Madrid

untitled-3822 untitled-3905

Dress / Similar  Cardigan / Shoes

Madrid was the last stop on our adventure through Morocco and Spain, and also the largest city we passed through.  It took a little bit of time to adjust to all the noises, people and skyscrapers, but we quickly adapted to the faster pace and were able to squeeze in a few more sites, even though we could feel the past two weeks catching up with us.  The afternoon we arrived in Madrid was devoted to my shopping time.  I had a pre-existing love for Spanish brands Zara and Mango (which of course you can shop in the US online and in some cities, but it’s not the same!) and had read in various fashion blogs about Sfera, Hoss Intropia, Pull and Bear, Bershka, Armand Basi…so we hit up the main shopping area near Puerta del Sol and I shopped til I almost literally dropped.  Luckily – for our budget, luggage, and Justin’s sanity – most of the stores weren’t quite my style or didn’t carry things I thought were unique enough to justify hauling home.  Of course it ended up being Zara – a massive 6-story Zara I might add – that ended up having the most appealing items, and since the items in the store looked a little fresher than those on the US website I did end up with a couple shopping bags, hooray!  With the shopping out of the way we were able to focus on sightseeing the next day, visiting the Royal Palace in the morning and the Prado Museum in the afternoon.  I really enjoyed seeing all the famous works hanging in the Prado, especially Velasquez’s Las Meninas of course.  Since it was St. Patrick’s Day, we ended the day with a Guinness at an Irish pub followed by a paella dinner.  A great ending to a great trip!

Morocco-Spain-3228
xoxo
Urva

P.S.  A Madrid specialty is Churros y Chocolate – for breakfast!  Probably not what I’d want to start every day with but a fun way to celebrate our last day of vacation!

untitled-3921

Morocco-Spain-3259

Granada

untitled-3614 untitled-3388

Like a lot of European cities, Granada is an fascinating mix of old and new.  The 16th century cathedral walls are only feet away from new retail spaces, office buildings have been built around a 14th century Moorish silk bazaar, and perched on a hill above the city is the magnificent Alhambra.  While for us Granada didn’t have quite the relaxed, sunlit charm of Sevilla, it does have an appeal of its own.  On our first afternoon we wandered the city center, gawking at the size of the cathedral both inside and out.  We also took in a beautiful dusk view of the Alhambra from Mirador de San Nicolas- along with every other tourist in Granada I’m pretty sure!  Our full day in Granada was devoted mostly to exploring the Alhambra, along with a couple other sites nearby.  I will be honest, I packed this Jack by BB Dakota dress because the pattern seemed similar to images I’ve seen of Moorish architecture, and yes I wanted to coordinate with my surrounding – I told you I give my outfits a lot of thought!  (Or too much thought.)  But hey, the blue and gold pattern did end up looking nice in photos, and popped against the Banana Republic lightweight coral cardigan.  The day was a little chilly and I knew we’d be out past sunset so I added tights and boots to the mix.  And of course the ever-present camera bag.  When you look at the architecture imagine the soft sounds of a fountain and the smell of jasmine flowers…no wonder its builders referred to it as paradise.

Morocco-Spain-3259 Morocco-Spain-3164

Similar Dress (on sale!) / CardiganBelt

xoxo
Urva

untitled-2846

Sevilla

untitled-2832 untitled-2846

I’m just gonna say it: Sevilla es mi favorita.  It was a little bit of a crazy journey to get there from Morocco but once we did…cute cobblestone streets, warm golden sunlight, flowers everywhere, all the Tempranillo you can drink…  When I win the lottery I’ll pack up Justin, Clyde and the Vitamix, and spend half my time in Firenze and the other half in Sevilla and it will be glorious.  But even with only a little over a day we were able to make the most of our time, seeing all the major sites, wandering through tiny walkways, people-watching in sunny plazas, and taking in an amazing Flamenco show.  Being in Spain, I felt comfortable showing a little more skin and wore this yellow skirt that’s been sitting in my closet for couple years – embarrassing, but I just read that pleated skirts are in style so I guess I was ahead of the curve.  I love the combination of grey and yellow and didn’t want to make the look too fussy, so I wore this casual racer-back tank with it, and added a fun, sparkly belt from Anthropologie plus an ivory cardigan.  You can’t see it in the photo, but my gray J.Crew flats have tiny spikes around the heel, which I love.  And of course I’m carrying my Rebecca Minkhoff Craig camera bag.  While it was a little more expensive than I usually spend on purses, finding a high-quality bag that holds my bulkier camera, also fits cash and lip balm, AND is stylish at the same time made it a good purchase in my book.

