Sipping Lemonade in Turtleneck and a Mini

Wearing: Free People Top, Free People Skirt, Celine Sunglasses, and Chloe Boots

Location: Lemonade

The weather in LA has been, needless to say, quite confusing. It's hot, then cold, then hot, then muggy. I don't know what's happening. Or yes I do know. It's a little something called global warming and climate change. And yes this is not a myth, it's real. 

Moving on from that. Last year LA's winter was COLD. This year LA's winter is HOT. Like 80 degrees hot! It's basically summer over here. Being in London for the past couple months, I'm definitely not taking it for granted. 

So here's an outfit that showcases, first, the confusing weather, and second, my love for Free People

I think it's safe to say that more than 50% of my closet is Free People. They're style is so me! Comfortable yet cute! My look today was about 66.6% Free People, as I got my top and my skirt from them. I was a little hesitant to wear a turtle with a mini skirt because really that makes no sense. But I loved how this look turned out. I walked around all day feeling extra girly haha. Pairing pieces that may not seem harmonious is one of my favorite things to do. This look mixes both purpose and textures. The delicate top lays so nicely above the more harsh studded denim mini. 

And I just wanted to say, get my favorite lemonade from Lemonade is the Watermelon Rosemary. 

 

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Vegan Friendly Coffee Shops in Graz

Veganism is not merely a trend. I've personally found that sticking to a vegan diet helps to improve my skin (acne issues, ugh) and overall energy levels! So when I'm on the road I'm always searching for vegan friendly coffee shops, as I spend a lot of my time drinking coffee.

Graz, Austria is one of the many European cities where stores, cafes, and restaurants have started to not only offer but label vegan foods and drinks for their customers. These are so far my favorite coffee shops in Graz! They offer a ton of vegan and dairy alternative options and their selections of coffee, tea, and pastries are mouthwatering! 

 
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Tribeka, the holy grail of coffee. Well, at least when you're in Graz it is. This hipster hang out serves up the best coffee you can probably find in the cute city. Sure, your wallet is going to hurt a little but your tastebuds will be hollering. Their baristas are well trained and their coffee is well brewed. The espresso slides so smoothly down. Dairy milk alternatives? Yes, of course! Oat milk, soy milk, and I believe they may also have rice and coconut. Oh, don't forget a pastry! They've got homemade carrot cake and vegan banana muffins, which are my usual picks. 

 
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Cafe Erde, or for my English speaking peeps, Cafe Earth is as it sounds...Earthy! They pride themselves on serving up some serious vegan friendly and vegetarian friendly cafe food. Their menu consists of dishes like vegan schnitzels and vegan burgers. Aside from food, since this is a coffee shop post, you can definitely grab a cup of coffee or tea here. Their tea lattes are made with REAL brewed tea! They have a daily offering of different pastries and desserts as well. Lastly, if you're looking for a cosy place to sit, their upstairs room is soooooo cute! They even have cushions so you can sit criss cross apple sauce on the floor and be extra casual. 

 
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Buna is run by coffee lovers for coffee lovers. The owners/baristas here are passionate about their coffee. They'll take the time to talk you through the different ways beans can be brewed and what makes one coffee machine different from the other. You can purchase your soy latte here, a homemade vegan banana bread, and a HUGE coffee machine that also has a HUGE price tag (like over 1000 bucks!). I love the interior here. They have a small space but they've made great use of it! Dazzling coffee machine displays downstairs and an modern industrial workspace feel upstairs. If the weather's nice, you can take a seat outside!   

 

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The Teddy

Wearing: Urban Outfitters Jacket, Free People Top, J Brand Jeans, Chloe Boots, and Celine Purse

Location: London, UK

"The Teddy" jacket has been taking over my Insta feed for DAYSSSS. Has yours also been filled with style bloggers everywhere trotting around in oversized fuzy tan zip ups, sweaters, cardigans, coats, etc.? 

Honestly, I've been looking for a jacket like this for ages. When I finally found one at Urban I was over the moon. Black, discreet, NO LOGOS. Oh god, no logos was for some reason the hardest thing to find. I opted for black instead of tan for the sole purpose of cleanliness. Basically, I spill everything, like everything. I was bound to get coffee on a light tan jacket. Also I wanted a jacket that I could just easily throw on over any outfit, so black it was. I'm so glad I made that decision. I seriously wear this jacket every day. For once, jk Urban makes good stuff, the jacket is cute and functional! Yes, it not only looks warm but, in fact, IS warm. 

 

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My Top 5 Coffee Shops in Central London

Coffee is a passion. Truly, it is. And if you disagree, we really can't be friends anymore. 

Okay, okay totally joking. We can still be friends. 

