The White Desk: Save or Splurge?

My most recent Furniture Fashion article has me talking about the infamous white desk that writers, bloggers, and DIY's alike love to use.  Though I do not posess a white desk, I love looking at images of the perfectly styled desks I see.  In my article I show you 4 big retailers and the best saves and splurges from each.  Follow the link for the full article and let me know what you think on the orginal post!
 
The White Desk: Save or Splurge?
 
white desk
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*Comments have been disabled for this post so you can comment on the orginal article.  Thanks!
 
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Monthly Inspiration: Fest Season


festival fashion

It's officially fest season beginning in May here in Germany, culminating in the biggest fest of the year, Oktoberfest! I've been attending as many fests as I can, like the Nurnberg and Regensburg Volksfests. I love the Christmas markets in the Winter but they are so damn cold.  Summer fests give off a totally different vibe. There are a lot of music festivals in Europe for any kind of music you are into, like Rock Im Park in Germany and Tomorrowland in Belgium.  I'm in the market to go some music festivals here in Germany, particularly so if you know of one let me know.  I've collected some of my favorite fest looks above, though if you come to Germany during fest season, you'll see people wearing their Dirndl and Lederhosen instead.

Kimonso are it right now for summer fests.  This particular one is gorgeous!

I love these affordable heart sunglasses.  They've always signaled to me that summer is near.

Fringe is always going in and out of style but if you are attending a fest, it's always in style.

Every good music lover needs a good pair of headphones. This metallic colorful version is a great tool for you to tune out with.

Pair these modern gladiator sandals with some cute shorts and your kimono = magic.

Turquoise and gold anything is perfect for summer. Also, this ring is adorable.

I love layering jewelry in the summer.

This link gives a great tutorial on how to create these lovely waterfall braids.

These remind me of the hats I used to wear when I was little.  A chic way to keep the sun out of your eyes.



Going to any fests this year?

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Link Goodies #5

link goodies


1) Just discovered the new artist Banks and I could seriously listen to her haunting/soulful/trip hop songs for hours.  Her album doesn't come out until September 9th but you can listen to some of her songs here.  My favorites are "Drowning," "Goddess," and "Fall Over (Djemba Djemba Remix)."
 
2) Here's a new list of the best European flea markets and destinations in 2014.  Porto, Portugal is #1.  I've been trying to plan a trip here for a couple of months. I'll have to try harder.
 
3) Here's a list of 40 Secret Places Most Traveler's Don't Know About. I've heard of a handful of these and quite a few are in Germany.  Out of the list I've been to Dubrovnik, Croatia and Nurnberg, Germany.
 
4) A lot of new Freelance Writers shortchange themselves when they are just starting out.  It can be tough to decide if you should work for free to get exposure or not.  I can't tell you how many times I've gotten emails asking me to write about something and then saying that they can't pay me but "I'll get tons of exposure." This website might be helpful in helping you decide.
 
5) Etsy Love.  Even though I'd only wear this for graduation day I thought it was a cute gift for graduates.
6) Here are 21 Profound Truths You Learn in Your 20's.  It's one of those "lists" that actually doesn't make me gag or roll my eyes.  I particularly like #1, (especially because the Frenchie looks like my Louis), #5, #6, #11, #13, #19, and #20.
 
7) I always see articles with the differences between American and European products and I can attest that living in Germany, most of the food here is the product of organic farming and it's just plain fresher.  This article is about how American eggs would never be okay by British standards, and vice versa.
 
8) I thought this was pretty cute.  A teen art student recreates styles from the culture and counterculture of different decades starting from the 1920's.  I think she's off on a few of them but I really liked the 90's styles she showed.  Super cute idea.
 
9) I am pretty obsessed with Oh Joy!'s line of party decor for Target.  It's pretty freaking awesome and the prices are so affordable. If I lived near a Target I'd be stocking up.  It's all on clearance right now.
 
