Exploring Pasadena and Hollywood

Oh, back to reality. This past week I was off exploring the twists and turns of Pasadena and Hollywood after work. Now I’m back at my office thinking about the adventures and delicious food I had. After all, isn’t one of the best things about traveling the food?


Shopping in Old Town Pasadena

My shopping addiction doesn’t stop when I travel. Old Pasadena is known for its incredible line of shopping. For conscious shopping, I was able to pop into Eileen Fisher, Lou & Grey, Saje Natural Wellness, antique shop, and Madewell. As for non-conscious shopping, I wandered into Sugarfina and Banana Republic. I ended up purchasing this shirt from Madewell and this feminist shirt from Lou & Grey.


Where to eat in Pasadena

Sunlife Organics. The first day of my trade show didn’t start until 12 so I was able to wander a mile from the Sheraton hotel to pick up an acai bowl from Sunlife Organics. But this smoothie bowl wasn’t just any smoothie bowl. It was loaded up unicorn tears and leprechaun gold. But for real, I got the Samurai bowl which had blended acai, strawberry, banana, raw cacao, raw chocolate plant protein and hemp milk topped with granola, young Thai coconut meat, banana, raw cashew butter, goji berries, bee pollen, and raw honey. Talk about a game changer.

Majares. My co-worker grew up in Pasadena and actually had her wedding rehearsal dinner at Mijares. Since I’m always down for Mexican food, I was incredibly eager to try out authentic Mexican food. I ended up getting the fajitas and they were just as good as they look.


Seeing the Walk of Fame

Since we were so close to Hollywood, my coworker took me to see one of the most sought-after attractions: the Walk of Fame. Over 2,500 stars illuminate the walkway of Hollywood. Alongside the Walk of Fame are countless tourist shops that are begging for your attention. Other than seeing the Walk of Fame and the imprints in front of the  Egyptian Theater there isn’t much to Hollywood. I really preferred seeing Pasadena over Hollywood. Nonetheless, here are some of the stars I was able to see.


Seeing the Hollywood Sign

There are so many different points you can see from the Hollywood sign. Before I traveled to California the one thing I really wanted to see was the Hollywood sign. I scouted high and low on Pinterest and found it so hard to find the right information on how to see the Hollywood sign. I ended up ubering from my hotel near the Burbank airport to Lake Hollywood Park. At the park, dogs of all sizes were running around for frisbees with the Hollywood sign shining down on them. From there, I was able to walk up the hill and see incredible views of the sign and all of L.A. I’m still not sure how you get behind the Hollywood sign so if you know the answer please let me know for when I go back.


Where to eat near the Burbank hotel

On the last day of the trade show, I ended up switching my hotel to the Burbank Marriott so I would be close to the Burbank hotel. Attached to the hotel was a restaurant called EDB (Eat, Drink, Better) and man was it good. I ended up getting a veggie burger, truffle fries, and a cucumber mint mule. The veggie bugger now rivals one of my favorite veggie burgers with this one from London being my favorite.

The next morning, I continued the smoothie trend I went to Robek to get another Acai bowl. This one wasn’t as good as Sunlife Organics but it was a good quick meal before my flight.

As always,

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For the Red, White, and Blue

Hello darling! I hope your day is being filled with sunshine and fuzzy socks. If it hasn’t, hopefully, I can give you some words of encouragement. I know the past few days (or two years) have been a little overwhelming to say the least. It has been a long election cycle, and I think we can all agree that we’re thrilled for it to be done and over with.

I’m not going to get very political with you guys. I know that each and every one of you have your own brilliant ideas and have made an educated opinion about the situation. I was reading various social media sites and just kept finding post after post about how people say they don’t feel safe or that they don’t have a voice anymore because Trump is president. You have a voice. All of the work we have done in the past years to get America where it is isn’t going to go away. This one man and these four years that are about to come will not define America. I believe that our strong citizens will rise above this and hopefully be able to work together to make America as strong as it can possibly be. It all starts with being kind to one another and accepting everyone. No matter where someone comes from, how they talk, or how they differ from your life you should make an effort to get to know them. Each person has a story that is unique and can impact your life in a positive way. Don’t listen to poor rhetoric that degrades people, but listen to the American voices instead. America is great and will continue to be great if you let it.

On a less serious note, I decided to sport my patriotism because I believe America will continue to strive. I obviously needed to do that by sporting stripes and the colors of the American flag. This stripe button-down was found at Garage for $10 two winters ago and this red (I know it looks pink in the pictures, but I swear it is red) sweater is from American Eagle. I decided to throw on my favorite statement necklace, favorite suede jacket (I know you’re sick of it by now!), and my little suede booties.



I’m an American and I’m proud despite everything that has happen. I hope you continue to be a proud American with me.

As always,

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25 Things I’m Grateful For


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in America! Woo! Tomorrow is also 25 days until I return to America. In order to be festive, I decided to do a blog post about the 25 things I’m incredibly grateful for.

