Current Favorites of 2020

Welcome back and happy Memorial Day! I hope everyone’s been having a relaxing weekend and enjoying some time off. I’m definitely excited that the weather is getting nicer, and I’m really starting to enjoy my quarantine routine.

This week I wanted to talk about some of my favorites at the moments – books, movies, food, and more. I’ve been trying so many new things with all of the free time I have now, and while I’ve been loving it, I’m starting to run out of ideas! So, I wanted to share with you all my favorites of quarantine in case you’re also in need of some new inspiration.

TV and Movies

  • Outer Banks – I know everyone has been watching this show on Netflix, but I had to include it. This was super quick to get through and while I didn’t expect to like it at first, I was completely wrong!
  • Big Little Lies – I’m definitely late to this trend, but I’m about halfway through Season 2 now and I love this show. It’s definitely heavier and I can only really watch one episode at a time, but it’s so intriguing!
  • Ozark – Another great Netflix show! This isn’t the type of show I usually watch, but something good to mix it up. Also much more dense than other light hearted shows, so keep that in mind.
  • Life of the Party – I watched this movie with my mom a couple of weeks ago, and it was SO funny, we both loved it! Great for a lighthearted movie after dinner.


  • Little Fires Everywhere – I’d been meaning to read this so that I can watch the Hulu series next, and I just finished last week. This book was SO good, and I got through it pretty quickly because of all of the suspense! I would definitely recommend reading this if you’ve watched the show, or are planning to do so.
  • The Couple Next Door – I’m about halfway done with this book now, and it’s another great, suspenseful story. If you’re into mystery or crime novels, this is a good choice.
  • The Defining Decade – When I need a break from my other fiction-based stories, I’ve been reading a chapter or two of this book. I would highly suggest anyone in their twenties read this, it has so many amazing lessons for young adults and it so motivational!

Food and Drink

  • Summer salads – Now that it’s summery weather, I’ve been obsessed with a few different salads. My favorites are Greek, quinoa and orzo based salads, and light arugula salads with different fruits and nuts! Feta is always a topping 🙂
  • Summer cocktails – I talked about a few of these in my recipe post, but I’ve been trying out a few new ones recently. My favorites are Aperol Spritzs, sangria, rose spritzers, and different frozen fruit drinks.
  • Ice cream – Another summer necessity! I’ve been going to Dairy Queen and White Mountain Creamery more often now that it’s getting hot out, and I’ve also been picking up lots more of Ben and Jerry’s dairy free pints…SO good!
  • Coffee – I’ve been experimenting with my regular coffee orders now that I have so much time, so while I usually start my day with a MaryLou’s hazelnut iced coffee (I buy the ground coffee and make it at home), I’ll almost always end up treating myself to either a whipped latte at home, or a Dunkin Donuts caramel iced coffee in the afternoon.


  • Laying outside – This sounds simple enough, but I’ve actually been enjoying spending a lot more time than usual in my backyard. Especially when it’s warm out, I’ve found it so peaceful and relaxing to just lay in the sun and listen to music, podcasts, or read.
  • Walking – I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, but with all the time I have during the day now, walking has become one of my favorite ways to exercise. It’s also been so great to keep my mood lifted and to stay motivated. I’ll play a 45-75 minute podcast, and just walk until it’s over!
  • Spinning – I finally got access to a spin bike, and this has been AMAZING for both my physical and mental health! I missed spinning so much, as I went from teaching and taking 4-5 classes per week, to none at all, so I’ve been trying to get on the bike as much as possible lately.
  • Online learning – I’m now starting to take different online classes and watch more tutorials on some interests I’ve gained recently, which has been a great way to spend my time and stay mentally motivated and engaged. These range from 15 minute YouTube videos to week long online courses or programs, so you can spend as much or as little time on this as you like!


  • Podcasts – I talk about podcasts a lot, but I wanted to mention specifically my favorites right now. I listen regularly to The Skinny Confidential podcast, Gals on the Go, Girls Gotta Eat, and The Office Ladies, among a few others!
  • Eucalyptus products – Specifically, I use a eucalyptus body wash at the end of my showers, and I’ll just put a drop in my hands and breathe in the scent to calm down and reset my mind. Any calming scents or oils are great to boost and focus your energy.
  • My new favorite sweatshirt – This is the cropped, grey Champion hoodie from Urban Outfitters, and I’m obsessed. It is so comfy, the perfect crop length, and the hood is so big and cozy (exactly how I like sweatshirts!). I recommend sizing up so that it’s extra cozy, I like my sweatshirts to be more oversized.

