Barcelona: Style and Travel Guide

There are a few reasons why I visited Barcelona again: Because my best friend was traveling to another country for the first time; I had only been to Barcelona for one night last year with my family before we did a road trip through Spain (I only saw La Boqueria and Las Ramblas); and my husband and I have had to stay in Europe waiting for his Visa approval to move to the USA, so why not explore while I can?

The number one thing on my list to do this time was to visit

SAGRADA Família:

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It was pouring raining when I got to this magnificent cathedral by architect Gaudi. My dress was a gift from Romwe and since it was white, my dress became see-through! I hid myself in a restaurant near by until the sun came out again, and by then my dress was dry.

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All the details were as amazing as I thought they would be. Also there was very minimal refurbishing work done and so there were no construction cranes blocking the view like in recent months. This is an absolute must to visit for anyone visiting Barcelona or who lives there, it is the heart of the city.

W HOTEL: 

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Above, here I’m at the 25th floor of the W Hotel, it’s been a dream to finally come stay here and experience it. I find the best deals through Expedia booking.

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The best vibes for sure, instantly you feel lucky and luxurious at the same time to be at a place like this W Hotel Barcelona! It is certainly a landmark as the location and shape of the massive hotel can be seen from miles away, pictured below behind us at the beach.

BEACH & MARINA:

 

It was so amazing to spend time with my bestie again, I was so happy for her to get some international experience, and I could tell she loved the exploring. We walked through the beach area and also walked through the Marina as a group, with my best friend Teresa and her boyfriend Andre. The more you walk around the more you realize there are endless roads to take and there are new areas to discover, especially near the water. I’m wearing a denim Storets top and a NA-KD fashion dress in these photos. Along with my Gucci bag, Valentino flats and Converse shoes.

PARK GUELL (GAUDI):

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It was absolutely amazing to see this park. Ever since I’ve seen people posting pictures with this amazing view and mosaic benches, I had to see it for myself! I wore my Iro dress from Blue&Cream, which had lots of colors in it to match the design of the park. The park is so unique with shapes like snakes and slithering animals, with themes of reptiles. It seemed closer to nature than most architecture is.

 

The view overlooks Barcelona and you can also see the water, not so well in my pictures. There were countless amounts of people but I had come in the final group and so I just waited for the park to start closing before I took my pictures.

HOTEL SB PLAZA EUROPA:

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Not many hotels have rooftop pools in Barcelona, and when they do, they are not always the most attractive. But when I scrolled through this Hotel SB PLAZA EUROPA on Expedia, I knew it was the hotel I should stay at next. Since I was just getting a single room, it was the best price hotel for the most attractive amenities. It is further away from the city center, so either you have to do a lot of walking or you have to pay for taxis, which does add up. They have a bar on the rooftop also so I invited Teresa and her boyfriend to join me.

Below is the mall that was right next door, Gran Via 2, where they had an amazing restaurant area, a massive grocery store and many great fashion shops. IMG_6564.PNG

FIRA BARCELONA: 

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My taxi drove by Fira at night, and I was absolutely in love with the architecture and had to come see it the next day. Since I had moved hotels, I was getting sick of taking so many taxis around, so I just started to walk for 6 hours! It feels so great to do that in cities, because there is so much to see in small amount of space, so it is impossible to get bored. I’m wearing my Storets top, Chanel bag (with extra clothes inside) and my Gucci sneakers.

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There is a shopping mall beneath this view but you can take an elevator up for 2 euros to see the 360 view of Fira and other parts of Barcelona. There were many restaurants up there and so I had a quick bite at the Japanese restaurant (I had already eaten so much Paella!). After a full time of exploring, seeing friends, and having some alone time, I felt I had seen plenty but will be back again for more. Early the next day I took my flight home, even though it was a last minute booking I still found the best price on Skyscanner. Till next time, Barcelona!

