Your Dream Bathroom in 6 Styles

What every good modern home needs is a great looking bathroom.  Something relaxing yet visually appealing.  My favorite bathrooms have always been the spacious ones.  In my latest article for Furniture Fashion I show you 6 dream bathrooms.  I just can't get over how beautiful this Moorish inspired sink is.  Isn't it lovely?  Follow the link below for the full article and more dream bathroom images!

moorish sink
Do you have a bathroom of your dreams?

5 Things You Must Do on Your Holiday to Santorini, Greece

santorini, greece
See the Volcano and Take a Dip in the Hot Springs
 Santorini’s volcano is considered active and last erupted in 1950 leaving a lasting memory that can be seen all over the island’s landscape. Tours can be arranged to get close to the volcano. Don’t forget to stop by the nearby hot springs to take a dip and take advantage of a mud bath. Many locals swear by the positive effects for the skin.

Visit One of Santorini’s Magnificent Beaches
Santorini’s beaches are unique because of the influence of the volcanic ash. The island boasts beaches with red and black sand. The Red Beach is probably the most popular and its sandy beaches retain their color from an abundance of iron in the sand. Though this beach is relatively small you can spend some time sipping drinks or snorkeling. Looking for black sand? Head to Perissa beach. Unlike The Red Beach, Perissa beach, in particular, is very laid back and less crowded. There are also plenty of seafront restaurants to keep the whole family happy.

Visit the Stunning Village of Oia
This picturesque town is a photographer’s dream. It’s filled with white domed houses and resorts. Take a walk around this town and you will see why so many have suggested this as a must-see for visitors of Santorini. There are many ways to get there from the Fira Port, like boat, car, or hiking on foot. Don’t miss the many opportunities to photograph this site. You can also spend some time visiting the Byzantine Castle Ruins, setting aside just enough time to watch the sunset over Oia’s stunning village.
Eat the Local Foods
Greek food is based on a diet filled with vegetables, oil, fish, and grains. A local told me to try the locally grown vegetables, specifically the famous Santorini cherry tomatoes. Pairing the cherry tomatoes with eggplant and zucchini, a side of pita bread, and a heaping bowl of tzatziki sauce will put you in the right mindset. Don’t forget to try the other local foods at a Greek tavern off of the typical tourist trail.
Go Wine Tasting at One of the Island’s Wineries
Another tasty local product is the Greek wine in Santorini. The wine here is generally dry, but if it is a sweet wine you are after, try the Vinsanto. If you are looking for a specific winery, head to the Boutari Winery which is open every day and available for wine tastings.

How to Get There?
If you are looking for a relaxing Mediterranean vacation, then Santorini is the Greek island for you. Looking to book an all inclusive in Santorini? Why not make things easy? Head to First Choice, for the hook up on deals and tips for finding the all inclusive of your dreams. Don’t miss out on taking a trip to this stunning Island. It is one of my favorite Greek islands and I think you can see why!


Monthly Inspiration: Fall Fashion is Here!

One of my favorite things about Fall are the all the cozy yet fashionable clothes that come along with it.  Fall is probably my favorite time of year for clothes. Fall officially started in September, but I feel like it doesn't really get cold enough to wear fall clothes until Ocotober.  Below are 6 of my favorite fall fashion staples. 
You can't wear a big chunky sweater with baggy jeans or a baggy skirt.  Tights are the perfect thing to pair with a big comfy sweater. I also love wearing boots with tights.
fall tights
Leg Warmers
It's time to dig out all those leg warmers from the bottom of your closet.  It's officially time to start accessorizing your boots with all the lovely leg warmer options out there.
fall leg warmers
Coffee is definitely a fall accessory, at least for me!
fall coffee
Check out this infographic on 40 ways to tie a scarf.  I tend to always do mine the same way.
fall scarves
Fall Hats
All those wool you've been wearing in the summer are really perfect for fall.

fall hats
I'm really in love with fall ponchos right now.  I love how comfy they are and your shoulders never have to be cold.  I'm slowly amassing my poncho collection.
fall ponchos
What are your fall fashion staples?
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Rome: Day Two

Rome: Day Two 
Rome Itinerary/Tips and Tricks
9:00 Breakfast
10:00 Castel Sant'Angelo
12:00 Lunch
4:00 Catacombs
7:00 Trevi Fountain
7:30 Pantheon
8:00 Dinner 
10:00 Exploring the Area

Day two of my trip to Rome we had an even more packed day.  Because it was a Sunday, all of the buses were free, or they weren't free and no one was paying?.  No need to pull out that Roma card. I was determine to have a better day today and try to avoid the crowds as much as possible.  My plan of attack was to avoid guided tours all together but that didn't quite happen.

