A Tiny Guide to Paris Shopping  

Bon Marche...best department store ever! Check out more Paris shopping recommendations on machine washable whimsy

A comprehensive guide to shopping in Paris would require a textbook, not a blog post. Here are just a few of my favorites to start with, and you can explore the lovely Parisian streets and find your own faves!

Le Bon Marché is a lovely old department store in the Left Bank that puts all other department stores to shame. It’s largely unaffordable but oh so pretty. The building is beautiful and merchandise displays are incredibly creative and appealing. Make sure to visit the homewares level.
Paris shopping faves from machinewashablewhimsy.com. photo courtesy of LVMHParis shopping faves from machinewashablewhimsy.com. photo courtesy of LVMHParis shopping faves from machinewashablewhimsy.com. photo courtesy of LVMHBon Marche...best department store ever! Check out more Paris shopping recommendations on machine washable whimsyFirst 3 photos courtesy of LVMH

 

NAF NAF, Kookai, and Caroll:

These three chains are all owned by the same company, and all sell high-quality, stylish women’s clothes at reasonable prices. I go to these shops first in Paris and most of my favorite clothing are from these three! Each one has its own style and intended audience but I’ve found great buys at all of them.

NAF NAF is geared towards a younger crowd, with colorful apparel that’s trendy and fresh but very tasteful. The decor in the stores is worth going in to see!

Kookai‘s clothing is also bright and super stylish, but slightly more mature and probably geared toward 20-somethings. They have lots of classy and cute tops and dresses, and a great selection of scarves so you can really look Parisian!

Caroll is the most classic of the three, selling more mature pieces that are classy and very well-made. A great shop for stylish, tailored clothing that won’t go out of style.

 

Sabre has several little boutiques in Paris selling adorable homewares, including their signature rainbow of plastic flatware in multiple sizes, shapes, and finishes. Colorful, durable, and relatively inexpensive, I’ve bought several of their spoons and serving pieces and love them. They also sell great mugs, dishes, and other tableware.

IMG_8426.jpghopping faves in Paris, from machine washable whimsyIMG_8428.jpg

 

LE BHV MARAIS (or just BHV, pronounced bay-ash-vay) is a huge department store in Le Marais. They’ve got lots of clothes, shoes, and accessories across a reasonable but not cheap price range. It’s the stationary, fine arts, and creative hobbies floor that really gets me excited…they’ve got a huge variety of gorgeous paper goods and art supplies down there. I bought two little notebooks as a gift when I was there and they provided a sweet gift bag too! The homewares floor is lovely as well.

Paris shopping faves from machinewashablewhimsy.com. photo courtesy of LE BHV MARAIS

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Bombata laptop cases at BHV are retro and adorable! My mom has an orange one and gets compliments every time she uses it.

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Exterior photo courtesy of BHV
Paris shopping faves, featuring Le Bon Marche, Kookai, BHV, and more! Paris is the perfect city for shopping and bringing home lots of gifts, clothing, accessories, and homewares. Great destination for style! Check out machine washable whimsy for more!

 

Instagram Recap: Paris

Some pictures from my recent trip to Paris! Paris Instagram Recap on machine washable whimsy

If you’ve been following machine washable whimsy on Instagram, you know that I just returned from Paris! It was a fabulous trip to a city that never fails to impress.
I took lots of pictures but here are the few that made it to Instagram. I’ll soon be sharing more of my trip and advice for Paris travel!

Travel Guide: Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre is hardly an undiscovered travel destination. But I can assure you that it deserves every bit of popular attention it gets! We spent two lovely days there this summer and I cannot praise it enough.

The Cinque Terre are five sweet little villages built into the rugged coastline in Northeastern Italy. The towns are called Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore (where we stayed). The best and nearly only way to travel from town to town is by train, or you can hire a boat. You can find some more transportation info here.

Take a look!

 

This is Manarola, the most picturesque of the villages in my opinion. It is truly breathtaking. #nofilter!

Cinque Terre is hardly an undiscovered travel destination. But I can assure you that it deserves every bit of popular attention it gets! We spent two lovely days there this summer and I cannot praise it enough. The Cinque Terre are five sweet little villages built into the rugged coastline in Northeastern Italy. The towns are called Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore (where we stayed). Take a look! #travel #italy #cinqueterre #photography

And here it is again, in different light.

