I think those who know me would definitely call me a dreamer. I dream of a lot of things, not only for myself but for other people and for the world around me. When I first heard of Karen London Designs, I immediately felt connected to the brand. Her jewelry are called names that I can easily relate to – “Wanderer”, “Desert Moon”, “Free Bird”, etc. Her latest collection entitled “Dream Weaver” has as a motto – “Fly me away to the bright side of the moon” and consists in bright stones and colors, as well as a very bohemian and mediterranean feel. I’m thrilled to be sporting some items from the new collection today.
These days I mostly dream of travels, summer, adventure, food (silly, I know!), creativity and surfing! What do you dream of?
While I was in LA last week I had the chance to stop by OIA Jules‘ creation studio in Encino. I love Elizabeth’s jewelry designs for many reasons. Not only does she make super creative pieces, she also uses quality materials (those precious stones are so beautiful!), everything is reasonably priced and she is the epitome of her motto – “laid back glam“. I was immediately drawn to her because of her vibe and the vibe of her creations. Elizabeth’s designs caters to all types of women coming from everywhere. I was really excited to get a little custom piece made while I was there – a super dainty gold baby jaws necklace! I absolutely love it! I also got a few other pieces that you’ll be seeing in my upcoming blog posts. Make sure you keep an eye out for the blog she’ll be launching shortly!
When traveling to France, the two things most people have in mind are: shopping and eating! Here were some of my favorite places to shop and stuff my face in Paris, Lyon, Les 2 Alpes and Bretagne from my recent trip to France!
Obviously France is like the shopping mecca of the world, so these are some of my recent favs:
Springsioux, Paris - the raddest up and coming rock n’ roll Parisian brand. They’ve got badass jewelry, tees and accessories and also carry some incredibly unique pieces from young designers from across Europe. They have a dreamy shop in Le Marais and hold events at least once a week, which usually either includes champagne or Caesars! WHERE: 4e arrondissement.
The Kooples, Paris - you may have heard of this shop before. @Offner first introduced me to the brand last year. They have such beautiful pieces. I love the entire concept behind the store… Now if only I had more money!! WHERE: There are shops located pretty much in every arrondissements in Paris and shops also in Lyon.
Les Galeries Lafayette, Paris - a classic if you’re in Paris. Basically, it’s like an enormous Holt Renfrew that carries the most high end brands and that is always beautifully decorated all year round! WHERE: 9e arrondissement
American Retro, Paris - a super rad shop that carries edgy fashion pieces that are usually very colorful. They’re trendy with a twist. WHERE: There are a few different shops in Paris.
Auchan, Lyon - you won’t really find any clothes there but it’s my favorite spot to buy groceries!! They have such a HUGE selection of fresh products, cheese, vegetarian options, cookies, etc. Each time I go to the store, I want to buy everything! Think of a Costco with lot’s more fresh products and selection and a lot cheaper!! @Offner even found a friend there!! WHERE: everywhere in France!
Where to eat
Let’s be honest, France has probably the most amazing food EVERYWHERE, so here are just some of places I liked on this past trip:
Tata Burger, Paris - they’ve got the biggest burger made to look like a penis! Yup! The food and atmosphere is pretty wild and super fun! WHERE: 4e arrondissement
LA Favorite, Paris - very trendy and beautiful looking bistro in the 4e arrondissement. They had the best vin chaud! Yummy salads and desserts! WHERE: 4e arrondissement
Casa San Pablo, Paris - a Spanish tapas restaurant that’s incredibly cheap and super yummy! Loved the traditional decor. WHERE: located in the 4e arrondissement, right by the Place Sainte-Catherine.
L’épicerie, Lyon - My favorite spot for lunch or for the “goûter”, they’ve got the best tartines and homemade desserts. Yum, I can almost still taste it in my mouth! WHERE: Bellecour, on the presqu’île.
Pique-Nique en ville, Lyon - A super small and quaint restaurant that serves a great “formule midi”, otherwise known as an appetizer, main and dessert at a fixed price, which is very common throughout France. Absolutely loved their pasta and wine selection. WHERE: Presqu’île
Abel, Lyon - one of the oldest bistros in the city that was founded in 1928. The place is also called a “bouchon Lyonnais”, which is a place where they serve traditional Lyonnais food, including the Quenelle, etc. WHERE: Presqu’île
Le Cellier, Les 2 Alpes - For the best “montagnard” food, ie. the food of the mountains, the specialty in that area. They serve an amazing tartiflette, raclette, gratin de crozets, fondue, grilled meats, etc! I love their traditional ski chalet type decorations!
