Monday, February 26, 2018

10 Places I'd Like to Travel to Next

Coming home from Amsterdam the other week has left me energized and ready to go out and see the world. Travel has always been something I've loved and wanted to pursue, but there's always something about coming home from a recent trip that leaves you feeling recharged and inspired.

One of my favorite things is sitting down and dreaming up all of the places I want to visit one day. Not thinking about practicalities just dreaming big, so I thought it would be fun to share my top 10 places I want to travel to next! I actually wrote a draft of a similar post a few years back but for some reason never got around to posting it. It's interesting looking back at that post because while a lot of the places are the same, I have since been to a couple of the places that were once on that list! So here's a list of 10 places that I've never been to, but are at the top of my list to visit next!

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1. Switzerland
Switzerland has been at the top of my list for years and will probably continue to be until I one day go because it looks gorg.eous. Nestled in the middle of the Alps Switzerland is full of crystal blue lakes, snowcapped mountains, and lush green hills. They're also known for foods like fondue, raclette, rosti, and chocolate so like sign me up, please.
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2. Copenhagen
As a lover of Scandinavian design I've just been dying to go to a Scandinavian country to see it in action. Which really anywhere in Scandinavia has been on my list for awhile but Copenhagen is definitely the first on the list. Which is mostly because a.) Copenhagen looks adorable b.) it's home of The Little Mermaid and c.) it's also the home of my beloved brand Hay.
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3. Miami
As an American and an American who wants to travel I think it's easy to dismiss places in the US, we often forget how vast the US is and how many cool places there are. While I know Miami has a bit of reputation as a party town, there's so much more to Miami than just clubs. It just look beautiful and it's full of art deco buildings and is a city full of art and culture.
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4. Iceland
What a change of pace, Miami to Iceland? Again another destination that has been on my list for ages just because it looks beautiful. I'd just love to explore the country a bit and see the Blue Lagoon and the Northern Lights (omg!). Our layover to Amsterdam was actually in Iceland which I was excited about but let me tell you the Reykjavik airport isn't all that exciting, and it's on this little peninsula so you literally see water until right when you land.
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4. Japan
So admit I do have a soft spot for Europe, but I've been itching recently to go somewhere completely new and Japan is certainly at the top of that list. I know Japan is kind of the "trendy" Asian place to visit right now, but it just looks so cool!
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5. Brighton, England
Okay so I have been to England (twice), but I've never been to Brighton. Which at the risk of looking like some huge Zoella fangirl. But she made this blogpost ages ago (like before she moved there) about visiting Brighton and ever since I knew it was a place I needed to go. Between the beach and the pier and the little town it just looks like the most adorable little town ever.
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6. Portland
Another USA destination I'm dying to visit, along with Portland I also want to go to Seattle and Vancouver. First the Pacific Northwest just looks beautiful (see a theme?). Portland just seems like such a cool "hipster-y" city and it's most famously known for books, coffee, and donuts so the real question is who wouldn't want to visit?
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7. Bali
I don't know a lot about Bali other than it looks beau.ti.ful. and warm and sunny and again gorgeous. Admittedly, I've mostly been wanting to go because I've seen other bloggers pictures and been like um, yes please.
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8. Thailand
Again I don't know a ton about Thailand except that I want to go. Again it just looks beautiful and they have Thai food, so who wouldn't want to go?
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9. Brazil
The only South American destination on this list, but I have been wanting to visit Brazil for ages. Again very different from anywhere I've been but I've just always been interested in going to Rio de Janeiro, it looks v cool.
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10. Austria
Had to finish with another destination in my beloved Europe. Austria is home of the alps (so pretty), weiner schnitzel (um yum), and The Sound of Music (um yes please). I mean I have a thing for Europe and quaint European towns.

What are some places that you'd like to visit next?

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Friday, February 23, 2018

Links

Hi everybody!! Another week, another links post! I'm actually super excited about the links I have to share this week which I know I say every week, but really this weeks set of links are v special. Given I've been watching a lot of Olympics this past week I have a lot of Olympic related posts to share. Which it's only fitting that I'm watching the Olympics as I'm writing this, what am I going to do next week when they're over! Anyways in the meantime have a browse through some of the fun things that I'm sharing this weekend. Enjoy!

I know I'm not the only one who was excited by the ice dancing results. I have to admit I may have been rooting for Canada a little bit (or a lot).

Which I mean, I ship it (which I'm cringing at saying but it's tru).

Also have y'all heard of Elizabeth Swaney, an intermediate skier who competed in the Olympics. Her story about how she made it into the games is wild and I'm also a bit torn of how I feel about it...

Raise your hand if you love Adam Rippon. If your still not convinced just look at this.

