Archive | SHOPPING

Visiting Gather & Mill in Grass Valley

Moving to a new city, you get to discover new places to shop! I discovered Gather & Mill on Instagram and immediately fell in love with the store and most of all the two sweet owners.  Gather & Mill is not only a place to shop all handmade products made by artisans, but also a studio, rental company, and a place to get your creative juices going with workshops and events. I got a chance to stop by the shop and well… shop and chat! If you are in the Grass Valley area, you definitely need to stop by Gather & Mill
Photos by Katie White
Tell us about how Gather & Mill began…
Gather & Mill began very suddenly and organically.  We were both a part of the building prior to taking over the lease, because we were members of the wedding collective that used to occupy the space (Erica has a rental company, Tin Roof Farmhouse, and I own a photography business, Katie White Photography).  When the owner of our wedding collective decided to move locations, Erica realized she’d have to move her rental storage space or take over the lease; but the timing wasn’t ideal and she reached out to me in desperation.  After reassuring her that everything would work out, we both realized this may be the perfect opportunity to fulfill some goals we both had only dreamed of: owning a retail space!  Neither of us expected it to happen the way it did, but when a door opens, sometimes you just have to walk through and see what happens…  when we started brainstorming ideas for our shop, we were surprised at how similar our visions aligned.  We both wanted to showcase and support local artisans who used sustainable materials & valued quality and beauty.  We also wanted to host gatherings and creative workshops to bring our community together.  The more we talked about our business, the more we realized it was truly meant to be… and that simple realization pushed us to accomplish our dreams.
How did you two meet ?…
We met at a wedding we were both hired to work, and immediately hit it off!  We exchanged phone numbers, and planned a styled photo shoot together.  In that first collaborative effort, we realized how well we worked together, and a friendship quickly blossomed.  Erica and I almost seem to read each other’s minds…  it’s always seemed as if we’ve known each other forever.  We feel very fortunate for this sweet connection.
Now, not only do you both own Gather and Mill, but you also own separate creative businesses, could you brag about those for a second! And how do find time to do it all?
Yes, we do!  As I mentioned before, Erica owns Tin Roof Farmhouse Rentals and I own Katie White Photography.
Erica has collected special items and vintage pieces for as long as she can remember, and has an amazing knack for re-purposing old and undesirable things into masterpieces.  She also has a natural ability to style any ordinary space into a dreamy set-up; so, after receiving her MBA in Sustainable Business, she decided to turn her fun hobby into a career, bringing all her creative talents together!  She loves working with couples and making their dream wedding a reality.
As for me (Katie), I’ve always been immersed in the arts, but found my passion grow for photography once my children were born.  After being asked repeatedly to photograph friend’s family portraits, I realized I might actually have a chance to turn my hobby into a career, so I went to school and also shadowed an amazing wedding photographer (Megan Clouse Photography) who took me under her wing and mentored me.  From there, I built my portfolio and started my business.  The rest is history!
We both feel that you make time for the things you’re most passionate about–  sure, it’s hard to balance everything and sometimes we both feel like we’re going crazy trying to keep up with everything, but we LOVE what we do, so it just works!
Tell us how this beautiful space is just not a storefront, but also space for creative people to gather…
Well, we have a huge warehouse space that connects to our retail shop…  part of it is used for Erica’s rental showroom, and we offer the rest of the space for events, creative workshops, pop-up shops/trunk shows, and anything else you can dream up!  Plus, we style our events using Erica’s rentals!  It’s a really inspiring space, with an industrial feel and big, beautiful windows along one side that looks into our private backyard space, which we also make available for events.  It’s amazing how the spaces can transform depending on the look and feel of the occasion.
Tell us about some fun workshops you have coming up!…
I’d love to!  We just announced our Fall workshops which include an indigo dyeing workshop, a weaving workshop, an up-cycling jeans/clothing workshop, an embroidery workshop, and a “Soul of Creativity” Workshop that incorporates yoga, creative writing and art.  We also have some fun events on the schedule, including yoga classes every Tuesday morning (beginning 9/19), Pop-Up Shops, and an evening of poetry reading and wine tasting….  and we’ll be adding more to that list soon!!

You also have some mini sessions coming up for the holiday right?
Yes we do!  Erica and I love styling and photographing mini-sessions together.  In previous years, we’ve used different locations around Northern CA to host our mini-sessions, but this year we’re using our own space.  We’ll be doing Fall Themed and Holiday Themed sessions.  For more info on how to schedule a session with us, you can visit our blog at
 What’s next for Gather and Mill…
We have so many different ideas and plans for the space, and can’t wait to watch Gather & Mill evolve.  Without spilling too many secrets, we’re working on expanding into another room to accommodate more products; specifically, more home goods.  We also have some fun things in the works for the holiday season, as well as community events for next summer… but we can’t quite dish the details YET.  You’ll just have to stay tuned!!
Can’t wait to see what you ladies have in store! 


