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Fun times

Hey there,

Growing up I wasn't very fond of amusement parks, although I grew a big love for Disneyland, land of magic and wonderfulness, I would rather sit on a bench minding the bag packs and all, than fear from my life, and my lunch on some crazy rides. I guess you could say that I was the nerd and afraid of everything kid. In fact, if you insist on going with the stereotypes and other clichés, I was the kid with glasses and braces, with absolutely no style. Anyway, what was I writing about... Amusement park! 


I now understand what I was missing out, and oh boy the high waves of regrets that come rushing through my soul and my mind... All those years in California, Massachusetts, Canada, Virginia, whatever, spent on a bench, watching people having actual fun while I was having my own fun to be fair watching people while eating my hot dogs, drinking my Diet Coke, minding as always not only my own business but also the bags of people that weren't even my friends... See? Regrets right there! Bittersweet regrets... 


As I was fully aware of all those years of missed fun, I was ready to make up for this loss, big loss, of amusement. Bring it on, people! We made our minds up for Universal Studio, a first for my boyfriend and I. Our hopes were high and we were expecting a long day of running around, excited just like kids. What we were not ready for was the sun and the fire that was in our head because it was so fricking hot. We had a lot of fun though, and the fact that we didn't take any camera with us to film, was even more resourceful if I may say. We just enjoyed the moment, we enjoyed our presence, and the fun we were having. 


We were amazed by the place in itself, so huge, amazing, we were just kids caught in the moment, running everywhere, screaming how wonderful it was to be here, and witnessing how lucky we were for being in this park. Two kids in love. We wandered around the empty streets of every neighborhood, look at every building, fake houses and just experience the magic of this place. It was out of space, just like stepping into the movies we have watched growing up (or not). We couldn't stop our surprise and the waves of emotions coming at us every time we would see a different world. 


We were wild, we were free and so in love. We were catching up on our childhood. All those things our parents wouldn't let us do when we were just children, we decided to take part in. We went on all the rides, the scariest ones, and the silly ones. The day was a day of endless fun. We ate all the foods our parents wouldn't have allowed to eat. We bought the crazies expensive stuff just for the sake of it. We weren't reasonable, we were adults behaving like kids in charge. It was messy, regrettable on the next day but so much fun. We had hot dogs for lunch and a big bag of chips, huge sugary drinks, and even had donuts for dinner. We were unstoppable. 


We made friends with fake characters, we met our idols that have passed away a long time ago. I finally got my pictures with Marilyn Monroe and stole a donut from the... I don't remember his name... We kept our mind open for fun activities even if it meant waiting an hour and a half to get soaking wet or taking part in a hit and run.

We flew over Hogwart, twice, turned into minions, saved Springfield, and ran away from the Mommy, as well as zombies, which was even scarier than what I thought it would be. In fact, I knew it was a mistake as soon as we stepped into the Walking Dead "ride", I ended up crying in the middle of the trail begging for the security to let me go through the emergency exit. We also escaped from a hungry dinosaur, obviously fake but still scary and unexpected, as we stepped out soaking wet.  I was a long day, a fun day, worth it and full of unforgettable memories. 


We fought, we made up, we laughed and we screamed, well I did. We kept our eyes closed, well I did, and we even got bored at some time. At the end of the day, we could have fallen asleep on the car. Well, actually I did. 

We went overboard with the sugar, so excited during the day, but hitting our pillows going over our days as soon as we got home. We kept our memories in our minds and memory cards, and donuts in the fridge. We were full with joy fueling our energy. Overall, we were so happy for this little getaway, a bit disappointed over the redundancy of the rides, which don't come with any surprises at the end because they're all a majority of virtual reality. 


I'll talk to you soon,

Love,

Elsa. 

PS: Don't forget that you can subscribe to my Newsletter to receive the blog posts directly into your inbox! You can also follow me on bloglovin for notifications when I post something. Finally, for daily updates, follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

WHERE: UNIVERSAL STUDIO CALIFORNIA
DRESS: BRANDY MELVILLE
BAG: TOMMY HILFIGER
NECKLACE: BRANDY MELVILLE
SHOES: ALL-STARS CONVERSE

Left Behind

Hey there,

I've never felt quite at peace in nature. As a child, I used to identify as a city kid, who's never thought that I could fit outside a concrete jungle. Raised in the suburb, I was in the middle, not quite the cool kid who's grown up between tall buildings and lined up of cars, and far from the dreamy girl raised in the fields as the playground. I was average, and I've always felt average, not pretty, not as intelligent as some of the others, not as creative, and certainly not as brave. I was fearful, mostly alone, but surely a dreamer. 



