Category: Uncategorized

Manayunk, Philadelphia

corner house As I’m sitting here back in the Midwest, classwork in full swing for my last year of college, I cannot help but reminisce on all of the beautiful places I have visited in the last year. One place in particular that always comes to mind is Manayunk, Philadelphia.

After my visit to Philly this summer I never really wrote about my stay in Manayunk, so I figured I would go back and write about my experience.

canal flower Now, for those of you that don’t know, Manayunk is a neighborhood in the Northwestern section of Philadelphia. It is located on the banks of the Schuylkill River and contains the first canal began in the United States. It is a beautiful hilly little neighborhood, full of colorful buildings, art and lots of fun shops and restaurants.

hill manyunk rest manyunk neighborhood There are a lot of great little bars there with tons of character. We enjoyed getting away from NYC for a weekend and enjoyed more affordable prices. You’ll notice a lot of locals around town, but there is also a very young presence there.

If you’re looking to visit Philadelphia for a weekend I would definitely suggest staying the night in Manayunk. It was a very relaxed getaway for the night. We had a lovely breakfast at Greg’s Kitchen the next morning too (so delicious and ridiculously affordable).

painting1 ice cream place street art My favorite part of our visit to this neighborhood was our walk along the water. There was a great little boardwalk, surrounded by plants and artwork. There were locals riding their bike along the path, and families eating ice cream near the water.

This was the perfect little escape from NYC.

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Until next time Philly!

Dress Bright and Feel Bold

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For a long time growing up I always played it safe with my wardrobe. I would put together creative, bright, kind of “out there” outfits, but then I never had the confidence to wear them out. I was scared of standing out in the crowd and always decided on the safe route.

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Now, as I’ve gotten a little older and wiser, I’ve learned that standing out is actually a really amazing thing. Dressing bright and dressing bold and dressing a little “out there”can turn into confidence. I love putting together a super bright and colorful outfit, like this one, because it instantly puts me in a cheery mood. How can I not have a good day, and a confident day, when i’m wearing a cobalt blue dress and a plaid primary-colored scarf. This outfit is powerful, and instantly makes me feel like I can take on anything that is thrown my way.

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Interning at Kate Spade this summer has taught me so much, but one of the most amazing things that it has taught me is that living colorfully, being confident, and having fun can truly become a lifestyle. Life doesn’t have to be serious, and neither does your wardrobe! Reflect who you are, and your confidence, through your wardrobe.

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Exploring Hoboken, New Jersey

I’m back in New York City for the summer and have already started to go back to my adventuring ways. I love spending my free time discovering new neighborhoods and areas in the city. I had never been to New Jersey before, so I decided it was time to make the trip (especially once I learned it was only a 10 minute train ride from the Financial District…so close!).

As graduation is just around the corner, I’ve started to look into different neighborhoods that I could move to in or around New York City. Hoboken was an area I always heard was very quaint and hip, so I figured I would give it a tour on my day off. I had a little Friday afternoon adventure to Hoboken and I completely fell in love with the neighborhood.

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As you step off the Path Train from Manhattan you look to your right and you are right along the water. The view from Hoboken is breathtaking! You can see the entire Manhattan skyline from the pier and it is totally enchanting. The cute grassy area would be perfect for an afternoon picnic.

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As I walked farther into town I was surprised at how many adorable little markets and cafes I passed.  There was a lot of outdoor seating at a bunch of local restaurants perfect for a summertime dinner date. The neighborhood was lively, yet much less noisy than Manhattan. it was a pleasant change of pace.

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I couldn’t visit Hoboken for the day and not pay a visit to Carlo’s Bake Shop…AKA home shop of Cake Boss. Everything in the bakery looked delicious, but if there was ever too long of a line or you weren’t feeling the touristy atmosphere, there are tons of other local bakeries in the area.

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A bakery that I stumbled into today was called Choc-o-Pain. It was an adorable french bakery that carried everything from quiche to croissant. I chose the “Chocopain Aux Amandes,” which in other terms was a chocolate almond croissant and let me tell you… it was life changing.  Easily one of the best croissants I’ve ever eaten.. which is saying a lot since I have had some pretty amazing ones in France. If you want a low-key bakery with a lot of character and an adorable ambiance, this is your place.

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The architecture in Hoboken was a lot more historic than I was anticipating for. I loved how much character the different blocks had and how each housing unit had its own touch of personality. Trees lined every street and the neighborhood had such a homey feeling.

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If you’re spending some time visiting New York City in the near future, and are looking to see a few places away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, I would definitely put Hoboken on your list!

