Ten days in Europe in one carry-on

0c7717c9-b477-4388-a7dd-01390034dbfcThis summer we spent a glorious ten days in Paris and Brussels.  It was a magical trip and I’ll share more recs for each city soon, but in the meantime… packing!  I’ve had more than one request to share my tips for traveling (relatively) light, so here we are.

Due to both the hassle of wrangling suitcases on trains and metros and the airline fees involved for checking bags, we decided to only take one carry-on for each of us (plus my purse, of course).  It was warm and summery in both cities so I didn’t need to worry about bulky outerwear, which helped immensely!  I knew we were going to be walking quite a bit, so I planned outfits with that in mind.  Stylish and easy, with several options to dress comfortably for a day of sightseeing, or dress up a bit for dinner out.

Here is what I packed: Continue reading “Ten days in Europe in one carry-on”

Five great stools under $100

With the 4th of July holiday weekend almost upon us, perhaps you need some flexible seating for guests?  A spot for a cold beverage?  Someplace to kick up your feet?  A stool or ottoman can be all of the above!  Here are five stylish options that won’t break the bank.

A sleek hourglass shape in matte black makes a quiet statement.

Cane and rattan are having a moment, and I love this pretty option.

As classic as you can get. Add a tray on top for the perfect book-and-a-drink landing spot!

Warm wood and a sculptural shape at a steal of a price.

Graphic and modern — just the thing to punch up a neutral space.

You guys! It’s here! A+

Stop the presses, everyone!  Anthropologie has finally expanded their size range to include both petites AND larger sizes.  Their new A+nthropologie items go up through a size 26W, and I could not be happier.  Over 120 new items, including dresses, tees, jeans, blouses… I am thrilled.  The only caveat is that their expanded line is only available in select stores and online, but I am hopeful that Anthro will expand availability in the near future.  In the meantime, I love that they have a great assortment of pants especially — tops can be easier to find, but a good pair of pants can be hard to track down, as can a well-cut dress.

I have to say, I am so pleased with the styling of this collection.  The models look wonderfully confident in their own skin, and they are seamlessly integrated into catalog photographs and ad space.  The clothes can easily be found by size, but they have not been shuffled off to a sad corner to exist in a silo — pieces are integrated well into the existing product line-up.  Bravo, Anthro.  It is encouraging to be seen and included.  A few of my favorites, below:

buttoned top  slim jeans  patterned tee  gingham dress  relaxed chinos  pocket joggers

One of my favorites: Pigment

Nestled on 30th Street in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego, Pigment is perhaps my favorite store in the city.  They strive to embody all the things I admire about a brand: organic, modern, friendly, homegrown, and local, with incredible style to boot.  It is a beautiful gift store with a laid-back vibe, full of plants, jewelry, home goods, accessories, stationery, and much more.  Every time I visit I am inspired!

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Besides amazing home wares, Pigment offers a “plant lab” where you can choose your plant, a planter or terrarium, and any number of pretty decorative stones, gravel mixes, and sand options to assemble your own creation right there in the store.

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Pigment also carries sweet children’s goods and an enviable selection of bath and body care, including tons of swoon-worthy candles.  (Btw, I am kicking myself for not buying that pretty little rainbow print to add to my gallery wall at home — isn’t it precious?)

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If you’re in San Diego and have a bit of time, Pigment is not to be missed.  Saunter, browse, and enjoy!  They are always adding fun new things, and many of their products are by local brands and makers.  If you only wish you could be in San Diego, they have an online shop as well.

Craving a bite to eat or an excellent cup of coffee?  Urban Solace two doors down serves a delicious brunch, and you can hop across the street for coffee at Dark Horse Roasters while you wait for a table.  Let’s just say you won’t be sorry.

Wish list

Everyone I know seems to have their holiday shopping already underway, while I am still a bit dazed that Thanksgiving is already here.  While I haven’t started my gift shopping, I’ve at least started thinking about gifts for loved ones — and I have a few items on my mind I that would love, too!  Here’s a little peek of what I’m dreaming of finding under the tree, both fantastical dream splurges and more modest wish items alike.

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This lovely Doctors bag by Linjer looks like just the right size.  Clean, classic, easy.  Love it.

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Le Labo Rose 31 is a fragrance I discovered at their shop while wandering a bit in Seattle.  This woodsy, mysterious take on a traditional rose scent is addicting, and I think I’ll need a bottle once my carefully-rationed sample vial is finished.

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I fell hard for the Louis Vuitton Catogram Speedy as soon as I saw the launch of Grace Coddington’s collaboration.  The cat and dog illustrations are just too adorable for words.

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I’ve been intrigued by Nisolo for a while, and this stylish Chelsea boot seems like an ideal way to get to know this brand.  I really admire their ethical production practices.

 

While I was initially unsure I’d want or need an Apple watch, I’ve grown to really love mine.  It is so much more discreet to get notifications via a tap on the wrist rather than a buzzing phone on my desk.  The sleek new 40mm Series 4 and a pretty leather band are on my list, as I am sure it will wildly outstrip my Series 1 in functionality.

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I stumbled upon Stoned: Architects, Designers & Artists on the Rocks in a shop recently, and was smitten with the gorgeous photos in this tome.  One can never have enough books as far as I am concerned, especially when they are as beautiful as this.

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I’m as in love as ever with my Baleen earrings, and wear them all the time.  Their rose Herkimer studs are just the right sort of undone take on a traditional diamond stud, and I’d love to have these beauties in my rotation as well.

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And finally, I love starting each year fresh with a new calendar.  Rifle Paper Co.’s World Traveler calendar would be the perfect way to remember favorite trips as well as inspire (and maybe schedule) new ones.

 

I’m impressed

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Here and there lately I have come across items or products that I am really impressed by.  As in, the-only-version-I-want-to-use-in-the-foreseeable-future impressed.  Clouds part, the sun shines brightly, singing ensues… you get the gist.  In no particular order, here are some items that I have discovered, used, and now love.

Quip toothbrush and Livionex dental gel

Oral hygiene seems like a very un-sexy thing to be excited about, but between my Quip electric toothbrush and the amazing Livionex tooth gel Brennan raved about on Into the Gloss, my teeth have never felt cleaner each day.  And with the option for an automated refill subscription, I don’t have to worry about trying to remember how long it’s been since I last swapped out my toothbrush.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.   ̶A̶l̶s̶o̶,̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶g̶o̶l̶d̶ ̶Q̶u̶i̶p̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶j̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶p̶r̶e̶t̶t̶y̶.̶

Zojirushi steel mug

This mug means business.  I’d make a cup of tea at work and promptly forget about it, only to be greeted by a barely-warm cup of regret an hour later.  Not only is this insulated travel mug sleek and minimal-looking, but it keeps my tea piping hot (sometimes too hot!) all day, closes securely, and even latches so I know it won’t spill in my bag.  The lid also comes apart for easy cleaning, yet securely reassembles.  And it comes in the perfect shade of pink.

Glow Butter

After reading a couple, ahem, glowing reviews of Kimberly Howell’s Glow Butter, I decided to give it a try.  Handmade?  Pure botanicals?  All-natural beauty and luminosity?  Yes and please!  I was hopeful and dubious all at once, but months later, I am a convert.  I have noticed a real improvement to my skin’s texture and radiance, and I rarely wear foundation anymore.  My skin is not airbrushed-magazine-ad perfect, but it looks like healthy skin, and I love that.

Any products you swear by?  I’d be fascinated to hear!  It is so satisfying to find a product that just works.