Friday, May 29, 2009

Baby Babaloo Father's Day Photo Op!

Scoop by: April
My passion for Baby Babaloo runs deep...Parker's entire wardrobe is from this store, and the gifts I have purchased here have garnered thank you notes I could frame. Father's Day weekend they are having a super cute promo...spend $50 bucks and receive a free photo shoot and 8x10 from! This is a great opportunity to visit this boutique WITH the kids...and make Dad come too - he should be in the Father's Day photo too right?

Canopy Alley - Comfortable & Cute Casual

Review by: Erin
Canopy Alley, the name alone conjures up thoughts of comfort and ease and that's just what I felt when shopping this boutique in Ladera Ranch. In addition to the adorable and affordable cotton casuals and soft knit basics, Canopy Alley is a favorite of hip Ladera Ranch mommies because the back corner is spacious and loaded with goodies dedicated to entertaining the kiddos. In my past life I managed boutiques, and I perfected the "Art of Distraction" for antsy toddlers and energy overloaded middle schoolers so moms could enjoy some shopping peace (if only a few minutes, it was always appreciated). So you can say, I have a warm place in my heart for a boutique that caters to the woman who rarely gets time for herself.

There is something especially friendly and relaxed about Canopy Alley. Maybe it's the amazingly low prices for trendy pieces like tie dye maxi dresses and embroidered summer tunics.
Or maybe it's the hand picked
selection of earrings, necklaces and purses under $50 to perfectly match a bright yellow ruffled tank top with crystal buttons. Or maybe it's the warm greeting you receive when you step in the door. Or maybe it's just the perfect combination of all the above that makes Canopy Alley so inviting.

Canopy Alley is a sure bet for feminine cotton lace and embroidering detailed tops from Language Los Angeles, soft Charlotte cardigans and perfectly sweet and budget satisfying summer dresses from Unit. For those who need functional fashion without sacrificing style, you'll find stretch camis in every color imaginable and lounge wear from local clothing designer Spiritual Fitness with uplifting mantras like "Inner Peace" and "Be Strong".

As a savvy shopper, I found their customer incentive program very appealing and encouraging. Canopy Alley gives 10% back on any purchase made in the form of a gift certificate for the following month. So for example, you spend $100 in May, you'll have $10 towards your next purchase in June. We like incentives, now don't we boutiquers ;)

Next time you stop by Canopy Alley, make sure and ask for Chelsea. Although she leaves at the end of summer for fashion school, you don't want to miss out on her sweet demeanor and natural ability to style you according to your personal taste and needs. Look how cute she wrapped up my multi-chain silver necklace with lavender tulle bow and super cute key chain for FREE...Reiterating, we like incentives now DON'T we boutiquers!

Canopy Alley
27702 Crown Valley Parkway #C2
Ladera Ranch, CA 92694

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sasha - Creative Style on Display

Laguna Beach, Orange County Boutique Pique
By: April Madigan @ Boutiquing

Situated at the top of the hill in what I still consider "downtown Laguna", Sasha boutique is a sparkling new addition to the bountiful boutique scene of Laguna Beach. In a spot that was once a "look but don't touch art gallery", fragile sculptures have been replaced with figure carving bandage dresses by Herve Leger and ground breaking stilettos by Stella McCartney. I set one foot inside this fashion forward, sleek boutique and could not wait to touch EVERYTHING! Perhaps the most impressive aspect, owner and namesake Sasha, has maintained the "gallery" aspect to this space...exhibiting artist's work on rotation. The latest installation by surfer Clark Little is truly incredible to see and adds a sophisticated beach vibe to the boutique.

This unique boutique is set up in two rooms...on display in the front room are casual beachwear and accessory options by Matthew Williamson, Helmut Lang, Goddis '05, Gold Hawk and Free People. I was instantly impressed by the continuity between the lines. Low to high, they inhabit the space seamlessly, as though they were meant to be together. The back wall is eye catching in its symmetry and is where I found sexy leather sandals, earthy and natural turquoise and coral jewelry that begs to be worn with a tan, and an extensive selection of sunglasses by Barton Perreira, Chloe and Roberto Cavalli. (FYI...Chloe & Roberto Cavalli are 40% off right now.)

