Backyard Exploration

As I continue to miss Europe each day that it grows farther away from me (sorry I’m dramatic), I try to find ways to entertain myself in the beautiful city of Los Angeles. Don’t get me wrong, this city is amazing and has SO much to offer but since I’ve spent a majority of my life here, I need to find things that are new and exciting. Au contraire to most, I enjoy change and the challenge of trying new things. I’m not afraid of putting myself out there because what is the point of being alive if you’re not truly living?

Yesterday I decided to make a solo exploration to Downtown to a bookstore recommended by many of my friends and I’m so glad I did! I like to explore alone because I feel that I open up my senses more, I hear and see things I wouldn’t observe if someone was with me and sometimes you just need some alone time. On that note, I entered THE LAST BOOKSTORE with hopes of finding some great books on art history (one of my passions) and whaddayanoo I found a plethora of treasures on everything from Gothic Architecture to Surrealism. I was in HEAVEN. I was hoping to find a book on Salvador Dalí whom I find to be incredibly intriguing and spent most of this past summer studying and seeing his works first hand. Fortunately I was able to find a compilation on surrealism describing the movement in its entirety as well as an overview of Picasso (Dalí’s predecessor and somewhat mentor).

After finding and skimming thru many amazing books I decided to take a peek around the store itself. It is decorated in a sense to make you feel as though you’re in an old library but it has been revamped with modern twists. The worn-in comfy leather chairs are a contrast to the Harry Potter-esque books literally flying off the walls towards you. If you walk upstairs you find several artists’ studios and shelves upon shelves of books. I spent about 2 hours there but I could easily see someone spending nearly the entire day searching through classic literature, old records, books on language and more!

I highly recommend to plan a visit if you haven’t been before!

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A quote for Monday. Have a great week.

xx Aly

Cadaqués: A Hidden Treasure

While in Spain, I stayed with my friend friend Laura Roca of ROCAVENEN as I mentioned before. She invited me on the final weekend of me staying there to meet up with her family in the town called Cadaqués located in the provence of Girona on the Mediterranean Sea. The town is about a three hour drive from Barcelona around a mountain with sheer cliffs making it slightly difficult for people to get to (this journey also weeds out a lot of tourists there).

I not only wanted to visit the town of Cadaqués because I had heard of its amazing beauty, but I also knew that the artist Salvador Dalí, had a residence there for most of his life. I have studied him a lot and know that the unique beauty of Cadaqués inspired much of if not all of his artwork.

Here are a few snaps taken in the hidden and perfectly tranquil paradise of Cadaqués.

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Laura took this of me on a perfect day wearing traditional shoes from Catalonia, they cost 8 EURO.

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The main playa in Cadaqués.

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The views are incredible there. I don’t think you can take a bad photo.

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This photo doesn’t even do justice to the stark contrast between the bright white walls and vibrant flowers.

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Salvador Dalí’s house and personal cove on the back side of Cadaqués called Port Lligat.

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Backside of Dalí’s house surrounded by olive trees.

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Let’s just day it was REALLY hard to leave…

Besos,

xx Aly

A New Chapter

WOW! What a crazy past few months it has been! Unfortunately, when I was in Spain I was too busy truly living the adventure to keep up my blog. (I apologize) but, I can certainly now share the wonderful photos and moments I was able to capture while on my life-chaning experience abroad.

While there I stayed mostly in Madrid, España where I attended Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. I also had the chance to explore Valencia, Granada, Toledo, Segovia, Barcelona, Cadaqués and Girona (all cities in Spain). I also visited Porto, Portugal and of course, Paris, France!

In the last two weeks of my trip I had the INCREDIBLE opportunity to stay with my dear friend Laura Roca of ROCAVENEN (who I met through blogging) and her extremely gracious and welcoming family in Barcelona. Learning to live like a true Spaniard and feel like I was part of the family was an invaluable experience and easily the best part of my trip!

