OOTD: Fluent in French

There are many things that come to mind when I think of Paris, however one of the biggest is, of course, fashion! While traveling to France over spring break, I purchased a few clothing items and I have been dying to share them with you! So, what better way to do that than an outfit of the day?

I have always been a very observant person, so in the midst of enjoying the beautiful buildings and attractions in Paris and Lyon, I obviously noticed what people were wearing. While some locals were dressed a bit more casually, I saw many who, in my mind, looked exactly how I expected them to look. Elegant, classy, and chic. The women looked very put together and stylish, and the same could be said for the men. French casual is VERY different from American casual, to say the least. By looking at the locals, shopping, and browsing through the boutiques, I found my inspiration for a Parisian outfit.

I want to start by talking about one of my newest obsessions. While shopping on the Champs Elysees, a few of the girls and I decided to stop by Zara. I know that this is a store I could shop at in America, but I do not believe there is a Zara near me! I can honestly say that I never imagined I’d be wearing a skort again, but here we are! This is the Buttoned Skort in Black. I fell in love with this the second I saw it. I knew I needed to have it. The button details as well as the hints of silver and gold are stunning. I bought this skort for €19.95 in a size small. This piece does not necessarily give off a “Parisian” vibe, however I HAD to include it in this outfit because I am so in love with it!

For my top, I wanted to wear something simple. I am wearing a black, cropped bustier top. I purchased this top from PacSun for about $35 in a size medium. I was debating whether or not to wear a white or a black top, but I ultimately decided that the black top looked best with this outfit!

And now, my favorite souvenir. One thing that I was searching for on my trip was a nice brown trench coat. When I think of French fashion, the first thing that pops into my head are trench coats. I really wanted this to be my biggest souvenir. The trip was almost over, and I had yet to find a trench coat in my price range. I found that many of the trench coats I was looking at were a little too pricey for my budget. While touring through Old Lyon, my friend and I decided to stop by a store called Pimkie, which I believe is the European equivalent to H&M. As soon as we walked in, I spotted a beautiful light brown trench coat. This coat is a bit thinner than the others that I found, which means it can be worn pretty much all year round. I paid €50.00 for this coat, and it is in a size small.

For my shoes, I decided to wear my black pointed toe ankle boots. I purchased these last fall from Forever 21.  I feel that these shoes were the perfect choice for this outfit because pointed toe shoes always look classy and the locals seemed to love ankle boots as well!

As for the accessories, I wanted to share the most important piece that completes this look: A black beret. Call me cliché, but I knew I couldn’t leave France without buying one… or two! I actually thought that the locals did not wear berets, and that it was a style that tourists took over. However, I actually saw quite a few of the locals wearing them!

Thank you so much for reading! I may not be fluent in French, but I am definitely fluent in French fashion! 😉

My Dream Trip to France – 2020

Hey everyone! I am back from my trip to France! Although I was so sad to leave, I was also happy to see my family again. To be in my own space again. I finally got to go on my dream trip, and I am so extremely grateful that I was given this opportunity. I am very excited to share my trip with you all today! I took a break from blogging while on my trip, but if you would like to see some more photos from France, check out my Instagram: @sacchere14.

The week before I left, I felt a mix of emotions. With every day that passed, my nerves intensified. What’s funny is that leading up to the trip, I was more nervous than I was when I was actually on the trip! I also thought I would be crying and missing my family every night, and while I did miss them, I was enjoying myself and having fun. I spoke to them every day.

I’ve wanted to go to Paris my whole life, and I felt like I was waiting forever to get there. Then the opportunity came up and I said yes. Everything happened so quickly after that. Before I knew it, I was in Paris.

Our first day was honestly a bit of a blur. After traveling and barely sleeping on the flights to France, we were exhausted to say the least. As soon as we got to Paris, we had to hit the ground running, and let me tell you, this was not easy. It was hard to enjoy that first day because of the jet lag, but we got to the airport, and we took a coach bus to our hotel. On the bus, we had a tour guide show us around Paris. We saw pretty much all of the big monuments/attractions from the bus that day. The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, and the Arc de Triomphe. We walked down the Champs Elysees, and did a bit of shopping. On the night of the first day, we had a group dinner at a restaurant near our hotel.

