Friday Favorites: Coats

Friday, October 31, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| , , | 4 Comments

Friday, October 31, 2014

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I may be a Florida girl now, but that does not mean that I don't love a beautiful wool coat, especially when paired with a dress, tights and boots. I would trade in the mild weather year-round just to have use for the other half of my wardrobe that isn't shorts and tank tops. Perpetual summer is not all it is cracked up to be. I even told myself that once the high is 50, I'm breaking out the boots and the coats and scarves no matter what strange looks I get from others on the street. The first cold snap of the season is on its way this weekend and I am like a kid counting down until Christmas.

For those of you who don't live in the land of endless sunshine, would you trade your polar vortexes? And if so, perhaps you would be interested in a house swap for a few months?

Evolution of a haircut

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| , | 6 Comments

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Years ago I had to accept the fact that I would never have Serena van der Woodsen hair, the long "I just rolled out of bed like this" hair. My hair is so thick that if I ever tried to grow my hair out too long I would start looking more like Cousin It that an "It Girl."

It all started with a semi-spontaneous trip to a new hair stylist and a photo of Zooey Deschenel to get bangs. Which then turned into "I'm in France for three months, don't speak enough French to navigate a successful haircut and TSA won't allow scissors in my carry-on" hair that was as close as I would get to Serena because I learned that no one in Europe straightens their hair (praise! because that saved me an extra 20 minutes every morning.) And then, in another semi-spontaneous trip to a second new hair stylist and a photo from Pinterest, I kept the bangs and ditched the length.

Now I have accepted the fact that I have a face for shoulder length hair. I'm writing this as a reminder to myself in six months when I have the grand idea to grow my hair out again. Future self, save yourself the frustration of the awkward hair length and split ends and embrace the long bob.

Do More of What Makes You Happy

Monday, October 27, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport|| 5 Comments

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday is sometimes viewed as the worst day of the week. You have come off the high of the weekend and Friday can't come soon enough. Let's stay positive this start of the week and think about the things that make up our happy list. Bonus points to those of you who veer off your typical Monday routine and make time to do a few of the things that you love and will put a smile on your face. 

1. Leisurely enjoying my morning coffee.

2. Weekends spent visiting old friends. 

3. Having my hair blown out.

4. Saturdays spent in my pajamas. 

5. When trying out a new recipe, not burning it.

6. Exploring a new place.

7. Morning walks on the beach.

8. Snuggling with Dixie.

9. Dessert and coffee.

10. Creating travel itineraries and dreaming up my next great adventure.

Book Club: The Gospel According to Coco Chanel

Thursday, October 23, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | Be the first to comment!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Three things come to mind when I would think of Chanel. First, Chanel No. 5, which some like to call the most iconic perfume, but I think is one of the worst scents I've come across. Second, quilted handbags with interlocking C's that are primarily sold as knock offs on the streets of NYC. Third, Rachel Zoe's obsession with collecting vintage Chanel jackets to add to her museum-like collection. 

But there is so much more to the woman who not only built one of the most well-known fashion labels, but revolutionized women's fashion. If it wasn't for Chanel, who knows how long we would have been forced to need assistance getting dressed in separate outfits for each outing? 

Karen Karbo's The Gospel According to Coco Chanel is part biography, part life lessons and two parts witty commentary about her own quest for a tweed Chanel jacket. If you are in the mood for a light read, especially one that can be read in short bursts sporadically, then this is the perfect book for you. There is so much from Chanel's business sense, work ethic and personality that would benefit you to incorporate into your life. But there are just as many of her characteristics that it is probably best to avoid as well. 

What I loved most about Chanel is that she saw fashion and style first and foremost as a way to make life and movement easier. She had a simple design aesthetic that, one, allowed women to breathe, and two, doubled their range of motion. She believed that impeccably constructed pieces that are perfectly tailored will always rise above the latest fads. I wholeheartedly agree.

