Tag: french

Wishlist Wednesday #4

Number 4 already?! Time really does fly!

As I mentioned, on Friday, during our day of fun in the West Village, I was struck dumb and unable to move on, captivated by a hat in the window of Goorin Bros. I knew that if I went in and tried it on, I would fall in love. But I could not make myself walk away.

So, in I walked. Meet my new spirit animal hat, Jessica Rogers:

105-5587-RED-L01 I took a photo in it, but it came out hideous, so this is courtesy of the Goorin Bros. site.

Have you ever seen anything so divine?! I’m obviously a fan of most things retro, but this hat is just perfection. Look at that gorgeous cherry red. LOOK AT THE POLKA DOTS. And it’s only $65, which is actually really affordable for a hat like this, if you’re not unemployed.  (I’m a huge fan of milliners, but they are usually waaaaaay pricey.)

I tried it on and I felt like this:

105-5587-RED-MF01Again, photo courtesy of the Goorin Bros. site.

The shop is actually stacked from top to bottom with amazing hats, so if a cloche isn’t your thing, you have plenty to choose from. (Rose tried this one on. And for the record, I also totally want this one. That teal is to die for! ) They have locations in several states and a couple in Canada, but obviously there is always their handy dandy (really beautifully designed) web site (where I am creating my wishlist as soon as I finish typing this!)

But if I see you walking down the street in my Jessica Rogers, this is WAR.

What are your favorite hats? What are you wishing for this week?

Allongé (West Village Adventure part II)

Continuing the tale of our day in the West Village (and the fitting ballet terms), we finally made it to Aedes de Venustas. But not before being accosted by the beauty sales equivalent of a used-car salesman. Okay, that’s being harsh, because this guy was actually quite good at what he did.

We were walking down Christopher Street, on our way, and we passed by this man generously handing out samples in front of his skin care store, Shalva. (That’s how he reels you in!!) He promised us a treat (I swear, it wasn’t candy), so we came inside and were treated to a demonstration of the products. Our hands were scrubbed with a Dead Sea salt scrub, and then slathered in a really luscious body cream he promised we’d only have to apply once a day. (I told him I use hand cream about 4 times a day.) There was some special deal going on, but since I’m broke, I had to pass. (Which may have been lucky, if you read the reviews. I think they’re a little harsh; my hands felt soft hours later, but I can understand. As I said, he was really good at his job: trying to sell this stuff.)

With our hands feeling soft as a baby’s bottom, we made our way to Aedes. Sadly, they don’t allow photographs in the store, but I highly recommend you visit to see for yourself. It is a boudoir of visual and olfactory delights. Literally. There is carpeting and drapery and vanities and cabinets. It is dimly lit. But populated with the most high-end and obscure perfume brands you could hope to find. It really is special. If you’re looking for a scent that you won’t smell on everyone else, you know where to go. And they even will give you a sample of any one fragrance you choose. (For more samples, see their web site.)

DSC_0933The fantastical Aedes window, the only thing you’re allowed to photograph.

Once we finally made it out of there (trust me, you’ll never want to leave, either), we were trying to find a specific pharmacy, but wound up getting a little lost, having not yet resorted to using Google maps.

DSC_0934With intersections like this, can you blame us for getting lost?! How does this even work?!

DSC_0935But we just considered it as taking the scenic route. 🙂

DSC_0936I was inordinately pleased with my inspired nail color combination choices.

DSC_0944A moment’s rest, an excuse for more posing.

Ironically, in order to get where we had to go, we had to get back onto Bleecker Street. This time around, we passed by Goorin Bros., and I was so enamored of a hat in the window, I stood outside for five good minutes knowing it would break my heart if I walked in, tried it on, and then walked away. But I went in anyway. And it was as gorgeous as I feared. It is now at the top of my wishlist. But more on that on Wednesday. 😉

DSC_0949I also tried on this beauty. Believe it or not, I would actually totally wear this. (Sadly, I can’t find it on their site.)

I tore myself away, nearly in tears. But I consoled myself at Bisous Ciao with a couple of macarons. Feed the sadness, right?! And at least those I could afford.

DSC_0951Honey Lavender and Rose. Macarons make EVERYTHING better.

After all that meandering and getting lost, we finally made it to Avignone pharmacy (yup, still hate the misspelling), only to find out they didn’t carry what I was looking for, either. In the absence of this mythical Bioderma Sensibio H2O, I settled for Klorane eye makeup remover. (Of course it had to be French.)

Walking around all day in 80+ degree (Fahrenheit) weather, we definitely worked up a thirst, and so a nice cold beer was definitely in order. We stopped off at one of the best beer bars in New York, Blind Tiger, and indulged. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

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Outfit details here.
Nail polish: Peace, Love & OPI – OPI, Stance – Illamasqua
Ring: Shirley Dom

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…)

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!!

