My tried-and-true combo, no matter the season, is always a (minimalist) simple tee, half-tucked into denim. I’m always wanting easy, neutral pieces that can be worn over and over again no matter what the season is and black and white items do exactly that.
This voluminous Free People t-shirt is one of my favorites, it’s so easy to style in different ways. For a relaxed look that will streamline your shape, tuck the front of the tee into high waisted jeans and pair with your favorite accessories. Feeling trendy? Side tie the t-shirt, keep accessories to a minimum and let the knot do the work.
This week, I paired the comfy, simple tee with high-rise white denim and summery black leather espadrilles. White denim is typically reserved for summer months only, but we firmly believe in winter whites too. The contrast between black and white makes my heart sing.
Here’s to embracing the classic, minimalist jeans and tee combo.
Free People Tee – $58 (comes in a few colors!)
Madewell High-Rise Jeans – $125
Soludos Espadrille Flats (similar) – $41.95
Now that you’ve nailed down where to stay and what to do, in our London travel guide part one, it’s time for the foodie and shopaholic in you to indulge. Read below for more insider tips on London travel.
When hopping back across the pond, I had my tried and true places to eat and favorite streets and stores to shop at. With a city and people that are so diverse, London has everything to offer from luxe to local flare. Most “top” restaurants book far in advance so be sure to plan ahead! My guy and I opted for a more relaxed, like-a-local feel. As a tip, these kinds of places also tend to be more budget friendly which is always a plus when traveling to an expensive city. There’s nothing that makes you feel more British (even if just for a second) then grabbing a quick bite at a tucked away cafe then slipping out for endless shopping.
I am total foodie. One of my favorite things about London is its amazing food. Contrary to popular belief – the food is so delicious. Since London is so vast and diverse, you can find foods from all over the world. Have a craving tonight? London can satisfy it.
Borough Market – Hands down my favorite place in the city of London (which really says a lot about me). Borough is a foodie’s heaven on earth. Located right by the Shard, you’ll find to-order food, local cheeses and wine, homemade chocolates and blooming flowers. Vendors from around the city set up shop with fresh ingredients. My favorite stands include anything featuring curry (guilty pleasure), veggie burgers, falafel and freshly squeezed fruit juices. My guy and I visited Borough Market at least three times in our one week stay.
Camden Market – Say hello to foodie heaven number two. While Borough offers a ton of exotic flavors, Camden offers your classic go-tos. Think: the cheesiest Mac n Cheese with pesto, mozzarella and dried tomatoes. They also offer global flavors with Polish Pierogis and crepes. Camden Market doubles as a vintage + souvenir hot spot on top of its amaze food. Stroll through the numerous stalls and find jewels, leather goods, London trinkets and more.
Montparnasse Cafe – This adorable, French cafe is located in the heart of my old neighborhood: Kensington. It’s tucked away down a few side streets which makes it all the more charming. Soak up the calm, quiet (and posh-ness) over a pain au chocolat.
Bread Ahead – There are donuts then there are Bread Ahead donuts. Find their quaint shop in Covent Garden or head to Borough Market. The donuts are seriously so fluffy and flavorful. I’m a personal fan of the chocolate-filled one (obviously). If you’re less of a sweet tooth, opt for their fresh baked breads.
Homeslice – Finding Home Slice is half the fun. You’ll find this restaurant tucked underneath flowers and vines and in between vibrant, colorful buildings. Neal’s Yard feels like a little escape in the heart of London. The relaxed ambiance is perfect for a midday sightseeing break.
Da Mario – Located in Kensington, Da Mario, has to be one of London’s best kept secrets. Princess Diana used to take Harry and Will to this family-owned Italian restaurant, there are pictures of them inside! Upon entering you’re immediately transported to sunny Italy. Pair the endless pizza and pasta options with some vino and voila! Who ever said London had bland food clearly never made it here.
Now, it’s time for the real good stuff (let’s be serious).
Harrods – THE holy grail of shopping in London. Every luxe good you’ve ever lusted over can be found at Harrods. That Chanel you’re crushing on? Or maybe that Stella McCartney? Check and check. Just for fun, visit each floor and be amazed by the selection. You’ll find designer looks and pieces displayed – like works of art. If you’re looking for a few budget-friendly options, their food hall is amazing and truly gourmet. Plus, find the perfect souvenirs at Harrods’ tea + coffee or chocolate (yes a whole room) rooms.
