Featured Slider

Saks Off 5th to open in Seattle

Westlake Center will be home to a brand new Saks Off 5th store. The 36,000 square-foot-store located at 400 Pine Street will open to the public on Thursday, October 19 at 10 a.m. Saks Off 5th already has a local clientele in the Pacific Northwest and is excited to officially open their first location in Seattle. The selection of merchandise from over 800+ brands will include luxury fashion, accessories, and footwear at deeply discounted prices.

To celebrate the store opening, the first 300 shoppers will enjoy a sweet treat and a chance to win a $100 gift card. (30 winners will be randomly selected!) Guests who shop between Oct. 19 - Oct. 29 can also enter to win a $1,000 Saks Off 5th gift card via the in-store sweepstakes. A special VIP store opening party will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 18 in Seattle.

Fran Dunaway of TomboyX inducted into EY Winning Women Program

TomboyX CEO and Co-founder Fran Dunaway has been inducted into the 2017 EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women program. She was one of only 13 entrepreneurs chosen to participate in this year's program and will have the chance to compete for the opportunity to grow and scale her business. Long-time readers may remember that we covered this brand back in 2013 when they launched their initial Kickstarter campaign and we are thrilled to report that the business is continuing to thrive here in Seattle.

"This program not only provides the resources and networks to help women grow their businesses, but also the power of a like-minded community of entrepreneurs with common goals and challenges who act as resources and advisors for one another," said Kerrie MacPherson, Principal Financial Services Office at EY. Participants of the program average 20% revenue growth within the first year in the program and some businesses have experienced as much as a 50% growth by year two.

TomboyX is a Seattle-based e-commerce company that focuses on high-quality, sustainably produced underwear. The brand promise is inclusivity and + body positivity, plus every style they make is available in sizes XS to 4X.

As part of the program, Fran will travel to Palm Springs next month to participate in the invite-only EY Strategic Growth Forum. Over 2,000+ leaders of the nation's most successful high-growth companies will be in attendance to learn from investors and advisors who can offer insight and share strategies for growth.

Good luck Fran! We've been rooting for you since day one!

Models announced for Wine Women & Shoes

Olive Crest has announced their line-up of models for the annual Wine Women & Shoes gala that will take place on November 10 at the Fairmont in Seattle. This year in lieu of traditional models, the non-profit will send pairs of model citizens down the catwalk in a runway show produced by Darcy Camden of Styled Seattle. View the full list of featured models and participating retailers here.

Blue Nile launches the Astor By Blue Nile

Blue Nile hosted a beautiful event at the W in Bellevue last Thursday to celebrate the launch of their new elite collection of diamonds, Astor by Blue Nile™. For this particular collection, the cut of the diamond was extremely critical because it allows light to reflect into each diamond facet, resulting in extraordinary sparkle. Astor by Blue Nile™ diamonds are ranked as an "excellent cut" by the Gemological Institute of America and only 1 out of every 1,000 diamonds meet the requirements to achieve this high-grade category.

"Customers come to Blue Nile for a superior experience and unmatched value," said Chief Executive Offer Jason Goldberger. "We know they want more than a diamond. They want a lifetime of lighting up a room." The diamonds are brilliant indeed and sparkle like crazy in the light. Blue Nile Astor diamonds can be purchased individually or used to build custom rings or earrings. Add these to your holiday wishlist now!

The event also included hair and makeup touch-ups by stylists from Coupe Rokei Salon and signature cocktails by Glass Vodka.  Learn more about Astor by Blue Nile™by clicking here.

3 Seattle Fashion Events to Check Out This Week

Fall is a fabulous time for fashion in Seattle and we've got a full line-up of events to prove it. Diamond fans will gather at the W in Bellevue tomorrow night for the VIP release of Astor by Blue Nile (blog post coming soon), Moorea Seal is hosting a special sneak peek of her Downtown Seattle store for media and influencers on Friday night, and there's so much more happening this weekend. Here's a round-up of 3 fashion-forward events happening around town.

