Friday, August 26, 2016

Horoscopes Can Be A Thing

People often find themselves scanning the horoscope pages in magazines or discussing zodiac sign characteristics with friends, thinking "it's just for jokes, nothing more." Or they are the people who really look to it for direction. Horoscopes and astrology began with the ancient Greeks--they advanced the belief that the position of the planets and the sun has an impact on a person's life when time zones, location, and positions are all deliberated.

Whether laughing or honestly inquiring, looking into horoscopes is fun and uplifting and sometimes simplistically motivational to get you to focus on "your" path; you can take from them what's relevant or meaningful to you. Here are four ways to incorporate some astrological fun in your day, seriously and ironically!

1. Watch a video
Stop reading about whether your prospects of making bank this week are looking up and see how you look eating a potato chip! (Editor's note: seriously check out that video. I don't understand it but I love it at the same time)
2. Get some jewelry that matches your zodiac sign
It's subtle yet interesting; it's personal, handmade, and in support of small businesses. Check some out here and here!

3. Laugh at what's supposedly each zodiac sign's worst quality!

4. Or, just pretend to care:
Horoscopes are awesome because they allow you to decide how much weight they carry. Have some fun, learn a bit more!

Editor's Note: Hey you guys! Thanks for reading this guest post by Mitsi Gamble, an associate of Linda C. Black Astrology where you can find the most accurate daily horoscopes for each sign. I seriously love this website. I used to have an app on my phone for my horoscope and now I just check this website every day. It has so many more details than most other websites and horoscope apps! I'm a leo, what are your signs? Let us know below if you keep up with astrology or not!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Americans Try Italian Candy

Guess who's back, back again. Sophie and I are! Last week you may have seen our Italian Makeup Haul. Well this here is part two to the videos we filmed for you guys. This time around we're trying some Italian candy. We really went all out and just grabbed everything that we could find at the supermarket that didn't look familiar. After this there will be one more vlog about our travels in Italy and then that's it! I go home on Friday and start school on Monday.

Note that we kept commenting about how weird their chocolate tasted. I actually read an article today about how Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars are only 11% chocolate and they add a ton of milk, sugar, and other acidic components to make it taste how it does. Americans have gotten so used to the taste of "our" chocolate that they have to do this so it tastes good to us. Fun fact though: Apparently it tastes like vomit to everyone else. Crazy! I love Hershey's Bars!

This has been such a whirlwind of an adventure and I literally would not have been able to survive without Sophie. This video was so fun to film and I hope you all enjoy! My next blog goal is to reach 10,000 page views and my next YouTube goal is to reach 100 subscribers (only 83 away) so please be sure to share! Let us know if you've tried any of these candies before and what your favorite candy is.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Apartment Wants

I have to be honest, lately I've been a bit uninspired with the posts I've been writing. I've still been enjoying blogging but I've just hit a writers block. Even when I come up with ideas for posts I always get stuck actually starting and finishing them. I thought I could write another Italy post but honestly, I feel like I would just be repeating myself. On the other hand, however, I am super exciting to be moving into my first apartment. The problem with posting about that being that I am a week away from moving in still, and I can't film or take pictures of anything first hand.

