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12Sep
My Big Fat Greek Summer
Lifestyle

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Hey guys!

I’m sorry I haven’t updated the blog in a while. I’ve been so busy settling home since I came back from Greece, editing all the pictures I took and planning new future projects!

I had never been to Greece before. This summer I went to visit my best friend Sophia Contos and her amazing sister Erika Contogiannis in Lefkada, Greece. I instantly felt so inspired by all of my surroundings, the contrast of simple Greek architecture with the deep blue tones of the ocean are as picturesque as picturesque comes.

The island of Lefkada is full of surprises…Every twist and turn brings many magnificent blue beaches , endless adventures as well as promises of authentic culture and history. I loved exploring the winding streets, getting lost in my photography , while hoping to keep the movie-like scenes with me forever. Whether it’s a cute little cove, complimented by the clearest of blue Gatorade like waters, or a street bustling with locals, I enjoyed it all. Lefkada is one of the most unspoiled of the Ionian islands. Filled with stunning inland walks, magical waterfalls and towns full of character. We stayed at Sophia’s place most of the trip but on the last weekend we went to a boutique hotel called Villa Elia, which I extremely recommend. It provides modern, self-contained and perfectly furnished one-room and two-room apartments with fully eqquipped kitchen, W.C., telephone, T.V. and air condition.

Anyways, I will begin uploading more projects on my blog from now on, so stay tuned!

Cheers!

Francisco X. Alustiza xx

Here you have the visual story from my trip to Greece:

 

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(Shirt from The Hill Side available at La Tigre Oumo)

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Love you Erika Contogiannis

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07Jul
Our Fabulous Escape to the W Retreat & Spa in Vieques Island
Lifestyle

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Hey guys!

Last weekend my dear friend Claudia Frau and me visited the beautiful island of Vieques to attend the Swim & Beach Fashion Week hosted by San Juan Moda at the W Retreat & Spa – Vieques Island. Vieques Island is 55 square miles and, according to a local we met, has 46 breathtaking beaches. Vieques is located between Puerto Rico and St. Thomas and is 8 miles off the coast of PR.

To get to Vieques, you can either take a ferry from Fajardo or a small plane from Isla Grande or Ceiba. Initially, we were going to take a ferry but considering it was the Fourth of July weekend (and everyone flees to Vieques) we decided to play it safe and take a small plane, which was the best decision we could had made. We took a private plane from Signature Airlines in Isla Grande that only lasted 20 minutes and enjoyed gorgeous coast views of Puerto Rico along the way!

Once we arrived at the airport in Vieques, we were escorted to the fabulous W Airport Lounge that served complimentary tropical drinks (including a rum punch!) and snacks. We checked-in at the reception desk and were told to wait for our Jeep to take us to the hotel.

When we got to the hotel, we walked up to the front desk where we were told to wait a bit for our room to be ready. We decided to walk over to Sorcé and grab lunch and were served by PJ, who went out of his way to get fresh coconut water for Claudia. The ambiance at Sorcé is beautiful and truly tropical, complete with an outdoor cabana-style environment and stunning ocean views with colorful decorations. We ordered chicken quesadillas and dorado ceviche, and it tasted amazing! All the ingredients tasted so fresh and had so much flavor, that we decided to order a second round. When we finished eating, we were taken to our room.

Ricky, a very upbeat and friendly staff member, took us to our villa and showed us around. Our villa included a separate living room with dining table, sofa and bar, a spacious private balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea, a spa tub complete with spa toiletries, a king size bed, and a round sofa chair. Our room exceeded our expectations, it was serene and peaceful yet colorful and vivacious! As always, we put on our W robes and slippers asked to be taken to the AWAY SPA. At the spa, we got the Crystaline Gemstone facial, a treatment that uses the energy of a rare blend of 45 micronized gemstone crystals. The deep hydrating treatment left our faces feeling refreshed and revitalized, and it included a hand, arm, and foot massage too!

After being pampered and polished by the W AWAY SPA staff, we started getting ready for the first fashion runway show of the night. The show was held at the lobby, and it was beautifully decorated with the classic W Vieques pinteresque aesthetic and attended by friendly W staff passing around delicious tropical sangrias. Claudia and I noticed that the hotel has so much potential for fashion shows, so if you are ever thinking about hosting a fashion show somewhere in the Caribbean, we definitely recommend doing it here. W Vieques perfectly accommodated press, models, bloggers, designers, and photographers and made our stay chic and stress-free—they definitely know how to work with people in the fashion industry!