Cinque Terre is hardly an undiscovered travel destination. But I can assure you that it deserves every bit of popular attention it gets! We spent two lovely days there this summer and I cannot praise it enough.  The Cinque Terre are five sweet little villages built into the rugged coastline in Northeastern Italy. The towns are called Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore (where we stayed).  Take a look!  #travel #italy #cinqueterre #photographyCinque Terre is hardly an undiscovered travel destination. But I can assure you that it deserves every bit of popular attention it gets! We spent two lovely days there this summer and I cannot praise it enough.  The Cinque Terre are five sweet little villages built into the rugged coastline in Northeastern Italy. The towns are called Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore (where we stayed).  Take a look!  #travel #italy #cinqueterre #photography

The Sentiero Azzuro is a well-known hiking path that connects the towns. Unfortunately, the portion of the trail we would have ideally hiked was closed when we visited (in August 2016). I would recommend doing some research on the available hiking options before you go, as the trails open and close due to weather conditions.

We decided to hike the Beccara trail (#351) from Riomaggiore to Manarola early one morning, before the heat and the tourists were in full force. It was an incredible experience and one of the top highlights of our trip!

Here are some of the spectacular views from our hike:

FullSizeRender 46Cinque Terre is hardly an undiscovered travel destination. But I can assure you that it deserves every bit of popular attention it gets! We spent two lovely days there this summer and I cannot praise it enough. The Cinque Terre are five sweet little villages built into the rugged coastline in Northeastern Italy. The towns are called Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore (where we stayed). Take a look! #travel #italy #cinqueterre #photographyCinque Terre is hardly an undiscovered travel destination. But I can assure you that it deserves every bit of popular attention it gets! We spent two lovely days there this summer and I cannot praise it enough.  The Cinque Terre are five sweet little villages built into the rugged coastline in Northeastern Italy. The towns are called Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore (where we stayed).  Take a look!  #travel #italy #cinqueterre #photography

Later that day we hiked from Monterosso to Vernazza. It was also lovely, but perhaps not as breathtaking as our earlier hike from Riomaggiore to Manarola. We came down into Vernazza at sunset, which rewarded us with some great views.

Cinque Terre is hardly an undiscovered travel destination. But I can assure you that it deserves every bit of popular attention it gets! We spent two lovely days there this summer and I cannot praise it enough.  The Cinque Terre are five sweet little villages built into the rugged coastline in Northeastern Italy. The towns are called Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore (where we stayed).  Take a look!  #travel #italy #cinqueterre #photography

Riomaggiore, our home base. We stayed in this AirBnB and it was EXCELLENT.

machine washable whimsy

Cinque Terre is hardly an undiscovered travel destination. But I can assure you that it deserves every bit of popular attention it gets! We spent two lovely days there this summer and I cannot praise it enough.  The Cinque Terre are five sweet little villages built into the rugged coastline in Northeastern Italy. The towns are called Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore (where we stayed).  Take a look!  #travel #italy #cinqueterre #photography

The guard rails might not have been exactly up to code…but it all added to the adventure!

Cinque Terre is hardly an undiscovered travel destination. But I can assure you that it deserves every bit of popular attention it gets! We spent two lovely days there this summer and I cannot praise it enough.  The Cinque Terre are five sweet little villages built into the rugged coastline in Northeastern Italy. The towns are called Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore (where we stayed).  Take a look!  #travel #italy #cinqueterre #photographyMonterosso is the only village with a big sandy beach like this one. The others have more rugged, rocky coastlines.Cinque Terre is hardly an undiscovered travel destination. But I can assure you that it deserves every bit of popular attention it gets! We spent two lovely days there this summer and I cannot praise it enough.  The Cinque Terre are five sweet little villages built into the rugged coastline in Northeastern Italy. The towns are called Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore (where we stayed).  Take a look!  #travel #italy #cinqueterre #photography

I don’t think I’ve ever felt so reluctant to leave a place as I did when I left Cinque Terre! It is a truly lovely travel destination. Keep in mind that crowds flood into the villages during the summer. That said, I was there in late August and while there were definitely many tourists, I didn’t find it too bothersome.

So, are you booking tickets yet?

Cinque Terre is hardly an undiscovered travel destination. But I can assure you that it deserves every bit of popular attention it gets! We spent two lovely days there this summer and I cannot praise it enough. The Cinque Terre are five sweet little villages built into the rugged coastline in Northeastern Italy. The towns are called Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore (where we stayed). Take a look! #travel #italy #cinqueterre #photography

 

Blogging Freebies Roundup!


There are so many free goodies available now to help bloggers. Here’s a big list of the best ones that I’ve found!

Many of these are from blogs that require you to sign up for their email list before you can download the freebie. If you’re hesitant to do that, remember that you can always unsubscribe! If the freebie looks good, there’s a good chance that the emails will be interesting too, and you may just discover a new go-to source of information or inspiration!

This list isn’t comprehensive. That would be nearly impossible because there is just soooo much out there now! But here are some offers that looked particularly good to me or that I use myself. 

