Monday, November 17, 2014

Barcelona Part I.

Hi everyone!

 I am back from Barcelona :) It was a good weekend in the beautiful Latin country of Spain. Since I've had an interest in learning Spanish since high school, it has been a goal of mine to travel one day to a Spanish speaking country to practice and see their way of life-- and I definitely got that this weekend!

It took 12 hours by bus to get to Barcelona (and 16 straight hours coming back--don't even get me started on that one) and we went right into a tour of the city once we arrived. Our tour guide was fantastic and it was lovely to discover the city by foot and see all the different parts that make up the dynamic culture there.

I of course had to try some tapas for lunch and got the classic patas bravas and croquettes. I liked them both very much and they surely didn't disappoint my expectations. Then I went to the beach...oh the beach. My favorite part of the entire trip. It was so calm and peaceful, with hardly anyone there. I got the chance to take the time from all the craziness my life is here-- traveling, going to school, living in a foreign country-- and think and reflect on my time here. It was nice and eye opening to look back at this semester; although it's been a hard one and at times, not what I wanted...I've learned a lot and I am grateful for each and every one of those lessons I've been taught and skills I've learned. Got the chance to listen to my always favorite Oceans by Hillsong which was really special to feel everything coming together; my purpose for being here, my relationship with Christ...all while sitting in front of the vast ocean to visually see everything I'm feeling and realizing. If you've never listened to Oceans while actually being by an ocean... I really, really recommend it. It was one of the times I could feel Christ so near to me and it was seriously magical.

Anyways, enough sap and life revelations for now (I always seem to be having one or another). That evening then I just found myself wandering around rainy Barcelona and checking out the amazing shopping they had. I've become obsessed with so many European brands that I can't get over in the US! Topshop, Bershka, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear, Oysho, Primark...and the list goes on. I am obsessed with Pull & Bear and actually ended up getting a dress from them that I am rather excited about! It's a rib knit, sweater, maxi dress with black and red threads. Something super outside of my comfort zone for the length and the fit, but I tried it on and fell it love with it. Europe has done really strange things to my style since being here... I can't even figure out myself what my style is anymore, but I'm working on developing it and trying to grasp it after all of these new influences.

I should have part two up soon (thankfully that'll be the last one)--so until then! x

With much love, Lauren.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Say You'll Remember Me.

Gray Sweater, Scalloped Flats: H&M.
Black Peter Pan Collar Dress: Modcloth.
Lipstick in MAC's Speed Dial.

Hi everyone!

Just a quick little outfit post before I get on a bus to head to Spain here soon :) I am visiting Barcelona this weekend and am really, really looking forward to it. It's been awhile, but some of you may remember when I first started my blog how I wanted to be a Spanish teacher! I loved learning the language in high school and was really passionate about it. Sadly, since I graduated I haven't learned any more or practiced, but I still remember quite a bit to use this weekend which excites me. Finally! I can have a more in depth conversation with someone than "how are you?" ha. 

Hope to have many good things to show you all and write about when I get back! x

With much love, Lauren.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Golden Days Ahead.

Plaid Shirt, Leather Jacket: H&M.
Mini Skirt: Aeropostale.
Wide Brimmed Hat: c/o OASAP.
Loafers: TJ Maxx.
Cat Purse: Leather Market in Florence. 

Hi everyone! 

Finally a new outfit post! I've been dying to take photos lately because it's been so long since I last did (I believe back in London?). Thankfully I had some time today and my friend Haley was gracious enough to snap some for me in the FINALLY changing leaves! I'm going to be up for the biggest wake up call ever though when I go back home. It's still in the 70's here and sunny usually every day. Back home in Ohio it's already snowing and freezing cold, so it will be such a shock to not be eased back into winter weather. I'm ready for it though! I miss Ohio and the weather and my family and having a full wardrobe of more than 14 items ha. 

Although I grumble and complain a lot about living here though (honestly more than I should), I have been having pangs of sadness to leave here lately. I only have about one month left and I'm starting to realize the things I'll miss here that I'll never have again...throughout all the trials and hardships I've had I've realized that I have actually had a really good experience. When you're in the bad, it's hard to see the good, but now that things are coming to a close...I see how much good there really has been

With much love, Lauren.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Pisa, Italy.

