It’s been a while…

So… the last time I checked in it was July 2016.

That year ended.

2017 happened.

And now it’s 2018.

Wow.

Hi! How have you been!?

I’m 24 now, working at my second job and living in my second apartment since graduating college.

Life has been full of change – new jobs, new apartments, new friends, new lessons learned.

Life has been hectic – moving, friendships changing, spending time with family and friends, and figuring out what I want (or don’t want) to do.

Life has been fun – football games, nights out, nights in, vacations, holidays, happiness, and growth.

Life has been stressful – leaving a job and saying goodbye to coworkers I loved, moving to a new apartment with new roommates, and figuring out how to be an adult (spoiler alert: totally haven’t figured this out yet).

Life has been crazy, but life has been – and is – really good.

One of my goals for 2018 was to get back to blogging, and here I am on January 15th, 2018, finally back on here – even if it’s just for a minute.

While the URL is still “LaurRuns,” my plan is to take this space on the internet in a new direction.

Though I’ve always been authentic and I’ve always written whatever I wanted on here, I want my blog to be even more real. I don’t want to do what others are doing just because I know what gets liked on Instagram or shared on Twitter.

I want to be truly “me.” I want to share my thoughts, voice my opinions, and tell my story.

That doesn’t mean this will be a diary of deep, dark, juicy thoughts… Well, maybe sometimes it will be. But, most the time, it will be a place where I share my daily musings, my outfits, my favorite things, my workouts, my latest eats, and the fun I have with my friends and family.

Along the way, I’ll just be trying to dig deeper and share more of what’s on my mind.

Though I’m still young – I just turned 24 five days ago – and though it’s only been a year and half since I last wrote here (ugh I know, that is a long time…sorry!!) – I have been through a lot since we last spoke.

I’ve been in the “real world” for almost 2 years now and I’ve experienced things I hadn’t yet while I was still a college kid.

The country and the world have changed and we’ve all changed along with the times. And I have a lot to say about it.

My job has changed, my thoughts and beliefs have evolved, and I have learnt, grown, and changed, too.

Anyway, that’s enough for today – I’ll be back in the new few weeks to catch you up on things.

Truly Yours,

Laura

Easy No-Bake White Chocolate Golden Oreo Truffles + Some Thursday Thoughts

As I promised, today I’m sharing a delicious recipe that’s perfect for a New Year’s Eve party, or any day of the (new!) year.

I made these bad boys for our Christmas Eve party, and my family loved them. They’re decadent and delicious and I made sure to make plenty so we also had more than enough for Christmas and a few other family parties last weekend.

Like I said, there are tons of recipes for these (all you have to do is Google “Oreo truffles” and you’ll come across pages of different varieties!), but I put my own little spin on them based loosely off of this recipe.

My mom gets migraines from chocolate (I know, it’s super sad for her, too), so I wanted to make a dessert that she could enjoy. This led me to… White Chocolate Golden Oreo Truffles. Yum.

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Continue reading “Easy No-Bake White Chocolate Golden Oreo Truffles + Some Thursday Thoughts”

What I’ve Been Eating Lately

Well hello my long lost friends!

Today I’m coming at you with a sentence-per-picture ‘what I ate’ thinking out loud post about…well what I’ve eaten lately! I know it’s been ages and we have a lot to catch up on (and I need to post my half marathon recap!!), but I wanted to join Amanda’s party today, so here we are.

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I’ll be back once this crazy semester is over in LESS THAN ONE WEEK!!!

In the meantime, Happy weekend, and HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON!

(Kind of) Recent Eats:

(All of these photos are from my Instagram, @LaurRuns!)

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Salmon burger with romaine, avocado, pickled tomatoes, and lemon aioli on a multigrain bun from Union Street. As good as it sounds.

Continue reading “What I’ve Been Eating Lately”

Healthy Grocery Haul!

Hi guys!

It’s been ages since my last “Thursday Thoughts” post, and since it is Thursday and all, I thought it would be perfect to link up to Amanda’s “Thinking Out Loud” party again!

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This time, my thoughts actually are out loud, since I’ve decided to upload yet another video. I figured this is a quicker way to get some content on my blog, without having to write up a super long post (as you all know I like to do…).

I was planning to publish this video next week for a What I Ate Wednesday post since it’s all about the healthy foods I love to eat, but I just couldn’t resist putting it up a bit early 🙂

Continue reading “Healthy Grocery Haul!”

Crazy Hair, Crazy Me, and the Crazy Cool Jawbone Up!

Hi guys! Long time no talk, am I right?

