On creating space & treating yourself (w/a Skoah deal!)

Hey, long time no see! Tis the season for holiday chaos, and I have indeed fallen into a self-imposed "busy trap." One of my beliefs has always been to only blog when I have something thoughtful to say or share, and lately…I don't know, I just haven't been inspired enough to do so.

It's a very weird feeling for me to not want to blog. For the first time ever, I've even questioned whether or not I want to keep blogging at all. It's just one symptom of a feeling that's seeped into a lot of the other parts of my life. Feelings of discontent, unhappiness and dissatisfaction with everything I'm doing. I'm asking myself whether I'm still interested in some of the very things that have given me so much opportunity. It's left me with a lot to think about lately, and aside from my daily to-do list and holiday merriment, this is what I've been spending my time on.

Lately I feel like blowing everything up and starting completely over - my blog, who I follow on social media, what I'm doing on my consulting side. But where do I start? I'm so discontent, it's overwhelming to know where to begin - and thanks to the holidays, it's easy to put things off for later.

Image created by    Rule29

Image created by Rule29

Something that's been very clear to me throughout all of this is that I need to create space in my life. Space to think, reconnect, create and just dream. I've worked hard this year to make lots of my dreams come to life, and now it's time for new ones (or maybe updated versions of current ones!) Creating space has also felt necessary in connections, both offline and off. From the 'friends' who take more than they give, and from the social media which has been sucking up way too much of my time, attention and energy for far too long.

Jacob and I took spent some time in southern California recently, and during that week I allowed myself that space. Instead of jam-packing my time there with work, to-dos and to-see's, I just absorbed life for a week. Some yoga, hiking and running outside, some exploring of the various beaches off of PCH - and most importantly, some time to write and brainstorm. I took myself out of that rut of only doing tactical things on my to-do list and finally put some thought and creation into my blog's media kit as well as a total redesign of the site (stay tuned!)

Our peaceful AirBnB in Huntington Beach

Our peaceful AirBnB in Huntington Beach

On the consulting tip, I've felt like I've taken on work and clients just because they've come to me, not necessarily because it's what I want to do. I also gave myself the time that week to think about how I'm articulating the services I want to do as a consultant, and the kinds of clients I want to work with. In blogging and consulting, it's hard to say no when someone clearly wants to work with you. It's a lot easier when you know what you want to do in the first place.

I've stuck to my fitness and health commitment, but have also given in to probably more than my fair share of holiday indulging and excuses. It's freezing out, and there have been a lot of parties to go to this season! I'm not totally off the wagon - my body still insists on a green smoothie every day and I try to choose super foods and other good meal choices when I'm feeling it. But I'm definitely ready for the Resolution Challenge and getting back up on my game again.

Growth and transition are exciting, but no one ever said they'd be fun and comfortable. I know this is transition time to help get me in the mind frame for what's to come, but it's unsettling to not like anything about my current status. All I know is that I have a lot of work to do, and somewhere inside is the fire to do it.

I'll be back blogging soon (there's a sponsored post going up tomorrow but was written weeks ago. That doesn't count.), and in the mean time, I'd like to share with you a little treat if you're in the Seattle area. I had the pleasure of checking out Seattle's newest spa, Skoah - which takes an interesting spin on skincare with "personal training" for your skin. I'll provide a more in-depth look at Skoah later on, but for now you can enjoy $50 off a facial if you book before Christmas Eve. That makes most of their facials just $35 out of your pocket - such a great deal! Treat yo' self :) Happy holidays!

Print & use me before Christmas Eve!

Raid The Warehouse! Gilt City Warehouse Sale Recap

Four words: Gilt City Warehouse Sale. A huge sale put on by Gilt that pops up in major cities such as San Fran and Boston. Items featured include women's and men's clothing from top brands, shoes, beauty products, home furnishings and much more. Bonus: all items are marked up to 90% off! Heaven for anyone who loves a good deal.

Now, Seattle was never on the map to host the event, but this year that all changed. The Gilt Warehouse Sale finally came to the good ol' Northwest and once I saw the event pop up online I cleared my schedule. Prior to the days leading up to the sale, I decided to educate myself by watching YouTube footage and reading endless reviews of shoppers in other cities. All they did was make me nervous.

On the day of, there were 4 different sessions scheduled for crowd control purposes. I was in the 2nd session with a couple of my girlfriends, and we thought we were in a good position to still snatch up the good stuff. We decided it was a good idea to divide and conquer by taking over one specific category - shoes, bags, clothes. Once we walked in and saw the rows of racks, pile of handbags and the stacks of shoes the plan flew out the window and it was "you're on your own sista!"

This doesn't even capture the madness of the clothing racks.

Total shoe chaos. The ladies were diggin!

