clarks

Hej Stokholm: Part I

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I bought my tickets to Sweden after checking the Ryanair prices for all of Scananavia. I ended up in Stockholm rather than Copenhagen or Oslo due not to my overwhelming longing for St. Lucia’s Day and love for Ikea, but really my overall greed (or thrift, as the boy scouts say) and ignorance. I was even more excited to find out that for every American Dollar, I would get a whopping 7 Swedish Kronor. Get that? SEVEN!!

Well, fate played a cruel joke.

That remarkable 7 wouldn’t buy a candy bar, much less a coke, and 7 kronor is about the equivalent of 25 cents. As it turns out, Sweden is one of the richest, and most expensive countries in Europe. While it’s not, you know, Zurich, Priceoftravel.com lists it as the second most expensive city on its backpacker index. Do note that Monaco does not figure in the rankings, but honestly, when you are competing with Monaco, doesn’t that concede the point?

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Nevertheless, unlike Paris, with the price tag came a new standard of cleanliness. Stockholm proper was cleaner than Disney on a given morning, and some of the views could seriously compete for one of those two remaining spots on the world showcase. Virtually everywhere in the city is surrounded by the river (Norrstrom), and it makes for some truly breathtaking scenery. With such a pristine city, I can only imagine what the fabled countryside of the rest of Stockholm looks like (though Ryanair is always quite in coming complete with an hour- long sightseeing tour as you try to find civilization relative to the remote airport where it has dumped you- this was no exception).

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20140926_143849Once I finally reached the city, I immediately bought a map and some “toast” which turned out to be none other than a well-timed panini. After planning out the day, I decided I would go to the hostel and drop off my luggage bag. Unfortunately, it was then I realized (bereft of wifi and data) that I had no idea, except for a general direction, where the hostel was. With that, I started walking in the direction of the island area (there are 4 major ones that compose Stockholm) that I thought it was on. The Hostel’s name was “Lodge 52,” so I decided to keep walking until I came to the address numbered “52” (which was much further away than it sounds). My father likes to say “even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then,” while I cannot speak for hogs, I can say I had an incredible stroke of dumb luck, because apartment 52 and Lodge 52 of this random road happened to be the same place.

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Master of Directions

From there, I went to see the Royal Palace (which looks more like another feat of seventies architecture than anything old and regal), the town, and the Nobel Museum.

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What I Wore:
As a preface, I would advise anyone travelling to Stockholm to bring almost exclusively black clothing if you are visiting after September 1st. I was the only breath of pastel on most streets I was in. But more on that in the next post…
Hat: British Vintage (from charity shop)
Dress: Anthropologie
Scarf: BCBG
Tights: Wolford (ebay)
Shoes: Clarks

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Throw Back Thursday: Vizcaya

IMG_3406It was last year, around this time, and I was deeply, madly, unabashedly in love with a certain pair of Anthropologie shorts. So much so, that I still have the picture I took as reference so that I could show the workers what they looked like (just in case) as I began the long wait for what is the double markdown (or bi-annual sale on the sales) at Anthro. IMG_1443

Well, mere moments after I finally got the shorts of my dreams, we threw ourselves in the car and went to Miami (clearly in the honeymoon phase). I’m afraid that today, besides telling you that my shoes were Clarks, watch was Target, shirt was GAP, and glasses were Disney, this isn’t about fashion. This is a travel blog.

Allow me to take you to one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been:

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from Instagram.

Vizcaya. Nestled down a verdant road across from the planetarium in Miami is a palisade befitting Fitzgerald’s musings. All at once a coral cove, deserted beach, Victorian jaunt, and tycoon’s mistress, Vizcaya sits on the coast pleasantly secluded from downtown Miami, but with a perfect view of the skyscrapers in the not-so-distance.

IMG_3253 2Built in 1914 on 180 acres, Vizcaya was the European-inspired brainchild of American harvesting magnate James McCormick-Deering. They wouldn’t let me take pictures of the inside (I did manage one or two equally sneaky and shaky ones that aren’t worth showing), and I would like to note that these were all taken on my Iphone. With that in mind, try to envision how much better the real thing is…

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Instagram ftw

IMG_3271The entrance to the pool:

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From Instagram

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I particularly loved this man-made island-functioning-as-a-dock right outside the sitting room.

