Fool-Proof Daily Makeup

With all of the flying, adjusting to a new environment, and stress from school, it’s easy for me to let my skin become less of a priority. A few days later, I always wish I had taken that extra minute or two to wash my face. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to really take care of my skin. That means using less cakey makeup and allowing for more natural powders to cover up any imperfections. It also means washing my face regularly and indulging in a facial every once in a while. After years of trial and error, I’ve fallen into a routine that I love.

Fool-Proof Daily Makeup

First things first, I’m absolutely head-over-heels in LOVE with my Clarisonic. I got it last Christmas in my stocking, but didn’t incorporate it as a part of my routine until recently. I use it in the shower (it’s waterproof!) with a natural face wash I have (make sure this face wash is gentle with no beads). The device takes everything off your face and leaves it feeling smooth with no dead skin.

I love using mineral powders on my face. Not only do they cover anything up, your face feels like it can breathe again. Doing musical theater in high school, I have awful memories of liquid concealer. This powder gives you a fresh, bare feeling. I started using another darker powder on my t-zone and cheeks after watching this. I had a Clinique compact that was too dark for me (I bought it one very tan summer). Since then, I love using it to highlight my features instead of having a one-dimensional color.

I like to do simple eyes with just a bit of eyeliner on my lower inner lid and upper lid, winging out just slightly at the end of my eye. Depending on my day, I may also do a stroke of natural eye shadow (darker around the outside corner of my eye and lighter up to my brow bone). Finishing off with mascara gives me a wide-eyed doe look.

Burt’s Bees is one of my favorite things of all time. It moisturizes and can add the perfect hint of color. I love the one with pomegranate oil, but they’re all amazing and leave you with the tingly feeling reminding you that it’s not only for beauty but for healing, too.

To take it all off at the end of the day, I use Neutrogena makeup removing wipes and Estee Lauder Gentle Eye Makeup Remover on my eyes. With a quick wash of my face and some moisturizer, I go to sleep, knowing my face is healthy and clear.

I hope you like some of my tips, and be sure to click on the collage to go to Polyvore and look at each item individually!

Paris Coat Weather

It’s freezing. Whether I’m stepping out to run downstairs to our Franprix for a bag of flour or going out for the whole day, I need to bundle up as if preparing to trek the Alps. And from what I see on my Facebook newsfeed, North Carolina and New York aren’t much better.

Something I love about France is people’s accommodation of fashion and warmth. It’s a long way from North Carolina; frat parties are attended in tiny dresses and rarely even a jacket from the fear of misplacing it or having it drowned in cheap beer. The women here in Paris are fearless; they wear 5 inch heeled boots in the snow while donning a fur vest underneath an insulated coat.

Parisian women are the proof that you should never sacrifice fashion for warmth. It’s something I’m learning slowly but surely and hope I can instill on those cold, frat-party nights at Elon come 2014.

Here are some suggestions for all different fashion senses. Keep warm!

Paris Coat Weather

Comfort Foods: Mac & Cheese

My sister is an amazing cook. Whether it’s jambalaya, pork roast, or, one of my new favorites, chausson, she never ceases to outdo herself.

At home, I’m used to eating a variety of italian or French foods from my personal chef, my mom. I’m trying to convince her to jar her homemade tomato sauce, which, in my opinion, is worth a million bucks.

It’s a rare occasion that I make a meal for myself; if I did, it would probably lack a certain je ne sais quoi. I love to cook and bake, but as my sister has often pointed out, I’m one to follow a recipe. This probably comes from my lack of experience testing around in the kitchen, throwing in a bit of this and a pinch of that.

I’ve never invented a recipe, but adding onto something that I’ve previously had or REinventing something is a feat that I feel I could accomplish. Mac & cheese is one of the simplest classics from my childhood. As I start to reinvent recipes, I’m sure I’ll take bits and pieces from the culinary geniuses in my life to make something that’s my own.

Below is a collage I made. I’m a neat freak and love when everything has a place. Polyvore lets me do just that, so expect many more collages in the future! For more information about these recipes, visit the links below.

