Saturday, October 31, 2015

Roman Holiday at Home

Hey biddies,

A little exciting news to brighten up your Sunday... we're having a giveaway! We're currently in Rome and it really has us thinking- with all the incredible food and fashion in Europe, why not spread the love? Maybe it'll be pasta from Italy, Belgian chocolate picked up in Brussels, tea from Fortum & Mason in London or a scarf from Paris. Even if you can't make it to Europe, some of our favs my be coming to you! The contest starts now, so get to entering and sharing.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck!
Yasi and Lexi


Over here at Pacific and June, we love Halloween. Sadly, it isn't a super big holiday here in Rome, so when we heard about the Fairmont's amazing halloween party in San Francisco we were inspired to create an everyday outfit that is totally perfect for Halloween. What could be more perfect for a classic and chic hotel soiree than an oh-so-chic modern witch ensemble? We went for all black everything, easy pull-on dresses, and some fun accessories to pull together a boho-witch look.

Sadly we got a lot of our clothes over here in Europe, but you can shop some of our fav similar looks here:
Yasi // dress // booties // sweater
Lexi // dress // hat // boots 

Yasi + Lexi

Credits to the Fairmont Hotel Group for inspiring our Halloween look!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Mad about Plaid

It is officially fall, which means it's time to break out the flannels and live in them until it's time to start wearing more layers. I've already talked about my moderate obsession with fall, so it should come as no surprise that I also love what should be considered the patron print of autumn: plaid. The best thing about it? You can wear plaid for nearly anything. A classic tartan sheath dress is perfect for holiday parties and family photos while a cozy blanket scarf is great for lounging or tossing over a casual outfit for errands. Here's a roundup of my favorite pieces:

Happy apple picking!
Yasi "Why is apple picking not a thing in Spain"

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How to plan the perfect trip

Tay and I are getting ready for a super exciting trip that is now less than 3 weeks away!!! As such, I thought it would be a good time to share our tips for planning an amazing vacation.

1. Sign up for flight price notifications in advance.
Websites like expedia and skyscanner will send you notifications every time the price of a flight you've been eying drops. Join their email list so you get updates on flights without having to check a million websites every day.

2. Be flexible with your travel dates.
Sometimes 1 or 2 days makes a difference of several hundred dollars. Be willing to leave on a Tuesday at 4 am or midnight on a Sunday and you'll get better airfare.

3. Know when to book a hotel and when to go with airbnb.
You can find some incredible deals on airbnb, especially in notoriously expensive cities like Paris and London. There are a lot of places in Europe (and around the world) that have hotel deals that are actually better- you can stay in 5 star hotels for less than $80 a night, so split with another person and you're paying the same price as you would at a lot of hostels.

4. Don't trust Yelp and your 20 year old travel guide. 
Consulting food and lifestyle blogs written by locals is a great way to see the city like a local. Do exhaustive research on restaurants beforehand. Who's writing the reviews? Is it tourists or natives? Don't just take pictures in front of every tourist site- try to find local spots that are known for their incredible view or amazing collection of ceramics.

5. Don't make an itinerary, make your own guide.
Research the opening times, prices, reservation system, etc. of all the places you really want to go, then mix and match as you see fit. This way you can stop and explore random side streets, antique stores, cheese shops, and whatever else you see along the way without missing your 'must do' list.

6. Travel during the off season.
Flights (above the equator) between October and April are about half of what they are during the summer months. Yes, August is a convenient time for a family vacation, but it often means that a) the city will be all tourists and b) you'll be paying a premium.

7. Make a list of all the trips you want to do and create a realistic budget.
This is a great way to help you save for travel with a specific goal in mind. Do you know that you really want to go to Morocco next summer? Set a loose budget and start saving now! Be realistic, though- don't convince yourself that you'll get a flight for $500, you'll survive on $20 a day, and the exchange rate will change drastically to favor the dollar.

And here are some of my favorite sites to help you in your trip planning. Happy traveling!
NY Times 36 Hours- A careful curated selection of activities and restaurants in (basically) every city.
Time Out- Great resource for everything from museums and attractions to shows and restaurants.
Skyscanner- Perfect for finding the lowest airfare possible.
STA Travel- Great student travel resource.
Rome2Rio- Compares different methods of travel to find the fastest and cheapest route.

