Girly Wednesday ~ vi ~ a disclaimer

I would officially like to create a disclaimer to my Girly Wednesday series…one must not be a female human in order to enjoy the make up and hair and style things that I’ve been posting.  I just thought I’d get that out of the way for all of my favorite, totally in tuned with their hair and make up preferences, women AND men out there 🙂  I am just using the word girly to characterize those preferences towards the part of society that produces pink power tools, swoons over a feel-good love wins over all movie, likes a good self help book now and then about happiness or faith or whether everyone is hanging out without me, and appreciates a good cry now and again …I am not using the word girly to be gender exclusive 🙂

Anyway…  🙂

And with that I’m just going to add a feel good, cheesy picture of me and my hubby as we’re on the plane waiting to go to Paris…isn’t he cute?  🙂




While the people are away, the doggies shall play

When I first wanted to adopt a dog, my mom said that I wasn’t allowed to because I was then sure to bring that dog to her house.  My mother did not want more than 2 dogs in her house!  (Side note:  1 day after I brought Caya home to my parents’ house for the first time, my mom was calling herself Nonna when talking to Caya (because she was Caya’s Nonna or grandmother)…I think they must have hit it off  🙂  ) .  It was Cathy Moe, a very beloved family friend who basically played the part of mother of the bride at our wedding, who suggested that she could keep Caya sometimes for me when I went away (and this was even before I had officially adopted Caya!).  So began my relationship with the Moe Dog Spa 🙂

So, while Brett and I were in Paris, the pups got to stay at the Moe Dog Spa 🙂  There they were taught real rules about what dogs are, and are not, allowed to do and they got to play with another puppy, Champ.  It is so wonderful living in an area where we know such wonderful people.  The Moe family has been a home away from home for me throughout my stay here in Chambana (both undergrad and grad school) and have always been there for us.  Needless to say, both Inca and Caya had a great time at the Moes’!

They spent some quality time relaxing…


and a lot of time playing


and were exhausted when they got home


Where do you keep your dogs while you’re away?


Adventures in Paris Dining

Brett and I, as I already mentioned here, ate some really wonderful food while in France.


We tried many things, from street vendors to museum cafés.  At restaurants I usually translated the menu instead of asking for an english translation (some restaurants have these though if you need!)…food vocabulary is often very different than the vocabulary required to navigate around a city or have a normal conversation, so sometimes we didn’t end up with exactly what we expected. 😉   Nonetheless, everything was always really wonderful.  We ate mostly pretty traditional french food, though one night we ended up in a restaurant specializing in Réunionaisse cuisine and another night we had the best Italian food.  We always asked for a business card as we were leaving just for keepsakes 🙂

Window pastry shopping was always fun…


and one day we bought two desserts from a pâtisserie to try



Navigating the local markets that we found was a treat…(this one was in Compiègne)


and the market with these strawberries was in Paris


The local cuisine was completely delicious…



and we usually finished the small portions


Crêpes off the street, made right in front of you, were always a great lunch or snack idea


We tried steak tartare…I’m not sure we were completely ready for its presentation 🙂  Next time I think we’ll go for the au couteau variety which is a little different (although to tell you the truth the texture of the beef wasn’t my favorite)


The non-french cuisine was delectable


though on the non-french culinary front, I think the Italian food we had at this little restaurant was the best




We even ate dinner one night with two of my friends from France, Emily and Stephane.  The waiter graciously, and very well I might add, translated the entire menu for Brett (and me…sshhh! don’t tell that I found it helpful haha).  He would even point out on his own body where the cut of meat came from for some of the menu items.  At the end of the meal, the waiter overhead us joking about doggie bags in the US (and how they do not do doggie bags in France).  After teasing Emily and me about not being able to finish our desserts, he promptly gave us the unfinished portions in doggie bags…complete with some other kitchen odds and ends.  I received a couple of green onions and a single cherry tomato along with the rest of my chocolate dessert 🙂


We laughed a lot over this



As usual, all photos were taken with our iPhones except, in this case, the street view with the market and the cheese and baguette shot 🙂

Adventures in Paris Apartment Living

The apartment where Brett and I lived for a week in Paris was great.  This was our street (looking beyond the, straight off a plane, jet-lagged Mallory…)


We had a little, inconspicuous front door that led to a small inner stairway.


