Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Shoes for Europe (English and French!)

It's weird the way it happens. But I turned 26 and awoke one morning to discover I SUDDENLY cared about shoe support and durability. I guess I really am getting older, but I really can't tolerate the flimsy, cheap, supportless shoes of my past. I picture walking for a day on cobblestones in one of the thin (but cute) pairs I got in China and my mind instantly cringes at the foot and back ache to follow. Quick, someone get me a bag of knitting and some chamomile tea! No really, that sounds delicious and a thrilling way to pass a few hours...

I guess I'm not TOO old and boring because this whole topic came up thanks to a trip to Europe this summer. I have the immense privilege of attending the wedding of my French BFF as well as spending over a month frolicking across the continent and visiting friends and places familiar and new.

But what shoes shall I wear?

I went to R.E.I. with my dad's $17.00 rebate in my hand during their 20% off sale and promptly fell in love with TWO pairs of shoes for Europe. Keen Emerald City on top and Patagonia Maha Breathe on bottom. The Keens were exactly what I had come in for: supportive sandals I could walk all day in without running the danger of being mistaken for a whitewater rafter. The Patagonia's were as light and breathable as sandals and the perfect plain flat to go with anything. I tried to buy both til I realized R.E.I's 20% only applied to one item... and we're talking two pairs of $90.00 shoes here. I wept as I replaced the Patagonias back in their box and whispered "I'll find you online!" and bought my first pair of Keens. I made this choice based on positive recommendations of Keen-loving friends and some online reviews warning that the Patagonias fall apart quickly and gave some reviewers bad heel blisters. I have not had much success finding them affordable online :(

As soon as a sunny sandal-friendly weekend rolled around, I took my $90.00 Keens that I had bought for $55.00 (sorry was I bragging?) for a test drive. I walked all over the city, including to my local Ace Hardware, where I impulsively bought the materials to start an herb garden. I'm happy to report, my Keens passed the Shoes for Europe test with flying colors.

Skirt from Aerie
White T hand me down from friend
Denim jacket hand me down from friend
Glasses from random gas station in Louisiana

I give these Keens a 9/10 for comfort, support, and attractiveness. Can't wait to set them loose in Europe this summer!

Do you have any exciting trips planned? What are your special MUST BRINGS for travel?


Please excuse me as I practice my rusty French... Francophones, please feel free to correct and advise me on my language! Merci!! 

C’est bizarre comment il arrive. Mais j’avais mon 26e anniversaire, et le matin prochaine, je me suis réveillée et TOUT DE SUITE je trouve que le support et le qualité des chaussures est important. Peut-être je suis vraiment grandi, mais je ne peux pas accepter les chaussures bonne marches, mal fait et sans soutien comme quand j’étais plus jeune. Quand j’imagine les promenades dans les vieux villes pavés, j’ai peur de la mal au pieds et mal au dos qui suit. Vite, quelqu’un donne-moi mon tricot et du thé de camomille! Vraiment, ça a l’aire délicieux et divertant!

Peut-être je ne suis pas TROP vieille et terne, parce que ce sujet est monté grâce à une voyage en Europe cette été. Je suis très contente d’assister la marriage de ma BFF française et aussi voyager partout sur le continent European pour voir les amis et les places vieux et nouveaus.

Mais questce que je vais porter comme chaussures?

Je suis allée à REI avec $17.00 crédit pendant leur 20% rabais. Je suis tombée tout de suite dans l'amour avec deux paires de chaussures pour Europe. Keen Emerald City haut and Patagonia Maha Breathe bas. Les Keens c’était exactement ce que je cherche: sandales confortables pour marcher partout sans ressembler à un canoteur d'eau vive. Les Patagonias était léger et les chaussures parfaits pour aller avec n’importe quoi. J’ai voulu acheter les deux, mais le rabais c’était pour UNE chose… et les chaussures coûtent $90! Donc, j’ai pleuré et j’ai dit “au revoir, je vous trouverai sur l’internet!” à les Patagonias et j’ai acheté mes premiers Keens! J’ai choisi les Keens à cause des revues negatives de les Patagonias. Je n’ai pas encoure les trouvée à bon marché sur l’internet.

Aussitôt qu’il fait beau, j’ai fait un examen avec mes Keens de $90.00 que j’ai achetée pour $55.00 (je suis désolé, je me vante). J'ai marché partout et j’ai acheté des herbs pour un nouveau jardin. Je suis très fier de vous dire que les Keens ont réussi leur examen bellement!

