Buen Retiro Park: A Madrid ‘Must See’

If you do one thing in Madrid, go walk around in El Parque del Retiro. Unless of course you don’t give a shit about beauty and nature and would rather drink, eat or see museums. Hey, everyone’s different! Actually, you can do all of those things in the park or very close by. I ended up doing a quick tour of The Prado after I left the park since it’s right around the corner. It was OK, but I’m more of a modern art lover. I also prefer nature and architecture. But regardless, the park is a must-see for anyone visiting the wonderful city of Madrid.

In 1632, the park was built as part of the Real Sitio del Buen Retiro palace by King Philips IV as a retreat for the Royal family. It’s a massive 320 acre park filled with beautiful architecture, nature and people out running, rollerblading, playing street hockey and even working out on the playgrounds. On that note, if you’re looking for a hot-bodied Spaniard definitely get on over to one of those playgrounds! I almost tripped and fell when I walked by since I was being a total gawker. These guys are ripped and doing crazy acrobatic workouts on the monkey bars…I really wanted to take a video, but then I decided I wasn’t feeling creepy enough…so instead, I just walked by slowly.

So yeah, in the northern entrance of the Parque del Retiro is the Estanque del Retiro, an artificial lake where you can rent a cute little rowing boat for a few euros. I was so extremely tempted to do it but as I gazed out at the lake, I noticed that it was all couples rowing along with love in their eyes…not that I cared…but I guess I kinda cared. So, I decided to pass on that. Across the lake is a large monument with an equestrian statue of King Alfonso XII. I decided to take lots of pics of that instead (shown above in the main image).

Towards the south of the park you will come across another small lake. At the edge of this lake is the most insanely beautiful glass building called the Palacio de Cristal or Crystal Palace. It was built in 1887 by Ricardo Velázquez Bosco and was initially used to house exotic plants brought over from the Philippines. Now it is mainly used for temporary exhibitions. It was by far one of my favorite places to be in Retiro Park.
crystal palace madridCrystal Palace DetailCrystal Palace detailOOTD in the Crystal PalaceAround the corner from the Crystal Palace is another beautiful building called the Palacio de Velázquez, also used for temporary exhibitions. Originally it served as a pavilion for the national exhibition of the mining, metal, glass and ceramics industry. For some reason I didn’t get many good pics of this. I was probably more interested in using it as a backdrop for my selfie…at least I’m honest, right?

Palacio de VelazquezPalacio de Velazquez

Once you have strolled by the sweaty bods at the playground, you’ll come across a walkway lined on each side with what look like cherry blossom trees but I believe they are actually almond trees. Here, you’ll find people relaxing under the beautiful blossoms, reading books, doing mini photoshoots, or like me, alone taking selfies and getting stared at…oh, the woes of solo adventures.almond tree ootd details

There’s also the Rosaleda (rose garden) with a pretty fountain that is worth strolling through when the flowers have bloomed. I unfortunately do not have any photos of the Rose Garden but I’m sure it’s beautiful in the Springtime.

If you like to keep in shape while you’re on vacation (or holiday), a great way to get a grand scope of the park is to go for a little morning or late afternoon run. This allows you to cover a lot more ground in a shorter amount of time. The park is huge and you could literally get lost in there for hours, which I happened to do…and loved every minute of it.

If you’re ever in Madrid, definitely do not miss the chance to visit this park. It’s beauty will lift your spirits and leave you glowing…and really, there’s nothing better than that.


OOTD: Travel Chic (Day 1 in Madrid)

I was late getting out of my house to get to the airport. A few minutes down the road I realized I left my sunglasses. After going back to get them and heading back out, I realized I left my charger. Luckily, I made it to the airport in time. Just in time to find out that my flight to NY was delayed. It was so delayed that I almost missed my connecting flight to Spain. I literally hyperventilated, almost cried and then had to get ushered through the long ass security line and escorted to my terminal. To those of you that know me, this will come as no surprise…and almost expected.

Note: If you ever have the chance to fly Iberia, do it. I got the warmest greeting in Spanish as I walked onto the plane and I was immediately put at ease with the lounge music playing in the background. The seats were comfortable, the amenities were great and everyone looked happy…my kinda vibe.

I arrived in Madrid, Spain the next morning and met up with my girlfriend who is currently living there. I had some time to decompress at her house before changing clothes and heading out to explore the city. I threw on a pair of harem pants (designed by my beautiful friend, Tania in Los Angeles), a grey tank, leather jacket, leather hat and my chucks. Super comfy yet chic. Or maybe I should say super comfy to a point. By the end of the day, my feet were pretty cut up. Blister Nation. I actually spent the whole 2 weeks of my vacation with at least 4 band-aids on at all times. Word of advice: Chucks aren’t made for walking (not for my feet anyways). If you’re going to be spending long days walking and wandering around somewhere, then I would absolutely suggest packing or buying a pair of actual walking shoes. You probably already know this tho. I’ve never walked so much in my entire life…so, lesson learned. P.S. I’m obsessed with doors now.

ootd travel chic

ootd travel chic

snakeskin leather cross body bag ootd_harem pantsOutfit Details:
Harem pants – VFGxTaniaSarin

Leather Jacket- Zara (older style)
Tank – Victorias Secret
Sneakers – Converse All Stars
Sunglasses – Chanel
Leather Hat – RR Traders (amazing local boutique in Newburyport, MA)
Snakeskin Leather Crossbody Bag – Nordstrom

More posts about my trip to Spain coming soon!

