Kasia Dietz Handbags Amalfi

My New Kasia Dietz Handbag in Amalfi

Kasia Dietz Handbags Paris

I’m a firm believer that there no such thing as too many bags. I have old bags, new bags, weird bags, colorful bags, plain bags. Whatever the shape or style, they all remind me of something or often some place. When I travel, I often bring home a bag as a souvenir, which is always a happy memory while out shopping or going about day to day life.

When I first happened across Kasia Dietz on Instagram, her beautiful Paris photos and handbag designs immediately caught my eye. When I had the pleasure to meet up with her in person earlier this year in Paris, I discovered she is just as lovely! I enjoyed sharing Paris and Italy travel experiences, and of course I couldn’t leave Paris without one of her handbags.

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Although Kasia has many beautiful lines of handbags inspired by travel destinations around the world, I couldn’t resist bringing home the 75007 hand printed bag. Although not the most obvious, which is why I love it, the number will probably only be familiar to travelers who have spent time in Paris. 75007 is the zip code for the 7th arrondissement, which is my favorite neighborhood in Paris. I love this bag for traveling since it folds flat and doesn’t take up space in my suitcase.

Just had to share one of my favorite new bags and highly recommend you pop over to check out Kasia’s beautiful handbags – designed and made in Paris! Find out more here: www.kasiadietz.com

The Traveling Writer

Seine River in Paris

Crossing the Seine on a winter day

I wrapped my scarf around my neck an extra time against the cold wind as we crossed the Pont d’Arcole toward the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. The weather in Paris had been mild compared to our previous January visits, but along the Seine I could feel that the temperature had dropped according to the predictions. In the distance, I spotted the dark spire of Notre-Dame shooting up between two buildings along the Quai aux Fleurs on the Ile de la Cité. A great Gothic cathedral on an island. This is the magic of Paris – that magic is real.

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Viollet-le-Duc's spire on Notre-Dame

Walking along the cobblestone streets that have inspired so many writers is a quietly moving experience. As I stood in front of the towering facade of Notre-Dame, I felt humbled and small thinking of great writers, such as Victor Hugo, who have captured something of the beauty of this building in the art of their written words. It’s not a question of comparison that intrigues me, but a current that runs deeper – that fascinating way travel and writing overlap and interact, swirling together like the water of the Seine at the tip of the Ile de la Cité. Traveling to Paris over the past week brought up this question every time I pulled out my camera or notebook to try to fix an emotion or memory.

Detail from the Facade of Notre-Dame

Stone detail on the facade of Notre-Dame

Today I happened across Matador’s 50 Most Inspiring Travel Quotes of All Time, and not one to ever pass up a qood quotation, I read through the list from beginning to end. One by British travel writer Freya Stark caught my attention and begged to be read over and over again.

“Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.”

It made me realize that there is no point in trying to straighten out the currents of a river as they blend together. Travel and writing both bring the art of life into sharper focus, by making us look at the new or the familiar with different eyes. The point is simply to travel, to question and to write.

Laura Thayer in Paris

In front of Notre-Dame in Paris

Photo Friday: Running Back to Paris

Paris rue Mouffetard

I can’t believe it’s already time for another Photo Friday. Two weeks ago today I was out exploring the 1st arrondissement in Paris, from the l’Orangerie Museum in the morning, along the rue de Rivoli to the Palais Royal, shopping on Place des Victoires, the late Gothic magic of St-Eustache, vin chaud on rue Montorgueil and the evening chaos of the Les Halles metro. I’ve hardly had time to enjoy my photos and finish writing about everything we did in Paris. Life is simply too busy! This morning I thought back to this photo I snapped while strolling along the rue Mouffetard market street in the 5th arrondissement south of the Latin Quarter. I would go running back to Paris in a heartbeat!

Photo Friday: Paris Métro

Paris Metro Sign

This morning I’m waking up in a different place, one that is both familar and foreign all at once. Parigi! (That’s how you say Paris in Italian.) Last January I visited Paris for the first time with my boyfriend, and we loved it so much that we were thrilled when I had the opportunity to visit for work again this winter. Warm weather or cold, Paris is always a good idea! Last year we had a beautiful dusting of snow on our first night in Paris, and I’m excited to see what beautiful memories this trip has in store. A plus tard!

Paris in the Snow

This year was a rainy Christmas on the Amalfi Coast, but a few wet days are nothing compared to the snowstorms and cold weather that have hit northern Europe. The news has been full of stories of flights cancelled and even the Eiffel Tower in Paris closed because of the heavy snow. I feel sorry for the many families that were not able to be together for the holidays this year because of the bad weather.

As I see the snowy pictures from Paris, however, I’m reminded of a very special travel memory from when I visited Paris last January with my boyfriend. It was my first time in Paris, and our first time traveling together. Our sweet studio apartment that we called home for a week was just a couple of blocks from the Champ de Mars park and the Eiffel Tower. It was a dream! We arrived after dark and immediately went out for a walk around the neighborhood. It was a quiet January night, and it seemed like we were alone in the Champ de Mars park under the warm golden glow of the Eiffel Tower. The first delicate flakes of snow were starting to fall. Magical doesn’t even begin to describe what it felt like to see the Eiffel Tower surrounded by snowflakes glistening in the cold night air!

Eiffel Tower in the Snow

The next morning we woke to find Paris covered with a light dusting of snow. Wrapping a warm scarf around my neck, I hurried to the windows and threw them open to see the view – the Eiffel Tower against the somber grey sky and the Champ de Mars garden completely white. Down below in the street parents were hurrying their children, bundled up from heat to toe, into the school nearby.

Champ de Mars Snow

Looking toward the Champ de Mars Gardens

It wasn’t long before we were out exploring the white city. The crisp, cool air felt so good as we walked along the Seine, listening to the crunch of the snow under our steps. We made our way toward the Musée d’Orsay and spent the morning exploring the museum. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw Gustave Caillebotte’s Vue de toits (Effet de neige), an impressionistic rendering of the rooftops of Paris covered in snow. It looked wonderfully familiar!

Seine River Snow

Snowy riverbanks of the Seine

That afternoon, as the snow melted away, we walked along the Boulevard St-Germain. We stopped at a quaint café looking out toward the Paris’ oldest church, St-Germain-des-Prés. Sitting there, sipping vin chaud with the person I love and watching the hustle and bustle on the white sidewalks, I realized that the dusting of snow had made our first day in Paris even more romantic than I could have possibly imagined. Head over to this post to see the rest of my photos from Paris last January.