FullSizeRender 24 IMG_0241IMG_0243 IMG_0244 IMG_0524 IMG_0525 IMG_0526 IMG_0528 IMG_0539 IMG_0547  IMG_0553 IMG_0554
IMG_0237IMG_0568  IMG_0573IMG_0242
| shirt: halogen| jeans: paige | shoes: tory burch |


the city of venice was a concrete human maze.  you get lost with every turn you make. venice is one of many islands built on the marshy lagoons of the adriatic sea. the architects of this charming little town must have previously worked as corn maze masters. you walk down one stone street just to find yet, another, stone street. everything in venice looks the same and is hidden. we spent over an hour rolling suitcases on patchy patches and searching for our hotel. after realizing we were going in circles [and a few complaints from me] we asked for help only to find our hotel right in front of us, go figure.

venice has its own unique beauty about it. to get from place to place you either hop the ferry, or walk it. there’s something kind of refreshing about that. the rialto bridge is hard to miss and quite beautiful. we spent our first night in venice walking the bridge and just looking around while taking everything in. after grabbing a quick bite to eat [the seafood is amazing] we walked around and found a little dock along the grand canal and just hung out. it was late into the evening and the once busy streets had emptied. there was a soothing lull complimented by the night’s breeze. this was probably my favorite moment in venice. the world had stopped spinning and it felt as if we had the whole place to ourselves. then, the world suddenly began spinning again as we headed back towards our hotel and were bombarded by rose salesman… [don’t they sleep!?]


the next day was spent admiring doges palace and st. mark’s basilica [which is free to enter!] both were stunningly beautiful masterpieces. st. mark’s basilica had an intimidating line, but it moved surprisingly quick and was worth the wait. after exploring we stopped for lunch then boarded one of the famous venice gondola rides. the romance of venice swept us down the grand canal as we viewed the bridge of sighs and learned about the history of some of the venetian homes we passed. as our ride came to a close we thanked our friendly gondolier and went on our way. we walked around the souvenir shops [which are on every corner] and enjoyed our remaining time in venice.


i could have enjoyed an extra day to walk around a little more and eat some delicious food, but truth be told, i was content and ready to explore rome by that point. venice is beautiful and full of charm, but felt very much like a tourist attraction and well, we were tourists and we were attracted but we were ready for some more rich italian culture and history.


travel tips for venice:


  • locate your hotel prior to arriving. the best way to do this is get directions from the receptionist at the hotel.
  • pack lightly. the streets of venice are very patchy, rolling a suitcase is do-able but rolling multiple would get very tiring very quickly. [i had a suitcase and a backpack]
  • women must cover their shoulders and wear pants or shorts that extend to the knee to enter st. marks basilica. plan accordingly.
  • try the seafood!
 xo jasmine


{"total_effects_actions":0,"total_draw_time":0,"layers_used":0,"effects_tried":0,"total_draw_actions":0,"total_editor_actions":{"border":0,"frame":0,"mask":0,"lensflare":0,"clipart":0,"text":0,"shape_mask":0,"callout":0},"effects_applied":0,"uid":"3213BA2B-73BC-4821-8611-D283BF649753_1443542963977","photos_added":0,"tools_used":{"resize":0,"adjust":0,"curves":0,"motion":0,"clone":0,"crop":0,"enhance":0,"selection":0,"free_crop":0,"flip_rotate":0,"shape_crop":0,"stretch":1},"total_effects_time":0,"origin":"gallery","total_editor_time":108517,"brushes_used":0}  {"total_effects_actions":0,"total_draw_time":0,"layers_used":0,"effects_tried":0,"total_draw_actions":0,"total_editor_actions":{"border":0,"frame":0,"mask":0,"lensflare":0,"clipart":0,"text":0,"shape_mask":0,"callout":0},"effects_applied":0,"uid":"3213BA2B-73BC-4821-8611-D283BF649753_1443543724748","photos_added":0,"tools_used":{"resize":0,"adjust":0,"curves":0,"motion":0,"clone":0,"crop":0,"enhance":0,"selection":0,"free_crop":0,"flip_rotate":0,"shape_crop":0,"stretch":1},"total_effects_time":0,"origin":"gallery","total_editor_time":40586,"brushes_used":0}
top: similar | plaid shirt: similar | pants: lululemon | bracelets: kendra scott | sunnies: ray-ban

i wish i could say i had pizza in pisa but what i did do is more important than what i didn’t do. so no, no pizza in pisa but i did enjoy a delicious cup of espresso [something you can find every where you turn in italy] and  got some great snaps of the leaning tower. rick steves [best europe travel guide series] led me and my group right to where we wanted to be. we lucked out with an amazing parking spot and found the leaning tower with no troubles at all. the leaning tower that has been titling since completion circa 1372 has its very own charm. it is just as it sounds, a leaning tower, but with so much more.  as i am sure many can imagine, it is a hot tourist spot. i took a good moment to just people watch and enjoy my surroundings. everyone, i mean everyone was standing and pretending to hold up the tower while a family member or friend turned into their photographer and directed them where to go. the directions all may have been in various different languages, but what they were saying was easily known.

