Tag Archives: philadelphia

An Afternoon at Chanticleer | BEDA Day 26

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I went home for about 24 hours this weekend, which has become a common occurrence over the last year or so. I was in town for my mom’s choir concert and had a lovely few hours hanging out with my folks, snuggling with my dog, and sleeping in my own bed. The weather was absolutely stunning on Sunday, so we decided to take a ride to Chanticleer, a world-renowned garden right in my hometown.

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The flowers of Chanticleer were out in full bloom and we enjoyed a nice walk around the grounds. The Chanticleer Foundation has added a bunch of improvements – including new bathrooms and walkways down the hill from the house – since I last visited, which make the garden even more visitor-friendly. With these new paths we were able to explore areas of the garden we’d never seen before, like a pond full of giant carp.

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There’s a little shed down the hill from the main house that is just darling. It must have been used as a playhouse for the original owner’s children, as it’s decorated with these amazing murals right out of a children’s book. Somehow I was able to fit through the door without any problems, which shows you just how tiny I am. I should really stop acting surprised when I get carded at bars.

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Overall, it was a lovely – albeit allergy-ridden – afternoon. I managed to get all these photos on my iPhone, as I left my DSLR at home. I did some quick edits in my favorite photo editing app, Afterlight, and I’m really happy with how they turned out. Every time I visit Chanticleer, I can’t believe it’s always been right in my backyard. I can’t wait to visit again.

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Three Cheap Things to Do in Philadelphia | BEDA Day 20

Philadelphia is kind of the middle child of the mid-Atlantic region. Quite literally. Philly is located in the middle of two of the most influential and populous cities in the country, New York City and Washington, DC. We’re sometimes overlooked when bands schedule their nationwide tours and we’ve only been featured in a handful of travel shows. Did you all forget where the Declaration of Independence was signed? Sheesh!

Philadelphia is so much more than a historic site or a stop between New York and DC. It’s a cultural hotspot with tons of museums, theaters, and music venues, and has a great energy for a young traveler to latch onto. Here are some of my favorite things to do in Philadelphia that won’t break the bank.


Philadelphia is home to a treasure trove of art museums and galleries. The most famous of these (thank you, Rocky) is the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The PMA houses a huge variety of art, from ancient works to more contemporary pieces. Admission to the museum includes access to the Rodin Museum, the largest collection of Rodin’s work outside of Paris, and the Perelman Building. Three museums for the price of one isn’t a bad deal in my book. If you’re on a budget, the PMA offers Pay-What-You-Wish admission on Wednesday nights after 5 PM and every first Sunday of the month.

On the quirkier side of Philly’s art scene are the Philadelphia Magic Gardens. Created by Isaiah Zagar, the Magic Gardens are a series of outdoor mosaic murals made out of tiles, bottles, bicycle wheels, mirrors and other recycled objects that cover a half block of South Street. For a small fee you can stay in the gardens for as long as you want, exploring their quirks and taking in Zagar’s art. PMG also hosts events throughout the year that showcase Philadelphia’s local talent. After you finish up at the Magic Gardens, continue down South Street and check out the funky boutiques, bars, and venues located there.

Philadelphia’s theatre scene has grown exponentially in the last few years, and the city has become a hub for world-class theatre. You can find listings of all of the shows currently running in Philadelphia on theatrephiladelphia.org. Many theatre companies offer student rush tickets or discounts for patrons in their 20s. If you’re visiting Philly in September, make sure to catch some of the shows at the FringeArts Festival. FringeArts features cutting edge performances from up-and-coming companies and is one of the best places to scope out new talent.

As you can tell, the City of Brotherly Love has a lot to offer a young traveler. It’s a necessary stop on any trip to the East Coast and a must for lovers of the visual and performing arts. For more information on Philadelphia travel, check out visitphilly.com.

Photo Credit: Michael Righi. 

Sunday Style | A Tale of Two Cities

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Shirt: American Eagle | Shorts: American Eagle | Hat: New Era (similar)

Oh, Sunday. A day for hanging with friends, doing a bunch of laundry, and just generally resetting in advance of the week ahead. I like to keep it super simple on the weekends. T-shirts, jeans, and sundresses are usually my go-to. Today, I decided to use my outfit to honor my dual citizenship.

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This sounds like the most touristy thing I’ve ever done, but as soon as I found this shirt in American Eagle I knew it needed to come home with me. I like anything vaguely resembling a map, particularly those for public transit. I’m particularly obsessed with the MTA’s general design, no matter how much I complain about their actual service.


Brows: NYX | Eyeliner: NYX | Mascara: NYX | Blush: Physicians Formula | Lips: Urban Decay

I kept my makeup pretty simple since my day mostly consists of errands and brunch. I recently discovered the NYX Felt Tip Liner and I’m liking it so far. The brush is a little stiff, but it’s a good alternative to my beloved Soap & Glory Supercat liner, which is sadly not available in the US. I also dug out a sample of the Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in F-Bomb to get some red lip action going on. No work means no makeup rules, y’all.

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Of course I’m still a Philly girl at heart, so I’m getting some shade with this vintage Phillies snapback I got at Citizens Bank Park last season. They may be struggling right now, but the Phils will always be my faves.

What’s your go-to weekend look? Let me know in the comments! And of course, if you want to keep up with all my nonsense, follow my blog with Bloglovin!

