An American in Paris: Day 3

Lizzie does Paris

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

Travel Journal Continued…

“Today, it is simply perfect outside. A little bit on the windy side, but the skies are blue and the sun is shining. It’s Louvre day.

Lizzie does Paris

Lizzie does Paris - The Louvre

I find the Louvre to be rather overwhelming. My cousin Sterling did recommend a book she let me borrow that has the whole contents mapped out and well explained. But I preferred to just wander my way through this time around. When I return one day, (and I absolutely will return one day!) I’ll bring that book and make a concerted effort to seek out all the art, artifacts, antiquities, etc. that most intrigue me and hunt them down. A Louvre scavenger hunt…that’s what I’ll do next time!

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Lizzie does Paris - The Louvre

Lizzie does Paris instastory - The Louvre

Part of feeling a little “Meh” at the sight of the Mona Lisa stems purely from my overwhelming reaction to Monet’s Waterlillies. In comparison, I just have to say…the Mona Lisa didn’t do it for me. It’s not her fault that Monet so completely stole my heart the previous day!! But the response of the crowd…and boy, do the crowds respond to her, that made it very interesting to watch. People fought their way to the front of the line…just to find out that yes…she really does live there.

Lizzie does Paris instastory - Mona Lisa Louvre

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Lizzie does Paris - The Louvre

Throughout my Paris adventures…you’ll see plenty of photos taken by someone else. More on that later. But a quick note…some people get it right (pictured below) and some people don’t know what they’re doing. Hedge your bets and ask lots of different people. If you keep trying, eventually you’ll get one you like!

Lizzie does Parie - the Louvre

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Look…I’m not shy about taking selfies! Especially when I’m by myself. Yep…I want a picture of myself in this magical place. And yep…I can probably do it better than a stranger passing by. So, yep…I’m taking selfies!!

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I got a little Pain du Chocolat before leaving the museum and in line I met a charming man from Turkey who was an artist and was immediately drawn to me because of my bright hair. We chatted over our tea and Pain. He drew me a picture on his business card and requested that we stay in touch.


Next stop: Notre Dame. I walked over there and as I did, the skies continued to open and the day grew brighter and more picturesque!!

I mean…

Lizzie does Paris - Notre Dame

Lizzie does Paris - Notre Dame

I had a mind to attend morning mass at Notre Dame today, since it’s Sunday, but I’m glad I skipped it. Catholicism really is not for me and listening to just a sliver of their afternoon service left me with the sense that sleeping in was the right choice for me today!

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Here’s an example of a stranger NOT getting the picture I was looking for. I wanted Notre Dame to be in it, but look what they captured instead…a charming action shot of me being candidly me. This is what I love about what a complete stranger can add to your gallery. Let them try!

The Cathedral is as breathtaking as one could imagine. Outside it towers above you, tall and majestic. The inside is equally as gorgeous. Though I wondered to myself ‘how do people attend church in places like this?’

Lizzie does Paris - Nore Dame

Lizzie does Paris - Notre Dame

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It feels too grand and monumental compared to my church at home. It seems too much of a landmark to be able to actually worship here. But perhaps that is putting a constraint on God that does not exist. He is as present here in this massive behemoth as he is in the most intimate chapels. So perhaps it’s merely me that can’t seem to connect to His spirit here. That’s not God’s fault at all!

While I was here, I added an extra stop on my pilgrimage (which you will hear more about in the next post.) I lit a candle for my Gran, who just passed away in August. And I lit one for Wally, my dear friend who was taken away, just months ago. I lit one for me and I lit one for the people dearest to both of them. And it was very powerful!

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I stopped for some lunch right next to Notre Dame. I had my first glass of New Year’s Eve champagne!!

Lizzie does Paris - lunch time

My waiter is quite the charmer and wanted to take a picture with me. I’m not sure if the maitre’d meant to take a selfie or just didn’t know how the camera worked, but this is the souvenir I went home with that day:

Lizzie does Paris

On my way to Saint Chapelle, I stumbled upon Pont Neuf…aka: one of the many (now that it’s so popular) Love Bridges…aka: the purpose of my emotional pilgrimage. Luckily, I thought to put my family’s ribbons in my purse this morning, just in case. I had no idea when I was going to find it, but here it is.