 

The Best of Florence: 14 Things to Do, See and Eat

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As many of you know, Florence became my home away from home for four months while I studied abroad. The city was charming, beautiful, exciting and so historic. There are so many amazing things to do and see in this Italian city, the list could go on and on… but I’ve narrowed my list down to the top 14 things every person should do, see and eat if they visit Florence.

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1. Climb to the top of Piazzale Michelangelo for sunset

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2. Visit the Boboli Gardens and climb to both ends

– Go straight up the steps behind the amphitheater to the very top for a Tuscan hillside view, and all the way down the path to the left down Cypress Lane for a forested walk leading to the Isolotto’s Basin fountain.

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3. walk through Pitti Palace and visit the Sala Bianca and the costume gallery

– Sala Bianca was the room where many famous fashion designers had their first shows to launch their careers.

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4. wander through the Central Market and browse the colorful produce

– Grab an apple or orange, they are so flavorful in Italy.

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5. Eat at Osteria Santo Spirito and order the cheese and truffle oil gnocchi

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6. Eat at Gelaterie La Carraia along the Arno (biscottino is my flavor obsession)

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7. Climb to the top of the Duomo and Giotto’s campanile

– If you only have time to climb one, though your ticket will get you into both, I suggest climbing the campanile. That view will include the Duomo in it which adds an extra amazement factor.

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8. Go on a late night outing to one of the town’s secret bakeries, and eat it on the steps of Santa Croce

– The most well-known secret bakery (closest to Santa Croce) is Pasticceria Vinci & Bongini. Walk down Via dei Benci towards the river and make a right on Via del Canto Rivalto, follow your nose toward the delicious smell of freshly baked pastries. If no one else is there waiting, lightly knock on the glass door and order the ‘Cornetta con Nutella’ (Nutella filled croissant)… the chocolate is all warm and melty.

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9. Get Gusta Pizza to-go and go sit along the Ponte Vecchio at nighttime

-Gusta Pizza (located near Santo Spirito) is my favorite pizza in Florence. 5 euros for a delicious fresh margherita style pizza… I’m tearing up just reminiscing about it… you must go!

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10.  Shop the leather markets for great deals

– Mercato Nuovo is my favorite, but the San Lorenzo Market also has awesome deals!

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11. Visit the museums – See the David and visit the Uffizi

– The David is a must-see located at Accademia Gallery (along with many other sculptures by Michelangelo). The Uffizi is home to many famous works of art, including my favorite piece “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli.

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12. Visit The Fashion Museums: Capucci, Gucci and Ferragamo

– If you’re into fashion, and are looking to be amazed, visit each of these museums to see the work of these talented, and iconic, designers.

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13. Grab a quick pastry (bomboloni are my favorite) and an amazing cappuccino from a small cafe

– If you want to do it the Italian way, stand at the counter while you eat and enjoy. It is actually cheaper this way, and you’ll get to observe the locals more.

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14. Go grab aperitivo before dinner one night

-Aperitivo is a common Italian tradition where many bars will serve an appetizer buffet for free, with the purchase of a drink. Go grab an Aperol Spritz (my Italian favorite) for 7 euro and eat all the appetizers that your heart desires. (Who else agrees that the US needs to adopt this tradition?!)

 

Have any favorite spots in Florence that I missed? Leave your thoughts in a comment!

CocoKouture: Brand Spotter // London Times

London Times is a fashion-forward brand that is well-known for its unique and modern dresses. The brand was established in 2004 and since then, it has grown to become a thriving apparel business. “London Times was developed to address the void in the market of affordable fashion where the customer has access to current and trend right product, but not necessarily contemporary,” says London Times president Heidi Helstrom.

The London Times customer can be described as ageless and modern. According to Helstrom, this customer is typically an individual who is looking to feel fashionable and stylish while still dressing in a tasteful manner. London Times prides itself on offering great quality, on-trend products at affordable prices. With most items ranging between $50 and $100, London Times is an appealing brand to women of all ages.

Not only does the brand attract women of any age, but it also allows women of all shapes and sizes to experience the garments. London Times addresses that women of all sizes enjoy wearing the same looks and trends. The brand offers its bold and distinctive items in sizes ranging from 4-22.

The styles offered through London Times address all aspects of a woman’s life. The brand categorizes its offerings into Daytime, Wear to Work, Parties, Weddings and Plus Sizes. The items range from elegant to casual and can be versatile from day to night. London Times’ Spring 2013 collection consists of bold and vibrant colors in classic and modern cuts. Many of the dresses feature a high-scooped neckline and hit just above the knee. Intriguing floral prints were widely used, as well as various stripes and geometric designs. If you’re looking for a more simple item, the brand also carries many solid colored pieces.

With the perfect London Times dress, any woman can feel feminine, modern, and beautiful!