Friday, August 8, 2014

{life} loving lately

Lately I'm loving....

All of the time I have been able to spend with this wonderful, sweet, thoughtful man.

The new mascara I am using lately. Holy amazeballs, this stuff is good.

The new color of revlon nail polish I picked up at Target the other day. I love Essie and OPI as much as the next girl, but I love the price tag of this similarly high quality nail polish more than the others!

Dining at The Refinery in Seminole Heights. A unique menu that changes daily and a whole lotta delicious craft beer options. What more could you ask for?

Total Wine because I can find a wine I tried in Portgual and my favorite Spanish red in the same aisle. Yes.

All of the back to school shopping I get to do again! Say hello to my gorgeous new bookbag / hiking pack.

In a similar vein, I cannot wait to say hellllo to some gorgeous new gameday dresses! This one is perfection.

I'm also really excited to move up to Tallahassee and get to know the city like I never did in undergrad. This means that I will definitely be checking out the Farmers' Market, Railroad Square artwork, and Tallahassee Trails much more this time around.

And finally...

I saw this quote at the perfect time last week. Invest in people who invest in you. Sounds so simple doesn't it? It's important to remember this at this extremely transitional period of life. Let go of the negative energy in your life and focus on the people who, and things that, make you feel energized and happy. Namasate.

What are you loving lately?

xx, Jen

Thursday, July 31, 2014

{travel} paradise is a beach in greece

I have always been fascinated by landscapes and climates that are completely the opposite of Florida. Who needs to travel to a place with a beach when you've spent your entire life tanning on the white sand beaches on the west coast of Florida? I always find myself much more in awe of Mountains! and Valleys! and Snow! But then I went to Greece. Let's just say that the inner beach snob in me was cured. Warning: This is a photo heavy post. Prepare to feel the desire to book a ticket to Crete directly after viewing.

Aaaand the award for the most beautiful beach I've ever been to in my entire 24 years of life definitely goes to Elafonisi Beach on Crete. Even though we were there during a crazy wind storm (sand pelting into your skin at 30 mph is not very fun), it was still the perfect day. If you ever find yourself in Chania, make sure you make time for a day trip to this beach.

How to get there: Go to the main bus station in Chania and ask for a ticket to Elafonisi. There is one bus a day that goes to Elafonisi and one bus that takes you back to Chania. ENJOY!

xx, Jen

Thursday, July 24, 2014

{life} hashtag: i'm definitely not in madrid anymore

As I take the first sip of my iced coffee to go, I smile. I'm definitely not in Madrid anymore.

An unobstructed sunset glowing behind the tall, swaying palm trees. The quiet, empty streets of suburbia, broken up only by the laugh of a child or the low hum of a lawn mower. The pool in my backyard. I'm definitely not in Madrid anymore.

The conversations with friendly strangers. "How are you doing today?" "What are your weekend plans?" "This drink is free because it took way too long to come out." "Oh, excuse me. Sorry!" "You have a wonderful day, honey/sweetie/darling/my love!" I'm definitely not in Madrid anymore.

The five minute drive to the grocery store? A 20 minute walk. The twenty minute drive to a restaurant? A 60 minute walk. I'm definitely not in Madrid anymore.

The abundance of cultures and cuisines. A twenty mile radius on Yelp showing great Vietnamese! Korean! Colombian! Peruvian! Mexican! Lebanese! Italian! Cuban! and finally American! restaurants. I'm definitely not in Madrid anymore.

The hours spent sitting in a car. But on the other hand, that glorious, glorious one stop shopping. (Hello Target. Hello Publix.) I'm definitely not in Madrid anymore.

Slowing your car to allow a deer to cross the road. Waving hello to an alligator in the pond. Stopping and patiently waiting as an owl decides whether it wants to stay chilling in the middle of the road or fly away to the nearest tree. Seeing unidentifiable animal prints in the backyard. Was it a fox? Or a raccoon? I'm definitely not in Madrid anymore.

The extremely predictable afternoon thunderstorms and the extremely high humidity. Blegh. I'm definitely not in Madrid anymore.

It's the slight withdrawals from plaza life and 2 euro glasses of wine. From tapas and jamon, rooftop drinks just because, and the Spanish language. But making up for it with happy hours with friends and $5 craft beers (helllo my pretties). With delicious sub sandwiches and smoothies, rooftop drinks just because (somethings never change), and being asked on your first day back, "Hablas espanol?"

Here's to you, America. You're pretty darn cool.

xx, Jen

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

{travel} colorful chania + exciting news!

Soooo I'm skipping over like.... 5 other trips to write about one of the most beautiful places in the entire world (but seriously), GREECE! So, why don't you dollop a few scoops of Greek yogurt into a bowl and drizzle generously with honey? It's gonna be a long one!

I went to Greece with my best blogger friend, Courtney. We started reading each other's blogs in January, met up for a few glasses of wine later that month, and booked a trip to Greece together in February. We had no idea if we'd still be buddies 5 months later when we bought those tickets, but luckily we never even had to worry about that at all. Bloggers make for the best travel partners. We love to wander aimlessly through cities and take photos of ALL THE THINGS OMGZ. What else could you want on vacation? ;)

We ended up in Crete because we found really cheap RyanAir tickets from Athens to Chania, and like every other English teacher abroad, we chose to go to the island that was cheapest to get to. I am so glad that we found those inexpensive tickets, because we both absolutely loved wandering around the old town of Chania.

Sights & Activities: One tip I hope to pass along to you if you ever find yourself in Chania? Book a room with a view of the Venetian Harbor, even if it is the absolute most touristy area of Chania. It's all worth it because then you get to wake up and look at this every morning. And that is pretty awesome.

Venetian Harbor: This harbor was built by the Venetians in the 1300s for trade purposes and to protect the port city from pirates. It is completely worthwhile to spend a good chunk of time walking along the water until you reach the lighthouse at the end of the harbor. Beware though, you will definitely be dodging restaurant promoters left and right. Because Greeks speak English SO FREAKING WELL, we decided to go with the Spanish right. Lo siento, no entendemos. Worked like a charm. Below: the view from our room at Loukia Hotel.