Inspiration: Top 3 Instagram Picks – Paris Edition

Inspiration: Top 3 Instagram Picks – Paris Edition

I am, admittedly, very late to the Instagram game. I blame this on technology (I held out with my Blackberry until the bitter end…I’m a bit of a Luddite) – because I’m certainly all about sharing and browsing cool/fun/clever/artsy imagery.

 

I’ve got a handful of followers (ahem…you can find me at @DevonMSmiley…) and over the last year or so have found that there are a few Instagram accounts in particular that always make me smile.

 

Today, I’m sharing with you my Top 3…Paris Edition.

 

1) David Lebovitz   @davidlebovitz

Antiquing, preserves, pastries, pastries, pastries….bread?

If those strike your fancy, you’ll love David Lebovitz’s Instagram feed. American chef, now based in Paris, David is always giving his followers a peek into what life is like in culinary Paris.

DL Instagram 2
DL Instagram

 

2) Paris Heather     @parisheather

Heather is an author and tour guide, and she’s got a great eye for the details of everyday life. When everyone else is busy looking at their shoes or 3 feet ahead of them, Heather is looking up – capturing some breathtaking views. I’m most often letting out a ‘gros soupir’ when her Instagrams appear in my feed.

PH Instagram 2

PH Instagram

3) La Flaneuse   @laflaneuseparis

I’m becoming increasingly convinced that La Flaneuse has the Parisian life that I want to have. Cafés, hidden alleyways, sweet treats. I. Want. It. All. To “flâner” in French is to wander…follow La Flaneuse to share in all of the sights she discovers.

LF Instagram 2

LF Instagram

 

Do you have any Paris Instagram favourites I should check out?

 

(All images from the respective Instagram accounts)

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My Informed Style: Kitsuné Espresso Bar

My Informed Style: Kitsuné Espresso Bar

A few weekends ago, I needed a fix.
No ordinary cup of filter brewed coffee would do.
I needed the real stuff.
The strong stuff.

A nice bold allongé espresso.

And – voila – I stumbled upon Kitsuné Espresso Bar.

It’s a bijoux place, tucked in on Prince Arthur Street in the Montreal Plateau. Kitsuné has a nice industrial feel to it’s decor, a handy indoor bike rack and a surprising amount of seating (even a terrasse in back!).

Kitsuné Montreal

Whoa there! Did you think that I was going to skip the coffee bit?

 

It’s delicious. And served in cute (and heavy!) blue espresso cups. Tempting pastries caught my eye – and next time I may not have as much will power… Continue reading

Inspiration: Textile Arts

Inspiration: Textile Arts

I’ve been keen on textile arts since I was a little kid. I loved crocheting, attempting to knit, embroidering…even bobbin lace (I fancied myself a modern day version of Vermeer’s ‘The Lace Maker’).

 

So my mind was blown by the textile work featured on the Design Observer – and wanted to share with you –

Check out some of the pieces that left me awe-inspired below, and head to Hunter|Gatherer: Text as Textile for more

[caption id="attachment_3510" align="aligncenter" width="551"]Artist: Andrea Dezso Artist: Andrea Dezso[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3511" align="aligncenter" width="551"] Artist: Evelin Kasikov[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3512" align="aligncenter" width="551"] Artist: Effie Jessop[/caption] Continue reading

Informed Reading: Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod

Informed Reading: Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod

What seems like ages ago, I shared with you the unique ‘Paris Letters’ project by Janice MacLeod – a letter a month, featuring one of Janice’s watercolours and a story about life in Paris…sent to you directly from Paris. What heaven to receive in your mailbox!

Janice’s awe-inspiring story of leaving life in LA behind and venturing to Europe has lead to a book – Paris Letters.

 

I loved this book.

 

I bought it (after far too many months of delay) on a Sunday morning, sat myself down at a local café, and couldn’t put it down. My expiring parking meter and the fact that I was now listening to my fourth loop of the café terrasse playlist were the only things tearing me away from the book.

Paris Letters

Hurrying home, I curled up on the sofa and spent the next few hours laughing, crying, laugh-crying and taking little pauses to reflect on the book, and the lessons it contains about going after your dreams, finding your voice, and being open to opportunities life brings your way.

 

This past year in Paris, I’d been lucky enough to meet Janice for une verre at the Tournebride on the rue Mouffetard. She’s a gem! Her voice, friendliness and laughter ring true in Paris Letters, and at times I was brought right back to that bustling market street and my own beloved 5th arrondisement. And Christophe? He’s as swoon-worthy in real life as he is in Janice’s writing.

 

For lovers of Paris, lovers of dreams and lovers of love – I highly recommend Paris Letters.

 

You can find Paris Letters at:
Indigo
Amazon

(not affiliate links, just trying to help get the book into your hands)

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Informed Viewing: My favourite Audrey Tautou films

Informed Viewing: My favourite Audrey Tautou films

There are a handful of movies that I could watch over, and over, and over again.

