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Friday, May 27, 2016

Rant: Turkish Culture Woes

I never thought I would actually be using the word "woes" in a post, but the word just seemed fitting haha. Anyways, today's post is just me ranting and trying to get some frustration out of my system and what better place than my blog? Feel free to skip this post if you were looking for something fashion-related. I promise next week I'll have some new posts up related to that!

I'm not sure how to actually start this post so I'm just going to wing it: it's hard being a first generation American. While my parents made sure my second language was Turkish, taught me the traditions and customs (always kiss relatives on the cheeks and bring them tea even if they don't want it!), and have been taking me to Istanbul since I was a kid, it's just not enough. Sometimes I feel Turkish, sometimes I feel American but most of the time I feel lost. Maybe that's why I was always fond of traveling. Somehow, traveling makes me feel at peace and makes me realize that I'm capable of handling anything. But whenever I'm in Istanbul, that feeling of peace seems to go away and replaced with uncertainty especially when it comes to the future (which you totally can't tell from my Instagram posts. Goes to show that social media isn't an accurate reflection of people's lives!).

I feel a certain pressure to move to Istanbul especially from my Mom who's all alone in America and feels lonely without her family. You see, family is a big part of people's lives here in Turkey. I've been in Istanbul for more than 2 weeks now and I've seen my family almost every day! Sitting together, having tea, dinner, whatever. I grew up without having a big family around me so sometimes I believe that I'm okay without them and that I'm independent and could handle it. But when I'm in Istanbul surrounded by my family, sometimes I think to myself what it would be like to have them around me all the time? To never be alone and "independent" again? To always have people to depend on? Sometimes, I think I could get used to that kind of life and that moving to Istanbul wouldn't be so bad.

Then there's that little thing called marriage that's also a big part of Turkish culture. Of course I want to get married just as much as the next person but it's such a difficult situation for someone like me. Of course there's Turkish guys in America but what if I end up falling in love with someone in Turkey? Do I bring them to America or would they want to stay there? And how would I handle living in Turkey with their customs and traditions and mother in law's and sister in law's and everything else that just makes my head spin. I'm afraid that I wouldn't be the typical Turkish wife and that I wouldn't be accepted. Sure, Turkish people are obsessed with Americans and put me on a pedestal but what if I can't adapt and stick to my American ways with my iced coffee (no tea for me please!), my love for eating out, and how would I even drive in the city?!

Yet my Mom (bless her), says that I can marry whoever I choose, Turkish or not, and that makes me feel better yet also makes me uneasy but they wouldn't be able to understand Turkish culture as much as a Turkish person can. It's all just so complicated and that's actually why one of my worst fears is that I would never be able to get married and have a family. Deep stuff am I right?

Sorry if this post seems all over the place. I just really needed to get this off my chest. As much as I love Istanbul and seeing my family, sometimes it just gets to be a bit suffocating. I have hope that things will work themselves out and if you're in the same situation or just going through troubles of your own, remember that.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What's Trending in Istanbul

One of my favorite things about traveling is seeing what people living in different countries are wearing. The interesting thing about Istanbul is how invested people are into fashion and beauty compared to Rochester! It's so refreshing. Honestly, I think it's a European thing. People aren't afraid to dress up here and it's not uncommon to see girls with a full face of makeup. In fact, it's encouraged especially in my family because you look put together and "proper" as my Grandma would say haha. While some of the trends in Istanbul are also trending in the U.S. such as anything that's off the shoulder (which I still love and will continue to wear regardless of the trend!), there are some that are more unique such as skinny overalls, round Ray-Bans, and necktie scarves which I never considered trying until now.

What are some of your favorite trends for the spring/summer?




Friday, May 20, 2016


Jacket: Marshalls, old  // Dress: Forever 21, old // Shoes: c/o Asos // Bag: Michael Kors

Here's another look that I shot before I left for Istanbul featuring another gorgeous pair of heels from Asos. I swear they have the best selection of heels! Although these ones aren't the most comfortable pair (but then again are heels ever really comfortable? haha), they're just so pretty so I manage to ignore the pain for an hour or two. I'm pretty sure this is the most ladylike pair of heels that I own with the satin pink fabric and the pearls. They kinda reminded me of something royalty would wear, like Kate Middleton.

As for the rest of the look, I've kept it simple with some classic black and white and although I'm not one for patterns, this checkered spring jacket is perfect to wear on chilly spring days. You can dress it down with some jeans and flats or dress it up with some heels for a fancy dinner like I did.

Thanks for reading,




Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Dress: Asos c/o // Shoes: Asos c/o

Yes I'm still alive! I know it's been over a week since I last posted and that's because I've been struggling to get some proper Internet here in Istanbul! Crazy! While I was going nuts without posting anything on social media or my blog, it was actually kinda nice taking a break from it all and just appreciating being with my family again and enjoying the city. I actually haven't done anything that exciting yet (recovery from jet lag took like 3 days!) so you're not missing out on anything haha.

