(I did buy some things this week, but they haven’t come in the mail yet, so I’m going to do a shopping ban post for this week and next week next Saturday.  In the mean time, enjoy this post about gifts for travelers)

 

I don’t really get to travel as often as I would like to.  Generally, I only get out of Florida once or twice a year.  Yet every time I travel, I always manage to come up with a list of things that would have made my trip more enjoyable.  Some are simple, some more extravagant, but all would make travel more pleasant.  Here’s some great items for the frequent traveler on your Christmas list:

  • A Non-Black Suitcase

Orla Kiely Tripp Cabin Upright  $317

When you get off your plane and go to the luggage carousel to pick up your items, doesn’t it annoy you that every single suitcase (including yours) is pretty much identical and boring?  Well, it bothers me, and with a gorgeous suitcase like this, I’d never be confused about whether or not a piece of luggage was mine.  For the matchy-matchy, there is also a laptop bag, a large tote, a hold-all and a wheeled duffle.

  • Sewing Kit – Really, you should have this in your purse everyday anyhow.  But when you’re traveling, it really helps to be able to sew that button back on when you only have two shirt options.  And carry safety pins for emergency fixes.  And fashion tape.
  • Lots of moleskin

Dr Scholls Moleskin Plus $24.72 (8-pack)

Travel generally means lots of walking which also means lots of blister potential.  Be prepared and your feet will thank you.

  • A Neck Pillow

Bucky Fuzzy Wuzzy U-Neck Pillow  $24.95

It’s hard enough to sleep on planes as it is.  Make it a little easier with a cozy neck pillow.

  • A Better Toiletry Kit

Ebags Pack-it-flat Toiletry Kit  $34.99

My current toiletry kit takes up way too much space.  Something that packs flat like this would be much better, and can keep one’s toiletries much more organized.


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Day 2 continued:

Yesterday I left you off mid-day through Day 2 of my trip to Encinitas, CA.  That night we went to the reception dinner, and I got a chance to rock my beautiful Ella Moss dress I recently scored.  I wore it with tights and my Fluevog Malibrans.  I threw my blue Anthro cardigan over it after it got chilly, but I didn’t get a photo of that.  Me and my boyfriend didn’t intentionally match, we just both really like the goldenrod.

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Dress: Ella Moss
Tights: Target
Shoes: John Fluevog Mailbrans
Headband: Anthropologie
Necklace: June Designs
Bangles: Jill Popowich

Day 3 was the wedding, and in all the craziness of the day, I didn’t get any photos of my outfit.  I wore the brown dress pictured in this post.  Hopefully I’ll get some photos from the folks soon.

Day 4 was our last day before heading back to Florida, and with the wedding festivities over, we had some free time to explore.  There was a farmer’s market within walking distance of where we were staying, so we checked that out, and I made out pretty well with some gorgeous handmade earrings and awesome garage sale finds.

In the afternoon, we went back to Moonlight beach again for one last blast before we had to leave.

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Tee: Old Navy
Long Sleeve: Kohls
Skirt: Ann Taylor LOFT
Shoes: Born Codders
Purse: Timbuk2
Earrings: Efy Tal
Bangles: Jill Popowich

Finally, it was day 5, and time to spend the day flying back to Florida.  I rocked another variation my jersey dress and tights travel uniform.

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Dress: Lush
Cardigan: Anthropologie
Tights: Target
Shoes: John Fluevog Malibrans
Purse: Timbuk2
Earrings: Efy Tal
Necklace: Coryell Design
Bangles: Jill Popowich

All in all, the trip was fantastic, but far too short.  I hope to get back to California again one day.


Get ready for my California re-cap, Part 1!

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Encinitas, CA with my boyfriend and his family to go to his brother’s wedding.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous.

Day 1:

Whenever I get the chance to fly, I always want to be comfortable, but stylish.  I see no reason why someone would need to wear sweats or pajamas to be comfortable on a plane.  My solution is always a jersey dress, tights, comfortable shoes and a shawl/scarf/wrap that I can use to keep warm if the flight is chilly.  I didn’t get a shot of my exact flying outfit, but I did get a photo of a variation I wore later that day, when we got dinner at Juanita’s Tacos in Encinitas (super yummy fish tacos, by the way)

day 1

Dress: Express
Cardigan: Anthropologie
Tights: Target
Shoes: John Fluevog Mailbrans
Clutch: Revolve Clothing Exchange
Belt: Thrifted
Headband: Anthropologie
Necklace: June Designs
Bangles: Jill Popowich

Day 2:

For Day 2 of our trip, there’s was lots of free time until the reception dinner that night.  We started off the day by getting breakfast and coffee at Pannikin.  If you are ever in Southern California, you should check this place out.  You can tell it’s where all the local hipsters go.  Amazing coffee, delicious breakfast, and fun surroundings.

