Is This the New Napa in Northern California?

Anderson Valley Roederer Estate

Shall we do a weekend in Napa? Swirl, swirl, swish, swish…taste expensive? Not to knock Napa, but if you’re looking for a wine tasting experience in Northern California minus steep tasting fees, pricy hotels and hoards of tourists, it’s time to head north. And I mean more north than Healdsburg and Sonoma. While back in my childhood hometown of Ukiah, CA for the holidays, my brothers, husband and I drove 45 minutes away to Philo and Booneville in Anderson Valley. Where’s Booneville you ask? I’ll show you below.

It’s time for a quick escape to the beauty of Northern California’s wine country 110 miles from San Francisco and world’s apart from city life. Especially if you’ve ‘done‘ Napa time after time, Anderson Valley should be on your Cali bucket list to visit, sip wine, beer and bubbly while taking a deep breath of fresh air.

Visting Northern California Anderson Valley

First Stop – Roederer Estate (Tasting fee – $6 comp’d with purchase that day). Located in Philo, California Roederer Estate, was founded in 1982 by Jean-Claude Rouzaud (president of Champagne Louis Roederer.) The tasting room overlooks a landscape of vineyards, redwood forests and a layer of fog in the distance from the coast. Roederer Estate is my FAVORITE sparkling wine under $30!

Roederer Estate wine tasting Anderson Valley

Anderson Valley Dress Code – Leave the Louboutins at home. It’s ultra casual up in these parts, but the wineries and tasting rooms are still gorgeous with a Nor-cal charm and visitors from around the world. Dress how you like for a weekend in wine country, and blue jeans are good to go. For a Wine Country Style Guide – definitely follow Adrienne of ‘The Rich Life in Wine Country

Wine tasting Anderson Valley

Family pic at Roederer with my brothers Drew & Paul (who’s finally 21 and can do a little tasting himself)

PS – If you want an in-depth tour of Anderson Valley with more details for a full weekend – check out this ’15 article by the Wall Street JournalUncorking the Perfect Long Weekend in California’s Anderson Valley.’

Husch Winery Philo California

Husch Husch… (Tasting Fee – $0) We went to the family-owned Husch Vineyards tasting room just around the corner from Roederer Estate. It reminded me of a cozy secret cottage in a fairytale. We bought a couple bottles and headed back down the road to Lemon Market for fresh deli sandwiches, kettle chips, and our appetites for a picnic at the Anderson Valley Brewing Co. just down the road.

Anderson Valley Brewery 2

Anderson Valley Brewing Co. – (Tasting Fee – $10 for 5 beers of your choice). You can’t miss the AVBC Tap Room in Booneville. This town is rich in history with a tiny population and it’s own language – Boontling (read more on Wikipedia if you’re curious). The brewery has a Boontling word of the day on the menu in the tap room. Vocab word that week: ‘dehigged’ meaning ‘without money, feeling broke.’

Booneville Anderson Valley wine tasting

Nor-Cal Insider Tip*- You could definitely do Anderson Valley as a long day trip from the Bay Area, but I recommend spending the weekend venturing to the Mendocino Coast about 35 miles from Booneville. There is also a new restaurant in Philo I’ve heard from locals is tasty called The Bewildered Pig open Thurs-Sun for dinner.

Roderer Estate Tasting Room Anderson Valley

<DETAILS by DALE> shades – Quay Australia 64 MM Aviator glasses in gold/brown / jeans (old) – Zara / suede jacket (recent) – Zara /  sweater (last seen here at the Mendocino Coast) – Old Navy / boots – H&M / handbag – Louis Vuitton tote / red purse accessory – from Zurich airport

Budget Bonus – We spent about $40 each the whole day including tastings at 3 locations, lunch, and buying a couple bottles to take home. Yay! *Traffic is also much lighter in Anderson Valley compared to Napa if you’re looking for a rural getaway in wine country. Have you been to Anderson Valley before or wine tasting lately?

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Velvet & Black for Date Night in Dallas

pink velvet tank top No boundaries cover

Happy New Year! Resolutions still going strong? As a new-ish parent, a 2017 goal of mine is at least ‘1 date night‘ per month. Parents put date nights on the back-burner all too often, which is why I was SO excited to kick off the trend early with the Andrea Bocelli concert in Dallas last month just before he made headlines for backing away from performing at Trump’s upcoming inauguration. Anyway, back to the date.

Sorry for the credit card cliché, but the night could be summed up like a classic Mastercard commercial. Steak dinner and Amaretto Sours for two – $113, nose-bleed seats at the Bocelli concert – $79 each, hearing multiple whispers in the crowd referencing the ‘Catalina Wine Mixer‘ when Andrea sang ‘Time to Say Goodbye‘ – Priceless. Coming home to Wilhelmina sleeping like an angel – Extra Priceless. As for date night style, the temps have drastically dropped in Dallas the past month – it even snowed last Friday! I’ve found a few trends this winter that are fun and seriously budget-friendly. They won’t break the bank, or make you break out, as I’ll show you in today’s post from the Dallas Design District

black vintage coat Dallas

1. Try a Choker…. A few months ago, I felt way too old to wear a choker, but literally everyone from Kris Kardashian to bloggers and teens worldwide are wearing them. So why not wear one before the trend is out of style? I loved this wrap around velvet choker I found at fast-fashion headquarters (aka Forever21).

fur ball for purse

2. Add a Purse Accessory – These little faux fur handbag accessories are everywhere from Nordstrom Rack to Ross for under $20. They make any basic handbag fun and festive this winter.

velvelt top with pencil skirt

3. Speaking of Velvet – It’s one trend I ran into at Walmart last month loading up on Christmas ornaments. This simple rose colored velvet tank with lace detail is perfect for layering under and staying on trend for under $6. Score!

pink velvet tank top

4. Vintage Coats! It’s only ‘freezing’ on a few occasions each year in Dallas so don’t stock up on a HUGE winter wardrobe. If you’re ever shopping in Dallas, I highly recommend stopping into Clotheshorse Anonymous. It’s my new favorite consignment shop for vintage and designer dresses, jackets, and I even found my New Year’s Eve dress a few hours before the party.

Dallas style blogger

5. Use this for a Youthful Glow in 2017… Although it was tough to see on this dreary day in Dallas, my new favorite highlighter for winter is Rimmel London’s ‘Good to Glow’ creme highlighter in the ‘Nottinghill‘ shade. Keep one in every purse (they’re under $5!) and use on your cheekbones, brow bone and cupid’s bow for an illuminating glow – just like the celebs had on the red carpet at last night’s Golden Globes.

DolceGabanna black boots

<DETAILS by Dale> pencil skirt (old)Banana Republic / top – Walmart (here in more colors) / booties – Dolce & Gabbana / handbag – Ferragamo / jacket (Vintage) – last seen here in Switzerland / purse accessory – ROSS / choker – Forever 21 / creme highlighter – Rimmel London

I hope your 2017 has kicked off to a great start and if you ever get the chance to see Andrea Bocelli in concert, I highly recommend it. Any resolutions you’ve made this year…


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Fall Florals at The Dallas Blogger Brunch

Dallas Blogger Brunch Savvy Spice

Shall we brunch? Last Saturday I joined a couture crew of DFW fashionistas at Lark on the Park for my first Dallas Blogger Brunch hosted by Rhonda of The Skinny Arm. The sunny and warm vibes were complemented by french toast, fresh conversation outside of baby-talk with Wilhelmina, and plenty of insta-worthy images including pear butter and hand-drawn calligraphy that would have Martha Stewart swooning.

I slipped into a floral print dress and made my way to Lark on the Park – the delicious hotspot and fun-to-say eatery across from Klyde Warren Park (aka one of the coolest parks I’ve ever seen in downtown Dallas built over about 10 lanes of Freeway). So welcome to my first Dallas Blogger Brunch including a little table decor inspo for your Thanksgiving next week…

Lark On the Park

The Scene – Lark on the Park in Dallas, Texas including gorgeous flower arrangements by Celebrate Dallas.

Dallas blogger Brunch fashion blogger

Dallas Talent Alert! – Each guest at brunch had a rock name-tag with handwritten gold calligraphy created by Amanda of Renewed Calligraphy who was at the brunch too. How fun and festive would these rocks be to spruce up your place-settings this Thanksgiving? (Just remember: don’t talk politics at the table).

Wearing black lace bra under backless dress

Open Dress Back Drama Solved – I got home with this dress by H&M and realized it was open-back. Ugh – who wants to go bra-less to brunch?! I decided to wear a black lace bra-lettte which was easy and instantly solved the undergarment dilemma.

Vintage Chanel earrings

Vintage Chanel Earrings – If you live in Dallas, you may be familiar with Clotheshorse Anonymous, but I just discovered this consignment store in Preston Forest Village. It’s a goldmine for budget-friendly vintage and designer pieces. These clip-on vintage Chanel earrings are torture after a couple hours, but perfect for weekend brunch.

Dallas Blogger brunch Dallas lifestyle fashion bloggers

The Brunch crew… Top row – Amanda (the calligrapher – @renewedcalligraphy) and blogger behind @Affectionately.Amanda, Kami of @TheKalonLife, Kelsie & Lexi the sisters behind the food & lifestyle blog @Pizza&Champagne, Melissa of, me – @Savvy_Spice

Lower row – Courtney of  @champagneandcitylights, Anna Dille of, Rhonda the amazing hostess and founder of The Skinny Arm

photo credit – Thanks Courtney (champagneandcitylights!) Now onto the Brunch…

french toast with Nutella e1479301705640

Mmmm French Toast – I ordered the Cornbread French Toast with roasted peaches, ginger-vanilla syrup, maple cream and pecans. Needless to say, I’ll be back for more soon.

Lark restaurant Dallas Texas

Hello Pear Butter! If you’re a pear or pastry lover, go to Lark on the Park ASAP for your next coffee date. On the brunch menu, they serve a platter of fresh baked pastries, house-made jam, and pear butter (seasonal) to go perfectly with your cappuccino.

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Fall Dress Fave – It’s not exactly freezing cold yet in Dallas (this week has been 70’s & 80’s) so I’m loving this floral dress by H&M – only $34.99. It’s a bit shapeless, but will be perfect under a faux fur vest or trench with tights when winter arrives.

blogger brunch outfit HM floral dress

<DETAILS by Dale> dress (new) – H&M / sandals – Versace (last seen here) / handbag – Ferragamo / earrings – Vintage Chanel (Clotheshorse Anonymous) / gold nail polish – F21

If you live in Dallas, have you been to Lark on the Park?


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24 Hours in the Big Apple with a Baby

New York Style faux leather jacket

Welcome to NYC! My ‘New York State of Mind’ was all about fashion week and running around the city with my sister a few years ago, but now I have a baby and a husband. On our way to visit family in Boston last weekend, we stopped in NYC for 24 hours.

Other than a rather unsettling moment when a homeless man on 6th Avenue walked toward Wilhelmina’s stroller aggressively barking at her and the nightmare traffic on the way to the oh-so-charming LaGuardia airport, we had a great time in NYC. It’s been a long week, let’s head to The Big Apple

New York City Today Show

The Scene – NYC! 7 AM We ran down to Rockefeller Center to the Today Plaza. The crowd looks huge on TV, but in reality it was around 100 people last Friday. If you want to see the show in NYC for a chance to meet Al or Matt, here’s what you need to know to visit the Today Plaza.

Savvy Spice visiting Today Show

Wilhelmina was over the Today Show crowd, but she was more than happy to stop into Bouchon Bakery next door where it was warm and toasty for a Macaroon. We enjoyed the most amazing croissants and a cappuccino – Bouchon has 7 locations across the US, maybe you’ve been in Napa?

Flowers NYC Savvy Spice fashion blog

Flowers for sale on the streets of NYC

Today Show New York City

Luckily, I walked by H&M on 6th Avenue when the Kenzo collaboration had just hit H&M. There was a crowd inside the store and most of the classic Kenzo tee’s were gone, but I bought a couple pieces before everything was gone. That outfit coming soon.

Central Park Savvy Spice

A few hours before our flight, we took a walk in New York’s Central Park.

New York City Savvy Spice

Mommy & Me in NYC. No hair, fake hair.

Sour Power Candy1

I LOVE the candy street vendors sell in NYC – especially the Sour Power Straws even if they’re a little stale. (Found the Sour Power Watermelon Straws here on Amazon too)

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Until next time NYC…

Dale Janee blogger Adidas Superstar shoes

<DETAILS by Dale> Jacket – Zara / fave black jeans – Citizens of Humanity (last seen here) / purse – Ferragamo / shades –Prada / shoes – Adidas Superstar / lipstick – Rebel by MAC

Wilhelmina wearing Nine West rain boots / matching pink sweat suit with silver hearts from Walmart / Jou Jou Jacket

After 24 hours in New York, our next stop was Boston. Hope you have a great weekend and special thank you to all the veterans and their families today as the US celebrates Veterans Day.


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6 Things to Do if You’re Feeling Stressed & Sleep Deprived Today

Savvy Sleepers Nappuccino Event

I don’t know about you, but I was up until 3 am last night clicking from network to network, scanning Twitter, and reading status updates from Facebook friends going through every emoticon I could imagine. One thing is for sure today, people are exhausted from this election.

Here are 6 Things to Do Today if you’re feeling stressed or sleep deprived…

      • Hug a baby or a puppy. It’s surprising how much better you’ll feel after giving your child a hug or snuggling with your fur baby. When Wilhelmina woke up crying last night as my bloodshot eyes were glued to the TV while googling ‘How many electoral votes does ‘X’ state have?etc etc, I ran to her crib and cuddled her until she fell asleep. My stress level dropped instantly.
    • Do something to pamper yourself. Maybe it’s going home a little early and taking a nap or making a nice dinner, getting your nails done, a blow out, a massage, or buying new lipstick. Pamper yourself. After last night, Savvy Sleepers just extended our Nappuccino Event through Friday (Buy 2, Get 1 Nappuccino FREE + a $5 Starbucks Gift Card). Use code ‘Nap‘ at checkout.
    • Do something local. I attended TedxSMU Women last month here in Dallas where Dr. Margo McClinton Stoglin, the Texas State Director of Ignite, talked about the very real issue about the lack of women in politics. Ignite is a national organization helping young women ‘who are ready and eager to become the next generation of political leaders.’ Encourage your kids, younger siblings or cousins to get involved with student council in Jr. high, high-school and college. More about Ignite here.
    • Clean, organize, cook. When life is feeling out of control, sometimes simple things we can control are a total stress-reliever. Enjoy time with your family, have an amazing dinner tonight, bake cookies, or organize that messy closet in your house because busy-work is a great distraction.
    • Yoga, Pilates or a brisk walk. Take a deep breath. Always a good idea.
  • Make a Real Life Coffee Date with a Friend – There has been so much political communication via social media (especially Facebook) with friends, coworkers and family about this election. But how well do you actually know your friends after this ‘shocking’ outcome? If your communication has been mostly online lately, set up a real-life coffee date with friends and people you care about to learn more about what is going on in their lives. Talk about family, fun times, work, or serious topics – but skip the election discussion.

Anything that’s been working for you today to de-stress?


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4 Tips to Dress Like a Dallas Fashionista

Savvy Spice Dallas fashion tips

Did you dress up for Halloween? My weekends of jam-packed Halloween festivities and candy corn binges ended when I moved to Switzerland. But it will always be a special day for me as I met my husband on October 31st exactly four years ago.

Although, we didn’t dress up for Halloween this year in Dallas, the past few months I’ve been paying special attention to fashion in DFW. There is more leather, fringe, tassel, leopard print, gold and bright colors than I’ve seen in years and I love it. My wardrobe turned to black in Europe with the occasional neutral and grey accents, so this is a welcome change.  Here’s my top 4 tips (so far) to capture the style and vibe of Dallas (if you’re local, let me know your thoughts and what I’m missing)…

Savvy Spice Dallas style blogger

The Scene – One of the cutest coffee shops in Dallas tucked away in the Harwood District called Magnolias – Sous Le Pont. From the marble tables, adorable decor, coffee, and outdoor setting; if you’re a fashion blogger, Magnolias is pure instagram-gold.

OPI nail polish mini Dallas style blogger

1. Nails, nails, nails… It is so nice to be around affordable nail spas again. In Texas, beauty is BIG business, and women have great nails. I carry a mini OPI nail polish around in my purse in case my nails aren’t done before meetings. I’ve been to Posh Nails in Uptown so far where I got this mani (OPI Black Cherry Chutney).

instagram photo coffee shop Dallas

2. Accessorized in Kendra Scott – My rose gold bracelet is the Bianca Cuff in rose gold by Kendra Scott. I’d never heard of Kendra Scott before moving to Dallas, but now I’m convinced that if you live in Texas, you must have at least 1 piece (okay, maybe 15 pieces) of Kendra Scott jewelry. (Bay Area Sidenote) Kendra Scott opened a location in Santana Row if you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area.

LV bag Savvy Spice fashion blogger

3. Fringe or Leather Booties – They go with skirts, jeans, dresses and yep – denim shorts for a warm evening out at the Katy Trail Ice House. I see leather and faux leather booties everywhere (especially in brown natural tones.)

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4. Dallas Hair &  Handbags! – There are SO many LV handbags in Dallas (mainly brown neutral tones) especially this tote. Now let’s talk Dallas hair! I can’t even keep up with the gorgeous hair here. It seems there are high-end hair salons on every corner and I see women who look like they walked out of a Pantene Pro-V commercial daily.

Louis vuitton yellow handbag

<DETAILS by Dale> jeans & top (last summer) – Zara (I can’t wait for Zara coming to Dallas this winter at the Northpark Mall) / shoes – Report  / handbag – Louis Vuitton (first seen here) / lipstick (Rebel by Mac) / Bianca cuff in rose gold – Kendra Scott

Hope you’re having a great week! If you live in the DFW area, what are some of your favorite trends this Fall?


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