Like Microsoft in Seattle, Facebook in Silicon Valley, and Goldman Sachs in New York, there’s a special kind of symbiotic relationship that occurs when a company grows up from within a specific community.
Albertsons, the little grocery store chain established in Boise in 1939, has over the decades become that inseparable counterpart to the great state of Idaho. With its latest grand opening of the new-concept Albertsons Market Street store at Eagle & Fairview, the special bond between company and community has never been more apparent!
From in-store-made cheese to hand-crafted jewelry, local organic produce and farm-raised beef, touches of Idaho culture and community are vastly evident throughout this expansive new store.
This big, beautiful store is so much more than groceries;
Albertsons Market Street is Idaho incarnate!
I spoke with one of the department managers at a recent blogger/influencer Sneak Peek event, right before their grand opening. It was clear that she was very proud of how her store is not only “including” local products and artisans, but deliberately championing them. Look no further than the clothing & gifts section, where t-shirts and hats from Wear Boise hang proudly beside “I ❤ Boy See” coffee mugs and baseball caps.
Inspired by this clear passion for all things Idaho, my friend & frequent blog partner Ammophotog and I went on a #locallove treasure hunt throughout the new store, spying all the wonderful things Albertsons is deriving from – and contributing to – this community!
Enjoy the tour,and be sure to stop in to see the gorgeous new Market Street store at 3499 E Fairview Ave., Meridian, ID.
Once upon a time, my dear friend Roshan Roghani told me her fashion philosophy: “I only buy things that make me happy.” She went on to explain that if something in her closet didn’t bring her joy when she looked at it, she would pass it on to someone else who might like it better! It was her way of decluttering her life and her wardrobe, while also sharing happiness with the world around her. How cool is that?
We all know that things don’t make you happy. But having things in your wardrobe or house that remind you of sadness or bring up bad memories can definitely affect you. I’ve adopted Roshan’s philosophy, choosing to build a wardrobe that may not always be on-trend, but will consistently represent my heart, my style, and the happiness I want to share with the world.
Sparkles bring me joy.
I have always gravitated towards sparkly clothes, jewelry, and even shoes that reflect light and color, and I have memories of my father teasing me, “Will you ever have enough glitter?” Apparently, the answer to that is NO, because when I spotted these amazing trousers on sale at Zara.com, I couldn’t pass them up!
I also couldn’t wait for an “appropriate occasion” to wear them, because why should we limit sequins & sparkle to holidays and special events? Fortunately for my fragile patience, the gorgeous Chateau des Fleurs was throwing a special Bloggers & Influencers event last weekend, so I threw two outfits together – one casual/comfort, and the other drama/dressy – and headed over.
Huge, adoring, grateful thanks to my amazing photographer @ammophotog for all these fabulous pics, and to the generous Chateau des Fleurs team for letting us play in your beautiful paradise!
Outfit One: Comfy Sparkle
I like to balance drama pieces with sedate classics. I dressed down this look with always-in-fashion Adidas, and a very cozy brushed cotton top I found at a local boutique. The result felt cool, casual, and comfortable! I could wear this almost anywhere.
My new favorite necklace! ❤
Use special discount code GIFT134 at Roma Designer Jewelry to get 20% off any purchase!!!
Outfit Two: Sassy Sparkle
For this look, I matched drama to drama with a rock & roll top and fluffy faux fur jacket. It felt purrrrrfectly fun and full of attitude! I didn’t have time on this day to change my shoes, but next time I wear this look it will be with my favorite red boots!
Quick, look at your calendar – Christmas is just days away! If you’re not ready (and might be panicking a little), take heart; you are not alone, and your friendly neighborhood shopping pro is here to help!
When it comes down to the wire, you have two optimal choices to strategize finding that perfect gift:
1. Shop online, or
2. Shop hyper-local.
For those scrambling to find the perfect gifts, here are my top tips for last-minute Christmas shopping!
Sorry, no, you probably don’t have time to ship something from Amazon; that’s not what I’m talking about here. Your best bet for last-minute online options are subscriptions! From diamond jewelry to organic dinner, there are tons of both national and local subscription services for just about everyone on your list.
