Help Kickstart Kalsada, Philippine Specialty Coffee

In the coffee capital of the world, knowing where our coffee comes from is just as important as the taste. Bonus points if we can put a face behind the beans; one with a passion for coffee and tremendous amounts of care in how its produced. 

My friend My Tam tipped me to Kalsada Coffee, founded by a trio of women entrepreneurs who are championing specialty coffee from and for the Philippines, working closely with farmers to produce the highest-quality beans possible. 

They've got a Kickstarter going right now, and need our help in raising $15,000 to build much-needed infrastructure for their farm partners to take their coffee from good to great.

Currently most farmers dry their coffee on bilao, or woven bamboo baskets. This dries the coffee much too quickly--essentially pre-baking it in the sun and giving the coffee a papery, cardboard taste.

With simple technology and a bit of training, farmers have a better chance of evenly drying their coffee. Already, Kalsada has built raised drying beds and has begun educating farmers on quality.

Your contributions will help build a small, inexpensive washing station that would centralize resources and knowledge. It would save the farmers time and labor, while bringing their unique coffee to aficionados like you.

Check out the Kalsada Coffee story and support their Kickstarter here. Thanks My Tam!

Seattle! Cutie & The Beast Burger @ Lil Woody's for Dog Adoption Month

As an avid lover of dogs and of Lil Woody's, it's my pleasure to share with you the burger joint's latest collaboration!

LOOK AT THESE TWO

This week, Lil Woody's partnering with internet superstars Cutie and the Beast to honor Dog Adoption Month, raising money and awareness of man's best friend through Motley Zoo.

The “Cutie and the Beast Burger” is a both a dog and dog lovers' dream—with peanut butter, apples, Swiss cheese, bacon, and 1/4 lb burger patty. Get one for yourself starting today through October 27th, and don't forget one for your lil furball too! I know Spike, Jacob and I will be paying a visit or two this week.

This quote is awesome so I had to leave it in: “In the spirit of all good dog lovers, we’re excited to be offering up a delicious burger that man or beast will love, all while trying to get some of these little dudes new homes.” says Marcus Lalario, owner of Li’l Woody’s.

There will also be giveaways all week long for the dogs, from Crazy Rebels dog collars, All the Best Pet Care, Petbox and Green Juju (an amazing Seattle-based organic dog food that Spike's a big fan of!)

If you're not following Cutie and the Beast on Instagram already, you should - and prepare yourself for a daily dose of cutest ever.

Motley Zoo Animal Rescue is a 501c3 non-profit corporation, foster- based animal rescue, assisting local, national, and international dogs in need. They have no shelter facility. Instead, they house rescue dogs with foster families where they enjoy one-on-one attention in a home environment, receiving training and support, while they work to find the best possible forever homes.

Li’l Woody’s Burgers has two locations; in Capitol Hill at 1211 Pine Street and Ballard at 2040 NW Market Street. Open 11:00 a.m. - 11:00p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11:00 a.m. - 10:00p.m. Sundays in both locations; Ballard is open 11:00 a.m. - 10:00p.m. on Friday and Saturday while Capitol Hill stays open until 3:00a.m. on weekends.

My Favorite (Free!) Things to Do In Seattle

The weather's warming up, people are out for the school year, others are visiting or have relatives coming to visit. Whatever the case, emails asking for suggestions on things to do always seem to pick up in the summer time. Everyone knows to head to the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, the Waterfront and maybe even the Fremont Troll - but what else do locals like to do? I thought it'd be fun to share some of my favorite free things to do around the city, for those who need fun, quick suggestions.

Live Aloha Hawaiian Festival
Live Aloha Hawaiian Festival

Getting ready for some musubi, kahlua pork, lau lau & shave ice at Live Aloha 2013.

Seattle Center Festál Cultural Festivals

The crowds flock to Seattle Center for the Bite of Seattle and Folklife - but did you know there's a year-round calendar of cultural festivals that are also free to attend? I love Festál events for some great food, dance, music and cultural wares in much less chaotic festival experiences than the Bite or Folklife. Peep the full Festál calendar here. I'll see you at the Center for Pagdiriwang, Live Aloha and probably more!

Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park

Can't complain when this is our morning workout view.

