Sunday, December 30, 2018

KIKO Cosmetics

I walked past Kiko Cosmetics every day in Dijon and I finally decided to stop in my last week in France to look for a new highlighter but ended up coming across the best lipsticks and lipliners while I was there! 

I have found the most long wearing lipsticks and lipliners at the most amazing prices at Kiko!

I get all my face makeup from Sephora, but Sephora is so expensive and overpriced.

I am a drugstore kind of lipstick gal, that’s why when I found Kiko, drug store prices but high-end quality I fell in love.

I think the lipliners are comparable to the Urban Decay 24/7 lip liners except for 1/10 of the price.

The lipsticks are so buttery and paired with the lipliners they last through hours of eating and drinking.
I wore them for Thanksgiving dinner in Dijon and Christmas dinner in New York.

HUGE fan and I will be purchasing them in the states, and so should you!

I am wearing the same lip pencil in 505 with the same lipstick in 107.

I also like to pair lip pencil 505 with the 103 lipstick for a very pretty nude color!


Friday, December 28, 2018

Sweater Weather

I have been on the hunt for a new white cable knit sweater since last year.
I finally found the cutest one from J.Crew and I am so excited to share it with you all!

The first day I wore it, I wore it with jeans and my Vince Camuto brown boots and my Tiffany peal studs.
Today, I decided to jazz it up with my green American Eagle jeggings and some gold J.Crew tassel earrings!

I'm in love! Go get yourself one!


Thursday, December 27, 2018

Study Abroad Capsule Collection with Outfit Ideas

One suitcase, four months, summer, winter and fall! Challenge accepted!

2 wool turtlenecks
Wool sweater
3 cotton sweaters
White button down
Chambray shirt
Blue button down
2 knit shirts
Navy blue t-shirt
Striped t-shirt
White and black t-shirt
White t-shirt
White lace top
Navy blue tank top
Gray tank top
4 going out shirts

3 pairs of shorts
Dark wash jeans
Medium wash jeans
Black jeans
Flare jeans
Maroon jeggings
Green jeggings
Wrap skirt
Printed skirt
White jeans

Denim dress
5 summer dresses
Long sleeve dress

Trench coast
Navy blue puffer vest
Denim jacket
Black quilted jacket
Winter parka
Black moto jacket

Satin pjs
All bras
All underwear
Fuzzy socks
Cotton socks
2 sports bras
3 short sleeve t-shirts
2 workout shorts
Long sleeve t-shirt

Black belt
Cheetah belt
Baseball cap
Winter cap
Wool scarf
Blanket scarf/shall
Light weight scarf
Neck scarves
Leather gloves

Black boots
Flip flops
Cheetah flats
Black flats
Sperry classic boat shoes
Black ankle booties

Bathing suit


I ended up buying a turtleneck, navy blue sweater, long sleeve dress, flare jeans, ankle booties, and another sweater. I also bought a new neck scarf and a blanket scarf/shall while I was in France. But besides that, I didn’t buy many clothes. Rather, I saved my money for travel!


Lavender dress with pink neck scarf
Pink shorts with stripped shirt
Printed skirt with white tee shirt
Stripped shirt with printed scarf
Stripped dress with printed scarf
Printed shorts with denim shirt
Denim shirt with pink shorts

Striped shirt with flare jeans
Striped shirt with colored pants
White sweater with green pants
White sweater with red pants
White sweater with flare jeans
White sweater with black pants and black boots
White tee with red kerchief and flare pants
Chambray with blue sweater over it
Blue sweater with green pants
Blue sweater with red pants
Blue sweater with white pants
Gray turtleneck with white pants
Purple sweater with white pants
White tee with burgundy pants
White button down with red kerchief
White button down with green pants
White button down with red pants
White button down with black moto jacket
White button down with blanket scarf/shall
White button down with flare pants
Blanket Scarf/shall with denim shirt
Blanket Scarf/shall with blue sweater
Blanket Scarf/shall with all black
Blanket Scarf/shall with turtlenecks
Blanket Scarf/shall with brown sweater
Turtleneck with black moto jacket
Gray turtleneck with red pants
Gray turtleneck with green pants

I got really creative with my outfits this semester! I realized that I had so many basics that it was so easy to make simple and chic outfits. To spice it up, I would add a big statement necklace or a neck scarf!

I realized I could totally live out of one suitcase. It is possible, even for this shopaholic. By the end of four months I was tired of wearing the clothes I had, and I was ready to go home to my big closet with lots of options.
But here is proof, that it is possible to create a capsule collection!


