Thursday, 30 June 2016

France Day Deux: You are GoT worthy

Bonjour! I've just returned from a vacation in France and now for the travel diary because my memory is terrible so I need to recap it all. This was a family vacation to catch the Euro Cup courtesy of my aunt and uncle, without them, this trip wouldn't have happened. 

France Day Deux
Since most of Beauville was shut the evening before, we drove back early in the morning in the crisp chilly air to visit the patisserie and their little mini-mart called Proxi. Snapping up some baguettes, croissants and chocolate croissants for our breakfast, we then headed back to the chateau to whip up a feast. I think we were really excited or something because we basically went crazy and made a breakfast that could probably feed the whole of Beauville (remember, population only 584).
breakfast noms

From the previous hot and sunny day, the weather started taking a turn and it had become a lot colder and wetter with light showers pretty much everywhere we went for the rest of the trip. 

The family left for a visit to a castle but boo and I had to stay behind because he had some work stuff to settle.

When lunchtime rolled around, we drove an hour out to Cahors for lunch at Restaurant Le Balandre. Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed that day as no reservations had been made so we trotted off in search of another place called Le Rendezvous but strangely, in its location, we found a Restaurant Lucter instead. By then we were pretty hungry and tired of the rain so we settled down and tucked in. I had a pretty decent beef entrecote with a side of fries MMMM!!

Bonjour Le Balandre
Here I come
Sorry not sorry. We're closed byebye.

After lunch, we visited the beautiful Cahors Cathedral and I'm not sure the pictures do it justice but it is really so beautiful. I love the outdoor courtyard and stained glass windows and I totally felt like I could have been in a Game of Thrones episode.

We wandered about for a while but it was raining pretty heavily so we decided to leave. We drove to a nearby Carrefour to get more food and had a quiet dinner back at the Chateau. By the way, the Carrefour was GIGANTIC. So. Much. Food. And that ended day deux of the France trip.

Key learnings:
  • It's a good idea to call ahead and make a reservation just in case the place is closed. It seems like a lot of places either don't open on days or shut really early. 
  • Bring an umbrella and/or a rainproof coat! 
  • Carrefour is the bomb. Go there to get EVERYTHING you could ever need. 
  • Cathedrals are awesome places to re-enact Game of Thrones but it doesn't mean you should do it.
Au revoir for now, thanks for reading!   

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

France Day Un: Bonjour, Merci, Desole je ne parle Francais

Bonjour! I've just returned from a vacation in France and now for the travel diary because my memory is terrible so I need to recap it all. This was a family vacation to catch the Euro Cup courtesy of my aunt and uncle, without them, this trip wouldn't have happened.

France Day Un
The journey to France included a 12 hour flight on Singapore Airlines, a 2 hour flight on Easy Jet, and a 3-4 hour drive in our rented car (Hertz - Renault Captur). We stopped off at a Carrefour Contact in Laroque Timbault to stock up on food for breakfast the following day first, then finally we drove to our lodging destination in the South of France - Chateau Marcoux. This charming medieval hilltop residence is in the Lot-et-Garonne department, Aquitane region and its nearest large town is Agen. Chateau Marcoux is located somewhere between Bordeaux and Toulouse which is where some of the Euro Cup 2016 matches were happening.  I was expecting pretty pleasant weather, like sunny, around 17 degrees celsius but we arrived to a scorcher of a day - upwards of 25 degrees celsius and the bugs and flies were out in full force. Nonetheless, the scenery at the Chateau was beautiful and breathtaking.
Front view of the Chateau
Pigeonnier - sadly no actual pigeons
The covered pool
Living room
Wifi in the study area - clearly where we spent the most time
Outdoor view
The most well stocked kitchen ever
My sleeping quarters
Our first official French meal took place in Hotel Du Midi, located in the tiny village of Beauville about 4km drive from the Chateau. It was a pleasant meal with good service (albeit a slightly challenging one as they don't speak much English) and they serve a complimentary hot vegetable soup that was great to soothe a stomach worn from a long journey. After our dinner, I pretty much went back to the Chateau and slept like a baby.

The Marie of Beauville

Sweltering in jeans

Key learnings:

  • If you're travelling by Easy Jet, ensure you've printed your boarding passes because they won't do it for you. You can purchase a premium ticket so you can get priority queue for check-in, and you can also top up more if you want priority queuing to get  onto the plane as well. Also, follow the bag allowance rules closely, I could see they were pretty rigid about the size of bags. I saw passengers being told to check in their cabin bags as they exceed the size limit slightly (they even have these metal things to insert one's bag into to ensure it fits).
  • There are all kinds of Carrefour supermarkets but Carrefour Contact appears to be a smaller version although it's pretty well-stocked still (you can even buy some shoes!)
  • Summertime means you can expect summer bugs including ants and mosquitoes.
  • Having some basic understanding of French helps as not many people can speak in English and menus are almost always in French only. 
  • As the roads are narrow and parking spaces are pretty tight, it's wise to choose a car that isn't too long but has adequate trunk space (especially if you're carrying huge suitcases). 
  • Cars that have in-built GPS units are great but it's also wise to get an additional GPS or even better, a data plan to use Google Maps. I honestly don't know how people used to travel without smart phones. 
I think the post is getting kinda long so I've decided to make it a daily post instead. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Dope stuff

Top: Forever 21 (Similar here) | Skirt: Paul Smith (Similar here) | Shoes: Charles & Keith (Similar here)
Clutch: Kate Spade (Similar here) | Necklace: Nichii (Similar here) | Ring: Jessica Buurman (Similar here)

First up, my deepest thanks to my friend Samson aka 7braidstrong who does cool stuff like take photos of me drinking coffee. It was, in his words, dope. 

