3 Reasons to Love Crops

Growing up, to me, is about finding a happy medium between clothes that I think are really fun and clothes that are presentable to the working world i.e. you can’t wear a leather bralette to work for most offices, but you could probably wear a leather skirt. And as I get older I get more and more annoyed with skinny pants. I don’t always love how tight and restricting they feel. I am a flowy gal, I need clothes that make me feel like the ocean breeze. I tried on these loose leg cropped pants that my mom had and wasn’t using and I was instantly in love. NEWS FLASH FRIENDS: These pants made me look so tiny. I have a theory about that actually, I think that since the pants are tight only on the waist and flow out they would probably make most people look thin. These pants! They can do no wrong! And so for all of you I have compiled 3 different outfits in the hopes of convincing you with 3 different reasons that you should love and try wearing cropped pants. (Crops are pretty similar to culottes just longer I’m pretty sure)

crops 1

(Peep the details here) The first reason you should love crops is because they are an unexpected and totally fun idea for a night out. When you think of bars and *~the club~* you probably think dresses and skirts and all things bodycon. WRONG! A wide leg creates a polished and mysterious look while the bright colour of the pants still makes the outfit feel fun. A simple crop, some fun accessories, and a don’t mess with this jacket are all you need with these pants for a super fun night out. Also you may opt for heels, but I like to dance so prefer shoes that are closer to the ground.

crops 2

(Peep the details here) The second reason you should love crops is that they are perfect for the office or work. They are smart, they are fun, and they are fashion forward. Pair it with an unexpected pop of colour, like some orange sandals, and a new take on the classic stripped button up and you’ve got yourself a banging outfit perfect for the office and still fly for happy hour after work.

crops 3

(Peep the details here) The third reason you should love crops is that they are great for all day to day activites. This is pretty similar to an outfit that I wore on my trip. I find white pants can be such a positive reminder to the wearer that it is in fact spring-almost-summer season. I always worry about looking too polished so a dark lip, a fun halter top and some retro inspired sunnies help make me feel more rock and roll. You could wear this site seeing, to lunch, or even out to the mall. And it’s still so frikken put together that you could even rock this to see your grandma or that aunt that never approves of you. Girl, she’ll approve of you in these kick ass pants.

I hope I have instilled the love of crops into all of you as these pants have found a special place in my heart. It is so nice to not wear skinnies for a change and to have some flowiness back in my life.

Are you wearing crops/culottes? If so tell me what you love about them! If you aren’t, why aren’t you!? Were you not convinced?!

Love,

Lea

7 Things You Must See in Florence, Italy

As I have just returned from my glorious tour around Italy I felt it prudent that I create a few round-up posts for all of you telling you all what I loved and what I would recommend others to see and do. Florence is a beautiful city, but it’s a city of interiors. By that I mean, there is more to see on the inside than on the outside. Florence has numerous splendid galleries full of Renaissance beauties such as the Uffizi, the Palatine  Gallery, the Bargello, and the Gallerie dell’Accademie.

1. The Uffizi

If you’re going to Florence to see art then YOU MUST go to the Uffizi. In its’ two floors this gallery houses an impressive collection of priceless works of art. They have everything from Botticelli to Carracci and everyone in between. If  you can get line skip (available with the Firenze Card) you can show up whenever, if not I recommend either getting there right as it opens, or go after 3pm when the gallery starts to slow down.

2. The Palatine Gallery

The Palatine Gallery is located within the Palazzo Pitti (which itself has 5 galleries of different nature to see) and is the second best place to see some good paintings in Florence. Although both it and the Uffizi are old buildings that once were used for different purposes than just galleries, they are both presented in very different ways. The Uffizi is dressed like your standard gallery: each room contains paintings paired together based by artists, time period, or location of origin. But the Palatine Gallery is located in the old ducal and royal rooms of the palace and therefore are displayed betwixt lavish wall coverings and in rooms dressed in their imperial glory. You really get a feel of what it was like to be ridiculously rich and a Medici or a Bonaparte in this gallery (Think Louvre’s Napoleon III rooms but with Raphael and Perugino on the walls).