Now onto the post! Before I left for Istanbul, I had the opportunity to team up with one of my favorite brands of all time and have been dying to share this gorgeous outfit from...ASOS! Asos has always been my go-to for British fashion and I remember seeing all the stylish girls in London wearing their pieces wherever I went! They have a ridiculously large selection, tons of fits and sizes (hello, petite section!), and have a 10% student discount! I just love student discounts, don't you? I usually order from them whenever I need something for a special occasion such as weddings and this dress is perfect for that. I fell in love with the lavender and hot pink pattern and the collar is just adorable! Perfect for a girly-girl like me. 

Other than fancy dresses, we all know how much I love shoes and ASOS always exceeds my expectations when it comes to gorgeous footwear. These heels perfectly matched my dress and I can totally see myself wearing it with some cuffed jeans for a casual look. 

Hope you enjoyed the post! Feel free to follow me on Insta to see what I'm up to in Istanbul: @ruyakiraccc



(This post is sponsored by ASOS and Her Campus Media. All opinions are my own.)

Monday, May 9, 2016

On My Way to Istanbul

"If the Earth was a single state, Istanbul would be it's capital" -Napoleon Bonaparte 

Hey guys! Today's the day that I'm headed to Istanbul. Finally am I right? In fact I'm probably at the airport right now exhausted cause I woke up at 6am and have to get through a 10 hour flight in order to get there. Ugh, I hate early morning flights! Anyways, I'm so excited to be blogging about this trip with you all! As I've mentioned in a previous post, my family is Turkish and almost everyone lives in Istanbul while I've been born and raised in the U.S. (not gonna lie, I feel special being the first one in my family to be born in another country, #proudamerican) and I haven't visited them in three years so it was about time my Mom and I decided to plan a trip. I've been going there since I was little so I'm quite familiar despite feeling like a tourist each time I'm there. It's strange cause Turkish is my second language but navigating my way around the 15th most crowded city in the world and speaking proper Turkish was never my forte. Oh well, ya can't take the American out of the girl! 

Since the last time I was there I didn't have a blog yet (what was my life like without a blog I don't even know!) so I'm excited to blog about what life is like over there and really unravel the mystery that Istanbul is. I know a lot of Americans have either never heard of Istanbul or know very little about it so it's going to be interesting to share my perspective on it. 

The first couple of days I probably won't be blogging since I'll be recovering from jet lag, the time difference (it's 7 hours ahead over there!), and reuniting with my family. Fortunately, I have a bunch of prewritten posts so I'll be sure to put those up soon! 

Thanks for reading, 


Friday, May 6, 2016

Tips for Packing for an International Trip

I know, I know, it's really "trendy" for fashion bloggers to over-pack. But this fashion blogger? Nope. I don't play that game. Luggage fees are ridiculously high, it's a pain to move heavy luggage, and most of the time when I over-pack I end up not even wearing half the stuff I brought and always buy new stuff! It's just not worth it. Since I'm heading to Istanbul this upcoming Monday, I thought this would be the perfect time to share with you some of my best tips for packing that I've learned over the years: 

Start a Week Before

I hate leaving things for the last minute cause there's always something that I forget to pack so start making a list and packing the week before a trip. This way you'll have enough time to remember anything that you might've forgotten and maybe even change your mind about some things.

Don't Pack Clothes, Pack Outfits

A great way to avoid packing things that you're not going to wear is to pull out outfits from your closet instead of just random individual pieces. Lay them out on your bed and you'll realize that you'll have pieces such as neutrals that go with more than one outfit so get rid of all that extra stuff!

Pack Your Most Valuable Things In Your Carry On 

Sadly, one of the risks of traveling international is lost luggage. If you're going to be traveling for a while and bringing a checked in suitcase and carry on then I suggest packing a few outfits (your favorite and probably most expensive ones!), jewelry, pajamas, and beauty items in your carry on since you'll have that with you at all times.

Don't Bring High Heels 

Unless you're going to a wedding (in that case I would bring one pair of heels and nothing more!), don't waste your time with uncomfortable shoes. Traveling to places like Europe always requires a lot of walking so bring your best broken-in pair of flats or slip on sneakers. If you really need to bring something with a little height, I suggest a pair of low wedges such as the ones that I'm bringing from Soludos. Of course, I'll be carrying a pair of foldable flats in my bag just in case!

Don't Go Overboard With the Handbags and Shoes

There's two things that take up the most room in a suitcase and that's bags and shoes which are two of my most favorite things :( If you're going to bring a big handbag make sure to wear it with you on the day of the flight instead of packing it. The same goes for your heaviest pair of shoes so for example ankle boots.

Roll Your Clothes 

This is one of those life-changing tricks that I always wonder why I never thought of before. Roll your clothes the way I did in the picture and you'll have a lot more room in your suitcase along with less wrinkles on your clothes! Brilliant.

Leave Some Room for Future Purchases

My biggest regret when I went on my Europe trip with just a carry-on is that I didn't have a lot of room for the new things that I bought while I was there. I had to ask my roommate to sit on my suitcase in order to get it to close! There's ALWAYS a chance that you're going to buy something when you're overseas so save yourself the trouble and leave a little space. I've heard some people put a shoebox in the middle of their suitcase and pack around it and then take the shoebox out once they're done in order to ensure there's space. Try that!

