Ahhh Paris, still on cloud nine from my Girl’s Trip last month and I can’t wait to share more deets about this trip. But first, let’s talk about the shopping. Paris is known for its fabulous fashion and accessories. You will find EVERY major fashion house in Paris from really affordable stores like H&M to top of the line stores such as Hermes. There is something to buy at literally every price point. However, my particular jam is handbags. I had a thought wayyy in the back of my mind to buy a bag. I wasn’t sure what style or brand but I kinda, sorta thought I would snag something cute.
Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann
Galeries Lafayette was our first stop, the big one with the fabulous rooftop views of Paris.
Honestly, there were so many bags that I was a bit overwhelmed. If you are in Paris and love shopping, you must visit this location. The dining, shopping and views can’t be beat.
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées
I do not have to tell you about this famed street that is a shopper’s dream. There are super high end stores like Cartier and then there’s The Gap. The avenue again has something for every budget. Tons of places to eat – we chose Five Guys because the girls were starving and we wanted something super quick but delicious! But I was still on the hunt for a cute bag. While strolling the avenue, we stumbled upon Lancel. I had never heard of this French brand but the bags were calling me…Come in Robin, see what we have! I am glad I did!
Lancel is a French brand that started in 1876 and is a premier French luxury brand. Each bag is handmade from luxurious leathers. There were so many beautiful styles but I am a sucker for a good crossbody. I chose the Clic de Lancel in black. Let’s look at this chic but edgy bag.
VAT (Value Added Tax)
So here’s another good reason to buy luxury goods abroad. The Value Added Tax, or VAT, is a consumption tax assessed on the value added to goods and services – like a refund. So if you buy certain goods in Europe, you get a refund on your purchase based on the price, usually about 12%. Isn’t that THE best. Lancel did all the paperwork right in the store. When you leave, you present the form at the airport. You can choose a cash refund or have it applied to a credit card…easy peasy.
Currently obsessed with this chic crossbody. I think it falls right in the middle of being a casual weekend bag but equally good as a dressy bag. Loads of interior space to hold everything for the on the go girl! And, a matching wallet to pull off a polished look. I love that it is a French brand that is not so well known. After a 140 years, I think Lancel sure knows how to make a bag.
Have you purchased luxury goods abroad?
I am fresh off of a vacation with friends and hyped to share all the deets. So, last Thanksgiving we had a meeting in the ladies room (some of y’all are not going to catch that) and decided to take one BIG trip to celebrate our 55th b-day! Fast forward to October and me the my besties plus 1 are ready for our Girl’s Trip to Paris. And, it was magical! Yeah I know everyone says Paris is magical. But I knew it would be something special when the gifts starting coming. Everyone on the trip brought something cool and useful for the Fabulous, Fierce and Favored crew! Today I am sharing some of my favorite travel accessories, all under $25! Take a peek…
These products are perfect for a weekend getaway to your favorite city or a long-haul trip. Here are my faves – loving the ear buds, at a very reasonable price I might add. Especially considering on the last leg of my flight, I was horrified to hear the flight attendant hawking those cheap azz ear buds, not cool. And next up, phone gear. The phone stand makes it easier to watch movies you’ve downloaded to your phone. Moving on to my last favorite, if you rock a black suitcase, a fun luggage tag will help it stand out in a sea of black bags. On this trip, when I arrived at baggage claim, my bag was already off the conveyor. A fellow traveler said someone thought it was their bag until they saw my luggage tags.
I am so excited to share pics and stories from our Girl’s Trip! Tell me do you buy gifts for friends when traveling together?
- I would tell you that if you have not heard about The 1619 Project, get into it now, right now. In America we learn some things…but not all the things. I am getting a real education about the economics of slavery. It’s important and relevant for 2019!
- I would suggest trying these chunky funky boots for the Fall instead of a flat or an over the knee style. Pair with a funky backpack!
- I would say if you have financial savings goal, use an app like Qapital to meet that goal. I just met my savings goal for an upcoming trip and it was easy, peasy. Christmas is right around the corner, start saving today and by Thanksgiving, you could have all your holiday shopping funds. #not sponsored, past post here.
- I would confess I loved Downtown Abbey and can not wait for the movie. Big fan of period pieces – the costumes, the sets, the language, so good.
- I would say I am obsessed with designer cakes and this one is my favorite this week. The details make it look so life like and realistic. I would not eat a single slice.
This was a short week that felt like a super long week, like a week with 8 days. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for every day and week, but sheez, quite glad this one is over. Not planning on doing a dang thang this weekend, except some self care, mostly skincare and some reading. Das it!
How was your week? Have a great weekend!
Happy Monday. This week kicks off my birthday on Saturday. A LOT has changed in 5 years since I celebrated my last milestone birthday – primarily the passing of my Dad, Sister, and Brother and Mom’s illness. I still feel a sense of loss most days, but for the most part, I have adjusted to this new normal that seems totally crazy. And, I am thankful for another birthday!
One thing that hasn’t changed are the lessons I learned in 50 years. Nope, I am not creating a whole list of 55 more lessons, but I am adding 5 more things I have learned in almost 55 years.
LOL, it has been quite a ride to 55 and I keep learning and growing and being clear about what’s important. Some of it serious like being healthy – physically and mentally and some of it is just plain fun, like wearing white whenever I feel like it! I will see y’all in 5 years with 5 more things I have learned. What have you learned this year that is making a difference for you?
Yes, I know I know, everybody is talking about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! Why? It is a good sale which includes luxury items they may never or infrequently go on sale. Of course, loads of good fashion, but today I’m sharing some of my favorite home related picks in the sale.
