Little Ol’ Me Traveled to Italy

Yes, we’re in Rome – finally! I’m already missing Amsterdam for several reasons, but nothing compares to my excitement for a new adventure.

Traveling Here Was a Bit of a Pain in the Ass

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The Night of No Sleep

Let’s flash back to February 3rd when I shut my laptop after finishing the last post. Shan and I headed into the city center one last time to say goodbye to the friends we made at our favorite bar, Café het Dwarsliggertje.

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Lucas, Shan, me & Razvan

I didn’t drink because I knew we had to leave our apartment in Zuid at 4 am to catch our plane at 7 am – our airline sent us an email warning of congestion at airport security (ugh) so we had to get there extra early. That didn’t stop Lucas and Razvan from pouring us tall Heinekens! It’s not easy refusing free beer in Amsterdam…Shan was polite and drank a few.

Hours of conversation and listening to ABBA flew by and before we knew it, it was 00:10 – we had to catch the last metro to Zuid at Centraal Station by 00:30 🙃 Damn the person who stole my phone – that was my watch, too!

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Day or night, Centraal is a beaut

The rickety and slow tram #4 took forever to get to the station and of course we missed the last metro. Our passes weren’t valid for the night bus, which is an alternative way to get to Zuid, so ya girls took a $35 Über to get to the apartment (am I supposed to hate Über? oops). It was 1 am by the time we got back – mind you, we still had to clean the place to leave it in decent condition.

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Somehow we scrubbed everything and shoved our belongings into our suitcases. Three hours later we were at the airport and off we went.

Arriving in Roma

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From the Fiumicino Airport we bussed to Termini Station (half the price of taking the Leonardo Express train), which is around where our Airbnb is located. We walked a half hour with our tiny-but-heavy suitcases to the house I’m writing this from.

The first thing I noticed about the streets was not people laughing while eating pasta and drinking wine in cute outdoor restaurants, but spray paint…everywhere. And trash. I didn’t take any pics of it but I’ll surely have to so I can show you what I mean.

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My face walking out of Termini seeing graffiti and garbage

I was kind of disappointed, honestly. Though I kept telling myself to erase all expectations of our destinations, I had Rome on a picture-perfect pedestal thanks to Lizzie McGuire and every other movie that puts a filter on this city.

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That means you too, Mary-Kate and Ashley

I was definitely getting ahead of myself because I’d yet to see the city center, and I’m the genius who decided to Eurotrip in the middle of gloomy winter.

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I’ve realized that I need to wait a while before throwing my hands in the air and becoming flustered – new places take time to adjust to. I’m in freakin’ ROME. ROMA. ITALIA. EUROPA. UNA FANTASTICA VACANZA, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!

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Relatable Song of the Moment

This one’s an oldie but a goodie. Though the message is about soaking life into your soul and not through the camera lens, I can’t help but hum this when I reach into my pocket for my non-existent phone every time I want to snap a quick pic. I’m telling myself there’s a silver lining to not having a computer in my hand every second of the day #NoCameraPhone #NoChoice

Shoutout Time 🕣

I’d like to take a minute to shoutout two people I couldn’t live without – Shaun aka Kreayshaun Ondabeatz & Julie aka my boyfriend aka Joolay. I miss the days I’d wake up and run with a blanket over my head into your beds to talk about life or ice cream or whatever was the most important thing going on that day. I miss you both and you are the Gordo & Miranda to my Lizzie 😘  #baci

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Overall, Rome has been quite the ride so far. I’ll be posting about my first trip to the city center along with all of the other great experiences we’re having. Stay tuned!

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A Moment of Mindfulness

Here’s your moment of mindfulness while I reflect on mine:

(It’s a 360 video)

I’m starting to connect the dots between the moving parts in my life.

I used to try to think that everything was connected, and that everything happens for a reason. I’ve read books, exhausted mantras, and begged for signs. Little did I know the energy was aligning itself around me this whole time.

What sparked this sudden appreciation for the universe? Awareness…”duh” moments.

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I got a message from my friend David this evening. A simple “sup man” spiraled me into word-vomit typing fueled by inspiration. A puzzle piece found its home in my brain. Another synapse secured.

David makes music, and he’s been at it for about a year now. By making a conscious effort to refine his talent, and learning how to translate from beats his head to the world, he’s gotten so freakin’ good at it. I’m so happy nothing has stopped him from getting better at what he loves to do.

