Ignite Your Productivity With The Spark Notebook (Giveaway!)

I'm a productivity junkie. I will save all the articles, add all the books to my wish list, and read all the tips I can get my hands on in the name of getting shit done. Still, finding that perfect mix of productivity tools and systems for my current lifestyle has eluded me. I'll find some new tips or processes and stick with them enthusiastically for awhile, but ultimately I always fall back in the cycle of getting overwhelmed by everything I need to do. A million things to do, a million different to-do lists, Post-Its, notebooks, planners, calendars and apps to keep track of them all.

My endless pursuit of the perfect productivity system has brought the Spark Notebook into my life. I'd been following Kate Matsudaira and her productivity-centric startup, PopForms on social media when my friend Sarah Lovrien asked if I'd be part of the video she was filming for Kate's Kickstarter campaign. Fast forward to now, with Kate's wildly successful campaign funded in 24 hours and the Spark Notebook completely sold out in its first edition!

What's the Spark Notebook, you ask?

In short, it's a planner on steroids. All of your notes, goals, big ideas and things to do now have one home, versus many different Post-Its. The Spark Notebook was meticulously designed by Kate and team to take your career and life to the next level. 

Watch the video below - and visit the Kickstarter page for more insight into Kate's vision for the Notebook as well as how others are already using it. Kate also shares some of her other favorite Kickstarter projects in the updates - click through for more really cool ideas coming to life! There's some serious productivity and entrepreneur inspo going on over on the Kickstarter page!

Soooo I've got a Spark Notebook to give away!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED - Congrats Chloe for winning my Spark Notebook, and thanks so much to everyone who participated!

Fresh Reads: The Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane von Furstenberg

Most of my books are non-fiction, usually written by an entrepreneur I admire in some way. Every single one of these entrepreneurs has worked hard to achieve their dreams, and yet every one of them is vastly different from the next. Like every girl, I've admired Diane von Furstenberg for her style, charisma and that iconic wrap dress. To be honest, I didn't know much about her until I picked up The Woman I Wanted to Be, her latest book. Little did I know what an introspective look I'd get into the life of a real-life princess!

This is probably the first book that caught me uttering the words, "Girl, you have a charmed life." But that's only the half of it! In The Woman I Wanted to Be, Diane takes us through her life from four different lens: family, love, beauty and fashion. Naturally, the fashion part is a lion's share of her story, but you really understand how the soul inside the lady and the business have evolved together throughout the entire book.

You can't help but wish you were a part of Diane's inner circle as you read through the book. She speaks so fondly of everyone who's touched her life in some way, no matter how far back they go and whether or not she sees them anymore. Her fierce love for her family translates deeply into her business - and stems from the well of fierce love she's cultivated for herself through the years. 

What was my favorite lesson learned from Diane? I loved how she's owned every part of her life. Daughter. Mother. Sister. Cancer survivor. Inexperienced but wildly passionate entrepreneur. Jetsetter. Lover. Comeback kid. She repeats the message of 'becoming the woman I wanted to be' throughout the book, as well as her mantra, "Love is life." No matter how dark or bright her life might be, Diane knows love is the motivating factor in everything, and her journey of loving and finding herself has made for one truly enchanting life.

Check out Diane von Furstenberg's The Woman I Wanted to Be.

Fresh Jess Loves Ampersand as Apostrophe (+ Giveaway!)

The gifts just keep on comin' from Fresh Jess this holiday season!

Last month, I had the honor of hanging out with Jessica (owner) and Mady (production assistant) in the Ampersand as Apostrophe studio. I love meeting small biz owners, and what a treat to see Jess in her element. Amidst giant rolls of leather hides and shelves full of chains of all kinds, we talked bags, business and life. Ampersand as Apostrophe is one of the most coveted bag brands on ShopBop, Revolve and boutiques across the world. We're so lucky to have Jess and AasA based right here in the Emerald City!

In the studio

In the studio

Styling my one-of-a-kind grey Sideways Tote!   Alive & Well off-white knit beanie // Zara leather jacket // old plaid flannel shirt //     TopShop black skinny jeans    // black boots found on Poshmark // J.Crew knit infinity scarf // Target gloves

Styling my one-of-a-kind grey Sideways Tote! Alive & Well off-white knit beanie // Zara leather jacket // old plaid flannel shirt //  TopShop black skinny jeans // black boots found on Poshmark // J.Crew knit infinity scarf // Target gloves

With Jess at The Seattle Collective

With Jess at The Seattle Collective

Meet Banago Philippine Bags (+ Support Their Kickstarter!)

Last week, this Kickstarter campaign pitch landed in my inbox. Intrigued by the obviously Filipino word 'Banago' (pronounced ba-NAH-go), I clicked the email open and was immediately drawn in by the vibrant color and modern style of what I knew to be traditional Filipino straw bags. Founder Renée Patron graciously took time out of her busy New York Fashion Week schedule last week to hop on the phone with me and satiate more of my curiosity around Banago.

Banago was a flourishing accessories brand whose factory had been leveled during Typhoon Haiyan. Renée began teaching weavers, mostly women, to become self-employed business owners and to work within the safety of their own homes. Before Haiyan, Banago grew to help provide for the livelihood of over 400 artisans, who became leaders in their communities. Renée herself is a veteran of the fashion industry, with experience in everything from design to production to distribution. Her solid reputation helped land Banago's high-quality, high-fashion bags on the shelves and in pages of Nordstrom, Anthropologie, J.Crew, VogueLucky Magazine and more. 

Watch Renée tell the full Banago story here:

It's just too rare to see a Filipino shine in any industry, even as we've found ourselves in virtually every corner of the world. Renée's hard work cemented Banago's place in all of these retailers and magazines, and for that I admire her.

I want to help Renée and her team restore their factory, their homes and their lives that were destroyed by Haiyan, and hope you do too. The Pintados bag is about to be the 'It' bag of the season 'round these parts!