stila stay all day lipstick in venezia
Since today is National Lipstick Day, I thought I would share a new bright favorite by Stila. Summer is the time of year that I like to have fun with some bright colors, including bright lipstick. As a rule, I either wear a bright accessory or outfit OR a bright lip, not at the same time. You want to be careful not to overwhelm yourself with shocking colors. 

birchbox stila stay all day lipstick sample in venezia

I actually received this sample in my latest Birchbox and couldn't  wait to try it out. I wore it to work with an all black outfit and some lighter eye makeup. While it photographs more on the red side it is actually a neon red/pink. This color is universally flattering on fair skin or tan/dark skin! It is a bit drying so I always exfoliate my lips before I put it on and then put a dab of rosebud salve on top to keep it moist. 

bright summer lipstick

Lips// Stila lipstick in 'Venezia'
Cover Girl lip pencil in 'Passion'
Eyes// MAC eyeshadow in 'Tempting'
Face// Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation
Benefit Highlighter on cheeks in 'Watts Up'
Brows// Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in 'Brunette' + Anastasia Brow Wiz in 'Soft Brown' + Benefit Gimme Brow in 'Medium Deep'

Hope your week is going well! 


west elm gold side table

I've been eyeing this little gold side table for quite a while and finally pulled the trigger. As I mentioned in this post when we bought our house, we got rid of just about all of our old furniture to start with a blank slate. That means things are going to evolve more slowly and mindfully over time since each piece is going to be with us for many years.

summer flowers, interior design

Since our home is very bare bones still I get super excited when we add something new. Dave was laughing at me on Friday because I texted him that I was stopping by the store on the way home to buy flowers for my new side table. It's the little things! And besides, TGIF!

west elm gold side table, marble coasters

I was worried about this side table being too small but it turns out to be just the right size. The arm of our sofa stands 26.5 inches tall and a side table is supposed to hit between the seat cushion and top of the arm. This table is 22 inches tall and fits aesthetic leaving 4 inches from the top of the table to the top of the arm. You never want a side table to be level with the arm of a sofa or chair or higher.

interior decor, gold side table, marble coasters

I love how affordable this gold side table was at West Elm and how much character it adds to our living room space so far. And as I always say gold is here to stay! While I do not want to over load the house with gold, I do want to sprinkle it in here and there.

Hope you have a great Monday, thanks for stopping by!

Favorite Goldies + Marble Coasters!


buckingham palace gate
Knock Knock! Front gates at Buckingham Palace.

Today, I thought I would share more of my favorite London sights. I tried to make sure we hit up all of the classic touristy places but also thought it was important to get a taste for the real London.

london light

Gorgeous blue light fixture near Tower Bridge at Tower of London

As I mentioned earlier, London has such beautiful architecture and I really enjoyed the little pops of color that made it that much more interesting. I am loving the rich blues surrounding Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.

buckingham palace garden

Garden in front of Buckingham Palace

We had beautiful weather on our trip. It didn't rain and we had lots of sunshine that would give us a break now and then behind clouds. The flowers are in full bloom including the eye catching gardens around Buckingham Palace. 

Big Ben London

A view of Big Ben at Westminster

Big Ben was a must see. We walked around Westminster Palace and Westminster Abbey for a peek at where some pretty major royal weddings have occurred.

Buckingham Palace gate details

Lock on the front gate of Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is one of the most breathtaking sights in London. It is MASSIVE and is guilded with gold and so many beautiful details that you normally don't get to see in photos. The Queen's home is definitely worth the visit! I loved the details on the gate out front.

London Changing of the Guard

Changing of the guard at St. James's Palace

We had to see changing of the guard during our visit so I researched the best place to see it up close without the crowds. St James's Palace on Marlborough Rd (London SW1A 1BS United Kingdom) is perfect because you don't have the crowds like at Buckingham Palace and as you can see it is very up close and personal. During the summer at 10:45 the mounted guards will ride down 'The Mall', first going up from Buckingham Palace and then returning back down. The changing of the guard starts at 11am at St. James's so go there right after the mounted guards pass by and stand across the street at St. James' Palace. 

We loved when the Regimental Band started playing "Thriller" by Michael Jackson.

