Summer Reading Recommendations

If you have been following my book reviews for quite some time now then you know it’s been awhile since I last posted one of these. While I hate to admit it, yes, I have been slacking on my New Year’s resolution to read a new book every week. Sometimes life simply gets in the way and that is ok.

I think many people become discouraged the moment they realize they break a goal that they promised themselves they’d stick to. Well, here I am telling you that it’s ok to break goals, but only as long as you are still attempting to stick with them. Life has definitely caught up with me the last few months- from moving from London back to New York, to starting a new job, to taking on new students- it has been hectic.

summer reading list

Lately I have been making sure to take at least 30 minutes to read a chapter or two of my book. It has quickly become an easy way to unwind and relax after a long day of working. Not only am I learning and bettering my mind, but I am deconnecting from my phone and the business of life itself.

option b summer reading

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant-

Sheryl Sandberg is one of my favorite authors for her ability to relate each topic she writes about to every type of reader. I am a huge fan of her first book, “Lean In”, as well as this book, which is her newest. If you are going through a hard time in your life, this book will make you appreciate your life and help you to live every moment to its fullest. It truly gave me a different perspective on the hardships I have gone through and how to make the best out of it. I highly recommend this book to anyone, whether you are going through a tough time or not.

Birth of a Theorem by Cedric Villani-

I had to include a fail in this reading list because, honestly, who enjoys every single book they read? Being an avid math lover and “amateur mathematician”, I was very excited to read about the process of creating a new mathematical theorem and having it be accepted into the world. However, this book was way out of my league. The first chapter in I felt as if I was reading gibberish. Therefore, unless you have a PhD in Mathematics, steer clear of this book.

Lolita summer reading

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov-

After hearing Lana Del Rey sing hey, Lolita, hey way too many times without quite understanding the reference, I decided to give in and read this classic. While the book was quite disturbing, it was an interesting view point to read up on. If you have a fascination with the term nymphet and where it comes from, or if just want to read a classic piece of literature, give it a try.

The Millstone by Margaret Drabble-

Like many books I choose to read, the cover of this one is what attracted me to this particular book. It was simply too pretty to pass up on having it displayed on my future New York City apartment bookcase. The plot explains the changing life of a single woman in 1960s London who becomes pregnant after a one-night stand. The book walks through her thoughts on her pregnancy and future child and how her life changes after having the baby. I really enjoyed a look inside the mind of an independent woman who goes through a serious life change like having a child.

summer reading list

If you are looking for some more book recommendations be sure to check out March’s Reads, February’s Reads, and January’s Reads. With the end of my summer internship also comes a week long summer vacation and lots of hours spent reading on the beach; so be sure to look out for lots more book reviews coming soon!

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Hidden (Vegan) Gem of Edinburgh: Paradise Palms

If you are a vegan then you know how hard it can be to find food to eat while traveling in Europe. Europeans are not nearly as adapt to the new lifestyle choices, such as vegetarianism and veganism, as Americans are. With each city that I visited in Europe I tried to hunt down the local vegan spots to test out. This one in Edinburgh was by far my favorite vegan restaurant that I visited while abroad.

Paradise Palms Edinburgh

Paradise Palms in Edinburgh truly is a one stop shop. You can basically find anything you want to fit all of your hipster needs. Not only do they serve vegan and vegetarian food, but they are also a bar, an event venue, a vinyl store, and a record label. Crazy right!? It is impossible to not have a great time at this place, even when visiting alone, like myself.

Edinburgh Paradise Palms

I’m a firm believer that the environment of a restaurant contributes to your experience there. With an atmosphere as cool as this one how can you not enjoy yourself? The space is filled with records, neon lights, and quirky trinkets hanging from the ceilings. It truly is a space that you will never forget.

Edinburgh vegan nachos

Not being able to eat meat or cheese, I had to order these vegan jackfruit nachos when I saw them on the menu. They were absolutely delicious and worth every bite. The nacho chips were topped with pulled barbecue jackfruit and mango & pineapple salsa. Is your mouth watering? Because mine is just thinking about it once again! And yes, in case you were wondering, I did finish this all by myself. Don’t judge!

