May 27, 2017

Better Late Than Never: Best Memorial Day Sales!

     I'm definitely a bit on the late side with getting this sale recap up for y'all... but sometimes real life has to come before a blog post! I'll share more about this later in the week, but I was able to score last minute concert tickets in Montreal through work for Thursday night, and a friend of mine from out of town was able to come up to Vermont at the last minute to join me and spend a couple days visiting. We had a wonderful time, but anyways, getting my Memorial Day Sales blog post up wasn't my top priority for the last couple days with the change in my schedule. Do forgive me! 😉 But hey- better late than never right? The weekend isn't over yet- and there are still some amazing deals to be found! I'm rounding them all up below:


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     I always think of the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Memorial Day Weekend sale as the official pregame to July's NSale- anyone else think the same? I'm definitely a bigger fan of the actual NSale... but there are a few good finds in this year's Half-Yearly that I still wanted to highlight for you guys!
  • Pink Hunter boots on sale: I've wanted Hunter boots for years but it didn't rain frequently enough in the Carolinas for me to make the splurge. Vermont is a different story though... there have been more rainy days than sunny ones since I moved. so I might finally be making the splurge this year.
  • Tory Burch Watch: This is a splurge item- but during this sale it is 40% off! Every girl needs at least one nice watch, and this is a stunner.
  • Chic Blue Dress: I love the cut of this dress- how elegant and modern! 
  • Peacock Watch: I'm not normally a big watch girl but this sale has so many cute watches in it, haha! I love this fun one from Kate Spade. I think Peacocks are just beautiful so I'm loving Kate Spade's Peacock inspired collection.
  • Straw Tote: I'm actually not a huge fan of the straw tote trend that's big right now. In all honesty, I think it's a huge fad that will pass quickly. BUT- this is the first straw tote I've seen that I'd consider getting! It's so cute and under $100!

     *Other great sales:

   *Ann Taylor: 40% off sale styles + 50% off sale styles. Use code SUMMER.


    *Banana Republic: 40% off. Use code BRSUMMER.


    *Charming Charlie: BOGO Free Jewelry Sale.


     *Chicwish: Extra 20% off select styles. Use code TRE20.


     *Express: Up to 50% off everything.


     *J. Crew Factory: 50% off everything.


     *Lilly Pulitzer: Free gifts with purchase.


     *LOFT: 50% off sale.


     *New York and Company: Everything 50-70% off (some really good deals here!).


     *Shein: $5 off orders $55+ with code MDW5.




     And on a side note from the Memorial Day sales talk- a shameless plug for my radio shows this weekend, since I'm on air more than usual. 😉 If you'd like to listen to me, both stations that I work for have the option to listen live on the website, as well as free iPhone apps in the app store. All times listed are in EST!

     5/27: Planet 96.7 from 3-7 pm

     5/28: Planet 96.7 from 10 am-3pm
     Star 92.9 from 10 am-3pm
     (Yes I'm on air on both at the same time... the magic of modern radio!)
   
     5/29: Star 92.9 from 12 am-5am



     Happy Shopping and have a great long weekend! And thank you to all of those who have served our country past and present!


     God Bless,


 
     xoxo Annaliese (or Charlotte XO on the radio!)







May 26, 2017

TRAVEL GUIDE: Rome, Italy

      Continuing along with my (much belated) Italy trip posts today by sharing my travel guide to Rome! Rome was the city that my mom and I were in the longest during our trip, and we had a wonderful time there. I've already shared a different blog post featuring spots we visited both on our own and as apart of our tour group that were featured in one of my favorite childhood movies, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, but today's post is a general travel guide blog post to this great city! 





Travel:

     My mom and I flew into Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) on Iberia Airlines. We flew out of Boston, and had a brief layover in Madrid. FCO is the major international airport in Rome, and one of the largest in Europe. There are direct flights offered on numerous airlines to the United States, and even more flight options if you opt for a layover like we did. We had never flown on Iberia Airlines before but both my mom and I were very impressed! Our plane to Madrid was so modern and our coach class seats had a lot of amenities for an international flight. The flight from Madrid to Rome was on a smaller plane, but still a really pleasant airline experience.






