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Getaway Guide: 48 hours in Bellingham, Washington

Located just 90-minutes North of Seattle, Bellingham is a gorgeous place for a getaway any time of year. Our family just returned from our annual 4th of July visit and loved our time exploring the shops, parks, and restaurants in Whatcom County. Here's everything you need to know about spending 48 hours in Bellingham. GO!

Where to Stay

There are many hotel options in Bellingham but our favorite is Hotel Bellwether. It's located on Bellingham Bay and has beautiful views of the Cascade Mountains. The accommodations are spacious, perfect for families, and many of the rooms have jetted bathtubs and a natural gas fireplace.
The hotel also has a restaurant and does live music on the outdoor patio.
Good to know: Parking is free at this hotel and it's within walking distance of several restaurants including Loft at Latitude and Anthony's. Behind the hotel facing Bellingham bay, there's also a paved path, perfect for biking, that leads directly to Zuanich Point Park.

Where to Play

Whatcom Falls Park is well worth the visit, especially during the summer months. There are three and a half miles of trails that wind through the forest and a beautiful stone bridge that overlooks the waterfalls. Our kids loved exploring this park and if we had planned in advance, we would have packed our swimsuits. There are some great places to go for a dip in the river. The upper park features a playground for kids and a BMX track.

Historic Fairhaven has a great mix of local restaurants and charming boutiques. If you visit, you'll also want to stop by Village Books, which has been delighting bookworms since 1980. They have a great kids section that includes toys and sections dedicated to books written in the Pacific Northwest. For a full list of shops in Fairhaven, click here.

Where to Eat

Beer drinkers love Boundary Bay Brewing. Apparently, my husband used to come here in college after a big exam. Bellingham is, after all, a laid-back college town. Boundary Bay serves a mostly regional menu including steamer clams and salmon chowder, but you'll also find novelties like yam enchiladas and bahn mi sandwiches.

Anthony's is well-known in the Northwest for its seafood, so if you're an "out of towner" I would add this restaurant to your list, you know, for good measure. The fish and chips is delicious and they also have a prix fixe "Sunset Menu" available Monday through Friday until 6 p.m.
Good to know: The Squalicum location has outdoor seating with views of Bellingham Bay.

Mount Bakery Cafe is a great breakfast spot. The crepe menu is extensive and the Belgian chocolate crepe did not disappoint. The cafe also serves eggs benedict, freshly baked croissants, and breakfast sandwiches.

The summer season has arrived and Bellingham makes for a quick and easy weekend getaway. It's also a great option for a day trip if you're looking to get out of the city and explore the Northwest.

The Seattle Guide to 4th of July Fashion

The weather in Seattle can be tricky to navigate when it comes to picking out the perfect outfit for the 4th of July. Skies usually start out overcast and give way to sunnier skies later in the day. We're heading up north to watch the 4th of July fireworks over Bellingham Bay this year, but there will be plenty of action in the city including the annual fireworks show at Gas Works Park. If you're still on the hunt for a few must-have pieces to complete your look, we've got you covered. Here's our guide to finding the perfect outfit for 4th of July and since we believe in supporting the Seattle style scene, we took extra care to ensure that all of the items featured below are available locally.

Early mornings can be brisk, even in July. Power through with this bold adidas track jacket available locally at the Zumiez store in Bellevue Square. This jacket will also serve as a great layering piece in the evening when the temperature drops.
Keep it classic with this quarter sleeve navy and white striped top from Patagonia. This shirt can be dressed up with trousers or down with denim, making it the perfect piece for all occasions. Available locally at Wayward in Downtown Seattle at 204 Pine St. Seattle, WA 98101.

The flora & henri Sardinia Swimsuit is part of the store's private label collection which is designed locally at the Pioneer Square concept shop. Fully lined, this suit is perfect for summer and comes in three sizes. Visit flora & henri at 401 First Ave. S. Seattle, WA 98104.

A classic pair of denim shorts is essential for summer. You'll literally want to live in these Cora Denim Cutoffs available at Moorea Seal because they go with everything in your wardrobe and all you need to complete the look is a cotton t-shirt and a pair of slides. Visit Moorea Seal downtown at 1012 First Ave. Seattle, WA 98104.

