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

 

 

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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

$10 at Target

Well, I guess I should clarify this.  I spent 10 euros at Monoprix.   What’s Monoprix you ask?  Well, I had been told that Monoprix was the French version of Target.  It’s a French department store that is all over the country.  It looks like this:

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I recently returned from a trip to Europe and while I was there, I was more than excited to check out this chain.  But I have to say I was a little dismayed by the two stores I went into.  The store I visited in Paris was small, had a food market on the lower level and women’s clothes and accessories on the main floor.  The clothing section had some good deals, but it was a mess and I really didn’t see anything worth trying on.  #disappointed

The second store was much larger, but I had only a few minutes to get what I needed.  And what was that, you ask?

This:

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We had forgotten our nail tools at home, so I needed to get an extra set.  These two items totalled €10.  I’m not sure about you, but it seemed like a lot to me.

So, although I didn’t get to really experience the French Target, I got the feeling it did not have the deals and selection that the real Target has.  Did I mention I’m still sad that Target left Canada?

linking up with: Garay TreasuresA Pocketful of Polka DotsSincerely Paula

What I saw – Fashion in Paris

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Our family recently returned from a vacation in Europe and the last few days were spent in Paris.  I was in Paris about 21 years ago with my sister (who shares this blog) with me.   It was 1995, September and the weather was quite cool.  Here’s what we wore:

 

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You may want to know why we were wearing XXL sweatshirts?  Umm…we have no clue!!  We both laugh and shudder to believe we actually dressed like this in Paris!

Fast forward to this year and I think I have improved my travelling wardrobe.  I’ll do another post about what I packed, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t stand out as an obvious tourist.  But I also didn’t look like a Parisian.  These women have an effortless style about them that is hard to describe, but I’ll try.  Chic, classic, simple, confident, basic, put together.   Just a few words that come to mind.

Before I tell you my favourite Parisian looks, I’ll tell you what I didn’t see:

  • really distressed denim
  • boyfriend jeans
  • off the shoulders tops (only worn by tourists)
  • too many patterns

I’m not saying these items are not being worn in Paris, but I just didn’t see them.

What did I see?

  • tailored pants/jeans – cigarette style in dark denim or black
  • cropped and flared pants – in linen
  • white tops – blouses and tees
  • simple dresses in solid colours
  • scarves
  • classic and simple purse or bag
  • ballet flats (yes, they really do wear them)
  • stylish sunglasses
  • dark blazer or fitted cardigan
  • solid colours or colour blocking

 

During our travels around the city, there were two Parisian women that stood out to me.

The first  wore a white tee, dark jeans, black and tan ballet flats and a dark blazer and carried a simple cross body purse.

The second had on a sleeveless dress, more of a tank style with a full skirt.  It was in a bright coral colour, and accessorized with a necklace and carried a classic tote style purse. The sandals were flat but with that slightly thicker sole that seems to be on trend right now.

Both women looked fantastic and although I couldn’t see myself wearing the bright coral dress, I could see myself recreating the look being with a more subtle colour.  I wasn’t able to take a picture of either of these ladies, but I found a few images on Pinterest that will show you how they looked:

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Shannon from Gamine & Stripes

 

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There are lots and lots of images and ideas on Pinterest (of course) if you need more inspiration.  I thought this this article summed it all up quite nicely.  I’m going to try and add a little more Paris to my wardrobe and since it’s actually quite simple, I should be able to find everything in my closet 🙂

 

linking up with: More Pieces of MeSincerely Jenna MarieElegantly FashionableHigh Latitude StyleGaray TreasuresStyle NudgeTwo Peas in a BlogFine Whatever BlogA Good HueWalking In Memphis in High HeelsThe Mummy ChroniclesPosh Classy MomThe Pleated PoppyThe Blended BlogGet Your Pretty OnSydney Fashion HunterClassy Yet TrendyElegance and MommyhoodThe Fab JourneyHappiness at Mid-life,Curly Crafty MomFashion Should Be Fun,Jo-Lynne ShaneNancy’s Fashion StylePosh Classy MomShelbee on the EdgeMs. Toody Goo Shoes

 

Fun finds

Tis the season be browsing the stores and shopping.

Warning:  this post is mostly pictures of fun things to buy:

These chevron pillows would be cute for decorating during the holidays.  Would also make a sweet hostess gift tied up in a bow.


A puzzle book for the kids and it’s all about the holidays.  
These washers and dryers look deceiving.  They are tin storage containers to use in the laundry room.  Aren’t they cool?


For less than $1.50, you can own these great tote bags brightly displaying kiwi, lemons and blueberries.
3 for $5 – that was the cost of the these cute little ornaments. Great for the tree or just adding to your presents.


This cardboard box would be perfect for a hostess gift filled with cookies or other yummy treats.
Going to Paris?  Or maybe you know someone who is. This little carry bag was only $5 and imagine all the things you could stuff inside it!


Same goes for this bag.  If London is your kind of place, this $5 bag should be yours!
A holiday rug would be great at your home or maybe as a hostess gift. It was less than $15 at my local upscale dollar store.


How cute is this little speaker?  All decked out in the local hockey team colours.  It’s the perfect gift for a fan and only $10.
Yes, I know it’s toothpaste, but the packing caught my eye and who wouldn’t want a new toothbrush for the holidays?


Chapstick has come out with these travel inspired tins filled with 3 different flavours of lip balm.  They were only $4.99 and would make a great stocking stuffer or teacher gift.

Just a few fun finds this week as we continue to shop for Christmas.  Hope you find what you are looking for!