Tuesday, April 27, 2010

becoming an amateur fashionista

I must admit, that while living in Paris these past 3 months or so, I definitely have been bitten by the fashionista bug. Just walking around the city offers so much fashion insight and outfit ideas. It also doesn't help that my beloved house mate, Annie, is a fashion design and merchandising major and is always up on the newest trends and offers excellent fashion advice. I really feel like this is one thing I'm going to miss about Paris once I leave. In the US (and in Tacoma, WA in particular) the majority of the population goes for comfort and cheapness over fashionable, when it come to clothes. The past 19+ years of my life I have never found anything wrong with this simple fact, but now that I've spent a considerable time in Paris, something has changed, and now it seems like a big problem. Parisians even believe that it is utterly necessary to dress your babies well. I can't count how many 2 year olds I've seen in perfectly tailored pea coats. I don't even have a perfectly tailored pea coat. My first opinion of these well-dressed toddlers was that they were adorable, but that it was completely unnecessary, considering they will probably grow out of all their beautiful clothes in a month! Now, something in my mind has changed, and I see how important it is for those 2 year olds to have their wool pea coats, thick, colorful tights, matching hats, and mary jane shoes. It makes perfect sense.

All joking aside, I wanted to make sure to document some of the current trends that I have notice around Paris. Here they are:

First off, we have the tights and shorts combo. I love this one. I have acquired many pairs of tights over the last couple of months (hey don't judge, they're versatile and cheap!) and love to pair them with many things and even just wear them under jeans as sock replacements when I haven't done laundry in awhile. Next we have the black skinny jeans, black blazer, and French retro striped shirt. You can never go wrong wearing these stripes in Paris, they are everywhere and widely accepted as fashionable.
Another blazer photo. There is a kind of magic that happens once anyone puts a blazer on; a sense of maturity and professionalism arrives out of nowhere. You're suddenly in charge, and you can handle anything. Highly recommended to wear for job interviews, internships, and any other environment demanding professionalism to be pulled out of thin air. The blazer is also a very versatile item of clothing and can be a great light layer to add to any going-out outfit.
Last but not least, the Ben Simon. The Ben Simon is the trademark tennis show of Paris. To put it in an analogy: Ben Simon is to Paris as Converse is to the US of A. They are simple, low to the ground shoes that come in many fabulous colors and various styles. The lace up (shown on the right) is the most classic, but recently they have come out with more styles such as the slip on (as seen on the left) and the faux lace-up slip on (as seen in my closet). Ben Simons are worn amongst children, teens, and adults alike, although seem to be a bit more popular among the younger populations. Selling for 25 Euro a pop, it has been hard for me to resist buying all the colors and variations my little amateur fashionista heart desires.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Today, since a large number of IES students containing many of my friends, headed off to Giverny for the day, I decided to do some Paris adventures toute seule (by myself). I started off by trying to find Le Jardin Rosiers, which my host mom told me is a beautiful, hidden little park not far from where we live. Her directions were only about 70% accurate, but with the help of some friendly french florists (alliteration much?) I was finally able to find my destination. Despite the fact the roses were not yet in bloom, it was a quaint little hide-out with a good number of french people and lots of soleil. I forgot to mention that it is beauuuutiful out today. All the best "spring in paris" generalities combined into today; Pefectly comfortable weather, an ocassional breeze, beautiful city, and of course lots of fashionable french people out flaunting their new spring wardrobes. I spent probably a good hour and half to two hours having a picnic with myself at Le Jardin Rosiers. It was the perfect chance to get some much desired sun and reading time in.

I then left the park to go to my new favorite shoe store called "Tout est pour Moi!". The reason this was my third time in the last 2 weeks that I was entering this shop is due to their supply of an adorable and simple french tennis show called le "Ben Simon". I am in love with these shoes. They are basically the Converse of France, but in better colors and more frenchy looking. Also, I see young french people wearing all the time, so I know they are a basic french fashion must-have. The reason I keep coming back is because the store owner (who I'm basically bff's with now) keeps expecting a new shipment of colors in and I keep waiting for them to arrive. Also, my friend requested that if I go by the store I buy her a pair in charcoal gray, so you see I had to go check it out again. I left the store with my friends pair and a pair of my own in white (I almost bought 2 pairs for myself, so this is a success)!