Four flights of stairs later we arrived at our apartment each day.  🙂  There was more than enough room for us in the 25 m2 apartment (think a 45 ft by 45 ft apartment)  🙂  It was definitely way better (and cheaper!) than staying in a hotel.  We had a small living room and kitchen.  We didn’t do any actual cooking but we bought milk, cereal, tea, coffee, and things like that for snacking and for breakfast each day.  I didn’t take many pictures of the apartment but I did take a panorama.  The panarama starts at the same point at which is finishes (so the painting you see on the left of the picture is directly to the right of the couch that you see on the right part of the picture)


Here’s another version that only shows half of the roomIMG_0570

Here are some pictures from the airbnb website


large (2)

large (3)

(the above three photos were taken by a certified airbnb photographer)

We did have a few issues with the shower at first…


🙂  Brett was trying to wash his feet off I think and the water came out of a different shower nozzle than he expected 🙂

Though I spent a lot of time searching for the apartment that we ended up renting, it was definitely worth the time spent.  Our stay was cheaper than if we had stayed in a comparably nice hotel and we had access to a washing machine, living room, and kitchen.  We also had a wonderful opportunity to intimately get to know one of the many neighborhoods of Paris.  It was a great little home away from home to come back to after a long day of sightseeing and exploring.


Girly Wednesday ~ v

While hanging around one evening, watching a movie and cruising youtube videos of new hairstyles, I came across this one for a ‘Vintage Bohemian Updo.’  The finished product looks much more complicated than the actual process (which is basically one of my criteria when I’m looking for a new hairstyle to try 🙂  ).


The woman in the video puts her hair into 5 ponytails.  The first is furthest to the left and is close to the nape of the neck.  The next one is slightly to the right of the initial pony tail and is placed about 2 inches higher on the head (away from the neck).  She does this alternatively for the next 3 ponytails, creating a zig-zag effect.  She then twists each ponytail individually, pinning it into a small bun with bobby pins so that all buns are secure and sit right up against one another.

For my first go, I tried to do it exactly like the woman in the video…I put my hair into 5 pony tails, twisted them into buns, and…it looked silly.  🙂  I just don’t have quite enough hair to make 5 pony tails on the back of my head.  The buns were quite small and didn’t touch one another.  Putting the ponytails closer together and using slightly damp hair may have helped but instead, I adapted the style a bit.  So for round 2, I tried to adapt the updo for medium length hair.  I settled on two, smaller pony tails on the back of my head (and in line with one another), keeping the hair closest to my face (think, tip of ears and forward) free.  So that this hair closest to my face wouldn’t get in the way, I also put each side in a small, temporary ponytail.


I twisted these two pony tails into buns and pinned them up against one another.


I then took the hair that was left over, closest to my face, and draped it around the top of the two small buns and then around the side opposite where the hair came from, pinning each side of hair in place.  Here is a photo of me, pulling one side of hair around the top of the twisted buns, and pinning it to the opposite side.


I felt that this wrapping method best dealt with the fact that I didn’t have enough hair to create very much volume with the back twisted buns, in order to produce a nice, full effect.  The hair draped around the buns also gives a kind of framed look to the twisty nature of knotted ponytails.


blog_hairBun2With some practice I think this look will be glorious and elegant.  I used quite a few bobby pins on this trial…after practicing an updo like this one a few times I usually need to use fewer and fewer pins, making the look appear more seamless.  This style could dress up an everyday outfit or even fit at an event as formal as a wedding.  Any thoughts on how to improve or rework this style?  Any ideas in what setting it might work best?  🙂