Lunchtime Reading: August 1

  1. How to be the best roommate ever. This was written for college girls, but anyone can use its advice! (Her Campus)
  2. 10 items that will make you look super chic when it’s hot outside. (The Everygirl)
  3. Check out my newest guide on the best coffee shops to visit in Washington, DC.
  4. 7 ridiculous products you can buy on Gwyneth Paltrow’s website, including psychic vampire repellant. This is not a joke. (Moneyish)
  5. Here are the year’s top dorm decorating ideas, according to Etsy. (Real Simple)
  6. The best drugstore beauty buys of summer 2018. (Into the Gloss)
  7. This shower gel came in the mail yesterday and OMG it smells so amazing.
  8. Why you should revisit your New Years Resolutions. (The Everygirl)
  9. The pros and cons of living in a loft apartment. (Home Edit)
  10. Ten skincare products that are always selling out on Dermstore. I want them all!

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Lausanne

Okay, back to my Europe trip! I know I am so behind on this, but I still want to document the amazing time I had so I am going to continue with writing about the cities I visited on my solo trip this summer.

After spending a day in Geneva, I took the train up to Lausanne. It’s this very cute little city that’s also on Lake Geneva and has some beautiful views! I spent two days here and really enjoyed just relaxing and walking around. The city is super hilly (oh my gosh I thought I was going to die walking up the hills) and full of cute little shops and cafes. Reading Fahrenheit 451 in Parc de Montbenon which was literally right behind my Airbnb. It has a beautiful view of the Lake πŸ™‚ I ended up leaving the book in a park when I finished it because I don’t have room for extra things in my pack! Sure hoping someone else picked it up and was able to enjoy it πŸ™‚

Beautiful latte art at The Sleepy Bear. I can’t get over how cute the little bear is! Oh and also their croissants were delicious! 10/10 would recommend.

I can’t get over the fact that there is a guy literally climbing the flagpole in this picture! I saw this on a ferry ride to the Lavaux vineyards which are actually a UNESCO world heritage site on the coast of Lake Geneva. So beautiful!Β 

Inside a little coffee shop that I went to before I took the train to Interlaken. I am in looove with the outfit the girl on the right is wearing! The barista here was Greek and so funny and talkative which I actually really appreciated since I was traveling alone.Β This is the building across from my Airbnb. How gorgeous is it?!! I love the pink and it’s style made me think of Paris πŸ™‚On my second day in Lausanne I went down to the Ouchy-Olympique Park by the lake and read my book. I couldn’t get over how lovely the weather was or how BLUE the water was! Now I know why everyone wants to live in Switzerland 😎

The view from the ferry I took from Lausanne to Lavaux. So picturesque! When I was on this ferry I met a nice man named Yousef from Morocco. After the boat ride, we walked around for a few hours and had such deep intense conversations. I don’t think I’ll ever forget him!

The view outside my airbnb. I had my own balcony where I ate dinner and FaceTimed my mom. I loved this place!

Ain’t that the truth?! πŸ˜‰

My view from where I sat reading at the Ouchy-Olympique park.

Lausanne was a beautiful city and I cannot wait to go back one day!

Rachel’s Guide to Washington DC: Coffee Shops

If there is one thing my friends know about me, it’s that I love exploring cities. And eating. And Instagramming. This means I am extra AF, but it also means that I have a way of finding the tastiest, cutest, most *hip* places wherever I go. Including Washington DC, which was my home for the last year. Since I am leaving the city (moving to San Diego! Yay!), I decided to create a repository of my favorite spots in DC.

To make the giant list of recommendations more palatable, it’s going to be split up by category: there will be a post on coffee, one on food, another one on the arts, one dedicated to the quintessential *DC* things to do, one for my favorite views in the city, and lastly one for day/weekend trips near the city. Behold the first installment of this mini-series: coffee in DC!

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Slipstream, credit @emsies_emily

Slipstream: I love this place because the baristas are really friendly and the vibe is charming and relaxed. One cool thing they do is have both coffee and cocktails, so it’s very versatile and also open later than most coffee shops! They also have baked goods and hearty dishes in case you’re hungry. I’ve only been to the Navy Yard location, but they also have one near Logan Circle I think.

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Tryst, credit @districtleenz

Tryst: another late night coffee option! They always give you a little animal cracker with your hot drinks which I find to be super adorable. Definitely an excellent place to bring your laptop and work during the day or go with friends in the evening.

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Big Bear Cafe, credit @heydavina

Big Bear Cafe:Β Ok so I never made it to this place, but it was always on my list. The name is super cute, and I heard it was a very homey, neighborhood kind of place. There is supposedly some nice outdoor seating, and I think they cater too. I’m pretty sure they don’t have WiFi, so don’t plan on getting work done online if you go here– just relax and unwind!

