Best of 2016

Can you believe that 2017 is just a few days away!? As I’m writing this post I can’t help but reminisce about all of the amazing experiences I have had throughout this past year. I was so fortunate to be able to create amazing memories that will last a lifetime. For me, 2016 was an incredible year of growth and self discovery. I hope you enjoy this roundup of all of my favorite moments from 2016!

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Thank you all for following along this past year! I am so excited for 2017 and everything that the new year will bring. Wishing all of you health, happiness, and joy always!

xo, Lexie

 

 

 

 

A Day in Marseille / Visiting Notre Dame de la Garde

One of my favorite parts about exploring France was getting to visit their churches. The gorgeous architecture and immaculate details never seized to blow my mind. Out of all of the churches that I’ve had the opportunity to tour, Notre Dame de la Garde stood out the most. Located at the highest natural elevation point in Marseille, this church offers a 360 degree view of the entire city and the Mediterranean Sea…truly a sight to see. Called la bonne mère (the good mother), this church is said to guard and protect the people according to the Marseille locals.

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The vibrant colors and gorgeous paintings took my breath away. From the perfectly sculpted exterior, to the unique and colorful tile floors, to the paintings and gold detailing, this church was nothing short of stunning. Write to you soon!

xo, Lexie

 

Golden Hour Under The Eiffel Tower

Seeing the Eiffel Tower has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I imagined for years how magical the moment would be when I saw it for the first time. I had high expectations nontheless for what this experience would be like, and when I started walking towards the Parc du Champs de Mars I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

The soft afternoon light caressed itself around the Tower…one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. Standing there in all of Her glory, the Lady of France is even more magnificent in person. Chills ran through my body and happiness surged. This moment was more amazing than I could’ve ever dreamed of. My beautiful friend Justine, who’s an incredible photographer couldn’t resist pulling out her camera to snap a few pictures. Standing under the Eiffel Tower I danced and posed in the golden light. This was one of the happiest moments of my life.

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Make sure to check out more of Justine’s amazing work on her website http://www.justinemaggiolino.com! Have an amazing day…write to you next week!

xo, Lexie

Seven Days of Sunshine : My trip to Arizona!

I just got home from my trip to Arizona and I have to say that it has been one of the best weeks of my entire life. I’m severely exhausted and am blaming it on jet lag…but I’m pretty sure I’m exhausted from how much fun I have had over this past week! I flew out to visit my Aunt Micky, Uncle Sid, and cousin Amy (the funniest and sweetest people in the universe) and we traveled all over Arizona together! In today’s post, I am going to be filling you guys in on all of the adventures we stuffed into one week! For those of you who have never been, add Arizona to your list of travels because there is something so special and beautiful about this state.

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I flew Southwest to Arizona and had a great flying experience. Tons of free snacks, a wide variety of drinks, and comfortable seats made for a nice and relaxing flight. Looking out of the window and snapping pics of the clouds kept me occupied the entire way there. I loved when the plane was descending because (it meant we were almost there!) and I got to take pictures of the mountains…so stunning!

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I was greeted by the friendliest, happiest, and loving welcome from my Aunt and Uncle at the airport! We quickly grabbed our luggage and as we exited the building it felt like I was smacked in the face with heat (I LOVED IT). NJ is so humid and there is barely any humidity in AZ… the heat feels so different and AMAZING! I was famished from the flight, so we headed out to dinner for an amazing dinner at Soul Cafe in Scottsdale, Arizona. I had short rib ravioli and it was killer!

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After dinner ended, we arrived at their home which is beyond stunning! They have a perfect view of the Black Mountains (tons of celebrities live there) and cactus were everywhere! I snapped pictures from the pool patio all night…I couldn’t get enough of the view!

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My first day was a blast! I woke up in the morning, ate some breakfast, and spent my the rest of the a.m. splashing around in the gorgeous pool! One of the places I wanted to visit most was In N Out Burger so we headed over for lunch. If you have never been, it is so worth coming out West just to have one of their burgers. They are incredibly delicious. As the week progressed, my family and I came up with so many In N Out jokes (which were hilarious) and I think it’s safe to say that I had a mild obsession for the joint. We went 3 times! After lunch we did some shopping at Kierland Commons, one of Scottsdale’s outdoor malls and had so much fun!

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With all of the mountains in Arizona, hiking is a very popular past time! We decided to rise to the occasion to see what all of the hiking hype was about (I’ve never been on one!) and I was so excited to try it out. My cousin Amy and her awesome friend Ken go hiking quite often so they joined us for our morning hike at the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. Personally I loved hiking despite the heat (hiking in 100 degree weather is HOT) but had so much fun! A little sweat never hurt nobody! As we got closer to the top, seeing the view definitely made the hike worth it. You could see all of Phoenix below us and it was incredibly stunning!