  1. I’m grateful for my parents. I couldn’t ask for such hardworking, kind, and caring parents. They’ve made me who I am and have taught me everything I know. They’re also very supportive for everything I do. I know that not many parents are like that. I’m very grateful for that.
  2. I’m grateful for my brothers. I’ve always looked up to them growing up and I’m so glad they’re making their marks in this world.
  3. I’m grateful for having heat in my house. After living in Italy without heat, I now understand what it is like not to have heat in your house and how precious it really is.
  4. I’m grateful for working Internet. I know this must be insane to a lot of people. But after living in a house with wifi that would stop working around 6-7pm I think of the good times when Siena Air stopped working for a couple of minutes. It’s helped me become very patient and less reliable on the Internet… and that’s coming from a blogger!
  5. I’m incredibly excited and grateful to return to a working phone once I’m in the states. Relying on wifi to send a text has been a little stressful.
  6. I’m grateful for my dogs. After not being able to see my dogs for four whole months, I can say this is something I’m tremendously grateful for. I can’t wait to see their wagging tails and drooling faces.
  7. I’m grateful for music. Fun fact: Pandora and songza doesn’t work in Italy (Netflix just came to Italy in October). I’ve been dependent on my ITunes library for the past 4 months. All my songs are from 2009 by the way. I’m looking forward to listening to Pandora and Songza as soon as I get home.
  8. I’m grateful for my boyfriend. He has stuck through me running off to a foreign country for four months and dealt with barely being able to Facetime once a week due to spotty wifi. He deserves a million thank yous and a round of applause.
  9. I’m grateful for being able to buy food whenever I need to. Seeing beggars every day makes you realize how fortunate you are to be able to eat at night.
  10. I’m grateful for Mickey and Courtney. They’ve dealt with me mispronouncing almost every Italian sentence. They’ve also dealt with me getting extremely excited and overemotional when I saw certain sights. I’m grateful for our long talks and  wonderful adventures.
  11. I’m grateful to be safe. I never feel like I’m going to be mugged or stabbed in Siena, Italy. I never feel that way in Connecticut or in New York. I know many, many people in this world don’t feel safe where they are and I’m incredibly grateful that I do.
  12. I’m grateful for home cooked food. One could only imagine how excited I am for my parent’s cooking. I’m also coming home to Christmas food… the holy grail of food in the Porter house.
  13. I’m grateful for all the 20+ flavors of gelato I’ve had in the past three months. I’ve loved every single one.
  14. I’m grateful for having clothes. After living out of a suitcase for 3 months, you can kind of say I’m a little tired wearing the same thing over and over again. I’m looking forward to wear all of my clothes, but I’m incredibly grateful for the clothes I have now.
  15. I’m grateful for having dryers. Dryers do not exist in Italy so you have to wait three days for your clothes to dry inside. I miss getting warm clothes out of the dryer. The clothes at home are also soft because of the fabric softener.
  16. I’m grateful for apertivo that costs 5 euros.
  17. I’m grateful for figuring out public transportation. I’m actually really proud of myself. It took me a while (two weeks) to figure out how to actually get home, but I figured it out and I’m so proud! Maybe I’ll be able to figure out the Albany buses…
  18. I’m grateful for each and every one of you for reading my blog! I never thought I’d have this many people reading and even following it. I’m up to 60+ countries reading my blog! How cool is that!
  19. I’m grateful for speaking English. It is a language that many people  speak in other countries. If I came to Europe speaking another language it would be even harder to communicate with others.
  20. I’m grateful for my professors. I love how my professors in New York and Italy get to know their students. I’m not a number at either college and I really like that.
  21. I’m grateful that I go to Siena College. If I did not go to Siena I wouldn’t have met all these wonderful people. Siena students are some of the most genuine, thoughtful people I have ever met. I don’t know if it’s in the oxygen, saga food, or maybe even just the Franciscan catholic morals that make the students and professors the way they are. I can definitely say I’m looking forward to going back to Siena.
  22. I’m grateful for the community I was raised in. I grew up in a small community where everyone knows everyone. I loved how quaint and beautiful it gets in every season. I love how I was 15, 20, or 30 minutes away from everything.
  23. I’m grateful for being able to see all the different countries I’ve seen. I never would have thought I’d see this many by 20! I’m incredibly fortunate.
  24. I’m grateful to for picking Siena, Italy as my study abroad location. It is such a wonderful city filled with so people who love the city. I’ve fallen in love with this amazing medieval city.
  25. I’m grateful for this opportunity to be in Italy and to explore this section of the world. It’s crazy to think that I only have 25 days left. I can remember just yesterday what it felt like on the first day. I’ve come a long way and this trip has made me more grateful for every aspect of my life. I have a warm home, great food, and great company.


What are you thankful for? Let me know in the comments!

As always,

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