Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Home is Where the ♥ Is.

Nordic Sweater, Green Skirt: c/o OASAP. 
Plaid Scarf: College Store Manhattan.
Tan Hat: Brandy Melville.
Oxfords: Clothing swap, originally Forever21.

Hello, hello from OHIO! 

I arrived back safely to the states Sunday night and was finally reunited with my family. It's been a busy past few days unpacking all my stuff, seeing people I've missed, and trying to recover from jet lag. I'm just so happy to be back. In some ways it really feels like I never left, but rather I was just in a four month long dream and I've finally woke up. Being back in nature especially feels so nice. The peacefulness of it all and just seeing trees, grass, and open land makes me so happy. Perhaps why I didn't care for Italy as much as I thought was the whole living in a city. I just don't think I'm cut out for it. My spirit runs on the rejuvenation I receive through exploring nature and being immersed in it; it's also where I always feel most connected to Christ, as well.

Anyways, I was pleased to shoot some outfit photos today and be back into my favorite little forest. I've missed you! x

With much love, Lauren.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Golden Rose.

Faux Leather Jacket, Checked Dress: H&M.
White Blouse (underneath): Forever21.
Beret: AA.
Black Boots: Random shop here in Florence. 
Lip Color: lip liner in Kiko's #712.

Hi there guys!

I'm nearly done with my time here; just four more days! Can hardly contain my excitement till I see my family...I've been trying to live it up here in Florence while I'm here though. Seeing the sunsets over the Arno, eating gelato every day (cinnamon, mmm!), loading up on cappuccinos...Some things I'll really miss. I know I moaned and groaned about the coffee here all semester, but I've actually grown to really, really love it. I'm pretty sure Starbucks or anything of the sort won't be able to compare ever now. I'll have to try and cappuccino there when I get back and let you know! 

I was in Kiko the other day (an amazing Italian makeup store, kind of like NYX) and was swatching some lip liners on my hand. I've never really understood lip liners, but as I've gotten into a wider range of colors in my lipstick collection over the years & have been pulling out my darker shades for winter.... I realize they are kind of necessary. I went in looking to match one for my MAC's "Rebel" but found this shade I'm wearing on my lips instead actually! I wasn't into Kylie Jenner's overdrawn, pouty lips in the beginning, but now I kind of dig them...this lip pencil reminded me so much of the color she wears, so I picked it up for only 2.50 euro which is super cheap! Even though it's a liner, I love how you can also wear it as a matte sort of lipstick and it stays on so long. My roommate and friend Haley liked it so much that she went and bought one for herself today, too! I really recommend trying it if you have a Kiko by you. x

With much love, Lauren.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ireland Snapshots.

Hello there!

Here are my snapshots from IRELAND. Gorgeous, gorgeous Ireland. I absolutely loved it, and if I had to choose one place to be my favorite all semester...this would probably be it. Everything about it is charming-- whether you're in the cobblestone streets of the city or the fairy tale country side. I stayed in Dublin for a day, visited the Cliffs of Moher, and then went to the little town of Galway for Christmas markets. Each amazing in their own, unique way. I found the people to be so friendly, the rainy weather right up my alley, and the food to be hearty and home-y.

It wasn't long enough to just spend two and a half days there, and my #1 destination to go again someday again is Ireland. There's just so much I didn't feel like I got to see, especially the countryside. I love you, Ireland, hope to see you again soon! x

With much love, Lauren.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Roma.

Plaid Blanket Scarf: College Store Manhatten.
Green Blouse: Forever21.
Red Skirt, Black Hat: c/o OASAP.
Leather Jacket: H&M.
Black Boots: Random store in Florence.
Lipstick in MAC's Russian Red.

Hi there!

For my last trip of the semester I visited Rome yesterday! Truthfully I was kind of putting it off because I knew it was going to be a stressful, crazy day to navigate Rome by myself and try to see everything in one day. I was kinda right-- it was crazy and Rome ate me alive! But, I'm proud of myself. Not just for getting to, around, and from Rome all day, but in general my independence this enture semester.

I was really upset at the beginning of it because I felt limited to only going on trips where my friends were going. I felt like I couldn't go to the places I wanted to just by myself; because it was 1) lame and 2) there was no way I could navigate around Europe by myself.

It is incredible the things you can do that you would never think were possible. I've done this second half of the semester's trips by myself and they were my favorite trips yet. I've gotten around Paris, London, and Rome; the biggest cities in the world, all by myself, using the metro. I've flown by myself for the first time to Ireland. I've learned how to get really good at reading maps, get where I want to go, and problem solve myself out of tricky situations. And most importantly-- I've just explored and found out so much about myself that I don't think I would have ever got to if I'd limited myself to being in a group this entire time. I read this spot on article on facebook today why sometimes it's best to travel by yourself and this person says it perfectly in all the ways I could ever try. 

My favorite thing I've taken away from this experience is the acceptance in myself that it's okay to be alone and independent. I came in having a hard time not fitting in and depending on others...which just resulted in me not having the experiences I wanted to have. Throughout the semester though, I've realized my capabilities of who I am and what I can do. I thought I had a good sense of self before studying abroad. Turns out, that was just the surface of who I am, and in Italy so many new things about myself have been revealed. I know it doesn't stop after this journey either; life is a constant discovery of parts of ourselves. Thank you Italy for being the first part (of hopefully many!) journeys in showing me that! x

With much love, Lauren.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Drawing to a Close.

