June 4, 2014
   Bonjour mes amis! As you may have noticed by all the pictures I have been posting, I am in Paris! I will be living here for the next four weeks with a host family and studying french. I have a roommate here who is also from Baylor and taking the french classes as well. Our host family is fabulous, our mom is the sweetest woman and has been so accommodating. She has two daughters who are 14 and 19 and are so fun to talk to. When we arrived at our apartment in Paris, I had no idea what to expect going into a parisian home and living with another family but it has exceeded my expectations tremendously. Our first morning here our mom prepared the most amazing brunch in the living room with croissants, baguettes, eggs, strawberries, salad, cheese, fresh orange juice and so much more. Then she offered to take us around the neighborhood so we would know where everything was and wouldn't get lost in the future. She took us to the Luxembourg gardens with her oldest daughter telling us all about the garden and stories of bringing her daughters here to play when they were young. In no time dinner was ready and she had prepared a potato and onion omelet and a vegetable layered casserole that was delicious. French people don't usually eat omelets for breakfast it's more of a lunch and dinner meal here. We were so pleased ending our first day in Paris and were pinching ourselves that we were going to be living here until July. 

   The next morning our host mom showed us breakfast which here in Paris it is usually cheese, bread, and fruit. Then we headed out the door to the metro to go to our first day of school. She was so kind to ride it with us for our first time so that we wouldn't get lost and be late for our first day. Once she showed us the way we started our day at school. We grabbed lunch which was our first meal out in paris, I bought a quiche and we went and sat on the steps of a cathedral and enjoyed the beautiful day outside. We then hopped on the subway and made our way to the eiffel tower where we watched the french open on the lawn and took in everything around us. After watching a tennis match we rode the subway back to our neighborhood where we sat in a cafe and chatted and sipped on french wine for several hours. We then parted ways with our friends from class and walked home to a fabulous dinner waiting for us. Our mom had prepared a lemon and olive oil chicken and rice dish that was wonderful and of course it was followed by bread and cheese!

   On the third day here in Paris my roommate Chelsea and I made our way to school and had no problem navigating the metro on our own. We already feel like pros taking it at least ten times a day to get around the city. After school we walked around the Latin Quarter where we stumbled upon Shakespeare and Company. It was such a quant bookstore across the seine from Notre Dame. We walked around Notre Dame admiring its beauty. We also walked across the love lock bridge along the way. Later on we roamed the streets of the Latin Quarter just waiting to see what we might stumble upon next. We found a crepe stand and ended back up in our own neighborhood and took our Nutella crepes to the Luxembourg gardens where we sat on a bench and enjoyed the view pointing out all the different types of people walking around. Afterwards we went home for the evening and enjoyed some nice down time from walking around all day long. Our host sister had cooked a nice dinner for us and we all sat and chatted in french for about two hours explaining Texas lifestyle and how bad the traffic is there compared to Paris. They were so amused and love hearing all about the US and how it is different. After dinner we talked to our host sister in our room for about an hour talking about our silly professors and how embarrassing they can be when we walk around Paris with them as a group. She is so sweet and is already teaching us so much and helping us improve our french. 

   Today we woke up and went straight to the Louvre where we were the first in line to see all the attractions. My favorite part was Napoleon III apartment exhibit of all the furniture that was once in the palace. Then we headed to school for class in the afternoon and picked up a baguette sandwich on the way. I had to break being gluten free at least once to try a baguette sandwich and it was well worth it! After school it was raining very hard so we made our way to the metro to head towards Printemps which is a department store in Paris that is very similar to Bloomingdales in New York. It was so big and we were drooling over all the clothes and shoes in the store. We then walked to this fabulous cafe called Angelina's that is most famous for its hot chocolate. It was definitely the best hot chocolate I have ever had by far and the richest. Everyone in the cafe was sipping coffee or hot chocolate and nibbling on their macaroons and chocolate croissants. We then headed home for the evening to do some homework and eat dinner with our host family. My host mom was so sweet and made gluten free spaghetti for me that was fantastic! I have been so appreciative of her generosity and kindness towards us and can't wait to see what the rest of the month holds. 

   Tomorrow we are going to Musee D'Orssay and Sacre Coeur, and this weekend I will be going to Giverny and the Loire Valley. I will post back in several days for another update on all things happening here in Paris! 

This is the view from my school in Paris. I am taking french three and four while I am here this summer. We go to school monday-friday from 9-12 am and then have the rest of the day to explore the city on our own. I feel like such a local already taking the subway to school every morning with my roommate. We have mastered the french face of having a blank stare and looking bored. We might even start reading the french paper on the metro in the mornings just to look more parisian. 

This was our first but not last trip to the eiffel tower. We have been trying so hard to blend in amongst all the other parisians speaking french as much as possible and trying to dress the parisian way. Going to the eiffel tower was the perfect excuse to 
have an american moment though. We wore our cameras around our neck snapping pictures at every turn we made. 

They have a large screen set up on the lawn of the eiffel tower in Paris for everyone to watch the French Open. We decided to take a seat amongst all the locals and eaves drop on french conversations and enjoy watching the tennis match with the beautiful eiffel tower in the background. It was so picturesque that we are hoping to go back again before the French Open ends. 

Today we woke up very early to be the first in line at the Louvre so that we would be front row at the Mona Lisa. Well it turned out to be the best idea because we beat all the crowds and the best part of it all was we got into the museum for free since we are students in Paris!

This was my favorite room in the Louvre. They had an exhibit of Napoleon III apartment and what it used to look like back when it was set up in the palace. It was very fascinating walking through all the rooms and being able to imagine what it must of been like to live in the palace during that time. 

This bridge was at the top of my list of things to go see! It is known as the love lock bridge and lovers come to the bridge and will write their names on a lock and lock it to the bridge and throw the key into the seine river so that the lock like their love may never be broken. I adored people watching on this bridge and seeing all the other people snap pictures and add their own locks to the famous bridge in hopes that their love may never be broken. 

The Luxembourg gardens is a magnificent place to visit and is one of my favorites in Paris. I live right around the corner from it and enjoy strolling through the park and listening to the locals talk in french and try to piece out what they are saying. It is such a great place to go sit and read a book or to have a nice picnic in the grass with some wine, cheese, and fruit (a french favorite). 

Au Revoir!
November 19, 2013

 Top (similar here) / Jacket (similar here) / scarf (similar here) / leggings (here) / shoes (here) / sunglasses (here

Take me back to the city of dreams! I went to New York back at the beginning of October and haven't had a chance to share my trip with you guys. 

I was blessed to go to New York with my mom on a spontaneous girls weekend getaway. We spent the weekend laughing, shopping, and really enjoying each others company in the city. 

As soon as we landed at JFK our trip was nonstop activities. Our first day was filled with shopping and a viewing of Cinderella on broadway which was magnificent! We stayed in the famous Empire Hotel otherwise known as the infamous home of Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl. The rest of the weekend was spent shopping and walking around the city. 

We decided to have fun and do a mini photo shoot in Central Park as you can see in the pictures above. We walked around all morning snapping pics and laughing at all the silly poses I was coming up with.

This trip was much needed and such a pleasure to spend it with Mom. 

If you have never been able to go to New York I highly encourage it, especially in the fall or winter! It is so beautiful this time of year with all the leaves changing colors and the christmas lights being hung all over the city. 

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and then Christmas! Comment and let me know what some of your favorite holiday traditions are!

Madeline Castleman

Madeline Castleman
Founder & Blogger of Laced In Fashion. Aspiring Fashion Editor and Stylist currently residing in Austin, TX.
Contact: lacedinfashion@yahoo.com
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