10) Speaking of party decor.  I won a contest by one of my top favorite blogs, DESIGNLOVEFEST for some amazing party supplies by Prospect Goods, including this chic piƱata.  Thanks again guys!
 
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What links are you currently loving?
 
 
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7 Tips to Get Through Finals


Get Organized

If you haven't been organized up until this moment, it's time to get your sh*t together.  This is finals month and it's no joke.  Get your planner out and write down all tests, exams, and anything else that is plaguing you during finals week.  It's a great excuse to use up all those pretty notebooks and pens you've been hoarding.

*Warning* If you happen to work better in an organized mess, then hey, no one's judging you here, just make sure you have some sort of process.
 
 
Prioritize
You can start with what classes are due first.  But, you can also go by getting all of the hard stuff out of the way first, or if it helps, the easy stuff first.  Just don't save all of the hard stuff for the last minute.

*Warning* If you're like me, you might try to prioritize and then just end up procrastinating until the point where you may need to pull an allnighter and you're asking yourself, why, why?  Thankfully, this was more of my process during undergrad.

Do All of your Studying/Paper Writing at Work

Have a boring desk job?  Get paid to work on school work because you're actually doing it at work.  Luckily I have a very education oriented job and they encourage that I do this.  What?

*Warning* If you have a job keeping an eye on children or working heavy machinery, this could clearly be a bad idea. 

Cram

Nobody's got time to pace themselves and study little by little.  Cram as much studying in as you can before your test.  Visual learners unite!  Who cares if you don't remember anything about your anatomy final afterwards.

*Warning* Though cramming can be effective, chances are you'll literally remember nothing about the exam a few days or even hours later. 

Eat Piles of Chocolate

Finals are stressful.  Eating piles of chocolate in any form will help relieve your stress during this traumatic time. 

*Warning* No, don't really eat piles of chocolate, the consequences should be obvious.

Cross your Fingers

You've just submitted your last final and it's time to cross your fingers and hope that your professor realized how friggin brilliant your paper on medical marijuanna was. It's pure gold, obviously.  All of this hard work has been leading up until now and if you are at the tailend of your degree like me, you were starting to get really disinterested in school if we are being honest here.

*Warning* Crossing your fingers isn't going to do anything.  Hope you did steps 1, 2, and 3. 

Wine/Beer/Hard Liquor

Not in that order.  During the waiting game of getting all your grades back for the semester, go ahead and drink yourself silly.  If you passed your exams drink some more, if you didn't, then go back to step 1.

*Warning* Don't drink so much that you are now in the fetal position worrying about how your exams went, that isn't helping anyone. 


These aren't serious suggestions, unless you are like me and this is your actually process.  I've got a 4.0 so far so I must be doing something right.  My graduation ceremony is next month and I can't wait. Good luck everyone and let me know your finals week tips in the comments.
 
 
 
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Traditional Foods from Southern Spain

traditional spanish foods

Before I wrap up my trip to southern Spain I want to talk about some of the random things I didn't get to photograph and also show off all the the amazing food I got to try.   The host family I stayed with cooked us traditional Spanish meals every day and there are also those days where I had tapas in each of the cities I visited, and even some bar food. I did a bad thing and forgot my iPhone, so I didn't get to take pictures of any of the food that I ate, but luckily my classmate was able to snap all these food pics (minus the 3 at the bottom).  I don't always have my good camera with me to snap pictures and the iPhone comes in handy when I remember it.  
 
Besides visiting Madrid, Cadiz, and Seville, there were also other things I did during my time in Spain that I didn't get to photograph, like going to the beautiful beaches and visiting the Gypsy Market for cheap clothes and shoes.  We also had the opportunity to go to feria that was happening in Rota. Feria is the fest in Spain and they usually go from one city to the other setting up a unique display of food, rides, and dancing.  All the ladies get dressed up in their traditional feria outfits.  I can't wait to go back to Spain next month for Barcelona!
Bar Food

traditional spanish foods
traditional spanish foods
Fresh Water Snails


Let me say that I love escargo. I've had it in Jamaica and France.  But these snails were no bueno for me.  The fresh water ones were a little better than the sea snails but still not that great.  The freshwater snails look like they are still alive and the seawater ones are cold, slimy, and salty.
traditional spanish foods
Sea Snails
traditional spanish foods
My drink of choice is always rum and coke.  Here you can see a dish of sauted veggies and shrimp in oil.  Very good!
traditional spanish foods