My first time seeing the Eiffel Tower
Paris, France

We had to learn how to use the metro system, which was a bit difficult. My friend and I got lost a couple of times, but we ultimately got to where we needed to be. We walked so much on this trip though, which in Europe, is kind of expected. One day, we walked 13 miles! We decided that it was easier than trying to figure out the metro, but we still tried to take the metro when we could!

The second day, we walked to Sacre Coeur, which was absolutely beautiful. It is a giant cathedral sitting on top of a tall hill. On the way up, a few of the girls and I stopped at a couple souvenir shops. I know it’s cliche, but I decided to buy a couple berets. One in black, and one in red. I also bought an adorable key chain of the Eiffel Tower with some macaroons. Typical tourist, I know. Then we made our way up the hill to see Sacre Coeur. On top of the hill we had a beautiful view of Paris. After, a few of us decided to get hot dogs, and they were AMAZING. I’ve never had a hot dog with melted cheese on top. I don’t know what kind of cheese it was, but it was SO good.

Sacre Coeur
Paris, France

After lunch, we decided to check out the historic Shakespeare & Co. bookstore. Apparently, the owner of the store, George Whitman, would allow writers to sleep in the shop so long as they wrote something during their stay. And me, being a writer, loved hearing this. We then walked around the Latin Quarter and stopped by a couple of  boutiques. While looking for nothing in particular, I found a beautiful green and gold dress that I decided I needed to have.

In the evening, we all went on a Seine river cruise. The walk from our hotel to the port was amazing because we got so close to the Eiffel Tower. It was so beautiful, and we got some great pictures! A few of us went outside of the boat to get the best pictures and videos. The Eiffel Tower was lit up and standing tall right in front of us. A couple of the girls and I went out to dinner by the Eiffel Tower and had a really great meal together. We did it the French way, and stayed longer than we normally would. It’s funny, in the United States, everything feels so rushed. We are always on the go and we don’t always prioritize some time for ourselves or the people we love. In France, they have that time. They make that time. And it made me wish I could live the way that the French do. It just seems like a healthier lifestyle overall.

Paris, France

The next day, we walked to the Musée d’Orsay. We were able to stay for a while, and I got to see the self portrait of Vincent Van Gogh, as well as a few paintings by Monet. After this, my friend and I were on the hunt for the Moulin Rouge. We decided to walk from the museum which was a very long walk, and Apple/Google maps were not all that helpful. We got a bit lost, and even though our feet were killing us, it was kind of fun getting lost in Paris. Trying to find our way around and exploring the city.

On the way, we saw Laduree, and that is THE place to go if you want macaroons. I was so excited, so we made a quick stop! It was not the one on the Champs Elysees, but the little shop was adorable, and  we decided to try some macaroons. I got chocolate, rose, pistachio, and vanilla. We continued our search for the Moulin Rouge, and after so much walking, we decided to stop for lunch.

We finally found the Moulin Rouge, and we took some photos in front of it. We then made our way back to Sacre Coeur because it was a stunning area. We ate our macaroons on top of the hill, looking down on Paris. The macaroons were absolutely delicious! They were so flavorful, and I was so glad we got to try them.

Trying French macaroons for the first time
Paris, France

We then explored more of Montmartre. We were able to see a ton of artists drawing and painting, and we walked around the small, quiet village. Before dinner, our professors invited us to the Montparnasse Tower on the 56th floor, where the restaurant was. We had an amazing view, and we got to see the sunset go down over my new favorite city. My friend and I went to dinner afterward, and had what we both believe was the BEST pasta we’d ever had in our lives. It was a small restaurant near the Eiffel Tower. The food on this trip was so, so good. Almost all of my meals were delicious, but this one took the cake!

