Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What's new?

I am currently adjusting back into my routine after a week in Rehoboth, Delaware! Check out some of my shots from the trip on my Instagram and check back here next week for all the details on where to go in Rehobeth! 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Exploring: New York City

(Photo credit: Happy Bones, Timeout, @zobolondon, and Local Bozo)

I need to be in New York City! I'm not sure if it is because I just spent a semester in London or if it is because I have been binge watching How I Met Your Mother, but either way exploring the city has been on my mind all summer!

After a couple of trip plans fell through, I decided that even though a week or weekend would be ideal in New York, I could settle for even just a day trip. I used some leftover credit on my megabus account and grabbed a round-trip ticket for just over $30 for a day later this month!

With help from some of my favorite NYC Instagram feeds, @acupofkeen@aguynamedpatrick,  and more, I have found and pinned tons of places that I want to check out! Unfortunately, I can only do so much in one day, but I am going to try to fit in as much as humanly possible.

Since I will be riding overnight on the megabus, a coffee will be must in the morning! After scrolling through my instagram feed, I decided I want to try to head over to Happy Bones Coffee shop. Their lattes look amazing and I may even treat myself to a pastry :)

Throughout the day, I want to hit some iconic places of New York that I haven't got the chance to see during my previous trips. I don't think my Instagram feed will be complete without my view of the Flatiron Building! It just looks so the Cathedral of Learning in Pittsburgh but even more massive and grand.

Next, I plan to head over to Brooklyn (and hopefully spot some epic street art)! The Brooklyn Flea Market is a must-see on my list, and although I'm not sure that I will be able to afford anything it seems like just the spot to people watch and grab lunch.

If time permits, I would love to enjoy a burger on the terrace The Reynard and soak in some amazing views of the city!

I know that my list is long and that I may not be able to do it all, but I can at least try (and maybe eat a cronut along the way)! Plus, I will have some much-appreciated help from @acupofkeen, who has offered to show me some of her favorite spots of the city! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

This weekend I:

Watched: the episode of How I Met Your Mother when Ted proposes to the mother
Listened: the pups I am dog-sitting snore 
Learned: that my new shoes give me blisters
Ate: a farm-fresh peach
Read: half of #Girlboss
Drank: lemonade 
Thought: instameets are awesome 
Wished: it didn't rain so much 
Realized: I will be a senior in college soon :) 
Bought: nothing because I spent all my money on vacation, haha 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Good Eating: Eggs N'at

Just like most Pittsburghers, when I think of breakfast, I think of Pamela's eggs and lyonnaise potatoes and pancakes from DeLuca's. But when I heard about the amazing Eggs N'at over to the West of the city in Moon Township, I just had to try it out! 

After pulling into the small and packed parking lot, I was a bit nervous about getting a table, but to my happy surprise we didn't have to wait at all! We were greeted by a lovely hostess and were seated at a cute little table in the front room. 

After a quick look at the menu, I figured it was best to get their signature Eggs N'at breakfast since I was a first-timer! Plus, with that choice I didn't have to pick between sweet and savory...the Egg N'at comes with eggs, potatoes, meat, toast, AND a pancake! 

Once our orders came out I realized I may have ordered a bit too much food for myself, but dug in without hesitation anyways! Everything was delicious...maybe even better than Pamela's and Deluca's! Plus, it was kind of awesome that I had some leftovers to enjoy later that day!

I can't wait to go back and get something else off their amazing menu! And maybe even a t-shirt :)  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Travel Tuesday: What to wear

I love clothes...I have tons of them. I am someone who likes a lot of options. All of this made
packing for a semester abroad seem like an impossible challenge at first. However, after going through it all twice, I have come up with a few tips to make things easier! So, here goes...

1.) Remember that you are probably going to buy clothes once you arrive in your host country (obviously some will buy more than others, but everyone is bound to at least buy a shirt or two).

2.) Pack for multiple seasons. If going for a semester, then you'll be there for four months so the weather will probably change while you are there. It could go from wet to dry, dry to wet, cold to hot, hot to cold, etc.

