Thursday, December 31, 2009

Holiday Trip to Leavenworth

by: Cleary O'Farrell

Last weekend Dave and I traveled to Leavenworth with a couple of our friends. They go once a year at this time to enjoy the lights, do some shopping, see the tree lighting, etc. They had asked us to come along and I was thrilled to find that we were staying in the beautiful condos above Mapel!

During the car ride there I put a dent in finishing my Holiday cards and by the time we arrived I was ready to shop, eat, drink. In that order. Our suite was beautiful and had a wonderful view of the river off the back deck. There was also a large entertaining kitchen, fireplace and tree.

We turned on Pandora radio and got to unpacking but after about 10 minutes I said I was “going downstairs” which seemed harmless until Dave wondered where I’d been for the last hour. Well, Mapel was literally at the bottom of the stairs and I needed SOMEthing to wear that weekend ;-) Not to mention hang out with Jenelle, eat chocolate and chat it up about what products were hot, town happenings, good places to eat.

Once I was finished there, I emerged in new Joe’s skinny jeans, a white burnout l/s top, and a black and a gold stone necklace. Our friend Emily picked up the tweed belted coat in blue which was recently featured in InStyle mag’s top picks.

From there we headed back upstairs, imbibed in some Holiday cheer, had dinner and then hit the town. We spent most of our time at the Post Office where we began a dart tournament, perforated by occasional (bad) karaoke singing into the wee hours of the morning. Once we left for the condo I remember most of our walk … especially meeting a couple of peeps who were sledding by the gazebo. We asked if we could join in and we had a great time with them for a few of runs – I hit a couple of ‘jumps’ and got like 6 inches of air. It was pretty awesome.

The next morning I got up early and grabbed a pic of the beautiful river and all the snow!

Before hitting the streets we stopped at the coffee stand Haus Dog Kaffee & Tea right in front of our place (which is absolutely excellent – the owners Klaus and Regina are totally funny and awesome). The main street was closed so the large amounts of people in town could walk anywhere, and stop by the occasional firepit and chat with whomever. Everyone was friendly, and in good spirits.

We must have shopped for nearly 3 hours and covered only ½ of what Leavenworth had to offer. Still, in that time I managed to go into Mapel three times for various gifts for my family and friends. Silver Nutcracker ornaments, Table Topics, a glove and scarf set, tie and cufflink set a Two Sisters silver necklace, a dish soap/lotion set to name a few. Oh, and more chocolate.

I couldn’t wait to get my loot back to Seattle, wrap it and give it away! When Christmas day came people were very pleased with their gifts and I was so happy to see their smiling faces.

I will ALWAYS recommend staying at the Gasthaus Wunderbar as well as making more than a few trips to Mapel!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mapel & Mahtab Azimi have you covered for New Year's Eve!

Still looking for the perfect party dress to ring in 2010 with major style?

Mapel's partnered with designer Mahtab Azimi to bring you what you need to steal the show on New Year's Eve. Azimi effortlessly combines affordable upscale and artfully designed clothing. Each garment, made in the USA, is meticulously engineered to flatter a wide range of shaped and sizes with impeccable lines, skillful proportions, precise details and flattering fabrics.

Azimi's philosophy is "to create for the girl who wants to dream, love & live in color and look fabulous at the same time."

I love the Grecian-inspired shapes and the rich jewel tones of the dresses featured at Mapel. Azimi thoughtfully created each shape to flatter almost every body type, with adjustable fabric draping and belts. Pair these pretty frocks with statement necklaces, bangles or jeweled earrings, your favorite heels and a sparkly clutch and you're set to bring in the new year!

Shop all Mahtab Azimi at Mapel here

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Last minute Mapel gift guide

If you're anything like me, you'll be part of the masses frantically finishing up (or starting & finishing) their holiday shopping this last weekend before Christmas.

Instead of risking your life braving the crowds at your local shopping mall, why not take advantage of free ground shipping and $25 back on your purchase of $100 or more at

Here are a few ways in which you can wrap up your list at Mapel:

You can never go wrong with a sleek & vivid clutch as a last-minute gift for your sister, friend or favorite co-worker. This blue croc clutch holds everything your loved one needs for a night out - and it's only $24! View all handbags & wallets here.

