Park Guëll, Barcelona | Spain Travel Diary

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• Wearing a jumpsuit from Necessary Clothing (similar here) •

It’s always interesting to experience a place that you have seen on a screen, made of thousands of tiny pixels, so many times. You go with certain expectations of what it will look and feel like, and sometimes your experience is even made or ruined by those expectations.

Park Guëll is a place that I’ve seen a million times on the internet. I anxiously counted down the days on the trip until we would get to pay Gaudi’s masterpiece (one of several) a visit. With an open mind I took in the sight of the mosaic covered grounds;  the flowers spilling over the walls echoing the vibrancy of the tiles; and the colorful, breathtaking view of Barcelona from the overlook.

While the initial impression was more than magnificent, it was what you saw when you looked past the big details, and instead focused more on the intricacies that were true signatures of Gaudi’s work. Some of them were only  visible for an instant, so catching sight of one felt like a whisper from Gaudi himself; a secret that not everyone gets to know. Those details are what make seeing a popular place so special. Those details are what make visiting a place like that worth it.

Mosaics, like pixels on a computer screen, come together to form an image and make an impression. There was certainly one left on me. Thanks, Gaudi.

A final few waves of Barcelona photos to go and then an announcement of a new adventure!

 

Speak to you soon!

 

x

La Piscina | Pool OOTD

La Piscina

 
 
Sometimes a getaway is exactly what you need when life seems to have been whizzing past you at warp speed. It’s easy to lose the beauty in moments when they all start to melt together.

A pool day is definitely in order; one with rays of sunshine and beads of sweat that are not only symbols of a physical detox, but a mental one as well. I’m all about this monochromatic swimsuit paired with a tropical, patterned kaftan on top. A vintage inspired pair of shades to protect my eyes, sunscreen to protect my face and water to keep me hydrated through the day are my other essentials.

What do you do to take a breather?

Regular posting back SO soon.

x

Au Naturel // Little Seed Farms Giveaway

aunaturalpromoSummer is typically a time where I make every excuse not to wear makeup, with the exception of maybe a little tinted moisturizer (with SPF of course) and some mascara.

“It’s just SO Euro,” – what I tell myself so I can ride a chic little ego wave or something.

Skin care, then, becomes a number one factor in my no makeup confidence. I do my best to use products that are free of harmful ingredients and weird animal byproducts. I’ve found the most effective way to steer clear of those things is to explore natural options.

I present to you my 2014 natural-summer-skincare holy grail:

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Number one is Apple Cider vinegar. Hair health begins at the root, and the root begins at the scalp; After trying a million shampoos and offhandedly taking some questionable advice from Pinterest, I came across this remedy for dry scalps. Before my shower I mix 1 part ACV to 1 part water in an empty water bottle and shake it to mix. After washing my hair like normal, I distribute the mixture throughout my scalp and massage in (as you would with a deep conditioner). Usually at this point I clip up my hair and get out of the shower for about 10 minutes; this is a good time to put on a skin mask or send that email you forgot about until mid shampoo rinse. After letting it soak in get back in the shower, condition the ends of your hair, finish up your routine and then rinse out everything at once.

The bad news: ACV has a PUNGENT foot-like smell. However, once your hair is dry it does disappear. Do your best not to get it in your eyes or mouth; if you do, you won’t be incapacitated because you are poisoned, but you’ll probably hate yourself for not keeping things closed. (Speaking from unfortunate experience).

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Number two is (the one and only) COCONUT OIL. This multi-use product is a current obsession of bloggers and beauty gurus, and after hearing constant raving from my mom of what its done for her skin (bye, wrinkles) and hair I thought I’d give it a go.

You’re going to want to get organic + virgin coconut oil, which is widely available and pretty inexpensive (especially for how much you get/how long it lasts). When you open the container, it’s going to seem solid in consistency; scoop some out and warm it up by rubbing your hands together to melt it down. So far I’ve used it as a deep conditioning treatment, a moisturizer and a makeup remover; you better believe I’m being honest when I say that it has yet to disappoint (also it smells A LOT more delicious than ACV).