Tower of London
Lions at Tower of London

When we were heading to the Tower Bridge we happened upon the Tower of London where we learned lions used to stand guard. They are now statues where the mote once was.

Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty Exhibit
Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty

Another McQueen gown. I must have stared at this dress for 10 minutes. The detail and creativity of it just blew me away. I did get in trouble for taking this photo by the way, you're welcome.

London trafficI I 

I don't know what this is but I thought it looked cool. If you know leave me a comment! The fun thing about London is just wondering around and coming upon something really great out of nowhere.

the glass slipper from Cinderella Movie
The Glass Slipper from Disney's Cinderella live action movie

I visited the Shoes: Pleasure and Pain exhibit at the Victoria and Albert museum, now running through January 2016, and got to see some of the most historical and famous shoes of all time. If you are in the area I highly recommend you check it out.

Gordon's Wine Bar in London

London's oldest wine bar, Gordon's, was incredible. It's tucked away off the Strand near the underground station. You could walk right by it and not know it's there. On this 95 degree day it was a refreshing stop. I can imagine all of the historical figures who spent time chatting over wine and cheese down here. Most tourists don't know about this place so it was very special to get a local recommendation to experience it. And now I pass that recommendation on to you!

Guard at Buckingham Palace

Guard at Buckingham Palace

Colorful houses in Notting Hill

More colorful townhouses in Notting Hill

marching in London
Impromptu march in action

Red Phone booth in London

Obligatory red phone booth photo

You must do your red phone booth photo in front of Big Ben. Head to Parliament Square where you will find Great George's Street. This is where you can get the perfect red phone booth photo with Big Ben in the background.

Duck Cottage at St. James Park London
Duck Island Cottage in St. James's Park

One of my favorite experiences was having drinks and mixt sandwiches in St. James's Park. Dave and I met up near Fortnum and Mason to get some supplies including chocolates of course and then walked over to the park where we had a picnic dinner. First of all, I had never heard of Fortnum and Mason and it was the prettiest three story shop I think I have ever seen, and second, if I could spend every summer evening having a picnic with Dave in St. Jame's Park I think I might.

Swan and her babies
Swan mother and babies at St. James's Park

Tower Bridge London
Tower Bridge

London architecture

And there you have it! I had such a great trip and hope to go back soon. There were several other places that we visited while in London but I have captured my absolute favorite moments. See more moments on my Instagram account including my visit to Sketch for afternoon tea. Feel free to comment or message me if you have any questions. Have you ever been to London? What were your favorite places, especially off the grid places?
Have a great weekend! 


red phone booth in london

I enjoyed London much more than I actually thought I would. Don't get me wrong, I have always placed London on my top 20 international cities to visit, but it wasn't high on my list. When a great opportunity presented itself to get over to London, I had questions about the food which I had heard was not very good, and questions about whether I wanted to use so much of my precious time off from work to be in London. All of that has been put to rest and I will spend some time talking about why I love London. 

prada sunglasses

They speak English! This made the whole trip a lot easier really. Although, I found that I was a little hard to understand, I understood Londoners pretty well. At restaurants when the waiter or waitress would ask if I would like another drink or dessert I kept saying "I'm good" which was met with a blank, confused look. I had never thought about this saying being confusing so I had to make extra effort to say "No, thank you" instead. I enjoyed how polite everybody was to me. They would say, "this way love" instead of "you're trying to go through the wrong subway gate you idiot!" 

royal marching band london

Changing of the guard is worth watching. We hunted down the BEST place to see it and get great photos. I will share all the details with you in the next post including which shocking song the band played during! 

gorjana gold circle necklace

Even though it was summer break and tourists like me were in abundance, it wasn't that crowded. Not in comparison to Paris at the same time. I enjoyed finding little nooks in quite neighborhoods and sitting at cafe's just taking it all in. I didnt feel overwhelmed by crowds even though I was visiting a lot of touristy places. 

alexander mcqueen savage beauty exhibit

McQueen!! I happened to be visiting at the perfect time to see the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibit at the Victoria and Albert museum in South Kensington. It was incredible and I was able to sneak some pretty killer photos for you. More to come! It's currently running through August 2nd.