In her time, ladies did not work, and if they wanted to have a side hobby, it was always bankrolled by a man. Starting out Chanel did require financial support of her man-of-the-hour, but once her business took off she quickly shrugged off the help of men and continued to grow her empire on her own dime. Another unfortunate aspect of the time is that women who worked were looked down upon. Even as the society ladies scrambled to get their hands on Chanel's pieces, she was always seen as simply a tailor and not one to be invited to parties and social events. Fashion designers were not celebrities as they are today. 

Finally, Chanel taught us that you do not have to fall into the same pattern of your past generations. Orphaned at a young age, Chanel did not have a happy childhood. So once she grew up, she decided that she was simply going to rewrite her past. She didn't like the region of France she came from, so she told people she grew up in. These embellishments (and in many cases, lies) are part of the reason that no one quite knows much about Chanel, which adds to her air of mystery. While I wouldn't suggest living in a delusion and creating a whole new life for yourself, you do not have to let your past define you. 

Have you read this book? What are your favorite bits and pieces of Chanelore, as Karen Kobo affectionately refers to it as?

Adventure is on the Horizon

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| , , | 12 Comments

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My passport is sitting, gathering dust in my safe. It's time that it is broken out again. Samantha and I are in the beginning stages of planning our next great adventure. I can't be more excited about it. It started as a Nordic adventure through the fjords of Finland, Norway and Sweden and then we decided that since we missed out on the Sound of Music tour when we were studying abroad, it needed to be bumped up to the top of the list. 

Salzburg than turned into a Germany and Austria trip through the alps. On the (tentative) agenda is Munich, Neuschwanstein, Garmisch, Salzburg and Vienna. I will simultaneously be Heidi, Julie Andrews and a Hapsburg waltzing around Vienna.

Next October cannot come soon enough. I have forgotten how much I missed planning elaborate vacations. The hardest part is narrowing down just where in the world I want to go. On the one hand, I want to throw a dart and go wherever it lands. But on the other hand, I have kept an ever-growing list of wanderlust that needs to be checked off.

And now the real fun begins.

First on my list: Pick the perfect hashtag for the trip. 

Second: Start learning German. Duolingo will be my new best friend.

Third: Refresh my memory on the dozens of wars of Austrian succession.

And now I need your help: Have you visited Bavaria, Salzburg or Vienna? What would you recommend to eat/see/do there?

Coffee Talk

Saturday, October 18, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 3 Comments

Saturday, October 18, 2014

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Happy weekend everyone! I'm at my parent's this weekend and the Christmas decoration buying has already begun. It's never too early to start in my opinion.

The Eiffel Tower now has a glass floor. I never climbed up the most famous piece of architecture in the city, but with this new addition might have been a selling feature to get me to wait in line before walking up the hundreds of stairs. 

Breakfast (and brunch and brinner) is my favorite meal. There is something about starting your morning off right that sets the tone for the rest of the day. Here are five ways to make the most of breakfast and make it healthier.

It is still very much in the preliminary planning stages, but Samantha and I are visiting Germany in October 2015 and Casey's travel guides were the first place I turned for inspiration and ideas.

Jillian's comparison of Luke Danes and her man (Luke Boyfriend) made me nostalgic for Stars Hollow all the while laughing hysterically. 

Eating better makes you feel better from the inside out. I am reminded of this most right after I have eaten half of a pizza on my own or a sleeve of Oreos. I want to join Taylor in eating a more plant-based and natural diet.

Thinking about freelancing as a travel writer? Find out how it has been working out for Monica. 

Looking for a calligraphy starter kit? Check out this one Jennifer tested.

Keep Your Eyes Open

Friday, October 17, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| , | Be the first to comment!

Friday, October 17, 2014

She's known as the only person who dares stand up to Anna Wintour and tell her what she thinks. Or the creative mind behind American Vogue. Or the real star on the September Issue (other than Andre Leon Talley, of course.) Grace's story is fascinating, especially after reading her memoir, which is a wonderful read and not simply a nice coffee table book. 

Inspiration can come from the smallest of places: a sunrise, skyline or the pretty turn of a phrase in your favorite book. Always keep your eyes open to the world around you. Sometimes it becomes easy to get lost in the haze of routine.