Olympic Sculpture Park

If I'm honored enough to have you as an Instagram follower, you've seen many 'grams of early morning workouts at the Olympic Sculpture Park. The park is always free to walk through, and full of really inspirational works of art set amidst a perfectly Northwest 'urban trail' with pristine views of Elliott Bay. If you're early enough, you might even get to see some fine ladies powering through some burpees! :)

Gates Foundation Visitor Center
Gates Foundation Visitor Center

Testing my muscles out at the Gates Visitor Center. Gained a new level of respect for the women in Africa who haul buckets of this size & weight for miles to bring clean water to their families!

Gates Visitor Center

First Thursdays and/or Saturdays will get you in free to almost every museum in Seattle, but for complimentary admission every day, the Gates Foundation Visitor Center awaits. Follow my Gates Visitor Center ongoing series for everything I love about the Gates VC. More than anything, it's a quiet gem hidden right next to the bustling EMP & Seattle Center, perfect for some solid reflection on giving back to the world!

Art Ache
Art Ache

Layered up at Art Ache monthly art market

Art Ache

I love a good flea market, but unfortunately we have very slim pickings here in the city. Art Ache is a monthly art, music & style market hosted in some of the most Capitol Hill bars on the Hill. Lately, Art Ache has called Chop Suey home, and has been housed in Vermillion and Comet Tavern in the past. Catch the next Art Ache market on June 8th.

Ballard Farmer's Market
Ballard Farmer's Market

Keeping cool with Spike baby at the Ballard Farmer's Market

Ballard Farmer's Market

We are so fortunate to have multiple farmer's markets year-round in Seattle, and one of my favorites is the Ballard farmer's market. 10:00a.m. - 3:00p.m. every Sunday, they've got such an awesome collective of organic farmers from around the state. Make sure to head to the Alvarez Organic Farms stand for the most delicious cherry tomatoes you've ever tasted.

Alki - Fresh Jess - Photo Credit Sarah Lovrien
Alki - Fresh Jess - Photo Credit Sarah Lovrien

They see me rollin... (Photo credit Sarah Lovrien)

Alki

Typical Seattleites might avoid Alki in the summer because of the crazy crowds, but it's one of my favorite places in the city all year round. Alki feels faraway from the city with it actually being just a short jaunt over the West Seattle bridge. You can run or walk along the water; hold a bonfire; people watch for longboarders, paddleboarders, kayakers, dog-walkers and other fun characters; or grab a meal or drink right along the water. I also love Coastal, the little surf boutique that's open March - December.

Who knows? Maybe this'll parlay itself into a series of its own :) For weekly recommendations on stuff to do in the city, peep my top Seattle events picks post every Thursday (except for yesterday, as I was at a wake for our dear friend Bernie.)

Feel free to chime in on some of your favorite free things to do in Seattle in the comments below!

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center.

Bulldog Haven NW: Rosemary's Babies & More

Under the watchful care of the kind folks over at Bulldog Haven NW, this sweet face gave birth to 8 little bulldog pups earlier this week. Rosemary herself was left on the side of the road, super pregnant, by whoever awful soul decided that was okay. A good samaritan found her and BHNW took over from there. Her pregnancy and subsequent care (she's back in her foster home now but on watch for low blood counts) has racked up some serious vet bills, and BHNW is currently seeking donations to help cover Rosemary's costs as well as ongoing care for the rest of the dogs getting some foster love. 

Here's the latest round of bulldogs currently available for adoption from BHNW. I am really trying to help get these sweet faces into their "fur-ever" home! As regular Fresh Jess readers know, I am a big supporter of Bulldog Haven NW & PAWS, with one bulldog angel in the sky and one adopted from BHNW. 

An up-to-date list of available dogs can be found at Bulldog Haven NW's adoption page.  If you're interested in adopting one of these bullies, please look over their information carefully and fill out an application at BulldogHavenNW.org.

Not wanting to adopt, but still want to help out? 

BHNW welcomes donations at anytime! Visit their homepage for benefit online auctions too.

For the most up-to-date info on BHNW, check their Facebook page!

Want to talk more about adopting a bulldog from someone who's been there? Email me at jess(at)freshjess.com!

Fresh Jess in The Spoiled Life, YFE & Goodwill Glitter Gala

Just because I wasn't blogging this past holiday season doesn't mean I wasn't up to other things. I've had the honor of being a part of some really cool shows and sites recently and want to share what I've been up to!