Traditional Spanish Meals
traditional spanish foods
Above you can see a pineapple salad, crusty bread, goat cheese with jam, some sort of deliscoius sea food, wine, and (chicken nuggets? lol)
traditional spanish foods
This was my favorite meal. Papas con choco (potato and cuttlefish soup), homemade gazpacho, tinto de verano (the delicious wine spritzer), and meat empanadas.
traditional spanish foods
This meal is with tortillas (potato pie made with egg), chicken rolls with ham, and olives.  Over in the corner are some smoked white fish and salmon in oil.  This was actually very good on bread.
traditional spanish foods
Shrimp cakes.  These baby shrimp turn into these yummy cakes.  You can see all the little eyes when you eat them.
traditional spanish foods
Tuna empanadas

Tapas
traditional spanish foods
Fried ham pieces
traditional spanish foods
Normal Club Sandwich and fries in Seville
traditional spanish foods
Ensaladilla Rusa in Seville
traditional spanish foods
Chicharon and Spanish cheese in Cadiz
traditional spanish foods
Various tapas in Madrid (I realize Madrid isn't considered southern Spain  but I wanted to add this).
traditional spanish foods
Churros con chocolate in Madrid

The food in Spain was just as great as I'd expected.  I really wanted to get the chance to take a day trip to Gibralter but I didn't have time.  Plus our host family said there were issues going on right now in that area.  Hope you enjoyed my tour of southern Spain.  There are three more parts to this trip that you can check out if you missed them:



Have you tried any of these traditional Spanish foods?




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Travel Tuesday

Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain

Seville, Spain, Plaza de Espana

While in southern Spain I wanted to continue my travels by visiting Seville (Sevilla).  Seville was a 1 hour train ride from my home stay in Puerto de Santa Maria and I had class that night so I only had 5 hours to explore Seville with my classmate.  Though I knew there wouldn't a whole lot of time to explore Seville, I didn't want to miss out on the opportunity.  Right off of the train station and not entirely sure what we were looking for, we followed the masses to the Plaza de Espana which is only a few blocks away from the train station.  I'm glad we stumbled upon this place because it was absolutely stunning.  The first image is of the front view of the plaza building and you can't go in it (there are guards everywhere because it is filled with government buildings), but once you walk around the corner you get views like the one above.

Pictures do not do this place justice because the Plaza de Expana is beautiful and too large to get in one picture wihtout a panarama view.  The building emcompasses a half circle with a small river passing through.  The building was designed by Anibal Gonzalez in the Art Deco and Neo-Mudejar styles.  There are touristy boat rides and plenty and people selling things like flamenco esque shaws and fans.  You can also take a ride in a carriage with one of the many Spanish horses. I spent several hours just admiring the beauty and snapping pictures. Seville was very very hot in early May. 

Make sure you take time to pay attention to details like the tiles on the walls, bridges, and province alcoves.  Like the Alicante province alcove below, these decorative little cubbies lined the building and displayed artwork depicting different provinces in Spain.  I'd suggest the Plaza de Expana as your first stop in Seville.

As I mentioned, we only had 5 hours to explore and Seville is huge.  We decided to do a hop on hop off bus to see the city in about an hour and stop in the area of La Macarena for some lunch.  The last image is of the Basilica de la Macarena which is the church of Our Lady of Hope Macarena, a revered symbol of hope for the Spanish people.  As soon we finished lunch it was time to get back on the bus and catch our train back to our homestay.

We were just a week shy of the festival celebration in Seville called Feria but I encourage you to check out Margo @ Gutenblogyall's post on the Feria in Seville.  The dresses are so pretty!  I did however, make it to Feria in Rota and I'll post a bit about that in my next post.  There are so many things to do in Seville and this is just a glimpse at the Plaze de Espana.

