Weekend Girls Trip || Austin + Chicago

AUSTIN

Where: Austin
By: Taylor Lopez and Jacob Ishimoto

Stay:
Kimber Modern Boutique Hotel
Driskill Hotel
San Jose Hotel
Hotel St. Cecilia

Eateries:
Patio Dinner: Jacoby’s
Restaurant with a view: Oasis
Amys ice cream is always a must in austin (6th and lamar)
Tapas -Malaga
Laid-back lunch: South Austin Trailor Park and Eatery on south 1st
Yellow Jacket Social Club
Rainey Street
Qui
Franklin BBQ - Declared by Bon Appétit as best barbecue restaurant in America

Shopping:
The Domain for designer goods
South Congress for locally made goods
By George
Allens Boots - you’re in Texas,  you need a pair of boots

Get Your Drink On:
Downtown : Second Bar + Kitchen or Péché
Wineries: Driftwood Estates or The Duchman
Whislers
Rainy Street
East Side Showroom

Things To Do:
Violet crown cinema is an awesome theater downtown or the very famous Alamo Drafthouse
Outdoors: Hamilton pool (little outside austin) Barton Springs, Zilker park, run or bike around town lake, kayak on town lake, Mount Bonnell viewing platform or usually a little less crowded place to view lake austin: doesn’t have a name, From mopac south go 360 and past 360 bridge and it’s on the left..park and climb, boating on lake austin

 chicago
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Where: Chicago
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Stay:
Public — boutique hotel feel but less-than-boutique-hotel prices. Also has a great cozy bar/lounge, The Library, and their restaurant, The Pump Room, is one of my favorites in the city (there’s really something for everyone there and the atmosphere is lovely)
Thompson — you can’t go wrong with a Thompson hotel, plus ours is very new so there’s always something exciting going on
Radisson Blu — ideal if you’re coming in the summer…their roof deck / pool is unbelievable. I don’t even know of another hotel in Chicago that has an outdoor pool so to have one as nice as this is pretty awesome. Plus their restaurant, Filini, has some of the most delicious Italian food.  Everything is imported and authentic — they even have a wheel of parmesan in the middle of the restaurant that they slice fresh and serve with bread before your meal.
Eateries:
Tanta  — I go out to eat a lot and I always have great food, but it’s rare where I literally freak out over something…and one of those freak outs was at Tanta. I’ve never had Peruvian food before (and that’s what this restaurant is all about) — everything is super fresh, really flavorful (also…great cocktails) and it’s just a good balance of a fun atmosphere with unbelievable food.
Momotaro  — another freak-out place (I actually just tried it for the first time a few weeks ago). It’s brand new from the Boka Group (one of the most well known restaurant groups here in Chicago) and their first venture into Asian food. You can get sushi, hot dishes from the grill, fresh seafood…all sorts of stuff, and it’s all SO DAMN TASTY.
Farmhouse  — I don’t go out to eat in large groups all that often, mostly because it’s a pain in the ass, but I’ve eaten at Farmhouse a few times in the last month with some larger groups, as they were super accommodating. Everything they serve is local and seasonal…and of course, delicious. Their servers are super friendly and attentive…and don’t you dare leave there without trying the cheese curds.
I feel like girls always want sushi so if you’re looking to get the best but with a no-fuss atmosphere, my favorites are Arami, Tanoshii (now with two locations!) and Kai Zan (it’s BYOB…don’t forget).
Get Your Drink On:
The Aviary  — if you and your friends are adventurous and looking for something new when it comes to cocktails, you have to go to The Aviary. The drinks are like nothing you’ve ever seen…really a science experiment with everything you order.
Bar Deville – if you want the complete opposite of The Aviary, head to Bar Deville. Personally, I’m not all that into clubs and going out just to get wasted, but Bar Deville has beer in cans, they play great music and overall it’s just a really good time.
Three Dots and a Dash – I was skeptical to try this place at first because I wasn’t sure how an underground tiki bar would work in Chicago…but it’s really an experience. The drinks make you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation (although you’re technically in a basement) which is nice when it’s cold 9 months out of the year.
RM Champange Salon – this place is just super cozy and relaxing. I love their atmosphere. It’s pretty small on the inside but they have the perfect balance of comforting interior for the cold months and amazing backyard patio for the summer. You can chill here with a glass of champagne before or after dinner or you can stay here all night and enjoy a nice meal.
Scofflaw — some of the best cocktails I’ve ever had have been here. It’s in the Logan Square neighborhood which isn’t exactly where any of the hotels are, but it’s worth a trip if you’re looking for some ridiculously delicious drinks.
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Things To Do:
Spa- Bliss – if I ever want to treat myself to a spa day, I always go to Bliss. I just like how it’s more of a fun and playful feel, which is not something you find often with a spa. Plus their amenities are amazing — you get to use all of the awesome Bliss products, there’s a eucalyptus steam shower and my favorite…two-bite brownies in the waiting room :)
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images via hotel cecilia + ecesubasi
The Find
Whereabouts: London, England

Outfits • Love Lauren Alexa

Do you need a gift for your bestie that shows her how much she means to you? I found a super rad bracelet that she will love – Love Lauren Alexa’s Gold Knot Cuff! Since we all can’t afford the Cartier Love bracelet this might be the next best option – or at least it is for $45! I have seen some pretty big names rocking this beauty and I must say, it looks good by itself or layered with other pieces! The bestie will be verrrrrry happy!

