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    Sleek + Comfy NYC Outfit & Tips on How to Pack Like the Smart Stylista You Are

    Recently, my friends and I went to New York for a little vacay. NYC is a city that has a lot to offer. There are a ton of places to see, food to eat, and street style to appreciate. I could not wait to explore it with my friends, but first I had to get through the hardest part (in my opinion): packing. It’s always a struggle trying to figure out what clothes, shoes, and accessories to pack for a trip. Although I am getting better at it, I have a tendency to go overboard. I wind up packing things I do not wear, forget to pack things I do want to wear, and I end up wearing the same 2-3 pieces. I would not consider myself a master packer (yet!), but here are some packing tips and travel style advice, with outfit details, that help me avoid overpacking without compromising style points.

    1. Slip dresses

    Want to pack a chic outfit but don’t know where to start? Start with a slip dress. They aren’t bulky and pack super easily. There are a variety of slip dresses out there, like this one from Asos. Depending on the climate of the destination you are traveling to, you can buy a long or short one and style it with or without tights. They also come in a ton of different colors. Usually, slip dresses have lace trim which elevates the overall look of an outfit from casual to chic. Slip dresses are also perfect for layering. You can wear a t-shirt or blouse underneath or style it with a bomber jacket from the Who What Wear Collection at Target.

    2. Neutral Colors

    Packing clothing pieces that are neutral colors will allow you to mix and match items and increase the overall number of outfits you have in your arsenal, aka suitcase. Classic neutral colors include white, black, and gray. However, muted green, like the jacket above, navy blue, and maroon can also be considered neutrals. When you pair these more colored neutrals with the classic neutrals, your outfit possibilities are endless, and you’ll turn heads as you walk down the streets of your vacay destination.

    3. White Sneakers

    If you have been keeping up with the latest fashion trends, then you know that sneakers are becoming increasingly popular. Sneakers are also the perfect footwear to pack when traveling since chances are that you will be doing a lot of walking. Like slip dresses, you can dress up white sneakers by pairing them with a dress, like I did here. You can also style them more casually with some jeans. There a many white kicks on the market right now, the ones I am wearing are the white Canvas Old Skool by Vans.

    4. Compression Bags

    Maybe you want to bring a ton of slip dresses, neutral pieces, layering options, and sneakers. Maybe you feel like you need them all and can’t bring yourself to eliminate any from your travel wardrobe. It’s ok, we have all been there. If this is you, then compression bags are your friend! By using compression bags, you will be able to save some space in your luggage for those extra pair of shoes you want to bring and fit more clothes in your suitcase. I use these compression bags from REIFit what you can in the bag, roll out the air, and watch the bag decrease in size. No vacuum necessary. It’s, like, magic! (Ok, more like physics. Yay physics!)


    5 Coffee Shops to Visit When You Travel to San Francisco

    There are many differences and similarities between Chicago and San Francisco. One thing I always notice right away when I get to San Francisco is the lack of Starbucks cafes at every corner, which is a nice reprieve from all of the ones in Chicago, especially in the downtown area. While there are fewer Starbucks’ in San Francisco, there is no shortage of excellent coffee shops in SF. Here are a few that I always try to go to whenever I visit (in no particular order).

    1. Hollow 1435 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

    If you’re looking to get some work done on a weekend afternoon, Hollow is definitely the place to go. It is quaint and not rowdy, so you will be able to focus. Although this Inner Sunset coffee house seems small from the outside, there is a lot of seating on the inside. The matcha tea latte that I got was perfect too. It was full bodied, wasn’t overly sweet, and did not taste bitter. Also, that latte art though!

    2. Royal Ground Coffee 2342 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121

    Royal Ground Coffee has many locations. I went to the Outer Richmond coffee shop because it was the closest one to where I was staying. I have been to other locations before, but the staff here are SUPER nice. They were so welcoming, that you couldn’t help but smile while ordering your drink or food. I ordered the lox bagel and it was delicious. The ingredients, especially the salmon, tasted very fresh. It was the perfect reward after completing the Land’s End hike.

