holiday

Paris!

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Looking back at the Travel section of FatFreeFashion, I realized there are some pretty blog-worthy destinations I failed to blog about. First up? My trip to Paris! These pictures are almost two years old, but Paris is a grand old lady who hasn’t changed much in the last century, so I think they’re still pretty relevant. Fashion, food, culture, history and the fabulous sights at every turn, make Paris a must-see on any Wanderlust Wishlist. My husband and I spent eight awesome days in the City Of Light, and honestly, it still wasn’t enough to see everything!

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FOOD 

Dining out in Paris is a real treat. Obviously the French food is great, but I found that the quality of even take-out places far surpassed anything I’ve encountered in North America. Below are a few that left an impression.

Restaurants:

Paul amazing pastries, coffee and people-watching.

Le Bonaparte Forget standing in line for Les Deux Magots and walk a short block to this lovely cafe instead. Unbeatable people watching, and the food is delish!

Roger La Grenouille Frogs legs, anyone?! If the thought of that repulses you, don’t fret! Plenty of other tasty dishes in this utterly charming old restaurant.

Le Coupe-Chou Hand-down the most romantic restaurant I’ve ever been to. There’s a fireplace inside. Just go!

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 The Seine

ACCOMMODATION 

Paris hotels are insanely expensive. We stayed in a tourist apartment right in the heart of the Latin Quarter, and loved coming back to “our place” each night after eleven hours of straight walking (no joke!) to drop-dead on the comfy queen bed. We also loved having a little kitchen to wash fresh fruit, cheese and snacks. Skipping the grocery stores and markets in Paris is a sin, so make sure you have a fridge to store your goodies.

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 Sunbathing On The Seine

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 1st Arrondissement

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Cemetery In Montemarte

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 At The Base Of The Eiffel Tower: Each Country Has Its Own Bear

 SHOPPING 

I won’t insult you with the obvious (Champs-Élysées, Le Marais, etc) but must make mention that Paris’ department stores are worth a half-day visit alone! If you’re short on museum money, visit Printemps for the most stunning glass dome ceiling you’ll ever see!

Any serious shopper must visit Le Bon Marchethe world’s visit department store! Try the cafe on the top floor for a seriously amazing lunch and a stunning panoramic view of Paris. Take me back!!

Ed Note: Strolling the streets of Le Marais is a must-do, and shouldn’t be undermined by my opening sentence. Charming, beautiful and open on Sundays!

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 Printemps

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 Printemps

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 Tourist Alert! By the end of the week, it was absolutely FREEZING (5 degrees) and I only packed my leather jacket. Wearing at least five layers here (accessorized with a bright red nose!)

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SIGHTS & MUSEUMS 

Covering all the noteworthy sights and museums Paris has to offer in one blog post is futile. There are simply too many! Below are some that are worth the time/trek.

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 Vincennes

Les Invalides  (The Military Museum) Truth? I was dragged here by the Hubs, but was admittedly amazed by the incredible exhibits at this massive museum. A must-see!

Musee d’Orsay Not into the Mona Lisa? Cross the river and head to this stunning museum, instead! Musee d’Orsay is a converted train station that now houses art mainly from 1848-1915. Think Monet, Van Gogh (amazing!!!), Cezanne and Renoir.

Versailles No introduction needed. Sickening opulance one must see to believe!

Ponts des Arts (Love Lock Bridge) Just because. Tres romantic.

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Les Invalides

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 Sacre Coeur

Sacré Cœur Love architecture? Then pull on your walking boots and head up to basilica Sacré Coeur in Montmartre. Worth the hike to the top for panoramic views of the City Of Lights.

Chateau de Vincennes Ever seen a castle? Hop on the metro, ride to the end of the line, emerge and feast your eyes on this stunning beauty.

Musee de Cluny (Middle Ages Museum) I’ve always had a fascination with the Middle Ages. The plague, witchcraft, folklore and the cultural deterioration that occurred after the fall of the Roman Empire are both tragic and mystifying to me. Really enjoyed this one.

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 Sacre Coeur

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Centre Pompidou (Modern Art Museum)

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IMG_1654Versailles

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 Musee Cluny (Middle Ages Museum) These heads were discovered in someone’s backyard in the 1970s!