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Shoutout to Molly Dupont

The “duh” moment came when I recalled a scenario from earlier today. Shan tasked me with picking songs for one of our ever-so-fun YouTube videos and I tried my best to choose ones that made sense. Music is the most important complement to the visuals – it’s not easy to find a song that communicates the vibe we feel we’re while in awe. It’s calm and exciting all at the same time, like a bath bomb. I don’t know anyone who can capture that essence better than David. I can’t wait to share our new mixture of media with you.

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All in all, the more energy you spend on making your dreams come true, the stronger your dreams will be attracted to you.

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We Said Goodbye :(

The picture we took a half-second later is when my mom started crying.

I’m writing from the backseat of Shannon’s dad’s car listening to Shannon talk about how she knows Barcelona like the back of her hand. We’re en route to the airport: Newark, NJ, USA ➡️ Amsterdam, North Holland, NL


My mind is somewhere else, though. It’s back home in Cheshire wrapped in my mom’s arms in the kitchen full of my luggage.

I can’t believe we’re on our way. The day finally arrived to get on the plane (which is already delayed by a half hour, by the way). I’m trying not to freak out by keeping my mind busy, and that’s half the reason why I’m writing this post. My tummys tumbling all over the highway.

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My adorable Mama and I.

To all of our readers who have followed up until this point, and the ones who are just dropping in…get ready for a major shift. This day marks the start of a transformation – one I will try my best to share with you. These posts are for you. This is where I need your help.

What do you want to know? What parts of this experience am I neglecting to record? What are you excited to hear about once this thing is in full swing? I’d appreciate your input to make this blog one worth following in the future 😁

For now, I’ll try to keep my iced coffee down in Mr. O’Connor’s Acura.

Being American AF.

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Overwhelmed Doesn’t Even Begin to Describe It

In less than 48 hours I’ll be on the plane.

My room is still a disaster, but I’ve had no choice but to begin organizing it. My mom is helping and Brittany’s been hanging around making weird noises, so I guess it’s not so bad.

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Britt in her natural Snapchabitat.

I can’t stop thinking about last night.

I have never felt the strange combination and force of feelings like I did while I was with the people that mean the most to me (who were in Connecticut). Oblivious me thought I was going on a dinner date with my best friend Julie, and to my surprise I walked into a room with my some of favorite people on this earth…and they were there for me.


Sneaky, sneaky Julie plotted the entire evening consisting of dinner at the Vic House, a popular Cheshire spot, and cake back at my place…meaning my parents and sisters were in on it the whole time! I don’t know why, but I thought they’d be worse at keeping surprises a secret.

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Me and Julie ❤

Every single moment of it was perfect, and I even have a souvenir to show for it. Courtney, my soul sister since birth, made a journal with some old pictures of us and had everyone sign it. I haven’t read it yet because I already cried enough yesterday for the entire weekend.


These are my people right here in this picture. They are the ones who squeezed me goodbye with their support osmosising into my tear ducts. These are the ones I’m going to miss so incredibly much.

Thankful doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel towards them. I don’t know what I did to deserve such a loving bunch of weirdos, but I’ll try to keep it up in my journeys ahead.

I love you all with all my heart. Thank you for making this difficult. 😉

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“Hold On” – Alabama Shakes

I’m sitting in my cluttered room listening to the likable blues rock band called Alabama Shakes. The featured song is one that my sister Brittany and I enjoy belting in the car, which we just did on our way back from the pet store in Wallingford. We cherished a beautiful half hour with a Weimaraner named Jade.

Jade was a wittle sweepy 😴

So yeah, I put off cleaning up the tornado of a bedroom I’m living out of for another week…and the car that has my summer clothes thrown all over the backseat because they were in a garbage bag that ripped back in October – that’s how lazy I am. I moved out of my house into my parents’, and I’m being resistant.

Song change:

As terrible as it sounds, I don’t want to tie up my loose ends here. I don’t want to say goodbye to people over dinner or a drink or a tight-squeeze of a hug. I’ve learned that I’m really bad at goodbyes, so I’d rather just not do them in the first place. Nobody should take that personally, I just don’t like being sad.

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I still don’t know what perfectly prepared looks like on paper, all I know is that I’m not it. Is anyone ever ready to take on a new adventure? All I feel is the knot in my stomach that’s reacting to the doubt whispering in my ear that’s telling me this could be a huge mistake.

