How a Disney Movie Helped Me Understand Moving to Silicon Valley

“I miss Minnesota.”

Those words uttered by the main character during the climax of the Inside Out movie resonated with me as the pending tears dripped down my face, and likely into my last handfuls of popcorn. A huge animation fan and even bigger supporter of Disney, the storyline, message, and character development of Inside Out spoke to me like an echo of my own story.

Brice and I on our recent trip to Yosemite National Park

One of our first vacations after we moved, to Yosemite National Park

In 2012, my partner and I packed up our Jeep, said tearful goodbyes to our family and headed west to Silicon Valley, California. Brice had accepted a job with Apple and we were on our new adventure to grow our careers and life together. I never imagined the emotional journey that I was about to embark on- I thought it would be all Instagram #foodporn posts and iPhones raining from the sky. Nope.

Instead, I felt so alone and alienated as I entered the foreign land of Silicon Valley. It is one of the most diverse, expensive, and tech-rich regions of the United States. “You should need a passport to come here,” I mentioned to Brice as we settled in our new apartment. No one wanted to talk about the weather. People didn’t have the same warm-fuzzies when greeting each other. And what the heck was with all of the abandoned shopping carts?

Slowly, I began to adjust. My “core memories” from Minnesota were touched with sadness while I struggled to create new ones. Brice and I started a hiking group and I learned to somehow move my body 10 miles through giant Redwood and Sequoia trees. I began to appreciate the accessibility of having my lunch delivered to my door and someone to valet my car anywhere within San Francisco with the touch of a button. I recently did a Global Float Silent Disco.

It hasn’t been easy, but I created new “friendship islands” and while watching Inside Out, I was able to finally feel acceptance that, no, I wasn’t alone in my journey through this transition. It was an invaluable moment of clarity that hit me in the stomach like a steel-toe boot. Sometimes to keep moving forward, what we need is validation. That we aren’t alone and the outcome will be better than we ever could have expected.

Fast forward to 2015.

Fast forward to 2015.

 

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Geocaching Maker Event: Get Creative

As I’ve written before, Geocaching is My Thrift Shop, and now I’m ready to spread the love by beginning to make and hide a geocache. I’m excited to be hosting a Geocache Maker Event co-hosted by Bay Area Explorers.

Never geocached before? Now’s the perfect time to make a cache and own your new interest! If you’re still unsure about geocaching, check out the video below:

Check out some of my favorite finds from a hike in the Bay Area below:

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Please RSVP for the upcoming Geocache Maker Event in Mountain View!

Check out ideas for your cache on my Pinterest Board:
Follow Kelsey Pollock’s board Geocaching – Maker Ideas on Pinterest.

Holiday Fashion: Classy and Tailored

Cranberry sauce. Long drives. Cool breezes. It’s the holidays! I was so lucky to have the privilege to spend my Thanksgiving in Minnesota and enjoy the snow. Living in the Bay Area I don’t have the “blessings” of scooping snow or feeling -2 F temperatures. But, I do enjoy cleaning my parents patio of that cold, white stuff when I’m home.

My favorite moments of the holidays so far, centered around fashion:

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My Iristocracy necklace I got from the recent Polyvore Meetup: Tailored to You and a Sanctuary Clothing vest from TJ Maxx.

Merona Berry Dress

This is one of my favorites- my work holiday party for Palo Alto University. I’m wearing a Merona dress from Target. I also have Bandolino booties and my Iristocracy necklace which are wardrobe staples.

Portland VIntage Cape

This is one of my favorite winter outfits- a cape I found at a vintage store while on a trip in Portland, a vintage belt, Banana Republic sloan pants in burgundy and Frye boots.

Enjoy your holidays! Dress warm and be grateful.

Polyvore Meetup: Tailored to You

Last Friday I attended the Polyvore Meetup at their HQ to hear from fashion experts, successful Polyvore users, and the CEO, Jess Lee.