In November, I volunteered to be in the Seattle Goodwill Glitter Gala's runway show. This year's theme for the show was "Through the Woods" a fairy tale depicting a metaphor for the journey overcoming adversity that many who go through Goodwill's programs experience. I was in the Dark Forest segment, where we depicted witches and wolves. To me, this was the perfect night to channel two of my favorite bad Bs - Bellatrix LeStrange from Harry Potter, and Beyonce. The amazing team at Salon Circa totally transformed me into a Filipina Bellatrix - which is a look I've been wanting to do for Halloween for years! Goodwill raised a record amount of fundraising that night, and I was so grateful to be a part of it.

Jess Estrada - Goodwill Glitter Gala 2013
Jess Estrada - Goodwill Glitter Gala 2013

I'm at 1:05 and 1:52 in the video:

You betta WERK

Jess Estrada - Goodwill Glitter Gala 2013
Jess Estrada - Goodwill Glitter Gala 2013

Photo via Goodwill

In December, I joined the Young Female Entrepreneurs for their weekly Thursday live chat, talking about everything from consulting to content. It was thirty minutes that just flew by! I also may have shown off my cool outfit of sweatpants at the end :)

I was mad humbled when Emily of The Spoiled Life, an L.A.-based lifestyle site, reached out to me to do a LifeStyler interview for them. She came over and took these beautiful photos of my personal assistant Spike and I in our natural habitat/office.

Jess Estrada - The Spoiled Life
Jess Estrada - The Spoiled Life
Jess Estrada - The Spoiled Life
Jess Estrada - The Spoiled Life
Jess Estrada - The Spoiled Life
Jess Estrada - The Spoiled Life

All photos credit Emily Shearing for The Spoiled Life

Forever thankful for the love and support you've given Fresh Jess, so much that these doors have opened for me. I've got a couple more things lined up before the end of the month - stay tuned! :)

GO HAWKS!

Aces Interview: Seattle Works' Tara Smith Gets SWANKy

Fall brings a lot of fun reasons to dress up, and here in Seattle we have no shortage of fundraiser galas. One of my favorites is Seattle Works' SWANK, coming up on Saturday, October 12th. Seattle Works has worked tirelessly to foster a lifetime commitment to community involvement in Seattle's young adults through innovative volunteer activities and educational opportunities. I first learned about Seattle Works back in my chamber of commerce events director days, and these days the organization is led by Tara Smith. Tara and her board members have created a whole palette of different ways you can give back to your community - from board training, one-off or ongoing group and individual volunteer opportunities, and special community events. SWANK is the one time Seattle Works volunteers and fans can get fancy and raise money to keep these programs in business.

I asked Tara to share a little more about herself, life at the helm of Seattle Works and about SWANK. Read on & see details on SWANK below:

Seattle Works-Tara Smith

Seattle Works-Tara Smith

What's on your playlist right now?

This is a little embarrassing*, but I will confess to having spent the past few weeks totally rocking out to the new 103.7 radio station that replaced The Mountain. That crazy lady in her car at the stoplight belting out Leona Lewis? That might be me. *Don't be embarrassed. That new radio station is AWESOME.

Describe your style.

My everyday style is casual and approachable, but put together. I go for simple, classic looks and then be sure I’m incorporating in color or print to keep things interesting.

My style at Swank is very intentional. Being up on that stage and asking people to support us, I need to visually embody the Seattle Works brand: fresh, contemporary and vibrant. At the same time, asking people to provide their financial support is a serious business. I love the people who look fun and sexy at Swank! But that can’t be me. My look is about being professional and credible, without going a traditionally conservative route.

Seattle Works SWANK

Seattle Works SWANK

Who inspires you?

The people who volunteer with Seattle Works. I get the privilege of being in an environment where I’m inspired every single day. From board members who strategize on how to take our game to the next level to Project Coordinators and Team Captains out there making it easy for people to jump in and make a difference in our community, I see caring, smarts and passion in action on a continuous basis.

Seattle Works

Seattle Works

What are you reading?

I’m digging into a series of articles on board governance and adaptive leadership. They’re relevant to the leadership training courses Seattle Works offers, and they also are helping me think about how to be a better partner to our board of directors in my professional role and how I can be a better board member in my personal life as a volunteer.

Seattle Works-Tara Smith

Seattle Works-Tara Smith

What are you most excited about in the coming months?

Next year is Seattle Works 25th Anniversary! I’m excited for the opportunity this milestone brings to gather and share stories, and to reconnect with our volunteers and supporters from the past quarter century.

