Thursday, November 24, 2016

small business saturday

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you all had a great day! I stayed here at school and had dinner with my friend and her sister. I have eaten a ridiculous amount of food, but I regret nothing. Right now I'm just drinking tea and chilling. Honestly, it feels good to just relax after having so much stuff going on all the time.

As some of you might know, this Saturday is Small Business Saturday, a day all about supporting your local small businesses. I recently moved here to Evanston, so while I am still not a connoisseur of all of the small businesses here, I am still pretty excited about it. Small businesses are very valuable to local economies and this is why we should all make a conscious effort to participate on Small Business Saturday!

I was recently having brunch in one of my favorite small businesses here in Evanston, Bagel Art Cafe, and I saw this poster hanging from their wall:


So, Evanston readers, this sounds like a pretty cool opportunity to support some local businesses! I will definitively be going there with some friends.

I definitively recommend brunching at Bagel Art Cafe, because I honestly can't go a day without having a bagel. Another of my other favorite Evanston-based businesses is Alley Gallery because they have really cool posters and an even cooler parrot. I also love Bookends and Beginnings and you will too if, like me, you enjoy spending hours just wondering around cute/cozy bookstores and getting overwhelmed by all of the amazing books you feel like you must read. Finally, of course, shout out to Kafein because all college students need coffee at midnight at some point.

I'll be supporting the local business this Saturday and using the hashtags #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat and you should too! If you guys would like to read more about Small Business Saturday and its economic impact, I recommend reading this article from Fundera, an online resource for small business owners. Fundera helps out small businesses in different ways; for instance, they have small business loans that can help business owners fund seasonal workers and increase inventory during the holidays. Check out their site for more information on the ways they can help out!


Oh and, if you are a reader from back home in Cali, remember to shop in Deganado for all of your pet-related necessities. Check out their Facebook page! Shameless plug for the family biz y'all.

Thanks for reading and remember to shop local!

Maria


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

fall fashion newbie

Hey everyone!

Like some of you may now, I'm originally from Colombia but I recently moved to Evanston, Illinois to attend Northwestern University. One of the biggest changes I've experienced is the weather. I know it's not winter yet so I still can't jump to conclusions, but the weather here has been so amazing compared to the hellish heat of Cali, Colombia. I actually want to wear clothes now! I don't look sweaty and disgusting 24/7 anymore! It's crazy!

I have always been a fan of looking at fall/winter street style pictures and daydreaming about how cool it would be to be able to layer and wear boots and scarfs. Now, finally, I'm beginning to experience this whole fall thing and I have enjoyed it a lot so far. Mind you, Chicago is being very bipolar (for instance, it was over 70 degrees today) but I have had some opportunities to wear some pretty cool fall outfits. Here is a collection of some random selfies I have taken throughout the last month. I am still trying to figure out how to manage my time here in college but I swear I will soon start making more OOTD posts. For now, I've been busy getting used to the way things work here, especially because the freedom is dangerous to someone like me: I use any free time to take long walks and daydream rather than work on productive stuff. I'm getting better at controlling myself but, hey, at least I now know my way around Evanston pretty well after all of those romantic walks with myself.


































Things I have learned about the fall fashion:

1. Long sleeve shirt are a thing that have a purpose and I am obsessed with them. Honestly, I had never actually owned long sleeve shirts until now and I understand why they exists.
2. Turtlenecks are the best thing known to mankind and you always need more of them. Again, I never had one until now and I am loving them so much.
3. Even though I have always worn boots, even in Cali, they now make sense. They aren't just a statement, they actually have a purpose. Like the hoarder I am, I am pretty excited about getting more styles of boots because right now I only have my Doctor Martens. Boots have always been part of my personal style and I'm excited to be able to play more with different styles and outfits. To me, shoes really do make my outfits; they tend to be the most essential part. I keep getting asked questions about my shoes because I'm always wearing funky, unique styles and fall is really the season to get creative with shoes. If you guys are also looking for new boots I recommend you check out King Ranch for really cool cowboy boots for women and durable cowboy boots for men. They also have some amazing styles of handbags, so check that out as well!
4. You will need more than one coat. For some reason this never crossed my mind before it actually got cold. Yeah... rookie mistake I guess. I'm really excited about showing you the ones I got when I actually realized they are a necessity, so stayed tuned for upcoming posts!
5. Socks are your best friend. I have developed a sort of unhealthy obsession with collecting funky socks. You can never have too many.

I hope my learning experience helps other newbies out, or if you do live somewhere with seasons I hope you at least got a good laugh out of this list. Let's see what else I will learn now that it's November! Wish me luck!

Maria


Friday, September 30, 2016

christmas prep

It has been a while. I'm sorry! Moving into college has been extremely fun, exciting and hectic; it really feels like I have experienced so much in the last few weeks. I'm finally back though. 

