Athleisure, please!

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I’m sure you all have noticed that “athleisure” is (and has been) a HUGE trend right now and I couldn’t be happier about it.  I mean, I’m totally down with wearing leggings and sneakers ALL day!  Of course it’s fun to get dressed up but I also love incorporating my workout clothes into my everyday wardrobe.  When I’m looking for new active wear I always head straight to Nordstrom. I’ve been buying my active wear from Nordstrom for years and I always know their selection will be awesome and have amazing quality. I bought this Adidas crop hoodie from Nordstrom a week ago and have been wearing it like crazy! I love that the old-school Adidas logo is totally back in now and I am completely in love with this geometric panel vibe.   I bought a size x-small for reference, it does have a slightly over-sized fit! I paired it with a pair black Adidas sweatpants similar to these I’m wearing a size small in these for reference. Finally, how cute are these Adidas Swift Run J sneaks?!  I’ve got a small foot so I’m able to save about $15 and get them in a kids size 5, SCORE!

Thanks for stopping by…

Crys

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AFRICA / MOROCCO

Morocco is home to beautiful nature, exotic ancient cities and some and the world’s best food. If you haven’t been there yet maybe this little list of amazing things to do in Morocco will convince you to plan that trip!

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Medinas of Fez, Morocco

One of the first things I see as I walk down the main street of the old medina here in the Moroccan city of Fez is this feathery fellow.  Quite an introduction! Moments later, he’s getting his head chopped off….The other birds in the shop seem not to have noticed the death of their friend, or perhaps they just don’t understand. There’s no fuss from them even though their lives can surely be counted only in minutes.

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It feels rough and raw – but I guess that’s because I’m comparing the Fez medina to the cities where I grew up. Outside the walls of this old part of town, things are a bit more relatable. But when you’re inside them – in the crooked alleyways with just glimpses of sunlight, smoke billowing up from stoves, the glow of lamps reaching out from stalls – you lose perspective of time.

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Not just the amount of time you have been wandering through the enormous labyrinth – and it’s certainly easy to lose track of that. But also the medina’s position in the timeline of Morocco’s culture. It may be 2017 as I wander through the souks and residential areas but, in many ways, it could be any century from the past millennium.

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The Medina of Fez was founded in the 9th century at around the same time that Islam arrived in Morocco and the imperial rule that would create this country.  It grew in the 12th and 13th centuries to about the size that it is today.

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Fez was the capital of Morocco until 1912 and, although political power may have moved to Rabat, this still feels like the cultural and spiritual centre of the country. It has an energy that is inescapable that comes as much from the buildings as it does the people.

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I wonder how different the behaviour is here these days compared to hundreds of years ago. I suspect not too much. It’s one of the reasons I find it so hard to place the medina of Fez in a particular place in time. The donkeys that walk up the steps carrying goods to shops have probably always done that; the men sitting and smoking on wooden stools in front of their carpet shops would never have look out of place; the markets full of fruits and vegetables on the outer edge of the city wall has probably always been just as busy.

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The Moroccan Hybrid

In one small square, men sit on stools outside banging copper into place as they make pots in front of the crowds rushing past.

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I peek through a wooden door that I’m passing and see workers with large looms creating beautiful scarves and rugs.

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Loom weaver operating a horizontal wooden hand loom in a cloth shop in Fez, Morocco

Follow the right little alleyways and you’ll come across the infamous tanneries where the animal skins are treated in the open air and plain view.  The smell is horrible so when someone offers you a mint leaf to shove up your nose, take it!

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This is Chouara, an 11th-century tannery that still operates as it did a thousand years ago.  Tannery workers plunge the skins into the colored wells, leaving them there for a few more days to absorb each hue. The dyes all come from natural substances, such as indigo, henna, saffron, poppies, and pomegranates.

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This is where the process begins. The raw skins are being soaked in a mixture of cow urine, pigeon feces (yup, shit) quicklime, salt and water.  This loosens the hair from the hides and makes them softer.
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Cow, sheep, goat and camel hides are brought here to be preserved, dyed and turned into handbags, jackets and wallets.
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We were shown around by Mohammad, a guide arranged through the owner of our Riad.