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Wearing all the Print with Novella Royale this Fall

If you saw yesterday’s post then you probably fell in love with all of the pretty prints at Novella Royale just like me.  Well while I was there I had to take a few for a spin!  Truth be told, it’s been one of my favorite brands for some time now so I was really like a kid in a candy store.  I’m sharing a few of my favorite finds with you today and also sharing links to shop a bunch of other Novella Royale goodies!  Because this will be wearing all the print with Novella Royale this Fall, and then some!!

Photos by my friend Megan Welker

First up is the cutest little shift dress I ever did see!  The Roadie Dress has the best body and I’m pretty certain can look good on anyone.  It’s easy to wear from day to night and I really fell in love with it in this Rust Palm print.  I’d wear it casually with my Beek by Two Bird black wrap sandals, aka the most comfortable sandals around!  But once Fall hits you could definitely do it with black tights and boots…

Next up is a Beijos staple, a good kimono… And Novella Royale’s is one of the best!  They call it the Jane Robe and I definitely took one home with me!  This pink print called Blush Daisies is such a fun pop to any outfit.  I wore it with their body suit called the Sandra, an old pair of high waisted cut offs and my lace up Target sandals.  

I’ve worn my Jane Robe so much at home, it’s so fun to throw over anything basic, it just makes the outfit!!  Also, the body suit was new to me, haha, and it was way more comfortable and easy to wear than I thought!  Don’t judge, I’ve had two babies since they were in style and haven’t been brave enough to try them!!

Next up was a dress I fell in love with the minute I saw it… The Willow Dress has the prettiest ruffle detail along the neckline and a little sexy cut out back.  I think what really caught my eye on this one is the print.  The copper flamenco print was definitely my favorite, it has such fun colors I just immediately gravitated toward it.  This is the perfect date night dress but could also be worn casually during the day!  Paired it for this look with my Matise nude suede mules….

Shop more of my favorite Novella Royale pieces below!!



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By on September 6, 2017 in FASHION, SHOPPING, STYLE


Shop Spotlight – Novella Royale

Novella Royale has been a favorite brand of mine for a while now.  They always have the best silhouettes and their prints are unique and eye catching.  I’ve shopped the brand in a few of my favorite boutiques and online, but was beyond excited to find out they opened a store front in Orange County.  I have been trying to make my way down to their shop in San Clemente, one of my favorite beach towns, but alas popping out a baby and having a toddle really set a girl back.  But FINALLY, I made it down with my gal pal Megan Welker to shop, snap some pics and take in all the cuteness.

All photos by Megan Welker

Keep reading for an interview we did with founder and designer Mary Meyers

 Tell us about Novella Royale and how it all began… 

I started Novella Royale out of my garage, when my daughter Novella was a year old. I wanted to create a space to house creativity and a fun working lifestyle. because if you have to work why not make it as enjoyable as possible!

Why did you decide to open a shop in San Clemente?

 Honestly because i live here and have been working to create a lifestyle where i don’t need to get on the freeway everyday… and my dream building is here in town (which we currently occupy)

What are your favorite parts of being located in this gorgeous beach town?

 Being part of a younger generation in San Clemente is really exciting.  It’s tough as there are only a few of us paving the way, but I’ve always wanted to be part of change. 

Why was it important of the brand to have a store front?

 I really wanted a place that tells the Novella Royale story, more than our online store!  A place you can come in and try on any style, any color way and any size we make!  When designing the space I wanted it to feel like you were walking into my closet, and could just play dress up and maybe try things you’ve never tried before!  I love when someone comes in, tries on something they didn’t think they could pull off and ends up wearing it out of the store.  That’s one of the best compliments I get from our customers. 

What are some of your favorite pieces from the Fall collection?

 Oh, thats like picking a favorite child, and there are different reasons I love all of my Novella Royale children! If there isn’t something I don’t love, it doesn’t make it into the collection!  But if you twist my arm I’d have to say the Harley dress :) and the Jane robe! ohhh and the River tee… they are extra special this season! 

We are always so in love with your prints, how do you guys always find the best ones?!

 Awe, thanks! I search through vintage prints and hand pick ideas.  Some come just from an idea in my head and some are inspired by already existing vintage prints!  We usually start with 6-8 prints and narrow them down to 4 for the season based on how they sit together!

Here’s Novella Royale’s cute shop manager Neg, love her!!

And here’s that cute baby Cruz making an appearance, you know the one who kept me from visiting this amazing shop!

Tell us about any fun and exciting things coming up at the shop!

 For the holidays we will be doing a couple events; small business sale, anti black friday sale and we will be bringing in some specialty pieces just for the holiday season!  Planning on making it a one stop shop for your holiday party outfit as well as hostess and holiday gifts for the women in your life! 

What’s next for Novella Royale?!

Business has changed so much over the past couple years.  It’s all about direct to consumer and we plan to make sure our customers know its all about them… without them there would be no Novella Royale

Thank you Mary for sharing, and for letting us in your gorgeous store!

Stay tuned for tomorrow when I do a style post on some of my favorite pieces in the shop!!