Seattle Works Swank 2013

Seattle Works Swank 2013

Thank you Tara! Find out more about Tara at SeattleWorks.org. Details and tickets for SWANK 2013 here.

Read all of my Aces interviews here.

Adopt from Bulldog Haven NW!

You know I love the bulldogs. It's been awhile since I've shared the latest round of pups available for adoption from Bulldog Haven NW and I am really trying to help get these sweet faces into their "fur-ever" home! As regular Fresh Jess readers know, I am a big supporter of Bulldog Haven NW & PAWS, with one bulldog angel in the sky and one adopted from BHNW. Please help spread the word on these fine little canines to get them their human soulmate!

SERIOUSLY. LOOK AT THESE FACES

Bulldog-Haven-NW
Bulldog-Haven-NW
Bulldog-Haven-NW
Bulldog-Haven-NW
Bulldog-Haven-NW
Bulldog-Haven-NW

A list of available dogs can be found at Bulldog Haven NW's adoption page.  If you're interested in adopting one of these bullies, please look over their information carefully and fill out an application at BulldogHavenNW.org.

Bulldog-Haven-NW
Bulldog-Haven-NW

Not wanting to adopt, but still want to help out? 

BHNW welcomes donations at anytime! Visit their homepage for benefit online auctions too.

For the most up-to-date info on BHNW, check their Facebook page!

Want to talk more about adopting a bulldog from someone who's been there? Email me at jess(at)freshjess.com!

Bulldog-Haven-NW
Bulldog-Haven-NW

(30Fresh) Aces: Anisa Ghadrshenas

Oh you thought it was over?!?

The interview series I started last month during 30Fresh has resonated so well with readers that I've decided to extend the series indefinitely! You met my best friends last month, but from now on you'll hear from people I admire who are doing amazing things for their community and world. To see all of these interviews, look for the Aces tag.

Today's interview is actually one that should have gone live during 30Fresh but alas, working internationally and life got in the way. Meet another one of my bests, Anisa Ghadrshenas!

Being ridiculous 

How we met (her version):

So I think the very first time we met was at GirlsNFootball - but I would say you and I really got to know each other through our time at Banyan Branch - when you guys sponsored the Mona Foundation project, and through various other social and community events/projects that we did together, or supported each other on (THAW fashion show, etc.) I'd also say that just in general, one of the things that attracted me to you was your community orientation - you've always made a point to support the people and causes that matter to you, and in my own way, this has been the cornerstone of everything I've ever wanted to do with my life, so I think that's why we became friends. Each time we struggled, one of us would get the other person back on track. There are so many conversations that I have had with you that I am grateful for, and that put things into perspective for me. But I digress :)

I'd like to add:

We met at a random girls' get together but what really brought us together was finding our sense of purpose, in community service and a shared admiration for some of the world's best leaders. Anisa's got the biggest heart and warmest energy of anyone I know. Talk to anyone who knows her and they wouldn't hesitate to say the same thing. While I know working in Africa is your dream job and an incredible opportunity, there's definitely an unfillable void back here in the States. I cherish our conversations and time we do get to spend together greatly. Your intelligence and ambition paired with your deep-seeded passion for giving back to the world are truly unmatched.

What's on your playlist right now?

My playlist right now is full of everything that reminds me of Seattle:

  • Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

  • Kris Orlowski

  • Other Lives

  • Blue Scholars

  • Mumford and Sons

  • Arcade Fire

  • Allen Stone

  • Matt Costa

  • Jack Johnson :)

Describe your style.

I surround myself with ladies who have a fierce and bold aptitude for fashion, and I love the ideas I get from each of them. However, I would say that my style tends to be pretty classic, and while I will occasionally get out of my comfort zone with the bright cardigan, or the bold-colored heels, I usually stick with the classic, famine lines that I'm most comfortable in. While I've been known to splurge on the occasional dress or handbag, most of my most treasured pieces are ones that I have found at consignment shops, thrift shops, or have been gifted to me by my girlfriends - one of a kind, simple, classic.

Anisa-Ghadrshenas-Jess-Estrada

Anisa-Ghadrshenas-Jess-Estrada

Anisa made Coachella an unforgettable experience

Who inspires you?

I feel very fortunate that in all my circles, I am surrounded by some of the greatest people on this planet. I sometimes stop and think to myself, how did I get so lucky? I have friends who are entrepreneurs, designers, teachers, writers, philanthropists, scientists, filmmakers, homemakers - no one doing the same thing, but all following their the beat of their own drum. I find constant inspiration in watching them take intelligent and bold risks to accomplish something great in the world. I am so grateful for their example, their encouragement and in what I believe is a collection action that will make this world a better place. This is what keeps me on my path. This is what I live for.