my stay in pisa consisted of that earlier cup of espresso and a quick walking tour of the leaning tower of pisa, piazza de miracoli and the duomo pisa. from there we drove through tuscany enjoying the sights along the way to florence for a leisurely lunch. florence is filled with stunning structures and flooded with a great amount of history. the beauty of the florence cathedral will take your breath away. we walked all around the square [you do a lot of walking in italy] and worked up an appetite before enjoying a little vino and italian dishes.


from florence we headed to verona. verona wasn’t originally on our itinerary but we somehow squeezed it in. verona is best known for being the home of one of shakespeare’s most well known plays, romeo and juliet. for as long as i can remember i have always loved shakespeare [yes i am that person, i can nerd out with the best of them]. so naturally, i was beyond excited for this little venture.

in the heart of verona you can find juliet’s home and legendary balcony [which is much smaller than i imagined]. it is a very crowded little courtyard filled with tourists and people lining up to rub the breast of the bronze juliet statue found beneath the balcony. myth has it that whomever rubs the breast of juliet will have good luck in love. however, the statue that stands there today is a mere replica. one breast rubbing tourist too many caused the original statue damage. it was removed and is now housed in the museum castelvecchio where is has been restored and is on display. the story of romeo and juliet is fictional, so there aren’t really any montagues and capulets battling it out to death, but the experience was very enjoyable and i soaked in every second of it.

aside from romanticizing about the star struck lovers and gazing at the colosseum look a-like opera theatre in verona, the ponte pietra bridge offers a beautiful and picturesque view. the bridge was built in 100bc making it verona’s oldest. you will encounter a number of tourists stopping to take a picture, but wait around for your turn and enjoy the moment. the view is worth it.

i had a very adventure-filled day filled with incredible sights and scenery. there was plenty that i did not get to see, but am very thankful for the glimpses i did catch. train is the easiest way to travel through italy [and not very costly either]. we had a group of four on this day which made a rental car well worth it and gave us the ability to travel from place to place so quickly. gas is rather pricey in italy but if you have a larger group, splitting the cost and being able to travel on your own time is a hands-down winner in my book.
 xo jasmine


shopbop friends and family sale
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13
it’s finally here. i may have been counting down the days because this is one of my favorite sales of the year! shopbop friends and family is going on now. use code ‘inthefam25‘ at checkout to receive 25% of your entire purchase. [this includes sale items and has just a few exclusions
above are some of my fall picks for this year. lots of blacks and neutrals so you can wear them over and over or pair them with a fun statement piece. wildfox sweaters are one of the most comfortable pieces i own and shopbop has plenty to choose from! ripped jeans are back and a good pair can run a little pricey, 25% off can go a long way with these. shopbop has some of my favorite designers such as tory burch and kate spade. you can never go wrong with either.
i’m all about a good sale and apparently so are many others. the sale lasts for 3 days but sizes go quickly so snag up your favorites. shopbop ships quickly [and is free] and arrives in 3 days [sometimes even less], 2 days for amazon prime users. can’t complain about that! happy fall shopping!

cinque terre was the next stop on our list. this place is incredible. cinque terre is a gorgeous view of five vibrant villages that are centuries old. each village clings to the steep sides of hills above the coast line. no matter which way you turn, the view is stunning.

to get from village to village you must hike. prior to arriving, we referred to our trusty rick steves cinque terre book. if you’re traveling through europe and have not heard of the man, the myth, the legend that is rick steves, you gotta jump on board. [i’ll explain more about him later]. we unanimously decided to hike the longest hike. it took about an hour and 15 minutes to get from the village of vernazza to
 monterosso. the hike is a hike. if you plan on doing it, wear comfortable shoes [i wore nike frees, because they’re easy to pack and comfortable} and plan a good hour plus to get from one village to the other. 

along our hike we passed many hikers as we neared our finish line asking “how much further” and “are we close to the other village?” no. the answer was no. they had merely just begun their journey. so do know what you are getting yourself into ahead of time. however, the hike is well worth the climb. the surrounding views get better and better with each step you take. not to mention with all the gelato and pasta in italy, a little activity wouldn’t hurt.

these beautiful villages and their pathways are filled with tourists. you will hear a multitude of languages and have to dodge people stopping to take pictures along the way. don’t complain– you’ll be doing the same. and truth be told, dodging the photogs is much easier than dodging the selfie stick selling salesmen. 

