Thursday, February 26, 2015


Fashion Week in Milano officially started yesterday, Feb 25, 2015. However, it "unofficially" kicked off Tuesday night and the girls and I got a surprise email from Bruno at IED inviting us to the Next Generation runway show after party (huge shout out to Bruno). The event was promoted by the Chamber of Commerce in Milano and was dedicated to young designers, thirty years or less, in search for a new generation of stylists.The after party was hosted by Chiara Ferragni who is from theblondesalad.com which is one of the most famous fashion blogs in the world. The event featured designs from Claudio Cutugno, whom we got to meet and interact with. It was a great opportunity and was something we all look forward to doing again.

"Always walk like you deserve to be right where you are"

Friday, February 20, 2015

From Paris With Love

"Paris is always a good idea"-Audrey Hepburn

"If you would've told me that I could go to Paris for free but I had to do everything in two days, walk in the cold, in heels, with very little sleep.. I don't think I would've done it"-Tina the night before we left Paris. We physically are so broken. Christine thinks she broke her toe, I couldn't move my left knee, and if Tina would've had to walk in her shoes for one more step, I think she would've just slept on the ground. Our trip to Paris may have been the craziest thing we've ever been through, but I think I speak for everyone when I say that it was one of the BEST experiences of our lives.

Monday afternoon, we headed to the train station, where we ran frantically looking for the other girls. Not having our phones to contact each other is almost killing us. After we finally got to meet up with everyone, we took our hour long bus to the Milan airport, and boarded our flight to Paris. The flight was beautiful, right around sunset and with all of our excitement to be in France, we could barely even relax. After our touchdown in France, we took another hour long bus ride to the metro to get to our apartment. The trip just to get settled in was definitely complicated and a little rough, but it was so worth it. Our apartment was the perfect size for all 7 of us. (HUGE shout out to Natalie and Meghan for organizing everything for us). We immediately dropped our bags and turned right back around to eat dinner.

We found the perfect little diner with American food and it was absolutely incredible (that's not just because we were starving either). Surprisingly, 100% better than anything we've had so far in Italy (had to order FRENCH fries, duh). It was the perfect start to our Parisian adventures.

*first night

Our first full day in Paris was JAM PACKED.. we did it ALL. It started off with some breakfast and some really foreign Starbucks. Italy is against all Starbucks so having that for the first time in a few weeks was such a treat. Also, the Starbucks in Paris puts every other Starbucks to shame. It was so beautiful, I really didn't think I was in Starbucks, haha. After getting our coffee, we took a two hour walking tour that started at the Paris Opera House and ended with a far away view of the Eiffel Tour. We were numb by the end of it, but it was a great way to see the city. We were also on that tour with some people for Atlanta. I heard them talk and immediately knew they were from the south somewhere, so I had to ask them. It was definitely nice to interact with someone from the USA.

*walking tour

As soon as our walking tour ended, Christine and Tina and I made our way to Disneyland Paris! Tina and I knew that was one thing that we wanted to while we were in Paris and the more we talked about it, the more Christine became interested. And I think it was the best decision she ever made. It was her first ever Disney experience, which made it even more fun for Tina and I. Watching her see everything for the first time ever was so exciting. We had just enough time to walk around and see everything, shop and see the light show when the park was closing. My favorite parts were the inside of the castle which was all Sleeping Beauty, and they had a walk-through story of Aladdin. It had 3-D versions of every scene with the music playing in the background (RIP Robin WIlliams). Literally the happiest place on Earth even in Paris.

*Disneyland Paris

This first day in Paris had already been incredible and it still wasn't over. We were not going to sleep that night without seeing the Eiffel Tower. So as soon as we got back from Disney, we all went back out the door to find the Eiffel Tower. We got off a stop on the metro too early so we had to search to find it, Then, all of a sudden through two buildings, we saw it for the first time, twinkling. All 7 of us immediately started screaming and running toward it. None of us will ever forget that moment. Truly one of the absolute best days of my life.

For our last day in Paris, we went to the Palace of Versailles. Before we went, we had to get Starbucks again, obviously. And, Tina and I tried macaroons for the first time. We had to since we were in France, right? Versailles, Kentucky may have the same name but it is not even a close second. Hey Dad, maybe you should move to the real Versailles ;) The palace was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in person..second to the Eiffel Tower, of course. I wish Memaw and Big John could've been there to see all of the history. I know they could've spent hours in there and still not gotten through all of it. I wish Kiki could've seen the gardens even though all of her greenery is prettier. As beautiful as it was, we all wish we could go back and see it in the Spring when all of the fountains are on. I can't imagine what it would look like then.

