Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I've Found My Wedding Dress! No, Really, I Did This Time.

I know I previously stated that I found my wedding dress on my first shopping trip but I recently went to a wedding in Oakley, California at the Brownstone Gardens.

And the bride was wearing the dress I had picked out but in a different color! Not to be catty or show a hint at being a Bridezilla, but I was kind of turned off by the dress. I know it would look different on me as we have different body types but I didn't like seeing that another bride was wearing my dress. And I couldn't hold it in and told DB, "She's wearing my dress." Yes, MINE! Wah! And now he knows what it definitely looks like. Fail, on my part. So, it was decided that I needed to go shopping again.

My Matron of Honor, Tara, and my Maid of Honor just gave birth so they were busy with their pregnancies and adjusting to having newborns. Tara's Baby Emma was now two months old but Christy's Baby Nate was just weeks old. Melyssa was dealing with a new house and the day I picked to go shopping was the day she and Dan were going to take the boat out for his birthday. Perhaps going to this wedding in Oakley was a sign that that dress wasn't for me. And it allowed me the pleasure of shopping with one of my long-time friends.

It was also a good time to meet Baby Emma. I had not met the little one yet. I know it's difficult for any new set of parents to adjust to a new schedule, a little person to take of, and try to accommodate everyone that wants to come by and see the baby. I didn't want to be intrusive or overly ask but I tried to hint that I wanted to see her and that when it's good for them, I'd love to come up and see her. That particular Sunday worked out well. I made an appointment at a boutique in downtown Sacramento that had great reviews on Yelp. We'd go there after brunch and spending time with Baby Emma. She is absolutely beautiful. I got to feed her, burp her and try to keep her happy. Tara says I'm a natural. I love hearing that. See how wonderful she is?

Then it was off to shop! We first went to Miosa Couture. There we met Michael and a very nice staff member. I described the first dress and he picked out one very similar and I loved it. So did Tara. It was plain, a unique color but add some bling, a veil and a quick bust line alteration - it was gorgeous and definitely in the running. And it was also the most expensive, though still within my budget, of the top two dresses that day.

Since we were there, we browsed through the bridesmaid dresses. I decided on the length and color. Tara is so sweet that she said she'd wear anything that I wanted her to. I know I want them to also feel beautiful on my wedding day and definitely want them in something they can wear again. While Tara browsed through the rack, I went through the dresses hanging in another room that were going to be part of their sample sale.

Browsing thru those dresses was a work out. I definitely felt it in my upper back, which is a good thing, because I definitely have a weak back. Stupid car accidents.

Tara found one she liked!

It says SAMPLE. Love her.

We left Miosa and asked Tara if she had some time left to try one more spot. It was possible that I was going to get that great dress from here so I wanted to scope out more bridesmaid dresses to get a feel of what's out there, price ranges, and what's appealing to Tara. We headed to David's Bridal in Roseville, California. I didn't think I was going to find a wedding dress to my liking here but since they did have some Vera Wang dresses, I played with the idea of trying MORE dresses on.

We signed in and it was about a 20 minute wait for a room. We went up and down the aisles, felt fabrics, looked at the chart of photos. I decided to try on a Vera Wang dress that was not my style but Tara really liked it. I really did like it too but I didn't see myself walking down the aisle in this and I know DB would hate it. It'd be fun to wear but I felt like I got lost in it. I tried on a dress in the style that I was looking for but a different material and color. It was half the price but it felt it was half the quality. It was tempting to save that much money but was it worth it? Our salesperson was so friendly, helpful and wonderful to deal with. Don't knock David's Bridal. You may just get a great salesperson like we did.

Tara was hesitant to try on dresses when the salesperson asked if she was next. Tara was such a trooper after recently giving birth and she looked so wonderful in the dresses. She's like me in that her facial expression shows exactly what she thinks of each dress. We agreed on one in particular and the color, an idea on how to dress it up and fabric were determined. The day was extremely helpful and it was so nice to spend time with a girl I've known for so long.

