Spring Break!!!

First I wanted to say thank you to all of you who wished me a Happy Birthday! It actually isn’t my birthday until April 6th, but my sister and I just couldn’t wait to find out what to buy each other. Any excuse to shop, right?! I promise that when my birthday does come I will post something more exciting Β πŸ˜›Β Β Now to the main reason for this post:

keep-calm-cause-it-is-finally-over

FINALLY THIS WEEK IS OVER!!!! Well… almost… I had a huge exam for one of my classes, as well as a few papers and some other assignments, but I still have one research paper due Sunday. But with the exam over the worst has definitely past and now I can look forward to Spring Break!

Last year I spent Spring Break with one of my friends who lives in Georgia. This year I am spending it much closer to home with one of my friends who lives close to Philidelphia. I am very excited to be able to relax after the long week I have had. One of the things I am most excited for is the Oscars on Sunday! I have been looking forward to them since the Golden Globes and I have tried (unsuccessfully) to watch all the movies that were nominated for Best Picture. So far I have watched quite a few of them and would definitely recommend watching as many of them as you can! My personal favorite to win Best Picture is Dallas Buyers Club, but I have not seen 12 Years a Slave, which is by far the favorite to win. I am also voting for Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor because if anyone saw The Wolf of Wall Street or any of his other movies, you would know that this man deserves an Oscar! πŸ˜› If you are interested to see all the nominations, you can find it here.

I probably won’t do anything too exciting during my break, but I honestly think that is exactly what I need. I will make sure to update you all throughout my break now that I have time again! Hope you all enjoyed reading my short, simple p

xoxo Kristen

21st Birthday

Sorry I have been absent these past 2 days! I didn’t even realize how many things I had going on Sunday and Monday until Sunday came along! i am so happy that after this week of classes I go on spring break. I could really use a week to relax πŸ˜€

One thing I did get to do with the little bit of free time I had was discuss what I want for my 21st birthday with my sister. Naturally, the first place we went was the Asos sale page, and I found some really cute dresses that are both currently on sale! Even though my birthday isn’t until April 6th, she is going to get them for me earlier since they will probably be out of stock by the time my birthday comes around. Which means when I come back from spring break I will have 2 new dresses waiting for me! Here are the 2 dresses I picked:

ImageImage

The second one I got in navy blue instead of the black but they have run out of the navy blue by now. I will be sure to get some outfit posts up soon after I get them in the mail!

Hope you all are having a great start to your week! If I am not posting as regularly this week it is because it is midterm week for me :/

Thank you all for reading!

xoxo Kristen

Rome

Hey everybody! I hope everyone is having a great start to their weekend! It is supposed to go up to 50 degrees here today so I am ecstatic! I am so ready for winter to be over!

Today I’ll be reminiscing about my trip to Rome! I went to Rome as part of a class trip shortly after getting back from fall break. We went to go see a dance theater piece in a theater by the Vatican. However, we got there early so we had plenty of time to explore the city! Thinking that I was going to be able to visit the Vatican, I dressed in a peter pan collared shirt buttoned all the way up with a blazer over it and pants. Unfortunately there was a 4 hour long wait to get into the Vatican and we only had 4 1/2 hours before we had to meet back in front of the theater to go see the show. So I opted to go with a big group of people from my class who were visiting the Roman Forum and the Colosseum.

I had never traveled with more than 3 other people before and normally people say that travelling with big groups of people is difficult, but I thought it was a lot of fun! I was with about 10 other people and we all really enjoyed our experience together. We never got to go into the Roman forum because we didn’t have the time, but we still took a whole bunch of pictures of the ruins that you could see without going in. Then we went into the Colosseum. It was so awesome!!!! I took Latin in high school and I am a complete nerd when it comes to Roman times, as well as Roman and Greek mythology, from when I learned about it in my Latin class, so of course I was extremely excited to go to the Colosseum! We stayed there while the sun was setting and the view from where we were was absolutely beautiful.

After this, we all got pizza and gelato for dinner and made two quick stops at the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain before heading up to go see the show we the rest of our class. Nobody could really tell what the plot was supposed to be, but the show was still amazing! If anything that added fun to the experience πŸ˜›

Although the saying is true that you can’t do Rome in a day and definitely not in 4 hours, I was so happy to be able to see what I did of the city. If I could go back to any city that I visited during my time there I would want to revisit Rome so that I could see everything else that it has to offer. It is such a magnificent city and I want to be able to experience it again!