Hi everyone!

I just spent today in Pisa and it was super wonderful! My time is narrowing down here in Europe, and I've been anxious to still make it to Pisa and Rome. Last night I just decided that I would jump on the train this morning and make my way over to Pisa! I hadn't rode the train system yet since I've been here, so it was a little daunting to get the ticket, find the platform, and get the train, but I did it. I'm proud of the independence I've developed since coming to Europe. I arrived and didn't have a map or anything, so just kind of winged it walking around the city and exploring (which is the best way to explore in my opinion--getting lost!). 

I had a pretty darn good cappuccino pictured above and did some browsing in shops on the main street. I eventually found my way to the piazza where the Leaning Tower is, and I was so taken aback when I first saw it! I've dreamt for a long time to see the Eiffel Tower, so when I did I felt already so immune to it. But with the Leaning Tower, you don't really think about it as much and how impressive it will be to see it in person. I was super thrilled! I took photos all around it and had at least five different people helping me try to get a classic 'pushing the tower' pose. Ha, I kept finding people who didn't speak English so it was super hard for them to give me directions. Eventually I found and American speaking girl though and got it!

I bought a ticket to go inside and up the tower because I thought, "why not? When else am I going to get to do this?" and I absolutely loved it! It was so strange climbing the stairs at a tilted angle, and the view was amazing at the top. I just sat there for a good while, admiring the view, giddy over the fact that I was on top the Leaning Tower of Pisa! After the tower, I had a free ticket to go into the Cathedral near by which was wonderful, also! The inside was absolutely beautiful and actually the patron saint of Pisa, Rainerius, was actually buried there and you can see his casket in one of the photos above :O

It was such a good day! So glad I made it to Pisa before I leave back for the States. x

With much love, Lauren.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

London Part IV.

Hello everyone!

Wrapping up London here :) Not only did Kezzie take me to all of the best monuments around London, but we also did some superb shopping, as well! As I said in a previous post, I had been trying to find a Superdrug the whole week to get my hand on some lines I wanted. We found a great one on Oxford Street that had all the things I wanted; so I got the makeup pouch from Zoella's line and 'Picnic in the Park' lipgloss from Tanya Burr's line! Also, I got some liquid to matte lip creams from MUA that are really nice, and a blush from L'oreal Paris that I used to love but was discontinued in the US. I was quite the happy girl after all those purchases. Oh, and then Kezzie had me try some of the 'Smarties' in the above photo. Had never heard of them, but they are sort of like an M&M? They weren't too bad!

We walked into Primark for a bit just so I could see and it was quite overwhelming! Wow, so much stuff everywhere. It obviously reminded me a lot of a Forever21, but in a sense it felt more like a department store to me. I don't know, it was a strange feeling, but I was too overwhelmed to shop (and running out of time) but would love to go again someday! 

My favorite area of the shopping district was probably the Selfridges windows though. I always hear British people raving about Selfridges and now I understand why. I didn't get to go inside, but the outside windows were enough to send me over the edge. They were immaculate--the most beautiful visual merchandising I've ever seen! They had a series of maybe 10 windows going down the block and each was based off of a different fairy tale, but showing the merchandise for sale in a creative way. There was a Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel, Golden Goose, Goldie Locks and the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel... So charming and creative! The photos I took of them didn't turn out super well because of the reflection, but it was just one of those things I'll never forget seeing in person.

Finally, perhaps the high light of the day...British tea! I've never been a super big tea drinker, but in the last year or so at college I've gotten into it a bit by having some in the evenings on occasion. We went to a tea parlor though and sat down for tea and it was honestly such a cool experience; much difference than fixing tea in a microwave in your dorm room, ha! I ordered mint tea, and it came out in this giant iron tea pot with sugar and cream you could put in yourself. I got an apple cinnamon muffin which was a perfect pairing, and it was just so nice to sip delicious tea and chat with a dear blogging friend who I feel like I've always known... what an afternoon!

Anddd, that was London! Such a good trip and makes me nostalgic writing all these posts about it. I have three more big places to travel to: Barcelona, Dublin, and Vienna/Budapest. Be on my case about posting better for those trips! x

With much love, Lauren.