LONDON vs PARIS

hello my friends! i hope you’re having a happy day. i recently just got back from a trip to both london and paris, two of my favorite cities in the world! i contemplated making two separate blog posts talking about the fun happenings of each city, but then i thought, hey, it might be fun to give them each a little competition! i am often asked which of the two i like more or would recommend traveling to, so i’ve listed out some fun pros & cons of each — and of course, some photos from the trip to enjoy as you read! so whether you’re traveling to either england or france, or you’re plotting an epic european adventure, this one’s for you.

 

VS


GETTING THERE

i would say the cost of plane tickets from the continental united states to both london and paris are pretty equal, and also not as expensive as you might think! i have only ever flown direct to london, but have flown back home from paris many times! it’s a close call, but i think london may be a liiiittle bit cheaper to fly to, which makes sense, since geographically it’s a bit closer. if you watch for flight deals you can easily get a round trip ticket for less than $500. my past two trips cost me $343 round trip and $272 round trip, both flying from seattle — CRAZY! i’m sure it’s even cheaper the further east you live. so if there’s one thing to take away from this it’s that getting to europe is NOT too expensive. you can all save up and do it, i just know it! :) one point for london!

FOOD

this one’s for all you foodies out there…or those of you who like to eat simply just to stay alive! both london and paris have excellent food scenes! i think i’ve had some of my favorite meals in both of these cities! i would say london is GREAT for those wanting to eat a bit healthier — lots of greens and vegan spots and hip healthy food joints, where as paris is the place i tend to indulge in breads, pastas, and pastries galore. also add in cheese and wine for those of you who partake! both have great coffee/tea scenes as well, but i think i enjoy western culture that london emulates in it’s trendy shops and cafés. so when it comes to food, hats off to london, but that’s just my personal choice (as a trendy vegan like myself). i’m sure some parisian fans would argue to disagree.

now, even though ALL of these places were absolutely delightful to stay at, i have to give this one to london, specifically for the st pancras hotel (AKA the hotel from harry potter, kings cross station, platform 9 3/4!!!). this hotel is an actual dream. a large castle, home to beautiful rooms and the best breakfast ever. it’s also connected to kings cross train station, which is SO convenient if you’re taking the tube to explore, or if you are traveling internationally! zach and i took the eurostar train to paris and it was such a breeze! literally woke up, walked out of our hotel room, and straight into the train station — too easy! if you’re looking for a cool hotel full of culture (and harry potter feels), or easy access to the train station, definitely book a night or two at this hotel!!!

total score

london — 3

paris — 3

it’s a TIE! i guess i just can’t pick a favorite after all — however, i love both of these cities dearly, and i will continue to visit them for as long as i can! i hope this post helped or encouraged you to decide where you may want to roam next! any ideas? if so, leave me a note on instagram which you’d choose! until next time, keep on creating!

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TRANSPORTATION

getting around in both london and paris is a total breeze thanks to their incredible public transportation systems. i personally think the tube in london is a little more complicated than the metro in paris, because you have to tap in and tap out with a card each time, whereas in paris you have a ticket that scans once and then you’re good to go. plus, the paris metro is by number (line 4, line 8, etc.) whereas in london, it goes by the name of the end of each line, which can get a little confusing, but still not too tricky! the tube in london is a lot newer than the metro in paris, but for some reason i just like the metro more! they are both around the same price for say a one or three day ticket, but i think paris is a bit cheaper, so paris wins this round in my book!

COST / BUDGET

ok, so something you’ll need to know is both london and paris are more expensive than the united states. not drastically, buuut think $17-$20 for a meal instead of $13-$15 like it is in the usa. paris is definitely a bit cheaper than london, but both are expensive enough to where you’d want to plan out a budget for food, transport, lodging, etc. latte’s are $6, avocado toast is $15, but it’s fine…we’re millennials and that’s what we do, right? :P overall, i personally would probably budget $1000 for a week in either city (you hopefully won’t spend it all, but it’s nice to have just to be safe)! if i have to pick a winner on this one, i’d say paris takes the cake.

WHERE TO STAY

london and paris both have some pretty spectacular places to stay, from boutique hotels to trendy airbnbs and cottages, you really can’t go wrong in either city! however, i will give a list of a few places i’ve stayed, and which i liked best!

paris: hotel monge, hotel fabric, reniassance vendome.