But, seriously, coffee is one of my passions. I LOVE coffee. And perks, caffeine really has no effect on me unless I drink like 10 espresso shots. That might be overdoing it a little... Anyways, since I've moved to London I've been to many many coffee shops. Trying to find the one just for me and hey look, I've found 5! 

These 5 shops are all in central London aka Zone 1. They're are tons of good coffee shops and cafes outside of central London but I like staying central. Can you blame me? 

I'm going to stop rambling now. Here's my top 5 favorite coffee shops in London! 

 
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1. Kaffeine 

Kaffeine is my number 1 pick. It's an independently owned Australian and New Zealand coffee shop with just 2 locations near Oxford Circus. They serve fresh baked pastries, small plates, and of course some rocking coffee. Both of their locations are quite small so don't expect to get a seat so easily. Even during midday it's quite busy in there. Plan for a grab and go but if you spot a spot take a seat and enjoy your coffee the way it should be enjoyed! 

Locations: 
66 Great Titchfield St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 7QJ
15 Eastcastle St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3AY

 
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2. Department of Coffee and Social Affairs 

Department of Coffee and Social Affairs. It has a bit of an uppity we're better than the rest attitude as their reputation but hey some times these type of places deserve to be a bit pretentious. The coffee here is divine. They also have a coffee + pastry deal for 4 Pounds. If that's not a steal in London, I don't know what is. 

Locations:
15 Sherwood St, Soho, London W1F 7ED
3 Lowndes Ct, Carnaby, London W1F 7HD
30 Warwick St Soho, London W1B 5AL
14–16 Leather Ln, London EC1N 7SU

 
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3. Workshop Coffee

Workshop Coffee is a no frills coffee shop. It's just good coffee, good pastries, and good conversation. You won't find any venti cups here. Everything comes in the class small cappuccino cups whether you're eating in or taking away. Aside from the wafting smell of espresso flowing out the door, the minimal industrial vibes here will be sure to pull you in and make you stay awhile. I find their espresso to be a bit stronger so if you're looking for a good kickstart to your day, this is definitely the place to be. 

Locations:
1 Barrett St, Marylebone, London W1U 1AX
80 Mortimer St, Marylebone, London W1W 7FE
60 Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2FD
7AD, 1 Old St, London EC1M

 
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4. Monmouth Coffee

Monmouth Coffee is straight up GREAT coffee. This is probably the most popular spot that I've listed so far. There's always lines of people spilling out of their tiny tiny shops. They also offer nothing but coffee. No chai tea lattes here! There's also no soy, oat, almond, coconut, hemp, etc. etc., milks offered here. Whole milk only. So lactose intolerant or diary free people steer clear! Monmouth coffee also sells a variety of coffee beans if you're looking to take home their perfected coffee selections. I also highly recommend you get their oh so fudgy brownie to pair with that silk like espresso. The brownies there are to die for, seriously. 

Locations:
27 Monmouth St, London WC2H 9EU
2 Park St, London SE1 9AB

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5. Timberyard Seven Dials 

Timberyard is one this list because it's my favorite place to sit and do work all day. They have a large downstairs area filled with comfy couches and also desks, for all you boring people. Just kidding! I work at the desks too. I only ever visit on weekdays because the weekends in Covent Garden and the Seven Dials area gets crazy crowded. Not trying to deal with that! Get there early, like before 3pm, if you want an easy time at grabbing a seat. Another thing that's great about Timberyard is that they have a variety of vegan and gluten free pastries, which the other coffee shops don't necessarily offer or have a large selection of. 

Locations:
7 Upper St Martin's Ln, London WC2H 9DL


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Keep Warm This Winter With a Parka

Wearing: Alice & Olivia Parka, Brandy Melville Top, Zara Scarf, J Brand Jeans, and Zara Boots

Location: Brick Lane, London

Wow, it's been quite awhile since I've posted a style post. We jumped right from summer looks to full on winter. Okay maybe not FULL ON winter. Because if that were the case I would be probably decked out in Patagonia and Canada Goose. Just kidding I'm not getting a Canada Goose, that would be CRAZY. 

Side note: I really want some more Patagonia stuff and I can't find a store in London that stocks the brand. So if you know of some secret store that I'm unaware of, drop a comment! You'll be saving my life. 

Okay onward. Today's post is all about parkas! Parkas are by far the most fashionably functional winter piece you could have in your closet. Now let's be honest with ourselves. Most "winter" wear that's cute, sparkly, velvety, and so on and so forth, is reallyyyy not that warm. Don't argue with me! You know it's true. That embroidered velvet coat you have from Anthropologie? Hell no you can't wear that in negative degrees! So being super warm and super stylish is not always super easy. UNLESS you have a super cute parka! 

