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How do I love Contiki?  Let me count the ways.

Last month, my friend Alex and I went on our very first trip to Asia on a Contiki tour.  We did their Thai Island Hopper West, which included Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, and Krabi and we had the time of our lives!  I am sad that it took me so long to have a Contiki experience, but I am definitely hooked!  I wasn’t even home yet and I was already planning and dreaming up my next tour with them.  Maybe South America or India.  There are so many possibilities!

I’m sure you already know them, but if you aren’t familiar with Contiki, they’re a travel company that does tours all over the world specifically for 18-35 year olds.  They have tons of different options based on your travel style and time requirements.  I have a complete travel diary from Thailand coming up soon, but for now, I wanted to spread some Contiki love and explain the obsession.

I also recorded our trip and my heart seriously bursts every time I watch the footage.  I cannot even tell you how much fun our Thailand Contiki tour was, you just have to see it for yourself!

Thailand 2018 with Contiki | ALICIA FASHIONISTA - YouTube

1. Meeting New People

I absolutely love making new friends and connecting with people, it’s just really tough to do as an adult.  A trip like this, though, brings you together with people and intensifies friendships through experiences.  Whether you do a tour solo, with a friend, or a significant other, if you’re open to it, you will definitely forge new relationships.

I cherish the friendships Alex and I made on our Contiki trip so much.  Two of our pals have even already booked to come visit us here in Vancouver this summer!  It was getting to know so many great new people from around the world that really made this trip extra special.

2. Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone

I’ve been on trips where I get lazy and don’t venture far from the hotel, or am so tired I never can stay out past dinnertime.  That is definitely not the case with Contiki, in a great way.  You are pushed to explore, get out to see the sights, and yes, experience the nightlife.

At some point in my late twenties, I became a rather cautious person.  Which, in many ways, bothers me.  It’s so limiting and, well, pretty boring.  Because of Contiki, I went on my longest plane ride, jumped off the second story of a boat, swam with the fish, ate questionably vegetarian things, basically lived in a bathing suit for a week, had a water gun battle in the streets, danced the night away, and pushed past so many fears or things I would have overthought and talked myself out of.  Their #NoRegrets policy was my mantra through moments that scared me and it felt great accomplishing so many things I otherwise wouldn’t have.

3. Having A Knowledgeable Guide

It was such an asset having a leader to keep our group organized and informed.  From the moment we joined our group, I felt completely safe and in great hands.  Matt, our fearless captain, helped break the ice when we were all first introduced, made sure we knew important things about local culture, and threw in fun facts when he could.  During any sort of free time, he would have plenty of suggestions for activities and places to eat and never steered us wrong.  He made sure we were always having fun and was there as a resource, should we need it.  It was an unexpectedly appreciated part of the trip.

4. Really Great Value

Thinking back, I’m astonished at how much we squeezed into a week.  I definitely don’t think I would have accomplished so much in such a short amount of time on my own.  Actually, I KNOW that I wouldn’t have because I usually spend the first day in a new place rather disoriented.  Speaking only from our experience in Thailand, it was also easy on the finances.  There was so much included and anything that was additional didn’t break the bank at all.

5. Peace Of Mind

Look, I can be a bit of a ball of anxiety, especially when it comes to travel.  Being able to just let go and enjoy everything because it had been planned already?  That, my friends, is priceless.

Have you ever done a Contiki trip?  Where’d you go?  What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. If you’re thinking of booking a Contiki tour (and I so think you should), then you can get $100 OFF your trip with the code: PPALIFASHIONISTA

P.P.S. This trip was in partnership with Contiki and the Tourism Authority Of Thailand, but all opinions are 100% my own!  It was legitimately one of my all-time favourite trips and I just want to spread the Contiki love!

The post 5 Reasons To Travel Contiki appeared first on Alicia Fashionista.

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Hello, beautiful people!  It sure has been a while ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Every time I go on a trip I am so motivated to get stuff done while I’m away.  I map everything out and look forward to this extra productive superwoman I plan to be on vacation.  I mean, travel writing has been a lifelong dream of mine, shouldn’t be hard to do, right?  Instead, I usually end up distracted, with very limited wifi, and use any free moments answering emails or journalling about the day.  One day I will figure out how to manage my time abroad.  For now, I’ll just be an erratic writer and feel bad about it.

