Sunday, June 30, 2013

end of June

The final post for June 2013. I cannot believe that June went by this fast! It seems like I didn't even have a June. Paris, and my other travels in Europe, had no dates or times. They just flowed through my life and now all of a sudden I'm back home in Minnesota, where dates and times are very relevant, and I find myself on June 30th. The entire month has slipped by me and July is on my heels.
Since getting home (on Tuesday, so only five days ago), I've had to acclimate to so many changes. The major one which I'm struggling with is wardrobe. Most of the places I visited in Europe, with the exception of Geneva, were cool, cloudy, and rainy. Since I've been back, Minnesota has been very hot and that sticky type of humid where it feels like you're swimming through the air. Yep, gotta love Minnesota weather. Crop tops have been my major staple and this is the first time since being back that I've whipped out the cut offs. About time!

These shorts were ones which I attempted to bleach last summer with my friend Carrie but I'm not sure they turned out the greatest and then I accidentally cut them up the side. Oops! I have yet to take the seam ripper to them, but it's coming. I'm also wearing a crop top which I found in a clothes market in London on the day that I met up with the beautiful, lovely Tori! If you hadn't been following my excitement via Twitter, Tori was sweet enough to come down to London on one of my two days there to spend the day shopping and eating. We went to a really cool tea shop called, I want to say, the Vintage Emporium and then wandered around different markets. It was so much fun and too bad that it was only for a day. I was bummed to be leaving London so soon, actually. On my last night there I met a really cool group of people at the hostel and wished that I could have spent another day wandering around with them. Oh well, Minnesota was calling! Plus, I was missing my boyfriend terribly.
Speaking of! It was my beautiful boyfriend who took these photos for me today. I might have him take them again sometime since they turned out so well. It's funny because I usually have the camera in his face and today the tables turned. I did, however, get it for a few minutes and got a few shots of him:

What a doll! Can you see why I missed him? I'd never been much for brown eyes until him, but now I melt whenever I look into them.
Anyways, enough of that, back to me....

I spent the morning marching in the MPLS Pride Parade with my internship. I'm interning for a politician here in the Cities and he was marching in the parade, so I went with to hand out stickers and take video. It was extremely hot and I kept falling behind and having to run to catch up. By the end, we were all very sticky and collapsed onto the freezing cold leather couches back in the office. For once they actually felt nice! Right when I got home I soaked in the tub and then got into this to keep cool for the rest of the day.

Summer really is a great thing. The feeling of sun on your skin is glorious. Although the sun is setting for today, I'm already eager to get back out into it tomorrow. Keep cool my friends and soak up some sun xx
p.s. I've been out of the loop lately and just heard that Google Connect is ending tomorrow! Follow Urban Tease on Bloglovin' asap to not miss a single post!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

the end of Paris

All good things must come to an end, and so I leave Paris. Well, left, I guess. I spent Friday afternoon packing everything. It was beautiful and perfect and all fit wonderfully. Then, I drank. And when I got home at 1am I decided that my packing was horrid and so I took it all out and re-packed. Drunk packing is bad packing, lemme tell you. And so, on Saturday morning I stumbled through the metro with the heaviest backpack and additional suitcase ever, trying to make it to Gare de Lyon to catch my train to Geneva. I ended up sleeping for the duration of the ride due to my drunk packing and then rising at 6am, which is a bummer because I'm sure that the scenery was absolutely beautiful! I love Geneva more than I remember; the mountains especially. To a Midwesterner girl, mountains are one of the most strangest peculiarities in the world. The Midwest is barren of mountains, so to imagine them - or better yet, to see them - is amazing. They are so majestic. I woke up late but I think I might head out for a bike ride and paint the mountains. Or just sit and look at them. Incredible!
So, I have gotten completely off track at the very thought of mountains. What I want to be talking about: Paris! So, I am done with Paris. It was so lovely and it was like a dream. I still don't feel like I was actually there, much less for three and a half weeks. On our last day of class we went to Saint-Severin church near Notre-Dame de Paris. It was an absolutely gorgeous gothic church nestled into  spiraling alleys of crepe stands and tabacs and tacky tourist stops. We celebrated after class with crepes and gelato and a few tacky souvenirs (I bought a magnet for my father!). Oh, and this is what I wore! I took these photos on Friday before beginning my first attempt at packing.

