Monday, 8 June 2015

Travel Capsule Item: Tribal Sandals

Day to Noght: Tribal Sandal

For this week's Travel Capsule I chose an item that is currently on my wishlist for this summer: Tribal Sandals.

It probably won't be the exact model in the picture, but I'm sure it will still have the following features:
  • Comfortable - Though I love the look of barely-there, minimalist sandals, I wouldn't be able to go for a long walk or run errands with them. For me, straps are a must. The bigger the better.
  • Travel friendly - Sandals in general don't take up too much space, so they are great to throw in the carry-on for both a city trip or a weekend on the beach.
  • Versatile - Personally I find tribal patterns very easy to mix and match with other summery items (especially something in an earthy tone or with a fringe). I think the key is to choose a color palette that works with your style but still adds a bit of visual interest.
 As for any item, there are some things to look out for:
  • Thin soles - This is probably the main reason why I haven't been unable to find the perfect pair. I'm still looking for a pair of sandals that have decent soles but don't look too bulky. It's tricky but it's especially important here in Milan since in August the temperature gets so hot that Asphalt melts under your feet (not exaggerating!).
How are you getting ready for summer? Any interesting finds or upcoming trips?

I guess this is everything for today.
Bye for now,

Madelene

Monday, 1 June 2015

Travel Capsule Item: Little Bold Bag

Colorful crossbody bag: day to night


It's monday agian and it's time for another Travel Capsule Item: the Little Bold Bag.

I love semplicity, so my Ideal LBB is streamline and comes in a bold color, but you can adapt the concept to suit your definition of bold: it could have an exciting pattern, or particular details.

The one in the picture is actually a pretty cheap and compact number from Mango [link] that can be used both as a crossbody bag and as a clutch (apparently it's also available in coral, navy, pastel blue and silver).
I reacently bought it to substitute a very similar model that had been traveling with me for ages and was on its last leg.

I think this (or any other LBB) is a great travel item for many reasons:
  • it's compact;
  • It can be used to store small items inside your luggage;
  • This one in particular is made of a thick, textured faux leather so skratches don't show as much as they would on patent or smooth leather;
  • It's both a crossbody bag and a clutch;
  • it's a statement piece that doesn't require a lot of additional accessories or styling.
There are, of course, some CONS:
  • As the name suggests, it's little. This one is roughly 15x24cm (6x9.5 inches), so you can't fit a lot into it. I tend to travel light, so this doesn't bother me, but I'll admit that it's a much better evening bag than day bag for this reason.
    I can fit a skinny wallet, my phone, a small notebook and my camera in it with ease, but I wouldn't be able to bring more than that;
  • It works really well for an evening out but it wouldn't be my first choice for a black tie event.
All in all, it still ticks all my boxes.

I usually pair mine with jeans and a t-shirt during the day and a simple black dress for the night.
Personally, I think this color looks stunning paired with navy or electric blue for contrast, but it also works well with tan, brown and tribal prints.

One suggestion I'd give is to choose a color you love, something that makes you happy and you can't wait to wear.

Hope you enjoyed this week's item of choice. I'll see you again soon.
Bye for now,

Madelene

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Highlights of the Month - May 2015


May was an incredible month for me for so many different reasons and sitting here writing about it makes me feel so greatful for the people that are a part of my life and for the opportunities I have.
I can only hope the rest of the year will be as good as this.

Destination: London!
Every time I go to London I discover a new corner of the city and this just makes me wish I could come back more often.
This time I got to explore South Bank, visit friends and family, spend some quality time with my husband, try Afternoon Tea and, in general, have a great time (more on that soon).

Project: Starting this Blog!
I finally took the plunge and started writing this blog. I'm still not sure where exactly I'll be going with this, but I think it's not a bad place to start.
For the longest time I really wanted a place where I could share my travel tips and my struggle to find balance at home... but most of all, I'm hoping to meet new people to share stories with.
I'm excited to see where this will lead me.

Rediscovery:  Local Markets
When the weather starts to get warmer, I really enjoy doing my grocery shopping at local markets.
Unfortunately Milan doesn't have anything like London's Borough Market yet but, with Expo 2015 in town, smaller or temporary alternatives are popping up everywhere around town and I'm doing my best to look for them and discover the best they have to offer.
It's like a food inspiration treasure hunt, if that makes any sense. I hope to be able to share more about this with you in the upcoming months.