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 Pont des Arts

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 Love Lock Bridge

Have you been to Paris? What is your favourite arrondissement? Restaurant? Attraction? I’d love to know! 

Have a fabulous weekend, Lovelies!

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ITALY- Venice, Naples and The Amalfi Coast


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Buongiorno!

You may have noticed I’ve been MIA recently-or not, but lets stroke my silky, smooth-oh-so-gooey, burrata mozzarella-coated ego for second, shall we? 😉

Yes Fashaloonies, I recently returned from 10 beautiful days in Italy, with Venice, Naples and the Amalfi Coast headlining the travel itinerary. Although I had pre-scheduled posts for my absence, the sometimes spotty Wifi made publishing no easy task. So instead, I ate (a lot). I walked (a lot). I hiked (a little). I travelled by plane, train and (white knuckled!) automobile, and managed to take some pretty incredible pictures to share with you afterwards. If Italy is on your travel bucket list, may I suggest booking a ticket as soon as you’ve finished reading this post? You won’t regret it! Let’s begin in Venice.

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We started our journey in Venice, the fabled city steeped in rich maritime history. If it weren’t for the massive cruise ships that continuously dump hoards of day-trippers (34,000 average daily!) onto the islands and the exorbitant prices on everything, one would think they stepped back in time. I think Rick Steves said it best when he described Venice as “a Disneyland for adults”. Breathtaking architecture, museums, gelato and of course, the famous canals make Venice the perfect destination for a romantic getaway.

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Um, wow. After extensive research on where to stay on the Amalfi Coast, we decided on Maiori, and couldn’t have been happier with our choice. Although the coast gets its namesake from the town of Amalfi, the insane amount of tour buses blocking the seafront makes Amalfi town proper a less appealing place to base yourself in for your visit. Maiori, Minori or Positano are definitely where it’s at for a relaxing stay on this breathtaking stretch of coast.

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So, what to do? Depending on your mood, plenty or absolutely nothing. Hike the 1500 steps up from Minori to Ravello for panoramic views of the coast, take a boat trip to Capri for some truly incredible beaches, or simply sit back and enjoy the ambiance at many of the restaurants and cafes that abound this rocky stretch of heaven on earth.

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Capri

Ah, Naples. One of the most ancient cities in Europe (founded in 470 BC!), this big, noisy, manic, beautiful, (and yes, appallingly dirty) city is a place that you’ve got to see with your own eyes, at least once. Divine Renaissance buildings covered in graffiti, romantic twisted lane ways strewn with garbage and dog shit and beautiful balconies and terraces crumbling to the brink of decay. You wonder how the citizens can stand it, but the fact is, the city itself is sadly cash-poor, with no budget in place for maintenance, let alone restoration projects. Oddly enough, it’s a charming place to explore.

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The pizza is outstanding, the seafront is lovely with gorgeous views of hilltop castles and Mt. Vesuvius and the people- despite the warning of pickpockets and muggings- are as pleasant as you’d encounter in any metropolitan city. Go for the pizza and the chaos, explore for the day, rest for the night and head further down the coast for a bit of tranquility. Naples is unforgettable.

Have you been to Italy? What regions did you explore? It was really hard to narrow down where to go for a first time visit. After a long, cold, dark winter in Toronto, spending the majority of our time in the mid-southern region seemed the most appealing. An early Spring visit meant perfect weather for sightseeing. Visiting before peak season also meant lower accommodation prices and the benefit of way fewer tourists who haven’t yet embarked on summer holidays with family in tow. We never had to make a reservation at any restaurant (impossible during July and August) and pretty much had the city and seaside towns to ourselves, less the few eager travellers who booked with the same mindset as us. Perfetto!

Next on the bucket list? Milan, Cinque Terre and the beautiful Northern Lake District. Arrivederci!

Vacation Idea: San Francisco

San Fran- Golden Gate Bridge

On this dreary, snowy (SPRING?!) day in Toronto, I am seriously California Dreaming. If anyone else is craving a little much-deserved sunshine, may I suggest San Francisco? I had the pleasure of visiting this fine city a few years ago and hope to return someday soon. Sooo much to see! I didn’t take many pictures (too absorbed in my surroundings), but here are few of my favourite memories.

