Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting one of California’s historic and picturesque locations. My fiance John and I went to the Santa Ynez Valley for the wedding of one of his friends. After flying into Los Angeles, the beautiful drive up the Pacific Coast Highway was relaxing.
Once we arrived for our stay in Solvang, I felt as if we had stepped into an adorable Lifetime movie. Everything was decorated in Fall decor, the pumpkin patch looked like it was straight off of a movie set. Solvang is located in southern California’s Santa Ynez Valley. The city is known for its Danish heritage which is evident in the architectural style and bakeries. Oh, and windmills . . . did I mention windmills? There are charming windmills all throughout the area.
Here are some of the local eateries we enjoyed:
- Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery
We were told that this was the home of the best Danishes and sweet breads in Solvang. We were certainly pleased with our choice in treats from Olsen’s.
- Gathering Table
Located in Ballard, which is a city 7 minutes away from Solvang, “Chef Budi Kazali artistically melds Asian and French cuisine” at Gathering Table. We tried as many different plates as we could get our hands on. All while sitting on a white picket-fenced porch, drinking local wine.
- The Bear and Star
We had a delicious brunch here! I had the tasty pulled pork sandwich. The Bear and Star in the name represent the symbols from the California and Texas state flags, respectively. The owners hail from these home states, and the flavors are as big and bold as both of them. This restaurant is in Los Olivos, CA . . . another nearby city in Santa Ynez Valley.
- Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery
The wedding took place at a local Solvang winery. The couple said their vows at sunset. It was beautiful ceremony in a gorgeous town. Sometimes, its nice to get off the beaten path and try something new in someplace you’ve never been.
Thankfully, the Solvang area is not currently being impacted by the California wildfires. Besides from possibly having to take a different route, the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau assures me that Solvang is open for business – ready to accommodate your getaway. Being mindful of the unfortunate loss occurring in other areas of the beautiful state of California, please consider donating to the California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund.
I love connecting with like-minded super women, who build businesses and communities around supporting others. That’s why I have been so glad to get to know Alicia Elatassi, the owner of Thinking Boutique. Alicia is a former educator who focused on bridging the generational and cultural gaps of the community. Today, she runs Thinking Boutique in West Houston. The boutique not only provides a carefully curated offering of clothing, accessories and gifts; it also offers knowledge, community and connections. Everything from blogging and social media classes to book signings and networking events are regularly hosted in the boutique. They also make it a point to feature products from other women-owned business in-store and online.
Recently I had a great time, being part of a photo shoot for Thinking Boutique.
Here are some snaps from Behind The Scenes. Such a fun time!
And here are some of the finished products, great shots for sharing. Be sure to swing by Thinking Boutique if you’re in Houston OR visit them online to shop from anywhere. Tell Alicia, I sent you her way. #SupportWomenBusinessOwners
Fashion, Fun & Friends!
I had a great time in New York for Fashion Week. As a former NYC resident, I look forward to any time I can spend hanging out at some of my old favorite spots in the city. . . especially with some of my favorite people.
This year, I had the pleasure of attending a show of fashion house Ruby Fang. Ruby Fang is an Haute Couture brand founded in Paris in 2012, by Lihua Fang. Read their brand manifesto here to get a feel for their sensibility.
At Ruby Fang, we believe that nothing is more wonderful than a girl who lives her life to the fullest. She creates, thrives, conquers and inspires. She is smartly sexy and exquisitely strong. She dresses up every day, because she sees life as a feast.
The fashion show was exquisite. You can see from the photos below that the Ruby Fang aesthetic for Fashion week was somewhere between ethereal and assassin. When color was used, it was bold colors. Blazers with gowns, open shoulders, and long flowing drapery that created impressive silhouettes ruled the runway.
Some other great stops included #MaybellineHouse and the Cotton’s Delivered Fashion Show from Cotton Inc. All fashions shown on the cotton-centric runway were immediately available on AMAZON after the show. What a totally interactive way of capturing excitement?
“The runway show was also a first-of-its-kind for Cotton during the iconic weeklong celebration of fashion. Amid the backdrop of fall’s latest styles, Cotton’s Fashion Delivered Runway Show connected today’s trendsetters with versatile cotton looks that they can get now via a “watch now, shop now” runway experience.”
- snippet from official press release
OF COURSE, my favorite event of the week had much more sentimental value. I got to support my friend, Africa Miranda, at the launch event for her awesome new show. Africa and I have been friends for years. I absolutely love her AND getting to celebrate all of her wins in life and business. You can check out her show via Facebook Watch, here.
It was a fabulous week!
This new beginning has been a blast! My Support Creative Soles podcast is fully up and running. I’ve had great guests so far, with in depth looks at topics that every creative or entrepreneur can relate to.
In the first episode, Regina Moretto – a photographer, fashion stylist and creative director – sat down with me to talk about Destiny, the law of attraction, the power of collaboration and how old-school sneakers are coming back. Catch our candid convo here, below:
Next, episode two dealt with balancing your life and your entrepreneurial hustle. To tackle this topic, I chatted with guest Lidia Ferrufino – creator and host of Livin’ Latina Live. Lidia is also a fashion blogger, an interior design assistant (which I found out during the show), a wife and a mother to a young son! We talked about how she had to mentally prepare for entrepreneurship after becoming a mother AND how she helped her own mom make the jump to launching her own brand. This balancing act has become an even more important topic to me recently, since I got ENGAGED between episode one and two. Great to talk with a lady who is working to keep a similar balance.
You can watch that episode, here:
The Support Creative Soles podcast was created to highlight inspiring people in creative fields, while offering support for aspiring creatives. Since you guys know that I love shoes, we also feature a few shoe stories to help kick-up your innovative journey.
Stay tuned for more episodes which will be available soon! Follow us on Instagram, join our community on Facebook , subscribe via Apple Podcasts, or tune in via iHeart Radio. Let us know who you would like to hear as our next guest.
And keep kicking it, you creative soles.
Well guys. . . he did it! My dearest love fully surprised me and popped the big question during our recent vacay in Mexico. I had no idea, truly. He got me good. And now, he’s got me forever. So this will be a new chapter. Wedding planning is all encompassing, so I certainly have lots to share about the whole process with all of you. Thank you so much for all of the warm well wishes and congratulations we have received already!
Recently I had the pleasure of being a guest co-host on Livin’ Latina Live, a Social Media Live Talk Show that has girl chat style conversations about various topics. This Houston based, Latina hosted show encourages participation and questions from it’s social media fan base as they are invited to tune in live via Instagram and Facebook live feeds. The atmosphere is positive, encouraging, open and non-judgmental – just like a conversation among girlfriends should be. It’s a cool concept, with a cool host – Lidia Ferrufino, who is a wife, mom, fashion blogger and half of the creative team behind House Of Alice Rose.
I’m all about re-inventing, keeping things fresh, or just trying something new. Thankfully, that helps me keep my message delivery interesting even though the core of what I’m saying stays true to it’s original purpose. As I learn and grow on this journey of being an entrepreneur, my hope is to empower others with the knowledge I’ve gained and to inspire them to go after their own dreams. In all of that important work, I try not to take myself too seriously and remember that it’s important to have fun too. So, I’m excited to tell you about this new twist my podcast will include! read more…