L O N D O N IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA

I think it’s safe to say that the United Kingdom is one of my favorite places to travel to four main reasons:

  • Family!
  • Shopping! SHOPPING! Shopping!
  • Direct flight from Ottawa to London! + MANY direct and inexpensive flights from the UK to many major cities in Europe!
  • It’s a BEAUTIFUL country; from the heart of London to the flowing countryside; I can never get enough of the views!

Our most recent visit to this wonderful country was back in November. At this point, I think we’ve visited the UK during every season. I’d say there’s something I love about each season so I can’t say I like one more than the other.

During each trip, we visit our traditional list of attractions such as the heart of London, Primark, Wagamama, etc., but also try to see at least one new place we have never been to before!

This time, my husband made the call, and we visited Stonehenge and the nearby Town of Windsor. Both locations were definitely worth the trip! It actually felt important to visit Stonehenge because of its historical background; I definitely feel we checked something off our bucket list with this one. Next, the Town of Windsor; like many of these English Towns, was absolutely adorable! Filled with so many little shops, cafes, and restaurants, and of course, the Windsor Castle right in the middle of the Town. Check + Check!

Luckily for us, the weather cooperated better than expected as well. We were greeted with sunshine from the moment we landed, to the moment we took off at the end of our trip. Not only was it sunny, but it wasn’t at all as cold as it was in Canada, so – bonus! Walking around comfortable in a leather jacket in November is a win in my eyes.

Anyways, we will probably be back sooner than later because we just can’t seem to get enough of Europe recently!!

#PLAYINGTOURIST : CARP, ONTARIO

As we’re settling in to our new City, we are trying to explore local areas as well; I’d say we equally love the countryside and the City.

This past weekend, we decided to check out a town near us called Carp; it was recommended to us by my husbands colleague, who mentioned a great little farmers market which happens every Saturday from 8am-1pm from May until October. Of course that caught our attention; we’re all for supporting local!

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It was no surprise that this was an amazing market; there were so many local vendors with organic food options, plants and herbs, and local handmade products such as soaps!

In addition to the farmers market, across the street we stumbled upon the prettiest coffee shop called Alice’s Village Cafe – I’m sure I looked like a total tourist with the amount of photos I was snapping! Pure wooden furniture (including old church pews) offered comfy seating for the customers, raw metal and unique lighting fixtures added the perfect hygge glow, and green plants decorated tables and walls – this place is just dreamy!

 

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I would definitely recommend this town to visitors; especially the farmers market and Alice’s Village Cafe. I’m sure we will visit it again sometime soon and will check out some new spots which then I’ll be able to share with you!

Happy Weekend!

24 HOURS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

Whenever we travel to Europe we like to make a stop in the United Kingdom; for family + shopping generally. This time, our stop was very quick and had an exact purpose.

7:55 am

We touched down in London at 7:55am; by the time we moved through customs and grabbed our luggage it was 9:00 am. My sister in law picked us up, we grabbed some Costa coffees to go and we were off to Bicester Village for some shopping.

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11:30 am

We arrived at Bicester Village with a mission. My husbands goal was to buy a few suits, dress shirts, and a few pairs of shoes. I personally didn’t have high hopes of getting what I wanted; simply because what I wanted is very specific and has been sold out in EVERY store I’ve gone to (including online). So the focus was on my Husband and his shopping mission.

After a couple of hours of shopping we succeeded in finding and buying all of the things he wanted. I can’t say that I didn’t have any luck either though because I bought myself    something as well; a powder pink lace dress from Ted Baker.

4:00pm

The shopping was done and the hunger kicked in. We drove over to the Town of Oxford to one of our favorite restaurants which we always try to visit when in England; Wagamama. Traditionally, we both got Ramen.

Since we were in Oxford we decided to have a look around and sightsee a little bit; we learned and saw some pretty neat things. For starters, Oxford University has a breathtaking campus! The town seems like an entire student town; there are hardly any cars in the area and instead, the amount of bikes everywhere is astounding. Secondly, we learned that many of the locations in the area were used to film scenes from Harry Potter! This was something very interesting for me; it was so neat to find the various locations and recall which scene of the movie they were in. Clearly, I’m a Harry Potter fan; I feel like I grew up with the movie.