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?

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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Une mini virée en voiture de septembre 2013!

Hmm. Would you say “de septembre”? Any French speakers out there?

Anyway, Mini Road Trip September 2013!!

Okay, readers. This is the entry that is going to test whether my blog experiment is going to work, because this is the first one in which I bring in one of my divergent loves: football. Take a deep breath. I promise, it will be okay. There will be things to redeem it. I promise you. Photos will prove it.

Anyway, months and months ago, I bought tickets to see the international friendly match between the Portuguese and Brazilian national football teams, two of the best teams in the world. Also, two countries from which a few of the players on “my” team originate from. Cue excitement at the rare chance to see them play on American soil, even if it did mean I had to trek up to Foxborough, Massachusetts from New York to do it. Also, cue disappointment when two of my favorite players got injured before the match and had to pull out.

Actually, that shouldn’t have really mattered, since due to monetary difficulties (I’m currently unemployed), I thought we were selling the tickets. One deadbeat eBay buyer later, it was the day before the match, and a different friend (with a car!!) stepped up and the most spontaneous mini road trip ever was spawned.

Even though it’s not quite autumn yet, it is always a special thing to see autumn in New England, so I was quite excited. When I was younger, my family and I spent many a Thanksgiving up in Boston, and I have a dear friend in Worcester, so I was very glad to get back in the neighborhood. My friend, Rose, also went to university nearby, so we were going to stop off at her college town on our way back.

The match was a lot of fun, no surprise. I was rooting for Portugal, but alas, they lost. Here is why football is nothing to fear:

IMG_20130910_232852Here I am, missing one of our players who was injured, Cristiano Ronaldo. (He also happens to be one of the best players in the world, nbd.) I scavenged this wondrous thing after the Real Madrid v Chelsea match in Miami in August during the ICC tournament. Can you believe someone left this on the floor after the match?! Thank you very much to the several guys who felt the need to tell me that he wasn’t with the team that night, because I’m a girl and I obviously know nothing about sports or the players. And to the guy who offered me a whole dollar for my Cris head: Dream on!

DSC_0505See, football is okay, it has cute kids!

DSC_0516Cute kids holding flags questioning their life choices. (I’m talking to you, mister Righthand Corner.)

DSC_0548They are judging you for your skepticism. Yes, you. (Fábio Coentrão and Pepe)

DSC_0550Football has scenarios that play out like a Shakespearean tragedy. On the left, staring at a body on the floor. In the middle, praying to the heavens. On the right, well, I don’t think they looked like that in Shakespeare’s time, but you get my drift. Also, the guy between number 17 (Nani) and the abs, I adore your expression.

DSC_0556Football has handsome, well-dressed managers (Paul Bento) who suffer in the heat for style.

DSC_0551Football has some of the best hair you could ever want to see. On the right, beautifully full (Nélson Oliveira. In the middle, curls out of control (David Luiz). On the right, mohawk (Raul Meireles). There is something for everyone!

DSC_0577It also has players that travel faster than the speed of…my camera. :p (Hélder Postiga)

DSC_0586“Damn, she caught me.”

IMG_20130910_233609And football is nothing if not based on tradition.

And that’s without the exciting play! (That’s a lot harder to photograph. That’s all it is. Really.)

With the sport part of the trip under our belt, we set off the next morning for Amherst, Massachusetts to revisit some of Rose’s old university haunts.

20130911_101712_1But not before saying goodbye to Oliver. Who was having none of it.

Now, if you’re an American like me, you absolutely adored the film Amélie. (The French are amused at our mass infatuation with it.) Many years ago, I won a rubber duckie playing skeeball in Coney Island, and he became my travel companion, à la the garden gnome in Amélie.

P1000011Sadly, I seem to have lost Dirk somewhere in Paris when I was there in July. 🙁

I have been trying out a replacement for him, which you will see below. I’m still undecided. On the one hand, it’s a plastic cutout of my favorite player’s face (Xabi Alonso), and, so, naturally adorable. Still, he’s no Dirk. And he needs to be propped up. He can’t just sit places on his own like my Dirk. (Oh, Dirk, I hope you are happy in Paris, I miss you so!)

Anyway, back to the trip. As one must, we pulled over to the side of the road for some natural splendor.

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DSC_0593That’s Quabbin Reservoir in the distance.

Our first stop in Amherst was at the Lone Wolf, where Rose has fond memories of chowing down.

20130911_134815_1Xabi needed a cold glass of water.

Next stop was at Rao’s Coffee, for a really fantastic cup of Joe. We may not be university students anymore, but we still need our coffee!

20130911_141313_1Street art along the way. Can you tell it’s a university town? 😉

20130911_140601_1Xava Alonso, ladies and gentlemen. (Get it? Xabi? Java? Coffee?)

