Monday, May 30, 2016

Black Linen Dress at the Palazzo Doria-Pamphili

Madewell Linen Shirtdress (similar options linked below, last seen here) | Le Specs Sunnies | Cole Haan Sandals (very old, similar here and here, on sale!) | Essie Nail Polish in Guilty Pleasures | Proenza Schouler PS1 Bag (this similar blue version and this beautiful pink one, both 30% off!)

While I love to visit art museums, I'd much rather see an art collection as it was once featured, preferably within a beautiful home or palace. Not only can you enjoy the art, but you can also imagine what it would have been like to live in splendor within one of the greatest cities in Europe. One of these palaces is the Palazzo Doria Pamphili in Rome. It is the largest palace in Rome to still be privately owned, and one of the most underrated private art collections. After reading about it in one of my favorite guide books, we walked over to the Piazza Navona to see it for ourselves.

Word of warning, while there is a Palazzo Pamphili in the Piazza Navona, this is not the one that you can tour. The Palazzo Doria Pamphili is the one you are looking for, and it's about a 10 minute walk toward the city center from the other Palazzo. We learned this after accidentally sneaking our way into the Brazilian Embassy. Whoops!
 
I have such an adoration for the grand doors and entryways in Rome! Many of the buildings we've seen have a large door, followed by an equally beautiful gate, leading into a courtyard with flowers and fruit trees. You can see the lovely courtyard from the Palazzo Doria Pamphili in some of the pictures in this post. Another great thing we enjoyed about the Palazzo was the audio tour, narrated by one of the family members who lovingly describes his family history and the stories behind how they acquired some of the more famous pieces of art in the collection. It's one thing to see a beautiful painting, but to hear about how it was commissioned to celebrate a marriage, or given to the family by an artist to win favor makes it all the more interesting.


Madewell Linen Shirtdress (similar options linked below, last seen here) | Le Specs Sunnies | Cole Haan Sandals (very old, similar here and here, on sale!) | Essie Nail Polish in Guilty Pleasures | Proenza Schouler PS1 Bag (this similar blue version and this beautiful pink one, both 30% off!)

This black linen dress is one of my favorite dresses ever, and easily one of the best things I packed for this trip (you may recognize it from this older blog post). I've worn it a few times on this trip already, including with a scarf to tour the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Linen is a great summer fabric since it's so breathable, and I love the feminine silhouette of a shirtdress with a cinched waist. While this one is from last season at Madewell, here are a few similar (and even better!) options:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Stripes and Bows in Nashville



I am taking a quick break from the Europe posts to share an outfit from my trip to Nashville last month. My bestie, Hillary, and I try to see each other a few times a year, so we got together to celebrate her birthday in one of our favorite cities. Nashville also happens to be the city where we met, while we were both students at Vanderbilt. Hillary is a great photographer, so I always love when we get a chance to shoot together. Thank you, Hilly!



The weekend was wonderful, and filled with some of my favorite things to do in Nashville. We originally made ​​reservations for a restaurant on Saturday night, and then got word last minute that it was not the best. SO we ended up at the beautiful bar of Moto, the modern Italian restaurant in The Gulch, and it was my favorite meal of the weekend. If you are headed to Nashville, I highly recommend you make a reservation, or go early to catch a spot at the bar like we did. I am still dreaming of the burrata appetizer!


Shopping is another activity that we both love, so we stopped into the new Draper James store (well done, Reese!), White's Mercantile (Hilly's fave), and UAL (my fave). Like I've said before, UAL can be really hit or miss, so I was very lucky to score these pink suede Carven bow flats for $70. I was thisclose to bringing them with me to Europe, but I can't wait to pair them with so many dresses and outfits this fall. Stay tuned :)



What DID make it to Europe with me is this awesome striped tee. I honestly do not know what I'd wear 80% of the time if the striped tee had never been invented. My favorite ones are always from J.Crew, and luckily they have a few in stock here, here, and here. Which one do you love best?
P.S. If you are not already following along on Instagram, I'm posting daily pictures from our trip . I'd love for you to join me there! xoxo

Monday, May 23, 2016

Campo de' Fiori and Castel Sant'Angelo

Zara Dress  (plus lots of similar options linked below) | Prada Sunnies (in black here, love these too!) | Born Taj Sandals | Proenza Schouler PS1 Bag (in a brighter blue color here, and I especially love the pink!!)



One of our favorite weekend activities is to go to the outdoor market to stock up on fresh produce and pasta for a homemade dinner. The markets in Rome are fun and authentic, our favorites so far being Testaccio Market and Campo de' Fiori (pictured here). Eating so much pizza, pasta, and cheese means we have to walk walk walk to stay fit, so after grabbing a quick bite, we started off on the day.