For the Swim & Beach Fashion Week, 5 venues were used. Presenting their Resort/Summer collections for 2016, Lizette Miro and Lisa Thon presented at the Living Room surrounded by the beautiful W Vieques fire pit, Diana Vazquez and Lisa Cappalli presented at Sorcé, Sonia Rivera and Heriberto Vazquez presented at the Garden, Ecliptica, Eddie Guerrero, Michelle Ann, Tommie Hernandez, and Luis Antonio presented at WET (the pool area), and Sonia Santiago and Jaer Caban presented at the PLUNGE POOL. All of the venues were fantastically lit and well decorated, not to mention the idea of putting chairs in unconventional places (e.g., for the shows at WET, chairs were placed inside the shallow areas of the pool, and models walked around it) made it all the more exciting.

When we weren’t exploring the grounds or attending the shows, we were lounging by the beautiful pool area or beach, sipping on delicious cocktails like the Spiked Nutella (Baily’s Irish Cream, Kahlua, nutella, ice cream) or the Alain Ducasse Bloody Mary. The WET pool is an infinity-edge pool overlooking the ocean with friendly W staff serving drinks, snacks, ice cream, and even drinks inside a coconut! Whether you want to eat by the pool or sit by the terrace to eat, the WET Bar & Grill serves light snacks such as croque monsieur’s, chilled gazpacho, or hamburgers. If you are a big group, I recommend getting drinks from the WOW party menu, which includes sangria pitchers (red or white), beer buckets, or frozen pitchers (vodka or rum with mango, banana, pineapple, coconut).

If you prefer to be by sand and salt water, the W Vieques sits on two private, secluded beaches (voted Best Caribbean Island by Travel & Leisure!) with Beach Ambassadors taking care of your every need. From umbrellas and chaise lounges to gourmet food and drinks, the only worry you’ll ever have here is to get the perfect tan or take the perfect selfie!

At the beach, you can also rent snorkeling gear, scuba diving equipment, kayaks, or play sand volleyball. There really is no need to leave the resort at any point because you’ve got two incredible private beaches with silky smooth sand, picturesque turquoise waters and a lush green well manicured garden pathway to the beaches. However, W Vieques offers excursions like horseback riding in the mountains or visiting the bioluminescent bay if you feel like exploring beyond the hotel. Our last day in Vieques was bittersweet. We were happy with all of the friendships we made with the staff and other guests, but we were sad to be leaving such a beautiful and breathtaking hotel. We would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone who is thinking about a truly unforgettable vacation in the Caribbean. The W Vieques truly lives up to its WHATEVER/WHENEVER service, with W staff on call 24/7 to bring you or assist you with anything you want. The food, the view, the scene, the ambiance, the accommodations, and the amenities were nothing short of amazing. We want to thank the W Vieques team for such a wonderful and unforgettable weekend and we encourage you, fellow reader, to check out the W Vieques next time you book your Caribbean escape!

                                                                      Wearing:

 Claudia Frau:

White dress: DVF

White crop top & Orange Skirt: Lucky Love Boutique

White Swim suit with full white cover up dress: Lissa Porrata

One piece swim suit: Lissa Porrata

White crop top & denim high waisted skirt: Lucky Love Boutique

Me:

Green button down shirt: Zara

Ripped black pants: Top Man

Flower suit set: Christian Bernard

Red Speedo: Christian Bernard

Yellow Speedo:  Charlie by Matthew Zink

Light blue button down: Brancaccio found at La Tigre Uomo

Blue polka dot bermuda: Entre Amis found at  La Tigre Uomo

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IMG_4363(DVF)

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IMG_4391(Wearing Christian Bernard for the first show)

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IMG_4364(Outfit from Lucky Love Boutique)

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Processed with VSCO with c1 presetIMG_4353(Swim Suit by Lissa Porrata)

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IMG_4358(Outfit by Lissa Porrata)

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IMG_4357(Swim Suit by Lissa Porrata)

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IMG_4366(Swim Suit by Lissa Porrata)

IMG_4359(Swim Suit by Lissa Porrata)

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(Michael doing Jean Marie’s make up)

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IMG_4354(Outfit from Lucky Love Boutique)

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19May
St. Regis Bahia Beach, Puerto Rico
Lifestyle

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Hey guys!

