Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I have, and always will be, a boot kind of gal. Each winter I treat myself to a new pair of boots, although the past two years it's been two, sometimes three or four new pairs... hehe. Last winter it was two pairs of ankle booties, Balenciaga look-a-like cut-out boots, and knee-high riding boots. So maybe I treat myself a little too much... (never!)

En tout cas, it's that time of year again and I can't help but see these mid-calf boots everywhere in Paris. I do indeed own a pair back home (actually the same pair in two different colors!), but to buy another pair would simply go along with my winter tradition and make me appear to be a bit more French. I don't find either to be such a bad thing!

Naturally, I started my search with nordstrom.com. It wasn't long before I found a plethora of boots that I was coveting. I had to stop my online browsing before my lust-list became too long, so here are just six mid-calf boots that I am dying to have in my Parisian wardrobe.

UGG  -  Frye  -  Frye
Earth  -  Dr. Martens  -   rag & bone 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Snaps • Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden

Gamla Stan, also known as Old Town, is one of the most charming and magical places I've ever encountered. It is truly a magical and medieval town in Stockholm -- an atmosphere that photos could never capture. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Snaps • Stockholm, Sweden

Ten days of fall break means ten days of traveling wherever my heart desires. Naturally, I chose three Nordic countries. First stop was Stockholm, Sweden. Here are some snaps from around the town:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A little bit of my Paris

Last October, I decided I would study abroad in both Paris and Buenos Aires for my junior year of college. For six or seven months after I made my decision, all I could think about was studying abroad, because frankly, I couldn't wait to leave behind my American-self and start a new life in France. 

Not many students are lucky enough to go abroad for a semester (let alone ten months!), so naturally my unique opportunity was brought up rather frequently. A typical conversation with a stranger/new acquaintance went something like this:

"What do you study?"
"Spanish and French."
"Oh, wow that's cool! Are you studying abroad?"

90% of the time I felt like I was bragging, and I'm sure I was. I tried my hardest to play it off like living in Paris was no big deal, because after 11 months of explaining my journey of a lifetime, it really felt like what I was doing was normal. 

Normal, right. Jet-setting for ten months in two different continents, learning two different languages. 

When I landed in Paris on September 1, when I walked past Notre-Dame for the first time, when I had a breathtaking view of the city from Montmartre... when I see the Eiffel Tower every morning walking to the metro, when I relax in the Luxembourg gardens in between classes... none of that lights a spark in what I thought to be my French heart. 

Shocking, I know. It sounds like I don't enjoy living in one of the swankiest neighborhoods in one of the most incredible cities in the world. Pas du tout.

Right before I left the States, my aunt had said that "this is a dream come true" for me. But really, it's not. I didn't grow up dreaming of Paris or the Eiffel Tower, not even when I first started learning the language. 

And that's why being here doesn't feel like I'm in some chimerical fairy tale. Paris is a city, give or take a thousand years of history behind it. 

After a little more than a month of living here, I've tried my hardest to create a "wow I'm in Paris" moment. I've gotten close! Here are some little things that are apart of my version of Paris.

1. The metro. It's a smelly, crowded method of transportation, but possibly my favorite thing about this city. It's brilliant -- why isn't the entire US set up like this? There is a metro stop every one or two blocks away, no matter where you are, and it takes you anywhere you want to go (albeit depending on which  Zones your Pass Navigo will take you to...)

2. Trocadéro. A very, very touristy spot that happens to give the absolute best view of the Eiffel Tower. It's only two metro stops away (or a ten minute walk, but like I said, I love the metro) from where I live, so I like to frequent the gardens whenever I can. My first "wow I'm in Paris" moment happened the first time I got off the metro there: French tunes being played on accordions, vendors selling souvenirs, and the immensity of the Eiffel Tower, blindingly obvious. I may or may not have had goosebumps. 

3. Metro music. I can't imagine any Parisian enjoys this. I, too, find myself rolling my eyes every time these men walk down the car aisles asking for money. However, deep down I like to think it transports me into a scene of Amélie

4. Watching tourists catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower for the first time. Whether it's an Italian family taking Line 6 during my morning commute, or a group of teenage girls on a school trip running around Trocadéro, their reactions always make me smile. At least that beauty evokes emotions for some people! 

5. Jardin de Luxembourg and Place des Vosges. I haven't been to half of the parks and gardens in Paris (though they're on my list), but these two are a no-brainer when it comes to Parisian happy places. Well, for me, a pretend Parisian. I like to bring my books and journals and people-watch after a busy lunch hour. They are the kind of places where I hesitate to plug in my headphones and drown out the hustle and bustle of la vie quotidienne because I want to take it all in. It's cheesy, but after an hour of people-watching your thoughts can easily fill up plenty of pages in a journal.

6. Outdoor markets. My school is located at the end of a busy street near Montparnasse. At the opposite end, there are cafés, boutiques, and loads of outdoor vendors. Every day I walk past massive stands of cheese, wine, fresh fruit and fish. The bold aroma of the fresh fish makes me feel like I'm near the ocean, but then I look to the left to see an array of magnificent cheese, reminding me I'm in France. It's weird, but I love it nonetheless. 

7. Drinking wine along the Seine. A popular pastime of les jeunes français is to grab a bottle of wine at the nearest market and find a spot along the Seine. This is very simple to do because 1) they sell wine everywhere, and 2) well, the Seine goes all throughout Paris. Wine, good friends and good conversation never fail to make an ordinary day a little more enjoyable. 

Ah, but I've found that days spent in Paris are never simply ordinary, nor are two days alike (regardless of the métro-boulot-dodo mindset). Because sometimes out of nowhere you get 

8. A motorcycle ride with a Frenchman. Yes, I'm talking straight out of the Lizzie McGuire Movie, and it was just as fun as it sounds.