london: the london edition, this adorable airbnb, st pancras reniassance

THINGS TO DO

for the final category, i want to talk about the actual ways to spend time in both of these cities, what they have to offer, and what you must absolutely see and do. i’m going to start right off the bat and say that i personally enjoy walking around paris quite a bit more than in london. not that london doesn’t have it going on, because it does. i love the brits! but let me explain. i am so so so in love with the parisian architecture, that i literally never want to stop taking photos there. i feel like there’s a few more touristy attractions here as well, ie. arc de triumph, notre dame, the louvre, palais royal, the river, luxembourg gardens, and of course, the la tour eiffel. i love walking through each of this places and simply strolling the streets, stopping at bakeries and cafés and truly living the french life. london, on the other hand feels a bit more americanized, in my opinion. there is definitely a lot of old architecture as well, but there are also a fair amount of more modern looking places, lots and lots of fast fashion (which we are not fans of in this house ladies n gents!), and overall feels kinda like an older new york city. i truly do love it there and honestly would jump at the chance to live there if i could, but big ben, tower bridge, and buckingham palace just don’t do it for me like the eiffel tower can! not to put a downer on london though, because it really is lovely. the outskirts and suburbs are a 10/10. shoreditch, notting hill, brighton, lingfield (actually probs don’t go to lingfield, it’s v small) are all some fantastic little gems that aren’t in the heart of the city. overall, however, i have to give this one to paris! ok…now let’s tally it up!

24 Hours In Oakland #VisitOakland

hellooooo and happy september! i hope you all have had an eventful summer! it's been a great (and HOT) one, but needless to say, i am so ready for fall! if you need to pass some time between the seasons, here's some end of summer suggestions:

- go camping

- have a sleepover with friends

- go on a smoothie escapade & drink only smoothies for the rest of the month

- road trip to a city you've never been to before and explore

SPEAKING OF EXPLORING CITIES (see what i did there? such a nice segway), i recently had the chance to explore oakland, california for 24 hours with Visit Oakland and it was so fun! myself along with me sweet boyfriend/photographer/videographer/best friend took an early morning flight from portland to oakland and packed a ton of stuff into just one day — so whether the bay area is already on your bucket list or perhaps after this it will be, here's a little peak into what we did (video coming soon)!

oakland marriott

the first stop of the day was of course checking to our hotel, the oakland marriott, in downtown oakland. it had such a peaceful vibe with all the warm colors and natural woods (my favorite!), and my room had a lovely view of oakland, the bay bridge, AND the golden gate bridge. one of my favorite perks was the m club lounge, which had tons of snacks and drinks at all times! so whether you're a 'tea at night' or 'toast in the morning' kind of person, there is something for everyone here! the hotel also had a lovely little pool, which i didn't get a chance to go in, but it's on my list for next time! 

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super juiced oakland

after checking into our hotel, we walked right around the corner to find a super cute juice bar called super juiced! this little place was just adorable and was inside of a sunroom on the side of a building — how cool is that? i had the ginger glow green juice and it was super tasty — a little spicy because of the ginger but i still loved it! if you're downtown and need a quick refresher, definitely pop into super juiced for juices, smoothies, or acai bowls. they have it all!

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murals with a meaning

whilst driving to lunch, we came across this huge mural on a side street and i was so intrigued! the mural was literally so big i couldn't fit it all in one photo, but below are photos of my two favorite parts of it! something really cool about this mural is that there are phone numbers under each painting and when you call them, they have an audio recording from the artists telling you the story behind the painting, which is seriously so cool. all of these paintings were created in collaboration with locals from gaza, palestine to raise awareness about the struggles and resistance that have been faced by palestines. such a cool thing that i encourage you to go see and listen to if you're in the area!

hella vegan eats

if you're looking at the palestine mural and decide you're hungry,  just turn around and you will be facing the coolest little vegan spot called hella vegan eats. this place had a neat outdoor garden area with tons of picnic tables, and also had a bunch of classic cars inside the restaurant — old cars, plants, and vegan food, what more could i need?! i ordered the babe burger with fries and it was so super delicious. after my flight and exploring all morning, it definitely hit the spot. so whether you're vegan or perhaps would like to try some plant based goodness while you're in oakland, i would highly recommend this place. it was "hella" good. :P

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oakland aviation museum

if you didn't know, i am a huge fan of airplanes (and not just because my boyfriend is a pilot, haha)! i have loved planes and flying and going to airshows my whole life, so i was super excited to find out that oakland had it's very own aviation museum! it was so fun to walk around and look at all the neat old school planes and learn about the history behind them all. oh, and it didn't hurt to have my own personal aviation expert to give me all the fun facts! if you find it fun to learn about the history of air travel, this is definitely the place for you!

bee-autiful gardens

after our exciting time with the airplanes, we decided to take it a little slower and have a walk through the gardens of lake merritt. this garden is SEVEN acres (which is so large for a garden in the city) and it is so peaceful to walk through. one of my favorite things inside is the air bee-n-bee — seriously, how cute is that? such a lovely little home for the bees! there were so many pretty flowers as well, and it was all around such a blissful time! also, it's free. so if you're a nature lover like me, this is a must see. nothing better than a little green in the city!

art on art on art

have you ever had the urge to just pop into an art gallery and be a part of a community art project? if not, you should! i'm so glad we walked into the joyce gordon art gallery when we did because we were able to watch artist stevens jay carter in the process of creating a new community mural. he is having locals write three words that inspire change to them and then draw the visual meaning on a heart. he is then incorporating it into his final piece, which i am so excited to see! this was such a cool experience that i feel is so unique to oakland. there is so much art culture in this city, and it is so moving.

all in all, oakland is a vibey little city packed with tons of culture and a whole lot of art and soul. so next time you're in the bay area, be sure to hop across the bay bridge and check this fun city off of your bucket list! here are a few more of my favorite photos from the day!

