Skimming the Surface

I always wish I was better informed. Really, I do. Ask me about pop culture? I can tell you about all of the hot celebrity break-ups/ hook-ups. Ask me about the gun control debate? Oh, hear that? The crickets?

It’s something I’ve tried to change about myself many times. But no matter how many times I set my homepage to the New York Times website or try to follow a current event in the news, I never seem to succeed. That is until Cupcakes and Cashmere showed me something that I am completely obsessed with.

The Skimm is a daily newsletter that summarizes some of the most important things going on in the world. It starts with a quote, recently from figures like Anthony Weiner and Chelsea Clinton, and then goes on to tell you “The Story” and “The Why” (the why being, “Why do I need to Skimm?”). After getting the basic idea of different stories, you can also follow a link to newspaper piece for more information.

The Skimm Screenshot

My favorite part of the email is the “Repeat after me.” They are clever (yet sometimes seemingly impossible) ways to introduce what you’ve learned into everyday conversation. One of my favorites from today? 

“What to say when the barista asks for your name… Anything but Clark Rockefeller. Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, a German man who called himself by the Rockefeller name for years, was found guilty of murdering John Sohus, his landlady’s son…”

Cute anecdotes like these and many more are why I eagerly read the email every morning. Sign-up for The Skimm here. It’s one daily email you won’t go deleting from your inbox.

Tea Time in Paris

British culture has always been a shared passion among my family members (see this post for more on my obsession with Downton Abbey and Jane Austen). When I did a Eurotrip with one of my best friends before our freshman year of college, our last stop was London. We went to a proper English tea, and it’s been something I’ve been trying to do in Paris.

Scone and strawberry jam

The weather in Paris has been particularly gross, and the grayer the sky gets, the more my energy level/ attitude are affected. In an effort to get myself out of the apartment for a while, I headed over to Pain et Chocolat, a quaint place I found on Lost in Cheeseland.

Scone and strawberry jam, Pain et Chocolat

There weren’t many people there around 3:00pm, which probably had something to do with the weather and with the awkward timing. But after turning off my phone, I happily sat on the banquette with a book, sipping on a café crème and indulging in a scone and some strawberry jam. It’s as close as I’ve gotten to a proper English tea in Paris, and it satisfied every craving while bettering my lackluster mood.

Coffee, Pain et ChocolatScone and strawberry jam, Pain et Chocolat

Pain et Chocolat around the corner from where I take my classes, but I had never crossed its path. It’s funny how we tend to take the same routes to the same places every day. This little treasure is definitely going to entice me to get myself lost or take the long way home.

Pain et Chocolat
16, avenue de la Motte-Picquet, 75007

Liebster Nomination

The reason I started my blog was to scrapbook things I love and being able to share those things with my friends and family (whose newsfeeds I bombard with links to this site).

But what I love even more is hearing from followers I don’t know personally. It feels like getting a comment in your yearbook from someone you didn’t know as well- it has a whole different meaning.

I recently got a nomination from Preconcept (a blog with GREAT travel photos) for the Liebster Blog Award. Here are the rules taken from Preconcept’s post:

  • When you receive the award, you post 11 random facts about yourself and answer 11 questions from the person who nominated you.
  • Pass the award onto 11 other blogs (make sure you tell them you nominated them!) and ask them 11 questions.
  • You are not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated you!

Thanks again for the nom, Preconcept! Here we go!

11 Random Facts

  1. I’m 1/2 Sicilian, 1/4 German, 1/8 Irish and 1/8 Portuguese.
  2. I’m super afraid of anything really big/ really small (eg. heights; the whale at the Museum of Natural History in NYC; bugs)
  3. I have an unhealthy number of episode of Sex and the City on my computer.
  4. My biggest pet peeves are bad grammar, small noises (like people clicking their gum or flicking their fingernails), and rudeness.
  5. I’m a neat-freak.
  6. I am the youngest of 4 siblings, and we all are about 2 years apart. My whole family is extremely close.
  7. I spent the first grade in San Francisco and dream of moving back one day.
  8. I was Pippin in my all-girls school production of Pippin. The one time I had a lead in the play, I got sick for all of the performances.
  9. I got a 5 on my AP Photo exam. But I’m pretty convinced the Canon Rebel I used did most of the work for me.
  10. I hate everything about mayonnaise- the taste, the sound, everything.
  11. When I grow up, I want to be my mom (who’s even more fabulous than Jackie O).

