Jul 7, 2016

Seattle summer skincare trifecta

Despite that fact that I'm a total beauty junkie when it comes to cosmetics, it turns out I'm somewhat of a minimalist when it comes to skincare. Sure I love serums and luxurious under eye creams, but when it comes to the holy grail products that I can't live without, there are only three. Add these to your summer beauty bag ASAP.

If you live in the Pacific Northwest your chances of being vitamin D deficient are pretty much 100%. Supplement your daily dose topically with Tone Well by Seattle esthetician Susan Grace. A quick spritz after cleansing your face makes for an easy application, no cotton balls required. 
Product: Partly Sunny Skincare Tone Well Vitamin D toner
Cost: $29 
Uses: Tones, tightens and refreshes skin 
Use it: After cleansing your face and to refresh your make-up throughout the day 
Available locally: Susan Grace Skincare 5425 Ballard Ave. NW. Suite 300 Seattle, WA 98107


The girls at Sugar Sugar on Greenlake turned me on to Serious Serum a few years ago and I've been hooked ever since. Originally developed by Portland-based Urban Waxx founder Shannon Conley to prevent and eliminate ingrown hairs after waxing, Serious Serum also works as a facial exfoliant to soften fine lines and make your skin glow. I like to use it banish blemishes and I've heard other girls use it to get rid of bumps on the backs of their arms. It's basically a miracle product and it's all natural. 
Product: Serious Serum
Cost: $25
Uses: blemishes, prevention of ingrown hairs, exfoliation, red bumps
Use it: Nightly as part of your skincare routine
Available locally: Sugar Sugar 510 NE 65th St. Seattle, WA 98115


I've used many makeup setting sprays to help control mid-day shine but this one is by far my favorite because it has hyaluronic acid, green tea, and broad spectrum SPF 30. It's certified organic and soothes skin with aloe vera and cucumber. Coola is the final step in my skincare routine and it really does help my makeup last all day long. Just shake the bottle and give yourself a spritz. 

Product: Coola SPF 30 Makeup Setting Spray 
Cost: $36
Uses: set make-up, sun protection
Use it: Every morning 
Available locally: The Spa at Four Seasons 99 Union St. Seattle, WA 98101

3 books cool moms will love

There's a long list of things to do when you're pregnant. Scheduling baby classes, working on the registry, getting the nursery set up, and of course,  reading the stack of pregnancy books piling up on your coffee table. When I was pregnant with my first child the idea of reading pregnancy books was overwhelming. There were so many, most of them were too medical, and none of them offered a variety of perspectives. Two kids later, here are the three books I recommend to any new mom. 


When I found myself reluctant to dive into What to expect when you're expecting, my doula recommended 'From the Hips'. It was a lifesaver. This guide gives readers an in-depth look at every stage of pregnancy that is straight-forward and without judgment. Insight from hundreds of moms also offers much-needed perspective. This book is a refreshing and fun alternative to traditional pregnancy guides. 

I can't start my workweek without reading my horoscope from the AstroTwins, so when Tali and Ophira came out with a book all about astrology for moms, I was instantly intrigued. Momstrology is an amazing guidebook that matches your astrological sign as a parent with the astrological signs of your kids, and helps you better understand what drives them, what makes them crazy, and of course, how to meet in the middle. Momstrology gives readers cosmic insight on how to parent through various ages and stages, plus the specifics on how on how each astrological sign deals with everything from younger siblings to sexuality. If you're skeptical, don't be. This book is the truth.

If the idea of reading a traditional parenting book makes you want to gag, don't miss Sharon Ballantine's new book 'The Art of Blissful Parenting'. She's a Seattle-based author and fellow Queen Anne mom who helps parents teach their kids how to trust their instincts and be in alignment with the universe. This book is a great resource for parents who want to raise strong, confident children and enjoy the process along the way. If you live in Seattle and want to learn more, come meet Sharon in person next Thursday, July 14th at Queen Anne Books. Her book signing and Q&A starts at 7pm.


Jul 5, 2016

The Design Revolution is Here

Stop waiting for the next design revolution because it's already here. From near-future gadgets to far-future paradigm shifts, technology is now influencing every design discipline and Gray magazine invites you to join in on a creative conversation about design's next frontier. Featured speakers include Buki founder Joey Rodolfo, Microsoft Senior Art Director Mike Harnisch, Teague Associate Creative Director Matt McElvogue, and more. The discussion will take place at Hotel Sorrento in downtown Seattle from 6-8pm. Add this to your summer calendar now!

What: Learning from Tech: Dispatches from Design's Next Frontier

When: Monday, July 18, 2016 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Where: Hotel Sorrento 900 Madison St. Seattle, WA 98104

Why: Because tech, fashion and design will all intersect at this creative conversation produced by
Gray magazine, the leading design magazine in the Pacific Northwest

Tickets: $25 via Eventbrite


Travel Guide: 48 hours in London

London is my favorite city in the world and if I had my way, I would spend weeks at a time just soaking in the sights and sounds of this rich international city. It's a melting pot of culture, food, art and most importantly, fashion. The first time I visited back in 2009 I was on my honeymoon. That trip sparked what would later become six subsequent trips back to the U.K. to explore, linger in museums, sip coffee in chic cafes, and of course, shop. No matter how many times I visit, I continue to be inspired by the colors, textures, and attitudes about fashion that transcend any given season. London gives us many colorful ways to reinterpret fashion trends and create a style all our own.  If you only have 48 hours in London, here are the must-see shopping destinations to add to your list and a practical guide of what to pack for the adventure.

// Shop //

As one of the world's largest department stores, Harrods is a shopping experience you can't miss when visiting London, even if you're only in town for 48 hours.  The store spans seven floors and boasts more than 300+ departments including a champagne bar, food hall, and Toy Kingdom. Shop 'till you drop them head to Urban Retreat at Harrods for a luxurious Crème de la Mer Body treatment or signature massage.

