Friday, May 28, 2010

Paris, Love it or Hate it!

Since I can remember, I had always wanted to move to Paris. My apartment in Canada was full of Paris posters, Eiffel Tower statues and really anything French that I could find. Now that I actually live here, my view has changed into more of a love/hate relationship with the city of lights. Here are a few things I love and hate about Paris.

Love...The sound of high heels on the cobblestone streets
Love...Old ladies walking their little dogs
Hate... Dog poop all over the sidewalk
Love...Sitting by the Seine, eating gelato
Hate...Crazy amounts of pigeons trying to steal my gelato by flying into me
Love...French dessert called "Floating Island"
Hate...Not being able to buy Peanut butter for less than $6.00 Canadian
Love...Hearing the bells rings at Notre Dame
Hate...The people begging for money outside Notre Dame
Hate...Having to step over homeless people to get into my apartment
Love...The musicians in the Metro
Hate...Being chased by crazy people in the Metro
Love...The smell of crepes coming from the Creperie
Love...Chocolate croissants straight from the oven at the bakery
Love...Relaxing in the Jardin des Tuileries
Love...Shopping at the original Chanel store
Love...Wearing new Paris fashions before the rest of the world
Love...The Eiffel Tower when it sparkles at night
Hate...The amount of tourists that are here in the summer
Hate...The french postal service
Love...Fruit and Vegetable markets
Hate...How expensive everything is here!

Well, there are a few Love/Hate examples about Paris. Stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fruit Salad

With the warm weather that has finally arrived here in Paris, the fruit and vegetable markets are overflowing with produce. It seems like there are open air markets around every corner. I took advantage of the fresh fruit from France this week and made a delicious fruit salad!

We will be moving into a new apartment in the next couple of weeks, and there is a market right across the street. This is pure heaven for a vegetarian!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Nature Capitale

Yesterday, I had the bright idea to venture out into the 30 degree weather to check out the Nature Capitale at Arc de Triomphe. Along with over a million people, my boyfriend and I stepped onto the metro on our way to Champs Elysees. We took the RER line for some of the way to avoid the rush in the metro. Once on the train, I suddenly felt a rush of heat that almost knocked me over. Stupidly, I asked my boyfriend "Where is the air conditioning!?" He looked at me and with a little smirk and told me that there is no air conditioning in the public transit.

I have never been so glad to get off the subway as when we arrived at our destination. Going up into the street, and looking up at the Arc de Triomphe was pretty spectacular. However, once I started to look around I noticed that you could barely move around since there were so many people there!
The street was closed down, and there were plants, trees and even vegetables growing where there are usually hundreds of cars driving up the Champs Elysees. This was a PR event that was to remind Parisians of what the country looks like! There were palm trees placed around street lights, and cows just hanging out in the middle of the road.

There were french farmers there drawing attention to all french grown or made products. From mustard to lavender there were booths set up to promote it. I have to admit that I did love this girl's cheese skirt that was obviously advertising french cheese!

In true french fashion, you could also purchase wine and oysters on the side of the road. There were people standing around drinking and eating in the hot summer sun.
At least the summer weather seems to have arrived in Paris. Hopefully it is here to stay! Now, I just need to get used to riding the metro in 100 degree weather!

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Day at Bercy

This past Saturday, my boyfriend and I took a little trip out to Bercy. I had never visited this part of Paris before, so it was nice to explore another part of the city. We took the Metro to Bercy and got off right beside the stadium there. We quickly noticed that there were hundreds of people lined up to get into the stadium to see Lady Gaga who was performing that night.
We walked around all the people and into the Parc de Bercy. Over to the left hand side, is the Cinémathèque Française designed my Frank Gehry.

After stopping to take some pictures, we strolled through the park to enjoy the flowers and wildlife.

Inside the park, we came across a cute little vegetable garden, and small vineyard. The Bercy district has always been associated with wine. When it was still a rural village outside the city walls, Parisians came to drink cheap wine at the many bars along the river. To have “Bercy fever” was once a popular Parisian saying for being drunk!

