Last weekend was one for the ages. We called it the #nojudgmentzona! Perfect little mix of outdoorsy adventures, city nightlife, and chill moments by the pool at the resort with 3 of my closest lifelong friends, roots tracing back to middle school for some. We stayed at the Four Seasons Scottsdale. From beginning to end it was pretty magical. One of the highlights was dinner on the terrace at Talavera Restaurant overlooking the beautiful elevated view of Scottsdale miles away. We arrived just before sunset, and spent a serene few hours reminiscing about the trip, years past, and enjoying incredible food and drinks. We were soaking up our last moments together before spreading out back to our homes all over the country the next morning.
A few style notes:
-The gold swimsuit is from Altar’d State (and FYI is $20). Bottoms to match!
-Tan dress is via Roe Wolfe, a local Minnesota boutique.
-Rose gold tennies (my spike stand-ins til I find some I like haha) via Ted Baker, a couple seasons ago.
-My little linen pantalones! Also from Altar’d State.
-Black maxi & floral backless top via Beehive Boutique in Manhattan Beach, I was so excited to finally give this look a spin! I also love their insta.
-healthy natural tan via The Glow Lounge
-Sequin dress via Free People
Must do’s & sees:
–Troon North Golf Club: Apparently one of the best in Scottsdale. I practiced my swing at the driving range and they were kind enough to give me a tour of the grounds. Beautiful homes surrounding the course and some incredible views! Would be a fun one to play on another visit.
-Tonto Natural Bridge: A bit of a trek, nothing to be underestimated haha. This was our second hike and not gonna lie I was ready for the chill poolside moments of the trip but I absolutely couldn’t get enough of the views. It was gorgeous. And an entirely different kind of nature than I’m used to.
-Mogollan Rim Overlook: A valley of evergreens that’s like so so vast and breathtaking. And a very mild hike which could maybe have been done in sandals so that’s not the worst 😉
–Whiskey Row: Great bar in Scottsdale. We ended our night out here and had so many good laughs. Also it’s Dierks Bentley’s place! We didn’t see him there- I don’t think, not that we were looking around much haha too much fun with each other dancin like fools and singing to every song. One of those nights that you knew while you were living it it would be one you’d remember forever.
-Acai bowl at Proof for brunch. Ask for honey to go with it. So amazing.
This post sponsored by Altar’d State, but as always all thoughts & opinions genuinely my own 😉
This was at the Palais Royale, which was the very first spot in Paris I checked out. I had my, “I’m here, I’m really heeeeere” moment there. Then Davy Tavi Stanley snapped a photo.
Paris isn’t really an “if” it’s a “when”, right? Here’s my not-so-little list of must-do’s. I could go on and on about each of them and tell stories about my favorite moments at each, so snap or email to let me know if you want any more info.
-La Maison Rose, absolutely adorable and right in one of my favorite neighborhoods, near Sacre Couer.
-Order a Croque Madame at a French street cafe. Any one will do! Sit, relax, and enjoy people-watching.
-Escargot and French Onion soup at family-owned, traditional French restaurant, Le Clos Bourguignon. Order something with french fries too. They were so good there! I also had a sweet white wine, the Pacherenc du Vic Bilh that was lovely.
-Cheese plate & crepes at the outdoor restaurant in Jardin Tuileries outside the Louvre. A lovely view and the cheese plate was so simple but so good.
-Carbonara at this little restaurant outside of Versailles. I can’t think of the name… just ask around for a good carbonara and they’ll point you in the right direction!
-Creme Brûlée at Le Nemrod. Creme brûlée is an essential in Paris and this one was amazing!
-Ralph’s Restaurant. Lovely outdoor ambience, tucked away, very private.
The lavender fields at the Abbey Senanque were breathtaking. The old church bell was ringing in the background, the whole thing was like one big poem. Worth a daytrip! The village of Gordes is nearby, be sure to visit afterwards.
One of my very favorite things was sipping sweet white wine & munching macarons from this very spot, between the Pont Alexandre III & Pont des Invalides on the Seine. This shot was taken on Bastille, just before the most incredible fireworks went off behind the Eiffel Tower. Whatttt… I know, i know. Life.
