Monday, June 29, 2015

White Espadrilles (Under 100$!)


I hope everyone is having a nice weekend! Here in the Basque Country we are awaiting the highest temperatures in a looong while (100º in such a humid climate is just wonderf... please get me out of here). I always have trouble finding cute shoes for summer because they either look bad on me or they are not appropriate for humidity.

But fret no more Ane, for espadrilles come to thy rescue! Seriously, espadrilles are the perfect summer shoe: Breathable, incredibly comfortable and lately, very in style! It's the perfect trifecta! Espadrilles have been very popular in the Basque Country since the dawn of times, but they were always white or black, and now you can find them in a million patterns, colors and cuts. I personally believe that if you are going to invest on some nice espadrilles, they need to have a neutral color, and that's why white espadrilles are my go-to.

However, when I mean invest, I mean not spending more than 100$. Espadrilles wear out easily and they can break with a little rain and you don't want to spend your paycheck in some Chanel espadrilles that won't last much (unless you are a trust fund kid, then go ahead buy obnoxiously priced shoes and post them to RKOI. Love it hate it).

Here my summer picks:

Clockwise from left:
Zara: A modern twist on the espadrille, with so sought after tassels!
Massimo Dutti: For a more polished look, get these beauties with a leather touch.
Soludos: Classic, sturdy white espadrilles.
ASOS: Breathable, almost identical alternative to Tory Burch/Chanel/any other brand espadrilles.
Forever 21: If you wanna be a boho princess, get these. (Cheaper than the TOMS ones!)

Any other suggestions, let me know! :)

- Ane

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Fall staple

So, I went to try the beautiful shirt in the post below, and turns out it was super sheer. Too bad. :(
However, I did not leave the store empty-handed:

Too early for fall? Oops, in any case, I can't wait to style it! Happy Saturday! :)

- Ane

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Surfing the web

In the Crystal Palace, Madrid, June 2015
33 Thoughts Every New Single Girl Has: I don't know how they do it, but Total Sorority Move always has the article I need. It has barely been a month since I'm single, so finding this article made me excited. Although it is a humorous piece, I wish they had encouraged us to work on feeling good about ourselves and being enough without somebody else, rather than finding a rebound.

9 Reasons People Probably Want the Confederate Flag Taken Down: The only positive aspect (if there is any and we can call it positive) about the outrageous Charleston shooting is the debate it has brought up about this racist symbol. I think this is a no-brainer. A flag that represents and embodies years of pain for the African American people is as appropriate as Nazi flag in Germany. You only find those in museums. Yes, it was their flag too. Only neofascists use it nowadays. Tradition does not equal righteousness.

12 bocadillos de Donostia: This one is in Spanish, but if you ever decide to travel to Donostia (the beautiful place here), please re-read this article. I 100% recommend that you get a bocadillo there, specially the first one from Bar Juantxo, you won't regret it!

What It Feels Like When Your Ex Becomes A Stranger: Another TSM gem. Spot on.

Power of Make-Up: OMG PREACH. I love putting make up on, and even though I'm nowhere near as good as these ladies, I sometimes transform myself, but I always do it for myself. Sorry not sorry.

Any other articles, videos, etc. worth perusing?

- Ane

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Lilly Pulitzer 2015-2016 Agendas


I hope everyone's doing well! Let me go straight to the point, I need help. I cannot choose which Lilly planner I want. Last year I had this beauty that I still use (and plan on using to help me out with finances, health and miscellany until December):

I used the large agenda with the Peelin' Out print, and I loved it. I had never been much of a planner but this agenda made me want to plan, and it helped me out to pass everything with flying colors. The size was also perfect for me. This time I'm also buying a large agenda, but I don't know which one, and I need help! I still have time till I get there in August, but I cannot stop thinking about it. So far, these are my favorites:

Wild Confetti, 28$
Lilly's Lagoon, 28$

Bazaar, 36$

In any case, whichever I end up choosing, this is coming with:

Agenda bonus pack, 24$

What suggestions do you have? I can't wait to hear! :)

- Ane

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

OOTD: Madrid garden


I hope you are having a nice start of summer! As I mentioned in a previous post, I was in Madrid last week with my friend J and some other friends. We did a lot of tourism, museum-hopping, shopping and eating. Something very cool that we did is to visit the Lope de Vega's museum-house. Lope de Vega was a playwright from the Golden Era of Spanish literature, and J just finished her MA in Spanish Literature so a visit was in order. The house was beautiful, but the garden stole my heart, and I couldn't pass the occasion to snap some pics:

