Category Archives: Fashion Trends

Behind-the-Scenes: Timbuk2 Launches Stylish New Lux Line, FEMME

The San Francisco-based Timbuk2 recently launched their latest collection, TIMBUK2 FEMME, a new lux women’s line that is very stylish, yet practical. I’ve always loved the Timbuk2 bags (my husband has one!) and have pegged them to be more outdoorsy and for men. Well, this new line proves me wrong.

Timbuk2 hosted a preview event to showcase the new line.  CEO Patti Cazzato, a veteran of the fashion industry, led us on a tour of the studio where the magic happens: from design boards, to rows and rows of fabric, to the production of the bags and essentially what are their offices, as well! She told us the story behind Timbuk2 and how today, it’s becoming more of a lifestyle brand with the launch of Femme.  The new collection was designed by Patti and Senior Design Director Andrea Chynoweth who has an impressive pedigree: Gemma Kahng, Vivienne Westwood, Levi Strauss.  Seeing the bags lined up on the racks, I feel in love immediately. The first thing that came to mind was how these would be perfect for work. My version of “casual” is more dressed up than most, and bags are a huge part of that. I’ve always used bags that are great for work but something that looks nice and can be brought out to dinner or an event post-work.  These new bags are that perfect bridge between work and something that works for the evening, as well: think wine night with your girlfriends, a dinner date, stopping by the mall, attending a work event, etc.  The designs feature a range of color-blocking: from my favorite, the “Black n Tan” to a dark blue and gray version.  I love the different fabrics used on the bags – the leather complements the other materials, adding a touch of chic. Prices for the bags range between $198 – $398 and as of now, come in four different styles:

Femme Messenger – Harkening back to Timbuk2’s hero bag but with a twist: all leather construction lends an elevated look to the everyday cyclists’ favorite bag.

Satchel Backpack – Inspired by the shape of a vintage Persian carpetbag, this luxe piece can be worn as a backpack or carried as a tote, helping to smooth the transition from work to play.

Fanny Pack – This miniature version of the classic Timbuk2 messenger is for women who want a chic hands-free bag with more compact storage: perfect for the festival or concert goer.

Boxy Tote – A modern and minimal shoulder bag with a slim profile that can carry everything you’ll need for the day and night.

Check out the beautiful lookbook and below are photos from the event and directly from the collection.

FEMME BACKPACK M_463-4-1182_Fall2015_Lifestyle007The Satchel Backpack. Photo credit: Timbuk2.

FEMME BACKPACK M_463-4-1182_Fall2015_Lifestyle018The Satchel Backpack. Photo credit: Timbuk2.

IMG_8139The Black n Tan Satchel Backpack (my favorite!) Photo credit: Yasemin Sussman. 

IMG_8145In the studio where each back is customized made. Photo credit: Yasemin Sussman.

IMG_8148All that denim!  Photo credit: Yasemin Sussman.

IMG_8149Endless fabric choices in many textures and colors. Photo credit: Yasemin Sussman.

IMG_8154Photo Credit: Yasemin Sussman.

IMG_8155Sneak preview of the Spring 2016 inspiration design boards for the new collection. Photo credit: Yasemin Sussman.

IMG_8156Design boards of different fabric choices. Photo credit: Yasemin Sussman.

IMG_8136The Satchel Backpacks on display. Photo credit: Yasemin Sussman.

IMG_8138The Femme Messenger (another favorite). Photo credit: Yasemin Sussman.

I always love supporting local companies and have added the Satchel Backpack in “Black n Tan” to my holiday “wish list” (or may have to get sooner!)

Happy Shopping!


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Sweet & Spark Trunk Show

The beautiful Marmalade Boutique on Union Street in San Francisco hosted a trunk show with sweet & spark  a couple of weeks ago and I was thrilled to go as I have always wanted to check out their jewelry. First of all, Marmalade Boutique is such a charming, well-curated store with fashion at affordable prices.  From tops and dresses to pillows and jewelry, the lovely owner, Hope Schaffer-Colling, carefully selects each piece from her travels around the world. Hope and her husband Pete also own The Mason Jar, another boutique with great interior design pieces. If you are in the neighborhood, you must stop by.

I really liked a lot of the pieces from sweet & spark, which consists mostly of curated vintage jewelry. The jewelry is unique and they have great collections that fit your specific style needs. Check out their Fall Trends; I am especially loving the Boho Chic. I love their story, too, being a father-daughter team that started this from spending their time together out and about at local flea markets (that included stops at the donut shop). 🙂

It was a great event filled with fabulous company and delicious champagne (why not when you are shopping?!)