Sunday, December 23, 2018

My Study Abroad Experience

34 cities, 9 countries in 4 months.

I just barely returned home from studying abroad! I lived in Dijon, France for the semester, but hardly.

I saw 25 cities in France and I traveled to 9 different countries.

It was the best four months of my life. An experience of a lifetime that I am going to try to summarize for you!


As you know, I studied abroad with the Wake Forest Dijon program. It was the absolute BEST study abroad program!
Like I said, we saw 25 cities just in France! It was AMAZING! I wouldn’t have seen the country otherwise. I got to visit Provence, Burgundy, Normandie, Val de Loire, Paris and Alsace all with my Wake Forest group.
All the trips were just about completely paid for; hotels, group meals, guided tours, and museums.


Sorry mom and dad, but we definitely traveled more than we studied! We took two classes from August 17-October 1 while we traveled around to the different regions of France and became fully immersed in the French language and culture.

University started in October at the University of Burgundy at the language institute. You can read all about my feelings on the classes at a French university HERE.
Long story short, university was so easy compared to Wake. I had little homework and I really just got to enjoy my time in France and in other countries because I didn’t have class on Fridays!


I got to live with the sweetest host parents and the cutest kitty! You can read more about them HERE! I had a wonderful experience living with my host parents. They were so kind. The people all over France and all over Europe were generally very lovely.


Also, did I mention that with the Wake Forest Dijon program I got an allowance each week of €150?! Oh yea, there was that! Another amazing reason to go on this program!

Traveling and life abroad was expensive but not as bad as I thought it was going to be. But, save your money!


I cannot speak (get it) more highly of the Wake Forest Dijon program.
The best part for me, and one of the main reasons that I studied abroad in France, was to improve my French: reading, writing and the most difficult, speaking.

I am confident to say that my French dramatically transformed over these past four months. I feel fluent in speaking. My grammar and writing have greatly improved, as well as my comprehension skills. I love the French language and cannot wait to continue to learn and improve.


I cried when I left New York because I was nervous of the new culture and new country I was going to experience. But fortunately for me, I didn’t experience culture shock. I adapted so well to France. The culture isn’t as different as we think it is from the US. The biggest difference and difficulty for me was the language.
Maybe it was because I had already traveled to Europe before and was just there this summer, but I was really not surprised by the culture.
I was also not home sick, fortunately. I do go to school in North Carolina which is far away from home, so maybe that’s also why. And as my mom would say, “with technology these days” it is so easy to stay in contact with loved ones. The time difference was a bit hard at first, but once we figured it out, all was well.


I loved living in France because of the amazing food!
I love escargot! Beef Bourgogne was delicious.
I wasn’t a huge fan of red wine before coming to France, but now I am in love! Especially with 2015 Bourgogne Pinot Noir!

I love the food and the wine culture in France! I would love to take the style of drinking and eating for two hours every lunch and dinner every day back to the states with me. I learned that Europeans in general just love life more than Americans. They appreciate it more. They work to live and not live to work.


I made the most amazing new friends and strengthened relationships with old ones! You will make friends that will last you a life time. Putting people into new and scary situations makes everyone’s true colors come out. My study abroad experience was especially sweet because I met a great guy.


The night life in Dijon was eh, but bar hopping was a lot of fun! Being a legal age to drink was a lot of fun. I felt like a real adult. Clubbing was definitely the best in Barcelona!


Traveling was so fun. Exhausting, but fun. I got to see so many cities in France but also in Europe! Once you are in Europe, travel is way easier than if you were to come from the states and go around Europe! That French Visa is magical! Three-day weekends were amazing and two full days was just enough time to get a feel for a new city.

But whoever said flights are dirt cheap in Europe is a liar!
Train tickets or bus tickets are way less expensive.
Flight tickets in Europe are the same prices as tickets in the states.

The one thing that I didn’t like about living in Dijon was that it was a little bit of a hassle to get to the airport.
We trained most places because it just made more sense time and money wise and the trains went straight out of Dijon! TGV trains are amazing! They need to bring them to the states.
We flew a couple of times out of CDG, but there aren’t that many direct trains to the airport, but we made it work!


Overall, I matured dramatically. I was legal to drink for the first time ever. I traveled around Europe with my friends. We made reservations at hotels and booked flights.
We were real adults, minus the cooking and cleaning and the work part. But real adults with complicated travel situations and life situations in general.

