Friday, March 17, 2017

ootd: velvet slip dress + cool kid shirt


Shoutout to the bruise on my arm.





I remember back in Colombia one of the things I would complain about the most regarding the ever-present and suffocating heat was the fact that it made me hate wearing clothes in general. Anything I would put on felt like I was consenting to feel even more imprisoned. I haven't been back for over six months and I still have impressively strong emotions about the heat, as you can tell. Even though it's not necessarily the best thing for it to be snowing in Chicago during spring break, here I can finally wear layers and survive. I've become obsessed with velvet slip dresses over t-shirts to the extent that I always want to be wearing this type of outfit. It's just such an effective way to look like you tried when you really just threw on a dress over some old t-shirt. That's the look I'm always going for: casually/effortlessly stylish.

So it's finally "spring break"! Well, actually, it's pretty darn cold and I have spent countless hours working on my resume and new website — definitely not spring and not necessarily a break, but, hey, at least it's been two day since I last had to rewatch "Y Tu Mamá También" for my Gender and Sexuality class, so that's a plus. I have also officially become obsessed with planning. I have spent more time planning out my break than actually enjoying the freedom. I think it might have to do with the fact that I have to do my taxes, so anything that can distract me from facing the fact that I am an adult person who has to do shit like taxes is very welcomed in my life. All jokes and cynicism aside, I'm planning on doing some cool stuff with my friends who live in Evanston/Chicago, because everyone else left. And because I love them, of course. Some of the stuff I've planned out includes going to a pretty interesting sex shop that sells stickers I must have (recommended by a girl in my Gender and Sexuality class)visiting several cafés and places for brunch, going thrifting, going to a dance show at MCA and to Best of The Second City.

I am honestly so pumped for everything I have planned! I'm a city kid and I have been getting cabin fever on campus for the last few weeks tbh. It feels like the city like teases me or something. It's right there at eye-sight and yet there's so much going on that prevents us from coming together. It's like a disgustingly cliché unrequited love story.

I just downloaded Amy Poehler's audiobook for FREE on Audible, so let's hope more good things will come my way this break.

May your spring break be filled with velvet apparel,

Maria

Monday, March 13, 2017

ootd: stripes and dinosaurs, as usual


Two outfits I wore sometime in January... I'm still here, still breathing, still alive and finally back. Winter quarter has been pretty exciting but also rough. Regardless, I have taken the last couple of weeks to plan out in what direction I'm going to take this site from here on and I'm happy about the results. I have some really cool brand collabs coming up and just a bunch of posts in general. BE EXCITED.

Even though it's been a thousand years since I wore these two outfits, I thought they could help to portray what to wear in Chicago during the winter and survive. Mind you, this was a very mild winter, I've been told, but it still was fucking cold for this naive girl from Cali, Colombia. Here's what I learned about the winter: it physically hurts. It's like a burning sensation and then you look at your knuckles and they are bleeding and you're v confused because no one told you that happened. Wear a scarf, wear gloves and wear a hat. Honestly, no matter what coat you have, they make an extraordinary difference. Also, put your hands in your pockets so you don't get bloody knuckles. Your face will hurt, especially when it's windy, so, if you're not feeling the whole balaclava look, wrap your face in your fluffy scarf so your eyes are the only thing visible. You could go the extra mile and wear fake reading glasses (even though you have real ones, which you stubbornly refuse to wear) so the wind doesn't blind you. There's no shame in that.



Top from Zara? lol? idk?
Overalls from Topshop



Hat from Abercombie


Scarf from Abercombie


This outfit is for milder weather. However, tights are surprisingly warm, especially the ones that have a fleece lining on the inside.


Dress from Forever 21
Sweater from American Apparel (# rip in peace)



Shoes from Doc Martens
Socks are from some store in Colombia


I'll soon post a full on guide to winter apparel and such. I looked for one of those like crazy before coming here to college but found nothing decently helpful, so I'll try my best.

