When my roommate asked me to go to Palm Springs last weekend, I had to look it up on the map first. Ok, it's a small desert resort city, 2 hours drive from L.A. What's there to do? - golf and spa, so not for me. Sounded like an adventure anyway and I went nevertheless.
Going to Palm Springs for 3 nights seems like an utter nonsense - the flight from New York takes 6-7 hours. However, I will never forget the moment I was swimming in the hotel pool at night surrounded by desert, all alone, in complete silence looking up to starry night sky. So I guess it was worth it. Living in New York, you easily forget that complete silence and darkness even exist.
For my recent quick getaway to Palm Springs, California, I only packed two facial care items due to carry-on baggage restrictions. One of them was Avene's 50 SPF sunscreen (for obvious reasons) and the other AHA-BHA moisturizing cream from Estonian brand LUMI.
A few months ago when I went back to Estonia for winter break, I discovered that LUMI had released a new product line Tundra, developed especially for acne-prone skin. For some reason, my skin always gets worse in New York...maybe there's something in the air or food in America, who knows, but either way I'm always struggling with breakouts here. After using Lumi products for a little while, my skin is probably the best it has been in the last 6 months. Definitely not perfect yet, but getting there.
One mights say that absolutely everything is available in New York, but there are still some products which I prefer having made in Estonia, skincare being one them (the other one is bread, of course). Can't wait to go back home and restock.
When not traveling, I use the whole Tundra series including cleansing milk with willow bark extract and hemp oil, and yarrow mist with salicylic acid. The earthy smell might be uninviting at first, but it really grew on my after some time.. reminds me of home while living in a metropolis.
Allegedly the best "paladar" (privately-owned restaurant, as opposed to state-run) in Havana - La Guarida. Located on an ordinary run-down street in Central Havana, La Guarida goes almost unnoticed, but once you step in and go up the massive staircase, the majestic old colonial building will impress everyone.
As the building itself and its high ceilings, rooftop, and balconies are just picturesque, it is not surprising that one of the Cuba's internationally acclaimed movie Fresa y chocolate (Strawberry and Chocolate, 1994) was shot in there, in addition to many fashion editorials.
The hotel was located very close to elegant Prado promenade that was perfect for people-(and car)watching. Although, all those exquisite 50's American cars are nice to look at, the pollution they create is incredible. At some streets it was actually hard to breathe and I had to cover my eyes from all the exhaust and dust.
Exploring residential buildings in Central Havana, most of them didn't have windows or doors / salsa night at Hotel Inglaterra
“My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in La Floridita,” wrote Ernest Hemingway of his infamous drinking exploits in Havana.
We stumbled upon La Bodeguitain Old Havana by chance so trying mojitos there was a must. Of course, as one may guess, it was very touristic and they were a bit stingy with rum, but the atmosphere and live music was great nevertheless.
The street in front of La Bodeguita del Mediowas excellent for meeting with locals and other tourists. Most locals take money from you for taking photos or for asking help, but this guy was just happy to chat and show his National Geographic cover shot he was very proud of.
United States recently opened its borders to Cuba, and Havana is definitely becoming a popular tourist destination for Americans soon. However, technically it is still illegal to travel there as a tourist from US, you have to fall under one of 12 legal reasons (e.g. education, journalism) to go. Even though I am not a US citizen, the same rules apply if I depart from here.
Having had another week until my Spring semester at Fashion Institute of Technologybegins, I decided to go and check out this controversial and exotic country before the first Starbucks pops up there.
It is hard to fall in love with a city where where poverty in evident on every corner, the pavements (or the lack of thereof) are covered in debris,bottled water is not always available in stores, toilet paper is a luxury item, no credit cards are accepted, and WiFi is still a privilege to be paid for per hour (after standing in a long line to buy a wifi card).
Restaurants in Havana often run out of certain food items or coffee machines might be broken for weeks but then again, there are always unlimited supply of rum and cigars, and never ending live music and salsa. What's not to love!?
More detailed posts coming soon, meanwhile check out instagram for photos.
Anyone planning to travel to Cuba soon?, let me know you have any questions or need recommendations.
I finally made my first order with Glossierto see what's that hype all about! If your not familiar, it's a relatively new skin care and cosmetics brands created 2 years ago by Emily Weiss, the founder of popular beauty siteIntoTheGloss.com.
That New York based brands really stands out in the midst of hundreds of beauty companies.They just get it all right - marketing, social media, visuals, positive message with a dose of humor, product design and packaging. That being said, the products arrived in a pink box, wrapped in pink bubble wrap and with cute complimentary stickers.
And what's not to love about their slogan:
I decided to try out their The Supers - a set of 3 skin serums for different skin needs. I always been frustrated with buying products that are divided just by skin types, because it feels different every day.
Super Glow for a dull face after an all-nighter, Super Pure to fight with breakouts and Super Bounce for that dry and tight skin after a long flight or a night out.
After two weeks of using, I am really happy with the purchase! Not implying that they're absolutely irreplaceable but still a nice addition to the skin care routine. My situation with breakouts is definitely a lot better now and all the super dry chapped areas have disappeared.
Yesterday I visited my former New York apartment in Financial District and realized how much I like my new neighborhood in Harlem more! There's so much more life, authenticity, laughter, music and dance over here! People are sure struggling to make the ends meet but they do it with a smile on their faces.
fried chicken is a major thing here
names of products are often written in Spanish only
the place called Food Universe! The cheapest food I've seen in New York so far
how good job this lady is doing with matching the fence
Oh my, how time flies when you are busy. I just finished the 4th week in school and it only gets busier and busier. And it's not even mid-terms nor finals week yet. I usually spend about 12 hours at school, staying at open studio to work on my jewelry or at library until it closes at midnight. It is not unusual to also go to school on weekends and work on my assignments due Monday. The library, in fact, is amazing and I don't really mind spending time there. They have amazing technology labs and every single art and fashion book you could possibly imagine.
Although FIT is regarded as a fashion school, it is part of New York State regulated SUNY colleges implying that I'm also required to obtain a wide base of general education. For example now I'm taking English Composition, Intro to Science and Fashion Marketing classes in addition to those related to jewelry design. It is actually a nice change for very labour-intensive design and fabrication classes.
I am learning a lot and especially about the sides of jewelry design I hadn't thought about before. Drawing class is basically all about drafting and technical drawing, none of which I have previous experience in. Gemology aka science of gemstones feels a lot like physics and chemistry class (both of which were my least favorite subjects in high school). The whole program is very hands on and focused on technical training to have us ready to start working in the industry as soon as we graduate.
The toughest part is finding balance between school, leisure and social life (and when am I supposed to go to laundromat and shop for groceries??). There are so many exhibitions in town right now I wanna see but I guess I have to put them off for a now until I have more time However, I did an effort and went to see Manus X Machina at MET Museum on its last day of showing. Definitely worth it!
Meanwhile my iPhone got stolen (hey it's New York) so I lost most of my photos taken here.. and actually all my photos taken since January 2016 (tell me more about importance of back-ups...) However, I managed to save a few.. on MET rooftop overlooking Central Park / Chrysler Building, my favourite art deco building in NY
at The METAnna Wintour's Costume Institute Manus X Machina: Fashion in The Age of Technologyexplores how fashion designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. Noa Raviv 3D printed dresses