Instant 70’s Style by Shopping Your Own Closet!

rsz savvy spice california dale 70s style

“Don’t you wish you could take a single childhood memory and blow it up into a bubble and live inside it forever?” – Sarah Addison Allen, Lost Lake My answer to that is ‘no.‘ Although, Halloween night as a kid surrounded by a pumpkin shaped bucket of Twizzlers, mini Snickers and Starburst is tempting to revisit. When we visited Northern California last month (first time with the baby), my childhood memories come flooding back wondering what her childhood will be like.

From Wiffleball in the backyard to my favorite dinner ever, Peach Dumplings, at my grandparents and playing dress up in vintage clothes passed down through the family. Luckily, with throwback styles back in action, I did a bit of searching around the house for any semi-retro finds I could find. Here’s 5 Secrets to Creating Your Own ‘Throwback Look’ by Shopping Your Wardrobe from the beautiful countryside in Mendocino County…

Hudson jeans blue stretchy jeans

1. Shop Your Closet. Here’s What to Look for this Season –
Leather, suede or fringe dresses you saved. Booties you thought were out a few years ago. Mini-skirts, distressed denim, mini shift dresses and cable knit sweaters. Now is the time to scare off the dust bunnies and slip into them for fall and I love this InStyle article showing Then and Now 70’s Chic

Blond hair Savvy Spice braid 70s style

2. Go with 70’s Shades – Find a pair of funky costume sunglasses to give your look a retro feel without breaking the bank. Then I added some hair extensions for a lose side-braid, bold lipstick, and snapped a pic during the golden hour (makes skin look photoshopped. Yes!!) to complete my look.

Savvy Spice light brown leather jacket

3. Find a Pre-Worn Leather Jacket – You want it to have that cool retro vibe. Shop your parents closet, a 2nd hand store or vintage shop for a leather jacket instead of splurging for a new one or settling for a fast-fashion fix. I found this one by United Colors of Benetton nearly 10 years ago in SF and held onto it.

Hudson jeans

4. Who Cares if Flares are ‘In,’ Wear Jeans you Like – I’m so glad the 70’s boho look from spring and summer still has longevity in the fall. I’m loving the suede and denim throwbacks, but I know a lot of people hate flares. Just wear the style you prefer and mix them with boho designs.


5. Retro Footwear! (You Probably Already Have It) – I just read ‘chunky platform heels‘ are back. Ugh! I always feel like a disco clown ready topple over when I wear those. But I did save these clunky leather Steve Madden heels in my parent’s garage (which felt 70’s enough for me) I bought in 2008! Doesn’t that seem like yesterday?

United Colors Benneton Savvy Spice fashion blog

<DETAILS> navy tank – Old Navy / jacket (old) – United Colors of Benetton / glasses – old (Forever21) / heels (super old) – Steve Madden / jeans (recent) – Hudson Jeans

Back to blogging mode! All NEW posts coming this week and I hope you’re having a good October. Is your Halloween costume ready yet?


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Techs & the City – ‘Urban Mom Edition’

rsz mom style in san francisco babies city

‘Do people break into cars in San Francisco for baby car seats?’ was a question I started to ‘google’ as we arrived in the city a couple weeks ago. Then I realized, if in doubt, take it out. And that means everything. Car break-ins are at a disturbingly all-time high in San Francisco. If you plan to visit any time soon, do.not.leave a single thing in your car or you’ll likely find your window(s) smashed the next morning. As you can see, I was already in cautious mom mode for our time in the city.

It was my first time visiting CA since Wilhelmina was born, and although I lived nearly 10 years in San Francisco before moving to Switzerland, I knew this trip would be a whole new ballgame with a baby. It’s not an anti-baby city, but I definitely got the feeling at a few coffee shops in SOMA, if there was an app to detect and avoid approaching infants, it would be downloaded in SF. Insane traffic and filthy streets aside, the week was beautiful with summer temps you can expect this time of year in San Francisco

Is San Francisco Safe for Babies

The Scene – SF (SOMA district). I decided to crop the littered sidewalks out of the other pics in this post. There is new construction was everywhere and the housing market is cazy! Directly across the street from this photo was a building of condos built over a decade ago. They were having an open house for the only available unit for sale. A 682 Sq. foot apartment 1 bedroom/1 bath. Price: $849,000. Welcome to San Francisco.

Britax stroller Savvy Spice raising baby in San Francisco

 Uber for Babies!? – I didn’t attempt Uber because I wasn’t sure how it would work with the baby and car seat running errands. Plus, I figured ‘Surge Pricing‘ would kick in by the time I got my buggie, baby and bags on board. Any city moms with advice on this? With perfect weather we walked all over the city with our rugged, Britax stroller. It handled potholes, construction zones, and easily navigated around sights in the city a baby should never see.

