Get Scattered.

I had the opportunity to check out a screening of Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s. For someone who has gone to fashion school, I’m almost ashamed to say that I was never really familiar with Bergdorf Goodman. The only assumption I had was that it was a New York Department Store on 5th Ave that sold expensive things to rich folks. 

The documentary consists of collected footage that spans over about 1 ½ years. It includes a look into the store itself – the history, the employees, and the culture. Mixed in were numerous and hilarious interviews with designers that I absolutely adore; Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, and Karl Lagerfeld just to name a few. They shared their story of how they got into Bergdorf Goodman and how the road in wasn’t easy, in fact some designers still aren’t in yet! I was fascinated by all the stories shared and how iconic this store is and how it will be forever.

Although the film does jump all over the place, behind all the footage, there was a little story! It focused on the work of the Visual team at BG. (I feel so cool now saying BG, just like a true Nordstrom shopper says Nordys.) Viewers got to see the behind the scenes planning, preparation, and unveiling of their Holiday window displays. Unbelievably gorgeous! 

To sum it up, I now know Bergdorf’s is the best of the best! I would love to make a trip to NYC to see it for myself. If you want to get a dose of fashion or get a look into the BG world the film starts playing this Friday, May 24th at the Varsity Theatre in the U-District! 

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Sarah Basto is a born and raised Seattleite. She’s a former merchandise marketing student of The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and is currently working as a marketing manager at a local nanny agency and serves as the PR & marketing intern for local luxury swimwear company Adicora Swimwear. She’s obsessed with all things Seattle and is interested in just about everything – this explains why she considers herself an entreprenista in the making! Outside of work Sarah loves spending time with her family and friends, baking, exploring the city, and being a full-time happy hour guru.

Find Sarah on Twitter, and view all of her posts here.

30Fresh Aces: TigerBeat

Each week during 30Fresh, I'll introduce you to a couple of incredible people whose soul, energy, humor, talent, intellect and dreams light up my life. I think the world of them and hope you do too!

Say what you will, but I am proud to call this next Ace my friend. Meet TigerBeat!

Josh, better known to you as TigerBeat, is a DJ who absolutely knows how to throw a party. I met him at his HollyHood weekly Friday dance party, and through Twitter, sarcasm and Atlanta hip-hop, became great friends. I admire Josh for his unfiltered honesty and opinion. He's the epitome of "keeping it real." He's a constant reminder to stick to my guns, even when it's not the popular thing to do.

He lives in NYC now and is getting his name out there as a solid DJ, building his production and DJ skills every day. If you're in the Big Apple, make sure you find him and check out one of his sets. Find him on SoundCloud & Twitter to see where he'll be spinning next.

After the interview, peep his latest mixtape, a birthday present to me and all of you!

What's on your playlist right now?

Hella YouTube and World Star videos. A bunch of stuff really. Random music. I have been focusing on production a lot lately so I have been listening to producers, like:

  • Willy Joy

  • Cobra Krames

  • Mike Will

  • Salva

  • Proper Villains

and music like Donnis & Kendrick Lamar. Diplo's killing as per usual...you know, club shit.

Describe your style.

My style.. as to...DJing or how I dress? I know this is for a fashion blog. How I dress? I'd say I have a pretty basic style. A.P.C. jeans all day, tank tops and hoodies, v-necks, Vans. Gold chain,  gold teeth. Sunglasses. I put a button-up on if I'm feeling ethnic. I also haven't combed or cut my hair in 4 months. I don't know whats going on with that. My DJ style: Heavy rap influence on top of everything else. I love rap chants and 808s.

Who inspires you?

Inspiration. That's a big feeling to have. People that get up and go out and work hard for what they want or believe. Not falling into line because its the easy thing or trendy thing to do. Standing up for who and what you love. But mostly, just cats.

What are you reading?

I am currently immersed in musical theory, production books, the internet and friends all on the subject of music production and turntablism. I don't have time for much else right now with networking full time in anticipation for the summer here in NYC. I'm very excited!

What are you most excited about in the coming months?

NYC!!! Making a network of colleagues and friends. Practicing, learning and honing my craft. the parties where I can play unabashed rap anthems.

A real mixtape from a real DJ for my birthday! Enjoy!