For maximum impact, I recommend printing something out that explains the subscription, and then wrapping it along with a physical item that reflects the theme. For example, if you’re giving a wine delivery subscription, wrap it up in a box with a pair of champagne flutes!
Annual subscriptions are the gift that literally keeps on giving, all year long!
Perhaps the best gift you can give right now is the one you can’t really wrap up in a box: adventure. Designer goods are waning in popularity right now, while travel and adventure are on the rise. Some of that might be fueled by economy and budget, or perhaps a thirst for the perfect photos to post on Instagram. Either way, there’s little in this world more exciting than opening up airplane tickets for Christmas!
Listed in order from most to leave expensive, below are my top picks for adventures you can purchase online in a minute, and cherish for a lifetime:
Winter in Europe – Gorgeous sights, lights, tastes, and shopping. Personal faves are the German winter markets in January, and the designer sales in Paris in February. Flight sales are insane right now, some under $500 round trip!
Tropical getaway – Go relax, get warm & soak in some vitamin D.
The Treasure Valley is blessed with a plethora of unique local gift, clothing, shoe, and home decor boutiques. But why choose local over big box stores? The answer is two-fold. You already know how important small business is to a city’s economy, sustainability and growth, so I won’t dig into that…
But the other reason is how well we know each other in this community! Chances are, the person you’re searching to find a gift for has a favorite place to shop. Go there. Show the salespeople the name & a photo of your person. It’s very likely they have worked with him/her before, and know their style and tastes! Walk into downtown Boise’s Piece Unique, for example, say “My wife Mary shops here all the time,” and they are likely to respond: “Oh yes, we love Mary! She’s very into our Baci Fashion line, which is right over here. Her favorite colors are pink and blue, so she’s probably love this sweater!”
Ta-da, the perfect gift! See how that works? It’s one of my favorite things about this town!
Below is a list of some of the best localfashion boutiques in town, where I know you will get that kind of service. (PLEASE comment below and let me know if I’ve missed YOUR favorite store. I love getting to know places & faces that are new and special in this community!)
Let’s be honest: When it comes to fashion shows and red carpet events, Bellevue Collection’s Fashion Week is truly head & shoulders above the rest. And this year was no exception! From designer meet & greets, to platters of fresh macaroons wafting through the crowd, to a famous artist giving out personalized caricatures, everything about Bellevue Collection Fashion Week 2018 was done to perfection.
Our crew of adventurers consisted of 15 fashion-loving Boise women, all ready to explore, wine, dine, and shop till we dropped! On day one, we hit the ground running with a VIP party at Nordstrom.
But first things first: lunch at the new Bento Grill, where chef Tom Douglas crafted a unique dining experience that melds gourmet Asian cuisine with take-out-buffet efficiency.
Debbie Evy, a brilliant stylist from Nordstrom’s Collectionsdepartment, showed us how to select our dish, then customize each step to create the perfect bento box experience. Top off lunch with a blended mango sake shake, and you’re in for a fabulous afternoon!
Next stop: Nordstrom’s Designer department for champagne and shopping! Debbie and her crew brought in new fall pieces from Gucci, Prada, Louie Vuitton, and more to tantalize our couture-craving crew.
While models displayed how to style this season’s scrumptious Chloe sweater dresses and vibrant Tory Burch jackets, makeup artists from Trish McEvoy primped and pampered our travel-weary faces.
On the lower level, hair stylists had style-&-go stations ready to plump, smooth, curl, and tame our tresses! With our Nordstrom treasures and beauty swag-bags in hand, we dashed back to our rooms at the Westin Bellevue for a quick clothing change…
And then off to the show!
The Independent Designer Runway Showis one of my all-time favorite events! In the past, designers from around the Pacific Northwest have competed for a coveted top spot, cash prize, editorial coverage in Seattle Met Magazine, and the opportunity to display their looks in Bellevue Square.
This year, instead of fledgling designers, the Collection graced us with a special show that brought back past winners to compete in a best-of-the-best runway throw-down!