I'm borderline obsessed with the simplicity of this half brass, half cobalt blue bangle by Baleen. It's handmade in Seattle and adds an instant color pop to any 4th of July outfit. Bonus: It's perfectly priced at $28.

Every girl needs a great tote for summer. Featuring vegan leather handles and a straw exterior, this tote is versatile and large enough to store a beach towel or even a bottle of wine. Find this bag locally at Moorea Seal in downtown Seattle.
Getting 4th of July footwear right is critical. Platform sandals can prove to be difficult depending on the terrain, but these suede Cora Sandals from Pipe & Row easily fit the bill regardless of your activity level. Pipe & Row is located in Fremont at 611 N.E. 35th St. Seattle, WA 98103.
Say goodbye to boring sunglasses and say hello to these acrylic red frames by Quay Australia available at Standard Goods. These glasses are the perfect summer accessory and add instant personality to any outfit. Standard Goods is located on Capitol Hill at 701 E. Pike St. Seattle, WA 98122.

The Shop List
Wayward Collective
Moorea Seal
Standard Goods
Pipe & Row
flora & henri

Getaway Guide: Shibuya, Japan

The only way to summarize our recent trip to Japan is to say that it was a total culture trip. We travel all over the world to crowded cities like London and New York, but none of those trips prepared us for the sea of humanity that is Tokyo. It was exhilarating and overwhelming, all at the same time. Japan has been on my personal travel list for a while now and I'm thankful that my family had the chance to experience the city and all that is has to offer. Here's everything you need to know about visiting Shibuya, Japan.

The Flight & Arrival: We took a 9-hour direct flight from Seattle to Narita on ANA Airlines. The service was great and the staff was kid-friendly. Once in Narita, we hopped in a taxi and took the 90-minute journey to Tokyo.

Best time to visit: We visited Japan at the end of March. The weather was perfect, in fact, it was in the mid-70's on most days, and it was cherry blossom season which was an added bonus. The spring season is an ideal time to visit as the summer months give way to high temperatures, rainy weather, and monsoons.

What to pack: We averaged walking about 6-8 miles per day in Japan because it was easier than trying to flag down a taxi or navigate public transit. Walking is the best way to see the city anyway, so be sure to pack comfortable walking shoes or sandals. I also recommend a light jacket for evening and clothing made from breathable fabrics to keep you cool during the day.

Good to know: Tokyo operates well into the early morning hours which is great if you love to party, but terrible if you are an early riser and want to get breakfast. Most restaurants, including those that serve breakfast, don't open until 11 or 11:30 a.m. so plan ahead if you're someone who loves a morning meal and do yourself a favor, make reservations. There's nothing worse than being hungry and then having to wait an hour for a table. On the bright side, if you're a night owl you'll be pleased to know that most places in Tokyo stay open until well past midnight. You can even live out your childhood video game fantasies by dressing up as your favorite character and driving around the city in a real-life Mario Kart.

The shopping in Shibuya is a colorful mix of fashion-forward apparel, adorable cartoon-inspired accessories, and beauty products for days. Get ready for large crowds and an overwhelming selection of just about everything in packaging that you probably won't be able to read. I recommend researching in advance if you have certain products you want to buy that are only available in Japan. This is especially important if you want beauty products because most of the ingredient lists and directions are not printed in English.

Loft - This top-rated lifestyle department store has everything you didn't realize you needed including home goods, magazines, stationery, beauty products, fitness equipment, and more. Loft is a great place to buy souvenirs on the trip and if you want to shop tax-free don't forget to bring your passport.

Shibuya 109 - Located just across from Shibuya Station, Shibuya 109 features ten floors of women's clothing boutiques and restaurants. Designed as a "fashion community", brands compete for pop-up space to sell and leases are extended based on revenue, making Shibuya 109 a popular place for young trendsetters to shop.

