Where to First?

Where to First?

The time has come, it’s finally my first time out of Rome on my own! The journey to the decision to travel today of all days was an eclectic one, consisting of two stir crazy students and a tad too much wine!

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Anyways, Naples here we come!

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My roommate Sophia and I spent the entire night prior trying to figure out some trips and flights for the upcoming weeks and stumbled across some super cheap day trip tickets to Naples. 25 euros round trip! Now if that isn’t a steal then I don’t know what is. So, we booked our tickets and set a horribly early alarm to get to the train on time! 

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5 am hits and our alarms go off to the dismay of our third roommate. We were so sleepy that Soph and I nearly said screw it and stayed in bed. We ended up hauling ourselves out of bed and grabbing a taxi to the train station. After some much needed coffee, we were on the train and off to Naples! 

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Three hours later we were walking out of the Naples train station without a clue as to what we were going to do for the day. When I say that this trip very impromptu, I mean it. Not a single plan was made past the train ride. 

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Although Naples was not what we expected, we made the most of our time there, accumulating around 10 miles in walking and about 60 flights of stairs since we went up to the top of the city.

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We went to Polo museale della Campania saw some breathtaking views. We saw the entire city from the museum which sat at around 800 ft in altitude. Sophia and I also saw a cat running around the museum which almost ended up with us devising a plan to bring it back to Rome with us. 

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Post museum we decided to leave the city early since we weren’t the biggest fans. After a confusing time in the train station we were on a train speeding back to our residence. One city done, a whole many more to go. 

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Ciao

When in Rome

When in Rome

Buongiorno. Aka the only Italian word I know so far. A few days ago I started my spring semester in Rome, Italy with Temple’s Rome program! As Lizzie McGuire put it… “This is what dreams are made of!” speaking of which I totally need to watch that movie while i’m here, solely for reference purposes of course.

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The last few days have been a haze of tourist attractions and endless cups of coffee. As it should be. For a coffee addict, the plethora of cafes on every block are far too alluring. I have been in Rome for about 5 days now and have had at least 4 cups of coffee each day, a totally unhealthy amount of caffeine for anybody but necessary for how much walking i’ve been doing. The last few days have averages a walking distance of about 10 miles a day between exploring with some friends and getting to school. Who needs the gym when you have a walking city. Leading to the assumption that…

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The eternal city is unkind any other city in the world. I am so looking forward to exploring this city as a tourist, a student and a wannabe local. I’m excited to learn the culture and hopefully pick Italian up as a third language! 

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Walking through the streets, it’s very clear that the local culture is drastically different from the states. The way people present themselves is a lot neater than in the US. I have yet to witness someone in sweatpants, even runners in the street look like they can walk into a restaurant without any shame. Hope I can adopt some of their fashion sense as well as their IDGAF attitude. People walk in the streets as though they own it and I hope that some of that confidence seeps into my daily life. 

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Cheers to a new adventure, one i’m sure will change me in a positive way… Atleast I hope. 

8 weeks gone but a lifetime to uphold

8 weeks gone but a lifetime to uphold

As of June 30th, I have officially finished 8 weeks of high intensity dieting and training. Why would I do this you may ask. For as long as I could remember, I have had a melancholy relationship with my body. I was never fully accepting of the extra fat that I carried and how tired it got because I wasn’t taking proper care of it. That has all changed for the better. After my freshman year of college, I felt at my lowest, having eaten only junk for a whole year and barely working out. When my mom saw how unhappy I was with my body and how fast I was getting tired, she offered me a solution, one that worked amazingly for her. For the past two years my mom has been working out with an amazing Russian woman named Marina, a guru who started with workout classes in her basement but now has her own studio. Every few months, Marina holds an 8 week challenge in her studio where the base requirements are going to her workout classes at least four times a week, reading the helpful healthy eating advice she posts onto a private facebook group and working hard. I was skeptical to start this at first because I was ( and still sort of am) very lazy. The thought of working out that much and giving up sweets was almost too much but then I looked back at my unhappiness and agreed to do the challenge.

 

 

The first two weeks were absolute HELL. I was sore, annoyed that I couldn’t eat how I had been previously eating and most of all I was mad at myself for even getting to the point where I was reliant on junk food for nutrients and just sitting on the couch being unproductive. When the first two weeks passed, it was still extremely hard, but I was more flexible, working as hard as I could and truly implementing her teachings. I always found time to eat healthy and go to the classes, even through my busy weeks of starting a new job, celebrating an anniversary and two birthdays.