Edinburgh vegan hot dog

In addition to the nachos, I had to try the vegan hot dog. Since becoming a vegetarian I have missed a good hot dog with ketchup and mustard. While it definitely tasted like tofu, it filled the hot dog fix I was looking for.

Edinburgh Paradise Palms street art

Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, or meat-lover, I highly recommend this one-of-a-kind restaurant in Edinburgh. The atmosphere and energy make it unlike any other restaurant. If I ever return to Scotland I will definitely be making a special stop here to check out the rest of the menu.

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Independence//Dependence

Independence. It is something we all aim to possess and incorporate into our daily life. It is also something each of us interprets differently depending on our own circumstances. For some independence means being able to afford rent without the help from one’s parents, and for others it means being perfectly content in one’s own company. Who are we to judge whether someone should be independent or dependent?

London fashion blogger

I have always been independent in my own interests and style. I pride myself in the fact that I dress the way I want and do what I want without the opinions of other’s affecting me. I mean it is pretty necessary to not care what others think when you are out on the streets of London with a photographer who has a camera with a two-foot-long lens pointing at you…

Although I am very independent in most aspects, I depend on my family and friends for love, support, and some good laughs. Without them I would not have turned into the person I am today.

fashion blogger united kingdom

It is weird to think about your own style as being independent or dependent, as if it were a person itself. However, one’s style is truly dependent on this concept. You either dress the way you want because YOU like it or you dress that way because SOCIETY likes it. Or in a fashionista’s case, the way the fashion industry likes it.

fashion blogger creative shot

Trends like yellow-tinted sunglasses and fishnet tights are completely dependent on the opinions of the fashion industry. Even I can’t admit that I made those style choices simply because I liked the style and wanted to wear it; I tried them because they were on-trend and worn by some of my favorite bloggers.

New York City fashion blogger

Just like our own personalities, I believe it is essential that our individual style is comprised of both independent and dependent pieces. Us humans need to be somewhat dependent on others in order to form meaningful relationships in our lives. We also need these relationships to expand our own outlook on life and grow as individuals. Our style works the same way in that without trying “trends” we don’t know what we like/dislike and what looks good/bad on our bodies.

Kensington fashion blogger

In this look I was inspired by the off-the-shoulder trend currently circulating throughout the fashion world. However, I made it my own by adding my favorite black boots and a jeweled bag I found at a local market in London.

London fashion blogger

Whether it is with your clothes, personal goals, or hobbies, don’t be afraid to look to others for their thoughts and opinions. We often condemn people who depend too much on the opinions of others; but sharing ideas is necessary to grow into your own form of independence.

See more street style posts by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook. If you enjoyed this post, check out Too New York for London- a Lookbook.

Photos by Colton.

Parisian Street Art (the 10th arrondissement)

The 10th district of Paris is abundant with colorful street art and lively characters. It is not what one would expect when thinking of Paris. I personally loved seeing this side of the city, covered in music posters and graffiti, because of its contrast to the classic Parisian architecture.

Paris grafiti art

Paris street art

Paris street art

These graphic stickers of random faces could be found on various corners throughout the district.

Paris street art posters

Along the canal were plenty of pop art posters promoting local events and concerts.

Paris canal

fun Paris street art

Paris canal art

Stickers saying “J’existe”, or “I exist” in English, were stuck all over the canal barriers and street signs.

parisstreetart2

This area could easily be considered the Shoreditch or East Village of Paris for those of you familiar with London or New York. If you love street art and exploring the younger scenes of cities, then visiting the 10th district of Paris, by the canal, is a must.

Follow me on Instagram for more photos of the world’s best cities and their street art.

London’s Best Restaurants

It is no secret that I like food. Ok… I more than like food; food has become a hobby for me in all aspects. I love hunting down new restaurants, trying new flavors, photographing dishes, and cooking healthy meals for myself. Being a foodie truly is a lifestyle!

While I was in London I had a chance to try many different restaurants all over the city, each a different type of cuisine. Many people say London has poor tasting food; well they clearly weren’t eating at the right places. Here are my absolute favorite restaurants in London, each a favorite for a different reason.

Oka in Primrose Hill

Oka describes itself as a traditional and fusion Japanese restaurant. They offer sashimi, sushi and stir-fry meals. My absolute favorite thing on the menu is the chili edamame, as shown below. It is something so simple yet bursting with spicy flavor.

