Travel

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

FullSizeRender 28IMG_8469.jpg

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

FullSizeRender-29.jpg

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

 

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. 

Processed with Snapseed.Processed with Snapseed.

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

Processed with Snapseed.

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.

Processed with Snapseed.

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

Processed with Snapseed.Processed with Snapseed.

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! 🙂

 

10 Beautifully Designed Hotel Lobbies

10 Beautiful Hotel Lobbies, from machinewashablewhimsy.com

Whether you go for minimalist or ultra-luxurious, here are some hotel lobbies with great design to lure you in. This may just influence your travel bucket list!

Doesn’t the 1 Hotel South Beach  have the quintessential Miami Beach lobby? This space looks so cozy, clean, and…beachy.

1-south-beach

Check out the lighting!! The Corinthia Hotel London does a great job at classy, stylish interiors.corinthia

The Loews Regency New York does modern luxe just as a cool New York hotel should.

loews-regency

I love how the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona is so clean and modern but without any cold minimalism–it looks very comfy.

mandarin-oriental-barcelona

Could this be the perfect Paris hotel lobby? Gold, dark wood, and shiny marble blend together for the perfect mix of contemporary and classic at The Peninsula Paris.

peninsula-final

The lobby at the Dream Downtown hotel feels world’s away from NYC busyness. A drink and a newspaper, anyone?

dream hotel nyc.jpg

I love the bright, homey vibes in the Mendeli Street Hotel  in Tel Aviv.

mendeli-st-hotel-tel-aviv

The W Guangzhou is super cool, I must say! This reception area makes a strong first impression.

w-ganghzou

The lobby lounge of the Novotel Suites Den Haag City Centre looks like such fun! It’s a great place to tap into your “young at heart” playfulness.

Novotel Suites Den Haag City Centre

Classic classiness at its best at The Langham Chicago. Big windows let in lots of light and make for a cheerful atmosphere in the modern space.

The langham chicago.jpg

Soooo…where will you be checking in next?

Photo Diary: A Cloudy Day in New York

A Cloudy Day in NYC. Check out machinewashablewhimsy.com for more!A Cloudy Day in NYC. Check out machinewashablewhimsy.wordpress.com for more!Last month we took a quick trip to New York to visit some friends in Brooklyn. We spent one lovely day in Manhattan and I decided to bring my DSLR and grab some shots. I haven’t used this camera in a long time and enjoyed getting reacquainted with it!

A Cloudy Day in NYC. Check out machinewashablewhimsy.wordpress.com for more!We parked near Lincoln Center using the SpotHero app–a lifesaver! We walked around for a bit and eventually parked ourselves in the David Rubenstein atrium for some coffee and email-checking. After buying tickets to The Nutcracker,  we headed out to explore.

A Cloudy Day in NYC. Check out machinewashablewhimsy.wordpress.com for more!A Cloudy Day in NYC. Check out machinewashablewhimsy.wordpress.com for more!Don’t forget to look up 🙂A Cloudy Day in NYC. Check out machinewashablewhimsy.wordpress.com for more!We walked to Columbus Circle and saw the goods being sold at the annual Christmas market, and shopped a bit along Broadway. Eventually we made our way to Amsterdam Burger for dinner.A Cloudy Day in NYC. Check out machinewashablewhimsy.wordpress.com for more! The food was delicious! I recommend checking them out if you’re in the area. A Cloudy Day in NYC. Check out machinewashablewhimsy.wordpress.com for more!After dinner we walked all the way back to Lincoln Center for The Nutcracker. No pictures from the show of course…so you’ll just have to believe me when I say that it was fabulous! A Cloudy Day in NYC. Check out machinewashablewhimsy.wordpress.com for more!If you haven’t seen it before, or even if you have, the New York City Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker is really worth going to see.

This was definitely a short trip, but for someone who’s been to Manhattan before and will surely go again, it was a great touring day. There’s so much to see and do in the city and this was a “take it easy and enjoy” kind of trip, not a “rush and see as much as possible” day. If you find yourself in the area during the holiday season, consider The Nutcracker and make sure to check out the Columbus Circle Christmas market. Oh, and use the SpotHero app…you’ll thank me!