Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Outfit: Maxi-Dress

unknown dress // J.Crew wedges // Monogram Online bracelet

I've always loved the idea of maxi-dresses, but I've never felt like they would look good on my 5'4" (and three quarters) figure. When I found this dress at TJ Maxx for only $25 though I felt like I had to try it. I was originally planning on wearing it to my cousin's wedding at the beginning of August but with the heat and humidity a long black dress just wasn't going to work. So of course I had to find some reason to wear the dress (just like for my early birthday dinner). While I'm still not totally convinced I can pull of the maxi dress I do love the way it is dressy and casual at the same time. Even though summer is over back in MA (and did we ever really have a summer? It was so cold...) it is still in the 90s during the day here in Madrid so I have  a feeling I'll be getting a lot of use out of this dress. 

Hope all of you going back to school today have an amazing first day of classes!

Monday, September 1, 2014

¡Soludos de Madrid!

I finally arrived in Madrid yesterday afternoon (aka early morning for east coast US) and it's already been a crazy experience. My plane was delayed and I ended up having to get a cab myself and then once I got to my apartment I found out my landlord speaks no english. It all really put my spanish skills (which are seriously lacking) to the test right away. Luckily once one of my roommates (who basically speaks fluent spanish) moved in it all calmed down a bit. We unpacked, explored, and got a bit of dinner outside by the park near our apartment. I already love being here, even with some of the hard adjustments, and I'm ready to get orientation started (because let's be real, I need some friends). 

Hope you are all having great long weekends back in the US. I'm a little jealous I don't have today off (#spainproblems). I've been going a little insta-crazy so make sure it check out my instagram to follow along. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Shop: Labor Day Sales

August went so quickly that I completely forgot that this weekend was Labor Day Weekend. Since I'll be in Madrid on Monday I won't really be celebrating, but that doesn't mean I can't do some last minute shopping! When I was little I used to use the Labor Day sales to convince my parents to buy me clothes before school started so I had the perfect first day of school outfit. Not much has changed since I'm still using the sales this weekend to stock up on my fall favorites. 

Here are a few of my favorite sales for the weekend:

Nordstrom has up to 40% off on both fall and summer items (think another round of the anniversary sale :))!

Shopbop has added hundreds of new items to their sale section. I'm obsessed with their dress and shoe selection (per usual).

Gap has up to 40% off! I am definitely using this sale to stock up on my favorite jeans, including the boyfriend jeans above. 

J.Crew Factory is 40-60% off everything in stock. While I try to be wary of the quality of Factory purchases I can never resist buying up my favorites from last season (like this sweater) for such cheap prices!

To get great deals on designer pieces definitely check out Revolve Clothing's Labor Day Sale. Pieces are up to 70% off! I love this dress and these jeans.

Express is 40% everything! I want this babydoll dress to pair with boots and an army jacket when the weather gets colder. 

Hope you all have a great holiday weekend and celebrate the end of summer with plenty of beautiful weather. I'm headed to Madrid on Saturday night so make sure to watch my instagram for updates!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How to Overpack Effectively


I am no master packer, but thanks to the worldwide web (aka google and pinterest) it is easy to find the master packers out there. I am pretty horrible at packing light so the prospect of packing for four months away has been pretty daunting. I am driving distance away from NYU so I usually have the whole back of an SVU when I pack for school (this hasn't helped my packing skills). Now that I'm flying across the atlantic ocean to go to school my packing space is much much smaller and I still have to pack for 2 to 3 seasons. I'll be bringing two medium sized (25in) checked suitcases along with my Stella & Dot weekender as a carry on. Two checked bags is more than most people bring, but my airline had a good deal on a second checked bag so I decided it would be safer to do two bags instead of one giant one that could easily go over the weight limit. 

I've spent the last month searching for the best packing (specifically study abroad packing) tips so that I could fit my whole closet all the essentials in my suitcases and I thought I'd share some of them with you all. 

Ahead of time:
- Use the hanger flipping method to find out what you actually wear and what you don't so you know what isn't worth packing. 

- Find out specifically the climate of where you are going and the amount it rains. My friends going to Prague had to pack plenty of boots, but I'm only bringing one 'snow proof' pair of boots. 

- Only buy new clothes that replace old ones. That means if you buy a new pair of jeans you must get rid of a pair of jeans (I know I know this is a hard one). 

Before Packing:
- This may seem obvious, but plan to wear your heaviest pieces on the plan. I'm planning on wearing my biggest/heaviest boots and bringing my biggest jacket as a pillow. 

- Make a list of the pieces that you know are your must-haves without looking in your closet or drawers. These are the most important pieces to pack!

- The Rule of Threes is a smart guideline. The rule of threes means if you cannot wear a piece in at least three different outfits don't bring it. Try to follow this as much as possible, but it's ok if you have one or two of your favorite pieces that only work one way (as long as you know you'll wear them). 

- Cut down on the shoes. To be honest picking shoes has been the hardest part of my packing (but you probably already knew that...), but the most important part of shoe packing is picking practical shoes. What that means is brining comfortable shoes that you actually like. I'm not someone who will wear sneakers or tevas for everyday wear, so my version of practical is comfortable brown flats, flat sandals, and ankle boots (plus a few more shoes). 

While Packing:
- Lay out everything you plan to put in your suitcase and organize it by type and weight so that you can roll effectively.

- After laying everything you want to bring out write a list of all of it and then cross off what you don't actually need. I'm not one for the get rid of 50% of what you think you want method because I usually weed things out as I start planning. 

- Roll your clothes the right way and when you are done organize them in packing cubes or ziploc bags so that the rolled pieces don't unroll.

- Line the bottom of your suitcase (where the awkward indents from the handle are) with shoes. 

- Stuff roomier shoes with socks to keep their shape and use less space. 

What do you think of these packing tips? Have you all used any of them before? I would love to hear any of your packing tips!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Outfit: A Dress for Twirling

{___ dress, Steve Madden wedges (similar), Rebecca Minkoff bag}

I love any excuse to wear a fun dress and an early birthday dinner this weekend was the perfect time to pull out this dress I bought on super sale a couple of weeks ago. This fun cut of of the top part and the fact that the dress almost screams 'twirl me' made me fall in love with it in the store. I was attempting to wait to wear it for my actual birthday in a month, but when my mom suggested we have an early birthday dinner with my family (since I'll be away for me real birthday) I figured I had waited long enough. 

I leave for Madrid in just five days and I'm freaking out! Let me know if you have any study abroad packing tips :)