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Stephanie Johnson Giveaway!!

15 Aug

As you read this, I’m sitting at Ben Gurion International (Tel Aviv) waiting for my flight to Hong Kong to spend 2.5 weeks in Macau, Thailand, and Vietnam!! In honor of my trip to Southeast Asia, the wonderful team at Stephanie Johnson has offered to give one very lucky Love a la mode reader  a JUMBO zip cosmetic bag in the Jakarta print! Let me tell you this bag is absolutely amazing.  Here is a (very embarassing) picture of what my toiletry collection legitimately entailed before I received the product:

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5 separate bags. I kid you not. Enter Stephanie Johnson to the rescue and I am down to just one! Not only do I love the print, but I love the spaciousness. With dimensions 10-7/8” L x 3-1/2″ W x 8″, everything fits! Not to mention the waterproof lined interior means I don’t have to worry about something spilling and ruining everything else in my bag.

I am also newly obsessed with the sweet passport cover in berry they sent me to keep my passport safe and sound on my 5 country journey. Another bonus is it is also a waterproof material, which never hurts. After how happy I am with the quality and styling of the Stephanie Johnson products I received, I could definitely see upping my collection in the very near future ;)

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SECURELY ENTER THE GIVEAWAY THROUGH RAFFLECOPTER!

What are your favorite products from the website? Good luck everyone!

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Israel Diaries: Jerusalem International Film Festival

5 Aug

One of the best experiences I’ve had this summer living in Israel was getting to attend the Jerusalem International Film Festival through my internship at an international film financing company. I was also really excited to travel to Jerusalem and stay with one of my ADPi pledge sisters who recently relocated here. I arrived in Jerusalem on a Sunday evening and after stashing all my stuff in her apartment/dorm at Hebrew University, we took the light rail into the Jerusalem city center for a nice dinner at HaSpaghettim (literal translation: The Spaghettis.) The next day, I was on my own to get myself to the film festival to catch my first screening. To say that Google Maps led me astray in my journey to the Jerusalem Cinematheque might be an understatement. Long story short, I ended up on an all Arab-Islamic bus headed to Bethlehem via the West Bank. And I was wearing a sleeveless, backless blouse (which albeit chic, didn’t quite go with everyone else’s hijab.) Thankfully, the bus driver spoke a little English and agreed to drop me off right in front of the Cinematheque before continuing on to the Palestinian territories. (Side note: Dear Google Maps, if you could invent an “avoid imminent danger” or “circumvent awkward cultural differences” filter in the near future, it would be greatly appreciated.)

Jerusalem Cinematheque

View of the valley of Jerusalem as seen from the Cinematheque at night

After that little adventure I finally made it just in time for my first screening, a feature length fiction film financed by my company! The acting was great and I loved hearing the panel with the director afterwards. Later in the day I met back up with my friend and we went to another screening. After the film, we walked to the old central train station which has recently been renovated into a cool urban hang out with lots of bars and restaurants. We couldn’t resist a little dessert and some girl talk :)

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Cappucino, nana tea, and molten chocolate cake with ice cream at Cafe Landwer

On Tuesday, we spent a leisurely morning getting some work done at Aroma (the Israeli version of Starbucks) and then the latter half of the afternoon lunching and shopping. That evening we met up with our friend Haley, another Arizona grad, for dinner near Ben Yehuda at Focaccia Bar, which was super different and seriously delicious. We spent hours catching up before heading back to Mt. Scopus for the night.

Arizona girls at Focaccia Bar

Arizona ’13 grads at Focaccia Bar

On Wednesday afternoon, Rachel and I said our goodbyes and then I headed back into the city center (I managed to stay on the Israeli bus line this time) to the Cinematheque. I saw two more screenings, including the latest documentary produced by Morgan Spurlock and Eve Ensler, before heading to the central bus station to catch the last bus back to Tel Aviv. I finally arrived back at my apartment around midnight, completely exhausted, but loving every second that I got to spend with friends in Jerusalem.

