A perfect day in Milan:

As soon as I stepped foot in Milan I felt like I was home. Probably more so than I’ve felt anywhere else, ever.

Here are my top five things to do in Milan to ensure you have a perfect day.

483e4d4ca7be11e1b10e123138105d6b_7

1. Buy the current issue of VOGUE ITALIA. Though you could buy it anywhere in Italy I think everyone should buy it in Milan, since it is the fashion capital of the country… it just has more meaning.

8c692eeea76711e19894123138140d8c_7

2. Window shop stores you’ve never heard of / could never afford.

These shoes remind me of something a modern Cinderella would wear!
These shoes remind me of something a modern Cinderella would wear!

3. Climb the stairs to the top of Milan’s duomo. It’s the third largest cathedral in Europe!

401799_3513763198645_325104235_n

olivia leigh gaggi

4. Then, grab a bite in Milan’s version of “Central Park.”

9e9188d0a7be11e18cf91231380fd29b_7

5. Go to the museums. Don’t forget to make your appointment to see Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper at least six months in advance or you’ll miss it like me! After you see the official museums check out some of the fun art on the streets!

d6963c4ea7be11e18bb812313804a181_7

317969_3513767718758_1562185546_n
Try not to leave your heart in Milan like I did.. I’ve been homesick since I left!

Love, Liv

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 =]

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

Free Fitness and Health

“Letting down barriers to be open to existence”

I always feel better after yoga. However, when I get busy it tends to be the first thing to go. Plus, the cost of classes can add up fast, especially when you have an entry-level job and are trying to save your money!

A lot of cities have opportunities for free community group fitness classes. You just have to know where to look! Do a Google search with your city and the type of class you’re looking for. On the top of my head, I can think of two weekly free yoga classes, a couple running groups and a CrossBoot class just in the Tampa area.

This past weekend, my friend Angela and I went to a free yoga class in downtown Tampa being put on by Downtown Tampa Yoga. It was a great class on a beautiful Florida Fall evening and the perfect way to start my week!

Towards the end of the class the instructor recited this quote:

“Letting down barriers to be open to existence”

I love this because in order to live a life full of loving people and experiences, you have to be able to let down barriers and let others in.

It’s always nice to have a reminder. It helps keep your mind and heart balanced on what is most important.

Love,
Liv

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi

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

Liv Learns: Post College

It’s been a hot minute since I updated this thing so I thought I’d catch everyone up with five things I learned about myself since my last entry.

    1. I can go somewhere completely foreign on my own. Travelling on my own showed me how much I was capable of. Researching destinations, planning hostels, transportation basically everything is just the first half of going on a trip like that. Once you head out solo is you learn that, once you open your mind to opportunities you can accomplish anything.

      olivia leigh gaggi

    2. I can run. While I’ve always been into working out and fitness I absolutely despised running. At the gym, I’d sprint for about five minutes at a time, go do something else, then sprint again. Coming home after Europe and graduation was going to be the first time in my life that I didn’t have a gym membership. That, plus the fact that I decided to grow out of my asthma this past summer, is what motivated me to learn to love running! Since, I’ve done a 5k, 10k and next month I’ll be running in a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot with my sister!
    3. I can kinda cook. Before I got my job, my life this summer consisted of these things: Instagram, running, Pinterest and catching up with old friends. But, mostly Pinterest. Therefore I spent a lot of time looking at food and recipes. Before this summer the only things I could make were strawberry pizza and tortellini soup. Thanks to the lovely invention of Pinterest I’ve now made cookies from scratch! And these interesting avocado chocolate chip pancakes! 
    4. I can get a job! After what felt like months and months of hunting for a job and feeling like I’d forever be living at home with my parents, I found a perfect one for me! Now, if only finding the perfect boyfriend were that easy.
    5. It’s possible to have a new beginning in an old place. If you had asked me six months ago where I’d be right now I would’ve said, “anywhere but Tampa.” Heck, if you had asked me four years ago I’d probably say the same thing. I changed my mind. I realized that my hometown is actually a pretty good place to be. We’ve got the best beaches nearby, amazing sunsets and plenty of interesting people to be entertained by. It’s all about perspective and how you see a place or situation.  Returning home having graduated college and having grown into who you are is a totally different situation then when you were 17. Like you would anywhere else, you’ll get a job, meet new people and have the experiences you want to have. You just have to go out looking for them.

Love,
Liv

PS- I also learned how to do a top bun! Wha wha!