I finally think I’m over the post-vacay “can’t believe I’m home and not on a beach” blues.  And I do realize how privileged that sentence was, but it’s legit a thing.  We got slammed with tons of family and friend commitments upon returning, I had serious jet lag, and in general, my levels of concentration has been minimal at best.  Alas, I am currently listening to some 90’s jams on a Throwback Thursday playlist and finally getting around to this blog post, so NOTHING CAN STOP ME!

Anyway, about culottes.  They are my jam this year.  You guys know how I feel about comfort and jumpsuits and combining the two is a recipe for a signature look.  This particularly darling piece is from COSSAC . A brand I’ve declared my love for here and here.  I seem to gravitate towards something from their collection, in black, every season.  It’s a connection with Agatka and the brand’s commitment to slow fashion and sustainable design that keeps me coming back!  I also can’t stop wearing these white Wittner sandals.  They’re perfectly 90’s and go with everything in my spring/summer wardrobe.  It’s just safe to say that this neutral combination will likely be repeated many more times this season.

How have you guys been?  I’ve missed you and am looking forward to catching up over the next few weeks!

Black Strappy Jumpsuit c/o COSSAC | I am wearing a size L, and it’s true to size.  I adore the slit in the leg and that the elastic waist cinches in really snug!
White ‘Dafina’ Sandals c/o Wittner
Circle Straw Crossbody Bag from Urban Outfitters
Gold Hoop Earrings from Urban Outfitters

The post The Perfect Culotte Jumpsuit appeared first on Alicia Fashionista.

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Let’s chat business!  This is the first post in celebration of my upcoming 10 year blogging anniversary (and includes a sweet giveaway at the end, so be sure to read on).

This month marks 10 years since I started this blog.  Something that I never considered would be a viable career path, and yet here we are!  It’s all because the #WayWeWork is drastically changing.  I learned a ton about this at workischanging.ca and was shocked to read statistics about the shifts happening within the job market.  It’s such an exciting and transformative time in the workplace!

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”  – Steve Jobs

I don’t have the magic formula to entrepreneurial success, but I really wanted to share some honest things that I’ve learned over the years with you.  Hope you enjoy!

5 Tips For Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Do Work You Care About

You have to show up every day and give it everything you have.  If you don’t believe in what you do, then business ownership will be an even tougher battle than it already is.  On those really taxing days, you need to be able to check in and define the purpose behind what you’re doing to keep going.  I find it to be one of the most beautiful things about passionate entrepreneurs.  Whether they’re an artist, consultant, or providing a product or service, you feel that they’re also sharing a bit of their heart with you.  And when someone, to their core, believes so much about what they’re doing (entrepreneur or not), it’s absolutely contagious.

Admit Your Strengths and Weaknesses

I’ve come to realize that being self aware is one of the most valuable things as an entrepreneur or leader (and an adult in general, but that’s for another post).   Being comfortable enough with yourself as a business owner to pinpoint, “Okay, I’m really great at emails, but can’t seem to understand how to create social media posts.” Or, “I have this wonderful product and I know so much about the market, but not so much about the numbers side of things” is going to do wonders for you and your business.

There’s no such thing as the perfect person.  We will all have aspects in our working lives that could use improvement, or that no matter what, we just won’t really thrive at.  That is okay!  We can’t have it all.  Being cognizant of your traits will only help you delegate and potentially expand your business in the future.  Which brings me to my next point.

Know When To Ask For Help

Besides my anxiety, this has been my biggest struggle as an entrepreneur.  I wish that all those years ago I had decided not to be so stubborn about asking for help (a lifelong trait of mine).  Receiving coaching and having built in support is vital for any business to blossom.  I love that organizations like Futurpreneur help turn ideas into businesses.  Futurpreneur provides both mentorship, as well as financial support to Canadian entrepreneurs between the age of 18-39 and wish that I’d had the confidence all those years ago to consider my ideas worthy of that sort of backing.