 

Barcelona: Style and Travel Guide

Chic, Affordable Basics for Men & Women

Basics are the core of a wardrobe. You can have plenty of trendy clothes or designer pieces to stylize your outfits, but there should always be those items that can follow you through the seasons that will never go out of fashion (at least for the next 10 years). Recently, my brother moved to Chicago and he wanted to start a new look, mostly with basics because of the minimalistic style worn by tycoons such as Mark Zuckerberg, with his t-shirts, jeans and sneakers uniform. I also wear mostly basics, styling my outfits up with bags and shoes. For my brother, he just wants to feel comfortable, look good, and look like he has a clean style for his wardrobe makeover. I looked into different websites and thought that BooHoo has the best, stylish basics for really affordable prices (perfect for buying in bulk¬†and makeovers)¬†They still have an extra 50% OFF discount with code “YAY50”.

WOMEN BASICS:

18697662_10213186581079498_525419339_o(Click Images to View on Website) Get the look for less!

pzz98440_blue_xl
$44
dzz90232_navy_xl
$24
pzz97012_black_xl
$24

 

MEN STYLISH BASICS:

(Click Images to View on Website)

 

mzz96085_navy_xl
$20
shoe
$35
shoes
$52
mzz81841_khaki_xl
$24

 

mzz96460_black_xl
$10

 

Chic, Affordable Basics for Men & Women

Visiting Vienna, Austria @ Hilton Vienna



HILTON VIENNA:

Vienna has been on the top of my list to visit ever since I started living in Europe 1-2 years ago. My husband and I travel extensively with our two dogs, especially throughout Europe. We spend a lot of overnights at hotels, so it was perfect that I partnered with the Hilton Vienna, the perfect excuse to go visit and have a suite stay! Not only was the lobby beautifully decorated with a giant silver and gold Christmas tree, it was also a wonderful and comfortable stay in the suite, with a panoramic view of the city and an extra living space off of the room. I always love it when hotels have bathrobes, and I always put them on after a nice bath and when getting ready for the day. We had the full breakfast in the restaurant the first day, but after that we kept going back to the convenient executive lounge at the top of the hotel, with complimentary beverages and food (yay! and delicious) Below are the images from the Hotel lobby and suite, with travel pictures to follow.

FASHION in VIENNA:

Before I talk about the touristing, I wanted to mention that I normally try to pack sparingly for all my travels, which means I usually need to mix and match outfits or prepare a look themed to what I’ll be seeing that day. I had to usually wear walking shoes, like my all black striped Adidas shoes. I also tried to keep things light in colors¬†because¬†I knew the buildings would be a light color. For evening I generally like to have darker or shimmering clothing. And of course I like to be a bit diva with my fluffy coat, especially when I know a city will have all the frills in architecture and decorations I love to look at.

SIGHTSEEING IN VIENNA:

Researching Vienna beforehand, I knew I would be seeing some beautiful architecture, and old style that we just don’t see being made these days. I do love the sleekness of modern style, but I love to feel and the essence of the past of¬†royal taste. Some places we visited were the Belvedere Palace, totally walkable from our Hotel, and the dogs loved to come along and do some sightseeing with us. I was instantly in awe at how beautiful the landscaping was, and the sculptures strategically placed with beautiful marble. Afterwards we got some traditional food at a restaurant and house brewery called Salm Brau, where I’m pictured with a large house brewed beer. Right at sunset the lights about the city turned on, and it was quite charming walking throughout the¬†Christmas markets and beautiful cathedral. My husband had a sweets craving so we walked¬†to a famous pastry cafe Demel, where we got some nice treats. When we exited the cafe there was no mistaking the¬†Hofburg Palace, a light shining at the end of the street. The next day I really wanted to go to the Art History Museum, and it was GORGEOUS!! I wanted to live there. Next time we go to Vienna I am totally going back there. The rest of the time was spent walking through the park with the dogs, wandering the streets, finding beautiful little corners and alleys, with little cozy restaurants tucked away. If it’s on your list, I would certainly try to make it happen. It is a city that is completely walkable and so much to see. Bon Voyage! instagram posts here: ¬†@catherinewanders

Visiting Vienna, Austria @ Hilton Vienna

Wedding in Cape Cod, Massachusetts

In early September, some friends got married at a beautiful venue in Cape Cod, Masssachusetts, named the Whequasset Resort and Golf Club. Many family and friends attended and it felt like a celebration of the beautiful Busiek newlyweds and also a reunion of many people I also knew and those who have been lucky to be in the couple’s lives. My father, mother, step-mother, brother and my best friend who is the sister of the groom are all pictured here.

