September 29, 2014

Gray handbags

Gray and greige are my favorite colors and I'm so excited to see them featured in this season's handbags.

Givenchy's medium Antigona duffel

Chloe Baylee mini leather tote

Balenciaga - Le Dix Cartable M leather tote

Anya Hindmarch Vaughan bucket cross body bag

September 28, 2014

Top places to see in Provence

Life in the Fog becomes Life in Provence temporarily.  Here I go again with my top things to do in ____________ list.  I'm not running out of ideas, I promise!  I'm just addicted to travel!  So about Provence...it's exactly as how you see it in the pictures.  It's a very laid-back, quaint, charming region in the south of France.  Provence evokes thoughts of endless lavender fields, monasteries and abbeys, hilltop stone villages, and bustling markets.  I had an amazing time in Provence and it was a nice change in pace from being in the magnetic, energetic city of Paris.


Aix-en-Provence for its Saturday morning markets:




The markets were buzzing with vendors and shoppers alike.  Everything you could possibly want can be found here - straw hats, fruit, jam, clothing, and of course scented soap, which I bought plenty of as gifts.  There's also lots of boutiques and cafes - this is a university town so it definitely brings a youthful vibe to what would otherwise be considered yet another quaint, charming Provence town.  Another attraction is the Fontaine de la Rotonde near Cours Mirabeau boulevard.


Fontaine de la Rotonde











Getting lost has never been more fun - I highly recommend it!






Taking refuge from the heat while having fun photo ops with my husband



St. Remy:


This is the town where Van Gogh painted the Starry Night and I could see why - it's just absolutely charming.  St. Remy has many art galleries and shops, a neo-classical style church, and the town is so small that half day's visit would suffice.  




Ivy and moss flourishes on a brasserie





Can't get enough of the simplicity and pastel colors of  Provence


Roussillon:



What makes Roussillon so distinctive from other hilltop towns is its earthen red color derived from a ochre mineral.  













Menerbes:



Peter Mayle's book A Year in Provence put this town on the map.







Lacoste:

























Back in the day, the villagers used the stone to build their structures without the use of cement. Lacoste's defining feature is the use of stones and residents want to carry on this tradition by requiring developers to follow the stone motif when building new houses or structures.










Avignon:

 The Palace of the Popes


Avignon makes for a great base in visiting surrounding towns and it's energetic during the day but mellows out in the evening.  We stayed at the Aux Augustins which has a kitchenette in each of its "apartments," as well a lovely courtyard full of flowers and foliage.  Patrick, the owner was very warm and welcoming - I really recommend this hotel!

In terms of eating out, you can't really get it wrong.  I recommend eating in the square near the Palace of the Popes- with musicians playing nearby in an old world setting, it brings a whole new definition of romance.



















Wasn't aware my husband took this picture, I was probably contemplating the French life and thinking I could live here



Lavender fields of Abbey de Senanque:



I highly recommend coming here in July, otherwise they have the picking season and you miss all that brilliant purple come September!




Gordes:




Gordes was our favorite town mainly because of the stunning views and its amphitheater perched on the edge of a cliff - I would have loved, loved, loved to stay longer and catch a classical concert here at dusk.























Although we weren't able to go, Les Baux gets a special honorable mention, particularly Carrieres de Lumieres which is literally inside a limestone cave.  I can't stress this enough!  If you're only able to travel by bus, keep in mind that rides to Les Baux are only available on the weekends!  One of my only regrets on this trip was not being able to go and I've heard Carrieres de Lumieres has been the highlight of most people's trip.  



September 27, 2014

Top 10 things to do in San Francisco

Okay, I overindulged in being a francophile for the last few months, more so leading up to my France trip.  It's not quite out of my system yet, but let's save that for another time and go back to the basics, which should stay true to the title of this blog.

After blogging about top, budget-friendly things to do in France, I dreamed up my own list for San Francisco.  I hope San Franciscans would agree with my list and I hope it gives visitors the most of what they can get while staying in this beautiful city.   In no particular order...


Ride the Wiggle:


A great way for cyclists to get intimate with the city while avoiding her treacherous hills.  If you're not allergic to climbing hills then good for you, skip to the next entry.  The Wiggle route is about one-mile long and stretches from Golden Gate Park to Market Street.




Try the Anchor Oyster Bar in the Castro, 579 Castro Street:


I know, I know.  Your guidebook told you to go to Hog Island Oyster Co.  But being that this is from a local's perspective, I'm trying to drag you away from touristaland. You protest, bu-but Hog Island has waterfront views.  Yes, but you can walk off all the calories from your chowder and cioppino by exploring the Castro neighborhood afterwards.  Why not support LGBT local businesses while you're here.