In a sense, I went and fucked up my whole life…not necessarily in a bad way, but I pointed out the biggest pieces of foundation and I ripped them out of the ground. There’s rubble everywhere, and I’m being forced to clean up the literal mess that I’ve created for myself.

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What if somedays I don’t feel like dealing with this massive thing I’ve plopped on my to-do list for an indefinite amount of time? I’ve signed myself up for a struggle I can only tackle when I feel like I have the ability to, which will force me to find strength in unfamiliar places. I can no longer hide from my responsibilities. I can no longer choose to feel small when I have an endless amount of tasks to complete. There’s no more room for feeling sorry for myself.

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I’m someone who draws power from the people I love that love me back. I want to focus on ways to keep connected with those who are fueling me even before I leave, like a Flat Stanley-type idea, for example, where myself and my support network will stay close in our hearts no matter the physical distance between us…and then we can Instagram it, of course.


While wrapping up that last paragraph, somebody rang our doorbell. My dad answered and I heard a familiar voice saying my name…it was my friend Steph‘s dad and he had an envelope in his hands. He handed it to me as he said “Steph is in Hawaii so she isn’t able to say goodbye to you and she wanted me to give you this.” Inside were exactly the words I needed to hear from such a dear friend.

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Steph, if you’re reading this, I want you to know how lucky I am to have you in my life. You and I have been friends since God-knows-when and I know we will continue to be rooting each other on for the rest of our lives. Thank you for considering me even while you’re exploring freakin’ Hawaii…I hope you can come visit and show me around the places you went to while you were in A’dam. I love you ❤️ & hope you have an awesome trip!

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Man, I am feeling thankful.

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Recharged and Running Out of Time

Christmas Eve:

I spent a few minutes talking with my cousin, Justin, who had been to Amsterdam a few years back to visit his lifelong friend who has lived there for years. He suggested that the two of us get in touch once I arrive. This way I could hear her story, bounce any questions off of her that I might have, and anything else that can happen when you meet someone new whose willing to lend some advice.

A few more minutes of Justin and I chatting revealed that his friend works at a radio station. My jaw dropped when I heard this – broadcasting is what I am pursuing! She has successfully transitioned into the life that I desire for myself, and I have a mutual connection with this person! Leads like this are gifts from the universe…there’s no other way I could describe the chances of this being real. I want the universe to know that I am extremely grateful and I will not waste this opportunity. I will cherish it completely.

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Me reppin’ my 16 Thoughts Down Cigna podcast swag.

Christmas Day:

In between the food, laughs, and home videos of this past weekend, I snuck in some episodes of Anthony Bourdain in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Sicily. My appetite for adventure is fully recharged and I’m once again reminded of my motivations for leaving my beautiful, predictable life behind.

Watch Bourdain’s episode of The Layover in “Amsterdam”

A few things I really liked about this episode, aside from Anthony’s questionably sarcastic remarks about indulging in weed, include the following:

The authenticity of an easy day in Amsterdam

It starts with some social sips of coffee, which bleeds into hopping around to other types of coffee shops 😉, then walking or sitting around the streets and canals, and ends with the bar scene where everyone’s got a beer in hand. Now I can see why this city is expensive…but damn do these people know how to live life to the fullest.

The food, obviously

The closer I get, the more intrigued I am over what I’m going to be eating in less than two weeks. Since beginning to poke around on the Internet, and shown in this show, I’m very eager to try:

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  • Stroopwafels
  • Raw herring, weirdly enough
  • Indonesian cuisine (never had it)
  • Dutch coffee

Here are some other popular foods in Amsterdam.

How easily I can picture myself there

Riding a bike, diving into a sensory deprivation tank (which I totally want to try), strolling the streets, admiring the architecture, and meeting all walks of life in a place I’ll soon be comfortable maneuvering…I can see myself doing all of this. It excited me to see the shops I’ll be visiting, the park I’ll find myself lying in…I can’t explain how I feel right now without getting lost in daydreaming.

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I’ll share with you my theme song for the moment. I always feel something new every time I listen to it, for every time it means something more.

I can’t wait to craft my own content about exploring Amsterdam the right way.

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SO Ready for This Weekend

Shan and I are a part of a Special Olympics volleyball league in Cheshire, Connecticut, USA.