Comfort Foods: Mac & Cheese


“Once Upon A Time…

…in a land far away.” Those words capture the hearts of almost everyone who will listen. It sets you right back to snuggling in and listening to a bedtime story about princesses and knights and dragons and – most importantly – magic. It’s amazing what a good dose of imagination can do for your soul. I’ve always been a Disney fan, mostly relating to

Snow and Charming

Ariel because of her love of singing and envying her life in the water and Belle because of her fearlessness and because she’s French (of course)! I can recite almost every fairy tale just by remembering the movie it came from or the story book in my room. But there’s a special talent in reworking those stories into something different and being able to shock listeners no matter what. That’s what Once Upon a Time on ABC achieves so perfectly.

I saw ads for this show before, and my sister raves about it endlessly. It was always one of those shows where I said, “I feel like I’d like this,” but did nothing about it. That changed and ever so drastically.

Once Upon a Time captured me from the first episode. Not only are the characters extremely likable (even the bad guys), but you feel like you get to relive part of your childhood. The best part is that they reworked the stories so that the ending you expect or the characters that you once knew somehow change. Every episode leaves you with “Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I didn’t think of that” or “What!? It’s over!?”

Lana Parilla as “Mayor Regina Mills”

The show is about a little town in Maine, Storybrooke, whose inhabitants are storybook creatures under a curse which makes them forget who they are. They focus on characters like Snow White/ Mary Margaret Blanchard (Ginnifer Goodwin), Prince Charming/ David Nolan (Josh Dallas), and Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), the supposed “savior” of the town. Mayor Mills’ adopted son, Henry (Jared Gilmore), is given a storybook that explains everything and only he has the imagination and courage to believe it. He hunts down his biological mother, Swan, in order to have her break the curse.


You still with me?

The concept is much better explained in the pilot episode which I suggest you watch on Netflix. One of my favorite things about the show is the way the intertwined characters we might have forgotten a bit about, like Rumpelstiltskin (the AMAZING Robert Carlyle), Jiminy Cricket, and more.

If you like fantasy and aren’t afraid to become addicted to yet another show, catch up with Once Upon a Time on Netflix, and tune in every Sunday at 8/7c on ABC.

La vie en rose

Adjusting to a new city is a funny thing. I began as an extreme tourist, taking pictures wherever I went; I felt guilty when I stayed in my sister’s cozy apartment when it looked like a snow-pocalypse (special thanks to her for this term) outside; I’ve spent way too much money on yet another baguette, just because even at the most random of bakeries, it’s probably one of the best ones I’ve ever had.

A few weeks have gone by, and my life has become pretty much the same as it would be back home. Classes have started. I’m trying to eat like a human again instead of allowing myself way too much cheese and bread. And I’m getting back into a routine.

But there are those days – or even just moments – when it hits me: I’m in Paris. The guilt comes rushing back, and I have to go out and do something cultural! Well, yesterday was that day.

We went to the Rodin museum, which we are vowing to return to after the snow clears away from the supposedly fantastic garden.


Rodin entrance stickers

We stumbled upon (literally, because of the sheets of ice that covered the snowy sidewalks) Invalides, a war museum that started as a hospital and living place for war veterans.


Invalides exterior


Invalides from the courtyard

Then came Notre Dame. It is absolutely one of those places you can go to 25 times and have a different experience each day. The last time I went, it had just gotten dark. This time, the sun-touched stained glass meant something so much more. The building, itself, is art. But the art inside the museum makes it, in my opinion, the most beautiful building in Paris.


Notre Dame

Lastly, we clung onto the railings of the Bateau Mouche in attempt to avoid getting hit with snowballs from bridge-crossers, afraid of consequently falling into the Seine. (I’m Madeline, but there was no Genevieve around to grab me from the icy currents. No way was I getting close to the edge.)

A canon at Invalides

A canon at Invalides

All in all, it was the perfect day to relieve me from any guilt I had that morning. As I sit here and debate which countries I have to visit over Spring Break (can I make it to my list of 12 European cities before the end of my time here- and money for that matter?!), I still get a feeling of amazement that I’m here.


