October Reflection

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Once again, another month as passed by far too quickly. I cannot even comprehend this month, to be completely honest. I am sitting next to my roommate right now and I just turned to her to ask, “what even happened in October?” We both unanimously agreed that October was a blur. The only things I know happened in October were a weekend home, my roommate’s birthday, and my first full month of work at my new job.

I saw a post on Tumblr recently about how stressful this year has been and I cannot agree more. It’s only week ten of this semester and I think that this is the most stressed and busy I have ever been. I have my usual 15 credit course load, but this semester I have (technically) three jobs and people to hang out with living in the room next door. It’s been really difficult to balance everything, let alone this blog and pleasure reading and leisure writing. Between projects and readings and discussions and writing articles, there’s no time to do anything. There’s barely time to sleep. It’s been crazy and I’m looking forward to having that winter break. I even rearranged my schedule for next semester and tried to lessen the course load (I still have to take 15 credits, but I chose easier classes).

Time passing quickly is both a blessing and a curse. In an academic setting, it makes me so happy because it’s one step closer to graduation. But when it comes to writing and reading, it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished absolutely nothing in such a big period of time. I have faith in November though!

Things to look forward to in November: last full month of fall semester, my birthday, Thanksgiving, my aunt's wedding, and did I mention it being the last full month of this awful semester?

Paris Fashion Week SS16 (Part Three)

Friday, October 30, 2015

We're here, we're finally here! This is, sadly, my final installment of my "coverage" of the  Spring/Summer 2016 collections. Fashion month has been over for quite a few weeks, but I am always behind on everything so we're just going to go with it. Who could ever complain about fashion month being extended anyways? Especially when it comes to Paris collections?

Looks 20, 26, and 39 from Miu Miu
There was something so dramatic about the Miu Miu show that just had me googley eyes. The dark lips were on point and I was just loving all of the styling and layering pieces. There were some incredible furs mixed with sheer fabrics, knits, and some power jackets that I would kill for. 

Looks 4, 15, 17, and 26 from Moncler Gamme Rouge
The Moncler Gamme Rouge show just felt like spring. How could it not when the runway was literally a grassy knoll equipped with wildflowers and all? The garments included incredible white law, green jewels and floral embellishments that made it feel like a walking and wearable garden.

Looks 7, 31, 36, and 39 from Rochas
Rochas had a really classic color scheme for this collection, using white and black with baroque gold accents that reminded me of a combination of Dolce & Gabanna and Balmain. There was also a lot of really cool eyewear that amped up some of the looks.

Looks 3, 14, 16, 22, 27, 35, 52, and 58 from Saint Laurent
Saint Laurent shows are always so fun because they're a wicked combination of elegant and casual, each look exuding a certain level of chicness and edge. This collection reminder me a lot of Hollywood starlets and Courtney Love. It felt, very unsurprisingly, like a rockstar collection and I was loving every second of it.

Looks 10, 17, 20, 28, 42, and 70 from Valentino
While I'm still very iffy about Valentino's use of cornrows again, I really enjoyed the pops of colors with the typical Valentino elegance. Their African influence was abundantly clear through pattern and jewelry choices as well.

Looks 8, 14, 16, 31, 33, and 35 from Zuhair Murad
The Zuhair Murad collection was so romantic and cute and all around sparkly. If hugs and kisses could be a spring collection, it would be Zuhair Murad spring 2016.

Looks 7, 15, 18, 26, 29, and 32 from Vika Gazinskaya
The Vika Gazinskaya took the same very springy route with their clothes like Moncler Gamme Rouge, utilizing lighter fabric (in both weight and color). There was a lot of volume and fun pops of color that really added something to an other simple and clean cut collection.

And that's a wrap on fashion month! What was your favorite moment of fashion month?

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, October 29, 2015

1. Trader Joe's Rockets

It’s been a long while since I’ve had a food favorite. I normally just eat the same things over and over again without wanting to try much of anything. But my roommate and I went grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s over the weekend and I saw these at the last second and decided to pick them up on a whim. “Off brand” cheese crackers are hit or miss for me. These things are so good though! They remind me a lot of those whale crackers, as opposed to Goldfish. They also taste a bit like Cheese Nips, so honestly they are just heaven in a rocket shaped cracker.

2. Sounds Good, Feels Good by 5 Seconds of Summer

Yesterday, my mom told me that her favorite member of 5SOS was Ashton because she said he had nice teeth. I was a bit disappointed that she didn’t pick Luke, but she doesn’t know any better. She prefers Liam Payne over Harry Styles, so how am I meant to trust this woman who gave me birth?

