5 Takeaways and Trends from last month’s Fashion Week

Here I am, better late than never, to recap last month’s fashion weeks (last month, I know…).  I don’t know about you, but I always find it super entertaining to go through slides from the fashion shows and gawk at the sometimes overwhelming over-the-top outfits.  Other times, I’m stricken by the sheer beauty of the designer grab; the most carefully crafted articles of clothing made in the industry.  For this year’s Spring 2019 fall fashion weeks, everything from New York to Paris was bold and bright, fresh and fun.  Come spring, expect eye popping vibrant trends that we can only dream about on dreary fall days.  What I liked most about everything?  The sheer variety in styles; some classic like Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary show (was literally obsessed), and some crazy over the top like Rodarte’s creepy graveyard show during NYFW.  Certain looks stand out as notable including these 5 trends below.

  1. Ruffles and Lace
    • All about texture!  These avant-garde frilly looks are totally influenced by Victorian era fashion, and I am all for it!  Behind retro, Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana at MFW both showed high neck-lined layered pieces, while Erdem at LFW spared no expense in showcasing a Victorian by-gone era.  Modest, but stated, these kind of looks can be super fun when worn fearlessly.  Florals really embody ruffles which make for perfect summer time outfits. 

  2. Understated Tan
    • I am all about neutrals, and others seem to agree!  Stella McCarthy at LFW and Max Mara at MFW both had tan dominate shows and it proved to be simple and bold.  McCarthy and Ferragamo also showed oversized blazers which are super popular (and practical) right now.  I’m obsessed with this nautical Hermès look since it is understated, yet classy.  Bright colors are great in the spring, but neutrals always work too!
  3. Feathers Galore
    • Faux fur has been dominate the last couple of years in the realm of textures, and now we have feathers to add to the growing trend of “go big or go home” outfits.  While the former shows no sign of slowing down, feathers are a much lighter alternative that can easily be worn during the warmer months.  During NYFW, Oscar de la Renta made white feathers look effortlessly elegant, while Tom Ford contrasted them with black.  Marc Jacobs took a bold path with color, pairing two hot trends together on the runway.
  4. Strong Solid Colors
    • Who doesn’t like a big blast of color?  In a total contrast to some other major designers, both Chanel and Valentino, among others, showed bright hues that put a twist on both brands’ usual styles.  Chanel, at PFW, opted to bring their usual tweeds to the beach, giving them fun summery colors that we can all definitely get behind.  And for Valentino, red was seldom in Milan.  Instead, orange and neons made a statement.  It might be hard to think of warm colors now with winter almost upon us (East coast, why so cold?), but it’s comforting to think of wearing anything bright next year!
  5. Polka Dots
    • Black and white dots make for a classic statement and Celine, under a new creative director, brought forth the traditional pattern in new and funky ways for Paris Fashion Week.  Other dot expressions were seen with designers like Chloé and Givenchy at PFW, the later whom expressed dots through netting (another popular trend).  Along with other bold patterns, expects polka dots to bring the fun come spring!
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5 Of My Favorite Products To Get You Through The End Of Summer

I have never really written a post about products and cosmetics, but I figured why not?  I’m a big Sephora fan, and I’m also always on the lookout to try new things, whether it be hair products, skin products, or makeup.  The summer heat and sun get to be rough on your body (that’s not to say that winter weather isn’t), so here are 5 new beauty products that I’ve been trying this summer that I totally 100% recommend.

*I am not being promoted for any of these suggestions

  1. Buddy Scrub Coffee Body Scrub

We all love drinking our morning coffee, but did you know that coffee, and to a larger extent caffeine, has skin health benefits when used externally.  In fact, coffee is proven to help reduce cellulite and promote smoother shinier skin.  This Buddy Scrub is the perfect product to use in order to get that “summer bod”.  Just lather and scrub your body a couple times a week and you’ll have yourself smooth and healthy skin.  The scrub is totally natural, vegan, and cruelty-free with no harmful products or ingredients you can’t pronounce.  It smells amazing too!

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Buy it here through Anthropology for $18

2.  The Pocket Palette, one-use make-up kits

The Pocket Palette is a start-up company that created these mini makeup kits for on-the-go travel and disposal.  Each palette contains a single portion of BB cream or foundation, a single portion of lipstick that doubles as rouge, and a single-use mascara brush.  The palette is tiny and can easily fit inside any pocket, purse or container making them super easy to carry with you.  I have used my pocket palette for overnight trips when I don’t feel like lugging a large makeup kit around and for after events such as golf where I need to quickly cleanup and make myself look presentable before dinner.  After use, you simply throw the kit away, and the makeup is great quality and very versatile.