I'd like to follow up this post with my usual ranting and raving but I think it wouldn't really do justice to his photos so I'll just let you soak them up and enjoy the tall drink of water that is yours truly. LOL.

Follow me on instagram for daily shenanigans at alexwearsstuff. And follow him on instagram for super dope artsy stuff at 7braidstrong.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The good, the bad, and the ugly

T-shirt: Gap (Similar here) | Skirt: Nichii (Similar here) | Shoes: Converse
Bag: Mango (Similar here) | Necklace: Gift from Mousie (Similar here) | Bracelet: Old (Similar here

The Good
After loving the Glam Glow Thirstymud hydrating treatment that Leo bought for me, and hearing Mims rave about the Glam Glow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate treatment, I knew I had to try it. It is after all, one of Glam Glow’s bestsellers. Mims had warned that it would sting a little so I was expecting my face to be on fire or something (I feel like my skin’s pretty sensitive), but it really wasn’t so bad. It did sting, but when I moved from applying it in the bathroom, to sitting in front of the fan (blasting cool air directly at my face), the stinging feeling went away. I left the black gritty mud mask on my face for about 10 minutes and then washed it off in a slow circular scrubbing motion for that exfoliating effect. After just one use, my face felt tighter (I imagine a mild facelift might feel like this) and it felt so clean and soft. I love it but now I’m surfing the Glam Glow website and I’m pretty convinced I need the Supermud clearingtreatment for stubborn blackheads on my nose. Help! 
Not the ambassador for Super Mud unfortunately
Magic in a pot
The bad
So I saw this Makeup Eraser cloth on a Buzzfeed article and I thought, “Ooh a cloth that I can use and reuse and will magically remove all my makeup with just water”. Sounds too good to be true right? And yup, it is too good to be true. So disclaimer: I was in a rush to remove my makeup so I’m not sure if I was doing it right and I didn’t read the instructions. I ran some water over it and the cloth appeared to be magically not absorbing* much water, then, I rubbed it on my face.  The cloth is soft to the touch and feels gentle being smooshed around my face, and the powder and blush I was wearing seemed to come off (but I don’t think my face powder and blush are really that resilient) but my mascara and eyeliner took much more rubbing. And even then I had panda eyes! I’m not one to call it quits though – I’m going to dedicate a bit more time to letting it soak up water (maybe have to try warm water because that’s what other people seem to be using) and then try it again. But so far, I’m MEH about it. 

*Update: So I used it again (this is an edit from my initial post a few days after) and it seemed to absorb more water, and my makeup came off clean enough (some eyeshadow sparkles appeared to remain though) but I really wasn't wearing heavy duty makeup so still on the fence. Double MEH.

The ugly
Me with Youthmud on.  Sweet dreams tonight. 
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

New and improved

Dress: Romwe (Similar here) | Shoes: ASOS (Similar here) | Bag: Charles & Keith (Similar here) | Ring: Twentyeight Lane

My aunt and I hit up the Sephora sale a while back and I was treated to a few new things. I’m not a huge makeup/beauty junkie like my friends, but I appreciate a good product so I thought I’d share my views on my stuff with you! 

When I was doing a bit of modelling, a makeup artist used the Shu Uemura eyelash curler on me, and it seemed really effective – a couple of squeezes and my puny eyelashes were curled upwards towards the heavens. After years of using my cheap Manicare curler, I thought I would give this a go, and OMG I AM SO IMPRESSED. I know, it’s just an eyelash curler, not exactly life changing, but it is just SO GOOD. It curls way faster than my Manicare one, and with some much more ease. I don’t even need to squeeze hard, just 3 gentle squeezes and it’s done, shaving some seconds of the makeup routine. It might not seem like much but every second counts when you're a busy career woman lol. And the curl is really quite dramatic, even for short and sparse lashes like mine. For S$30, I highly recommend this! 

Urban DecayB6 vitamin infused prep spray was a purchase my aunt made while standing in line, you know how smart Sephora is, they leave little sample sized stuff around the queue so as you wait, you end up picking up more stuff. Just like how we did. Anyway, I had no idea what it did, and to be honest, I still don’t. But reading the reviews, sounds like it’s for reducing oil, getting rid of redness, smoothing the face for better makeup application, cooling and moisturizing and probably more, but I’m bored of reading the reviews. Anyway, I’ve just started using it and since I don’t really have problem skin anymore, I haven’t noticed a drastic change, but if I suddenly start glowing, I will let you know. 

Mousie recommended both the Beauty Blender sponge and its solid cleansing soap to me. She told me that since using the beauty blender, she’s had several comments on her good skin and she says it’s because of how smoothly her makeup is applied. All makeup junkies are obsessed with this sponge (it’s even spawned a strange meme), but sorry makeup junkies, I still think it’s just an expensive sponge. I don’t really do much blending though so that could be why. But the cleanser, now that shizz it dope. It’s meant for the beauty blender, wet it up and swipe the sponge in a circular motion and then rub out the makeup on the palm of your hand, but I also use it for my brushes. I clean my brushes every fortnight because I get breakouts if I use dirty brushes. 

Ok, enough bragging for now. Thanks for reading!