A few photos and a set I created during the event:

Career | Life | Fashion

 


J Brand loose jeans
$170 – theoutnet.com

Hoss Intropia long boots
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Brown leather bag
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Sonix tech accessory
$37 – nordstrom.com

STELLA McCARTNEY sunglasses
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Morning Gloryville San Francisco

Morning Gloryville San Francisco events are described as “Rave Your Way Into the Day is an immersive morning dance experience for those who dare to start their day in style”. I’ve now attended two Rave Your Way Into the Day Morning Gloryville events and I cannot recommend them enough for people that want to start their day in a positive and loving way.

Yesterday’s event was no exception- Brice and I brought our friend Megan along and we danced continuously for 1.5 hours. I was energized afterwards and love the experience of dancing with a lot of people willing to express themselves however they see fit. I was inspired by one fellow ravers neon blue hair- I wish I had the confidence to dye my hair that color!

Morning Gloryville SF

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Photos from September Rave Your Way Into the Day:

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Road Trip Wrap-Up: California and Oregon

Top three things I learned on our road trip from the Bay Area to Oregon and back:

  • In a previous strategy of firefighting- people would jump out of airplanes with only the supplies they could carry (usually a shovel and an axe) to fight raging wildfires in the Oregon wilderness. They were called the Siskiyou Smokejumpers.
  • Morning Gloryville, a morning rave dance party focused on positive energy and an inviting atmosphere, started in London in 2013 and has spread to 11 cities throughout the world.
  • In Oregon, it is against the law to pump your own gas. You can ask an attendant to hand you the pumping nozzle, but you cannot bring it from the pump to your car yourself and can be fined up to $500. This was a law enacted to create jobs in Oregon, according to a local citizen.

Read More

An Open Letter to the Iowa State University VEISHEA Task Force

On Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at Iowa State University a group of students and Ames, Iowa community members gathered near Campustown and caused considerable property damage resulting in one student becoming seriously injured. The following day Wednesday, April 9, 2014 Iowa State University President Steven Leath announced that at 5:00 pm the same day, all VEISHEA-related activities would cease. On Friday, April 25, 2014 an Open Forum by the VEISHEA Task Force will be held at Iowa State University to hear from the community and present a final report and recommendations by the end of June 2014 to President Steven Leath.

 This is an official submission and open letter to the meeting of the VEISHEA Task Force from two proud Iowa State University Alumni:

Brice Pollock: B.S. Mechanical Engineering ’10, M.S. Computer Engineering / Human Computer Interaction ’12

Kelsey Pollock: B.S. Apparel Merchandising, Design, and Production ‘10

First and foremost my husband, Brice Pollock and I feel that the VEISHEA acts of rioting and destruction of public property are without reason, ridiculous and pointless. However, we feel that the both Iowa State University (ISU) and the Ames community have taken an aggressive and arguably unnecessary approach to its “house party problem” adding to an already tense and distrustful relationship with students. Especially in issues related to alcohol, the University has taken this combative approach with the student body, instead of using them as a resource and a partner. We feel this may be tapping into a much larger issue as a nation, but will focus on specifically, ISU’s proverbial ‘alcohol problem’. Read More

Bring Out the Bright

It’s topping out here around 80 + degrees in the Valley and I’m so ready for it! Not that I can complain, “winter” here is made up of a few passing sprinkles and clouds. Though it still feels good to have a warm breeze.

Banana Republic has come out with these fabulous bright prints that are just way too happy to keep in the closet. I got the BR Hampton-Fit Blue Floral Crop on the website in a long- I’m 5’8″ and like the look of ankle crop pant.

I promise you’ll get at least one compliment while wearing these.

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Seriously, how fun are these pants.

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Geocaching is My Thrift Shop

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Have you ever been Geocaching before? Brice and I recently started searching for “treasure” everywhere from a stop signs to picnic benches. People all over the world hide these small containers with “treasures” in secret locations located by GPS coordinates. It’s easy to get involved and a fun way to get outside. You’ll never guess the lengths we went to in our attempts to find one of our geocaches…

Yesterday, we went to Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve and did an 8-mile trek through Limekiln and Priest Rock trails. Highly recommended for easy access hiking with well-maintained trails and great views of the Santa Cruz mountains and Silicon Valley. We found this through Bay Area Hiker– a great resource for light and adventurous hikers alike.