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Buy them here in sets of 3 or 10 ranging from $12 to $35

3.  Tarte Mermaid Glitter Gel

Glitter is having a major moment right now thanks to the growing popularity of music festivals and festival fashion.  This gel-like body glitter is just the thing to get you festival-ready for all those instagram pictures.  It isn’t an eye shadow like other glitter products.  Instead, the liquid gel dries on to the skin, keeping it in place anywhere on the body.  Not only does the glitter work great against skin, but the jar is super fun and aesthetic.

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You can find it here from Sephora for $18

4.  Too Faced Hangoverx Replenishing Face Primer

This primer doubles wonderfully as a face moisturizer since it restores and helps contain moisture in the skin.  As the name suggests, it’s ideal for hangovers, but also any activity where your skin looses moisture such as working out and sun exposure. For those long summer days outside, this works as the perfect remedy making skin supple, smooth and lively.  As a bonus, Hangoverx has no shine or oily effects which is much appreciated when it comes to a good everyday primer and “lotion”.

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Buy it here at Sephora for $34

5.  OUAI Sun of a Beach Ombré Spray

Ever tried the old trick of squeezing lemon in your hair to make it lighter?  And it kind of works? Temporarily.  Well, OUAI has come up with a product based off of the classic lemon hack, but works stronger and stays longer.  Sun of a Beach Spray lightly bleaches the hair in a healthy way that doesn’t dry the hair out.  It smells nice and has little texture.  And, it actually really works!  The spray gives you a summer sun-kissed look which we all want while still looking very natural and healthy.

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Buy it here from Sephora for $24

*Pro Tip:  As I mentioned, I swear by Sephora.com since I love their loyalty program. Living in a rural area means that I need to order most of my products online, and Sephora is amazing for that.  I pay $10 a year to get free shipping which saves a lot of money in the long run, plus I get free samples which are great for travel, loyalty points for free awards, a birthday gift, and special deals that include a lot more free samples/minis.  It’s a fabulous program especially for college students.

Much Ado About Juice

In the world of health food trends, nothing is as prevalent, albeit slightly controversial than fresh pressed juices (I’m talking the kale and spinach filled, array of colors kind).  The craze started a while back and has remarkably stayed relevant as social media and different fad diets have influenced the world of juice.  Whether it be an occasional over-priced boujee juice with friends or an intensive juice cleanse, juicing shows no sign of slowing down and I am all for it (which is exactly why I’m writing this post declaring my love for juice).

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You might ask yourselves, what exactly does juicing do and are there actually any health benefits?  Well you see, I’m a picky eater when it comes to both fruits and vegetables.  I either love the food in question or hate it.  But, for some texture degrading reason, liquidizing produces makes a world of difference for my taste buds.  Raw carrots are too much of a pain to eat, but slush them up and throw them in a blender and I’ll drink it straight up (literally).  In other cases, putting broccoli (my nemesis) in a press with ginger, fruit, and cucumber completely disguises the otherwise nasty (sorry broccoli fans) taste.  Yes, some of the health benefits are potentially lost but, with high-pressure technology, most high-end juice companies manage to maintain the majority of health benefits of fruits and vegetables in the liquid form, hence why good juices are usually pretty expensive.