Entering the second room, I was instantly aware that this is the serious fashion room...a dressing table complete with old fashioned starlet lights highlight the "IT" dress of 2009...a red Herve Leger bandage dress. The accompanying rack of clothes is filled with sexy night out looks like a shrunken tuxedo jacket by Helmut Lang. A giant wall size mirror and shag rug contribute to the earthy chic feel of this boutique.

The shoe selection offered is well edited and covers all of the major basics - great daytime sandals, hot heels for after dark, and a few that blur the lines between the two. My find was a pair of strappy bronze leather wedges with a zip up back by Steven - wait til the preschool Mom's see these...maybe they won't notice my bed head;)

Lori's Shoes - The Sole of Chicago - Steven Warrier - Bronze
Another heart stopper was a multi strap leather and chain watch by La Mer, a steal at just over $100 bucks - does it matter that I never really learned to tell time on a watch? Blame it on the digital invasion!

If you haven't guessed already, I spent a lot of time exploring this store, my experience enhanced by the knowledgeable and down to earth - yet supremely stylish shop owner Sasha Stajic. Her dedication to bringing quality merchandise, expertise, and creativity are what give Sasha boutique it's true style. It was amazing to see the array of women pulled in off the street to get a closer look at what lay behind the glass. All were warmly greeted, became the center of her attention, and were sent back into the world with that little Sasha induced sashay they needed.

550 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Patina - A Dream Boutique

Costa Mesa, Orange County
Boutique Pique
By: Erin Hall @ Boutiquing

What could be more adorable and enticing than a small cottage home converted into a boutique? Tucked behind the car wash on 17th and Orange in Costa Mesa lives the greatest treasure house of boutiquing bliss ever...Patina! Jenny, the always smiling and refreshingly approachable creator of Patina, has mastered the art of collecting random pieces of furniture, artwork, clothing and accessories to create a dream boutique home to all things girlie, vintage, fun and unique.

For no other reason than to get lost in a world of visual splendor, Patina is a must see for those of you who are mesmerised by decadent decor. Eclectic and layered to WOW are the endless creative fixtures, you won't find a ounce of space that isn't over flowing with merchandising masterpieces. Asian bronze trees cloaked with sugar candy pearl necklaces, white ceramic owls buried under patterned silk scarves, messenger bags and skinny belts adorning linen forms and edgy denim draped over iron head boards are just a few of the eye catching displays throughout this 4 bedroom boutique. The newest addition and my vote for originality; bright orange goldfish swimming above purple rocks... perfectly placed in clear flower vases throughout the COOL is that! Moss covered window cabinets hang on the walls displaying the most original selection of vintage and current designer jewelry you have ever seen. From delicate to chunky, thank you Jenny (in yellow) for a wide range of prices and styles, making one of a kind jewelry a possibility for all budgets.

Monteau fringe tanks from $34, checkered silk frocks from Dolan, bold fuchsia scalloped neckline tops from L.K. Collection, ultra funky hoodies and 80's style tanks by 291, twisted humor and vintage pop culture tees from Vintage Vantage and bright, metallic and snakeskin swimsuits from Tyler Rose (...see 944 Trunk Show Photos) are just a small sampling of the numerous clothing highlights inside the walls of Patina.

I love finding little gifts at boutiques that don't break the bank. Whether it be a small thank you or birthday present with unique flair, I can always count on Patina to deliver the most adorable cards and special trinkets. In addition to the already fabulous merchandise and decor, Patina is famous for hosting special events, organizing huge sidewalk sales, debuting new designers, promoting trunk shows and throwing the most glamorous girlie parties, where the champagne flows and the cupcakes abound...make sure to check back on our "Boutique Events" page for upcoming events at this posh boutique!

