Friday Favorites: Coats

Friday, October 31, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| , , | 2 Comments

Friday, October 31, 2014

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I may be a Florida girl now, but that does not mean that I don't love a beautiful wool coat, especially when paired with a dress, tights and boots. I would trade in the mild weather year-round just to have use for the other half of my wardrobe that isn't shorts and tank tops. Perpetual summer is not all it is cracked up to be. I even told myself that once the high is 50, I'm breaking out the boots and the coats and scarves no matter what strange looks I get from others on the street. The first cold snap of the season is on its way this weekend and I am like a kid counting down until Christmas.

For those of you who don't live in the land of endless sunshine, would you trade your polar vortexes? And if so, perhaps you would be interested in a house swap for a few months?

Evolution of a haircut

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| , | 3 Comments

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Years ago I had to accept the fact that I would never have Serena van der Woodsen hair, the long "I just rolled out of bed like this" hair. My hair is so thick that if I ever tried to grow my hair out too long I would start looking more like Cousin It that an "It Girl."

It all started with a semi-spontaneous trip to a new hair stylist and a photo of Zooey Deschenel to get bangs. Which then turned into "I'm in France for three months, don't speak enough French to navigate a successful haircut and TSA won't allow scissors in my carry-on" hair that was as close as I would get to Serena because I learned that no one in Europe straightens their hair (praise! because that saved me an extra 20 minutes every morning.) And then, in another semi-spontaneous trip to a second new hair stylist and a photo from Pinterest, I kept the bangs and ditched the length.

Now I have accepted the fact that I have a face for shoulder length hair. I'm writing this as a reminder to myself in six months when I have the grand idea to grow my hair out again. Future self, save yourself the frustration of the awkward hair length and split ends and embrace the long bob.

Do More of What Makes You Happy

Monday, October 27, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport|| 5 Comments

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday is sometimes viewed as the worst day of the week. You have come off the high of the weekend and Friday can't come soon enough. Let's stay positive this start of the week and think about the things that make up our happy list. Bonus points to those of you who veer off your typical Monday routine and make time to do a few of the things that you love and will put a smile on your face. 

1. Leisurely enjoying my morning coffee.

2. Weekends spent visiting old friends. 

3. Having my hair blown out.

4. Saturdays spent in my pajamas. 

5. When trying out a new recipe, not burning it.

6. Exploring a new place.

7. Morning walks on the beach.

8. Snuggling with Dixie.

9. Dessert and coffee.

10. Creating travel itineraries and dreaming up my next great adventure.

Book Club: The Gospel According to Coco Chanel

Thursday, October 23, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | Be the first to comment!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Three things come to mind when I would think of Chanel. First, Chanel No. 5, which some like to call the most iconic perfume, but I think is one of the worst scents I've come across. Second, quilted handbags with interlocking C's that are primarily sold as knock offs on the streets of NYC. Third, Rachel Zoe's obsession with collecting vintage Chanel jackets to add to her museum-like collection. 

But there is so much more to the woman who not only built one of the most well-known fashion labels, but revolutionized women's fashion. If it wasn't for Chanel, who knows how long we would have been forced to need assistance getting dressed in separate outfits for each outing? 

Karen Karbo's The Gospel According to Coco Chanel is part biography, part life lessons and two parts witty commentary about her own quest for a tweed Chanel jacket. If you are in the mood for a light read, especially one that can be read in short bursts sporadically, then this is the perfect book for you. There is so much from Chanel's business sense, work ethic and personality that would benefit you to incorporate into your life. But there are just as many of her characteristics that it is probably best to avoid as well. 

What I loved most about Chanel is that she saw fashion and style first and foremost as a way to make life and movement easier. She had a simple design aesthetic that, one, allowed women to breathe, and two, doubled their range of motion. She believed that impeccably constructed pieces that are perfectly tailored will always rise above the latest fads. I wholeheartedly agree.

In her time, ladies did not work, and if they wanted to have a side hobby, it was always bankrolled by a man. Starting out Chanel did require financial support of her man-of-the-hour, but once her business took off she quickly shrugged off the help of men and continued to grow her empire on her own dime. Another unfortunate aspect of the time is that women who worked were looked down upon. Even as the society ladies scrambled to get their hands on Chanel's pieces, she was always seen as simply a tailor and not one to be invited to parties and social events. Fashion designers were not celebrities as they are today. 