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Style Section & Challah






Art of Moda is a combination of my love for fashion – and food! This post combines those two favorite things.  This was taken in our loft in my favorite corner of the entire space – our antique chair with faux fur in front of the floor to ceiling windows overlooking the courtyard.  Every morning starts off with coffee and the San Francisco Chronicle and my two favorite sections are Food & Wine and Style.  I was wearing a black & white animal print shirt from H&M, pattern pants from Nordstrom, red platform shoes from the amazing Target (yes, Target!) and one of my favorite jewelery pieces – a silver necklace that Nigel got me for my 30th birthday (it’s made in France). Glasses are Corinne McCormack and are from Nordstrom.  And the cutest thing of all is the furry animal – the lovely Miss Fidel.

Now for the food.  I love Challah bread and decided to make my own. The recipe I found is from – Double-Braid Challah Bread with Sesame Seeds.  It was fairly easy – just takes a lot of patience and time for letting it rise multiple times, braiding the bread (the fun part) and then cooking it.  For the first time making challah bread, I was impressed with how it turned out! I was able to take some over to my brother’s new apartment and share with him and his girlfriend Devin for a dinner party we had with our parents. I can’t wait to make it again.


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Fall at the Loft




Fall is definitely in the air here in San Francisco! We have been having our fabulous Indian Summer but there is a nice crisp in the air especially in the mornings and evenings that remind me of Fall and Winter, and I love it.  We took a few photos outside at our Clocktower Loft this weekend and I love this comfy but stylish outfit – great for the weekend.  Sweater is very soft and cozy with a leather accent around the neck and down the sleeves – by Vince Camuto at Nordstrom.  Jeans have a worn look and are from Zara (in Lyon, France!) and my favorite style of shoes – oxfords – these are Franco Sarto, the ‘Andes’ flat from Nordstrom.


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Closet Visit

IMG_1374I keep many scarves out on my dresser for easy access. Living in San Francisco, I would say I wear a scarf about 320 out of 365 days of the year! The orange one is from Istanbul, Turkey.

IMG_1382An engagement photo, lamp from the lovely Target and a faux fur table cover that I’ve had since college. I found it at a fabric store in San Diego.

IMG_1387The top of my other dresser has perfume and jewelry. Always a small bottle of Jo Malone (right now – Grapefruit) and Hermes perfume (perfect for Spring).

IMG_1389I wear mostly necklaces and bracelets and I choose which pieces to wear depending on my mood that day.  Ranging from pearls to feather necklaces to gold chains to a David Yurman piece that my grandmother gave me as a wedding gift.  I love the small bowl that I found at Anthropologie – perfect for keeping various rings.

IMG_1395Most of my closet is arranged by color. A glimpse at some fur jackets, vests and blazers; all from stores that range from Jeremy’s Department store in South Park, SOMA to Theory from Bloomingdales to Banana Republic to H&M and more.

IMG_1398Another view of mostly blouses, jackets, skirts and dresses.  Bags hanging are Marc by Marc Jacobs (a leather bag I have had for almost 5 years now; the other is Brahmin)

IMG_1399I wear a lot of black.  It is so classy, stylish and sophisticated and I love to accessorize. From time to time, I do love to throw on something patterned or colorful.  The pink tweed skirt and the zebra striped skirt are from Banana Republic, a peak of a sequin tank from Nordstrom, a skirt from Antropologie and two leather skirts – the gold from Zara and the black from H&M.

IMG_1406I love jeans. My two favorite pairs are the dark Hudson jeans and my Rag & Bones jeans – the material is amazing.

IMG_1407And a few lighter and more colorful shades. Red jeans from GAP, colorful cropped pants from the lovely Target, green jeans from New Zealand and a few lighter washes.

IMG_1421My motto: Keep Calm and Carry On; paired with of course many Vogue, 7X7, San Francisco magazines and books. 

IMG_1426Black leather Michael Kors wallet, Paul Smith glasses, and my wedding bag – gold sequin Whiting & Davis.

I love the blog – Closet Visit. If you haven’t checked it out, you should. They visit closets of many people ranging from authors, editors, stylists, actors and more. I love everyone’s unique style and the way they shoot the “closet visits”. I was inspired to do my own and give you a glimpse into my creative, fashion world.


