.made with love in san francisco – be.spoke apothecary.

bespoke2Last week was the launch party for the new be.spoke modern apothecary sold exclusively at Beauty Company. Made with love in San Francisco, this paraben-free bath & body line boasts amazing fragrances (lemongrass is my absolute favorite), stellar results (silky smooth skin) and customizable labels –  which are simply beyond.

bespoke3Pick your potion – hand soap, body wash, bath salts or body lotion – and choose from three fragrances. The friendly staff will whip together your customized label. Perfect for “Happy Birthday!,” “Congratulations!” or simply, “Thinking of you, so-and-so,” these hand-written touches are such to please.

20130616-211039.jpgAs we all know, no party is complete without handmade, gourmet, fresh delicious waffles, right? Chrissy concocts the best batter in town, and his fresh waffle with whipped cream and apricot jam melts in your mouth.  Follow him here (seriously, you will want to know where he’s popping up next).

bespoke4Have you swung by Beauty Company for a sample of be.spoke yet? I”d love to hear your thoughts! Tell me in the comments below. In the meantime, I’ll be soaking with these new bath salts….

.forests are beautiful, and so are you.

Pacific Forest Trust, an SF-based nonprofit dedicated to preserving our country’s forests, is having a fundraiser! There are so many fabulous prizes to be won, but this ah-mazing deal at Benefit on Chestnut Street deserves a special mention on my blog (given all the beauty buffs who I know are reading).

Bid here on this beauty bash party, complete with champagne, services (including their infamous brow shaping) and enough spots for 8-10 of your best friends. Not only are you scoring a major discount (typically a $500 value!), but you’re also donating to a phenomenal cause – sustaining our nation’s beautiful wooded areas. Click here for the entire auction page (along with this spa day there is also art, dining, sporting equipment, weekend adventures and so much more).

Benefit_Facebook

Click here to place your bid for this amazing deal!

.himmie shimmy.

If you know one thing about me, it’s that I’m obsessed with my cat. Even attempting to avoid dramatization I must use the word obsessed. I have a particular, incredible soft spot for Himalayan cats (it’s all my best friend’s fault, starting in kindergarten). I have owned two cats in my life – both older, rescued Himmies. While they had remarkably different personalities, there is so much I adore about this breed they certainly deserve a shout-out in my blog.

IMG_0506

Calliope enjoying a Sunday in our garden

Himalayan cats were originally a cross between a Persian (flat face, long hair) and Siamese (think: DC in That Darn Cat, one of my favorite childhood movies). Starting in the early 1900’s these cats were often bred to achieve the markings of a Siamese and face/body of a Persian. Still today it is debated whether Himmies are a breed unto their own or a sect of Persians. American Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association recognize Himalayans as a distinct breed, while the Cat Fanciers Association and the American Cat Association consider them Persians {source}.

Myself and little snow cat.

Myself and little snow cat.

Though I think Himalayans are the greatest, most unique animals I still refer to them as Persian cats. They are affection, aloft, particular, sweet, loyal…all distinct characteristics of the Persian breed. Besides – the sweet ‘lil pushy face is undeniably a Persian trait! Love the portrait below? Click here to see more of Anne Ross Oliva’s work.

callliopeportrait

Beautiful portrait of Calliope by Anne Ross Oliva

My two cats Clawdia (sadly passed away in 2007) and Calliope (still vivacious at 11 years old) were both older when adopted. I have never owned a cat under six years of age, but these two sweet girls each came into my world right on time. Their lives instantly turned into a blur of treats, toys, cuddles, attention and affection!

Clawdia approx. 2006

Clawdia in 2006

In closing, I urge each of you to adopt your pets. There are so many exceptional, eager pets who want to spend their golden years adoring you. I promise you an older pet can bring infinite joy to your household – our cat is a vital member of our family!

20121212-091347.jpg

Calliope in Halloween costumes past: Sushi Roll (top) Amelia Earheart (bottom left) Hillary Clinton (bottom right)

Have you adopted an older pet? I’d love to hear your story! Please leave your comments below. Interested in adopting a Persian cat? Please visit Helping Persian Cats, a fabulous organization dedicated to making perfect matches!

.colored pencil dreams.

20121204-001303.jpg

Immediately stepping out of the salon today I felt the need to share my darling manicure. The creative nails pictured above are the result of a profound pin I discovered last night, though they were brought to life by the magic touch of nail technician Amy at Beauty Company on Polk Street. Not only did I fall nearly comatose during my warm lotion/warm towel arm massage, but Amy did a fab job of studying the pins on my phone and recreating the delicate look on my fingers.

Though the original pin served as inspiration, I incorporated my personal favorite nail shades (including Where’s My Chauffeur and Cheeky Chops among others). The result in what I coin “colored pencil” nails. The retro-chic throwback makes me smile, and the trendy-but-tame style slips perfectly into the workplace. Explore the beauty of Pinterest and share comments on the looks you recreate!