I wanted share with you a little bit of my weekend getaway at the St. Regis Bahia Beach  in Puerto Rico, with my partner in crime Claudia FrauFirst and foremost, the resort and its grounds are extremely beautiful. The St.Regis is conveniently located between El Yunque, which is the world’s second largest rainforest, and a beautiful coastline.

We stayed at the resort from Friday night to Sunday morning with a friend that has a villa in the resort. We knew it was going to be a great relaxing weekend when our most difficult decision was to either lay on the beach or chill by the pool. If you’re not the type to lay under the sun you can grab your own personal cabana at the beach where you can enjoy a delicious piña colada or strawberry daiquiri. The St. Regis offers two pools for their guests to enjoy and to our surprise, they had a s’mores set up at 5:00PM every Saturday at one of the pools. When we weren’t shooting we were swimming in crystal blue waters and infinity pools, exploring the grounds, relaxing at the cool cafes and dining at their restaurants.

We frequently saw members of the St. Regis staff driving by on their golf carts, used to transport guests from their rooms to their destination. Since the resort is very spread out, the carts were a welcome convenience! The employees were so lovely and cheerful that it would be hard to have a bad day, someone was always putting a smile on our faces.

For those busy parents who want to unwind, let the friendly staff at The Iguana Club plan fun games and activities for the kids while you and your significant other enjoy the Remede Spa at the St. Regis, which offers offers a wide range of customized facials, massages and body services.

The St. Regis has three great restaurants to choose from, Seagrapes, Fern and Molasses. Seagrapes is an outdoor restaurant next to the main pool. Its perfect for lunch and snacks in-between tanning and shooting. Fern is the fine dining option for St. Regis guests, located on the second floor of the Plantation House. If you ever visit that restaurant through the day, make sure to sit outside where you’ll have a beautiful view overlooking the water. Last but not least,  Molasses, which is located on the golf course and sits above the second pool on the resort. This was by far our favorite one. They’re mostly known for their ”Mofongo de Ropa Vieja”, which is a Puerto Rican dish with Cuban stewed beef and vegetables.

The thing we loved most about the St.Regis is that it offers something for everyone, amazing wave breaks, different activities for kids, a beautiful private beach and for the foodie, fantastic restaurants. The  St. Regis Bahia Beach offers everything anyone needs and wants during their Puerto Rican vacation, so if you want the vacation of your dreams go check this resort out!

Wearing:
Claudia:
Both black swimwear: MOB
Yellow Swimwear: Lissa Porrata
Beige  Swimwear: Isidora
Me:
 Trunks: Asos
Sunglasses: Luis Antonio Moda

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01Apr
The Palace Gardens under Prague Castle
Lifestyle

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Hey Guys!

During my summer expedition through Prague I came across one of my favorite places I have visited thus far  The Palace gardens under Prague Castle.

The palace gardens under Prague castle are actually five gardens that are interconnected. They are  situated on the southern slope of Hradcany hill and are a connection between Prague Castle and Lesser Town.

This garden is a wonderful place to relax and have a look at Lesser Town. The nature of the gardens ranged from pure utility with vineyards and many different fruit trees, right through to decorative with rich and diverse landscaping. The gardens are linked nowadays and their composition creates a unique beautiful garden complex. All of the Palace Gardens have varied architectural decoration, decorative staircases, balustrades, scenic terraces and small pavilions integrally composed with vegetation to create a picturesque whole.

You will never have time enough to fully properly explore Prague because of its immenseness.  There are so many beautiful places to delve into with many things to do, see and discover. If ever you get the chance to explore Prague I strongly encourage you to visit this place and explore the wonders of European landscape gardening!

Cheers!

Francisco X. Alustiza

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Wearing:

Sunglasses: Rayban

Top: American Apparel

Pants: Allsaints

Sandals: Allsaints

Backpack: Allsaints

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08Mar
Puerto Rico Fashion IN
Lifestyle

Hey guys!

This weekend I attended/covered the Puerto Rico Fashion IN event held at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino. I had full access to designers, collections and backstage shenanigans. I viewed the new collections of designers such as Gustavo Arango, Yirko Sivirich, Nicolas Felizola, Laura Santana, Gabriela Hernandez, Olmos y Flores, Tony Boga and Custo Barcelona.