Lizzie does Paris - Pont Neuf (Love Bridge with locks)

My pilgrimage was completed on New Year’s Eve. How perfect is that. But more on that later!!


Lizzie does Paris - Map

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Next stop: Saint Chapelle, a recommendation from my cousin, Sterling and her husband, Wesley. They preferred it to Notre Dame. And I have to say I agree, as far as the interior is concerned. There was a significant amount of construction happening around the exterior and the pure majesty of Notre Dame’s exterior is truly hard to beat.

But Saint Chapelle sure gave it the college try!

Lizzie does Paris - Saint Chapelle

But the interior makes think of a line from the song ‘Maria’ in West Side Story: ‘…say it loud and there’s music playing, say it soft and it’s almost like praying.’

Lizzie does Paris - Saint Chapelle

That is the best way I can accurately describe the differences in the 2 churches. Just blocks from one another. One is big and bold and makes you think of bright, loud music. The other is a whisper when you step inside. It’s intimate and close and I could just imagine…when you find God inside Saint Chapelle, He’s sitting on a bench. He looks up…sees you and He nods, beckoning you to come over and join Him. You tiptoe, as not to upset the quiet you find there. You take a seat and He speaks so softly and…’it’s almost like praying.’

Lizzie does Paris - Saint Chapelle

After Saint Chapelle, I trekked it back to my little room at Libertel Gare du Nord Suede…Room 105 for a nap and a costume change. It was New Year’s Eve after all. And I had a date with a Tower…

Today was rather exhausting and I took a longer nap than planned, something that is becoming a habit over here. I rallied pretty quickly and changed clothes. It was finally time to break out my pretty, flowery dress and pointy-toed shoes. I don’t have that much walking planned for tonight, so they should serve me well. (I’ll do a whole blog about my Paris wardrobe…don’t worry!)

Lizzie does Paris
Dress from Goodwill            Belt & Shoes from OMG Thrift

I have a date with a tall, sparkly tower named Eiffel and she will not be kept waiting.


I MEAN….anything I was dreaming of absolutely pales in comparison to how she shines! I’m so glad I saved her for tonight…on New Year’s Eve.

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She and I will start the night off right. I’m trying to remember if I felt this way about Times Square when I first saw it, or the Statue of Liberty. I think I felt really close to this when I saw Niagara Falls for the first time. I am small and the world is so big. These wonders have been here long before I came around and will remain long after I’m gone. Generations have stood here and had their breath taken away…just like me right now.

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Legacy is something that I have thought a lot about this year. What we bring into this world…what we leave behind. Do we leave it just as we found it? Or do we make our mark and change what we see for the better? The Eiffel Tower has me thinking more and more about Legacy. What is mine? I did not anticipate these to be the thoughts running through my head. But here they are, just the same.

Every hour, on the hour, she sparkles like a diamond. I stayed for 2 hours and watched her sparkly night show twice.

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At the base of her, there was a little market with such things as mulled wine (Vin Chaud) and pretzels. Crepes and hot chocolate. Seeing as I had big plans to eat a fancy dinner somewhere later, I opted just for the hot wine.

I found a perch to drink my wine and watch my Tower (for tonight, she shines just for me!) I considered staying for a 3rd sparkly showing, that would make 3 hours of Eiffel Tower gazing, but leave it to some sleazy man to come and try to borrow a piece of my perfect night. I let him talk to me for a little while. He spoke no English and seemed harmless enough. I was surrounded by people and in no real danger. But he just kept talking and weaseling and when he Skyped a friend of his to show off the “Très Jolie American” he’d found…and when that friend texted him ‘She sleep white you?’ I was officially done. He showed me the text and I LAUGHED IN HIS FACE, to be quite honest with you!

