Staying in Shape Abroad

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Ciao everyone! Before leaving for living abroad, I was terrified about gaining weight while living in Italy and heard all about the abroad 15. At home, I am very active and make it a priority to get to the gym everyday 5-7 days a week. It is definitely a lot easier at home! The gym at FUA is very small and crowded. There’s 4 treadmills and 6 dumbbells, making it very hard to get a full workout in. Not to mention the amazing food you’re surrounded by in Florence, it’s nearly impossible to stay in the same shape I was at home. After spending a month here I’ve learned a little along the way on how to avoid putting on the abroad 15.

First of all, you are walking soo much. I have not taken a taxi or bus anywhere around Florence and rely on my feet and the Google Maps app. Walking to class can take up to 40 minutes depending where you live in Florence and I’ve been averaging anywhere from 17,000 to 30,000 steps a day. This pretty much takes care of cardio for you considering I got 20,000 at the most steps at home. Bringing my Fitbit has been such a great idea because I love seeing how many minutes I’ve been active on a busy day. Me and my friend have also enjoyed going on scenic runs on the days the gym is closed (FUA’s gym is closed all weekend). Some routes that I love are running around the Arno river or up the steps of Pizzale Michelangelo (a rewarding view!).

I didn’t want to buy a gym membership abroad because it is kind of expensive and wanted to put my money towards more trips, but I’m very glad I did. I got a membership at Swan Gym which is a 2 minute walk from my apartment and offers deals for international student. The gym is fully equipped and if fitness is an everyday part of your routine at home and the school gym isn’t doing it for you then it’s perfect!

Taking advantage of the free workout classes offered is also a good way to keep yourself accountable. At the FUA gym, I usually get overwhelmed with how crowded it is and end up leaving after a short time. Attending a class eliminates the ability to go home and having an instructor is a good way to push yourself. On Monday's and Tuesday’s I’ve been attending a typical full-body workout class that incorporates cardio and weights that are an hour long.

There are a lot of unique classes offered when you study abroad no matter what university or country you go to. For example, I take a wine class and a yoga and meditation class. At FUA, they have a lot of health/fitness related educational classes for college credits that are worth looking into if you have some Gen-Eds you need to take abroad. In my yoga class, we spend a good hour actually doing yoga and getting a workout in. In the beginning I would be so sore the days following class because I don’t ever do yoga at home!

Buying groceries during the week and not drinking on weekdays are other ways to cut back. This was what I struggle with the most, lol. The days I have class I am so busy running from one class to the next to my internship and it’s so easy to grab a margerita pizza and gelato on the way. However, if you get this down it’ll end up benefitting your financial situation as well. Packing some snacks in your backpack to keep you occupied has also helped me because my teachers usually give us a break in the middle of class to get food.

Spring Fashion Inspiration

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Ciao everyone! I haven’t posted a fashion blogpost in a while and I thought it was time for one. I haven’t been able to do much shopping in Italy because I am broke, very broke. I have been looking on Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration to make the most of what I got, and what I look forward to buying once I’m home and working!

First of all, two blogs I discovered in the last month are We Wore What and How do you Wear That. I think these blogs have been around for a while so I’m late and you may have already heard of them, but I’m so obsessed with their style. I follow a ton of fashion blogs but I think these two really reflect my style, or what I would like my style to be, lol. I started listening to We Wore What’s podcast and it’s so interesting to learn how she started, because I find her starting point to be similar to where I am now in life. It sounds so weird, but I’m also really excited to go home to work. I work at Anthropologie and love my job there, but also love the clothes there! I keep scrolling through Instagram and seeing their new arrivals and get jealous that I’m not home to buy them right now, lol.


everything about this outfit I love for Spring: mustard yellow, front-tie tops, jean skirts, small sunglasses, straw bags!! (insert all the heart eyes)


I’ve been loving the hair tie trend lately. I’ve been tying it like a headband lately but I’m definitely gonna try tying it around my ponytail like this soon.


my hair inspiration for Spring/Summer! I definitely want to do a lighter balyage like this when I get home.


I have been wanting flare jeans like this forever. I love how it is styled with the large belt!


I love the femininity of the polka dots and ruffles, I recently got a dress that has this same style!


