The Parisian Way

It is no secret that Parisian people are viewed in a negative and hostile way. “They don’t like Americans” is a phrase I hear out of someone’s mouth every time I bring up the great city. Then again, this phrase usually comes from Americans.

Parisians like to do what they want, when they want, and if you get in the way of that chances are you won’t get a smile in return. Sure, that’s a bit hostile, but you know what? We as Americans do the same thing.

This week was filled with hours upon hours of classes and in my spare time, a lot of crèpe eating.

In any other part of the world that sounds like a drag, but remember, I’m in~Paris~.

In Paris, you can go to the Eiffel Tower whenever you want…

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And you can go to the Opera Garnier at any time you please. This is the home of the phantom of the opera and is one of the most well known opera houses in the world.

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It means that you can go shopping at Gallery Lafayette whenever and wherever you want…

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And it means you can take a day trip out of town to Chartres, home of one of the most beautiful gothic ancient cathedrals in the entire world… And while you’re at it, you get to enjoy the view overlooking the small European town.

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If you hadn’t noticed, I had the privileged of doing all of these amazing events this week. I was not harassed, I was not treated badly, and overall every interaction I had with a Parisian was more than satisfactory.

So, why the bad wrap?

I’m going to go ahead and counteract the normal statement about the French I stated in my opening, because if they were so mean and hostile, would I have had these amazing opportunities this week? Would I feel safe living in this country for as long as I am?

Parisians are more reserved than we are as Americans, but I would say the criticism should stop there.

To finish the recap on my week, it also rained.  A lot.  It rains in the morning, it rains at night and it rains when it’s about 60 degree outside. In fact, as I write this I can hear the rain outside falling to the ground. After all of the wet walks and fallen raindrops I’ve come to the conclusion that Paris is just as beautiful in the rain.

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There is no doubt about it.

Paris is the Best Idea

This week I traveled to the land of crepes, no conditioner, and more types of cheese than I was ever taught to count. I have trouble putting into words what I’m doing in Paris, but I can say one thing- J’adore Paris.

Paris is historical, cultural, and chic all wrapped up in 20 arrondissements full of pastry shops on every corner. What I have found most recently is the endless amount of possibilities for absolutely anything. In America we are so closed off and we have a set routine to our lives. We go to the same restaurants, talk to the same people, avoid the same places, and do the same thing every.single.day. Aren’t you over it yet?

I’m currently taking intensive French classes 21 hours a week in a classroom with people from all over the world at the Institute Catholique, or the Catholic Institute of Paris.

(A photo of ICP from across the street)

It is located near the Jardin du Luxenbourg where we can spend our lunch breaks eating sandwiches the size of our heads like the one below.

My favorite part of the trip so far is my selfies with landmarks as I caption them with #selfie. While I’ve only been here for a short time my collection includes places like Notre Dame, the Eiffle Tower, the Olympia Theatre, and the Arc de Triomphe.

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Then, the next day, two other girls from my program and I met up with my little sister from my sorority at FSU, Tori, and we went and saw Jack Johnson at the coolest theatre in Paris, Olympia.

 (#selfie with Olympia Theatre)

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Friday night, to celebrate the 4th of July, we went on a river cruise down the Seine River. Here we were able to see the Louvre, the Eiffle Tower, the Statue of Liberty, and numerous other sights while enjoying our ~free~ and never ending glasses of wine.

(here is a #selfie with the Louvre!)

 

Last but not least, yesterday we spent our Saturday exploring the city and shopping at the Champs Elysees and at night we saw the Eiffle Tower do its hourly light show from some of the best seats in the city.

Also, on the Champs you can rent cars…. sport cars for one flat inexpensive rate. In Paris with a significant other and don’t have a nice car to pick her up in? No problem.

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There is a  lot more to come and more frequently, I promise! The first week was a whirlwind of new learning experiences and Paris is more phenomenal that I could have imagined. Au revoir mes amis.

Something old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

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A few weeks ago I brought to you the inside scoop and a sneak peak of the Beery/Calvert wedding at my moms bridal shower. My mom was the “bride-to-be” at that time, but now she can be classified as something else- “newlywed”.

