Couture and Champagne with the Canary

Thursday, August 18, 2016

La Deuxième Semaine

Fashion says "me too," style says "only me."

Bustier: Current XXVII
Shorts and belt: Zara
Shoes and purse: Aldo
Jewelery and Headband: World Market, fab'rik, and Francesca's 

More time to explore... and SHOP
I discovered three really great boutiques today.  NAF NAF which is a modern store designed for young women; very similar styles to what is found at fab'rik, which is the boutique I interned at last school year.  The location I went to had three floors.  And I bought two belts, a scarf, and a crazy fun tulle dress that is the perfect cross between Carrie Bradshaw and an actual swan. (You will be hearing more about this dress in my next post!)  The next two shops I fell in love with were vintage stores (Kilo Shop and Vintage Standards,) both very similar in styles, but one was about 5 times the size of the other (being about the size of an american grocery store.)  At those stores I bought a pair of total mom jeans, a bandana, polka dotted pants, and some flowy rust coloured pants.  All these new items you will be seeing later on...


Vintage Levis:  Kilo Shop
Top: Forever XXII
Shoes: fab'rik
Purse: Aldo
Headband: Alter'd State

Today we visited the center of Paris!  That is were you see our feet in that third photo.  This hidden gem is located right in front of Notre Dame Cathedral.  As we walked around the front of the cathedral I saw a group of about 100 pigeons with people surrounding them.  There I met a man that handed me some seeds and the birds began flying up to my hand.  It was so much fun!  I felt like the old women that sat on the stairs feeds pigeons in Mary Poppins movie.

Shirt: Forever XXII
Pants: Vintage Standards
Shoes: fab'rik
Purse: Aldo

I did two exciting things today between my boring bank appointments and gathering paperwork for my French residents card.
Today we finally went into the Panthéon.  After walking past it for days and days and using it's cobble stone entry as a short cut after long days of shopping, we finally decided to buy a ticket and visit the inside.  The building is beautiful both inside and out.  Making another Mary Poppins reference, it truly was like her purse, much much bigger on the inside (or even a Doctor Who's reference, for you geeks at heart!)  Underneath the building are many tombs of famous architects, writers, and philosophers of the building's time, back in late 1700s.
The second excited thing I did today was see Suicide Squad, YES August third, two days before it was released in the United States.  Now I am not an expert DC Comics movie critic, nor is that a part of one of my c's, therefore I'll leave your opinion of the movie up to you!  I will say however it feels pretty great seeing a movie before all your friends get to and the theaters here are huge and very comfy with their large red seats.  It was definitely an experience all together.

Shirt: Vertigo
Pants, Hat, and Shoes: fab'rik

Today was the day of chocolat chaud or rather hot chocolate!  I went to two places today, but one day I hope to take the city by storm and go to all the well-known hot chocolate experts in Paris.
The first place is Amorino.  They are known for their gelato, but they also have pretty much edible hot chocolate, that you can really only enjoy with a spoons and lots of blowing on it to cool it down.  They made many different flavours such as white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, hazelnut, carmel, vanilla, cherry, and so many more.  The restaurant was recommended by my dear friend Morgan, and it was very convent since there was one a block away from the apartment we were staying at.  The chocolat chaud there is like pudding!  Very thick and much more like a dessert than a drink.  I high recommend you try it on a snowy day in the city.
The second place we went to Angelina.  This restaurant was recommended to me back in freshman year by my French teacher.  The place is absolutely breathtaking.  The restaurant is indescribable and you must visit if you come to Paris.  The inside is historical, classy, vintage, and feminine.  This chocolat chaud was more of a drink, but still thick and creamy.  We also ate brunch there and I had a delicious eggs benedict.  The architecture inside the building resembled The Goring Hotel in London (and even the upstairs of Ladurée here in Paris) since you could tell it had so much history with the gold trim, high ceilings, and portraits of beautiful women in ballgowns.  The Goring Hotel is where Kate Middleton stayed the night before her wedding and my mother and I went there for tea time.  Therefore I would say Angelina is the hot chocolate equivalent.  Some of my favourite memories are found in places like these where you can sit, relax, drink a warm beverage and eat miniature cakes, while enjoying the company of loved ones.



Romper: Espace
Shoes: Sam Edelman
Hat: Gardening boutique in Raleigh, North Carolina
Purse: Aldo
Jacket: Express

Today can once again be divided into two occasions.  Our visit to the Fashion Forward exhibit at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (which I mentioned in my last post) and my visit to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Pictures two through five were all taken at the exhibited were they showed French fashion over time. The Dior dress shown in pictures five and six was absolutely amazing and it was a dream come true to see something I spent hours and hours studying and researching in person, but that was just the beginning of my Dior experiences for the week...
The last three pictures were taken on the second and third tiers of the Eiffel Tower.  The Eiffel Tower is only about two thirds of the height of the Empire State Building, but since all the buildings in Paris are much smaller than those in New York City the Eiffel Tower makes for the perfect spot to view the city from a whole new height!  They even have a champagne bar at the very top, which a nice rosé always turns a perfect date into an even more perfect one.