Crêperie, Bretagne – While you’re in the region, you’ll want to order a freshly made sweet crêpe or even a savoury crêpe otherwise known as a “galette de sarrasin” usually filled with veggies, cheese and or meat, accompanied by a “bolée de cidre“. You’ll also want to order a “Flan Breton” or “Far Breton” to get an authentic dessert. They are so delicious and buttery! WHERE: There are crêperies located in every small town in Bretagne and are all equally tasty.
Paul - a chain of patisseries that serve all sorts of yummy goodness! They’re now even located at rest areas on the highway and in train stations, they’re like the tim hortons of France but without all the chemicals and crap in their food. They serve salads, sandwiches, quiche, desserts, yummy drinks, etc. WHERE: Anywhere in France
Any patisserie or boulangerie in the area you will be staying will serve you amazing fresh bread, pastries and cakes. The perfect and cheapest place to have breakfast in the morning!
Also, I highly recommend getting cheese from the weekly market or some of the amazing local shops that always feature cheese made from the region. You can get great quality cheese for very cheap and encourage local producers.
If you like macarons (for some reason, I just can’t get into them!), you’ll want to stop by Pierre Hermé, the best macarons in Paris! WHERE: Several locations across the city.
*NOTE*: If you’re a vegetarian like me, I hope you like cheese, bread, pastries and salad because as I’m sure you know, a lot of the French cuisine revolves around meat. So you’ll need to find substitutes to meat for your meals. Even when you ask for a vegetarian salad or sandwich, from experience, they have the reflex of offering you fish or seafood. That said, you can survive! I’ve never eaten so much and so well in my life as I have in France!
Well there you have it! Hope this travel post was insightful! Let me know if you have any food or shopping recommendations for my next trip to France!
Writing this blog makes me miss France even more!! Can’t wait to return!
Really getting excited for the my School Of Styleweekend in NYC in a couple of weeks. I’ve heard lot’s about them so I can’t wait to find out more about styling, fashion and blogging at their conference.
In the meantime, trying to keep warm (yes, still…) by layering sweaters and vests together. Some may feel that camo and red may look to “Christmas-y” but I kind of like the pop of color with the military jacket. I’m also really excited about this DIY necklace I made last week in California. I took a cool key I found at HOME shop in Encinitas and then added a cute surfer girl charm to it and put it together on a gold brass chain at Beads, Crystals & More. I used to love making jewelry as a teenager, I had thousands of beads, threads, etc. Though I’ve been out of commission these past couple of years, I’m thinking it’s something I may want to get back into in the near future, especially with platforms like Etsy, that make crafting so easy to share and sell. To be continued… maybe
Today’s outfit is all about the hat – the new Anine Bing hat I brought back from my trip to LA. I’ve been lusting over this hat for the past couple of months, so finally to have finally made it a part of my wardrobe. I never thought I’d be a big hat person but I’m finding it to be the perfect accessory. It goes well with pretty much any outfit – whether you’re going for the more rock n’ roll look, a laid back look or even dressy look. It’s also perfect for when it snows or when you don’t feel like dealing with your hair in the morning. Also, this type of hat can really be worn all-year-round. Though this one is from Anine Bing, you can find similar hats at Topshop, Forever 21, H&M, etc. all for under $150, so you don’t have to break the bank. I think it’s definitely worth the investment!
Tonight was the biggest night in film – the 2014 Academy Awards! I was really excited to follow the action this year having watched many of the nominated films. My favorites going into the evening were definitely Her, The Wolf Of Wall Street and Dallas Buyers Club. I’ve really renewed my love for films this year thanks to my other half @offner, who’s a major film buff.
I also love seeing all the stars dress up and look their best on the red carpet. I love seeing all the gowns and tuxes, seeing everyone’s hairstyles, nail art, etc. Happy to see a lot of color on the red carpet tonight including a whole lot of ivory for both men and women. Lot’s of nudes and metallics were also seen on women on the red carpet.
Ellen Degeneres was hosting again this year. I think she always does a decent job but always plays it really safe and I felt like this year, she seemed to be stalling or sometimes didn’t even know what to say when she was trying to improve. That said, I liked her sparkly navy suit.