The Scoop on Juice Cleanses:  Controversial and definitely not for everyone, but juice cleanses or juice fasts are a great way to reset your diet and lifestyle while enjoying the many benefits of juices.  Juice cleanses involve drinking 6-8 freshly pressed juices for 1 to 5 days in order to pack your body with vitamins and nutrients.  It’s ideal to spend a couple of days before and after the fast to start phasing out large amounts of foods and unclean foods.  I, for instance, try to cut out all sweets, most carbs and large amounts of meat.  This helps make the cleanse easier on the stomach and makes it more efficient.  By fasting, you also give your digestive system a rest, allowing it to flush out any leftover toxins (you have to go to the bathroom a lot!) and reboot.  It’s ideal to do a cleanse after a vacation or a period of eating poorly since it truly does allow the body to restart.  After cleansing, I always feel very refreshed and energized.  The day after, I feel like I can do anything, and I won’t have any cravings for junk food!  The cleanse, as a bonus, helps get rid of sugar cravings which are great for people like me who constantly want sweets.  A juice cleanse is probably not ideal for intense athletes or anyone who needs a sufficient amount of food since you don’t intake anything near the daily recommended amount of calories.  With that being said, it is great for people who strive to live a wholestically healthy lifestyle.
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Juice Cafes:  The other week, I was vacationing in St. Michaels Maryland and discovered a new cafe that makes fresh juices, coffee, and lemonade in a cool, hip and relaxing cafe environment (think indy coffee shop but with juice).  Agave Arts and Juicing Company is super cute, and really promotes a healthy lifestyle.  The lounge area of the shop is filled with art and decor, making it perfect for that Instagram game (really what juice is about tbh).  This kind of place is becoming more common as Americans and young Americans especially become even more health conscious, following trends and innovative on how our culture looks at food.  Other companies offer a more to-go strategy to sell their juices as is the case with Minneapolis’s Juice So Good.  They have a couple of shops around the city, but the most convenient of them is inside a grocery store in a way that a Starbucks would be, offering fresh juices to-go and easy pick-up for cleanses.  It’s a great healthy alternative for a delicious pick-me-up.

 

Newest (and Sweetest) Minneapolis Summer Hotspots (as seen all over Instagram)

New food places nowadays have Instagram to thank (or not to thank) for making their businesses go viral, literally.  While visual presentation has always played a big role in the appeal and popularity of food, social media has moved its importance to sky heights, making it crucial for “popular” food joints to make, for lack of a better word, beautiful food.  Food trends are also more prevalent than ever thanks to the rise of social media, especially Instagram stories since everyone wants to prove and brag to the world that they eat well and some-what healthy.  As for trendy Instagram-worthy places in the Minneapolis area, two new places stand out as being the definition of this; cool, hip, and delicious.

MNice Cream (NE Minneapolis):  The name might be cheesy, but MNice Cream is the new “It” ice cream spot for the summer.  Serving up crazy over the top soft serve creations, the original food truck and shop inside a northeast warehouse has been gathering quite the line.  The concept is classic and simple.  You order either vanilla, chocolate, or vegan/dairy-free soft serve, then choose a creation (a mixture of toppings) from the menu or create your own masterpiece.  The toppings are over the top (think eatable glitter, churros, and homemade donuts, along with the traditional and every variety of candy), and you have the option to get a colorful cone and/or a flower which is purely for the Instagram aesthetic.  The homemade soft serve itself is really delicious as it is perfectly creamy and flavorful, but the toppings truly make the place an experience, one that is perfect for a hot sunny Minneapolis day.

Above are some examples of amazing creations at MNice Cream brought to you from their Instagram.

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My MNice cone was the dirty worms creation (oreo, gummy worms, chocolate sauce, and sparkles) with an added churro donut and flower on a waffle cone.

Nautical Bowls (Minnetonka):  On the other side of the health spectrum (or at least we hope) is Nautical Bowls, a concept cafe that solely sells acai and such bowls which, if you live under an Instagram-less rock, are breakfast-like parfaits with a base of acai sorbet.  While this might sound sweet, the bowls are more like a tangy super thick smoothie topped with fruit, nuts, and seeds.  At Nautical Bowls (the name is derived from being near Lake Minnetonka), you have the option to create your own (see a trend?) or order from a couple of pre-designed creations.  Acai isn’t the only base available.  In fact, it’s probably the least exciting.  There are 5 options which you can choose multiple of per bowl: the classic acai (deep purple), pitaya (beautifully pink dragonfruit), matcha (green tea), coconut with activated charcoal (a deep grey color), and chia seed pudding.  Once you choose your base which is arguably the most exciting part, you choose 4+ toppings.  They have a huge variety of “superfoods” such as bee pollen, goji berries, hemp hearts, in addition to fresh fruit and butters such as peanut butter and almond butter.  The result is a colorful bowl chock full of nutrients and yumminess.  The experience is literally amazing, as the taste of the bowls is super unique and satisfying.

Above are two bowls that a friend and I ordered at Nautical Bowls.  I had a base of pitaya, coconut and chia seeds with banana, strawberry, bee pollen and coconut on top.  I was in heaven.  My friend had a similar thing, but with acai instead of chia seeds.  The colors were so vibrant.

The cute interior of Nautical Bowl is supposed to reflect a nautical theme which feels really fresh and cheerful.  It might seem kind of random, but if you were boating on the lake, the shop would be a perfect place to stop by after!