This list is definitely on the longer side, but I wanted to make sure I included everything I’ve been loving while in quarantine (which is a lot!). I hope this can give you some ideas if you’re stuck on old content, activities, or recipes, and if you have any other recommendations that I left out, I’d love to hear them below! As always, stay safe and healthy, and I’ll be back next week 🙂



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Current Favorites & Travel Essentials

As promised, I’m back now with LOTS of new content now that I finally have some time to focus on my blog! As I transition into more lifestyle-centered posts in addition to my travel theme, I’m going to start off with a little bit of both in this post. I’ll be getting into my current favorites – everything I’m loving right now, from health products to books to social media – while also including some of my travel essentials – things I couldn’t live without on my trip this week!

First, I want to talk about what I’m reading right now. This is both a favorite and a travel essential – this is The Girls book series by Rachel Hollis. There are 3 books in this collection: Party Girl, Sweet Girl, and Smart Girl. I just finished Party Girl and am now starting Sweet Girl. I’m hoping to finish all three while on vacation this week, as they really are the perfect vacation books. I’ve already read Hollis’ other books, Girl, Stop Apologizing and Girl, Wash Your Face, which I highly recommend as well. These are all the kinds of books you can mindlessly read while relaxing (in my case on the beach!) and still get a lighthearted, feel good story.

Moving on from reading, I’ve also been catching up on my TV shows this week, and aside from my regulars like Grey’s Anatomy, This Is Us, and The Bachelor, I’ve started a couple of other new series as well. On my flight here, I started getting into Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez, a three-part Netflix documentary series. I’d always been interested in this case and finally had the time to get into the documentary, and there is so much more going on than I thought – definitely a good series to get into, but one that you need to pay attention to while watching. Another show I picked up this week that I can’t stop watching is Netflix’s original reality show, The Circle. This is another one I’ve been wanting to watch for a while and I’ve heard so many good things about it, and I’m so glad I finally started watching! This one is definitely more laid back and I don’t have to pay too close attention, but it’s still such an interesting concept for a show and I’m getting more and more into it each episode.

One more TV favorite is another Netflix documentary – Miss Americana. This is Taylor Swift’s documentary which I just recently watched, and I would hands down recommend this to anyone, even if you aren’t a fan. I’ve always been a pretty big Taylor Swift fan, but even watching this documentary completely changed my perspective on her success and the changes she’s made throughout her career. Once again, there’s so much more to her story than we see on the outside, so I definitely think documentary is worth a watch.

Moving on, a few things I couldn’t travel without (besides these books and shows) include:

  • My 40 oz. (extra large!) HydroFlask – I drink SO much water, so having this on a long flight was necessary. It’s also been great to have with me throughout the week so I don’t have to use plastic, and have enough water to get me through a long beach day.
  • I’ve never been one to care too much about germs (except for your normal hand washing/sanitary norms), but this week I am not taking ANY chances in an airport, so I stocked up on Clorox wipes and Purell, which definitely made me feel better on my flight down.
  • In general, I always end up feeling kind of gross after flying, so keeping a pack of facial wipes with me (any simple cleansing wipes – I like micellar water wipes!) helps A LOT after landing!
  • Having enough good content downloaded for any flight is a necessity. I know I mentioned all of these new shows and movies I’ve been watching, but I also love listening to Podcasts when I get sick of music. For this flight I downloaded an episode of Gals on the Go Podcast and The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast – my two favorites!
  • Gum and snacks are always a must for me on planes, no matter how short the flight. On this trip, I brought a banana from home since it was early in the morning and I wasn’t too hungry yet, but usually I’ll buy a sandwich or some trail mix, and an iced coffee on shorter flights.

For now, that’s all I’m going to get into, but I’ll definitely be back soon with an update on my spring break trip (so far, doing great)! I’m very excited to expand more on my writing and get into more things I’m passionate about, so I hope you’re all on board 🙂 

Let me know if there’s anything specific you want to hear from me, and subscribe below to stay updated when I post new content! Have a great rest of your week, and I’ll see you soon.



