Jun 27, 2021

The Stylish Summer Travel Guide to SEA

Seattle has now hit the 70% vaccinated mark and as a result, we're seeing a major boost in "vacci-cations", a.k.a. the post-vaccination vacation. Yes, that's officially a thing. For many people, it's been a while since they've flown in and out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, now known simply as SEA. Over the past year, there have been renovations, new dining options added, new retail experiences, and even new ways to park. Here's your stylish guide to summer travel at SEA.


SEA is now offering pre-paid parking in the airport's on-site parking garage. It's the closest, most convenient parking available, and if you pre-book, you'll get a discount. The airport has more than 12,000 parking spaces available for both short-term and long-term parking and let's be honest, after a long trip, it's so nice to be able to head straight to your car and get home quickly.
The process to pre-pay for parking is easy, you simply book online in advance and you'll receive an email with a QR code to scan on entry and exit.

Getting through Security 

As travel picks up again, so has the wait time at security checkpoints. Prior to the pandemic when regular travel was a routine part of our lives, we signed up for CLEAR and it was one of the best decisions we've ever made. Going through security is so easy now and we get to skip the long lines, which is critical when traveling with kids. Instead of using traditional ID documents, CLEAR uses your eyes and face to confirm your identity. You can start the enrollment online and then head to any airport CLEAR location with a valid government-issued ID to complete the sign-up process. You can use CLEAR at over 50+ airports, stadiums, and other venues nationwide. Get 2 months free by using my referral link to sign up for CLEAR.

For those that don't have CLEAR, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is also testing out a new pilot program called SEA Spot Saver, that allows passengers to reserve a specific time to go through security in an effort to streamline wait times. The program is available from 4 a.m. to noon daily through August 31st and is available for general security passengers. Reserve your spot here.

Staying Safe

Even if you're fully vaccinated, you still need to wear a mask that fully covers your nose and mouth at the airport and on the plane during your flight. To help keep passengers safe, SEA has also added 280 hand sanitizing stations conveniently located throughout the airport. I also recommend packing sanitizing wipes in your carry-on bag so that you can wipe down the tray tables, armrests, windows, and belt buckles at your seat when you get on board. 


You'll want to arrive early to the airport so that you can take advantage of the food scene prior to departure. At SEA, you'll find local favorites like Skillet, Poke to the Max, Beecher's, Lucky Louie, Lady Yum, and more. I'm a fan of the kale caesar at Skillet and the fish and chips at Lucky Louie, but honestly, you can't go wrong with the Pacific Northwest dining options at SEA. Dining options are limited in-flight due to COVID restrictions, so eat in advance, just in case.

Here are some places to try next time you're at the airport:

A Gates - Capitol Hill Food Fall - Highlights include Chowder Shack, Grand Central Bakery, Salt & Straw, and Caffe Ladro.

B Gates - Mi Casa Cantina - The menu includes freshly baked tortas, house-made burritos, guacamole, pico de gallo, and handcrafted cocktails.

C Gates - Beecher's Handmade Cheese - If you're in the mood for comfort food, their Mac & Cheese is the world's best. You'll also find artisan cheeses, fresh salads, and Caffe Vita espresso drinks.

Central Terminal - Lucky Louie Fish Shack - If you're craving PNW-inspired food, the Fish & Chips and  Creamy Clam Chowder are both personal favorites. 

D Gates - Poke to the Max - Hawaiian food at its finest including Poke Bowls, Loco Moco, and more. Don't miss the Spam Musubi, which also makes a great travel snack for your carry-on. 

North Satellite - Skillet - Modern American food with an approachable, diner vibe. Fun fact: Skillet has an all-day brunch menu. If you're looking for something healthy-ish, I highly recommend the kale caesar with chicken. 

South Satellite Dungeness Bay Seafood House - Oh yes, it's all things Dungeness, including crab cakes, crab bisque, clams, calamari, and more. Oh, and there's a full-service bar, too. 

For a sweet treat, check out the Seattle Chocolate store (near Gate C1) that stocks 100% non-GMO, small-batch chocolate truffle bars, jcoco caramels, and special occasion gifts.