 

When I started the challenge, Marina took my measurements and took pictures, and she did the same when I ended and I have to say that I was truly surprised and motivated with the results. I lost about 10 pounds from the end of my semester, 6 of those pounds on her challenge but that wasn’t even the best part, I shed a total of about 6 inches off my sides, I lost 8% of my bodyfat, my BMI went down by 3 and my muscle index went up by about 4. When I saw the results I cried. Here I was finally happy with how I looked and how healthy I had become. I was motivated to do more and although every day is still a challenge to not revert back to my original habits I am ready for the challenge.

Daily Skincare Routine

Daily Skincare Routine

Ever since I was a young girl, my mother embedded into my head that before anything else, I need to take care of my skin. So of course, during my angsty teenage high school years, I did the exact opposite and my skin is still recovering from it. I wore heavy makeup, went to sleep with my makeup on and never washed my face. Now as a college student, several years later, I am still recovering from that time. Through the years, as I started understanding my skin and its needs, my collection of skincare changed until I found exactly what worked for me.

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When it comes to my routine, I have solidified a system for both the morning and the evening. I am obsessed with Glossier more than any other skincare brand so I got the Phase 1 skincare kit. When I wake up, the first thing I do is wash my face with Glossier’s milky jelly cleanser. Their milk jelly cleaner smells amazing and it’s very gentle on the skin. After I wash and dry my face, I use the Glossier priming moisturizer (see a trend?). It’s lightweight and doesn’t feel like it’s clogging my pores, which I have struggled with before when looking for a daily moisturizer. After the moisturizer, I put on a Tarte eye cream and finish off with Glossier balm dot com.

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On the other end, since I live in a city, I feel like city dirt just clings to my skin. So at the end of the day, it’s crucial for me to wash my face and get all the gunk off. I use a La Roche Posay trio skincare kit that I got from CVS (love me those cvs coupons). The kit includes a gel cleanser, toner and an acne treatment. I love the gel cleaner because it gets so foamy when I scrub it on and it’s very gentle. After the cleaner, I soak a cotton round with the toner and run it over my skin. It pick up the leftover dirt and sometimes it is surprising how much is left on my skin. I follow that with the acne treatment if I have some zits, which i’ve had a problem with lately (dry air has been wreaking havoc on my skin). Then I finish with a bit of balm dot com and get into bed.

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Skincare routines are not one size fits all so it’s important to test what works for you. This system has helped me tremendously and I am grateful for these amazing products which have helped not only my skin but have also helped my confidence grow once my skin problems vanished.

New Year New Closet

New Year New Closet

The first step in every twelve step program is acceptance. I am a hoarder. That is my acceptance. As a result of my hoarding tendencies, my small college closet is bursting at the hinges.

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The worst part is that I don’t wear about thirty percent of the clothing in there. Mostly, those extra pieces are there because of sentimentality and I constantly convince myself that it will be worn again. In reality, the last time I wore them was when people were still arguing about whether the dress was black and blue or white and gold. AKA a long time ago. So instead of New Year’s resolutions that I will never accomplish, such as going to the gym more and cutting out pizza, I will be focusing on my closet. Gone are the days where ill-fitting clothes and strange designs are in my closet. I am finally taking the plunge to a more capsule sized wardrobe plus a few elevated pieces.

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Of course, the transition to organization and let go of unworn pieces was rough and very messy. Lets just say my roommate was not happy about the mess, but organizing my closet was exhilarating. Since I purged the unworn clothing, I’ve spent much less time figuring out what to wear in the morning since there has been less to choose from, and all the pieces left coordinate great together. The last thing to do is sell the unwanted clothing, and use that money buy pieces I know I will truly wear; because I do not not want to go through the closet organization process again.

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Dupes Vs.The Real Deal

Dupes Vs.The Real Deal

      Luxury handbags are some of the most coveted items in the world but with these high brand names come astronomically high prices. A great alternative to getting these bags worth more than a usual month’s rent is a dupe! Whether you just can’t afford the bag or you’re unsure of whether you wanna spend so much on that exact type then dupes are the way to go.
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      The fake handbag industry is a very seedy place, oftentimes these “reliable” sites that sell “high quality fakes” are scams and leave people without the bag and missing a good chunk of change. If you think you have a reliable website, be sure to use (https://www.scamadviser.com/) to check whether its a scam.Rather than going through the headache of all the deceit and legal issues, dupes are your best bet.
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       Finding a good dupe is also a bit of a challenge but there are so many dupes of luxury handbags out there that it’s almost definite that you find one exactly to your liking. Whether it’s a look alike Chloé Faye bag or a Chanel quilted bag
The Trend: Red

The Trend: Red

On designer runways such as Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, and Armani, fall’s it color made itself prevalent: red. Not ruby. Not wine. A bright, powerful red. While we all cannot afford designer pieces, it’s really easy to incorporate this color into our daily outfits. What I like to do when picking an outfit is starting with a statement piece and then layering together an outfit.

