PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA

There’s no better Monday motivation than a trip around the corner, is there? This week I’ll be plowing through my to-do list with an especially bright light at the end of the tunnel–the City of Lights! We’re headed to Paris on Sunday and I could not be more excited.

We’ve rented a super cute apartment in the Marais and I’m looking forward to a cozy week of museum hopping, les puces shopping, and indulging in as many croissants and baguettes as possible (double workouts this week have been scheduled!)

Hopefully my college French isn’t too rusty.

Taschen’s Paris

Packing for a winter trip abroad has been a bit of a challenge. I gave this suitcase a baptism by fire (11 flights in 3 weeks!) during our South African honeymoon two years ago and have been a devotee ever since; but for this trip, I’m challenging myself to pack a carry-on only. I’ve been intrigued by the built-in USB chargers that luggage start up, Away, incorporates into their carry-ons and decided to give them a try. Their 100 day free trial definitely makes it less of a gamble. I’ll also pack my go-to expandable tote to accommodate any must have purchases. 😉

The famously chic Parisian street style has been a little intimidating as I plan my packing choices, but I’m keeping it classic with neutral basics that will be easy to mix and match (all about saving space in that carry on!) Jamie has sung the praises of these faux leather leggings which will be perfect for the flight paired with an oversized sweater. I went back for seconds at this sale and picked up this sweater and ogled all of the cashmere

Speaking of cashmere, this was too good a deal not to give a try–cashmere for under $100 whaat?! I also picked up a cute beanie and pair of gloves to keep me warm. Lastly, I’ve been obsessed with everything PLAY by Comme des Garcons and used all our anticipated walking as an excuse to pick up a pair of these kicks. Mom, I await your teasing.

Like the Type-A traveler that I am, I spent the weekend finalizing a custom Google Map with all of the museums, restaurants, and shops we’re hoping to hit. Neither of us have been to Paris since our teenage years so I’m looking forward to exploring beyond the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, etc.

As always, I would love your recommendations!

INSPIRED BY: BARON’S COVE

Sometimes inspiration comes from the most unexpected places. Case in point: a few weeks ago Garrett and I were watching In the Heart of the Seaand as captivating as Chris Hemsworth and the white whale were, for me, the real eye candy was the 19th century Nantucket setting (okay, and Chris Hemsworth’s abs).

The glossy black millwork of the whaling office reminded me of a hotel I’ve been dying to visit: Baron’s Cove in Sag Harbor, New York. Surprisingly, (or maybe not so surprisingly considering I grew up on Cape Cod) I’ve never visited the Hamptons, but when I do have the occasion to make a trip, Sag Harbor is at the top of my list.

Barons Cove | Sag Harbor

The hotel’s striking interiors were designed by Colleen Bashaw, a Parish Hadley alumna who heads up the design team at Cape Resorts. If you’re a design lover, all of their properties are worth a peek.

Barons Cove | Sag Harbor

What I particularly love about Baron’s Cove is how it breaks from the expected beach resort palette of blues, whites, sisal, and driftwood. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of those things, but it’s refreshing to see a different, darker take on nautical. More sea captain’s home than Something’s Gotta Give.

Barons Cove | Sag Harbor

It’s all about that black lacquer! Hicks’ pendants have never been more apropos.

Barons Cove | Sag Harbor

I would never have thought to use that fantastic pineapple wallpaper in this setting, but it works perfectly.

Barons Cove | Sag Harbor

The blue and white tile surround and herringbone brick fire box lends a historical feel.

Barons Cove | Sag Harbor

Sister Parish’s Tete de Negre is yet another stroke of wallpaper genius.

Barons Cove | Sag Harbor

Antique stores in New England are gold mines for these old schooner oil paintings. I’m taking note of how amazing they are against black walls.

Barons Cove | Sag Harbor

Worn leather and green millwork make for a meeting room I’d actually want to be in all day.

all photos via Colleen Bashaw and Baron’s Cove

GETAWAY: TULUM

The Pursuit of Style | Tulum

Bikini | Sunglasses | EarringsModern Lovers | Sandals | Bug Spray | Clutch

I have a milestone birthday coming up this weekend (goodbye 20s!) and to celebrate Garrett and I booked an impromptu trip to Tulum. We’re staying at Papaya Playa Project which looks to be the perfect spot to laze away a long weekend and ring in a new decade with margarita in hand.

Other than two day-ing this bikini and a new pair of sunnies I have done zero planning. The good news is I might be the last person (or at least the last blogger) to visit Tulum, so I’ve had lots of guides to peruse. Reservation secured at Hartwood – check – but I’m also excited to check out Coqui Coqui after having their packaging on my inspiration board for years.

I’m keeping my packing list light – bikinis, cut offs, a few caftans, and flip flops – as I’ve heard Tulum is pretty casual, but I’m going heavy on my Kindle reading list – any suggestions?

Keep your fingers crossed for me that tropical storm Earl stays south and I’ll catch up with you next week when I’m another year older and wiser. 😉

GETAWAY: 72 HOURS IN DALLAS/FORT WORTH

I’ve come to realize that blogging is a lot like going to the gym – it’s really easy to miss a day, which suddenly turns into a week, and then two. The only difference is when you’re a lazy blogger you’ll probably lose a few instead of gaining… followers that is. 😉

Last week I tagged along on one of Garrett’s work trips to Dallas/Fort Worth. After cramming seven presentations and half as many installations into the last month I found myself buried in paperwork and starting to feel a bit tapped creatively.

A change of scenery was exactly what I needed, and thankfully Dallas has a Design Center (the one thing I find myself sorely missing in Raleigh!) so I was able to make it a working visit. I packed a ton into a short visit and left feeling re-inspired so I thought I’d share my highlights.