Yasi "Got all my travel plans figured out for the next 27 years"

Monday, October 12, 2015

Do's and Dont's of studying abroad

Today is my 7th week abroad, which means I'm about halfway through my abroad program. I just got back from an incredible trip through Galicia (photos below!) and am trying to get through a million homework assignments before tomorrow. Although the halfway point is a little bittersweet, I have an incredible, 10-day trip booked at the end of my stay, a trip to Rome and possibly a trip to Berlin, so I'm so excited about the rest of the semester. I'm also feeling a little better adjusted now, so I thought I'd share some of the things you absolutely must do (and not do) before/during/after studying abroad.

what I'm wearing:

under the monochromatic rain gear:

sweater (old, similar here) // sneakers

1. DO study up on slang, holidays, and customs. 
There are books specifically meant for foreigners that explain the customs of the country in which you'll be studying and I'd highly recommend getting one. In Spain, for example, the schedule is completely different from what we're used to in the U.S. People greet each other differently, family structures are different, shops close in the middle of the day for siesta- basically a lot of things that caught me off guard when I first arrived. Read up before hand so you don't experience too much of  culture shock.

2. DON'T be afraid of making errors.
Admittedly, there are some people who will give you weird looks for using the wrong verb tense or who will roll their eyes while you struggle to convey a thought. Ignore them- they're just being rude and inconsiderate. Try your absolute best to speak the language and conform to local customs, but if you mix up similar verbs or mispronounce some complicated item on a menu, it's ok. Do you get annoyed every time a traveler visiting your home city misuses a word? No? Well then it's probably not the end of the world if you do the same.

3. DO bring your own peanut butter and granola bars.
Ok, a little silly, but hear me out on this one. I love trying new foods and being in a country where daily trips to cafes and tapas bars are the norm is amazing (not so much for my arteries, but they'll survive). That being said, traveling on weekends is exhausting and sometimes I just need a protein bar while I run through the airport. As much as I love patatas bravas, sometimes I'd rather have an apple with peanut butter or a salad. Some items (like nut butters and granola bars) are not only super hard to find in a lot of foreign countries, but they're really expensive. You may have better luck in bigger/more health-conscious cities, but stock up and bring your own for the semester because you will want them.

4. DON'T just do what you do at home.
I know so many people who go abroad with practically their entire sorority/fraternity and spend the whole time throwing up letters in touristy spots without ever trying to speak another language, talk to a local, celebrate a holiday, etc. At that point you might as well have stayed in the U.S., so actively try to immerse yourself in the culture and step outside your comfort zone!

5. DO give yourself some breaks. 
Stay in one night and watch Harry Potter with a tube of oreos. I know I just said not to do what you do at home, but being outside your comfort zone 24/7 is exhausting! I'm living with a host family, taking all my classes in Spanish at the local university, ordering my daily coffee in a different language, conforming to a schedule that's totally different from what I'm used to, and eating foods completely different than what I usually have. I have to be 'on' from the time I wake up every morning until the time I go into my room to sleep, and that's a lot. Go ahead and cut yourself some slack every once in a while- hole up and give yourself a taste of home.

6. DO enjoy every minute of it!
Studying abroad has ups and downs- sometimes you'll be looking around and thinking "How amazing is this?! I'm basically on a 4 month long vacation! I'm so ~cultured~ and sophisticated." Other times you'll be sitting in the library asking for a book on the economic requirements for entry into the European Union and trying to finish an 8 page paper on a novel by Miguel de Unamuno before you head home to a dinner that is so awful you'll have to pretend to eat and then have rice cakes in your room and you'll think "My life 100000000x worse than it would be if I was just back in the U.S. right now." Even so, living and studying abroad is an amazing experience and one that not many people have. Take everything in stride and remember that not everyone's entire abroad experience is "perfect", despite what their Facebook albums suggest.

Yasi "Is it acceptable to go to bed at 8:30?"

Monday, October 5, 2015

Fall Beauty Favorites

Hello lovelies,

As much as I love the cooler temperatures and the cozy sweaters that come with them, the change in season means a complete overhaul on my everyday beauty routine. I barely wear makeup in the summer because I feel like it just melts off my face anyway, but fall brings a new challenge- dry skin and flaky makeup. Here are my 6 top picks for the perfect, everyday fall beauty routine.

 1. AmorePacific Enzyme Peel
Dry skin means two things: flaky makeup and clogged pores. With skin that's already sensitive from the wind and the cold, traditional scrubs can just make the situation worse. I've been obsessed with this peel since I tried it in Sephora at the beginning of the summer. It does an amazing job at exfoliating without being as harsh on your skin.

2. Eminence Organics Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturizer
I have suuuuper dry skin and tend to have normal breakouts which are exacerbated by the dry skin, but I've had a hard time finding a moisturizer that keeps my skin hydrated without clogging my pores more. When I'm in LA, I go to FaceHaus in Studio city regularly for facials, and my esthetician there introduced me to this moisturizer- total game changer. It smells amazing, really hydrates my skin, and has a probiotic to help control breakouts and balance my skin's bacteria. (bonus: it's all natural/organic!)