Parkas match with almost about everything, depending on what color your parka is. Go with black. That's always the best choice. Versatility, my friends. Wear your parka with denim and sneakers, dress and platform heels, smart trousers and loafers, or even leggings and trainers. No matter what you're wearing underneath a black fur hooded parka will up your cool factor by 10 and up your warmth factor by 100. 

The one I have is from Alice & Olivia and it came with an insulated vest that you can't see in the photos. But, that extra layer really helps to add some extra heat. The fur is detachable and so is the entire hood, which gives me an easy way to create multiple looks with just 1 jacket. And unlike a fur or wool coat I don't have to be so careful with it. It's waterproof so rain, dirt, etc. comes right off. It's my perfect London accessory. I can also take it off in a few swift moves. This is pertinent in London. The underground, shops, restaurants, and bars all pump up their heat. So by the time your inside you'll be dying to rip off all of your layers. 

 

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Buying Jade at Hong Kong's Famed Jade Market
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Hong Kong Jade Market

The Hong Kong Jade Market is a place of wondrous gemstone marvels. There are stalls on stalls on stalls overflowing with jade beads, jade bracelets, jade figurines, and so much more. If you find yourself in the city and craving something a little special for yourself (or maybe a loved one!) you have to give the Jade Market a visit. 

The market is located on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong and open Monday through Saturday from 11AM to 5:45PM. It's super easy to get to! Just hop on the ferry that takes you from Central Pier No. 7 to Tsim Sha Tsui. From the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station it's about a 20 minute walk up Nathan Road. Take a left at Gascoigne Road and then you'll find the market on your right hand side. 

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When I was in Hong Kong with Oliver and Florian we were sure not to miss out on perusing these gem stoned filled stalls. I went in with no intentions of purchasing anything. And of course, no surprise here, ended up getting a little something for myself. It's almost impossible to walk out of there with nothing! 

We got super lucky while we were there. We met a vendor who was 1. not screaming at us trying to obnoxiously sell us something,  2. definitely not trying to scam us, and 3. taught us how to parse through the jade and pick the quality pieces. Now, I'm passing on these tips to you! 

What Matters When You're Buying Jade 

1. The Stone Should Be Imperfect

Jade stones comes in all different hues and shades of green. There are bright green ones, dark green ones, green spotted ones. Now you may think because the stone is a solid bright green color that this means it's a good stone. Wrong! Jade is a natural gemstone that means it should be IMPERFECT. The bracelets and pendants that are solid bright color have been highly tampered with and most likely contains very very little real jade. The higher quality ones will have variations in the color, looking more like droplets of green food color diffusing through water. 

2. The Stone Should Be Clear Not Cloud

Opacity matters when you're looking at jade. It's like shopping for diamonds. Higher levels of opacity or simply cloudiness means the gemstone is of lower quality. To check this just hold the stone up to the light and see how clear it is. The clearer the stone, the higher quality it is! 

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3. Each Gemstone Holds a Different Meaning

The market sells much more than jade. There are so many different types of gemstones and mineral rocks that you can get here. I actually bought myself not jade but a little moonstone elephant figurine. Here are some examples of the different meanings different stones and different figurines hold. 

Jade is for protection
Graphite is for good blood circulation
Moonstone is for clarity of mind 

Elephants are for good fortune
Turtles are for good health and longevity

4. The Jade Should Change The More You Wear It

This is obviously more applicable for after you've purchased your jade. But it's still important to know! The vendor told us that jade is meant to be worn and meant to be touched. Our naturally occurring skin oils mix with the jade and changes it's color. The more you wear it and the more it touches your skin, the more beautiful the gemstone should become! 

 


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A Fried Egg in London That's Big Enough to Feed 6!

Florentine Restaurant & Bar in Waterloo serves up some massive portions. Here you can get plates such as an Ostrich egg paired with a full English breakfast or the dinosaur sized Tomahawk steak. 

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The Ostrich Egg with Full English Breakfast cost a whopping 75 Pounds and is said to feed 4. But, it was definitely more than enough food for 6! We were able to choose between having our Ostrich egg fried or scrambled. Our waiter told us scrambled was more popular but we decided that fried would be a cooler experience and definitely a more "instagrammable" dish. Usually you have to call in the order ahead of time to check if they have eggs available and to shorten your wait time but we said whatever let's just wing it! And it was successful! We did still have to wait the 30-40 minutes for the egg to be cooked. 

Now I've never had an ostrich egg before so I have nothing to compare it to. I thought it was pretty good. Not too different from a chicken fried egg. Although, the egg white had a somewhat curious consistency and texture. It was very light and bouncy. That's the best I can describe it. 

You can make a reservation with OpenTable


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