Thursday, April 24, 2014

Paris is Always a Good Idea

The Eiffel Tower at Sunset - Paris, France

After I cut down the list considerably I get around 10 emails a day from companies' mailing lists and one really hit a cord - Paris is Always a Good Idea.   That is one of those statements that I just can not disagree with, yes, Paris is a good idea.

Jetsetter - Paris is Always a Good Idea

I have been to Paris twice, once when I was six months old and do not recall at all ... duh.  The second time I visited I was ten and am sad to report that I did not appreciate the city for what it was.  The highlight of my trip, I can vividly remember, was our visit to Disneyland Paris.  The things that were supposed to be impressive - The Arc de Triomphe and The Louvre - I recall that there was a McDonalds's with ice cream cones by the arc and that the Mona Lisa was very small.  I would love to go back soon and in anticipation of this trip. I have put together a collection of top attractions that will be on my "must visit" list:

Paris is Always a Good Idea - Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe  - It is a problem that the biggest thing I remember about the The Arc de Triomphe  is the McDonald's close by.  For heaven sakes, it stands at the center of Place de l'Étoile the hub from which 12 grand avenues including the Champs Élysées.   On my first visit I did not climb the structure but this time I will have to and get a glimpse of the panoramic view from the terrace.

Champs-Elyse - The Avenue des Champs-Élysées i s arguably one of the most famous streets in the world with actual cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees and I remember none of it.  I am sure I took a stroll down this street but next time I must do so with my camera in tow.

Eiffel Tower - The Eiffel Tower is really just a given.  I did take the elevator up to the observation but we skipped dining at the restaurant high above Paris which I would love to do.

Paris is Always a Good Idea -  Notre-Dame de Paris / Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame de Paris -  Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a historic Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France.

The Lourve  - The Louvre or Louvre Museum is one of the world's largest museums and a historic monument and after re-reading Dan Brown's The Davinci Code earlier this month I really would love to go again and have a new appreciation for some of the lesser known art.

Musée d'Orsay  - The Musée d'Orsay is a museum on the left bank of the Seine and one I do not recall going to.  I really think I would have remembered a musuem housed in a train station - it is located in the former Gare d'Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900.

Paris is Always a Good Idea - Basilica of the Sacré Cœur

Basilica of the Sacré Cœur - The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica and often simply Sacré-Cœur, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris, France. Wikipedia

Jardin du Luxembourg  - Also known as the Luxembourg Gardens, is the second largest public park in the city and is actually the garden of the French Senate. It  contains just over a hundred statues, monuments, and fountains, scattered throughout the grounds and I would love to spend an afternoon, armed with cappuccino and pastry, exploring.

Montmartre Walk - This Parisian neighborhood is known for its neon signs and souvenirs of windmills but I have heard great things from friends who have visited over the past five years.   If you travel off the beaten path I am sure I could find something worth writing home about.  Plus, while I am in the neighborhood I will have to stop by the French cabaret Moulin Rouge as I have been obssessed with it since the movie won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design.

Paris is Always a Good Idea - Palais Garnier
images: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4/  5

Palais Garnier - Another spot I missed last time was the world famous opera house. The Palais Garnier boasts1,979-seats and has been home of the Paris Opera since it opened in 1875.

Centre Georges Pompidou - As I was ten the last time I was in Paris my parents literally had to drag my brother and I to some of the "must-sees" but we missed the main library. The Centre Georges Pompidou is a complex in the Beaubourg area and was designed in the style of high-tech architecture by the architects Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano.  It is worth a trip for the architecture alone because goodness knows I do not speak French!

Shopping in the Marais - Any street that advertises, " Stock up here on smart staples for your wardrobe, writing desk and larder," is somewhere I do not want to miss.  Even if I do not pick up stationery from one of the many papeteries on rue du Pont Louis-Philippe I will be in seventh heaven with a fresh macroon or crêpe to  accompany me on my window-shopping excusion.

With these twelve hot-spots in mind I already have a week long tripped planned,
the next steps are to figure out how and when I am going! 
(And I will try and work on number 61 on my 101 list)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

DIY Eyeshadow Palette

Do It Yourself Eyeshadow Palette
One of the items on my 101 in 1001 list is to go through all of the makeup  and throw out any items I do not use. As part of this process, which I plan to do before I move, I have decided to combine half a dozen eyeshadow palettes that I don not use for no other reason than I forget they are in my drawer.

I saw someone do this on Pinterest, of course, and researched a bunch of different options on how best to combine eyeshadow palettes. There are extreme budget ways you can do this with a DVD or CD case but that was a bit too DIY for me, so decided to take it the simply and more polished way bit fancier.

But first, there were only two colors I did not plan put into this palette, my two everyday favorites that I often take with me - YDK from Urban Decay and Kitten by Stila. To do this project I collected the shadows I wanted to combine and judged what size tray I would need. Based on the quantity I decided to purchase the a Large Black Z Palette and while I did not need nearly that many I had Amazon Prime send me 1/2 Round Disc Magnets with Adhesive Backing.  These were the only two things I needed to purchase for this DIY.  You can follow along with the simple steps below: 

DIY Eyeshadow Palette - Tools Neccessary

To start you need to use the iron to heat up the back of each eyeshadow pan.  You can use a straightener but I thought an iron would be easier. (Plus I was more willing to get sticky stuff on my iron versus my straightener).  By applying the heat it warms up, and thus loosens the glue allowing the pan to separate from the container.

Contrary to the instructions I read, you need to hold the eyeshadow palette to the iron for way more than ten seconds - I was averaging about 60.  Also, if your eyeshadows have stickers on the back, which almost all of them do with the brand and color, make sure you take those off because the iron will melt them immediately.