Have you traveled anywhere neat this summer? When was the last time you got to catch up with old friends?

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Israel Diaries: Laila Lavan

1 Aug Celebrating Laila Lavan

Celebrating Laila Lavan

Last month, I celebrated my very first Laila Lavan on the streets of Tel Aviv. Laila Lavan literally translates to White Night, and is a huge 24-hour celebration in the city of Tel Aviv, commemorating when the city was finally named a UNESCO World Heritage Sight. It is truly a unique holiday and like nothing I’ve ever seen before. On a Thursday evening/night/morning, every single thing in the city remains open. Museums, restaurants, theatres, concert halls, and anything else you can imagine host special events and parties until long after the sun rises. To celebrate Laila Lavan like true Israelis, a few friends and I started the evening by walking to Rabin Square where there were big concerts and cool multimedia art shows all night.

image  After that we walked down Ibn Gibarol Street where tons of different groups were playing lots of live music and having crazy dance parties in the streets. We stopped every so often to listen to the different sounds and people watch.

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As we approached Rothschild Street, where the really wild stuff was happening, we stopped at several of the carts selling yummy snacks and cheap libations and made new friends.

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After a fun dance party in the street with several hundred other people that we stumbled onto, we finally headed into a bar/club called Polaroid around 3am. Inside they were playing American hiphop, and they had opened up the back patio/yard area into a massive open space with experimental house DJs and some cool art installations.

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Around 6am we finally decided to start heading back towards our apartment building (trust me this is still considered very early to go home on Laila Lavan) and we watched the sunrise as we walked down Allenby and stopped at an amazing 12 shekel glatt kosher pizza place. (Seriously the best pizza I have ever had. And it wasn’t just because I was inebreated at 6am and had just walked 4 miles. It was honestly delicious!)

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Some of my friends headed to the beach to stay up longer and watch the sunrise, but as for me, it was time for bed, but this has definitely been my most memorable experience in Israel so far.

Have you had any fun adventures this summer? What has your most fun experience abroad been?

 

Spending Independence Day in the Middle East

18 Jul

Spending the 4th of July in the Middle East definitely left me feeling a bit homesick, especially since I had to go in to work for the entire day. To make things better, two of my friends and I decided to book a 3 day weekend in the resort town of Eilat, on the Red Sea, to celebrate America as best we could. We spent the days tanning by the Red Sea and wandering the gorgeous boardwalk, eating at Israeli staples Aroma, Kakao, Moses, and Mike’s Place. Here are a few snapshots from Independence weekend :)

Flying domestic within Israel on Israir was definitely an experience to say the least

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Eilat is beautiful, but only about 5 minutes away from Jordan and a stone’s throw away from Egypt (pun intended.)

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Wearing my stars and stripes to rep America’s birthday at a Blu4dance, a 2-day electronic dance music festival

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We were right up front for Alesso the first night and managed to catch Armin Van Buuren on night two!

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P.S. Here was my throwback Thursday #tbt for 4th of July. I loved bows since the beginning :)

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Tel Aviv Living: Work Hard Play Hard

16 Jul

As June went on I continued loving my film internship as it got more intense and my responsibilities grew. I balanced a hard work week with lots of time dedicated to laying on the beach (only 10 minutes from my apartment) and spending a lot of quality time with new and old friends. Here are a few more of my June highlights:

Watching the Super Moon rise over the Mediterranean Sea

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Hanging out with a fellow Wildcat at a charity fundraiser at Penny’s on the Beach

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Meeting up with some ADPi sisters from across the country for a night out in Tel Aviv

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Celebrating Laila Lavan (White Night) with an all-night adventure through Rabin Square, Rothschild Boulevard, street-side music and dance parties, Polaroid club, and a 6am pizza detour.

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Throwing the diamond in historic Jaffa, the oldest port in the world, before chowing down at Dr.Shakshuka

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What have you been up to so far this summer? Any exciting travel plans coming up?

