Fall in New England is unlike anything else and can easily make you forget about impending winter. One of my favorite things to do is take an easy fall foliage road trip in Massachusetts. Luckily, the Mohawk Trail isn’t too far away and you can make a whole day of leaf peeping and site seeing on this two hour drive. Part of Route 2 and 2A, the 69 mile trail runs from Athol to Williamstown, the very last town in Massachusetts before New York. The best way to tackle the trail? Road trip style. Just get in your car and drive along this gorgeous road. You’ll see so many adorable farm stands, lookout areas and picture-perfect spots.
Here’s a list of must-see places along the Mohawk Trail for the ultimate easy fall foliage road trip in Massachusetts:
The Hairpin Turn – We started our road trip at the end of the trail and worked our way backwards, making stops along the way. As you near the end of the trail, you’ll approach the hairpin turn, a 180 degree turn that takes you down towards one of the last towns in Massachusetts, North Adams. From the hairpin turn, there’s a lookout spot to take in the panoramic views. For miles and miles, you can see rolling hills spotted with colorful trees. Take a peek through the lookout lens and see teeny, tiny houses sprawled below.
Shelburne Falls – Shelburne Falls is one of my favorite stops along the Mohawk Trail. It’s such a charming, sleepy little town. Its downtown is home to cafes with fresh, homemade eats, antique shops with their vintage goodies spilling out on the sidewalks and galleries and bookshops. It seriously looks (and feels) like something straight out of a Nicholas Sparks movie. If you’re stopping around lunch or dinner time, be sure to check out the West End Pub. It’s located right on the water and overlooks the colorful and gorgeous Bridge of Flowers. Also, the falafel is delish.
Bridge of Flowers – Flower lovers rejoice. The Bridge of Flowers is the focal point of downtown Shelburne Falls. The bridge is lined with greenery and florals, overlooking the water. Dahlia season is in full effect here, try to control yourself from picking these beautiful blooms.
Mohawk Trail State Forest – As you’re making your way down the Mohawk Trail, your drive will start to climb up. Once you hit Charlemont, the trail will start to wind and turn. The road is lined with autumn-hued trees hanging over the road, creating a beautiful canopy. On one side, you’ll see a river running. If you’re feeling adventurous (or just want to take in the fresh air), stop off to the side and take it all in. The air feels so crisp and the river is calming. If you’re looking to get in touch with your nature side, this part of the trail is it.
Arthur A. Smith Covered Bridge – This little abandoned bridge is off the beaten path. To me, it seems so quintessentially New England in the fall. It’s the perfect road trip photo op.
The perfect fall road trip uniform? Keep it simple and cozy, since you’ll be in and out of the car exploring all day. I paired my fave white v-neck tee (less than $10!) with a long, camel cardigan. My cardi is a go-to from last year, I’ve linked a few similar options here, here and here. These Hudson jeans are seriously so soft and feel like leggings, and the high waist gives them a little something special. The right shoes can take you any where and for this trip crisp white Adidas sneakers were a must.
Shop my look:
J.Crew Factory V-neck Tee – $9.50 (from $19.50!)
Long Cardigan (similar, plus comes in a few colors) – $79
Hudson Jeans – $195
Adidas Sneakers – $50 (from $65!)
Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody – $295
Where are your favorite places to view fall foliage? Happy leaf peeping!
1. Mark and Graham Daily Leather Tote $199 | 2. Sole Society Statement Earrings $20| 3. Sole Society Slip-on Bootie $89| 4. J.Crew Gingham One-shoulder Blouse $49| 5. ASOS Frill Shirt $29| 6. French Connection Ladder Jumper $69| 7. J.Crew Rollneck Sweater $69| 8. French Connection Bell Sleeve Top $78| 9. J.Crew Crop Pants $79| 10. New Balance 96 Sneaker $99
No one wants to use that drab computer bag that comes with your laptop, but why are cute options so hard to find? This navy option from Mark and Graham fits most standard laptop sizes, comes in pebbled leather and it can be monogramed! I’m going to get one with my soon-to-be initials.