I like to think of Selfridges as the cool, younger sister of Harrod's. In department store land that means unique shopping concepts, experimental pop-ups, indie brands and out-of-the-box merchandising. In addition to having the world's largest shoe department (35,000 square feet to be exact), Selfridges also introduced The Beauty Workshop back in 2012 bringing in a variety of beauty vendors including Hersheson's Blow Dry Bar, The Paint Shop, and Blink Brow Bar. Shoppers can splurge on express beauty services in between retail therapy sessions and then treat themselves to a refreshing cocktail at the rooftop bar.

Kurt Geiger opened his first store on Bond Street in London back in 1963. Since then, the brand has consistently pushed the envelope with stylish, fashion-forward shoes for men and women and now maintains additional brands including KG Kurt Geiger, Miss KG and Carvela. Celebs including Kylie Jenner, Claire Danes, and Karlie Kloss love Kurt Geiger. Don't miss the coveted shoe chandeliers in each shop.

Topshop at Oxford Circus aka "the mecca for cool girls" is a must-see shop in London. Boasting three floors of fashion including fashion-forward clothing for petites and an epic vintage clothing section, Topshop is also home to an EAT restaurant, Hershesons Blow Dry Bar, Strip Wax Boutique, Bleach Hair Salon and Wah Nails. Tip: If you have long hair and don't want to pack your styling tools for your trip, book an appointment at Hershesons Blow Dry Bar at Topshop. The styling team is crazy efficient and will even assign two stylists to blow dry your hair in tandem in order to get you out the door looking fab in 30-minutes or less.

If you have time to hit Covent Garden, don't miss the Lulu Guinness store. It's a fun, tongue-in-cheek brand for women who want to express their personal style without getting caught up in trends. The product mix includes luxury handbags,  fashion-forward but surprisingly functional luggage, and must-have tech accessories.

// Stay //

At this point, we've stayed all around the perimeter of Hyde Park in London. It's central to everything and it's a great way to escape the city when you need a nature break. On our last trip, we stayed at The Kensington Hotel in South Kensington and found that it was, without a doubt, our favorite hotel in London. The staff is friendly and the location is within walking distance to a tube station and local attractions like The Victoria & Albert Museum. The walk to Harrods from the hotel was less than 10 minutes which was an added bonus. If you're traveling with kids, request a tepee tent for your room so that the kids have a hideout.

// Play //

Here's a fun fact: in London admission to most of museums and art galleries is free. This means you can spend your time taking in the city history and culture without having to spend your shopping money to get in. This is critical information if you only have 48 hours to spend in London because you won't feel guilty popping in and out of museums as you explore the city.

Last time I was in town the National Portrait Gallery was showcasing Vogue 100: A Century of Style, a tribute to British Vogue, born in 1916 during World War One. At that time, shipping the US edition became nearly impossible so the Brits launched their own version to fill the fashion void. The exhibit featured magazines from the archives, behind-the-scenes videos from photoshoots, and an insider view of key moments in fashion including the 1947 launch of Christian Dior's 'New Look'. The exhibit ended in May but keep an eye out for other fashion installments by visiting the museum's website.

Must-see galleries for fashion and design in London include the V&A Museum, The Fashion & Textile Museum which is currently showcasing an exhibit on Missoni, and Tate Modern. If time permits, you should also check out events and showcases at Somerset House, which is home to the British Fashion Council and hosted London Fashion Week from 2009-2015.

// Pack // 

When it comes to packing for your trip keep in mind that London is a lot like Seattle in terms of weather. Don't let the clouds fool you, the sunshine will peek out and blind you, so it's a good idea to keep your sunglasses with you as you explore the city.

Show above:

1. Karu 'Kenley' Sunglasses via Moorea Seal. These babies were so popular they immediately sold out, so check out the Aerin if you want something similar.

2. When traveling, I like to pack light to leave room for shopping. My make-up bag is no exception. So instead of packing multiple eyeshadows, I opt for a palette with multiple color options like this one from Ciaté London via Sephora. I also like to take full advantage of beauty products that multi-task like lipsticks that double as blush.

3. A versatile leather jacket is a must-have item when packing for London. It goes with everything from dresses to jeans and you'll find yourself reaching for it when constantly. I like this quilted Moto Jacket from Topshop.

4. Be ready to do a lot of walking in London. Seriously. I run a 5k in the week leading up to my overseas adventures just so that I'm in peak performance for my trip. I mean, come on. I have to keep my stamina up for shopping purposes. If you have a Nike Fuel Band or a Fit Bit, you'll want to bring it with you because you'll rack up some serious mileage on your trip. From a fashion standpoint, if you plan to wear heels, go for something practical like these Laurel Peep Toe Booties via Nordstrom.

5. Versatility is key when traveling. Pack an easy long sleeve blouse like this one from DVF via Shop Style. You can wear it by day with jeans, or tuck it into a leather skirt for a night on the town.

6. And since graphic tees are all the rage right now, you can't go wrong with this oh-so-cheeky "Karl is My Father" tee by Seattle-based T+J Designs. This will be your uniform for the plane ride home paired with a leather jacket and dark denim jeans. Done.

Bonus items
Mexican Filigree earrings from JJ Caprices instantly take your outfit from day to evening. Light-weight and lovingly handcrafted, these earrings are gorgeous and great for travel.

A watch is one of my everyday essentials for travel. I love this Marc Jacobs 'Baker' watch with leather strap and rose gold plating. It goes with everything and keeps me on schedule.

Whether you have four days or a mere 48 hours to explore London is a city that will capture your heart and open your mind.
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