A Year in Reflection to Welcome 2018

This year has been quite a whirlwind of changes. From living in Germany and traveling throughout Europe, to settling in Maine and starting a new home base. Thanks to my blog and instagram I am able to express my life by storytelling through pictures, videos and writing and sharing with you all. Not only has my personal life changed, but also my Blog and Social Media Management. I’m doing exactly what I love to do, help others achieve their goals, and also my personal blog of expressing my style, the places I like to go, the people I love to see like family and friends, how I decorate my home, what my dogs like to do, and so on.

There are a few different GOALS I’ve achieved in 2017, my future goals I’ll list at the end =)

FASHION BLOGGER GOALS from 2017:

My most recent collaboration with IFCHIC.com

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MCQ – ALEXANDER MCQUEEN TOP

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One of my goals for last year was to have brand partnerships that reached into the luxury market. Don’t get me wrong, I love fast fashion and the ability to keep up with trends as they come, but I also love the brand message that certain designer names hold like Alexander McQueen, a designer that will forever be one of my favorites.  It seems surreal that just a year ago I would dream to get such partnerships, and now it is becoming a reality that I absolutely want to continue to do.

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BUYING A HOME:

Something tells me that this New Year of 2018 has many more dreams to be fulfilled, and this year was just the beginning of making it all happen. I received this chandelier from BUILD.COM – an extensive website of home decor and renovation products. I love the chandelier so much, it adds femininity and a sense of muted oppulance in my formal dining room overlooking the living room. I love being a homeowner because now I can decorate and change things as time goes by. My YouTube home tour was not my finest creation, but check it out here, it’s been a while since I’ve made videos and I’ll definitely continue onto 2018.

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MAKING NEW AND STRONG FRIENDSHIPS:

wearing RED – VALENTINO TOP

Another designer that will always be one of my favorites is VALENTINO – a brand that evokes luxury and dreams of success and class.

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The end of 2017 helped introduce me to new friendships, something I’ve always held on to was the necessity of having friendships, I believe they help you connect, grow your horizons, and influence your actions for the better. I can’t wait for what 2018 has to offer!

MY BUSINESS:

Being a Social Media Manager, this year has really taught me so much on how to maintain business relationships, but there can also be a sense of friendship when you are consistently talking with people about their goals, daily life tasks, dreams and achievements.

GOALS for 2018:

  • Embrace the journey, but land each opportunity and do more outreach
  • Find a great way to relax: yoga, meditation, create new habits? Not sure what this will be yet
  • Improve the communication with my husband – although we already work on this daily and I love him dearly
  • Create more content for my Blog/Youtube/TRAVEL blogger content – i’ve never fully embraced the benefits of being a travel blogger – so watch my travels in 2018 =)!
  • Expand my business to further than just myself – finding ways to leverage my resources and maybe bring on my first employee or intern.
  • Become more professional with my business – finalizing my website
  • just OWN IT – must know my self worth – boost that inner self confidence

 

 

What it’s like being back in the USA

After living in Europe for a couple years (a few months in the states traveling in between), I’ve come to realize where my happy place is, and that is the USA. I knew in my heart that traveling was going to help me learn more about the world and about myself. I had to go out there and experience as much as I could so that I could get that feeling off of my chest, the desperation to seek and see. I still have it. Spending time in NYC last week really brought memories back of the 5 years I had lived there. It revived that excitement for wandering. All the wandering aside, I’ve never explained on social media WHY my husband and I decided to move to Maine. Below I will delve more into it.

Here is a photo-shoot I did with photographer Seth Gaffar and wearing all Anatomie clothes (besides the dress). I love their active-chic wear, so comfortable you can climb rocks and do adventurous things in. For 15% off you can use code “CW15” on http://www.anatomie.com

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http://www.Anatomie.com

One reason I love being back in the States, is that I finally have FRIENDS again. My husband comes from a small city in Germany, and he grew up in a Village outside of it, can you imagine a city girl like me going to a little village? Yes a bit shocking! I love learning about different cultures, and I love that his village was just a couple hours driving to France, less than an hour to Switzerland, and Austria close by as well. It all is connected, like the States, but all the countries are extremely diverse and have histories dating back many centuries. However, making friends in a small village is almost impossible. So you stick with your family, your husband, dogs, his parents, etc. It’s all a close knit group with no extra outsiders. I’m just not used to that. I THRIVE in places that I can meet like-minded people. I read a girl’s Instagram caption the other day that said “We learn something from everyone we encounter” I really believe this to be true. Social energy drives me.

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http://www.Anatomie.com

So, why did we pick Maine? My husband, Sascha used to play professional hockey in Germany, and he also played in Maine! He had so many wonderful things to say about Maine, and me, coming from Boston, MA originally, it’s just an hour and a half north so it seems similar. But people are not similar, people are much friendlier here in Maine. Also, we got an amazing deal on our house that we completely adore. We also have SPACE, 3,500 square feet to be exact. When you and your husband both run your companies solely online and are home most of the time, trust me, you need space.