So I thought I'd go a bit simple today! Since we all know I love hauls (and here and here) I've scoured the internet from HobbyLobby to Target and everything in between and here are the top items that I want to pick up when I get home for my apartment! (there will I'm sure be a separate post for what I actually get and a separate post for school supplies and such) The apartment is fully furnished so this faux haul is leaning more towards decorations today!
You read that right! I want a humidifier! And I am not the mother of three! Okay I don't know if that's actually the stereotype but the only person I know who uses humidifiers are my mother and singers. Hello. That second one is me. Because my theatre program only allows for between 1-3 absences per semester per class I really cannot be getting sick or raspy or gross and snotty. Enter the humidifier. Super useful, super healthy, and super moisturizing. This is all I need in my life.
Scent Diffusers
I really hope my roommates like scents because I love scents. I love these reed scent diffusers but have never had the pleasure of owning one and would love to keep one on my bedside table or in the bathroom or something like that to keep things upbeat around the apartment! This particular set is from P.F. Candle Co.
Candles Holders
I could make an entire post solely on the candles I want, have, and need in my life. And now that I say that I actually might do that. Today, however, we're going to keep it to candle holders and look how cute this set is. Though my apartment does allow candles, they have to stay in the fireplace (makes sense?) This Danya B Filagree Hurricane Rose Gold candle holder set would be a great accent among other candles I think! They also come in a champagne color if the rose gold is too intense.
Jewelry Storage
I have a plethora of earrings, rings, necklaces, and other knick knacks laying around my bathroom at home and I know I desperately need some storage from them. I love this simple glass box that will encourage me to keep my jewelry looking neat while still keeping all my pieces in one place!
Book Ends
I kind of love these A to Z Danya B bookends. Last year in my dorm and sorority house I ended up throwing my books in whatever drawer or on whatever shelf they fit on. At the end of the semester I always ended up keeping the books I knew I'd love to reread or the textbooks that would serve me well for my major and career in the future but I had no where to put them without everything seeming cluttered. At least for the year that I'm in my apartment these should help a ton!
I love mason jars, so hopefully I will be able to pick up a set of these to use for pens, pencils, makeup brushes, sugar, flour, really anything! They are so versatile while still being great decoration pieces for any house, room, or apartment!
I might go for something more decorative or colorful than this one, but I always find myself in need of a vase or two so why not pick up something cheap like this after I first move in? Even if I'm not receiving flowers I love getting some when I go to the market to keep the space I'm in alive and have something to take care of if only for a week.
Clothing Rack
This might seem like an odd one but of everything on this list I might want to get this one first. I'm sharing my closet with one other girl who lived in this apartment last year and she told me that it is quite small. Whether or not it is small by interpretation (she thought I should check it out before I bought a garment rack) I know I have tons of stuff I hang up since 90% of my wardrobe is dresses. So this will be an addition to my room for sure!
I love clocks especially in kitchens! Yes, I have my phone, but I just love how they look and they take even less effort than a phone if you're near one! This one in particular has a simple, sleek look that I think would go well with some of the other decorations I've been picking out!
Curtains are always a good idea, but particularly so when your room and your roommates room has clear glass doors to the sitting area and entrance door. Not quite sure why our school chose these exact doors but I figure some curtains inside our doors will be a good idea when we are getting ready or sleeping!
I know the one above might seem a bit surfer dude cheesy but I think it's pretty cute considering my school is but a short drive away from tons of Southern California beaches. I'd also love to get some wall decor with quotes maybe!

Have any suggestions for what I should get for my apartment? Let me know what you suggest below!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Italian Makeup Haul

Okay, excuse this icon, it's the thumbnail for my new YouTube video, and my friend and I totally forgot to actually take a picture for me to edit.

Damn Meagan, back at it again with the YouTube videos. Okay I hate myself for using that meme and I know it's months old but I've found myself referencing it too much lately. And it's true! I am back at it with some YouTube videos. I've been hoping to get this channel rolling so I can have it partnered with this blog. So sometimes you'll get YouTube videos and other times you'll get straight posts. I'm not a natural writer, I'm a natural talker (I can pound out a great essay for school but journalism is something new to me) ((and I just love talking)) so I'm experimenting with both for now. This video brings you myself and my friend Sophie, here in Italy, doing a chatty Get Ready With Me/Italian makeup haul.

Sophie and I found this shop called Kiko Milano that had super crazy sales going on. I bought a ton of stuff for under $50 and Sophie also got a lot for under $20! There's no way I could've budgeted that well in a Sephora or even an Ulta with the amount that I got. If you have a YouTube we'd love for you to give it a like and subscribe so you can be the first to see these videos! We have another video coming up, Americans Try Italian Candy, so you really don't want to miss that one!

Thanks for reading and watching! What is your favorite drugstore makeup brand? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Love by Lecce: Buon Appetito

This will be my last post in the Love by Lecce series. It's crazy we've come to two months so quickly (I leave in ten days!) but here we are! As always, this post will be in Italian and in English. This post is going to look a bit longer because each language section needs the same pictures for it to make sense. Thank you for following along!

