Restaurant Review: La Mènagere

Hi Friends! Happy Monday! So basically I have been wandering around Florence for about a month now and have found SO many amazing places. Not kidding, I literally walk about 500 steps on any street in Florence, and find the coolest hole in the places that are AMAZE! With all that being said, I thought why not do a review on my absolute favorite cafe in Florence! Enjoy:) 

Until next time 



This place has definitely been a go to for me recently. I have been legit eating my way around Florence for about a month now, so when I am craving a health kick, this is my go to! They have the best avocado toast, caesar salads, juices, smoothies, coffee, pretty much name it, they have it! It is a little off the beaten track, which rocks crowds wise because it is unbelievably hot out, and the extra people make even more unbearably hot. 



Also, this place is huge! It has 3 areas to eat and a flower shop inside, which makes it smell so good! They also have a home section if you are on the hunt for a fun gift! Anyway, if you are planning on coming to Florence soon or are planning a bucket list, put this place on it! You wont regret it! 


the sitch of the week

Well happy Sunday! Hope everyone's week went well and are staying cool (trying to)! This past week was filled with lots of new restaurants, and lots of cool new places! Here are some pictures from the week! 

Till next time, 


These pictures above are taken at the Cinque Terre in the towns of Monterosso and Manarola. 

Three of my favorite meals from the week! The first two pictures are from cafe MUSTS in Florence and then the last is from a little pizza shop I found on the way back to the train station in Venice! (Cafe's :Cafe Ditta Artiginanale, and La Menagere)

Venice is a must for anyone visiting Italy! A little crowded in the summer months, but it still amazing even with the masses! If you do go to visit Venice, the Gritti Palace is a great place for lunch or even a little afternoon tea (the second picture)! 

The rest are a just of my favorite moments from the week!!! 1) THE katie trying to sniff out the secret bakery and clearly, climbing buildings was no obstacle. There are secret bakeries scattered all over Florence but they remain a secret until you sniff it out! So if ever in Florence after a night out ...  good luck and happy sniffing! 2) Just a little Erin enjoying the best pizza ever from Gusta Pizza! The best plan for Gusta Pizza is to get it and bring it to enjoy looking over the Arno! 3) The last 3 are from a tour of the Villa Torrigiani. This villa is absolutely gorgeous and such a peaceful setting. Not too far from the town of Lucca if you are visiting. 


Been a Minute

Hi everyone! Long time no talk! Things have been crazy in the life of Brooke Ottaway recently and in the process the blog has taken a little bit of a siesta. In the past month I have completed another semester of college, got my first stamp in my passport, and have been slightly taken out by a car ( update mom I am fine, it was just my elbow and nothing broke!!!!) 

This summer I am studying in Florence, Italy and I couldn't be happier to be here. Currently, I am on a train to the Almafi Coast for the weekend with a group of friends, while also trying to make friends with some old Italian men sitting across from me on the train who speak no English ( not going well.. might invest a language class while abroad... Updates to come) I have only been here a week and it feels as if it has been forever, but definitely not complaining! In the past week I have.... almost burnt down my apartment ( word to any dumb traveler like myself... DO NOT TRY TO USE AMERICAN HAIR TOOLS ABROAD! YOU MAY ENCOUTER A SMALL FIRE INSIDE YOUR HAIR DRYER AND MIGHT STRAIGHTEN A SMALL CHUNK OF YOUR HAIR OFF), have been hit by a car, proved to myself that anything is truly possible as I struggled to carry my 55 pound plus suitcase up 8 FLIGHTS OF STAIRS ON A STRAIGHT VERTICAL INCLINE and then somehow was able to then go get my other suitcase and carry it back up the stairs, successfully trained myself to say grazie to any question or phrase when it is truly inapplicable, learned to love a shower that doesn't really get hot, but all jokes aside, most importantly have loved every single moment of my time here. I have had so many "firsts" within just the past week, that I am unbelievably excited for what the next 5 weeks will hold. Florence is truly an amazing city and I am so lucky to have the opportunity to be able to study here. 

The break is over and I plan to keep up with blog during the course of my time here, so stay tuned in the coming weeks for updates of my Florence experience!  

Below is a few of my pictures from the past week.. Enjoy! The rest are in the feed section!   

Until next time XOXO


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Well happy May 1st and happy almost Cinco de Mayo! As the end of one month comes to a close, the fresh start to a new month approaches. One of my favorite things about starting a new month is the opportunity to set new goals for the month. I have an obsession with lists and especially to do lists, and so the start of a new month is another opportunity to make a new list which rox. 

