Our Faves of the moment

This week we made a selection of our favorites of the moment. From outfits to Netflix series, here are the things we are loving this season!

Fave outfits

Laura: Summer took a while to pay us a visit here in Chicago, but now that it is finally hot out, I have to say my favorite outfit for the weekends are crop tops paired with high-waisted bottoms, whether they are shorts, skirts or pants.  When it comes to shoes, I love wedges because it gives you a slimmer look while still being super comfortable. I specifically like the rope trimmed one, because they give off a beachy retro vibe. I own a pair of Michael Kors from last year’s collection, but these are fairly similar.

May: The off the shoulder tops are definitely my fave of the moment, and I guess I won’t be the only one this summer. I especially like the tops with the separated sleeves and bust – like this one – because they are more comfortable if you need to raise your arms.

In my closet, my favorite is the one pictured below. It’s from Zara, I bought it last year and I’m still crazy in love with it. The fabric is really light, which makes it so comfortable. It can be worn everyday, or dressed up for formal occasions.

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I also love the off the shoulder bikini style, but that deserves its own separate post.

 

Fave Hair Style

May: Braids braids braids! My coworkers can definitely confirm my passion for braids. I love this hairstyle, it’s comfortable and looks sophisticated. Once you get how to do it you can make a billion of different styles, like twin braids or crown braids.

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Right now, what I love to do is to make two little Dutch braids on each side of my head and make a pony tail. Braids of all kinds are by far my best everyday partner. If you’d like to know how to make a Dutch braid, I’ve made a tutorial for you.

Laura: Currently, my style is easy and effortless when it comes to hair. Finally I can let my hair air-dry unless I have to style it for a classier look. My hair is naturally wavy, so after I apply my care products, I kind of let if flow freely with a hair clip so it does not get in my face. If it gets too frizzy, I put it up in a top knot bun or do a half up-do braid.

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Fave Beauty product

Laura: Funny enough, without consulting with each other, May and I both wanted to tell you guys about a primer we discovered recently. The one I am using is Photo Finish Foundation – Pore minimizing by Smashbox. I have had a particularly busy and hectic couple of months and have not slept much. In spite of that, I have never received so many compliments about my skin, which is actually far from amazing at the moment. I have this little gem to thank. It smooths down your imperfections, and evens out your skin tones while feeling super soft and comfortable on the skin, even in this hot and humid weather.

May: Instant smooth primer from Clarins is my fave of all time. It’s a transparent make up primer that has a very soft texture, it reminds me of foam. When you apply it on your skin, it will fill in your pores and smooth out the imperfections. Then, when you apply your foundation your skin looks perfect.

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Fave Music

Laura: Because I am longing for a vacation and beach days, I am currently obsessed with the Latin hit Despacito. I know it is cliché, but I can’t help picturing myself at the beach, or dancing at a summer party.  I love the original version best, with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee… Sorry Justin Bieber!

May: Right now, I love listening to Ed Sheerean, and I can’t resist dancing and singing to the Shape of You. I also love listening the several amazing covers of this song; I selected three for you: one by Samantha Harvey, one by Gootmusic and the third by Twins Melody.

 

Fave Netflix series

Laura: I haven’t watched a lot of Netflix in the past few months, but now that my shows are coming back, I am watching again. Recently, I got back into Orange is the New Black, which I watch with delight and anxiety, because of the struggles that the characters go through. I like that each character gets their own story, and that it is not all back or white: everyone is deeply flawed, but also touching in their own ways.

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Apart from that, I have been trying to get back into House of Cards, but with the current political climate, I just could not bring myself to watch it yet, which is a shame because I loved the first four seasons.                                                                                                      Lastly, I love the Chelsea Show. I have been a Chelsea Handler fan for a long time, but sometimes got tired of her former show on E! Chelsea Lately. I think that being on Netflix and executive producer of her own show gave Chelsea more flexibility to talk about a wide range of topics from the most trivial to the most important, while keeping her irreverent sense of humor.

May: Together with my boyfriend, we love watching many different series on Netflix. I like Sense 8, Designated Survivor and – of course – Breaking Bad, but at the moment we have a new crush and that’s Iron Fist. I like the Marvel movies but it’s the first time that I watch a series. Since the very first episode, I loved it.