I had some thinking to do. Three dresses were in the running:
#1 - The dress I pulled out of a magazine. DB ok'd it from the ad. It was the first one I tried on and the very first time I felt like a bride. It fit almost perfectly and I felt great it in.
#2 - Much more regal, simple, elegant, but much more expensive. It was definitely going to be a custom gown with the neckline changed and some embellishments added. No one will have my exact dress.
#3 - The style I wanted. A different material than I wanted, too bright of a color but over half the cost of #1.

A few days later I took #3 off my list. I wasn't going to settle on my wedding dress because of cost, although we are currently adjusting to a situation at the moment. Money has been put away for this day so I intend to use it.

The next week I had a crazy few days ahead of me with four Stella & Dot trunk shows (TS) in Brentwood and Fremont. After one of them, I stopped into His & Hers Formal around the corner from where I had my TS in Brentwood. I remembered that I had a 10% coupon I received from a bridal fair at the Hannah Nicole Vineyards, also in Brentwood. The vineyards was in the running for my venue but it would've eaten up the entire budget. I was also meeting my Mary Kay rep, Kristina Gutilla, to do an exchange. I texted her and told her I was going to peek in at His & Hers. LOL. Low and behold, she popped in as I was trying on one of two dresses. I was standing on the pedestal with mirrors all around me and Kristina's jaw dropped when she came around the corner, then smiled. She loved it. I wasn't too crazy about the top when it was on the hanger but it definitely grew on me. Then I decided that I loved it when I didn't want to take it off and that #2 has now been replaced.

TORN between two dresses. I had already scheduled a second appointment with dress #1 for the following day, so it was going to confirm that I am just as in love with it or I like this new #2 better.

I went to my appointment to try on dress #1 with Brent after a day with family in Fairfield, California. I had Brent sit on a cushiony chair, I pulled on the dress and said, 'Ah man.' Yeah, I still love it. It just feels good. It's definitely me, my style. I turned to Brent to ask him what he thought. He shrugs his shoulders to his ears and gave me a little smile as he held his package of Dots candy. What a cutie pie. Still torn. More than before. I was hoping this appointment would answer all my questions. Fail.

I laid in bed that night looking through all the photos that were taken of me in these two dresses. And I looked through photos of dresses on the web, on wedding apps I downloaded to see if there was another dress I wanted to try. I did go to a shop in Concord to try on a David Tutera dress but that was definitely a no. I had a decision to make and it didn't help that DB warned me "Not to pick anything ugly." What a butt face. I was already having a hard enough time deciding on what dress I was going to wear when I marry this butt face. My first Bridezilla moment: I shed some tears. Then I decided that I needed to give my brain a rest because those tears were a sign I was overloading myself. It was a warning sign. I went to bed.

On my drive into the office the next morning, the radio was off and I just thought about what I want DB to see as I walk towards him on our wedding day. Sometimes he says I dress too sexy. Sometimes he asks "You went out in that!?" I don't need a dress that's over the top but I do need to feel gorgeous and elegant. And I do, with the new #2.

Take one feature off dress #1 and I could wear it another time. With my dress (formerly known as new dress #2), there's no other occasion I'd be able to wear this white wedding gown to. I ran my reasonings for my selection and photos by one of my clerks, Eileen, who has also helped me decide on our Save The Dates. The votes were unanimous. No fair that Christy had 3 votes: her, Cesar and Baby Nate. And so it has been decided. A down payment was made on Dress #2 as of yesterday.

Here's a sneak peek:

Sorry, that's all I'm showing for now. My Matron of Honor, Maid of Honor, Sister and Mother-of-the-Groom (LOL, and my Mary Kay rep!) are the only ones that know what it looks basically like.

Thanks for reading!

Social Selling: It's a Job, Not a Party

Man Cave and Stella & Dot were featured on Good Morning America today, August 31st.

I think it's great that Man Cave is around for men. Though, I love hearing men say "Ooh, that's nice." when their ladies are shopping and they actually give an opinion. Men definitely like to party as well, and there are men Stella & Dot Stylists out there. I am actually considering having a dual Stella & Dot party inside, while Man Cave is doing their thing outside on my new patio. This will be for my birthday in September.