Icing on the cake...Patina is known for its super fun staff, I've NEVER had a snobby boutique girl experience here. Ask for Kate, she loves her job, is full of excitement and made my boutiquing experience so memorable I didn't want to leave. Patina is also famous for their "bags". Yes, their selection of Hobo and other yummy leather handbags are to "diiiiie for Simba" but that's not what I'm talking about. Patina hand makes ALL their shopping bags, so you are sure to strut out with some crazy cute combo of lace, yarn or ribbon and high fashion photos so stunning you could frame it and hang it on your wall as artwork. Currently they are having a customer bag making contest!

178 Wells Place
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Visit Patina's Blog

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Antonia - Shoe "Pair"adise

Review by: April
The strip of boutiques that line the "Sprinkles" side of Corona Del Mar Plaza, are so well placed, I wonder if it was intentional. There are 4 great clothing stops, 2 well stocked bathing suit destinations, and at the end of the walk, is the gem of a shoe boutique...Antonia. This spot has earned it's many accolades the old fashioned way - by being great at doing their thing...and their thing, is shoes! The shop itself has such a relaxed vibe, with the doors swung wide open, and a few adorable little teacup size dogs lounging about, and the effervescent owners, chatting happily with customers and locals alike, enjoying their obvious role as the shopping center's Queen Bees.

Setting foot inside I was reminded of something...the key to a successful boutique is being keenly aware of what you are good at and sticking to it. Antonia has this concept down. From the inviting amount of lush seating to the impressive assortment of shoe style and lines represented...this boutique knows who she is. The range of styles is so vast, I thought it best to represent it collage style...take a peek!

Clockwise from the left: Giuseppe Zanotti, Chloe, Missoni, L.A.M.B., Matt Berson

Included in their selection as well are picks from Diane von Furstenburg, Loeffler Randall, Bernardo, Elie Tahari, Sam Edelman, Tory Burch, Ugg, and Kors. Impressive right? They also have a sublime selection of sunglasses from Badgley Mischka, and gorgeous bags by Botkier, Isabella Fiore, and 49 SQ. MI.

My suggestion for a great boutiquing day: Hit Una and Sienna Brown for some beach chic wardrobe additions, take a cupcake break at Sprinkles, continue to Mi Place for some stylish designer looks and top off your perfect day with a trip into Antonia for the finishing touches...and if you aren't too full from the cupcake...Tommy Bahama Cafe has the most incredible Santa Barbara scallop me - they are delicious!

906 Avocado Ave.
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Monday, May 25, 2009

Patina: June 2009 Calendar of Events

The artistic style and event creativity displayed on this calendar is just a small sampling of the boutiquing bliss you will find at Patina!

(click photo to enlarge)

You don't want to miss a single event.

June 8 Best Friend Day - Bring in a friend and get 25% OFF

June 13 Mary Kate & Ashley Birthday Party - Cupcakes + Discounts....rumor is, the cupcakes might have the dynamic duo's photo on them, yummy AND cute!

June 15-16 June Jackpot - Roll the dice, get a LOWER PRICE!

June 17 DEADLINE Customer Design A Bag Contest.
First Prize Winner receives a $500 SHOPPING SPREE!
Get 20% off just for submitting a shopping bag idea.

June 19 Anna Beck Trunk Show 20% OFF

178 Wells Pl
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

myspace photo gallery

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Shopgirls by Lisa & Helen - Trina Turk and DL1961 Trunk Show

Scoop by: April

Join Shopgirls in Costa Mesa on Thursday, May 28th from 10 -6 for a peek at brand new splurge worthy summer pieces from Trina Turk, and be one of the first to try new denim from DL1961 (Halle Berry is a fan)!

