Holiday Joys at Santana Row

Santana-Row-HeaderThe Christmas music is playing in our household close to 24/7, whether or not my husband thinks it’s still too early, or not. And this past weekend on Instagram, I posted about my favourite cozy spot. Nothing beats curling up in front of a warm blazing fireplace at my parents house in Newfoundland, with my husband, and family and friends close by, chit-chattering on about nothing and having a grand ol laugh. Guys, Christmas is my favourite. Can’t you tell?

Palm-trees-Santana-RowWhether you’re looking to indulge by buying things for yourself, or going to a holiday party and want to get some hostess gift ideas, surround yourself by browsing around Santana Row. Although, the only time I wish for snow is around Christmas, Santana Row feels so festive with all of the decorations and twinkling lights, especially right before the sun sets.

So today I’m back with another Spiffykerms Holiday Gift Guide, this time at one of my favourite shopping destinations: Santana Row in San Jose.

Alfie-me-Santana-RowA few weeks back they had their annual tree lighting ceremony, which I didn’t end up going to. But I had to make sure I made the visit during the Christmas holiday season to see all the festive lights and Christmas decorations all around the area. My husband, Alfie and I were there for most of the afternoon until sunset this past weekend, so I tried on a bunch of things, added some clothes to my wish-list and generally browsed around snapping photos of gift guide ideas in case you were around the area and wanted to scope it out too.

Kate-Spade-Santana-RowI don’t know anyone who isn’t a fan of Kate Spade accessories.

KateSpadeThe Kate Spade store is always pretty and bright with unique decorations. Check out the polar bear with headphones and the bow-headed lady. I’m in need of a new wallet (as mine is getting a bit tattered), and I think eventually I’ll make my switch to Kate Spade, love the bright pink wallet, and the key-ring that can hold your extra change (or in my case, all the quarters for San Francisco meters).

Splendid-StoreI own one item from Splendid, and if I was working I would have a lot more. Their clothing is so soft, and those PJ’s wrapped up in a cute bundle? I’d like all three of them please. Splendid doesn’t just cater to women, they also have mens and childrens clothing too. How amazing is that succulent wall when you walk right in, too?

Anthro-Santana-RowAnthropologie has always been at the top of my hit-list when shopping in Santana Row. That store is huge, and has an array of boutiquey-feeling kitchen accessories, home decor, and gorgeous articles of clothing. I give myself a shop-here-once-a-year-allowance, and buy one or two things.


Here I am trying on a few things. Ha. As you do.

These gold items are definitely on my Christmas wish-list this year. I’m obsessed with all-gold-everything, and even more so if it’s pineapple shaped. The nesting owl measuring cups would be perfect for a house-warming gift, or even to bring as a thank-you to your hostess when you hit up all those Christmas parties.


Sephora-storeSephora is an all-around fantastic store, because you can buy all sorts of treats for everyone imaginable. Cologne for the men, dry shampoo for anyone, high end makeup, and holiday gift-sets. A few of my favourite picks included the Sephora brow favourites, philosophy purity cleanser, and the Tony Moly blackhead eraser shown on the bottom right (it heats up on its own and is $18! Basically a steal at that price. Sephora-finds

KitAceStoreKit + Ace recently opened up at Sephora, another Canadian store (The owner of Lululemon’s wife created Kit + Ace). It’s a luxury brand for sure, and they make some gorgeous pieces. Soft cashmere sweaters, and unique super soft tees.KitAce

KitAce-itemsThose pompom beanies are a popular hit this year in stores. I’ve been seeing them everywhere – but yet to see them in that hunter green, besides at Kit + Ace. Super cute.

Madewell-tryonMadewell always pulls me into their store. The leathers, the shoes, and the jeans. But this time I tried on some warm and cozy sweaters that have a fun a-symmetrical seam to them. Plus, socks on sale! Love the patterns.

chessTake a break from shopping and sit down with a partner to play a game of chess (or even a huge life-sized game, it was behind me in the photo).