untitled-3067 untitled-2940
Similar Skirt / Top (on sale!)/ Cardigan (on sale!)/ BeltShoes

xoxo
Urva

P.S.  The Spanish wine from this region is awesome! I usually drink lighter, aromatic Pinot Noir at home (Oregon love!), but really enjoyed all the Tempranillo/Rioja offerings.  And let’s be honest, after an alcohol-free week in Morocco I was pretty thrilled about wine period  :)

IMG_0209

untitled-2535

Volubilis

 

untitled-2296 untitled-2318

From Rabat we traveled to Fes, and spent a crazy afternoon exploring their fascinating, maze-like medina.  Fes is famous for their tannery and after visiting we of course purchased some leather goods, including a pair of pointy-toe shoes that I can’t wait to find an outfit for!  On our way out of Fes we made a stop at archaeological site of Volubilis.  Roman ruins are obviously not unique to Morocco, but the ones at Volubilis are definitely pretty special.  What’s more, we had the whole site pretty much to ourselves, and it is always easier to re-imagine the original structures when they aren’t surrounded by busloads of tour groups in matching vests (ahem).  Since we were going to be traveling through Morocco and on to Spain later that day, I wore the other maxi dress I had packed, a shimmery BCBG slip dress I scored on extreme discount from 6pm.com.  Even though it’s angle length, the dress is light and loose enough to walk in and stay fairly cool even in the full sun.  I paired it with a similarly lightweight cobalt cardigan from Banana Republic, a gold belt from the Ann Taylor clearance rack, and my Steve Madden ankle boots.  Because of our later travel plans I ended up carrying my bright blue cross-body bag AND aviators…a little bit of a blue overload but I do really love the color.  From Volubilis we spent a looong day traveling to Spain, and back to a place of easily available booze, a language we understand, and shorter hemlines…

untitled-2403 untitled-2535

Boots (now on sale!) / Sunglasses
Similar Dress / Cardigan / Belt

xoxo
Urva

Morocco-Spain-2890

Rabat

untitled-1758 untitled-1620

From Marrakech (and after a day trip near the Sahara Desert for some camel riding!) we traveled to Rabat, located on the NW coast.  As a result of being the capitol of Morocco, Rabat is a more modern and less touristy city, though it still has plenty to see and lots of charm.  And a refreshing ocean breeze too!  We stayed at the gorgeous Riad Kalaa in the medina, in a tranquil room off the rooftop terrace.  (Side note: this was the first of several hotel rooms lacking bathroom doors…even after being together 8 years, I’m not quite ready to sacrifice some level of mystery with my husband!)  We enjoyed exploring and shopping in the quieter medina, and spent hours poking around the architectural sights including the Oudayas (fort), Chellah (Roman and Islamic ruins now home to a colony of storks) and the Hassan Tower and Mausoleum.  Since the younger women of Rabat wear skinny jeans and leave their hair uncovered, I felt comfortable wearing this mid-length skirt from ASOS paired with an H&M bodysuit and Anthropologie belt.  I LOVE the vivid colors and full design of this skirt, and it got me a few compliments from a group of French women – does it get better than that?!  A Gorjana necklace and my Rebecca Minkhoff bag completed the look.

Similar Top / Skirt / Belt / Necklace

untitled-1897 Morocco-Spain-2890

xoxo
Urva

P.S. I can’t resist sharing a photo of this lamb tajine (a traditional Moroccan dish) that we enjoyed at the Hotel Balima in Rabat.  It was just as tasty as it looks!

