Pennies From Heaven

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Is it weird that I find symbolism in the small things? Externally I live mostly as a pragmatic person, but every so often the funny little nuances of life give me pause.

Take this summer for instance. I’ve had a rather mundane schedule, not doing much more than the gym and work. However, I keep finding change on the ground. Day after day at least once a day, dimes, quarters, nickels, pennies– you name it, I’ve been finding it. Even as I write this I realize how silly it sounds to think any significance of it.

But the circumstances to which I found some of the coinage has been peculiar. It seemed to be following me everywhere.

One morning a dime was sitting at the gym pool directly in front of the lane I usually swim in… despite the fact that there are five lanes in the pool AND it was already full of other swimmers who could’ve easily chosen that lane first.

Another day, I found a penny on the floor at the grocery check-out. Being that it wasn’t THAT unusual I picked it up, showed my husband, and then placed it on the counter for another person to find. I stepped out of that same grocery story minutes later only to find two more pennies on the ground on the way back to our parked car.

One of the days I exited my garage (otherwise known as the design studio I work in every day) for a quick lunch break. Upon my return, a dime was sitting directly in front of my garage door.

On my short vacation back home to Washington state, I stepped out of a store in the local shopping mall to hear my sister say “Heather look, a penny!”

And it’s continued like this throughout nearly the entire summer. Even my husband started thinking it was strange.IMG_4759

Now– you could say “well, Heather, you must be looking at the ground too much,” and perhaps I am. Maybe I’m continually following the world’s clumsiest wallet holders. Maybe since I’ve seen coins a few times, my mind is now LOOKING for them.

But that doesn’t explain how I could go years without seeing so much as a penny on the ground, to suddenly finding dimes and quarters at my feet nearly every single day for several weeks.

And so the pragmatic Heather gives way to a more spiritual Heather. It’s been no secret that this summer has been challenging, mentally, emotionally and physically. Which makes me wonder….

Is it possible that a special person from above has been chucking coins at me? I’m not sure where I’ve heard the expression, “pennies from heaven” before, but is it possible that’s where they’re coming from?

Regardless of where the coins are actually from, I have in fact found the coins to be a meaningful symbolization of prosperity, gratitude, and determination.  To me, the coins have been a message that I’m on the path I need to be on right now. I need to stay the course, ignore the urge to give up and remember that paths paved with seemingly meager coins, are “worth” it in the end.

As the summer fades, so too has the amount of coins I’ve found recently. They did succeed in inspiring me however, and if nothing else, gave me a good chuckle.

So, thank you friend from heaven. (I know it was you, and I miss you.) I got the coins and the message that accompanied them loud and clear. 

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Only TWO Months Away!

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Whew! What a summer it’s been. We haven’t done a Fashion Week San Diego update in a while– I’ve spent much of our time apologizing to everyone for being perpetually behind on orders, so I thought I’d pop on quickly give an update on our progress.

Our runway show at Fashion Week San Diego is less than two months away! We are showing on Saturday, October 1st at 6pm, at Hotel La Jolla in La Jolla California, where 20 models (10 human and 10 dog) will walk the runway in our Stylish Bisou designs.

Find ticket information to our runway show by clicking this image.

(Find ticket information to our runway show by visiting www.fashionweeksd.com.)

 

I can say with confidence that this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.

I’ve worked for nearly 20 years for a variety of other small businesses and corporate America, side by side with some of the most amazing co-workers and interns. However, for some reason, this year it’s been meant to be that Chloe Bisou and I travel this road to Fashion Week San Diego alone. After many attempts to bring people along on the ride to work with us and none of it working out, we are now back to the originals: Chloe Bisou and Heather, as the sole designers of The Stylish Bisou.

And while this means that we’ve worked a lot of very long days/weeks, and that (sadly) some things have fallen by the wayside, there’ve also been a lot of positives that have come from working solo.

First, we guarantee that– although things have taken longer than anticipated– every single stitch that goes into your pieces is sewn with a ton of love. We put a lot of good energy and appreciation into every piece we send out.  

Next, it has strengthened my skillset. I know that sounds cliche, but working on everything myself has made my sewing and designing skills stronger. I’ve always been attentive and given our pieces a lot of care, but the pieces we’re sending NOW are durable and constructed with better technique. You all will be getting pieces that are our best work yet.

And lastly, it has instilled a lot of confidence into who I am as a designer and person (another cliche, I know). As some of you may know, I am well educated and have been in the fashion world for a long time, but I am actually 100% self taught when it comes to sewing. It’s been a source of some embarrassment for me to admit this to people and many in the fashion world make fun or snub me for it. But I DON’T CARE because I love designing. Sure, there’s been a large learning curve. I make rookie mistakes, and I may not know all of the official terms, but I continue to learn. Will I ever be a legendary designer? Perhaps not, but I love it and will consider myself lucky if I get to do it for the rest of my life.

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As I’m sure many of you have seen, we’ve had to close our Etsy shop to make room in our schedule to concentrate on our runway show and Kickstarter orders. We don’t have a date yet as to when our shop will be back, but it’s important that we regroup and start back on a stronger foundation. We need to set better processes in place so that people aren’t waiting upwards of a month for their orders.

I also want to make sure that we get back to our roots of blogging, attending fun events & staying in touch with our friends on social media. You are all so important to us and we’ve definitely dropped the ball with these things.

However, please be assured that none of you will EVER be forgotten in our journey this year. All of these things that I’ve named above (my newfound strength, my love for designing etc.) would NEVER have been possible without all of YOU. So again, thank you. We love and appreciate you more than we can ever express.

Wishing you all peace, love, and happiness. See you all soon on the runway–

Xoxo

Heather & Chloe Bisou, The Stylish Bisou

Bish Stole My Look

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Dear ma,

We all knew it would only be a matter of time before you started stealing looks from my closet.

