Shop Local Gift Guide: Santana Row

Santana-Row-headerShopping local is something I try to keep in mind not only at Christmas time, but year round. I’m doing a round-up for a Holiday Gift Guide for shopping local around the Bay Area here in California and thought it’d be helpful for those that live in the Bay Area too.

First up, my favourite spot in San Jose: Santana Row! It’s an excellent source for all the things. Whether you’re brunching with girlfriends, Christmas dress shopping on a budget or have the dollars to spend, they have it all. So I thought I’d do a themed Santana Row post based around Christmas dresses.

I always love visiting Santana Row around this time of year. They’re always so decked out in twinkly lights.Christmas-at-Santana-Row

Now, you’ll never see me wearing a dress, actually that’s a lie. You’ll rarely see me in a dress, but I found some gems at Santana Row yesterday afternoon and I even got stuck in one of them in the change rooms. My body temperature definitely rose when I was trying to remove it, I’ll tell you which one it is when I get to it :) But for now… here are some of the dresses that can easily be worn year round, and if you dig my style then you’ll probably love these as well. Most of them aren’t your traditional Christmas-style frilly red/green dress. It’s my style. I mean, only fair I show you what I’d actually wear, right?

7 stores/many different looks. Let’s get to it.

Ted-Baker-dressTed Baker| $279. You know you’re in a fancy store when they let you borrow heels for trying the dress on to see what it looks like. I think the dress is perfect for a Holiday party, and considering how pricey Ted Baker pieces are, this one is on the ‘lower’ end of his line. I’m digging the shape.

Anthropologie2Anthropologie| $138. Anthropologie is such a feel-good store. A lot of the pieces fit me so well, and make me feel awesome. Plus, velvet has made an incredible come back this year and I’m quite happy about it. I’ve always had a thing for velvet, and to be honest I loved this plum velvet dress so much I was carrying it around the store with me for a good twenty minutes deciding on whether or not to buy it. I didn’t :( I might go back for it though! I literally stole the fur vest idea from the mannequin that was showcased as soon as you walked in the store. It goes well, ya? :)

Anthropologie1Anthropologie| $148. LOL. Can you tell I’m feelin’ this dress? Sunglasses and all, hey I had to see if it worked with my ensemble! I needed to put Anthropologie in here twice. It’s my favourite store in the entire world and their pieces are always unique. This dress is definitely me. Although perhaps too casual for a work Christmas party, you could easily wear this with a hint of red to make it more Holiday appropriate. Ooooh cute red leggings and some boots? Got it figured out. Isn’t it cute?! I’m going to wait for this one to go on sale. It’s a bit

MadewellMadewell| $118. Can’t go wrong with a comfy knit sweatery feeling dress. This one was so cozy with fun almost-bell-like sleeves!

hmH&M| $49. I’ve yet to find a jumpsuit that doesn’t make me look large around the hips/stomach area. I’ve always been bigger there than anywhere else on my body, and while this is a fun bright red jumpsuit with a flattering neckline, it was way too short! It didn’t even hit my ankles. Weird. It was super fun looking, minus the shortness of it, heehe.

Kate-SpadeKate Spade| $398. Kate Spade’s dressing room is huge at Santana Row! I could do cartwheels in there. This dress is something I would wear to a formal event, and like Ted Baker, they allowed me to try on some fancy peep toe heels with the dress to get a feel for how it looks all prettied up. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the frilly bits on the side, but it works out well!


Free-People2Free People| navy $128/plum $228.Free people clothing are quite …. boobie. I don’t mind it, just stating the fact. The dresses are also short. Maybe they’re not dresses at all. But I kept my jeans on and tried to visualize what the items would look like with black leggings. I’m a huge fan of the velvet, as you probably already know from the Anthropologie dress above. The plum one had pockets! I really loved the fit of the two also, and both work well with jeans don’t you think?