Finally, Chanel taught us that you do not have to fall into the same pattern of your past generations. Orphaned at a young age, Chanel did not have a happy childhood. So once she grew up, she decided that she was simply going to rewrite her past. She didn't like the region of France she came from, so she told people she grew up in. These embellishments (and in many cases, lies) are part of the reason that no one quite knows much about Chanel, which adds to her air of mystery. While I wouldn't suggest living in a delusion and creating a whole new life for yourself, you do not have to let your past define you. 

Have you read this book? What are your favorite bits and pieces of Chanelore, as Karen Kobo affectionately refers to it as?

Adventure is on the Horizon

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| , , | 12 Comments

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My passport is sitting, gathering dust in my safe. It's time that it is broken out again. Samantha and I are in the beginning stages of planning our next great adventure. I can't be more excited about it. It started as a Nordic adventure through the fjords of Finland, Norway and Sweden and then we decided that since we missed out on the Sound of Music tour when we were studying abroad, it needed to be bumped up to the top of the list. 

Salzburg than turned into a Germany and Austria trip through the alps. On the (tentative) agenda is Munich, Neuschwanstein, Garmisch, Salzburg and Vienna. I will simultaneously be Heidi, Julie Andrews and a Hapsburg waltzing around Vienna.

Next October cannot come soon enough. I have forgotten how much I missed planning elaborate vacations. The hardest part is narrowing down just where in the world I want to go. On the one hand, I want to throw a dart and go wherever it lands. But on the other hand, I have kept an ever-growing list of wanderlust that needs to be checked off.

And now the real fun begins.

First on my list: Pick the perfect hashtag for the trip. 

Second: Start learning German. Duolingo will be my new best friend.

Third: Refresh my memory on the dozens of wars of Austrian succession.

And now I need your help: Have you visited Bavaria, Salzburg or Vienna? What would you recommend to eat/see/do there?

Coffee Talk

Saturday, October 18, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 3 Comments

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Photo via

Happy weekend everyone! I'm at my parent's this weekend and the Christmas decoration buying has already begun. It's never too early to start in my opinion.

The Eiffel Tower now has a glass floor. I never climbed up the most famous piece of architecture in the city, but with this new addition might have been a selling feature to get me to wait in line before walking up the hundreds of stairs. 

Breakfast (and brunch and brinner) is my favorite meal. There is something about starting your morning off right that sets the tone for the rest of the day. Here are five ways to make the most of breakfast and make it healthier.

It is still very much in the preliminary planning stages, but Samantha and I are visiting Germany in October 2015 and Casey's travel guides were the first place I turned for inspiration and ideas.

Jillian's comparison of Luke Danes and her man (Luke Boyfriend) made me nostalgic for Stars Hollow all the while laughing hysterically. 

Eating better makes you feel better from the inside out. I am reminded of this most right after I have eaten half of a pizza on my own or a sleeve of Oreos. I want to join Taylor in eating a more plant-based and natural diet.

Thinking about freelancing as a travel writer? Find out how it has been working out for Monica. 

Looking for a calligraphy starter kit? Check out this one Jennifer tested.

Keep Your Eyes Open

Friday, October 17, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| , | Be the first to comment!

Friday, October 17, 2014

She's known as the only person who dares stand up to Anna Wintour and tell her what she thinks. Or the creative mind behind American Vogue. Or the real star on the September Issue (other than Andre Leon Talley, of course.) Grace's story is fascinating, especially after reading her memoir, which is a wonderful read and not simply a nice coffee table book. 

Inspiration can come from the smallest of places: a sunrise, skyline or the pretty turn of a phrase in your favorite book. Always keep your eyes open to the world around you. Sometimes it becomes easy to get lost in the haze of routine.

If the ordinary and life's simple pleasures are inspiration for one of the most brilliant minds in the magazine world, then it is good enough for you and me. So get out and explore this weekend. Keep watching and you might be surprised by the ideas that come about.