Being a Tourist in Chicago

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I brought my camera to work the other day, so during my lunch break I went for a little stroll – tourist style. (: Chicago is so BLUE and beautiful! To be honest, I never liked bringing my camera into the city because I didn’t want to give off an impression as a tourist. This is my house and I’m going to put my feet up on the coffee table if I want, kinda thing. But I realize that mindset is pretentious and not to mention, stupid. Because when you’re a tourist, you look at the town with a different pair of lenses and you’re a lot more open-minded to do things that are out of your comfort zone. Suddenly all those free, crowded events don’t sound so lame, and the new restaurants popping in look enticing, and sitting in Millennium park after a food truck makes for the perfect Saturday afternoon.

My motto for this summer: 
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What does that mean for me? Run a 5k, attend a summer festival for a different city/state, have a picnic, make a video, go on a road trip, host a board game night, make s’mores, watch a movie at a drive-in, play sports regularly, go fishing, win free tix from a radio show, rent a bicycle for the day, purge my closet, find a hike path, run a 100 miles, frisbee on a beach… just to name a few. Hold me to it? 
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Being a tourist in Europe was great and so fun. But this, this is the beautiful town I live in and am so proud to call home. (: And I’m ready to unlock its secrets the same way.

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What’s on your summer bucket list?

XO.

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Look Book : Wearing Chambray

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The chambray shirt is a classic  — and for good reason. It can be dressed up or dressed down, and matches nearly anything. Tuck it under a pencil skirt to go to work, or pair with distressed boyfriend jeans and a statement necklace for a GNO.  You can expect to find them sold anywhere from Target to J.Crew, varying in wash, fit, style, and to mention, price.

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect chambray shirt for quite a long time now. I wanted one that was light, fitted, and not too stiff. And you’ll never guess where I found it. Plato’s Closet. Macklemore would be proud. 🙂 **Note: I am actually selling an old AERIE chambray shirt. I’ve worn it maximum two times and it is still in great condition. You can find it (as well as some other gently worn items) here. Site is updated daily.
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{ Top: Plato’s Closet | Belt: Forever 21 | Pants: Old Navy | Necklace: The Limited | Purse & watch: Italy | Shoes: Dolce Vita @ Nordstrom )

Polka Dots in the Water

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When we arrived to Barcelona, we were greeted with brisk wind and abundant sunshine. After all the rain and fog Italy had been receiving, it was a nice change of pace. We embraced Barcelona’s sun with open arms and decided to capitalize on its perfect weather by staying outdoors. We walked along the main streets, took a short boat ride gaining an incredible view of Barcelona gems, and then relaxed with cold cider on the beach.

To dress for the occasion, I wore bright, bold colors and paired them with equally bold prints — a polka dot collard tank and a cheetah print belt. Take a look:

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XO.

Friday Five

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Magical dusk at Barceloneta Beach.

This week was filled with several special moments, including celebrating a friend’s birthday, visiting Vicenzia, finding a new favorite cafe, and appreciating time for rest. I leave for Rome Saturday and friends of friends have graciously welcomed us to stay at their home for the night and even offered a ride to the airport. On Sunday, we leave for Greece where we’ll spend the rest of the Easter Break. Hopefully I’ll return with some color on my skin! It actually feels a bit strange that I won’t be celebrating this Easter at home. My church hosts a “passion week” revival and an extravagant Easter dinner each year, and although I can’t join them, I will keep this holiday in mind and be joyful nonetheless. Jesus has risen, people! Hallelujah! (:

Here are my five favorites of the week. Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

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Sail boats were everywhere in Spain and it ignited a new desperate desire in me to find a sail buddy. Where’s a Nolan when you need one? (“Revenge”, anyone?)

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Coffee gelato + girl talk @ Amorino.

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We celebrated a friend’s 21st birthday with 21 gelato pops! (Scoops of gelato dipped in chocolate, then frozen) I tried the custard and mint — both were delicious. Now I’m looking for a reason to make my way over there and try more flavors.

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A new store has opened in Verona; it’s comparable to a Nordstrom or Whole Foods. The first floor is a sophisticated eatery complete with an oyster bar, sandwich counter, fresh produce, and more. The design is phenomenal and I found myself equally enchanted by both the food AND branding. I plan on copying this hanging clipboard design to showcase print in my future apartment. 

Happy Friday!
XO.

Photo Diary : Brussels

Like most European cities, Brussels is infused with the old and new. There are chic neighborhoods with modern brands like Prada, Rolex, and Longchamp, but nestled between cobblestone streets just wide enough for one small Fiat and castles from a previous century. You’re not really sure what will be staring back at you with each corner you turn. Is that is the definition of an identity crisis or a melting pot? Either way, it makes for one beautiful city.

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black & white | a photo diary

In my Photography 101 class, black and white composition has been the conversation of late. We took a field trip to Scavi Scaligeri to study the variety of techniques and styles, we watched documentaries and studied works of Henri Cartier Bresson, the father of modern photojournalism; and most recently, we went on a photo walk to apply what we had learned.

Inspired, I decided to take a stab at B & W myself — digitally altered, of course — to show my new found appreciation.

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And this last one is for sh*ts and giggles. “Tua mama.” Italians can be low-brow, after all.

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