Wednesday, February 22, 2017

#TBT: A Throwback Playlist

I've loved music for as long as I can remember. When you grow up with your father as the lead singer of band after band and an older brother who was a hometown rockstar, there's really no choice. I grew up surrounded by music, from 80s hairbands to more new wave and soft rock, and always embraced it in my life. Unfortunately, I was unable to feature everything that I listened to over my adolescence. I capped it at 2010 because honestly, we'd be here forever if I tried to order every single music phase I went through chronologically.

Two big gaps in my playlist are my older brother's old band, as they're not on Spotify, but I have their music on my phone still and I jam out to it all of the time. So good. And also, of course, Miss Taylor Swift, who still does not have her music on Spotify. When I first heard "Teardrops On My Guitar" in 2006, my life was forever changed. No joke. This playlist leaves off right before I fell in love with One Direction, but that's another story for another time. For now, here is a (somewhat) chronological retelling of my musical journey from 1995 to around 2010.

This playlist can be alternately titled I Went Through My iTunes Purchased History and Just Went Nuts.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ohio City: Koffie Cafe

On my Ohio City adventure on Sunday, we stopped into Koffie Cafe for quick bite to eat. After driving around trying to find parking and every other brunch spot being too crowded for our growling stomachs, we ended up just popping into the coffee shop next door to where we considered getting a proper sit down brunch. It was pretty eclectic, but had great lighting, really intimate seating, and a really chill vibe. It was a really relaxing spot to be on a Sunday and I can see why people settled into their cozy corners and started to work on their computers and catch up with a nice newspaper.

Location: 2517 Market Ave, Cleveland, Ohio (right next to Flying Fig)
What to get: Iced latte and egg and bacon sandwich.
For fans of: Coffee shops with a relaxed atmosphere, quiet, exposed brick, and just the right amount of hipster.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Orange You Glad I Didn't Say...

I am living for this weather at the moment. The past two days have been absolutely gorgeous. The one annoying thing about downtown, though, is that the breeze from Lake Erie always drops the temperature significantly. Luckily, I have my trusty plaid coat to keep me warm and cozy when the breeze combats the sunshine. 

Yesterday, one of my roommates and I spent the day exploring Ohio City and driving around downtown to scope out spots where we could take photos. Olivia blogs over at Our Wandering Mind and shares her tips for travel, college, and how to throw a good party. Neither of us are photographers by any means, but we still had tons of fun taking outfit photos yesterday!

Since it was pretty nice yesterday, I wore this cream knitted sweater from Asos. It has a really pretty orange-red detail that matched my NARS Heat Wave lipstick perfectly. A match made in heaven, truly. I paired that sweater with my dual toned American Eagle jeans with a raw hem. I thought these jeans were a bit risky when I bought them and I didn't think I would get much wear out of them. Jokes on me though. I probably wear them more often than I should and I always get compliments on them! The perfect shoe for the occasion was my pair of nude peep toe booties from Old Navy. They've seen better days, but I do adore this style of shoe too much to let them go!

Normally, I stray from color, but I couldn't pass up this orange Marni coat. I bought it at work a month or so ago and I am just OBSESSED. It's a bit oversized, but in a cool, slouchy kind of way. I also love the shearling collar. I feel like it adds an extra relaxed touch to an already interesting coat. 

My Quay reflective sunglasses are integral to all of my looks. They were a game changer in my sunglasses game, truly. And to top off the look, I decided to take my orange Balenciaga Twiggy bag out for a spin. I can definitely see myself using this a lot as the weather starts to warm up, maybe even into early fall. I haven't carried anything but a small crossbody bag in ages, so it was weird to have a "big" bag for the afternoon. I just loved all of the orange going on in this look, especially since I thought that orange was not my color in the slightest. I wonder if it's time to give yellow a try...


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Dream Closet, Vol. 26

Another month, another scroll through Net-A-Porter. It's a weird in-between season for fashion at the moment, a combination of lingering winter and resort with our toes dipped into the waters of spring. I'm not one to incorporate color into my wardrobe aside from the occasional blush pink and every day bold lipstick. But I just can't help but look at all of the cute and colorful pieces in the what's new pages!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Positivitea Cup Twenty-Six: An Update On Post Grad Life

I graduated almost exactly two months ago and all I have to show for it is my cap and gown sitting in my closet. Just kidding. My diploma is sitting somewhere at home with the incorrect date printed in decorative script that I was too lazy to request to get changed. Besides, I think it's pretty funny.

