In the beginning of December I took myself on a solo trip to Paris. If you missed the first part of my photo recap, you can take a look at it here. I definitely made the same mistake I did when visiting Kenya and took a little too long to get around to editing my photos, which is an absolute killer of motivation. Get things done sooner rather than later people!!

That said, it was nice to come back to these photos after taking a holiday break. It was like visiting an old friend, which frankly is how I think I’ll start viewing Paris every time I visit. While I may have not had the best time visiting recently (, the first time I went was amazing, and I cannot even pretend I won’t be back! There were too many little side streets that I noticed I hadn’t explored my last night in the 11th Arrondissement to not return!

Here’s the second half of my visit to Paris, both in pictures as well as a video I put together for ya!


parisThe river Seine.

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Less than a week ago I got back from my trip to Paris, and now that I’m finally beating my jet lag (guys, it was so dang real), it seemed appropriate to share a little photo-dump with you all! This wasn’t my first trip here, but my first visit solo.

I will share that I’ve definitely developed a love/hate relationship with Paris, which seems to be the norm with everyone I’ve asked. I found that the Parisian attitude (rumored and also displayed) is very similar to that of NYC residents, in that it seems a lot of people are transplants to the city but in the same breath very irritated by “outsiders”. People largely don’t want to acknowledge non-French  (or French attempting) speakers, which I found to be a bizarre practice when a lot of revenue comes from tourists. At the risk of sounding “salty”, I suppose a location so established and popular can do what it wants, as there will always be more visitors.

That said, for whatever the Parisian attitude detracts, the city gives back tenfold by being gorgeous. Every turn presents you with something beautiful, be it a view, architecture, or just overall ambience. There were many times I just caught myself stopping to marvel at the age of Paris and its buildings. If only for the sights, I’ll definitely return.


parisThis is the view from my apartment window! The Eiffel Tower is located far back on the left there.

parisAnother part~

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mini boudoir

Mini boudoir in Paris.

Sometimes you wake up in Paris and look out the window only to see this lovely view (with the teeniest Eiffel in the distance!) and decide that you’re feeling real fancy and want to shoot a little boudoir-style session… So you put on your cute silk robe, and do the dang thing. (The you I’m talking about is me, obviously.)

I had a lot of fun taking and editing these photos, and definitely think I’ll expand on it in the future. I’d love to do something like this with a model other than myself, but I suppose I’ll deal with that when the opportunity approaches (hint hint friends)!

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6 things that I think are SUPER important to bring with me while traveling. Click over to see what they are >>

travel essentials

In case you’re just finding my blog (and haven’t seen me mentioning it a BUNCH in my last few posts, hello) I’m traveling to Paris later this week. I’m super excited, but I’ve also been obsessively making lists of things I need to not forget.

Unlike when you travel with someone else and get to borrow things if you forget something, being on your own means you’re literally… on your own. I know I can buy stuff at my destination, but I’d rather arrive prepared than frantically scramble on arrival! Here’s a list I’ve put together of 6 things that feel are super important to pack:

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don't wait to explore

I think it’s a very human thing to get in our own way. The idea of attempting something and failing seems to be scarier than never attempting at all. As a result, we often stay stagnant and in one place, rather than venturing out. This is true in all figurative and literal aspects, but I find it particularly true for traveling. Strength exists in numbers, and unless going somewhere with family, most will never try to explore alone. Change that!

So many are scared to venture solo because it means they might have to rely on themselves, and aren’t sure they’re capable. I promise you, you are. You’re strong enough and more than able to handle anything that life gives you (seriously, like, forreal).

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So I’m not sure if any of you remember websites like Livejournal, but I not only blogged on there once upon a time (to no one’s surprise), I still maintain friendships with people from there. This past Thursday a friend who I’d been in contact with for at least 12 (maybe 13?!) years was going to be close by in NYC doing modeling work for fashion week, and there was zero chance I was letting the opportunity to FINALLY meet in person pass! (An extra note: there’s actually a group of 5 of us who have all maintained contact from around the age of 13!)