The view from the 56th floor of the Montparnasse Tower
Paris, France

The next day, we took a train to Lyon. If I’m being honest, I had never really heard much about this city. I didn’t really know what we would be seeing or doing here. The first day we were there, we had time to ourselves so my friend and I explored Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon). We walked up a hill to get the best view of the city. We saw some amazing cathedrals and incredible statues around every corner. Seeing such old buildings and statues always fascinates me. I truly can’t believe that buildings like this are still here today, and that people actually made this at one point. I am so glad that the people in countries like this have taken such good care of these beautiful buildings, so that generations and generations could enjoy it as well.

Saint Jean Cathedral
Lyon, France

One thing I really wanted to try was chocolate, so I found a place in Lyon, and bought a few pieces. The employees at the little shop brought out a fresh, hot batch of brioche with praline roses. We tried some, and I was in heaven. It was so good.

The next day, we had a guide give us a tour of Old Lyon. She knew so much about the city, and she was able to tell and show us some things that we didn’t know about. She told us that the best place to get the brioche with praline roses was the exact place my friend and I went to the day before! I bought some praline roses so my family could try them! It was a really cold and rainy day, but we were looking forward to our cooking class that night. We were all able to help make a meal that we enjoyed as a group.

Vieux Lyon
Lyon, France

For our last full day in Lyon, we took a tour of the newer side of the city. This side was not as interesting to me, but it was still very cool to see the new buildings. It all looked very futuristic. The buildings were built in a way that allowed sunlight to reach almost every window. They were very unique and different from anything I’d seen before. After our tour, we decided to go back to Old Lyon. My friend and I were looking forward to trying crepes and they were really good, though they reminded me of pancakes.

We then stopped by a few stores. I was on the hunt for a nice brown trench coat. We walked into a department store and saw quite a few. I found that many were a bit too pricy for me. I saw one for $900! I knew I did not have too much money to spend, but we found one at a store called Pimkie, which I believe is similar to H&M. I bought a thinner brown trench coat for $50. It is not exactly what I pictured, but I fell in love with it.

The next day we took a train back to Paris for our final day. As soon as we arrived, all of us took the metro to the Louvre Museum. I was really excited to go because lately, the museum has not been open very often. We got to see the Mona Lisa, and we were amazed by the museum as a whole. After our time at the museum, my friend and I went off and stopped by Shakespeare and Co. again. We made reservations at Laduree on the Champs Elysees because we needed to have macaroons one last time! The next day, we were headed to the airport to go home!

Seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum
Paris, France

Any time we heard people speaking English, my friend and I immediately wanted to talk to them. We would ask them where they were from, and what brought them to France. The locals were always very kind and helpful to my friend and I, and we never had one bad interaction with them. We found the negative stereotype that the French have of being “rude” to be very untrue. We even struck up conversations with a few of the locals and it was really interesting to learn more about their culture. I love being around people from all over the world because it truly shows you that there is an entire world out there besides your own city, state, or country, and it is incredible to see.

Something that I learned while being in France is that they have their dessert before dinner. Around 4-5, the French will go out for something sweet, and they usually start eating dinner around 7:30. It took us a while to learn this because after dinner, we would go out looking for crepes or ice cream, but most places were already closed!

While in Lyon, I realized that many of the locals did not know as much English as the locals in Paris. This made a lot of sense, seeing that so many people travel to Paris from all over the world. Lyon does not have as many tourists in comparison. It made me think about the fact that many Parisians most likely have to learn some English. The language barrier really wasn’t much of an issue, but in Lyon we did struggle to get our point across a bit more.

I was able to bond with some of the girls on the trip, and getting to experience this with them was fun. I always imagined that I would live out this dream with my family, but dreams don’t always work out the way you think they will. I think that things happen for a reason, and France taught me to say yes, to take risks, and to chase my dreams.