DSC_0595Amherst was quaint. And cute.

Our last stop was at UMASS Amherst itself, so we could go into the student shop for Rose.

20130911_143734_1Collegiate Xabi.

After that, we stopped off for some yummy ice cream, and that was it. Time to hit the road for good. It was really fun for me to relive Rose’s nostalgia with her, because I stayed home for college, and so I never had this experience.

I always get sad when fun things are over. I had thought it was because of the anticipation involved, but this trip had no anticipation, ha. But we had a great time on the trip home, listening to music and being dorks.

Hey, Rose, I’m ready for the next one! 😉 C’est parti!

(Please note: All photos are mine. Please do not use without permission.)

Watch me unbox! Watch me YouTube! September 2013 Birchbox

Well, hello again! Today I bring you my very first YouTube video, recorded just for you lovely people. (Hopefully, some of you are there reading/watching.) I thought it would be fun to start a video series in which I open my monthly Birchbox on video and discuss the items inside. I hope you agree! And doing a quick look at YouTube, I’m not the only one with this idea, so hopefully, you do. 🙂

Birchbox is a monthly subscription service where, for just $10 a month, you receive a box full of deluxe-sized and travel-sized samples. You receive Birchbox points for every purchase you make and every review your write, which can be redeemed in their store. It’s pretty much a cycle of awesome! Get your own here.

I also always wonder what other people have gotten in their Birchboxes (I just want all the stuff!), so if you’re also a subscriber, let me know if you’ve gotten something different!

I know I have some learning to do, so please be kind, and bear with me! I’m still learning how to do this, tout comme mon français! Some of the other unboxing videos on YouTube are pretty fancy, with music and transitions. What kind of video do you prefer? Either way, I think you’ll find as this thing takes off more that my writing and photography skills are far superior to my video editing ones, but it’s still good to challenge yourself to learn and try new things!

If you have any questions about any of the products mentioned or anything else, please let me know. I’ve listed links to the products on Birchbox in the video information, so you should watch it on YouTube to access that. And of course, if you have any suggestions for future videos, let me know!

About a girl

Well, then. Here we are.

Since this is the beginning, there are 2 things that you should know about me.

1. La rêve! Only in my dreams do I dream in perfect French. Despite the fact that I’ve been learning for a couple of years now, I’m still even hopeless when I speak! But I like to pretend, and at least j’essaie (I try). And I’m persistent. And a bit obsessed with all things French. Have any of you learned a second language and have any tips? I am all ears, both asleep and awake! And if any of you speak French and I MISuse it, please correct me!

2. I am a failed blogger. I always begin with great intentions, and then somewhere along the way (sometimes after only the first entry), I lose all momentum. Under my belt, I have a music blog (my best attempt to date), a pseudo-knitting blog, a blog about my attempts at learning French, and a blog about what it’s like to be a fan of European football in America (so shameful, this one). It occurred to me that part of the problem might be dividing all my various interests up into different blogs. I fear alienating people who may begin to follow me for specific content with other content they have no interest in, but consider this your fair warning.

So, c’est moi! That’s me.

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…okay, I lied. There are more than 2 things.

3. I’m obsessed with makeup and beauty products. When I was a little girl and my friends would come over to visit, we would play with this eyeshadow palette that my mother had. We would always come out of it looking like little clowns, but that was our idea of fun. And it still is mine. I embarrassingly just earned my entry into Sephora’s VIB Rouge program. Which, basically, means that I spent way too much money on makeup this year. Whoops.

4. Ditto for being obsessed with fashion and style. Alas, that was not as easy to do with my mom’s stuff. Although I surely toddled around perilously in her heels well before I could actually fit into them.

5. Strangely, despite my Francophilia, I am also an Anglophile. Hey, the two of you may have a rivalry going on, but as an American, I can remain blissfully unaffected. This means my vocabulary is peppered with French words AND Britishisms. It’s a wonder anyone ever understands me. In particular, I adore Scotland, and it’s so bad, I’ve been 11 times. (I also have dear friends there now, so it’s not quite as bad as it seems!) It also explains how I fell into liking what the British call football (and what I will never call the “s” word), even if I do support a Spanish team. (Although, being American, I also like baseball. You resolve it. I’ve grown to live with it.)

6. I am never so happy as when I’m traveling. So I hope to share my future adventures with you all, as well as some of the things I’ve already learned and places I’ve already been.

7. I have never shot and uploaded a video to YouTube before, but I hope to attempt to for future entries. Please, go easy on me!

8. Oh! And I knit. Slowly, but pretty well.

So, basically, all these numbers add up to tell you that this blog is going to be a hodgepodge of all the varying and contrasting interests that make up me, and I hope you will stick around to see how it turns out! (I especially hope I do, ha.)

Merci, et, à la prochaine! Until next time!