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Weekend Review

Last week, my weekend (kind of) started on Wednesday.

My friend/coworker, Keisha, talked me in to attending a (social)networking event at Solas, on Glenwood South, where her cousin was performing with his hip-hop group. Although it was something I wouldn’t have gone to on my own, I was glad she convinced me, because it ended up being a blast! The bartender was a heavy pour and I loved the sound of a live band with a talented rapper singing about topics other than money&hoes.
BandWe finished up the night on a more relaxed note with drinks next door at C. Grace, a 1920’s style underground lounge with delicious cocktails and live jazz music. With such a unique atmosphere, C. Grace is on my list of Top 10 places to have a drink in Raleigh.

Thursday was my day off, which typically entails running errands, cleaning my apartment, and doing laundry. This Thursday, however, finished on a much more exciting note as it was the night of the Revolver Boutique Paper Dolls fashion party! I love any excuse to dress up and seeing as this is my #1 local boutique (and where I worked for three years) I felt compelled to go all out with my ensemble.
Outfit1Outfit2

(I hate that I didn’t get a better picture of my outfit, but that’s not important.)
The Paper Dolls party was a celebration of all art forms. There were students from NCSU’s College of Textiles, such as Kendall Pierce and Glenna Teague, presenting their one-of-a-kind pieces, as well as jewelry designer Mollie Earls with her quirky necklaces and earrings made of found objects and gemstones.
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There was a DJ, drinks, and amazing artwork by Patrick Shanahan (who co-hosted the event with Revolver owner Liz Johnson). All-in-all it was an awesome night and I mingled with so many incredibly talented people.
Group Shot(L-R: Mollie Earls, Liz Johnson, and myself. Photo taken by the fabulous Jillian Clark)

Later that evening, as my stomach was talking to me, I remembered that I had been craving the delicious dishes at Kimbap all week. I attempted to get a friend to join me for dinner, but when no one was available I told myself I could be content eating alone. It may sound weird, but I’ve never felt comfortable being out in public by myself. I either need a friend at my side or an iPhone in my hands. I took the opportunity to really savor my meal and my environment. Kimbap is a cute Korean restaurant in Seaboard Station that serves up contemporary takes on traditional Korean food, all made with fresh local ingredients. That evening I ordered the japchae and veggie mandu, with a side of prosecco. It was refreshing to enjoy the moment, rather than feel compelled to converse. I was the only patron inside, and seated at the bar I was able to watch as the staff cooked and interacted with each other. The owner herself even checked on how my meal was (and when I asked if the local greens in the japchae were collards she confirmed and we both commented on the southern flavor it gave to the plate.)
JapchaeMandu
As I was finishing my meal, a girl came in to get dinner to-go. I gave my recommendation, which led us to chatting for a while. She is a NCSU student and fashion photographer who just started working at the coffee shop that recently opened up next to Kimbap. Needless to say, we bonded instantly. Then she gave me a heads-up that the next morning Citrix would be buying everyone’s coffee at BREW. I went ahead and made plans to stop by on my way to work.

Kimbop

So the next morning at 9am I went over to BREW. Surprisingly it wasn’t as crowded as I expected. I ordered the Nitro Cold Brew & yogurt with homemade granola. The coffee, made using a special technique, was delivered immediately. Now, I’m the type of girl who likes their coffee on the sweeter side, but I refrained from adding anything to this cold brew before I tasted it. One sip and I was sold. Wonderfully chilled with a nice nutty flavor, it didn’t need a thing (but I added a packet of stevia for a little sweetness). The yogurt was simple and delicious. It was the perfect way to start my morning.
Thank you Citrix!
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I was such a fan of my Friday morning breakfast, that I went back for more on Saturday. This time, I tried their chai latte (with a shot of espresso) and ordered the pimento cheese board with crostini from Yellow Dog.
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Saturday was a real treat, as my BFF who now lives in VT came to visit her hometown. Suzy is the fabulous founder of The Factory NC and currently works for Burton Snowboards. We started our night at Garland for fantastic food and friendly faces. Owned by part of the team who runs Kings/Neptunes, Garland is an Asian fusion restaurant with the coolest atmosphere. I started with a signature cocktail before we decided on three small plats to share. We ordered the bhel puri, cauliflower 65, and the moroccan “hummus” (you simply must try them). We were so happy and full by the end of it!
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Afterwards, we toured around downtown, people watching and running into people we know. We found our way to Bittersweet, a new desert/cocktail restaurant I’ve been dying to visit. We ended the evening perfectly with a glass of cava and a shared desert which was essentially a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso poured over top.
BittersweetI have to admit, this was the best series of days I’ve had in a while. It is such a joy to be able to go out, meet new people, and make new experiences.