I feel so lucky that I was able to do this. I feel proud of myself for taking a big step, but what I’ve realized is that maybe I was more ready for this than I thought. Before leaving, I was fearful. Fearful of leaving my family, of having to take care of myself without them, and fearful that I wouldn’t enjoy my time. I didn’t know any of the girls going on the trip very well, and I thought of all of the things that could go wrong.

This trip really did allow me to get out of my comfort zone. It allowed me to gain independence and confidence, and it brought me so much joy. Deciding whether or not to do it was difficult, but in the end, I chose to chase my dream. Sometimes life is going to hand you certain opportunities, and you need to decide if it is worth taking a risk for. My trip was not perfect, but it was my dream, and I am so happy that I got to live it. Like I said, I’ve wanted to go to Paris forever. I always hoped I’d get there, I just never knew it would happen so soon.

Thank you so much for reading! I have many more dreams and goals that I can’t wait to share with you all one day. I hope you enjoyed reading about my trip, and I’m already looking forward to my next adventure. Until next time!

Pack With Me for My Trip to France

Hey everyone! I recently shared with you all that I am going on my dream trip to France over spring break, and I am leaving VERY soon! I am a little nervous but so excited! I can’t believe that I am already packing for this trip! Anyone who knows me knows that I love creating lists and planning things out, so packing for a trip is always exciting for me! Now unpacking…. that’s another story!

I am going to be gone for a little over a week, and since it is technically still winter, it is going to be a bit chilly in France. Although you can never be 100% when it comes to the weather, I always like to do a quick google search to see what the weather is typically like at the time of year I am going on a trip. I also constantly check the weather app on my phone prior to and during my trip. After checking the weather, I try to pack accordingly. I do not necessarily mind the cold weather, but I hope it isn’t going to rain too much. When I picture France, I don’t often picture a lot of sun, but I am hoping for the best!

Clothing :

Long before I go on any trip, I like to plan out different outfits to wear.  I will typically take pictures of them and save them in my phone so I can remember what I wanted to bring.  I also tend to go shopping before a big vacation for a few new pieces! I am not the type of person to simply throw a bunch of random things in my suitcase and call it a day (my sister does this and it drives me crazy)!

I often travel with my family, but they will not be coming with me on this trip, hence, why I am a bit nervous. I tend to over pack, and I will sometimes need someone else to carry a few of my things. This time, I need to pack light and really narrow down my options.

For clothing, I plan on bringing a couple light sweaters and long sleeved shirts. I am bringing some t-shirts, a cardigan, and a zip up hoodie for layering. I have this beautiful black pea coat that was given to me as a gift on Christmas, and it is perfect for France. The other jacket I am bringing will be more of a rain coat that I could wear on rainy/possibly warmer days.

As for undergarments, I like to bring extras. I’ll pack enough socks (long and short), underwear, bras, and a couple tank tops for layering purposes. 

Two of the days will be travel days, and I want to be comfortable on the long plane rides. I will be wearing some comfortable pants (most likely leggings), a loose t-shirt, and my boots. I am also going to wear my heavier jacket on the plane. Many people say that when you are traveling, you should try to wear your heaviest items so you don’t have to try and fit it all in your luggage. I am not the biggest fan of this tip though, because when you go through security, you’ll most likely have to take off those layers.

 I will be gone for over a week, so I think that bringing 2-3 pairs of shoes should suffice. I am going to try to bring a nice pair of flats, an athletic (and comfortable) pair of sneakers, and a pair of black boots.

Accessories:

I bought a matching scarf and hat set for the colder days. I also love cross body bags for travel, so I am bringing a simple black one that will match all of my outfits. At first, I did not want to bring a backpack because it is just another thing to carry, but I decided to get a small black backpack in case my necessities do not fit in my cross body. This way, if I need to, I can throw a couple things in there throughout the day. Or, if I buy something new, I can throw it in there as well!

When it comes to jewelry, I don’t go too crazy. I am going to bring a couple necklaces and bracelets, and a few different options for earrings.  I also wear two gold rings every day, so these are also coming with me!

Although it may not be very sunny, I like to bring sunglasses on every trip. I bought a simple black pair from H&M recently, so I will be bringing those!  I am also bringing a small umbrella, just in case!