I’m actually just popping in real quick today with a video… aka my first “real” vlog!

It features crazy hair, crazy me, and the crazy cool Jawbone Up! It’s not sponsored, and it’s nothing serious – it’s just something fun! 

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Without further adieu, here it is!

I’m off to get some midterm studying done, but hopefully I’ll be back on the blog soon.

In the mean time, you can always see what I’m up to on Instagram, and now, YouTube!

Have a good one!

xo’s

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WIAW: Guide to the Food of Florence

Happy Hump Day!

I hope you enjoyed my last post – I could not be happier to be back (on the blog, not as happy to be back from studying abroad, but that goes without saying).

I moved into my off campus apartment last Saturday (which also happened to be my 21st birthday!), and I am loving it. It’s a huge, updated apartment with a full kitchen, living room, 2 double bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms. I scored and got the “master” so my direct roommate and I also share a massive (like, embarrassingly huge) walk-in closet. I will definitely be sharing some pictures of my current digs after I’ve successfully updated you all on my abroad life. I hope you stay tuned for that!

I’m very busy with the new semester beginning and it’s back to reality with hard classes… After a semester of easy abroad classes, this full course load of upper level writing intensive communication classes and research paper heavy psych courses is like getting hit with a ton of bricks. Since I have some time before the real  assignments start rolling in, I figured I would get on here and share with you some of my fabulous eats in Italy! Thanks (as always) to Jenn for hosting this WIAW party!


I have about 1,000,001 food pictures from not only Florence (where I was living), but from everywhere I traveled. I don’t want to bore you with the world’s longest post of food photos (read: make you drool all over your keyboard), so I’ll start with some pictures of my favorite eats in Florence, and of course I will name drop the best restaurants in the city!

Let’s get to it!

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Gusta Pizza. Yes, at Gusta’s you can get your pizza in a heart shape if you’re cute ;). Just kidding, you have to ask. My favorite had mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, arugula, and parmesan. The parmesan brought it to a whole new level. Even if you can’t get to Florence or Gusta’s, try adding parm to any old pizza – you can thank me later.

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A whole wheat panino with sundried tomato, turkey, fresh tomato (Italy has the best tomatoes), and pesto spread from Gusta Panino. There are 3 restaurants (all owned by the same family) that boast  the Florence-famous name, “Gusta” – Gusta Pizza, Gusta Panino, and Gusta Osteria. If you’re ever in Florence, you will undoubtedly hear this name, and let me tell you, you need to try at least one of the three all three.

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Gusta Osteria has a great selection of meals for a really great price. I had the gorgonzola risotto with walnuts and arugula which was fabulous.

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Lo SchiacciaVino was our place. We became friends with the owners and workers, and literally went here for lunch or dinner every other day. It was even where we ate our very last meal in Florence – which speaks volumes. They have the most unbelievable tagliere, as well as perfect panini and salads with amazing bread. I want this right now.

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Oh, that would be a panino the size of my head. I believe All’Antico Vinaio is ranked #1 on TripAdvisor’s list of best restaurants in Florence, and it’s obvious why. The line is always super long from about noon to 3:30, but it moves fast and is so worth the wait. Their panini are massive and absolutely incredible. The bread is so fresh and thick, and the ingredients are unreal. We learned about halfway through the semester that you can order a “half” for 3.50 euro, and it’s still huge. Miss this place.

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La Prosciutteria was one of our favorite places for both lunch and dinner – we went at least twice a week. They have the best boards of meat, cheese, crostini, veggies and fruits, and their gorgonzola truffle spread is to die for (so naturally, I bought 2 jars of it to bring home). Their panini are also fantastic – so many fresh ingredients and the most delicious, salty bread. This was one of our go-to’s and I still crave it.

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As you can probably tell, we were slightly obsessed with tagliere (boards with meat, cheese, and crostini), and Note Di Vino – Enoteca Wine Bar was another one of our faves. The man who owns it is the best and prepares a unique plate for you, and then comes out and explains what everything is and how to go about eating it. It’s his art and I’m a huge fan.

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Salumeria Verdi (aka Pino’s). This is a cute panini shop owned by the sweetest man, Pino. He has a ton of options, or you can create your own sandwich, and he and his coworkers are the nicest people! So many students are regulars here, and for good reason. He also has a wine cellar where you can reserve a night to do the whole wine tasting experience – try too many wines paired with cheese, bread, and meats, learn how to drink them correctly (sight test, smell, swirl, swish, taste – the whole 9 yards), and basically just have a blast with friends.

