July 26, 2011

What to do in Paris- Serena's Top Ten

Here’s my list of 10 really fun things I did on our recent Paris jaunt.

Next time you are in Paris, try to experience them! I know, I haven’t mentioned any museums, and there are so many fabulous ones to visit over and over again.
1.      Take an evening Bateau Mouche ride along the Seine. This takes a little over an hour and is delightful. Try to time it so that they sun is setting while you are on the boat.
2.      Go up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. We did this very late, around 10:45 pm and I think we got the last elevator ride up. And fortunately we did not have to wait in line at all. It happened to be July 13th, the evening before Bastille Day. At 11PM there were fireworks all around the city, which we were able to enjoy from atop the tower. An extra treat.
3.      Take a walk around Ile St. Louis, the smaller of the two islands in the Seine. It’s a quiet area, with interesting shops and restaurants. Make sure to stop for ice cream at Berthillon.
4.      Have dinner at one of the restaurants in Place du Marche’ Ste. Catherine. This plaza is in a residential area, with a park in the middle and restaurants surrounding it. It’s a bustling place for local Parisiens to meet and spend an evening, and you’ll see young and old enjoying each other’s company.
5.      Walk through Place des Vosges, the oldest park in the city, or go and sit on the grass and relax a bit.
6.      Visit Montmartre for a few hours. It’s an easy metro ride from the city, and be ready to climb lots of steps. The church of Sacre Coeur is beautiful and there are some pretty streets all around the area. Shops are a little touristy but you may find some treasures to bring home.
7.      Eat some macarons from Dalloyau. There are a few branches of this patisserie around the city. You can buy a box of them to take home, too, which is what I did. They are pricey but worth each bite.
8.      Try a variety of French cheeses. The window displays in the cheese shops are works of art, and each cheese has a different taste. A taste test is always fun; and get some great bread to go along with the cheeses.
9.      Walk through the Jardin du Luxembourg. The flowers and gardens are breathtaking. We were there on Bastille Day and families and lovers were out and about taking it all in.
10.  Sit at outdoor cafés and brasseries and get a little lunch, or stop for tea. You will get a taste of what the real Paris and Parisiens are all about.

July 24, 2011

Easy Summer with Delicate Swarovski Crystal Jewelry

Easy Summer with Delicate Swarovski Crystal Jewelry

Easy Summer with Delicate Swarovski Crystal Jewelry by Serena Italian Imports featuring button jewelry
I love dressing this way- light, no fuss, without major decisions to make. The summer season is so short, so make sure your clothes are fun and light and make you feel good, inside and out.

Splendid cotton shirt
$65 - stylebop.com

Kookai zipper shirt
€19 - placedestendances.com

H M shirt top
£9.99 - hm.com

Cropped jeans
$168 - anthropologie.com

Tara Matthews bikini swimwear
$155 - net-a-porter.com

Tara Matthews bikini swimwear
$155 - net-a-porter.com

Calvin Klein Underwear thong bikini
$12 - bloomingdales.com

2 Lips Too wedge sandals
$80 - heels.com

Jelly shoes
£6 - debenhams.com

Travel tote bag
$295 - serenaimports.com

Tote handbag
$295 - serenaimports.com

Anchor necklace
$43 - serenaimports.com

Stretch bracelet
$29 - serenaimports.com

Sterling silver stud earrings
$21 - serenaimports.com

Laurafallulah button jewelry
£4 - hannahzakari.co.uk

Stretch bracelet

Zoe Karssen Top Have Fun White
€60 - welikefashion.com

Beach Towel
£6.99 - hm.com

July 20, 2011

A Trip To Paris

I adore Italy, of course. But when the opportunity arose to celebrate my aunt’s special 80th birthday in Paris with her and with her 3 daughters, I jumped at the chance. My husband and I had spent a week in Paris a few years ago, and it is such an interesting city to experience.

It was easy for me to quickly get my bearings, and there’s no better way than having a trusty map- I had a Michelin Paris Poche and a more local area map that the hotel gave me. Just walking and following along with a map is the best-and it’s great exercise for the brain. In this age of heavily relying on our GPS devices, we all sometimes forget to follow our own senses of direction.

When I travel, I must experience the city, not just be there. My eyes are everywhere- what do people look like, how are they dressed, what are they doing, how do they interact? Life abounds in the cafés, at every hour, weekday and weekend. Friends are meeting, chatting, eating, embracing, strolling.
A few latest fashion trends, some of which we also see in the States, but some uniquely European, are: painted toenails everywhere, so fun, in all shades of red and orange, strappy gladiator sandals, some with zippers in the back, cross body bags, scarves with every kind of summer outfit, scarves on men, thick-rimmed eyeglasses, especially in black.

Fortunately, my favorite Italian jewelry designer, Angela Caputi, has a small boutique in Paris, so I visited her shop and chose a rich and warm fall collection of her jewelry due to arrive in September. Look for deep, rich reds, warm greens, greys, beiges and more.

Next time I’ll tell you my ten favorite places and sights in Paris.