Fresh Jess for University Village - Holiday Pinterest Boards

I've been pinning with University Village this holiday season, and I thought I'd share our boards! Now that Christmas is over, you can treat yourself to some of these winter collections, accessories and sparkly things. I'm pinning New Year's Eve style and party ideas this week. Enjoy!

Follow University Village's board A Holiday of Making Magic on Pinterest.

Follow University Village's board Santa Baby I'm on the Nice List on Pinterest.

Follow University Village's board Holiday Bits & Baubles on Pinterest.

A Business Case for ‘Yo’: Cutting Through the Noise (by Titus Kimbowa)

With the risk of adding to the ‘Yo’ noise bubble, I will attempt to look at the business application of Yo. There are plenty of consumer applications.

Human communication has many forms with a unique purpose across every signal. We've used technology to cut the time in which we communicate; no matter the distance. Tools like email, phone calls, and SMS text have drastically changed how we communicate. One thing these tools share is a notification system that alerts users when someone wants to communicate with them. That’s a communication tool in itself.

In the case for Yo, the notification is the message. It’s like technology learned the subtle communication that goes on outside the realms of a conversation. It’s like a wink, a secret code, a secret handshake. And yes, it’s stupid.

Stupid simple.

Communication on a battlefield requires fast and timely communication. Words are replaced with hand signals and sometimes they are replaced with words that have little meaning to anyone outside the loop. A famous example of this is depicted in Henry W. Longfellow’s poem in which he mentions a secret signal by Paul Revere saying: “One, if by land, and two, if by sea.” Had Revere used Yo, one Yo would signal the land route, while two Yo’s would signal the dispatch by the water. Information is powerful and can be devastating to a business if it ends up in the wrong hands. Once at fruition, I believe Yo will have the capacity to give business sales teams and executives a way to quickly communicate and act on a given strategy/play without hesitation or worry of information leaks.

It’s a long-shot but certainly doable.


Titus Kimbowa

 is a young entrepreneur living in Seattle, WA. He was born in Kampala, Uganda & moved to the States when he was 12. He’s currently a senior at the University of Washington and serves as vice-president of the UW American Marketing Association, and he's interning as the product marketing analyst for stealthy start-up Webtuner. He’s got past experience as part of the Zagat team at Google, Crown Social, TEDxYouth Seattle, and starting up an enterprise travel company. In his spare time (which he rarely gets) he likes to play basketball, read, and hang out around Seattle.

Find Titus on Twitter, and view all of his posts here.

What is Big Data? (by Titus Kimbowa)

Photo from Start Work Now

When at meet ups, there are plenty founders and entrepreneurs alike that talk a big game when it comes to big data. They tell you how they plan on using big data to get customers and design the best app ever. But how are you getting this big data and how are you using it to accomplish these goals?

*Awkward silence*

What’s big data to me? Here’s my short version:

Social graph of any given user:


  • How many likes? 
  • What do these likes mean? 
  • What can you say about that person’s interests? 
  • What’s their state of mind?
  • Track and group likes in same vertical 
  • Find influencers, etc.


  • What’s the occasion?
  • Who’s in it?
  • Location?
  • Date and time 
  • Find influencers, etc.

Status updates, tweets, etc etc.

This can be done across all social and business graphs to find ways to target groups and communities at the deepest level.

Think: Zuck’s experiment

Analyzing and understanding what all these mean is the big challenge for many marketers. Luckily, there are plenty of tools to help you understand and use big data.


Titus Kimbowa

 is a young entrepreneur living in Seattle, WA. He was born in Kampala, Uganda & moved to the States when he was 12. He’s currently a senior at the University of Washington and serves as vice-president of the UW American Marketing Association, and he's interning as the product marketing analyst for stealthy start-up Webtuner. He’s got past experience as part of the Zagat team at Google, Crown Social, TEDxYouth Seattle, and starting up an enterprise travel company. In his spare time (which he rarely gets) he likes to play basketball, read, and hang out around Seattle.

Find Titus on Twitter, and view all of his posts here.

Apple’s Strategy with Dr. Dre (by Titus Kimbowa)

Apple’s on the quest to continue the longstanding stronghold on popular culture. With the acquisition of Beats by Dre, they are well positioned to dominate the next wave of consumer products.

The first time I ever touched a computer was when I was 12 years old. I played games on my uncle’s HP desktop during the summer before I started school and thought it was the best thing ever. After that summer, I enrolled in the local middle school. Computers there were weird; they were colorful and were shaped different. The software design was also different; it was a lot easier to draw stuff on this computer. I also understood how it worked faster than I did the HP machine.