I have been loving the weather here in Evanston for the last couple of days because it's been getting pretty chilly. Back in Colombia it would be hot literally everyday of the year, so it has been very cool to experience how the weather begins to change. I have talked about the weather so much for the last few weeks it's crazy, but it's just such a cool novelty to me.

I know it's very early but I can't help but think about how cool christmas will be this year. The thing is I have never gotten the chance to experience a christmas like they show in the movies; a "white christmas", if you will. Honestly though, Christmas is less than 100 days away, can you believe it? I'm super pumped about decorating my dorm with christmasy stuff, and just being outside and exploring Evanston and Chicago during the holiday time. I bet the city is going to look gorgeous in December, even though everyone keeps telling me I'm going to freeze during the winter because I'm not used to it. For now, I'm very much looking forward to seeing the snow and drinking coffee and tea and wearing coats. Basically, I have a very idealized image of winter/the holiday season. In Cali, I couldn't really look forward to any of this. However, my family did have some awesome holiday traditions that I will certainly miss. First of all, the typical Colombian christmas food is crazy good. My favorite are buñuelos and hojaldras. I unfortunately don't know the recipe for them, but if you ever happen to be at a Colombian christmas party, make sure you try them. Also, I remember when I was little I would come up with choreographies  to christmas songs with my aunt and my brother. We would practice for hours and then present them to our whole family on christmas eve. Later on, we decided we wanted to do a play, and my mom literally made a script portraying the birth of Jesus and all of the family had different roles in the play. I used to play the angel and was always super professional about it because I wanted everything to be perfect. After a few years, my family began traveling to Orlando for the holiday season, which I also enjoyed a lot. We all really like the amusement parks and the nostalgia they hold really does make spending christmas there extra special and sentimental.

This was what my house looked like last year for christmas.

This is what the pre-dinner table looked like last christmas.

These are the buñuelos. They are probably extremely unhealthy but so good.

This year is going to be fairly different because I'm in college; however, I will be spending christmas with my family, just not in Colombia. The cool thing about spending part of the holiday season here in college is that the independence makes me feel like an adult and now I'll be in charge of deciding how to spend time/decorate my dorm. This is silly because my parents always did whatever my brother and I wanted, but the feeling of independence is weirdly satisfying. I have some plans for the holiday season, and hopefully I'll be able to do them all. I really want to go around Evanston and Chicago to see the decorations and take pictures of them. I am also very excited about going to Starbucks and listening to jazzy christmas music while drinking coffee. It's such a silly thing, but I really do love christmas music. I listen to it all the time and I just want it to be socially acceptable to listen to it out loud already! Finally, I think it would be very cool to send christmas cards to my friends here and in Colombia. Movies have taught me that sending cards is a tradition here in the US. I have never sent a holiday card in my life, because that's just not a thing we did in Colombia, but I really want to this year. If you guys are planning on sending christmas cards you should check out these really cute ones from Paperless Post's new collection which I would personally love to use.

Do you guys have any cool holiday traditions? I would love to know! I hope you guys enjoyed reading this quick post and that you're feeling just as excited about christmas as I am. Thanks for reading!

Maria

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

last post in cali: thoughts about leaving


If you ever wondered if I have artistic talent, now you know the answer is yes, very much so.


Hello.

This will hopefully be my last blog post from Cali, Colombia, at least until summer of next year. In about 12 hours (at 3:00 am tomorrow), I will be traveling to Chicago, where I will be going to college. For those of you who don't know, I will be going to Northwestern University to major in Radio/TV/Film. I thought I would make a quick post today just to say goodbye to my old blogging set up here in Cali. I'm in my bed right now and my cat is sleeping next to me, and it just feels unreal that I will leave for college in a few hours. Leaving Tigger (my cat) makes me very sad, of course, but for some reason I feel like he knows what's going on; he's been following me around all day, even more than what he usually does. I really hope he can be happy without me here with him. I will miss him so much I am literally tearing up as I write this. We have been together for over 13 years now, and I'm afraid he'll feel abandoned. Anyway, here are some pictures of us.


If you guys like cat accounts on Instagram you should totally follow Tigger's! It's @tiggerrayas, and I post really cute pictures of him there.

It's been hard saying goodbye to some people, more than I thought it would be at least. I was very sad when I said goodbye to my boyfriend, who is living in Bogota, but right now I'm so overwhelmed by excitement and curiosity that all I'm thinking about is how awesome it will be to arrive to Chicago tomorrow. I think there are two moments when I get sad when saying goodbye to someone: first, when I am actually saying goodbye to them, and second, a while after when I remember a specific memory that makes me nostalgic. Nostalgia is hard, but I love feeling it.