Non posso finire la serie "Love da Lecce" senza un post sul cibo! Sono in Italia, dopo tutto! Ci sono così tanti ristoranti a Lecce che non avrei potuto visitarli tutti neanche se ci avessi provato. Per fortuna, ho avuto modo di visitare un gran numero di ristoranti e posso facilmente dire che non ce ne era uno che non mi piaceva. Non credo che potrei mai stancarmi di pasta, pizza, formaggio e vino. Così, oggi vi poterò nel mio viaggio sul cibo italiano!
Prima di tutto, uno dei miei preferiti: The American Hamburger. In ogni ristorante che aveva "hamburger" sul menu, il piatto sarebbe venuto fuori in questo modo. Hamburger di carne senza formaggio, condimenti, pomodori, lattuga, o il pane! La prima volta che abbiamo visto questo, abbiamo pensato che fosse divertente, anche se non un po' deludente. Tuttavia, ora mi piace questa versione italiana di hamburger.
Ora: i dolci! Cosa sarebbe l'Italia senza tiramisù, naturalmente. Ma quello che ho amato quasi più del tiramisù era il soufflé di cioccolato che ho trovato in quasi tutti i ristoranti! Erano tutti così caldi a ben fatti, di solito con un qualche tipo di frutta. Il tiramisù qui è venuto in tutte le forme e dimensioni diverse con varie decorazioni che ho trovato così interessante!
Avanti: carne. La carne costituisce l'intero "secondi piatti" sul menù dei ristoranti in Italia. Secondi piatti potrebbero essere sia di pesce o animali di terra. Una notte ho ordinato un "piatto di carne." E 'stato solo un piatto di patatine fritte sotto un hamburger (stile italiano ovviamente), salsicce, pancetta, kebab, manzo e pollo. La cameriera mi aveva avvertito che sarebbe stato abbastanza per due persone ma l'ho preso comunque. E' stato soddisfatto il mio desiderio per la carne americana come pancetta e hot dog. La foto sopra è un piatto di carne che abbiamo fatto al nostro corso di cucina. All'interno del manzo ci sono il formaggio e maiale!
Cosa sarebbe l'Italia senza la pizza? La prima foto è di una tradizionale Pizza Margherita. La foto qui sotto è di un metro di lunghezza, e' la pizza Diavolo. Sì. UNA PIZZA LUNGA UN METRO. Era pazzesco, c'erano sei di noi e abbiamo finito tutto più un altro mezzo metro, che non è nella foto. È vero, l'Italia sa come fare la pizza senza dubbio.
Sappiamo tutti che io sono una grande fan di Starbucks. Nonostante l'Italia praticamente abbia inventato il caffè espresso, non hanno alcun Starbucks e a loro certamente non piace la bevanda dolve che beviamo tutti i giorni da Starbucks. Non troverete un magro caffè latte di soia latte alla vaniglia qui, amici miei. Di solito non si trovano caffè con ghiaccio. La foto sopra, però, è di una speciale bevanda di Lecce chiamato Caffè Leccese. È fatto con caffè espresso, ghiaccio, e un particolare tipo di latte di mandorle dolci. È uno dei miei preferiti!