// Visette Multi-Designer Trunk Show // 

If you love fashion and want to immerse yourself in the local style scene, join Seattle designers Kate S. Mensah, Tom Ordonio, and Suk Chai of SCHAI for a special trunk show this Thursday at Visette Boutique on Capitol Hill. Guests will get to meet the designers, shop new and exclusive pieces, and meet Visal Sam, Curator and Buyer for Visette Boutique. The event runs from 5-9 p.m. at 307 E. Pike St. in Seattle.

// Moorea Seal Store Opening // 

Style boss Moorea Seal is unveiling her *brand new* storefront on First Avenue this weekend and you can be one of the first to experience it. The new store is located at 1012 First Ave. in Downtown Seattle and the team is celebrating with a full weekend of festivities. Hello Robin will be on-site Saturday and Sunday serving up fresh batches of cookies from 1 -5 p.m. and there will also be drinks, shopping, new arrivals, a debut of Moorea Seal's latest book Make Yourself at Home, and more. Check out the official Facebook Event invite here. (Above photo by: Andrea Lindquist)

// Shop Her Closet // 
I truly love when fashion bloggers band together to give back and that's exactly what's happening this weekend at Hotel Max. Style bloggers Ambra and Natalie of Tallz and Smallz have organized an event that will give guests access to the closets of their favorite Seattle style bloggers. "Shop Her Closet" takes place this Saturday from 4-7 p.m. and all proceeds benefit the Seattle chapter of Dress for Success. Featured style bloggers include Morgan Lillian, Megan Little, Molly Clifton, Doug Ta'a, and more. The event is currently sold-out but you can still donate to the cause via Eventbrite. Hotel Max is located at 620 Stewart St. in Downtown Seattle.

October Beauty: 4 products you need right now

It's officially fall in Seattle which means the leaves are turning red, pumpkin spice lattes are back at Starbucks, and the mornings inevitably have a crisp chill. If your skin tends to go crazy when the seasons change, you'll enjoy this post filled with must-have beauty products to get you through the transition.
If you're an 80's baby like me you probably played Sega as a kid, so you don't need me to explain why the new GLAMGLOW Gravity Mud Sonic Mask is so cool. It's literally metallic blue and instantly cools, firms, and brightens skin. Priced at $19, it also makes the perfect travel-sized gift.

Wait, wait, wait. Blotting papers packaged as rolling papers? Only someone as cool as Rihanna could think of this. The Fenty Invisimatte Blotting Papers are designed to gently lift shine while looking pretty damn cool in your makeup bag. $16

Speaking of oily skin, I'm still obsessed with the Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Face Exfoliant ,$33.  This product is a carryover from my summer beauty arsenal but it still works like a charm. If your skin tends to go haywire when the seasons change, this product is perfect for you. You use it after you wash your face to gently exfoliate dry skin and balance oily areas. The packaging suggests that you only use it twice a week, but I've used it more frequently than that and have not had any issues.

Last but not least, the one product you need right now is a pretty polish from Julep's Zodiac Collection. I'm a Virgo, but that doesn't mean I'm not totally in love with this shimmery blue Aquarius shade. It's the perfect way to embrace the onset of the season and let's face it, it will look pretty cool in your next coffee cup Instagram pic.

Fashion Files: An interview with BBD Fitness

Four years ago Rachel Sigl found herself deep into her fitness career teaching classes and virtually living in her workout gear. Going back and forth between teaching classes and conducting business meetings she realized that her fitness gear was functional but lacked the fashion-forward street appeal she desired. So, she assessed the market, profiled her clients, and realized that there was a gap in the market for functional fitness apparel that also pushed style boundaries- that's how BBDfitness was born. 

BBD stands for bold, brave, and daring as evidenced by the styles in the line. Each piece is styled way beyond a basic and is designed to energize, motivate, and empower. The current line includes sportsbras, leggings, coats, and accessories. Each quarter, the company launches a new collection and strives to push the envelope with each new release by adding new fits and showcasing added fabric technology. 100% of the line is produced in L.A., making it easy for BBDfitness to oversee the development process and quickly make adjustments as needed once goods go into production. 

