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Summer Lovin’ at Boutique Cafe

August 4th, 2013

Why Hello friends, I’m sure you’ve been wondering where I’ve toddled off to. It’s summer and I’ve been spending my days with my cute little kids enjoying the sunshine. We’ve been surfing in Tofino, swimming in our pool, I even hosted a wedding for a couple I’d never met before at my house overlooking the ocean. It’s been busy and wonderful all rolled into one. The truth is, that I miss you all though.

I’ve been trying to make some new plans for Boutique Cafe. When I started this website years and years ago my life was infinitely different, and so was the boutique community. I’m transitioning in my personal life, and am looking to transition Boutique Cafe along with me. I warmly welcome your advice and suggestions in this, after all we’ve been through alot together you and I over the years.

While I’m figuring that out I want to invite you to follow along at my Instagram feed, it’s a fun place where I regularly share the likes and loves in my everyday life. Daria – Instagram

I look forward to making some BIG CHANGES here very soon, let’s continue to be friends!

Zip Up Your Kids This Summer!

June 13th, 2012

I’ve been waiting for a beautiful sunshine filled day here in Victoria to test out the adorable SwimZip rash guard that was sent for Lola to try out. It’s finally that warm day, and we snuck into the front yard for time by the pool together. I have never put Lola into a rash guard before, her swimsuits are so cute that it’s been hard to cover them up, but what’s not cute is the added exposure her little skin can get from the sun’s rays. Time to SwimZip her up!

SwimZip has created an adorable and stylish line of UV zip up shirts and swimwear for boys and girls 6m-4T to help block all those harmful rays, in fact each SwimZip is UV 50+ and blocks 99% of UVA and UVB rays. These sweet zips priced between $24.99-$29.99 are also Chlorine resistant so they won’t fade out over time. As a Mom I appreciate the beautiful quality of the SwimZip guard, they were tagless at the neck which is a big plus, and I LOVE the no-pinch zipper flap!

Now let’s talk style, I was sent the “Caribbean Dolphin” rashguard in a pretty pink hue with white accents. Lola loved the dolphins printed on it and commented “a fish! a fish!!” several times. After searching the SwimZip website I’m now convinced that she needs the “Sassy Surfer” polkadot ruffle swim set which includes a rash guard and bottoms. You must check it out! For your boys SwimZip has adorable options as well, my personal favourite is the “Surfer Dude” set in striking white and red. Dress your little ones in SwimZip this summer and feel confidence that they are sun protected, with easy-off functionality when playtime is through. I love this summertime essential! – Daria

Summer Fun Activities – Part 2

July 4th, 2011

A few weeks ago I shared a fun link up with you, including some awesome summertime activities for your children. As promised I’m back with some additional ideas to keep the kiddos entertained, engaged and having a blast during the long summer days. Enjoy and please share with others! – Daria

52426356_lrMTdtsH_c 1. Footprint Butterfly – for all those little budding Picasso’s out there, get out the paint and use their feet as butterfly wings. This would also make a fun gift idea for Grandparents, it’s always so darling to capture the smallness of their little feet forever.

2. Adorable DIY Bird Feeders – Bird watching is always an interesting adventure for little ones. What’s even better? Getting a bit messy and making bird feeders. These ones are so adorable, and super easy!! 38787813_Dz56VG4f_c

3. Puff Paint Artwork – you can make this puffy paint in your very own kitchen with self-rising flour, salt and food coloring. Cook in the microwave to puff it up. Voila!! You’re Awesome!!
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*Check out my original suggestions here>> as well More ideas to come soon – let me know how your children enjoy these activities too!!

Summer Fun Ideas – Keep Those Kiddos Happy and Busy

June 11th, 2011

I wanted to “Link you Up” with several websites offering awesome summertime ideas for your children. I’ve been having such fun gearing up for summertime with my own little crew, and we are doing many of these projects and ideas this year. It seemed only fair to share all the goodness with you guys!

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1. Liquid Sidewalk Chalk – Get out some paint brushes and have a Ball! Full directions at Stampin’ & Craftin’. My kids can’t wait to do this, it looks easy and don’t forget to snap pictures of the “giggle-fest”

2. DIY Art Kit – Dear Lizzy shared her incredible Art Kit idea on her blog, and I quickly set to work to make one for our family. Ours will go into the van and be at the ready while we are out discovering parks this summer. Then all we need to find is a picnic table and it’s mobile arts and crafts time. Love this!
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3. Summer Journals – Brassy Apple (Megan) shares some great Summer Time Journal ideas, as well as ice blocks full of toys, and many other AWESOME ideas in this TV segment! We are making our summer journals today!