Or pop by Starbucks for a hot drink to warm the bellies and sit down after all that walking around. Starbucks-cupSbux-cup

Ready to keep shopping? How about we pop into Urban Outfitters? They have a great selection of skin care products, not to mention an inexpensive version of Anthropologie-like-clothing (I think they are sister-companies to be honest).UrbanOutfitters

An array of cute necklaces, skincare and Tony Moly (a popular Korean brand of skincare) hand cream for $8 — side note, I scoped the Tony Moly handcream at Sephora, and it was $4 more!Beauty-UrbanOutfitters

Free people is an excellent stop for the bohemian-styled friends, things that I wish I could pull-off easily, but can’t. Instead, I’ll show you a few of my favourite things from the Free People store in Santana Row, their winter hats, and vegan + non-vegan leather goods. The vegan handbag at the bottom right was $48, and was so well constructed AND REVERSIBLE! The clutch I’m holding onto on the top right was $98 and made of the softest leather.FreePeople-items

Around-SantanaRowFor a list of stores and restaurants available, visit Santana Row’s website.

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Veggie Grill, Santana Row

Veggie-Grill-Santana-RowSantana Row is one of my prime-locations to visit whether I want to shop or eat — they have a ton of fantastic options for both. So when I was showing my friend from Canada the area, we popped by Veggie Grill for a quick lunch.


Veggie-Grill-KitchenVeggie Grill, as the name suggests, serves only vegetarian and vegan options.

What we ordered was from a few months back, so it wouldn’t be on their summer menu which is now out, but if I go back any time soon while they still have their summer menu I’m definitely going to try out that delicious looking Mediterranean toss salad with house feta. That photo makes it look amazing.

Veggie-Grill-sandwichI ordered a sandwich which had vegetarian ‘bacon’ on it. It was pretty great and definitely tasted like bacon, but my bread was a bit burnt and that’s all I could taste. I was so hungry that I didn’t mind eating it and didn’t want to be one of those customers who brings their food back to complain about the quality.

Veggie-Grill-LunchMy friend loved her concoction, it looked really appetizing too.


I love checking out all these new-to-me restaurants and fast food places here in the USA. Veggie Grill might not be new to many of you, but I’m not sure we have this back in Canada, anyone know? Have you eaten here?

Veggie Grill Santana Row
3055 Olin Avenue, San Jose 95128

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A Day With Dad

Fathers-Day-HeaderFather’s Day is coming up soon. But as you all most likely know, I won’t be back home with my parents (Newfoundland, Canada) this Father’s Day seeing as I was recently there in May. That doesn’t mean that I won’t be seeing him on Sunday June 21 though. Because my parents and I skype video call one another quite often, so he’ll be seeing this pretty face of mine soon enough, whether he wants to or not! Ha ha!

To be honest though, I usually just call him on the Skype phone we hooked up right after moving down here to the states, especially since we have a lot of technical difficulties trying to get our cameras working. Often enough, I call my Dad when my Mom’s at work, and chat to him about — well, nothing really. We hang out on the phone as if we were sitting in the same room. Or he tells me what all the neighbours are up to, Mr. Neighbourhood Watch over there. Ha! He’s usually watching Judge Judy and I poke fun at him for that, while I make myself a cup of tea and yell at Alfie barking out the window at our neighbours walking by.

I get homesick easily if I think of my loved ones back home. I try not to think about it too much, or my heart will start to hurt, as crazy as that sounds. So while I can’t be there in person with my Daddio this Father’s Day, I can still come up with gift ideas for all the Father’s out there. So get those shoppin’ shoes on, we’re going hunting for some deals for your Dad’s!