Aside from occasional trunk shows, the line is predominately sold online. "We were lucky to launch in the early stages of the online shopping craze," says Rachel, "Social media helps us sell, market, and land new opportunities to connect with customers." Bloggers and influencers have also helped the brand spread the word and those collaborations continue to play a vital role in the company's marketing strategy.  

So what's next for the brand? Be on the lookout for the BBDfitness unisex line that will launch this fall. The line will include a coveted jogger pant, a cocoon coat, a muscle tee, and more. Next spring, they'll add a dedicated men's line. And after that? Your guess is as good as mine, but you can bet it will be something way outside the box. 

In the meantime, you can catch BBDfitness at the Ville Northwest Fashion Awards on October 16th. BBDfitness has been nominated for the Designer of the Year award alongside Buki, Do The Extraordinary, and Seeking Alice. You can also follow the brand's fashion adventures on Instagram @BBD.fitness

Brooks to launch Levitate shoe on 9/30 at 9:30 a.m.

Seattle-based Brooks Running is launching a brand new shoe tomorrow morning at the Trailhead store in Fremont. The Levitate (pictured above), spent over seven years in development and endured thousands of trial runs before it was finally given the seal of approval. This shoe is designed with maximum energy return in mind which means it captures the energy released through each step and bounces it back to the runner. This is the ideal shoe for people who incorporate running into their fitness regime but don't necessarily "love" the run and need a shoe that makes the running experience easier.

The Levitate posed a particular design challenge for the product development team at Brooks because in order to enhance energy return they had to develop a smarter biomechanic philosophy for the shoe. The Brooks Levitate is the first shoe the company has released that features a DNA AMP midsole, a polyurethane-based cushioning system that naturally expands to return energy as force is applied. To add to the experience of the run, the shoe also features a circular knit upper that provides lightweight breathability and structure.

The Brooks Levitate is priced at $150 and is available starting tomorrow at the Brooks Trailhead store. To celebrate the launch, Brooks Running invites you to wear test the Levitate Shoes risk-free tomorrow from the Fremont store. Check out a pair, lace them up for a run around Gas Works, and try them out with no strings attached. Visit the Brooks Running Facebook Fan Page for full event info.

Want more? Check out the behind-the-scenes making of the Levitate on YouTube. 

Event Recap: Gray magazine presents Design Minds / Design Making a Difference

I walked away from last week's Gray magazine Design Minds event feeling equal parts empowered and inspired. In today's politically charged climate the event was as refreshing as it was timely. How can design inspire change? Are designers obligated to consider this in their work? Can design activism make a difference?

The answer was unanimously yes, and the explanations from panelists were brilliant. "On November 9th we put Visible into action because our assumption that other people were doing what we weren't was incorrect," said Visible Resistance Co-founder Jen Thomas. Visible is a non-profit that works with creatives who have pledged to provide free creative resources to organizations working to fight for social, environmental, and civil rights causes.

Felix Böck of ChopValue, spoke about identifying inefficiencies and finding creative ways to problem solve and empower. One night while he was out with friends, he had a lightbulb moment as he tossed his chopsticks into the trash.  Why wasn't there wasn't a more eco-friendly way to dispose of chopsticks? Turns out, in his city of Vancouver B.C., over 100,000 disposable chopsticks are sent to a landfill every day. Felix and his team knew there had to be a solution to this problem and found a way to recycle chopsticks and turn them into sustainable furniture and decor. To date, the company has reused over 1.5 million chopsticks. "Everyone who has an idea and takes that into implementation can have a direct impact on their community," says Felix.

