That Time I Graduated From College

Saturday, December 19, 2015

It doesn't really feel real to say, but I finished my last finals a few weeks ago and my diploma is on its way to my house - I completed my undergraduate career. It honestly feels like just a rung in the ladder of life; like how a birthday never actually makes you feel older, but everyone makes it seem like you've walked through a portal to a different world. I suppose, in some ways, I have. I'm in the world of real life now, and the weirdest part is that I'm not freaked out at all. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that I've always felt like I'm going to peak in my 30s, so getting closer to that chapter of my life is a surprisingly comfortable transition.

State of the Union: September 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

This summer has absolutely flown by. I know people use that expression all the time, but this is the first year where I honestly feel like August did not happen. And now it's September? Oh gosh. I am, however, SO excited for this fall to happen. There's something about this time of year that is just magical. Going back to classes, friends coming back into town, sweater weather and, of course, the delicious PSL make this season a very close second to summer.

With the start of September, I thought I'd clue you all in on what's going on in my hectic, crazy life because, well, I keep writing and you keep reading so I might as well!

Parlez-vous? No. 1: Au café

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

While at work the other day, I had an epiphany. My 101 in 1,001 list had been on my mind and I was trying to think of a way to cross off "Teach someone basic French". I've been losing touch with French lately and wanted to bring it back into my life. I felt the same way about blogging. Then, I realized, how perfect would it be to start a series where I teach you (my lovely readers) some basic French? Sometimes things are too obvious - this blog's name is French after all! So, without further ado, I bring you the first of many French lessons: Au café.

Her Campus x kate spade new york

Monday, August 24, 2015

Last Thursday (on my birthday!) I was invited to a shopping event hosted by Her Campus downtown at the Kate Spade store. Before dinner, I dropped by to mingle and check out the fall collection, which was of course the most perfect combination of adorable yet chic.

Real Talk: On Being A Hermit

Friday, August 21, 2015

The other day, sitting in a coffee shop in Old Town, I found out a co-worker of mine is also a blogger. We instantly connected over being in the same networks and knowing some of the same Chicago bloggers. She brought up some events, specifically spinning classes that had been held as of late. Then she asked why I hadn't gone to the blogger spin class.

All I could think about was my previous experience resulting in a week-long sore booty and how I did not want to attend another cycle class for a long while. But then I started to ponder  why did I really not go?

That Time I Turned Twenty-Two

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Joyeux anniversaire à moi!

Here we are again. Another birthday, another summer ended. Twenty-one has been one of the craziest, most life-altering, best years yet. Three years ago, I started this blog as I entered my college career. This next year is the year that I will graduate and (fingers crossed) find employment somewhere, starting a new adventure.
P.S. THANK YOU for sticking around and reading, through all of my ups and downs, I am beyond grateful for my readers!!

Each year, I pick out a quote to fit my mindset for that age. This year it was astonishingly obvious which one I needed to pick. For some reason, I have found this quote all over - social media, coffee shops, conversations, etc. And it's quite fitting for the ambiguous journey I'm about to begin:

Short Trips: Marrakech, Morocco

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I am so incredibly happy to be writing this for you all to read. I am also really sad - hence why it's taken so long - because writing this all down made me insanely nostalgic. I spent about a week in Morocco last December and it quickly became one of my fondest memories and favorite places on this earth. Simply put, I fell in love with the country, its people, food and just everything. And I want to tell you all about it!

