Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Be There: The Queen Anne Dispatch Friends & Family Event is November 11th

Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Back when my husband and I were first married, we decided to throw our first party, a Valentine's Day themed affair. On Thursday of each week we taste tested a different label of champagne to figure out what we liked best. Even after the party was done, we continued our tradition of "Champagne Thursday". Happily, it continues to be "our thing" some 20+ years later. My older brother even wrote it into his movie, "Failure to Launch", where the characters played by Sarah Jessica Parker and Zoe Deschanel had their own Champagne Thursday! And I once found the saying on a birthday greeting card. All this had been very fun to see, but it originates with David and I. 

After what has been a very rough week for most of us, it is time to focus on the positive. Community, family and friends are important to all of us, and we have it right here on Queen Anne Hill. I love that everywhere I walk I see someone I know, that we share keys with our next door neighbors to help each other out, that I know I have friends a stones throw away. Whether you live here or elsewhere, now is a really good time to reach out to the people around you and find community wherever you live.

Queen Anne Mail and Dispatch has been part of the community since 1987, when it was founded by Jan Paolini. Inside a former grocery store, the business began as a personal mailbox and shipping place and has gone on to be the hub of community on Queen Anne Hill. Jan's daughters, Tara and Sabrina, have grown the business to include gifts, beautiful clothing and shoes, accessories, outdoor gear, things for baby....the list goes on and on. While still a full general and specialty shipping business, as well as personal mailbox and packaging supplies, they go beyond the ordinary. Tara has helped me figure out how to ship something I sold on Ebay, and Sabrina's fashionable eye has lead me to the perfect birthday gift. Those girls have got it going on, and so does their store.

I, for one, could use a good reason to pop a cork of bubbly and feel a sense of community surround me. Luckily for me, and for you, the annual Queen Anne Dispatch Friends and Family Event is on Friday, November 11th. The 20% storewide discount is good all day, but swing by after work or school from 6-9 pm to listen to music, catch up with friends, have a cocktail and a bite. I'll be there getting a jump on my holiday list, because it is where I always go to find things like hostess gifts and laugh out loud cards for all occasions, not to mention fabulous fashion.

And speaking of fashion, this is the perfect time to be thinking about holiday attire as well as gifts. I am a big fan of the tulle skirt, but because most of them go out in a puff of fabric, they aren't that flattering on my curvy frame. This O2 Collection skirt is the perfect tulle skirt. It is layered in beautiful ombré tulle that cascade down and not out, making it work beautifully. We layered it with a super soft cream knit mock turtleneck tank, and a gorgeous cashmere wrap cardigan sweater, all from Queen Anne Dispatch. The cashmere cardigan is a cocoon shape, but I wrapped and tied the front in a ballet sweater fashion. I also grabbed a pair of my own sparkling heels and a leather fur trimmed jacket to show how versatile this beautiful skirt can be with so many things you may own already. As for the pink bubbles, you can find a fabulous selection of those at Ken's Market, right around the corner at 2400 6th Avenue West. Love the Hill. 

Join Queen Anne Dispatch for the perfect end to a long week: friends and fashion, discounted shopping, music, drinks and so much more. See you there, friends. 

Queen Anne Dispatch Friends & Family Event 
Friday, November 11, 2016, all day discounts, festivities are 6-9 pm. 
2212 Queen Anne Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Fashion, Politics, and My Fifties

Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

I have been writing my blog since 2008 now, and have been working as the fashion and style writer for Vanguard Seattle for over three years as well.  Time really does fly when you are having fun, and I am certainly having that. My writing style has evolved right along with my personal style and I have learned an unbelievable amount in the past few years. Learning about local based designers, international design houses, trends, the progression of style and processes of creativity continue to shape me as a writer and as a person.

I love being a style writer. Ever since Editors Sarah Caples and Trenton Flock hired me to write for Vanguard I have felt grateful to do what I love. It has been amazing to find work that feeds my soul. It has been important for me to show our two kids how it matters to do what you love and to find the things in life that make you, well, YOU. It is a continually process that I embrace.

I also have the distinction of being the oldest style writer in the greater Seattle area. Being in my mid-fifties is absolutely freeing, frankly, and most of the time I love it. Being older gives me more freedom to be myself. I have no angst about who I am as a person, and that in itself is worth a few wrinkles. Do I wish I had smoother skin or were a little less in need of a good filter for a decent Instagram photo? Sure. But I also know myself so well by now that I know I will never stop learning or changing. I feel lucky.

Being older also has given me perspective, although things can sometimes get skewed a bit. Working in my home office is really amazing. The space is beautiful and peaceful. But it can also be isolating being a freelancer. Not that I get to avoid the office politics, they just aren’t in an office anymore. They are at the trunk shows and the runway shows and the parties. The Instagram feeds and the Facebook posts can get at me sometimes even if I know that they have only one foot in reality. That’s when I walk my dog or call my Dad.

I love taking my almost 16 year old daughter to fashion events when I can and she loves going. Since she is just a visitor to my work world and she is young, she also has that uncanny ability to see all the cliques and the small snubs that happen from time to time.  People are people and they do these things, even when they are grown ups. It was disappointing to have her watch, yet the people I really want to spend my time with are part of an organic process that works itself out. Through what I do I have met so many generous, amazing people whom I admire and love. Kindness is always cool.

And speaking of cool, I spotted this beret at Scotch and Soda and was smitten with its fabulous brooches attached. I love a good hat, but it has been awhile since I have done the beret. Since navy and black are super chic, it was the perfect choice to add to my wardrobe. My Isabel Marant Étoile booties are the perfect year round shoe. They look good with my leather pants but will be great with white jeans or a dress in the warmer months. This pair is sold out but the Isabel Marant Étoile Dicker Suede Ankle Boot would be fantastic for any month of the year.

I thought it would be fitting to wear my Marc by Marc Jacobs coat with my Hillary shirt that was also designed by Marc Jacobs himself. I wore it with my Clare V. x Vogue clutch made especially for members of Vogue VIP. As I am a major fan of Clare V, it was worth it just for the gift of this cool navy suede and gold clutch to become a member. But there are other perks like special discounts, custom stationary, live chats with Vogue editors and more. Check out all the details for Vogue VIP here. 

Have a safe and happy week my friends, and do what you do best: be your lovely self. xx