The Hotels, the Exhibition and the Caesar Salad

After lunch it was straight to Musée des Arts Décoratifs for the Christian Dior exhibit. This was the highlight of our trip so we were pretty excited when we took our place in the queue. 

During the entire tour the only word that kept popping into my head was - exquisite!! Everything was exquisite.

If you are Paris bound in the near future, this is something you cannot miss! It is the biggest fashion exhibition ever held in Paris. The exhibit closes on January 7, 2018.

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Colourful Autumn Leaves

I had only been to Paris during the fall once before, so I was pretty excited to experience it again a couple of weeks ago. If you're heading to Paris soon, you might be lucky enough to enjoy the tail end of the colourful autumn leaves. Or, if you're planning a visit sometime next year, I would highly recommend going during the fall season. The temperature is cooler, but still lovely enough for long walks.

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Italy - Part Two!

The Four Seasons Hotel Firenze should hire a security team for those who refuse to check out – like me! (Locking yourself in your suite and hoping they won't notice doesn't actually work that well.)

But in the end, I dragged myself away from Florence, and it wasn't so bad. I was soon distracted by my excitement about where we were headed next: Basilicata!    

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Italy - Part One

Traveling is my oxygen! (That may sound a wee bit dramatic… Oh well!)

Going without trendy clothes, a pair of fancy footwear or the latest gizmos and gadgets in order to save up for that next trip is easy for me. Experiencing different cultures and seeing new places, or revisiting cities I love, brings me an indescribable amount of happiness. And, to boot, the memories are something I will always own, whereas clothes will become dated and tossed out, along with the shoes, and gadgets will quickly need upgrading. So I'm quite content in going without… as long as I am able to travel. 

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Summer Fun in New York City!

New York City is so much fun that I visited twice this summer! It's also easy to get to for us Torontonians. It's a little more than an hour to fly, and if you're a road tripper like me you'll enjoy the eight-hour drive through beautiful upstate New York en route to the city.

My first trip this summer was in July with my mother, sister and niece. It was a graduation gift for my niece Lauren as she's heading off to university this year. Seriously, where does the time go?!

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Calling All Bookworms!

I just had the loveliest time with novelist Sally Christie, author of the Mistresses of Versailles trilogy. I first discovered her series last year, when I picked up The Sisters of Versailles. I'm a sucker for historical fiction – especially anything related to France from the 17th century to WWII. I quickly noticed that it was book number one of a trilogy. Since I don't like it when a good book ends, knowing that there would be two more was a huge bonus!

I devoured it. The story of the Mailly-Nesle sisters is fascinating, and one not told enough. I knew very little of them. In one family, four sisters became mistresses to King Louis XV. Ha! Four! Naughty sisters.

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There's a Package in the Mail!!

So!

I've signed up for a monthly surprise subscription box. It's an interesting thing indeed. I realize that I'm definitely late in the game. It's been a while now that I've seen this relatively new concept of surprise subscription boxes fluttering about on the internet, and I presumed I wouldn't be interested in paying for something I didn't personally choose, so never really gave it any thought… until I actually did. Ha!

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Flowers, Friends and Iris Apfel

Little did we know what we were in for such a wonderful weekend, with champagne constantly flowing, beautiful people to meet, new friends to make… and we each acquired a very precious piece of costume jewellery from the personal collection of the one-and-only fashion icon, Iris Apfel.

It is a bit of a story, and in order to keep it as short as possible, I will just say that we each managed to acquire a piece of Iris's jewellery through a small sale held at the flower show. Iris donated several of her pieces, with proceeds going to the Newport Preservation Society.   

The motivation behind the purchase was that Bettie was hosting Iris that evening for dinner and we all wanted to celebrate her by each wearing one of her pieces. Here is mine. I will cherish the gorgeous, stunning, and quite large dragonfly brooch forever!

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24 Hours in Paris

It has been a rainy and chilly spring in Toronto, yet today I'm writing in the middle of an official heat wave. What gives!?

Actually, the wacky weather conditions are welcomed as my garden is doing unusual things this spring. The bamboo is higher than it's ever been, flowers I didn't realize existed in our garden are popping up here and there and the wisteria vine bloomed for the first time in over 25 years! Seriously – no bloom in over 25 years. So, thank you Mother Nature. I will take your bizarre weather. 

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Florence, il mio amore – Part Two (And a Little Giveaway!)

It goes without saying that arriving home from a beautiful trip leaves you feeling wonderfully fulfilled, but the feeling is even sweeter when your travels allow you to cultivate new friendships. This is specifically what happened to me when I met three lovely ladies on my recent trip to Florence: Martina, Emiko and Margherita. 

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