Here are a few pictures from my class trip to Rome:

The Vittoriano Monument in Piazza Venezia

The Vittoriano Monument in Piazza Venezia

Some of the ruins of the Roman Forum

Some of the ruins of the Roman Forum

Part of the Colosseum (the rest had scaffolding on it while I was there)

Part of the Colosseum (the rest had scaffolding on it while I was there)

Colosseum

Colosseum

Colosseum

Colosseum

Colosseum

Colosseum

Colosseum

Colosseum

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Pantheon

Pantheon

My class waiting for the bus to take us home

My class waiting for the bus to take us home

Thank you so much for reading! Hope you all have a great weekend!

xoxo Kristen

100 Followers!

Happy Friday Everybody!

100 followers

I am so happy to say that I have made it to 100 followers! Thank you to everyone who has followed me since I got back to blogging and for those of you who stuck with me through my 4 months of not posting. I look forward to each and every one of your comments, likes and follows. I am so excited the continued growth of my blog! Thank you all again!

xoxo Kristen

 

Mallorca!!!!

I am so excited about today’s post! My trip to Mallorca is one that I will never forget and I love that I get to relive that experience by telling all of you! Just warning all of you this is probably going to be a LONG post πŸ˜€

The reason I went to Mallorca for fall break is because one of my best friends, Jesse, has family friends who live their. We were invited by them to stay the whole week with them and we COULDN’T turn that opportunity down! We decided that we were going well before we even got to Arezzo, so I was anxiously awaiting our trip for a long time!

Finally fall break came! Despite the fact that the trip was amazing, the first travel day was actually pretty awful! Since we were leaving from the Florence airport, we spent the night in my sister’s apartment in Florence (she was studying abroad there while I was in Arezzo). It was me, Jesse and my friend Chelsea, who was leaving the next morning to go visit her family in England, plus my sister and the 3 people she lived with all in a tiny apartment.Β Even though Chelsea’s flight left at 7 and Jesse’s and mine left at 12:30, we decided to split a taxi to the airport to save money. Which meant that we all had to leave at 5 in the morning. I had a hard time getting to sleep since I was on a tiny couch and was starting to come down with what I thought was a cold, so I only got about an hour and a half of sleep.

Chelsea, Jesse and I all got up at 4 to catch the taxi at 5. Once we got to the airport, Chelsea left to get on her flight and Jesse and I tried to get some sleep. It was impossible. We gave up at around 8 and went to check the board to see when we could check in. Then we realized our flight was delayed for 2 hours. Long story short (especially since this is already very long), we waited 9 and a half hours in the airport. I had no medicine and kept feeling worse and worse. People were actually handing me cough drops at the airport. IT is funny now that I look back on it, but I was not pleased at the time πŸ˜›

By the time we arrived in Mallorca, it was 9:30 at night and I was losing my voice. I felt so bad when I went to go meet Jesse’s friends and could barely even talk to them! But even though I was sick, that did not stop me from enjoying my first night in Mallorca. Sofia, who was the same age as us and whom Jesse had known since she was born, took us out partying in Palma. In the U.S., partying usually consists of staying out until 3-4 am. In Mallorca, the party only really begins at around 3-4 am. We ended up staying out until 8:30 am! It was so much fun, but we were all SO tired. So we slept a little while and then left at 12:30 to have lunch with Sofia’s family.

That day we just spent taking a tour of the family’s home and relaxing. That was probably the best idea in my case since by this point I had lost my voice completely. After a long day of relaxation and getting to know the family (they are some of the nicest people I have ever met!) we slept and got ready to explore Mallorca the next day.

The rest of the trip we spent exploring and it was SO wonderful! We got to go back to Palma and actually take in the city, we visited the Beach, Soller, Valldemossa and quite a few other places! The first day we went to Palma and got to visit the cathedral, as well as a few other places. The second day, we went to an absolutely beautiful place that I cannot for the life of me remember the name of! We drove on some really scary cliff sides in order to get there, but it was totally worth it! The next day was by far my favorite day – our trip to Soller. Soller is gorgeous city! When we got there, we had tapas for lunch and then went on a boat to visit the Torrent de Parais, a rock beach just off the Port de Soller. The water was so blue and the view was fantastic! Also, the boat driver liked the three of us (we went with Sofia) so he let us ride in the front with the Captain! It was all very exciting! Then when we returned to shore we met Sofia’s mother Kelly and her sister Arantxa and had dinner together. That was my favorite meal that I had while I was there!

