Travelogue: Maggie in Barcelona

At the end of last month, I did my bi-annual buy trip to Milan. I had realized that since I am going all the way over to another continent, I might as well get out and visit other cities while I’m in Europe. This time, I spent 48 hours in Barcelona. My purpose was to mix in with the locals, shop the neighborhoods, and gain some inspiration. To see what new thing I could find and possibly bring back to our Ballard shop.

Travel Tip: arriving at the airport and getting into the city is quite easy. They have a shuttle that leaves every 5 minutes from the airport to Plaza Catalunya and back to the airport. If you take the shuttle Aerobus you can be in and out of the city in 30 minutes.

Like I said my goal was to shop as much of the city as I could in 2 days. I managed to walk various neighborhoods, including Eixample, el Raval, Barrio Gotic, el Born and Gracia. I walked briefly through Las Ramblas, but I wanted to find unique shops and not chain stores. Turns out getting around Barcelona by foot is quite easy!

The shots below are just some of the pictures from my phone camera. Not all the pictures I took were post worthy. Click the photos below for more details. Thanks for visiting and have a relaxing weekend!



Wanderlust: Shoe Inspired Travel

Places we would like to see and the shoes we would take with us. 


Taddeucci Sandals on Vacation in Cuba

If we were traveling to Cuba, we would go into the country and stroll through the tobacco plantations in our comfy slide sandals by Giulia Taddeucci.


Kupuri 819 sandal on Vacation

We would wear our Kupuri city sandals to sneak into the Castle of the Peratallada in Catalonia, Spain. We would pack an evening picnic and sip some Cava by the pool. Just don’t tell anyone we were there.


Satorisan Xamena sandal on Vacation

In Tahiti, we would eat an early meal and wander back to our bungalow in our Satorisan sandals just in time to watch the sunset and the sky change colors.

Who wants to go with us?

Image Credits: Tobacco Barn | Peratallada Castle by MESURA, photo by Salva Lopez | Lovely Evening by Yannick Carbonneaux

Travelogue: 30 Hours in London

Corner of Bulstrode Pl and Cross Keys Cl.

Corner of Bulstrode Pl and Cross Keys Cl.

I usually travel this time of year to a trade show in Milan to buy shoes for our shop in Seattle. When an extremely low ticket to London made its way through my search as an inexpensive way to Europe, and through London none the less, I jumped on it. It had been 15 years since I visited last. I had to go, right? Right!

I should preface this post by saying that I like to shop when visiting cities. I like to get a feel of what is going on and what trends are happening. I consider it my job to shop. This was not your typical 30 hours in London. I did not go to Buckingham Palace, Harrods or Kensington Gardens. Since I had been to these places before, I wanted to experience London as a local shopper. And by George, I did.

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Mondays, Maggie Muses: Venice Beach

Venice Beach PierWe just got back from a warm sunny weekend in Venice Beach, CA. We were there to help a friend celebrate a milestone birthday. It was the perfect opportunity for friends to gather from around the country and enjoy some of what SoCal has to offer. Being a native Californian, it had been awhile since I visited my home state. I was not sure what to expect and I was pleasantly delighted the minute we arrived at this beach town.

Venice Beach

We had so much fun! Venice, or as my skater husband likes to call it “Dogtown”, was charming, eccentric, laid back and exciting all at the same time. From its crazy boardwalk, friendly natives, quaint canals and infamous shopping street, Abbot Kinney, it was the perfect mix of beach town and city life. So, if you ever happen to be in LA, go visit Venice Beach and enjoy the sun!

Mondays, Maggie Muses: A Visit to Nonostante Marras

Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood, away from the city center, away from the Brera, the Duomo, and the hustle and bustle of a typical downtown corridor lies a magical and wondrous place. Antonio Marras has created a place full of old world charm and whimsy. It is called Nonostante Marras. Translated as “despite Marras”, this shop is where Antonio showcases his RTW clothing line. But the experience is so much more than shopping a typical designer boutique.

entrance antonio marras

nonostante marras exterior

Its humble entry leads you to an open courtyard filled with plants and if you wander for a little bit you will see Snow White and the seven dwarfs standing guard. Glance past the old factory windows, and you get excited at the thought to see what lies inside.

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a mini travel guide to the navigli, milan

Alzaia Naviglio Grande

I just recently returned from my bi-yearly buying trip to Milan. I stay in what I like to think is a non-Milan neighborhood called the Navigli. When most people think of Milan, they think of chic shopping on Via Monte Napoleone, gazing the glass tiles of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II or touring the majestic and iconic Duomo. Don’t get me wrong, I like to do these things too. But I am most at home in the Navigli district. And though it’s mostly known for its late night activities. I like to experience it in the late afternoons and early evenings before the crowds of twenty-somethings take over the neighborhood bars.

Being a small business owner myself, I like to support small local businesses, whether I am Seattle or in another city. The Navigli is a neighborhood of hard working small establishments that are offering independent goods and experiences. Here is a very small guide on what to see, drink and eat while visiting this burrow of Milan.The easiest way to get there is to take Milan’s “Metropolitana” subway. Take the green line towards Abbiategrasso/Assago and get off at Porta Genova.

Map of Navigli

Start off your visit with a late lunch or an afternoon coffee at one of the many cafes along the Naviglio Grande. I particularly like to have lunch at L’Altro Luca e Andrea. A small cafe with delicious homemade pasta. Weather permitting, sit outside where you can watch the locals sipping their espressos or taking afternoon strolls.

When you finish lunch, walk along the Naviglio Grande. Ripa di Porta Ticinese and Alzaia Naviglio Grande are the two main roads in the Navigli. Pop into the bookstores, vintage furniture and clothing shops that flank both sides of the canal.

If you happen to be there during the flea market, you have hit the jackpot! Both sides of the canal are filled with over 400 vendors selling their antique and vintage collections. A must see occurrence that happens every last Sunday of the month.

The adjoining streets to the Naviglio Grande have some fun little independent designer shops and boutiques too. Along Via Corsico, a new discovery for me was a small little gallery shop called Brandstorming. This little shop features local artists who use found objects and recycled materials to create unique jewelry and gifts.

If you have room in your suitcase, check out and do not miss La Vineria on Via Casale. A wine distillery that makes and bottles there own wine blends. They also bottle olive oil which is my favorite thing to bring home. No room in your suitcases? You can still buy a bottle of wine and drink it in front of the shop. Feel like having a little treat? The Gelateria Orso Bianco up and across the street has wonderful organic frozen treats.

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Mondays, Maggie Muses: Snapshots of NYC

Snapshots of NYC

Times Square

This Monday I was musing about our recent trip last week to New York.  It was cold, dark and at times downright frigid outside. But, I thought it would be fun to share some pictures from the Big Apple. While we did go to attend a trade show and visit some showrooms, we mostly went to spend time in the city and have some fun with our son. It was his birthday week and he had never been to New York,  so it was the perfect excuse to take him with us and spend some quality family time too.

I am the worst at taking pictures when there is no proper lighting. Plus, I was having so much fun with the fam that half the time I would forget to take pictures. But I did manage to take a few snapshots with my iPhone. It looks like I spent most of my time looking up or looking down.

Other than visiting with friends and eating great food, the highlights for me were the American Museum of Natural History, the Matisse Shapes Exhibit at MOMA and attending a Broadway show.

What do you like to do when you visit New York? Thank you as always for stopping by our little blog. Have a great week! xo ~ Maggie