Thank you!

30Fresh. 30 days of posts celebrating 30 years - and 5 of Fresh Jess!

New York Photo Recap

I come out to New York at least twice a year, coinciding with Fashion Week. I come here to attend the blogger conferences (IFBcon, Lucky FABB) that happen right before Fashion Week, take meetings and occasionally attend a NYFW show or two. My readers have never responded much to Fashion Week recaps, so it's not a huge deal for me to cover them. 

They do, however, respond to my perspective on personal style, inspiration, and local culture. So that's the main reason I like to come out to NYC. Here's a photo diary of restaurants we tried, time spent with phenomenal friends, and a healthy dose of networking and shopping worked in :) 

This is how I do NYC!

There is nothing like catching up with friends you consider family. I spent most of my week with AlixRose & David. We got some work done (here atWeWork Labs coworking space) and some play too!

Feelin' on top of the world! At the Top of the Standard for Poshmark's happy hour.

So many new Poshmarker friends! (L) with Jessica of Domesticated Me & Naty of A Love Affair with Fashion

I love Maria of Poshmark & Kitties + Couture! Alix and I had fun dressing up at the Bollare showroom with Maria and Paulina :)

A sneak peek of our dress-up fun at Bollare! Haute Hippie & Marchesa

Planning some awesomeness with Gilt Groupe!

Nemo didn't ruin any of our fun!

Hanging out in Williamsburg and losing our minds thrifting at Beacon's Closet

Took a small break from the Resolution Challenge. Clockwise from top left: Totto Ramen, Banana Nutella crepe & mimosa at Station in Williamsburg; Maison Laduree macarons; the Nelly bathroom at VYNL (where I had the 'Beyonce' drink :))

An NYC must for me! Brooklyn Flea with my girls and David rounded out a wonderful Sunday.

Jordana of Clutch 22 was our lovely hostess!

IFB Conference Photo Diary

The Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) team put on another great conference last week, kicking off New York Fashion Week at the Altman Building in Chelsea. IFBcon is a great anchor for my week-long Fashion Week visits to NYC for so many reasons. It's a way for me to support IFB in one more way, giving thanks for the invaluable resource they provide us with this community. 

I always meet new amazing bloggers, catch up with other blogging friends and discover new fashion startups or up-and-coming bloggers when I attend. IFBcon's content is great if you are a casual or beginning blogger, with a variety of topics ranging from affiliate marketing, the future of blogging, social media and the business of blogging as a career.

Day 1 outfit: Crooks & Castles varsity jacket (similar) / Madewell Heartstripe sweater / Zara corduroy trousers & boots / Barney's Co-op collared sleeveless blouse

Seattle in full effect at IFB! Andrea of SkinnyPurseAlixRose and Sydney of Sydney Loves Fashion

Blogger bestie Alix and I had so much fun in the Alex & Ani photo booth :)

I was so excited to meet one of my favorite bloggers in the game! Rachel Seville of Pizza Rulez & Four Pins

With my NYC blogger bestie Vintage Vandalizm; the lovely Poshmark girls and Jennine, founder of IFB

More fun in the photobooth

Oh hey Tyson Beckford!

Day 2 outfit: Thrifted ASOS romper (similar) / Uniqlo Heat-Tech tights (fleece tights were a must this week! Similar here) / Zara boots

Couldn't resist :)

Baohaus' Eddie Huang Has a Show & It's Awesome

I love following entrepreneurs on Twitter. They come in all shapes and sizes, and keep me on my toes while inspiring to ALWAYS be who I want to be regardless of who I work for and what I want to do. Entrepreneurs over everything.

I started following Eddie Huang after hearing about his infamous Four Loko Thursdays, which enjoyed a short but mighty run before it (and his restaurant, Xiao Ye) were shut down by the NYPD. This was back when Four Loko was still in its "we're legal but we'll fuck you up" stage, not in its watered-down, Dimetapp-with-some-bubbles current state. I wanted to go to there so bad.

Anyway, I thought it was awesome to see a (cool) Asian-American doing his thang in the restaurant business, so I found his blog and Twitter. Since his General Loko days, Huang has rubbed elbows with Anthony Bourdain & Tom Colicchio, seen Baohaus take off and even found a place for himself among other 2013 TED fellows. Lately, he's been illin with VICE magazine for a short web series called "Fresh Off the Boat." Check out the first two episodes in Taiwan below and follow Eddie on some food adventures around the world on VICE's YouTube.





