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Spring Cleaning

Everyday when I leave home, I bring with me a packed lunch, two water bottles, a thermos of tea, my barre clothes, my gym clothes (on the rare occasion that I decide to do some cardio), and a towel and flip flops for showering at the gym. I also bring a backpack with my laptop, day planner, phone, and more in it. It's a lot to haul around for a single day, but most everything gets used. With so much stuff and so many places to go, I've been carrying nearly five small bags with me. 

So, this season, I decided to make it as simple as possible. I tossed out my old, junky gym duffel bag as well as the old, dirty bags I was using, in favor of a more streamlined process. 

While I couldn't pare down anything that I bring with me each day, keeping things organized and in separate compartments was essential, as well as having one giant bag to leave the house with each day. 

So, I went shopping at Baggu's fantastic website,, and I settled on the five items above. The first is the brand's incredibly roomy weekend tote bag. It's big enough to fit all the other bags in it. The cheetah canvas tote (with a crossover strap) is where I put my lunch and drinks, and I can carry that around with me if I'm in San Francisco for the day. The other three bags house my barre clothes, my gym clothes, and my makeup/shower supplies. 

Life just got a whole lot easier—and more organized. 

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Sweet Dreams are Made of These

After too many restless nights in a row, I was ready to take my sleeping life seriously. But, of course, I wanted to do so in style. So I picked up an adorable sleep mask from Stripe in Santa Cruz by Munio Candela ($10), which is infused with calendula, echinacea, chamomile, and lavender. I heat it up at night to breathe in delicate, restful scents. Next, I apply a luxurious Slumber Salve from Urb Apothecary (also sold at Stripe) to my neck, temples and behind my ears. And off I go. Sweet dreams are made of this combo. The Slumber Salve blend offers calming properties to anxious sleepers, including lavender, coconut oil and chamomile. For just $12, this is the best way to get your Zs.


What I need now: A Handbag


Bag Love

It's time for a new handbag. I'm still loving and rocking my eggplant-hued, leather hobo that I've had for eight years and it's still in great shape but it's more than time for an upgrade. The only issue I keep running into is me. I'm super picky about bags. I don't want it to be so heavy on it's own that once my belongings are inside I'd need a sherpa to help me schlep it around. And I don't want it to be so lightweight or ill-made that it falls apart easily. I prefer simple shapes in quality leather. A wide mouth opening is helpful for seeing and finding items easily and some zipper pockets on the inside, or outside, or both, are great too. I'd like to be able to carry it on my shoulder and not be required to do that crooked arm thing that's become cool.

So far my two favorites are the Marni "Bandoleer" (left) which is basically two bags held together with rings so they can come apart if you'd like to trim down and only use one as a clutch. It has a strap that allows it to be worn as a cross body bag which I like for the hands free aspect. On the other hand, the "Flamenco" (right) from Loewe, somehow manages to encompass everything slouchy, cool, and effortlessly chic in one shoulder bag. It is simplicity itself, the leather is supple and gorgeous. I could see being in love with this bag for the rest of my life. 


Discovery of the Week: Area

In fall of 2013, a new line joined the ranks of the women's fashion industry: Area, a collection joining the talents of two designers who met while getting their masters degrees at Parsons. "A design studio specializing in textile manipulation," their spring 2015 collection has me wowed. With striking architectural lines, innovative fabric choices and beautiful details, this is a new line that is already making waves. Garnering national press and an exclusive showing of the line at Opening Ceremony, this is one brand I can't take my eyes off of. 


Eco-Beauty Trend Alert: Rosehips

While perusing the skincare section at the Santa Cruz Whole Foods Market this morning (The Penny Rose has partnered with the Santa Cruz and Capitola stores and will be selecting monthly beauty picks—more on that soon!), I realized that I was drawn to products that all had one thing in common: rosehips. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t experimented with this natural, supposedly powerful, ingredient in my beauty routine yet, or perhaps it’s because there are more products flaunting it as their flagship component than ever before. Whatever the reason for its sudden ascent to the top of my “must try” list, there it is. All within arm’s reach of each other in the aisle, I ogled over the Copper Moon Apothecary Rosehips Night Crème, Simplers Botanical Co. Rose Hip Seed Oil and Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream, which utilizes rose petals and hips.

But most exciting was the raw, non-GMO, sustainable and fairly traded Trilogy line, which Whole Foods just started carrying. Clinical trials of Trilogy’s rosehip oil products show that it “helps improve the appearance of scars, stretchmarks, fine lines and wrinkles.” The products—which are the skincare products of choice for none other than Kate Middleton—center around Trilogy’s trademarked rosehips-based ingredient, Rosapene, which is, in their words, an “antioxidant complex, combining essential fatty acid-rich rosehip and cranberry seed oils with antioxidants from tomato seed and acai berry oils” that “works to nourish and repair skin while protecting against environmental free radical damage.”

On that note, I have a new tube of the Vital Moisturizing Cream that needs testing. I’ll let you know how it goes.