Pro tip: when using it as a deep conditioning treatment, don’t use TOO much or your hair will end up greasy after you wash it out; emphasize the product on the ends of your hair and it will naturally work it’s way up.

3aunatural.psdNumber 3, Activated Charcoal Soap. More specifically, Goats Milk + charcoal soap. I picked this up at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago and I am actually in love with it. The sweet woman from Little Seed Farm, here in TN, who sold it to me explained how the charcoal withdraws toxins out of your skin that have settled there throughout the day:

Activated charcoal is gifted with the ability to deep clean without drying, chemically attracting and locking in toxins (from indoor and outdoor pollution) that can cause breakouts and irritation. It washes them away without breaking down your skin’s naturally protective mantle, making our Activated Charcoal Bar a perfect companion for sensitive and irritated skin. “

I can see and feel a difference in my skin since I began using it two weeks ago.  Using warm water I work the soap into a lather, massage it into my skin, rinse and then pat dry with a cloth. There is no weird scent or residue left over, just a baby soft face; HIGHLY recommend.

To learn more about this product, or to purchase it, visit the Little Seed Etsy shop here.

G I V E A W A Y // D E TA I L S

I hope this was helpful! I decided to do a little giveaway with Little Seed farm products! They have so many amazing options to choose from and I wanted to share some with you guys.

TO ENTER:

Follow my blog+instagram (@lacunningham), comment below (or on my Instagram) and let me know if you tried any of the products/regiments I mentioned, the product you’d most like to try in the Little Farms shop or if you have any natural beauty secrets yourself! A winner will be randomly selected to receive a product of their choosing from the Little Seed Farm etsy shop! Here is the link again so you can check out their product line. Giveaway closes on May 23, 2014 and the winner will be contacted on the 28.

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

x

 

 

PS: Spain countdown, 3 days!

Spring Dreams | Jamie & the Jones SS14

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Collection: Spring/Summer 2014 Jamie & The Jones • Photography: Brett Warren • Video: Tyler Evans

 

I cannot get over the hues and simple, beautiful shapes of, Nashville based fashion label, Jamie & The Jones for Spring/Summer 2014. Each piece is so organic and the combination of dye colors/techniques only furthers the uniqueness of it all. Not only are the pieces pretty, but they are hand marbled and handmade in Nashville. The collection was done in collaboration with Shutters and Shuttles.

The ambiance of the shoot could not have been better for the collection. The dewey skin, softness of the hair and speckled nails are the cherries on top. My vision of spring has been officially been epitomized.

To see more of Jamie & The Jones work, click here

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

x

March Favorites // April Playlist

FAVE_03141. The Spring Madewell Catalogue. It’s basically describing the Madewell girl to be a pretty tomboy. HELLO, is it me you’re looking for? They should just rename their brand to “hammer” because they nailed it. I poured over all of the images and outfits and a particular pair of boyfriend shorts (pictured above) all month. Check out their new collection here.

2. My little green roommate whose been bringing me positive feelings and hope for spring. I got this succulent at Trader Joe’s (which may as well be a favorite item in itself) for literally  $2.50.

3. The amethyst I picked up at the Flea Market was obviously a no brainer. Look how faceted and purple it is. It’s also my birth stone, so the fact that it’s in my room must mean that I’m really building up my Aquarius points about now. Right?

4. ULTIMATE SPRING LIPSTICK: Vegas Volt from MAC. It’s a florescent coral color that will change your life no matter what your skin tone may be.

5. Grace. I hadn’t had a chance to read Grace Coddington’s perfect memoir until now. I spotted it on a friend’s coffee table and promptly interrupted our conversation to inform him that I would be checking it out of his personal library.

6. Josephine. I really should stop talking about it, but I’m not over it yet. The wine list was never ending, the cheese plate was impressive, and the atmosphere was really unique for a Nashville restaurant. If you get the chance you’ve got to go.

7. Trader Joe’s (85% Cacao) Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar. Because I’ve tried to adapt some better eating habits this year, dark chocolate is my savior when I am craving something sweet but am trying my damnedest to battle my sugar cravings. I eat a 1 inch square and I am sa-tis-fied.

