Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rome's Best Gelaterias

One of my professors in Rome was a bit of a gelato connoisseur. He doesn't eat sweets all throughout the year--he only eats sweets (i.e. GELATO) during the 6 weeks that he teaches the summer session in Rome. I'm serious here.

So...we went to a LOT of gelato places. He ranked for us the Top 7 gelato places in Rome. See, gelato isn't just ice cream (beginner's mistake, I'm afraid). It's like ice cream on steroids. Instead of being made with cream, it's made mostly with milk, making it be healthier for you...according to my teacher, at least.

Here were some of my favorite gelato treats, and the gelaterias I'd recommend visiting in Rome.


This is their signature "Frigidarium" flavor (some sort of butterscotch) hand dipped in dark chocolate with a cookie placed on top. The chocolate-dipping is what they're known for.


Old Bridge is known for their generous portions. See this cone here? It was already half done by the time I took this picture. This is their pistachio and cookie flavor. When in Rome, you must try a pistachio gelato. I had never tried anything pistachio before, and by the end of the trip it's the only flavor I wanted to eat!


My last gelato in Rome! This gelateria was close to our campus. It won't make any "best gelateria" lists (except mine), but it was conveniently located near our campus and was well-priced. This is pistachio and muffin--yes, muffin!


According to my teacher, this is the best gelateria. Hands down. It's located in this tiny alleyway, so it's a little hard to find. I tried the dark chocolate (made with a red wine), and the rosemary. It was delicious.


Friday, June 29, 2012

Book Club Friday: The Art of Fielding

Hey everyone! I'm linking up with Blonde...Undercover Blonde today to talk about what I'm reading this week.

I'm reading The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store

Synopsis from iTunes:
At Westish College, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league until a routine throw goes disastrously off course. In the aftermath of his error, the fates of five people are upended. Henry's fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz realizes he has guided Henry's career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life.

As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets. Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, "The Art of Fielding is mere baseball fiction the way Moby Dick is just a fish story" (Nicholas Dawidoff). It is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment--to oneself and to others.

My thoughts:

I'm not finished with the book yet, but I'm in love. My mom read it before me and told me that I had to read it. I'm not the biggest baseball fan in the world (meaning I know nothing about baseball other than the fact that you hit a ball with a bat and there's nine innings). Still, I fell in love with this book. 

It's not about baseball, guys.

It's about a college-aged boy who starts out being a star on campus and falls. 

It's about having a talent and then having that stripped away from you. 

It's about the tedious process of planning out your future and the stress of having it ride on your performance.

I can find this book so relatable, so I'm sure you all will too! I'm sure I'll do a full review once I finish it. Like I said, it's not about's about the irony of life, and how our destinies are intwined in each other's. The book is almost magical. Can't wait to finish it!

What are you all reading right now? Give me some book suggestions!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Forming a Directory: Call for Blog Link-Ups!

So I have a problem, fellow bloggers. I really want to participate in blog hops and link ups, but I never seem to get the timing right. I usually write my posts ahead of time, so when I see a post such as "Tuesday Link-Up" in my feed, I already have a post written for that day.

It's very sad. I know.

So here's what I'm proposing. I was already making a list of all the weekly link-ups in Evernote for myself, but I thought, why not share the list with all of my followers?

Here's a list of all the weekly link-ups I've seen. Comment or email me if you host a link-up or participate in a favorite one! I'll add it to the list.
Click on the buttons to go to the link-up pages!

"Mani Monday" by Heather at


Just Peachy
"Top Five Tuesday" by Rachel at Just Peachy


"Oh, How Pinteresting" by Michelle at The Vintage Apple

"What I'm Loving Wednesday" by Jamie at This Kind of Love

"My Life in an Instagram" by Liz at According to L


"Awkward and Awesome Thursdays" from Sydney at The Daybook



"Book Club Friday" by Heather at Blonde, Undercover Blonde and Katie at The Nerdy Katie

"Friday Favorites" by The Bargain Blonde
"Strut Your Stuff" at Six Sisters' Stuff

"Weekend Update" hosted by Sami at Sami's Shenanigans, Leann at Join the Gossip and Dana at five30three

"Sunday Confessions" hosted by Alyx at Every Day is a New Adventure

Social Media Mondays, Blog Hops Everyday




Happy Go Lucky

Aloha Friday Blog Hop

Blog Hops Everyday Friday Blog Hop


At Home Take 2

Thanks everyone! If you want, please share this list with others. Though it's still small, I hope it can help other bloggers out.

*if you don't want me to post about your link-up here either, don't hesitate to email me and let me know!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

Hey guys! I got tagged by Kasia at Koju Bofu for the One Lovely Blog Award. Thanks so much Kasia! Here are my answers for the questionnaire. I've tagged some blogs for the award at the bottom of this post.

What is your favourite dessert?
After all the time I spent in Italy, it would be sacrilege if I didn't say gelato. I mean, look at this awesomeness in a cone:

(From gelato place in Rome!)

When you're upset, what do you do?
I end up talking to my family about it. I'm closer to the three of them than anyone else, so often we let each other vent and give out advice. I don't know what I'd do without them!

What was your favourite pet?
My yellow-lab Maggie of course! She's sitting next to me as I type this. Such a good friend.

What do you prefer to wear, black or white?
Depends on the season. At the moment I love pairing a white tee with colorful shorts. But in fall and winter I usually tend to wear darker colors, including lots of black.

What is your biggest fear?
Right now, I probably fear that I'm not going to accomplish everything I want to in life. I saw all sorts of adventurous people in their 20s while in Rome. I want to make sure that, like them, I keep living my dreams.

Though, in all actuality, this is a little more scary to me. You will NEVER see me ride this ride.

What is your attitude mostly?
I try to be as positive as possible. I think I have a sarcastic, ironic sort of humor when I'm around my family and close friends. However, when I'm in a job setting or around acquaintances I try to be as friendly as possible and smile at everyone.

What is perfection to you?
This right here.

JUST KIDDING! Honestly, I think perfection is different for everyone. I'm not as much as a perfectionist as people think I am. For me, perfection is getting a grade in school that I'm happy with and I feel like I deserve. As long as I feel like I've tried my best, I feel like I've achieved perfection.

What is your guilty pleasure? 
Diet Coke and M&Ms. They're a match made in Heaven. The problem is that once you start munching on the M&Ms, you can't stop. I have to physically push the bag out of reach from me.

TAGS: I decided to tag only five people but, like always, it was so hard to choose! 

--Asilia at Reasons to Procrastinate
--Cassandra at 25 in my 25th
--Chris at The Third Act
--Kelsey at The High School Prep
--Belle at The Life and Times of Belle

Congrats everyone!

Also, I wanted to let you all know about the "Bloggers Coast to Coast" initiative by Shane from Whispering Sweet Nothings. She's trying to make a map of a whole bunch of bloggers so meet ups and such can be arranged. Go sign up and get your blog added to the map!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Beauty Tip: Drying Nail Polish with Cold Water

I don't know about you, but waiting for my nail polish to dry is absolute torture. I just don't like to sit still, and I have a problem where I'll touch my nails to see if they're still wet. As you can imagine, from this they always get smudged, and look like a seven-year-old did them.

SO I was excited to find on Pinterest an easy way to dry your nail polish in three minutes. All you do is submerge your nails into ice-cold water for three minutes while they're wet. According to Pinterest, they'll dry immediately and the polish that got on your skin will peel off.

I had to try this one out for myself, because it sounded like a life-changing tip.

I got my bowl of water and my nail polish ready. The teal is Sephora's "Teeny Bikini", which I got during my time in Rome. The other polish is OPI's "I Eat Mainely Lobster", but I'll save that for a different post.

Right after I did two coats, I slowly put my hand in the ice-cold water bath and set a timer for three minutes. Trust me, those three minutes seem to go on forever--your hand starts getting really cold towards the end.

So...did it work? Not perfectly. As you can see, not all of the polish on my skin peeled off. The nails were somewhat dry, but not completely. The water definitely sped up the process, but it didn't make them instantly dry like Pinterest claimed. I waited another five minutes before putting on a top coat, and then I was done! 

Would I do it again? Probably. Like I said, the water speeds up the drying process. Try it for yourself and see if it works better for you!

Monday, June 25, 2012

My Strange TV Obsessions: Summer 2012

Summer usually means that all the good, primetime TV shows are on hiatus. For me, it means that I finally can catch up with the shows I missed during the busy academic year!

Apparently I'll watch anything...because these five TV shows are about as different from each other as you can get. Here's the shows I started watching at the beginning of summer and recommend to others.

1. Downton Abbey
Nope, it's not Downtown Abbey, it's Downton Abbey. And it's amazing. It's a period drama drama from BBC about a family trying to marry off their eldest daughter, who is heir to the family's fortune. You'd think the show would be a little dry, but it's not at all.

What keeps me watching is that the show focuses both on the wealthy family and their servants. You really see the contrast between the two classes. Oh, and McGonagall is in it (Dame Maggie Smith). Though the first season starts right after the Titanic sank in April 1912, the second takes place during World War I and the third will cover the Roaring Twenties.

2. How I Met Your Mother
I first started watching it during its first or second season, and I thought it would just be a copycat of Friends. I mean, you have to admit, they both have the same premise...six friends in the late twenties, living in New York City. Where have we heard that before?

But it's such a different show than Friends. I feel as if it's smarter, more heartfelt. The characters have progressed so much from Season 1 to Season 7. After the season finale, I knew I had to rewatch all the episodes again. Thankfully, they're all available on Netflix, yay!

Now if we just knew who the mother was...

3. Girls

Ok, yeah, it's hipster. Yeah, the girls are rich and can get a bit annoying. But I feel like these girls are a good portrayal of our generation. The show follows the lives of these four girls who are living in New York City and are struggling with their jobs and love lives. Though I'm still in college, I can relate to all of them.

4. Mad Men

I've been hearing about Mad Men for years, so I knew I had to start watching it. In a weird way it reminds me of Downton Abbey--both are period pieces and serialized dramas. The costumes for both are amazing too. I'm not very far into Mad Men yet, but so far I love it.

5. Baggage

It's the guilty pleasure show of all guilty pleasure shows. My parents got the GSN channel while I was away at college, so when I came back I discovered this little gem of a television show. Seriously, it's amazing. Three contestants, who are competing for a date, each have a small, medium, and large piece of baggage, each containing something weird or a bad habit the person has (like the one above, "I spoon feed my puppies at restaurants".) Whoever wins is the one whom the date thinks is the least bizarre, based on their baggage. It sounds confusing, but you just have to watch it!

Are any of you watching any good shows this summer?