Visit colorful Clement Street in the Richmond district:

Photo from: www.sfcitizen.com 

Okay, I guess I'm partial to Clement Street since this was my old 'hood.  But if you're super short on time I definitely recommend this street.  It is so diverse in terms of food offerings and shops.  Heard of shabu or boba but don't know what the heck they are?  Then you came to the right place.




Shop in the Marina or the Mission district:


Your guidebook again points you to the burning lights of Union Square.  Okay, there's an H&M, Macy*s, Forever 21, and ___________(insert a major department store here).  That's nice and dandy but where in the U.S. is there not a major department store within a 50 mile radius?  Depending on what your style is, I would recommend the Marina district's Union Street and Chestnut Street boutiques if your style is more uptown, and the Mission district (along Valencia Street betweet 16th and 24th Street) if your style is more downtown.




-Try SOMA Streat Food Park, 428 11th Street:


A wide variety of food truck vendors all in one area and a perfect chance to hang out and observe techies from all walks of life.  You can pass the time waiting in line by counting how many start-up logos you recognize on t-shirts and utility bags.        




Catch a show at the Castro Theater, 429 Castro Street:


This is not your ordinary theater.  This is an institution.  It's one of the few movie theaters still in operation from the roaring 20's.  They sell tickets for movie sing alongs (waiting for the Sound of Music) and shows.  There's also an organist who plays live before each show which makes going to the movies all the more unique.  




Grab a beer at Southern Pacific Brewery, 620 Treat Avenue:



Set in a 10,000 square foot industrial warehouse, this brewery in the Mission District is a nice change of scenery.  There's also another bar and more seating in the second floor.




Have a picnic at Dolores Park, 19th Street and Dolores:

Photo from: www.sf.funcheap.com 

It's the next best place for locals to go on a Sunday afternoon after brunching with friends or just for getting fresh air to ease their hangover.  Grab a sandwich from Ike's Place and bask in the sun while you can because it's most likely to be foggy everywhere else.  


Hike Mount Davidson, on 125 Dalewood Way:

Photo from: www.sfgate.com 

It's the highest point in San Francisco, and I would say it's an easy to moderate hike from Dalewood and Lansdale and you're rewarded with views of the city.  Avoid coming here on super foggy, cold days because the ground will be muddy and slippery.  Mount Davidson is the City's best kept secret, so much so that even most locals have never heard of it.  Don't forget to visit the foot of the massive cross commemorating Armenians who perished during the genocide of the Turkish Ottoman Empire.



West Portal for vintage treasures:

Photo from www.examiner.com 

This neighborhood is becoming a hotbed for vintage finds.  They've got everything from a Goodwill (possible donations from nearby posh St. Francis Wood residents), the City Antiques store, and West Portal Antiques.

September 21, 2014

Lusting after black Diane von Furstenberg heels

 


I'm noticing a great revival in DVF shoes and I like it...  

Clockwise from top left: Bis Heel on sale, Bianca pump, my favorite- the Hilda heel which is the perfect height to wear to work, and Vick suede pumps






September 20, 2014

An easy, budget friendly guide to Paris


Let's face it, Paris is expensive.  It already costs a fortune just to fly here for hours and pay for a hotel in the City of Lights.  The great thing is that you don't have to go broke when sightseeing this beautiful city and you can still get a taste of the Parisan life.  





For an extra dose of romance - join other couples dancing under the lights of the Eiffel and watch the Tower glitter every hour for five minutes.  







Head for the Pont Alexandre III near the 7th Arrondisement.  It's even more beautiful at night with the  amber glow of the ornate bridge lamps. 





Take the funicular up to Sacre-Coeur Basilica and then enjoy city views from the park on the hills of Montmartre.  






Climb the tiny, spiraling steps up Notre Dame tower to see a different perspective of Paris.   The fee is 8.5 euros or about $12.00 USD.




Take a break and enjoy a pastry at Laduree or try on of their many macarons.  I actually preferred the Concorde location on 16-18 Rue Royale.  Yes, it's small and quieter but it was nice to sit among the locals during breakfast.  Imagine starting your work day here, I'm green with envy.




Contemplate the good life, read a good book, or in my case, work on that tan at the Tuileries Garden.  






Meals can get expensive.  Why not visit the local market and pick up fresh produce?  We fell in love with the figs in France.  Tip:  Try them drizzled with red wine and baked!







Better yet, grab all the food and wine you picked up at the local market (hopefully you picked up an easy to open screw top) and have a picnic near the Tower.  







 Take a romantic boat ride down the Seine River and see more amazing sights of the city and wave hello to Parisians sitting on the banks of the Seine.