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The perfect spring handbag from Shop Suey Boutique

February 3rd, 2011

At the bottom you’ll find a special promotion for Daily Dish readers from ShopSueyBoutique.com!

About this time of year, when it still tends to snow once in a while and the temps are below 30, I get a serious case of spring fever. And nothing helps cure spring fever more than a fabulous new outfit or accessory, am I right, girls?

Shop Suey Boutique, which I’ve featured before on Boutique Cafe’s Daily Dish, has a wonderful collection of celebrity-inspired handbags (along with some fab jewelry and other accessories). They sent me the Cammy Hobo in off-white, which features super soft leather-like material, silver hardware and lots of pockets. (I love lots of pockets!)

Shop Suey Boutique Cammy Hobo

Though a little larger than my typical handbag, I love this design. It has plenty of room for everything, including my ginormous bag of lip gloss, an extra pair of gloves and extra Kleenex for the 20-degree weather we still have here in Utah. It has a large zippered center divider-style pocket, which would fit a netbook, or in my case, a notebook because I tend to forget everything unless it’s written down.

Shop Suey Boutique Cammy Hobo

Being my first off-white handbag, I wasn’t sure what I’d think of the color, but I am loving it! It goes with everything, even my favorite outfit: jeans and a t-shirt. And even though the Cammy Hobo is oversized for me, I could still find everything easily. Nothing got lost inside that bag, not even that travel pack of Kleenex!

Shop Suey Boutique Cammy Hobo

The only negative thing I was going to say about this bag is no longer true. Here’s the story: When I first got the bag, I thought you had to buckle/unbuckle it when you wanted to open/close it, which left this sort of floppy buckle hanging off the side of the bag. And then at one point I lost the buckle and thought it was a really, really bad design…

...until I realized it had a magnet on the back and you were supposed to keep the strap buckled and simply open and close the handbag using the magnetic closure. (Can you tell I’m a bit slow when I don’t get enough caffeine?)

Shop Suey Boutique Cammy Hobo

So there’s pretty much nothing I don’t like about the Cammy Hobo—including the price (less than $60)! Shop Suey Boutique even has a short video showing you the ins and outs of the Cammy Hobo. You can check it out here.

If you’re starting to feel the onset of spring fever, I recommend you take a look around ShopSueyBoutique.com. I guarantee you’ll find something to boost your wintry spirits—and at a price that will boost your budget!—Emily

*** Promotion! Cure your fever now with 20% off your purchase! Simply enter code cafe20 at checkout and you can start accessorizing for spring today! ***

Find the perfect handbag at Shop Suey Boutique

November 12th, 2010

There’s nothing like a new handbag, whether it be a fancy clutch for a holiday party or a hobo bag for a casual girls’ day out. Of course buying a new handbag every time you feel so inclined (or every time you fall in love with the latest fad) could really put a damper on your budget. Then again, if you found a tote you liked on Shop Suey Boutique (definitely not hard to do), you could totally afford to buy it . . . and a fancy clutch too!

Shop Suey Boutique

Shop Suey BoutiqueStarted by Heather Gray, a self-proclaimed shopaholic (my kind of girl!) and mother of two, Shop Suey Boutique has quickly become a go-to site for your fave celebrity-inspired fashion and “looks for less” styles you see featured in so many celeb magazines. Within days of seeing the hottest new trend in Hollywood, you’ll see that same trend on Shop Suey Boutique. The site also features some of the highest quality faux leather available—it looks and feels like real leather. You won’t find anything that looks super cheap or plastic in this boutique!

But enough background; let’s get into the handbags! Shop Suey Boutique sent me the Maureen satchel in gray to review on Boutique Cafe’s Daily Dish. This faux leather handbag features a woven design on the front with chic-yet-sturdy hardware and a detachable shoulder strap.

Shop Suey Boutique

It also has a good variety of pockets (two small interior storage pockets; cell and sunglasses pockets; outside zipper pocket) and the cutest interior fabric.

Shop Suey Boutique

Though I thought the bag would be slightly bigger (silly me didn’t check the dimensions), it is the perfect size for everyday use. And I would say its cell phone and sunglasses pockets are the best out of any of my handbags. They are the perfect width and perfect depth so I don’t lose a cell phone when I bend over to pick up yet another piece of Target popcorn Livi has dropped on the ground.

The Maureen satchel’s “leather like” material really is soft and leathery-feeling. Of course it doesn’t have that leather smell, but it also doesn’t have that leather price! The dark gray color goes well with everything and I’ve already had a couple compliments on it.

Shop Suey BoutiqueThe Maureen satchel from Shop Suey Boutique is a little subdued for my taste (my fault—I did pick the style and color), so I’m thinking I may need to change it out for the Meryll hobo in purple. I mean, can you blame me? It’s adorable! And for the price, why the heck not? While I’m online I may pick up the Helen bracelet to go with it!—Emily

* PROMOTION! Shop Suey Boutique is offering Daily Dish readers 20% off their purchase! Simply enter code cafe20 at checkout.


(Think of all the holiday shopping you could do . . . for you!)

Are you dressing–and living–your truth?

September 2nd, 2010

I’ll put it out there—I don’t love (or read) self-help books very often. I did read Leadership and Self-Deception and The Purple Cow while working at LoveSac (required reading) and enjoyed them, but I’ve started and never finished quite a few others. I take that back. I also read Simple Abundance years and years ago and enjoyed it…but never put much of it into practice.

Dressing Your TruthWhen I was sent Carol Tuttle’s Dressing Your Truth: Discover Your Personal Beauty Profile, I agreed to read it because beauty and fashion and all that goes with it does interest me a lot more than the “warm fuzzy” stuff. Plus, this blurb on DressingYourTruth.com caught my eye:

If you’ve ever felt defeated in a dressing room, faced a closet full of clothes but still felt you had nothing to wear, or thought you had to be skinny to be beautiful, Dressing Your Truth will be a much-appreciated reality check that will help you discover and celebrate your own, unique beauty!

Well, I do have a closet full of clothes and a few items that never get worn because let’s face it, they looked better on the hanger. And I’m always interested in discovering your “type” to see if I agree with what “they” say my type is. So I dove into the book, quickly skimming the first few parts so I could get right to Carol’s four types (Type 1, Type 2, Type 3 and Type 4). And then I was anxious to find out what that type meant for me as far as what my wardrobe should like look like, how I should wear my hair and makeup to complement my features, plus I was even interested in learning the challenges that particular type faces.

Type1

Um, Dressing Your Truth was spot on. Seriously. I’m a Type 3 through and through, though not everything matched 100%. (I’m not a natural salesperson, trust me.) Want to know what a Type 3 is like? You’ll have to read the book. It was fun to read about the other three types and think about people I knew who fit into each one. Question is, are those people being true to their type or trying to be another type and therefore not living their own truth? Good question!

To enlighten you a bit on why I’m pretty dang sure I’m a Type 3, here are some excerpts I highlighted from the book that had me thinking—if not saying—”holy crap!” Type 3 personalities:

  • “... get multiple tasks moving forward at the same time, so we can get a lot of things done at once” and we keep “a lot of plates spinning until all the tasks are finished.” {Like my mom says, someday I’m going to lap myself.}

  • “... will write on our to-do lists tasks we have already accomplished just for the satisfaction of checking them off the list!” {Been there, done that many times.}

  • “... see what needs to be get done, and often wonder why no one else is taking action, assuming the rest of teh world moves in your expression.” {I no longer assume anything but I do still wonder how my family can watch TV while dishes need to be done and counters need to be wiped. Any why doesn’t anyone else see those piles on the stairs?}

As a Type 3 I also have a tendency to be late wanting to get lots done and not being realistic about what can be accomplished in a given timeframe. I love to challenge myself (sprint triathlons this summer) and I walk with determination and a firm, brisk footstep. Just ask my parents about my firm, brisk footsteps…they hear them every time I walk across the kitchen floor.

What made me chuckle toward the end was this little note about the Type 3 woman:

It may have been hard for you to read from the front of the book to the back. You like to get to the point, fast, and pass by anything that appears to be too much detail. ... You like to finish things quickly and get on to the next thing.

Did I not state at the beginning of this review that I skimmed those first few chapters to get to the nitty gritty? Yeah, I’m a Type 3.

