Monday, March 26, 2018

[ROOTD] Sunday At Downtown Porto

By now I'm sure most of you already know I study in Porto - or Oporto. I am from a small village located in Central Portugal but I moved to this lovely city to attend college, brought along my passion for horses and moved to a barn that is really close to my home. 
The problem is that the University of Porto is divided in three different campuses and mine isn't located on the most exciting part of the city - although it's really quick to get there.

Since Spring Break has just started, yesterday I decided that it would be fun to enjoy the city a bit more but, of course, always rocking my equestrian style.
Our first stop was Starbucks and it was actually the first time I went to a Starbucks in Portugal, sounds weird, ha?! Well, the famous coffee company only opened its first store in Porto at the end of last year!!

After the delicious Frappuccino, we strolled down the Santa Catarina street, one of the most special streets in the city where you can do some shopping, watch street artists perform or visit Majestic Café, a place that everyone around here knows (it is closed on Sundays though). 

The weather was great, therefore we thought that crossing the iconic D. Luis I bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia and watching the sunset there would be a nice plan. The bridge has two levels and on the top  one you will get the best view (and photos!) but I must admit that those 60 meters above the water can be a little scary!

Regarding my outfit, who would say that breeches and pearls look so good together?! I have been wearing the Mr. Castle breeches so much recently, mainly because I am obsessed with their soft fabric and the comfort they provide. I could have worn a hoodie with it, in fact I was going to do it but then realised that this Zara knitted sweater would look cuter. I love mixing "normal clothes" with riding clothes when I am not at the barn!!

To complete the outfit I chose Stan Smith sneakers by Adidas, the Horse-A-Porter GP belt and my famous Horsegloss bracelet. The jacket is also from Zara and my backpack is from Parfois.

I thought these photos wouldn't be enough to show you Porto so there's also a new vlog coming up soon on YouTube!!

I hope you enjoyed this #ROOTD!
See you on the next post,
Carolina 💕

Friday, March 9, 2018

[Interview] Andrea Wise from Horse Glam

Do you know that feeling when you instantly connect with someone?! I already knew Andrea's business, Pony Glam, and followed her blog, Horse Glam, but this empathy started a few weeks ago when we chatted for the first time, I immediately loved her vibe and that's why I wanted you to meet her as well - if you don't already, of course!!

ET:  I love your Instagram (@horse_glam) and your style shots. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Andrea: Thank you! Honestly, I should probably read more fashion magazines and visit other blogger sites to help stay ahead of the trends, but I have no time to do it. I just usually wear what I feel comfortable in and what I think looks good. I don’t force anything for the sake of fitting in.

ET: When I take photos for my blog, I struggle to make different poses and I always end up doing the only think I know: smile!! Does it feel natural or did you learn it?
Andrea: It is not natural for me at all!! I am by no means a model, I just go and have fun with Shannen, my photographer. She always wants me to smile, but I feel silly and then we both bust up laughing.

ET: Besides being a great blogger, you are also an entrepreneur and you went to law school too – that’s a lot! How do you find time to do everything?
Andrea: I have no time to do anything, lol!! My kids are both under 3 so they take a lot of time and energy, the rest of it just happens... somehow. I can’t remember what it feels like not to be tired!

ET: How would you describe the equestrian community in the US? It feels so different from what we have in Europe!
Andrea: I think the equestrian community on the (small) business side is very supportive and innovative. I love all my equine boss mares out there! From the riding side, I think it is also small and very connected.  I do wish, as riders, we were more encouraging to each other sometimes. I think what is missing from the sport, in my opinion and at my low level, is a sense of camaraderie and team spirit.

ET: You stopped riding for a few years, how did you feel when you got back in the saddle? Any piece of advice to someone who wants to start riding again?
Andrea: Scared. Defeated. Depressed. It was sad for me to not be where I was 4 years prior, and to feel like my horse wasn’t there either. Things have improved for me in the past 4 months or so, since I really started to get back into it. I would say the most important thing is to stay patient. If you want something bad enough, you will find a way to prevail.

ET: Are you competing this year? What are your riding goals for 2018? 
Andrea:  I promised myself and my friends that I would do at least 1 show, so that is sort of my big goal. But otherwise, I want to continue to improve in my riding and to try not to be so hard on myself.

ET: What’s your fave pair of breeches?
Andrea: LeFash is my favorite equestrian show apparel brand. I wish I had a whole closet full of Arianna’s items. She is a trendsetter in the industry and really initiated the whole stable to street concept, which I love.

ET: What are your everyday grooming essentials?
Andrea: A soft curry comb, Kiss My Horse mane/tail spray, face brush and Pony Glam Hoof Hi-Lites, of course! 
ET: Chloe seems to have a very strong personality. What would she say about you?
Andrea: “Takes one to know one”. Then she would lip curl.

ET: Can you tell us something we don’t know about you?
Andrea: My father is from Colombia, South America, so I am 1/2 Colombian, which explains my olive skin color. As a kid, I got teased about it a lot, and I can distinctly remember a few instances on the playground. It is funny how you remember certain moments like that in your life. It wasn’t long, however, before I loved being able to easily “tan” and was okay with looking different than most of the others at school.

I must admit that also wanted to ask Chloe, Andrea's gorgeous mare, some questions but she is a superstar and her agenda was super crowded! 😁

Dear Andrea, thank you SO much for taking the time to answer these questions! I loved learning more about you and I wish Portugal was closer to the US - I would love to personally meet you!
It feels so nice to meet other equestrian bloggers, I feel they're all way too far from me! One day I'll fly to the US to meet them and their ponies!!!!

See you on the next post!

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Blackwatch Stables Book Series

Last Friday I went home to spend the weekend with my mom and I had three books from the Blackwatch Stables series there waiting for me. They were written by Amber Cavalier Spiler, an American author from Ocala, Fl that started riding when she was just 5 years old.
I read the three books in just four days - I simply couldn't stop reading!!

Writing a book review without being a spoiler is really hard to me but I will try my best...

The story is about a 11-year-old girl, Maggie, who lost her mom. One day her dad took her to Blackwatch Stables, a place that had been important to her mom - who was a horse lover - and her life totally changed forever...Why? Well, that's the best part of the books!!! 

I can only tell you that after that first visit to Blackwatch, riding also became her passion and she then  rescued a very gifted horse, Bella. She is a grey mare and her bond with Maggie made me think a lot about Gali and my love for horses. Maggie also made friends (some of them also lost someone special) that helped her during some hard times and battles.

These books reminded me so much of my first barn and of all the days I spent there with my friends. While reading the books, a friend of mine asked me why I was smiling so much and I didn't even realize I was doing it. It's such an unique and engaging story.

I can't decide which of the books was my favorite but the last one is probably the one that made me think the most, it teaches some valuable life lessons about destiny, hope, friendship and forgiveness.

Although teens are probably their target audience, I guess I am not wrong if I say that most people of my age or even older will also enjoy this series very much! 

I wish I could be a big spoiler and tell you everything I loved but I don't want to ruin your experience... Maybe if anyone else reads them, we can have a discussion later?! That would be amazing!!!

Fingers crossed that Ms. Spiler writes more books in the future, I have to admit that finishing the last one and knowing that I didn't have another one waiting was a little bittersweet! 

See you on the next post,
Carolina 💕