born metallic sandals

The tube was not difficult to navigate. I never got lost. When I first arrived I went to the closest underground station and purchased an Oyster card to use for my week of bus and subway rides. I put 30 pounds on it and had about 12 pounds left over by the end of the week that I had refunded back to my credit card. I used the Google Maps app to map everything and looked up subway directions as I was traveling. The app is an absolute must, it told me what station to go to and which "tube" to take along with the stops to look for. It was incredibly helpful to someone like me who is navigationally challenged. 
the colorful houses of notting hill
Notting Hill is pretty hilly. I took the tube out there and walked all around Portobello Road market popping into little shops and had a light lunch at Bluebelles Cafe which was really delicious. I finally found all of the colorful townhouses which more than made up for the hill walking. This are located in little off streets of the main road so you have to hunt them down a bit.  

red phone booth in london
The red phone booths are still neat (and they actually work, I asked) even if it is cliche to have your photo in one, it's an absolute must and we found the best place to have your photo taken in one with Big Ben in the background! I will share the exact location in the next post. 

london guardsI can't get over how neat it is that London still upholds such formal traditions. Even though it seems strange to an American to have all of this fussy pomp, it really is special and I am so glad I got to see it. By the way, the weather on this day was 95 degrees. It was the hottest day in a decade and these poor guards had to have been absolutely suffocating in these outfits. God bless them. 

notting hill houses
I really liked this row of houses in Notting Hill. The green is super fun and I love the dark grays. Such beautiful and unique colors. It makes me want to paint my front door a bright color. 
rebecca minkoff mini mab tote
You need to wear comfy clothes and shoes when exploring and my Born Crown sandals and LOFT romper were perfect. I felt put together but also free to play.
buckingham palaceBuckingham Palace is incredibly impressive, as it should be. It is enormous which you don't really understand from photos. Seeing it in person was so much fun. The intricate details in the architecture and gates are really something to see in person. 

alexander mcqueen savage beauty exhibitMore beautiful McQueen from the Savage Beauty exhibit.

tower bridge london
Speaking of gorgeous architectural details, the Tower Bridge from afar looks neat but up close you see all of the beautiful colors. It looked freshly painted and I am in love with the gold and blues on and surrounding the bridge. 
loft black romper

We had so many great meals in London. I was warned that British food leaves much to be desired so I had very low expectations going in. I didn't have a bad meal the whole week. In fact, I had some of the best food ever in London. We tried traditional British cuisine and of course French and Italian restaurants. My favorites were Four to Eight, Champagne Frommage, and  San Carlo Cicchetti. Also, we had mixte sandwiches in Paris and London that were delicious. I've never had better bread or deli meat in my life!

tower of london
I will leave you with a little corner of the Tower of London surrounded by what I think is lavender. This is on the way to Tower Bridge and is a very old medieval castle that you can take a tour through. It was once guarded by lions. 
Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed a peek into London. More of my favorite London moments to come!


paris apartments
prada sunglasses, white eyelet dress
eiffel tower
white dress in tuileries garden gif
notre dame, love locks paris
white eyelet dress
arc de triomphe
handsome man in Paris
eiffel tower, prada sunglasses
paris love locks
paris love locks

dress ℅ SheIn | flats | sunglasses | rebecca minkoff mini mab tote | earrings ℅ rocksbox

mac lipstick in 'lovelorn' | urban decay blush in 'video' | estee lauder double wear foundation

We recently took a trip to London and took the Eurostar train over to Paris for the day. We crammed in as many of the sights as we could in a day visiting the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Louvre where we spotted the Mona Lisa, Notre Dame, strolled along the Champs Elysees, and had cappuccino and mixt sandwiches at a little cafe. In the afternoon we walked around Tuileries Garden and of course stopped over at the bridge where the love locks are. These are all being removed soon but we decided it was a must to add ours to the bridge anyways. I decided to wear this eyelet white dress that SheIn sent over and it was so comfortable and pretty the whole day. It's on sale now, so scoop one up for yourself! We had wine, cheese, and foi gras for dinner before getting a taxi back to Gare du Nord for our train home. It was a sunny and busy Saturday in Paris and well worth the day trip. Thanks to those who messaged me with recommendations!

 Stay tuned for London photos!

    More white eyelet from the Nordstrom Anniversary SALE!

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