Fall Outfits

Fall is almost over 😢, so it’s time to listen to holiday music and look forward to winter! The coat was a steal, super warm and only amounted to about 30 euros! ❤ 

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This red top is from Topshop as are the olive booties, and the jeans are from New York and Company. Oh how I love this festive red blouse! I just hand wash it and hang it up near my heater to dry. Its like new after about 10 minutes of drying.
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My button-up is from New York and Company. I love it because it has an iridescent quality and can appear pink or light purple in different light. The skirt is from Penny’s. I need to probably wear a belt with it next time because its a size bigger than my usual size.
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My coral sweater is from Ann Taylor and my flare jeans are from Topshop. ❤
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Pennys coat ❤

Fall Outfits 18′

Fish and Chips Review Series: Part Two

Since my last post, I’ve eaten fish and chips at two very different places. Once at Dicey’s located in The Russell Court Hotel and the other time at the Fish Shack in Dun Laoghaire.

Dicey’s is what the name implies ––– a dicey place, a “nightclub,” famed for cheap drinks. The fish and chips there were a tad oily, as expected for “bar food,” but the fish tasted reasonably fresh. They provided lemon, ketchup, and tartar sauce. I enjoyed the perfectly salted flavour of the thick-cut fries and I give them a 5/5 score, the fish freshness and batter 2.5/5, overall flavour 3/5, and presentation 3.5/5. IMG_5010

Oh how I love Dun Laoghaire! It’s a very beautiful costal town known for fresh seafood.  Fish Shack had a long line and half an hour wait time, and I understand why. At this location, the fish and chips costs 14.50 euros. The proportion is small, but still enough to satisfy. The fish was so fresh that it still had the skin on. The flavour of the catch was not overly fishy either. I ate the entire thing, presentation decorations included lol. I rate everything 5/5, and I cannot really find any faults in my meal. I appreciated the inclusion of chili peppers in the fish batter. The flavour of the fish was simple and not spicy, but still had a bit of kick. Neither the fries or the fish was oily. I highly recommend! ❤

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Fish and Chips Review Series: Part One

This fish and chips series will include reviews of fish and chips restaurants at various price points and locations.

I love fish and chips when its done well, and Leo Burdocks at 4 Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin do just that. True, Temple Bar is a tourist area, but the building is so picture-ready! That location’s restaurant is well maintained and fairly priced. I bought a full cod fish and chips with a water and it only ran up to around 11 euros. Its a very large piece of fish and they jam pack the container with fresh hot chips as well. When I went there with a friend on a Sunday afternoon it was mostly empty and quiet during the beginning of our meal. I give the exterior of this restaurant and interior cleanliness 5/5, and customer service 5/5.

As for the food, I loved that the fish was not oily, yet still had a flaky batter. I give the fish and chip quality 4.5/5 and flavour 3.5/5. The dish is very simply flavoured, but despite its simplicity, just like a nicely done lightly seasoned Udon soup, the overall eating experience was deliciously satisfying. It’s best to eat it hot and immediately in house, there’s plenty of seating at this location as well. I recommend Leo Burdocks and I’m happy to kick off this series with this restaurant chain.

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Rebecca Minkoff Tote Bag & Wallet Review

I think the Rebecca Minkoff Washed Nylon Tote and Becky Continental Wallet are amazing choices for any graduate student! I purchased the tote because it has a zipper, and can expand at the sides. I also love the bag’s nylon fabric. It makes it easy to clean. I adore the fact that the bag is all black ––– its a less obvious choice for repetitive wear to class. Black matches everything after all.

The Becky wallet has so many card slots, six rows on both sides of the wallet. It has a zipper with leather fringe detail and a back pocket on the outside. The wallet’s leather smells deliciously sweet and perfectly leathery. I love the gold accents on the front of the wallet because it adds a youthful edge. I got the wallet on sale and I very much recommend this purchase. The quality and price make the bag and wallet worth it.