Allow me the briefest moment to rant…This brassy, assy Frenchman merely called me beautiful. Is that all it takes these days? It’s the most basic thing you can do for a women, call her beautiful! Women are beautiful…this is simple fact! You don’t get props or sex for having eyes. AMIRIGHT?!!

Side Note: It has taken me years to feel like I deserved more than a sloppy compliment from a stranger or anyone else for that matter. And there’s no turning back now!!

Lizzie does Paris - Champs Elysees

Moving on…These shoes were a mistake for New Year’s Eve. While the soles of my feet are holding up just fine, it’s the pinky toes that are suffering the worst of it. This is what happens when you don’t plan for all contingencies. Such as, going off schedule and deciding to take in the New Year’s Eve shindig at the Champs Elysées. That was not part of my plan! In fact, it definitely was not originally on my master list, I just added it moments before diverging from my well thought out and perfectly formed original plan…which included the Eiffel Tower, a fancy dinner and then my warm, comfy bed.

As I wait for the big show to start (the posters said it began at 21h, only 30 minutes to go) I can’t help but laugh. Because in the 8 and a half years I lived in New York City, I never once stepped foot in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Wouldn’t be caught dead there, is more accurate. But I guess…when in Rome Paris.

Lizzie does Paris - New Year's Eve Arc du Triomphe

As I wait for the big show to start (it did not start at 21h like the posters said it would) I am reminded why I never had an interest in Times Square, or any other event with 8 billion people in attendance, on New Year’s Eve.

Lizzie does Paris - New Year's Eve Arc du Triomphe

As I wait for the big show to start (apparently it does not start at 21h 30 either…time is coming and going so slowly now) I have a very short Asian woman tucked in at my arm pit…and though I try moving around to dislodge her, she will not be deterred. There is a swarthy Frenchman right in front of my vaping with what smells like cotton candy.

I’m never eating cotton candy again!

Lizzie does Paris - Arc du Triomphe

As I wait for the big show to start (it has to be soon…right? It has to be soon! RIGHT??!!) I can’t help but be thankful that my toes are frozen, because that is helping with the pain. These shoes were a perfectly fine choice for what I originally planned. But as we all know now…I did not follow the plan. I went off script…off book…off the map. And now I am close to no longer owning pinkie toes. Though, it is the least useful of the toes…so I do suppose it could be much, much worse!

Lizzie does Paris - Arc du Triomphe

As I wait for the big show to…….IT’S STARTING!!!!!!!!!!!

Lizzie does paris - New Year's Eve Arc du Triomphe

Lizzie does Paris - Arc du Triomphe


Sometimes we do things because we feel obligated, we think we should be doing one thing when all we want is another thing altogether. There was no one around for me to disappoint. If I hadn’t gone to the Champs Elysées and had settled for my beloved sparkly tower to end the night, no one would have known the difference. But sometimes the person we are worried most about disappointing is ourselves. There was a younger, more outgoing (if you can imagine), bolder, more fascinating, more personable, more energetic me once. And perhaps it’s my younger, 20 something-self I was trying to keep up with.

Lizzie does Paris - New Year's Eve Arc du Triomphe Champs Elyees

Yes…it was the first and the last time I will ever do a big city shindig on New Year’s Eve. But I’m glad I did it, after all. It’s Paris. It’s New Year’s Eve. It’s the Champs Elysées and the Arc du Triomphe. It’s days after my 35th birthday. It simply had to happen! And, if I’m continuing to be honest with myself (and why stop now) that 20 year old really knew how to coordinate a night!”

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 2

Thrift Store Cosplay Where's waldo fashion blogger post

Thrift Store Cosplay fashion blogger nerd post Instagram challenge

Day 2: Where’s Waldo

I don’t know about you, but Where’s Waldo has long been a favorite children’s book series of mine. I always think, going into a Where’s Waldo hunt, that it’s going to be easy to find him. But dang, Waldo is one sneaky dude!!

Hopefully I’m a little easier to find than Waldo is!

