Prabal Gurung + Target Inspiration

I recently bought this pair of heels from the Prabal Gurung + Target collection for my spring break trip to Vegas. Having browsed the collection online prior to its release in stores, I thought the items were cool but never intended on buying anything.

But then I unknowingly stumbled upon this awesome pair of heels at Target one day, at a 20% discount and knew I had to buy them. I love the lace-up detail and they’re actually quite comfortable for a $30 shoe. And they look killer too.

I rocked them with a bright coral-colored cocktail dress with my ladies on the Strip, but here are a few more ways to wear them. (I actually own the polka dot sequin skirt and can’t wait to test drive my heels with it!)

Trendy, casual, or dressy – what’s your favorite?

PrabalShoes

Outfit 1: Tshirt | Madewell Skirt
Outfit 2: WILDFOX SweatshirtCurrent/Elliott Boyfriend Jeans
Outfit 3: Modcloth Sherbet Dress

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46 Days Later

“What is your favorite CIMBA memory?” the piece of paper said. A slideshow of photos of us played in the background, a sentimental tune to go along with it. You would have thought it was the end of the program, but in reality it’s a little more than halfway through. Hard to believe, but only 38 days remain until I’m headed back to the states.

As I sat there filling out my reflections page for the CIMBA yearbook, I realized how much I am going to miss these people. I had no idea how close I could get to a group of 75 strangers in less than two months. But it makes sense when I think about it—we all live in the same building, went through the same intensive leadership training, take the same classes, and eat three meals a day together. Most of us came here knowing nobody, give or take a few. We have learned to rely on each other for support, since we are all far from home and out of our comfort zones. CIMBA 2012 truly is a little family.

All you need is CIMBA! My friend’s addition to the Lennon Wall in Prague

What was originally 84 days here has suddenly turned into 38. I have had an amazing ride thus far, and I am only beginning to pinpoint how this experience is changing me. Just a few things I’ve noticed/learned…

1. Before coming to Italy, I relied on iPhone Maps like no other. Need to find a certain store? Whip my phone out, type in the store, and my handy-dandy iPhone gets me there every time.  But this is not the case in Europe. I’ve had to learn how to find my way around foreign countries without technology. It’s maps all the way, and let me tell you, I’ve become a master.

2. I never knew how it felt to be the minority and feel out of place before, but my European adventures have changed that too. Something as simple as walking into the cafeteria and seeing only Italians in the room makes me feel very self-conscious. It’s made me wonder how international students must feel coming to University of Oregon. The majority of people there aren’t too welcoming, but it is amazing how much a slight smile means.

Celebrating the last night of Oktoberfest

3. Europeans really aren’t that much different than Americans. Sure, we speak different languages, eat different foods, and wear different clothes. But we all celebrate, socialize, and love the same. One of the reasons I enjoyed Oktoberfest so much is because of the unity I felt there. Thousands of people from all over Europe and America who don’t know a thing about each other, yet we all danced to the same music and gave cheers to one another. It was an unforgettable experience and I want to go back.

4. Europeans are much more fashionable than Americans and I absolutely love it. Being a fashionista myself and wanting to work in the fashion industry when I graduate, one of my favorite things about being in Europe is observing all the dress. Unlike America, no one here is caught dead in sweat pants with a messy bun on the top of their head. Whether male or female, young or old, day or night, everyone I see dresses impeccably (especially more so in Italy). I wish some of the Americans would take a hint.

Amazing ceiling inside the Residence Munchen

5. Another thing Europe’s got on America is their stunning architecture. I knew the buildings here would be old and cool, but I didn’t realize they’d take my breath away. During my first travel week I saw several cathedrals with painted ceilings and stained glass that was incredible. I still can’t believe people managed to build all that hundreds of years ago, before technology or construction tools even existed. Looking at these works of art gives me hope, for if the Europeans could do that without so much as a ladder, we certainly can better our game.

So far I’ve traveled to Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, and Italy of course. On Saturday I leave for my second travel week to Barcelona, Dublin, and Paris. I can’t wait to see what new things I’ll learn in these countries. Ciao!

This post was cross-posted to https://www.biz.uiowa.edu/cimba.

Class Trip to Asolo

Today I had the pleasure of taking a field trip to nearby Asolo with my Italian for Travelers class. Asolo is a town about 10 minutes away from Paderno and is home to the CIMBA MBA campus. Our class of 22 took a bus there this morning and our Italian Professor gave us a tour of the town.

CIMBA MBA student and Undergrad Campus Life Coordinator Heather driving past us!