This affair to remember was held at noon at the Grant Bly House in Deland, Florida. Below you will see this house has 2 parts to it- one with a wrap around southern style front porch, and the other a hall where the ceremony and reception were both held. In between the two portions of the day, guests were found enjoying one of “Macks Snacks”, popcorn, and playing the old fashion tailgate game, Corn hole. I snuck a few pictures of the little girl playing corn hole with the boys. She was picking up all the bags by herself, running around the lawn, and showing all the guests how we do weddings down here. DSCN2883

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My brother, Kyle, walked my mom down the aisle and my moms sister and brother-in-law made the cupcakes for the reception, which were a mix of regular and sugar free.

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As for me, I was unaccompanied to the ceremony. However, I participated in a little thing we like to call “Summer in Lilly” as I donned my 3/4 sleeve blue Lilly Pulitzer ensemble (and did my best to take as many blog-y pics as possible).

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My favorite part? Each guest had their own take home glass. In order to keep them all straight, however, each guest wrote his or her name on it in a pen. This way each guest that day had something personal from the wedding (and something they can utilize!).

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As you can see, while this holy matrimony was somewhat traditional at the same time it was not. The guest book was a large “C” emblem that the Calverts would take home and be able to display in their house. Similarly to the glasses, each guest wrote on this also with a pen, leaving a little note for the newlyweds, or just their name. This allows them to remember all those who shared their special day with them, and helps to redecorate (and we call this killing two birds with one stone).

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My mom made the bouquet herself and entwined within it was a necklace given to her by her new husbands family. The flowers (whose inspiration came from yours truly) were roses, hydrangeas, babies breath, and her favorite, daisies.

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Below you will find many other pictures, from the ceremony, the walk out, the reception, or even the sign I painted as Mom and Macks wedding gift.

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This wedding brought tradition back with a southern feel in a color palate we couldn’t help but adore. The words “happily ever after” donned many different parts of the wedding and reception, something that I think this day embodied perfectly.

Life Throws You Curves, but You Learn to Swerve

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I’ve always had this crazy idea that life is simpler in summer. You know, those days you are dreaming of when you don’t wear anything but a bathing suit and don’t drink anything but pina coladas. Those days are what I’m always dreaming of and they have yet to happen.

I think summer is mean, personally. It always promises such great memories and a vast amount of free time, both of which never actually happen for me at least. Don’t get me wrong, I love coming home to my beach town in the summer. But, I won’t lie to you when I say it’s mainly for the beach. My point here is that my summer has been overwhelming and that is not quite the way it is supposed to be. (Side note: the pictures on this post was from my paddle boarding adventure last week).

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I’ve been slacking in the blog, friendship, and basically every area of my life that doesn’t involve work and studying because yesterday I (finally) took the ~GRE~. It’s time to take a few days, catch up on my mental to-do lists and get my life together. It’s just so unpredictable most of the time and the times that we know whats coming simply overwhelm us. Maybe I just have too much going on.”Whats next?”, I’m sure you were wondering.

PARIS. Oh, and the wedding of course.

Get ready for a fun filled, blog filled, european traveling, down-home southern wedding, and all in all one eventful weekend.

Coming your way this sunday. (Sometimes I like to rhyme?)

 

 

Eat, Pray, Graphics

I don’t know why, but graphic tees made their comeback, which means you should have kept that tee your mom gave you in the 6th grade with Scooby Doo on it- it could have came in handy a decade later. The most popular ones aren’t your normal graphics, however, and some of the styles and prints will have racing to add multiple to your wardrobe.

There are thousands, and I mean thousands, of graphic tees and tanks out there. Some with words, some with animals, food, landscapes- you name it, you can buy it. So, where to start?

Below are just a few of my ~personal favorites~.

I’m all about old school band t-shirts (probably because of the cool old school records my dad just passed down to me). This one is from Urban and while I don’t support who they are because of their “Eat Less” controversy over a year ago, I cannot deny their style of the best ~and most affordable~ graphics around.

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Get it here.

America the beautiful.Home of the free and land of the screen print tank top. This graphic tank is from Tobi and features an American flag on it, because we all know how much I love ‘Merica and I could not resist showing it once again.

Be festive here.

Who doesn’t love fruit on their clothing? Thank you, Brandy Melville for never ceasing to impress your buyers with innovation and affordability. I salute you.

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Eat it here.

Number 4 is a Wildfox tee I found adoring at Nodstrom. This heather grey tank is complete with two birds, because two is better than one.

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Buy two here.