3. The Bargello and the Accademie

To me these two can be interchangeable depending on what your priorities are. If you are coming to Florence to see the most famous works, then you will probably opt for the Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David. Now there is more to see there, but David truly takes the cake and it is a small museum and very crowded and can easily overwhelm even the most crowd friendly person. The Bargello on the other hand is much less busy, but houses an older master (and my personal favourite bronze caster) Donatello. This gallery also houses some great Michelangelo work too, but it does not have the David. I guess this one is really up to you and what you’re more inclined to see. Both galleries are laid out similarly and house similar artists, the only difference is that one has the famous David and the other has less crowds and Donatello.

Another amazing thing to do in Florence is to go to churches. Seeing as it is close to the papacy in Rome and also was home to one of the most rich and most famous powerhouse families, the Medici, expect Florence to have numerous lavish and crazy gorgeous churches and cathedrals such as Santa Maria del Fiore, San Miniato al Monte, Santa Croce, and San Lorenzo Basilica.

4. Santa Maria del Fiore


Or as the locals have lovingly dubbed it, Duomo (means dome). This cathedral, protected by UNESCO, is free to enter, but if you want to do the extra stuff you have to go to the special ticket office and grab a ticket that lets you climb to the cupola (top of the dome), the bell tower, to enter the opera gallery, Santa Reparata crypt, and to enter the Baptistery. This easily can be a whole day of fun. I would recommend going first into the cathedral and tour around the nave and then when you’re on the way to the exit go down into Santa Reparata which is the remains of the ancient remains of the old church that used to be on the same site. After this go line up for the Cupola and wait and wait and wait (if you have the Firenze card you can go into a shorter line, but it’s still like a 45 minute wait). Similar to climbing any tall monument, you need to do it once, but probably only once. With the dome you get to see Brunelleschi’s genius. HISTORY LESSON: the technique of making domes had been lost since antiquity, but Brunelleschi figured out how to make them again in the 1400s. He used a hollow herringbone technique to make the dome strong but light and you get to climb inside the hollow walls, spiraling up to the lantern where you will get a unique view of the city. After the dome go to the Baptistery and marvel at the mosaics and frescoes inside then tour around outside and gaze at the bronze doors depicting the old testament and new testament stories. And if you still have energy go up Giotto’s bell tower and see the opera museum (these last two I did not do, but they are available with the ticket).
5. San Miniato al Monte


To get here you have to go on a crazy gorgeous walk through some of the lesser busy areas of Florence. You pass through the old city wall, climb up by a lavish rose garden, go past a turn off for the Forte Belvedere (which is a cool walk and is a free place to look at Florence), and up more stairs to the Piazza Michelangelo where you see a bronze copy of the David with yet another view of Florence, but don’t stop here climb more stairs up to the glorious San Miniato al Monte! This old church is decorated with beautiful frescoes and has lovely, glittering mosaics above the portals.This is an active monastery and there are monks walking around everywhere. They also have a store where they sell liquor and sweets AND MONK MADE HONEY (tip: they are all weird honeys with strong flavours, be very careful which honey you pick). In the back and sides of the church is a beautiful cemetery which you can walk around and see lovely tombs and crypts that is equal parts macabre and spell-bounding.
6. Santa Croce

Now, you will not be walking through the safest looking area to get here if you are coming from the city center (i.e. Piazza Vecchio) but have no fear, you’ll be fine it is only like a 10 minute walk from Santa Maria del Fiore. This church is home to many famous tombs, so many that it might surprise you. Among the most famous people resting here are Galileo and Michelangelo. It is a lovely church an equally lovely courtyard that gives viewers a happy, uplifting feeling.

7. San Lorenzo Basilica

Medici fans raise your hands! It’s hard to miss the Medici balls which are all over the city of Florence, and they are no more present than here in their favourite church of San Lorenzo. This church is made up of 4 different museums, which means 4 different tickets SO FRIENDS BUY THE FIRENZE CARD, IT WILL BE WORTH IT. Once inside you can see the Library, the old and new sacristy, the Medici Chapel, the crypt and the museum. Honestly, this church is so lavishly decorated (purple porphyry is everywhere, this is an extremely expensive marble like rock only found in Egypt which I’m pretty sure is all used up now) and is home to some of the greatest architectural names, i.e. hey Brunelleschi nice old sacristy! It really helps visitors to understand just how much money those dang Medicis had. I mean, come on. It’s so so so so so so so beautifully decorated that beautiful does not even begin to explain it.

