Month: October 2013

Music Monday #3

We’ve covered 2 of my favorite recent artists, and today we move onto the third!

My love for First Aid Kit, the lovely folk-rock duo from Sweden, is on par with my awe of their talent. Okay, forget awe. Straight up jealousy. Like, if the music wasn’t so amazing and sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg weren’t so endearing, I would probably hate them. Who gives you the right to be that talented that young?! (They’re 20 and 22, respectively, and have been making music since Johanna was just 14.)

But amazingly talented, they are. A 14-year-old writes a song about a husband cheating on his wife…that’s poignant and comes off as real?! Well, yes. Their debut EP, Drunken Trees, is good, but their follow up to that, Big, Black and the Blue, is astounding. I’ve listened to it through countless times. Their most recent album, The Lion’s Roar, shows growth from even an album as good as that, touching on country roots they shouldn’t have, having grown up in Sweden. Who cares?! It’s good music.

Here’s the title track and first single from The Lion’s Roar. It’s fun watching them perform this live, because they take advantage of the rare chance in their setlist to rock out and head bang.

Let me know what you think!

À la seconde (West Village Adventure part I)

Friday saw me paying my second visit that week to my beloved West Village with my friend Rose. We first met up in Chelsea, though, and had a quick jaunt through Chelsea Market.

DSC_0878My ballerina inspired outfit in turn inspired the title of this post!

DSC_0881I attempted a ballerina move. This was the outcome. Better stick to my day job. (Oh, right, I have none.)

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After forcing Rose to conduct a photo shoot, we headed up onto the High Line for a bit and got off to head to the seemingly ubiquitous Warby Parker. Warby Parker offers fashion-forward glasses frames, both optical and sunglasses, for bargain prices. The brand has taken off at such ferocious speed, its founders were recently bestowed the title of “Brand Genius” by Adweek.

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DSC_0887Is it a glasses store or a library? Why choose?!

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DSC_0890Best collateral in a store. Ever.

DSC_0891And best way of displaying appointment times.

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(more…)

Deal alert: Beauty bonus at Sephora!

For all you beauty addicts out there, Sephora just debuted their “Beauty Fall,” a daily promotion where you receive a surprise bonus every day, whether it be 10% off, free shipping, or a deluxe sample.

Beauty Fall

And the graphics are too, too adorable! It’s like a pop art Plinko from the Price Is Right! Play every day for a new bonus.

Is there a better reason to shop Sephora today? (And tomorrow, and the next day…)

Call for submissions

To me, personally. As in, does anyone in France read this and think they might be able to get me some of this?

Bioderma

Bioderma Crealine/Sensibio H2O

I told a friend I need to buy more eye makeup remover, and she told me about this. A Google search ensued, and now I know that I MUST have this in my life. With no plans to return to France in the near future, I’m desperate! I’m begging!

We could do a swap! I could send you something that you want from the US. This could be the start of a beautiful (literally, heh, get it?) relationship!!

Fancy a quickie?

I’ve been on such a roll this week, with an entry every day, that I feel the need to keep it up, despite not having the time to write anything in-depth. (I do have things coming up, though!)

Today I met up with my friend Rose and we ambled around the Meatpacking District a bit, and then headed over to the West Village (yes, again). A lot of window shopping was done on my part–budget!–but it was fun watching Rose buy a couple of things. We found our way into Warby Parker, Cynthia Rowley, Diptyque, MAC, Goorin Bros., Aedes de Venustas, Bisous Ciao, and Avignone pharmacy (it annoys me EVERY TIME that it’s misspelled!!). I brought my camera with me, so I’ll have a whole post on our fun day.

Our treat for our exertions on this unseasonably hot day was to stop off at one of my all-time favorite beer bars, Blind Tiger, for a pint. (Their menu rotates all the time, so today it was Victory Golden Monkey, since I adore tripels or tripel-style beer.)

IMG_20131004_150137Mmmmm….thirsty??

À la vôtre! Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

Le Village de l’Ouest

I’m pretty sure I just made up that French translation for the West Village, but, you know, creative license. Regardless of how you say it, the West Village is one of my favorite, yet most unexplored, neighborhoods in the New York City.

The streets are small, narrow, and tree-lined. The buildings are dark brick, and hearken back to old New York. Turn down a street and random, and you can see doors on buildings that clearly used to be carriage houses. It’s so freaking cool. And pretty.

And there is no grid. The streets bisect with no logic. It’s the only place where West 10th Street and West 4th Street could possibly intersect. (I don’t understand!!)

So when, in an attempt to cheer me up about my job situation, my mom offered to take me to lunch at Cafe Blossom, I gladly accepted. (Okay, let’s be real. I would have accepted no matter where it was. It was SUPER sweet of her! But it was extra nice to get to share the beautiful neighborhood with my mom.)

I didn’t bring my good camera with me, but I did take some snaps with my phone.

20131001_160950_1It’s a real urban fairyland.

20131001_161057_1The details on the houses are just amazing.

20131001_160517_1I attempted to teach my mother how to use the camera on my phone with mixed results. 🙂

20131001_160514_1-2I donned my favorite outfit of the summer since the weather warmed up again.

I wrote all about the gorgeous VIB Rouge shade by Bite Beauty for Sephora, but never showed you how it looked on. So I attempted to get a few snaps. And one day, ONE DAY, I will remember to use my flash even during the day. Because you can tell I needed it. Whoops.