Ci sono troppi tipi di pasta di lista ogni tipo che ho provato mentre all'estero in Italia. Questa foto è anche dalla nostra classe di cucina quando abbiamo fatto gli gnocchi. Io sono una grande amante della pasta, la mia unica lamentela è che i ristoranti qui non mettono il parmigiano sulla loro pasta! E potrei amare il formaggio ancora più di quanto io ami la pasta...
Questa foto è dal tour della fabbrica in pomodoro. Ci sono le melanzane e pomodori di essiccazione, come si può vedere. Amano melanzane qui e le utilizzano in un sacco di diversi piatti. Non mi piacciono molto pomodori casa, ma i pomodori qui in Italia sono così buoni. Ho davvero apprezzato la piccola selezione di prodotti che ho avuto qui!
L'età legale per bere alcolici in Italia è di 18 anni, così naturalmente ho cercato di bere molte diversi birre e vini (va bene, per lo più solo vino) che posso mentre qui! I cocktail sono solo i cocktail americani, bevande come "screwdrivers" e "rusty nails." Il vino qui è così buono! La mia amica Sophie e io abbiamo deciso che amiamo Chardonnay, un vino bianco un po' dolce. Amano anche il rosato qui quindi non posso lamentarmi.
Cosa sarebbe questo post se non parlo del gelato? Niente! Ecco una delle tante foto che ho ho fatto dei bei gelati qui in Italia. Ho deciso che mi piacciono i sapori più dolci come Panna Cotta e Nutella. Sì, mi mancano le diverse opzioni di sapore per gelati (e caldo fudge!) Dell'America, ma il gelato qui è così soffice, cremoso, e semplicemente delizioso. Non si può visitare l'Italia senza gustare qualche gelato!
I couldn't finish out my Love by Lecce series without a post about food! I am in Italy after all! There's so many restaurants in Lecce I'm sure even in these two months I wouldn't have been able to visit them all if I had tried. Thankfully, I was able to visit a lot of them and can easily say that there wasn't one that I disliked. I don't think I could ever get tired of pasta, pizza, cheese, and wine. So today, I take you through my Italian food journey!
First off, one of my favorites: The American Hamburger. Without fail, any restaurant that had "hamburger" listed on the menu, the plate would come out like this. Hamburger meat without cheese, condiments, tomatoes, lettuce, or even a bun! The first time we encountered this we thought it was hilarious if not a bit disappointing. However, we have grown to love these Italian versions of hamburgers.
Next up: desserts! What would Italy be without tiramisu, of course. But what I found that I loved almost more than tiramisu was the chocolate soufflés I found at almost every restaurant! They were all so warm and well made, usually plated with some sort of fruit. The tiramisu here came in all different shapes and sizes with various decorations which I thought was so interesting!
The next on the list is: meat. Meat made up the entire "secondi piatti" on Italian restaurant menus whether it be fish or land animals. I wish I had a picture of the "meat plate" I got at one restaurant. It was literally a plate of french fries topped with a hamburger (Italian style of course), sausages, bacon, kebabs, beef, and chicken. The waitress had warned me it was meant for two people but I got it anyways. It definitely satisfied my cravings for American meat! The picture above is a meat plate we made at our cooking class. Inside of the beef you see is cheese and pork!
Again, what would Italy be without pizza? The first pizza picture is of a traditional Margherita Pizza. The picture below is of a meter long Diavolo Pizza. Yes. A METER LONG PIZZA. It was crazy, there were six of us and we finished it all plus another half meter that is not in the picture. It's true, Italy knows how to make pizza without a doubt.
We all know I'm a big fan of Starbucks. Despite Italy basically inventing espresso, they do not have any Starbucks and they certainly do not like the sickeningly sweet beverages that we drink everyday. You will not find a skinny soy vanilla latte here, my friends. You usually won't even find iced coffee. The photo above though, is of a special iced coffee drink from Lecce called a Caffè Leccese. It is made with espresso, ice, and a special kind of sweet almond milk. It has become a favorite of mine! Other than this though, they basically all drink straight espresso. Bleck.
There are way too many types of pasta to picture and list every type I have tried while abroad in Italy. This picture is also from our cooking class when we made gnocchi. I am a huge pasta fan, my only complaint is most restaurants don't put parmesan cheese on their pasta! And I might love cheese even more than I love pasta...
This photo is from the tour of the tomato factory. There are eggplants and tomatoes drying, as you can see. They really like eggplant here and use it in a lot of different meals. I don't really like tomatoes back home but the tomatoes here in Italy are so good. I've really enjoyed the small selection of produce that I've had here!
The legal drinking age in Italy is 18 years old so naturally I have been trying out as many different beers and wines (okay mostly just wine) that I can while here! Their cocktails are basically just American cocktails, drinks like "screwdrivers" and "rusty nails." The wine here is so good! My friend Sophie and I have latched onto Salentinian (the region we are in) Chardonnay, a white wine with a bit of sweetness. They also love rosé here so I can't complain. (Rosé all day, right?)
What would this post be without gelato? Nothing! Here is one of many photos I have taken of the beautiful gelato here in Italy. I have decided I like the sweeter flavors like Panna Cotta and Nutella. Though I miss the diverse flavor options for ice cream (and hot fudge!), the gelato here is so smooth, creamy, and simply delicious. You can't visit Italy without getting some gelato!