Blogging Freebies Roundup! Here's a huge list of some of the best freebies available that you can use for your blog or business! Check out machine washable whimsy for more! photo credit: IvoryMix #girlboss #sidehustle #blog #blogging #freebies

Blog Planning:


Free Stock Photos:

 

Resource Libraries:

There are so many resource libraries to choose from! The best part is, you don’t have to choose because they’re all free! Many, many blogs offer access to a “library” of downloadable freebies when you subscribe to the blog. Here are my picks:

 Blogging Freebies Roundup! Here's a huge list of some of the best freebies available that you can use for your blog or business! Check out machine washable whimsy for more! photo credit: IvoryMix #girlboss #sidehustle #blog #blogging #freebies

 

Free Classes:

 
Social Media Help: 
Blogging Freebies Roundup! Here's a huge list of some of the best freebies available that you can use for your blog or business! Here are some of the lovely social media icons available online. Check out machine washable whimsy for more!
  • Here’s an extensive list of Pinterest group boards that you may want to join. http://www.justasimplehome.com/blogging/ultimate-list-of-pinterest-group-boards/
  • A detailed social media calendar to help plan your social media content. http://www.marketingsolved.com/31-days-of-social-media-content/
  • A bunch of free Pin It buttons–but more importantly a tutorial on how to add them to your blog.  https://www.whitecornercreative.com/free-pinterest-pin-it-buttons-how-to-add-them/
  • I can’t promise that all of these are free, but here’s a great Pinterest board filled with loads of beautiful icons to choose from.   https://www.pinterest.com/raphaellegv/ic%C3%B4nes-rs-social-media-icons/
  • Free, downloadable social media icons, in a huge variety of colors! http://www.carrieloves.com/2012/12/free-social-media-icons-updated/
  • Watercolor social media icons…there are many available but these caught my eye.   http://curlymade.blogspot.ca/2014/11/free-watercolor-social-media-icons-blog.html
  • Gold, glittery social media icons!                                                                         http://designyourownblog.com/how-to-add-a-gold-leaf-or-glitter-texture-to-your-blog/

 

Other Stuff:

 

Enjoy!

Blogging Freebies Roundup! Here's a huge list of some of the best freebies available that you can use for your blog or business! Check out machine washable whimsy for more! #girlboss #sidehustle #blog #blogging #freebies

 

 

A Jewel Box of Cakes

I’ve never done any cake decorating myself, but I have a huge interest for cake and pastry design. (See my Pinterest board for proof!) It’s a fresh and fun art form and I love seeing the abundance of creativity and talent out there.

Here are some of the prettiest cakes I’ve seen, inspired by the vivid colours of gemstones.

Garnet:

garnet

Source: Style Me Pretty

Alexandrite:

A Jewel Box of Cakes, featuring beautiful cakes inspired by the vivid colors of gemstones. Check out machinewashablewhimsy.com for more!SourceGreen Wedding Shoes

Aquamarine:

Romantic Wedding Ideas with Pops of Jewel Tones - photo by Jillian Rose Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-ideas-with-pops-of-jewel-tones

Source: Ruffled

Emerald:

emerald

Source: Style Me Pretty

Opal and Ruby:

opal-and-ruby

Source: Sugar Bee Sweets

Topaz:

topaz

Source: Three Tiers for Cake

Rose Quartz:

rose-quartz

Source: Style Me Pretty

Amethyst:

amethyst-and-sapphire

Source: Green Wedding Shoes

Sapphire:

sapphire

Source: Ruffled

Tourmaline:

A Jewel Box of Cakes, featuring beautiful cakes inspired by the vivid colors of gemstones. Check out machinewashablewhimsy.com for more! Photo from Style Me Pretty

Source: Style Me Pretty

Citrine:

alexandrite and citrine

Source: The Perfect Palette

It’s like jewellery…hard to choose!

 

 

Real Life Recommendations *2

Beautiful Desktop Wallpaper, as featured on machinewashablewhimsy.com

This is where I share any books, products, techniques or any other good stuff that I have enjoyed and would recommend to a friend. Share your own discoveries in the comments!

This bookBetter than Before by Gretchen Rubin is an incredible book on how habit formation can help us to make lasting change and reach our goals. This podcast explains the idea in a nutshell, though I wouldn’t say it’s a replacement for reading the book. (The podcast is available on iTunes as well)

Better Than Before, a self-help book by Gretchen Rubin. As featured on machinewashablewhimsy.com

This oil: I’ve never used essential oils before so I’m totally a newbie, but I love putting this lavender oil on my wrists before I go to sleep. It’s great for easing headaches and relieving tension.

Bleu-Lavende-Lavender_Essential_Oil-15ml_grande.jpg

These desktop wallpapers: A nice digital wallpaper is a little thing that can add a dose of pretty to your day. I love the huge variety that designlovefest provides–for free! This is the one I have on my laptop right now.

flower desktop.jpg

Have a great weekend!

Simple Decorating: My Favorite Etsy Art Prints that Cost Less than $30

Art prints from Etsy that cost less than $30!