If the ordinary and life's simple pleasures are inspiration for one of the most brilliant minds in the magazine world, then it is good enough for you and me. So get out and explore this weekend. Keep watching and you might be surprised by the ideas that come about.

Fall Wardrobe

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| , | 8 Comments

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Have I mentioned how much I love shopping from the comfort of my bed? There are no pesky salespeople following you around pressuring you to make impulse purchases; instead I can throw every possible item I love into my cart and then slowly weed out the so-so items before taking a step back and reevaluating the purchase before hitting "buy now." There is actually less buyer's remorse with online shopping. Plus, I get the anticipation of waiting for packages to arrive. 

So when J Crew Factory had their 50% off sale this weekend, I went a little crazy. And by crazy I mean making an investment in my wardrobe. Did anyone else spend a good chunk of their paycheck along with me?

Two Year Blogiversary

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 6 Comments

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My two year blogiversary was this month. I've learned a lot over these two years and now I'm passing some of my not-so-sage wisdom on to you. For starters, I wish that I would have told my younger self how to format verticle pictures to be the width of the blog. It's now a pet peeve of mine and the reason that I prefer not to read through my archives. What would you like to tell yourself when you started blogging?

1. Everyone has a point of view and something to share with the world. Don't feel the need to copy everyone else or only write what you think others will want to read. 

2. You can make friends online without it being creepy.

3. Strangers will want to read what you have to say. Sometimes it's easier to write knowing that people you don't know are reading and won't read into every cryptic comment and vague reference to your real life that you make.

4. Numbers don't matter. Nothing is a killjoy like checking your pageviews or followers every hour. 

5. Invest in lattes, peonies and a lifetime supply of nail polish. They are the staples of every successful blogger. And don't forget to Instagram them constantly so everyone knows.

6. If you don't Instagram it, it didn't happen (see number five for reference).

7. Blogging can help you land a job and show off your creativity to future employers. 

8. You don't have to box yourself into a niche if you don't want to. People have multiple interests so it's safe to say that you shouldn't have to only write about food, or interior design, or cats if you don't want to .

9. Observe everything around you. It will make for great writing material and sharing funny, true stories from the day are some of my favorite posts to read. 

10. The more you write and brainstorm, the easier it will get.

Weekly Wishes

Monday, October 13, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 8 Comments

Monday, October 13, 2014

Last week

1. Begin the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge. I didn't start yet, but I did go through and cross off the books that I have already read as well as the ones that I have at least attempted to read in the past (here's looking to you Anna Karenina...) Sometimes I feel like I don't have anything to read so this list will be great to go back to for ideas. There's no timeline for this like the author of the Buzzfeed article. If you read a book every two weeks, it would take over two years to complete. That's a little too intense for me.

2. Not eat out for an entire week. I succeeded! (sort of) I did get a hamburger at the fair and a sundae afterwards, but there were no "I don't have time to pack a lunch so I will just go out and grab something" moments. I count this as a win in my book.

3. Make a list of all of the furniture that I'm missing. Check. I even prioritized the list. For example, I need a dresser/TV stand, but I can wait for an ottoman for a little while. Before I moved, I had zero furniture and within two weeks I had to find an apartment and pick out all of the essentials, preferably from one furniture store so I wouldn't have to pay for delivery and set up. It's nice to take my time on the finishing touches.

This week

1. Decide on a Halloween costume. The theme is "favorite board game/character." Any ideas? 

2. Buy/decorate a pumpkin. It may feel like summer, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to miss out on all my favorite season has to offer. 

3. Patiently wait for all of my online shopping purchases to come in. I did some major damage on the J Crew Factory sale yesterday. And this sweater just arrived from Asos. Sometimes I love shopping from the comfort of my couch. I have a system down now. While browsing, I put everything that I like into my cart and then go back and edit down my purchases. I usually make myself take a step back for a few hours before I actually hit "place order" to make sure that it isn't an impulse purchase. When shopping in the store, sometimes you don't have that luxury. And many times you have pesky salespeople working on commission following you around.