8. Maroon Zara boots. I got these for Christmas and they have been on my feet almost every day since then. Comfortable, versatile, pointed toe…another testament to my Masculine/Feminine wardrobe aesthetic. I’m not sure they still have this exact pair, but I can promise that you’ll stumble across another pair you like here.

9. LUSH Cosmetics Rosie giftbox. I bought this for myself and I’ve never felt more like a pampered princess than when I was surrounded by rose scented bubbles and then slathered in a rich, fragrant rose+aragon body conditioner. (Pro tip: don’t use the bubble macaroon in a jacuzzi. Don’t ask…just don’t.)

& finally

It wouldn’t be the beginning of a new month without a new playlist. Thanks to a flurry of SXSW recaps and Spotify success stories, I’ve discovered a lot of addictive (and eclectic) tuneage this month; it just so happens that it’s perfect for putting a little *spring* in your step. Open up your windows and enjoy…

 

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

 

x

ZARA | Spring Fashion Inspo

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Last night I was inspiration hunting for a photoshoot I have the privilege of styling today. The story I developed for the shoot is titled “Runaways in San Tropez.

[PICTURE THIS]: It’s the 1990’s. Three Parisian twenty-somethings longing for a holiday at the sea finally escape the buzz of the city by fleeing to the south of France. They desperately want to fit in with the effortless elegance of the glamazons gracing San Tropez with their presence, but no matter how hard they try they can’t completely subdue their draw to all things grunge.

I want it be a juxtaposition of the glamourous style of the sixties (think: Audrey Hepburn) with, say, the staple styles of the 90’s (Drew Barrymore & Kate Moss circa 1994). Thus, when I ran across these Zara lookbooks (both their women’s line and their Trufaluc line) I was truly smitten.

(I should’ve just called this post Parentheses)

The silhouettes of these looks aren’t only something I hope to channel in my styling today, but also in my personal styling throughout the upcoming seasons. It’s hard to go wrong with solid colored, staple pieces…especially cropped ones. The whole Parisian closet movement is about all those things? Right?

The nineties shouldn’t be a period of fashion that we shake our heads at, but instead one that we nod to with a peep of skin, a good cut and a straight, maybe even slightly oversized, silhouette.

I, on the other hand, will be striving to look like a member of the Babysitter’s Club at all times. If you guessed Claudia, you’re right.

 

 

Speak to you soon!

 

x

Sunday Mornings.

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Here are a list of words that begin with S that describe Sundays:

  • Serene
  • Serendipitous
  • Spiritual
  • Simple
  • Sacred
  • Spontaneous
  • Sweet rolls

If we’re being honest, I’m mainly focused on that last one.

Sunday mornings are the time in the week when I really allow myself to savor every moment as it comes. I take time to be still and to breathe and to make myself relax, because during the week those moments are few and far between.

And sometimes a mimosa (or 2) makes that relaxation all the sweeter.

Take the day off. You deserve it.

Speak to you soon!

x

Jan Faves

Riding out that last week of January was a struggle. Between avocados being out of season and the influx of polar burrrs vortexes I didn’t think I was going to make it. But the impossible was made possible and here we are in February: the month of love, Harriet Tubman, and swimsuit season awareness (it’s coming–and it’s coming fast, ya’ll). 

Although I didn’t particularly care for January (note: except for the part where I was traveling in Europe) I did have some favorite new things pop into my life via Christmas and favorite old things that are officially broken in after being my uniform during the coldest month of my life. One of which being the hair straightener I got as an angsty 16 y/o and now can’t seem to put down. It’s chrome. Who am I even? Let’s start.

janfavesFrom top left to right: Free People boyfriend jeans (similar hereherehere), 100 Foods to Stay Young by Charlotte Watts (amazon), Moleskin 2014 Day Planner (here), Chi hair straightener, Capri Blue mercury glass jar candle (anthropologie), Vintage bracelet (thanks mom),  MAC Creamsheen Lipstick in Sunny Seoul (here), my sweet succulent (local nursery), white high top Converse (here), Twinnings English Breakfast tea, and Merona tote bag from Target (here).

“Why did she include that tea?”