Ferragamo mini bag

Switch to the Mini Bag in the City! – I usually have my Adora tote in the bottom of the baby stroller next to the diaper bag in Switzerland, but I didn’t want anyone to steal it in SF so I decided to stick everything of value in my mini-bag as I walked through the city.

Geox white sneakers Savvy Spice San Francisco

Cool Mom Sneaks! – I seriously love my GEOX sneakers. They’re an Italian brand of shoes  (that need to have stores in the US) with a cheesy tag-line that their shoes are made to breath with little holes in the bottom. I wore them all over the city and walked for miles blister-free.

Savvy Spice fashion raising baby in San Francisco

Techs & the City Part II – It was great to be back in the Bay and although nowhere near as clean or safe-feeling as Zurich, I do love San Francisco. Of course, it was a much slower pace with the baby than Part I ‘The Work Date’ last summer running around the city in my Fiat.

White banana republic dress

<DETAILS by Dale> ivory dress (old) – Banana Republic / sneakers – GEOX Shoes / stroller – Britax / watch – Vintage / bag – Ferragamo / sunglasses – Calvin Klein

Do you have any city tips for moms?


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Casual at the Mendocino Coast

rsz new cover savvy spice fashion blog

We spent the past 2 weeks in California and jam-packed our schedule with weddings, Wilhelmina’s baptism, family time, a fashion show, plus back and forth trips from Ukiah to San Francisco. Needless to say, our first trip to America with a new baby added a few kinks to our typically carefree California getaways. Last weekend, on our way to a friend’s wedding in the city (#McGuired), I let my husband know we needed to make an emergency retail stop. I had a major fashion dilemma.

I realized the night before the wedding, the dress I brought didn’t fit. After two weeks of stuffing my face with all my California favorites including In-N-Out within an hour of landing, tons of Mexican food, deli sandwiches, and donut holes; the zipper of my dress wouldn’t budge past my lower back. Thankfully, I found a dress with enough time to spare so I could feed the baby before the ‘I Do’s.’ Perhaps my 2 week chips and guac binge was a distraction to escape the added stress of traveling with a baby (tips on that later). However, I do have 5 Tips this fall from hiding a few extra pounds to escaping from added stress (whether it’s a baby, work, or both) on a day trip we took to the Mendocino coast last week

Fort Bragg California Fall visit

The Scene – A beautiful day in Fort Bragg, California on the Mendocino Coast

Savvy Spice black skinny jeans Citizen of Humanity

1. Buy Magic Black Jeans – I love these Citizen of Humanity jeans! They were my favorite before I was expecting, fit until I was nearly 6 months pregnant, and I squeezed into them 3 weeks after delivery. They are stretchy, but never feel stretched out or too tight. Best of all, they seem to magically fit perfect at any size.

Venice Collection nail polish new OPI Venice Collection

2. Escape to Hollyweird – Sometimes when I’m feeding her (which can feel like every 20 minutes during her growing spurts), it’s nice to read something mindless to pass the time. Tabloids do the trick. And speaking of reading…

Kardashian Gossip Savvy Spice1

3. Baby Calming Trick – When she was a few weeks old, my mom said, ‘You know you can start reading to her.’ I had no idea I could read to her so early, and realized quickly it calms her down at night. (Sidenote) I usually stick to Dr. Seuss, but only had my InTouch at the beach, although she seemed to love the vibrant shapes and bold trout pouts in the ‘Plastic Surgery Nightmare‘ article.

Free People Grey Sweater

4. Give Grey Layers a Chance – I just read a style report how ‘wearing shades of grey‘ is ‘in‘ this fall – especially owning a pair of grey jeans. It was a warm, but crisp day at the coast, so I layered this long cardigan over the light-weight knit Old Navy sweater in ‘Heather Putty.’

grey sweater Old Navy

5. Long Cardigans are a Style ‘Do’ for Fall – This Free People cardigan sweater was so comfy and feels like a blanket, but my arms are free. It’s also one of those fall fashion pieces that can hide a bit of extra weight during the holidays.

Savvy Spice Details

<DETAILS by Dale> jeans – Citizen of Humanity Avedon jeans Ultra-Skinny in Axel / cardigan (recent at Nordstrom Rack) – Free People (similar here) / light sweater – Old Navy (on sale now) /  sunglasses – Chloé / Nails – New OPI The Venice Collection ‘Venice the Party?’

Hope you’re having a great week!


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Quick Hello from California!

Wilhelmina Savvy Spice Dale Janee

Greetings from California! I’ve been soaking in the sun and squeezing in as much family time as possible in Nor-Cal before we fly back to Switzerland. Last weekend we went to a beautiful Italian wedding for our friends Tyler & Tina in Geyserville, California – just north of Healdsburg. Luckily, I found Wilhelmina a dress at the last second for the formal affair. Oh, how I miss Nordstrom Rack! Just wanted to say a quick hello and I hope you’re doing well!