I’ve seen you ma… eyeing my head bows…putting my skirts up to your waist… asking me if you think my dresses would fit (yeah, maybe on your one thigh-ha!). I meeaan, one day you’re telling me how much you love my summer prints, and the next day- BAM! We’re twinning in pink flamingos!

I may need to contact the Fashion Police and report that bish stole my look!

But it’s cool ma. Can anyone blame you for loving my style? Now please give me a bite of that macaron.

Yours sincerely,

Chloe Bisou

xoxo

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Our treat of choice this week: ‘lette Macarons, which can be found at Westfield UTC in La Jolla, CA (or online). Our favorite flavors include, Lemon, Violet Cassis, Rose, Earl Grey & Colombian Coffee. Serious NOMS!

Outfit Details

This week our outfit details are simple: most of it is made by us, The Stylish Bisou! The items we didn’t make are as follows:

White heels: Enzo Angiolini, purchased from Nordstrom Rack. Find a similar pair here

Heart Sunglasses: Purchased at Ross, find a similar pair here

White Statement Necklace: Find one similar here

Gooey’s pink flamingo bow tie: Made by MollysPawtique, available by contacting The Stylish Bisou. 

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Mini Vacay With Mini Bisou

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This July made it four and a half years since I had been “home.” Not since Christmas of 2011 had I driven the quiet streets of Spokane, Washington…had I felt its cool dry air…had I seen the beautiful familiar faces of my family.

The family I keep in contact with is small, consisting of my mom, stepdad, and two younger sisters. Although we were all raised in Washington State, over the years we’ve spread out substantially: my mom and her husband remained in Spokane, WA; my sister Michele teaches English in Japan; my sister Tiara lives in Moscow, Idaho; and I reside in Southern California.

Getting us all together in one place is difficult to say the least.

But luckily the stars aligned and this past week we were all able to take time from our busy schedules to meet in Spokane for a mini vacay.

Sadly I wasn’t able to take Chloe Bisou (I wanted to so badly), however I brought Mini Bisou (aka Stuffie Bisou) to help keep Chloe’s little spirit with me.

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Even better? There was a new addition to the family whom I couldn’t wait to meet: my sister Tiara’s 8 month cutie, Oden. And uh, HELLO- I’m totally in love!!! Tiara is the youngest of us girls, yet the first sibling to have a baby, so it was a VERY momentous occasion!

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Okay, so here’s the quick scoop on my adventure back “home”:

  • My mom’s warm hugs still can soothe the soul. And she’s still a fantastic cook!
  • My sister Michele, despite being 2 years younger than me, hasn’t aged a bit since I saw her last–she LITERALLY doesn’t look a day over 21! (Pictured below with our new nephew Oden.)

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  • My youngest sis, Tiara (11 years younger) was so grown up, which half delighted me and half freaked me out (in my mind, she’s still 15 years old-ha!). I marveled at how naturally she took to being a mama– and she’s the cutest and sweetest mama EVER!
  • Oden is freaking adorable! I can’t believe so much joy can come from one little hunka-hunka burning love.
  • My sisters still manage to give me the giggles– I almost wet my pants laughing at our succession of selfies (notice, we’re all wearing trendy rompers).
  • And finally, Spokane still seems like the same old sleepy…ahem, boring… town (sorry to anyone who loves Spokane.)

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As much as I had a wonderful time, I admittedly sighed happily as I landed back in San Diego and was glad to be welcomed home by my huz and pugs.

If I could pack my family all up and bring them with me to Cali I would in a heartbeat. Alas, all of us being apart is meant to be for now. Until next time girls and boys… hopefully it won’t be a four and a half year lapse next time around! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

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Vitamin D

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This week, our adventure comes from craving a little bit of Vitamin D. Normally you’d think I was referring to the vitamin that we get from the sun, and while that’s partially true (I DID crawl out of my windowless sewing cave to enjoy the sunshine), this time we’re referring to a different type of Vitamin D.

Okay, okay– so it’s not a vitamin per se– but it’s something that definitely helped brighten my mood.  We’re referring to something we’re calling “Vitamin DONUTS.”

We live a hop, skip, and a jump from a place called VG Donut & Bakery located in the beautiful beach community Cardiff, CA.  We’d never been there before but heard raving reviews (supposedly on weekend mornings, the lines to this place are an hour or more long). We decided it was high time to check it out.

 

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We got a dozen varietal donuts including apple fritters, maple bars and iced cake-style… and they are definitely worth the hype! They were soft, buttery, and melted in our mouths. They had a great spread of other baked goods as well, which we’ve promised we would come back and try another time.

Furthermore, the location is perfect for grabbing a donut and then enjoying ocean views; beaches are only a block away.

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Although we enjoyed the beach, VG Donut & Bakery does have outdoor seating so that you can enjoy your noms with your pet. Overall, we gave it two full paws up and will definitely go back.

Other “vitamins” I enjoyed on our adventure? Some Vitamin C and Vitamin G– aka, Vitamin Chloe and Vitamin Gooey. In my humble opinion, pugs are vitamins too- Ha!

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For the record, Chloe Bisou and Gooey were only given a few bites of a (creamsicle) cake donut. Please feed sugary items to your pups responsibly.

Outfit Details

Heather: Yellow Shift dress, Rachel Roy. Chunky Rainbow heels, GoJane.com, Sold Out, find a similar style here. Sunglasses, Urban Outfitters. 

Chloe Bisou: Hot Cross Buns Summer Dress, available on The Stylish Bisou Etsy store. 

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Gooey: Suns Out, Guns Out, Sleeveless Shirt, available on The Stylish Bisou Etsy store. 

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