Saturday, August 23, 2014

Currently Coveting...Off the Shoulder Tops


I've currently been coveting off the shoulder tops - I think they would look so pretty with shorts or skinny jeans and some huge dangling earrings. I've picked out 7 ones that I really liked. I find them all to be so pretty! Are you guys into off the shoulder tops too?




What do you guys think?

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Travel Tuesday..Armenia Part 2

The roaring river in front of the Hotel in Alaverdi.

I recently went to Armenia on a family trip and I loved it so much! I already wrote part one last Travel Tuesday but I felt like one post wasn't enough. I took over two thousand photos and had the hardest time picking out the ones to feature here. This country is truly amazing and even now, two months after the trip I still cannot get over it. I feel like it is such an under appreciated destination and I hope that people reading this and all my other Armenia posts will be inspired to visit!

The lovely Avan Dzoraget Hotel in Alaverdi

For our trip, we stayed mostly at the country's capital, Yerevan. Armenia is a pretty small country so we could just drive out to see all the points of interest for the day then go back home to Yerevan each night. there was just one night we spent out of Yerevan and this was in a mining town called Alaverdi. Alaverdi is located in the Lori Province, and is pretty close to the border of Georgia. We stayed at the most charming hotel, Avan Dzoraget part of the Tufenkian hotel chains in Armenia. The hotel was situated by a roaring river. It was such a  pretty and rustic place to stay!

Our lovely hotel in Alaverdi had a bit of a old world and rustic feel.

The gorgeous courtyard in our hotel at Alaverdi

Pretty purple flowers add drama to the courtyard at the hotel.

Alaverdi was also the closest point to visit two UNESCO world heritage sites, the Sanahin and Haghpat Monasteries. I will be covering those two some more in part three of my Armenia posts.

I had mentioned in part one that Armenia had a loooot of monasteries because Christianity is the dominant religion here. It is also the very first country in the world to adopt it as a state religion. Asides from all the monastery hopping though, we also visited some non-christian sites like the Amberd Fortress, Garni which is a rare pre-christian pagan temple and also the Yerevan Cascade, which is Armenia's modern musuem. We also drove through gorgeous Armenian countrysides and visited  Ashtarak, the Armenian alphabet Park.

Read on and see all captions of the photos to know more about the sites that we visited.
                                                                               
Amberd Fortress with the Church dedicated to St. Mary behind.


The ruins of Amberd Fortress.

The Church dedicated to St. Mary, right behind the Amberd fortress.

Armenian countryside with lots of sheep.

Gorgeous countryside with snowy peaks concealed by clouds.

Another pretty sight by the side of the road.

Ashtarak - the Armenian Alphabet Park

Giant letters of the Armenian Alphabet in Ashtarak.

The Cascade - A giant staircase 

On every floor of the Cascade there are fountains and modern art installations.

Cool Modern Art Installations in one of the floors.

A view of Yerevan from the top of the Cascade.

Pretty colored glass installations in one of the floors in the Yerevan Cascade.

A close-up of the Yerevan cascade - A huge staircase that houses the largest collection of modern art in Armenia.

A sunken head.

A man running.

View of Yerevan.
                                                                               
Garni - a rare pre-christian pagan temple.
                                                                                 
A close-up of the columns of the Garni temple.
                                                                               
Grand columns at the Garni Temple.

                                                                             
Another view of the Garni Temple. It reminded me so much of the Acropolis in Greece!

The food in Armenia was absolutely delicious. It reminded me of Middle Eastern cuisine but milder tasting and with some Mediterranean and European elements mixed in. Every single meal we had included the lavash. The lavash is their traditional bread. It kind of has the consistency of a crepe/pita bread. It's basically like a wrap and as a starter to every meal, we would pile on really fresh ingredients inside  like coriander leaves, dill, tomatoes, local cheese and yogurt. It sounds like a pretty simple combination but it is so, so good! Chicken, beef and lamb were all staples and were usually paired with either a rice pilaf or bulghur.

A tandoori pit.

Pork that was barbecued in a Tandoori pit.

Dolma - a traditional Armenian dish. It's basically ground up meat stuffed inside grape leaves. It's served with a yoghurt and garlic dip. It is sooooo good! 

A woman making lavash in a tandoori pit.



Freshly made lavash and the typical spread : fresh herbs and local cheese.



Lavash that's about to be wrapped . So good!

This was beef cooked inside a lavash. Totally drooling right now thinking about this dish.

Barbecued lamb.

Areni Valley, where we went for a wine tasting.