This dress is the one from Zara which I bought for a piano concert we went to in Paris. It's actually sleeveless and Paris had been way too cold for sleeveless-ness, so I layered this Forever 21 top over it. (Note: I never actually shop at F21 but I found $13 in gift cards for it in my wallet and thought I should spend them.) I thought that the overall effect was a bit '20s Flapper-esque but a tad dowdy, so I belted it and ta-da! I've been listening to '20s jazz non-stop for the past few weeks and have been feeling extra Flapper-ish.
Also, I've been trying to circulate a link for this, but you can download a collection of completely free, legal, authentic '20s jazz here! The copyrights have expired and so someone was nice enough to compile it all and make it available. There are some real gems in there, too.

I cannot wait to get home and watch silent films. My heart truly belongs in the 1920s. I yearn for them so badly, without having ever known them outside of the movies and the music and the depictions. That is not to say that life isn't amazing as it is, though.
While on the train to Geneva, I realised that I had stupidly packed all my books in the suitcase above my seat. Too lazy to try to fetch it, I decided to journal a bit. I wrote about how incredible Paris was: the food, the friends I made, the places I went. As I rode to Geneva, I could feel Paris bleeding out of me and all that was left was this type of euphoric appreciation for all that occurred and all that will occur. La vie est belle. And I'm so excited to continue my 10 day adventure through Europe, even if I had to leave Paris behind. I wish that I could have been better acquainted with the city during my time there. Just took some time to go for a walk and think to myself. But, there will be time for that again. I know that Paris, and France, takes up a piece of my heart and I will have to return to it before long. But for now, I have Geneva to fall in love with! And then I have four days with my family in the English countryside, and two days in London. So much to adore and to soak in. I need to open my mind and allow it to be like a sponge to all the amazing things I encounter and see and love.

So, after that, you may be asking - why then are you sitting inside in your friend's basement, in bed, on the internet? Well, quite frankly, I do not know! I have a city to explore! See you guys soon xx

Thursday, June 13, 2013

animal crackers

My big splurge: these pants from Zara! We went into the Zara at Chatelet mall in hopes of finding dresses for a piano concert that night and, in addition to a dress, I found these pants and decided to splurge! I hardly brought any clothes with me to Paris because I assumed I'd buy a lot and I actually had not (at the time), so I went for them. They're absolutely beautiful and have parrots on them. And pink piping! I'm so obsessed. I paired the pants with a vintage shirt from my aunt, a belt from Guatemala, and vintage post-WWII shoes from the flea market on Sunday! Breaking in shoes is so awful. That's all I have to say about that. 

I've realised why I never buy white pants: you literally cannot sit anywhere or eat anything. Because white pants are magnetic! I literally have to wash them everyday because I get metro scum on them or orange juice or guacamole or you name it. We went for a picnic the other day and had to sit on a bench because I was wearing these pants! Still worth it though, oh still worth it.

I'm sorry that the horrid quality photos continue. It's the best that I can do, unfortunately! I hope that the next time I come to Paris, I will have a good camera in tow, be staying in a hotel, and have a fabulous, romantic time (instead of studying and trying to see how little I can spend on food in a day). These pants cost me about two or three days in food, so now I've been scrimping. Bread, cheese, and pasta for four days now. Yippee.

I think I could write an entire book about how much I love these pants! I feel like I should be on some tropical island or a beach with palm leaves and parrots. It was really nice out a few weeks ago (in Minnesota) and I saw a woman just walking down the street with a huge, gorgeous macaw on her shoulder. It was a glimpse into my future. Growing up, I used to watch this pet show on Saturday mornings. The guy had so many animals, just like a table full of animals. And he always had a macaw on his shoulder that would try to eat his glasses. One time he even had baby macaws! It was at that moment that I knew I'd be a future macaw owner. He also had a Flemish giant rabbit.
My boyfriend told me that he'd help me get a bunny when I get home. So I've been on Craigslist scouting baby bunnies. I want a Flemish giant or a French lop, I think. I don't want one of those mini or dwarf rabbits. Those ones get too many infections! Does anyone have recommendations on breeds of rabbits or where to get them? I'm new at this.