What did I wear? Northface shirt, a Target hat with a ponytail hole, Ruby Ribbon leggings, and Under Armour shoes. I also kept my REI long sleeve on hand for when it got a little breezy. Sierra Azul Outfit Brice was wearing Lululemon athletic shirt and their new Kung Fu yoga pants, and Asolo hiking boots. He’s training for a backpacking trip in Ohlone– that’s the reason for the big pack. Brice Seirra Azul We saw a lot of blooming wildflowers. This is my favorite season to hike ridgeline trails because it gets way to hot in the summer and everything looks dead. WildflowersSierraAzul We also saw a lot of cute animals, especially this cute little gopher.

Geocache Thrifting: While Geocaching I found a homemade survival bracelet, trail-fashion ready. 🙂 Also found an old Cary Grant DVD. Be sure if you take something from a cache, you return a token of your own. We don’t really geocache for tangible items, but the adventure itself. It’s still fun to find something you can wear, and for free- right? GeocachingFind What’s Behind Those Bushes? One of our last cache’s, we were looking for a nano cache and were rustling around all over two huge rusted-out pipes. Nano cache’s are normally magnetic and very small- you have to feel around and look very closely at objects around you. We searched for a long time and were about to give up when we tried one more time near the pipes and I was using my phone flashlight to rummage around to the left of the structure when I looked a foot beyond my hand and there it was. A rattlesnake.

Acting completely out of character and did not scream or cry, but calmly asked Brice to walk towards me very quickly (he was on the other side of the pipes). Both being pretty rattled, we hiked pretty briskly the .05 mile back to the car. Snakes are definitely not my thing and I usually have a complete melt-down if one is slithering about. Lizards, prairie dogs, salamanders, spiders, event marmots are totally cool. But snakes- just make my skin crawl. The odd thing is that while Brice shot a few photos (from a safe distance) this snake never did move, put it’s head up or rattle. Scary, right? We were taught that rattlesnakes will almost definitely make a loud, obnoxious rattling sound if something makes them feel threatened. We still have no clue why it seemed so out of it.

Would you have seen this in the bushes?
Sierra Azul Rattlesnake (This photo is completely unedited.)

How about now? We couldn’t get him/her all the way in the shot without moving bushes and possibly provoking it. Yes, my hand was under these bushes. Uncool. SierraAzulSnake   (This photo is edited.)

We sure celebrated life tonight, as my mom suggested after hearing the story. I am so thankful that this ‘rattler’ was having an off-day and didn’t feel the need to bite.

Signing off with this little lizard we found and some photos of the picturesque views:

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Happy ISU Fashion Week From Allison + Kelsey

It’s Fashion Week at our alma mater and we (Kelsey and Allison) want to wish you a Happy Fashion Week!

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We are excited to collaborate and style our fashion show t-shirts for you today. We are also excited to give you some insight into The Fashion Show and reflect back on our experiences planning it in the Spring of 2010.

In the Spring of 2010, we worked together along with many others on The Fashion Show. The Fashion Show was a class that we took as an elective for in Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Production (AMDP). We were in many of the same classes and we loved working together in them because of our similar personalities, strong work ethic, ambition, and merchandising talent.

Kelsey served on the Sponsorship Committee and partnered with local businesses to gain support for the Fashion Show, which was gaining popularity with guest designer Rolando Santana. Allison served as a co-director for Behind the Scenes Day which was a campus visit for prospective high school students that happened the day before the show.

Today, the Fashion Show frequently sells out the 2,747 seats in Stephens Auditorium. Committees collaborate to put together a 2-hour show featuring Iowa State University (ISU) student designers productions. After the Fashion Show, all of the winning outfits are displayed at the ISU Morrill Hall Textiles and Clothing Museum.

