Monday, 15 August 2011

My weekend...

Involved a few too many of these...

Mojito en el Mambo

In Monaco! Lucky girl eh? We have friends visiting and Monte Carlo was on their 'must visit' list. We've been before but any excuse for a visit and a Mojito at La Rascasse!

P.S - The photo is from my last trip to Monte Carlo, on the day of the royal wedding. It was amazing, but this time I stupidly left my camera at home. Doesn't Casino Square look gorgeous?!

Hope you had a fabulous weekend!

Xxx

Thursday, 11 August 2011

France Mini Series: Sunday Shopping

During my time in France, I've had to learn quickly the best places to shop, when to go, and what to look for (you don't want to be spending unnecessary Euros, right?). As a bargain-hunter at home in the UK, I wasn't going to radically change my shopping habits any time soon. I'll be posting a couple of guides on shopping in the area and throughout France, so I hope you find them useful!

Sign: Fermé
Photo: Flickr

- SUNDAYS -

Sunday is the quietest day of the week for the French; very few shops are open at all on this day, and those that are, close at lunchtime. Emphasis is put upon spending quality time with your loved ones. So not much scope in there for shopping, you'd think?

This doesn't mean that there aren't bargains to be had...they just might not be in shops!

I LOVE markets back home; from jumble sales, flea markets, school fairs, I'll go to anything where the prices might be under a pound for something exciting! Whilst in Cannes, I planned to seek out more of the same. Here I'll list a few resources to seek them out, and the best ones I've found along the Cote D'Azur.

- KEY HUNTING GROUNDS -

Vide Greniers: Your basic Car Boot Sale, translates as "Empty Attic". Here you'll find your usual car boot fair, with people selling unwanted household items along with their shoes from the 1980s.

Marche Aux Puces: Flea Markets! Again pretty similar to Vide Greniers, though you might find some professional "antiquing" types with stalls also.

Brocantes: More along the lines of an Antiques market, but worth a look as sometimes there'll be bric-a-brac within the stalls.

- WHERE TO FIND THEM -

- Check out AngloInfo. I've linked to the Riviera version, but there are numerous networks on here. Take a glance at the What's On guides.

- Vide-Greniers.org. In French, but don't let that put you off - it's pretty self explanatory. You can search by regions & department; the results are in date order and grade the markets by type (bric-a-brac or antiques).

- HOW TO FIND THEM -

With difficulty! If possible, take a sat-nav. Or at very least research thoroughly where the market's meant to be - very rarely will they actually be "next to the church".

- MY FAVOURITES -

A few of the best ones I've found in the Cannes area:

Valbonne Village Vide Grenier (Champ du Pré des Arts, 06220 Valbonne)

Mandelieu Marche Aux Puces (Les Tourrades Retail Park, Mandelieu)

La Brague Vide Grenier (Atibesland, opposite Marineland, RN7, Antibes)


So that's how I spend my Sundays in France! Happy Shopping!

Xxx


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Instagram Loveliness

Loveliness that I had to document today:

- Clear blue skies (and 33 degrees celcius) -

- Kiwis growing in my boss' garden -

Hope you're having a lovely week!

Xxx

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Take on a trend: DIY jewellery

My Pinterest seems to be overflowing with DIY inspiration!

I don't know when I'll find the time to make everything I've pinned, but I thought I'd share a few of my favourite jewellery DIYs:

(All photos from my Pinterest boards, here and here)

What to you think? Is DIY jewellery a trend you'll be trying any time soon?

* p.s - spare a thought for poor Londoners caught up in the riots over the last few days. I've just phoned my grandparents, who live in south London, and they're staying at my parents in Kent until it all calms down. I hope the looting gits get what they deserve (the looters obviously, not my grandparents...they're lovely)!*

Xxx

Monday, 8 August 2011

If I live here, do I become stylish by association?

It seems everyone is head over heels (yes, that is a pun) for French style. Maybe it's the upcoming Autumn, inspiring us to reach into our wardrobes (and most probably our purses), to invest in a shiny new look for the new season? Search for style guides and you'll be bombarded with tips on how to look timeless and elegant. Key guidelines for dressing on the Riviera seem to be "Don't wear shorts!" and "No flip-flops please!". Hmmm... From what I saw I've seen in Cannes, it seems some people along the Croisette aren't abiding to the guidelines. But I'm here for 4 months, not a week. I don't want to stick out as a 'tourist' for four long months!