 

My final recommendation, which I have been saying endlessly, is if you’re only in Florence for a short amount of time it is really worth it to buy the Firenze card. It is 72 Euros for 72 hours of fun for over 70 different monuments. I saw everything above and more with the card and was able to skip lines and skip queues. It is worth it!

Let me know what you loved in Florence if you have been there and if you have any different recommendations for me for the next time I visit!

Love,

Lea

The joys of second hand clothes 

I have always been an advocate for finding clothes at thrift stores and vintage shops because I like the idea of giving clothes and accessories a second life. I’ve always been a big fan of history and to me buying second hand clothes was like buying something with history to it. Now of course the cheaper price helps too. Another fun place for me to check is my mom and dad’s closet for fun pieces. I recently found two amazing pairs of cropped pants in my moms closet that I have since claimed as my own and I love them. They let me use something that we already owned so I didn’t produce any new waste buying something new and they are so cute how could I not love them?


The pink blouse is also thrifted by the way! Buying second hand is better for the environment and better for your wallet, so what’s not to love?

What are your thoughts?

Lea

A happy birthday to me

Yesterday was my Birthday and it was such a glorious day! I spent the day with the ones I love and the beautiful Amalfi coast! We rented a driver to take us to Amalfi, Ravello, and Positano and they were all so beautiful. What a great day and what amazing people! Can’t wait to see what 22 brings me!


Love,

Lea

My must sees from Rome

If you’re looking for a city to see a lot of paintings, Rome is not the place for you. It is, however, the place to go if you want to see history. Everywhere you look you can see the ancient world built into the new one. I stayed in the Jewish Ghetto, which is great for food and seeing the three grumpy sisters, and there was so much history there. It was the second Jewish ghetto in Italy and I’m pretty sure in all of Europe, after Venice of course, so that added an extra layer to explore. The synagogue in the square is also amazing. 

I really enjoyed walking the colosseum and the ancient forum and even just finding parts of antiquity in everyday places. I also really recommend seeing the Vatican. It is really busy, but if you book a guided tour (try See Rome with Dino, he’s awesome) they can get you in without waiting in line and get you into the Sistine Chapel and the grotto where you can see tombs from many popes. I thought St. Peter’s was overhyped and I rolled my eyes when my parents said they had booked it, but I had such a transcendent moment in the Sistine Chapel. Knowing I was standing where Michelangelo once stood for some reason moved me to tears. I truly felt the circularity of time, which is why I study history, it creates a special paradox where the past, present and future all intermingle in the same space. 

Too deep? Yeah, okay, let’s exit the Twilight Zone now, shall we? 

If you want to see some beautiful architecture from the Baroque check out Bernini. He was the superstar of the Baroque, followed by the other star Borromini. See the Gesu, S Agnese in Agone, the Fountain of the Four Rivers, College de propaganda fide, and if you want to see a gorgeous Bernini sculpture head on over to Santa Marie in Vittoria to see his Saint Theresa in Ecstasy. That is some good art. 

Rome is great for walking through the past and seeing their most famous monuments, which are not as tourist trap as you may think, and to eat great artichokes. Seriously, go to the Jewish Ghetto and eat some Jewish style artichokes. They are life changing. 


What did you love if you’ve been to Rome? Please let me know so I can check it out next time I’m here! 

Love

Lea

When in Rome…

After what feels like the longest and most painful few days of travel I have finally made it to Italy and my first stop which is Rome. So far my family and I have done the classic Roman tourist “traps”: trevi fountain, Pantheon, Coliseum, Forum, and tomorrow we are going to the Vatican. But, despite the fact that these are the sites that everyone sees and learns about, I have found that what really made them special was having a private tour guide. My dad found this wonderful lady, Francesca, who has lived in Rome her whole life and has a tour guide company. She is an archeologist and walking around Rome with her was amazing. She saw everything differently: she showed us the different ages seen in buildings, how the Empire was built into the Middle Ages and then into the Renaissance. Her colleague Manuela took us through the Coliseum and gains sus access to the underground and to the arena and roof of the amphitheatre, which you cannot do without advanced tickets and a guide. Both women were so knowledgable and so fun and made Rome so much more special with their insider knowledge. If you’re ever in a city for the first time and you really want to see a lot and learn a lot I recommend finding a good guide, funds provided, to take you around. It isn’t the cheapest or most budget-wise venture, but they can show you a different side to the city. 