Don’t wait, and adventure to these spots for the amazing food and photos waiting to happen!  It will be totally #instaworthy!

May Picks- Summer Style Must-Haves

Summer has “officially” started (finally), at least for me as I’m back home and enjoying some incredibly warm weather ahead of what’s going to be a steamy Memorial Day Weekend.  Happily, summer means the end of a crazy last month of school, the start of summer jobs, and more time which makes me able to write more!  Leading into June, here are some summer “must-haves” and trends that will be all over the place soon.

Block Heel Sandals

  • Block heels, along with tiny kitten heels, have been seen all over the streets with good reason since they are super stylish and can work perfectly for a variety of occasions (casual to formal).  What’s also fun is that the trend is super broad, meaning that many different styles can have and are having a fun and bold block heel.  For summer, opt for a bright colorful pair to make any outfit stand out.

 

Cage Bags

Wide Leg Pants

Matching Sets

Slide Sandals

March Picks

Hi there!  This month…

What to wear:

  • With warmer weather on the horizon, a good transition coat is essential.  Just the thought of peeling off winter layers makes me feel nice and cheery, and a good light jacket will do just that.  A great pair of little booties or statement booties are also perfect for this time of year to fill the gap between boots and sandals or sneakers.  As for me, I cannot wait to be able to walk around wearing any kind of shoe and not worry about getting snow on them.  Here are my suggestions for this month in terms of what to wear.
    • A wax or quilted Barbour Jacket: A classic brand and a classic style, these jackets are perfect for that in-between weather.  I know I have talked about them before, but that is just because I love the style so much.  You really cannot go wrong with one of these jackets since they go with everything.
    • Hunter raincoat:  Just leave it up to the classic boot company to have you covered during a spring downpour.  The Hunter brand might be associated with rain boots, but they also have a great selection of rain jackets.  They come available in an array of bright colors and styles that are super classic and fun.
    • Light Blazer or Bomber jacket:  Spring calls for light layers especially for nicer occasions.  Blazers pair perfectly with dresses.  They up the sophistication of a style and are totally appropriate.  For more casual looks, bomber jackets work well to keep warm from the fresh spring air.
    • Chelsea Boots:  These little booties seem to be the shoe of the moment right now, and it isn’t hard to see why.  They are perfectly sized for milder weather, stylish and easy to wear.

What to Watch:

  • Lately, I have been in a bit of a stump with Netflix, but I did just discover “The Great British Baking Show” (finally) and I love it.  I am not sure there is anything that is more British in personally, so it just makes me so happy to watch it.  Plus, I have learned quite a lot about baking and desserts!Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 9.41.10 PM.png
  • I spent a snow day a couple of weeks ago watching random movies and came across  “The Boy who Made Shoes for Lizards” which is a new documentary on Manolo Blahnik, the legendary shoe designer.  I was enthralled by his life and how his shoes are made, and highly recommend it to anyone interested in fashion.  Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 9.42.23 PM.png
  • I finally got to watch “I, Tonya” which I have wanted to see for months since I’m a figure skater.  Totally met my expectations, and I found it to be a real roller coaster of drama mixed with great acting!

Campus Tip:

  • I recently subscribed to a snack subscription box called “Try the World- Snacks“.  You sign up to get a box of snacks each month from around the world which is absolutely perfect for a hungry college student.  The snacks are all natural, vegetarian and a lot are gluten-free making it accessible to everyone.  I have loved everything that I have gotten, and the snacks are very great for a late night of studying pick me up.  For just 15$ a month, it is super convenient and worth it!Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 9.44.45 PM.png

That’s all!

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February Picks (Fashion Week Roundup)

It’s that time of year when fashion capitals around the world come alive in what would otherwise be dreary February.  Haute Couture might seem like a distant fairytale-like dream, but, in reality, following the avant-guard trends of supermodels can be super helpful in figuring out the ins and outs of upcoming seasons, and keeping up with the world of fashion.  I love looking at the design that goes into the shows and reading about what everyone is wearing, so I came up with a list of the most common and most crazy trends that have been appearing on runways for my February article.

  1. Mini bags

High fashion tends to draw in the extremes with mostly everything over the top and big, but, in this case, the extreme is tiny with the idea that something subtle can easily catch attention.  The trend of mini bags comes at a time when people don’t need a huge purse to carry their lives with them since all that is really needed nowadays is a smartphone and credit card.  It’s a crazy concept, but it’s also super convenient and easy.  Who really wants to tote around a large bag all day anyway?

