If you’re a Louis Vuitton fan, RUN to Dillard’s in Boise right now for their one-time-only pop up shop! Last night, I was honored to host a sneak-peek party for some of my dearest girl friends. This special sale is new to Dillard’s, and a one-of-a-kind collaboration with What Goes Around Comes Around, the leading purveyor of authentic luxury resale online.
All of the bags are vintage and pre-loved, in excellent condition and with authentication cards. These beauties are gorgeous, legit, and a fraction of the price of new bags!
The main event will be open to the public starting December 10th, 2016. HOWEVER, private pre-sales are open right NOW!!! If you want to get a crack at these bags before they’re gone, call Dillard’s at (208) 321-4646 to make your appointment.
Special THANKS to Dillard’s for showing us such a lovely time, and to all the sweet ladies who came to the party. Love you all!
TUESDAY, SEPT. 6
Arrive in New York City!!! Check in at INNSIDE New York NoMad, 132 West 27th St., Manhattan
After everyone has arrived, gather at the hotel’s Impero Bar for drinks and hugs!
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 7
Leave hotel at 10am, those getting Blow Outs
Shopping, Nolita area
Dominique Ansel Bakery for lunch and “cookie shots”
Back to hotel for primping
Leave 6:00pm for Macy’s Fashion’s Front Row Show
Explore Times Square, dinner & drinks at The Skylark
THURSDAY, SEPT. 8th
Depart hotel at 10am for Surprise shopping event
Explore 5th Avenue shops (Chanel, Louis Vuitton, or discount hotspot Saks Off Fifth)
ROCK THE YACHT party cruise, Pier 15, South St.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 9th
Tour the Metropolitan Museum of Art fashion exhibits
Luncheon at The Loeb Boathouse, on the water in Central Park
Shopping / Free time
Dinner and Cocktails, Sixty Five at the Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Center
Comedy Underground Show
SATURDAY, SEPT. 10th
Private Shopping Party with Bagel Brunch & Mimosas, legendary couture resale shop ELEVEN, Brooklyn
Explore Brooklyn, flea markets, Century 21 Outlet store
Dinner in Brooklyn
Tina Tatum’s Birthday 😉
SUNDAY, SEPT. 11th
Breakfast Brunch together
Crash and dream of next year!
If you’ve spent much time on my blog, chances are you’ve gleaned that I had an unconventional upbringing. Born and raised in a church missionary organization, I spent the first 20 years of my life traveling with my parents and helping with their service projects in over 25 countries. We slept on bunk beds, cots, and concrete floors. I’ve been served meals containing animals I had never thought of as “food” before… And I’ve been immersed in more cultures than most children these days have gaming consoles!
Most of the places I’ve lived in are dear to my heart, and had a deep, lasting impact on who I am today as a woman, and a citizen of this vast, amazing globe we call home. From Russia, to Thailand, to Jamaica and Germany, my horizons have been tugged and stretched to extreme proportions. But the one place that truly impacted me the most – the city I left my heart in! – was Amsterdam, where I lived at age 13.
Today, after many years and more stamps on my passport, I am journeying back to that wild, historic, and diverse city once again. And I wonder: has the city that impacted me so much as a blossoming teenager, changed over the years as much as I have? I can’t wait to find out!
What I Remember #1: the Food
Near the school I attended while my parents studied and worked in Amsterdam, stood a candy shop. And it wasn’t just any candy shop; it was made-right-here luscious goodness, the likes of which I had never tasted in my 13 years of life! I’ll never forget my first bite of Kabelspekken, the multi-colored twisted marshmallow sticks that quickly became my number-one treat. Sure, you can get marshmallows in the United States… But these were different! Made with real sugar and fruits, instead of corn syrup and food colorings, these colorful rainbows of happiness changed my world.
“Why don’t we have candy like this back home?” I asked my mom.
“American candy is made cheaply, with chemicals and artificial ingredients,” she told me. “This… This is real!” Mind. Blown. My taste for American candy would never be the same!
