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The Royal VIP 24th Birthday Treatment

Do you know what just passed?! No, not Flag Day, my birthday sillies! As many of you know I absolutely adore my birthday. The moment the calendar changes from May to June it is officially birth month with the peak celebration happening on June 10. Everyone who knows me knows this to be true. People keep telling me it's because I'm still young enough to love my birthday but to that I say "pshaw good sir (or mam)." I am going to age beautifully and gracefully (thanks for those genes mom) and therefore will continue to love the annual celebration of my birth.

Ironically, my boyfriend Adam dislikes his birthday. Part of me thinks it's because he's 1 of 4 so birthdays happened pretty regularly in his household growing up whereas for me it was just me, myself and I (and my mom of course too) so birthdays happened on a much rarer occasion.

Anyway, despite his distaste for his big day, he still does his darndest to make sure mine is celebrated properly. Last year was the first year we were together and he absolutely blew it out of the water! Let me remind you that by the time my birthday had rolled around we had been officially dating for 3 months! He took me on a helicopter tour of Los Angeles and to a beautiful sunset dinner in Malibu. I'll spare you the details of the absolutely perfect gift he got for me (hint: it came in a red and gold box).

Once my coworkers heard what he had done, their first reaction was obviously amazement and awe followed by "he really screwed himself over." Meaning how on earth are you going to top that next year!?

He had his work cut out for him that's for sure.

After inquiring whether I wanted a present and a nice dinner or an experience and birthday dinner, the planning got to work. Recently I've been really over having "stuff." Don't get me wrong I still need/want/love all my clothes and shoes and jewelry but the time and energy I put into thinking about whether or not I really need something before purchasing it is significant. To be honest, the end result usually involves me putting the item down and walking away. That being said I chose an experience, and boy did I get one!

He went on Cloud 9 Living and found a VIP Shopping Experience with stylist and owner of StyleChicLA, Aly Sakin. She reached out prior to our session on Friday morning to finalize the best place to meet up. Per Aly's request, I filled out a questionnaire prior to our session so she could get an idea of my shape, budget, favorite shopping destinations, my style and most importantly, the items on my "to-buy" list.

We were ready to do some damage!

I met Aly at Zara on 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. We quickly chatted about my goals for the three hour shopping trip as well as my to-buy list. Then, we got to shopping!

Shopping with Aly was an incredible experience. She pulled things for me that I probably wouldn't have looked twice at on the hanger but loved them the second I put them on. She came in the fitting room with me so she could tell me what pieces to try on together and to get an idea of what was working, what looked good on me and what didn't.

I ended up finding more things in one trip to Zara then I think I have in my entire shopping experience there.

While we spent the most time at Zara, we still managed to hit up a couple more spots on the Promenade including Steve Madden where I found some amazing shoes, Urban Outfitters (no luck here) and Nordstrom (no luck here either).

After three hours of trying on clothes, stepping outside my fashion comfort zone, inquiring about her career in the fashion industry and owning her own business, the day was officially done.

Not only did I walk away with some amazing pieces but I walked away having built a relationship with an incredible stylist and woman.

As we said our goodbyes, Aly said "once a client, always a client." I can't wait to bug her with texts asking "does this look good?" Because Lord knows I'll miss having my stylist in the dressing room handing me clothes to try on.

To learn more about Aly and StyleChicLA click here

To book your very own appointment with Aly, visit Cloud 9 Living here 

Check out some of my favorite pieces I purchased below:

PAJAMA PALAZZO TROUSER - ZARA. How fab are these pants?! I'm all about the floral trend happening for spring and summer right now. These pants are an edgy and attention grabbing way to do a normally feminine and delicate trend.

PHOTO PRINT TOP - ZARA. I am so not a graphic tee person but I could not pass up this amazing printed tee. If you're like me and not a stick like the model shown here, tie this top up in the front or back for a cuter and more flattering look. Or simply throw it over your swimsuit and head to the beach.

FAUX SUEDE JACKET WITH FRINGE - ZARA. PSA: Fringe will never, I repeat, NEVER go out of style. I've bought my favorite jackets that I absolutely wear out from Zara. And they're reasonably priced too!

(Originally Published June 18, 2017)

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