But then growing up, I was becoming more in peace with the air I was breathing in, more aware of what was around me. I'd always think I would leave for bigger dreams, in a bigger place, where you can feel even more alone as you've ever felt, surrounded by running people, people on the rush, people that would never stop to stare at something. I was left behind, as I was waiting for the subway each and every day, I contemplated people rushing and pushing, every single day. I didn't fit in, I didn't feel the same urge to rush.


My mind travels, my body stays still, but my dreams rush through my blood and my veins. I'm driven by spontaneous thoughts, rushed by some unachievable dreams, but I keep going. I found myself happy in the shine of the lights, I feel the peaceful air running through the wind that touches my skin, and I breathe in the colors of the sky. I'm here but my mind is away, I try to listen to people when they speak, but all I can hear is sounds when my head is somewhere else. I go through every thought I have: silly ones, serious ones. I'm selfish, but I'm a dreamer, I'm generous and I'm a giver.


And I stand in the light, warmed up by the sun, lighted up by the sky, I live. Breathing in and breathing out. My naturality rises and I'm filled with joy. In the shadow hidden from people, touched by some rays of the sun. I walk in the garden, I wander around, exploring and filling my heart with anything that's not anxiety. For a minute, I allow myself to forget, and all I think about is the moment. And the minute I step outside this dream, I come back to reality, and all my thoughts are turned to stress and wishes to go back to a place, where my mind can wander and escape. A little getaway, my safe haven away from the trouble and the noise. 



I'm not a child of nature, not a wild person, I'm a calm person, I stare at the chaos of some people and do not approach it. I'm a free spirit, driven by some crazy impulses, but it's the spontaneity that brings the best in people. Some of the best are the unpredictable ones. I long for those ones, they bring the best memories, souvenirs stuck in our heads forever that we will cherish for our time being. Someday, we'll drive for hours, not knowing where we will go but we'll stop once we'll have figured it out. On that day, we'll stare at the infinity and lied in the sun until it sets. It will be a good day, just like all the other ones, and we will remember it, just like we did with all those days filled with happiness. 


I'll talk to you soon,

Love,

Elsa. 

PS: Don't forget that you can subscribe to my Newsletter to receive the blog posts directly into your inbox! You can also follow me on bloglovin for notifications when I post something. Finally, for daily updates, follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

WHERE: BOTANICAL BUILDING BALBOA PARK
DRESS: ZARA
BAG: REBECCA MINKOFF
NECKLACE: BRANDY MELVILLE
SHOES: ALL-STARS CONVERSE

Jenny Rose in the Desert

Hey there,

I'm floating in the air. No, I'm not crazy, just yet, but it's the feeling that struck me when I stepped out of the car. On the road to Sequoia National Park, in the middle of the desert, straight lines, an infinity of rocks and pure emptiness. Then, a gas station and the most out of space dinner, straight out of a time machine. It takes you back to the seventies as soon as you step inside this very welcoming air-conditioned restaurant. Very much touristic, but heart-warming, a bit scary and hilarious. But we'll talk about that later.


We were not here for Peggy Sue this time. As we stopped at the gas station in the middle of nowhere, I was gasping for air, I needed to step into this hot desert, I needed to feel a thousand degrees, air, something real. I stepped out of the car, and as I walked away from the gas station, I stood in front of the opposite of Peggy Sues's dinner. The competition that didn't handle it.  Jenny Rose Restaurant. All I saw was dirt, a mess, sadness, emptiness, and retro feels. Left alone in the desert was this blue space, surrounded by windows, everything in its place as if it was just closed for the day.


You couldn't have figured that it was abandoned if it wasn't for the dirt. I wanted to go in and play pretend. I wanted to dance around the tables, eat a burger in the desert facing a gas station in the middle of Nevada. Or was it California? Did we cross the borders? Lost in translation, lost in space. It felt like a different decade, only the emptiness took us back. The funniest part of traveling around and road tripping is the wandering around. Stopping where you didn't intend to stop, stare at what you wouldn't have stared if you followed the guide, and wander at the wonder of what the State has to offer.



There was not much about this place, not much inside it except for some tables and chairs piled on top of each other, left behind. Maybe it wasn't abandoned, after all, maybe the owners were just on a break. We'll never know the story behind this big blue building facing the gas station in the middle of nowhere. Big, blue and beautiful, no matter how empty this place was, it could have been filled with memories and stories to tell, and you could imagine everything by just looking through the dirty glass of the windows. You could see the people talking, the waitress running around, and the kids playing. You could feel the soul of this place, probably closed for years. I felt happy to stand there and sad to leave this place. After all, all this place has known is goodbyes and I was yet another one to leave it, except that I hadn't got the chance to experience it. 