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Later I took some pictures around the Casitas where we stayed.  They consisted of two beautiful houses, with enough room to sleep five couples and three kids.  There was a courtyard and gardens weaving in between the houses and around them.  SO amazing.

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For lunch, we walked down to the Coast Highway and ate at this amazing Mexican restaurant, La Especial Norte. I had the best chicken soup ever.  The seasoning was amazing, and it had cilantro, avocado, and rice.  Super awesome.

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Then we walked down to Moonlight beach and I took plenty of cheesy tourist photos.

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Blouse: L8ter (thrifted)
Jeans: Express
Shoes: Born Codder
Purse: Timbuk2
Necklace: June Designs
Bangles: Jill Popowich

And no, I didn’t go surfing during the trip.  I have to say that in that aspect I’m a spoiled Floridian – the waters way too cold in Cali.  I did walk along the beach though, and I adored it.  It’s so amazing to see a beach that isn’t flat.  Gorgeous.

Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow!

beach


(As I’m adjusting to a new work schedule this week, and as my tripod is broken, this week will be another set of scheduled topic-related posts. Next week, I’ll get back to regular daily outfit posting)

I’m getting into the swing of work again.  I’m starting a new job later this week as a temporary librarian at an elementary school.  This is set to last until Thanksgiving, at which time I’ll go back to my old job if I don’t get a permanent position.  I’m really excited about it, because I’ll be gaining valuable work experience.  I’ll also be working full time for the first time in awhile, so I’ll have to really learn how to budget time.  I’m finding that I’m enjoying my blog reading most when I have a solid block of time to read, which is usually on Thursdays or on the weekend.  So if I comment on your blog several days after you posted, that’s probably why.  I’m still managing to get posts written, but the biggest challenge will be getting good outfit shots.  I have to be at work at 7:00 am, so I leave the house before the sun rises.  I’ll have to adapt to taking pics in the afternoon I guess.

Anyhow, I promised you a beach trip re-cap, and this is it.

beach

This was the view from our hotel room.  We stayed at this beautiful and quirky hotel, the Nordvind at Treasure Island, FL.   Everyone there was super nice, and the location was perfect, because there weren’t insane amounts of tourists on this part of the beach.

bridge

We frequently crossed the bridge to Madeira Beach and John’s Pass Village, a fun and somewhat touristy destination.  The above image is a view of some construction debris from the bridge.  For some reason, I find industrial things really beautiful.

beach reading

I love to get in some good beach reading, and this time it was Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions.

beach casual
Swimsuit: Target
Tube Top: Target (thrifted)
Skirt: Ann Taylor LOFT
Sandals: Born Savory
Tote: Old Navy
Bangles: Jill Popowich

I try to vary my swim suit top necklines so that my tan lines don’t get too strong.  Normally, I don’t like bohemian styles, but there’s something about the crazy casualness of the beach that makes this paisley top fit in perfectly.

keen sarasota

And you’ve already met my new Keen Sarasotas a few days ago.  Best beach shoes ever.

That’s it for my beach re-cap.  Hopefully I’ll get back into the swing of regular outfit posts soon.


I realize my title is somewhat vague, so I’ll clarify.  Last October, I got to go to New York City.  I bought my Born Codders for the trip and absolutely loved them.  I walked a ton, yet they didn’t hurt my feet.  The cherry red color and mary jane strap kept me stylish.  Those shoes made a huge difference in my enjoyment of the trip.

Flash-forward to this summer.  I’m hoping to go to Chicago in June.  And while I’ll definitely be taking my Codders, I’d love to buy a second pair of comfortable shoes that will look great with pants or skirts.  I’ll probably be wearing lots of skirts and dresses, as the weather will be warm, so I want shoes that will look good without socks or tights.

Here’s some of the possibilities that I’m debating.

vinaBorn Vina in Aubergine Suede

$84.56 on Zappos (on sale)

miraClarks Mira in Teal

$67.50 on Zappos (only a few left, but they could probably be found elsewhere)

danskoDansko Giselle in Peanut Nubuck

$60 on 6pm.com

(they sometimes show up on Ebay in other colors, so I might opt for one of those)

keenKeen Sydney II in Midnight Navy

$75.60 on Zappos (on sale)

carlisleBorn Carlisle in Lye Green Leather

$41.98 on 6pm.com


As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I went on a biking expedition on the Pinellas trail earlier this week.  I went with my boyfriend, Carlo, and a good friend of ours, Chris.  The day started slightly chilly, but we warmed up with riding.  Thus, I kept switching up my layers to adjust to the temperature.

