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5/recent posts
Overall of it?

Overall of it?









Guess what is back in fashion? Overalls! But these aren't like middle-school overalls; these are cool, skinny overalls. Not nearly as comfortable as your childhood staple, but infinitely more stylish.

I was really hesitant at fist as to whether or not I could pull these off. I am not exactly long and lean. But the high waist, fitted silhouette, and stretchy denim fabric make all the difference. I will say going to the bathroom isn't exactly convenient. This pair is by Madewell, and I was shocked that they didn't need to be hemmed. I will, however, probably cuff them when I wear with with heels. This top is one of my all-time favorites and is currently on major sale here.

As for styling skinny overalls, I like to juxtapose the look with a flowy, floral top. But a striped shirt, off-the-shoulder top, or fitted bodysuit would be equally chic. Finish the look with a trendy pair of sneakers and your eighth-grade self would be super jealous. Shop my favorite picks for this look below!

So, what do you think of skinny overalls? Over it, or loving it?


SKINNY OVERALLS:


TOPS:


SNEAKERS:

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Ashley B
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Alone Verses Lonely

Alone Verses Lonely





As I have mentioned here before, one of the best ways to make the most out of a semester abroad is to travel as much as you can, whenever you can. But, what if your fellow study abroad students and roommates (or travel companions) don't prioritize sightseeing and traveling and, instead, would rather sleep all day and party all night? This situation happens all of the time and I see it every year. Even when put in this situation, however, most students rarely embrace solo travel. I can't even get students to wander around Florence on their own. I think this is because as a society, we often conflate being alone and being lonely.

I first met Emily a couple years ago in Florence. She was studying abroad with NYU and was so frustrated with her roommates and program cohort. No one else was interested in getting up early to explore, splurging a bit on food, or prioritizing cultural experiences over drinking and partying. At first she tried traveling with her suite-mates, who seemed like the natural group to travel with. Most students attempt to travel with their roommate or housemates, but just because you live with them, does not mean you will travel well together. Emily cycled through several failed weekend trips (and one really disappointing spring break trip) with roommates and others in her program before she reached her breaking point. That's when she booked her first solo trip to Vienna. I love hearing Emily recount this experience:

"My first big solo trip was to Vienna, one of the places I’d been wanting to go so badly, but no one else was interested. I stayed outside of town and my room was in an attic of this cheesy tourist hotel, with slanted ceilings and all. I arrived late at night and took a cab in, then woke up super early so I could see as many of the sites as possible. I must have walked most of Vienna… I had this app on my phone that would let you plan the sites you want to see and help route you to them and according to that app I saw 21 of the top sites in the city. I ate Sacher Torte at the Hotel Sacher, I got yelled at in the Belvedere for trying to take photos of the Klimpt artwork, I wandered through the Schonbruun Palace and Gardens, I walked past St Stephens Cathedral, the opera house, the oldest ferris wheel in Europe, and more. The highlight of the trip was the VIP seats that I’d treated myself to at the Spanish Riding School show — I have been obsessed with the lipizzaners since I can remember and I actually teared up during the show from sheer awe and excitement. It is still one of my all time favorite experiences in my entire life."
Of all the memories Emily made on that Vienna trip, feeling lonely wasn't one of them. Like the majority of people, Emily was most afraid about dining alone. But as she quickly realized, eating by yourself is "no big deal," especially in Europe. Simply select a restaurant with outdoor seating and great people watching! After her first solo trip, Emily, like so many others (including myself), felt empowered. And she started traveling on weekends and exploring Florence alone.

Honestly, traveling alone is not only empowering, but it is also a ton of fun. You get to do and see what you want, when you want, how you want. I have traveled to Santorini, Istanbul, Cappadocia, London, Paris, Berlin, and, of course, all over Italy by myself! And I loved every moment of it. You can read more about how to travel alone here.

The moral of this long story? Don't conflate being alone with being lonely. If you find yourself without a travel buddy because of differing interests, timing, money, etc., don't be afraid to go it alone. You might be surprised at just how enjoyable solo travel can be.