I somehow had off from both jobs, so I took a day trip up to NYC. I actually had the worst experiences ever with the bus (both ways), but all good! Aside from the nonsense bookending the day, I had a great time hanging with Kim, exploring the West Village (correct me if I’m wrong), and thrift stores! Here’s some pictures to prove it:

NYC day trip
I fell in love with Pret in London and it was imperative I made a stop. Can we get a Philly locale tho?

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It’s Monday, and normally that would mean it’s time for a new Monday Mantra, but I think I’d like to carry last week‘s over for another week. I kinda fudged that one and really need to commit myself. In lieu of something new, I’ve decided to share the final installment of my Kenya series.

In case you’re new or somehow managed to miss my last posts mentioning it, I took a big trip to Kenya last month. Posts one and two of the series can be found here and here. I think in the future I’ll be better about taking a more abridged approach to a trip like this, but because it was the first time I’ve traveled that far, and to a place kind of off the grid (seriously, Meru is out there), a little extra oversharing is okay! 🙂 Here it is, part 3, and the final part of this travel series!

kenya part three


Day 6

We left Samburu to head toward Nairobi (where we’d ultimately fly out of). It was a long 4 hour ride mostly full of me napping because I can’t handle long car rides. We made a pit stop at a restaurant called Trout Tree that was literally in a tree house, in the middle of the jungle. From what I understand it’s a trout farm, but I don’t eat fish so that’s kind of lost on me. All in all this day was mostly full of traveling between destinations, and not as much about sight seeing.

I’m not sure why I didn’t take pictures of the hotel in Nairobi that we checked into, but it looked like something from the future; it gave me a very Tokyo-sleek vibe.

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5 things I wish I'd remembered to pack in my suitcase. Click to read >>

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So you packed and repacked your things a dozen times for your trip, but somehow you arrived at your destination with important things missing. Or at least… that’s what happened to me during my trip to Kenya last week!

I felt like I’d thought of everything I’d possibly need, but once there, discovered I’d definitely missed a handful of items. Here’s 5 things I wish I’d packed during my trip (and will make sure to remember next time):

1. Slip on shoes:

I chose my white vans high tops as my main shoe for my trip, and that was a huge mistake. When you walk into buildings (and houses) in Kenya you often have to take your shoes off in exchange for house slippers or flip-flops, and constantly unlacing high tops is a major pain in the butt. I’ll definitely be investing in some low slip ons, maybe like these or these.

2. Bentonite clay:

I set some of this aside on a little carry-on jar to take with me, but changed my mind last minute. While I’m pretty sure the jar was the appropriate size for TSA requirements, I wasn’t sure if they’d be picky about someone carrying an unlabeled container of powder onto the plane. That said, my skin went crazy due to the weather change and the hard water over in Kenya and it definitely would’ve fared better with the detoxifying bentonite clay. Next time I’ll take the risk. [clickToTweet tweet=”5 things I forgot to pack while #traveling, so you don’t forget them too!” quote=”5 things I forgot to pack while traveling, so you don’t forget them too!”]

3. iPod:

I don’t have an iPod, but oh my goodness I definitely need to invest in one before I take my next trip. It was fine not having it on the plane to Nairobi because there were in flight movies (hellooo James Bond for 12 hours), but the long car rides averaging 2-4 hours were KILLER without music! Anyone wanna suggest some good playlist additions?

4. Zoom lens:

I made the mistake of only bringing my 50mm lens with me and I’m kind of sad about all the rad landscape and safari shots I missed because of it. I generally prefer to stick with the 50mm since I love how pictures turn out with it, but there’s definitely a time and place to utilize something else (and I’m pretty sure that was last week, all over Kenya… dang).

5. Lavendar essential oil:

Guys, jet lag is so friggin real. I wish I’d brought this along to help me sleep not only on the multiple plane rides, but also when I was struggling to adjust to a normal schedule. I debated taking sleeping pills instead but the idea of struggling to wake up because of a chemically induced sleep just doesn’t sit right with me, ya know?

( Related: DIY essential oil roll-on )

Can you suggest any other items people might need?