SEA has plenty of great options if you're shopping for gifts or simply need a little retail therapy prior to your flight. Don't miss Sacred Circle, the airport's only Native American-owned shop featuring handmade jewelry and wearable art from local artisans and inland tribes. You'll also want to check out Seattle Made, an entire shop dedicated to celebrating Seattle's unique cultural identity, and Fireworks, one of my favorite places to shop for gifts.

At SEA, you'll also find CHALO, a locally-owned gift and lifestyle shop featuring Seattle-inspired products like tote bags, coffee cups, zippered pouches, and more. The lead image of this post features a Seattle boarding pass tote bag from CHALO.

Here are some of the stores you can shop at SEA:
  • Coach
  • Ex Officio
  • Fireworks
  • MAC Cosmetics 
  • Made in Washington 
  • Swarovski 
  • Show Pony

Summer Reading

Shop local for all the books on your summer reading list at Elliot Bay Book Co. located in the C Concourse. On my last trip to the airport, I picked up a copy of Rebecca Minkoff's new book Fearless and finished the entire book during the flight. You can also stock up on magazines at the Hudson stores located throughout the airport. 

Final Tip

Pack your patience and have fun! For many of us, it's been a long time since we traveled and it comes as no surprise that we're all a little rusty. Be patient, pack snacks, and don't forget to stay hydrated. 

Additional resources:

Keep up with my summer travel adventures on Instagram, @Sydlovesfashion


Jun 25, 2021

Former Dolce Vita Execs Launch Oncept Shoes

Oncept Shoes

While the pandemic has been troublesome for many businesses, it has also created space for innovative new ideas to bloom. Industry veterans Megan Key Campos and Nick Lucio, both former executives at Dolce Vita, have launched a new footwear company for sustainably-minded fashion fans.

Oncept made its debut earlier this spring with the release of five core styles, each named after cities around the world. The collection includes the Athens Essential Sandal, Copenhagen Modern Mule, Nolita Forever Flat, Tokyo Travel Companion, and the London Seasonless Sneaker. With a core belief in conscious design, Oncept made the decision to produce just five styles in an effort to edit the line and avoid overproduction.

The entire collection is ethically made from sustainable materials including overstock recycled rubber, memory foam insole cushioning made from recycled rubber foam and castor bean oil, and nylon sourced from post-consumer recycled polyester. In addition, all shoes are shipped in a reusable, organic tote, without the use of traditional tissue or plastic materials inside the box. Other eco-friendly details include organic cotton laces, recycled insole boards, recycled fabric tags, and TENCEL™ Lyocell linings, which are produced from wood pulp. Learn more about Oncept's commitment to sustainability here.

The London - An elevated, sporty sneaker with a flexible rubber outsole. Available in 3 colors. 

The Athens - An easy, and effortless essential sandal. Available in 7 colors. 

The Copenhagen - An elevated, modern mule. Available in 4 colors. 

The Tokyo - A lightweight sneaker for everyday wear. Available in 6 colors. 

The Nolita - A minimalist, versatile flat. Available in 7 colors. 

This line is perfect for fashion fans who want to shop with their values in mind. Oncept shoes are versatile, easy to wear, and will seamlessly transition from season to season. Prices start at $250 USD.


Jun 10, 2021

5 Tips for Teaching Kids to Swim

Summer is here and chances are if you have kids, you'll be swimming to beat the heat. This is often the time of year when parents start thinking about swim lessons and while those may be valuable for some kids, consistently spending time in the water with your children can be just as effective. I taught both of my kids to swim over the years and made it a point to teach them critical water safety skills. My kids definitely don't know the butterfly or backstroke, but I have been successful at teaching them to swim safely and feel more confident in the water. Here are 5 tips for teaching kids how to swim:

1 - Get a Puddle Jumper

It's important that kids get comfortable being in the water even before they know how to fully swim. We found that having a Puddle Jumper was a great way to help our kids practice kicks and back floats. These skills are critical for swimming and the puddle jumpers offered a great range of motion. Both of our kids started swimming with puddle jumpers in the beginning and then graduated to swimming puddle jumper-free as time went on. 