Type4

The beauty profiling Carol does in Dressing Your Truth is pretty awesome. And the transformations are just as amazing. The book is filled with stories like most self-help books, but what I love are the transformations you can watch online at DressingYourTruth.com. Real women, not skinny, size-0 models, learning how to show their beauty rather than “put on” beauty. Online you’ll find a whole community of women and tools and resources to become your own “Beauty Expert” in areas like clothing, makeup, hair, and accessories.

One last awesome quote from the book:

Ironically, consider the possibility that you have deemed your greatest gifts your biggest weaknesses and your natural beauty in your physical features as flaws.

Are you dressing—and living—your truth?

P.S. Here’s a great video showing the grand prize winner of the Dressing Your Truth Do-It-Yourself Makeover Contest. She’s a Type 3 too!


*** Giveaway! Carol is giving away five (5) copies of Dressing Your Truth: Discover Your Personal Beauty Profile! ***

Here’s how to enter. You can do as many of these as you’d like. Each one is worth one entry into our giveaway; please leave a separate comment for each one you do:

•  Leave a comment telling us what you’d most like to learn from Carol’s book.
•  Visit DressingYourTruth.com and register for Carol’s 7 free revolutionary beauty tips (for every Type).
•  Become a friend of Carol on Facebook. (If she hits her limit before you can, let us know you at least tried!)
•  Follow Carol on Twitter and leave a comment telling is you’re their newest follower.
•  Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL of your tweet.
•  Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL to your blog post.

Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: September 9, 2010 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Kristin Z. and Jacki A., two of the winners of the Dressing Your Truth giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

I love the pitter patter of little Foxpaws

May 11th, 2009

Foxpaws Shoes“Unique and fashionable bite-sized shoes for the little ones in your life.” Sound yummy? Foxpaws Shoes are that and then some! These little treats for tiny toes are quite possibly the most stylish shoes my little fashionista owns. (Even at 1 1/2 she loves jewelry, shoes and sunglasses so yes, she’s a fashionista already!)

Foxpaws Shoes are designed using the highest quality materials and “luxury comfort soles” so fashion beautifully meets function for little feet. The effect is the perfect accessory for any outfit, whether it’s his favorite jeans and t-shirt or her favorite party dress. You can bet no other tot will be sporting the same pair of shoes, and while that may not matter as much as later in life, it’s never to early to make a fashion statement.

Foxpaws ShoesMy little Livi received the Classic Giraffe shoes in size 6 (18-24 months). When I opened the box I swear I’d never seen such a fabulous pair of infant shoes in my life! Though a loafer style they reminded me of one of my favorite pairs of heels: black patent leather stiletto with a patch of leopard print over the toe. Before I know it Livi will be borrowing those heels, but until then she can strut around town in her Foxpaws. They are a little big for her now so we haven’t had any photo opps yet, but believe me, when she finally fits into them we’ll be snapping pics left and right!

What I love about Foxpaws Shoes is each one is truly one of a kind because of the authentic and unique real leather hides used in their construction. And though the website gives you a good idea as to the superior craftsmanship, it is best appreciated up close and personal. Trust me, these shoes are going to last many play dates and parties and will be passed down to the next lucky little girl.

Foxpaws ShoesFoxpaws Shoes carries a couple styles for boys but it’s the Cheetah Peek-A-Boo and Sleek Snake Boot that have me wishing they came in sizes larger than 24 months! What makes the company—and the shoes—even cooler in my book is their efforts to help abandoned and disadvantaged children in South America through the Orphanage Support Services Organization (OSSO). Foxpaws sends private donations to OSSO with each order to help sponsor children and orphanages in need. Foxpaws Shoes isn’t just another pretty shoe; it’s a shoe with style and substance!—Emily

* Promotion! Foxpaws Shoes is currently offering customers $10 off their order plus free shipping! Use code foxpaws09 when checking out. Hurry! This offer is for a limited time only!

Southern Proper Preppy Polos

May 10th, 2009

ClockIts

The preppy golf shirt with a little man on a horse has been replaced with a black lab insignia and its causing quite a stir with all. Southern Proper polo is the must have this season and it looks good on everyone! The adorable new golf shirts designed by preppy polo makers, Southern Proper have something for everyone.

Southern Proper has taken a classic and revamped it a bit to make it a current must-have. Ralph Lauren started the Polo shirt craze and I can remember it well! The polo paired with Girbaud jeans was the look everyone sported. This time around Southern Proper has designed a polo that has a flattering more narrow shape, but, still has room for those food baby days. The polo is a classic that looks adorable paired with just about anything.

I tried out my new green polo with a denim skirt and one of their equally cute headbands and set out for the day. It is always nice to receive unsolicited compliments from strangers and that is what this ensemble did for me! The post office teller told me she loved my bright grassy green polo. Then, to the grocery store and the bagger complimented on my cute new headband. Seriously…this does not happen!! Two unsolicited compliments within the hour?! What is unbelievable is that I then ran into a neighbor and first comment out of her mouth…”Where did you get that cute shirt?” O.k. with 3 compliments down and a big head b/c I now think I look pretty cute in this preppy attire I give all my praise to Southern Proper.

The golf shirts come in a wide array of colors and they also make Mens. The quality is superb. I love the fit. Sometimes a fitted polo ends up being too tight under the armpits which make me sweat—creating some lovely sweat circles..but not here. Adequate room to breath. The length is perfect as well. Not short, but, not too long. Just right.

The headbands were a bit too big for my head. I have a smaller head but I was disappointed with the fit. There was a little gap between my head and the band that I didn’t like and the headband kept sliding down, but again just may be my pinhead!-Amber

Available online at southernproper.com.

The HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition: The hottest clutch to hit the runway!

April 29th, 2009

HP Mini Vivienne TamOkay, I am about 99% sure this will be the coolest review of 2009. (Hey, I can’t see past July on the schedule so you never know!) I am 110% sure it’s the coolest review so far! And I used one of my Flip Mino—one of my most favorite reviews—to help vlog about how cool the HP Vivienne Tam Edition makes me look amazing the HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition is and how much I love it…and my daughter loves it, and my husband loves it, and my babysitter loves it and all my Twitter girlfriends love it… It is THE must-have gift for Mother’s Day!

First let’s judge this notebook by it’s cover. The HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition (I call her Vivi for short) is a digital clutch by award-winning designer Vivienne Tam. The cover features a peony design in scrumptious violets and reds, which you can find throughout her Spring 2009 collection. I only just found out the colors represent happiness, prosperity and good fortune in the Chinese culture. The “Enter” key even features the double happiness symbol! (So that’s what that symbol means!) If the case weren’t yummy enough, the Vivi comes with it sown protective Vivienne Tam silk sleeve…this baby has more silk than my closet!

HP Mini Vivienne TamThis mini-me version of a laptop (aka “digital clutch”) is only 10 inches long by 6.5 inches deep by less than 1 inch high and less than 2.5 pounds. The Vivi features a 10.1-inch diagonal HP Brightview Infinity widescreen display, HP Mini webcam, integrated mic, stereo speakers and a 92% full-size keyboard. But would I find substance when I looked beyond its chic and sexy exterior? Do runways have models?

HP Mini Vivienne TamInside the Vivi you’ll find Microsoft Windows XP, an Intel Atom processor, 60GB of hard drive space, WiFi and Bluetooth. (Yes, I sound like I know what I’m talking about but it’s more my husband telling me all this stuff is super nifty.) There are a slew of other impressive features but I’m all girl and get distracted by pretty things. You’re lucky I looked further than the peonies!

Here are my top five faves about the HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition and my top five non-faves:

Love

  • Design: Hello! It’s Vivienne Tam!

  • Size: Fits perfectly in my Kate Spade knock-off (see photo above).

  • Weight: Feels heavenly compared to my diaper bag.

  • Windows XP: Beats Vista an ol’ day. (If you want me to convert to Mac feel free to send me an iBook for review…)

  • Bluetooth/wireless: I look so cool typing away while noshing at Blue Lemon Bistro (see photo below).

Didn’t love

  • Key symbol color: Don’t get me wrong, the red keys are fabulous, but the dark gray used for the key symbols is fine in daylight but makes it really hard to see in darker settings (like Twittering while watching Celebrity Apprentice at night; see video).

  • Silk sleeve: Yes, it’s silk, but it is also a bit too large for the notebook. It needs to have a more snug fit and some way to secure it closed.

  • Envious people: Everyone wanted a piece of my Vivi and it made me rather uncomfortable.

