Holiday Inspiration with Mane Message

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      A few days ago, I was sent some adorable hair accessories from Olivia over at Mane Message, an online small business creating headbands, hair ties, and bobby pins galore. Her business began as a low key kind of deal, and it has skyrocketed since her college days when she first started. In the blogging world, it's common knowledge to not expect too much when being sent things from sponsors, however these hair ties are certainly an exception! My friend/photographer Heather and I were pleasantly surprised by how well they hold up, especially with my thick hair. If you have thick hair, you know how difficult it is to not break hair ties on the reg, and these don't break or need prior stretching. Plus, they look a lot cuter than your average hair tie, which usually cut off your circulation. Not fun. In general, they are a perfect holiday gift for your girlfriends or they can even be something to throw in as a stocking stuffer. I was sent the following hair ties (clockwise from the right of the first picture): The Kate Package, The First Date Pin Package, The Pink Glitter Package, and The Aspen Package.  


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        I'm normally not a huge bobby pin wearer because of my thick hair (it's a recurring issue, as you can see), however The First Date Pin Package might force me to wear them once in a while. This set is one of the girlier bobby pin sets, including a gold and silver sparkle bobby pin, as well as a plain pink one to make for a blush toned group. If you have shorter hair, these bobby pins would look awesome, whether you clip back your bangs or even just a small bunch of hair for that "vintage" kind of look. And if you're technically savvy, you can do two fish tails with a small bunch of hair and secure it in the back with the pins. Otherwise, you can stick to the classic pin back like Heather did here. You can wear just one on it's own or create a triangle-esque shape like I attempted here. Get creative! 


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         In these pictures, I am sporting two of the wintery looking hair ties from The Aspen Package, which is probably my favorite combo. Initially, I was just wearing the glittery white one, and Heather pointed out that adding one of the patterned ones could be interesting, and I have to agree! I was wearing a simpler outfit, and even just adding the Aspen printed blue hair tie added a little holiday fun to my more or less basic outfit. And these hair ties are also very great at holding up, which is definitely a plus. Since cutting my hair, it has gotten easier to braid my hair as time has gone on, but usually my hair ties slide off, and these held up like a charm. Above all, they're awesome because you can easily mix and match them depending on your outfit and how you're feeling! Always good to have some options. 


I hope you guys enjoyed this post! I totally recommend you go take a look at Mane Message, because it really is worth looking at. Have a wonderful weekend! xoxo Isabelle 




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Blank Space

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Wearing:// Top: Zara, Skirt: Zara (Asos Skirt), Jacket: Aritzia (New Look Leather Jacket), Shoes: Doc Martens


        I know, I know- how typical 'fashion blogger' of me to name a post after a Taylor Swift song (which is great, if you didn't already know), but somehow it ties in a lot of things for me at the moment. I think I might've already mentioned this, but in English class, we've been heavily discussing the concept of "getting lost" and "journeying into the unknown". And as the 3 month mark of being in France nears, I can't help but reflect on how far I've come thus far. Around this time a year ago, we were given an assembly at school about School Year Abroad, and I somewhat shook it off, thinking how crazy it would be to do. How could I just pick up and leave? The idea of moving to another country seemed unthinkable. Living with a host family and going to a school with new people once again was something I thought I couldn't deal with. Starting anew was something I wasn't looking for. However, almost a year later, I find myself completely comfortable with the whole situation- I even feel like the culture shock has worn off and I just do my regularly "French routine" with no thoughts to it. Going to town with my friends, watching French TV, and eating heaps of bread is just the usual. 
Even before coming, I remember I told my mom a million times ,"I wish I could fast forward to a month in, when I'm settled in". Well, somehow three months have already passed and the clock is ticking. While our time after winter break will be more fun with so much traveling planned, I continuously remind myself of the millions of obstacles I've already overcome. If you were waiting for how this relates to the T-Swift song, it's that this experience was once a blank space, just four months ago, and today it is a whole new world of my own. 


On a less philosophical note, as the weather has gotten progressively colder, I've been gravitating more towards the European monochrome go-to look, which I never thought I would embrace. However, it's a nice "blank space" (heheh) or rather 'blank slate' and it's practical for when you want to take an outfit from day to night, whether you add some tall boots or a giant winter jacket. Shoe wise, I've been wearing my Docs like none other just in case it suddenly starts raining as it often does here. What's your favorite fall/winter piece?  