4. I-Spy Bottle for road trips – Meet the Dubiens created this coolest of cool I-Spy bottles for those long car rides. I’m making one of these for little Lola this summer. DSC_0195 copy-cs3-blog

5. Giant Bubble Wand – Tatertots and Jello always has GREAT ideas! This one looks like so much fun. Create a Giant Bubble wand and the solution to go with it!
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LINK IT UP If you have discovered or blogged your own ideas for summertime activities with your kids please share it in our comment section below. We’d love to stop by and share in the fun! More summer ideas will be posted soon – feel welcome to submit yours for a feature to daria@boutiquecafe.com

Going green on the greens. AB Golf Designs.

May 29th, 2011

NumeroUno1Web AB Golf Designs—the market leader for attention-grabbing specialty head covers and accessories produces their new retro styled “Throwback Collection” with polyester fibers made from recycled plastic bottles that look and feel like wool (this manufacturing process helps diminish dependence on oil and minimize waste, in turn limiting toxic emissions from incinerators and reducing air, water and soil contamination.) I love a company that embraces new environmentally friendly manufacturing options. I am impressed with AB Golf Designs commitment to keep the greens—green.

This cover goes onto the club and shaft easily by expanding in the right places, yet keeping its form. Easy to get on and easy to pull off make it a critical component for me because it can be a real annoyance when you need your driver and the head cover won’t come off!

Their line is a huge hit with PGA and LPGA Tour players and a novice golfer from Salt Lake City. Me. I’m not a regular on the course, nor do I have stellar form or a swing that gets noticed, but my gear gets the attention because it is colorful and expressive.

I tested the “numero uno” driver head cover from the company’s “Bling” line. It matches my eye-catching golf bag from keri bag and looks good in the bag. The cherry-red cover is embossed with the image “1” with small diamond-looking studs. It is a bit more expensive than most head covers, but the diamond-looking embellishment makes a sassy statement for a more individualistic look on the course.-Amber

Available online here.

A stand-up golf bag that stands out.

May 27th, 2011

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I was so excited to actually use my new Rosebloom Keri Sport bag by Adams Golf. It had been sitting pretty in my garage waiting for the bleak weather to turn to Spring. The one time I braved the storm and went golfing in the freezing temperatures my cute golf bag got noticed because it was a pick me up for everyone on the course. It’s cheerful fabric charmed its way to many conversations that day.keri_standbags

As the weather warmed up I was able to hit up the range more frequently. The comments about my cute golf bag consistently came my way. I have never heard the word “cute” uttered more from men. Now, if the men like it…women will adore it.

Women, of course know exactly what classifies something to be cute. So, what makes it so cute? The pink rosebloom print on the white bag is a unique pattern designed by Keri Murschell that you typically don’t see on a golf bag, which makes me think of my golf bag as an oversized purse. It is the perfect accessory.
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Rare is it to find a golf bag that you actually want to lug around. The first chance to put the bag down is usually how it goes, but with this lightweight fashionable golf bag I wanted it strapped to me all day. The padded double-strap allowed perfect balance and prevented any one shoulder stress from overuse. It was comfortable and when I did set it down the legs easily came out each time, making it a sturdy stand bag. Only a few good bags actually stand up with ease, as you grab your club. This stand feature took no effort at all.

Behind the beauty of this bag lies a durable, functional bag that integrates pockets of every size for every purpose. This good looking get up offers plenty of storage in the sleeve and zippered pockets for all my golf gear and the 8-way full-length dividers keep my clubs nicely separated.

My favorite feature is the insulated pocket to keep beverages cold. This accommodation allows me to keep myself well hydrated so that by hole 15 I’m not lagging.

If you’re a golf pro or a novice this bag is for you. Don’t you want to hear the word cute said by men? Buy the bag and see what happens on the greens.
keri sport collection by Adams Golf - Integrated Set-1
This bag – and other bags designed by Keri for Adams Golf – are also available in sets that include the bag, matching head covers and clubs! What’s more, is they’re available at different price points depending on the budget. Adams Golf is the market leader for women’s equipment.
-Amber

Available here or at adamsgolf.com.