They were just different.

iMacs made it easy for students to express their individuality. These colorful machines were tools for expression. This approach to design is continuous in all of Apple products. We are all witnesses to the dent the iPod put on the music industry. It is in Apple’s DNA to do things differently; to influence and drive culture.

Dr. Dre’s Influence

Hip-hop has grown from being a genre that was ridiculed to one of the most influential genres on pop culture. This statement in itself could be a blog post so I won’t go too deep into that.

During the late 80s / early 90s, hip-hop took a turn from easy-going party music with some drug references to hardcore gangsta rap. This transition came as the opportunity for Dre to express himself.

At a time when rappers were by rapping with limited explicit lyrics; NWA came on the scene with brash, unforgiving lyrics that spoke of of the harsh life in Compton. Even after media uproar, they held no punches when expressing themselves. This was their life unfiltered and they saw no other way to tell it. This became the meat and potatoes of hip hop’s culture:

Expression has been a big part of the success of Beats by Dre. With a slick design and a multitude of colors to pick from, Beats allow music lovers to show their style through the color of their headphones. This is true at every level; from the NFL and NBA athletes, to the kids playing on school yards.

Outside of the slick design of the headphones and having color choice, Dr Dre’s influence on pop culture is what makes Beats’ stronghold on the premium headphone market unstoppable. Dre sits atop the influencers of today’s culture: Music. The Beats By Dre YouTube channel has multiple interviews with music artists and celebs alike. Additionally, the big screen shows athletes using beats as a way to tune out noise and redirecting their focus on the game.

Acquiring the mind and influence of Dr Dre will allow Apple to continue mission of influencing culture.

The crazy thing is that we have a (ex)gangsta rapper part of a team making decisions on products that will be used across the globe. Hip hop’s influence has hit it’s highest stage yet. My guess is Apple is switching gears from think different to express yourself.

Beats by Dre YouTube channel 


Titus Kimbowa

 is a young entrepreneur living in Seattle, WA. He was born in Kampala, Uganda & moved to the States when he was 12. He’s currently a senior at the University of Washington and serves as vice-president of the UW American Marketing Association, and he's interning as the product marketing analyst for stealthy start-up Webtuner. He’s got past experience as part of the Zagat team at Google, Crown Social, TEDxYouth Seattle, and starting up an enterprise travel company. In his spare time (which he rarely gets) he likes to play basketball, read, and hang out around Seattle.

Find Titus on Twitter, and view all of his posts here.

#Seattle: Meet Winegarden, Happiness Delivered

Today I'd like to welcome back one of my contributors, Titus Kimbowa. A junior at the University of Washington at the time, Titus first approached me after a talk and asked me how to grow a network on Twitter, balancing the line between professionalism while building your personal brand. His drive and curiosity have taken him far in the last two years I've known him, and I'm honored that Fresh Jess is the first to bring you his new venture. Read on to discover Winegarden!



As a student at UW, one of the best experiences I was lucky enough to get involved with was building startups. Being immersed in startups gave me an opportunity to meet interesting people. As a kid from a little town in Uganda, the only place I could think to meet such wonderful people was in my dreams. During these meetings, a consistent social connector was wine. Aside from wine being an acquired taste that was lost on me, I knew nothing of its intricacies. After multiple attempts, I was finally able to grasp the basics of wine. There’s clearly a big learning curve.

Soon after I finished school, I was burned out! Working three jobs to pay for school while being a full time student took a toll on me. I decided to break from the stresses of work and school, and absorb more of the unique culture Seattle had to offer that I couldn’t properly appreciate in the past. To my surprise, I find that wine is again at the center of my cultural experience. I realized in order to fully appreciate what Seattle had to offer, I would have to uncork this wonder and learn firsthand what makes it so intriguing.

As I discovered and learned about the diverse selection of great wines, I noticed that wine is not well-cultivated here. Specifically, locally-sourced wines have yet to take a crack at Seattle’s eclectic culture. Wines made in Washington have won numerous awards on the global scale, yet Seattleites know more about California wines than Washington wines. Either we just don’t like Washington wines or the marketing sucks.

I’m with the latter.

The Seattleite in me wouldn’t allow me to give the city a pass on enjoying an inferior wine that’s not from Washington. I got in touch with a friend, Thomas Winegarden who had talked about a wine delivery service that he wanted to build. We discussed different ways in which the technology could be built and settled on a platform, to which local wine shops and wineries would market and sell their wine then have it delivered to consumers on-demand or at a set time that day. The challenge lies between the seamless communication between the customer, driver, and winery/shop. The delivery charge starts at $10 and $6, respectively.