Shirt: Pinkie
Skirt: Dior
Shoes: Aldo
Jewelry: World Market and fab'rik

A dream come true... That is the only way I can think of to describe a day like this.
Christian Dior was from a small town on the cost of Normandy, France called Granville.  There his father worked as a wealthy fertilizer manufacturer and Christian grew up with his three sibling in a unique pink house that overlooked the beach.
Today, I visited that home and sparks few.
We started the day with a four hour train ride to the city.  Upon our arrival we realised "We're not in Kansas anymore" with the discovery that this city is the home to one singular taxi.  We decided to walk to the little pink house instead, which ended up being the best decision we made all day.  It was like opening an oyster and finding a pearl inside.  This little town was beautiful.  The three of us instantly fell in love with the salty air, local shops, and small side streets.
The exhibit shown in the home was called Femme en Dior and it expressed the way in which his designs embodied a women, not only the feminine curves of the body but also achievements she makes in her life and the passion that is lite when doing so. 
After visiting all four floors of the home we has tea in his gardens.  There we found roses and lilacs, daisies and sunflowers, rhubarb and hydrangeas.  No wonder my perfume of his is called Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet, when he has all this inspiration right under his nose!

Dress: Norstrom Rack
Shoes: Alter'd State
Bandana: Vintage Standards

Today I met George Clooney... And by George Clooney I mean a waiter named Jessy who was quite fond of me.
Le Bouillon Chartier is a hole in the wall restaurant (well that is if the hole is the size of a Target) that my freshman year French teacher also suggested.  The place was very classy aside from the fact that Mr. Clooney had quite the interest in me from the moment I walked in.  This made for a hilarious meal as after every course we had a different male member of the wait staff come to sit at our table and check out what all the fuss was about.  I made many friends that day while eating my beef tartar.
We also went to Musée D'Orsay today and it is the first Sunday of the month so admission was free.  We only had about an hour until it closed so we spent our time thoroughly exploring the first floor and I will return another time to explore the second level.

French phrase of the week: Maison de campagne (country house)
There is a big different between maison de campagne and maison de champagne, therefore maison de campagne doesn't make much sense on a welcome mat for an apartment in the city...

Kaylee Catherine


Monday, August 8, 2016

La Premièr Semaine

"America is my country, but Paris is my hometown."

Le Premièr Jour

Dress: Urban Outfitters
Flannel: Sleepy Poet
Necklace: Aldo
Watch: Michael Kors
Shoes: Nike

     You know the traveling will be smooth when you arrive on the plane and you have a whole row to yourself...

Le Deuxième Jour


Today we will explore!  My mother, grandmother, and I went on an expedition around the city.  We visited my college, Paris American Academy, and we simply wandered.

Le Troisième Jour

Coat: Primark
Shirt and skirt: Express
Hat: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Aldo