Coffee Talk

Saturday, October 11, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 1 Comment

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Navy, tan and burgundy is one of my favorite color combinations right now.

New season, new bag. Here's a great selection; I especially love the stripped weekender.

This post makes me want to hop on the next transatlantic flight to Paris, even if it's just to wander around the city.

I love staying organized. It's a bonus if your folders, containers and files are pretty to look at as well.

I've been on the hunt for white and navy bedding and I hit the mother load at PB Teen. Here are three duvets that I can't get enough of: one two three. Now I just need you to help me decide which one I love the most. Thoughts?

Remember when I didn't want to eat out this week? Well I've done really well with avoiding the drive thru lane. I can't wait to try this chicken gyro meal next week. Anything with homemade tzatziki on it is a winner in my recipe book!

I always knew that makeup had a shelf life but I'm horrible at remembering when I buy items and never know when to toss them.

I can't wait for cold weather (which I will more than likely have to travel to find) so I can enjoy boots, wool coats and oversized sweaters.

Jumping in a pile of crunchy leaves while eating a pumpkin dessert

Thursday, October 9, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 3 Comments

Thursday, October 9, 2014

It is safe to say that fall is the universal favorite season. The bright colored leaves before they fall off, layers, scarves, boots, warm drinks, apple-cinnamon-pumpkin everything are all at the top of my list. If we're being honest here, I'm most excited for fall because my hair doesn't expand to five times its normal size the moment I step outside. The downside is now it's dark when I wake up and I continue to try to convince myself that my alarm is going off at the wrong time. But you want to know the best part of the season? The holidays are right around the corner. If you are just now planning for Halloween you are months behind. It's time to prepare for Christmas and, if you want to go all out, it's best to stock up for Fourth of July as well. 

My fall bucket list includes:

- Jump in a pile of crunchy leaves

- Stock up on flannel in all colors

- Decorate a pumpkin with glitter

- Make every possible pumpkin dessert

- Expand the traditional Thanksgiving meal

- Find a pumpkin patch and recreate Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin

- Constantly drive with the windows rolled down

- Buy a pumpkin-carmel-apple-cinnamon candle

- Instagram everything in lo-fi to bring out all of the season's colors

What do you look forward to this time of year?

Weekly Wishes

Monday, October 6, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 9 Comments

Monday, October 6, 2014

This weekend was perfect. I spent more time on my porch than I did indoors and that is a win in my opinion. I also went shoe shopping and ended up stocking up for quite some time. I may or may not have bought the same pair of flats in three colors. When you find a good thing, don't question it.

It has been quite a long time since I wrote a Weekly Wishes post. I got tired of setting goals that I knew I would most likely not follow through with. Also, for a while I was simply taking everything one day at a time and didn't have the energy to think multiple days into the future of what I would like to accomplish. 

But here I am. Sitting down, writing goals and determining to complete them within the next seven days. 

1. A few days ago, I came across the complete Rory Gilmore Reading Guide with every book Rory ever read or referenced on the show. 339 in all. I am contemplating tackling the list, of course not in the next week, more like the next few years. It's time to make a game plan. 

2. Not eat out for an entire week. What starts at buying lunch one day because I don't have time to pack anything, then turns into eating out every meal for a weekend even though my freezer is full. It's time to make use of my Recipe board on Pinterest. 

3. Make a list of all of the furniture that I'm missing. It's time to begin to finish decorating my apartment. I had two weeks to pick out the necessary pieces in order to move and now it's time to decide on the finishing touches. 

Coffee Talk

Saturday, October 4, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 9 Comments

Saturday, October 4, 2014

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Happy Saturday, everyone! Fall is making a brief appearance in Florida this weekend and I can't be more thrilled. The low is going to be 48 tomorrow...48! My threshold for boot-wearing weather is 50 degrees, so if I so wanted, I could wake up at 2 a.m. just to wear boots for the first time in the season.