The day after that (Thursday) we went to the beach. It was magical! We had such a great time relaxing, taking in the sun and having fun in the water. On Friday, we picked up Kim from the airport. Since her fall break fell the week after mine, she couldn’t come for the whole time with us. But she did spend the first 2 days of her break in Mallorca. We went to Valldemosa with her, which is a lovely town with a great view and a beautiful museum, and had fun exploring. We also saw an impromptu piano concert, which was really awesome! That night, being a Friday night in Mallorca, we went out partying in Palma again. We also stayed up until 8 am again πŸ˜› But especially since Kim was there it was a lot of fun!

That Saturday, Jesse and I had to leave. I was so sad saying goodbye to Mallorca. I had such a wonderful time and got to know Sofia and her family very well. I hope to go back and visit them again sometime in the near future!

Collectively, Sofia, Jesse and I took over 600 pictures! Here is just a few of them:

Overlooking the water in Palma

Overlooking the water in Palma

The beautiful view of the water from the heart of Palma

The city of Palma

The place we went to the second day that I can't remember the name of :D

The place we went to the second day that I can’t remember the name of πŸ˜€

Me looking at the gorgeous view

Me looking at the gorgeous view

Day 2

Day 2

The cute, wooden train that took us to Soller!

The cute, wooden train that took us to Soller!

On our way to Soller

On our way to Soller

After the train we had to take a trolley to get to Port de Soller

After the train we had to take a trolley to get to Port de Soller

Our first view of Port de Soller after getting off the trolley
Our first view of Port de Soller after getting off the trolley
Port de Soller

Port de Soller

Port de Soller

Port de Soller

Sofia, Jesse and I with the one of the crewmen on the boat we rode to Torrent de Pareis

Sofia, Jesse and I with the one of the crewmen on the boat we rode to Torrent de Pareis

Sofia and I on the boat

Sofia and I on the boat

Arriving in Torrent de Pareis

Arriving in Torrent de Pareis

Torrent de Pareis

Torrent de Pareis

Torrent de Pareis

Torrent de Pareis

Valldemosa

Valldemosa

Kim and I in Valldemosa

Kim and I in Valldemosa

Sofia, one of her friends, Jesse, Kim and I at a club called Havanna

Sofia, one of her friends, Jesse, Kim and I at a club called Havanna

It was so hard to pick which pictures I wanted to put up, especially from my trip to Soller (I had over 100 pictures just from that one day!). I hope you enjoyed them! Stay tuned for more posts on my Italy adventures!

xoxo Kristen

My Winter Essentials

Northeastern Pennsylvania is a difficult place to be right now. You want to know why? POLAR VORTEX.

For the past 3 weeks it has been snowing and sleeting and hailing at random and it has been so bitterly cold that nothing has melted! We have at least 4 feet of snow in any given direction which is layered in between with ice. It is the worst winter I have ever seen! But thankfully, the weather channel said it would be stopping this week. So I woke up happy this morning, expecting the sun to come out and start melting the snow. What I did not expect was for it to be simultaneously hailing and sleeting. It is nearly impossible to walk outside right now!

This inspired me to do a post about what has been getting me through the winter. Since it has been extremely harsh in more way than one, I have a whole bunch of products that have been keeping me warm, healthy, and moisturized:

My Winter Essentials

1) Lacrosse Boots – I have barely been able to wear anything but these boots around campus. With the snow and ice covering every surface, these boots have great traction and help me get where I need to be without having an unexpected meeting with the ground.

2) Aveeno Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30 – I definitely believe in wearing sunscreen everyday, so I love that this daily moisturizer has SPF in it. I apply this before applying makeup every morning to keep my face soft and protected from the harsh winds.

3) Regis Designline Silk Drops – With all the wind we have been having and with my hair constantly freezing and unfreezing as I go from place to place, my hair tends to get quite frizzy. These silk drops really help to tame my frizz. Plus the formula smells fantastic!

4) Legwarmers – These are an easy way to stay fashionable and warm. Since I have to sacrifice wearing my favorite shoes because of the weather, I figure I may as well change it up every once in a while by wearing these. I have 3 super comfy pairs and haven’t left my room without them in about 3 weeks πŸ˜€

5) Airborne – I would argue that this is the most important item on this list. I have already been sick with the flu this school semester and with germs flying around from drastic temperature changes I am trying to do everything possible to not get sick again! I use at least one tablet of airborne a day in a cup of water to keep my immune system up and running.

6) The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Lotion – This body butter is extremely moisturizing and is perfect for preventing my hands from cracking. I apply this every time before leaving my room and my hands are still soft and smooth.

