Saturday, October 24, 2015


SaturYAY, for real. It’s been a long and exhausting week to say the least. It was packed full of presentations, projects, and papers. I felt extremely overwhelmed and a tear or two may have been shed. It’s not looking like my load is going to get any lighter in these next few weeks either. Going away every weekend is great, but it also makes the weekdays that much harder because I don’t have Saturday and Sunday to get caught up. Luckily, the weekends are a blast so it’s all worth it. To make it all work, it’s all about balance.  I’m learning to relax a bit more and trying to accept that not doing everything on my list might not actually kill me.

On Monday, we went to a local pizzeria and learned how to make pizza the Italian way! We each got to make our own and it was delicious! It was a nice break from our dining hall food and who could ever turn down a pizza like that!

This weekend, instead of going with a big group, my good friend Kayla and I (you’ve probably seen her before so many times on my blog and insta!) are taking a trip just the two of us! We’ve been friends since the first day of classes freshman year and it’s been so much fun having her to galavant all over Europe with. We flew to Barcelona last night and are spending a quick weekend here! I’m sure you’ll see pictures up on the blog soon!

I’m also excited because starting this Friday we go on Fall break! We get a week to travel and I’m so exited to hit 3 cities in 3 different countries! Any guesses?

The best maid of honor speech. ever.

You better not be lying to me. Way to too excited.

Kate Spade furniture?! For my future NYC apt please and thank you.

Kate Spade is killing it. Set to release a new line of active wear too?!

You can now watch this documentary on Amazon! Dying to watch it! 

Do I listen to Taylor Swift 1989 on repeat? Maybe. Hear about her song writing secrets!

These dresses are what dreams are made of. 

Wishlist this week: 
This hat is everything, adorable just for fun phone charger, if I didn't already have a 2016 planner this would be it for sure, and I don't own any rompers...but this one is tempting. 




Friday, October 23, 2015


Rome is like one delicious piece of lasagna, to put it simply. Not only do the hundreds and hundreds of trattorias lining the streets all offer some version of this classic dish, but this metaphor was solidified for me on our first night in the city after biting into a large portion of this traditional Italian dish. The messy, magical, and meaty piece of layered pasta strangely reminded me so much of this city.

The city is filled with layers and layers of history and it seems as though with every corner you turn, there’s another monument or ancient ruin. Rome is one of the only cities in modern day Italy that doesn’t have an extensive underground public transportation system, simply because of the insane number of ruins that still lie uncovered under the city.

This classic city captured my heart back in May and I was so glad to get to visit it this past weekend again!

There were only four of us that went (which ended up being perfect!) and we got in late Friday night after classes. We had a late dinner near the Vatican and then walked through St. Peter’s square at night before ducking in for an early night so we could be rested for the next day.

We got up early on Saturday to hopefully beat the crowds at the Colosseum. Luckily we got there right before the hoards of tour groups showed up and we were able to walk right in! (Not mentioned: how I forgot our entry tickets and had to take a taxi back to the hotel after walking all the way there…..). It was a real Lizzie McGuire moment for me as Kayla and I walked through and sang “this is what dreams are made of.”

We wandered the city and hit almost all the monuments just on Saturday. All by foot too (thank God for my tieks!).  We hit the Colosseum, the ancient forum, the pantheon, the Trevi Foundation, and the Spanish Steps before we decided we needed a quick 30 minute nap prior to dinner.

After a yummy dinner (pizza of course!) we headed back over to the Colosseum to see it all lit up at night! It was so spectacular to see such an ancient piece of history all lit up at night. Not quite sure if you can beat that view.

The boy then insisted we go to an ice bar, I lasted about 20 minutes before I decided it was all too cold and had to leave before I turned into an icicle.

Sunday we had a flight back to Venice mid-afternoon, so we spent the morning at the Vatican listening to the Pope speak (!!!!) and going inside the Basillica!