Yours truly,

Maria

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

letter to myself

Just last week I began my second quarter here at Northwestern University. As cliché as it may sound, it has been an intense but extremely rewarding experience. To say that my expectations of this school have been meet is a cruel understatement. Everyday I feel extremely lucky to be here. That being said, the following is a message (a letter, if you will) to my incoming freshman self, with some advise and warnings I would have liked to know:


Dear... me,

Hello. I'm aware this letter finds you at a very exciting, but equally stressful, point of your life, so let's just get to what you are so eager to learn about: college. First quarter is going to be filled with exciting opportunities, amazing new people, cough drops, occasional tears and a sinus infection. Please, be responsible and wear enough layers when it's cold outside. Everybody realized you were a weak southerner when you started complaining about how cold it was when it was 70 degrees. Just get it together and put on a damn scarf. Your life will begin picking up speed since day one of orientation. Orientation in itself is going to be a crazy time; a ton of information is going to be thrown your way and you will meet some of the people you will remain closest to. Everything is going to seem brand new and exciting and maybe somewhat scary. Nonetheless, do whatever feels right; don't let anxiety ruin your experience. Let yourself go, let yourself meet new people and let them know what kind of person you truly are from the beginning. Meeting people from all over the world truly is as enriching and wonderful as we all made it out to be in our application essays. I literally cannot emphasize this enough: you will love meeting new people and making new friends. I (we?) have meet so many amazing people I can now call my friends it is crazy. Those "I have no friend" jokes don't really apply anymore, so you'll have to begin switching up the comedic routine. Honestly, just walking down the street and recognizing so many faces and having so many people to say hi to feels heartwarming. Actually talking and getting to know different people is truly fulfilling, because everyone has their own particular story and they are all thrilling to learn about. I feel like I have some sort of support system and just like a group of wonderful human beings that are rooting for my success, which is beautiful (sorry for the cheesiness!).

All that being said, new sorts of relationships are formed during college that your rather small high school did not provide. Before, you kind of knew where you stood with everyone. You either had some sort of friendship or nah. These relationships are not so black and white; they are complex combinations that cannot really be defined, and that's okay. Another difference from high school is that here some people feel like they come from another planet because you never thought an actual human being could be so perfect and succesful. You will meet people who seem like they have it all figured out; people who represent everything you wish you were right now. Comparing yourself and feeling deeply unsatisfied is, well, practically impossible. However, it is foolish to be hard on yourself for not being like someone else. Everyone's journey is different and you are here to continue progressing as an individual and as an artist. Strive to improve yourself, not to be similar to other people. Nonetheless, it is not necessarily a bad thing to admire someone's work and use that inspiration as motivation to get you creating. Basically, don't belittle yourself! Try your best, learn from your mistakes, but understand you have limitations. Whether you are feeling down about a certain grade or somebody not liking you back, know that not everything is always going to run smoothly and being hard on yourself is really just a waste of energy. I know it is hard not to feel disillusioned, but try to use that as a motivator rather than a reason to feel depressed. Understand what went wrong and try to fix it. However, there WILL be things that are just out of your control so just take a deep breath and relax!

Being the zealous daydreamer you are, understand time is precious. Everything will appear so new, exciting and intriguing that you are going to want to spend some time wandering around. This can be both very relaxing/inspiring and very time consuming. I know it is essential for you to just take a walk sometimes, listen to some music and daydream away. However, if done too often, this turns into a waste of time. So far, I have jotted down some ideas for future projects but I really want to materialize more of what I think about, which will not happen if you keep walking around aimlessly. Also, if you are taking an hour long "coffee break", something is wrong. Try to study with friends when you are feeling specially emotional so they will stop you when you attempt to quit working to start fantasizing about random stuff. That brings me to the next point:

What the heck even is time anyway? Procrastinating does not work as efficiently as it did in high school. You will have your classes, but you will also get involved in different clubs and groups. You will have a blast at all of them, so there are no regrets here! You will be part of the art/literary magazine, different film clubs, a philosophy group and a charity fashion show. Everything is a lot of fun and it will also help you meet a lot of incredibly smart and creative people. Possibilities for engagement seem endless here and that will be extremely exciting to anyone as curious and proactive as you. However, understand every commitment means time, so think about how you will manage each week at a time.

Let's talk about money. You need it to survive. Do NOT waste it on food and clothes. Do not go to Whole Foods everyday. It becomes an unhealthy addiction. The dinning halls are there for a reason!!!! I cannot stress this enough! Indulge in things you like, but it should not be something daily, because you will run out of money extremely fast if self-control is not implemented. It is also much better to wait until you are going out with a group of friends or something to spend money, than to spend it by yourself for no real reason rather than you felt like walking downtown. Have a reason behind your purchases!!!! Watching your spending now will come in handy later when you graduate and those loans kick in. Also, keep in mind that there are options, such as refinancing your students loans, to keep help them manageable.

Finally, always be friendly. Always say hi to people. It'll be almost impossible to keep contact with  everyone you meet but at least try to say hi to them when you see them walking around campus. :)

Have fun.

Best,
Maria


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