  • Suboptimal handbag: I’m still on the lookout for the perfect handbag to complement the notebook. It may cost me a couple hundred dollars to find one.

  • Okay, couldn’t come up with number five, and as you can see numbers three and four were a stretch anyway!

HP Mini Vivienne TamUsing the aforementioned Flip Mino I put together a video documenting life with my HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition. I have used it more than the few minutes you glimpse in the video and I’m sure it would’ve been three times as long if this review had been scheduled post BlogHer ‘09. But you’ll enjoy catching almost the entire family involved with Vivi, including my husband. (Should I be worried?)

And the picture below? My daughter, who asks me almost daily if she can use my Vivienne Tam. Her expression, which you might recognize from the video, shows exactly how I feel when I’m typing away in such chic and sophisticated style…even in my pj’s. The runway-meets-everyday HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition is the perfect Mother’s Day gift!

The apple of my eye…and my wardrobe

April 27th, 2009

Shabby AppleI don’t own many dresses. I have a hard time finding ones that cover what I want covered and yet are still chic and stylish (and fun and flirty and sexy…). A good dress is often hard to find, and one that costs under $100 even harder. Thank heavens two women had the same dress-finding problem or we might never have the fabulous fashion- and figure-friendly dresses from Shabby Apple!

After years of not being able to find stylish dresses that covered enough skin to make you really feel comfortable (without wearing a tank top, cardigan or long slip), owners Emily and CK decided to do something about it. They visited trade shows, marketplaces and designer studios only to discover the problem was not that department stores weren’t buying the right dresses, but that designers weren’t designing them.

Shabby Apple is proud to offer you fantastic dresses that allow you to look fabulous, without having to compromise anything else. A return to what dresses were always meant to be — a one-piece outfit. No need to add anything…no tank tops, no cardigans, nothing (except accessories, of course!).


Sometimes the site simply says it best! But even that “about us” doesn’t do Shabby Apple justice. The collection features dress for every occasion, from Easter brunch to Saturday-night soiree, and for every body. “Every woman deserves to feel beautiful in a dress, but not all of us look like runway models. [Hear, hear!] Shabby Apple celebrates the short legs, curvy hips, straight waists and flat chests in all of us.” They even have an online fit guide to help you find the styles that “emphasize your assets.”

Shabby AppleI received the Daisy dress, which can be found under Flirty. (Sounds like my kind of dress!) This crisp, white, hail-the-sunshine eyelet dress has one of my favorite features of all time: puff sleeves. And for my shorter torso the dress’ empire waist and A-line skirt is perfect! As pleasant a surprise as the puff sleeves is its length—it actually hits my knees! (What I lose in torso I make up for in inseam…) The Daisy is fully lined so no impromptu—and embarrassing—bra sightings, plus its rayon/cotton blend fabric means it travels well. The yellow grosgrain ribbon isn’t attached so you can change up the dress simply by changing the ribbon! Traveling well is a really, really good thing since I have yet to wear this dress outside our home so I’ll be making up for lost time by packing it for our cruise in September. (It’s almost May and we’re still experiencing 30-degree weather at night and the rare 60-degree day. Are you kidding me?)

Others can vouch for Shabby Apple’s drool-worthy design. I know for a fact Daria is all over the Lois Lane and envisions herself wearing it at the BlogHer conference in July. I’m debating whether to don A Sunday Afternoon or Tender is the Night. Perhaps I should get both just to be safe!

Shabby AppleIn true Shabby Apple style you can’t forget the accessories, the little fashionista or the mama-to-be. Along with the delectable dresses you’ll find scrumptious jewelry, handbags and shoes for you, the sweetest dresses for little girls and belly-flattering maternity dresses. Shabby Apple leaves nothing to chance, especially style!—Emily

* Promotion! Shabby Apple is offering Daily Dish readers 15% off their purchase! Simply enter code SABoutique when checking out. Offer expires May 28th, 2009. (Think of it as a Mother’s Day present to yourself—you totally deserve it!)

Sing a different “eeny meeny” song

April 22nd, 2009

eenamariaWhen it comes to choosing your handbag for a shopping trip with your girlfriends or a night out on the town you often find yourself thinking eeny, meeny, miny, moe, which purse is the way to go? But once you’ve found eenamaria you won’t find yourself thinking that any longer!

eenamaria (aka “the urban nomad”) “walks faster because she knows where she’s going. impatient and enterprising, she’s the one you envy as she glides past you on her motorcycle in gridlocked traffic. she lives by different rules, rules that set her free.” I’m not sure if this eenamaria is a real person, but I so want to be her. Since I can’t actually be eenamria I will make do by channeling her sexy, secure, free-style spirit through one of her fabulous handbags.

Chelsea Boi, eenamaria’s current collection, can best be described with two words: eye candy. The vibrant colors, sleek styles and simple designs convey a fun chic-meets-street feel. The I Mean Bizness and Workin Weekend Baby totes are used and loved by moms for fashionably carrying all of their their children’s needs and even for use as a diaper bag.

eenamariaI received the All Night Clubber (the handbag, not the party boy) in gray. Bigger than a clutch but not so big it takes over your lap, the All Night Clubber is perfect when you need to grab and go. It has room for a wallet, cell phone, compact, lip glosses in every shade and car keys with some room to spare. Though I love the yummy cherry red color, I chose gray so it could easily go with any outfit. Plus I already have a red handbag and I like variety! Something else I learned about eenamaria? She pays attention to detail.The silver hardware is solid and solid and the bag is made really well.

Most of us have a collection of your typical, nondescript handbags and totes, which means more often than not we’re not living a sexy, secure, free-style life. Let eenamaria change things up a bit. Just before your next girls’ night out you may find yourself thinking eeny, meeny, miny, moe, sexy is the way to go!

eenamaria*** Giveaway eenamaria is giving away a Murse or Purse handbag from the Chelsea Boi collection (pictured at left)! Please visit eenamaria’s collection on eBags and leave a comment telling us your favorite eenamaria bag; include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: April 30, 2009 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Crystal B., the winner of the eenamaria giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

Wrap it up-Ash and Dans scarf

April 14th, 2009

ClockIts

Spring is here, but, somedays it still feels like winter. The sun is out but chilly air still lingers. So, what does an impatient girl do that already has busted out all her spring digs do? Add a jersey scarf from ash & dans!

Traveling from cold West weather to Caribbean sunshine- wearing one outfit on a plane…what does one wear? The ash and dans wrap scarf. This comfy scarf will double as a blanket on the plane. From 20 degrees to 90 degrees, the scarf will work in both climates.

Gotta night out in your adorable little cocktail dress but can’t find the dressy, yet not too dressy wrap? Try ash and dan’s lace trimmed scarf. The lace detail adds a little class to the wrap.

Wanna look like an A-lister? Why not buy one item that can be worn with everything and is worn by the stars. The jersey ash & dans wrap scarf.

I gotta say i am lovin’ this scarf. I got the grey frannie style and it goes with everything…so it is constantly being worn. I love the dark charcoal color detailed with gorgeous ivory lace trim on the bottom. The material is this amazing jersey that feels like the silky jersey sheets made for sleep time. The wrap scarf is the exclamation point for every wardrobe it accessorizes. That’s a wrap for this review. I have nothing but praise for this wrap scarf. -Amber

Available online at ashanddans.com

I love Simple Shoes’ “Entire” collection!

April 8th, 2009

Simple ShoesI think we’ve only done one other eco-friendly shoe review on the Daily Dish, and that was TOMS back in June of ‘07. It’s about freakin’ time we had another one, especially with how stylish eco-friendly apparel and accessories are these days.

Take today’s review on Simple Shoes. There isn’t one shoe in this line I don’t love. (Okay, maybe the Teetoe isn’t my favorite but I’m having a hard time getting into the whole gladiator look anyway.) With styles for men, women and children, this line of sustainable shoes is fashion friendly, wardrobe friendly and definitely environmentally friendly.

Simple Shoescompany uses a variety of materials in their shoes, from bamboo to hemp to wool. It’s amazing how chic their styles are considering they also use recycled carpet padding, plastics and recycled inner tubes! Just look at the Entire, which I received in the yummy chocolate brown. First thing I noticed? They are super cute. The second thing? They are super comfy. Though I only wore them around my home (keep in mind it was still snowing as of last week!), I could tell they’d be my go-to shoes this summer.