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This year, the Fashion Show sold t-shirts to Alumnus living out of the Central Iowa area, which we are so excited about. We wore our 2014 Fashion Show t-shirts to work recently and were so proud to tell all of our co-workers and friends about our memories at ISU.  Take a look to see how we styled our t-shirts below.
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Want to see us walk the runway take a look at the video!

(Video Credit: Iowa State University)

Exclusive Event: Bay Area Fashionista C.Wonder Shopping Party

Join San Jose Polyvore Meetup for a exclusive shopping event hosted by popular blogger, Bay Area Fashionista at C.Wonder in Santana Row this Thursday April 3, 2014 from 6pm-8pm.

My favorite C.Wonder items in a Polyvore set:
 

San Jose Polyvore Meetup: Bay Area Fashionista C.Wonder Shopping Party

 
RSVP by Wednesday April 2 to: Santanarowevents@cwonder.com
 
Learn more about C.Wonder:

The Idea of C. Wonder from Burch Creative Capital on Vimeo.

Año Nuevo State Park: Elephant Seals + Pups!

Last weekend, my sister-in-law visited us in the Bay Area and we took her to Año Nuevo State Park, which has been on our bucket list since we moved here. Brice and I being big animal-lovers, this is the ideal weekend spot for us.

It’s important you purchase tickets ahead of time if you are planning to go between December 15 and March 31, as during the mating and pup season they sell out. I love ranger-guided walks because you get a live perspective of the area and an understanding of the foliage and it’s history. Plus, they show you the coolest places to see animals!

Año Nuevo State Park

Yep, took a selfie with an elephant seal. Take that, Ellen DeGeneres.

Año Nuevo State Park

My husband, Brice, and sister-in-law, Jillian. They are enjoying the view.

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Año Nuevo State Park

 

Our ranger guide  + hiking group:

Ranger Guided Tour Ano Nuevo State Park

Friday OOTD: Versatile Maxxinista

This evening, I’m attending the Nordstrom Beauty Trend Event and wanted to wear something I could easily transition from workwear to evening wear. I also don’t want to look totally clueless about beauty [makeup] because, well, I am.  I have just recently added Primer to my morning makeup agenda. Other then that I don’t do fake eyelashes, sponges, BB creme…etc. I tell people I can dress “everything from the neck down” which means I can put together an outfit, but left to my own devices I would leave makeup to the wayside.

So, for tonight, I slathered on my best Laura Mercier Primer and got together an outfit that would be acceptable for a Nordies Beauty Trend event.

Here’s the quick rundown:

Wish me luck as I try my best not to pick up bottles and beauty tools tonight and say- “What the heck is this?!”. I have a tendency to do that.

Banana Republic Tee and Maxi Skirt

 

Can you catch a glimpse of my hubs taking my photo. #Bloggerproblems….

 

 

Banana Republic Tee and Maxi Skirt

 

Friday OOTD: Spring Consigment Fashion

Had a meeting with some of my work leadership today and wanted to keep things professional and fun. Paired a Banana Republic shift with a white seersucker blazer. The BR shift I got from Crossroads Trading Co. in San Jose for $6! Of course, some of my favorite Chloe and Isabel pieces are the square stud earrings and pendant necklace that can be worn as a three-chain graduated or single pendant. I also love my Franco Sarto flats which were a TJMaxx find for under $30.

Banana Republic Jacket and Shift Dress

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Polyvore Meetup: Recap

We had a fantastic Polyvore Meetup this last saturday! Met some really talented bloggers and was able to connect with some down-to-earth shopkeepers at the Snake & Butterfly in downtown Campbell.  It was a very successful event and can’t wait to plan our next Polyvore Meetup!

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My cute Francesca’s skirt, Gap flats and Polyvore t-shirt I got from our first Meetup!

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Had a successful inventory sale from my work with Chloe and Isabel.

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How unique that the Snake & Butterfly has an organ in their coffee shop!