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Gigi Hadid spotted walking in Milan with a mini purse.  Vogue.com

2.  Suit wear and blazers

A bit of a surprising revitalization, but professional wear has been getting a fashionable makeover with elaborate blazers and classy suiting skirts.  I personally love this trend since it is very sophisticated and shows that dressing up never goes out of style.  Oversized blazers and embroidery are really spearheading it and allowing suiting to be an edgier concept.

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A model in Gucci’s Milan Fashion Week show sporting a New York inspired suit that had a very classic retro feel.

3.   Fringe

This fun trend is perfect for spring and summer, and can really add a lot of character to an outfit.  Practically every kind of clothing can be found this season with fringe from skirts and formal dresses to sweaters, shirts, and purses with tassels.

 

 

4.   Athleisure

Athletic clothing is starting to move more into high-end fashion with the growing trend of athleisure style.  It is pretty much a cross between athletic clothing and fashion that can be sported both inside and outside the gym.  This growing trend is perfect for busy days and really helps to keep you motivated and fit.

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Leggings as apart of a gym ready groutfit were found at the Alexander Wang New York show.

5.   Bold Prints and Stripes

Floral print, animal print, stripes (you name it) are super popular with brands showcasing a ton of color and bright bold patterns on their clothing.  Shake off the winter blues with fuchsia stripes (yes, fuchsia is trending), or floral everything to start off summer on the right foot.

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A look from the Michael Kors NYFW show that shows all sorts of prints at once.

 

6.   Plaid

Plaid is all over the place right now, literally everywhere!  Many designers are carrying out collections of vintage plaid suiting, tartan, and even rainbow plaid.  Burberry turned to color during London Fashion Week, and Versace had what is being deemed a Cher Horowitz Clueless moment with 90s style colored plaid everything outfits.  Plaid is a great timeless style that can be worn anywhere.

 

 

7.  Big Sleaves and big shirts

Make a statement with big sleeves and wrap shirts this summer.  Last year, off the shoulder and cold shoulder dresses were all the rage (and expect that to continue this spring/summer), but this year, the shirts are going to get even bigger.  Abstract wrap shirts are the perfect way to look put-together and fashionable, as they stand out and look chic.

 

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January Picks

January can be one of the most un-motivating and dreary times of the year.  After the high of the holiday season, it can be difficult to decompress, detox, and move-on.  Here are 8 items, ideas, and inspiration to help with the mid-winter slump.  Disclaimer, affiliate links included.

  1. Hand Lotion- AHAVA Mineral Cream
  • The current cold weather is the WORST for skin, especially hands, resulting in me desperately putting on a thick hand cream every couple of hours to prevent the dreaded cracked and burning skin.  This Dead Sea sourced AHAVA cream is a great water-based formula that moisturizes well and smells great.
  • Find it on Amazon by clicking on the image.   

2.  Body Lotion- Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

  • Again, the dry and cold weather is dreadful for skin, meaning that a good body cream is a must.  This Bum Bum cream is amazing.  It’s nourishing, makes your skin shine, and smells like a legit beach.
  • Find it on Amazon by clicking the image, or at sephora.
     3.  Resurrect your hair with a nourishing hair mask- Nelson Argan Oil Mask
  • I find that during these crazy weather months, my hair suffers.  It becomes super staticy and I tend to develop more split ends that usual.  I recently found this product that infuses moisture into hair while helping to repair damage.  It is super easy to apply and does not take up much time.  My hair has been so much better since getting this!
  • Find the hair mask on Amazon by clicking the image.

4.  See an Oscar season movie in theaters

  • So many great movies come out in December, and while many plan on seeing movies around the holidays, they are still around after New Years.  This year was espically good with movies such as “The Darkest Hour” and “I, Tonya” which are both historical biopics complete with great acting.

5.  Get intrigued and spooked by the latest season of Black Mirror

  • Black Mirror has to be one of the most intriguing shows out there right now with its complicating plotwists, unique story lines, and disturbing themes.  Each episode of the show is entirly different, meaning that each episode has completely different characters, settings and even time periods.  They explore different distrubing realities and mostly focus on the dark side of technology.  While sometimes freaky, Black Mirror is so fascinating, and the new season on Netflix does not disappoint.