These little peep-toe sandals are from Simple Shoes’ ecoSNEAKS line and boast a silk upper with certified organic cotton knit linings. Now that’s the sort of normal stuff. What’s not so normal and rather cool is what else makes up this shoe: an outsole that used to be a car tire, a vulcanized rubber sidewall and heelcap and 100% post consumer paper pulp foot form. Wow! All that in super sweet peep-toe!

Simple ShoesAnd not forgetting sustainable when it comes to the packaging, Simple Shoes are shipped in a “totally state-of-the-art/back-to-the-future post-consumer recycled box.” Some other nifty things about Simple Shoes:

  • Glue-free assembly: By using sewing machines instead of extra glue to assemble the shoe components, their new Glue-Free Assembly reduces the amount of glue used to less than 5mL (think about the size of a thimble compared to the two shot glasses of glue that are usually required).

  • Silk: It keeps your feet cool when it’s warm and warm when it’s cool. Silk is featured on styles ranging from slides to sporty sneakers.

  • Kids: They have great prints for infants and kids this spring but they company is even more excited about the new toddler collection being introduced in Fall 09. (I am really excited to since we’ll be reviewing a pair from the new collection this August!)

Eco-friendly and sustainable can be very fashionable words, especially when applied to footwear from Simple Shoes. Pick up a pair or two and do something good for your closet and the environment!—Emily

Put a little spring in their step!

April 1st, 2009

Eleven CollectionLike my kids need any more spring in their step—they’re already bouncing off the walls, down the hallway and on the furniture. Fortunately by “spring” I mean Eleven Collection’s latest spring styles. How fitting that today’s review follows right on the heels (again, pun totally intended) of my See Kai Run review from Tuesday. Eleven Collection and See Kai Run are sister companies; fortunately these sisters have the same stylish taste in children’s shoes!

My first review of Eleven Collection was in November when George received his Luc boots. Those sleek black boots have officially made him the coolest kid at church, and I’m not just saying that because I’m his mom and think all my kids are super cool. Those boots are stylin’, sturdy, comfy and easy to get on and off. Plus their unisex style means our little Livi will get to follow in George’s footsteps in about two years. With Eleven Collection shoes you can bet your 529 plan they’ll last through two if not three kids and still look great. Here are the basics behind Eleven (from my previous post):

Eleven shoes feature soft leather uppers, and flexible, durable rubber soles for traction. With a cushioned insole and easy on-and-off Velcro or zipper closures, the shoes are just as child friendly as they are style friendly. Plus they are low maintenance (wish my kids were too) because the high-quality leather makes them naturally water resistant. You only need to use a mild detergent or leather cleaner to and damp rag to keep them looking their Sunday best.

(And yes, I still wish my kids were low maintenance!)

Eleven CollectionGeorge received the Joaquin from Eleven’s new spring line. The Joaquin is a simple yet classy brown leather sandal with a solid Velcro closure that’s sure to keep his feet in his shoes even when running at breakneck speed down a grassy hill. Plus the style is perfect for church, so he’ll still be the coolest three year old in his class. That’s all that really matters, right? He’s anxious to wear them but I have a feeling he won’t enjoy the feeling of snow between his toes. I’m thinking it should be at least 60 degrees outside before slipping on the Joaquins.

Eleven CollectionMy other favorites from Eleven Collection’s latest styles are the Caper, Kasota and Laura—that pink and red Mary Jane is to die for! Similar to See Kai Run, the price tag on these shoes is a bit higher than what you might pay at a big box retailer but they will last a lot longer (multiple children for sure) and are a lot healthier for your little one’s feet. Check out their sale page where you can pick up a pair of Elevens for as little as $20. That kind of price puts a little spring in my step!—Emily

** Giveaway! Eleven Collection is giving away one pair of their super sweet shoes, winner’s choice! Please visit Eleven Collection’s website and leave a comment here telling us your favorite style. Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: April 9, 2009 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

FOUND. The perfect sweater.

March 31st, 2009

I’ve been known to wear repeater outfits, but this week I have taken repeat to a whole new level. I have worn the same sweater 6 days in a row. That is right 6 days!

I received the Lightweight Cotton Ribbed Tie Wrap (CD2050) from Margaret O’Leary collection and I can’t take it off. Perhaps on the day of rest, I will give the sweater a rest! This sweater is my go-to with every outfit. The color is a beautiful sea color that actually can be paired with many hues.
Margaret O'Leary
First day I put it over a white blouse with my jeans. Second day it was all about sweats but the sweater helped upgrade my look a bit. Third day I wore it with a patterned shirt and khakis. Fourth day I thought I’d go without, but, the weather turned and my dress needed another layer, so the sweater got worn again. Fifth day was my usual repeater from day one and the sixth day I paired it with a turtleneck b/c the weather was now freezing! So, you can see—it is the perfect sweater. Not to bulky, but enough warmth. Not to bright, but enough color. Not to trendy , but, enough style to make a statement. It really is the perfect sweater for all seasons. The perfect sweater for all shapes.

Margaret O’Leary is known for high quality yarns, and for her blend of timeless and classic design elements with modern, artistic fashion sensibilities. This fashion designer not only has nailed the perfect sweater she has also created the perfect spring shirt.
I also received the cotton silk voile pintuck tunic (679CS) and loved its look with denim. I didn’t sport this blouse 6 days in a row, but, I can see how this basic would get some nice use through Spring and Summer.
Margaret O'Leary

Margaret O’Leary’s collection is carried in boutiques all across the country. If you are searching for the perfect basics and willing to pay out for quality stuff that will look good and last. Check out her incredible line online at margaretoleary.com.-Amber

The go-to sweater and the adorable spring tunic blouse are available online at margaretoleary.com.

I just can’t get enough!

March 30th, 2009

See Kai RunThat phrase is from one of my favorite 80’s tunes (I shouldn’t have to tell you but it’s “Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode…can you believe it’s a Wikipedia entry?!) and it runs through my head whenever I catch site of a pair of See Kai Run shoes (even the ones my kids have worn umpteen times).

No matter how many times we feature See Kai Run on the Daily Dish, I can’t get enough! Hopefully you’re not satiated either or we’ll have to stop reviewing their latest and greatest and simply-the-cutest styles and you’ll miss out on one of our favorite giveaways—and some fabulous shoes to boot (pun totally intended)!

See Kai RunToday’s featured shoe is from See Kai Run’s new Spring Collection, and it is to die for! The Jennae takes the peep-toe style and turns it into a shoe fit for your mini me! It comes complete with butter-soft sheepskin leather in a delicious raspberry color accented with cream piping and the sweetest little flower on the strap. Like other See Kai Run shoes it features a flexible sole, which makes it perfect for growing feet but can hold up to all those outdoor garden parties. Unfortunately, we live in Utah and you won’t find garden parties until mid June. Peep toe and snow don’t mix well!

In true See Kai Run style, the Jennae has a generous width with a wider toe box. This means even the chubbiest of feet can wear See Kai Run shoes. Honestly, we have not had a pair that hasn’t fit perfectly, and I’ve tried out many pairs and two sets of chunky feet! The shoes also have a breathable inner sole and lining, so no juicy feet even in warmer weather. (Maybe I should see about getting some custom-made SKR’s for myself!)

See Kai RunFor some the price tag that comes with a pair of See Kai Run shoes is a bit high, but I’m telling you, they are more than worth it. These shoes last forever, and once your little one has grown out of them you can hand them down to the next—often in near perfect condition. And if you don’t have a “next,” See Kai Run shoes have great resale value. Plus right now See Kai Run has a few of their styles on sale in both their main collection and their newer Smaller line. Just try to control yourself when looking at the new Spring Collection. Like myself (and Depeche Mode), you won’t be able to get enough either!—Emily

** Giveaway! See Kai Run is giving away one pair of shoes, winner’s choice! Please visit the See Kai Run website and leave a comment telling us your favorite SKR style. Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: April 7, 2009 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Sky S., the winner of the See Kai Run giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

ENDfootwear is the end to all running shoes

March 24th, 2009

ENDfootwearAnyone that knows me knows I am a walker. I don’t run. I walk. But, anyone that has seen me this past week…has seen me RUN.

Reason being is I received a pair of ENDfootwear PBnJ running shoes and with the shoes on my feet I pretty much now like running, which is reason alone for me to love these shoes.