A Few of My Favorite Things: Philadelphia’s Old City

One of the biggest and most important aspects of travel is getting out there and doing things: going off the grid, finding the places and things you like most about the city you might find yourself in at any given moment in time. This is why I’m starting a new series on this blog, appropriately named “A Few of My Favorite Things”. As I travel to new cities, or discover neighborhoods a bit closer to home, I plan to list of my favorite things about these places on this blog as a way to keep track of my experiences for myself and to send some travel recommendations your way. Sound good to you? Let’s get crackin’ then!

Yesterday I received a surprise visit from my parents, which was just lovely. Mom called me right after I woke up (around 1 PM, mind you) to ask if I wanted to go for dim sum in Chinatown. I didn’t really have anything on my plate for the day other than a self-imposed mandatory viewing of the Grammys (I just couldn’t keep away), and I can never resist dim sum, so I took her up on the offer. I also just like hanging out with my parents. I know, I’m an anomaly in the cross-section of young adults.

After brunch, we decided to visit an art gallery in Old City where one of my mom’s friends was showing her work. It was lovely, but unfortunately the name of the gallery has escaped me. I realized that a boutique I had visited over the summer was just around the corner and dragged my parents over there. That boutique was Smak Parlour on 2nd and Market, right next to the historic Christ Church. From the display windows, the store looks a bit like Nicki Minaj’s closet, but inside it’s a marriage of sophistication and girly fun. Smak Parlour has a little bit of everything a girl could want, from bright blue frilly strapless dresses to smart skirts and cardigans for the office. I got a little bit of both to add to my wardrobe for London. Smak Parlour also sells unique jewelry pieces such as earrings made out of LPs and Abraham Lincoln cameo necklaces. If you can’t make it to their Old City location, you can order plenty of their adorable pieces online!

On another occasion, my parents and I had an excellent mid-week dinner at Cuba Libre at 10 S. 2nd Street. I have a thing for restaurants that transport you to another world. It may have been a cold night in Philadelphia, but while sitting in the tropical courtyard-style dining room at Cuba Libre, I could have sworn I was in Havanna (or at least what I imagine Havanna to be like, as I have never been there – file that under more reasons to move to Canada). The atmosphere was incredibly relaxing, which was just what I needed after a long week of university classes. The food didn’t disappoint; I had the paella de mariscos, which was phenomenal. The prices are a bit steep for a college budget (hence why I went on my parents’ tab), but if you’re willing to save up, it’s definitely worth the trip.

Now, when I went to Old City the other day on my own, I realized that there were few places for me, as a single diner on a budget, to eat. When I felt as if all hope was lost, Margherita Pizzeria on 2nd and Chestnut appeared to me just like the star in the desert lead the shepherds to the baby Jesus. Religious metaphors aside, this place is great if you’re looking for a pre-bar crawl slice or when you’re simply on the run like I was.

Finally, one of my favorite things to do in Old City (or perhaps in Philadelphia in general) is to see a film at the Ritz. The Ritz Five and the Ritz East house the films that I can’t find at my local movie theatre/the films that I actually want to see. I went to the Ritz Five the other day alone to see The Artist and it was an incredible experience. The film was great, the theatre was comfortable, and I was in the company of people who truly love film, which makes all the difference in my movie-going experience. Of course I didn’t realize this at the time (as usual), but you can save money on tickets if you’re a student! Tickets are $7.25 with a student ID with the exception of Sundays and Holidays.

With all of these awesome places attracting a younger crowd, Old City proves that it’s anything but. I plan to spend plenty of time there in my last few weeks in Philadelphia, and even more when I return in the summer.


Things I Like About Being Home:

  1. Food, for the most part. Mom’s been on another health kick lately, so the refrigerator is full of almond milk and old oatmeal. This is a good thing, since my diet at school consists mostly of microwavable meals from Trader Joe’s (nom) and spaghetti. Being home also usually means that I’m going to visit family in the near future, which means I get to gorge myself on whatever that family member or the restaurant we decide to go to is serving. And that is usually quite good.
  2. Being able to see the stars at night. I think I kind of took advantage of that privilege when I was in high school. I never really noticed how amazing a clear night can be until I moved to the city where the night sky is constantly blank.
  3. My dog, Teddy. He’s kind of the best. If you ever have the opportunity to adopt a cockapoo (cocker spaniel and poodle mix), take it.
  4. Tea. And lots of it.
  5. My car. I really enjoy the freedom of being able to drive wherever I want. I love public transportation, but it’s very limited in Philly. Having the freedom to drive to the mall without worrying about walking through a sketchy neighborhood or getting dropped off five miles from your final destination is the best.
  6. Coffee shops galore! Sure, there are hundreds in Philly, some just a few blocks from campus, but again, they’re a hassle to get to. The ones in my hometown are easy to get to and I feel super comfortable working in them. Milkboy Coffee and the Gryphon Cafe are my two homes not so far from home.
  7. Netflix on my Wii. I don’t often watch Doctor Who on an actual television, but when I do, it is glorious.
  8. High school friends.
  9. My parents.
  10. My baby grand piano. I only really play it when I’m alone in the house (self-consciousness for the win), but I really love it. It looks beautiful, sounds beautiful, and is beautiful.