Author page: brownpaperdoll

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Travel Diary: Amsterdam

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Sometimes a city just speaks to you. For Jason, it was when he visited London for the first time. He felt like it was HIS city. I love traveling, experiencing different cultures and enjoying the sights, sounds and food – but there are very few times when I’ve truly fallen in love with a city. Well…on my recent trip, I absolutely fell in love with Amsterdam. The people, the fashion, the architecture – I felt like it was MY city. A quainter New York, where everyone was hip, the fashion was envy-inducing and the people had ease and charm that was refreshing to say the least.

 

One of the details that made my trip so incredible was my stay at The Dylan Hotel. The Dylan, a luxury boutique hotel, is located directly one of the city’s most gorgeous canals. Because of it’s size – the hotel has an attention to detail that I found unparalleled. It had a Michelin star restaurant on the property, which I confess I never actually made it to. However, I did enjoy the lounge, the brasserie, and the incredible courtyard. When the hotel discovered that we were visiting, they actually treated us to a “High Wine” experience which was their take on a high tea meets wine tasting. Our room – extremely large by European standards – had all the comforts of home (comfy bed, Bose speakers, espresso machine) plus more. I took a relaxing bath in the oversized tub every single night! Like I mentioned, it was the service and the attention to detail that really made the Dylan special. For instance, they would send warm chocolate cookies to the room before bed. I was in heaven!

 

Besides the hotel being spectacular, I really enjoyed the neighborhood. It was located in the trendy “nine streets” district that reminded me of a West Village vibe. I loved popping in and out of boutiques, cafes, and bakeries as we strolled along the canals. The only caution is to look out for bikes, because they are literally EVERYWHERE. And because we spent our days walking up and down the city, I made sure to pack comfortable walking shoes, my favorite Spanx leather leggings, lots of layers for breezy and rainy weather, and block heels for going out at night! Stilletos and cobblestones aren’t an ideal mix!

 

When I go to a city I love to explore the neighborhoods and just soak in the culture. But one of my absolute musts in a new city is to visit some museums! In Amsterdam we made sure to visit the Rijkmuseum and also the Modern Contemporary Museum (or Moco Museum if you’re googling), where we saw the Banksy and Dali exhibit. In all honesty, I wish we would’ve gone to the Van Gogh Museum – but time didn’t allow. I find there’s a delicate balance between making plans and feeling free to wander. And wander we did! All in all our trip was amazing and Amsterdam definitely has a newfound place in my memories and heart. I can’t wait until our next visit!

 

What about you dolls? Have you ever been to Amsterdam? If so, what was your favorite part?

 

Thank you to The Dylan Hotel for partnering on this post!

Features

Borrowed From The Boys

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As you guys know, I’ve recently returned from a trip to Dublin and Amsterdam. What an amazing time!
Before I go on any trip, I tend to write down my ideas for outfits to ensure that I don’t under or overpack. You guys have seen how freakishly organized I am about my outfits, so packing for a trip is no exception. I list out my ideas and it gets me to a good starting point where I can edit outfits as necessary. For example, I see how many times I can wear a pair of jeans – do I need two? Am I only wearing a top once? Maybe I nix it…. You get the idea!

 

After looking over my list, I came to two conclusions – my outfits were all in the black and navy family, AND I desperately needed a pair of everyday shoes for walking around the cities. Now that I’m in Atlanta, I have the ability to wear heels to work because I now have access to my car. Comfortable walking shoes have fallen down the priority list since I’ve left New York. So when I was approached by Caterpillar about their comfortable footwear, I was really intrigued. Caterpillar? I thought they only made machinery. Boy was I wrong! My friends there sent me a pair of stylish oxfords, which I thought would pair nicely with my black and navy ensembles. Let me tell you – these are the most comfortable pair of shoes that I’ve ever put on my feet! No lie, no exaggeration. They literally feel like sliding your foot onto a mattress, the sole is so cushioned and comfy! Besides the comfort, I love the shape of a classic oxford, as I think it can bring some “boyish charm” to an outfit. In my case, I decided to the take the look a step further, pairing the oxford with menswear inspired details: pinstriped pants, a newsboy cap, and a boxy leather jacket. I wore this outfit all around Europe, and the shoes were ideal given the long strolls along the Amsterdam canals and the particularly rainy, Irish weather. It’s true what they say…girls just wanna have fun, but sometimes you gotta borrow from the boys!

 

Thank you to Caterpillar Footwear and AMP3 PR for partnering on this post!

Lust List

Shades of Gray

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This week I’m talking shades of gray…not 50, just 6. Navy and gray are my two favorite neutrals, so as the weather turns towards Fall, I thought I’d do a roundup of my top gray picks. Just be warned, the color might be icy, but these items are HOT!

 

1. Ok so this technically isn’t gray- but put black and white together and voila! Plus, this dress is just too beautiful to not be on a lust list. The sleek and sexy shape brings the sex appeal, while the bow adds a touch of whimsy to really make a statement at the next cocktail party or dinner on the town. And not to be one of those creeps that thinking about the holidays way too early, but I think this stunner would be amazing for holiday parties under a glam coat.

 

2. Nothing says Fall like a cozy sweater, and this one brings something special to the table. Again, not gray – but here’s the white to mix with #1’s black dress. I love the flirty off-the-shoulder silhouette of this pullover sweater! It brings the Summer’s trend into a new season without looking too overplayed or skimpy. Also, the slouchy fit and ribbed texture make it seem even cozier than it should with some skin showing. I love it and I’m going to try this on later in the week. Stay tuned to see if I actually get it or not – it’ll be on my Instagram Stories!

 

3. Here we go with the gray. I think it’s easy to go for black or tortoise glasses, and sometimes gray gets overlooked. Fun fact, my first pair of nice sunglasses was an icy pair of Roxy’s from the Quicksilver store. I thought the gray was so unique and cool. High five seven year old self…you were stylish even back then! These Gentle Monster frames over oversized and glam (I love the touch of gold) without being too over the top. Sigh, I wish I hadn’t lost those Roxy’s all those years ago.

 

4. This bag is a total fashion girl’s bag. Disclaimer, I haven’t seen it in person yet, so jury is out on if it looks like tin foil in real life. But based on the pictures, I can’t get it out of my head! I think this is so cool with a pair of jeans and the #2 sweater. It adds some flash to an outfit, but looks so expensive and high-end. Also, I think the size is really great for essentials and I love the structure. Might have to hunt this one down to see in person…if I do, it’ll be on my Instagram!

 

5. Speaking of jeans… These H&M beauties remind me of my L’Agence studded pair, but won’t break the bank. I like that these have a more broken-in boyfriend fit that will be really cool with the sweater and silver bag I’m obviously going to buy myself! But seriously, wear these with a slinky top for going out at night or with a slouchy sweater to jazz up your casual jean look for work. Also going to try these on this week!

 

6. These shoes make my heart stop they’re so beautiful. I love the juxtaposition of a more casual texture (the flannel) with the oversized jewel buckle. While I can appreciate the beauty and elegance of the Hangisi heel, the satin versions often seen were just too formal and Cinderella for me. In my fairytale, Cinderella would wear these heels with some ripped jeans and a houndstooth blazer to work. Ok, back to reality – but these shoes are the top of my must-have for Fall. Hint Hint Jason, our anniversary is coming up!