Flip through the slideshow to be inspired by looks from: DEVONATION by Devon Yan LOURDES é EVA by Nore Suárez Cute Like Mad by Jeanette Svensk Li Poppyseed by Rebekah Adams Valentina & Valenti’s by Milena Natanov Deyonte’ Weather Collection by Deyonte’ Weather Chany Venturini by Maria Venturini
[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”18″ gal_title=”Independent Designer Runway Show 2″]
A brand new Albertsons grocery market just opened in Boise, boasting an extended International Foods section. As a travel blogger and lover of global cuisine, I just had to check it out!
I just have to say: this new store is HUGE! Besides the aforementioned global foods, there’s an extra-large beauty section, complete with expanded natural and local options, an incredible meat department, cheeses from everywhere you can imagine, and floral choices that are out of this world. Basically, it’s your new favorite one-stop-shop!
Spanish, Indian, German, French, British, Dutch, Asian… ALL the foods!!! With so many great culinary choices, I was inspired to put together a very special picnic, to commemorate one of my favorite travel memories.
Once upon a time (jk; last summer!) I took a group of Boise women to Paris for a girls’ getaway. Of course, we had to visit the Eiffel Tower, but we did so in way that was markedly different than the average tourist…
Instead of standing in long lines & paying big chunks of change to ascend to the top, we stopped by a neighborhood market, loaded up on local food & drinks, and spread out a picnic dinner at the base of Paris’ most famous landmark!
Did you know that the Eiffel Tower has a massive public park at its feet? Called the Champs de Mars, this green space is extensive and lush, with soft grass, shady trees, playgrounds, and unparalleled views of the historic structure that rises over it!
We had a glorious meal, and as the sun began to set, the Tower lit up, illuminating the park with over 20,000 dancing, sparkling lights. Music played, people danced, everyone oohed and ah-ed…
I’ll never forget it that night!
While walking through the Global Foods section in the new Albertsons back home, I was inspired to recreate that fun Parisian moment right here in Boise, with a whimsical picnic from around the world.
Everything I needed was right at my fingertips!
1: SAVORY MEATS
Choose a classic, like Genoa Salami, and pair it with something more exotic, like Mortadella from Italy. If you like meats with a little more kick, be sure to check out Albertson’s Basque section of delicious choices, back in the dairy department!
2: CHEESY GOODNESS
I like combining a trio of different, yet simple flavors: a mild family favorite (ours is Gouda), a soft spread (Brie from France), and something flavorful and intense, like an aged asiago or savory Manchego.
3: FRESH & FRUITY
Balance out salty proteins with some fresh fruit, which Albertson’s makes easy in pre-cut disposable bowls. A jar of lemon-flavored Oui French-style yoghurt by Yoplait makes an excellent fruit dip, and the little glass jar washes out easily to become a petite flower- or candle-holder for later!
4: SUMPTUOUS SIPS
I love a light, refreshing rosé with a glass or screw-off top for easy opening in the park, because who ever remembers a corkscrew, really?!? For a kid-friendly picnic, it’s good to include something indulgent and unique, but also non-alcoholic, like this delicious Sparkling Limonade from France!
5: DON’T FORGET DESSERT
Perhaps the most important part of your Parisian picnic, the pièce de résistance, so to speak, is a decadent dessert. Just like on our Eiffel Tower day, nothing compares to fresh chocolate eclairs, made daily with love in the Albertsons bakery!
So, there you have it – c’est délicieux, as they say in France. Lay out your blanket on the grass, pluck a small bouquet for atmosphere, and picnic away! It’s simple, easy, and mouthwateringly scrumptious.
Enjoy your summer, #EatLifeUp to the max, and be sure to stop by the new Albertsons in downtown Boise for an unparalleled market and cuisine experience!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons on Broadway. The opinions and text are all mine.
So you’re going to Paris? Bien por vous! The City of Light is a fashion mecca, and has some of the best shopping in the world, especially for those hunting vintage and couture fashions. Chanel and Louis Vuitton, for example, originated here and still call Paris home, so if you know where to look, you might just stumble upon something priceless!
In recent years I’ve had the opportunity to scout out the shopping scene here, and take a few friends with me on girl-time getaway trips as well. The guide below is by no means exhaustive, but rather a journal of my personal finds and favorites, that I hope you’ll find helpful!