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This pop of color really works well when doing that. If you aren’t one for a statement piece of clothing like a bright red sweater, you can add in little pops of this color to add in some trendiness. For instance, you can add a scarf or some wicked red booties. I love this trend because it gives some spice to my usual monochromatic looks. It is a super easy trend to incorporate into most looks and the color is everywhere. Whether it’s Primark or Nasty Gal, there is bound to be a bright red piece perfect for you.

On The Edge

On The Edge

1. Oh my god.
2. OH MY FREAKING GOD!
How far would you go for a really awesome photo? Fun fact about me is that I have a mild fear of heights and that fear was seriously challenged . A few days ago my friend, Kim, and I went into center city in Philly to do a photo shoot with a photographer she knows.

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We all met up and he took us up to a parking garage right near city hall. A few minutes in, and the fun began. He had me and Kim hop onto scarily small ledges and pose. For the most part we laughed off our mutual fear of heights but it was difficult. As scary as it was, the finished product was well worth it. Liam, the photography, worked his magic with the camera and turned our awkward laughing and stiff poses into a set of pictures that makes us seem carefree and like we were having fun, not freaking out on a ledge very high up.

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Facing my fear was difficult but worthwhile and the pictures he took were totally amazing. Credits to @confoundment for the amazing pictures.

 

Sweater On Repeat

Sweater On Repeat

While there isn’t an official uniform for life, it seems everyone creates their own version of one.

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For me, on a typical day, you’ll find me in a really comfortable, oversized sweater, jeans and boots. In addition to the 700lb backpack that i’ve gotta carry around on weekdays.

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Comfort is my number one consideration in the morning so I never purchase any sweater that is uncomfortable. Besides comfort, affordability is big for me since my college budget is very limited. Now is the best time to look for mid-season sales so keep your eyes peeled.

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From what i’ve been seeing, Abercrombie and Fitch have some sort of pop up sale every week (i took advantage of one last week and got a sweater for about 65% off the original price ). Also, Nasty Gal is having a 50% off sale of everything soon and they have really cute sweaters so keep your eyes open.

College chick’s guide to upgrading your wardrobe

College chick’s guide to upgrading your wardrobe

As much as everyone loves shopping, myself included, it’s hard to keep up with the trends on a college budget. That’s why it’s so important to have a few tricks up your sleeves in case you want to upgrade or add to your wardrobe.

  • Thrift shopping: thrift shopping is elusive in the way that there are good and bad days to thrift and you won’t always find something but if you search hard enough you might very well find your new favorite piece of clothing. It’s a good place to search for items to diy as well. There are so many types of thrift shops to search through ranging from pricier consignment shops to donation thrifts such as Goodwill. No matter your style for shopping, there’s almost definitely a thrift shop that will fit your needs and wants

  • Diy: diy-ing is your best friend on a college budget! With a few etsy bought patches and a thrift store find you want to upgrade it’s so easy to turn something old into something new and that you’d love to wear. You could take an old pair of jeans and cut holes into them or get some fabric paint and paint a picture on the back of a jacket to make it unique. Pinterest is a great place to look for different kinds of diy ideas.

  • Discount stores: discount stores are your new best friend. Places like Marshalls and T.J.Maxx are a bit like thrift stores in the way that you have to rummage a bit to find something amazing but the chances that you’ll find something great is very high. They oftentimes carry big brands such as Blanknyc or Steve Madden. There are good days and bad to look so it takes a few trips but these items are oftentimes greatly discounted from places like Nordstrom and Lord and Taylor.

  • Sign up  for unidays: If you are more of an online shopper than a rummager through physical stores then unidays is your best friend. It’s a database for student discounts that has its steadfast discounts like Asos or Urban Outfitters and alternating discounts for places like Rag and Bone or UGG. Their discounts range from 10% to 50% depending on the company. there are so many different alternating stores and companies that  it’s worth a look through to see if you can use any of the codes for something you may need or want.