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Going to the Grand Canyon has always been one of my biggest dreams. I’ve always imagined how surreal it would be to see something so beautiful. My experience at the Grand Canyon was exactly how I imagined. As soon as I walked up the trail and was exposed to the mountains I started to cry. It completely took my breath away. The beauty of nature blows my mind. I took copious amounts of pictures and enjoyed every second exploring.

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After the Grand Canyon, we took a drive down to Sedona, home of the famous Red Rocks! They were so stunning! Sedona is a great little town with a bunch of beautiful shops and is filled with the friendliest people ever! And shopping with a view of the mountains isn’t too shabby!

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We went for a sunset dinner in Sedona which was beyond amazing…but what made it really amazing was the view. Watching the sun go down while eating delicious food surrounded by the red rocks was a dream. My family and I laughed the night away (as we did at every meal) but this night was especially funny! I had the best pesto and pancetta pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and for dessert I got lemon sorbet with fresh strawberries…my dessert was definitely the fan favorite! Everyone couldn’t get enough of it!

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After Sedona we made our way back to Scottsdale. Earlier in the week we went shopping at Scottsdale Quarter and stopped into Urban Outfitters so that we could buy this flamingo! I got a super cute pair of sunnies there (UO makes my fav sunnies) and they look just like Audrey Hepburn’s sunglasses! Back to the flamingo…blowing this bird up was NO EASY TASK. My Uncle Sid and sisters spent so much time blowing this float up! We had so much fun floating and snapping pics on the flamingo. It was so funny watching all of us attempting to get on the flamingo and falling off of it! I lost count of how many times I fell off of the flamingo! HAHA!

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My last night in Scottsdale was awesome! After an amazing dinner we went back to the house for a s’mores party! It was by far one of the best nights of my life. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard…tears were streaming and I couldn’t breathe! It is so important to surround yourself with people who make you laugh, feel good, lift you up and most importantly, surround yourself with people who enjoy the beauty of life and adventure.

I can’t thank my Aunt Micky and Uncle Sid enough for the trip of a lifetime. I feel so blessed that I was able to spend time with them and connect with my cousin Amy (best yoga instructor in the world) and her friend Ken (sweet and hilarious)! The jokes, laughs, and memories will remain with me forever! I love you guys and miss you all already! If any of you ever decide to go to Arizona, please don’t hesitate to ask me questions about things to do or restaurants to go to. I would be happy to share with you the best spots! On Monday I leave for France and will be there for a little over two weeks. As soon as I get back, expect tons of posts! Until then…

xo, Lexie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Away From Home / Holland, Michigan

I knew that from the moment I stepped out of the car three years ago that this place was different. The best way I can explain how I felt was that I had this overwhelming feeling of happiness. Being someone with a pretty good intuition, I knew that the small, quaint, and ridiculously adorable town of Holland was somewhere really special. I have been blessed beyond to get the opportunity to come back to my favorite place every summer with my youth group.

My youth group and I attend the CIY (Christ In Youth) Summer Conference and stay at Hope College which is located in the heart of Holland. Hope is incredibly beautiful in every single way. I am so grateful that I get to stay here for a week each summer. I cherish every second spent on their campus. My sister and I spent many of our days camped out on the grass, munching on some snacks. We would lay under the trees, look up at the sky and just spend some one on one time with God, expressing so much thanks for the beautiful world He created for us. It is the perfect place to reflect on a campus as serene as Hope’s. The architecture of the buildings are enough to make your heart melt. I got the opportunity to officially tour campus which was incredible and made my heart for Hope grow even fonder.

If I could describe Holland in one word it would be warm. By warm I mean that the people from this town talk to you like they have known you forever, they take time to get to know you and they respect you, they want to make you feel welcomed and comfortable and I couldn’t be more thankful for their sweet and genuine hospitality. 8th street (their main street) is lined with delicious restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, gift shops, ice cream/frozen yogurt places and an amazing donut shop (still dreaming about it)!

Below I am going to be including pictures from the town and Hope College! I couldn’t put my camera down the entire trip because of how gorgeous everything is. I am so genuinely and 100% happy here and hope that you enjoy the pictures!

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This sweet little town makes my heart flutter!

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This is JP’s Coffee! They make a killer cup of joe and it’s adorable on the inside!

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Little charming details just like this flower bike are scattered all across town!

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I took this picture inside one of the boutiques on 8th and thought it gave a cool perspective of the town!

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Now onto pictures of this gorgeous college!

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This has to be one of my favorite buildings on campus, the Chapel. I got the opportunity to explore the interior and it’s equally as gorgeous as the exterior.

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This is the side view of the Chapel. I adore all of the stained glass detailing.

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The architecture of this building is absolutely incredible.

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Hydrangeas, my personal favorite flower are scattered all across campus and they are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

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While laying down in the grass and enjoying nature this is the exact view I got to stare up at…how ridiculously gorgeous is that!?

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The Hope College Anchor has a ton of history and tradition behind it!

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I hope you all enjoyed this post! My adventures at Lake Michigan will be going up on the blog very soon so look forward to that coming your way!

xo, Lexie