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!)
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.
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!!!
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.
I 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!
Speak Your Silence
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.
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.
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 hereto 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.
Corbin’s Legacy Bracelets
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
If you’ve waited until the last moment, or are struggling to find the perfect unique gift for someone in your life, here’s my TOP 10 LIST for items you canrun out quickly and snag around the Treasure Valley area.
10. BEEF WHIP CANDLES
Beef Whip Candle Co. was recently started by a Boise husband & wife team, and these cleverly-titled candles have the most divine scents! If Fall Farted is our current family fave, and it makes a GREAT gift for that hard-to-buy-for person in your life. My little brother is getting one of these for his new apartment – shhhh it’s a secret! 😉 Beef Whip candles can be found at Mixed Greens on 9th, or Press & Pony on Idaho St..
9. SILK TOUCH MED SPA
I love Silk Touch Med Spaon Eagle Rd.! Right now they’re running a special for Christmas: Buy $200 in Gift Cards, and get a $50 Gift Card free! Also check out their 12 Days of Christmas specials on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/silktouchmedspa/. This is a great gift for the person in your life who’s been hinting they’d like a little pampering, or is wanting to nip & tuck a thing or two. 😉
COACH at Boise Towne Sqaure mall is having an unprecedented winter sale! A huge selection of their items are 40% off right now, from luxury handbags to jewelry, gloves, scarves, and travel accessories. They can also place orders for you from their amazing clothing & shoe selection online, and get it shipped to your house asap!
7. FOR THE GENTS: ROBERT COMSTOCK MEN’S STORE
Robert Comstock is the newest menswear store in the Treasure Valley. Loaded with luxury clothes, coats, leather goods, accessories, and even facial hair products, this posh shop in the Village at Meridian carries exclusive items found nowhere else in Idaho! Treat your guy to a soft-like-buttah leather jacket, or sign him up for a FREE styling session from some of the most skilled menswear personal stylists in the Treasure Valley. ~ This just in: The Robert Comstock store is having a STOREWIDE HALF-PRICE SALE until Dec. 24th! Mention code COMSTOCKHOLIDAY for 50% off your entire purchase in the store!!!
6. BODO SHOPS & GIFT CARDS
Downtown Boise is bursting at the seams with amazing locally-owned clothing & jewelry boutiques! Here’s my shortlist of where to get the lady in your life something beautiful, or a gift card so she can go fashion hunting herself…
How darling are these little cuddle blankets? Though they are probably meant for wee ones, my 11-year old who likes soft & cute things said “Ooh, mommy, those are SO sweet! I want one!” They come as a set of two; big and small together like your precious baby and his/her favorite big person to hug! Spotted at Mixed Greens, a sweet little shop packed to the brim with unique & precious gifting treasures!
4. UNIGON SPECIALTIES JEWELRY
Personally, I’m super obsessed with huge, statement crystals & pendants right now! Local jewelry designer Denise Vasecka of Unigon Specialties has many of her beautiful handmade pieces for sale at Wholistic Beauty Boutique on State St., & 16th. While you’re there shopping, why not add a luxurious facial or massage to the gift? This beauty boutique is the only one of its kind in Boise; all products & services there are organic, or naturopathic, and completely natural! I love the naturopathic makeup & primer so much, I wrote a review about it not long ago – click here to check it out.
3. ROONEY MAE COUTURE GOWNS
The newest addition to Boise’s designer scene is Rooney Mae Couture, created and handmade by Meagan Jones. Her new shop in BODO is a one-stop gown-shopping paradise, as well as her design studio! Stop in and select your favorite color, design, and concept, and Meagan will create it for you in her signature luxurious fabrics & materials… But don’t let the posh appearance fool you; her gowns are so comfy, you almost feel like you’re in your favorite jammies! Check out the Rooney Mae Couture Facebook page for updates on her current schedule and awesome holiday GIFT CARD deals!!!
2. CAMILLE BECKMAN & CHATEAU LES FLEURS
This one is my favorite spot to bring out-of-town guests and family visiting for the holidays! TheCamille Beckman gift shop in Eagle is HUGE and beautiful, stocked floor to rafters with gifts, jewelry, accessories, and of course the company’s world-famous luxury body products. After shopping, step next door to the incredible new Chateau des Fleurs, the Treasure Valley’s newest event center, only French chateau/castle, and home to the exquisite Le Coq d’Or gourmet French restaurant! It’s a one-of-a-kind dining experience you won’t soon forget. ❤
And now, drum roll… NUMBER 1. IT’S VEGAS, BABY!!!
If you’re looking for the biggest, baddest, BEST present this Christmas, give her the gift of ADVENTURE! The StyleSpyGirl team is taking a select group of women from the Boise area to LAS VEGAS FASHION WEEK February 17-21. This all-expenses-paid fashion getaway includes airfare, hotel accommodations, transportation, guided shopping tours, Vegas shows, exclusive runway fashion shows, and a dedicated photographer to catch every exciting moment for her to remember forever!
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!!!