Speaking of 5SOS, their second album came out last week and I’d be lying if I said tht I was listening to anything else besides it. There is a healthy dose of other EPs and singles in between, but I’ve been thoroughly enjoying their new album, specifically the last four songs. The album reminds me of middle school, except I am infinitely happier and quite a deal more attractive, if I’m being honest. It’s the good kind of nostalgia that makes me feel like I’m full of tiny little butterflies. Their new sounds reminds me of a combination of Green Day and Blink-182/Angels and Airwaves. There are so many cool sounds on the album that I didn’t expect for them and I’m honestly so floored by the amount of maturing that happened between their debut and sophomore album.


3. Swaay by DNCE

MY FIRST LOVE JOE JONAS IS ABSOLUTELY SLAYING THE MUSIC SCENE RIGHT NOW. I absolutely lost it when DNCE released their single “Cake by the Ocean.” Little did I know that a month or so later, I’d be able to listen to a four-song EP from arguably my new favorite group. I’ve been nonstop listening to the EP since ot came out. When in doubt, play Swaay, honestly.

4. "Out of the Woods" performance at GRAMMY Museum

I'm not crying. You're crying. I have like...fond memories of the first time I ever heard this song. I mean, they're not fond fond but I distinctly remember that night. She had released the song on iTunes and I immediately purchased it and literally stayed up for hours upon hours just sobbing because it was so haunting and beautiful and Harry and Taylor's flames were stomped out before anything could happen and it made me feel like I was lost and spinning around in a forest. This song made me feel so many things and I still get goosebumps when it comes on in the car to this day. I cannot resist screaming the lyrics and completely losing it to this song. "Oh I remember" is a line that you have to scream. You must let go of all of your inhibitions when you sing that part of the song.

What have you been loving lately?

Suede Skirts for Every Budget

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I feel very strongly about suede this season. I have this weird sixth sense for it this fall. I keep sniffing it out and then fangirl over it when I see it. Basically, I am suedes number one fan this season and am not afraid to show it.

Suede jackets and boots are great, but my biggest *heart eyes* moments when it comes to suede is over suede skirts. They are just the absolute cutest pieces of clothing my eyes have ever seen and I wear mine far more than I should for only owning one. They just pair so nicely with everything: black sweaters and turtlenecks and white sweaters and chunky knits. I've seen them paired with matching colored suspenders.

The greatest thing about this suede skirt trend is that it's everywhere, meaning lots and lots of different price ranges! Hopefully you can find one that fits your body and price range!

2. American Eagle - $39.95 (this is the one I'm wearing in this post!)
5. BCBG - $173.60 (on sale!)

Birthday Wish List

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

We're less than a month away from my birthday, which isn't all that exciting. I'm only turning twenty, so other than officially not being a teenager anymore, there isn't much to the day. However, it will mean that we are that much closer to Thanksgiving AKA the best holiday in the world AKA a nice break at home. So for that reason, I am very excited for my birthday and the end of November!

Since my senior year of high school, I've been completely disinterested in gifts. There's nothing that I need and even if I wanted something, it'd be so frivolous that it isn't even worth buying. I don't particularly like receiving gifts, either, which makes birthdays and Christmas an interesting time of the year. So this is my attempt at making a birthday wish list, despite truly only wanting number six on the list.

2. Burberry Brit perfume (Nordstrom Rack has a big bottle for much cheaper!)
3. Donations to The Malala Fund and/or Love 146

5. Coffee

6. Harry Styles
8. Subscriptions to Vogue and Porter magazines

"I Don't Know"

Monday, October 26, 2015

"I don't know" is my current favorite response to any question. Or perhaps it's not my favorite, but it's the only sufficient answer I can give without spiraling into an extended, drawn out explanation in which I just talk in circles to avoid answering the real question. I feel like I'm in a constant state of "I don't know," which for somebody who needs to know everything, is incredibly frustrating.

I am Francesca. I am nineteen. And I don't know.

I do things on the daily with a lot of uncertainty: of what's going to happen later in the night, later in the week, or even months from that moment. I don't know what I'm doing this weekend, I don't know what I'm doing during the summer, I especially don't know what's going to happen after I get my degree and graduate college.

