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Thursday, November 20, 2014

London Fall second hand outfit

The cold finally settled over London, and as I return from Sri Lanka, it is hitting me hard... At least I am looking forward to wearing all the warmer clothes I have found in the charity shops all summer long!
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In particular, I love this Mariagrazia Panizzi long sleeves top as it has a surprising cut. Also, I had never heard of this brand before and I am always excited to discover anything related to Italian fashion.
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The skirt is from Zara and was in a charity shop near Oxford Street. This is part of my foray into prints. These flowers called my name and the shape was also new territory for me. I absolutely love it. I wore it with my Maje bootie from yet another charity shop. The outfit is a bit romantic and the booties give it a little edge. 
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And there you go, ready for Fall in head-to-toe charity shop clothes. This outfit cost me less than £50, including the shoes. You can't beat that!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

One week in Sri Lanka: the local life

I loved the beach and the nature in Sri Lanka. But my absolute favorite thing in that entire week was to sit on the bus and go places.
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We travelled a lot by bus. it is a super cheap and reliable way to travel. You have a lot more destinations than with the train as the buses criss cross the whole country. The only thing is that it takes a little  time. But I am happy anywhere with a book (I am into vampires these days, go figure...)
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I loved just sitting by the window and watch Sri Lankans doing their thing, the kids going to school, the cows obstructing the streets, all that...
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Traffic in Deniyaya

We met some fun characters on the bus, always with a good heart. People would help us get on the right bus, and anyway it is pretty easy and straightforward.
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We also got to enjoy karaoke and loud local music. While crossing the south of the island and sometimes during heavy rains, it was a really fun experience...
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We also travelled a few times by tuktuk as buses didn't always go exactly where we needed them to go or even from bus stations to hotels. It's just something you have to do - and if you are lucky enough to have a cool driver, it's an even more enjoyable ride. 
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I must admit that at times it was a little crazy on the road. The bus drivers are slightly out of control. But it seemed I was the only one to mind and the locals thought my worried face was pretty funny. If you have a chance, do hop on a bus. I regret that I didn't have time to take the train, but I had to leave something for my next trip to Sri Lanka. Right?
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

One week in Sri Lanka: the Forest

Continuing on my Sri Lankan adventures,  we left the coast and went to the mountain village of Deniyaya. It is the closest place to stay if you want to visit the Sinharadja Rainforest (already, that name...).
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The rainforest escaped the numerous logging expeditions thoughout the years in Sri Lanka and is a truly virgin rainforest. It sounds glamorous and it was: beautiful and impressive. But it also entails a few animals that scared me just a little bit...
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We went there with a guide (I am not even sure you can go without one...) and he pointed out various snakes, giant spiders and other lovelies from the tropical forest to us. Many of these animals are endemic to Sri Lanka. It was fun to just walk around knowing there is a monkey right above your head going about his day, things like that...
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Oh and let me tell you a little bit about the leeches. How I got familiar with these little ones! You have to put your socks on top of your jeans to make sure they don't climb over your legs (piece of advice: don't wear shorts in the rainforest...). 
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We also had to put salt all over our shoes and socks as the leeches don't really like that. Still there were a LOT.
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But the nature is so beautiful and the trees so majestic that it makes it all worth it. We took paths that I couldn't even see and had to cross rivers with serious current, our guide was the real deal! It made for the best experience!
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We stayed at Sinharadja Rest which had very very basic accommodation but the friendliest guides for the forest and the best vegetables curry I had while in Sri Lanka. Looking at the old guestbook, I discovered a note from my brother who had been at the exact same place three years ago!
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The view from the car, driving from te Rainforest back to Deniyaya. Can't beat that!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

One week in Sri Lanka: the Beach

I am excited to tell you a little bit about my holiday in Sri Lanka. I discovered a beautiful country, a lovely people and wonderful food. I did not really know what to expect, but now I am pretty sure I will go back. One week is very short, there is so much more to see...
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We split our time between the beach and the forest, so I can tell you a little bit about both. The beach was sort of our first stop. I thought it would be good to relax for a day or two, especially after an overnight flight. So from Colombo airport, we went straight to Hikkaduwa (love that name).
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We stay at a beautiful hotel right off the beach, Roman Beach, and that was pretty much it. Walk one minute, go to the beach, pick a beach bar, go back...
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The pic above is taken from our hotel. I told you we didn't walk too much... A few days later, we went to another coastal village, much smaller called Mirissa. I liked it even more, less spoiled than Hikkaduwa, and still stunningly beautiful.
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Mirissa is a surfer's paradise and has the biggest waves I had ever been in. It was a fun swim, borderline scary at times. We stayed at a cheap guest house, Coral Beach, recommended by fellow travellers and it was just perfect.
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As you can see, the sea is not to far...

I loved Mirissa the most because of the mood there, the chilled atmosphere, the reggae, the surfers... What I also love was that there were as many locals as vacationers in the water jumping into the waves. We all shared a good laugh. It felt easy.
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If you like surfing, you will love Mirissa. However if you are a beginner, I was told to go further to the East to the village of Weligama, with has less rocks and is perfect to learn (now on my bucket list...).
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

London Walls 40

Back from Sri Lanka. I need to get started on the many photos. In the mean time, I did another trip to Shoreditch and discovered yet more walls. Graffiti hopping never gets boring in East London...
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On the walls, on top of the walls, on the doors, tai your pick... Are you looking?

