Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Winter attire & 5-Euros-and-under finds

(is she off her rocker?)
Second-hand Michael Kors suede lace-up wedge booties with rubber sole: Etsy.

I haven't quite gotten around to snapping what I wear under my winter togs - not surprisingly, most of my blog pics these days are snapped on the run (though I'm still dreaming of a lakeside photo shoot before the snow flies) - so I thought I'd just show you what I wore today on a jaunt to the thrift shop with a friend, followed by lunch and a play date (never in a million years did I ever think I'd be uttering the term, "play date," but here I am uttering it, happily so. :)

The Michael Kors booties were a stellar and not expensive Etsy find and so casz-chic - the lifestyle I'm aspiring to at the mo. Does the girl have a problem with lace-up booties? Hell yah. But when I find such great deals online, how can I help it? Plus, all the booties look the same in Annecy - slouchy and bling-encrusted - and, like every thing here, they're not inexpensive.

Hooded coat: retail, a few years ago
Vintage fur gloves: Ebay
Leather 1990s bucket bag: Annecy thrift shop
Fur hat: Annecy thrift shop
Vintage scarf: Etsy
Fur-lined skirt peeing out: Annecy consignment shop.

You'll recognize the fur hat from last year - my jaw-dropping 1 Euro thrift shop find. I occasionally wore vintage fur in Toronto, and I must admit to having mixed feelings about it. I have no desire to enter into a political discussion on the merits and downfalls of vintage fur, but I do find it interesting that, in a place where fur is everywhere (and most emphatically NOT vintage; I have seen many women in their 50s and 60s wearing full-length contemporary fur coats), it can sometimes be an easier decision to wear it - especially when it costs a Euro and it keeps my head really, really warm in the not-so-cold but damp winters here. Ditto for the vintage Dents England fur gloves I'm wearing here, found on Ebay.

Vintage hammered brass and coloured cab necklace found at my local thrift shop - for under 5 Euros!

On another front, I routinely ooh and ahh over my thrifty vintage blogging buddies' finds in the UK, Canada and Australia. Such raging deals they find: a few pence; a few bucks. I heave a huge sigh of self-pity over the fact that I rarely dig up such inexpensive items in my local thrift shop (Annecy is land of the affluent, and the higher costs even trickle down to second-hand goods), and I often find myself dreaming of the day when I can go crazy in some grimy Toronto thrift shop. (When I visit, I am SO bringing an empty suitcase!).

So I'm going to feature a few recent 5-Euros-and-under thrift shop finds, like the necklace, above (4.50). I liked its arty groove: tribal boho. Of course, about 80 percent of Adam's wardrobe, comprised of 1-3 Euro deals, could be included in this entry but I think you'll get more excited about bling and handbags.

Don't let the crappy pic fool you: this bag is humongous. Found for 5 Euros at my local thrift shop.

How about this utterly huge leather handbag with amazing buckle, 10 Euros but mysteriously marked down to 5 (is it possessed? Only time will tell)? The detail here does not do it justice; I will show it to you accessorized some day soon so you can see it in all its glory. A true French-style handbag, it doesn't really fit into my life (how does a French woman with a stroller hold the bloody thing? I must observe better), but let's just say that wild horses couldn't have stopped me from taking this baby home. Great shape (as in structural: I love the odd scuff and dent); great hardware; great price. It ticked all the boxes.

Whoohee I'm on a roll: 4 Euros!

Today's find: a luscious burgundy suede and leather handbag, with unknown logo and amazing hardware on the side (not pictured). One of the grommets on the side was missing but who cares? For 4 Euros, it's my new bag-crush.

It's so lovely to read all your comments. I do visit your blogs, believe me, but I don't often leave comments these days. Forgive me, but it's a simpler pleasure for me lately to read a handful of posts in my down time. Hope you understand. I always intend to return and comment but then time slips me by. Trust that I am with you on your style and life journeys! xoxo

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Yvoire, Evian & 70s coat

1970s coat: Etsy
Second-hand granny boots: Etsy
Vintage French Lancel handbag: Annecy thrift shop
Fuzzy wool beret: Annecy consignment shop
Vintage fur mitts: Etsy
Sweater underneath: thrifted in Canada
Levis: new.

I'm wearing my latest and greatest vintage coat endlessly these days, having christened it on last week's trip to the small medieval town of Yvoire, and the nearby spa town of Evian. It's made of super thick wool and has this darling faux fur effect and shawl collar, the latter of which I've wrapped around my neck in this pic.

Yvoire, on Lake Leman. The ferry booth was closed when we were there at 5 p.m. but it runs often and connects all of the towns, on the French and Swiss sides, on the lake.