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IMG_20131001_152339(Where I attempt to look just a little less pale.)

What do you think of the shade? And what are your favorite places in your cities?

Wishlist Wednesday #3

Oh, Anthropologie, you are KILLING me. It’s not bad enough at least a third of my wardrobe originates from you (think of all the money!!). Now you had to release a Paris-themed October lookbook and mercilessly taunt my unemployed soul. I pretty much want everything. And to be back in Paris. But if I have to narrow it down to a single thing that I am craving more than any of the others…

The Pinceau Dress

Pinceau DressI mean, look at the back!!

It’s so ladylike, with retro touches, and a hint of edge. It’s my style encapsulated in a single dress.

Coming in a very close second is the Pixelated Fleur Dress. Sigh. Baby needs a job, vite!!

Which pieces caught your eye from the lookbook? What are you lusting after right now?

Les Cinq Petites Choses #1

I’ve seen several bloggers doing different variations on “(insert number) of things,” but seeing the way Daphné does it,  I decided it just sounds so much better in French, so I’m following suit. 🙂

Here are my 5 little things of late:

#1 – I finally found something that makes me WANT to carry my Nikon dSLR around with me!

As you can probably tell by from some of my posts on this blog, I love to take photos. Traveling with a good camera is always a struggle. Do you carry a camera bag? And advertise that you’re a tourist/carrying expensive equipment with you? I’ve bought two bags, one from Epiphanie and one from Kelly Moore, that look like purses but have compartments inside for camera equipment. But both of them wind up feeling very heavy and bulky. On my last trip, I literally wound up stashing my Nikon in a fabric tote bag and just carrying it around in that, despite the lack of protection.

Then along came my Rebecca Minkoff Collin Camera Bag. I’d seen the version that certain bloggers got and coveted it dearly. It was while it was still sold out, but then the new colors came out. And, amazingly, they showed up on Gilt, w00t! (The snap seems to be coming out of the leather a tiny bit, so maybe that’s why it was on sale already?)

It’s not large enough to carry an extra lens, and it’s not large enough for when I use my zoom lens, but for just carrying my camera around with my prime lens, which is what I use most these days anyway, it’s perfect. If I pare down, I can even carry everything I need in it, sticking little things in the front pocket. And it looks good, too.

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#2 – As part of working on my français, I’ve been watching a lot of French films. Combine that with a hearty endorsement from Entertainment Weekly, and Starbuck went to the top of my Netflix DVD queue.

And, franchement, it belonged there. I liked this movie so much, I watched it twice within a 24-hour period. Yes, it’s a little farfetched, but it’s also funny and touching. And worth at least one watch. (And I admit I laughed for a reason unrelated to the plot—my French friends complained to me about Montreal/Quebecois accents and, watching this, I TOTALLY got it.)

Naturally, an American remake is already in progress (quelle surprise, sigh), but I would definitely recommend checking out the original. If only to giggle at the accents. (That’s not how it’s pronounced!!)

#3 – I think the best part of being told that I spent enough money at Sephora over the past year to qualify for Sephora VIB Rouge is the exclusive shade of Bite Beauty lipstick that came with my welcome kit. My love for Bite has already been partially documented, but I’ve been waiting for summer to be over to break this beauty out.

It is THE perfect Fall red. It’s a tiny bit darker, a tiny bit deeper than a bright, true red. Very, very vintage feeling. So much so, in fact, maybe somewhat inspired by all the World War I and II historical fiction I’ve read lately, that the other night, I did my hair up in pseudo Victory Rolls, put on some black eyeliner and a vintage choker I bought at a flea market, and painted my lips with this red. And I looked like I stepped out of another era. Which is how I like it.

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#4 – I had let my subscription to Birchbox lapse when they sent out samples of Joie’s then brand new signature scent, Folle de Joie. But reading the blog and following them on Twitter, I kept seeing them talk about how amazing the scent was. I’m a bit of a perfume collector (more on that a different time), and every blogger who had tried it seemed to adore it.

I’m a bit finicky with scents, having a very sensitive nose and stomach, so I sometimes can’t wear scents that are popular with other people (for example, Flowerbomb). I decided to go into a Joie store when I was in the neighborhood and try it on for myself. Besides for needing to try it on first, another perfume is the last thing I should be spending my money on right now.

Luckily for me, the sales assistant was so lovely and gave me a sample to take home. I confess, I came back another day with a friend so we could both get another one (she graciously gave me hers), but only because I loved it so much and knew I would run out. (I was right; I’ve already finished one and am on to my second.)

People describe it as very summery scent, but I don’t see it that way. It feels to me like an all-year scent. It just seems to fit me.

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#5 – Sorry, I know I’m laying it on thick with the French in this post, but I try to absorb it however I can, and this includes listening to French music. I have a friend who knows more about music than I ever have, and she keeps introducing me to bands, especially French bands. Amusingly, most of these French bands sing in English. But she recommended I buy Lescop’s album, and I’m glad I did.

But it’s on especially heavy rotation right now, because it’s moody, atmospheric, perfectly French, and perfect for Autumn. Listening to this album is the aural equivalent of wrapping up in a cozy sweater with a cup of tea. It just evokes the season to me, and I’m welcoming it with open arms.

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