We set forth on the journey to create a service that puts the customer at the center of every transaction. At Winegarden, it's now our mission:

We believe that shopping for wine should be an unforgettable, fun, and delightful experience.

Winegarden not only puts Washington wines at your disposal, but leaves little to no time between you and the perfect glass. Additionally, we put the guesswork out of wine by making it easy to search and discover wines that best fit your taste preference and budget. Washington wines are world-class and are slowly making waves across the globe. We want to accelerate this trend by providing the best service to every Winegarden customer.

With this goal in mind, we set out to land our first set of customers. Knocking on doors, and using referrals has been the only way we’ve delivered wine. During this period, we’ve learned a lot about the nuances of delivering wine. We are now ready to announce it to Seattle and take on more orders!

Join the revolution at


Titus Kimbowa is a young entrepreneur living in Seattle, WA. He was born in Kampala, Uganda & moved to the States when he was 12. He’s currently a senior at the University of Washington and serves as vice-president of the UW American Marketing Association, and he's interning as the product marketing analyst for stealthy start-up Webtuner. He’s got past experience as part of the Zagat team at Google, Crown Social, TEDxYouth Seattle, and starting up an enterprise travel company. In his spare time (which he rarely gets) he likes to play basketball, read, and hang out around Seattle.

Find Titus on Twitter, and view all of his posts here.

Seattle: Get Fresh with the Microsoft Surface 2 (Event & Giveaway!)

Hey Seattle! Want to win a Surface 2? Then meet me at the Microsoft Store in Bellevue Square for the Surface 2 launch event, tonight from 10:00p.m. - midnight!

A year ago almost to the day, I traveled to NYC with Microsoft for the launch of their pop-up store in Times Square along with the launch of their first Surface tablet (Reminisce here!) It's follow-up, the Surface 2, is faster, thinner and lives longer (battery-wise) than its predecessor. The Surface 2 is touted as a powerful laptop packaged neatly in a tablet, and the buzz is already starting around its improvements. I'm excited to check it out tonight, and so pleased to share the fun with you! 

Microsoft-Surface 2-Fresh Jess
Microsoft-Surface 2-Fresh Jess

I'm hosting a launch event scavenger hunt to give away this Surface 2. This is all going down on the social mediaz, so you MUST do these two things in order for each of your entries to count in the contest:

Here are all the different ways you can win:

  1. Tweet us a Surface selfie! This can be you in line for the launch, in the store with a Surface 2, whatever. Show me you're there!
  2. See a cool pair of shoes or a smart shirt at the launch event? Tweet us a photo showing some Surface launch event style.
  3. Tweet a way a new Surface device can help you stay productive.
  4. Meet someone you don’t know and find something you have in common. Make sure to mention their handle in your tweet!
  5. Answer this trivia question: How long is the Surface 2’s battery life?
  6. Check in on FourSquare at the event, and share it to Twitter.
  7. Share this blog post on Twitter! Tweet #FreshSurface
Microsoft-Surface 2-Fresh Jess
Microsoft-Surface 2-Fresh Jess

So how can you do more with the Surface?

Here are some of the key features of the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2:

  • A 10-hour battery life that keeps you charged throughout the day.
  • Ultra lightweight, at less than 1.5 pounds and just 8.9 mm thick.
  • A more powerful, always-on processor, so it’s ready to go when you need it. 
  • Office 2013 RT is pre-installed with touch-optimized versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote - so Surface 2 can go from plaything to workhorse right out of the box.
  • The Docking Station for Surface Pro delivers the power you need so you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice. Charge your Surface Pro and a cell phone, and run your external hard drive while making a Skype call on your USB headset, and you’ll still have plenty of power to work with.
  • Whether you’re a business executive needing to power through important business or a student looking for the ultimate portable device to tote around campus, there’s a storage option to fit your needs.
Microsoft-Surface 2-Fresh Jess
Microsoft-Surface 2-Fresh Jess

What's happening at the launch event, you ask? Well...

  • There'll be a DJ, food & beverages and swag giveaways (hats, tees, gift cards, etc.) throughout the night;
  • Microsoft Store will also be hosting a series of challenges for a chance to win a trip to the Orlando store opening, complete with a live performance by Pitbull
  • The winner will be whisked away the following morning (10/22) for VIP treatment at the event, including a meet and greet with Pitbull. 
  • Seattle Seahawks' All-Pro Cornerback Richard Sherman will be also be in attendance to meet and mingle with fans. He’ll also be giving out autographed photos to the first 150 guests at the event! 
Microsoft-Surface 2-Fresh Jess
Microsoft-Surface 2-Fresh Jess

RSVP on Facebook. Good luck!

