Monday, April 27, 2015

Currently Coveting

So many adorable things, so little time...
Now, I'm aware that most of this Lilly Pulitzer stuff is completely sold out by now, but when I saw it, this is what I fell in love with. Dresses and rompers for under $50? Unheard of. 
Also, apparently I'm the last to discover this darling shop called Uniqlo. I saw it in San Francisco, but was out of money by the time we got there (a true travesty). Now, I'm looking back and strategically planning what I want to add to improve my wardrobe. 

I've been reconsidering my style completely. For a really long time, I held myself and confined myself to being preppy. That's not me! I'm not preppy! I'm so glad I woke up from that...a lot of my clothes were versatile enough that making the style switch has been much less painful, but I have a lot I would like to add...color I'd like to inject...
Tell me what you think! I like to think it's a mix between the eighties and modern patterns and colors
Happy Weekend!!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Playlist No. 5

   Hello everyone!! Sorry for the posting drought on my behalf. Hannah and I miraculously made it to spring break but now we are right back in the "swing" of things aka having to take the ACT on a Saturday morning, go to junior prom at night, and then study for AP exams. *sigh* But I'm really enjoying my classes right now since we're in the core of the year. There is nothing better than to listen to some good tunes while you do homework. My playlist typically includes a variety of artists and styles of music but for intense study sessions I prefer calming music. Soft voices, and mellow instrumentals always get me in the zone for hardcore reviewing and textbook notes.

Check out the playlist here.

Have a lovely week!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Instagram Explained Pt.2

Since this trip was a whopping 9 days and I barely posted anything from Yosemite, I thought I'd split up how I recapped. If you missed part one, catch up by clicking here. If not, I believe we left off while my family and I were still in Yosemite...

After a four hour drive back to the city, we hit up Chinatown. We went to a back alley fortune cookie factory, and then went to this lovely Chinese restaurant. My dad just told the waitress that we wanted calamari and sesame chicken for sure and then she said "oh ok well I'll bring you a shrimp and a beef dish too". Everything was delicious and 100% authentic which was so cool. Afterwards, we walked up Lombard street then called it a night. 

This outfit...
I wore these cutoff mom jeans countless times. This was the original outfit I had planned them with, but I would put them on to do homework at the Awahnee, as a cover-up, whatever. They're my new most versatile and favorite shorts and I don't even care that they're "mom shorts"...goodwill is my new best friend.

The next morning, we headed out to Alcatraz island. Despite it being known for mystery and imprisonment, it was actually quite beautiful there. The views were to die for and there were blooming flowers everywhere. I was able to learn so much about the history of the jail. Did you know there was a Native American seizure of the island in 1969 that lasted for 19 months? I didn't! On the water tower, there's still a message in red lettering that says something along the lines of "Home of the Free Indians".
Not mention, the escape attempts are fascinating. I always think "why couldn't they just swim?" but once you're on the island, it's obvious. The water is freezing and there's sharks and it's actually quite a long way to shore.
Ps the jail's color scheme is mint and light pink #toocute #jk

In one of the industrial buildings away from the cell-house, there's an art exhibit (up until April 26) by Chinese artist and human rights advocate Ai Weiwei. The caption on Instagram was pretty accurate so I'll just copy and paste it for all who don't follow us: 
This art exhibit was done by a Chinese artist who was imprisoned for speaking out against those in power in his country. He created multiple pieces of art to be displayed in Alcatraz, a universal symbol of imprisonment, without being able to leave his country. This portion is 6 different squares composed entirely of Legos portraying various political prisoners who Ai Weiwei (the artist) believes were wrongly imprisoned. His goal was to fill this warehouse and various other parts of the prison with brightness and beauty (for example, filling the hospital sinks and bathtubs with porcelain flowers). Seeing this was such a cool experience. I loved his message and for anyone who can easily access Alcatraz, I suggest visiting before it gets taken down on April 26th.

I wore this to Alcatraz and it served me well. I was overjoyed that it was warm enough for sandals/summer blouses, but I was not overjoyed by the sunburn that I earned myself. Anyways, I refer to these sandals (from Old Navy) as my Jesus sandals...because they look like the ones you always see Ll the biblical people wearing. Real Talk: they're the comfiest and served me well walking around the city. After Alcatraz, we watched the sea lions down at fisherman's wharf for a good amount of time and then ate a quality seafood lunch. We stopped by the bay aquarium then went to Ghiradelli square where we bought 4 chocolate bars and saw the studio where the Big Eyes artist works (SO COOL). We jumped on a cable car and checked out the cable car museum and finished up with an insanely delicious Italian meal and gelato.

