Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Vespa Here, Vespa There.

Pink Crop Top: Aeropostale.
Skirt: Thrifted.
Loafers: TJ Maxx.
Hat: c/o OASAP.
Necklace: Forever21.
Lipstick in Covergirl's 'Valentine.'
Photos by Haley (@hchatlin on instagram!)

Hello everyone!
 You may see me wear a lot of the same pieces in my outfits I post on the blog because I actually didn't bring too many clothes! Here I was thinking I had packed a lot, but when my suitcase came in weighing only 44 pounds (you're allowed 50) and I got a look at how much all my roommates packed...I realized I severely underestimated what to bring. It's okay though! I was thinking that I had to buy a bunch of clothes to have things to wear, but I realized I have enough to make lots of outfits and that got me thinking to challenge myself...

I'm going to try to style outfits with only the things I brought. It'll be hard to wear the pieces so much, but they're all very versatile and can work lots of ways. I've allowed myself to buy one piece a month, but that's it other than the clothing I came with. I've never done to this extreme of remixing, so I think it will be a very fun and challenging way to explore my style over here in Italy.

I know a lot of people + my mom even (ha, hi mom!) have requested seeing pictures of my apartment and school. As for the apartment, I don't feel super comfortable showing it because I have three roommates and want to respect their space and privacy. Plus, I mean, there's really not much to show! Not that it's not a nice apartment because it really is, but it's just kind of basic and filled with mix matched stuff from all the students before me. I might be able to show a few pictures here and there, but I don't plan on doing an apartment tour because I'm not really customizing it or anything. As for the school, I can't really take photos of that either, unfortunately. It's in an ancient palace actually, but it's very...hm, tall and skinny. It's not spread out, so each floor is really small and not much to see. Plus, the lighting is very dark because the place is so old. So, again, I feel like there's not too much to see! I posted a photo of the library on my instagram (@passingwhimsies) which has really awesome frescos on the walls, so that's definitely worth a looksee if you'd like! Sorry if any of you are disappointed :(

Things are going well here though, but the heat is killing me! Which what I find hilarious though is that all the professors say this is a very mild summer, not bad at all. What!?! All the Italians I see around town are wearing jackets and pants and I'm hardly surviving in the above outfit. It's supposed to be 90 on Friday--SO hot. My poor Ohio mind + body isn't used to this much sun without rain and clouds so many days in a row, ha. x

With much love, Lauren.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Shake It Off!

Crochet Tank: Gap Outlet.
Red Skirt: c/o OASAP.
Sandals: TJMaxx.
Beret: Target.
Bracelet: Charming Charlie.
Satchel: Forever21.
Lipstick in Russian Red. 
Photos by Haley (@hchatlin on instagram!).

Hello everyone!

Ha, so clearly from the title of this post I've been listening to Taylor Swift's new song. I've always been a T-Swift fan since I was 13 (I actually used to listen to Tear Drops on My Guitar and wistfully think about my now current boyfriend back then), and still at 21 I love her. No shame here. Her new song is so catchy and I love the message behind it. Give it a listen if you haven't already! 

So, Haley and I went out to buy laundry detergent the other day at the grocery store and picked some up no problem. Our one roommate washed her clothes with it, but then when the second roommate went to wash her clothes she noticed that the bottle had pictures of bathtubs and sinks on the back of it...Although it had said 'detergent' on the front, we still managed to pick up house cleaner and our one poor roommate washed her clothes with it! Nothing happened thankfully, but it's still hilarious. Need to get better at reading Italian.

This weekend my three roommates and I have a one day trip booked for Cinque Terre! Super excited to visit a coastal town here and see Italy from a different city outside of Florence. x

With much love, Lauren.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum.

Hello everyone!

A few days ago I was walking around Florence when I just stumbled upon the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum. I knew it was here, but didn't know exactly where but figured I would find it eventually. It was only 6 euro to get in so I had to do it!

Can't express how fascinating it was and if you're in Florence, you must go! Ferragamo just wasn't a shoe designer. He studied feet and knew the ins and outs to walking, posture, standing position, and equilibrium to create perfectly made shoes for the human foot that felt comfortable and were beautiful. I didn't know he had designed custom models for so many different celebrities (Carmen Miranda, Judy Garland, Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey) who had hard to fit feet! 

The museum is underground, so above is actually the flagship store for Ferragamo! Since it is the headquarters, part of the store was dedicated to limited editions of classic shoe models that they made for past celebrities and the colors that would have been used back then, as well. The coolest part was they even had the original style label on the insides! There was, of course, a regular store, too, with all the current models of shoes and handbags, complete with stuffy associates who didn't bother to help me, ha (I can't really blame them, it was clear I wasn't buying anything).

Anyways! Such a special experience and I'm so glad I got to tour this and learn some history about Ferragamos because I do have a thrifted, vintage pair I wear quite often and are my cherished babies. I cherish them even more now!

With much love, Lauren.

Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening Review!


I'll never forget for my first high school dance how I wanted to look absolutely perfect. Intricately coiled updo, a dream dress, flawless makeup, and a brilliant, white smile for all the photos that were going to be taken. I had everything checked off the list but the white smile, so I thought I'd try out some Crest White strips from the grocery market. I remember so clearly, it's even kind of funny now to think back on, the absolute pain and sensitivity I felt when I left them on for even 5 minutes. It took days for me to not wince when I bit down on food, and since then I haven't tried any teeth whitening regiments. 

In the beginning of the summer though I was contacted by Smile Brilliant, which is a custom tray teeth whitening company, to try out the product. I was hesitant at first because of my previous experiences, but I truly wanted to see if these could give me the bright, white teeth I wanted without the pain.

--------------------------------------------------
How it works: 
Creating the Mold
The process was incredibly easy and highly catered toward the customer. You receive the above blue mouth guards where you mix the catalyst paste + base base and put them in the mold. It took about 4 minutes each of just biting down to get perfect impressions of your teeth, rinsing them off, and then mailing them to get back the custom trays within a week!

Whitening Process
When you first purchase, you're given 6 tubes of whitening gel in syringes where actually one tube is for four uses. So that's quite a bit of whitening! You also get desensitizing gel that you put on 1 hour in advance to help if you have sensitive teeth. It's easy to just squeeze the whitening material  into the trays and then place them onto your teeth where you can let them sit from 45 minutes to 3 hours depending on how great of a difference you want.

My Results:
Sensitivity
I wanted to really see how this whitening method reacted with my sensitive teeth, so I tried doing it both with and without the desensitizing gel a few times. Either way, I had no issues with sensitivity AT ALL! Highly recommend this if you have sensitive teeth and want a whitening program.

Whitening
I was using this right before I went to Italy so I didn't have a chance to get through the whole set of my gel before I left. I did use it about 4-5 times though for an hour or hour and a half each and I notice that just this little bit certainly did make my teeth about a shade whiter. 

Brightening
I asked my roommate Haley what difference she saw in my teeth, and the first thing she said was definitely brighter which I would have to agree with! They just look so much more vibrant and less dulled. A nice pick me up if you have a special event or something coming up. 

------------------------------------------------------
I keep my reviews on here honest and do the ones that I think will help you guys out the most or are worth the money. Thankfully, I can say I am incredibly satisfied with this product! I thought the customer service was especially phenomenal. They were very quick to answer any questions I had and the shipping was all paid for and fast.

Hoping to finish up my set when I get home from Italy and buy some more gel in the future because I'll always have the teeth whitening trays! The starter set (what I got) is right here and you can watch/read testimonials if you're interested.

Thank you Smile Brilliant for this opportunity and thank you guys for reading! x

With much love, Lauren.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bolbi Gardens.

Black Peter Pan Collar Dress: Modcloth.
Sandals: TJ Maxx. 
Hair Bow: Claire's.
Lipstick in WNW's Rose Bud.
Photos by Haley (@hchatlin on instagram)

Hello everyone!

Today my friend and roommate Haley and I spent some time exploring the Bolbi Gardens at the Pitti Palace. They were just spectacular, and unable to be described in words or seen the same through pictures. They were pretty large and had all sorts of interesting and unique statues that I really, really enjoyed viewing. I liked how they were more integrated with nature and fit into the scenery rather than just being perfectly placed in a museum. There's something beautiful about letting time take its toll on these great works of history.

After, we had some pasta on the smaller side of the Arno and had gelato at the best place in town; Grom. REALLY recommend if you're in Florence or if you ever seen one in your travels! The dark chocolate is simply the best thing I've ever had. We ate our gelato by the Duomo and watched a guy selling illegal art in the streets get arrested by the police, ha. It was actually super interesting and I was just filled with awe how the other illegal sellers went right back to selling after the police had arrested the one man. Can't imagine living that kind of life.

With much love, Lauren.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

First Italian Coffee Experience.

  I've been dying for a coffee. Back home, coffee is an integral part of my every day life; usually the only thing getting me up in the morning, ha. I haven't had a chance to get a cup while I've been here because it's kind of just been "go, go, go "but after orientation today I had a chance to relax and take my time. 

I walk by this place every day to school and am always so enraptured by it. It has these beautiful crown molding ceilings with white accents, and it opens up in the front so you can just look out at the street while you drink your coffee. Today was the day I was going to get my Italian coffee I've been waiting for!

So, I went up to the register and saw a sign saying that they had NEW, Chocolate latte iced. I thought that sounded perfect since it's pretty hot here, and told the barista I wanted that to stay. The first hilarious thing is that when he asked for my name to put on the cup, he wrote "Loren" instead of Lauren. I'm guessing because Sophia Loren is pretty big over here he guessed that's how it was spelled. I went with it and had a good chuckle and waited for my drink to come out. 

He called my name and I went up to get it, super excited and eager because it looked delicious and had coco power sprinkled on top. I took a big, first sip and thought something was peculiar. It tasted just like...milk? I thought that maybe it just wasn't strong coffee or perhaps that I had to stir in the chocolate so I did that and it still tasted just like milk. I shrugged, figuring it was just a difference in our coffees and began reading the little Italy guide book I had with me about useful phrases and such.

I turned to the ordering coffee page because I was curious, and what do you know, right there, in bold letters. " Do not order a latte in a coffee shop. It's not like an American one-- this one is just plain milk." 

Guys, I ordered chocolate milk.

Dying it's so hilarious.

With much love, Lauren.

Streets of Italia.

Polka Dot Mockneck: Aeropostale.
White Eyelet Skirt: Thrifted.
Loafers: TJMaxx.
Lipstick in MAC's Russian Red.

Hello everyone!

Here is a little outfit update from Florence. It's been hard to document my outfits here because I'm super tired by the end of the day and looking pretty rough after walking through the city streets for hours. But my friend and roommate Haley (@hchatlin on instagram!) has been super sweet enough to take outfit pictures for me while I'm here (I'm scared if I get a tripod and take them myself someone will just snatch everything off the street, ha). So thank you so much Haley for being my photographer and dealing with nearly getting hit by vespas and cars to take photos ,lul.

There's always a lot to post about and show you, but I don't like combining so much into one post, so I'll try and break up the things I do into different posts; to keep you all sane and me somewhat organized in what I do. x

With much love, Lauren.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Along the Arno.

Red Trapeze Dress: c/o OASAP.
Sandals: TJ Maxx.
Satchel: Forever21.
Necklace: Thrifted.

Hello everyone!
Here are some snaps from today's Italian adventures + an outfit post. I had orientation for school for most the day, but there is usually time in the evening to explore. This evening we went and looked at the replicas of the famous statues housed here in Florence like David. The real one is housed inside a museum here, of course, but I had to get an iconic shot with this infamous man! We walked around the Ponte Vecchico which is the bridge you see above the water in many of my photos. We got to see the sun set there which was just beautiful. Also, my roommates and I hung out on a rooftop restaurant and they had some drinks and I had my first taste of bruchetta-- very delicious! The view was simply magnificent where you could see the Duomo and the town square below...I'm not used to such beautiful weather to be honest. In Ohio we NEVER have two beautiful, sunny, warm days in a row, but here in Florence every day is picture perfect. 

Always have lots to write and say and lots more pictures to post...sometimes it can be overwhelming to try and document it all though, so I try not to stress myself out and post in little doses. I have been keeping a journal of my daily activities though which I'm sure I'll really cherish to look back on when I'm back in the States.

Hope you all are well! x

With much love, Lauren.