Accessories make for the best Secret Santa, White Elephant, Hanukkah or stocking stuffer gifts. Keep these lovely knit legwarmers in mind if you're last-minute shopping for a trendy girl, and check out the rest of your accessories options at Mapel here.

For the little ones on your list, Mapel has children's tutus (like this purple paisley number), baby slings, nursing covers and diaper bags. View all baby items here.

Need a quick White Elephant gift for your next holiday party? Look no further than Mapel's "Home Etcetera" section, where you'll find games like this Girls' Night Out TableTops game, beautiful print aprons and great tschotskes.

Mapel's got a few great items for the stylish boyfriend, husband, brother, father or other fab male figure in your life. I'm a huge fan of this new toggle Nordic sweater - only $48! Check out the full Mapel men's selection here.

Nothing snazzes up an outfit like a great piece of jewelry. Mapel's stock of earrings, bracelets, necklaces and cuffs will be a surefire hit for last-minute stocking stuffers or for one more present for a stylish lady!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Spend a Benjamin at & get $25 back, now through Christmas Eve

In an effort to help you get your Holiday "Jollies" Mapel is offering a one time only gift certificate promotion.

Now through December 24th, Mapel is giving away $25 gift certificate (valid during the month of January) for every purchase of $100 or more @

Enjoy FREE ground shipping on all orders and easy returns/exchanges.

Free gift wrapping upon request @ checkout!

We have some great new product from Tulle, a new collection called Champagne Lace,

Winter Boots, Premium Denim, Jewelry and other stocking stuffers.

Happy shopping!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mapel Holiday Gift Guide: Sporty Snow Bunny

This time of year, most sporty girls from Leavenworth to Seattle, from Vancouver to Aspen have their eyes on the mountains. Whether you love to snowboard, ski, sled or just sleigh ride, Mapel's got a few pieces for you to bundle up and keep warm while you're making the most of wintertime.

Any of these sporty essentials will make great gifts for the ladies on your holiday shopping list. Each of these are versatile, comfy, functional - and best of all, almost everything in this gift guide is under $80!

Keep an eye on Mapel's Happy Hour specials, every day from 2 - 6 p.m. for amazing deals on this & some other Mapel favorites!

Mapel Sporty Snow Bunny

Items in this set:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Party Rockin Style: Melanie Renee Design

Are you flitting from holiday party to holiday party this winter? Mapel’s got a few options for every gathering this season – for less than $200 each!

Melanie Renee Design is an organic line based out of California’s central coast. Melanie Renee mixes vibrant colors with elegant shapes that flatter a multitude of body types. Her designs are feminine, classically tailored and inspired by mid-century fashion. All fabric are sourced and woven in the USA and all garments are constructed in California.

The Minnie Cranberry Dress is perfect for a holiday party or night on the town with friends home for the holidays. I love the box pleat detail that lines the torso and bust. The detailed top perfectly complements the full skirt, which leaves you carefree as you dance the night away.

The Estelle Taupe Dress is probably my favorite dress at Mapel right now. The fit is classy & elegant yet sexy. I’m nuts for the pleats along the neckline and the velveteen skirt. Three buttons along the side of the skirt allow for a unique leg line. This is definitely your go-to workplace holiday party dress!

For ladies who prefer pants – or for the casual Santa brunch with the family – there’s the Sunshine Tunic, shown here in slate. Made of cotton & silk, these jewel-toned tunics add major spark to your outfit. Wear it under a cardigan and peacoat, but make sure you show off the beautifully scalloped shoulder straps too! Your favorite jeans and boots will complete this fab outfit.

For more Melanie Renee Design at Mapel, click here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mapel Holiday Gift Guide: Urban Girl Chic

When the temperature drops, it can be hard to stay stylish while keeping warm on the go. For you or the city girl in your life, here are a few functional essentials at Mapel that up the trendy ante.

From L to R:
Long sleeve burnout tee in grey: This sheer raglan crew by Alternative is the quintessential layering piece for the cold winter months. Wear underneath a chunky sweater dress or over your favorite tank top, pair with a scarf and jeans and you’re set for a day of running out and about.

