All Good Things Must Come To An End

I hate to admit it, but abroad is officially over. Though I was in denial for some time, there’s no fighting it, especially considering this blog post comes from the desk of my (unpaid) summer internship. Yep, I’m definitely back in America.

Although I’m thrilled to be putting my skills to good use as an editorial intern at Moment Magazine, I can’t help but feel a tad nostalgic about my semester abroad in Tel Aviv. Though nothing can truly describe how incredible the past five months have been, hopefully this video gives you a little insight into my journey of a lifetime. Enjoy!

The Journey Of A Lifetime

Having just returned from my two-week spring break, I am itching to the share the details of my trip with you. Tel Aviv University gives its students two weeks off for spring vacation because of Passover. My friends and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and travel to the far-off land of Europe. In just 14 days we visited Florence, Rome, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin. Our suitcases were 10 lbs. heavier and our feet were covered in blisters upon our return, but it was truly a journey of a lifetime. Find out all the details from our private cooking lesson to our visit at a concentration camp, below:

http://globalgator.wordpress.com/category/africa-the-middle-east/israel-africa-the-middle-east/jennifer-spring-in-tel-aviv-2014/

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I Think I Could Get Used To This

The past month has been a crazy one since I last updated everyone. I began my “official” classes at TAU, explored Israel further and traveled to Europe all in about four weeks. Phew! It’s definitely been an adventure. Here are some of the highlights, with pictures of course.

Eilat: As if we needed even more of a vacation, my friends and I ventured down to Eilat a few weeks ago. Israel’s hottest and southernmost point is a huge spot for tourists and travelers. We spent the weekend relaxing on the beach and at our hotel pool, which was decked out with queen-size beds. (Is this real life?!)

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(Photo Courtesy of Danielle Feldman)

Aside from the clear skies and sunny days, the trip was actually really eye-opening and educational. We learned that Eilat borders Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and that the closest borders were only two miles away. We are also swimming in some very historic water. The Red Sea, which Moses parted from Egypt to Israel, was just at the tip of our toes (photo below). Pretty cool stuff.

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Barcelona: Having been abroad for about seven weeks, I was obviously missing my dearest and closest fellow Gators who are also studying abroad. So, I decided to take a trip to see what the fuss was about all the way in Barcelona. Though I don’t think I could get used to eating dinner at 11:30 p.m. (yes, this actually happened…twice), Barcelona was so beautiful and a place I would love to return to one day. I spent the weekend doing what most first-timers probably do. Eating, walking, touring, walking, eating, napping, and so on. Gaudi’s Casa Batllo (pictured below) was one of my favorite sites. And how could I forget adventuring out to Barcelona’s hottest spot- Opium. Luckily I was careful not to lose sight of my bag during the weekend and managed to come back to Tel Aviv with my wallet and phone intact. Pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.

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I was so amazed at how beautiful Barcelona’s architecture was and how historic all the monuments looked. I especially loved how “European” it all felt, compared to the Middle Eastern lifestyle I’ve been used to. I even rode a bike in skinny jeans and converse. Now that’s European!

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Up Next: The next few weeks are going to get even busier my friends. Midterms and Purim (Israel’s version of Halloween) are next on the agenda, and shortly after my parents will be visiting me for 11 days! I cannot wait to finally play tour guide and show them how great Israel is. As always, stay updated with my weekly blog posts through University of Florida’s abroad blog, Global Gator. And for more epic food and travel pics, follow me on Instagram @jmc91893.

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Multimedia Work: Lending A Helping Hand

As the fall semester comes to a close at the University of Florida, I wanted to share this project I produced for a photojournalism course.

Over the course of a few weeks, I followed my subject, Erin Kaplan, through her daily routine. Kaplan is a senior at UF who embodies several admirable qualities. I chose her as the focus of my project because she isn’t like every other college student who solely focuses on school work and social life. Instead, Kaplan devotes herself to helping others. In “Lending A Helping Hand,” I was able to capture this and tell her story by photographing her in several different settings- at work, in extracurricular activities and in her free time. In addition to photographing her, I also spent a lot of time interviewing her, which helped me grasp a sense of who she is.

To help compile this multimedia slideshow, I used a Canon DSLR camera and a Zoom H2n Digitial Voice recorder. Photos were edited with Photoshop and audio was edited with Audacity. The entire project was created in Soundslides Plus.

Erin’s story shows how good deeds and selfless work is possible at any stage of your life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDf3gItWpcc&feature=youtu.be

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

This morning, I participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5k walk sponsored by the American Cancer Society. The walk was held in downtown Gainesville, Fla. at 9 a.m. It was a chilly morning (45 degrees!), but everyone was excited and motivated to be walking for a good cause. I walked on the Delta Phi Epsilon team alongside my sorority sisters. As a team, we raised $1,719 and total contributions for the walk reached $124,489.88.  It was so inspiring to see everyone out and active for a good cause. Making Strides is constantly sponsoring walks around the country. Find out when and where you can participate!

After a chilly morning and brisk walk, we were proud to make it through the finish line!

After a chilly morning and brisk walk, we were proud to make it through the finish line!

We did it!

We did it!

The Positive Effects Of Community Programming

My latest article for WUFT News in Gainesville is about Florida Boys & Girls Clubs. A new study was recently published that showed a positive return on investment between taxpayer dollars and community programming like the FBGC. The statistics that came out of the study were pretty eye-opening, and the figures were evident after visiting the Club. All of the students were motivated and enthused during my visit, and it seemed that the programming truly helps them stay busy and focused after school.  What do you think about community programming like the Boys & Girls Club?

http://www.wuft.org/news/2013/10/04/florida-study-shows-boys-girls-clubs-positively-impact-youth/

Back to Business

Hello everyone! After a lengthy hiatus filled with summer vacation, an internship at Women’s Health Magazine and my junior year at UF beginning, I am happy to be back and blogging. Over the past six months, some pretty exciting moments occurred.