Castel Sant'Angelo
Castel Sant'Angelo was the second free museum I would attend to finish up my Roma pass.  The castle is actually pretty close to the Vatican so if you are wanting to see both it would probably make sense to do them in the same day if your Vatican tour wasn't late like mine.  The castle is in a touristy area, but most of the heat was taken away by the Vatican so it wasn't quite as bad in this area.  The line to get in wasn't long at all and I also spent some time getting some pictures of the surrounding area and beautiful bridges that reminded of me of The Charles Bridge in Prague.

The huge circular castle was originally built to be a mausoleum and later became a secret hideout for the pope, where he could access underground tunnels with its proximity to the Vatican.  Now its a museum.  One cool thing about this castle is you get to go to the dungeon and crawl through some pretty dicey spaces to see the abysmal cells where prisoners were held! Seeing the castle was nice, but not a must-see if you are short on time.  Plus, since I had missed seeing the Catacombs in Paris, I wanted to see the Catacombs in Rome! 

castle sant'angelo

castle sant'angelo
castle sant'angelocastle sant'angelocastle sant'angelocastle sant'angelo

The San Callisto Catacombs
I was pretty excited about seeing the catacombs.  The closest thing I've come to it was seeing The Bone Church in the Czech Republic and that was pretty high on my list of cool things I've seen.  To get to The San Callisto or St. Callixtus Catacombs you have to take a bus or car.  These are the most popular catacombs as there are several other ones to choose from.  They are about 30 minutes outside of the city.  I took the 218 bus from near Via Merulana.  The trip to the Catacombs was a nightmare.  It was hot and sweaty and like the Vatican, the bus was packed.  People kept pouring in and we were shoulder to shoulder.  At one point it was so hot in there and the bus was just parked that people were screaming and panicking.  It was a little scary.

Once we made it to the catacombs it was in a beautiful area.  I just wanted to sit in the shade for a bit and hide.  Once I was ready, my friend and I paid for our tickets.  They were 8 euro each and you had to join a tour to see the Catacombs, which is understandable...wouldn't want to get lost down there.  The tour wasn't long though.  It was nice and cool down there and also pretty eerie.  You don't get to see any bones in this one, most of them are either sealed in, stolen, or turned to dust.  The view in the catacombs was row after row of hollowed out tombs stacked into the wall. I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty depressing, but interesting nonetheless.

Even though I was ready to leave the catacombs, they weren't ready for me to leave.  The one bus that you could take out of there (the 218) took over an hour...or never came.  I don't really know because I ended up taking a taxi back to our room.

san callisto catacombs

The Trevi Fountain
The next few things we decided to see at night because we heard it was the place to be.  I was really excited to see The Trevi Fountain, but I heard it was under construction...bummer. I had no idea just how under construction it was.  You couldn't see anything.  Just take a look at the image below.  But I've heard from the locals that one cool thing about it was that while under construction, there is a walkway above the fountain that tourists can walk through.  This is the closest most people will ever get to the fountain.

trevi fountain

The Pantheon
Only a few blocks away from The Trevi Fountain is the Pantheon.  Though I didn't get to go inside, it was really pretty to see at night.  There is a lot of activity in this area and we decided to sit down at a nearby cafe to have dinner while enjoying this view.  

the pantheon

More Dinner in Rome
I didn't lie when I said I came to Rome for the food.  I miss seafood living in Germany and the pasta, pizza, and red wine can't be beat. Near The Pantheon is where I had the best gnocchi pesto I've ever had!

food in rome
food in rome

That's it for my two and a half day trip to Rome.  Being a city filled with art, history, and culture, this wasn't a vacation for me, I had to see as much as possible and I think I did.  There are so many more things to do in Rome that I couldn't possibly fit them into a short trip like this,  but that's okay because I was ready to head back home.

I felt like I had run all over this town.  The crowds, the cars, the sense of go, go, go!  As I had come to find out in Naples, the driving in Italy is terrible.  No one seems to follow any rules and though Naples was worse, Rome wasn't so different.  My friend told me that she heard that the key to crossing the roads here were to not look both ways and just go.  Not look both ways? This goes against everything I'd learned growing up?!?!  Eventually we started crossing the street like big kids and she was right, don't look both ways!  I guess the idea is more so, don't look like a tourist, but essentially if you are just crossing with purpose then cars are going to slow down for you and they did.  But that's probably really bad advice ;)

Have you been to Rome?  What were you favorite sights?

