Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)


Beauty Favorites

Over the past few years I have become very interested in makeup and beauty products. I can almost entirely blame this change in myself (the girl who didn’t wear a lick of makeup until she was about 20-years-old) on the YouTube “beauty community.” Essentially, this community is group of women (and some teen girls) who make videos on beauty-related topics. I stumbled upon a few “gurus” several years back and I have been addicted ever since. It’s a guilty pleasure that I don’t see myself giving up anytime soon!

Typical video topics include: makeup tutorials, shopping hauls, empties (products they have used up), monthly favorites, blog-like tags, and celebrity-inspired looks.

Because of the huge success of many beauty gurus (Michelle Phan, the original YouTube beauty guru, is now a millionaire because of her video sponsorship’s and partnership with YouTube), every 13-year-old with a camera and some makeup now plops themselves in down and talks about beauty, and more power to them!

One afternoon a few weeks back I was lovingly playing with my makeup and decided to do a post on my favorite beauty products. It’s a far cry from actually making a YouTube beauty video, but I don’t see that ever happening!

This list isn’t comprehensive as the vast majority of what I own is back in Utah, but these are the things I love the most and chose to haul over the Atlantic with me.

I like reading blog posts like these because it helps me discover new products and hear people’s opinions.

Alrighty. Here we go!


Beauty Favorites-EyeshadowBeauty Favorites-Eyeshadow

As a redhead, I have to be a bit more careful when it come to the makeup colors I wear. I’m a fairly conservative person when it comes to this stuff anyway, so I am ALL about the neutrals!  It’s rather sick how much eyeshadow I have, but I can’t seem to help myself!

-Too Faced Natural Eye Palette

-Wet ‘n’ Wild trio in Walking on Eggshells

-Maybelline Color Tattoo (cream shadow) in Bad to the Bronze

-Urban Decay Naked Palette (I bought Naked 2 online awhile back and can’t wait to get home and use it!)


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Little Luxembourg

Hello, friends!

Sorry the posts have been so few and far between the past few weeks.

I am so overwhelmed lately with all I have to get done before leaving for BG that most areas of my life are suffering a bit. I am so overwhelmed, in fact, that I usually just end up ignoring all the pressing issues and doing something else; like shopping at Target or watching far too much YouTube.

Blogging hasn’t even been a blip on my radar; BUT that will soon change as I get back into daily life in Bulgaria with my hubs. We have some amazing things planned, so expect lots of posts in the near future.

My YouTube obsession does have some perks; it enables me to find little gems like the one I want to share with you today…

Another interesting tilt shift photography time-lapse video. This time on Luxembourg.

You might remember a similar video that I shared on Kiev, Ukraine awhile back.

I am completely enamored with these miniaturized views of such quaint and bustling cities.

I think someone should do one on Sofia!

(I know I certainly would if I had the time, expensive camera equipment, patience, and bird’s-eye view shooting locations).

Anywho, please enjoy this unique look at Luxembourg by Joerg Daiber (or LittleBigWorld, on YouTube).

LittleBigWorld has many other cool tilt shift videos posted on their YouTube channel.

My favorites include Thailand, Brooklyn, Spain, and Ardennes.

Check ’em out and let me know what you think!


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Hey Sexy Lady…Oppan Gangnam Style!

Alright. It had to be done…

A Gangnam Style post.

If you haven’t at least heard about this crazy popular internet meme, then I have to assume you are living under a rock. A fun hating rock.

Gangnam Style is the catchy song and A.W.E.S.O.M.E music video by the South Korean rapper, PSY.

It was released in mid-July and has since gone on to become one of the most recognized songs of the year. PSY and his iconic dance moves have taken over the world!

If you haven’t seen it (perhaps you were busy writing your memoir or were volunteering in the International Space Station and had no internet), here’s the vid-jeo:

Oh my. It’s just too amazing (hilarious) for words!

I have no clue what he’s saying, but it doesn’t matter. Not one bit.

The bright colors. Those thrusting dance moves.

Be still, my heart! 😉

And, of course, with any popular video, the parodies are cropping up left and right. Here are a few of my faves:

Gangnam Style Babies!

Gangnam Style w/ The Oregon Duck

I really want to learn the dance. It looks like it would be a great work out!

Oh, and my love for South Korea and desire to move there has grown even stronger!

Do you Gangnam Style?


P.S. I am fairly sure even the astronauts on the Space Station have seen it. That’s how IT it is.

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The Boy Amelie

If you know me even a little you know my favorite movie is Amelie.

It’s more than just a movie. It’s the epitome of beauty and kindness. It makes me want to take grand adventures (or even little ones right outside my front door) while connecting, sharing, and doing for others.

Amelie is perfect in almost every way. I never expected to come across something else that moved me just as much. Especially something outside of a film. Something real that happened to someone real.

Well, I did…

I hope you enjoy Todd Bieber’s story as much as I do.

(THIS is the reason I stalk YouTube and blogs. I live for a beautiful story like this one)





The Boy Amelie title suits him perfectly.