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*thanks to Visit Oakland for sponsoring this post. although it is sponsored, all opinions are my own!

empowering female voices with uber

hey hi hello! long time no talk! this summer has been super busy traveling about & also taking some much needed time to focus on building community & relationships here in portland. taking the time to pour into people & build a community of friends that is encouraging, uplifting, and helpful to one an other can be a whole lot of work — however, the end results are so rewarding! that said, i am excited to be partnering with uber to share with you guys my thoughts about female empowerment & how uber is advocating for empowerment across the charts.

1. as a girl, i think it is super important to have female role models to look up to AND be surrounded by likeminded women who share common passions to help inspire & motivate you to achieve your goals & be the best version of yourself. all of the gals in this photo have certainly motivated me in my career & personal life at some point & i encourage you to find some gal pals of your own to take over the world with!

2. another topic that is pretty important to me is diversity, especially within the creative space. having friends from different races, cultures & different walks of life can be incredibly inspiring & can bring something new to the table every time. something cool that uber is initiating is a plan to have one million women driver-partners using uber by 2020. go uber!!!

3. uber is all about #WhereTo & i think one of the best ways to take over the world with your female friends is to hit the road & take on the town! there is something so liberating & just plain fun about having a girls trip or girls day out! like i mentioned above, being surrounded by likeminded individuals to encourage & push you is truly the best feeling.

below are a few images i captured with my friends! i know you guys are used to seeing me in front of the camera, but i decided to step behind the camera like the creative businesswoman that i am & direct this shoot myself! i hope you all enjoyed this post & are left feeling inspired to go take over the world with your girls. 

keep on creating!

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workspace makeover — in collaboration with bed bath & beyond

greeeeetings earthlings! 

i hope you all are enjoying your week, i know i am! since i have been super busy traveling for the past few months, this week has included tons of emailing, editing, writing, scheduling, and just a whole lot of sitting at home! being freelance and working from home can be super tricky sometimes, because it's so easy to just work on your couch or your bed, which can feel messy and unorganized! work day in your pajamas?! if you're a freelancer, i know you totally get what i'm saying!

that said, it's been one of my goals this year to have a more organized workspace, which is why i am super excited to be collaborating with bed bath & beyond for this journal post! we recently teamed up together to do a little workspace makeover and i am so pleased with the outcome! from editing photos on my couch to working in this gorgeous new corner of my bedroom...i'd say it's been a pretty great upgrade! i've linked all of the items below, so if you're feeling like being twinsies on some office space furniture, check 'em out!

Verona Home Gemma Mid Century Desk in White                                                              Modway Invite Dining Side Chair in Tan

i am so in love with the mid century modern look and feel of all of these products, and they match perfectly with my natural and earthy home decor vibe! bed bath & beyond has such a diverse furniture assortment and so many fun styles and items to choose from, so i truly believe there is something for every one...in every category...and beyond! see what i did there? overall, i am super happy with my purchases and i would LOVE to see some photos of your workspaces! i'm always gaining new inspo, so send some photos my way! especially if you get any of these products! anyway, i should probably get back to planning out my life now! :P

thanks for reading! let me know on instagram if you guys would be interested in a tips on freelancing / working from home journal post! i think that's something i'd love to talk about! until next time...

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new year, new apartment!

greetings earthlings! happy new year! i hope your first week of january was awesome and full of motivation for this new year ahead! i've been spending this week settling into my new apartment in portland and i am soo happy about it! i love decorating, so i've definitely been having fun!

first up, i wanted to give you a little snippet of my bedroom, decorated with help of Cstudio Home! i'm pretty sure we spend half of our lives sleeping, so obviously we gotta show some love to our bed situation! i picked out this quilt, which is softer than a pair of fuzzy socks...and that's pretty soft — also super in love with this cute knit pillow and this fun little throw blanket! if you know me, you know shades of tan are my thing, so i was happy that Cstudio Home had lots of options to choose from, even down to the organic sheets and pillows *insert heart eye emoji*!

between all my cute 'n cozy blankets + abundance of pillows, it's needless to say i'm going to be doing a lot of sleeping! 

BTW, i am doing an instagram giveaway with Cstudio gifting one of you guys a $300 gift card to their site, so you can do your own bedroom makeover! sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me, so go on over to my post and leave comment to enter!

ok, that's all i'm going to show for now, but stay tuned for more sneak peaks of my new space and maybe a full apartment tour soon! 

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