I have a neck tie almost identical to this one and this outfit is so easy to recreate! And perfect for spring.

What trends are you guys loving for Spring?

Hot Springs and Wine Tasting in Chianti

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Ciao, again! Like I said in my post earlier this week, the weather has been so nice here. I have been so used to rain and not seeing the sun here in Florence and the past two weeks have been mostly sun and 60 degree weather. Last weekend I didn’t have any weekend trips planned, but it was going to be super nice out so I wanted to do something. One of the abroad travel agents that I frequently book through, Florence for Fun, was offering an afternoon/evening trip to Chianti for a visit to the hot springs and wine tasting. The trip was under $100 so I instantly signed up and Julia from Fashioning the World joined me too.





It was a group of 8 girls in total and we had an older Italian guy named Vincenzo as our driver. It was about a 45 min drive to the Rapolano Hot Springs where we went first to relax. Luckily, the weather was tanning weather and we were able to lay out in the sun by the hot spring pools. There were about 5 pools which was nice because we were able to go to one where nobody was. We were there for 2 hours and then got back in the van to head to the Chianti Countryside for dinner. But first, Vincenzo brought us to a quiet vineyard that was next to the winery we were going to to watch the sunset and it was so cool.



The winery was so quiet and we were the only ones there besides the tour guide. She showed us how the wine is made and all the different steps it took. The winery only had red wine since we were in Chianti. We tasted a rosé, Chianti classico, Chianti, and amaro after dinner. We were given cheese, meat, and bread with the wine. Everyone else got a pasta dish, but I am really picky so I stuck to the bread and cheese. It was a really cool experience and we were able to have their wine shipped home to America if we wanted.

It was such an awesome day and the trip was so worth it. I wanted to do a wine tasting in Tuscany before leaving Europe and I’m so glad I did it this way! If you are interested in seeing more pictures from my time abroad, I post frequently on my personal instagram, you can follow me there!

Easter in Cinque Terre

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Ciao! Today marks exactly one more month left in Italy and it’s so bittersweet. Half of me is excited to be home and get back in routine of reality and the other half of me never wants to leave Florence. I am excited to spend the month exploring more of Italy, because so far I have only been to Bologna, Cinque Terre, and Chainti outside of Flo.


a sunny view of the houses in Manarola


Molly and I in Manarola


Riomaggiore

The weather is gorgeous here in Italy and it’s finally time for some outdoor trips. Last weekend was Easter and my friend Molly was here visiting me for the week. The weather was 70s and sunny so we booked a day trip to Cinque Terre with Smart Trip. There was a small group of abroad students with us and two tour guides. We traveled to Cinque Terre by bus and it was a 3 hour bus ride. The first town we went to was Manarola, which is the place that has a perfect view of the cliff-side colored houses. The sun was very bright so it made it hard to get a good shot of the houses, but luckily I’m going back next week! We took a train to Riomaggiore, another one of the 5 towns in Cinque Terre. We spent about an hour there and it was right on the water. We went to this pizza place, Mamma Mia, which apparently has amazing pesto pizza. I am plain and just got a slice of margherita and it wasn’t that great.





The rest of the day we spent in Monterosso, the town with the beach. It literally felt like we weren’t in Italy anymore, the sun made it feel like 80! It’s hard to believe we were still in Northern Italy. The first place we went was this bar right next to the train station in Monterosso. I’m not positive on the name, but it’s famous for their “drunk buckets” and it’s hard to miss. They make all their drinks with real fruit, so it’s basically an alcoholic smoothie. I got a mudslide and the prices were reasonable for how big the drinks were. Molly got a strawberry margarita. After that, we went on a small hike to see the town from the top. Monterosso is a good place to hike because the hikes can be as long as you want them to be and they’re barely even a hike. It was so hot out, so at the top we put our backpacks down and used them as pillows to lay down and tan. We got some good pictures up there and there were even some farms. Before we left, we got pizza at Lapos, and outdoor restaurant in Monterosso for pizza. It was sooo good and the view was cool too. We slept on the way home because we were so tired from the drinks and the sun.

If you could go anywhere in Italy, where would you go? I would love to hear what is on your guys’ bucket list!