Chateau La Durantie

The next leg of my vacation consisted of four spectacular days with my extended family at the Chateau La Durantie, less than ten minutes from the village of Lanouaille.

Not bad, huh?

Fashion: The fashion at La Durantie was allllll about the wedding. My aunt and her boyfriend of 8 years tied the knot in the sitting room of the house while 20 of us watched with barely concealed glee. Shortly after their “I do’s” we popped the bubbly and got down to the business of eating, drinking, toasting and dancing our booties off!
Food: We had some catered meals while we were here, including the wedding dinner and brunch the next morning, as well as two borderline gourmet dinners prepared by my new cousin and cousin-in-law, Taylor and Melissa. Sour dough baguette pizzas, gluten-free pasta, homemade pasta sauce, tomatoes & pumpkins from the garden and tons of salads. Yummy! And when we went to a small town nearby to get flowers for the wedding, I found a health food store with tofu! Tofu in France! 🙂 Needless to say I was a happy, happy girl while I had access to the kitchen at La Durantie.
Fitness: Walking, sightseeing in the nearby towns, bike riding, a short run, the Chateau even had tennis courts and a pool! It was nice to have more than a day or two in a single place and once we settled in we were able to explore the beautiful countryside between summer showers. I also spent a healthy chunk of my time sprawled across the bed in our sun-drenched bedroom finishing my book.
Lodgings: The pictures above hardly do La Durantie justice. It was an older building still undergoing renovations, but given that it didn’t have plumbing or running water a few years ago, we were all pleasantly surprised by how modern the facilities were. There were ten bedrooms on three different floors, and the top floor was for us “kids” (the youngest of whom was my 22-year-old cousin). Running up and down those stairs dozens of times each day did wonders for my legs!
Travel: Since we still had our rented vans we did a couple day trips and when we left the Chateau on Monday eight of us piled in and began a NINE HOUR drive to Saint-Émilion, which for the record, should have taken two.
Highlights: My boyfriend’s favorite part of the entire trip was the wedding dinner, which was a pepper-encrusted steak (I had ratatouille which was great as well), and he honestly hasn’t stopped talking about this meal since we got home. He ate his, as well as most of my mother’s, the 13 year old sitting next to me’s entire steak and half of her mother’s. He was stuffed by happy.
Stay tuned for Bordeaux, Spain and the adventures from the longest car ride ever!
(If you’d like to catch up, you can check out London here and Paris here)
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Links You’ll Love


Women’s Clothing Sizes: Is a 4 really a 4?

Fabulous at every age – Secrets of the World’s Most Stylish Women. I can’t believe they left Carmen Dell’Orefice off this list. I’m shocked and appalled!

Garance Dore shooting the Chloe Spring 2012 Look Book here and the Paule Ka behind the scenes video here.

Happy Birthday Ralph!


Great quinoa recipes and fun new ways to try this super seed over at the Fitnessista, or try her Black Bean Quinoa Burgers. Yum!

The Five Ws – And One H – of Weight loss at the Huffington Post.

Steve Gorton / Getty Images

TIME: Chocolate Lovers Have Lower Risk of Stroke

Multivitamins – Ya or Nay? Is It Time To Stop Taking A multivitamin?

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Paris Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion

Need a little pretty to finish up your week? Take a peek below for some off-the-catwalk looks that were photographed during Paris Fashion Week.

A cheerful Ginta Lapina outside Lanvin captured by Craig at Models Off Duty
Parisian street style shot by The Sartorialist
Olivia Wilde looked stunning in Paris in various shades of blue. This coat is to DIE for! (Photo from HB)
The Sartorialist – Jardin des Tuileries, Paris
New mom Rachel Zoe looked ready for fall in a pleated mini, blazer & tights. (Photo from HB)
Garance and Elisa at the Jardin des Tuileries – Shot by The Sartorialist

And what better way to finish off Paris Fashion Week than Carine Roitfeld’s Vampire Ball? Where the gorgeous, rich and well-connected were on the last night of PFW.

Try not to die of jealousy…

And my personal favorite?
Note: I like this shot because they’re in character and seem to be genuinely enjoying the theme, and because both Karlie Kloss and Abbey Lee have done some great shoots and always have a lot of personality in interviews and on the runway. That being said, they look waaay too skinny here.
And just in case you’re wondering what shoes Miss Garance Dore is running around Paris in, check them out in all their glory here.
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Paris Fashion Week Spring 2012: Part II

I know that you never thought you’d see the day, but this is the last runway update for the Spring 2012 shows. Enjoy!