Travel • Going Back

M.A.S.-Fashion-211

Heading back to London tomorrow for pleasure, work, and to see family! I am excited to catch up with a friend at the Polpo one night and then eat at The Dorchester with another friend another night. The schedule is full of photographing a few people, eating, and then catching up with my in-laws for Thanksgiving.  London is one of my favorite places to be so I can’t wait to be there. The only thing I wish could come (other than the husband who is meeting me over there) is my sweet Annie Veuve!

Here are my packing essentials for London ||  Cuyana cape, skinny stretch jeans, an oversized sweater, my new Rachel Zoe boots, floppy hat, Floppy Wide-Brim hat(designer version), travel camera, a really warm coat, and great moisturizer so my skin stays hydrated

Stripes, Oxfords, and The Amazing Gap

I made it to London and have hit the ground running while here! I will share more once I get home but am excited to share upcoming posts I put together before leaving! One being, this outfit! I went on a Gap shopping spree right before I left. I haven’t shopped there in years but made up for lost time! It used to be one of my favorite shops – Hello 90’s! “But, mom we have to go to Gap and Limited too. It is the only place I want to get my new school clothes.” Literally, I loved gap! But as I aged it kind of fell-off the list of places to go. Until now. I am totally obsessed with their selection right now. Everything is so classic and basic – perfect to build a functional closet around. And, if you shop online they always usually offer some kind of incentive – most of the time it is 30% your purchase! Series home run from the Gap team! Right now it is $45 off an order of $100 with code SPREE. I mean, really, they treat us so well!

One of my favorite items I bought (actually I don’t have a favorite because they are all amazing) is this striped t-shirt under the sweater! I love a good stripe (I also bought this one) so when I saw this one on the website and an additional 30% off, I knew it was mine! I also think they both will great under a blazer and high-waisted jeans! Or is that too 80’s? Whatever, I am running with it! Until next time my friends! Cheers

so-then-they-say-8-2 so-then-they-say-7-2 so-then-they-say-4-2 so-then-they-say-2-2

outfit details || Camel Coat (low, medium, high version), Gap Striped t-shirt, Gap Lambswool sweaterFrame “Le Skinny” DenimJ.Crew Oxford shoes – now 30% off (designer version),

accessorie details || Ray Ban Aviators in black, Ellie Jay Skinny Pave ringsDana Rebecca Lauren Joy necklace in rose gold

 

Beauty • Hydro Eye Gels

As far as beauty indulgences go, eye gels are pretty up there on my list. I totally melt when they are on my eyes. Complete relaxation. I have come across a few in the past but they are wayyyyy too $$$. I mean, do you want to pay almost $200 for something that lasts you one or two times? NO! Now, you can have the best of both worlds! Relaxation for the eyes at $30 thanks to Skyn Iceland! Doesn’t that just sound cool and refreshing?

Travel • Travel in Style

When I first saw this from my friend, Debby, I was smitten. I have never seen such a cute travel set. Usually I roll my eyes when people pull these out but lately when I travel, I must admit, I wouldn’t mind having one. If you have room in your bag or a jetsetter in your life – this is perfect!

Outfits • Embellishments

Okay, so this House of Holland Embellished Shift dress is a little on the pricey side at $400 (compared to the Stella McCartney’s it reminds me of it is a total steal – completely how yo look at it) but I couldn’t not post it! How amazing would this be to wear to a holiday party. Just walk into the door and own that you are about to have a grand time! The red, the embellishments, the champagne. I mean, I really just can’t say anything else about this other than just how badly I want it in my closet!

Packing Rituals

While packing for my trip to London I started thinking, there are quite a few things I do the same way no matter where I am traveling. I call them – packing rituals. I thought some were funny and others might be benefitial so why not just share them! So here they are, a few of my packing rituals (or the ones I can think of):

– I write a list of things I need to do days before leaving – there are always last minute errands

– I always shower right before I leave the house so I can “feel” as clean as possible in the grungy airport

– I always lather up on lots of lotion and oils and give them time to sink in – flying dries my skin out like crazy!

– I make sure I have a contact case with solution so when we land I can pop my contacts in – my eyes get so dry when flying

– I lay out my “carry on” essentials completely separate and pack them last

– My carry-on always has headphones, glasses, books, chapstick, contacts, melatonin, a computer, camera, jewelry, and socks

– I pack my jewelry in small zip-lock bags so they don’t get tangled

– I try on outfits and take pictures with my phone so I can remember why I packed it

– I always pack items that can be worn with at least two or three different pieces in my bag – saves room!

– I always make a last minute CVS run. On the list – towelettes, gum, and magazines (so much cheaper than the airport)

– I pack most of my shoes in my carry-on

– I stuff all of my hats with socks and underwear – helps them save shape

– I never travel without my space saving bags – they keep clothes organized, wrinkle-free, and clearly, they save space

– I put on all natural bb cream to not scare away passengers and to protect my skin

 

Ya’ll as I got typing I realized I could keep going, and going, and going…There are so many! But I will spare you! I hope at least one of these helped – if not, take it for what it is! See you in London! xo

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