And in the spirit of fall, in between my weekend Gilmore Girls marathon and hanging out in Stars Hollow, I'm off to replenish my fall wardrobe. I'm thinking about this topthis scarf, this skirt, these oxfords, these ankle boots and this sweater.

Fresh flowers and greenery brighten up any space. Love these ways to decorate with plants from Meylssa.

Coffee is an essential part of every day for me. Perhaps I need to expand my coffee bar to include more than simply my Keurig. Kayli has the perfect bar cart essentials.

I still don't understand how people are able to layer a sweater and button down  and are still able to move their arms. Perhaps these layering tips will help me?

If you don't start your morning off reading The Skimm then you are missing out. The mix of news and sarcastic commentary is the best way to stay up to date on current events delivered straight to your mailbox. If you enjoy it as much as I do, check out this interview with The Skimm founders.

Weekend Getaway

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| , , | 2 Comments

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

St. Simon's Island, while it may not have white sandy beaches or crystal clear waters, is one of my favorite places for a weekend getaway. Morning walks that turn into sessions of house hunters searching for the perfect cottage or condo to purchase as my second home (even before I have bought a first home), shopping in the quaint downtown, and the best seafood.

I stayed at the Sea Gate Inn last weekend and if you ever find yourself in the Golden Isles, I would highly recommend it. It's part beach condo, part hotel: You have the space and amenities of a condo, but they also have housekeeping and fresh towels each day. Plus you are one block away from the beach.

Unfortunately it was too cold and overcast to swim, but getting out of town was worth it. 

Do you have a place that you always go to recharge?

Caroline of The College Cosmopolitan

Follow along: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Tell me a little about yourself and your blog! What do you love to write about?

I’m a senior journalism major at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, but I’m originally from Texas. I love Tennessee, but the Lonestar State will always be home for me. My blog is about finding adventure everywhere. I love traveling and seeing the world, but I’m also passionate about exploring where we’re at. I want to help college students make the most of their time in school, whether that means studying abroad all over the globe or finding adventures in your college town.

Favorite Starbucks seasonal drink? 

My favorite seasonal drink in a Chumpkin! It’s a mix of a chai latte and pumpkin spice, and it’s heavenly (and super sweet!). 

Were you one of the kids who looked forward to summer ending and school starting? Or did you wish the long days would continue forever?

When I was growing up I wanted summer to last forever, but then I moved to Tennessee and discovered the beauty of a real fall season (we have two seasons in Texas: hot and hotter). Now I live for the changing leaves, giant sweaters and Christmas music in October. 

Currently reading any good books? Are there any on your "must read" list?

I recently read “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart, and it was hauntingly memorable. My must-reads are “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Don Miller, “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green and “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me” by Mindy Kaling.

What you should be reading:
Local Adventures: Take a Sunrise Hike
The Art of Stay-cationing
How to Photograph Your Adventures, from a recovering instagram-aholic

Becca of For Want of Wander 

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Tell me a little about yourself and your blog! What do you love to write about?
I’ve spent the past few years teaching music and drinking lots of coffee in Chicago, but I recently left it all behind to teach in the mountains of western Guatemala. Sometimes, my life is a mess, and I like to write about the mess. I love to write about the ways we can redeem difficult experiences, overcome failure, and live our lives as an experiment. 

Favorite Starbucks seasonal drink? 

I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but I’m really obsessed with Pumpkin Spice Lattes, sugar and artificial orange coloring and all. Unfortunately, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are a little hard to come by right now in Guatemala. 

Were you one of the kids who looked forward to summer ending and school starting? Or did you wish the long days would continue forever?

I was the kid that got really, really excited about new school supplies. I would pack them up in my backpack days before school started, and then take them out every night to straighten my folders and sniff my pencils and count my crayons to make sure I really had 24 in the box. I really looked forward to the beginning of the school year, but also was ready for the end when it got close. 

Currently reading any good books? Are there any on your "must read" list?

My friend recently lent me The Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard J. Foster, which I am currently reading, though I wouldn’t consider it particularly light reading. My must-read list includes Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton, East of Eden by John Steinbeck, and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller.

What you should be reading: