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.
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!)
Continue to present yourself as a woman of loveliness and dignity, a woman who feels good and knows she’s looking her best.
—Angela Lansbury, The Gentlewoman, Autumn/Winter 2012
I know most women prefer to keep their beauty secrets a secret. I mean, that is why we call them that, right? But recently I had an experience that was so over-the-top incredible, I just had to share it! So here comes my disclaimer: if you don’t want to know about beauty procedures, needles, and the icky things some of us go through to fight aging, please don’t read past this sentence!
Ok, the rest of you, are we good? Here goes…
What’s a double chin? According to the dictionary, it’s “a roll of fatty flesh below a person’s chin.” According to many women past a certain age, it’s something that starts as a nuisance, and worsens until you’re turleneck-bound. Causes for that extra bit of flesh & skin under your jawline vary, from fitness and lifestyle to simple genetics. By the time you are an adult, you have a pre-determined and permanent amount of fat cells stored in your lower jawline and upper neck. You can’t change them, and until recently, only plastic surgery and lasers could do anything to minimize the natural aging process of this area of the body.
But something new has stepped onto the anti-aging scene, and it’s making major waves! When Silk Touch Med Spa recently held an informational luncheon about a strange new concept called “Kybella,” I was super curious and decided to check it out.
According to Silk Touch, “Kybella is the new FDA injectable that dissolves fat under the chin. It’s the biggest thing to hit the beauty industry since Botox, with even Millennials experiencing sagging jowls thanks to ‘tech neck.'” It’s an injectable, which means needles, and not everyone loves those little poky things going into their skin. But on the other hand, it’s nice to have options, vs. scalpels and lasers, not to mention the downtime and potential side effects that go along with those methods!
The before & after photos of Kybella really shocked me, along with hearing about the minimized risks, side effects, and downtime associated with it. I decided to try it, because even though I’m not technically overweight, age and genetics have given me a slowly-growing little double-chin that was starting to get on my nerves in photos and videos. I figured, if there was a way to make that “go away,” without too much risk, why not give it a try? I asked a ton of questions, then prepared myself with two weeks out of the public eye to chart my results.
Here is a video of what Kybella injections really look like, done on me this last February 2016. Yup, there are needles, and yes, it did hurt! As the needles progress, the burning sensation grows, so if you do give Kybella a try, prepare yourself for some discomfort. Watch below!
I was pretty swollen right after, and the burning feeling in my neck continued for a while that day. I kept ice packs on it, but definitely wanted to go home and rest.
The photo above is hard for me to share publicly, but I’m doing it anyway, because if you’re considering doing Kybella yourself, I really, really want you to know that the swelling afterwards is no joke! Stay home a few days, if you can, and rest through it. That evening I took some ibuprofin, rubbed Arnica gel on my neck, and went to bed. The next day I was definitely still swollen; I felt like that lady who’s really a mask for Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall…
Little by little, it subsided, and I started to feel like myself again! Within a week I was out seeing friends, and no one noticed. (Or if they did notice, they certainly didn’t make any comments). It felt like I was the only one who knew something was different about my neck.
Here’s a pic from my follow-up appointment, at around 12 weeks. The before & after change really floored me! Since I don’t often view myself from the side, I really had no idea how dramatic the improvement was until I saw the pictures all together.
These results definitely motivated me to do a second treatment (typically they recommend 2-4 for your best results.) I was still sore for quite a while, so I waited 18 weeks before going in to do the follow-up treatment, which was much quicker. And so was the downtime! Here’s a quick post-Kybella recap of my experience of the second treatment:
I recovered in a few days, and was confident enough for an on-stage appearance at Wine, Women & Shoes as one of the honorary Shoe Judges!
So here we are, a few months later, and despite how awful that first video probably looked to some of you, I am SO GLAD I did this! It’s been amazing to see such dramatic results; my photos look better, my jawline looks better, and I’m back to bopping around town, doing my blogger girl thing. And the most exciting part of this whole journey, is that the results are pretty much permanent, thanks to that genetic and finite number of fat cells that have been obliterated forever! They’re not growing back, at least not anytime soon.
I’d love your feedback in the comments! Have you considered doing a treatment like I did? What worked and/or didn’t work for you? Are there questions you’re dying to ask me? I’m not an expert, but I’ll answer honestly from my own personal experience. Much love to everyone who took the time to read my story, and special thanks to the crew at Silk Touch Med Spa for the opportunity to try Kybella!
We had 10 raffle boxes, with incredible items from our donors! Each lady bought tickets, and voted for the prize or prizes she wanted most. It was so much fun to pick the winners! I was very grateful for such generous donations – a table-full of fabulous gifts from:
This is Hannah, the precious little girl we helped raise money for. She is the only person in the state of Idaho with Batten disease, which is debilitating and fatal. And sadly, so rare that there are no support groups, local help, or much in the way of resources for her family. We wanted to help out, and be a blessing to Hannah this Christmas! Thank you to all who donated – we raised $700 for her specialized medical equipment room!
