Friday, October 21

Packing List: 10 Days in Europe {Fall}

It has been a minute since I shared a packing list around here! I'm not sure if this is relevant blogging anymore, but it's super helpful for me. Packing for trips is one of the things I hate the most, and, not shockingly, putting a little organization behind it makes a huge difference! And for the record, I love seeing what people pack for trips. So, hit me with those posts if you've got 'em.

This list is from my recent trip to Europe with my sister Carina. We flew into London, stopped in Munich, and spent the majority of our time in Paris (--> trip recap <--). The goods:
not pictured: accessories (like my MVP scarf), toiletries, underthings, and a white tee because I forgot

As I mentioned, I went absolutely maniac prepping for this trip. I think it was a combination of the higher stakes of traveling internationally, going to maybe the most fashionable city in the world, and being with my sister Carina who is v. stylish. We planned the trip over the course of about a year; and I started dreaming about what to wear a few months out- filling in a few holes with purchases, making a Google doc, and physically adding things to a suitcase over a week in advance. Many of these items are still available, so I've linked to them (or similar options) below! 

Packing for travel is always a bit of a gamble, considering things you know you'll be doing, and kinda approximating the rest. I think I came pretty close with the tops I chose! I also had the long trip both ways (and plenty of travel in between) to consider. I wanted to be comfortable but still look put-together, and a basic tee + leggings or drawstring pants worked perfectly. The crop top completed a couple different "going out-fits." 

Against my personal preferences, I stuck largely to neutral colors for this packing list (hence all of my bottoms are black.) And you know what? You're right. You're all right! Packing in neutrals with an accent color (mine was pink but you can't really tell) made things much simpler. Each of these bottoms are comfortable but versatile, and I know you're sick of me talking about these drawstring pants (joggers) but everybody needs some asap. 

I'll go ahead and tell you the two things I would have done differently were: less "fancy going out" items, because I didn't need them, and also warmer options, because it was actually pretty cold. In my mind I dreamed of wearing those brocade shorts in Paris, but in reality, it was much too cold, and we didn't go anywhere nice enough. We didn't end up going clubbing or to anywhere where I really needed to be dressed up, opting instead for more casual Bistros, which was a-ok! Of the above items, I didn't wear the chambray dress or shorts, and really could have gone without the sequin top and romper, but I wore them anyway because I had them :) 

It wasn't until I got to Paris that I realized- surprise- I didn't have my jean jacket! I had planned to pack it as a day jacket option, knowing my leather jacket would work with fancier outfits at night (or really anything.) Somehow it got left behind, so I wore my leather jacket every day, except in Munich where it was rainy and cold, and my super cute rain jacket was so functional. And in case you're wondering where this leather jacket came from: Carina's car, but otherwise, we don't know!

I nailed it and was 100% happy with my shoe choices! Sure, it would have been fun to have a fancier pair of heels for Paris, but we were walking a ton and my clogs were super functional. Really, each of these shoes were comfortable for a long day, which is the only thing that really matters for a walking trip. I debated packing the brown booties and I'm so glad I did, because I wore them for both days at Oktoberfest, where you could step in a puddle etc. and people stepped on your toes. 

Here's a sampling of outfits from my trip! Yup, I felt like I was "living" in certain items, but, not really a bad thing for a capsule I suppose. Just realizing I left out my white tee ^ from this packing list. Whoops! 

I came up with a few simple questions to "self-check" if my packing was a success:
+ Did I like what I wore? I actually really did! Buying a few new items for the trip really helped with this. 
+ Did I feel prepared? Mostly. It ended up being chillier than expected, so more warmer options would've helped! 
+ Did living out of a bad detract from the experience? You know, not at all. Sounds silly, but that was awesome. 

More packing lists on perfectly Priya:

Wednesday, October 19

Euro Packing Capsule #4

| leather jacket: from Carina {similar splurge!} | scarf: H&M | t-shirt: Old Navy (one of my favorite basics! I need it in every color.) {really similar} | purse: Kate Spade {similar} | jeans: Old Navy | loafers: Zara (love these!) | 

click the item name for alternate wears on the blog / product name to shop! 

Here's the last outfit from my Euro trip packing capsule (outfit one, outfit two, outfit three; ICYMI!), from our very last day in Paris :( side note- how has it already been over a week since I've been back?! So on our last, COLD day in Paris, after a pit-stop for croissants, we spent the morning walking around and shopping, checking out the incredible Notre Dame, stopping in a bakery for lunch, and finally hitting up the Louvre! 