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It has been amazing back in the states because I have been networking and reaching out to photographers, models, bloggers, and more that are interested in meeting up, collaborating and working together to raise each other up. I just created a Facebook Private Group last night called Northeast Influencers Please request to join if you are interested.

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http://www.anatomie.com
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http://www.anatomie.com
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With my Hubby, Sascha 

Maine is a beautiful state. With crashing shorelines, amazing restaurants, wonderful people, it makes it a place very difficult to not thoroughly enjoy. It was one of the best moves of our lives! Just because my husband and I picked a place in Maine, it does not mean this is the end-all, be-all of our places! We also are looking into Florida for a winter home, and potentially a place in NYC if we find the right space. We can always rent out places we are not using at the time. Life is a journey, it is still the beginning and we can choose whatever paths we want, but we need to work hard for it.

Visiting Vienna, Austria @ Hilton Vienna

Visiting Vienna, Austria @ Hilton Vienna



HILTON VIENNA:

Vienna has been on the top of my list to visit ever since I started living in Europe 1-2 years ago. My husband and I travel extensively with our two dogs, especially throughout Europe. We spend a lot of overnights at hotels, so it was perfect that I partnered with the Hilton Vienna, the perfect excuse to go visit and have a suite stay! Not only was the lobby beautifully decorated with a giant silver and gold Christmas tree, it was also a wonderful and comfortable stay in the suite, with a panoramic view of the city and an extra living space off of the room. I always love it when hotels have bathrobes, and I always put them on after a nice bath and when getting ready for the day. We had the full breakfast in the restaurant the first day, but after that we kept going back to the convenient executive lounge at the top of the hotel, with complimentary beverages and food (yay! and delicious) Below are the images from the Hotel lobby and suite, with travel pictures to follow.

FASHION in VIENNA:

Before I talk about the touristing, I wanted to mention that I normally try to pack sparingly for all my travels, which means I usually need to mix and match outfits or prepare a look themed to what I’ll be seeing that day. I had to usually wear walking shoes, like my all black striped Adidas shoes. I also tried to keep things light in colors because I knew the buildings would be a light color. For evening I generally like to have darker or shimmering clothing. And of course I like to be a bit diva with my fluffy coat, especially when I know a city will have all the frills in architecture and decorations I love to look at.

SIGHTSEEING IN VIENNA:

Researching Vienna beforehand, I knew I would be seeing some beautiful architecture, and old style that we just don’t see being made these days. I do love the sleekness of modern style, but I love to feel and the essence of the past of royal taste. Some places we visited were the Belvedere Palace, totally walkable from our Hotel, and the dogs loved to come along and do some sightseeing with us. I was instantly in awe at how beautiful the landscaping was, and the sculptures strategically placed with beautiful marble. Afterwards we got some traditional food at a restaurant and house brewery called Salm Brau, where I’m pictured with a large house brewed beer. Right at sunset the lights about the city turned on, and it was quite charming walking throughout the Christmas markets and beautiful cathedral. My husband had a sweets craving so we walked to a famous pastry cafe Demel, where we got some nice treats. When we exited the cafe there was no mistaking the Hofburg Palace, a light shining at the end of the street. The next day I really wanted to go to the Art History Museum, and it was GORGEOUS!! I wanted to live there. Next time we go to Vienna I am totally going back there. The rest of the time was spent walking through the park with the dogs, wandering the streets, finding beautiful little corners and alleys, with little cozy restaurants tucked away. If it’s on your list, I would certainly try to make it happen. It is a city that is completely walkable and so much to see. Bon Voyage! instagram posts here:  @catherinewanders

Lake Maggiore in Stresa, Italy

Lake Maggiore in Stresa, Italy
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Amazing view from the terrace

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A couple levels down from the terrace and you see a little lake beach and gorgeous mountains
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The pool had glittering stones in the bottom and gave extra beauty to the hotel
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The dinner view with sunset ❤
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My Dinner Date =)
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Even when raining the terrace is beautiful
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Grabbing a bite in a neighboring Italian neighborhood on Lake Maggiore

After traveling over the Swiss Alps and going through some winding streets, we found ourselves in Lake Maggiore in Stresa Italy. We stayed at Hotel Splended, a sweet hotel right on the water and walking distance to a little lake town with cafes, restaurants, bars and shops. The view was so beautiful, I found myself in shock every time I looked at it.

I honestly prefer to go in pools, so I spent a nice day relaxing poolside with refreshing Aperol Spritz cocktails and dipping in the cool water whenever I felt I had enough sun. Later in the evenings we would either walk to find restaurants along the water or stay at the restaurant at the hotel. My favorite was the restaurant at the hotel because of the magnificent view and service. It was an extremely romantic place for Champagne, Italian eats and great company.

When walking around the shops and promenade it was easiest to wear little sundresses and at night time flowy tops and shorts with heels to cool down in the summer air. I will definitely recommend to visit this romantic area.