The Stella McCartney collection was sexy and modern and while the dresses were tres chic, I love the mens pajama inspired looks, especially with the pops of color added by the purses.

 Stella McCartney Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearStella McCartney Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Riccardo Tisci showed suits, cocktail dresses and separates for Givenchy, all in dark or light solids. While I'm beyond sick of the "skinny jeans" trend, these second skin pants really stood out. The ankle strap heels were also pretty phenomenal.

 Givenchy Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearGivenchy Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Following John Galliano's departure I was curious to see how Bill Gaytten's Spring 2012 show would come together... And was pleasantly surprised! There were some black & white structured separates, dramatic JG-style gowns and some sweet, wearable dresses.

 John Galliano Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearJohn Galliano Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

In addition to taking over John Galliano for John Galliano, Bill Gaytten was also the designer behind the Spring 2012 Christian Dior collection. It was pretty and classic, nothing too daring or overtly new, but nice nonetheless.

 Christian Dior Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearChristian Dior Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

While the Hermes show started with white and orange, I found myself drawn to the purple, black and blue combinations that appeared later in.

One of the things I've liked best about Celine since Phoebe Philo joined have been the chic separates, like these great metallic pants with a wide belt and sleeveless top. Picture perfect.

 Celine Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearCeline Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

The Jean Paul Gaultier show was fun and the clothes classic with his signature deconstructed details and corsetted waists. I especially liked the dresses in black and white and the outerwear.

 Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearJean Paul Gaultier Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

While the overall wearability of this collection for the "common woman" may be questionable, the color combinations were striking and I can absolutely see Haider Ackermann's #1 gal, Tilda Swinton, rocking these designs on the red carpet.

 Haider Ackermann Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearHaider Ackermann Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Alber Elbaz's dresses for Lanvin were sublime as always, but I truly loved his gothic romance take on separates. As always, the details were where the show really was.

 Lanvin Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearLanvin Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Check out Lanvin from the front row like Garance Dore did here.

Pretty underpinnings also made an appearance on the Nina Ricci catwalk and the classic Nina dresses were mixed with sweet vintage lingerie.

 Nina Ricci Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearNina Ricci Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

I really enjoyed the separates in Olivier Rousteing's first collection for Balmain. Short skirts, tight pants and heavy embroidery remained, but I liked the mix & match effect here.

 Balmain Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearBalmain Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear has a video of the Paris highlights here.

Want to catch up on something you missed from the Spring 2012 shows? Check out my other fashion week posts here: NYFW, LFW, MFW I, MFW II & PFW I.

Photos from

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Paris Fashion Week Spring 2012: Part I

The final of the four major fashion weeks was in Paris and without further ado, let’s get onto the clothes!

Leave it to Alexander McQueen's Sara Burton to take a conservative suit and serve it up with corsets, ruffles, bondage masks and gladiator wedges. Well done.

 Alexander McQueen Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Alexander McQueen Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear 

Louis Vuitton was sweet and candy-coated compared to last seasons' dark hued S&M themed show. Easter egg colors, girlie silhouettes and lacey fabrics.

 Louis Vuitton Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear


Also, Marc was able to get the new Mrs. Jamie Hince to walk his runway again, check out the video here.

Miu Miu started dark but my favorite looks were from the airy second half like this one, which included a beige lace dress with a crocheted cape/coat and satiny slippers.

Valentino was all about dresses and continue to play on the prim & proper cuts done in naughty sheer fabric that they touched on last season. These gowns will definitely be making some red carpet appearances in the coming months.

 Valentino Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Karl created an underwater paradise for Chanel this season, complete with Florence Welch singing in a half shell. The collect was a sleek and modern take on classic Chanel, with beautifully cut suits and intricate dresses.

 Chanel Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearChanel Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

YSL was, in a word, wearable. Easy separates in sumptuous fabrics and gorgeous jewel tones. I could see virtually every piece of this collection walking down the street.

 Yves Saint Laurent Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearYves Saint Laurent Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Clare Waight Keller kept things light and classic Chloe for her first collection, but I have to admit, my favorite part was the accessories!

 Chloé Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearChloé Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Giambattista Valli was a mix of decadent brocades, marabou feathers and metallic prints. This coat dress was one of my favorites, I love the mix of florals and muted color-blocking.

 Giambattista Valli Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearGiambattista Valli Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Stay tuned for the Part II of the Paris collections.

Pictures from Check out last season’s PFW here.

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