Keeping It Real

Just to keep things real and reassure everyone back home that I'm not really living on a cloud
and frolicking through the streets singing musical theater, (though it sometimes feels like
I am) I thought I would bring up some of the funny and interesting bits about living abroad
thus far.

1. The walls here are INCREDIBLY thin. As in right now, I can hear the construction workers
above me doing renovations and each and every footstep is heard very clearly. (That 
also includes ever bit of hammering...) It was funny the first night when we thought someone
was about to murder us because it sounded like they were in our apartment. (Terrifying
then funny.)

2. The language barrier is real. Really real. I mumble my way through life here. When I
hear English my ears start ringing and I get really happy. Little victories are big around
here when it comes to my Italian progression.

3. People don't run around these parts. Exercise? What's that? Silly Americans. This is perfect
for me since I'm on a kind of anti-exercise thing right now (don't look up to me kids) but my 
friends tried to go running and got a LOT of strange stares.

4. Hearing people talk about you in Italian and they think you can't understand them. This is 
a favorite of mine. Yesterday I heard some young guys trying to guess our ages and they
completely thought I couldn't hear them. I guess my little bit of Italian comes in handy!

5. Pedestrians do not have the right away in Italy. No sir. The cars speed through these
narrow cobblestone streets like they're filming for the Italian Job! I've already
said I plan on being the first to get hit by one because I'm the worst about checking
for cars coming... 

If you studied abroad or have even been abroad before, what were some of your
funny moments? I'd love to hear them! 

Orvieto From Above

Orvieto is full of little treasures. Today we explored the Duomo (that huge cathedral) 
and every time I stand before it I am always blown away. It is absolutely stunning
and so intricately designed. Each sculpture on it's walls are incredibly expressive
like you're looking at a true human face. 

We also climbed to the top of the clock tower and got an amazing view of the entire city.
It's crazy to think so many (pretty much all) of these buildings are significantly older than 
America! I absolutely love it here.

Also, I hope you notice my leaping zebra sweater. It's a favorite thrifted piece
of mine. (:

Benvenuto a Orvieto

Last night I was lying in bed reading a book and I felt like I was at home.
Then I looked out the window and saw cobblestone streets, window shutters,
and a bright street light and remembered, "Oh right, I'm in Italy."

My trip has been wonderful thus far. I may actually be a little tired of bread and pizza
at the moment but I'm sure that will pass. I also had my first cioccolata calda today (hot
chocolate) which tasted like warm pudding. (Delicioso!) 

My Italian is slowly and awkwardly coming together but that is all part of the fun 

Ciao Italia!

"Because in the end, you won't remember
the time you spent working in the office
or mowing the lawn. So go climb 
that damn mountain."
-Jack Kerouac

Excuse me for a bit while I start climbing my own mountain. 
You know the one... (hint: Italy.)

A Quote on Mumford & Sons

 I've discussed my love for Mumford & Sons before here, but there was something my 
friend said last night on Twitter that completely summed up why I adore this band 
as much as I do. 

He said, "I just love how they GET the struggle to love God, the perfect being,
in our human weakness."

Wow, right? When you comb through the lyrics of their songs they are filled with deep
spirituality and struggle while also maintaining a hopeful spirit. 

It IS a struggle to love God and trust him fully but I guess that is the point of our 
own spiritual journey's with the Lord. We must seek Him always and sometimes
listening to a Mumford & Sons song is my way of connecting with Him. 

This feels like living

I have become so very comfortable at home. I'm on my 5th week at home and it feels like
summer. But it's not and I have a great adventure waiting for me starting this week.

There is something to say about getting comfortable with ones situation and there's also 
something to say about being 20 years old and needing to branch out of ones
comfort zone just enough to feel alive.

I'm in that in-between stage right now. I'm fine where I am but know I need to reach my
hand out for opportunity come Thursday. 

But isn't that how all the greats became, well, great? One of my new years resolutions is
to grab life by the horns and really let myself go a little. I let my 40 year old self
take over my 20 year old body way too much and this is my chance.

This is my chance to free fall a little. Because when you're free falling out of the sky
you have not a care in the world and you're only wearing a smile on your face because
this feels like living.   