We spent the day at the California Academy of Science which is like the Baltimore Science center on steroids. I think the highlights were the super colorful and cool aquarium as well as the earthquake simulator. We got to feel what it was like to be in both major San Francisco earthquakes!!
That morning we dipped our feet into the freezing pacific ocean and that evening we ate authentic Japanese sushi (I ate a fried shrimp head gahhhh)

The next morning we ate a DELICIOUS breakfast at the Palace Garden Court. As soon as you walk inside this hotel, you're met with this stunning dining room...It's hard to describe, but wow. What a perfect start to the day. 

Because breakfast was so fancy, I chose to wear a dress (bad choice). This meant I had to sit on most of the cable car rides we took, but that's ok. We went and saw another beautiful Cathedral, we explored a Fisherman's Wharf farmers market, and we hit up a science museum known as the Exploratorium. Inside said museum were 600 interactive science exhibits, all of which were fascinating. Some of which we had done in my physics class! My favorite part, though, was this dome in the middle of the museum called the Tactile dome. You navigated a path in complete darkness, only able to feel the different materials inside. My brother and I had so much fun but my parents opted out (tee hee).

Yes, I decided an angsty selfie would be a proper way to say goodbye to the lovely city where I hope to visit again soon, if not settle down there. Honestly, if you can, go. It's amazing and I loved every second of this trip. The hardest part was re-integrating back into reality.
Geeky as it is, my dad made an itinerary for us to follow. If you'd like a copy to see exactly what we did or to gather inspiration from, click here. 
I promise I'll start writing about style again soon!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Instagram Explained Pt.1

As most of you know, one week ago, I was still in California. We were there for 9 days and as soon as we came home, it was right back into real life for me. Homework due, test dates set, etc. I ended up taking the SAT and the ACT in the same week and the close proximity of AP exams is starting to hit me. My past two weeks have been insane, and because of it, I have neglected this lovely little blog. As I have a free minute, I figured that I would recap my trip for you all using the photos I took and posted on Instagram. Considering that I only said a few words about each, I'll elaborate now and use them to jog my memory. 

We woke up at 4 am for our flight that departed at 6:05. My dad, brother, and I had pre-check for the airport, but my mom got stuck in the line which caused us to almost miss our flight. Literally, we were the last ones on the plane and the people at the gate were going "Last call for flight to San Francisco! Is the Bauer family around?". We JUST made it, but thankfully we did. We landed at 9:20 am California time which gave me a good six hours of air time to take AP US History notes for 2 chapters out of our book...we had a lot of homework...

A rather iconic sign, we immediately stopped at an In-N-Out burger when we landed because it was lunchtime back in Baltimore and we were super hungry. I was already excited to see colorful naighborhoods filled with hispanic influence.
We also expected to be the only people in the restaurant because it was 10:30 or so, but IT WAS FULL!! There were plenty of people in there which was absolutely shocking to me...burgers for breakfast anyone?
Ps If you haven't been to one of these bad boys, run don't walk. Their burgers are heavenly and there's a whole secret menu...I could eat it all the time.

Next, we ventured into the heart of the city to these mosaic steps. My mom found out about these on Pinterest and we figured that we might as well go since we don't really know when we'll be on the west coast next...
Anyways, they were GORGEOUS! There were luscious gardens full of flowers and succulents on either side and when you stood at the bottom and looked at the entire staircase, it formed a cohesive picture. It was such a lovely start to all the sights we would see.

We refer to these gorgeous Victorians as the "Full House houses" because Full House was filmed in one of them. In reality, I believe they're known as the painted ladies and, while we only saw glimpses of them, their beauty was obvious. The coolest part was seeing the photos of San Fran before and after the 1906 earthquake and these houses were in both! It's incredible! 

From there, we made our way to one of the most iconic bridges in the United States. I can't say enough good about this bridge or this's actually funny because we were learning about the Great Depression in AP US and one of the concepts applied to when the bridge was constructed.
We walked the entire thing back and forth (about 6 miles total), resulting in our sheer exhaustion. Even so, we drove up to Muir woods and marveled at the tallest and some of the most beautiful trees I have ever seen. By then we had been awake for over 12 hours and we were jet lagged and our legs were numb from bridge walking and forest hiking. After hitting up an insanely good Thai restaurant, we retired to our hotel and passed out.

