Milan, Italy | Photo Diary

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The moment when I realized I’d left my cell phone on the table was a moment that was full of emotion–first silently and then loud. Profanities bounced off the walls of our tiny AirBNB apartment as I paced and retraced my steps of the afternoon in my brain.

Finally after going through my mental rolodex of curses, I determined that the only place it could possibly be was at the tavern with the slightly-too-sweet tiramisu. We were all the way back across town in our apartment and for a moment I thought “I can do this trip without my phone.” Then reality swung a punch and I realized “no, you absolutely cannot you fool.”

With a pit in my stomach and eyes to the ground I saw the pavement blur by as began to run (with little to no dignity or faith and a shortage of breath) to where I hoped my phone still remained.  Back down into the metro I’d go, barreling onto the train and then back off again; speed walking under the shade of the duomo, across the piazza, down the narrow alleys and finally stumbling into the kitchen of the tavern.

I probably could’ve come across less panicked (it probably seemed like I’d left my child there) but the servers understood, even through my broken Italian, what was going on. After the longest two minutes of my life, the owner finished his phone call, reached behind the counter and handed it to me with a smile. I have never been so happy in my life. Bless you sweet, sweet Italian man. May you be forever blessed with lots of happy customers to your restaurant of checkered tablecloths and delicious lasagna. Please take care of your bee problem on the patio. Sincerely, Lauren.

There will never come a day when Italy does not hold a special place in my heart. Since my first visit there in 2011 I’ve known that the Italian lifestyle is one I can get behind. Schedules are more relaxed, there’s always pizza (or calzones), sentences sound like songs rather than statements, being surrounded by centuries old architectures with one million stories to imagine, dinners that run late into the night, wine continually flowing and.. the men. The Italian men, ya’ll. My kryp-to-nite.

 

And next time I’m in Italy? The south. I’m aching to see the Amalfi coast, Sardinia, and the secret panini places hidden in alleys in the smallest towns. They’re always the best.

Speak to you soon!

 

x

 

9 | Monday Playlist


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It’s Monday again and that means it’s new music day again! Making these playlists is something I genuinely look forward to because not only do I get to show you guys (potentially) new bands, but I get to seek some out for myself. I usually try out the playlist for a week before I launch it live on here, and this one is no exception. In fact, based on that one week trial, this one may be one of my favorite one’s I’ve ever published. (That may or may not be based solely on the fact that Ryan Gosling’s band is the first track. I’m serious. Google “Dead Man’s Bones.”)

(…Also be careful googling that because your results might be weird).

It’s officially the second week of July, so here’s to nearing the dog days of summer.  I wish that meant:

A) Free puppies!
B) There is no other choice!

But what it means instead is that things are about to get a little toasty here in the southern United States. Now would be a great time to start hydrating, allowing yourself more time than normal to walk places, getting milkshakes more frequently and warning your friends that it’s hot so you’ll be reaching “hangry”* status more quickly than normal.

*hangry: hane•gry, adj- being so hungry that you are visibly upset. “Lauren had to wait to sit down at the pizza restaurant for dinner, and impatiently watching everyone else crunch their piping hot crust made her hangry.”

Here’s this weeks playlist! Stay cool! (Literally)

 
 

Speak to you soon!

x

Sunday Inspo | A Note on Patience

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A little inspiration for the beginning of a new week. I know, for me, this is may be a little bit of a challenging one. Why? Because patience is hard. Patience is one of those things that’s easier said than done in almost any situation, but it’s also one of those things where I have to drop my hands because I am not in control. Why worry about something that you can’t do anything about until you can, right?

Hang on tight this week. Remember that whatever you’re waiting on is worth the wait.

10 ways to distract yourself from the waiting game:
1. Put on your jogging shoes and go out the door before you have a chance to change your mind. I know from experience that just going on a brief (and still struggle filled) run around your neighborhood can help to put things into perspective…or at least help you focus on how awful the hill you’re about to run up is (*life metaphor, am I right?!?*). Spoiler alert: you are going to make it to the top. Promise.

2. Drive. Go anywhere. Blast your favorite music,  blast Coldplay’s new album (or Ed Sheeran if you’re into that kind of thing) and watch your city roll on by. And SANG. Loud. Who cares who’s next to you at the stoplight (unless it’s that person you smiled at, at the bar last weekend…then you cool it).

3. Find yourself a snow cone. There is nothing that a snow cone on a hot day can’t help. (If you live in Nashville figure out where Retro Sno is because it will not only change your day IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE OKAY?

4. Say yes to things this week. I know that I’m really guilty of holing myself up in my room and shutting down when I’m stressed out, but I’ve found that if you actually LEAVE your room (aka the center of all stress) then you will be able to breathe a lot easier.

