Monday, February 29, 2016

how I stay fit abroad.

Workout gear of the champions - Aerie sports bra, Under Armour leggings, Nike sneakers

When I left for Italy earlier this past year, I was in the best shape of my life. I was running regularly, lifting weights, and eating well. Because of this, I was somewhat worried about how my new Italian lifestyle would affect my fitness. I knew I'd be surrounded by delicious food and without easy access to a gym. Yet I didn't let this deter me! I've been in Italy for over three months now, and I can 100% promise that staying fit abroad is possible. Here's how to do it:

1. Drink lots of water.
When I first arrived, I wasn't drinking nearly enough water. I began feeling sluggish and getting headaches. So I turned things around! Now I start each day with a big glass of water. I drink hot water throughout the day and always have a cup of water before I go to bed. It really makes a difference!

2. Eat a variety of food.
Eating healthily is probably one of the most obvious ways to stay fit. While I do this, I also make sure to eat a range of foods. This can be rather hard in Italy, where bread and pasta are staples at almost every meal. I make sure to vary the types of carbs I eat as much as possible. I also load up on fresh fruit and veggies at every opportunity. The best part of living abroad is that fresh produce is amazing and always in season. Right now I'm absolutely loving the abundance of clementines!

3. Exercise however you can.
Before I even left the US, I knew that exercise would be one of my biggest challenges abroad. At home, I could go for a run or head to the gym pretty easily. Unfortunately, small town Italy doesn't have the same resources available. However, that hasn't stopped me. Instead, I've become obsessed with the amazing number of fitness tutorials on Youtube. My favorites are ones from Jillian Michaels, FitnessBlender, and PopSugar. They make me sweat, and I never have to leave my apartment!

4. Get 8 hours of sleep.
I know the number of hours varies from person to person, but eight hours of sleep is my magic number. In addition, I've found that going to bed and waking up earlier helps me feel more productive and energized. I like starting my day with the sunrise!

That's it! I know I'm only a few months into life abroad, but these four tips have made such a difference. Would you add anything else?



P.S. Are you following me on Bloglovin? Add me to your queue!

Monday, February 22, 2016

top beauty youtubers.

While Twitter is undoubtedly my favorite social media platform (if you're not following me, check out my page here), YouTube is a close runner-up. I love how visual and informative YouTube videos are. To be more specific, I'm obsessed with the slightly overwhelming number of makeup and beauty videos on the site. Over the past few years, I've come to trust and follow the opinions of a number of beauty vloggers. Here's a roundup of some of my favorites.

#1. Tanya Burr
Tanya (pictured above) was the first beauty YouTuber I discovered. I found her videos shortly after she began posting and have been following her ever since. Her makeup looks suit my skin tone perfectly and I love hearing about her product reviews. Plus, because she used to be an independent makeup artist, I really trust her opinions.

#2. FleurDeForce
Fleur is another British beauty YouTuber that I've come to love watching. My favorite videos are her product empties and disappointing products ones. She is great at describing products and scents. Plus, we have similar skin types, so I trust a lot of her skincare reviews.

#3. Ingrid Nilsen
Surprisingly enough, Ingrid is one of the only American YouTubers I follow. Her hair color and skin tone are pretty similar to mine, so I like seeing her many makeup looks. However, I also really like her fashion videos. She does a good job of combining the relaxed Cali vibe with the chic NY one. Plus, she never shies away from bold lip color!

#4. EleventhGorgeous
Tracy and Stephanie of EleventhGorgeous are two of the funniest and happiest YouTubers I watch. My favorite thing about them is that they always stick to more affordable brands. I love watching their drugstore hauls and tutorials. They try a wide range of products and always share their honest opinions.

#5. HelloOctoberxo
HelloOctoberxo is the most recent addition to my subscription list. I love Suzie's makeup and fashion style. She feels very relatable in her videos. My favorite uploads are her "Get Ready With Me" ones. She goes through every step of the process, from moisturizing and makeup to clothing and jewelry.

Do you watch any beauty YouTubers? I'd love to hear who your favorites are!