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Maketto, credit @fussyfoodgirl

Maketto: I wrote about this place in an earlier post because I seriously love it so much. I’ve never been anywhere like it…it’s part street fashion shop, part dim sum, and part coffee shop! Their chai lattes and almond croissants are fantastic, and their dishware is pretty cute too. It’s a popular place though so make sure you go early in the morning to avoid the crowds if you’re set on getting a table!

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The Wydown at the Apollo, credit @aylinsevgili

The Wydown: This small little coffee shop is awesome. I’m partial to their location on 14th Street NW for its open-air vibes, but their store on H Street is nice too. Their iced chai lattes are great, and so are their other menu offerings! They have some interesting teas that I’ve never seen anywhere else like Moroccan mint. One of the coolest things about this coffee shop is its art: they have these cool abstract canvases on the wall that are painted with coffee!

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Grace Street Coffee, credit @gracestreetcoffee

Grace Street Coffee: This Georgetown coffee shop is tucked away down a side street off the main M Street drag, but it is still usually pretty busy! The store is in a shared space with a juice shop and a sandwich joint, making it a great place to get coffee and something else. Their vanilla lattes are to die for, and they have the cutest mugs ever. Love this place!

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Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse, credit @mikaelabender

Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse: This is probably my favorite place on the list for a few reasons: 1) they have a million options, including some really cool ones like a honey lavender latte and frozen hot chocolate, 2) a really cool industrial vibe including huuuge windows, 3) live music in the evenings, 4) lots of seating options, and 5) THE BEST VANILLA CHAI IN THE CITY. Can you tell I love vanilla flavored things? haha πŸ™‚

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Little Pearl, credit @raquelisimo

Little Pearl: This place opened up near my old house this year, and it has already become super popular! That might have something to do with the fact that it’s owned by the same people who started Rose’s Luxury and Pineapple and Pearls, two Michelin star restaurants down the road. The vibe is a little too pretentious for me (definitely a see and be seen kind of place), but their food and drinks are really delicious. My favorites are the London Fog latte, chai latte, and of course their potato doughnuts!

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The Cup We All Race 4, credit @thewinewitch

The Cup We All Race 4: The definition of a *hip* coffee shop. Located inside the super popular Line Hotel in Adams Morgan, The Cup We All Race 4 is probably the coolest cafe on this list. Once your order at the counter, take your food and drink and go sit in the main lobby area to soak up the ambiance πŸ™‚ Lots of people bring their laptops here and work, but it’s also a great place to chill with friends.

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Colada Shop, credit @mojavlo

Colada Shop: This Cuban-inspired coffee joint on 14th Street is also seriously cool. It has a super cute interior (including a giant window that opens up in the summer that gives the place an airy feel), fast service, and the most fantastic food and drinks ever. Like you seriously can’t go wrong with anything on the menu!

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Bluestone Lane Coffee, credit @e_christine13

Bluestone Lane: This coffee shop chain originally comes from Australia, and I am so glad it has come to the US because I am so into Australian/New Zealand coffee culture omg. Maybe I’ll do a separate post on that sometime? Reasons I love Bluestone Lane: 1) lots of healthy options and 2) super cute vibes. I have only been to their West End location (conveniently attached to the public library!), but I know they have at least one other location in Georgetown πŸ™‚

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La Colombe, credit @raquelisimo

La Colombe: This Philly coffee chain is one of the best things that DC has imported. These people are serious about their coffee and have some delicious brews. They also have the cutest cups/plates and know how to decorate a place well! I like the spacious 14th Street location the best because it has awesome windows and the cutest sign inside, but the Chinatown and Blagden Alley locations are also great πŸ™‚

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Vigilante Coffee Co, credit @raquelisimo

Vigilante: Of all the places on this list, Vigilante is the one I have been visiting the longest. It has one location in Hyattsville with another coming to College Park soon. I like that they have lots of options here and super chill vibes. One time when I was here studying I got invited to participate in a cupping, which is basically like a wine tasting but for coffee. So fun! The staff is so helpful and friendly, and their baked goods are really tasty. I like that they also offer acai bowls if you’re looking for something more refreshing. I know it’s a bit of a hike out of the city, but this place is worth it.

There you have it– my favorite coffee shops in the city! Did I miss any of your favorite spots? Tell me in the comments below! And keep your eye out for the next part of the “Rachel’s Guide to Washington” series coming soon πŸ™‚

Lunchtime Reading: July 30

  1. What this stylish photographer always keeps in his carry-on. (GM Lifestyle)
  2. I just ordered this Mountain Ocean body lotion and can’t wait to try it out!
  3. The language learning app is set to roll out Hawaiian language lessonsΒ soon and I really want to give it a try! The real question is when will they start offering Arabic for English users? (Hawaii News Now)
  4. 10 essential items to get if you want the California Girl style. (The Zoe Report)
  5. I am currently obsessed with Refinery 29’s Money Diaries series and just read this one about an MBA student who works in the wedding industry!
  6. 7 steps to your most relaxing bathroom ever. (Domino)
  7. The newest beauty ingredient that’s all over blogs: tea tree oil. (Into the Gloss)
  8. 7 most versatile pieces for your summer wardrobe. (The Everygirl)
  9. The best travel-size beauty products to take on your next trip. (CN Traveller)
  10. Millennials’ drinking habits are causing a crisis for America’s most iconic beers. (Business Insider)

Feature image found here.