I know I mentioned the Team USA Ralph Lauren uniforms the other week, but I've also been kind of into these NASA inspired snowboarding/skiing uniforms.

Another boi everyone loves, Timothee Chalamet.

Anna Wintour and the Queen of England getting all buddy, buddy.

I mean you've probably already seen this but these pictures of Anna Wintour and the Queen of England at a fashion show are everything.

All about the rainbow stripes for spring and this dress is no exception.

This amazing round-up of steals under $30, none of which look under $30.

Looking for something to bake this weekend? Well, I made these this week and I'm kind of obsessed, they are so. good.

I've been trying to read more this year (and struggling at it), but I'm really liking the looks of this list of books to read.

Last if you haven't seen this new brand at Target you must check it out, it's very Madewell-esque at a fraction of the price.

Thank you so much for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Monday, February 19, 2018

Amsterdam Souvenirs

As I was brainstorming ideas of what to post today I thought it might be fun to share what I bought while I was in Amsterdam. In case you didn't know I just got home from a fun little jaunt to Amsterdam this past week and am obvi very excited about. But as kind of a little preview of what's to come and what all I got up to I thought it would be fun to share the little trinkets I bought.

So at some point I really want to create little city guides for all the places that I've been too. Previously my travel posts have just been me sharing where I went, what I did, and some pictures to go along with that, which a city guide would essentially be that but also a little more in-depth and hopefully they'll be a useful tool for anyone planning upcoming travels to use. But I currently have no idea what that will look like so in the meantime enjoy looking at the things I bought (lol).
Things I bought:

Tony's Chocolonely // This chocolate is everywhere there, which I already knew a little about it thanks to World Market. Not only is that chocolate really good but it's also fair trade/slave-free chocolate which is super cool. So I obvi bought 3 giant bars because I'm supporting a good cause and getting chocolate, it's a win-win.

Wilhelmina Peppermints // I mean these are just mints but we got these at a restaurant after one of meals one day and they were really good. So when I saw them in a shop while checking out at an airport I had to grab a box.

Postcards // Aren't these the most adorable little postcards?! I got them from a little cafe we ate at called Pluk. It was not only the cutest little place but they also had a little shop and I couldn't resist picking up a couple of these super adorable postcards.

Hay Pens // Hay is one of my absolute favorite design brands (I've totally mentioned them before). Even though it is a Danish brand when I saw that there was a little store in Amsterdam I had to go. The only thing I had room for were obviously just these pens, but hey, I love stationary and they are the most adorable pens.

Necklace // Restored was definitely top on my list of stores I wanted to visit. After seeing dozens of pictures of the facade on Instagram I knew I had to go. Luckily it was right around the corner from our Airbnb and was finally able to drop by on our last night. I was feeling spend-y and wanted to get something special and feel in love with this necklace when I saw it. 

House // This was my last purchase of the trip, bought in the airport like the classy lady I am (lol). I usually try to stay away from a lot of touristy things like this as it all just usually turns to clutter, but again I was feeling sentimental and wanted something special to mark this trip. In case you didn't know Amsterdam is chockfull of houses with adorable facades like this so when we stumbled across these mini-houses I couldn't say no. I thought they were super darling and the detail is amazing, you can't see it in the picture but it actually has tiny little clogs hanging in the window and flowers that snake around to the back. It's the perfect little shelf accessory.

As you can probably tell I didn't buy a lot mostly due to 1.) I wasn't trying to spend a lot of money and 2.) I only had a carry-on that was already stuffed so I didn't have much room for anything either. But I did manage to pick up a few cheeky things.

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Friday, February 16, 2018

Links

I'm back at it with some more links! Hope everyone out there had a great week and a fun Valentine's Day. My week has definitely been great as I started this week off in the beautiful city of Amsterdam! Which I love Amsterdam and am already ready to head back and explore the city even more! Quick self plug: check out my Insta for some cute pics of what we got up to! Despite just getting back home on Wednesday I am totally already itching to hop back on a plane. The trip has definitely left me feeling refreshed and inspired and ready to tackle life (anyone have any jobs that will pay for me to travel?). Anyways I've been so good making regular posts recently I couldn't miss out on todays links post, which I do have a lot of fun things to share!

 Starting off on a more serious note, I usually like to keep things upbeat on here but in the wake of yet another school shooting I can't just brush past this. This is the 18th school shooting this year and the 30th mass shooting this year and let me remind you that it is only February. If this isn't a call for action then I do not know what is, while keeping victims those affected in our thoughts and prayers is a nice sentiment it will not prevent these shootings from happening in the future. Action must be taken to ensure the safety of not only American citizens but especially the children and teachers of our country. Luckily with a little light research here are 5 ways that you can start fighting gun violence now, be sure to check out this website to see your representatives stance on gun control, and here is a simple text that you can send to help join the movement to end gun violence.