What is your favorite Italian food? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Why I Am Transferring

For those of you who don't know, I am transferring from the University of Oregon to Chapman University this fall (16 days until school starts!). I have, understandably so, been asked over and over again why I am transferring. I am a special circumstance, I never wanted to go to the University of Oregon, it was never my top choice, so I always knew I wanted to transfer and find a place I could truly call my second home. Though I had never wanted to go to University of Oregon, I discovered there was more than just not wanting to go somewhere. I saw tweets and heard from my friends about how they were always so excited to go back to college and how even though they missed home they missed college so much and maybe even more. It wasn't like high school, for them, where you dreaded the countdown to the first day of school or the back to school commercials. Everyone I had talked to (save for those of us who were dying to transfer) really really wanted to go back to college. For me, let's just say after winter break I never booked transportation back to college, so I arrived to classes a day late after my mom took a last minute train ride with me. I simply never had the feeling others did.

I was thrilled for orientation and I was teeming with joy awaiting my class schedule and learning all the buildings of my classrooms. I was ready to explore the gigantic stadium that held football games and dreaming about decorating my dorm room, rushing, and meeting new people. And I did all of that. I went to football games and joined a sorority and met tons of new and wonderful people. But I never had that feeling of home or belonging. I love my actual family home home so I will probably never not want to go home but I wanted to find somewhere else that I'd be happy to go back to at the very least. Somewhere I felt that I could thrive at.

One of the most difficult parts about transferring is all of the people you meet and everyone you make friends with has found their home. And it is precisely where you do not want to be. Football games were fun, but I always felt out of place and somewhat fake going to them. It was simply not me. My acting class was entertaining but I didn't feel like I was expanding my understanding of the craft and the shows that the university put on I didn't get exhilarated about. My sorority was so much fun, but I didn't meet "my person" in my sorority. When I first announced to people that I was looking to transfer, people told me that I would grow to love Oregon and that I was just homesick. People would say that I would find what is great about the school and make friends that would become my bridesmaids and have memories that lasted a lifetime. For some, this is true. Despite these promises however, for me, everything fell a bit short of the ecstatic excitement everyone else around me had for college.

There are many reasons that people transfer. The reasons I have listed above give some insight into those reasons and how it might be difficult to understand that these are reasons to transfer at first. My major (theatre) didn't challenge me. My potential second major (political science) didn't spark my interest. My teachers were 50/50 in terms of being good. I wasn't into the sports everyone else always looked forward to. I don't like the rain. The party culture at a huge PAC-12 school intimidated me. The size of University of Oregon made me feel insignificant. I didn't feel like I could find my place in this city or college. I didn't feel like this university would help me succeed. I did not find the opportunities that I was looking for at Oregon. I looked forward to the end of the day and dreaded waking up. These are my reasons. Many seem petty, many seem insignificant, yet they add up.

I only had one school that hit that "this is it" button like everyone tells you will happen during your college search. That school, for me, was New York University in New York City. I applied early decision, I flew to New York City for an audition, I put everything I had into that application, yet I was rejected. I still remember getting that email. I remember my parents cried because they were so sad for me because they knew how much I wanted it. That was heartbreaking to me. Yet I still look back on that moment and I am thankful for it. The more I have grown the more I realize NYU (despite its many alumni Broadway success stories) would not have been right for me. I thoroughly and wholly believe that everything happens for a reason, some things I cannot explain and some things I cannot say what the reason is. My transfer process is something that was meant to happen to me though. This post isn't meant to seem whiny or annoyed at my experience. As laborious and stressful as the process is, and as much as I always wanted to transfer right now, the entire transfer process helps a person grow and find themselves. You know what you want and you find a strength you never knew you had.

It may be difficult for some people to admit that they want or need to transfer, but it isn't a shameful thing and it certainly isn't impossible. Leaving your friends behind is not easy. Leaving what has become known and comfortable to you is not easy. I have a strange, distorted love for the University of Oregon that I don't think many people would understand and there is a sad melancholy feeling in leaving the place that I did not love behind, like an ex-lover that you know isn't right for you but you still appreciate. In all of this, I know I am making the right decision. I have never been more ready to count down the days to the first day of school.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Ultimate Printable Planner

I'm a huge stationery fan from cards to pens and pencils, desk supplies, and especially planners. I'm a sucker for pretty designs and especially for the organization that comes along with them. You don't know the true feeling of organization until you use a day planner. So when Emily of Honeybee Joyous reached out about her new Plan Better Live Better printable planner, I was so excited to be able to feature this product on Love by Meagan!