After walking through the park, we headed over to Bercy Village to check out the shops.

Once inside the village, we saw two rows of rehabilitated chais (wine storehouses) converted into a pedestrian-only shopping area.

The boutiques, restaurants and bars aren’t really unique, but the buildings themselves, and the café terrace seating along the central cobblestone pathway provides the perfect setting for an afternoon drink in the sun!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bon Marche

Yesterday, I decided to go to the famous Bon Marche to take a look around. I had been meaning to visit this historic department store for months, and decided yesterday was the day to go. I set out in the morning, and exited the metro at St-Placide. I walked up Rue Saint Placide, and found myself surrounded by fabulous shops selling discounted designer clothing and accessories. I ventured into one shoe store, and found Chloe shoes that were originally over 300 Euros marked down to just under 200 Euros. Although they were still too expensive for my budget, they were a really great deal! If I win the lottery any time soon, I know where I will be heading!

Once I reached Bon Marche, I entered through the glass doors and found myself in the jewelry and accessories department. The Chanel and Dior boutiques were also situated right were I entered. I had to take a look in Chanel and figure out what my next purchase will be! The jewelry at Bon Marche is amazing, and the bags are to die for.

The architecture in the building is also very inspiring. The rooftop is glass, and there are chic escalators running through the middle of the open concept store.

I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I entered the shoe department. Every brand you could ever want was there. I found the pair that I would like from Miu Miu. Too bad they are over 300 Euros.

After drooling over the clothes and accessories, I headed across the street to the Bon Marche food hall. As I walked inside, I first noticed the huge cake display with every type of macaron flavor ever invented. The market was extremely impressive with any sort of food you would need. The veggies looked fresh, and the cheese counter was stocked with french delights. The prices were reasonable, unless you wanted to buy something extraordinary. I did find a bottle of water for 30 Euros. Yes, I did say one bottle of water! The water is called "Bling" and is covered in Swarovski crystals.

I will definitely have to go back someday and treat myself to some fabulous jewelry, or stunning shoes!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend in Nanes

This past weekend, I spent my days in Nantes. This charming city is located on the West side of France. My boyfriend and I went to visit his family there, and it provided a great opportunity for me to see more of France!
Only a two hour train ride from Paris, we set out Thursday evening for our long weekend. Our days were filled with lots of sightseeing and TONS of food! After arriving Thursday night, and enjoying a great dinner we set out for the downtown area to have some drinks. We ended up in a bar right on the water enjoying some fruity liquids.
Friday morning, we drove about 45 minutes west to the seaside to a place called Le Pouiguen. On the way there, we saw areas where they collect the salt from water and sell it for bath salts etc. The earth is dug out into these square areas, and as the water dries up, the salt is gathered.

Once we arrived, it was nice to walk around in the sunshine, and see the sea. We went to a little creperie on the waters edge, and had crepes for lunch followed by gelato. This is were I learned the difference between Galettes and Crepes! A Galette is for savoury fillings such as cheese. You eat these first, then crepes come next filled with something sweet like chocolate. Cider is also popular to drink with crepes, and it was delicious!

After enjoying our delicious french foods, we went to La Baule and enjoyed the beach. I dipped my foot in the water and waved to Canada across the sea.

The streets in this area are filled with quaint little houses wrapped in purple flowering wisteria. Flowering trees line the streets, and old brick walls act as fences around the houses. Traditional french houses in this region are known for having blue shutters with white concrete walls. Some of the area that we drove past were just like looking at a postcard.

The next day, we spent shopping ate more delicious galettes and crepes again! We spent time with my boyfriend's family and enjoyed some nice relaxing time.