Shopgirls has established a tradition of finding the most wearable and feminine finds of every season, and they are generous with their discounts as well. This event includes 25% off your ENTIRE purchase - you just have to buy something from Trina Turk, DL1961, Theory, or J Brand...okay, twist my arm:) Get there early....the first 25 Trina Turk purchases will include a FREE Trina Turk gift!

We are giving you plenty of notice...this is a ONE day event! And, since it's on a Thursday...plan to hit the Red Balloon Warehouse for more boutique deals!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Stella - The Boutique We Desire

Laguna Beach, Orange County Boutique Pique
By: April Madigan @ Boutiquing

Picture this...4 women dressed to kill, strutting up PCH to Hush for the Lust for Life event when out of the corner of their eyes they spot undiscovered boutique!!! "Oooh....cute...look at that... how I have never seen this before..." were the exclamations heard in unison. Sorry to the girl who had to clean our fingerprints off the windows the next morning, we were desperate to get a look inside. Stella boutique is that trendy, feminine boutique we all dream of, with an air of casual "I always look this good" attitude we all aspire to. Erin and I stopped in a few days after the first sighting, and were giddy with excitement over what we found.

Walking up to the pane glass windows, I was struck by incredible pop of color pulling me in off the street...that and THE most adorable pair of gladiator sandals for kids I have ever seen...the type you buy even if you don't have kids, and use as bookends they are so precious! The stark white walls are filled with graphic black objects that play on the dynamic style of this boutique. In my former life I created visual displays for boutiques, and I was impressed by the amount of space dedicated to creative displays at Stella.

This place is fun to shop, and made me feel comfortable enough to try on some things that were risky...aka the jumpsuit. You know you want to as it here - there's a mirror in the dressing room, and they have a few options...all in have no idea what a black jumpsuit can do for a body - my new favorite go to piece! There is no shortage of super trendy items here, as well as premium denim by Seven and Paige (all $50.00 off right now), they also have some of the best versions of the trendiest accessories. I spotted a perfect fedora - wearable and chic, as well as great purses that one would swear cost the arm you hang it on. Not at all...prices were absolutely doable, and I kept on looking for the high price tags...this place looks like it would cost lots more to shop than it does.

Our experience here was made even better by Callan, the effortlessly chic stylista who was working when we were in. She was easy to talk to, friendly to everyone who entered, and truly enthusiastic about the boutique itself. If you are a person who longs to up the style quotient in your life, she would be a great person to help you do it.

As I mentioned, Stella is right next to Hush on PCH, opposite the ocean side. There are a few meter spots out front, and we had no trouble parking during the week...and additional meters along the surrounding streets.

812 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Mon - Thur 11:30 - 6
Fri -Sat 11 - 7
Sunday 11 - 6

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Freedom Communications - Apology

After a phone conversation with Jordan Gold, VP of Products and Content at Freedom Communications, regarding our post, "Freedom Communications - Knock it Off" ,Erin and I have now had the conversation we were hoping for. Mr. Gold apologized for the situation, and proposed a possible way to make it up to us. He offered a place on's shopping and style page dedicated to, containing our logo and an RSS feed of our blog...translated, that means the page would be constantly featuring our latest posts, but in a way that brings attention to and local boutique shopping.

Our dedication is to our mission, not to holding a grudge...and we will keep you posted as to our decision. We want to thank all of our loyal readers and fans for your support and encouragement and for rallying behind us, on what started out as a very disappointing day. We value your input tremendously and welcome any questions or concerns you may have.

It was important to Erin and me that all of our readers have a chance to see Freedom Communications formal apology. Below is the e-mail we received this evening.

I sincerely apologize for the unauthorized use of your content today. One of our employees violated our policies and our values by utilizing your content, without permission, and pasting it into our events engine. This is something we do not condone or foster, especially because, as a company, we see ourselves as defenders of property rights, including the intellectual property of content creators.

We have taken the unauthorized content off of our website. We have educated the staff member who did this. Please accept our apology.

Jordan Gold

VP Products and Content

Freedom Interactive

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Freedom Communications - Knock it Off!

