March’s Reads

As I mentioned last month, I have been on a classical literature kick, something very unusual for me. I think the romance and history of London is getting to my head and changing my book preferences! That being said, here are reviews of some classics that have now become favorites of mine. However, towards the end of the month, I went back to my old ways and picked up a book on economics. Now that class is over for me I needed a source for a daily dose of knowledge!

Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood-

If you read my post about the books I read last month then you know I absolutely adored “Madonna in a Fur Coat” (and have been recommending it to everyone that asks for a book suggestion). When I finished reading it and returned to Daunt Books looking for my next few books to read, I asked a worker for books similar to it. She recommend me this book as well as the next one, “Marie”.

The Daunt Books employee told me that this book would give me a deeper insight into the burlesque clubs and war scene of 1930s Berlin that “Madonna in a Fur Coat” touched on briefly; and that it did. The characters in both novels are very similar, which is why I enjoyed this so much. While this classic more so introduces you to an array of intricate characters rather than a dramatic plot, I found it very captivating. If you enjoy Berlin’s history and characters with many different layers, give this one a read.

Marie by Madeleine Bourdouxhe-

This book was recommended to me because the main character, Marie, has a very similar attitude to ___ in “Madonna and a Fur Coat”. Both are women trapped in a lifestyle they don’t necessarily wish to be living. They both possess strong thoughts on men and their particular relationship with them. In this book, Marie struggles between the deep love she has for her husband and her desire to be her own person. Her actions say one thing and her thoughts say another.

Marie Madeleine Bourdouxhe review

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates-

Another classic, this novel tells the story of a couple living together in the suburbs of New York. Unlike most couples in the suburbs, Frank and Gloria never wished to live there or to have a family. They often fight with one another over the plans for the future and their children, both hoping not to sink into the comforts of living a “perfectly normal” life. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel because I can personally relate to the trap that suburbia can put on one’s ambitions. Afterall, I am a girl who loves the city!

Zero to One by Peter Thiel-

This book is quite unlike the others from the month of March. “Zero to One” discusses the evolution of technology and the important roles entrepreneurs play in this future. It analyzes the aspects that make certain companies successful and others unsuccessful. If you have a love for technology, economics or entrepreneurship, you will love this. I personally liked it because its points contradicted the points made by some of my favorite authors in some of my favorite books, one of those authors being Malcolm Gladwell. I always find it interesting when authors argue against the points made by well-known economists.

march 2017 book reviews

If you have any recommendations on books you think I should read, please leave them below! Check out January’s Reads, February’s Readsand be sure to look out for April’s Reads, coming soon.

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Show Your Love for the Earth Through Sustainable Fashion

April 22nd. Do you know what day that is? No, it’s not International Pancake Day or International Wine Day, two “holidays” that millennials are probably more familiar with than this day. April 22nd is Earth Day, a day that is dedicated to caring for our planet and making eco-conscious choices.

I find it ironic how millennials are “Earth-activists” and care about the environment, yet most do absolutely nothing to help it. While yes, part of Earth’s future lies in the hand of our President, it is our decisions in our everyday life that ultimately effect the health of Mother Nature. Being a millennial myself, I admit that I am not the best at recycling or reusing my resources. However, I am also not preaching for everyone else to help the Earth but not help it myself. So this brings me to ask you, how have you planned to help the Earth on this lovely upcoming Saturday?

Eileen Fisher outfit

I think we can all sacrifice a few hours of our day to pick up litter in the neighborhoods surrounding us. I highly recommend organizing a neighborhood clean-up and picking up  litter in your surrounding area. Just imagine if everyone did this; the Earth could be completely clean for a few hours! Growing up, my mom would bring my sister and I to participate in our neighborhood Earth Day clean-ups. I actually ended up always enjoying them, walking away with a sense of accomplishment that the patch of ground was clean because of my efforts. One time I even found an old love letter hiding in the litter alongside the highway. Not only are you helping your community, but you could find your own little treasures!

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You may be asking yourself, well how can I make a change that will permanently help the Earth? My answer for that is sustainable fashion. Many people, specifically Earth-activists, do not realize just how detrimental the fashion industry is to Mother Nature. Not only is it the fabric itself that is unethical, but the services of those who are making the clothing, the dying of the clothing, the shipping of the clothing… It is truly unfathomable how much harm fashion does to the environment.

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Fast fashion stores like H&M, Forever 21 and Zara are doing nothing but harming the environment with the toxins their factories release into the air, the unsustainable fabrics, and the strenuous practices that they put their workers through. Unless we stop buying from these stores, fast fashion companies will only continue to gain power.

Eilen Fisher fashion blogger

While I know it is hard not to shop at these stores, because lets face it, they are the only thing in our budget, but it is essential that we at least support companies making efforts towards sustainable fashion. My favorite company working towards this goal is EILEEN FISHER. Last summer I worked as a Social Media and Public Relations Intern for them and  experienced first-hand how ethics and safe environmental practices are the core of their company (read more about my experience here). We need to support companies like EILEEN FISHER who are making an effort to change the fashion industry as we know it.