To begin with, my summer internship at Women’s Health Magazine in NYC was unforgettable. As a fashion/edit intern, I worked directly with the associate fashion editor and a slew of other amazing people. On a daily basis I communicated with tons of designers and PR companies and helped organize and account for all clothing, jewelry and accessory samples. Let’s just say, I was in heaven. The highlights of my internship included  attending a fitness photo shoot and a private appointment at Nanette Lepore. I even got to work on a weight loss column that appears in the magazine each month!

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After living in the big city for nine weeks, and becoming a true New Yorker, it was time to head back to Gainesville, Fla., for my junior year. A little more than a month in, this school year has been anything but slow. As part of one of my journalism classes, I am a news reporter for WUFT. Writing weekly stories relating to residents in North Central Florida, I’ve gotten to learn about some pretty neat topics from impoverished school systems to evolving community projects. My time thus far has given me some great experience as an investigative reporter. Check out my stories here: http://www.wuft.org/news/author/jennifer-cole/

When I’m not reporting, I’ve been busy organizing my five-month trip to Israel. Yes, that’s right, beginning in January I will be spending my semester abroad in Tel Aviv. I am beyond excited for this opportunity and cannot wait to be immersed into the culture.

It’s been a hectic start to my semester, but I am thrilled to be starting up my blog again. Stay tuned for weekly posts about food, lifestyle, fashion, health and more!

Spring Break Adventures

I’ve officially come to terms that spring break is sadly over. From the Bahamas to the beaches in Boca Raton, Fla., it was truly a break of sun and relaxation. However, throughout my 11-day hiatus I did tons of interesting things and was lucky enough to capture them all for you. Instead of blabbing on about all of my adventures, I’ve decided to illustrate some of the highlights with my favorite photos from break. Enjoy!

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Right off the plane, my friends and I took a 40-minute shuttle from the Nassau airport to the Atlantis resort where we were staying.

On our ride, we saw many historical landmarks of the Bahamas including the construction of the latest Bahamian resort, Baha Mar. Expected to be finished in 2014, Baha Mar is said to be the newest and best resort in the Bahamas.

On our ride, we saw many historical landmarks of the Bahamas including the construction of the latest Bahamian resort, Baha Mar. Expected to be finished in 2014, Baha Mar is said to be the newest and best resort in the Bahamas.

Officially arrived to the Atlantis. Not too shabby.

Officially arrived to the Atlantis. Not too shabby.

...Either is the view from our room!

…Either is the view from our room!

This photo was taken in front of real-life sharks. One of the resort's water slides lets riders out in a tunnel surrounded by caged sharks!

This photo was taken in front of real-life sharks. One of the resort’s water slides lets riders out in a tunnel surrounded by caged sharks!

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The beautiful marina village holds tons of yachts and boats each day.
Aside from the breathtaking boats, look how clear the water is!

Aside from the breathtaking boats, look how clear the water is!

Our final farewell.

Our final farewell.

Back in the U.S., I spent the rest of my vacation with my family in Boca Raton and Delray Beach. My dad and I rented bikes from this shop a few blocks from the ocean.

Back in the U.S., I spent the rest of my vacation with my family in Boca Raton and Delray Beach. My dad and I rented bikes from this shop a few blocks from the ocean.

We stopped to look out on this private waterfront area.

We stopped to look out on this private waterfront area.

Riding along A1A. Behind me is Delray Beach.

Riding along A1A. Behind me is Delray Beach.

After our ride, we stopped at a local farmer's market with tons of different vendors. This station was making homemade guacamole. The avocados looked so fresh!

After our ride, we stopped at a local farmer’s market with tons of different vendors. This station was making homemade guacamole. The avocados looked so fresh!

Finally, I ended the day with fresh coconut water. It was so delicious and super nutritious!

Finally, I ended the day with fresh coconut water. It was so delicious and super nutritious!

Oscar Recap: Simple But Sassy

I hope everyone has recovered from last night’s event-filled evening at the Oscars. From the memorable musical performances to Jennifer Lawrence’s graceful fall, the 85th annual Oscars were anything but boring. Even more unforgettable? The hundreds of celebs in this year’s hottest couture. Here are my top picks for best dressed of the evening.

1. Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior Couture. Seriously, is there anything this girl can’t do? From the dress to winning the gold, Jennifer Lawrence knows how to work it all. She looks beyond elegant in this strapless gown, and her simple hair and makeup add the perfect touch to this Cinderella story.

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2. Jennifer Aniston in Valentino. I think it’s safe to say that Jennifer Aniston becomes more and more flawless with age. This beautiful red gown sends all the right messages: understated yet unforgettable. What’s even better is how she has simply tousled hair and barely any jewelry on. Based on the trend I’m seeing, I think it’s safe to say that less is more.

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3. Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta. Wow, wow, wow, is all I have to say about this no brainer. Amy Adams looks absolutely flawless in this powder blue gown. The dress has tons of texture, which she easily pulls off with a simple chignon-styled bun and diamond drop earrings.

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4. Halle Berry in Versace. This working mom definitely knows how to take a night off! This sequined long-sleeve dress was a bit daring, but Halle works it in all the right ways. The metallic tones combined with black vertical stripes accentuate her curves  and flatter her figure in the best places. Her perfectly highlighted pixie cut also helps simplify this sparkly and sassy masterpiece.

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What were some of your favorite Oscar fashions?

Images courtesy of: Getty Images