I am a bit anxious about my room and some people I never got to say goodbye to. My room is very spacial to me, as you might have guessed if you read the last post I made, and leaving it behind is making me quite a bit anxious. I'm not sure how to explain the way I feel. Let me try: I get like these compulsions and I have to repeat stuff over and over again and thinking about leaving my room are making them worse. Also, my room is where Tigger usually is and where Becca lives as well. I don't know but I just feel like I'm leaving two living creatures behind and that makes me anxious. I know my family is here to take care of them, but I still can't help feeling stuff. Now, about the people I couldn't say goodbye to, it's probably not what you expect. There are like three baristas that have known me well from different coffee shops, and they don't know I'm leaving for university. Yes, they probably won't notice/care about me being absent, but I can't help but wonder what they'll think happened to me. People make up stories in their minds, at least I know I do, and I would like to know what story they make up for me.

Something interesting has happened, just before I move to the USA. My page views from the USA have grown SIGNIFICANTLY lately. I think significantly is an understatement: Colombia was usually my main source of traffic, but now I'm getting over 12 times more views from the USA than Colombia. That's great, I mean, of course I want more visits, but it just makes me curious. Nonetheless, I hope if you're here, you're enjoying it: I really enjoy writing/posting outfits here, so I hope people like what I'm doing as well. I would really appreciate it if you let me know by leaving a comment or following me! I don't know, I just thought I'd share that because it has been on my mind lately.

Next time I post something I will most likely be in my hotel, since I can only move into my dorm on September 8th. I will keep you posted on everything!

Sorry if this was all over the place, but that's how my mind is working right now. I also don't really have time to edit because I have to wake up at like 1:30 am tomorrow! Like always, thanks a lot for reading, for those of you who did.

Maria

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

little treasures in my room

Hey everyone!

Sorry I wasn't able to post yesterday but I had just gotten back from Bogotá and saying goodbye to some people that are very important to me, so I wasn't really feeling my best. That being said, I have (I think) a pretty cool post to share today, so I hope you enjoy it.

 I believe rooms say a lot about a person: the way they are decorated, how messy or organized they are, and the little things hidden in the drawers only the owner knows about, all have something to say about us and our personalities. I love spending time in my room because I've created my own personal space I feel comfortable in, and I can just leave the rest of the world outside for a while when I am here. I have really worked on making my room my space since I was very young and it really does hold objects with a lot of sentimental value. Some of them are meaningful due to the story behind them, and some of them are just pretty rare or weird. When I invite people over, especially if it is their first time in my room, I have noticed they all love to explore and ask about different objects that catch their attention. I want to share with you guys a few of the"treasures" in my room that I think are cool and interesting, and that people that come here are usually curious and want to know more about. 

Before we start, I actually have been wanting to make this post since June 2015 but I believe right now, a few days before leaving for college, is a more appropriate time as I have been feeling sort of nostalgic about leaving my room and everything it represents behind. Most of these pictures were taken last year, except for the recent one of my cactus, Becca.

1. Becca the cactus

Becca was a gift my boyfriend gave me on our one year anniversary back in November 2014. I called her Becca because that is Nicole Kidman's character's name in Rabbit Hole, a film I watched when we had just started dating and that reminds me a lot about that time in my life and how I felt at the end of 2013. The first picture of Becca was taken in June 2015 and the second one I took yesterday, so August 2016. Look how much she has grown! For a while we thought she was going to die because part of her was brown and looked pretty dead to us, even though we are not plant experts. I really tried taking good care of her and she is looking very alive and well!




2. Why Wait? wall decoration

I got this in spring of 2015, an amazing time period for me; it was full of change and some disappointments but it was still a fun time. I really enjoyed this time of my life and I have some amazing memories from when I bought this decoration. I had recently been to a party in which I fell down pretty badly because it was so dark: I still have the scar in my left leg to this day and I kind of love it. It may sound weird but it is a nice looking scar and I like the story behind it. I had also recently watched Cinderella and worn one of my favorite American Apparel dresses and my Phoenix jacket to the theater because it was raining that day. Good times, you guys.




3. Stingray tooth

Yup. I own a real stingray tooth. How cool is that? A Sea World employee gave it to me because I was "very brave" and feed the stingrays for like two hours. I'm actually a little obsessed with stingrays, I think they are super adorable and I just want to pet them all day long. This is probably one of my most prized possessions. I remember I asked my mom to keep it in her wallet so I would not lose it and could still ride on all of the attractions. That being said, I do not condone animal abuse in any way, and I am now aware of the truth behind Sea World: the fact that I have amazing memories from the last time I went there, two years ago, does not mean I will return or that I would recommend anyone to go either.