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This is an “American style” panino with turkey, provolone, pesto, sundried tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar, plus a salad with avocado, tomato, pineapple, orange slices, and balsamic. Believe it or not, most places in Florence do not have pesto as a spread option, since it is not technically Tuscan, but rather it is from the region of Cinque Terra. While this was definitely not the best panini spot in Florence, The Oil Shoppe was one of our favorites because they offered about 75(ish) different sandwich and salad options, and you could always create your own, too. Yum!

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Brac is a tiny hole in the wall that my roommate and I stumbled upon one night. You need to make a reservation since there are so few tables, and keep in mind that the food is vegetarian and not traditional Italian by any means (so if you’re only in Florence for a couple days, I wouldn’t say this is a “must”). It’s modern and unique and a great place to change it up a bit if you’re not feeling the typical (yet delicious) pasta, pizza, or panino. I always ordered the plate where you pick 3 items from each section of the menu for 12 euro. My faves were the (much more fancier names that I cannot remember for the life of me) pumpkin & onion flatbread, veggies and rice, and avocado salad.

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My memory must be failing me because I cannot remember the name of this place, but the food was so good. I definitely wrote it down somewhere and will edit this post to add it if I find it, but it’s located right next to Volume in Piazza Santa Spirito. I only went here once but I would’ve gone back a lot more if we had more time. A friend and I split the pear pizza (oh my gosh – cheese and fruit are the best combo ever) and the “Queen” salad that had spinach, sundried tomatoes, shaved parmesan, slivered almonds, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Heaven.

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Osteria Santa Spirito is one of the most authentic Italian restaurants I think I’ve ever been to. The pasta is so fresh and perfect, and everything on the menu is amazing. Plus, it’s fairly cheap. You can also order half portions, aka try more than one of the many delicious options. I loved the classic tomato and basil spaghetti, and the risotto with zucchini was fabulous too. You can’t go wrong here.

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I had been hearing about Acqua Al 2 since probably day two in Florence, but since it is a bit more pricey, I saved it for when my parents came in late October. I had also heard to try the “samplers,” so my mom, dad, best friend, and I shared the salads, pastas (5 different crazy good dishes), and meat samplers. Everything was fantastic, but the meat stole the show, as I heard it would. The blueberry balsamic steak was to die for, as was the balsamic glaze steak. If you’re wanting some red meat or just an awesome meal, you need to go here.

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Another very pricey, yet worth every euro (especially if it’s your parents’ euro 😉 ), is La Giostra. You feel like a celebrity as soon as you walk into the small, dimly lit restaurant, mostly because there are pictures of celebs and politicians covering the walls. As soon as you sit, they bring complimentary Prosecco (sparkling white wine), and an appetizer plate. One of my professors had recommended the pear ravioli, so after making the tough decision (everything sounded so good), I went with it for my meal. It looks like nothing in the picture, but it was actually a good size, very rich, and so. freaking. good.

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On my parents’ last night in Florence, we went to a place I had been recommended by so many people – not just in Florence but in multiple places throughout my travels. Even a guy in London told my friends and I we had to try Trattoria 4 Leoni. Everyone told us to try the pear ravioli here as well, so I didn’t even look at the menu. It was unreal – perfectly sweet and savory, and just the right portion (although I would’ve happily eaten more even after I was in a food coma).

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La Buchetta was a late discovery, and I’m pretty bummed about that. We happened upon it one night late in the semester when we were starving and wanted to try something new. The first time we went we had a board of prosciutto, salami, and cheeses, which was good but nowhere near as good as the homemade pastas. It may not look pretty, but they bring it out in scalding tin foil and unwrap it like a present in front of you. The ravioli with eggplant, zucchini, and parmesan was probably the best pasta dish I have ever had. I got it at least three more times and I wish I knew all that was in it so I could attempt to recreate it at home.

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Aperitivo is one of the best things in Europe – I wish we did it in America! You order a drink for 7 or 8 euro and then you’re free to go to the buffet as many times as you want! My favorite places for this were KitschSoul KitchenMoyo, and Biblioteca delle Oblate (yes the school library had a rooftop that was a cafe/live entertainment/bar in the evenings…what a different life they live over there!).

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Oh yes, The Secret Bakery. This place was not really a “secret” since just about every abroad student raved about it, but oh my gosh, it was worth the hype. It would “open” around 1 AM every night and drunk students would make their way to the secret door by simply tracing the aromatic path of Nutella croissants and cream filled pastries. You would stand in line behind obnoxious college students and wait until the door opened, say the number of “goods” you wanted, and pay 1 euro for each one. I know that sounds like the sketchiest thing in the world, but we’re pretty sure it’s a bakery for other cafes that are open by day, and not some creepy place like it sounds (since locals and nearby restaurant owners know about it). I believe there are a few locations throughout the city, so I suggest you follow your nose if you ever find yourself out in the streets of Florence after midnight.