This segment states that being a Stylist with Stella & Dot is definitely a job. It takes initiative, the drive, the investment and the desire to be successful at it. And yes, people are successful at Stella & Dot and at Social Selling. It is pretty cool that you can earn extra income by playing dress up with ladies, chit chatting and being social. I personally enjoy it and love meeting new people. I have never been afraid to say hello to someone on the street, provide a complement or give credit where it's deserved. I am a certified bartender and besides making a mean martini, I love having interesting conversations with people and putting a smile on their face.

Will you be my first team member? I would love to have a team I can train and learn from. Please feel free to email me if you have any interest. You do not have to be in the area to work together. I look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

WIN Our Panther Pendant & Eat Yummy Sushi - Sept. 8th

Stella & Dot is at Shirasoni Japanese Restaurant every Thursday night for Ladies Night.

BUT on one particular Thursday, September 9th, you and all other fashionable ladies placing an order that night or at the link below, could WIN the Panther Pendant (valued at $49). This pendant will also be featured in the October issue of Vogue.

What's the occasion? Fashion’s Night Out is back to kick off Fashion Week! All of New York City is buzzing about this red carpet event honoring the Accessories Council Members, a prestigious group of industry insiders that strive to stimulate consumer awareness and demand for fashion accessory products. We are honored and excited that our very own Blythe Harris, your Chief Creative Officer, will be there to showcase our Fall Collection.

Can't make it to Shirasoni but want to be entered to win the pendant? Go to:
Click on "Find Your Hostess"
Enter "Shirasoni Restaurant"


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Comment & Win!

I posted 5 outfit/handbag ensembles on my Facebook page and am asking you to comment on which one is your favorite and you can win something pretty!

Please go to, LIKE the page and comment on one of the 5 ensembles.

Shop at

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

50% OFF - Back to School Special

Get your little fashionistas ready for school with some Stella & Dot jewelry. Spend $50 or more and our little girl and tween line is 50% off. Just use the code, SCHOOL11, at the time of checkout!

Offer is good thru Sunday, August 28, 2011.

Shop at

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Calling All BOLD Women!

This is for you!

Also check out this video of Kelly Ripa just gushing over the Fall line.

Shop at or host a trunk show with me and earn jewelry and handbags for FREE!

Email me!

Monday, August 15, 2011

I Support The Lymphoma & Leukemia Society

In July, a friend I have known since college, Susie, hosted a Trunk Show to raise funds for her first Nike Women's Half Marathon benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. My grandfather has Leukemia and has gone thru radiation treatments so I was happy to support her on a goal and folks like my grandfather that need treatment.

We met up for sushi (YUM) and discussed what we could do to partner up and fundraise. She had a great idea to do pedicures and lemon drops but someone backed out. She wanted to cancel the event entirely. I suggested to move forward with it anyway and have a Stella & Dot trunk show and I would donate a percentage of sales towards her goal. This was my second fundraising event for Team in Training. It was a success. Susie had great attendance and even had her friend and coworker, Liza, come with her Arbonne products. Susie earned $129 as a donation from me, $170 in free jewelry and 3 pieces at 50% off! Not bad for doing something beneficial for other people, right?

I wish you nothing but the best on your first marathon, Susie. Thank you for having an amazing heart and wanting to help people. I can't wait to help you out next year!

Donate here:
Read her why:

It was 2005 when I first heard about the Nike Women’s Marathon and said to myself, One of these days I’m going to run a half marathon. Flashing forward to 2009, I learned that my Tia/Auntie Conception “Chonita” had breast cancer and in 2010 I went to visit her in El Salvador. By then she was cancer free, but when I left I was inspired to do something. That something motivated me to say, I am running a half marathon in honor of My Tia Chonita so I researched to find a breast cancer marathon but only found one and it was in Florida far from the bay area. Earlier this year I told myself I would only run 13.1 miles if it were for a good cause. And initially I wanted to run for a breast cancer, but when I heard about my co-worker’s experience running a marathon in Paris with Team in Training, I looked into who they were and found the perfect cause to run for.

