Archive of ‘Reviews’ category

Rivet & Sway: Local Designer Eyewear for Women

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Last month I was invited to an intimate launch party for a new Seattle eye wear company: Rivet & Sway. Its trendy glasses were laid out across the tables, champagne was poured, and we were able to try on our favorite specs.

These women’s frames are on trend – you’ll find cat eye, nerd chic, tortoise shell, and more among its collection of punchy female-named eye wear. Below are the three I fell in love with, and I ultimately settled for the middle frames named “punchline”.

The process was super easy to receive my prescription frames, I just gave them the Rx, they measured my pupillary distance at the event, and I received them in less than a week. I believe if you order online you are able to receive a few frames to try out before deciding, simply returning them with your pick and they will fill your prescription and mail your new purchase back.

It took some getting used too because I wasn’t accustomed to the larger lenses, but when I was having problems the Rivet & Sway team really demonstrated what exemplary customer service means. They invited me down to their offices to adjust them and even offered to set me up with their optometrist free of charge. Luckily I got used to them after the adjustments and giving them a full-day’s shot, and I now ear them all. the. time.

So if you’re on the market for eyeglasses, know a lady friend who is, or just want to rock out some frames minus the prescription, check out Rivet & Sway. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Rivet and Sway womens trendy eyewear seattle

To check out more, visit http://www.rivetandsway.com.

Oh and PS – while at the event I discovered the magic that is KuKuRuZa coconut macaroon popcorn. If you haven’t checked out this gourmet popcorn shop in Ballard and Pike Place Market, you haven’t lived.

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Local Seattle Jeweler: We Love These Rings

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We weren’t convinced by Ella La Bella Designs.

When this Seattle father and daughter duo approached us about their handmade rings, we thought they were cool, but the photos on the site didn’t do the rings justice and we were convinced the low price point would mean shoddy quality.

ella la bella designs seattle

However, it goes to show you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. We agreed to check out their rings, and boy were we impressed. Despite the insanely affordable price (we’re talking under $20 here), these pieces look and feel expensive. They are sturdy and shiny, made of intertwining pieces of silver steel. They are architectural, yet organic, and adds a subtle “aha” moment to any ensemble.

Here are some photos of Rose Petal and Steel Bloom, only two pieces out of the stunningly crafted collection. To check it out, visit http://www.ellalabelladesigns.com.

silver steel ring knots
silver steel wire rings

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Snapette: App Worth Knowing About

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We’re changing up Web Wednesdays this week to bring you an app you should know about. Especially if you like Pinterest, listen up.

Have you heard of Snapette? It’s like Pinterest for shopping on the go. Created by Sarah and Jinhee as part of a Harvard start-up competition, it encourages users to snap photos of shoes and handbags they find while out shopping. It aggregates these looks into a Pinterest-like view board, allowing shoppers to browse items near them and share cool finds with their followers.

Not interested in the app? Snapette is also available online, where you can browse before heading out to go shopping or just look at the eye candy uploaded from the users in over 130 different countries. The only drawback with the online version is that browsing by location isn’t as intuitive as we would like, but overall you’ll see a lot of Instagram-eque photos of drool-worthy shopper curated inspiration.

Interested in learning more? Check out http://www.snapette.com for more.

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A Trip to Value Village…

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A few months ago, our friends over at Value Village were nice enough to send us a gift certificate to check out its store and document what we found. We were up for the challenge. What did we come up with? See below…

We went to the Value Village in Ballard around 15th and 85th. The store is pretty big, with about 60% women’s apparel, 20% men’s, and 20% books, home decor, or furniture.

Upon arrival we immediately split up and conquered the men’s and women’s section separately. We pulled out a TON of clothing options, but unfortunately had to narrow it down to about a quarter of that because of fit. Oh, the value of the hunt…

After a 1.5 hour trip, Travis walked away with 3 button up shirts, 2 t-shirts, 2 pairs of jeans, and a trench. Adria walked away with 2 pairs of pants, 2 skirts, 2 tops, and some candlesticks (whoops!).