*This is a LONG post, so saddle up and get ready*
**The photos are also not of the best quality... #iphone5problems

Update: 101 in 1001

Thursday, July 23, 2015

It's hard to believe I'm already more than halfway through my 1001 days, but also surprising that I hadn't already been there! With 449 days left to go in my endeavor, I wanted to share a quick update on what I have yet to complete - mostly so I'll start working on crossing off some items...
  1. Go to a Cubs game.
  2. Purchase my first piece of original art. 
  3. Take up pottery again, if only for a day.
  4. See a large ballet production.
  5. Get professional headshots taken. 
  6. Buy myself a DSLR camera.
  7. Plan a surprise party. 
  8. Learn how to tie a tie. 
  9. Make macarons. 
  10. Teach someone basic French.
  11. Go skinny dipping. 
  12. Throw an elegant dinner party.
  13. Take an art history tour of Italy. 
  14. Exercise at least twice a week for three consecutive months. 
  15. Read the Harry Potter series in French. (0/7)
  16. Decide on a senior thesis. 
  17. Run a 5K.
  18. Complete a DIY furniture project. 
  19. Play a game in a casino. 
  20. Re-vamp my make-up routine. 
  21. Master my own hummus recipe. 
  22. Get eyelash extensions. 
  23. Go scuba diving. 
  24. See the châteaux of the Loire valley. 
  25. Take a self-defense class. 
  26. Rent a beach house with friends. 
  27. Go ziplining. 
  28. Floss everyday for a month. 
  29. Take a ballet class for the first time since high school. 
  30. Watch Sweet Home Alabama. 
  31. Eat a cronut. 
  32. Adopt or foster a pet. 
  33. Add a lock to the Love Lock bridge in Paris. 
  34. Apply for the Peace Corps. 
  35. Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
  36. Drink a butter beer. 
  37. Float in the Dead Sea.
  38. Pay for a stranger's dinner. 
  39. See the Stonehenge.
  40. Find the perfect LBD. 
  41. Watch 5 TED Talks. (3/5)
  42. See a politician speak live. 
  43. Join a new club. 
  44. Learn how to play golf. 
  45. Go on a kayaking trip.
  46. Learn how to bake homemade bread. 
  47. Create a T-shirt quilt. 
  48. Do a juice cleanse. 
  49. Have a job lined up for after graduation. 
  50. Unplug for a day (no internet, phone, etc).
  51. Donate to a political group I believe in. 
  52. Begin writing my first book. 
  53. Watch the entire Titanic movie. 
  54. Write a new 101 in 1,001 list when this one is finished!

I still have quite a few to go - and, while I hate to admit it, I'm sure some of these will have to hop on over to my next 101 in 1,001 list (oops). But it's also kind of crazy to think of the amount I have completed in just a little over 500 days. I am nowhere near the person I was when I began this list and I am so excited to see who I'll be at the end of it!

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That Time We Took A Break

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Any blogger knows that their blog is pretty much an online relationship with his/her readers. I write, you read, we get along. Sometimes you're smitten with me, sometimes I'm a bit too much to handle, but at the end of the day, we just have too much at stake to let each other go. So what happens when I don't want to write anymore?

My months-long hiatus from blogging (unannounced, sorry) was perhaps a bit abrupt, but I needed to get away from the superficiality of the blogosphere. For a while, I told myself that maybe I couldn't be a blogger anymore because I didn't want to write any more posts about the latest pom-pom trend or my favorite moisturizer (Gorgeous from Lush, by the way), or the millions of listicles that make me want to cry my eyes out but also I can't stop reading because the digital age has shortened my attention-span to a painstakingly small amount of time. Whew.

I want to write real, personal, me things. I want you all to know my stance on issues, because I want to know my stance on issues. And I don't know what I want this space to be - probably because I haven't quite figured out what its author wants to be either. I don't want to to be clean, because life is far too messy.

Some days I want it to be a creative space for writing and design, others a ranting platform for my political junkie side, and even some I want it to be an exposition in photojournalism. That's what they don't tell you about being a jack of all trades... Eventually, you have to choose one or drown in the pressure of maintaining multiple different lives. I won't say I'm not up for the challenge - diplomat by day, photojournalist by night (or vice versa)? Sounds like perfection. But I am saying that the world hasn't quite caught up to those of us who prefer to dabble in the many instead of shooting for the one. I'm an aspiring diplomat in a world of marketing majors, and sometimes, I just want to hop on a plane to anywhere.

So, bear with me as I transform this space into whatever I'm turning into. It's bound to be a wild ride.