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This was my favorite piece from the shopping portion of our meetup. It was at 23 Skidoo Vintage shop.

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Photo Credit: Deanna Berger at Looks I Love Blog

Thanks for the tweet, Looks I Love!

This Saturday: Polyvore Meetup Boutique Crawl and Jewelry Pop-up

Join the third largest Polyvore Meetup this Saturday, March 7, 2014 in Downtown Campbell for a jewelry pop-up shop at the Snake & Butterfly and a boutique crawl through the many adorable Campbell Ave. boutiques!

What is Polyvore?

“Polyvore is a new way to discover and shop for things you love. Polyvore’s global community has created over 80 million collage-like “sets” that are shared across the web.”

Learn more about the Snake & Butterfly:

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Event Details for this Saturday’s Polyvore Meetup:

Meet up at Snake and Butterfly  at 191 E. Campbell Ave. at 2pm on Saturday, March 8th. Enjoy live music and entertainment on the street, a jewelry pop-up shop inside, and a boutique crawl starting at 3pm!

2-4pm – Jewelry Pop-Up Shop at Snake and Butterfly in Downtown Campbell, hosted by Kelsey of Rings and Redwoods (twitter.com/RingsandRedwood)

3-5pm – Downtown Campbell boutique crawl—Simply Smashing, Bombshell Boutique, Therapy, Urban Girl, 23 Skiddo Vintage, and more!

RSVP Today 🙂

Want to WIN a free piece of jewelry? Visit the Snake & Butterfly between 2-4pm for the jewelry pop-up shop and enter for a chance to WIN!

Pieces like these cute crystal hair pins will be priced at 50% off for $9:

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(P.S. You might recognize this jewelry as Chloe and Isabel. Nope, I’m not a merchandiser anymore, but am looking to sell my inventory at cost!)

Bay Area Fashion Week Oscars Party Recap

Finally!  A fashion event in the South Bay.  An organization, Bay Area Fashion Week, held an Oscars party and fashion show last evening at the Sheraton Four Points Mosaic Bar. It was fun to get together with another blogger, LooksILove (Deanna) and talk fashion during the show. Check out the video of the fashion show on Instagram: Bay Area Fashion Week Show I wore one of my favorite Marc Jacobs dresses (I’ve seriously had it for 5 years) with Steve Madden Shoes :-). I loved Deanna’s Gucci shoes with her Hollywood glam red dress. 2014-03-02 16.29.50 This was part of a Polyvore Meetup– join us for our next Meetup this weekend in Campbell, CA for a boutique crawl!

“Givin’ Him the Business” [Men’s Style]

My husband needs a wardrobe update. He’s a pretty basic guy, mostly jeans and a button up are his #OOTD style. And style for guys doesn’t turnover much- but there’s a point where there just needs to be some change.

Me and the hubs in our home state of MN

Me and the hubs in our home state of MN

To help him weed through the #NYFW S/S 14 craziness of oiled up dudes wearing not much more than a speedo walking down a jungle catwalk I created a Pinterest Board called “Givin’ Him the Business” [Men’s Style]  that can help him and guys alike in Silicon Valley get the style tips they need.

My top favorite looks:

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OOTD: Lola Dress and Camp Lamp Earrings

It’s early in the morning. Yikes! Last week I wore one of my favorite “business casual” aka super comfy outfits to work. I found this Lola dress at TJ Maxx and decided to pair it with my favorite Ruby Ribbon leggings. If you haven’t gotten your pair of RR leggings- do not pass go do not collect $200- get yours now! These things are amazing. They are like spandex but built into the leggings. But yet SO comfy.

These earrings- aren’t they adorable? I love adding accessories to an outfit that are just a little different. I found them in Campbell, CA at Bela La Vie Boutique. They were reasonably priced, too!

Lola Dress

 

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Goodbye, Chloe and Isabel!

Unfortunately, this weekend I made the difficult choice to end my partnership with Chloe and Isabel. A few things changed within the company and it became a conflict of interest with my current work.

