Ciao Ciao // Weekend Highlights

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{Forever 21 Shearling Vest, Urban Outfitters turtleneck sweater, Steve Madden boots, Urban Outfitters over-the-knee socks}

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{Chloé sunglasses, Nordstrom bar earrings}

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{admiring the views}

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{view from the top of the Giotto’s Companile… 414 steps later}

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{Basilica di San Francesco in Assisi, Italy… obsessed with its details}

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{love this gate + door combo that I pass on my way home from the gym}

Ciao! It’s hard to believe I’ve been living in Italy for two weeks now! The adjustment process has been so much better than I thought it would be. During winter break, I worried constantly about the what-ifs, playing a million different negative situations that could possibly occur over and over in my head. However, everything is going wonderfully. I absolutely love my host mom and her spectacular house, from her unreal cooking to the chandelier in my bedroom. My classes and professors are amazing, and my class trips to Assisi and Ravenna this weekend were great.

We’ve been finding the best places to eat in this city; experimenting with paninos and piadinas (two types of sandwiches), discovering cute cafés and befriending the owners, and trying out new hidden restaurants. Thankfully I also found a gym nearby and bought a membership for the time I will be here; however I pass four pastry shops on the way there (testing my self-control to the max.)

On Sunday I climbed the Duomo bell tower (414 steps… I am sore) with a few friends. The views were magnificent! Despite the rigorous exercise to reach the top, I still wore my favorite Urban Outfitters sweater with a chic yet cozy shearling vest, topping off the look with black knee socks and black boots. What can I say… I may be living in a new country, but I am still the same Laina!

I’m looking forward to a trip to Rome this weekend. Have you made any weekend plans yet?

xx, Laina

 

 

 

New Home: Florence, Italy

After an amazing first week of exploring Florence, I am so extremely excited to call this place my new home for the next four months. There is a certain charm to Florence that I have never experienced before. It is the perfect combination of a bustling city and a quaint small town. The sweet smells of cafés and gelaterias make me smile as I walk through the cobblestone streets, and the amazing detail and architecture of the Duomo and other buildings is astounding.

My group of friends and I have walked almost 10 miles every day while exploring the city. Walking is by far the best way to learn the streets here and get oriented, as Florence has no metro system and we haven’t figured out how to use the bus yet. I tried to pack as light as possible when traveling here, and I am so glad I did. I’m hoping to come up with new outfit combos based on my favorite pieces that I brought to Florence. As for the staples, I’ve worn my Urban Outfitters wide-brim fedora, J.Crew parka, and J.Crew boots every day.

I am bubbling with excitement over this beautiful city and my future travels.

Ciao!

xx, Laina

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{Urban Outfitters ruffle sweater, Mixology long necklace, Kendra Scott short necklaces}

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{J.Crew parka, J.Crew black boots, Urban Outfitters fedora, Francesca’s purse}

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{The Ponte Vecchio}

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{The little shops on the bridge are famous jewelry shops}

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{One of the Piazzas}

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{The Duomo}

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{beautiful flowers we got for my host mom}

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{new favorite view}

 

Arrivederci, America//Ciao, Florence!

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{J.Crew passport holder, Chloé sunglasses}

Today is my last day in America for four months! I leave for my semester abroad in Florence, Italy this evening. I am extremely nervous but equally excited. Stay tuned for more outfit + travel posts on the blog as I explore Europe for the next few months! My goals are to express myself through fashion, wander freely, and make memories to last a lifetime.

Arrivederci!

xx, Laina

 

Live From Packing // Travel-Sized Beauty

Hi darlings! I hope everyone is having a great weekend. For the past few days I have been checking things off of every study abroad packing list I could find on Pinterest to gear up for my semester in Italy. Personally, the packing process and the long flight are really stressful. While I know most of the things that could go wrong won’t actually happen, I still have many anxieties.

Fortunately, I’ve found ways to have fun while packing, such as planning outfits I can wear and finding cute travel-sized beauty products to bring. While airlines limit the amount of ounces you can bring for toiletries, travel-sized products make it easy to primp while on the go. After scouring Sephora and the travel toiletries section at Target, I rounded up all of the best toiletries and makeup I am bringing along with me to Europe. Enjoy!

xx, Laina

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{all of my favorite bathing essentials in miniature form}

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{THE FACE: Neutrogena liquid makeup + powder foundation, Smashbox Full Exposure Travel Palette, Naked 2 Basics Palette, Urban Decay Primer, Dolce&Gabbana mascara, Covergirl blush}

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{new eyeshadow palettes = a feeling like no other}

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{Stella McCartney + Dolce&Gabbana Light Blue travel sizes + perfume samples galore}

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{carry-on purse necessities for the long flight in attempts to fight chapped lips and dry skin}

Getaway | Washington, D.C.

Now that the holiday rush is over, today felt like the perfect day to take the Metro into D.C. for a few hours of exploring and sightseeing, completely enjoying being tourists in our own town. Some of our destinations included the Renwick Art Gallery and The White House.

What type of adventures have you been up to this week?

xx, Laina

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{presidential}

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{J.Crew parka, Urban Outfitters sweater, Nordstrom scarf, Aerie leggings, Urban Outfitters over-the-knee socks, Steve Madden boots}

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{architecture obsessed}

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{wish this was my house}

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{lightworks}

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{details}

Get Organized for 2016

The holidays are over and you’re ready for a fresh start. You’ve begun your new workout series and eating plan, vowed that this will be the year you will drink more water, and spent some of your Christmas money buying a new wardrobe. You are totally psyched about 2016 and feel ready to take the new year head-on (or feet first because you just bought new booties and they are so cute.)

To contribute to the feeling of getting a fresh start for the new year, here are four steps I took to ensure that I am as prepared and organized for the new year as possible.

Step 1: Office Supplies

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My favorite new year ritual is purchasing a new planner. Nothing like fresh, clean pages to get you excited for a new year full of surprise plans and adventures. I am in love with this simple Kate Spade planner.

I also raided the dollar section at Target a few weeks ago to get these cute sticky notes, pens, and washi tape (for my planner) so I can stay prepared this year with my daily to-do lists and scheduling.

Step 2: File Folder

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When I went to college, my mom bought me this Martha Stuart File Folder from Staples in order to have a centralized location for all of my important documents and paperwork. I constantly refer to this file folder, because it is where I keep everything important- from medical records and bank statements to postcards from places I have visited. Get one in a fun color to feel chic and organized!

Step 3: Closet Purge

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This step is absolutely crucial. I cannot even tell you how I relieved I feel when I do a mass closet clean-out and get rid of everything I don’t wear in order to donate it all. Seriously… every time I do this I fill at least two trash bags full of clothes and accessories that I don’t use but that I know will make a lot of other people really happy. It makes me feel great. I also secretly reward myself for getting rid of clothes by going on a shopping spree.  Hey-it works!!

Step 4: New Years Resolutions

While a lot of people are weary of making a list of resolutions they know they won’t end of actually doing, I am all for making a list of new years resolutions! I make sure that what I write down is attainable and will benefit me in the long run. I make an effort to think about my resolutions once a week to ensure that I am making positive decisions throughout the year that will help me achieve my goals.

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I hope these tips help you get organized for 2016 and help you feel refreshed!

xx, Laina