This was the day of fun!  I began the day with a trip to Costa for a large chai tea latte and a blueberry muffin.  One thing I knew I would miss greatly after moving would be my chai with one pump of hazelnut from Starbucks, since I am a strong believer in not buying American coffee in a country that is known for their french press and expresso shots.  I will say, however, Costa makes a wonderful replacement of my chai, and it is very convenient that there are two within a ten minute walking distance from my new home.  Shortly after enjoying my breakfast and people watching we began our 30 minute taxi ride to Versailles.  The time passed quickly as I took videos while we drove past the busy streets and my mother, grandmother, and I cracked jokes.
Once we arrived the view was simply captivating.  Since the courtyard outside the palace was filled with people rushing around we decided to first look in the.. you guessed it.. gift shop!  There I bought the first thing for my new home: Four metal replicas of antique plates that can be found in the palace's museum.  We then made our way to the gardens.  I was very excited to finally see the Gardens of Versailles in person.  Flashback to almost a year ago, a friend of mine, Belle Sansone (blog @,) got engaged at the gardens, so ever since then I have dreamed of traveling there.  On a side note- There is quite a funny story to go with that... The morning we left for Versailles I spent forever trying to find the perfect outfit to wear and I finally decided on a thin black crop turtleneck and a full white skirt with my red trench coat on top (since it was drizzling throughout the day.)  I picked this outfit because I knew the colouring would compliment the background of the garden flowers and the palace very well.  Upon my arrival I decided to look back on Belle's Instagram to see her beautiful engagement photos to get posing ideas.  That is when I realised the reason I knew my red trench coat with black trim would compliment the environment so well was because that too was what Belle wore when she got engaged.  I felt quite silly for copying her outfit, but it was even more funny that I didn't even realize that I did so.
Versailles truly was a magical place and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  Sadly we were so captivated in the beauties found in the garden by the time we made it over to the entrance of the palace they were already beginning to close.  It was very unfortunate, but it gives me yet another reason to return soon so I can continue to explore the beauties within.
At this point we definitely had done enough walking to work up an appetite, so we found a local creperie and had a light snack.  We did some shopping and then took a taxi back to Paris.
This brings us the photo number two and our delicious Italian cuisine.  We had our taxi driver drop us off at the Pantheon since we are staying in the apartment building behind it and we decided to pick one of the restuarants next to it.  We decided on Il Gigolo, highly recommended Italian restaurant with two locations in Paris.  That night I made my first Parisian friend, Santo, the manager of the restaurant, who moved here from Sicily.  I have never been much of a fan of cantaloup, or as they call it here, melon, but last summer when I was here in France I learned that the French have amazing melon.  I spent the follow year raving over their sweet melon just waiting to return so I could eat more.  So when we arrived at the restaurant and saw a melon and prosciutto appetiser I just had get it.  And I will say it was defintely worth the wait!

Le Quatrieme Jour

Dress: Free People
Jacket: Forever XXII
Shoes and Headband: Alter'd State
Belt: Target
Watch: Michael Kors

Today was a wonderful day.  We did so many things its hard to remember every detail.  The first important thing we did today was visit the Luxembourg Gardens.  It was very beautiful and a perfect location for picnics, people watching, and dates.  I sat by the pond for quite some time and watched the little kids play with the miniature sailboats with the different countrys' flags on them.  Sadly there was not a United States sailboat, but there was a pretty awesome pirate ship, which was my personal favourite.  Next we decided we would just walk around.
We wanted to spend the evening near the Eiffel Tower, but since it was over an hour walk from the garden we thought we would just explore the city and then take a taxi once we got tired.  While exploring we came across an adorable shop called Bread & Rose.  There they brewed fresh teas and had a whole display case of cakes and other delicious pastries.  The restaurant even extended into two other sections- a shop that sold nothing but their desserts and a small art gallery with local artists paintings.  I hope to return there, since I think it is the perfect hang out for me and my girlfriends.  Today I tried their wedding tea with rose petals in it and their carrot cake with real carrot shavings in the shape of a flower on top.  I can't wait to go back to try more things.
After going there for our short break we continued our quest to the Eiffel Tower aka we wandered aimlessly some more then finally got a taxi and took it straight to the Eiffel Tower.  Thankfully we found an available taxi when we did because we got so turned around I am pretty sure we were walking away from the Eiffel Tower!  Anyways eventually we made it and it was simply breathtaking!  Now this is my second time to Paris, so I have seen it many times before, but it is just one of those things that you can see it everyday (which I will be,) but each time it's just like you are seeing it for the first time.  I can imagine this is what true love feels like and I will say Paris is the closest I have gotten to it.
Now yes that was a pretty perfect way to end today's post, but I still have to much to tell!  After arriving to the Tour Eiffel we took our hundreds of photos and selfies and such and then quickly left because the area just kept getting more and more crowded.  I have never really been interested in going inside the Eiffel Tower so we decided to just take pictures below it, but maybe in the future I will finally be able to go inside.  As we began walking away from the Tower we saw a man selling little pug toy dogs (small enough to fit in your hand) that walked around on their own.  Nearby there was a couple walking their pug dog and he came across the toy and was absolutely terrified! He was barking, running away (not going far since he was on a leash,) and hiding behind his owner.  It was hilarious and definitely a highlight of the day.
We began to approach the Seine River at this point, so we went down the stairs to get closer to the water and find a place to eat, since that area was crawling with people.  We found this exclusive looking restaurant located on a boat and I decide to take a peak at the menu.  After making it through the security we were quickly approached by a man working.  We had a very funny conversation with him and then were seating at a table with plush seats that had a clear view of the Eiffel Tower, which was perfect since in just a few hours the Tower twinkles and we had front row seats to watch it.  Dinner at the boat restaurant was to die for and I loved every bite of it!  I started with a chilled mint soup with peas, prosciutto, and cheese on top and even those words do not do it justice over how good it was.
At 10pm or rather 22h we watched the Eiffel Tower sparkle and then we took a cab back home.  It was the most perfect end to such a busy day.

