travels abroad:: london

Ah, here we are almost a month since I left for London. I have to be completely honest, I fell hard for London. In a totally, unexpected-head-over-heels-what-am-I-doing kind of way. For the 10 days following my return to America, I was convinced I was going to move to the UK. I looked up jobs in London. I researched cost of living (hello!). I was so smitten with this city, and who am I kidding, I’m still smitten with that city.

Travels Abroad-London-14

But I did snap back to reality. I remembered all of the things I love about home, and how much I would miss this place. London has a huge chunk of my heart, and you can bet I’ll be return one day soon, but for now, it remains one of my favorite memories of my 23 years on this earth.

Travels Abroad-London Travels Abroad-London-2 Travels Abroad-London-3 This is the London I love most. That brick! Travels Abroad-London-4 Travels Abroad-London-5 Hello, beautiful shade of blue.  Travels Abroad-London-6 Do you see that? That right there is a sunny day in London. Somehow, we ended up with a lot of them :) Travels Abroad-London-7 Travels Abroad-London-8 Travels Abroad-London-9 Travels Abroad-London-10 Travels Abroad-London-11 Travels Abroad-London-12 Normally, I’m terrified of heights. But who says no to the London Eye? It was breathtaking. I can’t recommend it enough. And not even scary! or like that scary…. Travels Abroad-London-13
Travels Abroad-London-15 Travels Abroad-London-16 Travels Abroad-London-17 Travels Abroad-London-18 Because we stayed on American time the whole trip, we ended up watching a lot of late night British movies. Notting Hill was at the top of our list ;) Where’s Julia? Travels Abroad-London-19 Travels Abroad-London-20 So that’s London.  Somehow I took 50X more photos of Paris than London which totally bewilders me, but I guess I was in the moment more in London? London, I love you. I’ll be saying it forever.

To wrap this lovely trip series up, tomorrow I’ll finally post our itinerary and some trip tips. I can’t believe it’s been a whole month.

Have any of you fallen for London like I did? Dare I say, more than Paris?



travels abroad:: paris part two

girls tripI know Paris is the city of love, but I’m not convinced that needs to be romantic love. Traveling through the city with my best friends was a dream. Plus, they let me cheese it up the whole time ;)

IMG_4052 IMG_4060.jpg Ok confession time-something about seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time didn’t totally smack me in the face the way seeing the Louvre for the first time did. It was so grand. It didn’t seem real.  IMG_4087 paris at sunset IMG_4097 IMG_4100 IMG_4101 IMG_4103 I like buildings :)paris streetsIMG_4106paris skies Do you see these skies?? We got so lucky with weather, I could cry thinking about the warm sun on the Paris streets. IMG_4154paris

 You can catch up on my Travels Abroad series with Part One of Paris here and as I prepared for this trip of a dream hereherehere,  herehere, and here. 

travels abroad: paris part one

Paris, you’re a dream. Flying into London, then hopping onto a train to Paris was a whirlwind. The whole time my thoughts were rotating between, “I cannot believe this is happening,” “This is not real,” and “How can one city be so beautiful.” Pure denial the whole time.

Even looking back, my brain questions the reality of this trip. It was a blur, a beautiful, beautiful blur. I’m so grateful for the pictures. The many, many pictures. The original plan was to do one post for Paris and two for London, but after looking through my camera, I have 3X the amount of images from my weekend trip. It totally blows my mind that happened, but I suppose it’s a pretty big testament to the beauty that city contains.

paris photosparis photosparis photos paris photos paris flowers paris doors paris doors paris doors paris doorsI did some serious crushing on doors. Paris has the most beautiful, ornate doors!paris streets paris flowers paris photos lock bridgeI was cheesin’ and being a total cornball. J and I made a lock before I left to put on the bridge. paris lock bridge paris lock bridge paris lock bridgeI’m telling you-one big ball of lock bridgeIf you squint your eyes and look really hard you can find the “J&S” among these lovers
parisBackground lady totally got in on the photo action
paris booksparis chapelparis streets paris streets
paris streets I thought this was totally adorable, until I figured out it translates to “Love is Dead.” Lovely.

Next week, I’m going to recap our actual itinerary because Bri is a tour guide genius, and I think it’s worth sharing everywhere we went and what days. I’ll do one for London and Paris. This trip was ideal because it was planned so perfectly.
paris streets

You can catch up on my Travels Abroad series as I prepared for this trip of a dream hereherehere,  here, here, and here. 

weekend in Paris


As we speak, it’s after midnight in London. I’m snuggled in bed giving my feet a glorious break from traipsing around the most beautiful city in the world. Despite my chronic foot pain, my whole heart is so happy.