This is a sponsored post, though all opinions and editorial direction are my own. 

Read the official rules for the Microsoft & Fresh Jess Surface 2 giveaway.

Ridin' Fresh in the Toyota Corolla 2014

Never in my life would I have guessed I'd be test-driving cars for a living. Okay, maybe not for a living, but I did get to take the new Toyota Corolla 2014 for a couple of weeks ago for my blog and that's almost the same thing. Toyota hosted a regional preview of the latest editions of the Corolla family here in Seattle, and I spent the better part of two days mingling with auto bloggers and media contacts, many of whom I would never have otherwise.

The Toyota team treated us to quite the Seattle experience, with an evening at the Chihuly Glass Museum and dinner at the Experience Music Project. At the EMP, Toyota pulled out all the stops for a full visual presentation of the new Corolla, highlighting all of the updates, revisions and additions to the S, L, LE and LE-Eco models. I learned more about the many pieces that make up the Corolla than I've probably ever learned about any car in my entire life.

Though it was borderline like a foreign language, it was clear Toyota pushed itself to improve and elevate the Corolla in every way possible. It could easily have just coasted by on Corolla's reputation as one of the most reliable, solid cars out there, but there was a lot of work to keep it at the head of the pack with its latest model. Improved fuel economy with its CVTi-S and Valvematic systems; the expanded and readjusted leg room and airbag configuration; the updated Entune app suite and connectivity with your iPod, Bluetooth, USB or auxiliary tunes are just a few of the updated features that stuck out to me.

What also stuck out to me was Toyota's shift in target demographic for the Corolla. While you and I have probably always thought of the Corolla as the decent car a family member or three owned, there's a clear effort to appeal now to the Gen Y / millenial market. I definitely heard the words "young entrepreneur" mentioned more than once. With all of your (stock) choices under $20k, this is definitely a reasonably affordable bang for your buck.

The first night was capped with a sweet dinner and viewing of the EMP's latest exhibits, "Women Who Rock" and "Hendrix in London." If you haven't been by recently, I highly suggest you do! I went home with a sweet swag bag that was all the way Seattle.

The next morning, I met the group at the Alexis Hotel for our test drives. Toyota had a fleet of the Corolla 2014 models.

Sue Frause, a fellow writer and cool lady who resides in Whidbey Island, was my traveling buddy for this driving excursion. I'm not gonna lie, I was super intimidated by the auto media who do this kinda thing all the time, so I was really happy to have Sue as my driving partner. She and I were super laidback about the whole experience. We started with the standard L model Corolla. I wove through the Seattle waterfront up through Magnolia and Discovery Park before Sue took the reins the rest of the way to Snoqualmie Falls

On the way back to the Alexis, I had the fortune to drive the Corolla LE-Eco, which was especially appealing to me (I drive a Civic Hybrid.) Both cars were such a smooth drive, but with the Eco I drove so much faster than I thought I would. It's got a lot of power for a hybrid vehicle, but with the quiet purr I'm used to from a hybrid. The technology in the dashboard might be a little overwhelming for someone who's not normally used to a lot of that, but I didn't find it too distracting, and the steering panel itself was mostly old-school anyway. 

My travel buddy! Photo via Sue Frause

All in all, I had a lot of fun after the initial anxiety of driving a car that isn't mine. The whole experience was a blast and I'm definitely looking forward to doing it again. Thanks Toyota and team!

If you're in the market for a new car, the new Corolla's base MSRP (stock models) range from $16,800 for the Corolla L to $19,000 for the Corolla S. There's a Toyota Corolla iPad app if you want to explore the new Corolla more, or you can visit the website for more information.

Shoot, Style & Share With PowerCam (Sponsored)

With a myriad of photo apps out there, it's hard to narrow down which ones are right for you. I know I run most of my photos through at least two apps before they even make it to Instagram! If you're looking for one that's a serious bang for your (one) buck, take a look at PowerCam.

The team at WonderShare first asked me to review the PowerCam app early last year (that review's here.) Since then, there have been a ton of improvements and additions to its effects and features menu. Now there are over 100 different filters, backgrounds, standard and straight fancy camera effects you can do - while taking photos and video in real time. "Damn son, where'd ya find this?!?"

PowerCam app by WonderShare
PowerCam app by WonderShare

I played around with PowerCam using some of my favorite Spike photos. Here are some of my favorite features of the app:

First of all, I love that you can do so much with the effects and filters while you're taking photo or video. Tilt-shift, filtering, anti-shake, color splash and panorama are just a few of the camera effect options (in addition to traditional flash, zoom, ISO, grid focus, etc.) and the countless many filters you can choose from.

