Paris in Springtime

My last post was all about what to pack and what fashion we saw in Paris.  Well, this post is all about the sights and where to spend time in that fabulous city.  There are so many things to see and do, that it is almost impossible to capture it all within a week.  But, since this was a trip with friends and not my family, we were able to do and things a little differently than our family trip.

We were only there for a week (well, only 6 nights), so we wanted a direct flight.  Most flights from North America will land in the morning, so it gives you almost a whole day to see the city.  We were fortunate enough to drop our bags at our Paris for Rent flat in the Marais before heading out to walk.   We were staying in the 3rd/4th Arrondissement and it was a great location!  We easily walked to the Seine, Notre Dame, the Latin Quarter, the Louvre and more!

Sleep will be elusive when you travel across 9 time zones for a week.  Just know that you probably won’t sleep well and plan to drink a lot of coffee to get going.  I was travelling with three friends and we all had lousy disruptive sleeps.  But, we weren’t going to let that stop us.  We enjoyed fresh baguettes and coffee every morning before heading out on adventure.

Here is a short summary of what we managed to see/do in 5 full days:

Day 2 – Flea market in the 18th – Les Puces.  We took the metro to Clingancourt and from there wandered to the market and surrounding area.  It was so huge, we barely scratched the surface, but saw so many lovely items!

Baskets and boxes filled with pictures were available for sale

 

 

Day 3 – Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour – this is a great way to see any city you are visiting.  Even though I did this tour last summer with my family, I still enjoyed it this trip, too. We spent the afternoon going all around Paris and ended up at Montmartre  which was so beautiful!  Make sure you climb the stairs all the way to the top of Sacre Coeur for a spectacular view of Paris.

Looking up at Sacre Coeur

Day 4 – Versailles – we took the train to this wealthy suburb of Paris to see the grand palace.  We decided not to go in the palace, but to instead rent bikes and travel the paths around the grounds of the forests, fields and lakes.

One of the many paths on the grounds of Versailles

Day 5 – Musee d’Orsay and Eiffel Tower.  Knowing that we couldn’t possibly see all the art that Paris has to offer, we picked one museum and we weren’t disappointed.   Also, The Restaurant (yup, that’s what it is called) was a beautiful spot for lunch.  An absolutely gorgeous room!

Recognize this?  Monet!

 

 

The original clock from when the museum was a train station.

From there, we hopped the metro to the Eiffel Tower.  We had pre-purchased tickets, so our line moved quite quickly from the bottom to the very top!  We treated ourselves to champagne and enjoyed the view.

Expensive champagne at the top.  But worth it!

 

 

Looking down on Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower

Day 6 – Wandered around.  Yes, that’s what we did.  We shopped, walked, ate, drank coffee, drank wine and wandered some more.  It was an amazing way to spend time and feel like a Parisian.

One of the many sets of beautiful doors on our walk

 

 

 

Hotel de Ville

Day 7 – Home. With wonderful memories, pictures and souvenirs of this amazing trip.

We did a lot in a week and there was so much more to see and do.  We all agreed that we got a great taste for the city, its food and the sights.

Have you been to Paris?  What places did you go to or see while you were there?

linking up with: Calypso in the CountryShelbee on the EdgeA Little Bit of Everything

 

 

How to dress like a Parisien – 5 must have items!

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Bonjour!  I have recently returned from a special trip to Paris!  It was a celebration of milestones with a few close friends and it was an amazing trip!  Before we went, we scoured Pinterest for ideas on how to dress and how not to look like a tourist in Paris.  We found lots of pins showing jeans, sweaters, slip ons and other easy to wear basics.  We all have these types of clothes in our closet, so how hard would it be to pack?   Funny enough each day as we got ready to go out, we often looked the same; striped shirt, jeans, moto jacket and slip ons.  With a bit of laugh, one of us would go change so that we didn’t look exactly alike as we walked out the door.

The women in Paris dress simply wearing classic clothes and shoes.  It is not complicated and looks so easy to put together.  As we wandered the streets of Paris and admired the women, we noticed five basics that each wore and I thought I would share them with you.

  1. Sunglasses – usually in black or tortoiseshell and oversized.  Not the oversized that makes you look like large bug eyes, but oversized like Jackie O.

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  2. Trench Coat – I had seen women in London wearing trench coats last June when I was there and have wanted one ever since.  The French women also have a trench in their closet and they wear them so well!

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  3. Jeans – this goes without saying.  Jeans are a staple of women everywhere! We saw mainly skinny or straight leg jeans and some with the frayed hem.

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  4. White runners (aka tennis shoes) – Adidas and Superga were spotted most frequently as we strolled around Paris.  They were being worn with jeans, skirts, dresses – essentially with any outfit!
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5.  Scarf – this was the one accessory that we saw on almost every woman and a lot of the men.  Scarves were being sold on the street corner under a tent, in every store and we happened upon a neighbourhood in the Marais that had stores 100% devoted to selling scarves.  Any colour or size works.  We must have been in there for an hour and we each bought 3 scarves to take home and add to our collection.