Rounding out the list is a tee that is truly one of a kind. I honestly could not end the voyage without putting Biggie on this list, complete with hand drawn mustache and all in this scoop neck cap sleeved number.

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Adore it here.

So simple, yet such a statement. Grab one, two, or five, as this summer essential is one of the easiest things to style this season. Hop on the graphic train and show a little personality with every casual afternoon you can manage.

Wedding Fever

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About two weeks ago two of my best friends said “yes” to the loves of their lives, and within the next year I will be a guest at both of their weddings. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what we call “wedding season”. There is baby season, when you can’t help but notice everyone is pregnant. Avoiding babies on your timeline is virtually impossible. Then, there is puppy season. The good lord knows this is my favorite and my least favorite all in one. The intense jealousy that overcomes me when everyone around me is getting a puppy is completely unnatural. However, the bright side is I normally get to play with one, two, or three of those puppies, without all the work.

You win some, you lose some.

In a little over two weeks, my mom will be tying the knot. Last weekend, her best friend, sister, and I hosted her bridal shower. Here are a few photos from the event. It wasn’t too bad for my first time at the rodeo.

This shower was complete with chocolate rolo cupcakes topped with a caramel frosting, cute goodie “boxes” with daisy seeds in them, potted daisy centerpieces, my super (almost) famous homemade punch recipe, and my aunts delicious seven layer salad and chicken salad sliders.

I wore a coral romper from H&M (trying to stay in the bright color theme!) paired with a J.Crew Cardigan, statement necklace from Loli and the Bean (a tallahassee boutique) and Steve Madden sandals. We had a “gift card” shower because this will be her second wedding (and who needs three toasters?).

P.S. stay tuned for a complete wedding post after the big day!

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Grow Up They Said, It’ll Be Fun They Said

(photo courtesy of cupcakesandcashmere.com)

They lied.

It seems like yesterday I was on the playground in the fourth grade showing my friends the lyric book to the Avril Lavigne CD I had just bought. It had a cuss word in it and my parents had noooo idea. I know, I was a rebel (you don’t even have to say it). Life was full of simplicity. Go to school, go to band, go to cheerleading, eat dinner, go to bed. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

So, what happened?

Life happened. They lied to us guys. They said growing up was fun. It’s not and I get infuriated to a small degree when I think about how much they lead us to believe otherwise.

I was 15 when I got my first job and I was ecstatic. Well, would you like to know what happened next? My parents stopped giving me money to go to the movies or to dinner with my friends, because, well you know, I had a job; I could pay for it myself. And that’s when the fun stopped.

(#tbt to high school graduation. 3. years. ago.)

Growing up isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. High school isn’t the best four years of your life, and college probably isn’t either- it was between the ages of 4 and 8 so stop lying to yourself; there was no growing up to be done then.

As I search for a real people job (thats what I call my next stage in life) and apply to graduate school, the more I want to go to White Trash Wednesday and get wine drunk watching disney movies. (Side note: I could be completely sober and watch them and still be happy).

It’s okay to act childish, I think I will watch Beauty and the Beast until I’m on my deathbed; I may even still eat cereal for dinner. And secondly, it’s okay to not know what you want all the time. My mom is 50 (shhh, don’t tell her I told you) and she still has no idea what she wants half the time. She has changed careers 4 times, from a teacher to an interior designer to a stay at home mom to academic advisor, she has done it all and even been married twice.

No, growing up isn’t fun- it’s inevitable. It’s torturous. I don’t want to do it.

But, I have to; and so do you.

 

What, like it’s hard?

Elle woods is one of my four spirit animals. You probably think four is a little ridiculous, but if you knew the other three it would all make sense to you.

Elle Woods could rule the world in her sleep while getting a facial, I swear.

She wanted her boyfriend back, so she went to Harvard Law and kicked butt. She applied in her bathing suit with a fashion degree and showed that getting into Harvard law wasn’t hard when you knew you deserved it. She made me believe that if you thought you wanted something, then you just had to go get it, and it was simple as that.

Elle didn’t end up with the guy she wanted, but she sure did end up with a law degree and an even more kick ass guy, and for that she get kudos from me.

If you’re still not sold on the ideality of Miss Woods, she was also a sorority woman. In the real and fictional world where sorority girls are underestimated, looked down upon, and ridiculed for being *too* blonde, pretty, skinny -the list goes on and on- Elle showed that all of those things can work to your advantage.

