48 Hours in Paris, France

I love writing about the trips I take, but I’m still trying to figure out the best way to do this while also being concise. Since my mom and I only spent about 48 hours in Paris, I’d like to show you what we did through a picture guide. Personally I am a very visual person, so I love reading blog posts that are full of beautiful pictures. Also, school is starting soon so I’m very crunched on time. With that said, here’s a visual overview of our trip to Paris, France. Enjoy!

Friday

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Arriving at Charles de Gaulle Airport

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The Musée d’Orsay

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A few of my favorite Monet paintings

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Walking along the Seine River

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Saturday 

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The Palace of Versailles

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The gardens of Versailles

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The start of our Fat Tire Bike Tour

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The Notre Dame

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Legend says that if you stand on Paris Point Zero, you will definitely come back to Paris one day

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The Louvre

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A picture from our boat tour on the Seine

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Sunday

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Our last meal in Paris before our flight home

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Can you tell how much I love photography and Paris?!


Love, Liv

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Minimalist Packing: Paris, France

Last weekend my mom and I went on a quick trip to Paris. Despite only being there for about 48 hours, we had an amazing, fun-filled time. Although I travel quite often, I still find myself consistently overpacking. Recently I’ve caught the minimalism bug, and I really want to work on packing less and more efficiently. To others, it probably looks as though I still pack wayyy too much, but trust me, I’ve made improvements. I’d love to make this a new series about my journey with minimalism. Just a little disclaimer though, I’m far from close to being a minimalist, I just want to document the progress I make.

To start my goal of “minimalist packing” I focused purely on the clothes I brought for this trip. I didn’t want to take any drastic steps, so I simply stopped packing extra outfits (which I often do in case of weather or simply because I like to have a few options).

Here’s what I wore on my trip to Paris!

Plane Ride to Charles de Gaulle Airport

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Athletic Joggers

A White T-shirt

A White Lace Halter Bralette

A Pink Floral Lightweight Scarf

Brown Sandals

The Musée d’Orsay on Friday

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A Jean Skirt

A Lace Long-Sleeve Top

A White Lace Halter Bralette

Brown Sandals

An Army Green Jacket

Walking Around Paris on Friday

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A Lace Long-Sleeve Top

A White Lace Halter Bralette

White High-Wasted Shorts

Pink Adidas Tennis Shoes

An Army Green Jacket

Friday and Saturday Night

Pink PJ shorts

Anastasia T-shirt

Versailles on Saturday

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White High-Wasted Shorts

A White Lace Halter Bralette

Pink Adidas Tennis Shoes

A Purple Quarter-Sleeve Top

Fat Tire Bike Tour Saturday Night

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A White Lace Halter Bralette

Pink Adidas Tennis Shoes

A Purple Quarter-Sleeve Top

Cropped Black Leggings

Plane Ride to Dulles International Airport

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Grey and White Striped Dress

Brown Sandals

A White Lace Halter Bralette

An Army Green Jacket

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Clothes I Packed and Wore:

White Lace Halter Bralette

Athletic Joggers

Jean Skirt

White High-Wasted Shorts

Cropped Black Leggings

Pink PJ shorts

White T-shirt

Lace Long-Sleeve Top

Purple Quarter-Sleeve Top

Anastasia T-shirt

Grey and White Striped Dress

Pink Floral Lightweight Scarf

Brown Sandals

Pink Adidas Tennis Shoes

1 Pair of Socks

Army Green Jacket

Clothes I Packed and Didn’t Wear:

Lightweight Sweatshirt

White Button-Up Blouse

Polka Dot PJ Bottoms

2 Pairs of Socks

Overall I think I packed well for this trip when it comes to clothing. On the other hand, I brought too much in my carry on bag for the flight, and a few extra objects I really didn’t need (such as a curling wand). Next trip I’d like to cut down on the number of HBA products I take and possibly create more of a capsule wardrobe so I can pack even lighter! 🙂

I hope you all had/are having an incredible summer!


Love, Liv

 

A Weekend Trip to NYC!

I have been begging my parents to take me to New York City for the longest time. Now that summer is here, my mom and I were finally able to go. About a week before school ended, we decided to buy tickets to see Anastasia. The rest of the trip was pretty last minute, but my mom and I had the best time! Here’s an overview of what we did.

