Mar 15, 2017

London Diaries: Day Five

Hello London day five! Even this far into the trip I'm still so excited when I wake up every morning just to be here and explore everything the city has to offer. It's fun seeing what's changed since our last trip and discovering what's new. At this point, our family has seen most of the touristy stuff which means we have more time to indulge in the places we love most. <3 p="" vacationgoals="">

Today we started at Kensington Crepes for an easy brunch before heading across the street to the Science Museum. The kids need a break from shopping and I want an excuse to check out the V&A museum which is located next door. The good news is that everything in South Kensington is walkable so it's easy to visit multiple museums in a single morning. Plus, admission it's a budget-friendly way to spend the day. (Note: Admission to museums is free but most of the bigger exhibits require an admission fee.)

Today the Science Museum is showcasing a Robot exhibit that is equal parts cool and creepy. The exhibit includes robots that talk and respond to stimulus, as well as a baby (shown above) that blinks, breathes, and has real hair. It will definitely make you do a double-take. The exhibit is thought-provoking to say the least. It's an exploration of the last 500 years of robots and features over 100 robots on display.

Next, we headed to the Victoria & Albert Museum to check out Undressed, A Brief History of Underwear. Yep, we totally went from robots to racy underwear. The exhibit explores the intimate relationship between underwear and fashion, and its role in molding the body into whatever the fashion ideal is at the time. Although the recent waist-training craze via the Kardashians has seemed to pass, corsets have played a major role for centuries as seen in the garments on display. The exhibit features corsets that were made for women to wear during pregnancy and even post-partum when women were nursing. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the corset was invented by a man. What's interesting is to peruse the collection of underwear on display and visually see how underwear and body ideals physically take shape in the form of undergarments. Today we view underwear as outerwear and design it to not only be functional but to be admired by others. (Note: This exhibit ends on Sunday, March 12th.)

The V&A has an amazing gift shop that's worth checking out when you visit. It's a great place to pick up souvenirs and fashion books. They also have a beautiful cafe and outdoor courtyard with a fountain that is fun for kids to splash around in during the summer months.

For lunch, we walked over to Honest Burger because my husband can only live so long without a good old American burger. We used to fawn over Byron Burger when visiting London, but I have to say, after this last trip, Honest Burgers is my new favorite. They use high-quality meat (35-day dry aged British chuck steak) and serve fries with rosemary seasoning salt. Even the kids liked it. I got my burger without a bun and they didn't even blink. Gotta love a place that embraces a low-carb lifestyle. I'm a fan.

After lunch we head back to the hotel to recoop and relax. The kids always enjoy a little break and

After a day at the museums, it's off to Sloane Square in Chelsea for date night. Jeff and I try to sneak away at least once or twice on the trip to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city sans kids. We book a nanny through a local agency and sneak out for a night on the town. Sloane Square is a great place to shop and dine. For my daughter's first birthday we took her to Richard Ward Salon in Sloane Square to get her ears pierced. I have happy memories here. For dinner, we decided to check out Polpo, which serves beautiful food and most importantly, Italian wine.

London is a beautiful city to explore and each neighborhood has its own charm. One mistake we made when we first visited was not taking the time to plot out the places we wanted to see so that we can group them by neighborhoods and make the most of our trip. Instead, we spent a lot of extra time and money zig-zagging all over the city. Don't do that. It's expensive and inefficient. By grouping the places you want to see by neighborhood you'll get to experience so much more. 

// The It List //

- Shop -
The V&A gift shop

- Eat -
Kensington Crepes
Honest Burger 

- Visit -
Science Museum
Victoria & Albert Museum
Sloan Square

- Beauty - 
Richard Ward Salon


Fashion Calendar: Cute Like Mad Trunk Show

Cute Like Mad is hosting a spring trunk show at Canopy Blue this Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Guests will enjoy light bites and bubbles as they peruse spring arrivals and meet the designer. The entire Cute Like Mad collection is ethically sourced and produced in the heart of New York City. View the spring '17 lookbook here and check out some of my favorite Cute Like Mad pieces for the season below.