Beauty:

When I pack my makeup, I try to think realistically about what I am going to use. I don’t really wear too much makeup on vacation (especially when I am at the bach), but I still want to look presentable. Luckily, I am a member of Ipsy, and many of the products I receive from them are sample sizes, which is perfect for travel! A few of my everyday beauty essentials are foundation (I use this as concealer. I never do a full face on vacation), powder, mascara, lip colors, and eyeliner. Since most of the beauty products I am bringing are fairly small, they can easily fit inside one of my glam bags, and inside my carry-on!

When it comes to skincare, I still do not necessarily have a set routine, but Ipsy has sent me many skincare products to try recently, so I am bringing acne wash, moisturizer, eye cream, and a facial cleanser.

I am unsure if I want to straighten my hair for this trip or leave it natural. I don’t really do too much to my hair when I am at home, so I may leave it natural because it’ll be a lot easier.  I am going to bring shampoo, conditioner, a mini hair brush, as well as a few hair accessories (hair ties, hair clips, bobby pins etc.).

Toiletries:

I like to be prepared for anything and everything, so my list is a little long, but I’ll keep it short for you. I plan on packing tweezers, deodorant, body wash, contact lenses (and extra contacts), glasses, toothbrush and toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, and razors, just to name a few of the items. I also think that it is important to pack some kind of pain reliever such as aspirin or ibeuprofin. When traveling, there are bound to be days when you aren’t feeling so great, so it can be a life saver to have this on you.

Technology:

I ALWAYS bring my portable chargers on any trips because we are usually out sightseeing all day when we travel as a family. This is an essential in my opinion. I will simply charge my phone and my portable chargers at night, and then I am usually good to go for the day! I also try to keep my phone on low battery mode, and when I am not using it, I will keep it on airplane mode. I am also bringing my headphones for travel days!

Miscellaneous:

Since I will be traveling out of the country, I am going to need my passport. I was given the most adorable passport cover and luggage tag for Christmas! I also need to bring some Euros in case certain places will not accept cards. I am bringing both my ID and student ID (for discount prices) as well!

I am so excited for this trip! This has been one of my biggest dreams for so long now, so the fact that this is actually happening is so insane to me!  I am definitely nervous to leave my family for a while, but I know that this is going to be good for me. Getting out of my comfort zone really does feel scary, but when I challenged myself to get out of my comfort zone more often, I meant it. This is a big step for me, but I know I’m headed in the right direction.

I will not be blogging while I am away on my trip, but I will share my entire trip with you once I return! If you would like to keep up with my daily life, follow me on Instagram @sacchere14 (I will be posting many photos while on my trip)! Thank you for reading! Now, I’m going to go live out one of my biggest dreams! France, I’ll see you VERY soon!

Au revoir (for now)!

Exciting Announcement: Part 2 of “Saying ‘Yes’ to New Opportunities and Why You Should Never Fear Growth”

If you have been keeping up with my blog posts for a while now, you may remember that I posted that I had an exciting announcement to share in the New Year. Remember when I posted that I said yes to an exciting new opportunity? Well, today I am finally sharing what that is! Saying yes to this opportunity is leading me to one of my biggest dreams, but it was actually not an easy decision to make, and I will explain why.

First, I want to share with you all that I am going to be traveling to France over spring break! To say that I am exhilarated would be an understatement. Everyone who knows me knows that I have dreamed of going to France for such a long time now, so the fact that I am actually going doesn’t feel real just yet.

I feel very lucky to attend a school that offers amazing opportunities. I am a junior in college and my advisor recommended that I travel abroad while in school. I do not live on campus, so I have had trouble meeting people, but part of the requirement for the travel abroad program I am in is to take a course during the semester of travel. I am currently taking a class for the program called “Bonjour Ville Saine”, which means “Hello Healthy City”. We are learning about the health of the people in my city as well as the health of the people in Paris and Lyon, which are the two cities we will be traveling to. When we come back from our trip, we are going to be comparing the health of the people in these cities to my city. I think this is going to be interesting to look at because here in America, I feel that we do have a lot of issues when it comes to healthcare.

