Friday Favorites: Elie Saab S/S Couture 2016


I'm overwhelmed by all of the insanely gorgeous S/S 2016 Couture shows going on right now. I'm loving all the shades of lilacs and blues with neutrals thrown in. There is something so refreshing about a Spring/Summer show in the midst of wintertime. I may be bundled in scarves and layers right now but I am dreaming of a spring wardrobe even if it doesn't include breath-taking fairytale-esque gowns like these. But a girl can dream, can't she? Here's a few of my favorites from Elie Saab S/S 2016 show! You can view the full show HERE

Travel Log: Amsterdam


I dreamed about walking down the canal-lined streets of Amsterdam for years before I got the opportunity to go last spring. Tulips, pretty architecture and cobble-stoned sidewalks filled my mind. This was the place that Derek and I would go for our honeymoon one day, you know, if we ever get married. But the opportunity arose months ago for us to go during Spring Break, and hey, why wait?(Now: We have decided that if we ever decide to get married, we are going to travel through Italy - but hey, who knows - maybe we will get a chance to do that long before that time comes anyway). 
After spending our 36 hours in Paris, we packed our bags and hopped on the train to head to the Netherlands. The train was comfortable and we were excited to arrive in Amsterdam in a few short hours when suddenly our train broke down. All of the directions were being told in French and Dutch, so Derek and I had no idea what was going on. We just knew to grab our bags from the overhead compartment when the train conductors started to wave their hands for everyone to get off. We were in the middle of nowhere in the Netherlands at this point and none of the people working seemed to know what was going on and if there would be another bus/new train headed to Amsterdam so we walked to a nearby train station that a few others were walking to ahead of us and hopped on a smaller regional rail-subway hybrid and kept our fingers crossed that we would end up in Amsterdam. We did. We got there late that night but we arrived at Central Station and we hurried to our Air BnB. Here's a glimpse of how we spent those few fun days....
As soon we woke up in the morning, we headed off in a search for dutch pancakes! We found - and devoured - them at Pancake Amsterdam.

We spent an afternoon at the Rijksmuseum, one of the biggest museums I have ever been to. Afterwards, we stopped and took photos by the I Amsterdam letters. 

We also went to the Van Gogh Museum (pictured above), the Stedelijk museum, as well as the Anne Frank House. Our Amsterdam trip was filled with museum trips. 

This was easily one of my favorite parts about our trip to Amsterdam! We biked through Vondelpark, where we got to see a few tulips starting to bloom.

We went to do some sight-seeing, we looked for big monuments like the Royal Palace of Amsterdam and also searched for local spots. 

We also went ahead and did the Heineken Experience too!

You never know what to expect when traveling. Trains break down. Directions are given but in a language that you can't speak. And then a plan B isn't always given to you by the people who work for the train that just broke down. So you just gotta wing it sometimes. But the great moments after that are what making traveling so worth it. Plus, these little moments are what create experiences and future stories you can tell and remember. Because, think about it - is anything ever really that interesting if something doesn't go wrong or at least unplanned?

You can read about the first part of our spring break in London, HERE and then our 36 Hours in Paris HERE

On My Bookshelf: A Comedy + A Memoir


Last year I managed to read 12 books - my goal for 2015! This year I want to push myself a little further and goal myself for 25 books. I love snuggling up in bed and reading, but not only do I enjoy reading but it also helps my creative process. As a writer, reading new stories and introducing myself to new story structures helps refresh my own writing. On My Bookshelf will be a new series for the blog so that I can share what I'm reading with you guys in an effort to introduce you to new books you may want to read yourself. And please, let me know if you have any suggestions about what I should check out! To kick off 2016, I read Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple and Wild, a memoir by Cheryl Strayed. 
 Where'd You Go Bernadette was the first comedy I've read in awhile. It was a refreshing and easy read after I got through the beginning. The set-up of the novel is unique, in the sense that the chapters are made up of e-mails, letters and sort-of journal entries. At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about it but once I got more into the story I loved it and got through it fairly quickly. I would read this if you're looking for something light and fun to read.

Wild was essentially the complete opposite of Where'd You Go Bernadette and I loved every second of it. A memoir by Cherly Strayed, the book is about her personal journey hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. I know absolutely nothing about hiking or camping, or frankly - anything that involves the outdoors. So this was interesting to read on so many different levels. The book was heartbreaking and Strayed remained brutally honest throughout the entire book without an ounce of fluff. I was entirely captivated throughout every page. I strongly recommend this book.  

Up next...Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham! What are you currently reading? Any suggestions?

Two For Tuesday


Happy Tuesday everyone! This week is starting out slow and I'm already day dreaming about the weekend. I'm also day dreaming about this particular snowy day more than a year ago. It just makes sense to throw on a drapey Free People lace slip, a chunky sweater in a royal shade and frolic around in the snow as if I were in a winter wonderland, right

I hope if you were hit with the snow this past weekend you're continuing to stay warm with mugs of hot cocoa, or in our case - hot buttered rum. Yum! 

