Sunday, August 28, 2011


I still have so many photos from Europe, but I don't know how many more I'll share. I have bigger & better things to get to! But for now, I present Prague! This was our first stop, arriving on the 29th of June and then spending 6 glorious days there. Looking back, Prague grabbed me so much. It's one of the most beautiful cities we saw and it was such great fun. It was also cheap as dirt compared to everything else.

The hostel we stayed in (Downtown Hostel, for those curious) was probably the best one that we stayed in all of Europe. It was comfy and felt like home. There was also a really nice lounge where we met tons of people and made great friends (who also knew where the best pubs were - yay!).

The colours and art of Prague is so wonderful. The architecture is amazing and unlike anything in America. I was so inspired by the weather and the architecture. I put together a quick outfit based on the moods and colours of Prague.

'Butternot Forget Me Dress' via Modcloth, Dual Time Zone watch from Guess (so you never have to do math to figure out what time it is back home!), Orange Skinny belt via TopShop, Leopard Print Skirt at Nasty Gal, Knitted Cape from Zara, Jeffrey Campbell Lita via Solestruck, Animal Print belt from Macy's, Slouch Cardigan by Insight via KarmaLoop, Cheap Monday Luna dress via I Don't Like Mondays, Magic Stone Ring from Nasty Gal, 'Listen to the Warm' by Rod McKuen via Amazon (better found at rummage sales and used book stores), and Pendleton Messenger Bag via Urban Outfitters.

As you can see, Prague is very rustic. I was inspired to use a lot of natural colours, patterns, and textures - reds, oranges, etc. It was also really chilly and dark in Prague, so bright colours are important! They warm you up. Also, the Rod McKuen is essential.

We snuck away from Prague for a day to visit nearby city Kutna Hora. It was only an hour's train ride, and we were able to visit the bone church. It's a church decorated entirely of bones! We also visited another church (the first of the last three photos), which ended up being the most beautiful church we saw in all of Europe. It was situated up a hill in the quaint little town with a breathtaking view. The inside was awesome (the word being used in the sense of causing great awe, and not some skaterboy dude saying "woah awesome shirt, man") and absolutely divine. Even from the outside, it was just so immense.

If you plan to visit just one city in Europe, then I'd recommend Prague first and foremost. There was so much culture there, I could've been kept busy for over a week. Just plan ahead and know when stuff is open and is not! We wasted a lot of time in Europe because we'd get to a museum and find out it was closed, and by the time we got to the next, it'd be closed too! I suppose that as you travel, you learn more and more. I suppose that's true of all things though, isn't it?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Back to French Class

The more hours that I put in at work, the more I find myself missing Europe - mostly Paris! It also probably doesn't help that I just re-watched Midnight in Paris, which I'll admit was actually my first Woody Allen film! It's a charming little tale of Owen Wilson visiting Paris with fiancee. At night, he wanders off and time travels back to the '20s, where he meets the Fitzgeralds, Picasso, Hemingway, T.S. Elliot, Josephine Baker, and so many other pop culture figures of the Jazz Age. The film is also beautifully interrupted with shots of Paris in the rain, at dusk, and in night. Watching it gives me the most terrible yearning to return!

Being a slave to the punch in clock is actually making me looking forward to pouring over textbooks and hurriedly scribbling notes at university, which awaits me in just under a month! The only thing I'm worried about is the tuition and other little supply & student bills, which are already stacking up. This semester I'll be taking 3 different design classes and also a French composition class. I just got my supply list for my colour theory class, and it's $200 for supplies, not including books! It'll be fun trying to find a way to scrape that money together, I'm sure! In the meantime, I'm not thinking too hard about school. I'm just trying to enjoy the end of summer! We have the state fair coming up soon, and on top of that I'm going to a Twins baseball game & hopefully the drive-in!

I have to admit that I'm a sucker for high-waisted anything! Especially shorts and skirts, though. They're so good for shorties like me, because they make legs look miles longer. The Guess jeans, which I cut up earlier this summer, have a bit of a '70s vibe to them. I'm really into this trend right now, and I'm actually looking to try the bell bottoms! I haven't worn jeans, or even full length pants, in such a long time. If I do end up finding a pair I like, it'll be such a dramatic change of style for me. But with my hair getting longer, I'm feeling a lot more boho than flapper.

Remember those many months ago, when snow was still on the ground, that I made the resolution to start running again? Well, after I think 3 of 4 runs around the neighbourhood, I learned a thing or two about exercising and healthy living, and how it's different for everyone. Running is clearly just not for me. I have weak lungs and have severe trouble breathing when running. At first I tried pushing myself, figuring I was just out of shape. But running isn't for everyone and my small lungs just couldn't handle it. I've been eating healthier lately and finding new ways to get fit. Biking is the best option for me. It gives me incredible energy to go on bike rides, and the best part is getting back in and gobbling down loads of fresh fruit. I've also been really into yoga, weight lifting, crunches, and jumps. I'm not beating myself up, I'm just trying to stay active amongst my heavy work schedule. I think it's important for everyone to find out what works for them and balance their lives. I'm still working on that with my own. And for now, this balance will remain in the USA, but my heart is Paris.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Some DIY from France!

Hello everyone! I arrived back from my trip 2 weeks ago, and it's been a whirlwind of catching up with friends (it's amazing that people can actually miss me after only a month), working 40 hours a week (against my will), and preparing for school (aka figuring out how I'm going to pay for it), as well as sleeping and eating, which I didn't do enough of in Europe. I took an overwhelming number of photos during my month abroad, and I wasn't quite sure how to present my trip on the blog. I'm still not entirely sure. But....I spent almost 2 weeks in France, and while there I realised how much I really do love the culture, the people, and the country. It inspired me to get back into French class and actually devote some time and effort towards it (it's also my minor but yeah, you know...). So when I got back home I went into my DIY box and started on a new project!

I'm sure you've all seen magnetic poetry before. It's basically a box of words that you can stick on your kitchen fridge and arrange into sentences. They make them for a number of different languages, and I've always wanted the French ones, but they run about $30 a box. I won't even bother telling you how many hours I'd have to work in order to pay that off. So I decided to make some myself. Here's what you need:

In my DIY box was a number of magnets that I'd collected for free at parades, fairs, and different businesses. I suppose this isn't just DIY, but also recycling, in a way! If you don't have a substantial collection of free magnets, you can also buy magnetic sheets.

Glue stick & scissors. Pretty easy. Next comes the words. Make a new word document and, in an easy to read, bold font, start making a list of words. Keep it a good mix of articles, verbs, nouns, adverbs, and adjectives. Make sure it's a language you have a firm grasp of. With French, it took some putzing about before I decided how to handle some of the conjugations and fem/masc issues.

After printing out your words, glue them onto the magnets. Make sure that the magnets are thoroughly covered in glue so you won't have any loose corners. When the glue is dry, cut the words out and arrage them on the fridge!

This is me in Pornic, a city in the Bretagne region. It was so chilly out and definitely not swimming weather, but the ocean was beautiful all the same!

We also stayed in Nantes for 3 days. This city stole my heart and I am already yearning to go back.

Here's some poetry for you. This beautiful fountain in Lyon (near the border of Switzerland) reads "Permets m'amour penser quelque folie..." Yeah, the French are pretty good with words. (Also, thanks for the correction on that eabha!)

We also enjoyed the French baking! Fresh baguettes every day, a different pastry for breakfast, and even these adorable little cupcakes!

Hope you enjoyed the mini post. I have so much more to show from my month backpacking across Europe!