Sunday was our last day, so we had a nice lunch with his family. In France, it is tradition to have apertifs and drinks before the meal. We sat and ate salty types of crackers, nuts and other snacks while drinking Champagne! At the lunch table we had white wine, and salad with fresh veggies and cheese, and ratatouille. Then came the cheese and red wine, then dessert. Dessert was 9 different little cakes from the local patisserie that you could choose from! French lunch is VERY different than lunch in Canada! I will take a french lunch anytime!!
This weekend was a great experience to stay with a French family, and practice my french language skills. I had a wonderful time, and hope to visit again soon!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rainy Days in Paris

For the last couple of days, the weather here in Paris has not been great. Rain, clouds, and grey skies have kept me huddled up inside trying to stay warm and dry.

The bright side of that means that I am able to play around and come up with new designs. My latest idea is wire work and Swarovski crystals! I will be creating a whole new line of jewelry incorporating sterling silver wire, crystals and semi-precious stones. This picture is just a sample of the type of style that I will be creating.
I am very excited to launch my new line on soon! So watch out for these new exciting designs!!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Beadwork Gallery Now Open!

I have finally opened my "Beadwork Gallery" on In this new gallery, you will find my hand sewn beadwork jewelry for sale. These pieces take countless hours to create, and are more of a piece of art. Please take a look, and enjoy my new creations! Afterall, what could be better than beadwork created in Paris!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Royal Sapphire

My latest creation titled, "Royal Sapphire" is finally finished. I had previously shown a picture of some of the components when I was starting the piece.

It is made from Swarovski crystals, glass delica beads, and 24kt gold delica beads. The center piece is composed of 6 large Swarovski rivoli pieces, 3 Swarovski square components and many 4mm Swarovski crystals paired with the glass and gold delica beads. There is a spiral beaded rope which leads up and finished with a toggle clasp.

It is my interpretation of the jewelry that is shown here in Paris at Place de Vendome. The jewelers with boutiques here often show pieces that are dripping with faceted precious stones. I hope you enjoy my new creation, please feel free to comment! It will soon be for sale on !!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A little bit of everything

These past few days have been busy, from checking out the new Chanel windows to meeting friends for beading! Yesterday I met with my beading friends here in Paris. We spent the day making lampwork beads, and creating beaded beads. Making lampwork beads is a process of making glass beads. Glass rods are melted down by using a torch as seen in this picture, and wound around mandrels to create beads.

Creating beaded beads involves stitching smaller glass beads to create one larger bead. I love these new little beads that we learned how to make, and feel that I will need to make a bracelet with them very soon. Keep an eye out for them at Here is a photo of all three of our beads that we made. It is amazing how different they can look just by changing the beads used.

Only in Paris do you get served this cake when going to someone's house to bead! It was made by my friend's husband especially for our beading meeting! It was SO delicious!

A few days ago, I headed out into Paris and found myself wandering past Chanel. Ok, I admit that I sometimes take a detour just to walk by the Chanel windows. This time, they were filled with white lace outfits, and beige crochet dresses. This bag was also in one of the windows. This is the type of work that was being done for Chanel while I was at studying at Lesage. There were natural looking fiber and straw like material being woven, braided and of course beaded!

Just down the street from Chanel is a jewelry shop called "de Grisogono." They always have beautiful jewelry in the window, and this day was no exception. These diamond and jewel encrusted earrings were stunning! I just had to stop and take pictures!

Another one of my favourite places to walk through in Paris is near the Cite metro stop. Situated there are all of the greenhouses selling flowers. Along the Seine, these little sheds are full of every type of flower you can imagine. Some also carry gift type items, and lots of dried lavender.

Along the street beside the garden shops there are trees lining the boulevard in full bloom. Paris is just so beautiful in the spring!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Parc Floral de Paris

If you are visiting Paris anytime soon, be sure to check out the Parc Floral de Paris. It is free admission until about the middle of June. It is a beautiful park situated just off the last stop on Metro 1 at Chateau Vincennes. The park is filled with flowers, ponds and waterfalls. You can stroll through the park, enjoy an Italian ice cream or even rent a two driver bicycle! There are a lot of things for kids to do at this park. There are climbing towers, slides, bicycles that look like horses, and even a ping pong tables.

I highly recommend a day out at Parc Floral de Paris when the sun is shining!