Pro tip: While some of us may dream of dressing up like Audrey Hepburn and perusing Parisian avenues in style, truly successful treasure hunting favors the practical shopper. Trust me; your best friends will be a lightweight totebag, a water bottle, and your most comfortable shoes. Save your haute couture look (and your feet!) for a night on the town later.
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Open Air Markets
Paris has a number of amazing flea markets, the largest of which are Marché aux Puces de Montreuil and Puces de Paris Saint-Ouen. (For the smaller neighborhood and seasonal markets, click this handy guide by David Lebovitz to get all the info you need on everything from local rummage sales, to roving brocantes!)
I haven’t had the opportunity to explore the Montreuil market, so my focus here will be on Les Puces de Saint-Ouen Market, known to localsas Les Puces (The Fleas). This is a massive maze of thirteen markets combined, with over 2,500 shops and stalls, dating back to the 1800’s. The outer edges are comprised mostly of knock-off clothing, shoes, and accessories imported from overseas, but once you dive a little deeper – into the Dauphine, Serpette, and Paul Bert markets, for example – you’ll find everything from vintage corsets to Valentino handbags!
One of my favorite shops is Les merveilles de Babellou(photos below)in the Paul Bert market. I bought my first real Chanelbrooch here for a fraction of the price new, and everything in the shop is certified authentic. From vintage Gucci to Prada runway samples, you never know what you’re going to find in this treasure trove, all on consignment from local fashion lovers and couture collectors!
Pro tips: Check days and hours before you go to any flea or outdoor market in Paris, as hours are variable and sometimes seasonal. Bring cash, because although nearly every vendor will take credit cards, you can haggle prices better with paper money. Also, keep safety in mind, and leave your valuables at home or wear them someplace secret and secure on your person. Cell phones and handbags are a pickpocket’s favorite targets, here!
For more vintage and couture treasure shopping in the Paris Flea Markets, visit this handy guide.
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Thrift and Consignment
Paris is also home to many amazing resale shops, where you can find everything from 70’s concert t-shirts, to authentic studded Louboutin pumps. KILO shops were a big hit with our crew, and have multiple locations across Europe. They are much like Buffalo Exchange or Plato’s Closet in the USA, but instead of individually-priced items, your purchased are weighed and you pay by the kilo. We found some amazing leather jackets and vintage denim, as well as funky retro sunglasses and unique leather handbags.
I have two favorite luxury resale shops in Paris: Reciproque and Depot-Vente.
Reciproque is a huge, two-story couture consignment and resale shop, and it has E V E R Y T H I N G. It’s also the largest luxury consignment shop in Paris, and can be a little overwhelming if you’re in a hurry. It’s a good idea to pack a water bottle, some snacks, and give yourself plenty of time to devote to your treasure hunt here! The upper floor is upscale designer clothing and handbags. Shoes are downstairs, along with a massive secondary room filled with racks of dresses, jackets, sweaters, and more.
Depot-Vente is much smaller, but it’s my go-to place, where I always find something I can’t leave Paris without! This shop doesn’t look very fancy from the outside, but on multiple trips I’ve found treasures like a gorgeous full-length Chloewool coat for $200, a Valentinojacket for $80, and Chanelsunglasses for $50.
The shop is run by a mother/daughter team, and if you’re searching for something specific, just ask! They know every single item that’s in their shop, and will dig through stacks & racks to find exactly what you want. Depot-Vente doesn’t have its own address, but sits between 21 Rue de la Pompe and 19 Rue de la Pompe, Paris, France 75116.
Pro tip: Credit and debit cards are accepted almost everywhere, but when it comes to consignment and resale shops, cash will almost always get you a better deal!
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That’s it for now! If you’re heading to Paris in the near future and would like to connect for tips and recommendations, please comment below! Or send a message on my Facebook page – I’m always happy to help out a fellow globetrotting fashion lover. 🙂
For more awesome shopping tips and locations, I also recommend checking out this awesome local touring & guidance website: www.parisperfect.com!