What are you reading? 

Since moving to Kenya, I've been reading a lot about the history of many of the countries I travel through. Some of my favorites have been: "It's our turn to eat" about Kenya, "We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families" about Rwanda, and " The teeth may smile but the heart does not forget" about Uganda. My daily reads include: Harvard Business Review, Huffington Post Women's Page, and Co.Exist.

What are you most excited about in the coming months?

The coming months are a little uncertain for me right now. I've been living in Kenya for almost a year and half working with the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and I love my work. But I'm starting to think about what the next steps are for me, both professionally and personally, and while I'm not entirely sure what that looks like, I feel like there are infinite possibilities, and I trust that with hard work, faith, and love, all will unfold as it's meant to.

Thank you!

Read all of my Aces interviews here.

Keep The Beacon Lit! Massive Monkees Give Back

It's rare to see a group of friends successfully turn a hobby into a full-fledged business, and yet the Massive Monkees have done just that. Massive is a breakdancing crew born in 1999 here in Seattle. It's been a whirlwind ride since then, with the team achieving international fame (remember America's Best Dance Crew?), world championships and numerous endorsements. While this could have easily parlayed into a launchpad for the individual careers of a few of its standout dancers, Massive instead stuck together and turned their collective efforts back into the city that raised them.

In January of this year, the team opened The Beacon, a 2000+ sf studio in the International District that was was made possible through a grant from Storefronts Seattle. Over 400 students, both young and old, have since walked through The Beacon's doors for the opportunity to dance and learn from members of the Massive Monkees as well as local dance professionals, like Amy O'Neal, Splinter Dance Company and C&C Fitness Studio.

Their grant with Storefronts Seattle is coming to an end this month, and they've started a Kickstarter to help Keep the Beacon Lit.

Photo courtesy Massive Monkees The Studio's Facebook page

I've been a fan of the Massive Monkees for almost their entire existence. They've been a part of my life through appearances at the University of Washington, Pista sa Nayon and more. I never forget the first Massive Monkees Day proclaimed to them by former Seattle mayor Greg Nickels in 2004. It was my birthday :) It feels like I've grown up with them, and for that I want to see them succeed however I can.

 As a crew, we have shared in these experiences that have changed our lives for better in so many ways. We recognize how great of a gift that was for us and recognize that we now have an opportunity to carry on the tradition and pay that forward to the next generation of dancers and young artists. Through Massive Monkees classes, workshops, school shows, community events and Massive Monkees Studio: The Beacon, hopefully we can give them the tools to take it to the next level and go on to accomplish great things as well.

They are just about halfway to their goal of $30,000 with a little over two weeks left! Head over to their Kickstarter page for more info and to donate.

Thanks to Brysen Angeles & Joe Stolte for their help in creating this post!

Please Help Gumbo the Frenchie & Bulldog Haven NW!

'Sup FJ readers! Sharing another bulldog in need - you know I can't resist those bully faces!

Gumbo is an 11 month old French Bulldog who was hit by a car and ended up at a local shelter needing extensive surgical repair. The shelter's vet said it is the worst broken pelvis they have ever seen! Broken in multiple places, Gumbo needed emergency surgery and is now in the care of Bulldog Haven NW.

Help Gumbo the Frenchie!
Help Gumbo the Frenchie!
Help Gumbo the Frenchie!
Help Gumbo the Frenchie!

He underwent a successful surgery yesterday, and Bulldog Haven NW is looking to raise funds to cover his emergency expenses plus the care of 22 dogs currently being fostered. Can you help?

DONATE HERE

Every bit counts! Thank you!

Help Gumbo the Frenchie!
Help Gumbo the Frenchie!
Gumbo at Bulldog Haven NW
Gumbo at Bulldog Haven NW

Thank you bulldog/BHNW/Gumbo fans & rescue supporters. You make this happen!

Watch the Bulldog Haven NW Facebook page for more Gumbo updates and photos!