Enjoy! x

Above: If you visit San Francisco and don’t make the (wildly windy!) journey across the Golden Gate Bridge, there’s no hope for you. A touristy must!

San Fran- Chinatown

Did you know that San Francisco’s Chinatown is the oldest in North America? It’s a fascinating place with lots to see, shop for and marvel in. Get lost in the narrow back streets for the  afternoon. You won’t regret it!

San Francisco The Haight

I’ve always been fascinated with the 1960’s. It was a time of rapid cultural and political change in North America (free loving hippies, protests, human rights battles) and The Haight personifies this era in San Francisco. Sip a coffee and take in the wacky ambience of this virtual time warp.

San Fran- Telegraph Hill

The beauty of Telegraph Hill is literally breathtaking- it’s a steep 17.5 degree angle climb to the 275 ft top of the street! Take a hike and you’ll be rewarded by the sound of chirping feral parrots that live amongst the gorgeous bushes and trees.

San Francisco North BEach

Only one picture was taken in the North Beach neighboured of the San Francisco. Why? Because I was too busy stuffing my face at all the delectable Italian cafes and restaurants that are abound in this ‘hood. Go- and bring your fat pants! You’ll need them. #NomNomNom.

 

Have you visited San Francisco? What are your favourite memories?

 

What To Wear: Holiday Party

Can there ever be too much bling during the holidays? I think not. Give the Christmas tree some serious competition and sparkle head to toe in this stunning outfit.

What to Wear- holiday Party

skirt | necklace | clutch| top | earrings | heels

 

FAB FINDS: Indigo Holiday Gifts!

Positioned conveniently in the midst of retail madness, there is nothing better than popping into your local Indigo for a leisurely browse through the new bestsellers, coffee table books, or, during this time of year, the amazing holiday gift displays. Word to the style-wise: go now! There are so many chic, practical and affordable gifts to be found that it was honestly hard to narrow it down to my Top 8 Picks, but here they are. 

Happy Friday! x

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1. Humans Of New York Book: Based on the blog, this visually stunning hardcover is a perfect conversation starter that will feel at home on any coffee table.

2. Gold Dot Scarf: This luxe gold dot scarf would be warmly welcomed by any style hog.

3. Silver Decanter: Fill it with alcohol, or leave it empty to shimmer as a uber femme home decor piece.

4. Good Morning Beautiful Mug: The mug knows all. ‘Nuff said.

5. Wishbone Necklace:  A wish opportunity and a gift?! This delicate gold necklace is just too cute to pass up.

6. Fold-over Clutch: What wouldn’t you pair this clutch with? With it’s generous size, it’s ideal for both day and night.

7. Art Deco Lowball Glasses: I think it’s safe to say I’ve been a little influenced by all things Gatsby this year. Loved the film, loved the costumes and I’m absolutely loving these chic Art Deco glasses, which would look just perfect on my bar cart or dressing table.

8. Paris Map Print: Paris. Map. Print. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Which would you pick? Let’s chat!

Trend Thursday: Fur Stoles

With nostalgia at an all-time high, the holiday season is the perfect time to rock retro glamour in a big way. What better way to make an entrance than in a fashionable fur (or faux fur) stole? A fur stole practically screams “glamour” which is exactly the look you want as you work the party circuit. This season, leave the confidence-killing shrug at home (a piece with a name so indifferent should NEVER be permitted vacancy in your closet!) and wrap up in something that let them know you came to party, dahlin!

Fur Stoles

1.Anthropologie | 2. Anthropologie | 3. Ann Taylor  |4. Anthropologie | 5. Uniqlo |  6. Topshop | 7. Topshop

 

Fab Finds: Pretty Pouches!

The holidays are approaching, you’re a tad strapped for cash, but the ceremonial gifts must be exchanged. Step away from the discount wine rack (undrinkable swill!) and reach for something that won’t be re-gifted the minute you walk out that door: pretty pouches! Think about it: pouches are the perfect little gift for just about anyone. Every gal needs something to stash her stuff in- whether it’s cosmetics, gadgets or cards and cash. Nearly every major retailer is offering one this season, so picking one that’ll rock her stocking shouldn’t be a problem.

Happy Friday! x

Perfect Pouches

1. Ann Taylor | 2. Asos | 3. Chapters | 4. C.Wonder | 5. Rebecca Minkoff