Hannah’s mom Trina, who bravely stood up with me to talk about her daughter’s devastating condition, and all they are doing to give her the best possible life, for the time they have with her. If you would like to donate and help out this precious family, click HERE to be directed to their GoFundMe page!
All the photos above are by volunteer photographer Toni Osmundson at Sydney Studios & Co. Thank you SO MUCH Toni!!! 🙂
Thanks again to everyone who came. May you all have a blessed holiday season, and I hope you can join me and the Travel Posse SOON for some amazing adventures… Our next stop is LAS VEGAS FASHION WEEK! Click HERE to read more about it, and find out how YOU can come along with us!!!
JUMP’s website states this: JUMP—or Jack’s Urban Meeting Place—is a not-for-profit, interactive creative center and community gathering place in the heart of downtown Boise. And although the concept seems vague, we found exactly what it claimed: interaction, and community! JUMP’s six stories were packed with people, wine, food, dessert, conversations, touch-screen maps, interactive displays, and so much excited energy the air practically tingled with it. Strategically open spaces, fitted with cozy furniture and fascinating visuals, invite a variety of communal interaction and singular introspection, all new and unique to the Boise audience. I lost count of how many times I heard, “Oh wow, look at that!” throughout the evening.
Personally I loved the huge square out front; a concrete park-like setting which has instantly increased the visual size of our city. This wide-open square, facing 9th St., will forever alter the face of BODO and our downtown core!
And this is just the COOLEST little bar I’ve ever seen… Don’t you want this at your next party???
~ INTERACTION ~
Scattered all throughout JUMP’s 6 floors are a variety of interactive exhibits, touchscreen displays, musical touchpads, gathering huddle spots, and more! If you like to touch it, taste it, hear it, see it, or feel it… There’s something here for you to do.
Bluetooth listening pod – jack in and relax with your friends, or be in your own little cozy space…
Dress up and be in a movie…
Take tech classes…
Or kiss in Paris! Ha ha ha, of course we had to try out the green screen. 😉
~ BEAUTY ~
The views from each consecutive floor, looking out every direction of the city, are nothing less than breathtaking!
Standing on the little jut-out balcony over Myrtle St… Seriously though I have to admit the plexi-glass sides made me a little nervous – eek! Don’t lean on those very hard! I’m sure they are perfectly safe, but I was happy to snap our photo and step awaaaaaay from the edge, lol.
All these awesome platforms, colors, lights, and glass will make for some amazing fashion photo shoots, just saying! 😉
One of JUMP’s directors did a presentation on the 6th floor, along with orchestras, champion jumpropers, dancers, singers, and a night-long schedule of entertainment! JUMP aims to encourage the arts and local talent, which I believe is a beautiful mission and one that WILL have a positive impact on our community.
~ MORE TO COME ~
Only the main portion of part of the complex is completed so far. There is still SO MUCH MORE coming! These open community spaces are going to be gorgeous.
AND THEN, THE BEST PART, (according to my kids…)
Yup, that’s a 4-story transparent slide! And it’s only one of the slides they are planning… I certainly hope they are going to allow grown-ups in those things!!!
You’re beautiful, JUMP! Thanks for the amazing evening – we are looking forward to many more to come!!!
>>>UPDATE: JUMP Boise is doing a series of open houses in the next few weeks, to let the community experience this amazing place first-hand! These open house events will be 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 13th, 20th and 27th. The lobby, with its entrance located below the large orange JUMP sign near 9th Street, will be open to the public starting Dec. 15 from 10 am to 3pm Tuesday to Friday, but will not be open on the upcoming holidays. Stay tuned on their Facebook page for more details as they emerge: https://www.facebook.com/jumpboise/!
City Light provides emergency shelter for women and children, in downtown Boise. They house, feed, clothe, and counsel women who are seeking a safe place from dangerous circumstances, while providing care for their children as well. It’s an amazing program that has made HUGE contributions to the well-being of families in this city, and personally, I’ve had friends whose lives were literally saved by this shelter, so they are near & dear to my heart as well.
Sadly, as you can see below the blue lights on the stage were too much for my small camera, so I apologize for the overwhelming hue!
Bluuuuuue runway lights! 😀
Jesse teamed up with local stylist Heather Schwabe of Style Therapy, Boise-based vintage/couture jewelry line Monica Macha, and Natalie Durham at downtown boutique Piece Unique, to showcase one of my FAVORITE clothing lines: Black Halo. I’ve blogged about Black Halo before, because they’re an incredible, well-made line that fits busty girls in ways I never imagined an off-the-rack dress could ever do! If you haven’t tried on one of their fashion pieces yet, you absolutely must get down to Piece Unique and check them out. Worth every penny, I promise!