On to Casablanca, Morocco

The number one attraction in Casablanca is the Hassan II Mosque.

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Completed in 1993, the 210 meters (689 feet) mosque rises above the Atlantic Ocean which you can also see through the glass floor inside the magnificent building. It welcomes 105,000 worshippers for prayers at once. The walls are made from hand-crafted marbles with the minaret at 60 stories in height.

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Shop ’til you drop at Marche Central

As Casablanca’s main market, you can find everything at Marche Central: rare spices, olives for days, colorful decor and gorgeous fabrics. This is the perfect place for you to show off mad bargaining skills and bring home loads of souvenir for loved ones.

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Morocco is the fifth largest producer and exporter of Olive oil worldwide.  It is also among the top three countries with the lowest cost to produce.

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Grab lunch at Rick’s Cafe

An ex-American diplomat in Morocco, Kathy Kriger, established Rick’s Cafe back in 2004 for travelers who yearn to relive the beloved Hollywood film: Casablanca. The restaurant/bar/cafe is inside a traditional Moroccan mansion with an interior mainly displaying photographs, and memorabilia from the film. Every decor placement inside the establishment is a tribute to the film.

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Although we know that Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman weren’t actually in Casablanca during filming (the movie was completely shot in Burbank, California,) there’s no harm in bringing out the tourist in all of us once in awhile and soak in the greatest love story ever told.

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Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech is one of the most evocative places in the world. Just the name is sexy!

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Probably one of my favorite shot from Marrakech.

I don’t like to be bored, and neither does Marrakech.  Of all the things to do in Marrakech, I recommend the infamous market place. The souqs of Marrakech are vibrant color and noise.  Crowds of people weave through the alleys of the medina and its hundreds of stalls displaying brightly colored wares. If this is your first visit to Morocco, you’ll no doubt want to experience the souqs at least once. They’re not for everyone though, the hustle is real and can make it stressful or annoying since you’ll receive plenty of attention from stallholders competing for your money. If you’ve never been to a souq before be prepared to negotiate with everyone selling something.

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The chicken reaper of Marrakech
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Its not as easy as I thought it would be. Much respect to these beautiful women.
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The women who embroider all day do not use templates.  Its all free hand.

Marrakesh is a modern mix of Moroccan and international culture with the most diversity of delicious international food and beautiful architecture in the medina.  The chaotic pace exposed a city and people always on the go. The famous Jemaa el-Fnaa square is truly the mess everyone describes: tens of thousands of people at night eating, shopping, getting henna tattoos, listening to bands and storytellers, and watching magicians (and snake charmers during the day). It’s one of the most hectic but fascinating people-watching places in the country. It still blows my mind how big and full it was!

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Bread on bread.  Even their bread has bread.

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Pastilla at the Argana Cafe, Marrakech

Ride a Camel

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Meet Victoria

Camel trekking may not be the most comfortable means of travelling for some, but it is undoubtedly a ‘must’ for every traveller as a way to experience the mode of transport of the Berber nomads of the Sahara.

Imlil, Morocco

The Ourika Valley is a short drive from Marrakech in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.

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The making of Argan Oil

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High Atlas Mountains

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The Atlas Mountains are an easy one-hour drive from Marrakech, offering secluded tranquility and breathtaking natural surroundings.  A mile hike up the mountains and you’ll get to experience the beautiful waterfalls.

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Half way up the mountain you can stop and enjoy a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice.

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Well folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on Morocco.  Thanks for following me on all my adventures.

 

All photos used for this blog post are mine and are not to be used without my permission.

The Perfect Moto Jacket

BLANK NYC Easy Rider’ Faux Leather Moto Jacket

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Finding the perfect moto jacket for fall can be a bit of a challenge. With the variety of options available now you don’t have to settle anymore. You can find the one I’m wearing here at Nordstrom  for $98.  It comes in 4 different colors so you can even be like me and get all 4 (no self control).