– Friday –

Friday morning we woke up at 4:30 am and caught an 8:00 am flight to Newark. Waking up early is not my forte, but I’m certainly not complaining. It was a bit of an adventure from the Newark Airport to our hotel, because my mom and I weren’t sure of the best way to get there. A couple Airtrain and Subway rides later, we made it to the World Trade Center, which happened to be right in front of our hotel. The best part of Friday was definitely walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. Wow! I’ll admit though, it was a little crazy. My mom and I were sure we would be hit by a bicycle. Welcome to New York! After taking endless amounts of pictures on the bridge, we finally made it to our next destination, Dumbo. We enjoyed walking around and exploring the cute boutique shops in Dumbo. After all that walking (we walked over 20,000 steps on Friday!) we ate some extremely yummy pizza at Juliana’s Pizza. Finally, we walked back over the bridge and explored the area around our hotel. We ended up going into Anthropologie, one of our favorites, and all I could think was “so pretty, but so expensive!”.

– Saturday –

Saturday was pretty much a dream come true. After getting ready for the day, we walked around in search of something to eat. We ended up getting breakfast at Aroma Cafe, yum! Afterwards we went to the 9/11 Memorial Museum for a few hours and listened to an audio tour on our phones. Even though 9/11 happened even before I was born I could feel the emotion and devastation of that day through the photos, artifacts and videos throughout the museum. Such a moving experience, even for those of us who “learned” about that day through the eyes of our parents. Later on we took a taxi to our next hotel, up near Times Square. After eating dinner at Carmine’s (an Italian Restaurant), we went back to our hotel to get ready for the show. I loved walking around NYC’s Theatre District and seeing all the different ads for current musicals. Finally, it was time to see Anastasia. Despite the bad reviews we read about Broadhurst Theater, my mom and I thought the theater and staff were great, even if a bit crowded. The show was incredible! Anastasia is the second musical I’ve been blessed to see on Broadway and I definitely plan on seeing it again someday. Afterwards, I even got the leads to sign my Playbill! New York City truly is the city that never sleeps. We left the theater a little before midnight, and Times Square was just as alive as ever. My mom and I even decided to stop at Sephora to try on some lip products.

– Sunday –

Once I finally forced myself out of bed, my mom and I walked around Midtown and explored some really high end stores. That morning we skipped breakfast altogether and went straight to the sweets, which we got at Magnolia Bakery. Their banana pudding is definitely worth a try. Next, we walked to Central Park and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met was amazing! We explored a photography and costume exhibit, as well as some modern art. Oh and of course we went to the gift shop. In fact, our cashier recommended we check out the roof top garden and we’re so thankful she did. The Met’s rooftop has one of the best views of NYC’s skyline. On our way back, we decided to walk through the Upper East Side, rather than going though Central Park again. We spent the walk back daydreaming of living in one of the adorable apartments we passed and shopping at the fantastic boutiques. Unfortunately, both dreams are way out of our price range, but we had fun anyways. After a very, very long walk, we finally made it back to our hotel and picked up our luggage. Getting back to the airport was even more of a struggle than it was leaving it on Friday. By the time we made it to the Newark Airport, we were exhausted. Probably not the best idea to walk over 20,000 steps in sandals and converse. That night we took a flight back to Reagan Airport and listened to Anastasia the whole drive home.

Despite getting lost a few times, I absolutely loved our quick trip to New York City. Sometimes I feel like I get “stuck in a rut” at my home in Stafford, Virginia, and there’s something about being in the city that makes me feel inspired. I can’t help but feel excited and determined to follow my dreams. That must sound really cliche, but what can I say, I love to dream!

Hopefully you enjoyed this ramble about our trip to NYC, and if not, enjoy these pics!

– Friday –

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The Brooklyn Bridge

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Dumbo, Brooklyn

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Jane’s Carousel

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Juliana’s Pizza

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View from the Millenium Hilton

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– Saturday –

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The 9/11 Memorial Museum

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Times Square

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Broadhurst Theater

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Christy Altomare (AKA Anastasia)!

