December 9, 2016
Women Who Inspire Me: Montgomeryfest

Women Who Inspire Me: Montgomeryfest

December 9, 2016

As a child I used to draw a lot but I was never able to come up with my own artwork, I recreated other people's drawings. That discouraged me from studying fine arts. However, I often feel the urge to create something, that's one of the reasons why I turned to photography. It has also interested me from an early age but we will talk more about that subject some other day.

I've always looked up to creative people that's why today I want you to meet Annie. She's the sweet lady behind MontgomeryFest who I recently had the pleasure of interviewing. Her project started as a travel blog when she and her husband Justin moved to Brussels. Now they live in London and her blog has also become a showcase for her beautiful prints. That mixture of photography and paintings is what makes her blog so special and inspiring. Every month she offers a wallpaper for her readers to download, isn't that sweet? Keep on reading to get to know Annie Montgomery...

Q: Tell us a bit about your website. When and why did you start blogging?
A: Back in 2012, my husband, Justin, and I had just gotten married and set off to experience another part of the world. A pin landed on Brussels, Belgium and we began this rad, little adventure. I had so many things to update my friends and family about that I began the blog as a letter back home. It quickly turned into a travelogue and kept me accountable for the photos and thoughts flooding in from all of our adventures around Europe.

Q: Describe MontgomeryFest in a sentence
A: Wanderlust-filled and thoughtfully quirky, MontgomeryFest is a design-conscious travel and lifestyle blog.

Q: Your husband Justin is also involved in this lovely project. How did you and Justin meet? What’s the best and worst part of working with your husband?
A: We met at work! Funnily enough, I started my career in accounting. It was love at first spreadsheet. The best part is building something together, feeding off of each other's ideas to create something poetically ours. I think the hardest part would be when we each have different ways of seeing something, sometimes it gets hard to articulate how each of us is picturing something in the moment - I don't know how many near-identical pictures are in the camera roll as we each try to refine a picture!

Q: What would you say is the biggest challenge in blogging?
A: Hmmm...good one. I'd say it has to be consistency. In theory, blogs are fun and lighthearted and, well, pretty. But there is a ton of behind the scenes work to constantly generate content that actually works for you and and your audience. Lots of tweaking, finding your voice, exploring new avenues, re-finding your voice while your blog journey and your life journey change at different rates. There are weeks (months for some of us..*raises hand*) where the inspiration wanes and yet we have a commitment to our readers and to ourselves to create this big, beautiful story....that's on the internet...forever. *wink*

Q: You came up with #theprettypursuit and recently turned it into an IG handle. What’s the story behind it?
A: I have so many lovely friends that I've met through Instagram and blogging. So many wonderful, creative, supportive people that I was searching for a way to connect them. That's where #theprettypursuit came in. It's a way to gather and connect lovely people online. If I can help or one of my friends can help, I think it makes this industry smaller and warmer.

Q: How do you get inspiration for your designs?
A: Definitely travel - I'm infinitely inspired by Paris and Venice. Oy vey. Museums with unexpected perspectives - give me a MOMA any day of the week! I like my boundaries being pushed and once I open the door to creating things, the day usually tumbles and multiplies with ideas.

Photo by MontgomeryFest

Q: You used to live in San Francisco before moving to London, what do you miss the most?
A: Oh dear goodness. The views. The ocean. Walking down a random street to get to the grocery store and turning a corner to have this unobstructed, mouth dropping view of the Golden Gate Bridge. That city is filled with 'pinch me' moments.

