2014

Dec 31, 2014

If I look inside my mind to review 2014 without the help of past blog posts or my instagram feed, the first thing that will always pop up are the memories of my very first trip to Ireland. I still think about it everyday and feel a burning desire to cry and smile at the same time because it was just such a wonderful experience (by the way, I've yet to taste butter and tea as yummy as the Irish make it).

2014 started a fresh new year (as most new years are) and I really had no idea what to expect as the previous year had been more planned out and honestly, a bit suffocating. 

This year was also made up of everyday moments filled with little details which I made sure to place utmost importance on (many nature walks and reruns of I Love Lucy).

I think of this year as being the year I baked and cooked more than Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray combined. I baked bread loaves and hamburger buns for the first time and it has quickly become a regular occurrence (right after this post, I intend to cook hamburgers for the last meal of the year).

I faced a lot of fears which I still replay in my mind to make sense of how I've handled everything. 

I learned to be very conscious of the moment and of my decisions and to live with more intention.

My drawing skills surprised me so much. I had never drawn with such focus before. It was a boost in confidence that I very much needed.

Every opportunity, I always had a camera with me but I was also conscious not to live through the lens. As soon as I got the perfect shot (which usually took like 253 times), I put the camera down.

I had many a pep talk with myself. I became my own best friend more than ever and actually came to accept and embrace that. I genuinely like myself. 2014 made me realize that life really is what you make of it.

And now, if I'm honest, I don't know if I'm ready for a fresh new start because 2014 was way too good to me. I want to soak it in for a while longer. But it's 5pm already and this post is being published way later than I had anticipated (thanks to an unexpected power outage). 2015 will be here soon. 

All I really hope for in the coming year for me, for you, for the people I know and have known, and the rest of the world, is for inner peace, good health, kindness towards others (seriously, people, let's all play nice- nobody is better than anyone), and simplicity. And a whole lot of bright colors.


Thanks for sticking with me. I hope you'll join me in 2015...
 
 

Hello Christmas

Dec 23, 2014



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As usual, I'm looking a little out of place with my big warm scarf in 72 degree weather (these photos were taken yesterday on the first day of Winter and I guess I was secretly hoping for a snow storm, ha!). It was actually so hot, I was starting to sweat a bit but I refused to take off my scarf because then my outfit would've been way too boring.

I'm still struggling to accept that Christmas is in 2 days because my mind is still in September. I hope everyone has a merry & bright holiday season and I'll be back to check in on you all before the year is up!


Outfit details: Scarf via Marshalls//Cardigan- Forever 21//Jeans- DKNY//Shoes- Penneys
(I obviously wear the same pieces pretty often!)


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What I miss about shopping at Target

Dec 4, 2014

I grew up shopping at Target. I remember being about 3 years old and picking out a pack of Glitter Crayola crayons (which I still have, by the way) and a coloring book and feeling like the happiest little girl in the world. Every season, Target had something exciting to offer, always at good prices and always something more unique than Walmart. But now, things feel different and I don't find myself as attracted to Target as before. Could it be because everyone and their friend's uncle shops there? Could it be that most things are so cheaply made and overpriced? I'm not sure... but I do know, these are the things I miss about Target...

I miss the days when Target did not have Starbucks (don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of their baked goods) hogging up everyone's attention, but rather a simple little snack shop that sold really good popcorn, hot dogs, and unlimited amounts of free cups of water that you could refill yourself. 

I miss Target before every store became a Super Target- I don't want to buy my toothbrush at the same place where I buy my orange juice. I just don't, okay?  (By the way, don't EVER drink orange juice right after you brush your teeth...)

I miss their outside garden area even though I used to get so bored when my mom would drag me through looking at all the plants.

And I miss when they sold Christmas trees because that's where we would buy one more often than not. I would inhale that familiar pine tree smell like it was some kind of drug. The smell was always much more prominent because of the enclosed space.

I miss their stylish and affordable clothes before the designer collaborations became a thing. Even the Target brand (Xhilaration?) is now so ridiculously priced...

I miss always being able to catch the good clearance deals (the beautiful red sticker that brought so much joy) before anyone else but now that everyone shops there, the clearance shelves are always empty.

Issac Mizrahi- need I say more? His incredibly quirky but classy colors and designs were the first that ever spoke to me. He made me wish that I could be a fashion designer (he's the reason pink and orange is one of my favorite color combinations ever).

I remember Target had the hugest selection of Spice Girls merchandise back in the day. Those were some of my fondest memories. I waited weeks for them to restock the Posh Spice doll because they kept selling out of them. 

Oh Target, we've always been friends. But lately, you're acting like just an acquaintance.