There are so many options for planners out there it sometimes feels overwhelming on which one to choose. The different options for layouts, patterns, and features of the planners seem endless. Right off the bat with the Plan Better live Better planner however, I knew it would be perfect for myself and the rest of the blogging community. Being a blogger herself, Emily knows what features we need in a planner with our hectic work/life balance schedules. Not only are there monthly spreads as well as a day by day section, but each week comes with a placeholder to write the week's "top five" as well as things to not forget. My to-do list on my phone sometimes reaches miles long feats because I write down everything right away when I don't want to forget something. Being able to incorporate that list into my planner and seeing what transfers over to the next week vs. what I have completed is such a load off of my back honestly.

Along with those features, each month has a finance tracker, a section for goals, and a section for what you are grateful for. Some of these wouldn't come to mind at first when making a planner but I'm so happy Emily has included them because they are so unique and needed (that finance tracker though). The back of the planner also has a quick yearly glance where you can write down people's birthdays or other major events throughout the year, as well as an area for addresses and phone numbers. I have to ask for my friends addresses so many times when I want to send them care packages or presents for their birthdays now that we're all in college! Some people are in dorms, some are in houses, some are moving all around throughout the year so I can include all of their contact info in this tidy little section.

What has to be my favorite "feature" of this planner is the fact that it is printable. Emily gives you options in the front of the planner for how to print and bind it which is so helpful and I love that you get that customization. Because I can print this at home or at my local Costco, I'm also able to choose exactly how it will look and be presented. When I get home, I'm so excited to get mine printed off and spiral bound. This will make it easy to flip the pages and turn the planner inside out if I want to keep it compact while still functioning.

If you'd like to buy this planner for the price of $25 for your upcoming year (and at this point why wouldn't you?) check out this link right here! As a disclaimer I am an affiliate and a small percentage of the purchase if you buy through this link. All of the opinions in this post are 100% truthful and my own. You will come to find on this blog that I only feature products I like and I know you all will find use of. Let me know below what your favorite planner is and be sure to check out the Plan Better Live Better planner! Thanks so much to Emily for making this functional and reliable planner for this upcoming year!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Love by Lecce: Cultural Differences

Hi all! This week has been a bit crazy for me mentally so I didn't get a post up on Wednesday but I'm back again with another Love by Lecce post! I won't be posting about my week on Monday, but I have so much planned and lined up there simply isn't room in the schedule for it. I've loved blogging about Italy but I'm also very excited to return to my regular blogging style! As a reminder these posts labelled "syllabus post" are in Italian and then English.

È la fine della della quinta settimana! Dopo aver vissuto in Italia per cinque settimane, sento di aver capito un paio di cose. Ecco le nove maggiori differenze culturali tra (sud) Italia e l'America che ho notato.

1. Svegliarsi presto e uscire più tardi
Probabilmente la prima grande differenza culturale che ho notato è che gli italiani rimangono fuori molto tardi. Ora, so cosa stai pensando. Sei rimasto fuori fino a tardi! Ma no. Rimangono fuori fino a due o tre volte! E non solo gli adulti. Ho visto bambini piccoli ancora fuori a mezzanotte. Ed eccomi qui, un adulto, e io dormo è ancora dieci di sera.

2. Il pranzo
Il pranzo è il pasto importante qui. Non la cena. Non che la cena non sia importante, ma in realtà chiamano la loro sala da pranzo la Sala da Pranzo. Sono fanno sul serio con il pranzo qui.

3. Ritmo della vita
Mio Dio, si muovono lentamente qui. Non è una brutta cosa! Ma sul serio, è tutto lento. Anche questo potrebbe essere il motivo per cui gli italiani vivono più a lungo rispetto agli americani. Ci sono alcuni aspetti negativi di questo, però, come le Poste Italiane sono pazzamente lente.