4. Dinosaur figures

I actually found them in the trash at my school, but they were part of my boyfriend's science fair project (he had to build like a rollercoaster and the dinosaurs were decorations). When I saw the rollercoaster next to a trashcan at school I immediately took some of the dinosaurs because ever since he first showed me his project I really wanted to have them. I just think this is a very funny story! Also, anyone who knows me, knows I love dinosaurs ever since I was a kid and watched Jurassic Park. By the way, these figures are another nice memory from spring of 2015.



5. Matryoshka doll (I guess?)

I think I got this when I was in 9th grade, but I don't quite remember the story too well. I just saw it in my favorite store at the time, which is unfortunately closed now (at least in Cali). I think it is very cool and I love the surprised expression on the last doll as if she had just noticed someone was watching her as she undressed.




6. Frida Kahlo pillow

This is another gift from my boyfriend I received on spring of 2015. Told you guys, it was a pretty great time. We were just hanging out and decided to go inside a cute store for kids I really like because of the decor things they have, and he got this pillow for me there. I love it, and I love Frida Kahlo ever since I was in second grade.


Behind her are some Chick Corea concert tickets. I may or may not have fallen asleep during that concert.



She has yellow underwear, in case you were wondering. I know I did.

7. Panic button!

I got this at the Barnes & Nobel in Union Square in Manhattan, I think, in summer 2014. It's pretty awesome and people love touching it.




8. Stingray stuffed animal

I got this at Sea World too, with the tooth I wrote about above. It came with a giant lollipop which I gave to my brother because I'm not into them. I just wanted a stingray stuffed animal that was cute and small, and this one is perfect. I just really like stingrays and dinosaurs you guys.




Look at the cute little details! :3

So what did you guys think? What are some treasures you keep in your room? Please let me know in the comments! Thanks so much for reading!

Maria



Thursday, August 18, 2016

road trip essentials: my playlist

Hey everyone!

What did you guys do this summer? Did any of you go on a road trip? I used to detest long car rides when I was younger because I would get terrible motion sickness; now, I have gotten over this and I believe part of it has to do with music. Yup, music really does make a long car ride fun, relaxing and enjoyable. Today I will share some of my favorite songs for road trips, so you can enjoy the journey while singing your heart out. These are all songs I love, and I really do enjoy singing to them at the top of my lungs, even though I am definitively not musically talented.

This playlist can also be helpful for the people leaving for college sometime this month or next month. If you are planing on driving all the way to your college (which may be located all the way across the country) this playlist is very fun and happy and I believe it really does help ease the stress of traveling.

Here is the playlist I created on 8tracks! Just click the play button and listen to it without having to leave this page!




1. Michael P. - Russian Red
2. If I Ever Feel Better - Phoenix
3. Stay Stay Stay - Taylor Swift
4. Drive My Car - The Beatles
5. Love is Endless - Mozella
6. I Hate You But I Love You - Russian Red
7. Enchanted - Taylor Swift
8. Liztomania - Phoenix
9. Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles
10. Crazy - Aerosmith
11. Suck it and See - Artic Monkeys


If you guys are looking for a car rental service, I recommend you check out Turo, a peer-to-peer car rental company. It is different from any car rental company I have ever heard of before, and their concept is very cool! You can rent cars from local renters at your destination, and you can also list your car for others to rent. This makes your experience renting a car much more personal, in my opinion. Sometimes the owners of the cars you rent leave their personal playlists on their car for you to listen to while on the road. The small things like this can really make your experience special, magical, and something you will remember dearly. Check out this video to learn more! I really like sharing resources like Turo with you guys in the hopes of helping out or making your life easier in some way.

If you guys went on a road trip this summer let me know what songs were your favorites!

Thanks a lot for reading!

Maria

Monday, August 15, 2016

ootd: wide leg pants

Hey everyone!

Summer is coming to an end, definitely not here in Colombia, but I'll soon be moving to Chicago, as I mention in every single post. I am just very excited, so please bear with me. Even though I am not a big fan of the hot weather, I will definitely miss being able to wear some of my favorite summer outfits. For example this outfit I wore yesterday: those pants are just so nice, and flowy, and breezy. They also make me feel cool, like a fashion blogger or something. Still, I am very excited about the wardrobe changes I'l soon have to make.


My dad literally stood on a table to take this picture.





T-shirt from Zara
Pants from Zara
Sandals from Urban Outfitters


Even though this outfit is nice and breezy, I was sweating so bad when this pictures were taken. There's something I don't think I'll miss about the summer.




Only after the pictures were taken that I realized I wore the necklace backwards. Oh well.


And here's me trying to eat falafel when my cat jumped on my lap.


So what have you guys been up to? I have basically just watched as many rom coms as possible, and I really want to continue doing that for the next couple of weeks.

Thanks a lot for reading!

Maria