Je porte:
Jupe de Aerie
T-shirt d’une amie
Veston d’une amie
Lunettes de soleil d’une station-service à Louisiana

Les Keens a gagné 9/10 pour le confort, le soutien, et le style. J’ai hâte de les porter en Europe cette été!

Est-ce que vous avez les projets pour voyager? Qu’est ce que vous DEVEZ amener pendant les voyages?  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Do it at home! Exfoliating Sugar Scrub

If you're like me, then your skin is probably dry and itchy and complaining about being cooped up in long sleeves/leggings for the last few months. Get ready to debut your largest organ for spring with an inexpensive, easy to make shower scrub! 

This is an "if I can do it so can you" guarantee! Don't buy expensive exfoliating scrubs when you have these simple ingredients at home:

1. Sugar (white, brown, sugar cain, whatever)
2. Oil (I use olive oil because it's usually on hand, but almost any kind will work and have different benefits for your skin).

Those are the two basic ingredients to a natural, inexpensive scrub. Optionally you can add these other favorites of mine:

3. Dr. Bronner's soap in your favorite scent to add some lather to your scrub.
4. Essential oil in your favorite scent. I like lavender.

Ridiculously Easy Directions: Start with sugar and slowly add oil (liquid is best) while fluffing with a fork. I always overestimate how much oil I need but there is no official proportion, it's just till it reaches a consistency you like. I like mine pretty dry. If you add Dr. Bronner's, only use a little bit because it can get slimy. Be sure to figure it in to your sugar to liquid ratio. If you don't add Dr. Bronner's, just a few drops of essential oil will do nicely for aroma.

To Use: This scrub is for in-shower use. Just scoop a bit into your hands and gently rub into skin where TLC is needed until it dissolves. Rinse like you normally would.

If you make this scrub, play around with adding other herbs and natural ingredients too! With fresh, fragrant ingredients, I can't imagine how you could go wrong. Let me know how it goes!

Monday, April 1, 2013

firmoo + giveaway

Wearing fake glasses...

I know it's completely silly of me, and I'm sure people who actually need them find it ridiculous, but I must confess I own and occasionally wear several pairs of fake/lesnless glasses!

I think I started my love of sporting fake glasses when I lived in China.

1. People had no shame about wearing or doing things "just for fashion" so this trend was everywhere and it felt normal to buy and wear glasses for fashion instead of necessity.

2. Wearing frames actually has an emotional impact and ability to make me feel a little bit hidden. This was so valuable in China when I got stared at just for going to the grocery store. Sometimes I was tired/sick/grumpy and NOT in the mood for attention; glasses let me go forth with a feeling of being "in disguise."

3. I found fake glasses especially comforting when I got a crazy rash on my face! I know people could still see I was foreign/had a rash on my face, but the glasses still made me feel protected somehow.

I still get in that same mood to feel inconspicuous from time to time so frames like these from Firmoo can come in handy. I use them on "shy" days or "bad eye days" as I call them (you know when your eyelid is puffy or your eyes just look tired??) And... I'm not kidding... I really am this big of a cliche... but glasses can also make you feel smart! I like to throw them on when I know I'm going to have a busy, efficient day. They help me remember the part.

 Firmoo was so nice to offer me a pair of glasses in exchange for trying them out and writing a blog post about it. I like these lenses I ended up choosing, they're kind of scholarly and mousy, great for "bad eye days" or "need to feel smart" days. I could have tolerated them being even bigger and rounder. Sometimes you just have to go big or go home when it comes to being a glasses faker.

A good thing about Firmoo glasses is that these cute frames are for the vision impaired and the wannabes alike! If you're a super faker like me, you can even order them without the plastic lenses and just have the frames. Sometimes I prefer that because I can see better without the fake plastic lens. The irony of this is not lost on me. I know people probably think I am so strange when they notice I have no glass in my glasses... But I can't help it! I'm just a big ole poser.

Do you want some Firmoo glasses, too? Whether you are a legitimate glasses-needer or a simple frames-for-fashion lover, Firmoo has you covered.
I am giving away 6 vouchers for $30 at Firmoo
You can choose from their Designer Frames (which I LOVE) here. You're just responsible for S&H. This giveaway is open internationally to places Firmoo delivers to. Check here to make sure your country is covered. 

How to enter: 
Comment with which pair is your favorite and an email address I can reach you at. For extra entires, "like" Firmoo and Zombielace on Facebook. You can also share this giveaway on your social media of choice. Let me know which you do so I can give you the extra entries! Giveaway ends May 1st. 

A few of my faves:




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