Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas in Seattle: Weekend Girl's Trip Part 1

I am so excited to be sharing this post from my trip to Seattle this December. My best friend, Jamie, and I are all for spur-of-the-moment activities, traveling and great food. We planned this trip in November on a whim and bought our tickets, booked our flight and arrived with little to no plans for the whole weekend. We had both researched a few restaurants and activities but nothing was truly set in stone. We also wanted to really get a feel for the city and be able to navigate the streets and coordinate neighborhoods in conjunction to landmarks, parks, etc. so we used mostly public transportation and the feet in our shoes. We Uber'd a few times but that was when we had to either catch a train or we'd been already walking 4+ miles in freezing rain. I hope this itinerary inspires you to travel often, indulge more, grow your friendships and open your mind to new adventures. Thanks for stopping by!

Day one:

Arrive at Sea-Tac airport. The Link Light Rail is a train with a stop on airport property to take you north or south. The train is pretty clean, runs very frequently and is easy to hop on or off. We saw a lot of kids and parents on the train during our trip as well. We took the train from Sea-Tac all the way up to Pioneer Square. This train stop was the closest location to our Airbnb that we had booked. From the train station we hauled our luggage up and out of the station to the streets for the bus route we needed. The King County Metro Transit is a cable line bus route that runs all across Seattle and it's major neighborhoods. We took the #4 line to Cherry Hill - East Jefferson and 20th Avenue. This stop is right outside of the main downtown area - right where the suburban area begins. 
Our first Airbnb experience: Amazing. Another post to come on that.


After dropping our bags off we headed to Pike's Place to walk the market and explore Miner's Landing where we grabbed lunch at The Crab Pot {this was pretty much the only restaurant we had planned on going to}. This is definitely a tourist-y spot, but we got to try some real West coast seafood and had a blast hammering away to Christmas music and enjoying a gorgeous view of the ocean and pier. We had the Westport - a deal on the menu for about $35/person - crazy expensive but the most costly meal we had all trip - which comes with snow crab, dungeness crab, mussels, clams and prawns. Although costly, you're paying for the experience; the bibs, mallets and cutting boards, view of the bay, etc. Definitely one of our favorite places on the entire trip. Worth a visit if you're with large groups of people. May not be ideal for a first date :) 

After lunch we walked the market for a bit and enjoyed the christmas displays, music and soaked in everything Pike's Place had to offer. We headed towards the first Starbucks (which I was incredibly excited for after completing my Finance semester-long project on their history and records). There is a line out the door and you pick through a list of products to purchase at the counter - be warned, they don't let you grab anything off the shelves - they have a system down and aren't afraid to enforce it! There are many different roasts only available in the Seattle area that we loved trying.



From there we headed towards the downtown area by the Macy's Christmas tree display. We hopped on the merry-go-round - best $3 spent that day - and enjoyed our hot coffee, watching locals finish their last minute shopping and just enjoying being present in the city with all the Christmas street light displays.



Right around the corner was the Seattle West Lake Shopping Center/Mall. We had some fun walking the different levels, picking up a pair of must-needed snow boots and wrapping up our day at Sixth Avenue Wine Seller - a little wine bar located at the top floor next to Nordstrom. It was so nice to be able to just sit down, watch the city buildings (we were right across from Forever21 and a hair salon - super cool to see people getting blow outs, trims, etc. in their own little window boxes). and talk about how crazy it was that we were on the other side of the country in just a few short hours. We didn't know a single person in the entire state. We had absolutely no plans. Just our luggage, our cameras and the feet in our boots.

Part 2 coming soon!

Here is a short montage of clips from our weekend:


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide for the World Traveler

Happy December! Today I'm sharing my top picks of holiday gifts for the woman in your life that loves to style! From chic passport covers, must-have luggage and memoir-type decor, this list is a compilation of things I've personally tried and a couple of my personal wants as well! Let the list begin!

1. Everyday Memoir Notebooks - Rifle Paper Co. -- These are the perfect journals to throw in your bag, write down travel memories, tape tickets, pictures, etc. 
2. All-in-one Leather Pop Clutch - MochiThings -- How cute is this expandable wallet!? Holds money, keys, cards, passport, etc.
4. Full Grain Leather Passport Holder - Graphic Image -- Love the simplicity of the color with gold foil lettering. So simple, so chic.
5. The Carry on Cocktail Kit - W&P Deisgn -- Have you ever seen a more necessary in-flight travel item!? Choose from moscow mule, old fashioned, gin & tonic and other favorites
6. 2017 Bon Voyage Travel Calendar - Rifle Paper Co. -- I have the 2016 version that I actually cut and fit into frames that are hanging above my headboard. Love these unique illustrations - gives me so much Wanderlust..
7. Radiant Skin Renewal Kit - Murad -- I've tried these mini samplers and they are probably my favorite skin care products of all time! They are perfect for traveling when you need a skin boost in-flight.
8. Vitamin Hydrating Mask - First Aid Beauty -- Another great solution for a skin refresher if you don't want to go full on moisturizer. I love this and the Evian sprays for traveling!
9. World Scratch Map - Urban Outfitters -- The perfect bucket-list decor for the world traveler.
10. Sprocket Photo Printer - HP -- Super lightweight, super small and super convenient portable photo printer from HP prints 2x3 pictures straight from your smart phone. All you need is a bluetooth connection and the app! Love this guy (I have tons of prints on my bulletin board)
11. Travel Kit - Pinch Provisions -- This is probably the most clever companies that launched the past few years. They have tons of "in a pinch," situation bags and this travel one is perfect for must-need accessories, toiletries and other items to survive long, grueling flights. Warning - their breath sprays are extremely strong (Used one during a concert and couldn't stop crying, ha!)

