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NETFLIX RECOMMENDATIONS

What better time than now to binge Netflix? I wanted to share my all-time favorite Netflix shows. Like everyone, we have a little extra time on our hands and the urge to watch new shows. So, whether you want a fun, witty short series or a day long binge, here are my recs!

Let me know if any of these are your favorites, and if not, what yours are! Thanks for stopping by. 
xo,
jojo


THE ULTIMATE FOOD GUIDE TO FLORENCE, ITALY


This post has been a long time coming! Ever since I finished up my semester abroad living in Florence, Italy, I knew I wanted to share all my favorite and top eats, shopping, and travel tips. If you are heading to Florence soon, this post is absolutely for you!

It is not secret Italy is known for some amazing food, Florence specifically. Between paninis, pizza, pasta, steak and even brunch... Florence really has everything. Thankfully, there was not too much food you would miss (besides Chick-Fil-A).

For reference, I lived in the Santa Croce neighborhood of Florence and was about a 10-minute walk from the Duomo and 5 from Pitti Palace! The majority of these places were relatively near my area/close to the Duomo or river.

  • Rooster Cafe: Super trendy and cute, they have unreal pancakes and their chicken and waffles is to die for! So so good and perfect to satisfy fried chicken cravings! Always has a long wait on the weekends, so be aware. 
  • La Vespe: Best brunch hands down!! So so delicious, real bacon (biiiiiig plus for me), good portion sizes and a lot of options! It is the most American like brunch you will find, but definitely still super European. My friends loved the King, their breakfast burrito, and I loved their classic breakfast. They also have great vegan options and fantastic coffee! 
  • Ditta Artignale: Probably my favorite place in Flo -- the absolute best coffee, but they also have such delicious food. My favorite coffee from them was the latte macchiato with oat milk, perfect flavor and I didn't even need any sweetener, their coffee is that good. You really cannot go wrong with anything there. They have breakfast and lunch -- the crust avocado was my fav!! Also, perfect for sitting and doing work all day.
  • Green Street Bar: Bar at night, but iced coffee and bagel place during the day. My roommate would go there all the time for iced coffee! More traditional, they have regular flavors you can add. You can also get a traditional bagel with cream cheese or bacon, egg, and cheese! 
  • La Milkeria: Crepe heaven, but they also have fantastic waffles/pancakes and their own gelato. Really great lattes, another place with flavoring that is actually good! Not the best to sit and do work since it is small and their WIFI never worked for us. 
  • Any bakery/cafe: If you are okay with just pastries or simple cappuccinos! There is one on every corner. Since I am lactose intolerant I preferred going to actual coffee shops for more milk options! 

  • Oil Shoppe: They have SO MANY options! 50 something sandwiches, but you also can make your own combination. As well as build your own salad, house-made chips, and really good iced coffee. This place is right across from the Rooster Cafe. It was a personal favorite I found too late in the semester, but once I started going I could not stop! I really love all the customizations they offer. 
  • Pinos: A CLASSIC! Pino is the sweetest man ever, become friends with him. You will be greeted with a smile and love every time you walk in! Great classic panini combinations, not as much customization. They also have a lot of freshly made pasta and other baked foods you can take to go or sit and eat there! 
  • Panini Toscana: This place is right by the duomo, it is a small little place, but it is SIMPLE AND DELICIOUS. Right when you walk in, you can try meat and cheese for free (every time you go in might I add), you then pick which of those options you want on your panino, pick your bread and then pick from their small but tasty selection of toppings. A true experience and the location is convenient! 
  • Sandwichchic: A lot of people raved about this place! I had never personally been, it was far from my apartment/classes, but my roommate went all the time and loved it! 
  • Shake Cafe: I went here probably more than I needed to because it is a little pricier, but basically like a vegan/healthy cafe. They have great smoothies, coffee, and acai bowls, as well as build your own bowl/salad! Really great option when you are craving greens and fresh food. 
  • Tamarindo Juicery: Ugh this place. I love it so much, their juices and smoothies are so good. You also can buy fresh fruit, random healthy things, and ALMOND BUTTER. They have freshly made almond and peanut butter, which was a lifesaver. They have toasts, bowls, soups, etc. Such great and tasty healthy options, also a good amount of room to sit and do work! 

  • Pizza Napoli: Hands down the best pizza in Florence! Simple and delicious, the pesto was my favorite. The guys who work there are such fun and if you're a girl your pizza is always made in a heart, it is super cute and I am convinced makes it taste better. We all thought it was way better than Gusta Pizza! 
  • Yellow Bar: You can watch them make their fresh homemade pasta, they have a lot of whole wheat pasta which is excellent. Whichever fresh pasta with the spicy sauce was amazing! This is a great place to go with a group, but warning I got seafood once it made sick so just stick to the regular pasta lol. 
  • Osteria Santo Spirito: I could not get enough of this place!! Thankfully, my best friends lived right above it so we had an excuse to go a lot. They are known for their  TRUFFLE GNOCCHI. To die for. But, you HAVE to try to beef stew, so so delicious it is unreal. Plus, free bread with the best olive tapenade I have ever had. The best part is you can get half portions of everything!! Make a reservation for sure. 
  • Aqua al 2: When you are tired of pasta and pizza and want to treat yourself, go here. Get the steak sampler. It is not really worth the price of getting something other than steak. I loved both the blueberry and balsamic, absolutely outstanding. Definitely pricey, and definitely make a reservation!! 
  • Dantes: Ah, this place. Food is average for sure, BUT there is unlimited wine, so it all balances out. Great place to pregame and have dinner with friends!! 
  • Trattoria Za Za's: They have the biggest menu ever, and everything is surprisingly good. This place is HUGE so it is great for groups! I loved anything wild boar or truffle or pesto from here! You really cannot go wrong. 
  • Da Que' Ganzi Trattoria Osteria: The best restaurant in Florence, no questions!! We stumbled in here because it was right by our apartment. MY LAST MEAL IN FLO! The lamb pasta is OUTSTANDING. The pumpkin soup is EVERYTHING. The pistachio creme brulee... just omg. Everything is amazing, the wine is amazing, the people are so nice. I cannot say enough about how great this place is! 
  • La Giostra: I wouldn't say its an absolute must, it is def expensive, but really delicious meal, go with your parents if they want somewhere boujee. Elton John ate here while we were abroad, it is popular for celebrities, but not an absolute must if you are only visiting Flo. 
  • Foody Farm: I was a huge fan of this place. It just has GOOD FOOD. It is all fresh, and super delicious. It reminds me of upscale bar food here in the US, yet it is all really affordable. Everything on the menu was delicious!

