Monti: Rome's cool, creative quarter

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Traveling to any major tourist destination can always be a stressful situation; weaving in and out of tourist traps, dodging vendors selling goods etc. But...in the middle of the mayhem in Rome, just a few blocks away from the Colosseum, there is a haven for locals and visitors alike...Monti! The streets here are so picturesque, it feels like walking into an Anthropology store in real life. Rows of buildings coloured in pastel shades and hanging vines, the smell of Jasmine flowers radiate off of every breeze...

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...Needless to say, I was completely enchanted by this neighbourhood. My husband and I spent much of our time wandering these winding streets. 

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If you're familiar with Italian customs, then you know about Aperitivo. If not, it's like Italian Happy hour, where drinks are often accompanied by free snacks or a buffet. Here in Monti, the locals gather around the Piazza della Madonna dei Monti with a beer or a wine from the bar across the square. It's an excellent place to gather with friends, or people watch if you're traveling solo. For those interested in a little more structure and more of something to eat, Aperitivo at Analema Cafe has an excellent buffet and a great atmosphere. 

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Have a little time before dinner? It's time to get that perfect "Roma Photograph". Trust me, it won't take long to find a picturesque spot. There's also Gelato right around the corner from the Piazza if it's hot and you need to cool down a little or if you're just in the mood for a tasty treat. Really, is there ever a bad time for Gelato? (No, the answer is no).

I scream, you scream, we all scream... for gelato?

A post shared by Deanna Forte Rule (@deannarule) on

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For dinner there are so many incredible places lining the streets. My husband and I chose to try Urbana 47 (recommended by the Roman Guy) on their Monti travel guide. It's trendy and delicious with rotating daily specials that will blow your mind. In addition to an excellent cocktail selection. 

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Be sure to take a stroll through Monti next time you're in Rome. I guarantee your stomach and Instagram feed will thank you.

A room with a view...

Editors enjoy authentic Vancouver views at Sheraton Wall Center & Westin Bay Shore 

During Vancouver Fashion Week, VFW hosts editors who fly in from all over the world to watch the runway shows. This year we partnered with JW Marriott Parq Vancouver hotels to put our editors up in some of the best rooms Vancouver has to offer (see their snaps in the gallery above).

Amidst the hustle and bustle of Fashion Week there really isn't a moments rest. For our editors it's a round-the-clock week. They spend their days watching the runway and their nights writing the next day's articles. With all this time spent working, our international editors barely have time rest, let alone to see the incredible city of Vancouver. This is why it's important for their accommodation to both give them immediate access to Vancouver whilst allowing them to get the rest they need to keep up with their insanely busy schedules.

At the Westin Bay Shore, Laraine Yu, an editor from Vogue China was able to enjoy the nature of beautiful BC, whilst uploading her latest runway recaps online. Even on a work trip, she was able to get the Vancouver experience right from her hotel room. Over at the Sheraton Wall Center, Clara Meyers (Fashion Week Online) and Liz Black (PS it's Fashion) could watch over the bustling city streets and get a feel for the daily lives of local Vancouverites. Not to mention get some much needed shut-eye in these cozy rooms. 

If you're looking for a place to stay for the next Vancouver Fashion Week JW Marriott Parq Vancouver Hotels has many options including Sheraton Wall Center and the Westin Bay Shore.  Learn more about JW Marriott Parq Vancouver here

Photo Credit:
Sara Milosovic
Alice Sheuerman

Let's Talk Commute Playlists

Your daily commute can really set the tone for your day. If you have a bad experience trying to catch the bus, you might feel like you're stuck playing catch up for the rest of the day. Personally, I think I've nailed my playlist, but I wanted to get a feel for what others are listening to. So, this week I asked around the office to find out what people like to hear while they're on their way to work.  

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PATTI

I usually like old music but I'm currently obsessed with Zhavia and Dua Lipa so I’ve added them on the loop! Especially Zhavia's Killing Me Softly, she has a unique voice that can calm me down (which is quite rare)!

RYO  

Right now, I’m listening to a lot of Hip Hop & Rap music. I listen to the songs Plain Jane & Cocky a lot! I always have Future and The Weekend on repeat, it makes me feel pumped and ready for the workday. When it comes to vocals, I like Maroon 5, Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry. 

FAYE 

Currently, I'm listening to First Aid Kit's new album, Ruins. A little bit of Indie Folk from Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg is so mellow for a commute, especially during rush hour.

I've also recently got into listening to podcasts. I can't get enough of The Joe Rogan Experience! He covers incredibly interesting topics with a wide variety of guests...I feel like I'm learning so much, it's enlightening. It's a simple format...frankly it's enjoyable just to listen to 2 people having a real in-depth conversation.

Deanna - aka damn good commute playlist

Personally, I like to feel like I’m constantly walking through the opening credits in the movie of my life. My playlist includes (but is not limited to) numbers from the movies Baby Driver, Man from U.N.C.L.E., my childhood favourite A Knight’s Tale, and the hit television show SUITS. More than that, it’s a mix of a little old school funk, jazz, and modern hits. 

