Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane

I'm packed. I'm ready and raring to go. Thanks for following me over the past five months as I've prepared for this vacation. I've enjoyed your comments and best wishes for a wonderful trip. Thanks for all of your helpful suggestions and to those whose blogs I also follow, I've delighted in all the charms and sights of Paris you've shared.

Catch you post Paris ... over and not for now. I can't wait to tell you all about my trip!

P.S. I leave you with this pretty video from 7 Gypsies that I discovered on Debbi's blog.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Classics - French Style

Who doesn't love Catherine Denueve? She such a timeless beauty, and still looks great today! And how about these CD-inspired fashions? They're timeless, too. (From Lucky magazine)

I recently watched Catherine Denueve in the French film "The Last Metro".

How much of the speech in this trailer can you understand? I need the subtitles!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mom Came Through

My mother isn't a rich woman, although she certainly does have "champagne taste." But she definitely is a woman of her word. Even though she's retired and has a very small monthly income, she always manages to find a way to put a little aside so she can give family and friends a special gift, and no matter how small the gift may be, it is always something thoughtful and from the heart. I guess you could say my mother is a good gift-giver. Lord knows we've all met some of the opposite - people who can't give a good gift to save their life.

Anyway, if you recall, from my first post, I told you how I gave my mother $500 when it was her fiftieth birthday. That was back in 1988. My mother used the money to pay for a trip to Mexico with a friend.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, my mom came out of the bank and presented me with an envelope. I immediately knew what it was! Inside the envelope were five crisp one-hundred dollar bills.

I have $100 earmarked for a special dinner we are having on the night of the 28th. And maybe something Hermes? I think something for me and something for my mom would be nice ...

Hermes cashmere shawls |
Until Paris.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Yes, I am anal ...* (briefly updated)

INC Silk Motorcycle Jacket - Macy's
I'm bringing a jacket like this when I go to Paris - but how will it fit in with my overall wardrobe? Let's see...
Whenever I'm packing for a trip, a grid like the one above helps me figure out if I'm bringing enough - or too many - articles of clothing. The goal is to get wear out of every item packed - and more than one wearing is optimal when it comes to packing economies. Packing light means giving each item a thorough evaluation for:  versatility, comfort, ease of care (doesn't need ironing, etc.) and very importantly if you feel good wearing it.

So when I had a pair of blue slacks in the mix and saw that I'd only wear them once, I decided to nix them because I already had a pair of grey pants on the list that I was planning to wear only once. Now I can (well, might have to) wear the grey slacks twice. The one-time-wear rule doesn't always have to apply. For instance, the LBD (little black dress) listed for Day 4 free/dinner (free means we don't have a planned activity; we're free to go wherever we want for dinner) is a one-time thing, but I still want to have it with me as an option because it's versatile. And it's good to leave a little leeway in your wardrobe planning for the unexpected (something spills, rips, you just don't feel like wearing again, etc.).

Even though the items I've listed to pack can be mixed several different ways, my list gives me a good overall picture of what should be in my suitcase. While many of you are seasoned travelers who know how to pack light, here are some helpful packing tips for those who are not so experienced ...

1) Create a list/chart like the one I created above and take it with you - pack it right in your suitcase - and this way you will know what you were thinking when you decided to bring each item.
2) Another good idea if you're bringing separates is to try each outfit on so you can see if you're making good pairings. You can also experiment putting different pieces together and see how they look. If you're packing something you haven't worn in a while, by all means do try it on to make sure it still fits AND inspect for missing buttons, etc.
3) Will you be bringing new walking shoes with you on your trip? Be sure to break them in BEFORE you go. You can wear them around the house if you worried about scuffing them up.

P.S. After I posted a photo of the sweater with the ruffles in grey after I bought it in teal, I kept wondering if I should return it to get the grey! But after mapping out my wardrobe with the grid above and trying it on again, I think the teal is lovely and shall remain a keeper!

P.P.S. See my comment in the comments section - the packing list continues to evolve!
Until Paris ... only 19 days!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Down to Days

Twenty days until Paris. That's less than three weeks! The time has passed by so quickly. I've spent the past two nights at the mall looking for a few things to fill in my Paris wardrobe. I needed something elegant to wear for a dinner party we're having at a woman's apartment near the Eiffel Tower and luckily found the perfect piece to mix and match with a skirt or slacks with this beautiful white blouse by Jones of New York ...

I'm bringing my black trench coat, but I also got one of these fabulous long, open draped sweaters which are so popular now and versatile. I plan to wear this over a dress or with a sleeveless shell during the day, when the temps in Paris should be hovering around 69 F (according to the weather chart averages for the city).

I also bought a sweater like this ... in teal.
It's hard to avoid ruffles at the department stores these days - they're EVERYWHERE! It think this may be the only ruffled thing I bring.

From the BBC series on Paris, Blood and Chocolate (Part 2 of 3). Enjoy!

Streets of Paris - I shot this the day I left Paris, on a rainy September morning.

Small group Paris tours for women