How the Swiss Do Thanksgiving Better

Switzerland Thanksgiving Savvy Spice

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re enjoying at least 24 hours off for family time or a home-cooked meal. I won’t be home in California this year having Apple Gobbler (pictured above), but I’ll be celebrating from Switzerland. And in Switzerland, every Sunday is like Thanksgiving used to be in America. Families and friends spend quality time together, eating big family dinners, taking afternoon walks, and most importantly – shopping malls are closed. I know it’s been a trend for a few years, but I really can’t believe how many stores are open on Thanksgiving day now! The list has grown to include Target, Macy’s, Old Navy, KMart, Khol’s, Best Buy (Ugh!) and countless more.

Kudos to stores staying closed on Thanksgiving Day including Costco, Sam’s Club, TJ Maxx, H&M, Marshalls, Nordstorm, Home Goods and Sierra Trading Post.  (Full List Here)

I have no problem with Black Friday ‘Door Buster’ sales and totally get the thrill of shopping at 4 am, but I HATE that stores are open on Thanksgiving. It tarnishes the entire point of the holiday. I can just imagine explaining to Wilhelmina in a few years saying, ‘when I was a kid, all the stores used to be closed on Thanksgiving Day and you couldn’t go shopping.’  It makes me feel a little older already.

While this trend will likely grow, perhaps the only thing people can do to fight back is subscribe to the genius marketing strategy of REI which is staying closed on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. Their hashtag #OptOutside has even prompted State Parks to give FREE passes to hike, instead of shop, on Black Friday. My Suggestion: Don’t shop in stores on Thanksgiving Day. Shop Friday sales the next day (if you’re ready to take on aggressive shoppers), and of course shop local on Saturday (aka Small Business Saturday.)

Cheers to you and your family! I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

Screen Shot 2014 02 26 at 12.19.14 PM 22


5 Pick-Me-Ups When You’re Feeling Down Now


The past 6 days have been tough. I’ve felt every emotion from sadness to fear and beyond. I’m sure it doesn’t help that I’ve been tuning into CNN and SkyNews LIVE for hours each day since the Paris attacks. The breaking news as we were finishing up dinner last Friday night in Switzerland was horrifying! And the stories, photos and continuing news of the terror attack details that have taken place around the world are beyond upsetting.

A few nights ago, as I watched the footage of the pregnant woman hanging out of the second story window of the Bacalan theater in Paris, it was just too much. She survived. But I decided I needed a break from the non-stop heartbreaking news and rising death tolls.

Maybe you’re feeling that way too? So I tuned out of CNN, scrolled past political debates on Facebook, and muted my phone to avoid the ‘Breaking News Updates’ on Twitter. I tried to think about something else beyond the pain people were feeling all over the world for a few hours. Here is what helped…

  1. Taking deep breaths and doing a 30 minute Youtube Pilates or Yoga session. (I like Efit30)
  2. Reading positive posts about Paris like this one by my friend Heather of StyleMindChic ‘Paris on my Mind, Today and Always‘ or watching the viral video of the man in France explaining to his young son about fighting the ‘bad guys‘ with flowers.
  3. Trying not to feel afraid. I completely agree with Kim of NorthernCalStyle when she wrote…‘I feel so useless to help, but after reading many others posts, I have concluded one thing, that we cannot let these people put terror in our hearts.’
  4. Talking and asking questions. Living in Europe has made me me realize I never paid enough attention to geography and history while living in California. Everything over here seemed so far away. I’ve asked my husband A LOT of questions lately just to catch up on decade old conflicts. Just talking about what you’re feeling from sadness to anger with someone you’re close to is so helpful. (Sidenote) If you feel a little lost about what is going on in Syria, the new PBS Frontline episode (airing before the Paris attacks on Oct. 27th) explains a lot – although it’s hard to watch.
  5. Writing. If you’re feeling fearful or uneasy at the end of the night, I highly recommend writing a quick journal entry, drafting a blog, or typing an email to yourself about what you’re feeling. Whatever you do, don’t read breaking details on DailyMail right before bed.

Praying, hoping, and wishing for peace in Paris and the rest of the world.


Screen Shot 2014 02 26 at 12.19.14 PM 22


European Street Style! How to Copy the Casual Fall Look

Savvy Spice fashion blog European Style

Trying to fit in is never easy, but when it comes to ‘style,’ I don’t mind following trends. When I moved from California to Switzerland with my Samsonite stuffed with neon tanks and floral peplum tops, I stuck out like a sore thumb. It’s all about wearing black here. While I retired my neon, each winter I attempt to update my ‘chic European look.’ Lately, I noticed ‘fitting in’ isn’t so difficult. In fact, European street style is actually quite comfy.

