Fashion and Photography with a glass of Rosé

Today is the second day of four for the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography.  Held in the South of France, this is a chance for new comers to showcase their work. This year the 10 contestants (so many applicants to narrow down!) are of 9 different nationalities.

Getting your work showcased is hard in today’s fast-paced, cutting edge creative world.  This festival is unique in giving unknown designers a chance to show their finished work as well as the thoughts and ideas that came first (behind-the-scenes if you will).  This article from last year explains more.

Check out this video from French Vogue to get insights from the three creative directors. Hyères 2012: Behind the scenes #1 | Vogue English.

For live coverage of the festival, check out Vogue.fr‘s Tumblr or follow direct on Twitter (@HYERESFESTIVAL).

This time of year just screams FESTIVAL abroad and at home.  In California we just had Coachella and coming up in France is Cannes Film festival.  What other festivals are going on?  I need to get myself to one!!

MDCV (TGIF in English)

Merci Dieu, C’est Vendredi!  Yes, I have literally translated the phrase TGIF to French.  Although I have never heard des Françaises utter this phrase, I am sure it will have its time.  Eventually.  For now, just my fellow Francophile friend and I are sharing in its creative genius!

Never the less it sure is Friday and what a long-awaited Friday it is.  Does anyone else feel a bit relieved to see the weekend in arm’s reach?  What was it about this week that made it so tiresome and snail-like?!

The weather:  I blame many things on the weather. My mood, my physical aches and pains, my motivation to do anything, my exercise habits… So blaming this half sunny, half gray, mostly wet and extremely chilly week on the fact that I feel as if I have been run over by a bus seems fitting.

The Search:  As I have previously mentioned, I am eyes deep (is that a saying?) in job searching and penny-pinching.  It is exhausting to say the least.  People say that New York can really kick your butt and here I am, mid-rumble, and I believe it’s safe to say that NY is winning. For now…

The Move: I have been waiting since February for my own apartment.  I found the right place, but my timing was wrong.  So I have been doing things the way many NYC newbies do: surfing around.  I like to call it a nomadic lifestyle.  I am lucky because I have so many AWESOME friends and family who have taken me in and made me feel welcome (I didn’t even have to sleep on any couches during my nomadic life).  The wait is over now and Sunday is the day: move-in day.  But have you ever waited for something such a long time that when it finally happens you still feel like you’re supposed to be waiting for it? Just me? Ok, well I feel this week has drug on slower just to spite me and my move-in.

But enough about the week behind us! It is FRIDAY (sorry, it was just too good not to link to that song) and time to look to the weekend ahead 🙂 How wonderful!

Musings to share as you leave the office:

-French Roast coffee has become my favorite. I promise it’s not because of the name (however it is a great coincidence).  Our coffee here in the office is not good.  And that might be an understatement.  Even though I order it, blame is NOT on me–I was told to order it.  I have, however, taken the liberty to change the flavors and French Roast is the newest addition.  It was a good decision if I do say so myself.

-I have found a new Francophile to follow! Check out Vicki’s French life on her blog and in her two books!   http://frenchessence.blogspot.com/

-This bag is my love.  It’s also way out of my league.

Do you all think this one is  a close second? Is it puurrdddy?? Be honest!

-I rewatched “Nine” this week.  I am a fan of the movie for its setting (Italy! sigh), it’s cast (Marion Cotillard AND Kate Hudson.. j’adore) and its musical numbers.  My favorite is, “my husband makes movies.” It’s sad but I still fall in love with it each time I hear it.  If you havent seen the movie “Nine” and enjoy musicals, I suggest renting it this weekend.

-As I mentioned before, I have joined Pinterest after some reevaluation.  I find it less obsessive than friends have claimed but still enjoyable in its own right.  It is definitely a nice way to relax on a lazy Sunday.  Follow me!

-This past week, my search for a waitress job brought me to the East Village’s French lounge, Affaire.  If you’re in the area and desire a French escape just walk in the front door and get swept away! (this is not a sponsorship post but I do think they should hire me now)

-What good is a weekend without home-cooking?  I have been meaning to try this recipe from one of my favorite food blogging couples.  Maybe this weekend the meal will find its way to the table… And why not these cookies for dessert?

Now get off of the internet and enjoy the weekend!  I leave you with a photo that has been saved on my desktop for a year now…there is something about it. What do you think?

À toute

locking legs

Try this out on your summer vacation

One of my favorite sites to check out is Flavor Magazine.  I usually find some cool trends or news to share with everyone.  The problem with linking to the page is that it is entirely in French.  So, I am taking on the challenge today of a translation exercise.  This is mostly for me but you get to learn about a really cool new car! YIPPPIE. 