Cold Weather Essentials: Layer Under a Dress


Dressing for cold weather isn't my specialty. I've been trying to avoid it but after this past weekend's snow storm I guess I can't hide from it very much anymore. I'll be walking to work, avoiding un-shoveled sidewalks and patches of ice. Weather like this forces me to wear pants instead of my favorite dresses and skirts, but when the temps aren't horrible I'll still slip a turtleneck under my sleeveless dresses. A styling tip I tried out years ago after seeing THIS famous photo of Audrey Hepburn. What are your cold weather essential tips for wearing your favorite pieces on icy winter days? 
TOP | H&M (Old)
BOOTIES | Boutique in Budapest

Friday Film Favorite: Brooklyn



Last week Derek and I went out on a movie date and saw the film, "Brooklyn" featuring Saoirse Ronan. I had seen a preview online a few months ago and have been wanting to see it since then so I was thrilled when I had a Saturday off and we started our day with brunch before heading to the Ritz. Based in the 1950's, Ronan plays an Irish immigrant who has moved to Brooklyn, New York.  The film is based in both the county side of Ireland and in the city borough of Brooklyn, which created a beautiful cinematic dynamic. Ronan's character Eilis, leaves the boat in which she felt extreme seasickness and moves to America with great homesickness. She stays in a boarding home with a shrewish and sharp-tongued landlady and few other women who are nearly the complete opposite of Eilis. Outside of her job at a department store she takes on night classes and falls in love with an Italian man. Brooklyn finally feels like home, until she has to travel back to Ireland because of a family emergency. There, she meets another man and is faced with the dilemma of trying to figure out what home truly is and means. 
One of my favorite aspects of this film was the wardrobe. I'm such a sucker for any film based in the 1950's because of how people used to dress during that decade. Watching Eilis in her new circumstances during the film was a fun transition, not only when it came to her personality but her clothing as well. While she's in Ireland at the beginning of the  film, her wardrobe is very limited. In fact, the entirety of her closet fits into a single suitcase that she packs for her journey to America. She starts out wearing simple colors and silhouettes and as her life truly begins in America fun colors and prints start to be developed within her wardrobe. Her romance with Tony was essentially the peak of her outfit choices because brighter colors, different fabrics and fun patterns start to take over her clothing choices as her character progressed into American life. If you love a timeless love story, clever writing and visually appealing films I highly recommend that you go see Brooklyn when you get the opportunity. BrooklynBrooklynBrooklynBrooklyn
Photos owned by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

2015: Top 12 Moments


So, here's the deal guys. I am terrified, and I mean 100% absolutely terrified and slightly panicked about the fact that 2015 is over. This was such an incredible year filled with so many beautiful memories I will be holding onto for the rest of my life. Traveling Europe, living in London. My heart has always been so set on living abroad and seeing the world and now I'm scared to death I'm never going to be able to do it again. The four months I spent in London were four of the best months I ever had. I think about it every single day and ache for that city in a way that I never thought was possible. But I'm here. In the USA. In Philadelphia. Which I am very thankful for, but at the same time I'm keeping my fingers crossed for future travels and hopefully living abroad in some way once again. Not only was 2015 incredible because of traveling, but this was also the year that  graduated and the year that Derek and I moved in together! We now share our own little home in Philadelphia and I'm so grateful that for the first time in years, we are living in the same city. I'm scared that 2016 isn't going to live up to 2015 - but here's to trying!

12. Turning 22!
Im not going to lie, being 22 is pretty fun (that's probably why T. Swift wrote a song about it). It certaintly wasn't a carefree year but it was filled with travel, girls nights involving plenty of sweets, cheese and wine and mini dance parties. (First two pictures: Birthday celebration with my family a few days before turning 22, last photo: Derek and I before heading out for my birthday dinner.)

11. Lady Antebellum + Hunter Hayes concert with Derek
Derek got me tickets for my 22nd birthday! It was so fun seeing two of my favorite artists with him!  

10. Getting back to blogging
I took a hiatus while I was studying in London. I didn't want to risk spending too much time on the computer while I had a limited amount of time in Europe. But coming back to blogging after the break was super refreshing. 

9. Parties: Grad Party/Moving Out Party/NYE Party
These were 3 of my favorite days out of the entire year. Days filled with friends, food and laughter tend to be the best. Closing out 2015 with so many of my best friends was one of the best possible ways to go into 2016. 

8. Taylor Swift, 1989 Tour with my family
Yeah...not going to lie. I am such a "swiftie." My mom got the 1989 tickets for my 22nd birthday and it was so fun to experience the concert with my mom, sister and grandmother! They all had a blast too! You can read about the time my mom and I went to the Red Tour in 2013, HERE.

7. Local Traveling with Derek: NYC, Cape May, Terrain, West Chester, New Hope
After coming back from London, I have a new appreciation for traveling - even local travels! Derek and I explored more of Pennsylvania as well as the surrounding states of New York and New Jersey. (Pictured Above: Cape May, Solebury Orchards in New Hope, The Terrain at Styers in Glen Mills, and NYC)

6. Making New Friends + Girls Nights/Wine Nights
A few of my friends were moving away from Philadelphia right when I was getting back from London, which made me super nervous. But it just allowed me to create new friendships with some of the funniest, most incredible gals.

5. Moving Up at Work
Getting promoted shortly after graduation was an incredible surprise. I'm always excited to learn more and for new opportunities! 

4. Graduating from College
It's great to be an adult without a school schedule to be tied to. I may be naive, but I truly feel like the options are limitless. 

3. Moving in with Derek
I've been waiting for this moment for years. It hasn't always been easy but it's so much fun and worth every second. I love living with my best friend. 

2. Traveling Europe
You can read all about this in my last post, 2015: Top 12 Places

1. Moving to London for 4 months
The traveling was great, but getting to actually live and work at an internship in London gave me an experience like none other. I got to know about cultural differences the hard way and it put me in a situation that was hard and forced me to learn. It's so important to challenge yourself and this was my most challenging adventure yet! And it also turned out to be my best adventure. 
© Organized Mess • X Maira G.