I am an avid walker. I walk 5 days a week, but, sometimes I wish I were a runner. I like the way running makes you feel. You lose your breath. You sweat. You get tired. All the things that indicate you are really working out. Running really conditions my heart. So, for all those reasons I try to do the walk/run thing occasionally, but, I always seem to end up walking.

Turns out my shoes may have been the problem (yeah I am sure it is ALL that…nothing to do with my lack of determination or anything;) But, really I do think the shoes were a bigger problem than I ever realized. I buy Nike’s-always have. I usually buy whatever is on sale. For the most part, I like what I buy. They fit me well and they look good. But, sometimes you don’t know what you are missing until you experience something different.

ENDfootwear sent me a pair of PBnJ running shoes and now I know what I have been missing! They really are onto something. Minimalist construction that streamlines mesh webbing and supportive lining make it a light-weight shoe that gives you a skip in your step. The shoes feel drastically different from my other running shoes. They support my arches but feel light in all the other areas of the shoe.

The construction of the shoe is made with natural materials like bamboo-infused linings and non-toxic glues eliminating all unnecessary plastics and components to make it a very light running shoe.

And let’s not forget to talk about the looks of the shoe…
It is a simple design with rich colors. Ranging in 3 colors in the PBnJ women style: sapphire and white, celery and white or white and grapefruit. I like the simplicity of having one main color along with an accent color. Nothing too loud or obnoxious down below. Just a simple running shoe that is very streamlined in the color and design. Environmental Neutral Design shoes might be just the thing to get you running.

Available at R.E.I or online at ENDfootwear.com.

Premium denim without the premium price

March 16th, 2009

Alias Premium DenimIf you’re new here then let me bring you up to speed: I have an addiction to jeans. I also have addictions to shoes and t-shirts, but jeans is probably top on the list. Oh, yes. Chocolate is in the mix too but that level of addiction changes related to stress and hormones. Anyway, it should come as no surprise that I jump at any chance to review a new denim label on the Daily Dish.

What makes today’s review super cool is I actually won these jeans after commenting on another site’s giveaway. I never win anything, so winning a pair of jeans was a dream come true! (I have simple dreams: world peace, an end to hunger and a great fitting pair of jeans..for free.) Now, that’s super cool for me but what makes it super cool for you? The “Sweet Dee” jeans I won from Alias Premium Denim ended up fitting like a high-priced pair of designer jeans yet the price is far from designer. In fact it is even less than your favorite pair of jeans from GAP! At only $40 I knew I had to share my Sweet Dee jeans with our Daily Dish readers. Okay, maybe not literally but figuratively for sure!

Here is the short and sweet of Alias Premium Denim (i.e. the story behind the Sweet Dee jeans):

We were tired of paying hundreds of dollars for premium denim. We loved the fit and style but didn’t love what it was doing to our bank account. We tried less expensive jeans, but just couldn’t find the right style and price combination. Since we couldn’t find it, we decided to create it! 18 months of design and development later and Alias Premium Denim was born, for all the other girls out there that want to look HOT without burning a hole in their jean pocket.

Alias Premium DenimThat’s me, that’s me! I want to look hot without breaking the bank! I received my Sweet Dee jeans, immediately ran into my room to try them on (I do that with pretty much every pair of jeans…self-control goes out the door with denim), and loved what I saw in the mirror—front and back! The pockets are super cute (a big plus for me) and the fabric and fit were great. They had a longer length, which is totally what my short-torso-long-leg frame needs, and the cut was super flattering. The only issue I had was a slight gap in the back of the waistband, but this is a common occurrence for me and my tailor knows me well. A size 28, which is what I received, fits a 4 to 6, so it’s not surprise there was a little “give” in the waistband. But I loved these jeans enough to spend a few extra dollars to take the waist in just a titch. When I spend upwards of $80+ dollars for a pair of jeans, I’d rather not tack on any extra tailoring fees. But with Alias Premium Denim and that $40 price tag, I can totally afford it!

Right now Alias Premium Denim only has one style, the Sweet Dee, (dark wash, low rise, bootcut). Fortunately the bootcut is a universally flattering fit and never goes out of style. They will be introducing their second style soon and you can enter to win a free pair as soon as they arrive by completing a super short (I’m talking like 4 questions) survey. If they’re anything like the Sweet Dee they’ll be fabulous!

Premium designer denim does NOT mean you’ll have to take out a second mortgage. Yes, you generally get what you pay for when it comes to jeans, but in the case of Alias Premium Denim, you get more than what you pay for. It’s important to support small business—and your jean addiction, and Alias Premium Denim makes it easy to do so in today’s economy.—Emily

Switchflops make it affordable to flip flop.

March 15th, 2009

SwitchflopsI am a serious flip-flopper shopper. I usually buy something and the very next day I am wishing I purchased the other color. Sometimes (o.k…most of the time) I end up going back to the store to buy the other color. That’s right buying not exchanging- buying!

So, you can see I have a problem. I like fashion and I pay the price.

However, I won’t be paying much more…I just discovered Switchflops.

With these sandals I can change the look instantly by replacing the colorful straps. Essentially creating my very own shoe to coordinate with just about everything in my closet. Not to mention leaving so much more space in my closet as well. Now I won’t have several shoes stacked in every nook and cranny.

SwitchflopsThis unique concept is so easy to get what you want. First, you select your sole. They have classic 1” flats, added lift wedge and a little kitten heel option for a more sophisticated look. Each style comes in an array of colors so that your sole can match your straps. Next is selecting the wide assortment of straps. Now this is where you have to practice some self-control! The strap designs are endless. Switchflops strap collection has a little bit for everyone. You will find nautical stripes, bright florals, safari prints, even patent leather straps.

I tried the 1 inchers and they were ideal for me. I like having a bit of padding but not too much stacking in the sole. Some flip-flops are really rigid and flat, which make it difficult to break in and hard on your arches, but, not with Switchflops. The cushion instantly conformed to my feet and there was not a bit of discomfort initially or by the end of the day.

Another area that can be a sore spot with flip-flops is the toe strap. I put my Switchflops to the test and flip-flopped my way around town the entire day and too my delight I was never bothered by the toe strap. This was great considering my spot in between the toes usually get irritated and red by end of the day.

For a mere $32 for the sole and $12 for additional straps now you can afford to flip flop. – Amber

Switchflops available online at www.switchflops.com

A little bit of stretch goes a long way!

February 9th, 2009

Jag JeansI think I’ve only done one other denim review and it was for Epoch, sadly a brand no longer designing women’s jeans. (I own three pairs and I LOVE them!) That review was back in 2006; it’s about time we had designer denim back on the Daily Dish!

In the email Jag Jeans sent inquiring about a review on the Daily Dish, one line in particular peaked my interest: “They consider every woman, every size, every shape so that when a woman buys a pair of Jag Jeans, we know they will fit, flatter, and make her feel good.” There is a lot of designer denim out there but only a rare few that can say they flatter women of every size and shape. Retailing for under $100 (another plus), Jag Jeans have just enough stretch “to perfect the fit and add comfort.” With the crazy life I have, comfort and style must go hand in hand. The company has been around for over 30 years so they have a little experience in fit and fabric. I just had to see what made Jag Jeans so remarkable!

Jag JeansI received a pair of Jag Jeans’ Whitney boot-cut stretch jeans and of course had to try them on immediately. (After all, they were jeans and just begging to be worn.) The first thing I noticed was the super cute back pockets. Sorry to say that is the first thing I look for in a pair of jeans, and these didn’t disappoint! The next thing I noticed was that although they weren’t skin tight like many non-trouser styles these days, they still had a cut that flattered my backside. Yes, I checked that thoroughly! I also did the sit-down test—you know, where you sit down, stand up, sit down to make sure the jeans don’t ride up or ride down. No indecent exposure with Jag Jeans, that’s for sure! I appreciated the higher waistband in back (even the waistband has some stretch) but wasn’t a big fan of it in front. I am still a low-waisted girl when it comes to jeans and the rise on these was about 1” too high. But then again, it’s great for preventing the all to unattractive muffin top!

My pair of Jag Jeans really were comfortable and flattering and I could see how they would be perfect for women of all shapes and sizes. I’m not sure if Jag Jeans come in varying lengths (short, medium, long inseams) but that might be something for them to consider if they don’t already. The pair I had probably had an inseam of about 33”, which is an inch too short for my taste. I like my jeans touching the floor and then another 1/2” or so for heel height, and these didn’t quite cut it.

