Springtime Sporty

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted an actual outfit.  There is something about the winter months…the lack of natural light and the inability to inspire myself or my photographer, I mean, husband, to get outside and take some photos.

But spring is upon us in Zurich and Saturday was a perfect time to get out, enjoy the sun and snap some fashion pics.

I had just received my newest purchase – a pair of New Balance sneakers – in the mail and was eager to try out this white sneaker/dress trend I have been seeing so much of lately.  It was actually a very fun exercise within my closet because the dress had to be the right material, length, etc.  I found not just any dress worked.

Since it was still relatively chilly, I paired my casual dress and new kicks with my all time favorite blue leather jacket.  Always need a pop of color of course.

Dolce and Gabbana Sunglasses

New Balance for J Crew

Blue Leather Jacket

New Balance Sneaker

What the Missus Wore:  Sneakers by New Balance for J Crew//Dress from Forever 21//Leather Bomber from Chattawak//Prada Galleria Bag//Dolce & Gabbana Sunglasses

Happy Fashion, everyone, and even more importantly, Happy Spring!

A Visit to Qatar

Have you ever been somewhere and felt like you were not actually experiencing it?  As though instead you were moving through this place in your dreams, and you could almost reach out and tap yourself on the head?  This is how I felt about my recent visit to Doha, Qatar.  It was just an unbelievable experience.

I arrived in the evening and we had to drive around the water and Qatar skyline in order to reach the hotel.  The lights reflected from the buildings were a radiant shade of blue and it was even more fun driving through it after having seen it from across the water.  Apparently the lights change color every night because two evenings later the sky line was pink!

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I worked during the day and tried to take advantage of this new city in the evening.  I visited the Souk Waqif twice because it was unlike any place I had ever seen.  On one of the nights my colleagues took me to an authentic Syrian restaurant called Damasca.  We ate almost everything on the menu which for me was like being in Heaven.  It is difficult to find authentic Arabic food in Zurich so I made sure to get my fix.  I also tried arak, which is date juice with a sprinkling of rose water.  There was a very interesting man walking around the restaurant with an elaborate device to pour the juice from.  It was worth it just to watch him pour, but the juice was also delicious.

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The second visit to the souk involved some even more exciting things – an education on Islam, an Arabic version of crepes, a yogurt drink, shisha, chick peas in water?  And CAMELS!!!

Let’s start with the education portion.  Across the street from the souk is the Qatar Islamic Cultural Center.

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A colleague and I visited and I paused to read the descriptions of the prophets on the walls.  I did not know much about Islam but reading about the prophets I realized that so much of what we believe is the same.  At the end of the day, it’s about being kind to one another.  My colleague is Muslim and to discuss our religions together in this special place was extremely memorable and moving.

After that I got to experience a crispy crepe?  I can’t find what they are called but this YouTube video perfectly highlights what I witnessed.  They were delicious and crunchy, and I paired them with ayran, a yogurt/salt drink that originated in Turkey.  It was so interesting tasting and went really well with the crepe.  I certainly couldn’t chug it, though!

And finally, the best part – CAMELS!  They were offering camel rides at the souk and I was in awe of these huge animals.  It was my first time getting to see them up close and luckily, I escaped getting spit on.

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So after all that excitement, you can understand while I felt like I was outside of myself looking in.  None of it felt real, but I was lucky enough for it to be real.

One of the biggest things I had to plan for with this trip was how to dress.  Qatar is more conservative than the UAE and as a visitor, I did not want to be disrespectful of the culture.  As a woman, I was not required to cover my hair or my face, however it was encouraged to cover my shoulders and knees.  So what did I wear for this trip?

Well in this picture here…

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What the Missus Wore:  blazer from Forever 21//jeans from AG jeans// pumps from Seychelles//belt from Chattawak

For the rest of the week, tunics and long wrap dresses were my go-to items to stay stylish yet appropriate.

And that was my trip to Qatar.  It still doesn’t feel like it actually happened, and I look to returning for another look!

Travel Hacks for the Gal on the Go

For those of you that have followed my blog throughout 2014, you know that I have traveled a lot.  Traveling has always been a passion of mine and over time I picked up a couple small tricks that helped make packing and traveling a bit easier for me and I wanted to share them here:

1. Makeup bag as a Clutch

Rather than pack multiple clutches, purses, etc, I have started re-purposing my make-up bags as clutches, especially for short trips.  They double really nicely, especially if you have a fun or bright bag.  The key is to ensure the bag looks like a zip pouch vs. a traveling case, like these here from Forever 21.

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2. Start with your shoes

It’s always so difficult to figure out what perfect outfit(s) to pack when traveling, but I recommend starting with your shoes.  They take up some of the most room in your suitcase.

Narrow it down to two pairs – your cute pumps and your comfortable walking boots/booties – and then match the clothing and jewellery from there.  Putting them in your suitcase first also helps you know right away how much room you have for clothes, etc.

These are my typical go to shoes – both are by Seychelles and both can be found at ModCloth.

electrify heel madhouse bootie

3. Conditioner as a shaving cream

This one may sound a bit strange but when you are working with little wiggle room in your suitcase, you can rely on things like the hotel conditioner to double as shaving cream.  It leaves your legs extremely soft as well.

4. Roll em up

Your clothes, of course.  I have found rolling my clothes the most space efficient and wrinkle free way to pack my clothing.

5. Reusable plastic

Rather than stock up on ziplock baggies and pollute the earth, if you travel a lot it’s worth buying a reusable plastic bag for your liquids.  You can find these at most travel stores.  This example here can be purchased at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

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7. Save that soap!

You want to save your hotel soap amenities when you can because they are the perfect use case for when you stay at an AirBnB instead.  Most AirBnb apartment rentals do not provide shampoo, soap, etc. like you are used to in a hotel.  So if your travels take you through both types of lodging, save your soap!

8. Invest in a good poncho/cape

I ordered my first cape of the season a couple weeks ago and it ended up being such a great investment for travel. It was similar to this one and I use it not only to enhance my outfits, but also for a scarf (extra warmth on the shoulders and neck) and on a plane as a blanket or pillow.  They are comfortable and warm and multi-purpose.

Missguided has a bunch of adorable ones, and for cheap!

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I hope my gal pal travel hacks will help your travels remain as fashionable and as smooth as you desire.

And with that, it’s time to go home for the holidays!