Monday, July 28, 2014

DIY Beach Caftan

We're done with France posts. I feel like I could end that sentence with the word "finally" or "sadly" - I'm torn and I can't choose. It's kind of like, whoa dude, you managed to write 20+ posts about a weeklong trip, overkill. But at the same time, I'm sad it's over! I loved reliving the trip when I was writing the posts (I wrote them all over the course of a week or so and spread them out over the past two months because it's my blog and I do what I want) and I loved reliving the trip as I re-read the posts that I wrote. It's been a fun journey and I can't wait to do it again and again with every holiday I experience.

Anyway, now that we're done with France, we can move on to the other current happenings in my life. A few months ago, I went to JoAnn Fabrics to get some vinyl fabric for my DIY clutch. My sister was with me and we were both in crafty moods so we spent a little while walking around, digging through stacks upon stacks of fabrics to see if there was anything we wanted to grab for some other DIY projects. While I was browsing, I spotted the most glorious pink and gold fabric that I thought would be great for making a beach coverup. The bolt was practically empty but that leftover piece was the perfect size for my craft.

Inspired by a beautiful Marena y Sol caftan that I have, I decided to make a simple, functional, and chic caftan with my fabric. I was all set to make this prior to summertime but then I got sent to North Dakota so I had to put my DIY on hold for months. Well, a few weekends ago, I finally got around to making this durn thang, so here it is!
You'll need:
1.5 yards of fabric - my fabric was a mesh-type that doesn't require hemming and the bolt itself was 54" so my fabric was a perfect square piece
needle & thread (or sewing machine)
scissors
pins
straight edge
measuring tape
Okay, so here's what you're trying to accomplish. You want to create a slit in the middle, which is where your head will go. Then, you'll fold it in half (with the slit parallel to the fold) and then sew two vertical lines that start from the open edge and go up about two-thirds of the way towards the folded edge. Your torso will go in between the two sewn lines, your head will poke up through the hole, and your arms will just jut out into the open sides.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jour 9 Paris: Ladurée & Au Revoir!

I have to mention this little story as a word of caution to those visiting Paris. There are several people who hang out near touristy areas clutching clipboards. They claim to be working for charitable organizations but in reality, they're scammers. They'll ask you if you want to help sick children or aid the blind and the deaf and present you with a petition to sign. They purposely approach people that aren't speaking French because at the top of their petition, it will say "People who sign this sheet must pay €500," or something similar in French and they're hoping you won't be able to understand it.

My sister and I were approached by two teenaged girls who said, "Hey, do you like animals? Sign this if you want to help animals." I said, "Merci, non," and we started to walk away. The two girls followed us down the block and one of the girls while saying, "Sign this!" simultaneously grabbed my arm so I yelled back, "Non! Don't touch me!" and jerked my arm away. That scared her and her little accomplice enough that they finally backed off. She was the most aggressive clipboard girl I'd ever come in contact with. I'd just like fellow travelers to be aware so that nothing happens to you that will ruin your trip. Just ignore these freaks and say no. They want to be lazy jerks who steal other people's hard earned money and it's not right. Get a job, losers.

That being said, today's post is all about our last day in Paris. What a segue, huh? Ha.
The weather was looking pretty cloudy and uggo for our last day, but it didn't really matter. We had two things on our mind: macarons and steak-frites. Our plan for the day was to go to Ladurée first thing in the morning, go back to our hotel for breakfast, pack our suitcases and relax until it was time to check out, grab lunch at Le Relais, do a bit of shopping, and then head to the airport.

If you don't know what Ladurée is, then you must be living under a rock. It's a famous Parisian patisserie, which also serves food, and if you're going to go to Paris, you have to go here and get a macaron or a palmier or tart or one of the many beautiful desserts they have to offer. It's like a rite of passage. It's like going to New York and getting a slice of pizza (but not at Sbarro's, please).

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jour 8 Paris: Hameau & Trianon

Tie for favorite post is between today's and the one about Marché Saint Antoine. Marie Antoinette's Hameau (hamlet) is one of the sweetest, most Alice-in-Wonderlandy, Secret-Gardeny, gorgeous places ever. It's so frickin' dreamy. If I ever own a house with lots of land, I'm converting my backyard into un hameau. I have to.
We were kind of dumb because we whizzed through the Palace to head to Marie Antoinette's retreat and it turns out, it doesn't even open until noon. Luckily for us, there was a little seating area associated with the café so we just sat down for 20 minutes.
At around 11:50, people started forming a line so we hopped on the bandwagon and queued up.
You'll have to show your tickets to an employee - if you purchased the 'Passeport' package, you'll show the same exact tickets you used at the Palace.
It's a whole different vibe once you get back to the Hameau. It's calmer, dreamier, quaint and lovely.
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