All in all it was a fun experience. You definitely need to be in the mood for the hunt; and be prepared to nix a lot of cool finds because of fit (damn the 80s!). One of the areas that is huge and rarely leads to disappointment is the t-shirt section for both men and women. And to be honest, the home decor section was our favorite.

Here is how we styled our Value Village finds, starting with a retro camel sweater…

mens monochromatic camel outfit

mens green polo and blazer

Value Village polo and jeans, Goodwill tweed blazer

mens baseball tee

Value Village baseball tee and jeans, Air Jordan sneakers

Adria street style

fuschia blouse and plum jeans

Value Village blouse and denim

mens blazer and super man tee

mens super man tee

Value Village Superman t-shirt and jeans, Banana Republic blazer

paisley skirt

Value Village paisley skirt, J.Crew tank, Target sandals

London fog trench for men

mens london fog trench

close up of mens camel trench coat

Value Village trench and sweater, Banana Republic jeans and shirt, Cole Haan oxfords
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KATE SPADE NEW YORK Grand Opening Party Recap

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Whew! The KATE SPADE NEW YORK party this past Friday came and went so fast!

It was a pleasant evening full of shopping and nibbling, all while enjoying 20% off retail price. We were so honored to be a part of the celebration, and Adria cannot thank KATE SPADE NEW YORK enough for the complimentary dress to wear. It received so many compliments and we think we even saw a few people trying it on.

Here are our shots from the event. Did you get a chance to stop by? Did you purchase anything? If so, share it in the comments!

Kate Spade clear makeup bag
Kate Spade employee setting up for party
Emerald Closet founders at Kate Spade party
Kate Spade refreshments bar
Kate Spade store with spring 2012 collection
Kate Spade motto sign
Kate Spade party guests
Kate Spade customers enjoying party
Kate Spade jewelry
Kate Spade wicker armadillo purse
Kate Spade women's store Bellevue
Customer inspecting Kate Spade stationary
Travis Querec Emerald Closet
Adria helping customer pick out jewelry
Kate Spade refreshments closeup
Kate Spade employee outfit
Kate Spade customer street style
Kate Spade employee fitting customers shoes
Kate Spade shopping bag
Kate Spade customer checking out wallets
Kate Spade jewelry
Kate Spade customer street style
Kate Spade clock handbag
Kate Spade bags
Adria Saracino in Kate Spade dress
Kate Spade chunky flower necklace
Kate Spade employee packing shopping bag

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London Shopping Guide: Our Favorite Markets & Neighborhoods

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One of the reasons I was excited to go to London again was for the shopping. As I’m sure you know from the showing at London Fashion Week, you can get just about every type of fashion in The Foggy City. From the Dover Street Market to Oxford Street, the options are endless.

However, I found that the best shopping tends to be at the markets and in the nooks and crannies of London’s eclectic neighborhoods. Here, I’ll outline my favorite markets, shops, and neighborhoods in hopes of helping you plan your next trip to London.

Brick Lane Market
Nearest Tube Stops: Aldgate East and Shoreditch
website

Hands down, this is my favorite market. It’s the best place to find affordable vintage clothing and wares from up-and-coming designers. It’s also a fabulous place to get Indian food, street art, and jewelry. The best day to go is Sundays, as that is when the most market vendors are selling their goods. Note, you will be called to by Indian restaurant owners trying to get you in their restaurant. I’ve found the best ones are the ones that don’t need to be begging for your business. Look hard, you’ll find them.

While you’re there, make sure to check out Absolute Vintage and Beyond Retro, two second-hand stores off the main drag of Brick Lane. Also, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for pop-up vintage markets, as they are frequent.

London popup vintage market

Brick Lane market London

Spitalfields Market
Nearest Tube Stops: Aldgate, Aldgate East, and Tower Hill
website

Spitalfields market is open daily and covered, making it perfect for rainy days. It is close to Brick Lane so it is easy to hit up both of these markets in one stop. I’ll be honest, Spitalfields has some tschotske, but sift through the stalls and you’ll find some real gems and local designers. One of my favorites is Chunge Rowe, a local British designer who sells whimsical and feminine pieces.