4. Il cibo
Hanno davvero solo il cibo italiano qui. Ci sono solo un paio di ristoranti stranieri. La mia insegnante di italiano che è stato in America ha detto che in Italia i burritos non sono buoni in quanto sono come in America. Mi piace la cultura del cibo americano, quindi mi manca ottenere mangiare qualsiasi tipo di cibo che voglio in qualsiasi momento. Molto triste, lo so.

5. Parlare Inglese/Italiano
Quando ho visitato la Francia con la mia mamma, il francese ripetevano le parole in inglese in modo condiscendente. Qui, però, se gli italiani ripetono in inglese, è perché stanno praticando il loro inglese. Sono molto gentili e davvero vogliono aiutarvi con l'italiano italiano se possono.

6. "Cat Calling"
Questo non è, ovviamente, ogni uomo italiano, ma il mio Dio, se non si ottiene "cat calling" cinque volte sulla mia casa a piedi dalla scuola ogni giorno. "Cat calling" avviene sicuramente anche in America, ma è molto meno accettabile e ho onestamente sempre e solo stata gatto chiamato una mano piena di volte, e solo nelle grandi città.

7.  Guidare
Sono venuto per imparare che i segnali di stop e luci rosse sono suggerimenti. Ho visto un sacco di vetture passare attraverso luci rosse, quando stavo cercando di attraversare la strada. Ci sono anche un sacco di strade a senso unico, che non aiutano, ma arriviamo nei posti più velocemente. (Non so come questo sia in sintonia con il loro ritmo lento della vita ...)

8. Spazio
Abbiamo una grande quantità di spazio in America. Abbiamo cinquanta stati. A causa di ciò, siamo abituati a grandi case ed edifici. Forse non tutte le case sono palazzi in America, ma gli edifici sono almeno separati. Qui, gli edifici sono smushed insieme e tavoli del ristorante sono sulle strade.

9. La moda
La gente qui solo vestirsi bene. I vestiti sono buone, eleganti, e alla moda se le persone stanno andando fuori a cena o semplicemente a fare shopping. Tutti gli insegnanti della mia scuola hanno bellissimi vestiti. Ed è così semplice per loro. Capiscono di moda.

Spero vi sia piaciuto leggere sulle differenze tra (sud) Italia e l'America! Solo altre tre settimane, gente!
It is the end of WEEK FIVE! After living in Italy for five weeks, I feel like I have picked up on a few things. Here are the nine biggest cultural differences between (southern) Italy and America that I have noticed.

1. Waking up early and staying out late
Probably the first huge cultural difference that I noticed is the fact that Italians stay out really late. Now, I know what you're thinking, you've pulled all nighters! You've been out with friends until the early hours of the morning! But if you think you are on the Italians' level, you are wrong. They stay out until midnight AT THE EARLIEST every. single. night. And not just the adults. I have legitimately seen stroller bound children out and about at midnight. And here I am, a grown adult, and my bedtime is still ten at night.

2. Lunch
Lunch is the important meal here. Not dinner. Not that dinner isn't important, but they literally call their dining room the sala da pranzo or the room of lunch. They're serious about their lunch here. My host family almost always makes lunch for me, but very rarely dinner unless I ask.

3. Pace of life
Dear God do they operate slowly here. Which isn't a bad thing! But seriously, from walking down the street to trying to get the waiter to take your order before you've been sitting at the table for a half hour: it's all slow. This also might be why they live longer than us, they're honestly probably onto something. There are some downsides to this though, like the Italian post is crazy slow. I must say though, I'm definitely getting used to this pace.

4. Food
So they really only have Italian food here. There are some other cultural delicacies here and there, a sushi restaurant, some Mexican food (40 minutes away), and Chinese place, but that's about it and that's really a huge maybe. As my Italian teacher who has been to America has also pointed out, the burritos aren't nearly as good here as they are in America. They don't even sell tortillas as the supermarkets! As a lover of the American food culture, I've really been missing my ability to get literally any type of food I want at any time via delivery or take out. Very sad, I know.

5. Speaking English/Italian
When I visited France with my mom years ago, I noticed that the French would speak back in English in a condescending manner. Here though, if Italians speak back in English it's because they're practicing. They're very kind about it and really do want to help you out with your Italian if they can.