There are some that I love because they let me have a good cry (Sliding Doors). Others give me the giggles and bring back child-like glee (Troop Beverly Hills, Brain Donors). And some, they just sweep me off my feet and take me away to my happy place. Which, as we all know, is Paris. (duh.)

I was in a serious funk a few weeks ago, and found myself wanting to escape to this happy place more often than usual – so the Amélie-esque daydreaming began. As I was humming away to myself and thinking that collecting photomaton pictures would make a great new hobby, I realized that of all of the French-language movies I’ve seen, the 3 I’ve enjoyed the most have featured Audrey Tautou. Most of you will have heard of Amélie, but I wanted to share with you the others- so that maybe if you need to be swept away to a happy place, you can pop one of them into the DVD player.

Amélie (Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain)

(Click through for video)

Amelie screen

I’ve seen Amélie many times. Too many times. I unknowingly start mumbling the lines along with the characters. I’ve actually been to the Deux Moulins café in Paris to sit and look at Georgette’s tabac while sipping my espresso. I’ve tried in vain to wrap my hair up in a scarf for a stylish incognito-Parisienne look. And for years I kept hoping that one day I’d meet very own M. Quincampoix (and now I have!). The film is a vibrant, surrealist fairytale. You can’t help but fall in love with the characters, and it really showcases some amazing acting. Sigh. Que j’adore Amélie!

l’Écume des Jours

(Click through for video)

l'ecume screen

Walking into the theatre to see this (non subtitled!) film, I was confident – nay – cocky – in my French abilities. You can guess what happened next. Although the first 30 minutes or so was me racing to get my ‘ear’ trained up so that I could understand the rest of the film, the upside is that l’Écume des Jours is a visual delight. There’s a great bird’s-eye shot sequence of the Halles that had me both cursing and delighting in the seemingly never-ending construction in the area. Important to note: While this film is surrealist, like Amélie, it’s not odd in a quirky/cute way. It’s odd in an odd way. So it may not be for everyone. But I thought it was a lot of fun.

La Délicatesse

(Click through for video)

delicatesse screen

Based on the (amazing!) novel by David Foenkinos, Le Délicatesse pulls on the heartstrings. It’s the least surrealist of the three films, but there’s an undeniable magic to the story and the character of Nathalie played by Tautou. I’m going to keep this super short so I don’t accidentally give any spoilers. A story about love and about embracing what life throws your way, it will leave you with renewed faith in fate. Pro Tip: Even if your French reading comprehension isn’t awesome, I’d recommend trying to read the book first. It’s slim, the vocabulary isn’t too advanced (i.e. it’s not like reading Camus) and I think it’s actually better than the movie.

Have you seen any of these films? Does the Yann Thiersen soundtrack to Amélie send chills up your spine as well? What films could you watch time and time again?

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Inspiration: Summer Lovin’ All-Day Outfit

Inspiration: Summer Lovin’ All-Day Outfit

Summer is in full swing here in Montreal, and I’ve noticed that I’m spending a lot of time daydreaming about the perfect Summer Saturday (and the wardrobe that comes with it). Chilling in the park, browsing the shops, digging into a BBQ and finishing the night under the stars, watching the fireworks.

All without ever going home.

The stylistic and logistical challenge of this really gets my wheels turning.

How to go from day to night, looking stylish and dealing with the heat?

Here’s my take on a Summer Lovin’ outfit

Summer Lovin' all-day outfit

Key Pieces

Boyfriend rolled shorts (more comfortable for walking than a skirt)
Tank top (easy and breezy, in a nice refreshing colour)
Thin cotton jersey cardigan (fireworks can get chilly)
Flat sandals (all that standing and walking will make your feet swell up – this is not the time for stylish foot prisons)
Sun glasses (protect those peepers! or use them as a headband…)
Cross body bag (you’re need both hands for the beer + hotdog)
Light scarf (doubles as something to sit on at the park, or use as a shawl to protect your shoulders, or just add some pizzazz to the outfit)

 

Essential Accessories

Water bottle (hydration is key!)
Sunscreen (reapply reapply reapply)
Blister stick (just in case)
Wet wipes (use on your face, your hands, your feet, your pits…)
Mini deodorant (your friends will thank you)

 

Minimalist Makeup

Waterproof mascara (spontaneous water balloon fight? Laughing so hard you cry? 70% humidity? A must.)
Spf lip balm (Did you know, you can get freckles on your lips? Slap some spf on there to protect)
Notably Absent: Concealer, foundation & powder (ditch ‘em! You’re too busy having fun to deal with touch-ups)

 

What’s your go-to outfit for the summer? Have big plans for how you’re going to fill the remaining weeks of sun and fun?

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