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First 2 Weeks in Tel Aviv

15 Jul

I spent the first 2 weeks of June settling in to my summer abroad in Tel Aviv. I caught up with old friends and family, spent a few days in Jerusalem, and started my internship at an international film financing company. Here are a few of the adventures I had early in the month:

Experiencing Tel Aviv PRIDE 2013 with thousands of people on Gordon Beach

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Going out to Par Derriere, an amazingly beautiful outdoor wine bar/patio, for my cousin’s birthday

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Learning to seek out the “all you can drink” wine bars with my new roommates

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Walking along Jaffa Port at night, outside Clara nightclub

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Enjoying the Jaffa Wine Festival with a fellow ADPi sister :)

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So far I have had such a fun summer working and getting the experience of living outside of the United States. Did you ever study abroad? Where are you traveling to this summer? Can’t wait to share more of my adventures with you!

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Traveling the USA

27 Jun

In the 2 weeks following my own graduation, I went home to Austin for my cousin’s graduation from UT, flew to Scottsdale for a wedding, then drove to L.A. for a few days before spending a weekend in New York before leaving the country. Here are just a few of the photos from my jet-setting :)

Family at my cousin's graduation dinner

Family at my cousin’s graduation dinner

Part of the decor at a gorgeous shabby chic farm wedding in Casa Grande!

Part of the decor at a gorgeous shabby chic farm wedding in Casa Grande!

Farm wedding :)

Farm wedding :)

Visiting the horse stables in North Scottsdale

Visiting the horse stables in North Scottsdale

Visiting with sisters in NY <3

Visiting with sisters in NY <3

Next up I’ll be showcasing pictures from my first 3 weeks living in Tel Aviv!

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Girls’ Week in CABO!!!

21 Mar

Oh hey sista friends. I know I’ve been a bad blogger recently but I’m trying to enjoy all there is about my last semester of college. Last week for spring break, 7 of my girlfriends and I went to Cabo San Lucas for 5 days of r&r. The trip was fabulous, our all-inclusive resort was beautiful, and the weather could not have been better! We stayed at the Riu Palace and bar hopped between Mango Deck and El Squid Roe. My friend Courtney and I also took an afternoon trip into town to the flea market, and a little excursion to Lover’s Beach one day :)

Playing around on the beach 10 feet away from the Riu Palace

Playing around on the beach 10 feet away from the Riu Palace

Water taxi in cabo

Goofing off in the water taxi

Heading to dinner one night :)

Pregaming at the hotel before cabbing it to El Squid Roe

Pregaming at the hotel before cabbing it to El Squid Roe

Party taxi :)

What are you doing for spring break? Have you ever been to Cabo? What do you do to relax when life is getting crazy?

Spending Mardi Gras in New Orleans!

12 Feb

To celebrate Mardi Gras this year, three of my friends and I traveled to New Orleans for 5 days for an amazingly fun girls’ weekend! I hadn’t been to New Orleans since I was little, and I loved exploring the delicious food and unique culture of the city all while celebrating Mardi Gras. Here’s a little recap/rundown of the whirlwind trip:

We arrived Thursday afternoon and immediately dug into the wonderful food of New Orleans by enjoying a King Cake and some friend shrimp and oyster po’ boys.

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After we checked into the hotel, we went out to the parade route. We enjoyed some hurricanes and watched a few parades, ending in the MUSES parade, which is known as the all women’s parade. It was so much fun and we made lots of new friends :)

 

Mardi GrasI made friends with this adorable french bulldog en route to a little parade snack

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During the parades, the people on the floats throw out beads, cups, stuffed animals, flasks, light up toys, and even more expensive items. We caught quite a few awesome things.
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If you’re planning a trip to Mardi Gras, it’s definitely not the week to go on a diet. Although we were definitely eating a lot, we also stayed at the Double Tree on Canal, which was the perfect location for walking to all of the best parade spots, Bourbon Street, Canal, The Flea Market, and many others.