DIY Eyeshadow Palette - Iron and Urban Decay Shadow

You will need the sharpest knife you own with a very pointy-point to make sure to get between the eyeshadow palette and the actual pan. If it is too difficult to lift the pan and you are afraid of cracking the eyeshadow place it back on the iron for another few seconds.

DIY Eyeshadow Palette - Knife to Pry Tin Loose

One thing I do have to warn you - it starts to really smell like burning plastic.  With my Urban Decay single shadows in particular I would place it on for five seconds at a time to make sure it did not melt on to the iron.  When you are removing the pan  be careful that the knife does not slip and dig in to the pan. If it does, you will get a nice dent like the one below.

DIY Eyeshadow Palette - Urban Decay Remove Pan

The easiest part actually consisted of breaking apart this Urban Decay Book of Shadows 4 that I have had for the past two years. Once I ripped apart all of the cardboard holding it together the pans popped out quite easily - thank goodness!

DIY Eyeshadow Palette - Urban Decay Book of Shadows 4

Once all of the pans were successfully out of their cases I was able to begin applying the magnets.  For the small square shadows, I used one and for the larger pans I used three to give them some balance in the Z-Palette.

DIY Eyeshadow Palette - Magnets on Back of Pans

Buying magnets that already had adhesive on the back was a great idea! As the Z-Palette already has a magnet bottom the pans connected smoothly and it was easy to move each shadow around to find the best fit in the pan. 

DIY Eyeshadow Palette - Magnets on Pans

And after all that, ta-da the end!

DIY Eyeshadow Palette - Finished Palette

Over all, a relatively simple DIY and a great start to my goal of cleaning up my makeup!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Time I Got Slimed at Nickelodeon

Growing up I got to do something most nine-year old kids would be really jealous of - I got slimed at Nickelodeon Studios. Slime, the green semi-viscous substance, has been used on every messy game show on Nickelodeon in some way shape or form since the 1980s, and has become a staple of the Kids' Choice Awards. It is typically dumped on a person's head in an act of either humiliation or celebration, in an act called being slimed.

When visiting Universal Studios with my parents we dropped by a taping of the show Double Dare and according to my mom they picked me as we were walking in and asked if I would like to be slimed. Talk about a nine year old's dream come true.  I do not remember any details of the show I just remember them putting me in orange scrubs and telling me not to be scared.  I was not scared - absolutely thrilled and a little bashful, but absolutely over the moon. 

Now what the show was about or why exactly I was getting slimed, I do not recall but I do  remember them telling me to be absolutely sure that I plugged my ears and breathed out as it was dumped on my head.  The show's procedure told me I would be able to take a shower immediately afterwards and it was okay if I ate it because it was only green applesauce with chunks of pineapple in it.  In the shower immediately after I was grinning ear to ear and according to my mom all of the kids wanted to know why they could not be next.  

When I was writing this post I called my mom to ask her more about it and she just recalls that on that trip to Florida they were washing the pineapple out of my hair for days.  In terms of getting slimed, I am in great company - Katy Perry, Jack Black, and Heidi Klum all had the honor at the 2011 Kids' Choice Awards.  Apparently they have changed the formula since I sat in the kiddie pool at Universal Studios. It does look a lot greener now...

Nickelodeon 2011 Kids Choice Awards - Katy Perry, Jack Black, and Heidi Klum

Even though it was more than a decade ago,
 it will always be imprinted on my memory as one of the highlights of my child hood
 - thanks Nickelodeon! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Let's Sail Away, Nautical Inspiration

Right now I absolutely love the anchor trend. This spring nautical fashions are everywhere, and that especially includes the anchor emblem.  One of my daily reads is Classy Girls Wear Pearls and last week I was in awe of how simple and chic Sarah's nautical outfit, shown above, was.  Her use of anchors was abundant but not overpowering.   Here are some of my favorite pieces to flaunt the trend:

What do you think of the anchor trend? 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt

The Big Egg Hunt NYC

For those who celebrate, Happy Easter!  I have been saving this post for today as it could not be more fitting - in the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday there have been nearly 300 two-and-a-half-foot-tall eggs around the five boroughs of New York City.   These creations are scattered throughout the Big Apple as a part of the second annual Fabergé Big Egg Hunt.  Last year's event took place in London and at the completion raised raised $1.5 million for the Action for Children and Elephant Family charities.

I am in the love with Fabergé and have been since I first heard about them and they were the topic of one of my first blog posts.  Each one created these hundreds of eggs was by a different famous artist.  I have been so busy that while I have seen dozens of eggs over the past few weeks I have rushed by. However, I have stopped to take pictures of two "The Streets are Talking" made by Michael Owen and the "All-Ways New York" egg designed by Benjamin Shine.   The current bids are $550 and $10,000 respectively.

I have been following the hashtag for the Big Egg Hunt and have loved seeing different eggs and seeing them in context at different angles - you can find the feed here; #bigegghunt.  There are so many beautiful eggs but to show their diversity and the range of artistic interpretation, here are a dozen of my favorites

Fabergé Big Egg Hunt New York - Eggs 18  20 33

Faberge Big Egg Hunt New York - Eggs 62  72  86

Faberge Big Egg Hunt New York - Eggs 126  151  192

Faberge Big Egg Hunt New York - Eggs 200 272 276

I think some of these eggs are absolutely stunning. At the end of this exhibit all of the eggs are on sale and the proceeds go to charity. Putting together these collection I was astonished that many of the eggs have a current price of less than $1,000, for example the Moroc was $750 as of Saturday night and the Be Yourself egg was $600. How neat would it be to buy one and have one of a kind piece of modern art?   Too bad they still do not fit in my budget, I guess I will admire from afar.  I hope the prices surge today and they raise as much money as possible for charity!

Happy Easter!