November in the Sunlight

Nov 24, 2014



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I have been wearing this shirt and cardigan combination more than a normal amount already even though both came into my possession not even a month ago. I found the black shirt with swans on it at Target in the CLEARANCE, it was an online order that had been returned. I just knew I couldn't leave without it. It seemed like it was going to fit super long at first but turns out it was just right especially when I tuck it in. I love the loose and comfy feel of it and even if it's not 100% cotton (or even 1% cotton, for that matter- my only regret), it's quickly become a favorite. I will definitely be wearing more shirts from now on- somehow, they make me feel more put together (11 year old me would hate the fact that I'm admitting this).

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Djinn Djinn is also embracing the slight change in weather by wearing the sweater I got him last year from Dr. Foster and Smith. It fits his fat little belly just perfectly. If you look closely, you'll notice his leash has tiny little shamrocks on it. I got the leash in Killarney, Ireland. I was determined not to come home without a gift for him but it seemed to be a bit of a challenge to find gift shops that sold pet items. I found this leash literally the day before I had to leave and it was on clearance (clearance and sale items seem to follow me wherever I go but I'm definitely not complaining!) 

I got the blue flats at Penneys in Ireland (a store I had been wanting to visit because I've heard so much about it). It felt like a mix between Forever 21 and H&M. It was a nice store, probably not the best quality. I hope they don't bring one to the U.S. because that would take away the special-ness (that is a word in my vocabulary....), if that makes sense. I bought the flats as an emergency pair for a super, super good price (hello again, clearance) because my walking shoes got lost with my luggage and the Chelsea boots I had were starting to hate my feet.


Details: Cardigan- Forever 21//Shirt- Target//Jeans- Calvin Klein via thrift store//Belt- vintage//Shoes- Penneys (in Ireland)//Dog- Animal Shelter

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Exploring Ireland: the snapshots

Nov 20, 2014
Initially, I was going to divide each post with photos/commentary from each place that I visited in Ireland but then I was like, eh, ain't nobody got time for that! I don't want to bore you all with touristy spots that you've heard of a million times before. I've just decided to post some of my favorite photos in a total of two different posts, all randomized, all mixed in. And now, I shall let the photos speak for themselves...


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A piece of my childhood: S Club 7

Nov 18, 2014

After the Spice Girls and The Corrs, it's safe to say that S Club 7 was my absolute favorite group. But it wasn't until the recent announcement of their reunion tour (which, by the way, I'm super jealous of everyone who lives in the UK and has a chance to go) that I really stopped to think just how big of a fan I was (am). I, along with a trillion other kids who are undoubtedly all the same age as me now, fell under the S Club spell back in the day. Not an episode or album went unnoticed. I had the dolls (even the singing ones that would randomly start singing in the night). Tina was my favorite. I was also an avid member of both their US and UK websites during the time when computers were still relatively new and as a result, I pretty much associate everything I first learned on a computer with S Club 7. I even remember the S Club 7 message boards and that weird period of time when many fans were convinced they were in contact with the members of the group. I remember the supposed fan email address that was meant to be kept a "secret": it was vivasclub@hotmail.com and while it was convincing then, somebody had to have been awfully cruel to pull such a prank on us die-hard fans. But, it was all fun and games while it lasted.

After seeing their recent performance online at Children in Need and hearing of their upcoming reunion, it sparked so many great memories of my wonderful childhood. Now, excuse me while I go dig out every SC7 album I own and hunt down any episodes I can find on YouTube...

And, just for the record, my top 7 S Club 7 songs are:

-I'll Be There 
-Don't Stop Movin'
-Cross My Heart
-I'll Keep Waiting
-Stand By You
-Summertime Feeling
-Discotek (see, this should prove how much of a fan I was...this song is a bit hard to find)

P.S. I just remembered I bought a copy of their movie "Seeing Double" a hundred years ago at the Dollar store and I've yet to watch it! 



Djinn Djinn, the model

Oct 29, 2014



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Took Djinn Djinn on a little walk today to do an impromptu photo shoot because I have plans to enter his head shot in AAA's magazine photo contest. I haven't decided on a photo to enter yet but I've gotta say, the little guy is being a good sport about all this. He must've heard that the winning prize consists of dog treats.

Shoes I'm packing for Ireland

Oct 21, 2014
I'm not sure how this happened but somehow there are only a couple weeks left until I embark on my first ever journey to Ireland. I'm not really a last minute packer so I thought now would be a good time to at least start thinking about the shoes I'll need. I want to pack as light as possible (I know, crazy coming from a girl, right?) so I think about 3-4 pairs would do the job. I wouldn't even consider taking more than 2 pairs but I really have no clue how much rain and mud to expect and at the same time, I need a more "formal" pair of shoes because of dinners and stuff like that (apparently you Europeans put more effort into dressing for meals- Americans get by on jeans and heels and I like to think I'm more European in this aspect- Americans, we need to get our dressing-for-dinner style act together, just saying!)