Besides the awesome candy, my favorite thing to do at lunch time was to run up the block with my classmates to the nearest snack bar, and order “frites mit saus” (fries with sauce.) To my teenage brain, these were perfection in a meal: hot and creamy on the inside, just the right amount of salty crunch on the outside, and ohhhhh that amazing creamy fry sauce! Like a cross between ranch and mayonnaise, but that doesn’t even come close to describing its awesomeness. For years afterwards we tried multiple kitchen attempts at duplicating the taste, but were never truly able to nail it.
Will the fries and sauce taste as amazing to me now, as they did back when I was a teen? I’m about to find out… Delicious and creamy/salty, exactly as I remember. <3 Best fries in the world. Even my husband was surprised at how much he enjoyed them!
What I Remember #2: the Sights
I adore architecture and history, and Amsterdam is one of the best places in the world to observe both! As a kid, I was fascinated by the Dutch buildings; their distinct designs, spires, arches, and the way all the buildings fit so closely together.
“Why do they all tilt forward?” I remember asking, observing how the fronts of many older buildings lean out at the top. A local person explained to me that this was how they moved furniture pieces up to the top stories: by hooking a pulley or rope system to things, and hauling them straight up to the top, instead of trying to pull and tug them through narrow hallways and winding staircases. Brilliant!
Dutch buildings are beautiful. Check out this small mall below, called the Magna Plaza, that was once a post office designed by local architect P.C. Peters in 1899. In recent years, it has been transformed into a shopping complex, its original structure and details still stunning visitors and locals alike.
I love the walking streets, and although public transportation is inexpensive easy to navigate, for me nothing beats the joy of exploring this vast, beautiful city on foot. When I was a child, it felt like miles and miles, and we did much of it by bus or bike. But now, with a map and a comfy pair of shoes, I find the city is easily walkable and fascinating to explore!
What I Remember #3: the People
I adore the diversity in Amsterdam. It’s such a beautiful blend of humanity from across the globe! If you stand a while in Central Station and just listen, you’re guaranteed to hear chatter from a dozen different nations… At least! I’ve met people from Egypt, Dubai, New Zealand, England, France, Canada, Germany, and China. Because Amsterdam is such a hub of activity and a popular tourist destination, the city is packed with folks of all ages and nationalities.
And everyone gets along! Seriously! Sure, there must be times that rudeness happens, or racism rears its ugly head now & again… But for the most part everywhere I explored in the city I saw only politeness, kindness, and good manners.
Case in point: One evening while my husband was still at work past dinner time, I found my way to a quaint, lovely little pub that was advertising a tasty dinner special of soup, main course, and wine for 20 Eu. It was packed with people, which is always a good sign, considering it was still quite early for supper.
I asked the waiter for his suggestions of the tastiest soup on the menu, and he told me how much Amsterdamers love their split-pea-with-ham soup in the wintertime. Satisfied with that traditional yumminess, I settled in for a relaxing meal. That is, until I noticed a table-full of men who kept sneaking glances at me while I ate.
I ignored them and minded my own business, but eventually one of the braver fellows in their group sidled over and cleared his throat to get my attention.
“Pardon me, miss, but could I trouble you to inquire if you’re waiting for someone?” Such manners! I assured him with a polite smile that my husband was working late, and I would be joining him after dinner.
“Oh, my apologies then! You are quite lovely and if you were alone we’d invite you to join us. But do please forgive me if I offended you, and enjoy your evening!”
Oh my goodness, most polite rejection-taking EVER! I had to laugh. Offended? Um, no.
I found the same politeness in every situation across the city, in cafés, shops, train stations, and crowded city streets. I was never once treated with any rudeness, or talked down to for being a tourist. It felt like the entire city was happy to see us, and ready to be our friend.
As my husband and I walked through the streets Saturday night, full of BBQ chicken dinner from legendary local hotspot Bier Fabriek, high on love and surrounded by throngs of party-goers and fellow adventurers, I turned to him and sighed, “Oh, I really love it here… I would definitely move back in a heart beat!”
That’s the moment I knew; the moment everything I remembered from my childhood, and everything I had experienced on this visit, came together in a rush of joy.
As we boarded the train the next day to head back to the airport, my heart heavy and longing for more time to explore and immerse myself in this beautiful city, I realized the truth: I had left my heart in Amsterdam, all over again!
Tot ziens, Amsterdam… Until next time.
TanyaRead more fun travel stories stories like mine, as part of Get Your Guide’s #ileftmyheartin campaign at GetYourGuide.com!
Hey, psst… It’s almost here! Have you bought all your Christmas gifts yet? Unless you are lucky enough to live in one of the 16 cities where Amazon can deliver presents in a day, you’re almost out of time to get your shopping done!
If you’ve waited until the last moment, or are struggling to find the perfect unique gift for someone in your life, here’s my TOP 10 LIST for items you can run out quickly and snag around the Treasure Valley area.
Beef Whip Candle Co. was recently started by a Boise husband & wife team, and these cleverly-titled candles have the most divine scents! If Fall Farted is our current family fave, and it makes a GREAT gift for that hard-to-buy-for person in your life. My little brother is getting one of these for his new apartment – shhhh it’s a secret! 😉 Beef Whip candles can be found at Mixed Greens on 9th, or Press & Pony on Idaho St..
I love Silk Touch Med Spa on Eagle Rd.! Right now they’re running a special for Christmas: Buy $200 in Gift Cards, and get a $50 Gift Card free! Also check out their 12 Days of Christmas specials on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/silktouchmedspa/. This is a great gift for the person in your life who’s been hinting they’d like a little pampering, or is wanting to nip & tuck a thing or two. 😉
COACH at Boise Towne Sqaure mall is having an unprecedented winter sale! A huge selection of their items are 40% off right now, from luxury handbags to jewelry, gloves, scarves, and travel accessories. They can also place orders for you from their amazing clothing & shoe selection online, and get it shipped to your house asap!
Robert Comstock is the newest menswear store in the Treasure Valley. Loaded with luxury clothes, coats, leather goods, accessories, and even facial hair products, this posh shop in the Village at Meridian carries exclusive items found nowhere else in Idaho! Treat your guy to a soft-like-buttah leather jacket, or sign him up for a FREE styling session from some of the most skilled menswear personal stylists in the Treasure Valley. ~ This just in: The Robert Comstock store is having a STOREWIDE HALF-PRICE SALE until Dec. 24th! Mention code COMSTOCKHOLIDAY for 50% off your entire purchase in the store!!!
6. BODO SHOPS & GIFT CARDS
Downtown Boise is bursting at the seams with amazing locally-owned clothing & jewelry boutiques! Here’s my shortlist of where to get the lady in your life something beautiful, or a gift card so she can go fashion hunting herself…
How darling are these little cuddle blankets? Though they are probably meant for wee ones, my 11-year old who likes soft & cute things said “Ooh, mommy, those are SO sweet! I want one!” They come as a set of two; big and small together like your precious baby and his/her favorite big person to hug! Spotted at Mixed Greens, a sweet little shop packed to the brim with unique & precious gifting treasures!
Personally, I’m super obsessed with huge, statement crystals & pendants right now! Local jewelry designer Denise Vasecka of Unigon Specialties has many of her beautiful handmade pieces for sale at Wholistic Beauty Boutique on State St., & 16th. While you’re there shopping, why not add a luxurious facial or massage to the gift? This beauty boutique is the only one of its kind in Boise; all products & services there are organic, or naturopathic, and completely natural! I love the naturopathic makeup & primer so much, I wrote a review about it not long ago – click here to check it out.
The newest addition to Boise’s designer scene is Rooney Mae Couture, created and handmade by Meagan Jones. Her new shop in BODO is a one-stop gown-shopping paradise, as well as her design studio! Stop in and select your favorite color, design, and concept, and Meagan will create it for you in her signature luxurious fabrics & materials… But don’t let the posh appearance fool you; her gowns are so comfy, you almost feel like you’re in your favorite jammies! Check out the Rooney Mae Couture Facebook page for updates on her current schedule and awesome holiday GIFT CARD deals!!!
This one is my favorite spot to bring out-of-town guests and family visiting for the holidays! The Camille Beckman gift shop in Eagle is HUGE and beautiful, stocked floor to rafters with gifts, jewelry, accessories, and of course the company’s world-famous luxury body products. After shopping, step next door to the incredible new Chateau des Fleurs, the Treasure Valley’s newest event center, only French chateau/castle, and home to the exquisite Le Coq d’Or gourmet French restaurant! It’s a one-of-a-kind dining experience you won’t soon forget. <3
If you’re looking for the biggest, baddest, BEST present this Christmas, give her the gift of ADVENTURE! The StyleSpyGirl team is taking a select group of women from the Boise area to LAS VEGAS FASHION WEEK February 17-21. This all-expenses-paid fashion getaway includes airfare, hotel accommodations, transportation, guided shopping tours, Vegas shows, exclusive runway fashion shows, and a dedicated photographer to catch every exciting moment for her to remember forever!