The Eiffel Tower

I’m not meaning to brag about my European adventures. But it’s making me realize the beauties of studying abroad. When you’re a student, you have a “home” in the university abroad that you attend. You have people to go to to ask about health insurance and suggestions of bed bug-free hostels in neighboring countries. It gives you time to focus on getting all of the sight-seeing you can without worrying about the nitty-gritty. The opportunities are endless, and to have that stability is a comfort in the midst of what could be much more stress.

The rambling will now end, but the amazement and utmost blessed feeling will continue throughout my months in Europe. And if I ever get tired of Europe, all I have to do is look to the left while I’m on my bus on my way to school. All of my friends agree; a glimpse at the Eiffel Tower is the most grounding, reassuring picture.

Duly Noted

In my PR class last semester, we spent a good 2 weeks working on our resumes, interview etiquette, internship searching, etc. Thinking about the future provokes a gut feeling of fear but also excitement. Job searching is one of those things that people assume you can figure out, but it’s definitely nice to have someone hold your hand and walk you through it.

I had a phone interview the other day for a summer internship and was offered a position. I couldn’t be more excited about it, seeing as the summer internship hunt sometimes feels like trying to find a lunch table on the first day of school – unless you know someone at one of the tables, you feel alone and, for lack of a better word, screwed.

As my PR professor would be happy to know, one of the first things I did was write my interviewer a thank you note. My sister asked me what made me feel the need and decided that I’m just O.C.D. about being perceived as rude. But putting my neurotic tendencies aside, the answer is simple: writing someone a letter is one of the most personal forms of showing your appreciation. No one gets excited about yet another email in their inbox or the infuriating process of listening to voicemails.

We were nagged every Christmas by my mom to write our thank you notes for the gifts we received from family and friends. By 10 AM on December 26th, I was usually done with mine (while my less diligent siblings were often buying stamps in late January). Getting stationery in my stocking was usually some incentive to begin with the notes.

My stationery supply is now dwindling, and instead of investing in a new set, I’m going to try to put my craftiness to the test. By investing in a few neutral stamps, some glitter, and a glue pen, Emily Schuman makes the idea of creating homemade notes easy and even more personal.

Strawberry stamps from Emily

Inspiration from Emily at Cupcakes and Cashmere






To my professor who took two weeks out of his precious class time to teach us how to dress for interviews and the difference between “stationary” and “stationery,” thank you. Oh, and check your mailbox.

Here are a few of my own ideas for homemade stationery courtesy of Michael’s Craft Store.

Madeline: Lost in Paris

May I just first say that I am very proud of my clever blog post title which is also the title of my photo album on my Facebook. Thanks to Ludwig Bemelman, bien sûr.

I still can’t believe that I can say I’m in Paris, eating croissants daily, overdosing on unpasteurized cheeses, seeing my big sister every day. I haven’t lived with her since I was in the 3rd grade and she was in the 9th, so being able to share so many Parisian experiences with her is something I’ll always be extremely thankful for.

She makes dinner for her boyfriend and me every night, not only because she is a wonderful cook, but also because eating out in expensive Paris should be a rare and appreciated occurrence. We’ve had a mélange of dishes, from Minestrone to Endive and Apple salad. I’m eagerly awaiting the tartiflette tomorrow night along with a real King’s Cake to celebrate Epiphany.

Nonetheless, my cooking duties have been put on hold since I’ve been spoiled by my sister’s culinary skills. But I’m itching to get back into the kitchen, not necessarily to take over my sister’s cooking ability, but perhaps to introduce her boyfriend to some American desserts. Homemade oreos? Donut holes? Chocolate covered strawberries? Flourless chocolate cookies? Homemade Twix bars? He and I, obviously, share a love of chocolate. But sadly, I’ll have to figure out a way to substitute out one of my FAVORITE things in the world which he can’t stand: cinnamon.

Hopefully my next post will include something a bit more “nutella.” I must mention, though, that the “netflix” aspect of this blog may dwindle soon, as I cannot get Neflix in France. But, nonetheless, I may have an occasional movie review for something I can find on YouTube. (P.S. A shout out to my sister who sent me the link to a childhood favorite of ours!)

Thanks for sticking with me, and I’ll be updating soon about ma vie parisienne!