Admiral plush coat: BB Dakota’s affordable take on the military coat is irresistibly on-trend. The high neck and bold brass button detail make this coat perfect for a day full of meetings – or a night out on the town.

Chocolate tweed hat: every urban girl needs a tweed structured hat. This sweet menswear-inspired piece is only $24, giving you major style points for a tiny price!

One-shoulder dress: Kersh’s ruffled one shoulder dress is incredibly easy to wear and perfect for the urban girl’s full schedule of holiday parties. Add a simple belt, strappy shoes and your favorite clutch for a statement party ensemble.

Purple infinity scarf: the urban girl masters her wardrobe when she stocks it full of versatile pieces that work with a ton of different outfits. That’s why she needs an infinity scarf! She’ll keep warm in a thousand different ways.

Forest slouchy hat: The Northwest is famous for its adverse weather conditions. Keep your ‘do under control with this warm, classic slouchy hat by Compose.

Honey curvy connor: Joe’s Jeans masters sexy urban style with this pair of black stretch cotton denim with studded detail on its back pockets. Must-have!

Potter fur vest: One of the hottest trends this year is the fur vest. Stay stylish while being kind to the animals and your wallet with this faux-fur BB Dakota design.

Monday, November 30, 2009

2 Fabulous Shopping Events THIS Weekend

Join Mapel this coming weekend for two
Fabulous Holiday Shopping events.

Saturday December 5th Mapel will be in Issaquah participating in
Eastside Shopping Party and Gift Show for Women and Kids!

Date: Saturday, December 5th 2009
Time: 12pm – 5pm
Location: Blakely Hall 2550 NE Park Drive Issaquah, WA 98029

Assortment of designer jeans, dresses, jewelry, handbags, shoes, beauty products, beauty services, massage services, kids clothing, home d├ęcor and MORE!

- Free Swag bags of goodies to first 50 women shoppers
- Raffle drawing every hour!
- Silent Auction
- Food & Drinks
- Music
We have some GREAT items for the raffle drawing and silent auction tab

Sunday December 6th Mapel will be in Seattle participating in the

Time: VIP Shopping: 9:00 am - 11:00 am

General Admission Shopping : 11:00 am - 6 pm
Clothing Swap: 11:00 am - 4 pm
Place: Hyatt at Olive 8
1635 8th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101

Participating Vendors:
A to Z Tees

Asher Anson
Katie Kay
Nuvo Moda
Plane Jane
Purely Paige
Queen Anne Dispatch
Sabrina Loves Handbags
Stella & Dot
Suburban Booty
Totokaelo + Impulse
Zovo Lingerie
Holiday Shopping at its Best: Support Local Charities and Find the Best Deals, Steals and Bargains at the Boutique Culture Holiday Warehouse Sale and Seattle’s First Clothing Swap.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Leavenworth Travel Agents - At Your Service

Whenever friends or family are traveling to Leavenworth (or friends/family OF friends/family), Staci and I get to play "travel agent" and give suggestions on where to stay, where to eat, the best places for wine tasting, and other various recreational activities.With the holidays upon us and lots of great opportunities for weekend getaways to Leavneowrth, I thought I would share some of our travel advice with our blog readers. 

Of course we always strongly recommend a visit to Mapel.  Actually, we "expect" you to stop by and say hello after receiving all our free travel advice!

Most people like to choose WHERE to stay first, but I suggest deciding WHAT you want to do first because that should influence where you stay.  If you know that you want to spend a lot of time in the downtown Leavenworth atea - perusing the shops, trying various restaurants, etc. then you MUST reserve one of the lovely suites at Haus Wunderbar located within walking distance to everything downtown.  Oh, and it just happens to be in the same building as Mapel (funny coincidence).  You can book your stay through Destination Leavenworth, and make sure to tell them Mapel sent you so we can get our kickback! (seriously, we want our kickback)
If you're wanting more of a romantic getaway or prefer to be farther away from all the happenings, I would recommend staying in one of the fabulous bed and breakfasts Leavenworth has to offer, such as the.Enchanted River Inn

For food, one of our fav'sies is South.  And of coarse, you will want to stop by Munchen Haus on Front St for a brat and beer.  For dessert, stop by Schocolat for the most amazing hand-made chocolates.

