Thursday, August 29, 2013

Small Trips

Playing: Harlem-New Politics
Reading: Sleeping With the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War by Hal Vaughan
Last Saturday, I went to a small family reunion, which my parents hosted at the Rusty Pelican (aka my dad's favorite place for seafood). I always order the same salmon dish, so I decided to try their Penne a la Vodka, which came with giant scallops and shrimp. It was a delicious and creamy pasta, but I think I'll stick to the salmon. If you go, ask to sit on the deck. Whether or not it's sunny, it's rather pretty to watch all the yachts go by.
After the reunion, I went on a small journey out to the Fullerton Arboretum located on CSU Fullerton's campus. It's a fairly large park with multiple gardens and they have these cute walkways that you can hang out at. I remember that a bunch of guys playing guitars were sitting here, when I first visited this place a few years back, and I still think that's kind of cool.
Even though I typically prefer the forested areas of the park, the desert plants are rather interesting too. Some of them look like they belong to another planet and just for record, it is not an enjoyable to look around in the desert areas when it's hot out. Unfortunately, when I went, it was over 90°F outside.
For the most part, I just sat on the grass under a tree, trying to convince some ducks to let me play with them. My brother had more luck with the ducks, so I took a picture. They were all very friendly and a few tried to nuzzle my brother. While he was playing with the ducks, I made fun of him because it looked like a scene from this Henry David Thoreau documentary my English teacher made me watch. Sorry that I don't really have much to blog about at the moment. I'm thinking of doing a post on my current favorite models or on some runway shows I've been liking, but I'm not sure if you guys would really be into that?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

What's in My Purse

Playing: This is Gospel-Panic! at the Disco
Reading: Vogue September 2013
A lot of people have been doing posts about what is in their purses lately and I've been meaning to do so too. Even though everything I carry is pretty standard, I thought some of you may be interested. Here's what's in my purse at the moment:

  1. iPhone-I almost always have my cellular phone with me, so that I can keep in touch with friends and stay connected through Instagram with all my favorite people in fashion. (Follow me @this_is_audrey for food pictures, outfit updates, and pictures of pretty things!)
  2. Tums-This just started as a bad habit during elementary school, so I always carry it now. My friends and I use it, so it's just useful to carry around.
  3. ChapStick/Lip Stick-I have a tough time paying attention to anything if my lips are dry, so ChapStick keeps me focused during class. Lip stick just became an essential this year to give my lips some color, since I'm pretty white.
  4. Car Keys-I drive a white Gucci Fiat 500, so obviously whenever I drive it, I carry around my keys. My car keys are both kawaii with the Sentimental Circus key cap and badass with my Swiss army pocket knife. As for the whistle, I'm not sure why I have it. My parents just stuck it on there one day and it's stayed there.
  5. Wallet-My Burberry wallet has been with me for around five years now and it just carries the normal everyday things like gift cards, some money, and my driver's license. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Paris Day IX

Playing: Step-Vampire Weekend (Love the 18th century ball sound to it!)
Reading: 1984 by George Orwell
To start off our last day in Paris, my family and I visited the Musée de l'Orangerie to see Monet's lilies before stopping off at the Palais de Tokyo. The Palais de Tokyo is known for its avant garde exhibits and for showcasing up and coming artists. The collection was rather limited, but I enjoyed what they had and how many of their pieces felt like a whimsical childhood gone by.
Right behind the Palais de Tokyo on Saturdays is a farmers market that has everything from fresh produce to flowers to food stands to vintage clothing boutiques. At Gerard&Evelyne, you can order delicious crepes for low prices. The Brocéliande, which I ordered, is stuffed with savory cheese, mushrooms, and ham inside a whole grain crepe. It was surprisingly good and probably the best crepe I've ever gotten off a stand.
After lunch, we wandered aimlessly through Paris before heading back to the Champes-Élysées to visit the Louis Vuitton store. Even though it was huge inside and offered a wide selection, I found it demeaning to have to wait in line just to get in. There were many purses inside that I liked, but I found that the prices in the states are significantly better and couldn't justify buying anything. However, since we were near Ladurée, I was able to grab another box of macarons to bring home.
For our last meal, we just ate at a restaurant near out hotel called Le Bistro Marbeuf. The Escalope de Veau à la Crème de Champignons avec Riz was rather good. The veal was tender and the sauce was very creamy just as I had hoped.
The dessert was the most interesting. Our Île Flottante avec Crème Anglaise was a large puff of meringue topped with caramel, sitting in a pool of custard. It was light and airy, but flavorful and definitely something you should try if a restaurant offers it. Overall, my trip to Paris was one of my favorites. I had been warned several times that the French were rude and standoffish, but everyone was nice towards me and two boys even offered to take me around Paris. The food was good, the city was beautiful, and I got to experience once in a lifetime moments like talking to Karl Lagerfeld, Grace Coddington, and Sylvia Venturini Fendi. I would definitely like to go back there to study one day.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Paris Day VIII