Thrift Store Cosplay Where's waldo fashion blogger post

Dress and Hat from Salvation Army

Shoes from OMG Thrift!

Thrift Store Cosplay WHere's Waldo Instagram Challenge fashion blogger nerd post flat lay

Thrift Store Cosplay Where's Waldo

#PrincessBootCamp – Elsa Meal Plan

Disney Princess Boot Camp Elsa Week nerd blog post fitness

Princess Boot Camp Elsa Week Nerd Disney Fitness Blog

Let’s first discuss that Elsa is no Princess…she is the Queen! Now that we got that out of the way…

This week we are off to Arendelle for our fitspiration. Home of mystical powers that only Queen Elsa has and only those rock trolls know anything about. Home of some seriously dead Disney parents. And home of Elsa and Anna, two sisters that just can’t seem to talk things out until it gets really, really bad.

After the death of Anna and Elsa’s parents, (and possibly leading to the birth of their brother Tarzan, fan theory…Google it!) the sisters become distanced by a secret that Elsa has been keeping since she was a little girl. She has ice powers. Where did she get them? We don’t know. Why was it the best idea to keep them a secret and make her feel like the villain in her own story? Oh, it wasn’t! But here is where we find ourselves.

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Photo by Cristina Fowler @thelittlestfowler

Years of not building snowmen together has left these sisters on opposite sides of the castle door and on Elsa’s coronation day, they are finally opening that door to the people of their kingdom, as well as to the surrounding kingdoms. Well, if you’re guessing that no good can come from this…you are right. No good does come from it. Anna meets Prince Hans…the seemingly perfect other half of her sandwich. The kingdom is subjected to the Duke of Weselton and the truth finally comes about about Elsa’s powers and the kingdom is plunged into a Frozen tundra.

Which brings me to our shopping list this week. I based this week’s food selection on a Nordic diet and shopped in the Frozen food aisle as much as I could. Here’s what you’ll need this week…

-whole grains (barley, rye, oats)

-frozen berries (strawberries, rasperries, blueberries, blackberries)

-root vegetables (carrots and potatoes)

-cabbage

-frozen vegetables (peas and broccoli)

-fish (salmon, mackrel, herring)

-pork

-beans

-eggs

Lots of health benefits to a Nordic Diet. I really liked the food this week and the little nod to the frozen food section is just for continuity. You can feel free to eat the fresh versions of fruits and vegetables. Though I love to have frozen berries for dessert! Great substitute for other frozen desserts that might tempt you.

#PrincessBootCamp – Merida Week Inspo

Disney Princess Boot Camp Merida Week Brave fitness inspo nerd blog post

Princess Boot Camp Merida Week Nerd Fitness

  1. Wild Horses – Birdy, Sam Feldt
  2. Brave – Sara Bareilles
  3. Brave Honest Beautiful – Fifth Harmony, Meghan Trainor
  4. Brave – Moriah Peters
  5. Brave the Dark – Bird Passengers
  6. Touch the Sky – Julie Fowlis
  7. Into the Open Air – Julie Fowlis
  8. Siúil A Rún – Lisa Kelly
  9. Girl Named Freedom – Lisa Kelly
  10. The Lark in the Clear Air – Loreena McKennitt
  11. To the Sky – Owl City
  12. Skylines – Glades
  13. Fairytale – Alexander Rybak
  14. Catch the Wind – Donovan
  15. Babel – Mumford & Sons
  16. Home – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes
  17. After the Storm – Mumford & Sons
  18. Dirty Paws – Of Monsters and Men
  19. I See Fire – Ed Sheeran
  20. 9 Crimes – Damien Rice
  21. Thirteen Sad Farewells – Stu Larsen
  22. Follow the Sun – Xavier Rudd
  23. Blue Skies – Noah and the Whale
  24. Sons and Daughters – Allman Brown, Liz Lawrence
  25. Daughters – John Mayer
  26. Daughters – Lissie
  27. His Daughter – Molly Kate Kestner
  28. Warrior Daughter – Wildwood Kin
  29. Beer Hands – Private Island
  30. The Monster – Eminem, Rihanna
  31. Touch the Sky – Hillsong United
  32. Noble Maiden Fair – Brave Soundtrack
  33. Learn Me Right – Karoline Sem Larm
  34. The Merry Sisters of Fate – Lúnasa
  35. He Mo Leannan (Hey my Love) – Mary Jane Lamond
  36. Under Pressure – Queen, David Bowie
  37. The Apple Tree – Nina Nesbitt
  38. Lon-dubh (Blackbird) – Julie Fowlis
  39. Tha Mo Ghaol Air Aird a’ Chuan – Julie Fowlis
  40. Hug air a’ Bhonaid Mhoir – Julie Fowlis
  41. Tunes Set – Julie Fowlis
  42. Pride – Amy Macdonald
  43. The Whole of the Moon – The Waterboys
  44. Way in the World – Nina Nesbitt
  45. Don’t Stop Believing – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  46. Scottish Fiddle Jig – The Scottish Bagpipes Highland Pipes

