vacation

Falling Water- Frank Lloyd Wright

Hey guys. I’ve really sucked at posting lately. I could give you the typical excuse that I’ve been busy but who wants to hear excuses? Yeah, exactly. Anyway, I went to visit my in laws this past weekend out in western Maryland and has the chance to go and check out what’s arguably Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous work.

Black and White Falling Water

We mostly went because it’s the most famous thing out that way and it’s on the husband’s bucket list. I think we’ve talked about how he loves all things modern and especially anything that could be classified as mid century so this was pretty much his heaven. And doesn’t he look so handsome in that picture? Still pinching myself that he’s mine. Oh, and the house was pretty too. Can you call Frank Lloyd Wright’s work pretty? I’m not quite sure but oh well.

Falling Water in Autumn I wish I had brought my camera on this trip because my iPhone photo definitely didn’t capture all of the beauty of the house and it’s environs. I also wish that we could have taken the in-depth tour but you have to book far in advance and we went kind of on a whim and tours were all sold out. Turns out over 1,000 people toured the house that day which is pretty nuts when you realize it’s about 2 or more hours from any major city. There’s no photos allowed inside which is a shame because it looks like this:

Falling water Interior

 

Falling Water 3

Fallingwater-sitting-area

It’s amazing and was painstakingly curated by Wright himself, supposedly down to the last vase. The was cost over $150k back in 1936- expensive and truly before it’s time. I’ve compiled some cheaper but still modern and fabulous finds that have a similar look and feel because having modern pieces shouldn’t always cost an arm and a leg.

Falling Water Inspiration

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So have any of you been out to Falling Water? Now that I’ve been to this one, I’m thinking we need to head to Chicago to see more of his work. Any other Frank Lloyd Wright homes that you love? And those wood chairs are from Target- can you believe it? I might have to pick some up for the husband’s office.

Have a great day!

-Katy


How to Pack for Europe in the Fall & Giveaway!

 

Katy at Cliffs of MoherI’ve had quite a few people ask what I brought to Ireland (and London and Pairs last year) and how I managed to pack everything. My secret is packing light, even with the cooler temps they have in Fall. It’s totally doable and you don’t have to look like a tourist wearing the same thing every day. I mean, there are enough badly dressed American tourists out there, don’t be one of them.

Keep Jewelry SimpleTravel Jewelry When you’re traveling, especially internationally, I think it’s important to look nice while not making yourself a target and this means going easy on the jewelry. Each trip I pick out one pair of gold earrings and a pair of white gold earrings, just to make sure I have something that will go with each outfit. I try to make sure one pair are interesting studs and the other are dangly but that’s just my personal preference. Our trip last year I brought multiple necklaces and they all ended up getting tangled and never worn. This trip I brought one necklace that I never took off which had both gold and white gold and would match whatever I chose to wear that day. It made getting dressed so much faster which is great- you don’t want to waste time in the hotel when you could be out exploring!

Limit Your Outerwear Trench Coat and Scarves If I had to list one item I wore almost every single day, it would be my trench coat. It’s timeless, water proof, great for windy climates and goes with everything! When I bought mine I made sure to buy one that had black lining so that it tied in with my black outfits as well.

I knew that Ireland would be windy so I made sure to bring scarves. Instead of bringing one to match every single outfit, I picked one neutral one and one that was more fun. This allowed me a little more variation without taking up tons of room in my bag.

4. Buy Comfortable (and Pretty) Shoes

Kork Ease Holmes Booties These shoes are amazing and saved me. I hadn’t even heard of Kork Ease shoes until I hit up Nordstrom last minute in complete desperation, trying to find attractive yet comfortable black shoes. They took me through cobbled streets and into fancy receptions at the Guinness distillery. They’re so easy to dress up or down and look great with jeans, leggings, and dresses. Throw in that they’re all leather and under $150 and it makes them one of my best buys this year.

Bring a Large Travel Purse

Large Travel Purse This is a lesson learned the hard way. Last year I brought my brand new blush colored purse for our two week travel in Europe. It got so grimy and dirty and after that trip it was never the same. This year I emptied out my work bag and took it along and it pretty much changed my life. Having a larger and more durable bag meant I could stuff in my camera, a scarf, maps, water and snacks so that we weren’t trying to carry those items separately. I know that Michael Kors isn’t at the height of popularity right now but the bag was perfect for our needs. It looked classy enough while being extremely useful and sturdy and the textured leather was great when things got a little rainy, which it tends to do in the Emerald Isle. I loved this bag and recommend it to anyone doing any amount of traveling.