Playing: Finding Something To Do-Hellogoodbye
Reading: Crown Jewels of Europe by Prince Michael of Greece
For breakfast, I went back to Ladurée with my family to get Le Pain Perdu Tiède Ladurée again because it was that good, only this time I ordered some chantilly cream with it. Instead of hot chocolate, I ordered Le Mélange Spécial Ladurée Thè, which I can't remember much about other than that it was enjoyable enough for my brother and I to finish off the pot of tea.
Since I witnessed The Glory of Water opening party, I decided to go back and check the exhibit after breakfast. The exhibit itself was only there for 10 days and was a collection of Karl Lagerfeld's photographs of various fountains that Fendi had helped pay to restore in Rome. I was able to to grab a booklet with the photos in it along with a sketch from Karl.
For the last two days of my trip, I injured my knee from tromping around in my heels across cobble stone, so I didn't visit as many sites as the previous days. Le Jardin des Plantes was a lovely place to walk around in and one of the stops for the Batobus, so getting there was really easy. Quite a few groups of people were there having picnics or playing soccer there.
After exploring the area for awhile, we hopped back onto the Batobus for lunch and headed to Le Marais, which is definitely an area I want to explore more next time I'm in Paris. Before leaving Paris, I wanted to try a Croque Madame and Feria Café offered a tasty option, where fortunately, the yolk was still runny.
We visited the Carnavalet Museum before stopping at Amorino for gelato to bring to Le Place des Vosges, which is the oldest planned square in Paris. It apparently hosted some jousting competitions and is right by Victor Hugo's home. As for the gelato, I got the speculoos and straciatella. The gelato there was very good and if you get the gelato in a cone, it's sculpted to look like a flower
My brother knows that I'm a huge fan of the movie, Moulin Rouge, so he purchased tickets ahead of time for our parents and us to go see one of the live shows. Each party was served a bottle of champagne and the show has tons of dancers, animals, and costumes, so I understand where the money from my (very expensive) ticket went. However, I couldn't help but feel a tad disappointed in the show. Moulin Rouge was cheesy and I expected that, but there was nothing that differentiated itself from being a Las Vegas show. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Huntington Library

Playing: Northern Downpour-William Beckett
Reading: Comic Art Propaganda: A Graphic History by Frederik Stromberg
I recently went to the Huntington Library, which I haven't been to in years now, and it was still just as beautiful as I remembered. The Chinese and Japanese gardens are the most impressive with all the stones imported from China and the design elements copied from various famous gardens in Asia. In the Chinese garden, you can grab lunch and tea on the lake, but be warned, it's fairly expensive. (Here I am, wearing a Calvin Klein blouse, Bullhead shorts, Cole Haan oxfords, and a vintage Dooney and Burke purse.)
Another one of my favorites at Huntington Library is the green house, which houses many tropical plants. It's exactly like how I imagine Uncle Monty's home to look like in Lemony Snicket's The Reptile Room.
It's funny to take a look around the house because the gardens gradually become more European and despite the classic European decorations like marble statures and perfectly trimmed bushes, there are still palm trees everywhere. You guys have probably had enough of me saying this place and that place would be perfect for a ball, but seriously, this would be another perfect place for a summer party, preferably a Gatsby party.
If you walk down the hill away from the home, it gets less organized and starts to look like a jungle. They even have several ponds down there, one of which inspired me to create my own koi pond in my yard. Huntington Library is worth visiting, if you are in Southern California. It has an art museum and various gardens, so it'll keep you busy all day. Also, if you grew up watching Ned's Declassified School Survivor Guide, you may recognize this place from the movie.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Paris Day VII