I only have one day left in Paris and I'm absolutely ready to leave. It feels like I've only been here a few days (when it's really been three and a half weeks!) but I'm exhausted of this city. It's been cold and rainy for the duration of my time here and I've seen almost all that I've wanted to. I did want to do the Catacombs and go see the Eiffel Tower at night, but I'm not sure that will happen. I have only 20 euro left to spend in my budget (I will admit that I spent about 15 euro on tacky souvenirs today) and I've heard that the Catacombs has cool merchandise, so I'm trying to withstand that.
On Saturday morning I leave for Geneva! It's supposed to be in the 70s and 80s (fahrenheit, 'cause I'm 'murican) while I'm there, so I think it'll be a good opportunity to wear my new dresses! I'm so excited. Four days in the sun with my good friend Jojo! And with a real shower, oh my gosh.
The showers here only seem to have one temperature: scalding hot. My hair has been absolutely unhappy, as has all my skin, for that matter. I'm not sure what I prefer, freezing cold or scalding hot, but these dorms have seriously been testing my limits! They also had a sign up yesterday that said the cold water would be turned off until 5pm that day. I scoffed at the irony considering that I've never been able to get cold water out of any faucet here. I guess they just mis-wrote the sign because what it should have read was that all water would be off! I got home and went to wash my hands and nothing would come out. Cool. So I ate food without washing my hands after touching money, riding the metro, and using the bathroom. Uck.

It's weird to look at these photos. I feel like I've been changing so much, physically. My face has gotten thinner since coming here (ironies of ironies is that when I was a baby, I had super sunken cheeks but when I hit puberty, my face turned into a chubby little baby face) and with a thinner face, my eyes and lips seem bigger. I look at these photos and am just so struck by how strange I look! I suppose it's all part of growing up, etc. etc. etc.
I have a lot of packing to do before leaving! I've finished my paper and now just have to get everything into my backpack. I have a lot of books to cram in there! Ugh. I'm bringing a bottle of alcohol back for my father and am a tad worried that customs will take it since I'm not 21 yet. Do any Americans have experience with bringing alcohol across the border while underage?
By the way, check out this silly little song that I named the blog post after. I've been listening to it nonstop and cannot help but smile the whole time through! Stay sweet, friends! xoxo

Sunday, June 9, 2013

flea market

 And the horrid quality photos continue! I paused over bringing my good camera along but decided against it. My Pentax is so bulky, and then I'd want to bring multiple lenses and horrible things would happen and ugghhh. So instead I have my point and shoot which I know the photos it takes are awful, but maybe it's better than nothing? Maybe.

So as of yesterday I only have one more week left in Paris! That is crazy to think about. I leave for Geneva on Saturday morning and kiss Paris goodbye for a while. Who knows when I will come next? One of my group mates and I decided to go to the flea markets today. Someone had told us that the one at the end of the metro line 4 (Porte de Clignancourt) was a good one once when you got past all the black market stuff, and it was! I wish that I was rich and could afford all of the beautiful 1920s prints and absolutely stunning ball gowns. But I cannot. Oh well, I did make off with a few Charlie Chaplin prints and a Buster Keaton one, as well as a '60s dress, a '20s dress, and two new pairs of shoes from the '40s, which I wear in these photos however you can barely see them! Oops.

I wish that flea markets existed in Minnesota. We have art fairs and garage sales and vintage/antique shops, but no flea markets. They would be fun to have in Minnesota! Maybe I will have to get one started, eh? Any fellow Minnesotans want to join me?

 It was fairly chilly today (after getting sunburn yesterday!) and so I got to wear a sweater. After I went out a bought sweaters, it got too warm and I was left to switch between my two tee-shirts. This red sweater is from the Zara on the Champs-Elysees which I got the Sunday after we got here, when I had realised that Paris was freezing and I would soon because a French popsicle if I didn't find warm clothes fast. This one is all swingy and nice, I like it. And I love red - love it! My favourite colour.

Shorts are H&M and the blouse underneath is vintage. And then of course, the shoes:

 They are so beautiful! Since I wear very small shoes (a 4 or a 5), it is difficult to find them in my size outside of the kid's section where everything is sparkly and lights up. So I ran for these when I saw them and the shopkeeper was delighted when I told her how small my feet were. She gave me a deal on buying two pairs and so I did because they were both gorgeous. Plus, she and I spoke in French the whole time and it was wonderful! I've been able to use my French a bit and it makes me feel like I've accomplished something in my 8 years as an on-and-off-again student of French.

