My Favorite Things: Floating Shelves

Friday, August 30, 2013

You know that moment when you have a new room to decorate and you're imagining all the things you could do? After moving into my new apartment last month, I saw the blank walls as beautiful blank canvases that were just begging to be painted. And so I did.

My collection of knicknacks has been going for quite some time now, so I knew the first thing I needed to do was shelving. I popped into The Container Store with zero expectations and left with enough shelves to fill my wall. I spent a long Sunday afternoon putting them up...okay, just kidding, my father did all the work, but I was a fantastic moral support. At the end, I stepped back and squealed. It was perfect. I was so happy with how the shelving looked and the quality of the materials. Even if assembly was tough at times, it was worth it. I mean, just look at this beauty!

 Two Deco square shelves in black, two Conceal Book shelves by Umbra, and one Tchotchke shelf in black

If you're in the market for shelving, or anything of the sort, I strongly advise you to stop by The Container Store and let them do the work for you. Seriously, just hand them the measurements, tell them what you want, and they will find you what you're looking for. Talk about fantastic customer service!


Wish List: Inslee By Design Notecards

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I found this lovely site while clicking around on the internet today - what else is summer break for?
Immediately, I fell in lust with the colorful prints that this artist makes.

Just look at the carefree watercolor and cute designs! I'm officially hooked and waiting for my next paycheck to buy these adorable notecards (they're only $35). She even does commissioned work, so that gift you've been trying to find for the person who has everything? Yes, I've found it.

Head on over and see for yourself!


My Favorite Things: Kate Spade Phone Case

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

After the tragic breaking of my beautiful tortoiseshell Case Mate, I was forced to quit my monogomous relationship with phone cases and get another one.

For those of you who don't know me as well as others, it's very tough for me to part with something once it has become a part of my life. And I believe phone cases are very tell-tale signs of who we are; they show off a little piece of our personalities to people we don't even realize.
Needless to say, it was not easy to pop off the practical, neutral-colored case and slide on my new, bright orange one from Kate Spade.

But oh my goodness, was I surprised to find that this little on-sale find was perhaps even better than my original case! It is actually two pieces, a rubber edge lining and the plastic case. I honestly sleep better at night now knowing that my phone is all safe and sound. And the Dorothy Parker quote on the back could not describe me more accurately. I've had it for less than 48 hours and a handful of people have already told me how fitting it is.

Even though it took a lot of thought and a little hesitation, I would recommend Kate Spade cases to anyone. Their quality exceeded my expectations and their prices are very reasonable. Plus, it never hurts to put a little color and pep in your life.


That Time I Renovated My Blog

I'm not entirely sure if it's possible to rehab a blog, but after the amount of work I just went through switching over to a Blogger account and making this very page look every ounce of cute as it does, I like to think I should get a certificate. Or at least a pat on the back.

Either way, welcome to my new blog! For those of you who have been following me from day one, you rock. I hope you are as excited about the new direction I'm taking as I am!

I've decided to quit trying to learn how to cook, clean, and sew (I'm certain I'll pick that up as I go) and start sticking to my true self. The self that loves to travel, eat, and sometimes to my own demise, shop until I drop. Follow me for restaurant reviews, the inside scoop on my adventures, a hint of style, and a lot of life lessons. Love me because I'm down to earth, keep my standards high, and believe that you are great.


That Time I Went To Turkey

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I know you all have been wondering where I've been and why I haven't been posting. Well, for part of my summer, I spent time in Istanbul, Turkey. I fell in love with the culture and also discovered my passion for ESL - and a newfound maternal side of me that I hadn't known existed!
Before we get into pictures and thoughts, though, I have to answer the few questions that I've gotten every time I tell someone I was there:

"Did you like it?" YES. I loved everything about Istanbul, from the weather to the food to the style of life there. I would go back in a heartbeat!
"Why were you there?" I spent three weeks teaching and speaking English with children at a summer program hosted at Koç University.
"Did you have to dress differently?" Not really. I wore more conservative clothing just out of respect for the people observing Ramadan, but otherwise the country is very modern and Westernized, so there was no need for me to cover myself from head to toe.

With my time being slightly strapped between working with my lovely group of 9-year-olds in the morning to the afternoon, then attempting to keep up with my online classes, and also trying to have a normal social life with the other mentors, I didn't have the opportunity to do a whole lot of sightseeing. However, I was able to make a few days of quick-fire tourism, which suited me just fine. I saw all the stereotypical things, like the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern. I also spent more money than I should have at the Grand Bazaar and ate my weight in Turkish food.

I don't think I can compare Istanbul to anything in America. Life there is slow and easygoing, time and money are more relative, and every so often, you feel like you've been transported back to the Byzantine empire. It's magical and beautiful. But I could just be saying that because of the hammam.

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(From right to left starting at the top: market day in Sariyer (the town where Koç is located); view from a restaurant on the Bosphorus Strait; a city street at sunset; main street in Taksim (you could find a flag almost anywhere though); the Basilica Cistern; the Blue Mosque; photoshoot inside the Hagia Sophia; Turkish feast - it is typical to order a bunch of appertizers and then a small main dish)

What are your thoughts on Turkey?
Have you ever traveled somewhere and directly fell in love with their culture?