London: The V & A

Happy Friday everyone! I wanted to share one of my absolutely favorite place in London. The V & A is beloved by most anyone that enters, which is extremely easy to do! There seems to be something for everyone at any given time. Similar to most museums, there are several permanent exhibitions and a handful of current (temporary) exhibitions. Entry to the museum is absolutely free (win!), but the current exhibitions are generally between £12-18, including a voluntary donation. If you are a full-time student, you’ll get a pretty great discount, so be sure to take your ID.
My favorite exhibitions have of course been those relating to fashion. Up close and personal with vintage Chanel, Givenchy and Hervé Léger? Yes, please! My favorite by far has been the Ballgown exhibit from 2012. The V & A had recently renovated the Fashion Galleries and this was the debut event. Over sixty different designs from various British designers were displayed impeccably! It was basically a dream! The dresses had been worn to private parties, royal events, state occasions and other red carpet events. Amazing.
Be sure to explore the paid exhibitions the next time you’re in London—they never disappoint! When you’re done, visit one of the cafes (the Garden Cafe is only open during the summer) and have a relaxing lunch on the grass in the garden. It’s definitely a great addition to the perfect day!

Ballgown images from

Paris: The Very Best Patisseries

Equally as important as Parisian fashion, art and architecture are the impeccable patisseries. I feel like the perfect trip would include a day devoted to bouncing through the city on a severe sugar high. So…in an effort to enhance any Parisian holiday, I present my favorite patisseries! This list is obviously not complete–I haven’t met a patisserie I haven’t enjoyed, but these are certainly not to be missed.

Hugo & Victor
40 Boulevard Raspail 75007 Paris
7 rue Gomboust 75001 Paris

La Patisserie des Réves
93 Rue du Bac, 75007, Paris
111 Rue du Longchamp, 75016, Paris

75 Avenue des Champs Élysées, 75008, Paris
16 Rue Royale, 75008, Paris (Favorite location!)

48 avenue Victor Hugo, 75116, Paris
36 avenue de la Motte Picquet, 75007, Paris

Buy the jam. Love it. Devote lots of suitcase space to take it home.

226 rue de Rivoli, 75001, Paris

Try the hot chocolate–it’s a life changing experience!

(Images from HipParis)

Happy Travels! Or perhaps Bon voyage is more appropriate?

Visit: The Getty Villa

Ah, the Getty Villa. If you’ve been, you will completely understand all the exclamations in this post. If you haven’t, you’ll hopefully plan a trip soon! There are countless picturesque and aesthetically perfect architectural gems in L.A. and Pacific Palisades; but how do you compare to a locale that is not only beautiful but also enlightening? If you have any interest in the arts and cultures (and the residual antiquities) of ancient Greece, Rome or Etruria, you’ll be so pleased! It’s truly awe-inspiring. You definitely won’t want to leave. The peristyle alone commands at least 15 minutes of your time. Such a beauty!
If you plan on visiting both the Getty and the Getty Villa, be sure to get your parking validated to take advantage of the “Pay Once, Park Twice” promotion. Parking at each location is $15, but if you visit both sites on the same day, you’ll receive a voucher for complimentary parking at the other location. Great, right? Be sure to ask at the Information Desk!

Stay: Marriott Newport Coast Villas

We recently returned from an early summer trip to California and the gorgeous Newport Coast Villas made it so much more relaxing. Thanks to my ultra-organized tendencies, we usually end up having a packed vacation schedule, which basically eliminates the relaxation potential. Husband hates it. I thought I’d try something new for me: to only schedule 1-2 activities per day and to take advantage of the resort amenities. I’m extremely glad I did! 
The villas are perfectly situated just off the Pacific Coast Highway between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. The views are unparalleled and beach access is super easy. It took us five minutes to reach the water (yup, we totally timed it)!  There’s literally everything you could need on-site, but there is a Walgreen’s and Albertsons less than ten minutes away. Our favorite activities were exploring the three pools areas, challenging one another at the tennis courts and of course sitting around the fire pits in the evening. We couldn’t recommend it more–definitely give it a try!