The sale takes tons of patience and lots of energy. After a few hours digging through all the goodies, I ended up purchasing just a necklace. Many of the items I fell in love with had been snagged by fellow shoppers, didn't look good on me or were much more than I wanted to spend (ie: $500 dress came down to $150). I walked out of the building with my newest accessory, bottles of Aqua Hydrate, loads of VitaCoco and CocoCafe and an Uber gift card (which I may have been more excited about than my necklace.) Still walked away a happy girl!

My nOir necklake I copped! The neon got me.

My friend's Rag & Bone shoe find! Orig. $500 Sale. $99

If you went to the sale, I'd love to know your thoughts and if you purchased anything!

Moves & News from Fresh Jess

Hey everyone!

I had a good cadence of daily posts going for awhile but have been st-st-stuttering lately. What's up with that?!? Just working on a few fun projects that I want to share with you!

I'm delighted to be a contributor to the Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB)'s site once a week. Every Wednesday afternoon, you'll see an article from me waxing poetic on social media as it pertains to bloggers. My first post went up last week, on Balancing Your Social Media Plate.

Holy shh! Props from a (legitimate) social media guru, Mari Smith!

I was INCREDIBLY nervous to put this post out there. I'm not sure where all the nerves came from, but I haven't really written about social media since I left my job at a social media agency last year. I wrote about social all the time on their blog, and for some reason, never really picked it up on Fresh Jess although it's something I live, breathe, and have built a career on. I have a lot to say and I'm glad to have IFB as the forum to share that. If there's a topic you want to see, leave me a comment & let me know!

One of the cornerstones of Fresh Jess is being able to share with you all of my favorite people, places and things in Seattle. I've partnered with Gilt City for the next couple of weeks to highlight some of my favorite 206 businesses. Check out Grim's and Sugar Plum Spa in today's email, and enjoy a sweet deal from them too!

Shop my closet! This Thursday night, I'm hosting a virtual Posh Party with AlixRose. We'll be sharing our favorite Poshmark finds in our Fresh Fashion Party. Peep our closets here and here - and if you haven't signed up for Poshmark yet, use my code HUWKM for a $5 shopping credit!

As for this little blog, Fresh Jess is almost five years old (!) To celebrate this and my 30th birthday, I'm cooking up 30 Fresh, a whole month of extra-special posts for you. Every day in April will feature the people, places and things that are nearest and dearest to my heart. In addition to that, I'll be introducing five fresh new voices who'll be contributing to Fresh Jess at least once a month. They are five of the coolest young Seattleites I know, and I can't wait for you to meet them!

Fresh Jess is (mostly) a labor of love, and I've loved sharing events, music, style and other things with you that light up my life. I'm eternally grateful for your readership, and if you've got anything you'd like to see or ask me on Fresh Jess, leave me a comment or email me at jess(at)freshjess(dot)com. I'd love to hear from you!

Fresh Faves: Poshmark Rules Everything Around Me

In keeping with the true essence of Fresh Jess - which is to share with you what I'm interested in - I feel obliged to tell you how obsessed I am with Poshmark right now. The amount of time I've spent on there since co-hosting their Winter Essentials Party in Seattle in January is insane. For those who aren't familiar with Poshmark, it's an app that allows you to sell from  your closet and buy from others. I have many reasons why I'm so taken by Poshmark right now, so I've packaged them neatly into a top 10 list:

1) The app is clean and simple to use. I like to keep my iPhone screens simple so I only use a few apps, and they've made it far to easy to log on and peep the latest listings from people I'm following, hot items  being shared in their Posh Parties, and comments, likes & new follows from my fellow Poshmarkers. The thrill of the find is always there at my fingertips!

2) The faces behind it are super-friendly and are willing to start dance parties with us at events when no one else is dancing and great music is on:

3) This AMAZING blush pink tunic with raw edges and chains dangling off of it:

From @SheelaGoh's closet. Now in my closet!

4) This score of an Opening Ceremony varsity jacket:

From @MeganPierce's closet

5) Whenever you sell something on Poshmark, you can get PM credits or redeem the balance (PM takes 20% of each sale.) I only spend as much as I sell, so basically it's like a clothing swap with stylish ladies around the country!

6) These elbow patches on this sweet knit Zara sweater

From @JoannaLord's closet

7) You can play negotiator and score even better deals by bundling several pieces from a seller's closet at once. I've been looking for the perfect pair of boyfriend jeans for awhile, and got another pair of pants too.

From @Nemon's closet

8) With the ability to comment, like and follow people on Poshmark, it's inherently a shopping social network. I've met a lot of cool girls who I already know have amazing fashion sense. Shoutout to @Jojo who's shopped with me. She's awesome! Shop her closet here.