Hapari makes swimsuit shopping a happy experience

June 4th, 2009

When I think of Hapari I think “happy” and not just because the two words sound so much alike. Swimsuit season always brings with it a few nasty side effects: the dreaded glare of the fluorescent lights in the dress room; the shock of pale white skin; the sheer exhaustion of trying on numerous suits to finally find one you like well enough to wear in public. Okay, I’ll stop there before I break out in hives!

Fortunately I’ve discovered a line of swimsuits sure to turn this year’s swimsuit shopping into a much more pleasant experience. Hapari Swimwear offers a fabulously stylish, flattering-yet-modest line of tankinis and bikinis sure to keep those nasty side effects at bay. You can mix and match any bottom with any top and every tankini top can be worn three different ways: halter, tank, and criss cross!

Though their two most popular tankinis are the GNO V-neck tankini (pictured above, left) and the Mango Mudd Sport tankini (pictured at right), I chose the Blue Luau V-neck tankini (v-neck styles look better on me since I have broad shoulders) with the coordinating bottom to test for this review—I just couldn’t resist the red with white polka dots! I had totally planned to wear this while visiting my girlfriend in Florida but it rained all but one day I was there, and the one day we went to the beach I was going for all the sun I could get (i.e. I wore my tiniest bikini—and fried my stomach in the process, but that’s another story!).

I did try on the suit and found myself actually enjoying what I saw in the mirror rather than cringing from it. The suit fit really well and was truly flattering. I could tell it was made from high-quality fabric and with high-quality construction. I also checked out one of Hapari’s unique features: pockets for silicone breast inserts or “Illusions.” If I want to look anything like the model in the picture I better pick up a pair!

Hapari also has swimsuits for men and junior girls and boys. One other fun fashion find from Hapari is their Shores line. Shores is a collection of half tees that “provide a comfortable layered look without the extra bunching and bulk of a full-length layered tee.” I am really excited about this tee and here’s why. I have a couple dress under which I have to wear a cami or layering tee and every time that tank or tee starts riding up under my dress. By the time a couple hours have passed my waist looks twice as thick as it did when I first got dressed! I’m constantly going into the bathroom to pull it back down. So if your first thought of Shores was mine (“a half shirt? didn’t those go out of style a long time ago?”) I beg you to think twice. With summer’s full-on heat almost here do you really want multiple layers over your entire torso?

I believe a good swimsuit is worth the investment and Hapari Swimwear makes more than a few good suits. If you are looking for stylish tankini swimwear visit Hapari.com. Money may not buy happiness but a good swimsuit sure will!—Emily

*** Giveaway Hapari Swimwear is giving away one tankini and one Shore tee, winner’s choice! Please visit Hapari.com and leave a comment telling us your favorite swimsuit style. Please include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: June 12, 2009 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Lisa S., the winner of the Hapari 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!

Ready. Set. Swim.

May 18th, 2009

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My obsession continues. The hunt for swimwear for the season.

Layersclothing.com is a site I have known to have great clothing, so I thought perhaps their swimwear is worth trying out. I was sent the Maisie tankini suit which for both the top and bottom costs $68.00.

Worth the money? Definitely.
It covers the right places. Isn’t that worth the money?!
The length on the top is what I like most. No excess material to make you look bulky, yet it doesn’t cut you off with a lovely 2-3 inch love handle gap which so many tankinis do. The cut looks like a one piecer but has the functionality of a tankini—making bathroom visits a breeze.

The top has a double string strap on both sides that customizes the suit to your body perfectly. You can pull up or loosen the straps to fit your frame. Being petite I like this option to make sure the suit stays in place up top. I also like the fact the eye is drawn to the top rather than the bottom. The top has a yellow paisley print on the bust region with a bright cobalt color on the straps, stomach and bottoms. The placement of print was very strategic in drawing eyes to the bust…not down south to see the jiggle.

This suit has function to do laps in. Style to lay out in and the price is hard to beat.-Amber

Available online at layersclothing.com

Swimwear that has you lookin’ all retro glam

May 5th, 2009

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Along with my jacket/coat addiction I have a swimwear addiction. Not so much do I love to wear them as much as I am obsessed with trying to find the perfect suit! I have my swimsuits for swimming. Then I have my suits for water-skiing. Then I have my collection of suits for laying out. And then there is a bundle for hot tubbing and the list goes on.

With summer approaching, my swimwear search begins. Awhile back there was a standout suit to me I discovered on limericki.com. The eliza one piecer. The cut was something reminiscent of the 40’s, yet, the suit has distinctive updates that make it a real modern retro swimsuit. The cut is lower on the legs, like back in the day, but, the straps are a new design that give the suit some serious style. The olive green patterned material looks very Anthro-ish but 1/2 the cost you’d find there.