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On Friday we walked through the French Market and square and saw tons of artists displaying their work and crafts. We had an amazing meal at The French Market Restaurant where we chowed down on fried crawfish tails, fried oysters, seafoodgumbo, and etouffe!

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Once I had my fill of sweet tea and crawdaddies, we took a private tour of M.S. Rau Antiques and wandered around the touristy sites on Bourbon Street.

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Friday night we had VIP tickets to sit in the stands for the Hermes parade. Stand tickets are a splurge but definitely worth it to avoid some of the more raucous crowds. We also had our fill of yummy pina coladas and daquiris at this parade.
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Saturday we spent the day exploring the Flea Market where there were some amazing finds, and we stopped for beignets at Cafe Du Monde. We had VIP tickets for the stands again for the Endymion Parade, which is pretty much the most amazing. It has twice as many floats as the rest, costs over $2 million, featured one whole float longer than a football field, and was presided over by Kelly Clarkson! After the parade we had VIP access to 2 balcony bars on Bourbon Street, and later met up with old friends at Pat O’Brien’s. Sunday was spent eating and recovering and packing up to leave early yesterday morning. We also took a drive through the 9th ward to see some of the remaining effects of Hurricane Katrina, as well as a new area there called the Musician’s Village. Overall it was an amazing trip and I can’t wait to go back and explore all the things I didn’t have a chance to do this time. If you’re planning to visit New Orleans, these sites are a must and you won’t be disappointed!

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Hollywood adventures so far.

29 Jun

Confession: I wore a cute outfit to work today but when I went outside on my balcony to take pictures, I was intimidated by the people next door and their children out on their balcony… So I scampered away and hid inside. Like I said, working up the courage to take pictures of yourself is, in my opinion, the biggest bloggers’ dilemma there is. So to make up for it I thought I’d take a break from our regularly scheduled outfit posting to tell you a little bit about some of the exploring I’ve been doing around L.A., such as restaurants and the like. Here are some of my favorite things so far:

Yoga West L.A. – A close friend of mine is very into Kundalini yoga, so I thought I’d give it a try. I determined I’m more of a vinyasa person for sure, but the 90 minute session which focused on breathing and inner meditation was very relaxing, and overall a much needed break from the real world.

Fish Grill – This all pescatarian (and glatt kosher) restaurant has several locations around L.A. and features all vegetarian and fish dishes. I got the fish tacos, which were amazing, and my friend got an ahi tuna steak, which was equally delicious! Also very affordable :)

The White Arrows – Through a friend of a friend, I ended up going to an album release party for these guys at The Troubador. They were great live performers, and their indie rock vibe is fun to dance to and refreshing. If you’re a fan of MGMT and Passion Pit, you’ll love them!

Rock of Ages – My grandlittle and I went on a sushi date to Shibuya in Calabasas and then to see Rock of Ages. It was a bit cheesy, but super fun and I’m a HUGE classic rock junkie so I loved every second of it. My only complaint was that I couldn’t get up and dance in the theater :)

Corner Bakery – Apparently they’re everywhere in California, but I’d never ever seen or been to one before last weekend and they have the best brunch! There are a ton of yummy and health-conscious options under $5. And over 100 things under 600 calories! (P.S. I just saw on the website they opened one of these 2 minutes away from my house in Austin in the Arboretum!!!!!! I won’t be home until November but I’m already beyond excited.)

Century City Farmer’s Market – Every Thursday by my office there’s a huge farmer’s market with everything you could imagine. I’ve been using the weekly opportunity to stock up on homemade hummus, pita, and tabouleh, as well as Rainier cherries and strawberries. The food stands there are also divine, and if you stop by you positively must get the Hawaiian chicken and rice that’s the hallmark food stall of the market!

Hiking in Solstice Canyon – Malibu. Waterfalls. Hiking Trails. Need I say more?

I can’t believe I’m only in L.A. for 7 more weeks. What else are must-do’s before I head back to Tucson? What are your favorite local discoveries here??

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