Q: Have you ever experienced culture shock in Europe? What’s the hardest part about being far from home?
A: Absolutely. That first year we moved to Brussels, we had no idea what we were doing - from the groceries to the street signs to being a Southerner who hugs everyone in a part of the world where hugging is outrageously intimate and kissing is the norm. Now, this is home. Europe has our hearts. I went to visit family down in Louisiana where everyone wanted to call it home for me, but I missed London and the culture and the diverse conversations so much that I had complete reverse culture shock. The hardest part about being an expat has got to be that you always miss someone. We've left pieces of our hearts with friends in our hometowns, in Dallas, in Brussels, in San Francisco. I have this dream that, for our tenth year anniversary, we can get all of our favorite people and gather in some incredible destination, like a riad rooftop in Fes, Morocco and then the world would be right. *sigh*

Q: Where do you see yourselves and your business in 5 years?
A: Creating anything I can get my hands on and taking breaks to have tea with friends during the week and hopping on a plane to new countries and favorites cities on the weekend. Living in London, raising a family. Teaching our little ones that the more cultures you experience, the more similar people are around the world and that opens the door for kindness.

Photos of Annie & Justin by Allison Duval of Point de Vue.

Thanks, Annie for this lovely chat.
Join the Fest on Instagram for more inspiration: MontgomeryFest, The Pretty Pursuit.
xo Cristina
December 5, 2016
Put a Bow on It

Put a Bow on It

December 5, 2016
zara military coat fashion outfit

When I go shopping there are a few things that always catch my eye. They are feminine details such as bows and tassels, fabrics like lace, pastel colors or prints like polka dots. I can't get enough of them. They make timeless pieces and you never get tired of wearing them.

El Ganso grey sweater bow jersey gris lazo

That is the case of this sweater, it will never be out of fashion. Pretty simple front but it has a beautiful bow on the back that makes it really special. It dresses you up while having that cozy feeling that characterizes knits at the same time. It is from El Ganso, another Spanish brand. I've been posting a lot of items by Spanish designers lately such as this cute cardigan or these animal print sneakers.



El Ganso grey sweater bow jersey gris lazo

The coat is made by another Spanish brand. This is the most popular one all around the world: Zara. I usually buy basics at Zara such as blazers, jackets and coats. They are affordable and that allows you to have a wider variety of outwear. I love the military details on the sleeves. 

zara military coat fashion outfit

zara military coat fashion outfit

On another note I'd like to talk about the location where we took these photos. This 16th century cloister is part of a Renaissance building in my hometown. I hadn't visited it for so long! We sometimes forget about the beautiful places we have close by. We take them for granted and fail to appreciate them like they deserve. We dream about exotic locations around the world when we have so much valuable heritage close by. Do you ever feel like this? Are there any historic landmarks where you live?





zara military coat fashion outfit

zara military coat fashion outfit

OUTFIT DETAILS
El Ganso sweater (also available in navy)
Zara coat
Abercrombie & Fitch skirt

If you are looking for a similar look here are some suggestions.

MILITARY COAT
BOW SWEATER
xo Cristina
November 28, 2016
Faux Suede Dress and Faux Fur Coat

Faux Suede Dress and Faux Fur Coat

November 28, 2016

Yesterday was my thirty-first birthday! Every year I look back at the previous 365 days and think about all the wonderful things that have happened. I reflect on many things during this day. For me, my birthday is a mixture of Thanksgiving and New Year's Resolutions. On the one hand I give thanks for all the good things in my life and for my loved ones. On the other hand, I make a list of the many things I can improve about myself. One of my favorite quotes is "always strive to be a better you".

pink faux suede dress and a black faux fur coat holiday outfit


One of the many things I'm thankful for is my dear readers so I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all who visit Memories of the Pacific every week. Thank you for every single comment, they mean a lot to me and always bring a smile to my face. I wish we could meet so I could thank you in person while having a warm cup of chocolate. Blogging is a wonderful way to meet people from all around the world which is so rewarding! For me the most beautiful friendships are those between people from different cultures, there's so much we can learn from each other.




Now it's time to move on and look forward to all the exciting things coming up. One of them is the Christmas holidays. They always make me feel so happy! The family time, the presents, the decorations, the lights, the warm drinks, the atmosphere... You breath joy everywhere. Because of that today I'm sharing with you an outfit for the holidays. You've already seen this pink faux suede dress here. I'm getting so much use out of it, I wear it all year long. When I bought it, I never thought a dress like this would become a wardrobe essential.