S. Surface, co-curator of Alice, encouraged the audience to show up and be part of the conversation. "We can each do something meaningful to create change," Surface said. On that note, Surface is focusing on picking specific communities that have personal resonance and finding ways to give back. "People are working to find meaning in the work that they do," says S. Whether your crafting policies or producing events, everyone has the ability to make change and stand up for what they believe in. This is not the time to opt out.

Are you looking for ways to make a meaningful impact in your community? Here are 3 things you can do right now. 

1) Take the pledge and sign up as a creative with Visible Resistance to empower the voices of diversity.

2) Start reading again. "We need to go in-depth with our understanding," says Liz Neilson, of Visible Resistance. On her reading list? On Tyranny, by Timothy Snyder.

3) "Teach someone else how to do something," says Felix Böch of Chop Value. "Show them how to take an existing concept and apply it to something new".

The event marked part one of a three-part series for Gray magazine. Moderated by Gray magazine editor Jennifer McCullum, these conversations are thought-provoking and essential to attend. The next event is scheduled for Oct. 19 at Hotel Theodore in Downtown Seattle. Stay tuned for more info!

Velvet Report Launches Vegan Beauty Boxes

Lindsey Arnold of the Velvet Report is a Seattle style blogger and animal lover who believes that there's more to vegan beauty than you might think, so she's created a line of limited-edition beauty boxes to help persuade you. "The more I researched, the more I realized that there are some really amazing vegan skincare and beauty products out there. The beauty boxes are my way of sharing my discoveries," says Lindsey. The first beauty box launched earlier this summer and Velvet Report has plans for even more featuring luxurious beauty products that are full-size, tested, and hand selected for quality. I recently had the chance to check out the Vegan Makeup Starter Set and became a fan the minute I opened the box. 

Featuring four full-size beauty products packaged in a beautiful keepsake box, the Vegan Makeup Starter Set includes a lipstick, liquid blush, eyeshadow palette, and mascara. Basically, everything you need to put on your "face" in the morning, minus the foundation/concealer. 

The lipstick in the beauty box is from a brand called Axiology and it's the perfect mix of color and shine. Packaged in a gold tube the lipstick looks chic and it's all-natural and of course, cruelty-free. There are two color shades to pick from including "Noble" which is a peach-pink and "Elusive" which is a darker wine color. I chose "Noble" and loved the natural look it provided with just a sheer hint of color. 

My next favorite product in the set is the Gressa Lumière Fluid. It's a liquid blush that can also be used on your lips and eyes for a hint of color. It's a gorgeous color that can be easily blended for a gorgeous glow and best of all, it's made from all-natural ingredients. 

The Antonym Eyeshadow Palette is another favorite from the debut make-up box! I judge eyeshadow based on two factors: how well it blends, and how rich the pigment is. This eyeshadow quad passed the test with flying colors. I used the light pink to do a color wash on my eyes, used the pale yellow to highlight my brow bone, used the bronze in the crease, and used the dark gray in the outer corners. The beauty box comes with 2 palette options, one for an all-natural look and a second (pictured above) with some warmer/darker colors. 

Last but not least, what would a beauty set be without a great mascara? This one by Lily Lolo rounds out the Velvet Report Vegan Makeup Starter Kit and worked perfectly on my long lashes. I have a hard time with mascara because they often weigh down my lashes and prevent them from keeping a curl. This one was light enough to hold my curl and provided enough thickening to meet my needs. 

Priced at $75 for four full-sized products this box is a great way to experience a curated selection of vegan beauty brands. If you're interested in vegan beauty products you'll also want to check out the Velvet Report rose-inspired beauty box

3 Questions with Velvet Report founder Lindsey Arnold

Q1- What criteria do you use to select the brands you feature?

Well, first of all, they have to be vegan (no animal-derived ingredients), cruelty-free (no animal testing), and they have to be clean. I'm still figuring out what clean/green/non-toxic beauty means to people, but to me, it means having no chemicals or fillers and it has to be as organic and plant-based as possible. I personally try all the beauty products we feature. 

Q2- What vegan beauty product can you not live without?