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The story is about Danny Rand, a billionaire who disappeared during a plane crash when he was a child.  After 15 years, he is back in New York to take over the family business. He will discover that corruption and crime are gangrening his family business and his loved ones. While he was missing, Danny acquires the knowledge of martial arts and the ability to use the Iron Fist from the monks of K’un One. He will use his ability to fix up his company.

Fave Activity

Laura: Lately, all I want to do is be outside. Since I have to wait a while before I am on vacation, I like to pretend I’m on vacation by hanging out on some of the best rooftops of the city, or lounging on restaurant patios. I am also planning a few trips to the lake beaches. My goal, before I leave in July, is to try Oak Street Beach, because I have not had a chance to try it yet!

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May: These days the sun is shinning so much and the temperatures are so hot that if I had to choose an activity it would be hanging out at the pool. I love laying on a lounging chair with a fruit cocktail reading blogs and magazines or going into the water and swim a few laps. I use my Apple Watch to calculate the distance I swim and the calories I burn. The pool is a perfect compromise for me to do some exercise without dying because of the temperature. At the same time, it’s the perfect place to rest (especially after working out).

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Sweet Home Chicago

Just a disclaimer: you may come across a few articles about Chicago in the next month or so. I recently found out that I was going to relocate to the East Coast at the end of July.

This means that I will be leaving the city that has been my home for the past six and a half years. Looking back, I realize that it’s been a long time! While I am happy to move on to new adventures, there are definitely many things I will miss about this amazing city.

So this first article will  mention some of the things that make Chicago my home.

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  • Walking/jogging by the lake

In my time here, I have moved a few times within the city, but I always made sure to stay within walking distance to Lake Michigan. It is one of the Great Lakes, so it resembles a sea because you cannot see the other side.  Though it does not have a salty breeze. I love being near the water; it is one of the few things that relax me. I don’t really care for lake beaches, but it is in Chicago that I really started jogging on a regular basis.  While I am no marathon runner, I go at least once a week on the lake path and it has become essential to my well-being. I should also add that the view of the skyline from the lakefront is pretty amazing.

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  • The yearly traditions

I love that Chicago has all four seasons, although the Spring often blends into the others. Each one of them brings yearly events that I love to attend. Two in particular are my favorites:

– The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House, which happens every year in October. For a weekend, many public and private buildings are made available to the public. Chicago’s architecture is amazing and I love exploring places that are closed to the public most of the time. It is like a weekend adventure into the unknown without leaving your own city and the list of participating locations change every year.

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– The ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo. Chicago has a free zoo in the heart of the city and every Christmas, in collaboration with ComEd, they deck out the entire space with colorful light displays. It is like walking into a magical wonderland and I have not missed it since December 2012!

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  • The food scene

Chicago has an amazing restaurant scene. For a place famous for its hot dogs, pizza and Italian beef, the food scene is actually very diverse! There are a lot of up and coming restaurants with a wide variety of cuisines, and my boyfriend and I love exploring new hot spots, whether they are gastronomic institutions, or neighborhood gems. As a tribute to our neighborhood, and because I intend to make a more expansive article on restaurants later, I will only mention the unassuming places we typically walk to and leave out the acclaimed culinary temples you will find on a guide. Our favorite for Thai is Andy’s Thai Kitchen. For a local burger we got to DryHop or Kuma’s too.  For sushi – and the competition is fierce around here – we love Sushi Mon, and my favorite, everyday/healthy option is Vegetarian Express. This place is literally a hole in the wall; as a matter of fact I don’t think I ever ate inside it, but their food makes for awesome take out!

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  • The neighborhoods

Chicago has a multitude of neighborhoods. When I first arrived, I was surprised of how serious people are about the neighborhood they are from. They all have a different vibe and different trends. The funny part is as I spent time in the city, I too became attached to my neighborhood! Chicago is so spread out that people end up spending a lot of time in their respective neighborhoods because it helps make living here more personal.

