Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A Little About My Homeland

For this post, I decided that I want to focus on a travel spot that’s near and dear to my heart because it’s the country where I’m from. Italy is such an amazing place and it’s one that I’ve only been able to experience in a tourist's point of view. Maybe I’m just biased because of my heritage, but when I visited Italy, I had the best food, met the nicest people, took great pictures, and did some productive shopping! Aside from all of the amazing tourist spots, Italian culture, like most European cities is extremely wholesome and laid back. Therefore, I’d like to dedicate this post to my family and share a little bit about the Italian culture that I know and love.

There are endless amounts of Italian stereotypes regarding food, but that’s probably just because Italian food is no joke! Some staples of Italian cuisine include pasta, tomatoes, roasted peppers, zucchini, olive oil, prosciutto, sausage, garlic, cheese, wine, fish, and of course, pizza. As Italians, all of our family meals together include each of these items and it’s always delicious. Italian food isn’t necessarily the lightest, but there’s no doubt that it’s one of the best. Personally, I view Italian food as comfort food more than any other cuisine, but that’s probably just because it’s what I know best! For Italians, food is a large part of social gatherings. All family and friend gatherings are centered around food. My family and I always joke around with my grandma because her meal won’t even be served to her yet and she’ll be offering everyone a taste! I’m not sure why, but Italians always want to feed people!

Like I mentioned earlier, Italians love to host family gatherings. Family ties are very strong in the Italian culture. The closeness of Italian families isn’t only between mothers, fathers, and their children, but extended family as well. It is very important that Italian children are taught to remain close with their family throughout their life. Often times this means that families live quite close to one another. I find this very prevalent in my own life as I have always been extremely close with my family and my cousins are some of my best friends. Check out this picture of me and my family in Italy 4 years ago! 

That being said, it is very common for Italians to work with their family. Many Italian companies are small to mid-size businesses run by one single family. Even larger companies are often owned by single families as well. When I learned this, I found it to be funny because my grandpa owns a company that him and my father run together. Odds are they will pass it down to my brother and he will work for it in the future as well. In other countries, business meetings, even between family members, are usually more formal than in Italy. Italians are very casual people. 

Italian holidays are typically those of the Roman Catholic religion. Italians often celebrate Christmas, Easter, and Pasquetta (Monday after Easter). Many times, Italians celebrate Saints Day where they celebrate deceased relatives. In addition, Roman Catholic Italians often celebrate the feast day of particular saints. For instance, my family celebrates St Ann’s day on July 26th each year to commemorate St Ann. We often go to Hoboken, where a lot of my family lives or once lived, and partake in the festival around St Ann’s church. It features a ton of food, music, games, friends, and family.  

As you can see, Italian culture is very relaxed and centered around family and food. If you ever visit Italy, you need to make sure you bring your appetite! I definitely recommend visiting Italy with your family to truly engage in the Italian culture. Whether you’re in Rome or Capri, Italy is very relaxing and very interesting. It’s such a beautiful place with so much history and culture. I visited Italy in 2013, and I can still visualize the beautiful views, especially all of the architecture. If you ever visit Italy, some cities I recommend are Rome, Florence, Vatican City, Capri, Positano, Naples, Venice, and Milan. Each city has different culture and history. Italy is a place where you can spend a few weeks and always have something new to see. Italian culture is very unique and the best way to experience the true Italian way of life is by visiting the country. Seeing Italy and engaging with the Italian people made me feel extremely close to and proud of my heritage. I'm sad that I experienced Italy when I was younger because I wish I could experience it now as an adult. One day I hope to return and I hope that all of you get to experience it as well!


Monday, July 31, 2017

The Trip That Went Wrong

For this next post I wanted to try something a little different. I wanted to share a story with you all about the unfortunate experiences I had on my vacation to Paris a few years ago.

As a young girl, I've always been in love with the French culture. I began taking simple French classes in second grade and continued it all through middle school, high school, college. I had never been to France so my mom decided to buy me a trip there as my high school graduation present. (I wanted to add this quick disclaimer before I go on: I am incredibly grateful to have had experienced such a wonderful city and I definitely would like to return.) She booked us a week long trip at the end of August. Since I had just finished high school, my friends and I were all going to be heading to college before I was going to return from France because their schools all began earlier than mine. I was incredibly excited for the trip, but already had a bit of a sour outlook since I was missing all of the college goodbyes and send-offs. I realized that I'd meet everyone again soon and I should go enjoy my trip, but then everything that could've possibly gone wrong, went wrong.

As I arrived at the airport, I learned that my flight was delayed for two hours and it wasn't because of the weather. I'm relatively scared of airplanes as it is, and automatically assumed there was something wrong with the plane, which made my fear even worse. As we finally boarded and landed in France, we headed to the luggage carousel and waited for almost an hour only to find out that my luggage was still in New York! We landed on a Sunday which meant that most of the clothing stores around us were closed except for a large outlet mall. Assuming that outlets would be cheap, we headed over to pick me out a new wardrobe, but once we looked at a map of stores, we realized this was no ordinary outlet mall. The mall contained stores like Gucci, Prada, Armani, Celine, and other extremely high end designers. I searched the mall high and low and eventually stumbled upon Sandro and Maje, two also rather expensive stores, but definitely more affordable. I purchased a few new outfits, stocked up on toiletries, and prayed my luggage would arrive the next day.