A 14th century medieval town, Yvoire is one of the most beautiful places on the French side of Lake Leman (much prettier than its neighbouring Evian, in my opin). The old town comprises the village proper, which is surrounded entirely by the old medieval walls.

I was here in the summertime and the patios and quaint shops were packed. Last week, and for the entire off-season, the place was shut up pretty tightly, with only a few shops open and one or two deserted restos.

The stillness added to the place's charm even more. Living in Annecy, I know how tiring and oppressive the summer tourist crowds can be.

Evian looking out to Lake Leman and the Swiss side.

We also popped into Evian further along the lake, which was rather ghost-townish too. We were lucky enough to find a restaurant open near the lake for lunch, thankfully. After lunch, we strolled along the lake and soaked up the sun.

Like the few spa towns I've visited, Evian's local population seems to be made up of a lot of old people. Nothing against old people, but having a kid does make you appreicate demographics all the more. France, and much of Europe, I suspect, has a high birth rate. In places like Annecy, you can't spit without seeing a  pregnant woman or a woman with a stroller.

Mr. Happy Pants.

That's boded well for us, living where we do. I've recently joined an Annecy Moms and Tots meetup group and am wondering why I didn't do it before. The group meets often and is made up of women much like myself, whose husbands work during the day and who may be struggling to fit in with a new culture and language.

There are a few French women in the group, which is great, but there are also people from Denmark, Spain, Czechoslovakia, the UK, the US, and even my native Canada. We all speak English, which doesn't help my French skills any, but let me tell you, it's so nice to chat with other expats who share similar feelings and experiences.

Last look at Yvoire.

It also allows Adam to interact with babies his age and older, and gives us a nice little support group of ladies and their tots. It's kind of ironic how a group of foreigners can make you feel more at home than ever before, but that's what this group is doing for me.

Hope you're all well and happy. And to those of you who commented on my new blog header, yes, those pics were of my apartment in Toronto. I sold/gave away most of the decorative items when I moved, but rest assured, the old brass bed is in my parent's basement, and the antique Persian rug is with us here in France.

Lining up with Patti and her brood of stylish gals at Visible Monday.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

All the way from Texas

Sante Fe style denim and tapestry jacket, made by MoonFeather USA, Etsy.

It's finally starting to chill off in Annecy, which means I get to haul out my extensive coat collection, yay!

This Sante Fe-esque one is a recent addition, bought on mega sale on Etsy (it was actually made in Dallas, Texas, so not quite New Mexico). Not sure I would have paid "full" second-hand price for it, but again, that's the joy of finding used togs for a steal: you get to experiment with looks you may not have even considered possible for yourself.

Vintage 1980s wool-blend dress: Annecy thrift shop
Boots: Ebay
Italian suede purse: Canadian thrift shop
Scooter necklace: Annecy vide grenier.

I love the way my first outfit with the coat turned out. I found this wool-blend Italian-made 1980s sweater dress at my local thrift shop for a few Euros. It's simple enough to not compete with the coat.

Accessories? Surprise, surprise, these vintage brown leather and fabric granny booties dug up on Ebay have resurfaced yet again - they go with every thing. The brown Italian-made suede purse (with tassel, which I've hidden - I think it was too much with the tassels on the coat) was found years ago at a Toronto thrift shop.

Thanks to my friend Fayda for snapping these pics of me.

The necklace is Scooter of Paris, found at a vide grenier for 4 Euros. Scooter Paris is a contemporary costume jewellery brand. Not sure how much my necklace pendant would be worth, but I have seen used pieces by the same make for sale online for upwards of 100 Euros.

Second-hand bling found in Annecy.

Now that I've sorta figured out how to use Picasa's collage function, I'm going to start showcasing my rather extensive collection of costume jewellery, which I often wear with my outfits but don't hone in on for a better view.

You can see the Scooter necklace at the bottom left. The remaining bling, two sun pins picked up at the thrift shop this week for a few centimes each, had such a 1990s vibe to them that I'd probably have snatched them up even for a couple Euros, haha. Remember the whole sun and moon craze in jewellery in the '90s? I worked in a jewellery shop in the early part of the decade and the motif was all the rage.

On the home front, the little guy is growing in leaps and bounds, is healthy and happy. He's got his first cold, thanks to Mommie, so we're feeling pretty icky. Like most new parents, Daddie and Mommie and struggling to find quality time together, let alone a few moments to ourselves to cultivate interests. I'm sleep-deprived, bitchy and stressed. Certain things are up in the air, and there's a pervasive feeling of limbo in the house. But, life is good, and I have no cause to complain - this too shall pass. When change comes, it will be welcome, and we can move forward.

I'm always late these days - in fact this post has literally taken me all day to put up (which may explain the degenerating tone of this post)! - so I'm linking up with the lovelies at Patti's Visible Monday just under the wire.