So, what are you doing this weekend?!
DTR

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Lifestyle

Vacation, Had to Get Away

So, needless to say, my trip to Mallorca was all I could have hoped for. It consisted mostly of eating, sleeping, and beaching and boy was it wonderful! Considering how hectic my everyday life is, the perfect vacation is one where I do a whole lot of nothing.

In reality there was so much more to my trip than the three activities listed above. Allow me to go into detail…

The Flight
Despite having a stress-inducing return home, my voyage to Mallorca, Spain was quite lovely. I had a three hour layover in Washington, D.C. where I took advantage of the time by enjoying sushi, wine & cheese at Starbucks (aka Best Starbucks Ever), a relaxing massage, and then some more wine with a good book.

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Several hours later, I arrived in Frankfurt, Germany. When I got there it was still night, but by the time I left the sun had risen. The views from the plane coming over the country were beautiful: a grid of twinkling lights evolved into a mass of green space.

Germany Night Germany Day

I finally landed in Palma, Mallorca at 9am, full of excitement in spite of my exhaustion. I mean, seriously, how could you not be totally stoaked to be in a place like this?! Mountains and beaches, farms and cities, a blend of locals and tourists from all over Europe.

Palma

The Food
As soon as I met my family and got to the hotel I took a moment to freshen up before going out for an early lunch.

First MealI was so delighted for some Spanish food that I almost let my self fill up on appetizers before my main dish came out! First there’s the fresh bread, which I smothered in alioli (a blend of egg, olive oil, garlic, and a pinch of salt). Then there’s a bowl of local olives, a Russian salad (with more alioli), croquettes, and pimientos de Padrón which are these green peppers that for the most part aren’t spicy but every now and then you’ll bite into a really hot one (also best with alioli). My main course was a melody of fresh vegetables, lightly grilled. It was the perfect display of local, Spanish cuisine that made my heart melt.

The next morning I savored a typical Spanish breakfast: espresso, toast with peach jam or Nutella, soft boiled eggs, OJ, chorizo, jamón Ibérico, fuet, and a variety of local cheeses.
Breakfast
On another day we enjoyed a different Spanish specialty, paella! Now, I’m not a fan of fish (even though Mallorca is known for their seafood) so I picked around that, but for those of you who don’t know, paella is a traditional dish cooked in a huge cast iron skillet and consists of saffron rice and vegetables with a mix of seafood (and sometimes chicken). I was also introduced to the Shandy, a drink of half beer and half lemon Fanta. So basically, this meal was amazing.
Paella
Mid-way through my vacation we went to this fancy restaurant on a port in the rich part of the island (the part where all the celebrities stay). The sky was clear and the moon was full and we were ready for a super meal. It started with your typical appetizers, but for my main course I chose a modern take on the caprese salad that included greens and an avocado/almond spread. Desert was a mouth-watering apple tart with vanilla ice-cream. YUM!
CapreseTableApple Crisp

I won’t take up more space with food pics, but I also consumed homemade gazpacho, a bocadillo, and tons of tapas.

The Views
Our hotel in Mallorca was about a 30min drive from the big city of Palma, in a quaint town called Santa Ponça. The balcony looked over a Medeterranian cove with a pebbled beach. The sun set on our side, too, which made for the most hermosas vistas.
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The main beach in the town was wide, with a several impressive boats in mooring. The funny thing was, there were never any waves, just a perfectly calm sea with a gentle tide. I can’t tell you how many times I feel asleep on the beach or in the water (on a float).

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In the evenings the strip that bordered the beach was full of life. Vendors of all kinds, selling candles and jewelry, and street performers dressed as statues, plus all the party people getting ready to, well, party.

I visited five different beaches while in Mallorca. The first two were in the town of Santa Ponça, the rest were along the coast going north.

(Apologies for not remember all the names of the places we visited.)