Jag Jeans has a lot of great styles (I especially love the Ballari, but alas, it has an inseam of only 33” as well…), all with enough stretch to make them comfortable and a great cut to make them super stylish. Plus these designer jeans won’t break the bank; they’re one of the few pairs you’ll fall in love with that are under three figures. You can find Jag Jeans at stores like Nordstrom and even Zappos.com.—Emily

Bearpaw Shoes: chic, cool and oh, so comfy!

December 11th, 2008

Bearpaw ShoesToday’s post will possibly dispel a myth most of our readers believe, and no, it’s not about Santa Claus—everyone knows he’s totally real! It’s about those super comfy, super hot sheepskin-lined suede boots “everyone” is wearing. If you want to continue to believe UGG is the only company who makes these fabulous boots, then stop reading right now. If you’d like to be among the truly enlightened shoe buyers and wearers, then keep reading.

Once you get a glimpse—and a feel—of Bearpaw Shoes you won’t even remember the name of that “other” boot company. Bearpaw is all about keeping warm while looking hot. Good enough for me! I actually met the owner of Bearpaw Shoes in the airport on my way home from MAGIC in Las Vegas. He is the nicest person you could sit next to at an airport restaurant. I could tell he had passion for his company and his positive Bearpaw Shoesattitude was extremely contagious. I believe you can tell a lot about a company from its CEO, and this one was sending out a very good vibe.

But back to the shoes…Bearpaw has an amazing collection of shoes, from your standard comfy suede boot and your not-so-standard exotic boot to clogs, slippers, sandals and even a few fab pairs for kids. (I love the Hazel!) Did you know sheepskin, “nature’s technical fabric,” regulates body temperature (i.e. keeps feet cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold) and its hollow fibers wick moisture, keeping feet dry. The suede upper naturally resists dirt and water, and the extra thickness allows boots to keep their shape longer.

Bearpaw ShoesI’m currently—and by currently I mean right now as I write this review—wearing Bearpaw’s Eva in Sand (similar to the black one pictured). This suede boot with its sheepskin lining has kept my toes toasty in even the chilliest weather. The corner of the dining room where my computer sits has a slight draft, and though my fingers are still a bit frostbitten, my toes haven’t been in weeks! These shoes are so comfy I’ve worn them all day, only taking them off at night because I generally don’t wear shoes to bed. My feet have never gotten too hot, even when worn with fuzzy socks, and never been cold even when worn without any socks at all. Next to my slippers, which I just can’t get myself to wear to the grocery store, my Evas are my favorite pair of all-weather shoes (and I can wear them to any grocery store I please!).

Now that I’ve dispelled the myth of the sole suede and sheepskin shoemaker, aren’t you glad? Bearpaw Shoes has so much more to offer us shoe buyers and it’s all wrapped up in super comfy, super cozy, super “hot” style.—Emily

The Re-Runs are back and oh, so fun!

December 5th, 2008

We first reviewed Fleurville back in January for our “let’s go green” week. We featured their Re-Run Messenger bag and MicroPod. I love Fleurville’s Re-Run fabric, which is made from recycled plastic bottles and keeps thousands of bottles out of landfill—nothing like going green when on the go! So I was super excited to receive Fleurville’s Re-Run Yoga Bag and Re-Run Zafu Meditation Pillow for a review on the Daily Dish.

FleurvilleI don’t do yoga as often as I should, and when I do it, it’s in the “comfort” of my basement toy room. If I had my choice I’d be “om-ing” it up at the gum, and if I had my choice of yoga bag it would be the Re-Run Yoga Bag from Fleurville. It may not have all the bells and whistles of other yoga bags (do yoga bags have bells and whistles?) but it does fit my yoga mat, strap and reusable watter bottle (of course!) nicely. I love the Ogo print with its crisp blues and greens and I love knowing I’m keeping 3 plastic bottles out of landfill. It has an adjustable strap, zippered compartment for car keys, gym membership and hand towel (a necessity if you’re into the Bikram thing), and is PVC free. I do wish it had a little more room so I could fit my yoga block but I’m hoping someday I won’t need the extra help with my headstands! Fleurville’s Re-Run Yoga Bag gets a thumbs up—or strong upward facing dog—from me!

FleurvilleThe Re-Run Zafu Meditation Pillow was a big hit with everyone, though I can’t say we ever actually used it for meditating. I don’t even think it’s possible to meditate with four kids in the house! My 3-year-old’s “is this for me?” won me over and he claimed it as his own. He used it as his special seat to watch his favorite TV shows and movies. My girls had to wait to use it until he was in bed…at least until the newness wore off, which took a good month or so. I’ve used it as a seat for my toddler as I put on his shoes, as a seat for myself when there are none to be found on the couch, and as the perfect spot next to the toddler bed for reading bedtime stories. It has yet to be used to meditate but it has gotten plenty of good use, that’s for sure! Apparently it was even a great resting spot for Fleurville employees at one of their tradeshows. Now that’s using your resources wisely!

Like the yoga bag, the meditation pillow keeps 3 plastic bottles out of landfill. It is filled with certified organic buckwheat filling with a fill volume that is adjustable for customized comfort. No worrying about buckwheat spills; the Zafu has a Velcro guard. It is also PVC free.

FleurvilleI also received the ModPod, but I don’t see it listed on Fleurville’s site. Either it’s brand-spankin’ new or it’s been discontinued. I was able to find it for sale elsewhere, and this is a fabulous changing kit. It’s a step above a diapers and wipes clutch and a couple steps before diaper bag. Though it is generously sized I still make room for it in my diaper bag because it has a nicely padded changing pad and PVC-free lamination. The adjustable shoulder strap is great for when I pop it out of the bag to take to the changing room at church. When open, my favorite feature is the slightly padded head rest and the three storage pockets. I have about 3 diapers, a wipes case and an extra onesie, and even when folded it is still fairly compact. I have it, my wallet, small cosmetic bag, change of clothes for my toddler, and a multitude of snacks in my diaper bag with room to spare. Plus I love the ModPod’s sleek design. It’s my favorite changing kit so far, though it would be awesome if it was made from Re-Run fabric as well.

Whether you’re standing tree poser, meditation guru or frazzled mom trying to keep diaper changing gear in one place, Fleurville’s looking out for you—and the environment. Sometimes Re-Runs are just as great as the original, if not better. Go for style, go for function, go for environmentally friendly. Go Fleurville.—Emily

P.S. Check out their new Getaway Weekend bag—LOVE IT and the Botanical Azure print!

*** Giveaway! We are giving away one of Fleurville’s fabulous Re-Run Messenger Bags in red—a hard-to-find color! Visit Fleurville.com and leave a comment telling us your favorite product besides the ones mentioned in this review. Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: December 12, 2008 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Rebecca S., the winner of the Fleurville giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

Eleven is my new favorite number!

November 30th, 2008

Eleven CollectionA couple good things happened as a result of my attending MAGIC Kids back in the fall. One, I quickly discovered it was not the right tradeshow for us; and two, I met Nancy Coronado, Co-Founder of Eleven Collection. Before meeting Nancy I met the shoes and it was love at first sight. Then I met Nancy and found out Eleven Collection is a sister company of See Kai Run. (If you’ve been a longtime reader of the Daily Dish you know I am one of See Kai Run’s biggest fans.) That fact combined with Eleven’s super stylish designs made the whole trip worth it—I knew we had to feature Eleven on Boutique Cafe!

Eleven Collection is right in step with See Kai Run’s tradition of flexibility and great style, but Eleven is solely for older children from age 3 to 8 years. Eleven shoes feature soft leather uppers, and flexible, durable rubber soles for traction. With a cushioned insole and easy on-and-off Velcro or zipper closures, the shoes are just as child friendly as they are style friendly. Plus they are low maintenance (wish my kids were too) because the high-quality leather makes them naturally water resistant. You only need to use a mild detergent or leather cleaner to and damp rag to keep them looking their Sunday best.

Eleven CollectionMy little George received the new Luc boot in black, and although I love the super soft leather and how easy it is for him to put on and take off the shoes (one less thing I have to do), my favorite thing about the Luc is that it’s gender neutral. You can’t find too many gender-neutral shoes that are also fashion friendly, and those of us with multiple kids and a mix of genders love having a shoe that can be passed down through the family. The minute George saw his new boots he had them on for a test drive around the house!