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Packing for this trip was probably one of the easiest I have ever done and my friends also felt the same way.  If you get a chance to go to Paris in Spring, or anytime – don’t forget these five items.  You will instantly look and feel like a Parisien!  If you need a little more inspiration, I found these two blogs had plenty of ideas on how to incorporate a French wardrobe into everyday life : Gamine & Stripes and Classy Yet Trendy

Au revoir!

linking up with: More Pieces of MeStyle NudgeNot Dressed As LambByBMGBeauty by Miss LElegantly Dressed & StylishThe Fashion CanvasThe Pleated PoppyCurly Crafty MomSincerely, PaulaElegance and MommyhoodFashion Should Be FunJaymie AshcroftThe Blended BlogJo-Lynne ShaneA Pocketful of Polka DotsShelbee on the EdgeA Little Bit of EverythingNancy’s Fashion Style

Searching for KonMari Joy

There’s a sweater in my closet that I LOVE. It has seen better days, is pilling and has a couple tiny holes in the front from my belt, I think. Due to the wool/cashmere blend, I am actually allergic to it and have to take a Claritin before I put it on but when I do…ahhh…happiness, maybe even joy.

I must be a really poor shopper because I have very few items in my closet that really bring me joy and if I followed that tidying up policy to heart I’d have very few things to wear at all.

Poor shopper or not, I am an equal opportunity purger. Yesterday no t-shirt, tank or sweater was spared if it didn’t bring me joy. Well, that’s not entirely true. Sometimes a girl just needs a couple things that are just that…a couple things.

That being said, I held each piece in my hands, tried on most of them and sorted into piles of Keep, Don’t Keep and Doesn’t Belong In This Drawer.

The Equal Opportunity Purger in me easily tossed items with a pop of color into the Don’t Keep pile. I seem to think I like orange and pink but those were the easiest pieces to cast aside. Also pitched were white t-shirts that were no longer white, a few Nordstrom Rack finds that I don’t think I’d even tried on and a sweatshirt-type thing from the Lululemon sale section that I probably bought because it was on sale.

It really does feel good to weed out and be left with things I actually wear. I enjoy feeling “lighter” if only in my closet and not on the scale. It does feel good to donate the items I don’t keep to our local food and clothing bank. And maybe that is where the KonMari joy is, not just in a t-shirt.

linking up with: Curly Crafty MomSincerely, PaulaElegance and MommyhoodJaymie AshcraftA Labour of LifeMomfessionalsJo-Lynne ShaneFashion Should Be FunAdri LatelyNancy’s Fashion StylePosh Classy MomBy BMGStyle NudgeBeauty by Miss LElegantly Dressed & StylishThe Fashion Canvas

 

Fun Finds

It feels like forever since I did a little shopping.  Thankfully, I had a few hours with nothing planned so I went to Winners.   If you haven’t heard of Winners, it’s the Canadian version of TJ Maxx – in fact that’s who owns them!

First stop…the shoe department!

These big yellow taxi flip flops by Kate Spade were so cute and only $30!  I’m thinking they would be cute for a birthday gift for a friend or sister.

Then I saw these Vince slip ons. Can you say excited?  Well, I was until I tried them on. They were my size but each shoe fit differently – boo!

These floral slip ons looked fun and would have been great for Spring . They were too narrow for me, but maybe they would fit you?

Around the corner front the shoes sat this suede baseball cap.  So simple and classic in grey and black!  Only $19.99!  #steal

I slowly wandered to the home decor aisles and saw this picture.  I thought it would be a great way to add a little colour to a room.

And this two pack of pillows was in just my shade of blue for $29.99!

Then I ventured into the health and beauty section.  Retinol  (vitamin A) is always being mentioned as a must have for your skin as you age.  I am not familiar with this brand and thought I would need to investigate a little more before I bought it.

Vitamin C serums also seem to be the one thing you should put on your skin, too.  Again, I hadn’t heard of this brand, but with a little research it might be on my buy list next time.

I have heard of Kiss My Face and I wrote about them recently in a post about body care products.  I like to wear sunscreen every day, so I picked up the sunscreen cream for everyday use.  I have used it for the past couple days and it goes on easily and was only $10! #goodbuy

Well, that wraps up this little trip to Winners.  As you can see I only bought one thing, but I might go back and see if that picture is still there.  And maybe those pillows…

linking up with: A Little Bit of EverythingSincerely, PaulaGood Random FunShelbee on the EdgeBy BMG

 

 

 

To Dress or Not to Dress?

A wise friend once said to me “Three things tell the truth: wine, young children and leggings.”

My sister, the person who introduced me to Lululemon 13 years ago, declared a couple years back that she was going to make an effort to get dressed (meaning no yoga pants) every day and she politely suggested I do the same. I thought she was on to something so I, too, decided that I would put together actual outfits that don’t consist of stretchy fabric and athletic shoes.