Lunchtime Reading: July 26

  1. I am obsessed with this map dress— I can’t wait to wear it as a teacher πŸ™‚
  2. It’s already over half way through the year. Um, what?! Here’s how my New Years Resolutions are going πŸ™‚
  3. Loved this read about making sure your goals are what you want– not what everyone else does! (The Everygirl)
  4. 8 major fashion trends for fall 2018 that you should know. (Harper’s Bazaar)
  5. I went to Europe! Check out this post about my time in Geneva, Switzerland πŸ™‚ I will have more posts up later!
  6. Not sure how I’m so late to the party, but I purchased this cult beauty favorite and it is definitely worth the hype.
  7. My guide for this weekend: a chill guide to NYC. (Girls Night In Club)
  8. I’ve heard of third-wave feminism, but third-wave coffee shops? Apparently, they’re a thing.
  9. Tom Newton from Into the Gloss is everything. Loving his newest blog post about his obsession with fancy body wash. (Into the Gloss)
  10. Airbnbs might seem like a cheap option, but they are not in these cities. (CN Traveler)

New Year’s Resolutions: 6 Months In

Oh my gosh how is it already halfway through 2018??!?!! This year is FLYING BY! As I write this I am across the pond in Switzerland. It is soooo cute here! I decided to take some time off to travel between quitting my job and starting grad school, and I am loving Europe so far πŸ™‚ Here’s how I am doing on my New Year’s resolutions I set waaaay back in January!

  1. Log everything I eat: I have finally started to make this happen! Back in June, I started the 2B Mindset nutrition program because one of my friends is a coach for it. 2B stands for the “two bunnies” (aka four rules of this program): water first, veggies most, log your food, and step on the scale. I’ve fallen in love with the program and how easy it is to follow and stay consistent with! All I do is log the food I ate on an app (there’s a journal I can write it in too if I want), and for each meal, the app gives me suggestions on how much of my meal should come from which food groups. Like I said, super easy! I love it and it’s something I’ll definitely be able to stick with long term.

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  1. Resting heart rate below 60: I am making progress on this! I took a break from wearing my Fitbit for a few months, but I’m back to wearing it so I can track my progress. All the walking and hiking I’ve done in the last week has definitely helped with my heart health! I’ve got some big hikes planned for Italy…can’t wait to see how many steps I get then! haha. It really is fun tracking my fitness metrics and watching them improve over time πŸ™‚ One of my goals for living in San Diego is to be super active– I’m talking surfing, hiking, yoga, barre, running– you name it! So I have a good feeling that my resting heart rate will continue to go down as I continue to become more active and athletic πŸ™‚

  1. Travel to five new countries: This one is definitely going to happen! I went to Ireland in May with my dad and Switzerland on my own last month (still there currently!). In July I’ll be traveling to four new countries–Liechtenstein, Austria, Slovenia, and Germany– so I will 100% be meeting this goal by going above and beyond! This fits into my bigger goal of visiting 30 countries before I’m 30, and I’ve planned it out so that if I visit 2 countries every year from now on, I’ll hit 30 countries by the time I am 29! It’s totally possible! I think next on my list is Mexico– I would really love to visit Cabo San Lucas ☺️

  1. Move to a new city: So things came together, and yes I am moving to San Diego!!! I am seriously so excited πŸ™‚ In addition to moving to a new city I’m also going to be switching careers from financial analysis to teaching! Starting in August I’ll be going back to school for my Masters of Arts in Teaching at Point Loma Nazarene University. I’ll probably try to work a little bit too, but nothing really intense– just like a barista or florist or something!!

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The first half of this year has been absolutely transformative, and I can’t wait to see what other adventures I will have in the rest of 2018! Already looking forward to checking in on my resolutions at the End of September πŸ™‚

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Geneva, Switzerland

Hello! I am currently in Switzerland and oh my gosh it is BEAUTIFUL here! I’m pretty sure every magic kingdom in every fairytale ever is based on Switzerland because it’s so stinking cute! I flew into Geneva and spent one day there exploring and even got to see a friend who’s in grad school there. Geneva is really cool because it’s such an international city and there’s lots of different cultures all mixed together πŸ™‚ Here are some photos from the trip!

The view of Lake Geneva from the top of the Ferris wheel πŸ™‚

First stop: the farmer’s market ☺️

A panoramic view of Old Town. My friend and I went to an outdoor jazz concert and this was right behind the park we were in!

The flower clock πŸ’

Coffee from my Airbnb host. I don’t know what kind it was but it tasted delicious!

The Rhône river. It is so clear and blue 😍

Birdie, a super cute coffee shop in Old Town.