Art is a quick and fun way to add some personal style to your space. And it doesn’t have to be expensive!

Here are 7 of my favorite art prints from Etsy that all cost less than $30. If you like what you see, check out the other prints in these shops. I noticed many other pieces that look way more expensive than they are.

 

Etsy art prints that cost less than $30!

This modern work would add some drama to a light and bright room. $11 for 8.5 x 11

Etsy art prints that cost less than $30! From machinewashablewhimsy.com.

A contemporary dark floral with classic style. $20 for 8 x 11

hopskippaint

This beachy scene has strong colors but soothing vibes. $20 for 8 x 11

mospensstudio

I absolutely love this floral! Check out their shop for more great options. $24 for 8 x 10

river-luna-peony

A cool twist on a classic bouquet. $20 for 8 x 10

wolfgang-and-rose-art

A sweet fashion print with a retro vibe. $30 for 8 x 10

snoogsandwilde

Who doesn’t love some cute cacti?  $24 for 8.5 x 11

Happy Decorating!

Quick, simple, and inexpensive decorating! Check out my favorite Etsy art prints on the machine washable whimsy blog!

Hotel Review: The Confidante Miami Beach

Hotel Review: The Confidante Miami Beach, from machinewashablewhimsy.com #travel #hotel #miami

Best. Pool. Ever.

One nice thing about traveling to a city you’ve already visited is the lack of pressure to “do it all.” When we were in Miami last week, we used some Hyatt points to stay at this lovely hotel, The Confidante. On our first morning we discovered the pool…and pretty much parked ourselves there until we checked out two days later! We literally sat on our chaise lounges for two days. It was awesome. 

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The landscaping is beautiful and they have a separate adults-only pool. It was peaceful and the service was excellent.

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Hotel Review: The Confidante Miami Beach, from machinewashablewhimsy.com #travel #designThey have these lovely little cabanas which cost a fortune to rent, but if they’re available and you ask the pool manager nicely, you might get to hang out there for free. We were lucky 🙂Processed with Snapseed.

Then there are some even fancier cabanas! These come with big screen TVs and free food.

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The design of the whole hotel is retro and colorful, but not over-the-top. I loved the color combos in the restaurant and public spaces.

Hotel Review: The Confidante Miami Beach, from machinewashablewhimsy.com @washablewhimsy #travel #design

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The room was comfortable but lacked space to unpack. It was well-designed but not as comfy or interesting as the public spaces of the hotel. The Jonathan Adler toiletries were nice and we had a side-balcony room with views of the ocean and the Miami skyline.

Hotel Review: The Confidante Miami Beach, from machinewashablewhimsy.com @washablewhimsy #travel #design

Overall we had a great experience at The Confidante. The service, design, and location (41st St and Collins Ave. in Miami Beach) were all great…but the pool took the prize! 🙂

 

Real Life Recommendations *1

This is where I share any books, products, techniques or other good stuff that I have enjoyed and would recommend to a friend. Share your own discoveries in the comments!

This curling iron. It’s been too long since I bought a new curling iron and this is a quality item and such a huge improvement over what I was using before. If you need more inspiration, Ulta has an amazing free gift deal going on right now!

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This hand cream. I have tried many, many hand lotions and I always go back to this one. For real dry winter skin, nothing beats L’occitane 20% shea butter!

loccitane.jpeg

This blog post. The Everygirl is one of my favorite sources for inspiration and helpful life tips. I’ve been trying to keep to this list of “8 Things All Successful Women Do On Sunday.”

8 things all successful women do on sunday.jpg

photo via The Everygirl

5 Great Blog Posts to Read this Weekend

5 Great Blog Posts to Read this Weekend, including one on how to conquer busyness! Check out machinewashablewhimsy.com for more!

 

  1. I’ve read a lot of “how to blog” blog posts lately and found most of them to be lacking in solid, helpful information. This post, and others on the Freeborboleta blog, contain lots of tried-and-true tips and resources for navigating the world of blogging.

freeborboleta post, as featured on machinewashablewhimsy.com

 

2. This is a home I want to spend time in…check out this great post for more. Image via Coco Lapine Design.

image via coco lapine design, as featured on machinewashablewhimsy.com

 

3. MyDomaine is one of my favorite online resources for tips and inspiration. This post about female business leaders is awesome. Image via MyDomaine.

5 Great Blog Posts, from machine washable whimsy

4. Feeling busy? I loved this post on the effects of busyness and how to fight back.

The effects of being busy and how to reclaim your life! One of the 5 great blog posts featured here on machinewashablewhimsy.com

5. Here’s a great list of self-care ideas. At 101 options, you’re sure to find something that speaks to you!

5 Great Blog Posts to Read this Weekend, from machinewashablewhimsy.com

 

Happy Weekend!