I do not attend many weddings although I do hope to in the future. So I did have some worries about what is appropriate to wear. Luckily I have collaborated with a company that had many pretty dresses and accessories to choose from. I selected a Navy Off-Shoulder Maxi dress and a Silver Plated Leaf Shape belt from SheIn. They are totally affordable prices but fashionable and on trend, and I loved the elegance of the dress. I then wore some Vince Venuto gladiator heels to have some flare.

Cheers to the Busieks and thanks to SheIn for my outfit!

Wedding in Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The Time We Went to Paris: Fashion Week 2015

 

There are so many things to appreciate about Paris, and I was so thrilled to have visited. It was always a dream after watching romantic movies and many travel photos of my friends able to go and see the wonderful sights. I realize that it almost seems like an extremely strong magnetic pull for me to go and visit certain places, they beckon me like it was my pathway in life to pass through. Paris, was certainly one of those destinations. Unfortunately, months later, there was terrible news about terrorist attacks, and I certainly prayed.

It just so happens that we came the weekend before fashion week and naturally enjoyed as more people came in the beginning of the week with their fashion maximized outfits. My boyfriend was so great to take my pictures and help capture my first time in this dreamy city.

When I pack for a trip less than a week, I know I have to be limited in items of clothes but also have high versatility. I mixed and matched many of my pieces throughout the days, like my leopard print strappy heels, my leather jacket and leather dress. I also made sure to bring layering pieces as well like my denim button down and sweaters, just in case it would get warmer or colder.

I really believe that we should all just go for what truly makes us happy and if that sparkle in your eye comes to you by being in Paris, by all means, just get on the next flight and go! Bonjour, till next time.

The Time We Went to Paris: Fashion Week 2015

My Little Hideaway Place

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Since moving from NYC, I must say that I get a bit nostalgic of the classy lounges and bars I used to visit often. In the small city in Germany I live now, I find there are more “charming” places many centuries old and I do not find more modern elegance. This hotel Der Oschbergof is my little happy place to visit and to appreciate the new elements of German interior architecture and the lovely Golf and walking grounds.

Although it is a fancier hotel where some dress up, I decided to make a blend of an outfit to match the more casual feeling of German culture and the dressier side of this hotel. I wore bell bottom denim with an Alice and Olivia Bodysuit underneath my criss-crossed sweater. I like to add elements of basic and unusual shapes together. Since the weather is getting a bit chillier here, I wore my espadrilles that I got in a German boutique and carried my Louis Voutton Alma Bag.

Inside the hotel there is a cigar lounge which seems a bit masculine but certainly my kind of taste every so often, and took off my sweater to enjoy the warmth of the fire. Autumn brings versatility in your outfits and so I find it fun to dress for outside and inside. Cheers =)

xoxo,

Catherine Wanders

My Little Hideaway Place

Finding Balance in Wu Long Karst, China

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I will get back to posting outfit pictures once I do some more catching up on my summer travels. But Wu Long Karst, China is definitely an impressive place with 3 natural bridges of rock overshadowing the beautiful center building in the midst of it all. All of these photos are not edited. The building was made in 600 AD and looked to be in wonderful condition. The golden throne is actually inside one of the buildings and is open for the public to take a photo with it for a small fee. It seems a bit weird how commercialized such sacred places are in China. Especially since this area has had a couple famous movies filmed, one was the 2014 Transformers movie and then also some Kung Fu film in Chinese.

I was wearing my Asics shoes for comfort since there was a lot of walking, and a pair of Rag and Bone denim shorts which still let me do my yoga move in the middle of a stream in between the different natural bridges. The entire place was so scenic that people were taking photos of every single part of the walk.

This was an extremely remote area in China and so I feel very lucky to have experienced this. I am a fan of visiting the lesser known and the more known places of the world, it is all exciting and new to me.

Finding Balance in Wu Long Karst, China