The Beauty of Spring

Spring and Autumn are my two favorite seasons. I would be entirely happy if we just switched back and forth between them. Spring reminds me that there are always new beginnings and new adventures around the corner. I recently celebrated the Spring Equinox (Ostara) as well as my 43rd birthday, usually we take a trip to Paris for my birthday, but this year my husband had a work trip planned to the Dutch city of Utrecht and I got to tag along. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Utrecht and we even took the train into Amsterdam a few times to explore the city. This was my first time visiting the Netherlands and I very much enjoyed my time there. We are actually going back next month to see the Keukenhof gardens when my husband’s mom comes to visit, so I will have tons of photos of beautiful tulips then.

On our last full day we visited the Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam’s Botanical Garden. It’s one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. It was established in 1638 by the city municipality as Hortus Medicus, an herb garden with medical plants for Amsterdam’s doctors and pharmacists. The reasons for establishing a specialized medical garden were very serious: at that time the cities of Leiden and Utrecht experienced the plague epidemic (1634-1637) with thousands of victims. Additionally, several monasteries moved out of the quickly growing city and there was not enough space in Amsterdam to plant herbs.

Of course I had to wear a floral print dress to visit a botanical garden. I love botanical gardens and this one did not disappoint. If you are in Amsterdam I recommend you take a few hours and stroll through these gardens.

Dress ~ eShakti
Belt ~ Amazon
Shoes ~ Soft Spots 

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Time Travel in France ~ Part 2

For the second installation of my time traveling post, we venture slightly forward in time. Many of the villages or chateaus were founded or built in the Middle Ages, but went through a reconstruction and revival in the 17th and 18th centuries, so the medieval architecture is all gone.

Château les Milandes, was built in 1489 and had many notable owners throughout it’s history, but probably the most famous  (at least to me) was Josephine Baker. She lived in this chateau from 1940 to 1968. It was left in ruin for many years, but fortunately the current owners have spent much time and money restoring it and creating a lovely museum dedicated to Josephine and her career as an entertainer. They even bring to light the little known fact that Josephine worked as a spy for the French government during WWII. Unfortunately, photos inside the chateau were not allowed.

The Château de Hautefort dates from the middle ages, but was completely transformed in the 17th century, as it was gradually stripped of its defensive functions to become a “modern-style” château. Unfortunately It suffered a devastating fire in 1968, but was beautifully reconstructed and restored to is 17th century splendor. The castle is where the movie “Ever After” was filmed and it and the gardens are absolutely gorgeous.

Very near the Château les Milandes is a fascinating little “museum” called La ru du temps qui passe (The street of times past)We were warmly greeting by the owner (Michel Boom) and his daughter (Christelle) and I think they loved our outfits as much as we loved their little museum of the past.

Michel has created a little indoor village of sorts with streets and storefronts of merchants of the past. He has fashioned little vignettes of life in the past with so much detail and care. According to the website the time frame ranges from 1860 – 1940. We didn’t get a lot of photos as we were so enthralled with strolling the streets, but do check out their website, there are lots of photos and a little video.

They were kind enough to allow us to go “behind the scenes” to take more photos. So Here are Laurence and I “shopping” for groceries. 

So Blue at the Château de Fontainebleau

Dress ~ Miss Candyfloss
Hair Flowers ~ Shazam Hair Flowers
Brooch ~ Vintage
Shoes ~ Soft Spots

For our second stop on our “Weekend of Châteaus” we traveled about an hour south of Paris to the Château de Fontainebleau. I have been wanting to see this Palace since our first trip to France, and honestly I have no idea why we haven’t made it there before this. I suppose with so many wonderful things to see in France it’s hard to choose what to see.

Unfortunately several of the rooms were closed and they were doing a lot of reconstruction during our visit, which means there were so many more people going through the same rooms as us. We were not able to get as many photos and see as many things as we wanted, so I guess we’ll just have to go back at another time. I suppose that I can make that sacrifice for you 🙂

I recently received this dress to review from Miss Candyfloss, it’s part of their new Housewife Collection, and I am in love with it.

I’m a sucker for a shirtwaist dress, and this one has such a darling silhouette and details that I couldn’t pass it up. The fit is perfect and it’s a good weight, not to light not to heavy. I really like the little buttons on the sleeves and the slight peter pan collar give is that feminine touch.

I really love the combination of blue and yellow and I had planned to find some yellow shoes to go with this outfit, but alas I didn’t find what I was looking for before our trip. So the yellow flowers will have to be enough. The dress does come with a matching belt, but I liked the way a small white belt looks with it.

 

Another beautiful week in Paris

We were fortunate enough to have another long weekend in my favorite city, Paris. We took the fast train in on Thursday and stayed until Sunday. It’s not nearly enough time to spend in such a fantastic city, but it’s nice to be so close. We are going to make a point to visit every 3 months this year so we can experience all of the seasons. I’m also going to make more of an effort to photograph my outfits and excursions in Paris more.

The weather was lovely, a bit chilly in the mornings and evenings, but beautifully crisp and sunny during the day. So I’ll chronicle the four days of outfits here.

DAY ONE

After strolling around the 5th Arr. that afternoon, we attended a book signing/reading for Greg Proops’ book The Smartest Book in the World at Shakespeare & Company on Thursday night. We ended up hanging out and chatting with him afterwards for a little while, which was a real treat.

Our hotel is very near the Musee de Cluny and nearby is a quaint little park which makes for a delightful backdrop for photos.