It’s our second year doing it. We practice every Wednesday from October through mid-November to prep for our final tournament, which is going down this weekend. It includes a series of 15-minute games, lunch, and an award ceremony…but the real reasons we do it are for the camaraderie, laughs, true sportsmanship, and to have FUN of course!

We’d like to give you a peek into one of our practices.

No matter what happens after a serve or a volley, we always encourage each other to try our best and harder the next time. I can honestly say I’ve never been accepted quite like I am at Special Olympics. Whether we know each other really well or not, we’re all in it for the right reasons – that’s all that matters. The good vibes make it totally worth it.

When’s the last time you tried something new that turned out to be better than you expected?

✌🏼

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Quick pic of me & our friend Zesty ridin’ dirty.

8 Steps To Writing the Facebook Invite Your Friends Will Go Nuts Over

Whether it’s your first or your hundredth FB-official gala, you’re here because you want to write the ultimate Facebook event invite. Anticipation is key, so when the big night comes you can kick back, relax, and soak it all in.

1. Start with the picture. 

Facebook has plenty of generic party backgrounds that are totally lame and will not suffice to draw your guests in. The go-to move is usually a pic of an adorable animal wearing some sort of festive outfit. If you can’t find one to fit your theme, a plain ole cute animal works just fine.

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Who doesn’t love this?

2. Make it as funny as you can.

Nothing sets the tone for a big night like words that resemble the hilarious ones that slip out when you’re tipsy. Talk to your friends the way you would if they were showing up at the party…let them know you’ll be happy to see them! Start off with something you would greet people with if you were showing up to a room full of these people.

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3. Tell them what’s really up.

Are you supplying alcohol or is it BYOB? Where should people park? Is there a theme?

Also, can people sleep over? If so, should they bring blankets and pillow? Getting the heads up so allows your guests plan on getting a car or designating a DD. Have at least some room for people to pass out if they really want to experience the party. If not, your friends might find a place where they can.

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Most importantly, don’t let anyone be a moron and drink and drive!

5. Send it out at least one month in advance.

Once you’ve got your date, time, and amusing message, hit send on that baby. Commitments are a real thing, and they can suck when you want your friends to come through. Otherwise their other friends will snatch up their weekend before you had the chance to let them know about your party.

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6.  Delegate.

After you’ve given your guests time to decide if they’re coming, figure out who’s bringing what. 10 times out of 10, your true friends are going to offer to make something. If not, try to seed out that one person to be voluntold they’re making an app.

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Try using that volunteer as an example by posting in the FB event saying: “Julie’s bringing fried mac & cheese balls…if you want to bring something, you totally can.” Try to take inventory because people get hungry when they’re drunk, and with that being the case, human portions are no longer relevant. Knowing this is key to feeding the other people who only showed up with booze.

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7. Check in before the party.

A few nights before the par-tay, send another quick note saying how excited you are for your friends to come over, and to remind people to give you the heads up on the things you asked of them.

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Make sure to have fun at your party!

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8. When it’s all over, thank everyone for coming.

A sure way to get people to come to the next shindig is to let them know how much it meant to you that they chose to spend their night at your place.

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Sunday Feelz 10.23

We’re sitting in my living room eating buffalo dirt wings from J. Timothy’s (the ABSOLUTE best around).

We’ve gone through 3 bottles of champagne at this point and it’s still not enough. It’s Shan, me, and Alex (click on her website to find out who we’re talking about*).

*Do it because we’re gonna mention her a lot.

**A LOT.

Have you ever stood at a package store register with 5 minutes to make a transaction before legal close? Ugh, the terror.

I want to let the world know how grateful I am for friends to come over and jam on our keyboards together, making websites rather than music…for sitting outside with me to let me to draw with chalk in the good company of others…for letting me listen to “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” for the millionth time today.

We’re also listening to “Make a Man Out of You” from the Mulan soundtrack. Westworld to follow…after Shan gets her fix of Walking Dead. “Who the fuck did Lucille kill?”

Happy Sunday Funday, y’all.

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Side note: J. Tims is always responsive on social media. They play back and they know they have excellent wings and they flaunt it. I appreciate honesty in the people I’m giving money to as I gorge down their merchandise. Check them out and see whatsup.
Super side note: You’ll see/hear me talk about J. Tims a lot while I’m in the U.S. -THEY ARE THE BEST! It’s my favorite wing spot in the world and I haven’t even left CT yet.

I’ve yet to see the world…ahhh…what a wonderful feeling to be hungry for.

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