Call me uncultured, but after walking through the entire gallery of Italian paintings, which was spectacular, and culminated in my main beesh Mona; we were ready to go back to our apartment for a quick disco nap before meeting Cannelle and Madeleine. 

What can I say about this outfit that I haven't said already? By now you probably recognize nearly every item from a previous capsule outfit, which, I dunno, means I did a packing capsule the right way? This outfit was simple, but I actually really like how it came together, and WILL repeat irl. Oh, and I had to had to wear these shoes to the Louvre. I just had to. 
On the left is the very last picture I took in Paris- talk about a whomp whomp! On the way back from hanging with Cannelle, we decided to make one last detour to the Eiffel Tower...which we assumed would be lit up. But we were too LATE. Apparently at 2am the lights are no longer on. Bummer!

And on the right, a selfie with the Mona Lisa because when in Paris!

I hope you are having a splendid week! It's been a quiet one for me so far, but we are gearing up for what has become one of my favorite events of the year- the volunteer haunted house my co-workers & I put on for kids at a community center nearby! Every year I bully recruit people to join, and every year I say the same thing: it's an amazing volunteer opportunity, because the kids love it and it makes their Halloween; but also, it is so much festive fun. Also every year I say I'll try to share pictures and I never do. Maybe this will be the year. 

Be back Friday with my full packing list & recap! 

Monday, October 17

Euro Packing Capsule #3

| sunnies: Target (similar) | purse: Kate Spade (similar) | scarf: H&M (love this so much) | jacket: from Carina (exact splurge!) | dress: Old Navy | trainers: Nike Juvenate

Well hey! I’ve got my third packing capsule outfit ready for you from my recent trip (and here’s the first and second one, in case you missed it!) 

Thursday we spent the day at Versailles, which we debated doing, but was totally worth it- and just magnificent! I don’t know which was more impressive: the palace(s, all three of them), or those gardens (more of my pics from Versailles!) We were there from 8-5 but could have stayed even longer. I would definitely recommend spending the day there if you get a chance! 

When I was packing, I imagined wearing a day dress for our day trip to Versailles. While this combination was totally comfortable for walking around all day, it was this day the temperature DROPPED in Paris, so I was actually pretty chilly! Luckily we were able to spend some time indoors, and the rest of it walking briskly. This oversized scarf is actually pretty cozy too (and still available at H&M online!) I wore it nearly every day of my trip (so clutch on freezing airplanes!) And now that I’m back, I really want to buy a few more oversized scarves…guess I should check out the ones I already *have* first, huh. I haven’t fully transitioned my closet into Fall/Winter, and with the temperature hitting 90 tomorrow…what’s the point?!
                                Those gardens though!                                               Hall of Mirrors selfie

I’ve got one packing capsule outfit to go, and at the end of the week I’ll do a full Packing List recap! Stay tuned.  

Hope you had a lovely Fall weekend! I managed to do a little crafting on top of carving pumpkins, so I'm in the spirit (I know, who am I?!) Before you’re too impressed, it was probably the easiest project ever, but I can’t wait to share how it turned out! 

Friday, October 14

Euro Packing Capsule #2

| sunnies: Target (similar) | tee: ancient Forever 21 (similar) | purse: Kate Spade (similar) | jacket: from Carina, not sure where) (similar splurge!) | joggers: Old Navy | trainers: Nike Juvenate

Hey there! Real quick, here's the second outfit from my packing capsule (view outfit #1 right here) from my recent trip to Europe! I wore this on our first full day in Paris, where we spent hours walking up and down the Champs-Elysees, taking selfies with the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, and checking out the fanciest Abercrombie & Fitch of all time (just for laughs.)

The notable thing about this outfit is my drawstring pants! I put them on my Fall Wishlist, and they arrived just before my trip. In my eyes they are really the perfect pant: super comfy, but a step above jeans or leggings. I've had to give them a bit of a break upon returning, since I wore them out last week, but I can't wait to pick them up again! 

