Italy Travel Blog

The Pantheon!

Ciao bella!

My fiancé and I just spent the most magical 10 days in Italy, experiencing the history of Rome, the calm of the countryside, and Florence’s charm. We were invited to attend a friend’s wedding in the Marche region and thought it would be a great opportunity to visit a country that was truly foreign to us. I spent months researching everything I could; reading foodie blogs, watching travel vlogs, and basically studying Google maps any chance I got (I expected my sense of direction to be way better than it was.) I’m hoping that my experience can be helpful to others who are planning a similar trip, as I’m so grateful for those who blogged before me. We spent 3 nights in Rome, 2 nights in Fossombrone, and 3 nights in Florence. Please enjoy this chronological retelling of our Italian vacation.

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        I just saw a young woman in CVS giving herself a makeover with the drug store products. I was in awe of her utter lack of inhibition, her complete abandon when it came to all matters public and grooming. There she stood on aisle 8, applying direct from a fresh tube, coat after coat of blackest black mascara. Normally, I find this type of behavior disgusting. Social decorum not only prevents us all from becoming literal monsters, but encourages me to participate in an over-populated city. This instance was special, however. Continue reading

And What do You Do?

      I have a nasty habit. I measure success by accomplishments over time. Jobs, gigs, accolades. Each one propelling me further into adulthood, bringing me closer to my professional goals. Five years ago (yesterday), I was crowned Miss New York USA. That was a big one on the timeline of my life. I set a very difficult, seemingly uncharacteristic goal for myself and accomplished it. From there, the next five years were spent crafting a cable news career and then leaving said career to pursue my real passion – acting. Sometimes, when I feel a bit stalled or behind where I’d like to be, I remember just how much I’ve accomplished over time. How things I never anticipated or planned happening did, and how I’m so much better for it all.  Continue reading

Audial Nostalgia

I once had an older co-worker tell me that the person you are at 28 is pretty much the person you’re going to be for the rest of your life. Your likes and dislikes will stay constant from that point forward.

Why? My 20 year old self asked.

Because, he answered, your taste in music is no longer changing, so neither really are you.

At the time, I thought he was crazy. What does that even mean? And what does music have to do with personal evolution?

Everything. It has everything to do with who you are. And I know this now, because I am turning 28 in less than a month. Continue reading

My Cousin Donny

So I just watched “My Cousin Vinny” for the first time last week. I know. Crazy that it took me so long! What’s better than a film with Marisa Tomei, the Karate Kid, and heavy New York accents? Not much. Except maybe one of my elaborate metaphors that equates today’s GOP bro-battle to this early 90’s courtroom comedy.

That’s right. I’m. About. To go there.

Donald Trump is Joe Pesci. He’s the outsider. The big talker. The guy who has a style all his own, with the kind of deluded self-confidence you wish you had. He’s there to clean up the mess. Continue reading

“The Bachelor” Rapture

Tomorrow it all begins again. The butterflies, anxiety, excessive drinking, bloating, and emotional hangovers.

Otherwise known as, “The Bachelor” Season 20.

Now, I’m really not a cult-tv watcher. I don’t fill the DVR with “my shows” or host weekly viewing parties of the latest scripted series, but I am totally into “The Bachelor.”

I find reality t.v. to be somewhat relaxing. After spending hours each day reading through news articles and carefully crafting colorful talking points, the last thing I want to do when I get home is work on following a plot line.

Thankfully, “The Bachelor” is a show that not only thinks for you, but clearly points out each season’s villain, town drunk, class clown, and princess. All while carefully editing to clue you in to exactly who will be the last 4-6 women standing in stylish stilettos.

Even better, in a world where terror is a real threat and social issues confront us at every corner, “The Bachelor” is an isolated bubble of optimism and intrigue. It’s as simple as boy meets girl and girl and girl and so on.

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Back-To-School Barbarism

Ah yes. Back to School. Summer is coming to an end which means we will soon see the re-birth of Ugg boots, pumpkin flavored everything, and news stories that coat campuses in a veneer of victim-hood.

The outrage has started early this year, even before the first sip of pumpkin-spice latte could touch consumers’ lips. Fraternities are …wait for it… fraternizing with their schools’ newest students.(Read article here.) Many have been photographed hanging signs and sheets outside their homes, welcoming freshman women to campus in a special block calligraphy that can only belong to an adolescent male. While I appreciate their attempt at crafting, this is certainly not a project that the brothers picked up on Pinterest.

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Can Women be Funny? (funny haha)

Former Disney CEO, Michael Eisner, recently commented that finding a beautiful AND funny woman is a rarity.

I find the concept of this duality to be fascinating, because I just might agree with him.

  Now of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I think talent and confidence are the most attractive qualities in a woman. But for argument’s sake, if we’re considering Hollywood’s beauty standards, most funny females have “unconventional” or “quirky” looks. You don’t often find a hilarious heroine.
    And here’s my theory as to why:

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Invest in Your Community.

For those of you who may not know me so well, I am a huge advocate for the arts and arts education. I think that a kid who can get on stage and do some sort of performance, can truly do anything.
For the past 3 years, I have been working with an amazing non-profit called The All Stars Project. Over the last few decades, the All Stars have touched thousands of lives by focusing on youth and community development through performance — especially in inner-city areas of New York. Their outlook is this, life is full of performances. The way you perform with your friends is different from the way you perform in the classroom or at a job interview. It’s this sort of education, paired with cosmopolitan experiences that help kids become “performers” who might not thrive otherwise.

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