Especially as a sole proprietor, another way to ask for help is expanding your team.  Outsourcing and delegating when the time is right, can free up some space in your schedule for essential things like business development.  In combination with the above point, knowing where you need the most help is going to do wonders for hiring.  Again, something that a great mentor can help guide you through.

Embrace Pivots and Change

Things really don’t always go as planned.  My entrepreneurial journey was full of twists and turns.  I left my 9-5 to start a social media management company, particularly in growing online community for local small businesses.  I’d seen an opening in the market for such a specialty and the demand proved to be there.  Especially since I was 24 when I started this, I think things went fairly well.  I landed some amazing clients, was able to bring on some part time help, and was growing a ton.  The problem, was that expansion was happening faster than what I could realistically keep up with and suddenly my business model didn’t really make sense.  Managing brand voice, content creation and calendars, meetings with clients, seasonal campaigns, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Blogs everyday for several businesses became nearly impossible.  It started making more sense for some of these companies to source their content creation and social sharing in-house.  My performance and confidence took a major dive because my once thriving business was suddenly not working out.  As contracts wrapped up, I took a few months off to reevaluate what I wanted to do.

In January 2016, after soooo much reflection, I saw another opportunity to try blogging full time.  Which, yes, blogging is a full time job regardless, but I was finally giving it the time and attention that I’d always wanted to.  And you know what?  There was no failure in ending my social media management company.  Everything I learned on that AMAZING path led me to become the businesswoman I am today.  I had to pivot from my original idea, but that’s just the reality of being an entrepreneur.  I might even have other businesses in the future.  We all know I’m absolutely full of ideas!

Just Get Started

The career landscape is changing and taking the leap isn’t as isolating as it once was.  There’s so much support and understanding out there now that I wish had been prevalent when I was young and unsure.  Who would have ever guess that blogging would be a viable career path 10 years ago?  I sure didn’t!  But, if I’d never started, I absolutely would not be writing this today.

I think it’s good to be prepared with a business plan and to do some research beforehand, but don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis.   Take the big leap!  There’s some really great resources out there, including lots of info and posts on workischanging.ca.

Don’t Expect Success Overnight

Anyone who hits their stride right away is the exception, not the rule.  Entrepreneurial work takes dedication and time.  Which, is tough when we’re so used to instant gratification these days.  Go into business with a realistic timeline and financial projections for yourself.  The money won’t necessarily come flooding in, but when it does, you’ll be so glad you stuck it out!

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business or turning your side hustle into a full time gig?  What’s been holding you back?  I’d love to hear more in the comments below!

I also want to give you the chance to get some guidance, something that I wish I’d sought out when I got started!

THE GIVEAWAY

Enter to WIN an one hour of 1-on-1 coaching time with Futurpreneur’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence!  This is such a fantastic opportunity for anyone who is dreaming of making their idea a reality, working multiple gigs, wishing they could dive into entrepreneurship full time, or who is already a business owner who could use some support.

To enter, all you have to do is hop on over to my Instagram and

  1. Follow @Futurpreneur
  2. Leave a comment explaining what you’d love mentorship for (I know for me, it would be about expanding my business to be able to bring someone on) #WayWeWork
  3. Bonus entries for every friend you tag to do the same!

Contest open to Canadians only and ends April 18th, 2018 at 6 pm PST. Winner will be chosen at random and contacted soon after.

This is a partnered post with Futurpreneur Canada, the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39.  They are amazing, see more of what they do here! As always, opinions are my own.

The post 6 Tips For Aspiring Entrepreneurs + A Giveaway appeared first on Alicia Fashionista.

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This month, I’m living in resort wear because I’m off to…

It’s surreal that I’m here to tell you that I am leaving town for the remainder of April.  That’s right, the entire rest of the month.  I’ve never had to set an out of office notification for such an extended period of time.  Not that I’m really great at promptly answering messages anyway, but that’s neither here nor there.

I am feeling grateful, completely spoiled and at this point, a little stressed.

How did this all come about, you’re wondering?

Well, first of all, my Blogger BFF and I are off to…Thailand!  We’ll be spending 8 days in paradise with Contiki.  I’ve never been to Asia and I’ve never done a tour before, so I’m really looking forward to experiencing new and exciting things that are a bit outside of my comfort zone.  We’ll be on their Thai Island Hopper West, which includes Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, and Krabi.  Have you ever been?  Have you done a Contiki Tour before?  What should I know?