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Sunset Magazine Culinary Tour + Banana Republic Tweed


The main lobby entrance at Sunset magazine headquarters in Menlo Park, CA. I was invited to join the IACP Culinary Tour at Sunset Magazine and honored to be with a very high profile group of food writers, chefs, authors and other key food industry people. The day started with a tour of the Sunset magazine campus, followed by a seminar and a 6-course menu. The dishes were all from various issues of Sunset Magazine and the menu featured:

TO START: Meyer lemon spritzer (November 1994); Gabriel’s guacamole (August 2006); Indian-spiced guacamole (March 2013)

MAIN DISHES: Grilled Skuna Bay salmon in a bay laurel “cage” (July 2013); Santa Maria-style trip-tip (Sunset Cookbook 2012); Fettucine with sorrel-almond pesto (June 2013); Chez Panisse’s baked goat cheese & spring lettuce salad (May 2007); Roasted asparagus with lemon (May 2005)

DESSERT: Brown sugar strawberry tart

Wente Vineyards Pinot Noir and Chardonnay; Anchor Steam Lager


A view of one of the many gardens located at Sunset magazine. They use the produce from these gardens in their test kitchens and outdoor kitchen.



The wine cellar at Sunset where they carry many award-winning and vintage wines. The oldest being a 1935 pinot noir from Simi Valley.


Loved the vintage Spanish furniture in the wine cellar and throughout the rest of the Sunset.


The whole Skuna Bay salmon wrapped in bay leave branches that was cooked on a grill with oakwood chips. Skuna Bay is a Vancouver Island.


Perfectly roasted asparagus with lemon.

Sunset_1 4 2013

Chez Panisse’s baked goat cheese and spring lettuce salad (my favorite dish).


Margo True, Food Editor with Sunset magazine, moderating the panel about culinary history of California food. Panelists included Jerry di  Vecchio (editor at Sunset magazine for 20+ years), Jonathan Gold (Restaurant Critic, Los Angeles Times), Joyce Goldstein (food writer, chef, restaurateur), Sibella Kraus (creator of the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market and founding director of CUESA), Charles Perry  (food historian, food writer for Los Angeles Times).


And of course the outfit for the day: Top: Nordstrom – Trouve blouse; Skirt: Banana Republic; Shoes: Target – yes – Target; Watch:  Michael Kors.

Sunset Mag


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Red Shoes & Bundt’s





If you know me, you know my “specialty” is bundt cakes. I have always loved baking. I grew up baking with my dad – we loved making everyone’s birthday cakes from scratch and chocolate brownies. For awhile, I baked a lot of cupcakes. And then I bought the book, Cake Simple, that changed my “baking” life. It is an amazing book filled with different bundt cake recipes – ranging from simple brown sugar bundt cakes to “foodie” bundt cakes and decadent chocolate fudge cakes. The pictures are also really great!  I’ve made almost every bundt cake in the book and will now be going back through the book and making them again to complete perfection and also photographing the results.  I usually bake a bundt cake on Sunday nights and bring it into the office (I work in hospitality PR and we all love food) and we call it “Bundt Cake Monday’s”.   This week was a delicious lemon bundt cake – the fresh squeezed lemons really make the cake and the lemon frosting.

And onto equally important things – shoes! I found the perfect pair of shoes and out of all places from The City Target! I was strolling through to stock up on some household items and happen to walk past the shoe department. I saw this amazing red shoes with an ankle strap and perfect height! I wear them with many different outfits – from dark jeans to skirts and colored pants and get so many compliments on them. The red instantly brightens the day and any outfit.



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“The” Chairs

Nigel and I hanging out in these amazing chairs at Restoration Hardware, downtown Palo Alto. Amazing. I decided to wear my black and white striped dress by Calvin Klein, with tan gladiator sandals from Zara, feather earrings and Chanel sunglasses.


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Bill Cunningham New York

Bill Cunningham New York:: a documentary film about Bill Cunningham – the famous fashion photographer in New York. He is known for riding his bike through New York City, capturing fashion trends for his column in the New York Times, “On the Street”. It’s an inspiring movie on how he documented fashion during his career.   As Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, puts it: “We all get dressed for Bill”.

A must-see film!


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These are a few of my favorite things – fur::sequin::glittery t’s. This is the perfect time of the year for faux fur ~ extremely cozy and warm.  And with the start of the holiday season, it’s all about sparkles and glitter. H&M has amazing different faux fur and sparkly t’s for your fall and holiday wardrobe!  And have fun with the gold and glittery nail polish!

Happy November and to the start of the lovely holiday season.


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