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My Favorite (& Least Favorite) Things about Europe

Good morning everyone 🙂

I’m back this week with another overview of my study abroad experience, and a more general review of what I think about Europe! After returning to the States and talking with friends and family, I’ve come to some conclusions that people tend to love the same things about the continent – and that being said, people also tend to have the same reserves. Here I’ve put together a list of my favorite, and furthermore my least favorite, things about Europe as a whole.

Starting off with my FAVORITES! Overall, I loved Europe, and though it is so diverse, there are lots of similar cultural norms across the continent. I definitely have more favorites than least favorites, so let’s get into it!

  • Most cities are very walkable, and public transportation is rather simple to figure out, so it’s super easy and pretty affordable to get around between sites.
  • Branching off of that, it’s SO easy to travel between cities/countries. Flights, trains, and busses, tend to be inexpensive for the most part, and travel time isn’t too bad either! Since most countries in Europe are part of the EU, this makes travel time even easier, since you don’t have to go through customs every time you fly.
  • Europe is such a diverse area, with different weather, culture, and architecture in each city. Even within the same country you can find so many interesting and unique spots, so there’s always something new to see.
  • The food in Europe (for the most part) is SO amazing! Each city has it’s own menu of local recipes that can’t be beat anywhere else. Some of my favorites were chimney cakes in Prague, a pesto pasta dish I had in Ventimiglia, Italy, and the gelato I tried in every city we visited!
  • One of the best things about eating out in Europe is that tipping culture is way more minimal than in the States. While in the US it’s almost assumed you will tip 20% at every restaurant, employees in Europe don’t expect anything. This was definitely helpful on a college student’s budget!
  • In general, it seems like people are much more open in Europe than in the US. People are so friendly and accepting, and the social culture is much more elevated, whereas in the States it can be more reserved.
  • It’s a simple fact that Europe holds way more history than the US, which is clear walking through any major city. The architecture itself is amazing to look at, and the history and culture behind it is even more rich.
  • In my experience – and what I’ve heard from others – Europe is much safer than most parts of the US. Yes, pickpocketing is a major issue, but other than that, I never once felt unsafe where I was, or questioned a situation that could potentially be dangerous.
  • Overall, it was amazing to see everything I had seen pictures of or learned about in school before in person. These are real places with real stories, and it’s definitely worth making the trip.

Not to end on a bad note, but as much as I love Europe, there are some things to keep in mind before traveling that might make your experience slightly more difficult…

  • Though some countries do speak English, most do not, and so this was definitely a struggle while traveling. In Spain I was usually okay understanding the language, but I noticed especially in France, Portugal, and most Eastern European countries that I really had to pay attention (or use English!) to converse with people.
  • I’m a very picky eater, so as much as the food was delicious for the most part, some things were not my cup of tea. For example, Spain is most famous for their jamón – and I don’t eat any ham or pork. I think I had more ham in the four months I was living there than I’ve had in my entire life.
  • Spain was a very affordable city to live in, which was great, but some places I traveled to were definitely not! A lot of northern European cities I visited, like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, were much more expensive, so definitely be aware of the differences in the cost of living where you’re traveling!
  • I’ve mentioned this before, but drinking water is not as big of a thing in Europe as it is in the US. This sounds crazy, but while we’re so used to carrying around water bottles all day at home, it’s very rare to be given water at a restaurant without having to ask – and even then, it’s usually a very small glass. For me, this was difficult since I tend to drink 4-5 liters of water a day!
  • This doesn’t bother everyone, but I walk very fast, and so the concept of people walking slowly/stopping short in the middle of the sidewalk/taking up the entire sidewalk was very frustrating. I definitely got more used to it as the months went on, but you’ll notice right away that Europeans are much less worried about their surroundings or their being in the way of others in public places.
  • Similarly, time is much less of a strict concept in Europe, especially in Spain. In most cases, people are never on time – and that is normal. Going along with that, no one is ever rushed. Servers at restaurants will not come back to your table after taking your order unless you call them over – so if you wan’t the check, you need to ask!

There are definitely more pros and cons to living in Europe than I have listed here, these are just a few that stood out to me. Along with that, I am by no means complaining about the European lifestyle – there are things I don’t like about the US either! These are just some of the things I would be aware of while traveling to Europe, and all of this is to be taken lightly 🙂

I loved my four months in Europe and I will definitely be returning soon, I just wanted to share these thoughts with you all! I hope you all have a great week, and I’ll see you next Monday with a review of one of my absolute favorite cities 🙂



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