Dover Street Market - Located in Ginza, Dover Street Market is well worth the trip. It took us about 15 minutes on the train to get to Ginza from Shibuya Station. Featuring seven floors of fashion, Dover Street Market feels more like a shoppable art installation than a brick-and-mortar boutique. Famous for it's curated collections from cult brands like Comme des Garçon, Gucci, and Vetements, Dover Street Market is the perfect fusion of art and fashion. My son Liam (pictured below) got his first designer t-shirt at Dover Street market. Let's just call it a litsouvenirenir from the trip.
Seattle readers: Take note, Dover Street Market is coming to LA in the fall of 2018.

WEGO - Described by Vogue as "Japan's fast-fashion alternative to H&M" Wego is where the cool girls shop in Shibuya for on-trend clothing at low prices. The WEGO store is located inside Shibuya 109 (listed above) but there are also two other locations in the city.

Beauty Tip: Japanese drugstores carry a full array of beauty products and colored contacts. Take advantage and explore as many new products as you can. You may have to google ingredient lists and directions, but trust me, it's worth it. While in Shibuya I picked up the Kao Megurism Steam Warm Eye Masks in Lavender, a tube of Kiss Me Heroine Waterproof Curling Mascara, Yumi Mori Gel Blush, and the K-Palette 24 hour liquid eyeliner (all pictured above). I also stocked up on Bioré SPF 50 gel sunscreen.

One of the things I loved about our trip to Japan was experiencing the abundance of Hawaiian-inspired restaurants. I grew up on Kauai and have fond memories of eating pancakes with rich coconut syrup. For breakfast head to Harajuku to visit Eggs 'n Things. Their signature dish is a stack of buttermilk pancakes topped with a mountain of whipped cream. It's Instagram-worthy and insanely delicious. You'll also find other Hawaiian classics including spam and eggs and loco moco, plus a full "Keiki" kids menu. Foodie tip: Arrive early, even on weekdays. The line usually wraps around the block.

For a culinary adventure, check out Uogashi Nihonichi Tachigui Sushi, a stand-up sushi bar located in the heart of Shibuya. You won't find many mainstream rolls here, but that's all part of the fun. We enjoyed delicious handrolls, fresh sashimi, tuna, maguro, and amazing miso soup. Our kids loved it too!

For those with a serious sweet tooth, make time for Santa Monica Crepes. It's a total sugar rush and so worth it. We tried the strawberry chocolate crepe but you can also add cake, yes, cake or even scoops of ice cream. It's a delicious excuse for a cheat day. Santa Monica Crepes is located near the entrance of Harajuku's main shopping row.

During our trip to Tokyo, we stayed at Centurion Hotel Grand. It's located just across the street from the famous Shibuya Station and a 10-minute walk from Harajuku. The rooms were modern, clean, and spacious. We also loved the sweeping views of the city, especially at night. This hotel is a 90-minute cab ride from Narita Airport. The taxi fee was around 25,000 yen, or approximately $225. This hotel also features several restaurants and bars. Pictured below, one of the many alcohol-infused drinks we picked up from the street-side vending machines sprinkled around Tokyo. The peach flavor was my favorite.

Tokyo is famous for its cat cafes and for good reason, it proves to be a nice excuse to get out of the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, even if just for 30- minutes. We visited the Bengal Cat Forest in Harajuku and paid a small fee for a half hour session with cats. They stretched out on artificial tree limbs and played with each other while my daughter tried to lure them over with a cat toy.

For visitors looking to check out local theme parks, I highly recommend planning a day (or two) at DisneySea. Opened in 2001 by The Oriental Land Company, DisneySea is the fifth most visited theme park in the world. It's not operated by the Disney company so although there is a crossover with characters and themes, it's a unique experience that you can't get anywhere else. Attractions include Toy Story Mania, Nemo and Friends, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, The Tower of Terror, Venetian Gondola Rides, Steam Ship cruises, and train rides. There's something for everyone at the 176-acre park including the usual parades and shows you would expect from a Disney experience. Tickets were around $66 USD for adults and slightly less for children. We purchased in advance at the Disney store in Shibuya to avoid waiting in line on arrival at the park.

New York has Central Park, London has Hyde Park, and Tokyo has Yoyogi Park. It's a beautiful park that is the perfect place to take a relaxing walk when you need to slow down and get back to nature. Located within the park is Meiji Jingu Shrine, which is dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. The original shrine was destroyed during World War II and was later re-built in 1958 through public fundraising. It's a beautiful park and worth the visit.