Experiencing this weekend in Paris was surreal, an out of body experience. I had to share some iPhone pics before a full post next week. These make me too happy to not share.

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travels abroad:: au revior

Travel Tips and Tricks

Today is the big day. Rather, tonight is the big night. But either way, I’m waking up in London tomorrow! I’m hoping I’ll have enough wi-fi to pop in and share some details from my travels. Either way, there will be a full recap when I get home in 10 days.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a few of my favorite links and sources that I’ve been using religiously in preparation for this trip. I gathered these links for the past 6 months, so hopefully, this is a good starting point for any of you wanderlust-ers who are as clueless as me :)

Au Voir!





travels abroad:: packing my carry on bag

Travel Carry-On

Tomorrow night, I’m officially hopping on the red eye and heading across the pond. It’s super surreal, and not an ounce of it has actually sunk in yet.

I’m rarely great at packing-it typically involves throwing possible outfit combination in my entire closet into a duffle bag. This time, however, I had huge FOOP (fear of over packing-duh). To say I was well prepared for packing is putting it lightly. I have 10 days worth of suitcase packed and ready to go WITH EXTRA ROOM. It’s very strange and I keep reviewing my packing list with anyone who will listen to figure out what on earth I am forgetting. (seriously-what am I forgetting??)

I’m a bit more confident with my carry on. The only other thing I wish I could squeeze in there would be a down comforter (8.5 hour flights are not a thing of comfort).

Travel Carry-On 2

My carry-on flight essentials (aka survival of across the pond travel):::

Compact Umbrella // Target :: Because I’m flying to Lon-don where we know rain is a guarantee. Zero chance I plan to dig through my suitcase for this puppy.

Sunglasses // Target :: What if it’s sunny? Ok, really this is to hide my face after I inevitably sleep zero hours on my red-eye flight

Magazines Galore // Self & Real Simple :: I rarely buy magazines anymore, but love them on flights.

Lip Balm // EOS :: I’m an EOS addict, although any lip balm would suffice after a long flight.

Mini Perfume // Daisy by Marc Jacobs :: Okay, I’m partly bringing this because that mini bottle is so stinking cute. But also, I’m hoping on a plane at 9:45 PM on a Thursday, arriving around noon on Friday, and then, spending the day running through London in attempts to catch a train to Paris. Let’s be real-I’ll need this.

Mini Toothbrush // Colgate Wisp :: See above.

Gum // Trident :: Ya know, basics. Ears pop. Gum helps. Also with the whole sleepy breath thing.

Headphones :: I’ve been listening to Cutting for Stone on tape after failing to physically read it for January book club. In anticipation of plane insomnia, I’m hoping I can finish it at last. (I’m really making it sound like it’s a terrible book, but it’s amazing beyond words. My mind has just been racing lately, and I’ve been too distracted to look at words. Pathetic, I know)

Charger :: I’m still a little unsure about whether or not my phone will stay alive during the plane ride. With the help of the converter, I want to be fully prepared to charge this puppy once we land.

iPad :: Can you tell I’m a child that needs to be entertained? In case I get bored listening to books on tape, I’ll be prepared with a few iBooks and TV shows. Seriously, I’m a kid.

Passport // Case by J.Crew :: Well, hoping this one is obvious for you folks. I also printed copies in color in case (insert terrible travel scenario here).

Eye Mask // Fabulous Furs :: Praying that this + Melatonin will knock me out. I need darkness.

Fruit and KIND bar :: I’m always, always hungry, and I guarantee that on-board vegetarian meal will not suffice.

Touch-Up Make-up //Case from Target dollar section :: I don’t plan on putting a full face of make up on when I land, but ideally, I can throw some lipstick and mascara on my face for my first day in Europe. Or our flight will be delayed, and I’ll be running around like a crazy person trying to catch the train to Paris without a lick of make-up. Probably the latter.

Travel Notebooks // Rifle Paper Co :: I touched on these two weeks ago, but I plan to take these with me everywhere for my 10 days in Europe. Doubtful they’ll be so pretty for my flight back ;)

So tell me, am I missing anything else (other than a giant blanket)? Or maybe don’t tell me.

PS: If you notice above, I went for the Forever 21 carry-on bag I talked about here. I chose it for budgetary reasons, but I really couldn’t be more happy with it. It’s perfect size for both my carry-on and weekend trip to Paris. I’ll be sure to report how it holds up!

You can catch up on my Travels Abroad series as I prepare for London here, here, here, and here