Thank you all so very much for your support, patronage, and encouragement YOU all made this adventure possible. I love Chloe and Isabel jewelry and was fortunate to have this opportunity. Please check back on the blog [right here!], I Travel Therefore I Discover where I’ll be writing about fashion, life and lessons learned, and everything in between.

See ya real soon!

Chloe and Isabel

Me wearing some of my favorite C+I pieces!

Valentine’s Day Look: Peplum and Estate Glam Jewelry

My husband surprised me this weekend for a pre-Valentine’s day date night.  We ate at Tapislog Bistro for some Filipino comfort food- it was really different and interesting to try!  It was one of the first restaurants in the bay area to really impress me with their meat selection.  Then, we went to the Upright Citizens Brigade Improv Theater- which was partly founded by one of my favorite funny ladies, Amy Poehler.

Since he wouldn’t tell me where we were going, I had to dress neutral for several different atmospheres. I chose a Banana Republic Striped Ponte Short Sleeve Peplum Top and Sloan Slacks (my favorite!), with the Retro Glam Square Cut Crystal Necklace.  I added a chunky black heel that I have had since my freshman year of college. They go with everything!

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Valentine’s Day: Chloe and Isabel Treasures

Whether you are celebrating Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day, I pulled together a few top picks for that special someone.  I also created a section of my shop dedicated to the best pieces for your loved ones.

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Petite Marquise Crystal Collar Necklace +  Petite Baguette + Chain Bracelet: This is a great alternative Valentine’s Day gift because of the carribean blue color, but still has  a pop of red.

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Faceted Metal Heart Stud Earrings: These heart earrings are a no-brainer! They are great studs and even come with another set of earring backs.  Want to win these earrings? Visit the Looks I Love blog- my good friend Deanna has a giveaway!

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Petite Marquise Crystal Collar Necklace + Petite Marquis Foxtail Flex Bracelet: This set is so perfect for spring, because this rose color is so on-trend.  This color can be worn with another hot color for the coming months, navy.

Enjoy your Valentine’s (or Galentine’s) Day!

My Favorite Things: Holiday Edition

Being a Silicon Valley resident over the holidays is…different. But, in many ways- good different!  I’ve experienced so many different traditions, foods, and stories that have enriched my experience here.  I’ve also learned things like to avoid shopping big-box retailers from Black Friday to December 26.  As my mom might say, people get very “non 4-H friendly”!

I’d love to share some of my favorite things about this holiday season- it’s just the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year!

1. I have successfully made and loved Pumpkin Granola, a recipe found from SkinnyTaste.com.  It isn’t too sweet and it is very easy to make. Bonus! Your kitchen smells like a warm holiday gathering.

From SkinnyTaste.com

From SkinnyTaste.com

2. Caffè Misto at Starbucks with their Holiday Blend. Caffè Misto is literally translated into “coffee with milk”.  After reading a very interesting article about the pesticides, GMO’s, and insane amounts of high fructose corn syrup in Starbucks products, I found this drink to be a good compromise, as the main ingredients are simply milk and coffee.  Bring a peppermint stick with you and stir it into this drink for an extra treat!

3.  The Fossil Sydney Satchel. Need I say more?

Fossil Sydney Satchel $188

Fossil Sydney Satchel $188

4. Working retail, on my schedule. This holiday season, I have the privilege of being able to own my own business and helping others find very meaningful and unique jewelry for their family and friends.  My Bachelor’s degree is in Fashion Merchandising, and since I am not able to have a “day job” in this field, Rings and Redwoods Chloe and Isabel Boutique gives me the opportunity to have fun with style and merchandising- especially during the holidays. I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity!

More to come later…I’m sure I’ll brew up some other favorites before New Years Day!

Chloe + Isabel Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes: From Chloe + Isabel Design Director, Casey Driskill, on the Sacarab Statment Necklace:
“The Egyptian revival jewelry of the 1920s was our main source of inspiration here. The scarab beetle is an ancient good luck charm; we upped the glamour by adding in Deco details.”