PowerCam app by WonderShare
PowerCam app by WonderShare

Tilt shift / Holiday filter / Color splash

There are a lot of subtle filter, but have fun with some of the crazy ones too!

PowerCam app by WonderShare
PowerCam app by WonderShare

Chocolate color filter / Crop / Explosion artsy filter

I love that you can copy your PowerCam photos to your computer or tablet. The app gives you an ISP to link to via URL for that.

PowerCam app by WonderShare
PowerCam app by WonderShare

At last, there's a collage feature native within a filter/effects app! PowerCam has collage templates, or you can create one freehand. The app supplies you with photo resize options, editing within the collage, and decorative border patterns and other options to truly make each collage your own.

PowerCam app by WonderShare
PowerCam app by WonderShare

This version of the PowerCam app seems to be a lot more organized with its filters menu. Make sure to get cozy and look around - there's a filter here for every taste!

PowerCam app by WonderShare
PowerCam app by WonderShare

Old Photo classic filter / Frosty Beauty effect / Splash funny filter

Once you've got a few photos and collages ready, you can upload multiple files to your favorite social network, including: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Tumblr & good ol' email sharing.

Find PowerCam in the App Store for iPhone and iPad, and Google Play for Android.

10 Fashion & Style Instagram Accounts You Must Follow

Nowadays, who doesn’t have an Instagram account? Fashion and style have created a huge presence on the hip social media site and I’m here to show you my top 10 picks for “Instagrammers” that are a must-follow for you fashionistas!

sydney fashion blogger instagram
sydney fashion blogger instagram

1) @SydneyFashionBlogger

This Sydney-based stylist and creative producer is one of my favorite Insta-fashion accounts. Although she tends to rock a lot of expensive designer wear, including that Chanel brooch that appears in many of her posts, I love taking inspiration from her “bougie” outfits.

Beyonce Instagram
Beyonce Instagram

2) @Beyonce

The famous singer jumped on the Instagram bandwagon fairly late in the game but nonetheless she has an account that I turn to a lot for style tips. I bought a pair of houndstooth print loafers and leather leggings earlier this year because I saw that Beyoncé posted a photo of herself clad in sexy leather leggings and an eclectic pair of loafers.

Sincerely Jules Instagram
Sincerely Jules Instagram

3) @SincerelyJules

Julie Sariñana is a fashion blogger and a popular “Instagrammer.” I found her account one day while browsing through some of the photos that made it to the Popular page. I enjoyed her laid-back style and how she puts together sophisticated feminine clothes and accessories with some designer pieces (like that irresistible pair of studded pointy-toed Valentino stilettos she owns!)

jnelv instagram
jnelv instagram


This Insta-famous fashionista has an urban flair to her style and she’s not afraid to take a risk with bold prints and bright colors. I love how she doesn’t try to follow any trends but instead she forges her own personal style with her eccentric clothes, accessories and shoes.

katrinacamille instagram
katrinacamille instagram

5) @KatrinaCamille

Another Insta-famous fashionista, Katrina Camille, posts cute and mostly casual ensembles. She spreads the pieces of clothing, the accessories and shoes out on her floor – unlike the majority of Instagrammers who model their #OOTD (outfits of the day).

Jessica Fang Instagram
Jessica Fang Instagram

6) @JessicaFang

This account is for jewelry lovers! She showcases accessories from body chains to stackable rings that you can purchase on her website:

karrueche instagram
karrueche instagram

7) @Karrueche

The infamous on-and-off-again girlfriend to R&B singer, Chris Brown, has the best Instagram account if you’re one for streetwear. Karreuche Tran sports clothing from Karmaloop, Dimepiece, Crooks & Castles, and Jeffrey Campbell among many others.

ewat24 instagram
ewat24 instagram

8) @ewat24

The other half of football player, Victor Cruz, has an Instagram account that will have you drooling over her high fashion and designer style. Although her photos don’t typically make it to the Popular page, her everyday ensembles and red carpet gowns are going to wow you.

monicarosestyle instagram
monicarosestyle instagram

9) @MonicaRoseStyle

The stylist to the Kardashians has created a name for herself by posting pictures of her adorable toddler, Alaia, in miniature versions of outfits that her mom would be dressed in. She also showcases her picks of the latest trends and of course, photos of the Kardashians styled by her.