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If you like chai lattes, gorgeous cappuccinos (in flavors like hazelnut, french vanilla, and cinnamon), and you ever find yourself in Firenze, you need to go to ChiaroScuro. The chai lattes are made with the frothiest, creamiest steamed milk, and sprinkled with loads of cinnamon. It is literally heaven in a cup and puts Starbucks to shame.

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Gelato was essentially an everyday occurrence in Italy. My favorite flavors, you ask? Nutella, pistachio, biscotti (Italy’s 100x better version of cookies & cream), coffee, brown sugar, hazelnut, banana, and mixed berry. My favorite gelaterias, you ask? Gelateria de Neri, and La Carraia, although honesty, I did not discriminate.


Is anyone else starving?

Anyway, that’s all I have for you today, but I will be back soon with more European eats, abroad adventures, and much more!

xo’s

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Could Not Have Picked a Better Place

Well, hello, hello! Or should I say “Ciao!”

It has been quite some time since we last spoke… Too long, in fact!

As some of you may know, I spent the semester abroad in Florence, Italy! It was the trip of a lifetime, and one that I really wish I could have brought you along for (as I had planned :/).

Unfortunately (or should I say, “fortunately”), I was craaazy busy with exploring Florence, taking classes, and traveling all around Europe. It was a truly incredible, life-changing experience that I am beyond grateful for.

That said, having such a jam-packed schedule (in the best way possible) meant the first thing I had to let go of was blogging. I was devastated to have to do this since this would have been the perfect place to document the amazing ride I was on.

Luckily, not posting on here certainly did not mean I forgot about my blog, or all the exciting changes I was ready to make to it! Noooo sir. Throughout the four months I spent in Europe, I journaled about my adventures, continued writing ideas for posts (lots of WIAWs!), and took a gazillion pics (for my own albums and to share with family and friends, but also to share with you guys)! Oh, and I don’t know if you noticed, but I did manage to Instagram quite a bit! 

So, even though I wasn’t able to update you on all my trips and daily happenings as I had dreamed about doing (and still wish I could’ve done)…

I am  b a c k  and ready to tell you  a l l  about it!!

So get ready, because it’s about to get a whole lot more fabulous around here. (Did you miss my cheesiness? No? Didn’t think so…😉)

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                 Back home, and ready to fill you in!

Anywho, to start off I’m actually zooming ahead to my final week in Florence. The following post is a reflection piece I wrote for a class about my experience as a whole right before leaving in mid-December. Since being home, I changed it to the past tense, since I am obviously no longer there :(.

Without further adieu, I hope you enjoy this slightly different version of What I Ate Wednesday! As always, thank you Jenn for hosting – I am so glad to be back at the party!

Stay tuned for more abroad recaps – there is plenty more food, Florence (+ 8 other countries!) photos, fashion, and fun stories where this came from!


“Ciao belle! Panini, insalate, or tagliere per tre tonight?”

“Tagliere per tre, grazie mille!”

We partook in this (almost) daily dialogue as we stepped foot into our favorite restaurant in Florence, where we were known as “the girls who laugh,” “the girls who drink wine,” and “the girls who eat a lot.” I guess those aren’t the worst things to be called, right?

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After walking past the newly refurbished, adorably decorated front counter where they cut delicious dried meats, assemble gorgeous plates of crostini and assorted cheeses, and create flavorful panini and salads, they gave us our usual “half liter of red, to start” and we headed to our typical table in the cozy back room.

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We took our seats, poured the wine, and the conversation began the way that it had every night that week. One of us said how we all felt: “I’m actually going to cry. How is this already over?”

As it neared the end of our time in Florence, Italy, we couldn’t stop wondering how we were supposed to leave when we’d been in pure bliss for the past four months.

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As we dove into our perfectly crafted plate of prosciutto, salami, aged pecorino, honey, crostini, and fresh bread, we began recapping some of the highlights of our abroad experience. The wine flowed, and so did the conversation as we shifted from discussing our hilarious memories and amazing travels to describing the things we love about Florence.

In less than one week, we’d have no choice but to pack our bags, a dreaded task that we knew would be done with lumps in our throats and tears in our eyes.

We liked to think that we always took the time to truly soak in our surroundings, but now that the days abroad were dwindling, doing so was more important than ever. The already vibrant place felt even more alive as we noticed every sight, sound, smell, taste, and detail of the spectacular city we spent the semester in.