3. Clinique Chubby Stick Contour/Highlight
I hate the feeling of heavy makeup on my face, but once the glow of summer starts to fade I feel a washed out. These chubby sticks are perfect for adding a super subtle contour that adds a little dimension to your face without feeling heavy, requiring a lot of time or makeup expertise, or completely altering the way you look.

4. Tarte Cheek Stain in Glisten
Oh. My. God. This is hands down my favorite beauty product in my bag and has been since July which is saying a lot- I tend switch beauty products faster than I finish seasons of Gilmore Girls on netflix. Although it's officially a cheek stain, this is sort of an all-in-one. Dab a little on your cheeks and blend for a 'just got in from the cold' glow, then use your finger to apply as highlighter on your cheekbones and even as a base eyeshadow color (bonus: it makes the eyeshadows you layer on top last longer).

5. Lancome Hypnose Custom Volume Mascara
I've tried a lot of mascaras, and as much as I love the Maybelline's Great Lash and Benefit's Bad Gal, this stuff takes the cake. Admittedly I have pretty long lashes on my own, but this legitimately makes me look like I'm wearing falsies. Since I hate having a complicated makeup routine, this is great- with a few swoops of this mascara and some lip color, I feel like I'm ready to go.

6. Clinique Chubby Stick in Broadest Berry
Can you tell I'm a fan of chubby sticks? They're just so convenient and come in great colors so I can't help it. They have darling brights for spring and summer, but this berry shade is perfect for fall. They're also moisturizing and you can build as much or as little coverage as you want, making it perfect for anything for a quick run to the grocery store to your best friend's annual autumn party (which I really hope is a thing someone's best friend does).

Yasi "This might have lead to me adding $800 worth of products to my Sephora basket"

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Everyday fall fashion

Although I'm not sure what the weather is like in the U.S., I think it's safe to say that autumn has arrived here in Salamanca. As much as I love summer, there's nothing quite like a cup of hot cider and a cozy sweater. Come fall, I like to keep things simple- a put-together looking but simple makeup routine, a few key pieces of brushed gold or rose gold jewelry, a splash of perfume (especially now that the weather is more favorable toward our, ehem, natural scents), and lots of texture-rich pieces in warm, autumnal colors.

I know after that schpiel you're probably thinking that I need to get a pumpkin spice latte and retreat to an apple orchard with my fellow fall-lovers, but I really do think there's a lot to be enjoyed this season! So go ahead, peruse my everyday fall staples while binge-watching netflix and enjoying a cup of tea.

Yasi "But in reality I'll probably be in sweats 90% of the time"

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Travels, etc.

Hola, chicos!

After a two week long intensive course, 12 days traveling through the center and south of Spain, and 4 official days of classes, I finally have a free moment/charged computer/wifi! As such, I thought I'd share a little bit about my trip. We went to a million places- Ávila, Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Granada, Sevilla, Mérida, and some tiny towns I don't even know the name of. There's so much to say that I'm going to keep it to a minimum and just share with you some of my favorites.

see: Guernica at the Museo Reina Sofia; Museo del Prado; Parque del Retiro; Palacio Real
buy: Something Real Madrid
eat: Mercado de San Miguel for tapas; Fit Food for a healthy pick-me-up

an actual candid as you can tell from my super cute expression!!!!
outfit details:
jacket // blouse (old, similar here) // jeans // sneakers // umbrella // bag (old, similar here)

see: The mezquita (officially called the cathedral); Barrio Judeo
buy: Prints to frame; tapestries
eat: Taberna Casa Salinas
pro tip: try Andalucían specialties including berenjenas con miel (fried eggplant with molasses), pescado frito (fried fish), flamenquín (fried meat roll thing), queso de cabra con miel (goat cheese with honey), and pisto con huevo (vegetables with olive oil and an egg), but don't let it fool you- there's tons of fresh food here and most meals don't consist of tons of fried food. Stick to one per meal and you'll be fine.

see: The Alhambra; the open-air mercados; hike up the hill to the bars overlooking the Alhambra
buy: A legit henna tattoo
eat: Restaurante Sevilla; almost any Arabic restaurant
pro tip: You get a free tapa with drinks!

see: Plaza de España; a flamenco show
buy: A ride on a horse carriage; a 30 minute session on the row boats in the Plaza; a flamenco lesson
eat: Restaurante Modesto

I'm off again but can't wait to write more about my travels!
Yasi "Averaging a cool 28,000 steps a day"