3.1 Phillip Lim Instagram
3.1 Phillip Lim Instagram

10) @31philliplim

The fashion designer has a high-end clothing line but that’s why I love following the Instagram account of 3.1 Phillip Lim! I enjoy looking at pieces from his collections and taking inspiration from them. I saw his embroidered Souvenir Jacket (which looks like a floral bomber jacket) and soon after purchased my own from Crossroads in the U-District.

Who are your favorite fashion and style Instagrammers?


Courtney Liu is a Hawaii native in the journalism program at the University of Washington. She loves clothes and styling herself and her friends. She hopes to pursue a career in public relations or in the fashion industry.

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

Smiling Bright with Phillips Sonicare PowerUp (Sponsored Post)

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

Everybody wants to look their best all the time, but especially in the summer, right? We're out all day, enjoying the sun and preferably looking and feeling amazing, right? Working out is usually the biggest priority, followed by eating well and staying hydrated. What about that beautiful smile of yours? If your friends and family are anything like mine, you're spending the summer constantly documenting every barbecue, picnic, camping trip, vacation, spontaneous road trip or water excursion via photos and video. Keeping your smile fresh is also key in maintaining good health and appearance.

I'd never had a power toothbrush before, so I was excited when I got the chance to review the new Philips Sonicare PowerUp battery toothbrush. My trusty manual toothbrush became part of my cleaning toolkit for the house - for scrubbing the grout between tiles and such - and the Sonicare PowerUp took its place on my bathroom counter.


Hey there, new friend!

I've been using the Sonicare PowerUp for just about two weeks now, and I've definitely seen a big improvement over my old toothbrush. The sensation definitely took some getting used to the first time around, but my teeth and gums felt SO much cleaner after just that first go 'round - and has obviously improved worlds overall since. 


Getting ready to use my Sonicare PowerUp toothbrush for the first time!

What was most refreshing, however, was that the PowerUp delivered on what it promises ("more brush strokes (expected over my manual one)" "improved gum health," etc.) but isn't a huge hit on your wallet. While there are great, expensive options out there, the PowerUp gives you Sonicare high quality for under $20. Such a steal if you ask me! I was never hooked enough to spend cheese on a powered toothbrush before, so that's why I stuck with manual toothbrushes for so long (Philips probably could've cast me in their "Odyssey of the Manual Toothbrusher" short vid LOL) The Sonicare PowerUp's affordable price point should definitely appeal to those on a budget.


Smiling bright on a sunny Lake Union boat ride!

Catch my smile along with a few of my fellow Social Fabric® Community members over on Instagram and Pinterest! Just look for the #PowerUpUrSmile hashtag.

How are you staying fresh and healthy this summer?

Fresh Style: Le Voyager Coquette Raincoat by Elizabeth Roberts

The reason I mention Seattle weather so much is because it's so variable, you really never know what to expect on any given day. Earlier this spring, I was gifted with this amazing raincoat by local designer Elizabeth Roberts. I figured it'd be cloudy and possibly rainy the day I chose to take these photos (in early April) but of course, the weather gods decided to throw a beautiful sunny day our way instead. 

Elizabeth Roberts designs for the quintessential Seattle style-conscious in mind. She combines functional elements that are very tech-friendly with attention to detail and fabric that rivals the most coveted couture lines. This particular style, "Le Voyager Coquette," features a hidden hood, deep pockets that fit EVERYTHING, midi mitts, a forearm pocket and waterproof, breathable fabric. All of Elizabeth's jackets protect wearers from the invisible but real dangers of electromagnetic frequencies from cell phones via Elizabeth’s exclusive SMARTSHIELD pocket linings.

A native New Yorker now living in the Pacific Northwest, Elizabeth says:

“What I want more than anything, like so many women, is more time, so I created the first jackets to minimize the transitions in a woman’s life. Designs that could take me from a morning walk to midday meetings to a night out on the town, from nonstop rain to bright sunshine and everything in between. The result is what I call high yield, scalable fashion.”

Like so many others I enjoy writing about, Elizabeth also fuses style with philanthropy, focusing her efforts on the Landesa Center for Women’s Land Rights, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and early learning.

Special thanks to my aunt Penny for taking these photos! She's second from right, and we're here with my mom and sister.

Elizabeth Roberts 'Le Voyager Coquette' raincoat / Duro Olowu for JCPenney dress (similar) / Report Shoes coral wedges (similar) / TOMS sunnies

Aces Interview: Ray Page

The Aces interview series are a little look into the lifestyle of people I admire who are doing amazing things for their community and world.

Today, please meet Ray Page!