 

Brave

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We start our movie list with our fiery haired heroine, Merida from Disney’s Brave. As the daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor, there is a certain life that Merida can look forward to. The life of a royal princess and future Queen of the Scottish lords. This means she must marry and she must behave herself. She’s supposed to learn from her mother and not bring her weapons to the dinner table. But Merida wasn’t born the perfect little princess and she believes her destiny lies on a different path from the one she was born with. What I love about Brave is that it’s the story of a tumultuous relationship between mother and daughter, not about a Princess falling in love with a Prince. This movie breaks from Disney Princess movie tradition and sets a precedent for Disney Princesses to come. It’s ain’t all about the man and given her choice among the sons of the Scottish lords vying for her hand…can you blame her? Respect, Merida! Respect.

Braveheart

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Staying in the borders of Scotland, the next movie on our Merida Inspo list is Braveheart, a natural follow-up movie to Brave! I mean…if you’ve never seen Braveheart then you’ve been living in a cave or you are like…6 years old and if it’s the latter, this blog is a little old for ya, kid! If it’s the former, welcome back to the world…go watch Braveheart! “They may take our lives, but they’ll never take…our FREEDOM!” No matter how you feel about the decline of Mel Gibson, that moment is still pure movie magic!!

Highlander

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Ok, the premise of Highlander and ensuing spin offs and sequels is intense. There are Immortals…they fight to the death and of course “there can only be one.” Connor MacLeod, our main character, is one such Immortal as is his and his mentor (hey Sean Connery.) This movie did very poorly when it came out in 1986, but has gained a cult following. And obviously became popular enough to garner Highlander II: The Quickening, Highlander III: The Sorcerer, Highlander: Endgame, Highlander: The Source, and not only a TV series, but an animated TV series as well! Dive in, but beware the Highlander current will sweep you away (or maybe not. I’ve personally never felt the need to watch any of the sequels.)

Hunger Games

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Bad ass chicks who shoot bow and arrows stick together! Katniss and Merida have plenty in common. Mommy issues? Check. Mad archery skills? Check. A destiny that calls them where they don’t want to go? Double check! This movie has plenty of those Brave vibes and you have to be brave to make it through the Hunger Games…see what I did there!

Lord of the Rings Trilogy

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Ok, it’s not Scotland, but there’s archery and sweeping country side and that’s about where the comparison between Brave and LOTR ends, but the Lord of the Rings trilogy basically belongs on every list…so, here it is!

Brigadoon

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Brigadoon has absolutely nothing in common with the above list of more action oriented movie, other than the Scottish thing…to tie it back to Brave. But it’s a classic Hollywood musical starring Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse and Van Johnson and is an absolute treasure, hence it’s addition to this list! Brigadoon is a disappearing town in the Highlands of Scotland that appears once every 100 years. One that Gene Kelly and Van Johnson happen upon when they are on holiday shooting grouse or whatever it is you shoot in Scotland. And guess which day they happen upon the usually wild and empty space where Brigadoon usually isn’t…yep, that 100th day. Gene meets Cyd and falls in love, obviously. But Gene and Van have lots of questions about this disappearing paradise, especially after a native tries to leave and gets shot in the process. Mystery abounds, love is in the air and there’s lots of singing!!