I feel like my blog may slowly become an ode to Rebecca Minkoff. I love the brand’s feminist ethos, affordability, and quality. They also use affirm, a credit program that allows customers to make small monthly payments rather than pay for items in full. ❤

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My Long Term Travel Luggage Packing

When it comes to airport travel, I’ve been aboard the struggle bus for many years. Mainly, because of inexpensive and overweight luggage. 😦 I’ve always dreamed of worry free long distance travel with luggage packed thoughtfully under the 50 lb weight limit.

Throughout my high school years I traveled from state to state following my family’s consulting projects. I’d spend five months in Tacoma, Washington, then two in New York City and later five in Akron, Ohio, so on and so forth. During college, I often studied abroad and traveled regionally. I am by no means a travel expert, but I can confidently say I have a decent amount of airplane travel experience.

I’ve had cheap-o “hard” suitcases literally split in two, luggage handles and wheels fall off mid-travel, and I’ve routinely suffered from overweight luggage. I write the word suffer not melodramatically but in an effort to realistically describe what it feels like to frantically stuff clothes into a tote bag. Then have said bag’s handles rip off due to the weight while running to a new gate that magically decided to change in the last minute.

So when I started to plan for my one-way ticket journey to Ireland, I knew this was my opportunity to shine ––– to tactfully pack four suitcases! I ordered my new Kenneth Cole Reaction Going Places 3 Pc Spinner Luggage Set from Macy’s and also picked up a $30 Samsonite large black duffle bag (not pictured) from my local mall. I purchased my neon yellow luggage tags from Amazon.

I love the Kenneth Cole suitcase set, it was originally over $700 but its now on sale for $160. The suitcase material is a blazer-like fabric that’s easy to clean with lysol wipes. Because the luggage is fabric material, I don’t recommend cleaning it with hand paper because it can make it look linty.

I figured out the secret sauce to avoiding overweight luggage is a recipe of 1.) using vacuum bags for all clothing (non leather), 2.) getting an at-home luggage scale, 3.) avoiding the purchase of full-sized toiletries.

The vacuum bags greatly reduced the weight of my clothing. While the luggage scale gave me peace of mind because I know that each of my bags are under the weight limit. Additionally, full-sized toiletries are too weighty and unnecessary. Things like soap can be purchased in most places. Instead of packing a full box of anything, I only packed one of each thing. Like one bar of soap, for example, to use the first night upon arrival. I made a few exceptions, but mainly stuck to this tactic.

After researching companies in my area and calling UPS, DHL and more, I realized checking in one extra bag for international travel is the most affordable option. I get two free checked bags for my international flight and only had to pay a little over $200 for my extra checked luggage. That’s a little over $200 for three large suitcases (two Kenneth Cole ones and one Samsonite), this is much cheaper than spending over $700 to send one 20x20x20 moving box from the US to Ireland.

I think its better late than never to learn from travel mistakes. I hope to continue to travel and pack smartly! ❤ unnamed-4

Iceland = Price-land?

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Iceland was a bucket list travel destination I’ve longed to visit for about 6 years. I finally was able to go with my mother as a college graduation trip May 2018. Did it live up to my expectations? Yes! Was it expensive? Very! The nickname the locals joke about rings true, Iceland is “Price-land$$$”, but there are plenty of inexpensive things to do. Actually, I found a few pricer tourist-trap restaurants and excursions a let down, while cheaper foods and places geared towards locals more enjoyable.

Not everything lives up to the hype in Iceland like visiting Harpa and grabbing a coffee inside. Harpa is an architecturally beautiful place to stop by and walk around for a bit, but the coffee inside the music hall is not special (TripAdvisor suggested otherwise). Its the same coffee that’s sold everywhere else in Iceland ––– just regular stuff in a small cup. Also, its important that if you visit Harpa and take the shuttle bus that you stand right in front of the bus stop rather than near it because its easy to miss the small shuttle when large two-story tour busses block it. I actually missed the bus twice and had to learn this the hard way. 😦

I enjoyed visiting the blue lagoon, and the in-water massages my mother and I had were wonderful. I recommend it to anyone who is able. We went really early and beat the crowds, by the mid-afternoon when we packed up to leave the entrance had long lines that almost reached the front door!