I fly back and then have a day and a half to frantically do laundry and re-pack before Adam and I go meet my family in Kauai!  We’re doing a big family vacay to Hawaii which will be hectic like family trips are, but hopefully also recharging.  It has been so much fun shopping resort wear for these sunny adventures, I can’t wait to show you all the cute things I’ve packed!

There will still be plenty of blog posts coming your way over the month of April.  I have, for maybe the first time in years, a bunch of posts scheduled.  Plus, my trips are always working vacations.  I don’t know if I have ever been able to go away without my laptop in tow.

I am totally at that point where I’m unreasonably sad to leave Reggie, even though he’s going to be just fine without me.  It’s more that I struggle to leave him (I seem to be the one with separation anxiety lol).  Have to finish packing, some last minute errands to run and loose ends to tie up before I jet, but once I’m sitting on that plane tonight, I’m sure it’s all going to sink in.  Then I can relax and let myself be excited!

I’ll be vlogging all of it and posting regularly on Instagram while we’re away, so be sure to keep up with the adventures on IG @aliciafashionista. Love and light, my friends xo

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I’m in head-to-toe Nordstrom, c/o, as we took these photos for my recent Instagram collaboration with them (though, this is not a sponsored post).  These were some of my spring picks from their Vancouver location!

Leith Wide Leg Trousers
Polka Dot 4SI3NNA Top
Vince Camuto Sasseta Sandal
Similar-ish Earrings

The post Resort Wear 2018 appeared first on Alicia Fashionista.

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Nettle’s Tale named a bikini after yours truly and someone pinch me!

I first heard of Nettle’s Tale when they started on a crowdfunding site.  The founder, Julia, was pitching a locally made swim line that was thoughtfully designed for women of all sorts of shapes and sizes.  I remember watching the video and feeling an instant connection to this woman and her designs.

When the collection was launched, it was sold in a local store, and I was able to finally meet Julia in person and try on some of her suits.   I ended up purchasing ‘The Julia’ because it had supportive underwire, and wore it on our honeymoon in Italy, which you can see it briefly at the beginning of this video.  The bottoms I got to match are called The Magic Bottoms and they are literal bathing suit witchcraft.  So comfy and perfect for mix and matching. I now own them in cranberry and black.  They also go really well with my Heather Top.  As you can tell, I have been a big fan of Nettle’s Tale since day one.

That’s why, when Julia reached out two years ago (yes, it has taken this long from concept to execution) and said she wanted to design a suit with me in mind, I was over the moon and slightly nervous.  I mean, what a dream come true.  I loved Nettle’s Tale and knew that she’d create something spectacular.

Read on to find out how The Alicia swimsuit came about and be sure to use code  SUMMER2018AF if you’re shopping Nettle’s Tale for Free Standard Shipping.

THE ALICIA SUIT

We envisioned a bathing suit top that would have a unique design, while still supporting my large bust.  Julia had the idea to make the top look like it was a t-shirt tied as a crop, which I loved!  It’s such a fun way to cover up the chest area, with hidden underwire support underneath for D-H cups.  Plus, if you untie the knot it makes the perfect triangle cover of the tummy area.  It’s a secret weapon for poolside nachos and/or vacation bloat LOL.

What separates Nettle’s Tale from other generic brands, is the carefully thought out customizations.  We opted for practical double straps that are adjustable and can be criss crossed in the back for extra support.  The hook in the back has three length options, which helps those who’s band and cup size aren’t a conventional match.  Just a note, if the hook is slippery or too wide, crossing the straps will keep things together, or Julia said there’s a possible other hook option.  She even went as far as making The Alicia top available without underwire, so that we would accommodate those who are XS-XL.

My other request was the highest waist bottoms she could possibly create.  I feel most comfortable in a high waisted suit and I think it can be quite flattering on an hourglass shape (and other shapes, I’m sure, not trying to limit the wearability).  In general, it provides the coverage of a one piece without the hassle of it.  And at this point in my life, I could care less about tanning my midriff, so I have no problem covering it up!

