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    Paris Recap – Pt. 4

    So technically, this post should be “A Pinch of Versailles” because that’s pretty much how we spent our last day in Paris. Believe me, you need the entire day to really see the palace of Versailles. We seriously underestimated this before we got there and had to request extra hours from our driver. (OH and yes, you will need a driver or tour bus to take you out of the Paris city limits and actually to Versailles.) Another thing we underestimated – the amount of walking there is once you get there. Definitely look into the little buses that drive you around the garden grounds, or there are golf cart rentals as well.

    From the main palace there are numerous gardens to explore as well as Marie Antoinette’s estate where she also had her own farm. It was really like her own little town. There are amazing fountains in the middle of the gardens where they have fireworks shows during certain nights of the summer. But the real reason to go – the palace. Oh my word. It’s stunning inside. These are only a handful of my photos but literally every thing was gilded gold, velvet walls and curtains, hand painted ceilings, over the top amazing. I would have zero problems living there.

    Visiting Versailles made me want to go watch a documentary about the time period or at least watch that Kirsten Dunst Marie Antoinette movie again. I can’t even convey how historically interesting the whole place is. So put it on your bucket list as a must-do while you’re in Paris!

    Next week will be my last post about our Paris trip (tear) and will include how we spent our Paris nights!

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    Paris Recap Part 3

    Day Three of our Paris trip might, in fact, be my favorite day. We got to experience a colorful, and different side to the city by traveling a little bit off the beaten path.

    We started off the morning on the Champs Elysees by the Arc de Triomphe with a little morning pick me up at Laduree. I had to make sure to eat a French croissant in France, guys. And let me tell you one thing about the Arc de Triomphe – do not try to cross the street. In fact, don’t even get in a cab to drive around the thing if you are weak in the stomach. There are no lanes. Cars are just flying about at all speeds.

    After walking around the Champs Elysees and checking out all of the stores in the 8th arrondissement, we had planned a little trip for lunch by the St. Martin canal in the 10th. Pink Flamingo Pizza is this cute, little hole-in-the-wall pizza place. You walk up and order your pizza, they give you a pink balloon and then deliver your food by bicycle, so you can picnic around the canal. Y’all. The BEST pizza. We got two – one was fig and goat cheese with proscuitto (my fave) and one with eggplant and hummus. Can you imagine – a pizza and rosé picnic with macarons for dessert. I would do anything to go back to that. Exploring that little area around the 10th reminded us a lot of being in Brooklyn. Think quirky shopping and street art.

    From there, we got a cab to the 18th to see the Sacre Coeur and good thing, because walking uphill to the basilica – the highest point in the city – was pretty much not happening. The 18th gets pretty hilly with the cutest little market places leading up to the Sacre Coeur. Lots of artists stands and shops in the surrounding area – only regret of the trip was not seeing more of that little market place. But the Sacre Coeur itself was gorgeous and well worth the trip up there!

    From there, we quickly went back to the room to change because we had a date with the Eiffel Tower. Well, the Eiffel Tower and a champagne river cruise on the Seine River – highly, highly recommend! We sipped different varietals and learned a little bit about the champagne process, but also got amazing views from the river. The cruise docked right at the foot of the Eiffel Tower which is where we went directly afterwards. Followed by dinner overlooking the tower at night – but more on that in my post about our Paris nights!

    Check back next Monday for the fourth and final (tear) of our Paris Day recaps!

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    Kismet Branding Process

    Normally on Tuesday I post a recent invitation project, but today, I thought I’d give some insight into my freelance process with the Kismet Opulent packaging. Every freelance project I get has it’s own course of mood boards, proofs and adjustments, but with Caitlin, it was pretty much a really smooth process. She came in knowing the overall color theme and font styles that she liked (first image), and we jumped off from there. The end result is a fashion-forward design with metallic gold and hot pink touches.

    Holding the finished bottle is pretty awesome from a designer’s perspective – especially knowing the ins and outs of the entire process. And yes, the bottle has become permanently displayed on my bathroom counter!

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    Paris Recap – Part 2

    Time to cover my second day in Paris! Day two started by traveling to Notre Dame cathedral which was so insanely cool on the outside. Hundreds of gargoyles stare down at you while you wait in line to enter. Unbeknownst to us – until we got inside, we were actually standing in the line to climb to the TOP of the entire church (clearly a blonde move). I’m not even going to lie, the line took forever. Thankfully, there was a crepe vendor on the side of the cathedral. Banana and Nutella crepe was all mine – so amazing. During the line that took forever, we discussed moving to Paris and opening up our own crepe cart.

    We finally got inside and started our ascent to the top. HOLY COW, that’s a lot of stairs. Literally, there were a couple of times that I had to stop and gasp for air catch my breath. Do not attempt to climb to the top of this thing unprepared. And the entire time, I kept thinking there’s just no way that Quasimodo did this. NO way. But it was well worth it in the end, the views of the city were unbelievable from the very top.

    After burning 2,000 calories on the never-ending spiral staircase, we were starving. We jetted over to the nearby Latin Quarter where there’s no shortage of amazing smells wafting to the streets from all of the bistros and cafes. I think we randomly picked one, that’s how badly we needed hydration and food because I can’t remember the name of the place. It had the cutest green and yellow chairs though.

    We continued to explore the Latin Quarter while making our way to the Luxembourg Gardens. France has the most beautiful gardens – and romantic too. Lots of love birds hang out there… The garden was gorgeous and a popular spot for people taking a relaxing break, but we had lots of things to see – so we were off to our next spot, the Pantheon. Well, it happened to be closed by the time we got there, but we did see the outside!

    Also on this day, we took a random afternoon coffee and dessert break at our first Laduree location. At that moment in time, as I drank cafe au lait and consumed four French macarons in one sitting, all the world was perfect and right.

    Stay tuned for Day 3 next week!


    Say Hello to Kismet Cosmetics!

    You know when you have a secret so awesome, it takes every ounce of you to keep it from flying out of your mouth? Yeah, that’s sort of what’s been going on for the past few months as I’ve waited for THIS product launch. (Okay, I told a couple of people, I couldn’t help myself… I even hinted about my newly acquired tan in a previous post.)

    When Caitlin, the creator behind Kismet, asked me if I were interested in designing the packaging for her first product, Opulent, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. For one, I normally only get to design for print or web, so designing for packaging was very appealing. I also got to design a product that I actually use which is pretty cool. Plus, I even was able to participate in the first product photoshoot this past Sunday – did you catch my cameo in the promo photos above, haha?

    Kismet Opulent is a body bronzing product that gives you a natural looking glow without streaking. It’s not a self-tanner, so no weird smell. In fact, it smells fabulous. Whenever I wear it, I always catch the scent throughout the day. The bronze – not orange – you get is a couple of shades darker than your regular skin tone and it adjusts to any shade of paleness (like myself).

    During the ingredient process, Caitlin sent me a bottle of the trial formula, so I’ve been wearing Kismet Opulent in nearly all of my summer outfit posts thus far – saving you all from seeing photos of my pale legs. And now finally, the product is pretty and packaged and ready for wear!

    Kismet will be available for pre-order online starting TODAY and in boutique locations July 19th. For all of you interested in pre-order, make sure to use APoL’s special discount code PINCHME to get 15% off (ends next Thursday).

    There will be a Kismet launch party next Friday at the Covington POSH Boutique location during normal business hours of 10 a.m. to Check out the retailer’s page on the Kismet website to see locations. And if you’re an interested retailer, visit and fill out the retailers email – you’ll even get a free sample!

    Next week, I’ll be showing you insight into our packaging design process!

    Photos by Kaela Rodehorst Photography