Urban-OutfittersUrban Outfitters| $149. Such a statement dress! I love a good sparkle, and in one of my favourite bold colours, too. Red! Okay, so this is the sequins dress I got stuck in. It was a short dress hence why I cut off showing you where it ended on me. You know that sense of panic when you can’t get something off your body when you’re in a change room by yourself? Pretty sure my eyes went bloodshot and I have scratch-marks all over my shoulders from trying to remove the dress carefully but in a state of panic.

After you’re done dress shopping you definitely deserve to relax at Burke Williams Spa in Santana Row, especially after that last try-on dress I did and panicing for a few moments. Remember back in October when I surprised my husband with a treatment for us both there? It was incredible.

They have holiday gift card packages which benefits YOU if you decide to gift to someone this season. Win win. Each gift purchased will include a coveted 3-Day Spa Pass as a special gift just for you. I mean, ’tis the season of giving and receiving am I right?

There are three holiday packages to choose from *note, packages vary slightly by spa location!*:

Introduction| (yes! that’s the name of the package!) includes a luxurious 50-minute Pure Relaxation Massage or nourishing Spy Style Facial, and Spa Pedicure starting at $129 (regularly $169 and up).

Relaxation| is a rejuvenating escape that offers an 80-minute Burke Williams Massage or 80-minute Spa Style Facial with peel and Spa Pedicure starting at $179 (regularly $239 and up).

Transformation For Her| allows the ladies in your life to indulge in an 80-minute Burke Williams Massage, a 50-minute Spa Style Facial, and Spa Pedicure, starting at $279 (regularly $358 and up).
Transformation For Him| offers the special men in your life a chance to enjoy an 80-minute Deep Tissue Massage, 50-minute Men’s Facial, and Spa Pedicure starting at $279 (regularly $368 and up).

Disclaimer: I was provided compensation from Santana Row for this Holiday post. 

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AÄ“sop in Santana Row!

AÄ“sop one of those brands that you only hear from, by word-of-mouth. They do not advertise, nor do they have sales. But it’s still one of my most sought after skincare brands. I scoped out 1 of 4 of their San Francisco signature spaces last year (see my blog post here about it) and I’ve been frequently visiting ever since.

Aesop-Santana-RowLucky for us Silicon Valley residents, we now have our own signature store right in the heart of Santana Row, tucked in between Gucci, and Tesla. Since is architecturally designed completely different that one another, I wanted to have an oggle at the store with my own eyes. So I took Alfie yesterday morning just two weeks after they opened up shop.

Aesop-skincareSleek and amber packaging fills the space.

AesopI’m drawn to their apothecary-style, and simple design for packaging. Can my house look like this?

Santana-Row-AesopWhile I didn’t pick anything up during this particular visit, I’ll definitely be back to buy one of my favourite hand creams from them. In addition to skincare, AÄ“sop also has hair care, soaps and fragrance products. Have you ever used their products before?

Dennis Paphitis an ex-hairdresser is the creator behind AÄ“sop which launched in Australia, in 1987. AÄ“sop doesn’t call themselves a natural brand. They celebrate science and understand that they need a blend of well-chosen man-made ingredients with exceptional botanical ingredients to make remarkable products. I admire that they don’t look at what other companies are doing, nor are they influenced by trends. AÄ“sop doesn’t speak about anti-aging — they talk about health.

AÄ“sop | Santana Row
333 Santana Row, San Jose, CA 95128
T 408 320 1866
W | Twitter | Instagram

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Mothers Day Gift Guide (at Santana Row)

Last week I headed out to Santana Row for some Mother’s Day (May 8!) gift guide ideas, but also keeping in mind the two pantone colours of the year.

SrowI tried to keep the theme of baby blue’s and pink’s going, but it was difficult at a lot of stores. Plus I gotta have a bit of diversity in there for people who aren’t too fond of those colours (I personally love them and think they’re “my” colours, especially the pink.) So for the most part I stuck with photographing soft colours and neutrals.

Warby-ParkerWarby Parker: This glasses shop recently opened in Santana Row and what a fun layout — kinda looks like a library! While I don’t need glasses, many of the population do, including my own Momma. I had fun trying on glasses! I told the sales associate I don’t have a need for prescription glasses, and she told me you can buy them simply for fashion! Fancy glasses for an accessory! Right up my alley, for those that have 20/20 vision, ha! I’m not sure I’d agree with myself if I did have a need for them. They’re so fun though, you have to admit.