When I noticed a group of teens literally all wearing what I call ‘European Casual,’ I decided to copy their look from head to toe (minus the cigarettes of course). Here’s how to create a casual fall look inspired by what I’ve seen on the streets in Zurich, Switzerland…

Euro barbie Ken Savvy Spice fashion blog

Street Style – I had to snap this pic when I noticed I was walking behind Euro Barbie & Ken. She had an ultra-sleek pony tail with a simple black jacket, cropped black pants and yep – casual sneakers. He wore fitted jeans (European men do not seem to wear baggy jeans) and a jacket with dirty-blond hair that literally looked like a Ken doll.

Kendall Jenner Victorias Secret fashion show outfit

Photo credit – Daily Mail

Sidenote As I was writing this post, I caught up with Daily Mail and saw pics of Kendall Jenner a couple days before her night on the catwalk for the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. I would definitely say both of her looks in New York are perfect casual styles I’ve been seeing this Fall in Europe. Not really sure what’s going on with the sleeves of her sweatshirt layered under her black leather jacket? Not a fan.

Nike workout shoes Savvy Spice

Back in Switzerland – This is a look for all ages. A few weeks ago, I noticed this mom and her teenage daughter. The mom was in black skinny jeans and Nike work out shoes.

Adidas shoes Stan Smith Savvy Spice

The Key to Casual – This was the group of teenagers I mentioned before near Starbucks in Zug, Switzerland. The group of girls and guy (on the very left) all wore skinny jeans, rolled up a bit, while rocking Adidas Superstar & Stan Smith sneakers.

What to Wear to Europe Fall

What to Wear – Europe is all about being understated. I never see hot pink Nikes – I’d say 90%  are black or grey. They mainly wear skinny jeans (cuffed) with any dark or neutral top and jacket. Then you’re ready for the cobblestone streets of Europe this fall.

European Street Style Switzerland

<DETAILS by Dale> jeans (Citizens by Humanity last seen here in Mendocino, Ca) / shoes – Nike (my favorites I see daily below) / jacket – Zara (old) / sunglasses – Chloe (Last Call Neiman Marcus) / handbag – Adora c/o

Hope you have a great weekend!


Screen Shot 2014 02 26 at 12.19.14 PM 22



Savvy Sleepers ‘Pop the Bubbly’ Champagne Giveaway!

Promo Moet Giveaway

This month marks 3 years since launching Savvy Sleepers and we’re celebrating with our ‘Pop the Bubbly’ Anniversary Giveaway! Our giveaway includes Moët & Chandon mini toppers, our luxe Satin Pillow Cases and the bubbly of your choice. Open internationally & we’ll handle shipping.  Giveaway Details below:

1 Winner will Receive:

2 Savvy Sleepers Luxury Satin Pillow Cases (winner choose shades & size, full collection here)

2 Mini Moët Toppers (authentic Moët & Chandon plastic toppers fit on the mini bottles) courtesy of Moët & Chandon

$50 Visa Giftcard – ($$ for the mini bubbly or your beverage of choice. Unfortunately, we’re not allowed to give away actual champagne. Facebook rules, not ours.)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

collage Giveaway

Winner will be announced on social media and in our newsletter when chosen by Cheers and best of luck to everyone!


Screen Shot 2014 02 26 at 12.19.14 PM 22


Expat Confession! ‘I Love Swiss Starbucks’

Expat confessions Savvy Spice fashion blog

What is your favorite coffee spot? After living in Switzerland nearly three years, I find myself visiting Starbucks almost daily when I’m out and about or meeting friends. ‘This is so lame I’m going to Starbucks again,’ I thought yesterday. Yet, I made a beeline for the Seattle based chain passing by charming Swiss cafes with outdoor seating complete with faux fur seat covers and cozy blankets.