Playing: When It's Time-Green Day
Rereading: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
On the seventh day of my vacation to France with my family, we started out at the Place Vendôme. For some reason, everyone there was lined up along the corners in a checkerboard fashion, so I decided to blend in and stand in one of the empty corners with them. Afterwards, I walked along La Rue de Faubourg Saint-Honoré to look at all the designer stores that I don't have in California along with taking a side trip to the most famous Chanel store on Rue Cambon.
The Palais Garniére is fairly close by and since I'm a fan of Phantom of the Opera, we decided to visit it before finding lunch. It's absolutely splendid inside and the building is very intricate with its internal decorations. Like Versailles, it would be a complete dream to have a huge ball here with everyone going about in their ball gowns and tuxedos. Even though it was hard for us to find a time when the opera house was open, I highly recommend checking up on it whenever you walk by because it's really something you should see.
Since the Galeries Lafayette was close by, we stopped there for lunch at the cafe, which had a lovely view of the city. Out of all the restaurants I had been to, this cafe offered the widest arrange of drinks including Blood Orange Orangina, which I have never seen before. Both the Tarte aux Fraises and the Pates au Carbonara were good, but pretty standard. It was extremely filling and if you like bacon, the carbonara is probably something you'd love.
Next on our trip was the Centre Pompidou and just for the record, the area around this museum is kind of sketchy and smells like weed. However, the museum itself is a lot of fun and is like one big fun house only you can't touch anything...It's definitely a place that focuses on fun art and modern stuff that my parents usually interpret as "bullshit," so it may not be your cup of tea. I loved it though and would highly recommend this to people interested in all that's quirky, fun, and a bit wonky.
Despite the general no touch rules in most museums, the Centre Pompidou had some interactive art that you could literally walk into. This one from Jean Dubuffet called "Le Jardin d'Hiver" was a particular favorite of mine. With uneven, black and white surfaces, it felt like you were in some cave meant for a Tim Burton film.
While walking back to our hotel, we ended up in the general area of all the designer stores we had visited that morning and decided to get dinner at Cuisine&Confidences. Unfortunately, the menu was kind of vague, so I ordered something from the portion titled "You Can't Go Wrong" and got La Grande Zaza. It was described as roasted chicken with marinated peppers, cheese, and prosciutto with a side of fennel scented pickled vegetables. I was expecting an actual chicken breast or something topped with cheese and peppers, but it ended up being more like a deli plate. This was probably the only mediocre meal I had in France unfortunately.
Since I was still hungry after the deli plate for dinner, I stopped by a deli to grab some pate baked within bread, which was surprisingly good. I tried some pate breads from several places and for the most part, they all tasted the same with the exception of some jam in the middle of some, while others had nuts mixed in. It would've been nice if the bread was more evenly mixed throughout it, so that it was a roll because the center portion of pate was very rich on its own.

PS I'm wearing an Ann Taylor LOFT tank top, an Ann Taylor LOFT sweater, a Marc Jacobs necklace, Converse Sneakers, silence+noise shorts,Givenchy earrings, and a Coach purse.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Playing: Balloons-Jack's Mannequin
Reading: Hardball: How Politics is Played Told By One Who Knows the Game by Chris Matthews
At the moment, I'm really liking breezy, white tops that are impossibly thin. I've always preferred long sleeve tops, so these soft blouses from Ann Taylor LOFT were an easy choice for me. These tops have to be a bit less sloppy looking than a t-shirt, right? And really all I want right now is to look like I'm dressing up without the effort of actually dressing up.