Wilhelmina Savvy Spice blog

Can’t believe she is 3 months already! Bye bye for now. New posts coming soon…


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Flare Alert! That 70’s Style is Back

How I Wear My Tassel1

Somebody decided that the 1970s are back for Fall 2015,’ ranted this blogger hilariously taking aim at nearly every Fall ‘fashion must-have’ in her post titled, ‘Why does every store want me to wear hideous clothes this Fall?’ Sure, there are some styles like A-line denim skirts and culottes that I will skip, but I’m not too picky because I’m just happy to be out of maternity jeans.

Before these crazy 70’s prints and flared jeans are destined for Spring clearance racks; I decided to get into the Fall spirit with a slightly retro ensemble. Feeling like I could grab a coffee with Kelso and the rest of the gang on the set of ‘That 70’s Show,’ here’s my choices for Fall Style ‘Do’s’ and those to AVOID…

Savvy Spice yellow Adora bag

Funky Prints – The article hating on Fall trends noted ‘Another hallmark of this dark era of fashion are some of the most hideous prints imaginable.‘ This Zara top isn’t normally colors I’d wear, but the colors felt perfect for Autumn. Plus, loose and flowy tops I can pair over a nude tank are my friend now. But what really caught my eye was the…

Tassel blouse Zara

Tassel Detail – The gold tassels instantly updated this top for me and if you’re into tassels too, check out this month’s ‘How I Wear My‘ by Adrienne of Rich Life on a Budget. And speaking of Adrienne…


The Adora by Adrienne Handbag – I’ve seen celebs rocking yellow handbags this summer and now, into fall. This Adora handbag is a special edition by my friend and blogger, Adrienne, behind the ‘Rich Life on a Budget’ in Sonoma County. Sidenote – Adrienne’s husband, Bill, is a Fire Chief on the front line of the devastating ‘Valley Fire‘ in Nor-Cal just 45 minutes from my home town. Her new post shows just how terrible this Valley Fire has been to Lake County.

yellow leather bag 70s style

Flare Alert – Of course flares* are back when the 70’s come to town, but I’m sticking with this pair of ultra-comfortable, extra long stretchy pair by Citizens of Humanity I’ve had for years. I will NEVER wear the short ankle flare making the rounds this fall. *Flares can make legs look shorter, so my suggestion is to buy a longer pair and wear them with platform heels or boots to elongate your legs.

blond hair extensions 70s style1

Add a 70’s Vibe to Clip-In Extensions – If you don’t feel like rocking a groovy kaleidoscope print dress this fall, an easy way to channel a Charlie’s Angel’s look is to add more volume with updated feathered hair thanks to ‘clip in’ extensions. (Bonus Tip) Curl them with a 1.5 or 2 inch curling iron. Extension with big loose curls are the easiest way to mix them in with your real hair to look the most natural – especially if you’re new to clip-ins.

70s flare jeans

<DETAILS by Dale> jeans (old) – Citizens of Humanity (last seen here) / watch – Michael Kors / handbag – Adora by Adrienne / top – Zara (recent) / heels – (old) BCBG / nails – LVX ‘Monaco’

The 70’s trends I’ll definitely be skipping are overalls, ankle flares, lace up tops the Kardashians are loving, and a few others’ from the funny blog post, but regular flares, suede and fringe details are a ‘DO’ for me this fall.

Are you in the mood for 70’s trends (again) this Fall?


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Secrets of the Autobahn! 10 Driving Tips I’ve Learned in Germany

Secrets from the Autobahn Driving in Germany

Vroom, vroom! I’m so glad I didn’t have to learn to drive in Germany because I would have been terrified as a teen on the Autobahn in my ’89 Accord. (Remember your first ride?) Over the weekend, we drove from Zurich to Frankfurt, Germany to visit my in-laws. I was behind the wheel as we listened to the radio with breaking news about the refugee crisis and how they were finally arriving safely to cities throughout Germany.

