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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Second hand is the new black 22

I love shorts. They make sense to me. It is easier to wear than short skirts, especially with little kids running around. Yet, I came to it only recently. Still, when I found these American Vintage shorts in my local charity shop, I jumped at the opportunity.
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 I love it. It looks like nothing I own. I am having difficulties with prints and I would have never even looked at these shorts in a store. Yet, in the charity shop, in my size AND for less than £10, it was calling my name. The material, viscose is also different from me, especially for shorts. It gives a dressed up feel so again, I love it.
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 The black knit is a Banana Republic cashmere blend piece that I also found in a charity shop. It is a basic pullover except that the sleeves are 3/4 and I really like that. It gives it a casual yet elegant vibe.
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 This outfit cost me less than £20 and it was a mid season staple for me. My next challenge is to wear the shorts with a colourful top or one with another prints. But I am slow, taking it one step at a time... Stay tuned...
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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Britishette & mini Britishette 32

Since Santa brought Stella a bike last Christmas, we are taking every occasion to go to the park and practice for a bit. Not that easy. The fact that the helmet is pink does help...
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 It's nice to feel spring settling. We are looking forward to stop wearing coats altogether, though Stella would add that she is now able to zip her coat all by herself. She will still practice for a bit as the sun is not really a resident in London just yet. Live to hope...
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Monday, April 7, 2014

London Walls 34

Different neighbourhoods, different street art. I went to Marylebone the other day (yes, to check out some charity shops there) and found this lovely wall in a corner. Vuitton and Mickey Mouse: What's not to love?
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 This graffiti below is gone by the time I am posting the photo. It was near Cross Street in Islington and not long after it appeared someone ruined it. Very sad. I had taken this photo thinking, I will take a better one with no shade later. And then it was too late! Still, it's a brilliant piece.
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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Stella & the Zazoo + Giveaway

Not always easy to raise your little ones in several languages. Yet more and more families are confronted to this situation. Though I keep speaking French to Stella, she tends to stick to English as much as possible because this is what she hears at school.
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At home, Stella has been pretty excited about Judith Masini bilingual book: the Zazoo - I don't know what to wear - Je ne sais pas quoi mettre. Written in both English and French, the book provides an opportunity to address situations in both languages.
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I asked Judith a few questions:
-Why did you decide to write a book in English and French?
I've always had an interest in foreign languages and writing/illustrating children's books. When I moved to Lonon, I discovered an ever-growing French-speaking community that remains attached to its culture despite its expat lifestyle... just like me! So I came up with this idea of books promoting bilingualism and allowing children to learn French (my mother tongue which I love) or English as a second language.
-Who are the Zazoo?
The Zazoo are six mischievous animals who can speak and understand English and French. In my books, we follow the daily life of the Zazoo who switch from one language to the other as they speak. There is no literal translation but the dialogues and sentences are simple enough to be understood, memorised and repeated by the little ones. Children can easily relate to the characters who will quickly become great learning companions.
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Where did you get your inspiration for "I don't know what to wear?"
I chose clothing vocabulary as a theme for the book because I know that getting dressed is important in children's daily routines. The story was mostly inspired by my niece who never wants to wear anything other than her favourite shirt "with all the shiny stars"
-Who is your favourite character?
I love them all but my favourite is Zozo, the little rabbit, because he reminds me of my brother when he was little: very chatty, wearing big glasses and often being teased by his sister (me in real life, and Zaza, the other rabbit, in the book)!
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-Will there be more stories?
Yes, I would like the books revolving around the Zazoo to become a series. Two new books will be published soon: one about the beach and the other one about Paris.
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Judith is giving away one copy of The Zazoo to a reader of Britishette! All you need to do is  'like' Britishette and Little Bilingues  on Facebook and leave me a comment below this post with your email. I will pick and announce the winner on monday. You can find more information about Little Bilingues and also order the book here.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Second hand is the new black 21

This is one of the most beautiful dress I've found in a charity shop! Bring on the party (says the mom of 2 who hasn't been clubbing in XXX years).
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The dress is from Vanessa Bruno Athé, a French designer I am very fond of (though not quite my price range).
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 Black and gold are a great combo. It definitely spices up the LBD and yet the sparkle doesn't look over the top. I also like the belt (belted dresses work better for me :-)
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 The materials are silk and metal, so I might not wear it while having my kiddos around. So far, besides these pictures, the dress is safely in my closet and I sneak a peak from time to time. If you fall in love with it, I am also selling it here.
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 I would love to wear clothes like that every day, but that's probably for another lifetime. Still, when I saw it in the charity shop, my heartbeat went up!
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Remember that I can go charity shopping for you!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Entering the Kids Zone at the National Army Museum