Let's Go To the Beach

This weekend our family friends invited us to their beach house at Stinson Beach
and we couldn't say no. (Obviously.) It was beautiful waking up to the ocean waves 
crashing onto the sand and sunsets that would make anyone weak in the knees.

It was my perfect last weekend in the States. On Thursday I leave for Italy
and it is really hitting me. (Like REALLY hitting me.) 


For my birthday, my mom took me to my favorite restaurant ever, Crepeville.
I've been having a lot of issues with food lately and not being happy with anything I've
ordered but when I go to Crepeville, I know I'm going to be happy. 
I ordered the french toast (above) and the fresh fruit was possibly the best I've
ever received at a restaurant and my mom ordered this Greek scramble with spinach,
feta, and mushrooms. Needless to say, we both devoured our plates.

There is just something about Midtown that really makes me wish I could
live there someday. 

Golden Globes 2k13

 I was going to show you my favorite gowns of the award show but ended up
not liking as many of them as I thought I did originally... so that backfired on me.

Overall, I thought the show was hilarious on Sunday night. Any one else wondering
why it took the HFPA that long to have Amy and Tina host?? They were classy
and hilarious. I was also incredibly happy that Les Miserables won quite a few awards
and so did Homeland. And that bit on drunk Glenn Close? Classic. 

But just so I don't end this post with no gown in sight, I thought I would show
you my favorite gown thus far in the awards season.
The honor is given to none other than Jennifer Lawrence who is one of my favorite
actresses right now. I'm seeing Silver Linings Playbook today and am so excited after
hearing all the buzz. This was the gown she wore to the Critics Choice Awards
and the train/the classiness of the dress made it a favorite for me. Plus you can never
really go wrong with black. 

Did you have a knock-your-socks-off gown that you saw at the Golden Globes?

On my 20th Birthday...

20 on my 20th

20 things I’ve learned…
1. The best investment is time spent with loved ones.
2. God always has a plan regardless of whether or not I believe it to           be true in the moment.
3. Some friends walk into your life for seasons and others take a seat and stick around a while. Both are important.
4. Judging is never worth the time.
5. Saying you hate others or even possessions is not worth the time either.
6. Laughter is truly the best medicine, especially the kind where you can't breathe. 
7. Sisters are a special gift and built-in best friends.
8. Dressing up always makes you feel better. So does putting on a little make-up.
9. Normalcy is a term boring people made up to feel important. Being unique is truly the best. 
10. Kindness matters.
11. Being passionate about something is a blessing... don't let it slip away.
12. Music has a way of sneaking into your soul and releasing any pent up emotions you may have had and allowing everything to be let out.
13. Concerts are always worth your time and money. 
14. Putting in effort is important even when you feel it isn't deserved.
15. But that isn't to say you should let others walk all over you.
16. Know when to say no.
17. But say "yes" often. You never know what adventures are out there. 
18. Sometimes it takes leaving to realize how blessed you truly are.
19. Your mom and dad are right. Oh, so right.
20. Life is meant to be grasped with all your might, so go out and love this big wide world! 

Any wise words for me on my birthday?

Hawaii Parte Due


While it is in the low 40's here, I thought I would put some more Hawaii
pictures up. We were on the island of Kauai which I find to be stunning.
We zip lined, swam in the ocean even when it was raining, drank too many
pina coladas and I'm going to stop while I'm ahead so you don't hate me.

My family also has a new tradition where every time we need to take a family picture,
we put a little twist on it. Our first one was when we went on Splash Mountain and all
5 of us had the most serious faces on like we absolutely hated the ride,
(the picture is a big hit at our house) and this time we threw mustaches into the picture.
(Mustaches are still funny right?) 
At least we think they are. My dad looks seriously intimidating. 

Happy Thursday!

A Quote a Day

{via Tumblr}

“You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things.”
-Jamie Tworkowski

Hawaii in the Winter


Hawaii was wonderful as usual. I feel so blessed to have gone on this
trip with my family and my best friends family. So many moments I had to 
step back from it all and realize how truly unique this trip was and how, despite
the rain most days, God gave us these islands to cherish and develop beautiful
memories on. 

God's love for us and his immense power always takes me by surprise. 
We are so very loved and in Hawaii, you can really feel that love 
just a little bit more. I think it's something to do with being surrounded by 
 literal paradise.