Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ancient thermal springs and 90s velvet



Another eventful and busy week! On the pregnancy front, we went to a few appointments, sussed out different places to give birth (hospital vs. clinic), chose the place where I'll give birth, and met with a midwife or **sage-femme** to start the ball rolling on our baby education! 

Also saw the new Tarantino flic in ENGLISH in Annecy (a rare thing to find Original Version English-speaking films here), and received eight boxes of Sultana (or Raison) Bran from a Brit expat mail-order company in the post. The French don't seem to be as obsessed with fibre as are other nations, and hey, a pregnant chick needs her fibre, doncha know! Also went to a **braderie** with a gal pal on the weekend and scored some super cute stuff for a Euro each - will show you soon!


Yesterday hubby and I discovered a town near us that we've never been to, Aix les Bain, an old Roman town known for its thermal sulfur springs (**bain** = bath). In the centre of town stands an old Roman arch dedicated to some old emperor's family or something.

It's a wonderful spot that we'd consider moving to if we stay in this part of the world - smaller than Annecy, but cosier, somehow (and cheaper, by the looks of it). It's warmer as the altitude is lower, but it's still surrounded by the foothills of the Alpes. Like Annecy, it sports a lake right alongside the town.


The Romans enjoyed the thermal springs here, and in the 18th century a spa was erected over one of the main thermal springs in the form of this building, which I think is a government building now. The city became  known as a major wellness spot for the likes of Queen Victoria, Napoleon Bonaparte's Josephine, and many others in the well-heeled set. There are still water spas there today.


After meeting our pals at a Thai resto on the lake (YES! The first Thai resto we've found in this region! We are so becoming regulars as it was amazing!), we took a walk along the lake. It was 10 degrees and lovely.


I'm wearing another 1990s velvet grunge frock purchased from Etsy for a song. It has a high waist and lots of room and is rather tent-like (will be good for later), so I've accessorized it with a blingy velvet vintage belt to accentuate what remains of my waist. The cashmere cardi was a gift; comfy crochet tights and boots were bought new (tip: the crochet or fishnet tights never run, I swear - they truly can last years as this pair has!).


Here's a close-up of the pretty pattern. Jeez, I had my hair cut a few weeks ago and already it looks like a mop. They say your hair grows more quickly when pregnant, mmm.


Bump view. We will def be going back to this town soon, so I hope to take more and better pics of what's on offering there. It's a really pretty place.

Off to buy a French verb book. Have made it to only one class this week, but I did speak French mostly with the sage-femme. I have loads of maternity gifties sent my way from fellow thrifty style blogger pals that I will be showing you very soon! Hope every one has been having a great week - I see a lot of posts I want to catch up with!

42 comments:

  1. I was intrigued by the Sultana Bran at first, I thought your blog had been spammed!
    Looking fabulous, Kelly! Your hair really has grown and the frock is fabulous.
    How wonderful to have a Thai restaurant on your doorstep, that's definitely more cosmopolitan than us, we've got a long bus ride to get to our nearest and I love the stuff.
    Aix les Bain sounds gorgeous, spa towns in the UK are usually really affluent and posh, sounds like you've found a real gem. xxx

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    1. Haha, I didn't think of that until I saw your comment, Vix! Yes, the Thai resto was quite a thrill as it's really not so cosmo here - you generally have to drive to Geneva to find a real culinary variety. I bet Aix is pricey too, it's just less so than Annecy, which is super pricey, but it was so alluring. The whole concept of a spa town is relatively new to me, though I visited Bath years ago (would that be considered a spa town still?). xoxo

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  2. Love the black velvet floral dress!!!! 90s clothes are still some of my all time faves :) Good thing for that yummy Thai restaurant!!! I can't imagine not having Thai or Mexican food, they're my top two choices!!

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    1. Thanks! It's actually plum, but I do have another black velvet grunge dress! We're getting a little bored with the endless cheese and potatoes here, so we will def be going back to that Thai resto often - maybe this week??