Listen, spend two weeks in England and tell me you aren’t enjoying (and now expecting) to have between 2-3 cups of hot English Breakfast tea in a day. Twinnings sells a box of 50 bags for like 6 bucks, so I suggest you locate your nearest grocery (Whole Foods has it) and purchase.

janfaves2Whenever I smear (delicately smear) on my Sunny Seoul lipstick from MAC I know that spring really IS coming and it can’t be that far off. It is a super creamy formula, and the most perfect pink-coral hybrid I’ve ever found. It lasts a long time, especially if you blot right after application, and I would imagine it to look good with most skin shades.

janfaves4This book is the COOLEST. I’ve been really into nutrition recently, so when I was  trying to decide what to spend my B&N gift card on I was lucky to spot this baby. I’ve only made it through the first quarter of the foods, but I am hooked. I understand all of the nutritious proteins and enzymes I chose to pretend didn’t exist when I was taking AP Biology in high school. Now that it seems more relevant–I care. It’s super affordable and well worth picking up if you are trying to get your body to reach it’s full potential (inside and out).

Birthday countdown: 4 days. 

Speak to you all soon!

x

2014- New Mantra, New Cocktails

It’s my third day in England and I think I’ve already had more cups of Earl Grey tea than I can count. I’m a coffee person, but slowly tea is winning my affections.

Today is new years day, and somehow despite the amount of pints I had last night, courtesy of the generous people of Oundle, England, I am alive and kicking on this first day of 2014. It’s a new year? What? Hopefully this will be a big one full of clarity, reassessment, and a lot of chicken Phó.

Apologies for not posting for a few days, jet lag got the best of me and I was really busy sleeping and falling in love with this quaint little town (or just all of the British men). Oundle is the quintessential english experience–tea houses everywhere, pubs on every corner, mini coopers zooming down the lanes, houses all in close quarters of eachother…it’s my dream. I’ve been wanting to come to england for years now, so this was a wonderful way to start.

First trip down to London is this weekend. I think site seeing, coffee drinking, and plaid wearing will probably be in the cards for us. Oh, and did I mention we’re going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour? Because we’re going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. (Brace yourselves for photos of me shamelessly riding a broom in front of a green screen).

I don’t have too many pictures yet, so I thought I’d just share a few things I’ve been loving right now (side note: if you follow me on Pinterest–you already know this list is going to be full of ostentatious cocktails and blanket scarves):

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Sometimes (most of the time) I don’t love putting a lot of effort into my hair. Not to say that I want it to look bad, I just would rather put it into a style that takes minimal time but looks stylishly effortless. This messy french twist via Once Wed is something I’ve been looking forward to trying. Super elegant while still super casual and not time consuming. Count. Me. In.

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Spotted this photo of warm feta and tomatoes on Pinterest, and never have I been so quickly persuaded to visit a cooking blog (note: they are now my new obsession, which is making it hard for me to uphold my other new favorite thing which is trying to live out my dream of being a gym rat). This recipe is super easy to make, beautiful to present (even if your tomatoes aren’t that pretty) and something I could see myself enjoying all year round. Check out Suvisur Le Vif and see what I mean.

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Plaid pants are out to play in this years 90’s fashion craze, and I gotta say–I AM ALL ABOUT IT. This Navy pair worn by Lauren Zwanziger of The Transatlantic was purchased at Zara and they fit like a dream. Neutral enough and different from the classic red tartan that is sweeping a lot of street style sites, I think it’s safe to say that if I owned these pants they would be gracing my short little legs more often than not.

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My new mantra for 2014. If you dream of something, there is a way to accomplish it. Don’t let the “what ifs” and “buts” stop you from taking steps towards your goals. I’ve learned so much about perseverance and hard work this year–it’s taken me places and I know it can do the same for you. (Unless it’s competitive eating. There are things that should stop you from doing that. Stop it.)

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Finally, as promised, a seasonal cocktail. This one is the Sage, Ginger and Prosecco cocktail that was introduced to me by Local Milk. Although I haven’t had an excuse to make it yet, it’s hard to go wrong with that combination of ingredients and bubbles. Hopefully in the near future I’ll have a reason to try this out with some friends.