If you’ve been to Italy what have you really enjoyed? Please let me know I’m the comments!

Love,

Lea

Practicing my values

Earlier I wrote about how I find peace by accepting what I can and can’t control and last night was the perfect example of how I live my values. My flight to Italy was cancelled at 2am so we had to scramble to get a new flight for today, but as we waited for hours I noticed how everyone around me acted differently to the delay and ultimate cancelation of the flight. 

I try to see grey: no story is black and white. And because of that I realize I do not know everyone’s story, I don’t know what happened to them that day, I don’t know what they are going through and because of that I try to keep an open mind. But that being said, shit happens. Planes get delayed and people have to sit around and wait and sometimes people have to go home, but ultimately you have very little control in the matter. Yelling at a customer service person won’t fix anything. It will just make everyone more upset. I knew there was nothing I could do to speed up the flight delay so I looked up possible alternative connection flights if we were to miss our connection, and I looked up possible alternative flights altogether because I had a feeling we were not going to leave that night. It turned out that our plane was broken so we were not going anywhere, and I realized crying, yelling, swear, etc would not get us anywhere, so instead my family and I went into action mode and called to get a new flight and got our bags and a taxi to go home as fast as we could. And today we have a new flight. 

The moral of the story is, much as may like to believe, we do not control everything and sure people will get upset that’s only natural, but understanding what you can control I have found has made me more calm and relaxed. 

So wish me luck today as we depart again and have a great Friday!

Lea

Trying to pack for Italy 

As some of you know and some of you don’t, I am going to Italy for a few weeks on Thursday and am pretty friken excited about it. The only problem is that I have zero idea what to wear and have too many clothes and not a very big suitcase so I can’t really bring that much so I really need to be strategic. I have a lot of clothes I want to bring so now I just need to narrow it down to what I really need which I think is:

3 pairs of pants

2 pairs of shorts

2 skirts

One nice dress

2 blouses

5 shirts

2 sweaters

A cardigan or cover up shirt

One jacket

Raincoat

A swimsuit

A pair of running shoes, a pair of walking shoes, loafers, sandals, heels

I think that’s everything… I don’t know if I should cut back and narrow it down or keep what I have. Guys help me! What do you recommend?

Please help! I’m stressing so hard. 

Love,

Lea

One of the best lesson I ever learned 

Recently I told you all I was finished with my undergraduate degree and was set to graduate. Funny thing about that… It almost didn’t happen. I botched an assignment and then had a small window to fix my mistake (which was huge) in order to be able to meet the grade deadline for my prof so that I could have enough credits to graduate in June.

Worlds. Biggest. Face palm.

I was so mad and sad and confused that I had missed a step of an assignment. But I was also so thankful that I was allowed to correct my mistake without failing the assignment. So it was a weird happy-angry-frustrated-panic.

Anyway it is finished and done and over now. So I am graduating now. I think I hope ahhhhh.

But what I have learned here is

1. Triple read the instructions and if it seems too easy, ask for clarification. Don’t pull a Lea, ASK ASK ASK

2. Mistakes and setbacks are only bad if you see them negatively. You can learn a lot from mistakes and a lot from how you handle situations.

3. The serenity prayer: focus on things that are in your control, ignore and accept what isn’t in your control, and to have the wisdom to know which is which. I have wasted so much energy on things and people who I cannot control and it has lead me to realize that the only person who is under my control is me. This was a turning point for me because I have really been able to focus on how to make me happier and how to refocus my energy in positive ways to make me feel better. People are great but people, generally, are uncontrollable variables that one must work around. This isn’t a negative either or a way of throwing shade or whatever at anyone, it’s a simple assessment of my experiences and what I have experienced is people will always do things that you don’t like or want but you do not have to let that affect you if you don’t want to. You must accept what you can’t change in order to focus on what you can.

Deep, I know.

Let me know your thoughts friends, you are totally allowed to disagree with me and I accept that about you 😉

Also if you haven’t already enter my Polette giveaway (link here) winner will be announced tomorrow!!

Much love,

Lea