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  3. Vix is right, spa towns here tend to be quite well-heeled places, and Aix Les Bains looks beautiful. So do you, pregnancy clearly suits you! And yes, my hair grew like crazy when I was pregnant, and got really thick, but it falls out after the birth! Just one more delightful part of the process... (I didn't develop any bald patches, just lost what I'd gained, if you see what I mean!)
    Well done for talking with the sage-femme mostly in French, that's most impressive. And don't you love that midwives are called "wise women"!
    Make sure your iron levels stay up - if they put you on iron supplements, you really will need that Sultana bran. TMI? Just saying...! xxxxx

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    1. Ak! It falls out after birth? Oh, I see what you mean now, phew. For a mo I saw bald baby and bald Kelly! Yes, I do love that midwives are called wise women here, because you don't always have that reverence in other places. Mmm, no iron testing yet but that will come. That Sultana Bran is already going quickly! xoxo

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  4. Hi there!Your 90s dress looks gorgeous and it's a perfect winter outfit with your black cardigan and boots! Aix les Bain sounds such a lovely town too. Hope you are keeping well and well done for persevering with your French!

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    1. Thanks, my dear, my French has slagged off this past week due to excessive errand-running and Thai-food eating, ha! I keep putting off those verbs. :)

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  5. I love these little bump shots. Keeps us all in the circle in a way.
    How fun is that to discover a new area close to you to roam around in. My favorite kind of vacation activity and you've got it right next door.
    Keep that fiber coming. Especially if the doc has you taking extra iron!

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    1. Joni, I am going to eat a steak soon to avoid that fate, cos Sultana Bran is my saviour right now, TMI, I know! Yes, we still have so much to explore here that it's a great feeling to hop in the car and just go. We must do it while we can! xo

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  6. What a gorgeous dress, and the whole outfit looks great! You live in such a beautiful part of the world - must be fun to explore it.

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    1. Thanks Val, and it sure is, it's a constant adventure and we're loving it!

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  7. pregnancy so suits you, you look hot ! x x Dicky Doo, 35 UK x x

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    1. Thanks Dicky Doo, if you promise not to be a stalker I'll happily keep your comment up - though for the sake of my dear hubby, I must say that I am a married gal, and ecstatically so!

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    2. Well im a married man and ecstatically so to.. was just inspired by your pregnancy as me and the wife have been trying for years and it feels like time is running out. good luck with it dicky doo x x hee hee

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    3. Aw, I'm glad you wrote back and sorry for being cynical. Thanks for your kind thoughts. My two good friends who just gave birth tried for years too. I hope you and your wife have success and wish you all the very best! Xo

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  8. You beautiful fiber obsessed woman you! I was just "shopping" for black floral dresses (I seem to crave them every spring) took a break from that to visit your blog- and voila! YOU looking absolutely radiant in your grungey floral frock!

    Now I'm craving some Raisin bran....

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    1. I loved your post on black floral frocks, Bella. This one is actually purple but I do have another grungy black floral velvet frock that I love. There's just something about that style of dress that's really turning my fashion crank at the mo! xo

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  9. You are looking quite radiant! Those style of dresses make perfect pregnancy wear that is stylish and comfortable. How nice that you have a town with hot springs so close by. Enjoy your raisin bran ;)

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    1. Thanks, Shelley, I used to have dresses like these in the 90s and should never have gotten rid of them, but c'est la vie! We hope to go back to that town very soon. :)

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  10. I thought your blog was now being sponsored by Sultana Bran and that every few weeks we'd be treated to a pic of you in a newly thrifted outfit eating a bowl of cereal.
    Raisin bran was always been my fave cereal, although I used to just buy the bran flakes and add my own raisins (cheaper that way).
    Love the dress. You look so relaxed and happy. I can't wait to see you in your new color-block cape.

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    1. That's a hoot, Jo, I didn't think of that - but I could happily be a Sultana Bran poster child, though that would violate the non-commercial tone of this blog!