After trying for a couple of weeks, I finally secured a spot in the Kids Zone at the National Army Museum. I had heard they have a really good soft play area. Let me reassure you immediately: it is NOT filled with toy guns are soldiers costumes.
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The Kids Zone is open to children from 0 to 8. It is free for babies under 6 months and otherwise tickets are £2.50. You can and should book online as the Zone will welcome no more than 30 children at any given session. There are 6 sessions each day lasting an hour each. 
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I found the soft play perfect for Stella and Nino. Stella could go around and climb, slide, run and hide. And there was an area for the smaller one, where I spent most of my time with Nino. He got really excited as he could just push things around as much as he wanted.
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So we threw stuff on the floor (a lot), drove around in a pretend car, played hide and seek. It was a bit of a workout (for me). But all in good fun. I loved how safe and clean and neat the place was.
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I with I could tell you more about the National Army Museum, but to be honest, the kids were so tired afterwards that we saw a unique opportunity for a peaceful lunch. So we took it!
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The Kids Zone is open every day from 10.10am to 5.15pm. You can try to just show up but I really recommend buy your tickets online. Especially if like me you come from the other side of London.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Second hand is the new black 20

Today I am doing 50 shades of grey with this fantastic cardigan from The Kooples that I found in Cancer Research UK charity shop.
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I find it very classy when there are no buttons. And the pockets are a must for me. I can live without buttons but hardly without pockets (dummy, kleenex, Mickey Mouse bandate, you name it...). Also I love the 3/4 sleeves!
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 I paired the cardigan with a grey tunique I found in second hand store Pardaf in Antwerp, second hand leggings from American Eagle I found in Crossroads, and second hand shoes from Ca'Shott (you can buy them here).
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 I love that head to toe, this outfit cost less than £70. I can not get enough of the second hand shopping experience. I am approaching my one year without buying new clothes and have never been happier with my wardrobe!
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 Don't forget, I am starting as a personal shopper for all charity shops in London. If you don't have the time, I will find your gems too! Till then, you can see all my second hand outfits on Pinterest here.
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

An Oasis in Kensington

There is nothing like a good place to take a break on a busy street. And trust me, Kensington High Street gets busy! So I discovered last weekend the perfect place to get some sun and peace.
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The Roof Gardens is a privately owned venue on top of a building on Kensington High Street. Luckily, it is open to the general public. You can also rent it for a wedding or an event (Richard Branson did it!). The entrance is on Derry Street. All you have to do is give your name and email, and then take the elevator to the 6th Floor.
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The Gardens are spread over 6000m2! I've read that until 2012, it was the largest roof gardens in Europe. There are three distinct themes, a Spanish garden, a Tudor garden and an English woodland with lots of flowers. Also, my favorite was the couple of flamingoes just walking around. 
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Stella was quite impressed with the one-legged thing...

There were not many people up there, it really was like an ordinary garden, except that you feel very chic chilling in this beautiful place. Some women were sitting and chatting, a couple was scouting the place for their wedding, and a few tourists like us.
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I would love to just bring a book and sit there for three hours. I just might! I find it amazing that you walk in a building (that doesn't really advertise it) and suddenly you are in a Hacienda!
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There is a restaurant, Babylon, and also a club. But (and suddenly we are back in London) it is a private Members club only. So I am not sure I will dance in the Garden by night just yet. Though the restaurant is open for guests, so who knows?
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If you are shopping/eating/walking around High Street Kensington, drop by the Roof Gardens, it is a really good sight! 






Monday, March 17, 2014

London Walls 33

The sun's out and the graffiti below illustrates exactly how I feel about the coming spring! Love the pop of colours. Legs out everybody!
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 I also spotted this ninja looking right at me, and I found him pretty cool... Not exactly graffiti but street art nonetheless.
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Second hand is the new black 19

I found this lovely dress at my local Sue Ryder charity shop. I really like it. It is not the type of dress I would usually wear, as I feel like my kids would rip it off in two minutes. Yet, I loved the preppy vibe.
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 The dress is from La Fée Maraboutée, a lovely French brand that has been on my radar for a few years. I love the details like the shape of the collar and the simplicity of the design.
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I paired the dress with simple black pumps from Reiss to complete the preppy look.  Did I mention that I paid less than £20 for that dress?
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 This outfit made me think of both a school uniform and a French maid (is that strange?). It is super conservative and yet quite sexy (goes well together I guess).
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Caught in the wind...