Alyssa

A Day in Mystic, CT

I know I said I’m headed to New York soon and that’s true, but we still have a couple days left in Connecticut, so I decided to share a little bit about my time here (wedding pictures will be coming eventually, I promise). I personally love Connecticut because, at least from what I’ve seen of it (We’ve stayed mostly in the New London area), it reminds me a lot of a smaller and slightly more nautical version of my home in the Northwest. It’s pretty relaxed and far less preppy than I expected. Oh, and everyone just has a West Coast accent, which in my opinion, is non existent. Haha. Anyways, here’s a look at Mystic:

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For some reason, my parents were very excited to have us pose in front of the Mystic Pizza sign. I think it was featured in an old movie or something. Haha. As far as my outfit goes, I was feeling comfy and casual, so I threw on some fun sunflower shorts, a croptop, sandals, round sunnies, and a crossbody bag.

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This is what Mystic Pizza looks like! I couldn’t resist the temptation of the slice of the day which was spaghetti and meatball. That might sound disgusting, but it was actually sooo good– basically the equivalent of eating spaghetti with a slice of cheesy garlic bread.

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Then we headed to Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream which was right next to the drawbridge (how surprising). They claimed to have the best ice cream in the New England area. It was good and all, but I definitely prefer homemade ice cream!

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Of course, I had to take one of those typical “I’m eating ice cream pictures”. Pardon my awkward thumb– I was really nervous that I would drop it into the water, so I was gripping the cone pretty tight. Haha.

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Then we cruised around the bridge and dock for a bit. Steamboat Inn is actually where the bride and bridesmaids got ready for the wedding. It’s pretty cool because you can just dock your boat right at the Inn (which is what Jenna’s dad did). It’s also way prettier when a thunderstorm isn’t about to hit!

Hope you’re all having fun on your summer vacays or stay-cations, and are taking a bunch of pictures!

XOXO,
Alyssa

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OOTD: Sightseeing in Boston

A couple of days ago, we took a train to Boston and spent the day exploring the Freedom Trail. At first I had horrible flashbacks to AP U.S. History, but then I realized that history can be pretty cool when you’re not reading about it from a 20-year-old textbook.

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Since we planned to spend a lot of our day in the sun (Boston is really hot and humid this time of year), I decided to wear a loose floral dress, a comfy pair of sandals and some sunnies. My lovely sister is sitting next to me and wearing a similar outfit, but she went for less of a boho vibe and more of a girly feel.

Here are a few pictures I took around town (I snapped a couple hundred, but obviously I can’t share them all. 🙁 )

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I fell in love with all the old architecture. Since I’m from the West Coast, I was also really impressed with the brick streets—I twisted my ankle a couple times, but oh well!

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The new part of Boston was also beautiful.

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Before we left, we had to get some REAL Italian food in Little Italy. Let me just say that this is the one kind of food the West Coast just can’t do right. We stopped at Mike’s Pastry and I got a delicious cannoli. I tried to tell myself that I had walked off all those calories during the day (I definitely didn’t), but who cares? Vacations are a great reason to eat a ton of yummy food and not feel bad about it.

Can’t wait to share more of my travels with you girls! I’m headed to New York soon. 🙂

XOXO,
Alyssa

 

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Currently, I’m blogging from the airport in Denver (we have a brief layover here on our way to Connecticut)!

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First of all, apologies for my washed out complexion and under eye bags—I have already been on a plane for three hours at this point, and I didn’t feel super jazzed to take pictures because I’m pretty worn down. However, I really wanted to do a traveling OOTD for my readers. Anyway, for my plane ride outfit, I wanted to feel relaxed without looking overly scrubby, so I decided to wear a distressed teeleggings, and a chambray shirt tied around my waist in case I got cold. For my accessories, I wore a printed headband (my hair gets super weird from the dry plane air) and a tribal backpack (to lug around my cameras and books). So far, I’ve been super comfortable, and more importantly, I haven’t been patted down going through security!

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To make up for the poor quality of the first shot, here’s a gorgeous sunset picture I took from the plane. You’ve probably seen a million of these on Instagram, but I still love an “above the clouds” shot.

Can’t wait to touch down in Hartford!