This one I had to throw in because it features Filipino food:

"I think our generation...it's our job to break the barriers and get people to eat outside their comfort zone."

Fresh Jess in NYC: Microsoft Store Launch & Surface Tablet

Last week, I flew out to NYC for a last-minute trip to help Microsoft celebrate the launch of the Surface tablet alongside Windows 8 & the grand opening of the Microsoft Store holiday pop-up in Times Square.  I was accompanied by my best friend Paula, three other invited guests from Nashville, Chicago & L.A. and their friends.  It was a whirlwind of fun, learning, exploring and luck! (We got out of there early Sunday morning and avoided any Hurricane Sandy chaos. Phew!)

You can see shots from my trip on the Fresh Jess Facebook page, including the big Microsoft Store opening, Windows 8 installations in the middle of Times Square, and more playing around with the Surface Tablet in the store. Microsoft was kind enough to equip us with photographers and a video crew who recorded our time in the store. 

So what were my initial thoughts? Watch the video below:

So what are my thoughts on the Surface tablet?

Before I share them with you, I just want to stress that I am not a gadget geek at all. I don't need the latest and greatest, I want something reliable that does most of the things I need it to. I own all Mac products, but do not own an iPad. These are the opinions of a casual tech consumer who spends a ton of time on a computer working and on social media.

That being said, I think the Surface tablet is a great lifestyle computer. The resolution is great, the screen's glare-resistant and is really responsive to touch & swipe. There are touch covers in several colors, but I found the keyboard on these touch covers not as responsive as the tablet screen or the Type Pad cover (I got one of those.) It's got a built-in kickstand, USB and memory card ports.

I'm a big fan of the Start screen. It's colorful and customizable to the apps, sites and settings of your liking. There are a ton of apps in the Microsoft Store, but small in comparison to the Apple or Android store. I'm hoping developers will warm up to making more sweet apps for the Surface soon! I'd love to see native apps for Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. One big feature of the Surface is the "Charms" sidebar, which appears with a short swipe of the right side of the screen and allows you to share links and updates from your Surface among other things. Until I see native apps for those social media sites, though, I don't know that I'll use Charms often. A swipe of the bottom of the screen will bring up more settings controls.

What are my other favorite features?

I love that Microsoft Office 2013 is included in the Surface tablet. I bought MS Office for my MacBook Air, and it's nice to be able to work on documents, spreadsheets & PowerPoint presentations on either one. 

The camera is amazing. The screen sits at an angle when it's in kickstand mode, but the camera corrects itself and captures a lot. You can fit at least four people in on a conference call on it. 

Resolution for movies and music videos is clear too. Battery life will get you through a whole day of use, so if you're only using it sparingly, should keep for a few days.

I've had a lot of people ask me how it compares to the iPad, or if they should trade out their iPad for a Surface tablet. I think it's like comparing apples and oranges. If you've got an iPad and you love it, why would you want to make a switch? It'd be hard to switch between operating systems, but if you're only using the Surface for some light work and mostly entertainment purposes, it's a good choice. More than anything, think about your needs & budget for your tablet, then go from there.

I'm honored to be among the first to play with it, and look forward to seeing what Microsoft does to improve it in the months and years to come.

All photos above credit Edelman & Microsoft

I'll finish this post with some of my own behind-the-scenes photos:

In action!

Getting prepped

Interviewing Microsoft Store manager Melinda

Thank you Microsoft for my new toy!

The outfit: Stones jacket from Piperlime / Zara sweater, booties & bag / Old Navy Rockstar jeans / Gifted bib necklace (similar)

Check out the Surface tablet with Windows RT at MicrosoftStore.com. Thanks again!

Bellevue Fashion Week Recap

Last week, the Pacific Northwest had its own turn at Fashion Week at the Bellevue Collection. I know there are others in the are, but Bellevue Fashion Week is the most established and most cohesive string of events I know of. Hosted each year at the Hyatt Bellevue by Kemper Freeman, BFW brings together some of Seattle and the Eastside's fashion fans for a few nights of fall trends, wine and shopping fun. I love that everyone steps it up for Bellevue Fashion Week. This was my first time at BFW, and I really enjoyed it!

