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Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Monday, June 29, 2015

Let The Birthday Celebrations Begin - Paris Style

Though my birthday is not until December ... My friend E. decided since it will be a milestone birthday it required a a few months of PRE-Birthday celebrations leading up to the actual date (and it certainly didn't take much convincing for me to agree) and what better way then to kick it off than while on our trip to Paris!!!

E. made all the arrangements ... all I knew was the day and time to prepare for.

and I was informed a dress would be suitable for the outing ... and heels!!! Ladies you'll note I'm not wearing heels ... but remember Handbag that could hold lots was part of my 3 Essentials for strolling through Paris - (if you missed it you can read it here) ... ballerina flats are much more practical for Metro traveling and walking.

When we arrived at our destination ... I assumed it had something to do with the Eiffel Tower  ... since I could clearly see it (kinda hard to ride the tower ...LOL) 
But I still had no IDEA!! what was about to happen.

We arrived a little earlier than required ... and that was the only excuse we both "needed" to find a seat along the Seine and sip a Chocolate Chaud ... (it was a little cool on this day) 
until all would be revealed....

At the magical hour just like Cinderella my little ballerina flats transformed to:

Dolce & Gabbana patent leather shoes ....

And an Invitation to Le Jules Verne!!! along with them...

Note: I was so excited that I forgot to take photos of us changing shoes before entering - these shoe photos were taken afterwards.
(as a side note there is a little bench inside the private entrance that would have been much easier to use and switch shoes).
We were not going for just a guided tour of the Eiffel Tower ... 
We were taking a PRIVATE ELEVATOR to the top ... and going to have lunch at Le Jules Verne. Miss E. had certainly planned ahead and definitely surprised ME!! Making my pre-birthday celebration kick off one for the memory books.

Cheers! let the SALIVATING begin ... I mean celebration ...
From the bread and butter to the dessert and the service - attention to detail was brilliant!
after cleansing our pallet - we enjoyed:

E. - preserved duck foie gras, apricot-almond condiment, toasted brioche
Moi: Delicate crustacean royale, crab and pickled vegetables

Main Dish
E. and I both enjoyed the peppered beef tenderloin, tender vegetables, seared pigeon, fava beans and green peas 'a la francaise'

E. - Baba with Armagnac according to your choice , lightly whipped Chantilly
Moi - Mara des bois strawberry and orange blossom contemporary vacherin

The Wines
Champagne - selection Alain Ducasse
White Wine - 2009 Chassagne -Montrachet 1 cru Les Chenevottes Chateau Genot - Boulanger
Red Wine - 2010 Pomerol , Manoir de Gay
Dessert Wine - 2011 Santenay Champs Claude, Lucien Muzard & fils

YES!!! ... there were 4 wines!!!

And if the dessert wasn't enough ... 
there were macaroons, truffles, chocolate bites and yummy pink MARSHMALLOWS!! ...
Cheers ... 
MERCI Mon Ami E. for such a fabulous surprise and the wonderful memories created !!!
You have certainly set the bar high for pre-birthday celebrations - can't wait to see what the next 6 months leading up to my milestone birthday brings!!

After all that wonderful food, sweets , bubbly and wine .. 
time for a little stretch and some fresh air ...
 what better way than with an aerial view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower!!! 

As you can see it was a little windy ...
(there was no wind machine provided for the photos)

What I wore: dress - Mexx; sweater- ; shoes - (flats): Sam&Libby , (heels):Dolce & Gabbana; leather handbag - B. Makowsky; sunglasses - Gucci; 

Have you been to Le Jules Verne for lunch or dinner? 
What has been the most your most memorable (pre-) birthday surprise?

You are the curator of your life so make it luxurious,

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Nina's not just another Salon de Thé in Paris - It' truly a Royal Experience

On my recent trip to Paris I was introduced to Nina's by friend Mimi, many may already know Mimi via her blog Bonjour Romance and as the founder of the digital magazine  Belle Inspiration celebrating la joie de vivre.

Tucked in on a quiet side street (29 Rue Danielle Casanova), next to La Place Vendôme, in the heart of Paris, and easily accessed by Metro station: Opéra, PyramidesNina's is truly a place not to be missed by any tea loving gal or Marie Antoinette fan (such as moi)!!! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

7 Ways to Enjoy Summer in the City

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Discover the Water Front: 
The city with all its tall concrete buildings which hold the heat can feel stuffy almost suffocating during the summer months. If you are blessed to live in a city with easy access to a river or lake make your way there and bask in lower temperatures surrounding these bodies of water. Being near water is also very therapeutic.