Tuesday night we met Cannelle: my best friend from 5th grade, who is originally from the south of France, and had moved back in middle school. I hadn’t seen her since 2003, or spoken to her since 2010-ish, when we reconnected on Facebook. A couple months ago I emailed her, not even knowing if she still had the same email address, or where she was living! In a twist of fate, though she is currently living in Brussels, she was in Paris for work on Tuesday (and made arrangements to come back for the weekend.) It was just so good and so so cool to see her again! I can remember what feels like countless afternoons spent at her house, listening to her family speak French, and dreaming of learning the language one day and eventually visiting Paris. It was wonderful to catch up about what our lives are like now, and reminisce on a million memories of being kids together. I first got into theater doing musicals with Cannelle at our city’s community center- fun fact!
left, Cannelle & I at dinner Tuesday night, 
right, one last picture from Oktoberfest :D

Happy Oktober weekend, y'all! It's been nearly impossible for me to do anything this week, I've been feeling so lazy. Looking forward to a weekend to get back on track. 

Thursday, October 13


Ok, so I’m going to attempt to summarize my trip the best way I know- with run-on sentences, lists of scattered memories, and lots of selfies. 

Carina & I began planning a year ago; mostly with the purpose of just going to Paris (because I’ve always wanted to go, and she loves it), then we added Oktoberfest in, with Carina’s old (German!) roommate Luise, as our guide. 
London was technically a day layover on both ends of the trip, but they ended up being two super fun days (in a fantastic city, that I had only visited once before with my dad- different experience!) Carina & I met up in London Saturday morning and had just enough time to trek around the city, enjoy a pie & pint, and in an act of providence, meet and hang out with a certain actor we love on a certain new TV show- in the most incredible Airb&b penthouse on the Thames (above photo from one of the balconies!) The bar was set.
Sunday morning we flew to Munich, where it was very cold and wet, for the last two days of Oktoberfest. Nothing could have prepared me for the sights and sounds of Oktoberfest- an event that has been going on for hundreds of years in the same spot, that Germans themselves actually attend! Basically imagine if your state fair went to Germany- but you spent an entire day- 8am-11pm in the same “tent”, in “ “ because our tent is that first image above, more like a beautiful ski lodge, right??

Germans really don’t mess around, with their drinking songs, & of course, drinks. Carina, Luise & I wore dirndls (!) which was so fun (nothing like being appropriately culturally dressed for an occassion.) Did you know soft pretzels are one of my favorite foods in the world? It’s true. Celebrity cameo #2 came at the end of the night, when, sparklers in hand (last day of 'fest tradition), Usain Bolt appeared on stage! No joke. 
Tuesday morning we flew to Paris (…not hungover…) and after a life-changing nap, had an incredible first day. Maybe my favorite memory of the entire trip was walking from our apartment to get coffees for Carina & I, in the most perfect breezy & bright weather, with kids running around, and I turned to the left at one intersection and there was the Eiffel freaking Tower. And I thought, this just can’t be real! 

We packed in as much as we could from Tuesday to Saturday in Paris, covering what seemed like a lot (but really only part) of the city on foot and on the Metro. My friend Cannelle (more on her later) gave us a great list of boutiques, we ate pretty much strictly carbs (crepes pastries bread) and drank wine (sorry Mom- honestly it is very hard to get water in Europe), and naturally, for my benefit, saw all the very touristy things: the Tower, the Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, and the neighborhood of Montemarte.

Thursday we spent the day at Versailles (the gold gates and gardens above!), and Friday made it to the Louvre for honestly an unimpressive amount of time; before a disco nap before meeting up with Cannelle (and her hysterical friend Madeleine) for crepes and one last night out in Paris. 

Paris is an absolute dream and I could have spent two more weeks just strolling around, drinking cafe au lait. And all the stereotypes are true! I loved how everyone (old men, older women, baby kids, and anyone in between) was so freaking stylish and put-together. The girls didn't wear hardly any make-up, but still looked impossibly chic, as advertised. We were warned that locals might give us a hard time about not speaking French, and though we didn't have any bad experiences, we did feel like dumb slobs who couldn't pronounce anything. My few accomplishments were getting people to speak to me in French after saying "Bonsoir", but then I had to respond "Um..." Yikes! And I don't even want to talk about how well-informed Europeans are about American politics (esp. vs. my knowledge of European politics...) yikes again.
Which was maybe the best day of the trip, start to finish. We took the Eurostar train from Paris to London, then to Shoreditch, which is impossibly hipster and so freaking cool. Seriously next time I go to London I'm going straight there and not leaving. We spent several hours at Dishoom (could not recommend more!) eating and drinking and easing into our end-of-vacation-blues, and then met up with Laila of Tape Parade