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That Time I Planned A Charity Event

Saturday, April 18, 2015

First of all, it's over. Finished, done-zo, it has come to an end.

The last month and a half, I poured my everything into a philanthropy event for my sorority, and while I knew it would be an experience to remember, I ended up learning a heck of a lot more than I thought I would.

photo via Style Me Pretty
Because I really wish someone had gone through everything with me before I signed up, happily agreeing to take on a life-consuming project, I have decided to share with you all my successes and mistakes:

Real Talk: Living Alone

Sunday, April 5, 2015

It has been officially three months since I embarked on my latest journey: living by myself. It's weird, I never really thought about how I've always lived with other people until the day my best friend (who was staying with me for the first week after I moved in) left for her own place in the city. Bam. There I was, sitting on my - thankfully super comfortable - bed, in silence.

I've talked a lot about roommates before, and have been blessed with some amazing people to share an apartment with, so why did I make the leap to living solo before I even graduated from college? To tell you the truth, I'm not really sure. Logistically, it just made sense. I was coming back to Chicago from Paris and figured the apartment search for one would be easier, plus I didn't want the added stress of finding a new roommate - something about having already had great roommates and not wanting to test my luck with another stranger? Either way, I made the decision a while back and just stuck with it. Despite the insane difficulty of finding a place in January (seriously, don't ever try it) and hauling my stuff down here in the midst of winter (thank you X a million to my parents, bestie & little for helping!!), I made it.
I can't say I haven't had a few breakdowns here and there, but I made it.
And to celebrate my three monthiversary of being I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T (well, sorta) I am bringing you all some advice on taking the plunge to live with you, yourself

State of the Union: April 2nd 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I fell off the blogosphere again. That seems to happen in winter months, doesn't it? It's a little counterintuitive, because you'd think with all that snow and cold, I'd want to stay in and write, but it honestly makes me so lethargic. I was made for warmer weather in more ways than one!

Now that spring quarter has begun and Chicago is out of its (seemingly permanent) frozen state, things have taken a turn for the better. There's just something about long strolls sans a parka that cannot be explained. I'm gearing up for the busiest quarter yet - with my fall graduation creeping closer, full course load, work schedule, internships and a heavy social calendar - but, if you didn't know by know, I do my best when I'm busy! So here's a little update on where I stand at the moment:

That Time You Fell In Love With Me

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A while back, two of my favorite bloggers, Pretty & Fun and corals + cognacs published posts about a New York Times article that claimed to have falling in love down to a science. As in, they claim to know how to make anyone fall in love with anyone. It has a lot to do with vulnerability and a whole lot more to do with honesty. Like anyone, I'm still a skeptic, but I love answering questions so I thought I'd give this a shot. Taking a page from Cait & Hallie's book (or blog?) I'm writing these responses to and for YOU!

So I officially challenge you to try it out - post on your blog, in the comments or e-mail your answers to me, I'd love to hear them!

I've chosen a selection of the 36 questions because, despite the fact that I adore writing about myself, I know most of you don't have that kind of time. Without further ado, get ready to fall in love:

Weekend Travels: London

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Five hundred years later and I'm finally writing about my time in London. Just kidding, it's only been about two months. 

My roommates and I had been wanting to check out London for a while - it's so close to Paris, why wouldn't we? So we hopped over the English Channel or, rather, under it, on a weekend in late November. The night before our departure, we had hosted a Friendsgiving celebration at our apartment, but we managed to get ourselves up and out for yet another early train. Seriously, I don't know why we always chose the 5AM departure... 

That Time I Tried To Donate Blood

Friday, January 23, 2015

Alright. Things are getting a little personal on the blog, but I don't mind so much. When I'm 80 & looking back through these posts, I like to think I'll appreciate having written about the good AND the bad.
Yesterday, I happened upon a Red Cross blood drive at my school's gym. I wasn't planning on donating, but as I sat and chatted with my friend, I kept looking over at the registration table. On a whim, I got up and walked over to the sign up. There was a short wait - why not?

image via Social Awareness

Real Talk: Why I Dance

Monday, January 19, 2015

This is kind of a personal post - I've been doing a few of those lately - but I wanted to share with you all something that's very important to me. Because if I can't tell my lovely readers, who can I tell?