Bold earrings can change your look dramatically. Dress up a plain tee and jeans or go all in on glam with these statement earrings and a sheath dress.
Nothing says fall like new boots. To freshen up your footwear try an unexpected color, like these suede and leather Sole Society Natasha booties in washed navy.
I love this frill shirt from ASOS (less than $30!) I’m also loving these dressier options: a bell sleeve tee (now 50% off) or this ruffle front blouse. Another on-trend option is this front wrap round & tie blouse with scallop detailing – perfect for date night or when you’re feeling extra girly. Another trend I’m loving, combining statement sleeves with a nod to nautical in this bell-sleeved navy stripe top.
Once it starts to cool down, I basically live in sweaters. This French Connection ladder-detail jumper is a good transition (and talking) piece. A must-have essential for fall and beyond is this J.Crew knit. I love how it combines the classic, chunky look with the modern slim fit. If you’re looking to splurge on a sweater, this French Connection fluted sleeve sweater is so gorgeous. I would seriously never take it off, ever.
Incorporate this fall color story into your every day work wear in move-with-you crop pants. J.Crew redefines “work pants” as comfy, flattering and you’ll want to wear beyond 9-5. For a more on-the-go look, I’m crushing on these casual joggers. I practically live in joggers come the weekend.
I’ve recently become quite the sneakerhead (aka definitely hopped on the sneaker-trend bandwagon). I love this suede, navy New Balance pair. I already own two pairs of New Balance sneakers and definitely plan on adding more to my collection. They’re seriously so comfy and I love how they look with a simple t-shirt + ripped denim or joggers for running around!
Which navy peony picks caught your eye and will be making an appearance in your fall wardrobe?
S & T
There are some amazing Boston wellness and fitness events coming up around the city and beyond. From yoga to bootcamp, grab some friends and enjoy workouts and mindfulness outdoors before the air gets too crisp!
Yoga Under the Stars, at The Street, led by YogaWorks, on The Mews. Flow outdoors with a live DJ, complimentary juice tasting from Juice Press, tea from DavidsTea, and swag giveaways. Guests are required to bring their own mat and are encouraged to sign up on Eventbrite to reserve their spot.
The Mews is located at 49 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA, between Shake Shack and lululemon.
Saturday, September 23rd, 10-5PM
Equinox is bringing together Boston’s community of wellness, fitness, nutrition and art in honor of its fifth Boston club, Equinox Seaport (opening October 17th) hosting, ‘The Block,’ a community event located at Seaport Common.
Guests can enjoy group fitness classes and head-to-head challenges featuring Equinox’s signature programming, rejuvenation areas with meditation set in a tranquil escape and interactive demos from Boston’s top health and wellness leaders, and urban gardening with Green City Growers. To register for a class, view the full schedule of events, and for more information please visit https://eqxtheblock.eventbrite.com.
Saturday, September 30th, 9-12PM
Charlestown’s Pier 6 Restaurant hosts an outdoor cycling brunch with B/SPOKE Cycling Studios, lululemon, Mother Juice and CHAMPY. Bikes, beats, bubbles and brunch. After your 45-minute ride (9 & 10:30AM) customize your mimosa with cold-pressed organic juices by Mother Juice and replenish with a family-style brunch. Tickets are $35.
The beginning of fall brings unpredictable weather, with crisp mornings to sunny afternoons. Luckily, there’s a shoe trend that makes transitional outfitting a breeze. Fall mules are making a big statement this season and beyond. The slip on shoe is so versatile and convenient, when you’re not quite ready to reach for your over-the-knee boots just yet. We all know how unpredictable Boston weather can be so they’ll be on heavy rotation for a few weeks (or months).