In the social media & tech scene here in Seattle, there are people who are at every meetup, Ignite talk, SMC event and more. Then there are others you never see, because their job has them being a full-time badass here, there and around the country.

Ray Page is the latter. Like so many others, I met him on Twitter and then in real life over happy hour with our dear friend Carrie. All I remember was laughing as hard as I've ever laughed before at the most random jokes the three of us were telling each other. Getting to know Ray since then has shown me he is every bit as creative, curious and passionate as he is hilarious. Anyone that knows Ray knows that he's incredibly fucking good at what he does (he's executive creative director of POSSIBLE's Seattle office.) I am personally grateful to Ray for believing in my future. He was one of the most instrumental figures in helping me find the confidence to pursue my dreams. Read on to see what inspires him:

What's on your playlist right now?

  • Del the Funky Homosapien

  • Kitten

  • The National

  • Pavarotti

  • Biggie Smalls

  • Nas

  • Daft Punk

  • Wu-Tang

  • Rufus Wainwright

  • Dinosaur Jr

  • The Cure

  • & The Smiths.

At any given time, these get me through the week. However, when I need to crank out a presentation deck or ideate around a concept, it’s continuous hip hop every single time.

Describe your style.

Understated, with clean lines. Simple, with mostly solids. I’m a sucker for details, so moods of norway, scotch & soda and nau are my sweet spots. I will never wear pants that resemble salt water taffy. Men, please stop that.

Who inspires you?

I have many, but they have shared traits.

I’m inspired by individuals who fearlessly pursue their passion.

The extremists. The makers. The ones who live without balance. The ones who go against the grain without any other objective except to be the best at what they do. The ones who are motivated only by their internal dialog and not by financial gain, awards or recognition.

Great dads inspire me. The ones who blossomed as people because of their kids. Those that get giddy recounting weekend stories with their children. Yeah, those guys.

What are you reading?

I mostly stick to industry publications; Monocle, Contagious, IDEA, CommArts and various websites. I’m currently reading Present Shock by Douglas Rushkoff, where he introduces the phenomenon of presentism. He shares thoughts around how the “future” we used to talk about pre-Y2K is happening now. And, frankly, how we’re not hard-wired to deal with living in the present. It impacts global economics, social economics and everything in between.

The next book in the cue is Finding Ultra by Rich Roll. He’s the epitome of one of the inspirational types described above. An extremist, who in 5 years went from an overweight middle aged man, to one of Men’s Health Magazine’s top 25 most fit men in the world.

What are you most excited about in the coming months?

My 6 year old daughter choses not to pick a favorite of anything. She loves too many things. So, I’ll take her lead and mention all the things I’m excited about in the coming months.

Summer in Seattle. Zanny. The final episodes of Breaking Bad. Decatur. My daughter’s dance recital. Home renovations. raygr. Continued badassery the creative department produces. Dinner with friends. The Perfect Bite. Tennis lessons / tournaments.

Thank you!

Read all of my  Aces interviews here.

An Uber 30Fresh Giveaway!

It's my birthday month but YOU are getting presents!


In the spirit of 30Fresh, the kind folks at Uber have graciously given me ten $30 Uber credits to give away. According to my texts, FourSquare check-ins and bank statements, Uber is a very big part of my life. For the past year and a half or so, they've been responsible for getting me and many of my fellow Seattleites to meetings, events, flights, nights out and everything else in our busy schedules.

So much Uber swag in my life. Next up, polar fleece pajama pants

Haven't used Uber yet? It's easy. Download the app, request a private driver (in a black car, SUV or as of this month, UberX hybrid car) to your exact location & tell 'em where to go. You can follow the driver's route to you and while you're in the car on your phone, and all of the money transaction takes place in the app, so no need to get cash or search for your card.

'Sup UberX

Living downtown means there are a lot of places where it doesn't quite make sense to drive, but the weather is too crappy to walk (unless you want to show up to your next meeting lookin' a hot mess.) The cabs here are grossly unreliable with even more unsavory customer service all around. I gladly pay a little bit extra to know I'm getting somewhere safe, dry and on time by a nice, friendly driver.  Showing up in a towncar is a nice little perk too :)

Flexin' in an Uber SUV on the way to the airport

Enjoy these perks too! Enter to win one of these ten $30 credits by: (each action equals one entry)

  1. Tweet me:  Tweet #30Fresh!
  2. Liking Fresh Jess and Uber on Facebook
  3. Following me on Pinterest
  4. Leave me a comment below

I'll draw a winner this Friday, April 26th (my actual bday) at 5:00p.m. PST.

Good luck!

30Fresh30 days of posts celebrating 30 years - and 5 of Fresh Jess!