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6:00pm

The next part of the day was spent doing something I recommend to anyone traveling to the UK, and that’s stopping in to Primark for some shopping.

Although I look at clothes differently now, and don’t feel the need to buy dozens of items just because they’re “nice” I still like to stop in and see what I can find in these stores. So, I didn’t really buy much besides a cardigan, skirt, and a few tank tops and T-shirt’s.

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8:00pm

At this point we were starting to feel the exhaustion of the trip and days events, and we headed back to my sister in laws home outside of London.

The 12 hours we spent running around were planned and well used; but also exhausting. But this was the idea of our time here, since we knew we’d be spending time together in Poland within the next week, we took full advantage of the UK.

The next morning we caught a flight to Warsaw, Poland, and that was it for our London adventure for this trip. We usually spend at least a week in the Country; it’s mandatory to visit Harris’s and Selfridges, and to fall in love with a new designer item, but we just didn’t have the time for that fun on this trip. Either way, it was nice to be in England again!

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GREETINGS FROM SUNNY ARIZONA

 

H E L L O  A R I Z O N A!

On Thursday morning we landed in Phoenix, for a few days of fun and sun in the deserts of Scottsdale. So far, I have fallen deeply in love with the climate and environment of my surroundings here – especially the Cactus plants, which I simply can’t get enough of.

 

The first thing we did after arriving at The Phoenician Resort (after unpacking and brunching) was go exploring. We started with then Cactus Garden on the property, and were mesmerized right away! Within seconds we were surrounded by hundreds of different types of cactus plants, overlooking majestic mountains in the background.

 

In the garden, and all around the property, each of the different types of plants are labeled with a name and explanation of its type and origin. I’ve decided that cactuses are my type of plant, I have lost track of the amount of photos of them that I now have on my phone; I feel no shame. We don’t have natural cactus gardens in Canada and I want to remember this calming and regenerating experience forever!

 

I’ll admit, since Thursday, I have visited this Cactus Garden five times already; given it’s on the (long) way to our suite, I make it a point that we stroll down these paths routinely!

 

In terms of my outfit; simple and my favorite pieces. A classic canary yellow off the shoulder top, a high waisted black denim skirt, my new Michael Kors sandals, and to finish the look, Dior sunglasses! Casual, comfy, and chic, perfect for the desert!

Happy Saturday!

XX

 

PLAYING TOURIST: SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

To finally find myself on the west coast was like a dream come true for me. I’ve lost track of the number of years that I have been dreaming of a california vacation, literally. I’ve touched down on this land before, but only as a flight transfer, and it only lasted 3 hours. Since this trip, I have learnt that there is actually no such thing as enough time spent in California.

Our California trip began in San Francisco – the land of incredibly hilly streets, foggy skies, and the world famous Golden Gate Bridge. Our first stop after settling in was of course, Whole Foods – I couldn’t wait any longer to walk through all of those super healthy, vegan friendly aisles; basically, I always find new, state-specific items whenever we travel, and, more importantly, I am always snacking!

We spent about three days playing tourist in this wonderful city, but we definitely could have used a few more. A few of my favourites from this trip would have to include Alcatraz, Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, and the San Francisco Premium Outlets. Overall, there isn’t one specific location in the “downtown core” that I could say I preferred over the rest, because I feel like we ventured around so much it all felt so special and beautiful. I definitely was able to feel the San Fran vibes everywhere, and I LOVED IT!

PLAYING TOURIST: NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

The plan was to post our New Orleans (post linked here) and Nashville trip together in one post, but when I started putting photos together, I realized there were just TOO MANY I wanted to share to squeeze them all into one post. So, here is part two of our December adventure: NASHVILLE, TENNESSE!