Regent Street & Oxford Street – When I think of London and shopping, Regent and Oxford Street pop into my mind. Stand on the edge of the sidewalk and watch a red bus zoom by. Every notable retailer has set up shop on these streets. Finally, you can binge buy all those Topshop items you’ve had your eye on for months. For an authentic, British department store feel visit Liberty London. I could die over just the florals.
Selfridges – Basically the London version of Nordstrom. I love how modern + updated the store feels versus the classic, polished Harrods. Be sure to visit their food hall for a tasty bite or some British goods to bring back across the pond.
Portobello Road – For vintage vibes and the perfect photo op, head to Portobello Road in Notting Hill. The street is teaming with pastel houses and thrifty goodies. If you’re looking for original and antique-y home decor, Portobello is your place.
Covent Garden – I love Covent Garden for casual strolling and shopping. Take in the surroundings and sounds as you stroll through the open air market. Covent Garden offers local vendors and retailers. Find a handmade print or visit Jo Malone for a new scent. Time your visit before dinner so you can grab a bite at the numerous surrounding restaurants!
Here’s to hoping you (and I) make it across the pond some time very soon. Happy eating and shopping!
You guys know how much we love gingham around here and this gingham bow tie top from Primark takes the cake! This top is one of those very cute from the front, but way cuter from the back tops that’s so easy to dress up or down. Pair it with shorts and sandals for during the day and elevate it with wedges and white or black denim for date night.
For a recent trip to Newbury Street (one of my favorite places) I paired it with minimalistic black Celine accessories, J.Crew wedges and my favorite pair of Joe’s Jeans. Lady and I worked up a sweat shopping and cooled down with a sweet treat at plant-based Fomu’s pop up shop. We had the lemon pistachio with a gluten free cone, and it was SO, SO good!
Primark Gingham Bow Tie Top – $15
Joe’s The Icon Flawless Ankle Jeans – $99 (from $179)
Celine Audrey Sunnies – $284 (from $450)
Celine Phantom Cabas Tote – $1,955 (from $2,300)
J.Crew Canvas Espadrille Wedges – $59 (from $118)
Mark your calendar: The next Open Newbury event, with no car access and lots of awesome experiences and offers from retailers is September 10th. Make sure to visit SKIN SPA New York for wow brow treatments and chair massages. Even better, get a voucher for a $39 sunless tan or $59 choice of facial, microdermabrasion or power peel.
I recently attended my first-ever Barry’s class and to say it was the best workout ever, is an understatement. It combines intervals with strength training to lean and tone. Not only is it an intense workout, it’s fun. I love the atmosphere at Barry’s: lights down low and music blaring.
A bootcamp intervals style workout can sound intimidating. Going into the class, I’ll admit I was so nervous. Not only did I not know what to expect but I didn’t want to completely embarrass myself. I’ve rounded up some survival tips to help you get through your first Barry’s:
- HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! This one is super important. Make sure you drink plenty of water before you head to class. Between the cardio and strength training, you are going to sweat it out.
- Bring a friend for moral/motivational support and laughs! I brought a friend along and it made me feel so much more comfortable. We pushed each other through the workout and after the fact, laughed about how challenging (but fun) it was. We survived together!
- Be sure to stretch after class (again) once you’re home. You’re going to be sore, no doubt, but stretching will help your muscles bounce back so you’re ready for round two.
- Eat a protein packed snack or meal after. Don’t let that all that hard work go to waste! Fuel up right at Barry’s with their yummy, healthy smoothies. I’ll take anything blueberries or almond butter, please.
- Go at your own pace but don’t forget to push yourself. The instructors are super encouraging but realize everyone goes at different speeds. Don’t think about those around you, just focus on you and let the music keep your pace (the Drake and Justin Bieber tunes are a huge help). It’s your time so HAVE FUN!
Photo Credit: The Red Room at Barry’s — Andrew Wang
I think I may have found the most perfect summer dress: this gingham shirtdress from J.Crew Factory. Not only is it in my two favorite colors, black and white (no surprise there) it’s less than $50! Right now, its $39.50 to be exact!
Once summertime hits, I practically live in dresses. I am especially in love with how effortless, comfortable and easy to dress up or down, depending on your plans this dress is. I paired this gingham shirtdress (also available in a variety of solids) with brown Sam Edelman slides for a casual look to run around town in. I kept the accessories simple with a grey Kendra Scott necklace, black leather strap watch, and I can’t forget my tortoise, reflective sunnies (under $60)!