Rosewater toners! I'm obsessed! I have a very streamlined skin care routine that involves cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. I've noticed a huge difference in my skin since cutting out the merry-go-round of products. I'm working on developing a simple French skincare line that will debut later this year!

Q3- Why is vegan beauty important for the environment?

Everything we do in this world is connected. When we purchase products that have been tested on animals or have resulted in the death of animals for ingredients, we are contributing to suffering in this world. I believe that what we buy and use should be a reflection of our values. By thinking about beauty products holistically, we can all make a change, and that will make all the difference. 

For more information about the Velvet Report visit www.velvetreport.com

Everything you need to know about Universal Standard

Fashion For All:
Universal Standard kicks-off national tour with a Nordstrom pop-up September 8th and 9th 

* * * 

Universal Standard has announced its national tour and it starts right here in Seattle on September 8th. With offices in Redmond and New York, this bi-coastal brand is changing the way the industry thinks about size-inclusive fashion. Founded by Polina Veksler and Alexandra Waldman in 2015, the brand carries fashion-forward apparel for women in sizes 10-28. The vibe is downtown chic and the aesthetic is classic with a twist. The assortment ranges from wrap tops to leather skirts and also includes must-have items for fall including the coveted puffer coat

The tour kicks off at Nordstrom on Sept. 8 and will include 12 cities stretching from coast to coast. 
"We're working hard to represent a broader range of sizes for our customers," says Tricia Smith, Nordstrom Executive Vice President and General Merchandise Manager for Women's and Designer Apparel, "We believe this partnership with Universal Standard will give us the opportunity to better serve our customers and shine a light on the need to be more inclusive."

Nordstrom will be hosting six of the twelve Universal Standard pop-ups around the country. Tour stops include Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Houston, Dallas, St. Louis, Washington D.C., Chicago, Colombus, and New York. Fans will have the opportunity to experience the brand in person, try on their favorite styles, meet the founders, and shop. The entire assortment of Universal Standard styles will available at the pop-up and guests are encouraged to learn more about the brand philosophy and Universal Fit Liberty
With the belief that clothing should always fit, feel, and look good, Universal Standard created the Universal Fit Liberty, which vows to replace clothing from the core collection if your size goes up or down. This means women can shop with zero anxiety and rest assured that if their size fluctuates within a year of purchase, they can request a new piece in a different size, free of charge. Bonus karma points: Returned clothing is laundered and donated to charities supporting women in need. 

The Seattle pop-up will be held at the Downtown Seattle Nordstrom store in the Encore department (4th floor) on Sept. 8 and 9 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you can't make it downtown there will be three more opportunities to connect with the Universal Standard brand including:
  • Showroom open house in Redmond: Sunday, Sept. 10 from 12 - 6 p.m. 
  • Founders event at The Riveter on Capitol Hill: September 12 from 6 - 8 p.m. 

To coincide with the tour, Universal Standard will also kick off a national model search to find the face of their next campaign. In partnership with The Lions Model Management, finalists from the model search will be flown to New York to meet with executives and have the opportunity to be considered for a modeling contract with the agency. The Seattle model search for Univeral Standard will be held on Monday, September 11th at Sole Repair on Capitol Hill from 1-4 p.m. Anyone size 10-28 is welcome to come by. 

Universal Standard is setting a new standard for consumers who are size 10 and up. 

Don't miss your chance experience this brand in person and meet the founders. It will change the way you think about plus-size fashion. A full road trip calendar can be found here

Seattle Universal Standard Events:

Universal Standard x Nordstrom Pop-up 
September 8-9th
500 Pine St. 
Seattle, WA 98101
Encore dept. / 4th Floor
11 a.m. - 7 p.m. 

Universal Standard Showroom Open House
September 10
4138 148th Ave. NE Bldg. H
Redmond, WA 98052
12 p.m. - 6 p.m. 

Universal Standard Pop-up at Sole Repair
September 11
Sole Repair
1001 E. Pike St. 
Seattle, WA 98122
1 p.m. - 7 p.m. 

