Seattle’s Best Holiday Gifts

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.

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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.

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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.

IMG_1477Sharply’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).

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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!

My best,

Bethany

(All in-store photos by me.)

Two Ways of Considering Fall

Maple tree , Bennington , Vermont

Fall marks the beginning of many things we enjoy, football, cooler temperatures, colorful leaves, the start of our holidays, etcetera. Fall also ushers in shorter days, food temptations, cold and flu season and holiday stress. Are you a positive thinker or a negative thinker? In the midst of the fall season, do you see things that are dead and dying, or do you see the cycle of life whereby things can grow bigger and stronger in the spring?

You see, the fall “death” is necessary for our spring growth. We often find ourselves speeding up in the fall, but truly, fall is meant to be a time for slowing down, finding ways to rest so we have energy for what is ahead. Trees and plants that appear to be dying are simply going into rest mode. Spring growth and the blooming process requires a lot of energy. Rest is essential before growth. If you are like me, you are not resting enough. I find myself in the last quarter of each year speeding up to accomplish the tasks I had mapped out for the year. Guess what happens to me? I generally get sick in the last quarter of the year. This is my cue to stop and rest.

So, as you look down the road to what is coming in the final months of this year, carve out some days or just a few hours here and there for good old fashioned rest. Turn off your phone, and walk away from other electronic distracters like the TV and computer. Lying on your bed reading your news feed is not rest. True rest renews your mind, your strength and your health. A few examples: lying still and quiet in a bath, taking a nap, sitting outside in a quiet spot alone, practicing deep breathing in a dark closet, sleeping 7 – 8 hours per night, and so on. In short, if you do not rest, you cannot grow.

If you are frustrated by a lack of progress in an area of your life, resist the temptation to try harder to do better. Just rest. Take a step back so you can return to the task later with renewed strength and vigor. Happy Fall and Happy Resting!