Fourth of July !

Traditions and Celebrations

American_FlagAs some of you know my boyfriend is Persian. Since he didn’t grow up celebrating the 4th of July like many of my American counterparts, he doesn’t totally get some of our traditions. The fun thing about dating someone from another part of the world is learning new cultures and traditions. I’ve learned so much about his home and I’ve explained things about America that he doesn’t understand.

I think the most interesting part of learning from each other is the historical aspect. I remember one of his Persian friends asked me what happened historically on July 4th, to which I explained it was the day we declared our independence from Great Britain. Information like this I take for granted, but to those who aren’t Fire_Worksfrom our country its a very new piece of knowledge.

Perhaps the best part of this holiday is sharing our nation’s history with those who may not know it.

So set off your fireworks, grill your burgers, sip your sangria, and be with your loved ones. Let’s show the world what we celebrate and how we celebrate! Happy birthday, America! This is my home.

~Liz

World Cup and the Spirit of the Game!

I never thought I would enjoy soccer. I really didn’t. However, this year’s World Cup has proven otherwise but in ways that you wouldn’t expect.

I’ll keep this short but I want to highlight how awesome it is to see each country taking pride in their teams! FromWorld_Cup the moment the gents and their kid sidekicks step onto the field there’s an undeniable sense of electricity moving through the air. They line up, salute their flags, sing their anthems, and then greet the opposing team. In a time where half the world is in an uproar, it is nice to see some sportsmanship taking place.

National identity and pride is absolutely vital to the survival and will power of a country. While some countries that are playing in the World Cup display their identity and pride less than others, I certainly appreciate the ones that are very open about it.

World_CupI’m cheering on two teams- England and America. England for my grandma and America because its my home. It sends goose bumps down my arms to hear my country’s anthem and to see our player’s mumbling the words with their hand on their heart. I also marvel at the other anthems as well. Its a cultural experience for all of us. For the first time in awhile we can all enjoy a game and just observe. We aren’t singing Kumbaya, but we’ve found common ground. Can we relish in this moment? I am.

~Liz

Memorial Day- More Than Just a BBQ

Memorial Day
I enjoy Memorial Day just as much as anyone else does, but by the looks of my Facebook feed and Instagram updates, people tend to forget why this day even exists.
Many men, women, even service animals have died for the sake of protecting their homeland and the people they love. To some, they may wonder what needs to be protected, there aren’t any apparent threats. But remember that success and freedom takes measures to prevent the deterioration of these things. We look to the future and live for it knowing that tomorrow is a better day. Those who died did so because they were hopeful for tomorrow. On this day, we honor them and their sacrifices.
Holidays like this one are the only days when it is acceptable to live in the past and present. Remembering the people that fought for freedom and a place to call home is our way to thank them.
So have your BBQs, set off your fireworks, and hug the friends and family you get to share it all with. However, tell your kids, your Facebook friends, and everyone else that you celebrate not because of the burgers on the grill, but because of the people that never got to come home and share it with you.
Thank you to all who paid the ultimate sacrifice and Happy Memorial Day to the rest of us. 
~Liz
Do you have anyone to thank? Comment below in their memory!

What to Wear: Kentucky Derby Edition

Tradition with Style!

Kentucky_Derby
Meghan and I at the Derby

One of the most loved traditions in America is the Kentucky Derby. The big hats, mint juleps, mingling, and the fabulous outfits are signature to this revered event. And I was lucky enough to go last spring! I went with a good friend but we weren’t prepared for the true style of the Derby. Being the first timers that we were, we made a few little mistakes. Namely, assuming the general admission meant our seats were in the grand stand (ha, we were in the infield, grand stand seating was $600 a ticket). We had a nice time despite the chilly rain, mud of the infield, and nowhere to sit. It was still a memory worth making! We ended up standing around under a big tent with a bunch of frat boys and sorority girls singing ‘Sweet Caroline‘ with the band that was playing. Shout out to Vineyard Vines for this lovely experience! By the time the race started we were exhausted and wet. And fair warning to anyone thinking general admission tickets will get you a nice view of the race- it won’t! We couldn’t even see the horses except for the 2 seconds they ran by (and that was at a distance of about 150 ft). Anyway, my point in all this is to be prepared! You’ll be glad you were.

Tips for Derby Day

Hunter_bootsFirst off, check the weather. Like I mentioned earlier, it was pouring rain last year and it didn’t stop. Security also wouldn’t let you take umbrellas in so as you can imagine most people were sopping wet. Luckily, my friend and I brought rain ponchos and believe me they were a life saver. If the race gets rained on again this year I recommend a cute pair of Hunter rain boots. I saw several girls (and a few guys) sporting these last year and I was so jealous! Not only did they look adorable even with a nice dress or sport coat, they also kept your feet warm and dry. I wore a pair of nude flats last year (I almost wore heels) but something warmer would have been lovely. This might not be as important if you are in the grand stand or an executive club box but for anyone in the infield its vital!

Secondly, a small clutch is a must! I took a 1930s vintage black clutch that was my grandma’s. Security won’t let you take in a full size bag so a cute clutch is what you’ll have to live with. Put credit cards, lipstick, cell phone, hair spray, and if you plan to sport stilettos, a very small pair of  matching Tory Burch flats (the kind that fold up). This goes for no matter where you’re sitting! 

Third, pick a classic outfit! The guys can get away with a navy blazer, white button up, and nantucket reds. But ladies, we Kentucky_Derby_Hathave a standard to live up to! Last year I found a pink and white dress at a Banana Republic outlet in central Florida (originally $125, I paid $20, little victories!) that I wore. A trend I noticed with most of the women was a classic cut and style. A lot of reds, whites, blacks, tans, and yellows were being pulled off by attendees. There’s a reason for the subtlety and I’ll explain later. 

Fourth, accessories are important. They just are. Gents, a leather watch is really all you need. Ladies, wear pearls. They’re a classic and always will be. Plus, they match almost everything!

Kate_Middleton Finally, the hat! This is the reason for the subtle, classic look women wore. You don’t want your outfit competing with your hat. There are several styles of hats to choose from. A smaller hat like the ones Kate Middleton dons (called a fascinator) are nice if you plan on doing something a bit flashier with your hair. Otherwise, the bigger the better! Bright colors are a must as long as the base of the hat is a solid, subtle color. This isn’t something you need to spend hundreds on unless you’re the wife of someone important or a leading lady yourself. 

Well, that’s all I have for you! Have fun, take pictures, and memorize the lyrics to ‘My Old Kentucky Home‘ (you’ll be glad you did)!

Do you have any tips? Comment, like, and share!

-Liz