Tokyo is one of the coolest cities in the world. It's rich in history and perfect for travelers looking to balance historical sightseeing with shopping, dining, and entertainment. We can't wait to go back again soon.

Fashion Calendar: The Oula Company Spring Sample Sale

Seattle fashion fans are invited to join Erika Dalya Massaquoi of The Oula Company this weekend for a special sample sale and preview of new arrivals. Erika is a curator, educator, and entrepreneur who sources textiles from emerging markets in Africa and produces beautiful garments with the goal of creating not only a cultural exchange but an opportunity for economic development. 

The Oula Company produces artisanal garments and accessories using small batch production methods in Seattle, Ghana, and Sierra Leone, to maintain the quality and craftsmanship of each piece. The event will include resort wear, children's clothing, vintage textiles, home decor, and jewelry. 

The event runs May 19-20 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and is hosted by Donna Moodie, owner of Marjorie Restaurant. Full event info can be found below. Stop by to shop and meet two Seattle entrepreneurs who are doing amazing work in the community and around the globe. 

// Event Details //
What: The Oula Company Sample Sale 
When: Sat. May 19 - Sun. May 20
Where: Kingston 8 501 Rainier Ave. S. Seattle, WA 98144
Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Photo credit Image 1: Victoria Kovios
Photo credit Image 2: Dysfunction Magazine

3 fashion films you can see at SIFF

The Seattle International Film Festival is back and the line-up of films is incredible! Fashion fans won't want to miss these great films packed with style and dripping in backstage access to industry legends. Here are 3 films you'll want to add to your fashion calendar ASAP.

McQueen - This documentary takes a look at the life of late British fashion designer Alexander McQueen. The film covers his humble beginnings and rise to the top, including his battles with mental illness, which eventually took his life. The London Evening Standard has already proclaimed this movie the "fashion film of the year". 

McQueen Showtimes  + Ticket Links

The Gospel According to André - Vogue fans will be lining up to see The Gospel According to André when it makes its local debut at SIFF. This film examines the life and career of fashion insider and former Vogue editor-at-large André Talley.  Get ready for cameo appearances by Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, and more.

The Gospel According to André Showtimes + Ticket Links

Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist - Designer Vivienne Westwood helped redefine British Fashion for nearly half a century and continues to make waves in the fashion industry with her activism for the environment. This documentary explores Vivian's childhood in post-war England and her journey to the major runways of Paris and Milan to present day.

Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist Showtimes + Ticket Links

Fashion Calendar: Behind the Seams

Fashion and history come together at the Behind the Seams series at MOHAI. This month the event will focus on Seattle women in the 1940's and examine the ways that the Second World War affected clothing. Clara Berg, the museum's Costume and Textile Specialist, will lead intimate one-hour discussions that allow guests to view rarely-seen garments from the archives and understand the context of what was happening in the city when women wore them. Tickets are $25 for the general public and $10 for MOHAI members. If you love art, fashion, history, and culture, this is the perfect event for you!

What: Behind the Seams featuring 1940's fashion
When: Saturday, May 12, 2018
Where: MOHAI 860 Terry Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98109 (South Lake Union)
Time: 11 a.m. , 12 p.m. , 2 p.m.
Tickets: $10-25
More info: mohai.org/event/behind-the-seams-1940s-fashion

6 stylish gifts for the mom who has everything

Mother's Day is just around the corner and it's time to celebrate the amazing women in our lives who help make the world go round. From custom bracelets to luxury handbags, power ties, and wine accessories, you'll find great gift ideas here for the mom who has it all. 

For power moms raising strong girls: Andieanderin
Designed in Seattle and produced in the U.S.A., these 100% silk neckties by Andieanderin will make a major style statement on Mother's Day. Each tie is inspired by influential women both past and present including Michelle Obama, Beyonce, Mother Teresa, Frida Kahlo (shown above), and even Hillary Clinton. The ties come in sizes for both women and girls, so they are perfect for a matching mother-daughter moment. 