.vintage baubles.

moi contre la vie & sasha maks vintage, upper right corner

It’s no secret that I love me some Sasha Maks Vintage. Her hand-picked collection of vintage baubles is absolutely massive – seriously, she has something for every style. Sasha has an impeccable eye for vintage jewelry. While she has pieces from all throughout the 20th century, her eclectic selection is heavily focused on 60’s-70’s Pop and Mod styles (think YSL, Chanel and Dior).

Last week SMV hosted a trunk show at Mike Page Style Lab, which is a beautiful salon downtown on Post and Jones. I’ve collaborated with owner Michael on a couple different fashion events and I simply love working with him – and his amazing space! BTW, if you’re craving some beautiful hair, he is definitely the man to see.

stunning jewels & lovely shoppers

The event also had makeup styling and rockstar giftbags  from another fabulous local business, Beauty Company. It was a night filled with all my favorite things! When you check out Sasha’s website remember she also does views by appointment: meaning you get one-on-one time with the expert herself. I promise you, there is NO better selection of vintage jewels in the Bay Area!

.thankfulness.

As I reflect on the impending Thanksgiving holiday, my thankful list is growing at a rapid pace. Though this year was full of many memories – great joy, sorrowful loss, personal rediscovery – I am most grateful to be living where I love, with the person I love, doing what I love.

Being a writer was always my dream job (for when I “grew up” – har har). This year I have followed my passions and expanded my writing from the unfortunate direction it was heading (neglected hobby) to where I want it to be (flourishing full-time!). Despite having been in the SF beauty/fashion scene for the last few years, albeit in different contexts, I was still amazed at the community support I discovered as I dove into my professional career.

There are a few particular organizations that have facilitated my writing career in 2012, and I hope to write about them each as we travel into 2013. First on my list is certainly San Francisco Fashion And Merchants Alliance, Inc.

Known as the largest and most innovative fashion organization in Northern California, SFFAMA sponsors numerous fabulous events which highlight local designers, start-ups, writers and more. I’ve attended a few great SFFAMA events, including at The Factory and JYJZ.  I love their dedication to connecting local talent. I have met countless inspiring San Franciscans that encourage me to keep pursuing my dreams.

As the holiday season continues full swing, I hope to keep reflecting on the multitude of treasures I have to be thankful for (including SFFAMA mentioned above). I hope you each have a thankful, delicious, happy holiday!

“Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.” Margaret Cousins

.fashion bloggers connect @ jyjz.

Carmen, Kyle (owner), Arleen

Carmen, Kyle (co-owner), Arleen

Tonight I attended the Fashion Bloggers Connect event at retail space JYJZ (located inside Westfield Mall on the 4th floor near Bloomindales under the dome). It was my first time in this shop and I loved it! The event was well attended by local San Francisco fashion bloggers and the buzz in the store sparked my interest in their concept.

"Puurfect" cardigan

“Puurfect” cardigan

JYJZ (which are the intials of the twin brother owners) is an Asian/European fusion boutique with a dash of California style. Their designs are sourced largely from their own line Franco. Franco is a collaboration of independent Korean designers and the talented team of JYJZ, who all work together to tweak the Korean designs for an American market.

Funky print + bead sweater paired with jacket

Funky print + bead sweater paired with jacket

Merchandising Manager Arleen mentioned that oftentimes customers may ask for particular styles: sheer tops, printed maxis, cropped jackets, etc. JYJZ make these recommendations to the Asian designers for inspiration. Sometimes they take new Korean designs and change them slightly (increase the length, etc.) until they achieve perfection.

JYJZ staffer Joy in their label Franco

JYJZ staffer Joy in their label Franco

JYJZ also sources clothes from the major Asian label Lily. With 400 stores in Asia (holy Toledo!) and 10 in Europe, think of it as the Forever21 of on these continents. JYJZ is the first USA store to carry Lily, which is a major milestone.

Fall in love...

Fall in love…

Lucky for the customer, Lily does not have the huge following in America as it does across the globe – meaning JYJZ sells their Lily frocks at major discount. I spotted darling cocktail dresses for $36, trendy beret-style winter hats for $28 and patterned leggings for $16. Score!

Sequins + fringe purse, swoon!

Sequins + fringe purse, swoon!

Another Asian brand carried at JYJZ is Saba, whose designs were some of my particular favorites. American & European designers also exist in the shop including in LA-based company Teenplo and Europe’s Only Clothing, Vera Moda and Max C, all three of Asos fame. The combo of primarily Asian/European influence with an American twist provides a great selection of clothing and accessories for all types of fashionistas.

Sewing machine jewelry display

Sewing machine jewelry display

JYJZ also contains accessories (note the delightful hats and hairbows below) including slightly-naughty gifts: suggestive wine stoppers, bottle openers and piggy banks line the back counter. The eclectic mix of these reasonably-priced items are make adorable, unique gift ideas.

Love the burnt-orange hat!

Love the burnt-orange hat!

The more I browsed around JYJZ the more gems I discovered. I highly suggest making a trip to Westfield to stroll around and see what goodies you come across. Leave your comments below and tell me what you found!