It's kind of weird not having school, if I'm being completely honest. I don't by any means miss the work though, don't get me wrong there either. It's nice coming home from work and not having any class assignment to worry about. I love that I don't have to tailor my schedule around a few hours on campus. And I most certainly do not miss the 10 hour days slaving in the newspaper lab trying to make a paper happen every three weeks.

I'm still the same amount of busy. I work the same amount at the store and I have a second job that takes up about the same amount of time a week that my classes did. The only difference is that I'm now getting paid to be busy, rather than paying to be busy. It's a nice change and something that I found pretty easy to transition into. Plus, assignments are so much more enjoyable when they're in your field and don't have a grade attached to them. That letter grade system drove me crazy. Mostly because I got obsessive over getting A's, which in theory is not a bad thing, until it makes you a little koo-koo bananas when you try to achieve it in all five classes every single semester for seven semesters. But, that's all in the past now!

One adjustment that has been weird is using the past tense. I went to CSU. I don't go to CSU currently. I was in college. I was a student (but if J.Crew or Kate Spade asks, I still am...I'm not ready to let go of those discounts and I'm not giving up my college ID yet). It hits me at the weirdest time, especially when people ask me why I'm in Cleveland and not back at home. I'm here for school! But I'm not! So weird.

I've been on campus a couple of times since and every time it's, you guessed it, weird. It's only been two months and I feel oddly disconnected from it all. Was I really that ready to let go of college? After all of the stress that college caused me (and, you know, my own doing and penchant for creating mounds and mounds of stress for myself), it was time to let go. Well, not in the sense of Jack and Rose on the Titanic which I still have not seen because it's six million hours long and Leo dies at the end. In the sense that there's no need for me to be dwelling on it. It's true that college will probably be considered simpler times for me as I move forward in life, but man, I'm digging not having to get up for my classes at eight in the morning.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sephora Wish List

Hi, I'm Francesca. I like autumn, pumpkin spice lattes, and long walks through Sephora. I've been pretty good about not buying new makeup, but I'm due for replacements in foundation, concealer, exfoliator, and it's always nice to lust after a few new bits, right? My favorite thing is loading up my shopping cart on Sephora's website, seeing the tallied up total, crying, considering it because I now have free shipping as VIB Rouge, and then settling for the absolute necessities. It sure is fun to dream, though.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Year of FINALLY Saving Money

It's no surprise that I want to move to New York City. It's been a dream of mine since I was, god, ten? Eleven? Maybe even younger? I'm not sure if there was a singular moment where I thought that the city was right for me, but I've had it ingrained in my head that I need to be there and I'm not keen on taking no for an answer. It's also no surprise that New York City is expensive as hell to live in, from rent to public transportation to inflated costs of absolutely everything.

This all translates to one thing: I need to start learning how to save money. Stat. Notice how I said learn instead of just start. I have an issue where when I get money, I want to, naturally, spend it. I'm not good at keeping my bank account replenished, which is something I've slowly been working on year by year. But it's never been more important for me to start doing this than it has right here, right now.

1. No stupid purchases

Do I need six million pairs of jeans? No. Do I need six million turtlenecks? No. I have more clothes than I could ever need. I have more than enough shoes. I have more than enough lipstick and blush and eyeshadow. I'm very fortunate and I think it's about time that I start utilizing what I already have than wanting a shiny new thing.

2. Eat at home 

This is something that I do regardless, but just incase I start deciding that takeout starts to sound really great, I'm going to put it on the list. This should also apply more to coffee as well, since I spend a little too much weekly at Starbucks. Man, do I miss Tim Hortons during times like this.

3. Work hard, work harder

Yeah, I know, work hard, play harder. This all comes with a balance. There's no need to diminish a social life and distance yourself from the people around you to work. But sometimes, you have to carve some time out of your binge-watching Netflix schedule to add some more work in there. There's also a balance between working a healthy amount and not pushing yourself to your breaking point (I'm working on that).

I'm sure there's also things like investing and all that economic mumbo-jumbo that I understand nothing about. And maybe I should learn more about cash back and all of that. Perhaps it's time that I start becoming a little more financially savvy and creating a budget of some sort to keep myself on track. What could it hurt, right?