*Palace of Versailles

After the Palace, we headed back to the Eiffel Tower to see it for the first time during the day. It had been cloudy all day, and just when we got there, some blue sky came through. We took all of our necessary pictures and then had dinner around the corner. Every meal in France seriously knocked it out of the park. The food there was just incredible.

*Eiffel Tower

We had done all we needed to do and were incredibly exhausted. Doing everything in two days, in a place that we weren't familiar with at all was so rough, but I would not have traded one second of it. I love all of these girls and bonding with them over our first trip trip to one of the best and most beautiful cities in the world was something we will never forget. I am truly thankful for God keeping us safe and giving me these girls to take amazing adventures with.

These pictures are just a glimpse of how done we were by the end of it all.

Paris, I will DEFINITELY be back. Until next time, my love.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day

In honor of today being Valentine's Day, I wanted to dedicate this post to the people that I love/miss. I may not be homesick, but I still miss the people that are important to me. I have never been away from my family for very long at all, especially not for 4 months in another country. Celebrating Valentine's here in Italy with my girls eating sushi and watching RomComs is still a great way to spend the day, but they sure don't replace my favorite people back home. I don't know how I'm surviving, but I know they are happy for me and I'm sure I miss them more than they miss me. So here's to my Valentine's...

Mom and Dad, my Valentines since day 1. Thank you for remembering me and still sending me cards all the way here in Milan. I am so thankful for your constant love and support. Ryan, I know you will never read this and you don't care anyway, but I love you  (sometimes) and miss laughing about stupid stuff together and having everyone stare at us wondering what we are talking about.

Bob and Kiki, I miss you more than I miss Evaroni's pizza. I wish so badly I could pick up the phone and call you and tell you every detail about Italy. Kiki, you would love the view here, its so beautiful. Bob, I know you would love the french fries, they're even better than Penn Station :). I would love to fly you all over here and take you shopping and show you the amazing architecture and buy you some Gelato. There aren't enough thank you's in the world that would suffice for you all. I love you so much.

Aunt Ruthie and Juncle Ig Bon, every time I see a dog here I think of you two (and Howie, of course).. which, is a lot because dogs are allowed everywhere here. They are no Howie, though. Big John, I wish you were here to protect me with all of your TEOTWAWKI gear. Aunt Ruthie, I wish you could come meet all of the girls here, they would love you. Memaw, I know I don't have a picture of you on here, but that doesn't mean I don't miss you. I know you are learning more about Milan than I am and probably more than I will learn even while I'm here. You would be blown away by the buildings and the history here. It's breathtaking. I would love for you to be here with me so I could show you around.

Whitney Winters, you probably won't read this and you won't like it anyway so I'm putting the best picture that I have of you on here. I don't miss you, I don't love you and don't care about what you are doing in America. Just kidding, you're my soul mate and I will die not seeing you until June. You will always be my Valentine. Forever and Always xoxoxoxo

I know that you're all thinking that this is going to be dedicated to the large man in the center of this picture. Well, its not. This is to Mariah, Chelsie and Jared squeezed in there at the very bottom. There will be no worse feeling than experiencing March Madness alone in Italy without you all. Mariah, my wife, no one here understands our language, our humor, etc. Chelsie, every time I hear Sam Hunt I think about you. I have to listen to my country music alone considering all of these girls are from the North. Jared, my little blonde stallion, hurry up an kill those internship interviews and show them who's boss so you can come visit me in Italy. I love all of you, my twinkling threesome.

My wonderful roommates at 220, Ashley and Macey.. and sometimes Tyler and Mariah. Thank you all for getting Katja to take my place while I am gone. We all know that she is a lot more fun, energetic and clearly way cuter than me. Living with other people just feels weird. I am so excited that we will all be together for another year. Don't forget about the girl that is supposed to be in room C.

To my girls, Charlotte (Brooke), Samantha (Kameron), and Miranda (Rachel), I know you all are doing your own things, but I miss you all and can't wait to be reunited for a day that we'll never forget. June 6, 2015, when Brooke will become Mrs. Knipp.