I don’t know about you but attempting to be stylish can be exhausting some days.


Do I attempt Stitch Fix again for inspiration or go with tried and true denim? Love these jeans, btw, C of H Emerson Skinny Boyfriend.

Do I throw in my fave camo t-shirt or a cozy sweatshirt?

Something a little dressier?


I LOVE fake layering!

And then there’s which shoes to wear with what. I love flats and sneakers but feel better in even the slightest heel.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand that these decisions are high-grade problems and I’m thankful to have them!

Today, however, I couldn’t decide. See photo below… 😂. Sorry, sis.

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Guten Tag Munich!

Ok, maybe this isn’t grammatically correct, but you get the point.  Good day Munich!  We got to spend five days in Munich last summer and I thought I’d share some pictures and details on this great travel spot.

When you think of Germany, do you think of beer, pretzels, lederhosen and Birkenstocks?   I do, too!  Those are just some of the great things about this spot, but there are many more things that make it worthwhile to visit.  We flew into the airport around mid-day and took a couple trains to the Marienplatz.  From there, we walked the rest of the way to our hotel.  We got lost, so it took about 30 minutes instead of 15.  My husband speaks German so it was definitely helpful, but a lot of the locals speak some or very good English, so it was easy to understand and communicate throughout our whole stay.

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Marienplatz

 

After checking in to our clean, slightly modern and well located hotel, we headed right for the Viktualienmarkt which was less than a block away.  This lovely market has been around since the early 1800s and you will find candles, flowers, beer, sweets, fruit and our personal favourite, schnitzel!  We had a big lunch of schnitzel and beer before we started to wander around.

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The next day we took one of the hop on hop off bus tours and saw the city and surrounding area.  We love these tours as it really highlights the popular attractions and usually shows you something you may have not heard of.

This area is great for walking and is super bike friendly. Actually, all of Munich is bike friendly.   We rented bikes and spent one day pedalling through the Englisher Garten (English Garden).  This city garden is one of the largest in Europe and has many paths to walk or cycle, beer gardens, monuments and water features.  There is even a spot to surf on one of the rivers!  From there, we went to the Olympiapark to see where the 1972 Olympics were held.  More beautiful paths, a little lake with paddle boats and some amazing buildings were all there for the viewing.

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Munich Olympiapark

We also spent a day at the zoo.  Say what you will about zoos, but this one was pretty good.  It was a 5 km walk to get there from our hotel, but we wanted to see the the city so we ventured on.  I brightly plenty of sweets and treats to keep the kids going and I have to admit, they didn’t complain as much as I thought they would.  Once we got to the zoo, we were not disappointed.  It was very well laid out and had a great amount of animals to see.  Some of the habits looked so natural you might even believe the animals were in the wild.

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Welcome to Hellabrunn Zoo

 

On our last day, we drove to see the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria.  It was only a couple hours by car and it was a beautiful drive to see this part of Germany – so close to the Alps and Austrian border.  This castle was built by King Ludwig II and was the inspiration for the Disney castle.  As we didn’t buy tickets ahead of time, we weren’t able to get inside for the tour.  Instead we took a bus up the hill and were on the grounds of the castle. We  were amazed at the detail and the how difficult it must have been to build a castle in this location.

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Castle Neuschwanstein

We probably had some of the best meals of our whole trip in Munich.  Our hotel served an amazing German breakfast every day.  We had schnitzel in various beer gardens for lunch  every day and dinner was usually at an Italian restaurant.  The pasta and pizza at dinner was delicious.  I’m not sure if it is because of the proximity to Italy (it’s not that far north of the Italian border), but it was indescribably good!  We love German food!

If you are considering a trip to Germany, make sure to add Munich as a destination.  We found it laid back, family friendly and overall it had a nice vibe for us to enjoy.  Please let me know if you have ever been to Munich and what you thought in the comments.

auf Wiedersehen!

linking up with:A Little Bit of EverythingNot Dressed As LambBy BMGCalypso in the Country

 

$10 at Target

Last month, I got an opportunity for a quick stop in at Target.  I had the kids with me, so after they got their time in the toy department, I squeezed in a few minutes in the beauty, health care and the dollar sections.   Spending time in Target is a treat to me and even though I had my two little shadows with me, I managed to find a few things.

Want to see them?

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The pom poms were from the dollar section and the plan is to put them on the end of my son’s Santa hat (I’ve got until next year to do this now).   The First Aid to Go kit is now in my car’s console. The Savon soap is patiently waiting on my counter to be used. The small pack of band-aids are in my purse along with the tissues.  All perfectly needed and useful items.  Can you believe that all the items came to just under $10??

They did!

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Maybe it is a good thing the kids were with me, as I’m sure I would have spent a lot more!

linking up with: Shelbee on the EdgeSincerely PaulaGood Random FunA Little Bit of EverythingBy BMG