HOW IT HAPPENED: From beginning to end, the idea and execution took a matter of weeks. It wasn't a big elaborate plan that I had been mulling over, it was simply an 'a-ha!' moment I had in late August that I literally made happen with a few clicks of a button. First of all, ever since I was a little girl growing up in Houston, I always had this deep desire to be anywhere (more) exciting and glamorous. I told myself I would live in LA, New York and Paris and I would work in the fashion and beauty industry.
Funny how things happen when you really put your mind to it! It dawned on me this summer (especially after I left my last full-time job as Senior Editor with the Kardashians) that I had achieved a lot of major milestones I had set out for myself, and living in Paris was still on the bucket list.
I also realized that I am more free right now in this moment than I ever will be for the rest of my life. I don't have a house, or a spouse, kids, pets or any true responsibilities holding me down in one particular place. Almost everyone I know is getting married, having babies or buying houses and settling down as you do in your 30s. I'm not there yet personally, so I decided to take full advantage of my freedom and live this dream while I can!
I wanted to celebrate this moment of freedom and live abroad for a few months to get a different perspective on life and see more of the world. After all, what doesn't challenge you, doesn't change you; and I wanted to end 2016 in the best way I could think of. So many women I have talked to in the last month have said they wished they could have done this/never had the courage to/will never be able to/maybe one day will find a way to live abroad...and I heard every single one of those comments loud and clear. I'm doing it for all of us! As women, we carry SO much on our shoulders and are responsible for so many things and people that we often put ourselves and our own happiness last. Right here in this moment, I'm putting myself first because it may be one of the few opportunities I can really do that and not feel bad about it.
Once my mind was made up, all I had to do was execute a plan. And thanks to the ease of AirBnB and online travel booking, I had all of my logistics for Paris squared away in no time at all.
HOW I SPREAD THE NEWS: I did a fun photoshoot at Greystone Mansion with my good friend and fellow blogger Rachel (of Lovely in LA) to create the perfect image to announce it on social media. I wore a full-length silk slip from Naked Princess and absolutely loved how these images came out.
My Big Sis Maxine (of Vanity Girl Hollywood) and I filmed a Facebook Live video at Can Can Parleur to share the news and answer questions about moving to Paris (she did the same thing seven years ago!) and it has over 1.3K views as of today.
HOW I PACKED UP MY LIFE:
I moved out of my entire West Hollywood apartment just a few days ago and downsized my possessions considerably. I hosted a clothing drive for the Downtown Women's Shelter and donated a ton of clothes and accessories that I've been holding on to for years, but haven't really worn. I went to Crossroads and Wasteland about eight times in one month to sell more and more clothes I no longer need, and also put a few designer items up for sale on The Real Real (update: they have almost ALL sold already!)
At this point in my life, I'm much more about experiences than tangible things, so every time I sold a jacket or a pair of shoes that had been collecting dust in my closet, I thought, 'That's a train ticket to somewhere!' or 'That's a cooking class!', which was a great approach to preparing myself mentally for this new adventure.
Before I knew it, everything was packed up and I was well on my way to Paris. Huge thanks to Clutter for making the moving process seamless (they moved everything out in a few hours and will be storing my belongings while I am away) and to my friends who stopped by and hauled random items away from me that I couldn't throw away, but wouldn't fit in my storage unit! You guys are the best.
|(My entire life's possessions fit in that van right there)|
HOW I CELEBRATED THIS MOMENT:
I couldn't leave LA without a proper Bon Voyage party, and it was certainly one for the books!
The Hills Penthouse in West Hollywood generously hosted my event for all of my friends, and I got dolled up by BeGlammed (for hair), Can Can Parleur (for nails) and makeup by my friend and makeup artist, @MakeupByEdder. I wore a chic black-and-white ensemble and invited my LA loves to toast this town of ours one more time.
HUGE incredible thanks to Cafe D'Etoile in West Hollywood for catering delicious French baguette sandwiches and fruit for my guests to nosh on, and to my adorable friend Renee for baking a six-layer pink ombre cake for the occasion! Carolann (my "adopted mama" from Can Can Parleur) brilliantly decorated dozens and dozens of macarons for my party, which made the entire affair extra special. Diabolo sparkling water kept us hydrated and bubbly all night, and Veuve Clicquot champagne and white wine made for perfect party beverages, as well.
As if that weren't special enough, I had my very own Snapchat filter designed by the awesome guys at SnapGeoo.com and also had a selfie station by Vanity Girl Hollywood for optimal lighting and picture taking throughout the night.
|Thanks to SnapGeoo.com, I had my own Snapchat filter all night long!!!|
THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to EVERYONE who have showered me with love and support during this exciting time. I can't wait to take on Paris and will be blogging and posting on my social platforms (especially Snapchat!) as much as humanly possible to stay connected.
And a giant shout-out from the rooftops to my "rocks" who got me through this whole process: Maxine, Rachel, Carolann, Breanna, Renee, Jody, Gloria...you ladies sure know how to make a lady feel loved. THANK YOU.
P.S. Many of you have asked me what I brought to Paris.
Here it is: two large duffel bags that I checked in, one carry-on and one tote. Voila! All a girl needs to survive a few months in Paris (in the winter!)
Au Revoir for now!