The Decoy Bride

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This one is a bit of a fringe choice and unless you are a big fan of the 10th Doctor and have actively searched out all you can find of David Tennant, you might not know anything about it. But this rom-com has 2 things going for it that are directly relevant to Brave. #1: It takes place on the island of Hegg, which “lies half-drowned and wind-battered, the furthermost drop of the outermost spray of the curling wave of the Outer Hebrides.” And #2: The Decoy Bride stars Kelly Macdonald, none other than the voice of Merida herself. It’s a simply adorable romantic comedy and on sick days, it is my go to feel better movie these days! Give it a watch, why don’t ya?!

#PrincessBootCamp – Merida Fitness Plan

Disney Princess boot Camp Merida week archery fitness blog post

Princess Boot Camp Merida Week Nerd Fitness

Merida is easily one of the fittest princesses Disney has in cannon. She rides a horse and shoots a bow and is just generally on the move throughout the entirety of her movie, ‘Brave.’ That’s why the life of a royal doesn’t appeal to her. She has no interest in quietly sitting and weaving a tapestry. Not when there are archery competitions to enter and wide open spaces to ride through. No, for Merida, life is about moving and seeing and doing!

So this week…just keep moving. Keep Merida in your mind’s eye and pick up a new activity when you have some down time. It doesn’t have to be a horseback ride through the Scottish Highlands. Most of us don’t have easy access to horses all the time, at least I don’t. But use what you have around you to support your fitness. Yoga doesn’t require any equipment at all, neither does running.

But if you do want to try those activities that Merida might have partaken in, here’s a look at what you can do:

Archery

Disney Princess boot Camp Merida week archery fitness blog post

It’s not as simple as point and shoot. Archery is a skill. One that, to be honest, I am not good at quite yet. The couple of times I’ve done archery, including for Merida Week and for Hawkeye week when I was an #AvengerinTraining, hasn’t quite been enough to provide proficiency, but it’s an activity I really love doing. Lining up the target, pulling back the bow and letting the arrow fly (far, far, far away from not only the bullseye, but the target itself) is a great feeling. If you’ve never tried archery, you should!

Horseback Riding

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Horseback riding is an activity that has a lot of different levels. You can go for a jaunty trail ride, which isn’t very challenging and doesn’t really take skill. Or you can learn how to horseback ride, which takes a lot more skill and does challenge you. Any level of horseback riding is a great activity for Merida week, but it’s the actual skill that I wanted to focus on. Though this is something that you cannot obtain after one session. It really requires a lot more dedication and practice. But an intro class to horseback riding is so much fun! And if you have a place near you that is decently priced, do it!

Scottish Dancing

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Ok, this one isn’t really something we see Merida do in Brave, but as I was flipping through the Sunday paper this week, my eye caught a posting for local Scottish Dancing and hello…I had to try it. This is definitely something that could be hard to come by based on where you are located. But always try your local paper or anywhere that might post local events. You never know what treasures await you!

#PrincessBootCamp – Cinderella Week Fashion Inspo

Cinderella Week Princess Boot Camp Fitness Blog Disney

When I’m in the middle of a fitness series, especially one that has such a specific theme, I like to do all I can to stay in theme, as you could tell from my other blog posts this week. The foods I ate reflected Cinderella, the movies I watched, the music I listened to, the fitness activities I did and since I do consider myself a fashionable person, my fashion reflected Cinderella this week too. From my workout clothes to my nails and beyond.

Work, work, work, work, work…

Cinderella Week Disney Princess boot Camp workouts nerd blog post

Top Knot…

Cinderella Week Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness nerd blog post

On the steps of the palace…

Cinderella Week Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness nerd blog post
Photo by Cristina Fowler @thelittlestfowler

Nailed it…

Cinderella Week Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness nerd blog post

Tea Time…

Cinderella Week Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness nerd blog post

Dancing through life….