Eleven CollectionWe also received the Sofia but because the shoe sizes start at a 9, our little Livi has a little while before she can wear them. I’m practically counting the days! I have a feeling she’ll want to eat, sleep and play in these super cute metallic Mary Janes, and I’ll be okay with that. At least she’ll be eating, sleeping and playing in super chic style. The color goes with everything, and like my favorite pair of shimmery heels they can be dressed up or down. The Sofia is a popular seller—like that’s a surprise! What little girl wouldn’t want to wear her own pair of magical golden shoes?

Comfortable, durable, stylish children’s shoes are hard to find, especially for those hard-on-their-shoes ages between 3 and 8 years. After checking out Eleven Collection’s line of chic, high-quality shoes, Eleven will become your new favorite number too!—Emily

Peace, love and the pursuit of a comfy tee

November 11th, 2008

I admit it, I am a t-shirt lover. I own a few button-down shirts and I continue to buy button-down shirts thinking I’ll actually wear them at some point, but alas, I always go for a favorite t-shirt instead (unless it’s Sunday and I’m dressing up for church). And when I come across a soft, comfy tee that has a great design in great colors I simply have to have it. That’s probably why I love PeaceLoveMom’s entire collection.

Sure, PeaceLoveMom has comfy tees in great colors but they also have some rockin’ designs. And by rockin’ I mean really cool designs that are all about mom. The three moms behind PeaceLoveMom are all about “creating designs that will both inspire and empower mothers everywhere” and the collection “represents a collaboration and true celebration of motherhood.” We definitely need more celebrating of motherhood, and these tees do it with style.

PeaceLoveMomI received the Lucky Mom Mint Tee, which is all about feeling lucky 24/7 because you’re a mom. While I don’t necessarily adhere to that way of thinking, having four kids (five if you count my DH), I truly love the design. The first thing I noticed about this cute cap-sleeve t-shirt was the slightly glittery ink used in the design; it was sparkly without being blingy (I don’t do bling). The design itself was awesome (I don’t do cheesy) and I loved the little graphic on the back of the neck. The fit was flattering and comfortable, probably due to the 100% soft cotton jersey, tapered waist and longer length. And I can attest to its washability since I’ve worn and washed this t-shirt just about every week! It became one of my faves overnight, and that’s saying a lot since I have quite the collection of t-shirts.

If you’re gearing up for some cold weather you’ll love PeaceLoveMom’s Cozy Mom Thermals. They also have a few tank tops, fuller-cut tees and a fun kids collection. I am totally loving their hat collection too!

We really ought to remind ourselves to enjoy the journey that is motherhood, and PeaceLoveMom is a great way to do so. If you’re having one of those days, just throw on your favorite pair of jeans paired with your favorite PeaceLoveMom tee, add a smile and you can at least fake it til you believe it! I love the “Language of PeaceLoveMom,” which you can read on their About Us page—and you really ought to read it. It’s a wonderful reminder about why we should celebrate motherhood 24/7.—Emily

** Giveaway PeaceLoveMom is giving away one of their Grateful Mom grass green thermal tees(a $50 value)! Please leave a comment telling us your favorite PeaceLoveMom tee and your favorite thing about motherhood. (Don’t forget to include a valid email address for our drawing.) Then post the contest on your blog and let us know for an extra entry! We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: November 20, 2008 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

* Promotion! PeaceLoveMom is offering Daily Dish readers free shipping! Simply enter code BOUTIQUEMOMS at checkout. Offer expires November 30, 2008.

See Kai Run: When “smaller” is better

October 30th, 2008

See Kai RunHere on the Daily Dish I do have favorites. You’ll know them by the fact that they’ve been featured more than once, a few featured more than twice. See Kai Run is one of those favorites. I am one of their biggest fans (and a new fan of their sister company, eleven, but you’ll have to wait until December for their first-ever review on the Daily Dish).

See Kai RunSee Kai Run is known for their chic styles, superb fit and most importantly for me, their durability. I have a pair of black boots George wore as a walker and they are in perfect condition for Livi to use. Unfortunately her feet are a lot chunkier than Geroge and she outgrew them before she could wear them! Right now I’m anxiously waiting for George’s feet to get big enough to fit into his new Kian boots. Well, I’m not anxiously waiting since that means he’s growing up, but they are really cool.

See Kai RunBut today’s review is not about See Kai Run’s new fall styles, as cool as they are (check out the Melody—to die for!). Today’s review is about See Kai Run’s new Smaller line, soft-soled booties designed specifically for infants age 0 to 18 months. Smaller soft-soled booties are made from the same butter-soft sheepskin leather uppers as the original and combine a suede sole with non-slip rubber pads for extra protection and traction. That means these babies are perfect for crawling and cruising. A breathable leather lining and Velcro closures—and their Velcro actually sticks—make them easy to put on and take off and comfy to wear.

See Kai RunLivi received the Tine, a sweet little black ballet flat with white piping. They’re the perfect shoe, easily going from daytime to nighttime like my favorite pair of grownup ballet flats. I don’t break a sweat trying to put them on her chunky little feet and the softer sole has been perfect for her wobbly walking. Smaller booties are available in 15 new styles and are packaged in a snazzy metallic silver box with a see-through window; no gift wrapping necessary!

** Giveaway! See Kai Run is giving away a pair of shoes to two lucky Daily Dish readers! (We have one pair of Jakes, size 12-18m, and one pair of Monicas, size 6-9m.) Please leave a comment telling us your favorite new Smaller style; include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winners from the comments and contact them via email. Deadline: November 7, 2008 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Amy P. and Tricia H., the winners of our See Kai Run giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

isABelt is a lifesaver

October 1st, 2008

isABeltEvery woman has a pair of jeans that slips and slides when she sits down, bends over or sneezes. I own more than one but I deal with the inconvenience of possible exposure because I love those jeans! Until now you either had to hold on to your pants for dear life or take them to a tailor, which gets pricey when you’re talking waistbands. Fortunately for us another woman was just as frustrated and her answer is the isABelt.

The isABelt is a virtually invisible, fully adjustable belt uniquely designed to keep your pants back-gap free. The isABelt is clear and though only a half-inch wide is strong enough to fight gravity. I had to put this new belt to the test for my sake and the sake of every stranger who’s had a glimpse of my unmentionables. I opened my isABelt and carefully read the instructions for adjusting its length. Note: it does not adjust like a bra strap! Even with instructions it took a couple false starts to grasp the concept but once I did it was smooth sailing. I adjusted it enough to fit snugly yet comfortably through the waistband, shimmied it towards the bottom of the belt loops and then secured it just under the front button. And then the real test began.

I squatted, bent over as if I were picking up toys (something I do a LOT) and sat down. Though my pants had a little vertical motion it was a vast improvement from my pre-isABelt days. And unless you want to adjust the belt so tight you can’t breathe, expect a little movement. But a little movement is better than a natural air vent down the back of your pants!

isABeltThe isABelt is my new friend and should be yours as well. It is available in three sizes plus options for juniors, plus-size women and even men. (One should be included with every plumber’s standard “uniform.”) Right now you can get isABelt’s limited-edition Breast Cancer Awareness belt, which is clear with sweet little pink ribbons. Proceeds from this belt benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.—Emily

*** Giveaway isABelt is giving away three of their fabulous belts! Please leave a comment with a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winners from the comments and contact them via email. Deadline: October 9, 2008 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

* Congratulations to Heather R., Mary J., and Kathy D., the winners of the isABelt giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

The Domestic Diva on The Big Idea

September 16th, 2008

Domestic Diva Many of us know Lisa Carroccio and her beautiful daughter Marielle from the eBay Boutique design world. This amazing and inspiring mother, designer, and hostess extraordinaire, is being featured tomorrow night Sept. 17th, 2008 on The Big Idea – with Donny Deutsch, talking about her current business emergency for her new boys clothing line Downtown Joey. Advising our “Diva” on the show will be experts from the company Chip and Pepper jeans, a multi-million dollar company sold in 42 countries! The show will air on CNBC at 10pm EST (check your local listings). The Big Idea

Lisa worked as a Boutique Cafe correspondent back in BC Show #15, in 2006 covering the Children’s Club Show in NYC. The Diva, generously hosts a massive yearly BBQ for boutique designers and their families at her own home. She has a huge reputation for being the Hostess with The Mostess and gives tirelessly to many causes. Now it’s our turn to support her.

