Toulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceNormally I love rainy days… when I’m wrapped up in blankets in my room, deep in a romance novel, sipping hot chocolate, and listening to the drops pelt my window. However, when you’re out traveling and the weather man forgot to mention that there was a chance of rain and that you’re going to want something more than just Mary Janes to walk around in, rainy days lose a little bit of their charm. Mr. Weather Man’s just lucky that I was pleased that the umbrella we conveniently had matched my scarf and jacket; little things like that just make everything better! So I forgive you, dear old weather man. This Time. Anyways, although our day in Toulouse, France was dreary, the next day was unbelievably gorgeous! So, we decided to call rainy days “production days”, because when the clouds go on their way, they leave behind skies so blue, they’re steroidal and hills so green you drool. So, now, anytime there’s a rainy day, my dad says “It’s a production day today but just wait until tomorrow; it’ll be beautiful!” And it always is;)

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French FarmlandFrench FarmlandFrench FarmlandFrench FarmlandA Lavender SeaFrench FarmlandA Lavender SeaFrench FarmlandFrench FarmlandFrench FarmlandA Lavender SeaFrench FarmlandFrench FarmlandI wonder what life would be like on little farms like these. Hens clucking at your feet, goats on the side of the road, tractors in the front yard. It’s a life that’s completely unfamiliar to me but it looks absolutely charming! When we were winding through the Pyrenees, we stopped and bought some bread from a little bakery for lunch and an old man showed us around his farm and his work space where he makes cheese. We tried some and it was very potent! I like cheese, but I’ll stick with Gouda; however, even if my tastebuds aren’t refined enough to enjoy the cheese, I adore that old man and his little farm. He told us that he makes cheese because its a vocation that allows him to live in the countryside with beauty all around him. I can’t disagree! The scenery was completely dreamy! The people were kind! The weather was chilly but clean and wonderful! The goats and chickens wandering around just about stole my heart! The cottages and tractors looked like they were out of a children’s picture book! I need not go on;)

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Carcassonne CastleCarcassonne CastleCarcassonne CastleCarcassonne CastleIn Carcassonne, there was a breathtaking castle that was mostly built in the 12th century but contained a wall built by the Romans in the 1st century. I believe that’s accurate. You can wiki it;) When we drove into Carcassonne, we were astonished at how gorgeous it was (both during the day and at night) and how almost out of place it seemed!! Carcassonne CastleCarcassonne Castle It looks like a medieval Disneyland, does it not?Carcassonne CastleUnforuntly, we didn’t have as good of weather the second day in Carcassonne when we went to explore the castle but luckily I was having a fantastic hair day!! Right!?;)Carcassonne CastleCarcassonne CastleMy mom and I have a thing for both French rooftops and the strikingly gorgeous stained glass windows in French cathedrals. I checked the listings in a realty shop as we were walking through the streets, but alas there weren’t any cathedrals for sale!Carcassonne CastleCarcassonne CastleCarcassonne CastleCarcassonne CastleAnd oh how I love graveyards (as previously mentioned here and here) though I cannot clue you in on why. Perhaps it’s the calm beauty about them; maybe it’s the stillness or the air of peace.Carcassonne CastleCarcassonne CastleCarcassonne Castle My family and I joke that I look like the angel of death. Perfect that I’m in a graveyard, yes? Well, I would much rather have Death come for me in a hot pink coat then a black one, the idea of death would seem more . . .  pleasant.

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denim on denim denim on denim This is the first in the series of pieces about my daily life in Barcelona. I frequently go to the Barcelona Public Library to do my online schoolwork and while there, I take the elevator up three flights. I have found that the epitome of awkwardness occurs in an elevator. We all know elevators are awkward, but I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately. I’ve decided that there is a perfect number of elevator riders for an elevator to be less awkward: 1, or 4. Obviously, one is ideal; it’s just you and the empty space.
Two is the ultimate awkwardness. At the library you just stand there in the elevator and you both stare at the sign that shows what floor you’re on and act like you’re busy finding something in your bag or drinking water and what not. For example, I was in the elevator today with a middle aged guy who had the day before asked me to watch his computer as he went to the bathroom (I’ll be honest: I didn’t understand what he said until after he walked away). After we half smiled at each other in recognition (I guess) it was silent. The seconds ticked by slowly. At our apartment, in contrast, if you end up in the elevator with someone else, it wouldn’t normally be so awkward because the people are so friendly BUT the fact that they’re friendly in Spanish (and um… I’m not so fluent) isn’t very ideal. I don’t always want to reveal that I’m not super fluent in Spanish so I just cross my fingers that they say simple things and when I don’t understand, I’ll smile and say or no sé. 
Now, three people in the elevator is just as awkward, and five people gets too crowded; BUT, four people in an elevator is much better because there’s enough people that the silence isn’t as awkward and it’s not as crowded either!
After having thoroughly pondered this topic (as you can tell) I came up with five ways to make an elevator ride less awkward:
1) Keep a smile on your face. It’ll quickly relieve any awkward tension… possibly.
2) Be brave and say something! Give a compliment; they’re easy and everyone likes them.
3) Too shy? Bring a book and act engaged before you even get in the elevator.
4) Make life a little funnier by making the situation even more awkward! This guy has got is down!
5) Or you can just take the stairs.
Well… now I have to take my own advice (and take the stairs hahahahahah). Any other suggestions?