It’s from the French car company Renault and I found it super cute and fun.  Wouldnt it be the perfect car to rent on your summer European vacation?

(Translated from Flavor Magazine. )

“Are you resistant of cars and anxious/nervous about scooters? It might just be that Le Twizy, the new invention by Renault, and their third car in the category “Zero emission”, was made for you!

Flavor had the pleasure of a test drive in Ibiza and now we’re giving you our opinion.

An urban, playful solution:

A car outside the norm, le Twizy is a quadricycle that falls between a car and a scooter.  It has very compact dimensions (2.34m long and 1.24m wide), allowing it to glide down the smallest roads and park perpendicularly on the sidewalk.

Keeping with its urban nature, it can carry two people: the passenger sitting behind the driver, like on a scooter or a motorcycle.

We regret, however, the absence of windows, which certainly gives it the ‘sporty’ look but which can cause problems when left parked in the city.

With its doors that open in a scissor formation, Twizy distinguishes itself from its neighbors.  It is also 100% personable and comes in three finishes: Urban, color, technical and four colors. [ok I’m not sure about these three categories but lets just roll with it}]

Solution for anyone who wants to drive, it comes in two categories: for people with or without licenses.

We had the chance to test drive le Twizy in the back roads of Ibiza as well as the city center, and all we can say is that it is very easy to drive.  The danger of traveling on the road we know by heart is that you must remember to wake up and pay attention, as the car’s engine is very reassuring. [OK, I’m not really sure if I did this one correctly either]

Neither of the two models, le Twizy (that has power of 80km/hour) nor the Twizy45 (the version for those without a license that only goes 45km/hour) have gears but instead two buttons, “forward” and “backward” along with two pedals, one to accelerate and one to break. 

We don’t even need to say that we were a bit like Princess Peach in Mario Cart…

Undeniable argument: it’s an eco car:

Le Twizy is 100% electric: not a drop of gas necessary, which is nice for Mother Earth but also for the wallet.  Knowing that the price of the later is not yet ready to lower, even the most stubborn person can find their account. [Ok here I know what they are trying to get across: that this is reason to buy the car, but the translation is lost between the two languages] Le Twizy can recharge on any outlet that is 220 volts (of course you must find one) for 3 and a half hours, and this allows it to run for 80 km.

Price: starting at 6,990 euros in all Renault areas.

OK so not too bad. There were maybe 5 words that I had to look up to be sure of.  But I think the bigger challenge would be to start writing my posts in both languages….

And on another note: How cool is this car? Would something like this even work in the US?  I am not too confident of its success in a large city like NYC (considering there are no windows) but a beach town? How about it?!

 

 

Springtime NYC brings France to me!

My mind has been racing with thoughts, fears, worries and concerns of job hunting and life decisions these past few weeks.  Its exciting some times, exhausting all the time and down right stressful mostly.  So on account of not wanting to put any more emphasis on these feelings, and because I assume that you people don’t come to my blog to stress out yourselves, I have been an absent blogger.  I apologize. Life goes on.

In the midst of this angst that I have been coping with, the weather here in NYC has been pretty awesome! Every time I leave work for my break I get so excited seeing the parks packed with happy people.*  This then bites me in the butt (adding to my depression) as I slither back into the building after these short moments of bliss.

This weather got me thinking about France (honestly, what doesn’t get me thinking/dreaming about my home away from home).  One of the things I love about France is the abundance of outdoor cafés and restaus.  When I lived there, my friends and I would always sit at the outdoor tables of our favorite cafés.  Even in the winter, when blankets and heat lamps were provided, we were outside!

I was told that my love of a European lifestyle would be satisfied in New York.  I was told that if I had to be in America, I might as well be in a city that feels like Europe.  In February, when I first arrived, I just didn’t get that feeling.  Sure, people might speak multiple languages and the streets are always bustling with tourists, but Europe’s vibe was not shining through the skyscraper sky. 

Then Spring hit and with it Europe-in-NYC made its appearance.  Terraces took over the sidewalks, rooftops and gardens opened, and the walls of restaurants suddenly melted away to create an open dining experience!  My heart fluttered 🙂 What a way to de-stress.  How can you not be happy when you’re enjoying a meal, feeling as if you are half outdoors, half indoors? It’s like an outdoor shower…less soap and water, more appetizers and wine.

