Sunday, November 22, 2015

'Tis the Season for Great Gifts!

Hello love!

Since I'm in Ireland this semester, Christmas has been in full swing since November 1st. Christmas lightings galore, ugly sweaters and tons of holiday drinks have filled up my month- and I am 100% ok with that!

Although all the above things are fun, I think my favorite part of the season is giving gifts. The best feeling is when you find the one; the epitome of a perfect gift and you can barely contain your excitement when you give it to someone.

Here's a list of thing I've found while searching the web recently. This list may seem a bit early... I'm just really, really excited ok?

Think Cards Against Humanity meets Pictionary. You and your friends can give each other artsy tattoos, without having them on your body forever. Perfect for the game lover, hipster, tattoo fanatic in your life.

Giselle Phone Wallet & Wristlet, $20, Francesca's

I hate carrying around a bag so this wristlet is perfect because it holds only the essentials: phone, cards, cash. This wristlet fits up to an iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy 5. With 4 colors to choose from, you'll have no problem finding one that matches your friend's style.

Woman Fleece- Lined Skirt $29.90, Uniqlo

Thought of girls everywhere: why wasn't this invented sooner?! This piece is a triple threat: a skirt,  a scarf, and a blanket. Need I say more?

I’m in Your Camp Cutlery Set, $14.99, ModCloth

Perfect for the friend that is always on the go. Travel light on your next adventure without sacrificing style and convenience.

'Ice Cream Is Cheaper Than Therapy' Ice Cream Pint Huggy, $10, Nordstrom

Essential for Ben and Jerry nights. Design Ideas created 3 different designs- all just as sweet as your icecream.

What's on your holiday wishlist? Let me know!

With love,

Monday, November 16, 2015

My Trip to Santorini, Greece


Finally here's a post about my 10 day break. I am slacking SO hard. It's been back to reality with school, planning an art event in Dublin and finding last minute things to do before I leave Ireland, sadly, for good. 

I'm trying not think about the last part.

In a way, putting this off until now allows me to reminisce my trip even more. It's only been a few weeks, but I'm itching to go back to Santorini.

Santorini is a Greek island famous for its blue domes and post card worthy sunsets. It is also home to the lost city Akrotiri and famous for Ouzo.  Another Santorini gem? Their olive oil and balsamic. My roommates and I tasted some while out shopping and all three of us fell in love instantly. Shipping bottles of this beautiful pairing back to our houses was very tempting albeit expensive.

I traveled to Santorini with my roommates Kara and Nicole. After our 3 day stay, our adventures continued in Athens, Rome and Positano. We dubbed our 10 day trip the "roomie moon." As Pinterest suggests Santorini and Positano are two of the biggest honey moon destinations. 

This trip was the first time any of us had ever used Airbnb and I was pleasantly surprised with our luck. Our Airbnb was right in the heart of Kamari. We were just a few minutes from all the shops and had a private walkway to the beach. Talk about an ideal location. I cannot praise our Airbnb host Giannis enough. He and his wife made us feel like family. They took us out to dinner, gave us a tour of the island and made sure we were safe! (A wonderful thing for my parents to hear)

When we weren't with Giannis, we took the bus to the towns of Fira and Oia for tons of shopping- you have to get souvenirs somewhere, right? and to watch the famous and coveted sunset. Getting around Santorini was so easy. The bus was only 1.80 euro and the schedule was easy to follow!

We joked that we brought Ireland's rainy weather with us, for most days were overcast with showers here and there. This may be part of the reason why Oia's sunset wasn't as vibrant as  it's known to be. While still beautiful, the star of the show had to be the moon rising. It brought beautiful vibrant purples, pinks and blues to the sky. I have never seen something so stunning!

Words can't effectively describe how beautiful Santorini is. I can see why it's a popular Summer spot. However, between you and me, going in the off season is even more special. At times it felt like Kara, Nicole and I had the island to ourselves! 

3 days was the perfect amount of time in Santorini. Everyone was so charming; I've never met nicer people! 

Greek food was also fantastic (Should I have even been surprised?) Saganaki puts any other cheese dish to shame and I'm now a firm believer that tzatziki can be put on just about anything.

I truly wouldn't change a thing. Alright, maybe I would have taken some extra baklava for the trip home...

With love,

Monday, November 9, 2015

4 Things to Know Before Flying Ryan Air

This past month I have had my fair share of flights. There's just so much to do, so much to see. (Cue Allstar by Smash mouth)

 A great deal of my travels were done through Ryan Air.

Ryan Air is a big airline carrier in Europe known for its extremely low prices. It's a no frills flying option and because of this there's a few catches. Whether you're a student abroad or looking for an affordable family trip here's some things you need to know before you book a flight with Ryan Air:

1. Checked baggage
No one wants to check baggage while flying. It's a hassle! When you get to your gate, Ryan Air staff will check you in;look at your ticket, passport and your luggage. If your luggage looks too big they will forcefully make you pay up 50 euro to check your bag without any explanation. You must fight them on this; there's a "see if it fits" kiosk (for lack of knowledge regarding the actual terminology) that can actually hold quite a bit.  Squeeze your bag into the kiosk/model to see if it fits. Some Ryan Air staff will let you just check your bag without a fee, but most will not so keep this in mind.

2. Getting your ticket stamped
If you are going from  the United States and going from country to country you MUST get your boarding pass stamped. Without this, you will not be able to get on your flight. Getting your boarding pass stamped can be done at a Ryan Air desk in your airport's departures area. Although this doesn't take long, make sure to carve out 10 minutes in your schedule just in case.

3. Do not get your boarding pass at the airport

It's great that Ryan Air is cheaper than its airline counterparts.  However, because they are cheaper, Ryan Air finds sneaky ways to charge you more. A big fee comes from your boarding pass. If you wait until you are at the airport to print your boarding pass you will also be asked to pay a hefty fee of  40 euro (at the time of this post) What a shame when printing at home is free! 

4. Ryan Air "lies" about major cities
While I had no problem getting to my destinations, I've heard stories from other students and their final destinations. Ryan Air may claim to fly into *insert big city here* when in fact they are outside of the city and it's up to you to find other modes of transportation to get to your final destination. Really look into where Ryan Air will be flying in or out of. Luckily, Ryan Air is rapidly growing so this may be less of a problem now, but still something to consider!

Other quick things:
- The boarding gate closes 20 minutes before boarding, if you're late you will not be allowed on your flight
- Usually a shuttle is  taken to get from your boarding area to your plane
- Drinks and snacks aren't complimentary

 This post isn't trying to "expose" Ryan Air in any way; there's countless reviews, posts and articles all over the web for that. I'm simply sharing information that I found extremely important when traveling around Europe.

 I hope this short list comes in handy when you start looking into your next trip!

With love,

Monday, November 2, 2015

Home is Wherever I'm With You

Hello there!

I am back from my Fall Break. A more detailed post is to come, but here's a few quick things I've learned...

Greek food is absolutely amazing! I'm already trying to figure out the next time I can go out and eat moussaka and saganaki.

Positano is a coveted honeymoon destination for a reason! I have never seen a coastline so beautiful.

That I truly feel like Ireland is "home".  I love traveling, but it is so nice to have a routine and a place to go back to.

Since I'm on the topic of home, while on break my newest Champlain Abroad Dublin post went up. Conveniently, it was all about homesickness.  What can I say? I planned it that way! 

The post can help you whether you're studying abroad, planning on studying abroad or even simply just away from home! You can read it here.

Happy Monday. I'll talk to you soon!

With love,