Marie in Malawi!

One of my best friends, Marie, just started her first blog!

Marie recently returned from Malawi, Africa, where she worked for a few weeks with her grad program! She took some ahh-mazing photos and I wanted to share them on my blog. I’m super jealous and am living vicariously through her!

Be sure to check out her blog, Marie in Malawi!

734954_4313313996676_1858111979_n

Safari time! (Photo credit: Marie Townley)

150629_4313253915174_80466871_n

(Photo credit: Marie Townley)

32166_4313277155755_191236689_n

(Photo credit: Marie Townley)

582488_4313271475613_1928647806_n

(Photo credit: Marie Townley)

734052_4313254675193_1167210409_n

(Photo credit: Marie Townley)

545241_4313274035677_1577536375_n

(Photo credit: Marie Townley)

543868_4313302516389_1665467326_n

(Photo credit: Marie Townley)

I like this one because I think it looks like the pair are gossiping.

I like this one because I think it looks like the pair are gossiping. (Photo credit: Marie Townley)

538019_4313264995451_2084916344_n

(Photo credit: Marie Townley)

Marie's just hanging with her favorite elephants!

Marie’s just hanging with her favorite elephants!

Marie talks all about her experience in Malawi on her blog!

She’s going to China for spring break and I’m sure she’ll write allll about that next! 🙂

//
//

Weekend Update: 1/18-1/20

IMG_20130116_220017tiny tap

IMG_20130120_132727

IMG_20130120_111743

IMG_20130120_132958IMG_20130120_133611

I had a semi-relaxing weekend. The apartment is starting to come along and feel like a home, rather than a few rooms with boxes and stuff everywhere. I even hung up my gallery wall- which I love so much!

One of my best friend’s, Marie got engaged. However, she scared the crap out of me telling me on the phone. She started with, “I need to tell you something,” then said, really fast, in between what I think were tears some mumbling nonsense with her boyfriend fiance’s name. My overactive imagination jumped to the conclusion that he was in a coma or got in a motorcycling accident, not that he even owns a motorcycle-  I just watch too much TV… Anyways, thankfully no one was in the hospital and I didn’t have to rush across the country to be by my friend! She just got engaged!

My friend Brooke and I decided to try the dive bar in an alley near our apartments. Apparently it’s “world famous”, only takes cash, and has a fabulous musical selection that includes Mickey Avalon’s “My D*ck,” Poison’s “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” and of course, Trace Adkins, “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.” Just the classics, ya know…

I also made a stop at the beach to get a free microwave and coffee pot for my apartment! There I got some great antlers for the apartment and got to dip my toes in the sand for a smidge bit. I also got to go to my faaavooorite bakery in the world, well at least the Tampa Bay area. Cafe de Paris at Indian Rocks beach. I went there all the time a couple summers ago when I was living at the beach.

Last night, Brooke, Chelsea and I met downtown for free yoga in the park. There was a festival going on so the class was relocated to a section of the park I had never seen before! I love when I discover something/somewhere new in a place I thought I already knew well!

My friends and I also decided on a new rule that if it’s possible to walk somewhere, instead of driving, we walk. That way, it’s better for our wallets, the environment and our health 🙂

Love, Liv

Things to look forward to:

The past couple weeks I’ve been really busy with holidays, moving and work! I might be exhausted, but I am so thankful to be busy with so many exciting changes!

Now, that the holidays are over and I’m starting to feel settled into my routine, I finally have a moment to get excited about something I’ve been looking forward to… Gasparilla!

If you’re from the Tampa Bay area, you already know about Gasparilla. If not, just think of pirates and Mardi Gras mixed together for a day.

Since I went away for school, this will be my first Gasparilla in five years (eeek.. that reminds me of how old I’m getting!)  A lot of people like to dress up like pirates, which is fun, however that’s just not my thing. I’m happy with simply using pirates as inspiration for a sassy yet stylish outfit.

I’ve been brainstorming some ideas …

Gasparilla 2013 outfit

Pack light; Travel cute

Packing light is necessary when travelling, but so is comfort and style. You don’t want to be lugging around heavy suitcases on to trains and ferries, and you also want to be comfortable and look together.
The key is to pack a lot of versatile items that you can wear over and over! Here’s a guide that can help get you started:olivia leigh gaggi
1. Luggage. I used The North Face’s small base camp duffel, it’s great because it is a backpack that doubles as a duffel bag! I know I’ll use it when I’m not travelling, too.
2. Fedora hat.
3. A bright necklace.
4. Hippy shoes.  I know, I know… they’re kind of fugz but trust me you’ll learn to love ’em! You need comfy shoes that have a back strap, especially when you are walking around a lot.
5. Longchamp. Or another light weight easy-to-pack purse. The Longchamp is great because it’s waterproof and it folds up so it can fit in a small packing space when you’re not using it.
6. A sassy scarf. Perfect for sassy-ing up an outfit for night or just accessorizing during the day.
7. Comfy cotton dresses. Old Navy has some great inexpensive cotton dresses. They’re great for wearing during the day and being super comfortable.
8. Versatile shorts. J. Crew, Gap, Banana and Old Navy all have great shorts for traveling. They’re nice, tidy looking and look good with a lot of things. The last thing you’d want to wear are those tacky, little booty shorts in a foreign country. Actually, I hope they are the last thing you would want to wear ever, to be perfectly honest.
9. Basic tanks.
10. Button downs. 
11. Cotton skirt.
12. Colored blazer. They’re fun and can brighten up any outfit.
13. Wedges. Personally, I need a heel. I’m 4′ 11″ and wedges are perfect for giving me a bit of height and are easy to wear.
14. Cardigan. Cardigans are great when it’s just a little cool and you don’t want to wear the blazer. I don’t like to wear sweatshirts abroad because I think they make people stick out like soar thumbs as Americans.
15. Jeans. One or two pairs is enough to pack. You can wear them a couple days in a row and then switch them out.
16. Cross-body purse.
*Don’t forget a bathing suit and sunglasses too! And yes, all those things (and more) did fit into my base camp duffel =]