Anyways back to regular programming...

I know Valentine's Day has come and gone but if you're still feeling post Valentine's Day blues here are 19 adorable things you can treat yo'self with (or just drool over).

This recipe is actually from last week, but I was just looking at it and I might just have to make some of these this weekend.

I've been v into street style recently (attempting to be cool) so I'm definitely drooling over these street style looks from NY Fashion Week.

With the Olympics in full swing take a trip down memory lane on the best Olympic figure skating costumes.

This essay is surprisingly encouraging for someone who just graduated and is very confused on what the "next step" looks like (ugh cringing at that cliche) aka me. Everyone likes to talk about their achievements but no one focuses on their failures or the before aspect and it's a nice reminder that success isn't automatic.

Hope you're not sick of hearing me talk about Liv yet but this post she made on friendship is definitely worth checking out. ALSO! She just launched a Podcast this week that I highly recommend!

I have to admit I fangirled a bit this past week when I realized Zoella's Amsterdam trip overlapped with my own. Despite the fact that we went to a lot of the same places I sadly didn't run into her. But you can bet I was definitely keeping close tabs on her over on Instagram (is that too creepy to admit?).

Absolutely loving Poppy's Valentine's Day look, which who says this look is exclusive to Valentine's Day?!

I admit I am not the neatest human, and I'm sure dozens of other creative types can agree. Here's a great read on how tidying up can help with productivity and creativity. Not that I've ever disagreed but it is certainly a nice reminder.

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day!!

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Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Hope you have an amazing day and enjoy spending time with your loved ones!! If you're reading I just want to say thank you so much for following along!! I still feel new to this blogging thing. I'm definitely not the most consistent but it has been something I enjoy and has been a fun creative outlet over the past couple of years. Anyways hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day and if you are looking for a sweet treat I highly recommend these blondies!

xox,
Amanda

Friday, February 9, 2018

Links

This week has been a week, I feel like so much happened! I mean there was the Super Bowl, the Kylie announcement, now the Olympics, and NYC fashion week just started! Who knew so many things could be happening in February. I'm actually super excited for the Olympics to start, I seriously love the Olympics. I can't say I'm super into sports but omg I love the Olympics and I'm especially partial to the Winter Olympics. Which if you're not watching the opening ceremony tonight then what are you doing? loljk I'm not watching them either because I'll be on the plane bish! But more on that later *insert winky face*. Now onto some exciting links, again I'm super excited about everything that I'm sharing with you today! So cozy up with a big mug of coffee or tea and get ready to dig in!

Starting off incase you have been living under a rock this past week Kylie finally broke her silence on her pregnancy!!! She announced her pregnancy and birth in this Instagram post and uploaded this video about her pregnancy which may or may not have made me tear up a little (oops...).

Also check out Team USA's opening ceremony uniform, designed by Ralph Lauren of course. I have to say the gloves are eh and a little over the top, but the jackets are heated!!

Totally lusting over these jeans that Madewell just dropped, the cut is perfection but the price tag not so much.

This interesting note on fashion week and what's to come, who said fashion isn't political?

In the same vein of fashion week Pantone released their color forecast for Fall/Winter 2018 and I think it's so interesting. They also curated these amazing images to help portray their color palette and it's amazing (seriously jealous of that person's job).

I know I mentioned Timothee Chalamet last week, but Frank Ocean interviewed him here and it's great.

All of the heart eyes for Gray Malin at the Coral Casino. I love the pastel and retro vibes of it!

I discovered this Instagram account this week and my! am I obsessed. I am obsessed with the little puppy, her pink nose is the most adorable thing I've ever seen.

Finally, the cutest macaron DIY.

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Valentine's Day Blondies

So I warned you Monday I have a bunch of Valentine's Day posts lined up and that I kind of love Valentine's Day despite the fact I'm single. The thing with Valentine's Day too is that I feel like Valentine's Day is much more centered on the thought behind the gift as opposed to the gift itself. I know I made a cheeky little gift guide the other day, but homemade things always seem that much more special on Valentine's Day. Which I'm also all for another holiday centered around chocolate but shh!

When I sat down to brainstorm ideas for some seasonal bakes, blondies seemed like an obvi choice. I mean they're simple to throw together in a pinch, delicious and just toss in Valentine's Day M&M's and all of a sudden they're holiday appropriate. Which these definitely aren't the fanciest things to bake up, some of us just enjoy the simpler things in life. This recipe came from my mom and it is literally the best blondies. Not only do they have a perfect caramel, brown sugar flavor but they are also soft and gooey in the center and crispy around the edges. So go ahead and whip these up and share them with all of your favorite people.
Also quick note, for some reason I find the thought of a couple staying in and making these on Valentine's Day hilarious. Definitely not the most romantic dessert, but who needs romance when there are blondies right?