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Not only do these two companies design and produce their clothing with the environment in mind, but they make an effort to truly educate consumers. Look on either of their websites and you will see environmental statistics plastered all over. They don’t try to hide how and where they produce their products, which most companies do. Try to find out where fast fashion retailers make their clothes. Hint: you won’t be able to. They don’t easily disclose this information on their website. If this information is found, it is usually in a news article titled “Forever 21 Clothing Made in U.S. Sweatshops for $4 an Hour” or “Forever 21, H&M, Zara, Uniqlo: Who’s Paying for our Cheap Clothes?“.

Eileen Fisher fashion blogger

Earth Day may be April 22nd, but every day should be Earth Day. I know we are all not perfect, but we all can do something a little extra to make the environment a healthier place. I’m not talking fighting legislation or joining the Green Party, but something we can all easily do every day, like make sustainable fashion choices.

Have Bloggers Destroyed the True Purpose of Coachella?

Being an avid Youtube and Instagram user, I have noticed the increased hype over Coachella this year with popular fashion and lifestyle bloggers. Hype may even be putting it lightly… I think the term obsession may be more appropriate. While Coachella has always been viewed as an event to show off the best of festival fashion, it has been taken to a whole new level this year. I keep asking myself, why is this?

My favorite fashion bloggers like Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat and Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad have been documenting their last few months spent preparing for Coachella. Yes, months. There have been constant Instagram stories and snapchats of them receiving packages in the mail from companies as well as their various visits to brand showrooms in preparation for their finest festival-inspired looks. From what I can recall of the past years, there has never been this much obsession over what to wear and what types of statements are to be made.

(pictures via @weworewhat on Instagram)

Being a fashionista myself, I absolutely recognize all of the fun that goes into preparing your looks for music festivals. It gives you a chance to dress in ways you may not typically dress in your everyday life. I mean who doesn’t love the glitter, boho dresses, and cowgirl-themed accessories? Coachella gives you a chance to be someone new and embrace the gypsy fashion while listening to some of your favorite bands in the middle of the desert. However, I can’t help but wonder if Coachella has now become more of a brand investment rather than a fun source of self-expression.

We all know that fashion bloggers get paid by brands to wear their clothing and post pictures of them wearing it. It is also no question that Coachella fashion gets A LOT of attention and A LOT of searches. This makes me wonder if Coachella is just an excuse for fashion bloggers to get increased exposure from social media and magazine articles, which is why bloggers are spending so much time preparing for it. The more preparation, the crazier the looks, the more exposure, the more money bloggers are paid by brands.

(pictures via @chiaraferragni on Instagram)

Not only has this festival turned into a business venture for fashion bloggers, but it has become hard work for all of the brands involved as well. If you work for a popular bohemian fashion brand you can forget about enjoying the music at Coachella. Countless months are spent planning parties, looks, press events, showroom invites, and more. I mean, I thought music festivals were a fun place to enjoy music, but have you once heard a blogger talk about what artists were going to be there or who they couldn’t wait to hear live? I know I haven’t. All the talk is simply about wearing which look which day and getting this shot, in that location. I have mentioned this before, but life should be about enjoying the moment rather than planning it. We don’t want to see posed picture, we want to see people genuinely enjoying themselves.

While I am excited to not only hear the live performances from Coachella this weekend, I am also looking forward to all of the Instagram posts of what everyone is wearing. However, some of the magic for me will be lost. Just knowing all of the business that has gone behind an event that is supposed to be so fun, carefree, and effortless, loses Coachella’s sense of purpose for me. What do you think about the evolution of Coachella and its attendees? Let me know by leaving me a comment!

My Daily Commute in Pictures

Every time I walk from Old Street station back to my flat I think how lucky I am to be in London in this beautiful neighborhood. While this may not be everyone’s idea of beauty, especially those used to the more traditional London, beauty is all in one’s own perception. Here is my daily commute through Shoreditch in my eyes:

Shoreditch photography

Shoreditch building photography

Shoreditch street shot

Shoreditch street art photography

Shoreditch graffiti art

Follow me on Instagram for more photos of London.

Hidden Gem of Amsterdam: Toastable

After strolling through the Bloemenmarkt early in the morning, I needed some coffee to get me through the rest of the day. I was instantly attracted to Toastable because of their cute, cheery sign greeting me at the door.

Amsterdam's cutest cafe

I ordered a cappuccino to-go, although my cousin and I ended up spending quite some time in this quaint cafe. Wood tables, pink peonies in glass bottles, white walls, and a decadent gold-framed mirror. If I lived in Amsterdam I could easily spend hours in this light, airy atmosphere.

best coffee in  Amsterdam

While I only came in here for a cup of coffee, I later found out that they sell all varieties of grilled cheese. I mean who doesn’t love grilled cheese? If you stop here, try the Gorgonzola toastie for me; I couldn’t help but eye up all the delicious options on their menu! I highly recommend stopping in here for a quick bite to eat and a cup of coffee before being on your way to explore the city.

Amsterdam's best coffee

Being a blogger, I can’t leave a place this aesthetically pleasing without having a little photoshoot!

Check out my Amsterdam Guide for more recommendations when visiting this city.