Another great weekend spent exploring another great city. This weekend you’ll have to follow me on Instagram (@prepavenue) or snapchat (Shannon.hessen) to know where we’re headed next.

Hint: It’s not in Italy and another one of my favorite childhood Disney movies took place there! Any guesses?




Saturday, October 17, 2015


As you read this right now I’m probably riding on the back of a vespa with my Paulo and singing “This is what dreams are made of” in front of thousands of people with my Italian look alike.

Okay, jk but I am headed to Rome this weekend! I’m so excited to be back in a city filled with so much history. When I went back in May I really did not expect to love it as much as I did. I loved the architecture and the vibe of the city. It’s fascinating to me how many ruins are in such a small area! I actually wrote a paper for my class back in May comparing Rome to lasagna and how it’s chalked full of so many layers of history.  

There’s no doubt that I’ll be eating my heart out in Gelato and Pizza this weekend and hopefully find some warmer weather than here in northern Italy! I’ll be sure to put pictures up next week up until there here’s a recap from my trip to Venice + Burano,Santorini, Florence, Pisa, and Cinque Terre!

Slight obsession currently with chunky sweaters right now

If you're going to make me workout I would like to do it in Tory Burch

This new Barbie commercial is the coolest. 

Feel out of the loop completely here in Italy but I hear this TV show is all the new rage. Thoughts? I'm really loving the fun outfits though!

I wouldn't mind getting my wedding dress designed by my fav designer. (cough cough Lilly or Kate

Currently on repeat

Useful to know for all my fellow cake lovers.

In my next life I will be a ballerina. 9 months pregnant and still twirling




Friday, October 16, 2015


It’s funny because I actually took these outfit pictures before I left. It was still sweltering heat and that sweater came off within 10 minutes. Then it was hard to imagine the fall weather was even coming when it was 90 degrees outside!

Luckily now, it’s definitely cooled off and this outfit is a little bit more appropriate. This sweater is one of my new favorite items and I wear my leopard loafers any day I get the chance! My mom found it on the sale rack of Vineyard Vines at the end of summer and when I saw the little tassels lining the bottom I was sold.

It was hard to pack for 3 months away but that sweater was one of the first things I put in my suitcase! It’s great for layering and the neutral colors make it easy to go with lots of different outfits. Plus if you haven’t noticed yet, camel is one of my favorite fall colors.

Sweater: Vineyard Vines (similar) // Top: J.Crew (similar) // Jeans: Anthropologie
Watch: Kate Spade // Purse: Coach (similar) // Sunglasses: Ray Ban // 
Loafers: J. Crew (similar 1 | 2) // Hoops: Moon & Lola 




Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Lands' End Fall Collection

Fall is in full bloom now and I can feel the temperatures start to grow colder daily here in Italy. I’m right in the mountains in northern Italy (at the base of the alps!) so I’m looking forward to watching the leaves change right outside my window! I’m not the biggest fan of cold weather so I’m already dreading the Winter weather that I know is right around the corner. The good news is is that the campus I’m studying on has our dorms and classrooms in the same building! I don’t even have to face the cold weather on my way to class.

I was obviously only allowed to bring a select amount of clothes with me to Italy and as much as I tried to fit in my suitcases there was just no way I could bring all my favorite chunky sweaters and cozy scarves. I’m already missing some of my favorite fall items but I guess traveling to places like Venice, Santorini, Florence, Pisa, and Cinque Terre on weekends makes up for it.

Lands’ End reached out to me right before I left to tell me all about their fall collection and pick a few pieces out. It’s filled with so many great basic fall pieces and Vogue Market Stylist, Cara Crowley even picked out a few of her favorite pieces from the new collection.  I was rather impressed by the great quality and the versatility of all the pieces. While I may not be the Vogue Market Stylist, here are a few of my favorite pieces!

Cozy Sweaters:

Cold Weather Accessories:

For your toes:

For the really chilly days:

What are your favorites from this collection?





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