Good huh! Gold is definitely going strong in home decor, I just love the gold serving pieces from Nordstrom beautiful bedding from Ted Baker, and who doesn’t love a good smell goods like from diptyque! I had a ball perusing all the goodies and saw a few I would love to snag! Are you browsing or shopping the sale? Any favorites?
Sipping on a delicious cup of Panera Light Roast, pretty flavorful but definitely a milder taste. I am so excited to bring back this feature on the blog today. In these super casual blog posts, I share the people, places, and things that have been on my mind lately. If we were having coffee…
- I would tell you to watch The Black Godfather, the life of Clarence Avant on Netflix. With a ninth grade education, Mr. Avant was able to influence and connect people from all industries and walks of life. I mean including Presidents – powerful! I cried, I laughed, I cheered. It’s a worth a watch!
- I would tell you, there is a Nordstrom Anniversary Sale up ahead! Plaid and Animal prints are popping for the Fall. This is great opportunity to snag new boots, hoping these pink boots are in the sale. And don’t forget to check out the Home department for some home decor steals!
- I would tell you I have a slight earring addiction. Currently crushing on acrylic earrings, these, these and these. No matter your size, you can still rock a pair of stylish earrings.
- I would tell you about the fun I am having posting positive words on my Instastories…#wordsmatter!! Follow my Instagram here.
- I would tell you to start studying these 2020 Presidential candidates. Find which issues they “say” are important to them, e.g, women’s rights, immigration, education, health care, tax reform, etc. This election is critical, we have to make informed choices.
That’s all folks. Planning a quiet weekend, what are y’all up to? Have a good one!
I feel like I am cheating on my bae, the Mojito. But when a sister/friend suggested a bourbon tasting, I was down for an adventure. Enter ASW Whiskey Exchange, nestled in historic West End featuring a Tasting Room on the premises.
Did You Know?
There are specific laws around making bourbon?
- Must be made in the United States.
- Must contain 51% corn.
- Must be aged in new oak-charred barrels.
- Must be distilled to no more than 160 proof and entered into the barrel at 125 proof.
- Must be bottled at no less than 80 proof.
- Must not contain any added flavoring, coloring or other additives.
*Source: Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits (27 CFR 5).
On a hot, sunny, afternoon, our adventure began. For $20 we received 5 tokens to try a taste or a slushy or both…LOL
Overall, the Exchange was so interesting and the staff was hella cool, knowledgeable, and patient with the newbie. There are tables set up to taste and chill. And for you pet lovers, ASW is pet friendly. I still don’t like bourbon straight. I have to add something to it and I do prefer it more like cocktail. If you are entertaining at home and serve bourbon, you need a whiskey glass and whiskey cubes.
While I’m not a huge drinker, I thought just like with food, expanding your palette is not a bad thing. If you in the Atlanta area and looking for an adult field trip, try bourbon tasting. I recommend ASW Exchange without reservation!
Do you drink bourbon?
Staycations are super easy for quick rest and relaxation getaways without spending too much money. Over a fun filled Memorial Day holiday weekend, I did another staycation. These weekend hideouts are becoming routine for me and I fully endorse taking time for yourself. For this stay I chose a location outside of the city but with a familiar brand – Hotel Indigo.
Hotel Indigo is part of the IHG family of brands. I would categorize these as boutique hotels with unique decor that is vibrant, colorful, and inviting.
I staycationed with this brand before at Hotel Indigo Atlanta Vinings. My stay at this pretty as a picture hotel was satisfying with excellent service and unique decor that celebrates the neighborhood history. My experience at Hotel Indigo Atlanta Airport was equally good…take a peek.
Both of these locations are fine hotels, but the room at the Airport location was fairly plain. Except for the vintage looking photo graphic on the wall, the room was not a standout. But frankly, I was looking for a comfy bed and a good restaurant, the Airport location scored big on both fronts.
The Winning Touch
The icing at the Airport is the decor, which I would describe as modern chic. A fancy room is of course a bonus, but am a big fan of commercial interior design and this hotel is definitely a winner.
- Location – close to Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and Downtown Atlanta
- Vibe – not too loud and bouncy
- Price – moderate less than $200 a night
- Room size – generous and easy to navigate
- Amenities – basic – restaurant, business center, gym, and pool
- Internet – free
- Miscellaneous – allows pets $75 fee
Both hotels met my needs for a staycation. My main complaint if you will with Hotel Indigo Atlanta Airport is the air conditioner was hella loud, really loud, woke me up in the middle of the night loud. That was annoying and impacted my sleep. My other concern was housekeeping. I left my room at 6:30am for an appointment on Saturday and when I returned after 12 noon, my room had not been serviced. On a positive note, the hotel staff was pleasant and helpful. And, the restaurant food and drinks were delicious, be on the look out for an upcoming restaurant review.
I would probably stay at Hotel Indigo Atlanta Airport again, it’s a pretty hotel with really comfortable beds and good service. Hotel Indigo is a hotel brand I recommend without reservation.
Are you planning a staycation this summer?
Snakeskin is making a huge splash in fashion right now. Y’all know I love a good trend and this is definitely a fave. Snakeskin makes a bold statement and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Today, I have hand picked some of my favorite things in snakeskin…take a peek
Is this not an amazing print? Now, conspicuously missing from this collection is clothing items because let’s be honest, snakeskin is a lot, it’s extra. However, these items are easy to incorporate into your wardrobe without feeling overpowered by fashion. Also, if you are wondering about how snakeskin print will work in different seasons, no worries, it is a season-less print.
If this print is just too much to wear, add a piece in home decor. Snakeskin is so versatile in the home for texture, color, and character. It’s a triple threat.
I am ready to get a piece of snakeskin for spring or summer. Have you seen this trend and how would you wear it?