The bus driver had to drop us off at the bottom of the hill leading up to Asolo because busses are too big to go up there. I was surprised by how steep the walk uphill was―I got my morning workout in! As we entered the town, my classmates and I immediately wished the undergrad campus was in Asolo too. Much bigger than Paderno (but still a small town), Asolo has many ristorantes, cafés, boutiques and even an old castle. There are many more people living there and it actually felt like a happening place, compared to teeny tiny Paderno. I fell in love with the boutiques we passed and had to stop to window-shop at every one.

A colorful array of ties in a shop window
Gold Salvatore Ferragamo sneakers in a shop window

The CIMBA MBA campus sits at the very top of the hill in Asolo, right beside the hiking trail to Rocca, a fortress from the 12th century. The MBA campus itself is located in a historic building with original walls from the 1600s. Intended to be used for a “cultural” place, the interior of the building was renovated in the late 1900s to be used as an art gallery. Instead, Dr. Al and Cristina Turchet, directors of the CIMBA program, swept it up and it has been home to the CIMBA MBA students for the past 20 years.

Entrance to the CIMBA MBA building
The Rocca fortress in the background

After our tour of Asolo was done, our professoressa di italiana took us to a café where she required us to order something in Italian. Quite a fun task, I must say. I ordered a cappuccino and a muffin―molto buono! The best part was that Dr. Al, CIMBA director, paid for us all. How kind! Grazie Dottor Al!

Café Centrale in Asolo
Un cappuccino
This post was cross-posted to https://www.biz.uiowa.edu/cimba.

A Trip to Bassano

The ladies posing for a photo before leaving the Paderno campus

Last Thursday night we finally ventured out of our small abode that is Paderno. Up until that point, I had not been to any other part of Italy besides Venice, but that was only the airport. We were incredibly excited—half the students had already made the trip to Bassano del Grappa the first week while we were stuck in leadership training. But now they were in LIFE training and it was our turn to explore!

As soon as I stepped off the 20-minute bus ride, I knew I was in for a treat. Compared to Paderno with one main street, Bassano was bustling with city nightlife, restaurants, bars and more buzzing on both sides of the road. We ventured into the downtown square part of Bassano, which consisted of a maze of narrow cobblestone streets and a restaurant, shop or gelateria on every corner. I stopped to buy gelato at the first gelateria I saw. It was my first time eating gelato (sadly Paderno is too small to have a gelateria) and it was amazing! I picked ciccolato and caffè (chocolate and coffee) and even ordered in (poorly spoken) Italian. Molto buono!

Gelato

One of my other favorite parts of Bassano was the architecture. Paderno doesn’t have any buildings big enough to “look” Italian, but they were everywhere in Bassano. The downtown square featured old buildings that used to be apartments on top, with newly renovated shop spaces on the first floor.  I was in LOVE with all the storefronts we walked past. Being a fashionista and wanting to work in the fashion industry, I oohed and aahed at every store we walked by. Unfortunately all the shops were closed at that time of night, so I have to go back.

Downtown Bassano

Gorgeous Prada loafers in a shopfront!

The best part of Bassano was the wooden bridge overlooking the river. Apartments, restaurants and bars were on either side of the river and at nighttime with their lights sparkling and reflecting on the river surface, it was beautiful. Couples both young and old walked along holding hands, some stopping on the bridge to snap a photo or take in the sights. It must have been because it was nighttime, but the bridge was romantic in the simplest way possible. All of us were yearning to go back to Bassano as soon as we left.

This post was cross-posted to https://www.biz.uiowa.edu/cimba.

Leather, Snakeskin and Burgundy, oh my!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I am so looking forward to transitioning my wardrobe from summer to fall. Perhaps what’s most exciting about this fall, however, is the fact I’ll be spending it in Italy and other parts of Europe. I can’t wait to see all the European fashion, both on men and women. It will be interesting to compare which styles are the same and which are different. Regardless of how fashionable I may be though, everyone tells me I’ll still stick out as an American. A girl can dream, can’t she?

In spirit of the season and my love for fashion, I’ve pulled together some of my favorite items for fall, pictured above. Let me just sum it up with three words: leather, snakeskin, and burgundy. Three of my favorite things. I love pairing the color burgundy (or “oxblood” as my fashion-mag-obsessed friend calls it) with the massive amounts of black and gray in my fall/winter wardrobe. Snakeskin is a shoe-in, since I love animal print; and last but not least, LEATHER. I’ve always loved the fabric, probably due to my dream of becoming a rockstar in my afterlife. The fact that it’s now back in style for 9-to-5 attire (almost) makes me wish I were continuing at the corporate office rather than headed back to school. I hope it sticks around. Can you guess which of the above items I actually bought? :)

Clockwise, from left to right: Vince leather shift | La Mer watch | StyleMint teeBanana Republic necklace7 For All Mankind jeans