Preconcept’s questions for me:

1. If you had to choose 3 countries where you see yourself living what would they be?
-US, France, Italy
2. Do you prefer coffee or tea?
-COFFEE! I’ve been drinking it every morning since I turned 16.
3. What’s your favourite song when you’re travelling?
-Depends on where I’m going! Volare/Vitamin C (I was obsessed with Lizzie McGuire); New York State of Mind/Billy Joel; Home/Michael Bublé
4. If you had to recommend one book, what would that be?
-The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
5. What is your favourite cuisine around the world?
-I’m always in the mood for Italian, but Indian is definitely a favorite!
6. What are the five things you would never leave home, if you were going on a big trip?
-A good book; my camera; Burt’s Bees chapstick; umbrella; a journal
7. Do you prefer the countryside or a big city?
-I was born and raised in NYC so I feel at ease in big cities…though I need some peace and quiet on retreats to the countryside
8. Which city would you recommend me to visit and why?
-Prague is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. I also loved Verona!
9. What is the best thing about the place you live in?
-Best thing about New York: the people- it really is a melting pot of cultures
-Best thing about Paris: the ability to wander and never need to take the same street twice
10. Why did you decide to write a blog?
-As a way to scrapbook my experiences
11. If could only eat one thing forever what would that be?
-Apples with peanut butter (my two favorite things in the whole world)

My 11 Nominations Go To…

1. Tomato Kumato
2. The Coyote Thistle
3. Pitches and Pros
4. Diva Eats Italia
5. The Daring Gourmet
6. A Caffeinated Brunette
7. Jade Laughs a Lot
8. My French Heaven
9. Cooking for Keeps
10. Garnish with Lemon
11. From A to Zoe

I’m going to do my questions for you 11 a bit differently…This or That!

1. Coffee or tea
2. Mac and cheese or Ramen
3. Mac or PC
4. Chocolate or vanilla
5. 1940s or 1960s
6. Pizza: thin crust or deep dish
7. Bunny-sized elephant or elephant-sized bunny
8. Movie or TV show
9. Newman or Redford
10. #1 food you’re picky about
11. #1 movie of all time

Confessions of a Savvy Shopaholic

I like to think of myself as a savvy shopper. I got a membership to BJ’s when I started having a kitchen at school to be able to stock up on boxes of pasta, cleaning supplies, etc. Some of my favorite stores are Forever 21 and the outlet malls near my school and my house. And of course, Targé.

Being in France, my occasional online shopping splurge is on a hiatus, which is probably a good thing for my wallet. I used to take to Pinterest to bookmark items I wanted but never thought I could bring myself to shell out $200 for. But I have discovered something that will create a happy medium between splurging and being a penny pincher for when I return to the states.

Hukkster is a website I came across via a recommendation from a friend. It’s a bookmarking website that will alert you when an item you’ve “hukked” is on sale. It also displays all of the items you’ve hukked on one neat page (helpful for me, a person who impulse buys after not considering an item and returns all too often).

Screen shot 2013-02-26 at 6.38.18 PM

I suggest this website to anyone who likes to rummage through sales bins or who likes to bookmark things to make sure you really REALLY want them (all while avoiding the ever-annoying emptying of a shopping cart).

Here’s a link to some things I’m coveting upon my return to the states, including some modest items for my internship this summer. What are the items you’re coveting for the spring/summer?

Screen shot 2013-02-26 at 6.38.32 PM

How To: Wear a Fur Jacket

I promise, I’ll get over this Polyvore spree soon enough.

Fur is the norm here in Paris. In New York, you may run the risk of PETA supporters throwing red paint on you à la Samantha from the Sex and the City movie. But in Paris, it’s a welcomed trend. I’ve always had a difficult time making an opinion about fur; I believe that it is cruel to kill animals just for fashion, but when thinking about all of the pieces that are already made with fur, it’s hard to think of them going to waste. I’m torn; your personal opinions on fur are welcome in the comment section!

I’ve been trying to find ways to wear fur jackets and couldn’t really find anything to my taste. I decided to put together this collage from two photos I found on Pinterest. When wearing a fur jacket, I really think you should let it do the talking and not go too crazy with other pieces you wear. These two options are subtle and would work for day-to-night outfits. Enjoy!

How To: Wear a Fur Jacket

If It Makes You Happy

Here’s a collage of things that make me smile. Happy Friday!

If It Makes You Happy

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

Les dessins

I find fashion to be an art. The designs are unique, the colors are captivating and the overall outcome means something. And like any piece of art, there are multiple steps the designer must take before achieving the masterpiece. My friend once took a class at FIT and taught me how to draw a clothing design. It’s much more intricate than it seems, but the results are beautiful.

Fashion Forward

I started this blog to start writing about things that I loved and believed in. While food and movies may be some of my top interests, fashion is high up there. I’m a huge fan of Sex and the City, I grew up in New York City, and I have an amazing mom who dresses like Jackie O. Need I say more? Here are a few pictures of my style inspiration:







For more fashion inspiration, check out my Pinterest!