Santana Row as I have mentioned many times on my blog, is definitely my favourite place in San Jose. It’s full of shops, restaurants, spas and a even a hotel — which I stayed at with my buddy when she was visiting. More on that later.



donald-pliner-saleDonald Pliner makes some really snazzy looking men’s shoes, and of course — women’s items too. But I gotta say, a man wearin’ a pair of sharp shoes? Hoo wee, immediately hunkarific. They’re having a sale here, up to 50% off on the top shelf.


Oakley-Santana-RowOakley store. Wait what? Since when can one make custom oakleys? Maybe I should re-evaluate my thoughts on getting a pair of raybans, I mean…. especially if they’re unique to me.



Aveda-dry-remedyWho doesn’t love Aveda products? I’ve been using Aveda shampoo, and styling products (their hair spray called Air Control is my #1 favourite) for over ten years!

BonobosBonobos is a men’s clothing store and is a fairly new arrival at Santana Row. They have some pretty nice pieces in there, from chinos to casual suits and more. I’m definitely diggin’ the lighter suit in that upper left photo. Handsome!

Sur-la-Table-Santana-RowSur la Table is having a pretty good sale, a lot of stuff on for 25% and even up to 50% off for certain products.


Diesel-jeansDiesel jeans are wicked looking, aren’t they? They also have these gigantor watches in display cases at the store. Apparently they’re super popular, but man – the faces on them are just massive, it’s kind of comical. I asked the staff working here at Diesel, how long their 30% off sale was going on for. The guy told me it’s definitely going to go on for more than a month and the 30% off section in the back is going to get marked down to 50% off shortly. Whoa nelly! Exciting.



UE BoomBestBuy is basically like a playground for my husband, and Dad. I picked out a couple of things I think any one would enjoy having. The UE Boom is a wireless bluetooth 360 degree speaker that comes in a variety of colours to choose from, and it’s also water resistant, so take it to the poolside! And the GoPro, always a hit and fun to play around with. Especially one for the sportsman who likes to video tape themselves ;).


Franco-Uomo-clothingFranco Uomo is a European clothing store that carries both formal and casual menswear, as well as men’s accessories. They even have Canadian flag cuff-links!


Merino-WoolIcebreaker Merino. This is my husbands kind of store. Everything here is made from Merino wool and will keep you cool/warm when needed, and dry. When one of my friends was visiting here, she ended up buying a number of items from this exact store, including a really beautiful dress she plans on wearing to work.

OrvisOrvis is a really fun store with incredibly friendly staff. They sell a multitude of men’s and women’s clothing, dog beds, fishing gear… all kinds of outdoor things for the nature enthusiast.

SleepI popped into Sleep in Santana Row, that sells two main brands. One being Hästens, where beds are still made by hand using only natural filling material. And yes, the beds are comfortable. :) I had a chat with the man who was working there, and we got onto the topic of how and why I’m doing a blog post featuring Santana Row shopping for Father’s Day, so I gave him a quick rundown of my history being here (Canadian, now in California etc.). He told me I needed to check out Fort Funston. Have any of you guys been there? Apparently it’s right in between San Jose and San Francisco and it’s basically a 10:1 ratio of dogs to humans. He showed me photos of the beach and it looks out-of-this-world. I want to take Alfie there!



el-JardinEven if you aren’t sure if your Daddio is going to like some of the products at the stores I’ve listed, you can always take him to see a movie at CineArts. My husband and I have been to a handful of movies here at the Santana Row location, it’s beautifully tucked away and blends right into the rest of the scenery of Santana Row. Afterwards take him o the outdoor El Jardin tequila bar and restaurant for a bit of tapas during Santana Row’s Happy Hour. The Counter is also at Santana Row, if he’s a burger fan — they have custom built burgers which is fun for a change. Or even Pizza Antica, one of my favourite restaurants there, they have the most delicious wood fired pizzas. Then go fill up your belly with some pinkberry frozen yogurt in the central courtyard and play a game of oversize (or shall I say, life sized) chess on their outdoor chess board. So fun!

Hope you are one of the lucky ones that can spend time with your Dad this Father’s Day. Enjoy it for me! :)

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