3.) Don't forget to pack neutral, staple items. So even if you don't know the style trends of your host city, you will still fit in (This is where #1 comes into play. You can buy statement pieces at your local shops and then mix them in with what you packed.)

4.) Pack comfortable shoes. No, this does not mean only pack sneakers. This does mean that you will have to do a lot of walking, I mean a lot of walking, in the shoes you pack. I, myself, chose to pack mostly short boots that were good in any weather.

5.) You can never go wrong with a scarf. It is as simple as that.

Below are some more specific tips for the countries I studied in, Italy and England.

My top fives staples in London were:
  1. Boyfriend jeans
  2. A black midi dress
  3. Tan booties
  4. A black leather bookbag 
  5. A bright scarf 
My London style inspiration boards:

London Outfits

London Accessories

London Accessories by hopefullyfashionable featuring oxford shoes

My top five staples in Rome were: 
  1. Dark skinny jeans
  2. A black blazer
  3. A long strap purse
  4. A gray sweater
  5. Black flats 
My Italian style inspiration boards: 
Italian Outfits

Italian Accessories

Friday, July 18, 2014

High Five for Friday!

1.) I am just so happy to be able to spend so much time with my nephew, Jack! Every time I see him he has learned something new...he just amazes me.

2.) When I think of the Southside of Pittsburgh, I always think about the Pretzel Shop! They make fresh soft pretzels and they are delicious! My mom and I went for lunch this week and I got a ham and cheese pretzel sandwich. It was soooooo good :)

3.) I couldn't help but put another photo of Jack on here! With the Fall semester creeping up on me, I want to spend as much time with him as possible. We went for a walk in the sunshine this week and it was awesome!

4.) This week also marked my first Instagram collab! @ZoeCaldwell and I swapped photos and then edited/posted each others. I choose this awesome shot of Hackney Wick in London that Zoe took! The black bike against that gorgeous, colorful wall is just perfect to me.

5. One of my (and my sister's) favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess, just came out with a new app called Party! Party! It helps makes simple gifs and/or photobooth photos! It is just so cool and so fun! I can't wait to use it all school year!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Outfit of the day!!

muscle tank: Forever 21 shorts: Primark booties: Marshall's bag: h&m jewelry: Forever 21/Primark

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Good Eating: Duck Donuts

I would like to begin by saying that these are the best donuts I have ever had (they even beat out these ones from London!). I would like to follow that by reminding you that doughnuts are one of my favorite foods. 

My recent week in the Outer Banks was filled with a lot of amazing experiences and awesome food but Duck Donuts was the best part by far! And I don't think I am alone in feeling this way, everyone I told about my vacation instantly asked me if I had made a trip to Duck Doughnuts! I am proud to say that we went three times and ate them hot each time! 

If you have never been to the Outer Banks before, this all may seem a bit extreme, but I think it is the unique set up, great customer service, and quality donuts that makes it so special and rare. 

They only make one type of donut and it is just standard white. The customization comes with the toppings. You can get it covered in sugar and cinnamon or (like me) you can get icing on it. They have vanilla, chocolate, maple, peanut butter (my fav), and more! Not only that but you can get sprinkles or nuts on it too! 

After you put in your order, you then can watch them make your fresh donuts! Then, before you know it, you are already out the door and ready to enjoy! 

I would, like most Outer Bank visitors, say that Duck Donuts is a MUST-EAT! I love them so much that I want my wedding cake to be made out of them :) 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Live Fast, Die Young

Since our first month in London, my friend Tiff and I have been talking about making a video to the song "Bad Girls" by M.I.A. Somehow, don't ask me how, it slipped my mind and I totally forgot about it! Luckily, by the end of the semester we had plenty of footage so all I had to do was do some fun editing and VOILA...a hilarious video (at least, I think it is haha)!

Let me know what you think in the comment below!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

This weekend I:

Watched: The Potterhead Weekend on ABCfamily 
Listened: to thunderstorms
Learned: that I was a runner-up in The Steel City Grammers' weekend hashtag challenge 
Ate: too many slices of homemade zucchini bread than I can count 
Drank: loads of tea 
Thought: only a week until vacation 
Wished: trains were faster and cheaper here in America 
Realized: I need to read the Harry Potter series again 
Bought: nothing! I actually returned something! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

High Five for Friday!

