Monday, March 24, 2008

New Haircut!

Well spring break always means visiting family in Salinas, which in turn means meeting my hair styling aunt for a new 'do'. It was about time I did something with the mop that was growing on my head. If left unchecked my hair gets really thick and unruly. I have some sort of problem with going out and getting it dont by anyone but my aunt though, and with gas prices it has been awhile since I've gotten down to Salinas. These days she is working at a super cute (if ghetto sounding) salon called g'Syl which has been around for about a year. I got in trouble with her as always for doing my own hair treatments. This time a dye job and hacking off my bangs. However, I believe I could get my hair done by anyone and she would still disapprove.

Since I am family she gets to be a little creative with me (I prefer that actually) and this time we got....
The Victoria Beckham inspired A-line. Complete with dramatic length in the front. And chunky highlights. I'm really enjoying it, (despite the fact that the snobs on Yahoo! answers say the Beckham look is sooo out of style!) I think it works well on my face and I've always wanted to try the A-line cut. Unfortunately I left my straightener at home, I think it and I shall grow very close while I have this haircut!

The moral of the story is you should always have a family member in the hair styling business, its a great money saver.

Contact info:
1124 S. Main Street. Suite B
Salinas, CA
(831) 424-9376 (Ask for Caroline!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Store Review: T.J. Maxx

I was really excited to hear that a T.J. Maxx was finally opening near me. Its doors finally opened this past weekend in Daly City. I found time for a visit on Monday and was immediately sucked in. The presentation of the two-floor store is great. Unlike Ross or even Nordstrom Rack the employees are always straightening the merchandise, making it presentable and pleasing. Often the mish-mash of shoes at Ross makes me want to scream, but I definitely didn't have that problem at T.J. Maxx.

Speaking of shoes, there was a very good selection of enjoyable brands such as Steve Madden, Nine West, and Tahari. Most of them were in the $20-30 range. I even saw a few pairs of Cavalli's!

The hand bag selection was my favorite part. I spent close to an hour looking through them. I saw many mid level designers such as Coach, Bettseyville, Dooney and Bourke, Juicy Couture, and Michael Kors. These bags were still running in the $70-200 range. If you wanted something cute and less expensive they have a good selection including Kathy Von Zealand and Nine West. I really like the Michael Kors bags but can't quite afford one right now. I think that is going to be a future purchase though.

Juniors clothes were impressive in selection of styles, but not selection of sizes. I wear an extra small in most brands and found close to nothing in my size. In my size I found some sleek styles by Donna Karen New York but that was about it. Shorts and capris were a little more abundant in the small sizes, as were sun dresses. I don't know if this is just because small sizes aren't made in very large quantities or because the store is new and was raided by fashion hungry, skinny girls over the weekend. I did take a look at woman's wear also and saw a number of great brands and styles. I don't really have too much expertise on which sizes are hard to find, so you might have to check that out yourself.

One thing I was hoping to find was a new swimsuit for the summer. Again the sizing was difficult, very little in the extra small to medium size range. I was hoping to find some monokinis, as I've been struck with the notion that they are much hotter then the usual bikini. But there were a lot of attractive, larger size swim suits. Including some really nice Michael Kors tankinis. I did end up buying a Michael Kors swim cover up for $15 that was originally $100. (There were a lot of attractive cover-ups from skirts to tunic styles, really great for time spent out of the pool.)

Mens wear was minimal compared to women's, but still a nice selection. Underwear and lingerie really wasn't anything special. It is about the same selection you would find at Ross, but you can expect it to be on the right rack at T.J. Maxx. They had some nice perfumes, including L.A.M.B., Sarah Jessica Parker, Escada, and Versace. The only thing is you can't test them, so know you like it beforehand.

Not clothing related but definitely worth mentioning are the house wares. I am definitely going to get some new towels there, and the wall art selections are very sophisticated and don't look cheap. The kitchen gear they have in stock is also a wonderful addition to any home.

Well, I know I'm sold, but why don't you go check it out? Happy shopping!

If you go (about 5 minutes away from San Francisco State University, near Safeway and Trader Joe's):

West Lake Center
100 West Lake Ctr
Daly City, CA 94015
Phone: 650-991-1006

Mon-Sat: 9:30a-9:30p
Sun: 11a-6p

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Event Review: Appel and Frank

On Thursday, March 13, my roommate Kristi and I went to check out the Spring Appel and Frank event in San Francisco. I had read about it in the SFWeekly and the word fashion made me think it might be something I could write about. (Especially a good way to kick off this project!) Neither of us really knew what to expect, but research told me I could expect free wine, a goody bag, and lots of talented, local designers. And that is more or less what we found.

Kristi and I showed up right at 5pm, anxious to receive one of the 400 gift bags. We had no problem, there were only about 50 people there, although by the time we left at 7pm The Regency Center's Sutter Room was fairly crowded. The designers ranged from beautiful handmade clothing to kitschy, original ideas, such as bags for yoga mats. Jewelry seemed the most prominent item being sold, I was a little disappointed there weren't more clothes.

The goody bags held lots of fun stuff, including a $10 gift certificate from Shock Cosmetics. Both Kristi and I enjoyed their makeup line and came away with pretty new eye shadows. I also purchased a candle from Scandleous. The scent I bought is "Sophia", named for the owner's daughter and amaretto scented. My last purchase was a gorgeous long coat from Effie's Heart. Kimo, creator of Effie's Heart, has some really great designs, many of the fabrics feel soft and flexible without being too casual.

Kimo (right), creator of "Effie's Heart" with a fellow shopper. (I snagged one of those beautiful red coats you can see behind her.)

My favorite designer of the event was Mignonette. Creator Kpoene has some absolutely gorgeous designs. While talking I felt she was passionate about fitting all different body types and really enjoys her work. Kpoene has recently moved here from Brooklyn and has a new line arriving in April. Also check out the designs by her partner, Sarah Zins. I hope to own a few pieces from these talented ladies in the near future!

Kpoene of "Mignonette" with one of her lovely designs!

Well thats all about Appel and Frank! It was worth going. Both Kristi and I had fun. If you buy tickets ahead of time they are 2 for $15 which is worthwhile for a gift bag, wine, and a fun time. I can't say that it was the most affordable event, but if you want something special it is a great place to find just that. Many of the designers offer a discount for this event only and of course, it's supporting someone local!