I put the Eliza one piecer to the test. I went hot tubbing with some of my closest friends and without soliciting comments…they made their own. They raved about the flattering cut. It really is a line that seems to flatter all areas. They loved the pattern and colors. They couldn’t get over that it was a modern fashionable looking one piecer—so hard to find! The only complaint…the embellishment on the strap that resembles a pretzel. However, nothing that a set of pliers can’t take care of! I quickly removed the buckle embellishment and the look definitely suits me better without the extra accessory. This suit is easily my new fave. It’s got a very flattering cut that is a modest suit that hides all that junk in the trunk and is fashion forward. So often the bikinis are the only option for a suit with cute material or modern looking, but, the eliza swimsuit is the new retro one piecer that definitely will be turning heads.-Amber

** Promotion Limericki is giving 10% off on any purchase to all Daily Dish readers. Please visit limericki’s website and use the code DAILYDISH to receive 10% off your order.

Can you spot me an ID?

March 18th, 2009

Spot Me IDToday’s review is just in time for spring break. No, it’s not a list of the Top 10 Most Crowded Amusement Parks, though it does have to do with highly visited vacation spots. When you combine thousands of families and umpteen thousand kids with places like Disneyland, Sea World or the Mall of America (um, guess that’s my idea of a vacation and not my family’s…sorry), you often get a lost child or two. And when lost and most likely frightened, many of these children aren’t going to remember that designated meeting spot you all agreed on when you entered the happiest place on earth. So what’s a parent to do other than strap on one of those child-friendly harnesses?

Spot Me ID™ has come up with what I think is a fabulous solution because it is perfect for children of all ages, including my 11-year-old and 3-year-old. Spot Me ID has designed a line of identification products that believe it or not, your kids won’t mind wearing. The line consist of ID bracelets, ID lanyards and temporary tattoos all animated with the company’s mascot, Spot Me the safety dog. With themes ranging from amusement parks to sports to the zoo, Spot Me ID has come up with a fun way to help reunite lost parents with their children.

Spot Me IDHow do Spot Me ID products work? Simply write your name and cell phone number on any of the safety products, including the temporary waterproof tattoos, with the travel-size waterproof permanent marker and you’re good to go. And what child doesn’t love those temporary tattoos? Spot Me ID’s tattoos are non-toxic, FDA approved and last several days even when wet so you can safely go from Space Mountain to the Splash Zone day and and day out during your magical vacation!

We received our own sets of Spot Me ID bracelets, lanyards and tattoos. My kids went gaga over them when they arrived and wanted to put them on immediately. I should have let them; with the number of baths we take in this house it would have been a great test for the tattoos! I had hoped we would have an opportunity to use them (i.e. taken a really fun vacation somewhere other than McDonald’s Playland) but we didn’t go anywhere fun. We are taking a trip with the kids to California in August and will hit Marine World while there, so that will be the perfect place to try them out—I can’t wait!

Spot Me ID products aren’t just for amusement parks and zoos. You can also use them at sporting events, malls, airports, field trips, family gatherings and on cruise ships. (Yeah, like my kids are going on a cruise before Mom and Dad get to go!) The company has won numerous awards for its product and I’m not surprised. Anything that offers parents peace of mind when it comes to their children is an award winner for sure! Plus Spot Me ID products are a lot more affordable than implanting a microchip in my children’s bodies. Not that I’d do that of course…I’m just saying…—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

Show #98 – Surprise Feature on ModGreetings

July 31st, 2008

We’re inching our way to show #100 and we would love your help! Please send us a quick email with your fave BC moment, show topic, advice or feature and we’ll include it in our upcoming 100th episode!

In this episode Daria talks about Summertime fun with family, Back to School Launches. ** Our Surprise highlight on ultra talented designer Patty Young about her new project ModGreetings.

We also cover Amy Butler’s NEW Eco Green Gift wrap & Tableware. Daria talks about our upcoming website redesign and asks for your input too (email your suggestions to daria@boutiquecafe.com). Podsafe music by Lee Coulter “I Would Love”.

Boutique Café is a proud member of the MommyCast & Friends Family Channel, powered by Podango.

**GIVEAWAY: This just in! Patty Young from ModGreetings is offering a 10 pack of variety cards to one of our lucky listeners. Leave a message in the shownotes to enter and we’ll draw a winner on Aug.8th.