We’ve driven countless weekends to Frankfurt as my husband and I switch off driving the 250 mile journey. Maybe my parents named me ‘Dale‘ for a reason because I’ve always loved to drive. Cruis’n World on Nintendo 64 was the only video game I ever enjoyed as a kid, I moved to SF with a stick shift (gulp), and was always the driver on family trips from Nor-Cal to LA. However, driving on the Autobahn in Germany is a different story. I wanted to share major differences and tips with you that can make driving a whole new experience in the US…

Savvy Spice fashion blog driving in Germany Lion Candy bar

  1. Buckle up & Grab a Snack – I’ll be your tour guide and speaking of seat belts – please always wear one – especially on the Autobahn. (PS – the Iphone diary for this post was all taken from the passenger seat. PPS – Have you ever had a Lion candy bar? I discovered it in Germany and they are SO good! )

Unlimited Speed Limit Sign in Germany Autobahn

 2. Can you really drive as fast as you want in Germany? Yes, although there are speed limits on sections of the Autobahn. But when you see the sign above with the lines going through it, that means unlimited and there is ‘no speed limit‘ so you can go as fast as you want. But it doesn’t mean you should…

Driving Autobahn Savvy Spice

3. Distracted Driving is a Huge Risk – This pic above was my very first time driving on the Autobahn a couple years ago. It was clear as soon as I finished my Red Bull and entered the road it was a NEW driving experience. When we made it to Zurich, I felt like I’d run 10 miles. It’s a mental and physical work out. I never glanced at my phone once, kept both hands on the wheel, and checked my mirrors constantly. You need to be fully alert because when you signal into the fast lane, there could be a Porsche, Ferrari or Lamborghini driving 175 mph (appox 280 km) coming up behind you. For the most part, people seem to drive faster, but safer, and one of the HUGE differences is...


4. The Left Lane is for Passing – What a Concept!? – As I caught my husband mid window-wash in this pic, one of the most important rules in Germany is when you go to the left lane to overtake a car, you should pass and then get back over. It is ‘strictly forbidden‘ to pass on the right and people obey this! Unlike the US where cars pass on the right, because there are those drivers who don’t seem to understand the left lane is for passing. How annoying is it when a car just sits in the left lane going slow or tries to block traffic?

Germany traffic Stau driving on the Autobahn

5. Hazard Lights to the Rescue – Signs warn you with ‘Stau‘ (which means ‘traffic’ in German), but if the traffic suddenly comes to a stop, everyone puts on their hazard lights to warn drivers behind them. It seems like such a simple, safe idea to reduce those pile-up accidents. I’m not sure why it’s not ‘standard practice‘ in the US. Of course, accidents on the Autobahn do happen…

Neon vests required in Germany driving

6. Safety First in Neon – As we were driving along in traffic Sunday, there was a minor fender bender on the side. Both drivers exchanging information had on neon vests. A neon vest is required in every car in Germany (and Switzerland) to be worn by stranded motorists or accidents on the side of the road. After hearing about accidents in the US with people being hit on the side of the road by other motorists who didn’t see them, the neon vest seems like a good safety measure.

Driving in Germany Savvy Spice fashion blog

7. What you Wear Matters – I used to drive in heels all the time in California, but I would never drive in stilettos, barefoot or flipflops on the Autobahn. Wearing regular shoes so you can hit the break instantly is so important with the speeds some people are driving.

Trucks Cant Drive on Sunday in Germany

8. Big Rigs Can’t Drive on Sundays! – If you drive in the US, you know how frustrating it can be on a freeway when you’re stuck behind two big rig trucks passing each other. It can take for-ev-er. In Germany, trucks are NOT ALLOWED to drive on the Autobahn on Sundays (unless it’s perishable food). This really helps cut down on weekend traffic and allows the truckers to rest all day. And speaking of the truck stops…

Germany truck stop food snacks

9. The Truck Stops Have Everything – Because the driving is so intense, it seems the rest stops are truly for ‘resting’ and taking a break from the road. They have restaurants, fancy salad bars, souvenirs, coffee shops, the cleanest bathrooms you’ve ever seen in a gas station and even an indoor smokers’ lounge which always makes me shiver a bit when I see these enclosed tiny rooms filled with cigarette smoke all over in Europe.

Speed limit Germany

10. You Won’t Get Pulled Over for a Ticket – There are some areas marked with speed limits where you need to go slower like above (120 km is about 75 mph) because of construction, traffic or weather. Usually, everyone slows down and respects it. After all, you know they’re posting ‘what’s safe for conditions‘ for a reason so you don’t crash. But if someone decides to speed through, there are cameras and a ticket will come in the mail. It’s safer because there aren’t traffic stops on the side of the road with other motorists flying by at 100 mph+. I’ve only seen the police on the Autobahn a handful of times – usually for accidents.

How to Drive on the Autobahn Savvy Spice Driving in Germany

What I LOVE Most about the Autobahn! – There is a completely different respect of the road. You see road rage occasionally with two cars competing to see who’s faster or someone blocking the fast lane. But for the most part, if a car is faster than you – just let them pass. If someone wants to drive dangerously fast (like this guy in a Lambo going 200 mph), people just get over. Driving is always risky, but with extremely well-cared for roads (I’ve never seen a pothole or litter all over the shoulders), added with the strict safety rules in Germany, driving is a LOT more fun.

Do you think the Autobahn with an ‘unlimited speed limit’ could ever work in the US?


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