Recent Buys {That I LOVE!}


Admittedly, I have had a wee little shopping problem lately. I think do that when I get stressed. Thankfully, its slowed way down (I kind of had no choice).

*Vince, if you are reading this, I promise it’s not as bad as it looks! I love you! ♥

I did get some great stuff though, and thought I’d share:

  • This cute and quite useful hard-plastic cup from Wal-Mart (AKA Satan’s Five & Dime). They are quite the rage and I see why. You get that “fountain” beverage feel even when you are, like me, drinking water (I rarely drink soda). I tend to reuse plastic water bottles, which as it turns out, isn’t all that healthy what with the chemicals and leaching of the chemicals (it’s all very scientific). So this cup is perfect (and BPA free!). It’s also insulated and keeps my ice water icier for longer! Oh, and the polka dots? So cute!

  • Essie fingernail polish in Turquoise and Caicos (THE perfect match for “Tiffany Blue”) and Eternal Optimist (a pretty, rosy pink). At $8 per bottle, it’s spendy, but is probably the best nail polish I have ever used. It’s all I can do to not go out and pick up a few more bottles!

I LOVE Tiffany Blue

  • An adorable bow necklace from Target (on sale!). I didn’t have any rose gold in my jewelry collection, so I was happy to snag the last one they had.


The next few items were a complete splurge and totally frivolous. I have been watching far too many Youtube beauty “Guru” videos and suddenly I am a makeup junky. That’s how I roll. I tend to see something interesting or creative and have to do it myself. This can be seen in the copious amounts of scrapbooking supplies, yarn, how-to books, beads, etc. spread across my room (and in boxes in the basement). I usually start off strong but lose interest quickly (something I am trying to work on). But I figured spending some money on makeup isn’t a huge deal, I do wear it daily after all.

Anywho… On to the purchases:

  • Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette.  I LOVE the eyeshadow colors in this set. As a fair-skinned redhead, neutrals are my friend. I was SO happy to get one of these. As it turns out, they are like the Tickle-me-Elmo (insert any hard-to-find product here!) of eyeshadows. They are sold out everywhere! There are huge waiting lists and I even heard girls wait outside stores for the doors to open the morning after a shipment comes in. I am a sap for things like this and simply had to have one largely because everyone else had to have one. After stalking for a week or so, they showed up one morning and I pounced (the story is a lot longer and entails Sephora’s website crashing, buying them from Amazon who then sold out and cancelled my order, then finally getting them again from Sephora. My friend A. suffered along with me). I wore a few of the colors today and they are pretty. Probably not worth all the hype (and money), but I am still glad I got one.
  • Too Faced Natural Eye Palette. I picked this one up when I thought I wasn’t going to be able to get the Naked palette. Looks like I am set for eyeshadow for the rest of my life!
  • Not going to detail each thing, but I got a bunch of stuff from the ELF cosmetics website (it’s also sold at Target). It’s super cheap – both in price and quality. An entire 12-piece brush set was only $5. The tiny little hairs that fall out and onto my face reflect the price. A few of the things are good, but I probably won’t repurchase many of the items.
  • To hold all my new goodies (and the other stuff I already own and never use), I got a Caboodle makeup case. I think I had one of these as a little girl so it was probably nostalgia that caused me to overlook the tweeny look of the thing. I mean purple is my favorite color, but wow.

Makes me feel 12 again!

Lastly, the thing I am most excited about…

  • A UNIVERSAL VOLTAGE GHD straightener and hair dryer (with a cute bonus heat-proof bag). I think I may have mentioned it before, but I was super sad to find out that I would not be able to bring my CHI straightening iron to Bulgaria. Apparently, using a voltage converter with high-end appliances causes them to die (read:explode). I have extremely thick and frizzy hair, so a straightener is a must. The kit was expensive, but I got a great deal at Costco. The straightener alone sells for $205 on GHD’s website. I tested it out and it’s amazing! I love my CHI but this GHD beats it hands down.

So, what exactly does this post prove? Well,  clearly that I like to make up words (WordPress is yelling at me for “icier,” “spendy,” and “tweeny”) and also spend money that I don’t have!

I like to think that all these things were necessary purchases for my move… That will make me feel better when I get my credit card bills, right? 😉

And I am suddenly wondering why I am writing a post about my shopping habits. Maybe it’s my own version of a “haul” video (again, I have got to lay off the YouTube beauty videos).

Talk to ya’ll soon (with a better and more meaningful topic. I hope).



There’s a ruckus going on at Karolinka’s place

My favorite expat blogger, Karolinka (Carolyn), has quite the commotion going on on her blog.

Her post, Video: Sofia the History of Europe, has garnered a lot of attention and comments from people, including yours truly.

It’s a slighty critical  review of this YouTube video:

It has been very interesting (albeit frustrating) reading others’ comments. I love a good, constructive argument, but this one borders on the ridiculous.

I am trying to let it go, but I hold Carolyn’s blog and Bulgaria itself close to my heart, so I couldn’t help speaking my mind (which is not hard to believe if you know me at all!).

Anywho, the original post and the wrath of some of the comments that followed make for an interesting read.

Check it out.