I got back from my trip a month ago today just in time to start school at Woodbury University in Burbank, California. I am studying Fashion Marketing and Communications and couldn’t be happier. I see starting back in LA again is a new experience and adventure (it’s not a bad place to call home). Although, I do miss España TERRIBLY. I love LA (my first home) but my heart is back in España.

Aquí están fotos de mi viaje a Europa! Gracias para visitas mi blog!

(Here are photos from my trip to Europe! Thank you for visiting my blog!)

*Please note all these photos were taken by me unless otherwise specified

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Madrid, outside the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia where the amazing

Salvador Dalí exhibit was on display.

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My friends walking in Retiro Park, one of our favorite places in Madrid.

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 Banco de España, one of the busiest places in Madrid.

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The incredible ancient city of Toledo (one hour outside of Madrid).

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Me enjoying a sweet sip in Barcelona by la playa.

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Amigas enjoying the beautiful Mediterranean Sea in Valencia.

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And for the finale… The Eiffel Tower…

Until we meet again… Besos

XOXO Aly

 

Spain 2013

Hello everyone,

Unfortunately, I have been neglecting my blog for the past few months due to being extremely busy with school, work, etcetera. However, I am very excited to announce that  I will be studying for the summer in Madrid, Spain.  I will be taking classes in art history, photo journalism, and of course Spanish!

I am hoping that this trip revives my love of blogging and I can share some of my experiences with all of you here. I just purchased a great new digital camera (Canon Rebel T5i) that I plan to take with me so I can properly blog fashion, food, site seeing and much more!

I leave in a little less than a month so stay updated for photos and fun!

xx Aly

Paris is Calling…

 

My dream for quite some time has been to travel to Paris and maybe even live there for a period of time. Most of my friends have been there and tell me it is calling my name. They say if I went to Paris I would probably never leave, and if that’s so let it be. I am currently reading a book about the secrets of the glamourous life of Coco Chanel and the world renowned fashion house she created in France nearly 100 years ago. Chanel had some deep and dark secrets that historians are just now exposing which makes the city where she lived even more intriguing. My journalistic instincts cause me to be nosey and my curiosity sometimes knows no boundaries.

If I were to go to Paris I would immediately go to the Louvre (I would probably spend days there). As I have expressed in previous posts, I am a devout art worshiper and French Art is my absolute favorite! When I refer to French Art, I mean artists like Monet, Manet, and Degas (to name a few) who were all part of the Impressionist period of the late 1800s. I know it sounds incredibly nerdy, but I will probably cry on the day I get to go to the Louvre (whenever that day may be).

Some other places/things I must do is go to the original house of Chanel and buy a handbag (duh), go to the eiffel tower at night, visit the gardens of Versailles, eat pastries and learn to speak some French.

I don’t think this trip will be happening anytime in the near future, but one can dream right?

Keep your dreams alive

Xx Aly

Catalina Island Getaway

 

 

Last week I got to travel to Catalina Island and stay with my extended family on a wonderful vacay. Incase you don’t know, the island is located about an hour off the coast of southern California (near Long Beach). I have been going to the island since I was young but this has to be the best trip by far. Spending time with my gorgeous cousins, little sister, grandma, and many other very important people in my life was a blast! We got to go tubing, jet skiing, swimming, snorkeling, boating, hiking, shopping and much much more! If you’re looking for a fun (and beautiful) place to stay that is family friendly, look into Catalina Island!

Crazy For Stella & Dot

 

I recently received my Gigi Studs from Stella & Dot that I won in a giveaway hosted by fellow blogger Arbitrary Ambrosia and I’m in love!  I chose to wear them the other day on a trip to the luxurious Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, California. While touring the gorgeous Spanish style grounds of the hotel, I wore a simple black cami tucked into printed high-waisted shorts, my favorite (old) Steve Maddens and topped it all off with my new Gigi Studs! Besides the fact that I won these vintage-esque little beauties, they traveled to me all the way from Georgia! Which is somewhere I’ve never been and would love to go and try a delish peach someday!