Does New York ever make you feel like you are somewhere else?  Amid the hustle and bustle are you able to find ways to relax and enjoy the city?  Like sitting on a patio. 

If you’re not in NY, what is your favorite thing about the arrival of warmer weather? And what makes you de-stress?

 

* I wonder, what do those people sitting in the park do/not do to have so much free time?! They live in NYC but don’t work a 9-5? Sign me up!!!

Pinning myself up

So Pinterest and I are making amends. I bashed it down a month ago but now I ask forgiveness. I still am not sure I would choose it over other sites, but it does serve as a nice platform for sharing trends. As someone who is interested in the social media jobs popping up, I think it’s good to explore all of the sites.  So I throw in the towel on the Pinterest battle. 

This site, which used to be flooded with sorority wedding dreamers, is evolving to more than I had originally thought. Magazines such as Marie Claire even have an account….guess its not all that bad.  People are attracted to the idea of getting insider information and seeing someone’s inspirational board is just that.  This is Pinterest’s pitch in my eyes.  And as this article says, the variety of social media tools used today means finding ways to use them all differently.   

So follow me and see what inspires me (once I get my account that is.  I am still un easy about being told I am on a “waiting list” when I signed up.  Elitism–when I am on the bottom rung–doesnt work well with me.).  Then come back to my blog (where you are now!) and read about my experiences in this crazy life and then check out my Flickr for photos of my travels and dont forget to follow my Twitter handle so that you can get up to date 140 character or less memos about–you guessed it– ME!!!

How vain is this new media world we live in. I mean really?!

Stop and smell the flowers

Life can really knock you down sometimes.  For me I am most likely going to be swimming up a stream backwards with my head under water (yeah, that’s my version of being knocked down!) when I don’t balance things.  Too much focus on one thing and not enough on another=eventual break down.  Due to my love of doing new things, being social and acting on a whim, I can often forget one (or several) compartment(s) of my life.  I tend to overload on one thing (“go hard or go home” was always my motto in college) meaning some little boxes in my soul don’t get attention.  And then they get mad.  And we have a problem.  I can usually function for a while in this way but there will always be a moment when I snap out of it.  The resulting action can be positive (I realize what is happening and adjust accordingly) or negative (I have a panic attack)…its a toss-up.

I have found that exercise is my cure-all!  I spent the better part of my life working out at an intense level.  As a swimmer early in the morning and after school in the afternoon I would jump into a cold pool.  I spent hours staring at a black line on the bottom of the lane, repetitively doing laps.   This seems boring as I write it but it was therapeutic for me.  It was what I looked forward to when I had a bad day because I literally was able to shut off the world (easy when your head is submerged under water) and turn off the turbine speed wheels in my head.  The best was after these long workouts, when I would feel those endorphins kicking in.  I was calmer about whatever was bothering me, or I would feel able to tackle whatever it was I was wrestling with.

Although I am no longer on a swim team, and I am not waking up in the mornings to work out (thank god!), I still find that I NEED to get my heart rate up during the week to keep myself balanced.  I will automatically know when I havent been on a run in a while because my mood reflects it.  My thoughts piling up on my mental to do lists will begin to get the best of me.

Even with being aware of my need for exercise, it’s hard to make the time when there are millions of other things to do and not enough time to do even the most important tasks.

Lately, with my move to NYC, my job search, my financial situation, my friend search, my nomad lifestyle (is that enough yet…), I have not had time to even think of putting sneakers on my feet.  I got into a pattern of sleep, work, food, bed.  When I had an extra minute I tried to be social with friends and events, which I feel are important for the balance as well.  But they also exhaust me and when I had no “me time” (exercise time) I was loosing myself.  PS-when you’re job searching/selling your skills, losing yourself is the last thing you want to do.

(spoiler: a “snap-out-of-it” moment is about to happen)

I broke (snapped if you will) the other night.  I had enough of my mind’s noise and enough of putting others first.  I got home from work and although the sun was setting and my stomach wanted dinner, I laced up and went on a run.  A real run ladies and gentlemen. Not a jog. A run.  Full-out!  It was exhilarating and when I got home again I had put the puzzle pieces together in my head, sorted out some issues I had pent-up, and was ready to get the rest of the week back to my terms!  Please note that my problems were not SOLVED by a run, however, it did take my head out of the dark hole it was in.

Research shows that what I’m describing is nothing grandiose (here and here are articles on the subject).  I realize I am not breaking any boundaries with this connection of exercise and stress.   I, however, think that it is important to find our own balance and when we are over loading one part or another, we must get home and go for a run (so to speak)!