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At the moment, I don't have the most variety in my shoe wardrobe. But I've narrowed it down to these. My black chelsea boots (is 2 inches too high for Ireland's terrain, anyone know?) complete with dirt (though I might consider cleaning them before I leave, you know, so Irish people don't think I'm a slob or anything), my teal colored flats (which I might end up leaving behind since they are already falling apart), my "classy" cream heels (which seem to be the only dinner appropriate heels I own...) and my most trusted pair of suede ankle boots (which make more appearances in my outfit photos than I care to admit...). Please send all shoe advice my way...

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New books

Oct 16, 2014

Every time a Hamilton book catalog shows up in the mail box, it's like Christmas- I get way too excited looking through the endless amount of books available. I always highlight every single book I want and then narrow it down to a list of about 4-5 (there's a technique for everything, right?). I mean, I would buy the whole catalog if I could, but you know, lack of funds. This time around, I ordered an absolutely perfect group of books and like the nerd that I sometimes am, I thought I'd share.

Firstly, in that top picture. That is probably the cutest thing I've bought for Djinn Djinn in a long time (okay, I take that back, EVERYTHING I buy for Djinn Djinn is the cutest thing until the next cutest thing comes along). It's a teeny tiny recipe book that comes in a box and includes 3 cookie cutters. Can you believe it was only $3 ??? I had no idea it was super tiny (like the size of a large yellow sticky pad- wow, I am just amazing at describing things, aren't I?) but when it arrived, I just loved it. I can't wait to make all of the dog treat recipes-I'll let you know how it goes.

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The rest of the books sort of have a similar theme going on. I unintentionally got 2 fiction books related to Ireland (only 2 and half more weeks, people!), a murder mystery involving dogs (which, might I add, comes with a few dog treat recipes), and a book about caring for farm animals (you know, because someday I will own an Irish farmhouse and have 2 of every farm animal in existence). Yup, pretty pleased with my purchases. Probably one of the saddest things in life is that we will never get around to reading every book in existence.


A day in the life of a pair of Swedish Hasbeens

Oct 13, 2014
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Ever since I was little, I have loved wooden shoes. I've always had a fascination with those Holland shoes (what is the proper name for those, anyone?). Needless to say, the minute I discovered the brand Swedish Hasbeens, I knew I had to have a pair of their many colorful unique designs with the most beautiful wooden soles. I recently stumbled upon their sale and I knew that it was now or never. I came away with these super fun red peep toe shoes and am looking forward to wearing them with as many outfits as I can no matter the season (oh wait, we don't get seasons here- grrrr). I'm already planning my next Swedish Hasbeens purchase which will definitely be these amazing silver ones. I know these shoes are not everyone's cup of tea but I just love them. And, you'll be surprised to know they are super comfortable- not at all what you would expect from wooden shoes. I think another thing I love about these shoes and this brand is that they're very great quality. I'm tired of buying shoes that are made in a certain country (which I will not name but it starts with a 'C' and ends with an 'A') because cheaply made shoes literally fall apart a month after wearing them. Thank you, Swedish Hasbeens, for making 10 year old Victoria's dream come true. Long live wooden shoes.

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P.S. Nope, this isn't a sponsored post though I wouldn't mind if it was! ;)

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Details: Cardigan & Striped Top- Forever 21//Jeans- Calvin Klein//Shoes- Swedish Hasbeens



Hidden pine trails of the forest

Oct 9, 2014



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I wonder if it seems as if I'm always outdoors taking a walk through the forest with Djinn Djinn? I must admit, that is a big part of my everyday life but every so often I do normal things like... well, normal things that I can't think of at the moment.

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As usual, I feel the need to throw in a random thought: I am suddenly feeling "pressured" to update my phone from the iPhone 4 to at least an iPhone 5. I want to trade it in while I can still get a good price for it. #FirstWorldProblems, right? But it's just that all of a sudden, the software is changing faster than I can keep up. I just discovered an old 3rd generation iPod touch that was lying around the house and when I tried to update it with apps, it proved impossible since most of them required iOS 6 or higher. What a waste. The gadget still works but it's pretty much useless without apps. Just goes to show how technology sure knows how to make us all waste spend money...

P.S. Only 28 days left until IRELAND! If you're interested in seeing what I get up to while I'm there, feel free to follow me on Instagram as I'll be documenting the entire journey!