Category Archives: Travel

How To Survive the Summer Commute

Because I am a true California girl, summer is by far my most favorite season of the year. I love the long days, endless blue skies, and the super warm weather, not to mention the nights we are able to BBQ and dine al fresco at our local eateries.

However, one thing I do not love is my long commute in the blazing heat! Sure, I have a working air conditioner (thank goodness for that), but with a long drive and black interior in my car, it sometimes feels like I am heading to and from the office in my oven.

There are a few simple items that have really helped make my commute just a tad bit easier. The best part? Most of them are simple staples that you probably already have laying around!

Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

This type of water bottle is an absolute essential for me. When looking for a bottle, I found out that one of the most popular brands is S’well. I must admit I was a little surprised at their cost per bottle ($25-$35). What could be so fabulous about this type of water bottle? However, after a sip of surprisingly still cool water from my water bottle after it sat in 100+ heat for an hour, it became very clear that the money was well spent!

I keep this filled up for my drive to and from work, and I am happily refreshed with cool water whenever I need to take a sip.

Windshield Sun Shade

I have to admit this is a relatively new addition to my car’s accessories. Whenever I thought of windshield sunshades, I was immediately transported back to the 1990s with accordion-style cardboard shades (which were just plain awful!). However, I am excited to announce that the market carries a number of different options, which hopefully make them a bit easier to use. I chose a two-piece vinyl material option, which actually folds up into a very small bundle. While it takes an extra minute or so to put it up, I’m always so grateful to return to a car that hasn’t had the front seats baking in the sun for hours (hello shorts, skirts and dresses!).

Old Towel

Along the lines mentioned above, grabbing an old towel to throw in your trunk is such a great idea. I cannot explain how many times I have thrown it over my driver’s seat leather to provide a little extra coverage from sun coming from one of the side windows. It’s also a great accessory to have when you’re wearing your cute summer outfit and you cringe when your bare leg hits your car’s warm interior. Nothing genius about this idea, just a nice-to-have.

Lip Balm

I am a major lip balm queen and typically have a tube of this in just about everything I carry. However, I find that it’s not always super accessible. I leave a tube of my favorite balm (Burt’s Bees) in my drink holders for a quick moisturizing swipe through my commute. While I have found other brands tend to get mushy when they are left in a hot car, Burt’s Bees seems to hold up a bit better (though it definitely softens a bit).

Extra Sunglasses

Sunglasses are my other must-have during the summer. Like lip balm, I tend to have a few pairs in different work bags and purses, but always seem to find myself scrambling for a pair when I get into the car. I like to conveniently keep a back-up pair of sunglasses in my door compartment. That way, whether I have my purse within arm’s reach or not, I have something to get me through the drive.

For those of you that commute through the hot summer, I hope these tip help make your drive a bit more convenient! Happy Summer!

My Favorite 3…French Finds

I recently came home from a week in France and am still daydreaming about it! After two days in the Champagne region, we traveled to Paris for a taste of city life. We stayed in the St-Paul and Le Marais neighborhood, one of the oldest and most charming areas in Paris. Just north of the Isle St Louis (“the little island”), we strolled through open markets, played tourist seeing the city’s highlights, explored art and culture, and of course ate a lot cheese!

This neighborhood is known as being one of the most trendy and fashionable shopping streets. Lined with boutique shops, the storefronts presented everything from clothing and home goods, linens and soaps, and so much more! It was hard to come home empty handed, and I found a few favorite items that will forever remind me of this trip!

Ema Blue’s Silk Blouse
The Marais has many chic and stylish clothing stores. I found this colorful, floral, pinstripe silk blouse by Ema Blue’s and immediately fell for it. It’s billowy and tunic style, which makes it comfortable in addition to fashionable. And it’s made in France, something I found special!

Jonak Gold Flats
There is no shortage of shoe boutiques in Paris. As I walked past Jonak (near the Bastille) these gold flats popped out to me! I love the metallic gold—perfect to dress up a pair of jeans and coordinate with a dress for a night out!


Mariage Frères Tea
My husband introduced me to Mariage Frères Tea shortly after we first started dating—he brought this tea home for me from Paris, and I savored every bag. It’s by far my favorite tea, and so I was excited to visit this specialty shop during this trip. The scents and tastes were all incredible, but I decided on The A L’Opera (red fruit and vanilla green tea) and Blanc & Rose (white tea & tender rose petals).

I love travelling, and especially enjoy finding a few special items to bring home with me, to remind me of my experiences and memories abroad!

Honeymoon Highlights

I returned home from my honeymoon in late June and I’m still daydreaming about it. After a quick stopover in London, my husband and I travelled to Mallorca, one of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean. We also visited Lourmarin, a charming town in the Luberon Valley in French the countryside. While the entire trip provided memories for a lifetime, there were a few special highlights that I’d love to share with you!

Mediterranean Sea Views:
There are some views that one cannot get enough of—the Mediterranean Sea is it for me! Our hotel, Cap Rocat, in Mallorca overlooked the water from almost every point and we made sure to soak it in. During our lazy beach days we watched as the sea glistened with deep shades of blue and green and listened as the waves crashed against the rocky coastline. There is something special about the sights and sounds of these crystal clear waters that creates a sense of complete calm and peace.

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Lourmarin Market:
Nestled in between Aix-en-Provence and Avignon sits Lourmarin, a picturesque town straight from a French fairytale. The cobblestone streets are lined with patisseries, cafes and boutiques. Every Friday morning, Lourmarin hosts a market filling the village center with local vendors offering produce, linens, spices, cookware, soaps, cheese, homemade jam, honey and more! It was such a treat to wander and explore. We came home with a few special mementos—linen serviettes (or napkins) for our table and Lagiole cheese knives for cocktail parties and picnics!

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Lavender Fields:
I’ve had the silly dream of running through lavender fields since I was a little girl. As an adult, the added component of bees has shaken this dream a bit, but nonetheless, the dream is still there. And this trip made my dream come true. During the summer months, the French countryside is filled with fields of bright purple, aromatic lavender. We made sure to check out the “it spot” for lavender, Sénanque Abbey near the village of Gordes, and oohed and aahed over the blooming fields.

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As the warm summer months come to an end, the memories and photos from my Honeymoon stay etched in my mind. In the few weeks that we’ve been back home, my husband and I have often recalled our favorite moments from our trip. I have a feeling we’ll be doing so for many weeks, months and years ahead. I am so grateful for the opportunity for such amazing travels!
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