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

Spike Rules Everything Around Me

Oh Spike, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

When Jacob and I first talked about getting a dog, I wanted one that'd fit in a purse. Luckily, Jacob talked me out of it and we got our first bulldog, your brother Meatball. Sadly, sweet Meaty passed away suddenly in 2010 (read that story here.) A year and a half of grief passed and I swear I couldn't define who I was anymore. Then you, handsome Spike, came waltzing into our lives via emergency rescue by Bulldog Haven NW. Though Jacob and I had been supporting BHNW, PAWS, The Humane Society and other animal-related non-profits since Meaty passed, we'd never owned or fostered a rescue before. But when I saw your face, Spike, it was game over - Gatorade, wet towel. You had to be mine. 

Spike the English bulldog
Spike the English bulldog
Spike the English bulldog
Spike the English bulldog

Words can't really express what it's like to be a bulldog mom. I tell people I went freelance to focus on my blog, but a big part of it is so I could spend more time with you. Our schedules are built around you, Spike. No matter how much mom & dad have on our plates, you are absolutely number one over everything.

Spike the English bulldog
Spike the English bulldog
Spike the English bulldog
Spike the English bulldog

I love your personality boo. You are so full of life and love to meet other doggies wherever you go. You love meeting other humans too. Like, a lot. We like to joke that you're plotting to leave us for richer and better-looking parents :) I am convinced you are the leader of the pack at doggie daycare and that you flirt with every lady you meet. Such a little Romeo you are. (Don't worry - I won't tell the ladies you chase around lasers like a cat.) You're the perfect co-pilot for all of our adventures.

Spike the English bulldog
Spike the English bulldog
Spike the English bulldog
Spike the English bulldog

I wrote this letter so everyone could meet one of the biggest pieces of my life. I also wrote this as a little thank you to you, Spike. I'm meant to be your mama and life feels like it has a lot more definition with you in it. Bulldog Haven NW sent you off to a new home, but what they really gave me was one of the greatest gifts life has ever brought me. You were the key to bringing me back to life post-Meaty. I love you boo bear!

Spike the English bulldog
Spike the English bulldog
Spike the English bulldog
Spike the English bulldog

A list of available dogs can be found at Bulldog Haven NW's adoption page.  If you're interested in adopting one of these bullies, please look over their information carefully and fill out an application at BulldogHavenNW.org.

Not wanting to adopt, but still want to help out? 

BHNW welcomes donations at anytime! Visit their homepage for benefit online auctions too.

For the most up-to-date info on BHNW, check their Facebook page!

Want to talk more about adopting a bulldog from someone who's been there? Email me at jess(at)freshjess.com!

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

Fresh Style: Blue Nile at the Nordstrom Designer Preview

Blue Nile's been so kind as to let me take this beautiful new necklace out on the town, and it's been a part of my outfit almost every day for the past two weeks. The Chalcedony & Aquamarine necklace was one of two major pieces shaping my outfit for Nordstrom's Designer Preview, held last week at Pier 91 in Seattle and benefiting the Seattle Art Museum.

The cushion-shaped chalcedony gemstone is bezel-set in gold vermeil with faceted aquamarine  gemstones along the chain.

You'll see the other piece shaping my outfit in a bit :)

Nordstrom and the Seattle Art Museum have partnered to put on the Designer Preview for many years, and have consistently sold out the venue, packing it full of SAM supporters, Nordstrom shoppers and other fashion & art enthusiasts. This year's Designer Preview proceeds will benefit SAM's upcoming exhibit, Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Elles will open in October through January 13th, 2013. The exhibit will feature all women artists, with the iconic Frida Kahlo and more artist works on display.

Here are a few of my iPhone shots from the Designer Preview party, boutique and pre-runway. Check in tomorrow when I'll post my favorite runway looks from the show!

Such a stylish crowd!

A perfect Seattle day. View from Pier 91.

With my gorgeous friends Patrick of Golazo & Jane of Seattleite

Amazing looks from Alaia and Valentino in the entryway to the show

The crowd anxiously awaiting the start of the show!

Post-show runway! Blue Nile Chalcedony & Aquamarine necklace & white agate vermeil drop earrings, LA Made double v-neck tee, vintage cross-body bag & heels, Forever 21 high-waisted trousers (similar here)

When summer finally arrives in Seattle, it's truly unmatched!

Thank you Nordstrom & Blue Nile! Runway faves tomorrow.

Bulldog Haven NW's Adoptable Bulldogs

Bulldog Haven NW has a record number of foster bullies waiting for their "fur-ever" home! As regular Fresh Jess readers know, I am a big fan of english bulldogs with one bulldog angel in the sky and one adopted from Bulldog Haven NW. Look at those faces! I'm helping BHNW spread the word in hopes of finding these sweetie pies a new home.