I don't know what I'm doing with my life. I don't know whether journalism is the right track for me (I mean, I think I know it's not, but if you never try, you'll never know, right? I think that's what Chris Martin from Coldplay said...). I don't know whether there's any true academic track that's right for me, or any career in existence that is right for me. I don't know what I want out of college, out of life, out of the relationships I make with people. I am constantly flip-flopping between needs and wants and things of that nature. I feel flaky and unreliable. I am unstructured and rolling with the punches to the best of my ability.

It's easy to feel isolated when you feel like the only person who isn't doing things. There's the FOMO regarding social activities, but I feel a certain type of FOMO when I see people getting jobs in their courses of study or talk endlessly about their cool internships. I get jealous, so to speak, about other people's accomplishments. Or perhaps it's less of jealousy and more self-depricating, like I can't do these things because I'm incompetent or not qualified. Don't get stuck in this never ending cycle of doubt.

Over time and through my own experience attempting this, I've come to the conclusion that we're all faking it, one way or another. Because how is it possible to be entirely sure about something, especially in your teenage years or early twenties?

The "I don't know" stage of life is not something to be ashamed of or afraid of. We're all in this together, honestly. We're all in that weird period of life where nothing seems right, but there's something to appreciate about it. We can mold and shape ourselves and if it doesn't fit, we can find a new spot to meld to. We are malleable. We are not forced to stay permanently shaped into decisions we have made when we were sixteen, seventh, eighteen years old. Relish in this! Use your "I don't know" phase to try out different things, explore your city and your interests and make relationships with people you're interested in.

Don't let this uncertainty hinder you. Use it to your advantage!

Good Reads

Sunday, October 25, 2015

1. (Don't) Curb Your Enthusiasm "Enthusiasm, I've found, engenders more enthusiasm and an ability to see the forest through the trees; the opposite it true of naivety." *insert clapping emoji here*

2. Cute Etsy Finds I think I might definitely need those fall inspired pencils. I don't even use regular pencils, but who says I need to actually use them?

3. Chic Sweater Dress Just give me anything with a turtleneck and I will be one happy girl.

4. It's Okay...Vol. 4 Little things to remember! Keep 'em in your back pocket, friends!

5. My Current Bookshelf I wish I had more time to read. I've had Mindy's newest book on my desk for over a month now and haven't even cracked it open.

6. Oh, Canada I love the look of this burnt orange combined with the leather jacket. Leather jackets in general are just great pieces and I love when they're paired with "girly" pieces.

7. Suede on Suede with Wayf and Stuart Weitzman  The Stuart Weitzman over the knee suede boots are honestly works of art.

8. Minimalism I am generally a pretty colorful person. I just like bright things! But I'm also in love with the whole minimalism trend that is sweeping my Instagram feed.

9. How to Find Your Personal Style If I'm going to take advice on personal style, it's going to be from Carly Cristman. She has the most incredible and distinctive style that I just adore.

10. The Internet is a Village Some of my dearest and most supportive and creative friends are people I've met through my blogs on the internet over the years (HEY MAHI, MY OLDEST INTERNET PAL!!!!). It's an incredible place, really.

What have you been reading lately?

Write A Letter To Your Sixteen-Year-Old Self

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A picture of sixteen-year-old me before the Homecoming  dance my senior year.
I was struggling for a blog topic today. I was searching through my word documents and came across one I started in 2014 on a whim. I decided to open it and discovered a few writing prompts that I did just to kick start some writing inspiration. They were mostly unfinished and pretty terrible, but I quite like this one. I wrote it almost two years ago, before my big personality (or rather, expression of this personality I had in me the whole time) change of fall 2014. It's crazy how things change in a year!

 11. Write a letter to your sixteen-year-old self.

February 24, 2014

            Dear Francesca, circa age 16,
            Everything that you are going through is not as big as it seems. Worrying about your future and college is not going to do you any good. It is okay to think about it, but don’t be afraid of what has yet to come. Things may surprise you.

            Things that you thought you knew are not true. It is not true that no boy ever loved you. It is also not true that you need to melt into the palm of any boy who tells you that he does, no matter how desperate you yearn for love. It is better to wait. So don’t dwell on that too much, either. One day you will learn to love yourself, and in return, that will allow other people to love you as well.

            Some day, you are going to figure out exactly what you want to do with your life, but you won’t know how to get there. You are going to read a lot of magazines and blogs, you are going to write stories about angst and love and things you never imagined. You are going to create fictional worlds that you want to live in some days. You are going to write stories that touch people’s lives, and it’s going to make you feel okay again.

            Some day you are going to find happiness, not in another person, but in yourself.


            Francesca Pauline Gariano <3
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