Archive | August, 2013

Stephanie Johnson Giveaway!!

15 Aug

As you read this, I’m sitting at Ben Gurion International (Tel Aviv) waiting for my flight to Hong Kong to spend 2.5 weeks in Macau, Thailand, and Vietnam!! In honor of my trip to Southeast Asia, the wonderful team at Stephanie Johnson has offered to give one very lucky Love a la mode reader  a JUMBO zip cosmetic bag in the Jakarta print! Let me tell you this bag is absolutely amazing.  Here is a (very embarassing) picture of what my toiletry collection legitimately entailed before I received the product:

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5 separate bags. I kid you not. Enter Stephanie Johnson to the rescue and I am down to just one! Not only do I love the print, but I love the spaciousness. With dimensions 10-7/8” L x 3-1/2″ W x 8″, everything fits! Not to mention the waterproof lined interior means I don’t have to worry about something spilling and ruining everything else in my bag.

I am also newly obsessed with the sweet passport cover in berry they sent me to keep my passport safe and sound on my 5 country journey. Another bonus is it is also a waterproof material, which never hurts. After how happy I am with the quality and styling of the Stephanie Johnson products I received, I could definitely see upping my collection in the very near future ;)

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SECURELY ENTER THE GIVEAWAY THROUGH RAFFLECOPTER!

What are your favorite products from the website? Good luck everyone!

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Israel Diaries: Jerusalem International Film Festival

5 Aug

One of the best experiences I’ve had this summer living in Israel was getting to attend the Jerusalem International Film Festival through my internship at an international film financing company. I was also really excited to travel to Jerusalem and stay with one of my ADPi pledge sisters who recently relocated here. I arrived in Jerusalem on a Sunday evening and after stashing all my stuff in her apartment/dorm at Hebrew University, we took the light rail into the Jerusalem city center for a nice dinner at HaSpaghettim (literal translation: The Spaghettis.) The next day, I was on my own to get myself to the film festival to catch my first screening. To say that Google Maps led me astray in my journey to the Jerusalem Cinematheque might be an understatement. Long story short, I ended up on an all Arab-Islamic bus headed to Bethlehem via the West Bank. And I was wearing a sleeveless, backless blouse (which albeit chic, didn’t quite go with everyone else’s hijab.) Thankfully, the bus driver spoke a little English and agreed to drop me off right in front of the Cinematheque before continuing on to the Palestinian territories. (Side note: Dear Google Maps, if you could invent an “avoid imminent danger” or “circumvent awkward cultural differences” filter in the near future, it would be greatly appreciated.)

Jerusalem Cinematheque

View of the valley of Jerusalem as seen from the Cinematheque at night

After that little adventure I finally made it just in time for my first screening, a feature length fiction film financed by my company! The acting was great and I loved hearing the panel with the director afterwards. Later in the day I met back up with my friend and we went to another screening. After the film, we walked to the old central train station which has recently been renovated into a cool urban hang out with lots of bars and restaurants. We couldn’t resist a little dessert and some girl talk :)

Cafe Landwer

Cappucino, nana tea, and molten chocolate cake with ice cream at Cafe Landwer

On Tuesday, we spent a leisurely morning getting some work done at Aroma (the Israeli version of Starbucks) and then the latter half of the afternoon lunching and shopping. That evening we met up with our friend Haley, another Arizona grad, for dinner near Ben Yehuda at Focaccia Bar, which was super different and seriously delicious. We spent hours catching up before heading back to Mt. Scopus for the night.

Arizona girls at Focaccia Bar

Arizona ’13 grads at Focaccia Bar

On Wednesday afternoon, Rachel and I said our goodbyes and then I headed back into the city center (I managed to stay on the Israeli bus line this time) to the Cinematheque. I saw two more screenings, including the latest documentary produced by Morgan Spurlock and Eve Ensler, before heading to the central bus station to catch the last bus back to Tel Aviv. I finally arrived back at my apartment around midnight, completely exhausted, but loving every second that I got to spend with friends in Jerusalem.

Have you traveled anywhere neat this summer? When was the last time you got to catch up with old friends?

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Coming Soon: Issa for Banana Republic

2 Aug

Although I’m loving my time in Israel (and soon to be trip to Southeast Asia), after two months away from America I’m definitely experiencing  severe FOMO- fear of missing out. I’m jealous that my friends back home are doing fun things without me (like going to Vegas, aka my Mecca) and all of the other cool things going on in the good ol’ USA. Luckily, I won’t have to fret about missing the upcoming designer collaboration hitting Banana Republic shelves soon! Issa for Banana Republic will feature 40 pieces and be available in stores and online starting on August 8th. You can bet I’ll be fighting to snag one of the sought-after recreations of the dress Kate Middleton wore to her engagement announcement, which will be available in navy and plum.

These are just a few of my favorite pieces from the collection. What are yours?

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Israel Diaries: Laila Lavan

1 Aug

Celebrating Laila Lavan

Last month, I celebrated my very first Laila Lavan on the streets of Tel Aviv. Laila Lavan literally translates to White Night, and is a huge 24-hour celebration in the city of Tel Aviv, commemorating when the city was finally named a UNESCO World Heritage Sight. It is truly a unique holiday and like nothing I’ve ever seen before. On a Thursday evening/night/morning, every single thing in the city remains open. Museums, restaurants, theatres, concert halls, and anything else you can imagine host special events and parties until long after the sun rises. To celebrate Laila Lavan like true Israelis, a few friends and I started the evening by walking to Rabin Square where there were big concerts and cool multimedia art shows all night.

image  After that we walked down Ibn Gibarol Street where tons of different groups were playing lots of live music and having crazy dance parties in the streets. We stopped every so often to listen to the different sounds and people watch.

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As we approached Rothschild Street, where the really wild stuff was happening, we stopped at several of the carts selling yummy snacks and cheap libations and made new friends.

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After a fun dance party in the street with several hundred other people that we stumbled onto, we finally headed into a bar/club called Polaroid around 3am. Inside they were playing American hiphop, and they had opened up the back patio/yard area into a massive open space with experimental house DJs and some cool art installations.

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Around 6am we finally decided to start heading back towards our apartment building (trust me this is still considered very early to go home on Laila Lavan) and we watched the sunrise as we walked down Allenby and stopped at an amazing 12 shekel glatt kosher pizza place. (Seriously the best pizza I have ever had. And it wasn’t just because I was inebreated at 6am and had just walked 4 miles. It was honestly delicious!)

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Some of my friends headed to the beach to stay up longer and watch the sunrise, but as for me, it was time for bed, but this has definitely been my most memorable experience in Israel so far.

Have you had any fun adventures this summer? What has your most fun experience abroad been?

 

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