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Here are some of my favorites: Lakeview (you should hit up Boystown at least once!) for the bar life and fun times. Lincoln Park and Old Town are a bit more yuppy, but they are my favorite areas to live. I love the old brownstones! Wicker Park, aka hipster central, is super popular for vintage shops, bars and entertainment. River North is the hip, urban neighborhood with a booming night life and the West Loop developed a top notch foodie scene. Make sure to spend some quality time with its Randolph street restaurants. Because I am lazy, I do not often venture there, but these neighborhoods are also worth exploring: Pilsen, with its vibrant murals and rich Mexican influence is a good one. Hyde Park, home of the renowned University of Chicago and Barack Obama, is also definitely worth the trip! Just a tip though, rely on a car or take the Metra (the commuter rail system) as they can be hard to reach with the CTA.

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After writing this, I realize I have so much more to write about Chicago, so bear with me through the summer!

 

How to make Twins Dutch braid.

This week I’d like share with you this hair tutorial. I usually wear this kind of hairstyle at work and many of my colleagues ask me how to do it… So here are all my secrets!

 I hope you enjoy it!

TRY ON HAUL #01

Hi guys!

Today I’d like to show you my very first haul video. I am very excited to share my last shopping spree with you all!

Hope you’ll like it and excuse me in advance for my language skills. I am sure you will be able to witness my progress along this blog adventure.

Here are all the links for the items I shared with you:

  • The white top is available here
  • The off the shoulder top is here (I couldn’t find the same color as mine on the website, but I linked the same model)
  • You can find the blue dress here
  • The scallopped short is available here
  • The tulip short from Ivyrevel is here
  • The bikini is available here

 

Tips for traveling alone

Last month, at almost thirty years old, I took a trip by myself for the first time. I was a bit nervous, because I had never done things like eat at a restaurant by myself or be alone in an unknown environment.

It wasn’t so much that I was worried about my safety. I fly alone frequently and I have traveled quite a bit. It was more that I was uncomfortable appearing alone in public places, or being alone with my thoughts for days! When I told some of my friends about it, I received very mixed reactions. Some of them said that they could never do it, while others seemed surprised and even made me feel silly for feeling weird about it at all. Only my friend Christine told me that while she dreaded it at first, she ended up loving it. She was right. Traveling alone was exhilarating. Here are some tips that definitely made my life easier.

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Fossil Passport Holder (similar)
  • Plan ahead

This seems like a no-brainer, but when you are alone, you want to avoid getting lost or ending up in potentially dangerous situations. I recommend mapping your itinerary and doing some research on places to visit and where to go. I asked my friends who knew DC for recommendations and used Google Maps to chart everything before heading out of the hotel. I also made sure I researched the restaurants I went to, to ensure I could sit at a bar, since I didn’t want to be alone at a table. I hate waiting so this was definitely one of the perks of the trip: when you are alone, you can do things you want at your own pace.

  • Bring books (or magazines, or your tablet)

I used to love reading and would spend most of my vacations as a kid going through books. Unfortunately as a gown-up, I often don’t have time to read and I waste too much time on social media to be able to pick-up a book at night. This was a welcome opportunity to catch up on some books I had been meaning to read and I loved being alone in my bubble enjoying a story.

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This is also great if you feel anxious at the idea of being alone and awkward in public, and so much more refined than being sucked into your phone! If you don’t like to read, you can always get a magazine, play games or watch movies on your tablet.

  • Get ready to talk to strangers

I am a fairly sociable person, and decided that the best way to not feel awkward, when being alone in places like bars, was to strike up a conversation. (In this case, you should probably drop the book). Usually, people tend to talk to you more if you look like you are alone anyways. As long as you seem open to it, you can end up meeting really interesting people along the way. Some of them are also be traveling by themselves. As grown-ups we don’t really get many chances to randomly meet new people, so why not enjoy it?

  • Prepare a playlist

Since you do not have anybody to talk to, I recommend making a playlist, which will set the mood of your trip. I personally was into my Big Little Lies phase (seriously, if you haven’t watched the series, you should!) so I played this. It kept me company as I walked, and I know this is silly, but I almost felt like I was starring in my own movie! So pick something you like that makes you feel good and get going!

  • Treat yourself!

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Although I mentioned it briefly in some parts of this blog, I think this last point is worth having its own paragraph: since you are alone, you can do whatever you want! So pick the type of food you love, take long walks if you love to walk, or take a taxi if you hate walking. Have your favorite drink, watch a sunset, sit out in the sun or go for a run. Just do things for you. You don’t have to compromise with a friend, significant other, work schedule, or a family request. You made it alone all the way here, so enjoy yourself!

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