These are some of my favorite shots from each of the shows, and video of the Nordstrom Runway Show benefiting the Detlef Schrempf Foundation. 

Posh Party featuring fall trends

Special thanks to Nordstrom and Engstrom PR!

Fresh Eats: New York Food Diary

No trip to New York would be complete without an ample amount of dining! My bf and I asked friends and foodies alike for their recommendations on where to eat in NYC, and made time for as many of their suggestions as we could. What you see here are most of our excursions - omitted from here is the Shake Shack because I devoured my burger before I put together a single thought, and the other of a restaurant with incredibly bad service who shall remain unnamed! Enjoy.

I like to pretend The Meatball Shop was named after my Meatball. I make it a point to eat at the original Lower East Side spot every time I visit NY. This was bf and my first time eating there together, though, and I was really excited to enjoy a meal there with him. I always get the classic meatballs with spaghetti & meat sauce, with family jewels on top. A pitcher of sangria and I'm good to go!

My dear friend Jordie of Clutch 22 met up with us for dinner and drinks one night, and took us to Painkiller (PKNY) in the Lower East Side to cap off the night. This little tiki dive bar is on GQ, Esquire and numerous other lists for top bars in the city, and their extensive drink menu does not disappoint. I could only handle this one drink, and it was the size of my head! Look closely at the address, because you can easily miss this walking by on the street.

Jordie date night started out at Mercadito Grove in the West Village for some micheladas and tacos. She said they were the best micheladas she's had in the city, and Mercadito did not disappoint!

Filipino restaurants are few & far between, so when I heard about Maharlika, I had to give it a try no matter what. I've heard mixed reviews, mostly from Filipinos who refuse to like anything that isn't their mother's chicken adobo, so I wasn't too fazed going into it. We ended up having to wait at the bar for awhile while a table came up, but the staff was gracious about apologizing, giving us great service when we did have dinner, then comped our drinks for the night. Speaking of which, the drink menu is insanely good & filled with nostalgia - all drinks are named after current and legendary Filipino celebrities. I had mimosas with mango puree and Tang in them. SO GOOD. We ate spam fries (!!!!), pancit, lumpia taquitos and chicken wings. Yum!

I also like to stop in the East Village at the famed Momofuku Ssam & Milk Bars every time I'm in NY, and couldn't wait for my bf to try the steamed pork buns and duck pancakes there. Not to mention the compost cookies and birthday cake truffles!

Last notable food stop was for brunch in North Williamsburg, at egg. This place tops every list of Best Williamsburg Brunches, and was definitely worth the wait (though the wait wasn't even that long. Still, come early b/c you could be outside for awhile!) I chose their steel cut oats and he had french toast. I inhaled those steel cut oats and then licked the bowl clean! I can't lie. It was delicious, and a great pre-cursor to Brooklyn Flea on the waterfront.

I think we did alright for a couple of Seattleites eating in NYC! Do you have any favorite haunts or must-stops in the Big Apple? Let me know, I'll add it to my list for next time!

Fresh Style: NYC Outfit Diary

I had such a fun week in New York for Lucky FABB, the Independent Fashion Bloggers conference & Fashion's Night Out last week! I'm catching up on real life and will crank out these NYC posts as quickly as I can. I took in the sights of the Big Apple, so I've got some posts coming about boutiques, markets and restaurants I enjoyed there. First off, the outfits:

Though I didn't attend any shows this season, I stopped by the tents for an obligatory photo after a blogger lunch one day. Trina Turk for Banana Republic top (similar BR top here)/ Vintage mandala print high-waist shorts from Everybody's Buying Vintage (similar here) / TopShop velvet studded flats / Vintage sunnies / J Project  wrap bracelet

My IFBcon outfit! Vintage orange hi-low tuxedo blazer from Kippy Ding Ding / Reconstructed vintage sheer print top from Moksha / Forever 21 faux leather shorts / Nine West strappy heels (similar here)

The perfect maxi for a low-key night out on the town. IntiMint black maxi dress & Flirt Catalog aqua skinny belt w/gold plate c/o Bollare / Dolce Vita t-strap leopard sandals / gold jewelry via Lucky FABB  