The next morning was Easter! My brother and I woke up to chocolate bunnies and jelly beans: the "Easter Bunny" managed to visit us in California!
We went to this beautiful and modern Cathedral for a 7 am mass (it felt like 10 am to us), and I got to wear my Lilly Pulitzer shift! Actually though, the church was amazing. It was super tall and had windows overlooking both the city and the neighborhoods. 

By the time church was over, it was pouring. We drove around the city to look at a few cafes my dad had researched beforehand, but they were all pack. We took a quick drive through Chinatown and found this quaint little bakery with the yummiest pastries. After that, it was off to Yosemite!!

On the way to Yosemite, we started driving by groves and groves of trees...for and hour or so it was just trees and farmhouses. We assumed they were orange trees, but they were mostly almond trees (we found out later). There were also these fresh produce shacks everywhere and the one we stopped at was perfection. They had like 5 types of oranges alone (the ones in my hand are pixie tangerines) and their strawberries literally tasted like summertime. Needless to say, it was a worthwhile stop.

This, my friends, is El Capitan: the largest slab of granite in the world.
Yosemite was not stylish: I wore men's convertible shorts and men's tee shirts (my brother told me I looked like a sketchy lesbian), I had zero phone service the entire time, and it was joke. However, it was one of the best places I've ever been. We stayed at a 1927 hotel called the Awahnee. It was beyond luxurious: every morning they had complementary hot cocoa/coffee/tea, there were multiple common spaces for you to just sit down by the fire and relax. Everything was decorated to celebrate the Native American culture, and honestly the entire experience was like staying in someone's mansion. While extremely pricey, I'd stay again in a heartbeat. My family and I actually made plans to go again in 12 years for the 100 year anniversary ;)
While there, we did a few hikes: we hiked to bridal veil falls (well my brother and I climbed some rocks and my parents watched), we hiked a scenic and quiet trail from our hotel to Yosemite falls (the main double-decker waterfall), and we hiked this trail called the Mist trail. Usually, the waterfall you hike next to is constantly spraying you with mist but that was not the case for us. No, no. Instead, we were treated to 33 degrees and a blizzard as we climbed 600 steep granite steps. By the time we were at the top of the falls, the ground was covered and I was cranky from the climb. However, the steps were now too treacherous to climb down so we had to follow a different trail that had us climb the mountain resulting in another 500 foot elevation increase. I was frightened: my hands were numb, we were the only ones on the trail, and our visibility was super limited. 
At one point, we heard a rustling in the bushes and when we looked over, we saw a huge coyote about 10 feet away!!! It was bigger than my 65 pound labradoodles!! After that incident, we were a bit more wary, but we eventually started descending and made our way back down the mountain. Overall, it was a 5+ mile and 4 hour hike. 
What was really lovely was that we were able to see the park in spring and as it would be in winter: completely snow covered. As annoyed as I was that it was snowing in California and 70 degrees in Baltimore, it was a super fun experience.
One more story, I promise!
One of the last things we saw were the sequoia groves. These trees are nearly 3000 years old and, while not as tall as the redwoods, the diameter of their trunks are probably 3-5 times as thick. One tree, the Grizzly Giant, a 2700 year old sequoia has a trunk diameter of 29 feet (roughly the size of the three story building). Seeing these monstrous living creatures as well as the insanely huge and dramatic rock formations really puts everything in perspective. 

Sorry for all the crazy stories, but if you wanna hear more, keep an eye out for the second half of our adventures!!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Letter to the readers/Pretty Things, Fourth Edition

Dear lovely amazing and beautiful Freckles and Olives readers,
     Let me just start out by saying how much of a miracle it is that we have made it to spring break. I legitimately did not think we were going to get here! After tests in every class, countless projects, and chapters of assigned homework, the students of Maryland are home for a week! Despite all the free time I theoretically now have, I will not be able to put much into blogging over the next nine days. I will not be bringing my laptop to California with me, not that I'd have all that much time to sit down and write quality posts, but I will be posting on instagram like mad. Anastasia, on the other hand, will be here to post, it's just hard to find time in between marching band and rigorous classes, ya feel?
So much love,
Ps, I chopped seven inches of my hair 
Pps, Here are some pretty things just for your viewing pleasure


Take off your jacket and stay awhile!
Editions One, Two, Three