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Go on a Walking Tour: 
Many cities offer walking tours of various neighbourhoods a quick Google search of walking tours in your city will serve up a choice of options from city run to private guided tours.
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Festivals and Attractions: 
Take advantage of local events and attractions – we often forget about all the fun and FREE (our tax dollars fund) things that are happening right in our own cities. Check out your city’s website for listings of summer events and attractions.

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Go to a Park:
Parks offer a great way to connect with nature without having to travel outside the city. Take a blanket, a book, some snacks and beverages and you are all set for some outdoor quiet time. Make it even more adventurous explore parks outside your immediate neighbourhood. Looking to be a little more active why not get a group of friends together grab a baseball, football or Frisbee and get moving. If you have a hairy, four-legged family member why not go and explore some doggie parks.

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Dinner at (fill in the blank)
Coordinate with 3 or 4 family members and/or friends and start a weekly Dinner At the …… Each participant takes a turn hosting a dinner. Make it extra fun by making it a theme night. You will have 3 complimentary dinners in the month and a fun outing with friends that is not straining the budget. To help make it even more budget friendly make the dinners a pot luck and rotate the various courses of the meal (i.e. beverages, meal, salads, desserts etc.) each person brings.

image via Google
Be a Tourist in Your City: 
Take a weekend and re-discover your city. When was the last time you visited, the museum, art gallery or other wonderful offerings that tourists flock to your city for. Visit an ethnic neighbourhood take in the food, culture and enjoy the people.

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Discover RoofTop Views of the City: 
Make a list of places that offer a bird’s eye view of the city and enjoy the city (and possibly a cocktail or flute of bubbly) from above. Rooftops are also great places to watch the sunset. 

Share in the comments how you enjoy summer in your city.

You are the curator of your life so make it luxurious,
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Monday, June 22, 2015

3 Essentials For Strolling in Paris - What I Wore

Comfortable SHOES ....
Walking around Paris is exhilarating and magical - during the day I did not stray too often from my Converse sneakers (I even dubbed them Official High Heeled Life wandering about Paris footwear!!
as those who followed along on Instagram will recall), but in the evening I got a little lift from Michael Kors. I have become a HUGE fan of wedges and these are funky, stylish and COMFY!!! perfect for strolling the streets of Paris after dinner.

A SCARF ... 
Of course the weather changes quickly - especially along the Seine river. Always prepared with Le Scarf ...

A low maintenance HANDBAG ...
And a handbag that carries all you need and you are not afraid to place on the ground.

What I wore: peasant blouse - Stella Rosa (Italy); pants - Khakis by Gap; shoes - Michael Kors; leather handbag - B. Makowsky; pink scarf/wrap - Di Firenze (I have owned for years).

You are the curator of your life so make it luxurious,

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Arrival in Paris - and What I Wore

Thank you to everyone who followed along on instagram - Paris was amazing!!! 
Looking forward to sharing new discoveries and old discoveries in upcoming posts.

After arriving in Paris mon ami E. and I could not drop our luggage off at our flat in the
Le Marais 4th arrondissement quickly enough. We paused only long enough to throw some water on our jet-lagged faces, grab jackets and dashed out the door to explore what would be our neighbourhood for the next 10 days.

Sitting on the steps of Notre Dame des Blancs-Manteaux 
located at 12 Rue des Blancs-Manteaux literally steps from our flat  

We quickly discovered that our favourite tea provider was located minutes away ...
and just the medicine we needed for the jet-lag that was settling in (as you can see in my eyes).

Tea and scrumptious bite to eat ...

ummm.... I think I may have thoroughly enjoyed every last morsel!!!

Mariage Frères was established in 1854 and I was introduced to it's amazing teas during my 2011 trip to Paris. I'll be sharing more about this amazing salon de thé in future posts.

Layering is key to dressing in Paris - the weather can change very quickly. And yes there is a scarf in my bag (just in case). What I wore: jacket - Banana Republic; peasant blouse - Simply Irresistible; jeans - Suko Jeans; shoes - Converse sneakers; sunglasses - Gucci; leather handbag - B. Makowsky.

If you missed my article 5 Benefts of Taking a Vacation When Life is Spinning out of Control on Resilientista.com  you can read it here.

You are the curator of your life so make it luxurious,

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