Tag: personal

Tips for Shopping Overseas

Shopping overseas It will surprise no one that I like to shop. Or that I like to travel. Or that I like to shop while I’m traveling. Since I’m heading off to France (I know, again) in a week and a half, I thought I would write up a guide with everything I’ve learned about shopping overseas.

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Wishlist Wednesday – New Year’s Day edition

Happy New Year, lovely readers! I thought I would forego my usual wishlist item in favor of wishing you all the loveliest of lovely New Years. I hope this year brings the fruition of all your hopes and dreams.

And for me, I wish a year that I want to celebrate in the end. This past year saw me being a literal spinster. So have a photo from NYE 2012, when I actually made an effort. 🙂

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On 100 posts…and blogging in general

Yes, you read that correctly. 100 posts.

Holy shit, y’all.

If you would have told me back when I started this thing that I’d be celebrating this (okay, fine, modest) milestone (but still a milestone!), I would have given you my famous eyeroll and side eye. (You know that look.)

Not that I’ve been at it that long. I guess that’s what posting nearly every day does for you.

In that time, however, I’ve had some thoughts on the whole thing. So I apologize for monopolizing this post by airing them.

1. Blogging is hard. I mean, I knew it was. I’ve started and abandoned it so many times. But it’s even harder than I thought. Especially when you’re working full time. Everyone assumes it’s just a bunch of words and pictures on a page, but it’s extremely time-consuming. And potentially expensive. You know, buying things to review. And so forth. Amielle and I are constantly cheering each other on from across continents. Because motivation is necessary.

2. And thankless. So you’ve really got to want to do it. I started this blog for a variety of reasons. One of which was to have a portfolio of writing outside my main industry. (More cryptic half-snippets of personal information.) And, mission accomplished. But, I’ve since formed other goals. None of which have really been accomplished yet. And I sometimes wonder if they will. For every successful blogger, there are thousands of little blogs like mine. I may never get there. And yet.

3. But can be rewarding in surprising ways. I may not have very many readers, but I really value the relationships I’ve developed. Even if they’re just in the form of comments. I like my “blogging friends.” I look forward to you comments. And I look forward to reading your blogs. Trying to blog requires you to comment on as many blogs as you have time for, but there are the ones that I make sure I check and keep up on. (P.S. You’ll find them in te blogroll in my sidebar, which I updated recently.)

4. And is about you, not me. Though perhaps belied by this post, if you’re not finding something interesting to appeal to you, you’re not staying. I’ve seen some of the v/bloggers I used to love turn into ego monsters, where every single thing they post is now photos of themselves doing whatever it is they’re doing. Not what they’re doing. (Then again, they’re the ones with thousands of followers egging them on, so they must be doing something right.) I promise you, my blog and social media feeds (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest…if you’re inclined to follow me 😉 ) will never become showcases of photos of me. Good god, that would be awful. (I do necessarily have to post some photos of myself to show you how things look on an actual person. It’s harder for me than it is for you, trust me.)

And some changes are coming. I’ve joined Google AdSense, just being up front about it. And I’m gonna get all official and add a disclosure policy. (Rebecca, yours is amazing. I may have to rip it off. Oh, sorry, I mean “sample.”) In case I ever do get any PR samples. (Has not happened yet. Even my “semi-sponsored” posts were not actually beneficial.) I also updated my commenting system (a week or so ago) so you will actually see replies to your comments (—let me know if you like this format, because there’s another I can try.)

In general, if you have any feedback—comments, advice, suggestions—I am all ears.

So, in conclusion, thank you for reading this personal, non-topical post, if you’ve made it to the end. I look forward to hopefully entertaining, educating, and enlightening you for 100s of posts to come. (Well, at least another 100. I shouldn’t get too far ahead of myself.)

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Celebrity Fashion Lust #8

Review: Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish – Unluckiest of the lucky ones

I know that it’s been a while since I received the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polishâ„¢ Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit that I won through Birchbloggers. You may or may not have been wondering about my review. Well, it’s finally ready.

Excited? 😉

Before I go any further, I do need to say that I feel truly thankful (heh, get it?) for having won this to try. It’s very hard writing a blog when you can’t afford new products to review. That’s probably why I took it as far as I did to really be able to give you a fair assessment.

The Liz Earle cleansing system works in two parts. The first step is the cream cleanser. Free from mineral oil, it contains naturally active ingredients, including eucalyptus and cocoa butter. It’s supposed to be a gentle cleanser, suited to all skin types, that still removes even the most stubborn of makeup. The second step is polishing with the muslin cloth. A gentle way to exfoliate your skin, it makes for a really lovely regimen.