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Smashbox Be Legendary Liquid Lip in Mauve Wife

– Sunday –

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Magnolia Bakery

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Central Park

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Irving Penn Exhibit

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View from The Met’s rooftop

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Until next time NYC!


Love, Liv

Thanksgiving Break ’16

Greetings everyone!

Freshman year has hit me really hard and I feel like I’ve been running 100 miles a minute. Thankfully, my hard work has payed off so far. Since I worked ahead of schedule, I was able to enjoy Thanksgiving with my family and take a break from schoolwork. This Thanksgiving my family and I spent it with loved ones in Ohio. We enjoyed seeing everyone and had a wonderful time. Below I’ve attached two pic collages I made on our car ride home, a list of what we did over break, and a few family photos. The first pic collage has a few photos from Thanksgiving Day and the second has photos from our mini photoshoot. By “our”, I mean my cousins, Catherine and Ella, and my sister, Emily.

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In just four and a half days we…

Had our annual girl’s photoshoot,

Drank seasonal Starbucks coffees (x2),

Watched Hallmark Christmas (too many times to count),

Contributed to the preparation of 10,000 meals for those in need,

Took family photos (finally),

Ran a 5k turkey trot (and almost died),

Ate a very, very large Thanksgiving meal,

Enjoyed an early Christmas gift exchange,

Ate chocolate lasagna,

Went shopping at Target & Ulta till 12:00am,

Went Black Friday shopping all day,

Watched Home Alone 2,

Made pancakes, waffles, crepes, and cinnamon rolls,

and,

Took many photos and made many, many memories

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Lastly, here are a few family photos we took over break.

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Happy Holidays!


Love, Liv

Bald Head Island ’16

Bald Head Island is a very special place to my family and I. We are lucky enough to have great friends who have let us stay in their beach villa multiple times. This is our third year vacationing at Bald Head and since we couldn’t come last year, we were able to stay an entire week. We even brought some of our extended family along. I love how relaxing and laid back vacationing is on the island. Yes, there are things we want to see and do, but it’s definitely not a “see everything in only a couple days trip”, like many of our other trips. Here’s an overview of our vacation. My apologies in advance for the length of this post and for the many, many photos.

Wednesday, our travel day, was one of the more uneventful days. We woke up bright and early and drove over 6 hours to Southport, NC. From there we took the ferry to the island. Catherine (my cousin), Emily (my sister), and I love taking photos, so the moment we arrived at the villa, we took a few with our matching sunglasses. Later that day we went to the pool and ordered pizza.
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Thursday was our full beach day. After breakfast we grabbed our beach supplies, loaded up with sunscreen, and drove the golf carts to the beach. There were a couple mini islands during low tide and we had fun swimming to each one. It was crazy how far out we could walk, while still feeling our feet on the sand. Honestly though, who knew how tiring it is to walk/run through water? After a long day at the beach, we came back and all the girls washed their sandy hair and prettied up for our evening adventure, a “howl at the moon” party. “Howl at the moon” occurs only when there is a full moon. Everyone who wants to come brings an appetizer to beach access 39 and we all watch the moon rise. Pretty great, am I right? There was soup from one of the local restaurants and an Irish bagpipe player. We had lot’s of fun and of course, took loads of photos.
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Emily & Catherine are just 2 cute 🙂
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Friday morning, despite being up late, we went to see sunrise on the beach. On our way back one of our carts broke down and we ended up pushing it home. Good thing we had so many people. Later that day we got luna pops (handmade popsicles on the island) and went shopping for a little while. Then during the evening we went to the pool.
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Saturday morning a few of us decided to go paddle boarding and it was quite the challenge. We paddle boarded on a marsh connected to the ocean and the tide happened to be very strong that day. Since I was worried (typical me), I decided to get on my paddle board second to last and therefore fell far behind everyone else. I’ll admit, I was pretty slow. Once we finally reached calmer waters, I caught up to everyone else and we made our way back. Saturday evening we experienced one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen. The island has a turtle conservancy where you can see both turtle hatchings and excavations. There happened to be a turtle excavation that evening. Three days after the baby turtles hatch from their eggs, the conservancy workers and interns dig up the eggs. One, so they can record how many turtles hatched and two, so they can make sure there aren’t any turtles left behind. Over 50% of the time there are turtles still buried in the sand. When we went to the excavation, the workers found one baby turtle. We were able to watch the baby turtle make its way from its nest area to the ocean, where it is essentially “set free”.
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We took this one with a selfie stick!
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Sunday was a little sad since the Kish’s (my Aunt’s family) had to leave. After coffee and some final photos we bid them farewell and watched the ferry sail back to mainland. Afterwards, I convinced my mom to take me to the art gallery and we received some information on classes they were offering. Then my mom and I went to the beach for an hour or so. The past couple days were pretty nonstop, so my family and I decided to take some time to relax.
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Monday morning we went to the beach to see sunrise again. There were tons of beautiful shells and we added many to our collection. We also saw another completely unscheduled sea turtle excavation. That’s right! We were walking down the beach and ran into the marine biologist at the conservancy. She had just found a baby sea turtle in one of the nests and was helping it get to the water. I’ll never forget how teeny baby sea turtles are. Adorable! Afterwards, we ate breakfast at the market and took our dog Mia on a cart ride and walk in the park. Then while my mom and sister went to the pool, my dad and I took an art class, filling my creative well. I painted a turtle and my dad painted two alligators. I love art but I don’t draw very often and neither does my dad. Thankfully we had an amazing teacher who helped us out. Monday evening we went to dinner at Mojo’s and had incredible lava cake. Finally, we all watched a movie together. I guess you could say my parents and sister watched the movie, while I blogged… 😉
Monday
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 Ignore the bad quality… we had a waitress take this for us.
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Tuesday was our last full day on the island. We all slept in since we had been up so late the night before. My mom and I did some final island shopping, and even managed to pick up a few Christmas gifts for my friends and family (I won’t say who). After we were all shopped out, we hit the beach one last time. After leaving the beach, we bought MORE Italian Ice. I can’t even count how many times we bought Italian Ice at Mikes Bites. It’s just soooo amazing. Definitely the best I’ve ever had! Before heading home for dinner, my mom and I stopped by a brand new Southern Living inspired community. One of my favorite activities while on the island is hitting open houses, not necessarily because I want to live in them, but rather I just love interior design/architecture. Growing up I was an HGTV fanatic! After a yummy homemade dinner, we went to the beach for our last sunset on the island. Tuesday was quite bittersweet, as we were all dreading returning to reality. Our last beach trip, last Italian Ice, last sunset, and the list goes on. Despite all our feelings of sadness, my family and I had a great night. We drove to the harbor and watched the sunset with our ice cream in hand. My dad even decided to bring Mia (our puppy).
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Well you probably know what happens from here. Wednesday, after cleaning up the house, we took the 12:30 ferry back to Southport and headed home. My family had, once again, an amazing time at Bald Head Island. We were so glad we could bring the Kish family along with us. I have a feeling this won’t be our last time on the island. Until next time!
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Love, Liv

 

Work In Progress.

Wow, I can’t believe It’s been over four months since my last blog post. Frustratingly enough, I had many, many posts I had planned and was excited about. So, why didn’t I take the time to write and share them? Well I’m not really sure. All I know is I’m a bit of a perfectionist and the pressure of making my blog as amazing as all the other blogs I love, was really high. Obviously, none of those blogs started out as amazing as they are now and I think I’m slowly beginning to learn that. I guess I’m trying to say, although I wish I would have wrote about some of the awesome things I’ve experienced recently, I’m trying not to beat myself up about it. After all, I blog because I love it not because I have to. So, even though it’s not the new year, I’m going to make some resolutions (goals). I want my blog to be somewhere where I record memories I never want to forget, share amazing experiences and thoughts, and more. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time right now to fully commit to my blog and honestly I’m not sure I ever will. So, I’m just going to blog whenever I get the chance and not stress about it, because, well, anyone who knows me knows I stress way too much.

Before I end this post, I want to share a few photos from Interlochen. This summer I had the incredible opportunity to spend three weeks at the Interlochen School of the Arts. I completed the acting intensive and had an absolutely amazing time. I think I’ll save the details for later (I’m hoping on writing all about my experience later this month).