Simple Skincare and Scents

Exfolikate and Daisy Dream

I’m not one of those girls who has a signature scent but I do seem to love almost everything by Marc Jacobs. This year I chose his Daisy Dream Roller and wore it every day. I usually kept it in my purse for times when I needed to freshen up after a long day. So many things about Europe are beautiful but street grime is a real thing. Pack some perfume to dab on before dinner and you’ll feel so much more refreshed!

The biggest travel game changer for me though, has to be Kate Somerville’s Exfolikate. Travel itself wreaks enough havoc on my skin but add traveling to a country where they serve chips (read: fries) with everything and you have a recipe for disastrous complexion. But Kate and her miracle exfoliator saved me last year in London and I’ve been using it at least weekly ever since. It’s fairly all natural but it works so well, I might even care if it wasn’t. It’s gentle but effective enough that I usually only end up using it every other day on trips.

I love Exfolikate so much that I thought I’d pick up a travel sized version to giveaway to one amazing reader!

Exfolikate Giveaway

To enter the contest it’s pretty simple. Just:

Follow A Little Daily Happiness on Facebook then leave a comment letting me know. For an extra entry, share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter and leave another comment!

Good luck and thanks for reading!

-Katy

 

(Giveaway is free to enter and winner will be chosen randomly on 10/30/2015. Winner must live in the US.)

 


Wearing Your Favorite City

I’m getting the itch to travel again which is bad considering I just bought a 50 year old home that needs a ton of work. It’s easy to forget how much time (and money) the new house needs when I see other people’s pictures of cities around the world, especially cities that I love. So it was fairly fortuitous that in an email this morning, Bezar (I love them!) featured this gorgeous grid necklace of Paris, one of my favorite cities.

Paris Necklace

 

 

 

Isn’t it beautiful? They have other cities too and I was ready, credit card in hand, to buy one of Austin (my favoritest city) but alas, they didn’t have it. Despite not having my beloved hometown, they do have a bunch of other amazing cities from around the world. I love how the city is represented so delicately and that if you look closely, you can pick out neighborhoods that you love! They also have this fun cuff representing the Tube in London which I might be added to my Christmas list.

London-Tube-Cuff

 

Ah, I miss Europe and traveling. I know that the house makes waiting to book those flights worth it, so it seems like a beautiful reminder will have to suffice for now. Any of you itching to travel back to a favorite city?

**All of the city grid jewelry seems to be 10-20% off right now. If you’re even the slightest bit tempted, check them out HERE. You have to become a member but it’s free and totally worth it. BTW, I’m not paid or perked to by Bezar, I just love them! **

-Katy


10 Unexpected Tips For a Great Paris Trip

Top 10 unexpected Paris tips

Ah, Paris. The “city of light,” the “city of love.” We loved it and for the most part, the city loved us back. But I honestly think it’s because we did tons of research and got a million and one opinions before we left. We didn’t do everything perfectly, but after the trip I realized a few things that made our trip so much more enjoyable and allowed us to bask in the “je ne sais quoi” that Paris is known for. So I’ve made a list of the top 10 things that I think would be the most useful to new travelers.

Paris Park in the Fall

1. Travel in April/May or September

The time of year you go over might be the most important factor separating a good trip from a great one. We went at the end of September and it was wonderful. The lines for almost everything were nonexistent, everything was open (Parisians are famous for shutting up shop for vacation), and it’s easier to dress the part (more on that later). Oh, and did I mention that almost everything is cheaper in the off season? Yeah, it was great. So go right before or right after summer and as you can see from above, it’s still gorgeous weather!

AirBNB Paris Rental

2. Check out AirBNB

This was the view from our balcony. You guys, this saved us so much money and we absolutely loved it. Like saved us thousands kind of money. We used Air BNB for our entire Euro vacation and not only did it save us tons, but we also got to stay in residential areas where other Parisians live and experienced more of what regular Paris is actually like. We went to legit local boulangéries, cafés, markets, etc, and were mere steps away from the Metro because we were able to pick our place based location and not just where hotels have availability. AirBNB made our lives so much easier and while I’d love to say that they were sponsoring this, alas, they’re not. We just loved our experience that much.

Sacre Couer Basilica Paris

3. Make a List

This one seems like a no-brainer but somehow it didn’t even cross my mind until a friend mentioned it a day before we left. I’m so glad we sat down together and planned out the things that we wanted to do. We checked the weather ahead of time to help us decide which days would be museum days and which would be touring days and then filled our day based on the list. We knew that we couldn’t see and do everything in a week so we prioritized and we ended up being able to see and do everything that we really wanted to while keeping a cool Parisian pace.