Activities....Staci and I aren't really the "outdoorsy" type, but I know there are plenty of recreational activities listed on .  We prefer activities that involve wine. - there are over 13 tasting rooms in Leavenworth!

Upcoming events include Christkindlmarkt, Christmas Lighting, and Ice Fest.  Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nickels Worth

Don't you just love those unexpected  special occasions or moment that leave a lasting impression. Those nights that end up surprising you in a memorable way. I was fortunate enough to have just such a night this week. I had plans to meet a good friend for drinks and happy hour- but by the time we got out the door it was after 6 and thus no good happy's to be had.

We wandered her neighborhood (the distinctively hip Clinton area of Portland) and ended up at a very small and inviting restaurant, Bar Avignon.

We ordered a carafe, cheese plate to share and we both got the chicken dish. I know... boring chicken- but honestly after the way the waitress raved about it- we were too curious not to get the chicken. We were highly impressed with every bite- of everything we ordered.

So outside of the fabulous company, amazing food, and ultra quaint setting.... I left with a wonderful morsel of advice. In this case- a shiny Nickel's Worth of Advice.

You see, because I'm "going steady" I forget all of the $%^&*  #$%^ of dating. If you've been following this blog for awhile you'll note that ALL I used to blog about was the single life of dating and working in Seattle. As time has passed so have the humorous happenings of dating. My dear friend and dinner date shared with me a humorous yet amazingly clever story that immediately made me think "I must blog about this".

Women have an amazingly strong "instinct" about things. We don't always listen to that instinct- but it's there hovering inside of us. My friend could not let go of this resounding feeling that the guy she had been seeing was older than he told her. She asked about it a few times- almost joking and making light of it- but he kept to the original story. Her instinct continued to press on her - so like any amazingly fabulous woman she took matters into her own hands.

She had plans to meet him at a nearby pub. She showed up early,  ordered her drink at the bar, handed the bartender a $20 and said she would cover her drink and her dates drink. Before sitting down at a table she casually mentioned that he could keep the change after the two drinks were deducted - with one favor in mind. Would he mind asking her date for his ID and at a later time informing her of his birth year. He agreed.

When her date arrived she mentioned she had a tab running at the bar and he could order with the bartender. He got his drink and returned to the table. They stayed for a while and had a pleasant time (although curiousity was of course eating her alive). Once they were done she went up to the bar to get her receipt (along with the anticipated info). All the bartender said was "No way was I doing to ask that guy for his ID- he's way to old to even consider ID'ing... and way too old for you".

That was the last time she went out with that guy (possibly the last time she went into that bar too). So.... my shiny Nickels Worth of Advise is to listen to your instinct, take matters into your own hands and hopefully come up with an idea as brilliant as my friend.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Glazed Doughnut Hamburger & Receding Hairlines

"To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable."     Oscar Wilde

Today I celebrate my 31st birthday. By "celebrate" I mean composing this week's Happy Hour Menu, designing Mapel's email blast, stirring up something funny for this week's blog and PuShInG out holiday orders.  There is no doubt you are married to your work when you spend a lovely birthday afternoon just the two of you. Unfortunately work is a cheap date and yet has the means to buy me a glass of bubbly for my birthday. One day.......

In all fairness I'm Birthday Spoiled this year. Last Friday Brandon and I hosted a dual Birthday and House Warming party. Some of my absolute Fav'sies from Seattle drove up to Portland for the occasion. We also had good friends from high school, college and close family show up for the occasion (we boasted lots of candy in advance- so you can only imagine the crowd that showed).

We had a fabulous party and afterwards I was left with a warm fuzzy feeling about my life in Portland. We were also showered with wine. Against my gentle note of "No Gifts Please" we received numerous bottles of wine and a jug of the finest cranberry juice. If you don't already know.... Brandon leaves the wine drinking to me and he has acquired quite a palatte for cranberry juice.

The next day we packed up ALL of our Orange and Black gear and headed to Corvallis for the OSU homecoming game.