London designer Chung-Rowe jewelry

Spitalfields market fashion

You can also find lovely accessories at Spitalfields Market, from jewelry to lace collars and more. Be sure to always ask where the items come from, as you want to make sure they are local to Britain and not imported.

pocket watch necklaces

lace collar accessory

While you are at Spitalfields Market, check out the Whistles nearby. Yes, this is a chain, but it’s only in London (to-be-launched in NYC soon) and it offers really beautiful items. While you are at it, stop by into A.GOLD next door that offers some wonderful British curiosities that make the perfect souvenirs.

Whistles in London

A.Gold British souvenirs shop

NOTE: You might be wondering why I don’t drop some love at Petticoat Lane market, which is very close to Spitalfields and Brick Lane. The reason? It effin’ sucks. No really – I went there all excited to hit three markets in one area and I was so disappointed. It’s sketchy – kind of like that backwoods flea market that sells really questionable imports from China. You will find nothing worth purchasing there fashion wise (I’m pretty sure ANY-wise, but I’ll try to tone down the hate). It’s junk. Just stay away.


Borough Market
Nearest Tube Stop: London Bridge
website

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m cheating – this is a food market. However, it’s awesome and if you plan to hit the market scene, I’d be doing you a disservice by not recommending this market. It’s relatively small, but you can find some real treasures for you and your foodie friends back home. Stay away from this market on Saturdays! It is ridiculously crowded and stressful. Locals know the best time to go is Fridays right before the lunch rush at noon.

My favorite stall has to be Pate Moi which sells mushroom pate (don’t worry – it’s vegetarian!). It is a spread that is absolutely amazing on everything – bread, chicken, sandwiches…everything. Also, don’t forget to check out Monmouth Coffee, which is one of the very few places you can find decent coffee in London (sorry – I’m from Seattle so inevitable to stick my nose up at the coffee scene there). There is also Algier’s Coffee that is internationally recognized and ships around the world, but that is on Dean St. near the Charing Cross tube stop.

There is also an Aesop shop near the market, which if you’re not aware of you should be. It’s an amazing Australian beauty product line that only recently started selling to the US. The shopkeeper was so pleasant and eager to give out samples, so definitely worth a trip to try before you buy.


Camden Town Market
Nearest Tube Stop: Camden Town
website

I’ll admit, I liked this market a bit more the first time I was in London about six years ago. Being older I realized there’s a lot of junk to sift through, but any trip to London would be incomplete without a trip to this punk-rock destination. As soon as you step off the tube, you’ll see the London from back in the 80s and early 90s, with mohawks, plaid, chains and all. Plus, it has amazing street food dotted throughout the market. Sure, you feel like you might walk away with food poisoning, but I promise you won’t. Weave through the souk-like labyrinth to find interesting shops selling everything from vintage clothing and jewelry to art and do-dads. It’s open daily, but the best day to go for some serious people watching is Saturdays.


Portobello Road
Nearest Tube Stop: Notting Hill
website

I am sad I didn’t get to go to Portobello Road this time around, as it is only really hopping on Saturdays and I ran out of time. This market is quintessential London – quaint, slow, and authentic. It turns into a wonderful antiques and farmers market, meaning you’ll have to dig for fashionable pieces. However, even if you don’t walk away with anything you will have seen the famous pastel row houses. Also, I recommend checking out the chicken burger man, a food truck that parks right in the market near the produce, selling German chicken burgers. They are delightful.

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Juelp Maven Program: In-Depth Review + Contest

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As you probably know, we’re currently hosting a contest giving away a 3-month Julep Maven program membership. As part of this week’s contest, we are giving you an exclusive sneak peak at what is included in the Maven Program package each month. Julep sent us one month free to give our readers a sneak peek at the contest prize, and trust us – it’s good!

HAVEN’T ENTERED THE CONTEST YET? DO SO HERE BEFORE IT ENDS FEB 3RD!

If you’re interested in hearing more about what the Maven Program is and what we thought about it continue reading for an honest in-depth review.

(more…)

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