With the help of my team Sophia Contos and Carolina Diaz , I had to photograph the process of the fashion show and the Best Dressed individuals that attended the show. I got to see and meet many talented stylists, make up artists and models who worked backstage to bind the show together . I also had the opportunity to photograph the beautiful Natalia Rivera along with many well known bloggers and designers at the event.

On the first night of the Puerto Rico Fashion IN Gustavo Arango graced us with his elegant designs. The collection’s essence was maintained perfectly by Paola Alfonso along with his creative team, impecable designs and models. The first night was ended by Nicolas Felizola, who is not only a passionate designer but also an extremely kind soul. Nicolas is inspired by beautiful music and fashion forward elegant women, which is epitomized in his new collection.

Custo Barcelona closed the show on Saturday presenting his Fall/Winter collection, Reborn. His new line was a mixture of mod elegance with a hippie revival. His men’s collection had many embroidered silk bomber jackets and oversized sweatpants. For his women’s collection, he had many metallic pieces and several animal printed pieces. Backstage, Custo was extremely organized and passionate about his work and how he brought his team together was extremely professional and inspirational.

Cheers!

Francisco X. Alustiza

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-BACKSTAGE-

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(Before the show began)

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(The gorgeous Jean M. Ortiz  working on set)

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-BACKSTAGE : GUSTAVO ARANGO-

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(Cynthia Rodríguez)

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(Make up time for Nere Q. Córdova )

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-BACKSTAGE : YIRKO SIVIRICH-

-BACKSTAGE : NICOLA FELIZOLA-

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-BACKSTAGE : LAURA SANTANA-

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(Stunning Darla Pacheco)

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(Thats a wrap!)

-BACKSTAGE : OLMOS Y FLORES-

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(Forever mesmerized by Andrea Carolina)

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(Jose Alfredo in Olmos y Flores & Hazel Ruiz in Hernán Zajar )

-BACKSTAGE : CUSTO BARCELONA-

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-NICOLA FELIZOLA’S RUNWAY-

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-LAURA SANTANA’S RUNWAY-

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-CUSTO’S RUNWAY-

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-GUESTS-

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Puerto_Rico_Fashion_IN
25Feb
Puerto Rico Fashion IN Promo
Lifestyle

Puerto_Rico_Fashion_IN

Hey everyone!

I’m pleased to inform you all of a spectacular event coming up next week.

Puerto Rico welcomes international fashion at the Puerto Rico Fashion IN in hope of attracting more different trends and styles from other countries. The event is going to be held from March 3rd to March 6th at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino.

Around 18 very talented designers like Custo BarcelonaGustavo ArangoOlmos & Flores, and many more will be presenting their new fall/winter collection.  The first three days will consist on adult fashion wear collection, while the last day (March 6th) will be dedicated to the children’s collection.

I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet! On March 5th, Custo Barcelona will be closing the adult collection presentation. All funds will go to the  Susan G. Komen organization. For those who don’t know, this organization dedicates it’s funds to research ways to end breast cancer.

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The event will be divided in several fashion blocks. Each block will host various designers. This way you will have the opportunity to choose the designers you want to see.  Tickets for each block will be available at PRTickets.com.

 

Fashion Show Agenda:

Thursday, March 3rd:

First Block – 7:00PM

First act – Cutting of the inaugural tape

Second Block – 8:30PM

Gustavo Arango – Puerto Rico

Yirko Sivirich – Perú

Nicolás Felizola – Venezuela/ Miami

Friday, March 4th

First Block – 8:00PM

Jorge Diep – Dominican Republic

José Raúl – Puerto Rico

Oscar G. – New York

Second Block – 9:30PM

OF Atelier by Orlando Lugo – Puerto Rico

Rubén Campos – Chile

Saturday, March 5th

First Block – 7:00PM

Gabriela Victoria Nevárez – Puerto Rico

Tony Boga – Dominican Republic

Laura Santana – Ecuador

Second Block – 8:30PM

Lilliana Velázquez – Puerto Rico

Olmos y Flores – México

Hernan Sajar – Colombia

Closing – 10:00PM

Custo Barcelona – Spain

( In aid of Susan G. Komen Puerto Rico )

Sunday, March 6th (Sweet Sunday)

Big opening – 10:00AM

(Parade of children clothing sponsor stores – 11:00AM)

First Block – 2:00PM

Lilliana Velazquez – Puerto Rico

Wanda Beauchamp – Puerto Rico

Second Block – 3:30PM

Lori Riollano for Papalotes – Puerto Rico

Jackie Tejada – Puerto Rico

 

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(Custo Barcelona Collection)

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(Olmos & Flores collection)

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(Gustavo Arango collection)

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16Feb
Follow you down
Lifestyle

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There’s nothing more therapeutic than packing a bag, gathering good friends, hitting the highway, and losing cell phone reception.