The Muscle Barn, my beautiful, hot, smoking, luscious chunks of man. There is not one person here in Italy that will even come close to making me feel like more of an idiot than you all do. But, there is also not one person that will come close to making me laugh as much as you all do. I love all of you and miss having you all to take care of me/pick on me.

Lisa and Janci, you all are my second and third moms and I miss both of your crazy personalities. I miss going to lunch with you all every Sunday and I miss making fun of other people (like we are the normal ones) with you. Thank you for praying for me and looking after me like I am you own daughter. 

And last but not least, my wildcats. I don't miss walking through freezing temperatures in 4 layers, walking into the classroom building sweating because the heat is 4 million degrees, walking across the Newtown bridge, worrying about getting my car towed or getting a parking ticket, or sitting in the balcony of memorial just to scroll through Twitter/Instagram for an hour and fifteen minutes. But, I do miss (so so badly) watching the best basketball team in the country kick butt. I miss hearing
"My Old Kentucky Home", "On, On, U of K.." and I miss watching a sea of blue all rise to their feet after Aaron Harrison drops a three. I can't handle not being around crazy fans. I need it, I live for it. I hope that I get to spend the entire month of March staying up until 6am just to know the score of the games. I love you, BBN. 

And, also, to the crazy guy that used to wear this kitty uniform, Ross Turner. I miss you. I wish that you could be here today to eat all-you-can-eat sushi with me. I know you're in high demand in Ashland, Ky but you can't forget about me. I'll be back and ready to hit that big city before you know it.

There are so  many more people not mentioned that I love and miss every day. So to everyone,


Thursday, February 12, 2015


We have successfully completed our first week of classes. Nothing too hard or demanding yet. This pic below is from our Made in Italy class that only us KEI girls have. We are learning about products and brands from Italy and what it means to buy Italian.  Even though all of our classes are 3+ hours a piece, I can't complain about anything. I mean, how many people get to sit and learn about Gucci all day? I won't know how to handle myself whenever I go back to Kentucky and have to take basic business classes again.

(Debra, Tina, Christine S.)

Tuesday before the girls had class, we met up with our adorable new German friend, Caroline. She took us past the Duomo to Colonne di San Lorenzo which is just another beautiful area in the center of Milan. Caroline just came here for this semester, but she lived here some last year so she is a lot more familiar with the city. Its pretty great having someone that can show us new places.

Just down the street from the Duomo is my new addiction, Amsterdam Chips. Anyone that knows me knows that my all-time-favorite food is french fries and this is literally a restaurant that only sells french fries. YES PLEASE. It will be so hard for me to go shopping at the Duomo now and NOT go here. 

The weather here has been so much nicer this week than last. I'm praying that we don't have a relapse and go back into the nasty winter weather. I emailed one of my favorite MAT professors yesterday and she said all that I am missing in Kentucky is cold weather. Haha, I can definitely say that I am NOT missing that. Even though this city is beautiful in any weather, it is just so much more beautiful when the sun is out. I am dying for Spring.

  (picture taken moments before I got asked to move because you're not supposed to sit here; typical)

Monday, February 9, 2015

First Day of School

Today was my official first day of classes here in Milan (which is what I'm here for, right?). Only Meghan and I started today, so the other girls got the day off, but I'm not mad about it.

Our class today was Art in Fashion, which will be a basic art history course. We plan on visiting various art galleries around Milan, which I am looking forward to. Luckily, our class is small and everyone speaks English. But, they are from all over the world. 2 from China, 1 from Colombia, Germany, Russia, etc. 

My morning definitely started on a positive note. It hasn't been sunny at all here except for the first day we were here, and today it was 50 degrees with a whole lot of sunshine. It definitely made getting up for a 9am class a lot easier, especially when its still only 3am back at home. 

When we actually got to school the gates were locked for a while, so we clearly had to take some first day selfies; because did you really start your first day of school if you didn't post a picture of it?

After having a great first class and spending the afternoon shopping, all of us girls spent the evening planning some great trips for the weeks ahead. I also got to watch the sunset out of my window for the first time. I don't think I'll ever get tired of this view, it is breathtaking.

My school is the bomb, my roommates are the bomb, my classmates are the bomb, my teachers are the bomb, the view from my room is the bomb, and my God is the bomb. 