Vera-BradleyVera Bradley: Can you believe I’ve never been in this store, ever? The store isn’t entirely my style by any means but I thought I’d share some finds and wow their leather purses are so soft and came in a huge variety of colours and obviously different purse-types. Plus their makeup bags are lined, so you can wipe them clean.  (Shop: crossbody purse, makeup bag, pens).

AnthroAnthropologie: While I wouldn’t pair the first outfit together by any means (kinda looks soccer-mom-like eek!) I think the pink slouchy top would look so pretty with white jeans, and the blue crops would look great with nude sandals and a plain white v-neck. The perfume smells gorgeous, and the light blue/lilac tank is youthful and fun for summer. (Shop: pink blouse, blue crops, Happ & Stahns perfume, lilac tank).

SephoraSephora: Always one of my first stops at Santana Row. The staff is always so helpful at this location too. I’ve picked out a few favourites to show you guys here from my visit. I’ve only ever tried samples of the Caviar hair products but never purchased full-sized due to the price. But Mother’s Day is all about spoiling Mom, and I’m sure she’d appreciate the luxurious splurge. Not only does it make your hair feel soft, it smells incredible. The CC cream is my favourite from the Alterna line. Speaking of smelling incredible, look at these new perfumes by Derek Lam! So many new yummy smelling fragrances. A sweet addition to your Mother’s Day gift, heart shaped makeup sponges! Adorbs. (Shop: Caviar products, Derek Lam, heart sponges)

Urban-OutfittersUrban Outfitters: I recently picked up my first Gourmand fragrance (shown to the left) on my last trip to Urban Outfitters (Fleur Monoi hair + body mist is the one I bought!) but mine is a body and hair mist so it doesn’t last long, but that’s okay because I keep it right out in the bathroom on display and mist it on me any time I walk by. Mmm! I swear, Urban Outfitters is upping their skincare/body range of products. I come here to buy the Herbivore line of products (shown to the far right). And who doesn’t love taking a nice soak in the bath. Imagine how good you’ll smell after using something that smells of lemongrass, blue chamomile and vanilla bean. (Shop: Gourmand fragrances, sea of love, herbivore).

Kate-SpadeKate Spade: An ideal way to spoil Mom, if she’s into accessorizing with the cutest pieces. Kate Spade always has fun little trinkets or decorative watches to choose from. I personally love the mini hayden purse on the left. (Shop: mini hayden purse, heart plate, watches)

SugarfinaSugarfina: If there’s one thing my Mom and I have in common, it’s a sweet tooth! I love coming here for a lil’ sweet treat. Their decor is always decorated so sweetly, and each time I go in there’s always a new display. So fun! (Shop: Fruity loops)

LululemonLululemon: Is your Mom an athletic type who loves the Canadian brand Lululemon? They do no wrong in my books. Love their glass water bottles, and whenever I work out it’s almost always in my lululemon wunder under pants, and a lululemon racer back, or swiftly tank. Everything I’ve bought from there has lasted years. I don’t think I’ve thrown out/donated anything yet! (Shop: Water bottles, tanks, shorts)

Lou-GreyLou & Grey: Lou & Grey is another new favourite store of mine, because they always have Artians selling really neat pieces from cord keepers (shown in the middle) to super snazzy notebooks. Am I the only stationary fan around here, or can I get a high five all around here? Plus, their clothing…. every single piece I touch, is made of the softest fabric. I want my entire wardrobe to be from here. (Shop: notebooks, cord keeper, striped henley)

Pizza-AnticaPizza Antica: My pal Lauren treated to me to lunch, after we browsed Santana Row together earlier last week. So why not take your sweet Momma out for a bit of lunch after shopping. This is probably my favourite spot to eat in Santana Row, and maybe all of San Jose to be honest. Their wood fired pizzas are amazing. I always opt for the make-your-own with plenty of mushrooms and no onions. It makes me want to dance!


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