Oka Primrose Hill London

Another one of my favorites, and an absolute must-have if you are a sushi lover, is the salmon jalapeño roll. The flavors are fresh and subtle, which is what makes it so good. The wasabi at Oka is even homemade, adding a special touch to every sushi roll.

Oka sushi London

Be sure to book this spot in advance if looking to dine here in the evening. Don’t forget to hike to the top of Primrose Hill, first, and enjoy the sunset!

Da Mario in South Kensington

A favorite of Princess Diana, this restaurant is a go-to when looking for yummy Italian food in London. All of the pasta is homemade and the sauce is to die for. Not only do they offer pastas but they make their own pizzas as well. I love how friendly and welcoming the staff is to everyone that walks in. My favorite here has to be the potato gnocchi; the gnocchi is so plump and melts in your mouth!

Sketch in Chelsea

If you are Instagram obsessed like I am then you have definitely seen pictures of Sketch’s decor. As soon as you walk in the door you feel like you have fallen down the rabbit hole and ended up in Wonderland. I was lucky enough to visit during the Chelsea Flower Show when the entire restaurant was covered in pink peonies and roses.

Sketch London breakfast

While the afternoon tea is quite expensive and usually booked months in advance, the breakfast option is usually always available and not nearly as expensive. I enjoyed some porridge and fruit with a few cups of the matcha green tea.

Sketch London breakfast fruit

While the food is certainly delicious, what makes Sketch one of my favorites is the one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Each room is decorated differently; whether you are sitting on pink velvet couches or in a forest of flowers, the experience is magical.

City Best Kebab in Shoreditch

I had to add my favorite post-night-out spot to this list; the perfect spot for a cheap and quick meal. London is filled with falafel shops so it can be quite hard to find the best one. Luckily, this one was right around the corner from my flat and has the best falafel I have ever tasted. You never know what kind of crowd you are going to come across either, which is what makes it so entertaining.

Pacata in Covent Garden

I purposely saved the best for last with this restaurant; ironic since this was also the last meal I ate in London before leaving. Pacata specializes in thai comfort food, making the best tom kha soup and pad thai.

best pad thai in london

I know I’m making a big claim here but this may have been one of the best meals I have ever eaten. I am a huge fan of squid ink pasta and order it whenever it is on a restaurant’s menu. Pacata had squid ink pad thai, a combination of two of my favorite things. The flavors were so unique and worked together so well. If you are near Covent Garden you must try this dish!

Stay tuned for more of my favorites in London and other European cities by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

 

 

Why We Need to Love America

The 4th of July is a holiday of American pride- both real and fake. While there are certainly many people who love and appreciate this country, myself being one of them, there are many who do not- especially those in my generation.

cape may fashion blogger

On the 4th of July everyone celebrates the birth of America and the principles that it was founded on. However, on the other 364 days of the year, people are bashing the country for its struggles and issues that it is facing. Well, guess what? This is what makes America the great country that it is. Unlike those in other countries, we actually have the right to speak our opinions and raise our voice to principles we don’t believe in.

fashion blogger beach sunset

You may not agree with everything that is happening in our country right now but it is a beautiful thing that you even have a voice to say something about it. Being in a country with so much freedom has led us to take for granted the freedom that our ancestors fought for us to have 241 years ago. Well it’s time to wake up. We are a country where we actually have a say in government policy and the power to make a change.

america fashion blogger

If you aren’t happy with the way things are playing out in America then do something to change that. Speak your mind and fight for a cause you believe in, but don’t ever say you aren’t proud to be an American. It is important that we encourage one another to debate right versus wrong while still being on the same side.

There isn’t a day that goes by where I am not proud to be living in this country, with all its diversity and opportunity. What other country is filled with people from hundreds of different countries that all consider themself one nationality? Zero. It is only America where you can be German, African, Australian, Chinese, Mexican, or Russian and also be American. No other country melts the way America does in terms of diversity.

sunset fashion blogger

This 4th of July, and all other days of the year, be proud to show off your red, white and blue and exclaim your love for America.

Hear more of what I have to say and see what I am up to by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.