    3. Trouble Coffee Company 4033 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122

    You can find Trouble Coffee Company in Outer Sunset, not too far from Ocean Beach (one of my go to spots in SF). This place is probably my all time favorite coffee shop in San Francisco. You can get a whole young coconut here! What other coffee shop do you know of that has coconut on their menu?? They also have different kinds of thick toast that you can get topped with cinnamon sugar, peanut butter, honey, or homemade jam. Yum! (Also, that sign says, “Sk8 or Die”)

    4. Devil’s Teeth Baking Company 387 Noriega St, San Francisco, 94122

    Devil’s Teeth is also located in Outer Sunset, and it is only a short walk from Trouble Coffee Co. They have amazingly delicious breakfast sandwiches. The buttermilk biscuit they use as the sandwich bread is baked fresh daily, in-house. I ordered the special breakfast sandwich, sans bacon. The biscuit is so fresh that it melts in your mouth and the lemon-garlic aioli brings all of the ingredients together…and my mouth is watering now…

    5. Blue Bottle Coffee Co  1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111

    Technically, Blue Bottle is not unique to San Francisco, as it has cafes located in Los Angeles, New York City, and even Tokyo. However, the original Blue Bottle cafe originated in Oakland, CA. This coffee house focuses on freshness to bring out the best flavor from the coffee bean. I ordered a good ol’, normal latte Honestly, I am not the biggest fan of coffee. Caffeine has a strong affect on me and I prefer the taste of tea over coffee instead. However, I loved the way this latte tasted. It was rich, creamy, and very smooth.


    Tulle Skirt + Glitter Heels + Leather Jacket

    Hey there!

    I know, I know. It’s been a while since my last post- 6 months to be exact. Well, Happy New Year & I hope 2017 is going well for you so far 🙂

    Jumping right into the OOTD (I have never been good at transitions…)

    I LOVED shooting this outfit, not only because tulle skirts are so much fun, but also since my talented friend & make up artist, Kanza, did a really cool cut crease on my eyelids. She is a Sephora certified make up artist who is available for bookings in the Chicagoland area. Check out her Instagram page for details on how to book an appointment and to see her work

    I ended up wearing the tulle skirt and glitter heels with this black blouse to my friend’s rehearsal dinner. The skirt definitely turned heads, and someone told me I looked like a grown up ballerina, which I took as a compliment.

    Although, the pink skirt is the first thing you notice about this ensemble, the real star are these glitter heels. The gold, glittery shoes are almost like a fancy pair of nude heels, which means that they can go with a bunch of different outfits. Whether you dress them up or dress them down, you’ll be looking chic regardless. Did I mention that they’re super comfy too?

    Outfit Details:







    Chic Outfit from the Thrift Store

    Do you have that one person in the office whose outfits are always on point?

    Ever ask that person where she got that top, skirt, etc?

    Does she respond with an outlet or second hand store, like Goodwill?

    Do you then think to yourself, “Ugh, I could never pull off shopping there”?

    Well, the truth is, you CAN pull it off! I found these jeans, blouse, AND purse at Goodwill for under $20 total. I fell in love with the jeans. The distressed style of these patchwork flare jeans really caught my eye. Since the jeans are the statement piece of the look, I paired them with a plain, white, button up top. The blouse is made up of a satin-type of material which helped to maintain the upscale casual chic look I was going for (is this a thing?).

    The shoes are from Topshop. They are more comfortable than they look. The silver color was the perfect accent for this look. The silver shoes brought out the rest of the outfit as well as the jewelry.

    The earrings and bracelet are from a boutique in Lincoln Park, Chicago called Viktoria’s. Sadly, the boutique closed for good back in August. Viktoria has decided to pursue her dream of starting her own fashion line. Best of luck, Viktoria!

    Find similar outfit items here:








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