For the fashion mom who needs a better bag: KACYYOM
Stylish moms on-the-go need a functional bag that fits their lifestyle. Enter: KACYYOM, a gorgeous new line of luxury handbags designed in Seattle and produced in an eco-friendly factory in Italy. These bags come in punchy colors and strike the perfect balance of form and function. Shop for KACYYOM bags locally at The Spa at Four Seasons in downtown Seattle, or online at KacyYom.com.

For the eco-friendly mama who deserves organic roses: Velvet Report Rose Vegan Beauty Box
Trying to navigate the world of vegan beauty products is hard, but staying true to your values when it comes to purchasing beauty products doesn't have to be. Velvet Report sources 100% vegan beauty products from a variety of beauty and skincare vendors and packages them up in beautiful keepsake boxes, making them a fabulous gift. I love the Rose Vegan beauty box which comes with a softly-scented rose toner, rosehip and clay facial mask, and a rose lip balm.
For the mom who hates "wine mouth" but won't give up red wine: WineBlock
WineBlock is a fun, practical gift for moms who love wine. It literally prevents wine mouth a.k.a. the embarrassing red stains on your lips and teeth caused by red wine, before it happens. WineBlock has zero taste and is made from an all-natural, non-toxic formula. We love wine here in Washington state and we're pleased to say this is a Seattle-based brand. #ShopLocal

For the mom who loves travel: Lat & Lo bracelet
For me, it's London. For my friend Nao, it's her hometown in Japan. We all have that one destination that makes our heart melt and that's why a Lat & Lo bracelet featuring geographical coordinates is the perfect gift for moms who love to travel. Lat & Lo also engraves rings, necklaces, and keychains.

For moms who love adventure: Ban.Do Cooler Bag
With summer just around the corner, moms who love adventure absolutely need a colorful cooler bag for chic picnics in the park. This insulated bag by Ban.Do will keep wine + snacks cold and features faux-leather handles and an insulated lining. Available locally at Nordstrom.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there! 

Lead Photo credit: Jenna Lynn Fernandez (top image)

Shop Now: 10 Mother's Day Gifts from flora & henri

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 13th and time is running out to find the perfect gift for the special ladies in your life. Seattle boutique flora & henri has a gorgeous assortment of gifts that are beautiful to give or receive.

This Two New York dress is a beautiful take on modern minimalist. Handmade in New York using fair trade textiles from India, this garment is one size fits all and features adjustable straps. $288.

Isle of May flora & henri fragrance featuring notes of rich red roses, fruity purple violets, and a vanilla-amber base. Available in multiple sizes. Launched last fall, this fragrance is a beautiful gift for moms who are looking for a new signature scent. 
Perfect for outdoor adventures and everyday wear, the Janessa Leone Woven Hat is a style staple for summer. $205. Made in the USA. 

Slip them on, pair with everything from breezy dresses to jeans. The craftsmanship on these leather sandals is absolutely stunning. Matta Koli Flat Sandal, $96. 

Give mom the gift of luxurious relaxation with Herbivore Calm Soaking Salts, $18. This is a great local company that does small-batch production to maintain the highest levels of quality. 

For moms who have a green thumb (obviously not me), Foraged Flora is a great gift! This book is organized by month and encourages readers to create floral arrangements using flowers and plants at the peak of their season. $40

For moms who love weekend getaways, this A-Frame overnight bag is the perfect gift! Made in the USA from 18 oz. canvas, this bag is durable, stylish, and large enough to fit everything you need. I bought one last spring and loved it so much I bought my husband one to match. We've taken these bags all over the world, and they are still in perfect condition! Highly recommend this fabulous bag. 

The flora & henri Sardinia swimsuit is insanely flattering and perfect for moms who want to look stylish while hanging with the kids by the pool. Fully lined and available in XS-L. $182. 

This gorgeous evil eye necklace is 14k rose gold and features a sapphire eye to ward off bad vibes. Kimset by Milka, $470. 
How sweet is this Mama Bird Card by Ghost Academy? This card is the perfect way to complete your gift. $5. 

flora & henri is located in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood. Shop locally in-store or shop online from anywhere in the world. In March of this year, flora & henri celebrated 20 years in business. Congratulations and thank you for making Seattle such a stylish place to shop!

flora & henri 
401 First Ave. S. 
Seattle, WA 98104