Saturday, April 23, 2016

Spring for Style: My favorite 2016 trends

Shop this look: Old Navy gingham tank // White Joe's jeans // Old Navy suede black sandals (here and similar here) // Mint green earrings (similar here) // Marshalls bangles (similar here and here)
Daniel Wellington watch // Tan purse (purchased in Italy, similar here)

Happy Saturday everyone!! Spring has finally arrived in Illinois and I can't wait to spend the whole day outside with my family! Need some outfit inspo for warmer weather? You're in luck because I rounded up my must-have trends for spring 2016!

Off shoulder tops

I love the effortless look of these off-the-shoulder tops! They can also easily transition from day to night — just swap your white jeans and sandals for a leather skirt and heels and you are ready to go!


Gingham made my list of trends last spring, and I'm sure it will again next year. There is just something so light and fun about the print that just screams spring to me! It is also SO easy to find this year. I've already spotted gingham at J. Crew, Old Navy, Ann Taylor and Topshop, to name a few.

Oxford Stripes

Anyone who knows me is aware of my obsession with the colors blue and white. So naturally, I am all about the Oxford stripe trend! This season, I want to pair my staple blue and white tops with fun pops of color like a light pink skirt.


This ultra-feminine trend reminds me of my other favorite part of spring besides the fashion — the flowers! You'll look pretty as a peony in these delicate designs.

Denim skirts

Confession: The last time I owned a denim skirt, it was a super-short, ripped version from Abercrombie in eighth grade, and it was probably my favorite item in my closet. However, I will be the first to admit that the new revival of the trend is much classier, with longer hemlines and cute details like buttons, pockets and stripes. I recently bought a denim skirt with buttons down the front like the picture on the right and it is sure to be a staple this spring and summer.

What are your favorite spring trends?

xo, Annabeth

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Best of Barcelona

It has been a little over a week since I left Barcelona, and I am already missing my home away from home! I will always be thankful for the opportunity to live in a different country for four months and become immersed in its culture. If you are in college, I highly recommend studying abroad — whether it's for the semester like me, over the summer, or even a short trip over winter break. This experience made me realize just how big yet small the world is. Being hours and time zones away from home, I found so many similarities in what people value, and so many differences that helped me broaden my perspective and made me more open to trying new things. For instance, there is a much slower lifestyle in Barcelona, where people take siestas, or breaks from work, during the afternoon, and don't have dinner until nearly 11 p.m. As a typical busy American, it was hard to adjust to this schedule. But after about a month, I found myself less connected to my email and more connected to the world around me, appreciating the little things. 

When people ask me which was my favorite place I visited in Europe, it is hard to choose just one. Every city and country was so unique and beautiful in its own way. Switzerland, with its jaw-dropping mountain views, was so relaxing and had the best chocolate. Germany made me love beer, something I previously hated in America. Italy felt so romantic and rich in history, with its ancient streets, churches and gardens. Paris was everything I expected it to be, classy, fashionable and just lovely. I could stare at the Eiffel Tower for hours when it is lit up at night. Ireland had the best views and the friendliest people in all of Europe. And Mallorca was such a unique tropical island, situated on the Mediterranean with white-sand beaches and lush mountains. But when I really think about it, my favorite place is obviously Barcelona. It's the first European country I ever visited, and I will never forget the nervousness and excitement I felt as soon as I stepped off the plane. I also got to live in Barcelona for an extended period of time, meaning that I got to know it well enough to feel comfortable there. Every time I would return to the Barcelona airport from a weekend trip, I would instantly feel a wave of relief that I was home. Now, as I sit typing from my computer in America, still a bit jet lagged, I am so happy to be back. But I know that I left a piece of my heart in Barcelona. Here is what I will miss the most:

1. The Gothic Quarter

The Gothic Quarter is located in the heart of the city, featuring some of the oldest architecture like the striking Catedral de Barcelona, built in the 13th century, and the famous shopping street Las Ramblas, that has scores of street vendors who sell flowers, artwork and souvenirs. Las Ramblas also holds "La Boqueria," the famous market filled with only the freshest fruit, vegetables and meats, as well as outdoor restaurants that serve classic Spanish fare like tapas, paella and sangria. I lived in the Gothic Quarter so it is the place I got to explore the most. I loved getting lost on the winding, narrow streets, and discovering the hidden gems of the city, like handmade jewelry stores, perfumeries, restaurants and dive bars with unique themes/decor like 1980s films or neon post-it notes papering the walls. 

Catedral de Barcelona

Fresh produce at La Boqueria

Walking down Las Ramblas (press play!)

Charming street in the Gothic Quarter

2. Port Vell and Playa de la Barceloneta

I also lived only five minutes away from the Mediterranean — definitely beats the cornfields of Illinois! I loved running by the port and taking a break on the benches overlooking the water.

3. THE FOOD!!! 

At Brunch & Cake restaurant

While the restaurant has amazing breakfast and lunch picks, I always had to save room one of their fabulous desserts.

May have gone here five or six times — and yes, that is a guacamole syringe!

Of course, I will miss paella, which I enjoyed countless times in Spain.

Fresh/cheap steak and veggies at Bo De B. This place was like the Chipotle for Mediterranean food!

Acai bowl at Teresa's

I'm already missing the sights and smells of bakeries like this on every corner.

4. Amazing places to hike

Montserrat Mountain

Bunkers del Carmel — the best view of the city!

5. Otherworldly architecture

Outside of La Sagrada Familia

Inside of Sagrada Familia

Park Guell
6. The people

It is so true that it's not where you are, it's who you're with. I would not have had nearly as incredible of a time in Barcelona if it weren't for these people! 

Stay tuned for new blog posts soon! They won't have as cool of backdrops now that I am back in the U.S., but I will have lots of spring outfit inspo coming your way!

xo, Annabeth

Friday, April 8, 2016

Sunny in Sóller

Shop this look: Brandy Melville cardigan // Promod denim shirt // Joe's Jeans white skinny jeans
Superga sneakers // Kate Spade sunglasses (similar)

A few weeks ago, I visited the Spanish island of Mallorca, which is only a 30-minute plane ride from Barcelona (and only 34 euro roundtrip!). This was definitely one of my favorite stays abroad because it was so different than everywhere else I have visited. In major cities like Paris, Rome and Munich, I have noticed myself rushing to see as much as possible in a short time. However, in Mallorca, I finally got some time to just relax and take in the island's unique and picturesque scenery. Mallorca is a fairly big island that has everything you could ask for — beautiful beaches, mountains, caves, great seafood and even lots of shopping (I especially loved the Mallorcan pearl stores on every corner!). On the first day, we rode bikes on a path that stretches all down the coast. You could stop at any time to lay on the beach or get a tropical drink at a beachside bar. Many of the businesses are very old and it felt like we stepped back in time for the weekend. Even though it would be even better to be on the island in the summer, we were lucky to have sunny weather in the 60s! On the second day, we traded the beach for the mountains. We took a centuries-old train into the heart of the island to visit a small village called Sóller. It was by far my favorite part of the trip. The train ride had the most scenic views, with vineyards, cliffs, orange and lemon trees and other small villages on the island. Once in Sóller, we got lost on the old, winding streets, enjoyed some traditional Spanish tapas, and I even tried gelato made with the island's famous fresh oranges.

Since it is the off-season, it felt like we had the island to ourselves. We were often the only customers at restaurants, were able to meet some cool locals and practice our Spanish. I left Mallorca feeling so relaxed and happy. I think I just belong on the beach! I hope to be back someday! 

Here are some of my favorite photos from Mallorca:

xo, Annabeth