      It's pretty mild here though I hear it's getting colder soon - will have to try to snap that cape for you. I found another cute vintage one in the thrift shop the other day for 5 Euros, made in France!

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  11. You are a beautiful momma to be! The dress is amazing... Did you say 10 degrees? And all you have is a pretty cashmere sweater to keep you warm? ... I'd be in a parka, lol. :)

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    1. Aw, thanks, Wendy! No, I so had a coat that day as it was quite chilly by the lake!

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  12. Cute about the raisin bran. The bran muffins at Canadian Superstore were the only thing that worked for my bestie when she was pregnant, LOL.

    10 degrees celsius, yes? That sounds like spring is promising to arrive. And what a beautiful countryside to welcome spring to. I love your photos of the region. The allee with the trees lining it by the lake is just what I expect from an ancient French town.

    You look simply lovely today Kelly.

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    1. It's a miracle food, I tell you, Sue. :)

      yes, it's very Spring-like here, but with lots of rain and greyness. Shouldn't complain, so I won't!

      Thanks for kind words!

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  13. You look really radiant and the lake looks beautiful. I love your dress too I'm always after 90s grungetastic clothes!

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    1. I know, Clare, I can't seem to get enough of these dresses! I know you have some great grungy frocks too. :)

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  14. I am glad you have found the place to give birth and a mid-wife to help you through the process. How lovely to have hot springs so near to where you live...and Thai food! : )

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    1. Thanks, Heather, we're relieved to have sorted that out. We'll have to check out the spa in that town and see what it has to offer, then do Thai after! :)

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  15. Hey you, apart from looking chic'ly francais...you are looking 'blooming' lovely! Congratulations to you! Keep up the French lessons, I know it must difficult but you have to complete your francaise personna, especially now that you are fixed up with a sage-femme.... best wishes to you from across the pond..

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    1. Hey mumzy, thanks for popping in, and nice to meet another TO gal! Thanks for kind words, and yes, must force myself to memorize those French verbs! Hope all is well in the Big Smoke. Miss it! :)

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  16. Hi Kelly, could I possibly use the apres-ski picture of you from the last post to include in the 'How I Wear My: Date Night Look' round-up Adrienne and I are doing? I just love the look, it's so glamorous! If yes, I will link back to your site, the post goes up tomorrow. I apologize that this is so last-minute! XO, Jill

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    1. That was great of you to think of me, Jill, I'm thrilled to be featured, thank you! I added a link at the bottom of today's post to your site. :) xoxo

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  17. you look so happy and relaxed - I know Aix Les Bains, nice spot indeed - France is one gorgeous country i tell you!
    Love your dress, bump and all, looking lovely

    Ariane xxx

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    1. Ah, how cool that you know it, Ariane! It is a pretty town, and the feel of it is different than Annecy - though I love Annecy, I somehow like Aix better - more cosy, or something (this is me in nesting mode, ha!). xoxo

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  18. I love your velvet grunge dress, good for now and later, with those crochet tights. I'm glad you've both found a new treasure to explore. I never noticed how beautiful the water is until I clicked your photos. And the history? I'd be daydreaming all day. You look happy and beautiful!

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    1. Thanks, Melanie, there's plenty to dream about here, I bet you'd love the castles. There is one nearby that has a great history that is closed until the season begins, but I'm so looking forward to visiting it before the tourist deluge hits!

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  19. Exciting time ahead. I am glad you are wearing flowers to flow and enjoy.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    1. Thanks my dear, it sure is. I love the florals in this dress - reminds me a wee bit of the lovely roses dress you featured the other day on your blog. Florals just make you happy, don't they? xoxo

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  20. oh how wonderful! that place looks like heaven and the dress you are wearing is so fabulous too!
    wish you a great week darling!
    kiss,mary
    http://www.maryloucinnamon.com/

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    1. Belated thanks, Mary, I somehow missed this comment! I am loving velvet dresses T the mo. :) xo

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