Nashville, Tennessee

After a few days in New Orleans, we drove back upstate and into Nashville. I had two major reasons why I wanted to visit Nashville; a) I am a big fan of barbeques, pulled pork and smoked meats -I’m actually a very picky eater, but when it comes to these meats, I can’t help myself, and b) ever since I started watching the show Nashville on Netflix, I became very interested in the City and just dreamed of sitting in a bar with live country music.

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On this trip, both of these reasons became a reality! Although we only spent a couple of days in Nashville, I fell in love with the City, and am already thinking of when we can go back.  Whenever we travel to a new City, we try to split our time because the tourist must sees and the local vibes, as we want to really get a glimpse of the local lifestyles, but of course, still want to experience the highlights that the city has to offer.

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Although this was a quick trip, and we usually like fly out somewhere warmer during the winter months, we have created great memories on this trip, and are glad we did something different, or out of the ordinary. One of our main travel goals for the next years is to visit places we haven’t been to before; of course places like Poland, Britain, Austria, and Mexico can’t be avoided, we will try our best to step out of our comfort zone for other travels.

Happy March First!

MY STYLE: MEXICAN AFTERNOON

When I wasn’t living in my bikini, I had some pretty cute outfits – this only happened during breakfast and dinner, because other than that it was bikinis all around!

This was my outfit on the one day we decided to take a trip outside of our Resort, which was only a half day anyways because we didn’t want to be away from our heavenly Valentin Imperial Maya!

My darling husband actually bought this too for me last summer in England – it’s one of my favorites, especially on warm summer days (or hot Mexican afternoons). I decided to wear it with my vintage Levi’s shorts, and Topshop laced flats. The purse pictured, my classic Coach favourite (I have it in pink as well) is actually the only one I took – yes, I know, shocker! But there really was no need for more than one since this one matched every outfit.

Nothing else was needed for this outfit, it was too warm for anything else really, plus I was perfectly comfortable in this and felt like it was appropriate for the days event!

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Hubby and I at a Tequila Distillery

V A L E N T I N IMPERIAL MAYA

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Everyone needs a vacation once in a while – big or small, a break from your daily routine is healthy for both physically and mentally.

Mentally, it’s so important to give your mind a break from your daily thoughts, and simply allow your mind to “STOP” thinking and just let go, relax, and go with the flow.

Physically, our bodies snap into an automatic rythum with ourdaily routines, so its very important to removeour bodies from that constant trance and loosen up a little.

We recently decided we needed a break from our daily routines, and it was time for a vacation where our body, mind, and soul could relax and just forget about reality for some time.

Naturally, the first place that comes to mind when I think of a place to relax is: M E X I C O! Within two weeks, we were on a plane heading south for paradise. We chose an adult-only, all-inclusive, five star resort, because literally all we wanted was to relax in the sun, swim in the ocean and pool, indulge in culinary creations, and sip on delicious drinks. We found all this wonderulness (and more) at the VALENTIN IMPREIAL MAYA in the Rivera Maya.

It was our first time at this specific resort, and we were absolutely amazed at how great it was – the service, the food, the atmosphere, it was all beyond our expectations. We definitely would recommend this resort to anyone looking for a Mexican getaway.

With time, I’ll post photos from the trip and a few of my outfit choices for the evenings and outings, as I basically lived in my bikini the entire week.

I could write all day about the details of the resort, but I’ll just leave this post open to questions – so if there is anything you want to know more about it, feel free to email me or post a comment below.

WHF: TROPICAL VIBES IN SAN JUAN

Memories; one of the greatest things we can acquire in our lifetime. My greatest memories are created from traveling and sightseeing – the world is such a magnificent and magical place, with so many wonderful and unique places and things to see.

These photos were taken about three years ago in San Juan, Puerto Rico – it was one of the ports our cruise ship docked at. The city was absolutely beautiful – the architecture of the buildings were breathtaking, and the local environment were very welcoming. I would definitely like to go back one day.

My outfit for the day in San Juan – comfy and minimal, as it was very warm. I purchased these evergreen high waisted shorts from Primark in London, and the top from Aritzia (Talula brand). The classic Ray Bans also came out to play.

Happy #ThrowbackThursday

XX