This trip has limited seating, and is booking NOW. Put down a deposit to secure a seat for the lucky lady in your life – all the details and pricing information are on our Vegas Getaway page: http://stylespygirl.com/join-the-las-vegas-fashion-week-ladies-travel-posse/
Don’t delay – seats are filling up, for this fashion & shopping all-girls getaway of a lifetime!
Merry Christmas my friends! May your holidays be filled with peace, love & laughter.
Our 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…
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:
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!
Tis the Season to be generous. 🙂
Yummy noshes from The Dish
More photo booth fun! With Cher Sandmire of Sandmire Studios as the swankest pilot EVER, with friend Bonnie Alexander.
Bernadette Almeida, the Happyness Maker, spreading joy and good cheer wherever she goes!
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!!!
My sweet neighbor and volunteer Tempie, helping ladies check in. 🙂
My beautiful friend & neighbor MaryAnn, helping out at the raffle booth.
Gown by Rooney Mae Couture, who donated a generous gift card to the night’s raffle!
Meeting Mrs. Ada County, Lisa Southern. Thank you so much for coming, Lisa!!!
Ashley Barkley, local stylist, H&M spokesmodel, and social media queen. Love her to pieces!
Meagan Jones, the beautiful brain & talent behind Rooney Mae Couture!
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!!!
~ Photos below are from Social Media ~
That giant construction behemoth in downtown Boise, that’s gone from traffic headache to architectural mystery to the most buzzed-about conundrum this city’s seen in years, is at last getting its first unveiling this weekend. The hubby and I got a Sneak Peek open house invite, so we bundled up and headed downtown on a chilly December night! Here’s what we discovered…
~ COMMUNITY ~
JUMP’s website states this: JUMP—or Jack’s Urban Meeting Place—is a not-for-profit, interactive creative center and community gathering place in the heart of downtown Boise. And although the concept seems vague, we found exactly what it claimed: interaction, and community! JUMP’s six stories were packed with people, wine, food, dessert, conversations, touch-screen maps, interactive displays, and so much excited energy the air practically tingled with it. Strategically open spaces, fitted with cozy furniture and fascinating visuals, invite a variety of communal interaction and singular introspection, all new and unique to the Boise audience. I lost count of how many times I heard, “Oh wow, look at that!” throughout the evening.
Personally I loved the huge square out front; a concrete park-like setting which has instantly increased the visual size of our city. This wide-open square, facing 9th St., will forever alter the face of BODO and our downtown core!
~ INTERACTION ~
Scattered all throughout JUMP’s 6 floors are a variety of interactive exhibits, touchscreen displays, musical touchpads, gathering huddle spots, and more! If you like to touch it, taste it, hear it, see it, or feel it… There’s something here for you to do.
~ BEAUTY ~
Standing on the little jut-out balcony over Myrtle St… Seriously though I have to admit the plexi-glass sides made me a little nervous – eek! Don’t lean on those very hard! I’m sure they are perfectly safe, but I was happy to snap our photo and step awaaaaaay from the edge, lol.
One of JUMP’s directors did a presentation on the 6th floor, along with orchestras, champion jumpropers, dancers, singers, and a night-long schedule of entertainment! JUMP aims to encourage the arts and local talent, which I believe is a beautiful mission and one that WILL have a positive impact on our community.
~ MORE TO COME ~
AND THEN, THE BEST PART, (according to my kids…)
You’re beautiful, JUMP! Thanks for the amazing evening – we are looking forward to many more to come!!!
>>>UPDATE: JUMP Boise is doing a series of open houses in the next few weeks, to let the community experience this amazing place first-hand! These open house events will be 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 13th, 20th and 27th. The lobby, with its entrance located below the large orange JUMP sign near 9th Street, will be open to the public starting Dec. 15 from 10 am to 3pm Tuesday to Friday, but will not be open on the upcoming holidays. Stay tuned on their Facebook page for more details as they emerge: https://www.facebook.com/jumpboise/!