Hope you enjoyed this post! Have a nice week and wonderful Thanksgiving if you celebrate (eat some pie for me!) xoxo


P.S. Lulu*s is having a huge Black Friday sale that you must check out over on their site! Click here

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Hypnotic

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Wearing:// Dress: Ba&Sh, Jacket: Aritzia (New Look Leather Jacket), Shoes: Vince (40% off!), Necklace: Topshop (Topshop Black Faceted Stone Collar)


            Only about two months late, France has finally caught up on the whole "fall foliage" concept. Coming from New Jersey, I'm used to the leaves changing slowly + beautifully, yet Rennes has only brought dark, fallen leaves practically over night. And with the leaves came colder weather and finally breaking out my winter coat, which didn't make an appearance in this shoot. Just you wait. However, last weekend it was actually slightly less cold, and I ever so bravely bared my legs. By nighttime, I was feeling a bit frigid- but at least I was wearing a cute outfit while doing it! I recently purchased this snake-looking dress from Ba&Sh, which when paired with my leather jacket, makes me feel some kind of edgy (as edgy as I can get, you know). However, instead of going out on the town for dinner, we had a quiet crepe and coffee sesh at Creperie Sainte Anne that day (two weekends ago). On a less glamorous note, this past weekend, we went and hiked up the Mont Saint Michel for the second time, which entailed architecture and a long Art History questionnaire. The night following our trip to the Mont Saint Michel, my friends and I attempted brownies with an oreo in the middle and cookie dough on the bottom, and then proceeded to watch 10 Things I Hate About You. I'm just blaming not having Pillsbury slice-and-bake cookie dough in France for why our brownies weren't too great...Let's just say we won't be "Cake Bosses" anytime soon. It was actually really funny though when I tried explaining the random concoction to my host mom and she was pretty confused, her being more accustomed to simple macaroons and croissants. 

Long time no talk everyone! My mini-hiatus this past week was due to some writer's block along the lines of having no ideas or time for shooting blog posts. However, I asked my wonderful Tumblr followers if anyone had some post requests and I think I've got some things in the works. That being said, I would love your thoughts as well- did you like the street style post? any routines? recipes? more outfits? etc, etc. Ask and you shall receive! In addition, if you were wondering what has been going on in France, I'd say that the holidays are definitely upon the French. I'm pretty sure it was mid-October when I saw winter snowflake-like lights being put up in town. And plus, we full on decorated the house the weekend and it looks like a Christmas wonderland, not going to lie. This is what happens when Thanksgiving is nonexistent, haha. Hoping you all are having a wonderful Monday! xoxo Isabelle 


P.S. Post title is in reference to the Zella Day song- go check it out!

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French Street-Style Guide // 1

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          While documenting my own outfits was something bound to happen during my time in France, I've also been trying to figure out a way to share the style of the French. And what do you know, my mom comes up with a street style post idea! The other day when I went into town, I tried to sneakily take outfit pictures, which was difficult especially when people were on the move. I'll try to work on my paparazzi skills, I promise. (And lemme know what you think of more of these every so often!) Afterwards, I took these pictures and created some sets on Polyvore to correspond with these looks in a simpler fashion. I also had my fun with the polaroid title picture above, which put off some grueling Pre-calc work. Gotta love blogging. Hope you find this helpful! Don't forget to click on the sets if you want to see the items. xoxo
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French Girl Look #1


         I'm not sure if it's just me, but the cold weather this year has been pretty unbearable for me. It's not that it's actually that cold in France, but I'm still in that "why-is-it-not-summer" "gimme-some-sunshine" phase. To combat the chill, oversized sweaters like this Mango one have been my go to. The great thing about them is that no one can judge you for bundling up, because you actually look adorable! Here, the stylish girl above paired a chunky sweater with some basic jeans and a killer houndstooth jacket. Wearing simple bases allows you to go all out on the accessories, whether it be your jacket or shoe choice. In this instance, I would say to stick to simple jewelry, maybe mixing metals, but not going too crazy beyond that. It's hard to tell in this picture, but she was also wearing coral nails, which is unexpected for fall but definitely works here. 


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         For some reason, this outfit reminds me of a stylish version of an outfit you'd see in a sci-fi movie. I could totally see Shailene Woodley wearing this in Divergent instead of the not so cute full body suits they wear. Or even Jennifer Lawrence in Mockingjay, when she is in distress while practically saving the world. *excuse that nerd moment/spoiler alert* Anyway, in addition to having sci-fi vibes going on, this look is also reads "cool city girl" to me. I've always been a huge fan of flat-form slip on sneakers paired with leather skirts- let alone hunter green leather skirts! Hunter green is a fall color that is hard to wear, but so chic when worn right. While leather is usually perceived as a dressy element, this is a perfect element of how easily it can be taken to a day time setting. Accessories wise, I love the unexpected quirky-touch her yellow Fjallraven backpack adds to what would've been a pretty monotone color scheme. 