Dress – eShakti
Purse ~ Mod Cloth
Brooch ~ The Jewellery Cloud
Shoes ~ Naturalizer

DAY TWO

We spent our second day at Disneyland Paris, we renewed our Annual Pass so we’ll be able to enjoy more Disney outings though out the year. We decided not to bring the big camera to Disneyland this time, so not many photos were taken.

Cardigan ~ Emmy Designs
Blouse ~ Tatyana
Sweater Vest ~ Land’s End
Trousers ~ Pinup Girl Clothing
Brooch ~ Kirbee Art

DAY THREE

Saturday was the sunniest and most beautiful day we were there. On our way to a museum, we strolled through the delightful Luxembourg Gardens and stopped at the Medici Fountain for a quick photo op.

Top ~ Slash Top from Vivien of Holloway
Skirt ~ Mod Cloth
Shoes ~ Naturalizer

DAY FOUR

On our final day in Paris, we took a leisurely breakfast and walked down along the Seine to the Jardin des Plantes. I could spend days walking around this garden, which includes a Ménagerie, the Natural History Museum, beautiful greenhouses and so much more.

The trees and flowers were just starting to bloom in Paris and it wasn’t quite as glorious as it will be in a few months, but it’s still an amazing place to walk around and take in all the loveliness.

Dress ~ eShakti
Beret ~ Broosky
Brooch ~ The Jewellery Cloud
Shoes ~ Remix Vintage Shoes

Matchy-Matchy

I have always loved the show “What Not to Wear” and one of the lines that always stuck with me was “It doesn’t have to match, but it does have to GO”. I’m reminded of that quote all the time when trying to put outfits together. But sometimes a perfect match is just what an outfit needs for perfection.

I bought this scarf a year ago to wear as a turban (I’ve worn it several times), and I love the colors in it. When I found this eShakti dress I knew it was a perfect match for my much loved turban. Usually when I wear a turban, I want it to compliment the colors, texture or print that I’m wearing, and I think this does all three.

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Dress ~ eShakti
Turban ~ Plaid scarf from Primark
Brooch ~ Curiousity Shope on Etsy
Shoes ~ “Playtime” from Re-Mix Shoes
Lipstick ~ Red Velvet from Besame Cosmetics

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I recently bought these adorable shoes from Re-Mix Vintage Shoes. And as with most on-line buying I was worried about how they would fit/look/feel. I was not disappointed at all. I have very painful plantar fasciitis and I can’t wear a lot of my cute shoes right now. I also have to wear insoles to help with my condition, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that my insoles fit comfortably in these shoes and I was able to wear them all day without any extra strain on my feet. I think I’ll have to get another pair…maybe in blue???
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And lets’ just take a moment to adore this charming brooch. I have several “culinary” type brooches, but this is a complete set and it’s just amazing.

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Mix and Match

Lately I’ve been taking a look at my wardrobe and really trying to mix things up a bit. I know sometimes we all get in a rut and tend to pair the same items together. So today I chose two pieces that I’ve never worn together, and honestly I didn’t even think they would go well together. But, in fact, I really love it! A blue and white polka dot skirt paired with a red silky top embroidered with blue flowers and to tie it all together (pun intended), a blue silk head scarf with a red and yellow pattern.

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Blouse & Skirt ~ eShakti
Vintage Headscarf ~ Thrifted

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The embroidery detail on the blouse is stunning.IMG_7646 IMG_7641

I love the details on the back as well. Covered buttons all the way down and a little bit of pleating really add a touch of fun.IMG_76535:30:16 - 4 5:30:16 - 6

 

Dress Review ~ Penelope Dress from Dolly and Dotty

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When Dolly and Dotty contacted me and asked me to review a dress* for my blog, I have to admit, I’d never heard of the brand and was a little hesitant. But I was pleasantly surprised with not only their large selection, but also that their sizes go up to a UK 24 in most styles.

It was difficult to chose which dress I wanted, but ultimately I chose the Penelope Day Dress in the Light Blue Floral pattern, and I just adore it. With it’s adorable 1950s style and wonderful details, it’s a great cotton day dress for any gal. The only thing that would make it perfect is the addition of pockets.

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Penelope Dress ~ Dolly and Dotty
Hair Flowers ~ Shazam Vintage Hair Flowers
Clip-in Bettie Bangs ~ ProExtensions
Vintage Yellow Earrings ~ Gift from a lovely friend
Vintage Pink Rose Brooch ~ Thrifted
Fuchsia Suede Penny Loafers ~ Natualilzer
Vintage Embroidered Purse ~ Flea Market
Lipstick & Liner ~ Dita Von Tesse lipstick with Cherry liner from MAC Cosmetics

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I love the details like contrasting yellow piping and covered buttons. My dress came with two belts (I’m not sure if they always come with two), one with matching fabric and one yellow to match the piping. I love having options!

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A little bit about the company:
“Created from a love of 1950’s fashion, Dolly and Dotty is about creating the most fabulous vintage inspired fashion with a modern flattering fit. We aim to provide our customers with outstanding service, high quality products and beautiful retro prints, all at an affordable price.
Whether you’re a rockabilly rebel, you have floral fever or you’re a day dress diva, we have something for you! All of our dresses are designed in Brighton, by our wonderful design team.”

Connect with Dolly and Dotty
Website: http://www.dollyanddotty.co.uk
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DollyandDotty
Twitter: http://twitter.com/dolly_and_dotty
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dollyanddottyUK/
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dollyanddotty/


*Disclaimer:  I received this complimentary dress to review on my blog.  All opinions are my own.