Thursday, September 15, 2016

Cinque Terre (A must-see spot)

  Cinque Terre--with its meaning being '5 Earths,' this name could not be more perfect for a place that seems too beautiful and perfect to be real life. Before coming to Italy, I have seen many photos of this picturesque area, all of which made me dream about being able to experience this fairy tale land called Cinque Terre. Let me tell you, it was just as beautiful (if not more beautiful) in person, as it is described to be. Although each of the towns possess their own unique attributes, they all contain clusters of cute, colorful homes and the clearest blue waters that make you just want to dive right into them.
 The first town that we visited was Manarola, followed by Vernazza and last but not least-Monterosso. We took the train from Manrola to Vernazza, where we did a hike that led us to the beach at Monterosso. If you are up for the adventure and don't mind getting a little bit of a workout in, I highly recommend trying the hike! The first part of it was the toughest, because of the steep incline that the trail began with. But after that, it was smooth-sailing from there. The remainder of the trail consisted of a lot of up and down hill steps, but nothing too strenuous. By the end of it, you definitely work up quite a sweat (especially when its 90 degrees out), but it is all worth it when you reach sight of the beautiful beach that you are about to lounge on!



 The beach that we went onto had free admission for everyone, which makes the day even better! With it being as popular as it is, it would probably be best to get there as early as you can, because we had a tough time finding a spot to lay our towels down. One we did, however, we got a piece of fresh pesto foccaccia from a local foccacceria, along with a refreshing pina colada, and took in the breathtaking views around us. What more can you possibly need than this?



Saturday, September 3, 2016

Welcome to Firenze!





Welcome to my new home for the next few months! It still seems surreal to me that I am actually currently breathing, living and eating in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and that I get to do it for the whole school semester! Although this is only my second week being here, I can already see why people stress what a great opportunity it is to study abroad in a foreign country/city. This is my first time ever being in Europe, and even by the first day of being here, I was in such amazement by the beauty that this city brings, along with the rich culture and lifestyle that the Florentines have preserved for so many years.  I have had high expectations for this city from the start, from hearing positive reviews and stories from friends and family who have traveled here before. But, being able to experience all of that firsthand is truly an incredible experience!

As someone who has lived in the United States her whole life, I immediately began seeing the differences between the culture here, versus how it is in the U.S. Everyday that I walk somewhere around this city, I really try to take in my surroundings and notice the behaviors of the locals here and the overall way in which they present themselves. Attending school in NYC has really enabled me to grasp an idea of just how relaxed the lifestyle here is, compared to the former. Some people prefer one way of living over the other, making neither way superior over the other. However, I can definitely say that it does feel refreshing to be in a more laid back environment, especially after living in the hustle and bustle of New York City, where everyone is always on a mission and on the go at all times. Don't get me wrong-NYC is a magical place full of many opportunities, but I think everyone can use some time to take a break from that hectic fast paced lifestyle, and just take the time to breath in a new way of living.

I  have already experienced so many new experiences from being in Florence, but I will continue to document them all on more entries to come! I can't wait to see what new adventures this journey will bring me and I am excited to be able to virtually take you along that journey with me!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Seaside Happiness







Top: Zara, Boyfriend Jeans: The Gap, Shoes: Soludos, Earrings: Macy's, Necklace: Macy's. Handbag: Michael Kors

As soon as the weather hits 65 degrees and above, I instantly have the need to spend as much time as possible outdoors, preferably by the water.  There is just something so relaxing about breathing in fresh salt water, and listening to the motion of the calming seas. For me, this is always the best way to clear my head and to instantly boost my mood. Last year, my mom and I started a tradition of visiting a new nearby town and just taking time to explore and walk around it. We both agreed that this town pictured above, Northport, was our favorite one that we visited. It has a cute, quaint town-feel to it, along with the charm of the water-front view.

About my outfit: Aside from giving the excuse to step outside into the sunshine, Springtime means shedding those layers and freshening up your wardrobe. One sea-side essential this season is these classic Soludos espadrille sandals. I love the feminine touch of these black laces, which remind me of wearing pointe shoes again from when I used to do ballet. The sand color that these shoes come in compliment the black lace, and are the perfect pairing for nearly an outfit, this time of year. I paired it with this sleek structured top from Zara, which created a great contrast against these casual boyfriend jeans, to even out my look.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens







This past Saturday, my friend and I visited the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens for the first time, in celebration of my birthday. If you have never been here before, I highly recommend making a trip there; it is definitely worth it! The amount of beauty and happiness present in one place was truly amazing and breathtaking.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Let Spring be Sprung



 Jacket: Forever 21, Boyfriend Jeans: The Gap, Sunglasses: Cole Haan via Century 21, Tote Bag: Ralph Lauren via Macy's, Booties: Vera Wang via Kohl's

It is so easy to let yourself get caught up in your daily tasks and activities, that you suddenly forget to live for yourself and do what makes you happy. I have been so busy with school and other obligations, that I sometimes forget to do what I enjoy, such as blogging.  I am sure there are many people that feel like this, and I am definitely one of them. You are probably always pushing yourself to do the very best you can and be the very best person you can be, that you forget to breathe and just relax. When I finally realize that this is what I am doing, I really have to take a step back and tell myself that everything is okay and to just live life the way you wish to live it and to really appreciate yourself.  As cheesy as that may sound., it really does work. Even if that means going for a walk outside, or sitting in your favorite local coffee shop, having that time to clear out your mind and be at ease with yourself is really a great thing!

I usually look to the transitioning of seasons as a time to start fresh and try to remove most negative thoughts or anything that may be holding you back from being 100% happy. For me, Springtime really seems to be the ultimate time to do this. Just as the flowers start to bloom and everything begins to look a little brighter, you yourself can do the same.

-Positive Wednesday Thoughts

xoxo,
Maria

Friday, January 15, 2016

My Cozy Winter Essentials














Hat: Michael Kors via Bloomingdales; Scarf: Aerie: Sweater: The Loft; Coat: Express via Marshall's: Jeans: The Gap; Shoes: Marshall's

With the blistering cold weather outside, how nice does it sound to snuggle up on your couch with a soft, warm blanket, drinking your favorite cup of hot tea?  As wonderful as this is, we still have to go on with our everyday activities, which involves stepping outside and fighting against the cold. That is why it is so necessary to invest in a few really warm pieces that make you excited to be outside and pretend that "the cold doesn't bother you anyway."

I have to say that before I received this scarf from my sister as Christmas gift, I was not a huge fan of wearing scarves, because I always found them uncomfortable or suffocating for some reason. However, the second I took this gem out of the box, I haven't stopped wearing it since. It is the most comfortable thing I have ever lay my hands on, not to mention the warmth that it provides you with.  I would wear it with every outfit if I could, just because I love it so much. My mom has even borrowed it a few times and really wants one for herself. Unfortunately, The scarf is now sold out online and in most stores. I hope Aerie re-stocks them so you can all get one and experience it for yourselves. This hat is another very cozy accessory, that I find myself unable to leave the house without. To complete the look, I threw on my fuzzy  black coat that is perfect for this time of year.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Pop of Stripe





Dress: French connection via TJ Maxx;Vest:Calvin Klein via TJ Maxx; Boots: Tommy Hilfiger

When discussing a particular outfit, I am sure that you have come across the term "pop of color" at some point. It is a phrase that is commonly used to describe a seemingly monochromatic outfit, with the addition of one singular piece containing a color that stands out, or "pops out", if you will.

With that being said, the same can hold true for a print/pattern contained in a particular piece within your outfit. That is where my title for this post comes in- "A Pop of Stripe." Being that the primary color in this particular outfit is black, I wanted to add an element to liven it up a bit, so that it wasn't too boring for my taste. Since I do not wear stripes too often, I wanted to keep the remainder of the outfit fairly simple,  instead of mixing and matching prints/patterns, which some people like to play around with.

So, next time you are picking out your outfit for the day, choose a pop of print or pattern in order to add some excitement to your look!