Have a happy, healthy holiday!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

With Thanksgiving officially over and the rest of the winter holidays around the corner I thought I’d do a post on how to make your holiday just a smidge bit healthier. No one wants to be counting calories or worrying about how much they eat during the holidays, especially when you’re surrounded by so much good food!

Here are three simple ways you can have a healthier holiday and still enjoy yourself :

  1. Participate in a holiday run. Yesterday morning my sister and I ran a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5k but there are other runs you can sign up for around Christmas and New Years day too.

    olivia leigh gaggi

  2. Have a colorful meal. Generally, the more color you have on your plate the more nutrients and antioxidants you’re consuming and that is good for you.
  3. Clean up! Before plopping down to watch the game or take a nap, do some cleaning! It’s a nice gesture to the host/hostess and it gets your body moving and burning at least a few extra calories. (:

Hope everyone has great holiday season!

5 Things I’m thankful for:

  1. My family and friends
  2. Cats
  3. My new iPad!
  4. That I have a job
  5. That I don’t have student loans I need to start paying off!

And soooooo much more!

Friday’s focus and fairy tales

I’ve always loved fairy tales, ever since I was little. When I was three, I was a princess for Halloween and continued to wear the costume as much as I could possibly get away with after that. Now, I’m 22 and my favorite show at the moment is ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

What everyone loves about a good fairy tale, is that they give us hope. Hope that no matter how bad things may seem to be, they can get better. Hope is something everyone should have. Especially when times seem difficult in the world. There are natural disasters and crazy people on our news every day that makes it difficult to see all the good and possibilities in the world.

I do believe that there is more good in the world than bad.

This weekend don’t just try to be hopeful for yourself or the world, but be the hope for others. Talk to someone you don’t know very well, or at all. Everyone can use a friend and a simple smile at stranger could be the lift they need. Take time for others this weekend and help them see the hope in the world; Help them believe in fairy tales.

Love,
Liv

Liv’s Top 12 Workout Songs Right Now

For me, when it comes to running everything begins and ends with Cascada. Also, I love old Lil’ Wayne music, so usually my mixes include a couple of each of those artists.

Here are my favorite songs to run to currently:

  1. Every Time We Touch – Cascada 
  2. Sky Is The Limit – Lil’ Wayne
  3. It Get’s Better – Fun.
  4. Bootylicious – Destiny’s Child
  5. Die Young – Ke$ha
  6. Everybody Loves Me – One Republic
  7. Up All Night – One Direction
  8. Work Hard, Play Hard – Wiz Khalifa
  9. I Want You To Want Me – Letters to Cleo
  10. Upgrade U – Lil’ Wayne
  11. Live While We’re Young – One Direction
  12. San Francisco – Cascada

(If you click on the songs you’ll be able to listen to them on Grooveshark!)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Love,
Liv

My First Homecoming as Alumna

Earlier this month I visited Boone, N.C. for the first time since graduation last May. I had been missing college, my small college town in the mountains and most of all my friends. I hadn’t seen any of my friends from school in over four months.

I love my friends so much and I have a wonderful group of girlfriends from school. We are all scattered now which is really hard. Towards the end of my final semester I was worried that we would get distracted with our lives and find it difficult to stay in touch. I know that the older we get the more time and effort you have to put into all of your relationships in order for them to last.

I was inspired by the Sisterhood of Travelling Pants and dragged my friend, Laura with me to all the thrift stores in Boone because I insisted we were to find a pair of jeans that fit all of us so we can keep in touch like they do in the books. In reality, there are a couple problems with this. One, it’s not possible and two, even if it was, about 90 percent of jeans at thrift stores are hideous.

olivia leigh gaggi

About mid-summer I came up with a plan B to magical pants, a more realistic one. I started a group chat with our group of friends on Facebook. It was a perfect alternative to magical pants! We all contribute to an ongoing conversation about funny stories, dates and life updates. It also has made planning trips together so much easier.

Homecoming was our first trip and now that we all have jobs we can hopefully begin planning more. It was so good to see them all again. We had so much fun returning to our favorite bar, tailgating and going to the football game. Since I’m in Florida where we see almost no Fall, I forced myself to get up early a couple days to go for hikes and see the changing leaves in the mountains. I can’t wait to go back to Boone again and I definitely can’t wait to see all my friends again.

olivia leigh gaggi

olivia leigh gaggi

olivia leigh gaggi

It’s so strange visiting your college town. I feel like I’ve only been pretending to be a grown up! Maybe that’s why they say “fake it till you make it?” I don’t know!

Love,
Liv