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From the grandeur of the Duomo, to the breathtaking view from Piazzale Michelangelo, to the bustling Signoria Square, to the quiet side streets and family owned artisan workshops, the sights of Florence are a feast for the eyes.

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From the talented street musicians covering classics in Piazza Santa Croce, to the thousands of tourists speaking their native tongues, to the rush of crazy vespa drivers, to the clinking of wine glasses and forks on dishes, the sounds of Florence produce timeless music to the ears.

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From the pervasive fragrance of freshly baked cannoli and biscotti in nearby bakeries, to the whiff of strong espresso shots on cafe counters, to the floral aroma of Chianti Classico, to the sweet scent of nutella crepes and tiramisù ready to be devoured, the smells of Florence make every mouth water.

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From the perfect fresh tomatoes and basil atop homemade pastas, to the overwhelming flavor selection of creamy organic gelato, to the delectable aged cheeses and savory meats, to the full-bodied Brunello di Montalcino reds and crisp San Gimignano whites, the tastes of Florence are the best in the world.

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As we ate the last piece of bread and sipped the last drop of wine, we looked at our empty plates and felt that disappointed, yet satisfied feeling you get after finishing something delicious.

In just one week’s time, when we’d zip up our suitcases and close the door to our apartment, we knew we’d look back at the Ponte Vecchio and feel that sad, yet content feeling you get after ending something incredible.

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After our routine shot of limoncello with “our boys,” we started the walk home feeling melancholy that the meal we looked forward to all day was over, yet pleased about our choice for dinner.

We could not have picked a better place to be regulars.

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We knew that after we’d make our way through the narrow streets of Florence to the airport, we’d begin the journey back to America feeling heavy-hearted that this picture-perfect adventure was complete, yet happy about our decision to study abroad, and eternally grateful for getting the opportunity to do so.

We could not have picked a better place to call our home.

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Exciting News…

Remember how I promised (and Instagrammed, and tweeted…) that I would be writing a “How to Pack” post?!

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Instagram @ FuelingFab

Well….

At 9:00 AM this (Monday) morning, I am finally fulfilling that promise.

The piece I’ve been working on since the ‘Washington DC trip that wasn’t” (at least something good came of it, right?!) will be posted on one of my favorite blogs…

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(If you don’t follow Chelsea’s blog already, where have you been?! get on it!)

She’s away on vacation (I know, aren’t you jealous?!), so it’s a pretty apropos topic, don’t ya think?

Anyway, I’m super excited to share it with you guys, as well as Chelsea’s audience! It’s always such an honor to be able to be a tiny part of a blog I read every day.

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I’m not excited or anything…

If you find yourself looking like a total diva carrying (aka struggling with) too many heavy bags (yes, that has been me), or even if you just want a few tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years (and over this summer’s trips to NYC, Cape Cod, and back to the Cape), head on over to Chelsea’s blog!

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I just hope I’m not eating my words about how I “finally got hang of it” as I begin packing for my semester in Italy..

As always, don’t be afraid to leave a comment there (and/or back here so I see it right away 🙂 ). I’d love to hear some of your tried and true tips for packing light because…

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…let’s face it, no one wants to be that girl. ^

Have a marvelous Monday!

I know I’m a bit late to the party, but these were my thoughts this past Thursday as I finalized my post for Chelsea. Thanks Amanda, as always, for hosting ‘Thinking Out Loud‘ each week 🙂

xo’s

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If you want to connect and see even more fitness, fashion, food, and fun, follow me on Twitter and Instagram @ FuelingFab!


PS – I’m not happy about this, but as you’ve probably noticed I’ve been sort of MIA on here lately. I’ve been working up a storm at J.Crew before I’m done for the summer, as well as running around like a mad woman as I get ready to leave for Europe in less than 2 weeks(!!!).

I love blogging and as you know, I have a ton of ideas and exciting, positive changes coming (aka becoming self-hosted, changing the title, etc).

That said, as I’m sure you understand, leaving the country for 4 months takes a lot of prep, and then I’ll be quite busy getting acclimated, exploring, taking classes, and enjoying my study abroad experience.

I definitely plan to document my travels (helllllo – Italian food, fashion, ((probably not so much fitness but maybe?)), and fun all over Europe?!), so I hope you stick around and come along for the ride. I’ll be sharing my daily adventures (plus my outfits, eats, and, ya know, all that good stuff) on here, as well as on Instagram!

So buckle up, sit tight, and join me on this journey, because it’s about to get a LOT more fabulous. 😉