12. Hardside Spinner Luggage - inUSA -- You can't go wrong with hardshell, 360 suitcases. They're fool proof, so easy to maneuver and stores are carrying them in tons of different colors. My set is not available online but I found another great brand in even cuter colors!
13. Jet Set Candy Jewelry -- I absolutely love this company. Their travel jewelry is a genius idea and you can choose from a variety of finishes and types of jewelry. This is on my Christmas list this year with luggage tags of all the places I've been to and are traveling to in 2017! Would also be a great gift to surprise your S/O with the necklace, then immediately after tickets to the destination that matches! You're welcome guys ;)
14. Women's Faux Leather Backpack - Mossimo Target -- I just picked this beauty up a few weeks ago for my upcoming trip to Seattle! I wanted a bag that was functional, bigger than a purse but was still cute to travel with. Love the double pocket and tassel, too.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Small Cities: MIlwaukee

Big shoutout to my friend Jamie for showing me around Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the day in October. We had a great day exploring the city, grabbing a bite to eat and running into a New Orleans Bandstand wedding party on their way to the reception.

My entire family is actually from Wisconsin and I think it's extremely ironic that I've never been into the downtown area. After we easily found parking downtown, we stopped into every hipster's dream: Hot Pop. A quirky loft-style shop with prints from local artists, gadgets and home goods. We were too depressed from being poor that we couldn't bring ourselves to buy anything in the store - although we both agreed we wanted everything in it.

We stopped for lunch at the Screaming Tuna, a sushi and asian bistro located right off of Water Street along the Milwaukee River. We had a great view of the city and ate ourselves sick with bottomless mimosas and a brunch special. Would recommend: Swaddled Swine {shredded braised pork wrapped in a sweet crepe, cranberry apple sauce} and the Duck Benedict {pan seared duck breast, Japanese potato pancake, poached egg, miso hollandaise, plum sauce}.

We decided to walk lunch off at the Milwaukee Art Museum, which happened to have a Free day pass going on at the same time {woohoo!}. My favorite exhibitions by far were the furniture galleries, photograph and video art as well as the large-scale floor to ceiling sculptures.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Fall Florals

 For today's post I'm sharing this playful romper from Forever21 in a fun, fall floral print. I'm very partial to patterned clothing, especially florals, but I instantly fell in love with this boho style one. I love these wrap-cut rompers with the cinched waist because they're super figure-flattering and very forgiving when you want to eat to your heart's content and not worry about looking a few months prego.

The only negative thing I have to say about this romper is the length of the shorts.. I definitely have my fair share of booty shorts but since these are super flowy they make you feel a bit more self-conscious about bending down or god forbid the waist line trickles up and your whole butt is exposed (crying emoji*)

This choker necklace is also from Forever21 - kind of a bolo-style but still super cute and fun for dressing up an outfit. Long live our 2001 fashion phases in new styles! 

Finished off the outfit with some taupe and brown booties - kept with a shorter heel since this romper is pretty casual and threw on my current purse as it goes with literally everything and somehow is able to carry everything under the sun.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Black and Wine

In today's post I'm sharing this gorgeous pair of booties I snagged from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year. {Similar here and here}

If you've seen my last post, my favorite piece of clothing to wear is a vest. Here I've paired this oatmeal colored one with a black tank top turtle neck and my infamous black leggings. I love wearing neutrals with subtle pops of color and simple accessories. {Similar Kate Spade bag here}

Photos by Alexandra Lee Photography. Find her on Facebook, too! 


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Army Green Utility Vest

One of my favorite clothing pieces of all time would hands down, be a vest. They come in so many different styles, cuts and this one is definitely my favorite purchase this fall. This vest is actually from Nordstrom Rack and is made from pretty heavy, thick material, making it a bit more luxurious than a typical vest. I love the high-low cut and tapered back with draw-string detail at the ends and also around the waist. This shape is such a flattering cut and comes with a zipper as well. On sale this week at 43% off!

I love pairing army green with simple fall colors like cognac, white and classic denim. These jeans from American Eagle are my staple pair. I love the low cut and stretchy fabric in all their jeggings. This top from Hollister Co. is great to layer with sweaters and is a really fitted cut {perfect for tiny people like me! {Rejoice}

Photos by Alexandra Lee Photography. Find her on Facebook, too!


Monday, October 3, 2016

Burnt Orange and Gold

Happy October! The leaves are finally starting to change, the weather is getting cooler which of course means it's time to transition our favorite summer pieces into fall appropriate outfits. In today's post I'm sharing a quick and simple outfit for running errands, a day date or a late summer/early fall photoshoot.

Yes, I will use this clutch until the end of time. One of my favorite ways to transition summer pieces like white jeans are adding darker colored accents like a black watch, {similar here} or burnt orange tank top to keep it light but bring in some fall accents. 

For even more fall accents, I've added some fun fall jewelry like this necklace from Francesca's. I love the mixed length and subtle beading. This week I opted for matte, dark green polish as well.

Photos taken by Alexandra Lee Photography. Find her on Facebook, too!
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