Rant by: April is a blog written by myself and Erin, two kindred fashion spirits who adore the boutique shopping experience. Our main goal is to bring much needed attention and online exposure to local boutique businesses in the Orange County area. We publish reviews of boutiques we love and promote their various events in the hope that we will help these small businesses remain in their vital role in the retail landscape.

Okay, sorry to sound cliche...but all of us trendsetters know, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...true....but give a girl some credit. Today we found out we have been knocked off! Not in your standard, "G" instead of "C" Coach bag kind of a full blown, didn't even bother to change a thing kinda way. How rude!

Here's the deal - Freedom Communications, the large Irvine based company who owns The Orange County Register as well as over 25 other newspapers and various TV stations and online publications, recently launched a new website called This site launched April 10th and covers all things OC. A welcome and long overdue destination that serves businesses and charities throughout Orange County, by offering event calendars, restaurant reviews, concert information etc. We were contacted yesterday by their product manager, Kris Heineman to talk about a possible partnership featuring boutique reviews from to realize - they were already using our stories, without crediting us as the source, or licensing the content. Forgive us for the Legally Blonde moment...but we have exhibits:)

Exhibit A
Mi Place Trunk Show - Read ours here

What we discovered on

Exhibit B

Chelsea Monroe Couture Debut - Read ours here.

Screen grab from

As I said before, is a blog written by myself and Erin, we have no advertising, the reviews are NOT paid for, and we have developed this blog in an effort to help give reliable and relatable inside views into the Orange County boutique experience. is a corporate owned website with many paid advertisements and sponsorship by Fandango, and the ability, one would hope, to write and think for itself. So, why the need to steal content? We are more than happy to spread the word about the boutiquing spots you shouldn't miss...but if you are going to use our content, we expect the credit. At this time we have chosen not to respond to's request for a partnership, because we feel their actions breech not only ethics, but trust...We are dedicated to bringing our readers the most accurate version of our experiences...and we ALWAYS give credit and links to our sources....and we weren't even journalism majors! We wonder how many others are being knocked off to make this company look good? There are three instances in which was plagiarized by Coco Chanel made the wise recommendation of taking ONE accessory off before you leave the house... - will you please take off THREE?

For more information on's mission CLICK HERE.

See Freedom Communications' response to this post.

Chelsea Monroe Couture Fashion Show - Photos

Details delivered by: Erin
Ferraris, Porsches and classic vintage cars lined the runway at the Chelsea Monroe Couture Debut Fashion Show, creating the perfect venue for a stunning event this last Sunday.

The runway and scene prior to the show...
it was just the beginning of what proved to be
a memorable day.

Diana Ramos (in gray) of Diana Ramos Productions, cordinated, styled and organized the event with pose and professionalism making it a classy event.

Excitement before the show! Proud mother Kathleen with her vivacious and talented daughter, designer Chelsea Monroe, wearing one of her floral mini dresses.

As Sex in the City was playing on large screne TV's, the big silver doors rolled open and the music started bumping as the crowd filtered into their seats.

Bold peacock and ostrich feathers, metallic silver soda tabs, zippered scallop petals, ruffled tiered gowns and deep plunging back scoops were just a few of the unique and delicate details so perfectly placed by Chelsea Monroe Couture.

Audible ohhh's and ahhh's repeatly sliped from our lips as each new model hit the runway. April and I had a difficult time deciding which dress we liked best with so many gorgeous textures and colors. We were awe struck by the style and vision coming out of a 17 year old...not even graduated High School! It is obvious Chelsea Monroe has a bright future ahead of her and we look forward to seeing her dresses in local boutiques.

Pesto chicken and brie stacks, roasted turkey and sun-dried tomato croissants and other tasty delights from Mama Jenna.

And you wouldn't believe how cute and adorable the mini cupcakes from JenniCupcakes were. Pomegranate cosmopolitan (with lime zest, sprinkles and pink frosting :) and midnight espresso with wafer topping...the absolute perfect little delectables to match Chelsea Monroe Couture.