The coat is one of my newest acquisitions. It's soft as a teddy bear and really warm. It gets an extra point for being faux fur. I think something similar is going to happen with this piece as with the dress because I've realized I can wear it with everything. Just because it looks like fur it doesn't mean it's only supposed to be worn to formal events. I plan to wear it with everything from jeans to skirts.

pink faux suede dress and a black faux fur coat holiday outfit

pink faux suede dress and a black faux fur coat holiday outfit

OUTFIT DETAILS
Kaos faux fur coat
Abercrombie & Fitch faux suede dress
Pepe Jeans hat
Purificacion Garcia clutch

Being style savvy as you are, I'm sure you are going to take advantage of Cyber Monday to get ready for the holidays. So here are a couple of round-ups to help you out.

BEST OF FAUX FUR COATS
BEST OF FAUX SUEDE DRESSES
Did you buy many things during Black Friday? Are you doing the rest of your Christmas shopping on Cyber Monday? Tell me everything on the comments below.
xo Cristina

P.S. You can see previous birthday posts here and here.
November 24, 2016
Best Black Friday Deals

Best Black Friday Deals

November 24, 2016
best black friday deals

Happy Thanksgiving!
If you are from the US, I hope you are enjoying this holiday with your loved ones, and if you are planning to get your Christmas shopping done on Black Friday you'll find some of the best deals here.

J.CREW -  40% off your purchase with code HOLIDAY.


ANTHROPOLOGIE - they haven't released a Black Friday ad but expect some discount off all items the day after Thanksgiving.

NORDSTROM - Extra 20% off already on-sale items such as the following

MAJE - From today through November 27th get 25% off the entire collection using the code BLACKFRIDAY. On Cyber Monday use the code CYBERMONDAY to get 25% off all styles, free shipping, and a free gift with purchase of over $500.


ANN TAYLOR - 50% off everything with CELEBRATE, ends November 27th.

PAPER CROWN - this weekend get 25% off ($100-199.99), 30% off (200-299.99) & 35% off (300+).

If you are planning a trip...
EXPEDIA - 50% off select hotel bookings from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

You can also check out my previous shopping list which have items that are going to be on sale:
Birthday Shopping List
12 Dresses for the Holiday Season
Skincare & Make-Up Wishlist
Tableware for the Holidays

Are you going to take advantage of Black Friday? What are your favorite stores?
xo Cristina
November 21, 2016
Thanksgiving Tablescape

Thanksgiving Tablescape

November 21, 2016

If you are from the US I bet you are busy brainstorming for last minute Thanksgiving ideas. How are you going to surprise your guests next Thursday? Since my birthday is pretty close to Thanksgiving -actually, some years it's on the same day- I like to decorate the table in a similar way as for that holiday. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Spain so it's also a way for me to remember my time in America. You may have already seen a sneak peek of this tablescape on my Instagram.




Let's start with the basics:
  • An embroidered table runner. Last Monday I told you about how important objects with sentimental value are for me. This table runner is one of them because I bought it last summer in Santorini. When I travel I don't like to buy the typical souvenirs, I always look for something unique and original.
  • Wicker placemats and your best crockery, cutlery and glassware.
  • Candles and flowers are a must. No table is ready until you place those two. The beautiful white vase was a great find brought back from a trip to Cambridge.
There's so much more you can add from napkin rings to centerpieces. There are some suggestions at the end of this post.




Now, if you are actually decorating for Thanksgiving let me give you an extra idea. Make little paper cards with the name of your guests to put on each plate. Write a Thanksgiving joke inside to get them in a festive mood! Here are a few ones:
How many cooks does it take to stuff a turkey? One, but you really have to squeeze him in!
If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? Pilgrims!
What would you get if you crossed a turkey with an evil spirit? A poultrygeist!
Who is not hungry at Thanksgiving? The turkey, he’s already been stuffed!
What are unhappy cranberries called? Blueberries!
If the Pilgrims were alive today, what would they be most famous for? Their age!






Below you have a round-up of my favorite decor pieces for Thanksgiving and Christmas, you'll find placemats, table runners, vases, plates and centerpieces among other things. I could get one of each!
xo Cristina