Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Ways to Display Your Travel Photos

After coming home last month from my travels, I had thousands of photos to scroll through to relive all the memories. As much as I love having all my photos accessible on my phone and laptop, I am a sucker for the nostalgic feel of a printed picture. That's why I decided to order 30 prints from Printiki and I'll definitely be printing more of my adventures!
Ways to Display Your Travel Photos
When you order from Printiki with my code (at the bottom of this post) and recieve your prints, you might wonder well, now what? Here are some of the ways I'm displaying my prints. Also if you need more inspiration, check out the Printiki Instagram.
Display your travel photos in a fun way!
My room is tiny so making it as personal and cozy as possible is important to me. Adding my prints to the wall in a fun collage has made all the difference. It reminds me of the best four months of my life!
Display your travel photos with washi tape
I fastened my prints to the wall using some washi tape I bought at Joann Fabrics. It could not be more perfect! I absolutely love lemons and they remind me so much of Italy. If you've never used washi tape, it's perfect for decorating because it doesn't ruin your walls. It's also great for scrapbooking and other projects.
Ways to Display Your Travel Photos
Printiki photo prints in travel journal
I also wanted to preserve some of my photo memories in the journal I kept while abroad. I left space for these photos while I was writing.
Printiki photo prints displayed using washi tape
Of course if you are looking for other ways to display your memories, you can always frame them. Or, you can buy super cute string lights with clips and hang them like I did with my 'happy' banner.

Use this code for free shipping! 

AM3SSJYN 

There are so many possibilities! I hope this post inspired you to not just keep your travel pictures hidden away in the depths of your photo app. See how you can make your space as personal as mine with your prints.

Sponsored by Printiki

Printiki: Beautiful Modern Photo Prints

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Ways to Display Your Travel Photos

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

What I Wore... Summer Denim Darling

As Spring turns to Summer and the days become longer and warmer, I pull out all of my favorite frocks. This season, I'm loving several trends and an old favorite I decided to wear lately is the classic denim skirt. Whether you are dressing them up a bit or making them really casual, denim is the perfect transistional fabric. Keep reading to see the rest of my look.
What I Wore... Summer Denim Darling | Just Gigi

You don't find a denim skirt like this one every day; it only cost me $12 when I snagged it during a Topshop sale last year. Every year, I accumulate more and more denim and it is so easy to wear when you need to be casual. I paired this stunning skirt with some of my favorite shoes and I'm especially loving these right now because it seems I never have enough yellow in my closet. To give the skirt some flair, I added a vintage silk scarf as a belt. Try swapping the maxi skirt for a mini or the white tee for a patterned crop top to make this outfit your own!

Get the look:
+ Vintage Silk Scarf
+ Topshop Yellow Wood Clogs

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

4 Summer Trends to Add to Your Wardrobe

My perfect summer consists of wandering to new and distant places while sporting my favorite breezy dresses, but also relaxing and rewarding myself for the hard work I put into the previous semester of school. I am reminded every year of my evolving style when summer rolls around because I am always ditching last summer's clothes for something fresh. Keep reading to see the 4 summer trends I've spotted and how you can incorperate them into your wardrobe!









Which trend will you be sporting this summer? Let me know in the comment section below!

If you would like to see more, follow me on Instagram or 'Like' the Just Gigi Facebook Page! My YouTube channel will be relaunching in the next week and I will be making a Q&A video about my study abroad experience! If you have any questions for me, please leave them below and I will be sure to answer them in the video.

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All images were created by me using Polyvore.
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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What I Wore... Sunny Barcelona

It's always sunny in Barcelona...! OK, so I don't know if that's necessarily true, but when I was there, we had amazing weather. If you've never been to Barcelona, it's a beautiful city. I've been working very hard (between all the final essay writing I've been occupied by) on a Girl's Weekend Guide to Barcelona, which I should have posted sometime next week! These photos were taken at the beautiful Park Güell, a must-see if you ever go to Barcelona! Keep reading to check out what I wore...
I've been waiting since February to wear this dress in Barcelona. The minute I saw it at a clothing market in Rome, I knew it would be perfect for spinning around at Park Güell like a Cheetah Girl! I didn't have quite the most coordinated shoes at the time for this photo but try to ignore my baby blue Birks. Anyway, yellow seems to have been popular lately and this dress has gotten me loads of compliments. Definitely buying lots of yellow this summer! What do you think of this dress?


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Monday, April 3, 2017

19 Things I've Learned in 19 Years

It's unbelievable to think I'll be turning 20 in just a few days on April 6. This birthday feels very significant to me. I've loved being 19, having more freedom, and of course, studying abroad, and I think it can only get better from here. This year was great, but I know this next year of my life will be even better. To celebrate my birthday, I thought I would reflect on the things I've learned during my life so far.


1. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something. If you want it, then chase it.
2. Know that you are loved. Count the quality of your friends, not the quantity.
3. Life is short. Spend every day doing something you love. Don't wait to start working on your dream.
4. Have more fun. In the end, your grades are only letters on a piece of paper.
5. Travel the world and let life surprise you. No regrets, right?
6. Spend time in nature: never let the city you live in consume you and make you angry and cynical.
7. Capture memories with a camera or a pen. You never know when you'll need to look at them again.
8. Know your worth but don't be foolish and egotistical.
9. Keep your life simple: get rid of junk you don't need.
10. Don't hold on to people who only drag you down. They aren't worth your time.
11. It's okay not to be OK. Things get better with time.
12. Create if you're a creator. Find an outlet and just do it.
13. Care only about the opinions of those closest to you. All other opinions don't matter.
14. Avoid dramatic gossipers. If they are talking behind someone else's back, they'll talk about you, too.
15. There are people you will click with and people you won't. Don't get caught up in it. You don't have to like everyone and everyone doesn't have to like you.
16. Drink more water, eat healthier, and exercise.
17. If you're in a bad mood just put some makeup and a cute outfit on. 
18. Count your blessings.
19. Indulge occasionally and always treat yourself well.

I hope this wisdom I've picked up from my past 19 years of life touched you in some way: now onto my next decade of life! Let me know which one is most true in your life in the comment section below!

Want to read more articles like this? 'Like' the Just Gigi Facebook page, or follow me on Instagram!

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#17 If you're in a bad mood, just put some makeup and a cute outfit on.

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Monday, March 27, 2017

What I Wore... Around Paris

Oui, I went to Paris this past weekend! I have been excited for this trip ever since I bought the flight a few months ago. What I didn't expect was how much I would actually love it. Everything about it is pristine, beautiful, and chic! Of course, I have to use the word 'chic' to describe such a fashionable city! And, naturally, I wanted to look chic for the occasion... Check out my take on Parisian style!

Day One

Bonjour! I went shopping at the Zara in Rome last week and found some of the best pieces! Both the denim skirt and lace blouse were purchased there. I am a fan of any kind of detailing on clothes, and pearls have been quite popular with me lately; this denim skirt was a must for glamorous Paris. Lace blouses have also been invading my wardrobe recently. They are so classic and will truly never go out of style!

Seeing the Eiffel Tower in person was so incredible, and although we didn't go to the top, we saw a much better view from an observation deck in a skyscraper. I don't think I could ask for a more iconic sunset view.

We visited many tourist spots, including Notre Dame. It was truly amazing. The chandeliers like this one made me feel like I was inside the castle in Beauty in the Beast. By the way, have you seen the new live action one?! It was so well done!



Day Two


My friend Grace and I had brunch at Angelina, which I think is a must if you ever go to Paris. It was so fancy and I felt like a princess! They are also very famous for their speciality hot chocolate; it is pure, rich chocolate. We also had eggs in the style of our choice, three different croissants (butter, raisin, and chocolate), as well as baguettes with various jams. 

You may have noticed a new accessory I am sporting here... a beret! I was always opposed to the trend until I arrived in Paris. I thought I would try it out; what do you think?



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Monday, March 20, 2017

8 Reasons to Study Abroad for a Semester

Studying abroad is different than simply traveling around because whatever city you are staying in for 4 months is your classroom, and your weekends are filled with new adventures. Rome became my home back in January, and it will be for the next month or so. Not many college students get this experience, so I am so fortunate that I have a second home in Europe. But, if you have the chance: take it. Here are 8 reasons to study abroad for a whole semester...

1. You will learn a lot about yourself

By the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele, if you climb to the top there is a great view.
I cannot recall a time in my life where I have felt more in touch with who I am than this present moment in Rome. I have not only learned more about myself but also, my heritage. I am 25% Italian and still have family in Southern Italy. I've learned more about my family's traditions here, I saw the farm my great grandfather grew up on and spoke Italian with my cousins. Another thing is that my style has completely evolved because European fashion has had a heavy influence on my life!

Wherever you go and whatever your connection might be with that place (even if you have no connection with it at first) you will start to understand where you fit in this world. 

2. Meet new people & make friends for life

By the sea in Cinque Terre, Italy with my friends Anna, Grace, and Crystle.
I have met so many awesome people while abroad! These are girls and guys I will be friends with for the rest of my life because of all the great experiences we've had here together. It's not hard to make friends while studying abroad because, well, you're all in the same boat. You're all away from home, in a new environment, and looking for adventure. My friends and I basically started planning travel weekends the moment we all met!

You will also meet locals or other travelers. I've met people simply because they heard me speaking English and they were Americans too, or they wanted to practice their English and were curious. If you're naturally shy, I would tell you that you should go abroad. According to the Myer-Briggs test, I am an ENFP, which means I am an extrovert, but they frequently describe my type as the introverted-extrovert. Even if you tend to be more introverted, it's important to expand yourself (I'll chat about this more, later).

3. Have the chance to become a part of a new culture

There are many things I love about Italian and Roman culture, but also some things I can't stand. Wherever you go, there will be differences and similarities. Sometimes it's the small things. The bus system here is so slow and never on time, that really gets to me. Italians eat sweet pastries for breakfast and drink cappuccinos and espressos; I love savory food in the morning and I'm not a coffee drinker. Things like this drove me nuts after my first month here, but I've since learned to embrace those differences. 

It is all an adjustment, but it is an amazing, exciting adventure at the same time. You will try local foods, enjoy cultural traditions, and even adapt to dressing the part. It has given me and many others I know a better sense of our own cultures, no matter where we come from, and also has sparked a great creativity in me.

4. Expand your comfort zone

Jumping into the Aegean Sea off the coast of Santorini, Greece.
When you leave home for a semester and head to a new country, it can be daunting. But, those of us who have studied abroad know it was all worth it. When you decide to study abroad, you know you are about to embark on the greatest adventure. It expands your comfort zone in so many ways: physically, emotionally, and mentally. My friends went paragliding in Portugal, we took six flights in just nine days, we've tried new cuisines, jumped into the freezing cold Aegean Sea, and questioned our own beliefs. You'll never know yourself until you experience something outside of your own self.

5. Learn a new language

Language is not my forte, but I've studied Italian for the past year to prepare for my time here. Although I am still not very good, I'm not sure how I would have learned this much Italian at home. If you are more interested in learning new languages than I am, study abroad is the perfect opportunity to do so.

6. Take a break from your normal daily routine

Kiwi/banana and local lemon gelato in Vernazza, Italy - Cinque Terre.
Normal does not exist when you study abroad for a semester. Sure, you have class, but in between that time, you're exploring your life away. I was very accustomed to chilling in my dorm when I had downtime in between class back in Chicago, but now I am constantly out and about. That means going to the Vatican, or just chilling with my friends in the cafe, or shopping on Via del Corso (where I spend a majority of my time). I hardly ever find myself in my room because I have no time to waste, I will see everything here if it kills me!

It's a very different life, but it's absolutely incredible. We eat gelato all the time, pasta at every meal, and we walk practically everywhere. Normally I try to be gluten and dairy-free, and I plan to go back to that diet when I'm home, but for now I can't pass up amazing Italian meals. We all need to step away from the normal sometimes and see what life would be like in a different light.

7. See this beautiful world in a new light

Amsterdam, The Netherlands - AKA the weirdest and more unique city I've ever visited
I cannot fathom how many beautiful places I've seen, yet I've hardly made a dent in Europe. In Italy alone there is so much to see; I've been to Milan, Florence, Venice, and some smaller cities along the way. As for Europe, I've been to Athens and Santorini in Greece, Amsterdam, London, and will be seeing Paris and Barcelona soon. It's incredible to think that's only a small fraction of Europe.

Study abroad infects you with a major travel bug. It's like an addiction you can't get rid of. The exhilaration of boarding trains and planes and touching down in a new city every weekend is breathtaking. I left a lot of people I love back at home and Chicago to come here for 4 months, but I know they realize how happy I am to experience all of this; never be afraid to take an opportunity to see the world and travel.

8. Make your host city your classroom (and new home)

Montecassino Cathedral in Cassino, Italy. The most beautiful church I have ever set eyes on.
And finally, although I will be heading back to the United States, my true home, in just a month or so, I will always consider Rome a second home. Rome has shaped me into the girl that's ready to channel everything she's learned into something great. I haven't taken any classes toward my major here, yet I've enjoyed it because I actually get to experience the history that is surrounding me. I have an on-site class every week where I get to go learn and see beautiful churches and basilicas. It's the best way to learn!
- - -

I will turn 20 years old at the airport as I head off to Ibiza and Barcelona in just a few weeks. This is just one big great dream. I thought I would write about my experience with study abroad while I am still here because I want anyone to know who is even thinking of going abroad that it is 100% worth it. Frequently I say YOLO here and a lot of people probably think I'm really strange, but it's true! C'mon, I mean, when are you going to get the chance to study in a different country other than in college? If you have the opportunity, take it. I can't stress it enough. I'll be harsh: I don't care if you have a significant other at home, if they are really good to you, they will be able to let you go and live your life... Ask my boyfriend. Distance doesn't destroy a good relationship. Take the opportunity if you are so fortunate to be able to see the world and live in a new country.

If you're not sure about doing a whole semester abroad, there are always summer options that usually are only a month. I was looking into that, but personally, I think you need more than a month to really experience a culture. I hope this has helped you decide to study abroad! You can tweet me your questions whenever you like; I'm an open book!

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Milan Travel Guide: How to Navigate Fashion Week

When I arrived in Milan, I underestimated how difficult it would be to do everything I wanted during fashion week in only 2 days. Since I did not have an invite to any shows, I found myself basically trying to stalk where people were going through Instagram and Twitter. If you are going to any fashion week: Paris, Milan, New York, or London, but don't have tickets to a show, this is a post you must read before heading on your great, fashionable adventure.

Shop

Milan is full of beauty, as well as fabulous people that dress to the nines. It makes sense that the shopping is incredible. If you head through the district of Brera, which is not too far from central Milan, you will find funky designers you've never heard of and a few shops with sales or vintage pieces. This is a good place to buy for those of us who can't afford new Gucci purses, Fendi keychains, or Burberry trench coats. But, if you're looking to splurge, head to Quadrilatero della Moda; this is where all the big designer names have stores. My favorite include Patrizia Pepe, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana. In Quadrilatero della Moda there is also an outlet called D-Magazine Outlet. There I found the most beautiful D&G shoes, but they were $600, cheaper than normal but still would break my bank at the moment... college girl problems.

Stay

Looking for the right area to stay during fashion week? We really enjoyed our Airbnb in Chinatown. It is only an 8-minute walk from Brera where you can see a lot of great street style and shop as I mentioned before. Also, it is very close to 10 Corso Como which was top of my list of places to visit! If you haven't heard of it, 10 Corso Como is a cafe and boutique founded by Carla Sozzani who was the editor of Vogue Italia. If you are heading to a fashion week other than Milan, try staying somewhere relatively close to the fashion district or the fashion week hub.

Meet

I met some amazing people during fashion week and as a blogger and young professional trying to make connections, this was important to me. The Fashion Hub Market at the Unicredit Pavillion was so fun because I met up-and-coming designers, all with an insane amount of talent. I followed them all on social media and traded business cards so we could stay in touch. These designers usually want to hear what you have to say. They will chat up a storm with you if you just ask them some questions about their work!


On a hunt to meet celebrities at fashion week? Surprisingly it's not always that difficult! I met Chiara Ferragni, some of you may know her because of her blog theblondesalad.com, at her pop-up shop. How did I manage to meet her? By paying lots of attention to social media, especially Instagram. On her story, she had posted that she would be at her shop meeting fans and showing her new collection at 4 pm, so naturally, my friend and I basically sprinted over there. There wasn't a huge crowd at first and we were almost first in line! It was so amazing! So my tip is to periodically check for updates on social media or hang out where you know celebrities would hang out (such as 10 Corso Como).

Dress

If you want to stand out among the Milanese women, you have to think and dress like they would. Wearing all black is really very dull and fails to live up to the Milan fashion vibe. I made this mistake one day and although my outfit was cute, I probably should have brightened up my outfit somehow. If you wear something exciting with even the slightest pop of color, people will definitely have their eyes on you as you walk by. If you don't have a lot of room in your suitcase, my tip would be to pack only two pairs of shoes and try reworking other items into different outfits. For inspiration, check out this outfit that I wore during MFW.

Eat

There are two very trendy places I went during my stay in Milan: 10 Corso Como Cafe and God Save the Food. I ordered some tea at 10 Corso Como since it tends to be pricey, but had a full meal during brunch at GStF. Both tend to be popular among fashion icons. If you go, I would definitely recommend getting any of the juices from GStF! So fresh!

 

Plan Ahead

Information on where each show is being held can be found at The Fashion Hub. Although we ran out of times and didn't make it to any shows, if you go stand outside of them you will see lots of great street style and possibly even be given a ticket if you look fabulous. If you can get a hold of any information about shows before you arrive in Milan, plan accordingly! As we learned the hard way, some of the shows are held more than 30 minutes away (by public transport) from central Milan.

You will also want to plan your trip far in advance, probably at least a month to two months out. Secure your place to stay so you never have to face the problem I did with my previous Airbnb, as well as your flight or train ride.

- - -

Pin this, so you can save these tips for future fashion weeks! I hope you have an amazing time at fashion week and that these tips help you to not make the silly, little mistakes I did! The whole experience was a lot different than I imagined but still amazing in every way! Have fun!
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