**Please note: currently our hosting server is having an issue and will not play directly in your browser. It will instead download to your desktop when you click to play the file. Sorry for any inconvenience, they are working on the issue. However, you can head over to iTunes, subscribe and watch it there with no troubles. :) Click here to subscribe in iTunes

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Wallaroo hats are so worth the hat hair!

June 18th, 2008

Wallaroo Hat CompanyThough I don’t have a huge hat collection I love hats. I love beanies in the winter and floppy cotton hats in the summer, but I’ve never owned a hat with super sun-shielding power that was also super stylish…until now. Wallaroo Hat Company actually has me excited about wearing a wide-brim hat this summer, especially since I’ll be the envy of every beach- and pool-goer this summer!

Wallaroo Hat CompanyBelieve it or not many of Wallaroo’s fashion-friendly hats are UPF 50+, which means the fabric has been tested and block 97.5% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. As cute as my floppy Old Navy bucket hat is, it definitely doesn’t have a UPF rating, nor does it protect my face from the sun’s harmful rays as well as my new Nantucket hat. But as much as I love the UPF rating, what I truly love about this hat, along with the other two I’m lucky enough to own (the Victoria Diva and Casual Traveler) is that they look good even with my short hair (yep, that’s me!). If you have short hair you may have the same problem I do: hats just don’t look as good as they did when I had long hair. All three styles looked fabulous no matter the angle (trust me, I checked).

Wallaroo Hat CompanySo you’ve got great sun protection and great style—what more could you ask for? How about the variety of styles for the whole family (love the women’s Tamworth, men’s Explorer, and children’s Platypus) plus fabrics like canvas, microfiber, and the new polystraw that make the hats washable, crushable and oh so versatile. Plus (yes, there’s another plus!) each Wallaroo hat has an internal or external drawstring to make it one-size fits most. (By the way, this drawstring comes in handy when walking along Huntington Beach Pier in the wind…)

Wallaroo hats are the most fashionable way to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays (i.e. the wrinkles and sun spots). I doubt my motherly, gave-birth-to-four-kids figure will turn heads at the pool but my Nantucket hat sure will!—Emily

* Promotion! Wallaroo Hat Company is offering Daily Dish readers 10% off their order! Just call the company to place your order and mention this review. Offer expires July 30, 2008.

Be beach sexy and comfortable with Trunkettes

June 16th, 2008

TrunkettesSummer is here and that means swimsuit season is in full force, which also means countless hours trying on suits and the endless upkeep of bikini lines. Someone ought to design a suit that fits well no matter your body shape and saves time when it comes to being beach ready. Guess what? Someone has! Trunkettes swim wear is comfortable yet sexy, flattering yet sassy.

Trunkettes were designed by a woman who wore her husband’s swim trunks to the pool because she “felt more comfortable and freer in them” and could “do all sorts of things more easily while wearing them—run, jump, dive, rough house with [the] kids, etc., without a wardrobe malfunction.” We’ve all had our own swimsuit malfunction and I knew I had review Trunkettes for our readers.

TrunkettesI tested out the Funky Fresh Bermuda-style Trunkette in black with pink dots and the matching Feeling Flirty halter top. The Funky Fresh Bermuda-style bottoms were ultra comfortable and a lot easier on the bikini line than the typical bikini bottom and I thought the cargo pockets on the side were super cute. Though this style was a bit long for my taste (I think I’d prefer the Legs Legs Legs Trunkette) I was sold on the idea of swim trunks (with a built-in bikini) for women. I was a lot less self-conscious about my butt and thighs, which meant I could have a lot more fun at the pool. Plus my bikini line was grateful for a reprieve from the dreaded razor burn!

TrunkettesThe Feeling Flirty halter top fit amazingly well, and I say amazingly because I have a hard time finding bikini tops that flatter my slightly broad shoulders and “slight” chest. These were a perfect fit and had “boosting pads” “optional cleavage” (yay for me!). Trunkettes also offers an underwire maximizer (Get Pumped) top and slimming tankini (Free Spirited). And for those who prefer a one-piece suit, their Sexy Savvy has extra slimming support with a sheer front insert that shows just enough…but not too much!

With Trunkettes you’ll be able to avoid “sand butt” and the dreaded bikini wax all while sporting a sexy style and boosting your self confidence. Sounds like days at the pool will go just swimmingly this summer!—Emily

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