I don't know why I'm making such a snarky face in this photo. I am dead tired and about ready to hit the hay. It's only a bit after 10 here, but spending money that I shouldn't is really exhausting! Phew!

I'll be back with another update soon, I promise. I love blogging so much and I get sad when I can't! So I will make special time for it. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter as well, where I'm updating with my snarky comments on Paris, my funny anecdotes, and a photo or two when the wifi connection is good. A bientot, mes petits!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Wow, so it's been a long time. I cannot believe that I've already been in Paris for two weeks (and furthermore, that this has been my first post while here!). The wifi where I'm staying is broken, so getting on the Internet is difficult. I've been using it sparingly. However, I made an effort to take "outfit photos" in my dorm room with my point and shoot camera, and here they are! Not the best quality, but they will suffice. Paris has been, up until a few days ago, extremely cold and rainy. When I got here, I had to go out and buy sweaters! But the past couple of days have been absolutely beautiful and I'm hoping for better weather for my last week and a half.
In case I've been vague, I'm in Paris to study Gothic art & architecture. I'm absolutely not an art history student so the topic is really difficult for me and I find myself floundering in it a bit. I'm doing my research paper on depictions of Saint Christopher and I have absolutely no idea where to start or what to say. I have a day to figure that out until the first part is due. Oops!
Beyond going to class, I've mostly been site seeing. Since I've been to Paris before, I have a good idea of what is nearby and have been enjoying being able to spend more time with things. I'm also here with a pretty good group and so I've been trying to meet new people. So many excuses as to why I haven't been blogging! I will try to work it into my schedule better, I swear. I have been updating fairly regularly on my Twitter page, but that's it. I feel like, despite writing this blog, I'm really slow to get the hang of technology.

So I hate to sound like a bad consumer, but I seriously love Zara. We had to have dresses for a concert the other night, and I had nothing, so we had a shopping day on Monday to find dresses. I found a beautiful blue & white polka dot one there (hopefully it will warm up more soon so that I can wear it again!) but I'm seriously obsessed with everything in that store. Even the kid's section! This grey tee is from the men's section and I love it. So soft and loose and flowy, and I adore the seam up the back (which you probably cannot see in these photos). I also bought super cool pants from there which I'm already excited to show off! Except I spilt orange juice on them today....
The pants I'm wearing here are from Pimkie. I have no idea about this store, but I remember I bought a shirt from one in Geneva a couple of years ago. Anyways, we went into the store trying to find a dress and I absolutely screamed over how lovely these pants were! They have little birds all over them and have this super wonderful lace texture. I'm obsessed. And they're not super low rise like most jeans these days. I love that. Jeans brands: please quit making super low rise jeans! They don't accommodate the average woman's derriere. So yeah, I am super excited about these pants. Super excited. It might help though that I only brought three bottoms (pants, shorts, a skirt) and I've gotten very very sick of wearing them constantly. I thought that I'd go out shopping and find great stuff right away, but I've only bought sweaters!

I spent my day, after class, at Musee d'Orsay. I adore that museum. I wish that I was here to study Impressionist art instead of Gothic. It appeals to me so much more. d'Orsay has an exhibition currently showing called L'ange du bizarre, or like Angel of the Odds or something in English. Well, it's all surrealistic, bizarre, dark, gothic type painting, sculptures, movies, etc. It was such an amazing exhibit! We spent like 3 hours in it. I wish that stuff like that came to Minnesota (dreaming big here, I know!). I bought myself this little 3 pack set of notebooks with different paintings/drawing on them from the exhibit. I wanted to buy an exhibit book but 45 euro is way too much! I've hardly bought myself anything (besides food and necessary sweaters) while here, so I wanted to treat myself to something. Notebooks it is.

I know that this is disappointingly short and pretty vague. I wish that I had time to update more frequently with my day to day activities, but I'm so out of my element while here! And I have little free time as I'm trying to cram everything in... If anyone has any suggestions as to what to do while in Paris, places to check out, etc. please send them my way! I'd be very appreciative. I don't want to miss a thing!