Note: Kids need to be supervised in the water even while wearing puddle jumpers. We used them exclusively for helping our kids stay above water while teaching them swimming skills.  

2 - Buy a Snorkel Mask 

Fact: It's hard to swim without getting water on your face. The truth is, most kids are afraid of getting their faces wet and are even more terrified of getting water up their nose. We found that snorkel masks (the kind that fully covers the nose) were helpful when teaching our kids to swim because they eliminated the problem of getting water in the eyes or nose. It's really hard for kids to be able to plug their nose while also using both arms to swim, so the snorkel mask is key. We also found that snorkel masks were more durable than traditional goggles and didn't allow water to leak in while swimming. Once kids can see in the water and stop worrying about getting their faces wet, they will instantly be more engaged. 

3 - Teach Water Safety 

Drowning can happen in just a few inches of water so it's critical to teach kids about water safety when they are young. Early on we learned the importance of teaching our kids best practices around water to keep everyone safe. In addition to basic things like no running near the pool to avoid slipping, we also ensure that kids get permission from an adult before entering the water. Oversized pool floats, older kids in water, and crowded pools can make it hard for little ones to swim around safely. 

We also make sure that there is a designated adult ready to watch the kids and keep an eye out for any horeseplay that could pose a risk to kid safety. It only takes a second for kids to quietly slip under the water so it's important that they have your undivided attention. At kid parties and other group swim activities, you also want to watch out for horseplay that could accidentally cause kids to get trapped underwater, even if for just for a second. 

If I'm teaching kids to swim, I like to focus on one child at a time. So when my kids were small, that meant putting one in a puddle jumper to swim around while I was actively working on building skills with the other one. It's also important to remember that kids get very tired when swimming because it's a full body workout, so remember to take breaks and get out of the pool when you notice kids getting tired. 

4 - Teach Key Skills 

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I'm not a professional swim coach and when I taught my kids to swim, my ultimate goal was to keep them from drowning. I didn't care if they could do the butterfly or the backstroke, I wanted them to be able to swim to the edge of the pool and rescue themselves if they were in a bad situation. I taught both kids how to float on their backs so that they could keep their face out of the water and take a break if they were tired of swimming. I also taught them how to effectively kick their legs and paddle with their arms to quickly get to the pool edge. 

To teach the backfloat, use a puddle jumper or an alternate floatation device and "spot" kids under their back so that they can lay flat and practice holding themselves steady. Practice in shallow water at a depth where kids can easily touch the bottom of the pool so that they can put their feet down if needed. 

To teach kicking skills, have kids hold on the pool edge while they practice kicking their legs to simulate swimming. 

As my kids developed their skills, I would then remove their puddle jumper and position them close to the pool stairs (while I carried them) so that eventually they could practice swimming to the stairs on their own without the use of a flotation device. It takes time, but they'll get it eventually. Keeping the swim distance short and the depth shallow is the key to early success. 

5 - Be Consistent

As with any skill, repetition is key. You have to give kids frequent access to practice their swim skills if you want them to be strong swimmers. This might mean finding open swim times at your community swimming pool and taking your kids in the evening a few times a week. It might mean doing a staycation in the city somewhere with a pool so that you can commit to swimming every day for a week. It might mean signing your kid up for swim lessons for a week in the summer and then continuing their skill development on your own. Or, it might look like something totally different. Find what works for you and stick with it. 

Trust me, the LAST thing I wanted to do when my kids were small was put on a swimsuit and get in the pool to teach my kids how to swim. I prefer sitting poolside with a fashion magazine and a tropical drink, but, I knew how important it was to teach them how to swim so that they could safely enjoy the water. It is possible to do, but it does take patience and time. But isn't that true of anything that's worth doing?

Here are some pools around Seattle that we love:

Pop Mounger Pool - Magnolia

Colman Pool - West Seattle 

Queen Anne Community Pool - Queen Anne 

Four Seasons Seattle Infinity Pool - Downtown Seattle 

Nelson Dairy Farm Pool - Suncadia 

Full disclosure, I'm not a certified swim instructor, I'm just a mom who taught her kids how to swim. 