P.S. Are you following Lip Tints & Leopard Prints on Bloglovin?

Monday, February 15, 2016

my thoughts on the Parsons x Teen Vogue course.

An inspiration collage for a course assignment.
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen that I enrolled in the ParsonsxTeenVogue Fashion Industry Essentials course. The program just wrapped, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on it. If you're thinking about signing up, if you've never heard of it and are interested, or if you're a fellow student, please read on and let me know your thoughts on my pros and cons list in the comments!


  • Wide variety of course topics - We covered everything from industry basics and design processes to portfolio development and marketing techniques.
  • Instructive videos from industry insiders - I got to hear firsthand tips and stories from designers like Rebecca Minkoff and Angela Gao to professionals like Amy Astley and Caletha Crawford.
  • Interesting and creative assignments - I was constantly pushed to put my best work forward with each new course assignment. The design course was particularly challenging, since I'm living in a small town in Italy without access to standard design materials!
  • Social media development - Social media is a huge interest of mine. I love that these courses helped me to strengthen my platforms even further. My LinkedIn page looks fantastic now!
  • A better understanding of my portfolio - Before this class, I had no official portfolio to present. Now, I have a much better idea of what to include and how to format my portfolio in general. While I submitted a version of my portfolio for the final assignment, I will definitely continue to adapt and improve it so that it represents my best work.
  • Short videos - While some of the videos we had to watch were longer and very informative (such as the ones from Gilt), the majority were short and lacked the more specific career and job information I desired. My favorite videos were the ones that related how people developed their careers and skills for their professions.
  • Some unrealistic assignments - I recognize that I am in a relatively unique situation in terms of my living setup. However, some of the assignments (the design ones in particular) were difficult for me because I lacked the recommended resources. I'm sure that some other students encountered a similar problem.
  • A short final review - Students taking this course have to complete a solid amount of work in order to achieve the certificate. Because of this, I had hoped that whoever reviewed my final submission would look into all of my work and give me a detailed review. Instead, I only received feedback, in the form of a short paragraph, on my portfolio submission. While the criticism was helpful, since I will use the reviewer's advice to further improve my portfolio, it did not take into account all the other work I had submitted along the way. It would have been nice to receive a more comprehensive analysis of my work.
Overall, I am very happy that I decided to take this exclusive course. I was challenged much more than I initially thought I would be, and came out with a more developed understanding of the fashion industry. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in a career in fashion!



Monday, February 8, 2016

ciao amore.

As a rule, I like holidays because they give me a chance to dress up. Valentine's Day is no exception. I love going all out for February 14th, whether that means loading up on heart jewelry or wearing as much red as possible. Of course, I still try to keep things classy. That's why I'm loving these three outfit options for the big day. There's something for whatever you have planned. What's more is that while none of them are too over the top, they still feel flirty and romantic.

Which one would you wear? I'm torn between all three of them!



P.S. Remember this Valentine's Day post from a few years ago? Those heels are the best!

Monday, February 1, 2016

new in: winter luxe.

Starting 2016 off with some glitz and glam.
Living abroad for a set period of time means that I always have my return trip in mind. To be more specific, I always have my suitcase in mind. As much as I may want to go on shopping sprees in Milan, I have to remind myself that my suitcase physically cannot hold all of the lovely pieces that catch my eye. Instead, I have to be selective if I want to make it back without having to pay the extra fee for another checked bag.

Of course, that doesn't mean that I've sworn off shopping permanently. On the contrary, I was in H&M recently and found myself walking out with this pair of pants. Disclaimer: I own the same pants in black. They fit perfectly and have the right amount of stretch. I love the color and the gold detailing on these ones. I'll definitely get a lot of wear out of them over the next few months!

As for the sweater, it was a Christmas present! I am obsessed with how over-the-top sparkly it is. I definitely wore it a few times around Christmas and New Year and will continue to wear it as long as it stays chilly outside. It's just so fun!

What about you? Picked up any new clothes recently? Hope your 2016 is going well!