Ceylon et Cie | Dallas

SHOP:
Ceylon et Cie: the Dallas design district is filled with gems, but Michelle Nussbaumer’s Ceylon et Cie is truly like walking into Aladdin’s cave. From blue and white porcelain, to stacks of suzanis, and all manor of curiosities from across the globe, it’s an expertly curated collection. My stop here alone left me feeling re-energized and excited to get back to work. I picked up a huge gouache painting of an original textile design from a postwar artist turned textile designer that I’m planning to frame for our bedroom.

Madre: this children’s boutique initially caught my attention on Instagram thanks to its covet worthy snow leopard and coral lantern. Though there may not be any little ones on the way for us just yet (much to my parents’ chagrin), it didn’t stop me from basking in the adorableness within.

Cabana: right next door to Madre you’ll find Cabana, another boutique I’ve been known to Insta-stalk. Go for the Ulla Johnson (these are my pick) and stay for the chic setting – Madeline Weinrib galore!

Mashburn: Speaking of chic settings, oh what I would give to chat with the interior designer responsible for Sid and Ann Mashburn’s eponymous shops. I visited the new Georgetown location last month in DC which is stunning, but the Dallas outpost also doesn’t disappoint. I debated between adding these and these to my espadrille collection but am still undecided – any tie breaking votes?

Mecox: I’ve now visited 4 of the 7 Mecox Gardens locations and love that each has its own flavor. Their buyers have the best eye and I always discover something new just begging to be incorporated into a project. Their selection of accessories for styling, art, and case goods are especially good.

SEE:

The Modern: I spent a morning at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and am so glad I paid a visit. The collection was more impressive than I was anticipating (sorry for underestimating you Ft. Worth!) and filled with pieces by new-to-me artists I was all too happy to be introduced to–like the stunner above by Joan Mitchell. There’s just something so restorative about wandering through a quiet museum and getting lost in the artists’ color palettes.

The Sixth Floor Museum: the history nerd in me couldn’t leave Dallas without a visit to The Sixth Floor Museum which documents President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination. The museum is on the sixth floor of the building Lee Harvey Oswald fired the fatal shots from (allegedly depending on who you talk to)–you can see a recreation of “the sniper’s nest” in the southeast window. All visitors receive an audio headset and you’re guided through the exhibit via short 1-2 minute clips recorded by a reporter who covered the assassination back in 1963. I found it to be exceptionally well done and not at all dry.

Ellerby Fine Foods | Fort Worth

EAT/DRINK:

Ellerbe Fine Foods: in 2010 Ellerbe Fine Foods made Bon Appétit‘s list of Best Restaurants in America and it’s easy to see why. We grabbed an early dinner and enjoyed the inventive farm to table menu, gracious service, and relaxed ambiance.

Shinjuku Station: another Ft. Worth fan favorite, this izakaya style restaurant didn’t disappoint! We loved the pork buns, seared baby octopus, and the super fresh sashimi. We stopped in just fifteen minutes before closing and the atmosphere was still lively.

P.S if you find yourself on Magnolia Ave. (where the two restaurants above are located) and looking for a spot for pre-dinner drinks check out Proper and The Usual.

Toulouse: grab an outside cafe table for moules frites at this French inspired bistro after shopping at Mashburn across the street.

Mi Cocina: we stopped by the Highland Park Village location after reading about it on a few blogs. Maybe I ordered poorly, but we found the margaritas to be more memorable than the food.

Torchy’s: normally I try to avoid chain restaurants, but this seemed to be a local favorite. Worth a stop for a quick, no-frills bite.

Buda Juice: fun fact: Michelle Nussbaumer’s husband owns this green juice company. I wandered into their headquarters (which happens to be across the street from Ceylon et Cie) in need of a pick me up and found it in their Blue Lemonade.

The Dallas/Fort Worth area has so much to offer I just barely scratched the surface, but hopefully these recommendations will be a good jumping off point for anyone planning a trip. I’d love to hear favorites in the comments!

 

OUT OF AFRICA

The Pursuit of Style | Safari

The Pursuit of Style - Zebras

The Pursuit of Style | Safari

The Pursuit of Style | Safari

The Pursuit of Style | Safari

The Pursuit of Style | Safari

The Pursuit of Style | Safari


The Pursuit of Style | Safari

The Pursuit of Style | Safari

The Pursuit of Style | Safari

The Pursuit of Style | Safari

The Pursuit of Style | Safari

The Pursuit of Style | Safari

The Pursuit of Style | Safari

We’ve been back from South Africa for a few days, and ohh where to begin? Simply put, it was the trip of a lifetime. Over the past year of planning, everyone I spoke with who had been said that it would be, but perhaps in an effort to manage my own expectations, I brushed off their words as hyperbole and steeled myself against potential disappointment. I was so wrong.

The landscape of South Africa is of another time. The craggy mountains and dusty bush dotted with pistachio colored fever trees are in complete contrast to the verdant valleys of the Cape Winelands, and the brilliant blue waters of the Western Cape. Each only hours to the south.

And then there are the animals. I hope I never forget the elegance of grazing giraffe, the goofy laughter of a hippo braying, the beauty of a leopard’s coat, how a lion rolls on it’s back just like our Golden, Brody, and the tenderness of elephants with their young. It will break my heart if rhinos do become extinct in the wild within the next 8-10 years as predicted due to poaching.

Needless to say, life back in our little apartment is feeling a bit ordinary 😉 , but I’ve come back with so much inspiration that I’m eager to put to use. We stayed at some really lovely places and if you’re interested I’ll share more of our itinerary in the coming weeks.