What's New at Pacific Place


After a two-and-a-half-year renovation, Pacific Place, Seattle's downtown shopping center, quietly opened its doors last summer at the height of the pandemic. The big reveal unveiled a modern new look for the property but ultimately left fashion fans underwhelmed when it came to the actual shopping experience because only a fraction of the original retailers remained. After all, we were in the midst of a global pandemic and many of the retailers that had once called Pacific Place home had closed up shop or moved on to other locations that were foot traffic-friendly. 

During its lengthy renovation, Pacific Place embraced a pop-in strategy, allowing indie retailers to utilize short-term, temporary spaces. As a result, a variety of Seattle retailers including The Handmade Showroom, JNBY, and Bezel & Kiln, made use of the space and added newness to the property while testing out retail concepts that would otherwise have been cost-prohibitive. Art galleries including Gallery Onyx and Ghost Gallery also opened their doors at Pacific Place, giving shoppers a fun and easy way to experience local art. The WOW Gallery is scheduled to open on June 18th. More info on the opening party can be found here

In addition to art and indie retailers, Pacific Place is also still home to national brands like lululemon, Tiffany & Co., Aveda, and AT&T. And of course, there's still plenty of great dining options including Thai Ginger, Johnny Rockets, Pike Place Chowder, Haidilao Hot Pot, and Din Tai Fung. 

Other noteworthy updates:

+ During COVID, AMC Pacific Place is offering guests the ability to rent out a theater for private parties. For $249+ tax you can host up to 20 guests and enjoy a private movie experience. Learn more

+ Din Tai Fung is now offering vegan menu items including Vegan Wontons with House Spicy Sauce, Vegan Noodles with Sesame Sauce, Vegan Noodle Soup, and Vegan Wonton Soup. 

+ You can now visit Dress for Success at Pacific Place on Level 3. Dress for Success helps empower women to achieve economic independence by providing support, development tools, and professional attire. By appointment only. Save the date! The virtual Summer Soiree is scheduled for June 24th. 

Pacific Place 
600 Pine Street
Seattle, WA 98101

Find Pacific Place on Instagram @Pacific_Place


Jun 9, 2021

The Cura Co. unveils Hanae Collection

The Cura Co. has unveiled a new limited-run apparel collection designed to offer fashion fans ethically-made wardrobe pieces that will effortlessly transition from season to season. The 13-piece Hanae Collection, co-created in Cambodia with Cura’s zero-waste production partners, was made using pre-consumer textile waste that would otherwise have gone unused. Each piece embraces a slow fashion ethos and can be styled in multiple ways to create a variety of looks. The goal of the Hanae collection is to provide timeless foundation pieces for a sustainable wardrobe.

“We are committed to mindful, ethical fashion,” says Cura Co. founder Kiko Eisner-Waters, “The Hanae collection is designed to be seasonless and will be released with rolling drop dates that reflect and embrace our vision for the future of fashion that takes into account both people and the planet.”

Five of the thirteen styles from the Hanae Collection are available now in multiple colorways and fabrications. New styles from the line will be released periodically throughout the season. By embracing a slow fashion production schedule that intentionally pivots from the traditional fashion calendar, The Cura Co. is leading with its commitment to ethical and sustainable fashion. Each piece was designed in Seattle and handmade in Phnom Penh, Cambodia at a female-founded, woman-owned production facility. The partnership is a true collaboration with talented makers who specialize in their craft. The size-inclusive, versatile range includes jumpsuits, dresses, tunics, and pants.

About The Cura Co.

The Cura Co. is a one-stop shop for conscious living. Founded by fashion industry veteran Kiko Eisner-Waters in 2019, Cura helps simplify your values-based lifestyle by making it easier to shop from a curated mix of ethical brands. Deeply rooted at the intersection of beauty, art, equity, and impact, CURA provides an intentional connection between producer and consumer. Female-forward with social justice at the core of its model, The Cura Co. is more than just a brand - it’s a conscious lifestyle. Learn more at thecuraco.com.

The Cura Co. 
2407 E. Union St. #D
Seattle, WA 98122

Tues. - Sun.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Photo credit: Jessica Garcia 

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