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6.  Shop for early Spring Break clothing on sale online

  • Ok, so you might think that it is too early for spring shopping, but Spring Break is coming up fast, and why not treat yourself to clothing you can look forward to wearing in a couple of months.  Many online retailers are having massive sales on Resort collections right now.  Find great deals at Shopbop, MyTeresa and Net-A-Porter.

7.  Invest in some stylish and durable winter boots to get you through the rest of the winter

  • I confess to really not liking typical winter boots.  I don’t mind the look; it is just that I feel bulky wearing them.  However, I finally realized my need for them, and found a great pair of Sorrel’s from Nordstrom that are cute and not too blocky.  I love them because they are unconventional and stylish.  There are so many unique options out there that help keep winter chic!

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8.  Discover winter’s newest late coming color trends

  • Black and White:  Fresh out of Paris Haute Couture Week, the classic combo is suddenly being revitalized and it’s bolder than ever.  The look is a great way to brighten up winter while still staying with darker tones.
  • Pink:  Millenial Pink is hotter than even with the subtle shade being wore all year round.  The sweet color looks bright and refined while still making a statement.

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    Skirt: See by Cholé.  Skirt: Milly.  Shoes: Schutz.  Sweater: 3.1 Phillip Lim

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Inside the Newest, Most Insta-worthy Twin Cities Coffee Shop- Cafe Astoria

Not even established enough to have its own website, Cafe Astoria sits at an unassuming street corner, across from a hospital on St. Paul’s Grand Ave.  However, Cafe Astoria isn’t your typical independent neighborhood coffee shop that tends to inspire the basic minimalistic cup of a Millenial’s dream.  The coffee, which is the farthest thing from minimalistic, is attracting people from all over the cities (particularly teenaged and young adult girls) with its golden, rainbow, over the top creations that scream “I have to post this on my Instagram story!”.

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The café opened this past spring, intending on becoming just a small local shop for the downtown St. Paul neighborhood.  When pictures of the coffee started to surface on social media, everyone started to head to St. Paul to check out the hype.  The place is perfectly made for social media, and from a marketing standpoint, platforms, such as Instagram, have worked wonders for the shop, skyrocketing its popularity while continuing to curate towards the internet.  They have already needed to expand the shop to fit the overflow of customers.  Cafe Astoria has a typical menu of artisan drinks, both cold and hot, but then, there is the secret menu which contains creations such as the 24K Gold Latte, the Campfire Mocha, the Rainbow Matcha Latte, the Crême Brulé Latte, and the Rainbow Mint Mocha.  All amazingly beautiful; it is difficult to take the first couple sips of the drinks out of sheer fear of messing up the designs.  However, the taste of the coffee and the subtle sweetness allow for a very enjoyable experience.

  • Rainbow Matcha Latte: A nice sweet mix of warm green tea and milk.  The colors of the rainbow drinks change every day, so one day the drink could be blue like mine and pink the next day.  Either way, they are beautiful and unique.

  • Campfire Mocha:  Just imagine a s’mores turned coffee and you have a Campfire Mocha!  Great for chocolate lovers and anyone craving something fun and sweet.  Just look at that giant marshmallow!

  • 24K Gold Latte: A wonder to behold.  I mean who doesn’t want to drink eatable gold leafs?  Boujee and beautiful, the 24K Gold Latte is what made Cafe Astoria into what it has become.

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Coffee aside, Cafe Astoria has a great insta-worthy and trendy menu that is perfect for both breakfast and lunch.  The signature smoothie bowls are swoon-worthy art-pieces full of fruit, seeds, and great flavors.  Healthy and delicious, they have 4 different kinds ranging from “Beehive” to “Berry Berry”.  In addition, the café offers both savory and sweet crêpes which truly makes the place feel like a modern Parisian café.  They are very simple but definitely hit the spot for a quick meal.  There are also homemade pastries, including great scones, as well as sandwiches and an elaborate list of funky oatmeals.

  • Smoothie Bowls:  Full of fresh ingredients and nutrients, these bowls are just as pretty as the coffee at Café Astoria.  The super trendy health craze is thanks to a lot of Cafe Astoria’s popularity (other than the coffee) since people are clamoring to try the newfound smoothie bowl concept.
  • Crêpes:  Try classics such as banana with Nutella or any of the delicious savory sandwich-like options.  Make the trip down to St. Paul to relax, drink a fancy-schmancy coffee, eat a crêpe and a smoothie (if you really want to go all out), and enjoy.  Instagram crazy or not, either way, Cafe Astoria is a greatly enjoyable experience where the visible appeal of the food is just as important as the taste.