If you ever get the chance to meet a fellow blogger,  DO IT. I'm always a bit apprehensive meeting a "stranger" but in reality, you know so much about these people from their blogs! Laila is absolutely fantastic, and took us all around Shoreditch, while we chatted all things blogging, style, heritage, and travel. The night ended with an exhaustive tour of the (four!) international street food pavilions in Shoreditch (and the most amazing vegan pad thai, to Laila's delight :p) but really ended with one final gin & tonic in the lobby of the Ace Hotel (Carina & I have had the best experiences in both the NY and London Ace Hotels- they are great, you guys! And not only for hipsters!)

I am reminded how fantastic and important it is to travel. I know that sounds a bit insufferable, but let stay with me: I am absolutely a young professional, still not making any money, and still spending most of my paychecks on college loans, car payments, etc. So I definitely had to figure out a way to make this trip possible. And it was completely worth it. Shout-out to Carina "Little Peanut" (or, Ma Petit Legume, her new French nickname) for spoiling me every step of the way and making this trip possible. And another shout-out to Luise, Cannelle, and Laila for being a big, wonderful part of our trip!  

Oh, for even more from our trip, check out the hashtag #PeanutPookieEuroTrip on social!

Tuesday, October 11

Euro Packing Capsule #1

| sunnies: Target (similar) | sweater: H&M (exact & marvelous) | jeans: Old Navy (basically the same) | purse: Kate Spade (similar in the prettiest color!) | trainers: Nike Juvenate (the best!) | 

photos taken by Carina on an iPhone 6 & edited with VSCOCam

I'M BACK! Where to begin? I'm not sure where to start in terms of, anything, really (real life, work, this blog, etc.) so as to not totally overwhelm myself, baby steps!

Let's start with an outfit from the first day of my trip, arriving in London (Carina & I met up in London, and pro-tip: if you're in the US, London is likely your cheapest point of entry into Europe- not to mention an awesome city.) If you follow me on Twitter, you're probably tired of hearing about my packing capsule for the trip- that I agonized over in advance, and served me so well! I have a packing post in the works, so much more about that later. And for a sneaky peak, I tweeted selfies of my outfits nearly every day while I was gone.

I'm also working on a full re-cap post of my trip (stay tuned!) and Carina was kind enough to snap several sets of outfit photos for me throughout the week, so I'll be rolling those out slowly! 

Like I mentioned, I wore this the day we arrived in London, and literally had to be moving so we wouldn't fall asleep, after flying overnight! These trainers are making their blog debut?! My brother got them for me as a very belated birthday present (which I am totally ok with, btw.) They were so clutch for my trip, and I wore them all week long (they are the Nike Juvenate- totally recommend!) Otherwise, this outfit was totally simple and totally perfect for a day of walking, eating, and shopping around London. 

I'll say this now and I'll say it again a million times- though I love colors and patterns, I physically restrained myself to neutrals for my packing capsule---and just like everybody always says---it made things so. EASY. 
left, my pint sized companion for the week, in a jacket that was never to be seen again (long story)
right, the first (OF MANY) selfies

So, what's new with you? Thanks for holding down the fort in the U-S-A! 

Thursday, October 6

Snapshots of Life, XIV: Summer '16 Edition

Ah, Summer '16. You were strange and wonderful. Here's a few moments that shouldn't get left out!
all of these are left to right!
Mom being adorable with her first pair of Lulus, found my favorite sign in Chattanooga, "Talent Tiki Days & Night" at work, the best Summer activity in Tennessee
pitstop in Carlsbad with Sundar, the new Mrs. Pappu being FAB at her Bach party, accurate picture of my front door this Summer, Selena Gomez with Dani & friends! 
a kiss for #FromMissytoMrs, sometimes I have this thing about Floors, post-American Idiot with my little rockstar, snuggling with Peanut all day long after the race!
a marathon selfie on the Golden Gate, welcoming our newest Pappuma at the rehearsal dinner, me running under a waterfall #nature, Katie's #SoontobeShanked Bachelorette in Gatlinburg

Snapshots of life, since the beginning of time: 
13 //12 // 11 // 10 // 9 // 8 // 7 // 6 // 5 // 4 // 3 // 2 // 1