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The motorcycle jacket (moto for short) is a classic piece that will never go out of style, this is the reason it gets reinvented every year. But no matter the fabric, color, or shape when buying a moto jacket make sure it stills has the essence of a motorcycle jacket and fits your figure perfectly.

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One of the things you need to consider when shopping for a moto jacket is the front closure. A jacket with a diagonal zipper is great for slimming your waist. A jacket with a straight up and down zipper is perfect for bustier women it’ll streamline your figure. If you want to create the illusion of curves then you need to find one with a cascade front. I’m petite so all three of these styles work for my small frame.

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You can wear a moto jacket an endless amount of ways; this is the reason you should invest in one that will last you years. I’m wearing mine with a Cascade Cardi from Free People for $128.

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However you decide to wear your moto jacket, just be sure to wear it with a smile.

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All I need is a red jacket with some zippers…

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BLANK NYC Morning Suede Moto Jacket

An iconic piece made famous, the motorcycle jacket, aka “the moto” has added a chic edge to our wardrobes for as long as I can remember. Favored by the most stylish fashionistas in the industry, moto jackets add instant style to any ensemble. Warning: instant bad-ass appeal is more than likely to come with the territory.

Shop my entire look with the link at the bottom of this post.

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1. STATE Lacquered Twill Leggings
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Free People Bombay Tank
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Stella McCartney Falabella Fringe Mini Tote Bag 
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BCBGeneration Caspian Heeled Sandal

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Nicole Vienna Soir N 79 Mesh Watch

Here’s some exciting news about this gorgeous watch by Nicole Vienna, they are offering 30% their entire website for the month of December. No discount code required

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NYC BLANK Morning Suede Moto Jacket

Free People Bombay Tank

1.STATE Lacquered Twill Leggings

Stella McCartney Falabella Tote

BCBGeneration Caspienn Heeled Sandal

Nicole Vienna Soir N 79 Mesh Watch

Sweater weather, yes please…

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As someone who is obsessed with fall, I firmly believe that you can never have too many cardigans and chunky sweater — like, seriously, it’s impossible. And although it still might be excruciatingly hot where you live, it’s never too early to start stocking up on essentials.

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What’s great about sweaters is that they’re really easy to style for any occasion. You can dress them up or down depending on what you accessorize them with, what shoes you choose, and hair style you want. Oh, and the best part about chunky knits? They’re comfortable and stylish, making them perfect for nights out when you don’t feel like dressing up, but still want to look fashionable. Basically, big sweaters are all around amazing.

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Have fun this fall and stock up on sweaters, kick up some leaves and sip some hot chocolate (with Baileys of course).

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Lets move on to Cardigans. For the past decades cardigans were basically waist length, somewhat fitted sweaters. Today they’re that and so much more.

LONG cardigans from knee-lengths to floor-lengths are massive. Draped cardigans, printed, belted, hooded, pocketed, ALL is in, in the most daring and fun way possible. They probably are the best layering gimmick and style statement right now.

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Pair your favorite cardigan with some neutral colored booties like these:

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Long cardigans look best with fitted bottoms: skinny jeans or leggings and a slouchier top. Or they look amazing with mini skirts or dresses, shorts (or as Sarah and I call them, denim underwear).

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Flexing in Faux Fur by UrbanCode London

When I saw this Faux fur knee-length scarf I absolutely had to have it!  Its unique pattern screams elegance with a splash of sexy.  Shop one similar on Urbancode.co.uk

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Did you know that faux fur was first introduced in 1929s and has been commercially available since the 1950s?  Fake fur, also called fun fur or faux fur, is an animal friendly material made of synthetic fibers designed to resemble fur, normally as part of a piece of clothing, but it’s increasing popularity has been credited to its promotion by animal rights organizations which claim that it is an animal-friendly alternative to traditional fur.

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Faux fur is a great way to keep warm during cold winter months. Faux fur can be used for many garments and home furnishings.. Whether you are ethically minded, fashion conscious or practical, Faux fur has a number of benefits over real fur.

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