2014 is here. Let’s make the most of it, ya’ll.

Also! If you have any suggestions for things to do in London, Amsterdam or New York please feel free to comment below! All are appreciated!

PS: Sorry for the lack of blanket scarves…next time.

Prepare for takeoff

Happy Sunday, friends! As 2013 comes to a close, I’m find myself reminiscing over what a big year it’s been. For instance, I graduated college (BFA in fashion design & minor in graphic design, aka the hardest 4 years of my life), my brother got married, I met so many great new people in Nashville, my career path started to unfold, and I consumed more than one entire pizza with no regrets. Also there was whiskey. A lot of whiskey.

Let’s march onward to my last installation in my travel beauty series before I board my transatlantic flight, shall we?

|PART V: HAIR

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Products: Conair curling iron 1″, Pureology Reviving Red Shampoo, Moroccan Oil LIGHT Treatment, Kevin Murphy Hair Resort spray, Batiste dry shampoo in Blush, a gross understatement of how many bobby pins and hair ties I actually brought

Oh, hair. My hair is something I understand about as much as I understand complex math. I get how it is SUPPOSED to work–I’ve watched the tutorials, I’ve read the articles, I’ve purchased the miracle products. However, when it comes to me actually USING the knowledge and trying to produce the effortless curls that I marveled at on Pinterest, they look less “Beach Chic” and more “Sassy Ramen.” It’s the worst.

Though I am far from having a lot of great hair days, good hair days are easier to come by because of the stellar bunch of hair products I’ve found within the last few months. The Pureology shampoo is the newest addition. It is 100% Vegan, free of sulfates and other harmful bits, contains a lot of beneficial oils (Jaljala, Coconut, and Olive to name a few)  and boasts an antifade complex that it will make my red hair last as long as possible. It not only makes my hair feel great, but also my scalp. HIGHLY Recommend.

After towel drying my hair, I apply about a dime sized amount of Moroccan Oil (also known as, hair salvation) starting at the roots and then throughout my hair. I, then, spray the Kevin Murphy texturizer through my limp locks. Putting these products in before drying allows them to really sink into the strands of hair as they are being heated. After blasting hot air at my head for about five minutes and fighting frizz with my paddle brush, I have a soft, voluminous, and not-too-straight mane of hair.

Lastly, the dry shampoo. Dry shampoo is the answer to not wanting to wash your hair as often. Batiste and I are best friends. We go everywhere together. Affordable, effective, and not overly fragrant, dry shampoo makes my days between washes (often times there is a beanie involved) a lot more bearable, and a lot less homeless looking.

|PART VI: IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS

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I thought I would include some tidbits that I couldn’t bear to leave home without.

  • First of all, my arm candy (did that make me sound like a member of the fashion elite?) Most of them are simple silver bangles, courteusy of my sweet mom, and there is also a beaded one I wear which mom wears as well–we’re close.
  • The next item is hashtag CRUCIAL. This red lipstick is the most wonderful, matte, long lasting red lipstick I have ever worn. Write this down: MAC. MATTE FINISH. RUBY WOO. All thank you notes can be sent to my email inbox.
  • I’m bringing along two mini O.P.I. polishes, in Vampsterdam and You Don’t Know Jacques, because I like to think that I am going to keep my hands looking manicured while I’m traveling. But if we’re being honest, I’d probably rather spend that time scouting out Europe’s best macarons. Aim high, Lauren. Aim high.
  • Perfume says a lot about a person. I enjoy tricking people into thinking that I’m a big deal, so I typically spritz on Miss Dior eau de parfum. If you want to have the same scent as I imagine Aphrodite did, wear this.
  • The last item is a necklace I purchased from a small designer named Cynthia Rybakoff while at the Chelsea Market in New York. She not only designed it, but is a gemologist and was able to tell me the qualities of the moonstone in my necklace. What a lady.

I am counting down the seconds until I am on my first flight. I am not counting down the meals I have left before I get to treat myself to one of those airplane premade feasts. Please, Lord, let there be a pasta option. If there’s one thing that can get me through a nine hour flight…it’s carbs.

Speak to you all when I touch down in the U.K.!

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