                                                                                 
Wine tasting time! I love that they made wine from other fruits besides grapes. They had cranberry, blackcurrant (my personal favorite) and pomegranate.


I'm still not done with my Armenia posts. I have lots more photos from the trip that I've yet to post here. Hope you guys have enjoyed reading this one. If you are looking for a place to visit that's unusual and really pretty, then I hope you give this stunning country a try! You won't regret it! And if you guys aren't bored yet, then see you  for part three next Travel Tuesday!

All photos in this post are personal photos of styleandchocolates.blogspot.com. If you want to use them or borrow them in any way, please contact me first! My email add: celyn_lifeisashoe@yahoo.com. If you can't be bothered to send me an email and still want to use my photos, then please do credit them and link back to this blog. Thanks!


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Monday, August 11, 2014

Spotlight On...Romwe Reindeer Necklace


Romwe
                                       

I'm a sucker for unusual accessories, especially ones that have unique embellishments and creatures on them. This reindeer necklace from Romwe is definitely a unique find, and would look great worn with any outfit to make a statement! I am really loving that it's in a metallic finish - easier to pair with most colors in your wardrobe. The antlers are my most favorite part of the necklace!
Romwe

Romwe


Romwe

Romwe

What do you guys think?

Find it HERE.

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Weekend Outfit Ideas

It's finally the weekend! Here are some outfit ideas based on activities you might do for the next three days.

Friday Night Date Night

A leather skirt plus a blush colored top are both subtly sexy and feminine. Pair it with some really high beige heels, a nice clutch and a dab of pretty pink lipstick. Layer some gold bracelets to finish off the whole look.


Lipstick: Yves Saint Laurent | Shoes: Steve Madden | Top: Crepe | Skirt: River Island | Knotted Bangle: Kate Spade | Hinged Bangle: Michael Kors


Saturday Night Potluck

I love hosting and also going to my friend's houses for potluck dinners. For this occasion you should be comfortable but still girly and stylish. Wear a short swingy skirt so you'll have room to move in - if you're hosting the potluck for sure you'll be bustling about around the house. Wear pretty flat sandals and keep accessories to a minimum. Makeup should be natural, no need to go all out! A touch of peachy looking cream blush and some lipgloss will be perfect. 

Cream Blush: Kjaer Weis | Lipgloss: Revlon | Top: Moschino Cheap and Chic | Skirt: River Island | Watch: Michael Kors | Flat Sandals: O'niell


Impromptu Sunday Road Trip

Living in a big city sometimes just makes you want to get up and go away from it ,even if for just a day. Gather your closest gal pals or your boyfriend and make a road trip out of it. Be comfy but still stylish and girly (you never know where you'll end up!) with shorts, a pretty off the shoulder blouse and some comfy flats. A swipe of mascara and some pink gloss are all you need to complete the look.

Mascara: e.l.f. | Lipgloss: Sivanna | Top: Poupette | Shorts: Genetic Denim | Sunglasses: Ray Ban | Bag: Roxy | Flat Sandals: Huarache


What's everyone wearing this weekend?

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Travel Tuesday...Armenia Part One

Traveling has always been a big part of my interests and usually, when I travel with family, we love discovering places that are not as popular or as over featured as some other countries. This year, we decided to take a trip to Armenia.

A lot of our friends were asking us why we wanted to go there - it's not somewhere that people from where I'm from go to just off the bat. Most visited are European or Asian countries like Thailand and Japan. The were wondering where and what is in Armenia and exactly why did we deicde to go? I'm glad we decided on it because Armenia is honestly one of the most gorgeous countries I’ve been to! I really hope that anybody reading this will want to visit this beautiful place.

When my family and I do our once or sometimes twice a year “bonding” trips, we try to pick places that are somehow off the usual route. I don’t mean that we visit places where there’s no sign of civilization or anything like that, but places that have interesting culture and sights but are not as over mentioned or as over visited by tourists. Enter Armenia.

Just a little side note before I proceed to writing this post : I will be be doing my Armenia posts in batches. One, because I just had way too many photos and I might bore my readers with an uber long post, and two because it would be an injustice to such a beautiful country to try and cram all of the gorgeous photos I have into one post.

Armenia is a small nation that is right smack in the middle of the following countries: Turkey, Iran, Georgia and Azerbaijan. It is not bordered by any seas.  It's land used to be a lot bigger in the older days but certain events in history have reduced it to the size it is today. Armenia is actually one of the oldest countries in the world and it is the very first  to adopt Christianity as a state religion. It is also known as Noah's land. (as in Noah's ark). It is said in the bible that after the great big flood the ark came to rest in Mount Ararat. 