Bob

Daisy

Tucker / Friar Tuck

Lola

Mosey

A list of available dogs can be found at Bulldog Haven NW's adoption page.  If you're interested in adopting one of these bullies, please look over their information carefully and fill out an  application at BulldogHavenNW.org.

Not wanting to adopt, but still want to help out? 

The Pet Adoption Network via BHNW is looking for donation's to help cover Popeye's medical expenses. Popeye was surrendered to PAN with breathing problems following his neuter surgery. See Popeye's ChipIn page for more information.

For the most up-to-date info on BHNW, check their Facebook page!

Want to talk more about adopting a bulldog from someone who's been there? Email me at jess(at)freshjess.com!

Infographic Fun with Guinness & St. Patrick's Day

What's nerdier than incorporating beer and St. Patrick's Day into some fun infographics? Luckily I'm a big nerd and never one to turn down an infographic :)

Here's a quick post with some fun facts for you as St. Patty's Day approaches:

Help GUINNESS® & Fresh Jess make this the biggest St. Patty's Day ever! Take the pledge & enter the code "JESS" over at Guinness.com. For every pledge I bring in, I'm donating $1 to Bulldog Haven NW. It's totally free & takes just a minute. Thanks for your help!

Volunteering for Bulldog Haven NW at the Seattle Dog Show this weekend!

This weekend, Spike, bf and I will be volunteering in the Bulldog Haven NW booth at the Seattle Kennel Club's 2012 Dog Show!

Come watch the pedigree dog shows & fun entertainment. Stay and hang with us in the BHNW booth to learn about the rescue, available foster dogs, volunteer opportunities and more.

Admission is just $10!

The 2012 SKC Dog Show is at CenturyLink Field Events Center, this Saturday & Sunday from 8:00a.m. to 6:00p.m.

Let me know if you'll be there!

More info on Bulldog Haven NW

Seattle Kennel Club Dog Show website

English Bulldog Tucker's Surgical Adventure

Brave bulldog Tucker has been in the care of Bulldog Haven NW, where we recently adopted Spike. Last week, Tucker underwent surgery to correct a tethered spinal cord, which would have rendered his back legs completely useless. Thanks to the generous support of Bulldog Haven NW's fans, the $5500 surgery has been paid for, AND Tucker's raised BHNW's Facebook fan count to over 2000!

Congratulations to BHNW and so much love and luck for Tucker as he begins his road to recovery. I'm so proud to be among this group of supporters for this great non-profit!

Happy holidays everyone!

Jess

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!

You can donate via ChipIn on the Bulldog Haven website;

Screenshot of Bulldog Haven NW's Spike fund

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. 

Give the Gift of Love with Krochet Kids - and FreshJess!

FJ fave Krochet Kids is bringing back their highly successful "Give the Gift of Love" holiday campaign. At this time last year, the Kids employed a group of 10 women in Uganda, but thanks to continuous support they've now given jobs to 87 women through their programs. Their goal for the campaign is to sell 10,000 hats thru the month of December.

It's been awesome to see Krochet Kids grow from a small Spokane operation to a California warehouse that stocks hats, tees and accessories in the likes of PacSun and Nordstrom. In just a year!

I have something extra sweet for you to help Give the Gift of Love this season. FreshJess.com readers can enjoy 15% off at KrochetKids.org with discount code FRESHJESS.

Buy a hat. Spread love. Change a life!

These are in my cart:

The Helm

seattle works is on some brand new

in honor of its 20th anniversary, seattle works underwent a couple of changes during the holidays - new office digs & new website! click on their brand new logo below to check out the website:

i love what seattle works does for the city:

Seattle Works offers opportunities for people to serve as active volunteers, iinformed voters, savvy charitable donors and knowledgeable community leaders.

touchdown animals

originally i was just going to post this because i thought it was cute that seahawks players were posing with rescued animals in the Pasado's Safe Haven Pro-Compassion Calendar. then i read the story of Pasado and how he inspired Susan Michaels to do her part in making sure animal cruelty is eliminated in washington state and i really had to cry.

visit pasado's safe haven to order your Pro-Compassion Calendar - but make sure you also read Pasado's story while you're there. it'll break your heart to know how many dbags are out there doing despicable things to animals. you'll also find out how you can help Pasado's Safe Haven's cause!

and just because:

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