Things to eat:

  • Sea Baron – langoustine soup and bread (The soup is very flavorful, and the bread and butter is delicious. Iceland does bread and butter well.)
  • Café Loki – bread ice-cream (I recommend sitting upstairs by the window to get a view of Hallgrimskirkja, a famous Lutheran parish church)
  • *Also, check out traditional Icelandic hot dogs made of lamb, bread baked in the ground, lamb soup, and dried fish with butter

Things to do:

  • Visit black sand beach
  • At least one major waterfall
  • Walk around Reykjavik, see Hallgrimskirkja in person
  • Visit Perlan museum for a view of the famously colorful building roofs
  • Browse vintage clothing stores

I do not recommend eating dinner at the pricy Kol, or in spending too much at corner stores. Kol is a famous and highly rated restaurant that’s known for whimsical seafood presentations. See our food from that restaurant below. I personally thought the food was so-so, I enjoyed the presentation but the flavors and seafood freshness could have been better. I liked the local lamb soup in Reykjavik way more. See bread bowl lamb soup pictured below from Svarta Kaffid.

Stay far away from Noodle Station, the soup made us sick! That restaurant is hyped up because its cheap, but to save your stomach the agony, I think its better to just eat fast food or an Icelandic hotdog to save money.

I think corner stores are super overpriced in Iceland. When I planned for my trip, I noticed many people recommended saving money by eating simple things from corner stores. Its true that some foods are much cheaper than a full meal at a restaurant but its still very pricey. I think its better to just eat a pastry from a bakery because there are many delicious affordable bakeries in Reykjavik! Then to eat things like chips and cookies from the corner store because they end up costing about the same. For example, like two bags of chips, one pack of gum, and a soft drink, can amount to $30 at the corner store.

My recommendation if you travel to Iceland is to be well prepared for the cold and changeable weather.  Even through I traveled in May it was extremely cold. It rained, hailed, and then became sunny again at least four times a day. So expect the unexpected! I also recommend sticking to restaurants the locals like because they’re cheaper and heartier. Some places are hyped up either because its cheap or expensive, so its important to scout places out.

I definitely will travel to Iceland again! Next time I plan on doing more adventurous things in nature. Have you ever been to Iceland? What’s your top three bucket list travel destinations? ❤

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Spring & Summer 2018 Recap

I love spring, but I’m not the biggest fan of summer weather. Summer inspired music and the idea of summer is lovely though. Summer has great duality, it can either inspire feelings that are infectiously bright and upbeat, or slow and reflective.

Still, I prefer spring because its fairly cool and transitional in that winter goes away and flowers bloom. On the flip side, summer is the least exciting season of all both fashion and makeup wise. Sweltering heat leaves little room for creativity, clothing is mainly meant to keep you cool rather than look stylish, and in humid and hot places makeup is an impossible, melty, and oily poor decision.

This post recaps the clothing I have worn this summer and spring. I hope to refer to it next year to track my style growth.

This spring and summer I have mainly worn bright solid colors. A look that perfectly embodies what I’ve worn these past two seasons is what I wore during my college’s senior presentation day. I paired a bright yellow skirt with a creamy beige sweater and brown suede kitten heels. The yellow color is much more vibrant than pictured, I unfortunately had to brighten the images so they could look more visible. The entire outfit, plus shoes, were purchased from Ann Taylor.

I dyed my hair for my college graduation. A stylist at the Atlanta based hair salon, The Hair Loft, dyed the ends of my hair a red color with a little purple mixed in. Its now mid-August and the color is super washed out and lackluster. For the fall season, aka the best time of year, I’m unsure if I should dye it black again or another color. I plan on making more blog posts related to natural hair care and protective styles in the future.

Next year, I hope to dress a bit more stylishly during summer months by wearing bigger statement earrings, investing in cuter swimwear, and tote bags!

What kind of clothing have you worn this summer? Let me know if you have any suggestions or comments below.  ❤

I have only to break into the tightness of a strawberry, and I see summer – its dust and lowering skies.— Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

Have a great day!!