Cinderella Week Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness nerd blog post

After the ball…

Cinderella Week Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness nerd blog post
Photo by Cristina Fowler @thelittlestfowler

Squad goals…

Cinderella Week Disney Princess Boot Camp fitness nerd blog post

Happily Ever After…

Is there something that helps you focus on your goals?

Fashionable

I love fashion. I have loved it my whole life. From when I was a little girl in the 80’s wearing 4 pairs of socks stacked on top of each other to the 90’s when I experimented with wearing my skirts over my pants to my college years when I studied Apparel Design and Technology at Florida State University to now where I can be found sharing my fashion sense here on my blog and on Instagram!

I used to dream of being a big time fashion designer living in New York City, dressing models, cutting fabrics, making the hard call about sleeve lengths. Or even transitioning over to print and working at a fashion magazine. My fashion design role models were Zac Posen, Norma Kamali, Vera Wang and Dolce & Gabbana.

When I graduated from college, I immediately headed off to the big city to make my dreams come true. I got an internship at LaROK, moved into the first apartment that came along in Brooklyn and started to live those big dreams!

The internship was 4 months long and in those 4 months, my love for fashion never died, but my interest in continuing to work in the industry started waning. I had a few friends at my internship that weren’t eager to rip my small town heart out of my chest and feed it to the gods of fashion, but they were the exception, not the rule.

It’s no secret that the fashion industry is competitive, cutthroat and very much an industry where it pays to be out for number 1.

Does that sound like me to you, gentle reader? Guess how many people in the fashion industry count Star Wars as their favorite movie…let’s just say, I didn’t encounter any. And being a nerd? Well, that wasn’t exactly de rigueur, by industry standards at the time.

Star Wars Darth Vader sweater styled by Star Wars

I quickly adopted the tell-tale black wardrobe popular with the New York fashion scene. Something that still baffles me to this day. As one of the fashion capitals of the world, how is black their go to color? There’s a whole rainbow to work with, people! Find a new hue!!

All this to say that sometimes dreams are just that and they have no place in the real world. Causing a big shift in how I viewed my life once the dreams of being a fashion mogul faded.

I went on to work in the bridal industry, as a nanny, in a preschool, in social media and now I’m a worship leader at local church back in the smaller town I started out in. Somewhere in the midst of my life, this little blog was born.

I never thought I’d enjoy writing as much as I do (though the signs were always there…I always loved the essay portion of exams and doing book reports.) Life is a big twisty bobcat pretzel and if you fight to take the twists out, then you’re sort of missing the point.

I sometimes think about that alternate universe that spun off when I made the choice to move to New York and work in fashion. Somewhere out there, there’s a version of me that has dedicated herself to sleeve lengths and runway shows. She’s sacrificed Christmases at home, friendships with real people and eating a healthy diet for the more glamorous life of a famous fashion designer. She dresses Beyonce for the Met Gala and goes to fancy parties. But she doesn’t write and she doesn’t go to Star Wars conventions and she definitely doesn’t lose time thinking about her future mutant powers and what her superhero costume might look like.

I don’t say this lightly…alternative universe Liz is so basic!!

Star Wars Day

Taking a little detour from #TheBradshawChallenge momentarily to talk about Star Wars Day! May the 4th Be With You…always!! But especially today!

Let’s talk about ways you can celebrate!

1. Star Wars Marathon

This is the most ideal way to celebrate the day. But since the 4th falls on a Thursday this year, staying home and binge-watching Star Wars movies while eating a box of Wookie Cookies can be a little hard to accomplish. So maybe just choose your most favorite Star Wars movie and watch that today. My favorite is Return of the Jedi, so I will be watching that when I have a moment after work tonight!

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2. Rep Your Fandom

Another great way to celebrate today is to wear your fandom gear all day long! Here are some of my favorite Star Wars outfits as well as what I decided to wear today!