Here I share with you 7 of my favorite Elle Woods moments in the slight chance you still don’t believe me that being Elle Woods would be pretty awesome.

Elle proves that even the girliest of knowledge can help you come out on top in the cut throat world of a courtroom.

And more importantly, happy people don’t shoot their husbands…. they just don’t.

Her memory was above par,

and Elle was always up on the newest (and oldest!) trends.

Her comebacks could rival even the slyest of enemies,

She wasn’t scared to admit the hard stuff.

But even when she had to deal with the hard stuff, she stayed strong.

Miss Woods, you inspire me.

So, You Think You’re American? 5 Steps to Having the Most ‘Merican Memorial Day

First of all, happy Memorial Day! The first part of this post is in remembrance of all the fallen heroes we have lost. To their friends, families, and loved ones – thank you. This monday we honor all the men and women who have served, our fallen heroes, and those who made it back home safely.

Memorial Day, while the reason is saddening topic, is what I feel is one of the fulfilling and lighthearted holidays out there. It kicks off summer, it celebrates America, and everyone get’s the day off work (unless you’re me and you work at a restaurant).

In honor of this three day weekend, my post is the 5 most american things you can do on memorial day.

Grabbing a Beer

Don’t just grab any beer, ladies and gentlemen. Make sure it’s a classic Budweiser. Why? The AmeriCan can of course.

Patriotic Desserts

Check out this article from Buzzfeed for the most patriotic desserts on this side of the Atlantic. My favorite? It always has been and always will be the American flag cake made from whipped cream, blueberries, and strawberries.

Patriotic Movie

From Dear John to Saving Private Ryan these patriotic movies are in abundance. My pick? Lone Survivor (2013) based on the true story and novel by Peter Berg. It stars Mark Wahlburg, and while it is a little gory, the message is so strong and powerful – a perfect fit to remember what Memorial Day is all about.

Clothing Choices

These choices are not few or far between. Jack Rogers, Chubbies, and Kate Spade are just a few who offer American selections for anyone, courtesy of the red, white, and blue.

Available here for $59.50

Available on JackRogers.com

Kate Spade scarf available for $99.16 at Nordstrom.

The songs you listen to

This one is a no-brainer. If you’re more classic, keep good ol’ Bruce on repeat.

More of a country fan? Toby Keith is about as American as they come these days.

I saved this one for last, because well, I’m gonna say goodbye- or bye, bye, Miss American Pie.

Have a happy, safe, and somewhat relaxing memorial day!

Soakin’ Up the Sun

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There’s no feeling like the sun hitting your skin on a beautiful summer day. Whether you’re lounging on the beach, riding the waves, or adventuring by the pool, your skin is soaking up harmful rays that can hurt you in the long run.

Now, my skincare moral compass doesn’t exactly point due north either, but recently I have found myself being worried about the damage I could be doing to my skin. I’m not ready to give up my tan just yet though and I am sure you aren’t either. But, in honor of Skin Care Awareness month, here are a few things to be aware of this summer, and a few things you can do to help your sun-kissed skin stay healthy.

Wear at least SPF 15

I will admit I like to wear SPF 6 myself. However, tanning oil comes in higher SPF, and if you are wearing below 15 you honestly shouldn’t be wearing anything at all.

Fun Fact

UV rays are not reflected by water. So, when you’re in the water, the UV rays are hitting you just as much as if you’re laying on the sand. If you’re in the water for long periods of time, don’t forget to reapply when you get back out.

Reapply

Keep reapplying your tanning oil or sunscreen at least every 80 minutes to avoid a burn.

After Sun Lotion

Apply after sun lotion to keep your skin like this one from Burt’s Bees.

Wear a hat!

I’m sure you’ve all thought of this one, but a hat can do wonders for your skin, particularly your face, which is the most sensitive exposed part of your body.

Try this Kate Spade available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Zappos.com

Lay out in early morning or afternoon

Surprisingly, at these two times of the day, the sun is not as damaging to your skin, yet you will end up with the same tan. So, if you can get yourself out of bed, get outside earlier for a more healthy glow.

I’ll leave you with that, but just remember to enjoy your summer, get that tan you’ve been waiting all year for, and try to protect your sun kissed skin as much as you can.