 Address: 180 Grand Ave
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CafeAstoriaSaintPaul

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November Picks

I realize that this is a little late in the month, but I have been busy with the holidays and school lately.  Anyways, with Christmas just around the corner, it is hands down the best time of year.  The hustle and bustle, the joy, and the overall craziness is something to be thankful for as we get closer to Christmas.  I have compiled a list of my usual monthly picks, along with tips for holiday shopping and deals.

What to listen to (affiliate links included):

Blake Shelton-Texoma Shore

  • The newly crowed sexiest man of the year (thank you People) has recently released an album called Texoma Shore.  With great countries songs, Blake Shelton’s keeps the album down to earth and real, something that pop/country artists seem to sometimes lack nowadays.  The hit single “I’ll Name the Dogs” is my personal favorite since it is such a great feel good love song.


Niall Horan- Flicker

  • One Direction member turned avid golf enthusiast turned solo pop artist and country collaborator, Niall Horan has done a lot recently to make a name for himself.  Back in my middle school days, I was head over heels for Niall (being a huge directioner), so I love to see how well he is doing.  It also does not surprise me how much I love her new and first solo album, Flicker.  Slow Hands is a great catchy fun tune, This Town is nice and reminiscent of a past time, and Seeing Blind is a great collaboration with Maren Morris, one of my favorite up and coming country stars.

What to watch (affiliate links included):

Made of Honor (2008)

  • This is a little known American rom com that I stumbled across on Netflix.  It is clever, very predictable (of course), hilarious, and happens to star Patrick Dempsey (Mr. McDreamy).  While the movie isn’t award worthy, it’s a great distraction to rest your mind for awhile.   Click on the photo to rent on Amazon.

A Royal Night Out (2015)

  • Another random Netflix find that happened to be fabulous.  A Royal Night Out tells the story of a young Queen Elizabeth on VE day at the end of WW2.  For anyone eagerly anticipating the return next month of The Crown (me!) and with talks of an upcoming royal wedding, this is sure to satisfy your need of British culture.  Again, a bunch of fluff, but fun!  Click on the photo to rent on Amazon.

Fashion- How to get good deals this Christmas shopping season

Alas, Black Friday has come and gone, for better or for worse.  If you are feeling like you missed out on savings for presents and a seasonal wardrobe makeover, do not fret and be glad that you avoided the unnecessary stress associated with overhyped “bargains”.  It is probably not a secret, but I rely on online shopping to find deals with an abundance of promo codes and online services that alert me on where to find something for the cheapest price. Throughout all of December, it is pretty much guaranteed that your favorite retailers will one, restock everything, and two, offer up similar (if not better) deals to those offered on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Here are some tips on navigating this crazy shopping time.

  1.  Avoid all malls
  • Only go to an actually store if it is a must.  Malls and shopping areas are mobbed this time of year, causing extra stress and wasting time.  Online, you will find no actual people and much better discounts.

2.   Look into getting clothes and accessories through online department stores

  • Stores such as Nordstrom and Saks are super easy to navigate online and offer great return and shipping policies, especially this time of year.  Browse the gift guides and trend alerts for easy shopping, in addition to talking advantage of their fleeting and immense sales.

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3.    Download and use Honey

  • Honey.com is this amazing program that notifies you of promo codes and discounts while shopping at stores online.  The little widget will get downloaded on to your search bar and you can use it at pretty much any store.  What is even more amazing is that by using Honey, you get reward points that you can redeem for virtual gift cards.  It rewards you for saving!

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4.     Do not delete all of those sale notification emails

  • While they are super annoying and might seem meaningless, you never know when you might need to buy something from some random site.  When you do, it is nice to be able to go back and search for the store to see if any deals are currently going on.

5.   Sign up for ShopItToMe

  • This is another great resource that can save you a ton of money online.  Shop it to Me is an online program that sends you daily alerts of sales going on for any item of  your so-called “favorite brands”.  The best part of it is that you tell them all your sizes, so the clothes that are shown on sale are going to be in your size.  You like brands, put down your sizes, and voilà, you get notified when ever something that you might like is on sale anywhere online.  Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 9.39.58 PM.png
  • I hope to have provided some good tips on shopping this month.  Stay tuned for a more comprehensive guide to saving money while shopping online in the future.

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