Stay: 

     Since we were visiting Rome as apart of a tour vacation, our tour made the lodging arrangements in each city. Our hotel in Rome was the Hotel Veneto Palace. This hotel definitely had its pros and cons. Biggest pro: It was in a great location. Our hotel was very close to Villa Borghese- the largest park in the city of Rome, and all in all located in a very beautiful and elegant part of the city. It was also easily walkable to many of the famous attractions that I featured in my Lizzie McGuire blog post, such as the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. Another pro was that the staff of the hotel were all so kind and helpful!
     The biggest pro was that the hotel was listed on its website as being a four star hotel. The hotel that my mom and I stayed at in Venice was definitely a four star... Hotel Veneto Palace was not. The lobby was small, the rooms had some old charm to them but were a bit rundown. We chatted with other people on our tour and they felt the same way about their rooms at this hotel too. For example- the mattress on my bed was super lumpy and had like permanent dents in it from the lumps, which made it uncomfortable to sleep on. I never even saw anything like that in a college dorm- much less a hotel! Unfortunately I didn't really take any pictures of our room... but I might have some video from when I finally get around to making my Italy trip vlogs?





Eat: 

     Rome is an interesting city for eating. My mom and I did a food tour on our first day there (more on that below), and one of the participants on it was a girl who was studying abroad there for the semester. She said she had learned in her time abroad that it was hard to find ethnic cuisines in Rome, and the few ethnic restaurants there were tended to be overpriced and not as great as the ethnic restaurant selection that some larger US cities have. This was different than France, where I studied abroad in Summer 2015. Of course France had a great selection of French restaurants... but you could also find restaurants for every type of European cuisine, and I also had some of the best Asian food of my life in France.
      Anyways- this girl stressed to me that Romans do two things well in the food department and they like to do what they do best: pizza and pasta of course!! And I found everything she said to be so true. Rome is just filled with every type of Italian restaurant that you can think of. From casual sidewalk cafes that serve panini type sandwiches, pizza slices and gelato to fancier restaurant options for nice dinners, there is no shortage of pizza or pasta in the world's capital of these foods. Because of this, I quite honestly don't remember the names of most of the places that my mom and I ate at! It was a lot of splitting sandwiches or pizzas in casual cafes in the daytime between our Italy tour activities, and similar food choices on our free days. Even if I remembered the names of these places to tell you- there are probably hundreds just like them. (Seriously!) 
     BUT- with all that said.... one Italian restaurant completely stands out in my mom and I's memory so I need to tell you about it so you can save it in your memory if you're in Rome. It was so incredibly amazing that we went back twice in a row. And get this... not only did we go back, but the family that was eating dinner next to us the first night there was back again when we went back the second night! They were also tourists but not from our tour. Now THAT'S the sign of a good restaurant!
      It's called Il Fiammifero Strano, and it's in the Ludovisi neighborhood in Rome (the same area I shot this outfit post). I ordered the White Pizza both times I went... and y'all. BEST white pizza I've ever had in my life. No exaggeration! My mom loved her dishes as well. This restaurant has a very standard Italian menu, but everything they make is so tasty and especially flavorful. Their prices were also very reasonable as compared to other similar Italian restaurants in Rome- so I'd highly recommend it!




To Do:

     There are endless things to do in Rome! It is one of the  most beautiful places that I have ever been in my life. I was in absolute aw as our driver took my mom and I to our hotel from the airport. About 150% jet lagged, but also completely in aw of the beauty. 😉 Even though we were there for five days, I feel like we only just touched on all that Rome has to offer. But below are the things that my mom and I enjoyed doing while in Rome! Some of these things were with our tour group, and some were on our own on our free days:


     Food Tour: My mom and I arrived in Rome a full day before our vacation tour began so we could fight off jet lag (which I highly recommend!), so to have an activity to do during our first day our travel agent recommended that we do a walking food tour. We did one through Gourmetaly Food Tours, and it was a small group walking tour through the historic neighborhoods of Travestere and Campo de' Fiori. Our tour guide was a sweetheart (and spoke excellent English), and she took us through outdoor markets and into various restaurants and cafes. We also got to sample some very interesting gelato flavors! This experience was a fun way to see a lot of Rome on foot on our first day there, and to try lots of very authentic Italian foods.







     Vatican City: We visited Vatican City midway through our time in Rome as apart of our vacation tour. The Vatican museum and St. Peter's Basilica were both amazing to see in person, but also a bit overwhelming. I was quite glad that these were attractions that we got to visit with our vacation tour group and local guides. It was really great to get to see these places in real life though- all of the churches and religious sights in Rome are absolutely stunning!