Top: Lilly for Target (similar here) // Shorts: Forever21 (sold out, similar here) // Initial necklace: Kate Spade New York // Layered necklace: Forever21 // Bracelets: Nordstrom, Kate Spade New York, Marc by Marc Jacobs, thrifted // Handbag: Lefties (similar here) // Sneakers: Vans

I gotta say that both the top and the bottom of this outfit have been some of my best buys this semester. The eyelet top was one of the best finds after eBay hoarders started returning Lilly to Target (#winning), and it's actually a children top! Thanks obesity ridden America for making my size OK for a kid! (So not OK folks, obesity is a problem) As for the shorts, they feel like heaven and pajamas in one, they look good and they were only 9.90$! When weather gets as hot as in Madrid here I'll definitely snap more pics with these pieces.


- Ane

Monday, June 22, 2015

Water bottles


How is everybody doing? I have not been one to love working out, but recently I have started going to the gym to feel healthier and more calm, and so far it has been great. When I was a kid, working out was far from glamorous, but with the proliferation of brands that target athletics, looking cute while working out is easier than ever.

While I dress very simple for when I work out, I love to have a colorful water bottle. I have had a pink Nalgene bottle with my university's name for two years, but I may want to get another one. Here my picks:

Which one is your favorite?

- Ane

Sunday, June 21, 2015

OOTD: (Inter)National Wear Your Lilly Day


I hope everyone is doing well! I wanted to apologize for this week's hiatus but I was in Madrid with some friends and I took a computer break! :) I will check on that soon! Today is a great day because a) it's the first day of summer (and it's actually sunny here, HUGE feat for this weather) and b) it's National Wear Your Lilly Day. Well if you can call it national, since here I am, a European wearing Lilly. So today, with everyone's permission, is actually the International Wear Your Lilly Day! :)

To celebrate, I decided to wear my graduation dress. As I mentioned in this post, the Whiting shift is my first Lilly dress, and gosh I love it! It feels very soft and even though it is more formal than what I usually wear, it still has a very playful everyday vibe! Since it is already very bright and attention-catching, I decided to pair it with a simple cardigan and ballet flats:

Dress: Lilly Pulitzer // Cardigan: Zara (old, similar here) // Ballet flats: Callaghan // Earrings: Kate Spade New York // Necklace: Local jewelry boutique // Handbag: Old, similar here // Watch: Fossil, old // Bracelet: Nordstrom

Pink is definitely my least favorite color ;) What did you wear for National Wear Your Lilly Day? Can't wait to hear about it!


- Ane

Monday, June 15, 2015

Earrings: Basics


I gotta confess something. I would buy a million tops, dresses and shoes, but I only wear the same pair of earrings. I have always tried to open up to different possibilities, dangling, hoops, different colors, but I always end up wearing the same ones, silver Kate Spade studs, which you can buy here. I find that silver goes the best with my milky white skin color, and I end up going for silver colored jewelry. I have been wearing the same earrings, watch, bracelets, etc. forever now, and I am thinking of getting a new pair of earrings. Here are my picks:

Kate Spade New York, 48$

Tory Burch, 78$

Kendra Scott, 60$

Nadri, 38$

Cannot wait to get these babies. Or at least one of them.

- Ane

Friday, June 12, 2015


From Vestique (60$)

... and thank you.

- Ane

Summer sandals


Summer is approaching and I cannot wait to sport sandals out with dresses, shorts and the like (and hopefully, with a tan). Here my favorite sandals for summer:

Any other suggestions are welcome! :)

- Ane

OOTD: Komfy kimono


Disclaimer: I swear I know how to write comfy properly and there's not a Kris Jenner growing inside of me. But as a linguist, puns are funnnnnnn. On Thursday, the weather here was disgusting. Pouring rain, humid. Stay-at-home and watch a movie day. However, the sky cleared a little in the evening, so I took my friend J to Jaizkibel, a small mountain in Hondarribia, a town close to mine, so that she could see the whole valley. It was the best decision of the day, since the rain waited for us to be done (thank you Jesus, you are my homie) and the sunset was amazing. J is a city girl, and she just couldn't believe who green and lush the road to the top of the mountain was.