Paris Fashion for Americans

 

4. Wear Appropriate Clothing

Please don’t be THOSE Americans. I didn’t really understand it until I got there but you have to take your dress up a notch there. People do not wear athletic or lounge wear. If you do, you will look like an annoying American and you will be treated differently. The French take pride in dressing nicely and I have to admit that by the time we left I really appreciated it. So pack some nice footwear, chinos or dark jeans, button downs or dresses and of course, a scarf.

Paris Cuisine via Yelp

 

5. Check out Yelp and Other Review Sites

Chances are you will not be able to perfectly plan every meal and that’s OK because things over there are more go with the flow. While in the midst of your wanderings, you will smell delicious food and want to run into the nearest restaurant thinking that “all French food must be good.” The sad truth is that while much of the food there is good, there are some places that are absolutely disgusting. The only truly awful meal we had in France was when we decided to eat in Montmartre without taking a minute to look it up. Worst. Meal. Ever. Take 5 minutes and use some of that prepaid data to find some of that amazing cuisine they’re known for.

Paris Bridge Tour

 

6. Take an Afternoon Boat Tour

Everyone told us to take a boat tour and while we thought that it would be fun, we had no idea how much we’d love it. The boat tours range in price, accommodations, and times but they all depart from the same approximate location on the Seine near the Louvre. We learned about the amazing bridges in Paris, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and about a dozen other really awesome things along the river. It’s also a great way to see a few tourist destinations and further whittle down your “must see” list while you’re there. And quite a few of their their bridges are amazing and gilded. SO freakin’ chic.

Art From Paris

 

7. Buy Art Along the Seine at the End of the Day

We knew we wanted to buy some original art from along the river but we just couldn’t decide what to buy. After casually looking while on our way to various destinations, we decided to check out some booths towards 5pm. We complimented the artists (always smart) and proceeded to try to narrow down our choices to just a few to purchase. After only 5ish minutes, the artist said if we would pick a few he would give them to us for almost half off since he was ready to go home and enjoy some wine. We happily scooped up our favorites, exchanged Euros, and were on our way. We were happy because we came home with some amazing original work and he got to go home. As Michael Scott might say, win-win-win.

Louvre Courtyard

8. Buy Louvre Tickets Before You get There

The Louvre (pronounced “loov”) is a must see for everyone but especially if you like art, architecture, or culture. Since you’re headed to Paris, I’ll assume you like all three. If you do, you’ll want to optimize your time in the humongously, amazingly large museum. The best way to do this is to avoid the ridiculously long line to buy tickets. Go online that morning before you head out and buy your tickets. It’ll save you half an hour (at minimum) and a whole lot of needless waiting.

Eating a Baguette

 

9. Buy a Baguette and Goodies at the Local Boulangerie

Every morning before we got on the metro, we’d head to the corner boulangerie (bakery) and buy a couple of quiches, a baguette and a few éclairs. We’d sit at a park and eat our quiches and éclairs like uncultured Americans (the French don’t do protein for breakfast) and then save our baguette for dinner/snack. This allowed us the ability to enjoy more of their amazing parks and gave me something to nibble on when we didn’t have time to pop into a café. And yes, that is my husband shoving baguette into his mouth.

Eiffel Tower at Night

 

10. Go to the Eiffel Tower in the Day Time and at Night

The Eiffel Tower is is far more magical than either Nate or I could have imagined. It’s right along the Seine in a beautiful park. During the day, the park filled with people laughing, singing and enjoying picnics. At night the tower lights up and even twinkles at certain times. Both times were magical and were highlights of our trip. Sing along with the accordion player when he plays “La Vie en Rose” every twenty minutes and soak in the ultimate Paris experience.

So after completing this I’ve realized that these aren’t completely unexpected ideas but maybe just unconventional advice. What are your favorite travel tips?

Don’t have time for Paris this year or just want to reminisce? Check out some of my favorite books on the City of Love(they’re waaay cheaper online than in Paris).

If you’re looking for more travel tips, check out my post on Costa Rica! Have a fun weekend!

 

 


Heading to Costa Rica This Week

Manuel Antonio

Surprise! I’ll actually be in Costa Rica this week. You guys, I am so excited. We’re staying in the costal area of Manuel Antonio which is known for it’s protected rain forest, beaches and incredible amounts of wildlife, including guys like these:

Costa Rica Monkeys

 

I guess the area has so many monkeys that one of the house rules (we’re staying in an AirBNB condo) is that we aren’t allowed to feed the monkeys that regularly come onto our balcony. Crazy, right?

I know that quite a few of you have been down to Costa Rica so I’d love to hear about any awesome places we have to go! Neither of us speak very much Spanish so wish us luck! I’ll be off my computer for most of the week but stay in touch by following me on Instagram @katy_daydreaming!