Two days later, my luggage arrived and I felt much better about the trip. Unfortunately, matters got a tad worse. As I walked along the Champs-Elysées, the camera strap to my DSLR randomly snapped and my camera fell to the ground and cracked the screen. I was devastated especially because that meant I now had to take pictures with my awful, at the time, iPhone 5s (I'm beyond thankful for the new 7 plus camera!). As that point, I just accepted that it was a rough trip and that I shouldn't let little things like this ruin the vacation of a lifetime. I had saved up a lot of money and went on a shopping spree. One of the items I purchased happened to be a pair of Gucci shoes. As my mom and I exited the Champs-Elysées and hopped on the train to go back to our hotel, a pick-pocketer attempted to steal the Gucci shopping bag right from my mom's arm! We're so lucky my mom has fast reflexes because she successfully fought the not-so-sneaky thief off and ran to the next train. I had been on the phone with my dad and didn't realize that any of this happened. In addition, I had no idea where my mom went. We ended up on two opposite ends of the train but it was quite scary being alone on a public train in the middle of an unfamiliar city whilst carrying a ton of shopping bags way too heavy for me.

Finally my mom and I found each other and sat down for our last dinner in Paris. As we toasted a glass of red wine, a woman with a very large handbag walked by and hit my arm causing my wine glass to spill all over my light pink dress and the white tablecloth. At that point, all I could do was laugh about all of the terrible incidents that happened while in France. My superstitions made me feel like Paris was bad luck and that maybe I should never return, but my love for the French culture and language overrides any terrible mishaps I may have had while in that amazing city. Despite all inconveniences, I had an amazing time in Paris and hope that one day I get the opportunity to return.

Hopefully if any of you ever visit Paris, none of this ever happens to you! Until next time!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sneakers You NEED

When I was younger, my cousin got me into the game of sneakers. He's definitely the reason for my obsession and I'll forever blame him for my plummeting bank account and maxed out credit cards. Anyways, I decided to call him for some help on this post and together, we created a list of staple sneakers that everyone needs a pair of!

Adidas Stan Smith - $60

These are a classic, affordable pair of Adidas that everyone needs!

Adidas Superstar -  $80 

These are also a classic pair of Adidas that I'm sure many people already have in their closet. But if not, they're a must! 

Vans Old Skool - $60 
These are super trendy right now and are being worn by celebrities and style icons ranging from Kylie Jenner to Wiz Khalifa. The checkered print ones (especially in red) are exceptionally hot right now! 

Nike Air Force 1 - $95 

These Nikes are also such a classic and super versatile. They're unisex despite their rather masculine appearance. 

Adidas EQT - $110 

EQT's are known to be one of the most comfortable pair of Adidas around! They're also cool statement sneakers that add something to every outfit. 

Nike NMD R1 - $130 

NMD's are known for their cool prints, patterns, and colors. They're also super comfortable and really cute. If you're going to splurge on any pair of sneakers, these are your best bet! 

Revenge X Storm - $200

As seen on my favorite fashionista, Chantel Jeffries, these are super rare and always sold out, but they're beyond cool! They are definitely similar to the Old Skool Vans, but more unique looking. 

Nike Air Jordan 1 - $220 

Girls, you can wear these too! Classic Air Jordans are always the way to go and can definitely pull together any laid back outfit. 

Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 - (retail) $200 (resell) $500+ 

Yeezys are difficult to get for less than $500, but they're the most comfortable shoes you'll ever wear. My favorite part is that you don't have to untie and tie them each time you wear them because they're stretchy and slip on. Definitely my all time favorite pair of shoes. 

Gucci Ace Leather Sneaker - $550

These are high end designer leather sneakers, but they're a classic. I know they're very expensive, but they're so cute and add something to every outfit. 

I hope anyone in the market for a new pair of shoes finds this list helpful on the latest sneaker trends! Also, comment and let me know if anyone can think of some other staple sneakers I should add. Until next time! 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

My Favorite Trends by Chantel Jeffries

While trying to come up with a post about my favorite trends at the moment, I realized that most of my style inspiration comes from the well-known model and DJ, Chantel Jeffries. Right now, these are my favorite trend pieces that are actually wearable.

Track Suits

I'm obsessed with matching track suits and I'm not going to lie, it's probably because I lived in Juicy Couture track suits when I was in 7th grade! 

Off-the-Shoulder Denim Jackets

This trend is super easy. Just grab a cropped denim jacket and wear it off the shoulder with a strapless top underneath. Cute and simple! 

Fish Net Tops 

Fish net has been trending for a while now but it's mostly been about the tights. I really love fish net tops because they're different and super cute for layering. 


Camo is something I find that people either love or hate. Personally, I really like it and I think it gives off a cool, laid back vibe. 

High-Leg Bikinis 

I love high-leg bikinis for the pool and beach. They can turn a really simple and plain bikini into a really trendy one. They're also more flattering than normal ones. 

Chantel Jeffries' personal style is cool and comfortable, but also trendy and chic. She is the epitome of my style icon and if you like these looks I definitely recommend checking out her Instagram page @chanteljeffries. Until next time guys!