Auction and tickets proceeds benefited
Laura's House for Abused Women.


Annmarie - Del Mar
Azzaria Boutique & Denim Lounge - Cardiff by the Sea
The Back Room - Del Mar
Be Beauty - Little Italy, Downtown San Diego
Beech - La Jolla
Del Mar Kids - La Jolla
LF Store - La Jolla
The M Collection - Encinitas & Carlsbad
Matti D - Del Mar
Miss Trendy - La Jolla
Melero - Little Italy, Downtown San Diego
Nicole Miller - La Jolla
Ooh La La - Del Mar & Carlsbad
Raw Clothing - Pacific Beach
Sundancer - Del Mar
The Southern Cross - Del Mar
Vocabulary - Little Italy, Downtown San Diego

What makes a boutique "Boutiquing Approved"?

New boutiques added weekly.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Beach Bingo & Bikini Fashion Show - Photos

Details delivered by: Erin

Just the excuse we needed to buy a new outfit...front row at fashion show, OK...twist our arms!
Here's photos from the night:
Beach Blanket Bingo & Bikini
at Blue Laguna in Laguna Beach

April, The "Dynamic Duo" and our gracious hostesses - Morgan & Christy of Black Feather Productions...oh, and meee.

Black Flamingo
Boutique stole the spot light and got the party started with fun and frolicking bikini clad models.

April & her hubby Pete

Only THE best cake we've ever had...worth the calories FOR SURE!

Thank you to all the vendors who donated epic prizes for the raffle. Teal blue "Bingo shots" and all the nights proceeds benefited
the Mauli Ola Foundation.

We ran into the adorable Katie from Zazu Boutique, we had to take a picture of her new Karta top...look at the back detail...we're in LOVVVVE.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Lola Rouge - Sparkles & Sass on 17th

Costa Mesa Boutique Pique
By: Erin Hall @ Boutiquing

Bright cherry red walls and white glitter tiled floor ...need I say more? Lola Rouge, on 17th Street - the "Mini Melrose" of OC, felt like walking into a life size Tarina Tarantino jewelry box, sparkles, bows, bold and bright, this boutique has summer's color palette nailed! Kelly green gem tones, juicy shades of cantaloupe, gorgeous tints of grape and kiss me now pinks lined the racks of the open and spacious Lola Rouge.

I must say, I was a little shocked to turn over a lot of the price tags at Lola Rouge....gasp...Only $48?...Only $68? Am I in the right place?? I was expecting to see higher designer prices (apparently the Fashion Island store in Newport is the higher priced boutique - that's the one I remember). I can't lie, I felt a rush of giddyness when I realized the "pleasing to any pocket book" prices. Floral tops from Ventti, beachy basics and casual cover-ups from Gili, Lucca Couture and JUST jeans were a few of the adorable and inexpensive lines.

My personal favorite piece at Lola Rouge was a radiant yellow tube top from Karina Grimaldi accented perfectly with a dangling peacock feather, perfect for any summer party. I also took a keen liking to Mara Hoffman, the world travel and fantasy inspired tunic tops, wrap dresses and silk jersey knits still linger in my mind. Lola Rouge carries an impressive variety of Ella Moss and a wide selection of denim including Rock and Republic, J Brand and Frankie B.

Need accessories? Here you go...Feather headbands, chunky gold & silver chain necklaces, crystal beaded bracelets, metallic clutches, patent leather boho bags, tie dye scarves and charmed hoop earrings... and lots of them! I think it's safe to say you won't find a larger selection of Tarina Tarantino pieces anywhere in Orange County, the boutique has styles I've never seen before. An added bonus during these tough times, Lola Rouge has one of the largest SALE sections I've seen in a while, it's an entire room full of great deals.

Lola Rouge
270 E. 17th St. Suite 4
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Copyright 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior written consent