And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us; and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; Psalm 90:17


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Milano Unica

Friday we visited Milano Unica, which is an international textile fair that his held twice a year to display upcoming trends. This one, in particular, was for Spring/Summer 2016.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Snow Day

We had to the whole day off today, so what do you do in Milan on a snowy day off? Shop, duh. With the jet lag still lingering, we all decided to sleep in and take our time starting the day. Also, with the weather being so nasty, we were in no rush to get outside. Since the snow wasn't going to stop coming down, I had to rock my favorite Reds hat.. just because I'm in Europe now doesn't mean I've forgotten about my favorite teams.

Once we headed to the Duomo to do some shopping, we weren't too bitter about getting out in the snow after seeing this view..

We've been shopping around the Duomo a couple of times but haven't really gotten to look around and get the full effect of it all. It is every shoppers dream, let me tell you. MILES of stores. Every store you can think of, x2. It is absolutely fantastic. Not only are there multiple H&Ms there, but they all have at least 3 floors.. Meaning I'll be returning to the USA with not one penny to my name. 

 And H&M is the least of my worries when it comes to money because this is around the corner..

Some how we contained ourselves from even going inside of Prada, Versace and Louis today. I'm not sure how, but I hope I can keep up this self control. After being outside in the freezing weather for a couple hours, it was time for some Italian hot chocolate. I have been craving some good hot chocolate. This was fantastic, but not what I was expecting. Basically like eating warm chocolate pudding.. not complaining. And the chocolate cannoli was also fantastic.

Even though we came home drenched and half frozen, it was definitely a day well spent with great girls. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tuesday Dining

Today was our first day visiting the school we will be studying at (IED Moda). Along with that, all of us girls did a little exploring of our own. We started out the morning looking for somewhere to get a quick coffee and stumbled upon this cute cafe.. I'm loving the fabulous chandeliers that are everywhere.

After orientation at school, our onsite director, Andrea, treated us all to our first scoop of gelato. We clearly skipped lunch and went straight for dessert. This flavor that I tried was coffee..and it was to die for.

P.S. Andrea gave this gelato place a 6 out of 10... sooo, if it was that good, what does the 10 out of 10 taste like?!

Still hungry after our gelato, we all traveled to the Duomo area to search for some food. It was happy hour at most places, which doesn't mean half price drinks like it does in America. Happy hour here is where you pay regular price for any drink and get all-you-can-eat finger foods for free. So, of course I had to add some southern style to my Italian dinner and order sweet tea. ;)

After many selfies, group photos and endless window shopping around the Duomo, we decided to head home, but first, had to get a little late night snack... Mcdonad's Fries (or patate regulari)

 It's been a long/busy day. Time to go to bed (after I watch The Bachelor, of course) Goodnight, America.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Home Sweet Home

WELL, after 36 hours of sad goodbyes, running through airports, waiting, running through more airports, more waiting, packing, unpacking, and MORE waiting, I am FINALLY in Milan! Although sitting overnight in a crowded plane and hauling luggage around in a foreign country wasn't the most glamorous thing in the world, I can definitely say that the wait was worth it. 

My wonderful family was waiting to see me off at the airport this morning before I left for four short months. I am so thankful that they, along with many others, have prayed with me and for me and have shown me nothing but love and support through this whole process. While I tried not to cry, I couldn't help but get a little emotional knowing I would miss them terribly. 

As I sat down to board my flight from JFK to Milan, I was pleased to find out that the girl sitting next to me was also on her way to Milan and was my roommate. After getting off of the flight, I was again pleased to see three other girls who were also my future roommates. Thank God he put us all on the same flight together, because He knew we wouldn't have found anything on our own. We sat and waited in the airport, train station, restaurants, etc. for a loooong time to make it to our apartment. But, even through the exhaustion, I couldn't help but be satisfied with the view that I had waiting for me in my bedroom.

Looking at this amazing view of the moon over the city, was worth every bit of struggle that faced us in these last 30 hours. I couldn't help but think of how God can not only make beautiful skies in Kentucky, but he can send that same beautiful sky to me thousands of miles away.

Our last haul of the day was a short trip on the metro to see the Duomo for the first time. And there are just not words to describe what seeing that for the first time was like.

Needless to say, I'm pretty pleased here in Italy.