7) Vaseline – I have always loved using Vaseline as lip gloss but I have been layering it on every time I even think about stepping outside. My lips get dried out SO easily, especially during the winter. So this is definitely a major staple for me.

What are some of your winter essentials?

I hope you enjoyed today’s post! I will be posting about my fall break in Mallorca sometime tomorrow so look out for that! Hope everyone has a great Wednesday!

xoxo Kristen

Cortona

Hey everyone!

One of my favorite places that I visited while I was abroad was definitely Cortona, a small city on a hill that is known to have the greatest view of Tuscany! I love it so much I went there twice! Since it is so close to where I was staying in Arezzo, me and 3 friends actually made it a day trip. Especially after the long weekend traveling five hours to and from Milan and having to take 3 different trains to get there and back, it was definitely good to have an easy weekend!

The main attraction in Cortona is the climb up to the fortress all the way at the top of the hill. We were told by people who had went the week before that it only takes about a half an hour to get up to the top and it was best to go between 4 pm and the time the sun would be setting. So when we got there around 12, we decided to get lunch and head to an Etruscan museum that they had. The museum was amazing! My friends and I all got really overwhelmed at times looking at incredibly kept artifacts that were thousands of years old! It was a great way to start our experience.

Next we explored the city as much as we possibly could. You know how people always say to really appreciate a city you have to let yourself get lost in it? Well that’s what we did. Literally. We couldn’t find our way back to the main part of town for a good hour and a half :D. But by doing that we found some really beautiful places!

At around 3:30 we made our way up the hill to see the fortress. The climb killed all of our thighs thoroughly before getting to the top. Right before the fortress there is a beautiful Duomo which we stopped to look at and take pictures in front of (none of the duomos allow you to take pictures inside). Then we finished the climb up to the fortress. The fortress had 2 art galleries which we looked at before heading to the very top. Once I got up there, I felt like I was in a dream. The view is absolutely magical in every direction! It was absolutely impossible to take a good picture. Seeing that view for the first time is when it really hit me just how lucky I was to be in such a wonderful country. Even now, every time I think about how fortunate I am to have had that experience, I think of that time. I feel so grateful for this and all my experiences there!!

After we got back down to the main square we visited the Cathedral and looked over at the view that was provided there until it was time for dinner. In Italy, restaurants do not usually open for dinner until about 7 or 7:30. In Cortona there was only one restaurant that opened before 7:30 – Fuflun’s. Funny name, right?! Well, we were starving so we decided to go there. The name may be funny, but the food was TO DIE FOR! I had a lot of good food while I was in Italy and Spain but Fuflun’s was my favorite dining experience out of all of them. I definitely recommend eating there if you ever go to Cortona and I specifically recommend the black truffle ravioli, which I had for my main course and which was absolutely divine!

After that, we made our way to the bottom of the hill to return to Arezzo. It may have only been a day trip but that day was a truly wonderful experience that I will never forget. Here are just a few of the 120 pictures I took when I was there:

The main square in Cortona

The main square in Cortona

A really cute house with a beautiful garden that we found during our adventures!

A really cute house with a beautiful garden that we found during our adventures!

Me with a boar hat on :) There is a story that goes along with this that I will be sure to post next time!

Me with a boar hat on πŸ™‚

Part of the climb up the hill!

Part of the climb up the hill!

The Duomo located right before the fortress at the top of the hill

The Duomo located right before the fortress at the top of the hill

The view of the top of the fortress

The view of the top of the fortress

LOOK AT THAT VIEW!!!!!

LOOK AT THAT VIEW!!!!!

Me on top of the fortress

Me on top of the fortress

Me and of my friends on top of the fortress

Me and of my friends on top of the fortress

My Black Truffle Ravioli from Fuflun's. I really miss this!

My Black Truffle Ravioli from Fuflun’s. I really miss this!

I hope you enjoyed reading! Look back for more posts on my Italy adventures!

xoxo Kristen

Milan

Hey everyone!

I hope you are all having a great weekend! This weekend I had one of my brothers and his family come up to visit, so I had a lot of fun! I haven’t gotten to see them since Christmas, so it was nice to be able to spend some quality time with them πŸ˜€

So, I promised a post about my trip to Milan, and here it is, even if it is a little late πŸ˜›

Since I stayed in Arezzo the first week I was in Italy, Milan was the first place I visited Β during my stay there. I traveled with 3 other girlsand we stayed for one night. We bought all of our tickets ahead of time and paid extra to stay in a hotel. As far as travel tips are concerned, I think both of these things were a little unnecessary. We realized that it is very easy to buy tickets at the train station if you get there early enough and that hostels or apartments are a much easier way to go when it comes to traveling in Europe. Paying $100 to stay in a hotel for a night just isn’t worth it when I could use that money to buy 4 tickets on Ryan Air to just about any country in Europe!