Awhile I go, I think I mentioned I've been into lucite and holographic things lately. When I saw this bag at Daiso for only $1.50, I bought it pretty quickly. It's just a fun purse and for the price, I really can't complain. I feel like I should have bought another one to DIY with, but that's ok. The necklace was also fairly inexpensive and it's very pretty/unique. It reminds me of the jewelry Coach used to do.
All of these are from a thrift store that I've now forgotten the name of, but I was surprisingly able to find a lot that fit me. These are just basics to replace my other ones that have holes in them and such except for the Helmut Lang top in the middle. The shirt from Twentee is incredibly soft, while the Calvin Klein button up will be good for layering under sweaters during the winter. Sorry, I haven't been blogging recently. I've been at a journalism camp ac CSU Long Beach, so I've been too tired to comment on your blogs. On the bright side, have you ever wondered what I sound like and how awkward I am on camera? If so, this video of me with some friends from reporter, Andrew Edwards, is the video for you!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Paris Day VI

Playing: Long Hair-The Drowners
Reading: The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde
First stop on our sixth day was the Musée d'Orsay. Out of all the museums, this museum proved to be the most manageable, meaning I was able to see everything in the museum within two or three hours. The collection was amazing and they had lots of Van Gogh there. I enjoyed looking at the interior design of the museum and the giant clock inside made me feel like Hugo. However, we had to leave a tad sooner than we would have liked to for our lunch reservations.
A patient of my dad has many relatives in Paris, so they told us all of their favorite restaurants including Les Bouquinistes. Guy Savoy, a world renown chef, teamed up with this restaurant to make the menu. For starters, I had the Accras de Caubillaud avec Tartare Sauce. They were little, fluffy pieces of fried fish served with caper tartare sauce. It was definitely some of the best fried fish I've had in awhile.
For the main course, I ordered the Onglet de Veau Rôti, which came with a glass of red wine. The veal was tender, while the mushrooms had a rich earthy flavor to them that soaked up the au jus very well. The addition of mashed taro was nice too, since it was denser and quite filling. This was an exceptional dish and I really wish I could get it in the states.
If you wanted dessert, it only cost €3 more for the fixed price menu, so I figured why not? I'm glad I ordered the Glaces et Sorbets because each ice cream and sorbet were incredibly flavorful and fluffy. It felt almost like eating air and the flavors were interesting too. I'm guessing they were chai latte, speculoos, and apricot. I highly recommend Les Bouqinistes because it exceeded all my requirements for vacation eateries: non-touristy, good food, quick service, preferably surrounded by locals, and efficient service with no creepy waiters.
Afterwards, we visited Sainte-Chapelle and Cathedrale de Notre-Dame, which are both worth visiting. Saint-Chapelle was completely over the top with its painted walls and stained glass windows, while Notre-Dame is worth visiting because Van Helsing jumped off of it. (Just kidding, I know Notre-Dame is historically important.) There's a beautiful flower market around the area that was really quaint. It had aisles and aisles of these gorgeous flower shops and it's definitely worth looking at, if you're in the area.
Also located nearby is Berthillon, which Katrina and my tour book recommended. I didn't know the two that I ordered,  Rhubarbe and Fraise et Rhum, would be sorbets, so I was kind of disappointed. It was good for sorbet, but I was just expecting ice cream from a place known for their ice cream. However, if you go, you have to try the Lait d'Amande, which was amazing!
For dinner, we stopped off in Le Quartier Latin for a fairly inexpensive dinner at Le Village Ronsard, where I ordered the Magret de Canard au Miel avec Haricot Verts Frais et Pommes Sautées and some escargots. Even though the escargots (not pictured) had a texture disturbingly like mussels, I'm glad I tried it, since it's a famous French dish. However, the duck breast was very tender and the honey sauce was sweet without being overly so. Be warned, the service here was very brusque.
Oh, and here's the highlight of my trip. I got the chance to talk to Karl Lagerfeld, Grace Coddington, and Sylvia Venturini Fendi. I saw that a Karl Lagerfeld/Fendi party was going to take place by the Pont Alexandre, so every night I checked the location. I spotted so many models, bloggers, and other fashion people there on the night of the event, but I ditched as soon as Karl did. I walked with him over to the Petit Palais and this is the only time I'll ever be part of his entourage. I have some other photos of the people by themselves, but this is the only one of us together. It was drizzling all over my lens and my mum was being told to get out of the way by the paparazzi, so this is the best I have.

PS Sorry about this post being so food heavy, but I didn't take many photos of Notre-Dame and Sainte-Chapelle, so I mainly have food and flower photos only from that day. Also, do you prefer the large photos or the smaller ones?