1. I don't know what it is lately but Molly has been following me around everywhere I go...I love it! I have always tried to make her follow me but she wouldn't listen...I now realize all I had to do was go abroad for four months and then come home to a 30-hour a week job! So, I guess it is true...absence does make the heart grow fonder :) 

2. My glasses finally came in this week! I don't love how thick my lenses are (because of my horrible eyesight) but I do love the frames! I can't wait to do an outfit of the day post with them! 

3. Jack had his first sleepover at our house this week :) It was awesome! He is just too sweet! But the next day I was in need of a very long nap, haha! 

4. This song is constantly in my head by Jake Bugg! All of his songs are amazing but this one is just so catchy! 

5. Lastly, I am missing the beach so much...thankfully in just over 10 days, I will be on vacation with my family! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

London, I love you.

It has been around two months since I left London. I know I haven't said much about it since I have been back, but I've realized that it's because it is just too hard to think about it (let alone write about it). As a result, I thought it would be easier for me to just ignore it.

But obviously...that didn't really work. It is everywhere. Every time I go to pick out my outfit, every time I talk to my friends who I studied there with, as I scroll through my Instagram feed, it is unavoidable.

I miss it more than I could have imagined, more than I could have ever prepared myself for. I don't need to relive any specific moment. I don't need to be with anyone in particular. I just want to be a part of the city. Just me and London...that's it. It doesn't matter where or when or what I am doing there.

I find myself day dreaming about walking past St. Paul's Cathedral, across the Millennium Bridge, past the Tate Modern, ending (of course) at Nandos. Or out my front gate, past the Betsey Trottwood Pub, under the construction, popping into my local full-English breakfast place, and then back out and down to the Farringdon tube station.

I can feel it. Like something I can't explain...something I have never felt before. It is just the way I feel when I am in London. Knowing there will be a Pret-a-Manger, a pub, and Wasabi on every street. Knowing that if I just follow the crowd, they will usually take me to the closest tube station. Those little things that make London unique and special. Those little things that make London seem like it was made just for you and that everyone else is just a visitor in "your London".

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

OBX: Wild Horse Tour

During my week in the Outer Banks, I got to eat delicious food, lay out in front of the gorgeous ocean, and I even got to observe wild horses in their natural habitat! 

After seeing signs for the Corolla Outback Adventures Wild Horse Tour, we decided it was something we just had to try! Don't get me wrong, I love laying out at the beach and pool doing nothing but after a while I get a bit restless and this tour was just the cure! 

The tour guide took us off the paved highway that stretches along the length of the Banks and onto the sand (that is still legally a highway...just unpaved, how cool!) for our two hour adventure exploring the less-developed edge of the Outer Banks! 

Within 10 minutes of driving along the beach, we saw a couple of horses strolling along the dunes! It was amazing! They didn't seem to be bothered at all by our tour and just kept grazing and walking along.

After a few miles of driving on the open beach, we turned onto some of the "roads" that have beach houses on them. A little further down we hit the reserve land where the horses run free! There were natural ponds, deer, lush was like we had traveled to a different world! 

In the open area of reserves, we saw a group of horses (three female and one male) gathered together and were able to get out of the tour truck. Again, they seemed relaxed and because we kept our distance, they didn't seem to notice us at all. The guide explained that these horses came from Spain hundreds of years ago on ships and that they are now extinct back in Spain. For a while after hearing that, our whole tour just stood there in awe of these beautiful animals.

Eventually, we all had to get back into the truck to explore a bit more before our 30-minute drive down the beach back to our cars on the main road.

These two glorious hours were the only two outside that I was actually cold all week! The sea air blowing made the heat more bearable in the June sun! Plus, I learned a lot more about the culture and history of the Outer Banks than I would have ever thought when we arrived at the beginning of the week...and had fun doing it!