I searched for inspiration:

And so whilst living in France, I'd better try and blend in with the locals. The thing is, I've left my skinnies and trench coat at home in the UK; I didn't think I'd need them for a summer on the Riviera to be honest! But I have do have some tailored items, classic accessories and stripes to hand. I'll have to give it a shot with what I'd packed back in May:

The most French looking outfit I can muster with my limited wardrobe (and my first outfit photos...hmmm)

What do you think? To be honest, I don't think I can pull it off 'comme les Francais', but I quite like it! It does feel a little too much like dressing up for me, but while I went out today like this (and saw a lot of French girls in similar outfits), I didn't feel quite so much like a bumbling English girl wearing someone else's clothes, and felt like I got some approving nods. Maybe I'll feel more comfortable with it when I get back to England in the Autumn, with my full wardrobe, or at least when I pass through Paris in September?

So maybe this is one look I'll pass up on for now... Although if a pair of Isabel Marant boots were to appear in my wardrobe, I wouldn't chuck them out...

What to do think? Have you been inspired by French style? Whilst looking up inspiration on French style, I stumbled upon this amazing book club series hosted by Fabulous Florida Mommy, in which she covers topics within Inès de la Fressange's book, Parisian Chic: A Style Guide. Definitely worth a look if you're honing your own French style!

As ever,

Xxx

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Flea Market Finds - 7th August Edition

I love flea market shopping in France... here's a few pieces that I picked up this week:


And next week I might share a little guide to shopping in France...excited?

If it means I get to shop more for "research", I am!

Xxx

In which I give my blog some much needed TLC...


I can't believe I've neglected my blog for over 6 months! Very bad of me.
So much has happened, and while I'd love to just get on with some new posts, I'd best update you all (or you'll all be confused when I refer back to previous events, and no one wants that)!

Continuing from our plan of living in the French Alps for a winter season, my boyfriend Ben decided he STILL didn't want to go home to his office job in May...so he found us somewhere else exciting to live, with more adventures, and this time, paid jobs! So in May we moved out of our apartment (avec direct view of Mont Blanc from our living room), drove the 12 hours or so back home to Kent, unpacked our winter gear, said hi to some friends, packed up our summer gear and drove another 12 hours or so...

to Cannes!

So right now I'm typing this from my second French apartment, looking out onto the hills behind Cannes, feeling pretty smug! Though I have made Ben promise that when we come home from this adventure, it's home for good...for a while at least! We didn't bring Mia with us this time, simply as it's so hot over here, and with us both working we felt she'd have more fun on the farm.

Hmmm other things to update you on? Oh yep, while we were home unpacking said winter gear, the cottage next-door was bought, and renovations started on their outbuildings. All was going pretty well, until they started hacking down trees, and building bonfires...bonfires a little *too* close to our stables.

Wanna see what happened?

***Disclaimer - I promise no people or animals got hurt. Even though Ben and his dad tried like maniacs to stop this spreading. Even getting on tractors to try and drive them out of the fire at one point!***

That's 12 of our stables, burnt to the ground. Including 3 tractors, 4 lawnmowers, sheds full of farming gear (Ben's mum has a smallholding of sheep and cows), a shed with all our bikes (the new ones we'd just bought to take to Cannes)...and all our winter gear (news skis and snowboards) that we'd just put away in one of the stables.

Our little house, itself 3 converted stables on the edge of the stable yard, caught fire too, but luckily just the kitchen roof...it's fixable.

So 6 fire engines later, we sat around the kitchen table and made list after list of contents, prices, and action plans. Our neighbour took full responsibility (with recommendation from the fire chief to do so) and there and then paid out the thousands to put it right. He has just bought the £1.4 million "cottage" next door, so he's gotta have some cash, right?

That was 9 weeks ago. By mid July, Ben's dad sent us photos of the new stables:


And things are getting back to normal.

Well enough doom and gloom, I'm living on the Cote D'Azur! The blog's been on mind for a little while now, and given the change of scene, I thought it was time I went a slightly different direction with Dollyfeatures. As you know I'm a crafty girl at heart, but with a background in fashion (and hopefully going back to that in the Autumn in London), the blog is going to make a shift towards that. Obviously I'm not going to go designer on you any time soon, but I hope to start showing more of my take on DIY fashion, recent finds, and stylish links.

Hope you like it!

As ever,

Xxx