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!

Fresh Eats: Starbucks Evenings Premieres New Menu

Entrepreneur life means working out of coffee shops often. But sometimes I'm plugging away at work and the morning fades into afternoon. By then, I'm just not in the mood for coffee anymore but I'm not ready to pack up just yet. Last year, Starbucks introduced it's Evenings menu in Seattle, Portland and Sun Valley. I was invited by the team to their new Terry & Republican location on the new Amazon headquarters campus to sample their brand-new Starbucks Evenings menu, including appetizers, wine and beer.

The Starbucks team hand-selected various local wines for its new menu, stocking Bergevin Lane and Chateau Ste. Michelle among others. Each glass served at Starbucks Evenings comes with a small bowl of pumpkin seeds!

At the menu tasting, we sampled: goat cheese & artichoke flatbread, rosemary & brown sugar coated cashews, bacon-wrapped dates, crudites and smoky chipotle hummus, chocolate fondue, truffle mac & cheese and brie with raisin bread

So where can you enjoy Starbucks Evenings? Right now, just at the five Washington and one Oregon locations below and after 4:00p.m.:

  • Olive Way (1600 E. Olive Way, Seattle 98102)
  • 15th Ave. (328 15th Ave. E., Seattle 98115)
  • Terry & Republican (442 Terry Ave. N., Seattle 98101)
  • Madison Park (4000 E. Madison Ave., Seattle 98112)
  • Issaquah Meadows (1460 NW Gilman Blvd., Issaquah 98027)
  • Brewery Blocks (1039 NW Couch St., Portland, OR 97209)

Starbucks has remodeled most or all of these in the past year, with more community tables and seating for large parties and individuals alike. In mid-October, Starbucks Evenings will kick off local winemaker visits and live entertainment on Friday evenings.

I am partial to the sparkling rose and truffle mac & cheese myself! Hope you can enjoy a Starbucks Evening near you soon.

A Taste of Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Most of you Nordstrom fans have already shopped the early access sale or are in line as I speak for the 2012 Anniversary Sale. Nordstrom Flagship Via C's Sanda Belaire invited a few bloggers to come in and get a tour of her stylist favorites from the Sale, after a sampling of Nordstrom Grill's new summer small plates menu (served from 4:00p.m. to close.)

It's so nice to have another central Downtown place to go to for happy hour with good food for great prices. My personal favorites were the crab cakes, vegetable chips and the wings. I'd have more food pics for you but the bloggers were hungry. :)

After happy hour, Sanda led us on a tour through the Early Access tents in the store for a firsthand look at featured pieces which are sure to go like hotcakes when the Sale opens this morning.

I need these Report motorcylcle boots! Perfect for sludging around Seattle fall & winters!

After our store tour, we were whisked off the sales floor and into the land where all the social media  & celebrity styling magic happens! From a born & raised Seattleite who's been around Nordstrom her whole life, it makes me really happy to see the words 'social media' in this classic Nordy font.

In the styling room were all of Sanda's top picks for this year's Sale, from Rebecca Minkoff to Kate Spade to the softest wool scarves handmade in the East Coast:

I want everything on the rack & mannequin!

The beautiful Sanda describing to us how the leather ruched cuff-sleeve detail on this Elizabeth & James shirt is INSANE.

After our styling session, we went home with a swag bag with a couple of extra sweet goodies:

Many thanks once again to Nordstrom for having us!

Photo credit Nordstrom

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) 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!

Lil Woody's open til 3am Friday & Saturday!

All that holiday shopping eating up the hours in your day & leaving you famished at night? Never fear - Seattle burger joint darling Lil Woody's is now open til 3:00a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights!

After all, what's a more perfect holiday burger than a Fig in the Pig?

Check out more burger porn on my Fresh Eats: Lil Woody's post from their pre-opening!

Fresh Eats: The Walrus & The Carpenter

My boyfriend and I are busy little bees. I know - everyone is busy - but when we're both at work all day and he goes to mixed martial arts training while I work out/blog/attend events, it can be difficult to carve time for one another. It's quite the treat, then, for us to go out somewhere great for drinks or dinner. The day the DList Magazine Young Northwest issue was released, he took me out to celebrate. I always like to choose new, interesting places, and so The Walrus & The Carpenter in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood was our destination for celebrating.

Take one look at the press page for The Walrus & The Carpenter and you'll get an idea of how easy it is to fall in love with this place. Tucked away in the Shilshole side of the Kolstrand building on Ballard Ave is this sweet gem of an oyster bar. The brainchild of Boat St. Cafe's award-winning Chef Renee Erickson, with Jeremy Price & Chad Dale, The Walrus has caught the eye of (and "best restaurant" nods from) Bon AppetitNew York TimesMr. Porter and GQ Magazine, not to mention all of the local publications.

While you should come here simply for the most extensive oyster menu around, the cocktails here are absolutely amazing. Definitely a new favorite for the mister and I!