But there are reasons why Starbucks has an addicting quality that has nothing to do with its coffee. It has that ‘Cheers’ (as in the TV show starring Frasier and Kirstie Alley) feeling for me when I walk inside. Not in a ‘Where Everybody Knows Your Name‘ sort of way, because none of the baristas know my name. It’s been spelled, ‘Gel,’ ‘Dell,’ and ‘Thea,’ in the past year, but I don’t care. Here’s why I love Starbucks, especially as an expat…

Dale Janee Savvy Spice Dale Janee

I can wear leggings and UGGs and not feel judged. It’s totally normal in the US to grab coffee in workout clothes (the Kardashians do it on a daily basis), but in Europe, people don’t generally wear yoga pants unless they’re actually in the fitness center. Yet, I never feel judged when I go super-casual with my baby in her PJ’s to Starbucks in Switzerland.

Switzerland Savvy Spice Sundays stores closed

Starbucks has become a ‘Sunday’ tradition. Restaurants and stores are closed in Switzerland on Sundays, which was tough to get used to at first. But Starbucks is open on Sunday! Rain or shine this fall, we’ve made it a ‘special’ Sunday activity taking a family walk to Starbucks in the afternoon. We even make a pit stop at the neighborhood petting zoo when someone has a crying fit in her stroller.

Baby Wilhelmina Savvy Spice

From melt-down mode to perfect little angel thanks to some fresh air and a little attention from her friends…

petting zoo Zug Switzerland

Okay, bye donkeys. Off to Starbucks…

Starbucks Zug Switzerland

Of course when we arrived on this rainy day, it was PACKED inside. Luckily a couple left outside, so we snagged their seats. And here’s what they left behind…

cigarette smoke outdoor restaurants

Ugh! The only downside to outdoor seating in Europe is you are literally surrounded by smokers, which is why many people choose to sit outside, even when it’s FREEZING. But it’s these simple reasons that keep me coming back…

Baby asleep

Swiss Starbucks are baby-friendly with moms everywhere, plus the menu is universal so the Caramel Frappuccinos taste just like those in SF. As she dozed off in my lap last Sunday, we sipped our coffee and I quickly checked my email. I don’t take ‘Wifi’ (pronounced ‘wee-fee’ in German) for granted in Europe. But I can usually count on it at Starbucks!

Savvy Spice fashion blog Dale Janee Why I Love Starbucks

They Never Make You Feel Unwelcome – This is the #1 reason why I love Starbucks! The baristas never gave me a dirty look or made me feel like I needed order more than an Americano yesterday as I worked on my laptop and Wilhelmina napped on the couch.

(PS Random Sidenote on the pic above – Although I would never do this, I just wanted to share how safe and trusting Zurich is compared to any city I’ve been to before. Two women sitting near me left together for at least 10 minutes (either to the bathroom or outside for a smoke) leaving their Louis Vuitton handbags on the couch completely alone to hold their seats. Can you imagine doing that?!?)


Screen Shot 2014 02 26 at 12.19.14 PM 22


Savvy Sleepers Score a Spot in Popsugar’s Must-Have Box


A decade ago I had started my first job in San Francisco. My first 9-5 after college. You know it takes time to adjust. A few months after adapting to cubicle life, I discovered a new website called Popsugar. It was celeb gossip, fashion and the perfect escape when I had a 10 min break to surf the web. According to Wikipedia, as of June 2013, the network has over 20 million monthly unique visitors and is the 47th largest network of websites in the US.

Popsugar owns ShopStyle and also has a monthly subscription box called Popsugar Must-Have and thanks to Brittany, Savvy Sleepers Marketing & Sales, I’m so excited to announce our White Russian Savvy Sleeper Satin Pillow Case was chosen to be in the October 2015 box.


The boxes were shipped to subscribers in the past two weeks with everything above. Along with Dutch Stroopwafels, cozy Popsugar socks and Easy Tiger wine covers, and also included…

why not me

I’ve always found Mindy Kaling funny since watching nearly every episode of The Office so I’m excited to read her new book, ‘Why Not Me?,’ which was also included in the box.

jessica alba the honest co

Pic via TheHonestCo

A Sea Salt + Sugar Body Scrub was included by Jessica Alba’s ‘The Honest Company.’ I’ve been really into body scrubs lately – more on that later.

We’ve come a long way since our first slumber party and can’t believe we launched 3 years ago this month. Anniversary Giveaway coming soon! If you’re interested in the next Popsugar MUST HAVE Box, click here.

Do you get any of the monthly or quarterly subscription boxes? There are so many these days it can be overwhelming!!


Screen Shot 2014 02 26 at 12.19.14 PM 22

1 Comment

Copyright © 2016 Savvy Spice - Created by Dolphin Solutions

Return to top of page