The Bandage Skirt: Dressed Down

Oh, the bandage skirt. That slim, sexy, pull-on pencil skirt that’s easy to wear and sucks everything in. I personally own about 6 of them in different colors and prints. The fashion snob in me thinks that they are played out and can look borderline tacky if you don’t wear it right…however, I drove back to MA with only half my wardrobe and I finally just got a job so I haven’t been able to buy any new goodies for myself. Talk about shopping withdrawals! So yeah, I have to make do with what I have…which means wearing old clothes and trying to create new outfits with them.

With the weather getting warmer here and the pretty flowers in bloom, I wanted to wear something colorful & Summery but not too dressed up. I used to wear heels all the time but I find myself wearing flats more often now. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but its reality. Thank god for the Birkenstock and sneaker comeback! Side note: have you seen the Chanel Fall 2014 RTW collection? Pretty rad. So I found this yellow bandage skirt and decided to dress it down with a basic white tank and some studded ankle sandals. I also think it would look cute with some chucks and a baseball cap. It actually proves to be quite a versatile piece…played out or not.

summertime casual chic
Details: gold jewelry, marc jacobs bag, studded sandalsDetails: gold jewelry, marc jacobs bag, studded sandalsGold bracelets with new & vintage rings Tank – Brandy Melville
Skirt – Textured Power Skirt by BCBG (similar color)
Bag – Classic Q Hillier Hobo by Marc Jacobs
Cat-eye Sunglasses – 5153 by Chanel (you can find them on ebay)
Short & Long disc necklaces – Gorjana
Rings – Mix of new & vintage styles


Reduce Waste & Hydrate In Style

I’m not really sure why it took me so long to get a reusable water bottle. I think it’s because I don’t have a reverse osmosis water filtration system in my home and also because I fell in love with drinking the alkaline water that I would buy at Whole Foods. Purchasing a reusable water bottle would mean that I would have to fill it with shitty Brita filtered water and quite honestly, it just doesn’t taste the same.

I had a moment one day at my parents house where I decided I absolutely needed to stop purchasing plastic water bottles. See my Dad, as great as he is about being healthy and living sustainably, purchases cases of Arrowhead water bottles to drink instead of the filtered water. All around the house are scattered wounded soldiers left behind from visitors or sitting on a side table, unclaimed by its forgetful owner. He proceeds to get frustrated when he finds these half full water bottles and labels it as wasteful…hmmm.

Anyways, I did my research and found the Klean Kanteen water bottle to be my safe & healthy alternative to plastic. Their bottles are responsibly made from food grade, toxin-free materials and handcrafted to last a lifetime. I found their newest model, the Klean Kanteen Reflect, to be exactly what I wanted. Unlike the other models, it is made with just 3 materials; sustainably harvested bamboo, food-grade silicone and stainless steel. The logo is laser etched so there is no paint and no plastic. The mirrored finish adds a chic-ness to it that had me sold. If I had any complaints about this water bottle it would be that it can be a little noisy when opening and closing it since its metal clashing against metal. The only time it made me feel awkward was in my quiet yoga class when it was the only sound in the room. Other than that, bravo!

Disposable bottled water consumption creates up to 1.5 million tons of waste per year. If you haven’t purchased a high quality, reusable water bottle already, maybe now is the time to do so!

Casual Chiccutoffs & a t-shirt, chucks, silver accessoriescutoffs & a t-shirt, chucks, silver accessories, Klean Kanteen Reflectcutoffs & a t-shirt, chucks, silver accessories, Klean Kanteen Reflect

Purchase the Klean Kanteen Reflect

*Photos taken at the Artichoke Reservoir in Newburyport, MA

What To Wear To A Concert

I woke up today and looked out the window. It seemed as though it was going to be a lovely Fall day, reminiscent of sometime in late September back in 1991…Nevermind…it was actually Spring, in the year 2014. Whatever, in my mind it’s Fall and it’s 1991. The blooming flowers outside are now leaves changing from green to yellow, red and orange and I just remembered that I have tickets to a concert tonight…

Well now, the question is: What should I wear to this concert? The answer is easy. Something cool, comfortable and can transition from day to night. Pair a vintage band t-shirt with some rocker chic black leggings. Tie a grungy plaid shirt around your waist (borrow/steal one from your dad or boyfriend…don’t buy that shit brand new), it’ll come in handy when the sun goes down and it gets chilly. If you want a slightly polished look then trade in your chucks for some comfortable, low-heeled ankle boots and Chanel cat-eye sunnies. Pile on the gunmetal jewelry and don’t even think about washing your hair…or curling it…or brushing it…or making it look pretty. What would Kurt Cobain do? Do that. Dunzo.

90's Grunge Style: Nirvana band tee, liquid leggings & plaid shirt90's Grunge Style: Nirvana band tee, liquid leggings & plaid shirt90's Grunge Style: Nirvana band tee & plaid shirt90's Grunge Style: Nirvana band tee, plaid shirt & gunmetal jewelry90's Grunge Style: Nirvana band tee, liquid leggings & plaid shirt