focused on balancing life as a twenty something

Month: December 2017

CULTURE: Reading Update

CULTURE: Reading Update

Balancing: Reading binges, and reading dry spells CULTURE: READING UPDATE I don’t think I have disclosed this information yet, but I am a crazy list person. I can’t tell you how many times a friend or my boyfriend have made fun of me for running […]

WELLNESS: Alone Time

WELLNESS: Alone Time

Balancing: Alone time   If there is one skill I have perfected since I graduated it is definitely how I handle all of my alone time. This skill didn’t start in Greece, it started during my first job after UCONN. My first job was for […]

THE VIBE: The Christmas Edition

THE VIBE: The Christmas Edition

THE VIBE: The Christmas Edition

My vibes post for this week is VERY late. It was a stressful week trying to figure out if I can stay in Greece or not. I admit wasn’t exactly inspired. To throw Christmas & New Years on top of it, I was not in a balanced place.

My mother always tells me that I control my thoughts and feelings. I’ve been having a hard time controlling my emotions during the Christmas season because point blank, I miss my family. My mantra for the past couple of days has been, “I am where I am supposed to be,” and doing some reflecting I truly believe this. After a couple days of quality time with K,  I am positive that there is nowhere else I want to be.

My current situation:

It’s Christmas Eve and Kentan has practice today. I am lounging on a couch in the lobby area robbing the good wifi.

What I’m thinking about for this holiday:

Get over it: I am obviously not the first person to be away from their family over the holidays. How dramatic that I thought I would be miserable and alone, when there are so many people in the world who HAVE to be away from their families over the holiday season.

I am so thankful that I have a wonderful family waiting for me to get home, for my wonderful boyfriend and for the wonderful experience I have been given.

 

Finding the balance: How do I find some balance and get into the Christmas spirit while being away from my loved ones?

My Camera: My mother has made it her job to send us top notch care packages. The latest package was from “Santa” himself! She sent us each a very generous gift, and the cutest stockings stuffed with our favorite candy and new toothbrushes (thanks Ma)! My gift was an amazing Nikon camera that I have been taking total advantage of. Kentan got basketball sneakers that he doesn’t want to wear at practice because they’re too pretty (LOL).

Here are some pics of the town I took to test out my Christmas Present!

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Making our own traditions: After doing googling the hell out of “Holidays away from home.” I did my best to make it feel like Christmas here. I decorated our room with lights, and hung Christmas ornaments from every light fixture in our room. I got a Christmas tree scented candle and hung the stockings my mother sent up.

I can tell Kentan is doing his best to make sure I’m happy (so sweet) so last night we got dressed up and went to dinner. Then we took my new camera and I made him pose EVERYWHERE, I think he is a legit GQ model. Then we went and got drinks at a taverna not too far away. Check out our photo shoot…

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Posing for his personal paparazzi

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Not Rockefeller but it'll do

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another GQ pose...

Natural Habitat

Natural Habitat

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Handsome dinner date

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Kentan perfecting his cam skills

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yelling at the stray to look at the camera

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my Christmas themed drink we couldn't figure out the flavor of!

 

Tomorrow we are going to exchange the one gift we agreed to get each other, and then make a gingerbread house courtesy of the Santa package via Mom. I believe there is hopes of going to church, and then a nice dinner! Some FaceTime with the fam will deff be happening as well.

On a different note I need to tell you ALL about the most thoughtful present I have ever received.

If you couldn’t tell from my Homey Touch post, I have a thing for candles. On Thursday I got the cutest little package from my hometown. When I opened it up there was a cube box with a sticker in the shape of the states and it says “No place like home.” Inside was a Connecticut scented candle … now I know you’re thinking wtf does CT smell like; but this candle made me cry in .5 seconds.

My amazing cousin and godmother Nicole, went through the trouble of shipping me something internationally. USPS  is expensive and a complete pain in the ass. She did her research and found a candle made in Connecticut, that is scented Connecticut. I can’t get over how smart and great of an idea this is. Apparently Connecticut smells like Apple Cider donuts, and now so does our hotel room!

Honestly, it’s such a simple thing but it was one of the most thoughtful and well planned gifts ever. I had a full blown photoshoot because everything about it from the packaging to the note on the cap was just too cute. I definitely suggest buying gifts from the site for just the packaging itself. Find the ETSY site is here. 

 

ETSY candle

 

 

Inspiration: Merry Christmas from Greece everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones. Take a second to realize how blessed your lives truly are.