Before I get into the recipe I actually have a few notes on a few changes I make when I do bake these. First the batch I made in the photos I actually halved the recipe which is why they are baked in a square pan. Next the recipe also says to bake them in a 15 1/2x10 1/2-inch jelly roll pan, I usually just bake them in a regular 9x13-inch pan and that has always worked out fine, so don't stress if you don't have that specific jelly roll pan. The original recipe also calls for just chocolate chips, which you are free to use if you want to, but since I wanted to be festive I replaced the chocolate chips with M&M's.  Which with the M&M's I like the mix about half of them into the batter, pour the batter in the pan, and then sprinkle the rest of the M&M's on top. My final note is just be super careful not to overbake these because then they just turn into a rock, so just keep an eye on them.
 Blondies Recipe
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package (12 oz. or 2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips (or M&M's)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a 15 1/2x10 1/2 jelly-roll pan; set aside. In a saucepan melt butter over low heat. Remove from heat; add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add eggs and vanilla; continue beating until smooth, scraping sides of saucepan occasionally. Stir in flour and salt until just blended. Fold in chocolate chips (or M&M's). Spread in prepared pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not overbake.
Enjoy!

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda



Monday, February 5, 2018

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Despite the fact that I'm single af I have begun to grow a strange fondness for Valentine's Day. Which I think is partially due to the popularization of the new holiday known as Galentine's Day (thank you Leslie Knope) and I have just fallen in love with the cheesiness of the whole holiday, all the super girly pink hearts and everything just get me every year. I know single people are supposed to hate Valentine's Day, but for some reason I don't... I think it is just a great excuse to celebrate the loved ones in your life whether they are romantic relationships or not.

So with all of that being said of course and of course me admitting I love the cheesiness of the holiday I of course have a gift guide full of pink and red and hearts. So whether you are on the hunt for a gorgeous something for the lady in your life or your just looking to treat yourself you have most certainly come to the right place!



I have to say I love everything and looking at it all next to each other just makes my girly little soul sing. I have to add one more little plug and say that if you check anything out be sure to take a peak at kikki.K's Valentine's collection because it is literally to die for. Also brace yourself for the Valentine's Day posts because I have a fair few coming up!

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda

Friday, February 2, 2018

Links

I'm on a roll with these Links posts! But too much has been happening recently for me to not want to share some of my favorite Internet finds, and let me tell you this week is a good one! It's also February! Which is not only my birthday month but I'm also heading to Amsterdam this month which do I even need to explain how excited I am?! I am impatiently counting down the days. Anyways I am feeling pretty good about this weeks links post and kinda of love everything I'm sharing, so be sure to have a good ole browse. Btw I also actually took my own little "flatlay" for todays post and think it's super cute... so yeah...

The best interview between Saoise Ronan and Timothee Chalamet. Not only are these two incredibly talented actors but they are also just really intelligent and down-to-earth human beings. I could keep gushing about the two of them but I'll let you see for yourself.

In case you haven't heard the Grammys got a lot of backlash this week after only one woman won an award in the general category. Neil Portnow, the Recording Academy President, released a statement claiming that women needed to "step up" if they wanted to win awards. Well I think P!nk articulated the perfect response to that statement.

It was announced this week that Tom Hanks is set to play Mr. Rogers in an upcoming movie about him. I grew up watching and loving Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, so I was super excited that they were making a movie on him and honestly Tom Hanks is the perfect choice for playing Mr. Rogers.

Do you remember that awkward gift exchange between Michelle Obama and Melania Trump during the Inauguration last year?

I've been toying with the idea of investing in Tarte Shape Tape concealer even though it has amazing reviews I am having a hard time swallowing the $27 price tag. But I have good news for all of you who feel the same! This Makeup Revolution concealer is supposedly a dupe to the Tarte concealer and is only $7, needless to say I am itching to get my hands on this.

One word: Miami. I've randomly been dying to go to Miami and this post from Aspyn is certainly feeding those desires.

NOTICE: If you are in the market for a teddy bear coat RUN don't walk to your local H&M because I just picked one up from there this week for $15, fifteen dollars!! Sadly it's not online but definitely go check out your nearest H&M!

If you love Dior and you love Harry Potter then you must check out this Instagram. It's called Gryffindior, need I say more?

Thanks for reading!!
xox,
Amanda