Wednesday, December 23, 2015

48 Hours in London

In my humble opinion, London is a severely underrated city. It may be because I've been known to apologize to inanimate objects I've run into and experience physical pain when I see someone drinking a cup of tea with the bag in and am thus convinced that I was actually English in a past life. It may also be because London has an incredible selection of food, theater, museums, parks, and everything else you could possibly want. Even though it's impossible to see the city in 48 hours, I've created an agenda with my absolute favorites. Grab your Barbour and Hunter wellies and prepare yourself for a weekend in London.

11:00 am // Stop in for a necessary post-travel sugar refill at Cereal Killer Cafe.

12:30 am // Head over to Notting Hill for a bit of exploration. Hunt for antiques and vintage clothes in Portobello Market or stop in one of the bookstores and hope you meet Hugh Grant.

2:00 pm // Eat your way through Borough Market.
#protip: Get the raclette and some of the wine cheese to take on the road. And go hungry. 

4:00 pm // Snag some stationery in one of Liberty's famous floral prints. Be sure to take a look around their vintage bag section (p.s. I'm accepting vintage Ferragamo clutches if you need to get one off your hands)

5:00 pm // Treat yourself to an absurdly overpriced martini in the very posh Dukes Hotel where James Bond's signature drink was created.
#protip: Be aware that Duke's (and many upscale bars and restaurants) do have dress codes. And for the love of God, don't get the Vesper if you're a lightweight. 

6:30 pm // Take in the sunset over London from the top of the Shard.

7:30 pm // Prepare yourself for the evening with a dinner with the it-crowd at Sketch.

11:00 pm // Head out for an evening on the town. If you're a fan of dance music/electro pop, try Fabric or Ministry of Sound, or you can try Boujis or Tonteria if you're wanting something a bit more swanky.
#protip: Be sure to check into club information before going out, especially age requirements (upscale clubs tend to be 21+) and cover fees. 

3:00 am // If you've done it right, you're probably tipsy at the very least and feel like you could dance for another 3 hours. Your only option is drunchies, so head to Brick Lane Beigel Bake, the Polo Bar for 24 hour full English Breakfast, or Duck and Waffle if you're feeling fancy.
#protip: Duck & Waffle actually fills up, so book ahead of time if possible and don't take your friend who is terrified of heights. 

10:00 am // Get yourself some well-deserved brunch at the Riding House Cafe.

11:00 am // Hit the National Gallery and the Wallace Collection to see nearly everything you learned about in your Art History class freshman year.
#protip: Admission is free but keep in mind that these museums rely on donations- give what you can.

2:30 pm // Pick up some tea, biscuits and preserves from Fortnum & Mason so you can eat them while watching Downton Abbey to give as gifts for your friends.

3:30 pm // Go for a full afternoon tea and don't skimp on the scones- try the Ritz for a splurge or the Wolseley for a more budget-friendly (but still delicious) option.

5:30 pm // Rent some of the city-share bikes and take a ride around Hyde Park to burn off some of the petit fours and cucumber sandwiches.

Honorable Mentions

Activities: The National Portrait Gallery, Cambridge (bus tickets are very cheap), The British Museum, the V&A, Harvey Nichols/Selfridge's, Hampstead Heath, any show on the West End (particularly Les Mis), Houses of Parliament
Food: Dishoom, Harrod's food halls, the Ivy, Chiltern Firehouse


Friday, December 18, 2015

48 Hours in Paris

As 27 million girls between the ages of 13 and 16 once captioned their insta in front of the eiffel tower, "Paris is always a good idea." While that may be one of the central tenets of basic betch-dom, it isn't untrue. Seriously, unless Paris is in the throws of an outbreak of the plague can you really think of a time when it wouldn't be a good idea to go? Now, you could live in Paris your whole life and still stumble upon something new every day, but I've compiled a 48 hour itinerary that hits some of my favorite spots in the city.

7:00 pm // Drop into Du Pain et des Idées for l'escargot chocolat pistache and a few other pastries then head back to your hotel room for tomorrow morning.

9:00 am // Enjoy morning pastries in your hotel room while mapping out your route for the day.

10:00 am // Head toward the center of the city and enjoy a walk through the Tuileries on your way to the Musee d'Orsay.
#protip: No pics allowed inside, sorry!

1:30 pm // Pick up some lunch at L'As du Fallafel to eat while you wander through the Marais district. Be sure to stop in the art galleries and boutiques where there are plenty of hidden gems to be found.
#protip: Merci, a boutique in the neighboring 3rd arrondissement, has darling bracelets that range from about 5-15 euros that make perfect gifts for girlfriends!

4:30 pm // Shop around (or window shop around) some of Paris' famed department stores. Must-visits include the Bon Marche and the Galeries Lafayette.

7:00 pm // Conduct your own tasting of Paris' best macarons. Pick up some of Pierre Herme's creative flavor combinations from his boutique in the Galeries Lafayette, then head over to Laduree on the Champs Elysée to try some of Paris' best known creations.

8:00 pm // Have a leisurely dinner at Le Bistrot Paul Bert.

12:00 am // If you're a Midnight in Paris fan, head to the steps of St. Etienne du Mont and hope you're magically transported back in time.