J.Crew Gingham Shirtdress – $39.50
Topshop Cross Sandals (very similar) – $35
As an overly stressed bride-to-be, I can’t recommend The White Box, online wedding planning service, enough. Consider the founders, Carrie and Michelle your new besties, with a combined 15 years of experience in the wedding industry, they are changing the way we plan weddings go-forward.
Everyone always tells newly engaged gals to enjoy this time. I’m always smiling when I hear this, but am totally thinking, “How can you enjoy planning when venues get snatched up within hours of viewing and vendors pricing continue to skyrocket?”. With everyone trying to out-pinterest each other, you’ve got to do what’s best for you. The White Box can help you navigate the process, stress-free.
How The White Box works is easy, and the best part is that it can be done at your convenience, all online and over the phone.
- Share, share, share: fill Carrie and Michelle in on your vision, wish list and budget. Add them to your secret Pinterest board, send them things you absolutely don’t want included and fill them in on any family drama (kidding, but they are so easy to talk to you-you just might!).
- Carrie and Michelle make magic happen. In just about two weeks you’ll receive your Little White Box delivered to your door.
What exactly is inside The White Box you ask? Everything from a budget breakdown, color suggestions, sample invitations, ideas for rentals, a run of show, sample menus, exclusive discount codes and samples. After you dive into your special delivery, don’t forget to sign into the digital version of your account and use this wealth of information to bring to vendor meetings (to keep them honest) and keep yourself organized.
The best part, it’s just $299. Yep, you read that right, just $299! **Until 7/14 use code “LIKESOPRETTY2017” to score your box for $149!
Carrie and Michelle have been absolutely amazing in answering any and all questions I have had along the way, beyond being on team bride, this wedding-savvy duo are truly a delight to work with. I actually feel guilty having not shared these gals and The White Box sooner with you!
Summer doormats are an easy, breezy way to refresh the outside of your house and welcome guests to your summer gatherings in style. I’m a huge fan of switching out these mats seasonally not only for a style statement, but because I am a big “WIPE YOUR FEET!” kinda gal. Right now, I love adding a little color to your entrance and or some sass with a cute saying. Here are some of my favorites at various prices, buy one or a few!
1. Hello Sunshine doormat – $16.99
2. Watermelon doormat – $35
4. Colorful pineapple doormat – $35
5. Cute Shoes doormat – $45
6. Pineapple pattern doormat – $10.39
Summer shopping kicks off this weekend in Boston and beyond! You don’t have to go far to have an amazing experience thanks to local shopping centers. Make sure to check out these savings events, special perks and unique opportunities to grab your girlfriends and make a day of it.
Simon Premium Outlets in New England will celebrate Memorial Day weekend with the Memorial Day Super Sale from Friday, May 26th – Monday, May 29th, offering even MORE savings throughout the holiday weekend!
9 to 9PM – Friday, Saturday, Monday
10 to 8PM – Sunday
- Valet Services available in front of Burberry from 11 to 6PM Saturday – Monday
- Lube2Go wash and car detail service onsite by appointment only. Book appointments here.
- Reserved Parking for Veterans, Breast Cancer Survivors, Family/Expectant mothers
Boston’s largest outdoor market is in full swing, with the SoWa Open Market now bringing 100+ artisans, 50+ local farmers and food makers, a dozen iconic food trucks, craft beers, live music, and good vibes every weekend from 10 to 4PM through October.
As part of the weekly beer garden and food truck bazaar, attendees will be able to enjoy themed dishes from food truck favorites on seven special weekends throughout the summer alongside tasty beers and ciders from top local breweries.
To kick off the themed block party series by Eat Boston, more than 20 food trucks will gather at the SoWa Open Market on Saturday, May 27th and Sunday, May 28th for a Backyard BBQ followed up by additional themed block parties throughout the summer, including:
The Boston V Party
Saturday, June 10
Be part of Boston’s first vegan food and beer festival during the SoWa Open Market.
Saturday, June 24 & Sunday, June 25
Have a taste of the world’s greatest finger food no matter if you like hard shell, soft shell, corn or flour – taste them all!
Boston Lobster Party
Saturday, July 8 & Sunday, July 9
After 7 years, the Boston Lobster Party is back to celebrate the New England specialty.
