Exploring Flo

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Ciao! It’s been a week since I left Boston and I am absolutely loving Florence. Over the last week we spent more time exploring and finding our way around the city. I am still pretty jet lagged so I’ve been going to bed around 2-3am and waking up at 10:30 everyday, but I’m sure that will go away once I start classes tomorrow. Me and my friend have been running the Arno river everyday and it’s so beautiful! It’s about a 45 minute run from our apartments, around the river, and back. The gym at FUA isn’t amazing so we’ve been sticking to running everyday. Since we got here, we have found some wicked fun clubs and bars that a lot of abroad students go to that have great student deals. The first night we went to Space which was my favorite night! The other nights we went to a couple Irish pubs and a karaoke bar that were a lot of fun. We made reservations at The Lion’s Fountain for next Sunday to watch the Super Bowl.

the Arno river we have been running around

the Irish pub we’ve been going to some nights for drinks/food

As for food, everything so far has been amazing. Saturday night we ate at El Gato e la Volpe and they had the best bread and margherita pizza (for 5,50 euros!). My favorite gelato place so far has been Amalo, the biscotto flavor was so good me and my friends got it twice in one day. We’ve been scouting out some quick breakfast places to go before class and some American diners to go when we’re craving some American food for the future.

biscotto gelato at Amalo

my margherita pizza at el Gato e la Volpe

Friday night we walked around all the designer stores and I was in my heaven! I am really hoping to save enough money towards the end of my stay to buy a Gucci belt here. We did a little shopping in Zara (which was the only store we could afford) and I found a pair of jeans that I am very excited about for 10 euros!

the Gucci store in Florence

Today me and my friends have been researching the cheapest way to travel to places outside of Florence on the weekends. My roommate and I have been planning on doing a 10 day Greek island hopping tour for our spring break ever since we made the plan to live abroad and we booked it today! Florence for Fun was the travel agency we used which is great for students living abroad to get deals on day trips, weekend trips, and spring break trips. Food, transportation, and hotel is all included in the price and it is usually cheaper if you have a discount code or book multiple trips at once. We booked our Greek spring break trip and a weekend in the Amalfi coast today.

As for other places I am hoping to visit this semester, I am waiting to book them so I can get the best deals. I didn’t save as much as I had hoped to save, so it will probably depend on how much money I have left at the time. I definitely am planning on taking a bus or train to Milan for Milan Fashion Week the end of February. If everything works out, my other top places to travel that I am deciding between are Prague, London, Paris, Amersterdam, Interlaken, and Croatia.

Ciao for now!

Day 1 in Florence, Italy

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Hi everyone!
I am officially unpacked and settled in my apartment in Florence, where I’ll spend the next 4 months. I left Boston Tuesday night and arrived earlier this afternoon at 3 in Firenze. I spent roughly 12 hours traveling and slept maybe an hour during the flight! I was exhausted, starving, sweating (two 50 pound luggages and two carry ons will do that to you), and excited to see my new home. Luckily, we had FUA staff waiting for us at the airport to bring us to our apartments because I would have never been able to find it on my own. My apartment is less than ten steps away from the Piazza del Duomo (pictured below) and has the most amazing view. The apartment is pretty spacey and two floors to my surprise and I share it with five other girls. Everything about it reminds me of the Strega Nona books  we read in elementary school. We also have courtyards surrounding the apartment and a spa in the building! I think we lucked out with this space. Thankfully, it is a four minute walk from the university I am attending. After half-unpacking me and the roommates that are currently here (some are in Rome taking a class early) went to explore our new home and grab some food. We stood in awe in front of the Duomo for 15 minutes and then found a restaurant in between there and our apartment where I got a margherita pizza and red wine. I’m proud to say that it is now 9pm on Wednesday in Firenze and I’m still awake without real sleep since Monday night!

bos -> flr

the view from my apartment bedroom

outside of our apartment

dinner on the first day

the Duomo

As for the rest of the week, orientation is tomorrow at 8:30 am and classes start Monday! The rest of my roommates will be here this weekend and I am hoping to go to the Gucci museum sometime this weekend! Ciao!

How to Pack for Studying Abroad When You’re a Fashionista

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Hi everyone! I’m officially less than a week away from my 4 month adventure to Florence, Italy. It came SO fast. I’m currently preparing to pack my suitcase for studying abroad, something I’ve been dreading ever since I made the decision to go abroad. I’ve read articles on articles and an absurd amount of packing lists since October and there really is no perfect answer on what to specifically bring when studying abroad. And considering I’m a fashion major and don’t even like wearing the same outfit twice, I knew packing would be extra difficult for myself.

Many articles I had read advised how to navigate packing everything you need into one suitcase, but given my obsession for clothes I knew that was not a possibility for me. I am bringing 2 suitcases and paying the extra $$ to bring it because it will be worth it for me because the amount of stuff I want to bring and buy when I’m there. I started the packing process by starting off with the warmer weather clothes that I don’t need at home right now. There was a couple bathing suits and dresses I had purchased recently to wear when I’m abroad (I plan on going to the Greek Islands for my spring break which inspired a lot of resort outfits!) so I started with that. Then I packed the summer staples that I repeat each year: like your favorite go-to pair of jean shorts, the white tank that matches everything, etc.

 Almost every article I had read about studying abroad in Europe wrote that packing heels/wedges would be a complete waste of time due to the amount of walking and cobblestone streets you’ll be walking on. I packed mostly boots, close-toed shoes, and tennis shoes since most of the time I am there will be weather under 60’s and then I packed a few sandals that go with everything. Thank god mules/slides and fashionable sneakers (such as these that I have purchased in the color Light Cyclone for my time abroad!) are in style right now! I packed one pair of wedges that are super comfortable and that I wear all the time for vacations. Shoes was the hardest for me since they are my weakness and I’m attached to each pair, I just wanted to bring them all! Regardless of whatever country you are going to, you will be doing a ton of walking. Think about it, you won’t have your car and your feet are your only way of transportation to class, sightseeing in the city you’re staying in, dinner, etc, unless you plan on renting a bike. I kept this in mind when packing shoes and made sure to only pack the shoes that I know I can last hours in. Thankfully I work retail and know the pain of walking around all day in boots that kill so this was easy to eliminate what to not bring!

When packing, I tried to think of the outfits I would be wearing there. You’ve probably already been told that you will stick out like a sore thumb if you plan on strolling the cobblestone streets of Florence in sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Italians dress presentable, even at the airport. This was not really a problem for myself since I am attending fashion school over there, but it is definitely something to keep in mind for traveling. A lot of the stuff I packed were items I could layer and re-wear making different outfits - a lot of basic cardis and tees with some statement jeans/skirts!

Specific items that I purchased for this next semester of travel were vacuum sealer bags for my suitcase, a laundry bag, toiletry bag, two Europe plug adapters (1 for your phone and 1 for your laptop), a travel wallet, portable iPhone charger, and empty travel size bottles for shampoo and conditioner. I also read that rain boots are a necessity for spring in Europe since it will rain a lot. A tip that I had read previously is to not bring anything that you don’t wear currently, which helped me a lot. There’s a lot of things I have saved thinking “oh this will look great in Italy!”, but realistically I will probably wear it one day, take a picture in it, and never wear it again, therefore leaving this item at home. Bring minimal accessories since they are a hassle and you’re more than likely to be buying some overseas. And of course, my Fitbit was a must since I wear it everyday and will be walking around all day everyday so it will be cool to see how much exercise I’m actually getting! Drinking protein powder is a necessity for me and I did research on supplement stores in Florence and it doesn’t look like a reliable options. I plan on buying individual packets of protein and putting some of the protein I already have in a ziplock for once in a while because I hardly get any protein in food since I am such a picky eater.

If anyone has any tips for myself, please comment below!

Hello, 2018

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Hi friends,
Happy 2018! 2017 was a whirlwind, to say the least. To be completely honest, 2017 was not an easy year for me. Living at college did not work out for me and I was not happy there. Because of the benefits of the program I am in, transferring schools wasn’t an option for me so I commuted to school. There was a lot of things I liked about commuting, but I still do wish I lived at a school that I loved. Many friends that I cared so much about turned out not to be the people I thought they were and I had my heart broken completely unexpectedly. But, the important thing that I take away from a hard year is the growth that came with downs and upsets. I leave 2017 so much stronger than I ever thought I could be and learned the importance of caring for myself and putting myself first like never before. I learned that any friend or boy that hurts you and doesn’t seem to truly care will be sorry in the long run, even if it takes weeks or months. I learned that the best thing to do in a bad situation is keep pushing forward, putting yourself first, and the most important thing is to let yourself let go. I learned that it’s okay and actually very important to allow yourself to grieve and not bottle it up, but it comes a time where you need to pick yourself up and do your best to move on from whatever is hurting you. I learned that I deserve so much more than what I was accepting in friendships and relationships and that one day it will come to me, when I least expect it. I learned to not settle. And most importantly, I learned that time heals everything.

In 2017, I found a job that I absolutely adore and learned more about what I want for myself in the future career wise. I made it a commitment to take care of my body through fitness by making it a passion and obsession. I also made the decision to study abroad this semester (16 days, to be exact). This decision was so out of my comfort zone and looking back I am truly proud of myself for making this commitment. I am a serious homebody, like I did not even like living 45 minutes from home! Commuting was comfortable for me, I was able to see my family and dog everyday and still hangout with my friends from home on the weekends. I was able to keep the job that I love while still going to class. I realized that I shouldn’t be “comfortable” at 19 years old. I should challenge myself and do things that scare the shit out of me and take this once in a lifetime opportunity for myself when I can. I was in such a bad place with heartbreak at the time and I needed to do something solely to better myself and find myself and this was it.

That being said, I am now 16 days away from my semester-long journey to Florence, Italy where I’ll be studying my passion for fashion at Florence University of the Arts. I only know one other girl going, so I really am challenging myself to be as uncomfortable as possible! I’m spending these last couple of weeks in New England working and saving money for my trip and spending time with my family and friends. As you can tell by this post, Preppy & Posh will be a lot more honest and personal than before (again, out of my comfort zone!) and I plan on blogging my travels throughout the next 4 months. I’m attending fashion school so I will still be blogging lots and lots of fashion related content! In the mean time, I hope to make a post about what I’ll be packing and whatever helpful tips I’ve found through the packing process for anyone making plans to study abroad or just travel in general. Stay tuned!