And you guys, I am so in love with how it all turned out.  It even looks great on a dreary rainy grey Vancouver day!

In case you’re wondering, I am wearing The Alicia top in white, underwire size DD (am a Large in the non underwire style) and The Alicia bottoms in yellow floral size M.  For reference, I wear a streetwear size 10.

It was such an honour to witness the design process and to have a small temporary part in this local business.  I am just so proud of Julia and her team for getting where they are today and taking their brand to the next level with their new Gastown store.  If you are local to Vancouver, or in town at all, I highly recommend paying Nettle’s Tale a visit and trying on her suits in person.  The fitting room experience with those ladies is always encouraging and individualized, making the search for a suit a pleasant one!

The Nettle’s Tale Store is at 330 W. Cordova Street, Vancouver

Shop Nettle’s Tale online and use code  SUMMER2018AF  for Free Standard Shipping (on orders over $59) or, visit them in store and let them know that Alicia sent ya!  Either way, 10% of your purchase will go to the Looking Glass Foundation, which is a caring community of prevention, early intervention, and support for those suffering from anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders — and those who love them.

Photos by the darling Meghan Bustard and her “assistant” Rosie.

Also, I wanted to be transparent that this swimsuit was generously given to me by Nettle’s Tale because I mean, she basically made it for me and it’s truly the most special gift.  Thank you all for your support today and always.  Hope you love the suit as much as we do! xo

The post ‘The Alicia’ Swimsuit by Nettle’s Tale appeared first on Alicia Fashionista.

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It’s officially Spring!

My Spring Capsule Wardrobe HAS to start with this polka dot jumpsuit.  A piece that I must confess, I feel like I sort of stole?  Not like I swiped it from the clothing rack of a boutique, but I didn’t really pay for it.  I’d ordered this beauty online at the beginning of January, after weeks of trying to justify the purchase, thinking that it would be the starting point and staple of my spring/summer wardrobe.  Time went on and on and by mid February I was concerned for its whereabouts.  I’d hoped to wear it to my friend’s stagette in Mexico at the beginning of March, but that was clearly not going to happen.  I contacted the site, they were really helpful and I asked if I could be sent a replacement.  It was sold out, so they refunded me instead.  Then, 3 weeks later, guess what shows up at my front door?!  This silly jumpsuit must have been hanging out at some customs depot for a few months and magically was released to me after I got my money back for it.  I don’t feel that bad about not paying for it though, as I did have to wait almost 3 months for it to arrive.  I’m sure the store understands, right?  RIGHT?!

Anyway, as we’re gradually easing into warmer weather, I thought I’d style this sucker two different ways.  One for these sunny but still chillier days and then an option for when those hot rays of sunshine that will hopefully beam down on us within the next few months.

I have been seeing polka dots everywhere, especially in jumpsuit/romper form for this season.  I’m sad that this particular style is sold out, but I’ve linked to some similar polka dot jumpsuits below!

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For Now:

One of the reasons the patterned culotte jumpsuit was so appealing to me, besides the comfort, was the fact that it could easily be dressed down and paired with white runners.  The versatility is essential to me these days, as I mentioned in my post the other day.

This look was perfect for running errands and those days that I’m in and out of the office.  It was so easy to layer a leather jacket over (and I mean, it IS leather weather) and if it got extra chilly, I had a blanket scarf in my giant tote bag.  It’s all about those basic layers while we ease into spring, especially when you’re trying to rock culottes and short sleeves.

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For Later:

Once the temperature warms up, I’m going to be rocking this standout polka dot jumper with open-toe shoes and a basket bag.  I’d ordered these platform sandals from ASOS thinking they’d be my go-to summer sandal for a bit of height.  They fit really well (came in a wide option, which is always a bonus) but they’re unfortunately a bit heavier than I’m used to.  Not necessarily a deal breaker, but I’ll have to wait and see what they’re really like to walk around in.

A beaded red statement earring really brings this fun look together and I can’t wait to rock this on my vacation next month!

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P.S. Huge thanks to The Pipe Shop for the gorgeous location and to Alex for helping me snap these photos!