       Galleria Borghese Museum: My mom is an artist and loves art museums, so this was a part of Italy that she was very excited about. Galleria Borghese was recommended to her by a few people as one of Rome's hidden gem museums. It was very close to our hotel and located in Villa Borghese park. This museum is one that you have to buy your tickets for in advance- we tried to do it online but felt weird doing it on their website, so we went a day early in person and pre-purchased them for the next day. Out of all the art museums that we saw on the trip, this was my favorite I think. The tickets are not cheap, but I did enjoy the museum, and you can make a nice afternoon out of enjoying the art and sculptures in Galleria Borghese and then taking in the park after.




      Villa Borghese Park: This is Rome's largest public park, and was right by our hotel! It is the Italian version of Central Park, and it was truly a lovely public space. My mom and I went on a few walks there during our few days in Rome, and after our day at Galleria Borghese we decided to rent one of the little tandem motor vehicles found in the park, called Bici Pincio. Honestly- this was the highlight of my whole time in Rome! I believe the rentals are done by the hour, so my mom and I took one out around the park for an hour and it was SO much fun!! I learned very quickly that I'm horrible at driving these things around so I let my mom drive it, but it was so fun to zoom all around the park. I definitely recommend doing this if you're in Rome!





      Shopping at Zara: I actually didn't do too much shopping in Rome- I saved most of that for Florence. But one place I did shop at while in Rome was Zara! Zara of course has locations in some major US cities (I've been to one of their NYC stores before), but Europe is the place to shop Zara!! Even though euros are worth more than the US dollar, Zara's prices end up being cheaper in Europe.  And they have a much better selection at European stores. I enjoyed shopping at the location on Via del Corso and Via del Tritone. It's close to the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain.




      Lizzie McGuire Movie Attractions: I already wrote a separate blog post all about this! My mom and I were able to visit a few of the spots featured in the Lizzie McGuire Movie while on our trip!



     And that concludes my Rome adventures and travel guide! I hope to be able to visit this beautiful city again someday. I still have blog posts to share from our time in Florence and Venice, so stay tuned for that! And I did take a lot of video footage during all parts of the trip- so I am still hoping to put together a little vlog at some point!





      xoxo Annaliese (or Charlotte XO on the radio!)



May 24, 2017

Midweek Ramblings + Recent Purchases + Current Wishlist.





{Enjoying the sunshine during some warm weather here in Burlington last week! Follow me on social media @miss_alk}


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Ramblings:

  • I tried several new Pinterest recipes this past week! Two dinner recipes, a breakfast recipe, and a recipe for cookies. I love to cook in my spare time and try new recipes! Back in October I wrote a fun blog post sharing links to a lot of my favorite Pinterest recipes that I had tried and enjoyed. I'm thinking about doing that again soon if y'all would like? 
  • I had my first photoshoot with a new photographer here in Burlington yesterday after work! Since I did over-shot content with Deeana in Charlotte before I moved, and also had lots of content to blog about from my Italy trip, I didn't need to find a photographer up here right after moving. But doing blog photoshoots was a part of my routine that I've really missed! I can't wait to share these new outfits with y'all soon, and I have some fun collaborations coming up in the next month, too. 
  • For some blog post inspiration that I've read over this past week- how gorgeous is McKenna Bleu's home office? Total blogger #goals! I love the bright colors and fun aesthetic of her design style! 


Purchases: 

  • I'm almost done with a four week shopping fast! It's gone by a lot quicker than I anticipated. You can read more about why I'm doing that in this blog post.



Wishlist:

  • The bride of the wedding that I was in back in April gave all of us bridesmaids super cute matching robes as part of our bridesmaids gifts. I am a total bathrobe aficionado (no seriously- if I'm in my apartment there's a 99% chance I'm in a robe) and since the wedding I've been looking into getting even more robes to add to my already fairly large collection! How pretty are these cute little robes for summer time? They'd make great bridal party gifts, but forgetting that- it would make a great item just to treat yourself with too! 
  • If there's one thing that I love more than bathrobes, it would be mugs. All my fellow single ladies need to get this one!
  • I've featured picks from this brand in my wishlist before. They have such a classy interpretation on the latest trends! This is a beautiful off the shoulder top. Obviously every retailer right now is selling OTS tops- but this one is just so elegant and chic! 
  • I have some fun collaborations coming up soon with this retailer! I can't wait to style the pieces they're sending me for y'all, but in still browsing their website I came across this skirt. OMG. I think I need!! 


On the blog this past week:

     Thanks so much for reading- hope today is a wonderful Wednesday!


     xoxo Annaliese (or Charlotte XO on the radio!)