Universal Standard Model Search
September 11
Sole Repair
1001 E. Pike St. 
Seattle, WA 98122
1 p.m. - 4 p.m. 

Universal Standard x The Riveter
September 12
The Riveter
1517 12th Ave. 
Seattle, WA 98122

--> -->

Event Recap: Creating Influential Word of Mouth

The Riveter delivered another inspiring event for women in business last week on Capitol Hill that focused on personal branding and the power of building your tribe. The evening's speakers included Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm, Jane Park of Julep, Emily Carrin of Apptentive, Jill Donnelly from Baby & Co., and Linda Derschang of The Derschang Group. The discussion was moderated by Jennifer McCullum, Editor of Gray magazine, and focused on the epic task of building your personal brand and learning how to navigate obstacles along the way. Nothing was off limits- speakers shared their most intimate failures in business- and most importantly, they shared how they got back on their feet.

Linda Derschang told the group about the early day's of Linda's Tavern when the beer suppliers were reluctant to sell her beer because she was one of the only female bar owners in the city and didn't belong to "the boys club". Sue Bird spoke about a PR crisis in the early days of her career that forced her to re-think her communication style and put out more meaningful messaging. She spoke openly about the importance of truly knowing who you are and what you stand for so that in moments of chaos you can quickly come back to center.

From a fashion perspective, I enjoyed hearing from Jill Donnelley, who bravely took ownership of Baby & Co. back in 2008 at a time when many small shops in the city were closing their doors. She spoke about her early days in retail, learning customer service from Nordstrom back when the company had only eight stores and talked about the importance of staying on-brand and being laser focused on the task at hand, regardless of what the competition is doing.

Jane Park, founder of the cult nail polish and beauty brand Julep, acknowledged that putting your brand out there can be hard because it opens the floodgates for feedback, both positive and negative. This can be tough for new brands who are trying to figure out their place in the world of social media but it's important because it allows for an open dialogue between the brand and the customer. Jane also encouraged women to focus on the talents they possess rather than dwelling on the things they still have yet to learn. If you're passionate about something go for it and play up the skills you do have and be willing and open to learning the rest.

The women on the panel also discussed the importance of forming your tribe to help you succeed. Surrounding yourself with like-minded women that you can bounce ideas off of and seek advice from is crucial for success. Women in business need other women in business, end of story. "Have women business friends," said Linda Derschang, "Tell each other things. Build your tribe." Jill Donnelley echoed that sentiment and added, "Given the current political climate, women are looking for a tribe." Band together. Do something meaningful.

Creating influential word of mouth and shaping your own personal brand isn't for the faint of heart, but it is an important step for women in business, regardless of where you are in your career. The panel featured a wonderful mix of women who "live their personal philosophies in their professional lives", as noted by moderator Jenny McCullum. I couldn't have said it better myself. Although I did enjoy Sue Bird's last words of advice about personal branding, "Don't be a douche."

Photo Credit: Jenna Lynn Photograhy

Must-See Shows at Bellevue Fashion Week

Bellevue Fashion Week kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 21 and you won't want to miss a moment of the action. This year's line-up includes a showcase of seven local designers at the Independent Designer Runway Show, a Posh Party Trend Show produced by Terri Morgan of TCM Models highlighting must-have fashion trends for fall, and a Collective Runway Show featuring fashion from Bellevue Collection retailers. Tickets are on sale and going fast. Check out our breakdown of each event below to help you decide which ones to add to your September fashion calendar ASAP.

Independent Designer Runway Show - Thurs. Sept. 21
This show kicks off the Bellevue Fashion Week ticketed events and hands-down my favorite local runway show. The Independent Designer Runway Show, a.k.a. IDRS, has served as a launch pad for many noteworthy local designers including Paychi Guh and Silvae. The final runway show is the result of many months of mentorship to help designers define their point of view and edit their collections. Each designer will present 10 looks on the runway and compete for a $5,000 cash prize. 
This year's judging panel includes Marj Turner of Fashion Group International, Bruce Pflaumer of Michael Bruce Imagine Consulting, designer Lisa Vian Hunter, and Jennifer McCullum of Gray magazine. 

