Summer Weekends at Home

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Its getting close to the end of peony season so instead of one bunch I purchased two this week. I have to get my fill while I can. They are next to my bed and I wake up to a sea of pink and a heavenly smell.

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My favorite dyptique candle along with peonies makes for the best smell.

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The warm weather here in Chicago has me in the mood for iced tea. I have a collection of Kusmi tea from Paris that I am digging into now. The beauty detox is my favorite.

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Now that Wells Street is finished I feel like I can breathe for a minute. I worked straight through LA to now and I am feeling exhausted. Its been extra coffees to get me through the week. But in exciting news my passion project will be launching very soon and I hired an intern!! She is adorable, sweet, organized and a francophile so she fits right in! I can’t wait to share my new project with you. Zoey will be helping launch the new project. For those of you who stopped by wells street and braved the heat thank you so much!!

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French Skincare Favorites

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When I first moved to Paris in 2013 I didn’t pack any skincare products to keep my suitcase light and I also knew that there wasn’t a better place to buy skincare than Paris. So I quickly made friends with the ladies at the Pharmacie and over the months tried different products. These are my favorites tried and true. My medicine cabinet is filled with them. Now when I travel I leave extra room in my suitcase just for the reason to stock up on all these favorites. If I had to choose one thing it would be the lip balm by Cadalie.  I literally pack this in every one of my bags and if I don’t have it my lips get so dry. This adds instant moisture and is great in summer and winter!

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From Left to Right links to purchase here:

Clarins UV Plus Multi-Protection Sunscreen SPF 50/1.7 oz. • $42 • Saks Fifth Avenue

Avene Thermal Spring Water Spray • $14 • NET-A-PORTER.COM

Darphin Intral Cleansing Milk • $42 • Bloomingdale’s – use with cotton pad and don’t use water. I love this!

CAUDALÍE ‘Vinosource’ Overnight Recovery Oil • $52 • Nordstrom – use 6 drops every night after moisturizing

CAUDALÍE Moisturizing Mask • $39 • Nordstrom – once a week

CAUDALÍE Lip Conditioner • $12 • Nordstrom – can’t live without this!

CAUDALÍE Vinosource Riche Intense Moisture Rescue Cream • $39 • Nordstrom – everyday underneath moisturizer

CAUDALÍE Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet • $39 • Nordstrom – great for summer

CAUDALÍE Vinoperfect Radiance Serum • $79 • Nordstrom

 

 

 

California Roundup

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If you were following along on snapchat I packed a lot into my Cali trip in just a few short days! Here’s a little recap of where I went and some of my favorite places I recommend:

Beverly Hills Hotel 

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Staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel was definitely on my bucket list of hotels and it didn’t disappoint.

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Alfred’s Coffee in Melrose

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I finally tried Alfred’s Coffee which kept me up until 4am. I guess picked up an iced coffee at 7pm wasn’t the best decision. Alfred’s tea room closed earlier in the day. Here I am wearing my signature madewell bag that goes everywhere with me!

Beverly Wilshire 

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The Beverly Wilshire has been on my list for as long as I remember. My sister and I used to watch Pretty Woman and a few years ago on my first trip to LA we popped in for a quick visit. This time around I enjoyed time at the spa and lunch by the pool. The staff were amazing and I even got a grand tour of some of the suites!

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Across from the pool was blooming jasmine to the left and with the wind I could smell it all the way from my lounge chair. I ordered the bento box with 4 different salads and it was by far the best lunch I ate in Beverly Hills!

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A little fun in the sun (okay I was completely in the shade) wearing sunscreen before my spa time. I was recommended to have the Diamond Rose Facial and I must say it was amazing. I was so relaxed the entire time. I didn’t sleep well do to the coffee the night before and I fell asleep during my treatment. I came out with my skin glowing and a week later my skin still looks fantastic!

Newport Beach:

I spent the weekend with family in Newport beach. We even squeezed in a little hiking. Based on a recommendation we headed to Bear Flag Fish for tacos and they were by far one of my favorite tacos.

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A few French Finds along the way: I am giving a hint to my latest project but I was on the search for some Paris in LA spots and through some recommendations I found some.

Breakfast at Zinc Cafe and Market

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They had an adorable marketplace too that sold french salts, cookbooks, and dishes.

Maison Midi 

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I stumbled upon this shop while walking around Fashion Island and it was pretty much my dream come true. Everything French you could ever want including those bistro chairs from Parisian Cafes that I have been dying to find for so long. Maison Midi 

Bottega Louie 

I heard about Bottega Louie from friends on instagram and knew I had to check it out. Macarons are just about as French as you can get and this place has just about every flavor and color you could dream about. I tried salted caramel, vanilla, rose, peanut butter and jelly, and my new favorite mint chocolate chip. If you have ever tasted a thin mint girl scout cookie this was the same flavor!