 

Happy Holidays

TRENDING: Christmas Presents

TRENDING: Christmas Presents

Balancing: Your holiday to-do list in a short amount of time Christmas Presents done fast & right! I come from a very creative family. My mother is an art teacher and my father does really amazing custom carpentry. When the holidays come around I always […]

TRAVEL: My Carry-On

TRAVEL: My Carry-On

Balancing: Packing your whole life in two bags and staying organized. TRAVEL: My Carry-On True Life: I am an organization freak At the beginning of each day I make a to-do list. When I was packing to move to Greece it was no different. I […]

THE VIBE: Bianca VS. Greece

THE VIBE: Bianca VS. Greece

THE VIBE: Overstaying My Welcome in Greece

One of the reasons it’s difficult being the girlfriend of an overseas athlete; when you’re not married it’s hard to stay abroad  for the whole season. I arrived in Greece in early October and I am expected to leave in early January. This week I was trying to solve this problem and I ran into some super bad luck.

In Greece:  Americans do not need a visa; they’re allowed to stay for 90 days and then they have to leave for 180. Clearly this is a problem because the bf’s season is longer than that. My wonderful Greek friend is doing her absolute best to help me stay here, she is a literal angel. We decided to take this into our own hands because she knows everyone and their mother in this town.

This week was filled with police station visits, running all over the town translating documents and OH LOSING MY PASSPORT IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY!!!!

Let me start from the beginning: My friend found out that I would have to leave in January so she called her father, who called his friend, who called his friend who agreed to meet with me and help. Friday morning we woke up early and walked to an office building where there was a “foreigner” department.

She was asking everyone if they knew where this specific person was, they pointed us to an office and we waited for about 20 minutes. When someone finally walked in she explained who and what we were looking for and everyone seemed very confused. Come to find out we were in the forrest office, not the foreigners office.

Greece: 1 Bianca: 0

Then after walking all over this building and finding no one and nothing helpful she called her father and tried to figure out where the HELL we were supposed to go. He said no, not the government offices, the police station!

Greece: 2 Bianca: 0

We walked to the police station and FINALLY found this mystical woman who was supposed to solve all of my problems. It was the most confusing and suspenseful situation I have ever been in. My friend, this woman and her co worker were going back and forth in Greek for over an hour without translating and filling me in on what is going on.

She finally turned to me and said “Ok, there are only two options: get married here, or we have to prove you have a medical condition”

Greece: 3 Bianca: 0

My heart was in my throat and I almost cried in the office of a woman I have never met before. My friend was trying her best to help me and asked me what kind of paperwork I had brought with me. I showed them everything I have and once they saw I had health insurance in America the whole story changed.

Greece: 3 Bianca: 1

They gave me a list of 10 things I needed to do in order to stay and they scheduled an interview with the Director of the police department. From there he will decide how much longer I can stay. From the police station we walked all the way back to town where we went to a lawyer who would translate my insurance and criminal record (It’s clean just so you know). Then we went to get new passport pictures taken, and the last step was to get my passport photo copied. Once we got to the store I went to get my passport out of my folder and it was GONE.

Greece: 4 Bianca: 0

I honestly think I blacked out, how would they let me stay in a country with no passport? How would I get anywhere without my passport? What am I supposed to tell the Director of the police that I want to stay but I was an airhead and dropped my passport somewhere? HOW WOULD I GET ANYWHERE WITHOUT MY PASSPORT???

We retraced our steps three times (17,386 steps) and did not find it. Then we went to ask shop owners and finally my friend called the radio stations to see if anyone found an American passport. All we could do was wait and see if it turned up, if it didn’t I would need to go to Athens and apply for a new one.

Greece: 5 Bianca: -1

After crying for two hours, apologizing to my friend a million times, and then crying for two more hours my friend called me to tell me they FOUND MY PASSPORT!! It was waiting at the police station and I had to pick it up in the morning. At about 10:00 PM Kentan gets a phone call to come downstairs into the lobby immediately. He walked into our room with a huge smile and handed me the passport. A manager of the team went and got it for me! Now there were tears of happiness and relief.

Greece: 5 Bianca: Who the hell cares I had my passport back

My vibe for this week is:

When life is stressful do your best to keep calm and stay organized. I don’t know where and I don’t know how I lost my passport but I do know that I am so thankful it turned up. I hope this is a sign that everything will work out I am meant to stay here after all.

Happy Monday Everyone! May your week be filled with positivity, balance and great vibes!

 

If you liked this version of The Vibe see last week’s here! Or leave me a comment and tell me what you think…

TRENDING: Fashion Bloggers

TRENDING: Fashion Bloggers

Balancing: Shopping and “just looking” TOP 5 FAVORITE FASHION INSTAGRAMS & BLOGGERS Whenever I’m looking for outfit inspiration my 5 Favorite Fashion Bloggers never fail. They’re all beautiful dressers and people and they know how to balance their wardrobe. They all offer cost friendly alternatives, […]

FOOD: Chocolate Cut Out Cookies

FOOD: Chocolate Cut Out Cookies

Balancing: Getting every Christmas cookie made and not going insane The simple and delicious Chocolate Cut Out Cookies Every year around the holiday’s we dedicate one whole day to baking cookies. My mother takes the day off of work and we wake up early to […]

WELLNESS: A Homey Touch

WELLNESS: A Homey Touch

Balancing: Living in a new place and giving it a homey touch

A Homey Touch

One of the biggest concerns I had once I discovered I was moving abroad was that we would be living in a hotel room. I needed to figure out a way to give the room a homey touch. Has anyone seen an average hotel room in Europe?