Oyster, Oyster Block Party
Saturday, August 5 & Sunday, August 6
Shuck’em, suck’em, and slurp’em down.
Grilled Cheese & Mac and Cheese & Steak and Cheese & Beer Festival
Saturday, September 9 & Sunday, September 10
When the worlds of cheese and beer collide. Don’t miss this exclusive festival!
Saturday, October 14 and Sunday, October 16
The Street will once again host Summertime at The Street, a summer-long, complimentary series of outdoor events. This year, Summertime at The Street will feature over 100 events, ranging from acoustic performances to cardio and yoga classes to kid-friendly activities. All events are free, open to the public, and held on The Green at The Street.
Saturday June 3
11:30 to 2:30PM
Every Sunday, June 4 to October 1
Each month, The Street will partner with a different yoga studio for Yoga on The Green, with each instructor bringing their distinct style to the class. In the event of rain, classes will be held indoors at lululemon.
Sundays, June 11 to October 1
12 to 2PM
Every Tuesday, June 6 to September 26
Thursdays, June 8 to September 28
6 to 8PM
Traveling across the pond? Natasha’s got your London travel guide with her first-hand experience.
Two years ago, I was lucky enough to live in London. I would set out every day on a mission to explore and discover something new – even if it was just an adorable tree-lined side street or bakery tucked-away from the hustle and bustle. Living in the heart of the city, I tried to integrate myself as a local as best as I could (one of my goals was to fool people into thinking I was a true Londoner, hah!).
When my guy and I hopped the pond recently for a return trip, we wanted to experience as much of the city as we possibly could. We had our favorite spots from living there to see again, savoring the city’s diverse and historic sights, smells and sounds. Although you can check off most tourist attractions within a few days, we decided to take eight days so we could really soak in the city (and avoid crowds as much as possible). Big Ben’s hometown is really big so make sure to have a game plan or itinerary to ensure you see as much as you can! That being said, I don’t think you could ever possibly see everything the city has to offer but here’s a start:
When I lived in London, I lived in the posh neighborhood or “borough” of Kensington and Chelsea. The streets are lined with black & white Georgian facades. It’s also home to Will and Kate’s London address, Kensington Palace, and home to the Beckhams. Although it’s a little quieter than the bustling Soho area, I love how serene and charming it feels. Yet, you’re a quick stroll to High Street which is beaming with top British retailers and just seconds away from Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. I may be biased, but this borough has so much to offer – from cafes, to little shops, and museums. I could get lost strolling for hours on hours.
Park International Hotel – We stayed here on our most recent trip and loved the convenience of being a two minute walk from the tube which would take you to the heart of the city in 15 minutes or less! The hotel provides you with a free phone which you can use unlimited data on, perfect for google maps and exploring. Even though we pride ourselves in knowing our way around the city, it definitely came in handy!
Airbnb – For our next stay, I am itching to rent a flat! I loved living in London and even though hotels are so convenient, I want the feeling of believing I’m a Londoner even if just for a few days.
Soho – If you’re looking for nightlife, endless food options and a theatre or music scene, this is the place to be!
South Bank – Gorgeous views of almost every part of the city. Home to the London Eye, The Shard, Tower Bridge and my absolute favorite market: Borough. If you’re looking to splurge on a place to stay, check out the Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard, the 365-view is so worth it.
Regardless of where you stay, make sure you’re a few seconds away from a tube stop. The tube is London’s subway system – it is seriously so efficient, clean and can get you just about anywhere!
I could give hundred and hundreds of recommendations on what to do when visiting London. But the most important thing to note is: find what it is you want to see and love to do and tailor your itinerary to that.
Big Ben & Westminster – This one goes without saying. Even though you think you know what to expect, the size and intricate detail of Big Ben + the houses of Parliament will leave you speechless. Before you cross Westminster Bridge, be sure to get an iconic red telephone booth picture. Did someone say London calling?
London Eye – From the pod Big Ben and the red buses driving by look so small and far away. This is one tourist attraction I would do again and again. There’s something so magical about seeing the city from up high.
Tower Bridge – If you’re a history buff, be sure to check out the Tower of London (the crown jewels stole my heart). Since we did this on our last trip, we decided to bypass this time around. Instead, we strolled across the Tower Bridge and took in the view from the South Bank.
