote for the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar, “Strange is the new black. When you dress strangely, you keep the spotlight where it should be – on YOU. Everyone else on the planet is so busy trying to look normal that you, with your eccentric fashion choices, are able to be an utter raving, screaming standout.”

If all of this sounds and feels a bit overwhelming, take the advice of Lisa Armstrong, also in the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar, who wrote a piece on the season’s trends, “The Best of What’s New.” Lisa wants us to look at trends in a new way. Rather than viewing trends as those things you have moved beyond with your style, think of them as your updates for the year, the wardrobe refreshers. Lisa wrote, “Trend awareness is not about being a literalist but about tapping into moods and keeping current in your own way. You don’t have to radically upend your style each season. Sometimes the subtlest switch is all it takes to reset.”

IMG_0823As you approach the new season, keep these things in mind. Let’s make this the season of “make you smile” style! Lastly, if you need help navigating the season, call me! I am always ready to help! Have a fabulous week. Fall Fashion Trends 2017 is up next…

Thank you to the amazing Jenna at Styled Out West for the photos of me. xo All other photos are by me.

Local Fashion Designers Shine

IMG_0986Anyone who knows me even just a little bit knows that I am a champion for small businesses. My love for fashion and my desire to help further the dreams of others drive my support of local fashion designers. That is why I love the Independent Designer Runway Show at Bellevue Fashion Week. This show features designers who are looking to break into a wider fashion market. The show that is presented each September is six months in the making from the selection of the designers to the mentoring of them by the panel of judges.

I will keep my commentary short and focus on showing you what each designer showcased last night. Terri Morgan and her team at TCM Models & Talent did another stellar job with the show. Enjoy.

Jersey Virago by Meagan Kruz:

IMG_1017IMG_1024IMG_1027IMG_1030

Poppyseed by Rebekah Adams (the eventual winner!):

IMG_1035IMG_1038IMG_1060

Stone Crow Designs by Jennifer Charkow:

IMG_1064IMG_1081IMG_1090IMG_1096

Lourdes E Eva by Nora Suarez:

IMG_1099IMG_1103IMG_1123

Paloma Hurtado by Paloma Hurtado:

IMG_1129IMG_1139IMG_1142

Gustavo Apiti Couture by Gustave Apiti:

IMG_1150IMG_1155IMG_1192

The last designer to show, Chany Venturini by Maria Venturini, was also voted the fan favorite:

IMG_1171IMG_1183IMG_1196

I was honored to wear Cute Like Mad’s Hedvig silk dress by Jeanette Svensk Li:

IMG_1269

Congratulations to all of the designers! The show was such fun to watch. You should be very proud of your hard work. (All runway photos are my own and may not be used without express permission.)

Happy Friday and Happy Weekend!

Wine, Women & Shoes

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.

IMG_0824The 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.

IMG_0803For 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!

It’s Not You, It’s Your Metabolism

IMG_2826

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.

green2Life, 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.

Social Media, For Better or For Worse?

IMG_0397Somewhere 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!IMG_9991

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.

IMG_0127Social 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!

IMG_9369

The Day I Was Asked to Move

woman pointingHonestly, 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.

 

Bethany2015-8795Parting 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.

My First Visit to the San Juans

IMG_8683Roughly 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

IMG_8267Roche 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.

IMG_8351English 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).

IMG_0089Lime 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.

IMG_0137American 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.

IMG_8698Jakle’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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.)