All Posts By:

Mary Ann

    Oahu Guide Part 2: The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club

    February 28, 2018

    Hawaii is second home to me. When my mother immigrated to the U.S, her first home was Hawaii before settling in California. I’ve been going back for over 15 years and there’s always something new that I haven’t explored. 

    We got to stay at The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club in Waikiki. It was unlike any hotel experience I’ve had on the island. It was unique in that it combines laid back retro cool with modern local elements. The Surfjack is visually stunning; we love the mid-century modern vibes with touches of hip Honolulu detail like the Shaka and pineapple patterns. Our room felt like our own little bungalow in Waikiki instead of a standard hotel room.

    The designers envisioned a space for hotel guests to understand the true local Honolulu experience without being kitschy and cliched. The city has been experiencing a cultural renaissance, priding itself in its strong art, food, and art scene. The core idea is to bring this cultural pride back into Waikiki to make for a richer and more fulfilling experience.

    With an Olive & Oliver outpost along with Mahina & Sun’s serving as hotel’s restaurant, The Surfjack showcases the movers, shakers, and creators of the Honolulu scene. The hotel also provides weekly activities such as poolside film screenings, workshops led by local companies (like flower crown making courtesy of Paiko), pilates, and live music for both locals and travelers to partake and share in the community space.  

    I’m the type of person that loves a hotel that pays attention to details and is immersive in local experiences. I felt the deep sense of community, love, and pride in the hotel. For once, I actually slowed down and enjoyed the experience of being at a hotel and not feel so rushed to be out and about. If you’re looking for a unique and refreshed experience of Waikiki, the Surfjack is a hotel you should stay at. I’ll definitely be back.


    Women Wednesdays: Erbose

    January 24, 2018

    Audrey pictured

    We’ve been having an amazing time with our Women Wednesday series this month. We’re feeling so deeply connected to our community and are enjoying the responses we’ve been getting from our readers both on the web and in real life.

    This week, we’re featuring the women behind Erbose, one of our favorite skincare lines. Sisters Audrey Dombroski and Jen Schachtebeck created Erbose with a focus on clean beauty. They are committed to self-care through holistic skincare rituals and creating a community of wellness. Audrey and Jen are truly inspiring and have created beautiful products that are environmentally and ethically sound.

    Jen pictured

    We’ve talked about Erbose products before, and we’re happy to say that the results from using their products have been nothing short of amazing. We’re excited to share Audrey and Jen’s story of how Erbose began and what continues to inspire them.

    1. When did you first realize that you wanted to start a skincare line? What called you to it?

    Audrey: I’ve always relied on various self-care rituals to support my physical and mental well-being and while I was studying herbalism, my new found relationship with plants only solidified my commitment to health and wellness. I’ve always been conscious of what I was putting into my body, but only then did I start looking into what I was putting on my body. I began formulating plant-based skincare products for myself, quickly realizing the healing qualities these products provided my skin. I then branched out and started transforming plants into useful products for our family and friends and received great feedback about the effectiveness these products offered. It was then that I became committed to creating and providing products in hopes of empowering others to look at their daily beauty routines through a holistic lens.

    2. What characteristics do you admire most in other women?

    We really admire women who are comfortable in their own skin, who appreciate themselves exactly as they are. We’re also really inspired by women who empower and support other women. Having a community of women who encourage other women to pursue their goals is key. Let’s build each other up instead of holding each other back!

    3. What was the best piece of business advice that you’ve received?

    Measure your degree of passion. You have to be passionate about what you’re doing. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, why would anyone else?

    4. What is your personal or professional motto?

    “Always do what you are afraid to do.”

    5. Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently when you started?

    Editing! The excitement of first starting out had us crazy with ideas with what we wanted to create and introduce. That, in turn, resulted in way too many products that ultimately felt excessive—a concept that strays from what we want our products to be: simple, clean and uncomplicated. Keeping things simple from the get-go while staying true to yourself is the best way to start any endeavor.

    6. What resources do you recommend to someone starting in your industry?

    We love reading blogs like Chalkboard Mag, Well+Good, and mindbodygreen  for information regarding all around wellness, healthy eating, and natural health. We recommend keeping up with clean beauty products and trends. We love The Moment for information about beauty products and clean living, and try to check in with organic/natural beauty bloggers on Instagram like sunkissedkateblog, livingprettynaturally, and annalovesorganicbeauty for clean products they’re currently into.

    7. If you were given an extra 2 hours a day, what would you do with it?

    We’d definitely use some of that time for wellness- meditation, yoga, going on a hike- anything to cultivate mindfulness. We’d also spend the time catching up with new shows or hanging out with our family and friends. Maybe read a book (for fun)! Oh, and of course, get some extra sleep in the morning, because a little extra rest never hurt anyone! Can we have more than an extra 2 hours? 🙂

    8. What inspires you?

    We’re inspired by a lot of things:

    • A curiosity for the natural world and its healing qualities

    • A desire to create and work with our hands

    • What others in our industry are doing

    • Community building through clean living aspirations

    • A desire to help and show people just how easy it can be to live a natural life

    The list goes on and on….

    9. What’s next for Erbose? Anything exciting that you’d like to share?

    We recently launched the Erbose Baby Line which we’re really excited about! It’s bringing some new opportunities and allowing us to work with health conscious parents who want to lead organic and natural lifestyles for themselves and their kids. We are also in the midst of formulating new face and body oils, so keep an eye out for that!