Today’s outfit:

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Other favorite Star Wars outfits:

styled by Star Wars Beep Boop Beep Clothing fblogger

Styled by Star Wars fblogger Her Universe

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3. Get in a Debate

Do you have anyone at work, at home, at the grocery story that likes Star Wars? Get in a debate with them. Say something about how much you love the prequels or that you think Jar Jar Binks isn’t the antichrist! That will kick start a quick conversation with any super fans in the vicinity and maybe make a new friend (or enemy depending on what you say!!)

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4. Spread the Love

A great way to decipher if someone is a true fan and potential new friend is to offer them the official greeting that must be said on Star Wars Day “May the 4th Be With You.” If someone says this to you, make sure to respond properly and to listen for those that do as well which is, of course… “And also with you!”

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5. Star Wars Book Club

Star Wars book club on Goodreads nerd blogger

Shameless plug coming up. If you are interested in going deeper into the Star Wars Expanded Universe, then my Star Wars Book Club is exactly what you should discover today on Star Wars Day. Head over the Goodreads and see what we’ve already read and what we are planning to read and jump in as you’d like. This month’s book is Thrawn by the incomparable Timothy Zahn.

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6. Tweet, Like, Meme, Gif, Post, Gram, Tumble, etc.

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Today is a day to embrace the social media juggernaut. Jump in with all you have and get involved in the inevitable fan fest that happens across all social media platforms today. What’s your favorite Star Wars Movie, tell me on Twitter? Do you have a favorite meme, share it with me on Instagram? Looking for someone to engage in step 3 with, connect with me on Facebook…I can debate the virtues of Hayden Christensen all day long!!

Don’t fight it. Join me!!
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7. Go Shopping

Today is a great day to have a little Star Wars shopping spree. Plenty of shops are having specials today in honor of Star Wars Day. Here are some of my favorite places to procure Star Wars merch… Her Universe, Beep Boop Beep Clothing, Think Geek, my local Goodwill and Salvation Army, Disney Store, and Etsy.

There are so many other way to celebrate Star Wars Day too. What are you doing today??

And May the 4th Be With You!

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& The City

It’s been almost 2 years since I moved away from New York City. Some days it feels like just yesterday that I was walking the concrete jungle and trying to find my way in the city of dreams. And other days, the whole 8+ years I lived there feel themselves, like a dream. I haven’t been back since a whirlwind visit last year for a friend’s wedding.

Not for lack of wanting too, it’s just the timing hasn’t worked out. And to be honest, I feel like a part of me never wants to go back. What if I remember how much I loved it and I want to stay? What if I have another anxiety attack like my first time back after moving? New York was such a roller coaster city for me. I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

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No matter how I feel about the Big Apple or why I had to move away, I still consider it home. I’ve blogged about this before, but I found myself in New York City. I became a writer. I started this blog there. I created my web series there. I was bold and I was creative and the thing that makes New York…NEW YORK, somehow ended up making me…ME!!

You can’t deny that there’s something about New York that can bring out our inner angels…or demons. New York forces you to be yourself…”after all, everyone else is taken.” Isn’t that how the quote goes?

The truth is…I miss New York. Maybe not the winters…I’ll always be happier in the sun. But I miss the pace. I miss walking 47 blocks after work on a Wednesday, just because. I miss sushi delivered at midnight and brunching all day with friends. I miss cab rides (who thought that would happen.) I miss my friends. Sometimes, when I’m delirious, I even miss dating in New York…though not too much!

I’m excited to return to the City. I want to see how it’s changed. I want to see how I’ve changed. I want to see if it still feels, even a little bit, like home. We’ll see what happens.

New York is unpredictable by nature. The only thing you can rely on is that it’s unreliable! As a hurricane, I can relate.

Today, I feel like this:2.jpg

I hope I find that who I was back then and who I am today are working together to make me who I’ll be tomorrow.

After all, I wouldn’t be me without New York or Florida or California. So…New York, I’m coming back for ya! Please be kind, I’m a little rusty!!

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