We had it on our list to explore Prati, another place we looked into staying while we were booking an apartment in Rome. Prati is just east of the Vatican, so it was quite incredible to walk right by Vatican City. We have a tour scheduled there later this week, so we just observed from outside, but it is an amazing sight to see in person.


Maybe this reveals me as a terrible history student, but neither my boyfriend or I had heard of Castel Sant'Angelo. It was an exciting surprise when we ran into the big fortress on our walk. We walked around the outside for a few minutes before buying tickets to tour the inside. I loved the ornate interior decor of the papal apartments in the center, and my boyfriend could not get enough of the castle fortress and ancient artillery, so it was such a win-win. There was a beautiful terrace on the very top of the castle with a 360-degree view of the Vatican and all of Rome. Definitely worth a stop on your trip here.




While the weather has been lovely so far, the Roman sun can be sweltering, so I'm constantly reaching for breezy dresses on days that I know we'll be walking for most of the day. This linen dress from Zara fits the bill perfectly. One word of warning: the fabric shrinks up in the wash no matter how cold the water is. It takes a few minutes with a clothing steamer to return it to it's original state, and then it becomes just as light and airy as before. If you do not already own a clothing steamer, this is my favorite full size version, and this is the travel one I have with me. If you do not like having wrinkled clothing and do not like to iron, the steamer will be your new best friend. I use mine daily at home, and used up precious suitcase space to bring one with me to Europe.


In case that all sounds terrible, I've rounded up some similar dresses below (in order of price) so you can try your luck elsewhere:


Zara Dress  (plus lots of similar options linked above) | Prada Sunnies (in black herelove these too!) | Born Taj Sandals | Proenza Schouler PS1 Bag (in a brighter blue color here, and I especially love the pink!!)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Exploring Trastevere


James Perse White Top (similar here) | J.Crew Floral Scarf (similar here) | Tibi Dress, tailored into a skirt (similar dress here, similar skirts herehere, and here) | PS1 Bag (similar teal colorlove this one in blue suede) | Le Specs Sunnies | Cole Haan Sandals (very old, similar here and here)


We officially made it to Rome on the first stop of our European adventure! We rented an apartment in the Trastevere neighborhood, and it is such a dream. I highly recommend staying here if you are in Rome for an extended period. It's about a 30 minute walk to the tourist center, which makes it slightly inconvenient if you are here for a short time and want to see the Roman antiquity in a few days. If you have more time to leisurely see the city, then Trastevere is wonderfully authentic and a lovely place to escape back to after a day spent in the city center. 


We arrived in the afternoon on Tuesday, and in an attempt to stay awake until nighttime, started walking through the neighborhood and into the center of the city. Our first stop was to one of my favorite gelato places in Italy: Giolitti. Truly love at first bite. One of the best things about traveling in the late spring and summer is the long days! The sun doesn't set here until nearly 9PM, so the day seems to last forever. I am not a very good morning person, so I love that we don't have to rush out the door in the morning and can still take our time exploring.


These pictures are from our first full day in Rome, once we were adjusted to the time change. You are going to see this Tibi skirt on repeat this summer. It started out as a dress, which I bought for a steal from The Real Real (similar dress herehereherein navy here and in fuchsia here). I didn't love the fit of the top, so I had it tailored into a skirt by my very favorite tailor: Snow White's Tailor Shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Now it's my go-to with anything from button ups to crop tops. If tailoring sounds like too much of a hassle, here are some similar options from AsosEliza J, and Tibi.


James Perse White Top (similar here) | J.Crew Floral Scarf (similar here) | Tibi Dress, tailored into a skirt (similar dress here, similar skirts herehere, and here) | PS1 Bag (similar teal colorlove this one in blue suede) | Le Specs Sunnies | Cole Haan Sandals (very old, similar here and here)

The hardest part about packing for this trip (besides limiting myself to a small checked bag) was choosing the right handbag to bring. I really wanted to bring the bucket bag and had it in mind all along, but was officially talked out of it by nearly everyone. I was in denial about the fact that the lack of a zippered top makes it a dream for pickpockets. I then wanted to bring my favorite, go-with-everything black bag, but again I worried about the wear and tear it may endure. So, the PS1 was the best choice for security and ease, and so far it's been great. I may or may not also have my heart set on acquiring a new bag at some point along this trip. I have my eye on this Furla mini bag, this Prada tote, or this ChloƩ crossbody. Which one would you choose?