Travel Diary Part 1 :: Loving Italy & Style Lab

by wendy

Hi everyone!  I hope you’re having a wonderful day so far.  I’m back in LA, and boy, do I appreciate fast internet connection!  Because of the limited online access, I was unable to respond to some of the questions on the earlier posts.  Just in case you’re still interested, the nail color I’m wearing in the “Into the Blue” entry is Essie ‘Fiji’, the travel jewelry box in the “Up in the Air” is from eBay (I can’t seem to find the seller, but once I do, I’ll circle back to you thanks to Naomi for locating the travel jewelry case on eBay!), and thank you for suggesting a video version of the packing segment!  We’ll film it later this week.

Next, I want to apologize in advance for this long blog post.  It’s picture heavy!  I actually wanted to finish the whole travel diary entry in one post, but realize it was too long so I had to break it into two.  If you have time, please stay and to entice you to keep on reading part 2 (which will go up tomorrow), I’ll conclude the travel series with a shopping tips segment =)

:: The Places ::

Florence and Siena stole my heart.  The architecture, the food, the culture, the people, the aura… I can go on and on.  For this trip, MM and I visited mostly touristy spots.  But we made a promise to ourselves to come back and fully experience the culture.  We want to seek out local favorites, learn the language, and appreciate the lifestyle.

Florence

We climbed up to the top of the duomo, and even though I felt like my legs were turning into jello, the view was completely worth it!  Over 250 feet up, we saw the magnificent landscape of Florence.

This is the Ponte Vecchio, one of the most famous and oldest bridge in Florence.  Inside reveals an enormous jewelry box.  There are countless jewelry shops on this bridge.  It’s more a feast for the eyes but heavy on the wallet.

After seeing so many jewelry pieces, I became infatuated with this closure.  MM was very amused by my constant desire to take pictures of this particular closure design.  MM, “Do you like the bracelet?”  Me, “It’s ok.  But the closure is fantastic!”  I was completely captivated by the delicate nature of the circle embraced by the controlled yet balanced bars.

Siena

I love this view!  I wish I can cut and paste it so it’ll be down the street from me.

Breathtaking.

:: The Journey ::

A few weeks ago, I received an invitation from Lusia Via Roma to participate in their Firenze4Ever 5th Edition Style Lab.  Every year, Lusia Via Roma invites a handful of bloggers from all around the world to take part in their Firenze4Ever event.  Bloggers get to express their style using pieces from the store to create 2 or 3 looks.  It’s an incredible event where you can let your imagination go wild and play with an amazing collection of beautiful clothes.  I’ve followed their Style Lab series long before I started blogging, so when I got the invitation, my mouth dropped to the floor rendering me speechless.

I’ve never had my hair or make-up professionally done before so I was super excited.  The Aveda team sculpted my hair while the Make Up For Ever artist gave me smokey eyes.  This is a very different look for me.  I usually never wear dark eye makeup, so it took me a few minutes to get use to it.  I kind of like it though.  I might have to try and recreate this look at home one of these days =)

We only had a few hours to go to hair and makeup, style our looks, and work with the photographer.  In my case, MM was my photographer so it was seamless.  This beautiful woman is Francesca and she was my companion for the day.  She assisted me with making sure all of the sizes were available and helped us maneuver around the city center during our shoot.

I had so many emotions running through my body.  When I was younger, I did color guard and before each performance, there’s just a moment where excitement meets anxiety and all of us would let out a long exhale.  That was the exact same moment I felt before leaving for our first Style Lab shoot.  I took a deep breath, gave myself a mini pep talk, and bolted out of the dressing room.

I really wanted to have fun and let my imagination soar during the Style Lab sessions.  For the first look, my muse was a modern day warrior.  She’s a fighter who’s graceful on the battlefield as she is at home.  Using an incredibly tailored leather jacket with power shoulders and arm panels to exemplify modern day armor and multiple headpieces to distinguish herself as the leader of her clan, she’s off to battle.

First Style Lab outfit – wearing a Rick Owens jacket, Jo No Fui skirt, Casadei wedges, Bjorg earring, and Bjorg necklace.

For the second look, I wanted to take her from the battlefield to dinner.  After defending her clan, she changes into a feminine dress and finishes the look with a bold necklace and high heels.

Second Style Lab outfit – wearing an Emilio Pucci dress, Emilio Pucci clutch, and Giuseppe Zanotti booties.

Being in Florence was a sweet reminder for me to work hard and to count my blessings.  I’m so grateful for these amazing opportunities, and more importantly, I’m so thankful for your support and encouragement.  Thank you so much for being on this journey with me!

:: Outfits ::

Florence outfit :: Splendid tee, Zara floral shorts, Celine bag, Jewelista necklace, Prada sunnies
Siena outfit :: See by Chloe dress, Zara flats, Chanel bag, Jewelista necklace, Michele watch
First Style Lab outfit :: Rick Owens jacket, Jo No Fui skirt, Casadei wedges, Bjorg earring, Bjorg necklace
Second Style Lab outfit :: Emilio Pucci dress, Emilio Pucci clutch, Giuseppe Zanotti booties