Here’s a short video clip of the runway finale:
As a THANK YOU to all who helped make the fashion show a success & supporting City Light & the Boise Rescue Mission, Piece Unique is offering 25% off ALL BLACK HALO purchases made in their store before Nov. 15th, when you donate $25 to City Light Women’s & Children’s Shelter! This special discount applies to all Black Halo items both in the store, and via special order.
Wonderful job, everyone! See you at the next show.
Leticia McLaughlin and her lovely daughter, always impeccably stylish!
Lovely Angie Berman (center) with two fabulous friends.
Ballet Idaho’s Lana Hollingshead and her daughter Veronica.
A new friend, Rosemary, and her wickedly-cool leather necklace! This babe has style for miles.
Let the show begin!
So much blue light, but I love her white Black Halo dress!
Runway finale, packed with gorgeous local women rocking the catwalk!
More blurriness and blue light – ugh! – but this red dress was one of my favorites.
Green Black Halo dress on a model – that neckline on her is incredible!
Angie & friend posing on the runway, after the show. Love this lady!! ❤
One one of my first visits with Colleen, I discovered her 100% Pure makeup products. I’m one of those girls who’s tried every makeup line under the sun, looking for the right fit for my skin, that doesn’t have all the crazy chemicals in commercial makeup that I find worrisome. But many times, I’ve tried “natural” foundations that simply. Didn’t. WORK. They have all seemed like glorified tinted moisturizers to me, with not enough coverage. Curious, I had to check this stuff out!
First off, the primer blew me away. Foundation primer is important to me, because 1) I have acne scarring, and primer smooths out my skin before putting foundation on. And 2) I take lots of photos for my job, and if my face looks blemished and strange in those pics, there’s no way I’m going to post them, lol! The ingredients are: Organic Aloe Juice Extract, Jojoba Seed Oil, Jojoba Esters, Rice Starch, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Candelilla Wax Extract, Organic Green Tea Leaf Extract, Resveratrol, Silica, Avocado Butter, Lonicera Caprifolium Flower and Honeysuckle Flower Extract, and Mica. Seriously, no weird stuff, nothing that will inflame my skin! And here’s the kicker: when I put it on, my cheeks literally glowed. I’m not kidding!
Next up, the foundation: Healthy Skin Foundation with Super Fruits. The ingredients are: Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Rice Starch, Pigmented Extracts of: Peach Fruit, Apricot Fruit, Cocoa Bean, Goji Berry Fruit, Acai Berry Fruit Oil, Pomegranate Seed Oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Extracts of: Candelilla Wax, Ferment White Tea Leaf, Coffee Cherry Seed, Maqui Berry, Muscadine Grape Skin, Mangosteen Peel, Acerola Fruit, Elderberry, Grapefruit Seed, Japanese Honeysuckle, Active Ingredients: 15% Titanium Dioxide, and 10% Zinc Oxide.
So again, no major chemicals or parabens; just natural ingredients that work great, and don’t make my skin break out! In fact, I’ve enjoyed using these products knowing that they’re not only healthy, but also contain ingredients that are actually working hard to improve my skin while I’m wearing them!
I loved that the foundation is heavy coverage (good enough for photo shoots!), but at first I found it a little hard to spread across my face, because it’s very concentrated. Colleen recommended I start with Camellia Oil, a soothing, nourishing face & hair oil I can pat on gently after washing & toning my skin. She also recommended I use a damp makeup sponge, and presto-chango, those two steps were the perfect combination!
So here is my regimen:I wash and then spritz with Virginn Pure’s Moisture Mist (another awesome local makeup company!), pat a little Camellia Oil on my cheeks, spread Luminous Primer over that, and once it dries and I get that little “glow,” I top it with the Super Fruits foundation. I can honestly say, my skin has never looked so great! The photo above has a lightening filter on it, for a soft glow, but I didn’t have to retouch any of my fine lines or acne scars. This is seriously GOOD makeup!
So… Would you like a little pampering too? 😀 I’m happy to announce it’s GIVEAWAY TIME, woohoo!
Wholistic Beauty Boutique is giving away aPure Bliss Massage & Facial Combo!!! The facial includes a “high-performance, nutrient-rich herbal enzyme peel that targets signs of aging by a layering of vitamins, antioxidants, & anti-inflammatory botanicals to leave your skin protected and revitalized!”
CLICK HERE to “Like” Wholistic Beauty Boutique’s page and COMMENT on the contest photo there!
Good luck – a winner will be selected on August 16th, and notified by Facebook and/or email.
And the Grand Opening promises to be HUGE, believe me! Here are just a few of the details:
~~~ Grand Opening Official Festivities are Thursday June 25, from 4-8pm (Event details on FB here.)