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Four Seasons Los Angeles

My last stop on the tour was Four Seasons Los Angeles. Its not too far from the Beverly Wilshire but has a whole different feel. Its much smaller and intimate. I immediately felt at home in these new surroundings due to a very familiar thing in the lobby. Jeff Leatham who designs the George V famous florals in the lobby is back and just started doing the flowers. I had lunch by the pool and a tour of the new rooms they are about to debut. I have to keep the pictures to myself as the new rooms are still top secret. But I promise you will LOVE them!!

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That’s a wrap on my trip to California! A bit thank you to Grand Luxury for hosting me on the tour of Beverly Hills. I hope you enjoyed following along and if you have any favorites that I might have missed please comment below. I hope to be back again soon for more fun in the sun.

xo

 

Beverly Hills Hotel

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I talked earlier about creating content for luxury hotels and while I was in LA I was able to tour two and stay at one. Let’s just say staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel was a huge dream. I mean its absolutely gorgeous and every detail and thought of its pretty incredible. I walked into my room and I think I cried tears of happiness. The full tour was on snapchat. If you aren’t on you must start following. Its not just for teenagers but businesses create 24 hour stories.

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Its known as the pink palace and you can see why. Everything was pink!! Pink is my favorite color so I was in heaven…

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taking notes at the beverly hills hotel is a must. I didn’t want to forget a thing!

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My little terrace had a wall full of Jasmine and I was in absolute heaven with the smell!! I was so happy to find this after writing about missing the jasmine in Italy

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There are 12 acres that make up the property grounds of the Beverly Hills Hotel and it is all as pretty as this spot!

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Everything had the Beverly Hills Logo on it. Including the champagne! They left these cherries and chocolates for me to snack on and I couldn’t resist enjoying them on the jasmine filled balcony. Can you blame me?!

I am extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to visit The Beverly Hills Hotel with Grand Luxury this past weekend! If you get the chance to stay here you must book!

 

Out about in Beverly Hills

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I wanted to pack flats when heading to Beverly Hills but my friend reminded me we would be doing a lot of walking so I packed my favorite pair of sandals from JCrew I just purchased them before I left and I had my eye on them for a while. They went with me all around town as you can see.

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They are available through Jcrew here  but they are selling out super fast so I encourage you to run after them tonight! Other favorite shoes in the sale include: these heels and these wedges 

More about Beverly Hills soon! But I promise there is some fun photos to share I got a behind the scenes tour of the Beverly Wilshire hotel and even tried on the famous necklace from Pretty Woman!!

 

Breakfast at the Polo Lounge

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I am out in LA for a mixture of family time and work. I had the pleasure to stay at the Beverly Hills hotel and its everything I hoped it would be and more. That may sound cheesy but its so true! If you have been following along on snapchat you saw a lot of what I have been doing but if not here is a sneak peak. _MG_8362small

Breakfast started in the Polo Lounge. These are the most amazing pancakes of my life. Meyer lemon butter on blueberry ricotta pancakes.

The Polo Lounge is usually filled with people but if you wake up early enough to arrive when it first opens you can get a peak of it empty.

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Its that beautiful that you want to stay here all day. I highly recommend the McCarthy Salad and chocolate soufflé

More to come… xoxo

 

My Camera

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My camera

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The question I get asked most often is: If I want to buy a camera what should I buy?

I started with Canon years ago. For a DSLR you can either go Canon or Nikon. Its similar to Mac or PC. They are relatively the same but operate a little differently. I stick to Canon because I have loved my experience with them and I know how to use their cameras. I have never had a problem and will continue to use them in the future!

When I first started my business I had just lost my job and was on unemployment. I had very little money and I had to account for rent, insurance, and food on top of everything. I gave up taking taxis and going out drinks with friends. I saved up enough money for my first DSLR camera which was a Canon XSi. The camera came with two lenses a 18 – 55mm lens and a 55 – 250mm. Honestly this got me through a lot of my first years shooting. Its so light weight and it works really well. If you are looking for an entry level camera and not sure how to use the basics I highly recommend a canon in this series.

I held onto this camera for a while but eventually switched over and upgraded my camera and lenses. I shoot in RAW since I sell my work this helps keep my files in the highest resolution and quality for printing large. I currently shoot with a 70D and my favorite lenses are the 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm. These are all fixed lenses which means it’s a bit of a learning curve knowing where to stand when you are shooting your subject. There is no zoom so you have to step forward or back to get what you want in the frame. My next camera is going to be a 5d mark iii hopefully later this year.

As far as a camera bag I know there are some great ones on the market but I typically will throw everything my Longchamp or Madewell bag depending on the city. In Paris its so important to keep everything closed up for safety. I prefer not wearing a camera bag because it just isn’t my style. Until someone makes a fashion camera bag I will stick to these bags!

 

If you have any questions about cameras ask away!

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