Recently I’ve been extremely preoccupied and haven’t had the time to clear my head. So I decided to pick up some of my friends and head to the west coast of Puerto Rico because its filled with so many beautiful beaches & places I’ve yet to explore. We didn’t have a destination in mind but it’s exhilarating to drive without knowing exactly where you’ll end up. It throws you into a sense of wandering that is so important.

A road trip is a perfect place to practice focusing on the journey instead of the destination. In this beautiful life you will be able to instantly feel how different your experiences will be when you stop focusing on where you are.

There’s no better time or place in the world to reflect than on the road. The west coast especially was a stimulating journey, from the easy going lifestyle to the freedom my mind had to wander. Traveling made me appreciate the beauty that has been in front of me my whole life in Puerto Rico. From its landscape to the tranquility I feel driving through the mountains. Once we arrived we stumbled upon a beautiful beach were we spent the rest of the day relaxing and exploring it. It finally feels like home.

So I genuinely recommend everyone to get out, grab friends and loose yourselves more often! When you’re on the road, you’re not going to be spending weeks with these people so enjoy them.

Cheers,

Francisco X. Alustiza xx

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(Wearing: Ildeswimwear)

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31Jan
Prague Diaries
Lifestyle

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Hey there! Here in the lifestyle category of my blog I will be posting traveling adventures, events I’ve attended & places I’ve visited.

During the summer months of 2015 I was chosen to partake in the UPrague abroad program, an international student cinematography project with the University of Miami in the magical city of Prague, Czech Republic. The stresses of travel overwhelmed me, but as soon as I began exploring the city , the worry of a new city and new unknown faces melted away. The streets of Prague were a Fantasia scarcely touched by the twentieth or nineteenth century. The city was still hauntingly preserved & history lingered in every crevasse of the city, from the buildings to the distinct culture and the food.

The wind held magic, memories , and revolutions of the past. The city pulsed in the vibrance of its art forms and street entertainment ; from the beautifully talented hunger of the exhibitionists , to the raw carefree swindling of the gypsies.

In the many storefront windows hung charismatic marionettes painting the city as a live theatre, while unseen puppeteers crouched behind velvet, making the city there stage . Among this, I was acquainted with holy chapels , lush labyrinths of hydrangeas at the Vrtbovská zahrada and unexpected changes to my palate. The Prague Castle was out of this world and it mesmerized me. Located within the Prague Castle was the St. Vitus Cathedral which is an excellent example of Gothic architecture as well as being the most prominent church in the country. The church holds the tombs of many bohemian kings and emperors and is a must see tourist location.

Rich sauces and decadent desserts sprinkled my days with nostalgia for the past. There were several restaurants that served typical local food such as, The White Horse restaurant, located in the center of Old Town Square, and Cukrkávalimonáda, located just over the Charles bridge after Old Town Square. Although my favorite restaurant by far was an italian restaurant located in Old Town Square called Pasta Fresca. (I may or may not had gone to this place every single day lol). All of their pastas were freshly made from scratch & the service and prices were exceptional.

I cant wait to re-visit Prague in the near future!

Cheers,

Francisco X. Alustiza xx

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(White Horse restaurant)

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(Strahov Library)

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Outfit: Allsaints

 

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Shirt: Asos

Pants: Asos

Shoes: Allsaints

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(Czech money)

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(Prague Castle views)

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(Cukrkávalimonáda restaurant)

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Czech selfie

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(Lennon Wall)

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(Charles Bridge)

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(Old Town Square)

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(Vrtbovská zahrada garden)

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Early dinners

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(Behind the scenes of ”Amelia”)

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset(Estates Theater)

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About

I am Francisco Alustiza, a communications & motion pictures major from Puerto Rico. Welcome to my website! Here you will be able to find a plethora of my projects as well as inspirational mediums. Life to me is a constantly transforming experience in which I thrive on the learning and expression of what I love most. My blog’s purpose is to showcase my passions either through photography, fashion, lifestyle or daily life inspirations.

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