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I know there’s not a lot to this post, but since It’s been so long, I thought I’d start with a little “recommitment” so to say.  This post is definitely a little out of my comfort zone, so let me know what you think! 😝


Love, Liv

Ireland Part 1.

I was going to blog each day I spent in Ireland, but since I did not find the time to blog yesterday, as it was our travel day, I will instead blog this trip in “parts” rather than in “days”. Anyways, here’s what I did on my first two days in Ireland.

When we got to the Shannon airport we received our rental car right away. The drive to our hotel was beautiful! Although it was a bit scary for my dad, and the whole family, to drive on the left side of the road, we were able to see much of the Irish country side and of course several full rainbows. That’s right, entire rainbows! Which is never possible for us in our crowded suburb back at home.

Once we reached Galway, we parked our car and explored, while we waited for our room at the hotel to be ready. Most of the the town was closed because of Easter Sunday, but the hot chocolate we bought at Maxwells was DELICIOUS! After we checked into our hotel we went back out in the city. We saw two amazing churches and attended Easter service at the Galway Cathedral. The European architecture was, again, amazing. We were also able to read about the history of the churches. At the market in the city, my sister bought a hemp purse. I bought a blown glass necklace. We even bought fresh, fried doughnuts.

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The Collegeiate Church of St. Nicholas

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The next morning we ate breakfast at our hotel and then got in the car to drive to the Ashford Castle. On our way we spotted what we thought were the ruins of a castle. So, naturally I decided we HAD to go see it. We ended up getting as close as we thought possible and even passed some adorable lambs. The farmer who owned the lambs came out and we learned that the “castle” was actually Ross Errilly Abbey. He gave us instructions and we went to see the abbey. The off and on rain added to the creepy mood, as the Abbey was filled with graves from long long ago. Plus the birds circling the Abbey made us feel like characters out of the Lord of the Rings.

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We then got back on the road to continue our journey to the Ashford. When we arrived we learned we could not go inside, as we were not staying there, but we were able to explore the grounds. The gardens were gorgeous and the moss and vines growing on the trees, beautiful. The lake next to the castle, now hotel, was also gorgeous. It is actually the second largest lake in Ireland. I can’t quite put a finger on what it is, but I  adore castles. The Ashford is not a monarchal castle, so it was even cooler to see.

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The day before we made reservations for the Irish School of Falconry. It was a bit of a last minute arrangement, but it will definitely be something I remember for forever. (So I’ll just check that off the bucket list). Our instructor was wonderful. He was quite funny and very good at explaining and teaching us. My family and I flew two Harris Hawks. It was amazing to learn about them and how they behave around humans and other animals. It was especially cool to learn about how they “work with the school” not “work for the school”.

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That night we ate dinner in “the Dungeon” at the Ashford. Everyone was extremely nice as always and our waiter looked like Eddie Redmayne (in case you didn’t know, I’m obsessed with Eddie Redmayne). The food was so good and filling, we couldn’t even order dessert.

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Overall the Ashford and the past two days were amazing. Ireland is such a beautiful country and I can’t wait for the rest of this trip. I even like the off and on rain, as the bright, green grass makes up for it.


Love, Liv

Spring Break.

This week has been extremely busy. From my Regional Science Fair competition to an interview for high school, I wasn’t sure I’d make it through. But I did! Plus I’m going to Ireland and I can’t wait to write about my favorite parts. So, about the outfit. My dress is from Forever 21. I love how it mixes a vintage feel with a bohemian look. The shoes, which I’ve worn in one of my posts before, are from Target.

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DRESS: FOREVER 21

SHOES: TARGET

I hope you have/had a great Spring Break!


Love, Liv

 

Burgundy Turtleneck.

After more than a week off of school, I finally found time to take some new pictures. I wore my sister’s cropped turtleneck sweater with black jeggings and boots. Personally I would have preferred different shoes but with the snow, boots were the best possible option. Before I go, I must say I’m raving about these Lucky jeggings. They’re comfy and flexible but also aren’t as thin as leggings. Bye for now!Image 1-30-16 at 9.26 PM
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Top: AEO (Crop Turtleneck Sweater, Burgundy)

Pants: LUCKY BRAND (Brooke Legging Jean, Black)

Shoes: FAMOUS FOOTWEAR


Love, Liv