Would you travel alone?
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Ashley B
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Two Ways to Style a Lady Jacket

Two Ways to Style a Lady Jacket










One of my favorite trends this spring is the lady jacket, and no one does the lady jacket better than J.Crew (you can see all of the trends I am loving for spring here). I fell for this Liberty of London version the moment I saw it in store. The best part about this trend is that it will easily transition into spring. Pair it with a striped long sleeve tee or turtleneck and jeans on chilly days, and a vibrant sun dress on warmer days.

Speaking of spring/summer dresses, I am on my usual spring-time hunt for short-sleeve, light-weight dresses for my summer abroad. This tends to be my uniform when working and traveling in Italy/Europe in the summer. This is the Bardot dress by Caroline Constas. I love her voluminous shirts and retro dresses. So, when this vibrant red number went on sale, I pounced. I love the shirting fabric, which will breathe well in the heat of the Italian summer, and the puff sleeves that can be worn on the shoulder when visiting churches and museums and off the shoulder when soaking up the sun in the Amalfi Coast. This dress comes in several patterns and colors, which you can peruse here.

Are you loving the lady jacket trend?


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Ashley B
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Le Diplomate

Le Diplomate









Am I in DC or Paris? This is actually the famed Le Diplomate in DC. The best of both worlds. Le Diplomate is a fabulous french restaurant near Logan Circle. It is the perfect spot for leisurely sipping a cappuccino or enjoying a full brunch of traditional French cuisine.

Trying new restaurants in DC is one of my favorite pastimes. And with my brother living there, he always has some where new to take me. This trip we had drinks and dinner at The Hamilton -- a trendy restaurant and live music venue that caters to millennials who like upscale yet casual dining and contemporary takes on traditional American dishes. We also tried brunch at the new Farmers and Distillers, an offshoot of our other Brunch favorite, Farmers Fishers Bakers.

We snapped these pictures on my last day in DC. After three chilly days of wind and some snow, I was ready for some slightly warmer weather. I opted for knee socks over tights and a oversized wooly sweater instead of a coat with my favorite pink checked skirt (last seen here). While I rarely get to wear this sweater at home, it is one of my favorites. I love the exaggerated sleeves and soft pink color. And, believe it or not, it is from Abercrombie (I only paid $17 for it)! I know you are thinking, "wait, where?" And you can read more about Abercrombie's recent transformation here, but trust me, you can find some unexpected and affordable treasures there.

After a great long weekend of eating and strolling our way through DC, Alexandria, and Annapolis, I headed back to Florida, where I was greeted by 80 degree temperatures. C'est la vie!


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Ashley B
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Historic Annapolis

Historic Annapolis










I absolutely loved historic Annapolis! It is such a cute and charming city full of history. Oh, and the dining and shopping aren't bad either. It is just a quick 40 minute drive from DC (including a Dunkin coffee stop), making it the perfect day trip.

Originally settled by Puritans in 1649, the city has quite the colonial history. It was the seat of the Continental Congress and the site where, following the end of the Revolutionary War, George Washington resigned his commission as Commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. In fact, you can see his original letter of resignation displayed in the Maryland State House, which was also the temporary capital of the United States following the signing of the Paris Peace Treaty.

Annapolis/Maryland was also home to four signers of the Declaration of Independence, and since many of its colonial structures remain, you can do a little walking tour to admire the historical architecture and the homes of Chase Lloyd and William Paca (there is a great walking tour here).

But, Annapolis is probably best known for being home to the US Naval Academy. I have always argued that the Navy is the best dressed of all the military branches (they did give us the peacoat after all), and their stylish uniforms are on full display around the city. Hello sailor!

After lots of strolling and exploring we satiated our hunger with the most delicious late brunch at the Iron Rooster. Try the crab hash, it's amazing! We spent the rest of our day window shopping before heading back to DC.


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Ashley B
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