In case you were wondering

Thursday, September 23, 2010

To give a brief update on my job situation, I’m still employed (hooray!), but in the end, the type and duration of my new contract was not exactly as I’d expected or hoped. I’ll be doing slightly different work than I’ve been doing so far, which is definitely the upside of it all, but for now, my contract is only valid through March 2011, and that kind of sucks. I’m hoping that my future will be a little more solidified way before the end of my contract, though, so keep those fingers crossed!

Despite its brevity, there are still quite a few advantages about my new contract, like learning about an entirely different and more interesting side of our department, getting to check out some ventes privées that I’ve never been to before, and staying on the same team with all my cool colleagues. But, the greatest thing about my “new” job is that I’ve moved to an office with a much better view and much better light. The light seriously changes everything! When it’s really sunny and I’m having my morning espresso at my desk with the window slightly open, it feels like I could be sitting on a second-floor terrace. Well, maybe that’s a stretch, but it sure puts me in a better mood than sitting in my former much darker office that was shaded by trees. And I’ll have a perfect view of the Christmas lights once they go up in December, which I used to have to admire from someone else’s office.

It’s all about the little things.

Fall fashion à la française

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I was really surprised, but kind of excited when my sister sent me an email with the following question inside:
so what is the fashion scene like in paris right now for fall? What's hot for fall and what items can i pass along to my friends who keep asking me about this? thanks!!
PS keep in mind we are moms so keep it practical and everyday. :)
I never thought about answering a question like that on my blog before, but thinking about it made me realize it might be a topic that interests my friends and other readers, so here I am.

Paris is almost always rated as the best dressed city by travel and fashion magazines, and I never really paid much attention before, but I guess it's a pretty accurate assessment. I think the reason Parisian women seem so put together is because they're usually very confident in what they wear - from the suited-and-heeled businesswoman to the quirky, colorful Bellevilloise, women here wear their clothes with confidence.

Much of it probably has to do with the classic silhouettes that are everyday staples of a Parisian wardrobe, too. At my office, I notice women tend to wear the same few, but special pieces of clothing, then mix them up, add accessories, jackets and different shoes to create multiple outfits. It's a habit that I kind of struggle getting used to, as I've always tended toward the side of fast fashion and fleeting trends.

So, here are some fall trends I'm excited about seeing around the city as the temperatures drop. We've already had a few cooler days and cold nights, so some folks have already been pulling out the warmer threads giving us a sneak peek of what we can look forward to treading the cobblestone soon.

Over-sized sweaters, tapered khakis, and brown wedges are all the rage lately. I've been seeing people sporting this look lately and I'm thinking about jumping on the bandwagon! Of course the marinière shirt is a staple in any French woman's closet, so I'm pretty sure it'll make an appearance underneath chunky sweaters this fall.
Paris fall casual

If I could wear jeans to work, I'd love to throw on a pair with tall, neutral boots and a leather jacket. Ladies here seem to love their leather jackets and every time I see someone with a cute black one like this one, I'm always reminded that I don't have one. (Ahem...Christmas is around the corner.)

'Speaking of work, I don't think I've ever seen a woman in my office not wearing at least one piece of black clothing. Once the weather starts to get chilly, the black tights and boots come out and summer is officially declared over. I like the black-on-black look, but sometimes I just feel so morbid wearing all black to work. So, I'm loving all the muted jewel-tones I've been seeing in the vitrines along Avenue Montaigne that I think people will be brightening themselves up with this fall.

And of course, there's the infamous trench. I love my trench coat and don't even know how I lived in Paris for so long without one! It's such a staple of life here, that no one even bats an eye when they see someone else wearing the exact same one on the bus or in the metro. Also, I love that colored tights are making a comeback and I'm already on the hunt for the perfect blue ones. Hopefully, Parisiennes will embrace the trend so I don't end up looking like a colorful clown in a sea of safe black.
Paris fall work

(click on pictures to find out more about the items)

Weekend warrior

Sunday, September 12, 2010

September has proven to be a pretty busy and stressful month so far. Between la rentrée, birthdays, births, weddings, parties and the lingering uncertainty with my job, we've barely had a chance to breathe. I keep skipping out on knitting nights and many of my creative indulgences have been sitting on the back-burner waiting for things to slow down. Gui and I hadn't even gone grocery shopping since we came back from holidays more than a month ago, and we'd been eating out or stopping by Franprix for odds and ends when we needed them. Among other things, I'd been really craving some sewing time and a leisurely trip to the marché.

So, when Friday rolled around and there was nothing I
had to do or anywhere I had to go, I decided I would soak up a relaxing weekend by doing only the things that make me happy. No stressing over the daunting and dubious week ahead; no rushing to get anywhere on time; no waking up too early; no fussing and no anxiety. Unfortunately for Gui, he still had things planned for the weekend - projects he was working on with friends, fantasy football dates, etc., etc. But, I didn't let that ruin my lax weekend, and he happily indulged with me when he could.

We had a late breakfast on Saturday morning, followed by some knitting time and lazy computer time. The weather was incredible, so we decided to ride over to the Bois de Boulogne, not more than 2.5 miles away and try to rent a little boat to paddle down the small lake in the
Bois. The bike ride up there was a bit challenging - there were some uphill moments that really showed how out of shape I am, but it was a nice and quiet ride.

We found the boat place and went out on the lake for a little less than an hour, taking turns with the paddles and enjoying the green and open space around us. It's such a beautiful park, and for a moment Gui and I both felt like we could have been back on Town Lake in Austin rowing our canoe out like we've done a few times in the past. Before we headed back, we walked around a bit and decided we'd come back more often now that we know how close it is to have a break from the hustle of busy weeks and the noise from the city.

Gui had somewhere to be in the late afternoon, so I hung around at home, resting up from the tiring bike and boat rides, while working on some sewing projects and browsing around Ravelry. I got a huge craving for gelato and once Gui was back, we headed out to Grom for some seriously delicious scoops of pear, lemon and coconut sorbet. We hadn't eaten dinner, yet, so we wound up at a wine bar along the
quai and had a quick meal there before calling it a fantastic day.

This morning, I finally got my
marché fix and had some friends guide me through their bustling neighborhood covered market that's not so far from our place. I came home with bundles of fresh produce (enough to feed about 10 people for the week), some beautiful lamb chops and freshly ground beef from a very popular butcher, and a poulet roti that we devoured for lunch. It's so nice to have fresh food in our kitchen and meals planned for the week again!

We rounded off our Sunday with a quick trip to the Marais to look for a bike, but realized we came too late when we got to the neighborhood bike sale and there were literally 4 adult bikes left! I've been looking for a bike for forever, so it was a little disappointing. But, having treated ourselves to some Starbucks beforehand and taken a little stroll around the quartier, the trip wasn't a complete wash.

Now, Gui's rushed off for another one of his engagements, and I'm just taking in the last few hours of calm before an eventful week begins. My work contract technically ends on Friday, and with no new contract yet to be signed, I'm once again finding myself at a crossroads. Only this time the paths are really undefined for the moment. I should have some answers by tomorrow, but I'll be surprised if there is anything less than chaos all week. Which makes this past weekend all the more lovely, in a very calm-before-the-storm kind of way. I'm just hoping the storm doesn't last long, and that it won't bring any rain - fingers crossed.
TEXAS SARAH. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.