The post Styling A Polka Dot Jumpsuit appeared first on Alicia Fashionista.

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A few unique ideas for your next trip to Rome, Italy!

I really hope that travel recommendations don’t expire, because these ideas are from our Roma trip back in September 2015.  I’m just that kind of travel blogger these days, giving you city guides years later ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Like a whirlwind romance, I fell hard and fast for this beautiful, historic city.  It was the first stop on our 3 week Italian honeymoon.  We spent 5 days in Rome and then a bonus last night there at the very end of our adventure before flying home.

An initial visit to an iconic place like Rome is going to warrant a lot of your typical tourist activities. We had to see the Colosseum, Roman Forum, St. Peter’s Basilica, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Victor Emmanuel II Monument, Saint Peter’s Square, etc.   It was my first time there, but since Adam had been a few times before, we were also looking for some slightly different ideas for places to see and things to do.  We had the best time and wanted to share a few ideas that might elevate your trip to Rome.  Hope you enjoy!

Go To A Football (Soccer) Game

One of my new travel traditions is to go to a sporting event in the place I’m visiting.  What can I say? I married an intelligent bro, this is my life now.  Goooooo Sports!  A home game gives you a guaranteed hang with locals and is always such a fun time.  Since we were no where near Adam’s beloved Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, a few of our friends got us a seriously thoughtful wedding gift: two tickets to a local soccer match at Stadio Olimpico!  They had the tickets delivered to our hotel room and everything, you should have seen Adam’s face.  It was amazing.

En route to the stadium, the clouds rolled in and some light rain began, the first we’d seen on our trip.  That escalated to a full on downpour as we made our way through the gates.  The drops were so large and intense, it honestly felt like movie set rain.  A bit lost, we ran outside what must have been the entire length of the stadium, searching for our entrance.  When we finally found our spot, we were soaked to the core, it was as though we’d jumped into a pool with our clothes on.  Our spots were close to the pitch, but those seats were open to the elements, so we chose some random ones further back to dry off and maybe warm up.  Our section had pretty sparse attendance, but to our left was the hometown crowd that is caged in by the glass partitions.

The game was Lazio versus Udinese and witnessing the passion of these Italian fans was the best people watching imaginable.  So many hand gestures.  Every move and play and call was debatable to these people.  We watched as groups of friends disagreed and moved seats, too heated to continue watching the game side by side.  Don’t worry, they were all handshakes and laughs once the match was over.

We marvelled at the concession options at the stadium.  Adam got a beer, I got an espresso shot and popcorn.  We absolutely lived for Lazio scoring, so we could witness the hundreds of fans beside us rush towards the pitch in celebration.  Lazio ended up taking home the big win at home, 2-0.  It was our favourite night in Rome.

Explore The Monti District

After some research for our bonus last day in Rome before flying home, I found a few mentions of an area called Monti.  It’s actually really close to the colosseum, but the sort of  neighbourhood you wouldn’t know was there unless you went looking.  Which, is why so many locals hangout there.

We started with some wine from the bar nearby and sat at the fountain chatting and recapping our entire trip.  The people watching was great from those steps, I love seeing the world go by in a big city.  After our vino, we grabbed some appies at a restaurant and then wandered the streets to see what else the area had to offer.  The clothing stores were amazing, I could have spent hours and lots of Euros rummaging through those vintage shops.

Basically, Monti is a neighbourhood I highly recommend if you like something with a little more personality than the touristy hotspots.

Hire A Private Vatican Tour Guide

Our private guide was a recommendation from my best friend’s mom.  I can’t remember how she found this guy, but he is a quirky retired professor who absolutely made our tour of the Vatican extra amazing.  He was a tad condescending with his questions, the way profs can be, but it made us laugh throughout the entire experience and kept us on our toes.

A private guide was a truly wonderful way to get a full and interesting Vatican experience without a big group.  If it’s too pricy, an alternative option is to purchase a ‘Skip The Line’ ticket.  Trust me, still worth the extra money to avoid those wait times!

Wander Trestavere At Night

I live for the way a city comes alive at nighttime, especially somewhere as hauntingly historic as Rome.  An evening in Trestavere is a must.  It’s where the people go for food and drinks and gathering.  You’ll find a mix of tourists and locals, but we always enjoyed being amongst the people after the sun goes down, their energy helps us fight that jet lag!