9) Dolce Vita booties on the come up! Such a deal on these.

From @IAmCameron's closet

10) They're growing! It's always fun seeing a start-up find success with the masses. It recently launched an iPad app, secured a $12 million funding round and saw 10x increase in growth over the last 100 days. Insane! (source: VentureBeat)

I feel like I should say that Poshmark did not pay me in any way to write this post. I just felt compelled to write it since I've been spending so much of my time on there lately. All of the items featured in this post are now part of my closet, like treasured finds from hours of thrift or consignment shopping, only from the comfort of my phone!

If you want to join me on Poshmark, use my code "HUWKM" when you download the app, so you can get a $5 credit to start shopping! See you on PM!

Fresh Style: Bainbridge Rummage Sale finds

One Saturday in June, my mom, aunt, cousin & I decided to take a last-minute trip to Bainbridge Island for a rummage sale I'd read about on Yay Today.  Little did I know we were walking in on the largest rummage sale on the island, held yearly by the Rotary group there. It took over an entire middle school grounds. From the parking lots to the playgrounds to a few classrooms, Bainbridge Rotary packed the place full of housewares, furniture, clothing, jewelry, sporting equipment and yes - boats and cars.

This were just two massive rooms of many! Below are the books/toys/office room and the bulk clothing section. Mountains upon mountains of clothes!

We spent a few hours there but didn't get too crazy. In fact, we all felt totally unprepared for the onslaught and chaos of the Bainbridge Rotary Rummage Sale. Next time, we're bringing several big cars, sturdy shoes, a water bottle and a strategy!

My total haul for the morning came out to $8! A never-been-worn dress, handmade knit beanie, a few issues of National Geographic & four pairs of old Levi's.

I turned them all into cutoff shorts, and have been wearing them all summer!

Catch the next Bainbridge Island Rotary Auction & Rummage Sale - June 29, 2013.

Fresh Style: Sell Your Sole Consignment

Last month, I hosted a sweet summer shopping party at Sell Your Sole consignment boutique in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood. I had so much fun with my mom, sister and girlfriends chatting it up over champagne & bites. Natalia and her fiance Brent were the most gracious hosts. 

Here are a few pics of the night, plus the outfit I went home with that night and a $50 gift certificate giveaway below!

Tucked behind the Cherry St. Coffee location on 1st Ave. & Blanchard/Lenora, Sell Your Sole is an adorable loft full of designer consignment treasures. 

Natalia has an amazing eye for beautiful designer pieces. She opened Sell Your Sole to fuse her love of smart shopping with finding fabulous new friends in the city.

Natalia and I styled a few outfits for summer and fall with SYS's current inventory. As with all consignment shopping, you should come back often to see the latest!

I loved these earrings and this Tory Burch stacked ring set!

For the event, I wore a vintage Halston dress with Dolce & Gabbana gilded leaf heels. Disco queen :)

I love mixing prints!

At the top of the stairs to the loft, you'll see a beautiful wall of shoes and a giant mirror. A woman's dream loft!

I was totally eyeing this Dries Van Noten belted top. 

I went home with this ensemble! Blush pink shirt with black trim and BCBG faux leather high-waisted shorts.

I also couldn't resist this lambswool sweater. It's so soft and comfy! I'll be wearing it all winter.

 

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!

Fresh Features: Yoogi's Closet

I'm a horrible vintage shopper. I don't have the time nor the motivation to give due diligence on finding rare, unique and authentic designer pieces to elevate my vintage wardrobe game. It's especially hard buying pre-owned designer goods online, when some sites are rife with inauthentic pieces and clever tactics to convince the buyer otherwise.

I first heard about Yoogi's Closet earlier this fall. Yoogi's buys

and sells everything I don't have time to go looking for - the rare, unique, authentic designer bags, jewelry, shoes and accessories that have been hiding in closets just waiting to be resold. They've got everything from PradaGucciCartierBalenciagaHermesMarc Jacobs and Chanel. You can find some gems on Yoogi's for up to 70% off retail, and almost everything on the site is close to new! If you're not happy with your purchase, Yoogi's has a very generous 30-day return policy.

Yoogi's is based in Seattle but spans the globe with its buying and selling reach. Sellers enjoy a 70/30 split on the items they consign, and can try out the selling process before they commit with a mock sale reqeust. Yoogi herself inspects every item on the site for authenticity, rarity and saleable condition - and usually gets back to sellers within 24-48 hours of receiving items.

As far as rarity goes, Yoogi's found herself with the most amazing limited edition items, including this Louis Vuitton Embossed Monogram Calf Skin Polly Bag. Lucky buyer!

These are some of the bags I'm coveting from Yoogi's right now:

the Yves Saint Laurent Violet Patent Leather Majorelle