And if you missed part one of my trip to Rome click here.  To read more about my travels to Italy, see below:
Milan | Naples | Sorrento | Pompeii | AnaCapri | Capri | Bari | Venice 

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Rome: Day One

Rome, Italy
Rome Itinerary/Tips and Tricks
9:00: Breakfast
11:00 Colisseum
12:00 Lunch
2:30 Vatican/Sistine Chapel Group Tour
7:00 Dinner
9:00 Explore Your Area
I decided to go on a last minute trip to Rome with one of my friends.  As I've explained before, I have a love/hate relationship with Italy and after my last trip to Milan two months ago, I was more on the hate side.  I guess hate is a strong word.  I didn't hate Milan by any means but I also didn't love it. I decided to go to Rome if anything for the food and to maybe get back some of that love I needed to feel for Italy. 
Here is a basic itinerary of what I did in Rome on day one. Keeping in mind that I only really spent two days there because the other two days were spent traveling back home to Germany.
Roma Pass
The first thing we did was go to the train station (though you can find Roma passes everywhere) and purchase a Roma Pass. This is the first city pass I'd ever bought but I figured Rome was a good time to try it because we had a lot of ground to cover and I knew I'd be using a lot of public transportation.  The Roma Pass can either be for 48 hours or 3 days.  If you pick the 48 hour pass you get entrance into one free museum with discounts on tons of sights.  The three day pass entitles you to 2 free museums and both offer free transit on buses, trams, and trains.  Our method of transit was bus.  We used the bus to get everywhere and this seemed to work fine, except for the fact that they can be extremely crowded to the point where people are packed like sardines and sweating even in the middle of October.  That aside, the bus was an alright method of transportation. What we didn't factor in was that we bought the passes on a Saturday and the buses were free on Sunday, then we left the next day so we probably could have done without the full 3 day pass.  If you'd like to book the Roma Pass, you can do so on site or here.
The Walk to the Colisseum 
Our room was located on Via Merulan which was great because it was located near the Termini (main train station) and the Colisseum.  We headed towards the Colosseum by foot, along the way snapping all the pictures below.  What's amazing about Rome is that you feel like you have stepped into another world.  There are so many ruins, castles, churches, and historical monuments that you could visit attractions in Rome for months.  There was a ton to do and see.  All of the architecture, though Roman, is built during different time periods using different styles. It's a sight to be seen.  And if you notice all of the naked statues everywhere, they have little fig leaves covering their parts.  But if you actually look from a different angle you can see that many of these leaves were added later.
Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy

The Colosseum
We got to the Colosseum around 11:00.  The city even in mid October was packed.  There were tourists everywhere, I mean everywhere.  And then people trying to sell you these weird selfie devices to use with your iPhone and honestly I cringed at the people using them. 

Though the line to get in the Colosseum was packed, we had our Roma Pass and not only did it entitle us free entrance, but also we got to skip right ahead of the line.  That right there made the whole pass worth it.  We opted not to do a guided tour or hear and audio guide and just walk around the Colosseum instead.  It's mind boggling to be there and imagine all of the bloody battles between men and even animals that went on. Now, the floor has been destroyed but you can see the underground area where men and animals were held before a fight.  Only an hour is needed to see this sight and afterwards we stopped at a nearby restaurant for lunch.


The Vatican and Sistine Chapel
The Vatican and Sistine Chapel was luckily something we had booked in advance.  We booked a guided tour that included both the Vatican and Sistine Chapel.  The cheapest tickets I could find for that tour were here. I'm so glad we booked in advance because the line to buy a ticket was wrapped around the corner and hundreds of people were waiting in line.

We still had to wait in a small line to turn our vouchers in for tickets and wait for the tour to start, but if we would have had to wait in that line then forget about it.  I feel like the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel are must-sees in Rome, but if I am being honest, I did not enjoy my tour.  I don't know what it was about mid October, but the place was packed.  I'm talking shoulder to shoulder packed, even though we reserved a tour.  You had earpieces to hear the speaker and and she held up a scarf, but honestly there was no room to see anything because swarms of people were just pushing by.  The tour guide was way ahead at times and the audio would cut out.  I started feeling hot and claustrophic.  I couldn't believe how many tours they were letting in at once, it was a nightmare.

Then you get to the Sistine Chapel and it's nothing like I expected in a bad way.  There were tons of people in the church, you couldn't take pictures and the image everyone has in their heads of Michaelangelo's The Creation of Adam or touching hands scene is so hard to see.  Nothing like the amazing experience I had seeing Da Vinci's "Last Supper."  But to its credit, maybe I would have liked it if it wasn't packed like a high school gymnasium.  The tour can potentially take 3 hours, depending on how long you want to spend at the end looking at the contemporary art.  At that point, I had already had enough and wanted out.

The Vatican
The Vatican
The Vatican
The Vatican
The Vatican
The Vatican
The Vatican
The Vatican
The VaticanThe Vatican

Dinner in Rome
Around 7 we decided to have a nice dinner.  Italy knows how to do pasta and pizza and wine, so that was all on the menu.  At the end of the day, I can't deny how good the food is in Italy and Rome was no exception. Then we decided to walk around a bit to explore things at night before resting for the next day.
Food in Rome

I'm curious, have you been to the Vatican?  What was your experience?

And stay tuned for Rome: Day Two where I explore Castel Angelo, The Catacombs, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and eat more deliscious Italian food!

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