One word: small. 

Okay, now think of living in an extremely small space with a 7 ft tall man.

Two words: Even smaller. 

I was super worried about how I would make myself feel at home in a new and different environment. Not only would I be living with a significant other for the first time but I would be doing it in a new country. One of my saving graces throughout this change was a network of amazing Basketball Wives that accepted me and gave me access to tons of information about living overseas. One topic of conversation that caught my eye was, how to make a hotel room a home.

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Before I left I packed up a box of some essentials that I knew I would love to have with me. It was a little expensive, but I was willing to splurge on peace of mind. Things that would make our little space feel more homey and warm. Yes, its a new adventure but I was not trying to stay in a space for 6 months that was cramped an uncomfortable. Here are my top faves and recommendations for anyone who will find themselves abroad, and want to make it feel like a home.

  1. Candles

In every room I’ve ever lived in I’ve always had TONS of candles. NO matter where I was, college (sorry to every RA ever), my apartment or my childhood bedroom, its always been a necessity. Literally, a candle for every mood or every season. I collect Yankee Candle Coupons and have a heart attack for their yearly by two Large Jars get two free. My mother and I double up our coupons and end up with eight total. The one I packed for us was Spiced Pumpkin and Lemon Lavender my two faves. I also packed a couple tea lites for the bathroom, and a few of the other teammates stole a couple!

2. Sheets

Nothing is better than laying in the comfort of your own familiar sheets. I sent an old warm pair to myself and it was WORTH it. There is something about coming home at the end of the day to your own sheets in a made bed.

WARNING: Make sure if you’re in a hotel you tell the cleaning person that they are YOUR sheets!! I admittedly started a war with ours because she took them and wouldn’t give them back!

3. Skin Care Routine

I have IMPOSSIBLE skin, I’ve been on skin medication ever since the blissful years of puberty. I religiously wash my face with Cetaphil, and use the same face lotion. If I use anything else I literally have the skin of a 13 year old boy. I learned that mistake here when I ran out of face wash, tried a new “organic” wash and ended up with one pimple on each cheek that made me look like one of those creepy dolls with the drawn on freckles.

4. Peanut Butter

I don’t know why, but Trikala Greece has no peanut butter. This wasn’t in my original care package but my saint of a mother sent it pronto after we realized! I never thought of myself as a PB lover before, but as soon as I saw there was none it was all I wanted.

5. Slippers

My L.L. Bean slippers have been a wardrobe staple since my best friend introduced me in 2013. I know its a total fashion no, but on days that I’m just not into it I’ll even wear them in public. They’re deff a splurge but really are so comfy, and they have rubber soles. L.L. Bean also has a policy that if you trash them they will replace them for free, cue the angels.

6. Water Bottle

A lot of my friends will laugh when they see this, but I am in a serious relationship with my Brita waterbottle. I brought it on the plane with me, and sent myself some filter refills. It wasn’t that I thought Greece would have bad water, I actually learned that our town has great water. This is just a staple in my life at home, and I needed it with me here as well.

7. Decorations (Christmas)

Now that it is getting close to Christmas time I have some lights hung in our room and we are in the process of looking for a little tree that can easily pack up and be sent home or to the next country. It makes our room feel so cozy when the lights are on and the candles are lit.

8. Amazon Fire Stick

I have to admit, my first week here was spent homesick as hell. Most of which was comforted by binge watching episodes of Friends on our Amazon Fire Stick. When I’m home Friends is always a go to, and watching it here brought me right back to my bed in little CT. The fire stick makes it possible for us to watch all of our favorite movies and shows through the wifi at the hotel. Netflix isn’t reliable here and a lot of material that you can watch in America, you can’t watch anywhere else.

9. Dryer Sheets

When I do laundry at my house in CT I always throw in dryer sheets for the smell. Other than the smell I’m not really sure the purpose of them, but having our clean laundry here smell like that is a fab feeling.

 

Homesickness hurts, but these essentials deff made the transition easier for me! I hope if any of you guys find yourself moving to a new country or even just a new place you can use some of these too. To see the town I moved to, check out the travel section about Trikala Greece!

 

Comment below and let me know if you guys would need anything else!

TRAVEL: Trikala, Greece

TRAVEL: Trikala, Greece

Balancing: being a homebody and choosing to move across the world I remember the first day the location Trikala, Greece was mentioned. I just got back from picking Kentan up from the airport and I was sitting on the couch. He had just got back […]