Posh Party Trend Show - Friday, Sept. 22
This event is a runway show that highlights must-have trends straight from the pages of the Bellevue Collection Look Book. The fashion show is always beautifully styled and designed to inspire. Event proceeds from this event benefit Bellevue LifeSpring. 

The Collective Runway Show- Saturday, Sept. 23
The final event of Bellevue Fashion Week is The Collective Runway Show, featuring curated fall fashion picks from The Bellevue Collection retailers. Proceeds benefit the Special Olympics of Washington. 

In addition, Bellevue Fashion Week will also feature a variety of events that are free and open to the public. For more info visit http://fashionweekbellevue.com/.

Colette to close in December

The news it true, although it's still hard to believe. Colette in Paris will close its doors at the end of the year and fashion world is heartbroken. For those that are unfamiliar with Colette, let me fill you in. In a nutshell, Colette is the store that all other stores look to for inspiration, direction, and insight on how to support emerging brands, create a unique customer experience, and create a store that simply has that "je ne sais quoi", the thing that you can't describe because there simply aren't words for it. After 20 years in business setting the pace for other retailers to follow suit, Colette will close for good, citing the upcoming retirement plans for founder Colette Roussaux.

The closing of the store signals tough times ahead for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers who are already weary of how the industry continues to change and evolve. The New York Times reports that Colette was fully owned by Ms. Roussaux and her daughter Sarah Andelman. Annual sales exceeded $32 million last year, and 25% of that came from e-commerce. The end of an era is near.

Photo credit: Menswear Style UK

3 easy Seattle summer getaways

I love living the city life, but when Friday rolls around I'm ready to explore wide open spaces. Summer is the perfect time to get out and experience all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. The skies are blue, the wildflowers are in bloom, and the weather is just right. Here are my favorite Seattle summer getaways that are fun, easy, and totally worthy of adding to your list.

Summer Getaway #1: Bellingham, WA
Located just 90-minutes north of Seattle, Bellingham is a fun and easy getaway that is absolutely gorgeous during the summer months. On our last trip, my family and I stayed at Hotel Bellwether which overlooks Bellingham Bay, and had a fabulous time! The rooms were spacious, the views were stunning, and there's a bike path that leads you straight to Zuanich Point Park. Our Bellingham trips usually involve stopping for a bite at Bob's Burgers, visiting the historic Fairhaven District for coffee and shopping, and letting the kids run around in the splash pad at Fairhaven Park.

Village Books
1200 11th St.
Bellingham, WA 98225

Anthony's Hearthfire Grill
7 Bellwether Way
Bellingham, WA 98225

Hotel Bellwether
1 Bellwether Way
Bellingham, WA 98225

Summer Getaway #2: Cle Elum, WA
If you prefer to head east over the mountains where the sunshine is more consistent, Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum is a great choice. It's also 90-minutes from the city by car if you go east on Interstate 90. The resort has two swimming pools, an amazing spa, wine tasting experiences, golf, bike rentals, complimentary nightly smores, and more.

I've experienced Suncadia on both girls getaways (shown above) and family trips, and both have been amazing. When I'm with the girls I always make time for the spa, but when I'm with family I usually rent bikes, take a dip in the pool, head to one of the on-property playgrounds, and then unwind over dinner with a nice glass of Swiftwater Cellars wine. Don't forget to check the event calendar before your trip to find out what on-site events are happening during your stay. They usually have LIVE music in the lodge on Saturday nights.

Coal House Caffe
The gift shop at Suncadia has snacks, gifts, smores kits, sunscreen, and anything else you might need on your trip, including wine. They also make a great cup of coffee when you need a caffeine fix.