Tajine

Marrakech

Marrakech

untitled-1249

(c) Hannegan 2014

Destination #1 of our whirlwind tour of Morocco and Spain was Marrakech.  And yes, it is just as exotic as it sounds!  We were staying at a riad within the medina, which I would highly recommend over a hotel to have a more authentic Moroccan experience.  Sipping mint tea in the fountain-filled marble courtyard and enjoying breakfast on the rooftop terrace were amazing, and the perfect counterpart to wandering the hot, loud, busy plazas and souks.  For our full day of exploring Marrakech, I wore this studded maxi dress by Sabine from Piperlime.  In addition to being easy to pack and wear, it provided more coverage, which is helpful in a Muslim country where most women are covered head to toe (though Moroccan women don’t usually cover their face, hands or feet).  Not that I felt like I had to cover up, but we were drawing enough attention with our obviously Western appearance, and I prefer not to shock or disrespect the local culture when possible!  I’m also wearing wedge sandals by Cole Haan from Nordstrom (the Nike technology is great for walking all day) and carrying a Rebecca Minkhoff Craig camera bag from Shopbop that is just the right size for my Nikon P7700.  Comfortable, coordinated, culture-appropriate – this outfit was perfect for kicking off our travels.

untitled-1175Morocco-Spain-2813

xoxo
Urva

untitled-1151
I purchased all the pieces of this outfit months ago, but you can find similar ones here:
Dress / Bag / Shoes

Morocco-Spain-Bag photo

Morocco and Spain

Morocco-Spain-Bag photo

Last month my husband and I took a trip to Morocco and Spain, spending an amazing week in each.  This trip was kind of our last hurrah before settling down to have babies (eek!) and came about because Justin has been wanting to return to Spain since studying abroad there in college.  Since we were focusing on southern Spain, and since Morocco is just a narrow Strait of Gibraltar away, we decided to visit both countries.  (I got to pick a destination of my own in October 2012 when we went to Italy.)

MoroccoPassportStamp.jpg

In two weeks we covered six cities and traveled by plane, train, boat, bus and automobile – phew!  Despite some transportation-related craziness here and there the trip was AWESOME, we had a blast taking in the sites and tasting the cuisine, our bodies and our luggage made it everywhere safe and sound, and – probably most importantly – Justin and I enjoyed each other’s company the entire trip (even with a lack of bathroom doors…more on that later) and weren’t  sick of each other when we got home.  All in all, two of the best weeks of my life!

SpainPassportStamp.jpg

Between my love of clothes and all the photos we take while traveling, this trip was a perfect opportunity for assess my closet and do some serious outfit planning.  Yes it’s silly, but I love to dream up the perfect ensemble for a travel destination and related activities.  So the next few posts will combine travel and fashion, focusing on a city and what I wore for a day of exploring.  And since my other passion is food, there will of course be documentation of the yummy things we ate.  Stay tuned for more posts and photos!

xoxo
Urva

 

 

Hello!

Hello there! Before I get carried away with the posts and photos I wanted to introduce myself a little.  As you may have read in the “About” section, I am a public health educator living in the suburbs of Denver who loves fashion, travel, and food.  Since I also love to document a great outfit, stunning scenery, and yes, my meals (I know, I know…) I decided to put everything in one spot.  And if anyone stumbles upon the blog and benefits from my experience, clearance-rack find, or new recipe, then all the better.  Here are a couple other things to know about me:

- I am married to an amazing man named Justin.  We will celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary in May 2014 and have been together for eight years!  He takes most of the photos that I share on this blog (with the exception of some food and landscape shots) and clearly is pretty skilled with a camera.  He also is just pretty awesome in general and I’m incredibly lucky to get to spend my life with him.

- I have a 5-year-old boxer dog named Clyde.  He is my baby in every sense of the word and I love him so much it hurts.  Once you see his squishy, puppy-eyed face (and you will see lots of it here) you’ll understand.  We also have a cat named Bonnie…I’m not a cat person so I don’t know what else to say about that.

- I am from Portland, Oregon, aka one of the best cities in the world.  I definitely left my heart in Oregon and can’t wait to move back eventually.  Until then I’m enjoying the Colorado sunshine and representing the Oregon Ducks loud and proud in Denver.  As a result of spending my formative years in Oregon I have a little hippie in me, so when the Birkenstocks make an appearance don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Christmas13-2706

More information to come in future posts of course.  I look forward to sharing and interacting with you here!

xoxo
Urva