We've heard about ghost towns through our time on the roads of California, and although we've seen a few empty places, we've never heard about ghost places. What happened to a shop once it stops existing? We hear the stories of the cities that everyone left for some reason, we embarked on guide tours about some old town known for its gold mine and ghost stories. What about those buildings embraced by souvenirs, so many thoughts, so many discussions that have touched it, and so many lives that have crossed it? What happened to Jenny Rose? As the big neon heart sign circling the Jenny Rose sign was up in the air, still welcoming visitors and tourists on the parking lot of the gas station, Jenny Rose has officially closed its eyes and doors for no longer hearing stories and warming people's heart. 


I'll talk to you soon,

Love,

Elsa. 

PS: Don't forget that you can subscribe to my Newsletter to receive the blog posts directly into your inbox! You can also follow me on bloglovin for notifications when I post something. Finally, for daily updates, follow me on Twitter and Instagram.









New Beginning

Hey there,

I put down my pen today and leave my stories on the side for a much more beauty appropriate post. I haven't written for so long on this blog that I haven't even said that I have officially started a career in the beauty world. Well... you can't really call it a career. For now, I'm just accumulating experiences as an intern. Back in January, I was interning for the brand Oh My Cream, which really taught me a lot about cosmetics, the good products for my skin, the best routine to adopt etc. I've learned that I have combination skin, with lots of dehydration, and that my skin is acne prone, which I did know already. My vision on skincare has really changed but I've been so selfish not to share it. The truth is, even though I have changed my routine, my skin hasn't followed along and my acne got worst for the last six months. 


I've learned that I should let go of my micellar water for good because it was the cause of many sensibilities and the reason your skin would not get better because it actually harms the skin instead of protecting it. I've been taught that I should take off my makeup with oil, cleanse my skin with a cleansing gel, exfoliate with a soft exfoliation powder; tone with a serum and hydrate with oil. So I did for 6 months, switching products every two months or so because my skin wasn't accommodating so well. And then the wake-up call... 

My skin has cleared up a bit after the third time I've changed my routine, but my acne got really worse two weeks before my brother's wedding. I lost all my confidence, and I was beginning to accept the fact that I wasn't going to clear my acne before the wedding. But then my co-worker came to the rescue and told me that the reason my skin was getting so bad, was probably because I've developed an allergy to face oil. My skin didn't react well to it, and it began to make sense as my acne has been worse since I've joined Oh My Cream


So once again I've changed my routine just in time for my 3 weeks vacation to California. I've switched my makeup removal oil for a micellar water under a gel texture, all natural, with no harm to the skin. I've kept my cleansing gel but switched for a much softer one, and I've let go of my face oil for a much more hydrating and repairing cream, which could treat the dryness of my cheeks and the spots and scars on the rest of my face. I now work as an intern for Birchbox and I can now say that my skin has gotten much better and if you're a little creep that wants to zoom on my photos, you can see that my skin is actually clear even though I am obviously wearing makeup. 


But ! I can now list my favorite products from my skincare routine : 
  • I take off my makeup at night with the Patyka Micellar Gel, but since I ran out of it during our vacation in sunny California, I now use the Drunk Elephant Cleansing Gel, which I found at Sephora US and really love. They both take the makeup off really efficiently but I would say the Drunk Elephant gel is better at it. Although the Patyka's texture is much more refreshing and nice on the skin, the Drunk Elephant leaves the skin nice and soft. I also love the foaming effect of the Drunk Elephant gel once you add water. However, the composition is much cleaner for the Patyka Micellar Gel.
  • I cleanse my face day and night with the Susanne Kaufmann Cleansing Gel, which I really love the smell and the soft texture. I love how my skin feels fresh and glowy after I use this. I also use the Ren Rose Centifolia Cleansing Gel, which has a really soft action on the skin but really cleanses the skin. 
  • Once every 2 or 3 days, I exfoliate my skin with the Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant, which is "the bomb" for a Photoshop look. It takes off the dead cells on the skin and leaves it so radiant and soft. It doesn't harm the skin, it hasn't increased my acne or my scars. In fact, it has helped remove them. Definitely the best exfoliant I have ever used! 
  • I apply the Garancia Elixir du Marabout serum, which I have talked about before on the blog. It is seriously amazing to treat imperfections, nothing beats this. Although the Grown Alchemist Blemish Gel Treatment was also a great use on a more local scale.
  • For moisturizing, I now use at night the Ren Skincare Clearcalm 3 Rehydrating Cream, which has the greatest action on my skin to treat my oiliness and dryness, and my imperfections. The texture is a bit rich, which scared me at first, but it has helped my skin so much! 

I would get more in depth about the products I have tried and my impressions on multiple skincare products and routine in a future post, but I hope you still found this one useful. 

I'll talk to you soon,

Love,

Elsa. 

PS: Don't forget that you can subscribe to my Newsletter to receive the blog posts directly into your inbox! You can also follow me on bloglovin for notifications when I post something. Finally, for daily updates, follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

I left my heart

Hey there,

We knew we would love Venice Beach. Everyone kept telling us about how awesome this place was. And I simply believed them because although Los Angeles was impressing before we left, Venice felt more welcoming. Venice was so refreshing and it was weird to realize we were still in Los Angeles. Different neighborhood, same city, same state. California was full of surprises and Los Angeles was just as well. 