    Photo Credit: Audrey Dombroski + Jen Schachtebeck



    Dressed: Rachel Antonoff Fall Ready to Wear ’17

    January 23, 2018

    Rachel Antonoff’s Falll Ready to Wear ’17 collection will always be a personal favorite of mine. The collection was a direct response to an exhausting year. It was a year full of trash and tackiness. What amazes me about Rachel Antonoff is her ability to see beauty in the ugly. There’s one dress with a print of New York garbage; a delicate pattern of coffee cups, banana peels, condoms, and halved avocados. If anyone else did something like this, it would be tacky. In her hands, it’s quite chic.

    Of course, I love how she keeps it genuine. She’s using her platform in fashion to be a visual voice of women and the oppressed everywhere. With her uterus sweaters and lapel pins, Rachel Antonoff continues to proudly take a stance on equality, social justice, and human rights.

     Check out some of my other favorites below. How do you feel about the collection? Does anything stand out to you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

    Where to purchase:

    1. The Parts Pin
    2. Hysterical Female Tee
    3. The Jewel Jumpsuit
    4. The Reproductive System Sweater
    5. The Sammy Midi Dress
    6. The Wanda Wide-leg Pant
    7. Danny Turtleneck with Sup

    Dressed: Madewell Spring ’18

    January 20, 2018

    Joyce Lee, Madewell’s Vice President of Design, sure knows how to connect with customers. She has this ability to tap into the memories of Madewell’s target demographic and create emotional value between the customer and the pieces. The Spring ’18 collection is no exception to that idea.

    The latest collection brings me back to road trips, sleepovers, and the long days of summer. I’m seeing inspiration from classic coming of age movies, in particular, Now and Then (which was also the movie we watched for every single sleepover.) I can imagine Roberta and her squad rolling up in their bikes wearing the mid-length shorts, tapered jeans, denim jumpsuits, and floral blouses.

    Madewell does basics right. They aren’t trendy per se, but they also aren’t boring. I love the details that create that emotional connection I often look for. A Mickey Mouse sweater harkens back to the yearly road trips to the happiest place on earth. A white tee under a spaghetti strap dress reminds me of when I wanted to dress up like my older cousin and her friends. My favorite piece is the belted kimono jacket with floral details; it’s something that can easily transition from day to night and seasons. It’s also a piece that I can wear while camping. I feel like all of these pieces can easily be the clothes I pack for a getaway.

    Check out a few more of our favorites below. Do you have any pieces that you’re excited for? The collection is set to release early next week! Let us know if you plan on making any purchases. We’ve already had our hearts set on a few.

    Photo Credit: Madewell

    Women Wednesdays: Tamryn Miller

    January 17, 2018

    For our Women Wednesdays series this week, we wanted to feature one of our favorite bloggers and all around style queen Tamryn Miller of Wannabe Fashion Blogger. Like us, Tamryn is a Bay Area gal based in San Francisco. Tamryn’s unique style has turned the heads of many and continues to give us inspiration in refreshing ways. She has parlayed the success of her blog into partnerships with companies such as J.Jill, Lacson Ravello, and SoulCycle. Tamryn is no snob and is totally down with pairing a beautiful thrifted dress with a pre-loved Chanel bag. She can rock the bootleg Gucci from Afterlife Boutique, and have a ton of people buying it the next day. Tamryn is that cool. Read more about her below. And when you’re done, be sure to check out her blog and follow her on Instagram. It’s lit.

    1. Tell us about Wannabe Fashion Blogger. How did it come about?
    Wannabe Fashion Blogger was born from an inside joke between my sister and I. I have always been very into fashion and when blogging really started taking off, I would look at my own outfits and think “I could do that!” I would send my sister photos of my daily outfits and jokingly sign them from “Wannabe Fashion Blogger.” Everyone in my life encouraged me to start my own blog and I did just that about four and a half years ago. I kept the name Wannabe Fashion Blogger because it helped me get started!
    2. What characteristics do you admire most in other women?
    The number one characteristic I admire most about other women is confidence. I have always been shy and less confident in myself so when I see women who just OWN everything about themselves, I love it!
    3. What was the best piece of advice in starting the blog?
    The best piece of advice I would give to anyone starting a blog is be true to who you are. When you pretend to be someone else, it shows. Readers want authenticity, they want to know who YOU are, not who you are pretending to be.
    4. What is your personal or professional motto?
    “Wear Outside The Box”
    5. What resources do you recommend to someone starting a creative business?
    Honestly, Instagram has been a huge source of inspiration for me and I have learned so much from watching others. I would also recommend finding a community that can support you and who knows what you’re going through. When I first started, I was really shy and didn’t want to network with other bloggers because I was afraid. Now, I have such a solid group of girls that truly support each other in such a unique business world. It’s amazing!
    6. What drives you? What keeps you going with Wannabe Fashion Blogger?
    I feel like my style is always evolving and that really motivates me to continue with Wannabe Fashion Blogger. I love seeing how my style has changed over the years and I love connecting with my audience. Hearing from my readers makes me so happy and they really push me to keep going.
    7. What’s up next for you? Anything exciting that you’d like to share?
    As of right now, I have a few projects that I am working on and hoping to make it to NYFW in September!

    Photo Credits: Shannon Righetti