While speaking to my advisor about the different countries that I could travel to, I felt excited at the thought of traveling again. She mentioned that there were spots open to travel to Guatemala and France. I immediately perked up when she said the word “France”. The excitement quickly dissolved when I started thinking of all of the reasons I shouldn’t go. I know that this decision may seem like a no-brainer to some of you, and you may even be thinking “Why on earth wouldn’t you say yes?” but I made a list of pros and cons. My cons were a pretty big deal in my opinion, so let’s start with that.

Although I have been lucky enough to travel often, I have always done it with my family. My family and I are very close, and the thought of being away from them for more than a couple of days makes me anxious. Especially since I am going to be OUT OF THE COUNTRY. I spent some time talking to my family and my friends because I trust their opinions, and it felt like a decision that I just couldn’t make on my own. Everyone I spoke to said I should do it. They were happy for me, so why couldn’t I just say yes?

My family knows how much this trip means to me, and I was really hoping to go to France for the first time with them. I was worried that if I went on this trip without them, I wouldn’t be able to fully enjoy it. I guess I was feeling guilty and a bit sad that I wouldn’t be able to live out my dream with the people who know how much it means to me. I’ve realized that even though I won’t be with my family, in some way it still feels special because I am going to experience it on my own. I will gain a lot of independence and confidence this way. Hopefully at some point in the future, I can enjoy France with my family. I may not be able to do every little thing I want to do this time around, so maybe one day I can do those things with my family by my side.

The next issue that held me back was the fact that I did not know a single person I would be traveling with. As I mentioned, my school offers many travel abroad programs. I knew I didn’t want to be alone, so I felt that IF I were to do this, I wanted it to be short term and I wanted to do it with a group of students and professors. Luckily, the trip to France is exactly that.

There are about fourteen of us going on this trip, plus our two professors, and many of the girls are Nursing (or health related) majors. I am not, but thankfully these programs allow anyone to join. I may not know the girls very well, but I am looking forward to getting to know them better. I am going to be living my dream, so it would be nice to enjoy it with other people. I also think that by traveling and experiencing this with them, it could help us bond.

I think that I was also holding back from saying yes because it was going to be quite a bit of responsibility. Although I feel like I am pretty responsible, and that I could take care of myself, I’ve never really been on my own before, so I was nervous that I wasn’t ready for it. I think that in life, we are going to feel “not ready” for many things, but I believe that it is up to ourselves to decide whether or not it is worth taking a risk. I know that this will be worth it, and that is why I said yes. Pushing myself to say yes was scary, but I think that this is exactly what I need right now.

I did have to make this decision on a bit of a deadline, so after thinking and thinking, I made my decision. I am not sure what it was that ultimately gave me the push, but I said yes, and I am so glad I did. I have been slowly getting to know the girls and the professors who are also going on this trip, and the closer this trip is getting, the more excited I feel. I guess what led me to this decision was the fact that I knew it was my dream. I knew I would regret it if I didn’t go. This really is going to be a great way for me to get out of my comfort zone, and I have been trying to do this more often.

Of course I am still a bit nervous like I think most people would be, but I know that this is going to be good for me. I can’t really think of any reason why it wouldn’t be now. And hey, if this ends up being a not so great experience for me, at least I can say that I did it. And even though it may seem silly to some of you, I am proud of myself for making this decision.

I am so happy to share this news with you all! I am leaving very soon, and I will not be posting any blogs while I am on my trip, but you should keep an eye out for a post when I come back. I will be talking all about my trip to France, and I can’t wait to share the experience with you! (I may not be active on my website during my trip, but I will still be on social media, so follow me on Instagram, @sacchere14, to keep up with me and my travels)! For now, I have a few other posts to share before I go, and I’ll have plenty to share when I come back! Thank you so much for reading!