Team in Training is a training and support group that’s sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which helps raise funds to stop blood cancer. The funds raised are used towards blood cancer research, patient services and to help Team in Training to continue doing what they do. With Team in Training, I will be training 3 days out of the week with a coach and mentor who will train me and push me for the next 4 months so I can cross that finish line and accomplish not only one of my lifetime goals but to also help research companies find better medications to help save many lives.

Please help me to meet my $1800 goal by contributing to this amazing organization and support me for every mile I run. And, for every mile I run I will be thinking of my Tia Chonita, Janine Payton, other’s who have experienced breast, liver and blood cancer, and all the Louie’s out there…

Who is louie you ask? Louie passed away from blood cancer in 2002, completed several triathlons, and never gave up. Watch this video link that was shared on my first initial info seminar with Team in Training.

“People have a choice you either sit-back and watch yourself die or you do something about it”~ Louie Bonpua

I hope you will visit my web site often. Be sure to check back frequently to see my progress.

Thanks for your support!

If you are trying to fundraise for a non-profit organization and would like to host a Stella & Dot trunk show with me, I would gladly donate a portion of sales. Please contact me to discuss.

Below are organizations I do/have support/ed:

AIDS Walk San Francisco
American Red Cross
Autism Speaks
Bay Positives
Berkeley East Bay Humane Society
East Bay Young Democrats

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
Nike Women's Half Marathon & Team In Training

Friday, August 12, 2011

Upcoming Events!!!

Folks are already ahead of the game and shopping for Christmas gifts? Are you? Have a friend's birthday coming up? Some of the discontinued items at Stella & Dot are still available. What I like about these items is that once they're gone, they're gone. Your friend can receive compliments on an item they can't get their hands on - basically have something they want. Let's be honest, it's nice having something no one can get anymore, right? It's not a commodity. It's now a Stella & Dot collector's item.

One of my favorite pieces, The Festival Til Dawn bib, went for $251.00 retail. It is now $99. Under $100!

Our sale is an ongoing event!

I am located in the San Francisco Bay Area and am marketing the jewelry and soon to-be-released handbags with the below upcoming events. Please come by and say hello!

Thursday, August 18, 2011
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
XS Lounge
613 First Street
Brentwood, California

Ladies Night (Every Thursday)
Thursday, August 25, 2011
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Shirasoni Japanese Steakhouse
6367 Lone Tree Lane
Brentwood, California

Friday, August 26, 2011
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Little Miss Everything
20 Oak Street
Brentwood, California

Stella & Dot Trunk Show
Saturday, August 27, 2011 & Saturday, September 17, 2011
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
The Catwalk Boutique
306 Oak Street
Brentwood, California

I look forward to seeing you there! If you are a local business owner and would like to run a promotion at your location, I would love to hear from you. If you are an independent business owner and would like to network and partner with, I would also love to hear from you.

I may be in Brentwood but am willing to travel for trunk shows! We are already open to customer and Stylists in Canada, are ramping up for the UK and Germany will open in the Spring of 2012. It's a great time to get started in the business! We're going global! Join my team HERE!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Need a Server the Evening of 8/22/11 in Emeryville

Still looking for one more server, Monday, 8/22, 6-11pm in Emeryville, CA for a private party. $15/hr.

Attire: Khakis, blue short-sleeved polo shirt, non-slip shoes

Please send resume to and forward to those that may be interested.

Thank you!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Right now!

I have been getting up to date texts from Baby Nate's daddy and grandpa and he's ready to come out! Christy has been in the hospital since Monday night and I'm sure it was a rough road. But she is now at 10 cm and ready to push. I am sitting at work and I have the chills, my heart rate has increased, I can't sit still! I want to leave and go to the hospital right now. I cannot believe she's doing this. So amazing.


And here is Baby Nate just minutes out the womb. I watched the video of Christy's birth and one of her first words were "You are such a process." Of course I cried when I watched it and am tearing up now that I think of it. Stay tuned for photos of him growing up.