6. Cat calling
This is obviously not every Italian man but heck if I don't get cat called at least five different times on my walk home from school each day. Even days that I'm in frumpy clothing with no makeup, it's like these guys just yell at anything that walks on two legs. Cat calling definitely happens in America too, but it's way less acceptable and I've honestly only ever been cat called a hand full of times, and in big cities.

7. Driving
I have yet to get into a car (personal or taxi) and not feel like I'm about to die. I have come to learn that stop signs and red lights are suggestions and have seen plenty of people blow through red lights when I was trying to cross the street on many occasions. There are also lots of one way streets which don't help, but hey, we get places faster. (Not sure how this fits in with their slow pace of life...)

8. Space
We have a ridiculous amount of space in America. We have fifty states and then some and each state could be its own country in Europe, honestly. Because of that, we have gotten used to large houses and establishments. Maybe not all houses are mansions in America, but buildings are at least separated unless they're condos. Here, buildings are smushed together and restaurant tables spill into the streets.

9. Fashion
Ending on a positive, but I'm sure you already knew this one. People here just look good. The clothes are good whether people are going out to dinner or just going to work. All the faculty at my school have beautiful dresses and nice pants and tops. And it's so simple for them. Clothes just work.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the differences between (southern) Italy and America! Only three more weeks folks.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Love by Lecce: Week 4

Yes, that is me holding two wine glasses. As I had anticipated, this week went by very quickly. I feel like I was just writing my week 3 post and suddenly here we are again! I am officially halfway through this program and definitely feeling that homesickness in full force. With the Ohio State students leaving, and many of my other friends across Europe returning home, I feel anxious to also return home and begin my new adventures. This week was less eventful than the past few weeks, simply because we had exams to prepare for, but it was still nice nonetheless.

I decided to skip school this day. After arriving back from Florence on a super late train that didn't get me home until the hours after midnight, I was not up to reviewing for the exam we had on Wednesday. I also woke up with a pretty bad headache and decided that sleeping in and getting some work done would serve me better than trying to participate in class today. Monday was Grace, a student from Ohio State's birthday so although I didn't get to see her during school, we all went out for dinner at Fusion, a sushi restaurant in Lecce. After dinner, we went out for drinks and ended the night singing some rad 80s tunes in an Italian bar.
Tuesday we reviewed for the exam. That's basically it.
Wednesday was the first part of the exam which I think (without jinxing myself) went well! We had our cooking class this day instead of Tuesday and we made Puglian Italian pastries as well as some curly pasta (I'm really good with remembering names, can you tell?). While eating dinner after we completed the food, a kitten on the wall surrounding the outside area of the cooking class decided it wanted to join us. We successfully got her down from the wall and reveled in how adorable she was. We took turns petting her and letting her explore the area before having to say goodbye and return her to the wall. Apparently we loved her too much, because a few short minutes later she jumped down from the wall (A REALLY TALL WALL) and joined us inside. Oops! Didn't mean to bring cats into the kitchen. Because Wednesday was my birthday (yay!) we went out for drinks and food after class which was so much fun.
Thursday was the second part of the exam which had equal parts difficult and easy on it and I'm hoping I did well. I didn't do much else Thursday except sleep a lot, catch up on some work, and read.
Friday was the last day of class for those who left this weekend so we watched a movie and went out for gelato and other treats afterwards with everyone from the school and all the students. I said goodbye to the people who left Friday night who I had made friends with for the past four weeks. For dinner, Sophie and I went to the restaurant that is quickly becoming our go-to favorite, Boccon Divino. I got a plate of meat (literally it was sausages, a hamburger patty, bacon, chicken, beef, all on top of french fries) and chocolate soufflé and Sophie got seafood at tiramisu and we shared a bottle of wine between us!
Saturday, Sophie and I woke up and went shopping (without much luck unfortunately) before the July sales ended today! We picked up some Italian candies and makeup but besides that not much else. For dinner, all of us went out to Fratelli la Bufala since it was the very last night for the rest of the students leaving. We also saw the smallest dog ever.

Sunday was also a very relaxing day! Sophie came over to film some videos that I'll be sharing with you all soon, but besides that I showered, did some laundry, and got some reading done.