  • La Carraria: We went here every single day, thankfully it was right by our apartment, the man is so nice who works there. But y'all this gelato is SO CHEAP and SO DELICIOUS. You can get gelato for a euro. You have to get the caramletto, and the pistachio creme flavors!!
  • Eduardos: I have a soft spot for this place. They have really good healthier options, a lot of vegan/dairy-free options which I loved and such unique flavors. Their walnut and fig flavor is delicious! Plus, their homemade cones are EVERYTHING, so so good.  
  • Don Ninos: Right next to the duomo, so it is very pricey, but their cannoli gelato is unreal and so worth it. Absolutely delicious! Their cannolis are eh, and definitely not an everyday kind of gelato because it is like $6 lol.
  • La Strega: On the other side of the river kind of hidden, but probably my favorite gelato in Flo. Their flavors are unique, bold, and I love it. I was obsessed with the spicy chocolate and Mexican cinnamon!! My roommate loved their Nutella one and it had Ferrero Rochers inside! 
As always, thank you for reading and follow me on Instagram! DM with any other Florence recs.

JANUARY FAVORITES


We say this every month, but really... where the heck did January go!? With heading back to school and finally getting into a routine, the time has really been flying by, but hey, at least I've been having fun so far.

Between Christmas and other discoveries over the past month, I couldn't help but share some favorites! Everything is linked below, as well as the YouTube video where I go into depth about why I'm really loving everything.


Have the best rest of the month! What have you been loving recently?

#PICKMEFORIV2020


It's the summer of 2016, you just graduated high school and have no clue how the next four years, let alone the next four months will change your life forever.

So, you're headed to this place called Ionian Village. You've heard the hype, their supposed "this is going to be the best summer of your life" claim, but you aren't buying it. You think you have your Orthodox faith figured out, years of Sunday School and metropolis church camp, you are basically a veteran. How different could Ionian Village really be?

You have been complaining because you don't want to give up your phone for three weeks... those poor poor Snapchat streaks and don't even get me started on missing out on almost a whole month of Instagram.

Little do you know the life-changing adventure you are about to embark on... 

It is your first time in Greece, and you are going without your parents? Kind of like the one time when your mom was sent to the xorio to stay with her YiaYia for the summer, right? Lucky for you, you have quite a few familiar faces at camp, so you aren't too worried.

When you get there, it is SO LOUD. Whistles, screaming, banging, jumping, and you hate all of it, obviously. How could this be anyone's idea of fun?

While only the next day, you are the one screaming in excitement banging on the tables. Funny how much can change in one day, huh? Let alone, three weeks.

The first night you gain bonds unimaginable. These girls are going to be your family for the next three weeks. The following days you rekindle old friendships and form unbreakable new ones.

You will be exhausted. You will be hot (it is summer in Greece after all). You will be forced to play games you may not think you want to play or have to drink decaf frappes (blasphemy, I know), but the thing is... you will love every second of it.

Eventually, you will get tired of having to listen to your counselors all the time. The same counselors who were there for you to cry with, laugh with, support you, and encourage you. The same counselors who will become some of the greatest mentors you never knew you needed. The same counselors who guided you and everyone else in your cabin to be unapologetically themselves.

There is so much more to Greece than what you thought. Visiting some of the most beautiful monasteries and witnessing the Lord's miracles are priceless. You will gain a special bond with places and Saints to have with you forever.

These places will push your faith. I bet you never thought you would be crawling into a hole too small to seem possible, crying out of fear and amazement. Letting the Lord show you the impossible is possible if you just believe.

You may have thought you had your faith figured out, but were you living through it every day? Were you always believing? Ionian Village showed you how to live through your faith each and every moment. To be able to communicate your faith to others with no device, no barriers. To connect with one another through your faith and your hardships.

Through faith, you gained some of the best relationships you will ever cultivate. This faith will help guide you into the next scary four years of college.



Three weeks will fly by... you've only called your parents twice to let them know how much you don't want to leave, you have no voice, you have 20+ new best friends dancing your hearts out on the final night in Athens. The girl who never cries bawled her eyes out thinking about having to leave the people who gave her so much.

You had the best summer of your life. 

Little do you know, your freshman room decor would solely be IV photos. The highlight of your freshman year is heading to Nashville for your reunion. You would make your own reunions the following year.

Little do you know, you would be hoping to end college the same way you started it. At Ionian Village. But this time, trying to help teenagers find themselves and their faith just like you found yours.

Meet me at the chapel. #PICKMEFORIV2020