Eat Like A Local

Food is such a huge part of our travels and I can’t stand wasting a meal at a tourist trap restaurant.  Which, does happen from time to time and is always super frustrating.  It can be difficult to find the balance between overly researching top rated restaurants and just stumbling upon a gem.  Depending on where we’re visiting, our policy now is to do a bit of both.  It means that you aren’t guaranteed the best meal (would you be based on Yelp reviews anyway?), but that you aren’t completely blocking yourself from a unique find.  And it’s those unexpectedly spectacular meals that really make for a memorable travel moment.

This particular photo is from our last night in Rome.  We took a Taxi to  Flavio Al Velavevodetto and stuffed our faces with one final pasta feast.  With drool-worthy grilled peppers and bread to start, of course.

If you haven’t already, check out the VLOG of our Rome portion of our honeymoon.  Always gives a different perspective and truly makes these photos come to life.

Honeymoon in Rome, Italy - YouTube

Oh, and you can’t miss the rest of our honeymoon in Italy!  Check out all the posts below:

Rome Travel Guide
Venice Photos
Venice Travel Guide
24 Hours in Florence
Cinque Terre Photos
Cinque Terre Travel Guide
Positano Photos
Positano Travel Guide

The post 5 Cool Things To Do In Rome appeared first on Alicia Fashionista.

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What happens when your wardrobe doesn’t feel like you anymore?  I recently went through a bit of a personal style crisis and this is what I learned.

When I was in my 20’s, I would go clubbing and to restaurants for most meals.  I valued always wearing something new and was constantly shopping.  I worked in an office and stocked up on a lot of business casual pieces.  The importance of image outweighed comfort.  I cared about trends and having every outfit stand out, and wore heels to my 9-5 and pretty much any time I went out.  It was all about dressing up, looking good, and showing off my figure.  I was young and working in the fashion industry and then started my own business in my mid-twenties.  It was a decade of relatively carefree fun and I’m so glad I went through it, especially while I had all that energy!

Adam and I recently renovated our bedroom and I was switching from an IKEA Pax to a DIY open concept closet system, which meant that I spent months sorting through our belongings.  It was quite therapeutic to declutter my wardrobe (you can see my top closet decluttering tips in this post) and I cut my clothing and accessories down to about 40% of what I’d started with.  Which is HUGE progress!

As this past winter was winding down, I reevaluated the remaining contents of my closet and noticed that I really only wear a quarter of what was hanging in front of me.

That’s when I realized that I wasn’t dressing for this season of my life.   I think I was holding onto who I was in my twenties, even though I didn’t even necessarily want to be that person any more.

Guys, I work from home and have a dog now.  I’m here a LOT.  I own like 8 pairs of black cotton leggings that I rotate through as loungewear and I flipping love it.  I need comfort and practicality over anything else.  I wear snow boots in the snow, rain boots in the rain, and a giant warm winter coat on cold days.  With our dog having separation anxiety, going out for dinner and/or dressing up is a rare occurrence.  And that’s fine with me.  It makes going out even more special than it ever used to be and I love playing dress up for it.  Plus, the health and dietary benefits of cutting out restaurant meals has been huge for Adam and I.  Mini skirts, sexy dresses, and towering platforms have no use to me and I prefer to minimize my cleavage rather than show it off.  I’d rather shop smarter and less often.  I value classic pieces that are versatile.

For a while, I felt bad about how casual I’ve become, especially as a “fashion blogger”.  Once I stopped fighting it and began embracing things, I found a sense of peace getting dressed each day. Wearability and style don’t have to be disconnected and this doesn’t mean I’m any less happy or not dressing for what feels like me.  I just think that I’ve changed, in a completely organic way and I’m finally letting go of the idea of old me and embracing this natural lifestyle shift.

I see this happening to others all around me.  People who are holding onto an old size or body shape.  Friends going from pregnancy to motherhood and having to figure out who they are as moms and how to dress for that.  People grasping onto old trends or how they felt years ago.  Retirees with untouched outfits in the back of a closet from previous jobs.  So many of us are guilty of holding onto pieces for ridiculous “just in case” scenarios.   We should own who we are now, in this current season.  It will change again, I assure you, but you’re worth putting in the effort to look and feel like yourself right now, don’t you think?