This was taken on one of my last days in Paris, at the Galeries Lafayette. I was trying to see so many things that I forgot to eat, but when I looked up at this, I forgot that I forgot for just a second. So pretty!
Monet is my favorite impressionist artist, so being able to walk through the gardens that are depicted in his pieces was a cloud 9 experience for sure. I think you can maybe see my level of happy in this derpy smile lol.
Monkey covering eyes emoji // heart eyes emoji (repeat 100x). So so magical to get to see Monet’s gardens in real life.
I couldn’t publish a post without mentioning my home base, Hotel De Sevres. Spent a lot of time here recharging in more ways than one. So SO important to make time to rest and unwind in between the sightseeing. This was the perfect little home away from home right in the 8th arrondissement.
-Bring a picnic blanket, bottle of wine, and some glasses to Sacre Cour in the Montmartre neighborhood (18th Arrondissement) to watch the sunset.
-Visit Versailles. Every room was more ornate and intricate than the next. Climaxing with the notorious Hall of Mirrors. The architecture, furniture, and decor was everything extravagant. Louis IVX spared no indulgence and the whole place is definitely a feast for the eyes. Bring a compass, follow Google Maps, do whatever you have to do to find your way to Marie Antoinette’s Estate as well. The gardens are amazing.
-D’Orsay. On the 5th floor you’ll find the Impressionist section. Pause to catch the view by the big clock. Cezanne, Degas, and Monet for days.
-Visit the Louvre. My favorites were the dramatic marble sculptures, Venus Callipyge by François Barois & Psyché ranimée par le baiser de l’Amour by Antonio Canova. I also loved seeing the historic royal gems. The Tuileries gardens are beautiful just outside the Louvre.
-Visit Palais Royale. Between the rows of trees, fountains, stately white columns at the building are elegant and with the gardens, altogether it’s quintessential Paris.
-Catch sight of the Arc de Triomphe. Pray for a blue sky day, the white looks majestic against it.
-Experience the Eiffel at least once a day in different ways. Take in the view of Paris from the top one day. Ride the carousel right near the foot of it another. See it glittering at night from the Pont Bir Hakein. Sip wine on a picnic blanket, listen to Madeline Peyroux on Spotify and gaze at it from the northside landing between the Alexandre III bridge & Ponte des Invalides on the Seine in the afternoon. Sneak a peak just down the road from the main steps at Sacre Cour as the sun sets. If you can schedule around Bastille, the fireworks on July 14 over the Eiffel Tower are magical.
-Tour the Opera.
-Window shop Chomps Elysees.
-Shop the Galleries Lafayette. Enjoy a great view of Paris from the 7th floor and don’t forget to look up… the ceiling is a showstopper! An intricate stained glass art piece.
I have to have to havvvve to settle in and get some me time every day. This was one of my favorite ways to do that. Silk robe, cozy chair in my room & macarons.
This was a, oh, Luxembourg gardens is on the way to the next destination, let’s just casually stop by type situation. But it turned into one of my very favorite sights of the trip. The weather was insanely beautiful, this building so striking, and the gardens …. ugh just all of it together, perfect!
I loved the architecture in Paris. Gorgeous buildings lined every street. I’d just look up and all around, shake my head and smiiiile taking it all in.
This was taken by my friend Naty Michelle. We had a quick hello in the city. This was taken off the balcony at Hotel Tremoille. We darted off to the Eiffel tower shortly after. Then I darted even faster off to the airport to try to catch the flight I totally missed haha. Laughing now, wasn’t then.
So there was shopping in Paris. I picked up so much lingerie! That’s really mostly what I got there. Definitely should have bought these shoes though.
SIPS & SNACKS
-The original Laduree for French macarons! It’s like a fairytale inside.
-A croissant at Poilane bakery
-Hot chocolate at Angelina’s
-Sip the Signature Vendome Tea blend at the Ritz Paris. Take a walk around while there. The entry hall is regal with its royal blue velvet, great damask drapes, and gold embellishments. There’s another room off to the right with a velvet green tufted round couch and doorways that lead out to a courtyard that would be worth a walk through.
-If you’re up for a splurge, breakfast at La Murcier. The private dining room is absolutely stunning. See if you can get a tour and hear a bit more about the rest of the hotel and the beautiful rooms there.
-Latte at Au Vieux Paris. Turquoise walls, purple chairs. It’s darling.
EUROVESPA, I’m done. Every time I saw one. Just done.
You guys. You must go, you simply must go!
Poilane Bakery was recommended to me of a friend here, Tara of A Day in Provence. One of my favorite things to say at the counter of a bakery was “un croissant, si vous plait!” And this croissant was miles beyond the rest. Wow.
Sat down for a last-dinner in Paris with my sweet new friend Kenz Bennett. She made France a little extra special. Girl will be a top supermodel someday, callin it. I had a salmon something here that was délicieux.
DAY & WEEKEND TRIPS
-Giverny, Monet’s Gardens
-Arles. If you can work it out to train down around sunset, do! The views are insane.
-Lavender Fields at Abbey of Senanque
-Gordes (can be done with the Lavender fields at the Abbey!)
Traveling solo, I took a lot of tea/latte time to make notes in my travel journal. I didn’t want to forget the little things. Like the chocolates at the Ritz and the Vendome Signature blend tea. It was Paris in a cup.
Gorgeous room at the Ritz.
Versailles was filled with rooms and moments like this. Mind-blowing decadence everywhere.
Still can’t believe I got a moment with this piece. A beautiful Degas. My favorite one. She’s lovely.
It was my last night on my first trip to Paris. Left a bit of my heart here no doubt. Will rejoin it again sometime soon.
-the $10 coffee that tasted like someone scooped dirt into a cup of hot water, stirred it up and called it a latte.
-the iconic Public Market Square sign which represents a full afternoon of mac & cheese sampling, getting grossed out by the gum wall, fish throwing, and original starbucks visiting.
-my recipe for the perfect plane to landmark outfit: lulu leggings, sneakers, a t-shirt, an extra layer, simple jewelry, sunnies, and a go-to cross-body bag.
-better coffee, that actually tasted like a latte and gave both of us (me and my good friend Chelsea!) the much-needed energy to find parking near our hotel in rush-hour.
-the view from our hotel, where we perched for a few hours after having way too much fried lingcod earlier in the day.
… just a few Seattle mems. These pics have been burning a hole in my photo library and I had to share before taking another trip to the opposite coast this week.
Stock up on airplane to landmark wardrobe pieces to make traveling easier! I shopped around for some good ones to share:
10 Reasons why Justin Bieber and, well everyone else should stay here:
1. White, bright, modern rooms with a downtown chic vibe. Ever wanted to feel like an urban heiress? I’ve stayed in this big suite and the penthouse and both are basically unparalleled as far as epic city coolness goes.
2. Panoramic views of Minneapolis. Its beautiful skyscraper scene surrounds on all sides. Which also means you’re right next door to the likes of Fogo, Capital Grille, & Union rooftop.
3. Room service… ding! Yogurt, fruit, & lattes in bed was a treat. It didn’t take long at all to get upstairs – which is my biggest qualm with RS usually. You order it and have to wait ten years and it’s often lukewarm. Not so much here at Le Meridien. It came up really fast and everything was fresh!
4. The pillow fight and jumping on the bed potential in here alone is worth a stay. White robes and slippers all set for the sleepover of a lifetime. Throw in a little wine and let the adult slumber party begin.
5. Marin. Just downstairs there is a restaurant with natural ingredients, great service, and fab-tasting food. I ordered the jicama-duck tacos with avocado mousse dressing twice and foresee many visits for those alone! There’s a super swanky library bar downstairs also. And a chef’s table for the foodiest of foodies.
6. The patio area has a bar at the center and cozy deck furniture with fireplaces that offer a little escape just beyond the concrete jungle. I ordered a Prosecco and sipped it out here and forgot for a few minutes about the hustle and bustle going on all around me.
7. The Art Gallery! The pieces are changed out regularly, and they are sometimes by local, national, or international artists. The common denominator is featuring beautifully curated works that are sure to inspire. I wandered in here and found myself drawn to a few black and white pieces that were more pop art in nature.
8. Rooftop vibes like no other. I threw a party up there! About 75 of my friends and colleagues came up to shake their tail feathers and sip cocktails with a view to boot. I’ll share a few more pictures on here in another post later. Hopefully you were following along on Snapchat and Instagram so you could catch some of that action live.
9. There’s this fragrance at the entrance that is like… amazing. Can’t explain it but I’m pretty sure it comes from the rocks in a fireplace installation. I snooped it out. Best thing to be greeted with!
10. If you know me at all, you know how very very much I value good service. The staff at Marin was attentive, genuine, and kind. It was clear they were proud of their hotel and wanted to ensure the most pleasant stay possible. Mission accomplished!
When I first walked into the lobby at the Sheraton Bloomington, I felt like I was walking into a Vegas hotel. The lobby was huge & open. It had a high window ceiling that made it feel modern & bright. Next I saw the chic, luxe decor and was promptly greeted by smiling, welcoming faces. First impressions are a big deal for me and usually are indicative of how the rest of my stay will be. So within moments, I knew I was in good hands.
Sheraton Bloomington is pioneering some pretty innovative technology that will probably be the norm at hotels soon. Before there were cards, there were keys. And now there are apps. I was super excited to see how this all worked. Before walking through the door, I took a minute to register with the SPG app to activate keyless entry. When I arrived at my room, I just held the phone up to the door and it unlocked it for me. Um coolest thing. So convenient. Also, it’s added security. Meaning more peace of mind and a more comfortable stay overall.
I could have seen myself camping out in the Sheraton Club room all day, taking turns relaxing and working. It has customized butler service so you feel quite like a queen. There are top-shelf beverage options & hors d’ oeuvres available throughout the day.
Local photographer/videographer extraordinaire & friend of mine, Paul Weaver, came over to grab some shots of the stay. I love working with people who are passionate about what they do. You can tell because he gets ideas as he’s going and on the fly creates really original vantage points and fresh departures from the normal picture. I really respect his work.
We went down for cocktails at the hotel lobby bar, Sidebar, another crazy thing… it turns into a Starbucks in the mornings. You honestly would have no idea that this swanky hip bar could flip seamlessly to be a fully-functioning coffee/breakfast shop. So at the bar, we chatted with Eric, a bartender who had been there 16 years. I feel like that in itself says a lot about a place. Loyalty & investment from your team show strength of brand and overall better service and experience delivery. Eric agreed and said he’s not the only one, a lot of people have been there many years. The cocktails were unbelievable. Characteristic of something you’d find at an edgy downtown spot.
Another Sheraton team-member, Sammy, who’s been on board over 30 years, told us about a couple who celebrated their wedding anniversary at the Sheraton every year. It was the 40th year this last time so they wanted it to be extra special. The wife called ahead of time to request a certain kind of dish for dinner that wasn’t on the menu at Lela. The chef not only accommodated but worked with her to design an entire several-course dinner just for the two of them. I love that!!
Lela is the restaurant attached to the Sheraton Bloomington. Actually almost teared up a bit when I heard that every month Lela works with a new local nonprofit and the proceeds from each drink sale go directly towards the work of the cause. This month was Still Kickin, I ordered the cocktail, it was great!
A few friends joined me for dinner and we had such a nice time. It was the night before I left for Europe so it was really nice to just relax on the patio and enjoy the company of some Minnesota gems. We ordered basically everything on the menu and everything tasted insanely good. The deviled eggs were like an art piece that belonged in the Walker. The Tagliatellini pasta was amazing. And the owner of the white lamborghini who regularly spends the evening on the patio with his friends recommends the lobster truffle gnocchi. Looking at his table & ride I’m thinkin, that’s us in a few years, right? 🙂