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Jeans territory...

So guess what? I am flying tonight to Sri Lanka. The time for our yearly romantic getaway has arrived and I couldn't be more excited! This means this is my last post for the next week or two. The good news is you can follow my exotic adventures on InstagramTwitter and Facebook. But first, one more second hand outfit!
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I told you before, but what I love about charity shops is that I find things I would never buy in a regular shop. Even though I would like it. G-Star is typically a brand that I find cool and rough. But it is too expensive for me and so I never really paid attention to the collection.
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But I found these jeans in a charity shops a few weeks ago and I love them! They are very special, well the G-Star kind of special and nothing like my regular jeans (which are more, well, regular).
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The quality of the denim is undeniable and so the feel is amazing. The cut is strange, especially at the knees but I love that. And I am also not used to having giant numbers printed on my jeans...
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I was amazed to find such a quality product in the charity shop (who is giving THAT away??). For these pics, I paired the jeans with two American Vintage tank tops that I also found in a charity shop (again, how is that even possible!). My luck!

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Wallace Collection

I've been meaning to go back to the Wallace Collection ever since I moved to London (that's more than 2 years ago...). I love this place, it is the cutest palace with the most diverse and fascinating collection. But how to get the kids to enjoy it with me?
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Believe it or not, it happens thanks to Frozen. Yes, the movie. Since I have now seen it a good hundred times (thank you Stella), During one of the songs, Anna is imitating the characters from the many paintings in her castle. Already I thought that could be a fun thing to do with Stella in a museum. But at some point Anna imitates a girl on a swing. And then I got my genius idea. All the paintings in the movie are super famous. But the Swing is the Fragonard I've seen in the Wallace Collection last time I went (that would be 2005...).
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So I told Stella, hey I am gonna show you one of Anna's paintings, the one with the swing, I know where it is! She was intrigued and then she loved it. Not only the painting but the entire place. Very princess-y!
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The ONE!
We had a blast at the Wallace Collection, well at least for the first 40 minutes. Nino liked the paintings and statues with animals on it and ran everywhere. And I was so happy to be back. I can't believe this museum is free. Gotta love London!
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This is Nino re-enacting Elsa's big move.....

I also discovered that there are quite some family activities at the Wallace Collection, so I will definitely be back. Also you can't beat that neighbourhood, Marylebone: farmers market, cafes and charity shops!!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

The long black dress

I wanted to tell you about one of my summer staple: the long black dress. Not the right time? Who cares?
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I spent the last two summers in the long Tara Jarmon dress, that I bought in a charity shop for about £15. I adore it. It survived two kids pulling on it, sitting on it, playing with it; you name it...
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I wear it for school runs, for evening and also for travelling. The length makes it very versatile...
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The dress is not my size, way too big. But the cut is so brilliant and the feel is so nice that I decided it didn't matter.
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When an outfit gives you as much comfort as elegance, it's a BIG win. This Tara Jarmon dress does that for me. I also know the brand well and it uses very good materials (and I don't say that because it is a French brand...).
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Monday, October 13, 2014

The Stylist's Rail Automnal Wardrobe Wonderment

On Saturday, I met with Louise from the lovely blog Pauper to Princess to attend a stylish event in Shoreditch: The Stylist's Rail Autumnal Wardrobe wonderment at the Hoxton hotel.
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It was fun to be back in Hipsterland and the Hoxton Hotel proved to be both a trendy and friendly place! The event is introduced on its Facebook page as: "The ultimate pop-up shopping experience where vendors are a curated collective of London's top stylists, exciting independent designers and vintage labels".
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Mostly I went for non-new clothes and accessories. In this regard, the Stylist's Rail was interesting as it presented both real vintage pieces and items belonging to the stylists themselves. The latest included clothes & shoes from shoots or just the vendors' own stuff. Which I loved. 
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I also enjoyed discovering new brands and designers that I had never seen before, including this cool jewellery collective MagPie On the Run:
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The free Bloom Gin cocktails and the cool tunes from GRLTLK DJs didn't hurt either... After our shopping, it was cool to have a drink and hang out.
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So what did I find? Well, You know me and so I didn't buy anything new. But I bought a pair of MizX Flux Adidas sneakers from one of the stylists present. They are  pretty fun and cost me only £25! It makes me to happy to wear fabulous kicks on my school run!
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Clutch & pants

Fall has definitely settled here in London, but I am still showing you some summer-ish outfits. Sorry for that, but this one can still be done on sunny days (okay, warmer sunny days!)
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I am wearing a Comptoir de Cotonniers silk tee: I love it, but I never get to wear it (try silk with 2 toddlers...). I found it in a charity shop in Camden. The pants is Joseph (!!!!! I know, right?!!!) but you could have probably guessed as the cut is quite impeccable. It is from another charity shop in Islington.
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Finally, the clutch is from my grand mother's closet! I literally stole it from her. Again, like silk, clutch is not something I do often as it is not kids friendly. Yet, it is so elegant, I love it. 
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So here it is another second hand outfit that cost me less than £40 and feels totally fashionable to me. Don't underestimate the hidden gems of charity shops! And if you don't have the time to hunt, look at my own treasure here!
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