Category Archives: pharmacies

When We Weren’t Eating (ok- so we ate a little)

My sister-in-law appreciates the finer things in life as much as I do, so of course I had to take her across the river to Saint Germain. We had a great time peering in shop windows and occasionally even going inside the stores for a closer look. I even took her to the discount pharmacy, where I warned her that she had to push, search, and purchase as quickly as possible.  She had done her homework and read up on French beauty products to try, so we were in and out before any homicidal tendencies bubbled to the surface. Fortunately it’s still cool here, so the inside temperature wasn’t 85 degrees, as it can get in there during the summer.

The morning was gorgeous.


I showed her my favorite bus stop.



We made our way to the Luxembourg Gardens and ate leftover sandwiches in the sunshine.





The beekeepers were busy harvesting honey from the bee boxes.





Next I showed her a design wonder of the Left Bank. This Hermes store, opened at 17 rue de Sevres in November of 2011, completely blows me away. The entrance is a discreet doorway into what appears to be a handsome apartment building. When inside the space opens up into an old swimming pool from 1935. The old mosaic tile and wrought iron has been preserved, and large contemporary structures made of ash add style and warmth to what was potentially a cold, vast space.




My pictures do not do it justice, but this article describes the design and has great photographs.

I took her to the Bon Marche and the little park that sits just in front of it.


Of course, the afternoon would not have been complete without a flower cone from Amarino gelato.





Tired, happy, and carrying large plastic bottles of make-up remover from the pharmacy, we boarded our bus and went back home.

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Filed under gardens, Hermes, Paris, pharmacies, Saint Germain des Pres, shopping

Shopping In Paris

I don’t typically do a lot of shopping in Paris.  It’s crazy expensive.  The shops are frequently very small and overseen by a bored woman who appears to hate food.  It’s very intimidating to walk into one of those little shops , hold up a tiny piece of clothing, and ask, in your best French, if they have it in your size.  The very small woman blows air out of her lips, in that French way, and turns on her high heel toward the stock room, where she sincerely doubts there will be anything large enough to contain those large American breasts.  And, in fact, there frequently is not.  All of which is actually a good thing, as there is plenty to do and spend ones euros on in Paris without being tempted by the fashion.

That said, France does have sales twice a year, during which prices are slashed and every woman with a pulse seems to hit the streets, carrying enough shopping bags on either arm to rival the Whos of Whoville on Christmas Eve.  The winter sales happened to start on January 8 this year, smack dab in the middle of our week in Paris, and who am I to resist a sale?  I bought these cute booties while we were in the Marais on Wednesday.


They are super-comfy and I love the low heel.  Because that’s how I have to roll these days.

I also may or may not have bought two items from my favorite cashmere shop, Crimson, off the Champs-Elysees.  It’s owned by a gorgeous American woman who used to live in Fort Worth.  She also used to work for French Vogue.  Yeah.  Definitely check it out if you are in the hood.

Finally, I couldn’t resist these cute glasses on sale at Zara Home.  They look like glasses I have seen on Ina’s tables, and that’s all I needed to decide I had to have them.  I think they will be good for water or wine, or even a pretty dessert.


Unlike the clothing boutiques, French pharmacies are a blast to explore.  I have given friends little treats from the pharmacy and now a few people are requesting refills when I am here.

Lisa likes this fabulous lip balm for her crusty crusts.

Leslie digs the super-rich moisturizer I turned her on to when she was here in the fall.  I love this stuff.

I have passed out many a travel-size bottle of this make-up remover, which is totally not oily and is small enough to travel in your carry-on.

Gwyneth recommended that stuff to me, and she never steers me wrong.

Finally, Martha asked for another bottle of this wonderful body oil that is so popular here.  You spray it on while you are still damp, and it moisturizes with a delicate scent.  It feels so good in the winter when the reptile skin rears its scaly head.

These things don’t go on sale during the annual frenzy, but I do know of a pharmacy that has prices much lower than any other.  It’s called City Pharma and it’s located in Saint-Germain.  Always teeming with tourists clutching their lists of must-haves, you must practice your yoga breathing before entering and be prepared for a crowd.  It’s packed for a reason, people!

Now I need to go figure out how to get all these purchases into my suitcase before the taxi arrives at 7:45 in the morning.  Zut alors!

Next post from Houston, mes amis.  Stay tuned.  And stay moisturized.



Filed under Champs Elysees, fashion, Marais, Paris, pharmacies, shopping, Uncategorized