Those of you who have been in my life for a while know that I absolutely love volunteering. There is something so beautiful about giving your time for someone else, no strings attached. It's rewarding, yes, but I don't do it for that feeling; I do it because it really ought to be done by all of us! And because of this, I'm a huge fan of finding 'your cause'. Like, 'the one'.

Ladies & Gents, I have found mine: Children's Miracle Network!

That Time I Came To Love Paris

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder. And maybe this is true. It happened for Paris and me, even when I least expected it.

I won't lie to you; Paris isn't all roses and butterflies. It's a tough, cold city and it's not hard to feel like an outsider there. Sure, when you visit for a weekend or a whirlwind vacation, it seems like a beautiful place, filled with history, romance and cute cafés. And maybe it is, but there is so much more to this incredibly confusing, wonderfully stressful part of the world.

My Grateful Heart: Vol. V

Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Weekly Grateful Heart is a series inspired by the very things that surround me. I have heard of gratitude journals for years, but was not convinced of their credibility until my second year of college, where a good friend told me that gratitude would change my life if I gave it a try. She is an amazing individual and proponent of happy, healthy living, so in an effort to be a little more like her, and as a version of the "start every day with a grateful heart" mantra, these are the things I am grateful for, week by week. 

If you haven't noticed, I took out the "weekly" in the title of this because, let's be honest, my life moves at a crazy fast pace and I don't have time to write down my blessings every Sunday. That's not to say I don't reflect on them. I just have a tougher time getting them into a formatted post to share with you all. But lo and behold, I've had a moment in my wonderfully busy life to formally think about all the great things surrounding me.

I just recently moved back to Chicago and have started classes again. Getting settled into my old place has been surprisingly difficult, mostly because so many little things have changed since last year. But I am so thankful for the amazing constants I have in my life.

  • Wonderful "sisters" that actually act like sisters, and make me feel at home in this big city
  • An incredible best friend that helped me move in and organize my life 
  • Parents that would drop everything and drive hours for me 
  • Generosity from all of my friends and family over the holiday season and more 
  • A warm, cozy, secure studio apartment that I get to call home 
  • The best luck in the world 
  • Talents and experiences that lead me to new ones 
  • Great teachers in all of my classes 
  • A short commute to school (I hate icy sidewalks!) 
  • A trusty collection of boots & a giant puffer coat for the winter season 
  • The opportunity to live in Chicago 
  • Friends that support and drive me to be my best self 
  • Netflix for those days when I'm not feeling too hot 
  • A fully stocked fridge 
  • The ability to exercise 
  • Late night conversations with old friends 
  • Cute salt & pepper shakers 
  • Heated blankets 
  • Crock pot recipes 
  • Running into people you haven't seen in a while 
  • Keeping a positive attitude 
  • A giant mug of hot tea after a long day

What are you grateful for?
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La Mode & Moi: Winter Wear

Saturday, January 10, 2015

La Mode & Moi (meaning 'fashion and me' in French) is a series on my everyday style to give you all a glimpse into my classic taste with a european flair, as well as how to make ordinary looks a little more fun! 

It's been a while since I posted about some fashion, and while winter isn't exactly the ideal time of year to pull out all the style stops, I wanted to show off one of my favorite, timeless looks for chilly weather - which we have to deal with a lot in Chicago! 

State of the Union: January 9th

Friday, January 9, 2015

Holy moly. I have been MIA for such a long time, but I promise you it was necessary. After doing a little post-semester traveling (details will come soon), I hopped back over the pond, had my wisdom teeth yanked out, prepped and performed in my brother's wedding, hosted two lovely German family members and secured and moved into a new apartment in Chicago. Whew. I'm tired just thinking about it..
Anyway, now I'm back in my favorite city and ready to start sharing my life with you all once again! First up, where I stand right now: