For the Love of Provence with Le Petit Marseillais™

2.19.2017





I have loved France for as long as I can remember. It started with Madeline, the tenacious redhead and brainchild of Ludwig Bemelmans who lived in ‘an old house in Paris that was covered with vines.’ I started French class in high school and spent all my free time hanging around the French classroom listening to audiotapes and looking through photos of French landscapes. When I was fifteen I signed up for the Sister Cities program and was paired with a family in Caen, in France’s rainy Normandy region. I still remember the tiny shower with a handheld hose (a foreign concept to me) and a yellow bottle of Le Petit Marseillais™ in Vanilla Milk. That smell always brings me back! Later in college I was a French major and made it my mission to help make all the French exchange students feel welcome.  I became close friends with a business student named Laure from Marseille. She invited me to her family home in St. Victoret, a small town in the Provence Region in the South of France. I will never forget those lovely days drinking fresh orange juice in the morning, 2 hour lunches of crevettes, pasta, ham and ripe tomatoes from the garden and the smell of fresh lavender growing in the yard. Laure’s family, of course used Le Petit Marseillais™ in their showers – it’s the #1 body wash in France. It’s! I would always bring it back in my checked suitcases making my bags overweight, but I just loved the fragrances. The orange blossom body wash remindsme of the French countryside with a delicate formula that never left my skin feeling dry. And now I’m so excited to see the  original product line from France in the US! Available nationwide, you can visit www.lepetitmarseillais.us to find a retailer near you and use #SoFrenchAndSoClean to share your favorite body wash scent!

Scroll down for my favorite French countryside memories.





This post was sponsored by Le Petit Marseillais™. All opinions my own.

LOOKBOOK PARIS HIVER 2017

2.09.2017

LOOK 1: Dress // Coat // Turtleneck // Boots 
LOOK 4: Sweater // Skirt // Leather Jacket // Shoes 

LOOK 5: Top // Skirt // Leather Jacket // Shoes 
LOOK 6: Coat // Dress // Shoes // Belt // Tights
LOOK 7: Sweater // Coat (Zara, no longer available online) // Jeans // Belt // Shoes // Bag // Suitcase 

My Paris Favorites

2.08.2017

Cafe Charlot
38 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris, France
My favorite spot for a typical Parisian cafe tucked in the Marais. I always sit on the terrace to watch the world go by. I like to order a chocolat chaud, hot chocolate & croque madame, a traditional French open-faced ham and cheese sandwich with a fried egg on top. Great for très French Instagram snaps.
Bouillon Chartier
7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009 Paris, France
I discovered Bouillon Chartier on my recent trip to Paris with my bestie Noelle. The restaurant serves typically French fare and is super affordable and delicious. At first we were weary when we showed up around 9p on a Thursday and there was a line out the door, but the line moved super fast and we were inside in less than 15 minutes. We enjoyed plates and plates of delicious food, I highly recommend the escargots even if you've never tried them - they're only €6! 


David Lucas Paris
20 Rue Danielle Casanova, 75002 Paris, France
French woman really do have a very effortless look that I've always admired. While I generally style my hair in very 'done' curls, I was excited to see how the masters at David Lucas Paris would give me a new French 'do. The salon is located in the posh 2ème arrondissement in a gorgeous Haussman building. My stylist Nikolas first gave me a tailor-made Fusio Dose treatment from Kérastase – this included a full diagnoses of the condition of my hair so he could prescribe a custom mix. In my case, this meant a mix of the Concentré Vita-Ciment, to repair damage, with the Booster Brilliance to enhance my color treated hair. I couldn't believe how soft my hair was after the blow dry! Nikolas used a large barrel curling iron to create soft, undone waves. I highly recommend this salon.
Ladurée
75 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris, France
It's definitely a touristy spot - located right on the Champs-Élysées, but Ladurée is a French institution. After an afternoon of shopping it's the perfect place to stop for tea and pastries. We sat outside under the heat lamps for hours enjoying finger sandwiches, macarons, lemon meringue & hot tea. It is pricey, but a yummy and convenient spot in central Paris. 
La Favorite
6 Rue de Rivoli, 75004 Paris, France
My friend Angie Niles, author of Bright Lights, Paris introduced me to La Favorite when I was in Paris over the summer. We downed glass after glass of rosé, shoestring fries, escargots & a cheese board. A lovely terrace to relax and watch the city stroll by. 
Le Peloton Cafe
17 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 75004 Paris, France
A charming, bicycle-themed cafe frequented by ex-pats, Le Peloton is a great place to grab a quick coffee and chat in english with the largely anglophone staff. They also run Bike About Tours from the cafe which is the #1 ranked Paris bike tour company on TripAdvisor. 
 Palais de Tokyo
13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris, France (photo c/o Wikipedia) 
Not your typical touristy museum, Palais de Tokyo is off the beaten track in the 16eme arrondissement. Gerry and I visited the museum last year and we both enjoyed the modern art exhibitions. It's also one of the only museums that stays open late with hours from noon until midnight every day except Tuesday. It even has a club called Yoyo inside the museum! 
 Printemps
64 boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris, France
My favorite department store in Paris, Printemps is a stunning shopping destination that's been around for 150 years! Every time I'm in Paris I always stop by Printemps both for luxury shopping and to check out the incredible (and free) view from the rooftop. 
Jardin des Tuileries
113 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
My favorite park in Paris is Jardin des Tuileries. With an impeccably manicured lawn, tons of seating and the Tour de Paris ferris wheel, it truly is a sight to be seen. I even had my first few meet ups there!
 
La Seine
The Seine is the river that flows through Paris separating the city into the Rive Gauche, Left Bank & Rive Droite, Right Bank. One of my all time favorite Paris activities is having a picnic along the water with wine, cheese & bread. Also fun is a sunset cruise on the Bateaux Mouches with dinner and drinks - a lovely way to see the city in all it's glory. And get a great view of the Eiffel Tower as it glitters!
 
Canal St. Martin
Canal St. Martin is a roughly 3 mile canal in Paris. The Canal St Martin neighborhood, located primarily in the 10eme arrondissement is hip with tons of cute cafes, restaurants and bars. Along the canal is another great place for a picnic! 
 
Riding Vélib
You guys know biking is my favorite form of transportation so whenever I'm in Paris I love to use the super cheap and efficient Vélib Bike Sharing program. Daily ridership in Paris is over 100,000! To get a bike you simply insert your card into the reader at any station and can use the bike for up to 30 minutes at a time for €1,70 for a day or €7 for the week. 
 
Musée du Louvre
99 rue de Rivoli75001 ParisFrance
One of the most famous museums in the world with over 9 million visitors yearly, the Louvre museum is home to the Mona Lisa, among many prominent art pieces. I recommend buying your tickets in advance to save time and having a plan when entering the museum. It's an enormous space with over 70,000 pieces of art! Don't forget to check out the glass pyramid, designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei located in the courtyard of the Louvre palace. 

More Paris posts here

Making a Run for it

1.16.2017









This month I partnered with Old Navy Active to talk resolutions and fitness challenges in the New Year. I've always been a big fan of their activewear and this look is perfect for running headfirst into 2017. We had a few days of exceptionally warm weather so I paired these adorable colorblock leggings with a high impact sports bra and white go-warm performance jacket. The look was perfect for my 2017 challenge workout - running. The leggings match perfectly with the bridge don't they?! 

I've never really liked running. I remember back to high school P.E. when I would dread the days we ran the mile. I'd even sneak candy into the pockets of my sweatpants to eat while I jogged begrudgingly. Even when I first started my fitness journey last January I would say, "anything but running." My mom on the other hand is a big runner. In November she asked me to run the 'Turkey Trot' 10k with her down in Florida. I hesitated but decided I was, after almost a year along in my active lifestyle, up for the challenge. I had never run a race before and I can't remember ever running more than a mile in my life! But I signed up. I used the track near my apartment to train in the few weeks leading up to the race. I was nervous about running the whole thing. But on Thanksgiving morning I ran the entire 6.2 miles without stopping in 1 hour and six minutes (see a photo here!) It was an incredibly proud moment for me. While it's still not my workout of choice, I do like incorporating running into my fitness routine. Running is one of the best forms of exercise for losing weight and burns the most calories per minute of any sport (with the exception of cross country skiing). For me, it's a challenge, more so than almost any other exercise - including CrossFit. Here's my tips for getting started with running.
  • If running terrifies you start off with a less aggressive form of cardio to build up your endurance and lower your resting heart rate. Spinning or the elliptical trainer can be a great way to start training for cardio. 
  • Start walking! Walking is a great way to start prepping for running. Once you feel comfortable walking, alternate walking and running. When I first started I would do one song running, one song walking for 30 minutes. Then two songs running, one song walking, etc. 
  • Speaking of songs, make yourself a great playlist! Music is an incredible motivator, it helps keep your mind off the pain and evokes a positive association with the workout. Choose upbeat songs that you love!
  • Start running sessions with a dynamic warmup like butt-kicks and high knees to increase heart rate, raise body temperature and get blood flowing to the muscles. 
  • Find a friend! I found running with my mom so much easier than running alone. Working out with a partner helps keep you accountable and make it more enjoyable.
  • For the ladies find a good bra. This is so crucial! You want a bra that's going to really start you in to help avoid back pain and keep you moving quickly. (I love this one from Old Navy)
As for my running routine of choice I love utilizing the Williamsburg bridge. It's pedestrian only so you don't have to worry about traffic and it has an incredible view of the Manhattan skyline. It's so much more interesting than running a morning track over and over. The bridge is 1.3 miles each way starting with an incline then leveling out then a downward slope. Running from Brooklyn to Manhattan and back is a perfect 2.6 mile run that I can usually do in just over 30 minutes. Sometimes I like to stop in the middle to do jumping jacks or toe-taps to mix it up a bit. What fitness challenges are you incorporating in the New Year? Comment below! 

How To Layer for New York Winter

1.12.2017

Look 1: Hat: TopShop (similar), Scarf: Anthropologie (similar), Dress: Free People, Tights only $8: Urban Outfitters, Boots: FRYE

Look 2: Sweater: All Saints, Leather Jacket: Kate Spade, Fleece leggings: Forever 21, Plaid Scarf, Boots: Hunter, Hat: Forever 21 (similar)



It feels so strange writing this post when it is, no joke, 63° outside. Last weekend, however we had a glorious snowfall! New York City is absolutely stunning when it first snows. The following days usually are a sad mix of sludge and chilly rain but the fresh, glistening snow make the city look like a gift shop snow globe. 

Gerry and I had a lazy weekend of sleeping, late brunches & playing in the snow! Since I didn't grow up with a ton of snow I actually relish bundling up. I'm seriously obsessed with fleece-lined tights. Honestly I'm mad at myself for not having discovered them sooner! They are SO much warmer than wearing than jeans that get soggy so fast! I have two pairs; one from Urban Outfitters and one from Forever 21. And they are amazing, no splurge needed. For my first look I layered this bondage-esque black dress from Free People over a black Forever 21 turtleneck, fleece tights and added an extra pair of knee high socks. Boots are key and I'm in love with my new Samantha Hiker boots from Frye. They really do have the most exceptional, well-made boots in the game. I swapped the black laces for red ones to add a pop of color. I topped the look off with a white coat from Zara, red beanie & extra long scarf. 

On Sunday it was a tad warmer so I layered a sweater dress over a body suit, fleece lined leggings and white thigh high socks rolled down into my Hunter boots. Word to the wise - Hunter boots are super cute in the snow but you need to wear layers of socks underneath or your feet are gonna be cold af. So I'm wearing fleece tights, knees highs and thigh highs under those boots, my friends! During the day I just wore a leather jacket & blanket scarf over the look then added a wool coat on top when the sun went down. Also, I took my gloves off for the photos but I was definitely wearing them all day! 

My top tips for dressing chic in New York Winter:
  • Layer underneath your outfit with a fitted bodysuit (like this one from Free People) or thin, tight turtleneck (like this one from Uniqlo) to add warmth but not bulk.
  • Fleece tights or leggings are your friend! You can wear them alone or under jeans for super cold days. 
  • Wear multiple socks! You will get so much colder if your feet get cold. I like to wear tights plus one knee high sock. For boots without insulation go with yet another sock (trust me, y'all!)
  • Speaking of feet - invest in great boots. I only wear true snow boots when it's over a few inches of snow and the rest of the time I wear lace up boots (like the ones shown above from Frye), Harness boots or Hunter boots (with lots of socks underneath). Fur to shearling boots are also good but I don't find them to be as versatile for other seasons.
  • With a good foundation you can wear less bulky clothes. If you follow the above you can still wear cute dresses because your base will be nice and toasty. 
  • Gloves. I never leave the house without them after December. Hats are also essential and scarves are good to have, especially if they're cute! 
  • Keep proportions in check. I like to go with shorter hemlines (as with the sweater dress above) when I'm wearing tights - it helps elongate the leg so you don't look shorter than you are. 
So get out there and play in the snow! 

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