I have made a list of all things that I am looking forward to in May and some of my goals for the month. 

Mondays only suck if you let them! Hope it was a good one :) 


Quote to Focus On: Wherever you are, be all there - Jim Elliot .                                                                           I think this is one of my favorites because often times when I am hanging out with friends or even at dinner, I find myself looking at my phone and simply not being present in general! So the goal for this month is to be in present in everything! 

Goal 1) : Drink more water                                                                                                                                           I think this is a big one because I find when I drink close to 2.5 liters or more, I feel more refreshed, not as hungry, and have more energy. Maybe this is because I am not eating as many foods that weigh me down and make me feel tired, but whatever it is, it's the best!                                                                                   Here is one of my favorite things to drink water out of and making sure I am drinking enough

Goal 2) : SAVE MONEY                                                                                                                                              I am going to Italy this summer and am going to need to every penny I can get! So with that being said I need save where I can, and also be smart on the things that I do need ... AKA maybe a few less trips for coffee:) 

Goal 3) : Power of Positivity                                                                                                                                      I love this goal because it really makes you think about your perspective on life. This is something that I try to focus on a pretty consistent basis because honestly instead of being stressed, I try to channel the happy and positive vibes, and I find that this really calms me down and helps me to re-focus. Life isn't happening to you, but for you, so why not make the most of every moment!                                                                                                                  One of my favorite journals to always bring the happy vibes full circle and also one of my favorite blogs to help focus on these vibes





Weekend Getaway for One

This past weekend I decided to take a lil break from everyone and everything and take a vacation by myself. If you have never taken time to truly be by yourself and to embrace the silence of being alone, I highly suggest it! My motto for the weekend was #treatyoself, so anything that I wanted to do or felt like doing, I did! This included waking up early to to take walks on the beach, followed by daily runs and trips to the gym, a little relaxing in the sun, taking in the sunsets, and lastly watching old movies like Roman Holiday! ( If you haven't seen it, put it in your queue to watch next!) This was the best trip to recharge the battery and get ready for a big week ahead! 

Heres to an awesome week ahead,


Below are some pictures from the weekend. Enjoy!  





April 20 2017  

With the weather starting to get hotter and hotter here in Florida  I just thought I would share a little bit about some of my favorite type of bowls to pack (pun intended) ... ACAI BOWLS. 

It is a go to snack for me in any type of weather and leaves me feeling full but not to full! 

Recipe: (Serves 3) 

6 frozen Bananas 

1/2 cup frozen mangos 

1/4 cup frozen peaches 

1/4 cup frozen pineapple 

1/3 cup almond milk or more as needed 

TOPPINGS: Whatever you are feeling that day! I usually like to put bananas and strawberries topped with a little granola and coconut chips. I usually don't use passion fruit but it happened to be in store this time and its a really nice way to sweeten up the bowl if you like a little extra sweet kick! 

The key in making them is to blend, then stop to stir and then blend some more. The consistency when making them should be thick and creamy almost like that of frozen yogurt. If it is the consistency close to a smoothie that means you have added too much liquid and you should throw in more frozen bananas. Super easy to make and super good for you too! 


Happy making! 



April 17 2017 

I got this idea from one of my favorite bloggers Amy Stone to do a recap of everything that I did over the weekend and things I am currently loving at the moment! 



Johns Island: Vero Beach, Florida 

Johns Island: Vero Beach, Florida 

DINING: This weekend I was loving all things bread! A long 40 days without bread lead to all things gluten. Lots of pizza, lots of pasta, lots of avo toast, and many helpings of the bread basket! But while I LOVE bread I am huge sucker for a good acai bowl and have been wanting to try this Pink Aloha smoothie recipe from the always amazing EarthyAndy!  

WEARING: My go-to shoes recently have been these ! They are the best to walk around in on the weekends and go with anything! My go to look with them at the moment has been jean shorts and a large white button down. The best mix of comfy and chic!  

VACATIONING: This past weekend I surprised my parents for my moms birthday in Vero Beach. Somehow the beach always brings out the best in everyone! (Pictured above

PLANNING: Currently making a long wish list of all the places I want to visit and foods I want to eat in Florence this summer! Lusting over these pictures of Positano here and here  . 

LUSTING: Trying to channel all of these amazing vibes from Amber and Andrea's trip to Mentawais, Indonesia. Pictured here and here. I think I know whats next on my bucket list! 

Happy Monday! Here's to making Tuesday great!