10:00 am // Start your Sunday right with a trip to Angelina for hot chocolate. You're on vacation, so chocolate for breakfast is completely acceptable.

11:30 am // Explore the Carnavalet Museum, dedicated to Paris' very long and very complicated history. 

1:30 pm // Pick up a baguette, some cheese, some fruit and a bottle of wine and enjoy a picnic lunch under the Eiffel Tower. 

3:00 pm // Continue on the museum trail with the Musee Rodin and its stunning gardens. 

5:30 pm // Stop in Shakespeare & Co, one of Paris' most iconic bookstores, and pick up a copy of one of your favorites with the store's stamp. 

7:30 pm // Now that you've completely tired yourself out from walking, stop in L'Eclair de Genie for an afternoon pick-me-up. 

8:30 pm // Head to Cafe de Flore for a last dinner. There will be tourists to be sure but plenty of locals as well, plus you'll be able to say you've eaten at one of Hemingway's favorite.
#protip: Try to get a seat on the patio and don't go if you have anywhere you have to be. 

#protip: The arrondissements are just zones of the city that were established when Baron Haussmann essentially rebuilt Paris in the 1800s. It starts in the center of the city with the first arrondissement, then they snail out clockwise from there. They're super helpful if you're lost, so be sure to know what arrondissement you're trying to get to!

haha hey MTV welcome to my crib!!!
Yasi "Humming accordion music rn?"

Monday, December 7, 2015

Finals Week Update + Playlist

Hey biddies!
We’ve been pretty serious on the blog lately, but in typical college student fashion I’m going to do a 180 and go from talking about the real issues in our society to complaining about finals. C’est la vie.
Finals week thus far has been ROUGH. The lady who works at Starbucks cut me off. I cried in the library. Oh, and did you know you can blackout from exhaustion? I didn’t. But then it happened.
I’ve never been one to listen to music while I study, but sometimes you just need a break. Here are a few song suggestions for every finals week situation you might encounter!
When you’re on your way to the library: Hall of Fame, The Script feat.
When you’re on your way back to the library at 11:30 pm: Turn Down for What, DJ Snake feat. Lil Jon
When you need some reassurance: Shake it Off, Taylor Swift
When you make eye contact with someone in the library at 3 am and you instantly bond because you’re both going insane: Shout, Isley Brothers
When you really need some reassurance: Shake it Out, Florence and the Machine
When you’re about to turn in a paper: White Flag, Dido
When you’re drinking your 11th cup of coffee today: Stronger, Kelly Clarkson
When you, like, REALLY need some reassurance: Believer, American Authors
When you’re in hard-core study mode: Chopin or Tchaikovsky
When you’re delirious at 3 in the morning: Come on Eileen, Dexy’s Midnight Runners
When you’re about to cry and need a pick me up: Honey, I’m Good, Andy Grammer
When you can’t even remember why you’re doing this: Bills, LunchMoney Lewis
When you leave a final and you know you didn’t do well: Turnin’, Young Rising Sons
When you’re headed to a final you haven’t really studied for: Let it Go. But this one.
When you’re almost there but can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel: Sugar, Maroon 5
When you’re done and couldn’t care less about your final grades: C’est la Vie, B*Witched
When you’re FINALLY FREE: Think, Aretha Franklin
Are there any finals week scenarios we missed or song recommendations you have? Let us know in the comments!
Kate “Not even sure how I’m still awake”

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Finals Week, as told by Gilmore Girls

YOU’VE MADE IT! IT’S LDOC! You’re overjoyed and decide to go out. Since it’s your last time going out for the year, you really go all out.

But while you’re at a party, the reality sets in. You have so much to do. You end up standing in a corner freaking out while that poor boy from your History class tries complimenting you to make you feel better while you’re just like
You call your mom for reassurance and she’s like Armed with your mother’s wisdom, you march out of that party and go straight to your room, where you promptly crawl into bed to cry to yourself

In the morning, you literally leap out of bed, ready to conquer the day. You go up to the counter at Starbucks for the 100000000th time this week like

Coffee in hand, you gear up for hard-core study time. That annoying kid from your least favorite class comes up to talk but you’re having none of it

You just decide it’s best to relocate to the particularly terrifying silent floor of the library because you’re just feeling like this and it’s for the best

By hour 6 you call your best friend like

She tells you you need to sleep

But you just argue back like

At this point you have a complete meltdown. You can’t do it! There’s just too much information and too few hours in a day! You have a good venting session, possibly yell and cry, take a nap (because you’re worn out from ranting), and then head back to the library.

After a long night of studying, you head to Starbucks. It’s closed, which is APPALLING. After all,

You are forced to go to your final coffee-less. Your annoyingly chipper classmate asks how you’re doing and you’re just like

You push through (barely), and your friends decide to go out to a celebratory dinner before you all head home. This is basically impossible for you.
As soon as you get to the restaurant, though, you’re like
You realize that you actually haven’t eaten any real food in days, so you throw caution to the wind and turn to the waiter like

And when you finally get back you and your friends mutually decide that this is the only acceptable thing to do because you’ve finally made it!

Good luck to all my peeps taking exams! Lots of love from me and the Gilmore girls. 
xoxo, Kate “SERIOUSLY why am I doing this instead of being productive”