I also learned a lot about myself, like I do every year! I learned to go with the flow, and that I can’t control everything. I am such a planner and so type “A” but I realized you can’t plan everything and it is SO FUN being spontaneous! You can’t worry about things that are out of your control!!

I was sad to leave the US when I came in August and now I am sad that I left France.
One day we will meet again ma belle!

(Also, if this blog post didn’t make you want to study abroad or travel or go on the Wake Forest Dijon program, then you better re-read!)

Thanks for reading



Dress up Your Hair

Dress up your hair and give your jewelry box a break!

Tired of just wearing a boring pony tail?
Me! Everyday!

I found this little baby in J Crew and I couldn’t be more in love.

Kate Middleton even wore a blue bow from J Crew in her hair!

High pony, low pony, half-up half-down, add the bow!


Thursday, December 20, 2018

34 Hours in London, England

Tea with the queen?
Lunch with Kate Middleton?

I wish!

My last trip before heading home to the states was London, England with my best friend, Michelle!

We both landed Friday afternoon, checked into our Hilton London Olympia hotel and got ready for afternoon tea at Scoff & Banter tea room!
It was a huge and delicious spread.
Tea, crumpets, cake, finger sandwiches and a bottle of prosecco.
There was so much food it doubled as our lunch and dinner.

Stomach and hearts full we headed to Piccadilly Circus to see the The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. A very touching show that started on Broadway, won 5 Tony Awards and is now in London.
The tickets were £50! Way less expensive than Broadway tickets and the same quality show.

We had ONE full day in London and we had a long laundry list of places to see and things to do.

We started our first and only day in London at Kensington palace which was right next to our hotel.
Compared to the beautiful chateaux in France, (Click HERE to see for yourself) Kensington palace could not compare.
Except, Kensington palace did have beautiful diamond tiaras. And Kensington did have an exhibit all about Diana. Some of her dresses were displayed.

After Kensington palace we hopped on the Big Bus with our London Passes, highly worth it because every museum, palace, and church in London is extremely expensive. Kensington palace was £23 without the London Pass, and the London Pass was £65 for only one day! It’s definitely worth it.

Our first hop off the bus was at Trafalgar Square.

The next was Westminster Abbey. It closes on Saturday’s at 1pm, so we missed the cut off to enter and see the place where Kate Middleton, my LOVE, got married.

We walked past Parliament and Big Ben, which was under construction.

The Big Bus took us over the Tower Bridge and to the Tower of London where we saw the beautiful Crown Jewels of England.

Michelle and I had our annual Christmas dinner sadly without Giorgia at Ham Yard Bar and Restaurant. A very trendy restaurant with a huge bar scene in Soho.
It was not my favorite restaurant, but I would definitely return to go to the bar.

Sunday morning, we took the tube and explored Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and Harrods very quickly before taking a car to the airport.

A very short trip but a very sweet one.
We got a taste for London.
It’s beautiful, I loved it and I will be back!

Au revoir, England and au revoir Europe!


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A Week in Eastern Europe: Budapest and Vienna

Budapest, Hungary and Vienna, Austria

I am officially done studying abroad in France!
But I am not done traveling around Europe yet.
Kate, Victoria and I decided to plan a girl’s trip and visit some new cities before we left Europe.
I am in love with traveling and just couldn’t bear to stop yet.

We said goodbye to France on the morning of the 8th.
We kissed our host parents, our friends and our home goodbye and made our way to CDG.
I cried as we took off from Paris.
France, you have a special place in my heart and I will miss you dearly.

But there are no tears in traveling!


We made it to Eastern Europe late Saturday night and checked into our hotel, City Hotel Unio Superior.
A three-star hotel very centrally located in the capital of Hungary.
It was not the most luxurious hotel we have every stayed at, but it was fine.

Hungary was very inexpensive. For example, a 25-minute taxi ride from the airport to the center of the city was $10…
Hungary does not use the Euro, but their currency is very funny.
For example, 500 Forint is equal to about $1.76. It was so funny, we would be paying for meals in the 1000s when really it was just a couple of dollars.

Day 1

We ate breakfast at this delicious café and luggage locker place, Lion's Locker. The owner was so sweet and welcomed us with kind arms into his restaurant.

We spent the day walking around and exploring the city until it started to rain, and we decided to buy tickets for the Hop On, Hop Off bus.