My favorite moments of the night were without a doubt Jared Leto’s speech that kicked off the evening, was perfect and beautiful. Also, Lupita’s speech was very touching! Pink’s simple yet classy performance for the Wizard of Oz tribute was memorable. Also, that hilarious a-list selfie Ellen took was great!
Here are my 3 favorite dresses of the night:
Kate Hudson – words can’t describe how stunning she looked tonight in Versace. Wow! Absolute perfection!!
Kristin Chenoweth – in beautiful gold Cavalli. Love the shape and texture of the gown!
Camilla Alves – looked amazing in that pale pink dress. Looks so lovely with her ski tone.
Honorable mentions also go to Olivia Wilde who looked amazing in her simple black Valentino dress (she probably woke up looking like that ) and also Portia de Rossi who’s ivory lace detailed dress looked amazing on her.
Also, I wanted to talk about the men who looked incredible tonight. Matthew McConaughey looked dashing in his ivory tux. I’m personally not a big Jared Leto fan (can’t stand his doughy attitude) but not only did he give a stellar performance in Dallas Buyers Club but he also looked amazing tonight. Loved that ivory tux, burgundy bow tie and those flowy locks.
Also, maybe not the boldest tux choice but Joseph Gordon-Levitt looked hella handsome this evening.
My least favorite outfits were definitely Pharrell Williams who was wearing shorts on the red carpet, so bizarre!! Plus his wife looked awkward in her tux.
Also never a fan of Anne Hathaway unfortunately. I never understand her dress choices. It looks like she’s wearing some form of bubble wrap from far away. Not a big fan of her fashion choices or personal style.
Like during many galas, there were a few wtf moments notably – Pharrell’s ridiculous hat making a comeback, Ellen passing out pizza – I mean funny on paper but ended up being a little weird in practice.
What were your favorite and least favorite moments of the night? Who’s gowns did you like and dislike? Let me know! Xo
This blog post was long overdue! I can’t believe that Offner and I have been back from Friday for almost two months now. It seems like just yesterday I was getting ready for this three week long adventure.
My trip was a little different this year. Since we had more time, we decided to explore more places than we had last December. On the itinerary: Paris, Bretagne, Lyon, Les 2 Alpes & St-Etienne. Here’s a little resume of our amazing adventure as well as tips for any of you going to France soon!
Because we were able to book our flights almost four months in advance we were able to find a super cheap deal with Orbitz for multi-destination trip with Air France. I really enjoy using Orbitz as a search engine when booking flights as they always have good selection for Europe, you can easily compare prices with other airlines and they’re booking is hassle-free, no hidden fee bullshit! We flew from Toronto -> Paris direct and on the way home we did Lyon -> Paris -> Montreal (It’s impossible to get a direct flight from Lyon to Toronto/Montreal). I was really excited to fly with Air France again since I hadn’t flown with them since I was a kid. I know the airline has made great strides in improving the quality of their service in the last couple of years, especially since that unfortunate crash in 2009. I was able to organize everything before my flight easily on their website. I was able to chose our seats, my vegetarian meal as well as get our boarding passes all sorted out before even arriving at the airport. The in-flight service was top notch! I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of my vegetarian meal as well as Offner’s fish selection. I appreciated the fact they gave us quality wine and champagne as well a balanced meal. Air France also had a great selection of movies and entertainment options available that made the 7hr overnight flight a lot more bearable. Leg room was decent, the only negative comment I’d have was that the seats were really hard, they could have been a little more cushiony.
Traveling while in France
We opted for different modes of transportation to get to the different areas we were traveling to. We took the TGV from Paris to get to Rennes, where we spent two days with my family. I highly recommend using this mode of transportation for quick, painless travels across the country. I had booked the tickets online in November and they were 29 Eurosper person for the one-way. They also have complimentary wifi on the train and at the train station while you wait. Instead of taking us 4hrs to get to Rennes by car, it choped the travel time in half.
One thing you need to remember is that if you’re renting a car, most places will be closed on Sundays, so since we were arriving on a Sunday in Rennes, we had to find a car at the airport. It was a 20 Euro cab ride from the train station to the airport in Rennes and the car rental place only opened at 1:30pm (more like 1:45pm France time :p) and was open for 4hrs. That said, we had tried to get a car through a website where individuals rent their personal vehicles (a cheaper option and worth looking into!) but unfortunately that fell through.