My Lucky FABB outfit: Yellow tiered tank w/lace back from Moksha / Forever 21 leopard print pants (similar here) / Julian Louie for Aldo wedges

After traipsing the streets of Manhattan & Brooklyn all day, I decided to keep it super casual for Fashion's Night Out. Quiksilver Women tank (similar here) / High-waisted harem pants from Moksha / Triangle necklace from Strut (Portland)

Sunday brunch in Williamsburg followed by Brooklyn Flea browsing & MoMA Quiksilver Women tank / Forever 21 necklace / Vintage Levi's cutoff shorts

Leopard flats & floral top for shopping with fellow bloggers in SoHo!

Floral print tee from Moksha / BCBG high-waisted leather shorts from Sell Your Sole / Dolce Vita leopard oxfords

Fresh Style in NYC

Snaps of my outfits while in NYC. Shouts to Mollie for taking these! 

With Mollie & Michelle (Amuse Bouche) outside Chelsea Market

Climbing the steps up to the Highline

Illin' in Soho

H&M denim shirt / Vintage crossbody bag & sunnies / Necklace & speckled denim from Moksha / Steve Madden boots

At the tents!

Uniqlo J+ kimono down coat / H&M colored denim / Zara booties

Had a blast with Mollie!

Rebecca Minkoff F/W '12 Runway Show

I had the privilege of catching the Rebecca Minkoff fall/winter '12 runway show thanks to Mollie of MollieInSeattle. Theophilus London performed briefly before the models took the stage in beautiful leather, metallic, sherbet tones and geometric prints. I'm not sure there was a bag in this collection worthy of taking the Morning After's place as "It Bag", but there were a few cute accessories in the mix.

Check out some of my favorite looks from the show, then my video of the final walk (all photos via Fashionista.com):

Erin Fetherston F/W '12 Presentation at Milk Studios

I had the pleasure of attending Erin Fetherston's F/W 2012 presentation at Milk Studios last night. Ms. Fetherston's collection is packed with tons of chiffon, berry tones, brocade and lovely, flattering lines. These are perfect for every occasion from a night out on the town to a fancy gala. The presentation attracted a beautiful crowd of celebrities, industry professionals and bloggers alike.

Enjoy the pics!

IFB Conference Feb 2012 - Recap

The February 2012  IFB conference was the perfect way to kick off New York Fashion Week! This was my third time attending and my first as a speaker, moderating the "Media Goes Mobile" panel.

The audience was full of fresh faces and judging by the #IFBcon tweets, they had a great time and learned a lot from all of the speakers!

I hadn't really considered myself a "veteran" blogger - in fact, I still don't since I have a lot to learn and do! However, it was really fulfilling to be onstage sharing information and advice on social media and blogging.

Milk Studios was absolutely PACKED to the walls for each panel, so my pictures are mostly backstage. Enjoy!

Vintage plaid cape, bib necklace, belt & clutch from Sustalux; bracelets from Moksha, Sustalux & Urban Xchange

The panel! Karen Moon (StyleMusee), Macala Wright (Fashionably Marketing Me), Tom & Lorenzo, Bryan Boy & Aliza Licht (DKNY PR Girl)

H&M sleeveless top w/back cutout; vintage belt from Sustalux

With Jennine Jacob, founder of IFB

With Karen Moon & Bryan Boy

With Aliza Licht in our capes

With Macala & Aliza before our panel

Tom & Lorenzo

Met one of my favorite bloggers, Vintage Vandalizm!

Another fabulous panel

bling!

Guest of a Guest has their conference photos up already. Check them out!

I am in town for the rest of the week catching a few shows and catching up with some great friends. Tweet at me if you're around! @JessEstrada

The Freshest Posts of 2011

The holidays are times for family, food, fun and love. It's also a great time of reflection, and for me, 2011 has been definitely been a ride. While it's easy to describe it as a roller coaster, I don't want to call them "ups and downs." Instead, my experiences this year are all lessons learned and opportunities to grow.

Inspired by the recent Independent Fashion BloggersProject of the Week, this post features ten of my favorite posts from this past year. It was a trip down not-too-distant memory lane, but also a way to start reflecting on my life as it was in 2011.