Polka Dot Top, Skirt: Aeropostale.
Tan Trench: c/o OASAP.
Beret: AA.
Boots: Random shop in Florence.
Backpack: Herschel Supply Co.
Lipstick in Russian Red.

HELLO! 
Long time no see everyone! I can't believe I had such a big blogging break --I'm sure some of you wondered if I was ever coming back! It's been a crazy last month in general and I just had to take a step back from blogging. It was starting to stress me out along with everything else I had on my plate. I've found throughout the years of blogging if it starts becoming a burden, then it's time to take a break because blogging should be fun and something I want to do. I just hated writing travel posts. They seemed so forced and boring to me, and although I love going on the trips themselves, it became such a hassle to constantly have these huge travel posts with two, three, and sometimes four parts that were bleh to write about. By the time I would get one place done, I'd be traveling to the next and it was frustrating always trying to keep up. I love to blog about my outfits--it always has been and always will be my favorite thing to capture on this blog. But between the crazy finals of school work, traveling constantly, and not having a tripod it became just too hard to do. So the combination of writing lack luster travel posts and not having time to post what I really wanted just made blogging and absolute dread for me.

Thankfully, the worst of all of my final tests, final projects, and weekend traveling has now passed and I can breath a sigh of relief. Since I've last posted, I've traveled to Ireland and Austria/Germany and had two of the absolute best trips. In school I've shot and styled editorials and created an layout with a great group of gals to make an entire magazine for my Media class that I'm so excited to share. I also with a group created a brand and a whole collection of flat designs and a line plan. Hopefully I can show you all soon some of the work I've done here this semester that I'm proud of in an upcoming post!

It's hard to believe, but I leave to go back home to the US next weekend; I'll be traveling home the 14th of December! I simply cannot wait. I've been incredibly homesick and just need some time off, but parts of me are sad to leave Italy, as well. Not necessarily Italy itself I think (because I didn't really fancy living here in particular), but I guess that this chapter of my life studying abroad will be closed. It is amazing how much I have learned in the last four months. About myself, about life, about the fashion industry. I feel like I am just bursting with so much newness based on the experiences I've had here being in Europe for the last four months, and I'm excited to take the new me back home to the states and see how she does. 

Hopefully I can fit a few more posts in before I leave back for the states. I still do plan on posting photos from Ireland and Austria, but I think I'm going to skip out on writing a lot because it's just simply...boring. Anyways, see you all soon! Thank you all so much for being with me in this time in my life--love you all!

With much love, Lauren.

P.S. My five year blog anniversary passed last month without me getting to celebrate! :( I plan on doing something to commemorate it when I get back to the US though!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Barcelona Part II.

Hello everyone!

Long time no see :( It's been tough with my schedule to still be able to blog, and that's made me really disappointed and sad. I had hoped to blog A LOT more than I have this semester while abroad, but things just haven't worked out like I planned. The end of semester craze is alive and well here even in Italy, and I feel like I'm constantly running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Between all the group projects and such during the week, and popping in and out of different countries all weekend I can't seem to get it together long enough to be in one place at one time. I am counting down the days until I arrive home because it's just been a rough past couple of weeks. I wish I had time to write about everything I'm feeling but again; that's part of the problem-- there's just not enough time :(

Anyways, enough moaning and groaning (I need to get better about that). I needed to finish up photos from Barcelona from last weekend! It already feels like it was such a long time ago that I was there because I've traveled to Ireland since then, but it was really only a week ago. The second day I was there I went and explored Park Quell which is a park that the famous architect Guadi had a hand in creating for Barcelona. It's the photos above with the incredible view overlooking all the city, and the building that literally looks like a gingerbread house, ha. Later on that day, I continued to explore Guadi's art works across the city with a tour I booked where we hit all of his famous buildings amongst the city. The tour guide was awesome (which makes all the difference!) and I was able to learn so much I never thought would interest me. I also met the sweetest girl from NZ on the tour and we hit it off right away, going to get dinner after the tour ended. It was such a special feeling to connect with someone and have similar interests and thoughts with-- something I'm seriously lacking here in Florence. It was one of those once in a life time experiences where you meet someone you'll never forget! We went out for amazing tapas at a place someone had recommended to her and I fried fish for the first time? I know, crazy that I had never had fish, but I must say I really liked it!

Back tracking a little bit, the final stop on the Guadi tour was that of the Sagrada Familia which is a church that Guadi started a few hundred years ago and the construction of it is still going on. He passed much before a lot of the work even got going, but architects today are still trying to carry out his vision for this incredible church based on the Greek bible. It is absolutely MASSIVE and my jaw dropped when the tour guide told me that it still has like 2/3 of the way to go before being finish sometime near 2025 or so. Mind blowing. It was unlike anything I've ever seen before, so I felt so lucky to have gotten to see it/learn first hand!

Hope you all are well....miss you all so much. I'm trying to push through the craziness in my life right now and hopefully be able to get some more posts up soon! x

With much love, Lauren.