Seville, Spain, Plaza de Espana
Seville, Spain, Plaza de Espana
Seville, Spain, Plaza de Espana
Seville, Spain, Plaza de Espana
Seville, Spain, Plaza de Espana
Seville, Spain, Plaza de Espana
Seville, Spain, Plaza de Espana
Seville, Spain, Plaza de Espana
Seville, Spain, Plaza de Espana
Seville, Spain, Plaza de Espana
La Macarena, Seville, Spain
Basilica de la Macarena area

Have you been to Seville?
 
Stay tuned for the final post on my trip to Spain, "Traditional Foods from Southern Spain."
 
There are two more posts in this series:
Madrid, Spain | The Oldest City in Spain

 
 
 
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Travel Tuesday

8 Chic Pet Beds for your Furry Best Friend

My next Furniture Fashion contribution is about some very adorable pet beds.  These are the chicest and cutest pet beds or homes for your cat or dog.  My favorite one is the pet teepee below, but I also loved the insanely priced Caravan Dog House.  Why not treat our furry best friends to the best.  I am seriously contemplating this teepee.  Read the full article below.

 
 
 
 
 
 

The Oldest City in Spain

Cadiz, Spain

Cadiz is widely known as the oldest continuously inhabited city in Spain.  It's located in southern Spain and has the remnants of a fortified city.  It's said to be the first city founded in Europe by the Phoenecians around 1100 BC. Cadiz is brimming with history and a walk through the old town will bring narrow winding streets.  It's a densly populated area.  Walking through the old town you can take a seat at a cafe, stroll along for some shopping, or try some tapas.  The old town is beautiful and it's surrounded by the sea and beautiful gardens and it reminded me a bit of Capri, Italy (minus the cliffs).  It has been the main port for the Spanish Navy since the 18th century and is also a major port for many cruise ships.

Traveling in the beginning of May, it was already very hot.  Beach goers were out in full force.  I had my host family give me a personal tour of Cadiz and explain some of the history of the town.  Cadiz isn't just sun and beaches.  Our host family explained that though Cadiz was once a bustling city and even still appears to be packed, there are many people moving away from the area as there are no jobs available.  The Spanish economy in general is doing very poorly right now.  They have the highest rate of unemployment in the European Union. Their unemployment rate is nearly 26%.  That's a quarter of the people!

Though Cadiz and Spain in general are struggling, as a tourist, you wouldn't know it.  It's just as vibrant as ever.  Below you can see the flower market, where flowers and other items are sold on the weekend.  We tried some tapas that consisted of some delicious Spanish cheeses and chicharon which is fried pork rinds. There are also the many beachgoers.

But then you see just how real the economic problem is as protesters march up and down the streets.  The sign says, "Against unemployment and the Capital.  Social Revolution."  Hopefully Spain will be able to pull themselves back up.

The last thing our host family showed us were these beautiful twisted trees that were over a hundred years old located on the Avenida Dugue de Najera. What a great way to end our day in Cadiz by reveling in the the beauty of these trees.

Cadiz, Spain
Cadiz, Spain
Cadiz, Spain cathedral
Cadiz Cathedral
Cadiz, Spain
Main Square
Cadiz, Spain
Cadiz, Spain
Cadiz, Spain
Cadiz, Spain
Cadiz, Spain
Cadiz, Spain
Cadiz, Spain
Cadiz, Spain

Though Cadiz is not a big city, there is a lot to do and you could conceivable spend a few days there walking the square and lounging on the beach as it is not that expensive and tourism is keeping Cadiz alive.

I rated Cadiz high in near a beach, good food, historical, kid friendly, nightlife, photo ops, safe for solo travel (IMO), shopping, and unique. 


Stay tuned for the next stop on my trip, Seville.
And you can also check out my previous stop, Madrid.


What do you think of Spain's oldest city?

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