Buckingham Palace – Be sure to stop by and see if you can sneak a peek at Her Majesty. Take a stroll through St. James’s Park and pop into Fortnum & Mason for classic afternoon tea.
Parks – Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park are on my must-do and must-see lists. I love grabbing a coffee and people watching for hours. On the other end of the city head to Regent’s Park for beautiful blooms and greenery (and the zoo!). If you’re looking for a panoramic view of the city, stroll to the top of Primrose Hill. Grab some lunch on your way over, pick a spot and try to point out buildings and sights.
Boris Bikes (or Santander Cycles) – OK guys, seriously, this is one of my absolute favorite things to do in the city. My guy and I have done this both when living in London and on our return trip. It only costs two pounds to rent a cycle and you can grab one at almost every point in the city (we haven’t mustered up the courage to take these through the city yet). I recommend taking these out on a sunny day in Hyde Park – stop by the Prince Albert Memorial, the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, the Italian Gardens and Serpentine Gallery.
Museums – London has a countless number of museums and the best part is: they’re totally free! My favorites is the Natural History Museum (plus, the architecture is stunning). Look familiar? Night At the Museum was filmed here! Also check out the Victoria & Albert for fashion, the Tate Modern for modern art and the British Museum to see the famous Rosetta Stone and it’s iconic white, modern aesthetic.
The Shard – I can’t recommend this attraction enough. The views are unparalleled, a breathtaking, totally clear, panoramic view of the city. I love going up around sunset and staying to see the sky slip away while the city turns into a hundred twinkling lights below. Grab some bubbly and enjoy the views.
Sky Garden – The views up here are gorgeous too. My favorite thing about viewing platforms is that each one offers a unique angle of the city. The mood is super mellow and laid back with soft music, the clinking of glasses from the bar and the hum of an espresso machine. Did I mention it’s free?
See a show in the West End – I am a total musical junkie. Last time I was in London I saw Wicked (my all-time favorite) and the Phantom of the Opera. So this time, I made it a mission to see another show. London is known for it’s theater – shows are constantly playing and you can score tickets at amazing prices. In a true British fashion, we journeyed to the TKTS booth in Leicster Square the day before to see which shows were available. We ended up seeing Aladdin (a childhood dream come true).
Wander – Although this isn’t necessarily a “place” – it’s one of my favorite things to do, especially in London. There are so many neighborhoods, side streets, boutiques and shops to get lost in. You can learn and see so much if you simply just take it all in. In my opinion, there’s no better way to really get to know a city than exploring on foot.
Shop looks from the post and see my fave look for city sight seeing:
What are your must-dos when visiting London? I’d love to hear suggestions for next time. Stay tuned for Part Two of the London Travel Guide: foodie heaven and a shopping addict’s dream.
Two of my favorite things just collided and the results are so delicious. Local favorite Boston restaurant, Toro‘s chef Ken Oringer has partnered with sweetgreen to bring Boston “The Toro Bowl” through the end of May. I tried it this past weekend at MarketStreet and I honestly couldn’t hold off taking pix (explaining the stock imagery above!) before I dove in. The vegetarian-friendly recipe is made with quinoa, hot chickpeas, kale (I swapped for spinach), roasted potatoes, roasted corn + tomatoes + jalapenos, local radishes, basil, feta (I swapped for tofu), lemon squeeze, Sweetgreen hot sauce and charred jalapeno yogurt dressing. The portion is so filling you might even have leftovers, if you can stop yourself from eating it!
You’ve got to meet AukaLife, all-natural, organic superfood blends, individually packed to enhance your meals, created by a Bostonian, Lauren Lampert. There’s a lot of information out there about what we put into our bodies and how it affects our physical and mental wellness. Lauren’s mission with AukaLife is to take away the questions, by combining a few targeted, effective, and natural ingredients with single serving portions for you to take on the go!
DETOX – moringa, matcha, spirulina, wheatgrass, barley grass, flaxseed
ENERGY – maca, bee pollen, flaxseed, coconut palm
RECOVERY – cacao, pea protein, hemp protein, maca, walnut
ANTIOXIDANT – acai powder, goji powder, turmeric, chia seeds, beet root powder, camu camu
I loved Detox and Antioxidant (pictured above) and used both of them in my morning and post-yoga smoothies for an extra pick me up!
Support her launch here: https://igg.me/at/AukaLife