This weekend I kept it simple in black ripped denim and an oxford button-down (now less than $40!) and black leather mules by Sam Edelman (similar here, here and here). Keeping to my minimalist approach to dressing, the look was comfortable yet put together. I accessorized with this 70’s-inspired fringe Rebecca Minkoff cross body and a black-on-black watch. Even better? These mules passed the ‘let’s explore all afternoon’ test. I can’t wait to pair them with a cozy cardigan or a t-shirt dress and my fave suede motto jacket for date night.
On-the-go? Pair practical loafer style mules with comfy distressed jeans and a tee. Night out? Ditch your heels and swap in a pair of jeweled mules for a little something special. Feeling sassy? Accessorize your outfit with leopard print or tassel slip ons. A more feminine take on mules? These bow-front blush ones couldn’t be more gorgeous.
Check out even more favorites, all under $100, here.
The new fall “it” shoe is the slip on mule and we’ve rounded up best fall mules under $100. I admit, it took me a hot minute to get on board with this trend. When everyone started lusting over this Gucci version, I just couldn’t bring myself to spend that much money on a shoe that might not be in style through the 2018 season. Whether you’re looking to add a pop of color or texture to your fall wardrobe, the mules here will do just the trick without breaking the bank. So go ahead and try on the trend.
1. Charles David Grace Slip On Mule – $79
4. Dolce Vita Loafer Inspired Metallic Mules – $56 (from $100)
5. Freda Slip On Mules – $42 (from $85 +15% off if you sign up for emails)
I just got back from a quick trip to San Diego and we got to explore some of the most instagram (2017 for photogenic) worthy places around town, from vegan restaurants to the bluest beaches. I’ve rounded up a few of my absolute faves here, let me know where to visit next trip in the comments!
Holy Matcha is a pink and green cafe with wallpaper (can I get this installed in my house please?) as good as it’s matcha based drink concoctions. I tried the iced horacha matcha and it was a sweet yet spicy treat that was amazing. Beyond matcha, they have dairy and GF soft serve and the usual suspects like avocado toast. A morning must-stop.
Civico 1845 is nestled in San Diego’s italian neighborhood, little Italy and one of the only restaurants in the city to offer a full vegan menu. Seeing that it had absolutely awesome reviews, we had to go. Dining without vegan friends is always a challenge, but not here. The atmosphere was very low-key, lots of white and black, with beautiful painted tiles. The vegan menu was surprisingly robust and I even got my non-vegan family to try the caprese (rice milk mozzerella), to their delight. For my entree I had the fusilli alla bolognese with seitan ragout (pictured above) and I couldn’t put my fork down. It was so hearty and filling. A lot of times vegan meals leave me feeling unsatisfied, not this one. I’d fly back to town, just for this, a seat on their patio and a good glass of wine.
Cafe Gratitude is a small plant-based food chain that I wish I could franchise in Boston-you feel so light an airy just walking in. From smoothies to kombucha on tap, this place has everything to make your vegan heart flutter. The menu was overwhelming in a good way, with so many options I didn’t know what to do with myself. Kasey and I ended up ordering two items we knew would be amazing and sharing. First up was “liberated”, raw pesto kelp noodles. Honest to god, I could have had four orders of this and not have had enough, they were SO good. We also shared the “gracious”, a summer salad bowl. Yum, yum, yum.
Pigment might be the most beautiful shop I have ever visited, every nook and cranny was perfectly curated with “I have to have it” items, in the most beautiful colors. The build your own terrarium bar was an absolute game changer. Pick your vessel, sands, stones, plants and assemble on site. How amazing is that? From cacti to birthday cards and party accessories to cook books, this gift shop is a must stop.
Scripps Pier isn’t technically in San Diego but it’s close enough, so I’m including it here. Located in La Jolla, this pier separates a popular public beach and the coastal reserve. On one side, surfers and families and on the other huge rock formations you have to climb around on to get by. Worth the walk from the public beach and the drive from San Diego.
3118 University Avenue
1845 India Street
1980 Kettner Boulevard
3801 30th Street
8602 La Jolla Shores Drive
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