It’s a playlist made for those fond of daydreaming and walking on the beat. Because I'm 'extra', I've created a little graphic and shared the actual playlist with you guys. Feel free to give it a try next time you're on your way to work. Listen on shuffle for maximum delight by surprise.

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PLAYLIST HIGHLIGHTS

THAT'S IT! - Preservation Hall Jazz Band
GIMME ALL YOUR LOVE - Alabama Shakes
SAY U WON'T - Brasstracks
GOLDEN YEARS - David Bowie
XO COVER - John Mayor
II VENAIT D'AVOIR 18 ANS - Instrumental - Ibrahim Maalouf

Do you guys have a playlist, or artist you like to listen to, to get ready for the work day? Share it in the comments below! 
 

NAIL YOUR MORNING ROUTINE

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In the words of one of my childhood heroes, Anne of Green Gables, 'Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet.' I try to apply this principle every morning. It’s a renewal of my daily life, a way to step out with my best foot forward. Personally, I’m a self proclaimed morning person. Sleeping in on the weekends amounts to getting up between 7 and 8am! But, no matter what time you wake up, your morning routine can be essential to setting up productive and happy days.  

With January and the new year now come and gone, I like to make a conscious effort to continue with self improvement goals. Here are a few tips for nailing your morning routine...

DESIGN IT FOR THE LIFE YOU WANT TO HAVE

Treat your schedule (morning or not) like a friend and not an dictator. Schedule the things you want to do, not just the things you have to do. Does your ideal morning start with a cup of coffee and the morning paper? Great! Write it down and schedule an intentional time to do it! Knowing that you’ve set time aside to do this can make it more enjoyable. You know you won’t be rushing to get out the door, or feel behind later. What if you try to milk every last minute of sleep before you have to reluctantly roll out of bed? That’s okay too!

There are things that I have to do in the morning like take a shower, brush my teeth, put on makeup,  do something with my hair, eat something,take out the trash before leaving etc. My approach is to find out approximately how long it takes to do each necessary task, and then set them in the most logical order. For example, since I let my hair air dry, the first thing I do is take a shower.

If you schedule extra time in the mornings, depending on your beliefs and priorities, it can be a great way to meditate, reflect, visualise or pray. Personally, if I start the day thinking of a few key things I’m thankful for, it puts me in a really positive headspace.

YOUR MORNING STARTS THE NIGHT BEFORE

For me, this idea is a life saver. Any task that involves decision making, I do the night before. I get my lunch ready, pack my bag, and set out my outfit. It frees up time to do more of what I enjoy in the morning. It also saves valuable willpower energy, allowing me to have a more productive day overall. If you’re interested in sleeping in as much as possible, this is also a great plan. You can even get an extra half an hour (or more!) by planning ahead even just a little bit.  

embrace TRIAL AND ERROR

The first renewed routine you try may not work for you, but you can tweak it here and there to get it just right. Experiment with the times that you go to bed and go to sleep. As you test out new routines just remember to be self aware. It’s good to push yourself, but if something is not working out your body will tell you. Listen! 

What's the most essential part of your morning? 

Resources on productivity, morning routines, and sleep: 
https://blog.trello.com/best-productive-morning-routines
https://sleep.org/articles/keep-body-clock-on-track/
http://clairediazortiz.com/category/productivity/

A LOVE LETTER TO STREET STYLE

 follow at @iamkrystalkay

follow at @iamkrystalkay

My style inspiration has always come from what I see people wearing on the street. It's those moments when I bump into someone at a coffee shop and realise that I'm obsessed with their jacket or love their shoes. When I see someone combine certain colours in a unique way, I think, 'Oh, I could do that.' or 'I have a dress that would look great with that jacket.' Street style is this endless stream of possibilities. It's an expressive form of creativity that gets displayed to the world on our bodies every day. This is my love letter to that concept. 

I admire these people. The beauty of it really lies in the fact that most of them aren't professionals. They're baristas, graphic designers, accountants, therapists, you name it! The point is that they aren't getting paid to be a part of the fashion industry. It's not their job to know the colour of the season or the trends we'll be wearing six months from now. They're just regular people expressing themselves through what they wear. At most, to them, styling is just a hobby, and they're actually really good at it. 

 follow at @mars3lwallace

follow at @mars3lwallace

I find unique street fashion so inspirational because of its inherit bravery. The girl walking down the street isn't going to be making any statement on the red carpet.  She'll piece together a creative look simply because she wants to and has the guts to pull it off. She might get a few compliments, some people might stare and not understand the style, but that's it, she'll go throughout her day and wear something else tomorrow. 

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That's where we come in. I think some time ago I realised that if I took a photo of someone every time I thought, 'I love her look' or 'his outfit is on point' I would have this incredible library of real people modelling their personal expression en plein air. Through our street style pictures on Micro Macro, we get to share that moment of admiration with whoever is willing to look. That's really special to me. This is an unapologetic celebration of street style. 

Peace and love, Deanna

Photos by: ByeongCheol Jo