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The Atrium. I just wanted to sit there and write poetry. Alternatively, it seems like the perfect arena to reenact the Liesal/ Kurt Sixteen Going on Seventeen love scene if anyone would like to oblige my ever present need to jump across benches.

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From Instagram.

Too bad there were no benches. I suppose that would make a good subject for a terrible poem.IMG_3299 IMG_3300 The Gardens:IMG_3306IMG_3309IMG_3311IMG_3324 IMG_3328I know this is a bit different than the regularly scheduled program, but it was so beautiful (and my shorts were so en pointe— even after two markdowns), I thought it might make for a nice stroll down memory lane.

Shared to TrendSpin on TheFashionCanvas and Simbaco’s Instagram Travel Thursday (on that note, I’m @bexwrecks on instagram if you’d like to follow me).

Second Verse Same as the First

DSC_0073.3Happy May Day! I hope you are able to find a suitable Maypole on this most revelrous of holidays. When I was studying in Oxford, my first night out we met a real life Morris dancer! He was this huge burly guy with an very long electric orange beard. The five of us were crowded around this wisp of a table (and there couldn’t have been more than 5 tables in the pub), while this man just told us insane stories and demanded that he buy us fine Irish sipping whiskeys.

It was all rather surreal, but to commemorate the day,  I’ve decided to borrow from the British invasion for the title of this post (you can cheat and click the link if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

I really like the idea of being able to take the same basic elements and create various outfits with distinctly different feelings. Here’s my example. I’ve started with :

Black crop top (Urban Outfitters- $5.00)
Jean Skater Skirt (Urban Outfitters-$10.00- on sale now)
Pink Oversize Sunglasses (Urban Outfitters-$18.00 in stores now)
Blue Floral Tights (Thrifted-$2.00)
Pink Cut-Out Walking Shoes (Clarks UK)

I know it’s noxiously UO, but I’ve been skulking along their sales racks. You can recreate virtually the same look (give or take the cropped shirt) fairly easily and inexpensively (although I’d advise avoiding impulse buying sunglasses :P). From here it’s up to you to explore!DSC_0066 2

I wanted to start with an outfit that I thought I might could get away with before Mimi scoffed at the crop top. I added this Aztec meets Jackie O Anthropologie coat, a floral scarf as belt, and a 1950s(?) floral hat that always reminds me of synchronized swimming.

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Just when I think I’m getting better with the camera, I lose an arm…

It’s quite ironic to me that while being covered up nearly head to toe, people can be scandalized or find the skin gap indiscreet. I’m sorry, but no one is going to be turned on by my Starbucks bulge (aka white mocha (it’s even taken on the color) holder, aka stomach). Let me be and pretend that I’m in California as the weather vacillates between 40 and 70. To be honest, I was so self conscious wearing the crop top all day. I kept thinking “people will think I’m fat,” “people will think I’m promiscuous (except I used various synonyms depending on my varying histrionics).” But neither of those seemed like legitimate reasons to not try the style.

But I did cheat a little. I did not show belly button (heaven forbid!). Fun Fact- When I Dream of Jeannie first aired, the network demanded that Barbara Eden’s belly button not show in her costume, as they thought it would be far too scandalous for their viewer audience.

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The veritable bra and see-through pants though? Those were fine. So I’m with Babs here on the next one.
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This was supposed to be aiming more at a Joni Mitchell, festival-friendly (without feeling dirty) look. I added an estate sale black bag, locket watch necklace, and blue brimmed hat (charity shop in Oxford). I think the secret to festival, flowy hair looks is a broad-brimmed hat. This one is pretty small. The ideal is the love child of Indiana Jones and a floppy hat.
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Here’s a close up on accessories:
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Earrings: marketplace in India
Locket-watch necklace: Native American store- Athens, Georgia
Rings: Fossil, Notre Dame bookstore, and I found one on the ground… can you guess which is which?
Scarf: Talbots

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Happy May Day!

Shared to: Hat Attack, Three-fer Thurday