Yerevan, the country's capital was a gorgeous mix of European and Soviet architecture. Our hotel was located here, at the Republic Square which is the center of the city.

When we got to the country's capital, Yerevan, the first exciting thing we saw was a rather faint but still kind of clear outline of the Biblical Mt. Ararat. Though it was getting towards the end of Springtime, the mountain still had snowy peaks.

A faint view of Mt. Ararat on the day we landed. This was practically the only time we saw it at it's clearest.


Yerevan is a curious mix of a lot of things. I felt like it had a very European feel, that was milder and more curated though most of the buildings were in a Soviet style. It looked kind of old world, yet it had some modern elements. The streets were very charming and they also had that cafe culture that you see in many European capitals (where the tables are outside the restaurant and customers sit around and people watch.)

Gorgeous Yerevan.
Yerevan is actually called the Rose Capital because most of its buildings are built in a pink colored "tuf" stone.

Our hotel was at the very heart of the city, at the republic square. It was such a gorgeous sight. At night, all the  buildings would light up, the fountains would be running and there would be music playing in the background. 

Beautiful buildings all lit up at night.

Yerevan at night

Yerevan at night.

Streets of Yerevan

A pretty little side street in Yerevan with an old fashioned car.

Since Armenia is a very Christian country, there are lots of churches and monasteries. There are some countries you visit where sometimes,the places of worship (however grand and beautiful) all start to look the same if you visit 2 or 3 everyday. Here in Armenia, I thought that I was going to feel the same way but I was just so blown away by every scenery surrounding each monastery every time. These monasteries were situated by beautiful mountains and perilous looking  gorges and places where you wouldn't see anything for miles. Each of their backdrops was more fantastic than the last. Armenia's biggest body of water is Lake Sevan. We visited some churches overlooking the lake. We had to climb up two hundred plus steps to see this. The view up here was so worth the climb! Read the captions of all the photos to find out more about each place we visited.


Churches with Lake Sevan as its backdrop. Love how medieval this scene looks, my cousin commented that she would not be surprised to see a dragon fly past!

One of the first monasteries that we visited had a huge walnut tree that was struck by lightning.


A closeup of the walnut tree that was was split after lighting struck. Armenia produces a lot of walnuts!

The Khor Virap monastery with Mt. Ararat, hidden by clouds behind. this was where you were supposed to get the best views of the biblical mountain but unfortunately the clouds decided to go and cover them up!

Another View of the Khor Virap Monastery.

The stairs leading down the underground pit where St. Gregory the Illuminator (the country's patron saint) was imprisoned. The climb down was scary and claustrophobic, but the pit was actually kind of spacious. (said my father by the way, I was too chicken to climb down myself)


A vendor selling doves. You were supposed to release this to the biblical Mountain. Sounded like a tourist trap, but my sister fell right into anyway. She had to carry these up some steps and the bird would not stop twitching!

A look out point from the Khor Virap monastery, this was where you were supposed to release the dove into Mt. Ararat.

Another view of the Beautiful fields and the Khor Virap monastery behind.
A close up of the Khor Virap Monastery.
Approaching the Noravank Monastery.

Noravank Monastery

Noravank Monastery, my favorite spot in Armenia was surrounded by beautiful red colored jagged rocks on mountains. The backdrop was just so stunning.

More on that beautiful scenery surrounding the Noravank Monastery. I wonder why Hollywood films haven't been filmed here yet?

Noravank Monastery

Noravank Monastery : A closer look at the facade. Those are actually steps leading up.

Details of a carved door at the Noravank Monastery.

Obsidian is abundant in the country. One fun thing we did was stop by the side of the road to pick some of these stones up. There's so much of them that you can literally just pick them up and bring them home!

A mountain that had lots and lots of Obsidian.

Obsidian hoard

A small town that we passed by called Dilijan.

Old Dilijan

Gallivanting around the Republic Square at night with my Pegasus Winged Heels from Sala Chaussures

Loving Yerevan at night!

I hope you guys will stick around for my second (and possibly third!) post on Armenia! I will post another one for next week's Travel Tuesday. I can honestly say that Armenia is just one of the most amazing countries I have visited and I just want to show everyone just how stunning it is! Hope you guys enjoyed the first post, see you for the next one!

All photos in this post are personal photos of styleandchocolates.blogspot.com. If you want to use them or borrow them in any way, please contact me first! My email add: celyn_lifeisashoe@yahoo.com. If you can't be bothered to send me an email and still want to use my photos, then please do credit them and link back to this blog. Thanks!


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