Like to hear it? Here it goes... (in chronological order)

Exploring NYC

1) IFB Evolving Influence: What I Learned

They say that if you feel you're the smartest one in the room, it's time to find a different room. Part of a series of posts highlighting my trip to NYC in February for Fashion Week, this one recapped the amazing sessions at the IFB Evolving Influence conference. Milk Studios was that room for me - being there and hearing from the likes of everyone from Yuli ZivJennine Jacob and the gentlemen behind Proenza Schouler showed me that I have so much to learn as a blogger. Though I always stress that I categorize myself as a Seattle lifestyle blogger and not strictly a fashion blogger, style is definitely a huge part of my blog. IFB has been so helpful in being a peer-to-peer knowledge base and sounding board for thousands of bloggers like me.

2) Mamas & Meatballs Make My World Go 'Round

As I chose these posts, it became clear to me that the personal ones - the glimpses into the inner workings of my life - are the ones that would make it in this top ten. 'Mamas & Meatballs' was written on Mother's Day, thanking my mother for always being there for me, and thanking my dearly departed bulldog baby, Meatball for giving me life. They are my everything.

3) Coolin' at Coachella

2011 was my first time at the annual festival, and I loved it! This post brought back countless memories of a couple of weeks in L.A. with the love of my life, capped off with a trip to the desert with my awesome Anisa Leyla to meet up with Andy Fortson and friends for an amazing weekend filled with music, art and the most gorgeous and stylish people I've ever seen in my life. One of my favorite trips of all time.

At my photoshoot for #8

4) Showing Up for Life - Bill Gates Sr.

I traveled a lot in the first half of this year and though I don't regret any of it, I barely did anything to nourish myself. Too much indulging and toxic people. No working out, reading, writing, eating that well or blogging. Come summer, I decided this needed to change immediately. I turned to a book I'd read before, by one of my heroes, Bill Gates Sr. Showing Up for Life is a quick read on exactly that - showing up. One of the hardest things to learn is how to say "no," whether that be to attending an event, a new opportunity or to having too much fun as I was doing. This book is a great reminder to me about remembering your passions and your priorities, then choosing to "show up" for those things that matter to you - consistently.

5) Fresh Eats: Revel

I am fortunate to know many of the talented foodies in the city, but that's always kept me from writing about food here on Fresh Jess. I don't consider myself on their level! I do, however, love going out for a  delicious dinner and checking out new restaurants in town. In July, I launched my "Fresh Eats" series, highlighting my experiences at various Seattle establishments. I am not a food critic by any means, so you won't see any of my personal dislikes here on the blog. I simply enjoy sharing my meals and featuring a small business while I'm at it!

6) Seattle Style: Bianca Casimes

Another regular feature I introduced this summer is my "Seattle Style" series. 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! It's another way for me to give back to my city, and the people who make it stylish.

New beginnings... #9

7) Love & Meatball

Losing a pet is so hard. Blogging about my dear Meatball has helped me focus my grief and turn it into thankfulness and positivity. It's also been a way for you, amazing readers and social media friends, to share your own pain and loss with me. Thank you! Meatball may be gone physically, but his love and energy course through my soul always. Thank you Meaty pie for showing me what it's like to love like a mama.

8) Meet the DList Magazine "Young Northwest" 2011 Honorees!

It still humbles me every day that people read and listen to what I have to say, not just here on Fresh Jess, but on Twitter, Facebook, now Pinterest and everywhere else. I was floored when Seattle's DList Magazine selected me as their Young Northwest Blogger for their annual issue. Let me tell you, the nominations for this really kicked my butt back into gear and blogging on the regular! Thank you so, so much. If there's ever anything you want to see on here, please let me know! Email me at jess(at)freshjess.com. Take a look at the rest of the Young Northwest 2011 talent in this post!

9) The Newest Member of the Family

After a summer and fall full of self-reflection and tons of work, my life has changed radically in just the past couple of months. One of those changes is a new bulldog in our home. Meet Spike, our 4-year-old rescue from Bulldog Haven NW! I'm so thrilled to be a bulldog mama again and Spike's consumed my life. I love him :)

10) Fresh Faves: Brian Oh, Photographer

One of my favorite experiences is featuring someone on Fresh Jess and getting their reaction - from them and from their own friends and fans. Brian Oh's been so thankful and appreciative of this feature I did earlier this month, and his friends from the team at Seattle lifestyle brand Rich Kids Clothing to the party rockers of Trashed have also shown their love and support. Nothing is greater than the feeling of good people helping good people!