Hope these tips were helpful! Any others that you can think of?




Wednesday, May 4, 2016

10 Ways to Save Money For Travel

My philosophy has always been that if you want something bad enough, then you'll sacrifice and do whatever it takes to get it. That includes saving money to travel. Yes, it's freaking difficult, but even a shopaholic like me stops spending if it means going on an amazing trip! Remember, travel is worth every sacrifice because you gain so much more than you've ever expected. Here are my best tips for saving money and how I'm able to afford to travel: 

Cut Out the Starbucks - Coffee's usually the first thing that I stop spending money on and boy does it hurt my soul. But even the cheapest coffee places cost like $2 for an iced coffee and if you're like me and buy it at least 3 times a week then it adds up pretty quick. Try making coffee at home (I know, it sucks) or at least buying coffee twice a week in order to still get your fix. When all else fails, I just like to remind myself of all the cute coffee shops I'll visit when I'm traveling. 

Go Out to Eat Less - Now you knew this was coming...and this is just the easy stuff! Either don't go out to eat at all (impossible for me, especially cause I'm a college kid) or go out to eat less and when you do, get the cheapest thing on the menu. Seriously, you'll thank me later when you have money to spend on fancy meals in beautiful cities. Also, you might lose weight from not eating out much. You're welcome!

Sell Some Stuff - I'm constantly selling my clothes on Ebay and you should too! Make sure to sell it auction-style so you can increase your chances of getting more money. Or you could do a blog sale, Instagram sale, or depending on the item sell it on Craigslist. P.S. I tend to avoid places like Plato's Closet because they pretty much give you next to nothing for designer clothes. 

Change Your Lifestyle - Depending on how much money you want to save, you're going to have to change your lifestyle in some ways. For me it's less shopping, less mani/pedi's, and less going out on Friday nights. Instead I shop my own closet, paint my nails at home, and invite my friends over for some Netflix. It gets the job done!

Do More Work - The quickest way to save more money is to get more money. Most college kids have part time jobs so I'm assuming that's your main source of income but try to do something on the side like babysitting, tutoring, or a work-study job. Every little bit counts!

Tuesdays Are The Cheapest - I read a lot of travel blogs on a frequent basis and many of them say that Tuesdays are the cheapest when it comes to airfare and getting great hotel deals. Not only do I find this true for days to book flights but also for the days to actually travel. Most people tend to travel on the weekends so keep that in mind.

Expedia and Priceline All The WayI used to use Kayak in order to compare prices between each travel site but always noticed that Expedia and Priceline seem to be the cheapest. Make sure to get a package deal in order to get the best savings! 

Hostels, If You Dare - Hostels are far more common in Europe than in the U.S. but still ridiculously cheaper than a regular hotel. Depending on how badly you want to save money, you might just be okay with the idea of rooming with complete strangers. I did it on my London trip and it was perfectly fine aside from the gross bathroom (I'm a clean freak and I swear they never clean those showers properly!) and the boring free breakfast aka terrible toast and jam. 

Travel At Off-Peak Times - Make sure to research off peak times before settling on a date for your travels. Typically September, October, after New Year's, and February tend to be times where people aren't traveling as much and there aren't many popular holidays so flights/hotels will be super cheap.

Keep An Open Mind -  You don't have to go to fancy, exotic destinations in order to have a great time. In fact, some of my best trips have been to cities in the U.S. that only lasted for 3 days! Do some research and find "alternative" cities that are exciting but are always forgotten about such as San Diego or Toronto. You'll be able to save a ton of money and remember, traveling isn't about the destination but the experience.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps makes the horrible process of saving money a little bit easier!


Monday, May 2, 2016

Free Spirit

Dress: Free People (also in aqua blue) // Shoes: J. Crew (on sale for $34!) // Lipstick: Marc Jacobs "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" // Bag: Tory Burch

Finals are over and I couldn't be happier! Lately all I've been doing is relaxing and being lazy and I've completely forgotten what it feels like to not having anything due the next day. Feels good! I've pretty much spent the past few days binge watching movies (forgot how much I loved Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley!), packing for my trip to Istanbul next Monday, and hanging out with friends that are back from college. I wore this new dress to dinner the other day and received so many compliments! Not gonna lie, I have a weakness for anything with birds on it and fell in love with the back of the dress. Anything from the Free People brand is worth the investment cause they have such unique designs and made out of beautiful, high quality fabrics. This one is super lightweight and perfect to take on vacation with me! It also comes in aqua blue and teal which I thought was just as gorgeous.

Also I got a new crossbody bag (my first one from Tory Burch!) a while ago from Tony Walker in Buffalo, NY since as strange as this is going to sound, not one place in Rochester sells Tory Burch! Strange right? This one's butter smooth and the rose color is just so beautiful and I own nothing like it. I'm almost afraid to use it cause I love it so much!

Have you finished finals yet? Any exciting plans for the summer?



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