Seattle: Community Meeting for Danny Vega, tonight at Filipino Community Center

They say a great haircut can really make a person. For young Fresh Jess, that usually meant a trip to Danny Vega's salon, in a house just off of Rainier Ave. in South Seattle. My dad took my siblings and I there a lot when we were kids. They'd chat while we took turns in Danny's chair getting our hair did:

Thanks Danny for always making me look fly!
It was heartbreaking to hear about Danny's passing after a brutal beating that left him in a coma for almost two weeks. He was only four blocks from his home/salon taking his nightly walk when he was assaulted by three teenagers.

Photo via Seattle Gay Scene

Nobody should ever feel unsafe being who they are, where they are. The Seattle Police Department and Mayor McGinn have launched an investigation to track down the teenagers. There will be a community meeting tonight. If you know Danny or live in the neighborhood, I highly encourage you to attend and participate in the discussion:
In partnership and at the request of the family of Danny Vega, the Seattle Police Department Filipino Advisory Council and the Filipino Community of Seattle, the Seattle Police is holding a community meeting to address concerns of Vega’s homicide, criminal investigation process, crime prevention opportunities, and answer other questions tomorrow Wednesday, November 30th at 6 p.m. at the Filipino Community Center, 5740 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Seattle. 
We suggest anyone who wishes to attend this meeting to please consider carpooling or using public transportation as parking is limited. 
Captain Ron Wilson
Community Outreach Section
Seattle Police Department

Danny's memorial page on Facebook 


Is Everyone Hanging Out w/o Me? - Mindy Kaling

What makes a good friend? Someone who gifts you Mindy Kaling's book and makes you Persian tea all in the same night, just because. I love Anisa Leyla (check out her new blog!)
But enough about my awesome friends.

Mindy Kaling's own besties are just one of the many pieces of her life that she divulges in "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and other concerns)" While I love reading books by CEOs, entrepreneurs and others who inspire me, Mindy is the first one whose upbringing actually sounds like my own! Friendly and hilarious but never part of the popular crowd, Mindy counts her traditional, loving Indian family and close friends among her biggest influences and supporters.

Reading Mindy's book was such a breath of fresh air. It says a lot that Mindy is as down-to-earth now as she was in her flourishing college days. She shares her experiences and observations in major parts of her life - childhood, college, New York, The Office and of course her BlackBerry photo album - in such a light and funny way, you can't help but love it as you read along. I know this word is overused, but the girl keeps it "real." I mean, one of her chapters is titled "Someone please explain one-night stands to me" because she can't understand how you can trust someone with your body so casually. RIGHT?!?

Anywho, AlixRose and I had the pleasure of snapping this quick and blurry pic with her after her appearance in Seattle for Rainn Wilson & Friends' benefit show for The Mona Foundation. She was so sweet and didn't look at me weird when I told her I was the one begging to style her on Twitter :)

If you're looking for a fun holiday read, I highly suggest picking this up!


The Newest Member of the Family

About a month and a half ago, I was at Seattle Works' SWANK gala when I saw this Facebook update:

Naturally I wanted to help however I could. I shared it on Facebook & sent it out on Twitter. When I got home, I decided to post a blog post as well.

Bulldog Haven reached out initially just to give thanks. Later, they found out that Spike's vet bill was over twice as much as they'd thought - for three different surgeries! They started a ChipIn donation campaign and reached out to me again to help get the word out for donations.

Long story short, my boyfriend and I kept looking at this sweet little guy - who looks just like my angel baby Meatball - and we decided to adopt him!

We are so excited to have him as part of our family. Looking forward to many dog park dates and slobber on my outfits!

Looking to adopt your own bulldog? Visit BulldogHavenNW.org for more information.


Seattle Style: Dave Nguyen

Believe it or not, there are a lot of style mavens roaming the streets of the Emerald City. Seattle Style is a monthly feature on FreshJess, giving you a look at some of the city's most stylish - who they are, what they do, and some of the very best out of their closet!

This week, meet our first guy feature, Dave Nguyen:

What do you do?
I'm a CPA Auditor living the corporate dream. On the side, I'm doing aesthetic and brand effectiveness projects to help out friends and random peoples. This helps balance that financial business-oriented side with some business creativity.

How would you describe your style?
My style is minimalistic, street, timeless, modern, updated yet inspired by the classics, and cultivated by my personality. And in all, dressing for whatever the Seattle weather permits. Music such as hip hop & indie make me try to keep things progressive. I love style and aesthetic. It's my form of art and a way to express myself. It articulates my personalty, mood, brand, and swag on swag on swag. Plus I can't draw or write poetry. 

What are your favorite shops?
Favorite shops are Gilt Groupe, Shop Acrimony (SF), Roden Gray (BC), Nomad Shop (BC), Barneys, Nordstrom, and J.Crew. You can also find me on the classifieds of StyleForum.net and eBay scouring for deals and hard to finds. Favorite brands are Band of Outsiders, Gitman Vintage, Surface 2 air, and of course J.Crew. Note, I never buy anything full price, usually 50% off or more.