near the end of our hike a kind italian man was selling fresh squeezed lemonade. it was refreshing and delicious. we rewarded ourselves and bought some. once we got into the village of monterosso we walked around while there just so happened to be an anchovy festival taking place. these people take their anchovies seriously. i passed on them but enjoyed two too many helpings of a scrumptious seafood risotto at a restaurant located within the city. after waking out of my content food coma i topped it off with gelato and i wasn’t even mad about it. i wouldn’t change a thing. we then browsed through the street shops where you can find any souvenir imaginable. both villages we visited had similar goods for sale. inexpensive wines, lemon soaps and pasta everywhere you turned.

night fell quickly as we were gazing out into the beautiful waters and the magical village of monterosso transformed from its’ quiet tourist-filled streets to a techno-like rave. music filled the main square as the younger crowd slowly trickled out onto the streets. before calling it a night and heading back to the train station, i showed off some of sweet dance moves, the washing machine included.

the views i witnessed here were incredible. i enjoy outdoor activities and anywhere there is a body of water, i feel at home. cinque terre is a place i highly recommend and do wish i got to spend a little more time exploring. the little time i did spend was priceless. the hike was more than enjoyable, the company was irreplaceable and the food was so satisfying. 




cinque terre travel tips:

  • most everyone you encounter speaks english, you’ll be good on this one
  • if you have a car, park at la spezia and take the train in. you can also train into la spezia if you are taking the trains around europe
  • there is a walking trail that connects each village, or you can opt for a ferry to see all villages [i believe with the exception of corniglia].
  • if time permits, allot 2 or even 3 days for cinque terre. spend one day hiking then spend the next day in your favorite village relaxing and soaking up some sun on the beach after shopping in their local stores
  • see all 5 villages [i only got to experience 2 but wish i could have squeezed all 5 in]
  • if you can’t see all 5 villages look them up and read about them before going so you will be able to best choose which ones to see. all are aesthetically pleasing [so i hear] but each village has its own uniqueness.
travel makes one modest. you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.

gustave flaubert


after an overnight layover in london [that’s what you get when you book a trip to europe on airline points] my italy excursion finally began. i arrived midday and started the trip off properly with some vino and pizza. it was quite possibly the best pizza i have had to date. arugula and prosciutto pizza is my favorite. it could have been due to the overwhelming sense of excitement of being in italy or simply the fact that italians know pizza. the afternoon flew by and it was night before i knew it. i checked into my airbnb and threw on some running clothes and hit the streets of milan.

adrenaline must have taken over because i felt as if i could run for days on end. i ran past the amazingly structured milan cathedral, through the incredible shopping center and well, all of milan. i stopped to take in most of the sights only to be bombarded by salesmen. selfie sticks were everywhere i turned and roses were being handed out left and right. at one moment, i was taking in my scenery and the next thing i knew a man was tying a friendship bracelet around my wrist. as he started speaking over the bracelets in a language i could not understand, i quickly tried informing him i had no means of paying for his unwanted gift. i literally had no means. i was out for a run. after giving us the run around [my boyfriend got a bestie band too] he finally believed that we had no money on us and kindly told us to enjoy the bracelets and walked away.


next up was a very assertive and complimentary rose salesman who referred to me as shakira. he filled my head with flattery and for a moment, i enjoyed it. as we turned him away all flattery left with him as he filled the next girls head with the same compliments. thanks buddy. the salesmen in italy are relentless. a part of me wanted to purchase what they had to sell because they were so persistent. another part of me was just annoyed.

when i returned from my run i showered and got ready for a night on the town. my boyfriend and i were joined by his brother and his brother’s lovely wife. we wined and dined and enjoyed the milan nightlife which is a sight to see. nightlife in milan, from what i saw, was very much a hang out. anywhere there was open space, people were hanging out. everyone seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves and getting along. it was great. we shut the restaurant down and got a good nights’ rest before visiting the duomo the next day. the architecture on this stunning cathedral is indescribable. it’s definitely a must see. milan was a quick stop on our european adventure but it was the perfect way to kick it off.

from the duomo we loaded up our rental car and headed to our next stop. below are a few of pictures from milan and even more below are a couple of milan travel tips:)

it’s just as beautiful at night

duomo sweaty selfie

this guy got suckered into buying a rose for his ‘shakira’

the incredible duomo

these guys

milan travel tips:

  • most everyone you encounter speaks english, you’ll be good on this one
  • there are buses that take you straight from the airport to wherever you need to go. use these.
  • you must see the piazza del duomo
  • there’s no need to be mean to the salesmen. they’re pesky and i’ll agree it gets annoying, but they’re just trying to make a living. if you are uninterested in whatever they are selling, just say no, avoid eye contact and proceed with whatever you were doing.
  • have a glass of wine, do a little shopping and enjoy yourself.
  • don’t feel the need to buy expensive bottles of wine in italy. the house wine every where you go tastes great. pick a night and splurge a little, but don’t feel like you have to every night. your bank account will thank you. 
“though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.”

ralph waldo emereson