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         This last look is what I like to think of as your classic European look. When most people think of European style, all black ensembles tend to come to mind. It's not necessarily true for everyone, but it does happen often. And in this case, this girl knew how to do all black in a way that was simple yet not too lackluster.  Walking down the street, what caught my eye about her outfit was her maroon beanie. Had she not been wearing the beanie, her outfit would've probably blended into the Rennes crowd and I wouldn't have noticed her rocker-chic outfit. I couldn't actually see her phone case, but the one above from Marc by Marc Jacobs  would go well with the metal in the jacket + a bunch of silver rings too. This would be a great outfit for a semi-casual fall outing (pumpkin patch, hayride, apple picking- aka all things France doesn't have) or even a concert. 



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Royals

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Wearing:// Sweater: Aritzia (Similar), Jacket: Ba&Sh (Light Before Dark Parka), Jeans: Zara, Shoes: Nike, Bag: Longchamp, Sunnies: Wildfox Couture 


        Only about a bajillion months later, I'm finally embracing the athletic trend. Ever since coming to France, I've been paying more attention to details (usually fashion related), and I've realized sneakers are a huge wardrobe necessity here. Initially, I was somewhat perplexed, because when I originally thought of the classic French style, I wasn't too quick to think of athletic wear. And contrary to popular belief, it's not all stripes and berets either. From Adidas Stan Smiths in multiple colors to the always trusty Nike Air Force in white, the French teens love ditching their edgy boots for casual sneakers. These shoes are also ideal for adding a little "somethin' somethin'" to a casual jeans and big cardigan combo (which is also a French fave)- and plus, they're perfect for a long day conquering the Rennes boutiques. Or even for strolling a magnificent chateau! I wore this outfit for the second day of our Loire Valley trip, when we visited the Chateau de Chambord, and my wonderful trainers kept my feet blister free. I'd say I've been wearing these shoes to death and they've been matching almost every outfit I've been wearing. I usually stick to things within my comfort zone, like Docs or Converse, but it's always fun to try out something new when it comes to fashion.  

      Speaking of the Loire Valley trip, I feel like I've been talking about the Toussaint break for practically a month! Even though this break was a little over a week, it felt like an eternity because we haven't had a break until now. However, after this break, we only have one day off in November leading up to our Christmas break. The agony!! Although today marks two months in France, which is still hard to believe. We supposedly are going to get progressively better with our french at a faster pace during this quarter, which is exciting/frightening, haha. To distract ourselves, we of course got the holiday feels going on today in our common room with some American Christmas music (justified by there not being Thanksgiving here). It made the next month seem some-what doable. Hope you guys are well! xoxo 


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Rennes Roundup #1 | Toussaint & Random

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[Flower mania at the Saturday market in the Place Des Lices] my pic on the verge of 2,800+ notes on Tumblr!

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[Amazing brownie ice-cream by La Visitation]

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 [A hint of Halloween spirit in Rennes]

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[The beach at Saint Malo]

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['Kouign-amann' breton cakes]

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[A contrast of old/new of the same building in Saint Malo]

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[Hanging out with Carolyn's host sister's friends]

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[Host mom's daughter's black cat Lola looking creepy]

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[The main church in Rennes at sun down]

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[Saint-Malo]

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                                                   [Fall-ness in Rennes]



         Ever since I stepped foot in France, I've had my camera attached to my hip (more like attached around my neck, but you get the idea). Considering this fact, I decided I should do regular posts of new random pictures I've taken (that were not taken on a longer vacay), entitled "Rennes Roundups". Today's post is a roundup of pictures that I took after my "First Glimpse" post and over La Toussaint break. This break was pretty low key for me, as I only left Rennes for two days to go back to the beach. Our trip this time did not include the college students, but just my host mom's daughter's family. On the Saturday we drove up, we immediately went into town for the once-monthly market in Saint-Briac sur mer. It was on a smaller wavelength compared to the one of the Place Des Lices, however, it was just as good. Everyone was grabbing special ingredients in advanced prep for Christmas dinner. Besides just seeing the delicious warm bread and freshly made chocolate, the best part of our trip to the market was the taste tester bins! The idea of "goûter"-ing (tasting) everything is very prominent in France, and I've been trying to keep with that spirit as well. On Sunday, I woke up semi-early and drove to Saint-Malo with my host mom's son in law, where he gave me a grand tour of Saint-Malo. There is actually a ton of history to the beautiful beach town. I also got to quickly see the large race-boats for the Route Du Rhum, which brought a huge crowd of people. Other than our trip to the beach, I just hung out with my friends (once they returned from their beach vacations), went into town & ate, shopped the boutiques, and then repeated that cycle!! Haha. Hoping you enjoyed these photos! I also filmed a little video of one day when I went into town and it is now up on my Youtube Channel! Check it out below. Watch in HD too! xoxo



                               
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