What's your favorite thing about Seattle?
The diversity that feeds into it; the aspect of big city appeal with intimacy make it homely; growing food culture; the parks and recreation; being close to the lake/sound/nature; dressing for the seasons; depressed during winters; happy as fuck in the summers; and this is where my parents persevered to make it so I love this city. Also gotta love the people.

Thanks Dave!

Find him on Twitter, Instagram (@Davenguyen206), Facebook & Yelp.


Goodwill Glitter Sale Preview

The Goodwill Glitter Sale is this weekend! 

This is probably one of the funnest sales in the city. Held every year since 1983, this famous two-day sale features racks, rows and cases of glitzy and glamorous formalwear, gowns, jewelry, handbags, shoes and more, at fantastic prices! It has become Goodwill's most popular and well-attended sale—people from across the region and even other states make it a point to attend. 

 What makes the sale truly remarkable is that all proceeds—every penny our customers spend—go to support Goodwill's free job training programs. Every day, Goodwill helps low-income people with barriers to employment get the skills and support they need to find work and support themselves. Because jobs change lives. 

The sale goes on Saturday and Sunday, 9:00a.m. - 6:00p.m. at the Seattle Goodwill. The lines start to form real early on Saturday, but don't worry - they refresh the inventory throughout the day. Make sure to check Goodwill's Glitter Sale site and blog for tips and suggestions in making the most out of this sale!

I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peek at all the Glitter Sale goods tonight, and saw some sweet finds from Manolo Blahnik, Prada, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Christian Louboutin and a ton of exquisite vintage pieces. Enjoy!

See more preview pics on the Fresh Jess Facebook page!


Please help Spike! (updated)

*Updated Saturday 10/8/11

This is a special plea from one of the bulldog rescues I support!

This sweet little guy is Spike, a 4-year-old English bulldog. He was surrendered at the ER due to serious bladder stones that his family couldn't afford. Turns out he also had an enlarged prostate, bladder infection and needs a neuter badly.

Spike is now in the care of Bulldog Haven Northwest. He underwent surgery earlier this week, where the doctor neutered him and removed 10 stones from his urethra & 3 from his bladder. He just went home to his foster mom's after a few days recuperating at the vet.

I'm in love this little guy. He looks just like my angel baby Meaty <3

His vet bill skyrocketed to over $2000. Because this has happened in a matter of days, BHNW is putting out a call for your help in covering Spike's vet bill. Add to that the special needs for the dogs BHNW is already caring for, it's a lot to take on unexpectedly. If anyone can give to the rescue, every dollar helps!

Or checks via snail mail at: Bulldog Haven NW, P.O. Box 1120, Marysville, WA 98270

Seriously, anything helps. Thank you so much!

Bulldog Haven NW is a rescue and adoption organization that provides a safe place for English and French Bulldogs, mental & physical rehabilitation, rehoming, breed specific shelter assistance and more.

One final note: these problems could've been avoided if Spike had been neutered at an early age. PLEASE, if you're thinking about getting a dog (especially bulldogs as they have many health problems), READ UP on caring for your pup! There's a lot of time, energy, care and money that go into this commitment. 


National Just Write Month

BlogHer's declared November "NaBloPoMo" - National Blog Post Month:

NaBloPoMo 2011

If you've been here before, you know I don't post every day. I wish I could, trust me! While the idea of NaBloPoMo stresses me out a bit, I have decided to take part in Tac Anderson's spin on it - National Just Write Month.

Tac is a London via Seattle PR agency guy, and his blog, New Comm Biz, is one that I've made a habit of reading regularly. One of the things I really enjoy is expressing myself through writing, and compliments on my works and style are among those I treasure most. Unfortunately, it's also one of the things that fall to the wayside when life gets busy. Taking part in this will help me keep on top of it and hopefully help me to form a habit of writing on the regular!

In short, National Just Write Month is simple: 
Write something, every day. 
They say it takes 30 days to make something a habit. Making it a habit is the key to writing consistently. It doesn’t matter if it’s fiction, non-fiction, a blog post or hand written journal entries. If you want to write more, just start writing. Start with a goal that’s achievable. Start writing for 30 minutes everyday. If your goal is to blog then write everyday and try to post 2-3 times a week. If you’re already writing everyday then take it up a notch, and post something everyday or write for longer periods of time. Just set a goal and keep it for 30 days. Don’t give up, don’t make excuses, just write. - New Comm Biz
As I mentioned, I'm not planning on blogging every day but I will take pen to journal at least once a day throughout November. There are so many reasons why I really want to do this:

  • Get back into writing
  • Improve my vocabulary. I use the same words way too much.
  • Improve my typing, penmanship, spelling and grammar.
  • Guarantee a few moments of reflection each day
  • A chance to have some clarity
  • Unplug from social media and technology
  • Brainstorm and ideate on things I can't/don't have time to think about because of work

Most of all, I'll be using this month to organize my thoughts. Lately I've been in this perpetual state of "Jessie Spano" as I like to call it. Simply put, I am doin too much and forgetting what's really important to me, my health and sanity, and you, my readers. It's been a crazy ride this year, but I can only learn from my experiences. Who knows? I might just end up sharing much of it with you.

Care to take part in National Just Write Month? Let me know!

If there's anything in particular you'd love to see me write on, I'd love to hear it! Leave a comment or message me at jess(at)freshjess.com.

Here I go...