We then flew from Rennes to Lyon. It was a 1hr flight. Though Rennes doesn’t have a very big airport, they have a few flights every day going to different areas in France and even to other countries in Europe. We took Air France’s regional jet HOP!, not only was the flight cheaper than the TGV but it also reduced our traveling time from 8hrs to 1hr. It was really a no-brainer for us.
While we were in Lyon and Paris, we also used the subway system a lot. It is super efficient and cheap. Also, you can use Uber taxi in Paris if you’re looking to get somewhere rather quickly but be prepared to dish out quite a lot of cash for cabs in Paris!
Where to stay
Offner and I are really lucky because we get to stay with family and friends while we’re in France. That said, we didn’t want to spend the entire three weeks crashing on people’s couches so we opted for our favorite type lodging: Airbnb. We spent one night in a Campanile, which is a big chain of environmentally friendly hotels that you can find across France. They’re a cheap alternative if you’re on a budget and hotels are more your thing. Though we could have stayed in a handful of different hotels, we opted to stay at cute little lofts/apartments in the neighbourhoods that we really liked. In Paris, we opted for Le Marais and in Lyon, La Croix Rousse. Both are safe and beautiful areas with lot’s to do and amazing food to eat!
Some must-see spots from my trip
Le pont des amoureux
La Place des Vosges
Notre-Dame de Paris, the Eiffel Tower (duh!), les Champs Élysées, Place, Sainte-Catherine, etc.
L’Opéra de Lyon
Place des Terreaux, presqu’île de Lyon, Croix Rousse, Confluences, etc.
La Bretagne – I may have a little bias towards this region of France because it’s where my mom’s family is from but it’s a beautiful small region that has much to offer. If you’re going to make the trek up there, I recommend you visit the following places: Dinard, Dinan and St-Malo. All three historic towns with beautiful scenery. While you’re there, you gotta eat “galette de sarrasin” the best salty crêpes on the planet as well as a bowl of traditional cider and my favorite dessert: le flan Breton! Also, if you like butter, you’re in for a treat! They put butter on EVERYTHING! Make sure you bring an umbrella with you, as it tends to drizzle (they call it “crachat breton”) quite a bit there.
Les 2 Alpes – everything about this ski village and station is amazing! Unlike most Intrawest or big ski stations, Les 2 Alpes has kept the old school small village feel. It’s not too loud and too touristy. Though there are people that ski there from all over Europe, the people it attracts are a little older or families. That said, there are really cool bars in the small town, local wine and cheese producers, markets, a small cinema, amazing restaurants and all the ski equipment your heart desires! The daily lift ticket is 42 Euros and includes insurance in case you get hurt or something happens, which is incredibly cheap for such a huge resort as compared to lift tickets here. Recommendation: Stay an extra day to go hiking in the mountains beside the village, it’s breathtaking. Also, you can ski at Les 2 Alpes almost all-year-round. In the summer, you can ski on top of the glacier and then go golfing or swimming in the nearby lake. Sounds dreamy!
Stay tuned for Pt 2 of my France travel blog featuring some of my favorite places to eat and shop in France. Coming soon!!
This weekend I watched an amazing documentary on Netflix (between some House of Cards episodes!!) called “Spinning Plates“, which profiles three different restaurants in the US that are each so unique and different but who all get struck by tragedy. The doc reveals how meaningful food can be and how powerful it can be to bring people together. The documentary film has won several awards already and I can see why. A truly touching story, worth watching!
Really excited to be going back to LA tomorrow! I can’t believe it’s already been several months since my last trip. It’s crazy how time flies! My upcoming trip can be summarized by the following words: Friends x Surfing x Food x Tattoos x Fashion. Wearing my American Eagle sweater from Topshop to celebrate today. Getting ready to go!!
After many months of waiting, today, Disiz finally released his brand new music video that my man @offnerdirected! If you don’t know who Disiz is, well he’s one of the biggest rappers in France. Not only does he have great beats but he also has super clever and intelligent rhymes. The video was shot in Spain and Canada in the spring of last year. Super excited that it’s finally out! Watch “Porté Disparu” here!
Today’s outfit – Some white lace x one of my favorite tops! Rawr!!
After having spent the last couple of months cooped up indoors because of the cold, I couldn’t be more excited to officially kick off my running season this evening. Though I know the cold isn’t behind us just yet, I took advantage of the “warmer” temperature today to whip out my Nike running gear and go for a beautiful sunset run. It was slippery, wet and tough but so worth it! I’ve always loved Nike’s motto and it rings true to me now more than ever. JUST DO IT!