Now in a buying mood, I headed to Monoprix to pick up some sunscreen and socks. On my way back I decided to chercher for some macaroons, a french cookie-type thing that I hadn't yet tried and decided it was high time. I figured they would be everywhere, but in fact they are a bit hard to find. Boulangeries don't have them, and even a lot of patisseries don't make them! I headed in the direction of the Jewish quarter where I know there are a lot of cute small food places. I finally found a patisseries that had one kind of macaroon on their shelves. It was white chocolate (which isn't my favorite taste) but I decided I had to get it since I had walked all the way over there and didn;t have anymore ideas of where I could go to get one. Despite the over-sweetened white chocolate taste, the macaroon was absolutely delicious. A bit crispy, a bit crumbly, a bit creamy, waay yummy. I need to find some more of these in more flavors soon.

In the area I came across two tea stores, both of which I have fallen in love with. One is called "Palais du Thè" and the other one starts with a K but I can't remember the rest of the name right now.. In Palais du thè I bought tea sachets (100 for 2 euro) so that I can make my own tea bags. I also found a rice green tea that I've been looking for, for awhile. Success.

Overall, I realized that it's nice to go adventuring by myself once in awhile. I can do what I want and have my own weird goals (like finding a rose garden or a macaroon) without worrying that the other person/people I'm with won't be interested. I feel like I got a lot of ground covered and a lot of things I've been wanting to do done.

Also, my final class schedule:

ECON 371 (Int'l Econ) with professor Ly: Mon_Wed_Fri 12-1250
IPE 301 (Theories of IPE) with professor Peine: Tues_Thurs 1530-1650
IPE 311 (Third World Development) with professor Konto: Mon_Wed_Fri 11-1150
REL 222 (Jihad & Islam) with professor Ingalls: Mon_Wed 16-1720

The only curve ball is the religion class. I decided to take it right as I was registering. The wine class that I wanted was already full with 8 people on the waiting list, so I decided to take something that I've been interested in even though it doesn't go toward anything. Both the professor as well as the subject are completely new to me, but I'm excited for the class. I feel like during my time abroad I've been more exposed to Islamic culture and want to learn more about it.

Long post, hope it was able to hold someone's attention!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Countdown Begins

Today is April 11th. Exactly one month from today I will be meeting up with my parents in Paris. Exactly one month and four days from now I'll be on a plane coming back to the states. It is truly unbelievable how fast time can go by.

I feel like I need to make the most of every single day left here but then again, sometimes I feel like just being here is enough. A group of us went to Barcelona for our extended Easter weekend. It was so nice to stay in just one place and not be moving to new places every day like all our other trips. Barcelona was absolutely beautiful, I only wish it had been a bit warmer so I could have gone to the beach! I've had a lot of summer/beach envy recently. I want to go to the beach and have it be hot and be able to just lie in the sun. I am sincerely hoping that this will happen when we go to Nice and Greece after our program is done.

I finally feel like I have made some decent progress with my french acquisition. The other day I was just walking around la place de Republique by myself. I went into a show store (bought a pair of shoes) but the important part of the story was that I was able to have a lengthy conversation in French with the woman working at the shoe store. She didn't even try to slip into English with me! I felt very accomplished.

Im starting to really feel like I need to get on a regular exercise schedule. My running has been pretty sporadic and this needs to change soon! Months of baguette and cheese eating mixed with little physical exercise does not do a body good. Fortunately, the amount of walking that is a necessary part of a Parisian's life is keeping me from becoming obese :)

Below are some Barcelona pics:

View from the top of Park GuellOn the longest park bench in the world! At Park GuellEating churros con chocolate (very popular thing to do in Barcelona)Beach!

About Me

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I'm currently a student at the University of Puget Sound and will be going into my senior year this coming fall.

la tour eiffel

la tour eiffel