I guess this is everything for today.
How was your month?
Bye for now,
Madelene

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Lessons from Hotel Nightstands

Credits: Picture taken from here

Today I embarked on a very quick project that has been on my mind for a while: a Nightstand Makeover.

(Disclaimer: Unfortunately the nightstand in the picture is not mine. A part of me wanted to share the before and after pictures of my intense decluttering session, but there were just too many personal items and I really didn't feel like posting my dust bunnies on the internet. Maybe next time!) ;P

I'm not sure what your bedside table looks like, but mine is basically a landing strip for whatever is in my pockets come nighttime.
Pens, coins, mystery recipts, a broken earing, half-finished sudoku magazines, business cards, random post-its... the list is endless. Everything seems to just end up here and take residence.
So in my efforts to make my home life just as enjoyale as my "travel life" I decided to take notes from the best: Hotel Nightstands!

To me, a good Hotel Nightstand is clean, minimal, practical and with some sort of sexy desing element.
So I tried to replicate that!

I started by removing everything (just relocating my junk on the bed, to be honest) and giving the table a thorough clean-up.
I then sorted everything that was lying around (throwing most of it in the trash), put a couple of items back in their correct places and decided what really belonged on my nightstand.

I decided to keep a coaster (because drinking tea under the covers while reading a book is my idea of heaven), a guide to markets and fairs around Italy, two or three pens and a tube of mandarin and chocolate handcream.
I finished up by rearranging everything in a pleasing way and adding a dark blue bamboo mat and a sleek metal glass with geometric cut outs (that now holds my handcream and pens)... and that's basically it!

It didn't take more than 15 minutes but it made a huge difference.
The most shocking thing for me was realising just how much dust there was in/on/around my bedside table. It can't be healthy to have that kind of mess where you sleep, can it?!

Now, I know I'm not the most tidy person in the world so, to ensure that I don't reach that level of chaos again (beacuse, let's face it, I'm not going to start running around the house before bedtime to put every little thing back in its place), I decided to keep a very small cardboard box in the first drawer of my nightstand. This way, I can still empty my pockets but this time in a limited well-hidden space that can be easily emptied and sorted when full. Will it work? I hope so!

Time to go back to staring at my sexy nightstand!
Bye for now,

Madelene

Monday, 25 May 2015

Travel Capsule Item: Tan Loafers

loafers: day to night




I thought I'd start off my Travel Capsule Segment with a staple that has been in my wardrobe for more than a year and that I can't leave without: my tan loafers.

Flats are amazing when you're planning to spend the day exploring a city but, while ballerina flat don't usually offer much support, loafers can be as comfy as a trainer but much more dressy, if the situation calls for it.
They are great for Spring and Autumn and they are easy to slip on and off during your Airport Security check.

Personally I love Geox Loafers (and Geox shoes in general) because they have the added bonus of allowing your feet to breath. I have a pair that is very similar to the one in the picture but in a slightly cooler tone.
For me, the best loafers for traveling are the leather ones in a tan color with a streamline cut but if you're into the bright boat-type loafers, I think navy, coral and electric blue are great options.

To give you an idea of how versatile they can be, I styled them with a pair of boyfriend jeans and a t-shirt for the day, and with a striped peplum shirt and black trousers for the night.
But you can also pair them with regular jeans, flowy skirts and casual dresses.

That's it for today. I hope you enjoyed this post.
There are plenty more travel styling tips to come, so stay tuned!
Bye for now,

Madelene

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Home life vs Travel life


It happened again!
I was walking through London Borough Market, perusing the street food section, my mouth watering as I was choosing something to eat for lunch and I thought "I wish I could shop here every day!".

But I can't, I was in London just for the weekend, soon enough I'd be going back home.

I love Milan (that's where home is, by the way) and I'm pretty sure there are some amazing markets here too. But it's different. I'm different.
I'm not my wanderlusting enthusiastic tourist self when I'm at home, I'm just normal everyday me.
I'm a busy always-on-the-go private teacher running from one appointment to the next and ignoring the beauty around me.

Not anymore!
I made a decision after my weekend in London: I'll start living more like a tourist (even especially when I'm at home)!
So here I am, ready to chronicle my daily life, my exploration of Milan (and hopefully other cities as well) and the changes I'll make to live more like the person I am when I'm traveling.

What can you expect to find here?
Capsule wardrobe attempts, packing tips, urban adventures, cooking experiments, decluttering and so much more.

Hope you'll stay for the ride.
Bye for now,

Madelene