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(Me demonstrating the effectiveness of layers)

We drove into downtown Tarpon Springs with our bikes on the back of the car, and then started off by riding to the sponge docks, a popular tourist attraction.  There’s lots of kitschy Greek shops there selling sponges, shell jewelry, and other nautical delights.  I got an awesome sea captain’s hat at one.  I’ve got a hunch that this could be the next newsboy.  I also paid a visit to my favorite soap shop, Get a Guru, where I purchased some lovely rosemary and poppyseed olive oil soap.

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(My fav soap shop)

We got a tasty Greek lunch of dolmades, spankopita and saganaki (opa cheese), as well as some fantastic Greek rose wine.  After that, we hopped back on our bikes, took a quick stop back in downtown Tarpon Springs, and then started on the trail.  

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(Carlo and Chris on the trail)

We rode all the way to downtown Dunedin, which is about a ten miles ride, give or take a bit.  The trail is gorgeous, and you get to see some amazing scenery.  In Dunedin, we stopped for about an hour or so to get some refreshments and relax.  Then it was back on the bikes to watch the sunset on the way back to Tarpon Springs  All in all, a fantastic day.

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(Carlo and I on our bikes)

Note: For those interested in bike info, my bike is a 1979 Schwinn Suburban, manufactured in Chicago.  Carlo’s is a new Schwinn Collegiate 7.


chrysler

I had an amazing time last weekend in New York City.  I could completely see myself living there (if I found an amazingly high-paid library job, but one can dream).  I love how convinient  and close everything is.  I love being able to walk or take the subway to any destination in Manhattan.  And what really surprised me was how safe I felt everywhere I went.  I live in a reasonably middle-class neighborhood, yet I feel nervous walking around after dark.  In New York, I felt relatively safe almost all of the time.

I’ll try not to overload you with too many pictures, but it was so amazing.

The first night we went out to eat for my boyfriend’s birthday.  We went to this amazing Korean BBQ restaurant, Kum Gang San.  It was some of the best Korean food I’ve ever had, and they had live jazz music on this crazy rock outcropping (look at their website to see what I mean).

Day 2 was lots of exploring.  I love how the weather in New York allowed me to experiment with layers, as well as use my handknits.

day-2-outfitHat – handknit by me
Scarf – handknit by me
Long Sleeve -Issac Mizrahi
Shirt – Ann Taylor Loft
Jeans – Lucky Brand
Coat – Target
Purse – Morelle
Shoes – Born Codders

We went out for brunch at this delicious Ukranian restaurant, Veselka.  I had mushroom & barley soup and ham & swiss pierogies. Yum!

mushroom-barley

We walked around the East Village after that.  This was the area we were staying in, so it was nice to get our bearings.

bike

east-village

The main focus of this journey was visitng the Joe Strummer mural at Thompkins Square Park.

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Then we ventured into the Bowery to look for the site of CBGB’s (we found it a few days later.  It’s now a high-end punk rock inspired vintage store.)  There I got to see a Keith Haring mural.

keith-haring

After that we took our first venture into Chinatown and Little Italy (we returned there again on our last day).  I bought a pretty yellow scarf, a mah-jong bracelet, and a boba tea.

chinatown

On day 3, we ate brunch at the Cafe Colonial, which was delicious, although pricey.  Then we went to Pearl River which was an interesting store, although some items seemed over-priced there.  They had beautiful Asian silk fabric for sale in their home department (alas, I didn’t buy any).

After that, we ventured into Chelsea to visit another punk rock monument, the Chelsea Hotel.  We also happend upon a street flea market there, where I bought a vintage Italian grey leather bag (pics coming soon),

chelsea

Day 4 was fully consumed with the New York Marathon, which my boyfriend’s brother was running in.  This was also the coldest day, so I learned the value of wrapping a scarf multiple times around your neck.

Day 5 was our last full day, so we went all over the place.  We started out the day by visitng the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) which was amazing, albeit crowded.  After that, we grabbed some lunch and took a brief walk in Central Park.  It was amazing to see all the fall colors that never happen down here in Florida.

central-park

The we took a subway to Union Square and walked through the Bowery, Little Italy and Chinatown, all the way to the projects by the East River.  My boyfriend remembered visiting a bar there the last time he went, and we finally found it as the sun was setting:  The Paris Cafe (near where the fish market used to be).  It was such an amazing day of exploring.

carlo

east-river

The next day we flew back and came home to watch the election returns come in (not to be too political, but I am ecstatic about our new president).

This was such an amazing trip.  It definitely showed my that I cannot have a rural lifestyle – I love cities.  Tampa is okay for now, but one day, I would love to live in a big city that actually has public transportation that works.

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