Cleaning Out the Clutter (Sponsored)

In my quest this year for some improvement in my home's decor and design, simplify and organize seem to be the name of the game. From the lessons learned in my Resolution Challenge to the reiki healing workshops I've been taking (more on that later), the phrase "cleaning out the clutter" has made its presence known in many ways in my life. There's a lot I've been holding on to that just needs to go! We've made a lot of strides in our home by sprucing it up a bit with the throw pillows, rug and table you saw in last week's post. Here are a few ways I've been cutting down and cleaning out the clutter:

The storage room

By moving our work table into the living room, we turned our office/den area into a storage space. My boyfriend and I built these racks to keep old files, snowboard gear & other random stuff. These are so affordable and easy to put together, but we can do so much with them (the racks are adjustable.) These racks go well with the industrial feel of our loft, but if we move, these can easily go into a garage, pantry or storage space.

Obviously not its final home. I was just super stoked after I built it :)

The closet

Spring cleaning is manifesting itself fully in my closet! I've gone through my closet several times this season, re-organizing and finally being very strict on myself in what I kept and what's been cleared out. It's hard breaking up with clothes and things that have sentimental value! Though a lot of my stuff have fond memories tied to them, I know I'll never wear them again. I've donated a lot of my stuff to Goodwill, but for some of my trendy pieces in good condition, I've been using the Poshmark app to sell from my closet & buy fun new pieces from others. Peep my love for Poshmark here.

The fitness

Nothing clears out the mental clutter like a good run around Greenlake! My best friend Sara gave me a Nike FuelBand recently and it's already changed the way I look at my fitness. By adding a gamification angle with setting daily point goals, I'm so much more motivated to figure out ways to get active during the day. I'm choosing the stairs over the elevators more. Walking places instead of driving or taking public transportation. It's funny how a bracelet and a few points can totally kickstart my workout routine, but it's working!

My FuelBand, family and I at The Big Climb last Sunday!

How have you been cleaning out the clutter in your life?

Dyson Digital Slim™ vacuums have a detachable long-reach wand for floor to ceiling cordless cleaning. Powered by the Dyson digital motor, they’re the most powerful cordless vacuums. Learn more at

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Dyson via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Dyson.

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 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 Thanks again!

Do You Really Need to 'Check In'?

Jolie O'Dell posted the article "Why You & Your Girlfriends Should Stop Checking In" last week on VentureBeat. As an avid user of FourSquare & Facebook Places check-in (with many girlfriends who are just as geeky as I am), this article was long-overdue wake-up call.

Why the hell do we use LBS (location-based services) like FourSquare & Facebook Places so freely? Why am I using it?

My friends and I checking in while waiting for dinner. Typical

I started "checking in" a few months after FourSquare's launch at SXSW just over three years ago, drawn by the appeal of learning about places in the city and competing with my friends for points, badges and mayorships. The game factor is fun, and for a long while it's kept all of my friends and I checking in wherever and whenever we can. I've left a lot of tips at various venues, held my share of mayorships, and collected my fair share of badges.

Over time, though, I've cut my check-ins down significantly by stopping to ask myself what I'm gaining out of sharing my location with others. I'm not sure how much longer it'll be before I lose interest in FourSquare altogether. More than anything, I just try to be smart about how I'm checking in. I am thankful nothing has threatened my livelihood, although I've had my share of creepy "I saw you check in here on FourSquare" introductions.

I know this doesn't even apply to most of you since just over a tenth of the U.S. population even uses location-based services. Jolie's article sheds light on creeper apps like Girls Around Me (though FourSquare has since pulled that app's API access.) We are incredibly lucky to live in a country and culture where we have the freedom to say and go where we want, but maybe we take our safety and security for granted.

If you're 'checking in' constantly (especially you, lovely ladies!), I offer a couple of tips to keep in mind: 

Choose your friends wisely.

Like any other social media network, you approve friend requests and have the option of adding them or not. Do you know who you're friending? Take a look at who your mutual friends are, where the person is located and why you'd want to share check-in information with that person. If any of that makes you feel unsure - it's best not to friend them at all.

Never check in alone!

This might sound like a no-brainer, but it has to be said. I only check in at events where I'm with a bunch of people I know, or with my boyfriend.

Hide your check-in location.

FourSquare has the option of making your location public or not. If you absolutely must check in everywhere, use that option when you are checking in places alone.

Think twice.

Ask yourself if checking in is worth the awkward or even scary encounter. Because it's really not.

Do you check in on FourSquare, Facebook or Yelp? What are your thoughts?