And since this epiphany is pretty fresh, I’m still learning.  I’ve bought dresses that I should have known I’d never wear or purchased things that better suit my old life.  But, I am now intensely feeling the importance of loving everything I wear and that feeling good can look a number of ways.  Most of which is a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers these days.  The biggest block I am working through is about re-wearing things.  It’s tough to shed the narrative that sporting a look or item multiple times is frowned upon, as it’s deeply ingrained in me.  That silly idea that you have to buy something new for special occasions like a wedding or vacation. I hate how wasteful that was and am trying to be better about buying multi purpose things and documenting how I remix these outfits.

The capsule wardrobe has been very helpful with this and I will be chatting more about this concept in upcoming posts.  Do you relate to these ideas at all?  If you have a similar story to tell, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

‘Lucy’ High Waist Skinny Denim c/o Mavi
‘Brunette’ Florence Vegan Leather Jacket c/o Brunette The Label
Classic White Runners from Vans

The post Navigating A Personal Style Crisis appeared first on Alicia Fashionista.

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The photos speak for themselves!

I truly didn’t know what I was missing in a phone until I was introduced to the Google Pixel 2.  Besides its sleek and minimal design, this phone has it all.  If you follow me on Instagram, or read this post, then you’ve likely seen some of what the mighty Google Pixel 2 phone can do.  I still can’t believe I can snap such high quality, clear imagery with a PHONE!

I had the perfect chance to test out the Google Pixel 2’s abilities on my recent trip to Europe.  My adventures to London, Malta, Amsterdam, and Ireland were noticeably simplified with such a cutting edge piece of technology.

I mentioned it briefly in this post, but read on below to find out just a few of the many reasons why I’m now #TeamPixel!

The Camera Is Insane

I cannot stress this enough.  I am continually blown away by the imagery that the Google Pixel 2 can capture.  Look at how sharp these photos are!  How the colours translate so vibrantly.  Thanks to OUI and HDR, the way the camera functions in low light settings often outperforms my DSLR and mirrorless cameras.  Plus, Google was smart enough to gift us with a front facing camera with the exact same advanced denoising abilities.  My selfie game has vastly improved LOL.  In Amsterdam, the weather was cold and completely unpredictable, so I ended up leaving my mirrorless camera at the hotel and relying solely on my Pixel.  I was able to take stunning photos and video, I am editing the VLOG now and can’t wait to share it with you guys!

The Built In Google Assistant

“Hey google, where’s the nearest coffee shop?” Being able to chat with the Google Assistant is super helpful (and sure cures some solo travel loneliness), especially while you’re on the go.  Google can lead the way and answer those questions about your surroundings by researching while you move.  It is the best!  I love how my Google Home Mini connects to all things Pixel, I talk to Google every day and ask about the weather, my schedule, etc.  I use it as a bluetooth speaker too, it’s such a perfect intro into a smart home!

It’s The Little Things

I have such an appreciate for the battery life on the Google Pixel 2.  It lasts a decent amount and it also charges rapidly so you’re not stuck beside an outlet in the corner of a restaurant just so that your phone can gain 5% in twenty minutes.  I love how it has unlimited storage for my photos.  It operates quickly and is really user friendly.  Since I use Google so much with work and my everyday life, the phone felt familiar from day one.

The Google Lens

Have you ever arrived home from a trip and spent a ton of time trying to figure out what some of the photos you took are of?  Another travel feature I love, is that I can click on a photo I’ve taken and if it’s a notable building or spot, Google can tell me exactly where and what it is, as well as some history behind it.  This works in the moment too, so you can almost do a self guided fun fact tour.  How cool is that?!

Aren’t the Google Pixel 2 images unreal?  I am telling you, that my photography game is forever changed.  If you’re thinking of switching over to Google, let me know if you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them!

This post was in partnership with Google. As always, opinions are my own.

The post Why You Need The Google Pixel 2 In Your Life appeared first on Alicia Fashionista.

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