Please tune in to cheer on our girl who gives so much to our community, her family, and especially her daughter Marielle who is currently waiting for a kidney transplant. Please pray with us for a speedy match for Marielle.

We love you Lisa – good luck tomorrow! We’ll be watching and cheering you on. XO - Daria

**UPDATE : Here’s Lisa’s Segment from Last Night’s show for those who may have missed it.

Online Videos by Veoh.com

**For a link to Lisa’s personal blog visit The Domestic Diva’s Disasters.

Melange by Lola and Clementine

September 16th, 2008

Lola and Clementine This gorgeous and fun Melange dress is available on eBay from designer LolaandClementine. We adore the mixed up styling of this outfit, the fun is in the mix this season!

Bid here >

You’d Better Not Pout!

September 3rd, 2008

PoutBaby No pouting allowed! You’re a Mom afterall. So what can put a smile on your face like nothing else? Why a great bag of course! Feast your grins on this…The Lola diaper bag by PoutBaby.

This gorgeous diaper bag is brimming with sleek styling for the fashionista mom, yet it has real practicality inside and out. It’s got me seriously considering another baby of my own (I’m not kidding). The exterior is a quilted nylon for easy wipe ups, and boasts real leather trim that adds to the wow factor of this well made bag. Inside the diaper bag are 4 interior pockets for diapers, wipes, toys, snacks and even a change of clothing. They have included a key/toy/pacifier clip, waterproof (but pretty) lining, 2 interior bottle pockets, an easy wipe changing pad, and a lovely ribbon tie closure.

The Lola bag from PoutBaby is available in chocolate brown with a coral interior and butter toffee leather trim, or black with periwinkle interior and black leather trim. Also in the PoutBaby lineup are the Charlie Pack design and the Carrie Tote. Bags are priced in the $130-$190 range and are both sturdy and beautiful.
PoutBaby

PoutBaby is the brainchild of mother-daughter team Jennifer and Tiziana who had dreamed of starting a business together. The idea of a stylish and simple diaper bag is what spurred them on, together with a pregnancy and need for a great bag. Started in 2008, the PoutBaby line is already making a splash with celebrity moms like Halle Berry and Cate Blanchett who own the Carrie tote. Additionally, the Carrie tote was selected by Jewels and Pinstripes for their next Celebrity Baby Bag gifting.

PoutBaby gives you reason to smile. – Daria

Playground Partisans Fit to a Tee

July 2nd, 2008

Playground PartisansThere’s a cool new company on the playground and they’re dishing out dinosaurs and other curious creatures with peculiar personality. Meet Playground Partisans, a business with tees for your entire family. Now there’s no excuse for Dad, Mom, Junior and your beloved dog Rover not to get in on the fun!

Playground Partisans Being a Mom to four children, I can certainly attest to the draw of anything and everything dinosaur. Playground Partisans offers some of the most adorable and charming dino-rrific characters for your little tot to wear with pride. With character names like: Karl, Hildegard, Horst, Wolfgang and Dorthea you immediately will bond with your favorite new friend. I was especially drawn to Karl, a ferocious and friendly TRex, as well as Hildegard who looked so pretty and precocious riding on her bike. Playground Partisans

The shirts are 100% cotton, and are sturdy quality tees. Playground Partisans offers baby sizes from 6-24 months, Toddler sizes from 3t-7t. They also offer matching Karl tees for men and women. If you’d like to see how other dino-lovers are sporting their tees, you can stop by their customer photos page.

Playground Partisans would make a tremendous gift for your family and friends with abounding personality! – Daria

**GIVEAWAY – Playground Partisans is offering an adorable Hildegard tee in yellow size 3 for one of our readers. To enter simply leave a comment and tell us “Who your Favorite Playground Partisans Character is” . Please include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: July 10, 2008 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen. miss this!

Back to School Already?! They Just Got Out!

June 27th, 2008

TFK Well that may be true, but in the world of custom boutique creations NOW is the time to start shopping for Back to School! For your child’s first day back in class we recommend dressing them in something unique and handmade by talented artisans and designers (many of those we feature on Boutique Cafe are WAHMs). Each outfit is truly a labor of love, and leaves your child looking and feeling extra special!

To search a full range of hundreds Back to School offerings, simply click here and stroll through the beautiful listings >>

The gorgeous BTS outfit pictured here is designed by MyaBella*Designs, from the Lil Peas BTS group launch going on right now! Search their group listings on eBay using search term “lil peas BTS. You won’t believe what you find…gorgeous stuff!

If your group is listing Back To School right now, please shoot us an email and let us know. We’d love to feature your launch on Boutique Cafe’s Finds!

Söfft takes beautiful European designs and makes them comfortable

May 26th, 2008

Söfft ShoesDaily Dish shoe reviews are few and far between so I am super excited to finally do another one, and I’m not just saying that because Söfft Shoe Company makes some of the most beautiful styles of flats, wedges and heels I’ve ever seen. I say that because they have beautiful, handmade European-inspired shoes that are surprisingly comfortable.

For this review I was able to try two styles of Söfft shoes, so I carefully browsed the site for both a flat and a heel so I could get a well rounded “feel” of both Söfft’s style and comfort. (Sigh…this job definitely has its perks!) It was a very hard decision (you try just choosing two!) but I finally went with the Pilar flat in pewter and the Vivian high heel in black patent…and then I anxiously waited for the UPS man to knock on my door.

Söfft ShoesThe Pilar got its test run at a family birthday party and were the perfect complement to skinny-leg jeans. The insole was super cushy and I loved the added touches like the corset lace and bow on the back of the heel. They did take a little breaking in (a warm day where you’re on your feet the whole time is not the best first-run for any new patent leather shoe) but that was related more to the stiff patent leather rather than the nicely padded insole. And I absolutely love it when a company adds a finishing touch by putting something decorative on the sole of the shoe, which Söfft does with a beautiful floral pattern. (Note: this shoe runs about a half size small.) I’ve worn these shoes quite a few times already and they are definitely one of my favorite pairs of shoes!

Söfft ShoesThe Vivian is all sass, and what woman doesn’t love a sassy pair of shoes! These peep-toe slings have a 3 1/2” heel (great for showing off the legs this summer) and look perfect whether you’re wearing a skirt, jeans, or dressy bermuda shorts. And again, Söfft adds a great little touch with French piping and stacked heel (and that fun floral print on the sole). I have very few pairs of heels I can wear all day and so I’m more than happy the Vivian is one of them. I may have to get another color, especially that yummy red. Talk about sassy!

Söfft ShoesAnd I know this review covers Söfft’s Spring 2008 collection, but you’ve got to check out Fall 2007. They have some to die for boots and heels. I’m hoping these are still available because I think I’m going to have to buy the Calypso, the Modena III, and maybe even the Regina. It’s not too early for Christmas shopping, is it?—Emily

** Giveaway! Söfft Shoe Company is giving away one pair of shoes, winner’s choice Please leave a comment telling us your favorite Sofft shoe; include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: June 3, 2008 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

** Congratulations to Julie R., the winner of the Sofft Shoe giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

baby&momma offers cute & comfy tees for mom and baby

May 21st, 2008

baby&mommaAt baby&momma you can “shop ‘til you pop” and then some! The company has some really fun tees for pregnant bellies and babies. Their maternity tees are a cotton/spandex blend so they are really soft and have great stretch. I was able to check out their “Who’s Your Mommy?” maternity tee, and though it’s about 10 months too late for me to actually wear this cute t-shirt, the fabric and cut made it easy to believe it when baby&momma claims their tees “can stretch over even the largest of pregnant bellies.”

baby&mommababy&momma’s maternity line has some really great sayings like “I’m with my Inner Child” and “Our future lies within.” And let’s not forget their cute onesies for newborns. Though sized 0-3 months, the company says they’re sized large and can fit most babies 3-6 months (100% cotton—no spandex in these babies so they will shrink slightly when washed). My faves from their onesie line are “Are you really my relatives?” and “Notify the press: I have arrived.”

If you’re looking to add a fun, new tee to your maternity wardrobe or a fun baby shower gift for a friend, visit baby&momma’s website. You’re sure to find something cute and comfy!—Emily

** Giveaway! baby&momma is giving away one of their “clone” infant onesies! Please leave a comment with a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: May 28th (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

* Congratulations to Tara R., the winner of our baby&momma giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

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