ALL ABOARD for the next “Shop/Style/Adventure” women-only travel package, hosted by Fashion Blogger & Stylist Tanya Carnahan, to Fashion Week in HONOLULU, HAWAII Nov. 19-24!
Reserve your seat now to join the #StyleSpyGirlPosse for an incredible fashion getaway, with 6 days of Shopping, Styling, Fashion Week shows, poolside cocktails, and much, more, in the beautiful Hawaiian paradise of Honolulu!
Package Price: $3,500, includes a private room and everything listed below.
BFF Discount Rate: $3,150 to share a double room, plus everything listed below.
This all-inclusive fashion getaway includes:
Round-trip Airfare. *
Hotel accommodations at the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki**.
Transportation around the city.
Reserved seats at daily Fashion Week shows.
All meals included.
Styling sessions and personal shopping with fashion blogger & stylist Tanya Carnahan, aka., StyleSpyGirl. (Complimentary; by appointment, on a first-come, first-served basis.)
Poolside cocktail time. ***
Power shopping in downtown Honolulu, everything from outlet shops to the 3-story CHANEL flagship!
Gorgeous professional photos capturing your memorable moments, for use on Facebook/Instagram/
A once-in-a-lifetime experience, traveling with a professional fashion blogger, explorer, stylist, and personal shopper, with tons of photos of your experience to make your friends back home SO jealous!
~ MORE fun perks & special events will be announced as details allow; fireworks, dancing, luau’s, and more!!!
Only 8 SEATS LEFT AVAILABLE for this trip, so clear your calendar and get ready to hop aboard for the getaway of a lifetime! Bring your BFF, your sister, your daughter, your grandma… Every woman is welcome! ♥
Not sure what a ladies-only fashion adventure looks like? Click the following link to view our previous trip to Bellevue Fashion Week with Rachel Zoe: The #StyleSpyGirlPosse rocks Fashion Week Bellevue 2015!
*Prices based on flights from Boise, Idaho. Contact us directly for pricing info from other parts of the country!
**Hotel prices vary, based on single or double occupancy. Detailed information available when you click the pricing link above.
***First adult beverage per meal included in your ticket price; additional adult beverages are out-of-pocket.
Day three began with a very special project: we all converged on Nordstrom in Bellevue Square, and had a party designing our own shoes!!! Yes, totally and for real! Nordstrom has this new program called Shoes of Prey, where you sit down at an iPad and peruse through hundreds of example shoe styles, from flats to boots to sky-high platform heels. When you find something that inspires you, you click on it and begin to build.
What height of heel do you want? What color do you want the heel to be on the underside? What kind of material do you want the sole to be? Lace up, or ankle strap? I have to admit, it was almost overwhelming. So many options!
Next stop: Hair & Makeup! The Bellevue Collection was packed with beauty stations throughout the lower level of the mall, with stylists from dozens of hair & makeup shops – everyone from Sephora to Nordstrom had specialists ready to assist us in quick updos and makeup perks-ups! Babes!
After getting beautified, we got ready to rock the evening’s Fashion Show: the Posh Party Trend Show with RACHEL ZOE!!! Yeah, pretty excited. This just keeps getting better & better!!!
And then she came out… And I might have screamed just a little.
The unparalleled Rachel Zoe, talking about Fall Fashion trends and how Pacific Northwesterners are lucky because they get to wear her favorite fashion piece almost year-round: a jacket! She told us that fall is her favorite season, one which she would love to design for year-round, and forget spring. She said, “Fall is so much better! You get to wear beanies and more clothes… I think I’m moving to Bellevue.”
The biggest standout trends to me were: Ankle boots with metal heels, 70’s bohemian looks are sticking around, capes, long coats, belted coats (think 80’s style), shearling on everything, thigh-high suede boots, 60’s style color blocking, patterned stockings, lace, and lots and lots of grey.
Whew, this is just day 3! Day 4, Saturday Sept. 26th is the MAJOR day, with two shows and some up close & personal time with Rachel Zoe… Stay tuned! 😀