Another mistake we made was setting a schedule for exactly what we were gonna do at what times on each day. It is always good to have a general idea of where you are going and what you want to do, but there ended up being so many other things we wanted to do once we arrived. We ended up sticking to our schedule, but I never had such a strict schedule again during the remainder of my travels.

All that aside, I absolutely LOVED Milan! It is such a beautiful city! When we got off the train, the very first thing we saw was the Duomo. It is breathtakingly beautiful! We went inside and explored for a bit, but because there was a Mass going on we never got to climb to the top of it. After hearing stories from other people who went to Milan, I would definitely suggest doing that if you ever go because it is apparently quite an amazing experience.

Also that day we went to an art gallery (the name is escaping me!) and stopped by the Piccolo Teatro. Since we are all theater students we obviously weren’t going to pass up that opportunity! But the best thing by far that we did that night was see Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper. It was painted on the wall of a small little church and, despite the history surrounding the wall and everything that the painting has endured, it has been well preserved! In order to get to it, you are put in a group of about 20 people and brought through 3 rooms, all with doors that seal out the air from outside. This is done to better preserve the painting. Each group gets 15 minutes with the painting. Those 15 minutes were probably some of the best minutes spent on our trip in my opinion. It was an absolutely wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone going to Milan!

After our long day of doing touristy things, we ended the first night with a dinner on a road overlooking a beautiful castle called Castle Sforza. The food was delicious, the company was wonderful, and the beautiful lit castle was a spectacular site. It was the perfect first day in Milan!

The next day, it rained. Hard. The first thing we did was go and visit the Galleria Vittoria, aka the oldest shopping mall in the world. It has absolutely stunning architecture and is home to the stores of many high end fashion designers, so naturally I was looking forward to going there! I got to go into Louis Vuitton and Prada before I was dragged out to go to our next destination, Castle Sforza. This was the same castle that we could see during dinner the previous night. It is absolutely huge and houses about 12 different exhibits currently. Over the course of 2 and a half hours we only got to see 3 of the exhibits, including and Egyptian exhibit which I really enjoyed (in case you were wondering, I am a proud nerd :D)! The only trouble was navigating the castle grounds in the pouring rain trying to find the exhibits we wanted to see πŸ˜›

Next we found a place for lunch and got dry before heading over to the Brera Art Gallery, which houses a great deal of religious art. They were all magnificent, of course! This unfortunately ended our trip. We got some gelato and got back on the 5 hour train ride to the Accademia.

Despite the rain on day 2, I had a fabulous time in Milan. Here are some of my favorite pictures from my trip:

Me outside the Duomo!

Me outside the Duomo!

Details on the Duomo. Isn't it magnificent?!

Details on the Duomo. Isn’t it magnificent?!

View from the first art gallery we went to. Overlooks the Galleria Vittoria (straight ahead) and the Duomo (to the right)

View from the first art gallery we went to. Overlooks the Galleria Vittoria (straight ahead) and the Duomo (to the right)

The entrance to the church where Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper is found!

The entrance to the church where Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper is found!

Me and my 3 travel buddies are all smiles as we wait for our turn to see The Last Supper

Me and my 3 travel buddies are all smiles as we wait for our turn to see The Last Supper

Inside the Galleria Vittoria!

Inside the Galleria Vittoria!

This Louis Vuitton is absolutely beautiful inside! Too bad they wouldn't let me take pictures!

This Louis Vuitton is absolutely beautiful inside! Too bad they wouldn’t let me take pictures!

Couldn't resist taking a picture of the beautiful ceiling in  the Galleria Vittoria

Couldn’t resist taking a picture of the beautiful ceiling in the Galleria Vittoria

Outside the Castle Sforza

Outside the Castle Sforza

An inside view of the Castle grounds in Castle Sforza

An inside view of the Castle grounds in Castle Sforza

A picture I took right outside the gelato shop where my friends and I all got gelato before leaving Milan

A picture I took right outside the gelato shop where my friends and I all got gelato before leaving Milan

Well that about does it for my trip to Milan! Hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures! Next I will be posting about my trip to Cortona, a small city 15 minutes away from Arezzo that has the best view of Tuscany! Be prepared for some abolutely breathtaking pictures πŸ˜€

Thanks so much for reading!

xoxo Kristen