XOXO,
Alyssa

P.S. The dude in the background of the first picture is the reason I need to get a nice portrait lens with a shallow depth of field (like a 1/1.4). Any camera geniuses out there with lens suggestions (that aren’t over a thousand bucks)?

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In a couple of days, I’m heading to the East Coast for my brother’s wedding and a little sightseeing adventure in New York. As I was packing up for the trip, I thought of a few last-minute must-haves for the journey:

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BIG OL’ SUNNIES: Regardless of whether your final destination is a sunny one, it’s nice to have a pair of shades (preferably large ones) to hide your puffy, dry eyes when you get off the plane.

FRINGED CROP TOP: Whenever I go on a trip, I like to bring at least one new “wow” item, be it a great necklace or a fabulous pair of printed pants. This trip’s “wow” piece is this boho chic crop top (I promise to post a better picture soon, so you can see what it looks like on). It may seem a little wild, but that’s what I was going for! I figured I could either try to dress like I live on the East Coast and risk looking like a “Gossip Girl” wannabe OR stick to my West Coast roots (but add a little polish). I decided to go with the latter.

OLD-SCHOOL INSTANT CAMERA: This is the last-minute find I am most excited about. I’m headed to a place with a bunch of great photo ops, so I figured why not buy an old-fashioned instant-film camera? (I’ve been thinking about getting one since I was, like, seven years old.) Instant pics just have a nostalgic feel to them, and they’ll be the perfect addition to my picture wall in my dorm room. (Nordstrom sold out of the Fujifilm pictured here, but they’ve got a Polaroid that’s pretty sweet.)

THE ADORABLE CHOCOLATE BOX: This is something I just found in my room. A family friend had already reused it to wrap a beautiful vintage necklace (a graduation gift), so I decided to re-purpose it once again, and use it keep my new pictures safe during travel. Eventually, I’ll get a little tin for my photos, but this does the trick for now. 🙂

The next time I write to you, it will be from either an airport or the other side of the United States! Hehe, I’m very excited to share my travels with y’all.

XOXO,
Alyssa

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My Top 6 Beach Essentials

Whether I’m on the Oregon Coast, in Hawaii or somewhere in the Caribbean, I spend most of my summers at the beach. There’s just something about sand in my hair and salty air in my nose that makes me smile.

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As a beach lover, I usually keep a bag full of beach essentials at all times just in case I decide to go on a spontaneous trip to the coast (it also doubles as my pool and river floating survival kit). My friends are the kind of people that call five minutes beforehand with elaborate day trip plans, so I always have to be prepared. Here are a few of my favorite essentials you can find right here at Nordy’s (I’d probably bring some yummy snacks too):

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Towel | Sunglasses | Sunscreen | Flip-flops | Fedora | Backpack

Stay sunny!

XOXO,
Alyssa

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I stumbled upon this watermelon-lime slushie recipe from Fifteen Spatulas and just had to share it. After all, watermelon is the quintessential summer fruit, and everyone loves a frozen drink on a hot summer day—especially when it’s this easy to make. Check it out:

If you’re looking to take your drink on the go, I think this Mason jar-inspired tumbler is absolutely adorable:

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What’s your favorite way to stay refreshed during those 90-degree days?

XOXO,
Alyssa

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Fourth of July is right around the corner, and I am oh so excited to sport my red, white and blue. Since I usually end up sitting in the grass and chasing after my younger cousins, I went for a pretty casual look: round sunnies, a red crop topLevi’s cut-offs (there’s really nothing more American), and a pair of leather sandals. Of course my most important accessory of the day will be the camera around my neck, so I can snap candid shots of my family and friends. 🙂

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SHOP: Americana

Hope you all have a lovely Independence Day! ‘Merica.

XOXO,
Alyssa

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The Fourth of July is all about the four Fs: family, friends, fireworks and arguably the most important F… FOOD! In typical teenage girl style, I was browsing Pinterest, and found an adorable Fourth of July treat: red, white and blue mini no-bake cheesecakes! Usually I would just pin a recipe and never actually attempt it (yes, I’m one of those, and let’s be honest, you probably are, too), but the recipe looked simple enough that I decided to give it a shot and share it with you lovelies! If you are antsy to see the finished product, scroll to the end of the post! 🙂

Alrighty, let’s get started:

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Start to Finish: 2 hours

12 servings

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup half-and-half
2 cups Golden Grahams® cereal, crushed (about 1 cup after crushing)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 container (6 oz) honey vanilla greek yogurt
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel (I used less)
Fruit  for garnish (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.)