Swiftwater Cellars
201 Rope Rider Dr.
Cle Elum, WA 98922

3600 Suncadia Trail
Cle Elum, WA 98922

Summer Getaway #3: Vancouver, B.C.
Most Seattleites agree -we don't get to Vancouver B.C. nearly as often as we should, and that's a shame because it's such a beautiful city! Our dollar goes further in Canada which is reason enough to get your passport in order and head North for a long weekend. We always stay in downtown Vancouver so that we can walk to shopping on Robson Street.  We also like being close to Gastown because it has a plethora of dining options and it's home to Noir Lash Lounge and Blo.

Holt Renfrew
737 Dunsmuir St.
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Note: Holt Renfrew is a Canadian department store that specializes in luxury goods, comparable to a Nordstrom or Saks Fifth Avenue in the USA. It's owned by the Selfridges Group (my favorite department store in London) and was founded in 1837.

Cactus Club Cafe
1136 Robson St.
Vancouver, BC

Hotel LeSoleil
567 Hornby St.
Vancouver, BC, Canada

5 must-have summer beauty products

Summer is my favorite season of the year but as a girl with combination skin, the heat and humidity can sometimes wreak havoc on my complexion. Luckily, I've found these 5 beauty products that have quickly reached "holy grail" status in my beauty bag.

At just $12 per tube, the Sephora Collection Rouge Lip Tint is perfect for summer. It gives just the right amount of color and lasts all day. When you're going for the no make-up look this lip tint instantly adds color to your face. My favorite shade is Magenta.

I'll make space for any product that multi-tasks in my make-up bag. Any product that protects my skin from the sun and preserves my make-up is a game changer, especially in the summer months. Coola's Make-up Setting Spray is SPF 30 and provides UV and broad-spectrum protection from the sun. It helps keep my makeup matte and the green tea and aloe feel refreshing when I re-apply during the day.

I love the ritual of taking off my make-up at the end of the day. When I complained of my oily skin to a friend, who also happens to be a make-up artist, she suggested I check out Supercleanse by GlamGlow. From the first time I tried it, I was instantly hooked on the clean feeling it provided post-cleanse. It's a mud to foam cleanser and it's perfect for blemished and oily skin, which makes it the perfect cleanser for me during the summer months. It's gentle, yet effective, and works differently than other cleansers because you apply it to dry skin and then add water to lather.

A few years ago my friend Natasha worked as a PR manager for Seattle brand Julep. Every now and again she would show up to our coffee dates armed with new beauty products for me to try.  I vividly remember the day she casually handed me a dual-ended eyeliner and promised it would rock my world. "Seriously, you can use the black to line your waterline and in a pinch use the brown side to do your brows," she said. She was right. The Julep Kajal eyeliner is one of the best things that has ever happened to me and I panic every time I run out. Last time I placed an order I doubled it at check-out, just in case. This is the only eyeliner I've used that doesn't irritate my waterline and the rich pigment lasts all day. Note: This eyeliner isn't available at Julep nail parlors, you have to buy it online.

I strongly believe in using a good serum at night to treat and repair skin. Lately, I've been loving the isClinical Active Serum which helps smooth fine lines and reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation.  I've noticed a huge difference in the tone and texture of my cheeks since using it. isClinical makes several serums but the Active is my favorite because it has a slight cooling sensation that feels clean and refreshing, especially during the summer months. Available locally at Skin Spirit, University Village.

BONUS product!
During the summer months, I also like to exfoliate a few times a week to keep my pores clean and lately, I'm loving the Umbrian Clay FaceEexfoliant by Fresh. This product helps absorb excess oil and regulate sebum production, plus it's easy to use. After cleansing you rub a pea-sized amount all over your face for about 30 seconds and then rinse. It's super easy and works great for oily skin!
Sept. 2017 update- I'm STILL using this and love what it does for my skin. I ran out of the first tube and definitely noticed a difference in my skin when I wasn't using it. For maximum benefits, use this in tandem with a clay mask once a week. This is especially great for people with acne-prone skin.