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By on September 5, 2017 in FASHION, SHOPPING, SPOTLIGHT, STYLE


Beijos Best

How is everyone’s Summer going!?  Are you keeping cool?  My family and I have been dealing with the heat by heading to the beach.  Our favorite place!!  One thing I always invest in is a beach bag.  Especially as a mom, they are an essential!  With all the stuff you’ve go to lug around, you could at least do it in something cute!!

I personally love a good straw neutral for my beach bag.  They never go out of style and they are durable for all the wear and tear.  Plus, you can wear them besides the beach if you want!  They go with everything!

I’ve seen so many good ones this Summer that I had to share!  It’s not too late to invest in one this year, and a lot of these are on sale!  From neutrals to fun colors, there’s something for everyone.  Even a cooler tote if you wanna bring a little mommy juice to the beach… Which I of course do!!!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

You can find a beach bag for yourself by shopping below!

Have a great rest of your weekend!



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Shop Spotlight – Costa Cabana

As you know, we like to shop… It’s sort of an obsession.  Well, some of my favorite places to shop are local boutiques.  That’s one of the things I love about where I live, there are tons of locally owned shops to choose from.  One of my favorites to Orange County is Costa Cabana, located in Costa Mesa off of popular 17th St.  

It’s also a plus when you become friends with the owner, in this case I couldn’t help myself because owner Lauren Flores is just the sweetest.  She is very stylish and makes you feel at home right when you walk in the door.  That’s probably what I love about Costa Cabana the most, I feel like I’m shopping with close friends when I’m there.  And that’s besides the fact that they have an amazing selection of clothing, accessories and even a few kid and home pieces!

I sat down with Lauren and asked her all about what it’s like to own a boutique, top trends she sees for Summer and more.  Keep scrolling to read more!

Pretty photos by Ariane Moshayedi

Tell us a little bit about you and your family….

My family is very full of life….I have an amazing partner in Scott, he is the dream maker as I like to call him, I constantly have ideas and visions and with the help of scott they come to life! I have an amazing little girl who is almost two, full of sass and style, she often can be seen running around the shop smelling candles and trying on sunglasses. My parents and my sister are an extension of me…My sister is my creative go two, and the person I love to bounce ideas off of, and my mom and dad are #1 babysitters and helpers at the shop after hours, from my dads wood working to my mom’s eye telling me what works and what doesn’t my family is nothing short of the Costa Cabana dream team! 

When did you start Costa Cabana and how did it all come about?

Costa Cabana was an organic process for me…I was already working as a buyer  in the shop and the opportunity came about to revamp the business and keep the good time rolling! But, I had always dreamed about owning my own shop one day…My boutique days started when I was 18 in costa mesa and the love I had for it grew over the years and the opportunity came and I jumped at it!

What is an average day for you as a boutique shop owner?

My average day as an owner consists of waking up and starting on emails, I basically never stop working, I have such great relationships with a lot of the customers that I sometimes am working directly with them answering styling questions to telling them when something I think they will love comes in. Im constantly talking to vendors and sales reps about product. I usually take a break in the afternoons until after dinner and then I sometimes pick back up with emails and business…but it’s a constant struggle to turn my brain off…this shop is like my stylish baby I always have new ideas popping in my head!

Tell us your favorite and least favorite parts of your job…

My absolute favorite part of my job is working with customers…I love talking to them about events they are going to, or updating their wardrobes. To chatting about their kids and everyday life….I like the shop to feel like your shopping with friends or at a cozy home. My absolute least favorite part of  my job is the office/business end of things!

What are your favorite trends coming for Summer 2017?

Some of my favorite trends coming for the summer would be all the great sets that are out, paired together or worn separate…either way you have a few different outfits in one. I also love a good midi dress paired with a fun pair of slides, and jumpers are always a fun no brainer that you can dress up or down!! And last but certainly not least Im a fanatic with sunglasses and hats…A good straw hat paired with a fun pair of sunnies never disappoints!

What are some of your must have items in the shop right now?

Some of my must haves at the shop right now are all the slides…shoes are such a fun way to spice up your outfit. All the Cleobella bags always give me hearts in my eyes!! And all summer long dresses and easy throw on rompers give a stylish look with absolute comfort. And last but not least jewelry!! Im loving all the designers and the uniqueness they bring to each and every piece.

What is it like being a working mom, tell us about the struggles and the triumphs!

Being a working mom is crazy! It’s a constant struggle with yourself to make sure your balancing everything fairly. At first when I took over the business I thought oh I can handle this…for the past 5 years I have juggled three jobs and loved every minute…but being an owner is a whole different ballgame. Im now the business head, buyer and sometimes sales person. But I wouldn’t change a thing this has always been a dream of mine and its a fun experience growing with the business and watching my daughter grow up here! 

What’s next for Costa Cabana?

Whats next for Costa Cabana are a couple new things…first and foremost a website, as well as continuing with great events with all our brands as well as workshops and pop up shops to bring in new product and expose the community to fun workshops and make the shop a fun place to gather and do creative things with their friends.

Thank you for sharing with us Lauren!  Be sure to check this shop out, like we said, it’s definitely one of our favorites!



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By on May 31, 2017 in SHOPPING, SPOTLIGHT