Everything I’ve been reading about skin care lately has said to use cream-based cleansers, even if you have oily skin. Any cleanser that foams is supposed to be the devil. So this system definitely fits the bill.

Reviewing a cult product like this, one that has won over 90 beauty awards, one that so many people consider a holy grail product, you feel a certain burden of responsibility.

DSC_1289It’s just such a lovely system. Look at it.

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Une mini virée en voiture d’octobre 2013—Part II

Where last I left you, the sky looked like this:

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DSC_1092We were on a ferry, heading here:

DSC_1090Ahoy, Shelter Island!

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Une mini virée en voiture d’octobre 2013—Part I

Salut tout le monde! Hi everyone! To prevent you from photo overload, I’m going to split my road trip recap into 2. Today, we start at the beginning.

The great paradox of being unemployed is that you finally have time to travel to your heart’s content, but you no longer have the money. But when Rose suggested we take advantage of a deal for a night’s stay on Shelter Island, I jumped at the chance to get off my couch and get in a car. (I didn’t even know where it was; I didn’t actually care.) Road trips are about the only kind of travel I can afford right now, and it’s such a beautiful time of year to be traveling, with all the fall foliage.

We got a little bit later of a start than we had planned, but we lucked out with the traffic. She picked me up in Brooklyn and we headed out to Long Island. Of course, us being us, there was going to be some kind of detour. That day’s was for a bathroom stop at an outlet mall, where we saw they had one of the cosmetics outlet stores. Of course we had to stop. Rose got the burgundy lipstick she had been craving for fall, so it worked out pretty well.

Back on the road, we were headed for the city of Greenport, where we would get the ferry over to Shelter Island. We only had one time constraint: We had to find a place to watch the Real Madrid match by the latest 2:45. We beat that time by a great deal, getting to Greenport before 1 pm. Good thing, since this gave us time to walk around the tiny, quaint, seaside town. It was a grey, overcast, drizzly day, but it was still an adventure.

DSC_1055It’s so cute!

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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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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?

Heaven Looks at You From the Brooklyn Bridge

As a means of coping with the almost-constant wanderlust I’m consumed with, I decided to immerse myself in some of the wonderful things living in NY has to offer. I was born in Brooklyn, raised in Brooklyn, and still live in Brooklyn. Yet, somehow, I had never walked across the Brooklyn Bridge until last Sunday.

I’d walked across the other two Manhattan/Brooklyn bridges before, out of necessity, though. (The Williamsburg Bridge on 9/11, and the Manhattan Bridge during the blackout of August 2003.)

Don’t get me wrong. I’d always meant to. I mean, it’s my favorite bridge in the world (so far). And it’s in my city. But it’s just like all the other things you don’t do in your own city that are kind of touristy. You just don’t get around to it. And I have a mental list of things to do with friends visiting from overseas, and it was always on the list, but the friends visiting never materialized. And so the bridge went unwalked.

The entire day was a NYC love affair, actually. It started off at Lincoln Center, where my friend Rose and I waited in line for and procured tickets to the live streaming event of the Metropolitan Opera’s opening night performance of Eugene Onegin.

This was followed by a trip down to Smithfield to meet friends and watch our boys play.

IMG_20130922_131750I pulled a Clark Kent for the occasion and donned my uniform.

IMG_20130922_131955Of course Xabi came along.

After Los Blancos proved victorious, we made a quick stop at the Stumptown cafe at the Ace Hotel for the best coffee anywhere to revive us, and headed off on the rest of our adventure.

DSC_0646-2I love how even getting off at the Brooklyn Bridge stop sets the scene for the beauty you’re going to see with this magnificent entryway.

We couldn’t have chosen a better day weather-wise to do it. The sky was a beautiful cerulean blue, with enough clouds to make it interesting, and the sun was shining. Stopping every few feet to take photos, I knew I was going to have a lot of fun playing around with some HDR shots and Snapseed. But even the straight-from-the-camera shots look like they were amped up, the day was so beautiful.

DSC_0651A glimpse of the ships at South Street Seaport.

Unfortunately, this also meant that a million other people were there, having had the same grand idea, so getting photos was a bit frustrating. But I think the trick is to just incorporate random strangers into your photos, and you wind up with stolen moments that tell whatever story you want.

DSC_0654‘Look, Ma! No hands!’

DSC_0660‘I think that girl was checking out my ass…’

Also, I know that upkeep of old bridges is very, very important, but white tarp over most of the walkway really ruins photos. Sigh. Well, this means I’ll just have to make sure to do it at least once more when the construction/upkeep is complete, n’est-ce pas?

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