There you have it. Ten of my favorite posts this year. Looking forward to bring you some heaters in 2012!

Recap: Fashion's Night Out in Downtown Seattle

Fashion's Night Out in Downtown Seattle and Capitol Hill were such a blast. The night was filled with special, limited edition offerings exclusively for FNO, music, cupcakes, champagne, photobooths & fun. It was the first year for the two neighborhoods, and they can only grow from here. I'm looking forward to a cohesive, concerted effort from Downtown retailers next year!

Here's my picture roundup for all of you. First up, the outfit. I kept it casual and cool, with lots of accessories to spice things up:

Hurley oversized sweater / Crochet tiered knit shorts from Strut in Austin / Julian Louie for Aldo wedges / Gold sequined vintage envelope clutch / One earring from Melrose Trading Post / Shell cuff from Philippines / Vintage bracelets

Put my hair in a bun later in the night. Vintage black sequined headband from Sustalux

Julian Louie for Aldo wedges

First stop: SPUN Sustainable Collective! With beauties JenSara & Anisa

Second stop: Barneys with Seattle Met's Laura Cassidy and Mia

Third stop: Nordstrom Flagship! Look at that darling outfit on this girl in front of me. I didn't get her name :/

AlixRose & I doing what we do best!

TOMS Style Your Sole customization station

With some very stylish friends: StephenSanda, Alix & Anisa

The life of Fresh Jess & Alix Rose: food, laughter, blogging, social media, agency life & general fashion shenanigans. Love her

Fourth stop: Alhambra with the lovely Osiris!

Fifth & final stop: Goorin Bros. Pike Place grand opening party. I spy Alix & Anisa!

With photographer / Goorin Bros / stylish guy A.J. Ragasa

Shoe party w/Alix & Anisa

Illin with Debra & Melenie

Kelly Cutrone's Normal Gets You Nowhere

After reading People's Revolution founder Kelly Cutrone's "If You Have to Cry, Go Outside," I was hooked and inspired by Kelly's no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is style. I'd been anticipating her next book ever since, and was delighted I only had to wait for about a year for another read full of Kelly's words of wisdom.

In "Normal Gets You Nowhere," Kelly takes readers beyond the PR world and shares her thoughts on much deeper, personal topics. Sex, religion, family, friendships, holidays, relationships - you name it, Kelly shares her opinion on it in this book. All of this translates into real, honest advice for ladies like me. Kelly really strives to instill positive, confident thinking for women who strive for personal and professional success. If anything, she encourages us to break the mold of conventional beliefs and intelligently decide what's important in our lives.

Just like with the many power girls I like to cover on Fresh Jess, I draw inspiration from Kelly's fearlessness, confidence and will. She tells her story from a truly honest vantage point of wanting to help women succeed in business and life. This book must be like mentoring the masses to her! I appreciated learning many of her stalwart beliefs, shaped through years of experiences. I hesitate to use the words 'success' and 'failure' when summing up her storytelling style, because every experience she's had has taught her valuable lessons about who she is.

I only wish us ladies had more power figures like Kelly to learn from!

Check out her trailer below (she's unorthodox in every way, shape and thought - even in marketing her book!)

Birthday Steez

For someone whose closet is vomiting clothes, shoes and accessories and who takes a ridiculous amount of pictures with her damn iPhone, I sure do not do enough outfit posts. Shame on my style blogging! Here are a few from my birthday HollyHood last month.

One of my dear friends, Jaymee, made sure I got the royal treatment & dolled me up for my birthday. I'm in a Pencey bandage dress and she's in Badgley Mischka:

Nails done, hurr done, everything did...

My gorgeous friends

Rings x coral Shellac mani

I got a weave from the I BeWeave Hair Salon

Super bummed I didn't get a pic of my shoes from that night, but I copped these sweet wedges from Aldo. I saw them at NYFW in February and had been dreaming about them since!