 I know what you're thinking..... I know... "What's so great about football?" and I would ask the same thing- except that I was with great friends and had an orange tumbler of bubbly in one hand. It also helped ease the football pain when I received an early birthday present from Brandon- a perfectly OSU orange arm candy from Cole Haan (seconly only to Mapel handbags).

Leading up to today I battled a terrible case of Piglet. It's a lesser version of Swine and often goes by the name of "common cold". I barely recovered from Piglet before my birthday date with Brandon last night. He is a crazy - concert going - music obsessed - dude. I feel bad cause 5th row front and center Dave Matthews tickets at the Gorge seem like a waste on me. I like Dave... but if you had seen the crowd we were sitting with.... It's a culture unlike any other... well any other that I've seen.

So the point is... I'm not obsessed with music like he is. I do however wuv'les a small handful of musicians. These musicians are on constant repeat at Mapel and have possibly been mentioned before in a few of our blogs (Jack Johnson). Brandon got us amazing seats to last nights David Gray concert at Portland's Arlene Schnitzer Hall. I was beyond excited. I love David Gray (always have) and could not wait.

For dinner he suggested a new restaurant called Original downtown Portland. Oddly there was nothing Original about this place. We dined on Glazed Doughnut Hamburger (you read that correctly), Pigs in a Blanket with Fondue and Chicken & Ham Fritters. It was funny, memorable and perfect!!!!

After a few glass' of wine (whose counting) we headed to the concert. The opening band was Fabu' and might just be the star of Mapel's holiday playlist. David Gray was as wonderful as I hoped. Absolutely amazing in concert and honestly..... outside of the perfectly booming voice I think he's more of a poet than anything else. I did however have a few observations that got me thinking about the big 31.

 All of the band members had receiding hair lines. I've seen David in concernt before- and there's nothing wrong with receding hair lines, really- nothing, but it was interesting to think that instead of mosh pits and festival seating there was three piece suites, balcony seats and receding hair lines.

And that brings me back to now. Here I am on my actual Bday dreaming up a tasty happy hour menu (hopefully as tasty as Glazed Doughnut Hamburgers) for all of yous. What does the rest of today hold.... likely a glass of vino and some chocolate (immediately following the release of this blog).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Attire

It's that time of year again....BOO! Now that O'fest is over, I have a little (and boy do I mean "little") time to think about the next big event - Halloween! One of my favorite Halloween traditions is visiting the pumpkin patch.  This year, I have my own little pumpkin to bring with me. 

The BIG question before visting the pumpkin patch is what do I wear? (Not really - no one cares what you wear to a pumpkin patch, but since this is Mapel's blog, I like to tie in some fashion, so just humor me)  I spent hours and hours trying different outfits on baby Cora and me before finalizing our pumpkin patch "look".  (again, just humor me and know that I am using extreme exaggeration for the sake of this blog). 

A cute and cozy coat is perfect pumpkin patch attire.  Since I am ALWAYS freezing, I chose my favorite hooded wubby jacket from....oh, what's the name of that place? it's right on the tip of my tongue....hmmmm......oh, yes - MAPEL.  Since I am loving anything plaid this season, I chose to wear this reversible jacket with the warm wubby material on the inside and the bright plaid on the outside. 

I chose a bright orange hat with a flower for Cora, so that A. the public would know it's a GIRL and B. so that she would perfectly match the surrounding pumpkins.  (note - matchy-matchy is okay for babies)

It's cold, so baby Uggs are a MUST.  Cora is sporting hers with giraffe print leggings peeping out - there's no such thing as an "over-stylized" baby.  (okay, maybe there is)

Of coarse our family trip to the pumpkin patch would not be complete without our dog, Wrigley.  The dog doesn't necessarily need to be stylie, but I wanted him to make sure he looked adorable too, so I let him borrown one of Cora's bibs - go bears!

My final tip for pumpkin patch attire is for the dude.  NO, most of them will not let you dress them in anything with pumpkins or color-coordinated shades of orange.  So you have to get a little creative and find something in their closet that they already love that will go with your family's "look".  I chose my husband's Chicago Bears jersey since their colors blue and orange.  Luckily it was Sunday (football day in case you weren't aware), so I didn't even have to ask - he picked it out himself.  (or so he "thinks")