As for the outfit, I just threw on some jeans and a cotton crop top and spiced it up with this kimono I bought last year in H&M that I actually saw in a blog (shout out to Emily from Life with Emily!)! It is a very versatile piece and it can be dressed down with jeans and a tee (like in this post! Also, this tee is probably the softest I've ever bought, really, get one for yourself!), or dressed up for a night out with a dress and heels! It creates awesome nights looks as well, but not very mountain appropriate ;)

So profesional

Kimono: H&M (old) // Tee: American Eagle Outfitters // Jeans: Uniqlo // Necklace: J. Crew Factory, similar here // Watch: Apricot Lane boutique in Champaign, IL // Earrings: Kate Spade New York, similar here // Sneakers: Converse // Handbag: Lefties (old, similar here)

As you can see the sunset gave a very nice soft light, and it felt very peaceful to be there. The wind was blowing and we felt on top of the world (I mean, we were on the mountaintop anyway). J loved it, and I felt very lucky to be born in such a place. I used to be sick of it, but now that I live across the ocean, in a very VERY flat place, the Basque Country feels like heaven. 60.000 people live in my city, but we are so close to both the beach and the mountains it's just unbelievable.

Finally, before wrapping up this post, I wanted to share two pics I took of how beautiful the night was, both at the same spot and by the fishing port of Hondarribia. I hope you enjoyed this post! :)

Fishing port

- Ane

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer Readings (Vol. I)


I hope everyone is doing wonderful! As a recent graduate enjoying this limbo time between my MA and my PhD, I love the fact that I can read for pleasure. Time management is huge in grad school and you usually end up sacrificing some hobbies. I used to be the biggest bookworm when I was a kid. I was the first kid in class to learn how to read when I was 5 and my 4th grade teacher told my mom she was scared amazed that I read as fast as an adult (proudest middle school moment). So this summer, it is my mission to read as many books I can. You can take an English grad out of literature, but you cannot take literature out of an English grad (OK this last phrase made no sense but whatevs).

And this is why I'm inaugurating the "Summer Readings" series for my blog where I will review the books I have read so far. I will start with this two books:

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
This one is a classic. I mean, it's not from the Shakespearean era, but the movie that was based off this novel was a masterpiece. This novel is located in a Benedictine abbey in Italy during the Middle Ages, where a series of deaths of different monks of the abbey is intertwined with a theological dispute over the poverty of Jesus Christ and the validity of different orders. The narrator of the story is novice Adso of Melk, who travels to the abbey with the Franciscan friar William of Baskerville. The two of them uncover a series of mysteries of the abbey which specially have to do with the humongous collection of books in the labyrinthical library.

I have always loved the movie, I saw it in school a million times (I wonder if they owned any other movies apart from this), and I thought it was incredibly interesting. Friar William and Adso reminded me of Sherlock Holmes and Watson, but it was even better because history of religion was involved with the presence of the Inquisition, and I love learning about it. So I found it in the college library and I thought it was about time I read the novel it was based off. Like the movie, I really liked it. I learned more about the characters and the way the unraveling of the mystery escalated in an awesome way, I couldn't put it down. A downside may be that unless you are very versed in Latin and the history of catholicism, some of the plot lines and phrases have to be looked up, and I usually don't like stopping for that when I'm reading, so I would recommend getting a newer version with notes, which I'm sure exists.

Do I recommend it? Yes!
Buy it here or here.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Another book that I wanted to read after watching the movie. I wish I read the books before, but there is also a positive side to watching the movie first: You are usually not disappointed because the book is usually better than the movie, and whenever I learn there is a book behind the movie I get excited to learn more about the characters from the book. After watching the movie a bazillion times (I think I should watch new movies instead of rewatching the same ones but what can I do, I love some movies), I was looking for an excuse to read the book, and since I was trapped in the Midwest after graduation because my travel plans fell through after my relationship was over, I needed a distraction, and I finally decided to purchase it. And OMG I'm so glad I did.

As many of you know, The Help is located in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, where African-American maids clean the houses and raise the children of the crème de la crème of Jackson. The books is told from the perspectives of Skeeter, a white girl who belongs to the social circle yet is unmarried and dreams of being a journalist in NYC, and two maids, Aibileen and Minnie, who take care of very peculiar families which are under the influence of Hilly Holbrook, who makes the devil look like a puppy. When Skeeter starts publishing a column on house cleaning in the local newspaper, she asks Aibileen for help, and from there, the idea of writing about the experiences of the Black maids of Jackson takes shape. As I expected, I learned a lot about the characters, and I practically devoured the book. Something unusual is that the storyline does not go exactly the same way as in the movie, and the portrayal of Celia Foote is more negative than in the movie, I believe. In any case, stop doing whatever you are doing and start reading this book right now.

Do I recommend it? Yes!
Buy it here or here.