~~~ Everyone who mentions this article by showing the photo below on your smartphone gets a $5 Gift Card towards your first purchase! (I sold them some of my under-appreciated wardrobe pieces and made $80 cash!)
~~~ The first 50 customers in line will get a mystery gift card with a value up to $50!
AND THE GRAND PRIZE: Your chance to win a V.I.P experience! A meet and greet with Nick Jonas at the Boise Music Festival as well as a pair of tickets in the cool zone, private seating up close to the main stage!
Disclaimer: MUST be present June 25th from 4-6pm (until raffle prize is drawn), and you must be 21 years of age to win the grand prize! Make sure to bring a valid drivers license.
A huge event was put together at Boise Towne Square, with hundreds of seats, beanbags, VS swag & goodies, and a red-carpet-worthy photo backdrop for pictures with visiting Victoria’s Secret supermodel Elsa Hosk. Thrilled fans turned out in droves for this event, and the line stretched around Towne Square’s center court, overflowing up the stairs and into the second level! Many had been there since lunchtime, anxious for their chance to see the Fashion Show and meet Elsa. I threw on my favorite Express emerald green sequin party dress, and headed to the show…
I was delighted and honored when KTVB Ch. 7 News asked me to step in as an unofficial reporter to interview Ms. Hosk for the 4:00 news!!! But what do you ask a famous,world-traveling, professional Angel? I reached out to YOU, for some creative interview questions! Here is what YOU asked Elsa, and her inspiring responses:
Me: Is this your first time in Boise?
Elsa: It is my first time in Boise, but I’ve been to Idaho before. I’m from Sweden
Me: Whats your favorite thing about being a Victoria’s Secret supermodel?
Elsa: Oh my gosh, there’s so many things I love about it! I love traveling, I love the fashion show, I love the shoots, I love the whole surrounding thing. Victoria’s Secret is like a family and everybody working for us is just incredible people.
Via Madisen Ellen Phipps: What does wearing the wings mean to you/what do they represent to you and your favorite thing about being apart of the Victoria’s Secret organization?
Elsa: This was the first year I got to walk in wings so it was really, really exciting. I had no idea that I was going to get the wings so when they told me I was just blown away, I almost started crying. And it was this moment where you’re like, oh my God I worked so hard for this, it’s a big accomplishment! And you see the girls walking down, so powerful, and it just makes you feel like you own the world for a second. It’s so iconic, the Victoria’s Secret wings.
Via Ellen Belle Hanson– Ask her what her favorite characteristics are in a photographer when she’s working with one…like anything that makes her feel comfortable so she can do her best!
Elsa: Oh that’s a good question! I think when the photographer has a lot of confidence and can tell you what they want you to do, and can give you direction… Or, if he wants you to be completely free and just like let you move around and be yourself!
Via Sonnay Alvarez:How did you begin your career in modeling?
Elsa: I started when I was 14 but I didn’t go full time until I was 18. I went to school, and played basketball, and then I decided to really go for it.
Via Autumn Short/Me: – Any health, fitness, or diet advice you’d like to pass on to other aspiring models?
Elsa: Work out and be healthy; it’s so important to take care of your body, for a model, because it really is your job. I try to work out 6 days a week, but if I travel it’s hard.
Me: Do you work out on the plane?
Elsa: Oh no, some people do that and I want to be those people, but I just don’t have the confidence, ha ha ha.
Via Amanda Woods: With the ever present emphasis on appearance in our society, what advice can you offer for women to be confident in any situation?
Elsa: For me, it’s been to not compare myself to others, because once you start doing that you can never achieve happiness. You just have to find that confidence within yourself, that acceptance, just be happy with what you’re given, you know?
We asked Tina Kierce, Marketing Manager for Boise Towne Square, some additional questions:
How did Boise win this incredible honor?
Tina: “Girls at Victoria’s Secret received challenges from their company managers to promote the contest for the party on social media. Boise won the fashion show part by a landslide!”
Did you know what was going on, much in advance?
Tina: “This was a big surprise. We were very excited about it and up until the day it was announced we were wishing and hoping and very excited when we won.”
How is this event important for Boise Towne Square?
Tina: “Here we are in Boise and we are hosting the only viewing party in the nation for the most sought after fashion show in the world and our customers get to come and enjoy it and it’s absolutely fabulous.”
It was a blast to see so many cool people turn out for this event! I hung out with photographers Ammophotog (Amanda Morgan, whose photos are included in this article!), Alysha Kautz, Alejandro Martinez (Lucid Imagery), fashion stylists Kellie Levesque (Fashion Kellie) and Heather Schwabe (Style Therapy), models Cara Dempsey, Bailey Heasch, Nicolette Roper, local news producer Char Jackson, and about 300 more excited local lovelies from all over town!
Congratulations, Boise – we ROCKED this Angel party!!!