Le Cinquième et Le Sixième Jour


Dress: Constance's closet
Necklace: World Market
Shoes: Alter'd State

My reunion with Constance!
Now for you who do not know:  My junior year of high school I hosted an exchange student from France named Constance.  Constance and I were like long lost soul sisters and we hit it off instantly!  After her school year in the United States I returned to France with her and stayed with her family in Lyon for three weeks.  It was a blast and I enjoyed every minute of being able to see the country from a family that actually lives there.  
Ok so now a year has gone by since the last time I saw Constance and we had been counting down the days till we would meet again.  Due to some health issues Constance has been facing this summer, her plan of surprising me at the airport upon my arrival fell through, but thankfully with Lyon only being a hop, skip, and a jump away from Paris we quickly rearranged our plans so my mom, grandma, and I would come to Lyon to see and and her family.  That day we enjoyed our morning in Paris then hopped on the 2 o'clock train to Lyon and arrived at 4.  The moment we arrived we hit the ground running!  Constance and her dad were waiting for us when we took our first steps off the train and the crying party started instantly (I know it's just a dramatic girl thing!)  After our hellos we went to check into our hotel and then went to visit the oldest church in Lyon.  It was absolutely beautiful!  Mini geography lesson-  Lyon is in the mountains of France and is, as I said before, a two hour train ride south of Paris, so that pretty much makes it in the center of France.  Lyon has two rivers running through the city, which make for a great transportation method.  Last summer when I visited we took a boat to the mall, how cool is that?!
So though my visit with Constance only lasted 26 hours this time we definitely made the best of it!  We visited the oldest church in the city.  We went to the top of a mountain that over looked all of Lyon.  We visited her mother's apartment in the heart of the city.  We had a traditional french meal with her whole family (all 9 of us!) We walked around the city square that evening.  We had drinks on at the rooftop bar at our hotel.  We stayed up till all hours of the night gossiping.  We went to the mall and ate more amazing food.  We went to tons of little boutiques around the city and I shopped for things for my apartment back in Paris.  And finally after our full day of fun we got back on the 6 o'clock train and returned home to Paris.
Though our reunion was short I enjoyed every moment of it.  My mom plans to return to France for the holidays and then she and I will go back to Lyon to spend more time with Constance.
Constance and I have also planned for many "study sessions" during the school year where she can spend the weekend with me in Paris and we will spend the days working on homework in cafes and during the night I will show her the city.
Since we have so many future occasions already planned we kept our goodbyes that day short and sweet and much more in the spirit of a "until next time."

Le Septième Jour



Dress: Zara
Shoes: Tory Birch
Hat: Gardening boutique in Raleigh, North Carolina


The day of so many photos!
So went I went shopping yesterday with Constance I found this amazing little dress at Zara that is made from the same fabric as a men's button down shirt but instead it is an off the shoulders simple dress with slits on the side and these beautiful rose flower appliqué.  I fell in love with the dress and I thought it was the perfect Parisian style I have been trying to acquire.  I got so many compliments on the dress today and many head nods (haha!)
So today our big adventure was the Musee de Louvre! Everyone's must when traveling to Paris (well that is after the Eiffel Tower of course.)  To prefix I absolutely love museums.  I think they are the perfect way to get to know the place you are visiting and a great way to understand and appreciate how things came to be in the environment.  They can involve as little and as much energy as you desire and you can go at your own pace.  Therefore if you are feeling a little lazy you can simply wander around and look at the pieces of art, skim over the description, sit down when you get tired, and just do whatever you want.  Now if you are really there to learn then it's a perfect place to follow your map, visit the different pieces, read about the history of them, do your own interpretation of the piece, and then reward yourself with book from the gift shop when you are done.
So for any of you who did not know this the Louvre is HUGE.  It literally never ends.  The palace used to belong to King Philip II, but when his reign ended, so did the need for his palace.  So the palace is now the home of the Louvre (the world's largest museum,) Carousel (a shopping mall,) and Musee des Art Decoratifs (which is currently the home of the Barbie and H&M Fashion Forward exhibits.)
Today was simply amazing.  I finally saw the 2.5 foot tall Mona Lisa (yes, really the painting is that tiny.)  My favourite thing was the Barbie exhibit.  I have always felt great love for Barbie and what the company stands for.  In current time I have been very displeased with how society tears apart the character of Barbara Millicent, but it was truly life changing to travel back in time and see where she started and how much her style, careers, and persona has changed since 1959.

French word of the week: Pamplemousse (grapefruit)
It's fun to say, perfect in summertime desserts, and makes an adorable Webkinz's name (if you ask my best friend Erica!)

Kaylee Catherine
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