I hope you enjoyed the first post of this series, and any recommendations for new books are HIGHLY appreciated! :)

- Ane

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

OOTD: Nautical blue


Welcome to my first OOTD post! These pictures were taken in the capital of my province, Donostia-San Sebastián. I 100% recommend visiting, it used to be the jewel of the crown in the XIXth century, when queen Maria Cristina vacationed here. It is also the 2016 European capital of culture! We have an international movie festival (I have waited for hours to see Ben Stiller, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Tarantino, etc. SO WORTH IT) and amazing food. It is also a place of great style, which ranges from surfer/hipster styles to traditional preppy/comfy styles. That is what I tried to portray in my outfit:

Tunic: ZARA // Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters (old, similar here) // Sneakers: Converse // Watch: Fossil (old) // Sunglasses: Nordstrom (12$! Unavailable but similar here) // Earrings: Kate Spade New York (similar here) // Handbag: Kate Spade New York (similar here)

I'm in love with this tunic. It can be worn by itself for the beach or with jeans or leggings for a more city-like look. I combined it with simple jeans and my white (ahem) Converse and my new sunglasses from Nordstrom. A nice 1960s touch!

Although Donostia is beautiful, weather is very cloudy/rainy here, and unfortunately yesterday was not an exception. However, it was also a wonderful day because my friend J from Chicago is here visiting! She just finished her MA in Hispanic Literature (mine is linguistics) and she is soon moving to Denver for law school, but before that, she's revisiting Europe! I will miss her next year, but we can always watch Legally Blonde and think about the good times ;)

The two of us!
Also, I got new stationery for next year! I have noticed that I enjoy taking notes in small notebooks rather than paper in binders, so I got this beautiful one based on The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai:

I cannot wait to start writing about phonology and other linguistics stuff in here! (#nerdalert) I hope you guys are not horrified with my first OOTD post. Have a great day!

- Ane

Friday, June 5, 2015

My two cents on the whole Caitlyn Jenner media explosion and its repercussions


As I mentioned in my first post, I enjoy fashion, a lot. But as a global citizen that I consider myself to be, I believe that being informed about current issues is a MUST. Recently, former Olympian and reality show star Bruce Jenner came out as a transgender woman "for all intents and purposes."

Although at the time (April 2015) he preferred the use of the masculine pronouns, in the latest Vanity Fair issue (June 2015), she has become Caitlyn Jenner.

Caitlyn Jenner is beautiful. Caitlyn Jenner is on her way to happiness. Caitlyn Jenner has freed herself from the shackles that her biological sex had put her in. Caitlyn Jenner is transgender. Caitlyn Jenner is a woman. If we just took into account the statements I have written above, which are over simplistic representations of what a transgender person should feel and should be accepted as, there would not be a discussion. However, media has exploded.

We are talking about how an Olympian champion, married 3 times and father to 6 children who has been part of many Americans' home entertainment, has become a woman. Many claim she is a hero. Many claim she is just pulling a publicity stunt. Many will not call her Caitlin, they will keep calling her Bruce. And of course, we have the backlash of the transgenderism taboo.

This is my opinion:
- Heroism: We all have a different concept of what a hero is. Single mothers who work 3 jobs to take care of their children. Soldiers who put their lives first in order to protect a country. Missionaries. Selfless people. They all contribute to society in different ways and in different degrees, but the most important thing is that they make a difference in the life of somebody. Caitlyn Jenner IS a hero because she has made a difference in her own life. She is her own hero, a hero for herself. The struggle to find yourself in a body that does not feel yours and the anxiety and depression that come with it must be inimaginable. Anxiety and depression make you wish you could to take off and switch off your brain for a rest. It does not feel right. Imagine wanting to take off your body.

- Publicity stunt: It is true that the sex reassignment of Caitlyn has yet again, put the Kardashians in the spotlight. I am personally not a fan. And I am sure that the revenue that this has given them must be staggering. However, we are not talking about a photoshoot, a contract with X clothing brand or *gasp* another porn video. We are talking of children whose father figure is a woman. Even more specifically, somebody who used to be a man. It is definitely life-changing for many of the closest people in her life. Could a human being go that far for money? I doubt it.

- Denial of pronoun use and name: Language is powerful. As a linguist, I cannot stress this enough. The whole "sticks and stones" thing is a blatant lie. One word, one phrase, it may change your day, your week, your life. Not using "she", "her" and "Caitlyn" denies the identity of an individual. Since birth, each individual acts and reacts in different ways to shape his/her identity. When you deny somebody's gender identity, you are denying a massive part of this person.

- Transgender issues: Transgenders comprise a 2-5% of the population, yet very few of these undergo sex reassignment surgery. I mean, not even Caitlyn Jenner has undergone a full sex reassignment.