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1. Grease or line muffin/cupcake pan. The original recipe says to grease the pan, but I wanted my mini cheesecakes to be somewhat portable, and the starts aligned when I found these adorable Fourth-of-July-themed cupcake papers.

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2. In a glass measuring cup, soften gelatin in half-and-half for 3 to 5 minutes. “Soften” just means mix the gelatin into the half-and-half—nothing fancy! Then microwave the gelatin mixture on High for 30 seconds; stir until completely dissolved. Set aside.

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3. Combine crushed cereal and melted butter in a medium bowl. To crush the cereal, I put it in a Ziploc bag and then rolled a rolling pin over it for a few minutes; it was quick and didn’t make a huge mess.

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4. Place a rounded table spoon of the cereal mixture into the bottom of each cupcake paper and pack it down. This is kind of hard to do with your fingers or a spoon, so I used a shot glass (any small cup would work) to press down the cereal mixture.

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5. Zest your lemon! I only used this much as opposed to the full tablespoon, and my cheesecakes ended up vanilla with a slight lemon tang, which is just what I was looking for.

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6. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. It will blend easier if you let your cream cheese warm up to room temperature. Then add gelatin mixture, yogurt, honey and lemon peel, and beat on low speed until smooth.

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7. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the “batter” into each cup. Gently jiggle the pan to smooth out any lumps or bubbles. Refrigerate for about 90 minutes or until the cheesecakes have set. I left mine if the fridge overnight just in case.

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8. Decorate with red and blue fruit! I topped my mini cheesecakes with blueberries and strawberries (my favorite red fruit) and a lil’ whip cream too. They were absolutely delicious. 🙂

I had so much fun with this post for three reasons:

1. I love dessert, especially anything that involves strawberries. YUM!
2. I love mini things, maybe because I’m a girl, maybe because I’m miniature myself (standing at 5′ 00″), or maybe a combination of the two.
3. The recipe is beyond easy, I am not a master chef by any means. Usually I attack baking projects for about five minutes and somehow manage to whisk the egg whites in the wrong direction so the peaks fall (this is a real problem), and then my mother has to rescue me. But I was able to make these mini treats all by myself. Perhaps it’s because I’m on my way to college so the cooking gods have finally decided to bless me with elementary skills. However, I think it has more to do with the fact that these little guys don’t require much effort or an oven (great for a hot summer day).

Anyway, I’ve digressed. The point is that if you do try to make these, you will be successful because I was successful.

Let me know if you try out this recipe or have any other Fourth of July faves. 🙂

XOXO,
Alyssa

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This OOTD is definitely not my typical 4th of July look. However, if I were going to a BBQ with my boyfriend’s parents or if I were dressing to impress without looking like I was trying too hard (for whatever reason), this is something I would definitely consider wearing. It’s girly yet comfortable. Switching out true blue for turquoise is also a fun twist!

BONUS: The lighter palette accentuates the summer bronze.

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SHOP: Americana

Happy almost 4th of July!

XOXO,
Alyssa

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Bikini Mixer

I am beyond happy to see surf brands like RVCA, Rip Curl, and Volcom making an appearance in BP. swimwear. After all, swimsuits are what these brands do best! With oodles of fun prints, I couldn’t resist sharing a few ways I would mix up my bikini pieces.

I personally really struggle with finding a top that fits correctly and doesn’t leave me feeling vulnerable to sneaker waves (if you know what I mean), so when it comes to mixing and matching I like to find a couple of tops in solid colors—I like black and white because they’re extremely versatile—and then add a pop of fun with vibrant bottoms. Mixing your tops and bottoms is a great way to save a little cash, too, since you’re not buying both pieces with every swimwear purchase (which means money to spare for that cute pair of sunnies to complete your look)!

Here are a few of my favorite bikini bottom picks mixed with basic tops:
heroWhite Top| Graphic Print Bottom| Tie Dye Bottom| Orange Bottom

 

 

bp-swim-3Black Top| Daisy Bottom| Floral Mesh Bottom| Tribal Bottom

Stay sunny!

XOXO,
Alyssa

 

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