And stay tuned for more tips in my upcoming article series on Paris, London, and Amsterdam, too!
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!!!
Having 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!
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!
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.
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!
Speaking of food… After staying at the Bradford Elysees, I’ll never be satisfied with a standard continental breakfast, as long as I live!
Every 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.
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!
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?!?
#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.
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.
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.
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,
All photos by Amber Daley & Tanya Carnahan
There’s something so magical about Spring emerging, isn’t there? Winter winds settle down into warmer breezes, Nature begins unfolding her first blush of flowers and baby tree buds… And of course, America’s clothing boutiques fling open their doors & illuminate their shelves with giddy prints and brighter colors. It’s SPRING FASHION, baby!
Regardless of color palettes, this year, more than ever, the fashion world seems to be in revolution mode. All the old rules are out, and what’s most popular right now is simply what’s most rebellious, from political statements to mind-bending fashion runways. Is it any wonder that pink is an emerging power color in this climate, and that it’s being done in such edgy ways? Pink is like a smile, and right now it’s a smile we’re determined to put on our faces, whether we feel like it or not! 😉
But this ain’t your mama’s Barbie pink or posh pastel, ladies. Nope; this pink is PUNK!
From handbags to jackets, to tattoo-style roses on jeans, pink these days feels less girly, and more of a dare. And that’s what makes it a fashion statement!
When I spotted this pinkPage Crossbody bag in COACH, I died. It’s the perfect sherbet color, which tends a little toward the sweet side, but the metal studs and precious rocks infuse it with a mega-dose of sassy!
Need more convincing that Pink is the New Black? Scroll down for more fashion inspiration below. And tell me in the comments if YOU’re going punk with pink this season!
Special thanks to Toni Osmundson of Sydney Studios & Co. for the fun photo shoot, and to Boise’s JUMP for showing us around!
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 AreHeather, 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. ❤
Where We Stayed
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?
Where We Shopped
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.
Throughout the rest of the trip, we explored a wide variety of shopping options, including Bergdorf Goodman (with a Chanelapartment 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.
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!
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…
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!
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!
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. ❤
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!!!
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!!!
There is a new wave of activism sweeping across our nation right now, as men and women everywhere are stepping up to use their time, energy, and wallets to make a difference in the community around them. Many of us are galvanized, like never before, to find ways we can each help make our world a better place.
As a feminist, I believe that a vital part of fighting for equality in our nation involves lifting up our sisters who are most at risk and vulnerable!
I created this shirt with FourthWave Apparel as a way we can take a stand for those who may not have the resources or ability to stand up for themselves! When you purchase my new Girl Power shirt, use code LEAP40, and 40% of the profits will be donated to LEAPCharities.org, a Boise-based non-profit that provides housing, transitional services, and support to refugees seeking resettlement in our nation.
Why is that important? And why should “girl power” focus on those who have just arrived in our community? Because many immigrant families who have worked hard to get here are feeling understandable fear. Idaho is a major gateway for refugees, who arrive in our nation fleeing violence, persecution, or seeking freedom, and a life with more opportunities than they had in their previous land.
Shirts available in black, heathered white (top of page), or pink! Use code LEAP40 to send 40% of the proceeds to LEAPCharities!
There has never been a better time for us to stand up for each other across fences, walls, and ethnicity lines. Fact: Women in minority groups in this country fight for equality every day, twice as hard as many of us realize, because they simultaneously have to deal with sexism and racism! If you’ve never thought about that before, let it sink in; search your heart, and reach out to those around you.
True equality means all are equal, period. If I really want to make the world a better place for my family, I absolutely have to be just as passionate about making it a better place for all families, regardless of gender, race, religion, or dis/ability.
If you fight for equality, now is the time to stand up and do it with your wallet, with your courage, and with your helping hands. The power to make a difference is in us! Girl-power sisters, let’s get out of the corner!
P.S. If you want to donate directly to LEAP Charities or volunteer, contact them here: http://www.leapcharities.org/
Other great options in the Treasure Valley that need our support are www.idahorefugees.org/,www.rescue.org, and worldreliefboise.org. Help out, in any way you can! Every effort makes a difference.