However,  "A nationwide survey of bias-motivated violence against LGBT people from 1985 to 1998 found that incidents targeting transgender people accounted for 20% of all murders and about 40% of all police-initiated violence." Transgender Law

Look at that. Many visible transgender advocates like Laverne Cox (total fangirl moment, God I love her) have been pointing out the issue for ages. Being a transgender person is HARD. It exposes you to crime, abuse, rape and murder to unimaginable extents. Your gender identity, who you are, is making you vulnerable to a violent life (and/or death), not to be accepted in jobs, to being shunned from society and even your family. Now, who would choose a life like that? It is not a capricious act. It is not a selfish act. Is it selfish to save yourself from the pain that not living in the body you were meant to have? Is it selfish to make your life bearable at all? It is not.

Now this is my opinion. Many people do not agree, and will not agree even if they start thinking about the points I have expressed here. In any case, Caitlyn Jenner is an independent person, and if you don't like it, you don't look at her. Simple as that. As they say in Spanish, vive y deja vivir. Caitlyn Jenner, you do yo.


- Ane

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Lilly Pulitzer Picks for Summer '15

Sorry for my extended hiatus, I just got home from the Midwest! While still battling the effects of jet-lag (shout out to my 4am crew), and even though I'm at the cradle of the best cuisine in the world ever, I have found myself missing some of my American staples (Chipotle, biscuits, pancakes, and breakfast food in general). Another thing that I've been missing is American fashion stores. It is true that now that I have a Zara 5 minutes away (let me remind you all that Zara is WAY cheaper here), but while living in the Midwest, I have started to grow fond of brands like J. Crew (J. Crew Factory has been a life-changer), AEO (their jeans >>>> everything) and Lilly Pulitzer.

While J. Crew and AEO's styles look pretty standard and very similar to Spanish stores like Zara or Stradivarius, Lilly Pulitzer is a whole different story. At first, I thought the prints were too obnoxious, I admit it. I still think there are prints that are too much for me (navy and white lover of all simple things), and I cannot see myself wearing pants that aren't jeans. It's like someone put the brightest colors that Pantone can think of in a bucket, mixed them and threw them to a white canvas. And boom! Lilly Pulitzer! Until I moved to the US, my style used to be somewhat somber. I do not mean all black all day everyday and life sucks and emo paraphernalia, but I had never been a fan of prints over solids. Maybe very soft florals, but that was it. However, after moving to the US, I started to notice that hey, including a pop of color to my very basic, pattern-less outfit will not make me look like a walking rainbow, right? And there started my love affair with Lilly Pulitzer. From accessories, Murfee scarves, and my beloved agenda to my oh! so beautiful graduation dress, I have seen my style evolve from shy colors to bring the pink (my favorite color) and make boys wink! (I actually have no idea if boys wink when I wear Lilly Pulitzer but honestly, I could not care less).

In any case, Lilly Pulitzer is still very EXPENSIVE. Yes, very. I am no trust-fund kid, my graduate studies are taken care of with a tuition waiver that comes from being a teaching assistant, and my salary, although it allows me to live in the middle-of-nowhere Midwestern town I live in, could be higher (hey trustees, raise our salaries!). In any case, since I just graduated (and you don't graduate every year, am I right?), I decided to treat myself and get some nice Lilly Pulitzer showstoppers:

Whiting Cut-Out Shift Dress, 138$
And here some bonus pics of my beautiful self wearing the dress for my graduation :)

MA in Hispanic Linguistics
Probably the most American thing I've ever done
Extra pic, WE DID IT! (Please read in Elle Woods voice)
This is my first Lilly Pulitzer dress, and I gotta say I was pleasantly surprised. It is very very soft and it has a retro vibe that makes me feel like a pop star from the 1960s. Although the image does not show, it has a small cut-out in the back which gives it a fun touch. It is rather short (but well, I'm 5'8ft so there is not much to do about that), but that will be perfect for summer days and nights!

Iona Sleeveless Silk Shell, 148$
I have noticed Lilly shells last Spring, but unfortunately I didn't get one. Also, I didn't have the perfect graduation excuse. But this year, after seeing many bloggers sporting this piece, I said, heck! Bring it! And I'm in love. It looks BEAU-TI-FUL and it goes perfectly with my navy obsession clothing.

I cannot wait to go back to the States to get some more LP stuff. Like an agenda (I am TORN and I need help, but that will be discussed in another post), some shorts and this:

Skipper Printer Popover, 98$
No idea which print I will choose, but this has to be in my closet ASAP.

- Ane