Monday, April 16, 2018

Visiting the Arabian Peninsula

So sorry for the lack of posts over the past month! As I mentioned before, I had a pretty big trip out of the country planned. Over spring break I visited the Arabian Peninsula! I went with a group from my school to experience the gulf culture as well as learn Arabic. I had been considering taking this trip ever since last spring break, and this past fall finally put down my deposit to go. 

I'm so glad I went and so grateful for the opportunity to go. The farthest I've ever been away from the U.S. is Europe, so I was so excited to be in the Middle East. The culture was so different yet so similar. It was great to be somewhere so unfamiliar yet I found yet again that while we all have unique and equally special cultures, at the core we are so similar. Seeing parents eating with their children at a restaurant, young adults hanging out at the mall, and even just the clerks doing their jobs at the grocery store reminded me that no matter how far you travel you will always find someone you have something in common with. I hope everyone can remember this in efforts to have more empathy for one another and try harder to get along. 

That's my "world peace" speech haha. Here are some other things I learned!

1. To greet someone in Arabic you say "wa-salaam-alaikum", and they say back "wa-alaikum- a salaam"
2. There is a popular sweet called hallwa- which is basically a stiff jelly made from pure sugar. There were different flavors though that were really fun to try.
3. Just like we have cow farms in the US, people have camel farms in the peninsula. They milk the camels and some restaurants even serve camel meat (I didn't try it though)
4. Mexican food is internationally appreciated (no surprise- Mexican food is amazing). There were so many restaurants that boasted about their Mexican menu. 
5. The women know how to do makeup so well. Some friends and I were having coffee with a new friend and her cousin, and she asked, "So I noticed you don't wear makeup." It was so embarrassing to explain that I was wearing makeup, but "it just wasn't showing." Afterward we laughed so hard. 

I highly recommend taking advantage of any opportunity you get to see this part of the world. It was an irreplaceable experience and I would visit again in a heartbeat. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

All Black Everything

If you live in the southeast like me you probably have been confused by the weather this past month. Literally this one weekend I was wearing a knit scarf with my winter coat, and a few days later I wore shorts. 

I was out of the country for a little bit which is why I've been away from the site for a while. I traveled to a really warm place which has disoriented me even more (more on where I went later!). I left home in a mild temperature week in the middle of a wind storm, and I came back to 40 degree temperatures and a prediction of snow. They say that you can experience all four seasons in one day in Virginia, which is especially true in the transitions times between seasons like the month of March. 

During this transition time it can be hard dressing for the day. I try to find outfits that are versatile and can be layered under a jacket or just worn by themselves. While I enjoy colors, my favorite ensembles to wear are ones that are neutral and I love how effortlessly stylish wearing all black can be. This outfit is literally just a black sweater and black leggings, but I always get compliments on how "cool" I look when I wear it. Paired with the white sneakers, the outfit is great for days that I'm on the go, but helps me feel put together, even when life is hectic.

Do you have outfits that double in functionality and style?

P.S. I wore this outfit when I went to see Black Panther a few weekends ago. I'm not super into Super Heroes or comics but I would totally go see the movie again! Go check it out if you haven't already and let me know what you thought!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Introducing: Shop Hayley Diana

If you haven't already noticed, there's a new "Shop" tab on the site. I recently opened a store selling art prints I designed. This has been months in the making of planning, research, designing, and set up, so I'm super excited to finally share this with y'all. Each of these designs have personal meaning to me, and I hope they can bring inspiration and encouragement into your home or workspace.

Here's a preview of some of the items for sale! Be sure to click the Shop tab and check out the full set. I will be adding new items to the store regularly, so check back regularly for new stock!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Monthly Favorites: January


1. I got to attend the National Retail Federation's Student Program in Manhattan a few weeks ago. I haven't been to New York since I was a kid, so it was an adventure. I got a lot of experience on the subway traveling back and forth from my cousin's apartment in Brooklyn to the conference in uptown Manhattan. The conference was for college students who are interested in working in retail, whether that be on the storefront or corporate level. They had CEOs from a bunch of different companies such as Neiman Marcus, &pizza, Story, Warby Parker, Sam's Club, and even Daymond John from Shark Tank. I want to own my own fashion and lifestyle brand one day, so the weekend was very helpful and encouraging. I met a lot of cool professionals as well as other students.

I honestly don't know what it is about January that makes it go by so slow. I think it is the transition. January personally felt long to me because it was split into a bunch of different things. I rang in the New Year and said goodbye to the holidays, protected myself against the Arctic freeze we had on the east coast., traveled, met with potential employers, got sick (I blame the filthy New York subway), traveled back to school, started my last semester of classes (!!!) and have jumped back into papers, projects, and club activities. It's no wonder New Years feels like forever ago. However, I am trying my best to embrace everyday and enjoy all the opportunities this season brings, no matter how busy it gets.

2. I've been meditating on Isaiah 54:10 recently which says "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you." This verse has been super comforting at a time when there is new disaster in the world everyday. I am reminded that God is my refuge, and how passionate His love is for me.

This graphic comes from Bethel Music, which has great worship songs you should definitely check out!

3. While in New York I had my first lavender latte at a cafe near Union Square. I love anything lavender so this was a great treat! (I also picked up these pretty mums at a local grocery for my cousin's apartment)

4. I dyed my hair blonde in August, and really want to try out this Rose Gold Temporary Hair Tint for blonde shades from celebrity stylist Kristin Ess (she does stars like Lucy Hale and Lauren Conrad's hair). I'm so sad though because it's sold out, but I'm diligently monitoring when it will come back in stock!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Winter Wardrobe Part 2

Sweater: Similar Here and Here, Leggings: Aerie, Boots: Similar Here (on sale!), Here, and Here, Ring: Madewell
I wore these leggings in my last post. This time I paired it with a cable knit sweater and leather riding boots I've had for five or so years. They're classic pieces in my closet that I don't wear too often, but haven't given away since every year I find new ways to style them. The leggings add a fun twist, and make the outfit less preppy. I also like how the outfit is comfy, but is not sweats. Example: I wore this outfit for Christmas dinner- I felt comfortable all day but still felt "presentable" for the occasion.

As I've mentioned before, I'm a photographer (you can check out my portfolio site here) and collect cameras. My dad gave me this brownie camera for Christmas. It belonged to his mother, so it was a super special gift. I'm still searching for the right film and developer for it, but when I find them I can't wait to take photos with it!