The first stop on the Hop On, Hop Off bus tour was Hero’s Square on the Buda side.
We hopped back on the bus and crossed the Elizabeth bridge, that connects Buda to Pest.
Pest was way prettier.

I really didn’t know that Buda and Pest were two different cities that became united, I always thought it was a joke!

The bus tour brought us to the top of the hill in Pest, where the Citadel was located with very pretty views of the whole city.

The Hop On, Hop Off bus was kind of a waste of money. We only used it for two hours or so, and then gave up hopping on and off.

Budapest was so small that it was easy to walk just about everywhere.

It was very cold. Wool sweaters, puffer vest, big coat with hats, gloves and scarves were required!

After making it back to Buda, we walked along the Danube river and saw the shoe statues on the Danube Bank. During the Second World War when the Nazi’s rounded up the Jews in Hungary, they tied them together and drowned them in the river.

All throughout Budapest there were many statues and monuments about the war. Unfortunately, the country has still not accepted the history of the dictators and is still having a hard time grabbling with the events that took place.

Our next stop was the beautiful Parliament building.

Saint Stephen’s Basilica was also beautiful.

The Christmas markets had beautiful Christmas tree ornaments and other little gifts that I can’t wait to share with my family!
The markets were pretty, but nothing compares to Strasbourg!

After a lap around the markets, we went to the Szechenyi Bath.
We knew that if we were going to Budapest we had to go to the baths.
These thermal baths date back to the Roman Empire.

We bought little changing rooms, put on our suits, rented towels and made our way down to the baths.
It was just like a giant hot tub.

But it was kind of a weird experience.
All ages of people were in the baths, all bathing but also all checking each other out. There were some interesting people in the baths…

It was a cool bucket list item thing to do. I’m glad we did it and I am glad I never have to do it again.
Which is exactly how we felt about the Amsterdam Ice Bar.

We returned to the Christmas markets for a hardy dinner before heading to bed.
We sure didn’t go hungry in Hungary.

Unfortunately, our stomachs could not tolerate the strong meat, potatoes and cabbage that was on our plates and we suffered the consequences the following day.
We also made a purchase of the famous spiral cake, Kürtóskalács, that also did not rest well on our stomachs.

Day 2

Monday morning, we were feeling the effects of the dinner from the evening before but decided to power through.
We went to According to My Mother for breakfast- it was subpar.

We crossed another bridge, with beautiful lions and went to the Pest side to visit the Buda Castle and the church on Castle Hill.

It was very cold and windy on top of the hill, but the views of the whole city were breathtaking.

Next to the church was Fisherman’s Bastion where we got caught in the rain, I would have preferred it to be snow.

After a quick lunch we returned to our hotel to snuggle and watch a movie in bed.

Hungary was not my favorite country. The architecture was beautiful but the country in general is a bit behind the times. It was a cool place to see and experience and I am so glad I got to visit it with my favorite pests!



What a beautiful city!

We arrived on the 11th via train from Hungary.
We were immediately stunned by the cold and bits of snow falling from the sky.
We walked around a bit that afternoon and explored the city!

Day 1

Thursday was our big exploration day!

We started at St. Stephen’s Cathedral (the same name as the famous church in Budapest).

We made our way to the Jewish museum.

My favorite part of the day was when we took a tour of the state opera house, what I would do to go see an opera there.
Sold out to 2,000 plus audience members each night. And each night a new opera.

To stay away from the cold, we went to the Albertina museum where they displayed the absolute BEST Claude Monet paintings I have ever seen!

We then went to Rathhause for some beautiful Christmas market exploring! We love Christmas markets, but I have to say Strasbourg still has the best ones.

Dinner was at Zum Leupold for some traditional German cuisine.

Before bed, we grabbed a drink with some friends that are studying abroad in Vienna! It’s great having friends that study abroad in so many cities, I feel like I have friends all over the world.

Day 2

For our last day in Vienna we went to the summer palace of the royal family, the Schönbrunn Palace.
A very beautiful chateau, a mini Versailles, you might say.

The next palace we went to was the Royal Family’s Imperial Palace, in the center of the city, Hofburg Palace, where we visited the Imperial Treasury and got to see all the bling!

We found more Christmas markets in the museum quarter before our delicious final dinner at Glacis Beisl. I had boar stew. It was the perfect way to warm up after a day of walking around in frigid temperatures.

Vienna was beautiful, and I would love to return! Hopefully one day I can attend an opera there or frolic around the gardens at the palace!

Next stop, London, England! My final stop before heading home!

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