5. Make a to do list and check thangs off. Getting things done always makes me feel a sense of accomplishment and makes any stress I have seem a lot less daunting.

6. Pizza.

7. Fill up your schedule so you don’t have time to think about whatever it is you can’t stop thinking about.

8. Laugh as much as you can; watch a funny movie, binge on buzzfeed, hunt down the next big youtube sensation, cruise the internet for comedy gold…I swear it helps. I make a point to spend some time on my favorite funny websites before bed most nights. Laughing relaxes you and makes your brain feel 100 times better. Or call me because I’m hilar.

9. Plan something really great for what happens after you know you’re going to find out about whatever it is you’re waiting on. That way you’re looking forward to something and not dreading it.

10. Pizza. (Needed to reinforce how important this step is. Ask for ranch.)

 

 

Speak to you soon!

x

Upcoming Travels | September Euro Trip

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Although we have just stepped over the threshold of July, come September I will be stepping over the threshold of Western Europe. This has been a crazy year for me as far as travel goes, and when one more opportunity for 2014 fell into my lap I couldn’t very well turn it down. My best friend, Finis, and I will be going on a three week adventure into Austria (Vienna and Salzburg), Italy (Milan and Lake Como), and France (Cannes, Monaco, Reims, Giverny and Paris). We spent days working out our itinerary, but really what does it matter because our every move will be probably be dictated by things like cake…and wine.

We opted to stay in AirBNB apartments as opposed to hotels and we’ve both got a travel style that tends to lean towards taking each day and experience as it comes. We also have a mutual love for bread so there will probably be a new Instagram hashtag starting called #thedailybaguette.

Oh also we’ve got floor seats to see Beyonce in Paris, but that’s a story for another time.

Traveling is one of the things my heart b e a t s for. This year I’ve seen more countries than I could’ve imagined and more of America than I could’ve imagined, too. We’re only halfway through 2014, but it’s one for the books.

So excited to share everything with you guys!

 

Speak to you soon!

 

x

 

follow me on instagram at @lacunnigham 

Kentucky Bourbon Trail | Map

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I remember someone once told me that if you want to know more about something, you should surround yourself with it; if you want to learn French, go to France; if you want to know about art, visit as many galleries as you can; and if you want to know about Bourbon-Whiskey, go to Kentucky. So (you better believe) I did.

On the way up to the cabin, since we would be driving through bourbon country, we decided to make a stop on the Bourbon Trail–AKA the region that America’s best distilleries call home. After much debate on where to start we decided on Woodford Reserve in Versailles* Kentucky(there was really no competition, let’s be honest).

*Pronounced “VER-SALES” if you’re a native and also if you don’t know what France is.

The tour through the distillery was about an hour long and took us through each stage of the bourbon process from cooking to consumption*. The Woodford distillery is the oldest around in the states; it was built some time in the late 1700s and the architectural style is so truly Scots-Irish you may forget you’re in Kentucky. After being up close and personal with such much bourbon, it’s a little bit hard for me to tell myself not to start a micro distillery…in my kitchen.

*My favorite part was the consumption.

After visiting my first distillery it’s now become a goal of mine to visit the rest on the trail. (Who doesn’t want to drink learn more about bourbon and the area that does it best?). To make that journey a little easier, for myself and for anyone else who wants to join in, I thought I’d make a little map. Bon Voyage!

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After a change of plans I’ll be leaving for Charleston tomorrow in the A M and making stops in Chattanooga, Atlanta, and who knows where else. Why not make a long drive into a real road trip, right?

 

Speak to you soon!

Weekend in the Woods

R&R | Summer Camping Essentials, via Red Lips + Tortilla ChipsWeekend in the Woods

 

Early tomorrow morning I’ll be loading up in a car with two of my dearest friends to escape the world for a few days. We’re headed to West Virginia for a weekend of hiking, swimming, star gazing and cabin-living.

I’m most excited about this trip because there isn’t any option but to be off the grid for a little while. Having a job that is centered around the internet means I am literally a l w a y s on my computer; or on my phone; or finding some tinfoil to make an antenna to check my email when there’s no 3G. But not this weekend. This weekend we’re stepping away from it all.

I’m taking my camera to capture the scenery (and the ridiculousness), but I’m hoping the next few days will be a big moment that we’ll just be living in. What I mean by that is instead of being consumed with the things we can take away from the trip on our phones or our memory cards we’ll be consumed with being with each other and making actual memories instead of virtual ones. I think it can be hard to do that in 2014, but I’m determined that this weekend will be full of them.

I’ll be excited to show you guys the moments I do capture. And don’t worry, as I’m sure you know, there will be plenty.

Exciting travel news when I get back! Speak to you soon!

 

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