Our first excursion was to meet up with a good friend of my host mother, and his family, whom all live on the island. Even though the water was rough (we happened to go on the only day of the month were it’s actually wavy), it was a blast and we had a wonderful meal at a nearby restaurant that specializes in healthy, local food.
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Our second excursion was to what we though would be another “pebbled” beach. Our own beach, below our balcony, was comprised of small, smooth rocks instead of sand. To our surprise, the “beach” we found was made up of actual rocks! We made the best of it by sitting at a bar on the rocks, having a drink while we watched the wild waves crash against the cliffs.
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todos
From there we went up the cost a little further to Soller, the cutest port city you’ve ever visited. Soller is famous for their shrimp, which was obvious because as soon as you entered the vicinity of the town your nostrils were overcome with the smell of seafood. Once again I found myself surrounded by sailboats of all sizes, as well as colorful shops and restaurants that seemed to be fused together by their stucco exterior.
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soller streetsoller building

My second-to-last day in Mallorca was spent shopping in Palma — to die for! We went to local shops like Jack & Jones, Desigual, and Tous (my favorite jewelry designer), as well as the popular stores like Zara and H&M (which always have a cooler selection than in the US). I spent way too much money, but it was totally worth it.
It wasn’t just the shopping that made this day one of my favorites. Palma is like a miniature Barcelona, with all of its winding side-streets and impressive squares. You know what my favorite Spanish concept is? Cafés in the middle of the road. Seriously, there are these boulevards with an expansive sidewalk through the center where you’ll find news stands, artists, and the “terrace” of restaurants where you can eat under a canopy while watching the frenzy of people going off to live their own lives. I swear I could just sit there all day, eating olives and alternating between espresso shots and Shandies.
Square
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All in all, my vacation was spectacular. I wouldn’t have changed one moment and I am so incredibly fortunate to have even been given this opportunity. I have to thank my dad, for supporting my love of culture that ultimately was responsible for this trip, because he was the one who introduced me to my host family. Magda, Roger y Marta, les echo mucho y gracias para todo!!!

PS. Follow me on Instagram @style_asset for more photos from my Mallorca vacation!

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Styling

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted.

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I was in Mallorca (and sorry for the brief hiatus). It’s funny how vacations always last long enough for you to forget about the real world, before being thrown into it again.

But enough lamenting about days gone by. Let me tell you all about my trip!

I’ll start at the beginning, the very beginning, which is packing for said trip. Packing is never easy. How are you to anticipate what situations you’ll find yourself in and what ensembles will be appropriate?

Despite the unknown, I have discovered the best way to pack for a trip is to treat it as creating a capsule collection. Be inspired by the location, the culture, and the time of year. Choose a color scheme that doesn’t blend in to the landscape of your destination, yet does not detract from its beauty.

Capsule collection

For my trip to Mallorca, Spain, an island in the Mediterranean Sea, I selected wispy pastels and muted earth tones to play off the crystal clear water and the rustic mountain ranges. I felt comfortable and stylish without looking like a tourist (I hate looking like a tourist). By sticking to a specific color palette, you can be sure to maximize your selection of clothes since everything goes together. Select mostly solid color pieces, with a few prints mixed in for variety.

Other tips for packing are to:

  • focus on clean, modern silhouettes that can be easily paired and layered
  • bring one of each shoe type (heel, sandal, flat, sneaker)
  • consider your undergarments (if wearing white be sure to bring a nude set)

Probably my biggest rule is this: if Item A serves the same purpose as Item B, pick one. Better yet; if Item A serves two purposes then it wins.

An example comes from my shoe choices. I brought a light wood wedge with silver straps, as well as a muted gold strappy espadrille. My decision to bring a silver shoe and a gold shoe was due to bringing both silver and gold jewelry; however, while my gold espadrille is definitely a daytime shoe, my silver wedge could double for day and night, therefore I had no need to bring a “going out” shoe since I already had an appropriate option for such an event.

Shoe Collection

Similarly, I decided against certain articles because they were “one hit wonders,” meaning they could only be worn with one other item. Winning pieces were those that could be worn with at least two other things in my suitcase.

Another important thing to consider is not only what goes in your suitcase, but what you wear on the flight. There are a few very important factors to consider when choosing a travel outfit: comfort, layers, and shoes. Flights are long and cold, so it’s best to wear something you can curl up and sleep in, as well as adjust for temperature control. I chose to wear a lightweight, long-sleeve jersey knit dress with leggings, accessorized with a lightweight scarf. As for shoes, you want something that you can run around (from flight to flight) in and slip off easily for security checks. I wore my super comfy canvas flats by Kim Rogers (which ended up doubling as my beach shoes).

Flight Outfit

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture all of my outfits during my trip, but here are some highlights.

Outfit 1Outfit 2Outfit 3

 

Even though I only have a few looks represented, you can see how I could wear the last top with the first pair of shorts, or the first shirt with the last pants, or the middle top with the last pants. Keep things simple, play with color, and keep accessories classic in order to pack light but look fabulous.

 

Watch out for more posts about my Mallorca vacation!

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