Provecho!! Tessa Lynn

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Just an Awesome Weekend… Well, Mostly

by Tessa on December 3, 2012

in Spain, Style, Vintage

Cathedral Outfit details // Coat: vintage from Goodwill // Blazer: vintage gift from a close friend // Sweater: Mom’s // Pants: Target // Boots: Mom’s // Gloves: Great Grandma’sCathedral

What made my weekend awesome?
-The old man I passed that was singing to himself while swinging his grocery bag
-Walking into a cathedral while a wedding was taking place
-Finding ice-cream in the freezer (then hiding it…)
-The 50+ year old women who salsa-ed in her black silk pajamas at a church talent show
-That mighty fine young man that smiled at me on the metro… he wasn’t too bad on the eyes
-Finding an abandoned door on the sidewalk and claiming it as my own!! DIY project time!!
-My little brother Silas’s snide yet witty comments
-The Christmas market in downtown Barcelona
Oh, but what didn’t make my weekend?
-The price tags on some drool-worthy shoes and the fact that they’re actually .3 times more expensive considering the exchange rate… at least I can wear them in my dreams… right?
And what made your weekend awesome??

Provecho!! Tessa Lynn

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Wall Humor

by admin on November 6, 2012

in Barcelona, Spain

Cemetery

Ok. This wall. By golly, I cracked up! I LOVE the faces of these two men. Basically, this painting made my day! Still laughing. I hope that you find this at least slightly comedical as well. I think I can safely say we’ve all been in both of the men’s positions, so then, tell me that you agree that their expressions PERFECTLY convey every feeling and thought that’s gone through your head in a moment like this. (Personally, I’d like to be the cat . . .  the little creeper!) Also, the fact that the characters are dressed circa WWII just makes me love it ten times more!
Honestly, I would like this anonymous artist to come paint this mural on my wall so I could wake up to it everyday! I’d be starting every day off with a smile. I’d also use the image as a reminder that I can choose who I want to be and what attitude I want to have. Am I going to feel bad for myself or go out there and have a blast? Am I going to be like the women in this painting and go where the party is or am I going to make a sad chum’s day? If you were to pick a character in this mural that reminds you most of yourself, which one would it be?
Provecho!! Tessa Lynn

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1 Compliments make everyone’s day. EVERYONE’S!! I know, I’m right–you don’t even have to tell me! Plus, it’s the best way to meet new people! I know from experience… if you offer someone a compliment, then you can ask their name and even chat a little longer! Sometimes they’ll even give you a compliment in return! Soon, you know everything about them, like, that they have three fish and that they like wearing only one sock to bed, which is such a coincidence, because you do too!!  (Also, ladies! This is a great tip if you see some attractive fella! Just casually tell him you like his shirt, or what not, and there you have it! A love connection!!;)

Anyways, the point of my little tangent is simply that a fellow vintage loving girl made my day!!! My family and I were biking through some gorgeously narrow side streets in downtown Barcelona.  We had stopped by a fountain and were about to start pedaling again before we were stopped by this cute girl. After asking if I spoke spanish (which frankly I do not… at least not enough to hold a lengthy conversation), she proceeded to tell me in a beautiful English accent that she loved the shape, material, and style of my tunic. She explained that her name was Kate and she was from Oxford, England and loves recreating unique pieces! So, I told her that I’m from California but living here for a year and that I had picked my tunic up from a vintage store in L.A.! She pulled out her iPhone and asked if it was okay to take a picture of me so she could see if she could recreate my tunic. Of course I obliged and in return, my mom snapped a photo of both Kate and me. After we set off again on our bikes, I kept smiling because Kate had made my day with her compliment!! I thought, “Why can’t everyone be like Kate and be brave enough to compliment the people they see on the streets?” So… it got me to thinking, there are sooo many times I see someone on the street and admire what they’re wearing. I’m thinking it would be fun to have my own street style column, but rather than just taking photos of others, I’d take photos with them! It’d be a fun opportunity to get to know other people, make them feel great about their style, and learn about their favorite stores, which I could hit up!:)

Provecho!! Tessa Lynn

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