Cute Like Mad is a local line that made its debut at the Independent Designer Runway Show back in 2015 at Bellevue Fashion Week. I have loved watching this line grow and evolve. I think you'll enjoy checking out the collection and meeting the designer. Canopy Blue is located in Madison Park at 3121 E. Madison St. Seattle, WA 98112.

// Fashion Friday Itinerary // 

Mani + Pedi at Frenchy's Day Spa 
(located in the same plaza as Canopy Blue)

Cute Like Mad Trunk Show

Champagne and a Croissant at Belle Epicurean
(located in the same plaza as Canopy Blue)


Fashion Calendar: Neiman Marcus CUSP event

Spring fashion has arrived and you're invited to join Neiman Marcus in Bellevue for a seasonal trend event at CUSP. Guests will enjoy a panel discussion on spring style and trends featuring insight from Carolyn Yuen Marino of Hey Pretty Thing, Kirsty Papadopulous of The Kirsty Files, Molly Perdue of Molly's Musings, and wardrobe stylist Jennifer Lovin. The event runs from 6-8 p.m. in the CUSP department on the Plaza level. Space is limited. RSVP to 
Complimentary parking validation available. 

Neiman Marcus
The Shops at The Bravern
11111 NE 8th St. 
Bellevue WA 98004

Mar 6, 2017

London Diaries: Day Four

London is an endless adventure. Today we decided it was time to get out of South Kensington and into a different part of the city so we rode the tube to Shoreditch, a neighborhood about 40-minutes outside of the city. The vibe is very "up and coming" and perhaps a bit gritty. depending on who you ask. The first time I came to Shoreditch a few years ago I hated it and thought it was dirty, but even I've come around. Little boutiques and coffee shops have started popping up, cafes have opened their doors, and the Ace Hotel has arrived.

To get outside the city into Shoreditch we opted for the tube because it's faster and cheaper than a Black cab. We learned our lesson the hard way on previous trips hopping into cabs and shelling out major cash for long journies, so we mapped it out and decided to take the underground from Gloucester to Liverpool street. It was a pretty quick ride and we were blissfully unaffected by the tube strike on the central line. We were greeted in Shoreditch with wind and rain so we decided to head straight to the hotel for check-in.

The Ace Hotel is a departure from the usual hotels we normally stay at in London. It has a unique charm all its own complete with hipsters in the lobby drinking coffee and co-working the day away, plus an in-room record player, 24-hour room service, and bathroom amenities like shampoo and conditioner from Rudy's Barber Shop. Our room was clean, spacious, and safely located on the fifth floor, out of sound reach from the DJ in the lobby.

We had dinner at Hoi Polloi, the hotel restaurant founded by Ace in partnership with chefs Pablo Flack and David Waddington. The concept is "English modernist" with a focus on seasonal produce and forward-thinking. The breads on the menu were vegan, the wine organic, you get the vibe. We had some great cocktails and conversations while enjoying the delicious food.

After dinner, we headed over to Boxpark, a pop-up mall featuring a mix of global boutiques and eateries. The Boxpark is very conceptual and definitely a must-visit destination when you're in London. You'll find collabs like Idris Elba for Superdry, vintage fashion at Nordic Poetry, and souvenirs at The Gift Box. If you work up an appetite head upstairs for a full food court of restaurants or for a sweet treat head down to street level for an epic milkshake at Soft Serve Society. Boxpark could literally be your agenda for a full night out. The energy is contagious and the stores are fun to shop and explore.

The next morning we headed across the street to Forage &Co. for brunch. Fried eggs with avocado and chimichurri for the win. On our trip we found that breakfast was the perfect time to plan our day and strategize our next adventure. Forage & Co. also doubles as a co-working space so if the lobby of the Ace kills your vibe you can always head across the street to check emails and get some work done. After our leisurely brunch, we walked through the shops in the neighborhood including several cool menswear boutiques and then checked out of the hotel before heading back to South Kensington via the tube. Overall, our Shoreditch sleepover was a success. Will we be back? Definitely.

// The It List // 

- Shop - 
The Boxpark

- Eat - 
Hoi Polloi - Inside the Ace Hotel London/Shoreditch
The BoxPark 
Soft Serve Society
Forage & Co.

- Stay - 
The Ace Hotel (Shoreditch) 

Blog Design Created by pipdig