Even the air is different in Venice. We were so far from this warm and almost unbreathable air. We could feel the wind on our faces and we could smell the salt water in our hair. It was just as I imagined, but it was also like I've been there before. I've never been to Los Angeles before, I saw too many pictures, so many movies about this city. Venice was no exception. Every day you see this place on a screen and when you finally get to meet it in person, you are still mesmerized. It's its authenticity, the genuine welcoming vibe, the sun shining through the palm trees. It was incredible. We could have stood there for hours, just contemplating at the artsy buildings, or the waves coming and going on the beach. We felt like we belonged, we felt like we should spend the rest of our life here. 


We didn't start the day at Venice. Our only regret was to not even spend a full day there. We spent the morning Downtown L.A, which was a must see, but we didn't feel like we've seen what we came for. We were expecting much. Funny enough, we came to Los Angeles with the idea that everything was going to be impressing, everything was going to be all sparkles in the eyes and glitters in the sky. Hollywood and Beverly Hills were fulfilling our expectations, but Downtown L.A was a bit of a disappointment. But our expectations were set too high for this city and we should have stayed on the ground. We eventually did, as soon as we stepped outside of the car in Venice.


Actually, we didn't even step outside our car in Venice Beach. We parked nearby Abbot Kinney Boulevard. The "hipster" area, the neighborhood where they allegedly charged you $10 for a coffee. Well, we did get lemonades for $4 each. We found it reasonable especially for the size of the lemonade. We walked on this boulevard, so different from Rodeo Drive, more laid back and welcoming, but still a bit high end. We walked through Venice houses, cute beach house so far from the beach but still warm and cozy. We found our way to the Venice canals, and it felt like a mix of Amsterdam meets Venice. It was still so unique, we wanted to picture ourselves living there by the water, with a boat in the garden.


We walked, it was peaceful. It seems like silence cannot be disturbed and the sun shines all day long. Finally at the end of our path was the beach. Not exactly actually, we still had a long alley to walk through. But the view when you're at the very start of this long alley, and you can see the beach from afar, you can see the blue waves and the light sand, and you're so excited, you want to run like a kid. When we reached the end of the alley, it was a different universe. It was so exciting to see the area we were dying to see. It was amazing to see the beach for the first time since we arrived in Los Angeles, and for the first time in what... 2 years? 


We walked on a beach, carrying our shoes in our hand, feeling the sand under our toes, and the rays of the sunshine on our face. It wasn't that hot, it felt nice. We walked until our feet met the sea. First time for him, his toes touching the Pacific Ocean. Second time for me, having the cold water tickling my feet again. It was nice to meet up again with this ocean. The air felt good. We stood there, and walked on the wet sand, having the water coming and going under our toes until we couldn't go straight anymore. We walked to Muscle Beach, contemplated people with more motivation than I will never have, doing push ups, or climbing a tree. We made our way to Venice Boardwalk, meeting surfers and teenagers rolling on skateboards. And we did the most spontaneous thing of this trip... We rented bikes, which was an unusual experience for me. American bikes are just like America... Giant. 


It was hard, like learning how to bike at 23 years old kind of hard. I was scared to fall, not because I was scared of hurting myself, but because when you plan an expensive 3 weeks vacation in California, and you hurt yourself on your first week, you don't want to end up in the hospital having to be sent home on an emergency plane ride. I was clumsy, slow and not too confident. We still biked along Venice Boardwalk among other people we've never met. We biked with the attention of reaching Santa Monica Pier. We gave up... I was too slow, the sun was getting low and we wanted to be on the Pier when the sun would set, so we headed back. 


It felt like being in a movie. Surreal and dreamy, biking along Venice Boardwalk. As touristy as it seems, there's nothing more local for me than to experience a part of a city on a bike. We loved Venice, we loved the ride on the bikes, kind of a love/hate relationship for myself really, but it was good memories to reminisce in the future. Once we had given back the bikes, we headed back to the car, we took a different path, passing more art, different houses, and new people. It was a short fifteen minutes walk, a much-needed one to talk about what we've just experienced. 


Venice was our favorite part of our week in Los Angeles. For the art, the people, the wind, the palm trees, the sun, the beach and the bikes We loved every single moment of this short getaway to Venice. My only regret was not staying longer. I hoped we would go back before leaving. 

I'll talk to you soon,

Love,

Elsa. 

PS: Don't forget that you can subscribe to my Newsletter to receive the blog posts directly into your inbox! You can also follow me on BlogLovin for notifications when I post something. Finally, for daily updates, follow me on Twitter and Instagram.


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